Why Cuomo’s Latest Tax Hike Proposal Would Accelerate New York’s Decline

New Yorkers had a rough, rough 2020. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s latest proposal would make 2021 even worse.

“New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed raising taxes on the wealthy to a combined level of 14.7%, which would be the highest state-and-local tax rate in the nation,” CNBC reports. “The tax increase would raise $1.5 billion for the state, Cuomo said Tuesday in an address unveiling his 2022 budget proposal.”

The tax increases would apply to those who earn more than $5 million a year. If implemented, New Yorkers would officially beat California for the top state and local tax rate in the nation; the Golden State currently comes in at 13.3 percent.

Governor Cuomo says the tax increases are necessary because unless the federal government passes a full bailout for the $15 billion state budget hole New York has created, it will have a large deficit to plug.

“New York cannot manage a $15 billion deficit,” Cuomo said. “It’s beyond what we can do.”

The governor favors hiking taxes on “the rich” rather than closing the budget gap solely by cutting spending.

Even before these proposed hikes, the Empire State already has the highest overall tax burden—beyond just income taxes—nationwide and one of the highest costs of living. The situation has only worsened during the COVID-19 crisis, with huge losses of life, in part due to the governor’s mandate forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-19-positive patients. And, drastic lockdowns imposed irrespective of actual pandemic data have ruined New York City’s economy and the cultural vibrancy that made it so appealing pre-pandemic.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people are fleeing in droves.

More than 300,000 people have left the city, according to official filings. Informal measures like U-Haul data similarly show New Yorkers moving elsewhere en masse. An astounding $34 billion in income left the area in 2020.

Over the summer, Governor Cuomo was literally reduced to calling up wealthy residents who’d fled and begging them to come back to New York City—even offering to cook for them and buy them drinks.

New York state officials should be doing everything they can to reverse this troubling trend; cutting taxes; removing regulations; expanding education options. If Cuomo successfully implements his tax hikes, though, it will only result in more people leaving the Empire State.

Why? It’s simple.

A tax proposal cannot be evaluated simply on its raw numbers. One must also take into account how it would change people’s behavior.

Successful people are not automatons; if anything, they are the most responsive and mobile members of society. And other thriving states like Florida and Texas offer not just warmer weather than New York, but zero state income taxes. It’s only natural that increased tax rates will prompt more people to leave the Empire State; nobody likes paying taxes or wants to have more of their money taken away. Even the super rich.

This will hurt the entire state, which will lose not only residents, but also their wealth, spending, investment, and businesses (aka jobs).

Ironically, the tax increase may not even raise the $1.5 billion in revenue that Cuomo hopes. Sometimes, an increase in income tax rates can actually decrease income-generating activity so much that overall tax revenues fall. This was the famous insight of economist Art Laffer, who served on Ronald Reagan’s board of economic advisors. We can’t know for sure whether it would apply here—taxes always disincentivize income earning, but only sometimes result in less tax revenue—but it’s certainly cause to be skeptical of Governor Cuomo’s revenue projections.

However, Governor Cuomo’s backward policy proposal has implications that reach much wider than just New York state and its most successful citizens. It’s another reminder that when it comes to government policy, incentives matter.

“Our economic verities have remained forever,” Laffer once explained. “They go back to caveman, pre-cavemen. Incentives matter: If you reward an activity, then people do more of it. If you punish an activity, people do less of it.”

This is why progressives often promote cigarette taxes or carbon taxes. They, at least in this setting, acknowledge that taxing something naturally discourages its consumption and production—you get less of it. Why does anyone want to do that for income?

The timeless economic reality of incentives doesn’t just call Cuomo’s tax hike on high earners into question. It ought to make us reconsider whether we should be punishing wealth-creation through taxing income at all.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

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

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

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‘Canceling’ Student Debt is Unfair to Graduates Like Me Who Sacrificed to Pay Off Our Loans

I gave up a lot to accomplish what I did, but debt ‘forgiveness’ would punish taxpayers like me for our hard work and frugality.


A year after graduating from college, I was able to pay off my student loans in full. Now, President Biden wants me to pay for my peers who have yet to do the same.

Biden’s platform includes “student loan forgiveness” of at least $10,000 per person. Meanwhile, Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer have proposed $50,000 in debt forgiveness per individual. On its surface, this sounds generous. American student loan debt is nearing $1.6 trillion, and the cost of college is higher than ever. But what does this “forgiveness” entail on a moral level?

Loans are not “forgiven” or magically disappeared. They are paid off by taxpayers. Whether it is through higher taxes, printing more money, or contributing directly from the national debt, you and I will end up being the ones that pay for it. The United States is already over $27 trillion in debt and $125 trillion deep in unfunded liabilities.

Essentially, the debt burden is shifted off of the shoulders of those who signed the loans and on to everyone who pays federal taxes. If you’re like me, that’s fundamentally unfair.

Paying off my student loans was a concerted effort that took sacrifice. I started working after graduating from SUNY Albany in 2018. Following Dave Ramsey’s financial plan, I cut my living expenses, took on a side gig, and threw all that I could at my $27,000 in student loans.

I cooked my own meals and bought the most affordable groceries. Although I could afford an apartment, I chose to live in subsidized company housing one-and-a-half hours away from my workplace. Commuting for 15 hours a week was part of the price I paid to square my debt sooner.

I packed lunch most days, even when I had to wake up early to do so. It saved money at the cost of the convenience of eating out. Some nights after work I stayed up late to do freelance translation work instead of enjoying leisure time. I gave up a lot to accomplish what I did, but debt “forgiveness” would punish taxpayers like me for our hard work and frugality—just so others don’t have to take responsibility for their own choices.

Rather than stopping at saying that student loan forgiveness is unfair (it is), or that we can’t afford it (we can’t), we should take a deeper look at the root of the debate surrounding student loans. The student loan forgiveness camp is operating from the assumption that people are entitled to a college education and other peoples’ hard work. It codifies in policy the idea that adults are not responsible for their own actions (i.e. taking on debt). In a free society, I am not entitled to a college education and neither is anyone else.

