What Four More Years Of Bidenomics Would Look Like

On May 14th (sometimes it takes me a while to get to things), Stephen Moore posted an article at BizPac Review detailing some of the economic plans the Biden administration has if they win the election in November. If you like trying to stretch your dollar because of inflation, you will love the new challenges.

The article reports some of the plans:

1. Tax rates on investment up to 70%.

2. $2 trillion in new debt spending.

3. A “net zero” energy policy eliminating production of nearly all our abundant fossil fuels.

4. An end to state “right-to-work” laws in 26 states.

5. The antitrust assault against Silicon Valley and corporate mergers ramps up.

The article also concludes:

There is more to worry about under Bidenomics in a second term. One worry is that Dems will agree to eliminate checks and balances in our system of government by overturning the filibuster rule of at least 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation. Another concern is that Dems will lock in their electoral strength by making Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico states to add four more Democratic senators. Remember Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of Pennsylvania heroically voted to save the filibuster — but they won’t be around in January 2025 to stop the court packing.

Could American businesses and families survive getting smashed by these gale-force winds of another Bidenomics hurricane in 2025 without capsizing the ship of state? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Stephen Moore is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a senior economic advisor to Donald Trump. His latest book is: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Devouring Our Economy.”

Your vote counts. We need enough votes against Joe Biden to overcome the fraud that is already being planned.

In Case You Doubted “The Plan”

On Wednesday, The Daily Signal posted an article about some of the information being given to the people who are illegally crossing our southern border.

The article reports:

The “vote for President Biden” flyers found at a center for migrants in Mexico constitute foreign meddling in U.S. elections, congressional Republicans say. 

Amid the ongoing crisis of illegal immigration at the southern border, the lawmakers decried flyers posted at the migrant services center near Brownsville, Texas, that tell illegal aliens: “Reminder to vote for President Biden when you are in the United States.”

“Joe Biden has sacrificed our nation’s safety and security in his pursuit to get as many people here as possible. Why? Because he believes these are future Democrat voters,” Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., told The Daily Signal. 

“This is election interference orchestrated at the highest levels. We have to get our hands around this—Americans have to have complete confidence in their elections,” Marshall said. “Any NGO receiving federal funds and pushing illegal get-out-the-vote efforts for Joe Biden should be stripped of their funding immediately.”

Translated from Spanish, The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project notes, the flyers posted at the nongovernmental organization Resource Center Matamoros in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas say: “Reminder to vote for President Biden when you are in the United States. We need another four years of his term to stay open.” 

“Democrats want permanent power and they are willing to import a new electorate to get it,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., told The Daily Signal in a written statement after his office was asked about the flyers. 

The article concludes:

The discovery of the “vote for Biden” flyers in Mexico is more evidence of the need for voter ID laws, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said.

“Like Iowa, every state in the union should require IDs and proof of citizenship in order to vote,” Ernst told The Daily Signal. “American elections are for Americans, not whoever manages to show up at Joe Biden’s open border. We must secure election integrity and secure the border.”

The pro-Biden flyers, discovered by Muckraker and shared with the Oversight Project, were found throughout Resource Center Matamoros, including on the walls of portable toilets, a video shows. 

The city of Matamoros in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas borders Brownsville, where Biden spoke in February about the crisis of illegal immigration at the southern border that has grown since he became president in January 2021.

Federal law bans foreign nationals, or non-U.S. citizens, from voting in federal elections. On Friday, former President Donald Trump endorsed proposed legislation by House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., that would require proof of citizenship to vote in U.S. elections.

It is long past time to make sure that the people who vote in our elections are the people who are legally entitled to vote in our elections. Any illegal vote cancels out the vote of a legal voter.

Government Intrusion Into The Election Process

On Tuesday, The Daily Signal posted an article about the collaboration between the federal government and left-leaning get-out-the-vote organizations.

The article reports:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with a left-wing advocacy group to boost voter turnout as part of President Joe Biden’s executive order directing federal agencies to get involved in elections.

The USDA worked directly with Demos, a New York-based group that helped draft Biden’s Executive Order 14019, according to records obtained by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.) 

Biden signed his order on agencies and voter registration in March 2021. On Aug. 9, 2021, Demos’ Adam Lioz emailed USDA officials, many in the office of Secretary Tom Vilsack, under the subject line: “Demos Meeting on Voting Rights EO.”

“Team USDA, with apologies for the delay, I wanted to follow up and thank you all for all your time and a productive conversation,” wrote Lioz, who was Demos’ senior counsel and political director before departing in September 2021. “As we noted, we’ll have our ‘best practices’ slides ready in the next 1-2 weeks and in the meantime, y’all had asked for data on voter registration at the state level, which I’ve pasted below.” 

Just for the record, the Hatch Act of 1939 prohibits civil servants in the Executive Branch of government (except the President and Vice-President) from engaging in some forms of political activity. The goal of the law is to stop the federal government from affecting elections or going about its activities in a partisan manner.

The article concludes:

Biden’s initiative includes the Department of Homeland Security’s registration of voters during naturalization ceremonies, the Department of Education’s promotion of voting at high schools and colleges, and agencies’ work with private, nonprofit organizations to increase voter turnout. 

Many congressional Republicans have joined government watchdog groups in expressing concern about agencies’ engaging in partisan political activity under Biden’s executive order, in violation of laws such as the Hatch Act. 

The records obtained by Heritage’s Oversight Project include the USDA’s directions to employees on how to avoid violating the Hatch Act. 

Neither the Department of Agriculture nor Demos responded to inquiries from The Daily Signal before publication of this report. 

The effort to steal the 2024 election has already begun.

Bribing Schools To Accept Transgender Policies

The problem with federal money is that it always comes with strings attached. Our local school boards no longer have the freedoms they once had because many of their decisions are determined by the federal Department of Education and linked to grants and funding. The Biden administration is using grants and funding in order to advance its radical agenda on child sexuality.

On Sunday, Just the News reported the following:

A new Biden administration rule forces schools to comply with progressive ideology on gender and sexuality or risk losing the federal aid for free and reduced-price school lunches.

Legal observers say this is just the first in a slew of new rules on the horizon tying federal education funding to far-left policies on gender and sexuality.

