Unintended Consequences?

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about some of the unintended consequences of shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The article reports:

MIDLAND, S.D.—“My husband just called me … he just got fired,” said Laurie Cox, her voice trembling ever so slightly as she put on a brave smile. But it was impossible to ignore her now-crestfallen demeanor.

Cox is the owner of a hotel in Midland, a quaint town with a population of about 100. She had just finished talking about how business was booming late last year during which she had befriended people working on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Workers would return from their shifts from a handful of nearby pump stations to unwind at the hotel since it was just a short drive away. Cox recalls having dinner together with the workers and lively chats night after night, many became close with her pet dog—a cute canine called Heidi.

Her husband, Wallace Cox Jr., was an industrial mechanic who had been setting pumps in Minnesota before he was laid off on Feb. 10. He was also scheduled to work on the Keystone XL pipeline—specifically on pumps in Montana in the upcoming summer.

The hotel’s picturesque scene crumbled almost instantly after President Joe Biden shut down the pipeline on Jan. 20 through an executive order. The cancellation was among one of his first moves as president.

The article also notes:

There are limited opportunities in small rural towns like Midland, Wallace said, as he described the pipeline project as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for extra revenue for all our businesses to accumulate for the future.”

When asked if he had any message for the Biden administration he said he wanted to tell the president to “reconsider his course on the American oil and gas industry.”

The Keystone XL pipeline was a massive project that was expected to generate $3.4 billion in U.S. GDP growth, including millions in state and local tax revenue, according to the U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute. The pipeline would have generated millions of dollars of economic opportunity for South Dakotans.

Laurie estimates there were at least 100 workers at each pump station when counting all the different kinds of trades involved. Anyone who had rental homes along the route, or who owned hotels were “pretty much full” due to the influx of workers.

It is sad that a President can do this much damage with an executive order. This much power concentrated in one place makes every business in America subject to the whims of the President. What if the President decided to declare in an executive order that ice cream promotes obesity and that all ice cream manufacturing and ice cream parlors have to be shut down immediately? How is that different from shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline? It’s time for the unions whose members lost their jobs because of this executive order to get their lawyers together and start giving people their jobs back.

Welcome To The New American Economy

Breitbart is reporting the following today:

New weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rose by 13,000 to 861,000 in the week that ended February 13, the Department of Labor said Thursday.

Economists had expected claims to fall to 768,00 from the 793,000 initially reported for the prior week. The previous week’s figure was revised up by 55,000 to 848,000.

…Jobless claims—which are a proxy for layoffs—remain at extremely high levels. Prior to the pandemic, the highest level of claims was 695,000 hit in October of 1982. In March of 2009, at the depths of the financial crisis recession, jobless claims peaked at 665,000.

Even when the economy is creating a lot of demand for workers, many businesses will shed employees as they adjust to market conditions. But in a high-pressure labor market, those employees quickly find jobs and many never show up on the employment rolls. What appears to be happening now is that many workers who lose their jobs cannot quickly find replacement work and are forced to apply for benefits.

How many workers in the energy sector have lost their jobs because of the Executive Orders signed by President Biden? How many workers in areas that support energy sector jobs have lost their jobs since January 20th? These high unemployment numbers may be partially a result of the coronavirus, but they are more than likely related to the Executive Orders and the economic policies of the Biden administration. Unfortunately we can expect more high unemployment unless the Biden administration changes its policies.

Hurting Americans To Get Back At President Trump

Red State reported yesterday that President Biden has ordered the Heath and Human Services Department (HHS) to freeze executive orders from Trump designed to significantly lower prescription drug prices for Americans, including the potentially-life-saving drugs, insulin, and epinephrine.

The article reports:

As a result, as reported by Bloomberg Law, HHS subsequently froze the former Trump administration’s December drug policy that requires community health centers to pass on all of their insulin, and epinephrine — which includes the popular EpiPen used by millions of allergy sufferers — discount savings to patients.

…Under the now-frozen Trump administration policy, “centers that don’t pass on the savings wouldn’t qualify for federal grants,” said Bloomberg.

The article includes the following:

Click here for a list of the drugs and devices that are affected by Biden’s ordered freeze.

The article notes that so far (in less than a week) President Biden has destroyed 60,000 jobs, destroyed women’s sports, destroyed the U.S. gas and oil industry (ending America’s energy independence), forced troops to sleep in parking garages, and is preparing to ramp up wars in the Middle East.

This does not look good for the future.

When Your Priorities Are Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about some of the things Joe Biden would prioritize should he take office in January. It is no surprise to find gun control high up on that list.

