Bombs Away !! A Razor Thin Congressional Democrat Majority Is About to Transform and Break America and Must Be Stopped: Here’s How

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

The U.S. House and Senate Democrats are attempting to ram through over 2,500 pages of transformational legislation with a Senate reconciliation vote (50 + VP) and a House vote that has a 5 vote Democrat majority (smallest in past century). THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO MANDATE FOR THIS. It is our belief that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer know their majorities are at great risk in November 2022 and with the disastrous record of President Biden thus far (Afghanistan, foreign policy, Covid, southern border, inflation, economy, energy, etc., etc.), they are desperate to cement their goal of permanent Democrat power with an entitlement state that cannot be reversed and irrevocably alters America and our individual sovereignty. Enormous increases in federal debt, crushing  tax burdens for all citizens, severe inflation beyond what is now occurring and economic stagnation are just some of the very predictable near and long term results. This progressive, socialistic legislation will cement this Democrat dream. It is the centerpiece of a Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez socialist conquest of America. IT MUST BE STOPPED.

The TAKE ACTION box below addresses this assault on Americans in greater detail. Be assured that the majority of U.S. citizens do not want this legislation. Please refer to the paragraphs in the TAKE ACTION link below. How can we stop this assault on American families, their values, individual liberty, citizenship, energy, small business, and future opportunity and economic growth for future generations? We must inform our U.S. Representatives and Senators that it is absolutely unacceptable to do this. We suggest the following themes in short emails easily sent (please cut and paste the messages below) to legislators from the TAKE ACTION link below. The email portals and phone numbers for the Arizona U.S. Representatives and Senators Sinema and Kelly (up for reelection in 2022) are there. It takes only a few minutes to inform them how you, your families, your neighbors and so many you know are against this perverse effort to transform America. Please do not hesitate – we are moving toward this cliff very quickly. Senator Sinema may (??) stay strong and not vote for it. Senator Manchin from West Virginia has said no to this but he has caved in the past – he should be contacted and strongly reminded his state is a deep red state and his constituents are vehemently against this. Senator Kelly is facing election in 14 months – his vulnerability is essential to point out. All U.S. Representatives face election every two years – make it clear that they are all at significant risk.

Here are four suggested messages for each of the following groups – 1. Senators Sinema and Manchin, 2. Senator Kelly, 3. AZ Democrat Representatives (5) and 4. AZ Republican Representatives (4). Please move on this – repetitively and forcefully make your voices heard and felt as often as possible. If this disaster is foisted on the nation, there is little chance to turn it back – entitlements are never removed. Ergo – BOMBS AWAY. Let it rip and do not relent in informing  them until this assault on every American and our great Republic is stopped.

(1) Senator Sinema (or Manchin),

Dear Senator Sinema (or Manchin),

I ask that you reject the pending legislation in the Senate that is moving toward a reconciliation vote (50 + the Vice-President). It is not a true reconciliation process but rather transformational legislation that has absolutely no bipartisan support and intended to produce one-party rule in America, truly an un-American legislative goal. As we move through the Covid pandemic of the past 18 months and recover the nation’s economy and some semblance of normal American life, passing this legislation will not benefit the nation, your constituents or our children’s future. Intellectual honesty demands that it be rejectedif this ‘budget’ reconciliation bill becomes law, every current issue or crisis in America will be worsened (debt, energy, strong inflation, immigration, taxes, healthcare, etc.) and the blame will be on the party that forced it into being – you and your party.

You have publicly stated your objections to this attempt to transform America with a single party vote with its huge expansion of the federal government, vastly more crushing debt and taxes on all, yes all, citizens. You are in an historic moment and I implore you to vote no on this legislation. You represent Arizonans (or West Virginians) but your vote greatly impacts all American citizens. The majority of your constituents are polling strongly against this legislation and its intended purpose. Please stay strong and vote no on what is clearly Bernie Sander’s vision of  America’s future.

(2) Senator Kelly:

Dear Senator Kelly,

You are at an historic moment in this nation’s history. As a new freshman Senator with an impending election, you have the ability to determine the outcome of the reconciliation bill being pushed through the Senate. Arizonans know that it is not a true reconciliation process but rather transformational legislation that has absolutely no bipartisan support and intended to produce one-party rule in America, truly an un-American legislative goal. As we move through the Covid pandemic of the past 18 months and recover the nation’s economy and some semblance of normal American life, passing this legislation will not benefit the nation, your constituents or our children’s future. Intellectual honesty demands that it be rejected – if this ‘budget’ bill becomes law, every current issue and crisis in America will be worsened (massive debt, energy, strong inflation, immigration, crushing taxes, healthcare, etc.) and the blame will be on the party that forced it into being – you and your party.

November 2022 is less than 14 months away. This legislation will determine the outcome of next year’s election despite multiple issues of great distress for the American people. I implore you to reject Senator Schumer’s (and Senator Bernie Sander’s) legislative attempt to transform America to one-party rule and vote no on what should never be passed without bipartisan support for all constituents of our Republic.

(3) Democrat U.S. Representatives (AZ):

Dear Representative …..,

As an Arizonan and American, I implore you to vote no on the pending 10,000 page (yes, 10,000 pages!) legislation in the U.S. House that will be subjected to a Senate reconciliation vote (50 + the Vice President) to pass. You know very well, as Speaker Pelosi does, that it is not a true reconciliation process but rather transformational legislation that has absolutely no bipartisan support and intended to produce one-party rule in America, truly an un-American legislative goal. As we move through the Covid pandemic of the past 18 months and recover the nation’s economy and some semblance of normal American life, passing this legislation will not benefit the nation, your constituents or our children’s future. Intellectual honesty demands that it be rejected – if this ‘budget’ bill becomes law, every current issue and crisis in America will be worsened (massive debt, energy, strong inflation, immigration, crushing taxes, healthcare, etc.) and the blame will be on the party that forced it into being – you and your party.

November 2022 is less than 14 months away. This legislation will determine the outcome of next year’s election despite multiple issues of great distress for the American people. I implore you to reject Speaker Pelosi’s and Senator Schumer’s (and Senator Bernie Sander’s) legislative attempt to transform America to one-party rule and vote no on what should never be passed without bipartisan support for all constituents of our Republic.

(4) Republican U.S. Representatives (AZ):

Dear Representative …..,

We know that the 10,000 page House bill that will be treated as a reconciliation bill in the Senate (50 + the Vice President) will get absolutely no Republican votes. I thank you for that. Arizonans know that it is not a true reconciliation process but rather transformational legislation that has absolutely no bipartisan support and intended to produce one-party rule in America, truly an un-American legislative goal. As we move through the Covid pandemic of the past 18 months and recover the nation’s economy and some semblance of normal American life, passing this legislation will not benefit the nation, your constituents or our children’s future.

I humbly implore you to publicly and forcefully call this egregious legislative attempt what it is – an attempt by a leftist dominated Democrat Party desperate to transform the nation to a progressive, socialist ruling class and one-party dominance. It is un-American, it is wrong and it is against everything this Republic with its founding principles is about.

