President Donald J. Trump’s Plan to ‘Make America Bourgeois Again’

President Trump ran on an America first platform. His mantra was MAGA – Make America Great Again. President Trump in his inaugural address said:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

When President Trump attends a rally, speaks at a press conference or Tweets, he is talking directly to America’s “bourgeois class.” Bourgeois is defined as “a member of the middle class.”

Who will make America great, again?

In an August 9th, 2017 Philadelphia Inquirer article titled Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture Amy Wax and Larry Alexander defined America’s bourgeois culture. Wax and Alexander wrote,

That [bourgeois] culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow:

Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

Supporters of Barack Obama at a rally.

Politicians have wooed the bourgeois class as did former President Barack Obama. Once elected, however, the bourgeois class have been either ignored or suffered under various administrations.

In a April 22nd, 2014 New York Times column titled Losing the Lead: The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy reported:

The American middle [bourgeois] class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The bourgeois class is President Trump’s base and the bedrock of people who will make America great again.

What are the challenges to making America bourgeois again?

Wax and Alexander pointed out in their article:

Did everyone abide by those [bourgeois culture] precepts? Of course not. There are always rebels — and hypocrites, those who publicly endorse the norms but transgress them. But as the saying goes, hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. Even the deviants rarely disavowed or openly disparaged the prevailing expectations.

Today there are many “deviants” who openly disavow and disparage the most basic bourgeois cultural norms.

Who are the bourgeois culture deviants? Who are the hypocrites? Who are the transgressors? Here is a short list:

  1. Those who labled the $1,000 bonuses given to workers as “crumbs.”
  2. Hollywood which no longer makes films about the bourgeois class.
  3. Those who do not serve their country and are openly unpatriotic.
  4.  Those who would rather be idle rather than work
  5. Those politicians who subsidize idleness and sloth.
  6. Those who create sanctuaries for those who abuse drugs and other addictive substances.
  7. Those who on radio, television, in music and during the day use course language.
  8. Those who are not respectful of the duly elected President of these United States.

Wax and Alexander noted:

[T]hose adults with influence over the [bourgeois] culture, for a variety of reasons, abandoned their role as advocates for respectability, civility, and adult values. As a consequence, the counterculture made great headway, particularly among the chattering classes — academics, writers, artists, actors, and journalists — who relished liberation from conventional constraints and turned condemning America and reviewing its crimes into a class marker of virtue and sophistication.

Making America Bourgeois Again!

President Trump and his administration have made it their sole mission to restore America’s bourgeois class. Washington, D.C. does not want to empower the bourgeois class because as President Trump pointed out during his inaugural address,

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

Today there is much to celebrate, especially for the bourgeois class. Make America Bourgeois Again!

RELATED VIDEO: Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) staying tax cuts are unpatriotic.

Why 14 GOP Senators Voted Against President Trump’s Immigration Framework

President Donald Trump’s plan to control borders — as outlined in his State of the Union speech — was put into legislation and carried by Sen. Charles Grassley. But it went down in flames, and 14 Republicans are in part to blame for its failure.

Now the country’s back where it started, facing a budget fight this March, round-the-robin talks on immigration, and a Democratic-controlled process, despite the fact Republicans hold the majority in both houses of Congress.

Whom to blame?

Well, for starters, the 14 Republican senators who jumped ship on Trump’s plan.

From the Hill:

President Trump’s immigration framework faced an unexpected opponent this week as it crashed on the Senate floor: Republicans.

The opposition from more than a fourth of the GOP conference came despite an intense pressure campaign by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which shot down back-to-back bipartisan offers.

In the end, 14 GOP senators rejected Trump’s proposal, helping make it the least popular of the Senate’s competing measures.

Here’s a look at the GOP senators who bucked Trump.

Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.)

Barrasso, who is up for reelection in 2018, was one of two members of GOP leadership to oppose Trump’s plan. His vote came roughly a day after he called the White House framework “very generous.”

“I want to make sure that we have a secure border. I want to make sure that the laws are enforced and I want to make sure our citizens are safe,” he told Fox News this week.

A spokeswoman for Barrasso didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the conservative senator has said he believes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was illegal.

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)

Collins was at the center of a bipartisan group that negotiated for months to come up with a rival plan to Trump’s. Hours before the votes, DHS warned that the proposal would undermine the rule of law and the White House threatened to veto the Common Sense Coalition’s plan.

“I’m personally very disappointed in the administration’s response,” Collins said.

The bipartisan group’s amendment has serious policy differences from the White House plan.

It doesn’t touch the State Department’s diversity visa lottery program and included narrow changes to family-based immigration that would have been limited to DACA recipients.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)

Cruz, who is up for reelection in 2018, repeatedly took shots at the framework because it included a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants, which he considers “amnesty.”

The opposition from more than a fourth of the GOP conference came despite an intense pressure campaign by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which shot down back-to-back bipartisan offers.

In the end, 14 GOP senators rejected Trump’s proposal, helping make it the least popular of the Senate’s competing measures.

Here’s a look at the GOP senators who bucked Trump.

Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.)

Barrasso, who is up for reelection in 2018, was one of two members of GOP leadership to oppose Trump’s plan. His vote came roughly a day after he called the White House framework “very generous.”

“I want to make sure that we have a secure border. I want to make sure that the laws are enforced and I want to make sure our citizens are safe,” he told Fox News this week.

A spokeswoman for Barrasso didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the conservative senator has said he believes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was illegal.

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)

Collins was at the center of a bipartisan group that negotiated for months to come up with a rival plan to Trump’s. Hours before the votes, DHS warned that the proposal would undermine the rule of law and the White House threatened to veto the Common Sense Coalition’s plan.

“I’m personally very disappointed in the administration’s response,” Collins said.

The bipartisan group’s amendment has serious policy differences from the White House plan.

It doesn’t touch the State Department’s diversity visa lottery program and included narrow changes to family-based immigration that would have been limited to DACA recipients.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)

Cruz, who is up for reelection in 2018, repeatedly took shots at the framework because it included a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants, which he considers “amnesty.”

“I find myself flabbergasted at where my own party is in this debate because every proposal that has Republican support that has been submitted begins from a place markedly to the left of President Obama,” Cruz said ahead of the Senate’s votes.

Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.)

Daines doesn’t support the DACA program and has said he doesn’t want to see it extended.

“I don’t support extending the DACA program. This was an unconstitutional act that President Obama [did] via executive order when he was president and I hope that we can find a solution going forward here that is broader than just the issue on DACA,” he told Montana Public Radio earlier this year.

Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.)

A spokesman for Enzi said he opposed the immigration amendments offered “because he felt they did not properly address” illegal immigration.

“He has said that Congress needs to ensure that our immigration laws are compassionate, especially to children, but also fair to American citizens. He believes there are lawful ways for individuals to earn citizenship and that people who want to come to this country need to follow them,” the spokesman said.

Enzi, who previously called DACA “unconstitutional,” also thinks immigration reform is “best dealt with in small pieces, instead of comprehensive legislation,” his aide said.

Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)

Flake was heavily involved with the bipartisan immigration negotiations and has been one of the loudest critics of the White House’s framework over concerns about its restrictions on legal immigration.

