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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)

Friday, March 01, 2019

Democrats Are Getting out on a Dangerously Left-Wing Limb

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: There's an old political saying that presidential candidates appeal to their parties' wings -- left for Democrats, right for Republicans -- in the race for the nomination and then appeal to the center in the general election campaign. It was put in canonical form by Richard Nixon, one of only two Americans our major parties nominated for national office five times (the other was Franklin Roosevelt).

The dozen or so already announced Democratic candidates seem to be following Nixon's rule, and with more reckless abandon than Nixon ever did. Maybe they figure that whoever gets the Democratic nomination will inevitably beat Donald Trump. After all, no one they ever talk to would vote for him.

But a skewed sample can produce misleading results. If President Trump's job approval hasn't risen above 44 percent level since March 2017, it has not fallen below 40 percent either this year or last. That's about where opinion was when he got elected. And remember that his national rating is depressed by 2-1 disapproval in California, which casts 10 percent of the nation's votes. He'll never win its 55 electoral votes, but in 2016 he carried the other 49 states and Washington, D.C., by 1.4 million votes.

Like his three predecessors at this point in their first terms, he seems vulnerable. But each of them was re-elected.

Despite this, Democratic presidential candidates have been going out on potentially shaky left-wing limbs, including the Green New Deal sketched out by the exuberant freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Endorsers include putatively serious candidates such as Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The idea is to ban net carbon emissions in just 10 years, which evidently means no gasoline-powered cars, no beef from methane-producing cattle and no passenger airplanes. AOC wants a national passenger rail network "so that air travel becomes unnecessary," as well as guaranteed jobs, free college and government-provided health care, all financed, it seems, by printing money.

Obamacare, passed nearly 10 years ago, is no longer enough for Democrats. In his 2016 campaign, Sanders called for "Medicare-for-all," and he and other declared candidates are echoing that this cycle. When asked about the large majority of Americans who are satisfied with their current health insurance, Harris said they shouldn't have to fill out forms anymore to get treatments approved. "Let's eliminate all that," she said, without getting into details. "Let's move on." More than 100 House Democrats are sponsoring a bill to do just that.

Then there is the issue of reparations for descendants of slaves, urged without much visible effect by longtime Rep. John Conyers and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose widely praised best-seller argues that America today is just as racist as ever, and always will be. Polls show this unsurprisingly unpopular, but Harris, Warren and fellow candidate Rep. Julian Castro have signed on for "some form" of reparations.

Support for legal abortion has been a Democratic staple for years. But Democrats have recently moved left to pass laws allowing it up to nine months. They did so successfully in New York and unsuccessfully in Virginia, after Gov. Ralph Northam suggested it would apply after birth.

That's an unpopular position, to say the least. For years, polls have shown majority support for legalizing abortion in the first trimester and prohibiting it in the third. But all six Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate voted against Sen. Ben Sasse's bill to ban ninth-month abortions.

Did this extreme position affect public opinion? A February Marist poll showed equal numbers, 47 percent calling themselves pro-life and pro-choice, a sharp change from January's 55 to 38 percent pro-choice advantage. Maybe this poll is an outlier, but maybe putting the spotlight on ninth-month abortions changed opinion.

An overwhelmingly pro-choice press has long covered for Democrats, refusing to explain that the "health of the mother" exception to abortion bans means (because "health" includes mental health) abortion on demand. Predictably, CNN and MSNBC ignored the Sasse bill vote, and media like Politico provided spectacularly biased accounts.

But liberal media doesn't have a monopoly on megaphones anymore, and Donald Trump has shown himself capable of using invective, ridicule and serious argument to attack extreme positions, as he did Hillary Clinton's on abortion. He has no compunction about raging impolitely against what liberals insist is politically correct.

Democratic presidential candidates, perhaps isolated in liberal cocoons, don't seem to understand their vulnerability on issues like ninth-month abortions and the Green New Deal. They assume their media friends can rescue them. Maybe not.
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Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, Democrats, getting out, Left-Wing Limb To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is the American Century Over For Good?

by Patrick Buchanan: Indulging its hatred of Trump is a preoccupation, an obsession of this capital city.

“Politics stops at the water’s edge” was a tradition that, not so long ago, was observed by both parties, particularly when a president was abroad, speaking for the nation.

The tradition was enunciated by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan in 1947, as many of the Republicans in the 80th Congress moved to back Truman’s leadership in the Cold War against Stalin’s empire.

The tradition lasted until the mid-1960s, when the left wing of the Democratic Party turned viscerally, and even violently, against the war in Vietnam and President Lyndon Johnson.

Republican Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush I, with the support of conservative Democrats, led America to final victory in the Cold War

Yet except for brief intervals, like the rallying around George H. W. Bush after the triumphant Gulf War of 1991 and George W. Bush after 9/11, true national unity has never been restored.

Were proof needed, this week provided it.

President Trump flew to Hanoi, Vietnam, to meet North Korea’s dictator. Subject of negotiations: Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons, including his missiles that may be able to reach our homeland.

How did the Democratic Party wish the commander in chief well on his mission for America?

During Trump’s first full day in Hanoi, a committee of Nancy Pelosi’s House held a public hearing featuring ex-Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer and felon who cut a deal with the prosecution for a reduced sentence.

The city loved it. Cable and network TV coverage went gavel to gavel. Cohen’s testimony crowded out the Trump-Kim summit and even news of aerial clashes between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers that have fought three wars since independence, 70 years ago.

What were the headlines Trump came home to after refusing to lift sanctions on North Korea, in return for meager concessions Kim offered?

“Cohen Paints Trump as Crooked” was the banner atop page one of The Washington Post. Cohen’s depiction of his old boss was boldly quoted above: “He is a racist. He is a con man. And he is a cheat.”

“Cohen Accuses Trump of Lies and Cover-ups” ran the page-one headline in The New York Times.

“Cohen Declares Trump a Racist, Cheat and Conman” read the huge headline in the Financial Times.

