We, like many of our members, watched the NICS numbers all year. We read – and fact-checked – all of the claims about the “Trump Slump” and the imminent collapse of the entire firearms industry (see here, here, here, here, and here). Month after month, the narrative around the NICS data framed gun sales as waning because a new record wasn’t set. Bloomberg headlined its latest entry, “Gun Sales in America Drop.” The Chicago Tribune reported that “Holiday gun sales dip after record Black Friday.”
The FBI released the final NICS numbers for 2017. There were 25,235,215 total NICS checks in 2017 – making last year the second busiest year ever for the NICS office. Across all states, territories, and the District of Columbia, there were 7.2 million NICS checks related to handguns (not including private sales, rentals, returned, pre-pawn, or pawn redemption checks); 5.2 million for long guns; just under 400,000 for “other” firearms; and 236,167 checks for multiple purchases. More than 9.9 million Americans initiated a NICS check for a permit last year.
In terms of individual categories of NICS checks, 2017 ranks third for handgun-related NICS checks and second for “other” checks. In terms of total sales-related checks (handgun, long gun, other, and multiple), 2017 was the fourth-busiest year ever. It was also the second busiest year for permit checks.
Interest in defense and the shooting sports clearly remains strong; sure, NICS doesn’t provide a 1:1 proxy for gun sales but the FBI saw more than 13 million sales-related checks and almost 10 million permit checks. That equates to more than twenty-seven thousand permit checks and nearly thirty-six thousand sales-related checks every single day of the year.
Hopefully, we can put the claims of “Trump Slump” and of the demise of the firearms industry to rest along with the year 2017. The continued strong NICS numbers all year indicate that Americans’ interest in defending themselves and their families, and their interest in the shooting sports, is not dependent on the occupant of the White House. We fully expect the firearms industry to continue to support the passions shared by millions of law-abiding Americans throughout 2018.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/america-going-up-graph-e1515233710185.jpg360640NRA Institute for Legislative Actionhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngNRA Institute for Legislative Action2018-01-06 05:15:202018-01-06 05:15:202017: Another Year Millions of Americans Bought Firearms
It appears that some members of the Florida Congressional delegation, lead by Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, are against President Trump’s effort to open up the Sunshine State’s shorelines to oil and natural gas exploration. Included in this group are Republicans Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Vern Buchanan. Interestingly both Rubio and Buchanan voted for the H.R. 1 tax bill which included a provision to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). So they voted for off shore drilling but are now against it?
Some members of the Florida Congressional delegation, including Rubio and Buchanan, are are addicted to the precautionary principle (“better safe than sorry”).
Rep. Buchanan stated, “Florida’s coastal communities depend on a clean and healthy ocean and we shouldn’t jeopardize the state’s economy or environment by gambling on operations that lack adequate safeguards.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement after the Interior Department released its draft 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing:
“I have long supported the moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which is not slated to expire until 2022, and introduced legislation to extend the moratorium until 2027. As the Department of Interior works to finalize their draft plan, I urge Secretary Zinke to recognize the Florida Congressional delegation’s bipartisan efforts to maintain and extend the moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and remove this area for future planning purposes.”
What is interesting is that it is the U.S. Congress that has over site over the Interior Department which sets safeguards for oil and natural gas exploration. It is also important to note that Florida’s tourist, agricultural, transportation, healthcare based economy is dependent on cheap and reliable power.
Geologists believe there may be large oil and natural gas deposits in the federal Outer Continental Shelf off of Florida’s western coast.
Florida was second only to Texas in 2014 in net electricity generation from natural gas, which accounted for 61% of Florida’s net generation; coal accounted for almost 23%, the state’s nuclear power plants accounted for 12%, and other resources, including renewable energy, supplied the remaining 4% of electricity generation.
Renewable energy accounted for 2.3% of Florida’s total net electricity generation in 2014, and the state ranked 10th in the nation in net generation from utility-scale solar energy.
In part because of high air conditioning use during the hot summer months and the widespread use of electricity for home heating during the winter months, Florida’s retail electricity sales to the residential sector were second in the nation after Texas in 2014.
