trump stock market

Economic ‘Trumpature’ Survey Results Released

NEW YORK, NY /PRNewswire/ — Convergex, an agency-focused global brokerage and trading related services provider, released the results of its “Take Your Trump-erature” survey, designed to gauge President Trump’s possible impact on the financial markets. The survey, which was conducted from February 21, 2017 through February 24, 2017, garnered a record number of responses with some surprising results.

According to the survey findings, 74% of financial industry participants have a positive outlook on the financial markets, even though only 40% of the respondents approve of the job President Trump is doing thus far. However, only 20% of the respondents expect the market volatility (as measured by the CBOE VIX index) to increase more than 25% over the next 4 years, revealing an ongoing complacency about possible dramatic market fluctuations.

“We were surprised at some of the survey findings regarding Wall Street’s sentiments of the financial markets while under President Trump’s watch,” said Eric W. Noll, Covergex CEO and President. “It is clear from the results that most of the respondents feel President Trump will have a positive impact on the near-term prospects of the financial market, even if they don’t necessarily agree with his overall vision for the country.”

Below is an overview of the key survey findings:

  • While only 40% of survey participants give their approval of “Trump the President,” almost 74% give him high marks (grade A or B) for his effect on the investment climate for stocks. Moreover, over 57% expect stocks to do better over the next 4 years under a Trump Presidency than if Clinton had won the Presidency (21%).
  • Changing tax policy is the most important aspect of Trumponomics to equity markets, according to 54% of respondents. Deregulation came in 2nd (25%) and Infrastructure spending came in 3rd (16%).
  • Survey respondents think the equity markets want to see lower corporate taxes (46% ranked this “most important”) and lower repatriation rates (29% said that was “most important”) far more than lower individual/personal taxes (only 19% said that was “most important” to US equities) or the adoption of border taxes (4%).
  • Q4 2017 was the most common expected timeframe (28% of the responses) as to when new tax legislation would pass. Q3 2017 was second, with 23% of respondents.
  • Favorite Trump Trade sectors: 92% of respondents said Trump policies will help Financials the most, followed by Energy (89%) and Industrials (84%). Least favored: Healthcare (29%) and Consumer Staples (46%).
  • Active over passive: 63% of respondents say the Trump administration will be better for active management rather than passive management (16%).
  • Financial industry biggest worries: Congress not passing legislation (31%) and trade/currency war (32%). Respondents were least concerned about company-specific tweets (4%) and Trump’s Immigration policy (5%).

Full survey results are available here.

Methodology – Convergex’s Trump-erature Survey was performed via an online survey of financial industry participants. The survey was conducted from February 21 to February 24, 2017, and has a margin of error of ± 10%. Respondents included buy-side firms (asset managers, hedge funds), sell-side firms (banks, broker-dealers), trading venues, service providers and other financial industry participants.

convergex logoAbout Convergex
Convergex is an agency-focused global brokerage and trading related services provider that takes on the industry’s toughest challenges, from complicated trades to complex businesses. With clients’ interests as the top priority, Convergex delivers comprehensive solutions that span global high-touch and electronic trading, options technologies, prime brokerage, clearing, commission management and beyond. Headquartered in New York with a presence in several other locations including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco and London, the company serves nearly 3,000 clients accessing over 100 global market centers.

Important Information
Convergex is an agency-focused global brokerage and trading related services provider. In the U.S., Convergex offers products and services through Convergex Execution Solutions LLC (member NYSE/FINRA/NFA/SIPC), of which Convergex Prime Services is a division; Westminster Research Associates LLC (member FINRA/SIPC); and Convergex Solutions LLC, of which Jaywalk is a division. In London, Convergex operates through Convergex Limited, which is incorporated in England and Wales (registered with company number 06262150). Convergex Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom. Westminster Research Associates LLC is regulated in the United States by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Westminster provides services in Australia pursuant to an exemption from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services license under the Corporations Act 2001 (ASIC Class Order [CO 03/1100]).

Convergex provides brokerage services primarily on an agency basis, but may operate in a riskless principal and/or net trading capacity, and in connection with certain ETF or ADR transactions, may act as principal or engage in hedging strategies. Convergex does not engage in market making or investment banking activities.

The material, data and information (collectively “Convergex Information”) that is available from Convergex is intended for institutional investor use only; is for informational purposes only; is subject to change at any time; is not intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice; and does not constitute a solicitation or offer to purchase or sell securities. Convergex Information is believed to be reliable, but Convergex does not warrant its completeness or accuracy and Convergex assumes no duty to update such information. Clients should read their account agreement(s) and documentation with Convergex carefully as those documents contain important information and disclosures about the products or services covered thereby. Convergex is not responsible for third-party information or services, including market data from the exchanges. (Rev. 02/24/17)

© 2017 Convergex Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

map of world water color

Which Country Punishes Productive People the Most? by Daniel J. Mitchell

Back in 2014, I shared some data from the Tax Foundation that measured the degree to which various developed nations punished high-income earners.

This measure of relative “progressivity” focused on personal income taxes. And that’s important because that levy often is the most onerous for highly productive residents of a nation.

But there are other taxes that also create a gap between what such taxpayers earn and produce and what they ultimately are able to consume and enjoy. What about the effects of payroll taxes? Of consumption taxes and other levies?

Looking at the Evidence

To answer that question, we have a very useful study from the European Policy Information Center on this topic. Authored by Alexander Fritz Englund and Jacob Lundberg, it looks at the total marginal tax rate on each nation’s most productive taxpayers.

They start with some sensible observations about why marginal tax rates matter, basically echoing what I wrote after last year’s Super Bowl.

Here’s what Englund and Lundberg wrote.

The marginal tax rate is the proportion of tax paid on the last euro earned. It is the relevant tax rate when deciding whether to work a few extra hours or accept a promotion, for example. As most income tax systems are progressive, the marginal tax rate on top incomes is usually also the highest marginal tax rate. It is an indicator of how progressive and distortionary the income tax is.”

They then explain why they include payroll taxes in their calculations.

The income tax alone does not provide a complete picture of how the tax system affects incentives to work and earn income. Many countries require employers and/or employees to pay social contributions. It is not uncommon for the associated benefits to be capped while the contribution itself is uncapped, meaning it is a de facto tax for high-income earners. Even those social contributions that are legally paid by the employer will in the end be paid by the employee as the employer should be expected to shift the burden of the tax through lower gross wages.”

