Before the Income Tax, our Nation was Supported by Tariffs

The prohibiting duties we lay on all articles of foreign manufacture which prudence indeed requires us to establish at home, with the patriotic determination of every good citizen to use no foreign article which can be made within ourselves, without regard to difference of price, secures us against a relapse into foreign dependency. Thomas Jefferson, in an 1815 letter to John-Baptiste Say, a French economist

A free people … should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent on others for essentials, particularly military supplies.  President George Washington

Under free trade, the trader is the master and the producer the slave. Protection is but the law of nature, the law of self-preservation, of self-development, of securing the highest and best destiny of the race of man. Free trade destroys the dignity and independence of American labor… It will take away from the people of this country who work for a living— and the majority of them live by the sweat of their faces— it will take from them heart and home and hope. It will be self-destruction. President William McKinley


I wish we still had tariffs on all imports.  Why?  Because tariffs are what kept America’s manufacturing alive, our people with decent jobs, our ability to purchase quality goods produced by American owned companies, and because those tariffs once supported the entire cost of running our country. For 126 years, until 1913, there was no federal income tax and we kept all of the monies we earned.  Today’s communist progressive taxation is a far cry from what our founders envisioned for America’s citizens.

Following World War II, America began switching from a policy of protection, to a policy of “free trade,” which used international trade deals as a means of diplomacy and alliance-building, slowly eroding and ultimately destroying America’s status as the world’s dominant manufacturing power.

The idea that America’s economic tradition has been economic liberty, laissez faire, and wide-open cowboy capitalism, which would naturally include free trade… is simply not real history. The reality is that all four presidents on Mount Rushmore were protectionists. Protectionism was, in fact, the real American way.

Trump’s populist pro-tariff advisors Bannon and Navarro opposed the globalists in Trump’s administration, including economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, then Trump’s national security adviser.

Gary Cohn resigned when the President called for broad import tariffs on steel and aluminum, anathema to establishment free-trade Democrats and Republicans.  McMaster was fired and replaced by former UN Ambassador, John Bolton.

The 1913 Income Tax

This tax dominates the revenue scheme of the federal government today.  It is totally unconstitutional.  Prior to ratification of the 16th Amendment (income tax) in February 1913, the federal government managed its few constitutional responsibilities without an income tax, except during the Civil War period. During peacetime, it did so largely or even entirely on import taxes called “tariffs.”

Congress ran the fed government on tariffs alone because fed responsibilities did not include welfare programs, agricultural subsidies, Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid.  Before the Northern War of Aggression, the need for tariff revenue to finance the federal government generally kept the tariffs at reasonable levels. During wartime throughout early American history, the Founding Fathers were able to raise additional revenue employing a different method of direct taxation authorized by the U.S. Constitution prior to the 16th Amendment. These alternative taxing methods gave the young American nation embarrassing peacetime budget surpluses that several times came close to paying off the national debt.

President Andrew Jackson boasted in his veto of the Maysville Road Bill in 1830 that God had blessed the nation with no taxes (except tariffs on imports) and no national debt.  “Old Hickory” presided over a nation where Congress had abolished all federal internal taxes, and no citizen saw a tax collector of the United States unless that citizen was in the business of importing foreign goods.  (And now, the $20-dollar bill sporting the visage of Tennessee’s beloved President Andrew Jackson will be replaced with the picture of abolitionist, Harriet Tubman.)

While American consumers were occasionally manipulated by outrageously high protective tariffs, inside the United States a massive free market emerged over which the U.S. government had almost no influence.

By way of contrast, the advent of the income tax prompted some congressmen to note that this tax was designed not principally for revenue, the U.S. government had always had plenty of money from tariffs, but to manipulate the American people and their choices in the market.

This has been the legacy of the income tax. While the income tax has produced the type of revenue that has made a massive transfer of wealth from the productive to the unproductive, the incentives, through thousands of deductions and tax credits have manipulated the American people into choices that they wouldn’t have otherwise made in a free market. These manipulations, whether in favor of “green energy” research, “cash for clunker” automobile purchases, or tobacco crop subsidies, have been chosen according to the prevailing virtue in Washington.

Prior to 1913, Americans were responsible for themselves and independent enough to know that their future depended not on the government, but solely on themselves.

Selling Out American Manufacturing

In 1992, ads in local newspapers encouraged businesses to transfer their manufacturing to Honduras, El Salvador, the Caribbean Basin International Development Zone, of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.  These were International Free Trade Zones and Port Industrial Free Zones. This included Mexico.

Instead of paying living wages in the United States, corporations were urged to move to countries where wages were $.33 to $.56 per hour.  In 1991, a U.S. government agency actually directed apparel firms in the Southeast to be approached and sold on the idea of going offshore where the labor was cheaper.  There is a Puerto Rican and Asian connection as well.  Hundreds of companies moved their plants out of our country, and this was 27 years ago.

I remember a friend of mine who worked for Levi Strauss jeans at a terrific middle-class salary being told to train the Mexican workers how to do their jobs knowing the company was moving manufacturing to Mexico.  The Mexicans were given free living accommodations in our country, they were free from our income taxes, and they took over the jobs our American citizens had for a lot less money and manufacturing was ultimately moved to Mexico.

Check out the 1992 article from the Pennsylvania Crier.  It will shock you.  Then go to the original Pennsylvania Crier home page and click on “Downloads.”  The information in this website documents history with far more than anything you’ll find in today’s school books.  It is invaluable!

Our country’s manufacturing was purposely sold to third world countries to the detriment of our own people.  When NAFTA was first promoted, the calls to our Congressional reps were ten to one against it, but our globalist enemies sold us out and voted for it.

Unfortunately, Trump’s Trade Representative, CFR member Robert Lighthizer has sold us out and fooled our President into thinking the USMCA is a better deal than NAFTA.  It is not! And Trump does not have conservative advisers who will read Lighthizer’s USMCA and tell him the truth.  Numerous articles have been written regarding the contents and the loss of our sovereignty.  Publius Huldah wrote that it not only violates our U.S. Constitution, but it also sets up global government.  And my friend, J.W. Bryan, has written numerous articles exposing the dangers within the USMCA.

Trump’s Tariffs on Chinese Imports

Last September 2018, President Trump announced tariffs on “roughly $200 billion of imports from China.” These tariffs are on top of the ones imposed during the summer on $50 billion of products from that country.

Mr. Trump has consistently believed that Beijing needed America far more than America needed China, largely because China is the country running large trade surpluses. In 2017, China’s merchandise trade surplus against the United States hit a record $375.6 billion. As Trump knows, trade-surplus countries get mauled in “trade wars.” Therefore, Beijing, not Washington, is the party that needs to talk to reduce tension.

After extensive trade talks with China ended without an agreement on May 10, 2019, President Trump raised the tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. China retaliated three days later, announcing new tariffs on $60 billion of American exports.

Asia expert, Gordon Chang is urging the president to remain strong on tariffs, telling Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Opens a New Window. the only way to prevent Chinese theft and trade imbalance is for the U.S. to raise tariffs Opens a New Window. and implement continued pressure on the Chinese.  Chang told Dobbs, “We have seen so many trade negotiations between previous presidents and the Chinese. They have all failed. The Chinese have violated every single agreement. This is really important for us. This is where we either stand or we fail, and the only thing that’s going to get us there is President Trump.”

Of course, there are free-trade Republicans like Senator Ted Cruz who claim these actions will hurt the farmers and people of Texas.  Cruz previously supported giving fast track authority on trade to President Obama.  But our President already said the government would be subsidizing the farmers’ losses during this “fair” trade battle with China.

