VIDEO: The Fauci-WHO Connection and Restoring U.S. Funding to the Marxist organization

Tucker Carlson obtains draft letter showing U.S. on brink of restoring WHO funding:

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EDITORS NOTE: This Vlad Tepes Blog column posted by Eeyore is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

See what Nancy Pelosi stuffed in her partisan ‘Coronavirus’ bill

Nancy Pelosi’s left-wing wish list

If House Democrats are focused on helping Americans get through this global pandemic safely, they sure have a funny way of showing it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest extravagant, $3 trillion spending proposal is Washington at its worst—and most predictable. While President Trump, governors of both parties, and frontline workers band together to fight this virus as one country, House Democrats see an opportunity to exploit this crisis to pass their partisan agenda.

Millions of Americans are out of work. President Trump is trying to get them back on the job by safely reopening our country. Instead of helping him do it, here is what Democrats in Congress have decided is worth holding Coronavirus relief hostage for:

  • A BAN on information about low-cost health insurance. That’s right—House Democrats want to forbid the government from sharing any information with you about lower-cost health options such as association plans or short-term plans. Even as families try to cope with job and wage losses, Speaker Pelosi doesn’t want them to learn about options that are up to 60 percent cheaper than Obamacare.
  • Mass voting by mail. A “Coronavirus relief” bill might seem like the wrong time and place to dictate how states run their elections. Democrats disagree.
  • Stimulus checks for illegal aliens. Rather than protect American citizens by requiring a Social Security Number for taxpayer-funded stimulus, Pelosi’s bill would give illegal immigrants the ability to receive up to $1,200 in direct payouts.
  • Bailouts… for government. Democrats want more than $1 trillion in cash for state and local governments, mostly in the form of unrestricted aid that doesn’t need to be used to offset Coronavirus costs. They also threw in a $25 billion bailout for the Post Office.

The list goes on. At a moment when Americans most need Washington to look out for them and cut the partisan drama, Democrat leaders once again chose to put their far-left base first.

MORE: “Democrats’ new $3 trillion Coronavirus spending wishlist is another embarrassing farce”


President Trump is protecting our national stockpile

When the Coronavirus struck, President Trump knew that America needed to act quickly. He worked with Congress to secure $16 billion to build up our national stockpile with ventilators, masks, respirators, pharmaceuticals, and other critical supplies.

As a result, America today has an abundant supply of ventilators, N95 respirators, and resources for testing—a crucial area where we now lead the world.

But that’s only the start. President Trump knows that America’s long-term self-reliance depends on our supply chain. “Our goal for the future must be to have American medicine for American patients, American supplies for American hospitals, and American equipment for our great American heroes,” he says.

“Now, both parties must unite to ensure the United States is truly an independent nation in every sense of the word.”

Today, the President traveled to Pennsylvania, visiting a distribution center that’s played a key role in helping to restock America.

Just since February, the Owens & Minor Distribution Center in Upper Macungie has deployed 1.75 million N95 respirators, 3.4 million gowns, 80 million gloves, and much more across our country. “You’re making America proud,” President Trump told them.

President Trump: “We are reclaiming our heritage as a nation of manufacturers!”

WATCHOur supply chains need to be HERE, not overseas

Greasing the Skids Toward Socialism?

One fallout of the Covid-19 crisis is its severe thrashing of our economy. Not only have all the impressive economic gains of the Trump administration evaporated, but we are now adding to our national debt in scary ways. I hope that all the bailouts are temporary means to solve a temporary problem.

To use an analogy: One of the saddest things about a midlife crisis is that permanent damage can be done to “solve” what turns out to be only a temporary problem. I pray that America won’t adopt the permanent solution of socialism to solve our temporary coronavirus crisis.

One of the most frightening things about the bailouts is that some people find that they are receiving more money for not working than they did when they were working.

Long before the crisis, we have seen the rise of popularity of socialism among the young in America. A Gallup poll about a year ago found that four in ten Americans embrace some form of socialism. Yipes.

In short, if we are not careful, this crisis could end up greasing the skids toward socialism.

President Trump wants to see us “inch” back to work and to recovery. But many Americans want to see us embrace socialism. Long before the aLL crisis, NYC socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was arguing that the “super wealthy” should be taxed up to 70 percent of their income in order to fund the “green new deal.”

Dr. Richard Land, the president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, N.C., knows firsthand what it is like to live in a socialist country. After graduating Princeton, he studied at Oxford to earn his Ph.D. He lived in the U.K. from 1972-1975 and experienced socialism there before Margaret Thatcher turned things around, beginning in the late 1970s. He said, “It was horrible.”

In a radio segment warning against socialism, he told me, “In Great Britain, nothing worked.”

Some people had been paying 91 percent taxes before Thatcher’s policies lowered it to 29 percent. She also privatized a lot of industries.

The results were amazing. Before Thatcher’s capitalist reforms, notes Land, England had the lowest per capita income in Western Europe. Because of her reforms, they ended up having the highest per capita income.

But, someone might ask, “What about Scandinavia?” Land notes that they too abandoned socialism because it doesn’t work. Instead, they have capitalism with a “liberal welfare state.”

What about all the young Americans who claim to embrace socialism? Land notes that they are thinking of socialism as just being “share and share alike.” But that’s not what it is. In socialism, the state becomes god. In a nanny state, you get the people more and more dependent upon the government for their very living.

That is what makes this present meltdown of the economy so frightening. There may be many on the marginal side of life who are content to rely upon the government—even as a way of life beyond the crisis.

Some people claim that the Scriptures advocate socialism. The Bible certainly promotes “share and share alike.” However, sharing is voluntary. Socialism involves government coercion and theft from Citizen A’s property on behalf of Citizen B. Meanwhile, the socialist government makes more money than either citizen in the administration of this theft by taxation and coercion.

Dr. Land observes, “Some people have said that the Bible teaches socialism. They’re wrong. They’re simply wrong and they’re very simplistic. The Bible tells us a great deal about the nature of man, which is pretty basic. And the heart of man, according to Jeremiah, is ‘deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it?’”

Dennis Prager, founder of PragerU, once told me in a TV interview, “[Socialism] is against human nature. The moment you tell people that the community will take care of you, they work less. It undermines character.”

During the heyday of the Obama administration and their over-abundant spending on domestic programs, I asked Stephen Moore, an economist who has served both Presidents Reagan and Trump, about those who promote socialistic solutions because “it’s the Christian thing to do.”

Moore answered, “I always laugh and sometimes frown when people say the Christian thing to do is to continue to spend money recklessly like we are doing now….If the government spends a dollar, that dollar has to come from somebody or somewhere….The real problem here is people say, ‘Oh, it’s so Christian to be spending all of this money on all these programs,’ and I say, ‘Wait a minute. Who’s going to pay the cost? Isn’t it Christian to care about your kids and your grandkids?”

May the coronavirus crisis be a temporary one. And may we be on our guard against any socialist framework that will do irreparable damage as a “solution” to this, Lord-willing, temporary problem.

©All rights reserved.

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China’s Electrifying Rags-to-Riches Ascent . . . at America’s Expense

A friend of mine who traveled China from the 1970s until recently described what the country was like 30 years ago:

Its cities were sprawling, impoverished places with dirt roads and low-rise structures. With few automobiles in the country back then, the Chinese people got around mostly by rickshaws and bicycles. The country had only a few tall buildings and just two sizable airports, in Beijing, its capital, and Shanghai, its financial center. China had no modern highways, bridges or high-speed rails, and the only trains that traversed the country were pulled by antiquated steam engines.

To get an idea of how much things have changed, please watch this 40-second clip of the Chinese city where COVID-19 originated. As the video shows, Wuhan bears no resemblance to the backward, desperately poor place it was just three decades ago. The same is true of cities throughout China.

