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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Trump Knows Better: Nothing’s More Elitist Than Capital Gains Taxes

by Thomas McArdle, I & I Editorial Board: It should be engraved in the stone of the historical record as the most un-Trumpian thing President Donald Trump has ever said.

“I’ve studied indexing for a long time,” the president remarked at the White House on Wednesday in regard to indexing the capital gains tax for inflation. “I think it will be perceived if I do it as somewhat elitist. I don’t want to do that.”

He continued: “I’m not looking at doing indexing. And I haven’t been seriously looking at it,” adding that “It’s not something I love.”

What is most mystifying and disappointing about this refusal to provide capital gains tax relief to enhance economic growth, though, is that Trump said this just one day after saying “We’ve been talking about indexing for a long time,” pointing out that “many people like indexing and it could be done very simply. It could be done directly by me” without any need for legislation from Congress.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter on what is more a moral than an economic issue. There should not be a capital gains tax, indexed or otherwise.

An ‘Income’ Tax That Taxes Non-Income
“Capital gains income” might be the conventional terminology, but the gains from the sale of property do not constitute income, like the salary or wages one earns. Whether it be a share in a company, a piece of land, a family heirloom, or a baseball card bought for pennies in the 1950s and sold today for millions, an increase in the value of someone’s property is based on a judgment made by the buyer.

It became your property when you bought it and remained your property until you sold it; where is the “income” government considers itself entitled to grab a share of? The truth is, nothing “came in.”

Moreover, why would non-investors consider it “elitist” to lessen the penalty to investors for selling shares in companies they have judged to be unproductive and moving that wealth into firms they view to be productive? The productive companies are the ones that generate jobs.

When Washington levies a tax on the sale of stocks, it interferes in investors’ decision-making. Dying or lagging companies in effect deny resources to the better companies of tomorrow because investors don’t want to be hit with the tax imposed when they move their money. In its greed the government ends up tying up private investment in the wrong places.

This isn’t about lining millionaires’ pockets; it’s about putting to work as many ordinary Americans as possible so that they don’t find their pockets empty.

Ending The Capital Gains Tax Means Jobs
The Heritage Foundation’s Steve Moore is a key Trump economic adviser who in the spring came close to being appointed to the Federal Reserve, but was subjected to a firestorm of slander from the establishment media. Moore has described the unfair way inflation affects capital gains taxes, in which “the seller pays tax not only on the real gain in purchasing power, but also on the illusory gain attributable to inflation.”

Capital gains taxes are a minor source of money for the government. As the Tax Foundation notes, “in 2016, capital gains accounted for just 8.4% of income reported on tax returns, meaning capital gains are a small portion of the individual income tax base.”

Eliminating the tax would, in zero-sum terms, do little harm to the Treasury’s coffers. But the stimulation of economic growth from scrapping the tax would more than make up for the loss, because additional revenues would be collected from other sources of tax collection. As Moore notes, “Significantly, the massive technology boom of the late 1990s came immediately after the 1997 capital gains tax cut,” as prodigious amounts of venture capital were invested.

Hong Kong’s lack of a capital gains tax is a major reason for its many decades of world-renowned prosperity, despite the economic powerhouse encompassing a mere 428 square miles and boasting next to nothing in physical resources.

In turning away from considering capital gains tax relief because “it will be perceived if I do it as somewhat elitist,” Trump is doing far more than squandering an opportunity to further electrify an economy that could use another jolt. He is uniquely able to explain, in man-on-the-street terms, how capital, and capitalism, operate, but he’s passing up a chance to do so in a way that discredits socialism’s appeal at a time when it’s rising in America.

Indeed Joe Biden took advantage of Trump’s reversal by calling for a near-doubling of the capital gains tax on Wednesday in Iowa.

The president could be showing the nation how ending a misguided form of taxation — or at least reducing it — would in the years and decades to come bring new and better livelihoods to millions. What renouncing capital gains tax relief instead does is help the quintessential elitists: those who like to see the federal government feed off the dependency of the citizenry.
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Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned I & I Editorial Board journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide.

Tags: Thomas McArdle, I & I Editorial Board, Trump Knows Better, Nothing’s More Elitist, Than Capital Gains Taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Bernie Sanders Unveils His Own $16.3 Trillion Green New Deal

Sen. Bernie Sanders
by Yuval Rosenberg: Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday released his own version of the Green New Deal, calling for $16.3 trillion in spending — more than any of the plans released by other Democratic presidential candidates — as part of a World War II-style federal mobilization effort to fight climate change.

Sanders said he is putting “meat on the bones” of the Green New Deal framework introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others earlier this year. His nearly 14,000-word plan calls for:<
  • Declaring climate change a national emergency.
  • Reducing carbon emissions by at least 71% by 2030.
  • Building new solar, wind and geothermal energy sources and using 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030, eliminating fossil fuel entirely by 2050.
  • Spending $526 billion to modernize the U.S. electric grid.
  • Investing in research to “drastically reduce the cost of energy storage, electric vehicles, and make our plastic more sustainable through advanced chemistry.”
  • Ensuring what activists call “a just transition” for workers in fossil fuel industries displaced by these changes, including a guarantee of five years of their current salary, housing assistance, job training, health care, pension support and job placement or early retirement packages.
  • Providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund to help poor nations cope with climate change.
  • Ending billions in subsidies to fossil fuel companies and imposing a ban on offshore drilling, fracking and mountaintop removal coal mining. It would also reinstate the ban on U.S. oil exports.
Sanders says his proposal “will pay for itself over 15 years” and create 20 million new jobs. The costs of the plan, he says, would be offset by a combination of cutting back military spending; raising corporate taxes; generating new revenue from sales of green energy by publicly owned utilities; litigation, fees and taxes on the fossil fuel industry; eliminating federal subsidies to fossil fuel businesses; collecting new income taxes as a result of the new jobs created; and reducing social safety net costs as a result of those new jobs. The plan does not include a carbon tax, which Sanders has supported in the past.

Big money: The proposal’s “eye-popping price tag is several times bigger than those of his leading opponents,” Lisa Friedman of The New York Times says. “Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has called for spending $1.7 trillion over 10 years. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has a $2 trillion green manufacturing plan. Other candidates, including former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas, have also put forth ambitious proposals.”

Using presidential power: Sanders plan has no chance of passing a GOP-controlled Senate, but The Washington Post’s Dino Grandoni writes that Sanders is going further than other Democrats not just in terms of spending, but also by promising to use executive power to enact much of his plan if elected. That approach is bound to be met with legal challenges.