The Mexican Border and Trade

Personally, I’d like to see the border closed completely.  The trade trucks can stand in line at the border and be thoroughly inspected to allow them into the states.  But the border should be closed.  All border ports of entry should also be closed.  We are being flooded with illegal immigrants pleading asylum, being loosed in America and never showing up for their court appearances.  If anyone believes there are only 12 to 30 million illegals in this country, they are not paying attention.  The count is over 60 million or more and growing daily.

We do not have enough border patrol agents, ICE agents, fences or walls built as high as the Vatican, or congressional laws to protect American citizens from the influx and costs of these lawbreakers.  There are many Islamist terrorists amongst them who daily illegally cross into America.

President Trump threatened tariffs on Mexico being raised every single month until something was done by Mexico to stop them.  According to the State Department, Mexico agreed to dispatch 6,000 national guardsmen at the border with Guatemala to block migrants from reaching the United States and expand a Trump administration program that holds thousands of asylum-seekers in Mexico during U.S. immigration processing.  Over 90 percent of those released into America never appear in court and are free to remain in America.

If Mexico’s actions “do not have the expected results,” additional measures could be taken within 90 days, and the two countries will continue to discuss add-on steps during that period.  This includes tariffs on Mexican goods coming into our country increasing every month until this influx of illegal aliens is quelled.  Link  Without our President and without these tariff threats, there would have been no deal.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson put more than 100,000 National Guard troops on the Mexican border.  The military buildup followed an early-morning raid at the garrison town of Columbus, New Mexico. Ten soldiers and eight civilians were killed when the Mexican revolutionary leader General Francisco “Pancho” Villa attacked with almost 500 men.

It’s time for America to put thousands upon thousands of National Guard troops on our border again, and armed with equipment to prevent the surge of illegals from entering our country.  And yes, there is new military equipment that repels invaders called the Active Denial Systems Non-Lethal Weapon and turns them back without hurting them.  This needs to be manned and used on the entire southern border.

Conclusion

Pat Buchanan was absolutely on target when he stated, “Once a nation has put its foot onto the slippery slope of global free trade, the process is inexorable, the end inevitable: death of the nation-state.”

Tariffs are the answer.  The only way our nation can regain control of trade that benefits American citizens is through tariffs.  Neither China nor Mexico will cave to our demands unless they suffer the consequences of American tariffs.

If we subsidize our farmers and those who lose during this battle, a battle that we continue to fight over a period of five years or more, manufacturing would again start up in America, first with small businesses, and then it would spread.  Our nation would again be one of productivity, surplus, and financial growth for her citizens.

To right the wrongs can be painful for a short time, but in the long run will revive and restore our country.

PODCAST: Immigration Leads U.S. Woes! New York — Dismember Late-Term Babies But Don’t Declaw a Cat! Taxpayers get stuck with a $1.5 trillion loan default tab?

GUESTS:

Maria Espinoza and her family immigrated to the US from Mexico in the 1950’s. Today, Maria is a successful businesswoman, and heads up a national initiative, which she founded with her husband, . “The Remembrance Project”, Maria has been a guest on dozens radio and internet broadcasts, including the Laura Ingraham Show, Lars Larson Radio Show, and many more. She has been often featured in blogs across the country where immigration is the topic, including Breitbart. Maria is widely quoted for her unwavering position that it is the American family that deserves protection from the tidal wave of illegal alien crime.

TOPIC…Americans Say Government, Immigration Are Lead U.S. Woes

Dr. Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His forthcoming book is…Jezebel’s War With America .. He is also the author of…Donald Trump Is Not My Savior: An Evangelical Leader Speaks His Mind About the Man He Supports As President.

TOPIC…New York: Dismember the Late-Term Babies But Do Not Declaw the Cats.

Richard Vedder, Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and is Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus at Ohio University and author of the new Independent Institute book, “Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America. His hundreds of articles and reviews have appeared in numerous scholarly journals as well as in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, National Review, CNN.com, Washington Times, and Investor’s Business Daily. And, he has been interviewed on Fox News Channel, ABC, NBC, Fox Business Network, CNN, PBS, C-SPAN, Fox Nation, NPR, and many other TV and radio networks and programs.

TOPIC…Taxpayers shouldn’t get stuck with a $1.5 trillion loan default tab

Trump Will Get Deals With Both China And Mexico

Most of the media won’t get it, probably even when it happens, but all of the signals are pointing to President Trump getting deals with both China and Mexico — and they will be better deals than what the United States has or has had.

Mexico is actually the easier nut to crack here. The government is corrupt, weak and totally reliant on the United States for both its legal economy and its black market economy. A full-out trade-war with the U.S. would of course cause some harm to the U.S., but would be catastrophic for Mexico. And more importantly, for Mexico’s government.

If the current political leadership wants to stay in power, and if future political leadership wants to attain power, they need a decent relationship with the U.S. And given the millions of Mexicans sending billions of dollars back to Mexico in remittances, running on an anti-American plank is not likely to be popular or successful — at least for long.

The tariffs on all Mexican imports began at 5 percent and rise by 5 percentage points each month before reaching 25 percent in October — unless Mexico takes serious steps to stop the flow of Central American migrants now swamping the southern American border. These 25 percent tariffs would crush the Mexican economy, and possibly have the perverse effect of strengthening the deadly cartels even more.

Mexico’s leadership is fully attuned to this dynamic, and that is why Mexican leaders are moving quickly to respond to Trump’s punitive tariffs launched Friday, with escalations coming, by agreeing to meet in Washington today.

President Trump tweeted Sunday: “Mexico is sending a big delegation to talk about the Border. Problem is, they’ve been ‘talking’ for 25 years. We want action, not talk.”

They’ve been “talking” and American leaders have been “talking” and everyone was fine with the arrangement as long as nothing was ever done. It’s obvious this President expects something to be done or those tariffs will just keep increasing.

So Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez will arrive in Washington today (Monday) to meet with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. On Wednesday, delegations led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mexico Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard will meet in Washington.

That was fast.

China is a tougher nut, but some of the same dynamics are in place as with Mexico.

As with Mexico, China is far more reliant on the U.S. than the U.S. is on China. Their economy is built on selling to the giant and prosperous U.S. consumer market. If that is cut off or diminished through tariffs, their much smaller secondary markets leave them in an economic tailspin, particularly considering that they are facing other economic headwinds, such as an aging and soon declining population, a fluctuating currency and increased competition from India (an ally that Trump should look to for a friendlier trade deal.)

One of the ways the Chinese Communist Party has maintained its iron fist of control is by not being communist, or socialist, but by freeing up its markets and allowing a form of capitalism to operate. That has created huge wealth gains, a growing economy and an emerging middle class.

Chinese who lived in generational poverty seeing the opportunity for a better life for themselves and their children have been willing to live with the totalitarianism of the Communist Party. But they may be much less willing to put up with the iron rule if the economy tanks.

One of the last things the Chinese government wants as it pursues its global ambitions is unrest at home. A trade war with the U.S. would risk that, and could begin to threaten their hold on power.

But the Chinese’ global ambitions based on their historic view of themselves as the Middle Kingdom — the center of the world — also drive them to be much more intransigent negotiators than the Mexicans. And patient negotiators as they take the long view. Newt Gingrich does a terrific job spelling this out in writing and on his podcast.

These are China’s competing interests in the negotiations: showing strength at home and abroad while actually being strong at home and abroad.

In the end though, their Middle Kingdom aspirations and desire for long-term control will mean that a new trade agreement is the lesser bitter pill to swallow. The Chinese are ultimately very pragmatic, and would likely view a new trade deal — even one that was not tilted in their favor — to be worth the trade-off for their ultimate vision.