Taking out a loan is a choice, and personal responsibility shouldn’t be supplanted by taxpayer bailouts. “Canceling” student loans means penalizing people like me for honoring my word and repaying the debt I chose to accept.

COLUMN BY

Matthew Noyes

Mathew Noyes graduated from SUNY Albany summa cum laude with majors in Political Science and Japanese Language. He is a columnist at Lone Conservative.

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

New Research Debunks Claim That a $15 Minimum Wage Would Not Reduce Employment

A new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds a “clear preponderance” of evidence that minimum wage laws reduce employment.


President Joe Biden is pushing a federal $15 minimum wage in his sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, and the policy is only gaining steam in progressive circles. But newly released research undercuts the main argument progressive economists make in favor of minimum wage increases.

new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research surveys the body of economic research on minimum wage increases and rebuts the notion that empirical data show no impact of increases in minimum wage hikes. The authors find that of all the available research on the subject they reviewed, there is a “clear preponderance” of findings that show a job-killing impact. The documentation of job losses is even more pronounced for teenagers, young adults, and the less-educated.

“[The] body of evidence and its conclusions point strongly toward negative effects of minimum wages on employment of less-skilled workers, especially for the types of studies that would be expected to reveal these negative employment effects most clearly,” economists David Neumark and Peter Shirley write.

This research is a direct rebuttal of one of the most popular pro-minimum-wage-hike arguments offered by progressive economists. They rarely engage directly with the ironclad theory of supply and demand in competitive labor markets that proves the minimum wage causes unemployment just like any other price floor creates surplus.1

Many advocates simply pivot to empiricism and handwave about “the data” not showing any impact.

“There’s just no evidence that raising the minimum wage costs jobs, at least when the starting point is as low as it is in modern America,” economist turned left-wing New York Times  columnist Paul Krugman has argued. (Reversing his own former position). Similarly, economist and former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen recently reversed her prior position during a confirmation hearing for her political position as the Biden administration’s Treasury Secretary. Now, she argues that the research suggests a “very minimal” impact on employment from minimum wage increases.

The same argument has pervaded through much of academia.

“The last decade has seen a wealth of rigorous academic research on the effect of minimum wage increases on employment, with the weight of evidence showing that previous, modest increases in the minimum wage had little or no negative effects on the employment of lowwage workers,” reads a letter signed by prominent pro-minimum-wage economists in 2019.

But this new research, after surveying the field of empirical evidence, finds that reaching these progressive economists’ conclusions “requires discarding or ignoring most of the evidence.”

When the government mandates a price for labor—aka a minimum wage—that exceeds the market rate, employers will inevitably purchase less labor. It’s just like consumers would purchase less soda if the government arbitrarily mandated higher prices for it than what it’s actually worth to people. In fact, that’s the exact point of  “soda taxes” passed in the name of public health; they reduce soda consumption. The same thing happens with labor.

The lucky workers who end up being able to keep their jobs may benefit from the artificially high wage, but many others will not find work at all. As far a federal $15 minimum wage is concerned, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would eliminate 1.3 to 3.7 million jobs altogether.

This was before the COVID-19 pandemic. Layoffs would likely be much worse now, with so many small businesses already on the brink of collapse amid lockdowns and a struggling economy.

No amount of empirical squirming can eliminate the reality of trade-offs. Minimum wage proponents bury their heads in the sand in order to argue that you can simply pass a law to miraculously make everyone richer without any consequences. You can’t.

“There are no solutions, there are only trade-offs,” economist Thomas Sowell once observed, “and you try to get the best trade-off you can get, that’s all you can hope for.”

“Economics teaches you that making a choice means giving up something,” economist Russ Roberts has similarly explained.

The job losses that come with minimum wage hikes are a fundamental economic reality. This latest research offers yet another reminder that, no matter how much wish-casting progressives engage in, there’s no escaping trade-offs in public policy.

  1. Some progressive economists engage with supply and demand theory by arguing that if a business has a labor monopsony, aka they are the only employer for that type of labor, then minimum wage increases will not cause unemployment. But this makes little sense, as the types of employers who hire minimum wage workers, such as restaurants, retail stores,  fast food, coffee shops, and so on, have nearly innumerable competitors for other places that will hire workers at the minimum wage.)

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

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

RELATED ARTICLE: Why a One-Size-Fits-All Federal Minimum Wage Makes Zero Sense

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

Flashback: Atlanta Grandfather Viciously Beaten, Left for Dead by Gang of Biden Voters

Taught by the political party they favor to hate white people, attackers left victim unconscious with multiple facial fractures.


When it first opened in 1969, Underground Atlanta was one of the most popular tourist and entertainment districts in the Southeast. My wife and I went there regularly with friends.

By 1972, Underground’s attendance topped 3.5 million. In 1973, there were 65 businesses employing hundreds of workers. At its peak, there were more than 80 restaurants, bars, boutiques, and shops in the Underground complex. Like the rest of the city back then, Underground Atlanta was clean, vibrant and safe.

But like the city itself, the attraction soon fell on hard times.

During a period that coincided almost perfectly with the Democratic Party’s adoption of its racially-divisive identity politics election strategy, Underground Atlanta became a dangerous place to visit, especially after dark. As violent crimes in the surrounding parking lots became commonplace, my wife and I stopped going to Underground, as did most Atlantans.

Over the years, persistent crime continued to plague the development. Despite a major renovation in the late 1980s, Underground Atlanta has faced a constant struggle to recover its initial glory.

Underground’s GM pays steep price for doing his job

Craig Waters is general manager of Underground Atlanta. Last June, after a night of race riots over the alleged police murder of George Floyd, the 66-year-old grandfather was the target of a vicious unprovoked attack by multiple black suspects while inspecting broken windows and other damage done to Underground property. Waters was beaten unconscious, suffering multiple facial fractures, including a broken eye socket. See shocking photographs of his injuries in this local TV report.