Englund and Lundberg are correct. A payroll tax (sometimes called a “social insurance” levy) will be just as destructive as a regular income tax if workers aren’t “earning” some sort of additional benefit. And they’re also right when they point out that payroll taxes “paid” by employers actually are borne by workers.

They then explain why they include a measure of consumption taxation.

One must also take value-added taxes and other consumption taxes into account. Consumption taxes reduce the purchasing power of wage-earners and thus affect the return to working. In principle, it does not matter whether taxation takes place when income is earned or when it is consumed, as the ultimate purpose of work is consumption.”

Once again, the authors are spot on. Taxes undermine incentives to be productive by driving a wedge between pre-tax income and post-tax consumption, so you have to look at levies that grab your income as it is earned as well as levies that grab your income as it is spent.

All Things Considered

And when you begin to add everything together, you get the most accurate measure of government greed.

Taking all these taxes into account, one can compute the effective marginal tax rate. This shows how many cents the government receives for every euro of additional employee compensation paid by the firm. …If the top effective tax rate is 75 percent, as in Sweden, a person who contributes 100 additional euros to the economy will only be allowed to keep 25 euros while 75 euros are appropriated by the government. The tax system thus drives a wedge between the social and private return to work. …High marginal tax rates disconnect the private and social returns to economic activity and thereby the invisible hand ceases to function. For this reason, taxation causes distortions and is costly to society. High marginal tax rates make it less worthwhile to supply labour on the formal labour market and more worthwhile to spend time on household work, black market activities and tax avoidance.”

Here’s their data for various developed nations.

Keep in mind that these are the taxes that impact each nation’s most productive taxpayers. So that includes top income tax rates, both for the central governments and sub-national governments, as well as surtaxes. It includes various social insurance levies, to the extent such taxes apply to all income. And it includes a measure of estimated consumption taxation.

And here’s the ranking of all the nations. Shed a tear for entrepreneurs in Sweden, Belgium, and Portugal.

Slovakia wins the prize for the least-punitive tax regime, though it’s worth noting that Hong Kong easily would have the best system if it was included in the ranking.

U.S. Ranking

For what it’s worth, the United States does fairly well compared to other nations. This is not because our personal income tax is reasonable (see dark blue bars), but rather because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were unsuccessful in their efforts to bust the “wage base cap” and apply the Social Security payroll tax on all income. We also thankfully don’t have a value-added tax. These factors explain why our medium-blue and light-blue bars are the smallest.

By the way, this doesn’t mean we have a friendly system for upper-income taxpayers in America. They lose almost half of every dollar they generate for the economy. And whether one is looking at Tax Foundation numbers, Congressional Budget Office calculations, information from the New York Times, or data from the IRS, rich people in the United States are paying a hugely disproportionate share of the tax burden.

Though none of this satisfies the statists. They actually would like us to think that letting well-to-do taxpayers keep any of their money is akin to a handout.

Now would be an appropriate time to remind everyone that imposing high tax rates doesn’t necessarily mean collecting high tax revenues.

In the 1980s, for instance, upper-income taxpayers paid far more revenue to the government when Reagan lowered the top income tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.

Also, keep in mind that these calculations don’t measure the tax bias against saving and investment, so the tax burden on some upper-income taxpayers may be higher or lower depending on the degree to which countries penalize capital formation.

P.S. If one includes the perverse incentive effects of various redistribution programs, the very highest marginal tax rates (at least when measuring implicit rates) sometimes apply to a nation’s poor people.

P.P.S. Our statist friends sometimes justify punitive taxes as a way of using coercion to produce more equality, but the net effect of such policies is weaker growth and that means it is more difficult for lower-income and middle-income people to climb the economic ladder. In other words, unfettered markets are the best way to get social mobility.

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

EDITORS NOTE: Marcus Tullius Cicero in 55 BC said,

 “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.”
trump-refugees

Breitbart: Refugees cost taxpayers BILLIONS each year

While bringing refugees to the US from certain parts of the world poses a security risk for America, often forgotten is the huge cost to US taxpayers (federal, state and local) of placing them in communities already loaded with poor people, a practice the mayor of Springfield, Mass. recently pointed out.

domenic-sarno

Democrat Domemic Sarno, Mayor Springfield, Massachusetts.

And, before the refugee industry starts shouting about the fact that some refugees ultimately pay taxes, in reality very few even reach the income threshhold to pay taxes and many who make small amounts of income can actually file to get money back from the government through earned income tax credits while not ever having paid in anything.

The Democrat mayor of Springfield, Mass recently said that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program concentrates “poverty on top of poverty!

Here is Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart in an article entitled: ‘Refugees Will Cost Taxpayers an Estimated $4.1 Billion in FY 2017’ says:

American taxpayers will spend more than $4.1 billion in the 2017 budget to support the 519,018 refugees who have been resettled by the federal government in the United States since October 2009, according to a cost estimate by Breitbart News.

To put that very large number in context, $4.1 billion can buy 10,677 new homes for $384,000 each, which is the average price of a new home sold in the United States in December 2016. Or it could buy 170,124 new autos for $24,100 each, which is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu.

Even if the Trump administration were to entirely shut down the flow of refugees into the United States in FY 2018 and beyond, the refugees who have already arrived in the country will cost at least another $3.5 billion in 2018, and about $2 billion to $3 billion annually thereafter until FY 2022 and beyond.

Here is one of several useful charts prepared by Leahy. This summarizes the COST PER REFUGEE:

screenshot-323

For more fun with numbers, continue reading here.

Where is Congress?

Donald Trump can cut the numbers arriving in the US while he is in office and can tinker with the regulations, but unless Congress grows a spine and reforms this out-of-control federal program, in 4 or 8 years we will go back to a wide open spigot! There is a limit to what can be done with a phone and a pen as Obama learned the hard way.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

How Illegal Immigration Hurts Black Americans, According to Civil Rights Commissioner

Obama’s Organizing for Action Partners with Soros-Linked ‘Indivisible’ to Disrupt Trump’s Agenda

Malta takes ‘refugees’ from Greece and Italy and passes others on to U.S.

Government demographic studies all wrong on Somali numbers in U.S.

Will new EO slow the Syrian migration to the US?

Nebraska Republican Governor supports security screening, BUT wants refugee admissions to resume ASAP

WSJ explains (sort of) what that March 3rd date means for slowing U.S. refugee admissions

OIL-PRODUCTION

U.S. Oil production trumps OPEC Cuts

Who says I don’t cover good news?

Let them drink their oil and choke on it. We must starve the jihad beast.

