And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Obama’s moratorium on drilling in the Gulf’ Category

To my Readers,  I am sorry to have been so very lax these past months in keeping up with my blog, but it just seemed that the news was so very depressing.  More and more scandals which our President and his cohorts refused to do anything about or even to investigate.  Remember the Presidents words that “there is not even a smidgen of evidence” of wrong doing by anyone in the IRS!  when all know that Americans rights were being trampled and denied and the President and all involved were lying.   Remember Benghazi and  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s outburst of “what dopes it matter?”  when 4 people died while everyone who could have possibly come to their aid had orders from on high to stand down!   And it goes on and on!     Those of you who follow FOX NEWS know what is going on and my comments would not have added anything.    I would sincerely suggested  that if you do not subscribe to  Heritage Online  you do so as an added source of  in-depth information.   Here is the latest issue.

 

I hope and believe that the American people have finally awakened to the evil monster that Obama is and will vote in a Republican Senate this year so that we may begin to undo some of the great damage he and his appointees have done to our country.  It will of course take decades to rec0ver from this assault on our nation and values, and in some areas we may never become the America that we once were .  I do have hope however.    First we must vote in a Republican Senate and then in 2016 a Republican President.  Then we MUST begin to replace the old dogs in both the House and the Senate who have grown lazy, complacent and greedy with power with younger Americans who are trying to remember what our country stood for when formed: a government by the people and for the people.  Yours sincerely, Brenda Bowers

 

 

 


Updated daily, InsiderOnline (
insideronline.org) is a compilation of publication abstracts, how-to essays, events, news, and analysis from around the conservative movement. The current edition of The INSIDER quarterly magazine is also on the site.

May 31, 2014

Latest Studies: 28 studies, including a report from the John Locke Foundation on what helps schools succeed, and a report from the Fraser Institute on the deadly consequences of rationing health care via wait times

Notes on the Week: Over 1 million restrictions in federal regulations, reasons an Article V convention wouldn’t work, The Insider looks at Obama’s disastrous foreign policy, and more

To Do: Remember the victims of Tiananmen Square, examine China’s human rights practices

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
Four Myths about American Taxes – Independent Women’s Forum
A U-Turn on the Road to Serfdom – Institute of Economic Affairs

Crime, Justice & the Law
New York’s Next Public Safety Revolution – Manhattan Institute

Economic and Political Thought
Catholic Social Teaching and the Market Economy (Revised Second Edition) – Institute of Economic Affairs

Economic Growth
Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed – Encounter Books
Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation – Independent Institute
Machines v. Lawyers – Manhattan Institute
The Economic Situation, June 1, 2014 – Mercatus Center

Education
Educational Freedom Works – John Locke Foundation
Blended Learning: Leveraging Teachers and Technology to Improve Student Outcomes – Maine Heritage Policy Center
How to Address Common Core’s Reading Standards: Licensure Tests for K-6 Teachers – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research

Elections, Transparency, & Accountability
Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment – Encounter Books

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
Al Qaeda Isn’t ‘On Its Heels’ – American Enterprise Institute

Health Care
The Effect of Wait Times on Mortality in Canada – Fraser Institute
How to Sustain Sound Dietary Guidelines for Americans – Hudson Institute
The Political Roots of Health Insurance Benefit Mandates – Mercatus Center
Specialty Drugs and Pharmacies – National Center for Policy Analysis
The Biggest Myths of ObamaCare – National Center for Policy Analysis
The VA Health System Is a Tragic Warning Against Government-Run Health Care – Reason Foundation

Immigration
The ENLIST Act: A Back Door to Instant Citizenship – Heritage Foundation

Labor
Why the Earned Income Tax Credit Beats the Minimum Wage – Independent Women’s Forum

National Security
From Black Boots to Desert Boots: The All-Volunteer Army Experiment Continues – Foreign Policy Research Institute
Reforming DHS Through the Appropriations Process – Heritage Foundation

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
Ending Ex–Im Would Remove Wasteful Energy Subsidies – Heritage Foundation
Property Rights Save the Environment – Hoover Institution
Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong – PublicAffairs

Regulation & Deregulation
Evaluating Regulatory Reforms: Lessons for Future Reforms – Mercatus Center

The Constitution/Civil Liberties
The Case Against Reparations for Slavery – Hoover Institution

 

Notes on the Week

Image of the week: Federal regulations now contain over 1 million restrictions.

How many of those regulations are beneficial on net? How would anybody know? As Patrick McLaughlin and Richard Williams point out: “The American regulatory system has no working, systematic process for reviewing regulations for obsolescence or poor performance […] .” [Mercatus Center, May 27]

Maybe the federal government should take a cue from Minnesota and hold an “unsession”:

It’s no longer a crime in Minnesota to carry fruit in an illegally sized container. The state’s telegraph regulations are gone. And it’s now legal to drive a car in neutral – if you can figure out how to do it.

Those were among the 1,175 obsolete, unnecessary and incomprehensible laws that Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature repealed this year as part of the governor’s “unsession” initiative. His goal was to make state government work better, faster and smarter.

“I think we’re off to a very good start,” Dayton said Tuesday at a Capitol news conference.

In addition to getting rid of outdated laws, the project made taxes simpler, cut bureaucratic red tape, speeded up business permits and required state agencies to communicate in plain language. [St. Paul Pioneer-Press, May 27]

As the governor said: A very good start.

 

 

The dose of Rachel Carson makes the poison. May 27 was the 107th birthday of Rachel Carson, and Google decided to devote a doodle to celebrating the environmentalist on its homepage. Carson is most famous for her 1962 book Silent Spring, which warned of the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment. Carson’s warnings were particularly influential in curbing the use of DDT, an insecticide that had been widely used in agriculture and to control mosquito-spread malaria and typhus. The book is not without its critics, including Henry I. Miller of the Hoover Institute. In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, Miller wrote that the book was “an emotionally charged but deeply flawed denunciation of the widespread spraying of chemical pesticides for the control of insects.” Miller continued:

In the words of Professor Robert H. White-Stevens, an agriculturist and biology professor at Rutgers University, “If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth.”

In 1992, San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards, a long-time member of the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, offered a persuasive and comprehensive rebuttal of “Silent Spring.” As he explained in “The Lies of Rachel Carson,” a stunning, point by point refutation, “it simply dawned on me that that Rachel Carson was not interested in the truth about [pesticides] and that I was being duped along with millions of other Americans.” He demolished Carson’s arguments and assertions, calling attention to critical omissions, faulty assumptions, and outright fabrications.

Consider, for example, this passage from Edwards’ article: “This implication that DDT is horribly deadly is completely false. Human volunteers have ingested as much as 35 milligrams of it a day for nearly two years and suffered no adverse effects. Millions of people have lived with DDT intimately during the mosquito spray programs and nobody even got sick as a result. The National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1965 that ‘in a little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million [human] deaths that would otherwise have been inevitable.’ The World Health Organization stated that DDT had ‘killed more insects and saved more people than any other substance.’”

