Treasury Department Seeks to Track Financial Transactions of Personal Bank Accounts Over $600

In May, the Treasury Department released the Biden administration’s revenue proposals for fiscal year 2022. One aspect of this document that has gone under-reported is the administration’s new plan for reporting requirements for financial institutions.

The document is unequivocal about the administration’s goal for financial reporting, stating, “this proposal would create a comprehensive financial account information reporting regime.”

The Biden administration’s goal here is to increase tax revenue by making sure no income avoids detection. How will the administration do this? It plans to leverage financial institutions like banks.

“[T]his requirement would apply to all business and personal accounts from financial institutions,” the proposal reads, “including bank, loan, and investment accounts, with the exception of accounts below a low de minimis gross flow threshold of $600 or fair market value of $600.”

In other words, financial institutions will report any flows in and out of business and personal accounts of more than $600.

This reporting requirement is far above any current requirements on financial institutions. As the document itself states, currently only information for certain types of revenue (including 1099 forms MISC, NEC, and K) require reporting.

Some may view this proposal by the Biden administration positively. After all, this isn’t an attempt at raising taxes. The goal of this policy is to ensure individuals pay what is legally required, isn’t it?

There are two issues with this way of thinking.

The first issue is highlighted by economist Ludwig von Mises’s insight that “capitalism breathes through [the] loopholes.” The great innovations and improvements in well-being made available through capitalism were not generated in a loophole-free system. Oftentimes, the most important innovations begin as small start-ups with razor thin margins. As loopholes close, the chance of these risky start-ups succeeding declines.

Entrepreneurs are not ignorant to the barriers of regulations and taxation. When something is taxed, you get less of it. If any entrepreneurs are right on the fence of whether a new business venture is likely to be worth it, increasing costs even a little bit may be enough to persuade them otherwise. Economists call this “being on the margin.”

Avoiding taxes and reporting on small dollar transactions (either intentionally or unintentionally) is another form of loophole. De jure businesses are required to follow strict tax reporting rules, but, much like driving the speed limit, the de facto reporting often departs from the official rule.

To understand the danger of making businesses comply with tax law to the letter, consider how difficult it would be for businesses to do so. The tax code is now so long that nobody, including government officials, are sure of its length. How can business-owners be sure they’re complying with a document of unknown length? Put simply, they can’t.

Therefore, not only will these increased financial reporting requirements raise taxes on entrepreneurs on the margin, they will also force businesses to expend more time and resources ensuring they pay the proper amount of taxes. Any tax audit with access to every account transfer over $600 will crush businesses without a team of accountants or lawyers able to justify every transfer.

The burden of this policy, then, will fall primarily on small businesses without access to a massive internal legal team. A policy that punishes small businesses like this may be good for large corporations, but it’s bad for market competition.

As Mises noted, capitalism suffocates without loopholes.

The second issue associated with Biden’s proposal is its effect on financial privacy. The administration’s focus on increasing financial reporting is becoming a consistent theme. For example, the “information reporting regime” document also includes proposals for cryptocurrency reporting which can be seen as a precursor to the crypto reporting requirements shoehorned into the “infrastructure” bill.

The increase in financial scrutiny provided by access to every transaction greater than $600 associated with personal accounts would provide an unprecedented look into the finances of many Americans. Even the powerful political will behind the 2002 “Patriot Act” only led to requirements that banks report suspicious transactions of $5,000 or more.

Much like small businesses, most individuals don’t have access to a team of lawyers and accountants the same way DC politicians and bureaucrats do. As such, these new requirements are likely to hurt poor and middle income Americans whose primary source of income is non-traditional. This is unsurprising given the Biden administration’s record of threatening gig work, for instance.

Some may argue that privacy is unnecessary because you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. But, again, individuals cannot be expected to perfectly comply with a document of unspecified length. Unfortunately, as the government approaches perfect information, perfect compliance becomes the standard.

At one time, perhaps community banks or other small financial institutions interested in keeping customers around could’ve provided resistance to this by generating political pushback or work-arounds for customers.

However, government policies have effectively destroyed a more decentralized network of financial institutions. Since the early 1990s the number of small banks has fallen from over 10,000 to below 5,000. Now politicians are proposing to leverage their relationships with the few big players who are “too big to fail” to examine every aspect of Americans’ finances.

Especially with the lockdowns, the federal government already has small businesses, independent contractors, and the economy in general in a stranglehold. This new “Information Reporting Regime” will only tighten its economically lethal grip.

RELATED ARTICLE: House Progressives Unveil Massive Multi-Trillion-Dollar Tax Hike—Here’s How It’ll Impact You

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

Pelosi Says Capitalism Has Not Helped U.S. Economy, Argues ‘We Have To Correct That’

This is a communist coup on America.

Ayn Rand on Capitalism, 

“Capitalism did not create poverty — it inherited it.” For much of human history, the vast majority of the population was mired in poverty. All too often, the average individual lived in unimaginably wretched conditions. It was only in the nineteenth century, and then only in the West, that the masses started to enjoy prosperity because of capitalism.

“The nineteenth century was the ultimate product and expression of the intellectual trend of the Renaissance and the Age of Reason, which means: of a predominantly Aristotelian philosophy. And, for the first time in history, it created a new economic system, the necessary corollary of political freedom, a system of free trade on a free market: capitalism.”

“No, it was not a full, perfect, unregulated, totally laissez-faire capitalism—as it should have been. Various degrees of government interference and control still remained, even in America—and this is what led to the eventual destruction of capitalism. But the extent to which certain countries were free was the exact extent of their economic progress. America, the freest, achieved the most.”

“Never mind the low wages and the harsh living conditions of the early years of capitalism. They were all that the national economies of the time could afford. Capitalism did not create poverty—it inherited it. Compared to the centuries of precapitalist starvation, the living conditions of the poor in the early years of capitalism were the first chance the poor had ever had to survive. As proof—the enormous growth of the European population during the nineteenth century, a growth of over 300 per cent, as compared to the previous growth of something like 3 per cent per century.”