The battle is now joined, the polling is not with the Democrats and despite your minority status, it is time to shout out the truth loud and clear to the public, to every U.S. House and Senate member and to the media – this is a Bernie Sander’s socialist assault on the nation and its citizens that will diminish our liberty, our people and our children’s future. Stand strong, be loud and clear and please influence every Democrat House member who is not radical – if this process becomes law, it will be disastrous  for their party and for each of them in 14 very short months but with incalculable and permanent damage to our nation and its future.

Hillsdale Imprimis: The Disaster at Our Southern Border

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on July 22, 2021, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

In just a few short months, the Biden administration has created a disaster on the southern border of the United States. It did so by methodically—and by all indications intentionally—undoing every meaningful border security measure that had been in place. As a result, we have had five straight months of over 170,000 illegal immigrants apprehended at the border. The number in June was the highest in over 20 years. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been effectively shut down.

Our national discussion of border security is generally misleading, and it is designed to be misleading by those who favor open borders. They frame the issue as if the American people face a binary choice: either let all immigrants in because they are “looking for a better life” or close our borders completely and inhumanely. But this is a false choice. The unspoken alternative is to enforce the law, taking in immigrants who enter the U.S. legally while securing our borders against those who attempt to enter illegally—particularly those meaning to do us harm.

Illegal immigration is, of course, nothing new. It has been a problem in our country for many decades. What is relatively new is the total lack of concern we see in the Biden administration, especially in terms of the national security aspect of border control.

Unbelievable as it may seem to us today, it was only 15 years ago—with the 9/11 terrorist attacks still fresh in our minds—when Congress came together in a bipartisan effort to pass the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The Secure Fence Act directed the Department of Homeland Security to take appropriate actions to achieve “operational control” over U.S. land and maritime borders to “prevent unlawful entry.” It defined operational control as the prevention of all unlawful entries into the U.S., including terrorists, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband. And it specifically set the goal of “provid[ing] at least two layers of reinforced fencing, installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors.” It added thousands of Border Patrol personnel, mandated the acquisition of new technologies, and resulted in the construction of more than 650 miles of physical barrier along the southern border of the U.S. between 2006 and 2011.

To repeat, this legislation was passed in a bipartisan spirit, with 80 members of the U.S. Senate voting to approve it. This included Senator Barack Obama, who said in 2005: “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.” It included Senator Chuck Schumer, who said in 2009: “Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple. . . . People who enter the United States without permission are illegal aliens and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who enter the U.S. legally.” And it included Senator Joe Biden, who said in 2006: “Let me tell you something, folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons—hear me, tons—of everything from byproducts from methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin, and it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico.”

Some attribute the breakdown of the bipartisan consensus on securing the border to the fact that Democrats came to look on illegal immigrants as much-needed Democrat voters. For whatever reason, a decade later these same Democratic leaders were lambasting President Trump’s border wall policy as “immoral and ineffective,” even “racist,” and fiercely opposing any and every serious proposal aimed at enforcing immigration law.

***

When I say that the Biden administration methodically undid every meaningful border security policy that it inherited, what specifically do I mean? I’ve mentioned the border wall. And it is a demonstrable fact that border walls, placed in strategic locations, act as effective impediments and improve the ability of law enforcement to drive and dictate the behavior of criminal organizations rather than being driven and dictated to themselves. One of the most ridiculous criticisms I’ve heard is that the wall is “a fourteenth century solution for a twenty-first century problem.” The same could be said of the wheel, which also still works pretty well.

In any case, the first bullet point of President Biden’s budget for the Department of Homeland Security this year trumpets the fact that not a cent will go towards the construction of border walls.

Yet despite the amount of intense debate the border wall engendered, it was not the only or even the most important border security measure instituted under the Trump administration. Let me outline two other key game changers.

Prior to Trump’s presidency, a combination of three things had the effect of forcing the Department of Homeland Security to institute a “catch and release” policy for illegal immigrants: the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which mandated that the U.S. detain all unaccompanied minors from non-contiguous countries (countries other than Mexico and Canada); Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an executive policy adopted in 2012 to allow some of the migrants brought into the country illegally as children to receive a renewable deferred action from deportation; and the Flores Settlement Agreement, a 1997 court decree that was reinterpreted in 2015 to prevent the U.S. from detaining migrant families and unaccompanied minors for more than 20 days. In addition to catch and release, these things combined to bring about a demographic shift in illegal immigration that was immediately exploited by smuggling organizations—a shift from the influx of predominantly single adult males from Mexico to an explosive influx of families and unaccompanied minors from far and wide, and particularly from Central America. By 2016, the message had been sent and received that America’s southern border was wide open.

In response to this, the Trump administration negotiated the Migrant Protection Protocol, a bilateral agreement with Mexico more commonly known as the Remain in Mexico Program….

*****

Continue reading this article, published August 2021 at Imprimis.

Mark Morgan is a visiting fellow at the Federation for American Immigration Reform and at the Heritage Foundation. He served as acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Trump administration and as chief of U.S. Border Patrol in the Obama administration. A Marine veteran and a former officer in the LAPD, he served for over 20 years in the FBI, including as the assistant section chief of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime Branch; deputy on-scene commander in Baghdad, Iraq; special agent in charge of the El Paso Division; and assistant director in charge of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He has a B.S. in engineering from Central Missouri State University and a J.D. from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Biden Policy Imposes Vaccine Mandate On Border Patrol Agents, Not Migrants

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Border patrol agents who’ve spent their careers protecting the U.S. now face termination if they refuse to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by November. At the same time, the Biden administration is imposing no vaccination requirements on those entering the U.S. illegally as a condition for being processed and released into the U.S.

In response, U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Tom McClintock, R-Calif., sent Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas a letter expressing their disbelief that “the Biden administration will allow COVID-positive illegal aliens to surge across the border but will terminate dedicated law-enforcement officers who do not comply” with a presidential mandate.

“The Biden border crisis continues to worsen as illegal aliens stream across the southwest border as a result of President Biden’s and your radical immigration policies,” they wrote. “As the brave men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol work tirelessly to respond to the Administration’s manufactured border crisis,” DHS is threatening to terminate a significant number of agents who refuse to comply with the order.

The congressmen argue the agents’ jobs are made even harder “when senior officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris, spread false accusations of cruelty, as has occurred in recent days to mounted officers in Del Rio, while ignoring reports of attacks against Border Patrol personnel.”

Biden’s mandate “risks reducing the already-depleted Border Patrol workforce in the middle of the unfolding border crisis,” they add.

Since February, more than 1.2 million people have been apprehended illegally entering the U.S., and none have been subject to a vaccine mandate.

Retired Border Patrol agent from the Del Rio sector, Frank Lopez Jr., told The Center Square that the presidential mandate “is a total betrayal by the government that is supposed to uphold the constitution Border Patrol agents swore to protect.