He told reporters this week that while the White House’s framework should be part of the “discussion,” the Senate needed to work out its own plan.

And he’s doubling down on his short-term patch following the Senate’s failed votes, which would pair a three-year DACA extension with border security funding.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (Okla.)

Inhofe opposed each of the Senate’s three immigration plans, while backing a push to limit federal funding to “sanctuary cities.” He said the White House plan “made a number of important reforms” including boosting security at the border and limiting family-based immigration.

“[But] I’ve consistently stated that I could not support an immigration bill that puts illegal immigrants ahead of the men and women who have followed our laws and have applied for citizenship legally,” he said.

The White House framework, spearheaded in the Senate by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), created a 10-12 year path to citizenship for roughly 1.8 million immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

Sen. John Kennedy (La.)

Kennedy said on Twitter that he opposed the Senate’s immigration proposals “because none of them prioritized border security.”

Both the White House framework and the bipartisan coalition’s plan included $25 billion in border security.

Kennedy supported Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-Pa.) amendment to limit funding to jurisdictions that don’t follow federal immigration law.

He also offered several of his own amendments, which didn’t get a vote, including requiring the census to include questions about nationality and immigration status.

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah)

Lee said after the Senate’s votes that Congress needs a “balanced approach to the DACA program.”

“One that discourages future illegal immigration while also offering a compassionate solution to current DACA recipients. None of the plans that addressed DACA today achieved that balance,” he added.

Many conservative lawmakers, as well as their allies off Capitol Hill, balked over the administration’s decision to extend citizenship to DACA recipients and expand the total number of immigrants potentially covered from roughly 700,000 to 1.8 million.

Sen. Jerry Moran (Kansas)

Asked why Moran didn’t back the president’s plan, a spokesman noted the GOP senator supports a fallback option he is working on with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and John Thune (R-S.D.).

Their plan is significantly narrower than the White House framework. It provides a permanent extension of legal status, but not citizenship, only for current DACA recipients. It is tied to a $25 billion border security trust fund.

Moran noted in a statement announcing the immigration plan that the measures “must not inadvertently encourage further illegal immigration.”

He didn’t directly address the White House framework, but some conservatives argue that extending legal protections to the broader 1.8 million population encourages more illegal immigration.

The Moran-Thune-Portman proposal, by comparison, would limit legal protections to current DACA recipients, or roughly 700,000 immigrants.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Murkowski, one of the Senate’s most moderate Republicans, was part of the Common Sense Coalition and supported the group’s plan to pair a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants to $25 billion in border security and limited changes to family-based immigration.

She added after the plan failed that it would have offered a “path forward.” “I am extremely disappointed that the Senate failed to advance our bipartisan proposal that provided both certainty for the Dreamers and critical improvements to border security,” she said.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)

Paul voted against each of the Senate’s immigration proposals, including the White House plan.

His votes came after he told Fox News host Laura Ingraham this week that he was debating offering a conservative House plan crafted by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) as an amendment.

“We’re discussing that in our office, whether or not we ought to put that forward as an alternative,” he said.

Goodlatte’s plan would provide DACA recipients with a temporary, renewable legal status — rather than citizenship — in exchange for authorizing funding for Trump’s border wall, ending family-based migration and scrapping the diversity visa lottery program.

It would also crack down on so-called sanctuary cities, boost penalties for deported criminals who try to re-enter the U.S. and require that employers use an electronic verification system known as E-Verify to make sure they hire legal workers.

Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.)

Sasse told the Lincoln Journal Star that he opposed “left-of-center proposals” taken up by the Senate on Thursday.

“I ran as a conservative and I’ll vote as a conservative,” he said.

Sasse added there could still be a path toward a “much simpler legislative package” that pairs protections for DACA recipients and secures the border.

Sen. John Thune (S.D.)

Thune is the highest ranking GOP senator to vote against the White House’s immigration proposal.

The No. 3 GOP senator has endorsed a narrower solution for weeks. On Thursday afternoon he announced that he, Moran and Portman had filed an amendment that would extend the legal protections of current DACA recipients while giving the White House money for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

“Immigration policy is not easy, as this week has shown, but I’m confident that with a bill like the one we’ve just put forward, we’ll be able to find consensus among Republicans and Democrats,” he said in a statement.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

U.S. State Department not yet concerned about sexual harassment allegations involving refugee agency it funds

That is what Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy is reporting about his efforts to get an answer from the major funding source for the nine federal contractors*** hired by State for the US Refugee Admissions Program.  Leahy’s story is entitled:

U.S. Government Continues to Fund Refugee Resettlement NGO Whose Funding Has Been Frozen by the U.K.

(We reported on the mess the International Refugee Committee is in with its British funding, here.)

miliband and soros 2 (2) close

Miliband and Soros in 2013.

Here is some of what Leahy is reporting after attempting to get something definitive from the State Department:

The government of the United Kingdom has frozen all payments to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), one of the largest non-profit refugee resettlement agencies in the world, pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of “sexual harassment and fraud” in the organization.

As one of the nine voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) that have for decades received about $1 billion annually from the U.S. federal government, the IRC is also heavily funded by American taxpayers.

The IRC is the third VOLAG in the last six months to come under scrutiny for questions surrounding its leadership and management.

[….]

The management and leadership of former U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who has served as CEO of the IRC since 2013 and receives an annual salary of $671,000, is now under serious question, and his ability to maintain his current job is uncertain.

The State Department offered no indication that it intends to stop funding the IRC, despite the actions of the U.K government when asked specifically by Breitbart News if the U.S. government currently has plans to immediately stop making payments to the IRC to conduct refugee resettlement operations in the United States.

“The Department of State takes very seriously the prevention and response of all accusations of sexual exploitation and abuse,” a State Department spokesperson told Breitbart News when asked if the U.S. government intends to follow the lead of the U.K. government in suspending payments to the IRC pending the results of an investigation.

[….]

The State Department has not responded to this follow up question from Breitbart News: Now that the allegations of abuse against the IRC have been brought to the State Department’s attention, what specifically is the State Department doing to ensure the IRC is taking the necessary steps to address the issue appropriately?

Continue reading here.

Quick, someone tell the IRC’s new partner—Sesame Street!

See my David Miliband archive by clicking here.

If the IRC does have any government funds frozen, even temporarily, it will be a blow to their subcontractors (working in cities below) that are wholly dependent on the IRC mothership in Manhattan. (IRC website):

IRC offices

*** These are the nine federally funded refugee agencies operating in the US.

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)!  From most recent accounting, here.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The IRC is one of the charities closely-linked to George Soros’ push to drive aliens into European Union (EU) nations.

Bipartisan efforts underway to support Samaritan’s Purse exec for top UN refugee job

Brave Israeli journalist disguised as Syrian ‘refugee’ enters German belly of the beast

Congress Blew Through the Budget Caps, Again. Here’s What Needs to Change.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 signed into law last week really should be renamed the Bipartisan Budget Crash Act.

This spending spree takes a Mack Truck and rams through the hard-fought budget caps under the 2011 Budget Control Act to the tune of at least $300 billion.

When all is said and done, the fiscal wreckage could be worse than that. With a federal debt already at $20.5 trillion, we have just lurched closer to fiscal insolvency.