Electricity accounts for 90% of the site energy consumed by Florida households, and the annual electricity expenditures of $1,900 are 40% higher than the U.S. average, according to EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey.
Even as the population of Florida has grown dramatically and increased its use of fossil fuels, the Sunshine State has become a much better place to live, work and play.
A new report from Westwood Global Energy Group has revealed that whilst fewer exploration wells were drilled in the first half of 2017 (compared to the same period a year ago), the commercial success rates of these wells is up.
Overall, commercial success rates jumped to 53% in the first half of 2017 from a 30% success rate in the first half of 2016.
According to Westwood’s Global’s Head of Research, Andrew Hughes, the report indicates, ‘green shoots for exploration drilling, however overall activity remains subdued.’ He also added that ‘the lower well count is translating into more success and lower finding costs, proving that the old exploration mantra of “quality through choice” continues to hold true’.
Florida politicians are addicted to the precautionary principle (“better safe than sorry”). It is a maxim embraced by government planners and regulators in the Sunshine state at every level. They do not even want to determine what organic fossil fuels lay off of Florida’s coastlines. The precautionary principle worked to stop the building of nuclear power plants in the United States after the 3 Mile Island incident. Today the same tactic is being used to stop off shore drilling using the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Fear is not good public policy.
What is good public policy is insuring that Floridians have access to cheap and reliable power in the foreseeable future. Now is the time to take action. Waiting is not an option.
If the Florida delegation are committed to creating jobs, then they must diversify the economy by promoting energy independence. Energy independence will lead to reduced costs for electricity, gasoline and diversify the economy.
That is good public policy. This is the moral thing to do.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/rubio-vern-buchana.jpg352640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2018-01-04 20:55:532018-01-06 13:20:38Why the Florida Congressional Delegation is Wrong on Drilling
By and large, New York City Democrats seem to hate the Republican Tax Bill. But how do they feel about it when told it’s Bernie Sanders’ plan? Documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz took to the streets of New York’s East Village to find out.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of supporters of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) hold signs during the Independence Day Parade in Waukee, Iowa July 4, 2015. REUTERS/Scott Morgan – RTSNRSX.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/BERNIE-SANDERS-SUPPORTERS-e1515083169802.jpg359640Prager Universityhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngPrager University2018-01-04 11:27:072018-01-04 11:27:37VIDEO: Bernie Supporters Love the Republican Tax Plan
A live debate recapping President Trump’s 1st year of accomplishments on ABC. Debate featured Republican State Committeeman Christian Ziegler and prominent local Democrat Frank Alcock. The debate was heated at times, but covered a lot of the WINNING that has been going on.
Click on a topic below to jump to that portion of the debate:
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/jerry-brown-california-governor-e1477568289790.jpg393640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2017-12-29 18:16:282017-12-30 06:45:02VIDEO: What Happens When Democrats Run Your State?
KEY TAKEAWAY: Almost 30,000 rank-and-file government employees make over $190,823, more than any governor of the 50 states, according to a report from OpenTheBooks.com.
The U.S. government pays employees a total of about $1 million per minute, according to a watchdog group’s report on the sprawling federal bureaucracy.
Looking at 78 large agencies, the nonprofit organization OpenTheBooks.com found that the average salary of a federal employee exceeds $100,000 and that roughly 1 in 5 of those on the government payroll has a six-figure salary.
Almost 30,000 rank-and-file government employees make over $190,823, more than any governor of the 50 states.
“Our oversight report shows the size, scope, and power of the administrative state,” Adam Andrzejewski, Open the Books’ CEO and founder, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “Two million federal bureaucrats have salaries, extraordinary perquisites, and lifetime pension benefits. This compensation package has never been seen in the private sector.”
Andrzejewski said the Open the Books report, released Tuesday and including an interactive map of the 2 million federal bureaucrats by ZIP code, is meant to educate taxpayers on where their dollars are going.
So what about those perks?
When federal employees reach the third anniversary of their employment, he said, “they get eight and a half weeks’ paid time off” plus “10 holidays, 13 sick days, and 20 vacation days.”