Of course, the left-wing haters despise when America succeeds. The moochers and the looters (Democrat) party obstructs all that is good and productive, i.e. the Dakota pipeline, Keystone, fracking, shale, etc. so this will make them scream like banshees. Schumer will weep again.

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA- NOVEMBER 17: A Saudi offers tea to delegations of the Third OPEC Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 17, 2007. (Photo by Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images)

U.S. OIL PRODUCTION OVERSHADOWS OPEC CUTS

By Matthew Rocco, FOX Business, February 13, 2017 (thanks to Robert N.):

A pick-up in American oil activity kept oil prices in check Monday, despite reports that OPEC producers are mostly sticking to their pledged cuts.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which formed a pact to slow down its production of crude beginning in January, released its own data to show 93% compliance with production cuts. The Paris-based International Energy Agency also found high compliance among OPEC nations. According to the IEA’s report, OPEC’s January production achieved 90% of the planned cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day.

The numbers were better than analysts anticipated, and U.S. oil futures responded in kind Friday with a strong rally. However, another bump in the U.S. rig count reminded investors that OPEC’s cuts, while designed to reduce global supplies and lift prices, are encouraging American producers to get back to drilling.

“Weekly data suggest that U.S. production is rebounding more strongly than anticipated,” J.P. Morgan (JPM) wrote in a research note to clients Friday.

Analysts at the bank also believe domestic production is running at 9.2 million barrels per day, faster than the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly figure of 8.9 million.

The cuts by OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, are a driving force behind the U.S. oil industry’s reawakening. The number of rigs operating in the U.S. totaled 741 last week, according to Baker Hughes (BHI). That’s an increase of 12 versus the prior week and 200 year-over-year. Canada’s rig count is also on the rise, climbing by 130 rigs since the same week in 2016.

J.P. Morgan said U.S. oil inventories, as well as Canadian output, will keep downward pressure on prices for the time being. Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been fast-tracked for approval under the Trump administration, would further improve the economics of oil drilling in Canada.

The EIA believes U.S. oil prices will average $54 per barrel in 2017, according to the agency’s latest short-term energy outlook. Recent trading suggests that the market expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices to trade between $45 and $65 in April.

WTI crude slipped 1.9% to $52.86 a barrel Monday. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down 2.1% at $55.52 a barrel.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. All images provided by The Geller Report.

duped

World Leaders Duped by ‘Manipulated Global Warming Data’

We have been reporting that the U.S. Congress, political leaders from both parties and the American people have been feed false data that the planet is warming. Fake data has lead to investments into “green” programs to curb CO2 emissions. Government subsidies at every level for wind, solar, ethanol, electric cars and green businesses.

All of these initiatives, costing the American taxpayers billions, are based on fake data.

David Rose in his Daily Mail column “Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data” reports:

…A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.

Read more…

In my April, 2015 column “Orlando, FL: John Casey Continues to Lead in Climate Prediction” I reported:

The prediction by Mr. Casey compares with NASA and NOAA, the U.S. government’s top space science agencies, who were significantly in error from their 2006-2007 forecasts, by as much as 100%, for the Sun’s energy output, using sunspots as an indicator. They had previously predicted this solar cycle would be one of the most energetic ever recorded with sunspot counts over 145.

[ … ]

In May 2007, Mr. Casey notified NASA that their prediction of a minimum of 145 sunspots for the peak of cycle 24 was “way off,” advising them that he predicted cycle 24 would have a peak of only 74 sunspots. NASA and NOAA solar experts confer annually on this sunspot number and since 2006, have been adjusting their 145 sunspot forecast down each year. NASA’s latest statement on the Sun also indicates the current solar cycle 24 was not the strong one they had predicted but instead was the weakest since February 1906. This is the least energetic Sun we have seen in 100 years.

The SSRC, under Mr. Casey has been leading the effort to warn the U.S. government, the media and the people, to get our country prepared for a coming cold climate. This now proven, declining energy output from the Sun, is what he and a growing number of scientists around the world say is the cause of this potentially dangerous climate change to a new cold era.

Read more…

It is time to tell the truth about what is the primary cause of climate change – the sun. There are three truths about climate change:

  1. The climate changes
  2. These changes are due to naturally occurring cycles.
  3. Mankind can do nothing to change these naturally occurring cycles.

World leaders, and more importantly American policy makers, must recognize that they have been duped. 

As John Casey wrote in December 2014:

The Earth is presently in a sustained phase of GLOBAL COOLING though moderated by recently past peak of solar heating during solar cycle #24. Though there is new evidence of a reduction in this rate during the 2013-2014 period, the rate of temperature decline on a 100 year trend line is the steepest seen during that time frame going back to 1914. We conclude that the past period of global warming, as a natural phase of climate variation caused by the Sun, has ended, and a new cold climate epoch has begun.

Get ready world for some very cold weather.

RELATED ARTICLE: Newsmax Begins Nationwide Climate Truth Program with “Dark Winter” book by John L. Casey

dollar signs

The Economic Costs to Taxpayers of Refugee Resettlement

I told you recently that the Office of Refugee Resettlement had published its 2015 Annual Report to Congress (a year late, but much better than when it was three years late earlier in RRW’s history).

If any of you citizen investigators want a winter research project, study the whole document and see what other information you can find. (Look back at some previous reports too, see here).

Below are some charts from the report (beginning on page 16) that are very instructive. And, remember readers they survey refugees and often don’t hear back from them, so I expect the numbers could even be worse then they are here (from “responding household,” those willing to talk)—and here they are bad!

By the way, when the Leftist Open Borders gang publishes economic studies that claim that refugees bring economic boom times to struggling communities, they surely don’t factor in the cost of welfare use by refugees (or the education costs, or the criminal justice system costs). LOL!, maybe they figure federal welfare dollars (grown on trees in Washington) flowing to certain communities are income to the community.

screenshot-253

Let’s take SNAP for example (that is food stamps).  Note that 92.5% of refugees who arrived in 2015 went on food stamps, but of those admitted in 2011, 60% are still on food stamps 5 years later!

Interesting too is the figure for housing assistance. Newly arriving refugees get very little, but after they have been here for awhile (see 2011) they find the housing assistance.

Also, note that as they are here longer, more refugees find SSI (for aged, blind, disabled or poor people generally).

Are you listening ‘welcoming’ communities?

“General assistance” is described as ‘benefits’ provided by state and local governments (taxpayers!).

Take special note of the 23% who used that state and local aid.

Aren’t we told REPEATEDLY that refugees do not cost state and local taxpayers anything! (And, this figure likely does not include the cost of educating the children).

There is graph on page 18 worth looking at which shows the same numbers in a different way.

