Here’s the List of the Top 20 States Getting ‘COVID’ Bailout Money [And Why It Raises a Giant Red Flag]

It’s simply naïve and ignorant of human nature to expect people—especially the kind of people who become politicians—to dole out trillions of dollars without any hint of favoritism or impropriety.

President Biden is taking a victory lap after signing his $1.9 trillion ‘COVID’ spending bill. “Help is here,” he wrote in a tweet promoting his plan.

But Americans who are initially glad to hear that more ‘COVID’ relief is supposedly on its way may be surprised when they learn that the latest legislation funnels $350 billion in unneeded taxpayer money to flush the coffers of state and local governments.

In the president’s telling, this is much-needed aid that will allow municipal governments facing massive COVID-related revenue pitfalls to pay their front-line emergency responders and essential personnel. But the facts reveal a different story.

While it’s plausible on its face to think that COVID would have led to a revenue drop for state and local governments, this never materialized in most places. According to JP Morgan, state revenue was “virtually flat” in 2020 nationwide while 21 states actually saw slight revenue upticks.

Cato Institute economist Chris Edwards noted that while there was a significant downturn in state revenue in the second quarter of 2020, overall it was balanced out by an uptick in the third quarter. “There is no need for more federal aid to the states,” he concluded.

So, the $350 billion in state “aid”—which cost roughly $2,442 per federal taxpayer—Congress  just passed wasn’t actually necessary. What’s the driving motivation behind it, then? This becomes clearer when we consider which states are getting the most taxpayer cash.

Here are the 20 states receiving the most money from the latest spending legislation.

  1. California: $42.3 billion
  2. Texas: $27.3 billion
  3. New York: $23.5 billion
  4. Tribal Governments: $20 billion
  5. Florida: $17.3 billion
  6. Illinois: $13.5 billion
  7. Pennsylvania: $13.5 billion
  8. Ohio: $11 billion
  9. Michigan: $10.1 billion
  10. New Jersey: $10 billion
  11. North Carolina: $8.7 billion
  12. Georgia: $8.17 billion
  13. Massachusetts: $7.96 billion
  14. Arizona: $7.48 billion
  15. Washington: $6.94 billion
  16. Virginia: $6.68 billion
  17. Maryland: $6.21 billion
  18. Tennessee: $6.12 billion
  19. Colorado: $5.9 billion
  20. Indiana: $5.7 billion

At first glance, it’s hard to decipher a clear pattern on this list. It’s not ordered by population, otherwise Florida would be above New York and Georgia would be above New Jersey. So, how did they divvy up the money?

Curiously, the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress factored in not just population but also the number of unemployed citizens. This had the direct effect of skewing the bailout benefits toward states that enacted harsher lockdowns and punishing states who prioritized preserving economic activity.

It must be noted that the list is skewed to include more “blue” states that voted for Biden, 13, than “red” states that voted for Trump, 6. It was, in many cases, Republican governors who opted for lighter restrictions and abandoned harsh lockdowns. In states like Florida, this has averted the unemployment and social destruction other states experienced—without producing noticeably worse COVID deaths.

One could argue that perhaps focusing on the unemployment rate is meant to ensure the aid goes to the states shortest on revenue. But why not use actual revenue shortfalls, then? Indeed, California tops the list for bailout money, yet the Golden State is actually running a budget surplus!

The only conclusion left to draw, however disappointing, is that Democrats crafted this bailout’s structure to favor states who pursued the COVID-19 policies they agree with—aka, states run by Democrats. Suffice it to say that political favoritism should never determine how limited taxpayer money is spent.

But, unfortunately, cronyism and favoritism are features, not a bug, of big government spending programs. As economist Ludwig von Mises once explained, big government programs concentrate enormous spending power in the hands of a few political officials; all but ensuring that favoritism follows.

“There is no such thing as a just and fair method of exercising the tremendous power that interventionism puts into the hands of the legislature and the executive,” Mises wrote.

It’s simply naïve and ignorant of human nature to expect people—especially the kind of people who become politicians—to dole out trillions of dollars without any hint of favoritism or impropriety. So, while Americans will understandably be angered by the way Congress has carved out hundreds of billions for state governments that don’t need it, they’d be wrong to think this is a one-time mistake.

Corruption and dysfunction are baked into the cake when we entrust the government with vast economic powers.


Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

#RetailMadeMe Tik Tok Trend Blames Capitalism For Waste. It Should Blame The Government

Companies have all kinds of incentives to be charitable. Unfortunately, retailers often face regulations that force them to destroy their merchandise instead of donating it.

Kids say the darndest things, and these days they say them on TikTok, the popular video social media platform with 850 million active monthly users.

A new trend called #RetailMadeMe took off on the platform this month after one popular account asked users to reply with a time their employer forced them to destroy perfectly usable merchandise.

The trend seems to have struck a nerve as hundreds of videos sharing personal accounts began to pour in. Many of the users expressed anger, guilt, and feelings of frustration as they described their own experiences.

Commenters directed their disdain at corporations for such wasteful, selfish, and environmentally negligent practices. Some told of having to destroy clothing that merely needed a good wash or a button sewn on, and pointed out that these items could have been donated to women’s shelters instead of being cut up and wasted.

Many of the replies focused on retail specifically, but another category quickly took off with other users recounting their experience in the food industry. They discussed policies that forced them to throw good food away, even when they themselves were experiencing food insecurity or knew it could be given to those in need.

Notably, many of the responders included additional hashtags with their videos that expressed their scorn for capitalism, which they clearly seem to blame for these egregious practices.

These stories would be upsetting in the best of times. But as lockdowns continue to ravage our economy, and as millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet as a result, it is unsurprising that these anecdotes have ignited a social media wildfire.

But, while the anger behind these videos is understandable, and while it is right to be critical of careless waste, it seems the majority of the social media users in this case haven’t done their homework.

It has become fashionable to blame capitalism for bad behavior and corruption as of late, at least among some demographics. But dig beneath the surface for even five minutes and you will typically find that the source of the problem is actually some government regulation.

Such is largely the case with companies destroying their products instead of choosing to donate them, especially when it comes to food.

“A mix of federal, state and local laws,” wrote Harvard Law professor Jacob Gersen in a 2016 article for Time, “make it almost impossible to get food that would otherwise be wasted to those who could use it. If you donate food to someone and they get sick or even die, then you could be legally liable for their injury. That risk, however small, means that when choosing between giving away and throwing away food, the least risky choice is to toss it.”

Some lawmakers have recognized this problem and passed provisions that limit the liability companies face, but only if they go through a third party charitable organization first. That makes the donation process costly and time-consuming for busy business owners.

Furthermore, a 2014 report by the National Coalition for the Homeless found that 21 cities implemented additional regulations that block food-sharing with the homeless explicitly. One health department even went so far as to dump bleach on perfectly good barbeque (in 2016) when contestants of The American Royal’s World Series of Barbeque attempted to donate excess food from the event.

On top of all of that are other laws, like occupational licensing, that prohibit everyday Americans from sharing excess food they may prepare or possess. Local health laws ban the direct donation of food items, especially if they are prepared in an unlicensed kitchen.