“The flood of misinformation, misrepresentation, distortion, and outright falsehood about capitalism is such that the young people of today have no idea (and virtually no way of discovering any idea) of its actual nature. While archeologists are rummaging through the ruins of millennia for scraps of pottery and bits of bones, from which to reconstruct some information about prehistorical existence—the events of less than a century ago are hidden under a mound more impenetrable than the geological debris of winds, floods, and earthquakes: a mound of silence.”

“Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.”

“The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control.”

“The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.”

“In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions, and interests dictate. They can deal with one another only in terms of and by means of reason, i.e., by means of discussion, persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit. The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree—and thus keeps the road open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, and objectively): the creative mind.”

“Capitalism demands the best of every man—his rationality—and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him. His success depends on the objective value of his work and on the rationality of those who recognize that value. When men are free to trade, with reason and reality as their only arbiter, when no man may use physical force to extort the consent of another, it is the best product and the best judgment that win in every field of human endeavor, and raise the standard of living—and of thought—ever higher for all those who take part in mankind’s productive activity.” 

Pelosi Says Capitalism Has Not Helped US Economy ‘As Well As It Should,’ Argues ‘We Have To Correct That’

By Brianna Lyman, Daily Caller, September 17, 2021:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Friday capitalism “has not served our economy as well as it should” but insisted it is a system to improve rather than abandon.

“In America, capitalism is our system, it is our economic system, but it has not served our economy as well as it should,” Pelosi said at a Chatham House event in the United Kingdom, according to Reuters. “So what we want to do is not depart from that, but to improve it.”

Pelosi said “stakeholder capitalism” has historically been beneficial to the states as it has allowed both workers’ wages and management’s to rise as productivity increases, according to The Washington Post. Pelosi, however, criticized “shareholder capitalism” which she says causes employees’ salaries to remain the same despite a growth in productivity.

“You cannot have a system where the success of some springs from the exploitation of the workers and springs from the exploitation of the environment and the rest, and we have to correct that.”

Pelosi has remained steadfast in her commitment to capitalism, albeit with some adjustments to the system.

When asked by a left-leaning student in 2017 whether Democrats should move farther left with “a more stark contrast to right-wing economics,” Pelosi immediately clarified Democrats are capitalists.

“I have to say, we’re capitalists, that’s just the way it is,” she responded, according to NYU Local. “However, we do think that capitalism is not necessarily meeting the needs with the income inequality that we have in our country.”

“We’re a capitalist system. The free market is – is a place that can do good things.”

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

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Lyft Puts Anti-Life Ideology on Display with Opposition to Texas’ Heartbeat Law

State legislators have a duty to enact laws supported by their constituents. This foundational principle is core to America’s Constitutional, federalist system. But it’s also somehow controversial to woke social justice warriors, who rail against any state policy that goes against their vision of a progressive cultural utopia.

The latest state to end up in their crosshairs is Texas. Their newly enacted “Heartbeat Law” prohibits abortion after 6 weeks gestation, making it a civil offense to perform or aid in one after the unborn child has a heartbeat.

Never mind that a plurality of Americans support the law. It contradicts the authoritarian woke agenda, so woke corporations have dutifully fallen in line to express their opposition.

One of the most ridiculous responses is from ride-sharing app Lyft (1.00), whose CEO Tweeted that since their drivers could be considered “aiding abortion” by bringing women to their appointments, Lyft would cover legal fees for drivers sued under the law. They also gave a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood.

For a company that waxes poetic about their employees’ value, Lyft cares little for their freedom of expression. Just weeks ago, they fired a driver for listening to a radio show a passenger deemed “racist.” Ironically, the show featured a Black host accusing Black Lives Matter of ignoring how abortion destroys more Black lives than any other demographic. Clearly, Lyft values their employees only when they dutifully adhere to pro-abortion ideology: acceptance earns applause; dissent gets you fired.

While Lyft put their hypocrisy on display, it isn’t the only company taking a stance against Texas’ new law. Dating app Bumble pledged to help Texas-based employees terminate their pregnancies out of state. GoDaddy Inc. (2.67), a website-hosting service, took down a site used to report violations of the new law.

These companies must get out of the business of policymaking and leave that to lawmakers and the courts. Until they do, take your money elsewhere. Perhaps when we hold Lyft accountable for their support of destroying human life, they’ll get out of politics and back to business.

Please reach out to LyftBumble, and GoDaddy to share your collective thoughts on the pro-life issue and let your voice be heard!

EDITORS NOTE: This 2nd Vote column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: FDA Bought Fetal Organs, Heads and Tissue for ‘Humanized Mice’ Project

Judicial Watch has uncovered more documents detailing the evil activities of your federal government – the trafficking of the remains of unborn human beings killed by abortion.

We received another 198 pages of records and communications from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involving “humanized mice” research with human fetal heads, organs and tissue, including communications and contracts with human fetal tissue provider Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR).

Most of the records are communications and related attachments between Perrin Larton, a procurement manager for ABR, and research veterinary medical officer Dr. Kristina Howard of the FDA.

We received the records through a March 2019 FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, of which the FDA is a part (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department Health and Human Services (No. 1:19-cv-00876)).

Our lawsuit asks for all contracts and related documentation on disbursement of funds, procedural documents and communications between FDA and ABR for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research. After we successfully opposed the FDA’s redaction of certain information from its records, a federal court ordered HHS to release additional information about its purchases of organs harvested from aborted human fetuses – including “line item prices,” or the price per organ the government paid to ABR. The court also found “there is reason to question” whether the transactions violate federal law barring the sale of fetal organs. Documents previously uncovered in this lawsuit show that the federal government demanded the purchased fetal organs be “fresh and never frozen.”)

The records include an FDA generated contract with ABR, based on a “requisition” it issued on July 27, 2012, for $12,000 worth of “tissue procurement for humanized mice,” which indicates the requisition was for a “non-competitive award.” Although the initial award was for $12,000, the total estimated amount of funds allocated for the requisition was $60,000. Under “Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition,” the FDA writes:

Scientists within the FDA and in the larger field of humanized mouse research have searched extensively over the past several years, and ABR is the only company in the U.S. capable of supplying tissues suitable for HM research. No other company or organization is capable of fulfilling the need.