The school lunch funding controvesy began in May 2022, as The Center Square previously reported, with an announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which handles federal help for school lunches.

The USDA said at the time it would change its longstanding interpretation of Title IX, the law broadly governing discrimination protections in education. USDA said it would expand its previous prohibition against discriminating based on sex “to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

School lunch funding goes through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of USDA.

The article notes:

“This is a significant departure from what Title IX has always been interpreted to be,” Sarah Perry, a lawyer at the Heritage Foundation and expert on this issue, told The Center Square.

With an ever-growing number of orientations and gender identities, and despite the political divide on the issue, schools will now be forced to comply on the complex and highly politicized gender and sexuality issue.

“This is no small change,” Perry said. “This is a significant interpretation to say that sex equals sexual orientation and gender identity when Title IX, we know, dates back to 1972 and the women’s liberation movement, and at the time there was an entire campaign by LGBTQ activists to be included in anti-discrimination law indicating that they themselves did not believe that they were protected in these particular contexts.”

Is there anyone is Congress who is willing to stand up to this? This is not a law–it’s a regulation. Does anyone in Congress have the courage to propose a law that will prevent this from happening?

The Future If President Trump Is Elected In 2024

If you are a government worker, you should probably work very hard to make sure President Trump does not become President again. The changes he is planning to make will be good for the country, but not necessarily appreciated by government employees.

On Tuesday, Newsmax posted an article about what is being planned if President Trump is elected. President Trump is a much greater threat to the deep state than he was in 2016–he has a much better idea of who the goods guys are and who the bad guys are. That is one of many reasons there will be a desperate attempt to stop him from being elected.

The article reports:

Project 2025, a well-funded effort that is essentially a transition team orchestrated by the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, has already begun recruiting and screening potential candidates who would be in place for the next Republican administration.

More specifically, a second Donald Trump administration.

The goal, according to a report by Axios, is to have 54,000 like-minded Trump loyalists ready to be hired and placed across every level of the federal government in January 2025.

The article notes:

In order to install 54,000 federal workers hand-picked by this effort, Trump has said he would reinstate Schedule F, a personnel policy to erase employment protections for tens of thousands of federal workers through reclassification, which makes them easier to fire.

And with the army in place, Trump in the early days of his second administration can revamp the Justice Department, FBI and intelligence community, swiftly move on deporting illegals “by the millions per year,” and eradicate woke ideology from the military, according to Axios.

“And the goal is that we are just like a snowball rolling downhill. It keeps building momentum and whoever the nominee is, whoever the next president is, we’re going to be ready on Day One,” Chretien said.

Sweeping reform is what is needed. The question is whether or not we can have an honest election to allow that reform to happen.

What Happened To The Revenue?

On Tuesday, Issues & Insights posted an article about tax revenues under the Biden administration. The Laffer Curve is at work.

The article reports:

Friday afternoon, the Treasury Department reported that, despite a growing economy and low unemployment, the federal deficit shot up by $320 billion in fiscal year 2023. That’s unusual. But what’s really bizarre is why the deficit exploded.

According to the report, overall spending actually dropped by 2% compared with 2022 as the COVID-19 spending splurge abated.

What drove up the deficit this year was a sudden and completely unexpected 9% drop in tax revenues. Not only did revenues come up hundreds of billions lower than last year, but they were well below what everybody expected them to be.

At the start of the year, the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget projected revenues for fiscal 2023 at around $4.7 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office figured it would be $4.8 trillion.

The actual amount: $4.4 trillion.

In other words, there’s between $300 billion and $400 billion worth of missing tax revenues.

…In a normal world, a better-than-expected economy would result in more revenues for the federal government, not less.

Keep in mind, too, that it’s exceedingly rare for tax revenues to drop from one year to the next. In fact, it’s happened only eight times since 1960 – always around an economic downturn – and the average decline was just 4.7%. Even when the COVID lockdowns caused a massive recession, revenues only dipped by 1.2% in 2020. (Revenues plunged nearly 17% during the financial crisis.)

It’s also worth noting that revenues continued to climb after the Kennedy, Reagan and Trump pro-growth tax cuts went into effect.

The article concludes:

But that’s not what happened this year. The federal government is still tremendously bloated – spending in 2023 will be 43% higher than it was the year before COVID-19. The national debt now tops $33 trillion. Social Security and Medicare are racing toward insolvency. Biden is pushing Congress for another $100 billion to finance the never-ending war in Ukraine and provide aid to Israel.

Did the Biden administration overcount revenues in the past two years to paper over the colossal spending increases? Is the White House goosing employment and other economic data today to make the economy look better than it is? Is Biden’s budget team just hopelessly incompetent?

Preston Bashers of the Heritage Foundation speculates that the shortfall could be the result of a sharp drop in capital gains tax revenues, the explosion in “green” tax credits, and other factors.

Somebody in the Biden administration should be made to explain what happened.

In the meantime, we’re now deeper in debt than ever. Way to go Brandon.

I am not sure, but I don’t believe there is anyone in the Biden administration who has actually run a business. We need to go back to the days of putting a businessman in the White House–not a politician.

Who Is Funding Illegal Immigration?

The question that should be asked is, “Who is funding the illegal immigration that is funding the Mexican Cartels?”

On Thursday, Breitbart reported the following:

The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project obtained data showing about 30,000 unique mobile devices at 35 NGO centers and one Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility stationed along the United States-Mexico border.

Ultimately, the investigation “confirmed that a host of NGOs are actively facilitating” large scale illegal immigration into the U.S. interior as CBP transfers border crossers and illegal aliens en masse to NGOs, funded by taxpayers, which then provide transportation services so arrivals can be sent to all 50 states.

“Devices that were at these NGO facilities later appeared in all but one congressional district in the United States,” the investigation states:

The investigation confirms that Biden border crisis affects all of America and that NGOs are playing a central role in the mass resettlement of illegal aliens in the United States. Worse, this flow of illegal immigration helps enable cartels to bring terrorists, criminals, and deadly drugs like fentanyl into the United States. [Emphasis added]

The article concludes:

More than other administrations, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has enlisted NGOs to take on the role of sheltering border crossers and illegal aliens at the border before transporting them into the U.S. interior via domestic commercial flights and buses.