What critics say: “The Sanders plan appears to be big, but it’s not serious,” Joshua Freed, vice president for clean energy at the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way, told the Times He argued that Sanders is making a mistake by opposing nuclear energy and technology to capture carbon before it comes out of coal plant smokestacks: “We need to have every option on the table.” And getting gas-powered cars and trucks off U.S. roads by 2030 is unrealistic.
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Yuval Rosenberg (@yuvalrosenberg) is the editor for The Fiscal Times.

Tags: Bernie Sanders, Unveils, $16.3 Trillion, Green New Deal. The Fiscal Times, Yuval Rosenberg To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democratic Senator Faces Ethics Complaint After Warning Justices About Court-Packing

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)
by Kevin Daley: Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has attracted an ethics complaint and vigorous criticism from conservatives after raising the prospect of court-packing in a new legal filing before the Supreme Court.

Depending on one’s perspective, Whitehouse’s extraordinary brief is either a cogent indictment of the court’s seemingly partisan valence or particularly blunt strong-arming of the nation’s highest judicial tribunal.

“Senator Whitehouse’s baldfaced threat to ‘heal’ or face the consequences is inappropriate and shows just why an independent judiciary is essential to our system of government,” Elizabeth Slattery, a legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The justices should, and most likely will, ignore attempts to intimidate them, and instead focus on what the Constitution requires.”

“And further, the facts don’t bear out Senator Whitehouse’s claim that the justices are driven by a partisan agenda,” Slattery added. “Just look at the voting records of the newest justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who ended up on opposite sides in nearly a third of cases last term. That doesn’t look like the outcome-oriented judging to me.”

Whitehouse filed an amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief in a Second Amendment case the justices will hear in their new term, which begins in October. The filing urged the justices to dismiss the case and broadly accused the court’s conservative majority of dutifully serving monied Republican political interests. Four other Democratic senators joined Whitehouse’s brief.

“The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,’” Whitehouse wrote, alluding to court-packing measures that have gained traction in progressive circles. “Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

The brief elsewhere accused the conservative justices, dubbed “the Roberts five,” of cooperating with “an industrial-strength influence campaign” that advances an extreme political agenda through strategic litigation and outside spending from conservative groups with common funding sources.

Judicial Watch, the conservative oversight group, filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Supreme Court Monday alleging that Whitehouse’s brief violated legal ethics rules.

Judicial Watch said Whitehouse is not licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C., and maintains “inactive” status with the Rhode Island Bar Association. As such, if Whitehouse composed the brief in Rhode Island or in his Washington offices, he may have broken rules barring unauthorized legal work.

The brief itself also breaks professional conduct rules, Judicial Watch believes, noting Rhode Island rules require lawyers to “demonstrate respect for the legal system” and use “the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others.”

“Senator Whitehouse is violating basic legal ethics in threatening the Supreme Court while engaging in the unauthorized practice of law,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “He should be held accountable for these abuses.”

Whitehouse did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment on the complaint.

The case that occasioned Whitehouse’s brief involves a challenge to New York City’s gun transportation regulations. A city ordinance—since amended—required licensed gun owners to transport their unloaded firearms in a locked container. Licensees were only authorized to move their weapons between their home and a gun range. They could not carry firearms beyond city limits.

The plaintiffs are several city residents who wish to bring their guns to shooting competitions outside the city or to vacation homes for self-defense. Though they lost before a federal trial judge and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court agreed to hear their case in January. After the court granted review, the city issued new rules relaxing the challenged restrictions and urged the justices to dismiss the case as moot.

For his part, Whitehouse has defended the filing, telling The Washington Post that the court urgently needs to consider its reputation as it approaches a docket heavy on politically salient disputes like gun control, gay rights in the workplace, and the president’s power to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“In the same way that you might warn somebody walking out on thin ice—‘Hey, the ice is thin out there, you want to be careful, maybe you want to come in’—I think that was the motivation for filing this brief,” the senator said.
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Kevin Daley is a legal affairs reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation. Article shared by The Daily Signal.

Tags: Democratic Senator, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island, Faces Ethics Complaint, After Warning Justices, About Court-Packing To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Anti-Semitism At The New York Times, Another Bold Move, Inslee's Out

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: More Anti-Semitism At The Times
Kudos to Breitbart for conducting an investigation of New York Times Senior Staff Editor Tom Wright-Piersanti.

Breitbart discovered a long history of anti-Semitism, dating back at least nine years in Wright-Piersanti's social media posts. They also discovered a bizarre hostility to Indian Americans, not Native Americans, but people from India.

The investigation is particularly significant because the New York Times has regularly accused the president of anti-Semitism. And the paper itself also has a sad history of engaging in anti-Semitism. Remember the paper's infamous "Jew tracker"?

As we reported earlier this year, the Times ran a number of anti-Semitic cartoons. Eventually it decided to stop running all cartoons, presumably because the Times couldn't guarantee that it could identify and stop the anti-Semitic ones.

Articles in the New York Times about Israel frequently read as though they were written by a Jew-hating Palestinian propagandist. As anti-Semitism has taken root on the progressive left, the Times has provided cover for it, and cover for Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and other anti-Israel progressives/socialists.

Tom Wright-Piersanti should be fired immediately. But I will be shocked if he is. Wright-Piersanti is only the latest in a long line of extremists (here and here) working at the New York Times.

The Times should also conduct an immediate review of all articles he was responsible for to determine to what extent his anti-Semitism influenced those reports. Of course, that assumes the Times is capable of doing so.

A Clear Contrast
The president did something very important yesterday on an issue related to the cost of higher education. He also set up a clear contrast with the socialist left.

As you know, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other progressives are demanding free everything for everyone, including free college tuition. They also want to forgive the student debt that has been racked up by millions of students.

That may sound nice, but it is full of pitfalls and problems, not to mention the gross unfairness to those who responsibly repaid their student loans.

(And what about car loans? Which candidate will be the first to promise to forgive auto loans for trans-female undocumented mothers working three jobs?)

Well, the president jumped into this debate yesterday by announcing that he was forgiving the student loan debt of . . . permanently disabled veterans.

The left says that because you exist you deserve free stuff from other people. The president declared that those who served our country and sacrificed the most have earned a break on the cost of college. And I think he's absolutely right.

Speaking to the 75th annual AMVETS national convention yesterday, President Trump said:

"Today, I am proud to announce that I am taking executive action to ensure that our wounded warriors are not saddled with mountains of student debt. In a few moments, I will sign a memorandum directing the Department of Education to eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled. . .

"Altogether, this action will wipe out an average of $30,000 in debt owed by more than 25,000 eligible veterans who have made immense sacrifices . . . for our nation."