Costs are estimated [for the fetal parts] at $230 per tissue x two tissues per shipment = $460 plus $95 shipping = $555 per shipment. A total of 21 shipments = $11,655.00.

An April 1, 2013, “Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract” form that shows the FDA purchased fetal livers and thymuses from ABR going back to at least October 2012, billing $580 per liver/thymus set, but later paying a unit price of $685.

A January 1, 2013, “Fees for Services Schedule” provided by ABR to the FDA includes:

FETAL CADAVEROUS PROCUREMENT                           SERVICE FEE
2nd trimester D&E
[Dilation and Evacuation abortion]
(13-24 weeks)                                                                      per specimen     $275
1st trimester aspiration [abortion] (8-12 weeks)          per specimen     $515
Intact Calvarium [baby’s skull] (8-24 weeks)”                per specimen     $515

The fees for services schedule also includes “Special Processing/Preservation” of the fetal parts, such as “Tissue ‘Cleaning,’” “Snap freezing,” and “Passive freezing (Dry ice).”

In a September 9, 2014, “Order for Supplies or Services,” the FDA writes regarding a $9,900 order:

The Contractors shall ship 2nd Trimester thymus $325, 2nd Trimester liver $325. Overnight deliver $150 and EFT wire transfer fee $25, for a total per delivery of $825. Total of this contract not to exceed $9,900.00.

As the result of an August 21, 2015, “Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract,” ABR bumped up the price of baby livers and thymuses from $325 each to $340 each.

A “Tissue Acquisition Quote” sent by ABR to Howard on July 5, 2017, provided a quote of $5,440 each to provide 16 sets of second trimester (16-24 weeks) livers and 16 sets of second trimester (16-24 weeks) thymuses at $340 per “sample.” The request for the quote notes that “tissue known to be positive for HIV, HepA, HepB, HepC or chromosomal abnormalities are not acceptable.”

On June 28, 2017, a redacted FDA contract specialist sends Larton at ABR a request for a quote (RFQ) of pricing for human fetal tissue, aged “16-24 weeks,” including a “Statement of Needs”:

The HM [humanized mice] are created by surgical implantations of human tissue into mice that have multiple genetic mutations that block the development of the mouse immune system at a very early stage. The absence of the mouse immune system allows the human tissues to grow and develop into functional human tissues…. In order for the humanization to proceed correctly we need to obtain fetal tissue with a specific set of specialized characteristics.

A May 2018, report from a company named “LABS,” which was employed by ABR to test fetal parts and their mothers for hepatitis and HIV, notes in its “methodology description” that they are approved by the FDA “for living and cadaveric donor screening.”

The records include a recitation of requirements by the FDA for “Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer,” in which ABR must adhere to regulations relating to “Convict Labor” and “Child Labor-Cooperation with Authorities and Remedies.”

On September 24, 2018, the Trump FDA terminated its contract with ABR for human tissue purchases and began an audit of its acquisitions of baby body parts. The records include the FDA’s letter terminating the contract:

Based on the terms and conditions of the Purchase Order as awarded to Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (“ABR”) on July 27, 2018, the Government is not sufficiently assured that the human tissue provided to the Government to humanize the immune systems of mice will comply with the prohibitions set forth under 42 U.S.C. § 289g- 2. Furthermore, the Government has concerns with the sufficiency of the sole-source justification. Therefore, pursuant to FAR [Federal Acquisition Regulation] clause 52.213-4(f), the Purchase Order is being terminated effective September 24, 2018.

Here’s some background.

In February 2020, we first uncovered through this lawsuit hundreds of pages of records from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showing that the agency paid thousands of dollars to a California-based firm to purchase organs from aborted human fetuses to create “humanized mice” for HIV research.

In May 2021, this lawsuit uncovered FDA records showing the agency spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to buy human fetal tissue from ABR. The tissue was used in creating “humanized mice” to test “biologic drug products.” The records indicated the FDA wanted tissue purchases “Fresh; shipped on wet ice.”

On August 3, 2021, we announced that The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and Judicial Watch, through a separate lawsuit, received 252 pages of new documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that reveal nearly $3 million in federal funds were spent on the University of Pittsburgh’s quest to become a “Tissue Hub” for human fetal tissue ranging from 6 to 42 weeks’ gestation. The Pitt scientists note that, “All fetal tissue is collected through a collaborative process including Family Planning, Obstetrics and Pathology.” Pitt anticipated “being able to harvest and distribute quality tissue and cells … [and] do not anticipate any major problems related to the acquisition and distribution of the tissues.” Pitt’s target goal “is to have available a minimum of 5 cases (tissues and if possible other biologicals) per week of gestational age for ages 6-42 weeks.”

Chopping up aborted human beings for their organs and tissue is a moral and legal outrage. This issue should be front and center in any debate about America’s barbaric abortion industry.

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

New Plan Would Push Top Tax Rate to Almost 60 Percent In These 4 States

If Congress’s new tax hikes come through, successful residents in high-tax states will be placed in a terrible position.


Successful residents of high-tax states are in for an ugly surprise if new tax legislation passes in Congress. Democratic legislators are currently proposing a multi-trillion-dollar tax hike to raise revenue for a massive welfare and climate change spending plan. Proposed tax hikes include raising the corporate tax rate, higher taxes on cigarettes and vaping products, raising the capital gains tax rate, and higher individual income tax rates.

On the last front, the proposed income tax increase would apply to income over $400,000 for an individual and raise the rate from its current 37 percent to 39.6 percent. The proposal also includes a 3 percent surcharge on all income above $5 million. The tax hikes could push Americans in states like New York, California, New Jersey, and Hawaii up to nearly 60 percent top income tax rates.

