PODCAST: Wednesday at Bernie’s — Propping up Socialism

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has never lied about being a socialist. Where he’s truth-challenged is in defining it. Last week’s speech at George Washington University was supposed to change all of that. After weeks of preparation, his campaign was convinced Sanders would be delivering the grandest defense of the system since FDR. What it ended up being, most pundits agree, was one big fat snow job.

The conservative commentators called it “a nightmare.” Liberal writers were slightly more generous, but some of the reviews still stung. “Deeply unserious” was how The Atlantic described it. “Intellectually dishonest” was former Maryland Rep. John Delaney’s take. By and large, both sides’ complaints were the same: the picture Sanders painted was a socialist fantasy — and a disingenuous one at that. When he wasn’t outright lying (America is not in a “Great Depression,”), Sanders was busy ignoring the harshest realities of the system — and the brutal dictators practicing it. As Ramesh Ponnuru argued, “Wednesday’s address was a long denial of reality… [he] pretends that socialism has never proved oppressive to freedom, and that capitalism has never led to widespread progress.”

Instead, he spent 40 minutes trying to persuade Americans that there was an “oligarchy” of the wealthy and that income inequality is the root of all evil. He ignores the fact, Justin Haskins writes on Fox News that “African-Americans, Hispanics, women and Americans without a four-year college degree are experiencing record-low or near-record-low unemployment.” Still, Sanders insists the country take “the next step forward” and guarantee these “basic economic rights” — which he defines as free housing, health care, retirement, and education. All for just $3.26 trillion dollars a year. Sure, that’ll mean sky-high taxes — but don’t worry, he told CNN, most Americans “will be delighted to pay more…

But it’s not just the financial equation that’s worrisome. It’s the price of personal freedom too. “If Sanders was coy about the details of a ‘socialist’ economy,” wrote one granddaughter of socialists, “he was downright disdainful of the notion that a speech on socialism and authoritarianism should seriously grapple with the long history of socialist movements that have ended in dictatorship.” She, like others, noticed that the Vermont senator touched on villains like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, but conveniently ignored Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Cuba’s Raúl Castro, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, or North Korea’s Kim Jung Un. But even as Sanders tries to distance his views from those regimes’, the reality is, the entire socialist system is “inherently tyrannical.”

A lot of Americans don’t realize that, because the polite version of socialism is quickly overshadowing history’s horror stories. When pollsters survey the country about socialism (and plenty have), a shocking number still have no idea what it is. Believe it or not, 28 percent think it’s about “fulfilling basic needs like healthcare, housing, and a job to everyone.” Another five percent believe it means ending poverty. Only 22 percent understood socialism as a system “lacking in civil liberties and political freedoms.”

Another thing the country needs to be aware of, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) reminded listeners on today’s “Washington Watch” is that this march toward socialism in America has been going on for more than a century. FDR started it with Big Government that’s left us trillions of dollars in debt. And then what happens? “You get these massive social programs that wind up doing what Hugo Chavez did. Even in France and England, their socialized medicine is on the brink of failure. In fact, the U.K. government wanted the doctors to take it back over, and they said “[No way.] We don’t want to be in charge of the national health system. And now France is saying the same thing. They’re on the verge of bankruptcy because of their massive health programs… It all starts with good intentions,” Rep. Yoho pointed out, but “it always ends up in a Hugo Chavez or [Nicolás Maduro].”

If there’s one thing Bernie’s speech did accomplish, it was dividing the 2020 candidates. Most of them understand what a toxic concept socialism can be — and while they certainly endorse parts of it, did their very best to hide that from the general public. Some, like Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), found themselves in the unusual position of defending capitalism. Others, like former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, laughed at the title of the speech when a reporter read it to him. But in the end, most Americans felt like Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) who responded with a simple, “Huh.”

Sanders spent almost an hour defending socialism. But in the end, all his opponents have to do is point one finger toward Venezuela and ask Americans a simple question: “Is this really what you want?”


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


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column with podcast is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

The Connection Between Hollywood and China

Don’t be fooled by the Americans behind the camera. In today’s Hollywood, there’s one director — and that’s China. As important as U.S. audiences are, filmmakers know there’s a bigger one. And they’re willing to do anything they can to tap into it, even if it means becoming co-conspirators with one of the most evil censorship operations in the world.

It’s the biggest partnership no one knows about, and according to some experts, the most dangerous. The majority of Americans probably have no idea when they buy a ticket to the latest blockbuster that the film they’re about to see was either partially financed by China or altered because of it. In the last several years, there hasn’t been a more powerful influence over Hollywood than the communist regime — and with Chinese ticket sales set to overtake the U.S., the situation is only going to get worse.

There’s a sinister side to all of this, which is that the more Hollywood relies on China’s market to make movies, the more those movies are going to cater to the country’s demands. The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez has been tracking the major revolution in filmmaking because of the Chinese market and thinks more Americans need to be paying attention. “Hollywood does all kinds of things to make sure they have a slice of the Chinese pie,” he told listeners on “Washington Watch.” “And they’re quite open about it. They don’t hide it. They’re quite happy to submit to the censorship of the Chinese Communist Party.”

“It goes something like this,” he explained. “In order for the U.S. film to crack the Chinese market, certain themes cannot be portrayed, certain products must be taken out, and certain speech must be limited.” The process has become so rigorous that a lot of studios are actually flying over these Chinese censors to sit in on filming. In some instances, entire scripts have been changed — either to conform to the communists’ messaging or showcase China in the best possible light. Others try to save themselves the time and money of those overhauls by just co-producing their movies with the Chinese from the start — including, in 2018, some of the biggest box office successes: Mission: Impossible: Fallout, Venom, The MEG, and Pacific Rim: Uprising.

The obvious result of all this, Mike argues, is that “American audiences are being submitted to censorship — not our own censorship, but a foreign power’s censorship — and a Communist Party censorship. We get shown a very benign view of China, in which China is a normal country, no different from Paris, or Britain, or Germany. That isn’t the case obviously. If you speak against the government in Germany, nothing happens to you. If you speak against the government in China, they’ll throw you in jail.”

By letting China call the shots, these filmmakers have actually become complicit in the attack on free expression — their expression. Just think about it, Mike said. “How come there’s never been a movie about the Tiananmen Square massacre? That was drama there. There were students who were crushed by soldiers. There was blood, there was death, there was scheming. And yet Hollywood has never made a movie about Tiananmen. Why? Because any studio who makes a movie about Tiananmen knows that will be shut out forever from the Chinese box office market.”

This is a country with such suffocating strictness that even Winnie the Pooh is banned. Why? Because the government is worried he’ll be compared to President Xi Jinping. (Maybe they don’t want the world’s worst human rights abusers to look soft.) Either way, Hollywood is going along with it, prostituting its voice — and America’s influence — in the process.

Of course, most people probably aren’t surprised that Tinseltown would sell its soul to make a few bucks. What they are amazed by is all of the political sanctimony from filmmakers here at home. This is an industry in partnership with the Chinese government, a notoriously brutal regime, who’s turning around and telling places like Georgia: We’re not doing business with you because you passed pro-life laws.

Unbelievable. Hollywood has no problem climbing down from its moral high horse to sell tickets in China — where people are being viciously tortured and killed — but decides it can’t possibly ally itself with states that protect their own people. They’d rather be a puppet of the communist state and its nightmarish record on human rights than support a democratic process that saves lives. That’s 100-percent hypocrisy no matter what language you speak.