“Cohen Says Trump Guided Coverup” was at the top of page one in The Wall Street Journal.

Trump is denounced for calling media the “enemy of the people.” Yet that media, in news columns as well as editorials, routinely describes him as a racist, sexist, xenophobe, homophobe, Islamophobe and bigot.

Indulging its hatred of Trump is a preoccupation, an obsession of this capital city. Those headlines reveal not only the news judgment of the editors but the agenda of the elite who turn to them first every morning.

That agenda is the breaking of this president; his disgrace and fall; and, if impeachment proves not possible, his crushing defeat in 2020 and subsequent indictment. Our so-called Dreamers in Washington, D.C., look to the triumphal return to power of the establishment the American people threw out in 2016.

Yet the alliance that seeks to bring down Trump is formidable: deep-state leakers and media collaborators; the Democratic Party and House; most of America’s commentariat; and the cultural elites in the arts, academia and Hollywood.

How far beyond normal politics have the divisions in our society gone? As the Covington Catholic kids found out, wearing a MAGA hat is now seen as a racist provocation.

In the play unfolding, Cohen’s testimony to the House committee was scene one of act one.

Next comes the Mueller report, though it appears Robert Mueller and his team, after investigating for two years, have found no collusion between Trump and Vladimir Putin in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee or the Clinton campaign.

Hence, the hopes of Trump haters are being redirected to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Subjects of investigation: the Trump Organization, the Trump Inaugural Committee, the Trump Foundation, the Trump family and any entity with which Donald Trump has been associated in 40 years.

Again, as the president is chief of state and head of government, he cannot be indicted. He must first be removed from the presidency. But to remove him, Democrats have to impeach him in the House and convict him in a Republican Senate.

If they cannot, they will have to defeat him at the polls.

In 1968, George Wallace of Alabama tore the Southern populist right out of the Democratic Party. Liberals Gene McCarthy, Robert Kennedy and George McGovern then savaged Vice President Hubert Humphrey from the left. The Grant Park rioters did the rest.

Nixon, leading a minority Republican Party, had a compelling argument: “If the Democrats cannot unite their own party, how can they unite the nation?”

Today, a watching world is asking: If you Americans are at war with yourselves over race, religion, morality, culture and politics, if you cannot unite yourselves, how can you unite the world? And around what?

Maybe the American Century is really over.
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Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Is the American Century Overm For Good? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sloppy Joe Biden Makes a Decent Mess

Joe Biden
by Tony Perkins: If Democrats kicked off their 2020 campaign today, they'd have some pretty interesting bumper stickers. "I heart socialism!" "Killing newborns is a choice!" "Non-binaries for Bernie!" "Friends don't let conservatives become friends!" They're the party of no babies, no borders, no God, and now -- as Joe Biden so painfully reminded everyone -- no decency.

A day after Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) surprised everyone with their unusually close friendship, the former vice president made it clear that there's no room in his party for mutual respect. Hours after referring to Mike Pence as a "decent guy" during a forum in Omaha, the man who may have been the party's best shot at moderate voters, walked his comment back.

LGBT activists like Cynthia Nixon were furious, tweeting that Pence is "America's most anti-LGBT leader... Please consider how this falls on the ears of our community." Chastened, the former VP apologized. "You're right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn't be given a silent reaction on the world stage. But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the vice president."

This is the man who was supposed to be the party's counterweight to liberal fanaticism. The grown-up in the room who's likeable and understands the value of bipartisanship. As far as most people were concerned, that was Biden's only path to the nomination -- distinguishing himself from the party's extremism, not embracing it. Now even he's exposed as just another pathetic puppet of the radical Left. "If Biden enters the race only to spend the next year apologizing for being insufficiently 'woke,'" the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein writes, "he'll just look like a complete buffoon, without convincing any skeptics who will have plenty of alternatives to choose from who are younger and more in touch with contemporary sensibilities on the Left."

All because he couldn't bring himself to stand by a benign nicety to a fellow vice president. Biden didn't endorse Pence's views or lavish praise on his leadership. "'Decent,'" Aaron Colen half-joked. "Perhaps the most lukewarm compliment that's ever been paid to another person." And yet, in this brave new party, even that was inexcusable. Folks, this is significant. Not only does it show what's in store if the Left regains the levers of power in America, but it also proves the intense stranglehold that abortion and LGBT activists now have on the Democratic party. This isn't just a war on common courtesy. It's a war on moderation. And it's a harbinger of things to come.

Joe Biden's pitiful capitulation is proof -- there is no space in government or public life for people who disagree with the radical rejection of biblical and historical morality. This is the "deplorables" on steroids. "You cannot be civil," Hillary Clinton said last October, "with a political party that [doesn't agree]." That angry mob approach may work at fancy fundraising dinners, but it doesn't translate to mainstream America. Most people are tired of the dehumanization and division. They're sick of the fighting and vitriol. And they aren't on board with this trip to the final frontiers of sexuality, gender, immigration, and infanticide. And that include some who make up the historical base of the Democratic party.

This is a hole Democrats started digging for themselves back in 2016 when it adopted a platform that alienates as many as 77 percent of its own party. "You're killing us," rural Democrats told headquarters. "Tell me how in the world Nancy Pelosi, or some of those folks in Congress," one local Democrat told Politico, "how would they even be able to sit there and talk with [the pro-life, pro-God Democrats here]? Do they even know [they] exist? That's why I say that the East Coast elitists have forgotten America. They've not been to America, they forgot America, they forgot about certain parts of America. Maybe they've done it intentionally," Terry Goodwin, the leader of the Indiana caucus said soberly. "I hope not."

A perceptive Republican party would seize on this opportunity by pursing the policies outlined in the GOP's platform, which couldn't provide a clearer contrast between the two parties. From God to life and parental rights to public restrooms, the GOP's vision of America is 180 degrees from the Left. And that vision will be central in attracting disaffected Democratic voters in 2020.
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Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Joe Biden, Makes a Decent Mess To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

House Democrats Unveil Plan to Bring Total Government Control Over American Health Care

by Robert Moffit: Liberal House Democrats just unveiled the Medicare for All Act of 2019, a comprehensive bill to abolish virtually all private health plans—including employer-sponsored coverage—and impose total federal government control over Americans’ health care.