Another Bold Move
Every day the Trump/Pence Administration is doing everything it can to secure our borders in spite of the progressive roadblock in the courts, the Democrat-controlled House and the left-wing media.

As we reported yesterday, the administration is attempting to end the Flores agreement, a legal loophole that forces the government to "catch and release" illegal immigrants crossing the border with children.

In addition, the president announced yesterday that he is looking "very seriously" at ways to end the problem of so-called "anchor babies," where illegal immigrants come into the country and have a baby on U.S. soil. Under the concept of "birthright citizenship," that baby becomes a legal "anchor" allowing the rest of the family to stay in the U.S.

This is another situation where progressives who despise the Constitution as the work of evil racists will suddenly embrace the Constitution and insist that it requires birthright citizenship. There are many constitutional scholars who disagree.

At the end of the day, the issue will likely be decided by the courts, and the outcome will be decided by which side has a majority of judges who believe in the original intent of the Constitution.

Every day that gets a little bit better for us, thanks to President Trump's conservative judicial appointments and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's determination to get them confirmed.

Inslee's Out
Washington Governor Jay Inslee dropped out of the 2020 Democrat presidential primary last night. Inslee made global warming the central theme of his campaign, but he just didn't catch fire. (Pun intended!) Maybe the issue really isn't that compelling after all.

New polling is breathing new life into the Sanders campaign. After Elizabeth Warren's strong performance in the second Democrat debate, she surged into second place. But according to the latest Economist/YouGov survey, Bernie's back. Here are the results:
Biden 22%
Sanders 19%
Warren 17%
No other candidate received double digit support.

Meanwhile, the NeverTrump resistance effort is struggling to take off. Today's Washington Post reports that several GOP candidates are considering primary challenges against the president, no matter how daunting the task may be.

But this is not a serious effort to replace Trump with a "better" Republican. They know that isn't going to happen. They also know the historical result of primary challenges: Weakened incumbent presidents who ultimately lose to the opposition party.

So this is really an effort to replace Trump with a left-wing socialist in the White House. Never forget that, my friends.

Whatever disagreements some Republicans may have with Trump pale in comparison to the disagreements we would have with a "President Biden" or "President Warren" or "President Sanders" or "President Harris."
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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The Thrill Is Gone? Dems Seem Bored with Their Presidential Candidates

by Stephen Green: It's a long way down from "Hope and Change" to "Succumb to the Inevitable," but that's the level of excitement generated by the 2020 Dem contenders. Sad!

Jonathan Easley writes for The Hill that "soft levels of support mark this year's Democratic primary" and is the defining feature of this year's frontrunners, "even after an intense focus on the race by the national media." You can shine a light on Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, but it seems you can't make any of them shine.

Maybe the problem isn't the candidates, but the primary voters. Or at least that's the message sent by both Easley's report and in Russell Berman's latest for The Atlantic. Both stories indicate that electability -- "who can beat Trump" -- is primary voters' primary concern. But apparently, nobody can decide which candidate enjoys that indefinable quality.

Joe Biden: The Evitable Nominee
Berman quotes Portsmouth, N.H., resident Elizabeth Keniston saying, “Whoever can beat Trump is most important. I want him in prison,” which makes it sound like she's looking for a combination of a presidential winner and an FBI agent. In any case, she's probably going to need somebody tougher than Slow Joe to put the manacles on Trump. Nevertheless, of Biden she said, "I like the other platforms better, but I think he’s the only one the middle of the country might vote for. I usually vote for the person I want. But this year I’m going to be more thoughtful. I look at polls."

Berman adds:Electability has long been a factor in the nomination battles of both parties, its significance varying from election to election. But the still-fresh shock of Trump’s 2016 victory and the desperation that many Democrats feel to get him out of office has elevated the concern to a higher priority than ever before, as I saw in interviews across New Hampshire. Electability has turned citizens such as Keniston, a 77-year-old nurse from nearby Stratham, New Hampshire, into amateur pundits themselves: They are basing their choice less on which candidate appeals the most to them than on which one they believe will appeal the most to others.But is that wise? An aging nurse who believes Trump belongs in jail (support for impeachment, much less arrest, remains weak) might not exactly have her finger on the pulse of the nation. Or as Democratic pollster Chris Kofinis told Berman, "There’s a segment that thinks a centrist or a moderate is best to beat Trump. Others think you need someone from the left to rally the base. A third segment has no idea."

What does all this voter confusion mean for the candidates themselves? Kamala Harris, once thought to be the youngish/intersectional/progressive alternative to Biden, now faces a "crossroads" in a campaign that has "lost steam" in recent weeks. Bernie Sanders, whose support seems to have softened since his electrifying (well, if you're into that kind of thing) 2016 effort? He's now punching down, as it were, at Harris, and also at Elizabeth Warren. Edward Hardy writes for The Independent that "the increase in attacks clearly reveals that Sanders and his campaign team are concerned" with softening poll numbers.

Warren, for her part, is the one Democrat showing some new strength, drawing larger crowds -- but can she pass the electability test? Putting an older (and if we're being honest, not terribly charismatic) woman up against Trump in 2020 would feel a bit like a repeat of 2016. Or as Steve Peoples wrote for the AP last Friday, "Just 9% of Democrats and those leaning Democratic think Warren has the best chance to win a general election." That's according to a new Quinnipiac poll, in which Dem voters believe by a wide margin -- 49% of a huge field -- that Biden has the best chance to win.

And yet...

Biden, who showed improved performance in the second round of debates, is also showing signs of fading. Pollster Doug Schoen reports that Biden's "poll numbers have leveled off," and in recent weeks he's been more gaffe-prone than ever. Biden let loose that he prefers "truth over facts," that he was still Vice President in 2018, claimed yesterday that "Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King Were Assassinated in the '70s," and last week confused Houston and Michigan for El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. How bad is it, really? Biden's increasing dotage has become apparent enough that Dr. Neal Kassell, who operated on Biden's brain 30 years ago, felt the need to tell POLITICO that the 76-year-old one-time brain-surgery recipient isn't too old to be president. "He is every bit as sharp as he was 31 years ago. I haven’t seen any change," Kassell said, although Biden's uptick in gaffes do make one wonder.

If electability is the goal, then where is the money, the oil that fuels every campaign? The Daily Caller reported yesterday that DNC chair Tom Perez "will hold three fundraisers for American ex-patriots [sic] in Mexico, as Democrats struggle to keep pace with Republicans in fundraising." Just make sure they're all genuine Americans, Tom, because taking campaign funds from foreigners is wrong... and something Democrats would never, ever do. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

Politico revealed on Monday that Biden's "online fundraising has tailed off, suggesting problems generating grassroots enthusiasm." And just today, the Los Angeles Times headlined, "Bernie Sanders’ famed $27 donors are split in 2020’s sprawling Democratic field." As for Warren, ongoing controversy forced her to apologize -- in a sorry-not-sorry way -- to Native American groups on Monday in Sioux City, Iowa, mostly to big yawns.