If the entertainment industry wants to wrap itself in the Chinese flag, that’s literally their business. Just don’t be shocked when the alliance backfires. Because in a world of bad actors, the People’s Republic is the worst.


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


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

Cuba Implements Food Rationing as Its Economy Enters Crisis Mode

While it is fashionable to talk about Venezuela and its notorious shortage of basic goods such as toilet paper, flour, and milk, Cuba is now implementing a rationing program to combat its very own shortages of basic goods. A CBC report indicates this program would cover basic items such as chicken, eggs, rice, beans, and soap.

What has caused these shortages has been a subject of debate. Cuban Minister of Commerce Betsy Diaz Velazquez blames the Trump administration’s stiffening of the trade embargo with the island nation. Others contend that decreasing aid from Venezuela has contributed to Cuba’s newly emerging rationing dilemma. Over the past few years, Venezuela has provided Cuba with subsidized fuel and other forms of aid in order to keep its basic infrastructure intact.

Although these explanations do have validity and will be touched upon later, there is another factor that is not being considered. The lowest common denominator in the Cuban economy during the past five decades is excessive government control.

When Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in 1959, the Cuban state maintained an iron grip on the economy. For decades, the country has been a communist garrison state with very little respect for property rights and civil liberties such as free speech. More than 140,000 Cubans perished under the Castro regime, according to certain estimates, while millions of Cubans fled to the United States to start a new life.

During this timespan, economic stability was never really an option in Cuba. Because of the economic dislocations caused by state control of many industries, the government has had to provide citizens with Libretas de Abastecimiento (supply booklets) to ration out basic goods like rice, sugar, and matches. This system was established in 1962 in response to the economic sanctions the American government placed on Cuba which caused shortages of food, medicines, and supplies. From a free-market perspective, these sanctions should be condemned. They not only infringe on the rights of Americans who wish to do commerce and travel to Cuba, but they also do very little to topple tyrannical regimes.

But in the case of Cuba’s economic problems, there is a reason to believe they go beyond America’s embargo on the country. Jose Alvarez of the University of Florida does initially concede that “Cuba was forced to establish a rationing system for basic food and industrial products. This has brought serious limitations to consumers and their choice availability” after the initial blockade by the U.S. government.

However, Alvarez adds that solely pinning the blame on sanctions is misguided:

To blame US economic sanctions for the existence of a rationing system of basic food products is not a very sound argument to justify Cuba’s socialist system. It is an admission that Cubans cannot even produce what grows very easily on Cuban soil. If one lists the food products that have been rationed since 1962, it becomes evident that almost all of them were in abundance before the 1959 revolution and were produced domestically.

Alvarez also notes that even with the Soviet Union effectively serving as Cuba’s sugar daddy, the country still had to ration goods and services:

It is interesting to recall that, when the Soviet bloc was subsidizing the Cuban economy to the tune of five billion dollars per year, food was still rationed in Cuba.

U.S. sanctions on Cuba have generally allowed exemptions for humanitarian aid and basic products. The Trade Sanction Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 permitted the sale of certain foods and medicine, albeit to a limited extent. Even with sanctions in place, Cubans have found ways to bring goods to the market, but the Cuban state has remained an obstacle.

This was most clear during Cuba’s Special Period when the country could no longer rely on Soviet Union aid to prop it up. The country began to open up its markets to a limited degree by trading with other countries and making lukewarm attempts towards privatization. However, the government still stood in the way of allowing Cuba to have a functioning market, which Alvarez also points out:

Granted, some Cubans have been unable to consume a wide variety of food products because of the high prices under the rationing system, but there have been periods in which the abundance of several products have demonstrated the feasibility of returning to a stable and ample food supply. Examples include the proliferation of FrutiCuba (a chain of government stores) which was devoted exclusively to selling fruits and vegetables in the mid-1960s, free farmers’ markets in the 1980s, the free agricultural markets after 1994, and the new food outlets. These testify to the ability of Cuban farmers to produce abundant food supplies despite US economic sanctions, that could do away with the food rationing system.

The embargo on Cuba only affects current trade relations with America and the island nation. Cuba can still trade with other countries to acquire some of the rationed products. Indeed, Cuba does have a track record of not making debt payments. And when it’s no longer receiving aid from Moscow or Caracas, Cuba’s economic flaws stick out like a sore thumb, which generally makes it an unattractive trading partner.

Cuba’s recent political behavior indicates that the country’s leadership still does not get basic economics. In the midst of Hurricanes Gustave and Ike in 2008, the Cuban government responded with price controls. On top of the damage that the hurricanes dealt with Cuba, these price controls created even larger shortages than expected according to Reuters.

But Cuba’s price control forays did not end there. According to Agencia EFE, Cuba enacted price controls in May 2016 with the aim of increasing the stockpile and sale of highly demanded agricultural products.

Food staples such as plantains, beans, and mangos were covered under these price ceilings. Basic economics demonstrates that price controls cause shortages. When a price ceiling below the market rate is imposed, artificial demand ensues. In turn, suppliers, who look at the government-imposed price, act accordingly by not supplying as many goods to the market, which often causes shortages.Based on its most recent actions, it’s clear that price controls are in the Cuban state’s toolbox of economic tricks and likely won’t be going away anytime soon. The Cuban people will continue to suffer as a result.

The Cuban’s regime despotism is well-documented and merits private condemnation. However, this does not mean that top-down regime change nor sanctions are the best means of getting Cuba on the path towards markets.

Although Cuba’s economic ills are largely self-inflicted, U.S. sanctions aren’t making things better. There are some caveats to consider. Broad-based sanctions like the ones the U.S. has imposed on Cuba provide the regime political cover. They can now scapegoat the U.S. government for all of its problems. Ryan McMaken notes in an article dealing with Venezuela, that non-interventionism, both in terms of military action and economic sanctions, is the best approach to take for enhancing freedom. The same logic applies to Cuba. More meddling will embolden radicals within the regime and give them another boogieman to scapegoat.

When sanctions are taken out of the equation, it becomes clear to the populace and reform-minded figures within the government that their economic malaise is home-brewed. Even China, which featured one of the most heinous cases of democide under Communism, made a decent transition to a nominally capitalist economy in the 1980s under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. However, this would have never started if it wasn’t for Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, which normalized trade and diplomatic relations between the two nations.

America can have a role to play in Cuba’s economic revival, but it will do so by removing sanctions. This will remove any doubt as to whether it’s the U.S.’s punitive economic policies that are making the island nation more impoverished. Getting rid of this confounding variable is key for the country to move forward. More punitive measures, like the “highest level” sanctions that Trump promised to impose on Cuba in April, will reduce the influence of reform-minded individuals within the regime. It’s simply too easy for demagogic leaders to turn to radicals within a government who are eager to scapegoat foreign countries and stoke up the nationalistic sentiment against America.

However, the ball is still in Cuba’s court. After more than 50 years of embracing socialist governance, Cuba will have to learn that it needs to stick to the basic economic principles if it wants to break free from its long-standing cycle of poverty.

This article is reprinted with permission from the Mises Institute.