“For New Yorkers earning more than $5 million, the combined city, state and federal tax rate would skyrocket to 61.2% under the House plan,” Fox Business reports. “The combined rate in California, meanwhile, would spike to 59.7%, while the wealthiest individuals living in New Jersey could pay a rate as high as 57.2%. In Hawaii, the combined marginal rate would be an estimated 57.4%.”

That’s right: High-earning residents of these states could end up paying nearly 60 percent tax rates on their income earned above a certain level. That’s an obscene and fundamentally unfair level of taxation. But such punitive levels of taxation are also highly impractical and certain to have adverse economic consequences.

For one thing, successful residents can simply move to another state. It is only the combination of high federal income taxes and high state-level income taxes that leads to these combined rates of nearly 60 percent. Yet some states, such as New Hampshire and Florida, have no income tax at all.

We’ve already seen an exodus of wealth, people, and major businesses from states like California, and that trend will only accelerate if taxes are sent even higher by this new plan. It’s only logical: states that heavily tax something are discouraging it, while states that don’t tax it at all are welcoming it. Why would anyone want to discourage income-earning?

Punitive taxation has ramifications for more than just the high-earning individuals and families directly impacted by higher tax rates. If they leave the state, they take with them jobs, investment funds, and spending that would otherwise go back into their communities.

It’s true that not all high-earners will flee states with these punitively high taxes. Some, for a variety of reasons, will stay. But even for these individuals, the high tax rates will backfire, because they’ll create perverse incentives and discourage economic activity above a certain level.

Why?

Well, people make economic decisions “on the margin.” What this means is that they evaluate each additional hour worked on the basis of whether the potential benefits exceed the costs. Then, they work up until the point where the costs begin to exceed the benefits.

When the government applies 60 percent tax rates to income above a certain point, it drastically reduces the benefits of additional labor subject to that tax. Yet the costs of working remain the same. As a result, far less economic activity will happen beyond that threshold.

Think about it like this. A successful entrepreneur founded a restaurant and when it did well, opened up two other locations. Does he add a fourth or rest on his laurels?

Well, if he will only get to keep 40 percent of the income he earns from new locations, because he’s now already making $400,000, he probably won’t bother to expand. Who would want to work more and hustle harder only to hand over 60 cents of every dollar to the government? This economic disincentive hurts more than one entrepreneur—it means jobs never created, customers never satisfied, income never earned, and a community never enriched.

Another problem with highly progressive tax rates is that they discourage economic investment. The same “rich” citizens who would face these 60 percent tax rates are those who would otherwise save and invest that money into the economy. (Rather than simply spend it as low-earners tend to do). As the economist Ludwig von Mises put it, “Progressive taxation of income and profits means that precisely those parts of the income which people would have saved and invested are taxed away.”

Ultimately, 60 percent tax rates are confiscatory, unfair, and economically indefensible. If Congress’s new tax hikes come through, successful residents in high-tax states will be placed in a terrible position. Luckily, they have the option to move to less hostile states. Don’t be surprised when many take it.

WATCH: New Biden Vax Mandate Doesn’t Make ANY Sense (Here’s Why)

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

Like this story? Click here to sign up for the FEE Daily and get free-market news and analysis like this from Policy Correspondent Brad Polumbo in your inbox every weekday.

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

Media Attempt to Downplay Alarming New Inflation Report

Despite media spin, price inflation is still very much a problem.


It’s no secret that the mainstream media has a left-leaning bias. So it’s not exactly surprising that when alarming new inflation data were released on Tuesday, many journalists and media outlets attempted to downplay the story. After all, rising concerns about inflation could hamper the federal government’s ongoing efforts to massively increase government spending and expand the welfare state.

Here are just a few examples of countless reports that sought to downplay the just-released inflation figures. For one, the Washington Post dubbed the new numbers “an early sign that inflation could be easing.” And CNBC went with a different spin in its headline: “Consumer prices post smaller-than-expected increase in August.”

Meanwhile, many left-leaning commentators and analysts argued that the new data vindicate their claims that recent price inflation is just “transitory.” (Aka temporary.)

Yet when one looks at the actual report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this rosy spin seems utterly unwarranted. It shows that the Consumer Price Index, an average sample of typical consumer prices, rose 0.3 percent in August. This is less than the 0.4 percent increase that had been predicted, prompting the media spin to suggest that August saw “less inflation than expected.” While perhaps true, this is misleading, because the new figures still show prices seriously on the rise.

On an annual basis, from August 2020 to August 2021, prices rose 5.3 percent. That’s nearly a 13-year high!

In particular, energy costs rose 25 percent year-over-year, while food prices rose 3.7 percent. Used vehicle prices rose a whopping 31.9 percent over the last year as well. These are just a few examples of the many ways Americans’ purchasing power—their real standard of living—eroded over the last year due to price inflation.

It might be true that inflation is easing or slowing down, but that’s not the main takeaway here. Prices have still risen significantly! And, as shown in the graph below, comparing August 2021 to August in years past shows that price inflation is still very much a problem. [VIEW CHART HERE]

Ultimately, prices are still rising in alarming ways. That can be traced back to government policies like the Federal Reserve’s printing of trillions of new dollars to fund COVID “stimulus” efforts. Those who want the feds to spend more and grow the welfare state have every incentive to downplay the consequences of fiscal and monetary recklessness.

But don’t fall for the media spin. Everyday Americans suffer the consequences of price inflation when their paychecks don’t stretch as far as they used to. It’s important to look beyond political narratives to understand just how much “stealth taxation” via inflation is really going on.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

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

Manchin: Schumer ‘will not have my vote’ on $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill

Bernie Sanders and the Democrats seeks to inject socialism into America with this monstrosity of a bill. In addition, it has been discovered that this bill would allow the IRS to monitor bank transactions, potentially violating the 4th Amendment. The bill will also grant amnesty to millions of people who have entered the United States illegally. And the bill would provide free community college to Americans, while funding  radical “green” projects in the years ahead. This bill must be stopped. Keep calling Senator Manchin and tell him to vote no.

