Emergency! Now Is The Time To Narrow The Economic Recovery Curve

There are three key letters everyone needs to focus on. They are V, U, and L.  These are the common shapes economic recoveries take.

A V shaped recovery is ideal.  It means bounce right back.  This is where we should aim, but if we don’t get the economy functioning fast, the opportunity will be lost.

A U shaped recovery means a reasonable period of loss, followed by growth.  This is more common, but second best.  If we let this scenario slip from our grasp… heaven help us.

An L shaped recovery is the wolf now stalking us.  It means drop down and stay down, with suffering over a prolonged period.  We’re talking stagnation — Japan’s lost decade — if we’re lucky.  It means long-term bread lines, brother can you spare a dime, shanty town, 1930s great depression, if we’re not.

We’ve worked together to flatten the virus transmission curve and enable our medical system to cope.

Well done.

We hope these efforts stem the loss of life and the burden on our nurses, hospitals, and doctors.  To all those who have lost someone, or are concerned about their health, or the well-being of a loved one, our prayers are with you.

We must work together now to narrow the economic recovery curve.

With huge portions of our economy shut down, markets are crashing.

How could they not?

If we don’t get the economy functioning we will all learn a terrible lesson in what “unsustainable” actually means.

Trillions of dollars in bailouts and stimulants will quickly be consumed, vanish and be  wasted, unless markets are permitted to function and the economic motor to run.

The good news is that if we’re smart, we are better equipped to harness the productive power of our free market, and safely phase economic activity back on, than we’ve ever been before.

  • The CODVID-19 crisis is not an opportunity for partisan advantage.  STOP IT!
  • One-size-fits-all edicts are what we issue at the first moment of emergency.  We must do better moving forward.
  • We’re in the digital age.  Information is power.  Use it.
  • Not all activities operate at the same level of risk.  Assess them individually and phase them back on as quickly as reasonable.
  • State-wide orders are inefficient.  Rural and desert counties in California with little exposure, for instance, shouldn’t receive the same mandates as dense urban areas.  Fine tune.
  • Slash bureaucratic red tape and remove unnecessary obstacles to working in novel ways.
  • Remove disincentives and create no new disincentives to hiring Americans and producing goods here.
  • Make remote working incredibly productive.
  • Tailor safety procedures to allow businesses to resume functioning.
  • Set aside unneeded regulations.
  • Keep emergency programs temporary.  Make long-term policy changes through normal due process.
  • Phase activity back on as the virus threat diminishes.
  • Phase activity back on if, sadly, the virus becomes widespread and social distancing is no longer effective.
  • Government is vital, but inefficient.  Enable the private sector to provide solutions.
  • Harness today’s data-driven economy to replace blanket shutdowns with a mosaic of safe activity.
  • Be kind, caring, compassionate, appreciative, polite and helpful to others.
  • Plan a COVID-19 endgame.

If we don’t enable economic recovery to get moving, the resulting harm will exceed the harm from the virus.

Time to be smart.  Fast.

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

The Show Must Go On! My take on the Wuhan Flu gloom and doom.

I think it is time I weighed in on the coronavirus panic choking our country. Currently, we are a nation suffocating in a depressing doom and gloom; where the media seems to take delight in telling us how bad things are, all in the name of improved ratings. Frankly, they haven’t hit a bonanza like this in a long time, even in spite of their sloppy reporting. This has been exacerbated by lawyers, accountants, politicians, and a greedy media who will not be happy until the country is ground to a halt. Frankly, this is one American who has had enough.

In show business, the expression, “The Show Must Go On!”, means we must go forward even in the face of adversity. It is time for this country to do likewise in lieu of the panic. Currently, we are experiencing a domino effect whereby restaurants and businesses are closing, as are schools, the travel industry is tanking, people are working from home or are being let go, people are hoarding toilet paper (of all things), we are rationing food, etc., thereby causing the economy to tremble. The new politically correct concept of “Social Distancing” is forcing people to turn inwards to home, and avoid human contact, not just group activities such as sporting events, church meetings, schools, going to the beach, or a drink at the local tavern. Terrified of the virus, people are hiding out until the all-clear siren is sounded. There is one problem with this, we cannot afford to bring the country to a standstill as exemplified by the movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Our choice is simple: We can either resign ourselves to a fate of destruction or pick up the pieces and move forward. I choose the latter.

Some claim we have never seen anything like this virus (COVID-19). This is simply not true. The 2009-2010 Swine Flu Pandemic saw upwards to 1.4 billion cases, with deaths estimated between 150,000–575,000. Today, we are nowhere near these numbers. I am not doubting the legitimacy of the coronavirus, but I am questioning the panic that has ensued. It reminds me of how we handle hurricanes in Florida. It used to be, the public was alerted about an approaching storm, we took the necessary precautions (such as replenishing supplies and boarding up homes) and then rode it out. However, when Hurricane Irma appeared in 2017, Floridians were panicked by the media, forcing the closure of restaurants and businesses, and the stoppage of water, gasoline, and electricity in some areas. Frankly, it turned out to be a rather lame storm here in Florida by comparison to other hurricanes, but the public was panicked into a frenzy by the media, not too dissimilar to what we are experiencing today. The point is, something is horribly wrong in how the media is communicating with the public these days.

What we are witnessing is an interesting social experiment. It proves people can be easily manipulated by the media and politicians. It also demonstrates people prefer operating on autopilot, and when it is switched off, they do not know how to improvise, adapt and overcome, and this is what is perhaps most disturbing about the panic.

There are, of course, some things beyond our control, such as financial markets, government regulations, etc., and I am certainly not advocating disobeying the law, but we need to challenge our politicians and hold them accountable, as well as the media. It also means we have to learn to think for ourselves and become proactive as opposed to reactive. In other words, we need to think differently, break old habits, and replace them with new ones. Remember the old maxim, “In confusion there is profits.”

We need to begin by changing our perspective to believe the glass is half full, not half empty as the media suggests. In other words, let’s think positive, not negative. Now is the time for innovation in the workplace, to think smarter, and introduce new ideas to get the job done. There are opportunities out there waiting to be exploited, we just have to find them.

So, should we place our faith in the hands of our politicians and the media? As for me, I will put my trust in common sense instead.

By the way, perhaps the biggest difference between the 2009-2010 Swine Flu Pandemic and the 2020 COVID-19 panic is that 2009-2010 was not a presidential election year. Hmm, must be nothing more than a coincidence, right?

Another stage related expression is “Break a Leg,” representing a wish for good luck to a performer. It’s an old expression reflecting an ancient superstition that wishing someone “good luck” was considered somewhat of a jinx.

Since I am from the South, I will leave you with…

Break a Leg (Y’all)!

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

RELATED ARTICLE: Trump signals openings: US not ‘built to be shut down’

EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Chinese Bio-Warfare Causes Economic Destruction

“A financial panic is a very bad thing, but a government panic can do far greater damage in a far shorter time.” –  Tom McClintock

“Panic is highly contagious, especially in situations when nothing is known and everything is in flux.” – Stephen King

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” –  Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels.

“No country can survive being ruled by people who hate it.” –  Tucker Carlson


Like many Americans, I am sick of hearing about Covid-19.  We want our normal lives back, no “sheltering in place,” no more containment or quarantine, no masks, no travel bans, no closed schools, restaurants, and stores, and an end to the media propaganda and brainwashing.  The Covid-19 bio-warfare virus is dangerous to everyone, but more so to our immune compromised elderly, yet the yearly flu is still far more hazardous to life than this fast spreading and highly contagious Chinese biolab virus.

The evil trait of COVID-19 is its ability to infect others by people who appear healthy. Those infected often manifest no symptoms for up to two weeks, yet can transmit the disease to any person who comes within six feet of them for that entire incubation period, indicating the virus was most likely made in a biolab. Our healthy young people still believe they’re immortal and the virus won’t touch them.  They fail to curb their activities, resulting in countless others being infected.  And driven by a social media craze, teens are purposely coughing on grocery store produce.

The Sinister Reality

What has this viral respiratory illness done?  It has instilled fear in large portions of our population, closed down our country’s entire economy, eliminated normal activities and probably changed our lives forever.  That is the definition of bio-terrorism.

The politicians look blameless and at the same time they’ll increase their power through new laws, just as was done after 9/11.  A long-time friend who has watched the government’s power grow exponentially over the years said, “What is actually happening Kelleigh, is the nationalization of all businesses. It is also happening in Europe. It is a big step toward more socialism. Trump has no choice in the matter.  Keep in mind he has to do what they want or he could end up like Kennedy.”

I’ve watched the look of horror on President Trump’s face as this nightmare unfolded.  He was not a happy camper, but he shouldered the burden and took control as much as he could. And thank God we have Trump, not Hillary and not Biden.

The communists in our government will do anything to sabotage this president, and I have no doubt they have gotten together with their Red Chinese friends to destroy our economy and the stock market and instill fear in Americans.

A new report from Horizon Advisory consultants details Beijing’s post-virus strategy—already operational—to leverage the pandemic to seize global market share in key industries, further global dependence on Chinese manufacturing, and reverse efforts in the United States and elsewhere to decouple from the People’s Republic.

Chicago’s former mayor, Rahm Emanuel said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” The democrats are using this virus as their last chance to oust President Trump in November.  The soaring economy he created is temporarily in the tank, and 401k’s have lost 25 to 30 percent of their previous gains. Since the Democrats own the banks and the media, they are utilizing everything they can to tear down President Trump’s legacy.  They are absolutely thrilled with the decimation our country is experiencing from Covid-19, and they are blaming our President just like Red China.  And now the increasingly unstable media is demanding blackouts of Trump’s Covid-19 briefings.

WHO, CDC, NIH and Dr. Fauci

As for the World Health Organization, Director Tedros Adhanom is the first Director without a medical degree. He is also a member of the Marxist-Leninist Tigray People’s Liberation Front which was founded as a communist revolutionary party that came to power in 1991.  It was listed as a terrorist group by America in the 90s.

Tedros was promoted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who financed many of the phony large-scale health operations in Ethiopia that Tedros had facilitated. The Director and Bill Gates should be tried for crimes against humanity.  Please watch this important 13 minute video expose of Tedros.

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is married to Lisa Barsoomian. She was exposed in Marilyn Barnewell’s article, Deep State Husbands. Up until 2011, she was the attorney for WHO.  She has represented the Clintons, the FBI and many other corrupt characters.

Nancy Messonnier, MD, is the Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) at the CDC.  She is also Rod Rosenstein’s sister.  Her initial statements about the extreme danger of Covid-19 are what the media is using as ammunition in their propaganda.

