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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Behind Trump’s Davos triumph

Trump Administration Strikes a Blow Against Identity Politics

The 5 Key Points Trump Will Talk About in First State of the Union

GOP Lawmakers Split Over Trump’s Latest Immigration Plan

e Hear You: The Schumer Shutdown, ‘Dreamers,’ 2 Marches, and California’s Tax Grab

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?

RELATED ARTICLES: 

California Bill Threatens Waiters With Jail for Providing Plastic Straws

We Hear You: The Schumer Shutdown, ‘Dreamers,’ 2 Marches, and California’s Tax Grab

Pico Rivera councilman and El Rancho High teacher Gregory Salcido caught on video degrading military

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

High-Tax States Should Lower Their Taxes Instead of Trying to Evade Federal Taxes

High-tax states such as New York, California, and New Jersey are spending significant time and resources trying to concoct ways for their high-income residents to evade federal taxes.

This strategy is in direct response to the newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which caps state and local tax deductions from federal income taxes at $10,000 per taxpayer. But legislators in high-tax states who wish to prevent the wealthy from fleeing to lower-tax states should lower the cost of local and state government instead of ducking federal taxes.

The $10,000 cap in the state and local deduction is irrelevant for most taxpayers.

For starters, 70 percent of taxpayers don’t itemize their deductions when filing their federal income taxes. These taxpayers benefit instead from the standard deduction.

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubles the standard deduction, The Heritage Foundation estimates that about 85 percent of taxpayers will not itemize deductions. And the state and local tax deduction is worth nothing to taxpayers who don’t itemize.

What’s more, the cap won’t limit many taxpayers’ state and local tax deductions because only about half of those who currently claim the deduction pay more than $10,000 in state and local taxes.

It’s primarily high-income taxpayers in high-tax states who will be affected most by the change in federal tax law. And that’s why lawmakers in those states are trying to find ways around the law.

Instead of trying to pass the buck of their big-government costs to federal taxpayers in lower-tax states, policymakers in high-tax states should just reduce their own state taxes.

As U.S. Rep. John J. Faso, R-N.Y., aptly said:

“The solution is to lower the cost of government in New York and make our state a place where businesses can create jobs so our people don’t have to flee.”

While a dollar in additional state and local tax deductions could save taxpayers as much as 37 cents in federal taxes (depending on their marginal tax rate), a dollar in state and local tax cuts would put 100 cents back into most taxpayers’ pockets.

Rather than address New York’s own high-tax problems, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is proposing a new payroll tax on employers that would be deductible at the federal level.

But a new payroll tax on employers—one that would be in addition to existing income taxes—could hurt workers, businesses, and government revenues by discouraging companies from locating in New York. Such a tax would be extremely complicated and have disparate impacts on workers and businesses across the state, creating big boons for some and losses for others.

New York already has experienced the largest outmigration of residents of any state in recent years. State officials don’t need to exacerbate that with higher or more complex taxes.

Another idea being considered by states such as California and New Jersey is to circumvent the new cap on state and local tax deductions by setting up state-run charitable institutions to fund the government. Taxpayers who make donations to those institutions would receive a dollar-for-dollar reduction in their state tax bills.

But federal tax law specifies that donations providing a direct monetary benefit for the donor do not qualify as charitable deductions. It’s hard to contest the direct monetary benefit of a dollar-for-dollar reduction in state tax liability.

Rest assured, even if states such as New York and California manage to circumvent new federal limits on state and local tax deductions, the IRS will implement new rules to enforce the intent of the cap. Instead of reducing total taxes for residents, the result could be higher taxes because high-tax states may not fully abandon their newly generated “workaround” revenue sources.

Additional sources of tax revenues are the last thing residents in high-tax states need. Taxpayers who live in New York and who make between $75,000 and $100,000 already pay an average of $9,950 in state and local income taxes. And the average millionaire in New York pays $502,000 in state and local taxes.