Then here on page 19 we see a comparison between various ethnic groups and their use of welfare.

Although we are admonished by ORR to not compare statistics by country of origin, I ask, then why bother reporting this data yourself since it begs comparison?

Welfare use was highest for refugees arriving from predominantly Muslim countries in 2015—Iraq and Somalia—as shown in this table from page 19.  See that they sure knew how to suck up the state and local “general assistance” as well.

(If you are wondering, the Bhutanese are mostly Hindu, the Burmese mostly Christian, but we are admitting Rohingya Muslims from Burma now, Cubans of course are mostly Christians, Iraqis mostly Muslim, and Somalis all Muslim).

screenshot-254

This post is filed in our ‘where to find information’ category and in our ‘refugee statistics’ archive.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

More on the “dumb” Australia deal: Which American towns will volunteer to take them?

‘New Americans’ activist group set for rallies tomorrow at mosques, airports, etc.

Here comes the truth! Do-gooder refugee agencies fear job losses—theirs!

trump refugee eo

What exactly did President Trump’s EO say on the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program

Below is the language that was sent out in a press release from the White House last evening.  There is a lot to chew on here. As soon as I get a link to share, I’ll post it.

As I said to Breitbart, this is a good beginning. But, as I also said here, the Refugee Act of 1980 must be completely reformed by Congress because whatever Trump does here (although extremely important) is not permanent. And, what is being forgotten in our concern about security is the enormous cost of the program to federal taxpayers and to state and local governments.

I don’t know that President Trump has a full understanding of how much of a financial drain the program is on federal, state and local governments!

For those of you working in your communities to demand more transparency from government agencies and the federal refugee resettlement contractors, you will find Sec. 5 (g) heartening.

Perhaps we can figure out a way so that what you have learned about the secrecy that has been the watchword of the program in your local communities gets to the Director of Homeland Security General Kelly.  You know the refugee contractors are going to say they hold quarterly ‘stakeholder’ meetings, but will never admit how much they have tried to exclude you (concerned taxpayers!) from them until recently.

John_Kelly_official_Transition_portrait

Director of the Department of Homeland Security John Kelly.

Former General John Kelly, as Director of the Department of Homeland Security, will have a major role in advising the President on what should be done with the USRAP.

Maybe the Administration should hold field hearings so they can gather your information!

Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017.

(a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

(c) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.

(d) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

(f) The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.

(g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

This Executive Order should eventually be posted here.

Post is filed in our Trump Watch! category.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Smoking Out Islamists via Extreme Vetting – Middle East Quarterly

Trump Refugee Order Balances Security and Compassion

Trump’s Exclusion of Aliens from Specific Countries Is Legal

“Peace Through Strength” – the Realist and Reaganesque Essence of Trump’s Grand Strategy

EDITORS NOTE: Here is the link to President Trump’s Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States

International-Rescue-Committee

Suggestion for President Trump: Save up to $45 billion by cutting International Rescue Committee funding

Everyday I start my day at around 5 a.m. with CNN.  I recommend that you all consider doing that (not necessarily at that hour!) because it is so informative to see how they spin the news each and every day. Kind of fires me up to get to work!

miliband-and-soros-3

David Miliband (left) and George Soros.

In 2013, Miliband awarded George Soros the IRC’s Freedom Award (this is not a joke, or fake news!).

This morning CNN showed a clip of the International Rescue Committee’s CEO David Miliband whining (in his snooty British accent!) about Trump’s EO on refugees.  I tried to find the clip just now, but couldn’t.  But it doesn’t matter.

This is what you need to know (especially you lazy reporters who never mention that the refugee contractors, including the IRC, are largely taxpayer funded while you pretend their intentions are pure as the driven snow!).

The IRC is one of the nine major federally funded refugee contractors.

David Miliband is a British national who came over from the UK a few years back to run the International Rescue Committee which places refugees in a couple dozen US cities. He was a former Foreign Secretary and is the brother of ‘Red’ Ed.

charity-navigator-logo_1

The International Rescue Committee had an annual income stream of $688,920,920 for the year ending September 2015 according to ‘Charity Navigator.’ 

66.5% of that income came from you—the U.S. taxpayer!

screenshot-203

Miliband is paid annual compensation of $591,846! What the h*** does he do for that kind of money? Doing well by doing good, but is he?

screenshot-204

And, here is where the IRC is placing refugees in America (screenshot from their website):

screenshot-205
Think about it! A rich British elitist is changing American cities and we taxpayers pay him to do it!So my suggestion to the President is to begin balancing the US budget by cutting off the supposed humanitarians, especially the foreign ones being paid handsome salaries out of the US Treasury! Let them raise PRIVATE money from those who want refugees seeded throughout America. Heck, the US taxpayer could save almost a half a billion bucks annually by pulling them off the federal teat!

We have a lot more on Miliband (Hillary had a crush on him, he likes her smile), click here for more.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

U.S. Cases of refugees arrested or convicted on terror charges, and other heinous crimes

NYT reports first hardship story as refugees entering the US last evening being detained

Judge orders ‘stay’ of Trump’s executive action for arriving refugees

Twin Falls, Idaho: Former Idaho Chief Justice calls out Breitbart and World Net Daily for their refugee coverage

North Dakota: Bill introduced to try to get some local/state control of refugee program

How U.S. Charities Fund Terror — Some with your tax dollars

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society bringing Syrian Muslims to Philly

trump black and white

How many Muslim migrants have entered the U.S. since President Trump’s Inauguration?

rpcLogoSmall [Converted]

For new readers, here is the Refugee Processing Center (Wrapsnet) website where you find the numbers of refugees entering the U.S.—where they are from and where they are going.

Click here and see the various choices you can make in pulling up data. Try it yourself!

By the way, this was information not available to the general public for many of the early years of RRW.  It was a password protected site.

The problem (and one that caught me yesterday) is that we don’t know exactly when in the course of 24 hours data is being posted, so by going back later in the day on any given day, one can get deceptive results.

So, I’m going back to my previous (safe) methodology of checking numbers at only one time of the day, between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., and capture all the entries for a previous 24 hour period.

This is what I know:

On the morning of President Trump’s inauguration the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. this fiscal year (which began on October 1, 2016), the same fiscal year that Obama had proposed entry numbers of 110,000 *** (the highest since way before 9/11), it was 29,895.

This morning, one week later the number is 32,094.  That means 2,199 refugees arrived in the U.S. since Inauguration Day. That is a daily rate of 314 per day!

Here are the numbers I recorded each day (all between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m.):

January 20th: 29,895
January 21st: 30,063
January 22nd: 30,063
January 23rd: 30,063
January 24th: 30,063
January 25th: 30,885
January 26th: 31,521
January 27th: 32,094

We added 2,199 refugees in the week. It is still a mystery why there were no refugees being recorded on those 4 days. The data began to be updated in the afternoon of the 24th.

If you play around with Wrapsnet, you can find out how many refugees of each nationality were placed in your towns (since 2002).

New readers looking for which resettlement agencies are working in your cities and towns, go here.

***Obama proposed 110,000 for this fiscal year, and as of today we are already at 32,094. If Trump changes the number to 50,000, yes that is a reduction from Obama’s proposal, but it is not that significant when looking back ten years.  Obama had 2 years under 60,000 and Bush had 4 years under 50,000. (See my next post)

RELATED ARTICLES:

Texas Officials Warn of ISIS Threat to U.S.-Mexican Border

 

cres logo

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions ramps up team to ‘continue momentum’

WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) announces three new staff hires, Heather Reams, Andrew Bird, and Kelsey Callahan, to increase its collaboration and work with agencies within the Trump administration, Members and staff of the 115th Congress, and state policymakers throughout America.

“CRES had tremendous success supporting congressional GOP candidates in the November elections and is ramping up the team to continue our momentum in 2017,” said CRES Chairman James Dozier. “The expertise of this talented team of Republican operatives will help solidify our leadership to advance conservative clean energy solutions in Washington and in state capitals across the country. Our team looks forward to working with Republican leaders to deliver opportunities for the American people that are in line with our conservative values. This includes free market clean energy solutions that will advance President Trump’s priorities of creating high paying manufacturing jobs and achieving American energy independence, while also helping to preserve our clean air, water, and climate.”

In 2016, CRES formally endorsed 29 House and Senate Clean Energy Champions – all Republicans – and spent more than $1.7 million in support of candidates with a record of advancing renewable energy solutions both in their campaigns and on Capitol Hill. Nearly 90 percent of CRES’ champions were successful as 25 of them won election or reelection. Since 2014, CRES has invested over $3 million electorally in support of clean energy champions in the House and Senate.

“CRES looks forward to working with Congress and the Trump administration to advance clean energy solutions that embrace commonsense, free market principles to help create jobs, strengthen our economy, and protect our nation’s security and environment,” said Heather Reams, CRES Managing Director.

“In November, voters handed Republicans the opportunity to improve the lives of every American household, allow our economy to flourish, and preserve our nation’s beauty,” said Andrew Bird, CRES Director of Federal Affairs. “CRES is excited to help seize this opportunity and deliver long-term solutions utilizing clean energy that is affordable, reliable, and supplied by diverse natural resources.”

ABOUT CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS (CRES)

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization founded in 2013 to engage Republican policymakers and the public about commonsense, conservative solutions to address our nation’s need for abundant, reliable energy while preserving our environment.

To learn more about the CRES team please visit: http://www.citizensfor.com.

refugees

Let’s pay the refugees to go home using $3 billion in U.S. dues to the UN

Reader Harold made a suggestion this morning.  But it isn’t completely new to us. It is an idea another reader proposed in 2015—let’s pay refugees to go home!  I know many of you balked at the idea of using more of our money, but here Harold makes a suggestion for how to pay for it.

Ann.

A suggestion to send back refugees to their homeland.

How about a Refugee Repatriation Act [RRA]? The government would pay each refugee wishing to return to their home country $20,000 and provide free air fare in exchange for their US papers and/or citizenship and would NOT be eligible to return to the USA. With the United Nations handling the relocation of refugees and since the USA pays over 3 Billion of the UN’s regular and peacekeeping budget, the $20,000 dollar RRA amount would be deducted from dues the US pays to the United Nations.

St Cloud, MN and surrounding area, where I live, has a refugee problem and assimilation in our area is not taking place.

Ann, you have been out front on this refugee problem so give this suggestion some consideration.

Keep up the good work, Ann. (The $20,000 is just a suggested amount.)

Harold

I’m sure many of you assume that all the refugees we are hauling in here now want to be here.  Over the years I’ve heard from those who want to go home! They were mislead about what it was like in America and are unhappy, but they cannot afford the airfare to leave.  Setting up a program like the one Harold proposes would help identify those who hate it here and have no intention of becoming patriotic Americans.

Along these same lines, I would like to see a hotline established at the US State Department where unhappy refugees could call in to voice concerns, and the line could also be used for whistleblowers (I hear from those too!) from within the refugee contracting agencies to call in.

Although whistleblowers might now want to contact the Inspector General offices at the State Department and in the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Less chance right now of retaliation against you!

Comments worth noting is a special category at RRW to highlight readers’ ideas.  See more here.

common-core-is-not-the-answer

The Fizzle of Common Core Face, Student Achievement Partners

The chief purpose of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative was to develop a “common core” of ELA and math standards that states (ideally all) would adopt so that state education might be standardized and therefore comparable using similar assessments.

At the center of CCSS development was Student Achievement Partners (SAP), an organization created in 2007 that became a nonprofit in 2011 (EIN 27-4556045). SAP was founded by David Coleman and Jason Zimba, with Susan Pimentel later grafted in as a founding member– although any mention of her being involved in SAP prior to the emergence of completed CCSS in June 2010 is notably absent from all of her pre-2012, non-SAP bio sketches. (I briefly discuss the Pimentel SAP-founder grafting in this December 2013 post.)

On its 2017 “about” page, SAP offers the following info about its “founders”:

Student Achievement Partners was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core State Standards.

Prior to SAP, the well-connected Coleman had another ed org, a company called Grow Network, which had a $2 million contract with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in 2003, when Arne Duncan was CPS CEO. In 2004, Coleman sold Grow Network to McGraw-Hill.

Following the completion of CCSS in June 2010, the SAP website, achievethecore.org, began promoting CCSS. At the time, it seemed like CCSS would be the next golden chariot for many with careers tied to ed reform, and for Coleman, it was, sort of. In May 2012, Coleman became president of the College Board, another organization on the inside of CCSS development. Zimba and Pimentel remained with SAP, and other CCSS “lead writers” (Phil Daro and Bill McCallum) boarded the SAP ship, as did former Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) CEO, Gene Wilhoit. (It was Wilhoit who, with Coleman, approached billionaire Bill Gates in 2008 and asked him to finance CCSS.)

It is one thing to become College Board president; it is another to succeed at it. Under Coleman, the College Board has been riddled with difficulty and dysfunction, not the least of which is Coleman’s sloppy SAT revamp. Coleman has not been removed as College Board president. Not yet, at least.

As for Pimentel and Zimba: They are still listed on the SAP website, as “staff,” but nothing notable seems to have become of them (or of the CCSS they championed, for that matter). According to SAP’s 2014 tax form (the most recent one available), Pimentel and Zimba were SAP “executive directors” and were paid $338,491 and $331,813 in total compensation, respectively.

It remains to be seen what compensation the two pulled in 2015. Perhaps the grant money was still rolling in at that time. Perhaps it had not yet tapered off. (An aside: In 2014, SAP had $9.5 million in total assets at the beginning of the year and $6.5 million at the end.)

Zimba has a blog, the bio on which betrays no job beyond defunct SAP. Zimba’s blog is the most recent contribution available by Zimba via a Google search of his name. Everything else written by Zimba appears to be years old.

As for Pimentel, it looks like she is serving on the board of an organization she founded, StandardsWork. However, the StandardsWork “in the news” page has not been updated since June 2015. Like Zimba, Pimentel is likely continuing to draw money from SAP.

Pimentel’s current StandardsWork bio has her as a founding partner of SAP; however, an archived copy of her StandardsWork bio from 2010– three years after the 2007 founding of SAP– doesn’t mention SAP at all.

A Google search of Susan Pimentel reveals no recent (i.e., in 2016) writing or other professional productivity or employment.

On SAP’s 2014 tax form, Wilhoit was listed as a “partner”; he drew $145,577 in total compensation. Wilhoit is still with SAP as a board member and is also with the University of Kentucky (UK) National Center for Innovation in Education (NCIE), which Gates paid one million dollars in February 2013 to help launch expressly “to advance implementation of the common core.”

NCIE continues to promote CCSS, with Wilhoit “spearheading” it:

The National Center for Innovation in Education was established in 2013 at the University of Kentucky College of Education with funding from two of the country’s leading foundations — the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The center is directed by Gene Wilhoit, a former Kentucky Department of Education commissioner who is a highly regarded figure in national education circles. Wilhoit most recently spent six years as director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in Washington D.C. During his tenure at CCSSO, Wilhoit spearheaded the development and adoption by 45 states of the Common Core State Standards.

“The Hewlett Foundation has been pleased to support ongoing deeper learning initiatives across the country. We are excited now to partner with the Gates Foundation to help Gene Wilhoit establish this important center at the University of Kentucky,” said Barbara Chow, director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program. “States from around the nation will benefit from Gene’s wisdom, experience, and vision for ensuring that U.S. education delivers and measures the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students will need to succeed in work, life, and citizenship.”

The National Center for Innovation in Education contributes to the national education reform agenda with a focus on ensuring more states are adopting and implementing a standard definition of college and career readiness that embodies “deeper learning” outcomes, implementing meaningful measures of those outcomes, and holding all levels of the system accountable for results. [Emphasis added.]

In November 2016, Gates gave UK another $5 million “to support system-wide shifts, working with both state and local levels, around the implementation of the Common Core, and the adoption of personalized and deeper learning strategies.”

Gates has not given up on CCSS, but he has considerably curbed his CCSS spending. Of the 10 CCSS-related grants Gates paid in 2016, only 3 are for national organizations to promote CCSS nationally; in July 2016, the Center for American Progress was given $1 million “to increase support for and reduce opposition to the Common Core and high-quality assessments, and to promote high-quality early childhood education through strategic advocacy efforts that bring new voices into the early childhood movement,” and in August 2016, New Venture Fund garnered $7.6 million “to support national communications work around Common Core, high-quality and aligned assessments, and ESSA implementation.”

As for SAP, well, its message about the Common Core actually being a “core” has been modified to return to what the Common Core was supposed to replace– variety among states when it comes to academic standards in ELA and math.

Here is how SAP stated its purpose in September 2013:

Student Achievement Partners was founded by members of the same team that played a leading role in the development of the new Common Core State Standards. We are a non- profit organization with one purpose: to help all students and teachers see their hard work lead to greater student achievement.

As educators, as researchers, and as citizens, we view the changes brought by the college and career readiness focus of the Common Core State Standards as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for kids of all backgrounds and ability levels to better fulfill their potential. Like the standards themselves, we are evidence-based in our approach. Our work is aimed at ensuring that teachers across the country are able to put the standards to work, quickly and effectively, to help their students and colleagues aspire to a higher standard and reach it. Accordingly, the content available on this site is assembled by and for educators and is freely available to everyone to use, modify and share.

We invite educators and people curious about the Common Core State Standards to explore what the site has to offer, including hundreds of math and literacy resources for teachers, resources for leaders who are putting college and career readiness standards into action in their own schools, and opportunities to become an advocate for the Common Core. [Emphasis added.]

SAP’s purpose page remained the same in September 2014, January 2015, February 2015, and March 2015, but by June 2015, the SAP story of “the Common Core State Standards as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for kids of all backgrounds and ability levels to better fulfill their potential” was modified to make room for cries to dump CCSS:

Student Achievement Partners was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core State Standards. We are a non-profit organization with one purpose: to help all students and teachers see their hard work lead to greater student achievement.

As educators, as researchers, and as citizens, we view the changes brought by the Common Core and other state standards with a similar focus on college and career readiness as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for kids of all backgrounds and ability levels to better fulfill their potential. Like the standards themselves [Schneider’s note: “The” standards? Which standards?], we are evidence-based in our approach. Our work is aimed at ensuring that teachers across the country are able to put the standards to work, quickly and effectively, to help their students and colleagues aspire to a higher standard and reach it. Accordingly, the content available on this site is assembled by and for educators and is freely available to everyone to use, modify and share.

We invite educators and people curious about the Common Core State Standards to explore what the site has to offer, including hundreds of math and literacy resources for teachers, resources for leaders who are putting college and career readiness standards into action in their own schools, and opportunities to become an advocate for the Common Core and college and career readiness for all students. [Emphasis added.]

 So, the SAP purpose went from promoting “common” to promoting common and not common, as well. 

Moreover, SAP appears stagnant.

SAP’s last “in the news” release is from March 2015– almost two years old as of this writing. An excerpt:

  • 2015-03-17 | STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT PARTNERS
New Teaching the Core Video Library Created

Student Achievement Partners is delighted to announce the launch of the Teaching the Core Video Library, a project supported by the Danielson Group and funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The previous SAP “in the news” entry is two years old, from January 2015:

Jason Zimba: The Common Core and Different Instructional Approaches

Jason Zimba, one of the lead writers of the Common Core and co-founder of SAP, has written a blog post entitled: When the Standard Algorithm Is the Only Algorithm Taught. The blog addresses the relationship between the Common Core and pedagogy, specifically looking at the way in which the Standards allow for different instructional approaches.