“Our agents swear an oath to enforce the law codified by the U.S. Congress,” he said. “We have a system in place. But by presidential executive order, millions of illegals are allowed to violate immigration law and agents may be terminated who follow the law who don’t want to get the COVID shots.”

Another administration policy requires those legally applying for permanent resident status to receive both COVID-19 shots by Oct. 1, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandate, or their application would be denied.

Another executive order requires millions of workers to be regularly tested for COVID-19 as a condition for employment if they are not vaccinated, but Mayorkas acknowledged on Sept. 24 that the majority of the 15,000 Haitians illegally congregating in Del Rio, Texas, weren’t tested for COVID-19 before they were released.

“Yeah, so, we did not test that population of individuals,” he said. “I do not know whether anyone was sick with COVID. We certainly had some individuals get sick, not specifically with COVID, to my knowledge, and we addressed their illnesses. In fact, we set up medical tents that had a certain standard of ability to address medical needs.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News that “the Biden administration cares far more about people who are not in this country than he does about American citizens who live in this country.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has vowed to fight the Biden vaccine mandates on employers, joining a multistate coalition.

And U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, a former Texas Secretary of State, argues, “Under the Biden Administration, illegal migrants are not tested for COVID-19 or faced with vaccine mandate. But American workers can be fined or fired for not getting the vaccine. President Biden cares more about illegal immigrants than the safety and security of Americans.”

In July, Axios reported that illegal immigrants weren’t required to receive COVID-19 shots prior to being released into the U.S. By that time, more than 18% of migrant families and 20% of unaccompanied minors who entered the U.S. illegally were testing positive for the virus, the New York Times reported.

By mid-September when pressed on why the Biden administration would require American employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or their employers would be fined, forcing them to potentially lose their jobs or undergo regular testing and mask requirements, when the same standard wasn’t being applied to illegal immigrants, refugees or migrants, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki simply replied, “That’s correct.”

The thousands of Haitians who entered Del Rio, Psaki said, who weren’t providing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test isn’t “the same thing” as people who fly into the country legally, she said. “They are assessed for whether they have any symptoms. … If they have symptoms, the intention is for them to be quarantined. That is our process.

“They’re not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time. I don’t think it’s the same thing.”

But the roughly 15,000 Haitians under the bridge weren’t quarantined or tested, DHS acknowledged. The majority were also not deported, instead given “Notices to Appear” to return to immigration court. While they wait during the 12- to 36-month process, they reside in the U.S.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told The Center Square, “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Biden administration would once again put its hypocrisy on full display by threatening the livelihoods of American citizens with an unconstitutional vaccine mandate while simultaneously refusing to fully enforce Title 42 protocols and releasing migrants into the interior, many of whom are COVID positive.

“We need to hold this administration accountable for its impeachable failures at the border, fully enforce Title 42, and put the American people’s safety first.”

*****

This article was published on September 30, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square.

Book Review: Faustian Bargain-The Soviet-German Partnership And The Origins of the Second World War

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Author: Ian Ona Johnson.  Published by Oxford University Press.

It would be safe to say that World War I set up the circumstances for The Great Depression and World War II and that World War II set the stage for the Cold War and the growth of the worldwide welfare state. Thus the two wars coming some twenty years apart, with the worldwide depression in between, really does much to explain both the 20th century and even the 21st century.

For these reasons, studying both wars and the Depression is worthwhile. Insofar as World War II history is concerned, both the history profession and popular culture have been German-centric. For example how many movies have you seen featuring Nazis as opposed to movies that feature Stalin?

After reading this book, it is also fairly obvious that WWII really started almost immediately after WWI, and the team that started it, at least in Europe, were Russia and Germany. Aggression was not limited to Hitler.

We earlier reviewed Sean McMeekin’s magnificent Stalin’s War, a book heavily relying on recent access to Russian archives, that has reshaped our view of World War II. It was indeed Stalin’s War, in that he helped start it and profited the most from it. The West went to war (or at least Britain and France did) to save Poland. In the Pacific region, the U.S. got crossways with Japan over their atrocities in China. At the end of the conflict, Russia got Poland, the rest of Eastern Europe, half of Germany, North Korea, and China. Not a bad haul for having a hand at starting the whole thing.

McMeekin’s book concentrates on the role of U.S. Lend-Lease programs, Roosevelt’s diplomatic bungling, and the Soviet spy penetration of the Roosevelt Administration. He certainly mentions the pre-war relationship between two strange bedfellows, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. But this relationship was not the primary focus of his book.

Professor Ian Ona Johnson of Notre Dame University fills in additional details about the pre-war relationship with another breakthrough work that again concentrates on the recently available Soviet archives.  

Most of us think of this relationship as starting with the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty or what is commonly called the Hitler Stalin Pact, which dates from 1939.

However, military cooperation between the new Soviet Union and Germany began as early as 1919, right after the end of the Great War. It was codified in the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922. Military, technological, and economic ties grew deeper throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, long before the rise of Hitler

Both nations felt slighted by the English-French order established for Europe and so they decided to form a strategic partnership between the aristocratic German military and the new Russian revolutionary government that openly declared the goal of worldwide communism. On the German side, this continued even during the period of the Weimar Republic, often without full knowledge of the fleeting democratic government.

Germany built large bases to build and perfect aircraft at Lipestak and a large base for tank development at Kama. The earliest cooperation was to develop poison gas, aircraft, and aircraft engines.

Germany got a secret place to develop air superiority tactics, new radio coordination of armor and tactical air assets, and new tank technology. Russia got technology that they both purchased and stole, and developed much on their own through reverse engineering of German designs, especially of aircraft and aircraft engines. Germany got raw materials, while Russia got loans, cash flow, technology, machine tools, and an officer corps trained in Germany.

It was a Faustian Bargain because never in history have two countries done more to build up each other’s military, only to turn it on each other with incredible ferocity. What made it even stranger was the unlikely union between Junker aristocracy from the German side making an alliance with class hating Bolshevik Russia on the other.

Germany was thus able to evade many of the restrictions of the Versailles Treaty, all the while Socialist governments in England pursued appeasement and France produced a cavalcade of weak and ineffectual governments. Once Germany decided to openly re-arm, they had much of the technology and tactics in place having honed both of them in Soviet Russia.

As it became more clear that Germany needed to be confronted about rearmament and treaty violations, the West was paralyzed and pursued disarmament. Much like today, the International Left held the view that arms races create international tension, instead of the more realistic view that international tension creates arms races. They felt then, as they do today, that signing agreements with partners that have no interest in honoring agreements, leads to peace. As it became more clear what Germany’s intentions were, the West did not want to spend money on the military but rather their socialist experiments at home. Appeasement of Hitler and actual reduction in military spending occurred. France decided early on they could not move to blunt Germany by herself but could only do so with Britain.

The most powerful military in Europe, that could have confronted Germany, was Russia. But these two countries were partners in crime for what they viewed as their own strategic interests.

