Climate Reparations? When nature strikes—you pay! Climate ‘loss and damage’ hits the UN

The Democrats Go By Klaus Schwab’s Playbook


Are you ready to pay climate reparations totaling more than all the money in the world for disasters nature caused?

For years CFACT has warned of plans to add “loss and damage” to the UN climate regime, making wealthy nations liable to compensate developing countries when extreme weather strikes.

This week 130 nations placed a draft loss and damage funding plan formally on the agenda for the first time at a UN climate conference.  Will the Biden Administration give in to this?  Who else?

Read the official UN COP 27 loss and damage proposal for yourself at CFACT.org.

China is masterfully outplaying Biden and the rest of the free world by both pushing loss and damage forward and exempting itself from paying.  This advances China’s strategy to supplant U.S. influence in the developing world.

This is incredibly dangerous, not to mention ruinously expensive.

David Wojick underlines the danger perfectly at CFACT.org with his coverage of a report the new left-wing government of Colombia submitted to COP 27 estimating its climate “loss and damage” at a mind-blowing $800 billion per year.

That’s just for one small South American country!

Wojick explains that:

Colombia is a relatively small country with a GDP of around $300 billion a year, about the 40th largest in the world and just 0.4% of the global total. Its “loss and damage” claim is roughly 2.5 times its GDP, so let’s assume that ratio globally.

World GDP is about $81 trillion, which multiplied by 2.5 equals just over $200 trillion a year…

Before the “loss and damage” talks proceed we should ask “What kind of money are we talking about?” Because there is no point in talking about paying the developing countries hundreds of trillions of dollars. It cannot happen.

The UN draft demands a loss and damage funding mechanism be in place and operating within two years, before the start of COP 29 in 2024.

The COP 27 draft calls for loss and damage reparations funds that are:

a) Urgent and immediate
b) New, additional, predictable and adequate so as to assist developing countries in meeting the costs of addressing loss and damage;
c) Additional to adaptation and mitigation funding;
d) Additional;
e) Predictable;
f) Public in origin;
g) Multilateral in origin;
h) Taking a whole-of-institution/organization approach;
i) Timely and through a simple and fast process, without the need for lengthy bureaucratic procedures;
j) Disbursed quickly;

What “loss and damage” scheme will Biden and the West agree to at the UN climate summit in Egypt?

You are not responsible for the weather in Colombia or anywhere else.  America has always been prepared to generously aid a neighbor in distress and should continue to do so.  That is entirely different than accepting legal liability.

Any loss and damage “compromise” in Egypt represents the thin end of a perilous wedge.

America must declare an unequivocal “no” to climate reparations at the COP 27 climate talks.

Anything is too much.

AUTHOR

Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.

RELATED VIDEO: Remember When it Used to be ‘Global Warming’?

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

The Crossroads of Collectivism: Trump Tax Plan, Laffer Curve and Reagan & Thatcher Prosperity in the US & UK

Collectivist States seek Total State Power by Force, Political Action & Economic Means. Once a State controls the Means of Production & Distribution it quickly controls the Wealth of the People. Under Compulsion, Liberty evaporates & horrid enormities occur as the State purges Citizens refusing surrender. These ill effects are the same regardless of which sector in the political spectrum Collectivism arises from.

The United States has reached a Tipping Point beyond which the Aggregation of Total State Power into the hands of a Cabal of Rulers of vetted Legislators & private Central Bankers will be fully consummated – unless a political course change for the Ship of State is made in the present election cycle.

With the reasonable premise we do not need to be taxed more – here are some thoughts about taxation policy & economic circumstances underlying the present, or any, political circumstance.

To start, it is always far more serious if taxes are too high for effective compliance – than if an increment of revenue is lost by tax reduction. Lowering tax rates actually increases revenue – as careful consideration of the following information shall illuminate.

Consider President Ronald Reagan’s experience.

Reagan made tax cuts with a cooperative Legislative Branch. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump can do the same – should Republicans hold control in the House & Senate in the general election of November, 2016.

Taxation advisor Arthur Laffer was a member of Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board from (1981-1989).

Laffer also advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on fiscal policy in the UK during this period.

As you may be aware, simply stated, Laffer’s taxation premise is:

If taxes are low, compliance is high & if taxes are high, compliance is low.

Dubbed the Laffer Curve (LC), it is a quantification of human nature known for centuries.

The chart below expresses the LC axially.

The Laffer Curve

It also happens to demonstrate the realization European monarchs arrived at several centuries ago, assisted by the Rothschild family banking franchises. When you tax people around 50% of their earnings, they begin to lose incentive to participate. For a monarch this could mean losing everything – including one’s head in a revolt.

Enter the concept of Fiat Currency – printing money to bridge the gap between a monarch’s cultural limitation in tax receipts & the additional cost of Imperial Designs. This is the camel whose nose is presently under the US fiscal tent.

A Monarch (or Government) has only to print more currency to reach further into the purses of Subjects (or Citizens) because each unit of currency in their pockets is devalued by the addition of newly created units arriving in circulation, printed out of thin air, in the act of Monarchical (or Legislative) Fiat.

After all, a nation’s currency in its entirety, reflects the sum total of a nation’s Debt – which can be divided into an infinite number of parts or units.

This is the same Central Banking trick known today as ‘Inflation’ – so named because prices of goods & services become necessarily inflated to reflect the intentional devaluation of each unit of the currency.

In this way, Legislators escape culpability for grossly over-spending the People’s Treasure – inflating away its value in an unending game of self-interested appropriation – under cover of Central Bank ‘monetary policy’, over which politicians purposefully have no statutory control.

In return for this political cover, Central Banks accrue interest on Debt Notes they issue from thin air – paid by a government with the power to coerce its people through taxation enforcement up to & including penalty of imprisonment or corruption of blood.

Thus Inflation is onerous, unseen, unbridled & unlegislated Taxation.

By the way, the Monarch (or Government) does not suffer the effect of Inflation, because as much fiat currency as necessary can be printed without limitation – to pay for the original purchase supporting imperial (or state) designs.

The totality of this scheme is quite divisive in governments of popular form.

A few examples illustrate the point.

If government employees receive ‘inflation-adjusted’ compensation, they have a compelling personal stake in perpetrating the unlegislated tax of inflation upon their fellow citizens. This self-interest becomes manifest in several unhealthy expressions for a Republic.

For example, citizens who take government pensions or benefits become wholly compromised in any consideration of the merits of government monetary or other policy & should honorably absent themselves from political advocacy – unless willing to demonstrate complete renunciation of those benefits.

Similarly, the until recently, unheard of practice of active duty US Military Officers engaging in political advocacy – previously forbidden by Service traditions & the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) – is now commonplace.

Witness recent Obama campaign signs in the front yards of active duty Military Officers in Washington, DC area communities. Something compelled these officers to do this. This is dangerous precedent for the preservation of Liberty, under a latent threat of military coercion in US politics.

Thus governments become entrenched in folly & inequity that ultimately leads to their dissolution in revolution.

To conclude the point on taxation policy, the following from the Laffer Center’s website is succinct:

“Importantly, the Laffer Curve does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues, nor does it predict that any and all tax rate reductions would necessarily bring in more total revenues. Instead it says that tax rate reductions will always result in a smaller loss in revenues than one would have expected when relying only on the static estimates of the previous tax base. This also means the higher the starting tax rate, the more dramatic the supply-side stimulus will be from cutting the tax rate. It is possible this economic effect will swamp the arithmetic effect, causing an actual increase in tax revenue.”

Reagan tax cuts combined with cuts in Federal spending produced the real, positive economic effects Laffer described.

Mrs. Thatcher achieved similar results in the UK.

Prosperity resulted.

How much?

For a cogent discussion of the remarkable results achieved with tax reductions by Reagan see: Revisiting Reagan Tax Cuts.

Then politics crept in and the advances were incrementally squandered by forces of what President George Washington called ‘Interest’ – meaning political Self-Interest. In our discussion, we can call this effect ‘Entitlements’.

Mrs. Thatcher codified it another way, calling it socialism: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

How did this happen? For an excellent summation see these two links:

  1. Stagnation Prosperity Stagnation: 
  2. Reaganomics Tax Cuts Alone are Not Enough

Some further observations about how this happened are worth emphasizing. They highlight structural flaws which must be corrected by the People using further Constitutional Amendments.

First, in the smoke & mirrors world of Congressional appropriation of funds & extra-governmental management of monetary policy by the Central Bank Cartel known as the Federal Reserve (Fed), there exists a Deliberate Disconnect in Accountability to the People – because federally elected Legislators cannot be held accountable for monetary policy actions of the private entity Fed. This crippling slight of hand supports vast transfers of the People’s Wealth to the Fed over time – the very root of income disparity in our society today.

All this results from the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 – which established US Central Banking for the fourth time – and from the purported ratification of the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1913, which created Income Tax.

It’s no accident they occurred simultaneously – a one-two punch for the Rothschild Model in a popular government.

AMENDMENT XVI — The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

We’ll deal further with rectifying the problem of the Fed below, but there’s an obvious solution to the inequities & inefficiency arising from Income Tax.

Income Tax must be abolished by a 27th Constitutional Amendment repealing the 16th Amendment. Income Tax can then be replaced by a Consumption Tax in a 28th Amendment. The Consumption Tax (CT) is a very, very low automated percentage of each transaction (no more than 1%). CT obviates the need for an Internal Revenue Service
(IRS), which can be largely retired & eliminated. The aggregate volume of transactions occurring in the US economy ensures more than enough revenue to conduct the nation’s business. Happily, the Laffer Effect of tax reduction boosting an economy, will ensure the US economy reaches the most robust dimensions ever enjoyed.

Understanding the elegant simplicity & unimpeachable fairness of the Consumption Tax is subject for another discussion. Suffice to say here, CT is real, effective & has been successfully used before in the United States.

Additionally in 1971, the Nixon Administration repudiation of the ‘Gold Standard’ backing US currency opened ‘Pandora’s Box’ to the ills of fiat currency because Legislators, in collusion with Central Bankers, could print untethered currency to their heart’s content – and have! It took Federal Legislators & Presidents a few years to fully realize they were no longer accountable to the People for ‘Sound Money’, but they caught on quickly enough – in an era of Legislative Bill ‘Riders’ – to do serious damage to the national Treasury. Federal Debt has spiraled uncontrollably upward ever since. A return to backing US currency with Gold & other precious metals will help quickly dispatch this Inflation Racket. President Richard Nixon’s Executive Order of 15 August 1971 – the policy instrument authorizing fiat money – can be cancelled to commence the process of returning to Sound Money.
The following chart will water the eyes of any thinking American – the more so because it’s already out of date – the US Federal Debt now stands at nearly $20,000,000,000,000 (trillions):

US Federal Debt $20 Trillion

The American Public is paying a staggering $440 Billion in annual interest – just to service the US National Debt.

Who receives this interest? The few members of the Federal Reserve – a private entity. See chart below.

$440 Billion Annual Interest Paid On US $20 Trillion Debt (Aggregated Monthly Over Fiscal Year)

US Entitlements & Debt Interest in the next 15 years, completely crowd out the primary function of the Federal government – Defense of the Nation. Repeat, there will be no money for Defense.

Why would a nation do that to itself?

On the chart below – at the intersection of Revenue & Debt – lay the next American Revolution.

US Entitlements & Interest On Debt Consumes Entire Federal Budget

See also:

Question, you ask:

“With the majority of accumulation of $20 trillion in US Federal Debt since after 1971, why haven’t the prices of goods & services inflated through the roof – most particularly given acute Federal Budget excesses committed by Congress & the Executive Branch over the last 8 years from 2008-2016?”

Answer:

The post Word War II Baby Boom Generation of Americans is now in the stage of life during which shedding debt & downsizing is the norm. This effect is destroying private debt at a rate coincident with unrestrained creation of debt by government.

When this generational force has subsided, prices must inflate under aggregated & continuing unchecked currency devaluation by Federal government through Unbridled Spending & Debt Interest.

Our Nation & the world will experience the true Mother of All Depressions.

This is because each new added dollar represents a smaller & smaller slice of the Federal Debt Pie – as that Pie is sliced more & more thinly. Ultimately, US Debt paper (dollars) will be rendered worthless, each representing a slice so thin, it won’t be negotiable.

As the currency collapses, every sector of the economy must absorb the loss.

Home prices, government pensions, everything of value is lost. This is what happened in 1929, when markets & assets lost 90% of their value & remained devalued for the decade long Great Depression.
In the customary Revaluation that follows, secured creditors deemed ‘Too Big To Fail’ are made whole on the backs of depositors & mortgage holders – in what has become the customary “Bail Out”. Only this time, since the currency will be worthless, it will be a “Bail In”. As we saw in Argentina & other revaluations, US citizens will be permitted to withdraw only that amount of their own money not imperiling a Bank’s Reserves, which at a maximum represents only 10% of Bank Obligations – due to a logic-defying practice known as ‘Fractional Reserve Lending’. And then payment will only be made at a rate consistent with a revalued currency at pennies on the dollar.

It gets pretty complicated when Central Banks tinker with money supply as a chief tool for managing monetary policy.

In fact, it is criminally complicated. Central Bankers the world over should be held accountable for malfeasance & for the untold heartache they have caused for hundreds of millions of people through the profiteering scheme of ‘Inflation’ which is at the root of nearly two centuries of boom & bust cycles and several armed conflicts among nations.

To start in the US, using our 27th Constitutional Amendment abolishing Income Tax, we must likewise abolish the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 to prevent further Central Banking & to end forever the two senseless practices of paying interest on our National Debt & paying the Unlegislated Tax called Inflation. A deeply onerous Racket the private ‘Federal Reserve’ Bank franchise must end permanently, if our Republic will survive & flourish. Happily on several past occasions Central Banking has been successfully repudiated by Congress & by Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson & Wilson. Absent this critical step, the People’s wealth will be consumed.

In response to the assertion that a welfare constituency in the United States has no skin in the game if they pay no tax, there is a more direct & sustainable course than fretting about lack of taxation participation:

End entitlements all together. This is fiscally sound, Constitutionally sound & a certain inducement to innovation in income production among tax skates. The Framers never intended the nation would encumber itself in this way.

Entitlements are a problem worth worrying about.

In sum, there is merit to be found in the Trump Tax Plan & some cogency in its numbers. Certainly, it does not go far enough, but if extended growth of the economy can kick the can a little further up the road – to wean Americans off entitlements through employment – it may be of interim use. In totality Trump’s Tax Plan appears to resonant with the structure of Reagan era taxation policy, which proved beneficial & prosperous.

Taking the ‘Drag Brake of Taxation’ off the ‘Wheel of the US Economy’ will create unprecedented Prosperity in the United States. The only reason not to do so is if you don’t want the US Economy to prosper & soar! Why would someone want that?

As a related economic issue, Mexico is a failing State ripe for the next chapter of its history. Mr. Trump’s border wall, will prove important to our Nation’s Security & Economy Stability as the Mexican State trajectory unfolds. Trump’s plan contains sensible points of leverage available to the United States in dealing with this issue. Certainly, allowing
further abuses of US Sovereignty & Security associated with Mexico cannot serve US national interests – nor the long term interests of our southern neighbor.

Mexico’s trajectory is Mexico’s & not ours – violent La Raza Racists & other Provocateurs not withstanding.

See: Pay for the Wall

While the attention-deficit bombast passing for Mr. Trump’s style can be off-putting & perhaps counter-productive, there is no question it is occasioned by deep sincerity in promoting a Return to American Greatness. The deeper one looks into his platform, the stronger his arguments become.

Some would say his style is bona fide of something other than dysfunctional politics as usual. That may well be true.

That said, regarding the fallacious assertion the Trump Tax Plan is not viable, it may be more to the point to observe the challenge is to find any discernible tax plan at all from Candidate Clinton.

Please see: Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Raise American Incomes

Even a cursory look at this ‘offering’ reveals button-pushing, pandering & double-talking rhetoric largely offensive to Liberty loving Americans & belies a measured political calculation that is all too familiar. Of course, we are all fed up to here with that sort of self-serving Collectivist politic. The plain truth is Mrs. Clinton’s bromides do nothing to address serious, unsustainable structural defects in US Treasury, Taxation & Monetary Policy.

Given the overt & concentrated assaults on American Liberty, sovereignty, morality, normative culture, fiscal responsibility & official accountability that has come acutely – even brazenly – to the fore in the Obama full court press of the last 8 years, it appears we have arrived at a crossroads of historic import for the trajectory of the greatest nation to ever appear on Earth, the United States of America.

On such occasions, all hands must be mustered & the decks cleared for action.

We each must decide whether our personal trajectories are sufficient reason to countenance further politics as usual, or whether Liberty is more precious to the longer course of our Nation’s affairs for Ourselves & Our Posterity. The Tyranny of Collectivism stands before us & we are already well worn in its rub – a state no nation can hope to long endure.

An answer must soon be given if our Experiment is to last. Though we risk Tyranny of another stripe, it seems necessary to answer the present danger of Collectivism. As the Party dice appear to have been cast, this would mean support for Trump. The alternative must be deemed unrecoverable.

© Copyright 2016 Strategic Waters International, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Taliban Uses U.S. Military Equipment, IG Withholds Records of Afghan Security Forces Collapse

The Taliban is training and operating with U.S. military equipment including rifles, trucks, and helmets with night vision mounts since the Biden administration withdrew American troops from Afghanistan last year. Taliban forces even held a military parade with dozens of U.S.-provided armored vehicles and Mi-17 helicopters flying overhead, according to a federal audit documenting the collapse of the American-funded Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). For two decades the U.S. government spent a mind-boggling $90 billion to help the ANDSF develop into a self-sustaining force capable of combatting terrorist groups like the Taliban. It never happened.

When the Biden administration withdrew U.S. troops in August 2021 the ANDSF crumbled and the Taliban took over, generating images and videos of soldiers wearing U.S.-provided clothing and brandishing U.S.-provided rifles. “Taliban units now patrol in pickup trucks and armored vehicles likely procured by the U.S. and provided to the ANDSF,” reads the report published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which was created by Congress to provide independent and objective oversight of Afghanistan reconstruction projects and activities. “Taliban special operations troops, known as Badri 313 units, wear helmets with night vision mounts likely provided by the United States, and carry U.S.-provided M4 rifles equipped with advanced gunsights.” The report continues. “Khalil Haqqani, a senior Taliban leader, carried a U.S.-provided rifle as he attended prayers at a mosque in Kabul following the collapse.” The examples show that the terrorist group is now equipped with material that was supplied by the U.S. to defeat it, the watchdog writes.

The 43-page report, which has 17 pages of endnotes, was released to the public earlier this year and determined that the single most important factor in the ANDSF’s collapse was the U.S. decision to withdraw military forces and contractors from Afghanistan. Since 2002, the United States deployed military and civilian personnel to train, advise, and mentor Afghan soldiers, police, and ministry officials, the report reveals, adding that Uncle Sam provided the ANDSF over 600,000 weapons, 300 aircraft, 80,000 vehicles, communication equipment, and other advanced material, such as night vision goggles and biometric systems. As part of its probe SIGAR reviewed hundreds of government and academic reports related to the development of Afghan forces and its subsequent collapse. Investigators also conducted more than 40 interviews with former Afghan government officials, former ANDSF members, and current and former U.S. government officials, including commanders of U.S. forces and the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A), the unit responsible for the ANDSF’s development. Ambassadors and advisors were also interviewed.

Though quite lengthy, the report leaves a lot of unanswered questions so Judicial Watched filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records that could shed light on the SIGAR probe and provide answers for the American taxpayers that financed the 20-year boondoggle. In its request Judicial Watch asked for emails, interviews, memoranda, reports, and briefings with former Afghan government officials, former ANDSF members, and current and former U.S. government officials, including former commanders of U.S. forces, CSTC-A commanders, ambassadors, and advisors responsible for the development of the Afghan army, air force, special forces, and police, as they relate to the report. A few weeks later Judicial Watch received a letter acknowledging receipt of the FOIA request and several weeks later SIGAR followed up with a letter rejecting the public record request. The watchdog claims only 27 records responsive to Judicial Watch’s request were located but they are exempt from disclosure under measures that protect attorney-client privilege, personal privacy and information compiled for law enforcement that could reasonably be expected to constitute an invasion of personal privacy. The exemptions have official government codes that were cited in the rejection letter.

SIGAR’s refusal to provide the records means the public will never know the entire truth behind the U.S.’s massive failure in Afghanistan and the abrupt demise of the American-funded ANDSF. In the name of transparency the watchdog should provide the information. Ironically, SIGAR recently blasted the State Department for withholding records necessary to investigate how billions of dollars in Afghanistan reconstruction money is being spent. The watchdog condemned the stonewalling in a letter to Congress and the Secretary of State that explains “American taxpayers deserve to know why the Afghan government collapsed after all that assistance, where the money went, and how taxpayer money is now being spent in Afghanistan.”

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

Biden climate speech in Egypt reveals bad science, massive spending and regulation

UPDATE: Florida Congressman Greg Steube Talks Biden’s Radical Climate Proposals.


President Biden, seeking to “greenwash” his failing energy policy, delivered a speech at COP 27, the big UN climate conference in Egypt.

The President falsely attributed a host of natural weather events to climate change and then went on to detail a massive laundry list of wasteful climate spending and destructive regulation.

The President said that:

In the United States, we’re seeing historic drought and wildfires in the West, devastating hurricanes and storms in the East.

Here in Africa — here in Africa, home to many nations considered most vulnerable to climate change, food insecurity [and] hunger follows four years of intense drought in the Horn of Africa.

Meanwhile, the Niger River in West Africa, swollen — swollen because of more intense rainfall, is wreaking havoc on fishing and farming communities.

In Nigeria, flooding has recently killed 600 people; 1.3 million more are displaced.

Seasonal livestock migration routes have been used for hundreds of years are being altered, increasing the risk of conflict between herders and local farming communities.

President Biden is wrong.

All of this is natural weather.  Government policy can help people suffering the impacts of extreme weather, but nothing on this list was meaningfully caused by our use of energy.

Floods, droughts, fires, storms, even African “livestock migration” are historically normal and not your fault.

Watch President Biden’s full COP 27 remarks at CFACT.org and read the full transcript and judge for yourself.

President Biden’s media office, joined by Climate Envoy John Kerry, released a lengthy U.S. climate “fact sheet” that summarizes Biden’s climate spending and regulation since he took office and their plans for the future.

Here’s a sample:

  • Double U.S. contributions to the UN “Adaptation Fund” from $50 to $100 million this year.
  • $150 million for “climate resilience in Africa.”
  • $20 million for small island states
  • $5 million to the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund to support “climate-affected vulnerable migrants.”
  • Launching a “Climate Gender Equity Fund”
  • $250 million for power generation in Egypt
  • Severe clampdown on methane emissions by American energy producers with $20 billion in spending
  • Close to $4 billion on “Green Shipping” initiatives
  • Require federal contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and comply with government mandated emissions reductions
  • Commit U.S. national government operations to be “net zero” no later than 2050
  • Quadruple U.S. climate finance to over $11 billion a year
  • More than $65 billion in climate finance through the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and U.S. Export-Import Bank

Read the President Biden’s full climate “fact sheet” at CFACT.org.

In addition to Biden, Friday saw a presentation at COP 27 by the Republican “Climate Caucus,” who many see as “useful idiots” playing into the hands of the climate-Left.

As CFACT’s Adam House posted to CFACT.org: “by participating in this ‘Decarbonization Day,’ these Republican lawmakers have legitimized the UN’s message of collectivism, massive taxes and government spending, corrupt and alarmist science, and centralized power. In their attempt to be part of the conversation, they have only eroded the conservative message.”

President Biden’s climate and energy agenda is based on unsound science, would lead to massive erosion of national sovereignty, individual liberty, and prosperity that will weaken the free world and empower its adversaries.

This cannot stand.

Yet what lies in store for those of us with the courage to marshal the facts and correct the record on climate?

Take a look at this photo Marc Morano posted of a climate radical calling for the “death penalty” for “climate deniers” to CFACT’s Climate Depot.

If world leaders go on shamelessly egging them on, could climate radicals go from attacking great works of art to attacking people?

AUTHOR

Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.

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

The Problems with ‘Free Stuff’

South Dakota voters approved Medicaid expansion in Tuesday’s election, leaving just 11 states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs to include middle-class able-bodied childless adults making almost $40,000 a year.  I hope the remaining states hold the line because they will be in a world of hurt if they don’t.

The first problem is voters demanding free stuff with nary a thought of how to pay for it.  Missouri voters previously demanded Medicaid expansion, but the state couldn’t figure out a sustainable way to pay for it.  Expansion would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year, but nobody knew what the funding mechanism would be.  The same thing happened in Idaho and Oklahoma – Medicaid expansion occurred without a stable permanent funding source.   Since Medicaid is now such a huge part of state budgets, every expansion state faces fights in the legislature about raising taxes or pulling money from other priorities like education to fund more government-sponsored healthcare.

That’s just for openers.  Expansion states face a raft of other problems.  Enrollment always exceeds expectations and many states have hit the wall in terms of being able to afford their programs.  I haven’t seen any more reports of this lately, but extra federal COVID money has postponed the day of financial reckoning.   I would argue the reason we still have a federal COVID emergency, though the medical facts no longer justify it, is to keep the states – especially expansion states – from going bust over their Medicaid expenses.  A world of hurt is coming because the fiction of a COVID emergency can’t be maintained forever.

Other problems with Medicaid expansion include

  • middle class dependency on government – a tragedy, not a triumph as the Left would have you believe, and completely unsustainable
  • billions of dollars spent on people who aren’t eligible
  • new inequities like traditional enrollees – low-income children, pregnant women, and the disabled – getting sent to the back of the line as childless able-bodied adults enter the system
  • substandard care – women already on Medicaid account for the majority of pregnancy-related deaths
  • longer wait times for ambulances and medical services
  • worse health outcomes than private insurance as more doctors refuse to take Medicaid patients because of the low pay and paperwork burdens
  • more drug overdoses and lower life expectancy in expansion states
  • lower labor force participation, and
  • special interests like large hospitals and managed care companies benefitting more than enrollees

Speaking of special interests, they are busy agitating for Government Healthcare 2.0.  It’s not enough that one in four Americans is now on Medicaid, we have to expand the range of services and the amount of government money spent on them for them to become healthy, or so the pretext goes.  The theory is called Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).  I call it naked redistribution, with calls growing for, and localities dabbling in, providing Medicaid recipients with free housing, transportation, food aid, education, job programs, guaranteed income, and other social services galore.  The theory has been around for a while but it is gaining traction, inducing mission creep in the Medicaid program.  Proponents claim the theory saves money, but their analysis fails to account for the magnet effect of free stuff from the government drawing ever-larger numbers of people into government dependency.  Once again, the Left points to immediate gains and fails to think systemically.

If you think the nation is too far in debt now, and states are biting off more than they can chew with Medicaid expansion, just wait.   Insolvency 2.0 is the inevitable outcome of social determinants of health.  Insolvency is what you get when no claim on public funds can be resisted and the government tries to put a soft pillow under absolutely everybody for absolutely everything.  Ultimately, it won’t work.

©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.

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Biden’s Student Loan Handout Struck Down By Federal Judge

It hardly matters now. The Biden regime got what it wanted — the imbecilic, privileged Gez Z voter, rendered incapable of critical thought by the very college education they expected the working class to pay for.

Biden’s student loan handout struck down by federal judge in Texas

By: Fox News, November 10, 2022:

Appeals court temporarily halts President Biden’s student loan handout

Texas Rep. Beth Van Duyne discusses GOP members attempting to block President Biden’s student loan plan on ‘The Evening Edit.’

A federal judge in Texas struck down President Biden’s student loan handout in a Thursday night ruling.

Biden’s plan, which aims to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients in college and up to $10,000 for others who borrowed using federal student loans.

“Whether the Program constitutes good public policy is not the role of this Court to determine. Still, no one can plausibly deny that it is either one of the largest delegations of legislative power to the executive branch, or one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the
United States,” United States District Judge Mark Pittman wrote.

“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone. Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government…The Court is not blind to the current political division in our country. But it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved. And having interpreted the HEROES Act, the Court holds that it does not provide ‘clear congressional authorization’ for the Program proposed by the Secretary,”

Elaine Parker, President of Job Creators Network Foundation, which brought the lawsuit, reacted to the ruling on Thursday.

“The court has correctly ruled in favor of our motion and deemed the Biden student loan program illegal. The judge criticized the Biden Administration program, calling it ‘one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States.’ This ruling protects the rule of law which requires all Americans to have their voices heard by their federal government,” Parker said.

“This attempted illegal student loan bailout would have done nothing to address the root cause of unaffordable tuition: greedy and bloated colleges that raise tuition far more than inflation year after year while sitting on $700 billion in endowments. We hope that the court’s decision today will lay the groundwork for real solutions to the student loan crisis.”

Read more.

AUTHOR

RELATED ARTICLE: Pennsylvania Elects Dead Democrat

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

Jones: Dems Failed to See Voters Deal with Inflation Every Day, Not Abortion or Democracy

Monday on CNN Newsroom, political commentator Van Jones stated that Democrats failed to see how much inflation mattered for working-class voters and pointed out that people do have to deal with inflation every day, while they don’t have to deal with abortion or voting every single day.

Jones said, “I think there was this kind of fool’s gold, this idea that the threat to democracy is so severe in the wake of this insurrection and in the wake of these election deniers possibly grabbing control of the government, that that was something that you had to talk about. But you also have to talk about the economy. I think the tragedy here is that the Democrats have something to say on the economy in terms of what Biden has done when it comes to 10 million jobs, what Biden has done when it comes to prescription drug prices, standing up to China on the CHIPS Act, and also the fear of what Republicans will do.”

He added, “Dobbs versus jobs, most people are going to be focused on the jobs.”

Jones concluded, “You don’t get an abortion every week. But you do buy gas every week. You don’t vote — democracy’s on the line, you don’t vote every day. You do have to eat every day. So, the price of food and the price of gas matters for a lot of working-class voters in a way that I don’t think Democrats really factored in.”

He’s half-right about democracy being on the line — it is, but the Republican Party isn’t the threat. Democrats are.


Van Jones

128 Known Connections

In April 2008, Jones made clear his desire to incrementally socialize, by stealth, the U.S. economy: “Right now we say we want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to something eco-capitalism where at least we’re not fast-tracking the destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it won’t be enough. We want to go beyond the systems of exploitation and oppression altogether … until [the green economy] becomes the engine for transforming the whole society.”

To learn more about Van Jones, click here.

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Gavin Newsom Shells Out $1.6 Million To Stop Climate Measure That Would Raise Taxes On The Rich

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reelection campaign spent over $1.6 million to oppose a climate initiative that would raise taxes on millionaires to help low-income Californians buy electric cars. Despite this, Newsom, who is a multimillionaire, has previously touted his administration’s efforts to rapidly cut carbon emissions and get more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road.

Newsom, who boasts an estimated net worth of around $20 million, signed a bill in September to codify ambitious emissions reduction targets and praised the California Air Resources Board’s decision to ban all gasoline-powered car sales by 2035. However, Newsom’s campaign gave $1,617,216 to the “No on 30” committee, which opposes Proposition 30, a ballot measure that institutes an additional 1.75% tax on individuals that make over $2 million a year to help disadvantaged Californians buy EVs, according to campaign finance disclosures filed Tuesday.

Newsom aims to make his state’s auto industry “all-electric” by 2035 and will spend $10 billion of taxpayers’ money to “aggressively fight the climate crisis” by phasing out gas cars and building EV infrastructure. The Democrat called Proposition 30 an irresponsible “special interest carve-out” and argued that the proposed law was designed to “funnel” state income tax to Lyft, a large rideshare company, according to a statement Newsom’s campaign provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Newsom aims to make his state’s auto industry “all-electric” by 2035 and will spend $10 billion of taxpayers’ money to “aggressively fight the climate crisis” by phasing out gas cars and building EV infrastructure. The Democrat called Proposition 30 an irresponsible “special interest carve-out” and argued that the proposed law was designed to “funnel” state income tax to Lyft, a large rideshare company, according to a statement Newsom’s campaign provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“California’s tax revenues are famously volatile, and this measure would make our state’s finances more unstable − all so that special interests can benefit,” Newsom said in the statement. “Californians should know that just this year our state committed $10 billion for electric vehicles and their infrastructure, part of a $54 billion nation-leading package to fight climate change and build a zero-emission future.”

A small percentage of California taxpayers would fund Proposition 30’s EV initiatives as only 35,000 of the state’s residents reported adjusted gross incomes greater than $2 million, according to 2019 statistics published by the state’s Franchise Tax Board.

Although the measure could help Lyft by raising money to help the company’s drivers buy electric cars, environmentalists began drafting the measure before the company became involved, CEO of California Environmental Voters Mary Creasman told CBS News. A Lyft spokeswoman previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that none of the $3.5 billion to $5 billion in tax revenue generated by the law was “earmarked” for the rideshare industry.

Californians will vote to implement or reject Proposition 30 on Nov. 8.

AUTHOR

JACK MCEVOY

Energy & environment reporter.

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Why Do Big Cities Tend to Have Bigger Government?

Like any place that generates significant wealth, cities also generate significant incentives to capture the wealth.


Last week I answered a question from a FEE reader on how the Federal Reserve creates money. This week, Aaron, a FEE Daily reader, asks a very different question:

“Why is it that more populous cities seem more inclined to adopt laws and regulations that restrict individual autonomy, and attract residents more likely to vote for representatives who advocate such policies?

What can residents in growing cities do to avert this tendency?”

This question is a little less straightforward than a typical economics question. As we learned last week, there’s a clear relationship between interest on reserves and the supply for money. But there’s no clear direct channel which explains why cities skew anti-autonomy.

Nonetheless, economics is a valuable tool we can use to explain all kinds of behavior. We’ll begin by considering Nobel prize-winning economist James Buchanan’s dichotomy of the romantic view of politics versus politics as exchange.

There are two potential views of politics. The first is a romantic view. In this view, politicians are altruistic, sacrificial public servants. Voters are well-informed and always choose those candidates who have the best interest of the public at heart.

In other words, politicians are angels. If the romantic view of politics is true, there’s a simple explanation to why cities seem more inclined to adopt laws that restrict individual autonomy. People who live in cities believe that is what’s best, and politicians cater to that desire.

There are clear problems with the romantic view of politics, but the biggest is that it is inconsistent with how we analyze most institutions.

Take businesses, for example. If businesses have the opportunity to increase profits by polluting, what will they do? Generally, economists will assume they will choose to pollute. Firms are assumed to be interested in making the most profits and will pollute if they don’t bear the costs of doing so.

So we assume business owners are selfish. This begs the question, why would we assume politicians are selfless?

It would be arbitrary and unconvincing to take a sober view of business but a romantic view of politics. Nothing about existing in government confers angel wings on individuals. If anything, we should expect the opposite.

It would be more symmetric to assume politicians, like business-owners, are pursuing their own ends which will not necessarily align with the ends of the public as a whole (though there is good reason to believe businesses will align with the public more often).

For example, it will sometimes be in the best interest of politicians to restrict liberty. They could do this by passing higher taxes to increase their budgets, doing favors for special-interest groups, or lobbying political actors to increase their influence.

In this alternative view, politics involves self-interested exchanges between politicians and, for example, interest groups.

But this still leaves us the question, why do big cities tend to have more of this seemingly selfish political exchange, assuming that’s often what’s going on with big-government policies?

Wealth is a dangerous thing to flaunt. When I have to run into a store quickly, and I have my laptop bag with me, I’m always careful to place it out of sight in the car. Sometimes I put it under a seat cover, sometimes I move it into the trunk, and, on occasion, I decide to take it with me.

It’s not difficult to understand why. I hide my laptop when I leave it for the same reason people store their valuables out of sight. When you have more wealth, and people know it, you are a bigger target for extortion and theft.

It’s no secret that cities tend to have a lot of wealth concentrated in a small area. This isn’t to say everyone in the city is rich, but all the production and exchange in cities make them hubs of wealth.

And, like any place that generates significant wealth, cities also generate significant incentives to capture the wealth.

Consider, for instance, that a group of taxi cab drivers is seeking to keep its would-be competitors out of the market. In order to do this, the company might lobby for regulations (like a limited number of permits) that would restrict competition.

What sorts of cities would be the best places to create this kind of monopoly? Big cities with a lot of customers would seem like a good target. The return to cutting out competition by lobbying the government is pretty low when your potential customer base is in the hundreds rather than the thousands.

So, the group of cab drivers could form an association which donates to the mayor’s campaign and lobbies for a permit system.

But if politicians did something so egregious as this, couldn’t citizens vote them out? They could, but it’s unlikely that they will. Let’s say the city has one million people and there are one hundred drivers in the cab driver association. If the regulation adds $10 of cost to the one million people, that generates $10 million to be divided among the one hundred cab drivers. That’s $100,000 per cab driver.

So the cab drivers can earn a lot more money by getting the regulation passed. The citizens only lose $10 each. They don’t like this, but it’s hardly worth the time to organize against the regulation (or even learn about it in the first place). This is known by economists as the logic of special interest groups.

Smaller cities are different. First, there are less people to take money from. Second, the average income is probably lower. Lastly, it’s easier for a small number of people to organize and oppose regulations like this than a large number.

Admittedly, this increased lobbying of big municipal governments would increase competition for lobbying, but as long as there’s some fixed cost of lobbying that exists without regard to city size, I’d expect this problem would be bigger in large cities.

Another group that has more ability to capture wealth in big cities is bureaucrats. If we assume bureaucrats are only interested in the welfare of citizens, they would keep the size of their bureaucracy down. But if bureaucrats care about power and prestige, they may seek to grow in size beyond what makes sense.

It seems obvious that bigger cities will need more workers than smaller towns. Services like road maintenance, utilities, sewage management, courts, fire departments, and administrative workers will grow as the population grows.

If the number of bureaucrats merely kept up with the growing population then there’s no problem. But if each of the new bureaucrats lobbies for larger budgets, bigger office buildings, and more coworkers, we can imagine bureaucratic growth feeding on itself.

Each new government worker brings with them demands for an even larger government (and the taxes necessary to fund it).

In big cities, this sort of growth can be hard to track. How many bureaucrats are needed to successfully manage the budgets of the municipal water provision in New York City? I haven’t the foggiest.

In my town, I know exactly where the office for that manager is. There is one employee there and I know her by name. If they added another employee it wouldn’t be a big deal. But if I walked in and there were five new people working there, I’d probably be a little suspicious about why that was necessary.

It’s much easier for voters to gauge bureaucratic bloat when they live in small towns.

If my above thinking is right, then government overreach is to some extent a function of what makes a city, a city. A very dense, large number of people seems to result in this sort of overreach.

The fact that this question was asked in the first place is a good indication that big cities and big governments go somewhat hand-in-hand (at least in the US).

But not all is hopeless. I’m not keen on political solutions, but I’m very optimistic about bottom-up entrepreneurial solutions.

For example, the taxi medallion cartel in New York City wasn’t broken up by regulatory change. Uber, Lyft, and rideshare apps juked regulators and their special-interest cronies.

This seems to me to be a model of the best way forward. Rather than spending resources trying to overcome bad political incentives, I trust entrepreneurs’ profit incentive to keep innovation one step ahead.

AUTHOR

Peter Jacobsen

Peter Jacobsen teaches economics and holds the position of Gwartney Professor of Economics. He received his graduate education George Mason University. His research interest is at the intersection of political economy, development economics, and population economics.

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

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Got Away With It’ — Sen. Rick Scott To Release Ad Saying Biden ‘Cheated On His Taxes’

National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman Sen. Rick Scott of Florida will release an advertisement Monday night, claiming President Biden has been cheating on his taxes to avoid paying around half a million dollars that should have gone to Medicare.

The ad, titled Tax Cheat, was first obtained by the Daily Caller. In it, Scott accuses Biden of exploiting a loophole to cheat on his taxes and getting away with it. Scott’s ad bases its claim on reports from a number of media outlets, including the New York Post and Wall Street Journal, which said that when Biden was leaving the vice presidency in 2017, Joe and Jill Biden created two S-corporations, the CelticCapri Corporation (Joe Biden) and Giacoppa Corporation (Jill Biden), through which they funneled their book and speech income.

The Bidens paid full income taxes on all their earnings but avoided paying payroll taxes — the 2.9% tax that funds Medicare and the additional 0.9% “high-income” tax imposed by Obamacare — on all income they classified as “profits” from their two corporations. This has caused lawmakers like Scott to raise questions about Biden’s taxes, saying the president could owe the IRS close to $500,000 in back taxes.

In 2020, The Washington Post’s fact checker looked at this allegation in detail and concluded that it was difficult to determine whether Biden’s “tax strategy was especially aggressive or par for the course.”

“Joe Biden just cut $280 billion from Medicare. And we know about his 87,000 new IRS agents. But what you don’t know is that Joe Biden also cheated on his taxes and got away with it,” Scott said in the ad.

“Biden improperly used a loophole to dodge half a million dollars in taxes that should have gone to Medicare. Now that Biden has ripped off Medicare for half a million dollars, he wants to close the loophole and raise your taxes. I’m Rick Scott. Biden should resign,” Scott continued.

The ad is being run by and paid for by Scott’s campaign.

WATCH: 

“Joe Biden and Washington Democrats just cut $280 billion from Medicare, taking money from Florida seniors,” Scott told the Caller before the ad was released. “What’s worse, Joe Biden cheated on his own taxes, taking even more money from seniors who rely on Medicare and other important entitlement programs. Joe Biden is a hypocrite and a tax cheat who is unequipped for the job and should resign.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates respond to the Caller’s inquiry about the accusations Scott made in the ad in a statement: “No. And funnily, Rick Scott’s lie about the Inflation Reduction Act is just as debunked now as it was yesterday when he face-planted after getting fact checked live on CNN yesterday. It’s also just as false as it was when Rick Scott released an ultra MAGA policy agenda that called for putting Medicare on the chopping block. The Inflation Reduction Act is endorsed by the AARP – and opposed by Big Pharma and every Republican in Congress – because it enables Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs. Rick Scott just highlighted, again, that want to raise drug prices in the name of welfare for Big Pharma. We should honestly be paying Senator Scott to talk, but then again he probably still has as least a few hundred million dollars left from when he oversaw the biggest Medicare fraud in history.”

AUTHOR

HENRY RODGERS

Senior Congressional correspondent. Follow Henry Rodgers On Twitter

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

REPORT: Biden Admin Weighing Plan To House Migrants In Guantanamo

The Biden administration is weighing a plan to house migrants at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, according to NBC News.

The White House National Security Council asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the number of Haitian migrants apprehended at sea that would require them to designate a third country for them to stay while they await processing to enter the U.S., NBC reported, citing two U.S. officials and an internal document. If there is an overwhelming number of Haitian migrants for a third country, the Biden administration is considering Guantanamo Bay as a holding center.

Guantanamo is a high-security prison where some of the harshest criminals have been held, including terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks.

The facility has also been used in the past to house migrants from Cuba and Haiti. The Biden administration is considering utilizing the base’s Migrant Operations Center and doubling its capacity to have 400 beds, according to NBC.

“The U.S. government always does contingency planning out of an abundance of caution, and for a wide range of potential scenarios. These contingencies for migration existed long before the Biden-Harris Administration,” an NSC spokesperson added after NBC published its story, adding that a decision hasn’t been made and the number of Haitian migrants interdicted at sea has decreased.

Nearly one year ago, the Biden administration faced a surge in Haitian migrants that overwhelmed the capacity of Border Patrol in Del Rio, Texas, when thousands of them amassed under the international bridge hoping to enter the U.S. During Biden’s time in office, there’s been millions of migrants attempting to enter the country, many of them illegally.

“The United States remains committed to supporting the people of Haiti. We recently delivered Haitian government-purchased security equipment, including tactical and armored vehicles and supplies, that will assist the Haitian National Police in their fight against criminal actors inciting violence,” a spokesperson for the NSC told NBC.

Gangs have attempted to recently take control of Haiti’s government, according to NBC. Most recently, the groups attempted to block fuel to the country.

DHS is monitoring “the situation in Haiti, and there are longstanding contingency plans ready in the event of a surge in maritime migration,” an agency spokesperson told NBC.

“DHS components, including U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations, and the United States Coast Guard, along with our federal partners, maintain a continual presence with air and sea assets in the Florida straits and in the Caribbean Sea, as part of a multi-layered approach to interdict migrants attempting to enter the U.S.,” the spokesperson added.

Neither a spokesperson for the NSC nor DHS immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

RELATED TWEET:

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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 of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Will GOP Let Biden Nominate a Radical Leftist IRS Boss to Terrorize Americans?

The pressure will be on to appoint and clear a new commissioner as soon as possible.


Biden’s illegal Inflation Increase Act has prepped the IRS to act as a weapon of political terror. But it needs someone at the top to run the machine.

Here’s the stage being set.

Looming Leadership Void at I.R.S. Raises Concerns Over $80 Billion Overhaul – New York Times

Former commissioners warn that delays in nominating a new commissioner raise the prospect that transformation efforts will fail.

You know the kind of transformation they have in mind.

Last month, we were told that the Biden regime had narrowed its list of candidates. And based on the track record, we’re likely looking at a Warren person, someone with a background in advocating political crackdowns on conservative organizations and finding new ways to bend the tax code to pursue leftist agendas. As a plus, it’s likely to be a woman and a member of a minority group.

Now, Commissioner Rettig is officially stepping down.

The Treasury Department on Friday announced the departure of IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, an appointee of former President Trump whose term is set to end in mid-November.

Before Congress approves a new permanent IRS head, the agency will be headed by deputy commissioner Douglas O’Donnell as acting chief, the Treasury said.

The pressure will be on to appoint and clear a new commissioner as soon as possible.

Congressional Republicans have a duty not to provide another rubber stamp to another radical Biden nominee. Especially, if the track record holds, we’re going to be looking at an extremist on a mission to terrorize Americans.

The media will claim that Republicans are holding up urgent reforms and that taxpayer services will be affected. That’s a lie. O’Donnell is a career employee and capable of running things.

As the IRS is already targeting conservatives while protecting leftists, as discussed in David Horowitz’s and John Perazzo’s new booklet: “Internal Radical Service: Abuse Of Taxpayer Dollars To Advance Leftwing Causes Illegally And Unconstitutionally”, we can only imagine how much worse it will get if the Biden regime gets full control of the terror machine that Manchin and Sinema helped them build. If Republicans fail to stand up for Americans against a new wave of political and economic terror, they will lose the confidence of the country.

AUTHOR

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

Analysis: 5.5 Million Illegal Aliens Have Crossed our Borders Since Biden Took Office—How is Secretary Mayorkas Still Employed?

Washington, D.C. — The Federation for American Immigration Reform issued the following statement, as well as a deeper dive into FY 2022 border numbers, based on data quietly released late Friday night by the Biden administration:

“In typical fashion, the Biden administration attempted to conceal the reality of a historic crisis they created by releasing final FY 2022 border numbers late on a Friday evening, hoping in vain that no one would notice on the eve of consequential midterm elections. After digging through them, we can see why,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

“Some 2.7 million migrants—those who illegally entered or were otherwise inadmissible at a port of entry—were encountered at our borders in FY 2022, bringing the total under President Biden to a whopping 5.5 million. One thing is clear: These record-breaking numbers are a direct consequence of open-borders policies implemented by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the person who appointed him, President Joe Biden,” charged Stein. “This deliberate sabotage of our nation’s immigration laws demands that the president remove Mayorkas from his position immediately. Otherwise, the impeachment of his disgraced cabinet member is sure to be one of the first orders of business in the next Congress.”

“Nothing will improve until there is a public servant leading the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who believes in borders—and secure ones at that. We cannot even begin to reverse this disaster so long as our nation’s immigration policies are in the hands of someone who is bent on compounding it. No matter how late at night this administration releases data, the numbers still speak for themselves. President Biden needs to clean house at DHS, and, if he is not prepared to do it, Congress needs to clean it for him, beginning with the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas,” Stein concluded.

FAIR Border Snapshot for FY 2022

  • Some 2.7 million migrants—those who illegally entered or were otherwise inadmissible at a port of entry—were encountered at our borders in FY 2022.
    • 2.2 million of them were apprehended along the southwest border, setting a new record and eclipsing all four years of the Trump administration combined.
  • Since President Biden took office, around 5.5 million illegal aliens have crossed our borders—a crisis of epic proportions.
    • FAIR’s figure contains the 4.4 million nationwide total reported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – which includes around 3.9 million at our southwest border – as well as approximately 1.1 million “gotaways” who have entered the country undetected per agency sources.
    • Based on publicly available CBP data, court filings, and “gotaways,” FAIR estimates that 2.4 million were either released by federal authorities or entered the country’s interior undetected.
  • Border Patrol agents encountered 98 known or suspected terrorists in FY 2022. In FY 2021, that number was 15. In FY 2020, it was three and in FY 2019, zero.
    • This number only includes known or suspected terrorists who were apprehended, not those embedded in the 1.1 million who evaded law enforcement while entering the country and eventually disappeared into American communities.
  • Migrant deaths at the southwest border totaled 856 in FY 2022—the deadliest year on record.
  • The amount of fentanyl seized in the last month of the fiscal year is equivalent of more than 414 million lethal doses—bringing the FY 2022 lethal dose total well into the billions.
    • More fentanyl has crossed the border in the last two months under President Biden than in all of FY 2019 under President Trump’s leadership.

©Federation for American Immigration Reform. All rights reserved.

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2023 Federal Tax Brackets Are Out. See Which Bracket You Fall in—and Why Tax Rates Are so High

The sad truth is, the average American works four months a year just to cover tax bills. How did we get here?


The Internal Revenue Service released new federal income tax brackets last week. Though marginal tax rates did not change, under federal law the brackets are adjusted for inflation, and they shake out like this.

Marginal rate Individual income Married couples filing jointly
10% $11,000 or less $22,000 or less
12% $11,000 to $44,725 $22,001 to $89,450
22% $44,726 to $95,375 $89,451 to $190,750
24% $95,376 to $182,100 $190,751 to $364,200
32% $182,101 to $231,250 $364,201 to $462,500
35% $231,251 to $578,125 $462,501 to $693,750
37% $578,126 or more $693,751 or more

The adjustments are designed to avoid “bracket creep”—a merciful measure that came out of the Reagan administration—and some media celebrated that many Americans may see a slightly lower tax bill as a result.

“The new brackets for 2023 mean paychecks for many Americans could see a boost, which will help consumers who are being hit hard by inflation and aren’t seeing raises that keep pace with price increases,” Herb Scribner reported in Axios.

While it’s nice to see Axios recognize that a lower tax bill is actually a good thing, the elephant in the room went unnoticed. The tax rates are eye-popping. Why are working families shelling out so much of their money— a fifth of their income, a quarter of their income, a third of their income or more—to the government? The sad truth is, the average American works four months a year just to cover their tax bills.

This invites a few important questions. Who authorized the pillaging of our paychecks and what exactly are we getting in return? And why do we pay taxes in the first place?

Most Americans probably don’t ask themselves these questions. The truth is, most of us pay taxes not because we want to, but because we’ll go to prison if we don’t. (And because our wages are garnished, which is another story.) Some will say they pay taxes because it’s their civic duty, but a funny thing happens when you ask these same people to pay more than they have to. They don’t.

Others will argue taxes are necessary to fund all the programs and departments of the federal government, and they’ll have a point. The Pentagon’s budget is $767 billion alone. The Department of Treasury is not far behind with a $704 billion budget, and the Department of Transportation’s is $128 billion. The Department of Agriculture has a $208 billion budget. It goes on and on. Indeed, the list is so long that few Amerians could name all the federal departments and agencies, and even fewer could explain what these agencies actually do.

This invites an important question: what is the purpose of government?

Again, it’s probably a question few people ask, and answers will vary because it’s a subjective question. The question is easy to answer, however, if we look back to John Locke (1632-1704). In the eyes of Locke, whose ideas influenced the founding fathers and underpin the American system, the role of government is clear: it exists to protect life, liberty, and private property.

“…every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his,” wrote Locke in his Second Treatise on Civil Government. “The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property.”

Locke argued the purpose of government is to secure the individual rights of people and nothing else. Its purpose is not to redistribute wealth, provide services to the people, or educate children. Government should be limited to its sole purpose, which is why the framers of the Constitution enumerated specific powers to the federal government spelling out exactly what it was permitted to do and stating in the Bill of Rights everything the federal government could not do to citizens.

When one looks at what the Constitution authorizes the federal government to do and compares it to the alphabet soup of federal agencies, it’s clear that both the Constitution and the principle of limited government have been largely abandoned.

In the absence of these restraining mechanisms, the size, scope, and expense of government have exploded. The federal government is now $31.2 trillion in debt. The institution created to protect our rights has become the greatest violator of our rights, an irony that would not have surprised the French economist Frédéric Bastiat.

“Instead of checking crime, the law itself [becomes] guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!” Bastiat wrote in The Law.

All of this explains why those marginal tax rates are so high. It stems directly from the size of government.

Instead of being excited that the inflation eating away their wealth might have a small silver lining—a slightly lower tax bill than last year—Americans should be asking why they’re paying so much in the first place. It might help them rediscover the lost principle of limited government.

This article was adapted from an issue of the FEE Daily email newsletter. Click here to sign up and get free-market news and analysis like this in your inbox every weekday.

AUTHOR

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

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

An Inflation Nation — The New Norm

Hard working Americans continue to suffer from historically high levels of inflation caused by the Biden administration’s out-of-control spending and opposition to domestic energy production. Soon after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for September, which confirmed inflation is accelerating and isn’t going away anytime soon, President Joe Biden claimed “If Republicans win, inflation’s going to get worse.”

Such a reckless claim demonstrates the president’s fundamental misunderstanding of the problem his policies have caused … or how to solve it. 

Overall inflation was up another 0.4% in September, or 8.2% year-over-year. Even the less volatile measure of “core” inflation increased by 0.6% in September for a 12-month increase of 6.6%. This is the highest increase in core inflation in 40 years and shows that inflation is broad-based and continues to spread throughout the economy.

Americans are well-aware that food prices have increased dramatically. Food prices rose 0.8% in September alone and have increased 11.2% in the last 12 months. This is the highest year-over-year increase in the United States since 1979. Cereals and bakery items are up 16.2%, dairy items are up 15.9% and fruits and vegetables are up 10.4%.

American workers also suffered another month of declining purchasing power last month. These decreases have become all too customary under the Biden administration’s policies, and in just the past year, purchasing power fell by 3.3%. Since the beginning of the Biden administration, the average worker has paid a $2,500 inflation tax. Lower-income Americans and senior citizens on fixed incomes are particularly vulnerable to rapid price increases.

Ongoing inflation has led the Federal Reserve to engage in some of the most aggressive monetary policy most Americans have ever seen. That’s bad news for Americans whose investments are being destroyed and whose dreams of owning a home or starting a business are being delayed. The Wall Street Journal reports that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages now average more than 7.1% compared to just 3% a year ago.

For a homebuyer borrowing $250,000, the monthly interest and principal payment has increased from approximately $1,050 per month to a staggering $1,680 per month.

The only thing keeping the headline inflation rate from hitting another 40-year high is that energy prices declined slightly in September. That appears to be changing quickly, and not in a good way.

The energy prices in September’s inflation report were recorded before the OPEC+ announcement that the cartel will cut production by two million barrels per day starting in November. A market correction also looms around the corner when the administration’s releases of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve will come to an end. Because it refuses to expand domestic production, the Biden administration will be left with few real options to lower prices at the pump.

The announced reduction of 2 million barrels per day, combined with the long overdue termination of releases from the strategic reserve is already assessed to send oil prices skyrocketing. Goldman Sachs recently forecasted that oil prices will likely reach $110 per barrel.

The 4.9% decline in gasoline prices in September is but a temporary reprieve, and it is highly probable that a national average of $5.00 per gallon will once again crush Americans’ wallets.

Oil and gasoline are only one piece of a more eerie picture. The coming winter should be of significant concern. Natural gas prices are driven by global factors, and with the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Europe is facing a potential economic catastrophe driven by extreme energy volatility. This would further raise prices for heating American households.

The Biden administration’s embrace of big government socialism has wrought the worst economy in 40 years. Rather than trusting the American people’s ingenuity, the administration’s centralization of authority and special interest cronyism have devastated our Nation’s citizens. Government debt is now more than $31 trillion, and forecasters estimate deficits of more than $1 trillion per year in the future.

Dependency, debt, and demagoguery are not the foundation of a strong economy. Only by returning to an America First economic approach led by renewed energy independence can the American people once again realize the shared prosperity we enjoyed a few short years ago.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

AUTHORS

SAM BUCHAN

Sam Buchan is a former Director for International Economic Policy on the National Economic Council and is currently the Director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the America First Policy Institute.

MICHAEL FAULKENDER

Michael Faulkender is a former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury and is currently a Senior Fellow at the America First Policy Institute.

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