Interesting that the CDC started hiring quarantine program managers last November to cover quarantine centers in Texas, California, New York, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts and more.  Was this advanced warning?

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been called “the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases.”  He has increased Americans Covid-19 fear with his pessimistic statements. He actually contradicted the president on national TV and told him he shouldn’t be so hopeful.  He has stated that “Trump is coming at the virus from a layperson’s standpoint, I’m coming from a scientific standpoint.”

Careful observers have noted that after the almost daily White House news conferences with President Trump and members of the Coronavirus Task Force, Fauci, a regular attendee and the task force’s chief medical spokesman, often runs to Trump-hating media like CNN to contradict — usually with a degree of nuance that gives him plausible deniability — what the president has just said.  The Daily Mail of London noted this behavior in a March 20 article, “Dr Anthony Fauci caught rolling his eyes and smirking as President Trump rants about the ‘deep state’ during coronavirus press conference.”

Within the WikiLeaks Hillary Rodham Clinton email files there’s a letter from Fauci to Hillary Clinton through her aid/lawyer Cheryl Mills, “Please tell her that we all love her and are very proud to know her.” He wrote this to her after her Benghazi testimony. Fauci is just another Deep State Hillary-loving stooge.

Senators Dump Stocks

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and several of her Senate colleagues reported selling off stocks worth millions of dollars in the days before the coronavirus outbreak crashed the market, according to reports.  Republican senators Richard BurrKelly Loeffler, Ron Johnson and Jim Inhofe sold significant stock shares following a January 24th meeting on the coronavirus threat. Loeffler has claimed she is only informed of her stock transactions weeks after they occur.  Really? Doesn’t sound like a good stockbroker to me!

Before the stock market tanked, these politicians saved their own bacon because they had market knowledge.  Martha Stewart is probably wondering why they have not received the same punishment she received.

Second Amendment

Jim Kouri’s latest article at NewsWithViews exposes the massive gun and ammunition sales during this pandemic.  The largest sales are in states where the virus has spread.

Journalist Daniel Greenfield noted in Front Page Magazine that the CDC has focused on liberal causes du jour rather than their mandate of actually keeping Americans safe from legitimate public health crises.

Greenfield noted that one of the “social justice” causes that have been pushed by the CDC are unconstitutional gun control schemes.

Gun permits have been suspended in several states and counties due to the virus panic.

Covid-19 Treatments

Seattle’s nursing home lost a number of their patients from the virus, but one 90 year old gal survived and is doing well even though she had other health problems.

New York City cases of Covid-19 started multiplying when a 39 year old woman returned from Iran to Manhattan and tested positive for the disease on March 1st.  New York now has at least 5,000 cases.  Daniel Horowitz tweeted, “Nearly the entire outbreak in New York came from a traveler from Iran, a place that was supposed to have a travel ban, but thanks to lower courts continuing to militate against Scotus decision, it was rendered moot.”

A new study whose results were published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents has found early evidence that the combination of hydroxychloroquine, a popular anti-malaria drug known under the trade name Plaqenuil, and antibiotic azithromycin (aka Zithromax or Azithrocin) could be especially effective in treating the COVID-19 coronavirus and reducing the duration of the virus in patients.

Three international studies in China, Australia and France found that Chloroquine with Azithromycin shows a 100% success rate in treating coronavirus in six days! Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug while azithromycin is an antibiotic.

President Trump has called for these drugs to be used immediately and has even sent them to New York City where there’s an explosion of the virus.  Dr. Fauci disagrees with him, but then that’s to be expected.  These drugs are producing strong results in trials involving hospitalized American patients.

President Trump said, “Nothing will stand in our way as we pursue any avenue to find what best works against this horrible virus.”

Conclusion

Managing a pandemic shouldn’t require tanking the economy.  The mainstream media created a worldwide panic and they did it on purpose to see how much power they can wield.  Unfortunately, as comrades of the socialist democrats, it is a huge amount.  Their goal is to damage President Trump beyond repair.

Americans from coast to coast understand this is a different sort of virus, but it hasn’t the numbers that yearly flus have shown regarding those who get sick and those who die.  Both federal and state governments have gone berserk destroying our civil rights, and the very rights of American business, whether small or large to keep their doors open during this so-called WHO “pandemic.”

Steve Mnuchin has now moved Tax Day from April 15th to July 15th, which is an anomaly for this country and absolutely unnecessary for the “pandemic” total of Americans affected by Covid-19.  We have entered the twilight zone with how this virus is being treated.

There are 14,371 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US.

  • There are 217-250 deaths blamed on the coronavirus.
  • The current mortality rate from confirmed cases is 1.5%, and we know that’s too high.
  • There are no official numbers that include the number of citizens who had the virus but were not sick enough to seek medical attention.
  • There are an estimated 22,000 flu deaths and 36 million cases in the US each year.

So why the panic?  Why the shutdown of schools, businesses, restaurants, sports, doctor’s offices, etc.? What is the true reality here?  Are American citizens being played?  Why the loss of civil rights?  And why has AG Barr’s DOJ asked Congress to expand legal authorities to circumvent those pesky civil liberties that are already being excessively curbed and destroyed?

We truly are in dangerous waters…stay tuned.

P.S.  Everyone is suffering because of the Covid-19 outbreak. NewsWithViews needs funds to continue to operate and bring you daily truth about what is happening in America…truth the mainstream media never reports.  We count on donations to survive.  Please help us by donating whatever you can every month.  And ask your friends to sign up to receive the daily reports.  You can donate here.

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Senate Bill Would Give $1,200 to Many Americans as COVID-19 Relief

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that the Senate will not leave Washington before approving an aid package to ease financial problems during the coronavirus pandemic through direct payments to individual Americans.

Other provisions of the package, which has a total cost estimated at up to $1 trillion, would provide loans to airlines and other struggling industries.

Under the proposal, couples earning up to $150,000 a year would get checks for $2,400 in the mail and individuals earning up to $75,000 would get $1,200 checks.

After reaching those income thresholds, relief would scale downward to as low as $600 for some Americans.


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 >>


Individuals earning more than $99,000 a year and couples earning more than $198,000 would not get anything from the government under the current bill.

The Democrat-controlled House would have to pass a version of the bill. The Trump administration already has signaled support for many of the initiatives.

“Senate Republicans want to put cash into the hands of the American people,” McConnell said in a Senate floor speech.

McConnell said the goal of the bill—called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act—is to “get assistance to individuals and families as rapidly as possible.”

“No tangled Washington process with a thousand cooks in the kitchen, no piles of forms for laid-off workers or busy families to fill out,” the top Senate Republican said. “Money for people, from the middle class on down.”

The bill also includes a $500 payment for each child in a household, depending on family income.

This stage marks “phase three” of economic relief packages during the coronavirus pandemic that have gained bipartisan support in Congress.

Congress passed an initial $830 billion relief package in early March focused on medical and emergency relief.

On Wednesday, Trump signed another, $100 billion bill that includes unemployment benefits and free testing for the new coronavirus disease, which health officials call COVID-19.

The proposed CARES Act includes direct payments to Americans, as well as delays in employer payroll taxes and estimated tax payments for businesses.

The proposal also would provide $208 billion in loan guarantees, including $50 billion for the airline industry and $8 billion for air cargo carriers.

The total confirmed U.S. cases of COVID-19 reached 10,442 as of noon Thursday, with 150 confirmed deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some conservatives, including Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, showed reluctance to support too much spending or large bailouts for industries.

McConnell likely will need support from Democrats to pass the legislation.

In a joint statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the Democrats made other demands. It said, in part:

The number one priority is addressing this health crisis, which requires a Marshall Plan to rebuild our health care infrastructure on a continental scale and ensure the resources are there to test and treat everyone who needs it. To earn Democratic support in the Congress, any economic stimulus proposal must include new, strong and strict provisions that prioritize and protect workers, such as banning the recipient companies from buying back stock, rewarding executives and laying off workers.

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. 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!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Tucker Carlson: Shutting Down Economy Poses ‘Its Own Kind Of Public Health Risk’ [Video]

Fox News host Tucker Carlson struck a balanced approach between epidemiologists who would argue for shutting everything down to fight the coronavirus pandemic and those concerned that an economic recession and even depression could pose “its own kind of public health risk.”

Acknowledging the “major threat to the country” that coronavirus poses, Carlson pointed out the fact that there is “no clear consensus on how the country should respond.”

WATCH:

“That should not surprise you,” said the Fox News host on Monday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “People of good faith are working toward a couple of different goals tonight which at times collide with one another.”

While the “first obligation” is always public safety and should be accomplished if possible, Carlson pointed out that protecting the economy should also be considered.

“At the same time though, we need to protect our economy, and it’s not just something that Wall Street cares about, to be totally clear,” he said. “Economic decline is dangerous for everyone, especially at the bottom of the economy. It’s a legitimate human concern. It’s not just financial, it’s about families.”

The “two imperatives” can “often conflict,” the Fox News host contended. “So if you ask an epidemiologist what we ought to do next, the answer is simple: shut it down, close every public space until the virus passes.”

“From a public health standpoint, that makes sense, but what would be the consequences of doing that?” he asked. “Millions and millions of people would lose their jobs, some of them for good. We would enter a severe recession with mass unemployment and it could get worse from there. It’s not a joke, that could happen. You would see an awful lot of people in poverty in middle America and that poses its own kind of public health risk. Poor countries are never healthy countries. If you want great health care, you’ve got to pay for it and you have to have money to do so.”

Any proper response “requires balance” and is a “complex question” with “no obvious answers.”

Later in the monologue, Carlson warned against printing cheap money and eventually entering a situation where the U.S. “becomes Zimbabwe.”

“It’s missing the point anyway,” he said. “The real imperative is saving jobs. For government bureaucrats and administrators and corporate H.R. directors, a month out of the office constitutes a vacation, but for the classes below, it could be the beginning of a long spiral, a real one. Of waiters, bartenders, retail workers, huge parts of the service industry on which we are dependent could see their income dropped to zero and not come back.”

Carlson called the “guaranteed basic income” proposed by Utah Sen. Mitt Romney a “well-meaning” idea but in actuality “decadent and foolish.”

“Name a place that’s become happier and more prosperous under a scheme like that,” he said before lauding the German system that allows employers to place their workers on “reduced hours” with the government making up the difference.

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

Tax Cut Gains and Losses, Health Care Costs and the Tidal Wave Exodus from High Tax States

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” – Thomas Jefferson – Founding Father and U.S. President

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents…” – James Madison – Founding Father and U.S. President

“The power to tax is the power to destroy.” –  John Marshall – Founding Father and 4th U.S. Chief Justice

“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary (according to our Constitution) is legalized robbery.” – President Calvin Coolidge

“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” –  Thomas Paine – Founding Father


The whores in Washington D.C. are money junkies who will ultimately suck the life out of our country for the benefit of their friends and family.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt was no different, his administration was infiltrated with communist agents, agents he allowed to destroy and dismantle the standards set forth by the founders of our Constitutional Republic.