COLUMN BY

Before the Income Tax, our Nation was Supported by Tariffs

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The 1913 Income Tax

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selling Out American Manufacturing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump’s Tariffs on Chinese Imports

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

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

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

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

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

The Mexican Border and Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Disney CEO Iger Lives in Fantasyland

“[Disney CEO] Bob Iger acts like he’s spent too much time in Fantasyland, because his position here is downright goofy. Hollywood deals in fiction, and Iger is reading from the left’s pro-abortion script, not a logical narrative.”

A recent article in the Washington Times has exposed serious hypocrisies in the recent corporate attacks on the State of Georgia over the “heartbeat bill.”

The Georgia law is one of the toughest pieces of pro-life legislation, and, if implemented, would prohibit abortion after a doctor can detect a baby’s heartbeat. In recent weeks, under pressure from Hollywood leftists, entertainment companies like Disney (1.7 – Liberal) and Netflix (2.1 – Lean Liberal) have threatened to stop filming projects in the state if the measure goes into effect.

However, the Washington Times reports these companies regularly do business in foreign countries that restrict abortion:

Disney CEO Bob Iger said it would be “very difficult” for the company to continue to film in Georgia if the state’s newly enacted abortion law goes into effect, though the entertainment giant had no similar reservations about shooting in Jordan.

Portions of the just-released blockbuster “Aladdin” were shot in Wadi Rum, Jordan, where women who undergo abortions except in medical emergencies face up to three years in prison — in short, a law significantly more restrictive than Georgia’s fetal heartbeat bill.

Iger’s statements beg the question: would Disney move its resort properties if Florida passes a similar “heartbeat bill”?

The article continues:

Then there is Netflix, which raised the possibility last week of leaving Georgia over the fetal heartbeat bill signed May 7 by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, even though the entertainment company announced plans May 27 to film an original series, “Paranormal,” in Egypt.

Abortion is illegal in Egypt, with exceptions for saving the life of the pregnant woman or “fatal foetal abnormality,” according to the pro-choice international advocacy group Women on Waves.

Even so, “Paranormal” comes as Netflix’s third production foray into the Middle East: The shows “Jinn,” scheduled for release June 13, and “Al Rawabi School for Girls” were also filmed in Jordan as part of what the company described as its “dedication to investment in Middle Eastern Arabic content.”

It would appear both Disney and Netflix prioritize political pandering over logical consistency. After all, given the amount of children’s programming created by these companies, how much since does it make to support an abortion industry that exists to destroy the next generation of consumers?

If you think that Disney and Netflix should end their hypocrisy, and just stick to making television shows and movies, please do not hesitate to hit the buttons below to reach out to them!

Send Walt Disney an Email! 

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VIDEO: California Town Sees Businesses Vanish Following Minimum Wage Hike

A couple of years ago, I praised federalism in part because state and local governments would be less likely to adopt bad policy (such as higher minimum wages) if they understood that jobs and investment could simply migrate to jurisdictions that didn’t adopt bad policy.

But “less likely” isn’t the same as “never.” Some state and local politicians can’t resist the temptation to raise taxes, even though that means workers “vote with their feet” for places with lower tax burdens.

And some state and local politicians continue to mandate higher minimum wages (see hereherehere, and here), even though that means workers have fewer job opportunities.

Today, we’re going to look at some fresh evidence from Emeryville, California.

The local newspaper has an impressively detailed look at what’s happened to the town’s labor market.

Representatives from the Mills College Lokey School presented data from its recent ‘business conditions’ survey to our City Council on Tuesday. The study confirmed what restaurant owners warned when the ordinance was hastily passed in 2015. They are struggling, rapidly raising menu prices and increasingly looking to leave. …It’s getting harder to find small food service businesses that were around in 2015 when the MWO was passed. Emeryville institution Bucci’s, Commonwealth, Farley’s, Scarlet City … all gone. In fact, nearly all the brick & mortar businesses that comprised the short-lived Little City Emeryville small business advocacy group have moved, folded or sold. …The survey also identified that “the restaurant industry is clearly struggling.” Specifically, small, independent, non-franchise establishments are having the most difficulty.

Here are some of the survey data on the negative effect.

Here is some specific information on how restaurants have been adversely impacted.

…nearly all the new businesses that have opened have embraced the counter service model that requires fewer employees. Paradita Eatery, whose original plan was for a full service sit-down restaurant, cited Emeryville’s wage ordinance specifically for ‘pivoting’ to a counter service model. Counter service models require fewer employees to offset higher labor costs. …The only full service restaurant that has opened since the Minimum Wage was passed was 612One Asian Fusion which folded after just two years in business.

One of the reasons for the economic damage is that Emeryville has gone further and faster in the wrong direction.

The local law is more onerous than the state law and more onerous than other nearby communities.

But it’s not just workers who are suffering.

Consumers are adversely impacted, as well.

One commenter, who identified herself as a resident, questioned why the survey did not include consumer data noting her dining frequency was altered by the drastic price increases she’s observed. …She noted that she used to frequent her local Doyle Street Cafe 2-3 times per month but last year went only twice. …Once franchise owner noted that the price increases they’ve been forced to pass along have ironically had the biggest impact on vulnerable communities that are more price-sensitive. “Our largest decrease in guests are folks over 50. Obviously our elderly, disabled, and folks on fixed incomes are unable increase their income to compensate for the price increases.”

Let’s close with a new video from Johan Norberg, which looks at the impact of minimum wage increases in San Diego.

P.S. If local communities are allowed to mandate minimum wages higher than the state level or federal, shouldn’t they also have the freedom to allow minimum wages that are lower than the state level or federal level?

P.P.S. A number of European nations have no mandated minimum wage. As explained in this video, that’s an approach we should copy.

P.P.P.S. If you want some minimum wage-themed humor, you can enjoy cartoons herehereherehere, and here.

This article was reprinted with permission from International Liberty.

COLUMN BY

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a Washington-based economist who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

RELATED ARTICLE: U-Haul Rates Suggest Migration from California to Texas Is Accelerating

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with videos is republished with permission. All right reserved.

Big Business and Big Labor Push Illegal-Alien Drivers’ Licenses in New York

By David Jaroslav

Powerful special interests are joining forces with like-minded politicians to push drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens in the Empire State, even though polls consistently show most New Yorkers are opposed.

On May 29, the Business Council of New York State, which represents many of the state’s biggest businesses, publicly endorsed Senate Bill (SB) 1747, nicknamed the “Green Light Bill.”  The bill would require the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens.  More specifically, it would:

  • Create a category of drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens marked as “Not For Federal Purposes,” comparable to the other states that issue licenses to them, like California and Illinois;
  • Forbid DMV from asking about citizenship or immigration status for the new category of licenses;
  • List the identity documents illegal aliens could use to apply for licenses, including foreign passports and foreign drivers’ licenses that can be expired by up to two years;
  • Make essentially all identifying information in a driving record, and any documents used to apply for a license, no longer public, requiring even law enforcement to get a court order, search warrant or subpoena to access them from DMV; and
  • Require DMV to disclose to the license-holder if any of their records or information is sought by federal immigration authorities.

The open-borders groups the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Immigration Law Center estimate that the bill would make 752,000 illegal aliens in New York eligible for licenses, of which 265,000 could be expected to actually receive one within three years.  Multiple recent polls indicate that between 57 and 61 percent of New York voters oppose the idea, while as few as 34 percent may actually support it.