Over the past 30 years, China has undergone a stupendous, caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation that has created some of the world’s most eye-popping roadways, bridges and architecture. Now within sight of overtaking the United States as the world’s dominant economy, China has also built a massively lethal military that poses a serious threat to America’s long-standing combat superiority—as reported by the Washington Times, China’s military is forcing the Pentagon to confront the end of U.S. battlefield dominance.

How Did This Happen?

From where did the money come that funded China’s dramatic makeover from a Third World backwater to an economic and military superpower? Trillions of dollars used to finance its spectacular ascendancy was handed willingly over by its greatest patron: the United States of America.

Since the late 1980s, China has been allowed—allowed—to extract trillions of dollars from the U.S. economy in the form of massive trade surpluses. As a result, the communist nation now has glistening cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan, while America is saddled with fading cities like Baltimore, Detroit, and Atlanta, once-thriving metropolises now marred by urban blight, rampant crime, sorry schools, generational poverty and other canaries in the coal mine of a nation in decline.

And to rub salt in America’s self-inflicted wounds, Chinese nationals who were allowed—allowed—to attend our top research universities and work at our most sensitive high-tech companies robbed America blind, surreptitiously sending many of our nation’s most vital technological and national defense secrets to our communist adversary hell-bent on chopping America off at the knees.

During the presidencies of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, China was allowed—allowed—to rip America a new one in what will go down as the most lopsided trade and stolen technology bludgeoning in history.

But don’t blame China for the trade imbalances. Its leaders were just doing what a nation’s leaders are expected to do: negotiate the best deal they could get. If the country on the other side of the table is willing to absorb an epic thrashing in the process, so much the better. And the voluntary thrashing America took lasted 28 consecutive years, from 1989 to 2017, a period when much of America’s manufacturing base was allowed—allowed—to sell-out its workers by offshoring production to China.

With America’s worn-out infrastructure badly in need of replacement, our political class instead ran up crushing debt and deficits, squandering trillions of dollars stolen from future generations on endless foreign wars and failed social programs. Meanwhile, China was using its trade-surplus windfall and stolen technology to build some of the world’s most impressive cities and a fearsome military.

In 2017, the United States began a strategic shift in its approach to China. Unless its relationship with the communist superpower is redefined, America’s days in the sun will be over, and the 21st century will be known as the “Chinese Century.”

Videos You Do Not Want to Miss

Below are nine related videos, each a visual reminder that China’s stunning rise at America’s expense could never have occurred without assistance from the four U.S. presidents who stood by and clapped as the Communist nation ate America’s lunch.

Viewing the videos will take a while, but doing so will help you see with your own eyes that while America was inching along on its hands and knees, a house of cards propped up by ruinous debt, China was making a great leap forward for the ages.

  • Click here to see China’s stunning road network. In 1988, China had zero modern highways; today, its world-class road network extends an astounding 84,000 miles, the longest road system in the world.
  • Click here to see China’s magnificent Beipanjiang Bridge, the highest bridge in the world. Of the world’s ten tallest bridges, eight are in China, zero in America.
  • Click here to see China’s incomparable Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the longest ocean crossing in the world. Designed to last 120 years, the $15 billion bridge-tunnel structure is a testament to China’s engineering might.
  • Click here to see China’s jaw-dropping 9-tower “horizontal skyscraper” in Chongqing. Known as “The Crystal,” the complex’s horizontal sky bridge straddles four 60-story skyscrapers, 820 feet in the air. Built at a cost of $3.6 billion, the mixed-use megastructure has a shopping mall with 450 stores. Is there anything like this in America? Of the world’s 25 tallest skyscrapers, 14 are in China, only two in the United States.
  • Click here to see a dynamic chart of China’s meteoric ascendancy to the world’s No. 2 economy.
  • Click here to see China’s stupendous Beijing Daxing International Airport. The world’s largest airport, Daxing can handle up to 250 takeoffs and landings per hour. By comparison, America’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, accommodates just 100 total movements per hour. Business Insider’s 2018 list of the 14 most beautiful airports in the world includes three in China, zero in the United States.
  • Click here to see how the U.S. auto industry was allowed—allowed—to sell-out its workers by offshoring jobs to China and other countries with dirt-cheap labor, a betrayal that determined the 2016 presidential election.
  • Click here to see China’s most powerful weapons, including nuclear-armed ICBMs that could reach the United States in 30 minutes. Three decades ago, China’s military was primarily land-based; today, it boasts a 2-million-man army, a blue-water navy, the world’s third-largest air force, and advanced cyber and anti-satellite weaponry that could be the deciding factor in a war against America.
  • Click here to see Chinese female soldiers on dress parade, as impressive a display of military precision you’ll likely ever see.

Finally, my friend believes America’s best days are behind it. Having done business throughout China, he observed that Chinese workers are intensely proud of their country, eagerly working as tirelessly as a colony of ants toward a common goal of national ascendancy.

America once was blessed with widespread patriotism, but over the last half-century, it has been polarized into two camps with diametrically opposite objectives. One side believes America should continue as a two-party constitutional democracy, the other wants that system scrapped in favor of single-party socialist rule.

No matter which of those hardened positions gains ground in November, half of America will continue working at cross purposes with the other half. A country at irreconcilable odds with itself is not a recipe for national ascendancy; it’s a recipe for national decline. The winner? China.

©All rights reserved.

The Nation’s Report Card Shows a Sorry State for Eighth-Graders

The Department of Education just released results of the quadrennial National Assessment of Educational Progress tests in U.S. history, civics, and geography given in 2018 to thousands of American eighth-graders: “Grade 8 Students’ NAEP Scores Decline in Geography and U.S. History; Results in Civics Unchanged Since 2014.”

The tests were administered from January to March 2018 to a nationally representative sample of 42,700 eighth-graders from about 780 schools. The news is not very good.

Only 24% of students performed at or above the “proficient” level in civics. Worse yet, only 15% scored proficient or above in American history and 25% were proficient in geography. At least 25% of America’s eighth-graders are what NAEP defines as “below basic” in U.S. history, civics, and geography.

That means they have no understanding of historical and civic issues and cannot point out basic locations on a map.


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 >>


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos referred to the recent national report card as “stark and inexcusable.” She blamed “antiquated” education methods for low test scores among the nation’s eighth-graders. That’s nonsense.

I’d bet the rent money that eighth-grade students of earlier periods, say during the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s who were burdened with “antiquated” education methods such as having to learn algebra and geometry, identifying parts of speech, and memorizing poems like “Old Ironsides” could run circles around today’s eighth-graders, high school graduates, and perhaps some college graduates. I think we need to bring back these authentically antiquated education methods.

Part of the solution to our education problem is given by Jeffrey Sikkenga, professor of political science and executive director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. He said:

Students need to go back to America’s past and ask it questions, starting with our founding. They need to study great documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address,’ and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Not just read about them in boring textbooks, but read the documents themselves, for themselves. Have great conversations with those great minds—discover for themselves the story of America in the words of those who lived it.

The school climate, seldom discussed, plays a very important role in education. During the 2017-18 school year, there were an estimated 962,300 violent incidents and 476,100 nonviolent incidents in U.S. public schools nationwide. Seventy-one percent of schools reported having at least one violent incident, and 65% reported having at least one nonviolent incident.

Schools with 1,000 or more students had at least one sworn law enforcement officer. About 90% of those law enforcement officers carry firearms.

I bet that decades ago, one would be hard put to find either armed or unarmed police officers patrolling the building. For example, between 1950 and 1954, I attended Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia. The only time we saw a police officer in the building was during an assembly where we had to listen to a boring lecture on safety. Today, police patrol the hallways.

Another school in north Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion High School, once had 94 security cameras, six school police officers, and two metal detectors. Students had to walk through the metal detectors to enter the building and were often searched by police officers. It was on the list of those most persistently dangerous schools in Pennsylvania.

