Defending Trump’s “Opening Up America Again”

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

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

Here is my response:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Damage Control: At What Cost?

This is not to say that the virus does not exist, nor that pockets of America do not suffer disproportionately from the health consequences of COVID-19. As the hysteria-driven lockdowns of coronavirus persist, constitutional conservatives are slowly emerging from under their beds.

Spear carriers for social isolation and economic constriction in America have reacted to critics with the same derision accorded wearers of red MAGA hats.

In less than thirty days, Americans have been persuaded to swap Constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties in exchange for the illusion of protection from a virus that has touched a relative few.

However, neither the vast majority of Americans, nor family, friends, or neighbors, have been infected by the virus. Yet, the American public is expected – no, required – to support a one-size-fits-all national response that, to this writer, is akin to killing a flea with an elephant gun.

As international travel is acknowledged as the world’s COVID-19 courier, I’m led to an inescapable conclusion:

COVID-19 is, first and foremost, an unintended consequence of three factors, in order of significance: Open Borders movement, business globalization, and international tourism.

Presently, the nation of Sweden has the most relaxed posture in western Europe regarding COVID-19; she has no lockdown whatsoever. Many media pundits are nearly gleeful in reports of higher infection rates in Sweden compared to the rest of Europe. However, in its daily briefings on the virus, the Sweden Department of Public Health insists that its infection rate would be much lower, had the government enacted screening measures early on, for Swedish vacationers returning from Italy.

According to the state department of health here in Minnesota, our rate of infection as a percentage of the population is the lowest of any state in the nation.

The mean age for deaths attributed to COVID-19 here is 86. Pre-existing health problems accompany nearly all the fatalities, and the majority have been residents of nursing homes.

This past week, several meatpacking companies throughout the Midwest – names like Smithfield, Cargill, Tyson, and Brazilian conglomerate JBS – reported closures of plants in which anywhere from 20 to 80 employees tested positive for corona virus. What do nursing homes and meatpacking plants share in common? The majority of workers in both industries – industries hard-hit by labor shortages- are recent arrivals from third-world nations; populations for whom international travel is commonplace.

New York City – the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States – is also America’s symbol for the “nation of immigrants.” Additionally, she is a preeminent international business center. Business travelers from across the globe travel in and out of New York City by the hundreds every single day.

Finally, New York City may be the most popular tourist destination in America for foreign travelers. Walk down Fifth Avenue on any given weekend in Autumn if there is any doubt.

Is it any wonder, then, that COVID-19 fatalities in the New York Tri-state area make up as much as half of the nation’s COVID-related deaths?

What we are witnessing is the unintended consequence of unbridled, open borders migration, be it for business, escaping third world poverty, or tourism.

Globalists are hard at work on damage control. Their messengers of doomsday scenarios will claim victory regardless of the outcome. If the death count is high, they’ll say “we told you so”. If the death rate is low, they’ll take credit for convincing the world to heed their warnings.

And let’s not forget the icing on the cake.

Leftists the world over are not about to pass up an opportunity to exploit a crisis that could hurt the President’s re-election campaign. If turning a blind eye to civil liberties sends President Trump packing and derails the conservative/national sovereignty contingent, well, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. Collateral damaged be damned.

And the collateral damage? There are many versions of death. Nearly all agree that economic recovery will be long and drawn out, at best. The fallout will certainly be the death knell for many rural towns throughout the Midwest that have been hanging on by fingernails for years as it is. Hospitals will go broke. Record numbers face unemployment. Children are kept from schooling. Small retail businesses and the hospitality industry are crushed, many for good. Socializing is verboten. All in the name of containing a virus for which attributable deaths in New York’s Tri-state area (a population of nearly 20 million) make up roughly FIVE ONE HUNDREDTHS OF ONE PERCENT of its population.

My late mother, a nurse, had a one-liner of dark humor she picked up on the hospital floor: “the operation was a complete success, and the patient died.”

NOTE: This is a guest column by my friend Bob Enos of Willmar, Minnesota.  Regular readers of Refugee Resettlement Watch may remember Bob who compiled a great deal of information on the economic cost of migrant and refugee labor and wrote several articles for RRW in the past.

Watch Mr. Enos give a presentation to a county board meeting in 2015 about his economic analysis of the cost to the county and state of the immigrant labor that benefits large global corporations at taxpayers’ expense.

Go here to read previous posts at RRW either written by him or about his work.

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

It’s Time to Privatize the United States Postal Service

The country would be wise to let the market take a shot at cleaning up government waste.

Last week, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal to privatize the United States Postal Service (USPS). The plan comes as part of a broader initiative to trim and reorganize the federal government. And given its track record of waste and inefficiency, the USPS is a great place to start cutting the fat.