These highly taxed residents don’t need their governments spending more time and resources trying to evade taxes or create new, hopefully deductible taxes. Instead, they need state policymakers to make their governments more efficient and accountable; to limit nonessential government services; and to cut out waste and redundancies.

If states reduce government costs to more reasonable levels, residents will have more money in their pockets and fewer will be affected by the new cap on state and local tax deductions.

And, as economic studies show, states with lower tax burdens have significantly better economic outlooks, including higher growth in incomes, employment, population, gross state product, and even state and local tax revenues.

It’s time for lawmakers in high-tax states to throw in the towel on their efforts to shift their high-tax burdens onto federal taxpayers in other states, and instead focus on reducing the taxes they charge their residents.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Rachel Greszler

Rachel Greszler is a senior policy analyst in economics and entitlements at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Read her research.

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.

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

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking in Harlem during the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day event Jan. 15, 2018. Gov. Cuomo is proposing a new payroll tax on employers rather than cutting the cost of government. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters/Newscom)

The Schumer Shutdown has been Shutdown. Trump wins once again! When will anti-Trumpers ever learn?

On May 20th, 2016 then candidate Donald J. Trump at a rally said, “We gonna win so much you may even get tired of winning and you’ll say please, please Mr. president, It’s too much winning! We can’t take it anymore!”

This promise has become a political reality. President Donald J. Trump is winning for the American people. President Trump is keeping his inaugural address promise,

“What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now.”

The people are once again the rulers of this nation.

The government shutdown is the most recent example. The people took to their social media sites to voice their opinions of the federal government shutdown. The overwhelming response was don’t shut down the government to protect illegal aliens. That message, in just over 2 days, was heard by the swamp.

President Trump’s “We can’t take it anymore!” statement reminded me of the 1984 song  by Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It:

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RELATED VIDEO: White House Press Secretary Sarah ‘Huckabee’ Sanders answers questions the Government shutdown on January 22nd, 2018. Her answers are enlightening. Sanders makes it clear that President Trump is enforcing the laws passed by Congress and that by rescinding Obama’s DACA Executive Order he put the issue of immigration back where it should be, in the U.S. Congress. President Trump gave Congress six months to fix immigration laws. They have failed to do so.

#SchumerShutdown Clock Launched, tick, tock! [+Video]

The House Republican Conference has launched the website SchumerShutdown.com. The website has a clock that shows the days, hours, minutes and seconds since the Schumer shutdown. The website also uses the New York Democrat’s own words on the chaos caused by a government shutdown:

As we reported in our column Whose to blame for the Government Shutdown? It boils down to the number “3”!

Who is actually responsible for this vote that stopped funding for the government? Answer: Those U.S. Senators who voted NO!

According to the vote:

  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ) DID NOT VOTE due to illness.
  • Two Independents voted NO.
  • Five Republicans voted NO.
  • Forty-two Democrats voted NO.

If all the Republicans, including John McCain, and the two Independent Senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King voted YES, the bill would still have failed on a vote of 57 to 43. Therefore, to pass the procedural motion required 3 more Senate Democrats to vote YES.

Recall when Senator John McCain was the vote that killed the repeal of Obamacare and Democrats Celebrated his stance? Well, three Democrats killed the procedural motion which lead to the current government shutdown.

SchumerShutdown.com notes:

 Friday night, Democrats shut down the government over deadlines that don’t exist.  Their games could kick 9 million children off of their health insurance and hurt our troops.

Text SchumerShutdown to 50589 to stay up to date on Chuck Schumer’s crusade to shut down the government.


WHAT’S AT STAKE

CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE FUNDING

  • 9 million children will lose their health insurance
  • This denied access could cause potentially life threatening removal of treatment

MILITARY READINESS

  • More than 2 million members of our military will not be paid until the shutdown ends
  • 100,000 national guardsmen will be sent home from training
  • Pilot Training will be stopped, impacting readiness
  • Training will be canceled for tens of thousands of reservists
  • 50 percent of the civilian workforce will be furloughed – impacting contracting, medical, maintenance, and morale

The Government Shutdown Will Further Weaken Our Military

Congress faced a number of bad options on Friday, when government funding expired for the third time this fiscal year.

