Federal Government Imposes Up to $14,000 in ‘Hidden Taxes’ on Households Every Year, New Report Reveals

Most Americans pay close attention to how much of their money is taken in taxes each year. But there’s another, less obvious way the federal government imposes financial costs on citizens—and according to a new report, it amounts to trillions annually.

The fiscally-conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) just released its annual “Ten Thousand Commandments” report, which documents the “size, scope, and cost of federal regulations, and how they affect American consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy at large.” Report author Clyde Wayne Crews explains how we face a “hidden tax” from the economic burden of our massive regulatory state. After all, tens of thousands of new regulations are imposed every year.

The report estimates the economic costs of federal regulation at an astounding $1.9 trillion annually.

To put that abstract sum in context, it’s nearly as much as the federal government collects in income and corporate taxes in a year. And a country that produced $1.9 trillion in output would be the 8th largest economy in the world (excluding the US). $1.9 trillion is more in economic output than Brazil or Italy produce in an entire calendar year.

Much of this $1.9 trillion in “hidden taxes” is ultimately borne by everyday Americans. To understand why, simply remember that regulations increase the costs associated with production. An unnecessary environmental regulation, for example, may force companies to take more cost-intensive steps during the production process. Ultimately, this leads to higher prices at the check-out line.

The CEI report explains that if we assume the costs all ultimately fall on consumers, then it equates to up to $14,368 in annual costs per US household.

This is a huge hit to the wallet. $14,368 in annual regulatory costs amounts to roughly 23 percent of the average household’s spending budget. It’s more than the typical household spends on food, transportation, healthcare, or anything except housing.

Oh, and don’t forget the $88 billion in taxpayer money spent by federal agencies each year just to administer, implement, and police these regulations.

The takeaway here is broader than just the financial impact of federal regulation, as significant as that may be. It’s yet another reminder that, as economist Frédéric Bastiat famously identified, the costs of government go beyond the obvious, what is “seen,” and extend to the “unseen.”

Of course, when it comes to the ever-expanding federal government, the most obvious cost is what the politicians in Washington, DC take from us in taxes every year. But this new report further proves that the unseen, hidden costs of the federal government’s growing involvement in economic life are even more drastic than what comes directly out of our paychecks.

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

States Ending Ultra-Generous Welfare Are Doing Better in One Big Way, New Data Show

We’ve got a new contender in the competition for the least-surprising news development of all time. As it turns out, if you pay people more to stay on unemployment welfare than they can earn working, and then scale back the benefits, more people will go back to work. Shocking!

Some have denied and pushed back against this basic economic reality, largely for political and partisan reasons. But new data on the unemployment trends across states taking different approaches to unemployment welfare make this truth truly impossible to deny.

Recent history offers us something of a natural experiment. The $300/week federal supplement on top of existing state-level unemployment benefits is set to expire at the end of September. Yet the dysfunctional expansion of the welfare system has meant that 42 percent of the unemployed can earn the same or more by not working. In 21 states, unemployed households can earn the equivalent of $25/hour while not working.

The work disincentives here are obvious. It’s hardly shocking that a record-breaking number of small businesses report being unable to fill their job openings.

So, dozens of conservative-leaning states have discontinued the benefits early, while dozens of liberal-leaning states have left it in place.

Thanks to recently released Labor Department data on unemployment claims, we can now, quite predictably, see the welfare rolls expanding in the states where the unemployment bonus remains in place. Yet the number of people on welfare is rapidly shrinking in the states where the supplement is set to expire or already has expired.

“The 26 states that have announced their plan to end participation in the $300 weekly unemployment bonus have seen a 12.7 percent decline on average in initial claims over the past week,” the fiscally-conservative Foundation for Government Accountability reports. “Meanwhile, states that have indicated they will continue participating in the unemployment bonus programs have seen an increase in initial claims by an average of 1.6 percent during this same period. The 12 states that have officially opted out of the $300 weekly bonus thus far have seen consistent declines each week since ending participation in the bonus.”

In other words, people are leaving the welfare rolls and returning to work in the states where the government is getting out of the way. They are not doing so as much in the states where expanded welfare continues to create dysfunctional incentives.

“State leaders are proving that ending enhanced unemployment bonuses can reignite the economic recovery for workers and businesses alike,” FGA Senior Research Analyst Hayden Dublois said. “This recent report highlights how ending the bonus will help get unemployed individuals back into the workforce quickly, help fill the record number of open jobs, and ensure small businesses can thrive.”

Of course, a strong correlation alone does not prove causation. But when combined with the fact that this result is exactly what basic economic theory—or even an elementary understanding of how humans respond to incentives—would predict, it’s strong evidence nonetheless.

When politicians muck up the labor market and discourage work with excessive welfare, dysfunction is sure to ensue. Getting the government out of the way does more good than any “stimulus” scheme ever will.

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

44 Things You Should Know about the Green New Deal

What should we make of this Green New Deal?


On Feb. 7, US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and US Sen. Ed Markey introduced legislation known as the Green New Deal.

You’ve probably heard of it. It’s a big deal, to paraphrase Joe Biden.

Wikipedia, the internet’s fountain of knowledge, describes the legislation as “a proposed stimulus package that aims to address climate change and economic inequality.”

Okay. But what is that?

If the term “new deal” sounds familiar, it should. It’s a reference to FDR’s New Deal, which was itself a play off of Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal. (Politicians don’t win extra points for originality.)

So just imagine FDR’s New Deal took the Paris Climate Agreement out for drinks, one thing led to another, and—voila—nine months later they had a baby: The Green New Deal.

So what should we make of this Green New Deal? Since climate change is bad, and inequality is bad, can we assume the Green New Deal is good?

Well, that’s for you to decide. But here are 44 facts and reflections on the GND to consider:

1. The GND is necessary, we’re told, because global warming will cause “more than $500,000,000,000 in lost annual economic output in the United States by the year 2100.”

2. That’s a scary number. But even if we accept such a figure, it’s important to note, as Tim Worstall has, that we’re talking about .05 percent of the total US economy in 2100.

3. That $500 billion price tag, in context, is rather small, then—at least compared to what AOC’s legislation would cost. Some estimates put the price tag at $93 trillion.

4. Relax, relax. Fact-checking organizations are probably right when they say that these figures are mostly pulled out of a, ahem, hat (much like AOC’s own $500 billion figure).

5. In fact, all these big numbers make me think of this:

6. So why do we need to spend all those trillions in the first place? One reason AOC cites is “a 4-decade trend of wage stagnation.”

7. The problem? The wage narrative, as Bloomberg recently pointed out, is a myth. As in not true.

8. That’s right. Although wages flattened (briefly) in the mid-90s, they have grown steadily since, according to Federal Reserve data.

9. Uh, that’s actually good news.

10. Ditto on overall economic growth. Fact: Real GDP growth, per capita, has averaged nearly 1.7 percent per year since 1980. At that rate, the average person’s standard of living doubles every four decades or so.

11. Well, you wouldn’t know this by reading the GND. It cites grievance—“the top 1 percent of earners [accrue] 91 percent of gains”—after grievance—“a large racial wealth gap”—after grievance—“a gender earnings gap that results in women earning approximately 80 percent as much as men.”

12. Some of these claims are accurate. Others are not. But the point is that from reading the GND, one would have no idea that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is living in the most prosperous era in human history.