That is why we’ve seen China moderating its original harsh rhetoric to Trump pulling out of negotiations after the Chinese deleted most of what they had agreed to. They had pulled this trick on previous administrations, counting on American president’s willingness to take a fake victory, if you will, and they were right.

However, they miscalculated with Trump. He’s just not a typical politician in so many ways.

So Beijing released a government policy paper on trade issues Sunday which as usual blamed the U.S. for the negotiations breakdown, but also turned much more conciliatory. They’ve realized Trump won’t come back to the table without real movement and so throughout the paper and at the briefing at which it was released, the Chinese government said repeatedly that they are willing to return to negotiations.

“We’re willing to adopt a cooperative approach to find a solution,” Vice Commerce Secretary Wang Shouwen said.

No talks are scheduled, but U.S. and Chinese trade officials will be at meetings of the Group of 20 major economies this weekend in Japan. A possible meeting between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China at the G-20 summit is seen as an opportunity to re-start trade talks. Don’t be surprised if that happens.

China “is expressing its wish to work together,” said Zhang Yansheng, a researcher at the state-backed think tank China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Wall Street Journal.

China will come back to the table that Mexico is already at. And Trump and Americans will ultimately get a better trade deal with China and better security on our southern border with Mexico — unless China holds out until November 2020 and we elect a new president that falls back to the status quo of China picking our pockets and stealing our tech.

EDITORS NOTE: This Revolutionary Act column is republished with permission.

Anti-Trump Traitors Rip Blindfold Off Lady Justice

What anti-American zealots in government and media are doing to president Trump is unprecedented and should scare the heck out of every American. They have created a parallel universe void of truth and reality. In the midst of Trump actually making America great again, millions of Americans believe Trump is a Russian agent, mentally ill and leading America to destruction.

Trump brought back jobs that Obama decreed were gone forever. Black, Hispanic and female unemployment are at historic lows. Trump pulled us out of bad deals with foreign governments. Thanks to Trump eliminating absurd regulations and oppressive taxes, businesses are coming home to America building factories. The average American wage is $27 per hour. Americans are enjoying an economic boom. All this incredible good news is for the most part being hidden from Americans.

Instead, Democrats, fake news media, Hollywood and social media flood the airwaves with their lie that Trump is horrible for America. They claim he obstructed justice in the Mueller investigation. Hogwash! The truth is the Mueller so-called investigation was really an illegal witch-hunt, a silent coup undermining Trump’s presidency; to reverse the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller’s investigation was based solely on the Steele Dossier, a bogus document written in 2016 paid for by Hillary Clinton. Hillary’s despicable fake document claimed Trump paid prostitutes to urinate on a hotel bed slept in by Obama. Mueller and the 19 Hillary lawyers he hired knew the document was filled with lies. And yet, they used it to illegally obtain warrants to harass the Trump Administration for 3 years. Trump knew the Mueller investigation was a scam to destroy his presidency. Still, Trump did not exercise his authority to fire Mueller. Trump turned over a million documents to Mueller’s evil minions. Still, fake news media is helping Democrats to sell their obvious lie that Trump is engaged in a cover up.

Trump pushed back against his treasonous conspirators by publicly calling them out on their lies and behind-the-scenes illegal dirty tricks. This enraged them. Republicans usually allow Democrats and fake news media to spread lies about Republicans and policies beneficial for We the people. Trump is a different breed of Republican, one who stands up for himself. This has caused anti-American zealots (Democrats, fake news media, Hollywood and deep state Republicans) to declare Trump insane.

Think about this folks. For over 3 years, Democrats, fake news media and deep state Republicans launched an illegal silent coup to reverse the 2016 presidential election. Every time Trump told the American people the truth about what his treasonous conspirators were doing, they launched a national narrative that Trump is insane and attempting to obstruct justice.

Displaying off the chain arrogance and chutzpah, anti-American zealots are trying to criminalize Trump defending himself. They expect Trump to lay back and not respond to them spreading lies 24/7 about him and his policies.

Democrats, fake news media and deep state Republicans are, in essence, saying screw the law, screw the truth, screw equal justice and screw the American people. They are fanatically intent on removing Trump from office by any means necessary. This threatens justice for every American.

Anti-American zealots control 90% of the media, Hollywood and educational institutions. Folks, if anti-American zealots can get away with hiding the remarkable job Trump is doing for America, falsely branding him a Russian agent and a lunatic, think what they can do to any and every conservative, Christian and Republican. Their power is extremely scary and totally unacceptable.

I cannot explain why, but suddenly the image of Lady Justice wearing a blindfold struck a powerful cord with me. Knowing why Lady Justice wears a blindfold, I asked my wife Mary if she knew. Mary said yes.

Lady Justice wears a blindfold because friends should not be treated differently than strangers; the rich should not be treated better than the poor. In other words, Justice should be distributed equally to all Americans.

Democrats, fake news media and deep state Republicans have ripped the blindfold off of Lady Justice. They allow Democrats and deep state anti-Trump operatives to break laws at will, while inventing bogus crimes to attack Trump.

Disturbingly, Trump haters in government and media can sell the American people lies about Trump and his excellent job performance. Incredibly, they have created a parallel universe void of truth and reality.

AG William Barr absolutely must uncover these treasonous rats in our government and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. If Barr does not follow through, the blindfold of Lady Justice in America will be gone forever.

Everything You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency

By MrBTC.org

cryptocurrency acts as a medium of exchange which uses cryptography to secure your financial transactions, this digital currency is supported by a trust less peer-to-peer network or system called the block chain which allows you to send and receive money from others without the need of third party services such as banks and so. A Blockchain which is a continuous growing list of records also called as blocks, validates each and every cryptocurrency coin.

BlockChain Technology

Cryptocurrency from the last ten years has made blockchain the most buzzing word or it is a record keeping technology behind cryptocurrencies. Block chain is actually defined as “a distributed, decentralized, public ledger.” which is not so complex as it defines, In real the words block and chain mean the digital information called block is stored in a public database as a chain which are linked using cryptography.

Satoshi Nakamoto has invented Block chain to serve as the public transaction ledger for the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin. This has solved the double spending problem without the need or influence of any third party or central server.

Blockchain uses public key cryptography and private key as method to secure this chain process, a public key is a long string of numbers called as address on block chain and private key is like a password which gives access to the digital assets of their owners. This makes the data stored in block chain to be incorruptible.

Applications of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are exchanged over the Internet or used primarily outside banking and governmental institutions. Cryptocurrency is now used as currency exchange in business which allows the customers to trade these digital currencies to other assets, and mostly in the online gambling industry. Cryptocurrency plays a vital role in the near future. Usage of Bitcoin is growing rapidly faster and is now being used in 96 countries, with 12,000 transactions per hour. Bitcoin is being accepted as a form of payment both online and offline by a lot of merchants, from scale retailers to small local shops. The cryptocurrency coins can also be used to pay a college degree too.

Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrency

Crypto currencies are considered by the economists as a short-lived fad or speculative bubble  because the prices of these virtual currency are based on supply and demand, the rate at which they can be exchanged can fluctuate widely. Bitcoin is one such example where it has experienced reaching as high as $19,000 per Bitcoin in December  2017and returning to around $7000 in the following months. Another serious concern of such unregulated peer to peer global economy has become a threat to society. These altcoins may become tools for anonymous web activities. Bitcoin with a history of almost 10 years has been a subject of hacking and theft.

The Cryptocurrency has its own pros as it claims to makes funds transfer easier between two parties in a transaction without any third party interference such as banks. Fund transfers are done with minimal fee which avoids the high fees charged by most of the banking institutions.