So who passes the electability test? I know it's early, but if I had to put my money on just one candidate, it would have to be Donald Trump.
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Stephen Green aka @VodkaPundit is a contributor to PJMedia.

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Question To Cummings: Where Did The Billions In Missing Federal Money Go?

... Why Trump was right to ask!
by Matthew Vadum: President Trump went after purported congressional watchdog Elijah Cummings recently, slamming the Democrat congressman for failing to improve his troubled Baltimore, Maryland, district despite the inflow of billions of dollars in federal aid during and in the years leading up to Trump’s administration.

Cummings came to the attention of conservatives as he zealously defended the IRS throughout the Lois Lerner saga. Lerner is the corrupt IRS tax-exempt division executive who engineered the tax agency’s targeting of conservative nonprofits during the Obama administration. Cummings also apparently conspired with Lerner to sabotage True the Vote, a leading grassroots electoral integrity group. In 2012, Cummings falsely claimed the group would “do almost anything to stop people from voting.”

“Baltimore’s numbers are the worst in the United States on Crime and the Economy. Billions of dollars have been pumped in over the years, but to no avail[,]” the president wrote on Twitter July 29. “The money was stolen or wasted. Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!”

“Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull…Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!” Trump tweeted.

Trump was responding to taunts by RINO Michael Steele, who used to run the Republican National Committee and was Maryland’s lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2007, Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young (D), and racial arsonist Al Sharpton, who accused the president of not spending enough federal money on Baltimore.

Two days before his tweets, Trump took Cummings to task on Twitter after the congressmen lobbed harsh criticisms about the conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA......” Trump tweeted.

“....As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded[,]” Trump added. “Cumming[s’] District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place[.]”

Naturally, Democrats in the media and the political establishment responded with indignation, defending the squalor of Baltimore, even though just a few years ago, they had admitted Charm City was in bad shape.

In 2015, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders blasted West Baltimore, likening it to a “Third World country.” The next year the socialist senator from Vermont lamented in a tweet: “Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That is a disgrace.”

Lynne Patton, a regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, defended Trump, saying that $16 billion in grants was directed to Cummings’s congressional district in 2018 alone.

“I want to say this expressly to Mayor Young and Michael Steele and Al Sharpton, who today called out the president and said let President Trump put his money where his mouth is. Well, boys and girls, I have a message for you, President Trump has given $16 billion in 2018 alone to Elijah Cummings’s district in federal grants,” she said.

Newsweek verified that Cummings’s home turf, the 7th Congressional District, which includes portions of Maryland outside Baltimore, took in a little under $15.7 billion in grants and other funding from the U.S. government in fiscal 2018.

“We have given more money in homeless funds to Baltimore than the last administration. We have given more money in community development grants than the last administration to Baltimore. My question to you guys is this, what are you actually doing with the money so that it benefits residents in the community for once instead of deep-pocket crooked politicians?” Patton said.

Statistics paint a depressing picture of Baltimore.

Baltimore has the highest homicide rate among America’s 50 largest cities and the second-highest violent crime rate overall, according to FBI data released in September 2018. There were 342 homicides in Baltimore in 2017, which works out to 56 per 100,000 people residing in the city. On 24/7 Wall Street’s list of the most dangerous cities in the country, Baltimore ranked 3rd, behind 1st-place St. Louis, Missouri and 2nd-place Detroit, Michigan.

Baltimore’s economic data are nothing to brag about, either, according to a summary prepared by Fox Business.

The median home there is valued at $113,500. Home values have fallen 3.2 percent over the last year. Zillow expects they will tumble another 4.2 percent over the coming year. Census Bureau data show Baltimore had retail sales of $5,871 per capita in 2012, which was well below the national average of $13,443.

Baltimore’s unemployment rate in May was 5.1 percent, which is above Maryland’s state rate of 3.8 percent and the national average of 3.7 percent. Average household income in Baltimore was $46,641 in 2017, well below the average household income nationally of $57,652. The poverty rate in Baltimore is 22.4 percent, which is dramatically higher than the national average of 12.3 percent.

On WalletHub’s list of 150 best-run cities, Baltimore weighed in at the 129th spot in terms of city leadership.

The evidence suggests Trump was right on the money, as usual. Local Democrat leaders in Baltimore, especially Elijah Cummings, have some explaining to do.
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Matthew Vadum, formerly senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."

Tags: Matthew Vadum, FrontPage Mag, Question To, Elijah Cummings, Where Did The Billions, Missing Federal Money Go To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Isolated corruption?

by Conduit for Action: When former state Senator Jeremy Hutchinson pled guilty to felony corruption charges the general reaction of politicians was sadness. Sadness for their friend. So where is the sadness for the public who have to endure the corruption and endure the passage of legislation that had its roots in corruption?

Senator Hutchinson pled guilty of taking bribes disguised as retainer fees as an attorney from executives of Preferred Family Healthcare and from an orthodontist. He also pled guilty of a felony stemming from converting campaign funds to personal use.

Jeremy Hutchinson’s corruption has been treated as if it was an isolated event, as if now that he is gone… all is well in the legislature.

Amazing how many isolated instances of corruption there are. Guilty pleas or convictions for corruption while in office since 2015 include:
  • Senator Paul Bookout
  • Senator Hank Wilkins IV
  • Senator Jake Files
  • Senator Jon Woods
  • Representative Micah Neal
And that doesn’t even include a guilty plea by a former state Representative for conduct after leaving office. Nor does it include guilty pleas or convictions of others involved in the legislators’ schemes.

All isolated events. Right? Nothing to see here.

And speaking of “isolated events,” there have been a string of reported instances in which the conduct of a legislator was questioned as to whether the conduct should be considered unethical.

Politicians are so unconcerned about a public backlash that no significant ethics legislation was passed this year. There were a couple of new laws passed with minor penalty changes. One of the two bills was a Trojan horse to blatantly grab campaign money for personal use as long as the legislator can claim it is an expenditure an officeholder might make. Shame on them!

Last year the Senate adopted an ethics rule requiring some more financial disclosure … but it is just an internal rule. And apparently the Senate rule is so weak the House of Representatives didn’t bother adopting a similar rule. More importantly, the Senate and House avoided putting the additional disclosure requirements in the ethics law where the Ethics Commission would have a role in conducting investigations and penalizing offenders.