As Professor McMeekin points out, Russia wanted war in Europe, feeling they could exploit the chaos. They certainly did, but almost perished in the process. If not for U.S. Lend-Lease, they would have.

At the outbreak of the War, the two gangster nations split Poland. Germany struck West conquering France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and Holland,  followed by attacking England while Russia struck Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, and reached into Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria.

It would not be an understatement that the German war machine in the early part of the war during the Blitzkrieg and the Battle of Britain phase, was supplied with Russian fuel. Industrial production was supported with Russian metals, and both civilians and the military were fed with Russian grain.

Russia in turn got money, technological transfers, and training. They even reorganized their general staff and officer education along German lines.

Even as Hitler made his statements about eliminating Jewish Bolshevism, the two countries maintained an uncomfortable but significant alliance. About 75% of each countries trade was with each other, which again bursts the myth that countries that trade with each other have too much to lose to go to war.

German dependence on Soviet oil came to a head when Stalin made moves towards Romania, Germany’s only non-Russian source of oil. The two gangster nations then went to war with Hitler making the first overt military moves while Stalin was attempting the economic asphyxiation of Germany.

Several lessons come leaping out of the book. Disarmament is a hoax as is relying on the “international community” to do anything to really stop aggression.

It is not a good idea to be dependent on Russia for energy.

Civilian control of the military is very important. At least from the German perspective, the ability of the military to operate outside the scrutiny of the elected officials during the period of the Weimar Republic was quite astonishing. 

Trade and commerce do not forestall war, and in fact, can promote it.

When a country is brutal to its own people, it will very likely be brutal with its neighbors. Countries that turn a blind eye to internal brutality and aggressive behavior just for the benefit of trade or to avoid the cost of a robust defense, are enablers of dictators.

Businessmen want to sell products and sometimes do so to the detriment of their own country. It is not analogous to the parasite that kills its host. We don’t even have a good word for it when the host promotes and feeds the adversary that soon kills the host.

Be wary of businessmen who get state financing and credit guarantees to enable trade.

Be wary of governments that provide state financing and take the risk out of business judgment.

Weak leaders can promote war almost as effectively and belligerent leaders.

Never underestimate the ability of people to delude themselves about the nature of tyrannical governments.

Ideological differences did not stop close alliances between countries, both between Russia and Germany, and later Russia and the U.S.

Secular ideology is easily as persuasive to both populations and political leaders as religious wars, although the secular ideologue is so arrogant he can’t see the commonality.

Finally, it was astonishing that after Hitler went after his domestic political opposition, killing about 84 people (the night of the long knives), an inspired Stalin went on his rampage of purges of both the party and the Russian military that he killed millions. Ironically, the self-inflicted loss of his German-trained officer corps very nearly cost him the entire country.

Although current conditions are not completely analogous, as I read the book I kept thinking about present-day U.S. relations with Communist China. We are currently building up a rival just as surely as Russia built up Germany and Germany built up Russia. We hear many of the same arguments made about trade and the cost of military build-up.

The elites in this country have been very pro-Communist China and many of our universities and communications companies, sports leagues, film studios,  have lucrative deals with China. The business ties many of our political leaders have with China are disturbing.

We both sell technology and allow the Chinese to steal our technology. American business invests heavily in China, even as the Chinese brutally crackdown on their own people. Again we see the willingness to grant favors to a country that kills its own people for political and religious reasons. We even subsidized their biological warfare capability and helped unleash Covid-19 on ourselves. 

It would seem we have made a Faustian Bargain of our own. Let us hope it does not turn out the same way as the last one.

National School Boards Association Calls on Biden to Police Parents Using Domestic Terror Laws

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note:  There has been an increasing number of statements by public officials of late that parents are not the number one stakeholder in the education of their children. Hence the term “public school” should be best termed a “government school”, because teachers’ unions, educational bureaucrats, and elected school board officials, are increasingly taking the view that school children belong to the state, to be molded as they see fit. Public participation in the process should be excluded while the public pays the bills. As parents push back, their rights are being thwarted and the educational establishment wishes to label differences of opinion as “domestic terrorism”. Both developments are frightening and must be resisted. Either that or get your children out of public schools.

 

A group representing school boards across the country asked President Joe Biden to enforce federal statutes that combat terrorism to address violence and threats directed toward school board members and public schools in a Wednesday letter.

A letter from the National School Boards Association asked the Biden administration to use statutes such as the Gun-Free School Zones Act and the USA Patriot Act to stop threats and violence directed toward school board members over actions that could be “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” according to the letter.

“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat,” the National School Boards Association wrote in the letter. The letter asks for “federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.”

On top of requesting federal aid, the letter noted several other issues related to school boards, which have been battlegrounds for culture wars over mask rules, COVID-19 vaccinations, schools reopening, critical race theory, and remote learning.

“Unfortunately, it appears that the NSBA believes that parents, who are trying to get a seat at the table in order to have a say in their children’s education, are domestic terrorists,” Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It really goes to show that the educational industrial complex is not there to cooperatively work with parents to shape a premiere educational system for their children, but is rather beholden to special interests that only care about their political power.”

The letter also called on Biden to use the U.S. Postal Service “to intervene against threatening letters and cyberbullying attacks,” citing growing threats from “extremist hate organizations showing up at school board meetings.” The letter blamed “propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction” for “attacks against school board members and educators.”

“This propaganda continues despite the fact that critical race theory is not taught in public schools and remains a complex law school and graduate school subject well beyond the scope of a K-12 class,” the letter added.

Education Week pressed Chip Slaven, National School Boards Association interim executive director and CEO, who said the organization’s main goals in calling for a coordinated effort between local, state, and federal law enforcement was “safety and deterrence” over incidents that “are beyond random acts.”

“What we are now seeing is a pattern of threats and violence occurring across state lines and via online platforms, which is why we need the federal government’s assistance,” Slaven told Education Week.

The letter also cited “watchlists,” which are “spreading misinformation that boards are adopting critical race theory curriculum and working to maintain online learning by haphazardly attributing it to COVID-19.”

In Loudoun County, Virginia, members of an “anti-racist” Facebook group created a list of parents and teachers to retaliate against for their anti-critical race theory stance. The online group included Beth Barts, a member of the Loudoun County School Board, which prompted an effort led by parents and community members to remove her and five of her fellow board members.

Shortly after the discovery of the Facebook group, an advisory board at Loudoun County Public Schools posted, but later deleted, social media messages that declared anti-critical race theory activists “can and will” be silenced.

*****

This article was published October 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

As China Celebrates a Birthday, Hong Kong Has a Funeral

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

On October 1 last year, China celebrated its 70th anniversary of one-party rule. It was marked by a conspicuous display of military prowess, including the unveiling of new weaponry. This type of celebration had been relegated to just one each decade, with smaller commemorations on the five year marks. But with China’s increasing power, and the rise of Xi Jinping, there have been five large celebrations in the last decade alone. Xi, China’s Communist Party General Secretary, President and Central Military Commission Chairman, was the guest of honor. Not content with merely collecting titles, he has also snapped up many of the limited freedoms his citizens had previously enjoyed.