“USPS’s current model is unsustainable. Major changes are needed in how the Postal Service is financed and the level of service Americans should expect from their universal service operator,” the White House’s new proposal reads. The plan goes on to say that the administration plans to “fix” the post office before beginning the process of privatization. “USPS privatization through an initial public offering (IPO) or sale to another entity would require the implementation of significant reforms prior to sale to show a possible path to profitability.”

In terms of “fixing” the post office before taking it out of the hands of the government, the Trump administration has proposed reassessing the USPS’s ties with labor unions. This would give the new owners of the post office more freedom to set wages and provide benefits that are economically realistic.

The document reads:

“Freeing USPS to more fully negotiate pay and benefits rather than prescribing participation in costly federal personnel benefit programs, and allowing it to follow private sector practices in compensation and labor relations, could further reduce costs.”

As it stands today, much of the financial mess the USPS has found itself in is because of the exorbitant benefits programs that come with collective bargaining. In fact, as it stands today, the USPS still owes over $100 billion to its retiree health benefits fund.

It should come as no surprise that the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) have joined the likes of Bernie Sanders in opposing privatization. Commenting on the matter the NALC President Fredric Rolando said:

“NALC has long been committed to working with all of the stakeholders and not one has floated the idea of privatization except private shippers, who would love nothing more than to see the Postal Service dismantled. Now that we know that this administration and its Task Force will make recommendations on reforms to achieve OMB’s privatization goals, NALC will work tirelessly with other stakeholders and Congress to oppose this faulty privatization plan every step of the way to preserve this public institution, which is based in the Constitution.”

To be sure, when Rolando speaks of other “stakeholders” he is speaking about the other labor unions who have a vested interest in seeing this perpetual cycle of inefficiency continue, so long as they continue cashing checks. In fact, Mark Dimondstein, the president of the American Postal Workers Union echoed this sentiment, calling the privatization proposal “draconian” and predicting that it “would end regular mail and package services at an affordable cost.”

But as it stands currently, costs are hardly affordable. In addition to the billions of taxpayer dollars used to fund the post office, “consumers” also have to pay to use the USPS services, which essentially means that post office patrons are actually paying twice.

But all this just speaks to the larger point that the post office has been an incompetent disaster for far too long. It is about time some sort of action was taken.

No one looks to the post office as a beacon of government competence. Actually, no one looks to the post office for any sense of efficiency at all. And while the United States Postal Service has frequently found itself at the butt of many jokes, the truth of the matter is that its incompetence is costing the American taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

For the last 11 years in a row, the post office has experienced financial losses. In 2012, it was revealed that the USPS had experienced a net loss of $15.9 billion dollars. In 2013, this number decreased to a still enormous $4.8 billion, followed by $5.3 billion in 2014. As far as fiscal year 2018 is concerned, the Postal Service has already reported a $1.3 billion dollar loss. If any private company had experienced net losses to the tune of several billions of dollars, they would quickly find themselves out of business. But the post office is a beast of a different color.

As the USPS is a government protected monopoly, it does not have to respond to market demand. And since the taxpayers are on the hook for funding the USPS regardless of its performance, there are almost no consequences for its ineptitude. In fact, in many cases, it has been rewarded for its incompetence by having more money thrown in its direction.

It might be easier for Americans to look the other way and ignore all the wasteful spending if the post office actually held some sort of relevance in our daily lives. But in the digital age, there is really no justification for extorting money from taxpayers in order to pay for an outdated service that most people do not need. All correspondence can now be done through email and online shopping has completely replaced the need to send off for physical retail catalogs. Most bills are also already sent through email, with many companies even offering discounts for going “paperless.”

While congressional approval is needed before any manner of privatization can occur, it has been met with opposition by both members of Congress and labor unions. Unfortunately, the term “privatize” scares many, who fear what might happen if the post office is put in the hands of “greedy capitalists.”

Luckily for the critics, the post office serves almost no purpose in our digital age, making these concerns virtually unfounded. Not to mention, considering the USPS’s reputation for inefficiency and waste, it would take a great deal of effort for the private sector to do a worse job than the government has done.

Bernie Sanders recently expressed his concerns over Trump’s plans for the post office, saying:

“If the goal of the Postal Service is to make as much money as possible, tens of millions of people, particularly low-income people and people in rural areas, will see a decline in or doing away with basic mail services.”

But those who, like Sanders, are wary of putting the post office in the hands of the private sector might be surprised to learn that many European countries began privatizing their postal systems years ago. And it didn’t end in a disaster. For example, when Germany privatized the Deutsche Post in 1995, it helped saved the country’s mail system.

In the wake of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany was ready for change. Much like the USPS, prior to privatization, the Deutsche Post was slow and costly. Eager to get this wasteful agency out of the state budget, Germany decided to experiment with privatization. While the process was rather long, privatizing the German post and giving it control over its own operations allowed it to function like an actual business.