But lawmakers picked the worst option of all for our military and national security: they decided to let the government shut down.

This decision will be incredibly damaging to our national security and to the men and women who work to keep us safe.

When Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed on Friday the effects that a shutdown would have on the Department of Defense, he made multiple references to the stoic nature that is required of our warfighters when faced with trying times. All their stoicism will now be tested.

During a government shutdown, employees who are necessary for ensuring the safety of American lives and the protection of property are exempt, and have to continue working. This applies to all of our active-duty military personnel and, according to Mattis, close to half of the civilian employees at the Pentagon.

Everyone else is furloughed and stays home without pay, unless Congress specifically makes provisions for them to be paid. In 2013, Congress made such provisions. But so far, this is not the case in 2018.

It is up to the Pentagon’s senior leadership to determine who continues working and who gets furloughed. This takes time away from all the other critical challenges that the Department of Defense faces.

And decisions like these inevitably cause leadership problems, as furloughed employees wonder why their contributions are less valued than those who are not furloughed.

During a shutdown, most people who work to maintain our ships, airplanes, and tanks will be forced to stop their work, thus further delaying the upkeep that is necessary to return those platforms to action.

Acquisition programs will also be slowed or stopped, as the necessary officials will be absent. Training for reservists and the National Guard will also have to stop. This will undoubtedly add to the current readiness problems that already plague our armed forces.

These are men and women who chose to put on the uniform and risk their lives in defense of the country they believe in. In return, we, as a nation, have allowed their funds to dry up and have asked them to stoically show up to work without access to the resources they need.

All of this, despite the fact that Congress has already agreed on defense spending levels by wide margins.

Ironically, the congressional debate over funding took place on the same day that Mattis unveiled the new national defense strategy to the public. At multiple points, the strategy mentions the need for sustained, predictable, and increased investments in our nation’s armed forces to ensure that we are capable of meeting the challenges we face.

But when Congress decided to let defense funds lapse at the stroke of midnight of Jan. 19, it made sure that a sustained, predictable, and increased defense budget would be even harder to achieve.

Similarly, at the same time Mattis was outlining his vision for the future of our national defense, his deputy, Patrick Shanahan, issued guidance to the Pentagon on how to continue operations during a government shutdown.

Even though that guidance expressed hopeful words that Congress might be able to avoid a funding lapse, those hopes were dashed at midnight on Friday.

Congress has failed the American people and has been unable to fulfill its constitutional duty to provide for the common defense. This failure will be felt most acutely by our men and women in uniform.

It was an entirely avoidable situation, but instead of steering away from the cliff, 49 senators chose to drive right off of it.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Frederico Bartels

Frederico Bartels is a policy analyst for defense budgeting at The Heritage Foundation’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy. Twitter: .

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 of U.S. and NATO troops arrive at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 24, 2017. (Photo: Omar Sobhani/Reuters/Newscom)

Whose to blame for the Government Shutdown? It boils down to the number “3”!

On Saturday, January 20th, 2018 at 7:44 p.m. EST House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent out a fundraising email titled “Paul Ryan just lied:” Rep. Pelosi wrote:

I just watched Paul Ryan blatantly lie on the House floor.

He blamed DEMOCRATS for this shutdown — and said we “refused to do our job.”

So who is right? Rep. Pelosi or Rep. Paul Ryan.

The House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the government on a continuing resolution. The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate for a vote. The U.S. Senate did not bring the bill up for a vote because a procedural motion failed to pass. Due to U.S. Senate rules the motion requires 60 votes to move the funding bill forward. The vote was 50 to 49 and the motion failed.