“We estimate those perks alone cost the American taxpayer $22.6 billion a year,” Andrzejewski said.
With the government paying the disclosed workforce $1 million per minute, according to the report, every eight-hour workday costs taxpayers more than $500 million.
A total of 406,960 employees make a six-figure income, amounting to roughly 1 in 5 employees. From 2010 through 2016, the number of federal employees making more than $200,000 increased by 165 percent.
“People are really hungry for these hard facts, they are interested in searching their little piece of the swamp,” Andrzejewski told The Daily Signal.
An image from the report. (Photo: OpenTheBooks.com)
—A small federal agency in San Francisco, Presidio Trust, paid out three of the government’s four largest bonuses, including the largest in fiscal year 2016. The biggest bonus, $141,525, went to a personnel manager who did payroll.
—The Postal Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs employ over half of all disclosed federal workers, at 32 percent of and 19 percent, respectively.
—About 2 million “undisclosed” employees work for the Defense Department, including active military duty. Their compensation, including $1 billion in bonuses and $125 billion in pensions, amounts to $221 billion per year.
Federal workers are paid a “new minimum wage,” Open the Books argues, because the average employee at 78 of the 122 departments and independent agencies reviewed makes $100,000 or more.
“Congress should hold hearings to bring transparency to all the information we’re still missing, including performance bonuses and pension payouts,” Andrzejewski said in a prepared statement. “It’s time to squeeze out waste from compensation and stop abusive payroll practices.”
Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/mapping-the-swamp.jpg360640The Daily Signalhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Signal2017-12-28 07:14:092017-12-28 07:14:09INFOGRAPHIC: 1 of Every 5 Government Employees Has a 6-Figure Salary
“Woman accused of laundering bitcoin for ISIS got U.S. visa thanks to family ties: officials,” Associated Press, December 23, 2017 (thanks to Blazing Cat Fur):
NEW YORK – Federal authorities say a Pakistani-born woman accused in a bitcoin scheme to help the Islamic State group got a visa allowing her into United States because of her family ties.
The Department of Homeland Security says Saturday that Zoobia Shahnaz, a naturalized U.S. citizen living on Long Island, benefited from a family-based immigration system Republican President Donald Trump says threatens national security.
Earlier this month, the 27-year-old Shahnaz was charged with laundering bitcoin and wiring money to the Islamic State group. After quitting her job, she was stopped at Kennedy Airport in July attempting to fly to Pakistan.
Shahnaz’s lawyer has said she was trying to help Syrian refugees….
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Paris-Attacks-bitcoin-isis-funding-696x363.png333640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2017-12-25 05:54:002017-12-25 05:54:00Muslim Woman Who Laundered Bitcoin for ISIS Entered U.S. via Chain Migration
(b) To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.
There are four reports giving criminal data on aliens, both legal and illegal. Each report details how aliens, both legal and illegal, are in federal prisons for serious crimes including: murder, drug trafficking, smuggling and money laundering. These reports also give an indication of the cost to taxpayers to incarcerate criminal aliens at the federal and state level.
For example, the Government Accountability Office released two unsettling reports in 2005 on criminal aliens who are in prison for committing crimes in the United States, and issued an updated report in 2011.
The first report (GAO-05-337R) found that criminal aliens (both legal and illegal) make up 27 percent of all federal prisoners. Yet according to the Center for Immigration Studies, non-citizens are only about nine percent of the nation’s adult population. Thus, judging by the numbers in federal prisons alone, non-citizens commit federal crimes at three times the rate of citizens.
The findings in the second report (GAO-05-646R) are even more disturbing. This report looked at the criminal histories of 55,322 aliens that “entered the country illegally and were still illegally in the country at the time of their incarceration in federal or state prison or local jail during fiscal year 2003.” Those 55,322 illegal aliens had been arrested 459,614 times, an average of 8.3 arrests per illegal alien, and had committed almost 700,000 criminal offenses, an average of roughly 12.7 offenses per illegal alien.