13. The capitalism AOC decries as “irredeemable” has given us this:

14. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez can cite “life expectancy declining” as a reason to pass her GND. But take a look at the actual data on US life expectancy over the last 135 years.

15. Surelife expectancy did briefly dip between 2014 and 2016—by three-tenths of 1 percent. However, that decline was the result of drug overdoses and suicides. The trend has nothing to do with climate change and, more importantly, it’s a trend that’s not expected to continue.

16. Okay, okay, okay, you say. But what about the climate? What good is wealth and a long life if the planet BOILS IN A LAKE OF FIRE?!

17. Because that’s what AOC said is going to happen. “We’re, like, the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” she explained in January.

18. It gets worse. Climate scientist Politician Beto O’Rourke says 12 years is actually wishful thinking. It’s more like 10.

19. AOC might be right. Or maybe O’Rourke is. On the other hand, some scientists who have, like, Nobel Prizes, are less convinced that a global warming apocalypse is upon us.

20. Perhaps realizing that there is a small chance the world will still be here in 2031, AOC recently hedged on her assertion that the world will end in 12 years if we don’t act.

21. It was all big joke, you see.

22. The world’s not really ending in 12 years.

23. And yet—the GND is still on the table, and fossil fuels are still the enemy. In fact, the stated goal of the GND is to meet “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

24. Is this possible? The cars we drive, the homes we cool and heat, and the lights that illuminate our world all require vast amounts of energy. How much energy? Well, Americans on average use about 310 million BTU annually. That’s roughly 1.005400000E+17 nationally.

25. The lowest cost alternative to coal and natural gas is nuclear energy. The US currently has 99 nuclear reactors, each of which have a generating capacity between 582 megawatts and 3937 megawatts. Together, these 99 reactors generate 20 percent of US electricity.

26. Sixty-three percent of US electricity comes from fossil fuels, however. To switch that 63 percent to nuclear energy would require more than 200 additional nuclear reactors. At approximately $15 billion per plant, the total cost over the 10-year period would be around $3 trillion just to build the reactors.

27. Yeah, that’s a pretty penny. In fact, that’s nearly all federal revenue collected in 2017. So it’s doable but extremely expensive. However, AOC said building more nuclear plants is off-limits.

28. Graciously, however, she said she will allow nuclear plants already built to continue operating… for now. Her office said that’s because it’s unclear just how fast “we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant.”

29. This is odd because nuclear power is safecheapreliable, and generates zero greenhouse gasses. That’s why the Union of Concerned Scientists recently said nuclear energy is necessary to address climate change.

30. In fact, the idea that we could come close to meeting our energy needs without fossil fuels, nuclear plants, or a historic breakthrough in fusion is, well…

31. Perhaps this is why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came up with a pet name for the Green New Deal: “The Green Dream or Whatever.”

32. Pelosi didn’t stop there. “It’s enthusiastic, and I appreciate the enthusiasm,” said the House Speaker.

33. Ouch. Perhaps this is why AOC backed off and said maybe nuclear energy is still on the table.

34. Either way, the Green New Deal would mean big changes. But how big? And how would those changes be made? Steve Inskeep, a journalist at NPR and host of the Morning Edition program, asked AOC if her plan requires “massive government intervention.”

35. “It does. It does. Yeah. I have no problem saying that,” she responded, according to the transcript.

36. Say what you will about AOC, she deserves points for honesty. At least that morning she did. Here is what she said later in the day: “One way the right tries to mischaracterize what we’re doing as though it’s like some kind of massive government takeover… obviously, it’s not that.”

37. The Green New Deal, it’s safe to say, is rather confusing. The big question: How worried should you be?

38. Not that worried, actually. The legislation that comprises the GND, as Factcheck.org explains, is nonbinding. This means that if the bill passes, it will not “have the force of law.”

39. That’s right. Political parties and pundits have spent millions of hours(ish) talking about legislation that is essentially meaningless. The GND, one could say, is a massive PR stunt. (Consider this: if you Google “Green New Deal,” you’ll get 2.32 billion—billion—hits in .62 seconds.)

40. That’s frustrating, but keep in mind: a) politics is dumb; b) we should be thankful—exceedingly thankful—the Green New Deal will not have the power of law behind it should it actually pass.

41. Why? Because as former Greenpeace president Patrick Moore pointed out, untold numbers of people likely would die if the GND became binding law.

You don’t have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get food into the cities. Horses? If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating. You would bring about mass death.

42. Yeah, that’s kind of terrifying. Now, nobody is saying AOC wants millions to die. No one wants that. But it’s an overlooked fact that most of the horrors of the 20th century were committed by people attempting to use government and force to improve the world, not markets and free exchange.

43. “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to [humans] how little they really know about what they imagine they can design,” the Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek observed in The Fatal Conceit.

44. Hayek’s statement includes everyone—even the charming young congresswoman from the Bronx New York City.

READ THE GREEN NEW DEAL FOR YOURSELF HERE.

COLUMN BY

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.

AOC Pans Crime Surge Fears as ‘Hysteria,’ Calls to Defund Police

In an online discussion with fellow radical Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Friday, anti-police Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) doubled down on defunding police, dismissing concerns about a surge in crime as mere “hysteria.”

“We are seeing these headlines about percentage increases,” AOC said, referring to a recent New York Times headline about surging crime. “Now, I want to say that any amount of harm is unacceptable and too much. But I also want to make sure that this hysteria, you know, that this doesn’t drive a hysteria and that we look at these numbers in context so that we can make responsible decisions about what to allocate in that context.”

Translation: we don’t want reports from our own leftist media outlets about rising crime to impede our push to make things worse.

“I agree with Representative Bowman, that I do believe that we need to reallocate resources away and that a big, you know, major causes of this — and by the way, I also think it’s important context because we hear on the news and media, they perpetuate this idea of crime wave, crime wave, crime wave, right?” AOC blathered.

They perpetuate the idea of a crime wave because there is a crime wave, thanks to the Party that opposes law and order. Breitbart News reported June 23 that homicides have increased 58% in Democrat-run Atlanta, 533% in Democrat-run Portland, and 37% in Democrat-run Philadelphia. Shooting are up 54% in Democrat-run New York City, 51% in Democrat-run Los Angeles, and 18% in Democrat-run Chicago.

“And so this idea that a lot of us are panicked thinking that we are at some unprecedented level that we’ve never seen before,” she concluded inarticulately.

Translation: stay calm, inner-city Americans. It’s not like you’ve never had a lot of crime before. And the Democrats you voted for will fix it by funding social services counselors instead of cops.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

40 Known Connections

Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Police Over Shooting of Black Minnesotan Daunte Wright

Ocasio-Cortez was outraged by an April 11, 2021 incident where a white female police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota accidentally shot and killed a young black man named Daunte Wright, who was resisting arrest and attempting to flee. The congresswoman tweeted: “Daunte Wright’s killing was not a random, disconnected ‘accident’ – it was the repeated outcome of an indefensible system that grants impunity for state violence, rewards it w/ endlessly growing budgets at the cost of community investment, & targets those who question that order​.” “Cameras, chokehold bans, ​retraining funds, and similar reform measures do not ultimately solve what is a systemic problem. That system will find a way – killings happen on camera, people are killed in other ways, retraining grows $ while often substituting for deeper measures​,” she said in another post.

To learn more about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, click here.

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

DemonRats Ensure Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Inflation, the cruelest tax of all, is here. Under the insane monetary agenda of this socialist administration, America and Americans are all going to feel the terrible affects of inflation. There is no other option as they, the Democrats, resort to previously failed policies and discard any attempt at being fiscally conservative or responsible. Hyper inflation is coming shortly to every store and household in America. Thanks Joe! NOT!

Manufacturers are all facing major dilemmas now. Raise prices or suffer the losses and increased overheads. Unfortunately most will have no other option than to raise prices, and once that route is selected, it will become continuous as inflation rises. I spoke recently to an Israeli who has a tea import/export business. He used to pay only 6 months ago, $1800 per container shipped from China to the US. He now pays $8300 for the same container load and his company is losing money daily. He has large contracts with fixed pricing with companies like CVS and May have to break contracts as the losses mount. That, America, is inflation.

A little later in this blog I am going to give some more examples of companies that produce everyday products we all buy and consume which have already increased in pricing and they intend to continue that process as inflation increases.

The surging cost increases that are a direct result of the Democrats policies have increased fuel costs, raw materials, energy and transportation. These increases in many cases are in double figures. Sometimes triple figures.

18 of 26 S&P500 companies have already acknowledged increases in their products. The other 8 will follow shortly. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday the WH will raise its inflation forecast for the year in its forthcoming midyear economic projections amid growing concerns about surging consumer prices. That shows they understand their policies will hurt all Americans but they do not care. They use a figure excluding food and energy data to try say inflation in May alone was 3.8% as opposed to well over 5% which I think is also understated and low.

They lie.

The following companies have, as I said already, committed themselves to continuous price increases.

Clorox has committed to increases from July. In the words of the Company CEO Linda Rendle:- “Given the volatility and the increases we’re seeing in the resin market, we’re looking at taking additional pricing in Glad based on what we’ve seen.”

Constellation Brands, the beer and wine producer, have increased prices 2% and further increases will follow, possibly monthly, as their raw product and material prices soar.

General Mills financial officers stated that increases will continue as global, broad based inflation increases. You all eat cereal? Maybe have to cut back on that!

Coca Cola is having to increase prices, and those increases appear to be large and the company is expecting headwinds from consumers as the financial year 2021 and 2022 proceeds. They expect to keep their increases coming monthly in line with inflation.

Kimberley-Clark stated in April they had no option but to increase prices on all their products, the best known being Scott toilet paper and Huggies diapers. They raised them all from high single digits to double figure increases. These will continue as inflation grows.

Kraft Heinz has stated that they haven’t increased prices yet but are examining everything. Remember America, these corporations, regardless of size, will only absorb a certain amount of losses before shareholders object. Up to now they have mitigated those extra costs by reducing their own costs with efficiencies in staffing levels etc.

Kellogg’s, the other major cereal producer of fame, state they have examined many levers to deal with inflation with price increases and what they call “price park architecture.” This is putting smaller amounts of product into the same size or similar box to make you feel it’s not too expensive. A con job. To me that is wrong. It shows immorality in that company but they are not alone in that fraudulent application.

Tyson, the US second largest producer of chicken, pork and beef product, have already increased their prices as animal feed and other basic materials have increased exponentially. They have seen substantial increases from their entire supply chain and have had no option other than to raise pricing.

When you add the ever increasing cost of fuel, wages, energy costs and staff shortages into this bleak picture, we are in for a rocky road. Wages will not keep up with inflation and our standard of living will go down dramatically. Jobs will be lost as companies try to stop losses or slow them down. Luxuries will not be bought. Unhealthy foods will be bought as they are far cheaper when feeding a family. Vacations will be cancelled. There will be Trades Union actions against companies that will not be able to afford increases in salaries and benefits as their bottom line contracts.

I have seen this play out in countries I have lived in or visited. It is not a pretty picture. It is very destructive to any society and a great leveler of financial groups from middle class down.

A recent Axios/Momentive survey showed that the majority of young people (18 to 35) are willing to get rid of capitalism and move to socialism. These younger folk are led mainly by African Americans and women. In pre Covid days the same group were asked about socialism and capitalism and just 39% held a positive view on socialism. Now that figure has gone up over 50%.

I wonder if they still will as socialism plays out and they begin to suffer!

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

“Biden’s” Defense Budget is the Gravest Threat to US National Security – Not ‘Extremism’ or ‘Climate Change’

Biden’s Defense Budget is the Greatest Threat to US National Security – Not ‘Extremism’ or ‘Climate Change’

By: Paul Crespo, American Defense News, June 21, 2021

ANALYSIS – President Joe Biden finally announced his proposed defense budget, very quietly on a Friday afternoon, intentionally drowned out by the long Memorial Day weekend a couple of weeks ago. Many observers missed it – as designed. This is a standard DC ‘swamp’ tactic to avoid the issue entering the news cycle.

As Kevin Baron, editor of Defense One noted, “If the White House wanted to boast about its [defense] spending plans, it wouldn’t have buried the news on Memorial Day weekend and given reporters just 10 minutes to ask questions.”

And Biden had reason to want his defense budget ignored. It is a woefully inadequate budget to face the multitude of growing external threats facing the United States. Think expansionist CCP China on a military building binge, Putin’s Russian military adventurism as close as Hawaii, and in the Arctic, space and cyberwarfare, Iranian terrorism and possible nuclear weapons, and terrorism, etc., etc.

Yet, Team Biden has been absurdly touting ‘white supremacist extremists’ as the ‘number one threat’ to the homekand and ‘Climate Change’ as top national security threat.

In fact, the greatest threat to U.S. national security today is Biden’s 2022 defense budget.

Frederico Bartels, a senior policy analyst for defense budgeting in Heritage’s Center for National Defense, wrote in 19fortyfive:

When the Office of Management and Budget released its [total U.S.] 2022 budget request, President Joe Biden stated, “Where we choose to invest speaks to what we value as a Nation.”

On that basis, the Biden administration does not value the United States armed forces. [emphasis added]

While Biden is proposing an unprecedented and fiscally unsustainable $6.4 TRILLION national budget, the Pentagon will only get $715 billion, which is less, adjusted for inflation, than President Trump’s defense last budget. As Bartels notes:

Biden’s budget reflects more interest in an unprecedented expansion of the federal government than adequately funding the military. Priced at a whopping $6.4 trillion, this budget request, adjusted for inflation, costs more than World War II and one decade of Obamacare combined.

…If enacted as is, the Department of Education would have a 41% budget increase, the Environmental Protection Agency would have a 22% increase, and the Department of Defense would have a paltry 1.6% increase—less than the expected 2.2% inflation rate.

Most defense leaders believe the U.S. needs a defense budget that is consistently 3% to 5% above inflation for several years to be ready for great power competition, primarily with an increasingly dangerous and belligerent China, but also potentially with Russia.

Biden’s budget has effectively shrunk the Pentagon’s purchasing power when it could least afford it. Because of this, our military leaders were forced to make painful tradeoffs.

These tradeoffs included shrinking the Navy and Army at a time when both should be increased and cutting ‘legacy systems’ we need to fight a war today and tomorrow, to invest in future defense tech for a possible war ten years from now.

Bartels adds:

Further moving away from its mission of “providing the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation’s security,” Biden’s budget proposes to carve out $500 million to go toward pandemic preparedness and $617 million to address, prepare, and adapt to climate change.

This is partially how the Biden administration is attempting to redefine the meaning of national security. ADN

They sure act like they stole the election. In a corrupt, left-wing dictatorship, only political opposition face prosecution. Violence and lawlessness in the cause of totalitarianism is richly rewarded.

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

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“Biden’s” Crushing Tax Proposal Means That 60% of Americans Will Pay More

Here are the dire numbers:

Biden’s tax proposal means that 60% of Americans could pay more: Here’s how much

Under Biden’s tax proposals, a small burden would be borne by some middle-income families

By Megan Henney, FOX Business, June 21, 2021:

President Biden repeatedly pledged during the 2020 campaign to not raise taxes for Americans earning less than $400,000, but a new analysis suggests that nearly 60% of taxpayers would pay more under his proposals.

Findings from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, show that while most of Biden’s proposed tax increases would be paid by those earning more than $800,000 annually, a small burden would also be borne by some middle-income families.

Three-quarters of households earning between $75,000 and $100,000 annually would face pay an additional $440 per year in taxes under Biden’s tax hikes, according to the data.

At the same time, about 69% of those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 would see their tax bill rise by $830 on average, while 83.7% of those earning between $200,000 and $500,000 would see an increase of $2,040 on average.

Still, that pales in comparison to the tax bite that the richest Americans would pay: The analysis shows that about 99.8% of those earning between $500,000 and $1 million would pay $8,810 more each year in taxes. Americans earning more than $1 million would have a tax bill that’s on average about $265,939 higher.

Biden has called for a slew of tax hikes, including raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, nearly doubling the capital gains tax rate to 39.6% from 21%, restoring the top individual income tax rate to 39.6% from 37% and taxing capital gains at death.

That new top rate – which reverses part of the Trump-era Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – would apply to single individuals with taxable income of more than $452,700 and married couples with joint taxable income of $509,300, according to the president’s $6 trillion budget proposal released in May.

Heads of households earning more than $481,000 and married individuals filing separate tax returns with income over $254,650 would also pay the higher rate.

As a result, while Biden is not directly raising taxes on those earning less than $400,000, some low- and middle-income Americans would see their tax bill rise indirectly due to the higher rates imposed on corporations.

So while workers making $75,000 annually would not pay a higher individual income tax rate under Biden’s proposal, they would see a share of their income shrink due to lower investment earnings and compensation – a byproduct of the higher corporate tax rate, according to the Tax Policy Center analysis.

“For those looking to see if Biden kept his promise to not raise taxes for those making $400,000 or less, the answer is: Mostly, but not entirely,” Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the think tank, wrote. “Including corporate tax increases, most households would pay more in 2022. About three-quarters of middle-income households would face a tax increase averaging about $300. But nearly all would be a result of those higher corporate taxes.”

That’s also not to mention the tax credits included in Biden’s tax and spending proposals: While most Americans would see their tax bill incrementally rise, many would also benefit from the expanded child tax credit and the earned income tax credit.

Factoring in the tax credits and the tax hikes, those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 a year would on average pay about $110 less to the government. Americans earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would pay about $240 less on average, while those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 would pay about $540 less.

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BIDEN’S PLANNED CAPITALS GAINS TAX HIKE COULD SLASH US REVENUE BY $33B

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

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Mitch McConnell Ready To Preserve The Swamp!

Mitch McConnell was just interviewed on the radio by show host Hugh Hewitt on whose show McConnell stated that a group close to him and his control, known as the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), are prepared to step in and intervene in any race that they, (read he), considers the candidate is unelectable. They would involve themselves and their millions of dollars and fight against those candidates in the primaries.

He stated for a candidate to be electable, as a Republican, they have to be able to appeal to all segments of the voters!

Really???

OK – anyone see a problem here?

I sure as heck do.

I see a scenario where a true conservative candidate, a God fearing man or woman, a real patriot, a Trump supporter, a 2nd Amendment protector, a strong law enforcement supporter, a believer in a strong military, in closed borders, ‘Put America First’ type of candidate would have the millions of dollars at this groups disposal used against them to ensure that a mainstream establishment ( read swamp ) candidate won the primary.

You know, a career type, middle of the road, swamp born and bred type candidate who will tow the centrist line and agenda. One who is interested in compromising with Socialists from the New Socialist Democrat Party. One looking for middle ground. A believer in a One World nation One who is looking for power and wealth. One who will do as they are told.

In other words more of what got us here in the first place.

I gotta say to Swampy Mitch – You are a traitor and a power hungry enemy of the people. ( Don’t cry Mitch!) You and yours do not represent me!

Let’s get one thing straight here Mitch McConnell. The majority of Republican supporters and voters, at least 75,000,000 strong, see President Donald J Trump as true leader of the GOP.

Not you Mitchy or the other slime balls screwing up our Constitutional Republic and attacking we, the people.

If President Donald J Trump does not endorse them they will be unelectable. We will not vote for any more career type, wishy washy politicians who are RINOs.

Period.

How can I say that the above scenarios will be the scenario of the SLF? It is an easy leap of faith for me. So far to date they have only endorsed one Republican politician. A really bad one!!

Guess who?

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

That would be the B*+ch that voted to convict President Trump in his second impeachment attempt by the domestic enemies of the state. The one who has done nothing but act like a Democrat complaining and lying about Trump.

Mitch McConnell and the SLF will likely use the lure of cash to his chosen prospective candidate choices.

One thing here you may not have thought of Mitchy Boy! PACs attached and supportive of President Trump, are busy raising huge amounts of money for candidates endorsed by President Trump.

Not your choices Mitch, Trumps choices!

Mitch McConnell sees the GOP as a party filled with John McCaines, Mitt Romney’s and Lisa Murkowskis!!

We the voters, as I said 75,000,000+ strong, do not.

We all understand the importance of winning back the House and the Senate in 2022. It is imperative and our last chance to save our beloved Constitutional Republic from total annihilation by the rabid socialist dogs nipping at the heels of our freedoms, liberties, rights and the very constitution that we consider sacrosanct and the ultimate law of the land.

We have 20 seats to defend. The socialist traitors of the Democrats only 14. Three of the seats we must flip are Ga, Az and NH.

I will end here with the words of the communications director for the SLF, Jack Pandol. “As has long been SLF’s policy, we reserve the right to intervene in cases where a candidate is a clear threat to lose a seat in a general election and to protect our Republican incumbents.” NOTE THE WORDS OUR REPUBLICAN INCUMBENTS.

They sure as hell do not want that profitable swamp drained. Do they?

Our job is to ensure it is – starting with Lisa Murkowski.

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

Biden: The ‘Capitalist’ Who Isn’t

Does anyone really think that Joe Biden, who is not a capitalist but a lifelong politician, knows “the right way to invest” $6 trillion?


On May 27, during a speech in Ohio, President Joe Biden told listeners, “I’m a capitalist,” but “the basic bargain in this country has been broken.” “Since 1979,” he said, “productivity has grown four times faster than pay has grown.” It used to be that

if you work hard and contribute to the success of enterprise, you get to share in the success—that’s not the case anymore. That’s how it works in healthy capitalist economies. But along the way, we started seeing the stock market and corporate profits and executive pay as the sole measure of our economic success.

Further, “CEOs used to get paid 35, 36 times to [sic] the average employee, and they should get paid. Now it’s over 370 times more than the average employee. As my mother would say, ‘Who died and left them boss?’”

Government can and should fix salary disparities, Biden said, by strategically investing our tax dollars and instituting policies in ways that will create “good jobs—American jobs that deliver good wages and dignity.” So, he aims to provide preschool and community college, rebuild America’s highway system, increase access to high-speed internet, fund NIH research on Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes, and more. “My plan is the right way to invest,” he said, “spreading key investments over time so we limit the price pressure.” All told, Biden’s proposals would cost taxpayers some $6 trillion, which he plans to raise by increasing taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals.

This raises several questions. Among them, does anyone really think that Joe Biden, who is not a capitalist but a lifelong politician, knows “the right way to invest” $6 trillion? Notably, in 2009, CBS estimated Biden’s net worth to be less than $30,000—making him the poorest administration figure—despite the fact that, since 1991, taxpayers had been giving him an annual salary of more than $100,000.

Except where government privilege is involved, wealthy entrepreneurs and executives become wealthy in large part because they know how to use money and resources to create more money and resources. By contrast, as history has shown repeatedly, bureaucrats can spend our money, but they have no expertise in profitably investing it.

Another question: Should we want bureaucrats who are skilled in—and eager to—“invest” our tax dollars? The purpose of government is not to manage our wealth but to protect our rights. Just as we evaluate cardiac surgeons based on how well they perform triple bypasses, not root canals, so we ought to evaluate politicians on how well (and efficiently) they protect our rights, not on whether they know “the right way to invest.” For investment expertise, we turn to CEOs, for whom we vote by buying stock in companies and participating in shareholder meetings.

CEO pay reflects the high demand for people with rare and valuable skills. Today, there are more enterprises competing for such talent than ever before, which explains, at least in part, the continued upward trajectory of CEO pay that displeases the likes of Biden. Although the quantity (and perhaps quality) of skilled executives has grown over the past fifty years, so has demand, job complexity, the potential earnings of companies, and the recognition of the CEO’s role in actualizing that potential. And, with respect to this last, if we compare living conditions today to those fifty years ago, it’s clear that CEOs generally have been doing their jobs superbly, supplying us with life-enhancing products and services at ever-falling prices.

But how well have politicians been doing their job of protecting rights? Among many striking and suggestive graphs that might help us explain worker wage stagnation are those tracking the growth of the Federal Register, the record of all federal laws, along with those tracking the growth of the welfare state.

Curiously, at around the same time that inflation-adjusted wage growth for workers began to flatten, our politicians began expanding both the number of regulations and the size of the welfare state. Beginning in the 1960s, Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” vastly increased the size and scope of America’s schemes for wealth redistribution. Then, in 1969, Richard Nixon raised taxes on businesses and established a host of agencies charged with regulating what they may and may not do, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If we dig into the nature of this massive growth of government, we see that it violates rights while pitting some groups against others, incentivizing those groups to plead for this or that special interest. As Michael Dahlen aptly observes:

The vast growth of the regulatory-entitlement state led to the vast growth of lobbying and campaign spending. Why? The more government intervenes in the economy—restricting the freedom of corporations, mandating what they must and must not do, imposing onerous compliance costs—the more incentive corporations have to influence how it intervenes. A government that heavily redistributes wealth, moreover, favoring some at the expense of others, foments an interest-group society: Privileged groups will lobby to protect their loot, some victims will lobby to become a privileged group, and other victims will lobby to protect their rights. As the great French political economist Frédéric Bastiat wrote in 1850, when law is “diverted from its true purpose—that it may violate property instead of protecting it—then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder.”

If, as Biden says, so-called middle-class workers once shared in their companies’ successes, is it all surprising that they would share in their companies’ increasing regulatory and tax burdens as well? Should we be shocked that wages would stagnate as companies spend more time and resources navigating the ever-thickening forest of red tape? And what do we suppose will happen when Biden realizes, as one reporter put it, his “ambition to restore the federal government to the role it played during the New Deal and Great Society.”

If we want higher wages—and who doesn’t—then instead of further “divert[ing] law from its true purpose” and cultivating a war zone of competing interest groups, we might begin by reversing course toward a government limited to its proper function of protecting our rights. This—the wellspring of American success—is the essence of capitalism. And Biden, the self-styled “capitalist,” has been “invested” in destroying it for the last fifty years.

COLUMN BY

Jon Hersey

Jon Hersey is managing editor of The Objective Standard, fellow and instructor at Objective Standard Institute, and Hazlitt fellow at Foundation for Economic Education.

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

‘Shrinkflation’: The Latest Consequence of Reckless Federal Spending, Explained

Companies are adapting to a surge in their expenses in a crafty way.


We already know that top inflation metrics have recently surged, and executives at companies like Costco are warning that price hikes are hurting their customers. Now, there’s a new inflation consequence hitting consumers: “Shrinkflation.”

I’d never heard the term before today, but new reporting from the Washington Post explains how some companies are dealing with inflation in their supply costs by shrinking the sizes of their products, to avoid the customer backlash that comes with raising sticker prices.

“Consumers are paying more for a growing range of household staples in ways that don’t show up on receipts — thinner rolls, lighter bags, smaller cans — as companies look to offset rising labor and materials costs without scaring off customers,” the Post reports. “It’s a form of retail camouflage known as ‘shrinkflation,’ and economists and consumer advocates who track packaging expect it to become more pronounced as inflation ratchets up, taking hold of such everyday items such as paper towels, potato chips and diapers.”

“Consumers check the price every time they buy, but they don’t check the net weight,” consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky told the newspaper. “When the price of raw materials, like coffee beans or paper pulp goes up, manufacturers are faced with a choice: Do we raise the price knowing consumers will see it and grumble about it? Or do we give them a little bit less and accomplish the same thing? Often it’s easier to do the latter.”

This is just a crafty way companies are adapting to a surge in their expenses that isn’t their fault. But it’s more than a novel business trend worth noting—it’s yet more evidence that when policymakers make decisions that ultimately cause inflation, it hurts everyday citizens in their wallets in thousands of small ways. Each instance of paying 2 percent more for something or getting 5 percent less may pass without notice, but overall, you’re quietly getting poorer.

“Shrinkflation” just puts a name to this ongoing reality.

It’s important to remember that the current increases in inflation are directly attributable to policy changes the federal government has made. Rather than pay for their multi-trillion-dollar “stimulus” spending in full with taxes, politicians have opted to have the government simply print more money to pay for it all. This ultimately leads to indirect taxation of us all through inflation.

“Nearly one-quarter of the money in circulation has been created since January 2020,” FEE economist Peter Jacobsen explains. But printing more money doesn’t mean we actually have more stuff, and “if more dollars chase the exact same goods, prices will rise.”

Or, alternatively, packages will shrink. Either way, consumers like me and you lose thanks to Washington’s profligacy.


Like this story? Click here to sign up for the FEE Daily and get free-market news and analysis like this from Policy Correspondent Brad Polumbo in your inbox every weekday.


COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

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

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

Rep. Jamie Raskin Demands Republicans Stop Blocking Money for Hamas

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D – Weasel) dispatched a letter to Senator Jim Risch (R – Idaho) demanding that he unblock money for Hamas.

In a letter co-signed by notable Democrat patriots and lovers of the Jewish State like Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Rep. Mark Pocan, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Raskin demanded immediate aid for Gaza.

“Gaza is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe. Buildings lie in rubble. Access to clean water and electricity is sporadic or nonexistent. Food insecurity is spreading. COVID-19 is running rampant and thousands of people have been displaced and rendered homeless. The magnitude of the crisis is staggering,” Rep. Raskin wailed.

Gaza’s five-star hotel and its 600 Hamas millionaires are also feeling down. But the number of stringers taking photos of teddy bears that they’ve strategically arranged in the rubble of a Hamas facility is way up.

The assistance aid notified by the State Department is to be provided in full accordance with U.S. law. It is administered and overseen by our government and by trusted and vetted partners on the ground. Secretary Antony Blinken has made clear that Hamas and other terrorist groups will not benefit from our humanitarian assistance.

Stuff has been made very clear. Just don’t ask for guarantees.

“We’re going to be working in partnership with the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority to kind of channel aid there in a manner that does its best to go to the people of Gaza,” a senior State Department official told reporters Monday. “As we all know in life, there are no guarantees.”

When you move aid through territory controlled by a terrorist group, it goes to the terrorists. We’ve seen this in Yemen, Syria, and oh, Gaza.

Hamas infiltrated a large international aid organization operating in Gaza and redirected tens of millions of dollars – 60 percent – of the organization’s budget to its “military” wing, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Thursday, following an investigation that lasted almost two months.

The World Vision organization, which operates in 100 countries and employs 46,000 people, fell victim to a complex Hamas takeover scheme, a senior Shin Bet source said, adding that Hamas’s armed wing stole $7.2 million a year from the budget, which was supposed to pay for food, humanitarian assistance, and aid programs for disabled children, and channeled the funds to buy weapons, build attack tunnels, and to other preparations for war with Israel.

This time around, Hamas was bragging about using water pipes to make rockets. Good thing Biden promised to rebuild their water infrastructure.

“Access to clean water and electricity is sporadic or nonexistent,” Raskin whines. Maybe he should take that up with Hamas.

COLUMN BY

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

Oops: Study Finds Biden’s $2+ Trillion ‘Jobs Plan’ Would Actually Reduce Overall Employment

President Biden has touted his proposed $2+ trillion in “infrastructure” spending, which also includes all sorts of unrelated partisan waste, as first and foremost, a jobs-creation bill. It’s right in the name: the “American Jobs Plan.” Biden himself calls it a “once-in-a-generation investment in America itself,” and has claimed that it would “create up to 16 million good-paying jobs.”

But a new study finds that the president’s multi-trillion-dollar spending plan would actually reduce overall employment.

Remember, the spending plan also includes trillions in corporate tax hikes to partially pay for it. Corporate tax increases are widely known for their job-killing effect, as companies have less money available to invest in and otherwise expand their enterprises.

So, the right-leaning Tax Foundation weighed the benefits of Biden’s proposal against the economic consequences the business tax hikes would have. As a result, the experts conclude that on net, the president’s multi-trillion “investment” would ultimately lead to lower economic growth, lower wages, and 101,000 fewer American jobs over the long run.

It’s mind-boggling to think that the White House is asking taxpayers to shell out trillions on a grand “investment” plan that will leave us with fewer jobs and smaller paychecks than we started with. But the takeaway from this story is more than just the fact that one policy proposal isn’t worth its costs. This is yet another reminder of the fallacy behind so many government “make work” schemes: the focus on visible benefits while ignoring less visible (but no less real) costs.

Henry Hazlitt famously explained this fallacy in Economics in One Lesson using the example of a bridge. Setting aside the merits of whether we need this particular bridge in a given spot, does building one “create jobs?”

“The argument is that it will provide employment,” Hazlitt writes. “It will provide, say, 500 jobs for a year. The implication is that these are jobs that would not otherwise have come into existence.”

“This is what is immediately seen,” he continues. “But if we have trained ourselves to look beyond immediate to secondary consequences, and beyond those who are directly benefited by a government project to others who are indirectly affected, a different picture presents itself. The bridge has to be paid for out of taxes. For every dollar that is spent on the bridge a dollar will be taken away from taxpayers.”

“Therefore for every public job created by the bridge project a private job has been destroyed somewhere else,” Hazlitt concludes. “All that has happened, at best, is that there has been a diversion of jobs because of the project. More bridge builders; fewer automobile workers, radio technicians, clothing workers, farmers.”

In fact, generally the diversion of resources via government spending is worse than just a neutral moving of jobs from one place to another. It usually results in resources being taken away from profit-driven, in-demand markets where society clearly needs investments and instead allocates them based on politics, lobbying, and politicians’ whims. It’s not exactly shocking that this tends to be a less efficient outcome.

As far as Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” is concerned, it’s easy to see the jobs it would “create” by putting people to work on infrastructure projects. But we are fooling ourselves if we stop our analysis there. When we consider all the private-sector jobs that will never come into being due to the increased corporate taxes, there’s no reason to believe that the president’s “once-in-a-generation investment” will have any positive return at all.

Global Inflation Just Hit the Highest Level Since 2008, International Organization Warns

Proponents of the federal government’s runaway spending and money-printing argue that the US data showing surging inflation are “transitory” outliers or otherwise not representative of a serious looming problem. But new data released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that globally, inflation in advanced nations is hitting highs not seen since 2008.

The OECD just revealed that prices across the advanced nations it monitors rose 3.3 percent from April 2020 to April 2021. Energy prices skyrocketed a shocking 16.3 percent, while food prices were less volatile, increasing by a more modest 1.6 percent.

This graphic by CNN Business helps put the data into perspective.

It’s increasingly impossible to deny that both in the US and globally, prices are on the rise. Why does this matter?

Well, inflation acts as a stealth tax on everyday people. Their purchasing power is eroded and their quality of living deteriorates as a result. Inflation manifests itself in countless small yet pernicious ways.

For example, a top Costco executive recently warned that his retail chain is going to have to raise prices on essential basic goods like bottled water and chicken due to the skyrocketing costs it’s facing in its supply chain. Other consumers are getting hit with “shrinkflation” as stores shrink the size of packages for a given price, a sneaky approach for retailers wary of the backlash that comes with raising sticker prices.

Either way, we all lose.

And ultimately all of this can be traced back to policy decisions. Inflation doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s what happens when the government prints money to pay for spending, rather than directly raising taxes.

“Nearly one-quarter of the money in circulation has been created since January 2020,” FEE economist Peter Jacobsen recently pointed out. But printing more money doesn’t mean we actually have more stuff, and “if more dollars chase the exact same goods, prices will rise.”

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and there’s no getting around the costs associated with government spending. This is just how economics works, regardless of whether it’s here in the US or in nations across the globe.

Data of the Day: There are now 8.1 million open jobs in the US, the Wall Street Journal reports, despite the fact that millions of Americans remain on unemployment welfare rolls. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that the benefits pay more than many jobs is a problem?

Meme of the Day: Hey Siri, how does that whole “property” thing work?

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Policy Correspondent, FEE.org. Twitter: @Brad_Polumbo

©FEE. All rights reserved.

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs the ‘Florida Leads Budget’, CUTS TAXES $169 MILLION

As the Biden Administration engages in reckless tax and spend polices, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has implemented conservative economic policies. The result for Florida is a balanced budget, that includes $10 billion in reserves. #DeSantis2024.

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs the Florida Leads Budget

By flgov, June 2, 2021

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Florida Leads state budget for fiscal year 2021-2022. The budget totaled $101.5 billion and includes $169 million in tax relief. The Governor vetoed $1.5 billion in total spending, including $1.35 billion from federal funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

“While other states advocated for never-ending lockdowns during the pandemic, Florida followed the science and led the nation in ensuring there were opportunities for Florida families to go to school, go to work, and provide for themselves and their families,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I’m proud to sign the Florida Leads budget that continues to exemplify Florida’s continued resolve and unshakeable economic foundation, while establishing Florida’s position as a nationwide leader in education, protecting our environment, creating a resilient economy, and ensuring public safety. We did all this while maintaining strong fiscal reserves and lowering taxes to make sure Florida families benefit this year and for decades to come.”

“In Florida, we have the best policies and the best Governor of any state in the nation, and we are reaffirming Florida’s position as a national leader today,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “In the Florida Leads Budget, our administration is investing in the priorities that matter most to Florida families like education, the environment and the economy. We are also continuing to prioritize public health and mental well-being, and we are fully backing our law enforcement officers and first responders who put their lives on the line for their communities every day.”

Highlights of the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Florida Leads budget are provided below:

Florida Leads on Fiscal Responsibility and Taxpayer Savings

The Florida Leads budget remains focused on fiscal responsibility and providing tax relief to Floridians. The budget leaves $9.5 billion in reserves, including more than $1.2 billion in revenues collected above the April revenue estimates, maintaining ample resources to respond to hurricanes and other unforeseen circumstances. The budget also implements a tax package which cuts taxes by $169 million and includes the first 7-day freedom week sales tax holiday, a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday, and a 10-day disaster preparedness sales tax holiday. 

Florida Leads on Education

Over the past year, Florida’s students, parents and educators faced significant challenges, but by following the science, schools in Florida were able to open for in-person instruction to ensure continued learning in K-12 schools. Building on that momentum, the Florida Leads budget provides $22.8 billion for K-12 education. This funding represents an increase of $53 in the base student allocation, $120 million for mental health initiatives and an historic $550 million, an increase of $50 million, to continue raising the minimum K-12 teacher salary to the goal of $47,500, as well as salary increases for veteran teachers and other eligible instructional personnel.

Florida Leads on Protecting the Environment

The Florida Leads budget continues Governor DeSantis’ commitment to record investments for Everglades restoration and water resources by dedicating more than $625 million for these causes. This includes more than $415 million for Everglades restoration projects and $302 million for targeted water quality improvements to achieve significant, meaningful and measurable nutrient reductions in key waterbodies across the state. The budget also includes $152 million to protect prized properties and waters in Florida, including $102 million for the Florida Forever Program, and $50 million for Florida’s award winning state parks. In addition, the budget contains federal funding of up to $500 million for the Resilient Florida program to fight sea level rise, up to $500 million for the Wastewater Grant Program and up to $300 million for land acquisition to protect wildlife corridors. 

Florida Leads on Transportation and Economic Development

The Florida Leads budget recognizes that Florida’s economic recovery is well underway, and makes key investments in transportation and infrastructure, as well as using resources to ensure continued job growth, work force training, affordable housing and rural economic development. Investments in the Florida Department of Transportation total $10.3 billion, including $9.44 billion for the State Transportation Work Program, which is an ongoing five-year plan for the implementation and completion of transportation infrastructure projects. The budget also includes $74 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund, $75 million for VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing programs, $1.6 billion in Disaster Recovery Funding, and a one-time relief payment of $1,000 for Florida’s First Responders.

Florida Leads on Health and Human Services

The pandemic has affected the health and well-being of Floridians in unimaginable ways. Parents, children, and seniors have struggled, making the need for support and mental health services more acute than ever. The Florida Leads budget includes more than $134 million to provide funding for services to children and families who receive services through Florida’s child welfare system. The budget also includes more than $137.6 million in funding to provide community-based services for adults and children with behavioral health needs, and includes $3 million to support 211 providers to support access to support services.

Florida Leads on Supporting Military, Veterans and Their Families

The budget provides $28 million for Florida’s military presence and families, which funds the State’s support of military research and development. This includes $2 million for the Florida Defense Support Task Force, $1.75 million for the Defense Infrastructure Program, $7.2 million for armory maintenance, $2 million for military base protection, including additional security measures for National Guard armories, $4.1 million to support Florida National Guardsmen seeking higher education degrees, and $11 million to support scholarships for children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans. Additionally, the budget includes up to $50 million to construct two new National Guard armories in Zephyrhills and Immokalee.

Florida Leads on Cybersecurity

The budget invests $37.5 million in various state agencies to enhance information technology security measures and controls statewide to help protect Florida against the ongoing and evolving nature of cyber threats that can compromise critical state resources and sensitive information.

To view the Florida Leads Budget Highlights, click here.

To view the veto list, click here.

To view the transmittal letter, click here.

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

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Wake Up, America! The Destruction of U.S. Sovereignty Through Open Borders and Mass Migration

The Attempted Destruction of U.S. Sovereignty Through Open Borders and Mass Migration.


In February 2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden signaled his enthusiasm for open borders:

“I’m proud of [the Obama administration’s] record on immigration. Not only our Muslim communities, Asian communities, Hispanic communities. And the wave still continues. And it’s not going to stop. Nor should we want it to stop. An unrelenting stream of immigration. Non-stop, non-stop. And that’s a good thing.”

During his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden let refugees and illegal immigrants know they would be received with open arms if he was elected. Once inaugurated as the country’s new president, Biden moved quickly in keeping his promise:

  • In a single month, February, 100,000 illegal immigrants were allowed by Biden to cross the Southern border.
  • In March, the number swelled to 170,000 border encounters with illegals.
  • In April 2020, when Trump was in office, there were 17,000 border encounters with illegals and “refugees.” In April 2021, the number skyrocketed to 178,000, an increase of 950%. Some projections say the total for 2021 could approach two million, all of whom know that surrendering to the Biden Border Patrol will ensure a quick and hassle-free pass to the U.S. destination of their choice.
  • To maximize the inflow of desperately-poor migrants, Biden last week granted “temporary protected status” to Haitian illegals due to “poverty.”

As president, Biden has resurrected Obama’s “catch and release” policy, i.e. releasing detainees into the interior of the country before their cases have been decided in court. Many are given free transportation to Republican states and districts, and without being tested for Covid. Assigned a future court date, few will ever show up.

Biden is housing the migrant tidal wave in taxpayer-provided hotel rooms, and one Democrat-run state, New York, is giving up to $15,000 to illegal immigrants hit by Covid. In attempting to culminate the long-standing progressive goal of doing away with America’s borders—and thus its sovereignty—Biden is intentionally destroying our two-party constitutional democracy bit by bit, nowhere more so than by opening the southern border to what he proudly refers to as “an unrelenting stream” of poor, uneducated, non-English speaking migrants, all of whom will be eligible for free health care, free educations, free housing, free food and soon, full citizenship.