Republicans touted that they got $1 of new military spending for every $1 of domestic social programs, but even that is wishful thinking at best. This calculation doesn’t include emergency disaster spending for hurricanes and fires, which was close to $90 billion. At least $21 billion of “defense” spending goes to the State Department instead, which does not fight wars.

In the end, the domestic agencies may wind up with $2 of added funding for every $1 for national security, which is hardly a good deal for taxpayers.

It also isn’t clear why the recovery efforts to pay for disaster relief should be paid for by the federal government.

In the wake of some of the worst disasters in American history—the hurricane that wiped out Galveston, Texas, the Great Chicago Fire, and the San Francisco earthquake, for example—the rebuilding of these cities happened swiftly and was almost all funded by private businesses, private charities, and state and local initiatives, not by Washington writing a big check.

And when, alas, the feds do write big checks for disasters, the money should come from across-the-board cuts of 2 or 3 percent from all the other federal agencies—not by running up the debt.

The Budget Control Act caps are now a victim of their own success. From 2011-2016, the spending caps held discretionary spending increases below the 2 percent level of inflation. For three years, federal spending actually fell, in no small part because of those caps.

But now those tight caps have been evaded four times in six years, and each time the overspending has been larger. The cork has been pulled off the champagne bottle.

The lack of spending restraint and the inability of Congress to keep its past legislative promises not only erodes trust in the political class, but shows a frightening and complete indifference by Washington toward our nation’s growing fiscal crisis.

The big question is, where do we go from here on the budget?

With neither party at all committed to reducing debt and deficits, our worry is that the budget caps are, for all intents and purposes, gone forever.

The caps after 2020 are still technically in place, but the 2019 levels of spending are going to come in at as much as $200 billion above the 2020 caps. So either we see a massive cut in government spending in the election year of 2020, which would be a wonderful thing to behold—but is as likely as President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dancing a tango together—or, Congress throws the caps into the dustbin of history.

That’s a scary prospect, because it would mean that Congress would be budgeting without any fiscal guard rails or speed limits at all. This will only invite further bipartisan spending sprees that are against the interests of the American people.

The indefensible budget behavior of Congress over the last several weeks reinforces the case for Congress to extend the Budget Control Act caps into 2022 and beyond, since the caps expire at the end of 2021.

These future caps should be based on the 2011 Budget Control Act’s average annual spending growth rate, not the new budget’s enormous spending growth rate. Failure to extend the caps would be a total surrender and a green light to the already out-of-control Mack Truck.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore, who formerly wrote on the economy and public policy for The Wall Street Journal, is a distinguished visiting fellow for the Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation. He was also a senior economic advisor to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Read his research. Twitter: .

Christian Andzel

Christian Andzel is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by erick4x4/Getty Images.

Conservative, Pro-American Policies Are Winning

President Trump’s approval ratings are at their highest level ever, and Republicans have totally erased the 15-point lead in the generic congressional ballot Democrats held just two months ago.

This is telling on a couple of levels, and I hope Republicans are paying attention. Democrats may continue on their merry intersectional way.

First, polls taken on immediate issues are almost always driven by the media coverage. So the tax reform that passed in December was “deeply unpopular” with Americans. All the polls showed it. But what they really showed was how the media was covering the tax package — big tax cuts for the rich and corporations, regular Americans losing deductions — a big giveaway to “others.”

Of course that’s not what it was. That was a total misrepresentation driven by Democrats’ talking points. Americans are now seeing what the tax reform package is actually doing — real news as opposed to you-know-what news — and they are liking what they see. It’s not surprising, as many middle income Americans are taking home a couple thousand dollars more per year — what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi infamously called crumbs in her ever so out-of-touch way.

Priorities USA, the most influential Democratic super PAC, recently released a memo noting the rise in popularity of the tax law. It urged Democrats to message more consistently against the tax law by taking the big picture class warfare tactic of the rich getting more tax money and the irresponsibility of increasing the national debt — a laughably untenable position for people who supported President Obama’s doubling the national debt in just eight years.

“It’s tougher to win when people are seeing more money,” said Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, of Kentucky, the ranking minority member on the House Budget Committee. “That’s big money for a lot of people.”

Well, yes. So why are Democrats fighting that? They are literally saying the government should have that money — not working, middle-income Americans. Totally out of touch.

But good for Republicans and Trump.

The second lesson is that conservative issues are winners with the American people. Republicans must stop listening to the mainstream media, and listen to the American people. This is a lesson that apparently requires relearning every few years. The problem is that they are too influenced by the cultural elites. But the national media and celebrity class are as out of touch with Americans as the Democratic leadership.

But despite the overwhelming, negative public onslaught by the media and celebrities, the American people eventually see through the cultural nonsense to the real issue. But this is only beneficial when Republicans actually pursue and implement conservative policies with a pro-American attitude.

And the policies of President Trump and the GOP Congress have been overwhelmingly conservative (with the exception of the two-year spending agreement, in part because of the requirement for 60 votes and in part because of desire for re-election first.)

So Trump has been deeply unpopular in his first year, but of course, given the hysterically negative onslaught of media coverage, that is not too surprising. However, his approval ratings have been rising steadily since the tax reform package and the strengthening economy. In fact, his approvals are now equal or better than President Obama’s at the same time in his presidency at 48 percent approval, according to the most recent Rasmussen tracking poll.

What’s truly shocking is that Trump has received close to 90 percent negative media reporting in his first year and Obama had about 20 percent negative media coverage. Again, the American people eventually see through the smokescreen of old media coverage to the actual policies and their effectiveness. And conservative policies are effective and popular.

And the GOP has caught and maybe passed Democrats in the generic congressional ballot polls. Politico reports:

“Republicans have erased the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance.

Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.”

What has changed? Certainly not the media reporting.

Largely, it has been the tax reform package, ongoing deregulation helping the broad economy, a breakthrough in the logjam blocking originalist judges, winning the government shutdown issues by not caving in and standing firm on building the wall and ending chain migration. There may also be a side help as more and more revelations show that there isn’t much to the whole Trump-Russia story, but there may be something to the FBI-DNC-Clinton-Russia story.

The bottom line remains the bottom line. If Trump and Republicans will stick to conservative principles, voice them confidently and expose liberal nonsense, they will win.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.

Trump Budget Proposal Projects Deficit Spending for Next Decade

President Donald Trump is proposing a 10-year spending plan that never produces a balanced budget, and increases deficit spending by $7.2 trillion over the next decade.

The White House unveiled the $4.4 trillion fiscal year 2019 budget plan on Monday.

“The first message [is] you don’t have to spend it all, but if you do, this is how you spend it,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Monday.

“The second message is: We are not condemned to trillion deficits forever. There is a way out of this.”

Trump’s first budget proposal balanced the budget over 10 years. The current Trump proposal doesn’t come near to doing so.

The White House budget director noted that last year he said the longer Congress waits to make spending reforms proposed in the president’s fiscal year 2018 proposal, the more difficult it will be to balance the budget.

“We didn’t make hardly any of the reforms. We sent up $54 billion worth of savings to the Hill last year, [and] they took about $5 billion worth of it,” Mulvaney said.

