The G-7’s Outrageous Hypocrisy by John Tamny

An article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about the European leg of President Trump’s first foreign trip came with the headline: “Leaders Confront US on Russia, Climate.” In particular, non-US G-7 leaders are all strongly in favor of the 2015 Paris climate agreement that would require participating countries to limit carbon emissions, among other restraints on economic activity.

Trump disagrees, thus the confrontation, owing to his correct belief that the climate deal would prove a barrier to economic growth.That Trump was in opposition to the other G-7 members apparently led to some tense discussion about the US’s desire to exit commitments made during the presidency of Barack Obama. German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that opinions expressed about the withering climate accord “were exchanged very intensively.”

You Obey, We Ignore

Merkel and other G-7 leaders disappointed in the 45th president have no leg to stand on, and certainly aren’t in the position to confront any US president. Trump should make this plain without an ounce of regret. The latter would be true even if the Paris accord were a credible answer to the theory that says economic progress is a major threat to our existence.

Indeed, the Europeans talk a big game about the importance of commitments, and of how the alleged fight to save the earth “has to be a collective effort,” but they’ve shown no remorse about their own persistent failure to honor their NATO spending pledges.

Translated, these nations expect the United States to weaken its economy based on an unproven, but rather expensive theory about the effects of climate change. But when it comes to living up to a longstanding agreement among NATO members to share the costs of a mutual defense shield, they’ll let the US foot the bill.

More interesting here is that in their desperation to keep the US in the Paris fold, Merkel and others are implicitly saying that any agreement made among leading western European countries without the US isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. With good reason.

So Much for Commitment

Consider non-NATO treaties like Maastricht, in which EU nations agreed to limit their deficit spending so that their debt/GDP ratios would always stay below 60%. Woops. As of 2015, Germany (74.4%), France (89.6%), and Italy (122.3%) were all well above what the G-7 countries committed to when they signed the treaty that led to the euro. As for their commitment to requiring euro member states to individually handle their debts, it too went out the window given the fear among EU members about what debt default would do to certain large banks.

Back to NATO, the European leaders so eager to guilt Trump into a climate commitment not his own have once again shown no commensurate guilt about their own safety being a function of US taxpayers and legislators regularly living up to commitments that they haven’t lived up to.

Mutual Defense

This is particularly galling when we remember that NATO’s mutual defense shield arguably has very little to do with US safety. Lest we forget, the US already has the strongest military in the world, and it’s also quite far from the world’s trouble spots. In short, the US has long stuck to an agreement that weakens it economically, and that has little to nothing to do with its ongoing existence.

Would Americans feel any less secure absent this pricey post-WWII arrangement? At the same time, could NATO survive and would Europeans still feel secure sans American support that gives NATO global relevance?The answer to the previous question explains why the Paris agreement will lose all meaning and relevance if the US backs out. We know this given the historical truth that non-US G-7 nations speak with a forked tongue.

They talk grandly about honoring commitments, but their actions invariably belie their lofty rhetoric. Just as they’ve done with NATO, or with their own inter-European treaties, they want the US to abide the Paris agreement so that they don’t have to.

In that case, President Trump would be very unwise to lend US credibility to an agreement that history says G-7 members will eventually trample on. While the Paris accord surely can’t survive without Trump’s support, neither can his commitment to 3 percent growth survive more government meddling meant to placate shaky G-7 members, all based on a theory. Trump has an easy answer; his rejection of the Paris agreement one that checks the political, economic and rationality boxes.

Trump has an easy answer; his rejection of the Paris agreement one that checks the political, economic and rationality boxes.

John Tamny

John Tamny is a Forbes contributor, editor of RealClearMarkets, a senior fellow in economics at Reason, and a senior economic adviser to Toreador Research & Trading. He’s the author of the 2016 book Who Needs the Fed? (Encounter), along with Popular Economics (Regnery Publishing, 2015).

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It Had to Be the Smirnoff

It was a good plan. After their thunderous loss in the presidential election, our country’s premier Olympian liars––Democrats all––put their heads together to develop a plan to accuse the newly elected president of collusion with our enemy, to get him impeached forthwith, and ultimately to preserve the communist/jihadist government that it took the previous eight years of formal power and a hundred years of planning to accomplish.

First, it was important for the orchestrator and financier of both the former regime and the current “resistance” movement to appear busy with other things, such as financing the travel arrangements of anarchists and thugs, and purchasing shiny new placards to be displayed at often-violent rallies around the country, all protesting the horrible things the newly elected president was doing:

  • Rounding up criminal aliens
  • Seating a conservative Supreme Court Justice
  • Reasserting American military supremacy
  • Sanctioning the murderous mullahs in Iran
  • Dropping the Mother Of All Bombs on ISIS targets in Afghanistan
  • Causing a precipitous rise in employment, et al.
  • Here’s a more extensive list.

Second, get the putative leader of the former, failed regime out of the country––preferably to an island that doesn’t honor U.S. extradition laws––the better to protect him from indictable crimes should the plan fail.

Third, develop the narrative––Trump’s collusion with Russia––and enlist the entire Democrat Party and 99 percent of the media to hammer relentlessly, 24-7, on this theme, omitting, of course, the fact that it would not require help from the Russians to win an election against the least attractive, least compelling, least accomplished, most corrupt Democrat candidate in decades.

FRUITS OF THEIR LABORS

It didn’t take long for some major revelations to emerge. First we learned—according to the peerless Clarice Feldman (read every word)—that President Trump’s campaign manager had failed to disclose the receipt of 75,000 shares of stock from a Kremlin-financed company—Joule Unlimited—for which he served as director from 2010 to 2014, and that his brother was a key lobbyist on behalf of Sberbank (of Russia), for which his firm received more than $24 million in fees in 2016.

Oh, my very very bad! It wasn’t Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, it was John Podesta, Ms. Hillary’s henchman, and his brother Tony, who raked in that windfall. “Podesta’s efforts were a key part of under-the-radar lobbying during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign,” Feldman reports.

Next we learned that none other than Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, received half-a-million dollars….for a speech she gave in Moscow, paid by a Russian firm, Renaissance Capital, which has ties to Russian intelligence. And what did the former model do with the money? She put it into one of her pet foundations.

Oops, I’m getting everything mixed up! It wasn’t Mr. Trump’s wife Melania but rather Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill who did that, and much more! For instance, he deposited millions of dollars into the Clinton Foundation that he also received from Uranium One, which was sold to the Russian government in 2010, giving Russia control of 20 percent of the uranium deposits in the U.S., a sale approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. And looky here! In March, Mr. Putin’s spokesman said that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with members of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign several times while she was running for president in 2016, a fact the campaign never disclosed. No mystery that Kislyak sat so cozily with the Democrats during President Trump’s speech to the Congress in March.

The revelations continued, as we learned that one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted aides literally colluded with foreign spies to sabotage Hillary’s candidacy.

Sooo sorry. Once again, I’ve confused the players. Actually it was John Brennan—former supporter of the American Communist Party, inveterate Islamophiliac, and CIA director under Barack Obama—who, according to George Neumayr of the Spectator (read the entire article), “was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.”

And then there was the slew of fishy missteps by a high-ranking member of the Trump Organization, who literally seemed to screw up everything he touched.

Silly silly me for confusing anyone in the Trump Organization with the feckless James Comey, recently defunct director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who according to historian Victor Davis Hanson “de facto turned the FBI into investigator, prosecutor, judge, and jury in presenting damning evidence against Hillary Clinton, then nullifying it….”, confused Hillary’s criminal acts with her “intent” (not his role), whine[d] “in teenager fashion” at a Congressional hearing, “seem[ed] to think he could freely discuss the charges of Russian collusion, but not so transparently the far stronger evidence of unlawful unmasking of Americans caught up in (or in fact targeted by) government surveillance—apparently in understandable fear that the Democrats and media posed the greater danger to his career,” and was at the center of 10 major FBI scandals on his watch.

And who can forget how the top generals who president-elect Trump was interviewing for key jobs in his administration revealed the ability they had—and willingness to use that ability—to conduct extensive spying on any of the future Commander-in-Chief’s enemies?

OMG…how on earth could I have mistaken the personification of integrity with the very embodiment of dishonesty? Especially since now we know, thanks to Paul Sperry at the NY Post, citing Circa News, that during the election campaign, “the Obama Administration” (meaning Barack Obama) launched “a massive domestic-spy campaign that included snooping on Trump officials…routinely violating privacy protections…” that prompted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court a month before the election to rebuke administration officials.” In addition, “a number of those searches were made from the White House, and included private citizens working for the Trump campaign, some of whose identities were leaked to the media.”

Did I forget to mention that one of candidate Trump’s most avid Republican supporters just happened to make a killing when he invested in a Russian company?

Kidding! That would actually be a malicious critic of both candidate and President Trump, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) who made $6 million in 2012 from Russian search engine and technology company Yandex.

Dr. J. Michael Waller, VP for Government Relations at the Center for Security Policy and an expert in defense, national security, and foreign policy, is all for the investigation of Russian involvement in American elections, and here spells out the deep involvement of Russia in Mr. Obama’s 2012 election, with prominent mention of key players like the Podesta brothers, Hillary, Thomas Pickering, Hunter Biden, and Viktor Pinchuk, as well as the sale of American uranium, et al.

Which brings me to this question: Who again is in bed with Russia?

THE “i” WORD

An essential part of the overwrought left’s narrative was urging its adherents to forget their aversion to any word beginning with “i”—an aversion they’ve harbored since the mortifying impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Instead, the plan was to harp on three other “i” words, specifically that Russia intervened, interfered, and influenced the 2016 presidential election, essentially rendering its result invalid.

Above all, they were clearly ordered to never ever explain, not the smallest detail, about how exactly the Russians did these things.

  • Did Russian moles hack into the voting machines all over the United States and change the Hillary votes to Trump votes?
  • Did thousands of Russian agents slip into our country through our open southern border, grab up 63-million Americans, and force them under penalty of never seeing their families again to vote against Hillary?
  • Did Russians secretly launder multimillions of dollars and funnel them into the Trump fundraisers’ accounts?
  • Did Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak show up at President Trump’s address to both houses of Congress and sit with the Democrats in order to apologize to them for failing to swing the election to Hillary?

By the way, why did this ostensibly impartial ambassador choose to sit with the Democrats that night? Was it to reassure them that he intended to lobby the Trump administration to let his country keep the 20 percent of American uranium that Hillary gave to Russia? You know, that heavy, toxic element which accelerates the development of nuclear weapons, the same types of weapons that Barack Obama and Hillary gave to bellicose, America-loathing Iran—leading state-sponsor of terrorism and Russia’s client state—in the disastrous Iran deal, along with $150 billion?

  • Did those devastatingly attractive Russian bureaucrats descend on voter precincts all over the country and ply their staffers with borscht and caviar to inspire them to violate their pledge to voter-fraud experts ACORN and instead not count the number of dead Democrat voters?
  • Did additional Russian agents slip into the polling booths in heavy Democrat districts and put them out of working order by saturating them with Smirnoff vodka?

Having exhausted their bogus questions, the swamp creatures have now moved on to President Trump’s son-in-law and trusted advisor, Jared Kushner, and his contacts with Russian sources before the inauguration. Critics seem most upset about the protocol here, i.e., that, apparently according to Emily Post, it’s “improper” to query important world players before the inauguration takes place.

Nothing will come of this desperate ploy, either.

According to James Freeman of The Wall St. Journal, “It’s been roughly 300 days since the FBI started investigating Moscow’s attempts to meddle in U.S. elections. So far the feds have come up dry in their search for evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Yet, the fake news cable and network channels—CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS—are still being paid by their globalist bosses to harp ceaselessly on this failed effort, clearly in the hope that somehow, someway, someday, someone will come up with an irrefutable indictment and that the massive humiliation Democrats experienced from their shellacking at the polls and the repudiation of everything they believe in will be redeemed.

This fantasy should fit neatly with their other beliefs—in the virtue of Che Guevera and his ilk, the efficacy of socialized medicine, the validity of Sharia law, and let’s throw in the tooth fairy for good measure.

But all this is not to omit the real motive of the fanatical cabal conspiring to bring down President Donald J. Trump, which is to avoid the long arm of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in what may turn into the most explosive investigation in U.S. history regarding the rampant crime, corruption, and sedition of many if not most of the high-level players in the Obama regime.

That is what we’ve really been witnessing for the past year. And a warehouse full of Smirnoff will not make this blight go away!

RELATED VIDEO: We finally have proof of inappropriate financial dealings with Russia

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of John Podesta wearing a bow tie in the colors of the Russian flag is by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Counter Media Matters’ attack: Contact Sean Hannity’s advertisers to urge them to support his show

Media Matters is targeting companies that advertise on Sean Hannity because of his conservative values.

Sean Hannity is a true American patriot.  Hannity has brought us news that no other cable news host has produced.  He has relentlessly stood for traditional Judeo Christian values.  Sean Hannity routinely gives honor to our military leaders, fallen heroes and military families in need.  There is no better weekend than the Memorial Day Weekend to start defending Sean Hannity against leftist attacks aimed at the values we cherish.

Media Matters published a list of companies that advertise and companies that stopped advertising at the bottom of their article.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to urge marketing officials at most of the companies to continue advertising with Sean Hannity.  The companies included in this email are ones listed by Media Matters as “primary advertisers” and “advertisers who’ve announced they’ll no longer advertise on Hannity.”  The contact information for the advertisers that have said they will no longer advertise is posted below.  Contact information for companies that continue to advertise is not being provided in order to reduce the chances of opponents using the information.  There is a list of a few companies that are blocking emails that would have been sent through the Floridafamily.org email server.  Please consider preparing an email using your own email service for these companies.

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Click here to send your email to urge marketing officials at most of Hannity’s advertisers to continue advertising with Sean Hannity.

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The contact information for the advertisers that have said they will no longer advertise is posted below:

These are the advertisers who’ve announced they’ll no longer advertise on Hannity:

Boehringer Ingelheim
Paul Fonteyne, CEO
paul.fonteyne@boehringer-ingelheim.com
Ann Davin, Public Relations Manager
adavin@rdg.boehringer-ingelheim.com

Cars.com
Gracia C. Martore, President and Chief Executive Officer
gmartore@tegna.com
Anne Bentley, Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
abentley@tegna.com

Casper
Philip Krim, CEO
philip.krim@casper.com
Michael Behrens, Chief Marketing Officer
michael.brehrens@casper.com

Crowne Plaza
InterContinental Hotels Group
Richard Solomons, Chief Executive Officer
richard.solomons@ihg.com
Keith Barr, Chief Commercial Officer
keith.barr@ihg.com

GoodRx
Doug Hirsch, Co-CEO
doug@goodrx.com
Trevor Bezdek
trevor@goodrx.com

Leesa Sleep
David Wolfe, CEO
david@leesa.com
Lisa Scotti, Vice President of Marketing
lisa@leesa.com

Peloton
John Foley, CEO
john@pelotoncycle.com
Vicki Reed
press@pelotoncycle.com

Ring.com
Bot Home Automation
James Siminoff, CEO
j@ring.com
Yassi Shahmiri, Vice President of Marketing
y@ring.com

USAA
Stuart Parker, President
stuart.parker@usaa.com
Roger Adams, Chief Marketing Officer
roger.adams@usaa.co

The following companies are blocking emails that would have been sent through the Floridafamily.org email server.  Please consider preparing an email using your own email service for these companies.

Cars.com  blocking
Gracia C. Martore, President and Chief Executive Officer
gmartore@tegna.com

Crowne Plaza  blocking
InterContinental Hotels Group
Richard Solomons, Chief Executive Officer
richard.solomons@ihg.com
Keith Barr, Chief Commercial Officer
keith.barr@ihg.com

Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical
Patrick Carroll, Chief Marketing Officer USA
pcarroll@hisamitsu-usa.com

Hulu
Jenny Wall, Chief Marketing Officer
jenny.wall@hulu.com

Leesa Sleep  blocking
David Wolfe, CEO
david@leesa.com
Lisa Scotti, Vice President of Marketing
lisa@leesa.com

Nutrisystem
Keira Krausz, Chief Marketing Officer
kkrausz@nutrisystem.com

ProFlowers
Melissa Reinking
WeCare@ProFlowers.com

No Good Can Come from Trying to Resurrect the Cold War by Brittany Hunter

A few days go, as I sat with my eyes fixated on my television screen during a particularly riveting Netflix marathon, an alert on my iPhone went off and interrupted an otherwise perfect night of binge-watching.

As I glanced down to see what fresh new hell awaited me in the hectic non-fiction world, I noticed that it was an alert from an Apple news app that I never bothered to deleted when I upgraded to a newer iPhone over six months ago. The app only goes off if there is significant breaking news, which, usually means a terrorist attack or another lost airliner.

This time, however, the news that disrupted my luxurious night of lounging was a headline about Jared Kushner, Trump’s loyal son-in-law, and his connection to Russia. The content of the alert was vague at best, something along the lines of “Kushner has Russian connection Proving Malicious Intent,” or something equally over-dramatic and sensationalized.

Enough Is Enough

Normally, I would roll my eyes at the media rushing to conclusions and go about my day, but after the roller coaster of an election cycle that the nation is still attempting to recover from, this alert somehow managed to become my own personal “straw that broke the camel’s back,” as they say.

For the record, I am no fan of Jared Kushner nor of Trump, but that is because I am no fan of any politician. However, given the amount of times I have personally been subjected to the “ fear Russia” rhetoric, I find myself quickly losing faith in what passes for “news” these days and am even more concerned that this fear mongering will inevitably turn to warmongering if the drums of war continue to beat in Russia’s general direction.

Between hearing the term “Russian meddling” every 30 seconds on CNN, and Time Magazine’s controversial cover depicting the White House being taken over by the Kremlin, I have had just about enough of this return to 1950s Cold War speak.

While I am wary of any news story that justifies the military industrial complex’s lust for war, the Time cover speaks volumes about the modern day media industry as a whole. When it comes to the purposefully shocking Time cover, no one bothered to notice that the “Kremlin” seen swallowing the White House into a sea of red is in fact St. Basil Cathedral. The sensationalism of the story, despite its possible consequences, was of more importance than fact-checking the actual content.

Some might argue that this is a small detail to get worked up over in the long-run, but as the country “celebrates” Memorial Day today, it is important to remember that any rhetoric that aims to perpetuate our country’s obsession with war should always be questioned and scrutinized to the utmost degree.

Reinventing the Red Scare

Russia has recently replaced the millennial generation as America’s favorite group to collectively throw under the bus every time something goes wrong.

At a pivotal moment just a few weeks shy of voting day, Wikileaks revealed leaked emails that showed collusion between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign (as if either can be distinguished from the other). The content of these emails seemed to shed light on the combined efforts of the DNC and the Clinton campaign, who together had done everything within their power to rig the election against Bernie Sanders.

But rather than blame those actually responsible for the constructed demise of the Sanders campaign, Russia somehow became the enemy — again.

Suddenly, the shadiness on the part of the DNC and the Clinton camp were pushed aside as “Russian hackers” became the main cause for concern. While there has yet to be a definitive answer on the matter, the authenticity of the leaked emails was not a source of outrage for devoted Democrats. Instead, they wanted justice because how dare we let Putin interfere in our elections! This is America! This is a Democracy!

Overnight, the Democrats began to sound like the bloodthirsty Republicans of the Bush/Cheney era, calling for war without any logical forethought. What their candidate did was of less importance than punishing those who may or may not have brought the information to light.

Appearing almost out of thin air, Russia became the culprit even though there was evidence to the contrary and Wikileaks maintains that Russia is not involved. For those insistent that the Red Scare be brought forth from its warmongering grave, the idea of a foreign body meddling in the U.S. presidential elections was too egregious a reality to live with in an allegedly free country.

Apparently, these same people have forgotten about the numerous times throughout history where the United States Government has interfered in foreign elections over the years.

Blood on Our Hands

If for example, Russia was found to be explicitly and directly tied to the election of Donald Trump, it does not, at least thus far, come close to the disastrous consequences that arose from America’s role in the Iranian coup d’etat in 1953. It also pales in comparison with the American backing of the President of the Republic of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem in the 1960s. In the predominantly Buddhist territory of southern Vietnam, the United States ushering a devout Catholic into the powerful role of President was not appreciated, as history proved.

While these are just a few instances of many, the aforementioned examples have both caused and perpetuated conflicts that are still ongoing today. The United State’s reputation of meddling in the Middle East is exactly what gave rise to the sentiment seen with Islamist extremists, such as Isis. But it didn’t begin in 2003 with the Invasion of Iraq.

The United States left Vietnam in shame after forcing their own men to go off and die in foreign jungles without a clear purpose. But U.S. intervention was largely to blame for the escalation of the conflict in the first time.

Simply knowing and understanding that the state has an unfortunate tendency of being all too hasty to declare war — or just attack without any formal declaration — should be enough to caution those who are calling for the nation to retaliate against Russia.

Let’s Really Remember

Memorial Day has unfortunately become a holiday that glamorizes war and glorifies professional state-sanctioned killing, rather than urging caution against escalating foreign conflict. While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been an utter and complete disaster when it comes to honoring those who went off to die for undefined “American interests” abroad, the government has instead declared that Memorial Day is sufficient enough to at least calm the masses.

But as we spend the majority of the day enjoying our paid time off with BBQs and pool time, may we not forget to be increasingly skeptical of any propaganda that seeks to put the state’s interests ahead of individual life.

To be sure, the atrocities committed by Putin and other Russian agents of the state are reprehensible. However, not only does this not explicitly prove that Russia was involved in the leaks, those seeking to perpetuate this rhetoric are doing so only to save face and distract from the actions of the DNC and the Clinton camp.

For those who continue attempting to reignite the Cold War, protecting partisan politics is more important than sparing innocent lives from the brutal realities of war.

Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter is an associate editor at FEE. Brittany studied political science at Utah Valley University with a minor in Constitutional studies.

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The neo-Democrat Pedophile Pederast Party

The Democratic Party is the party of inclusion and tolerance. The Democrat Party has fully embraced the idea that gender is mutable and having sex with underage children is permissible, even laudable. The Democrat Party has made it a point to elect, hire and defend those who believe in pedophilia and pederasty.

So who are these people that the Democrat Party has embraced?

The Democrats.org website reads:

Democrats stand with the LGBT community’s fight for equality. We are committed to ending anti-LGBT violence, bullying, and discrimination, and to ensuring that LGBT Americans are treated with dignity and respect in their communities, their workplaces, and their schools.

These people fall into two categories: pedophiles and pederasts. A pedophile is a a person who is sexually attracted to children. A pederast is a man who desires or engages in sexual activity with a boy.

The most recent, of many, examples is the revelation that Democratic Mayor of New York city Bill De Blasio’s employee was arrested for child pornography. According to the Daily Mail:

Leading New York young Democrat Jacob Schwartz. Photo: UK Daily Mail.

A de Blasio administration employee and leading New York young Democrat has been arrested on felony charges of child pornography.

Jacob Schwartz, 29, was allegedly keeping more than 3,000 photographs and 89 videos of child pornography, including pictures of baby girls as young as six-months-old, court papers revealed.

The highly illegal content shows ‘young nude females between the approximate ages of six months and 16 (years) engaging in sexual conduct on an adult male,’ reported the New York Post.

[ … ]

Schwartz was the president of the Manhattan Young Democrats and the downstate region vice president of the state’s chapter.

Read more.

The Democrat Party is also supported in large part by the Muslim ummah (community). A poll released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found that 74 percent voted for Hillary Clinton and 13 percent voted for Trump. Muslims believe in child marriage and female genital mutilation. LGBT Americans continue to skew Democratic and Liberal according to GallupNBC News reported:

A large majority of registered LGBT voters support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, according to results of two weeks of the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.

Seventy-two percent of registered LGBT voters support Clinton, compared to 20 percent who support Trump.

[ … ]

In past elections, LGBT voters have played an important role. According to results from the 2012 NBC News Exit Polls, 5 percent of voters identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual and 76 percent voted for Barack Obama.

Read more.

In my May 2016 column New Democrat Party: The Red–Green–Rainbow Troika I warned:

The Democratic Party is no longer the party of President John F. Kennedy. Seldom does one hear JFK’s name invoked by Democrats. Why? Because JFK was a war hero, a lifetime member of the NRA, a Catholic, he hated Communists and fought communism, he and his brother Bobby fought organized crime by profiling Italian Americans and he loved America.

Today JFK would be labeled by his own party as a Constitutional conservative.

The NDP has made it its mission to protect the “civil rights and civil liberties” of groups that are both incompatible with one another and with mainstream America.

The groups are incompatible for a number of reasons including:

  1. Communists hate Muslims and gays.
  2. Muslims hate Communists and execute gays (sodomites).
  3. Gays hate all religions, but make an exception for Islam (i.e. the enemy of my enemy is my friend).

At some point these divergent groups will turn on one another. But for the time being they have work to do. That work includes:

  1. Implementing a secular Marxist/Leninist/Socialist/Collectivist system of government in the USA.
  2. Implementing Shariah (Islamic) law in the USA, which, while totalitarian, is incompatible with #1 because it is not secular but rather based upon a strict interpretation of the Qur’an and Hadith.
  3. Demanding rights and privileges at the expense of others rights and privileges, an area of common ground but defined differently by each member of the RGRT.

It now appears that the Democrat Party is facing what the Catholic Church faced when pederast priests raped little boys. A crisis of culture. The Democrat Party is no longer the party of middle class America. It has morphed into the fringe party. The party of pedophiles, pederasts and Mohammed.

This column is a warning to the Republican Party.

Do not go down this pathway because, while the media will defend Democrats, they will not defend you if a Republican pederast or pedophile is exposed!

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Seth Rich: The DNC’s living dead nightmare

There is growing interest in the circumstances surrounding the death of Seth Rich, the 27-year-old Democratic National Committee employee who on July 10, 2016 was fatally shot in Bloomingdale, Washington, D.C.

On 16 May 2017, Fox News published an explosive report linking the death of murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich to tens of thousands of e-mails allegedly found on his laptop computer. Fox reported that the e-mails were internal Democratic National Committee messages Rich transferred to Gavin McFayden, a now-deceased investigative journalist, who then sent them to the document-dumping web site WikiLeaks.

Fox News reported:

An FBI forensic report of Rich’s computer — generated within 96 hours after Rich’s murder — showed he made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time, the federal source told Fox News.

“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” the federal investigator told Fox News, confirming the MacFadyen connection. He said the emails are in possession of the FBI, while the stalled case is in the hands of the Washington Police Department.

The revelation is consistent with the findings of Wheeler, whose private investigation firm was hired by a third party on behalf of Rich’s family to probe the case.

“My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” Wheeler said. “I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the DC police or FBI headquarters.”

The federal investigator, who requested anonymity, said 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between Democratic National Committee leaders, spanning from January 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.

The media does not want to cover the Seth Rich story. Why?

The DNC narrative is that the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton. The DNC and media have pushed the idea that there was “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russians via WikiLeaks to destroy Hillary.

If the investigation into the death of Seth Rich does show that it was Seth who leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks then the entire Trump-Russia-WikiLeaks house of cards comes crashing down.  Alicia Powe and Liz Crokin from WorldNet Daily report:

Rod Wheeler. Photo: WND

Former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile is the high-ranking DNC representative who allegedly called police and the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich and demanded to know why a private investigator was “snooping” into Rich’s death, the private eye revealed to WND Monday.

“The high-ranking DNC official that called the police after I inquired about Rich’s case was Donna Brazile,” veteran homicide detective Rod Wheeler told WND. “Why shouldn’t I reveal who it was?”

Brazile, who was also a CNN contributor and a Hillary for America donor at the time, was caught providing Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton with questions that would later be asked of Clinton at a televised CNN town hall. In an interview with Fox News before the election, Brazile denied leaking the questions to Clinton. But in a March 17, 2017, column for Time magazine, she finally admitted doing so, saying it was a “mistake I will forever regret.”

A spokesman for the Rich family has repeatedly criticized detective Wheeler, who was hired by Rich’s family in March to find the DNC staffer’s murderer, for not ruling out the possibility that Rich may have leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The Rich family recently sent Wheeler a “cease and desist” order to stop his investigation into the murder.

Read more…

This DNC nightmare has not ended with the tragic death of Seth Rich. Rather it is now a new chapter in the DNC’s own real life saga of the living dead.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

PLOT THICKENS: D.C. POLICE CHIEF Who Oversaw Seth Rich Murder Socialized With Top Democrats, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

Murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich Shared 44,053 Democrat Emails With WikiLeaks: Report | Zero Hedge

Murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich Was In Contact With Wikileaks

Bombshell: Donna Brazile warned off private eye on Seth Rich murder

Martin Shkreli Offers $100K In Seth Rich Murder Mystery

We Won in Montana, Georgia Here We Come!

Our Conservative Campaign Committee team left Montana still basking in the after glow of We the Peoples’ victory over the Democrats’ Trump-resistance operative Rob Quist. Mary and I are in a van with the Conservative Campaign Committee team headed to Georgia.

Republican Karen Handel

The Georgia Trump-resistance candidate Jon Ossoff is leading in the polls against Republican Karen Handel in the June 20th congressional special election. A Facebook patriot sister in Georgia gave me a heads up that guys wearing pink Planned Parenthood shirts were in her neighborhood putting Ossoff literature on doorknobs.

Losing every special election, Democrats are desperate to energize their fake America-regrets-electing-Trump narrative. Leftists continue to pour millions into the Georgia race, putting all their hate-Trump eggs into Ossoff’s basket. 

In typical Democrat bait-and-switch fashion, Ossoff is running as a moderate. In reality, Ossoff is an extreme far left radical, backed by off-beat anti-America groups from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter and numerous other counter-culture weirdo groups; rabidly obsessed with bringing down Trump.

Isn’t the whole idea of Democrats boldly launching a Trump-resistance movement pretty outrageous? Remember the media firestorm over Rush Limbaugh saying he hoped Obama’s agenda failed? Leftists practically demanded that Rush be removed from the air and crucified in the public square, stabbed through the heart with his golden EIB microphone. Rush was excoriated for being a traitor to his country.

And yet, fake news media is orchestrating and praising the Trump-resistance movement as on the moral high ground. These people on the Left who are consumed with out-of-control rage over Hillary losing the election do not give a rat’s derriere about their blatant hypocrisy.

Speaking of Hillary, she’s back! Hillary hit the airways spewing more anti-Trump bitterness to keep the flames of hate, rage and insanity burning in her minions. My fellow patriot Americans, we must remain extremely vigilant in our efforts to keep these Leftist wackos out of power. I still scratch my head, puzzled over what Leftists feel they must so passionately resist from Trump’s presidency.

Why is Trump proclaiming his desire to “make America great again” as repulsive to Leftists as showing Dracula the cross? If you are a Leftist, wouldn’t you still want your country, your homeland to be made great? These people are simply not right in the head folks.

The Left has gone totally insane. Cable news has become 24/7 destruction of Trump. It is as if nothing in the world matters other than removing Trump from office.

On Fox News, Bill Bennett noted how fake news media was far more outraged over the Montana Republican candidate tussling with a reporter than they were over the 22 people killed in the Manchester terrorist attack and 26 Coptic Christians murdered in Egypt. Fake news media’s passion and interest is only in events which further its Trump-must-be-removed narrative. Clearly, they have lost their minds, obsessed beyond reason.

A majority of Americans, 65%, believe the media publishes fake news. In a Montana store, I overheard an employee expressing her support of Trump to another employee. She said she believes nothing reported in the media.

Fake news media have thrown all pretense of being fair and balanced out the window. They are in full-court-press remove Trump mode. My bottom line is it is us against them, folks.

Thanks and may God bless you for your faithful support of our efforts.

I’ll report in again from Georgia.

VISA Overstays: A Gap in the Nation’s Border

After decades, and billions of dollars, a major terror vulnerability still persists.

A recent headline blared: Secretary of Homeland Security head says terror situation is scarier than you know.

However, the situation at the Department of Homeland Security that the Trump administration inherited when it took office is so dire, that I refer to the DHS as the “Department of Homeland Surrender.”

Unquestionably the Obama administration did incalculable damage to the security of our borders and the enforcement of our immigration laws, however, for decades a series of administrations, led by presidents from both parties, have sought to undermine national sovereignty in their push for globalism.

In my judgement, many components of the immigration system have been rendered dysfunctional with the intentional purpose of flooding America with ever increasing foreign tourists, foreign students and a veritable army of cheap and exploitable labor that displaces Americans workers and drives down the wages of  those Americans fortunate enough to keep their jobs.

This is not only in the economic bottom rung jobs but, increasingly, within the high-tech industries as well.

I support my claim by providing at the end of my article, outrageous findings of the Office of Inspector General who lays out, in has May 23, 2017 report, information about a level of dysfunction in a component of national security that could not be created by accident or incompetence.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, the very structure of the DHS, as implemented by the administration of President George W. Bush, in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 appears to have been designed to hobble any efforts to secure our borders and/or enforce our immigration laws.

On May 5, 2005, approximately 44 months after the attacks of 9/11, the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims conducted a hearing on the topic, “New “Dual Missions” Of The Immigration Enforcement Agencies.”

There is a parallel that must be drawn in considering that the hearing was conducted 44 months after the attacks.  It took the United States and its allies 44 months to defeat the Axis nations during the Second World War.

In order to achieve that incredible success our nation and its allies built fleets of aircraft of brand new designs that had not existed before.  Fleets of ships and even nuclear weapons with brand new and un-proven technology.

On September 11, 2001 nineteen terrorists, barely out of their teens, were able to cause more casualties than did the Japanese fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Yet tracking the arrival and departure of aliens who were legally admitted into the United States is beyond the grasp of the nation that more than 40 years ago repeatedly launched astronauts to the moon and returned them all safely to the earth.

Rep. John Hostettler was the chairman of that subcommittee at the time of that hearing and his courageous prepared statement at that hearing included the following disturbing conclusion:

 At no time during the reorganization planning was it anticipated by the Committee that an immigration enforcement agency would share its role with other enforcement functions, such as enforcement of our customs laws. This simply results in the creation of dual or multiple missions that the act sought to avoid in the first place.

Failure to adhere to the statutory framework established by HSA (Homeland Security Act) has produced immigration enforcement incoherence that undermines the immigration enforcement mission central to DHS, and undermines the security of our Nation’s borders and citizens.

I was one of the witnesses at that hearing and included information about that hearing in my previous article Immigration Failure – By Design which explored how these failures were created and exacerbated to meet the demands of the globalist immigration anarchists.

These failures not only facilitate the entry of foreign workers, students and tourists but transnational criminals and international terrorists.

However, as long as politicians, acting on behalf of various supremely greedy special interest groups including the United States Chamber of Commerce and its corporate allies, that are more focused on head counts on airliners than body counts in the morgue, our immigration failures will not be effectively addressed.

An area of vulnerability that was addressed by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 was the need to track the arrival and departure of nonimmigrant aliens to determine if those nonimmigrant (temporary) foreign visitors departed the United States as required by the terms of their admission into the United States.

This legislation was enacted just years after two deadly terror attacks were carried out in the United States by Middle Eastern aliens in 1993.  In January of that year CIA officials were gunned down at CIA Headquarters by Kansi, a Pakistani citizen who entered the United States on a non-immigrant visa and went on to apply for political asylum.

The following month the first bombing at the World Trade Center left six dead, more than 1,000 people injured and devastated that iconic complex of buildings, inflicting approximately a half billion dollars in damages.

Yet the tracking of nonimmigrant aliens was not implemented.

The 9/11 Commission established tracking the arrival and departure of nonimmigrant aliens as a vital component of national security.

Consequently, on June 3, 2004 it was reported, “Accenture secures U.S. Visit.”  (US-VISIT was the term provided to describe the tracking system.)

That report provided a bit of insight into the wrangling that went on to award that contract to Accenture the company that would go on to “distinguish itself” when it attempted to create a website for Obama Care.

As to the magnitude of the contract, Government Executive Magazine reported, Accenture wins $10 billion US VISIT contract.

Yet in March 2013, nine years after giving that contract to Accenture, the goals of tracking the arrival and departure of non-immigrant aliens was still not accomplished.  Consequently the DHS renamed the program, giving it the title, Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM).

On May 22, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security issued a press release, DHS Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report.  The press release provided note the nexus between national security and the ability to effectively track the arrival and departure of aliens.

This excerpt illustrates part of the magnitude of the challenges we face:

The report specifies that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processed 50,437,278 in-scope nonimmigrant admissions at U.S. air and sea POEs who were expected to depart in FY16—of which 739,478 overstayed their admission, resulting in a total overstay rate of 1.47 percent. Of the more than 739,000 overstays, DHS determined 628,799 were suspected “in-country” overstays, resulting in a suspected in-country overstay rate of 1.25 percent. An individual who is a suspected in-country overstay has no recorded departure, while an out-of-country overstay has a recorded departure that occurred after their lawful admission period expired.

There was no mention, however, about aliens who are admitted or depart through land borders.

That issue and others were raised in the report issued on May 23, 2017 by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report, “Visa Overstays: A Gap in the Nation’s Border.

These findings included in this report will likely keep you awake.  That these failures have not been addressed goes beyond mere incompetence:

The results of our audit revealed that DHS’ information technology (IT) systems do not effectively support U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) visa tracking operations for the following reasons:

Identifying and investigating potential visa overstays requires pulling data from dozens of systems and databases, some of which are not integrated and do not electronically share information;

Access to real-time data is mired by system access restrictions, the need to retain up to 40 passwords, and systems that are not updated;

ICE personnel do not have the training and guidance they need to effectively identify and utilize the myriad systems currently available for visa overstay tracking; and

In the absence of a comprehensive biometric exit system at U.S. ports, DHS relies on third-party departure data, which is not always accurate and fails to capture land departure data, which accounts for the vast majority of visitors exiting the United States.

These deficiencies have significant real-world impact, including:

A backlog of more than 1.2 million visa overstay cases;

Considerable resources wasted investigating thousands of leads that should have been ruled out as visa overstays (e.g., individuals who already left the country or applied for / received immigration benefits);

Arrests of less than 0.4% of the individuals who potentially overstayed their visas; and

Congress receiving DHS visa overstay reports that underestimate and distort the true scope of the visa overstay problem.

Until the Department properly equips its personnel with the tools and training required for the vital work of tracking visitors who overstay their visas, timely identification, investigation, and adjudication of visa overstays will not be possible, increasing the risk to public safety and national security.

Our “leaders” have squandered billions of dollars, but more importantly, they have squandered many years.  Time is not on our side.

Politicians, on every level of government, and corporations and their executives who are awarded contracts for national security-related programs must be made truly accountable.

National security is serious business- deadly serious business.

TAKE ACTION: Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

Information collected by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) indicates an unprecedented surge in the number of concealed carry permits, with the largest one-year increase on record occurring between May 2016 and May 2017.

The CPRC tracks permit numbers across the country and publishes an annual report on concealed carrying in the United States. As of late last year, the number of Americans with carry permits hit the 15 million mark, and the current estimate of permittees is at 15.7 million – almost double the number from 2011.

Apart from the accelerating rate at which carry permits are being issued, this development is significant for other reasons. The drivers of this wave are increasingly women and minorities: according to the CPRC’s 2016 report, “The number of women with permits has increased twice as quickly as the number of men with permits. Some evidence suggests that permit-holding is increasing about 75% more quickly among minorities than among whites.”

Urge your US Senators and US Representative to Support Concealed Carry Reciprocity!

Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to cosponsor and support passage of S.446 — the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the Senate, and H.R.38 — the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the House.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

This growth is particularly striking when considered in the context of the upswing in “permitless carry” jurisdictions.  Just this year, North Dakota and New Hampshire joined other states that allow concealed carrying without a state-issued license or permit. While the new carry statistic is impressive on its own, there is no doubt that it under represents the actual change in concealed carrying since last year.

This also reinforces the need for a national concealed carry reciprocity law. Despite the expansion of permitless carry, many gun owners continue to seek permits in order to have their carry rights recognized in other jurisdictions. As more and more Americans become legally qualified to carry, it makes less and less sense to subject the right to carry a firearm for self-defense to the existing patchwork of inconsistent reciprocity laws that change from state line to state line.

Senate bill S. 446The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), and H.R. 38, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, authored by Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC), would allow law-abiding permit holders to carry a concealed handgun when traveling interstate.

Gun-control groups like Everytown oppose any national reciprocity law, claiming it “would have a profound impact on state public safety laws,” “present serious risks to law enforcement,” and would let “criminals and other dangerous people carry concealed guns in every state in the country.” In fact, the first operative section in both bills plainly states that the scope of the proposed reciprocity law excludes persons who are “prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm” – felons, persons with mental illness disqualifications, illegal drug users, and others. Such claims also ignore the unfortunate detail that criminals and other dangerous people pay no mind to permitting or other laws and already carry guns and other weapons illegally (and undoubtedly, will continue to do so).

The prediction that existing permit holders will run riot should a national reciprocity law pass likewise overlooks reality, being hard to square with the CPRC’s analysis concluding that concealed carry permittees are “extremely law abiding.” (According to the CPRC, law enforcement officers commit crimes at a rate that is a tiny fraction – 1/37th – of the rate of the general population; the crime rate for permit holders is even lower.)

As for the “risk” the legislation allegedly presents to law enforcement, it’s the peculiar one of exposing officers to a greater “danger of being sued for trying to confirm the validity of an out-of-state permit.” Police officers themselves, given their front-line experiences with violence and guns, appear to have a more receptive and informed attitude towards concealed carrying rights. A 2013 survey of over 15,000 police professionals across all ranks and department sizes asked questions about firearms, including concealed carrying. Over 91% of respondents supported the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who had not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable “without question and without further restrictions.” When asked to rate, on a scale of one to five, “how important … legally-armed citizens are to reducing crime rates overall,” over 75% of respondents answered by giving this the highest or next highest rating.

The CRPC’s next annual report on concealed carrying is expected in July, with updated statistics. As the number of America’s law-abiding concealed carry permittees moves towards new highs, we hope that elected officials, like the police, recognize that these armed citizens are “an asset in reducing violent crime and not a liability.”

Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to cosponsor and support passage of S.446 — the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the Senate, and H.R.38 — the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the House. You can contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative by phone at (202) 224-3121, or click here to Take Action.

Trump: Making Us Proud, Shining Abroad

The elegance, wisdom and class President Trump has displayed on his first foreign policy trip continues to baffle political elitists and fake news media. 1 Corinthians 1:27 comes to mind.

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.”

Trump is a man of the people who speaks like a human being. Obama spoke like an arrogant blow hard. He spoke so high above us commoners that it took Leftist professors to explain the brilliance of his oratory.

Am I the only one who has noticed President Trump’s humility ever since taking office. We were told Trump’s legendary ego would be a major stumbling block. But all I have seen is a man who realizes the huge responsibility placed upon his shoulders by We the People. Trump appears laser focused on winning for America.

Obama was rude to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on several occasions and hostile towards Israel. Never have I seen Netanyahu as relaxed and smiley with a U.S. president as he has been with Trump. When Trump spoke at the Israel Museum, his words brought tears to my eyes.

“Israel is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people. From all parts of this great country, one message resounds, and that is the message of hope. Down through the ages, the Jewish people have suffered persecution, oppression, and even those who have sought their destruction. But, through it all, they have endured and, in fact, they have thrived. I stand in awe of the accomplishments of the Jewish people, and I make this promise to you: My administration will always stand with Israel. (Applause.) Thank you very much.”

Regarding Israel, God said, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse…” Genesis 12:3

Trump has restored our relationship with Israel. Praise God!

The late Dr Wayne Dyer said, “Nobody knows enough to be a pessimist.” I interpreted his comment to mean there are too many unknown variables in a situation to correctly predict a negative outcome. Over the 8 years of Obama, pessimists faithfully emailed calling me a naive idiot for writing and working to restore my beloved country. They said it was too late and all was lost. Obama and the Left had successfully brought down America from her throne as the world leader. Rather than our tradition of striving to be all one could be, we had become a nation of deadbeats, happy to feed on the breast of big ultra-controlling government.

No one imagined Trump whom political elites and media regarded as the cartoon presidential candidate would win in an electoral landslide; proving pessimists wrong. This is why it is unwise to stop fighting for what is right. Leftists use the Madison Avenue advertising technique of promoting their extreme views as sophisticated and mainstream. They say our patriotic and Christianity rooted views are backwards and racist. In reality, we are the majority and Leftists are the weirdo minority. Trump’s election confirmed this truth.

Signing 90 executive orders in his first 100 days, Trump is swiftly dismantling Obama’s horrific legacy. It is as if Obama’s reign of terror was only our shared national nightmare that never really happened. I realize we still have a long way to go to overturn Obama’s mess. But Trump has made remarkable headway.

Grasping at straws to criticize Trump and brand us hypocrites, Leftists ask why aren’t we demanding that Trump use the term “radical Islamic terrorism”, considering we criticized Obama for not using it.

Well, the obvious difference is Obama not only refused to name our enemy, he protected our enemy at every turn. In response to numerous Islamic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, Obama’s DOJ threatened to jail anyone caught speaking badly about Islam

We know where Trump stands in regards to Islamic terrorism.

During his speech in what some might call the belly-of-the-beast, Saudi Arabia, Trump challenged Muslims to fight Islamic terrorism. Trump said,

“Drive them out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth.”

Folks, that is incredibly bold, anointed and God inspired.

I marvel at what this unpretentious common man is achieving on our behalf on foreign soil. As always, I advise you to keep President Donald J. Trump in your prayers.

The Deficit Problem Is a Spending Problem by John Tamny

After 2008, the US economy has experienced relative stagnation. The  common refrain from the Left was that federal budget deficits weren’t big enough. Of the belief that government spending is what lifts economies out of slow-growth ruts, Paul Krugman, Lawrence Summers and other neo-Keynesians called for federal borrowing beyond what Treasury took in as a way of allegedly boosting the economy.

Who cares that excessive spending failed so impressively in the U.S. back in the 1930s, and who cares that massive increases in Japanese debt have failed to awaken its economy from its “lost decades?” The Keynesians most associated with America’s Left (they populate the Right too, but most who think this way don’t admit it, or know it) pointed to increased deficits as the certain source of our economic salvation.

This is interesting mainly because with the election of Donald Trump in 2016 in concert with promises of big tax cuts, the same left that cheered deficits as the path to recovery suddenly claimed they would hold the economy down. This requires mention as a reminder that budget deficits and national debt are political props, first and foremost.As for their economic implications, governments can only spend insofar as they tax or borrow from the private sector. Period. As such, and in a very real sense, all government spending is deficit spending; the deficits and national debt a bit of a distraction.

Spending Is What Matters

The level of government spending is what matters the most because the wealth we produce in the private sector is precious. The spending consumes capital that otherwise might reach innovators. Government spending is the worst kind of tax mainly because its horrors are mostly unseen.

Taxes we see and feel in each paycheck, devaluation of the dollars we earn (a tax like any other) we suffer through reduced work opportunity and spending power, but government spending represents the unseen; as in what would intrepid, innovative minds do with the expropriated capital if government weren’t consuming it?

How many Apple, Amazon and Microsoft equivalents haven’t, and will never emerge from start-up infancy thanks to government’s consumption of crucial resources, how long ago would cancer and heart disease have been cured; only for bright minds to train their genius on the erasure of other life-ending maladies, or the fulfillment of other market needs?

The Salsman View

All of the above at least partially explains why I approached Duke political economy professor Richard M. Salsman’s new book, The Political Economy of Public Debt: Three Centuries of Theory and Evidence, with some reservation.

Salsman’s genius and broad knowledge have long been evident, but e-mail exchanges over the years between author and reviewer revealed a friendly difference of opinion about budget deficits. Though no deficit “hawk,” Salsman views them as a problem in their present state, while I view government spending as the real problem. If given the choice between a balanced budget of $4 trillion, and annual deficits of $1.4 trillion on $1.5 trillion in spending, I would take the latter. In a heartbeat. It represents less government waste of precious capital to the tune of $2.5 trillion.

So while my views on what Salsman refers to as “public debt” haven’t changed much, Salsman’s book forced a very healthy rethink of the debt question, though for reasons different from the traditional critiques of deficit spending. And while this review will reveal some ongoing areas of disagreement with the author, none of the differences should be construed as a non-endorsement of what I’ll refer to going forward as “Public Debt.”Salsman has written something beyond special, a book dense with information and history that I’ll be referencing for years to come. It’s perhaps commonly thought that Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s This Time Is Different is the definitive history of government debt, but Salsman’s Public Debt trumps their book by many miles. It’s quite simply spectacular, and informative in a way that few academic economics books (or, for that matter, any economics books) are.

To give readers a sense of how the book is constructed, it “examines three centuries of the most prominent political-economic theories of public debt.” Salsman addresses the debt through the eyes of some of the grandest names in economics, along with others who similarly deserve stature, but who have in a sense been forgotten. One of Salsman’s many triumphs is the staggering amount of research he conducted in order to explain to readers the myriad ways economists of different persuasions viewed government debt in the past, and how some do in the present.

Salsman divides up the economists of varying Schools into three groups. “Public debt pessimists” typically “argue that government provides no truly productive services,” that the “taxing and borrowing detract from the private economy, while unfairly burdening future generations,” plus they generally believe that government debts are “unsustainable and will likely bring national insolvency and perpetual economic stagnation.” David Hume, Adam Smith and Nobel Laureate James Buchanan were three public debt pessimists, and then the list today is endless: Niall Ferguson, Laurence Kotlikoff, David Stockman, etc. etc. To the debt pessimists, the world is seemingly always about to end.

“Public debt optimists” think “government provides not only productive services, such as infrastructure and social services,” but they also think deficit spending can lift economies out of “savings gluts, economic depressions, inflation, and secular stagnation.” Interesting about the optimists is that while they’re convinced of the wonders of deficits, they almost universally despise the creditors (the “rentier class”) who make deficits possible. Those who lend to governments in return for an income stream are almost invariably immoral financiers in the eyes of the optimists, and so the optimists fully support defaulting on those who provide government with the funds to waste.

Alvin Hansen and Abba Lerner are prominent in Public Debt as some of the old-style optimists, but the list of neo-optimists in today’s commentariat is similarly endless; think once again, Krugman, Summers, Alan Blinder, Christina Romer, etc. At book’s end, Salsman correctly points out that the “pessimists and optimists have more in common than is commonly realized – and each perpetuate long-established falsehoods.” Salsman was being kind….

The Realists

And then there are the “public debt realists.” They “contend that government can and should provide certain productive services,” but within strict limits. Realists neither whine all the time about world-ending government debts, nor do they claim that they can be essential sources of economic sustenance as the equally confused optimists believe.

Realists who favor “constitutionally limited government” don’t think public debt is “inevitably harmful” mainly because when government is limited, so will borrowing be. Alexander Hamilton was the most famous public debt realist. Of the moderns in our midst, Steve Forbes is a realist, so is George Gilder, and so of course is Salsman. More on your reviewer’s stance later.

Up front, public debt isn’t some recent concept reflecting the supposed immorality of the modern world whereby governments borrow today only to heartlessly pass the debt on to future generations. Salsman notes early on that public borrowing by governments such that the citizens were “ultimately responsible for servicing the debt” came about in the “late seventeenth century” through the issuance of “tangible securities traded in secondary, liquid markets with prices and yields visible on public exchanges.”People have long wanted a way to securely store wealth today in favor of future consumption tomorrow, governments have long looked for ways to borrow existing wealth, and financiers brought the two together. This isn’t to defend the public borrowing as much as it’s to say that it’s not something that arose in the 20th century.

The Founding

Going back to the U.S.’s founding, Salsman writes that “Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson differed pointedly over whether government should borrow at all, whether it should fully pay its debts (even when trading at a discount), whether the currency in which debts were to be repaid should be gold backed and of uniform consistency nationally or instead be cancelled, and whether private banking was legitimate. On all such questions Hamilton answered in the affirmative, Jefferson in the negative.” Based on Salsman’s analysis, Jefferson would be grouped with the pessimists, and Hamilton as mentioned with the realists.

Hamilton felt a national debt would be very additive to the U.S.’s early fortunes as a sign of the new country’s strength. Issuance of debt would “show the world the United States could and would pay its debts.” This was a particularly important signal to send to creditors analyzing what was again, a new country. Salsman is very clear that Hamilton wasn’t a “proto-Keynesian optimist” as much as the world was then, as it is now, uncertain. If the U.S. was seen as creditworthy, borrowing for national defense (defense spending a legitimate function of government in the eyes of realists) during times of war would be easier.

David Hume

At the same time the great philosopher David Hume said “sovereign borrowing breeds ‘poverty,’ national ‘impotence,’ and ‘subjection to foreign powers.'” Salsman classifies David Ricardo as a debt pessimist too, but acknowledges the differences within the group. Ricardo felt, like your reviewer, that “public spending itself constitutes the real economic burden, regardless of how funded, because it deprives private actors of the saving, capital accumulation, and productivity gains necessary for long-term prosperity.”  Absolutely. Government spending brings instantaneous injury to the economy for it depriving the productive of resources that would otherwise be put to higher use.

On the optimist side Robert Malthus believed in the impossible whereby supply could exceed demand, so he viewed deficit spending “as a ‘cure’ for gluts.” Interesting there is that Malthus apparently knew, like Ricardo, that the spending dissolved wealth, but still felt it was necessary “to dissipate ‘excess’ aggregate supply.” A.C. Pigou was more sanguine about British borrowing since so much of the debt was owed within Britain itself.And to show how much Pigou influences public debt optimists today, Salsman adds that he cheered deficit spending that would redistribute the wealth of the rich to the middle class and poor “because they save less.” As Pigou put it, “The bulk of this money is pretty sure to be expended on the purchase of consumption goods, and so indirectly in creating money income for producers of those goods.”

Ok, per Pigou, the rich should be fleeced, then paid back a percentage of what was taken from them through consumption. Naturally Pigou’s analysis ignored that his scenario included no production, and worse, no investment in future production; investment that would have been more likely had the rich been able to hold onto their wealth in the first place. Fear not, it gets worse.

Secular Stagnation

Lawrence Summers’ hero Alvin Hansen, he of “secular stagnation” fame, felt “prodigality may be the appropriate social virtue in a society in equilibrium at underemployment.” Forget that savings never sit idle, and also forget that no economy can progress without the savings that fund innovation, to Hansen government issuance of debt with an eye on spending was a “means of providing adequate liquidity in a growing economy.”

Abba Lerner felt debt was ok since “we owe it to ourselves,” plus the debt wasn’t burdensome in a broad sense because debt payments are “received by the citizens and government bondholders.” This is perhaps what helped inform Keynes’s line about the “fools” in the economics profession who were allegedly carrying the banner for his views. For an economist to presume no present burden when government is extracting capital from the private economy is the height of foolishness. Fear not, however, it gets even stupider.

Thomas Piketty loves wealth redistribution while bemoaning debt because “it usually has to be repaid.” Piketty would prefer to “tax the wealthy rather than borrow from them.” To this endlessly naïve economist, when governments sell debt to the rich, the rich grow wealthier through ownership of bonds and their income streams. You can’t make this up, except that you don’t need to. Never forget that Piketty isn’t a fan of private investment either because in the process of capitalizing companies (on the way to voluminous opportunity creation for individuals), investors are getting rich in the process if their courageous investments bear fruit. When they succeed, it’s the rich getting richer.

Misesian Fresh Air

On the other hand, Ludwig von Mises was a breath of fresh air. Mises all-too-correctly pointed out that “Keynesian economics and the political process are almost entirely focused on short-run demand-side concerns while largely ignoring the long-run importance of economic productivity.” Precisely. Along these lines, a few years ago Alan Blinder penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he talked up the allegedly positive demand implications that would spring from increased government spending. What he missed is that demand is always and everywhere the result of production first, and production is more abundant the more that savings and investment power enhancements that boost individual productivity.

Yes, Keynesianism is all about short-term demand, all at the expense of much greater production (and much greater subsequent demand) in the long-term given the truth that savings author progress. Demand is the easy part, and it’s not something economists or politicians should spend any time worrying about. Much thanks go to Salsman for compiling countless opinions on the subject of spending and debt. There are more to come, but this review will only scratch the surface.

Back to government spending in a broad sense, Salsman adds that government borrowing was relatively cheap in the 18th and 19th century (“typically 3-6 percent”) because “most sovereigns were fiscally prudent.” Other than issuing larger sums of debt during war, Salsman indicates that they “otherwise eschewed chronic budget deficits.” Of greater importance is that governments used “various pre-commitment devices – sinking funds, annuities, and the gold standard – to assure creditors of timely repayment in money that would hold its value over time.”

There’s no real mystery here behind the government debt surge. Governments could borrow because investors trusted the quality of the debt securities paying out income streams in currencies backed by gold, but most important was that good money correlated with surging investment, and subsequent economic growth.

Debt doesn’t power growth as much countries with growing economies can issue lots of debt. Add to all that a theme that Salsman returns to throughout Public Debt: “Only a state can legally compel tax paying, which is crucial to its capacity for debt servicing.” Governments can borrow fairly easily precisely because they can ultimately use force to extract payment on their debt from others. Debt servicing is logically much easier if the people are flush. The latter is important with the book’s future direction in mind.

Credit Worthy

Indeed, rich countries can borrow with ease. Poorer ones struggle to borrow, if at all. If readers doubt this, they need only pull up lists of the nations with the most debt versus the ones with very little. The big debtor nations are predictably the richest countries, while the ones with little debt are almost invariably the poorest. It’s worth repeating that this isn’t to say that deficits and debt power economies forward. Of course they don’t.

Government spending amounts to politicians misallocating precious resources that would otherwise be directed to their highest use by the profit motivated. Government spending is a huge tax on progress.

At the same time, politicians exist to spend. And if we don’t provide them with enough of our earnings, they’re happy to borrow against our future earnings. It’s much easier for them to borrow if investors feel the future earnings of the citizenry will be abundant, and easily taxable. Just as rich individuals and companies can borrow with ease, so can politicians who rule countries populated by the rich.The above truth brings us to one of many myths slayed by Salsman in his excellent book. Reinhart and Rogoff’s alleged insight that countries tip toward decline once their debt to GDP ratios move beyond 90 percent is accepted wisdom within the commentariat. Except that it’s not true. As Salsman reveals throughout Public Debt, England’s debt/GDP ratio reached the 261 percent mark in 1819, but far from it foretelling the country’s long decline, England was on the verge of a century of staggering growth. Considering the U.S., its debt/GDP ratio blew past 120 percent during World War II, only for the U.S. to experience pretty impressive post-war prosperity.

What To Do?

What all of this speaks to is that while debt isn’t on its own the source of country decline, socialistic responses to heavy debt loads are. High levels of taxation are what cause stagnation, and so do efforts by politicians to reduce their debt burdens sans payment. In pressing the previous point with great regularity, Salsman began to soften my broad dismissal of deficits. To me, they still don’t matter in a normal sense simply because the spending is the problem.

Bolstering the previous point for this reviewer, Salsman brings countless economic names from the past back from obscurity, including Italian aristocrat De Viti De Marco who asserted crucially that “the purchase of a public bond is voluntary, hence open to a self-interested, utility-maximizing calculus, while the payment of a tax is compulsory.” De Marco’s observation is one I’ve often made; as in it’s better if governments pay for the right to waste money than it is for them to take it from the productive without compensation. Again, deficits don’t matter. It’s the spending that does. That’s the tax, how the money is raised immaterial.

At the same time, Salsman’s exhaustive discussion of debt once again forced a rethink, and caused me to partially change my mind. No doubt spending is the real tax, but the problem with deficits is that while the borrowing is an act of government expropriating precious capital in order to waste it, we don’t feel it right then. No doubt we do soon enough, no doubt the waste leads to reduced innovation and lower pay, but it’s not seen as quickly and intimately as a direct tax. In that case, wouldn’t taxation meant to pay for all government spending free of borrowing force more prudence on politicians whose spending would fleece voters with tangible immediacy?

Along the same lines, the way in which public debt optimists have long dismissed the creditors, and worse, called for default on creditors (see Piketty), was a reminder of another horror of deficits; as in how politicians dispose of them.

Enter Keynes

Indeed, as one can imagine in a book about government debt, Salsman writes about how politicians go about shrinking it; albeit on the sly. This brings us to John Maynard Keynes. Though Salsman is very critical of the British economist, he indicates that “arguments for perpetual deficit spending and public debt accumulation come not from Keynes but Keynesians.” Those “fools” once again. While Keynes was in no way a public debt pessimist, “he never counseled unmitigated deficit spending.” More notable about Keynes is that while he had no problem with debt per se, he loathed creditors and sought “the euthanasia of the rentier” class.

Most important about Keynes from a public debt perspective is that in describing ways for governments to shrink their debt, he invariably offered up false solutions the harm of which would extend well beyond the supposedly “immoral” creditors.

Explaining Keynes’s suggested ways to default on debt, Salsman said governments could do so “explicitly (by a repudiation, or deliberate non-payment), implicitly (by inflation), and by a taking (levy on rentiers).” Governments have regularly employed the first two, and did so long before Keynes was prominent. Yet here’s the problem with deficits and debt: while government debt is an effect of the wealth produced by the citizenry, governments often respond the wrong way, thus adding insult to the wasteful borrowing/spending injury.

First up is repudiation or deliberate non-payment. To show just how delusional and contradictory are Keynesian debt optimists, they love the extra government spending that debt enables, but loathe the creditors who make the debt possible. Their position is impossible.

At the same time, I’ve long liked the idea of debt “haircuts” or repudiation not out of dislike for the creditors as much as maybe one or the other will cause creditors to skip buying government debt altogether. Arguably the latter would be more prevalent today if institutions like the IMF weren’t so ready to bail out governments, which has long been a way for governments to bail out banks and other creditors with high exposure to government debt.

Devaluation

Of course the much more problematic form of debt default or repudiation is devaluation of the income streams that debt securities pay out. Amazingly, Keynes well understood the horrid implications of devaluation, yet his dislike of creditors trumped the pain experienced by everyone thanks to devaluation. As Keynes so correctly put it, devaluation “is the form of taxation which the public find hardest to evade.”