Regulators and government bureaucrats will attempt to say that all of this is done in the name of public safety. But that argument doesn’t wash. In fact, restaurants—which are stringently regulated—are twice as likely to give someone food poisoning compared to meals cooked at home.

Other retailers face similar government regulations that force them to destroy their merchandise instead of donating it.

CVS, which has garnered the particular attention of the #RetailMadeMe trend, responded to the criticism with a statement that expressed as much:

“We work with numerous nonprofit organizations to arrange for damaged or near-expired goods from our stores to be donated to people in need … Our product disposal guidelines and procedures comply with applicable state and federal regulations, and they are consistent with that of the retail industry.”

To be fair, there are other reasons companies choose to destroy goods, and for some of these they deserve criticism. Sometimes the policies are in place so that employees do not have an incentive to damage products (in order to get a reduced price or obtain them for free). And some companies, especially luxury brands like Burberry, destroy their leftover products so as to not decrease the value of their brand on the gray market.

In this regard, pushback from consumers works marvelously and applies pressure on these companies to adopt more sustainable practices. Such is the case with the latter where in response to condemnation, high-end brands like Gucci and Balenciaga have joined initiatives that convert raw materials into yarn for other fabrics and garments.

But more often than not, it is bad government policy that leads to waste—not the free market.

Companies have all kinds of incentives to be charitable. It buys them good (and often free) publicity, builds their brand, and buys them good will. It increases the morale of their employees, and they can usually write off the donations on their taxes.

So contrary to the assertions on Tik Tok, free market capitalism actually provides ample reasons for companies to be philanthropic. It’s time to stop blaming an economic system you don’t understand when the government is actually at fault.


Hannah Cox

Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer, commentator, and activist. She’s a Newsmax Insider and a Contributor to The Washington Examiner.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

New Study Pegs COVID-19 Crisis Costs at $16 Trillion—So Far

The word “lockdown” never appears in the Summers-Cutler study, but the costs are clearly visible.

Estimated costs of the coronavirus pandemic are in. The results are not pretty.

A new study co-authored by Harvard economist David M. Cutler and former World Bank chief economist Lawrence H. Summers places the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic north of $16 trillion.

“The estimated cumulative financial costs of the COVID-19 pandemic related to the lost output and health reduction are shown in the Table,” write Summers and Cutler. “The total cost is estimated at more than $16 trillion, or approximately 90% of the annual gross domestic product of the US.”

As the authors explain, roughly half of the costs stem from the global recession, which was triggered by government-imposed lockdowns around the world. The remainder is the result of economic losses stemming from shorter life spans and health deterioration.

These losses are unprecedented in modern history. According to Summers and Cutler, the costs exponentially exceed previous recessions and recent conflicts in the Middle East and beyond.

“Output losses of this magnitude are immense. The lost output in the Great Recession was only one-quarter as large,” the authors write. “The economic loss is more than twice the total monetary outlay for all the wars the US has fought since September 11, 2001, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.”

It’s a sobering analysis. The numbers are so enormous they are difficult for the human mind to grasp, but they will have very real effects on American families and others around the world.

As the authors point out, the losses translate to about $200,000 for a family of four. These losses will hurt American families, but poor families around the world will be hit even harder. A recent World Bank study estimated that as many as 150 million people around the world will fall into extreme poverty—defined by living on less than $1.90 per day—by 2021.

Cutler and Summers write that “the immense financial loss from COVID-19 suggests a fundamental rethinking of government’s role in pandemic preparation.” They recommend establishing permanent government infrastructure for testing, contact tracing, and isolation of the sick.

This seems, to be kind, misguided. After all, it was the government’s botched response to the pandemic and its proactive role in shutting down society that caused the bulk of the unprecedented economic damage.

It’s important to remember that throughout history humanity has experienced no shortage of pandemics and deadly viruses. Many have noted that the 1957-58 pandemic bears striking similarities to that of 2020. The 1957-58 pandemic claimed the lives of 1.1 million people worldwide (including 116,000 Americans). The case-fatality rate for that pandemic was 0.67, researchers estimate, which is almost certainly higher than that of COVID-19.

Despite the similarities, some of the differences are even more striking. The economic fallout from that pandemic was barely noticeable. (The same can be said of the Spanish Flu of 1918.)

What made the COVID-19 pandemic so unique was not the virus itself, but our collective response to it. In an effort to protect the population from an invisible virus, governments adopted a blueprint for government-enforced social distancing, a plan whose genesis stems from a 14-year-old girl’s science project and a library trip by George W. Bush.

In favor of this approach, the long-standing conventional wisdom of how to mitigate the spread of a deadly virus was abandoned by most nations, and by April dozens of governments around the world had quarantined tens of millions of healthy people and ordered the closure of millions of “non-essential” businesses.

Prior to February 2020, when China ordered the largest mass quarantine in human history, such an action had never been taken. (It’s worth noting that before they became a partisan issue, media organizations such as NPR and the New York Times expressed serious doubts about the strategy of government-imposed quarantines.)

And now we know why: pandemic lockdowns are a strategy born of hubris. The strategy rests on the misguided idea that central planners can create a more perfect social order by removing decision-making from individuals and replacing it with their own top-down mandates.

Economists from Hayek to Mises and beyond have warned that this hubris poses one of the great risks to modern man.

“If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible,” Hayek noted in his Nobel Prize speech.

“The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society – a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization…,” he continued.

Central planners failed to heed Hayek’s “knowledge problem” warning. In their zeal to control society, they destroyed the global economy on a scale the modern world had never seen.

Somehow, the word “lockdown” never appears in the Summers-Cutler study.

This will not do. If we cannot acknowledge a basic truth—government lockdowns failed—we are bound to make the same mistake again.

Once we have come to grips with this basic truth— one the World Health Organization and some European nations appear to have gleaned—we can begin to rebuild the economy. And the recipe for success is simple: economic freedom.

“In order to reverse this serious setback to development progress and poverty reduction, countries will need to prepare for a different economy post-COVID, by allowing capital, labor, skills, and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors,” World Bank Group President David Malpass writes.

Free markets and free people is the formula for a brighter future in a post-COVID-19 world.


Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times,, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: WHO Reverses Course, Now Advises Against Use of ‘Punishing’ Lockdowns

Even as the WHO calls on nations to refrain from imposing lockdowns, many governments continue to use this strategy.

For months, an overwhelming majority of the planet’s population has been subject to cruel and unnerving lockdowns: businesses closed, travel restricted, and social gatherings kept to a minimum.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have sunk our economies, kept loved ones apart, derailed funerals, and made personal and economic liberty a casualty as much as our health. One report states it could cost us $82 trillion globally over the next five years – roughly the same as our yearly global GDP.

Many of these initial lockdowns were justified by policy recommendations by the World Health Organization.

The WHO’s director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, writing in a strategy update in April, called on nations to continue lockdowns until the disease was under control.

But now, more than six months since lockdowns became a favored political tool of global governments, the WHO is calling for their swift end.

Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on COVID-19, told Spectator UK’s Andrew Neil last week that politicians have been wrong in using lockdowns as the “primary control method” to combat COVID-19.

“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” said Nabarro.

Dr. Michael Ryan, Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, offered a similar sentiment.