FDR told us the arrangement with Stalin after WWII was a “good deal.” China turned Red, half of Germany was controlled by Communists, and the world was sold to the devil.  Do I trust government, not then and not today!  Yet, I know the President we have in our White House is one of the best men we have ever chosen and he truly loves this country.

Nevertheless, in the long run, the economists who designed both Reagan’s and Trump’s tax programs ended up hurting taxpayers, and ultimately the entire country.  The Democratic socialists always regain power, and when they do, the taxes get raised, but the eliminated deductions are never given back to us.  Worse yet, the 2017 tax reduction has motivated liberals to move out of high tax states into Red states, eventually turning them Blue.

Reagan’s Tax “Cuts”

In 1981, Reagan lowered federal income tax rates significantly with the signing of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which lowered the top marginal tax brackets and slashed estate taxes and trimmed corporate taxes over five years.

Unfortunately, his 1982 tax increase undid a third of his initial tax cut. Reagan agreed to the tax hikes on the promise from Congress of a $3 reduction in spending for every $1 increase in taxes.  Promises made, but never kept.

In 1983, Reagan instituted a payroll tax increase on Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance. In 1984 another bill was introduced that closed tax loopholes. According to tax historian Joseph Thorndike, the bipartisan bills of 1982 and 1984 “constituted the largest tax increase ever enacted during peacetime.”

Then came the Tax Reform Act of 1986 where Reagan and Congress sought to simplify the tax system by eliminating many deductions, reducing the highest marginal rates, and reducing the number of tax brackets. It exempted millions of low-income families from a federal income tax by expanding the standard deduction, personal exemption and earned income tax credit (wealth redistribution). It drastically reduced the number of tax brackets, with the top rate for individuals cut from 50 percent to 28 percent; and it slashed corporate tax rates from 48 percent to 34 percent, paid for by eliminating or reducing corporate tax breaks.

It destroyed the middle-class deductions we used to have. There were many, even for contact lens solutions and OTC medications, deductions for interest on credit card purchases and interest on car loans…now long gone, plus so much more.  Middle class Americans were screwed, but they didn’t realize it until Democrats regained power.

This reminds me of Hydra, the mythical Greek beast with hundreds of heads. Each time you cut one off, two more grow back. Like Hydra, our tax code has grown out of control. Since 1986, Congress has made 15,000 changes to the tax code.

President Trump’s Tax Overhaul

Gary Cohn is an American business leader who served as the 11th Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to President Trump from 2017 to 2018. When Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin’s confirmation hearings were held up, Cohn pushed ahead on taxes, infrastructure, financial regulation, and replacing the health-care law.

Cohn was a supporter of globalism and was nicknamed “Globalist Gary” and “Carbon Tax Cohn.”  He led the Trump administration’s efforts to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget said about Gary Cohn, “As a right-wing conservative and founding member of the Freedom Caucus, I never expected that the coworker I would work closest, and best with at the White House would be a globalist.”

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

So, what did the TCJA actually do for us?  It’s not all good news for taxpayers. The TCJA also eliminates or limits many tax breaks, and much of the tax relief is only temporary.  It includes significant changes for individual taxpayers, most of which took effect for 2018, but expires after 2025.  Once they expire, the tax rate will undoubtedly be hiked, but bye-bye to our former deductions, just like the ones we lost with Reagan.

TCJA calls for annual inflation adjustments to be calculated using the chained consumer price index.  This will push taxpayers into a higher tax bracket much quickly and far easier.  This part is permanent.

The increased standard deduction could compensate for the elimination of the exemptions, and perhaps even provide some additional tax savings. But for those with many dependents or who itemize deductions, these changes might result in a higher tax bill — depending in part on the extent to which they can benefit from the family tax credits.  Many common and righteous deductions are eliminated.

  • Moving expenses for work is eliminated, except for active duty military.
  • Alimony payments that were deductible, so that the receiving spouse paid the income taxes, are no longer a deduction for the payee.
  • State and local tax deductions were on the chopping block but survived in part. For 2018–2025, taxpayers can claim a deduction of no more than $10,000 for the aggregate of state and local property taxes and either income or sales taxes.
  • The TCJA tightens limits on the deduction for home mortgage interest. For 2018–2025, it generally allows a taxpayer to deduct interest only on mortgage debt of up to $750,000. However, the limit remains at $1 million for mortgage debt incurred before December 15, 2017, which will significantly reduce the number of taxpayers affected.
  • Home Equity loan interest is no longer deductible if it is not for home improvements. The rules are complex and the new law is still being interpreted.
  • A deduction for expenses such as certain professional fees, investment expenses and unreimbursed employee business expenses is suspended for 2018–2025. If you’re an employee and work from home, this includes the home office deduction.
  • Personal casualty and theft loss deduction. For 2018–2025, this deduction is suspended except if the loss was due to an event officially declared a disaster by the President.
  • For 2018–2025, the limit on the deduction for cash donations to public charities is raised to 60% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from 50%.
  • Beginning after December 31, 2017, the TCJA prohibits taxpayers who convert a pretax traditional IRA into a post-tax Roth IRA from later “recharacterizing” (that is, reversing) the conversion.
  • The TCJA eliminates the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act requiring taxpayers not covered by a qualifying health plan to pay a penalty, effective for months beginning after December 31, 2018. However, we are still receiving notices that we must submit to IRS that we are covered by insurance…Why?

There are many more changes, especially to business, but these are just a few of those which affect individual taxpayers.

The Mass Exodus

Some folks are seeing smaller federal tax bites and bigger refunds, thanks to a more generous standard deduction in the tax overhaul of 2017, and this is the part the president wants to make permanent. But the millions of people who are accustomed to writing off state income tax and local property tax payments are feeling the pinch due to one of the most contentious aspects of the revised system.

It limits deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000 on a joint return, which has the intended effect of increasing federal taxes, particularly on residents of high-taxing states such as California and New York, and don’t forget New Jersey, Oregon, Washington State, Massachusetts and others.  Folks who own homes in both warm and cold climates are limited to the deduction, but it’s not just luxury homes, the middle class is feeling the pinch as well.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that his state has collected $2.3 billion less during December and January of tax revenue.  And this is blamed on the flight of high-income taxpayers to states with low or no state income taxes, especially Florida.

States with no income tax like Florida, Texas and Tennessee are seeing population explosions.  Other states are popular, but these three are at the top, and all three are Red States!  People are leaving these high tax states in droves.  Did globalist Gary Cohn figure this into the tax plan?

Virginia used to be a conservative state until many of the Democrat DC residents moved south, and now they’ve taken over North Carolina as well.  When they leave the higher cost living areas, they don’t leave behind their politics, they bring them with them, and their newly occupied states eventually turn Blue.  This is the danger in the 2017 tax bill.  America could drastically change.

Healthcare Losses

Most middle class Americans gained in 2018 through the new tax bill, but we must remember that thanks to neo-con Trotskyite Republican Senators John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, Repeal and Replace for Obamacare failed.  McCain had campaigned on a promise to repeal the bill, but once again he lied to his constituents. His hatred for President Trump meant more than his promise to the people. The House passed the bill by a narrow margin.

In 2019, business insurance costs went up exponentially for employees.  Even privately held insurance went up again including higher deductibles. In 2020, many employees are paying increases of $2600 or higher per year to cover the cost of healthcare and that’s with deductibles reaching from $5,000 to $15,000 per family.

This easily wipes out the paycheck gains of the 2017 middle class tax cut.  Medical deductibles have risen every year across the board; most families never meet the deductibles for the year, and if they do, it’s not until September or October. The cost of medication has increased as well.

Under Obamacare, physicians who prescribe medications must be seen at least once a year to insure they can continue to fill your prescriptions throughout the year and each year new paperwork is required. And now, insurers including Blue Cross and Medicare insist that if you have hypertension, high cholesterol, or are on medications that used to be checked during yearly physicals, you must now see your physician two to four times a year for blood tests.  Americans who have been on medications for 15 to 20 years and only needed yearly checkups, are now stuck with extra checkups and blood tests.

The costs are increasing exponentially with the deductibles and having to pay for more blood tests and office visits per year is punitive. If patients fail to keep these appointments, insurers can and will consider them “non-compliant patients” and drop them from their insurance.

Yes, Obamacare needs to be destroyed, and national healthcare in America needs to be buried in the dustbin of toxic and murderous ideas and that is why we need to regain the House.

Conclusion

Communist Bernie Sanders and his Democratic socialist comrades love progressive taxation, and they support the Affordable Care Act as a first, but insufficient, step toward full national health care.  Like all socialists, their political theory is derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.

The Trumps were close to Norman Vincent Peale and his family.  Peale was the nationally renowned pastor of Marble Collegiate in Manhattan.  He was also known for his opposition to collectivism, from FDR’s New Deal, to Soviet communism.  Peale knew communism was the biggest threat to liberty and freedom, and Donald Trump, who loved Peale, knows that as well.  It is why he ran for president.  He knows that freedom means individual choice, not communist collectivization.

President Donald Trump absolutely must be re-elected…but more importantly, true hardcore old-right conservatives must replace the neo-con Republicans and the socialist democrats in Congress.  We must regain the House and keep and enlarge the Senate with strongholds of true conservative old-right Constitutionalists.

President Trump is counting on us to help him Make America Great Again.

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Trump Budget Cuts Size of Federal Government, but Bolder Reforms Needed

>> Note: This live blog no longer is being updated by Heritage Foundation policy experts.


President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 would reduce the size and reach of the federal bureaucracy significantly by shifting government responsibilities back to constitutional priorities and empowering state and local governments.

These reforms, contained in the request Trump sent Monday morning to Congress, would put the budget on track to balance and represent a significant first step toward reducing spending and stabilizing the nation’s unsustainable debt.

However, the president’s proposal represents a missed opportunity in other areas. Namely, it fails to propose significant reforms to Social Security and health care entitlement programs, the main drivers of spending and debt growth.


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 president’s annual budget proposal should serve as a road map to Congress for how the executive and legislative branches can work together to increase individual freedom and economic prosperity for all Americans.

Out-of-control federal spending is a threat to that freedom and prosperity. The president must continue to lead the way and propose bolder reforms that not only will balance the budget in the short term but also put the government on a long-term path to sustainability.