Despite its sweeping and detailed government control, as well as the imposition of huge but unknown costs, the 120-page bill has nonetheless initially attracted 106 Democrat co-sponsors, almost half of all Democrats in the House.

The legislation is profoundly authoritarian.

For example, Section 107 ensures that no American, regardless of their personal wants or medical needs, would be able to enroll in any alternative health plan that “duplicates” the government’s coverage.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the bill’s primary sponsor, is at least open about the bill’s intent: “The Medicare for All bill really makes it clear what we mean by ‘Medicare for All.’ We mean a system where there are no private insurance companies that provide these core comprehensive benefits.”

Under Section 201, Congress would decide the content of the health benefits package, what is and is not to be available in the new government health plan. The bill forbids cost sharing, a statutory prohibition guaranteed to induce demand and hike Americans’ overall health costs.

Americans would not be able simply to spend their own money for medical care from a doctor of their choice. Personal contracts between doctors and patients outside of the government plan would be tightly restricted. Under Section 301, “ … no charge will be made to any individual for any covered items or services than for payment authorized by this Act.”

Under Section 303, a provider “ … may not bill or enter into any private contract with any individual eligible for benefits under the Act for any item or service that is a benefit under this Act.”

Even private contracts for “non-covered” medical services require the doctor to report them to the health and human services secretary. Section 303 also stipulates that a private contract between a doctor and a patient for “covered” services would be permissible if and only if the doctor signs and files the affidavit with the secretary of HHS and refrains from submitting any claim for any person “enrolled under this Act” for two full years.

Altogether, these restrictions, layered atop the prohibition on private insurance coverage, would virtually eliminate private agreements between doctors and patients.

In practice, Americans could spend their own money on their own terms with just the very few doctors who could afford to see cash-paying patients entirely outside the system.

In most respects, the new House bill is broadly similar to Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., bill. Beyond creating a government monopoly of health insurance, it centralizes key health care decisions in the office of the secretary of HHS; establishes a national health budget; and it creates a temporary Medicare-style “public option” (along with subsidies for enrollees) in the moribund Obamacare exchanges.

Like Sanders’ bill, the House bill would also eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the Obamacare exchange plans, and Tricare, the health program for military dependents. All of these beneficiaries would be absorbed into the new government plan; it would not be a matter of personal choice.

In striking contrast to the earlier version of the House “Medicare for All” bill, the new House bill contains no tax or funding provisions. This is a conspicuous omission. This is especially so because the House sponsors (under Section 204) also incorporate long-term care coverage, including nursing home and community-based care, into the basic benefit package. This coverage would likely be hugely expensive.

Recall that independent analysts from the Mercatus Center and the Urban Institute roughly agree that the true 10-year cost of Sanders’ similar plan would be approximately $32 trillion.

Ken Thorpe of Emory University, formerly an adviser to President Bill Clinton, estimates that the federal taxation needed to finance the Sanders’ plan would amount to an additional 20 percent tax on workers’ income, and more than 7 out of 10 working families would end up paying more for health care than they do today.

The federal spending and taxation needed to fund the new House bill would certainly be larger. Beyond the potential impact of the bill on the nation’s deficits and debt, independent analysts and economists will also focus laser-like on the size and impact of the new federal taxes on individuals and families at various income levels.

Simply taxing “the rich” will not cut it.

The House co-sponsors of the Medicare for All Act intend a rapid transformation of American health care.

Under Section 106 of the bill, they authorize the completion of this massive disruption of today’s public and private health insurance arrangements within just two years.

In the meantime, analysts at the Congressional Budget Office have a very big job to do.

They need to get on it. Now.

Let the debate begin.
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Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., a seasoned veteran of more than three decades in Washington policymaking, is a senior fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, and contributes to The Daily Signal.

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Congress Orders “Shields Down” By Blocking Emergency Declaration

. . . Willfully ignoring threats to national security.
by Michael Cutler: It has been said that “Timing is everything.”

On February 26, 2019 the House of Representatives voted to block President Trump’s declaration of an emergency on the southern border. Nancy Pelosi and others claimed that the declaration was a violation of the Separation of Powers provisions of the Constitution.

It would appear that failures to secure our nation’s borders against the entry of massive numbers of illegal aliens is a clear violation of our Constitution.

Article IV, Section 4 states:The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."Invasion is defined, part as:An incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity: an unwelcome intrusion into another's domain.Furthermore, there would have been no need for any additional action by the administration if Congress had simply voted to fund the construction of a barrier to protect our nation from the illegal and un-inspected entry of people and contraband including narcotics and weapons, into the United States.

Congress failed to act responsibly and in accordance with the oaths of office that each member took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States by preventing invasion and domestic violence.

The media was quick to pick up on the Congressional response to the President’s action to fund the construction of a barrier to protect the vulnerable and highly porous U.S./Mexican border.

On February 26, 2019 Mass Live reported, “Mass. Democrats vote to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration.” Of course it was not just Massachusetts Democrats who voted against the declaration, but the comments in the article are worth considering.

Also on February 26th, the New York Times reported, “House Votes to Block Trump’s National Emergency Declaration About the Border.”

The action by Congress was not the only story making headlines, on February 26, 2019, however.

On that same day, that the Democrats and some Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against the Presidential declaration of emergency, ABC News reported, “26 years ago: 6 die in 1993 World Trade Center bombing.”

Finally, on February 26, 2019 the <Washington Post reported, “Again, 9/11 first responders are pleading with Congress to fund their health care. Again, Jon Stewart is joining them.”

If we were to play the game of “connect the dots,” there is a common thread that connects these news reports: the issue of national security and the threats posed to America and Americans by terrorism and the consequences of failures of the immigration system that enabled foreign terrorists to enter the United States and carry out deadly terror attacks in 1993 and again in September 11, 2001.