Would Waters have been beaten and left for dead if he wasn’t white? Probably not. Black-on-white racial hatred is inevitable when a political party spends a half-century telling inner city voters that white people are responsible for the wretched lives they lead.

Those who attacked Waters must be held accountable. What they did was evil, but I do not believe they are inherently evil people. The odds are off the charts that they were set on a troubled path earlier in life by virtue of the woefully substandard education meted out by Atlanta’s incompetent public schools. And, they were indoctrinated at every turn with the poisonous critical race narrative that white people are hostile to their interests. With two strikes like those against them, it’s hardly surprising that they lashed out in violence when an opportunity to vent their frustrations arose.

For the last half-century, Atlanta City Schools have been under the ironclad control of Democrats. While Atlanta’s most disadvantaged citizens live in rundown neighborhoods marred by rampant crime, generational poverty and chronic despair, the city’s lavishly-paid mayor, school superintendent and other high ranking officials drive new cars, live in new homes, dine at gourmet restaurants and vacation at 5-star resorts.

The inexcusable failure of Democrats to adequately educate the most disadvantaged children in our society is further described in the article below.


Battle for a Good Education | The Daily Signal

Big-City Schools: Where America’s Most Vulnerable Kids Languish

Democrats and Republicans alike say they’re fully committed to seeing that every child receives a quality education.  Bipartisan agreement notwithstanding, school children in urban America have gotten the short end of the learning stick for a long, long time.  How can anyone defend the following statistics?

  • In 2010-2011, public schools in the nation’s capitol spent $29,345 per pupil — nearly $600,000 per each classroom of 20 students —  yet the District’s 8th graders finished dead last in a nationwide proficiency test in math and reading.
  • According to a 2015 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 96 percent of 8th graders in Detroit’s public schools tested not proficient in math, and 93 percent tested not proficient in reading.
  • According to a 2017 investigation by Project Baltimore, 13 of the city’s 39 public high schools had zero students who tested proficient in math.  Zero!  Of the 3,841 students in the remaining 26 high schools, only 14 tested at or above proficiency in math, less than one-third of one percent.

For a half-century running, Democrat-run urban schools have robbed minority children of a realistic chance for a decent education.  In addition to earning an F-minus in their assigned duty to adequately educate students under their care, the three school districts named above have something else in common: they all are run by highly-paid Democrat administrators whose foremost priority is catering to the demands of teachers unions, one of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies.

In school systems with teachers unions exist, Democrats look the other way as the interests of teachers take precedence over the interests of children.  And no wonder. The overwhelming share of union dues paid by teachers is money-laundering study, nearly 99% of teachers union political donations in 2012 went to Democrats.  In 2016, teachers unions gave $43 million to Democrats, $260,000 to Republicans.

Teachers First, Children Second

Once sub-standard teachers have tenure, a Herculean effort is required to get rid of them.  The teachers-first, children-second pecking order in the school systems cited below exists in virtually every urban school district in America, where a king’s ransom of precious educational funding is frittered away to protect bad teachers.

  • New York City public schoolsoperate16 reassignment centers, also known as “rubber rooms.”  Rubber rooms are off-campus facilities where teachers accused of incompetence or gross misconduct are warehoused, as their glacial, union-mandated appeals process drones on, often for years.  While receiving full pay and benefits, teachers in rubber room limbo spend each six-hour day napping, reading magazines, playing cards or other leisure activities.  Despite constant complaints that it would do a better job of educating minority children if only it’s given more money, the city’s bloated and incompetent public school system squanders $150 million a year paying hundreds of unionized teachers to do little more than kill time while waiting to find out if they’ll be fired.  Wasting $150 million would be one thing if the city’s public schools did even a minimally acceptable job of educating disadvantaged minority children, but New York City has some of the sorriest public schools in America.
  • Getting rid of bad teachers is so difficult in Democrat-run school districts that Milwaukee’s public schools cameup with a mitigation plan called The Dance of the Lemons.  Because teachers union contracts protect all teachers, including those deemed unfit to teach, school principals in Milwaukee found it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers.  To cope with the problem, principals hold a meeting at the end of the school year, where one principal swaps his or her worst teachers in exchange for another principal’s worst teachers, with both principals hoping the lemons they get won’t be as bad as the lemons they swapped.  How are the interests of students served when unfit teachers are shuffled around from one school to another in an endless game of musical chairs where every bad teacher gets a seat?
  • New York City and Milwaukee aren’t the only places where unionized, Democrat-run schools fail miserably at adequately educating minority children.  A 2010 investigation by L.A. Weekly found that the Los Angeles Unified School District spent $3.5 million trying to fire seven teachers for poor classroom performance.  Only four of the seven were eventually fired at the end of their union-mandated appeals process, which dragged on for an average of five years at an average cost of $875,000 per fired teacher.  Despite blowing through enormous sums of education funding, Los Angeles public schools graduated just 44% of its high school students in 2006, making it one of the worst-performing school districts in America.  Graduation rates in Los Angeles have since improved, but only after the Democrat-controlled California Department of Education changed its formula for determining graduation requirements.

Inexcusably sorry public schools in Democrat-run cities are nothing new.   They’ve existed continually for the last half-century, with millions of minority students left unprepared to succeed in later life.

The High Cost (to Students) of Bad Teachers

Just as it’s true that good teachers can have an extraordinarily positive impact on the future lives of their students, it’s also true that bad teachers can cause lasting harm to the futures of their students.

According to a study cited by Eric A. Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, “a high-value-added teacher in grades 4-8 has a noticeable impact on subsequent long-term outcomes, including college attendance, earnings and family creation.”  How can young adults who were stuck with sub-standard teachers in the public schools they attended possibly do well in later life?  To be fair, socio-economics also plays a role in poor outcomes, but which party is responsible for the welfare-for-votes policies that inevitably lead to broken homes, generational poverty and chronic despair?

School Choice to the Rescue

How can our society help urban students get out of rotten public schools, and into the same kind of safe, high-performing private academies attended by children of affluent families?  The surest way is through federally-funded school choice vouchers.