“They didn’t make any of the large structural changes we proposed. I probably could have made it balanced, but you all would have rightly excoriated us for using funny numbers, because it would have taken funny numbers to do it. These are real numbers.”

The proposal does attempt to bend the trajectory to lower deficits over 10 years by $3 trillion, according to the White House.

The White House calls the proposal “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget.”

Presidential budget proposals are rarely passed by Congress. Last week, Congress approved a two-year deal to hike spending caps by $300 billion over two years, upsetting many fiscal conservatives, as it also increases spending by $153 billion more than the previous two budget deals combined.

“It’s certainly alarming to us that the budget is not balanced at any point,” Justin Bogie, senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “The budget may not matter as a policy matter, but it demonstrates the direction the White House is striving for.”

Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute at The Heritage Foundation, called the budget a “mixed bag.”

“The president’s budget makes progress by investing in the military, eliminating numerous ineffective agencies and programs, and beginning the process of welfare and entitlement reform. However, the budget fails to balance, ever, and does not sufficiently move the country away from its currently unsustainable fiscal path,” she said.

The budget proposal fully funds the national defense strategy with $716 billion. This includes a 2.6 percent pay hike for troops.

Trump’s signature campaign issue, immigration and border security, gets a boost in the proposal at a time when Congress has started to debate how to address illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors.

Mulvaney said he anticipates having a deal on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and the wall.

The budget proposal asks Congress for $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement. Of that, $18 billion goes for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Also, $782 million would go to to hire 2,750 additional officers and agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Another $2.7 billion would go to pay for an average daily detention capacity of 52,000 illegal immigrants.

Trump is asking for $17 billion to fight the opioid abuse epidemic.

The Trump administration wants Congress to dedicate $85.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs for medical care.

Having already done away with the individual mandate, the chief financing mechanism of Obamacare, in the tax reform package that passed in late 2017, the Trump budget seeks to take another step on health care. The proposal includes the idea of $1.6 trillion in health care block grants to states, which was part of the bill sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The budget proposal also calls for numerous civil service reforms to ensure the federal government can “hire the best and fire the worst.” The proposal largely deals with reforming the hiring system, moving to a more merit-based pay system for federal workers, and making it easier to fire bad employees. Trump already signed a similar reform in place during his first year, but it only affected the Department of Veterans Affairs. This reform is aimed across government.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

New White House Budget Would Bail Out Obamacare

5 Takeaways From Trump’s New Budget Proposal

Trump Goes After Automatic Raises, ‘Worst’ Employees to ‘Drain the Swamp’

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of White House budget director Mick Mulvaney speaking during a news briefing Monday at the White House about President Donald Trump’s budget propsal for fiscal year 2019. (Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom)

Are Our Roads and Bridges Actually Crumbling? It Depends on Where You Live!

During his State of the Union Address President Trump said:

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

America is a nation of builders.  We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.  We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.  And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit. [Emphasis added]

According to data from Transportation.gov the “crumbling infrastructure” that President Trump referred to depends on where you live. The states in which over 70% of roads are in “poor/mediocre condition are Colorado (70%), Oklahoma (70%), Wisconsin (71%), Illinois (73%) and Connecticut (73%). The top two states with the highest percentage of “structurally deficient/functionally obsolete bridges are Massachusetts (52.5%) and Hawaii (43.9%). See the chart below for a state by state breakdown of the status of bridges and roads and the cost to repair them.

Why is infrastructure important?

In a Motor Trend magazine article titled “Tapping the Brakes: Autonomous-car Society is Still Decades Away” Mark Rechtin reports:

Pull out any issue of Popular Science from the past 50 years, and you’ll likely find a story predicting that we would be living in a world of self-driving cars any decade now. (You can add in recent long-form pieces by other national media that push that Jetsons-tinged future even harder.)

[ … ]

But the truth is we are still a long way from a fully self-driving society, for several very key reasons that have nothing to do with our ability to create the technology. Here is the cocktail party checklist of the interrelated barriers we face:

Infrastructure: Autonomous vehicles need roadways that are well-marked and in good shape. There are 4.12 million miles of road in America, according to the Federal Highway Administration, of which 2.68 million miles are paved. How bad are our roads? According to the FHA, 42.1 percent of Connecticut’s federal-aid highway miles are in “poor or mediocre condition.” Traffic-choked California is close behind, with 35.1 percent in terrible shape.

Read more.

Rechtin concludes, “The ability to create autonomous vehicles is not at issue. At issue is how to incorporate 21st century technology into a world that is still mired in the 20th. And that will take time.”

Why are our roads mired in the 20th century?

According to Transportation.gov:

The Highway Trust Fund is set to expire on July 31. Without action from Congress, federal funding for transportation will come to a screeching halt — and with it, so will traffic in many places. Over the last six years, Congress has passed 33 short-term measures rather than funding transportation for the long term. And our transportation system — our roads and bridges, especially — is in a dire state of disrepair because of it. The attached fact sheet shows us this.

Experts agree:  The only way to prepare our transportation system for the next generation is to stop this cycle of short-term measures and pass a long-term transportation bill. [Emphasis added]

So there you have it. Taxes are paid to Congress every-time you fill your tank but Congress can’t get its act together and pass a single year transportation bill let alone a long-term bill.

It’s the Congress stupid!