Yet the economist, see cryptocurrency as the future hope which preserves value and facilitates exchange without the influence of government and central institutions, and also are more transferable than hard coins.

THE BIG LIE: The future is in Battery Electric Vehicles

I have a subscription to California based Motor Trend magazine. Motor Trend editors and writers are pushing the idea that the future is in Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). This is a big lie.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

Let’s take a look at who is driving the BEVs market. According to a Wikipedia chart:

  • China has 2.243.8 million BEVs.
  • Europe is second with 1.346 million BEVs.
  • The United States is third with 1.126 million BEVs, half of them in California with 523,000 BEVs.

According to Wikipedia:

The popularity of electric vehicles has been expanding rapidly due to government subsidies, their increased range and lower battery costs, and environmental sensitivity. (Emphasis added)

According to the Drive Clean California website the Tesla Model 3 Electric BEV can garner a $2,500 subsidy (the federal subsidy of $7,500 has expired). Let’s look at what it costs to own a Tesla Model 3 Electric BEV.

According to the Tesla Model 3 website you can order a base price Model 3 at a cost of $39,900. “After potential savings” (i.e. government subsidies) are taken into account the Model 3 will cost $31,850. This is for the base level Model 3 with a range of 240 miles. If you order the “long range” Model 3 BEV (310 miles) the cost is $49,900 with an “after potential savings” price of $41,850.

According to Kelley Blue Book the estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was $37,577 in December 2018.

EVAdoption.com reports:

The mean Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 17 BEVs is $58,719 and the median price is $37,510. These average prices drop pretty significantly when excluding the Tesla models to a mean of $46,092 and median of $31,838. This compares to the the average sales price of $31,790 in 2016 and the $35,000 average selling prices of vehicles in the US as of January 2017 (latest and data I could find). [Emphasis added]

BEVs are expensive.

The Environmental Sensitivity Lie

A December 2nd, 2012 CBS News column titled “Carbon dioxide emissions rise to 2.4 million pounds per second” noted:

The amount of heat-trapping pollution the world spewed rose again last year by 3 percent. So scientists say it’s now unlikely that global warming can be limited to a couple of degrees, which is an international goal.

The overwhelming majority of the increase was from China, the world’s biggest carbon dioxide polluter. Of the planet’s top 10 polluters, the United States and Germany were the only countries that reduced their carbon dioxide emissions.

Frightening right? Not so fast.

According to the CO2.MyClimate.org calculator if you drive a car fueled by petrol 100 KM (62 miles) you will emit a CO2 amount of 0.007 t. According to a NC State University study:

A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.

The world is home to over three trillion trees—with almost half of them living in tropical or subtropical forests. There are roughly 400 trees for every human being. Therefore, the earth’s trees alone will, via osmosis, absorb 144 trillion pounds of CO2 annually.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the world’s volcanoes, both on land and undersea, generate about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2annually, while our automotive and industrial activities cause some 24 billion tons of CO2 emissions every year worldwide.

Therefore, if we subtract 24.2 billion tons from 144 trillion we get 143.758 trillion tons that humans, animals and plants must produce just to keep the trees green. Think about that.

The CBS News LiveScience article “Nature still sucking up considerable carbon dioxide – CBS News reported:

While humans are emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere, the planet sucks some of it back up.

A new study indicates that natural, carbon-removing processes, have not yet reached capacity, in spite of humans’ increasing emissions over recent decades.

The oceans can absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, as can trees and other vegetation.

Read more.

QUESTION: Is buying a BEV worth the price in order to be environmentally sensitive? 

ANSWER: NO!

If you want to keep the planet green we all must increase our CO2 emissions, not decrease them. Why? Because with the increase in agriculture globally we are losing trees.

Also:

  • The earth will not end in 12 years.
  • The Green New Deal is a joke according to it’s creator U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

Enjoy your fossil fuel powered car or SUV. The planet is doing just fine.

RELATED ARTICLE: THREAT OR PROMISE? E-AUTO BOOM COULD COST INDUSTRY JOBS – Fewer workers will likely be needed in EV era

RELATED VIDEO: The Green New Deal and Agenda 21.

AOC: Reduced Aid to Israel “On the Table”

Apparently Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez along with members of the Democrat Socialist Caucus (the Democratic Party) are considering and pushing forward an agenda to reduce aid to Israel the only Democratic ally the U.S. has in the region. According to AOC reduced aid is “on the table.”

Question: Where are the moderates in the Democratic Party?

Who is in control?

AOC: Reduced Aid to Israel ‘On the Table’ After Netanyahu’s Re-election

By Theodore Bunker for NewsMax

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Sunday decried the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent victory as part of “the ascent of authoritarianism across the world.”

In an interview with Yahoo News’ podcast “Skullduggery,” the congresswoman said that Netanyahu’s re-election should affect American policy on Israel.

“I think these are part of conversations we are having in our caucus, but I think what we’re really seeing is the ascent of authoritarianism across the world,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I think that Netanyahu is a Trump-like figure, and I think that we — there are so many ways to approach this issue. Betty McCollum even has a proposal that she’s advanced asking the us not to fund child detention, Israeli child detention of Palestinian children. There’s different ways to signal it. I would hope and wish that a diplomatic approach could impact policy.”

Co-host Daniel Klaidman asked if she would “be in favor of reducing military or economic aid to Israel?”

The congresswoman said that reducing aid is “certainly on the table, and I think it’s something that can be discussed, and I think that—and I also acknowledge my role in in this as well in that I hope to play a facilitating role in this conversation and a supportive role in this conversation…

Read more.

RELATED ARTICLES:

After 100 Days, House Democrats Have Offered Partisanship, Not Solutions

Netanyahu Scored a Historic Win. Here’s What to Expect Next

Are Democrats Pushing Islamic Sharia Law?

The Destruction of Citizen Cain

In 2016, black businessman extraordinaire, Herman Cain terminated his run for the presidency due to allegations of sexual misconduct. Cain chose to protect his family from the humiliation of enduring leftists’ attempt to destroy a black conservative Republican.

It is unfortunate that negative press was many black Americans’ national introduction to Herman Cain. When Cain dropped out of the presidential race, his accusers magically disappeared. Now that Trump has chosen Cain for the Federal Reserve Board, the allegations have resurfaced to block his appointment.

Folks, we can not continue allowing leftists to hypocritically use this tactic to disqualify good people. When president Bill Clinton was committing adultery by receiving oral sex and using cigars as sex toys with an 18 year old intern in the White House, Democrats and fake news media said, “So what? That is Clinton’s private life which is none of our business.” In response to credible women accusing Clinton of sexual abuse including rape, leftists branded the women trailer-trash sluts and liars. Let us not forget the Bimbo Eruption Squad headed by Hillary Clinton purposed to destroy all the women who might go public with their sexual misconduct encounters with Bill Clinton. 

To minimize president Clinton’s serial sexual misconduct, Democrats and fake news media claimed any man in Clinton’s position would behave the same way he did; receiving oral sex and so on. Fake news media and Democrat late night TV comics destroyed Ken Starr who was assigned to investigate Clinton’s lies and sexual misconduct. Starr was branded a sex obsessed pervert.

Hypocritically, Democrats and fake news media are claiming Herman Cain is unfit for the Federal Reserve based on unsubstantiated allegations which pale in comparison to those against their beloved president Clinton.

Clearly, there is a double standard. Democrats are permitted to live lives of debauchery. Republicans must live saintly lives or be deemed unfit for public service by fake news media. Remember fake news medias’ absurd narrative that Republican Mitt Romney was unfit to be president because he may have bullied a fellow student in high school?