“What we want to try to avoid – and sometimes it’s unavoidable and we accept that – but what we want to try and avoid is these massive lockdowns that are so punishing to communities, to society and to everything else,” said Dr. Ryan, speaking at a briefing in Geneva.

RELATED ARTICLE: Income Is Determined by the Scarcity of Your Contribution, Not the Value of Human Worth

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PODCAST: Union Wish List Bill Would Harm Workers and the Economy



Trey Kovacs is a policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He has spent the last five years researching the adverse effects of public-sector unions on workplace choice and the economy, worker freedom, private-sector labor relations, and other labor policy reforms. Kovacs has been published by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, U.S. News & World Report, and The Hill, among other publications. His work has been cited by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Fox News and more.

TOPIC..Union Wish List Bill Would Harm Workers and the Economy


Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on

TOPIC…What San Francisco is Doing is Criminal


John O’Connor, served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Northern California from 1974-1979, representing the United States in both criminal and civil cases. John is also the author of Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat, Covered Up Watergate, and Began Today’s Partisan Advocacy Journalism.

TOPIC…How the Media Was So Badly Deked on Russiagate


Lifestyle Liberalism Takes Money – Lots of It

Randall Smith: Too many Americans, both “liberals” and “conservatives,” believe America is great because individuals get to choose their own idea of the good.

Many people assume that a society “progressive” in its moral views would naturally be “progressive” in its economy, that someone who believes in a more equal distribution of goods would also be a person who believes in more permissive standards of behavior.

I am not denying the perception, but the reality is often the reverse of what young progressives seem to assume. Those who wish to ensure goals such as a more equitable distribution of the wealth in the economy and a greater respect for the environment are demanding considerable self-discipline of the sort we do not customarily or habitually demand of people in a culture of lifestyle libertinism.

You think it unreasonable to ask a man to discipline his appetite for sex, but then you think it eminently reasonable to require him to relinquish his appetite for money, status, and power?

It’s odd to say, “You needn’t have the discipline to stay faithful to your wife and children,” but then insist that someone should be responsible to all humanity for recycling his plastic containers. If a man can’t discipline his appetites enough to remain faithful to his own children and to the wife to whom he pledged lifelong fidelity before God, what makes anyone imagine he would discipline himself enough to remain faithful to the generations after his death?  It should be no surprise, then, that as societies become more “progressive” morally, they rack up progressively more debts for future generations to pay.

The permissiveness “progressives” support in the realm of personal morals is simply another species of the autonomous individualism they wish to combat in the economic realm. And every weakening of the social bonds of society, especially those developed in the selfless bonds of marriage and family, results in a lessening of the social capital needed to ensure that people remain willing to share plentifully with others without fear of being left indigent themselves.

When people build greater levels of social trust, they are more willing to share. When they fear that even their closest relationships are based on no more than the other person’s pleasure or self-fulfillment, this willingness drains away and people become self-protective.  When this happens, the only way to ensure even minimal forms of cooperation is by means of coercive governmental control.  Is this really desirable?

If you don’t want the government intruding into your private life, would it really surprise you to discover that the guy next door doesn’t want the government intruding into his private business decisions?  If you want to use the coercive powers of government to force a doctor to perform your abortion, would it really surprise you if you found that your landlord was eager to use the coercive powers of government to evict you for not paying your rent?

By the same token, if you insist the government has no business telling you how much to pay your workers and if you want to use the coercive powers of government to favor your business, don’t be surprised if “progressives” resist government intrusion for the things they like and encourage it for the things they don’t.

In a culture in which freedom means primarily freedom from constraint, freedom to do whatever I choose, not freedom to devote myself to the good and the welfare of others, it quickly becomes clear to young people that the freedom they are being “sold” every day by the cultural elites – the freedom of autonomous self-creation, the freedom to create an identity with consumer items, the freedom to pursue what is exciting and to live like the celebrities in the ads – costs money, and lots of it.

The “artsy” life in New York City is expensive.  The McMansion and the expensive prep schools are expensive.  Studies have shown that over a quarter of the people making over $100,000 a year say they are “just barely making it” and cannot afford their basic needs.  Self-creating autonomous freedom costs money; celebrity lifestyles aren’t cheap.

L.A. and New York may be hotbeds of voters for socialist causes, but they are far from being moral exemplars of income equality.  People living in expensive houses and apartments who spend money on bars and clubs, but want the government to “do more for the poor,” have very little credibility.

Move out of the expensive New York City apartment, live in a modest city and simple neighborhood, send your kids to the local public schools or to a modest Catholic school that actually serves the poor, and you might have some “street cred.”  Otherwise, you’re just a poseur.  You cannot say, “You people give up the gross things you enjoy while I keep the sophisticated pleasures I enjoy.”

Lifestyle liberals will never be able to secure social justice if they wear their concern for social justice like the Scribes and Pharisees used to wear their religious garments: as a sign of personal self-righteousness. “They “broaden their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels”; “all their deeds are done for men to see”; when they propose giving to the needy, they sound a trumpet for others to respect them – as self-proclaimed “Pope Francis Catholics” perhaps?

Too many Americans, whether self-proclaimed “liberals” or “conservatives,” believe that what makes America great is that individuals get to choose their own idea of the good, untethered to the claims or needs of others, and then get it – as a right divorced from any obligations to others or to the common good.

Both “laissez-faire conservatives” and “progressives” are called upon to realize that America will only be “great” when we can make our own the prayers of the too-often unsung and unheeded verses of “America the Beautiful”:

America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

Randall Smith

Randall B. Smith is a tenured Full Professor of Theology. His book Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Guidebook for Beginners is available from Emmaus Press. And his book Aquinas, Bonaventure, and the Scholastic Culture at Paris: Preaching, Prologues, and Biblical Commentary is due out from Cambridge University Press in the fall.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

How lockdown has affected the work-life balance of many families

Families across the globe have been affected by the ever-changing and uncertain working environment wrought by government responses to Covid-19.  For many families both jobs and childcare have become less certain.

For families that finely balance time with their children, work, childcare and everything else, lockdown periods are highly stressful.  My experience is that many couples with young children work in shifts late in to the night, while balancing phone calls, Zoom meetings and urgent emails during the day.  As most working mothers I know work only part-time, I can only imagine what it might be like with two full-time working parents.

I am certain that more than one parent has wondered whether paid work is sustainable at all in such an uncertain environment, if the children are to also be well-cared for and some remnant of a peaceful and well-functioning home maintained.

recent study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that government responses to Covid-19 have indeed caused drastic changes to most parents’ work lives and other responsibilities in the United Kingdom.  Its findings include:

  • “Millions of adults have lost or are forecast to lose their jobs permanently; many more have stopped work temporarily. Others are newly working from home, while many key workers are experiencing additional pressures and risks in their work.
  • For most parents, school and childcare closures have meant that children are at home, and requiring care, for at least an extra six hours a day.
  • …The complete shutdown of certain sectors and the huge increase in households’ care responsibilities are both completely new.”  

Job losses and increased childcare responsibilities most often affect women.  Mothers are one-and-a-half times more likely than fathers to have either lost their job or quit since the lockdown began. They are also more likely to have been granted a leave of absence from work.