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Road and Bridge Data by State
State Structurally Deficient / Functionally Obsolete Bridges* Annual Total Extra Vehicle Repairs / Operating Costs Due to Driving on Roads in Need of Fixing** Percentage of Roads in Poor / Mediocre Condition**
ALABAMA 3,608 of the 16,078 (22.4%) $530 million ($141 per motorist) 25%
ALASKA 290 of the 1,196 (24.2%) $181 million ($359 per motorist) 49%
ARIZONA 954 of the 7,862 (12.1%) $887 million ($205 per motorist) 52%
ARKANSAS 2,894 of the 12,748 (22.7%) $634 million ($308 per motorist) 39%
CALIFORNIA 6,953 of the 24,955 (27.9%) $13.892 billion ($586 per motorist) 68%
COLORADO 1,438 of the 8,612 (16.7%) $1.034 billion ($287 per motorist) 70%
CONNECTICUT 1,472 of the 4,218 (34.9%) $847 million ($294 per motorist) 73%
DELAWARE 177 of the 864 (20.5%) $168 million ($257 per motorist. 36%
FLORIDA 2,044 of the 12,070 (16.9%) $1.792 billion ($128 per motorist) 26%
GEORGIA 2,600 of the 14,769 (17.6%) $374 million ($60 per motorist) 19%
HAWAII 494 of the 1,125 (43.9%) $456 million ($515 per motorist) 49%
IDAHO 859 of the 4,232 (20.3%) $316 million ($305 per motorist) 45%
ILLINOIS 4,246 of the 26,621 (15.9%) $2.4 billion ($292 per motorist) 73%
INDIANA 4,168 of the 18,953 (22%) $1.249 billion ($225 per motorist) 17%
IOWA 6,271 of the 24,398 (25.7%) $756 million ($381 per motorist) 46%
KANSAS 4,465 of the 25,171 (17.7%) $646 million ($319 per motorist) 62%
KENTUCKY 4,436 of the 14,116 (31.4%) $543 million ($185 per motorist) 34%
LOUISIANA 3,790 of the 13,050 (29%) $1.2 billion ($408 per motorist) 62%
MAINE 791 of the 2,402 (32.9%) $246 million ($245 per motorist) 53%
MARYLAND 1,418 of the 5,291 (26.8%) $1.598 billion ($422 per motorist) 55%
MASSACHUSETTS 2,694 of the 5,136 (52.5%) $1.461 billion ($313 per motorist) 42%
MICHIGAN 3,018 of the 11,022 (27.4%) $2.534 billion ($357 per motorist) 38%
MINNESOTA 1,513 of the 13,137 (11.5%) $797 million ($250 per motorist) 52%
MISSISSIPPI 3,636 of the 17,044 (21.3%) $811 million ($419 per motorist) 51%
MISSOURI 6,633 of the 24,350 (27.2%) $1.6 billion ($380 per motorist) 31%
MONTANA 882 of the 5,126 (17.2%) $136 million ($184 per motorist) 52%
NEBRASKA 3,765 of the 15,370 (24.5%) $380 million ($282 per motorist) 59%
NEVADA 253 of the 1,853 (13.7%) $391 million ($233 per motorist) 20%
NEW HAMPSHIRE 790 of the 2,438 (32.4%) $267 million ($259 per motorist) 54%
NEW JERSEY 2,334 of the 6,566 (35.5%) $3.476 billion ($601 per motorist) 66%
NEW MEXICO 654 of the 3,935 (16.6%) $397 million ($291 per motorist) 44%
NEW YORK 6,775 of the 17,442 (38.8%) $4.551 billion ($403 per motorist) 60%
NORTH CAROLINA 5,534 of the 18,168 (30.5%) $1.555 billion ($241 per motorist) 45%
NORTH DAKOTA 966 of the 4,439 (21.8%) $112 million ($237 per motorist) 44%
OHIO 6,647 of the 27,015 (24.6%) $1.685 billion ($212 per motorist) 42%
OKLAHOMA 5,828 of the 22,912 (25.4%) $978 million ($425 per motorist) 70%
OREGON 1,754 of the 7,656 (22.9%) $495 million ($173 per motorist) 65%
PENNSYLVANIA 9,561 of the 22,660 (42.2%) $2.947 billion ($341 per motorist) 57%
RHODE ISLAND 433 of the 766 (56.5%) $350 million ($467 per motorist) 70%
SOUTH CAROLINA 1,920 of the 9,275 (20.7%) $811 million ($255 per motorist) 40%
SOUTH DAKOTA 1,459 of the 5,875 (24.8%) $194 million ($324 per motorist) 61%
TENNESSEE 3,802 of the 20,058 (19%) $809 million ($182 per motorist) 38%
TEXAS 9,998 of the 52,561 (19%) $5.27 billion ($343 per motorist) 38%
UTAH 437 of the 2,974 (14.7%) $332 million ($197 per motorist) 25%
VERMONT 903 of the 2,731 (33.1%) $230 million ($424 per motorist) 45%
VIRGINIA 3,588 of the 13,765 (26.1%) $1.344 billion ($254 per motorist) 47%
WASHINGTON 2,066 of the 7,902 (26.1%) $1.349 billion ($272 per motorist) 67%
WEST VIRGINIA 2,514 of the 7,125 (35.3%) $372 million ($273 per motorist) 47%
WISCONSIN 1,970 of the 14,088 (14%) $1.147 billion ($281 per motorist) 71%
WYOMING 723 of the 3,099 (23.3%) $96 million ($236 per motorist) 47%

*According to 2013 data from the Federal Highway Administration
**According to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2016

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of a highway at dusk is courtesy of The Daily Signal. Photo: MarioGuti/Getty Images.

The Dawn of a New Budget

It was over almost as soon as it began, but this morning’s government shutdown still happened. While most Americans were counting Zzzs, congressional Republicans were counting votes. And, in a tense debate over the new budget, they didn’t have them. The midnight deadline came and went, with members doing everything they could to jumpstart the government before rush hour. The internal battle between defense hawks and fiscal conservatives lasted until dawn, when the House and Senate’s compromise finally passed in enough time to take a 5:00 a.m. trip to the White House for the president’s signature.

Although the agreement keeps the government running through March 23, neither side was thrilled with the $320 billion package. The deal is particularly significant because it sets the spending caps for military and nondefense spending over the next two years. Conservatives, most vocally the House Freedom Caucus, were frustrated by the GOP’s refusal to cut costs. “We support funding our troops but growing the size of government by 13 percent is not what the voters sent us here to do,” the group tweeted.

Leaders like Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) struggled to come to grips with the steep costs. Like a lot of Republicans, he thought conservatives could do better.

“This budget deal shows the American people exactly how broken our budget and appropriations process is,” he said. “It does not address our runaway deficits and actually takes major steps backwards in the fight to reign in Washington’s overspending appetite. Our budget process has only worked correctly four times since 1974. We desperately need budget reform. I’m ashamed that we have passed five continuing resolutions since the end of last Fiscal Year in September. This is no way to govern.”

“While I strongly support the budgetary certainty and increased military funding that this bill provides, the long-term negative consequences of the bill are too many. The prevailing theme of debt ceiling negotiations is usually avoiding default, but lost in the conversation is how we got here in the first place, and how we can get out of the cycle of deficit spending.”

Good, solid conservatives voted both ways on the bill. Many of our friends probably found themselves on the opposite sides of the roll call for the first time in a long time. As difficult as the details were to swallow, President Trump and others did cheer the $165 billion bump for our troops, which finally ended the long, painful days of sequestration. “Without more Republicans in Congress,” he tweeted, “we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!”

As for other silver linings, FRC was pleased to see the religious liberty protections for FEMA disaster assistance included, as well as a big boost in sexual risk avoidance (abstinence) dollars ($75 million a year for two years), an extension of the funding for community health centers that don’t perform abortions, a repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board death panels, and major cuts to the Obamacare slush fund.

I would agree with President Trump with one caveat: we need to elect more conservative Republicans. We need leaders who are willing to go toe-to-toe with the liberals who have pushed America to the verge of fiscal and moral bankruptcy until we prevail.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Eight Billion Reasons to Like Trump’s Agenda

Anyone wondering what Donald Trump would do to fill the pro-life promises of his campaign didn’t have to wait long to find out! In his first weekday on the job, the new White House started turning the page on eight deadly years of the Obama administration. After two terms of shipping American dollars to overseas groups like International Planned Parenthood, this president wasted no time pulling the plug, flipping the script on the pro-life Mexico City policy that Obama suspended.In a policy dating back to every Republican administration since Ronald Reagan’s, Donald Trump continued the tradition of blocking even a single U.S. cent from going to foreign groups that perform or promote abortion in other countries. But the administration wasn’t done. To the cheers of pro-lifers, this White House took a giant leap forward from even Presidents Bush and Reagan. For the first time ever, the administration didn’t just bring $600 million in taxpayer funding under the authority of the pro-life rule, but $8.8 billion from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Defense. That’s almost 15 times more money flowing through the abortion ban than President Bush’s policy!