While a barrier on the U.S./Mexican border wouldn’t, by itself solve the immigration crisis, it is a vital element of what must be a multi-pronged approach to secure our nation and protect our citizens.

After the attacks of 9/11, politicians from both parties demanded to know, “Why weren’t the dots connected?”

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 the dots have been repeatedly connected, all too often in the wake of additional deadly terror attacks conducted by alien terrorists who easily gained entry into the United States by a variety of means.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the leader of the extremely violent Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel was just convicted of smuggling huge quantities of narcotics into the United States across the U.S./Mexican border. His organization is responsible for numerous murders and crimes of violence and corruption.

There have been a long list of Congressional hearings and official government reports that warn that among the numerous threats that the U.S. faces around the world, many of those threats emanate from Latin America.

On January 29, 2019 the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing on Worldwide Threats that was predicated on a just-released paper, "World-Wide Threat Assessment," that was issued by Daniel Coats, the Director of the Office of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community.

Here is an excerpt from that report:Transnational Organized Crime

Global transnational criminal organizations and networks will threaten US interests and allies by trafficking drugs, exerting malign influence in weak states, threatening critical infrastructure, orchestrating human trafficking, and undermining legitimate economic activity.

Drug Trafficking

The foreign drug threat will pose continued risks to US public health and safety and will present a range of threats to US national security interests in the coming year. Violent Mexican traffickers, such as members of the Sinaloa Cartel and New Generation Jalisco Cartel, remain key to the movement of illicit drugs to the United States, including heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cannabis from Mexico, as well as cocaine from Colombia. Chinese synthetic drug suppliers dominate US-bound movements of so- called designer drugs, including synthetic marijuana, and probably ship the majority of US fentanyl, when adjusted for purity.

Approximately 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, a record high and a 10-percent increase from 2016, although the rate of growth probably slowed in early 2018, based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data.

Increased drug fatalities are largely a consequence of surging production of the synthetic opioid fentanyl; in 2017, more than 28,000 Americans died from synthetic opioids other than methadone, including illicitly manufactured fentanyl. The CDC reports synthetic opioid- related deaths rose 846 percent between 2010 and 2017, while DHS reports that US seizures of the drug increased 313 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Other Organized Crime Activities

Transnational criminal organizations and their affiliates are likely to expand their influence over some weak states, collaborate with US adversaries, and possibly threaten critical infrastructure.

Mexican criminals use bribery, intimidation, and violence to protect their drug trafficking, kidnapping-for-ransom, fuel-theft, gunrunning, extortion, and alien-smuggling enterprises.

Gangs based in Central America, such as MS-13, continue to direct some criminal activities beyond the region, including in the United States.

Transnational organized crime almost certainly will continue to inflict human suffering, deplete natural resources, degrade fragile ecosystems, drive migration, and drain income from the productive—and taxable—economy.

Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion annually for illicit actors and governments that engage in forced labor, according to the UN’s International Labor Organization.
The first paragraph of the preface of the official report, 9/11 and Terrorist Travel, will provide my “closing argument” against the Congressional betrayal that America is now witnessing:It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.----------------------
Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent with half of his career in the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission. His website is michaelcutler.net. He also writes for FrontPage Mag a publication of theDavid Horowitz Freedom Center. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Michael Cutler, FrontPage Mag, Congress Orders, Shields Down, Blocking Emergency Declaration To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

MS-13 vs. The Thin Blue Line, The Useless U.N.,  Pence At CPAC

VP Mike Pence at CPAC 2019
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: MS-13 vs. The Thin Blue Line
Last year, President Trump triggered the left when he referred to MS-13 gang members as "animals." He said, "You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals."

The media and open borders advocates went nuts. They falsely accused Trump of denigrating Hispanics and immigrants generally.

But the left's smears were a grossly dishonest attack meant to distract the American people from the real issue: The vicious Latin American gang is a serious threat to communities all around the country. It is known for its brutality and for preying on children.

The reason I am revisiting this is because the New York Police Department issued a warning this week that MS-13 gang members were plotting to assassinate off-duty police officers. These thugs are even "conducting reconnaissance of [officers'] private residences."

Sadly, our lax immigration policies are largely responsible for the fact that Latin American gangs are now menacing communities from Long Beach to Long Island.

The Trump Administration is serious about controlling our borders and shutting this gang down. But too many politicians in both parties are refusing to support him.

I hope and pray that the NYPD and ICE can work together to prevent any police officers and their families from being harmed in the days ahead. But if an officer is killed, their blood will be on the hands of the feckless politicians who are thwarting President Trump's efforts to secure our borders.

The Useless U.N.
A commission of the U.N. Human Rights Council issued a blatantly biased report this week accusing Israel of committing war crimes when it defended its Gaza border against massive Palestinian riots. According to the Washington Post:

"The commission determined that the protests . . . arose out of a desire by Gaza residents to draw attention, in a nonviolent manner, to the dire humanitarian situation in the strip amid a strict land, sea and air blockade by Israel and Egypt that has been in place for more than a decade."

The report is instructive because it proves yet again how utterly useless the United Nations is when it comes to promoting the truth about Israel. As columnist Tom Rogan notes, "the report includes only one mention of Hamas in a negative sense," and, of course, it was Hamas that organized the assault on Israel's border.

Here are the facts you need to know:
  • The reason Gaza is under a blockade is because it is ruled by the terrorists of Hamas. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and Hamas quickly seized power. It did not build schools and hospitals or do anything to benefit the Palestinian people. Instead, it turned Gaza into a launching pad for non-stop terror campaigns.
  • This latest eruption of violence at the border has nothing to do with the conditions in Gaza. The Palestinians call this campaign "the Great March of Return." Return to what? The land of Israel. In other words, it's an invasion, which is generally what assaults on borders are called.
  • The notion that these were "nonviolent" demonstrations or protests is betrayed by the fact that Hamas proudly claimed many of the "martyrs" as their own members. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority's representative in France told the French government last year that "Iran is fully financing and pushing the Hamas demonstrations."
The Israeli government categorically rejected the U.N.'s findings. In a blistering statement, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry blasted the Human Rights Council, saying:

"Israel utterly rejects the report published by the Commission of Inquiry of the UN Human Rights Council. This report was born in sin, in a politically biased, one-sided resolution that determined the outcome before the investigation even started. . .

"Hamas has declared war on Israel and calls to kill Jews. Hamas is orchestrating the attacks and using civilians in Gaza as human weapons to assault Israel and Israeli civilians. . .

"Israel will continue to defend its citizens from these attacks, despite the Council's sentiment that Israel has no right to defend its borders."


The Left's Embrace Of Socialism
With an avowed socialist leading the pack of Democrat 2020 contenders and new socialists in Congress making waves with policies like the Green New Deal and "Medicare for All," Harvard University decided to find out what voters think about socialism. The results should have DNC officials reaching for the Maalox.
  • Asked whether the U.S. economy should be "mostly capitalist" or "mostly socialist," 65% of registered voters chose capitalism, while 35% chose socialism.
  • However, 64% of voters say the Democrat Party promotes socialism, while only 36% say Democrats oppose it.
  • Democrats themselves were divided -- 51% of Democrats favor a capitalist economy, while 49% support socialism.
By the way, if the poll was conducted among the "rising stars" of the Democrat Party, I have no doubt support for socialism would be 80%!

Pence At CPAC
Vice President Mike Pence delivered a stirring address today at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Watch it here. Below are some excerpts of his remarks:

"As I stand before you today, the American economy is booming. In just over two years, businesses large and small have created 5.3 million new jobs, including over 480,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs. . . Unemployment has hit a 50-year low. . .

"And in this administration, we're also standing every day with the brave men and women of law enforcement, and we've been giving all those who stand on the Thin Blue Line the resources and the respect they deserve every single day.

"And that includes the courageous men and women of Customs and Border Protection who put their lives on the line every single day. Under this President and this administration, we will never abolish ICE. . . And we've already started to build that wall. And I'll make you a promise: Before we're done, we're going to build it all. . .

"You know, when President Obama, in 2014, said we had a humanitarian crisis at southern border, 120,000 minors and families crossed our border illegally. Last year, there were 145,000. . .

"So today we call on every member of Congress: Stand up for border security, stop playing politics with the security of the American people, and stand with President Trump for a stronger and safer America. . .

"You know, the freedom of religion is not just enshrined in our Constitution; it's enshrined in the hearts of the American people. But make no mistake about it: Freedom of religion is under attack in our country. . . Under this President and this administration, we will always stand with people of faith. . .

"And as we reflect on our God-given liberties, I got to tell you, I couldn't be more proud to serve as Vice President to the most pro-life President in American history.

"Since the first days of this administration, President Donald Trump has stood without apology for the sanctity of human life. In one of his very first acts, the President reinstated the Mexico City Policy, preventing taxpayer dollars from funding abortion or abortion providers around the world.

"And here at home, President Trump signed a law to allow all 50 states to defund Planned Parenthood. Life is winning in America once again."

-------------------
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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Democratic House Passes Second Gun Control Bill In Two Days

by Micah Rate: A day after Democrats in the House of Representatives passed a new background check bill, another gun control bill is moving out of the chamber and on to the Senate.

On Thursday, Democrats passed H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, on a vote of 228-198.

The bill extends the length of time the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has to conduct a background check before an individual can take possession of their purchased firearm.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, if the licensed dealer selling the firearm does not receive a final “proceed” or “denied” response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system, they must wait three business days before transferring the firearm to the purchaser. However, this new bill would give the FBI more time to conduct a background check, increasing the potential wait time from three days to ten.

After ten days, the purchaser can file a petition to proceed with the transfer, but the dealer must then wait another ten days after the petition’s filing.

Gun rights supporters opposed to the legislation argue that it puts law-abiding citizens at risk, as they won’t be able to exercise their Second Amendment right to protect themselves.

To protect victims of domestic violence, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), a victim of domestic violence herself, proposed an amendment that would “allow victims of domestic violence to protect themselves according to the current background requirements and their Second Amendment rights,” the official House Judiciary GOP Twitter account tweeted.

Though, Rep. Lesko told her Democratic colleagues that the motion to recommit would not “kill the bill or send it back to committee,” Democrats voted down the amendment.
Furthermore, the legislation would have a “significant impact” on the Second Amendment rights of veterans.

As Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), a Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs explained on the House floor, “a little known and poorly understood provision of H.R. 1112 would amend the law to make it unlawful for an individual that has been ‘adjudicated with mental illness, severe developmental disability, or severe emotional instability,’ to purchase, possess a firearm.”

“Although there may not have ever been a finding by a judicial authority that the veteran poses a danger to themselves or society,” he continued, “these veterans would be told that they were good enough to use a firearm to fight for our freedoms, but are not good enough to have the freedom to bear arms as a civilian.”

View Rep. Roe’s full speech below:
While the Democrat-led House passed this legislation, it is now headed to the Republican-controlled Senate where it is expected to fail.
---------------
Micah Rate is a blogger at Bearing Arms.

Tags: IMicah Rate, Bearing Arms, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat House, passes, second, gun control bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Fiduciary Responsibility: How far does it extend?

Ken Blackwell
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: There is no greater duty than that of a fiduciary to make sound investments for the best interest of its beneficiary. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has more than 900,000 participants (i.e. beneficiaries) and is the second largest pension plan in the U.S. As such a large plan, the fiduciary responsibility is truly great, and must be at the forefront of all investment decisions.

In late January, CalSTRS voted to oppose AB 33, introduced by State Assemblyman Rob Bonta. This bill proposes that the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) divest of all holdings in private corrections firms and prohibit future investments in those same companies. The opposition to this bill comes on the heels of CalSTRS voting in October to divest from private prison firms, a move that will negatively impact their retirees due to the nature of divestment. Seems hypocritical, or?

We can’t ignore that such politically motivated divestment goes against their fiduciary responsibility considering that it would be costly for retirees. Private prison stocks have had positive effects for investors so divesting seems counter intuitive. Furthermore, the effects of politically motivated divestment can be devastating. For example, the board of CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in the country, made a decision to divest tobacco stocks from its portfolio. An analysis in 2015 found that the divestment cost the fund $3 billion, and later calculations by Wilshire Associates show the “amount of foregone performance has continued to grow.” Despite the losses, the CalPERS board rejected the advice of its staff in 2016 to reinstate tobacco stocks.

In fact, in a 2016 paper published by Morningstar, Jon Hale writes that “studies focused on the effects of exclusionary screens, particularly sin stocks, also draw negative conclusions. Hong and Kacperczyk find that sin stocks have higher expected returns than otherwise comparable stocks and suggest the reason is they are neglected by norm-constrained investors. Trinks and Scholtens also found that investing in stocks often excluded by responsible investors in many cases results in additional risk-adjusted returns.” These details are important to note around the greater discussion of divestment movements, which continue cropping up across the country. The research and the numbers show that divesting will make the pension fund weaker and reduce returns, going against a fund’s fiduciary responsibility, at a time when public pensions can ill afford such costs.

Beyond the unnecessary costs that AB 33 would cause all California investment funds, CalSTRS makes an interesting point in their reasoning to oppose AB 33. According to Harry M. Keiley, board member and chairman of the investment committee, they voted to oppose AB 33 because it would be an abdication of their authority (or perhaps even their fiduciary responsibility) to allow another entity to make investment decisions for CalSTRS. This adherence to their fiduciary responsibility is positive, but does CalSTRS apply it universally?

CalSTRS relies heavily on proxy advisory firms to inform them on how to vote on corporate proxy issues. CalSTRS must vote their proxies as corporate shareholders on everything from new members of board of directors to the governance structure of the firm, and other major decisions. In theory, getting independent, outside research to inform proxy voting would be important to making smart decisions, and thereby adhering to their fiduciary responsibility.

However, only two firms, ISS and Glass Lewis control about 97% of the proxy advisory market, and both are known to have conflicts of interest and to favor ESG (environment, social, and governance factors) resolutions. If CalSTRS is relying on the information from firms that have known conflicts to inform their proxy voting, is that not also an abdication of authority, and therefore their fiduciary responsibility?

The fiduciary responsibility that public pension plans hold must be at the forefront of all decision making. It is not just something that can be utilized when it’s advantageous to do so, such as when opposing a bill. Instead, it must be a universal consideration for all investment and related decisions.
------------------
Ken Blackwell (@kenblackwell) is a former ambassador to the U.N., former member of the Board of Directors of Fifth-Third Bank and the Fifth-Third Bank holding company, former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Presidential Transition Team, and former Ohio State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati. He currently serves on the Institute for Pension Fund Integrity and on numerous boards of conservative policy organizations. He is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service

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Bernie Sanders Hires Twice-Arrested Illegal Alien As Press Secretary

by Craig Bannister: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has reportedly hired a twice-arrested illegal alien as his deputy national secretary.

Belen Sisa enters the job with one year left of DACA-protection from deportation, The Washington Examiner reported: The hiring of Belen Sisa, an Arizona leftist activist, was announced Wednesday evening. Sisa, who says she was brought to this country illegally from Argentina by her parents at age six, is currently protected from deportation under President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

According the Examiner article, Sisa claims to have organized a prison strike:,dir>She has been arrested at least twice for protests throughout her activist career. As a college senior in 2017, she was jailed for her role in a sit-in outside of Sen. Chuck Schumer's, D-N.Y., office. While in jail, Sisa told reporters that she organized a "prison strike."

Just weeks before that, she was arrested for a protest outside the Senate Hart Office Building.The Examiner report comes the same day that Sen. Sanders’ fellow Democrat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) declared on Twitter that “Tokenism *is* racism” – in reference to Republican Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) allowing an African-American colleague attest to President Donald Trump’s character, as CNSNews.com reported:Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) applauded the “bravery” of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who accused Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) of a racist act Wednesday for daring to allow an African-American colleague testify that President Donald Trump is not a racist.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her praise of Tlaib, including a link to commentary and video of the incident: "Total bravery from @RashidaTlaib as she reminds the nation that TOKENISM *IS* RACISM"

"Rashida Tlaib told GOP Rep. Meadows that using a Black Trump employee as a ‘prop’ to show Trump isn’t racist was a racist act in itself — he responded by demanding her words be struck from the record, nearly in tears"
-----------------------
Craig Bannister is responsible for all CNSNews.com media relations, public relations, and marketing programs.

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Major School Choice Policy Unveiled

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
by Bill Donohue: Yesterday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos unveiled an innovative school choice initiative sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Bradley Byrne. The Education Freedom Scholarships program would funnel $5 billion into locally controlled scholarship programs. It is designed to offer parents school choice, and to provide competition among schools.

The public school establishment, which reflexively puts the best interests of the teacher unions above the best interests of students, is opposed to this program. JoAnn Bartoletti, who heads the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said the initiative would “further starve public schools.” The public schools are currently starved?

Bartoletti misrepresented the program. Sen. Cruz spoke the truth when he said, “This legislation doesn’t take one penny from any public school in America.” That is because it is entirely voluntary.

Taxpayers can elect to make a contribution to the program; they would then receive a dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. Participation is voluntary for students, schools, and states, and would not require a new bureaucratic entity to run it. Moreover, public schools can also participate in it. The competition with Catholic and other private schools would benefit all students.

Families know what is in the best interests of their children better than anyone, and that is why this program is so promising. When parents are empowered, educational achievement follows.

The Education Freedom Scholarships initiative is another promise kept by President Trump. Catholics should welcome it.
-----------------
Bill Donohue is President of the Catholic League

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AOC - Birth Control . . .

. . . In the context of the “Green New Deal” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asks the question is it okay to still have children? in other words, stop having children.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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California Refused 5.6K Requests to Turn over Criminal Illegal Aliens to Federal Officials

by John Binder: The sanctuary state of California refused 5,600 requests by federal immigration officials over two years to turn over criminal illegal aliens, state data finds.

In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) Executive Director Dale Wilcox revealed that within a 27-month period, the state of California had failed to honor about 5,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers which are the holds ICE agents file to local jails and police to request that an illegal alien be turned over to them for arrest and deportation.

Of these 5,600 failed ICE detainers, more than 3,400 were lodged against an illegal alien who had been classified “level 1” and “level 2” offenders — meaning that these illegal aliens had been charged with crimes like homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, drugs, and fraud.

“The bottom line is, sanctuary cities are neither humane or compassionate,” Wilcox told Breitbart News Tonight. “They’re dangerous policies that cost Americans lives … what will it take for these anti-borders politicians to wake up and put the safety and security of their citizens, their legal residents before the interests of criminal aliens.”

About 250 of the ICE detainers not honored had been filed to Napa County and Sonoma County law enforcement officials. These two California counties had sanctuary city policies before the state’s statewide sanctuary policy.

The 5,600 failed requests by ICE to have criminal illegal aliens turned over to them came before California enacted their statewide sanctuary policy, where all local jails and counties are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration officials.

IRLI researchers said records after the passage of California’s sanctuary state policy are likely to show an increased number of cases where local jails and law enforcement officials refused to turn criminal illegal aliens over to ICE.

In a specific case, most recently, Wilcox noted that Napa County, California deputy Riley Jarecki was nearly killed by three-time deported illegal alien Javier Hernandez-Morales during a traffic stop after local officials refused to turn him over to ICE agents for deportation.

“Its own deputy almost got killed as a result of its refusal to honor ICE detainer requests,” Wilcox said. “And this individual had been deported three times in the past … so they say there’s no need emergency or need for a wall, this criminal alien is just walking back into the country.”

ICE had requested four separate times that Hernandez-Morales be turned over to them to be arrested and deported back to Mexico. Three of the detainers were placed with the Napa Couty Sheriff’s Department and one was placed with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. None of the ICE detainers were honored.

Wilcox said Americans’ lives are being put at risk in sanctuary cities and sanctuary states like California, all so that Democrats are able to import potential voters.

“With the Democrats, it’s about potential, future voters,” Wilcox said. “They have an interest in bringing in new voters so that they can win elections. That’s what that’s all about. I mean, 10 years ago, Democrats weren’t out preaching sanctuary cities and open borders, that just wasn’t their party platform. They’ve swallowed this belief that if you want to stay in power, if you want to win future elections, more voters and diverse voters is the way to go.”

“Sanctuary cities are dangerous. They’re not humane, they’re not compassionate,” Wilcox continued. “People are dying. It’s senseless and avoidable deaths. There’s no excuse for politicians to sell out their constituency for potential, future voters.”
-----------------
John Binder (@JxhnBinder) is a reporter for Breitbart News.

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Follow the Rules

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Psychiatrist Lyle Rossiter wrote an article many years ago with the simple title: “Following the Rules.”

He has noticed among his clients and among Americans, in general, an unwillingness to follow basic rules in various arenas.

Approximately half of the US population doesn't like these essential rules. These people call themselves liberals. They support the modern permissive culture, the culture of self-indulgent rule breaking.

The other half of the US population knows that human beings have to follow certain rules to have good lives. These people call themselves conservatives and libertarians. They defend a traditional culture of restraint. These people know the following facts of life.

As he points out, there are consequences for breaking the rules in these five areas:

“In the care of our bodies, we have to obey the rules of physics, chemistry, and biology.” When we break these rules we get fat, we get sick, and we can even die. Moreover the epidemics of substance abuse and STDs also illustrate this principle of sowing and reaping.

“In marital and family relations, we have to follow certain rules of fidelity, thoughtfulness, and responsibility.” When we don’t, divorce and broken families result. Children are raised without both parents and grow up with emotional deficits or scars.

“In economic transactions, we have to obey the laws of supply, demand, price, and scarcity.” Failure to do so results in consumer debt and bankruptcy. At the national and international level rising debt and an economic crisis occur.

“In social behavior, we have to follow rules of honesty, fairness, mutuality, and courtesy.” If we disobey those rules, we have social turmoil. The coarseness of society is seen in profanity, vulgarity, and violence.

“In political transactions, we have to follow rules set out in our Constitution that protect individuals from harmful actions by governments.” Breaking those rules leads to political corruption and chaos.

If these are the rules, why do we fail to follow them? Rossiter believes it is because, “We are driven by sexual and aggressive impulses, by attachment and dependent impulses, by acquisitive and narcissistic impulses.”

These are the rules for success. Follow them, and you are likely to succeed. Break them, and you will probably fail.
------------
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

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Warren’s No Socialist Mar 1, 2019

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Senator Elizabeth Warren knows that when people trade, both sides gain. She made that clear last year, in a fascinating interview in The Atlantic. But then she went blithely on, saying that she could fix markets by creating a “level playing field.”

Markets create value, but Mrs. Warren asserts that “when the markets are not level playing fields, all that wealth is scraped in one direction.”

How? People are still trading, even in bumpy playing fields.

She turns to the crisis of 2008, when many people discovered that they had entered into unsustainable mortgages. She explains how her shiny new regulatory program leveled that playing field.

But her scheme did not even out the bumps in the mortgage industry that existed before the crash:
  • the moral hazard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,
  • the previous congressional “fix” that pushed banks to accept poor people as good loan risks when they were not (in the name of racial justice, of course),
  • the regulatory rule that created ratings agencies sans competitive market incentives, and
  • the Federal Reserve policies that fed the whole housing bubble mania.
She just added another burdensome layer of government.

Politicans sure love to pile on.

Now she offers a new scheme, a child-care program that Reihan Salam, this week again in The Atlantic, says “risks increasing the federal deficit, driving up the cost of child care, and squeezing stay-at-home parents.”

And Mr. Salam says that last risk is one Warren should understand particularly well, since she had “made her reputation as a public intellectual by warning against it.”

Warren’s no socialist — she wants to “save capitalism”! Yet by only adding to government kludge, she might as well be one.

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.

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While Not Quite 3% - 2018 The Strongest Economy Since 2005 on Growth & Jobs

by Robert Romano: President Donald Trump’s second year in office marked the strongest economic growth since 2005 at 2.9 percent, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, beating every one of President Barack Obama’s years in office — for now.

It was by a nose, and the numbers are still subject to revision.

Obama’s strongest year was 2015, also at 2.9 percent. But both figures are subject to rounding. So, technically, 2018’s growth was slightly stronger at 2.8841 percent, compared to 2015’s 2.8811 percent. And to be fair, it will not take that much of a downward revision for the fourth quarter’s 2.58 percent number — only about 0.05 percent down — in order for 2015 to still come out on top as the strongest year in recent memory in terms of growth.

Of course, that’s only a problem if one thinks this is as good as the Trump economy will get.

Leaving that aside, the economy itself has not grown above 3 percent since 2005, and not above 4 percent 2000. So, to come anywhere close to 3 percent nowadays is still something of an achievement.

The White House touted the fourth-quarter-to-fourth-quarter number of 3.1 percent being the first time since 2005 that it was above 3 percent. That’s true.

But there have also been other four quarter periods in recent memory that were 3 percent or higher: 2017-Q3-to-2018-Q3 was 3 percent, 2014-Q2-to-2015-Q2 was 3.4 percent, 2014-Q1-to-2015-Q1 was 3.8 percent, 2013-Q3-to-2014-Q3 was 3 percent and 2009-Q3-to-2010-Q3 was 3.2 percent.

That is why it is important to consider other economic data for the sake of comparison. Not all growth is created equal. Does it create enough jobs? Does it lower unemployment and increase labor participation? Are incomes rising? These are the numbers that really matter the most because they make the biggest difference in individuals’ lives, livelihoods and families.

They also happen to be some of the areas where the Trump economy is the strongest.

Real average annual earnings were up 1.7 percent in the past 12 months and appear to be on an upward track, but there’s still room for growth there as it keeps ahead of overall inflation. Incomes were up 1.8 percent for 2017, but we’ll have to wait for September to find out the number for 2018.

On jobs, in 2018, unemployment came in at an unadjusted, annualized 3.9 percent, compared to 2015’s 5.3 percent, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since Trump took office, 4.6 million jobs have been created.

The employment population ratio for 16-64-year-old working age adults has improved, from 68.7 percent in 2015 to 70.7 percent in 2018.

In fact, 16-to-64-year-olds not in the labor force peaked in 2015 at 55.9 million, which came down to 54.5 million in 2018.

Labor participation among 16-to-64-year-olds has similarly improved, increasing from a 34-year low in 2015 of 72.61 percent to now 73.63 percent in 2018.

And that’s with a growing population of working age adults, albeit a slowing one as fertility has dropped markedly in the past 50 years.

Which, by the way, is one of the biggest reasons for the economic slowdown. As the growth of the civilian labor force — that is, those working and looking for work — has slowed, so too has the growth of the economy as a whole.

It’s no mystery. The civilian labor force tells you how many people are participating in the economy. Say, that number was dropping every year. Why would the economy grow? It would mean there were fewer people working and therefore buying goods and services. Some will quibble that perhaps that why GDP is not the best indicator, but when you break it down, economic growth is about how many more people are working and spending money and how much more are they making compared to last year.

Which is why, as fertility drops in the coming decades — which should lead to downward pressure on demand — it will become harder, not easier, to achieve robust growth. Just ask Japan, whose economy has barely grown nominally in 20 years amid a declining population. Which means we must adjust our expectations about what sort of growth is achievable, something politics is often slow to do.

But make no mistake, growth matters. The national debt, now $22 trillion, doesn’t care if the population declines and there’s fewer individuals to pay it off. In the last year alone, the debt to GDP ratio increased from 103.3 percent to 105.2 percent. Our nation’s adversaries that are pouring their own economic growth into their militaries will not care if we are ready or not for the next major conflict.

The Trump economy has some bright spots, noted above, that show younger Americans are entering the labor force and working in greater numbers than they were before. It’s the lowest unemployment in a generation, and historic lows for minorities.

It’s fair to say the Trump economy is making the most of the growth it is currently seeing, a testament to the President’s focus on lowering taxes, particularly business taxes, which has helped boost hiring, as well as the deregulation and emphasis on bringing production back to the U.S. via better trade deals. In the near-term, we will need more of that to help even more Americans see the fruits of their labors.

Looking forward to 2020 and beyond, to see more growth, policies conducive to creating jobs must continue but there is also the business cycle to contend with — and long term, the demographic issues facing not only the U.S. but the world amid declining fertility are quite real. If we really want more growth, long term, we need more babies.
----------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, 2018, Strongest Economy, Since 2005, Growth, Jobs 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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  • 8/21/16 - 8/28/16
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  • 9/18/16 - 9/25/16
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  • 10/16/16 - 10/23/16
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  • 10/30/16 - 11/6/16
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  • 11/13/16 - 11/20/16
  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
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  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
  • 2/5/17 - 2/12/17
  • 2/12/17 - 2/19/17
  • 2/19/17 - 2/26/17
  • 2/26/17 - 3/5/17
  • 3/5/17 - 3/12/17
  • 3/12/17 - 3/19/17
  • 3/19/17 - 3/26/17
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  • 4/2/17 - 4/9/17
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  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
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  • 12/17/17 - 12/24/17
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  • 12/31/17 - 1/7/18
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  • 1/21/18 - 1/28/18
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  • 12/2/18 - 12/9/18
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  • 1/20/19 - 1/27/19
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  • 2/17/19 - 2/24/19
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  • 3/3/19 - 3/10/19
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