Out of all of the arrests, 12 percent were for violent crimes such as murder, robbery, assault and sex-related crimes; 15 percent were for burglary, larceny, theft and property damage; 24 percent were for drug offenses; and the remaining offenses were for DUI, fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, weapons, immigration, and obstruction of justice.
The 2011 GAO report wasn’t much different. It looked at 251,000 criminal aliens in federal, state, and local prisons and jails. Those aliens were arrested nearly 1.7 million times for close to three million criminal offenses. Sixty-eight percent of those in federal prison and 66 percent of those in state prisons were from Mexico. Their offenses ranged from homicide and kidnapping to drugs, burglary, and larceny.
Once again, these statistics are not fully representative of crimes committed by illegal aliens: This report only reflects the criminal histories of aliens who were in prison. If there were a way to include all crimes committed by criminal aliens, the numbers would likely be higher because prosecutors often will agree to drop criminal charges against an illegal alien if they are assured that immigration authorities will deport the alien.
The GAO reports also highlight another important flaw in the study referenced by the Associated Press. It uses survey data from a nationally representative sample of people living in the United States. Thus, the study does not take into account some potentially key factors highlighted in the GAO reports: that criminal aliens from Mexico disproportionately make up incarcerations (GAO-05-337R) and that most arrests are made in the three border states of California, Texas, and Arizona (GAO-05-646R and GAO-11-187).
As immigration reform will be a top priority in 2018, perhaps these report will continue to tell the true story on alien criminal activity in America. Many believe we are seeing just the tip of the iceberg because these reports deal with federal data. State and local data on alien arrests and convictions will give the American people a better idea of what is happening in their communities.
The Trump administration has begun targeting criminal aliens, including members of gangs like MS 13. The President has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to aliens both in America and those attempting to enter America. Many believe Congress has failed to act to protect the American people for decades. Immigration will be a hot topic in 2018.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/border-patrol-agent-badge-e1514113677375.jpg340638Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2017-12-24 06:08:062018-01-18 09:59:51VIDEO: Legal and Illegal Aliens in the U.S. Are Disproportionately Dangerous Criminals
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the most sweeping update to the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. The recently released conference report would lower taxes on business and individuals, and unleash higher wages, more jobs, and untold opportunity through a larger and more dynamic economy.
The conference report is a serious effort to reform a complex and badly broken system that provides significant tax relief to the vast majority of taxpaying Americans.
The Daily Signal exists to be a trusted alternative to biased mainstream media. We take pride in delivering the truth about what is happening in Washington and how it affects your life.
Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and for good reason. Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, the liberal slant of many major media outlets has been exposed.
Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts believe you deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington–and they rely on the financial support of patriots like you.
As time runs out for December, will you make a donation to make sure we can continue to bring you the truth in 2018?
Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts—and it will advance our mission to help all Americans understand what must be done to save our country.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/171218_ryan-1250x650-e1514074896891.jpg375640The Daily Signalhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Signal2017-12-23 19:21:462017-12-28 06:59:33In 1 Chart: What's in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
The U.S. government keeps sending an Islamic nation that serves as an Al Qaeda breeding ground hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid. The cash—$768 million since October 2016—flows through the famously corrupt U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), which has a monstrous budget and little oversight. The money is reportedly helping to counter a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the headquarters of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In its Country Reports on Terrorism, the State Department reveals that AQAP militants carried out hundreds of attacks including suicide bombers, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), ambushes, kidnappings and targeted assassinations. The media has also documented this for years with one in-depth report confirming that “Yemen has emerged as the breeding grounds for some of the most high-profile plans to attack the U.S. homeland.”