State Senator Chris Jacobs (R-Buffalo), who as a former Erie County Clerk worked closely with DMV in issuing drivers’ licenses, quickly blasted both the bill and the Business Council for endorsing it, saying in a press release that the bill subverts state law, destroys DMV’s ability to work with law enforcement to keep New York’s roads safe, and “open[s] up a ‘Pandora’s box’ of voter fraud[.]”  The New York State Association of Police Chiefs, the Association of County Clerks as well as many other local elected officials outside New York City have lined up against it as well.

But not to be sidelined by big business, now big labor, too, has come out in support of the Green Light Bill.  On June 3 it received the blessing of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union (1199SEIU).  Also known as United Healthcare Workers East, 1199SEIU is the largest healthcare workers’ union in the country, with nearly 450,000 members by its own estimate.  With a budget of over $185 million and through a combination of lobbying and campaign donations, it’s become so influential and powerful in state politics over the past decade or so that it’s been called “The Union That Rules New York.”

After the Business Council endorsement, one observer noted that “the Senate appears to lack the votes to pass the license bill at this time, with some suburban and upstate lawmakers fearing a political backlash if they vote for it.”  It’s even been rumored that Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), while publicly supporting the bill, had privately been telling those undecided lawmakers to kill it.  But while it’s unclear so far if the union endorsement has changed any of that, it’s certainly possible.

Sen. Rob Ortt (R-Lockport) described the whole situation as “nothing more than the Albany establishment at its finest.”

New York’s legislature is scheduled to adjourn its regular session on June 19.  Although the Green Light bill could be “carried over” to a future session, this latest push indicates that legislators intend to ram it through before they leave Albany.

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

PODCAST: Senator Marco Rubio — Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Economic Patriotism’ Plan is Incompatible with Radical Progressive Agenda

On June 6, 2019 Senator Marco Rubio joined Guy Benson on his new Fox News Radio show: The Guy Benson Show. They touched on Senator Rubio’s op-ed in Fox News titled “Warren’s ‘economic patriotism’ plan simply not possible with a progressive agendathat talks about why Elizabeth Warren’s “economic patriotism” plan isn’t compatible with the progressive agenda.

Partial transcript:

Benson: You’ve got an op-ed at Fox News.com today. You write: “Warrens economic patriotism plan is simply not possible with a progressive agenda” this coming on the heels of what you put out your calling it an investment report, what’s your argument?

Rubio: I actually give her credit she is the first Democrat to kind of lay out the argument that American economic policy should put American workers and American businesses first.

I think where she’s going to have big troubles is what it’s actually going to take to actually do that is going to run smack into the demands of the progressive radicals, radical progressives that dominate the party she is trying to become the nominee of. They demand cultural warfare, they demand the demonization of corporations that are large, they demand all sorts of things that matter to upper middle class people living in certain coastal areas of the country and in the pockets of prosperity. They demand that those things are to be put in front of the hard choices that need to be made to reorient our policy.

Frankly, if she decides that she wants to have a policy that achieves what she’s talking about she is not going to have a home in the Democratic party. That’s not what they want from their nominee.

Benson: What are those hard choices that need to be made in terms of reorienting policy?

Rubio: Well I think at first it begins by recognizing that you can’t have a healthy economy with high paying jobs without companies and corporations that are doing well.

Look I’ve beat up on big corporations because I don’t think they have Americans interests at heart most of the time. I was reading an article yesterday about these big companies leading boycotts and all sorts of social activism. These are the same companies who on the other hand ask us not to put sanctions on China, or they want us to lift sanctions on Russia, or they want us to get back in to the JCPOA so they can do business in Iran. So they seem to be very tolerant of dictators and authoritarians all over the world but are prepared to boycott states because they don’t like some law passed by the democratically elected legislature of that state. So I’ve beaten them up pretty good.

On the same token, you know we do need big business in America we also need a lot of small businesses. We need them both, and some of the key things we need success for in our country cannot be achieved if we have a climate that’s negative to these companies.

The other choices that have to be made frankly would require us to take on some of the orthodoxies in the Republican party and that includes this notion that we have become this party almost dominated by the needs of the financial markets. The financial markets, the stock market, Wall Street, investor class… They are an important part of the economy, but they are not the economy. So what you end up happening is you have corporations today who basically feel that their number one objective is to return value to shareholders and as a result many are committing corporate suicide in the long term. They are not investing, and that has an economic implication for this country. The more and more that this investment deteriorates the likelier it is that the great innovations, the great companies, the great industries of the 21st century are going to be located somewhere else, but not in America and not for Americans.

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VIDEO: Ocasio-Cortez’s Gardening Advice Echoes the Hubris of Mao’s Great Leap Forward

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to extend identity politics to vegetables.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wants to extend identity politics to vegetables. For Ocasio-Cortez, some vegetables are too “colonial” to grow.

Community gardens are a component of the Green New Deal, and having projects “make sense in a cultural context” is important, says Ocasio-Cortez.

If “communities of color” are “resistant to certain environmentalist movements,” perhaps it’s because they are concerned about taxes and jobs? The reason Ocasio-Cortez gives is far different:

When someone says that it’s too hard to do a green space that grows yuca instead of…cauliflower or something, what you’re doing is that you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism.

Yuca grows best in hot, dry regions. In many areas of the United States, including her home district of New York City, it would be an enormous challenge to grow yuca. I may like grapefruits, but I wouldn’t plant a grapefruit tree in the cold climate where I live.

Cauliflower is used in many Caribbean cuisines. Only Ocasio-Cortez knows why some vegetables are “colonial.”

Yuca is a starchy root vegetable with over double the amount of carbohydrates in a potato. If Ocasio-Cortez cares about the obesity and diabetes problems in her district, she may want to think again about her gardening advice.

Ocasio-Cortez is not the first member of Congress to offer inane advice. Yet she is fair game because she wants to use coercive force of government to remake the country in the image of her Democratic Socialist and Green New Deal programs.

We may laugh at Ocasio-Cortez’s boundless hubris, but let’s learn from history. Mao is perhaps history’s most famous despot who was eager to dispense agricultural (along with much other) advice. The result? During his Great Leap Forward (1958-1962), at least 45 million lost their lives through starvation, neglect, and violence.

Mao was a despot who had the power of the Chinese military power behind him to enforce his edicts; Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t.

Today, some see Ocasio-Cortez as a brilliant new voice in politics. With enough support, she and her fellow Democratic Socialists might have the power they crave to command people’s individual decisions. Ocasio-Cortez will never have absolute power, but she may gain enough power to do real harm.

In his book The Fatal Conceit, F.A. Hayek warned of the “naïve mind that can conceive of order only as the product of deliberate arrangement.” To such a mind, Hayek wrote,

it may seem absurd that in complex conditions order, and adaptation to the unknown, can be achieved more effectively by decentralizing decisions.

We are all naïve about many things; a dose of humility and respect for the rights of others keeps us out of trouble.

In his book, Mao’s Great Famine, historian Frank Dikötter explains the horrors of the Great Leap Forward. Mao was intent on dramatically increasing both industrial and agricultural production, and the Great Helmsman was sure he knew the way forward. Here are some of the agriculture “reforms” commanded by Mao.