Liberals were apoplectic. The U.S. is ending its global health outreach, they cried! People are going to die without America’s help. As usual, it was fake news. President Trump didn’t zero out international aid — he expanded it. For once, hurting, sick people don’t have to compete with the abortion lobby to get real care. Dollars that would have been spent propping up the culture of death are finally going to projects that improve lives – not take them. But don’t take our word for it. Take the State Department’s.

A year into the Left’s sky-is-falling predictions, this new approach to foreign aid is working. And well. In a report just released by Secretary Rex Tillerson’s agency, the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance is having the desired effect. Not only is it helping to tear down the financial stronghold that groups like Planned Parenthood have on other nations, but it’s sending a message to the world that America recognizes that all human beings have inherent worth and dignity. If President Trump wanted to discourage international abortion, liberals say he has. A former member of USAID’s population fund, lamented the “huge, huge chilling effect” the White House’s policy is having on abortion activism. “I would say, yeah, unfortunately, it does work.”

If there’s one thing both sides can support, it’s that the Trump administration has managed all of this without any disruption to our aid — one of the Left’s biggest (and unfounded) complaints. Liberals were sure that organizations all around the world would end their partnership with the U.S. government if they had to abide by the new pro-life rules. Hardly. Out of the 733 groups that provide foreign aid, only four refused to comply – including (not so surprisingly) abortion giants Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International. So far, they’re the only ones more interested in destroying humans than helping the ones in need.

Meanwhile, if anyone’s opinion matters, isn’t it the people we’re trying to serve? After two terms of hitting other countries over the head with abortion propaganda, a lot of nations are relieved by the change. From the Philippians to Latin America, our neighbors have cheered the move. Carmel Nisha Pius Franco, director of a pro-life organization in India, pointed out:

“Indian women need life, dignity, education and empowerment, not abortion. We have been exploited through decades-long population control propaganda which has resulted in at least 300 million abortions (16 million abortions being performed in India in just one year) and dangerous sub-replacement fertility rate. Americans do not want their hands in the blood of innocent children killed in India. Yes, we need to deal with development issues, but not by killing our children. Thanks to President Trump for setting things right …”

The message from this White House is simple: promoting health means protecting life. And years from now, who knows how many children will be alive to prove us right?


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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The Constitutional Amendment That Would Rein in Spending

Some people have called for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution as a means of reining in a big-spending Congress.

That’s a misguided vision, for the simple reason that in any real economic sense, as opposed to an accounting sense, the federal budget is always balanced.

The value of what we produced in 2017—our gross domestic product—totaled about $19 trillion. If the Congress spent $4 trillion of the $19 trillion that we produced, unless you believe in Santa Claus, you know that Congress must force us to spend $4 trillion less privately.

Taxing us is one way that Congress can do that. But federal revenue estimates for 2017 are about $3.5 trillion, leaving an accounting deficit of about $500 billion. So taxes are not enough to cover Congress’ spending.

Another way Congress can get us to spend less privately is to enter the bond market. It can borrow. Borrowing forces us to spend less privately, and it drives up interest rates and crowds out private investment.

Finally, the most dishonest way to get us to spend less is to inflate our currency. Higher prices for goods and services reduce our real spending.

The bottom line is the federal budget is always balanced in any real economic sense.

For those enamored of a balanced budget amendment, think about the following. Would we have greater personal liberty under a balanced federal budget with Congress spending $4 trillion and taxing us $4 trillion, or would we be freer under an unbalanced federal budget with Congress spending $2 trillion and taxing us $1 trillion?

I’d prefer the unbalanced budget.

The true measure of government’s impact on our lives is government spending, not government taxing.

Tax revenue is not our problem. The federal government has collected nearly 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product almost every year since 1960. Federal spending has exceeded 20 percent of the GDP for most of that period.

Because federal spending is the problem, that’s where our focus should be.

Cutting spending is politically challenging. Every spending constituency sees what it gets from government as vital, whether it be Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients or farmers, poor people, educators, or the military.

It’s easy for members of Congress to say yes to these spending constituencies, because whether it’s Democrats or Republicans in control, they don’t face a hard-and-fast bottom line.

The nation needs a constitutional amendment that limits congressional spending to a fixed fraction, say 20 percent, of the GDP. It might stipulate that the limit could be exceeded only if the president declared a state of emergency and two-thirds of both houses of Congress voted to approve the spending.

By the way, the Founding Fathers would be horrified by today’s congressional spending. From 1787 to the 1920s, except in wartime, federal government spending never exceeded 4 percent of our GDP.

During the early 1980s, I was a member of the National Tax Limitation Committee. Our distinguished blue-ribbon drafting committee included its founder, Lew Uhler, plus notables such as Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, Paul McCracken, Bill Niskanen, Craig Stubblebine, Robert Bork, Aaron Wildavsky, Robert Nisbet, and Robert Carleson.

The Senate passed our proposed balanced budget/spending limitation amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 4, 1982, by a bipartisan vote of 69-31, surpassing the two-thirds requirement by two votes.

In the House of Representatives, the amendment was approved by a bipartisan majority (236-187), but it did not meet the two-thirds vote required by Article 5 of the Constitution.

The amendment can be found in Milton and Rose Friedman’s “Tyranny of the Status Quo” or the appendix of their “Free to Choose.”

During an interview about the proposed amendment, a reporter asked why I disagreed with the committee and called for a limit of 10 percent of GDP on federal spending. I told him that if 10 percent is good enough for the Baptist church, it ought to be good enough for Congress.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

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FAIR: Refugee Resettlement Costs Taxpayers Billions — Welfare Biggest Chunk

I’m happy to see that more national immigration control groups are addressing the costly UN/US Refugee Admissions Program!  Where are you Heritage?

muslim-welfare chart

Graphic (using ORR data) is not FAIR’s or Breitbart’s, but is from a 2015 report by then Senator Sessions Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.

John Binder writing at Breitbart tells the latest story here:

Over a five year period, American taxpayers are billed more than $8 billion for the resettlement of thousands of foreign refugees every year, a new study finds.

In research conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), analysts concluded that annual refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers about $1.8 billion a year, and over five years, about $8.8 billion.

FAIR’s research found that of the $1.8 billion annual cost of resettling refugees in the U.S., about $867 million was spent on welfare.

Continue reading here.

And, go here, for FAIR’s report.

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Trump’s ‘America First’ Economy by Stephen Browne

“As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also,” Trump declared at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The numbers don’t lie, the Trump economy is the best America has had in years.

At the close of Trump’s first year in office the economy will likely have seen three percent growth for three successive quarters, which we haven’t seen for 13 years. The Dow hit 25,000 which we’ve never seen before. Wages and employment are rising, most significantly at the bottom end of the income distribution scale with most concentrated in the blue state heartland.

Moreover, the confidence of small businesses as measured by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, is the highest it’s been since they started doing the survey 45 years ago.

There has predictably been a lot of grumbling: “This is Obama’s policies finally kicking in!”

After eight years of assuring us that two percent growth is the new normal, he never achieved it.

“Almost a-quarter-million employees have been notified of plant closings and layoffs!”