So what was this anniversary party like? All of Beijing was on a lockdown, especially the neighborhoods near Tiananmen Square. Anything that could be flown, like drones, balloons, or even racing pigeons, was restricted. Hotel guests were informed that there would be limitations on when they could enter and exit their hotels leading up to the event. Restaurants were closed, or had limited hours. In the Chinese regime, these were only small inconveniences. They were expected on the part of the Chinese people.

In Hong Kong however, these types of intrusions were anything but expected. For Hong Kongese, freedom is still within living memory. At the same time, much of Hong Kong was protesting National Day, resulting in the police shooting of a young man, the first victim of police firearms in nearly 4 months of continuous protests. Earlier that summer, Beijing had passed the new National Security Law, a draconian set of vague rules that essentially make any sort of dissent in Hong Kong illegal and punishable by extreme measures. Beijing had agreed to allow Hong Kong to be self-run as an independent regime until 2047 as part of the agreement hammered out by Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping to return Hong Kong from British to Chinese control in steps and stages. But where China had been chipping away at this wall of freedom, it finally brought out the sledgehammers.

We saw terrible incursions on the independent judicial process in the case of Tong Ying-kit, the first individual to be charged and convicted under the new regime. The English common law traditions, which the Hong Kongese had long used, were set aside. Gone were jury trials, replaced by a panel of 3 judges appointed by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, a puppet of Beijing. So Tong Ying-kit will now serve 9 years for simply riding a motorcycle into a police barricade and carrying a banner with “Revolution of Our Times, Liberate Hong Kong” emblazoned on it.

Of course, this is not the only thing that China has done to undermine the “one country, two systems” divide to which they agreed. This year, Beijing imposed stricter voting limitations. Currently, only 4,900 voters were allowed to select 364 positions out of 412 candidates, meaning many Pro-Beijing “patriot” candidates were running unopposed. There was a presence of 6,000 police officers at the polls — more than one officer present per voter. Over the past year there have been mass arrests of pro-democracy activists, and the voluntary and involuntary disbandment of groups, as it has become too dangerous to hold contrary opinions.

China has even decided only to allow mainlanders to purchase tickets for the Winter Olympics in Beijing this February. The integration of Hong Kong only goes so far. The Chinese government seems much more interested in punishing the Hong Kongese for their truculence, rather than including them as full citizens.

So every year China celebrates National Day. And every year we mourn the loss of a free Hong Kong.

*****

This article was published on October 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from AIER,  American Institute for Economic Research.

Our Failed Medical Establishment

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Our country has long known that our established medical oversight operations were a failure. The FDA suffers from bureaucratic inertness. We finally as a nation passed a Right-to-Try law, which returns control of medical decisions back to the doctor and patient instead of a spiritless administration. Faced with an international pandemic, we have now seen the costs associated with our disastrous medical oversight.

I previously published a column (see here) questioning the wisdom of our elected leaders regarding the enforcement of vaccine mandates. The column addressed two issues: 1) Determining what punishment a public employee incurs from not getting vaccinated, and 2) Why is there no acknowledgment of natural immunity.

The day before that column was published, I received a weekly update from a Los Angeles County Supervisor. Two supervisors were proposing the same policies as President Biden had for our national employees. Los Angeles County has been and continues to be at the forefront of enforcing strict mandates regarding COVID matters. You are required to wear a mask while sitting at a baseball game at Dodger Stadium, while you can drive to the neighboring counties such as Orange and Ventura where masks are not required to enter a restaurant. I guess those people just have a death wish.

I sent an email to Supervisor Kuehl’s office. Kuehl’s main qualification for political office was being a cast member of The Dobie Gillis Show. I asked if they understood that the penalties for public employees were not really penalties, like having to get tested every week. I also asked why they were not considering all the people with natural immunity (from having had COVID). Supervisor Kuehl’s office had someone from the county health department answer my questions.

The lady told me I should not be concerned about the potential flood of COVID tests that would be administered to the county employees. The tests were covered by insurance. In reply, I educated her about how insurance works and that the insurance was being paid for by the county’s residents through their taxes. All these tests cost money and that would mean the insurance rates would go up in the future costing county residents even more money. Of course, the county employees do not care about being tested because they do not pay for them, nor is their pay reduced for the time required to be tested. Who knows, they might even receive overtime pay to make up for the work not done while taking the test.

The health department lady then referred me to the CDC website where it advised me to get the vaccine because the vaccine provides better protection than natural immunity. As of today, this still appears on the website:

“Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because:

  • Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
  • Vaccination helps protect you even if you have already had COVID-19.
  • Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19.

A study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than two times as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again.”

As an aside, that was a study of a minuscule population in Kentucky. There have never been any further attempts by the CDC to validate that.

Then, you have “that sh—ty little country Israel” (credit the French Ambassador to the UK in 2001 for that description). Israel has been cleaning our clock on research of all kinds regarding COVID.  They did a study on natural immunity.

On August 25th, Israel published the results from what has been characterized as the most scientifically rigorous study to date. The study found that natural immunity was far better than vaccines in protection against COVID infection. Here are a couple of facts about the study.  There were 700,000 subjects in the study.  That is a massive number for any scientific study.  They did not find that natural immunity was two times or three times or five times more effective than vaccines. The study found that natural immunity is 27 TIMES more effective than vaccines. That is a staggering number and excellent news for the estimated one hundred million Americans who have had COVID.

We do not know exactly how many Americans have had COVID because our medical establishment is too busy pimping vaccines. Some people are wondering if the same politicians who rail against the “evil” drug companies are really on their payroll regarding the vaccines.

Picture yourself as one of the people who has not received a vaccination. You are told that if you receive the vaccination, you will still have to wear a mask. You then think that if I have the vaccination why do I have to wear a mask? Some will say to protect you, and some will say to protect others. Which one is it and why? The authorities argue you get all these other vaccinations why are you arguing against this one? You think when I get those other vaccinations the issue is done, and no one is hectoring you and asking you to wear a mask at an outdoor setting. And you wonder why some people say they don’t want the vaccines. Can you really blame them?

The County of Los Angeles answered this great news by establishing new requirements for being vaccinated. Now you must show proof of vaccination to sit outside at a Dodger game or Ram game or the Hollywood Bowl. You want to go to a bar and drink their favorite concoction you must show proof of vaccination. Still no mention of natural immunity.

It brings into question why we are spending $15 billion on the CDC and another $6 billion on the FDA? Makes you wonder what the 21,000 employees at the CDC are doing. It makes you really understand why so many people have lost faith in our government. The two agencies went back and forth with one overruling the other. Why do we need two separate operations?