Mao commanded the planting of more than one rice crop a year even though the weather didn’t support it:

Mao asked, on a visit to the provincial capital Changsha. “Why do the Hunan peasants still plant only one crop of rice a year?” After Zhou explained that the weather permitted only a single crop a year, Mao pointed out that Zhejiang was on the same latitude as Hunan and planted two crops of rice. “You are not even studying other experiences. That’s the trouble,” Mao continued.

Mao ordered deeper plowing of the soil and destroyed the topsoil in the process:

Deep ploughing was another revolutionary recipe meant to free the farmers from the capricious soil. The deeper the planting, the stronger the roots and the taller the stalk, or so ran the logic behind this experiment. “Use human waves, and turn every field over,” commanded Mao.

Goaded by cadres… villagers now and then burrowed through the earth to bedrock, destroying the topsoil.

Then Mao ordered a heavier concentration of seeds:

Explained Chairman Mao: “With company they grow easily, when they grow together they will be more comfortable”… Villagers, of course, knew better: they had tilled the land for generations, and knew how to care for a precious resource on which their livelihoods depended. Many were incredulous, some trying to reason with the cadres: “You plant the seedlings too closely, there is not enough breathing space between them, and then you add ten tonnes of fertiliser per field. It will suffocate them to death.” But advice was ignored: “It’s a new technique, you don’t understand!”

Mao believed he could conquer nature, but nature had the last word. The killing of sparrows led to insect infestations, worsening the famine:

Sparrows were targeted because they ate grain seeds, depriving the people of the fruits of their labour. In what is one of the most bizarre and ecologically damaging episodes of the Great Leap Forward, the country was mobilised in an all-out war against the birds. Banging on drums, clashing pots or beating gongs, a giant din was raised to keep the sparrows flying till they were so exhausted that they simply dropped from the sky. Eggs were broken and nestlings destroyed; the birds were also shot out of the air. Timing was of the essence, as the entire country was made to march in lockstep in the battle against the enemy, making sure that the sparrows had nowhere to escape.

Farmers were organized into large communes with ignorant political cadres issuing capricious orders based on “little knowledge of agriculture.”

In 1959 in Luokang commune a local leader decided to replace the existing crop with sweet potatoes on half of the available acreage, only to change his mind later and substitute the potatoes with peanuts. These were then torn out to make room for rice instead. The previous year the commune had tried deep ploughing, using vast concentrations of manpower on small strips of land to dig deep furrows, much of it by hand. Huge amounts of fertiliser were applied, in some cases up to 30 tonnes a hectare. It all came to nothing. In Kaiping county, Guangdong, thousands of villagers were repeatedly forced to plant a crop in the early spring of 1959 despite bitterly cold weather: the seeds froze on three occasions.

Agriculture was militarized:

The militia movement and a small corps of trained fighters brought military organisation to every commune. All over China farmers were roused from sleep at dawn at the sound of the bugle and filed into the canteen for a quick bowl of watery rice gruel. Whistles were blown to gather the workforce, which moved in military step to the fields, carrying banners and flags to the sound of marching songs. Loudspeakers sometimes blasted exhortations to work harder, or occasionally played revolutionary music. Party activists, local cadres and the militia enforced discipline, sometimes punishing underachievers with beatings.

“Every conceivable kind of nutrient” was used as fertilizer:

Animal and human waste was carried to the fields by endless rows of people, sometimes until deep into the night…. Human waste extended to hair, and in some Guangdong villages women were forced to shave their heads to contribute fertiliser or face a ban from the canteen.

The demand for higher yields meant houses were razed for their value as fertilizer:

But most of the time buildings made of mud and straw were torn down to provide nutrients for the soil. Walls of buildings where animals had lived and especially where they had urinated, such as stables, could provide useful fertiliser. At first old walls and abandoned huts were destroyed, but as the campaign gained momentum entire rows of houses were systematically razed to the ground, the mud bricks shattered and strewn across the fields.

Later, houses were wantonly destroyed to make room for new buildings that were never built:

Most quietly stood by, sometimes in tears, as the local leader walked past without uttering a word, simply lifting his finger to mark out a house for destruction. In Dianjiang county, Sichuan, a team of eleven people went around torching hundreds of straw huts. “Destroy Straw Huts in an Evening, Erect Residential Areas in Three Days, Build Communism in a Hundred Days” was the leading slogan. Some villages were emptied altogether, although somehow nobody quite managed to get beyond the destruction phase of the plan.

Pots and pans and farm implements were confiscated and melted down to be used in industrial production:

Many of the farming tools had been destroyed in the iron and steel campaign, labour was still diverted to building dams, and communal granaries in the people’s communes were poorly managed. In Liantan, the model commune where a slogan praising the Great Leap Forward had been chiselled in the mountains to welcome an inspection team, several thousand farmers were conscripted to deep-plough seven hectares during the autumn harvest; as nobody was available to collect the crop, some 500 tonnes of grain were abandoned in the fields.

As starvation spread, ersatz foods such as chlorella and wood pulp were promoted:

In China [chlorella, a form of algae] the watery slime was elevated to the status of miracle food during the famine. It could be cultivated and skimmed from swampy ponds, but more often than not it was grown in vats of human urine, the green stuff being scooped out, washed and cooked with rice.

Prisoners were used as guinea pigs. Besides the green plankton, which sickened the inmates, they were also fed sawdust and wood pulp. Bao Ruowang – also known as Jean Pasqualini, the author of a memoir about life in a Chinese labour camp – remembered how brown sheets of the stuff were ground into paper pulp and mixed with flour. Mass constipation followed, killing the weaker prisoners. But even in the cities the spread of substitute foods caused obstruction of the bowels or rupture of the sphincter.

Villagers “scavenged for carrion, rummaged through rubbish, scraped the bark off trees and in the end turned to mud to fill their stomachs”:

It was a vision of hell, as serried ranks of ghostly villagers queued up in front of deep pits, their shrivelled bodies pouring with sweat under the glare of the sun, waiting for their turn to scramble down the hole and carve out a few handfuls of the porcelain-white mud… Once eaten the soil acted like cement, drying out the stomach and absorbing all the moisture inside the intestinal tract.

As the country starved, Mao opened a party meeting in the summer of 1959. The party leaders were not hungry. They “referred to the gathering as a ‘meeting of immortals’. Immortals lived far above mere humans, seated on the clouds of heaven, playfully gliding through the mist, unencumbered by earthly restraints.”

Propaganda insisted

the country had witnessed an unprecedentedly rich harvest in 1960, there was absolutely no famine and rumours to the contrary were slanderous.

Humanitarian offers of food aid were rebuffed. The contempt the leaders had for their own countrymen was as boundless as their hubris.

COLUMN BY

Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein is professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore. He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership. To receive Barry’s essays subscribe at Mindset Shifts.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission.

THE BIG LIE: The future is in Battery Electric Vehicles

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

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

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

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

According to Wikipedia:

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

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

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

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

EVAdoption.com reports:

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

BEVs are expensive.

The Environmental Sensitivity Lie

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

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

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

Frightening right? Not so fast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more.

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

ANSWER: NO!

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

Also:

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

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

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Newest Diversity Twaddle…There’s No Young CEOs!