Trump’s budget request would:

1. Cut spending by $4.4 trillion and put the federal budget on a path to balance. The president’s budget includes $4.4 trillion in proposed spending cuts. According to the administration, this is the highest number of spending cuts a president ever has proposed.

In a sign of how unsustainable federal spending has become, even with over $4 trillion in cuts the budget does not balance in 10 years.

The proposal does provide a path to balance though, reducing deficits from nearly 5% of gross domestic product to less than 1% of GDP by 2030. The administration projects a surplus by 2035.

With the gross national debt already surpassing the size of the economy, there is no time to waste. The Trump administration should strive to balance the budget within 10 years.

2. Significantly reduce the federal bureaucracy. Over the past century, the size and scope of the federal government has expanded well beyond the constitutional priorities envisioned by the Founding Fathers. The president’s 2021 budget makes significant progress in reducing the government’s reach and returning power to the people.

The budget proposal includes $1.9 trillion in cuts to nondefense discretionary programs. Much of the nondefense discretionary budget includes waste, duplication, or overlap, or funds programs that have no proper federal role.

To address these problems, the president’s budget proposes a 5% cut to nondefense programs, rejecting the irresponsible Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. The budget proposes a 2% annual cut from 2022 to 2030.

Nondefense discretionary reforms alone won’t balance the budget, but they will help to ensure that the federal government focuses on truly national needs.

3. Prioritize national defense. The president’s budget proposes $740.5 billion in national defense spending, consistent with the level provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. This is a $2.5 billion (0.3%) increase compared to 2020.

The budget realizes over $5 billion in savings within the operations of the Department of Defense, which the administration reinvests in higher priorities, such as nuclear modernization, missile defense, and increased readiness.

The security of Americans at home and abroad is perhaps the greatest responsibility of the federal government. Providing appropriated national defense funding should remain a top priority.

What’s Needed in the Budget

To stabilize spending and debt growth, lawmakers must pursue bolder reforms. One area where the president’s budget falls short is in addressing the growth of entitlement spending.

Last month, the Congressional Budget Office projected that annual Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security spending will nearly double in the next decade, consuming 59% of federal revenues by 2030.

Medicare and Social Security are unsustainable and both are on a path to insolvency. The budget should propose fundamental reforms to these programs that will lower costs and return control over health care and retirement needs to the American people.

This proposal does not achieve that goal, providing only modest reforms to health care programs and Social Security’s disability insurance program. It will be impossible to reduce spending and stabilize debt over the long term without reforming entitlement programs.

President Must Lead Way

Trump’s budget would reshape the federal government and refocus it toward constitutional priorities, significantly reducing spending and balancing the budget in 15 years.

Nevertheless, there is much more work to be done. The nation’s long-term debt trajectory is unsustainable and will negatively impact current and future generations.

The president’s budget provides the groundwork to avert that future; however, he must continue to lead Congress toward bigger and bolder reforms.

In the space below, Heritage Foundation analysts dig into some of the specific aspects of the president’s budget request.

Individual Tax Cuts Extended, Other Pro-Growth Reforms Left Out

Trump’s budget proposal would keep taxes from automatically increasing on working Americans, as is currently scheduled for 2026.

By extending the individual tax cuts from 2017, the budget would cut taxes by $1.4 trillion. Keeping taxes low for individuals is rightly a key priority for a taxpayer-focused budget.

But the budget does not include similar protections for new business investments in American workers, which begin to phase out at the end of 2022.

First, let’s look at the individual protections that the budget would extend. These are the same changes that cut taxes for 9 out of 10 taxpayers in 2018 and had significant benefits for Americans in every income group. The average American got a $1,400 tax cut in 2018, or $2,900 for a family of four.

To keep these benefits from reversing, the budget would retain the federal income tax rates at the lower levels, the larger standard deduction, the doubled child tax credit, and the capped deductions for state and local taxes, among many other important reforms.

For businesses and their employees, the budget would maintain the permanently lower corporate tax rate at 21%, down from the 2017 global high of 35%. This stands in contrast to leading Democrats who want to increase the federal business tax rate as high as 42%—about 10 percentage points higher than any other major country.

Paired with lower rates, the most pro-growth reform of the 2017 tax cuts allowed businesses to write off many new investments immediately. These rules for immediate expensing are left out of the budget proposal.

Without the protections of expensing, it will be more expensive for new businesses to open and for mature businesses to upgrade and expand operations—resulting in fewer jobs and slower wage gains. Making expensing permanent is a crucial component of meeting the Trump administration’s target of 3% growth.

As the administration develops a formal proposal for tax cuts 2.0, reforms such as expensing and universal savings accounts are crucial components.—Adam N. Michel, senior policy analyst, Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget

A Flat Future for Defense

The Trump defense budget request follows the cap set by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, at $740.5 billion. It would be a 0.3% increase over last year’s appropriated defense budget.

This is not enough to cover inflationary cost growth for the coming year, let alone reach the 3% to 5% annual real growth that Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated was necessary to meet the challenges of the National Defense Strategy just last Thursday.

The budget describes some cuts that were made by the Defense Department as it sought to find savings in accounts such as health care or defense logistics. This effort freed $5 billion that had been reinvested in higher priority items such as our nuclear deterrent and cutting-edge technology research.

Hopefully, Congress will support those changes.

The budget also describes essentially a flat trajectory for defense spending in future years, in marked contrast to what was deemed as necessary by multiple secretaries of defense and by the bipartisan Commission on the National Defense Strategy.

In the budget document, defense raises at inflationary levels from fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2025 and then is literally flat until fiscal 2030. A clear disconnect exists between what senior Pentagon leaders have expressed as necessary and what the White House has outlined.

A flat budget for the Defense Department would mean that every year, the department will have to find around $14 billion of savings in order to maintain its purchasing power. Even in the context of a $740 billion budget, it is going to be a tall task.—Frederico Bartels, policy analyst for defense budgeting, Center for National Defense

Optimistic, but Not Impossible, Economic Projections

Fast economic growth and low interest rates are key assumptions that would help the president’s budget proposal balance in 15 years. These projections are certainly optimistic, but not inconceivable in an aggressively pro-growth policy environment.

The assumed average growth rate of 3% is not comparable to other projections, such as the recently released Congressional Budget Office economic forecast of a 1.7% annual growth rate.

CBO assumes that things stay on their current trajectory, taxes increase in 2025, deregulation efforts stop, and federal programs keep growing out of control. The president’s budget assumes many of the opposite policies, and thus can count on better economic conditions.

The assumed growth rates are certainly close to the upper bound of pro-growth optimism, but also represent a simple return to historical trends. Sustained high growth does not follow automatically from enacting the president’s agenda. Many other things outside the control of Washington also must go right.

Economic growth of 3% would be easier to achieve if the budget also included a concrete path to reduce tariffs, quiet trade uncertainty, and extend the business expensing tax reforms set to expire at the end of fiscal 2022.—Adam N. Michel, senior policy analyst, Hermann Center for the Federal Budget

Government Shouldn’t Run Paid Family Leave

The president’s budget calls for more government intervention in paid family leave, extending paid parental leave benefits to all new parents.

The mechanism appears to be small grants to states to help them set up programs that work best for their workforce and economy, but state-level politicians and bureaucrats still are not better equipped than business owners and workers to know what works best for them.

It turns out that employees value flexible work schedules by a margin of 6-to-1 over more paid parental leave. Including other means of granting more flexibility to workers, such as through telecommuting, increases the ratio to 11-to-1.

Although paid parental and paid family leave are valuable, they are not without cost and consequence. Some of those costs and consequences are playing out with existing state-based programs of paid family leave.

Both California’s and New Jersey’s programs increased the unemployment rate and the duration of unemployment for young women. And in California, the program resulted in 7% lower employment and 8% lower annual earnings for mothers, as well as reduced fertility rates.

These programs also are regressive, taxing everyone but primarily benefiting middle- and upper-income earners. In California, workers in the highest income bracket file more than five times as many paid family leave claims as those in the lowest-income bracket.

And although the taxes may start out low, they already have grown and will continue to grow over time. Economists estimate that a national paid family leave program would cost the average worker an extra $1,500 to $2,900 per year in additional taxes.

With tremendous growth in the number of new and expanded employer-provided policies, now is not the time to sideswipe more flexible and accommodating policies with one-size-fits-all, rigid, and bureaucratic government programs.

Most workers and families would prefer to be able to choose how to spend their money in ways that meet their particular needs than to have it taken from them and be told what types of government programs they are eligible to receive. It turns out that although paid parental leave is important to employees, there are better ways to help them balance work, family, and health needs.

The Working Families Flexibility Act would give lower-wage workers the option to accumulate paid time off; universal savings accounts would help families save for all kinds of life events; and fewer regulations would free up business resources to help employers provide paid family leave.

None of these would subject workers and their families to the mercy of government programs and bureaucrats to meet their needs.—Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements, Hermann Center for the Federal Budget

Education Spending Smartly Trimmed; Tax Credit Scholarship Remains Pitfall

The Trump administration has requested $66.6 billion for the Department of Education, which would be a 7.8% (or $5.6 billion) reduction from the $72.2 billion enacted for fiscal 2020.

Although the proposed reductions are slightly lower than those proposed last year, the top line for the agency goes in the right direction. And overall, the budget would save $124 billion over 10 years through reductions in mandatory program spending at the department.

Moving in the right direction. In the K-12 space, the budget would establish the Elementary and Secondary Education for the Disadvantaged Block Grant, consolidating 29 existing programs into a single $19.4 billion formula-funded block grant.

The budget includes few details about the proposed block grant, but the funds would be distributed through the existing Title I formula; states and school districts then could “decide how best to use” funds.. This approach appears to mirror that of the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (APLUS) Act, a longstanding goal of conservatives.

The APLUS proposal, introduced by Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., would allow states to opt out of the existing, labyrinthine structure of Elementary and Secondary Education Act programs, and put their federal K-12 dollars toward any lawful education purpose under state law.

The budget wisely calls for elimination of subsidized student loans (saving $18 billion from 2021 to 2030), along with the elimination of Obama-era public service loan forgiveness (saving $52 billion from 2021 to 2030). It also would cap the Graduate PLUS loan program, saving $27.5 billion over 10 years, as well as the Parent PLUS loan program.

The administration wisely would eliminate Public Service Loan Forgiveness—which passes the tab for public employees’ student loans onto taxpayers after 10 years. But is also would reduce from 20 years to 15 years the length of repayment for undergraduate students under the proposed Income Driven Repayment plan—a step in the wrong direction.

Profligate federal spending through subsidized student loans has fueled tuition inflation, driving up college costs and burdening families. Student loan forgiveness policies have exposed taxpayers to $1.6 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

This budget recognizes those realities and makes some important course corrections in the right direction. But it should go further in ensuring that no taxpayer should have to pay for someone else’s loan that they didn’t agree to take out.