In addition, DDT was used with dramatic effect to shorten and prevent typhus epidemics during and after WWII when people were dusted with large amounts of it but suffered no ill effects, which is perhaps the most persuasive evidence that the chemical is harmless to humans. The product was such a boon to public health that in 1948 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Dr. Paul Müller for his discovery of the “contact insecticidal action” of DDT. [Forbes, September 5, 2012]

Also in 2012, Roger Meiners and Andrew Morris examined the book in some detail, highlighting the book’s impact on the mindset of the environmental movement. They noted that Carson was inconsistent in claiming on the one hand that she was against only the overzealous application of pesticides while also suggesting that policy should strive to reduce chemical residues to zero. Meiners and Morris:

The problem is that a “no-residue” policy is tantamount to a no-use policy. As Larry Katzenstein explains‚ Carson’s rhetorical question is an articulation of the present-day environmentalists’ version of the precautionary principle. Carson’s view that policy regarding synthetic chemicals should be “no risk” was not uncommon in her time‚ as exemplified in the Delaney Amendment. The policy is not only unrealistic but poses significant harm […] .

The contradiction could be reconciled by striving to balance the risks and benefits of not using pesticides against those of using them. Many of Carson’s disciples‚ however‚ do not favor such balancing of the risks of using DDT versus the risk of abandoning its use. This is evident from their support of a global ban on all DDT uses prior to the signing of the Stockholm Convention’s ban on persistent organic pesticides and the continuing efforts to phase out DDT despite its public health benefits. [“Silent Spring at 50: Reflections on an Environmental Classic,” by Roger Meiners and Andrew Morris, Property and Environment Research Center, April 2012]

See also: “Rachel Was Wrong: Agrochemicals’ Benefit to Human Health and the Environment,” by Angela Logomasini, Competitive Enterprise Institute, November 2012.

 

 

The Insider: Why the Obama foreign policy has been a disaster: Making the world safe for classical liberal values like individual liberty, free trade, and constitutionally constrained government requires a foreign policy that does more than just not start wars. Our cover story for the Spring 2014 issue takes up that theme. The editor’s note:

If you follow the news, you probably know that a Select Committee of the House of Representatives is investigating whether the Obama administration has been sufficiently forthcoming about the security situation in Benghazi in the fall of 2012 and about how it responded to terrorist attacks on U.S. government facilities there on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. In particular, investigators are trying to determine why the administration downplayed terrorism and insisted that the attack had been merely a spontaneous protest against an Internet video that got out of hand.

Indeed, there are unanswered questions about Benghazi, but one thing we do know is that Islamist terrorism has not gone away. That was clear enough when we learned that the supposed spontaneous demonstration in Benghazi consisted entirely of men bearing rocket launchers driving trucks displaying Ansar al-Sharia logos. Two years later, foreign policy failures abound. Russia is in the Crimea, democratic reformers have been marginalized in the Middle East, and nobody takes our “red lines” seriously, to name just a few.

The problem, as Mackubin Thomas Owens explains, is that the Obama administration thinks peace and order are the natural conditions of world affairs, and that military force is only an alternative to diplomacy not an integral part of an overall diplomatic strategy. These confusions leave the administration unable to meet the challenges of maintaining a world order based on liberal democracy and open trade. And that is a tragedy for the whole world, not merely the United States.

Also in this issue, we have Bob Moffit and Nina Owcharenko reminding us that fixing health care doesn’t mean just repealing ObamaCare; it means implementing the consumer-oriented reforms that conservatives have been championing for decades. Nathaniel Ward and Tim McGovern show how a culture of testing can help you improve your marketing. Mike Gonzalez reveals the Left’s complaints about partisan commentary to be rather, well, partisan. And finally, if you’ve ever wondered what studies actually show about which policies lead to economic growth, then you should read John Hood’s summary of the literature.

 

 

There’s no theory in that theory. There’s something missing from Thomas Piketty’s argument (contained in his bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century) that year-in and year-out the returns to capital exceed the growth rate of the economy as a whole. As Don Boudreaux points out, Piketty offers no explanation for why that must be so:

The entire tenor of Piketty’s volume suggests that he thinks capital reproduces itself, both from the perspective of its individual owners and from the perspective of society at large.

The creativity and fortitude of entrepreneurs, the skillful risk-taking by investors and the insight and effort of managers are all strangely absent throughout Piketty’s performance. These very fonts of modern prosperity are at best assumed to play uninterestingly routine and unseen roles backstage. Onstage, capital—the stuff that is in fact created and skillfully steered by flesh-and-blood entrepreneurs, investors and managers—appears to grow spontaneously, without human involvement. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 27]

Of course, when you attempt to explain economic conditions—like inequality—you run the risk of discovering that capitalism might not be the problem. For example, here is this point from Robert Murphy:

[…] Mother Jones loved this chart showing income inequality soaring in the late 1920s and in the mid-2000s: Look everyone, if we let the 1% earn too much, it sets the world up for a giant financial crash! But actually what happened is that loose monetary policy drove down interest rates, thereby fueling asset price booms, which showed up as huge income (in the form of capital gains) accruing disproportionately in the hands of the wealthy. It’s not surprising that these Fed-fueled asset bubbles eventually collapsed, leading to the Great Depression and Great Recession. To prevent a repeat, the government doesn’t need to confiscate property from the super-rich; instead the Fed needs to stop inflating asset bubbles. [Rare, May 29]

 

 

Beth March, scarlet fever, and Thomas Piketty: One secret to Thomas Piketty’s success in selling Americans his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century is his embrace of great literature. Piketty retells key moments in Honore de Balzac’s Pere Goriot to illustrate the importance of inheritance in the 19th century and draws on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park when he discusses the value and the vexation of overseas investments. Piketty’s insight is that books capture the sense and flavor of their era—and occasionally report typical prices and incomes.

The writers of the past are equally valuable for illuminating the astounding progress of economic growth in the past two hundred years, a fact Piketty acknowledges but to which he devotes little ink. Reading Capital, one comes away with the impression that the distribution of wealth and income is the central fact of each era: He reports most statistics as percentages of national income. But when per-person national income was doubling every generation, it was surely a more noticeable phenomenon than a few percentage points of national wealth more or less in the portfolios of the top centile.

Long-term comparisons of income levels are tricky: How many buggy whips is an iPhone worth? Stories of human life under different conditions can help us appreciate the immensity of growth.

In One Thousand and One Nights, hilarity ensues when characters meet in the dark and fail to recognize one another. Artificial light was expensive. Roger Fouquet and Peter J. G. Pearson estimate that a dollar’s worth of lighting in the year 2000 would have cost $3,000 two centuries before. Like all long-term economic growth, the cheapness of modern light comes from applying free enterprise to technological innovation. At times, the British government stood athwart history, taxing windows and Dutch whale oil. [“Seven Centuries of Energy Services: The Price and Use of Light in the United Kingdom (1300-2000)“ by Roger Fouquet and Peter J.G. Pearson, The Energy Journal, Vol. 27, No. 1 (2006)]

In Little Women, Beth March dies of strep throat (scarlet fever) despite being an affluent New Englander. Today, an antibiotic would have cured her quickly, and the entire episode might warrant a few Facebook status updates. Oliver Twist is thrown into a life of poverty and loneliness by the death of his mother in childbirth, a common occurrence in 19th-century London. The advances in medicine alone make the era of enterprise and innovation a success.

Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days celebrates the breakneck speed of an era of dynamic growth and technological progress. Steam, rail, and telegraphy remade the world in a generation.

Although Piketty has introduced some new data on the distribution of income and wealth in different eras, we should not lose sight of the great progress that has lifted all standards of living since the times of Charles Dickens and Jules Verne. —Salim Furth

 

 

A note from Martin Feldstein: A couple of weeks ago, we pointed to some analysis by Martin Feldstein on the inequality argument put forth by Thomas Piketty in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Feldstein had pointed out that Piketty was looking at U.S. income tax return data, which is misleading because the tax reforms of 1986 encouraged high earners to increase the amount of income reported on individual income tax returns. The income didn’t change so much as how it was counted on tax forms.

Dr. Feldstein has let us know that his article, originally published behind a paywall at Wall Street Journal, is now available ungated at www.nber.org/feldstein/wsj05152014.pdf.

Piketty’s book, we see, is still in the news—perhaps more so this week than in previous weeks—because of some questions about his data. Those who are following the argument should be sure to read Dr. Feldstein’s contribution.

 

 

The contradictions of European union: A report on Greece, from Alexander Skouras:

Golden Dawn’s rise from a tiny group of radical Hitler-sympathizers to the third largest party in Greece occurred when the Greek economy was collapsing. The origins of this crisis are well-known and well-documented: excessive borrowing, low productivity, corruption, and a profligate welfare state. At the height of the crisis the entire nation was angry; the people felt betrayed by their political elites. The Nazi party arose from the need to blame outsiders and to feel special. […]

In this political climate Golden Dawn rose from 0.3 percent of the vote in 2009 to approximately 7 percent in the 2012 national elections. For the last year many analysts thought that the prosecution of Golden Dawn members on charges of organized crime and the imprisonment of many of its elected leaders, including General Secretary Nikos Michaloliakos, would keep the party from further electoral success. But the May 18 municipal and gubernatorial elections and the May 25 European ones told a different story. Golden Dawn received 9.4 percent of the European parliamentary vote, enough to elect three members. Among them there are two former high-ranking army officers. The week before that, in Athens, the country’s capital and largest city, Golden Dawn’s municipal candidate and MP, Ilias Kassidiaris, who made global headlines when he slapped a female communist MP on live television, gathered 16 percent of the vote, securing him fourth place in a close election. Ilias Panagiotaros, Golden Dawn’s gubernatorial candidate in Attica, the region that includes Athens and its suburbs, won 11 percent and also finished fourth.

From these results it is safe to assume that Golden Dawn is no longer merely the beneficiary of a protest vote. The Greek electorate has been fully informed of the party’s Nazi affiliation, Holocaust denial, anti-immigrant slurs, and raw violence in the streets of Athens. We can now safely conclude that Greece has a viable, robust, and dangerous national socialist political force. [AtlasOne, May 28]

Wasn’t preventing a rebirth of nationalist parties the point of a united Europe?

 

 

Video of the week: Reasons an Article V convention would not give conservatives what they want: The main problem with the country’s constitutional set-up, says Trent England, is not the words of the Constitution but a lack of fidelity to what those words mean. Amending the Constitution will just give liberals different words to ignore. England is the Executive Vice President of the Freedom Foundation, Washington State’s free-market think tank. Talking with the Daily Caller’s Ginny Thomas, England outlines some other reasons conservatives should be wary of an Article V constitutional convention.

For one thing, says England, the convention would not necessarily work the way conservatives imagine it would work. Convention delegates would have their own constitutional standing, and their work could not simply be constrained by an act of Congress. Furthermore, says England, sitting federal judges—most of whom are not conservatives—would likely play a bigger role than Congress in shaping any convention.

Also, it’s not easy to amend the Constitution and conservatives might be wiser to invest their resources pushing other levers of change (e.g., the Senate). And England notes that it’s probably a good thing that the Constitution is hard to amend because the Left has bigger dreams of changing the Constitution that conservatives do; there’s a lot of freedom that could be lost at an Article V convention, too.

 

 

The point of federalism is to protect the rights of the people, not the rights of states. Noting the rash of stories about new federal requirements for school lunches, David Corbin and Matt Parks point out how inadequate is the Republican waiver-based defense of federalism, which they say “simply shovels a little less dirt on [federalism’s] grave”:

Approximately one out of every fourteen Americans is a government employee today, compared to one in twenty-two Americans in 1955. The greatest part of the total increase of government employees amounts to the enlargement of state and local government employment. It matters little if the lunch lady pouring chocolate milk down the sink and serving fruits and vegetables is a local government employee if her job ultimately depends on monies slopped out by federal bureaucrats wielding carrot sticks.

Which brings us to the third part of Madison’s argument as to why the proposed federal republic was a great improvement over the earlier confederation; namely, its powers would be “few,” “defined,” and “exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” Madison likely never could have imagined the Federal government adding management of sodium intake to this list as the American people sat listless on the political sidelines.

As troubling as the death of federalism is, we need more fundamental reform, as the Republican response to the school lunch mandates makes clear. There is, after all, an even more important third leg to the governing stool, implicit in Madison’s argument, but made explicit in the 10th Amendment: the people. Often conservatives read that Amendment as if it is meant to protect the rights of the states. But it is much better understood, both textually and historically, as an attempt to protect the people’s distribution of powers among themselves, the states and the national government. If we really want to restore 10th Amendment government, we’ll need to work much harder at removing power from both state and federal hands than at replacing the divine right of the Washington King with the divine right of state Barons. [The Federalist, May 26]

Michael Greve made a similar argument in a recent issue of The Insider:

The balance question isn’t just beside the point; it is an assault on the foundations of the republic. To quote Madison’s impassioned language in Federalist 45:

Was … the American revolution effected, was the American Confederacy formed, was the precious blood of thousands spilt, and the hard-earned substance of millions lavished, not that the people of America should enjoy peace, liberty, and safety, but that the government of the individual states, that particular municipal establishments, might enjoy a certain extent of power, and be arrayed with certain dignities and attributes of sovereignty?

The answer he is trying to evoke is: Hell, no. […]

States are Purely Instrumental. If they can advance the “real welfare of the great body of the people,” good for them. If they stand as a hindrance, ignore them or get rid of them. That is the fundamental calculus and the irreducible premise of the United States Constitution. The cartel federalism we have is profoundly state-friendly: It serves the interests of the political class. The constitutional, competitive federalism we need is citizen-friendly: It would discipline government, not help it grow. [“But What Kind of Federalism?“ by Michael S. Greve, The Insider, Winter 2013.]

 

 

And speaking of states doing the wrong things … Low-income people in Arkansas used to be able to get their teeth cleaned cheaply, thanks to Dr. Ben Burris. Now, instead of paying $99 (or $69 for children), they have to pay hundreds of dollars for a cleaning. Burris, who is a dentist, had to stop offering the cleanings because the state board of dental examiners told him that he couldn’t offer basic dental services.

According to the board, Arkansas law says dentists can’t offer dental services if they are also licensed as a specialist. Burris is a licensed orthodontist. Orthodontists, by the way, normally employ dental hygienists who clean teeth, and that’s all perfectly legal as long as the teeth getting cleaned also get fitted for braces later.