And what leadership has Governor Asa Hutchinson given on ethics reform? As a former federal prosecutor and now chief executive officer of state government what has he done? Nothing, zero, zilch, nada.

Jeremy Hutchinson’s “retainer fees” were an open secret but legislators remained silent … that is all but Senator Linda Collins who in 2017 filed a bill to prohibit legislators who are attorneys or consultants from representing clients before the legislature. The Senate defeated the bill.

Don’t you think you should be telling your legislator on every occasion, you are sick of them turning a blind eye to corruption and and sick of weak ethics laws?
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
--------------------
Original article by Conduit for Action.

Tags: Conduit for Action, Isolated corruption? Asa Hutchinson, Hank Wilkins IV, Jeremy Hutchinson, Jon Woods, Micah Neal, Paul Bookout To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Filibuster Plays a Crucial Role in Our Constitutional Order

ARRA News Service: Democrats who want to change Senate rules for temporary political gain will rue the day, as they have before. The following op-ed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was shared with ARRA News Service and can be found on NYTimes.com and in tomorrow’s edition of The New York Times:
---------------------------------------------------------
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
U.S. Senate Majority Leader
by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “’You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.’

“That was my warning to Senate Democrats in November 2013. Their leader, Harry Reid, had just persuaded them to trample longstanding Senate rules and precedents. Now that some Democrats are proposing further radical changes to the Senate’s functioning, it is instructive to recall what happened next.

“To confirm more of President Barack Obama’s controversial nominees, Democrats took two radical steps. First, since the nominees had proved unable to earn the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster, Democrats sought to change Senate rules so that ending debate on most nominations would require only a simple majority. Second, lacking the two-thirds supermajority needed to change the rules normally, Democrats decided to short-circuit standard procedure and muscle through the new rule with a simple majority as well — the first use of the infamous ‘nuclear option.’

“Republicans opposed both moves on principle. Strong minority rights have always been the Senate’s distinguishing feature. But when appeals to principle fell on deaf ears, I tried a practical argument. The political winds shift often, I reminded my Democratic friends. And I doubted they’d like their new rules when the shoe was on the other foot.

“Unfortunately, Senate Democrats bought what Senator Reid was selling — but buyer’s remorse arrived with lightning speed. Just one year later, Republicans retook the majority. Two years after that, Americans elected President Trump. In 2017, we took the Reid precedent to its logical conclusion, covering all nominations up to and including the Supreme Court.

“So this is the legacy of the procedural avalanche Democrats set off: Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and 43 new lifetime circuit judges — the most ever at this point in a presidency. The consequences of taking Senator Reid’s advice will haunt liberals for decades.

“A number of Democrats publicly regret their 2013 vote. One calls it ‘probably the biggest mistake I ever made.’ Nevertheless, the far left now wants Democrats to touch the hot stove yet again. This time, they want to erase the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to end debate on legislation.

“A Democratic assault on the legislative filibuster would make the nomination fights look like child’s play. That’s because systematically filibustering nominees was not an old tradition but a modern phenomenon, pioneered in 2003 by Democrats who opposed President George W. Bush. When Republicans followed suit and held up a handful of Obama nominees the same way, Democrats could not stomach their own medicine and began a ‘nuclear’ exchange that Republicans had to end.

“The back-and-forth was regrettable, but the silver lining is that the failed experiment Democrats started in 2003 is now over. The Senate has taken a step back toward its centuries-old norms on nominations: limited debate and a simple majority threshold.

“On legislation, however, the Senate’s treasured tradition is not efficiency but deliberation. One of the body’s central purposes is making new laws earn broader support than what is required for a bare majority in the House. The legislative filibuster does not appear in the Constitution’s text, but it is central to the order the Constitution sets forth. It echoes James Madison’s explanation in Federalist 62 that the Senate is designed not to rubber-stamp House bills but to act as an ‘additional impediment’ and ‘complicated check’ on ‘improper acts of legislation.’ It embodies Thomas Jefferson’s principle that ‘great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.’

“The legislative filibuster is directly downstream from our founding tradition. If that tradition frustrates the whims of those on the far left, it is their half-baked proposals and not the centuries-old wisdom that need retooling.

“Yes, the Senate’s design makes it difficult for one party to enact sweeping legislation on its own. Yes, the filibuster makes policy less likely to seesaw wildly with every election. These are features, not bugs. Our country doesn’t need a second House of Representatives with fewer members and longer terms. America needs the Senate to be the Senate.

“I recognize it may seem odd that a Senate majority leader opposes a proposal to increase his own power. Certainly it is curious that liberals are choosing this moment, when Americans have elected Republican majorities three consecutive times and counting, to attack the minority’s powers.

“But my Republican colleagues and I have not and will not vandalize this core tradition for short-term gain. We recognize what everyone should recognize — there are no permanent victories in politics. No Republican has any trouble imagining the laundry list of socialist policies that 51 Senate Democrats would happily inflict on Middle America in a filibuster-free Senate.

“In this country, radical changes face a high bar by design. It is telling that today’s left-wing activists would rather lower that bar than produce ideas that can meet it.

“I am known for appreciating an old Kentucky saying: ‘There’s no education in the second kick of a mule.’ Some Senate Democrats seem to agree. Thirteen of their ranking members on Senate committees have publicly stated that they oppose tampering with the legislative filibuster.

“But the Democratic Party is racing leftward, with presidential debates that make the 2008 exchanges between Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards look downright conservative by comparison. The party is rallying around the very kinds of radical schemes that the Constitution intentionally frustrates. And rather than moderate or engage in persuasion, many on the left seem more tempted to rewrite the rules once again.

“A majority of the Senate Democratic presidential candidates are flirting with ending the legislative filibuster. Even more irresponsibly, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin, the top two Senate Democrats, have signaled openness as well. On this subject, like so many others, what was recently fringe nonsense seems to be rapidly becoming mainstream Democratic dogma.

“I hope the saner voices among Democrats can help their compatriots see reason. Unless and until that happens, Americans must never let this radical movement gain enough power to vandalize the Senate.

“If future Democrats shortsightedly decide to reduce the Senate to majority rule, we’ll have lost a key safeguard of American government.

“And — stop me if you’ve heard this one — they’d regret it a lot sooner than they think.”

Tags: Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, U.S. Senate Majority Leader, The Filibuster, Plays a Crucial Role,Constitutional Order To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Buttigieg Says He ‘Will Eliminate the Hyde Amendment’ as President

Mayor Pete Buttigieg
by Craig Millward: Speaking at a NARAL Pro-Choice America town hall in Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday, South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (D) said that, if elected, he will “ensure access to abortion care and proactively expand access to reproductive health” and “eliminate the Hyde Amendment.”