Women are much more likely to be in insecure, part-time employment roles, and the shut-down sectors also disproportionately employ women, thus they will likely be the first to go when more redundancies hit.  Moreover, as women generally perform important childcare and “home” responsibilities, many feel that without certain child-care, time at home must come before other work.  Thus, the effects of lockdown may be felt for some time to come:

“Workers who have lost their jobs permanently may struggle to find new ones, workers who have reduced their hours may struggle to increase them again, and workers whose productivity has suffered due to interruptions may be penalised in pay and promotion decisions. The disproportionate decrease in mothers’ paid work now suggests any longlasting effects will be particularly severe for them.”

The findings also indicate that, despite doing less childcare than mothers, during lockdown fathers have nearly doubled the time they spend on childcare. It will be interesting to understand how many work places have accommodated fathers to balance childcare responsibilities over the lockdown period.  I have heard more than one parent of pre-school aged children lament that many of the people they work with have never had children or don’t currently have young children, and simply do not seem to even contemplate the huge stress on families with young children.  Will lockdown result in greater allowances for fathers that balance time at the office with adequate family and “home” time?

Spending more time with our own children is a blessing.  I often lament how many hours a day my children are under the influence of others at school; increasing numbers of parents choose to home-school for this very reason.  However, the reality of other commitments, both financial and otherwise, make this season of life a very stressful one for the parents of young children. It may also affect the many women who balanced any sort of paid work with their important work in the home for many years to come.


Shannon Roberts

Shannon Roberts is co-editor of MercatorNet’s blog on population issues, Demography is Destiny. While she has a background as a barrister, writing has been a life-long passion and she has contributed… 



Promiscuity and the price of free love

‘Good, Raunchy Fun,’ says The New York Times about this mega-hit song. Really?

A focus on ‘autonomy’ cheapens the value of human life

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4 Keys to Understanding ‘Defund the Police’ Movement

“Defund the police” has become the newest rallying cry for the left and it’s no longer confined to radicals and activists.

Some local lawmakers are going a step further to say “dismantle” or “abolish” the police, while left-leaning media outlets are giving credence to the fledgling movement.

The idea could mean different things to different advocates, but at a minimum it means slashing police department resources.

“It’s an extremely irresponsible and reprehensible recommendation specifically for the outcomes that we know would come about in exactly the kind of communities for which these proposal are being made,” Rafael Mangual, deputy director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank in New York, told The Daily Signal.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

Here are four things to know about the “defund the police” movement.

1. Where Is Defunding Happening? 

It’s a near certainty that Minneapolis—where fired police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd—will defund police. (The state upgraded an initial third-degree murder charge.)

The May 25 death of Floyd, captured in a cellphone video showing Chauvin’s knee on his neck for more than eight minutes, has prompted two weeks of civil unrest.

A veto-proof majority of nine members of the Minneapolis City Council announced that they backed getting rid of the city police force—and didn’t even have a plan for what to do next.

“We recognize that we don’t have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does,” council members said in a public statement issued over the weekend, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported:

We’re committed to engaging with every willing community member in the City of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for you. …

We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new, transformative model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.

The nine council members included President Lisa Bender and Jeremiah Ellison, son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the prosecution of Chauvin and the other three officers.

“This council is going to dismantle this police department,” the younger Ellison said.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tried to speak to a crowd Sunday, saying at one point, “I do not support the full abolition of the police department.”

The crowd chanted, “Go home, Jacob, go home” and “Shame. Shame. Shame.”

The mayor’s opposition to a “police-free” Minneapolis won’t matter against a veto-proof majority.

The Minneapolis StarTribune reported that in 2019, serious crimes such as robbery, burglary, and assault spiked 13% in the city. Two-thirds of the city’s 81 neighborhoods saw increases, including a downtown area that had a 70% increase.

The nation’s two largest cities are pushing major funding cuts to their police departments, which may not appease activists demanding full-scale abolition. The proposed cuts could spread to more cities.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced major cuts to the, but not abolishing the Los Angeles Police Department.

“Thank you to all who marched for racial justice and equality for Black Americans this weekend,” Garcetti tweeted Monday. “This is a pivotal moment. Here in L.A., we’re starting by identifying $250M, including cuts to LAPD budget, to further invest in communities of color and confront structural racism.”

Of those $250 million in cuts, up to $150 million is expected to come from the police force, the Los Angeles Times reported.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would slash funding for police and shift money to social services in a revised budget proposal. The mayor didn’t provide specifics for the cuts.

The New York City Police Department accounts for $6 billion of de Blasio’s proposed annual budget of $90 billion for the city.

2. What’s Happening in Congress?

Although paying for policing is a local decision, not a federal one, some members of Congress are jumping into the movement without qualification.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., voiced strong support for ditching the Minneapolis police over the weekend.

“When we dismantle it, we get rid of that cancer, and we allow for something beautiful to rise,” Omar told a group of protesters Saturday, adding:

Well, we’ve had a black president, we’ve had a Congressional Black Caucus, we’ve had black mayors, we’ve had black governors, and we’ve had black city council members, we’ve had black police chiefs, yet we are still getting killed, brutalized, surveilled, massly [sic] incarcerated, and we are still having conversations with our children on how to have a conversation with the people that are supposed to protect and serve them so that those people don’t in return kill them.

One of Omar’s colleagues in a small group of House freshmen known as “the squad” said that all elected officials must back the “defund the police” movement.

“This is what political courage is for. Political courage. There are moments in everyone’s careers where you have to be willing to stand up and say, ‘Am I willing to sacrifice all of the privileges I have?’” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said during an online conference with supporters. “If you’re an elected official for any reason that is on this call, I’m asking you to ask yourself what are you willing to sacrifice to make sure that overfunded police departments are defunded.”

House Democrats as a whole are taking a less extreme approach and announced legislation Monday that was crafted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

Among other things, the bill would prohibit discriminatory profiling of any kind, ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, mandate dashboard cameras for police vehicles, establish a national police misconduct registry, and make it easier to prosecute officers and sue individual officers.

Asked last week about defunding police, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., deferred to the Congressional Black Caucus.

3. Where Is Public Opinion?

Although loud protesters are demanding defunding, dismantling, or abolishing police across the country, it’s a long way from a majority opinion.

Although some might think from media coverage that much of the Democratic base supports it, only 16% of Democrats in a Yahoo/YouGov poll say they support defunding the police. That’s statistically even with just 15% of Republicans who say they back the idea.

“Despite calls by activists and protesters to defund police departments, most Americans do not support reducing law enforcement budgets,” Yahoo/YouGov said of its poll. “Close to two-thirds (65%) oppose cutting police force funding. Just 16 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of Republicans support that idea.”

There is clear evidence of potential consequences from Floyd’s death two weeks ago, the Manhattan Institute’s Mangual said.

“One piece of evidence here to consider is the fact: Is it a coincidence that while police were occupied with violent protests in the city of Chicago, we experienced the most violent weekend of 2020 outside the protests, in the neighborhoods where shootings are a regular occurrence?” Mangual said.

He said he doesn’t think the “defund the police” idea has reached a tipping point to become a serious movement.