I must decide whether to get a booster shot. The FDA recommended against it. But then they stated people over 65 years old should. They are relying on another Israeli study that says there is a 10-fold reduction in serious illness for that age group. But then again, I have had COVID, so I have natural immunity which is twenty-seven times more effective than the vaccines.

Where do I get my “I Had COVID Card?”

*****

This article was published on October 2, 2021, in FlashReport, and is reproduced with permission from the author.

 

 

 

 

Inflation Hits 30-Year High According to This Key Metric

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s the biggest annual surge recorded since January 1991—roughly three decades ago.

 

Left-leaning media coverage has in recent weeks pushed the narrative that inflation is fading. But shocking new inflation numbers released today blow that media spin to smithereens.

The Labor Department just released the latest Personal Consumption Expenditures index (PCE), which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred metric for monitoring inflation. It shows a 4.3 percent rise in consumer prices from August 2020 to August 2021, with prices rising 0.4 percent last month alone. That’s the biggest annual surge recorded since January 1991—roughly three decades ago.

Even when factoring out volatile food and energy prices, the PCE still shows a 0.3 percent monthly rise in consumer prices and a 3.6 percent year-over-year increase. That’s the highest on that metric since May 1991!

This all may sound like abstract economic data, but it translates to a real erosion of everyday Americans’ living standards and purchasing power. As economist and FEE fellow Peter Jacobsen has previously explained, rising inflation means “the average consumer making the same salary this year has taken a pay cut when you consider what their paycheck can actually buy.”

Even the Federal Reserve is starting to acknowledge, much belatedly, that these persistent levels of inflation are not just a “temporary” problem.

“It’s also frustrating to see the bottlenecks and supply chain problems not getting better — in fact at the margins apparently getting a little bit worse,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said earlier this week. “We see that continuing into next year probably, and holding up inflation longer than we had thought.”

“It’s very difficult to say how big those effects will be in the meantime or how long they will last,” he added.

Of course, Powell and his colleagues at the Federal Reserve have every incentive to downplay the inflation problem hurting Americans. After all, it is, in part, driven by the Fed’s own policy decisions.

As Jacobsen noted when the concerning inflation metrics first arose in May 2021, the Fed has created trillions of new dollars out of thin air during the pandemic to date. The natural consequence of this money-supply expansion, he explains, is that “If more dollars chase the exact same goods, prices will rise.”

But even the Fed’s preferred inflation metric, the PCE, is now recording the highest levels of consumer price increases measured in 30 years. This problem is becoming impossible for even the most obstinate observers to deny. And until policymakers change course, American families will continue to pay the price.

*****

This article was published on October 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from FEE, Foundation for Economic Education.

What Makes A Country?

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

A loose definition might start with “an aggregation of people sharing some or all of the same culture: language, religion, values, arts, music, sports, political organization, history, etc.” In other words, a country consists of people with a shared culture. Not everyone shares everything identically or completely, but there is a general commonality of beliefs and preferences. When such a group of people lives in a defined area under an accepted government (not necessarily a democracy) that is recognized by most of the rest of the world, it officially becomes a country.

A country has borders. Without borders, a culturally distinct group would merely be nomads or gypsies. Within its borders, a government is expected to provide both internal and external security for its citizens.

This naturally raises the questions of cross-border access and treatment of foreigners. What are a country’s legal and moral rights to deny access to outsiders or control their behavior when inside?

Before we get to those questions, it should be noted that countries with two distinct languages or religions often have problems of dominance. Even peaceful Canada has a French-speaking province that has occasionally proved problematic. Whatever benefits bilingualism may bring the country, the need for everything to be produced in two languages is inherently more complicated and expensive. When antagonistic religions are thrown into the mix, chaos is often the result. Think Muslims-Hindus in India, Shias-Sunnis in the Arab world, Chinese-Malays in Indonesia, and countries with large unassimilated indigenous populations like Bolivia.

There are counter-examples like Australia and Switzerland, of course. However, the key is assimilation. In recent years, France has tried to absorb a great many Muslims. The problem is they do not want to assimilate. They want the benefits of living in France, but they want to maintain their own separate culture. In many countries with large Arab populations, they want Sharia law to be equal to or superior to the laws of the country. The more a country gives in to such demands, the more it finds that the real goal is to change the culture of the nation to that of Muslim culture.

Australia has been the most outspoken in asserting its policy. If you want to live in Australia, be an Australian. If you think you are going to change Australia into something like your former country, go back there. In the 1500s, Christian missionaries went to Japan. They not only tried to turn the Japanese into Christians, but they also meddled in politics and tried to change Japanese culture. The Government responded by outlawing Christianity and crucifying a lot of Christians.

The United States has always been unusually welcoming of strangers. If you come to America legally and strive to become an American, embracing its culture (even while preserving some of the more positive characteristics of your previous culture), you are likely to fit in and do as well as your talents permit.

America likes to call itself a melting pot. This is true, but only where newcomers try to fit in. In 1960 I went to graduate school in Austin, Texas. Initially, I was just a “damnyankee”. There were no problems until I was invited to attend Southern Baptist church meetings. Everyone was very nice and very encouraging. But when it became apparent that I was not interested in becoming a member, I was clearly an outsider thereafter. There was no overt discrimination, but I felt less “inclusivity” than before.

There is nothing wrong with being an outsider, but it does not justify nasty behavior. However, not being “inside” can easily lead to wrongful exclusion. When someone has voluntarily chosen to be an outsider, he has less validity to a claim of being excluded from insider activities. When I was a young man, I was employed by an actuarial firm that operated in a very collegial fashion. At some point, we hired an Orthodox Jewish actuary. He was competent and did satisfactory work, but he held himself apart from the rest of us, as is often the case with the Orthodox. This was despite repeated attempts to include him in various activities and involve him in team projects. Eventually, we gave up. His work life must have been very lonely, but that was his choice. After a year or so, he departed, probably feeling underappreciated.

The Apostles of diversity and inclusivity completely miss the reality of the importance of fitting in. Personally, I do not care about the color of someone’s skin, their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, accent, etc. If we have enough things in common to form a relationship, the superficial things are (or should be) immaterial.

On the other hand, if someone chooses to emphasize differences, then I am less likely to try to build a relationship, especially if they are insistent that their way is the right way and mine is either wrong or is evidence of racism or some other “ism”.  I have friendships with people as diverse as Indians and Italians, Japanese and Chileans. My criteria are intelligence, integrity, and no exaggerated sense of self-importance.

OK, That is just me. What about countries? It seems to me that if a recognized country chooses to exclude “others” from its boundaries, that is its right, regardless of reasons. It may choose for moral or practical reasons to admit foreigners, but it is at its discretion as to numbers, characteristics, requirements, etc. If they are to have some or all of the privileges of citizenship, then why not require them to learn the language? Without it, they will always be several steps behind. Government funding for teaching English as a second language makes more sense than many welfare handouts to foreigners.