Additionally, dozens of terrorists freed from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have joined Al Qaeda in Yemen. Among them is an Al Qaeda chief who masterminded a U.S. Embassy bombing after getting released, according to a mainstream newspaper. His name is Said Ali al-Shihri and after leaving Gitmo he became an Al Qaeda deputy chief in Yemen and he organized a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital. The former captive was also involved in car bombings outside the American Embassy that killed 16 people. Remember that the convicted terrorist who planned to blow up an American passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas in 2009 trained in Yemen and the plot was organized by Al Qaeda leaders in the Middle Eastern Arab country. A recent study published by the RAND Corporation concludes that the most significant threat to the United States comes from terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
So why does the U.S. government continue giving Yemen huge chunks of taxpayer dollars? Because it is “gravely concerned about a worsening humanitarian situation” in the Islamic nation, according to a statement issued this month by USAID. The document was released to announce a recent $130 million in “emergency food assistance to Yemen.” The U.S. government has determined that “protracted conflict” has created the “world’s largest food security emergency” in Yemen as well as the “world’s worst cholera outbreak.” More than 17 million people are at risk of severe hunger or starvation, according to the agency. The U.S. is also using military force to crack down on Yemen’s Al Qaeda problem. Earlier this month U.S. airstrikes killed five Al Qaeda militants, including one of the group’s key leaders, Mujahid al-Adani.
USAID is well known for gushing out cash with no follow up or oversight to assure the money is spent appropriately and the Yemen allocations are probably no exception. A perfect example is that millions of dollars in malaria drugs provided to Africa are stolen each year and sold on the black market. The problem has gotten so out of control that USAID launched “malaria hotlines” to offer cash rewards for information about the illicit operations that have fleeced American taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars. Through a variety of programs, the U.S. government has spent billions of dollars to combat malaria in Africa in the last few years. One USAID program alone has dedicated north of $72 million since 2011 to give 19 African countries free malaria drugs, $15 million in 2016 alone. The agency has long acknowledged that malaria drugs financed by American taxpayers are regularly stolen in Africa. “This is not the first report of theft or illegal diversion,” USAID admitted in a statement years ago.
USAID has committed other atrocities with public funds and Judicial Watch has launched investigations to uncover details. Earlier this year Judicial Watch obtained records showing that USAID spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros. The scheme was masterminded by Barack Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, who worked behind the scenes with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Judicial Watch’s ongoing probe has so far revealed that USAID earmarked at least $9.5 million to intervene in the Balkan nation’s governmental affairs, which deviates from its mission of providing humanitarian assistance.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/aqap.jpg360640Judicial Watchhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngJudicial Watch2017-12-22 16:39:232017-12-22 16:39:23U.S. Sends Al Qaeda’s Arabian Peninsula Headquarters $768 Mil in Humanitarian Aid
The legislative replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program favored by most Democrats would add billions to the budget deficit, according to an estimate from Congress’ nonpartisan accounting shop.
The Congressional Budget Office released Friday its score of the Dream Act of 2017, a DACA amnesty bill that would provide legal permanent residence and, eventually, a path to citizenship for well over 1 million younger illegal immigrants. The CBO found that the Dream Act would increase the federal budget deficit by $26 billion over a decade, mostly by conferring eligibility for federal benefits to the amnestied immigrants.
Introduced earlier this year by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the bill has become the DACA replacement of choice for congressional Democrats. Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have said they are committed to passing a “clean” Dream Act to legalize DACA recipients and other similarly situated illegal immigrants.
The Dream Act would direct the Department of Homeland Security to give lawful conditional status to illegal immigrants who were under 18 years old when they initially entered the U.S. and have lived here for at least four years prior to the bill’s enactment. Because of the Dream Act’s expansive eligibility criteria, the number of illegal immigrants who would benefit from the Dream Act is far higher than the DACA population of about 790,000.
The CBO estimates that about 2 million illegal immigrants would be granted conditional lawful permanent resident status under the Dream Act. “Roughly 1 million of the 1.6 million people receiving unconditional LPR status would become naturalized U.S. citizens during the 2018-2027 period,” the CBO cost estimate states.
Amnesty for that population would boost the deficit mainly through increased direct spending on Medicaid, health insurance subsidies, and food stamp benefits. On the revenue side, any tax gains from bringing illegal immigrants “on the books” would be largely offset because “increased reporting of employment income would result in increases in tax deductions by businesses,” according to the CBO’s estimate.
“As a result, corporations would report lower taxable profits and pay less in income taxes,” the CBO report added.