In truth, none of us have lived perfect lives. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But praise God, people can and do change. Moses murdered a man. King David murdered a man and stole his wife. After paying dearly for their sin (crimes), Moses and David changed. Rahab was a prostitute who changed. Moses, David and Rahab were used mightily by God.

Fake news media and Democrats pretending to be concerned about women is extremely repulsive. They seek to exploit women the same way they exploit blacks to further their socialist, progressive, anti-Christian and anti-American agendas.

For example: Women pay a huge longtime devastating emotional and physical price for abortions. And yet, Democrats danced in celebration over passing a new law to abort babies on their date of birth. Shockingly evil, Democrats are seeking to legalize murdering babies even after they are born. Is this the behavior of a political party that champions women?

Sharia Law abuses and suppresses women. It condones beatings, honor-killings and rape in certain circumstances. So, why are Democrats aggressively pushing Sharia Law in America?

My wife Mary watches the TV show, “Counting On” which features the Duggar family. I caught a Duggars’ wedding. I was immediately struck by the overwhelming respect for the young bride shown by her father, her groom and every man at the wedding. She was a princess, presented to her husband as a precious gift from God to be loved, honored and cherished. Such wholesomeness is an anathema to Democrats and fake news media; repulsive as showing Dracula the cross.

Democrats’ and fake news medias’ modern-sexually-liberated-woman has had numerous abortions or appeared on the Maury Povich TV show for a DNA test to discover which of her irresponsible 27 sperm donors is the father of her baby (which Democrats and fake news media wish she had aborted). Which mindset is most respectful of women, the Duggars’ or Democrats’ and fake news medias’?

Democrats and fake news media seek to destroy all successful blacks with a platform to instruct black youths; stop blaming whitey, get an education, work hard, make right choices and you can achieve your American dreams. America is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for all who choose to go for their dreams. Period.

Herman Cain’s extraordinary success proves that the American Dream is available to all Americans; dismantling Democrats’ and fake news medias’ lie that white America schemes 24/7 to keep blacks down. Cain was elected CEO of the National Restaurant Association because he is excellent, rather than a racist leftist mindset of putting the-poor-inferior-black-guy in charge.

Herman Cain on the Federal Reserve would dispel the lie that Trump is racist. Cain would inspire black youths to thrive for excellence rather than affirmative action and government forcing standards to be lowered. My late dad won “Firefighter of the Year” two times in the 1950s without any special concessions or lowered standards because he was black.

Democrats and fake news media have decreed that Herman Cain is an uppity negro who must be taken down, his black derriere wrestled back to their Liberalism Plantation where he belongs.

VIDEO: DivestU

It’s no longer a secret that many college campuses today are nothing more than leftist indoctrination camps. But what can we do about it? Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, offers a simple and effective solution.

RELATED ARTICLE: There’s Rampant Academic Fraud

EDITORS NOTE: This video was made possible by a generous grant from Colorado Christian University. Learn more at PragerU.com/CCU.

TRANSCRIPT

Year after year, Americans pour billions of dollars into colleges and universities.

I’m not talking about the outrageous tuition costs, living expenses, and fees – the debt pit students fall into. And I’m not talking about the tax money – our money – colleges and universities get from federal and state governments. I’m talking about the money Americans are handing over to these institutions of their own free will.

In 2017, that number was $44 billion. $44 billion in donations in one year from alumni and other donors. And for what? To enhance the education of America’s youth?

Do you really think our college graduates are better educated, more literate, more versed in classical philosophy and American history than they were ten, twenty, or fifty years ago?

If your child goes to college and spends four years partying, skipping class, and playing video games, consider yourself lucky. It’s when they actually listen to their radical professors that you’re in trouble.

So what have our institutions been doing with all this money?

Well, the University of Michigan’s Vice Provost of Equity and Inclusion makes $400,000 a year. The university spends close to eleven million dollars annually on diversity and inclusion staff and programs, according to a recent report.

What do you think Vice Provosts of Equity and Inclusion (and almost all schools have one now) do all day? They, and the small armies they supervise, spend all day, every day, looking for racism, sexism, classism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia and any other phobias they can dream up. If they don’t find some bias somewhere, they’re out of a job. So, guess what? They find it – even where it doesn’t exist.

The University of California at Santa Cruz now has an “activist-in-residence.” His job is to mint new leftist activists – as if we have a shortage.

Why are we voluntarily giving billions and billions of dollars to hopelessly corrupt institutions that overcharge, underdeliver and undermine the most basic values of Western Civilization? We should be starving this beast. Instead, we’re feeding it.

Are there exceptions to this rule? Colleges that are actually dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom? Of course, there are – and they are worthy of your financial support. But you can count them on two hands. The rest have a different mission. And they have more than enough coin to carry it out.

The aforementioned University of Michigan has an endowment of 12 billion dollars. But that’s small potatoes compared to Yale’s $30 billion or Harvard’s $40 billion. And donors keep giving them more.

It’s time to stop.

You’d be better throwing your money into a bonfire. That’s just a waste. But when you donate to your average university, you’re actually hurting your society.

You’re the reason kids – maybe your kids – are coming home:

• Loving socialism and hating free market capitalism; • Believing male and female don’t objectively exist; • Excusing rockets being shot into Israel, then blaming Israel for defending itself; • Romanticizing Che Guevara and reviling George Washington; • And dismissing America, arguably the most decent country ever created, as racist, genocidal, imperialist, white-supremacist, hate-filled, and misogynistic.

Your children are being fed a steady diet of this nihilism in grade school, middle school, and high school. But they have to come home for dinner every night.

College is where the leftist deal is sealed. They’re free of your influence and under the sway of their leftist professors and leftist peers.

Stop supporting institutions that don’t support your values; that, in fact, despise your values. And, believe me, they despise you when you’re back is turned. The only thing they love about you is your money.

Oh, you might say, I would never give money for all that diversity, equity, and inclusion nonsense! I designate my donations to the business school or the medical center. If you think that, you’re fooling yourself. Money is fungible. You can designate it for anything you want, but you can’t control what the university does with it.

I travel around the country every week trying to rescue kids from the leftist cult that is college. It’s bad enough that I have to battle administrators, professors, and leftist student bodies. I shouldn’t have to fight you, too.

College has become a big business. Most indoctrinate rather than educate. The best way to force them to change is to take away their cash. Your cash. Start today.

I’m Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point USA, for Prager University.

VETO!

Fox News published the below comments and video titled “Trump signs first veto of his presidency | Full Remarks” on it YouTube channel:

President Trump delivers remarks and issues his first veto on legislation attempting to strike down his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.

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The “Angel of Death” for Unions is Socialism

“I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries.” – Bernie Sanders, Burlington Free Press, October 1976.


On August 19, 2013 I wrote a column titled “The decline and fall of America’s unions” stating,

The “angel of death” for unions is progressivism, its primary weapon is big government bureaucrats, the anti-union soldiers.

I felt the need to update this column to help working class trade union members understand that the end is nearer than even I expected.

The “angel of death” is at your front door and her name is “socialism.”

The big government bureaucrats have unionized and have become the anti-union soldiers bent on destroying all other trade unions.

As political power becomes more centralized there is an irreversible decline in the power of unions. It is a cause and effect that cannot be denied or stopped.

Green New Deal

The Green New Deal takes away two key powers that make trade unions important to middle class workers, their power to negotiate wages and benefits.