Now able to make decisions without the input of state authorities, Deutsche Post was able to implement policies that saved vast amounts of money. Instead of hiring new couriers to replace those who had retired, the German post opted to leave the positions vacant. They also centralized routes to save money where they could. Coincidentally, this plan to centralize routes is also part of the proposal by the Trump administration.

The only law that the German government placed on the Deutsche Post was to mandate that letters were to be delivered to all areas of the country, meaning no one could be excluded.

Sure, this one stipulation did give the government a little control over the post, but it was far preferable to the previous situation. Since it was now privately controlled, Deutsche Post was still able to make the important budget decisions that ultimately led to its eventual success. In fact, the German privatization model was so successful, it now runs the DHL shipping company. And while the German model provides a beacon to look to abroad, even the United States has had its own experiment in privatizing the mail.

In 1844, Lysander Spooner was frustrated by the increasing costs of the USPS. Recognizing that as a government monopoly, the post office was exempt from having to actually care about its consumers’ needs, Spooner founded The American Letter Mail Company. Charging less and providing better services than the USPS, Spooner’s venture became a direct competitor to the almighty state.

However, while the American Letter Mail Company did end up having several locations in cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, the USPS was not impressed. Angered by Spooner’s success, the government made threats to railroad companies who preferred Spooner’s services. When the state fought back, the Circuit Court actually began to doubt that the government had any authority to monopolize the mail. While the Constitution does give the government the power to run the Postal Service, it does not explicitly bar other companies from competing with state-run services. However, the state sought legislative action against Spooner, reinforcing its monopoly.

Commenting on the advantage private enterprise has over government-run  services, Spooner wrote:

“Universal experience attests that government establishments cannot keep pace with private enterprise in matters of business — (and the transmission of letters is a mere matter of business.) Private enterprise has always the most active physical powers, and the most ingenious mental ones. It is constantly increasing its speed, and simplifying and cheapening its operations. But government functionaries, secure in the enjoyment of warm nests, large salaries, official honors and power, and presidential smiles — all of which they are sure of so long as they are the partisans of the President — feel few quickening impulses to labor, and are altogether too independent and dignified personages to move at the speed that commercial interests require. They take office to enjoy its honors and emoluments, not to get their living by the sweat of their brows.”

Governments love to think inside the box. In fact, they are almost incapable of operating in any other fashion. But this has led to major inefficiencies, which, in the case of the USPS, have become too expensive to ignore. While Congress would need to approve this plan before any measure of privatization can occur, our elected officials would be wise to look at the options the private sector has to offer. If we are truly seeking prosperity, rather than financial insolvency, then the country would be wise to let the market take a shot at cleaning up government waste.


Brittany Hunter

Brittany was a senior writer for the Foundation for Economic Education. Additionally, she is a co-host of Beltway Banthas, a podcast that combines Star Wars and politics. Brittany believes that the most effective way to promote individual liberty and free-market economics is by telling timely stories that highlight timeless principles.

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

Trump Outlines 3-Phase Approach to ‘Opening Up America Again’ Amid COVID-19



President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a cautious, three-phase approach—one that still gives wide latitude to governors—for reopening the shuttered economy in states that have had low rates of transmission of COVID-19.

“Based on the latest data, our team of experts now agrees that we can begin the next front in our war, which we’re calling, ‘Opening up America again,’” Trump said. “… We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time.”

The president has said he would like to see the economy moving again by—or even before—May 1 in some states. He said the plan is based on “hard, verifiable data” and that the peak death rate from the disease is now behind us.

When can America reopen? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, is gathering America’s top thinkers together to figure that out. Learn more here.

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 >>

“Thanks to our all-out military operation and the extraordinary devotion of our people, we believe we will experience far fewer deaths than even the optimistic projections,” Trump said.

“We have incredible people that we’re working with, and we’re going to bring our country back, and it’s going to be bigger and better and stronger than ever before,” he said.

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, presented slides to explain the phases of the process of reopening the country. Birx said each phases would be “related to 14 days of decreasing evidence of illness.”

  • Phase one is designed to “mitigate the risk of resurgence” and would allow public venues, such as arenas, theaters, and restaurants to reopen, only under certain social distancing conditions. However, “all vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place,” and low-risk individuals should continue social distancing.
  • Phase two only applies for regions with no evidence of a reboundVisits to hospitals, nursing homes, and similar locations will remain prohibited. However, schools, day care centers, and camps can reopen, and nonessential travel can resume. Public venues can begin to ease social distancing restrictions.
  • Phase three is also for states or areas with no evidence of a rebound, but has fewer restrictions than phase two. Even vulnerable individuals would have more freedom, but should still practice social distancing, while others are urged to avoid “crowded environments.”

The president noted that “benchmarks must be met at each phase.”