Who is actually responsible for this vote that stopped funding for the government? Answer: Those U.S. Senators who voted NO!

According to the vote:

  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ) DID NOT VOTE due to illness.
  • Two Independents voted NO.
  • Five Republicans voted NO.
  • Forty-two Democrats voted NO.

If all the Republicans, including John McCain, and the two Independent Senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King voted YES, the bill would still have failed on a vote of 57 to 43. Therefore, to pass the procedural motion required 3 more Senate Democrats to vote YES.

Recall when Senator John McCain was the vote that killed the repeal of Obamacare and Democrats Celebrated his stance? Well, three Democrats killed the procedural motion which lead to the current government shutdown.

Should Rep. Nancy Pelosi be pointing fingers?

It is now up to voters in those states to decide if a NO vote, and the resulting government shutdown, will become a NO vote at the polls for those U.S. Senators up for re-election in 2018 who voted NO!

For as former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Tip O’Neill (D-MA) wrote, “All politics is local.”

ROLL CALL OF “NO” VOTES ON THE SENATE PROCEDURAL MOTION BY STATE:

Arizona
Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican: NO
Sen. John McCain, Republican: Did not vote
California
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Democrat: NO
Sen. Kamala Harris, Democrat: NO
Colorado
Sen. Michael Bennet, Democrat: NO
Connecticut
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat: NO
Sen. Christopher Murphy, Democrat: NO
Delaware
Sen. Thomas Carper, Democrat: NO
Sen. Chris Coons, Democrat: NO
Florida
Sen. Bill Nelson, Democrat: NO
Hawaii
Sen. Mazie Hirono, Democrat: NO
Sen. Brian Schatz, Democrat: NO
Illinois
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Democrat: NO
Sen. Dick Durbin, Democrat: NO
Kentucky
Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican: NO
Sen. Rand Paul, Republican: NO
Massachusetts
Sen. Edward Markey, Democrat: NO
Sen Elizabeth Warren, Democrat: NO
Maryland
Sen. Ben Cardin, Democrat: NO
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Democrat: NO
Maine
Sen. Angus King, Independent: NO
Michigan
Sen. Gary Peters, Democrat: NO
Sen. Debby Stabenow, Democrat: NO
Minnesota
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Democrat: NO
Sen. Tina Smith, Democrat: NO
Montana
Sen. Jon Tester, Democrat: NO
New Hampshire
Sen. Maggie Hassan, Democrat: NO
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat: NO
New Jersey
Sen. Cory Booker, Democrat: NO
Sen. Robert Menendez, Democrat: NO
New Mexico
Sen. Martin Heinrich, Democrat: NO
Sen. Tom Udall, Democrat: NO
Nevada
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Democrat: NO
New York
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat: NO
Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat: NO
Ohio
Sen. Sherrod Brown, Democrat: NO
Oregon
Sen. Jeff Merkley, Democrat: NO
Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat: NO
Pennsylvania
Sen. Bob Casey, Democrat: NO
Rhode Island
Sen. Jack Reed, Democrat: NO
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat: NO
South Carolina
Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican NO
Utah
Sen. Mike Lee, Republican: NO
Virginia
Sen. Tim Kaine, Democrat: NO
Sen. Mark Warner, Democrat: NO
Vermont
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Democrat: NO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, Independent: NO
Washington
Sen. Maria Cantwell, Democrat: NO
Sen. Patty Murray, Democrat: NO
Wisconsin
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Democrat: NO

RELATED ARTICLES: 

White House: Dems Are ‘Obstructionist Losers’ For Forcing Shutdown.

How senators voted on the government shutdown – CNN

VIDEO: Border Wall Models Thwart U.S. Commandos In Tests

Citizen James Munder posted the following video on his YouTube channel. The testing on the eight border wall prototypes included using 7th Special Forces Group soldiers to try to breach the walls.

It appears according to reports that the favored designs are those with steel beams that border agents can see through. Officials indicated that the best features from each prototype will be used in the final design after testing is completed.