The SAP website appears to have modest traffic, especially given that it offers free CCSS materials. According to the web traffic tracker, Similarweb, achievethecore.org has not received as much traffic for any two-weeks over a 6-month period (July 11 thru November 28, 2016) as has education historian, Diane Ravitch’s site, dianeravitch.net.

Readers are still visiting the SAP website; however, it seems that visits to the site are more like visits to a museum. The SAP home page has a “new and notable” sidebar with its most recent entry dated February 2016– almost a year old.

Thus, the organization at the center of CCSS development in 2009– Student Achievement Partners– is at best in 2017 a once-well-funded fizzle.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Colorado parents were threatened, ignored, and deceived by school officials after exposing hardcore pornography available via middle school’s Internet portal.

Newly elected Congressmen Lou Barletta (R-PA) (R) and Tim Scott (R-SC) (C) arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 17, 2010. The new members of the upcoming 112th Congress are going through orientation.   REUTERS/Jim Young   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTXUQZ0

Congressman Lou Barletta’s Bill to Defund Sanctuary Cities — Getting the new year off to a great start

Time and again our elected political “representatives” on all levels of government have acted in ways that failed to truly represent the best interests of America and Americans.

Time and again my articles have focused on my frustration and anger over how all too many politicians have obstructed the effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws.

I have written extensively about how members of Congress who supported so-called, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” blithely ignored the findings and, indeed, warnings about the 9/11 Commission by concocting legislation that would provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with official identity documents and lawful status even though there would be no way to conduct interviews or field investigations to screen to combat immigration fraud.  Visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud were identified as key entry and embedding tactics of international terrorists.

“Sanctuary Cities” created by rogue mayors operate in direct opposition of Title 8 U.S. Code § 1324 – (Bringing in and harboring certain aliens), an immigration criminal statute that address harboring, shielding, aiding and abetting, encouraging and inducing aliens to enter the United States illegally and/or remain in the United States illegally after entry.

Today, however, we have cause to be optimistic.  Congressman Lou Barletta who truly represents the citizens of his home town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania and, in so doing, all Americans from coast to coast and border to border has, for the third time, introduced legislation that would strip all federal funding from cities that fail to cooperate fully with immigration law enforcement activities.

I am proud that Lou has become a personal friend.

Prior to his election to Congress he was the mayor of Hazleton.  He was shocked when his peaceful town was, for lack of a better term, invaded by a violent Dominican narcotics-trafficking gang that engaged in drug dealing and violent crimes including murder.

Although he approached the administration of President George W. Bush and asked for federal assistance in confronting these illegal criminal aliens, the administration refused to help.  As a consequence he promulgated the first ordinances that penalized employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens and landlords who would knowingly provide housing to illegal aliens.

He was promptly sued in federal court by advocates for illegal aliens.  I was his final witness at the trial that ensued.

Lou was first elected to Congress in 2011.  He is currently a member of several committees including:

Lou is certainly an asset to those committees and to America.

On September 3, 2013 I joined Congressman Lou Barletta on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University tat a town hall meeting, covered by C-SPAN, on the topic of “Immigration Policy and Homeland Security.”

The video of the town hall event is well worth watching.  During our discussion, Lou clearly articulated his concerns about how failures of immigration law enforcement have cost all too many innocent victims their lives and leave America and Americans vulnerable to terrorism and crime.

On January 5, 2017 Lou posted a press release with the clear title,  “Barletta’s 1st Bill Of 115th Congress: Defund Sanctuary Cities.”

Here is how Lou’s press release begins:

WASHINGTON Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today introduced the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, H.R. 83, which will stop all federal funds from flowing to states or localities which resist or ban enforcement of federal immigration laws, or flatly refuse to cooperate with immigration officials.  The bill is the first piece of legislation introduced by Barletta in the 115th Congress and represents the third time the congressman has introduced the measure.  In 2011, the bill was the first piece of legislation he ever introduced as a member of Congress.  He introduced it a second time in the 114th Congress in 2015.

“One of the principal duties of the government is to protect its citizens, and the idea of sanctuary cities runs completely counter to that responsibility,” Barletta said.  “Too many mayors and local governments think that they are above federal law and place their own ideology ahead of the safety of their residents.  This bill will stop that practice by saying to these sanctuary cities, ‘If you refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, you will lose your federal funding.’”

Barletta introduced the bill as a freshman congressman in 2011 because of his personal experience with the danger of sanctuary cities while he was mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  In 2006, a 29-year-old local father of three, Derek Kichline, was murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been released by law enforcement a number of times, including by the sanctuary city of New York.  Additionally, Barletta was spurred to reintroduce the bill in 2015 following the San Francisco murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, whose accused killer was a seven-time felon who had been deported five times previously.

Although the Obama administration has paid lip service to speak against sanctuary cities, the Obama administration has virtually turned the United States into a “Sanctuary Country” litigating against Arizona and taking other adverse actions against those who would enforce our immigration laws while releasing tens of thousands of criminal aliens who subsequently committed more crimes including homicides and violent assaults.

President-elect Trump made effective immigration law enforcement the cornerstone of his election campaign.  Donald Trump promised he would end Sanctuary Cities, putting the lives of innocent people ahead of the lives of illegal aliens and, in particular, criminal aliens who have been responsible for massive levels of carnage and violence on the streets of American cities.

While Obama would never sign the legislation that Lou proposed in the past, it is a near certainty that Trump would be eager to sign that bill into law thereby helping the soon-to-be president achieve one of his first goals.

All that would remain would be for Congress to pass Lou’s important bill to get it to President Trump’s desk after January 20th.

It is important that you reach out to your member of Congress and insist that he/she supports this vital legislation.

environmntal news

Let’s Stop with the Carbon Con Already

The side that defines the vocabulary of a debate, wins the debate. So we could ask: as we fight the global-warming scam, why are we using the language of the scammers? It’s harder to combat “carbon” taxes, “carbon” credits and callow “carbon” appeals if we accept that at issue is “carbon.”

Calling CO2 “carbon” is like calling H2O “hydrogen.” Carbon is about as useful to a plant aspiring to photosynthesize as a tank of hydrogen is to a dehydrated man in a desert. Carbon dioxide and carbon are not the same thing any more than a fox and foxglove are the same thing.