In a column titled “The True Meaning of That Green New Deal” Lee Edwards writes:

Sponsors of the Green New Deal—including Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.—list these goals: Phase out conventional fuels (that is, oil, natural gas, and coal) by 2030, only a decade from now; implement a federal jobs guarantee; retrofit all U.S. buildings; overhaul transportation with high-speed rail; and provide universal health care. [Emphasis added]

If you have a federal jobs guarantee and universal healthcare then why have any trade union? If everyone works for the government then the only union that matters is the union representing the bureaucrats, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its 2019 Union Members Summary report notes:

The union membership rate of public-sector workers (33.9 percent) continued to be more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.4 percent).

If the Green New Deal becomes law then blacks will be harmed most as they are “more likely to be union members than White, Asian, or Hispanic workers” according to BLS.

As some point even public-sector workers like teachers and SEIU members will also lose their ability to negotiate salary and benefits. These public sector unions will slowly fade away.

Angels of Death

Oleg Atbashian, a citizen of the former Soviet Union, in his book Shakedown Socialism writes, “Union perks mean nothing when there is nothing left to redistribute. The Soviets learned it the hard way. The American unions don’t seem to be able to learn from the mistakes of others.”

The example of Poland’s Solidarnosc, an independent union that spearheaded the overthrow of the oppressive Communist regime in 1989.  Why? Because, “…Current [union] perks can only exist in a free and competitive economy that ensures growth and generates wealth – known as ‘capitalist exploitation’ in the lingo of the champions of ‘redistributive justice’.”

Unions are only relevant if they retain their control to collectively bargain for wages and benefits in a free and competitive economy. If the government takes over this role, as it did workplace safety with OSHA, then unions are doomed.

The angels of death for trade unions are: Medicare for All, The Minimum Wage and Green New Deal. Socialist programs pushed by the Socialist Democrats.

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Bernie Sanders Wanted ‘Public Ownership of the Major Means of Production’ in 1976

Venezuela’s Road To Disaster Is Littered with Chinese Debt

I barely need to reiterate what you already know: the close links that exist between our people and the people of Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, the promoter of the Bolivarian Revolution and the United Socialist Party he founded. Fidel Castro. When you see people starving in Venezuela and fleeing into neighboring countries and realize that this is a country that once had the world’s largest oil reserves, you realize that they’ve ruined a very good prospect with ideas that sounded good but didn’t turn out well.   – Thomas Sowell

We’re in a global war, facing an enemy alliance that runs from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela. – General Michael T. Flynn

Venezuela sits at the northern tip of South America with Columbia on the west and Guyana on the east.  The country is collapsing. The constant blackouts have put hundreds of patients at risk and many have already died, food is rotting, and water is at a shortage. According to media reports, schoolchildren and oil workers have begun passing out from hunger, and sick Venezuelans have scoured veterinary offices for medicine. Link  Malaria, measles, and diphtheria have returned with a vengeance. The country’s infrastructure is falling apart along with their decaying power grid, and telecommunication networks have collapsed.

America has offered humanitarian aid, but Maduro has rejected it.  He is taking his cues from communist Havana.  Unfortunately, Venezuela never diversified; oil dominates their exports and government revenue and barrel prices of oil are down.

With Venezuela’s collapse, Maduro is begging Beijing; China’s price will be high as Venezuela’s debt to them is already in the billions.  Xi Jinping needs a presence of power that encourages foreign governments to believe they should play ball with Beijing, not Washington. And that means China’s increased military presence around the world, and what better place than Venezuela or one of her islands in the southern Caribbean.

Would Maduro risk U.S. ire by allowing Chinese basing rights? I think so. Maduro is already increasing his rhetoric against Washington and has repeatedly threatened Colombia. At the same time, the Venezuelan leader knows the U.S. and its allies believe he is an irredeemable despot: They want no part of a rapprochement with his regime.

Xi Jinping, Putin and Maduro

The Venezuelan and Chinese economies seem like they could hardly have less in common. The government of Nicolas Maduro has looted the state-run oil monopoly company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to pay for the “Bolivarian revolution,” the socialist movement under the late leader Hugo Chavez. Eleven billion has been stolen from PDVSA in a decade.

With oil prices down, the country is unable even to repair rigs or pay workers to generate income, and the government now faces the prospect of a mass uprising. Meanwhile, half a globe away, China’s gleaming malls stand in stark contrast to Venezuela’s empty shelves.

But Venezuela’s ruinous state has more to do with China than one would think, specifically, with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plan for expanding China’s global influence through financial diplomacy.

Thanks to a malevolent dictatorship pushing disastrous economic policies aided by another communist benefactor willing to extend near bottomless credit, the country is at collapse. This same toxic mix is present throughout many of the countries receiving large amounts of Chinese lending under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.  China provides large amounts of ruinous lending that pushes developing countries to financial ruin.  The Belt and Road Initiative scheme isn’t offering concessionary lending or international aid but market-based lending rates with high-interest loans. The borrower countries then have to use Chinese firms, inputs, and workers to build out their railways and ports. The Chinese firms are third rate at best.

Since the economic shift in Venezuela, up to 5 million Venezuelans are estimated to have left the country crossing the border mostly to Columbia, while inflation in Venezuela hovers around 1 million percent.

According to a UN report, about 90 percent of the population lives in poverty. The country’s oil revenue is at its lowest in three decades.

America Supports Opposition Leader Juan Guaido

The two communist countries of China and Russia have kept Venezuela afloat by lending billions to the economically crippled petrostate, sometimes with cheap oil thrown in as a sweetener for the two creditors.  “Not only are they getting oil, but they’ve also gained access to pretty good acreage in Venezuela,” said Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

Those deals were struck with President Maduro, whose leadership is facing a serious challenge from Juan Guaido, and it’s not clear what happens to that debt if Maduro is kicked out of office.  America would like to see Guaido take over the country, and apparently so would the Venezuelan people.  However, Russia and China are working in and out of the shadows, complicating U.S. efforts to foster change.

Venezuela is indebted to external creditors by a total of something close to $100 billion.  Yet, the socialist state is home to the largest oil reserves on the planet, but endemic corruption has devastated its economy. Beijing and Moscow have helped the country stave off collapse by repeatedly extending financial lifelines — to the tune of tens of billions of dollars over the last decade.

Maduro’s re-election last year was marred by charges of widespread vote-rigging, vote-buying, and other irregularities, but more fundamentally it failed to meet constitutional requirements. As such, Guaido, due to his role as head of the National Assembly, appears to be the legitimate president.

Guaido has been recognized by the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and a slew of European countries.

China and Russia Support Maduro

Juan Guaido is not recognized by either China or Russia. They back Maduro to the hilt because they have much to lose if his leftist government falls. From 2007 to 2014, China lent Venezuela $63 billion — 53 percent of all its lending to Latin America during this time. Of that amount, somewhere between $10-$25 billion remains outstanding to China and Russia’s state-backed oil company Rosneft is owed another $2.3 billion, excluding interest.

There was an important catch to this largesse; to guarantee repayment, Beijing insisted on being repaid in oil, but when oil dropped to $30 a barrel in 2016, this caused Venezuela’s price tag for serving its debt to explode. To repay Beijing, Venezuela must now ship two barrels of oil for every single barrel it originally agreed to.  Chavez’ 2002-2003 purge of 25,000 skilled oil workers at PDVSA resulted in massive problems.  As well, reinvestment in the fields and help from foreign oil firms was gone.  Venezuela struck it poor.

Venezuela’s mother lode, the Orinoco heavy oil belt, holds more than a trillion barrels of tarlike bitumen, which makes it much more difficult to extract because when it comes out of the ground, it’s almost solid and cannot flow through pipelines.  It then needs to be upgraded to something resembling liquid oil before sale. Doing all that takes the kind of cash and sophisticated know-how PDVSA lacked at the time.