I think we should discourage ethnic enclaves. Shipping a boatload of Somalis to Minnesota may give them some comfort over the short term, but it discourages their fitting into the American culture and values, and in some cases leads to enough political power to send representatives to Washington whose focus is on deconstructing our culture and replacing it with that of another people.

I am not picking on Somali’s. I don’t think I have ever met one. The United States clearly needs immigrants, as our birth rate is below the replacement level. Plainly stated, without immigrants, our social safety net will collapse because there will be an insufficient number of workers to support those receiving benefits.

The question of what immigrants to admit (and on what basis) is largely political. One of the major problems in Israel is that unrestricted immigration by Arabs would eventually lead to an Arab majority and a Jewish minority. Do the Israelis have a right to preserve what is a Jewish theocracy from those who would prefer a Muslim theocracy? Personally, I answer in the affirmative. I think the Jews have a right to maintain the culture and country they have created. It has nothing to do with not liking Muslims. The question that needs to be asked is where do the outsiders get a right to change the culture that is in place? It wouldn’t make any difference if it were militant Buddhists or Baptists seeking to overturn the existing way of life of the country.

Again, speaking personally, I am greatly opposed to theocracies for many reasons. But if the Jews in Israel want a theocracy, it is their country. If Muslims in Arab countries want to live under Sharia law, that is their right, however much we may find it distasteful.  The international community of nations has the right and the duty to protest if the government of a theocracy systematically persecutes non-believers. But if a government mistreats its own citizens (or a segment thereof), as for example the Taliban in Afghanistan, that is the problem of the citizens of that country to sort out. The same can be said of Iran, North Korea, Russia, etc. It is not the job of the U.S. to overthrow governments simply because we are opposed to aspects of their cultures we find repugnant. But others will disagree. Some want the U.S. to be like the old Cavalry heroically charging over the hill; others see the U.S. as having a moral duty to mold the whole world into some ideal image that even we do not live up to.

But what about back home? Where do immigrants derive the right to the benefits of living in this country? Some would argue that those fleeing persecution have a moral right, with no exceptions. Surely, there are limits to the sacrifices citizens may be asked to make in order to relieve the suffering of others. This seems more a matter of individual morals and consciences than a purely political question.

While most people are willing to help the persecuted, I question whether anyone has the right to demand access to a friendlier country simply because things are very bad at home. Everyone desires a better life, but how does that create a right to live in a more prosperous country? Where there is real persecution in the home country, there is also the question of whose responsibility it is to change things, and under what circumstances? It is dreadful that Muslim countries treat women so abominably, but it only becomes someone else’s problem to solve under the theory that the world is merely a global village, an air-headed concept concocted by dreamers.

In Aristophanes’ great play, Lysistrata, the women of ancient Greece got their men to stop their ruinous fighting by denying them sex. I wonder if that play has ever been performed in Arabic? The idea that women are always helpless in the face of more powerful males is exaggerated. Modern examples of women dominating men stretch from Margaret Thatcher to Nancy Pelosi. I believe it is a mistake to always task men with saving women in every situation. Women demanding both equality and protection from those they claim equality with just doesn’t compute. I am not talking about stopping a man who is beating his wife. That is different from sending troops because the men in one culture don’t treat their women as equals. Afghan women surely have the right to a better life, but Americans don’t have an obligation to provide it.

What’s Inside The $3.5 Trillion Bernie-Biden Spending Blowout

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

After passing a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill on a bipartisan basis — which is filled with liberal spending priorities — Congress is now considering a budget resolution that is the largest tax-and-spend bill in history. If enacted, it would permanently expand government control over almost every aspect of American life, from childcare responsibilities and health care, to flexible work options and energy costs. In lieu of bipartisan support, the Democrats’ plan is to use a process called “reconciliation,” which allows the majority party in the Senate to pass certain budgetary measures with just 51 votes instead of the normal 60 required for legislation.

President Biden campaigned on unity and bipartisanship, yet is trying to ram through the most expensive and extreme agenda of all time by circumventing Republican opposition. The $3.5 trillion spending blowout is the product of Bernie Sanders’ lifelong socialist vision for our country, and we simply can’t afford it. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major proposals inside, along with IWF’s take

PROPOSAL: Universal prekindergarten and government-funded daycare.

The mammoth budget resolution allocates hundreds of billions of dollars for childcare and preschool. It would likely require states to develop and submit childcare plans. Universal pre-K would be secured through block grants and expanded funding to Head Start.

Our Take:

  • Parents have every reason to fear that a government-approved preschool and daycare program would create the same problems parents face in K-12 public schools. Those disgusted with public schools’ COVID-era failures and curriculum controversies should reject the idea of putting the government in charge of daycare and preschool.
  • Greater daycare or preschool enrollment does NOT improve outcomes and may cause harm. A federal study of Head Start(the existing, childcare/early education program meant to help low-income children) showed no academic benefits and some emotional harms. While intensive programs can help very at-risk students, there’s no evidence of benefits for the general population.
  • Daycare can be made more affordable. Regulations make daycare needlessly expensive and scarce. Between 2005 and 2017, the number of home-based childcare providers fell by about 50 percent. A Mercatus Center study concluded that eliminating ineffective child care regulations could “reduce the annual cost of child care by between $850 and $1,890 per child across all states, on average.”

Policymakers should support all families. Just 6 percent of parents think a quality daycare center is optimal. Most working mothers would prefer to work less and spend more time with their children. Rather than increasing subsidies for daycare, the least-preferred childcare option of most parents, policymakers should help all families with young children by reducing tax and regulatory burdens and supporting strong, flexible labor markets so families can make the childcare decision that they feel is best

PROPOSAL: Paid family and medical leave to allow employees to care for a new child or ailing relative, funded by taxpayers instead of private employers.

Under the president’s proposal, the U.S. Treasury Department is tasked with setting up a program to pay up to 12 weeks of leave for all workers, including the self-employed. As WSJ points out, “This is not a maternity benefit, but a broad program for both sexes to care for new children or an ailing relative ‘by blood or affinity.’ Benefits are supposed to replace about two-thirds of wages on average.”

The plan calls for Treasury to “reimburse employers who offer comprehensive paid leave up to 90% of average costs.” WSJ calculated that a new parent earning $200,000 a year could be eligible for more than $1,000 a week for 12 weeks every year, “no matter if this person is married to another six-figure earner, who can also claim the leave.” This means taxpayers will be subsidizing time off for some of the nation’s highest income earners, while low-wage workers would only receive a fraction of those benefits.