A Government Shutdown is Absolutely Good and Inspirational

With all the hand-wringing over the idea of a “government shutdown,” lost is whether this is Armageddon or a little breath of fresh air truth.

First of all, let’s discard the political fears that Republicans will be blamed for the shutdown. Of course they will. Even before the media lost their minds 2017 style, the mainstream, partisan Democrat media was going to blame Republicans like they did in 2013 and in 1995 and 1996 — the three largest profile government shutdowns when Democrats had the White House. It’s not like they are going to blame their own party.

So then the question becomes: Is such a shutdown a terrible event — as all Democrats, most Washington Republicans and the media say it is? No. Not at all. In fact, it could be downright educational for Americans to see that “non-essential” government employees and programs may also be classified as unnecessary. So perhaps it could be inspirational for Congress.

Because unlike the 2013 shutdown when Americans were not noticing any difference in life and requiring President Obama to manufacture pain in closing open-air, unguarded monuments and parks, President Trump will take no such harmful actions.

So let’s walk through briefly how this could work.

What really is a government shutdown?

A federal government shutdown happens when Congress and the president cannot agree on the 12 appropriations bills required for each federal agency. Typically, to avoid a shutdown and the public appearances of it, Congress and the president create an extension called a continuing resolution (CR). The idea is that this temporary funding mechanism can allow time for Congress and the President to reach a spending agreement.

In fact, many of the Obama years, particularly with the Democrat Congress, were done with ongoing CRs. The federal government has been operating since since Oct. 1 on two CRs.

Marc Goldwein, senior policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget – a bipartisan, nonprofit organization, told Fox News: “Essential staff at top level agencies would continue working, but most federal employees whose jobs aren’t vital would likely be sent home.”

But really, based on money spent, at least 83 percent of the federal government will keep operating. That includes the military, the Depart of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, Social Security and Medicare payments, school lunch programs, food stamps (SNAP), air traffic controllers and TSA officers, the Postal Service, even national parks this time. What will be closed? The National Transportation Safety Board, part of the EPA, and those agencies that collect and report economic data are some.

So, not surprisingly, the term “government shutdown” is grossly inaccurate.

And who is hurt? All important services continue and the government employees furloughed are paid all their back-pay for the time they did not work. Basically, they get a paid vacation in addition to their normal paid vacations. Not too terrible. So virtually no one is hurt.

History of government shutdowns

Surprisingly, the federal government has shut down 18 times since 1976, when Congress passed the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act…………. Interesting that in the general media hysteria over a government shutdown, this is never mentioned. Again, context is ignored to benefit an agenda.

Five times the federal government shut down when Democrats controlled the White House, Senate and House. This would be the first time that Republicans controlled all three during a shutdown.

There have been three significant government shutdowns in the history of the U.S. Two of those occurred during the Clinton administration in 1995 and 1996. President Clinton and the Newt Gingrich-led Republicans couldn’t agree and shut down the government for a total of 26 days. No Armageddon followed and the Republicans picked up seats in the next election after being lectured by the media how much their intransigence would cost them.

The third shutdown lasted 16 days during the Obama administration in 2013, when the House and Senate could not find agreement on extending the debt ceiling — because Obama would not sign a budget without it. Of course Republicans were blamed, but the effect of the shutdown was so unremarkable that Obama had to go to great lengths to close national open-air monuments just so Americans would notice.

The Office of Management and Budget said the 2013 shutdown cost about $2 billion — primarily the back-pay to federal employees for not working.

“The average person doesn’t really notice it,” Susan MacManus, political science professor at the University of South Florida, told WFLA in Tampa.

Exactly.

Shut her down

Other than the media frenzy — which is just becoming a big yawn to a lot of Americans because it is every day — where is the downside to shutting down the government other than having to pay some “non-essential” employees for not doing apparently non-essential work?