Reacting to the president’s plan, Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James stressed that “good public health policy is good economic policy.”

“The administration is rightly working to restore livelihoods in the midst of catastrophic job losses, while also taking care to balance Americans’ health and safety,” said James, who is also chairwoman of The Heritage Foundation’s 17-member National Coronavirus Recovery Commission. The panel is working to provide recommendations to federal, state, and local governments, as well as to the private sector.

“I look forward to working with the administration to help move prudently toward getting Americans’ lives back to normal,” she added.

Vice President Mike Pence said the phased approach will focus on preventing recurrence of the coronavirus in states where it has declined.

“There is a focus in the president’s new guidelines on the most vulnerable,” Pence said. “We made this very clear to the governors today. These new guidelines for opening up America again can be implemented on a statewide basis or on a county-by-county basis.”

“The predominant and completely driving element that we put into this was the safety and the health of the American public,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who also serves on the White House’s coronavirus task force.


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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RELATED VIDEO: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

A Note for our Readers:

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

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

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


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

Trump Set to Lay Out Plan for Reopening America

President Donald Trump intends to announce guidelines Thursday for states to “reopen” as the nation makes progress against the coronavirus pandemic.

“The data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new [COVID-19] cases. Hopefully, that will continue,” Trump said Wednesday evening in the Rose Garden at the White House. “These encouraging developments have put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country, which we’ll be announcing tomorrow.”

Trump also threatened to use his “constitutional authority” to adjourn both houses of Congress so that he could make recess appointments because Senate Democrats continue to block dozens of his nominations, some of which he said are important in the fight against COVID-19.

Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution grants the president the power, “on extraordinary occasions,” to “convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper.”

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 >>

Trump said he and the White House coronavirus task force will brief governors Thursday on the guidelines to reopen the country, then announce them to the public.

The president said the change won’t happen all at once, since each state is different.

“We’ll be opening up states, some much sooner than others,” Trump said.  “We think some of the states can actually open up before the deadline of May 1, and I think that will be a very exciting time indeed. Governors are looking forward, they are chomping at the bit to get going.”

Trump spoke to industry leaders and CEOs earlier Wednesday in a conference call to get feedback on reopening the nation’s economy, among them Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James.

Trump announced Tuesday that James is among influential leaders named to 17 “Great American Economic Revival” groups that he would consult on getting the country back to work.

“I am grateful to work with President Trump alongside economists, scholars, and industry leaders on the Great American Economic Revival,” James said in a prepared statement. “We are committed to developing plans to get Americans back to work as soon as it’s safe to do so and helping the nation recover from COVID-19.”

James, named by the president to the “thought leaders” group, continued:

“Heritage recently formed the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, bringing together experts in medicine, economics, business, government, disaster relief, and education to develop recommendations to save both the lives and livelihoods of Americans from this pandemic and provide our nation’s leaders with a road map to reopen America when the time comes to do so safely. I am excited to bring those recommendations to the president’s Great American Economic Revival team.”

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.

Trump administration officials note that while there are coronavirus hot spots in the Northeast and former hot spots on the West Coast, 25 states have fewer than 2,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine states have fewer than 1,000.

The U.S. has seen 605,390 cases of COVID-19 and 24,582 related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although Vice President Mike Pence put the death toll at over 27,000 Wednesday evening.

Responding to reporters’ questions, Trump again said that the federal government has the authority to require individual states to reopen. But, he said, he prefers not to take that route.

“If we’re not happy, we’ll take very strong action against a state or a governor,” Trump said. “If we’re not happy with the job a governor is doing, we’ll let them know about it. As you know, we have very strong action we can take, including a close-down. But we don’t want to do that. We’re working with the governors.”

Pence, a former Indiana governor as well as congressman, has been the president’s point man in communicating with governors.

The vice president, who also chairs the White House’s coronavirus task force, noted that 3.3 million tests for COVID-19 have been administered, yielding 619,000 positive results.

Still, Pence noted, 24% of all counties in the United States have zero confirmed cases of the contagious disease caused by the new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.

“Sadly, we mourn the loss of more than 27,000 of our countrymen,” Pence said. “Despite the heartbreaking losses, we are getting there, America.”

Rhode Island is getting hard hit by COVID-19 cases that originate in New York City and Boston, even as those cities are seeing a decline, said Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the task force.

Birx said things are looking up, but offered a sober warning.

“I will just remind the American people again, this is a highly contagious virus. Social gatherings, coming together, there is always a chance that an asymptomatic person can spread the virus unknowingly,” Birx said, adding:

No one is intending to spread the virus. We know if you are sick you will stay home. But to all of you out there that would like to join together and just have that dinner party for 20, don’t do it yet. Continue to follow the presidential guidelines. We really appreciate the work of the American people.