“When I am president, we’re going to do more than just stop policies pushing us backward,” Buttigieg said. “We’re going to ensure access to abortion care and proactively expand access to reproductive health. We’re going to make sure that all women have access to comprehensive, affordable care – knowing, by the way, that there is more to women than reproductive health. Comprehensive care, physical health care, mental health care - that is not getting enough attention in this country. And yes, preventive care, contraceptive services, prenatal and postpartum and safe and legal abortion.

“It’s part of my plan to get us to universal healthcare, Medicare for all who want it,” Buttigieg continued, making a pitch for optional, government-provided health care:
“Give all Americans the option to get into a Medicare-style program and opt out of the private, corporate system that is letting them down, without ordering them to do it, but allowing Americans to do what they do best, which is vote with our feet.

“I don’t think we get there in this country by just flipping a switch and kicking millions of Americans off of their plans. But, I also don’t think that you’re free when insurance companies can keep finding ways to charge you more and then abandon you and your family when they’re most vulnerable. That’s why we need a better way.

“And we will eliminate the Hyde Amendment and restore funding for abortion care for Medicaid patients and other federal help programs.”
The Hyde Amendment, enacted in 1976 and named after former Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, or if the pregnancy endangers the woman’s life.
------------------
Craig Millward is the Video editor anofollownd writes for CNSNews

Tags: Craig millard, CNSNews, Pete Buttigieg, pro-abortion, if President, will eliminate, Hyde Amendment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Creeping Up

. . . At the moment Joe Biden is the Democrat presidential frontrunner but Warren is creeping up on him.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Creeping Up, AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Joe Biden, Warren creeping up, democrat presidential candidates To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Baltimore Cleanup

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Earlier this year, conservative activist Scott Presler sent out a call to action asking people to join him in cleaning up trash in Baltimore. More than 170 volunteers worked from 8 am to 8 pm picking up over 12 tons of trash.

You would think that picking up trash would not lead to the local paper trashing their efforts. You would be wrong. The editorial board of the Baltimore Sun ran an op-ed that trashed Presler and his group. First, they made this snarky comment. “We assume it was pure motives that led a Trump supporter to lead a clean-up in Cummings’ district, right?” Scott Presler even said that this wasn’t a political action. He and others saw a need and decided to do something about it.

Let’s be honest. There were probably some mixed motives. But if your only motive was to embarrass a member of Congress, you could do that by calling the media together and pick up some trash on one street and then go home. More than a hundred people worked twelve hours picking up 12 tons of trash. These volunteers were motivated. But they probably won’t be motivated to do something like this next time.

Back when I was the president of our high school service organization, we spent a day picking up trash and cleaning up a town. The local paper ran a small story about it. If the writer criticized us like the Baltimore Sun, I doubt I would have been able to get anyone to volunteer for the next service project.

Oh, and the editors weren’t finished. They also complained that this clean up “reinforces the tired image of our failing urban cores. That poor people in this dilapidated city can’t take care of their own neighborhoods.” What a contrast to a few of the posted videos that showed people in this neighborhood who were appreciative of what was done.

Sadly, in this politicized society, no good work goes unpunished.
----------------
Kerby Anderson (@kerbyanderson) is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network (@PointofViewRTS) and is endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Baltimore Cleanup To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Birthright Citizenship and Detaining Illegal Aliens

by Nate Jackson: One change to detention rules and one mulled change President Trump would like to make.

U.S. immigration law and practice has been a crumbling disaster for decades. President Donald Trump is, in numerous ways, challenging the status quo with policy changes and the ensuing legal battles. He made one change Wednesday and reiterated his desire for another.

First, the latter. “We are looking at birthright citizenship very seriously,” Trump said Wednesday of the practice of conferring U.S. citizenship on children born to illegal aliens on American soil. “It’s frankly ridiculous.” In October 2018, when he first pitched such an executive order, we discussed at length the true meaning of the 14th Amendment. We have long argued it has been grossly misinterpreted to provide for birthright citizenship of the children of illegal aliens — aliens who are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. as the amendment clearly states. Its framers absolutely did not intend to confer citizenship on children whose parents flouted U.S. law.

Trump’s intention should he craft such an executive order would clearly be to force the courts to provide greater legal clarity on an issue that has long troubled many Americans. That doesn’t mean Trump would win a legal battle, however. The longstanding practice of conferring that citizenship has convinced many Americans (notably judges) that it’s what the 14th Amendment actually means and that Trump can’t change even the executive branch’s interpretation of it with an executive order.

Second, Trump ordered a change regarding detention of families and minors caught illegally crossing the border. In 1997, a court agreement known as the Flores settlement determined how such children should be treated, including releasing unaccompanied minors after only 20 days in custody. In 2015, Judge Dolly Gee, appointed by Barack Obama, expanded that to force the release of even minors who crossed with their parents. (Hello, separating children from parents.)

Political analyst Gary Bauer explains the predictable consequences:
Not surprisingly, family unit apprehensions have spiked 2,800% over the past six years, a direct result of the [expanded] Flores loophole. (Sadly, there have been thousands of cases of innocent children being exploited by unrelated adults hoping to take advantage of this loophole.)

President Trump has had enough of this insanity. He is ordering appropriate agencies to detain families together throughout the entirety of their immigration proceedings.

Under this new rule, no children will be separated from their mothers and no illegal immigrants will be released to disappear into the interior of the country. If they are allowed to remain in the country, they will be released together. If they are ordered deported, they will be deported together.
Over the last five months alone, the Border Patrol has apprehended 137,000 illegal-alien parents and children, only to release them almost immediately. Trump’s order is not just a corrective measure but a deterrent. “They won’t come,” Trump said. “And many people will be saved.”

Au contraire, says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Per her usual sanctimonious moralizing, she declared that Trump’s change is “seeking to codify child abuse” and “violating every standard of morality and civilized behavior.” Wrong. He’s merely attempting to reinstate Rule of Law, an utterly foreign concept to today’s Democrats.
------------------
Nate Jackson is managing editor at The Patriot Post.

Tags: Nate Jackson, The Patriot Post, birthright citizenship, detaining illegal aliens, illegals To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Word Is

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: You keep using that word,” said Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

He might as well have been talking to David Hogg — not Vizaini — and young Hogg’s March For Our Lives gun control advocacy group.

The word?

Partisan.

“On Wednesday,” writes Christian Britschgi at Reason, “the group released its Peace Plan for a Safer America with the ambitious goal of reducing gun deaths and injuries by 50 percent in 10 years.”

Among the issues their plan — a sort of “Gun New deal” — aims to tackle is the Supreme Court’s make-up of justices who support a common sense reading of the Second Amendment, which Hogg & Co. characterize as the result of “partisan political influence and interference.”

Favoring the right to bear arms or opposing socialized medicine isn’t “partisan” any more than favoring gun control and “Medicare for all.” We use the word “partisan” when members of parties behave in ways that align with their respective parties for little reason other than power, or when they cannot muster or even try for bipartisan support for their legislation.

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama pushed through “Obamacare” without one Republican vote, that was partisan only because the Democrats could not muster any support across the aisle, quite astounding for a major new program.

Regarding the Supreme Court, we should remember that the standard for judgment is neither party nor policy, but constitutional law.

March for Our Lives wants a “national conversation” on restructuring the Supreme Court.

A better conversation would deal with actual partisan perversity.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
------------------
Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, The Word Is To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Should Still Seek A Payroll Tax Cut – Here’s Why

by Richard Manning: To cut the payroll tax, or not to cut the payroll tax? That is the question facing President Trump.

The president said Tuesday he was considering asking Congress to cut the payroll tax for individuals, but then on Wednesday told reporters that “I am not looking at a tax cut now,” adding that “we don’t need it because we have a strong economy.”

News reports said earlier that White House officials were examining the possibility of tax cuts to keep the consumer spending spree in our economy strong in the face of fears that an economic slowdown could lead to a recession and hurt the president’s reelection chances next year.

There are good arguments both for and against cutting the payroll tax, which funds the Social Security program. Individuals and employers each pay 6.2 percent of an employee’s earnings up to $132,900 in income this year. Self-employed people pay the full 12.4 percent. The earnings ceiling typically rises each year to keep pace with inflation.

While it’s impossible to repeal the business cycle, I’m in favor of cutting the payroll tax temporarily to keep our economy from unnecessarily slowing and most importantly to give our nation’s leader a strong hand in negotiations aimed at ending currency manipulation, which is a major threat to our economy over the long haul.

In 2010 the Obama administration cut the individual payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent in response to the Great Recession to boost consumer spending and stimulate the economy. The temporary cut ended in 2013.

Some advocates of tax cuts argue that it’s always a good time to let people keep more of the money they’ve earned. With the median annual household income now above $60,000, a 2 percent cut would be work out to at least $1,200 a year – amounting to an additional $100 in the average working family’s after-tax payday each month.

Obviously, the payroll tax cut only benefits those who pay Social Security taxes, so those who are retired and not working, unemployed or exempt from the payroll tax will not receive the benefit.

So why would anyone oppose putting more money into the pockets of about three-quarters of American families?

One answer might be the approximately $150 billion in lost revenue to the federal government that a one-year payroll tax holiday would likely create.

The ugly truth is that our nation’s national debt is like a hungry wolf crouched in the shadows waiting to consume its prey.

We know almost as certainly as the sun will rise that Congress will not cut spending to offset the fiscal impact of a payroll tax cut on our nation’s budget deficit. So a temporary payroll tax cut simply means that we will once again put another charge on the tab of our children, grandchildren and generations yet unborn.

In 2018 alone, overall interest payments on the nation’s $22 trillion debt amounted to $522 billion, with the net interest that was paid to debt purchasers like China, Japan, banks, pension funds and others totaling $325 billion.

To put $325 billion into perspective, even with historically low interest rates, the Office of Management and Budget reports that America paid more on interest payments on the debt to outside entities in one year than we spend on the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and State combined.

And in this Congress as well as the last one, a bipartisan consensus developed that our nation could continue to spend almost $1 trillion more than it received in revenue without consequences.

The problem is that – as Greece discovered earlier this decade – eventually the chickens come home to roost and interest rates go up. What was once an interest payment of about 10 percent of the nation’s revenues and 12 percent of expenditures spirals out of control, forcing lawmakers to choose between two bad alternatives: repay borrowed funds or make draconian cuts in government spending, while raising taxes precipitously.

Or the result could be what happened in Japan: with negative interest rates on government debt, more than 200 percent debt to Gross Domestic Product, almost no growth for two decades, and stagnation and deflation.

So why do I believe President Trump and Congress should nevertheless cut the payroll tax temporarily?

The answer lies in the real reason why our economy still has failed to grow at a robust rate even with tax cuts and regulatory relief: China and other countries’ currency manipulation, which always makes that nation’s products and services less expensive than America’s.

A payroll tax cut would likely increase the deficit by between 10 and 15 percent in 2020. However, it would also have the effect of strengthening our nation’s economy vis-à-vis the rest of the world, giving whoever is president in 2021 a strong hand in negotiating trade deals that are in our national interest, while our trade partners are facing significant economic pressures in their homelands.

Currency manipulation allows China to devalue the yuan to offset the impacts of U.S. business tax cuts, tariffs and regulatory relief, while keeping the prices of goods made in China stable here in America.

While this is a good thing for consumers in the short-term, it is horrible for the U.S. in the long haul because it puts American exporters and domestic manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage. Maximizing the opportunity to solve this much more significant problem makes the decision to support the payroll tax cut a no-brainer, in spite of the short-term deficit costs.

Ending China’s currency manipulation, as well as that nation’s intellectual property theft, is the single most important public policy goal for our nation. Accomplishing this is the key to having any chance of restoring robust economic growth in America.

And only a president dealing with a strong economic hand will be able to win these game-changing concessions from China. To get such concessions, our president will need the ability negotiate a trade deal with China that ends that country’s pernicious effort to dominate the rest of the 21st century.

At the same time, our president will need to put more money into the pockets of Americans, which will help extend low unemployment and wage growth that we currently enjoy.

So my advice to President Trump is to ask Congress for a temporary payroll tax cut. The benefits outweigh the costs.
-----------------------
Richard Manning (@rmanning957) is the President of Americans for Limited Government. Americans for Limited Government (@LimitGovt). Article also shared on Fox News.

Tags: Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government, President Trump, Should Still Seek, A Payroll Tax Cut, Here’s Why To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Environmentalists Killed More Europeans Than Islamic Terrorists Did

by Daniel Greenfield: "Do Americans Need Air-Conditioning?" a New York Times piece asked in July. Air conditioning, it argued, is bad for the environment and makes us less human. It ran quotes suggesting that, "first world discomfort is a learned behavior", and urging "a certain degree of self-imposed suffering".

If environmentalists ruled the world, air conditioning wouldn’t exist. And there’s a place like that.

90% of American households have air conditioning. As do 86% of South Koreans, 82% of Australians, 60% of Chinese, 16% of Brazilians and Mexicans, 9% of Indonesians and less than 5% of Europeans.

A higher percentage of Indian households have air conditioning than their former British colonial rulers.

Temperatures in Paris hit 108.6 degrees. Desperate Frenchmen dived into the fountains of the City of Lights with their clothes on. Parisian authorities announced that they were deploying heat wave management plan orange, level three, which meant setting up foggers in public parks and distributing heat wave kits. The kits consist of leaflets telling people to go to libraries which have air conditioning.

France24, the country’s state-owned television network, advised people suffering from temperatures rising as high as 110 degrees to take cold showers and stick their feet in saucepans of cold water.

A 2003 heat wave killed 15,000 people in France. And, in response, the authorities have deployed Chalex, a database of vulnerable people who will get a call offering them cooling advice.

The advice consists of taking cold showers and sticking their feet in saucepans of cold water.

Desperate Frenchmen trying to get into any body of water they can have led to a 30% rise in drownings. The dozens of people dead are casualties of the environmentalist hatred of air conditioners.

Only 5% of French households have air conditioning. Even in response to the crisis, the authorities are only deploying temporary air conditioning to kindergartens.

The 2003 heat wave killed 7,000 people in Germany. And, today, only 3% of German households have air conditioning. Germany’s Ministry of the Environment refused to back air conditioning as a response to global warming.

Temperatures in Dusseldorf hit 105 degrees. Officials in Dusseldorf had recently rejected proposals to install air conditioning systems because they’re bad for the environment.

The climate action head at Germany’s Institute for Applied Ecology explained that air conditioning wouldn't work because there's not much wind during heat waves, and the country can't end reliance on coal and run air conditioners at the same time. You can have air conditioners or save the planet.

But not both.

The issue isn’t poverty. in Greece, one of the poorest countries in Europe, 99% of households have air conditioning. What it comes down to is a willingness to choose comfort over environmental dogma.

In Europe, people are dying because they’ve been told that their sacrifices will save the planet.

The 2003 heat wave killed 70,000 people in Europe. That’s more than Islamic terrorists have.

When environmentalists claim that global warming is a greater threat than Islamic terrorism, they’re half-right. Global warming isn’t real, but the measures taken to fight it are killing thousands of people.

And it doesn’t have to be this way.

In 2007, only 2% of Indian households had air conditioning. Those numbers have more than doubled. India is expected to field a billion air conditioning units by 2050.

“I am not rich," an Indian laundryman earning $225 a month, who had just put in air conditioning, told a disapproving Agence France-Presse, but we all aspire to a comfortable life."

Some of us do.

The 2003 heat wave killed 2,000 Brits. The current heat wave has led to London being placed on a Level 3 health watch. But air conditioning in the UK still hovers at 3% of households. And every summer, the local media lectures Brits on the evils of air conditioning.

Every heat wave is treated as a compelling argument for reducing power to save the planet. The heat and its accompanying misery are treated as heralds of a global warming apocalypse. Soon, we are told, it’ll be hot all the time, the waters will rise, the icebergs will melt, and life will perish from the earth.

When a heat wave consumed Europe in 1540, leading to the hottest temperatures on record and the deaths of thousands, the people blamed a higher power. In England, where the River Trent dried up, the megadrought was blamed on Henry VIII’s sacrilegious crackdown on monasteries. Modern Europeans have a simple, rational explanation. Mother Earth is angry because we’re using air conditioners.

Or other people are.

China has 569 million installed air conditioners. More than any other country in the world. South Korea has 59 million air conditioners. That’s more than France, Germany and the UK combined.

Europe’s sacrifice is not only senseless, it’s also meaningless.

Vietnam has become a booming market for air conditioners. 17% of Vietnamese households now have one. Indonesia is leading its own boom in air conditioning. As is much of Asia and the Middle East.

Europe can go on letting its people die for the environment, but it won’t make any difference.

Air conditioning isn’t some American fetish, as European elitists sneer. It’s a worldwide movement. Every country that can manage it is getting air conditioners. Meanwhile people are dying in France.

While the rest of the world is cooling off, Europe is in thrall to a pagan pseudoscientific cult.

Its tenets insist that the planet is a living entity, but fail to understand its true implications. The climate is part of a living entity which changes on a timescale that challenges human understanding. For a thousand years of recorded history, Europe has undergone alternate warming and cooling periods. The Medieval Climate Anomaly was an example of how complicated those cyclical changes could be.

A heat wave isn’t proof that we’ve sinned against Mother Earth by heating and cooling our homes. It’s a reminder that the environment operates on an inescapable scale that is vaster than human beings.

We can cut down forests and build dams. But so can beavers. We cannot change the climate.

The bones of hippos have been found under Trafalgar Square. The Chauvet Cave in France includes pictures of rhinos. The Little Ice Age killed off England’s vineyards in the 14th century. The Thames began to freeze over in the 17th century. The Viking colonization of America collapsed under the wave of cold.

Air conditioning and heating are not how we change the climate. They’re how we cope with it.

Environmentalism has so hopelessly tangled human civilization and the environment that we are no longer able to understand the planet on its own terms, instead of as a luddite eschatology in which the climate is a deity punishing us for our civilizational ingenuity with hot weather and natural disasters.

And that makes it extremely difficult to adapt to the changes in a healthy way.

A century ago, Americans beat the heat by wading in fountains, sleeping on roofs and fire escapes, and escaping the city. Air conditioning has made it possible for us to live and work across the entire country.

In 1896, a heat wave killed thousands of Americans. New York City authorities resorted to the same measures as their modern Parisian counterparts, turning on fire hydrants and handing out ice.

Those temperatures amounted to a mere 90 degrees.

In 1902, Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner in Brooklyn. He imagined a world in which, “The average businessman will rise, pleasantly refreshed, having slept in an air-conditioned room. He will travel in an air-conditioned train, and toil in an air-conditioned office.” We live in that world now.

At the New York World’s Fair, while temperatures outside hit 90 degrees, Carrier debuted an Igloo display. Two giant thermometers contrasted “Nature’s temperature” with “air conditioning”.

It sold itself.

Air conditioning allows New Yorkers to shrug off 90-degree weather and go on living and working.

Today, New York is the home of the Green New Deal which believes in following Europe’s trends. If New York adopts Europe’s environmentalism, it will discover what living in 1896 really felt like.

Environmentalists have killed thousands of Europeans. They can kill thousands of Americans too.
--------------
Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Environmentalists Killed More Europeans, Than Islamic Terrorists Did To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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