There is none. The upside is that there is the opportunity for Americans to realize that there are hundreds of thousands of federal jobs that are not important, and billions of taxpayer dollars being spent on them.

Perhaps, combined with the tax reform package and our ridiculously irresponsible level of national debt, Republicans could take these three points and find a way to explain exactly what needs to be done.

It’s obvious, right?

RELATED ARTICLE: Now That The Government Has Shut Down, Here’s What Actually “Shuts Down”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. Watch the Revolutionary Act’s YouTube Channel.

What a federal government shutdown really means, and why its a good thing

“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.” — U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 1

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” — U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9, clause 7

Not passing a bill fully funding the government has become the new normal for Congress. The failure to pass an annual budget has become the tool for political positioning.

QUESTION: Is shutting down the government a good or bad thing?

Countable.us provides these facts about a government shutdown.

Who stops working?

Over 800,000 federal workers are obligated to stop showing up for work—something known as an “unpaid furlough.”

Here are some of the major departments that shut down:

  • Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Food and Drug Administration.
  • Health and Human Services.
  • Internal Revenue Service.
  • NASA.
  • National Institute of Health.

Who continues working?

“Essential” employees, such as those in law enforcement and security, will continue working.

Do members of Congress and the President still get their paychecks?

A Congressional Research report answered this question:

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution forbids the salary of the President to be reduced while he or she is in office, thus effectively guaranteeing the President of compensation regardless of any shutdown action.”

“Due to their constitutional responsibilities and a permanent appropriation for congressional pay, Members of Congress are not subject to furlough. Additionally, Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution states that Members of Congress ‘shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.’”

Is the military affected?

The military gets paid on the 1st and 15th of every month.

The Department of Defense issued guidance Friday saying that if there’s a shutdown: “Military personnel on active duty, including reserve component personnel on Federal active duty, will continue to report for duty and carry out assigned duties.”

Will airport security be even worse than usual?

Airports will remain open and air traffic controllers and Transportation Security Administration officials will stay on the job.

Amtrak will continue operating trains through the shutdown.

Can I still visit a national park?

During most shutdowns, no. This year, as the Washington Post explained, “Trump administration officials have made a precedent-setting decision to keep National Parks and public lands ‘as accessible as possible’ in the event of a shutdown.”

Will I still get my mail?

Don’t fret. The Postal Service isn’t funded by Congress—your coupons to the local tire place will arrive as always.

Look, I was actually asking about my Social Security Benefits

Yes. You will continue to receive your Social Security Benefits.

And Domino’s coupons.

How long will a shutdown last?

Long as it takes. Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress need to reach a deal to fund the government.

The government shutdown of 2013 lasted 16 days.

If the federal government actually shuts down this may be a way to make lemonade out of lemons. This is a chance for the federal government to identify nonessential positions and look at eliminating them. President Trump froze hiring. This shutdown may help unfreeze some the taxpayers dollars by cutting the fat in the federal bureaucracy.

RELATED ARTICLE:

USA Today: Amnesty Debate Is About 3.6 Million ‘Dreamers,’ not Just 800,000 DACA Illegals.

Democrats Just Admitted Their Goal is to Shutdown the Government.

164 Companies Credit Tax Reform for Bonuses and Pay Raises

One hundred sixty-four companies have gone on record stating they gave bonuses and pay raises to employees because of the new tax reform law, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

The list has been continually updated and jumped from 40 companies to 164 in 10 days, the Washington Examiner reports.

dcnf-logo

The businesses include American Airlines, AT&T, prominent banks and savings and loans, Boeing, Comcast, Pacific Power, and Visa.

The list shows what each company paid in bonuses and includes attached statements or press releases, saying tax reform was the catalyst for each company’s decision.

AT&T showed direct support for President Donald Trump in its statement and said it expects the changes to produce more jobs and “economic growth.”

“Congress, working closely with the president, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. “Tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Americans for Tax Reform tweeted the list and said companies also provided increased 401K contributions along with the bonuses as a result of the new tax law.