Unfortunately, the mutually back-scratching alliance between Democrats and teachers unions blocks school choice at every turn.  In doing so, their unholy confederation wreaks unmitigated havoc on inner city communities by robbing generations of urban children of a realistic shot at a decent education.

Although Democrats and teachers unions know better, they say private schools aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  Anyone who thinks that should ask the two brothers in the video below.  Their story should be the story of every disadvantaged child in America.

©

Biden to force American taxpayers to foot bill for San Francisco homeless hotels

This once beautiful city is unrecognizable, with needles and fecal matter on the ground, rampant homelessness and crime. This is the catastrophic consequence of Democrat corruption – Pelosi and Harris.

But details as to how its housing program will be funded remain unclear.

“I think it’s safe to say it will apply from now until September, for those that are eligible,” said City Controller Ben Rosenfield. His team is waiting on more detailed guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) before announcing precisely how the program will be affected.

The department said last year it would reimburse San Francisco’s program until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it never made clear how it would define the end.

Still, city officials welcomed the news on Thursday. The Trump administration never made clear when the funding would be cut off, prompting worry that the city would have to pay for the housing program entirely on their own and scramble to relocate the homeless.

KQED reported last year that the Bay Area has one of the largest gaps in California between its highest and lowest income earners.

The report cited data from the California Budget and Policy Center which showed that between 2006 and 2018, income for the state’s top 5% of households grew nearly 20%, while income for households in the bottom 20% fell by 20%.

Approximately during that time, homeless in California increased by more than 22%, according to data from the Homelessness Policy Research Institute.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

National Guard Asked to Keep 5,000 troops in DC as Democrats Use Military Occupation of DC as Political Weapon

Democrats won’t send the National Guard into cities being destroyed by leftist rioters by they will force the National Guard to stay in DC to secure their police state when there is no threat from Republicans.

National Guard to keep 5,000 troops in DC until March

Nation’s original inauguration date has authorities concerned about the return of protestors

By Lucas Y. Tomlinson | Fox News

Democrats using military occupation of DC as political weapon

Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald weighs in on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

The National Guard says 5,000 troops will remain in the nation’s capital through mid-March, Fox News has learned.

“As we continue to work to meet the final post-inauguration requirements, the National Guard has been requested to continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies with 7,000 members and will draw down to 5,000 through mid-March,” the Guard said in a statement.

“We are providing assistance such as security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics, and safety support to state, district and federal agencies.”

The National Guard was in the process of meeting with various federal agencies to “determine their requirements” for troops to stay beyond January, an official had told Fox News earlier Friday.

Around 25,000 Guardsmen deployed to Washington D.C., ahead of President Biden’s inauguration after the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol where authorities were badly outnumbered by pro-Trump supporters.
National Guard troops undergo extra vetting ahead of Inauguration DayVideo

The ceremony went off with only a few minor arrests. About a dozen Guard troops were removed from their posts after being vetted by the FBI, including two who made extremist statements about the event.

In a statement Thursday, the National Guard said about 7,000 troops would remain in Washington through the “end of the month.” But there is concern among some city and federal authorities that protesters might return to Washington in early March on the original presidential inauguration date, March 4.

Six southern states left the union after Abraham Lincoln was elected in November and before his inauguration in March, a period known as “Secession Winter.”

The 20th Amendment moved the inauguration to its present Jan. 20 date. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president sworn into office on that date when he began his second term in 1937.

Before the ratification of the 20th Amendment in 1933, the new president was not sworn until the March following the election.

Lawmakers from both political parties were fuming this week after learning that troops were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol. Images circulated online showing Guardsmen camped in a cold garage, which prompted bipartisan calls for an investigation.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Sons and Daughters of the Republic, Look, Listen and Learn

Biden’s policies and his “politics of vengeance” against any and all who do not support his “world view” are now on full display.


We The People are beginning to now see the real Biden and his minions.

Vindictive, hateful, anti-American, anti-Women’s Rights, anti-Fossil Fuels, unpatriotic and unworthy of the title president. Oh, and Biden even hates our soldiers as shown by his treatment of our National Guardsmen and women in Washington, D.C.

Where’s Hunter Biden? 

Let’s not forget the Hunter Biden scandal. Watch as laptop repair shop owner at center of Hunter Biden scandal reveals everything:

Hunter Biden is now Hollywood’s newest sex symbol?

Actress, left-wing activist Lena Dunham says she “cannot wait to spend holidays at the White House when I am Hunter Biden’s beautiful wife.”

Biden and The Pandemic – A Grab for Power

Biden has given up on dealing with the Covid pandemic. Why? Because he needs the pandemic to further empower himself and the swamp. Expect him to issue futher controls on our lives, freedom to assemble and economy. Watch:

Full Story On Why National Guard Booted By Biden…INSANE!

Populist Press reports:

National Guard troops were forced to evacuate the Capitol building grounds on Thursday and hang out in parking garages, allegedly after a Democrat congressman complained about one National Guard member not wearing a mask at a cafe [sic] in the building.

According to a source, Rep. Will Keating (D-MA) reported to the Capitol building authorities earlier in the day that a National Guardsman was seen in a Dunkin Donuts without a mask on.

After Keating commented out loud that masks were required to be worn at all times in a federal building, the National Guard member responded, “I appreciate my freedom,” according to the source.

National Guard commanders are now looking for the National Guard member, according to the source….

Florida is the ‘new Headquarters of the MAGA movement’

Populist Press reports:

Former President Donald Trump remains iffy on a 2024 return, but one thing is for sure: His new home of Florida will be “Trump Headquarters,” where he will manage the “Make America Great Again” movement that he started in 2015.

“Florida,” said former top aide Stephen Miller, “is really the perfect place to be the new HQ of the MAGA movement and a launching pad for the president’s next endeavor.”

While there have been many reports that the president, his family, and some top aides are moving to the Palm Beach area to be near him for support and friendship, insiders revealed to Secrets that there is a blueprint to run the political operation from there.

The sons and daughters of the Republic aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They are in for the long fight against Biden and his socialist oligarchy.