Policy shortfalls. Although there is much to celebrate in the president’s budget request, one major misstep is the proposed $5 billion Education Freedom Scholarships program, which would cost $45 billion from 2021 through 2030.

This new program would leverage the federal tax code to create a scholarship program for eligible students to attend a private school of choice. As my colleague Adam Michel and I recently wrote:

The administration’s support of school choice is praiseworthy, but a federal tax credit scholarship program poses a threat to education choice in the states, and undermines the goal of a streamlined federal tax code.

Moreover, the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to create such a program, which would establish massive new federal spending and would likely subject private schools to future regulations from an administration and Congress less friendly to education choice.

The budget also includes significant new spending in another area reserved to the states: vocational education. Although career and technical education is an important tool for climbing the ladder of upward economic mobility and pursuing careers in the trades, it is the job of local high schools to provide for vocational classes, not the federal government.

Yet the proposed budget would increase spending by nearly $1 billion on career and technical education “to help ensure that every high school has a high-quality vocational program.” This is despite the fact that 98% of public school districts already offer career and technical education to high schools students.

Finally, over at the Department of Health and Human Services, funding for the failed Head Start program is maintained, and the budget proposes a new $1 billion “investment for states to build the supply of care and stimulate employer investment is child care.” It is long past time for Congress and the administration to restore revenue responsibility for Head Start to the states.—Lindsey M. Burke, director, Center for Education Policy and Will Skillman fellow in education policy

A Critical Reform to School Meals

The budget proposal would fix an egregious and likely unauthorized expansion of school meals to middle-class and wealthy families.

Nearly a century ago, federal lawmakers created the National School Lunch Program to help children in need who couldn’t afford to buy food at school. Yet in 2010, Congress expanded eligibility for school meals through the Community Eligibility Provision, allowing some schools and districts to provide free meals to students from middle-class and wealthy families.

As if this weren’t bad enough, the Department of Agriculture then improperly interpreted the provision to allow even more schools to provide free meals to children who are not in need.

The Community Eligibility Provision allows schools or districts to offer “free” meals to all students if 40% or more of the students in the school or district are eligible for means-tested welfare programs such as food stamps.

The Agriculture Department has gone beyond the scope of the law and is allowing districts to group schools together in order to meet this 40% threshold.  As a result, a district could group a school that doesn’t enroll a single student from a low-income family with another school that does have a high percentage of children living in poverty. If together these two schools meet the 40% threshold, the school without a single low-income student can provide free meals to all of its students.

The budget proposal clarifies that districts cannot group schools together in this way. Each school would have to meet the 40% figure to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.

If this change is made, children in need would still be able to access free and reduced-priced meals, but the federal government will begin the process of returning these school meals to the original purpose: helping children from low-income families.Jonathan Butcher, senior policy analyst, Center for Education Policyand Daren Bakst, senior research fellow in agricultural policy, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

Protecting Private Union Pensions Without Taxpayer Dollars

The president’s budget once again calls for protecting workers with multiemployer—or union—pensions by keeping the government entity that provides pension insurance, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, solvent for at least the next 20 years.

The PBGC’s multiemployer program it expected to run out of funds to pay insured benefits in just five years, at which point workers could receive mere pennies on the dollar in promised benefits.

At stake is a massive $638 billion shortfall between what private sector employers and unions promised to their workers and what they actually set aside to pay them. Of the roughly 11 million workers with multiemployer pensions, more than 75% are in plans that are less than 50% funded.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation provides a backstop to pension losses, but its revenues are nowhere near sufficient to provided needed benefits.

The president’s fiscal 2021 budget calls for an additional $26 billion in the PBGC’s multiemployer program premiums, including adding a risk-based component to discourage plans from overpromising and underfunding.

Notably, this is an $8 billion increase from last year’s proposed $18 billion increase to accomplish the same goal of keeping the PBGC solvent for another 20 years. That increase came despite Congress’s unprecedented bailout for the United Mine Workers of America’s $6 billion in broken pension promises, a large portion of which otherwise would have been the PBGC’s liability.

This dramatic one-year increase emphasizes the high price of failing to enact commonsense multiemployer pension reforms. The longer congress waits, the higher the risks of another taxpayer bailout become.—Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget and entitlements, Hermann Center for the Federal Budget

Reforming Agricultural Subsidies

Once again, the Trump administration should be commended for trying to bring commonsense reform to agricultural subsidies.

The budget request explains: “The budget proposes to maintain a strong safety net for farmers while achieving savings by: eliminating subsidies to higher-income farmers; reducing overly generous crop insurance subsidies to producers and companies; and eliminating some programs that have no federal purpose or are duplicative.”

Proposed reforms include:

—Limiting the crop insurance premium subsidy for farmers to a reasonable and more defensible number. Currently, taxpayers pay on average 62% of the federal crop insurance premiums for farmers.  The budget would maintain a very generous subsidy, but reduce it so that taxpayers would on average pay 48% of premiums. Congress should embrace this widely supported bipartisan reform.

The Government Accountability Office has recommended this reform and the Congressional Budget Office listed reducing premium subsidies as one of its options to reduce the deficit. (The CBO option would be more ambitious, lowering the subsidy to 40%). This change would save about $21 billion over 10 years.

—Limiting specific subsidies to agricultural producers with an adjusted gross income of less than $500,000. This change still would allow subsidies to go to producers who are doing very well financially (as measured by adjusted gross income), but would bring some limits to the federal government’s generosity with taxpayers’ money.

As explained in the budget:

The budget proposes to eliminate premium subsidies, commodity payments, and conservation program eligibility for farmers with AGIs [adjusted gross incomes] over $500,000. It is hard to justify to taxpayers why the government should provide assistance to farmers with incomes over half a million dollars. Doing so undermines the credibility and purpose of farm programs. In 2013 (a year of record-high farm income), only 2.1% of farmers had AGIs in excess of this amount.

Additional reforms in the budget proposal include tightening payments limits, eliminating loopholes, and ending excessive assistance to crop insurance companies.—Daren Bakst, senior research fellow in agricultural policy, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

Preserving the Health Care Safety Net

The president’s budget highlights the need to preserve and protect the health are safety net for those who need it. The Medicaid program, which serves the most vulnerable in our society, is overstretched and overburdened.

Right now, 1 in 5 Americans use Medicaid, and federal and state spending on the program is nearing a trillion dollars. This creates significant pressure on federal and state budgets, squeezes other important priorities, and leaves those on the program at risk.

The budget builds upon current administrative actions and lays out additional reforms for the Medicaid program. Specifically, it highlights new efforts to provide states with additional flexibility to care for those with mental illness, recommends new measures to ensure only those eligible for the program are enrolled, and extends welfare work requirements to the Medicaid program to continue to help Americans move up and out of poverty.

These policies are headed in the right direction. The budget recognizes the importance of instituting changes that will improve the management and oversight of the program. It also recognizes, through its broader health reform vision, that more should be done to meet the needs of those who need it most.—Nina Owcharenko Schaefer, senior research fellow, Health Policy Center

Reducing the Cost of Prescription Drugs

The president’s budget rightly calls on Congress to address high prescription drug costs. Government policy contributed to this problem through flawed regulations and subsidies that drive up costs.

The budget would address these flawed policies by supporting bipartisan congressional reforms to the successful Medicare prescription drug benefit. The Heritage Foundation has outlined a road map with details of such reforms, which would provide relief for patients and taxpayers.

At the same time, policymakers must reject heavy-handed solutions, such as those proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, because they would limit access to lifesaving medicines and impede access to new cures.

Lawmakers should focus on addressing the underlying problems in public programs rather than layering on additional administrative and regulatory schemes such as international reference pricing.—Edmund F. Haislmaier, Preston A. Wells Jr. senior research fellow in domestic policy studies

Strengthening the Medicare Program

The president’s budget will strengthen Medicare by providing for a more rational payment system, improving choices and care options for America’s seniors, and combating the waste, fraud, and abuse that has historically plagued the program.

Trump is proposing to change the way Medicare pays for medical benefits services and procedures. Currently, Medicare reimburses medical services performed at hospitals at a higher rate than the rate paid to physicians or clinics providing medical services outside of the hospital setting. Under the president’s proposal, the Medicare payment for several procedures or services would be the same regardless of the setting of the care delivery.

Long championed by The Heritage Foundation, this change to the “site neutrality” payment system not only would reduce excessive costs but also create a level playing field between hospitals and other care delivery systems. This would strengthen competition and increase physician independence while expanding choices and lowering costs for Medicare patients.

From 2021 to 2030, these site neutrality proposals—for post-acute care, hospice care and care in physician offices—are projected to save an estimated total of $270.3 billion.

With these and other Medicare payment adjustments, the administration estimates that the total set of Medicare changes would extend the life of the Medicare hospitalization trust fund for the next 25 years. Under current law, the Medicare hospitalization trust fund faces insolvency in 2026.

The president’s budget also includes several proposals to expand the choices of Medicare patients. The proposed budget would allow Medicare beneficiaries with high-deductible health plans the right to make tax-free contributions to health savings accounts and medical savings accounts.

In accord with another longstanding Heritage Foundation policy recommendation, the president’s budget also would allow Medicare beneficiaries the right to choose a comprehensive private health plan, if they wish to do so instead of enrolling in the Medicare hospitalization program (Part A), without losing their Social Security benefits.

Moreover, in an effort to strengthen cancer screening, Trump’s budget would end coinsurance requirements for Medicare patients who undergo colonoscopies with polyp removal.

The president’s budget also includes initiatives that he offered last year, including significant reforms of graduate medical education and uncompensated hospital care payments. To beef up the administration’s continuing campaign to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare program, the budget would provide an additional $13.7 billion to that effort over 10 years.—Robert E. Moffit, senior fellow, Health Policy Center

Shrinking Energy Cronyism, Unleashing Energy Abundance

Similar to the Trump administration’s previous budgets, the proposal for fiscal 2021 would shrink the federal government’s unnecessary meddling in energy markets.

The president’s budget also proposes to repeal special tax credits for renewable energy technologies, which eliminate a major source of government favoritism in energy markets and relieve taxpayers of a $16 billion burden over 10 years.

The budget also would eliminate energy loan programs—in particular the Title XVII loan guarantees for “advanced technologies” and the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loans. These programs put taxpayers’ money at risk, leading to notorious bankruptcies such as Solyndra, and the current underwriting of the multibillion-dollar Vogtle nuclear reactors in Georgia. These programs distort risk and private-sector investments, not to mention that the government shouldn’t be an investor in energy projects anyway.