Aside from violence, there are many instances of outright disrespect for teachers. First- and second-graders telling teachers to “Shut the f— up” and calling teachers “bitch.” To note the attitude of some school administrators, a New Jersey teacher was seriously assaulted by a student. When she asked her principal to permanently remove the student from her classroom, the principal told her to “put on her big girl panties and deal with it.”

Years ago, the behavior of young people that we see today would have never been tolerated. There was the vice principal’s office where corporal punishment would be administered for gross infractions. If the kid was unwise enough to tell his parents what happened, he might get more punishment at home.

Today, unfortunately, we’ve replaced practices that work with practices that sound good and caring, and we’re witnessing the results.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

Walter E. Williams is a columnist for The Daily Signal and a professor of economics at George Mason University. Twitter: .


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!

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

PODCAST: The Impact of COVID-19 on America’s Economy

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package and historic unemployment rate during the coronavirus pandemic is placing a strain on our economy.

Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements at The Heritage Foundation, joins the podcast to explain the effects of record high unemployment on the economy and how Americans can successfully get back to work after COVID-19.

Greszler also shares the intended purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program and what Congress can do to resolve the program’s shortcomings.

Also on today’s show, we talk with Neal Harmon, co-founder of the family-friendly streaming service VidAngel, about the platform’s original series “The Chosen.”


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 >>


Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

Virginia Allen: I am joined by Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements at The Heritage Foundation. Rachel, thanks so much for being here.

Rachel Greszler: My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Virginia.

Allen: Today we’re talking about our economy and what are some of those variables that we’re seeing right now in the economy and what some of those effects are of COVID-19.

Quite frankly, I really wish that this could be a cheerier conversation, but I’m really glad that you can join us today and share a little bit of your expertise on this subject and just give us a glimpse into America’s economy now and what it might look like in the future.

Let’s begin by talking about unemployment. You wrote in a recent article that unemployment rates are close to 20%. Twenty percent, that’s unbelievable. Just in the past four weeks, we’ve seen about 26 million Americans apply for unemployment benefits.

Now, the government’s response to these high numbers has been to not only provide the normal unemployment benefits to Americans, but also to give all recipients an additional $600 a week. What was the rationale behind, not only offering those unemployment benefits, but tacking on that additional $600?

Greszler: In a normal situation, the unemployment program, it doesn’t cover everybody. It doesn’t cover people like the self-employed or part-time workers or gig economy workers.

It also only provides about 50% of people’s previous earnings. You also have to be fired from a job. You can’t quit or choose to leave your job.

But under these unusual circumstances, when businesses were forced to shut their doors and workers lost their job, through no fault of their own, tens of millions of workers, Congress wanted to do something to bridge the gap in a better way so that we could give people a higher portion of their earnings so that they could maintain their living standard, pay their bills, and then be able to be ready to come back to work as soon as it’s safe to reopen businesses.

The goal there was to try and get people closer to what they had previously gotten from their paychecks, in the form of unemployment insurance check.

The problem there was, they just said, “Well, let’s do $600 for everybody because for somebody who makes about the average, this would help bring them up to 100%. But the reality is, a majority of Americans will be getting more from unemployment insurance than they would from their normal paycheck.

That creates a lot of bad incentives, including ones that go against the grain and are going to defeat the funds and the programs that Congress has set up, that do try to keep people employed.

Allen: Let’s talk more about that, because you wrote that the extra $600 a week could increase unemployment benefit claims by 13.9 million and reduce the nation’s output by up to $1.49 trillion between May and September. Can you just explain this domino effect a little bit more?

Greszler: Yes. My colleague Drew Gonshorowski and I have a report … and we use some modeling in the Center for Data Analysis to look at what the impact would be, considering that more people will file for unemployment insurance benefits because more people are eligible to obtain them and they will also tend to be on them for longer because they’re making a higher portion of their earnings than they otherwise would have.

So, we said, we see this as being really problematic and we want policymakers to know what the implications will be.

We ran it through our labor models and found that the total amount of unemployed could peak at about an extra 14 million people in about May, and that is a result of people not working and staying at home instead of coming back when they’re able to, otherwise, the output will decline by somewhere between $955 billion and $1.5 trillion between May and September.

We used a lot of economic research, elasticities, to model this, but we’re starting to see the real-world implications of it from businesses that are reporting that they’ve had to close their doors, even though they want to be able to stay open and provide things to people like first responders or maybe it’s restaurants that some of those states now … allowed to start reopening and they aren’t able to get their workers to come back because some of them might be making 50% more on unemployment than they would if they went back to work.

Even just for the median earner, they can make an extra $2,300 over four months of unemployment, compared to being employed.

This is particularly true for the lower you go down the income scale. Somebody who’s at about the 25th percentile of earnings would get an extra $5,000 over this four-month period that the additional benefits are available.

So, clearly, it’s in their financial incentive to not come back to work once their employer says, “We’d like to rehire you.” That’s going to create all sorts of problems in terms of not being able to get the economy going again, once it’s safe to do so.

Allen: Rachel, you’re saying that if, let’s say, I work as a receptionist, it may be an auto part shop or something like that, and I go to my employer and I say I feel unsafe working right now during the pandemic, then I can quit. But I can still, under the CARES Act, receive unemployment, the regular unemployment benefits, plus that $600, and probably be making even more than I would be making from my employer.

Greszler: That’s exactly right. Under this new eligibility criteria, it really is more in workers’ hands to decide whether or not they’re going to keep working or to file for unemployment insurance.

Say you’re that receptionist, maybe making $600 per week coming into the office. You would be making $900 per week from unemployment and those additional benefits are available until July 31, so there’s going to be a big incentive for people to not go back to work until at least July 31 and we certainly hope that Congress doesn’t extend those benefits beyond July 31.

Allen: What about the Paycheck Protection [Program]? Because my understanding of the Paycheck Protection [Program] was that it was really put in place in order to keep employees attached to their employer, so that now, employers could keep paying their staff and we wouldn’t end up in a situation where so many people were filing for unemployment.

Greszler: Yes, and that was exactly the goal of the Paycheck Protection Program.

It’d aimed at smaller businesses, but it’s a resource for them to be able to keep all their workers on their paychecks, even if they’re not actually coming into work or maybe they’re only doing a few hours from home, to keep those connections so that workers don’t lose their health insurance, and that when it’s able to get things up and running again, everybody will be in place and able to resume more quickly.

But the problem is that these are competing with one another now. We’ve heard cases of a spa owner in Washington State, who went out and got a Paycheck Protection Program loan and she was announcing it to all of her employees on one of these Zoom calls and they got angry with her and they thought that she was taking something away from them by wanting them to remain employed and get their usual paychecks because they could have gotten more from unemployment insurance.

Similarly, a wood mill in Arkansas, they polled their workers and said, “Would you rather keep coming into work and keep your paychecks or do you want the unemployment insurance?” Because they had already heard from among the ranks that a lot of people didn’t really want to keep working.

They decided that they were going to lay off half of the people at one of those plants because they didn’t want to have that animosity in the workplace of people thinking, “I’d rather be at home and collecting these benefits.”

Allen: What should Congress have done differently? How could the Paycheck Protection [Program] been implemented in a way that it actually really was helping small businesses instead of hurting them?

Greszler: It was really an easy fix, and this was something that a group of senators provided an amendment for that just would have said the total amount of unemployment benefits … cannot exceed what you were previously getting in your paycheck.

This is very commonsense, but there was pushback against that.

Some people said it would make it harder to implement, but the reality is, the states already have formulas, whether it’s 50% or whatever it is, and so to just say that that new formula is going to be kept at 100% would not have been that much more administratively burdensome to implement.

It certainly would have helped prevent these situations where workers are being incentivized to quit.

Employers are being incentivized to lay workers off, instead of go through the application process of getting a loan, which were difficult to do and I know the money did run out there at one point. It’s an easy fix and, hopefully, Congress will still be looking at this and consider putting that fix into place.