Democrats’ push for a “clean” Dream Act is unlikely to result in a DACA replacement before the end of the year, as immigration advocates and their allies on Capitol Hill have demanded.
Though Republicans have expressed support for crafting a legislative fix, both the White House and immigration hawks in Congress have insisted that any DACA replacement bill include border security enhancements and deeper reforms such as limits on chain migration and ending the Diversity Visa Lottery.
Republican leadership has also rejected the idea of including Dream Act provisions in the 2018 spending bill, which is due Friday.
As I mentioned yesterday, when I reportedthat true-believer, Lawrence Bartlett, Director of Refugee Admissions at the U.S. State Department, had been reassigned to Puerto Rico (voluntarily we assume), resettlement contractors are in a panic.
At Jewish Telegraphic Agency (hat tip: ‘badboylookout’) we learn that the State Department is in talks with its contractors about which sites to close—the smaller ones first.
This is a far cry from the heyday (Hillary on the horizon!) in mid-2016 when the State Department was reportedly working on a secret list of 40-plus NEW sites. (emphasis below is mine)
(JTA) — HIAS, the Jewish refugee aid agency, will be closing resettlement programs in several cities due to a sharp reduction in the total number of refugees let into the country in the next fiscal year.
The group’s Chicago chapter announced in an email Friday that it would be shuttering its refugee resettlement program.
The same day, HIAS President Mark Hetfield told JTA that programs in other cities would likely follow, though nothing has been finalized. HIAS runs refugee resettlement programs in 21 large to midsize metropolitan areas.
“It is true that smaller resettlement sites are being closed, and we’re in negotiations with the State Department right now as to which those will be,” he said. “We want to keep open as many sites as we can. Chicago has a lot of resettlement agencies there, and that was a smaller site.”
Just think about that above—negotiations with the US State Department—once again confirming that state and local opinions are not considered (when opening or closing sites). A non-profit group accountable to no voters and the US State Department are making decisions about your home town!
For the fiscal year 2017, HIAS resettled about 3,300 refugees after being approved to resettle nearly 4,800 refugees. The organization has been approved for about 3,300 this year, but Hetfield expects to resettle fewer. He said the reduced number will make it a challenge to engage 380 synagogues nationwide that had signed up with HIAS to help with welcoming refugees to their cities. [Of course no mention of the loss to their wallets!—ed]
Here is an idea for the 380 synagogues: Have we run out of needy people? Why not help the poor people where you live! And, if it’s refugees you want to help, then find the ones who came in previous months and years who are STILL STRUGGLING to find housing, food, jobs, etc. Are only the newest ‘Americans’ more attractive to you, more worthy of your charity?
Go here to see my entire Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) file.
These are the nine resettlement contractors (six are ‘religious’ charities) that can’t survive without federal funding (your tax dollars). They work jointly with the US Dept. of State to change America by changing the people. Maybe it’s time they shifted their focus and take care of poor, homeless, needy Americans! Wouldn’t that be refreshing this holiday season!
The House and Senate have now each passed different versions of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Both bills are a big improvement to America’s out-of-date tax code and could boost the economy by almost 3 percent, leading to more jobs and higher wages for working Americans.
Both bills cut taxes for individuals and businesses, largely repeal the state and local tax deduction, and allow businesses to invest more in the American economy through temporary expensing.
The bills now head to a conference committee where a unified bill will be crafted. Here are some of the major differences you need to know about:
In addition to these differences, the House bill repeals or scales back many credits and deductions that are largely left intact by the Senate.
For example, the House bill caps the mortgage interest deduction for future home buyers; repeals the deductions for medical expenses, private activity bonds, and student loan interest; and eliminates credits for historic rehabilitation, energy production, and orphan drugs. The Senate largely leaves each of these provisions intact.