President Trump has indicated that his primary focus will be on restoring election integrity. It is critical that only legal votes be counted if there is any chance to save the Republic during the Congressional elections in 2022.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

DAY ONE: Beijing Biden Kills Keystone Pipeline and Thousands of Jobs, Rejoins Paris Climate Accord, Removed 1776 Project, Vows to Restart Iran’s Nuclear Program, Fed Mask Mandates

America did not vote for this. Could it be more clear now?

Joe Biden Signs Stack of Executive Orders to Roll Back Donald Trump Agenda

Breitbart News: President Joe Biden signed a stack of Executive Orders on Wednesday, immediately rolling back some of former President Donald Trump’s top priorities.

The president signed three executive orders in front of the press as he sat next to a stack of folders which he intended to sign afterward.

“I thought with the state of the nation today, there’s no time to waste,” Biden said, noting that he wanted to “get to work immediately.”

There were at least 15 folders stacked on Biden’s desk.

Biden signed executive orders mandating masks on federal property, ordering support for underserved communities to ensure equity and equality in health care and other areas, and an order reversing the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

The president’s press wranglers swiftly escorted the media out of the room after Biden finished his remarks, despite multiple questions from reporters.

According to the White House, Biden also signed orders revoking President Trump’s travel ban and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Another order ended Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the border, terminating funds for the construction of the wall and ordering a pause in construction within seven days.

He also ordered the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to “preserve and fortify” the DACA amnesty for illegal aliens brought to the United States as children.

One order directed a review of immigration enforcement policies and levels a 100-day pause on “most removals” from the country.

Another order rescinded Trump’s ban on transgender military service and rescinded his executive order excluding non-citizens from the 2020 census.

He also ordered a pause on President Trump’s “harmful” regulations that were not finalized.

Biden also extended moratoriums on evictions, foreclosures, and student loan forbearance as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The president ignored many of the questions from the press but did respond to a question about the letter that former President Donald Trump left him in the Oval Office.

“The president wrote a very generous letter,” he said, adding that he would not discuss the details of the “private” letter until he spoke with Trump personally.

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Executive Order: ‘Rooting Out Systemic Racism’

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

TAKE ACTION: Support Florida Cabinet’s effort to divest state funds from investments in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter.

First state in the country, Florida considers divesting state funds from investments in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter.   Please encourage the Florida Cabinet to vote yes to divest from investments in leftist censorship corporations.  Hopefully, other states will follow.


Click here to send your email to encourage certain members of the Florida Cabinet to vote to divest its taxpayer funds from investment in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter.


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Floridapolitics.com published an article titled Randy Fine wants state divested from tech giants after Donald Trump’s purge from social media – Fine argues the companies are selectively enforcing their rules to disfavor conservatives.

Republican Rep. Randy Fine is calling on the state to look into its investments with major tech companies and withdraw that money after President Donald Trump was kicked off several social media platforms following last week’s Capitol attack.  In a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Fine argues Trump and his supporters are being unfairly targeted.  The letter specifically asks the Governor to “order the immediate divestment of any Florida-held equity and debt” in Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Twitter.  “They may get to decide who they do business with. So do we,” Fine said.  “No matter what one thinks about President Trump, he remains the duly-elected President of the United States until noon on Jan. 20. If the President of the United States can be silenced by these companies, then so can anyone.”

It appears Fine has some back up from Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, a fellow Republican in the Cabinet.  In response to Fine’s proposal, Patronis said, “We should consider getting this on the next Cabinet agenda. Big-tech coordinated to shut down conservative accounts but still allows [Venezuelan leader] Nicolás Maduro to spread lies.”

Fine referenced other controversial world leaders from China, Iran and elsewhere that remain active on Twitter despite outrageous and violent statements of their own.  “It is clear that Twitter and Facebook are engaged in one-sided viewpoint discrimination targeting conservatives,” Fine wrote.   “These companies allow actual terrorists around the world to use their platforms to target America, Americans, and our allies, without as much as a peep. And it is not disputed that Amazon, Apple, and Google are actively working to eliminate any alternative outlets where conservatives can speak freely.”

Parler, an alternative to Twitter promoted by several conservative voices, has for now essentially been kicked off the internet after Apple and Google blocked the app from its app stores and Amazon revoked hosting services, leaving the app completely offline. Those companies cited numerous calls for violence before Wednesday’s attack that had gone unregulated.

Big tech is deplatforming, delisting, demonetizing and censoring thousands of conservative patriots across America.  These companies’ censorship will likely get much worse with the change in political leadership in Washington.   It is encouraging to see the third largest state in America consider divesting its taxpayer funds from investment in corporations that treat a large number of Americans with great disdain by depriving them of their liberties to speak freely.

Please encourage certain Florida Cabinet members to vote yes to divest State of Florida investments in leftist censorship corporations.  Hopefully, other states will follow.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to encourage certain members of the Florida Cabinet to vote to divest its taxpayer funds from investment in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter.

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.

Click here to send your email to encourage certain members of the Florida Cabinet to vote to divest its taxpayer funds from investment in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Contact information:

Florida Cabinet

Governor Ron DeSantis
ron.desantis@eog.myflorida.com

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis
CFO.Patronis@MyFloridaCFO.com

Ashley Moody
Attorney General
Richard Martin, Chief of Staff
richard.martin@myfloridalegal.com

6 Key Takeaways Every Student Should Receive from Econ 101

A more widespread understanding of Econ 101 would reduce the likelihood of destructive government policies winning public support.


In a 2015 podcast conversation with American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, Vox’s Ezra Klein declared that “there’s nothing more dangerous than somebody who’s just taken their first economics class.” Often expressing a similar contempt for Econ 101 is University of Connecticut law professor James Kwak.

This expressed skepticism of Econ 101 comes across as wise and sophisticated—even hip—to many people who don’t grasp Econ 101. And it gives the mistaken impression that those who warn of the alleged folly of taking Econ 101 too seriously are experts not only in elementary economics but also in advanced economics.