Mangual rejected the idea “that we would deprive black and brown communities of police forces who—whether you like them or not—bring about a great deal of peace by intervening in criminal acts and taking criminals off the streets,” adding:

The idea that gang members and repeat offenders ought to be walking the streets because there aren’t any police to take them away is one that is very cavalier with the lives of law-abiding citizens in America’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

4. Is Defunding Police as Bad as It Sounds? 

Defunding police forces seems to mean different things to different advocates.

Some want to reallocate big chunks of police budgets to social programs, which would be more budget cutting than defunding altogether, as in New York and Los Angeles. Others want to end police altogether—as in Minneapolis—and possibly replace police forces with something else entirely.

Even Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, told WBUR in Boston that the goal was about reallocation of funding.

“The demand of defunding law enforcement becomes a central demand in how we actually get real accountability and justice, because it means we are reducing the ability of law enforcement to have resources that harm our communities,” Cullors said, adding:

And with that demand, it’s not just about taking away money from the police, it’s about reinvesting those dollars into black communities. Communities that have been deeply divested from, communities that, some have never felt the impact of having true resources. And so we have to reconsider what we’re resourcing. I’ve been saying we have an economy of punishment over an economy of care.

MPD150, an advocacy group in Minneapolis, where defunding the police force appears all but certain, is in the more radical camp that also calls for other police departments to be defunded.

“The people who respond to crises in our community should be the people who are best-equipped to deal with those crises,” MPD150 says. “Rather than strangers armed with guns, who very likely do not live in the neighborhoods they’re patrolling, we want to create space for more mental health service providers, social workers, victim/survivor advocates, religious leaders, neighbors and friends—all of the people who really make up the fabric of a community—to look out for one another.”

The Minneapolis organization attempts to acknowledge arguments about violent crime, writing:

Crime isn’t random. Most of the time, it happens when someone has been unable to meet their basic needs through other means. So to really ‘fight crime,’ we don’t need more cops; we need more jobs, more educational opportunities, more arts programs, more community centers, more mental health resources, and more of a say in how our own communities function. …

The history of policing is a history of violence against the marginalized—American police departments were originally created to dominate and criminalize communities of color and poor white workers, a job they continue doing to this day. The list has grown even longer: LGBTQ folks, people with disabilities, activists—so many of us are attacked by cops on a daily basis.

Christy E. Lopez, a professor at Georgetown Law and co-director of the school’s Innovative Policing Program, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post advocating defunding.

Lopez argued that the idea is not as scary as it sounds:

Defunding and abolition probably mean something different from what you are thinking. For most proponents, ‘defunding the police’ does not mean zeroing-out budgets for public safety, and police abolition does not mean that police will disappear overnight—or perhaps ever. Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities and shifting most of what government does to keep us safe to entities that are better equipped to meet that need. … Police abolition means reducing, with the vision of eventually eliminating, our reliance on policing to secure our public safety.


Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.


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A Contract With Black America

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump Showcases Jobs Preserved by Paycheck Protection Program Amid COVID-19 Shutdown

Michael Heup not only got his job back at Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, which was temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 crisis, but he also had the chance to talk about it at the White House on Tuesday.

“I love my job, and I am excited about going back to work,” Heup, a disabled employee, said at the East Room event. “At Bitty & Beau’s, we like to use the phrase called ‘not broken.’ That means me and all my amazing co-workers are not broken, and we have lots to offer. I know the great country of the United States isn’t broken either.”

The Wilmington, North Carolina-based Bitty & Beau’s Coffee had to temporarily close and lay off 120 employees at the company, most with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But it was able to rehire all the employees after getting a federal loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.

The White House had representatives from eight companies at the event sharing their stories of staying afloat after governments’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts forced much of the economy to close.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

Under the program, if businesses with fewer than 500 employees do not lay off employees, the principal on the loan is forgivable. Employers still have to pay the interest.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee has locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland. For most of the employees, it’s their first paying job. The employees are now “working from home, writing handwritten notes that we include with each online order we ship,” said Amy Wright, CEO of Bitty & Beau’s, also speaking at the event.

“I know everyone is ready to return to normal,” Wright said. “I believe it’s time for a new normal, one where people with disabilities are valued, especially in the workplace. As a recipient of the [Paycheck Protection Program] loan, we will continue to take up the charge and help everyone, especially people with disabilities, pursue the American dream.”

The Paycheck Protection Program has disbursed $350 billion to small businesses across the United States, and more than 1.6 million forgivable loans have been approved by the Small Business Administration. Trump said the SBA has issued more loans in the past 14 days than it has in the past 14 years.

However, the program has come under scrutiny for doling out loans to large employers, such as Harvard University and Shake Shack. Several of the big businesses returned the loans after the rash of bad publicity.

“The press has commented on a lot of big companies that inappropriately took the money,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the event. “We’ve been very clear. We’ve announced today that any loan over $2 million will have a full review for forgiveness before they are repaid because this is the story of small business here.”

When taking questions from reporters, Trump was asked about Democrats in Congress calling for guaranteed incomes that could go on for months.

“I like payroll tax cuts. I’ve liked that from the beginning. That was a thing that I would really love to see happen. Most economists agree with me,” Trump said.

The president expressed skepticism of bailing out states, but he said aid could come with the precondition of changing sanctuary policies, in which local jurisdictions refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“We are not looking to recover 25 years of bad management and to give them the money they lost. That’s unfair to other states. Now, if it’s COVID-related, I guess we could talk about it,” Trump said, adding:

But we’d want certain things also, including sanctuary city adjustments, because we have so many people in sanctuary cities, which I don’t even think are popular by radical left folks.

What’s happening is, people are being protected that shouldn’t be protected, and a lot of bad things are happening with sanctuary cities.


Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.


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Today’s Americans and Yesteryear’s Americans

A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Bring Back Made in the USA!

ACT for America is proud to announce our Made in the USA Campaign, dedicated to help bring business back to America and promote others to buy products Made in the USA!


RELATED ARTICLE: Majority in new poll say it’s time to reopen economy for all who are not sick or vulnerable

EDITORS NOTE: This ACT For America video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Will Bitcoin Ever Stabilize?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are notorious for their volatility. Their value fluctuates from time to time. There is always an air of uncertainty surrounding their value and future. But what exactly makes BTC price so volatile? Will BTC ever stabilize?

If BTC is to become a global currency, it must overcome its volatility. Despite its market capitalization growing to its current $60B mark, BTC is still struggling with uncertainty and volatility putting its potency as a global currency into question. So, let’s discuss what exactly makes cryptocurrencies that volatile and how can BTC become stable?

Why Cryptocurrencies Are Highly Volatile

1.   Cryptos Considered Store of Value and Not Value Transfer Media

One barrier that stands on a way of cryptos’ growth is the opinion of millions worldwide that cryptos are just a store of value. People don’t see them as a currency but as assets that will be valuable in the future. As such, they don’t freely exchange them but rather hold them waiting for their values to skyrocket.

Most holders of BTC don’t use their coins for daily transactions but rather stack them waiting for prices to hike before they sell them. This creates a precarious scenario where events and news massively affect the price of BTC because of mass actions of panic. For instance, if there is news of a government planning to ban BTC in a given country, all those holding BTC in that country will try to sell which will flood the market and cause a drop in the price of BTC.