Manchin: Schumer ‘will not have my vote’ on $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill

By Fox News, September 12, 2021

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Sunday that he will not vote in favor of his party’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, which is a central part of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and needs the support of all 50 Democratic senators to pass.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Manchin was asked by anchor Dana Bash to respond to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who said Democrats were moving “full speed ahead” on the package for which Manchin previously called for a “pause.” Manchin, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said his main issue with the package is its hefty price tag.

“He will not have my vote on 3.5 and Chuck knows that,” he said, adding that it should be more like $1.5 trillion. “It’s not going to be three and a half I can assure you.”

Manchin said the bill that Democrats should be primarily focused on is the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed in the Senate and is awaiting House action. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said a vote on that bill would be held on Sept. 27, but progressives have threatened to vote against it if the reconciliation bill is held up in the Senate.

Manchin said there is “no way” the reconciliation will pass this month, and he said progressives are making a big mistake if they follow through on their threat.

“They have to do what they have to do,” he said. “And if they play politics with the needs of America, I can tell you America will recoil.”

Appearing later on ABC’s “This Week,” Manchin criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., after the senator declared on Twitter the day before: “No infrastructure bill without the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.”

“I just respectfully disagree with Bernie,” Manchin told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I’ve never seen this in legislation. I never thought the purposes of the progress we make in legislation was basically to hold one hostage over the other.”

Sanders, who appeared later on the same show, fired back, saying “the real question” is whether it is “appropriate for one person to destroy two pieces of legislation.”

Sanders said that regardless of the party infighting, he expected both bills to eventually pass.

Budget reconciliation rules prevent Republicans from filibustering the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, so Democrats only need a simple majority to pass it. With a 50-50 Senate, Democrats need every senator in their party to vote yes, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.

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House Progressives Unveil Massive Multi-Trillion Dollar Tax Hike

Bernie Sanders calls Manchin’s refusal to back $3.5 trillion spending plan ‘absolutely not acceptable’

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

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Sign the Petition – Tell Bank of America to Focus on Finances, Not Race Division

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TO BANK OF AMERICA


Bank of America (1.00)  used to help you with checking, savings, and loans. The company was dedicated to making your money work for you.

Today, that’s all changed. Bank of America has become another arm of the woke agenda, declaring that white people should “decolonize” their minds and “accept that white supremacy and institutional racism are real.”

We don’t believe this racist agenda, and nor should you. Therefore, 2ndVote has signed onto the National Center for Public Policy Research’s petition urging Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan to get back to banking. From the petition:

Bank of America’s new reeducation program teaches white employees that “regardless of one’s socioeconomic class background or other disadvantages,” they are “living a life with white-skin privileges.”

It is time to put an end to Bank of America’s radical and divisive “racial justice” initiatives. Will you stand with us today to put pressure on Bank of America to stay true to its name and stop this un-American racially divisive reeducation program? 

And from a letter to Moynihan the Center is asking Americans to sign:

I do not agree that the United States is a “racialized society” using “race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, disenfranchisement and oppression.” Your racial reeducation program sows division and hurts your reputation with customers and shareholders.

I ask you today to uphold true American ideals and stop sponsoring these programs — whether alone or with other organizations — and to stop distributing them to your employees.

Until Bank of America starts putting banking and customers first, conservatives should put our 2ndVote elsewhere. Open accounts with financial companies like Goldman Sachs (3.87) until Bank of America lives up to its name: a bank that is “of America,” supporting values of equality and freedom.

Use your voice. Contact companies like Bank of America through our website to remind them of their American values and to be our bank of America, not a bank encouraging woke culture. Not only do you have the power in your pocket with your money to make change, you have the power in your voice!

EDITORS NOTE: This 2nd Vote column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

New Study Vindicates States that Canceled Expanded Unemployment Welfare Early

This new study simply confirms what common sense and basic economics alike always predicted.


ebate over the welfare state is once again making headlines. On Monday, the expanded unemployment welfare system was finally allowed to expire after more than a year. Originally created as a “short-term” measure authorized for a few months in March 2020 then repeatedly extended, these benefits paid many of the unemployed more than their former jobs, with benefits reaching up to $25/hour in dozens of states.

Dozens of Republican-led states chose to end the benefits early. This week’s termination of enhanced benefits was in the Democrat-run states that maintained the expanded payouts, and with their lapse, the debate over whether these benefits were disincentivizing work was reignited.

The Wall Street Journal even published a news article, widely circulated among welfare advocates, claiming that “states that cut off enhanced unemployment benefits early didn’t see a significant boost in job growth.” This was a bizarre spin given that the article itself notes that “economists generally agree the enhanced benefits caused some people to stay out of the labor market” and contains several pieces of evidence suggesting they did have a significant effect. But the skewed reporting is consistent with a broad pattern in media coverage and political commentary that has attempted to downplay and deny any drawbacks of the welfare expansion.

New research makes the obvious work disincentive even more difficult to deny. A new report by Mercatus Center economist Michael Farren and Christopher M. Kaiser analyzed data from the Current Population Survey and found that states which ended the expanded benefits saw twice as much job growth compared to states which maintained them.

The results “show that higher UI benefits tend to discourage employment, whereas the end of UI eligibility appears to motivate more workers to become employed,” the Mercatus researchers note. They pointed out that this is consistent with a long and extensive economic literature finding that unemployment benefits—which effectively subsidize joblessness—lead to increased unemployment.

This new study simply confirms what common sense and basic economics alike always predicted. States that ended ultra-generous benefits earlier had more job growth, while those which continued to disincentivize work had weaker job growth. But don’t expect welfare state advocates to acknowledge this reality any time soon, lest their big-government worldview begin to fall apart.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Like this story? Click here to sign up for the FEE Daily and get free-market news and analysis like this from Policy Correspondent Brad Polumbo in your inbox every weekday.

America’s Work Crisis

With another Labor Day come and gone, it’s fascinating to note that America’s work ethic is in trouble today. And the coronavirus has made it worse.