Allen: Let’s talk about the long-term economic impacts from COVID-19—and these were really generous unemployment benefits.

Let’s say we get to July or August and businesses across America are given the green light to reopen. Are you worried that businesses are going to face challenges of actually getting employees to come back to work and that it’s going to be really challenging to actually get Americans off of unemployment?

Greszler: I think it is, especially before July 31, when this additional $600 per week runs out and, unfortunately, it’s going to be hardest to get those people back in the industries that have been hardest hurt—like restaurants, hotels, tourism, and travel—because then these tend to be the lower-paid workers and they are the ones who take home the biggest benefit by this additional $600 per week coming through to them.

In some ways, we can’t fault them if they’re able to collect more money from unemployment and save that up. That makes sense for them individually. But it might not actually make sense in the long term.

Also because we know that the longer people are unemployed, the lower their opportunities and incomes are in the future. But also just in the short term, in terms of getting the economy going again and having us be productive and, in particular, being able to meet some of the needs.

We’ve already seen supply shortages in certain companies that are not able to deliver things or [make] what’s needed to be made as quickly as possible to meet the demands from COVID-19.

So that’s going to be an increasing fear going forward, especially as this is going to remain an issue into the fall flu season. We want to have the companies be prepared to be able to respond to COVD-19 in the ways that we need them to.

Allen: Yeah, and one of the other issues that we’re hearing a lot about in the news right now is state bailouts. There’s a great deal of controversy here. Is there a world where the federal government should consider baling some states out?

Greszler: Not a bailout. There’s definitely a role for the federal government to provide help for COVID-19-related expenses and we’ve already seen an unprecedented amount of money go toward that and the federal government is covering almost all the health care costs.

They’ve provided $150 billion in direct grants to the states, up to $500 billion in new lending. That is unprecedented, coming from the Federal Reserve.

But what the states are asking for now is unrestricted funds to use for whatever purpose they want, essentially, including if their revenues have gone down, which is something that states are supposed to plan for, and that’s why they have rainy day funds, and also covering things like pension obligations that they haven’t funded for decades.

Illinois sent a letter to Congress asking for $40 billion, including $10 billion to cover their unfunded pension obligation. That has nothing to do with COVID-19.

So, there is not a need and there’s no real excuse that the federal government would bail out states. That just sets a terrible precedent, going forward, that you’re going to penalize states who have acted in a responsible way fiscally and reward those who have been reckless.

Allen: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that states maybe should consider declaring bankruptcy if they really need to.

His exact words were, “I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route.” McConnell has received a lot of backlash from this statement.

Do you think that the bankruptcy route is something that some states might need to consider?

Greszler: I think the important takeaway behind Sen. McConnell’s statement is that the federal government’s not responsible for states’ budgets.

So, to the extent that there have been states like Illinois or New York coming and saying, “We absolutely need you to give us this money or we’re not going to be able to operate,” that’s not true. You don’t get into a bankruptcy-like situation unless you have had decades worth of fiscal mismanagement.

The issue of bankruptcy itself, the states are actually not allowed to declare bankruptcy right now.

States can allow their cities or the municipalities to declare bankruptcy, but going forward, this is an issue that will remain something for Congress and the states to consider, because the reality is, there are some states that, prior to COVID-19, were already in a situation where they’re pretty rapidly approaching insolvency, and Illinois is the best example of that.

I really don’t see a way forward for that state to either raise taxes enough or cut services enough that they will be able to pay their debts and fulfill their pension obligations. So something will have to be done there.

Whether or not that’s a bankruptcy-type situation or if the state sits down and negotiates with its debtors and with its public employees, something will have to be done.

But I think that the issue of COVID-19, that in and of itself would not cause a state to become insolvent. I think that’s the point that was trying to be made here, is that “We will help you with the expenses related to this health pandemic, but we’re not going to cover those things that are your own responsibility to budget for.”

Allen: I see. That makes sense. Speaking of debt, America’s national debt now is over $24 trillion, last time I checked. That is higher than it’s ever been before and, frankly, a number that’s just … really hard to wrap your mind around.

Our federal government is spending a lot of money right now on these various stimulus packages. Where is this money coming from?

Greszler: It’s coming from you and me and the future, from our children, from anybody that’s working today on out into how many years, we don’t know because we don’t know when our debt becomes unsustainable.

Looking back decades ago, we would have said, “How could we ever get over $23 trillion in debt and have a single year in which we have $4 trillion in debt? That’s not possible.” And yet it seems like it’s possible now.

The problem is you just don’t know when these debt crises hit. Puerto Rico didn’t anticipate the timing of when there’s [hit], Greece, other countries.

When you get to the situation where creditors just decide that they’re not going to lend to you anymore at an unreasonable rate, that’s when you don’t have time to make the more rational decisions to pare back on certain expenses that you otherwise would have been able to if you acted sooner.

We’re already at a situation in the U.S. where each household in America owns about $187,000 worth of America’s debt, and that was before COVID-19, and now we’ve added on about another $27,000 per household. This is clearly an unsustainable level and a huge burden for future generations.

Allen: Is it possible to actually pay off that much debt?

Greszler: … It’s possible. You have to do it over time. It’s going to take a level of fiscal restraint that we’ve never seen before.

What we don’t want to get to is a situation where you have enormous tax rates that lead to a smaller economy and then it results in a downward spiral and you are more likely to face a bankruptcy-type situation or having the Fed need to print its way out of debt. That’s certainly not something that we want it to come to.

Allen: Yeah. What does need to happen next? How can we come out of the coronavirus situation and really ensure that, like you say, we’re leaving our kids and our grandkids a prosperous America that has the same opportunities that you and I have enjoyed?

Greszler: I think, starting with the current crisis, is evaluating what’s been done to date and how has it worked or not worked.

There’s just constant urge by Congress to pass more and more stimulus bills, to try and have more assistance and aid and relief, and yet, we don’t even know.

Some of the money hasn’t gone out the door and we don’t know what the impact has been. We don’t know what it’s going to be like as states start reopening their economy.

I would say the first thing is, … unless it’s an absolute immediate need, directly-related to COVID-19, we shouldn’t be considering spending more money yet. We need to wait and see and hope that things will start reopening and rebounding.

Then, going forward, just as any time when a household would run out of its rainy day funds or have to take on debt, you have to budget in the future to account for that. You have to eventually pay that back.

Unfortunately, the U.S. has not ever been paying things back. It’s like we have an interest-only mortgage and we just keep increasing that mortgage every single year and never paying anything down.

We actually have a proposal at The Heritage Foundation called the “Blueprint for Balance” that we’ve put out each year, and we show how you could actually start balancing our annual budget within 10 years and get to a more sustainable pathway going forward.

Allen: We’ll be sure to link the “Blueprint for Balance” in our show notes so our audience can check that out. Rachel, we really appreciate your time today and your expertise on this subject.

Greszler: Thanks so much, Virginia.

PODCAST BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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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!

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

EXCLUSIVE: Trump Denies COVID-19 Funds to Planned Parenthood

The Trump administration has acted to ensure that no funds from the new Paycheck Protection Program, set up to assist small businesses battered by COVID-19, will go to Planned Parenthood.

“President Trump is committed to ensuring Paycheck Protection Program money is used for saving jobs at small businesses, not getting the government into the business of funding abortion,” a senior administration official told The Daily Signal.

“While not all Americans share President Trump’s pro-life beliefs, there is broad bipartisan support for the idea that American taxpayers should not have to fund abortion,” the official said Wednesday night.


When can America reopen? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, is gathering America’s top thinkers together to figure that out. Learn more here>>.

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 Paycheck Protection Program, designed to shore up small businesses that had to close or otherwise were affected by the coronavirus pandemic, allows businesses with fewer than 500 employees to be forgiven for the principal of a government loan if they don’t lay off their employees. The employers still have to pay the interest on the loans, overseen by the Small Business Administration.