The heavy oil needs chemicals, diluting agents such as naphtha, to turn into a lighter substance that can eventually be exported. Sanctions include a ban on US firms exporting these agents to Venezuela.

Military Advantages

“Russia and China are using Venezuela as a proxy conflict to challenge the U.S. This is more than just economic support. Russia and China are leveraging its economic support to establish a military-industrial presence in Venezuela,” Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society, an independent global research group, told Fox News.

China and Russia maintain crucial military facilities in the country, such as China’s satellite-tracking facility inside the Capitan Manuel Rios Air Base in Guarico, while Russia has a cyber presence at the Naval Base Antonio Diaz “Bandi” in La Orchilla, an island north of Caracas.  Link

According to one U.S. intelligence and defense official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, the threat of “asymmetric warfare” looms large as the Venezuelan crisis deepens – especially given Russia’s supply of arms and equipment to its Venezuela ally. “Maduro still sits on the largest proven oil reserves in the world. That’s the grand prize. China could say that the more Venezuela becomes a pariah, the cheaper they want it,” noted the intelligence insider. “And the more leverage Russia then has to build a bigger base in the Western Hemisphere, and closer to the United States nonetheless.”

“At a minimum, they could harass the United States, if not cause a lot more trouble. This makes the Cuban Missile Crisis look like child’s play.”  Link

Venezuela and Iran

In General Michael T. Flynn’s book, The Field of Flight, he states, “The war is on.  We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.  We are under attack, not only from nation-states directly, but also from al Qaeda, Hezbollah, ISIS, and countless other terrorist groups.  Suffice to say, the same sort of cooperation binds together jihadis, Communists, and garden-variety tyrants.”

“Once we bailed out of Iraq in 2011, the power of the Islamic Republic immediately expanded and rapidly filled the void left by our departure.  The mullahs have already established strategic alliances in our own hemisphere with Cuba and Venezuela and are working closely with Russia and China.”

General Michael T. Flynn is absolutely correct.

As Iran and Venezuela become increasingly isolated and sanctioned by the U.S and much of the international community, the two governments are said to be tightening their bond – with the help of Tehran’s proxy group, Hezbollah, in the middle of the action.

Training between Iran and Venezuela has increased in the past few years as part of a larger plan between the Venezuelan regime, consisting of increasing the number of Hezbollah operatives and their supporters across Latin America,” Johan Obdola, President of the Canada-based Global Organization for Intelligence (IOSI) and former counter-narcotics chief in Venezuela, told Fox News. Hassan Rouhani and Nicolas Maduro have established a very firm and close relationship, which was of course initiated by Chavez.”

Drug Trafficking, Iran and Cuba

Caracas, Venezuela and Havana, Cuba are the only two places Tehran, Iran can fly into or out of with people and contraband.  Both are sanctioned by the United States. Venezuela’s ambassador to the United States is defending his country’s controversial airline service to the capitals of Syria and Iran — both countries that are designated by the U.S. as state sponsors of terrorism.

Drug trafficking within the Venezuelan regime is called, “The Cartel of the Suns.”  Criminal cartels have always run drug trafficking but in Venezuela it is managed from within government.  Instead of sidelining those accused of drug trafficking, Maduro has promoted them to the highest offices, perhaps calculating that they have the most to lose if his regime falls and will therefore fight the hardest to preserve it.

The most powerful figures in the Bolivarian regime now have the taint of drug trafficking to differing degrees.

Colombia’s criminal groups and Venezuelan political officials are connected to one another by the cocaine supply chain. Colombian groups produce coca and refine it into cocaine, and some Venezuelan elites’ profit from its transit through their country. Though government action has weakened Colombia’s insurgents and other drug traffickers, the cocaine trade remains a key, illicit industry that will continue to affect both countries.

In 2005 Venezuela severed ties with the United States Drug Enforcement (DEA), accusing its representatives of spying.  Following the departure of the DEA from Venezuela and the expansion of DEA’s partnership with Colombia in 2005, Venezuela became more attractive to drug traffickers.  Between 2008 and 2012, Venezuela’s cocaine seizure ranking among other countries declined, going from being ranked fourth in the world for cocaine seizures in 2008 to sixth in the world in 2012.

Venezuela has been a path to the United States for illegal drugs originating in Colombia, through Central America and Mexico and Caribbean countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

Conclusion

While Chinese engagement could be seen by other Latin American countries as an attractive path to development, the short-term benefits often lead to long-term dependency. Chinese investments focus on extracting natural resources and trading high value-added manufactures from China for Latin American commodities. China’s appetite for commodities will only increase. Link Their plan is global…in 30 years they expect to be the world’s superpower.

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Trump’s 2020 Budget Seeks More Border Wall Funding, Work Requirements for Welfare

President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal would eliminate the federal deficit in 15 years, add new work requirements for welfare recipients, and fund additional construction of a border wall.

The reaction to the spending blueprint by Democrats was predictably negative.

The $4.7 trillion proposal, which projects a $1.1 trillion deficit, also asks Congress to cut discretionary spending, something it hasn’t done in recent years, even when under Republican control.

“You mention mandatory spending. It is a driver. We have more reforms than any other president’s budget in history, but, look, what has happened for far too long is that Congress has blamed mandatory spending and then increased discretionary spending, which they have a vote on every single year by large degrees,” Office of Management and Budget acting Director Russ Vought told The Daily Signal on Monday.

The fiscal 2020 spending blueprint cuts non-defense discretionary spending by 5 percent across the board, for a total of $2.7 trillion in savings for taxpayers over 10 years.

The OMB projects a balanced budget by 2034. Deficit spending, now 5 percent of the gross domestic product, would fall to 1 percent by 2029, according to the projections.

“They continue to let a paradigm exist in this country that says for every dollar in defense spending, we’re going to increase nondefense spending by a dollar,” Vought said at a press briefing. “We think we need to break that paradigm. We don’t think that paradigm allows us to get our fiscal house in order.”

Presidents are constitutionally required to present a budget proposal, but such proposals are never enacted as delivered. The document stands as an outline of administration priorities and represents what each department is requesting from Congress.

The budget requests seek $8.6 billion for an additional 722 miles of border wall construction, with $5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and $3.6 billion for the Defense Department construction budget to go toward the wall.

The budget proposes $478 million to hire and support 1,750 additional law enforcement officers and agents for Customs and Border Protection and for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The budget also would implement a requirement of at least 20 hours a week for work or job training for certain welfare benefits, such as food stamps. Work requirements for recipients in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was core to the welfare-reform legislation passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, in 1996.

“In terms of work requirements, it’s something that has been viewed as a success since the 1990s. We expand on it,” Vought said. “It is something we have long viewed as important with the same principles of reducing dependency that we saw in TANF and apply them to housing and to food stamps and to Medicaid. … There will be many workforce-development programs that will be funded as part of this budget.”

The Trump budget proposes spending $750 billion for the Defense Department. Of that, $718 billion is for the National Defense Strategy’s efforts to rebuilding readiness and for improving performance and affordability through reform. It also focuses on strategic competition with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.

It includes $4.8 billion in the Department of Health and Human Services for prevention and treatment programs for opioid abuse.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement Monday the administration’s proposal benefits the “wealthiest 1 percent.”

“After adding $2 trillion to the deficit with the GOP tax scam for the rich, President Trump wants to ransack as much as $2 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid,” she said. “While demanding billions more for his wasteful, ineffective wall, President Trump will steal from students and hungry families, from rural communities and American farmers, from clean air and clean water, and from vital, job-creating investments nationwide.”