EDITORS NOTE:  Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Trump: Immigration Deal Has ‘Got to Include the Wall’

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would not sign an immigration bill without funding for a border wall—clarifying some doubt left over from a bipartisan meeting with members of Congress a day earlier about reaching a deal on the policy for the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Asked during a joint White House press conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg if he would sign a deal that didn’t include the wall, Trump responded, “No, no.”

“It’s got to include the wall. We need the wall for security,” the president said. “We need the wall for safety. We need the wall for stopping the drugs from pouring in. I would imagine that the people in the room — both Democrat and Republican —I really believe they’re going to come up with a solution to the DACA problems.”

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, proposed legislation Wednesday to allow illegal immigrants brought to the country as minors receive protection from deportation to get a three-year renewal; to provide $30 billion for construction of the wall, adding  5,000 Border Patrol agents, and another 5,000 Customs and Border Protection officers; defund sanctuary cities; and require employers to use E-Verify to ensure the legal status of workers. Co-authors of the legislation are Reps. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, and Martha McSally, R-Ariz.

When meeting with members of Congress Tuesday, the bipartisan group decided to address four issues: DACA, border security, chain migration, and the visa lottery system.

During the meeting, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked the president about doing a “clean” DACA bill and saving the other issues for a second phase of a “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Trump, at first, seemed to be warm to the idea.

“We’re going to do DACA, and then we can start immediately on the phase two, which would be comprehensive,” Trump said in response to Feinstein. “I think a lot of people would like to see that. But we need to do DACA first.”

After that, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., jumped into explain the need for border security.

Trump later said during the meeting: “To me, a ‘clean’ bill is a bill of DACA. We take care of them, and we also take care of security, and the Democrats want border security, too. … Then we go to comprehensive later on.”

DACA stemmed from President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive action that shielded an estimated 800,000 illegal immigrants from deportation brought to the country as minors. Comprehensive immigration reform has in past proposals included providing legal status to the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Last fall, the Justice Department announced it was reversing DACA, under threat of a lawsuit from 10 state attorneys general, giving Congress a deadline of March for legislating a replacement. However, on the same day as the bipartisan meeting, a federal judge in California ordered the Trump administration to maintain the program. The Justice Department announced it would appeal the ruling.

Trump also took questions about the possible interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, named to investigate possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

“There is collusion, but it is really with the Democrats and the Russians far more than it is with the Republicans and Russians,” Trump said.

Many legal experts said they believe Mueller if focused less on Russia and more on building an obstruction of justice case against Trump or associates.

“When they have no collusion, and nobody’s found any collusion, at any level, it seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview,” Trump said.

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 ARTICLE: Trump: Judge’s move to protect DACA shows court system is ‘broken and unfair’

RELATED VIDEO: President Trump and Prime Minister Solberg of Norway hold joint news conference

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 of President Donald Trump answering questions from reporters during a joint news conference with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway Wednesday in the East Room of the White House. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/Newscom)

Trump’s EPA Is on Course to Retire Half Its Staff

Due to a series of buyouts and retirements, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could cut its workforce by half by the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in office, The Washington Examiner reports.

Several agencies in the Trump administration are focused on a leaner workforce and cutting spending. The EPA is leading the pack. It is on track to reduce the size of the agency anywhere from 25 to 47 percent.

“We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement to The Washington Examiner.

At the start of 2018, EPA employed 14,162 workers. Through Pruitt’s series of buyouts and generous retirement packages, as well as normal retirements, up to 47 percent of employees will leave the agency in the next five years.

Trump initiated a hiring freeze in Jan. 2017 that will prevent retirees being replaced by new hires.

If the EPA remains on its current course, agency could employ less than 8,000 people in the next few years. It would be the leanest workforce the agency has seen since 1972, two years after it was created.

Tim Pearce

Tim Pearce is a reporting fellow for the Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @timbpearce.