Of course, the restriction on specialists offering services outside their specialty has nothing to do with protecting consumers and everything to do with limiting competition in basic dental services—so that dentists can charge more. No patients had complained about Burris’s service. At a hearing of the dental board, notes the Institute for Justice, “Board members and general dentists condemned Ben for offering the cleanings. There was no allegation that Ben had endangered, much less harmed, anyone.”

On behalf of Burris and his colleague Elizabeth Grohl, IJ filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the board of dental examiners. The lawsuit contends that the restriction against specialists offering basic dental services serves no purpose except to protect general dentists from competition, and that the restriction thus violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection, Due Process and Privileges or Immunities Clauses.

 

 

To Do: Remember the Victims of Tiananmen Square, Examine China’s Human Rights Practices

Learn about the human rights situation in China on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng will talk with American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks. The conversation will begin at 1:45 p.m. at the American Enterprise Institute on June 3.

Examine the connection between liberty and character. The Beacon Center of Tennessee will host a talk by Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education. Reed will speak at the Nashville City Club on June 3 at 6 p.m.

Show what a great communicator for liberty you are by entering Think Freely’s Great Communicators Tournament. All you have to do is make a one- to three-minute video in which you take the moral high ground while making an argument for liberty. Submissions are due by July 15. Twelve finalists will be selected to compete in the Great Communicators Tournament at the State Policy Network’s Annual Meeting in Denver in September.

Discover whether administrative law is even lawful. Philip Hamburger, Professor of Law at Columbia University, thinks it is not, and he’ll explain why at the Cato Institute at noon on June 5.

Find out how sex education courses have become caught in the crosshairs of the “war on women” debate. Valerie Huber, President of the National Abstinence Education Association, will speak at the Family Research Council at noon on June 4.

Learn how the Left want to amend the First Amendment so they can stifle criticism of elected officials. The Heritage Foundation will host a panel discussion featuring Bobby Burchfield, who argued the recent and important McCutcheon case before the Supreme Court; Don McGahn, former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission; and Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The discussion will begin at 2 p.m. on June 2.

Cartoonists, get your submissions in for the Center for International Private Enterprise’s 2014 Global Editorial Cartoon Competition. Hurry—the submission deadline is June 2.

• Check out The Daily Signal, The Heritage Foundation’s new media platform, launching June 3.

(Want more stuff to do? Check out InsiderOnline’s Conservative Calendar.)

Have a tip for InsiderOnline? Send us an e-mail at insider@heritage.org with “For Insider” in the subject line.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/InsiderOnline.

Looking for an expert? Visit PolicyExperts.org.

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The huge Farm Bill was defeated.  80% of the Farm Bill was for Food Stamp spending and only 20% related to farms and farming.  The  Republican led House is now proposing to split the Food Stamp program or SNAPS from the Agriculture Department so that a closer watch can be kept on this outrageous spending.  Of course they were put together in the first place in order for both farm and rural congressmen and Food Stamps which are primarily urban Congressman would vote together to pass these outrageous bills.  This is a favorite  Washington ploy: buying the votes!  Just look at the Immigration Bill and how the Senators loaded it down with pork ( or pay offs) for everyone before it got passed.  Remember the Republican House refusing to pass the first version of the  Hurricane Sandy Bill to help the hurricane victims in the northeast to rebuild because on 30% of the funds allotted were to go to the hurricane victims while the 70% of pork funding in it was for things as unrelated as a new roof for a building in D.C.  Many, including Gov. Christie of New Jersey blamed the Republicans for stopping this outrage and believed that anything  the greedy big spending Democrats wanted was okay as long as something went to the right people.  It is this kind of thinking and this kind of voting that has gotten our country to the brink of bankruptcy!  This is the name of the game in the Farm Bill which the Republican House members voted down and it is the same game being played with the Democrats Senate version of an Immigration Bill.

The following newsletter from heritage has some very good information from various writers on these topics.  Also more information on Obama’s plans for raising all of our energy prices which will not only affect our  electric and gasoline bills but our food and clothi8ng bills as well because all industry requires the use of energy and if energgy costs go up the cost of all goods and services must aslo go up.  Check them out>  BB

Heritage Hotsheet

Experts on the Day’s Hottest News

Contact An Expert
MEDIA INFORMATION LINE:
Phone: (202) 675-1761 | Email: Broadcast Services

Items for Friday, June 28th, 2013


Immigration Bill Riddled With Pork
Breitbart.com

Jim Carafano
Derrick Morgan
Genevieve Wood
Jessica Zuckerman

Family Fact of the Week: What the Record-Low Marriage Rate Means for Americans’ Well-Being
Heritage.org

Jennifer Marshall
Ryan Anderson
John Malcolm

Gay rights clash: Obama, African host are at odds 
AP

Jennifer Marshall
Ryan Anderson 
Charlotte Florance

Abortion tables may turn in Texas on Monday
Politico

Jennifer Marshall
Ryan Anderson
Andrew Walker

House Leaders Consider Splitting Food Stamps From Farm Bill
Bloomberg

Diane Katz
Daren Bakst
Rachel Scheffield

Obama refuses to barter for Edward Snowden
BBC.com

Steven Bucci
Paul Rosenzweig
Ariel Cohen
Peter Brookes
Jim Carafano

 

Latest Heritage Research:


Issue Brief
History Suggests Social Security Insolvency Is Coming Sooner Than Projected

Issue Brief
Energy Production on Federal Lands: Handing Keys Over to the States

Issue Brief
Cost of a Climate Policy: The Economic Impact of Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Heritage Newsletter offer us experts opinions on the news of the day and how it will affect you.   This was really a big day since the Supreme Court came down with two big rulings: one gave a victory to gay marriage by ruling against the Congressional Bill passed under Clinton called the Defense of marriage Act (DOMA)  which ruled marriage as being between a man and a woman.  I have been against this changing of our marriage laws on the grounds off finances.   This act by the court throws the problem back to the states but then after ruling that the California law *(voted for by the people) against gay marriage as unconstitutional it seems no state and certainly the majority of the voters have no say in this matter.   As stated I have been and am against the legalizing of s  gay marriage  because it  fives rights for financial support that have been the rights of wives and husbands only.   For instance social security support for widows and orphans.  the “orphans” part may be easy top figure out but who is the “widow”?   Are Both  parties in a lesbian marriage widows?   Do homosexual couples need to designate a “widow”?  And this is just the tip of a huge financial ice berg that We the Taxpayers will be responsible for that we were not before today.

The second ruling by the Supreme Court was one I feel is long overdue in being corrected.  States should and do have the right to determine what their voting laws are but until todays ruling 14 states had to get permission from some clerk in Washington before they could so much as change the location of a voting location.  In fact  one district in one of these states could not vote in the 2000 election due to a water pipe breaking and  flooding the polling place.  But since they had to get permission from Washington to move the site they simply had to disenfranchise the voters ion that district!   Now that was an extreme and surely rare happening but it really does point out the nonsense of following a law that was very necessary when passed by 50 years later attitudes and laws and mostly people’s views have changed and no Black can or will be kept from voting.  After all we do now have a Black as President!