The “old, white men” problem has been rolling down crooked rails for a long time now, driven by progressive feminist radicals. In newsrooms in the 1990s, I regularly heard how a City Council or County Commission or group of Legislators were just a bunch of “old, white men” invariably from female reporters.

“White males” have long been the target of the left and their media allies in the now fully formed and mainstreamed identity politics of diversity. And now the last element has been demonstrated clearly in no less a publication than the Wall Street Journal.

WSJ Headline: “CEOs Under 50 Are a Rare Find in the S&P 500”

(Common sense: Right, because it takes a long time and experience and proof over decades to show you can run a major company.)

Drophead: “The number of S&P 500 CEOs in their 40s has declined in the past decade, leaving Gen X relatively underrepresented among corporate leaders”

(Common sense: Gen X always will be “underrepresented” because they are a particularly small generation. Duh. To the bigger point, the Greatest Generation and Gen Z are also “underrepresented.” So what? Who gives a flip?) 

It’s hard to get past the vacuous headline and drophead, but doing so reveals even more of the head-shaking, worship of PC diversity, as though it is some sort of magical wand and inalienable right rolled into one. Why the Journal is doing this story is a mystery.

From the story:

At America’s largest companies, chief executives under 50 are still a relative rarity. A Wall Street Journal analysis of S&P 500 companies that filed corporate proxy statements by May 1 shows 28 of 493 CEOs, or 6%, are under 50.

While corporate-governance experts have pushed companies to appoint more diverse — and, at times, younger — directors to boards, the leaders of big companies largely remain baby boomers. The median age of a chief executive in the S&P 500 is 58, the Journal analysis of proxy data from MyLogIQ shows.

Perhaps “corporate-governance experts” — which sounds a lot like the grievance police — didn’t take math in school. The baby boomer generation is the largest generation in the nation’s history and, and, it is in its peak earning and leadership years. Of course it will be “overrepresented” (a clever little term used to determine future diversity grievance remonstrances.) Baby boomers will also be overrepresented on Social Security and Medicare. They have also been overrepresented among people paying taxes.

Do these reporters actually understand the job that a CEO does? Perhaps they picture them sitting in big corner offices, drinking cognac and smoking stogies, going for three-hour lunches and just making a few decisions with a wave of big, fat, white male fingers while everyone else actually does the work.

They sure don’t seem to understand that to be a good CEO at a mammoth firm, you need years of experience climbing the ladder so that you will understand all the rungs of the ladder and understand how to operate a giant organization. And, with few exceptions, that only happens with time. Lots of time. And lots and lots of hours and sacrifice.

Oddly enough, nearly everyone quoted in the story understands this.

For instance, here:

Many corporations pick older CEOs because those executives are seen as battle-tested, while younger executives are still considered a bit of a risk, said Charles Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware.

“There is something to be said for managerial experience, and you gain that through a long time of putting in the hours,” Mr. Elson said.

And again here:

Executives in fast-changing fields like real estate say there can be value in having seen multiple economic cycles. Joseph Margolis, the 58-year-old chief executive of Extra Space Storage Inc., compares running a company with the 10,000 hours of mastery popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, author of the book “Outliers,” who suggests that those who excel in their fields typically put in that amount of practice.

“It’s a big bet to choose a CEO, and there’s a lot at stake,” Mr. Margolis said. “It’s frequently an easier choice to pick someone who’s had a little more experience.”

So where is this coming from? Why is it a big deal that most CEOs are over 50, which makes all the sense in the world? The Journal spells it out:

Any change in the ranks of CEOs would be prompted by corporate boards, because directors select who sits in the corner office. Organizations like the California State Teachers’ Retirement Systems (which invests billions and acts as activist investors) are pushing companies to bring directors with fresh perspective to boards. Still, the job requirements of a CEO are different than those of a director, and it “takes time to get to the C-level,” said Aeisha Mastagni, a portfolio manager at Calstrs.

And there it is.

Of course there are always the leftist activists to stir things up and used diversity as a cudgel. One, among many in this case, is the California teachers’ retirement system, which is an arm of the state of California. California, you may recall, passed a law requiring publicly held companies based in California to have at least one woman on their boards of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of July 2021, companies must have at least two women on boards of five members and at least three women on boards with six or more.

Surely they will require minorities next. And eventually, there will be age requirements, too.

So it all connects. Diversity is king. Merit is meh. Old white males…well, they’re problematic.

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

‘We’re the Ones Yelling Stop’: How These Conservatives Are Fighting Corporations’ Liberal Tilt

By supporting a nonprofit that favors rationing health care, biotech giant Johnson & Johnson appears to violate its founding principles, a conservative shareholder activist says.

The activist brought this contradiction to the attention of the corporation’s CEO at a shareholder meeting last month, in what he hopes will become a model practice for other conservatives.

Conservatives can be effective in challenging liberals’ efforts to move major corporations to the left if they simply acquire some stock and speak up with facts, David Almasi, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.

In recent weeks, Almasi and fellow activists also politely confronted executives of four other major U.S. corporations—AT&T, Bank of America, Amazon, and Twitter—at shareholder meetings.

“Often these days, corporate America has become a muscle and piggy bank for the left,” Almasi told The Daily Signal. “Sometimes executives do this for reasons of public relations, but in most cases, they are not helping consumers or their investors.”

“We’re the ones yelling stop during these meetings and asking them to think about what they are doing and to ask themselves if they are giving a fiduciary benefit to their investors and customers.”

In the past four years, the Free Enterprise Project of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank based in Washington, has made its voice heard in more than 100 shareholder meetings.

Amazon and Twitter, in separate shareholder meetings, this week rejected the Free Enterprise Project’s formal proposal that their boards reflect “true diversity.”

The full text of the proposal, on page 33 of Amazon’s proxy statement, specifies “ideological diversity” on the board as well as diversity based on race and gender.

Twitter rejected the idea Monday and Amazon did so Wednesday. The same diversity proposal is up for consideration at Facebook’s May 30 shareholder meeting and at Salesforce’s June 6 meeting.

“We believe that boards that incorporate diverse perspectives can think more critically and oversee corporate managers more effectively,” the Free Enterprise Project said in a statement supporting the proposal.

Prepared remarks at the Twitter and Amazon meetings by Justin Danhof, director of the Free Enterprise Project, are available here.

Amazon defended current policy in a statement recommending that shareholders vote down the proposal:

Diversity is a cornerstone of our continued success, and we are proud of the diversity of experience and perspectives represented by our directors and our employees. … Our Board composition reflects the robust nominating processes that we already have in place, which address much of what this proposal requests.

A Twitter spokesman, responding to Danhof’s remarks, said during the meeting:

For the reasons detailed in … our proxy statement, our board of directors believes that this proposal is not in the best interests of Twitter or our stockholders and recommends a vote against this proposal.

Questioning Johnson & Johnson’s CEO

Initiated in 2007, the Free Enterprise Project aims to advance free market ideals in corporate America on subjects including health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, and workers’ rights

Almasi showed up for Johnson & Johnson’s shareholder meeting April 25 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where the multinational medical device, pharmaceutical, and consumer goods company is headquartered.

During a question-and-answer session, Almasi asked CEO Alex Gorsky whether the company’s support for a Boston-based nonprofit, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, aligned with values expressed in the Johnson & Johnson credo.