Fred Lucas

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


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A Note for our Readers:

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

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

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


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

GOVERNMENT CHARITY: More Loss, Debt and Inflation

“What I’m not saying is that all government spending is bad. It’s not – far, far from it, but there is no free lunch, as a former colleague of mine used to say. There is no public tooth fairy. Father Christmas does not work on the Treasury staff this year. You can never bail someone out of trouble without putting someone else into trouble.” – Arthur Laffer

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” –  Thomas Jefferson

“I have never believed in the fallacy that the federal government can buy its way out of economic troubles through needless spending. For that reason, I am proud to oppose ‘stimulus’ packages and endless corporate bailouts, which will do little but weaken the long-term integrity of the American economy.” – John Fleming

“The appropriation of public money always is perfectly lovely until someone is asked to pay the bill…the people will have to furnish more revenue by paying more taxes.” – President Calvin Coolidge

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.” –  James Madison

No society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of economic health.  Whenever massive government interventions have been tried, they have always ended in poverty, scarcity, and too often, mass death and genocide.  The further government takes its power, the harder it will be to wrest it back.  And it has already gone way too far.

We need to pull out of this global shutdown as soon as possible, in fact America never should have been shut down, but the socialist politicians will not easily give up all the police powers they have accumulated over these many Covid-19 weeks.  They have habituated the sheep of America into a “new normal,” a normal that is causing suicides, drug and alcohol addition, and domestic abuse. The shutdown is killing the economy and is no good for our health.

This virus and the stimulus will only result in more loss, debt and inflation.

Congressmen Thomas Massie and Andy Biggs

There are two Republican members of Congress who uphold the Constitution on a regular basis.  They are not always in good graces with the rest of their party in doing so, but they abide by the U.S. Constitution.  I hope they know there are Americans who appreciate their stance and love for country.

Thomas Massie (R-KY) demanded a recorded tally as opposed to a voice vote on the $2.2 trillion ‘‘Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or the ‘‘CARES Act.”  Rep. Massie tweeted, “I swore an oath to uphold the constitution, and I take that oath seriously. In a few moments I will request a vote on the CARES Act which means members of Congress will vote on it by pushing ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘present.’”  Thomas Massie has repeatedly spoken out against stay-at-home measures and business closures amid the pandemic.

Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) was right there with Massie.  Both of them knew it was important for Americans to know how their representatives voted on this bill.

President Trump excoriated Rep. Massie. “He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous … and costly,” Trump tweeted of Massie. “Workers and small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault. It is ‘HELL’ dealing with the Dems, had to give up some stupid things in order to get the ‘big picture’ done. 90 percent GREAT! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!”

Throw Massie out?  He and Andy Biggs are two of the finest old right constitutional conservatives in Congress!  I’m sorry President Trump, but your words were malicious and defamatory.

This was the first time I was ashamed of what my President said to a representative who has a 98% conservative voting record and consistently relies on and votes for the Constitution of the United States.

Massie ultimately failed when the House approved the package, but his effort was noted by Americans who love their constitution.  President Trump responded in a negative way to Congressman Massie. Trump loves America and her citizens and he is under great stress trying to help us through this horrid communist China inflicted debacle, but a day or two more wouldn’t have made a difference.  Both of these Congressmen support the president and Tom Massie is owed a public apology and a private phone call.

A yea or nay vote was taken, and we do not know who voted against it other than these two Congressmen.  We know that when Speaker Pelosi returned from vacation, she added enough pork into the bill that had nothing to do with rescuing those who lost jobs and businesses thanks to the politicians shutting down the country and destroying the booming economy and stock market.

Former Congressman Ron Paul called the recent measures to control the spread of COVID-19 a “grab bag” for some in government.  He said what he is worried about is that some in government have inflated the risk and response for their own political gain.  “I think it’s blown way out of proportion to the danger. People who want more government power and more control over people and want to get big appropriations and get their special deals passed, that’s what’s happening now,” Paul said of federal and state government responses to the virus.

Pelosi Pork

The Covid-19 relief aid gave $25 million to the Kennedy Center, $350 million to refugee resettlement, $75 million to PBS, $25 million went to congressional salaries and expenses, a $10 billion loan to the post office, and $150 million in funding to the National Endowment of the Arts and National Endowment of the Humanities.  Her additions are amoral.

Critically, that $150 million comes in the form of grants with no expectation of being paid back. Meanwhile, much of the funding afforded to small businesses in the bill comes in the form of loans, which the companies will have to reimburse.

The word “sunscreen” appears dozens of times, 49 to be exact, in the CARES Act, and it’s thanks to the Treatment of Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA) being placed into the bill. The Act requires FDA to provide a streamlined approach to approving new over-the-counter sunscreen ingredients, including evaluating applications that an ingredient is safe and effective on an expedited timeline.