And be sure to take note of how our President plans to go around your elected officials in Congress and use the EPA Environmental Protection Agency to force  his climate change agenda and war on coal and oil on us.   People there is no such thing as climate change.  the Earth is not getting hotter.  Obama lied again and again in his speech yesterday at Georgetown University.  Don’t believe me but do your own research and go to the records kept by the government itself  and see that we are experiencing right now the cycle that is normal and active in the 1950’s.  Then the hotter seasons was followed by a cooling off and so-called “cooling of the Earth due to the use of fossil fuels ” that occurred in the 1970’s.  these damned fools lead by Hollywood idiots and our President  are helping a cool group of men led by Al Gore and Barrack Obama to make a pile of money.   But while they are manipulating and  lining their pockets with all the money it will cost to go from fossil fuels to their so-called clean and not at all reliable wind and solar We the People are going to see the cost of energy to us going out of  sight.  And since energy is needed for every aspect of our lives including the food on our tables that means everything in our lives will cost more.  Well, anyhow  please do read the article and go to the references.   Sincerely, BB

Heritage Hotsheet

Experts on the Day’s Hottest News

Contact An Expert
MEDIA INFORMATION LINE:
Phone: (202) 675-1761 | Email: Broadcast Services

Items for Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Divided Supreme Court strikes down key voting rights provision
The Washington Times

John Malcolm

Obama planning to sidestep Congress for next phase in climate change agenda
Fox News

Nicolas Loris

David Kreutzer

Jack Spencer


Snowden flap bares hapless U.S.

Boston Herald

Peter Brookes

James Carafano

Ariel Cohen
INFOGRAPHIC: What You Should Know About Marriage
The Foundry Blog

Ryan Anderson

Jennifer Marshall

Andrew Walker

Sarah Torre


Immigration and the Crisis of Opportunity

National Review Online

Genevieve Wood

Mike Gonzalez

Stuart Butler


Latest Heritage Research
:

ISSUE BRIEF
How to Slash Billions from the Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Gang of Eight Giveaways
National Review

Jessica Zuckerman

Mike Needham

Dan Holler

Obama energy push could loom large in 2014
Politico

Nick Loris

David Kreutzer

Jack Spencer

Snowden mystery deepens, took job to gather NSA evidence
USA Today

Steven Bucci

Peter Brookes

James Carafano

Snowden Case Has Cold War Aftertaste
The New York Times

Ariel Cohen

5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court’s Marriage Cases
The Foundry Blog

Ryan Anderson

Andrew Walker

Jennifer Marshall

 

Latest Heritage Research:

ISSUE BRIEF
Helping Southeast Asia Come to Grips with the Reality of Taiwan

ISSUE BRIEF
Obama’s Trip to Africa: Make It More Than a Photo-Op

ISSUE BRIEF
Schumer–Corker–Hoeven Amendment Fails on Securing the Border and Halting Illegal Immigration

BACKGROUNDER
Ratifying the Disabilities Convention Will Not Help Americans with Disabilities at Home or Abroad

ISSUE BRIEF
Kerry in India: Setting the Tone on Security Issues

I thought I was pretty well up on what is happening in our country because I really try hard to keep up and do a lot of reading, but now way was I even close to knowing what is happening to everyday people just like me and you.  This article from the Heritage Foundation is an eye opener and a blood pressure raiser. Be sure and go to all the referred sites for all the information.  The time for We the People to act is now when we have the momentum with the Tea Party and other groups up and moving.  Time for you to get involved too before it has gone too far for the United States and Americans to turn the tide towards tyranny around and defeat those who would imprison us in a country no American wants to live in.  Sincerely, Brenda Bowers  BB

The Government vs. YOU

06/14/2013

Every day, more Americans get trapped by big government. In addition to groups targeted by the IRS, upstanding citizens going about their normal lives are suddenly targeted by law enforcement authorities and charged as criminals. Just a few examples:

 

 

 

USA-v-YOU

These are only a few of the shocking incidents The Heritage Foundation chronicles in our new project, USA vs. YOU. Experts at Heritage’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies reveal the stories of 22 people from all backgrounds, races, and income levels victimized by carelessly written laws.

Get the FREE e-book USA vs. YOU now >>

When criminal laws are created to “solve” every problem, punish every mistake, and compel the “right” behaviors, this troubling trend is known as overcriminalization. Ultimately, it leads to injustice for honest, hard-working Americans at every level of society.

Public interest groups from across the political spectrum recognize how this flood of criminal laws violates our basic liberties. Diverse organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the American Center for Law and Justice, and Right on Crime, among others, have joined with Heritage to reaffirm the true purpose of America’s justice system: to ensure public safety and protect the innocent.

When was the last time you saw the ACLU work together with a faith-based group like Justice Fellowship? WithUSA vs. YOU, the problem is grave enough to bring together unlikely allies. And we’re delivering this bipartisan message just as the House of Representatives has launched a task force aimed at correcting this issue.

This morning, Heritage Senior Legal Fellow John Malcolm will testify at the first hearing of the Overcriminalization Task Force—shining a spotlight on the scope and severity of this threat to our liberties. Ending the practice of trapping our citizens with unnecessary laws will be no easy task, with an estimated 4,500 criminal law offenses and 300,000 criminal regulations on the books.

Experience the stories of Americans like you treated unjustly – download the FREE e-book now >>

Over the next six months, Members of Congress from both parties will study this issue in depth, hold hearings, and—with the right encouragement—take steps to enact real reform.

This new effort includes tools for you to raise your voice and make a difference in defending our liberties. So explore the documented stories in USA vs. YOU, follow the links, and take real action today to help turn the tide.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Quick Hits:

  • President Obama has changed his policy on Syria, saying that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons and that the U.S. will provide military support to the rebels.

 

 

 

  • Investigative journalist James O’Keefe has produced some shocking stories of corruption. In a new book, hedetails his undercover work with Project Veritas.

 

  • For decades, inappropriate IRS behaviors have been revealed. Each time, the agency has assured the public that it takes these breaches “very seriously.”

 

The budgets  from the Republican House (Ryan budget),  the Democrats in the Senate and Obama won’t pass so the country will again for the fourth year continue to operate on “continuing resolutions”.  The law of the country requires that Congress pass a budget but for 4 years the Senate has refused to even offer up a budget let alone pass the one offered by either the President (NOT ONE VOTE FOR ANT OBAMA BUDGET EVEN FROM A DEMOCRAT!) or the budget offered by and passed by the Republicans in the House.

Sooooo, here we have the Senate Democrats  “continuing resolution” and if all the tears hadn’t been rung out of me in November when We the People re-elected Obama to the Presidency then I would probably find myself crying again. Surely not all of these people are evil and certainly they are not all stupid, so what in the world is happening in the Democrat Senators minds?!?