We now have a labor shortage crisis. Columnist Victor Davis Hanson (8/11/21) describes some of the symptoms of our current labor shortages: “Airliners cannot take off due to fuel shortages. Automobiles, houses, gas and lumber are in short supply. Consumers can’t get their roofs fixed, their houses painted or their trees trimmed, as employers plead with their idle, government-subsidized employees to come back to work.”

And he adds: “In a rebounding economy amid record debt, the government is still sending workers unemployment benefits that are more remunerative than the paychecks they would earn if employed.”

Consider a few of these examples of the work (or lack thereof) crisis in our time:

  • A headline from finance.yahoo.com (9/2/21) declares, “Half of U.S. Small Businesses Have Unfilled Positions.”
  • Bloomberg (8.25.21) reports: “Thousands of cities, towns and states across the U.S. are facing the most acute labor shortage in recent memory. Regional governments have an even tougher time than businesses because they can’t compete with private-sector wages, can rarely offer remote work and they’ve faced a larger wave of early retirements during the pandemic.”
  • “Inmates are running wild on Rikers Island amid an ongoing staffing crunch that’s left charges free to stab each other, answer the phones and run through corridors destroying maintenance equipment,” reports the New York Post (8/23/21).
  • “Some of the largest U.S. food distributors are reporting difficulties in fulfilling orders as a lack of workers weighs on the supply chain,” notes finance.yahoo.com (8/24/21).
  • In the spring, we learned of a McDonald’s offering $50.00 for potential employees just to show up for an interview.
  • In July, there was the story of a Burger King in Lincoln, Nebraska, which had a sign declaring: “We all quit. Sorry for the inconvenience.” Well, “have it your way,” I guess.

Even Chick-fil-A, a company built on a Christian work ethic, has had some staffing troubles lately—at least in the case of two Alabama outlets which had to close because of staffing shortages. Fox5 New York adds: “While restaurants across the country have reopened their dining rooms after closing them due to the pandemic, a new problem has surfaced: Many businesses have reported having issues with staffing and are struggling to hire enough workers to meet the customers’ needs.”

Because of the shutdown in reaction to the pandemic, many former workers received unemployment benefits. But some states have ended those payments—prematurely, say the beneficiaries. Recipients of unemployment benefits in 15 states are suing their state to renew those benefits, observes yahoo.com/money (9/1/21).

And on it goes. I suppose if there is any bright spot in our labor crisis today it is that some people leaving the workforce are doing so to spend more time with their families.

America’s work ethic was waning long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, the Protestant work ethic in America helped lead to great prosperity.

The work ethic has declined in part because of the decline of Christianity in our culture and the push for socialism. Socialism constantly undermines the work ethic by rewarding inactivity and failing to reward those who work particularly hard or well.

The founders of America did not agree with socialist principles, and they laid the framework for a country with unparalleled prosperity.

Part of the way they did this was by stressing smaller government. In his First Inaugural Address, President Thomas Jefferson said, “a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

The government has no money of its own. So whatever money the government spends for Citizen A, it has to appropriate from Citizen B.

There is no such thing as a free lunch—someone has to pay for that lunch.

God has given each of us a unique set of talents and skill sets. What a joy it is to put those into practice as a vocation or as an avocation for His glory and others’ good. And He will hold us accountable for our putting these things into practice.

Through the ages, the words of Paul the Apostle have inspired millions to work hard “as unto the Lord,” knowing that He will reward us. He also said that if someone refuses to work “neither shall he eat.”

An anonymous saying adds insight here: “Some people fail to recognize opportunity because it so often comes to them in overalls and looks like work.”

It’s time for America to get back to work.

©Jerry Newcombe. All rights reserved.

Some Progressives Are Flirting With a $24 to $26 Hourly Minimum Wage

But as economist Thomas Sowell famously explained, “the real minimum wage is always zero.”


The #Fightfor15 is old news, apparently. Some progressive activists and academics are now arguing that the minimum wage should be closer to $26 an hour, claiming that this is the level it would’ve reached if wages had kept up with productivity in recent decades.

The online discourse all started after the publication of a recent piece from the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research titled “The $26 an Hour Minimum Wage.”

“[A $26 hourly minimum wage] may sound pretty crazy, but that’s roughly what the minimum wage would be today if it had kept pace with productivity growth since its value peaked in 1968,” progressive economist Dean Baker wrote. “And, having the minimum wage track productivity growth is not a crazy idea. The national minimum wage did in fact keep pace with productivity growth for the first 30 years after a national minimum wage first came into existence in 1938.”

“Think of what the country would look like if the lowest paying jobs, think of dishwashers or custodians, paid $26 an hour,” Baker continued. “That would mean someone who worked a 2000 hour year would have an annual income of $52,000. This income would put a single mother with two kids at well over twice the poverty level.”

This favorable analysis of the prospect of a $26 minimum wage was reported in many left-leaning media outlets, such as CBS News and the Independent.

Perhaps relatedly, former-Labor-Secretary-turned-progressive-commentator Robert Reich recently tweeted out that “​​Today seems like a good time to remind you that if wages had kept pace with productivity gains over the last 50 years, the minimum wage would be $24 an hour. $15 is the floor, not the ceiling, of what working people deserve.”

To be clear, support for a $26 minimum wage is still not the majority position on the American Left. Yet the movement is gaining enough traction for the prospect to be worthy of evaluation—and it’s a frightening one.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Baker is right about productivity and wages, and ignore the fact that this disparity may itself be caused by government rather than private businesses (see https://wtfhappenedin1971.com/). This still doesn’t imply we should raise the minimum wage. Why?

Well, while it might sound idyllic for everyone to make $26 an hour, idealism can’t change economic reality. And, as economist Thomas Sowell famously explained, “the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they either lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force.” (Emphasis mine).

Why is the real minimum wage zero? Because there’s always the option not to employ the worker at all. And if the minimum wage is arbitrarily set at a level above the value of the worker’s labor, employing them would be charity, not business. As nice as it may be to think that dishwashers would receive $26/hour, in many cases, businesses would invest in technology to do the job, hire illegal immigrants, or otherwise contrive to hire far fewer dishwashers.