Because the institute is “working to replicate” Great Britain’s health care rationing plan in the U.S., it puts Americans at risk of being placed on waiting lists to receive vital services or being denied access to certain drugs, Almasi warned Gorsky and other company officials.

“Johnson & Johnson has a fairly large meeting, and they really put on a show and run commercials and talk about profits and losses, and they are very open to investors,” Almasi told The Daily Signal. “I raised the fact that they started a relationship with a group that supports health care rationing.”

Robert Wood Johnson, the company’s former chairman and part of its founding family, drew up the Johnson & Johnson credo in 1943 to set the tone for its values and business practices.

The credo states, in part, that Johnson & Johnson’s “first responsibility is to the patients, doctors and nurses, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services … We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the world community as well. We must help people be healthier by supporting better access and care in more places around the world.”

The credo also says the company’s “final responsibility” is to shareholders, and that the business must turn a profit.

“What I said [to Johnson & Johnson’s Gorsky] is that you are part of a group and are giving money to a group that doesn’t want the patient to come first and instead wants a policy of health care rationing,” Almasi recalled in the interview.

“So, I brought this up and the CEO said he wasn’t aware of it, and I’ll take him at his word. But after the meeting, I had a discussion with [Johnson & Johnson’s] government affairs head, and we’re supposed to have another meeting in the next few weeks.”

Rationing Care, Denying Drugs

Almasi’s statement during the shareholder meeting, available here, ends with his asking Gorsky whether he could explain “how funding ICER benefits Johnson & Johnson, and whether this funding fits within the company’s credo.”

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review describes itself as an organization “that objectively evaluates the clinical and economic value of prescription drugs, medical tests, and other health care and health care delivery innovations.”

Steven Pearson, the institute’s founder and president, previously was a senior visiting fellow with Great Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a government agency.

Almasi told Johnson & Johnson’s Gorsky that guidelines set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence were responsible for putting British citizens on waiting lists to receive health care.

“A lot of companies join groups because they want a seat at the table,” Almasi told The Daily Signal, and in the case of Johnson & Johnson he’d like to see the company “advance their credo” and oppose “the rationing of American health care.”

In the interview, Almasi also expressed concern that the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s partnership with the CVS retail pharmacy chain could result in denying prescription drugs to needy Americans based on highly subjective “quality of life” calculations.

Drug industry reporter Ed Silverman wrote in August that CVS set a “threshold of $100,000 per QALY, or quality-of-life years, a benchmark that measures both the quantity and quality of life generated by providing a treatment or some other health care intervention.”

In practice, this means the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review can call the shots on whether a CVS customer receives certain prescription drugs, Almasi warns.

“So, essentially this is like setting up an Obamacare death panel in the private sector,” he said. “We pointed this out to Johnson & Johnson, and we were able to do this by just by owning a couple of shares of stock and going into the room and asking questions. Now Gorsky may reevaluate the company’s relationship with ICER.”

How Those Questioned Respond

Johnson & Johnson did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment as of publication time.

However, David Whitrap, vice president of communications and outreach for the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, provided a statement countering the criticism.

“ICER’s mission is to help all Americans gain affordable access to high-value health care. Period. And we believe the best way to achieve this mission is to strive toward a system that achieves fair pricing of prescription drugs, fair access for patients, and financial incentives for future pharmaceutical innovation,” Whitrap said, adding:

We don’t determine a drug’s price, nor do we determine whether or not it should be covered by an insurance company, but we do provide a detailed, public and transparent assessment of new therapies so that all stakeholders—pharmaceutical companies, payers, patients, and physicians—can be better informed when they’re making critical decisions around the time of FDA [Food and Drug Administration] approval.

Michael DeAngelis, a senior director in corporate communications for CVS Health, told The Daily Signal in an email that the corporation is committed to “develop innovative tools” for clients of its pharmacy benefits manager, CVS Caremark, who he said include large employers, health plans, and unions.

Those tools, DeAngelis said, include plan designs “that will connect price, value, and coverage” and “help to influence manufacturer pricing on new drug launches.” He added of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s role:

ICER is a well-respected, independent organization which utilizes a rigorous process to assess the value of drugs, including convening regional independent appraisal committees for public hearings on each report and publishing a final evidence report. These benefit design options for our PBM [primary benefits manager] clients are not discriminatory and, in fact, improve the chances that patients with disabilities and serious illness will be able to get the treatments they need at a price they and the health system can afford.

‘Muscle and Piggy Bank for the Left’

The Free Enterprise Project’s presence at shareholder meetings doesn’t mean that conservatives have leveled the playing field with liberal counterparts who have a longer history of shareholder activism, Almasi cautions.

He would like to see many more shareholders with stakes in the free market system become organized and aware of the influence they can exert.

“Often these days, corporate America has become a muscle and piggy bank for the left,” Almasi said, adding:

Sometimes executives do this for reasons of public relations, but in most cases, they are not helping consumers or their investors. We’re the ones yelling ‘Stop’ during these meetings and asking them to think about what they are doing and to ask themselves if they are giving a fiduciary benefit to their investors and customers.

The more active we can be, the more effective we can be. We need more conservatives to be on board.

What the Free Enterprise Project has been able to achieve in recent weeks on limited resources suggests that the field is wide open for conservatives to become shareholder activists, Almasi told The Daily Signal.

In some instances, corporate leaders may not be aware of practices that are offensive to some shareholders and potentially counterproductive to their financial goals, he said.

Bank of America and Planned Parenthood

In another example, the Free Enterprise Project’s Danhof spoke up about Bank of America’s support for Planned Parenthood during a April 24 shareholder meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Danhof made use of research by 2ndVote, a conservative watchdog for corporate activism. Users of its online app, available on Google Play and Apple’s iTunes, have access to hundreds of corporate profiles.

During the meeting, Danhof provided Bank of America executives with documentation from 2ndVote showing the bank had been a consistent sponsor of Planned Parenthood’s annual gala in New York City.

This matters because Bank of America long had said it supports Planned Parenthood only through an employee matching-grant program. But 2ndVote’s research, available here, shows otherwise.

Danhof questioned Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan about the bank’s relationship with Planned Parenthood, and the audio of the back and forth is available in an online press release.

Danhof called on the bank to “correct the record” and publicly acknowledge it donates directly to Planned Parenthood.

Neither Bank of America nor the Planned Parenthood Federation of America responded by publication time to The Daily Signal’s requests for comment.

“We’ve had a great partnership with 2ndVote because they’re interested in the same corporate activism we are,” Almasi said. “They’re doing some great research, and they are going to the grassroots and getting information out there through scores and tweets.”

“When we went to Bank of America, we went with the information they found,” he said of 2ndVote. “This is a great example of how groups on the right are working together to get information out there.”

Connecting With AT&T

During AT&T’s shareholder meeting April 26 in Dallas, Texas, CEO Randall Stephenson told Danhof that he didn’t know employees in AT&T’s digital advertising department were blocking conservatives from accessing certain online platforms.

Their discussion centered on AT&T’s 2018 acquisition of AppNexus, a major online advertising platform with a history of excluding conservatives, according to a press release from the National Center for Public Policy Research.

AppNexus had not discontinued that practice, Danhof told AT&T’s Stephenson. In the press release, he said he expects Stephenson to “move decisively” to end any efforts at AT&T to muzzle conservatives.

The Daily Signal sought comment from AT&T, which responded through its advertising company, Xandr.