Our Take:

  • The new, proposed federal paid leave program doesn’t target assistance at those who need it, but rather would sweep away privately-funded existing paid leave packages for all American workers and disproportionately benefit higher-income earners, as California’s state’s paid family leave program did.
  • The program would create another unfunded entitlement. President Joe Biden called for $225 billion to provide a new paid family and medical leave program. Yet, as The Daily Signal pointed out, “the Congressional Budget Office put a $573 billion price tag on a similar plan that didn’t call for sending potentially hundreds-of-billions-of dollars to private employers and state governments. Just as Social Security was supposed to be self-funding and its payroll taxes were never supposed to exceed 6% (they’re more than twice that now), a federal paid family leave entitlement will require either rationing of benefits or massive tax hikes.”
  • Government-dictated benefits reduce flexibility and will leave millions of employees worse off. Millions of workers who currently have benefits through a private employer will find benefits reduced under new government rules. Workers will have fewer options and less ability to customize their compensation and benefits.
  • Government-mandated benefits impose costs on employers that get passed on to workers and employees. Employers will offset extra costs by increasing prices, reducing worker hours or take-home pay, consolidating jobs, or outsourcing.
  • To boost access to paid leave benefits, we should empower people and give them new and better options without imposing the costs of a new entitlement. 
    • Help people SAVE by modernizing tax-preferred savings accounts.
    • ADVANCE Social Security benefits.
    • Increase FLEXIBLE work arrangements.
    • TARGET government support to low-wage workers who cannot afford to save or may lack access to paid leave benefits.
    • ALLOW workers to take paid leave in lieu of overtime.

PROPOSAL: Shore up the Affordable Care Act by making enhanced subsidies permanent, expand Medicare, and/or move toward a “Medicare for All”-style model, as championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The $3.5 trillion Biden-Sanders spending spree includes at least $1.1 trillion in new health care spending, including $200 billion to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60, $300 billion to add new dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare, $163 billion to expand the Affordable Care Act, a $400 billion giveaway to home healthcare unions.

This will supposedly be “paid for” with $492 billion from Medicare prescription drug price controls, a recipe to destroy innovation and reduce the supply of life-saving medicines; $186 billion in wasteful Washington budget gimmicks (things like using fake expiration dates to hide long-term cost); and half a trillion in deficits.

Our Take: 

  • Expanding Medicare would increase the government’s power over health care and worsen Medicare’s already unsustainable financial state. Lowering the age of those eligible for Medicare would mean that there are fewer resources for the truly elderly and for vulnerable seniors, creating the possibility of dangerous, bureaucratic rationing.
  • Expanding the Affordable Care Act would threaten private health insurance plans that hundreds of millions of Americans prefer, because many employers will find it more profitable to stop offering health benefits and instead ask workers to rely on government programs like Medicaid and Obamacare. Expanding Obamacare subsidies would also benefit higher-income individuals who already have private insurance, funnel more taxpayer dollars to insurance companies, and induce employers to drop coverage options for workers.
  • Expanding government control of U.S. prescription drugs would lead to pharmaceutical shortages and fewer new breakthrough therapies.

PROPOSAL: Green New Deal-style climate policies.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is spearheading a massive push for climate policies inside the budget bill that would have drastic implications on the American economy. As detailed by The Daily Signal, examples include a clean electricity standard payment program, a new tax on imports that emit carbon dioxide, new taxes and fees on conventional energy resources like oil and gas, more subsidies and tax breaks for green energy and electric vehicles, a new Civilian Climate Corps, and climate research and development programs across the federal government.

As The New York Times noted, the proposed tax on imports from countries with high levels of greenhouse gas emissions “could violate Mr. Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000 a year, if the tax is imposed on products such as electronics from China.”

Our Take:

  • The cost of these climate plans will clearly fall on American families. Biden promises that individuals with incomes less than $400,000 a year will not face higher taxes, but everyone will pay higher prices for gas, electricity, and other sources of energy.And while the majority of Amerians see climate as an important issue, they do not see it as an immediate threat worth prioritizing over more immediate financial needs.
  • Clean, renewable energy sources are playing a growing role as a source for energy in the United States. This is a trend we want to continue. However, quickly replacing fossil-based energy (coal, oil, and natural gas) with renewables like wind and solar faces a range of technical hurdles that will lead to higher energy costs and a less reliable energy grid. Renewable energy sources are limited because we do not have the energy storage technology to make them sufficiently reliable. This leaves populations particularly vulnerable to blackouts and price hikes during extreme weather events.
  • The climate proposals encompass a massive takeover of the nation’s energy sector, along with a massive expansion of government bureaucracy. The private sector, which has led the way in developing clean energy innovation, is much more equipped to tackle the global challenges of climate change. Instead of regulations and mandates, the government should look to private-public partnerships to support clean energy innovations.

PROPOSAL: Finance the $3.5 trillion spending bill with taxes on corporations and individuals with incomes over $400,000 a year, negotiating the price of prescription drugs, and other budgeting gimmicks.

The proposal would increase the federal corporate tax rate to 26.5% from the current 21% (on top of that, corporations would still face state tax rates ranging from 2.5% up to 11.5). The top individual federal tax rate would be bumped to 39.6% from 37%, and the proposal includes a 3% surcharge on individual income above $5 million and a capital gains tax of 25%.

Our Take:

  • Biden’s promise that “no family making under $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in taxes” is patently false. Expert analyses found that the plan offers no tax relief at all; instead, the reconciliation bill will include damaging tax increases that will be borne by middle-income families and small businesses.
    • A top income tax rate to 39% will hit some entrepreneurs and small businesses organized as pass-through entities such as LLCs, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S-corporations. Women and people of color, like others who own businesses, “pass through” their income to be taxed under individual income taxes. The Tax Foundation finds that more than half of all pass-through income would be taxed at this new, higher rate.
  • Inflation, including soaring food prices, is already skyrocketing, with spikes not seen since the Great Recession of 2008. This new package will only accelerate inflation in our country — hitting poor, elderly, and minority families hardest. The result of the current pace of inflation is that Americans’ earnings are getting wiped out, and low- and minimum-wage workers are poorer than they have been in decades.
    • Inflation is essentially a tax on everyone that disproportionately hurts poor people. Lower-income families spend a greater share of their budget than wealthier families on everyday goods and services like food, housing, and health care.
  • The combined federal and state taxes rate on U.S. corporations would be higher than the United Kingdom’s 19%, Russia’s 20%, China’s 25%, Canada’s 26.5%, and even higher than France’s 32% rate, essentially wiping out all the gains made from the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This damaging tax hike would harm workers, make America a less attractive place to do business, and burden small businesses. A review of the economic research shows that “workers bear a majority of the economic burden of the corporate income tax in the form of lower wages.”
  • This plan increases the publicly held debt by more than $4.16 trillion, bringing it to more than 118% of gross domestic product. This is a recipe for inflation and fails to tackle the nation’s most important fiscal challenges like unsustainable entitlement programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies for private health insurance, and Social Security. And that’s not to mention the new entitlements, such as universal pre-K and paid family and medical leave the president wants to add.
  • The proposed spending amounts to $24,252 per U.S. taxpayer ($3.5 trillion divided by 144.3 million taxpayers in 2018, the latest year for which IRS data is available). Even on a broader measure of the U.S. population, the proposed spending amounts to $10,525 per U.S. resident ($3.5 trillion divided by 332.5 million), or $1,052 per resident per year for the next 10 years.