The budget also would reduce spending in applied research and development energy programs.  Whether it’s basic or applied, taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for activities best left to innovators and private investors.

In contrast to some calls to nationalize more of the energy sector, the president’s proposal would sell off transmission assets of the Power Marketing Administrations—four quasi-federal electric utilities serving the South and West. It also would reduce their access to taxpayer-subsidized borrowing authority and require them to sell power at market rates.

These are good stepping stones to privatizing these assets—something the Reagan and Clinton administrations both recommended and was done successfully under Bill Clinton with the Alaska Power Administration.

Importantly, the Trump administration would continue to right- size burdensome regulations that have tied up energy development in years of red tape.  As the president’s budget emphasizes:

Energy companies across the world are ready to build in our nation, and permitting reform that cuts red tape shows that we welcome their investments. My administration continues to support growth in the energy sector by removing unnecessary regulations and unleashing America’s vast natural and human resources.

The administration’s commitment to open access to America’s wealth of energy on federal lands is a welcome reversal from the previous administration’s “keep it in the ground” mentality.— Katie Tubb, senior policy analyst for energy and environmental issues, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studiesand Nicolas Loris, deputy director, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and Herbert and Joyce Morgan research fellow

Yucca Mountain: Complicated Invitation to Reopen Debate

Up to now, Trump’s budgets have requested just enough funds to finish the licensing review of a repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Tonopah, Nevada.

But for 10 years, Congress has failed to either to pass legislation or appropriate funds so the administration could follow the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which designates Yucca Mountain as a national repository.

This negligence has cost constituents $8 billion in lawsuits already—exactly what the law was designed to prevent—and is on track to cost tens of billions more in the years to come.

So, the president’s frustration is deeply merited.

Unfortunately, the administration’s budget request does not include funds to finish the license review of a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. Instead, it proposes $27.5 million to begin an “Interim Storage and Nuclear Waste Fund Oversight” program.

Importantly, the administration cannot strike out on its own to develop new policy; the Nuclear Waste Policy Act is quite clear that the administration cannot pursue an interim storage program without progressing on a permanent waste repository. The courts swatted down the previous administration’s attempt to disregard the law unless and until Congress changed it.

Finishing the Yucca Mountain review is a relatively small step that would inform decisions, no matter what long-term nuclear waste disposal options ultimately are pursued. It does not inescapably commit Congress to building the repository without further appropriations—something Congress has been quite adept at withholding.

It also would let the voices of all Nevadans be heard. Most of the state’s congressional delegation opposes a Yucca Mountain repository. But funding completion of the review, and review only, is consistent with their demands for a thorough process with state input, and for further adjudicating concerns in a formal setting that the Department of Energy must address.

Despite this noticeable absence, the budget proposal also assumes the nuclear waste fee—an arbitrary fee on nuclear power plants set by the Department of Energy—will be reinstated in fiscal 2023. But this fee is one of the deep, fundamental flaws plaguing nuclear waste management policy that need to be reformed.

Trump is right to want to look for solutions, and his budget provides an opportunity to reopen the conversation. Nuclear waste management policy and the roles of industry, states, and the federal government need to be reimagined. The first step is finishing the review of Yucca Mountain.

Ultimately, a real solution comes from giving the nuclear industry responsibility and introducing market forces into waste management solutions.—Katie Tubb, senior policy analyst for energy and environmental issues, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

Wrong Way on Transportation

The president’s budget envisions a significant increase in federal spending on infrastructure, proposing $1 trillion in funding over 10 years. This is the wrong way to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, and other valuable physical assets.

Federal involvement makes infrastructure projects more expensive, more time consuming, and more vulnerable to political manipulation.

For example, federal spending on mass transit far exceeds its actual use by Americans when compared to highways. However, congressional Democrats historically have demanded that transit receive a too-generous amount of funding as a percent of overall transportation spending. Trump’s budget does nothing to meaningfully change this politically driven calculation.

Although the administration has made progress on regulatory reform such as the “One Federal Decision” rule and streamlining the National Environmental Policy Act, this does not change the fact that the federal government is a cumbersome and inefficient partner for infrastructure projects.

Red tape such as the Davis-Bacon Act and project labor agreements drive up costs by forcing state government contractors to pay union wage rates and use union-style work rules. The process of submitting proposals for federal subsidies delays the start of projects that normally should be the sole responsibility of state and local governments.

Just as important, more federal activity would crowd out private infrastructure activity. Private financing avoids many wasteful federal regulations and reduces the burden on taxpayers.

It is vital to understand that there are only two ways to pay for spending increases: more taxes or more debt. The president’s budget does not call for a gas tax increase or a new transportation revenue source, which means that the infrastructure proposal reduces the amount of deficit reduction in the budget.

Rather than increasing the federal infrastructure role, Congress and the administration should go the opposite direction. A policy of reducing the federal gas tax, lowering infrastructure spending, and further eliminating red tape would enable more activity and value from state and local governments and the private sector, enhancing America’s prosperity.—David Ditch, research associate, Hermann Center for the Federal Budget

Waste Cut in Higher Education, but New Repayment Options Leave Taxpayers on Hook

The president’s budget takes meaningful steps in reducing or eliminating wasteful spending on higher education. Most notably, changes to the federal student loan program such as eliminating Public Service Loan Forgiveness, ending subsidized loans, and placing caps on both the Parent and Graduate PLUS loan programs meaningfully insulate taxpayers from risky loans made by the Department of Education.

The president’s budget also calls for consolidation of loan repayment plans into one income-driven repayment plan. Although the overly complicated federal student loan repayment options are badly in need of simplification, the budget proposes reducing the number of years a student must pay off their loans from 20 years to 15 years for undergraduate students. The remaining balance after that time would be “forgiven” and absorbed by taxpayers.

This moves federal policy in the wrong direction. Instead, the budget should prioritize insulating taxpayers from the financial risk for students who are unable to pay off loans.

However, the budget’s constraints on duplicative or ineffective higher education programs is praiseworthy. The budget puts guardrails in place to reduce improper payments in the Pell Grant program. Additionally, it calls for eliminating the redundant Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, as well as reducing funding for the federal TRIO and work-study programs.

Such programs have little evidence of success, at significant cost to American taxpayers.—Mary Clare Amselem, policy analyst, Center for Education Policy

Defending Free Speech on Campus

The administration’s budget proposal draws national attention to the repeated shout-downs, disinvitations, and other forms of censorship on college campuses.

The proposal says that colleges that receive federal research grants “must adhere to the requirements of the First Amendment to the Constitution,” a reminder for schools that allow students to shout down invited lecturers or chase the college president off a stage that such actions interfere with and may even violate individuals’ freedom to listen and be heard.

Last year, the president raised the profile of this issue with a broadly worded executive order. Similar to the language in the budget proposal, the order said colleges that receive federal grants should “promote free inquiry” and enforce the First Amendment.

Although both the budget and the executive order appropriately emphasize that disruptive protests threaten expressive rights on campuses around the country, Washington should be careful with any additional actions. The Department of Education should not enlarge the federal footprint in higher education by assuming new investigative responsibilities.

Generally, state policymakers and university governing boards are responsible for public university systems. Policymakers around the country are taking action to protect speech when college administrators fail to do so.

State officials in AlabamaArizonaGeorgiaNorth Carolina, and Wisconsin have adopted provisions that reinforce the rights of anyone lawfully present on a public college campus. The provisions are based on the idea that individuals and groups should be allowed to protest or demonstrate in publicly accessible areas (such as on sidewalks or lawns).

Furthermore, public university leaders should be prepared to impose consequences on individuals—including students—who violate someone else’s right to speak while closely adhering to due process protections for the accused. Such policies already are having their intended effect: In Wisconsin, one group of protesters said the university’s new policies prevented them from shouting down a speaker in 2017.

The Justice Department should continue to defend free speech on campus through statements of interest in appropriate cases. In 2018, after the group Speech First filed a suit against the University of Michigan over the school’s so-called Bias Response Team, the department issued a statement saying the university’s policy “chills protected speech.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit issued a ruling with a similar statement, and the school settled with Speech First and revised its policies.

The White House should emphasize that public colleges must protect the First Amendment, but officials should beware of the potential for unintended consequences from federal administrative actions. State policymakers should guard expressive rights on campus and direct public college governing boards to adopt proposals that do the same.—Jonathan Butcher, senior policy analyst, Center for Education Policy

COMMENTARY BY

Justin Bogie is a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Trump’s Budget Totals $4.8 Trillion, Projects Deficits Until 2035


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!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

3 Reasons Millennials Should Ditch Karl Marx for Ayn Rand

The fact of the matter is that Karl Marx doesn’t align with what’s important to us Millennials. It’s time to look to a new philosopher, like Ayn Rand.


Dear avocado-toast-eating brethren,

We need to drop Karl Marx like we dropped cable TV.

We’re a generation that’s sick of wars (and threats of wars), mass shootings, and media sensationalism. As the ambassadors of the sharing economy and investors in cryptocurrency, we hold innovation and entrepreneurship in high esteem.

Karl Marx is not who we think he is. His philosophy doesn’t align with our values at all. We need to look to somebody more in touch with what’s important to us — someone like Ayn Rand.

Here are 3 reasons we should kick ol’ Karl to the curb and pick up Ayn Rand instead.

We hate the constant stream of wars the US gets involved in. Whether it’s Iraq or Afghanistan, or the threat of the Islamic State or North Korea, we’re just tired of it all. Why can’t everyone get along? Why do we have to topple regime after regime and flex our muscles on Twitter? Don’t even get us started on the mass shootings. It’s 2017, for crying out loud! This violence needs to stop.

If only Karl Marx felt the same way. But unfortunately, he says that the only way to bring about the ideal political state is through violent revolution:

“In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.”

The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx

Oh, brother… Please: No. More. Wars.

Ayn Rand, on the other hand, is not a proponent of violence. She says violence should only be a means of self-defense. If someone invades your country, you can retaliate. If someone punches you in the face, you can retaliate. If someone tries to steal your stuff, you can retaliate. But there’s no reason you should employ violence other than if you or your stuff are attacked.

“A civilized society is one in which physical force is banned from human relationships—in which the government, acting as a policeman, may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.”

The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand

Karl Marx appeals to your emotional indignation.

I groan every time a Boomer rants about “entitled Millennials these days.” We are not entitled. We are not lazy. And when they try to guilt us into going to church more or playing video games less or buying a house or getting married “while we’re still young?” Puh-lease. Emotional appeals are the worst.

And don’t even get us started on media sensationalism. We’ve had enough of the red, shouting faces, the blatant lying and fear-mongering, the “Wars on Christmas.” The media is constantly trying to pit us against each other.

