Ignoring The Backbone Of The American Economy

The Democrat party used to be the party of the working man. I am not sure they ever represented the American entrepreneur, but some recent statements by Marie Harf suggest that the small businessmen in America have been willingly thrown under the bus by today’s Democrat party.

BizPac Review posted an article yesterday about some recent comments by Marie Harf on Fox News Sunday.

The article reports:

In response to a statement from host Chris Wallace that, while 66,000 people have died from coronavirus tens of millions have lost their jobs, Harf appeared to suggest that reopening small businesses wasn’t going to produce much in terms of bolstering the economy.

“We are about to embark on a situation where we’ll see if people can, on their own, social distance, if people independent of government regulations or stay-at-home orders, can act responsibly,” she began.

“And if they can’t, and if we see spikes in some of these places, will these governors be willing to change course in midstream? That’s something we will all see together in real-time,” Harf continued.

In fact, some experts have predicted there will be “spikes” on coronavirus infections because they maintain that keeping Americans at home prevented the formation of “herd immunity” that is necessary to prevent recurrences of the outbreak.

In any event, Harf continued with Left-wing talking points, claiming the country needs “more testing” and “contact tracing” of people who are infected, — the latter of which is code for ‘invading privacy’ with a government-mandated tracking app.

“So, the economy, even if we open nail salons, hair salons Chris, the economy isn’t really going to get going again until we can travel, until we can move around the country,” she claimed. “It will not get going in a really meaningful way by opening small businesses in certain places, and so we have to get all of those things I just mentioned to eventually get to a place where the economy really can open back up.

“That is not happening anytime soon,” Harf said.

Just for the record, Inc. posted an article that illustrates how many Americans are employed by small businesses.

The article reports:

As of the 2010 Census, there were 27.9 million small businesses registered in the United States, compared to just 18,500 companies of 500 employees or more. Included in that total figure are sole proprietorships (73.2 percent), corporations (19.5 percent), and franchises (2 percent). 52 percent of small businesses are home-based. The most important thing to note? 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms are small businesses.

I am not convinced that anyone in the Democrat party has studied either economics or the American economy.

Are There Any Honest People Left In Washington?

I know that there are some honest people in Washington, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem that way. What is really disturbing to me is that corruption seems to run from top to bottom. We may have to get rid of politicians with questionable ethics, and we may have to get rid of their staffs as well. This does not bode well for America.

Last week The Wall Street Journal posted a story that illustrates the total disregard for ethical behavior now running rampant in Washington. The story has to do with a company named Cadiz, Inc., and their plans to build an underground pipeline along the Arizona & California Railroad’s right-of-way to transport 50,000 acre-feet of water annually to Southern California.

The article reports:

The Department of Interior’s longstanding policy allowed railroads to run power, telephone and fiber optics lines along their rights-of-way without a federal permit, thus expediting environmental review. However, in November 2011, after Cadiz had modified its plan to reduce environmental opposition, Interior at the insistence of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein revised its policy to limit the use of railroad rights-of-way granted in 1875 to “activities that derive from or further a railroad purpose.”

The Cadiz pipeline was the only project subject to the new rules. Cadiz spent several years and $12 million reconfiguring the pipeline to “further a railroad purpose,” proposing the likes of hydro-turbines, power safety systems and automated fire suppression. None of Cadiz’s compromises satisfied regulators.

On Oct. 2, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed congressional staff—who tipped off Cadiz—of an imminent adverse ruling. A letter circulated by the bureau noted that the pipeline “does not derive from or further a railroad purpose” because the fire suppression system was “an uncommon industry practice,” among other complaints. The kicker was that the ruling could not be appealed because it “is not a final agency decision.” Thus the pipeline would have to undergo a formal environmental review. Ms. Feinstein has attached riders to every Interior appropriations bill since 2008 barring a review.

Within a week of the BLM ruling, Cadiz’s stock plummeted 65%. Yet one Cadiz investor had inside information that could have allowed him to make a killing. Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Cadiz reveal that BLM realty specialist Erik Pignata (who oversaw the Cadiz review from the Sacramento bureau) shared non-public information with Cadiz investor Thomas McGannon of Whetstone Capital Advisors. Cadiz provided the emails to us.

Thomas McGannon sold short based on the information that Erik Pignata shared and Mr. McGannon profited greatly. Just for the record, there is a 1990 executive order forbidding government employees from improperly using non-public government information to further a private interest. Let’s hope the government chooses to separate Mr. McGannon from his ill-gotten gains.

Just a note–I love the Freedom of Information Act.