“The state can legislate a minimum wage rate,” Nobel-Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman famously explained. “It can hardly require employers to hire at that minimum all who were formerly employed at wages below the minimum. It is clearly not in the interest of employers to do so. The effect of the minimum wage is therefore to make unemployment higher than it otherwise would be.”

Many studies have confirmed that a $15 minimum wage would kill millions of jobs in the US. We can reasonably assume that for a $24 or $26 minimum wage, the job-killing effect would be far more pronounced. In fact, the progressive economist who started this whole conversation, Dean Baker, acknowledged as much.

“The $26 an hour is useful as a thought experiment for envisioning what the world might look like today, but it would not be realistic as policy for local, state, or even national minimum wage without many other changes to the economy,” he wrote. “A minimum wage this high would almost certainly lead to large-scale unemployment, and that would be true even if it were phased in over five or six years.”

However, Baker doesn’t view this as an insurmountable hurdle. He argues that “we [would] have to make many other changes in the economy to make [a $26/hour minimum wage] possible,” citing massive regulations and taxation of finance, banking, and corporations. “These changes are well worth making.”

Of course, we all want to see wages go up. But as evidenced by recent raises for Walmart and Costco employees, this occurs in free markets naturally because employers are forced to compete for labor. It can’t occur with top-down force, at least, not without serious fallout.

So, here’s hoping that this misguided, extreme minimum wage argument doesn’t catch on among progressives. A $15 minimum wage would have bad enough economic consequences. To impose a $26/hour wage would do tremendous damage and leave many workers out of a job entirely.

WATCH: The Ugly Truth About the $15 Minimum Wage (EXPLAINED)

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. Like this story? Click here to sign up for the FEE Daily and get free-market news and analysis like this from Policy Correspondent Brad Polumbo in your inbox every weekday.

Black Americans Left Behind Under Biden

Under President Trumps 4 year term, he concentrated on jobs. Heck -he concentrated on making everything in and about America Great Again. Jobs for all Americans, regardless of color, creed, religion or sexual orientation. He created a job market that ensured if you wanted a job there was at least one for you – in any or every profession. Things were great. Well, for anyone with half a brain things were great. ( Liberals unfortunately are in the less than half brain category ). America was strong. Powerful. Wealthy. The economy was the envy of every country. Everything was going well for the citizenry but that was the huge problem for the swamp whose sole intention is to keep we, the people, in bondage. We had to become reliant on the state. Trump had to be destroyed.

Remember, the swamp is as much a GOP problem as a Democrat problem. Corrupt politicians come in all sizes, sexed, colors and religions. From both parties.

In September, 2019 the unemployment rate for Hispanics was at a record low of 3.9% while that of Blacks sat at a record low of 5.5%! The lowest in history. Under President Trump blacks also recorded the lowest levels of poverty – ever. A phenomenal achievement in anyone’s book. Well – unless you are a mentally challenged liberal. Unfortunately close to half of America seems to fall into that sad camp.

Fast forward to 2020/21. After the blatantly stolen election of 2020 which illegally seated a pitiful and mentally deficient Socialist President into the people’s house, things have not been going so well for people of color and other minorities. You know, the ones that Biden promised in his campaign not to leave behind! Hmmmm – another broken promise. Well, let’s be honest, he hadn’t been able to keep one promise yet! He is good at leaving people behind. He just did that in Afghanistan. Intentionally. He is the spawn of Satan.

The trends of unemployment and economic lines and patterns for minorities, especially blacks, is not looking good. In fact it’s looking down right disastrous.

Now that most states are coming out of the insane restrictions put in place during the China Virus and millions of jobs become available, plus despite the doling out of countless millions of tax payer funded dollars ( well – just actually printed out of thin air ) there will be NO ECONOMIC PROGRESS for black households unless they are employed in real jobs. Inflation, a direct result of printing money endlessly, will harm black families more as their wealth and job creation carries on spiraling downwards.

August 2021 unemployment figures, for those that believe one single word this Administration spews out, fell from 5.4% to 5.2%. Black unemployment however rose from 8.2% to 8.8%! That was a 6% spike in just one single month. Just so you get the picture black unemployment in November 2019 under President Trump was at 5.4%.

So – I have to tell you all. Especially my friends of color. The Democrat Party is not the party that historically has ever been good to you. They have never and will never have your best interests at heart. From pushing abortion which murders a disproportionate amount of black babies to employment and financially secure futures, you will always be left behind.

Sad but true.

I am sure that is not a part of the dream.

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

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TRUMP PEACE: After one year Abraham Accords has brought booming trade between Israel and Arab neighbors

For decades Israel was completely isolated in the Middle East. No longer. President Trump’s miraculous Abraham Accords has brought booming trade between Israel and her Arab neighbors. And it’s only the beginning. President Trump should be recognized as a hero to the Jewish people.

Trump’s Middle East peace is one of the greatest historical achievements in recent memory and yet many Americans haven’t a clue because the Democrat-criminal-media-complex has censored or scrubbed this monumental achievement.

Assessing Israel’s Trade With Its Arab Neighbours

By Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, September 2, 2021

By Tony Blair, Former UK Prime Minister and Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

The paper we publish today shows what the future promise is of the Middle East. Where peace is in place, economies prosper. Where it isn’t, huge potential is being held back. This paper offers an overview of the long-term development of trade between Israel and Arab partners where a peace agreement is already in place: the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Egypt. In the coming weeks, we will also publish our detailed analysis of these relationships.

What our research shows is that while Israel’s trade with Middle Eastern markets is already quite considerable, there is still significant, untapped potential for Israeli-Arab trade and economic cooperation. It also highlights how peace agreements have helped economic development—not only by opening up new trade routes but also because the sides enjoyed significant dividends from the agreements, as funds that would have gone on defence could be invested elsewhere. The peace agreements with Israel enabled Jordan and Egypt to access significant international aid, as well as preferential trade arrangements with the United States. The research offers a glimpse of what cooperation could mean for this region—in technology, culture and trade, as well as further prospects for economic development.