If BTC is to be considered a global currency, then people need to freely use it to pay for goods and services. Simply put, people need to use the coin in their daily transactions. How often and willing people are to use a currency for their transactions is the true sign of a global currency.

2.   Security Concerns

Although fiat currencies have security concerns of their own, they are insignificant comparing to the issues that cryptocurrencies face on a regular basis. Cryptocurrencies have more security loopholes than fiat currencies. In 2019 alone, BTC and other cryptos lost more than $4.4Billion to scams and other security breaches.

These losses are a big part of the volatility experienced in cryptocurrencies. The more significant are the losses in cryptos, the lower the confidence that people have in them.

Unless cryptocurrencies fix their systematic security vulnerabilities, they will always be subject to volatility. Any high profile scams or losses will always have a ripple effect and affect the price of a cryptocurrency.

3.   Uncertainty

The lack of certainty regarding the future of cryptocurrencies leaves them open to season fluctuations. Not a single person is sure of what the future holds for cryptocurrencies, which leaves many people with a lot of questions concerning adopting the cryptocurrencies.

As it currently stands, too many factors affect the price of BTC. Government regulations, market factors, security breaches, ‘HODLing among many other factors. The lack of proper measures in place to ensure that the effects of all the aforementioned factors are mitigated leaves a cloud of uncertainty hanging over cryptocurrencies like BTC.

4.   Fluctuating Demand

BTC’s demand is always bouncy. Therefore, there is always a fluctuation in its price. Since BTC’s supply is almost constant. Moreover, just like the real gold becomes harder to mine with time, bitcoin halving makes it harder to mine the digital gold as the reward will be two times smaller.

At the same time, huge fluctuations in the demand will always have a ripple effect on the price. This makes BTC a bad choice for a global currency. There is just too much uncertainty in its price for people to gladly accept and use BTC.

So, Will BTC Ever Stabilize?

Having seen why cryptos are so unstable, let’s discuss what does the future hold for BTC? Will Bitcoin ever stabilize?

As the leading cryptocurrency in the world, BTC is expected to be the first digital coin the price of which will stabilize. If BTC is to be considered a true global cryptocurrency, it has to overcome its volatility.  But how can it achieve this?

Ways BTC Can Reduce Volatility

Increase Demand For BTC

Since there can only be 21 million BTC in existence, the community should work towards increasing the demand and usage of BTC to a global scale. Once the demand is on a global scale and its usage is frequent and ‘normal’, the fluctuation in the price will be lower and BTC will be deemed stable.

Address Security Breaches

Since BTC is open-source software, the community has the collective responsibility of ensuring that the platform is safe for public use. Loopholes in the network should be reported and any individuals engaging in unscrupulous deals should be permanently banned from using BTC. Once the whole ecosystem becomes safe for the use of all, the confidence levels will go up and more people will adopt BTC.

Mass Education

Although most people generally have an idea of what cryptocurrencies are, very few of them have proper knowledge of how to use BTC instead of fiat currencies. If the global usage of BTC is to increase, there is a need for proper mass education and sensitization programs. These programs will see an increased uptake of BTC and other cryptocurrencies.


BTC has a long way to go. Bitcoin is far from the point of long-lasting stability.  Its volatility is too high for it to be used on a global scale. However, cryptocurrency is still a young technology that will show a massive potential once the stakeholders will start work towards making it stable.

PODCAST: Govs Get Their Priorities out in the Re-open

They got in line at Peach Tree Battle Barbershop at 7 a.m. For a lot of them, it was the first haircut they’d had in a month and a half. “I certainly don’t want to spread it to anyone,” customer Matt Maddox said, “so I’ve got a mask. But I’m not concerned.” Others, like Atlanta restaurant owner Hugh Acheson, understands that staying closed will hurt, but argues, “Now is not the time for fine dining.” Either way, their governor, Brian Kemp (R), is giving them a choice — which is more than a lot of Americans can say.The eyes of the whole country will certainly be on states like Georgia, who flipped the signs to “open” on businesses like salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, bowling alleys, and more for the first time this morning. But that’s not to say things are even remotely the same as before. Local officials can’t flip a switch and tell people to go back to normal. But what they can do is allow Americans to make those decisions themselves based on how the churches, stores, and restaurants respond. As Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) said earlier this week, “It’s one thing for government to say, ‘Okay, it’s safe to go out. [But] if people don’t believe it’s safe, they’re not going to go.”

As Scott Rasmussen and I talked on “Washington Watch” Thursday, “Everybody has a role to play in governing society.” He’s in New York City, where the virus is still a major concern. But, he said, “When they [do] open up restaurants in our city here, some people will be excited and run right out the door. But many are going to hold back, and they’re going to wait for the restaurant owners to demonstrate that it’s safe. Maybe the tables aren’t quite as close together as they used to be, or maybe some other steps have been taken. And by the way, those restaurant owners are also going to have to convince their employees that it’s safe to come back to work… This is going to be a process, where we collectively will learn how to behave in this new environment.”

After 40 days in isolation, people are going to take the threat seriously. They’re going to be cautious. But, as Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) pointed out, the Founders’ model was “Let’s trust the people.” Of course, that freedom requires accountability. But there’s a way to do this that ensures people — and the economy — are protected. “It’s not a binary choice, that’s for sure.” That’s why the best approach is the one the president has taken. He’s given governors the tools, the resources, suggested benchmarks, but in the end, he’s made it clear to the states: You know what’s best for your community.

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), a medical doctor in his own right, has been up close and personal with the virus. He’s talked to people who will be scarred for life after their work with patients in the ICU. And he still believes there is a “responsible and safe way to start opening certain parts of the country.” What does that look like? “Well,” he said, “What we need is more testing availability — and probably more Personal Protective Equipment as well… And then, we need a community [commitment] to responsibility.”

One way to make sure we’re doing this right, Dr. Marshall suggests, is to start partnering with the people who know best. “I’ve been challenging the health care folks in each community to reach out to their own businesses around town. There [are] infectious disease nurses at hospitals, at county health clinics, [who] are some sharp, sharp people. We need to get them involved out in the private sector. [They could be] talking to the local schools and to the local businesses. What does [this] look like going forward?” As he agreed, “This will not be solved at the federal level. It’s going to be solved at the local community level now.”

At the end of the day, FRC’s Ken Blackwell said, “The American people are smart people. We don’t hide in the midst of a crisis. We push back intelligently against it.” This is not, he reminded listeners, “an either-or.” “It’s not a public health strategy versus an economic strategy…” We understand all sides and the importance of a measured, consistent approach. “But at the end of the day, it’s no accident why we are the most prosperous and the most free democratic constitutional republic in the history of the world. It’s because we cherish liberty, and we trust people.” And now, more than ever, our leaders need to do both.

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


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

$66 Mil, Federal Agents, National Guard Wasted on 2,500-Bed Camp That Averaged 30 Immigrants

Against the advice of frontline agents, the federal government opened a temporary immigration detention facility that was barely used and cost a ghastly $66 million to operate for just five months. During that time the tent encampment situated in a rural west Texas community near the Mexican border housed an average of just 30 detainees, according to a scathing federal audit that blasts the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the waste. Though it has a 2,500-person capacity, the facility never held more than 66 illegal aliens on any given day, investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found.