The program’s initial $350 billion fund, established in legislation passed March 30 by the House, was depleted April 16. The program received $320 billion in new funding in a bill passed Thursday by the House and signed into law Friday by Trump.

The senior administration official told The Daily Signal that the Small Business Administration’s mission already excludes big enterprises such as Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

“The SB in SBA is for ‘small business,’ so SBA has regulations called ‘affiliation rules’ to define when small employers might be so closely affiliated with a parent organization that they should be considered one large employer,” the official said, adding:

While each Planned Parenthood affiliate has fewer than 500 employees, nationwide it has over 16,000 employees. So when applying PPP’s affiliation rules neutrally, it’s clear that Planned Parenthood is one large employer and not eligible for PPP money.

The interim final rule made crystal clear that an organization with Planned Parenthood’s corporate structure doesn’t qualify.

So far, over 1.6 million businesses have received forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, with Trump saying that the SBA processed more loans in 14 days than it had in the previous 14 years.

A quote was added to this report shortly after initial publication.

COLUMN BY

Rachel del Guidice

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

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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.

Trump Suggests He May Withhold Bailout Funds From States With Sanctuary Cities

President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that he may withhold federal bailout funds from states with cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Trump was asked at a White House event with business leaders about the idea of another round of stimulus money for U.S. taxpayers. The president said he liked the concept of payroll tax cuts, then shifted to the possibility of bailout funds for state governments.

“The problem with the states is we’re not looking to recover 25 years of bad management and give them the money they lost. That’s unfair to other states,” Trump said.

“If it is COVID-related, we can talk about it, but we want certain things also, including sanctuary city adjustments,” he continued. “We have so many people in sanctuary cities, which I don’t even think they are popular even by radical left because people are being protected that shouldn’t be protected and a lot of bad things are happening with sanctuary cities.”

The president continued to suggest that, for state governments to be eligible for more bailout aid, they would have to clamp down on their cities that refuse to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“If we are going to do something for states, I think they probably want something having to do with sanctuary cities and other different points that we can discuss a little bit later on,” he said.

Trump has previously tried to withhold funds from sanctuary cities.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that the White House is legally allowed to withhold millions of dollars in federal law enforcement grants from states and other localities that refuse to work with ICE, delivering a major victory for the administration in its fight against sanctuary jurisdictions.

Democrats, however, have tried to stop the administration from tying coronavirus aid to immigration policy.

The CARES Act, a $2.2. trillion stimulus relief package for Americans suffering from the coronavirus, included millions in law enforcement grants. Language in the bill specifically forbid Trump from withholding those funds from jurisdictions that have sanctuary policies in place.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has closed the northern and southern borders to all “nonessential” traffic, and the president has issued an executive order that bars many green card applications from foreign nationals living abroad.

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

U.S. Won’t Give Gaza Covid-19 Aid That Could Be Used For Jihad Terror Attacks

The relentless war on Israel by Hamas is being answered by the Trump Administration with a relentless war of its own on funding for that terrorist group. That includes a refusal by the Americans to supply Gaza – that is, Hamas – with money to fight the coronavirus. After all, cash intended by donors for PPE (masks, gowns, gloves) and ventilators can be diverted to pay for rockets and terror tunnels.

The latest installment in this campaign to cut funding for Hamas appeared in the New York Post:

The United States Agency for International Development has moved to aggressively block the distribution of coronavirus relief funds to the entire Gaza strip over concerns the money could fall into the hands of Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

No doubt Hamas thought the coronavirus pandemic would make it hard for the Trump Administration to refuse to give aid to Gaza – which today is the same thing as giving aid to Hamas, the terror group that controls every aspect of life in the Strip. But Hamas was wrong.

The Trump administration is not supporting assistance to Gaza,” a senior administration official with knowledge of USAID plans told The Post. “There is a Hamas government in Gaza. They have indicated no interest in engaging with us, no interest in peace with Israel and in fact they continue — despite having coronavirus cases in Gaza — to fire rockets at the Israelis on a regular basis.”

The issue of Gaza funding came to the fore internally after the United States pledged $5 million to help Palestinian relief services in their fight against the deadly pandemic.

I’m very pleased the USA is providing $5M for Palestinian hospitals and households to meet immediate, life-saving needs in combating COVID-19. The USA, as the world’s top humanitarian aid donor, is committed to assisting the Palestinian people, & others worldwide, in this crisis,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman announced in an April 16 tweet.

The plan currently calls for USAID to distribute the funds entirely within the West Bank, ruled by the comparatively more moderate Palestinian Authority and its aging leading Mahmoud Abbas. The funds will be released to a contractor, who would then have discretion to divvy up the cash on the ground as they see fit.

First, notice the derisory sum involved — $5 million. It’s almost breathtaking in its paltriness, and the clear intent to belittle the demands of the Palestinians, with their hands perennially outstretched for ever more aid. Some might describe the sum as deliberately derisory. One is surprised that Mahmoud Abbas didn’t turn it down, in one of his well-known rants, as an “insult to the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian people do not accept insults from anyone.” He may still be nursing a stunned fury: “how dare the Americans offer me so little?” But that’s just the point: the days of big handouts to the Palestinians are over, even during this pandemic. The sum the Americans offered was designed to be just enough to forestall accusations that Washington was unwilling to offer aid “at a time like this,” but the amount shows a clear intent to provide the absolute minimum. Never before have the Palestinians had to deal with an administration like this. They are at their wit’s end.

Of course this $5 million, which is being given to the PA for use in the West Bank, may be supplemented by a subsequent separate sum for Gaza; that will depend on whether the Trump Administration can find a local contractor in Gaza it trusts to distribute aid in the Strip, without any involvement by Hamas. If that happens, the donated sum is likely to be a similarly paltry amount.

Finding a trusted contractor to ensure the money flows exclusively to COVID-19 efforts instead of rockets and terror tunnels in Gaza has proved difficult. The leading contender for the job right now, Catholic Relief Services, has repeatedly expressed interest in distributing cash in the Hamas-controlled territory and has petitioned both the State Department and USAID to release funds previously awarded to them to spend in Gaza.

The CRS puts itself forward as the best candidate to distribute cash to the Palestinians, but obviously the Administration has had grave doubts about the CRS for some time; the State Department and USAID previously refused to release funds that the CRS had been awarded and wanted to spend in Gaza. The Administration is unlikely to change its mind about the CRS now. The problem remains of finding a group in Gaza that can distribute cash to both hospitals and people without involving Hamas. For if the past is any guide, if,Hamas is involved with that distribution, itwill find a way to take a cut for its leaders or to allocate whatever American aid is forthcoming to its members alone.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), along with other faith-based and U.S. private voluntary agencies, is desperately mobilizing to mitigate the potentially catastrophic impact of COVID-19 in Gaza,” wrote CRS chief Sean Callahan in a March 20 missive to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and USAID administrator Mark Andrew Green. “We are urgently requesting the support of USAID in these efforts. ”

The Catholic Relief pitch to distribute funds has also raised eyebrows among staff at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — who raised a number of possible concerns about how the relief organization would allocate funds.

Catholic Relief Services thinks it is beyond reproach, an organization that needs no vetting, as a dispenser of charity with a holier-than-thou halo around its institutional head. Not everyone agrees. Those in the Trump Administration who are familiar with the organization, which in the U.S.and Europe has pushed for more Muslim migrants, has parroted the Pope’s line that “authentic Islam” has nothing to do with Islam, has been enthusiastically involved in interfaith outreach that always ends up with Christians apologizing for their islamophobia and with Muslims accepting the apology –are not enthusiastic about entrusting the CRS with the task of distributing funds to Muslims in Gaza.

USAID should ask up front the entire list of ‘local partners’ and ‘key partners’ who will receive any U.S. taxpayer dollars so that USAID can do thorough and proper vetting of each ahead of time,” embassy staff wrote.