For months, House Republicans have urged Biden to disclose the number of border crossers and illegal aliens that have been flown into American cities, the cost to taxpayers, and how much money is being paid to NGOs facilitating the Catch and Release process.

Most Americans, in an August poll, said they believe there is an “invasion” occurring at the border as the Biden administration is set to have apprehended a record 2.3 million by the year’s end and is projected to apprehend another record 2.6 million next year.

Since February 2021, at least 1.4 million border crossers and illegal aliens have been released into the U.S. interior.

Every state in America is now a border state. Any American who voted for an incumbent in the mid-term election (with very few exceptions) voted to keep the southern border open.

Analyzing The Data

Issues & Insights recently posted an article comparing how the blue and red states and cities have handled the COVID pandemic. We need to learn from the mistakes made.

The article reports:

…Those that hewed to the Red State model of lower taxes, less regulation, and respect for the rule of law thrived – while those that followed the “woke” blue-state model, built on socialist top-down control, forced equality, and divisive racial identity politics, suffered.

One of the new studies, by Phil Kerpen of The Committee to Unleash Prosperity, Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago, and Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation, and published as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, ranked states by how they performed in three major areas during the pandemic: economics, education, and mortality.

That study, for good reason, has garnered much attention. It shows that red states, in general, beat blue states hands down during the pandemic, largely due to the latter’s dedication to damaging COVID lockdowns.

“Shutting down their economies and schools was by far the biggest mistake governors and state officials made during COVID, particularly in blue states,” said Moore, a co-founder of the Committee To Unleash Prosperity.

New Jersey was the worst-performing state, while neighboring blue-state giant New York was next, ranked 49th. Also flunking out were California, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.

“They had high age-adjusted death rates, they had high unemployment and significant GDP losses, and they kept their schools shut down much longer than almost all other states,” according to the study.

So who did best? Utah, Nebraska, Vermont, Montana, South Dakota – and Florida.

Meanwhile, a second study from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that there has been massive population movement away from large blue-state cities toward red-state cities.

The article concludes:

As for New York, its leaders seem to think crime-ridden streets and more government spending will do the trick. Sorry, but New York’s losing its wealthiest citizens after years of misrule.

Far-left Democrats have an iron lock on government in Albany, so tax cuts and a crackdown on crime seems highly unlikely. In the meantime, one key group is leaving the state and city of New York in droves: Millionaires.

“New York’s share of the nation’s total millionaire earner population dropped to 9.9%, down from 12.7% as of 2010, the year after the state enacted a supposedly temporary and ultimately permanent higher rate on millionaire earners,” noted E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy think tank.

Good riddance you say? Millionaires pay 40% of taxes in New York. So losing so many to Florida, Texas and other red states is a disaster. All New York will suffer.

Truth is, America is being re-made, moving van by moving van, family by family, as the states’ demographic profiles and political leanings undergo dramatic shifts. It all points to a possible shift in political power toward conservative-leaning red states and away from once-dominant blue states. But how big that shift is remains to be seen.

As we’ve said before, the red-state model works. It has proved itself in good times and bad. Americans, you do have a choice: Red pill, or blue pill. Which is it going to be?

Our government was designed to give individual states the power to experiment with ideas to see what worked and what did not. The idea was that less successful states would copy what the successful states did. Unfortunately in our highly politically-charged atmosphere of today, blue states are not interested in learning from red states. Hopefully they will change their ways as their populations relocate.

Calling His Bluff

Jim Acosta has been very vocal during the President’s briefings on the coronavirus. At one point when President Trump stated that he thought that voting by mail is an invitation to fraud, Jim Acosta demanded evidence. Well, the President obliged.

Breitbart posted an article yesterday with some examples.

The article reports:

Trump replied, “I think there’s a lot of evidence, but we’ll provide you with some, okay?”

The president’s re-election campaign responded quickly to Acosta’s request, noting there were nine people charged in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas with “vote harvesting” and mail ballots, a political operative in New York stealing and submitting absentee ballots, and a resident in Pennsylvania receiving seven separate ballots in the mail.

The campaign also shared a Heritage Foundation document of over 1,000 proven cases of vote fraud.

“Democrats and the mainstream media always scoff at claims of voter fraud, but then completely ignore evidence from across the country,” Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “The obvious reason is that Democrats are just fine with the possibility of voter fraud. And many in the media just see the world their way.”

The Trump campaign also quoted an election expert in the New York Times who said although election fraud was rare, “the most common type of such fraud in the United States involves absentee ballots” through the mail.

President Trump cited ongoing legal action from Judicial Watch forcing states to clear millions of ineligible voter registrations within 90 days as proof of voter fraud.

The White House also shared details of 2005 commission led by President Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush’s secretary of state James A. Baker III that concluded mail-in ballots “remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”

“Outside those in the establishment media who are more interested in attacking the President than the facts, there’s a clear consensus that universal mail-in voting would be vulnerable to fraud,” a White House source told Breitbart News in a statement.

Every fraudulent vote cancels the vote of an American citizen who has the right to vote. The examples above are only one of many reasons why instead of voting by mail, we need voter id laws that require photo identification to vote. That will not entirely solve the voter fraud problem, but it will go a long way in that direction.

Some Of The Problems With The Bill

Heritage Action sent out a brief summary of some of the problems with the stimulus bill passed yesterday.

Here are the highlights:

Unfortunately, the CARES Act missed the mark and included policy provisions unrelated to the epidemic. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) used the suffering of Americans as a bargaining chip in order to push for these liberal policies:

    • $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
    • $75 million for the Corporation For Public Broadcasting (NPR & PBS)
    • $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
    • $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities

Schumer also negotiated for an expansion to unemployment insurance (UI) that is harmful to the recovery of our economy—he referred to it as “unemployment insurance on steroids.”

Schumer’s UI expansion will pay many workers significantly more money to be unemployed than they would receive if they were working. This encourages people to become separated from their employers and discourages them from returning to work. This is not going to help the economy recover!

We should be doing everything possible to help people stay employed. If people stay employed, they will keep their health insurance at this critical time and they will be able to quickly return to work after the crisis has subdued.

This is the chart of where the money will go:

This is what happens when you have politicians in Washington who represent special interests and political agendas rather than the American voters who elected them. Let’s clean house in November.

The Human Cost Of Socialized Medicine

On Thursday, The Daily Signal posted an article which illustrates how thankful Americans should be for the health care we receive. The article tells the story of James Schmitz, a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. Mr. Schmitz suffers from West syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.

The article reports:

After graduating college, I had an opportunity to work for a think tank in London. There, I’d be just hours away from the wonders of mainland Europe.

Britain is a historian’s paradise, so naturally as a history major, I was soaking it up. The idea of also going to Pompeii or Rome was spectacular.

The only thing standing in my way was a doctor to treat me abroad.

As an epileptic, I needed a steady supply of anti-seizure drugs and visits to the doctor about every three months to make sure everything was working as it should. I also needed a doctor to be available within a week’s time if necessary.

I didn’t know how hard it would be to find a doctor in Britain. I remember having a very difficult conversation with a general practitioner. It was the moment my dream of staying abroad was crushed.

It was a Friday. After work, I walked into an urgent care clinic to set up an appointment with a neurologist.

I knew how easy it is in the United States to see a doctor, so I thought this would be no different. I would go in, get a recommendation, and walk out with a name and number to call on Monday for an appointment possibly in two weeks’ time.

Sadly, that was not the case. The doctor said, verbatim: “I can recommend a neurologist for you. I will say, she’s pretty booked so you won’t see her for at least nine months.”

I was shocked. I felt as if I’d been blindsided. She wasn’t even guessing. She worked at a nearby National Health Service hospital right down the street on the weekends, so she knew.

I asked if there was anything I could do to expedite the waiting process. In response, all I got was: “I’ll call my colleague and see if she could maybe squeeze you in maybe three to four months from now.”

Disheartened by the news, I knew staying in the U.K. was out of the question. I had to return to the U.S. in order to keep accessing the routine medical care that had saved my life so many years before.

A month later, I packed my bags and left for Heathrow Airport having spent less than three months in the country. It’s a shame, because Britain is an amazing country and I would have loved to stay longer. Health care should not be a reason to have to leave a modern, First World country.

And that is how things work under socialized medicine. There may be no cost, but there is also no availability. Healthcare isn’t worth much if you can’t get it.

The Economic Numbers Under President Trump

Steve Moore posted an article at Fox Business on Thursday about the economy under President Trump.

The article includes the following:

The article explains:

In one Washington Post piece, the reporter sneers of Trump’s “rambling distortions” and complains: “Trump’s numbers appear to have originated in a pair of columns from the Heritage Foundation’s Steve Moore, who used research from a private firm called Sentier Research.”

Stop right there. Yes, it is true the data comes from Sentier Research — a private firm. But what is not ever mentioned in the article is that the data come from the Census Bureau’s “Current Population Survey,” which is the gold standard of economic data.

The article concludes:

In my analysis on these numbers, I have openly admitted these monthly data are a first rough estimate of what is happening with incomes over time — just as the jobs numbers are. They catch the trends over time.

Three years into the Trump presidency there is no calamity and there is no recession. Trump is right to recite real and legitimate data that substantiates the on-going middle-class boom in America today. It isn’t Trump, but his accusers who are engaged in “rambling distortions” and who deserve Pinnochio noses.

The questions for the 2020 elections are: “Do you want your income to continue to grow, and do you want to keep more of what you earn? How much of the money you have earned are you willing to give to people who did not earn it?”

The Real Cost Of Common Core

The Common Core curriculum was the brain child of the Bill Gates Foundation. When the curriculum was finally put together, there were five people on the Validation Committee that refused to sign off on the curriculum. There were two very prominent people in that group of five–R. James Milgram, professor of mathematics at Stanford University, and Sandra Stotsky, Professor emerita in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and 21st Century Chair in Teacher Quality. Both of them felt that the standards set up in Common Core would not improve the quality of education American students received. It turns out that they were right.

In November 2018, Neonnettle reported the following:

Researchers, who conducted a study into the impact of former President Obama’s Common Core State Standards on schools, declared the teaching practices to be “worst large-scale educational failure in 40 years.”

The study examined the effects of Common Core on school choice and found the Obama-era K-12 educational reform demonstrated sharp drops in academic performance.

Ted Rebarber of AccountabilityWorks co-authored the study with Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey, who previously led another study, titled “Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform,” which was published by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute.

The pair discussed their findings at a Heritage Foundation event last week, explaining how Common Core has not only damaged public-school education but also has created obstacles for choosing schools.

The article goes on to note that since Common Core was introduced, the academic performance of students has noticeably decreased. The article noted that any school that receives federal funds is required to take certain tests mandated by Common Core. Any school that accepts vouchers is required to follow Common Core.

The article reports:

In April of 2016, only about 37 percent of U.S. 12th graders were shown to be prepared for math and reading at the college level, according to the 2015 NAEP – also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

 Additionally, results released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) showed that on the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the U.S. has declined in performance from fifth in international ranking in 2011 to 13th in 2016 out of 58 international education systems.

The conclusion of the article provides a clue as to what is going on here:

Jennifer McCormick, the (Indiana) Republican state superintendent of public schools, has decided private schools that accept state voucher funds should not discriminate against LGBT children in admissions and other services – regardless of the school’s faith beliefs.

McCormick’s justification for her decision is based upon the Common Core “workforce development” model of education that views children as prospective laborers who can fulfill big business’s needs for inexpensive, local workers.

“If our goal as a state is to develop a well-educated workforce, and one that we want businesses to come here because we’re inclusive, we are accepting. I think part of that goes to our actions,” McCormick said.

“And when we still have schools that receive taxpayer dollars that can exclude students — that’s a problem.”

According to the report, McCormick said private schools that accept vouchers would need to have their admissions policies controlled by the state.

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that allows federal control of education, but obviously that is the policy here. The real bottom line here is to prepare the next generation to be global citizens in order to advance the concept of global governance. I will post a detailed article on the foundation for that statement in the near future.

 

Why Do We Need A Secure Border?

There are a number of different reasons we need to secure out borders–north, south, east, and west.

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation list a few basic facts about our current border situtation:

  • Over the past two years, roughly 235,000 illegal immigrants were arrested—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.
  • 300 Americans die of heroin overdoses a week, and 90 percent of that heroin is smuggled through our southern border.
  • Loopholes in our immigration law coupled with our porous border encourages parents to send their children on a dangerous journey to the U.S., often at the hands of threatening human traffickers. 68 percent of migrants are victims of violence along the journey. One in three migrant women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek to the border.
  • Securing the border is the first step. We also need rational reforms such as a skills-based migration system and an end to chain migration.

So what is the solution? Below are some of the items President Trump has asked Congress to fund:

  • $5.7 billion for construction of approximately 234 miles of steel barrier along the Southern Border
  • $675 million to deter and detect dangerous materials crossing our borders like narcotics and weapons
  • $563 million that would provide for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff who are necessary to reduce the backlog of immigration cases that are sitting right now at the border
  • $211 million for 750 additional border patrol agents, who DHS officials have deemed paramount to this fight
  • $571 million for additional ICE personnel
  • $4.2 billion for detention center materials and personnel

As a first step to combat this crisis, Congress must pass a spending bill that provides the funding that the President has requested. In addition to obtaining increased border security funding today, we must continue to push for real reforms to our legal immigration system. Necessary reforms include ending chain migration, adopting a skills-based immigration system, and closing loopholes in the asylum claim process.

Securing the border should not be a political issue. It is an issue that impacts all Americans–lower wages for low-skilled workers, drugs smuggled in that have killed countless Americans, increased crime, and an unsustainable burden on those government programs designed to create a safety net for Americans in need. It’s time to seal the border and take care of the needs of Americans among us who are homeless or living in poverty,

Taking Away The Freedoms Guaranteed In Our Constitution

The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution reads:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Laws passed by Congress and state legislators are supposed to be in line with the U.S. Constitution. However, there is a bill currently in the House of Representatives that not only undermines the First Amendment, it also cancels out The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. H.R. 5 is a nightmare for those who believe in religious liberty and freedom of religion.

The Heritage Foundation lists seven problems with the bill:

1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

2. It would compel speech.

3. It could shut down charities.

4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

7. It would enable sexual assault. 

All of these problems have already arisen. Please follow the link to The Heritage Foundation to view the details.

The Liberty Counsel posted an article on May 10 detailing one major aspect of H.R.5. The article states:

HR 5, in the U.S. House, and S. 788, in the Senate, misnamed the “Equality Act,” takes the unpreceded step of eliminating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) as a claim or defense to the application of many federal laws. This bill drastically alters religious freedom in all cases, not just those involving LGBT.

For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits houses of worship to make employment decisions based on religion. This recognizes the essential right for houses of worship to employ those who align with their religious doctrine. The “Equality Act” would abolish this fundamental right. Catholic and Christian churches could be forced to hire atheists. If a synagogue preferred a Jew over a Muslim, it would not be able to raise RFRA as a claim or defense.

RFRA is a federal law that protects religious freedom. Specifically, it “prohibits any agency, department, or official of the United States or any State (the government) from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except that the government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person.” 

However, HR 5 clearly forbids raising RFRA as a claim or defense to the application to the “Equality Act” and many other federal laws that would be amended by this bill.

This “Equality Act” extends the federal protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy, i.e. abortion. HR 5 applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more. In addition, the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” will be defined to mean “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” In other words, under the terms of this bill, “pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition… shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.” The “Equality Act” also expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.”

After passing the House Judiciary Committee recently, the “Equality Act” will now go to the House next week and then be sent to the Senate, where the bill number is S. 788.

If you value religious freedom in America, please call your Senator and tell them to vote against this bill. It will probably pass in the House of Representatives, but needs to be stopped in the Senate. If you are not a religious person and don’t think this is a problem, remember that if the government can undo religious freedom, it can also undo other freedoms. You might not be impacted this time, but if this bill passes, there will be more to follow.

Poverty In America

Below are the U.S. Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines:

This is a chart from The Heritage Foundation showing changes in the poverty rate since 1959:

As you can see, the War on Poverty actually slowed down the decrease in the poverty rate that had begun in 1950.

This is a chart from Pew Research showing how the American family has changed:

First of all, living in poverty in America is not the same as living in poverty in any other part of the world.

The Heritage Foundation reports:

Because the official Census poverty report undercounts welfare income, it fails to provide meaningful information about the actual living conditions of less affluent Americans. The government’s own data show that the actual living conditions of the more than 45 million people deemed “poor” by the Census Bureau differ greatly from popular conceptions of poverty.[7] Consider these facts taken from various government reports:[8]

  • Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, at the beginning of the War on Poverty, only about 12 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Nearly three-quarters have a car or truck; 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.[9]
  • Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite television.
  • Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and a quarter have two or more.
  • Half have a personal computer; one in seven has two or more computers.
  • More than half of poor families with children have a video game system such as an Xbox or PlayStation.
  • Forty-three percent have Internet access.
  • Forty percent have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.
  • A quarter have a digital video recorder system such as a TIVO.
  • Ninety-two percent of poor households have a microwave.

I think it’s time to examine closely the impact of the War on Poverty. One of the differences between business and government is that in business when something doesn’t work, you fix it. In government when something doesn’t work, you simply add more money to it. It is obvious which solution is more effective.

The goal of any poverty program should be to help people develop self-reliance and get out of the poverty program. Obviously that is not happening–we have generations of welfare recipients. Another goal of any poverty program should be to support the family unit. Obviously our current welfare programs do not do that. It’s time to reevaluate and redo our poverty programs–they are breaking the budget and not accomplishing their goals.

In March 2013, The Brookings Institute posted the following three rules to avoid poverty:

First, many poor children come from families that do not give them the kind of support that middle-class children get from their families. Second, as a result, these children enter kindergarten far behind their more advantaged peers and, on average, never catch up and even fall further behind. Third, in addition to the education deficit, poor children are more likely to make bad decisions that lead them to drop out of school, become teen parents, join gangs and break the law.

In addition to the thousands of local and national programs that aim to help young people avoid these life-altering problems, we should figure out more ways to convince young people that their decisions will greatly influence whether they avoid poverty and enter the middle class. Let politicians, schoolteachers and administrators, community leaders, ministers and parents drill into children the message that in a free society, they enter adulthood with three major responsibilities: at least finish high school, get a full-time job and wait until age 21 to get married and have children.

Our research shows that of American adults who followed these three simple rules, only about 2 percent are in poverty and nearly 75 percent have joined the middle class (defined as earning around $55,000 or more per year). There are surely influences other than these principles at play, but following them guides a young adult away from poverty and toward the middle class.

Those three rules should be the foundation of any poverty program.

The Equality Act of 2019

One thing most of us have learned over the years is that the better the name of the bill introduced in Congress sounds, the farther from the truth the title is. We saw that with the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) which should have been named the lose your insurance and your doctor and pay more act.

Last month the Democrats in the U. S. House of Representatives introduced The Equality Act of 2019. It should have been named the anti-free speech and anti-religion act of 2019.

On March 14th, The Heritage Foundation posted an article listing seven reasons why the law would not encourage equality.

The article lists the reasons:

1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

We have already seen this attempted in the case of Jack Phillips’ battle with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. He is only one example.

2. It would compel speech.

Both federal and private employers could face costly lawsuits if they fail to implement strict preferred pronoun policies. Employees could be disciplined if they fail to comply, regardless of their scientific or moral objections.

3. It could shut down charities.

Adoption agencies that hold to a Biblical definition of marriage have been shut down because of their beliefs.

4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition. 

If these lawsuits succeed, medical professionals would be pressured to treat patients according to ideology rather than their best medical judgment.

6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

This has already happened. In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

7. It would enable sexual assault. 

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would give male sexual predators who self-identify as females access to private facilities, increasing the likelihood of these tragic incidents. 

It could also make victims less likely to report sexual misconduct and police less likely to get involved, for fear of being accused of discrimination

The proposed Equality Act could impose a nationwide bathroom policy that would leave women and children in particular vulnerable to predators. It actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law. 

This is not a law that I want to see passed. It does not do anything to promote equality. In fact, it creates the kind of inequality that the ruling class pigs created in George Orwell’s Animal Farm where “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

This Lady Needs To Read American History

The Herald Mail Media reported yesterday that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, stated the following:

“Capitalism is an ideology of capital — the most important thing is the concentration of capital and to seek and maximize profit,” Ocasio-Cortez said. And that comes at any cost to people and to the environment, she said, “so to me capitalism is irredeemable.”

Although she said she doesn’t think all parts of capitalism should be abandoned, “we’re reckoning with the consequences of putting profit above everything else in society. And what that means is people can’t afford to live. For me, it’s a question of priorities and right now I don’t think our model is sustainable.”

…While America is wealthier than ever, wealth is enjoyed “by fewer than ever,” she said.

“It doesn’t feel good to live in an unequal society,” she said, citing an increase in homelessness in New York City among veterans and the elderly while penthouses sit empty. “It doesn’t feel good to live in a society like that.”

Let’s look at those statements through the lens of American history. In November 2005, the Heritage Foundation published an article about communism in America.

The article included the following notes on American history:

Recalling the story of the Pilgrims is a Thanksgiving tradition, but do you know the real story behind their triumph over hunger and poverty at Plymouth Colony nearly four centuries ago? Their salvation stemmed not so much from the charitable gestures of local Indians, but from their courageous decision to embrace the free-market principle of private property ownership a century and a half before Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations.

Writing in his diary of the dire economic straits and self-destructive behavior that consumed his fellow Puritans shortly after their arrival, Governor William Bradford painted a picture of destitute settlers selling their clothes and bed coverings for food while others “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” The most desperate among them starved, with Bradford recounting how one settler, in gathering shellfish along the shore, “was so weak … he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.”

The colony’s leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called “communism.” Property in Plymouth Colony, he observed, was communally owned and cultivated. This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”

The most able and fit young men in Plymouth thought it an “injustice” that they were paid the same as those “not able to do a quarter the other could.” Women, meanwhile, viewed the communal chores they were required to perform for others as a form of “slavery.”

On the brink of extermination, the Colony’s leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. “This had very good success,” Bradford reported, “for it made all hands very industrious.” In fact, “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been” and productivity increased. “Women,” for example, “went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

The famine that nearly wiped out the Pilgrims in 1623 gave way to a period of agricultural abundance that enabled the Massachusetts settlers to set down permanent roots in the New World, prosper, and play an indispensable role in the ultimate success of the American experiment.

A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims’ economic recovery. Their success, he observed, “may well evince the vanity of that conceit…that the taking away of property… would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford surmised, “God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

There will always be inequities in wealth. A person who works 12-hour days will generally earn more than a person who works a 6-hour day. People who invent things or have new ideas generally do very well financially. Rewarding innovation provides an incentive for progress. Capitalism (or the free market economy) is not perfect, but it creates fewer problems than any other economic system. Those touting the wonders of socialism need only look at the economic history of Venezuela during the past ten years. Once the wealthiest country in South America, now a place of unspeakable poverty. That is the fruit of socialism or communism.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez, please learn your history.

Consequences Of Good Economic Policy

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about The Heritage Foundation’s 25th annual “Index of Economic Freedom.”

The editorial reports:

In just one year, the U.S. climbed six places to 12th worldwide on the Heritage Foundation’s 25th annual “Index of Economic Freedom.” The U.S. index score of 76.8 is the highest since 2011, the report says.

Heritage bases its annual rankings on a dozen different measures of economic freedom, such as tax burden, protection of property rights, tax burden trade policies, labor laws, judicial effectiveness.

…In fact, during Obama’s tenure, the U.S. plunged from 6th place down to 18th on the Heritage freedom rank, in the wake of tax hikes and massive new financial, insurance and environmental regulations.

The editorial explains the importance of these ratings:

Why do these rankings matter? As Heritage explains, there’s a clear correlation between economic freedom and prosperity. The freer an economy is, the more prosperous its people.

Heritage finds that in countries consistently rated “free” or “mostly free,” average incomes are twice that of all other countries, and five times that of “repressed” economies.

The most striking example of the connection between freedom and prosperity is Venezuela. One of the wealthiest countries in South America before socialist dictator Hugo Chávez took control, Venezuela is now racked with hyperinflation, starvation, and political chaos.

But you can see the same impact in the U.S. as well.

The editorial concludes:

And the benefits of this growth are widespread. The unemployment rate was just 3.9% at the end of the year. The job market is so vibrant right now that it’s pulling people off the sidelines to look for work. In fact, the number of people who aren’t in the labor force actually declined last year. That hasn’t happened since 1996 — which was in the middle of the Clinton boom. Wage growth is accelerating, and median household incomes are at record highs.