The article reports:

Joe Biden plans to move quickly against guns, adding the issue to his list of first executive orders, according to his top policy aide.

Stef Feldman, the national policy director of Biden’s presidential campaign, included the Democrat’s gun plan in a list of initial executive actions set to be unleashed after Inauguration Day.

Speaking in a Zoom briefing hosted by Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, she said that Biden is planning to “make big, bold changes through executive action, not just on policing and climate like we talked about previously, but in healthcare and education on gun violence, on a range of issues.”

She added that “there’s really a lot you can do through guidance and executive action.”

It’s a pretty safe bet that if he does take executive action against guns, a case objecting to the order will find its way to the Supreme Court. This may be one of many reasons the Democrats plan to pack the court with more liberal justices.

The article concludes:

During the campaign, Biden won the endorsement of former candidate Beto O’Rourke, who famously promised to grab everyone’s AR-15.

While he calls his plan one aimed at ending “gun violence,” most of Biden’s ideas amount to limiting what people can buy or have. For example, he wants to end the sale of AR-15-style firearms (the most popular in the nation), regulate those that people already have, and limit the size of magazines those guns use.

Just for the record, the AR-15 is the most popular gun in the nation, but it does not have a history of being the weapon most used to commit a crime. So why are the Democrats so focused on the AR-15? Well, it’s scary looking. If you don’t know anything about guns, it is really scary looking. The fact that it’s scary looking means that it can be used to get the camel’s nose under the tent and begin to take away the gun rights of Americans. If you are familiar with world history, taking guns away from law-abiding citizens never ends well. A Biden administration would not bring freedom and prosperity to America. His ideas on gun control are only one illustration of that.

I Am Hoping This Will Never Happen

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article about former Vice-President Joe Biden’s plans for executive orders should he become President.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to roll out at least four executive orders should he ultimately be sworn in as president on Jan. 20, undoing the work of President Donald Trump, his campaign said this week.

A spokesperson for the Biden campaign on Monday told Fox News that the former vice president plans to rejoin both the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organization and also plans to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA — and repeal the president’s so-called travel ban on certain Muslim countries.

Biden has also previously vowed to repeal Trump’s tax cuts and reverse the Mexico City Policy, which bans foreign aid from going to nongovernmental organizations that promote or pay for abortions.

“Other abortion-related policies and those weakening the Affordable Care Act will likely be on the chopping block in a Biden-Harris administration as well,” the outlet noted.

All of these policies will not help America move forward. Repealing the tax cuts will slow economic growth, ending the travel ban will make Americans less safe, and rejoining the Paris climate agreement will cripple the American economy while not impacting economic rival China. Just for the record, America has cut its carbon emissions despite not being part of the agreement; China continues to build coal-generated electric plants, increasing its carbon emissions. It is also unfortunate that the Democrats are so beholden to their Planned Parenthood donors that they find it necessary to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas.

A Biden administration will be a continuation of the anemic growth we experienced in the Obama administration.

Getting The Job Done–Even When You Have To Do It Alone

One America News reported yesterday that President Trump has signed four executive orders designed to alleviate some of the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus.

The article reports:

On Saturday, he signed a payroll tax initiative, which will defer payroll tax to those making less than $100,000 a year until the end of 2020.

…The president has renewed supplemental unemployment benefits at $400 a week. This new amount came in just below the previous $600 extra, which Americans were receiving before the enhance benefits expired earlier this month.

…He also provided assistance to renters by imposing a partial moratorium on evictions and suspended mandatory student loan payments through the end of the year.

…The president has expressed he had to step in because Democrats in Congress have not stepped up to the plate.

“Democrats have refused these offers,” said President Trump. “What they really want is bailout money for states that are run by Democrat governors and mayors, which have been run very badly for many, many years.”

This is a stroke of genius. The bill that the House of Representatives put forth included a lot of things that have nothing to do with the coronavirus, and they refused to negotiate on anything less. We don’t need national mail-in voting–we stand in line at the grocery store, at Home Depot, and at WalMart almost every day. We don’t need to bail out badly-run states–they need to clean up their own budgets first (and Washington also needs to do some serious spending reduction).

The Democrats are unhappy. They might take this to court, but if they do, they will be fighting a President who signed an executive order to help Americans while Congress could not come to agreement on doing anything. Even if they won in court, they would lose in the court of public opinion, and the election is less than three months away.

This was a brilliant move on the part of the President.

Good News–Temporary Good News, But Good News

Breitbart is reporting today that a White House study released on Friday found that President Donald Trump’s Obamacare reforms will save Americans roughly $450 billion over the next ten years.

That is wonderful news, but it is only temporary wonderful news.