The conference committee has a tough, but doable, job ahead of it. It has the opportunity to borrow the best components of each bill to further enhance the proposed reforms’ benefits for all Americans.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Capitol-8-1250x650-e1512409152624.jpg399640The Daily Signalhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Signal2017-12-04 12:39:202017-12-04 12:45:32In 1 Chart, the Differences Between the House and Senate Tax Reform Bills
The Christmas shopping season is officially here and 2ndVote’s research can tell you who’s been Naughty and who’s been Nice. In the list below, you’ll see the Top 10 Naughty and Top 10 Nice retailers for Christmas shopping in 2017. Are you surprised who made the Naughty list?
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/naughty-or-nice-retailers-e1512132570939.png3546402ndvote .comhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png2ndvote .com2017-12-01 07:50:082017-12-01 07:50:08Shoppers Guide to Christmas retailers who are Naughty and Nice
As the Senate prepares to vote on a tax reform package, President Donald Trump called the vote a “moment of truth.”
“In the coming days, the American people will learn which politicians are part of the swamp and which politicians want to drain the swamp,” Trump said to a supportive crowd Wednesday in St. Charles, Missouri.
The president fired up the crowd as the Senate nears a vote on a bill that would lower income tax rates, simplify the tax code, and reduce the highest corporate rate in the industrialized world from 35 percent to 20 percent.
The House passed a similar package, but one that differs in its treatment of the corporate tax rate and the number of brackets. The Senate bill keeps seven brackets, though with lower rates, delays the corporate rate cut by a year, and eliminates the Obamacare individual mandate.
Trump put a holiday spin on the legislation.
“You don’t see ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore,” Trump said. “With Trump as your president, we are going to be celebrating ‘Merry Christmas’ again and it’s going to be celebrated with a big, beautiful tax cut.”
Trump talked about how the tax code has made America uncompetitive.
“We cannot sit idly by and see ourselves losing in competition to other countries as they continue to take away their jobs because their tax codes are more competitive and less burdensome than ours. That’s why we must cut our taxes, reduce economic burden, and restore America’s competitive edge.”
Throughout the speech, he hit themes familiar with what he said on the campaign trail.
“If we do this, then America will win again like never, ever before,” Trump said. “A vote to cut taxes is a vote to put America first again.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, he frequently talked about how Americans would become “tired of winning” under his presidency.
Noting the declining unemployment rate and strong stock market, he joked with Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who was on the stage, that this was already about to happen.
Now we are getting number that nobody thought [was] possible, certainly not at this time and the numbers going up are much better than anybody anticipated. In fact, they’re going to say that Trump is the exact opposite of an exaggerator. They are going to start saying that he ought to be a little bit more optimistic because his predictions were low. A year and a half ago they said, ‘He can’t do that.’ Now they’re saying, ‘That was quick.’ …
We are going to win so much that the people of Missouri are going to go to your governor, and say, ‘Governor, please go see the president. We can’t stand winning so much.’ I used to say that. That’s what’s happening. Then the governor is going to come to the beautiful, historical Oval Office, he’s going to say to me, ‘Mr. President, the people of Missouri cannot stand all this winning. They don’t want to win so much. They love the old way where they had lousy job numbers, lousy economic numbers, lousy, they loved it. And I’ll say, ‘Governor, I don’t care what they say in Missouri, we are going to keep winning and winning and winning.’ I used to say that, I had fun with that.
Trump, a billionaire, stressed that the tax reform plan is so targeted at working-class Americans that it won’t help him or his wealthy friends.
“It [the current tax code] is riddled with loopholes that let some special interests, including myself in all fairness,” Trump said. “It [the reform proposal] is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me, believe me, this is not so good for me. I have some very wealthy friends, not so happy with me, but that’s OK. I keep hearing [Democrat Sen. Chuck] Schumer, ‘This is for the wealthy.’ If it is, my friends don’t know about it. I have to explain why. Now it is great for companies because companies are going to bring back jobs and we are lowering the rates very substantially.”
Trump talked about hitting other agenda items as well, such as taking another shot at repealing Obamacare, pushing for an infrastructure plan, building a border wall, and welfare reform.
“Does anyone want welfare reform?” Trump said, to cheers from the audience. “I know people that work three jobs and the person that is not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better than that person that is working his or her ass off. It’s not going to happen, not going to happen. So we are going to go into welfare reform.”