The proposal would also limit what Medicare recipients have to pay for prescription drugs. Currently, Medicare has a 5 percent co-pay for high-priced medicines that could cost as much as $1,000 per pill. The dollar amount wasn’t specified.

Vought responded to one question about whether that constituted “cutting Medicare.”

“He’s not cutting Medicare in this budget,” Vought explained. “What we are doing is putting forward reforms that lower drug prices. Because Medicare pays such a very large share of drug prices in this country, this has the impact of finding savings.

“We’re also finding waste, fraud, and abuse. But Medicare spending will go up every single year by healthy margins, and there are no structural changes,” he said.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission.

Minnesota Rep: We aren’t going to make Food Stamp recipients work!

Egads!  What is going on in Minnesota?  It’s not just MN Rep. Ilhan Omar making news, but now we see that Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson—the dean of the Minnesota delegation!—is making news by telling Trump:

“I’ll guarantee you it’s not going to happen.” 

He is referring to the Trump initiative to tell states they must enforce work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving food stamps!

Peterson’s district is considered the most Republican in the state, but obviously not Republican enough or they wouldn’t have re-elected him to represent them since 2007.

The district has a growing Somali population due to BIG MEAT/POULTRY wanting the cheap refugee labor.

See what he said as reported by Watchdog.org on Tuesday,

House Ag Chairman: Requiring SNAP recipients to work is ‘not going to happen’

The Democratic chairman of the House Agriculture Committee says the Trump administration’s policy requiring states to enforce work-requirements for SNAP recipients “isn’t going anywhere.”

“I’ll guarantee you it’s not going to happen,” U.S. Rep Collin Peterson said.

Peterson’s comments came after U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue testified last week before the House Agriculture Committee about the state of the rural economy. Committee members asked him about the impact of tariffs on farmers, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, the effects of natural disasters, and the expansion of rural broadband access, among other questions.

The Trump administration is revising a 22-year-old federal regulation that has enabled states to acquire waivers exempting able-bodied adults without dependents (ABWDs) from having to work or undergo job training to receive taxpayer-funded food stamps.

Reforming the rule would reduce the taxpayer burden and enable more individuals to move from federal dependency to self-sufficiency, according to the administration.

Peterson’s remarks also came after a new Government and Accountability Office (GAO) report identified at least $1 billion in food stamp fraud. The extent of the fraud is uncertain, the GAO warns, estimating the abuse of the program could be as high as $4.7 billion.

Peterson’s position, according to Kristina Rasmussen, vice president of federal affairs at the Foundation for Government Accountability, isn’t helping SNAP recipients move from welfare to work or to find gainful employment. It’s also supporting an abuse of taxpayers’ money, the FGA argues.

[….]

Roughly 20 million lower-income households receive $64 billion in SNAP benefits. But the GAO*** found that instead of being used for food, many stores are defrauding the program by “selling” cash instead of food.

The fraud, known as “retailer trafficking,” costs taxpayers at least $1 billion. However, the real cost could be “anywhere from $960 million to $4.7 billion,” the GAO adds.

By the way, I’ve noticed that food stamp fraud busts have been happening less frequently then say 5-10 years ago when I first started tracking them and when almost all practitioners of this fraud were ‘new American’ followers of the ‘religion of peace.’

I don’t know if that is because food stamp use is down generally or whether the worst frauds have been caught.  It is also possible that the busts are not being reported by the media.

***I mentioned that GAO report here.

question markHave a convenience store or mom & pop gas station near you?  Keep an eye on the comings and goings!  I’m told it is pretty easy to spot the stores where food stamp trafficking is happening—shelves not well stocked, people going in and out all day and night, a new American behind the cash register!  Easiest thing to do is to take your suspicions to the local police and let them set up a sting operation.

No, We’re Not All Socialists Now

On Sunday, New York Post had an editorial about how many millennials embrace “socialism,” while not really knowing what it means:  “Millennials — ignorant of socialism’s appalling economic and human-rights history — increasingly embrace socialism and its naively unrealistic prescriptions for ending all human want.”

I’m reminded of a college student who wrote his dad: “Dear Dad, No mon. No fun. Your son.”

His dad wrote back: “Too bad. So sad. Your Dad.”

The Post points out that a majority of Democrats view socialism positively—yet the very same poll finds them in favor of small business and free enterprise.  Therefore, many claiming to embrace socialism are apparently not aware that socialism refers to government control of the means of production.

Meanwhile, New York Magazine had a title story: “When Did Everyone Become a Socialist?”

The article claims, “Pinkos Have More Fun.”

Well, I’m certainly not a socialist. And most of the people I know are not either. For the record, can anyone name a square inch on the planet where socialism has improved life for its citizens?

Russia?

China?

Vietnam?

Cambodia?

Cuba?

Venezuela?

It seems that between socialism and capitalism, the latter has the worse “branding.” Capitalism is supposedly greedy and self-serving. Socialism is supposedly caring and sharing. But that is not the reality.

Young people have been fed a steady diet of pro-socialism in the media and in academia. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center once told me in a TV interview: “In the movies from a cultural standpoint, the themes are that capitalism is bad; it’s evil, the free market system is evil, the wealthy are the greedy rich.”

Jim DeMint, former US Senator noted, “As secularism replaces faith in America, we become less free and more socialistic; in other words, the government is controlling more things and things are controlled from the top down rather than the bottom up….You have central decision makers. That hasn’t worked any time in history, it always results in some form of tyranny.”

With socialism, the state replaces God. But the Bible says, God alone is God, and we should worship and love Him above all, and not the state, nor anything else.

Dr. Everett Piper, the president of Oklahoma Wesley University, says, “I do believe that socialism is on the rise right now and I think it’s a direct correlation to the loss of a biblical world view – the vacuum. When you create a vacuum it’ll always be filled, and if you take God out it’ll be filled by man. And God always gives us more liberty and freedom than man does.”

The Bible says we should love our neighbor. But is it really loving our neighbor to wish on them a socialistic economic system like that in Cuba or Venezuela?

Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, notes, “And if you want a modern example of why socialism doesn’t work and what it produces, look at Venezuela. Venezuela was one of the most affluent countries in Latin America; it is now a complete basket case.”

Today’s socialists like to say that Sweden, Norway, and other Scandinavian countries are the model—not Venezuela. I was married in Norway. I have many in-laws that still live there. Its economy is still more of a capitalist one—with high taxes for socialized medicine. But it’s a much smaller country with a limited population. Furthermore, my wife always points out that Norway is coasting on its past Christian work ethic.

Socialism violates the command, “Thou shalt not steal.” The Ten Commandments also say we should not envy—but socialism is built on envy, envy of the wealth of others.

More and more Americans seem comfortable with “the politics of envy.” The New Republic published an article by Alex Shephard (3/1/19), entitled, “The Sensible Politics of Soaking the Rich.” The article shows the picture of Democrat socialist leader, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, newly elected to Congress, who argues that $10 million should be the limit on what people can keep, regardless of their contributions to the market.

Last week at CPAC (a conference of conservatives), Larry Kudlow, the director of President Trump’s National Economic Council, said socialism needs to be confronted quickly: “I want you, and everybody in this room and your friends and your neighbors, I want you to put socialism on trial, that’s what I’m asking….I don’t want us to stand idly by….I don’t want to let this stuff fester. I want it challenged. I want it debated. I want it rebutted. I want to convict socialism.” For example, he called “the Green New Deal” promoted by Congresswoman  Ocasio-Cortez, “central planning on a grand scale.” 

Indeed, the time has come for a necessary national discussion on socialism vs. free enterprise. On big government vs. market-based solutions. Let the debate begin.

EDITORS NOTE: This column is republished with permission. The featured image by TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay.