US government hands out tens of millions to Muslim orgs linked to Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood

This is no doubt the work of swamp creatures, i.e., entrenched federal bureaucrats who are happy to defy the Trump’s administration’s agenda. The swamp needs draining, but is fighting back furiously.

“US Gov’t Hands Out Tens of Millions to Islamist Organizations,” Clarion Project, January 23, 2020:

The U.S. government under the Trump administration has handed out tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to Islamist organizations, according to research by Sam Westrop at Middle East Forum (MEF).

As MEF noted, “between 2017 and 2018, the amount of taxpayers’ money given to organizations either influenced or controlled by Islamist activists more than tripled from $4 million to $13.5 million. Under the Obama administration, the amount given to Islamist-linked organizations averaged a mere $1.7 million each year.”

Most recently, in October 2019, the government awarded the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with $100,000 in federal grant government money.

CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest-ever terror funding case in American history. The government officially ended all partnerships with the organization in 2009 because of CAIR’s connection to funding the Hamas terror group.

Yet, CAIR was recently the recipient of the $100,000 Department of Homeland Security grant as part of its DHS’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

In addition to monies given to CAIR, MEF found that the government  gave:

  • $57,000 to the Muslim American Society (MAS). In 2008, federal prosecutors said that “MAS was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. Last year, children from an MAS school recited poetry about the killing of Jews
  • $100,000 to Dar al-Hijrah, an extremist mosque in Virginia. A 2002 Customs and Border Protection document stated that DAH is “operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.” A December 2007 document said DAH “has been linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing.”  Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki was DAH’s imam from 2001 to 2002. Al-Awlaki’s sermons were attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and Nidal Hassan, who later shot 13 soldiers to death in a jihadi attack at Fort Hood in 2009.
  • $41 million in federal grants to Islamist radicals since 2007 (not including grants given in the  last few months)….

RELATED ARTICLES:

Connecticut: Muslim leaves messages saying “ISIS we will kill cops,” “ISIS will blow up the Milford police station”

Breitbart: “‘Conservative’ Henry Jackson Society Includes Anti-Sharia Campaigners In ‘Extremism’ Report”

The growing jihadist threat in Germany

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

The Growth of Government in America

American government has far outgrown the limits set by our founders in the Constitution.


This article is adapted from a study prepared by the Institute for Policy Innovation.

Let us begin with a simple but vitally important proposition: Government in America was never supposed to engage in the multitude of activities that it does today.

When the United States gained its independence more than 200 years ago, the founding fathers envisioned a national government with explicit and restricted responsibilities. These responsibilities pertained mainly to protecting the security of the nation and ensuring “domestic tranquility,” which meant preserving public safety. Especially in the realm of domestic affairs the founders foresaw very limited government interference in the daily lives of its citizens. The founders did not create a Department of Commerce, a Department of Education, or a Department of Housing and Urban Development. This was not an oversight: They simply never imagined that the national government would take an active role in such activities.

The minimal government involvement in the domestic economy would be funded and delivered at the state and local levels. Even that involvement was to be restricted by Congress’ authority over interstate cornmerce, an authority granted to Congress by the founders for the purpose of preventing the state governments from interfering with commerce.

Recognizing the propensity of governments to grow, the people added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution as an additional layer of protection for the rights of individuals against the state. The Bill of Rights was to ensure that government would never grow so large that it could trample on the individual and economic liberties of American citizens. These liberties are eroding. The United States has been gradually transformed from a nation with almost no government presence in the marketplace to one in which the government is now the predominant actor in the domestic economy. Consider the following:

  • There are now more Americans employed by government than by the entire manufacturing sector in America.
  • In the past 25 years the federal government has spent $2.5 trillion on welfare and aid to cities. This is enough money to purchase all of the assets of the Fortune 500 companies plus all of the farmland in the United States.
  • In 1987 U.S. farmers received more money in government subsidies than they did in selling their crops in the marketplace. In short, farmers now produce for the government, not for U.S. consumers.
  • In three states today—California, Maine, and New York—almost half of all middle-income family wages are captured by government through income, payroll, property, and sales taxes, and other levies.

Why is the American public not rising up in protest? The answer seems to be that the growth of government has been sufficiently gradual over the past 50 to 100 years that most Americans today probably believe that this is the way government in America ought to act and has always acted.

Both of these contentions are wrong. Government has not always, and ought not, act as it does now. The following sections demonstrate with the aid of graphs and figures how government has grown over our nation’s history. We examine federal, state, and local government growth in five areas: expenditures, taxes, debt, welfare and transfer payments, and employment.

We standardize the measurement of each of these government growth indices in three ways: in real 1990 dollars, in real per capita 1990 dollars, and as a share of total output or income. Unless otherwise indicated, all figures are presented in 1990 dollars. Except in a few specified instances, all of the data are from standard government sources.

Federal Outlays

Perhaps the best measure of the impact of government activity is how much it spends each year. Figure 1 shows the expansion of the federal budget from 1800 to 1992. As the steep ascent shows, federal spending has exploded more than ten thousandfold since 1800 with almost all of the increase in the past 40 years. Real federal outlays have climbed from $0.1 billion in 1800 to $0.6 billion in 1850, to $8.3 billion in 1900, to $235.1 billion in 1950, to $1,450.0 billion in 1992.


Figure 1

Real Federal Outlays, 1800-1992


Of course, the nation is much larger today than in earlier periods, so one would expect government also to be bigger. Figure 2 shows the per capita level of federal spending over time. Even when adjusting for the growth in population size (and inflation), federal expenditures have mushroomed:


Figure 2

Real Per Capita Federal Outlays, 1800-1990


  • The federal government spent $16 per person in 1800, $27 per person in 1850, $109 per person in 1900, $1,544 per person in 1950, and $4,760 per person in 1990.

Bear in mind, this does not include the cost of back door spending, such as mandates and regulations. If they were included here, the cost of the federal government per person today would easily exceed $10,000.

One of the most meaningful ways of measuring the burden of government is how much it spends relative to total economic output. One might argue that government spends more money today because the American economy has grown so much larger than in earlier periods. If government is consuming the same proportion of total output in two periods, then the economic burden of paying for its activities is roughly the same, even if expenditures are much larger in the later period. Unfortunately, federal spending is not keeping pace with economic growth—it is far outpacing economic growth:

  • In 1900 the federal government consumed less than 5 percent of total output.
  • In 1950 the federal government consumed roughly 15 percent of total output.
  • In 1992 the federal government consumed almost 25 percent of total output.

The Composition of Federal Outlays

The single most important activity of the federal government is to provide for the national defense. A free nation spends as much as necessary to protect its borders and its citizens. Is the modern-day growth of government on the federal level a result of the national defense build-up in the Cold War era? The answer is clearly no. National defense spending as a share of the total federal budget has been continually shrinking, with the exception of brief periods of war:

  • Defense spending constituted more than half of total federal outlays in 1800.
  • Defense spending constituted more than one-third of federal outlays in 1900.
  • Defense spending now constitutes little more than one-fifth of federal outlays.

The flip-side of this steady reduction of defense expenditures as a share of the budget is an expansion in spending on civilian programs, such as agriculture, health care, housing, and aid to state governments. Until the 1930s, the federal government spent almost nothing in each of these areas. This rise has been most prominent since 1950.

Figure 3 shows the tremendous growth in federal health care spending, from $100 million in 1900 to $156 billion in 1990.


Figure 3

Real Federal Health Care Expenditures, 1900-1990


These data on federal domestic spending powerfully refute the common complaint by special interest groups that favored domestic programs have been substantially cut back in recent years. Although there were modest spending reductions on selected domestic programs in the Reagan years, in 1992 the outlays for every major domestic area of the budget were at an all-time high—with the exception of agriculture.

State and Local Spending

Some budget analysts claim that federal spending has increased to compensate for budget reductions on the state and local levels. The data show otherwise:

  •  In 1900 states spent $32 per person.
  • In 1950 states spent $470 per person.
  • In 1990 states spent $1,934 per person.

On the local level, per capita expenditures have been rising rapidly as well, though not as rapidly as federal and state expenditures. For every dollar that local governments spent per person in 1900, they spent $2.50 in 1950 and $8.50 in 1990.

Although the 1980s are commonly reported to have been a decade of government neglect, this assertion is contrary to fact. State expenditures, for example, rose at twice the inflation rate in the 1980s. Local expenditures grew nearly as fast as state expenditures. Moreover, celebrated cutbacks in federal aid to localities were almost entirely replaced by increases in state aid to local governments. In sum, the past decade was one of the most expansive for state and city budgets in U.S. history.

Total Federal, State, and Local Expenditures

In 1900 government in America was still, by today’s standards, comparatively lean and efficient. At that time, total federal, state, and local expenditures were $26 billion. Americans now support a nearly $2.5 trillion government, almost a 100-fold increase in real outlays. (See Figure 4.)


Figure 4

Real Federal, State, and Local Government Expenditures, 1900-1990


Both as a share of total output and on a per-person basis, this is a substantial amount of government to have to pay for.

  • Government consumed almost 10 percent of GNP in 1900 and now consumes more than 35 percent.
  • Government spent $1,650 for every household in 1900 and today spends $23,140. (See Figure 5.)

Figure 5

Real Total Government Expenditures per Household, 1900-1990


In sum, whatever social and economic problems confront America today, they are clearly not a result of a neglectful or under-funded public sector.

Total Taxes

The American Revolution has been called the greatest tax revolt in world history. Yet as a result of the growth of government expenditures described above, taxes are now at levels that would have been inconceivable 200, 100, or even 50 years ago. Today, when combining federal, state, and local taxes, many middle-income Americans work a larger share of the day to pay the government’s bills than their own. Even the tax revolt of the late 1970s and early 1980s proved to be merely a temporary restraint on the demands of the government tax collector. Consider the percentage of income that is seized by government in taxes:

  • In 1930 workers paid one of every eight dollars of them income in taxes.
  • In 1950 workers paid one of every four dollars of their income in taxes.
  • In 1992 workers paid one of every three dollars of their income in taxes.

The tax burden is even more clearly expressed by examining taxes paid per household as shown in Figure 6.


Figure 6

Real Total Government Taxes per Household, 1900-1990


  • In 1900 the average family paid nearly $1,400 in taxes.
  • In 1950 the average family paid nearly $7,000 in taxes.
  • In 1992 the average family paid over $16,000 in taxes.

This rising tax burden has meant that workers have less take-home pay for consumption and savings. It also means that workers’ incentive to work and employers’ incentive to hire are impeded by excessive taxes. These figures do not even include the cost to American individuals and firms of complying with complicated and time-consuming tax laws. By one estimate, Americans spend 5.4 billion hours at an annual cost of $600 billion to the economy just completing the paperwork requirements of federal taxes.

The Federal Tax Burden

Reliable federal tax data are available back to 1800. For the first 100 years of the nation, taxes were very low. In colonial times opposition to high taxes was deeply ingrained in the American spirit, and this hostility lasted throughout the nineteenth century. Government revenues predominantly came from two sources: revenue tariffs and land sales. The limited sources of revenues for the federal government were a natural restraint on its expenditures. Three events changed that. The first was the imposition of the income tax in 1913. The second was the two World Wars, which made the American people accustomed to very high tax rates. And the third was the creation of the Social Security program with gradually rising payroll taxes.

Taxes were relatively stable until 1900. It was not until World War II that the federal tax burden rose about threefold.

  • In 1800 per capita federal taxes were $20.
  • In 1900 per capita federal taxes were $110.
  • In 1950 per capita federal taxes were $1,460.
  • In 1990 per capita federal taxes were $4,000.

Income Taxes

The most dreaded tax for the vast majority of Americans is the income tax. Until the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, there was no federal income tax—the Supreme Court had consistently ruled the income tax unconstitutional. No law has contributed to the growth of government and the surrender of personal liberties and privacy rights more fully than the creation of the federal income tax. Today, more so than any other federal agency, the Internal Revenue Service has broad and sweeping powers to investigate the personal activities and finances of Americans. Without a search warrant, the IRS has rights to search the property and financial documents of American citizens. Without a trial, the IRS has the right to seize property from Americans.

The income tax burden on the federal level has been continually climbing. During periods of war, income taxes have been substantially raised, and they never are reduced to their pre-war levels. Today, the average American household pays almost $6,000 in federal income taxes, double the 1950 burden.

States have also become much more reliant upon income taxes as a source of revenues in the past 50 years. Prior to World War II only a handful of states even imposed any income tax. Today, only nine states do not have an income tax, and four of those are considering introducing one. Today state and city governments raise about $110 billion per year through income taxes. Statistics show the rising share of income taxes as a share of total state and local taxes:

  • In 1900 state and local governments raised none of their revenues through income taxes.
  • In 1960 state and local governments raised 10 percent of their revenues through income taxes.
  • In 1992 state and local governments raised 26 percent of their revenues through income taxes.

The increased reliance of government at all levels on the income tax is a disturbing trend. Almost all studies show that income taxes have the most damaging effect on economic growth, entrepreneurship, and employment, because they are a direct tax on work and business success. They have a punitive effect on the most vital activities in a growing economy.

Tax Rates and Payroll Taxes

As with tax revenues, tax rates have climbed during the twentieth century. When the first individual income tax was passed in 1913 the rates ranged from 1 to 7 percent. At the time, opponents charged that it would not be long before the rates were raised to the unthinkable level of 10 percent! Supporters countered that this would never happen. History has proven them wrong:

  • By 1916 the top rate was more than doubled to 15 percent.
  • By 1917, the start of World War I, the top rate was raised to 67 percent.
  • In 1944, during World War II, the top rate was raised to 94 percent.
  • In the 1950s the top tax rate remained at 91 percent.
  • During the Reagan years the top marginal rate was chopped to 28 percent.
  • Today the top marginal rate is 32 percent with proposals in Congress to raise the rate to 40 percent or more.

Although the Kennedy and Reagan administrations cut the tax rates, at lower rates the government is collecting more revenue than ever before. For instance, from 1980 to 1992 federal income tax collections rose by roughly $150 billion. Moreover, the share of the income tax burden borne by the richest 10 percent of Americans rose from 48 to 56 percent from 1981 to 1989. Virtually every country in the world today recognizes the economic benefits of lower marginal tax rates in stimulating work and in attracting investment. Every industrialized nation in the world has lower marginal income tax rates today than in 1980.

Although income tax rates have been shaved in the past decade, for middle income American families with children the income tax burden is higher than ever before. One reason is that the value of the dependent child exemption has steadily eroded over the inflationary post-World War II period. Figure 7 shows:

• In 1950 the exemption was $600 per child. In 1990 dollars, for a family with four children it would have been worth $13,260.

• In 1989 the value of the personal exemption was $2,000 per child, or $8,000 for a family with four children.

• The failure of the dependent exemption to keep pace with inflation means that the average family with four children pays taxes on $5,000 more income than it otherwise would.


Figure 7

Value of Federal Income Tax Dependent Exemption

Family with Four Children, 1950-1989


Another reason that the middle class is feeling the crushing burden of taxes in recent years is that Social Security payroll taxes have continually risen since their inception in 1937. Figure 8 shows:

  • The first Social Security payroll tax rate, which was in place from 1937 to 1950, was 2 percent.
  • By 1970, after the introduction of Medicare and the hospital insurance tax, the payroll tax rate was 9.6 percent.
  • By 1980 the rate was 12.3 percent.
  • By 1990 the rate was 15.3 percent.

Figure 8

Social Security Tax Rate, 1940-90


Today, the average middle-income family pays a greater share of its income in payroll taxes (when including the employer’s share of that tax) than in income taxes. That is why reducing payroll taxes may be the most effective means of reducing the tax burden on middle-income and low-income working families.

Borrow and Spend

In the past several decades the government’s modus operandi, tax and spend, has been expanded to include a new government financing scheme: Borrow and spend. For the first 150 or so years of this nation, government borrowing was confined to times of war. There was a moral, though not a Constitutional, imperative that government not pass on the costs of its spending to future generations. This moral restraint lasted until the 1930s.

During the Great Depression the most prominent economist of the first half of the twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes, introduced his economic theory, which in effect legitimized deficit finance as an appropriate tool of government. The Keynesian theory was that government should borrow when times are tough and then pay back the debt during times of economic expansion. President Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to embrace this theory, which fit well with his New Deal domestic spending plans. By stripping away the prevailing moral restraint against government borrowing, Keynes opened the floodgate for massive deficit spending. By 1970, Richard Nixon declared, “We are all Keynesians now,” a prophetic statement. Government red ink would soon flood to once unthinkable heights as each subsequent Congress used more and more debt as a way of avoiding having to say no to the army of Washington special interests with insatiable demands for taxpayer money.

  • The federal government has only balanced the budget once in the past 25 years.
  • In 1992 the federal deficit reached an all-time high of $290 billion, a peacetime record and 6.5 percent of GDP. The 1993 deficit is expected to break that record.
  • The federal government now borrows $700,000 million every minute of every day, 365 days a year—more than $11,000 every second.

One consequence of this borrowing binge has been a mushrooming of the national debt. Figure 9 shows:

  • In 1900 each family of four carried a $2,600 share of the national debt.
  • In 1950, each family of four carried a $41,000 share of the national debt.
  • Today each family of four carries a $62,000 share of the national debt.

Figure 9

Real Federal Debt per Family of Four, 1900-1992


Interest on the Debt

Another consequence of this borrowing binge to finance a massive expansion of government programs has been that Americans are paying more and more taxes just to pay interest on the debt. Figure 10 shows that interest is one of the fastest growing areas of the federal budget:

  • In 1900 interest expenditures were $1 billion.
  • In 1960 interest expenditures were $31 billion.
  • In 1992 interest expenditures reached $200 billion.

Figure 10

Real Federal Interest Expenditures, 1870-1992


The American public understands full well that no institution can continue to spend beyond its means year after year without risking financial ruin. Perhaps the only way to end this fiscally reckless pattern of deficit spending is to amend the Constitution with a balanced budget/tax limitation requirement. Such a measure commands the support of three-fourths of the public—and has so for almost two decades. Yet, for obvious reasons, Congress has been reluctant to slay its cash cow. Even when the deficit set new records in 1992, the House of Representatives defeated the balanced budget amendment.

A Nation “Entitled”

A great challenge in modern-day America is to find some member of the public who does not receive a check from the government for one purpose or another. Every week the federal government sends out billions of dollars to farmers for growing (and in some cases, not growing) crops; to veterans for health care or retirement; to the unemployed for not working; to those with low incomes to pay for food and shelter; to college students to pay for school; to the elderly for being retired; to the elderly and poor to pay for health care; to unwed mothers to pay for the care of their children; and on and on. Fifty or 100 years ago most of these transfer programs did not exist. Today even the slightest whisper of budget cutbacks in these programs is met with howls of protest. In short, we have become a nation of citizens who regard themselves as entitled to the largesse of government.

What is the impact of such spending on economic growth? None of these programs is oriented toward the legitimate function of government in ensuring the public safety, nor are they even building bridges or roads or cleaning the environment. These programs are not designed to create wealth in our society; they are designed solely to redistribute it. Thereby, they interfere with and destroy the wealth creation process.

The alarming trend in federal, state, and local social welfare spending can be tracked from 1900, because prior to that time there were virtually no federal transfers, except for veterans’ benefits, and the only signifi cant state and local transfers were small public aid programs.

  • In 1900 the government spent $10 billion on social welfare.
  • In 1950 the government spent $130 billion on social welfare.
  • In 1988 the government spent $980 billion on social welfare.

It is noteworthy that in 1950 these transfer programs constituted roughly 12 percent of the federal budget. Today they consume almost 40 percent. In the 1989 to 1992 period alone, real federal expenditures on entitle ments grew by $140 billion.

Welfare

A huge portion of our social welfare spending today is for Social Security. Social Security is the largest and most popular program in the federal budget. Some have suggested that it is only Social Security that is growing rapidly, not other income transfer programs, such as welfare. This is not so. The anti-poverty programs are growing too. Total Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) spending at all levels of government has increased dramatically over the past 50 years:

  • In 1940 public assistance spending was $1.3 billion.
  • In 1970 public assistance spending was $16.6 billion.
  • In 1992 public assistance spending was $18 billion.

The primary reason that total welfare spending is growing is not that the benefit levels are substantially more generous, but rather that welfare caseloads continue to explode. The number of AFDC recipients continues to grow:

  • In 1936 in the middle of the Depression there were just over one-half million recipients.
  • In 1950 there were 2.2 million recipients.
  • In 1970 there were 9.7 million recipients.
  • In 1992 there were 13 million recipients.

Other public welfare programs show the same pattern of increase. For example, the food stamp program, started with a budget of less than $2 billion in 1970, now has a budget of $23 billion. Today there are roughly 25 million people collecting food stamps—or nearly one of every ten Americans. Millions of able-bodied Americans are now collecting government checks, making welfare one of the fastest growth industries in America today.

Despite the huge outlays on anti-poverty programs, this spending has done amazingly little to reduce poverty. One reason for this lack of success is that welfare spending is badly misallocated. Another is that welfare spending actually creates poverty.

  •  In 1990 government anti-poverty spending equaled $184 billion.
  • In 1990 it would have cost only $75 billion to bring every family with an income below the poverty level up above that benchmark. Hence, government was spending two-and-a-half times what would be needed to end poverty in America.
  • However, after that $184 billion was spent, some 30 million Americans remained below the poverty level.
  • More than half of all welfare recipients had pre-welfare incomes above the poverty level.
  • The welfare industry intercepts a huge portion of anti-poverty funds. In cities such as Milwaukee, there are now 62 separate welfare programs, each with its own bureaucratic costs.

All told, since the early 1960s, government at all levels has spent $3.5 trillion on programs for the poor. Yet there are more poor in 1993 than there were in 1963. Sadly, there is much truth to the adage that America has fought a war on poverty, and poverty won.

Civilian Employees

Government bureaucracy has grown at a steady pace at the federal, state, and local levels. In the past 20 years private sector union membership has shrunk, while public sector unions have record membership. Most of this growth in public employment has been at the state and local levels.

Today there are 18 million civilian government employees, up from 8.5 million ill 1960 and 4.5 million in 1940. For the first time ever, in 1992 there were more civilian public sector employees than manufacturing employees in the U.S., as shown in Figure 11.


Figure 11

Government Employment Outpacing Manufacturing Employment


With the growth in the number of government workers, America has witnessed a growth in government payrolls:

  • In 1940 government spent $5 billion on monthly payroll.
  • In 1960 government spent $14 billion on monthly payroll.
  • In 1990 government spent $36 billion on monthly payroll.

Although the 1980s are conventionally believed to have been a decade of hardship for public employees, the truth is that on the state and local levels government pay went up much faster than private sector pay. A 1992 report by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) shows:

Average state and local government employee compensation (including wages, salaries, and employee benefits) has been rising more quickly than average private employee compensation for 40 years . . . . Average state and local government employee compensation increased by an inflation- adjusted 14.6 percent, or $4,031, in 1989 compared to 1980. For every new dollar of average compensation increase for private sector employees, state and local government employees received more than $4.20.

Hence, today the compensation for public employees in many areas and many occupations is significantly above that of private sector workers. The government is a very generous employer, as illustrated by the following examples:

  • The average public sector bus driver earns 70 percent more than the average private sector bus driver.
  • Reliable studies show that postal workers make fully one-third higher salaries and benefits than comparably skilled private sector workers.
  • The voluntary quit rate from the federal government was lower in 1987 than the private sector quit rate during the peak of the Great Depression when unemployment rates exceeded 20 percent.
  • The average pay for a New York City school janitor is $57,000, with some earning as much as $80,000.
  • After 15 years on the job, the average New York City employee receives 51 days off, including holidays, vacation time, sick leave, and so on. That is, some New York city employees work the equivalent of 4 days a week.

As the ALEC study concludes, America’s government workers have become “a protected class.” Unfortunately, for the taxpayers who pay their inflated salaries, these workers are a rapidly growing protected class.

Military Employees

These numbers do not include the largest government employer of all: the military. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Defense is the largest employer in the United States—public or private. The number of Americans employed in the armed services has continually risen:

  • In 1800 there were 7,000 military personnel.
  • In 1850 there were 20,000 military personnel.
  • In 1900 there were 125,000 military personnel.
  • In 1950 there were 1,500,000 military personnel.
  • In 1990 there were 2,200,000 military personnel.

These numbers do not include any of the civilians who work for defense contractors producing weapons, providing equipment, and performing research and development. If these indirect government workers, part of the military-industrial complex, were included, the employment numbers could easily double.

Conclusion

American government has far outgrown the limits set by our founders in the Constitution. If the twenty-first century is to be the American century, government must be redirected to its proper and legitimate role. The growth of government is the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century.

For a copy of the complete report from which this essay is taken, please contact The Institute for Policy Innovation.

COLUMN BY

Stephen Moore

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

I Lost My Child Due to a Driver High on Marijuana. Now, This Bill Would Reward Big Pot.

Seven years ago, I got a call every parent fears: I lost my daughter to a driver who was high on “legal” marijuana. With this new pot vaping crisis, I’m worried more parents will lose their children if we don’t stop the growth of the marijuana industry.

Across the nation, a growing number of vaping-related illnesses and deaths have left government officials scrambling to fix a problem they should have seen coming.

After years of dubious claims by both the vaping and pot industries, we are now feeling acute consequences. America is beginning to wake up to some of these concerns. That is, everyone except the banking industry, which senses a massive investment opportunity: legalized pot.

While parents like me are losing their loved ones, the marijuana industry and its promoters are pushing a bill granting increased investment into the industry, dispensaries in Oregon and Colorado are furiously pulling contaminated vapes from their shelves, and pot growers are shipping their over-production of high-potency marijuana to and through non-legalized states.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


The banking industry is now ramping up lobbying on Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. Indeed, Crapo recently announced his committee, the Senate Banking Committee, will take up legislation supported by the pot industry, disingenuously named the “SAFE Banking Act.”

The legislation, which would create an exception to U.S. banking law to allow lenders to make loans to marijuana firms even though it remains against federal law, is part of an aggressive effort to commercialize today’s new super-potent pot.

This would give pot shops and their corporate parent companies access to more investment capital even though marijuana has been proven to be addictive and harmful by medical science and is being used increasingly by young people in the form of flavored pot vapes. Today’s marijuana isn’t your Woodstock weed.

As a mom, it is difficult to understand why lawmakers have decided that now, with an epidemic in drug use going on, is a good time to push for legislation that amounts to backdoor legalization and a reward for this industry.

The vaping crisis is broader than flavored tobacco products. Marijuana vape oils account for more than 80% of the cases of the mysterious lung illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned against vaping any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oils. Even the American Vaping Association’s national spokesperson warned the public, “If you don’t want to die or end up in a hospital, stop vaping illegal THC oils immediately.”

Some are quick to blame the black market, but at least three deaths and numerous cases of illness are linked to “legal” pot products.

Crapo is considering advancing legislation that will ensure the explosion of the commercial pot market without addressing the long-lasting consequences that have been the hallmark of Big Tobacco and Big Pharma.

The SAFE Banking Act fails to acknowledge the industry’s practice of working around state regulations to continue marketing flavored, potentially deadly pot vaping oils, and pot candies that appeal to children. We should not reward them with this legislation.

If Crapo and others in the Senate empower Big Marijuana, they could be setting up Americans for a lifetime of negative consequences.

Let’s prevent drug use—not promote it.

COMMENTARY BY

Corinne Gasper lost her daughter to a marijuana-impaired driver and is now an advocate with Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana.

FOR MARIJUANA RELATED ARTICLES CLICK HERE


A Note for our Readers:

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

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

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

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Why is the Dems’ Progressive Caucus obsessed with protecting the Post Office?

“The USPS is bleeding red ink and the company’s finances will likely get worse. The Trump administration is correct that ‘USPS’s current model is unsustainable’.” – Chris Edwards, DownSizingGovernment.org


I receive, on a weekly basis, at least one fundraising email from the Progressive Caucus outraged that there are efforts to reign in the spending by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The Progressive Caucus is obsessed about the destruction of “yet another vital public service.” But there are other companies that provide mail delivery services that make the USPS look archaic. Yes, there are. Among them are: Amazon, E Bay, FedEx and UPS.

QUESTION: Would not competition improve this vital service?

Is USPS a Disaster?

In a July 9, 2029 DownSizingGovernment.org column title Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service Chris Edwards wrote:

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is a large business enterprise operated by the federal government. It has more than 600,000 employees and more than $70 billion in annual revenues. Revenues are supposed to cover the postal service’s costs, but mail volume is plunging, and the USPS has been losing billions of dollars a year for more than a decade.

The USPS has a legal monopoly over letters and mailboxes. That policy is an anomaly because the federal government’s general economic stance is to encourage open competition in markets. The USPS monopoly means that entrepreneurs are prevented from entering postal markets to try and improve quality and reduce costs for consumers. [Emphasis added]

USPS’s Predicament

Edwards points out the following about USPS:

Congress confers on the USPS monopolies over the delivery of first-class mail and access to mailboxes, the latter of which is a unique protection among the world’s postal systems.

The USPS also enjoys a range of other benefits:1

  • It can borrow up to $15 billion from the U.S. Treasury at low interest rates.
  • It is exempt from state and local sales, income, and property taxes, and from parking tickets, vehicle fees, and other charges.
  • It pays federal corporate income taxes on its earnings from competitive products, but those taxes are circulated back to the USPS.2
  • It is not bound by local zoning laws, is immune from a range of civil actions, and has the power of eminent domain.
  • It has government regulatory power, which it can use to impede competitors.

On the other hand, Congress ties the hands of the USPS in many ways that prevent it from operating like a private enterprise. Congress restricts the USPS’s pricing flexibility, requires it to provide expansive employee benefits, imposes collective bargaining, and prevents it from cutting costs in various ways, such as by reducing delivery frequency and closing low-volume post offices.

Read more.

Incremental Reforms

Edwards in his column recommends the following reforms of the USPS:

  1. Close Post Office Locations.
  2. Cut Labor Costs.
  3. End Collective Bargaining.
  4. Narrow the Universal Service Obligation (USO).
  5. End Cross Subsidies.

Conclusions

Edwards concludes with:

The [Trump] administration’s Task Force found that the USPS’s current business model “is unsustainable and must be fundamentally changed if the USPS is to avoid a financial collapse and a taxpayer-funded bailout.”61 The GAO said that a “comprehensive package of actions is needed to improve USPS’s financial viability.”62 That comprehensive package should be privatizing the USPS and opening U.S. postal markets to competition.

As Barry Goldwater wrote in his book “The Conscience of a Conservative“:

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is “needed” before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”

Perhaps it it time to reduce the size of government starting with the USPS?

Epidemic of Government Employees Watching Porn on Taxpayer Time

An epidemic of federal employees watching porn on taxpayer time has reached a new low at one agency where a veteran staffer “viewed child pornography on a government computer on multiple occasions,” according to an audit. The unidentified employee worked at the Bureau of Land Management, which operates under the Department of the Interior (DOI) and admitted to investigators from the agency’s Inspector General’s office that he viewed adult pornography on multiple occasions though he knew DOI policy prohibits it. A year ago, a separate DOI employee infected agency networks with Russian malware after visiting thousands of porn sites on his government computer. A forensic examination determined the employee, who was never identified, had an extensive history of visiting porn websites and saving material on an unauthorized drive. In both cases the employees retired and faced no consequences.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Documents Show Senior Kerry Aide Used Private Email to Send Steele Reports to State Department Colleagues

Watchdog Group Tells 5 States of Millions of Extra Voter Registrations

2020 Forecast: Urban Disorder Deepens

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

I Went to a Socialism Conference. Here Are My 6 Observations.

While you were enjoying your Fourth of July weekend, I was attending a national conference on socialism.

Why? Because socialism is having its moment on the left.

Since there’s often confusion as to what socialism really is, I decided to attend the Socialism 2019 conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend.

The conference, which had the tag line “No Borders, No Bosses, No Binaries,” contained a cross-section of the most pertinent hard-left thought in America. Among the sponsors were the Democratic Socialists of America and Jacobin, a quarterly socialist magazine.


Next year, absolutely everything is on the line. Defend your principles before it is too late. Find out more now >>


The walls of the various conference rooms were adorned with posters of Karl Marx and various depictions of socialist thinkers and causes.

Most of the conference attendees appeared to be white, but identity politics were a major theme throughout—especially in regard to gender.

At the registration desk, attendees were given the option of attaching a “preferred pronoun” sticker on their name tags.

In addition, the multiple-occupancy men’s and women’s restrooms were relabeled as “gender neutral,” and men and women were using both. Interestingly enough, the signs above the doors were still labeled with the traditional “men’s” and “women’s” signs until they were covered over with home-made labels.

One of the paper labels read: “This bathroom has been liberated from the gender binary!”

While the panelists and attendees were certainly radical, and often expressed contempt for the Democratic Party establishment, it was nevertheless clear how seamlessly they blended traditional Marxist thought with the agenda of what’s becoming the mainstream left.

They did so by weaving their views with the identity politics that now dominate on college campuses and in the media and popular entertainment. The culture war is being used as a launching point for genuinely socialist ideas, many of which are re-emerging in the 21st century.

Here are six takeaways from the conference:

1. Serious About Socialism

A common line from those on the modern left is that they embrace “democratic socialism,” rather than the brutal, totalitarian socialism of the former Soviet Union or modern North Korea and Venezuela. Sweden is usually cited as their guide for what it means in practice, though the reality is that these best-case situations show the limits of socialism, not its success.

It’s odd, too, for those who insist that “diversity is our strength” to point to the culturally homogeneous Nordic countries as ideal models anyway.

It’s clear, however, that while many socialists insist that their ideas don’t align with or condone authoritarian societies, their actual ideology—certainly that of those speaking at the conference—is in no sense distinct.

Of the panels I attended, all featured speakers who made paeans to traditional communist theories quoted Marx, and bought into the ideology that formed the basis of those regimes.

Mainstream politicians may dance around the meaning of the word “socialist,” but the intellectuals and activists who attended Socialism 2019 could have few doubts about the fact that Marxism formed the core of their beliefs.

Some sought to dodge the issue. One was David Duhalde, the former political director of Our Revolution, an activist group that supports Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and that was an offshoot of Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.

Duhalde said that Sanders is a creation of the socialist movement—having had direct ties to the Socialist Party of America in his youth—but hasn’t maintained an official connection to socialist political organizations throughout his political career.

Sanders’ position, according to Duhalde, is “anti-totalitarian” and that he favors a model based on “neither Moscow, nor the United States, at least in this formation.”

It’s a convenient way of condemning capitalist-oriented societies while avoiding connections to obviously tyrannical ones.

It was also difficult to mistake the sea of red shirts and posters of Marx that adorned the walls at the conference—or the occasional use of the word “comrades”—as anything other than an embrace of genuine socialism, but with a uniquely modern twist.

2. Gender and Identity Politics Are Ascendant

Transgenderism, gender nonconformity, and abolishing traditional family structures were huge issues at Socialism 2019.

One panel, “Social Reproduction Theory and Gender Liberation,” addressed how the traditional family structure reinforced capitalism and contended that the answer was to simply abolish families.

Corrie Westing, a self-described “queer socialist feminist activist based in Chicago working as a home-birth midwife,” argued that traditional family structures propped up oppression and that the modern transgender movement plays a critical part in achieving true “reproductive justice.”

Society is in a moment of “tremendous political crisis,” one that “really demands a Marxism that’s up to the par of explaining why our socialist project is leading to ending oppression,” she said, “and we need a Marxism that can win generations of folks that can be radicalized by this moment.”

That has broad implications for feminism, according to Westing, who said that it’s important to fight for transgender rights as essential to the whole feminist project—seemingly in a direct shot at transgender-exclusionary radical feminists, who at a Heritage Foundation event in January argued that sex is biological, not a societal construct, and that transgenderism is at odds with a genuine feminism.

She contended that economics is the basis of what she called “heteronormativity.”

Pregnancy becomes a tool of oppression, she said, as women who get pregnant and then engage in child rearing are taken out of the workforce at prime productive ages and then are taken care of by an economic provider.

Thus, the gender binary is reinforced, Westing said.

She insisted that the answer to such problems is to “abolish the family.” The way to get to that point, she said, is by “getting rid of capitalism” and reorganizing society around what she called “queer social reproduction.”

“When we’re talking about revolution, we’re really connecting the issues of gender justice as integral to economic and social justice,” Westing said.

She then quoted a writer, Sophie Lewis, who in a new book, “Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family,” embraced “open-sourced, fully collaborative gestation.”

3. Open Borders Is Becoming a Litmus Test

It’s perhaps not surprising that socialists embrace open borders. After all, that’s becoming a much more mainstream position on the left in general.

The AFL-CIO used to support immigration restrictions until it flipped in 2000 and called for illegal immigrants to be granted citizenship.

As recently as 2015, Sanders rejected the idea of open borders as a ploy to impoverish Americans.

But Justin Akers-Chacon, a socialist activist, argued on a panel, “A Socialist Case for Open Borders,” that open borders are not only a socialist idea, but vital to the movement.

Akers-Chacon said that while capital has moved freely between the United States and Central and South America, labor has been contained and restricted.

He said that while working-class people have difficulty moving across borders, high-skilled labor and “the 1%” are able to move freely to other countries.

South of the border, especially in Mexico and Honduras, Akers-Chacon said, there’s a stronger “class-consciousness, as part of cultural and historical memory exists in the working class.”

“My experiences in Mexico and my experiences working with immigrant workers, and my experiences with people from different parts of this region, socialist politics are much more deeply rooted,” he said.

That has implications for the labor movement.

Despite past attempts to exclude immigrants, Akers-Chacon said, it’s important for organized labor to embrace them. He didn’t distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants.

For instance, he said one of the biggest benefits of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was that there was a brief boost in union membership amid a more general decline in unionism.

Besides simply boosting unions, the influx “changed the whole AFL-CIO position on immigrants, [which was] still backwards, restrictive, anti-immigrant,” Akers-Chacon said.

“So, there’s a correlation between expanding rights for immigrants and the growth, and confidence, and militancy of the labor movement as a whole,” he said.

4. ‘Clickbait’ Communism Is Being Used to Propagandize Young Americans

The magazine Teen Vogue has come under fire recently for flattering profiles of Karl Marx and promoting prostitution as a career choice, among other controversial pieces.

It would be easy to write these articles off as mere “clickbait,” but it’s clear that the far-left nature of its editorials—and its attempt to reach young people with these views—is genuine.

Teen Vogue hosted a panel at Socialism 2019, “System Change, Not Climate Change: Youth Climate Activists in Conversation with Teen Vogue.”

The panel moderator was Lucy Diavolo, news and politics editor at the publication, who is transgender.

“I know there’s maybe a contradiction in inviting Teen Vogue to a socialism conference … especially because the youth spinoff brand is a magazine so associated with capitalist excess,” Diavolo said. “If you’re not familiar with our work, I encourage you to read Teen Vogue’s coverage of social justice issues, capitalism, revolutionary theory, and Karl Marx, or you can check out the right-wing op-eds that accuse me of ‘clickbait communism’ and teaching your daughters Marxism and revolution.”

The panel attendees responded enthusiastically.

“Suffice to say, the barbarians are beyond the gates. We are in the tower,” Diavolo boasted.

5. The Green Movement Is Red

It’s perhaps no surprise that an openly socialist member of Congress is pushing for the Green New Deal—which would essentially turn the U.S. into a command-and-control economy reminiscent of the Soviet Union.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti recently said, according to The Washington Post: “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.”

“Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Chakrabarti asked Sam Ricketts, climate director for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is running for president in the Democratic primary. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Economic transformation barely disguised as a way to address environmental concerns appears to be the main point.

One of the speakers on the Teen Vogue climate panel, Sally Taylor, is a member of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-oriented environmental activist group that made headlines in February when several elementary school-age members of the group confronted Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., about her lack of support for the Green New Deal.

The other speaker on the Teen Vogue climate panel was Haven Coleman, a 13-year-old environmental activist who has received favorable coverage for leading the U.S. Youth Climate Strike in March. She was open about the system change she was aiming for to address climate change.

She noted during her remarks that she was receiving cues from her mother, who she said was in attendance.

Haven said the answer to the climate change problem was moving on from our “capitalistic society” to something “other than capitalism.”

Interestingly, none of the glowing media profiles of Haven or the Climate Strike mentioned a link to socialism or abolishing capitalism.

6. Socialism Can’t Be Ignored as a Rising Ethos on the Left

According to a recent Gallup survey, 4 in 10 Americans have a positive view of socialism. Support among Democrats is even higher than among the general population, with a majority of Democrats saying they prefer socialism to capitalism.

But many who say they want socialism rather than capitalism struggle to define what those terms mean and change their views once asked about specific policies.

As another Gallup poll from 2018 indicated, many associate socialism with vague notions of “equality,” rather than as government control over the means of production in the economy.

What’s clear from my observations at Socialism 2019 is that traditional Marxists have successfully melded their ideology with the identity politics and culture war issues that animate modern liberalism—despite still being quite far from the beliefs of the average citizen.

Socialists at the conference focused more on social change, rather than electoral politics, but there were still many core public policy issues that animated them; notably, “Medicare for All” and government run-health care, some kind of Green New Deal to stop global warming (and more importantly, abolish capitalism), open borders to increase class consciousness and promote transnational solidarity, removing all restrictions on—and publicly funding—abortion, and breaking down social and legal distinctions between the sexes.

They were particularly able to weave their issues together through the thread of “oppressor versus oppressed” class conflict—for instance, supporting government-run health care meant also unquestioningly supporting unfettered abortion and transgender rights.

Though their analyses typically leaned more heavily on economic class struggle and determinism than what one would expect from more mainstream progressives, there wasn’t a wide gap between what was being discussed at Socialism 2019 and the ideas emerging from a growing segment of the American left.

COMMENTARY BY

Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. He is also the author of the new book, “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.” Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLES:

‘Exactly When Did You Think America Was Great?’ Says Eric Holder. Here Is the Answer.

I Was America’s First ‘Nonbinary’ Person. It Was All a Sham.

19 Arrests Later, a Texas Town Is Torn Apart Over Voter Fraud


A Note for our Readers:

As progressives on the far Left continue to push for greater government control under the disguise of “free stuff,” our lawmakers need conservative research and solutions to guide them towards promoting your principles instead.

That is why we’re asking conservatives to unite around the key values of limited government, individual liberty, traditional American values, and a strong national defense by making a special year-end gift to The Heritage Foundation before December 31.

Next year, absolutely everything is on the line. The Left won’t pull any punches. They stand ready to trade the principles of the American founding for the toxic European socialism that has failed so many times before.

That is why finishing this year strong is so critical. The Heritage Foundation is challenging you to rise up and claim more victories for conservative values as we battle socialism in 2020.

LEARN MORE NOW >>


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

Democratic Presidential Candidates Call For More Than $200 Trillion in Spending

GUESTS AND TOPICS:

W. James Antle III, editor of The American Conservative. A former Senior Writer at TAC, Antle also previously served as managing editor of the Daily Caller, editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation, and associate editor of the American Spectator. He is the author of Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped? Antle has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, among other outlets, and has written for a wide variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Politico, the Week, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Daily Beast, the Guardian, Reason, the Spectator of London, The National Interest, and National Review Online. He is also senior advisor to Defense Priorities.

TOPIC: Tulsi’s Last Stand?

Charles Lehman is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He writes about policy, covering crime, law, drugs, immigration, and social issues.

TOPIC: Dem Candidates Call For More Than $200 Trillion in Spending

© All rights reserved.

VIDEO: How Washington Wastes Your Tax Dollars on Art

Should your tax dollars be spent on art of Che Guevara? Watch this video to learn more about how Washington is funding “art” with your money.

COMMENTARY BY

Rick Scott is a U.S. senator from Florida. Twitter: .


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


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

Here’s What the Tax Cuts Have Done for America in 2 Years

It’s been two years this month since Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, providing the first major tax reform since 1986.

It was a historic overhaul that has delivered tangible benefits for our national economy.

The tax cuts lowered our federal corporate income tax rate, which was hurting American job creators’ ability to compete on a global stage. Previously at 35%, the U.S. rate was one of the highest in the developed world.

Now at 21%, it is closer to the average corporate income tax rate among developed countries, which allows U.S. companies to compete on a more level playing field.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also created innovative Opportunity Zones to provide tax incentives to boost long-term investment in historically distressed, underserved communities across our country.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but this is an important part of a long-term effort to strengthen America’s economy and afford greater economic opportunities to all of our citizens in the decades to come.

In addition to bolstering our national economy as a whole, tax reform provided real relief for American families on a personal level. This came in the form of an increased standard deduction, as well as doubling the Child Tax Credit and expanding eligibility so more families can participate.

It also included strengthening 529 savings plans, which are one of the most commonly utilized tools for planning and saving for education expenses.

Under the old rules, families could only apply their 529 savings plans toward eligible colleges or universities. Now, thanks to tax reform, the money invested in your 529 savings plan can be used to cover qualifying expenses for private, public, or religious schools from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade.

Each of these reforms is playing a part in reenergizing our economy, one family at a time.

Consumers are highly optimistic. Richard Curtin, the chief economist at the Surveys of Consumers Attitudes, recently said consumer sentiment has been at 95 or higher in 30 of the past 35 months, according to CNBC. That’s a 20-year high.

Curtin also noted that, despite political uncertainties, “Personal spending will be energized by record favorable evaluations by consumers of their personal financial situation, with gains expected across the entire income distribution … .”

Our tax code will always be a work in progress, but this overhaul was an important step forward in updating our antiquated and overly complicated system. It also serves as a powerful reminder of what can be accomplished when we are directing our energy toward fixing real problems for the American people.

Moving forward, we must ensure these tax relief provisions are made permanent and continue our efforts to simplify and streamline the tax code.

Congressional leaders should be focusing on innovative solutions to make the system work better for American small business owners who are trying to create jobs, middle-class families trying to provide a better future for their children, and underserved communities trying to break out of generational poverty. After all, that’s what our constituents elected us to come here and do.

Unfortunately, however, under Democratic leadership, this Congress has only turned about 70 bills and resolutions into law, according to Congress.gov. In comparison, the last divided Congress, when Harry Reid controlled the Senate, was able to pass nearly 300 bills and resolutions into law between 2013 and 2014.

This is the opportunity cost of Democrats’ endless investigations and impeachment trials. It is not just about the cost of valuable time and taxpayer dollars being expended, but also about the loss of what we could otherwise be accomplishing to address real problems facing our country.

The two-year anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doesn’t just commemorate an important piece of legislation; it is also a call to Congress to get to work.

The American people hired us to be problems solvers, not circus performers. Let’s put an end to endless investigations to justify a predetermined push to impeach and focus on working to improve the lives of the people who put us here in the first place.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 proved that we can tackle an enormous challenge that had been festering for decades—and deliver real results. Now, we need to harness that energy toward the opportunities that remain to continue improving our tax code, modernizing our trade deals with agreements like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and addressing the challenges that impact underserved communities, families, and individuals across our country on a daily basis.

Let’s not let those opportunities go to waste.

COMMENTARY BY

Brad Wenstrup is the U.S. representative for Ohio’s 2nd congressional district. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Here’s How Trump’s Tax Cuts Have Benefited All Americans


A Note for our Readers:

With the demand for socialism at an all-time high among our young people—our future leaders and decisionmakers—the experts at Heritage stopped and asked a question that not many have asked:

Is socialism really morally sound?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you and our fellow Americans better understand the 9 Ways That Socialism Will Morally Bankrupt America.

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

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW! >>


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

President Trump keeps his promise to fix NAFTA!

President Donald J. Trump has fought for better trade deals for American workers since his first day in office. In addition to new agreements with Japan, South Korea, and the European Union, the President has long argued that NAFTA must be reformed.

More than a year ago, he kept that signature campaign promise when he signed a modern, rebalanced trade deal with Canada and Mexico. And today, after a year’s worth of stall tactics, House Democrats have finally acquiesced to the will of the American people and agreed to vote on the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).

That’s big news. It’s time for Washington to put American workers first and get USMCA over the finish line!

When President Trump took office, he inherited all sorts of poorly negotiated trade deals that heavily favored global competitors over American citizens. Of all the agreements that put U.S. workers and businesses at a disadvantage, undoubtedly the biggest culprit was the outdated, deficient NAFTA.

For years, NAFTA rules have helped incentivize offshoring, which led to manufacturing jobs leaving the United States in bulk. As a result, politicians from both parties have called to reform our trade terms with Mexico and Canada ever since the deal first passed in the mid-1990s. As usual, Washington promised voters one thing and then did another.

It took President Trump to get Mexico and Canada to sign a new deal. Here are just a few ways it updates and improves NAFTA:

  • Auto and manufacturing: With new rules of origin, 75 percent of auto content must be produced in North America, stimulating U.S. vehicle and parts production.
  • Labor protections: Unlike NAFTA, labor rules are enforceable, not voluntary. Workers will benefit from provisions that incentivize the use of high-wage manufacturing labor—supporting better jobs for American workers.
  • Digital trade: USMCA includes the strongest terms on digital trade—a booming and growing sector of the U.S. economy—of any trade deal. NAFTA had none.
  • Farmers and ranchers: In just one example, USMCA protects our farmers by eliminating a loophole that allowed Canada to undersell American dairy products.

In short, Main Street won. Democrat leaders tried to stall, desperate to avoid giving President Trump a signature win on one of his core issues. But USMCA highlighted the divide between far-left Washington partisans and practical, results-minded local officials who supported the deal. In the end, a growing chorus of diverse voices—everyone from labor leaders to small business owners—finally forced Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand.

USMCA is a promise kept to America’s working class. For that, we should all celebrate.

Something to share: President Trump has fought for better deals since day one!


House Democrats make their 3-year impeachment scheme official

The Swamp outdid themselves today, surprising no one that Washington can always find a way to stoop lower than ever before. At a time when Congress’ approval rating is mired in the low 20s, House Democrats announced they will proceed with a partisan impeachment of President Trump—despite finding no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham issued the following statement in part to reporters today:

House Democrats have long wanted to overturn the votes of 63 million Americans. They have determined that they must impeach President Trump because they cannot legitimately defeat him at the ballot box. The Democrats’ use of a phone call with the president of Ukraine – with a transcript the President himself released – served as their excuse for this partisan, gratuitous, and pathetic attempt to overthrow the Trump Administration and the results of the 2016 election.

The announcement of two baseless articles of impeachment does not hurt the President, it hurts the American people, who expect their elected officials to work on their behalf to strengthen our Nation. The President will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong.

Ultimately, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats will have to answer to their constituents for manufacturing an impeachment inquiry and forcing unfounded accusations down the throats of the American people.

“IG Report Confirms Schiff FISA Memo Media Praised Was Riddled With Lies”

More: Top Ukraine official casts doubt on key impeachment testimony

© All rights reserved.

Trump’s Openness Is Forcing A Stronger NATO And Europe

The American people and the world are witnessing a revolution of openness brought on by none other than the frank, brusk, always to the point methods of President Trump.

This was on full display this week as Trump held public press conferences with world leaders during the NATO meeting in London, and repeatedly had shockingly open and honest discussions — the things that have always been kept behind closed doors in the past, and then reported via leaks through a partisan media.

Trump’s method forces difficult issues out into the light without the bias filter.

With French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump pushed again on the issue of NATO and the Europeans’ unwillingness to keep their promises on spending. The NATO agreement called for all member countries to spend 2 percent of the GDP on military spending. This was done to ensure that there would be no free-loader countries.

Turns out, they have almost all been freeloaders — a freeloader continent — because of the major countries, only the United States has kept its promise, and actually spends more than twice that. This is part of the reason Europeans can afford broader welfare programs, because they aren’t spending the money on their own defense. American taxpayers are, and now that Trump alone has made this an issue, a whole lot more Americans are aware of this truth.

Trump’s relentless efforts are having an impact. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Congress a few months ago that Trump’s push had a “real impact” as European allies are adding military investments totaling an additional $100 billion by the end of next year.

Further, Turkey’s increasingly rogue and anti-West actions are making it a problematic member of NATO. It was considered a good addition during the height of the Soviet Union’s threat as it created a southern buttress to Soviet expansion. But the Muslim nation has lurched toward a more Islamist and less free society, has been persecuting minorities, has been making overtures to Russia for an alliance and recently invaded Northern Syria when the U.S. pulled out its troops.

Trump’s methods and personality has exposed this and now there is serious talk about what to do with Turkey.

In another press conference, Trump cornered Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau into admitting Canadian military expenditures amount to a paltry 1.4 percent of GDP. Canada too promised 2 percent as a member of NATO. This willingness of Trump to put foreign leaders on the public hotspot is refreshing, revealing and productive.

His push on Europeans doing more for NATO has caused some to talk openly of a European Union Army to replace NATO. But this is delusional. First, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and so on forming a cohesive fighting army is historically absurd, particularly without the U.S. leadership. Someone has to lead and Germany is obviously the leader of the EU. The French Army is going to take orders from the Germany Army? Non, je ne pense pas.

Second, there is no way the Europeans realistically could, or would be willing to spend the amount of money necessary to create an army of deterrent power without the United States. They’d have to strip back their welfare systems. No politician wants to do that.

This on-the-ground reality is understood by sober people. But Trump’s willingness to speak his mind on camera, with other leaders, and even push them on live, global television, means that the world — and most importantly, the American people — can see it all happening. If we had to rely on the media to accurately transmit this information, it would merely be a story about how dangerous Trump is in destroying relationships and systems.

But what we now know is that it’s not the true rendering. In reality, these have been fraying relationships without a Soviet Union all along. It’s an added problem that Europeans don’t pay their fair share and that Turkey is going rogue. But the media would largely ignore all of this and just focus on the blunderbuss that is an “existential threat.”

Looking at a post-modern security structure, where the U.S. can adequately and fairly assess our own security needs, is overdue. These needs range from fair trade agreements with China, Europe and our North American neighbors, to full-scale security on our southern border, to military security as we see fit.

We should always be allied in some fashion with the free democracies of the world, and that means most of Europe and certainly the big countries. NATO may or may not be the proper method for that anymore. If it is, it will almost undoubtedly become a more meaningful mutual security organization without Turkey and with more committed spending and focus.

That would be an ironic legacy for Trump on NATO, but not an unrealistic one.

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

VIDEO: State Senator Joe Gruters — ‘Time to Enact e-Verify in Florida!’

In an email Florida State Senator Joe Gruters wrote:

Yesterday, I stood alongside Governor DeSantis and State Representative Cord Byrd in The Villages as the Governor called on the legislature to pass e-Verify during our approaching legislative session.

Having successfully passed and watched my Sanctuary City Ban legislation be signed into law earlier this year, I am fired up to help pass another importance piece of legislation combating illegal immigration in Florida.

Please read the article below and consider sharing it on social media. The more citizens that demand the passage of e-Verify, the better our chances are to enact it.

Thank you for being informed & engaged!

Joe Gruters
Florida State Senator

Watch the press conference with Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Gruters:

In a FloridaPolitics.com article titled Ron DeSantis wants E-Verify bill in 2020 for ‘public safety’ Renzo Downey reports:

Gov. Ron DeSantis asked the Legislature Monday to send him a bill this coming Session to require employers make E-Verify checks, saying it would make Florida communities safer.

Republicans Sen. Joe Gruters and Rep. Cord Byrd joined DeSantis in The Villages for the announcement. Gruters, chair of the Florida GOP, is co-sponsoring Sen. Tom Lee’s E-Verify requirement bill (SB 664) while Byrd intends to file a House counterpart.

“The reason this is so timely is twofold — It’s about fairness for lawful immigrants and native-born workers, and it’s about public safety,” DeSantis said.

Read more.

Many of those running for public office in the Florida House, Senate and for Governor have promised to implement E-Verify statewide. It appears that the E-Verify requirement bill (SB 664) is the best chance yet that it will become law statewide.

© All rights reserved.

Climategate: Ten years later

This month marks the tenth anniversary of “Climategate” – the release of thousands of emails to and from climate scientists who had been (and still are) collaborating and colluding to create a manmade climate crisis that exists in their minds and computer models, but not in the real world. The scandal should have ended climate catastrophism. Instead, it was studiously buried by politicians, scientists, activists and crony capitalists, who will rake in trillions of dollars from the exaggerations and fakery, while exempting themselves from the damage they are inflicting on everyday families.

Few people know the Inconvenient Facts about the supposed manmade climate and extreme weather “crisis.” For example, since 1998, average global temperatures have risen by a mere few hundredths of a degree. (For a time, they even declined slightly.) Yet all we hear is baseless rhetoric about manmade carbon dioxide causing global warming and climate changes that pose existential threats to humanity, wildlife and planet. Based on this, we are told we must stop using fossil fuels to power economic growth and better living standards. This is bad news for Africa and the world.

We keep hearing that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels cause rising global temperatures. But satellite data show no such thing. In fact, computer model predictions for 2019 are almost a half degree Celsius (0.9 degrees F) above actual satellite measurements. Even worse, anytime a scientist raises questions about the alleged crisis, he or she is denounced as a “climate change denier.”

A major source of data supporting the human CO2- induced warming proposition came from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

Then on the morning of 17 November 2009 a Pandora’s box of embarrassing CRU information exploded onto the world scene. A computer hacker penetrated the university’s computer system and took 61 Megs of material that showed the CRU had been manipulating scientific information to make global warming appear to be the fault of mankind and industrial CO2. Among many other scandals, the shocking leaked emails showed then-CRU-director Prof. Phil Jones boasting of using statistical “tricks” to remove evidence of observed declines in global temperatures.

In another email, he advocated deleting data rather than providing it to scientists who did not share his view and might criticize his analyses. Non-alarmist scientists had to invoke British freedom of information laws to get the information. Jones was later suspended, and former British Chancellor Lord Lawson called for a Government enquiry into the embarrassing exposé.

The affair became known as “Climategate,” and a group of American University students even posted a YouTube song, “Hide the Decline,” mocking the CRU and climate modeler Dr. Michael Mann, whose use of the phrase “hide the decline” in temperatures had been found in the hacked emails.

So what is the truth? If one considers the composition of the atmosphere and equates it to the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the extra plant-fertilizing CO2 added to the atmosphere since California became the 31st state of the United States in 1850 is less than the thickness of tiles under the Tower.

Can this tiny increase really explain any observed global warming since the Little Ice Age ended, and the modern industrial era began? Since California became a state, the measured global rise in atmospheric temperature has been less than 1C. But most of this increase occurred prior to 1940, and average planetary temperatures fell from around 1943 until about 1978, leading to a global cooling scare. Temperatures rose slightly until 1998, then mostly remained stable, even as carbon dioxide levels continued to rise. Rising CO2 levels and temperature variations do not correlate very well at all.

Moreover, during the well-documented Medieval Warm Period from about 950 to 1350, warmer global temperatures allowed Viking farmers to raise crops and tend cattle in Greenland. The equally well documented 500-year Little Ice Age starved and froze the Vikings out of Greenland, before reaching its coldest point, the Maunder Minimum, 1645-1715. That’s when England’s River Thames regularly froze over, Norwegian farmers demanded compensation for lands buried by advancing glaciers, and priests performed exorcism rituals to keep alpine glaciers away from villages. Paintings from the era show crowds of people ice skating and driving horse-drawn carriages on the Thames.

Industry and automobile emissions obviously played no role in either the MWP or the LIA.

These dramatic events should ring warning bells for any competent, honest scientist. If the Medieval Warm Period occurred without industrial CO2 driving it, why should industrial CO2 be causing any observed warming today? Europe’s great plague wiped out nearly a quarter of its population during the Little Ice Age. The warm period brought prosperity and record crops, while cold years brought misery, famine and death.

Ten years before Climategate, Dr. Mann released a computer-generated graph purporting to show global temperatures over the previous 1500 years. His graph mysteriously made the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and Maunder extreme cold years disappear – and planetary temperatures spike suddenly the last couple decades of twentieth century. The graph had the shape of a hockey stick, was published worldwide and became a centerpiece for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Many scientists were highly suspicious of the hockey stick claims. Two of them, Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, completely discredited Mann’s computer program and revisionist history. Of course, that did not stop former US vice president Al Gore from using the discredited graph in his doom and gloom climate change movie, An Inconvenient Truth.

The hacked CRU emails also showed exchanges between Mann and Jones, in which they discussed how to intimidate editors who wanted to publish scientific views contrary to theirs, to suppress any contradictory studies. In one email, Jones expressed his desire to get rid of the “troublesome editor” of the Climate Research journal for daring to publish differing views. The editor got sacked.

When University of Colorado climate skeptic Professor Roger Pielke, Jr. asked the CRU for its original temperature readings, he was told the data had been (conveniently) lost. Lost!?! Do professionals lose something as valuable as original data? Many suspected they just didn’t want anyone to expose their clever manipulations and fabrications.

But if industrial carbon dioxide did not cause recent global warming, what did? A Danish research group, led by Prof. Henrik Svensmark, has found a very credible match between levels of sunspot activity (giant magnetic storms) on our Sun and global temperatures over the last fifteen hundred years. This all-natural mechanism actually fits the evidence! How terribly inconvenient for alarmists.

Cosmic rays from deep space constantly impinge on the Earth’s upper atmosphere and produce clouds, much like high-flying jets leave white contrails behind their engines. More clouds can trap heat, but they also cause global cooling because not as much sunlight strikes the Earth. More sunspots mean a stronger magnetic shield, therefore fewer cosmic rays reaching Earth, thus less cloud cover and more global warming. The Sun is currently in a near-record period of low sunspot activity.

All sorts of interest groups are suppressing this information. Maybe worse, when Climategate broke, “climate justice” campaigner for Friends of the Earth Emma Brindal said bluntly: “A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.” Not protecting Earth from manmade CO2 emissions or natural and manmade climate change – but redistributing wealth and resources, according to formulas that self-appointed ruling elites decide is “socially just.”

Climate campaigners also oppose “excessive” air travel for business or pleasure, 4×4 vehicles as “unnecessary luxuries,” and modern homes for Africans. Some even say Africans must continue living in mud huts and avoid the use of electricity and modern farming technologies. Minor US actor Ed Begley has said “Africans should have solar power where they need it most: on their huts.” They, Al Gore, Phil Jones and Mike Mann are exempted from these restrictions, of course.

Real social justice and human rights mean everyone has access to abundant, reliable, affordable energy, especially universally important electricity. Not from expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent wind turbines and solar panels. From fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

We in the developing world will no longer let climate truth be suppressed. We will not allow loud, radical activists to put the brakes on African economic development, jobs, and improved health and living standards, in the name of advancing their anti-human, wealth redistribution agendas.

Author

Kelvin Kemm

Dr Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist and CEO of Nuclear Africa (Pty) Ltd, a project management company based in Pretoria, South Africa. He is the recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievers Award of the National Science and Technology Forum of South Africa. He does international consultancy work in strategic development.

© All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Climate Change Fears and Polarization

NEW poll today: The more Americans see, the more they oppose impeachment

If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with all the noise surrounding House Democrats’ ever-changing impeachment saga, you’re not alone. Democrats themselves are having a tough time keeping their stories straight lately.

First, the left had an alleged “quid pro quo” in mind. When that argument didn’t poll well, Democrat leaders changed the accusation to “extortion.” Next came “bribery,”—then back to the original “quid pro quo” catchphrase this morning.

Yes, it’s dizzying. Democrats in Congress right now are throwing every accusation they can think of at the wall, crossing their fingers that something finally sticks. That isn’t a new trick: It’s actually been their only real action item since Election Day 2016.

 President Trump: “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo.”

Today turned out to be a bad day for Democrats and their media echo chamber to resurrect the old “quid pro quo” narrative. In lengthy testimony before Congress today, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland put that false accusation to rest.

When Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) tried to put words in Ambassador Sondland’s mouth, the Ambassador was crystal clear:

“President Trump, when I asked him the open-ended question—as I testified previously, ‘What do you want from Ukraine?’—his answer was, ‘I want nothing.’”

No matter how the left tries to spin it, that is the only relevant takeaway from today’s sham hearing. Why? First, because it’s based in fact, not third-party conjecture. Second, it was stated under oath by the only person in these hearings who has ever even spoken directly to President Trump. The other witnesses could only offer opinion and speculation.

And just like that, the Swamp’s carefully choreographed narrative collapsed—again.

The big problem for House Democrats is that after weeks of testimony, they still have no actual evidence to justify effectively shutting down Congress to put Americans through this charade. New polling out today from Marquette University Law School shows that Americans in Wisconsin, for example, now oppose impeaching and removing President Trump by double-digit margins.

But Democrats from Impeachment Czar Schiff to far-left “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) already promised their base that they would impeach President Trump—so no matter what the facts or evidence say, the show must go on.

Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi is beginning to sense how bad this looks for her party. In a desperate letter to colleagues, she encouraged Democrats to stick with the plan—and put in writing that it would be a “weak response” to wait until next year’s election to let the American people decide for themselves who their President should be.

Democrats have told us repeatedly they have no interest in a fair, impartial hearing. It’s time to take them at their word. Fortunately, a majority of Americans may already have.

“At impeachment hearing, irrelevant opinions by Trump critics masquerade as facts”

Must-read: Full statement from Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham 

© All rights reserved.

The DOW’s High Record Numbers: What Does It Mean for Business Owners

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hits a record high at 182.24 points. This came after two of the world’s largest economies (U.S. and China) agreed to remove existing trade tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, with 123 years of history, is a stock market index that measures the stock prices of the top 30 companies in the U.S. It is used by experts to assess the overall health of the stock market and the investors’ level of confidence in those companies.

The Dow average is calculated by adding all the stock prices of the companies in each index and dividing it by the number of companies.

For 2019, the top five companies that form Dow’s index are Microsoft, Apple, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart. Some experts still argue that the Dow is less representative of the broad stock market as it includes only 30 out of the 2,800 companies listed in the New York Stocks Exchange.

Just this year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke records three times. The first happened last June 11, when it hit 26,885. On July 3, The Dow hit another record, closing above 27,000. This was the time when President Trump announced that the administration would continue its negotiation with China to avert additional tariffs. And just last week, another record-breaking moment came when Dow’s numbers hit 27,492.63. This led to Dow’s year-to-date gain close to 18%.

But it’s not just the Dow that had their record-setting stock indices. Even the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also finished theirs at the highest level on record.

What does it all mean for business owners?

Stock trading affects companies in a myriad of ways and plays a very important role in the U.S. economy.

Consumer Spending

First of all, trends in stocks influence consumer behavior. When stocks are high, people feel confident over their investment portfolios and feel empowered to spend money on big-ticket items like a home or a brand new car.

On the other hand, falling stock prices make people hold back on spending, especially in non-essential items. They are also more likely to tap on their emergency fund or get a personal loan to cover expenses. Reduced consumer spending has a huge effect on the business sector and obviously slows down economic growth.

Growth and Profitability

Stock trading allows businesses to raise capital for expansion, or to launch new products or pay off debts. For investors, stocks provide an opportunity to profit from gains in stock value.

Moreover, stock prices affect business and consumer behavior, which in turn, impacts the economy overall. This relationship can also be perceived from the other way around – economic conditions influence stock prices.

As a rule, the higher the stock prices, the better for companies. It also suggests a company’s ability to earn and grow its profits in the future.

Business Financing

Another major benefit of high stock prices is in equity financing. During the initial stages of their initial public offering (IPO), most companies receive an infusion of capital which they can use to acquire other companies, fund expansion, or pay off debt. Equity financing is the process of gaining capital by selling new shares. However, for a company to obtain equity financing, it needs to demonstrate a healthy share price that will attract potential investors.

Takeovers

An increase in stock prices also reduces the risk of company takeovers. When a company’s stock price falls, it’s market value goes down as well, which makes it vulnerable to takeovers. Furthermore, companies with high stock prices tend to attract media attention, which positively favors their brand reputation and attracts more potential investors.

While the stock market influences the economy, it’s not the only factor. Things like interest rates, consumer spending, and business spending also influence the economy as a whole. For example, when consumers spend less and invest less in businesses, the economy slows down. Meanwhile, falling interest rates can prompt economic growth. On top of these, fiscal policies, such as rate cuts and large budget deficits, can all impact the health of the business sector.

© All rights reserved.