If chemical formulas are meaningless and one element or atom between friends can be ignored, try inhaling copious amounts of CO. It’s also “carbon,” being in fact more “carboney” ratio-wise than CO2. But carbon monoxide is poisonous to fauna and flora while carbon dioxide is plant food, which is why botanists pump it into greenhouses.

Likewise, would you like some chlorine with your food, sir? Sodium is poisonous; chlorine is poisonous. Combine the two — NaCl — and you have table salt. Chemistry is our friend.

It would be nice to think that the carbon crew is just being friendly and familiar. But not only would calling CO2 Mr. Dioxide be just as inaccurate, there’s clearly an agenda here. Carbon, the primary element in coal, conjures up images of spewing sky-blackening soot into the air. It’s a dark brand of marketing.

In fact, I challenge those crafting “carbon tax” bills to call CO2 “carbon” in their legislation’s text. They won’t because I suspect it wouldn’t stand up in court, as factories don’t actually emit carbon. The alarmists will either specify carbon dioxide or define, tendentiously, what “carbon” means for the “purposes of the bill.”

Of course, carbon isn’t really a villain, either. It’s the fourth-most abundant element in the universe, and man is known as a “carbon-based life form.” Given the latter, if extra atoms and elements and how they react with each other can be ignored when formulating labels and definitions, we could say that Al Gore’s birth was a carbon emission.

Honest people should reclaim the language and reboot the debate by rejecting “carbon” talk. As for those knowingly using the term for propaganda purposes, they should have a huge carbon footprint placed firmly on their carbon-based posteriors.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

donald-trump-quote-schools

The Failure of Public Schooling in One Chart by Daniel J. Mitchell

While I have great fondness for some of the visuals I’ve created over the years (especially “two wagons” and “apple harvesting“), I confess that none of my creations have ever been as clear and convincing as the iconic graph on education spending and education outcomes created by the late Andrew Coulson.

I can’t imagine anyone looking at his chart and not immediately realizing that you don’t get better results by pouring more money into the government’s education monopoly.

But the edu-crat lobby acts as if evidence doesn’t matter. At the national level, the state level, and the local level, the drumbeat is the same: Give us more money if you care about kids.

So let’s build on Coulson’s chart to show why teachers’ unions and other special interests are wrong.

Gerard Robinson of the American Enterprise Institute and Professor Benjamin Scafidi from Kennesaw State University take a close look at this issue.

…education is important to the economic and social well-being of our nation, which is why it is the No. 1 line item in 41 state budgets. …Schools need extra money to help struggling students, or so goes the long-standing thinking of traditional education reformers who believe a lack of resources – teachers, counselors, social workers, technology, books, school supplies – is the problem. …a look back at the progress we’ve made under reformers’ traditional response to fixing low-performing schools – simply showering them with more money – makes it clear that this approach has been a costly failure.

And when the authors say it’s been a “costly failure,” they’re not exaggerating.

Since World War II, inflation-adjusted spending per student in American public schools has increased by 663 percent. Where did all of that money go? One place it went was to hire more personnel. Between 1950 and 2009, American public schools experienced a 96 percent increase in student population. During that time, public schools increased their staff by 386 percent – four times the increase in students. The number of teachers increased by 252 percent, over 2.5 times the increase in students. The number of administrators and other staff increased by over seven times the increase in students. …This staffing surge still exists today. From 1992 to 2014 – the most recent year of available data – American public schools saw a 19 percent increase in their student population and a staffing increase of 36 percent. This decades-long staffing surge in American public schools has been tremendously expensive for taxpayers, yet it has not led to significant changes in student achievement. For example, public school national math scores have been flat (and national reading scores declined slightly) for 17-year-olds since 1992.

By the way, the failure of government schools doesn’t affect everyone equally.

Parents with economic resources (such as high-profile politicians) can either send their kids to private schools or move to communities where government schools still maintain some standards.

But for lower-income households, their options are very limited.

Minorities disproportionately suffer, as explained by Juan Williams in the Wall Street Journal.

While 40% of white Americans age 25-29 held bachelor’s degrees in 2013, that distinction belonged to only 15% of Hispanics, and 20% of blacks. …The root of this problem: Millions of black and Hispanic students in U.S. schools simply aren’t taught to read well enough to flourish academically.  …according to a March report by Child Trends, based on 2015 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 21% of Hispanic fourth-grade students were deemed “proficient” in reading. This is bad news. A fourth-grader’s reading level is a key indicator of whether he or she will graduate from high school. The situation is worse for African-Americans: A mere 18% were considered “proficient” in reading by fourth grade.

But Juan points out that the problems aren’t confined to minority communities. The United States has a national education problem.

The problem isn’t limited to minority students. Only 46% of white fourth-graders—and 35% of fourth-graders of all races—were judged “proficient” in reading in 2015. In general, American students are outperformed by students abroad. According to the most recent Program for International Student Assessment, a series of math, science and reading tests given to 15-year-olds around the world, the U.S. placed 17th among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries in reading.

This is very grim news, especially when you consider that the United States spends more on education – on a per-pupil basis – than any other country.

Here’s a table confirming Juan’s argument. It lacks the simple clarity of Andrew Coulson’s graph, but if you look at these numbers, it’s difficult to reach any conclusion other than we spend a lot in America and get very mediocre results.

Juan concludes his column with a plea for diversity, innovation, and competition.

For black and Hispanic students falling behind at an early age, their best hope is for every state, no matter its minority-student poverty rate, to take full responsibility for all students who aren’t making the grade—and get those students help now. That means adopting an attitude of urgency when it comes to saving a child’s education. Specifically, it requires cities and states to push past any union rules that protect underperforming schools and bad teachers. Urgency also means increasing options for parents, from magnet to charter schools. Embracing competition among schools is essential to heading off complacency based on a few positive signs. American K-12 education is in trouble, especially for minority children, and its continuing neglect is a scandal.

He’s right, but he should focus his ire on his leftist friends and colleagues. They’re the ones (including the NAACP!) standing in the proverbial schoolhouse door and blocking the right kind of education reform.

P.S. This is a depressing post, so let’s close with a bit of humor showing the evolution of math lessons in government schools.

P.P.S. If you want some unintentional humor, the New York Times thinks that education spending has been reduced.

P.P.P.S. Shifting to a different topic, another great visual (which also happens to be the most popular item I’ve ever shared on International Liberty) is the simple image properly defining the enemies of liberty and progress.

Republished from Dan Mitchell’s blog.

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.