American diplomats in Jerusalem remain impressively unimpressed by the CRS’s pretense of pure motives; they want to know exactly to whom in Gaza CRS intends to give American taxpayers’ money, so that these would-be recipients can be investigated for possible ties to terrorism. Assurances from CRS that it would never support terrorists simply won’t wash.

Here’s one possibility: Washington could provide another $5 million in aid for Gaza, but insist that it be distributed by the one group that would certainly steer clear of Hamas – that is, those who are loyal to the PA. Perhaps the money ultimately intended for Gaza could be sent to the PA in Ramallah, which would then be asked to have its loyalists in Gaza distribute the aid directly to hospitals and sufferers from the coronavirus. Would Hamas try to stop this? Unlikely, given the wrath of Gazans if the terrorist group were to block that infusion of cash. If the PA can resist helping itself to any of that money, and distributes it openly and fairly, it might regain some of its popularity, at the very moment when the mismanagement and greed of Hamas have made that terror group intolerable to many Gazans. Were the PA to be able to renew its rule in Gaza, at the expense of Hamas, which in the last 12 years of misrule has been tried and found wanting, that would be a good thing. The PA is bad, but Hamas is far far worse. It’s a consummation devoutly to be wished.

COLUMN BY

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

Trump Showcases Jobs Preserved by Paycheck Protection Program Amid COVID-19 Shutdown

Michael Heup not only got his job back at Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, which was temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 crisis, but he also had the chance to talk about it at the White House on Tuesday.

“I love my job, and I am excited about going back to work,” Heup, a disabled employee, said at the East Room event. “At Bitty & Beau’s, we like to use the phrase called ‘not broken.’ That means me and all my amazing co-workers are not broken, and we have lots to offer. I know the great country of the United States isn’t broken either.”

The Wilmington, North Carolina-based Bitty & Beau’s Coffee had to temporarily close and lay off 120 employees at the company, most with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But it was able to rehire all the employees after getting a federal loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.

The White House had representatives from eight companies at the event sharing their stories of staying afloat after governments’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts forced much of the economy to close.


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 >>


Under the program, if businesses with fewer than 500 employees do not lay off employees, the principal on the loan is forgivable. Employers still have to pay the interest.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee has locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland. For most of the employees, it’s their first paying job. The employees are now “working from home, writing handwritten notes that we include with each online order we ship,” said Amy Wright, CEO of Bitty & Beau’s, also speaking at the event.

“I know everyone is ready to return to normal,” Wright said. “I believe it’s time for a new normal, one where people with disabilities are valued, especially in the workplace. As a recipient of the [Paycheck Protection Program] loan, we will continue to take up the charge and help everyone, especially people with disabilities, pursue the American dream.”

The Paycheck Protection Program has disbursed $350 billion to small businesses across the United States, and more than 1.6 million forgivable loans have been approved by the Small Business Administration. Trump said the SBA has issued more loans in the past 14 days than it has in the past 14 years.

However, the program has come under scrutiny for doling out loans to large employers, such as Harvard University and Shake Shack. Several of the big businesses returned the loans after the rash of bad publicity.

“The press has commented on a lot of big companies that inappropriately took the money,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the event. “We’ve been very clear. We’ve announced today that any loan over $2 million will have a full review for forgiveness before they are repaid because this is the story of small business here.”

When taking questions from reporters, Trump was asked about Democrats in Congress calling for guaranteed incomes that could go on for months.

“I like payroll tax cuts. I’ve liked that from the beginning. That was a thing that I would really love to see happen. Most economists agree with me,” Trump said.

The president expressed skepticism of bailing out states, but he said aid could come with the precondition of changing sanctuary policies, in which local jurisdictions refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“We are not looking to recover 25 years of bad management and to give them the money they lost. That’s unfair to other states. Now, if it’s COVID-related, I guess we could talk about it,” Trump said, adding:

But we’d want certain things also, including sanctuary city adjustments, because we have so many people in sanctuary cities, which I don’t even think are popular by radical left folks.

What’s happening is, people are being protected that shouldn’t be protected, and a lot of bad things are happening with sanctuary cities.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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Today’s Americans and Yesteryear’s Americans


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.

$66 Mil, Federal Agents, National Guard Wasted on 2,500-Bed Camp That Averaged 30 Immigrants

Against the advice of frontline agents, the federal government opened a temporary immigration detention facility that was barely used and cost a ghastly $66 million to operate for just five months. During that time the tent encampment situated in a rural west Texas community near the Mexican border housed an average of just 30 detainees, according to a scathing federal audit that blasts the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the waste. Though it has a 2,500-person capacity, the facility never held more than 66 illegal aliens on any given day, investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found.

Not only did Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pay a private contractor tens of millions of dollars in facility costs, it spent “about $5.3 million for food services—the preparation and delivery of meals and snacks—it did not need,” the congressional probe reveals. In an enraging example, investigators write that, during the first three months, the government paid for about 675,000 meals despite ordering only 13,428 because there were not enough detainees. The U.S. also “leveraged significant federal personnel resources” that added up to an additional $6.7 million. This includes 75 unarmed guards to monitor the camp around the clock and officers from DHS agencies such as CBP, the Border Patrol (BP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as soldiers from the National Guard. Investigators did the math and figured that each illegal immigrant detainee that stayed at the camp was guarded by four soldiers, three security guards and at least one CBP agent. The resources “could have been allocated to other missions,” the GAO writes in its report.

Here is a breakdown of the federal officers wasted on this seldom-used immigrant detention camp in addition to the separately paid contract security guards. Twenty-one CBP agents responsible for facility operations, such as detainee intake, welfare checks and transportation, among other things. Eleven BP agents from the El Paso sector, one of the nation’s busiest, 10 CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations and five ICE agents to help coordinate on decisions made about individuals at the facility. On top of all that, 116 Texas National Guard soldiers were deployed to the encampment for logistical support such as meal distribution and monitoring security cameras, among other duties.

The facility in the El Paso County town of Tornillo was once used to detain illegal immigrant minors and was briefly reopened for single adults around the beginning of August 2019. It finally closed at the start of 2020, but not without fleecing American taxpayers. It’s not like the government didn’t have opportunities to shut it down earlier. In fact, initially the camp was only supposed to open for three months at a cost of $47 million and could have been closed based on the numbers—less than 1% of capacity. Instead, the feds extended the deal for two months at a cost of $19 million. “Border Patrol officials in the El Paso sector told us that the sector recommended to Border Patrol headquarters that the facility be closed and resources reallocated elsewhere for other CBP missions, due to the consistently low numbers of individuals held at the facility and the personnel resource requirements to operate the facility,” the GAO report states.

But, as we regularly see in government, there is often little consensus—or cooperation—among agencies, even when they exist under the same umbrella. In this case the DHS, the gargantuan agency created after 9/11 to prevent another terrorist attack. Congressional investigators write that CBP pushed to keep the Tornillo camp open though it was hardly used. The 60,000-employee agency is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade and apparently it pulled more weight than the frontline BP agents. “In contrast, CBP headquarters officials told us, despite the consistently low numbers of detainees held in the Tornillo facility, they decided to continue operations for the 2,500-person facility because they were operating in an environment with considerable uncertainty related to migrant flow and wanted to prepare for the possibility of increased apprehensions,” the report says.

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

Coronavirus Crisis Exposes a Devastating Consequence of Fed Policy: Americans Have No Savings

Over 100 years, the Federal Reserve has destroyed more than 97 percent of our currency’s purchasing power.


During a March 17 address to the nation in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, President Donald Trump asked that Americans work from home, postpone unnecessary travel, and limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Ten days later, Trump signed a stimulus package of more than $2 trillion to provide relief to an economy on the precipice of collapse.

The aid package includes handouts and loans to individuals, small businesses, and other distressed industries.

Despite Trump “having created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country,” when the markets tanked, massive and immediate government intervention was the only thing left to forestall a total collapse.