That may be true – but so what?

Sorry, I know that sounds callous for those going through job loss – been there, done it; but the fact remains when the economy is expanding and employment increasing, layoffs in certain sectors means the economy is changing, not static. The slack will be taken up in new more dynamic sectors and Americans will do what we always have; move somewhere else, learn new skills, and get a new job.

So why has this happened and what does it mean? Because a great many of the ‘Wise and Wonderful’ on both the right and left predicted gloom, doom, and disaster.

In the past, when we’ve seen the economy improve with a new and more business-friendly administration, there has usually been a year’s lead time before Americans have seen improvement — but this has been immediate.

Some have proposed the first effects were largely psychological, and there is something to this. The Democrat Party is more than ever before dominated at the national level by hard leftists ferociously hostile towards free enterprise.

A change to an even tepidly pro-capitalist administration is like a shot of espresso to the economy.

And this change has been more than token. Trump promised to remove two business regulations for every one passed. At last count, 22 regulations have been removed for every single regulation imposed.

It’s not just that the regulatory burden on business is difficult and expensive, we could live with that – in fact, we have. It’s that it is so complex that it’s nearly impossible to understand.

Want to start a business or move yours into a new market? If you don’t have lots of lawyers and accountants on your payroll to navigate the regs – good luck! Complex regulations and tax laws favor “Big Business” over the little guys, and that’s how the big guys like it.

Nonetheless, “Regulation is stealth taxation,” Trump stated clearly in his Davos speech.

Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on top of massive deregulation will provide larger paychecks for American workers along with unanticipated company bonuses and pay raises that will boost the economy even more.

The White House highlighted these economic gains for American workers:

USA TODAY: Starbucks Boost Worker Pay, Gives Bonuses After Tax Cut
CNBC: 125,000 Disney Employees to Receive $1,000 Cash Bonus Due to Tax Reform
FT: Verizon To Give Most Employees Stock in Anticipation of Tax Savings
REUTERS: JP Morgan Rolls Out $20 Billion Investment Plan After Tax Gains
BLOOMBERG: Whirlpool Says It’s Adding Jobs After Trump Tariff Decision

During Trump’s first year, the Dow climbed 31 percent, according to CNBC, surpassed only by FDR, reporting that the “30-stock index has surged more than 31 percent since Trump’s inauguration.”

CNBC: The Dow’s 31% Gain During Trump’s First Year Is the Best Since FDR

“Donald Trump lifted the Dow Jones industrial average in his first year in office more than any other president since Franklin Roosevelt. The Dow has surged more than 31 percent since Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. That marks the index’s best performance during a president’s first year since Roosevelt. The Dow skyrocketed 96.5 percent during Roosevelt’s first year in office….Trump quickly moved to cut regulations enacted by previous administrations. He also successfully pushed to overhaul the U.S. tax code. That revamp included slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.”

Right, after the 1929 Wall Street Crash followed by the Great Depression, there really wasn’t anywhere else for the stock market to go but up. Elected in 1932, becoming the 32nd President of the United States, FDR saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise during his first year in office from 1933 to 1934. In fact, it took the market 25 years to fully recover from the Wall Street Crash.
He served from 1933 to 1945.

And then there’s the hot button issue, climate change.

Whatever your opinion of climate change, the fact is the proposals for addressing it these days consist almost entirely of political theater. The least burdensome proposals cripple the economy and accomplish nothing. The most radical proposals amount to dismantling industrial civilization resulting in impoverishment and mass starvation.

If we are going to find alternatives to fossil fuels the only thing that can accomplish this is a rich and dynamic economy that can support the research, development, and large-scale implementation of new technologies.

That’s a job for businessmen and engineers, not bureaucrats.

Probably the biggest thing the Trump administration has done is to remove a lot of the uncertainty of doing business. A thriving economy can stand a lot of stupid regulation, if they are consistent from day-to-day.

What the economy can’t stand is the uncertainty of a business environment where regulations are imposed capriciously by a chief executive who overturns settled law to pick winners and losers, decides who has to obey, and who gets special exemptions.

And, I must say, I did not see this unshackled vibrant economy coming. Trump seemed like the archetypal crony Capitalist, leveraging political influence for his own advantage, even to the point of trying to use eminent domain for private projects.

It never occurred to me that a player skilled in that game could still realize it is horribly bad for the U.S. economy, and once in power act on that knowledge. As a businessman, Trump has learned the economic lessons taught by Eastern Europe in their transition from socialism to market economies. And if you’d told me, I wouldn’t have believed you. What a pleasant surprise!

“As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also,” Trump declared at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


ABOUT STEPHEN BROWNE

Stephen Browne has been a sewage treatment plant worker, a truck driver, an English teacher and a journalist. In 1991 he received his MA in anthropology and set out for Eastern Europe, which was to become his home for the next 13 years. While teaching English and working with local dissidents abroad he began to write professionally about the tremendous changes happening after the collapse of the Soviet empire. In 1997, he was elected Honorary Member of the Yugoslav Movement for the Protection of Human Rights. In 1998, he co-founded the Liberty English Camps in Lithuania, which teach the principles of free markets and political liberty through English-language instruction, and eventually became the Language of Liberty Institute. He returned to the U.S. to study journalism on a graduate fellowship and pay some dues in rural newspapers in the Midwest. At present he lives in his native Midwest with his two children Jerzy Waszyngton and Judyta Ilona. Mr. Browne is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the conservative-online-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.

President Trump Decreased the Debt to GDP Ratio – First Time in More than 50 Years!

Gateway Pundit in an article titled It’s Official=> President Trump Decreases the Debt to GDP Ratio in His First Year in Office – First Time in More than 50 Years!  Joe Hoft reports:

The higher a country’s debt to GDP ratio, the less healthy the country’s economy.  With the GDP numbers released yesterday, President Trump’s policies have officially decreased the Debt to GDP ratio by 1.2% in the President’s first year in office.

In contrast, President Obama increased the US Debt to GDP ratio his first year in office by 14.5%.  Obama increased the rate a total of 37% over his 8 years in office.

Since his inauguration President Trump has focused his efforts on the security of the country and on the prosperity of its economy. The results of his actions are taking shape.

The US GDP has increased each quarter in 2017 with the 4th Quarter GDP increasing to $19.739 trillion – the highest GDP for any country in world history.

Read more.

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The Clueless versus Trump the Bare Knuckled Fighter for the American People

President Donald J. Trump will deliver his first State of the Union Address on January 30th, 2018 in accordance with Article II of the Constitution, which states that the President:

“[S]hall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

The Congress will assemble, less some who are boycotting the address, to listen to President Trump outline what he has accomplished and what he plans to accomplish in the coming year. The difference is that President Trump is in a bare knuckled fight with some in his own party and most, if not all, of the opposition parties (Democrats and Independents alike).

But President Trump is a fighter. Evan Sayet in a July 2017 column titled He Fights wrote:

My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum.  They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.”  Here’s my answer:

We Right-thinking people have tried dignity.  There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.  We tried statesmanship.  Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain?  We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?  And the results were always the same.

This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

Read more.

Which is better? Being nice or getting things done?