What in heaven’s name does this Act have to do with rescuing workers and families in this ungodly crisis — except to say that powerful members of Congress are skilled in never letting a crisis go to waste.  Even the New York Times editorial board wailed that “the urgency of the moment does not justify the egregious misuse of public resources.” Someone should tell Nancy Pelosi the news.

Art Laffer on Stimulus

Several weeks ago, Art Laffer was on Stuart Varney’s program.  Varney was discussing how the “rescue plan” was stalled and that it needed to be passed to save the people. Varney has obviously banned Art from his program even though Art was telling the truth. Laffer was dead set against the stimulus and called the bill “a helicopter money proposal” of handouts that has a bad track record historically.  “It never works, it just causes the problem to get worse and worse,” said Laffer, known for his “Laffer curve.”  “You don’t tax people who work and pay people who don’t work and expect more work,” he said.  Laffer believes the stimulus is extending the self-induced recession.

Laffer noted he’s “been on all of these crises on the inside, from Nixon in 71-72 … through Jerry Ford, up to the present.”

He proposes, instead, cutting the payroll tax for the next seven to eight months “to make sure that it’s more attractive for people to work and more attractive for companies to hire.”  I agree with him.

And he suggests guaranteeing or granting liquidity loans to businesses to help them stay afloat.  “Just the payroll tax cut and liquidity lending,” he said.

Laffer took a shot at Congress. “Whenever politicians make decisions, whether they are panicked or drunk, the consequences are rarely attractive,” he said.  Link

And now, we are printing trillions of dollars that we don’t have…hello to massive inflation.

The Davy Crockett Charity Story

There are a number of stories about Davy Crockett voting against charitable donations that should not come out of the largesse of the U.S. treasury.  However, none of them are historically authentic.  Here are the true facts.  Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it avail monies from the treasury to be given to anyone, including American citizens.  It is to be used to run the federal government.

Article 1, Section 8, gives the enumerated powers of the federal government delegated to Congress. The first is the power to tax and to spend the money raised by taxes, to provide for the nation’s defense and general welfare. These were terms transferred from the Articles of Confederation and understood by the men at the 1787 Constitutional Convention, but obviously not by today’s congressional creatures.

This section was supplemented by the 16th amendment, which permitted Congress to levy an income tax, which would not have been approved of by our founders.

Although the Spending Clause is the source of congressional authority to levy taxes, it permits the levying of taxes for two purposes only: to pay the debts of the United States, and to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. Taken together, these purposes have traditionally been held to imply and constitute the “Spending Power.”

Unfortunately, Alexander Hamilton’s broad reading of Art. 1, Sec. 8, met with opposition from many of the other Founders. James Madison repeatedly argued that the power to tax and spend did not confer upon Congress the right to do whatever it thought to be in the best interest of the nation, but only to further the ends specifically enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution, a position supported by Thomas Jefferson.

Nevertheless, today, the term “general welfare” is gravely overused to the nation’s demise.  Thus, we see this unconstitutional welfare giveaway that should never have happened, and neither should the shutdown of this nation ever have happened.


Oh, how I wish to write about something other than the virus and America’s police state, but every day more comes to the fore to counter the lies of “experts” and the mainstream media.

The real threat is not the virus, but the spirit of fear spread by federal, state and local governments with the help of the democratic socialists in mainstream media.

Fear is not from the Almighty, it is from the enemy.  God actually commands us not to fear, or worry. The phrase “fear not” is used at least 80 times in the Bible, most likely because He knows the enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories.

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Deuteronomy 31:6

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.  Proverbs1:33

For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Isaiah 41:13

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  II Timothy 1:7

This is Holy Week for both Jews and Christians as we celebrate Passover and Easter.  May the Lord give us all a spirit of peace, love, and joy in Him.

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Coronavirus Commission Examines How to Get America Back to Work

Before many Americans are able to go back to work, the country will have to reach four goals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said as the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission began to study related issues.

“No. 1, we need to stop the spread. That has not been stopped,” Frist, a physician who is a member of the commission assembled by The Heritage Foundation, said of the new coronavirus Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.

Second, Frist said, the nation must gear up “contact testing.”

“We have to identify who has the disease and then who they have been in contact with, and we need to develop that infrastructure in every community across America,” the former senator from Tennessee said.

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 >>

“No. 3, we need to define the science,” Frist said, adding: “So we need to further define how long a person has been exposed [and] how good their immunity is in going back to work.”

Fourth is a gradual return to work “community by community, not state by state,” following stay-at-home orders at the state and local levels, he said, while the federal government is encouraging social distancing and coordinating the national response.

The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission includes experts from public health, business, and government who will identify steps needed to rebuild the economy after the pandemic.

The commission’s first formal meeting, to be held remotely, is set for Thursday.