The freedom index is a powerful reminder that while redistributionist policies — like those currently in favor among Democrats — might be emotionally satisfying, they won’t grow the economy or boost prosperity.

It will be interesting where our rating is next year in view of the fact that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives.

A Relevant Political Strategy?

Every Friday I have a brief conversation with Lockwood Phillips that airs on 107.1 WTKF some time between 6 and 7 pm. This week we talked about the Cloward-Piven political strategy. This strategy was developed by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven at Columbia University in May 1966. A description of the strategy was posted in the magazine “The Nation” with the title, “The weight of the poor: A strategy to end poverty.” I think ending poverty is a wonderful idea, although I don’t think it is possible. Deuteronomy 15:11 says, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” If you believe the Bible, we will always have poor people; it is our responsibility to treat them kindly and help them–not enable them to stay in poverty.

So what is the Cloward-Piven strategy to end poverty? It is a political plan to overload the U.S. public welfare system so that it collapses and then replace it with a system that provides a guaranteed annual income for everyone. Theoretically this will end poverty. Some of the people who have espoused this strategy are Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Bernadine Dohrn, Frank Marshall Davis, and George Soros. Many of these people were very instrumental in the political career of former President Barack Obama.

So let’s look at where our welfare system is now (the figures below are from 2015):

  • Roughly $1 trillion annually is given to more than 107 million Americans who receive some type of government benefits–not including Social Security, Medicare or unemployment
  • Before President Obama took office there were 26 million recipients of food stamps. In 2015, there were 47 million. The number peaked in 2013, at 47.6 million. In July 2017, the number was 42.6. Economic policies make a difference.

In 2012, Forbes posted the following about President Obama’s welfare society:

  • An increase of 18 million people, to 46 million Americans now receiving food stamps;
  • A 122 percent increase in food-stamp spending to an estimated $89 billion this year from $40 billion in 2008;
  • An increase of 3.6 million people receiving Social Security disability payments;
  • A 10 million person increase in the number of individuals receiving welfare, to 107 million, or more than one-third of the U.S. population;
  •  A 34 percent, $683 billion reduction in the adjusted gross income of the top 1 percent to $1.3 trillion in 2009 (latest data) from its 2007 peak.

And let’s not forget new entitlements like Obamacare, which will result in government expansion and expenditures by 2022 to the tune of:

  • Federal expenditures on Obamacare will total $2.3 trillion, a $1.4 trillion increase from the program’s initial estimates;
  • The combination of budget cuts and sequestration will reduce defense spending by $1 trillion, while total government spending will increase by $1.1 trillion;
  • Taxes will be increased by $1.8 trillion;
  • Yet, the national debt will increase by another $11 trillion.

The Heritage Foundation summarized well: “In 1964, programs for the poor consumed 1.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Today, spending on welfare programs is 13 times greater than it was in 1964 and consumes over 5 percent of GDP. Spending per poor person in 2008 amounted to around $16,800 in programmatic benefits.”

How will illegal immigration impact these numbers? What is the current financial situation of California? Do we want the financial situation in California to become the financial situation of America?

There are people in our government working behind the scenes to implement the Cloward-Piven strategy. The honestly believe that taking money from the people who earn it and giving it to the people who did not will end poverty. Most of the people working toward this goal are quite well off and somehow figure that their wealth will not be impacted. I guess if they succeed and are in control, it is possible that their wealth will not be impacted. Good luck to the rest of us.

 

How Much Does It Cost?

Charity is a wonderful thing when it is voluntary–not so much when it is coerced. Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that illustrates how charity can be coerced.

The article reports:

Amnesty for illegal immigrants like a program proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton would require an immediate tax hike of $1.2 trillion, a $15,000 hit on every household in America, according to a new analysis of immigration reform.

…”The findings in the report indicate that if amnesty for illegal immigrants were enacted, the government would have to raise taxes immediately by $1.29 trillion and put that sum into a high-yield bank account to cover future fiscal losses generated by the amnesty recipients and their children,” said Robert Rector, Heritage’s senior domestic research fellow.

“To cover the future cost, each U.S. household currently paying federal income tax would have to pay, on average, an immediate lump sum of over $15,000,” he added.

So why is the Democratic Party so intent on amnesty? There are a number of reasons. The most obvious is to create an underclass of Democratic voters. The demographics of the Democratic voter have changed in recent years as the party has moved dramatically to the left. People in the working middle class are no longer willing to blindly follow the Democrats–they have watched Democratic politicians take bigger and bigger chunks of money out of their paychecks to support social programs that do not reduce poverty and do destroy families. The legalization of unskilled illegal aliens would create a permanent underclass to replace the middle class voters.

But there is also another reason. Our politicians in Washington have not always represented us well. They have avoided the hard decisions in order to be re-elected. One of those hard decisions is the reform of Social Security, which is rapidly going bankrupt. One reason for that bankruptcy is the lack of new workers coming into the workforce to support the payments to retirees. One of the reasons for the lack of new workers is the number of babies that have been aborted since 1973. According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than one million babies have been aborted every year since 1975. Some years the number has been as high as 1,500,000, some years it has been about 1,000,000. These are workers who would have been entering the workforce over the past twenty years that would have kept Social Security solvent. An influx of workers that were formerly under the table would fund Social Security for a few more years. By the time the new workers retire, the current members of Congress may no longer be in Washington to be held accountable. Congress would rather kick the can down the road than solve the Social Security funding problem. Amnesty is one way to do that.

Hiring The Best Talent

Newsmax reported yesterday that Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has chosen his national security team. The team includes former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent and former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy.