Nike Quotes published this on its Twitter page, “This world is against me. It wouldn’t be fair otherwise.” This sounds like it could be the motto of President Trump.

But President Trump is doing what he promised to do during his Inaugural Address one year and ten days ago. During his Inaugural Address President Trump said:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day. This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

The politicians didn’t listen to President Trump and they are now paying a price for not hearing his words.

Bret Stephens in a column titled Clueless Versus Trump published in the New York Times on January 19th, 2018 notes:

Apple’s announcement on Wednesday that it will repatriate most of the estimated $274 billion that it holds in offshore earning is great news for the United States. Uncle Sam will gat a one-time $38 billion tax payment. The company promises to add 20,000 jobs to its U.S. work force, a 24 percent increase, and build a new campus. Another $5 billion will go toward a fund for advanced manufacturing in America.

C’mon. What’s with the long face?

In December this column warned that hysterical opposition to the Republican tax bill was a fool’s game for Democrats that could only help Donald Trump. Yes, there were things to dislike in the legislation, from both a liberal and a conservative perspective.

Bit it was not the moral and fiscal apocalypse its critics claimed.

Read more.

President Trump during his first State of the Union speech lay out how he has empowered the American people and taken power away from politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. This is why they fear him. He is systematically taking away their power to control the people. As he does this he strengthens the economy and has made America competitive globally. As former President Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy stupid.” For far to many in Washington, D.C. its not about the economy but about growing the federal government’s power to tax, spend and regulate. This trend has trickled down to city, county and state governments like California.

President Trump will most likely talk about his immigration plan and his administration’s efforts to take people off of welfare and putting them back into the work force. For at one time there were two classes of Americans, the working class and all others. America was built on the ideal that work is the best and most effective cure for poverty. That remains so today. The more people working the better.

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EDITORS NOTE: Here are excerpts from the Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union given on January 30, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy:

The present state of our economy is disturbing. We take office in the wake of seven months of recession, three and one-half years of slack, seven years of diminished economic growth, and nine years of falling farm income.

Business bankruptcies have reached their highest level since the Great Depression. Since 1951 farm income has been squeezed down by 25 percent. Save for a brief period in 1958, insured unemployment is at the highest peak in our history. Of some five and one-half million Americans who are without jobs, more than one million have been searching for work for more than four months. And during each month some 150,000 workers are exhausting their already meager jobless benefit rights.

[ … ]

In short, the American economy is in trouble. The most resourceful industrialized country on earth ranks among the last in the rate of economic growth. Since last spring our economic growth rate has actually receded. Business investment is in a decline. Profits have fallen below predicted levels. Construction is off. A million unsold automobiles are in inventory. Fewer people are working–and the average work week has shrunk well below 40 hours. Yet prices have continued to rise–so that now too many Americans have less to spend for items that cost more to buy.

[ … ]

We cannot afford to waste idle hours and empty plants while awaiting the end of the recession. We must show the world what a free economy can do–to reduce unemployment, to put unused capacity to work, to spur new productivity, and to foster higher economic growth within a range of sound fiscal policies and relative price stability.

[ … ]

Meanwhile this country has continued to bear more than its share of the West’s military and foreign aid obligations. Under existing policies, another deficit of $2 billion is predicted for 1961–and individuals in those countries whose dollar position once depended on these deficits for improvement now wonder aloud whether our gold reserves will remain sufficient to meet our own obligations.

[ … ]

But all these problems pale when placed beside those which confront us around the world. No man entering upon this office, regardless of his party, regardless of his previous service in Washington, could fail to be staggered upon learning–even in this brief 10 day period–the harsh enormity of the trials through which we must pass in the next four years. Each day the crises multiply. Each day their solution grows more difficult. Each day we draw nearer the hour of maximum danger, as weapons spread and hostile forces grow stronger. I feel I must inform the Congress that our analyses over the last ten days make it clear that–in each of the principal areas of crisis–the tide of events has been running out and time has not been our friend.

In Asia, the relentless pressures of the Chinese Communists menace the security of the entire area–from the borders of India and South Viet Nam to the jungles of Laos, struggling to protect its newly-won independence. We seek in Laos what we seek in all Asia, and, indeed, in all of the world-freedom for the people and independence for the government. And this Nation shall persevere in our pursuit of these objectives. In Africa, the Congo has been brutally torn by civil strife, political unrest and public disorder. We shall continue to support the heroic efforts of the United Nations to restore peace and order–efforts which are now endangered by mounting tensions, unsolved problems, and decreasing support from many member states.

In Latin America, Communist agents seeking to exploit that region’s peaceful revolution of hope have established a base on Cuba, only 90 miles from our shores. Our objection with Cuba is not over the people’s drive for a better life. Our objection is to their domination by foreign and domestic tyrannies. Cuban social and economic reform should be encouraged. Questions of economic and trade policy can always be negotiated. But Communist domination in this Hemisphere can never be negotiated.

Read the full speech.

Down The Rabbit Hole: The Occupation and Conquest of California

Down the rabbit hole is a metaphor for an adventure into the unknown. California is certainly a metaphor for an adventure in the now known outcomes of extreme progressive policies implemented by the Democratic Party.

The Republic of California has become the poster child for how far down the rabbit hole a state can go.

California has recently been plagued by massive wildfires consuming 1,381,405 acres of land, a spreading flu epidemic, earthquakes with more expected and moral scandals of Biblical proportions. Fiscally, California is insolvent. Some are even calling for the establishment, under the California Constitution, for a New State of California (video). California State Representative Ian C. Calderon (D-Whittier) has introduced  AB-1884 which inserts new language into the Retail Food section of the California Health and Safety Code, prohibiting restaurants from providing plastic straws to its customers. According to Snopes.com, “[V]iolations of which are misdemeanors ‘punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 6 months, or by both.’”

What has happened to the once beautiful and prosperous State of California?

Perhaps the below video of a California citizen cycling through Santa Ana in Orange County, California can enlighten us all:

Another issue is San Diego, California’s Chicano Park. Chicano (in North America) is a person of Mexican origin or descent, especially a man or boy. Until the late 1970s, Los Angeles’s Pico-Union district was populated by Mexican immigrants, Chicanos , African Americans, and European Americans.

Some citizens of San Diego are calling Chicano Park a “Huge monument honoring Communism and La Raza ultra nationalism.”

Chicano Park Day – Anti-American, La Raza Celebration:

Chicano Park, Patriot Picnic II – ABC 10 News Report

Looking at the murals in Chicano Park tell the story:

Note the United Farm Workers Union (UFW with black eagle) logo. The UFW is pro-open borders, pro-amnesty and pro-Dreamers.

Note the images of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Fidel Castro and other revolutionaries on the mural. The phrase “La Lucha Cintinua” translated means “The Fight Continues.”

The saying translated reads “our sacred land Aztec Chicano Park.” The Chicano in the mural is holding a map showing the entire South West portion of the United States as part of Mexico.

California continues to go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. It’s policies have become extremist and the government more costly and controlling. California is now asking that all companies in the state give 50% of their federal tax refund to the keep the state government running. When will Californians wake up and take back their state?

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image  titled “The Chicano Mural movement began in the southwest” by Amanda