So why can’t the greatest economy in the world handle a temporary shock without needing trillions of dollars injected to stay afloat?

The Federal Reserve and its vicious and ongoing war on savers are to blame.

Using the Federal Reserve Note—commonly (but incorrectly) referred to as the dollar—introduces a dilemma. Because of inflationary monetary policy, Americans have long been forced to select among three undesirable options:

A) Save. Hold Federal Reserve Notes and be guaranteed to lose at least 2 percent in purchasing power every single year.

B) Consume. Spend Federal Reserve Notes on immediate goods and services to get the most out of current purchasing power.

C) Speculate. Try to beat the Fed’s deliberate inflation, seeking a higher return by investing in complicated and unstable asset markets.

With businesses and Americans defaulting on their rent and other obligations only days into the collapse, the problem is clear: Few have any savings. And why should they when saving their money at negative real rates of return has been a sucker’s game?

Lack of sound money, or money that doesn’t maintain its purchasing power over time, has discouraged savings while encouraging debt-financed consumption.

American businesses and individuals are so overleveraged that once their income goes away, even briefly, they are too often left with nothing.

Fiat money is especially pernicious in the way it harms its users. To some, two percent losses can go easily unnoticed, year to year. Over 100 years, the loss has been well over 97 percent.

And who can save for emergencies when you’re being forced to work and spend more—simply to maintain the same quality of life?

Over 100 years, the Federal Reserve has destroyed more than 97 percent of our currency’s purchasing power.

With the Fed slashing short-term rates to zero, the US Federal Reserve Note has been further destroyed as a method of preserving savings. (And negative nominal interest rates could be coming next.)

Inflationary economic policy, absent the guardrails of sound money, has created a situation with an obvious and deadly conclusion: that many Americans lack savings to protect themselves against downturns.

This situation isn’t necessarily the fault of the people, but rather the fault of a system in which discouraging and punishing savers is a crucial tenet of the entire framework.

The Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, and the White House are trying to reassure the public that everything is “under control,” that “the US economy’s fundamentals are still strong,” and that the economy will skyrocket once COVID-19 is taken care of. What if they’re wrong?

Maybe the greatest monetary experiment in history is coming to an end. Maybe sound money can still save the day, but we must not waste any more time in restoring it.

Jp Cortez

Jp Cortez is Policy Director for the Sound Money Defense League, a non-partisan, national public policy organization working to restore sound money at the state and federal level and which maintains America’s Sound Money Index.

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

Trump Pulls WHO Funding, Says Organization ‘Must Be Held Accountable’ [Video]

President Donald Trump made it official Tuesday that the administration was halting money to the World Health Organization, the international body that said in January that COVID-19 could not be spread by human-to-human contact, and praised China’s response to the virus.

“Our countries are now experiencing—look all over the world—tremendous death and economic devastation because those tasked with protecting us by being truthful and transparent failed to do so,” Trump said. “It would have been so easy to be truthful. And so much death has been caused by their mistakes. We will continue to engage with the WHO to see if it can make meaningful reforms.”

Trump said funding will be stopped during a review of the organization.

“American taxpayers provide between $400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO. In contrast, China contributes roughly $40 million per year, and even less,” Trump said. “As the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability.”


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“One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations,” Trump continued, adding, “The WHO’s attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above lifesaving measures.”

The United States contributes 14.7% of the World Health Organization’s $38 billion budget, while China contributes only 0.21%, according to WHO’s numbers.

According to WHO, contributions from the U.S. government, American citizens, and U.S.-based charities make up 76% of all voluntary contributions to the organization. That amounted to $945.6 million from 2016 to 2017.

Congress authorized about $123 million in taxpayer funding for WHO in the last fiscal year, and Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget request proposed to reduce funding to about $58 million.

The announced review by the administration also comes as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has begun an investigation into the WHO.

“The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet, and share information in a timely and transparent fashion,” Trump said from the Rose Garden during the daily press briefing. “The world depends on the WHO to work with countries to ensure that accurate information about international health threats is shared in a timely manner. If it’s not, to independently tell the world the truth about what is happening.”

Trump also faulted the WHO for delays in declaring a public health emergency that he said “cost valuable time, tremendous amounts of time.”

On Jan. 14, WHO unquestioningly circulated China’s official talking points in a tweet, saying, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”

“The WHO failed to investigate credible reports in Wuhan that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts,” Trump said. “There was credible information to suspect human-to-human transmission in December 2019, which should have spurred the WHO to investigate immediately. Through the middle of January, it parroted and publicly endorsed the idea that there was not human-to-human contact despite reports and clear evidence to the contrary.”

Brett D. Schaefer, a fellow in international regulatory affairs at The Heritage Foundation, contends this may not be the best time to cut funding for the WHO, and worse yet, could make it more difficult to hold the organization accountable.

“Instead of ending funding during the current crisis, the U.S. should condition future funding to specific actions by the World Health Organization,” Schaefer wrote in an op-ed for The Daily Signal.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Jan. 30 that “China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response.”

China backed Tedros in May 2017 when he ran for the top job at the World Health Organization.

During the press conference, Trump also announced the formation of Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, which would involve bringing together leaders from different sectors of the economy and American life.

“We have a list of people that I’ll be speaking to over the next very short period of time, in many cases, tomorrow,” Trump said.

Kay C. James, president of The Heritage Foundation, is among those in the thought leaders group, which also includes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John Allison, former president and CEO of the Cato Institute. Others involved include top executives from health care, retail, sports, tech, and agriculture, among other sectors.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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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.

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

GOVERNMENT CHARITY: More Loss, Debt and Inflation

“What I’m not saying is that all government spending is bad. It’s not – far, far from it, but there is no free lunch, as a former colleague of mine used to say. There is no public tooth fairy. Father Christmas does not work on the Treasury staff this year. You can never bail someone out of trouble without putting someone else into trouble.” – Arthur Laffer

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” –  Thomas Jefferson

“I have never believed in the fallacy that the federal government can buy its way out of economic troubles through needless spending. For that reason, I am proud to oppose ‘stimulus’ packages and endless corporate bailouts, which will do little but weaken the long-term integrity of the American economy.” – John Fleming

“The appropriation of public money always is perfectly lovely until someone is asked to pay the bill…the people will have to furnish more revenue by paying more taxes.” – President Calvin Coolidge

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.” –  James Madison


No society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of economic health.  Whenever massive government interventions have been tried, they have always ended in poverty, scarcity, and too often, mass death and genocide.  The further government takes its power, the harder it will be to wrest it back.  And it has already gone way too far.

We need to pull out of this global shutdown as soon as possible, in fact America never should have been shut down, but the socialist politicians will not easily give up all the police powers they have accumulated over these many Covid-19 weeks.  They have habituated the sheep of America into a “new normal,” a normal that is causing suicides, drug and alcohol addition, and domestic abuse. The shutdown is killing the economy and is no good for our health.

This virus and the stimulus will only result in more loss, debt and inflation.

Congressmen Thomas Massie and Andy Biggs

There are two Republican members of Congress who uphold the Constitution on a regular basis.  They are not always in good graces with the rest of their party in doing so, but they abide by the U.S. Constitution.  I hope they know there are Americans who appreciate their stance and love for country.

Thomas Massie (R-KY) demanded a recorded tally as opposed to a voice vote on the $2.2 trillion ‘‘Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or the ‘‘CARES Act.”  Rep. Massie tweeted, “I swore an oath to uphold the constitution, and I take that oath seriously. In a few moments I will request a vote on the CARES Act which means members of Congress will vote on it by pushing ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘present.’”  Thomas Massie has repeatedly spoken out against stay-at-home measures and business closures amid the pandemic.

Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) was right there with Massie.  Both of them knew it was important for Americans to know how their representatives voted on this bill.