The following article from The Heritage Foundation explains  very well some of the more egregious  proposed spending.  I hope when you read this you get on the hone to your Congressman or woman be he/she Democrat or Republican and demand some sanity in Washington.  BB

Heritage Experts’ Reaction to Senate Continuing Resolution

Todd Thurman

March 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Newscom

The massive spending bill, or continuing resolution, released by the Senate this week continues spending on programs which are inappropriate or wasteful and fails to adopt good policies in many areas. Here’s a rundown of some of the worst offenders in the Senate bill:

Obamacare. The CR fails to stop the massive spending in Obamacare. Obamacare obligates an estimated $1.2 trillion for subsidies to individuals for purchasing coverage through the government exchanges and $638 billion for states agreeing to expand their Medicaid programs. Congress should eliminate the exchange subsidies and the enhanced federal match for the Medicaid expansion. Stopping these provisions would save the federal government more than $1.8 trillion over the next 10 years. Nor does it take steps to defund implementation of Obamacare.

 (Already the regulations governing how Obamacare is implemented is 7 feet tall and only about 1/40 of the bill is covered by these regulations.  Just the application to qualify for Obamacare is 15 pages long!  BB)

—Nina Owcharenko, Director, Center for Health Policy Studies and Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow

Inadequate Defense Funding Levels. The detailed defense appropriations provisions in the House-adopted appropriations bill (H.R. 933), and now its Senate companion legislation, provide inadequate overall funding levels for defense, in part because they will continue to apply the reduction in defense spending for the current fiscal year required by sequestration. Nevertheless, the defense provisions continue wasteful spending practices. These defense appropriations provisions were agreed to by House and Senate appropriators earlier, and therefore the wasteful practices were also preserved in the Senate version of the same legislation.

The Heritage Foundation has identified at least $70 billion in annual savings within the Department of Defense through a combination of military health care and retirement reform, hiring freezes, expanding performance-based logistics, and reforming the acquisition process.

Clearly, this is money that could be kept within the defense budget and put into more militarily useful programs, such as improving space technology for use in missile defense or developing new classes of nuclear weapons delivery systems. The more productive approach to funding an effective military posture for the U.S. would be for Congress to return to the regular budgetary order, set aside sequestration, adopt higher defense appropriations that are applied in a more disciplined fashion and look to restrain federal spending growth in the areas of foreign aid, domestic discretionary programs, and entitlements.

(The world has never been so dangerous as it is today.  Iran is on the verge of getting nuclear weapons and working very aggressively on their missile delivery program.  North Korea already has nuclear weapons and now may very well have a missile able to hit the West Coast.  So what does the President and the Democrats want to do?  cut our defense programs!  BB)

—Baker Spring, F.M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy

Head Start. Increasing Head Start funding is the antithesis of good early childhood education policy. The Senate CR provides $33.5 million in new funding for one of the most ineffective federal education programs in existence today: Head Start. While the new funding is earmarked for the Obama Administration’s plan to make the worst-performing Head Start centers re-compete for funds, it represents new spending on a program the federal government has deemed totally ineffective at meeting the needs of poor children.

In December, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released itslong-overdue evaluation of Head Start. The agency’s scientifically rigorous evaluation of more than 5,000 Head Start children from the time they entered the program through third grade revealed that the $8 billion per year federal program had little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of participants. On a few measures, access to Head Start had negative effects on children.

In addition to the evidence presented by HHS of Head Start’s ineffectiveness, in 2010 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported widespread fraud at Head Start centers. GAO sent undercover investigators into Head Start centers in various states, and in half they found fraudulent activity, such as Head Start employees counseling families to underreport their income in order to appear eligible for services.

Since 1965, taxpayers have expended some $180 billion on Head Start yet have not received a return on that “investment.” And now, in the wake of an objective report by HHS demonstrating that Head Start is failing the poor children it was designed to serve, the Senate CR would increase spending and eschew any suggestion of eliminating or reforming the Great Society relic.

Head Start should be eliminated. At a minimum, it should be reformed to allow states to make their Head Start dollars portable, following low-income children to a private preschool provider of choice, instead of relegating them to underperforming Head Start centers.

—Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education

Energy. The Senate CR continues to fund a failed energy policy that empowers Washington bureaucrats instead of American families and businesses. Though it does cut some programs minimally, it does the equivalent of removing a used napkin from a full trash can. There’s much more waste that needs to be removed. For example, section 1203 reduces Department of Energy (DOE) funding by $44 million when more than $5.3 billion could be cut. The $44 million is equivalent to 0.8 percent of what should be cut.

Perhaps most egregious is the meager $11 million cut from the $1.8 billion request for Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In total, the DOE budget funds applied-research programs on conventional fuels, renewable energy sources, and nuclear energy that the private sector should be undertaking. American families and business are far better equipped than government to determine what types of energy technologies work for them. Eliminating these programs alone would save $3 billion in taxpayer money and help to return energy choice back to Americans.

Though the bill cuts $10 million from nuclear energy spending, based on the 2013 request, it would still fund over $150 million for nuclear waste disposal and management programs. None of this funding would go toward Yucca Mountain, the waste repository mandated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended. Given the complete lack of any nuclear waste disposal or management policy by the Administration and its insistence on terminating the Yucca project, there is little justification for this spending. Instead, Congress should provide $40 million for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to finish its review of the DOE’s Yucca Mountain permit application.

(The United States sits on the largest pool of   CLEAN natural gas in the world and we have the means to get to this energy source but it does not fall into the category of solar, wind or water.  natural gas is a fossil fuel!  BAD!!!  The United States also has the largest pool of oil available within our borders.  Obama likes to say that we are pumping more oil today than at any time in our history.  this is true but it is BEING PUMPED OFF OF PRIVATE PROPERTY AND NOT FROM GOVERNMENT OWNED LANDS.  AND THE GOVERNMENT IS BUYING UP PROPERTY LIKE NEVER BEFORE TO PUT MORE LAND UNDER IT’S CONTROL!   bb)

—Jack Spencer, Senior Research Fellow, Nuclear Energy, and Nick Loris, Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Unlike the budget passed by the House, the Senate bill seeks to restore government spending to fund the failed CPSC product safety database. CPSC decision making with respect to the database has previously been called “arbitrary and capricious” by the courts.

Since it was implemented in 2011, manufacturers have shown that the CPSC database is seriously flawed. The database allows the public to submit unproven claims of harm with the CPSC and gives manufacturers only 10 days to challenge these claims; however, the CPSC itself has final authority to publish reports of such claims, even if they are disproved by the manufacturer. The accuracy of the CPSC reports is thus seriously questionable, and is a one-stop shop for tort lawyers seeking new clients or seeking “evidence” for their current lawsuits.

Furthermore, last October, in Company Doe v. Inez Tenenbaum, a federal court in Maryland overturned a decision of the CPSC to publish a report as “arbitrary and capricious,” because the CPSC report was “misleading and fail[ed] to relate[] to the [manufacturer’s] product in any way.” Indeed, the CPSC database is a concrete example of government waste: It is a shame that the Senate bill seeks to restore government spending to publishing misleading claims that damage business growth and likely lead to additional frivolous lawsuits.

 

(What this means for you and me is that companies will refuse to put new products on the market that may save a life!  BB)

—Andrew Kloster, Legal Fellow

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): $77.2 billion. The recommendation continues record-high food stamp benefits. Food stamp spending has approximately doubled since President Obama came to office. It is one of the largest and fastest growing federal welfare programs. The federal government operates 80 federal welfare programs at a cost of nearly $1 trillion a year. Over 10 of these provide food assistance.

Food stamp spending should be rolled back to pre-recession levels. Able-bodied adults without dependents who receive food stamp benefits should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving benefits.

—Rachel Sheffield, Research Associate

Job Corps: $30 million added to the funding level already provided under sequestration. This program should be terminated, because a scientifically rigorous impact evaluation of Job Corps participants were less likely to obtain high school degrees, were no more likely to attend or complete college, and earned only $0.22 more in hourly wages than non-participants. Further, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General estimates each Job Corps participant who is successfully placed into any job costs taxpayers $76,574.  (Why don’t we just give every one who applies for one of these job training programs $20,000.  and send them home to sit on their asses for another 6 months?  This would be a whole lot cheaper in the long run!  BB)

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants: $416.5 million. VAWA grantsshould be terminated, because these services should be funded locally. Using federal agencies to fund the routine operations of domestic violence programs that state and local governments could provide is a misuse of federal resources and a distraction from concerns that are truly the province of the federal government.

(This one just makes me cringe and cry and be sick!  BB)

Office of Justice Programs (OJP) grants: $1.1 billion. OJP grants should be terminated, because these grants assign functions to the federal government that fall within the expertise, jurisdiction, and constitutional responsibilities of state and local governments. Further, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants ($392 million) within OJP have been used to place criminals on the street without posting bail.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP): $279.5 million. OJJDP grants should be terminated, because these grants fund juvenile justice and prevention programs that fall under the unique responsibilities of state and local governments. Further, there is little evidence that these grants are effective at preventing delinquency.

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): $225.5 million. COPS grantsshould be terminated, because these grants assign functions to the federal government that fall within the expertise, jurisdiction, and constitutional responsibilities of state and local governments. Further COPS grants were used tosupplant local funds and had little to no effect on reducing crime.

FEMA Fire Grants: $675 million. Fire grants should be terminated. Fire grants, which subsidize the routine operations of local fire departments, are ineffective at reducing fire-related deaths and injuries of firefighters and civilians. Fire grants incorrectly encourage local fire departments to become increasingly dependent on federal funding.

David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., Research Fellow in Empirical Policy Analysis

Postal Service Saturday delivery: $2 billion. The Senate CR continues—by omission—the prior year’s ban on using the Postal Service’s small appropriation to reduce service levels, effectively mandating Saturday service. This, along with other such congressional restriction, limits the Postal Service’s ability to reduce costs and increases the risk of massive federal subsidies in the near future.  (Yes, the Post Master CAN NOT  make decisions that would make the Post Office more efficient because of Congress!  BB)

—James Gattuso, Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy

NASA Manned Spacecraft: $1.2 billion. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is the new manned spacecraft NASA is developing for exploration of the Moon and Mars and for other purposes. Manned space flight is vastly more expensive than robotic exploration and is largely a public relations showcase for NASA to market itself to the American people. NASA’s budget should be pared back to a tight focus on cost-effective projects to advance its core missions.

(This is one I disagree with.  The United States and Americans have  benefited much from inventions made and perfected by the space program.  I won’t go into the many, many inventions because you can google them for yourself.  The space program should not be cut.   And, another reason is the brain drain because these NASA scientists needing jobs will go to Russia, china and other countries; do we really want this?   BB )

—J. D. Foster, Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy

National Science Foundation (NSF): $221 million. The bill would increase funding for NSF by $221 million, compared to the fiscal year (FY) 2012 enacted level, putting the total funding amount to $7.25 billion. Yet NSF has spent large amounts on research projects that are clearly not federal priorities ($325,000 for a “Robosquirrel” study; $516,000 creating a video game simulating prom week; and $350,000 for a study on how golfers should imagine a bigger hole when playing). Basic research is important, but given that NSF funding is diverted to inappropriate projects, it becomes wasteful. Budget reductions may help encourage more prudence.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): $71 million. Some of NIH’s funding goes to projects that seem inappropriate, such as $550,000 to acquire evidence that heavy drinking in a person’s 30s can lead to feelings of immaturity, while in their 20s it would not.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC): $358 million. This program should be terminated, because these services should be funded locally. The money is oftendiverted instead of going to poor people needing legal services, and there is a long history of waste and abuse of these funds by executives at the LSC.

Transportation. The bill would increase funding for highway programs and transit formula grants to match the levels authorized in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), current surface transportation law. It also funds a $4 million Transit Safety office that was authorized in MAP-21. By funding this new office and the transit formula grants, the bill would continue diversions of limited Highway Trust Fund (HTF) user fees to transit, which is a demonstrated local—not a federal—priority.

Transit serves truly local needs and is predominantly concentrated in just six cities.Congress should end such diversions from the HTF, because they come at the expense of highway and bridge maintenance and expansion projects and do not demonstrably improve mobility and safety.

—Emily Goff,  Research Associate

Housing and Urban Development Public Operating Fund: $562 million. The bill restores money from an FY 2012 cut to previous levels for a total 2013 funding request of $3.962 billion. The fund pays local public housing authorities annual subsidies for such things as maintenance, management, insurance and energy costs. These should be the responsibility of local jurisdictions.

—David C. John, Senior Research Fellow

In case you missed these during the year I am posting Heritage top 10 2012 research papers here in one place.  They are all as relevant now as when they were published; in fact some even more so.  The United States is well on its way to total destruction as a free nation.  Our one chance at salvation was to elect Mitt Romney for President and we didn’t.  Obama won by a slim margin, but he  and the Democrats take that as a mandate to do as they please and because they still control the Senate and Harry Reid is at the helm there is nothing in the federal government to stop them.   The only forces now fighting Obama and Obamanation are the states and some very brave companies and individuals  who are trying thru the courts to hold off or hold back the onslaught of our demise.    I think you need to know what all of these reports say in order to perhaps  minimize the  personal damage the federal government will do to individuals in the coming years.  Sincerely and Happy New Year my Friends, BB

Top 10 Heritage Research Papers of 2012

Todd Thurman

December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

federal spending 2008 – 2012As the year comes to a close, we reflect on 2012 by offering highlights of the top 10 most-read research papers by Heritage scholars.

1) The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government
By William Beach and Patrick Tyrrell
February 8, 2012
The great and calamitous fiscal trends of our time—dependence on government by an increasing portion of the American population, and soaring debt that threatens the financial integrity of the economy—worsened yet again in 2010 and 2011.

2) Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013
By Curtis Dubay
April 4, 2012
If President Obama and Congress fail to act this year, an enormous, unprecedented tax increase will fall on American taxpayers starting on January 1, 2013.

3) High Gas Prices: Obama’s Half-Truths vs. Reality
By Nicolas Loris
February 23, 2012
Higher gas prices drive up production costs for goods reliant on transportation, and more money spent at the pump means less money spent at restaurants and movie theaters.

4) Federal Spending by the Numbers
By Alison Acosta Fraser
October 16, 2012
The federal government has closed out its fourth straight year of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, and the imperative to rein in spending has never been greater.

5) Red Tape Rising: Obama-Era Regulation at the Three-Year Mark
By James L. Gattuso and Diane Katz
March 13, 2012
During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans.