Yet this contemptuous dismissal of the relevance of Econ 101 is foolish. Those who express it either really don’t know any economics whatsoever or mistakenly presume that the theoretical curiosities explored in Econ 999 are more relevant than is the reality revealed by Econ 101. But the truth is that Econ 101 taught well supplies ample, important, and timeless insights into the way the world works.

These insights, sadly, are far too rare among those who are unexposed to elementary economics.

No one denies that a deeper understanding of economic reality is supplied by training in sound, advanced economics. If, for example, we’re interested in understanding and predicting many of the details of how people react to changes in particular government policies—and in tracing out some specific consequences of these likely reactions—knowledge of economics beyond that which is conveyed in an intro-econ course is useful.

Similarly, if we want to better understand many observed commercial practices—practices such as corporate stock buybacks or automobile dealerships’ penchant for clustering near each other—then knowledge beyond principles of economics is often necessary.  No one can doubt the usefulness of more advanced economic training.

But it doesn’t follow from these observations that knowledge merely of economic principles is “dangerous.” The young person who absorbs Econ 101 but who takes no further courses in economics will nevertheless, and for the rest of his or her life, possess a genuine understanding of reality that is distressingly rare among politicians, pundits, preachers, and the general public. Far from being a danger to society, this person—inoculated against the worst and most virulent strands of economic ignorance—will serve as a beneficial check on the spread of ideas that are dodgy and sometimes perilous.

The true danger is not knowledge of “only” Econ 101. The true danger is ignorance even of Econ 101.

The typical protectionist opposes free trade not because he aced an advanced econ course and learned that, under just the right circumstances, optimally imposed tariffs can be justified on economic grounds. No. The typical protectionist opposes free trade because he doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. He doesn’t understand that the purpose of trade is to enrich people as consumers and not to guarantee the incomes of existing producers. The typical protectionist doesn’t understand that exports are costs and that imports are benefits. (He thinks it’s the other way ’round.) Failing to understand that the act of importing not only destroys but also creates particular jobs in the domestic economy, the protectionist mistakenly concludes that the more we import the fewer are the number of jobs in our economy.

The typical protectionist, in short, doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. Yet had he taken a well-taught Econ 101 course, he’d not swallow and repeat these and other myths about trade.

Likewise, the typical politician doesn’t support minimum wages because she has concluded after careful study that employers of low-skilled workers possess a sufficient quantum of monopsony power in the labor market, in addition to monopoly power in the output market, to nullify the prediction of basic supply-and-demand analysis that minimum wages shrink low-skilled workers’ employment options. No.

She supports minimum wages because she naively supposes that wages are set arbitrarily by employers and that higher wages come out of either employers’ profits or consumers’ wallets without prompting any changes in employers’ or consumers’ behavior.

And most of this politician’s constituents share her economic ignorance. They miss the reality revealed by Econ 101—namely, that wages are not set arbitrarily by employers and, therefore, that when the cost of employing workers is raised by minimum wages, employers respond in part by employing fewer workers.

In both of the above examples (and these are only two examples of many), more widespread understanding of Econ 101 would reduce the likelihood of these destructive policies winning public support.

They’re called economic principles for a good reason: What is taught in a solid economic-principles course are the principles of the operation of a competitive economy guided by market prices. They describe the logic of markets and, accordingly, in most cases offer a trustworthy guide for understanding the economy—and an understanding of the consequences of government interventions into the economy.

It’s true that reality sometimes serves up circumstances that render knowledge only of economic principles inadequate. But if economic principles did not on most occasions give reliable and useful insights into how real-world economies actually operate, they would be anti-principles. They ought not be taught, and students should demand tuition refunds along with compensation for being defrauded by their colleges.

But in fact, again, enormously important insights are conveyed in a good Econ 101 course. Here’s just a partial list of what an attentive Econ 101 student learns:

  1. Our world is one of unavoidable scarcity, and so to use more resources to produce guns is to have fewer resources available to produce butter. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, a free gun, or a free anything else.
  2. Wealth is goods and services; wealth is not money. And so to create more money without creating more goods and services is to create not more wealth but only more inflation—along with the distortions and uncertainties that inflation unleashes.
  3. When the cost that a person incurs to take some action rises, the attractiveness to that person of taking that action falls. This fact is why higher taxes on carbon emissions reduce carbon emissions and why higher taxes on income-earning activities reduce income-earning activities.
  4. Profits are entrepreneurs’ reward for successfully satisfying consumers’ wants; profits are neither stolen from consumers nor extracted from workers. Therefore, the greater the good performed in the market by entrepreneurs, the higher the entrepreneurs’ profits.
  5. Prices and wages aren’t arbitrary. They’re set in markets by consumers competing against each other to purchase goods and services and by sellers competing against each other to sell goods and services. Sellers in competitive markets no more control prices than do buyers.
  6. Because of the principle of comparative advantage, it’s literally impossible for one country to monopolize the production of all goods and services.

I submit that these and other lessons taught in Econ 101 are vitally significant and need not await being polished and conditioned by the lessons of higher-level economics courses before becoming immensely useful. Far from being dangerous, these and other Econ 101 lessons are beautiful and essential.

This article was reprinted from the American Institute for Economic Research.

COLUMN BY

Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University.

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

Far-Left Rioters VANDALIZE One Of Pelosi’s San Francisco Homes With Blood-Red Paint

Democrats like Pelosi will learn sooner or later: you cannot appease the violent left.

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home is VANDALIZED with red paint, a pig’s head and a spray-painted message about $2,000 checks during battle with Republicans over direct payments

  • Police sources told TMZ that cops were called out to reports of vandalism at the House Speaker’s property around 3 a.m. New Year’s Day
  • DailyMail.com has contacted San Francisco Police Department for comment
  • A photo posted on social media shows a white garage plastered in graffiti
  • ‘2k’ is written on the garage and then crossed out, in what appears to be a reference to the $2,000 stimulus checks Pelosi is pushing for
  • The graffiti also reads ‘cancel rent’ and ‘we want everything’
  • Red paint covers the driveway and a pig’s head sits on the paving slabs

By Rachel Sharp For Dailymail.com, 1 January 2021 |

Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home was vandalized overnight with a pig’s head surrounded in a pool of red paint, as well as a spray-painted message appearing to allude to the failed $2,000 stimulus checks.