“Xandr regularly reviews the policies that govern our platform to ensure we are creating a safe advertising ecosystem for publishers, advertisers, and consumers,” a spokesperson said in an email. “Political ideology is not a category we consider in the course of content elimination decisions.”

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

COLUMN BY

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Kevin. Twitter: @KevinMooneyDC.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is Your Bank Supporting Common Core? There’s Now an App That’ll Tell You.


A Note for our Readers:

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

UPDATE: Trump Signs Memo To Curb Welfare Use By Non-Citizens

UPDATE: President Signs Memo Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Immigrant Sponsors

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a memorandum Thursday enforcing restrictions on welfare benefits for non-citizens, The Daily Caller has learned.

The memo directs government agencies to enforce legislation signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 that requires sponsors of immigrants to the U.S. to reimburse the government for any welfare benefits received by the person they are sponsoring.

Immigrant sponsors will be informed by agencies that they are required to pay back the money, and that they will be sent to collections if they fail to do so. Agencies will have 90 days to update their guidance and will report back to the president on their progress in 180 days.

Sponsor repayment of welfare benefits was enacted under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, but has remained largely unenforced. The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy and Patty Murray.

“This executive action will dramatically curb ‘welfare tourism’ and protect U.S. benefits for U.S. families,” a senior administration official told The Daily Caller. “It will also ensure that immigrant sponsors cannot continue the practice of bringing in large numbers of welfare-dependent immigrants: because they will be financially liable.”

The memo also requires enforcement of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which asks government agencies to consider the sponsor’s income when determining whether or not a non-citizen is eligible for welfare benefits. Because the agency would be bundling the sponsor’s and immigrant’s income, some immigrants may no longer meet the eligibility criteria.

That act was cosponsored by then-Sen. Joe  Biden and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden.

The administration says enforcing these two laws will help protect welfare benefits for American citizens. According to a poll conducted by America First Policies, 73 percent of Americans support the idea that immigrants to the U.S. should be able to support themselves financially.

“This is shifting the burden away from the taxpayer and asking people to be self-sufficient,” a senior administration official told the Caller. “We have our own citizens who are struggling.”

The White House says, citing a 2015 study from the Center for Immigration Studies, that 58 percent of households headed by a non-citizen use at least one welfare program.

President Donald Trump’s proposed immigration plan, presented to the American people last week, follows a similar theme. The plan, which revamps the legal immigration system, would give priority to immigrants who earn higher wages and are financially independent.

While the new immigration plan is unlikely to succeed in the Democrat-controlled Congress, the administration has been taking other executive actions to claim smaller victories on immigration reform.

“This is part of a larger effort to do what it can on it’s own,” the official said of the administration’s actions.

Attorney General Bill Barr decided in April that asylum seekers who reach the “credible fear” threshold are no longer eligible to be released on bond, meaning they could be held indefinitely while awaiting court proceedings. The move sought to curb a method that some illegal immigrants use to gain entry to the U.S. despite not having legitimate asylum claims.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is also supporting measures to make sure that illegal immigrants are not able to take advantage of public housing benefits. Current law prevents illegal immigrants from using public housing benefits, but they have been able to skirt the rules by living with American citizens who receive housing subsidies.

HUD will begin evicting families who allow illegal immigrants to live with them in government-subsidized housing.

Shortly after those two actions were revealed, the president signed a memorandum recommending sanctions on countries that have a high rate of visa overstays. The administration will place travel restrictions on countries whose residents overstay their visas in the U.S. by a rate of 10 percent or higher.

“This is part of the Trump Administration’s comprehensive approach to combating illegal immigration,” a senior administration official said at the time.

COLUMN BY

Amber Athey

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RELATED ARTICLE: Attorney General Bill Barr Cracks Down On Catch-And-Release For Asylum Seekers

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

Heritage Foundation Blueprint Would Balance Budget While Cutting Taxes, Stressing Defense

Balancing the budget while reducing taxes and prioritizing national defense are the main goals in a blueprint for smarter government spending released Monday by The Heritage Foundation.

The think tank’s new “Blueprint for Balance” “lays out an agenda both for our long-term governing vision [and] what our conservative policy priorities [are] that we want lawmakers to champion,” Romina Boccia, director of Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, said during a roundtable with reporters to introduce the plan.

“Overall,” Boccia said, the blueprint specifies “what Republicans especially should be pushing for in the spending bills in order to realize conservative policy priorities and reduce spending in accordance with our values.”

The Budget Control Act, passed in 2011, sought to curb government spending and control the growth of government programs, capping discretionary spending at $1.07 trillion for fiscal year 2018.

Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at Heritage, wrote in a recent commentary that congressional Democrats are looking to raise the Budget Control Act’s caps on discretionary spending by at least $357 billion over 2020 and 2021.

Heritage’s “Blueprint for Balance,” if implemented, would reduce spending by $10.8 trillion over 10 years and eliminate budget deficits by 2029, as well as permanently extend the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and reduce taxes by $800 billion.

During a second event in which Heritage presented its blueprint to congressional staff, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., drew comparisons between the document and a budget released May 1 by the Republican Study Committee.

“We get a large task force and members with unique perspectives in a room and hash out differences and avoid some of the land mines that might cause some members not to vote for it,” Banks said of arriving at the Republican Study Committee budget.

“And that’s why I think our budget proposal this year is as strong as ever and very important for all of you to pay attention to because it has that broad support and it still balances [in] six years.”

However, neither the RSC budget nor the Heritage proposal has much of a hope of making it onto the House floor for a vote, given the Democrat majority led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“While we wanted to avoid our budget proposal being aspirational per se, we aren’t naive enough to [think] that Nancy Pelosi [is] going to put the RSC budget on the floor,” Banks said.

Government funding runs out Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2019.

The Hill reported earlier this month that lawmakers suggested another government shutdown could occur if Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on funding, including a $19 billion disaster aid bill passed May 10 by House Democrats that is opposed by the Trump administration.

The Heritage plan, which would balance the budget within 10 years, would expand the Republican tax reform plan signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 22, 2017.

Specifically, it would end 29 tax subsidies and make permanent both the individual tax cuts and the ability of businesses to fully expense investments in equipment.

“This is something that wasn’t included in the president’s budget but is a really important piece of extending the entire Tax Cuts and Jobs Act going forward,” Adam Michel, senior policy analyst at Heritage’s Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, said during the roundtable.

“And if we can pay down our debt and start balancing the budget, there are real economic dividends beyond all of the other benefits of getting the government out of our lives in various different ways,” Michel said.

Bogie said similarities between the RSC and Heritage budgets include permanently extending the 2017 tax cuts; providing another $850 billion in tax relief; prioritizing defense spending; and significantly reducing nondefense discretionary programs that fall outside the government’s constitutional responsibilities.

“Both budgets undertake comprehensive entitlement reform,” Bogie said in an email to The Daily Signal. “One of the most important aspects is that both budgets balance in 10 years and significantly reduce debt as a share of GDP.”

COLUMN BY

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE “BLUEPRINT FOR BALANCE.”

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Dear Readers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Steve Bannon on the US-China Trade War

This is a GREAT interview and shows what Trump is really trying to do.

Steve Bannon on CNBC.

RELATED VIDEO: Steve Bannon: China was not prepared to have Trump in office