It turns out that Karl Marx uses the same “Us vs. Them” hysteria as CNN and Fox News. He appeals to pathos and emotional outrage to – like we discussed above – try to get us to start a war.

“Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”

The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx

We’re not having any of that though, are we? We’re done being manipulated by outrage and hysteria. It’s time to change the channel to something a little calmer, more grounded, and personally empowering.

Ayn Rand, fortunately, has the peaceful empowerment we’re so desperately missing. While Karl Marx wants you to blame others (the bourgeoisie) for your plights, Ayn Rand wants you to introspect and perhaps reassess your values. Rather than encouraging you to camouflage yourself into a “union of workers,” she wants to empower you as an individual to create a meaningful life for yourself. Mass hysteria, be gone!

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

Karl Marx wants mankind to rest on its laurels.

Welp, we’ve got pretty good iPhones, Space X can salvage and relaunch rockets, and thanks to services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron, we no longer have to go to the grocery store. Time to pack up! Call it a day! Everyone, go home! There’s no more need for innovation.

At least, according to Karl Marx.

If Marx had his way, all incentives to improve and create cooler things would be stripped out of our lives along with our private property. Following the logical progression of his communal philosophy, when we’re all slaving away for “the greater good,” and the highest achieving members of society are having the fruits of their labors redistributed to the lowest achievers (insert flashback to the freeloaders of group projects at school), that’s what will happen. Innovation would cease to occur under Marxism.

“The claim that men should be retained in jobs that have become unnecessary, doing work that is wasteful or superfluous, to spare them the difficulties of retraining for new jobs—thus contributing, as in the case of railroads, to the virtual destruction of an entire industry—this is the doctrine of the divine right of stagnation.”

The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand

But with Ayn Rand’s philosophy, our stuff will always remain ours. We don’t have to share our Nintendo Switch with our little sister (who drops her phone 10 times a day) unless we want to. We can rest easy knowing that if we take a big risk (and invest in cryptocurrencies while our parents mutter “Ponzi scheme” under their breath), we have the opportunity for a big reward. And best of all, with Ayn Rand’s philosophy reaffirming our desire to be great and create great things, maybe someday we will have JARVIS, jetpacks, and flying hammocks.

The fact of the matter is that Karl Marx doesn’t align with what’s important to us Millennials. If it were up to him, we’d be starting more violent wars, we’d be widening the gap of distrust between one another, and we’d strip ourselves of all incentives to make the world cooler than it already is. So it’s time we adopt a new philosopher. Let’s look up to people like Ayn Rand.

COLUMN BY

Leisa Miller

Leisa Miller was a marketing coordinator at FEE. Driven by a desire for adventure, she moved to Warsaw, Poland in 2015 to work for a serial entrepreneur she met on the internet. 15 months and several hundred pierogi later, she came back to the States to hone her marketing skills at a tech startup in Charleston, South Carolina, before eventually making her way to Atlanta and joining the FEE team. In her free time, Leisa enjoys listening to 20th century classical music, learning languages, preparing Gongfu style tea, and swing dancing. You can follow her writing and personal projects on her website.

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

VIDEO: How Washington Wastes Your Tax Dollars on Art

Should your tax dollars be spent on art of Che Guevara? Watch this video to learn more about how Washington is funding “art” with your money.

COMMENTARY BY

Rick Scott is a U.S. senator from Florida. Twitter: .


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


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

Top Arab Figures From 15 Countries Meet to Say ‘No’ to BDS

Prominent figures from 15 Arab countries met in London last week to reject the BDS movement and encourage relations with Israel.

At the same time last week, a delegation of Arab journalists, bloggers and musicians toured Israel at the invitation of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Some of the journalists were from countries with no diplomatic relations with Israel.

BDS stands for Boycott, Sanction and Divest. It is an anti-Semitic movement against the state of Israel devised to  strangle the Jewish state economically.

Participants in the London meeting hailed from Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and the Persian Gulf states and included journalists, artists, politicians, diplomats, Quranic scholars, women and young people.

The meeting was publicized only after its participants returned to their native countries. The New York Times was allowed to post a live stream of the meeting (held in Arabic) after the event.

The London meeting was sponsored by the Center for Peace Communications, an organization that “works through media, schools, and centers of spiritual and moral leadership in the Middle East and North Africa to roll back divisive ideologies and foster a mindset of inclusion and engagement.”

The Times reported that the group in London agreed that “[BDS] has only helped [Israel] while damaging Arab nations that have long shunned the Jewish state. Demonizing Israel has cost Arab nations billions in trade.”

Mustafa el-Dessouki, an Egyptian who is the managing editor of the prominent news magazine, Majalla (which is funded by Saudi Arabia), was one of the main organizers of the meeting.

In recent travels around the Middle East, Dessouki said met many Arabs with similar views to his, including citizens of Lebanon. This was in spite of the fact that the Arab news media and entertainment industry have long been “programming people toward this hostility” against Israel and Jews, he said, while politicians were “intimidating and scaring people into manifesting it.”

Meanwhile, in Israel last week, the visiting delegation included journalists from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Egypt.

The trip was organized by Hassan Kaabia, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s spokesman for the Arabic media. “My goal is to bring people here to get to know the real Israel, to see it first hand, and not through television or social media, and see how Israel is unjustly slandered,” he said.

Kaabia brought a similar delegation to Israel last summer.

He said he met the journalists on Twitter and didn’t know if their governments knew their citizens were visiting Israel.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of the journalists, who was described as a prominent figure in Saudi Arabia, said, “There is no escape from establishing normal relations with Israel.”

By “normal relations,” he said he meant “real peace,” not the peace that is currently seen between the Egyptian and Jordanian governments with Israel, which he criticized for fomenting hate against Israel.

In regards to the Palestinian issue, the Saudi said, “Why should the Arab world ignite problems with Israel and the super-powers because of a small minority? This minority had a chance to form a state in ’47 but refused because it only dealt with the question, ‘Why do the Jews have an independent country?’”

When asked about his experience touring Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, he said, “When people heard I am from Saudi Arabia, they were amazed. Not in a hostile manner, but by accepting who I was.

“I love the Jewish people and all the citizens of Israel,” he concluded in Hebrew.

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This is us! A person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than someone under 35.

This commentary was received from a longtime international friend of ours. A thoughtful commentary indeed:

The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday. They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us are “Baby Boomers getting ready to retire. Others have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. We worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and have grown old together. Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true. But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.

In school we studied English, history, math, and science, which enabled us to lead America into the technological age. Most of us remember what outhouses were, many of us with firsthand experience. We remember the days of telephone party-lines, 25 cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes. For those of you who don’t know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators. A few even remember when cars were started with a crank. Yes, we lived those days.

We are probably considered old fashioned and outdated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off. We won World War II, fought in Korea and Viet Nam. We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing so. We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield. We didn’t fight for the Socialist States of America; we fought for the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We wore different uniforms but carried the same flag.

We know the words to the “Star Spangled Banner, America, and America the Beautiful by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing. We have lived what many of you have only read in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America .

Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and now we are going to save it. It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.

It was mostly the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress. You fell for the “Hope and Change” which in reality was nothing but “Hype and Lies.” You youngsters have tasted socialism and seen evil face to face, and have found you don’t like it after all. You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or “Climbing the Social Ladder” to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting. Many of those who fell for the “Great Lie” in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn’t have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the ‘Kool-Aid.’ Now you’re paying the price and complaining about it; no jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom. This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty, and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.

Well, don’t worry youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here, and in 2016 we took back our nation. We may drive a little slower than you would like, but we get where we’re going, and in 2020 we’re going to the polls again by the millions.

So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of the “Gray-Haired Brigade.”

Footnote: This is spot on. I am another Gray-Haired Geezer signing on. I will circulate this to other Gray-Haired Geezers all over this once great county.

Can you feel the ground shaking??? It’s not an earthquake, it is a:

STAMPEDE!!!!

You and I are Members.

In God we STILL trust!

The 2020 Presidential Election is all about preserving Obama’s legacy — the rise of the ‘Obamanauts’

For those few of us who are watching the various and sundry debates and forums in which the media puts on, and in which the Democrat Party candidates gladly participate, there are some revelations. Revelations like President Trump being labeled a “white supremacist” during the third Democrat presidential debate. Name calling is the soup du jour for Democrats.

To date these debates and forums have included but are not limited to:

There have been many statements and promises made by the various Democrats running for president at each of the above events. What is most revealing is that each candidate puts forth policies that are reminiscent of those implemented under former President Barrack Obama. Some might even say that some of the policies put forth by Dem candidates are Obama on steroids such as: Medicare for all (Obamacare on steroids), New Green Deal (Paris Accord on steroids) and LGBTQ agenda (pseudo equality on steroids).

What defines these candidates? Who is their political mentor? What do they want for the American people? Are they progressives or regressives?

What’s the Democrat Common Denominator?

The common denominator among all of the Democrats running for president (including Hillary Clinton should she jump in) is to reclaim Obama’s legacy.

Dissent Magazine published an article titled The Obamanauts: What is the defining achievement of Barack Obama? written by Corey Robin. Robin writes:

[N]ot only do the Obamanauts wish to salvage Obama’s legacy from Donald Trump; they also believe Obama’s legacy can save us from Donald Trump.

Democrats are committed to going back to the future by undoing everything that President Trump has done to undo everything Obama did during his 8-years as president.

Robin notes:

What is the defining achievement of Barack Obama? For a time, it seemed it would be his foreign policy: the Paris Agreement, diplomatic relations with Cuba, and getting Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program. When Trump got elected and those deals got undone, it seemed it would be the Affordable Care Act. But after plummeting for several years, the uninsured rate among adults has begun to creep back up. Obama did avert a second Great Depression, but history is not kind to averters: with time, what didn’t happen tends to get eclipsed by what did. And what did happen under Obama is a recovery that was slow and weak. Black homeownership rates, which took a major hit during the financial crisis, are the lowest they’ve ever been.

What is interesting is that the media and some Democrats are trying to cause a recession in order to defeat President Trump. Various Democrats running for president have called pullout from the Paris Climate Accord and Iran Nuclear deal mistakes. Some Democrats, and even Republicans, have called President Trump’s pull back of some forces in Syria reckless. Democrats are running a “free-stuff primary” including: canceling all student debt held by the government, giving everyone a federal job under the New Green Deal, and promising voters free housing and a free education.

Are the Democrats running for president Obamanauts?

The Public Policy Red-lines are Crystal Clear

In January 16, 2016 NJ.com published a article titled 10 huge differences between Democratic and Republican platforms by who wrote:

It’s hard to say you don’t have a clear choice this [2016] presidential election year. The Democratic and Republican platforms show views of world 180 degrees apart.