President Trump excoriated Rep. Massie. “He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous … and costly,” Trump tweeted of Massie. “Workers and small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault. It is ‘HELL’ dealing with the Dems, had to give up some stupid things in order to get the ‘big picture’ done. 90 percent GREAT! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!”

Throw Massie out?  He and Andy Biggs are two of the finest old right constitutional conservatives in Congress!  I’m sorry President Trump, but your words were malicious and defamatory.

This was the first time I was ashamed of what my President said to a representative who has a 98% conservative voting record and consistently relies on and votes for the Constitution of the United States.

Massie ultimately failed when the House approved the package, but his effort was noted by Americans who love their constitution.  President Trump responded in a negative way to Congressman Massie. Trump loves America and her citizens and he is under great stress trying to help us through this horrid communist China inflicted debacle, but a day or two more wouldn’t have made a difference.  Both of these Congressmen support the president and Tom Massie is owed a public apology and a private phone call.

A yea or nay vote was taken, and we do not know who voted against it other than these two Congressmen.  We know that when Speaker Pelosi returned from vacation, she added enough pork into the bill that had nothing to do with rescuing those who lost jobs and businesses thanks to the politicians shutting down the country and destroying the booming economy and stock market.

Former Congressman Ron Paul called the recent measures to control the spread of COVID-19 a “grab bag” for some in government.  He said what he is worried about is that some in government have inflated the risk and response for their own political gain.  “I think it’s blown way out of proportion to the danger. People who want more government power and more control over people and want to get big appropriations and get their special deals passed, that’s what’s happening now,” Paul said of federal and state government responses to the virus.

Pelosi Pork

The Covid-19 relief aid gave $25 million to the Kennedy Center, $350 million to refugee resettlement, $75 million to PBS, $25 million went to congressional salaries and expenses, a $10 billion loan to the post office, and $150 million in funding to the National Endowment of the Arts and National Endowment of the Humanities.  Her additions are amoral.

Critically, that $150 million comes in the form of grants with no expectation of being paid back. Meanwhile, much of the funding afforded to small businesses in the bill comes in the form of loans, which the companies will have to reimburse.

The word “sunscreen” appears dozens of times, 49 to be exact, in the CARES Act, and it’s thanks to the Treatment of Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA) being placed into the bill. The Act requires FDA to provide a streamlined approach to approving new over-the-counter sunscreen ingredients, including evaluating applications that an ingredient is safe and effective on an expedited timeline.

What in heaven’s name does this Act have to do with rescuing workers and families in this ungodly crisis — except to say that powerful members of Congress are skilled in never letting a crisis go to waste.  Even the New York Times editorial board wailed that “the urgency of the moment does not justify the egregious misuse of public resources.” Someone should tell Nancy Pelosi the news.

Art Laffer on Stimulus

Several weeks ago, Art Laffer was on Stuart Varney’s program.  Varney was discussing how the “rescue plan” was stalled and that it needed to be passed to save the people. Varney has obviously banned Art from his program even though Art was telling the truth. Laffer was dead set against the stimulus and called the bill “a helicopter money proposal” of handouts that has a bad track record historically.  “It never works, it just causes the problem to get worse and worse,” said Laffer, known for his “Laffer curve.”  “You don’t tax people who work and pay people who don’t work and expect more work,” he said.  Laffer believes the stimulus is extending the self-induced recession.

Laffer noted he’s “been on all of these crises on the inside, from Nixon in 71-72 … through Jerry Ford, up to the present.”

He proposes, instead, cutting the payroll tax for the next seven to eight months “to make sure that it’s more attractive for people to work and more attractive for companies to hire.”  I agree with him.

And he suggests guaranteeing or granting liquidity loans to businesses to help them stay afloat.  “Just the payroll tax cut and liquidity lending,” he said.

Laffer took a shot at Congress. “Whenever politicians make decisions, whether they are panicked or drunk, the consequences are rarely attractive,” he said.  Link

And now, we are printing trillions of dollars that we don’t have…hello to massive inflation.

The Davy Crockett Charity Story

There are a number of stories about Davy Crockett voting against charitable donations that should not come out of the largesse of the U.S. treasury.  However, none of them are historically authentic.  Here are the true facts.  Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it avail monies from the treasury to be given to anyone, including American citizens.  It is to be used to run the federal government.

Article 1, Section 8, gives the enumerated powers of the federal government delegated to Congress. The first is the power to tax and to spend the money raised by taxes, to provide for the nation’s defense and general welfare. These were terms transferred from the Articles of Confederation and understood by the men at the 1787 Constitutional Convention, but obviously not by today’s congressional creatures.

This section was supplemented by the 16th amendment, which permitted Congress to levy an income tax, which would not have been approved of by our founders.

Although the Spending Clause is the source of congressional authority to levy taxes, it permits the levying of taxes for two purposes only: to pay the debts of the United States, and to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. Taken together, these purposes have traditionally been held to imply and constitute the “Spending Power.”

Unfortunately, Alexander Hamilton’s broad reading of Art. 1, Sec. 8, met with opposition from many of the other Founders. James Madison repeatedly argued that the power to tax and spend did not confer upon Congress the right to do whatever it thought to be in the best interest of the nation, but only to further the ends specifically enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution, a position supported by Thomas Jefferson.

Nevertheless, today, the term “general welfare” is gravely overused to the nation’s demise.  Thus, we see this unconstitutional welfare giveaway that should never have happened, and neither should the shutdown of this nation ever have happened.

Conclusion

Oh, how I wish to write about something other than the virus and America’s police state, but every day more comes to the fore to counter the lies of “experts” and the mainstream media.

The real threat is not the virus, but the spirit of fear spread by federal, state and local governments with the help of the democratic socialists in mainstream media.

Fear is not from the Almighty, it is from the enemy.  God actually commands us not to fear, or worry. The phrase “fear not” is used at least 80 times in the Bible, most likely because He knows the enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories.

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Deuteronomy 31:6

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.  Proverbs1:33

For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Isaiah 41:13

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  II Timothy 1:7

This is Holy Week for both Jews and Christians as we celebrate Passover and Easter.  May the Lord give us all a spirit of peace, love, and joy in Him.

© All rights reserved.

Sanders, Warren, other Democrat Senators call on US to give Palestinian Authority and Hamas $75 million

As the economic crisis created by the coronavirus deepens, it is astounding that these Senators think this is a good use of the taxpayers’ money. Once this money arrived in the PA and Gaza, it would be used almost exclusively to line the pockets of various officials and to pay expenses related to the ongoing jihad against Israel.

“As Americans go Broke, Sanders Demands Taxpayers Give Hamas $75 Million,” by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News, March 29, 2020 (thanks to the Geller Report):

A group of Democratic senators called for the U.S. State Department to reverse its policy and give funding to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that the government reverse its policy and resume giving monetary aid to the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas-led government in Gaza.

“Given the spread of the coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza, the extreme vulnerability of the health system in Gaza, and the continued withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian people, we are concerned that the Administration is failing to take every reasonable step to help combat this public health emergency in the Palestinian Territories,” the letter read.

The Democratic politicians seek to squeeze $75 million in aid to the Hamas-led government in Gaza and the PA in Judea and Samaria under the guise of the FY 2020 Appropriations Act.

It should be noted that President Trump slashed funding to the PA in 2018 as per the Taylor Force Act, also known as the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), that cuts some aid to the Palestinians until they end stipends to terrorists and the families of slain attackers.

In 2016, the PA paid out about $303 million in stipends and other benefits to the families of so-called “martyrs”. The funds are disbursed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO/Fatah). The families of convicted Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons receive $3,000 or higher per month, higher than the average Palestinian wage.

Any monies that go to Gaza must necessarily go through the government which is run by Hamas. Hamas, recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, was elected as the ruling party in Gaza in 2006. Gaza receives billions of dollars of humanitarian aid, much of which is usurped by the Hamas government for use in terrorist infrastructures….

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