While Israel and the Palestinian Authority have close trading links, this research further highlights the growing dependence of the Palestinian economy on Israel in recent years. In 2016, Israel was the source of some 60 per cent of Palestinian recorded imports of goods and the destination of 85 per cent of Palestinian recorded exports of goods. If unrecorded trade is taken into consideration, Israel’s total share grows to two-thirds of imports of goods and more than 90 per cent of exports of goods. Moreover, the number of Palestinian labourers employed in Israel increased significantly from 40,000 in 2002 to 130,000 in 2016. To support a future independent and economically viable state, the Palestinian economy must be allowed to grow and develop beyond Israel.

Without a final status agreement with the Palestinians, Israel’s overall security-related costs will remain at a relatively high level of close to 15 per cent of GDP. Resolution of the Palestinian conflict could cut these costs, possibly by as much as half. The economic cost for the Palestinians of the continuing conflict with Israel is enormous—and we are now at the end of three lost decades of economic growth since the First Intifada.

It is, however, interesting to see beginnings of trade between Israel and Gulf countries. According to our analysis of figures, Israeli exports to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bloc is around $1 billion. All Israeli exports to the GCC market are currently indirect, through third countries; sometimes channelled through Jordan or Turkey, but mostly via European and other non-MENA countries. Trade is growing, but to truly tap into the major potential of these markets, we will need a regional approach to the peace process, one that puts the Palestinian issue on a path to resolution. There is enormous potential if political constraints on exports to the much larger GCC and other main Arab markets can be removed.

This region is undergoing huge transition, where the ultimate goal should be open, rule-based economies and religious tolerance. Within this wider regional context, Israel’s capabilities and economic strengths should allow it to play a much more central role in regional economic cooperation. If political barriers can be removed, Israel’s contribution to the Middle East would be of critical importance, providing viable solutions to some of the overwhelming challenges of the region, including in the areas of water, energy and sustainable industrial development.

RELATED ARTICLE: Rosh Hashanah, Abraham Accords’ first anniversary, and what can change

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserve.

Quick note: Tech giants are shutting us down. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense, Pinterest permanently banned us. Facebook, Google search et al have shadow-banned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter, and we will not fail. Freedom will prevail.

Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.

Follow me on Gettr. I am there. It’s open and free.

Remember, YOU make the work possible. If you can, please contribute to Geller Report.

H&M Refuses to Play by China’s Rules, and More Companies Should Follow Suit

American corporations are walking a thin, and thinning, tightrope when it comes to Communist China. On one hand, companies want customers at home to see them as “values-based organizations.” Thus, they issue “woke” press releases accompanied by massive donations to organizations that are often fundamentally opposed to American ideals like freedom and equality.

But many companies are willing to look the other way when it’s the Chinese Communist government violating their so-called values. If they want to sell products in Communist China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) won’t allow them to criticize the government for its brutal treatment of Tibetans and Uyghurs. Since Communist China’s massive market means billions of dollars in revenue, companies dutifully play along: they keep quiet about the CCP’s alleged enslavement and genocide of ethnic minorities, and they turn their guns on America instead, branding our freedoms and free markets as “racist” and “hateful.”

While many companies happily and hypocritically play by the CCP’s rules, there are a few brave exceptions. One is H&M, a retail fashion company, which recently condemned Communist China’s forced labor of Uyghurs in their cotton industry. Communist China’s response was swift and severe: Beijing removed H&M from map apps and e-commerce sites, and landlords closed 20 storefronts across Communist China. H&M lost $74 million because they dared to speak out.

H&M stood up for real human rights in Communist China, even though it meant a loss in revenue, and that should be applauded. While the company isn’t perfect – their CEO signed onto a pro-abortion letter in 2019 organized in part by Planned Parenthood – today, H&M deserves our support. Few companies are willing to hold Communist China accountable when it means slashed sales.

Contact H&M today and thank them for focusing on the global epicenter of human rights violations, rather than using their platform to lambast America, the freest country in the world. Then, tell the countless companies – ESPNDisneyGap, and more – that being “values-based” means calling out Communist China for brutal human rights violations – whatever the cost to their bottom line – and staying out of the cultural fray in America, where freedom and human rights flourish.

EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Florida To Start Issuing $5000 Fines To Businesses Requiring Proof Of Vaccination

The Florida Department of Health will start fining businesses $5,000 for violating the state’s ban on vaccine passports.

The state agency’s rule, “Penalties for COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation Requirements,” says it will impose the fine on “any business entity, governmental entity, or educational institution.” The $5,000 fine will apply “per individual and separate violation” and must be paid within 30 days.

“Promises made, promises kept,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’ spokesperson Taryn Fenske told Fox 13 Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

The fine does not apply to vaccine mandates businesses impose upon their own employees. Florida is an at-will employment state, which means employees have limited rights and may be terminated for a wide variety of reasons unless they are unionized or are under contract, legal experts told Fox 13.

“Governor DeSantis is retaliating against Floridians who are trying to protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat campaigning to run against DeSantis in 2022, told Fox 13 in a statement.

“This not only goes against common sense — it’s also an insult to the free market principles that he claims to champion,” Fried added.

DeSantis consistently opposed vaccine mandates in Florida. “It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,” he said at a press conference in March, NPR reported.

Florida is not currently enforcing its ban on vaccine mandates on cruise lines following since a federal judge issued a temporary injunction allowing Norwegian Cruise Line to require proof of vaccination from passengers.

Florida saw a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations over the last few weeks as the delta variant surged in the state. DeSantis encouraged Floridians to get vaccinated, saying vaccines are effective against the virus.

“Again, we must continue this stride to expand vaccination rates across eligible age groups. As stated by Governor DeSantis, ‘These vaccines are saving lives, and reducing the mortality of COVID-19,’” Christina Pushaw, a spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement in August.

COLUMN BY

SEBASTIAN HUGHES

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: DeSantis Moves To Block School Board Pay Over Mask Mandates Despite Judge’s Ruling

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.