Not only did Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pay a private contractor tens of millions of dollars in facility costs, it spent “about $5.3 million for food services—the preparation and delivery of meals and snacks—it did not need,” the congressional probe reveals. In an enraging example, investigators write that, during the first three months, the government paid for about 675,000 meals despite ordering only 13,428 because there were not enough detainees. The U.S. also “leveraged significant federal personnel resources” that added up to an additional $6.7 million. This includes 75 unarmed guards to monitor the camp around the clock and officers from DHS agencies such as CBP, the Border Patrol (BP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as soldiers from the National Guard. Investigators did the math and figured that each illegal immigrant detainee that stayed at the camp was guarded by four soldiers, three security guards and at least one CBP agent. The resources “could have been allocated to other missions,” the GAO writes in its report.

Here is a breakdown of the federal officers wasted on this seldom-used immigrant detention camp in addition to the separately paid contract security guards. Twenty-one CBP agents responsible for facility operations, such as detainee intake, welfare checks and transportation, among other things. Eleven BP agents from the El Paso sector, one of the nation’s busiest, 10 CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations and five ICE agents to help coordinate on decisions made about individuals at the facility. On top of all that, 116 Texas National Guard soldiers were deployed to the encampment for logistical support such as meal distribution and monitoring security cameras, among other duties.

The facility in the El Paso County town of Tornillo was once used to detain illegal immigrant minors and was briefly reopened for single adults around the beginning of August 2019. It finally closed at the start of 2020, but not without fleecing American taxpayers. It’s not like the government didn’t have opportunities to shut it down earlier. In fact, initially the camp was only supposed to open for three months at a cost of $47 million and could have been closed based on the numbers—less than 1% of capacity. Instead, the feds extended the deal for two months at a cost of $19 million. “Border Patrol officials in the El Paso sector told us that the sector recommended to Border Patrol headquarters that the facility be closed and resources reallocated elsewhere for other CBP missions, due to the consistently low numbers of individuals held at the facility and the personnel resource requirements to operate the facility,” the GAO report states.

But, as we regularly see in government, there is often little consensus—or cooperation—among agencies, even when they exist under the same umbrella. In this case the DHS, the gargantuan agency created after 9/11 to prevent another terrorist attack. Congressional investigators write that CBP pushed to keep the Tornillo camp open though it was hardly used. The 60,000-employee agency is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade and apparently it pulled more weight than the frontline BP agents. “In contrast, CBP headquarters officials told us, despite the consistently low numbers of detainees held in the Tornillo facility, they decided to continue operations for the 2,500-person facility because they were operating in an environment with considerable uncertainty related to migrant flow and wanted to prepare for the possibility of increased apprehensions,” the report says.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Recovery Panel Suggests Path for ‘Expeditious’ Return to Work

States should “expeditiously” allow Americans to go back to work in certain areas during the COVID-19 pandemic while proceeding cautiously with targeted mitigation, caring for the vulnerable, and making realistic boosts in testing and contact tracing, The Heritage Foundation’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission recommends.

The 17-member commission released a host of recommendations Monday designed to guide the private sector and governments at every level in reopening the coronavirus-battered economy.

The panel chaired by Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James also calls for the federal government to relax regulations to speed up innovation in health care.

The 17-page report, with 47 specific recommendations, emphasizes the need for President Donald Trump, Congress, and state and local leaders to exercise bipartisanship to restore public trust.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

The recommendations, approved after the group’s second meeting Monday, cover the first two phases of its five-phase plan for reopening America. These two phases are 1) “Return to a more normal level of business activity at the regional level based on scientific data” and 2) “Slow the spread of the coronavirus while expanding testing, reporting, and contact tracing.”

Still to come are the commission’s recommendations for three more phases: 3) “Continue to build the science,” 4) “Establish U.S. leadership in leading the free world in economic recovery,” and 5) “Reduce future risks of pandemics.”

“These initial recommendations for recovery provide governments at every level and the American people with a framework to slow the spread of the virus and to prudently begin getting back to work and to some sense of normal,” James said in a prepared statement.

“The commission is moving quickly to make sure our five-phase plan will save both lives and livelihoods,” she said. “I look forward to bringing these ideas to President Trump’s Great American Economic Revival effort and to the American people.”

The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission assembled by Heritage includes experts with experience in government, public health, disaster response and relief, academia and education, business, and religion.

Its suggestions come just days after the Trump administration released a three-phase approach for restarting the nation that will be decided on a state-by-state basis.

“Businesses in counties with low incidence should be allowed to reopen,” the report says, adding:

In some cases, it may be necessary to impose some limitations. For example, restaurants might have to limit the number of patrons they seat at any given time, and staff might be required to wear masks and gloves; grocers may continue  to take steps to ensure that commonly touched items are kept clean. Healthy, low-risk workers should be allowed to return to their jobs immediately, and vulnerable populations (the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions) should remain at home.

The report says states should continue to take steps to protect those at special risk for contracting the disease, such as the elderly, those in nursing homes, and those with preexisting conditions.

Individuals who develop coronavirus symptoms “should immediately notify their employer, remove themselves from the workplace, and self-isolate,” the report states.

The recommendations call for “repeat testing” in 48 hours if a symptomatic person tests negative. The result would determine whether a person returns to work or follows the latest mitigation guidance.

“Governors should also focus on the remaining populations unable to return to work, including individuals who do not feel comfortable returning to work but otherwise can be offered an antibody and an antigen test and then offered the opportunity to return to work,” the report says.

The commission recommends that states gather better data through targeted testing and contact tracing, but specifies that governors should “reject calls for complete testing of every American prior to loosening social distancing.”

States instead should “embrace targeted testing,” the commission says, adding: “We must not keep the economy shut down until universal testing is available.”

The panel also calls for testing asymptomatic Americans and “random-sample” testing” at the state and county levels to “help to determine the prevalence of the virus.”

States should develop contact tracing with privacy protections, the commission recommends. Contact tracing means determining who someone diagnosed with COVID-19 came in contact with in recent days.

“As very large numbers of those who are infected are asymptomatic, they do not know they have the virus and they pose a major threat to older Americans, particularly those that have certain underlying health conditions, such as cardiac and respiratory problems, or who suffer from diabetes and obesity, the report says.

The commission calls for containing virus infection hot spots and those areas where evidence suggests a hot spot is likely to develop, through “targeted mitigation measures.” The panel says public officials “should consider taking more aggressive steps to combat the contagion in these areas.”

On the state level, the commission also recommends that:

  •  Governors take the lead on “pro-business reforms to jump-start the economy and encourage consumer confidence.”
  • States help families return to work by making existing K-12 funding “student-centered and portable.”
  • States remove occupational licensing requirements and reduce regulatory burdens on essential services.

The commission suggests that local public health officials and governments at the county and municipal levels work to protect vulnerable populations, limit the spread of the virus, and ensure the health care system responds effectively. It says local officials should leverage “unique relationships” with community leaders, businesses, nonprofits, and the faith community to address local needs.