Salant’s words echo today even more so than in January of 2016. Here are the 10 huge differences that Salant listed:

  1. Abortion
  2. Same Sex Marriage
  3. Immigration
  4. Climate Change
  5. Medicare
  6. Wall Street
  7. Iran
  8. Israel
  9. Money in Politics
  10. Voting Rights

These are the same issues in 2020. With the addition of: eliminate the Electoral College, Supreme Court appointments and impeachment.

The only differences are that Democrats have become more extremist in each of these policy categories.

  1. Abortion has now become infanticide and the harvesting of body parts from live fetuses for profit.
  2. Same sex marriage has become a full frontal assault on religious liberty under the First Amendment.
  3. National security, national sovereignty and immigration are front and center with building the wall and the Trump administration’s efforts to enforce immigration laws over the objections of Democrats and Democrat appointed judges.
  4. Climate Change has morphed into the Green New Deal, which expands government control as never seen before.
  5. Medicare for all is the war cry of Democrats, including, as they all raised their hands, providing Medicare for illegal aliens (a term that can get you find $250,000 if used in a derogatory way in New York City).
  6. Wall Street is panicked that if Elizabeth Warren becomes the nominee free markets will disappear.
  7. Iran is threatening the world with violence and conducting terrorist acts globally at an ever increasing rate.
  8. Israel has been boycotted, divested and sanctioned by the Democrats who have become the party of anti-Semitism.
  9. There is more dark money in politics now than every before.
  10. And finally Democrats want voting rights given to illegal aliens, felons and every other non-citizen, without question.

The 2020 election is a repeat of the same issues, but these issues have been radicalized by the Democrat Party.

The 2020 election is about choosing between a Marxist form of totalitarianism or a keeping our Constitutional Republican form of government.

Choose wisely.

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RELATED VIDEO: Steve Hilton — What the impeachment inquiry of Trump is really about.

© All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Who are the real racists?

When Kiara appeared in this 2014 video, she was a 30-year-old mother of four in Baltimore. An exceptionally attractive, well-spoken and intelligent young woman obviously capable of making a success of herself, Kiara, now 35, has been on welfare since she was 18.

When asked in the video if she felt bad about not working, she replied, “I don’t need to look for a job because I get a check from the government every month.”

Watch the video, and if you’re angry at her attitude, don’t be angry at Kiara. She’s merely another in the long line of inner city residents who have been lured into welfare addiction by the party of government dependency.

Who are the real racists? Democrats.

© All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Bill Whittle – Racism – Democrats and Republicans switch sides?

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Obama USDA suggested holding food stamp parties to increase participation

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Each American Is $240,000 in Debt Because of Excessive Government Spending

As Americans, we are greatly indebted not only to the men and women who have fought and died for our country, but also to the thinkers, statesmen, innovators, and ordinary people who gave us our founding principles.

This debt is paid back not with money, but with a commitment to the active and vigilant self-government of our republic in keeping with the principles and virtues of our forefathers.

Yet, our forefathers would shudder at our current $22 trillion in gross national debt. By the end of 2019, the debt will be close to $23 trillion. That amounts to a credit card bill of $69,200 for every man, woman, and child in America.

But that’s only the money that the government has explicitly borrowed. It doesn’t include any measure of “unfunded obligations”—money the government doesn’t have, but nonetheless promised to spend.

Unfunded obligations are often considered problems for future citizens, but with Medicare and Social Security both running cash flow deficits and running out of money in 2026 and 2035, respectively, these future obligations have become a current burden.

Social Security’s unfunded obligations alone amount to $13.9 trillion. This means that, over the next 75 years, the government has promised to pay out $13.9 trillion more than it expects to collect in payroll taxes.

At $42,200 per person, Social Security’s shortfall alone is about as much as the average person earns in a year. It’s enough to buy a new sedan and pay for a year’s rent in a median-rent two-bedroom apartment.

If Social Security’s shortfall wasn’t bad enough, it pales in comparison to Medicare’s $42.3 trillion in unfunded obligations. At $128,500 per person—a whopping $514,000 for a family of four—America’s runaway Great Society program, lauded by socialists as a model for the future of health care, is already breaking America’s bank.

All combined, each American effectively owns $240,000 worth of U.S. debt and unfunded obligations—an amount equal to the average home price in the U.S. Just imagine having to pay two mortgages instead of one just to cover past government excesses.

While some politicians will be quick to blame this gargantuan bill on recent tax cuts, it’s excess spending—not a shortage of taxes—that’s driving America’s deficits and debt.

After all, the tax cuts represent a much smaller percentage of gross domestic product than Social Security’s rising shortfalls.

A tax to make Social Security solvent, by covering its yearly cash flow balance and gradually increasing it to a point of sustainability, would require yearly payroll tax increases for the foreseeable future. This year alone, we would need an immediate increase to 13.5% from the current level of 12.4%, and in 2035 it would exceed 15.5%.

For a worker making $50,000 a year, that’s an extra $1,550 (and $7,750 in total Social Security taxes) that she could have taken home and spent or saved as she wished. And that 15.5% would be enough only to cover Social Security’s unfunded liabilities for that year. Covering Medicare’s costs would require much larger tax increases.

Paying for the government services that workers receive as well as the interest on the debt—which will soon exceed spending on national defense—would require crushing levels of taxation for all workers, not just the rich.

Instead of calls for prudence and responsibility, we have cries for major expansions of programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare, and unprecedented discretionary handouts like student debt relief and a “Green New Deal.”

Raising taxes enough to cover current excesses and also finance a socialist spending spree would be simply impossible: The cost per household for the Green New Deal alone would top $165,000 by 2040, not factoring in increased electricity costs and the costs of a shrunken economy.

And as a new report from The Heritage Foundation shows, it would be mathematically impossible to fund the progressive agenda by taxing the rich. Even confiscating every dollar earned by taxpayers with incomes over $200,000 would not come close to paying for the left’s agenda.

Instead, the progressive agenda would require between 200% and 900% tax increases on the middle class or radically higher, unsustainable federal borrowing.

In the end, tax hikes and government expansion are not a viable option for solving America’s entitlement problem.

Once Americans recognize that the entitlement programs they paid into are really just generational wealth transfers, with no actual money sitting in their notional trust funds, perhaps we can get serious about reforming the programs in ways that protect those who need them most while letting everyone keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.

By returning Social Security to its anti-poverty roots and modernizing the program’s rules and requirements, Congress could reduce the payroll tax and let workers have more control over their incomes and savings.

And by capitalizing on the free market—instead of government intervention—to curb health care costs and spur innovation, we can avoid health care rationing that exists in other countries.

The Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance” chapter on health care and entitlements proposes changes that would accomplish just that, if policymakers have the will to put our nation’s future ahead of current and excessive spending.

Raising taxes and making individuals and families more dependent on government programs isn’t just bad policy; it’s wholly un-American.

COMMENTARY BY

Benjamin Paris is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Rachel Greszler is research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements in the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, of the Institute for Economic Freedom, at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research.

RELATED ARTICLE: Greenland Deserves the Attention Trump Is Giving It


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.

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

College Debt Forgiveness Is Immoral

The college debt “crisis” is a moral question, but it is the opposite of what Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, AOC, and most of the Democratic presidential field are claiming.

An individual forgiving a debt they voluntarily entered into with a friend or family is noble and Christian and laudable. This sort of debt forgiveness happens routinely. I’ve done it. I’ve had it done.

Government eliminating debt is immoral. Here’s why.

If I loan someone money, and for whatever reason I choose to forgive that debt, that is my right and it is supported in the Bible. It is certainly part of American tradition, and actually may be far broader than that. It is a good and noble act, if I judge it is not enabling bad behavior. It is my choice because it is both my money and I voluntarily made the loan to the person.

But that is not at all what is being contemplated in this debate over forgiveness of student debt by Democratic politicians. First, of course, there is the need to label it a “crisis.” That is always step one for the next terrible government intervention idea.

What causes the confusion, however, is that the language is misleading when politicians say “we” should forgive this huge student debt issue. If they meant themselves as individuals, then terrific. But they most certainly do not. In truth, they intend to benefit and perhaps profit off this, not sacrifice.

Of course the concept is alluring if you are a college student with a lot of debt and know very little of the real world. Most all of us have debt and at times struggle with it. Who would not like their debt wiped out?

But when the “we” is the government, it means that the government will forcibly take one person’s money, to pay off the debt of another person. This is egregious behavior. The person whose money is being taken did not make the loan, consent to the loan, or necessarily even think the loan was a good idea.

The students and their parents voluntarily entered into those debts in return for the college degrees they obtained. They signed on the bottom line to take money to pay for something of value to them, and promised to pay it back. They knew at each step the cost they were incurring.

They were then loaned the money — with the promise they would pay it back — obtained the thing of value with that money, and now they and some politicians want Americans unrelated to the decision to take out the loan and getting value from the product to pay off the debt…while the students keep the thing of value.

This is egregious. But all the media will ever do is interview students with high debt loads and low-paying jobs. That paints a distorted picture, which of course is what it is intended to do.

I have sons who are plumbers. These young men chose not to go to college and take on debt. They work very hard, often in the Florida heat, and they actually make pretty decent money. They have no debt. I have another son working up the management ranks at Publix grocery stores, and he works long and odd hours. And another son who went to college and has nearly paid off his debt, again with a lot of hard work and now runs his own company — as one of my plumber sons does.

They have friends who are working to get nursing degrees and law enforcement training without taking on debt.

Now the politicians looking to make political hay on college debt forgiveness need to explain how it is moral that these people, and the millions like them, should be forced to pay off the debts of those who voluntarily went to college, and voluntarily took on the debt and now have a degree.

They need to explain the morality that nurses, police, firefighters, plumbers, electricians, A/C repairers, roadworkers, carpenters, roofers, block-layers, secretaries, etc. should be forced to pay off strangers’ college debts that they have no association with.

They need to explain how it is moral to force all who went to college ahead of this current crop, who all either paid off their loans or are getting close, to be forced to also pay off the loans of someone else. My wife and I paid off our loans. Sure the debts were smaller, as were the incomes. But it took a few years — while both my wife and I worked nearly full-time during college to keep them low.

If individuals want to forgive loans, that is their right and it is laudable. If banks and creditors want to, that is their right and their choice. But for the government to step in and do it — meaning all working Americans have to chip in — then we have a very different but clear-cut moral issue.

It’s wrong.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bernie Sanders’ Student Debt Forgiveness Plan Ignores Reality, Much Like Elizabeth Warren’s Similar Plan

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

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