The article lists other members of the team:

  • Stewart Baker, former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Health and Human Serves and general counsel of the National Security Agency.
  • Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council.
  • Retired Army Lt. General William Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council.
  • Fred Fleitz, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst.
  • Randy Fort, who has served in senior intelligence positions in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations.
  • Frank Gaffney Jr., president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy.
  • Nile Gardiner, a former aide to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
  • Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
  • Katharine Gorka, president of the Council on Global Security.
  • Steven Groves, a senior research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
  • Mary Habeck, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Kristofer Harrison, a co-founder of the China Beige Book who once served in the George W. Bush White House.
  • Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain.
  • Michael Ledeen, an author who serves at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
  • Clare Lopez, a vice president at the Center for Security Policy.
  • Robert O’Brien, a partner at the Larson O’Brien LLP law firm in Los Angeles.
  • Michael Pillsbury, who was a Reagan campaign advisor in 1980.
  • Charles Stimson, the senior legal fellow and manager of National Security Law Program at the Heritage Foundation.
  • Daniel Vajdich, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
  • Christian Whiton, a former State Department senior advisor in the Bush administration.

There are a few of these team members I have personally met, and I am totally impressed by this team. I am impressed by the fact that this team is knowledgeable and pro-Israel. The relationship between America and Israel has been strained under President Obama, and I believe this team will work to repair that relationship. I am also impressed with the inclusion of Frank Gaffney, Jr., Clare Lopez, and Retired Army Lt. General William Boykin in this team. All of them are well-versed on the Middle East and the threat of radical Islam. This national security team would do an excellent job of handling threats to America. They are all amazing people.

A Federal Appeals Court Rules On Subsidies

NBC News is reporting today that a Federal Appeals Court in Washington, D. C., has ruled that  that the Patient Protection and  Affordable Care Act, (ObamaCare), as written, only allows insurance subsidies in states that have set up their own exchanges. This ruling invalidated an Internal Revenue Service regulation that allowed subsidies in all 50 states. Thirty-six states did not set up the exchanges required by ObamaCare, so the federal government set up exchanges in those states. The court ruled that the federal government may not pay subsidies for insurance plans in those states.

The article reports:

Today’s decision reaffirms that the administration cannot rewrite the health law that was passed and it stops the Internal Revenue Service from doing the same,” said Andrew Kloster of the conservative Heritage Foundation. “The statute is clear in the Affordable Care Act that the subsidies are to be directed only to states that elected to set up insurance exchanges.”

This is actually the problem with the law–it has been rewritten as we go along. Mandates have been postponed, the stay-in-your-home provision for the elderly has been dropped altogether, and exemptions have been handed out left and right. It will be interesting to see if another Executive Order promptly makes its appearance.

One of the effects of ObamaCare (intended or otherwise) is the redistribution of wealth–it takes affordable healthcare away from those who already had insurance–some rates have gone up as much as $7,000 or $8,000 per year for people not eligible for subsidies, and provides subsidies for people with lower incomes (without demanding income verification). In one state, people whose incomes were well above the poverty level were eligible for subsidies, but one wonders if those subsidies will decrease after ObamaCare is fully operational.

It will be interesting to see if this decision stands–it will wind up in the Supreme Court.

 

The Obama Administration Is Working Hard To Redistribute What Hard-Working People Have Earned

The Daily Signal (a website of the Heritage Foundation) posted a story today about President Obama’s latest memorandum. The memorandum bypasses Congress and expands an existing federal loan option available to undergrad and graduate students.

The article reports:

For those working in public service or the government, any remaining debt is forgiven after 10 years. An estimated 5 million more borrowers will become eligible under the new plan. Before today, only those who took out loans after 2007 were entitled to “Pay as You Earn” benefits.

To finance the program, Obama proposed closing “tax loopholes” for the wealthy, or what he called “millionaires.”

“This should be a no-brainer,” he said today at the White House. “It would be scandalous if we allowed those kinds of tax loopholes for the very, very fortunate to survive while students are having trouble just getting started in their lives.”

The chart below was found as a result of a google search:

The fact that students are going in debt for their education has a number of causes. Since the 1990’s, college tuition has increased exponentially. Some of the degrees students are graduating with have little or no value in the workplace. Parents of students have not been encouraged to send their children to community colleges for their first two years of school in order to keep the costs reasonable. The students have no sense of the amount of money they are borrowing, and the colleges have no reason to control their expenses. As long as the government subsidizes the loans and forgives them, there is no reason for anyone involved to act responsibly. That is what happens when wealth is redistributed–the rich do not work as hard, and the people receiving the money do not learn responsibility–they learn a sense of entitlement.

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Energy Policy From Someone Who Doesn’t Understand Economics

Just for the record–I do not support dirty air or dirty water. I simply believe that extreme environmental policy does little to help the environment and a lot to damage the economy. Considering the fact that the American Gross Domestic Product went down in the first quarter of this year, now is not the time to take any action that will have a negative impact on the American economy. Evidently our President does not share that belief.

On Wednesday the Los Angeles Times reported that the U. S. Chamber of Commerce is warning that President Obama’s proposed environmental policies could cost the economy tens of billions of dollars in lost investment and millions of jobs.

The article reports:

Although the size of the proposed reduction has yet to be announced, the chamber’s report estimated that such a rule could result in an average annual drop of $51 billion in economic output and 224,000 fewer jobs every year through 2030, with the Southeast feeling the biggest pinch.

The chamber said the numbers were based on modeling from the economic research firm IHS, using assumptions that the regulation would set a 42% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels — an aggressive percentage that is close to a target previously cited by President Obama.

Today the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel posted an article on the impact of the environmental policies announced by President Obama.

Here is a list of some of the consequences:

For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released a study showing that the rule will cost consumers in our region $3.3 billion per year in higher electricity prices.

Another study done by NERA Economic Consultants predicted the rule will cost consumers between $13 billion and $17 billion per year. Yet another study released by the Heritage Foundation predicts the rule will cost a family of four $1,200 per year by 2023.

The article also points out the questionable impact of these changes on the environment:

The rule is expected to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the U.S. by 970 million tons by 2030. Although that sounds like a lot, it is essentially meaningless in the global scale of things.

While the EPA has us busy destroying jobs and our economy in the name of global warming orthodoxy, the rest of the world will increase carbon emissions by 4.7 billion tons over the same time period.

For those keeping score, that means other countries will collectively increase carbon emissions by 6 tons for every ton reduced by Americans under the EPA rule. So much for saving the planet.

The EPA’s new global warming rule is a lose-lose proposition for energy consumers and workers. It represents the worst kind of regulation in that it has enormous and painful costs and essentially no benefit.

We really need an administration that considers the impact of its actions on the average American. This legislation is not good for everyday Americans working hard to support their families.

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