The meeting comes ahead of what the federal government expects to be the peak week for deaths from COVID-19. The United States has logged 419,975 confirmed cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus and 14,262 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Commission member George Allen, a former U.S. senator and governor of Virginia, said a short-term goal for the nation is to increase production of protective masks and COVID-19 tests to meet the need.

“We need a Manhattan Project approach on antiviral therapeutics that could be produced four to six months before the winter onslaught when recurrence occurs, because the vaccine is going to take over a year and that’s assuming this coronavirus doesn’t mutate,” Allen said during the conference call.

The Manhattan Project was the name of America’s secret effort during World War II to develop the atomic bomb.

Allen predicted that some moderate social distancing is “here to stay,” while teleworking likely is going to be more common even in the long term.

“It’s going to change our society the same way 9/11 has changed our society,” he said of COVID-19.

Allen also called for breaking American dependence on China for pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies.

“We as Americans should no longer be vulnerable to adversarial countries for our supply chain of medicines, pharmaceuticals, and medical services,” Allen said, adding:

Heck, people wouldn’t even feed their dogs dog food from China or want Sheetrock from China. So why should we have our medicines and some of these masks and so forth coming in from China when we can make it here? If not here, then our neighbors in Canada and Mexico can make it.

Two policy experts from The Heritage Foundation, Paul Winfree and Charmaine Yoest, serve as executive directors of the commission.

“We believe fundamentally that good public health policy is going to lead to good economic policy,” said Yoest, vice president of Heritage’s Institute for Family, Community and Opportunity and former president and CEO of Americans United for Life.

“The two have to move forward hand in hand,” said Yoest, who served for almost a year as assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services early in the Trump administration. “Once the American people are confident of the health approach, they’ll start feeling confident about going back to work and jump-starting the economy.”

The “big question” the commission will confront is how to expedite an economic recovery through the actions of federal, state, and local policymakers, said Winfree, director of Heritage’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, who was deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council during the first year of the Trump administration.

“One of the questions that has come out of the Trump administration is this question about whether we are going to see a V-shaped recovery or whether we are going to experience it for a longer season,” Winfree said.

“I think it’s critical for anything we end up doing from here on out, [to] make sure that folks remain attached to their places of work so that whenever we defeat the disease, ultimately we can get America back to work and cooking again as quickly as possible,” he said.

Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James is the commission’s chairwoman. James was director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under President George W. Bush and Virginia secretary of health and human resources while Allen was governor.

Commission members also include former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla.; John A. Allison IV, former CEO of BB&T Bank and retired president of the Cato Institute; Lawrence J. Blanford, president of Green Mountain Coffee; Kevin P. Chavous, president of academics, policy, and schools at; former Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner; and Timothy E. Flanigan, chief legal officer for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Also members are Noe Landini, CEO of Rex Management; the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Nelson J. Sabatini, former Maryland secretary of health; Joni Eareckson Tada, founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center; and Frances F. Townsend, executive vice president of MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings.

The commission also includes former White House physician and retired Brig. Gen. Richard J. Tubb; Gail Wilensky, economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE; and Robert L. Woodson Sr., founder and president of the Woodson Center.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.


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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Problematic Women: The Chinese Government’s Coronavirus Cover-Up

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COVID-19 Should Make Us Appreciate Miracle of Life, Not Make Abortions ‘Essential’

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!


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Why Accepting Even Two Million Covid-19 Deaths May be Better Than a National Lockdown

We’ve heard much during the Wuhan flu crisis about a “worst case scenario” of two million dead Americans, a staggering number. But missing from the national conversation is something equally important:

What’s the worst case scenario given our present course of action, largely locking down the country and freezing life like an insect stuck in amber?

What if worse coming to worst means a great depression, descent into tyranny, millions more dead from other causes and a permanently impoverished nation?

Almost the entire virus debate has centered around whether the experts are correct about the infectivity and virulence of the disease and in their projections (which have often been drastically wrong). But even if we assume that the experts having the government’s ear — and there are dissenters who don’t — are absolutely inerrant in their expressed judgments, there’s a problem with just “listening to the health professionals’” prescriptions:

Like most everyone else, these individuals have only a narrow range of expertise; they are epidemiologists, virologists, infectious disease specialists, etc.

They are not epidemiologists-cum-philosophers/political scientists/sociologists/economists.

So they provide counsel on how to achieve a narrow goal contemplated from a narrow perspective. This is not a put-down. It is their job to do just that.

Congruent with this, these experts consider the health related consequences of the disease, not the civilizational-health related consequences of their cure — which may be worse than the disease.

The latter is the job of statesmen, commentators, academics and the wider population. All these groups, unfortunately, are found wanting in this.

Unemployment claims are at a record high, but I don’t have to tell you how the current lockdowns are ravaging our economy. Many businesses and jobs will never come back, yet this concern not only is just the iceberg’s tip, it isn’t even, as critics may say, just about “money” — because money isn’t just about “money.”