Police were called to the House Speaker’s Pacific Heights mansion in the early hours of New Year’s Day after receiving reports of vandalism at the property, TMZ reported.

Officers arrived at the scene around 3am and filed a police report, but it is unclear if there are any suspects.

DailyMail.com has reached out to the San Francisco Police Department for comment.

A photo of the bizarre scene was first shared on social media on Friday afternoon by conservative filmmaker Maggie VandenBerghe.

Nancy Pelosi ‘s San Francisco home has been vandalized with red paint, a pigs head and a spray painted message about $2,000 checks, according to TMZ

Police sources told the outlet that cops were called out to reports of vandalism at the House Speaker’s property in the early hours of New Year’s Day. Her home as it normally looks above
Photos of the bizarre scene were shared on social media by conservative filmmaker Maggie VandenBerghe on Friday afternoon

Photos of the bizarre scene were shared on social media by conservative filmmaker Maggie VandenBerghe on Friday afternoon

It showed Pelosi’s white garage door defaced with black graffiti text reading: ‘$2k cancel rent! We want everything!’ in an apparent reference to the $2,000 COVID relief checks she has been pushing for.

The vandals also spray-painted the letter A enclosed in a circle, most commonly known as the symbol for anarchism.

Underneath the disturbing message was pool of red paint on the driveway with a pig’s head placed at the center of the pavement.

VandenBerghe, a self-proclaimed patriot and independent journalist that has been featured on conservative news outlets in the past, accused police in her post of trying to cover up the incident after the city reported the vandalism.

‘City called to clean up at 3am & police attempting to stop photos of scene. Media SILENT,’ she tweeted.

Pelosi has been calling for the second round of stimulus checks to be increased from $600 to $2,000 – an amount also proposed by Donald Trump.

But the efforts have so far fallen short with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday blocking the Democrats’ standalone bill to send the checks to Americans.

McConnell told Pelosi the Senate won’t be ‘bullied’ into passing it, dashing hopes of the higher checks being sent out to Americans.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Nero’ De Blasio Dances in Times Square While Banning New Yorkers From Ball Drop

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

US taxpayer money went to al-Qaeda-linked jihad group during Obama administration

The Obama third term is about to start, so the money is likely once again to flow freely to those who wish to destroy America.

“US Taxpayer Money Went to Al-Qaeda Affiliate During Obama Administration: Senate Reports.”

by Li Hai, Epoch Times, December 30, 2020:

At least $150,000 in U.S. taxpayer money went to an Islamic organization with ties to terrorism through a humanitarian organization from 2014 to 2015, a large amount of which was approved by the then-Obama administration despite being informed the Islamic organization was a sanctioned entity, a Senate report shows.

On Dec. 23, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released a report of an investigation conducted by his staff into the relationship between World Vision, a non-profit humanitarian organization, and the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), an organization that has funded terrorist activities.

World Vision is a non-profit organization founded in 1950 to provide humanitarian aid to impoverished peoples in vulnerable areas across the world.

ISRA is headquartered in Sudan and has been sanctioned by the United States since 2004 “after they had funneled approximately $5 million to Maktab Al-Khidamat, the predecessor to Al-Qaeda controlled by Osama Bin Laden,” the report stated.

According to a timeline of events from the report:

  • On Jan. 21, 2014, World Vision submitted a grant application to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide humanitarian services to some conflict-affected areas in Sudan. World Vision was subsequently awarded a grant of $723,405 to carry out the program.
  • On Feb. 1, 2014, World Vision entered into an agreement with the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) whereby ISRA would provide humanitarian services to certain parts of the Blue Nile Region in Sudan on behalf of World Vision. Prior to this, World Vision had worked with ISRA on several projects from 2013 through 2014.
  • In late September 2014, World Vision’s legal department was notified of ISRA’s potential status as a sanctioned entity. World Vision then ceased all payments to ISRA and began investigating whether ISRA was indeed a sanctioned entity.
  • On Jan. 23, 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) responded to World Vision’s inquiry that ISRA is indeed a sanctioned entity. OFAC denied World Vision’s request for a license to transact with ISRA in the same letter.
  • On Feb. 19, 2015, World Vision again requested a license to transact with ISRA in order to pay them $125,000 for services rendered. In its request, World Vision stressed that it could face severe legal consequences and even expulsion from Sudan if it did not pay ISRA the monies owed.
  • On May 4, 2015, the Obama Administration’s State Department recommended OFAC grant World Vision’s request for a license to pay ISRA $125,000 in monies owed. The following day, OFAC granted World Vision a specific license to pay ISRA $125,000 only for services rendered.

The report shows $125,000 was paid on May 7, 2015, from which $111,982 was from a United States Government (USG) grant and $9,062 was from Irish government aid….

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

President Trump Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill Invoking 1974 Impoundment Control Act to Demand “Rescissions”

The President on Sunday invoked the 1974 Impoundment Control Act to demand “rescissions” be made to the spending measures.

Trump: I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.

Trump negotiated:

  • $2,000 per person
  • Section 230 eliminated or substantially revised
  • A line by line removal of the pork from the bill

Trump signs coronavirus relief bill after days of tension

By Tom Howell Jr. – The Washington Times – Sunday, December 27, 2020

President Trump signed the massive coronavirus relief and government spending bill Sunday, ending nearly a week of suspense that flustered governors and lawmakers of both parties.

Mr. Trump put pen to paper after a Christmas period marked by anger and confusion over his demands for bigger payments than what his Treasury secretary and GOP leaders agreed to in intense talks earlier this month.

“As president, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” Mr. Trump said.

He also said he will send Congress a list of “rescissions,” or wasteful budget items that he wants removed, and that Senate Republicans will “start the process” that provides for $2,000 stimulus checks — a provision the House Democratic majority already agreed to.