At the federal level, the commission calls for Trump to “direct federal agencies to provide additional access to information on the spread of the novel coronavirus, including [computer] modeling and data.”

The commission suggests the president should direct agencies not to enforce a range of regulations against small businesses, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“The commission recommends that the president call for a review of all regulations that inhibit economic growth and extend the two-for-one and centralized review requirements to the independent regulatory commissions and agencies,” the report states.

The Trump administration early on implemented a policy of rescinding two government regulations for every new one imposed.

The Department of Health and Human Services should do more to increase innovation in medicine, the commission says. Other relevant agencies should make permanent all “interim guidance and interim final rules streamlining crisis response,” it adds.

The commission says the administration should reduce tariffs to reinvigorate supply chains:

Unsurprisingly, global trade will decrease because of the coronavirus. The World Trade Organization has forecasted global trade to fall between 13% and 32% in 2020. The removal of U.S. tariffs would benefit the economy not only in the long term but would also help speed up recovery.

The commission’s report makes numerous recommendations to Congress, focused on containing the virus and on targeted and temporary economic relief that avoids bailouts. These suggested congressional actions include:

  • Provide funding to facilitate access to testing in coordination with the president.
  • Provide the executive branch the flexibility to suspend costly regulations without an extensive process.
  • Increase the charitable deduction cap for taxes.
  • Make authorized funding “portable” for children from low-income families and children with special needs so that the money could be used to pay for in-home tutors and behavioral therapies, among other uses.
  • Protect civil liberties while creating new programs related to testing, contact tracing, or any other public health measure.

Of civil liberties, the report says:

The erosion of civil liberties in the name of security is never temporary, as we have seen post–September 11. America must not devolve into a surveillance state; such power is always susceptible to abuse and is a distinct danger inherent in the deployment of contact-tracing technologies. Congress should both investigate privacy issues regarding utilization of IT [information technology] solutions and provide incentives for the development and deployment of those technologies consistent with American values and law.

The commission suggested that the private sector and civil society do more to inform and educate young people and minorities about COVID-19.

Faith-based groups and nongovernmental organizations should increase their focus on mental health, the commission says:

Community organizations are already noting mental health challenges for people experiencing social isolation and stress. Communities need programs designed to address mental health problems specifically related to the isolation of pandemic.

For the health care sector, the commission calls for ensuring that vulnerable populations don’t wind up at the bottom of the triage process.

“The elderly, medically fragile, and persons with significant disabilities should always be treated with dignity and a recognition of their inherent and equal worth as a human being, the report states.

When businesses open, it says, they should have a plan for doing so safely and responsibly:

Businesses have learned much about the value of work from home arrangements, and should continue to encourage and facilitate ‘work from home’ wherever possible. Where this is challenging, businesses should encourage and facilitate appropriate public health measures in the workplace, including as appropriate shift-work strategies and minimizing mass gatherings wherever possible.


Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.


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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Defending Trump’s “Opening Up America Again”

Perhaps I am a bit edgy due to corona virus house arrest. Just kidding. However, this guy’s email really annoyed me.

We’re in lock down and people are hurting wondering how they will pay their bills. All this was not happening 4 years ago. Over the last 4 years we have continued to see our freedoms erode. Yet, some keep hoping Trump will be our savior. What has he done over the last 4 years? All I’ve seen was more decay.”

Here is my response:

Where do you think we would be had Hillary won? Trump has fought for our freedoms like no Republican since Reagan. He has Republicans, Democrats, never Trump conservatives and 99% of the media fighting against his America first agenda. I give the guy credit.”

Folks, I refuse to dump on the only guy with the guts to fight for us. Trump has accomplished an extraordinary long list of unprecedented achievements for We the People.

Corona virus placed Trump between a rock and a hard place. Upon learning about the corona virus, Trump immediately implemented a travel ban from China. Democrats and fake news media accused Trump of overreacting and racism.

Democrat and conservative media began reporting corona virus as the worst to hit the planet and we’re all gonna die. I stopped watching Tucker Carlson on Fox News because every evening his reporting about the virus became scarier and scarier. Media scared the crap out of Americans on both sides of the political aisle.

Some folks say Trump should not have gone along with Dr Anthony Fauci and other experts’ proven-false prediction of 2 million deaths. Trump could not challenge the “experts”. With nationwide fear so high, members of his base would have joined fake news media and Democrats in crucifying him. Therefore, I do not think Trump screwed up by appearing to listen to Dr Fauci. Trump did what he had to do. He did not willingly risk collapsing the remarkable economy he built via deregulation.

With the exception of Rush Limbaugh, pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle were afraid to oppose the shutdown. Everyone surrendered to the narrative, “We can not sacrifice lives for money.” Was Trump suppose to stand out there all alone, appearing to endanger lives by refusing to support the shutdown? Fake news media would have eaten him alive with many of his supporters joining them.

Trump is a master deal maker with excellent instincts. He had to go along with the program until more Americans realized that the predictions of catastrophic high deaths was fake news. People realize that the so-called corona virus crisis is Democrats’ dream weapon to unconstitutionally control every aspect of our lives.

I am hearing tons of heartbreaking horror stories about the shutdown destroying lives. Cruelly, Democrats and fake news media are lovin’ it. They plan to blame Trump for the economic suffering to stop his reelection. In realty, their insidious fear-mongering pushed America into this self-induced mess.

A 106 year old woman recovered from corona. Ninety-eight percent of people who catch corona virus recover. Rush Limbaugh pointed out that in 2018, the normal flu season caused 810,000 to be hospitalized and 30 to 60,000 died. Hospitals were not overrun and we did not shutdown the country. We are nowhere near such numbers with corona virus.

Still, a lot of Americans remain petrified of corona and oppose Trump reopening America. At the same time, many Americans are fed up with governors’ draconian edicts.

The swiftly growing nationwide rebellion against the shutdown gave Trump ammo to be the adult in the room. Despite the fears of many, Trump announced “Opening Up America Again” beginning May 1st. Trump said some states will reopen before May 1st. Governors are empowered to tailor the reopening of their state. It is up to residents of each state to aggressively protest to rein in their power-obsessed governor.

Speaking of wacko power-obsessed governors, California Gov Gavin Newsom implemented an extreme lock-down for residents while tent city vagrants and illegals roam free. Newsom’s boot on the neck of residents contributed to creating mile long lines of cars to get to Second Harvest Food Bank. Meanwhile, Newsom proudly announced he will give $125 million in corona relief checks to illegal aliens.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.” How on earth did Gavin Newsom get elected? Californians should start saying no to Newsom’s insanity.

After Trump announced his plan to reopen America, CNN immediately began cranking up more corona virus fear to undermine reopening America. We all know that upon the first death after the reopen, Democrats and fake news media will call Trump a murderer, guilty of crimes against humanity. They’ll say ego-driven Trump selfishly sacrificed lives to save his economy. They will even find a way to absurdly throw racism into the mix.

Who in the political universe would be able to withstand such attacks other than our Superman president, Donald J. Trump? Trump’s leadership, guts and commitment to the American people will make him victorious over their evil smears.

I’m on the Trump Train, folks, riding it all the way through November 2020 and beyond.

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