Money represents resources, people’s capacity to obtain food, shelter, clothing, health care, education and everything else that preserves life and makes it worth living. Note here that poverty is associated with a host of negative health and health-related risks, such as a higher incidence of manifold diseases, depression, anxiety, stress related disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, domestic violence, child abuse and crime.

Yet even more must be considered. Remember now that if the following seems radical, it is a worst case scenario. And if we can consider the worst case scenario on one side of the equation, we must for balance and perspective consider the worst case scenario on the other side as well.

What if locking down the nation means causing a great depression lasting a decade or more?

What if this economic disaster leads, as history teaches it can, to the rise of demagogues and loss of freedom?

What if there are consequently millions more deaths from other causes due to economic malaise and descent toward tyranny?

What if, in other words, we essentially destroy our civilization as we know it?

Will it have been worth it to ensure there’d be fewer Wuhan virus deaths — even two million, shocking though that number is? Civilizational destruction, something permanent, would be a steep price to pay to combat a pandemic, something temporary.

Know that I’m not insensitive to the vulnerable’s plight. Near and dear to me are two people in an extreme high-risk category and a handful of others somewhat at risk, and I have an in-law physician relative who contracted the virus, began treating herself with hydroxychloroquine and is currently hospitalized. But I also recognize the truth of economist Thomas Sowell’s observation that sometimes in life “there are no solutions; there are only tradeoffs.” Are we making the right tradeoff now?

I’ll emphasize that my worst case scenario isn’t at all fanciful. Many are concerned about a depression resulting from our lockdowns and about the erosion of freedom as people, as people will, trade liberty for security. In fact, The New York Times, of all entities, recently ran a headline warning, “For Autocrats, and Others, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power.”

“Leaders around the world have passed emergency decrees and legislation expanding their reach during the pandemic,” the paper writes in its subhead before asking, “Will they ever relinquish them?”

Anyone who grasps the nature of power — and of the power hungry — won’t bet the answer is yes.

Now ask yourself: If the given amount of power is currently being seized, what would happen in an infinitely worse situation such as lockdown-caused depression and social upheaval?

Speaking of autocrats, the mainstream media have rightly been castigated for doing despotic China’s bidding and touting its “response” to the virus; never mind that China created this problem and that its response’s immediate effectiveness is actually unknown because Beijing lies like it breathes. But what if China has responded rightly, not in its tyrannical measures but in one respect?

What if Beijing’s apparent decision to get people back to work and accept virus related deaths leaves it stronger over the long term? There is some possibility, a scary one, that China could emerge from this as the world’s superpower — a status it craves — under our worst case scenario.

Also consider Sweden. That it continues commerce and life largely unchanged and is striving for “herd immunity” may be instructive. Are we just prolonging the inevitable?

Of course, one lockdown motivation is to slow the virus’s spread so that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday that there won’t be a true turning point until a vaccine is developed. Yet some say this could be 18 months away, an eternity in lockdown terms.

In the meantime, restoring normal commerce and freedom without experiencing increased virus contagion appears unlikely. But since such restoration would be beneficial, focusing on developing herd immunity while pursuing wide-scale testing and the insulating of vulnerable groups may be the wiser course.

Remember, too, that we’ve been through this before. During the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19, 675,000 Americans died; adjusted for today’s US population this amounts to a bit more than two million people — exactly our worst case scenario number.

We weathered that pandemic, of course. But people were far different then, and, correspondingly, we’re far different politically today. If President Trump advocated the Swedish model and there were hundreds of thousands of deaths, never mind two million, every one would be laid at his doorstep and he’d likely be ousted from office (as it is, it was already suggested last month that Trump may be guilty of “negligent homicide”). The same could befall any governor acting likewise, never mind that he might have helped save the future — because the alternate future would never be known.

This is why I know certain things. No, I don’t have definitive answers; this is a fluid, serious situation with many unknowns, and we all should act responsibly and not claim knowledge we don’t possess. But I do know some questions, as posed above, that should be asked and maturely debated. I also know this won’t likely happen, given man’s nature in general and the state of our politics and media in particular.

This is why we’d better hope for a highly efficacious Wuhan virus treatment — and fast. Because if we’re going to lockdown our nation for months on end, well, we may learn the hard way that we might as well have just thrown away the key.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Gab (preferably) or Twitter, or log on to

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RELATED ARTICLE: COVID-19 and Prisons A Complicated Issue That Does Not Need Simplistic “Solutions”

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.


Managing a Disaster

How Crises Shine a Light on the ‘Forgotten American’

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’

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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.”


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.


Fred Lucas

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


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A Note for our Readers:

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

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

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


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

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.”


“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.


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.

© All rights reserved.

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


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

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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.

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