George Soros: The Puppet Master of a Borderless World

The national identities of every progressive-run nation in Europe are being methodically erased, and the same approach is being attempted here in America by the post-1960s Democratic Party. Encouraging open borders as the primary means of destroying the unique national identities of western nations is the foremost goal of billionaire globalist George Soros and his communist fellow travelers in the western world.

Soros is the most prolific financier of the communist push for a world without borders. In his anti-capitalist best-seller, The Crisis of Global Capitalism, Soros sets out the progressive strategy for a western world under communism. Complaining bitterly about “the sway of sovereign nations,” Soros spends immense sums each year fostering “open society alliances” among contiguous sovereign nations. A world made up of open societies. It sounds so wonderful, so non-threatening. It is anything but.

The goal of these alliances is to shame citizens of western nations to accept the high-mindedness of doing away with national identities in favor of a collectivist “we are the world” identity, through which people are systematically conditioned to no longer see themselves as citizens of their country, but as Citizens of the World. (In his 2008 Berlin speech, Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama told an adoring crowd of 200,000 European Marxists, “I come to you as a Citizen of the World.”)

Citizens of sovereign nations who oppose the unfettered influx of migrants and refugees are shouted down as racists and xenophobes. Once open border alliances have been solidified, the last obstacle would thus be cleared for a borderless world subject to the dictates of a new international governing body run by the UN, an organization infested from top to bottom with hardened Marxists. For global governance to happen, the sovereignty of the United States must first be eliminated, a treasonous mission being prosecuted by the post-1960s Democratic Party through its active support of open borders and virtually unrestricted mass migration.

By extending the welcome mat to unprecedented numbers of non-white, non-assimilating migrants and refugees, progressive leaders in Europe and the U.S. have moved a giant step closer toward erasing national identities. With sovereign nations rendered impotent, the specter of a world under the banner of the hammer and sickle would become a fate accompli.

When the election of Donald Trump dealt a devastating setback to the near-term realization of an America subverted from within by the Marxists in our midst, Soros penned an angry rant comparing Trump to Hitler, and calling him a racist and a xenophobe. Known as “The Puppet Master” because of the enormous influence his deep pockets exert on the Democratic Party hierarchy, Soros’s foremost target in taking down sovereign capitalist nations is the crown jewel of them all, the United States of America. In tirelessly working toward the culmination of that takedown, the billionaire communist mastermind has influential friends at the highest levels of the modern Democratic Party.

Wake up, America!

  • Soros group launches App to help illegal immigrants break U.S. border law
  • Hillary Clinton privately tells South American bankers, “I dream of open borders.”
  • John Kerry tells college graduates “prepare to live in a borderless world.”
  • Illegal immigrants say they will overwhelm our system, destroy our borders.
  • DNC deputy chair Keith Ellison caught wearing shirt calling for elimination of U.S. borders.
  • U.S. passes Germany as world’s top asylum destination, and numbers point to massive surge.
  • In 2019, Vatican Cardinal Robert Sarah warned, “The West will disappear due to mass migration.”
  • VIDEO: Sen. James Langford describes what’s happening at the U.S.-Mexico border that’s being hidden from voters.
  • VIDEO: “Wide Open Gates: The Forced Collective Suicide of European Nations” shows how progressive leaders in Europe have actively facilitated the influx of endless caravans of desperately poor, non-assimilating migrants from Africa and the Middle East. Here in America, the Democratic Party is aggressively pursuing the same kind of open border policies that are rapidly destroying the unique national identities of European nations.
  • VIDEO: “Immigration by the Numbers: Off the Charts” will anger you when you see what unrestricted immigration is doing to the future quality of life of your children and grandchildren.

©John Edison. All rights reserved.

Congress’s VIP Air Marshal Program Canceled after Maxine Waters Debacle

A scandal-plagued “VIP” program that provided members of Congress with Federal Air Marshals (FAM) often yanked from high-risk fights has been canceled after Judicial Watch exposed it earlier this month. As a result, hundreds of FAM are sitting idly at airports around the U.S. because the “VIP missions have stopped,” according to a federal law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the situation. A veteran air marshal who asked not to be identified said “the Washington Field Office in Washington D.C. was almost exclusively dedicated to VIP services for Congress.” Another longtime FAM told Judicial Watch he was deployed on several VIP missions with low-profile members of Congress. He said so many FAM were on standby for the VIP congressional program that now he and many of his colleagues are “sitting around the airport waiting for a mission.”

Sonya Hightower-LaBosco, a retired FAM who serves as executive director of the Air Marshal National Council, confirmed to Judicial Watch this week that dozens of air marshals that evidently would have been delegated to members of Congress as part of the VIP initiative are waiting for assignments at airports nationwide. “Right now, there are almost 60 in D.C., 40 in Charlotte and another 40 in Orlando,” Hightower-LaBosco said. From January through April the covert VIP service dedicated more than 900 FAM on demand to members of Congress, Hightower-LaBosco said, citing agency data. The politicians often already traveled with plenty of security on flights that did not meet the threat criteria, usually determined by the FBI, for air marshals. In many instances FAM were plucked from high-risk flights to accompany an elected official, leaving the high-risk plane with no coverage.

That was the case during Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ recent trip to Minnesota. Two FAM were pulled from a high-risk fight to accompany the California Democrat on the mid-April jaunt, though she was already covered by a four-man detail, according to multiple law enforcement sources interviewed by Judicial Watch. The veteran FAM sources say the politician had two air marshals reassigned to a plane that would otherwise not qualify because it was not considered high-risk. The transfer forced the high-risk flight to complete its trip without the two air marshals originally assigned to it. Waters received the extra security while traveling to Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb, after police shot and killed a black man with an open warrant related to an aggravated armed robbery. The Derek Chauvin trial was wrapping up around 10 miles away and the 82-year-old lawmaker incited the crowd, encouraging protestors to “get more confrontational” if the former Minneapolis cop was not convicted of murder for George Floyd’s death. “We gotta stay on the street, we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational, we’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” Waters said ahead of closing arguments in Chauvin’s trial. The former officer was convicted and the judge presiding over the trial called the congresswoman’s comments “abhorrent.” Last month Judicial Watch filed a complaint with the chairman of the House Office of Congressional Ethics against Waters for violating House ethics rules by encouraging violence and attempting to intimidate the jury in the Chauvin trial.

Coverage of Waters’ abuse of the VIP air marshal service apparently led to the program’s cancelation, according to numerous government officials interviewed by Judicial Watch. “They were not scheduling us to make sure we were available for the VIPs,” said a longtime air marshal, who is celebrating that the program is finally “done.” FAM are federal law enforcement officers whose primary function is to protect commercial passenger flights by deterring and countering the risk of terrorist activity, aircraft piracy and other crimes to protect the nation’s transportation infrastructure. The VIP service for Congress “left a glaring hole in America’s aviation security,” according to a whistleblower complaint filed this year by the Air Marshal National Council with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General. The group represents around 2,000 air marshals nationwide. In an interview with Judicial Watch, the group’s president, David Londo, called the VIP program “scandalous.” A veteran air marshal said he and many colleagues on the force often asked: “Why are we really here? To protect against terrorism or babysitting?”

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