While there are myriad ways for the citizenry to get around excessive headline rates of taxation, when governments repudiate debt through currency devaluation, everyone suffers. People earn dollars, pounds, euros, yen, and all manner of other currencies, which means devaluations meant to reduce government debt mean everyone suffers a shrinking paycheck. Much worse, the devaluation is a repellent to the very investors and savers whose capital commitments author economic progress to begin with.The point of all this is that deficits in isolation trump direct taxation as a way for governments to raise funds simply because they’re paying for the right to consume precious capital, as opposed to expropriating it without compensation for those fleeced. The problem is that deficits don’t occur in isolation. Or they don’t always. Precisely because governments want to borrow and spend sans the long-term implications of doing just that, we all frequently suffer the cruel tax that is devaluation so that wasteful governments can shrink what they owe.

To those who think the U.S. has never defaulted, think again. Even Reinhart and Rogoff described FDR’s 1933 decision to devalue the dollar from 1/20th of an ounce of gold to 1/35th as a debt default, and looked at in terms of the dollar since then, it’s apparent that the U.S. Treasury has been rampantly defaulting ever since. As of this writing a dollar buys 1/1200th of a gold ounce. America’s creditors have long suffered defaults, and the American people have had to accept the slower growth that is the tautological result of “implicit,” or “stealth” default. The seen is that despite Treasury’s horrid oversight of the dollar the U.S. remains the richest, most dynamic country in the world. But imagine the unseen. Imagine where the U.S. economy would be today absent the serial dollar devaluations that have needlessly shrunk investment that would have otherwise been directed to mass experimentation ahead of stunning advance.

Why Deficits are Bad

So, at risk of being repetitive, Salsman has me convinced of the horrors of deficits, but not for the reasons that compel most. Spending remains the problem. The problem with deficits is once again the socialistic responses of governments whereby they make everyone pay the massive, economy-sapping tax that is devaluation as a way of shrinking what they owe.

All of this speaks to another area of disagreement with Salsman ahead of the ones that will conclude this review. He correctly notes that the Keynesian “demand-side model was so discredited in the 1970s” in concert with vindication for supply-side economics, which “delivered such positive financial-economic results in the 1980s and 1990s.”

There’s no dispute that supply side won precisely because the latter is a tautology: when the tax, regulatory, tariff, and debased money barriers to production are shrunk, booming economic growth is the result. Supply side makes perfect sense, but it’s arguable that supply-siders have become ridiculous to the point that their policies have become self-suffocating. Indeed, supply siders, in their worship of the rising revenue implications of tax cuts, have forgotten that government spending is the biggest tax of all.

And in ignoring rising government spending, they’ve allowed the genius of their tax cut, deregulation, free trade, good money policy mix to be neutered. Figure that the posthumous John F. Kennedy tax cuts were great for economic growth, and as a result, gifted Treasury with a revenue surge in 1965. The latter gave Congress the means to for instance introduce Medicare; a program that was initially funded with $3 billion. The problem modernly is that a program which once cost $3 billion is projected to cost $1 trillion by 2025. Taking nothing away from the good of supply side policies, if not met with spending cuts, they’re not nearly as effective as they otherwise would be.

The Supply Side Problem

The problem with supply siders isn’t their belief that deficits don’t matter, but it’s a major problem their belief that government spending doesn’t matter. This reviewer wishes Salsman had spent more time on this point. As a deficit realist, Salsman plainly doesn’t like government expanding beyond strict constitutional limits. Ok, but rising federal revenues have enabled just that, not to mention that it’s much easier for governments to issue new debt if incoming tax revenues are abundant.Moving on from this quibble, Public Debt is wildly informative, and once again a magisterial myth slayer. Salsman spends a lot of time on Nobel Laureate James Buchanan’s contributions to the debt story, contributions that were important. He showed the “public choice” side of this whereby politicians act in what they deem their self-interest which is to spend with abandon.

At the same time, the public debt pessimist in Buchanan presumed to know a number, or a “critical threshold” after which government debt would cause economic decline. Buchanan offered a “moral case” for repudiation that supports Salsman’s wondrous contention previously mentioned that the pessimists and optimists are more alike than they know. Both sides endorse clipping the creditors who make all the waste possible.

As to magisterial myths slayed, through England and the U.S. Salsman as previously mentioned shows that if governments don’t respond to major debt with excessive socialism, it’s not an economy killer as Reinhart and Rogoff contend, and as did Buchanan. While England once again had a debt that was 261 percent of GDP as of 1819, by 1914, amid booming economic growth, the number had declined to roughly 35 percent.

The U.S. ratio as previously mentioned grew beyond 120 percent during World War II, but it shank to 35 percent by 1982. Japan presently has a debt/GDP ratio of over 225 percent. That it does exposes the absurdity of Krugman’s contention that deficit spending boosts growth, but at the same time it exposes as faulty the Reinhart/Rogoff magic number. Though not booming as it once did, Japan remains a very rich country. Rich countries can easily borrow. The problem is, as always, the spending. Imagine how much more advanced Japan’s economy would be today had its political class not responded to the country’s early 1990s recession with so much waste.

Deficits and Interest

Regarding the wildly popular view that deficit spending drives up interest rates, Salsman makes a mockery of what’s plainly absurd. Tracking the deficit spending of G-7 nations, Salsman finds that amid average debt/GDP ratios of 37.7 percent in 1980, the average interest rate on 10-year government bonds paid by those countries was 11.9 percent. Fast forward to 2000 when the debt/GDP ratio for those same countries was 74.5 percent, the average rate was 5 percent. In 2015, with the debt/GDP ratio having surged to 116 percent, the average 10-year government bond coupon was 1.3 percent. Though it’s common to say that rising deficits correlate with rising rates to service those deficits, there’s no evidence that the latter is true. Salsman’s book is beyond valuable, yet at the same time his statistics unearth another quibble.

On the same page that he provides the above numbers, Salsman contends that central banks “now also act as lenders of last resort to profligate governments,” and that the “reach of central banking expands virtually without limit.” Salsman’s explicit contention is that politicians created central banks to enable their borrowing given his oft-stated view that there’s “no effective limit on central banks’ power and willingness to create fiat money.”

This is not compelling. Sure enough, in communications with Salsman he’s acknowledged that most vastly overstate the power of the Fed, and central banks in general. How then could that which interacts with increasingly neutered banks have so much economic influence, let alone enable broad debt issuance by governments? My view here is that Salsman reverses causation. Central banks that buy a lot of government debt are a certain effect of an otherwise powerful economy, as opposed to an enabler of government debt issuance.

My evidence is Salsman’s very own mention of England’s adoption of a gold standard after the Glorious Revolution. Once a desperately poor country, the issuance of good money authored an economic surge that enabled borrowing that subsequently enabled England’s wars, and its colonization of one quarter of the world’s land mass.

In Salsman’s case, he cites the establishment of Britain’s Bank of England in 1694 as the facilitator of Britain’s “financing yet another war with France.” Ok, but if all it took for France to fight toe to toe with England was a central bank, then it could have mimicked Britain’s establishment of one. In truth, what enabled England’s warring was economic growth that gifted its politicians with abundant revenues, not a supposed lender of last resort to governments. Salsman himself references central bank independence as “a mere shibboleth,” which reminds us that any purchasing of debt amounts to one government entity buying from another.

Reducing all of this to the absurd, if central banks could truly enable reckless spending, the central banks of Nigeria and Bahamas could theoretically monetize massive government growth, as could the creation of a central bank in Haiti. But nothing like the latter would materialize simply because central banks can’t alter economic reality. If a government is “desperate for funds,” why the need for a central bank in the first place? What could a central bank do?

Going back to his assertion that there’s “no effective limit on central banks’ power to and willingness to create fiat money,” Salsman is making somewhat of a Keynesian statement himself (in fairness, members of the Austrian School regularly commit the same error) in presuming that central banks, for being central banks, can fix the alleged problem of credit scarcity. But they can’t. Individuals, businesses and governments seek access to “central bank notes” not to stare at the money, but instead do so because of what “money” can be exchanged for.

Credit is always and everywhere created in the private sector; money just a measure that facilitates its exchange and its direction toward future wealth creation. In short, the limit on central banks is that governments, like individuals and businesses, want to exchange money for real things. None of this means that government always does a good job with money, but it does mean central banks are a sideshow contra Salsman and other central bank critics. Much as central bank critics might wish otherwise, and much as the very existence of central banks is an offense to common sense, governments themselves ultimately decide whether to issue good or bad money, not central banks as is so commonly assumed.

Democracy and Deficit

Salsman is not a friend of democracy, and with good reason. Like most reasonable thinkers, he prefers a constitutionally limited federal republic that has very little power; spending or otherwise. Unrestrained democracy is unquestionably bad simply because it empowers the mob to theoretically vote all manner of benefits to itself on the backs of others. Where we part ways somewhat is in his assertion that democracy is the source of excessive spending.

Politicians who exist to spend. If the money’s there, they’ll spend it. India is a democracy, but the size of its debt isn’t very notable. What ultimately powers spending and borrowing is the wealth of the citizenry that sadly gifts politicians with surging revenue streams that enable endless spending and borrowing. Rich countries can borrow, and they do. The fix is constitutionally limited government. Always.

Lastly, Salsman asserts that “political elites’ electoral incentive is to maximize spending, minimize taxation, and borrow or print money to plug the gap, while treating wealth minority groups and future generations as fiscal commons worth exploiting.” This doesn’t ring true.

Indeed, to separate direct taxation from borrowing and spending is to make a distinction without a difference. Either way, the damage done by government is immediate since government spending (even that which is constitutional) amounts to instantaneous mis-allocation of precious resources. As for the popular notion that deficits burden future generations, it’s accepted wisdom that is also utter nonsense. The burden isn’t debt that can easily be grown out of if government is limited.

More realistically, we all suffer government spending in the here and now thanks to greatly reduced progress wrought by government consuming the resources necessary for advance. As for future generations, the true burden of spending in the here and now is that experimentation and advance that would have otherwise taken place in the past, only to set the stage for greater advance in the future, hasn’t happened.

The burden we leave for those in the future is a world that is much less advanced than it otherwise would be. The spending burdens future generations with work and experimentation that would have otherwise already been completed, and that will detract from much more productive toil had government not previously wasted resources. Something tells me Salsman knows this, but the idea of debt as “someone else’s” burden is very much ingrained.

Still, the minor quibbles should in no way be taken as a reason for readers to not purchase The Political Economy of Public Debt. Richard Salsman has written an endlessly excellent book that expertly tells the story of debt and its implications. Readers will come away exponentially more knowledgeable, and with minds that have been changed at the very least a little, but most likely a lot.

Readers will come away exponentially more knowledgeable, and with minds that have been changed at the very least a little, but most likely a lot.

John Tamny

John Tamny is a Forbes contributor, editor of RealClearMarkets, a senior fellow in economics at Reason, and a senior economic adviser to Toreador Research & Trading. He’s the author of the 2016 book Who Needs the Fed? (Encounter), along with Popular Economics (Regnery Publishing, 2015).