The article reports:

A White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) study released on Friday found that Americans will save $450 billion through Trump’s Obamacare reforms. The CEA suggested that Trump’s repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate and the expansion of short-term insurance plans and Association Health Plans (AHPs) will save Americans billions over the next ten years.

The White House also suggested that the benefits of Trump’s deregulatory actions saved Americans billions, increased access to more health insurance options, and did not amount to a “sabotage” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Unfortunately these savings are a result of Executive Orders, not legislative action. That means that the changes can theoretically be reversed by a future President. It would have been wonderful if Congress had stepped up to the plate and made the necessary changes.

The article concludes:

Many Americans have contended that because 80 percent of those who paid the Obamacare mandate made less than $50,000 a year, the individual mandate repeal serves as a significant middle-class tax break.

The CEA said about 87 percent of Obamacare exchange enrollees receive ACA subsidies and “only pay a fraction of their health insurance costs.”

Many Obamacare proponents suggested that the repeal of the individual mandate, as well as the expansion of short-term plans and AHPs, would lead to higher premiums on the Obamacare exchanges.

In contrast, the CEA contended that because more people will use AHPs and short-term plans and fewer people will use the ACA exchanges, the government will save $185 billion over the next ten years.

The CEA said that instead of sabotaging the ACA, the Trump administration offered millions of Americans more affordable health insurance options.

“The oft-expressed view that deregulation ‘sabotages the ACA’ by giving consumers more insurance-coverage options is misguided,” the CEA said.

The free market is always the best answer.

Bringing Efficiency Into Federal Employment

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about President Trump’s recent executive orders to change civil service regulations.

The article reports:

“These executive orders will make it easier for agencies to remove poor-performing employees and make sure taxpayer dollars are more efficiently used,” Mr. Bremberg said.

The move will promote efficiency, save taxpayer dollars and create better work environments for “thousands of employees who come to work each day and do a great job,” said another official.

as expected, unions objected loudly. The article reports some of the reasons for the reforms:

Office of Personnel Management data shows federal employees are 44 times less likely to be fired than a private sector worker once they’ve completed a probationary period.

A recent Government Accountability Office report showed that it takes between six months and a year to remove a federal employee for poor performance, followed by an eight-month appeals process.

The National Affairs blog posted the following this spring:

Even President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers: “Meticulous attention,” the president insisted in 1937, “should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” The reason? F.D.R. believed that “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.” Roosevelt was hardly alone in holding these views, even among the champions of organized labor. Indeed, the first president of the AFL-CIO, George Meany, believed it was “impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

Many of our current civil service policies are the result of the unionization of government workers. It is time for that practice to end. Government workers are paid very well and should be subject to the same rules as the rest of the workforce. Unions should not be able to collective bargain with people whose political campaigns they help finance.

Can The Second Amendment Be Overturned By Executive Action?

ABC News is reporting today on President Obama’s plan to use an executive order to begin to limit gun rights among Americans.

The article reports:

President Obama plans to announce executive actions he will take on gun control on Tuesday, a source told ABC News.

Obama had announced during his weekly address Friday that he planned to discuss gun control options with Attorney General Loretta Lynch after he returned from his Hawaiian vacation, which ended today.

“A few months ago, I directed my team at the White House to look into any new actions I can take to help reduce gun violence,” he said in the address. “And on Monday, I’ll meet with our Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to discuss our options.”

The White House had previously announced the Justice Department was examining unilateral action the president could take on gun control, and would be making recommendation.

Gun sales during the Obama Administration have skyrocketed. Gun sales in America have increased since the San Bernardino shootings.

The thing we need to remember here is that a lack of guns by law-abiding Americans does not make us safer. The move for better background checks is the beginning of the effort to register guns. Historically that has been the move that preceded gun confiscation. Note also that most of the shootings involving multiple victims have occurred in ‘gun free’ zones. The shooters knew that the people they attacked would not be armed and they would not meet immediate resistance.

Keep in mind as you hear this debate that there is a Second Amendment that upholds the right of private citizens to own guns. Law-abiding citizens owning guns makes us safer–it does not put us in danger. Hopefully Congress will stand up for the U.S. Constitution in this debate.

One Answer To Federal Government Overreach

According to the IJReview, the Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill last Wednesday that had only two provisions.

The article lists the provisions:

  1. Prohibits this state or any of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with a policy directive issued by the U.S. DOJ to law enforcement agencies in this state that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.
  2. Prohibits this state or any of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with an executive order issued by the President of the U.S. that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

Simply stated, unless Congress passes the law, Arizona is not going to follow it. That is the way our government is supposed to work. Thank you, Arizona.