He said his Senate allies will go a step further and consider repealing the liability protections that shield social media from lawsuits over their content and the voter fraud allegations that he’s pointed to as the reason for his election loss.

John Soloman’s take:

Trump averts shutdown, signs $2.3 trillion spending and COVID relief bill

Trump had refused to sign a Covid relief bill until Congress raised the amount of money paid to everyday Americans.

Updated: December 28, 2020:

President Trump on Sunday night signed a $2.3 trillion federal spending and COVID relief bill, averting a government shutdown and ensuring millions of Americans continue to get unemployment benefits.

Despite his misgivings about wasteful spending and low stimulus payments in the bill, Trump said he signed the legislation because “I have an obligation to protect the people of our country“ from further economic devastation. He said, however, “more money is coming” as Congress votes this week on larger checks.

The president on Sunday also invoked the 1974 Impoundment Control Act to demand “rescissions” be made to the spending measures. Under the Act, a president can seek congressional approval to rescind funds by sending a special message to Congress identifying the amount he proposes to cut, the reasons for it, and the economic impact.

“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill,” Trump said.

The signing came after Trump tweeted, “Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!”

The signing brought hope to millions of Americans who lost jobless benefits over the weekend as a federal shutdown loomed.

The standoff occurred after Trump refused before Christmas to sign the $2.3 trillion spending and COVID relief bill, demanding more money for everyday Americans.

Congress failed to address the president’s demands to increase the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 per person.

RELATED TWEET:

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

Miami mayor urges Wall Street firms to leave NYC for friendlier city

Excellent idea, Mayor Suarez. America is going to see some significant population shifts in the years to come, since more American corporations will flee Democrat States plagued by high taxes.

Miami mayor urges Wall Street firms to leave NYC for friendlier city

City taxes, business environment key draws for big banks, mayor says.

By Fox News, December 26, 2020

Miami’s Republican mayor said Thursday he hopes to draw some of the big financial firms from Wall Street down to Biscayne Boulevard, as a relief from the high tax burdens and other restrictions of New York.

Mayor Francis X. Suarez told “Your World” he is already having success in talks with firms like Blackstone, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

New York State continues to be near or at the top of the list when it comes to taxation and other categories that businesses take heed of, while Florida does not impose a state income tax among other benefits.

Suarez said that one of the more recent developments that have made northeastern firms question their tenure in New York and the surrounding region is that of the change in federal SALT deduction.

The Trump tax bill capped the amount of local tax that residents of high-tax states can deduct from their federal return. While SALT used to have no limit, the plan maxed out the deduction at $10,000.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, previously accused Trump of “trying to kill New York City” with policies such as the SALT cap, further claiming it to be “retribution politics” against Democratic-run states, which tend to have a higher tax burden.

Suarez told “Your World” host Charles Payne he has already seen “an avalanche of people” moving into South Florida from Cuomo’s state, as well as California.

He also touted Miami’s standing as one of the safest large cities in America, remarking that its homicide rate is the lowest since 1954. For its part, New York had for some time been considered in similar straits, but the Big Apple had a spike in violence in recent months.

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

‘Smart Toilets,’ Afghan Book Clubs, and Lizard Treadmills: Rand Paul’s Report Exposes $55 Billion in Government Waste

Everybody celebrates the holiday season in their own way. Each year, Senator Rand Paul invokes the spirit of the fictional grievance-airing holiday “Festivus” from Seinfeld to release an annual taxpayer waste report—and boy, is this one a doozy.

The libertarian-leaning Kentucky lawmaker’s report for 2020 finds an astounding $54.7 billion wasted by the federal government this year. (That’s not even an exhaustive figure for the federal government, nor does it account for the vast levels of waste by state and local governments.)

To put the nearly $55 billion wasted in context, Paul’s office explains that this is equivalent to wasting the taxes of more than 5.4 million Americans. It’s enough money to build a two-lane road that wraps around the entire Earth—18 times over. It’s enough money to buy every American a 40-inch flat-screen TV.

Yes, seriously.

Paul’s report cites far too many examples to list in one article, but even a cursory glance at some of its most prominent revelations will leave any honest taxpayer infuriated.

According to the senator’s report, the National Institutes of Health spent millions studying if people will eat bugs and millions more trying to invent a “smart toilet.” The federal agency also spent millions trying to reduce hookah smoking rates among Eastern Mediterranean youth and $31.5 million to fund an allegedly faked study linking e-cigarettes to heart attacks.

Yet perhaps the most bizarre examples of how politicians spend our taxpayer money come from how the government uses it overseas.

We spent $8.6 billion on anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan, the report finds. Hundreds of thousands went to art classes for Kenyans, Afghan and Pakistani book clubs, and funding for Sri Lankan think tanks. In a truly baffling example, tens of millions were spent to combat truancy… in the Philippines.

Oh, and of course, we spent taxpayer money to put lizards on treadmills and study the results.

The military wasted lots of taxpayer money too, Paul’s report reveals.

It allegedly lost $715 million worth of equipment that was intended for Syrians to use to fight ISIS. Meanwhile, $174 million went to lost drones in Afghanistan, and we spent $3.1 million on a police complex that now sits unused.

So what can be done to stop all this waste? It would simply require voters to hold Congress’s feet to the fire and force them to actually hold agencies accountable for how taxpayer money is spent.

“Congress has every tool it needs to fight and end government waste,” Paul said. “It’s just a matter of finding the willpower to use them.”

Unfortunately, fiscally responsible politicians like Paul are the exception, not the rule. As Nobel-prize-winning economist Milton Friedman famously explained, government spending is inherently prone to waste. Why?

You can spend your money on yourself, in which case you’ll be quite judicious with it. You can also spend your money on someone else, or someone else’s money on yourself. In either case you’ll still have a strong incentive to spend the money responsibly.

Yet Friedman identified a fourth scenario.

“If I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get,” the economist wrote. “And that’s government.”

So, there’s only one way to truly limit government waste of taxpayer dollars. We have to limit the scope of government itself.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Many Glaring Problems with the New COVID Stimulus Package

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