EDITORS NOTE: Get trained for success by leading entrepreneurs.  Learn more at FEEcon.org

Secretary Tillerson declines to host Ramadan event at State Department

This may signal an end to nearly two decades of Islamopandering. If it weren’t for international jihad terrorism, there would never have been these government Ramadan observances, which are an effort to show Muslims that we really aren’t that bad, so please don’t kill us. These events are a result of the analysis that places the blame for jihad terrorism on U.S. foreign policy, rather than upon Islam’s jihad doctrine. If the Trump administration really ends them, the establishment media will howl, as this Reuters report demonstrates, but those who have long advocated a realistic approach to the jihad threat should take heart.

“Exclusive: Tillerson declines to host Ramadan event at State Department,” by Yeganeh Torbati, Reuters, May 27, 2017:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined a request to host an event to mark Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, two U.S. officials said, apparently breaking with a bipartisan tradition in place with few exceptions for nearly 20 years.

Since 1999, Republican and Democratic secretaries of state have nearly always hosted either an iftar dinner to break the day’s fast during Ramadan or a reception marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the month, at the State Department.

Tillerson turned down a request from the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host an Eid al-Fitr reception as part of Ramadan celebrations, said two U.S. officials who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

According to an April 6 memo seen by Reuters, the office – which typically initiates such events – recommended that Tillerson hold an Eid al-Fitr reception.

His rejection of the request suggests there are no plans this year for any high-profile Ramadan function at the State Department. The month of fasting and prayer for Muslims gets under way in many countries on Saturday.

When asked by Reuters to comment on Tillerson declining a request to host an Eid al-Fitr event in July for Ramadan, a State Department spokesperson said:

“We are still exploring possible options for observance of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan. U.S. ambassadors are encouraged to celebrate Ramadan through a variety of activities, which are held annually at missions around the world.”

Muslim activists have accused President Donald Trump’s administration of having an unfriendly attitude toward Islam, encapsulated by its attempts to ban citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The administration says that while it strongly opposes Islamist militants, it has no quarrel with Islam. Aides point to Trump’s visit this month to Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam where he addressed the leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries, as evidence of that.

Members of Congress, Muslim civil society and community leaders, diplomats from Muslim countries and senior U.S. officials usually attend the State Department Ramadan event, a symbol of the U.S. government’s diplomatic efforts with Muslim countries and people.

If Tillerson avoids hosting one this year, that could send a message “that it is not as important to this administration to engage with Muslims,” said former U.S. diplomat Farah Pandith, who served in the Bush and Obama administrations and helped plan Ramadan events at the White House and State Department.

Tillerson issued a statement on Friday to mark the start of Ramadan, which he called “a month of reverence, generosity, and self-reflection.”

“Most importantly, it is a cherished time for family and friends to gather and give charity to those who are less fortunate,” he said.

PAST RAMADANS

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright started the tradition 18 years ago of America’s top diplomat hosting a public event for Ramadan, a lunar month.

The secretary of state of the time usually gives remarks there on the meaning of Ramadan.

In April, the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs made a request to Tillerson’s office that he deliver remarks at an Eid al-Fitr reception this year, and suggested a two-week range of dates in July. The event would serve to “highlight State Department initiatives and the importance of Muslim engagement,” the memo said….

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VIDEO: Trump vs. Trudeau on the World Stage

Faith Goldy reviews this week’s events– from Trump’s meeting with the Saudis, to his visits in Israel and the Vatican, and Trudeau’s legacy at the NATO Summit– to show why Canadians cringe when their PM enters the international limelight.

Report: Trump tells ‘confidants’ U.S. will leave Paris climate deal

WASHINGTON – Multiple news agencies, including Reuters News, are now reporting that President Donald Trump has privately informed several officials in Washington DC that he intends to withdraw from the UN Paris climate pact.

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano statement: “A U.S. Clexit (Climate Exit from UN Paris Pact) would be a victory for science. Make no mistake, climate campaigners who tout UN agreements and EPA regulations as a way to control Earth’s temperature and storminess are guilty of belief in superstition.” 

Latest developments below.

Via: https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-tells-confidants-he-plans-to-leave-paris-climate-deal-2424446776.html

Scoop: Trump tells confidants U.S. will quit Paris climate deal

By Jonathan Swan & Amy HarderPresident Trump has privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change, according to three sources with direct knowledge.

Image result for trump climate paris un

Publicly, Trump’s position is that he has not made up his mind and when we asked the White House about these private comments, Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks said, “I think his tweet was clear. He will make a decision this week.”

Why this matters: Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could to do unravel Obama’s climate policies. It also sends a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn’t a priority to the Trump administration. And pulling out threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal, given how integral former President Obama was in making it come together in the first place.

Caveat: Although Trump made it clear during the campaign and in multiple conversations before his overseas trip that he favored withdrawal, he has been known to abruptly change his mind — and often floats notions to gauge the reaction of friends and aides. On the trip, he spent many hours with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, powerful advisers who back the deal.

Behind-the-scenes: The mood inside the EPA this week has been one of nervous optimism. In a senior staff meeting earlier this week, Pruitt told aides he wanted them to pump the brakes on publicly lobbying for withdrawal from Paris.

Via: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-climate-idUSKBN18O00J

Trump tells ‘confidants’ U.S. will leave Paris climate deal – Axio

U.S. President Donald Trump has told “confidants,” including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave a landmark international agreement on climate change, Axios news outlet reported on Saturday, citing three sources with direct knowledge.On Saturday, Trump said in a Twitter post he would make a decision on whether to support the Paris climate deal next week.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

END REUTERS EXCERPT

Climate Depot Note: A UN climate agreement that is totally meaningless when it comes to the climate. University of Pennsylvania Geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack  has also noted: “None of the strategies that have been offered by the U.S. government or by the EPA or by anybody else has the remotest chance of altering climate if in fact climate is controlled by carbon dioxide.”

Climate Depot Marc Morano adds: “In layman’s terms: All of the so-called ‘solutions’ to global warming are purely symbolic when it comes to climate. So, even if we actually faced a climate catastrophe and we had to rely on a UN climate agreement, we would all be doomed!  A U.S. Clexit (Climate Exit from UN Paris Pact) would be a victory for science. Make no mistake, climate campaigners who tout UN agreements and EPA regulations as a way to control Earth’s temperature and storminess are guilty of belief in superstition,” Morano added.

NASA’s former lead global warming scientist Dr. James Hansen is not a big fan of the UN Paris accord. See: ‘Fraud, Fake…Worthless Words’: NASA’s James Hansen on UN Paris Pact – Trump should take note – “[The Paris agreement] is a fraud really, a fake. It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

Climate experts who have looked at the UN climate agreement think Trump is correct to dismantle it. Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg wrote “Trump’s climate plan might not be so bad after all.”

Lomborg added that Trump withdrawing from the UN treaty “will will stop the pursuit of an expensive dead end” because even if you accept the climate claims of the UN, the agreement “will matter very little to temperature rise.” (Also see: Bjorn Lomborg: ‘Germany Spends $110 Billion to Delay Global Warming by 37 Hours’)

Statistician: UN climate treaty will cost $100 trillion – To Have No Impact – Postpone warming by less than four years by 2100

Statistician: UN climate treaty will cost $100 trillion – To Have No Impact – Postpone warming by less than four years by 2100

‘If the U.S. delivers for the whole century on the President Obama’s very ambitious rhetoric, it would postpone global warming by about eight months at the end of the century.’Danish statistician Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, the President of the Copenhagen Consensus Center: ‘We will spend at least one hundred trillion dollars in order to reduce the temperature by the end of the century by a grand total of three tenths of one degree…the equivalent of postponing warming by less than four years…Again, that is using the UN’s own climate prediction model.’‘But here is the biggest problem: These minuscule benefits do not come free — quite the contrary. The cost of the UN Paris climate pact is likely to run 1 to 2 trillion dollars every year.’

Lomborg Blasts UN Paris Treaty’s $100 Trillion Price Tag For No Temp Impact: ‘You won’t be able to measure it in 100 years’ – Bjorn Lomborg: The debate about the UN Paris Agreement is “about identity politics. It’s about feeling good… but the climate doesn’t care about how you feel.”

Bjorn Lomborg on UN climate deal: ‘This is likely to be among most expensive treaties in the history of the world’

Climate Skeptics set to cheer Clexit from UN Paris Agreement
Cheers! Trump Refuses To Sign G7 Statement Endorsing UN Paris Climate Agreement

UN Armed Security Shuts Down Skeptics After SHREDDING UN Climate Treaty at Summit Next To Trump Cut-outFull Video of UN Climate Cops Shutting Down SkepticsSkeptics Sought to End Climate Activists Denial Over Trump Rejecting UN Paris Climate Agreement

Life size stand up of Trump taken down — Would UN have objected if life size Obama image were displayed instead?

Associated Press: Climate skeptic shreds Paris Agreement at UN ‘global warming’ conference

Watch Associated Press Video of UN armed security escorting Marc Morano & Craig Rucker from UN climate summit

Climate Depot’s New ‘Talking Points’ Report – A-Z Debunking of Climate ClaimsClimate Depot’s New ‘Talking Points’ Report – A-Z Debunking of Climate Claims

Read Full report Here: http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Climate-Talking-Points.pdf

The “Talking Points Memo,” by Marc Morano of CFACT’s Climate Depot, is a complete skeptics’ guide for elected officials, media and the public on how to discuss global warming backed up by dozens of citations to peer-reviewed research. “Make no mistake, climate campaigners who tout UN agreements and EPA regulations as a way to control Earth’s temperature and storminess are guilty of belief in superstition,” he added.

A heroine for our times: Trump should invite Polish Prime Minister to White House!

If Donald Trump (the real Donald Trump ) is still a free man!, he should invite Beata Szydło to a meeting in the Oval Office followed by a lavish state dinner at the White House.

He would send a message to the wimps in Europe, to the cheapskates at NATO, and remind voters here of his promises to keep America safe (not to mention thrilling hardworking/patriotic Polish Americans!).

Did you know that RRW has a Facebook page?  It has 44,000 likes and this simple message, as of this morning, has reached over 50,000 people.  I have to admit (and apologize) that I stink at commenting and responding to comments, but I truly appreciate all of you who forward my page to your friends.

This (below) is a screenshot of the message that had been up for 24 hours as of last night when I captured it.  Thanks to whoever it was that drafted the message that has been making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook.

My complete ‘Invasion of Europe’ archive is here.

EDITORS NOTE: The map below shows terrorist attacks in Europe. Note that Poland has had no attacks.

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