6) The Ryan Budget: Confronting the Nation’s Spending Crisis
By Alison Acosta Fraser and Patrick Louis Knudsen
March 21, 2012
In the few months since Washington’s dramatic debt ceiling confrontation, America’s fiscal situation has only worsened. Federal spending is set to soar past previous record-shattering levels, endangering the economic future of the nation.

7) Auto Bailout or UAW Bailout? Taxpayer Losses Came from Subsidizing Union Compensation
By James Sherk and Todd Zywicki
June 13, 2012
The U.S. government will lose about $23 billion on the 2008-2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama emphatically defends his decision to subsidize the automakers, arguing it was necessary to prevent massive job losses.

8) Government Employees Work Less than Private-Sector Employees
By Jason Richwine, Ph.D.
September 11, 2012
The stereotype of the under-worked government employee is frequently invoked in criticisms of public-sector employment. But does the average public employee really work less than the average private employee?

9) Tax Policy Center’s Skewed Analysis of Governor Romney’s Tax Plan
By Curtis Dubay
September 23, 2012
Their conclusion is the result of a series of carefully made choices. These choices, not the underlying nature of the Romney plan, cause them to arrive at their selected result. This finding is harming the debate on tax reform.

10) Welfare Reform’s Work Requirements Cannot be Waived
By Andrew M. Grossman
August 8, 2012
Under the guise of providing states greater “flexibility” in operating their welfare programs, the Obama Administration now claims the authority to weaken or waive the work requirements that are at the heart of welfare reform.

There are few men who just always seem to make a great deal of sense when they speak and John Stossel is one of my favorite.  He cuts right thru all the chaff and gets right to the meat simply and clearly.  The following article is not new news but is a great sumation of where we are now and why and how we got here as well as a simple solution.  The solution really is simple and it amazes me that our government officials can’t seem to understand it.  As for our President….well Educated Idiot may be applied if you want to give hijm credit for being a decent human being.  I don’t,  so I will just label him as evil.   BB

Uncertainty Paralysis 
By John Stossel
Wednesday, June 06, 2012

President Obama would do us all a big favor if he’d ask himself this: “Would I start or expand a business without knowing what regulations or taxes government will impose next year?”

If he’d just stop and ask that, he’d have a sense of what’s wrong with the economy. He’d understand why a country that must create 120,000 new jobs each month just to absorb newcomers created only 69,000 last month.

Past recoveries were quicker. Something is different. What could it be?

Let’s remember that the economy — which is to say, us — is already burdened by byzantine bureaucratic impositions. Every week, the feds add another thousand pages of rules and proposals for rules. Local governments add their own. My mayor, in New York City, even proposes micromanaging the size of the drinks restaurants may sell.

On top of the existing mountain of red tape, the Obama administration has piled on more, with more to come. Obamacare was less a specific prescription than a license for the Department of Health and Human Services to write new rules, lots of which are yet to be written. No one knows how the bureaucrats will micromanage health insurance.  

Then there’s Dodd-Frank, the 2,300-page revamp of finance industry regulation. Again, the bill left the rule-writing to regulatory agencies. Who knows what they will come up with?    (All these little clerks at their desks trying to justify their jobs!  BB)

Every year, Congress makes thousands of changes to tax laws. And no one can guess what will happen in 2013 if the 2001 and 2003 rate cuts expire.  

There is an irresistible temptation for politicians to “do something” whenever real or imagined problems appear. The number of on-the-fly programs in recent years (from attacks on unpaid internships to Cash for Clunkers) has been astounding. This uncertainty kills job creation. If you cannot tell what will happen next week, next month, next year, why make a significant commitment? The next law or executive order might make a mockery of your plans.

America faces a humongous debt, and its trajectory is upward. If nothing changes, the whole budget would be consumed by interest payments. No politician wants that — if only because there’ll be no money to buy votes.

How will the problem be dealt with? Higher taxes? Massive inflation? Some combination? Where does that leave someone today who might, in a more stable policy environment, be eager to launch some big, long-term investment project?

In the dark, that’s where.

Economist John B. Taylor of the Hoover Institution summed it up aptly: “Unpredictable economic policy — massive fiscal ‘stimulus’ and ballooning debt, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing with multiyear near-zero interest rates, and regulatory uncertainty due to Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms — is the main cause of persistent high unemployment and our feeble recovery.”  

Historian Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute calls it “regime uncertainty.”

We should have learned the lesson during the Great Depression. Today’s problems are nowhere close to the 1930s, but there is a similarity in Franklin Roosevelt’s policy fog. Higgs writes:

“The insufficiency of private investment from 1935 through 1940 reflected a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns. … The willingness of businesspeople to invest requires a sufficiently healthy state of ‘business confidence,’ and the Second New Deal ravaged the requisite confidence… .”

The solution? Taylor finds it in the writing of Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek: the rule of law. “Stripped of all technicalities,” Hayek wrote in “The Road to Serfdom,” “this means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand — rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan one’s individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge.”

If we are ever to get out of this hole the politicians have dug, we must disabuse them of the conceit that they improve our lives by spending more, guaranteeing investments or “jump-starting” industries.

Only when politicians butt out, leaving us with simple, predictable rules, can the economy grow for us all.

John Stossel is host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network. He’s the author of “Give Me a Break” and of “Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.” To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM 

Once again, thank you for sending us your e-mails. We can’t respond individually, but we read and consider all of them. Send your question, comment, or complaint tojohn@theprojecttorestoreamerica.com orwendy@theprojecttorestoreamerica.com.

(I often learn for the emails.  BB)
*** Mr. Hinkle’s article that you carried was most interesting. I particularly appreciated its logical, reasonable tone. In an era where any issue becomes a matter of ideological bias, he made a very reasonable case.  

This doesn’t discount the development of other sources of energy. If there was a perfect market system without subsidies for oil companies and renewable energies, then perhaps price would determine investment choices. Oil of course has other consequences such as triggering wars and it is a contributor to greenhouse gases. Thank you, Jim 

Bidwell comment: Jim, if oil companies and renewable energy firms did not get subsidies, then yes, the price of the various energy sources would determine investment choices. Price would dictate the energy sources we develop and use, and energy would be like any other market good.

You can make the same case for healthcare. If the government didn’t subsidize healthcare, all of our healthcare costs would come down because healthcare would be like any other market good. All in all, government funding and involvement manipulates markets, and American consumers end up paying more (and sometimes for less effective products).     (YES!!  This goes for education and any thing else.  The government gets into it and the prices go sky high!  BB)

*** Why can’t the government pay for infrastructure and so on by selling natural resources (like oil)? Sincerely, Walt 

Bidwell comment: Walt, you are a smart man. If you are like John Heffern and me, you are very excited about the possibility of fracking and shale oil. With this technology, high pressure water is used to frack rocks, and the rocks release oil and natural gas. With some research and development, natural gas will be able to power cars and trucks while we become one of the leading exporters of oil. This might all happen within the next few years…

That is, if the government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and others do not stand in the way of this technology. If the government doesn’t impede innovation and growth, our country can become preeminent again, will be able to afford state of the art infrastructure and plan accordingly for the future.  

 


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