Office Loan Defaults At Highest Point In More Than A Decade thumbnail

Office Loan Defaults At Highest Point In More Than A Decade

By The Daily Caller

High interest rates and low demand have led to the number of U.S. office buildings threatened by default reaching its highest point since the fourth quarter of 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Around $38 billion worth of office buildings are currently facing defaults, foreclosures or another form of financial distress, according to data from finance firm MSCI acquired by the WSJ. The defaults are part of a larger commercial real estate crisis, as high interest rates set by the Federal Reserve to combat elevated inflation and a slump in demand due to a rise in work-from-home policies have left office owners with huge debts and struggling to find tenants.

The payoff rate for commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) in 2023 was at its lowest point since data began being collected in 2007, with only 35% of office owners paying back their loans at the end of their term, according to the WSJ. In 2021, more than 90% of office owners with a CMBS did so.

“The problem you have in office is, in many instances, there is no cash flow at all,” Bill Demchak, PNC Chief Executive, said on an earnings call, according to the WSJ. “It is really a unique animal at the moment.”

Only interest is typically paid for CMBS during the term of the loan, with the full amount being paid at maturity, or it has to be refinanced with current interest rates. Refinancing could pose an issue for commercial real estate owners due to a jump in interest rates as a result of the Federal Reserve setting its federal funds rate in a range of 5.25% and 5.50%, the highest level in 23 years.

The Fed set its rate to its current level in an effort to decelerate inflation, which peaked at 9% in June 2022 and is currently at 3.5% as of March, far higher than the Fed’s 2% target.

Not a good sign when small banks balance sheets are already 30% CRE and that share has been slowly growing over the last month after only briefly dropping: pic.twitter.com/zilY3eD5Kr

— E.J. Antoni, Ph.D. (@RealEJAntoni) April 27, 2024

Around $18 billion in office loans that were converted to CMBS in the past are set to come to term in the next 12 months, twice as many that matured in 2023, according to the WSJ. Office vacancy rates are also up to a record 13.8%, as opposed to 9.4% at the end of 2019.

Office owners are resorting to bolstering the amenities offered in their buildings to lure wary tenants who don’t necessarily need office space, driving up costs to obtain renters, according to the WSJ.

Defaults in commercial real estate pose a particularly big issue for small- and medium-sized banks that hold an outsized portion of CMBS. The mid-sized New York Community Bancorp experienced a massive drop in its stock earlier this year after posting a $252 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2023, largely due to commercial real estate loans, leading a group of investors, including former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to bail out the bank.

AUTHOR

WILL KESSLER

Contributor

RELATED ARTICLE: Economic Suicide’: Biden Admin Justifies Tax Hike Based On Racial Criteria

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Speaker Johnson’s Treasonous Betrayal thumbnail

Speaker Johnson’s Treasonous Betrayal

By Kelleigh Nelson

“Honesty is of God and dishonesty of the devil; the devil was a liar from the beginning.” —  Joseph B. Wirthlin

“When you’re a liar, a person of low moral fortitude, really any explanation you need to be true can be true. Especially if you’re smart enough. You can figure out a way to justify anything.” — Samuel Witwer

“Half a truth is often a great lie.” —  Benjamin Franklin

“By a lie, a man… annihilates his dignity as a man.” —  Immanuel Kant, philosopher

“America last. America last. That’s all this is. America last, every single day.” – Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene


By now, most Americans have figured out that our new Speaker of the House of Representatives lied to us, and not just once.

In his two-hour interview with Sean Hannity after he was elected, Johnson told host Hannity that, “Someone asked me today in the media, ‘People are curious, what does Mike Johnson think about any issue under the sun?’ I said, ‘Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview.’”

Really Speaker Johnson?  The Lord said, “Choose life!” But in 2022, you told Louisiana legislators that it wasn’t a right time to pass the bill abolishing abortion in your state, and you did this while a US Congressman.

Better take a look at Ecclesiastes 5:5 Mr. Speaker.  You have broken every promise you vowed to keep.  Yes, we can look in the Bible to know you and you seem cuddled up with the Stalinist demons of darkness.

Where are the J6 tapes you promised to release?

What have you done about election integrity?

Where is the border security you promised?  Proverbs 6:16-17.

What happened to Chip Roy (R-TX) and Byron Donalds (R-FL) working on plans for Continuing Resolutions cutting spending by eight percent and securing the border and protecting our military and veterans?  That was your stated promise in the Sean Hannity interview.

You haven’t provided even one dime to protect the southern border from the swarms of people entering the country illegally.

But all three men want to open and change our US Constitution.  Birds of a feather.

You, Mr. Speaker, and the Stalinist democrats, approved a nearly $100 billion foreign aid package that provides funding for Israel and Taiwan – but the bulk of the money is going to corrupt Ukraine – some $61 billion.

Promises, promises…all lies.

Tucker Carlson previously interviewed Bret Weinstein who had been to the Darien Gap at the request of Michael Yon.  The Weinstein interviews and the latest interview with Michael Yon should be seen by every American.

Who is facilitating the invasion and destruction of our country? Our own government!

Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America” is taking place before our eyes.

Watch the 58 second trailer of this Tucker Carlson interview with Michael Yon.

Johnson’s Personal Life

Normally, I’d consider personal life off target, but similar to former VP Mike Pence, Speaker Johnson lauds the fact that he’s a Christian and carries his Bible out front. It seems apparent that both he and Pence carry a knife behind their backs.

Johnson claims Christianity as his faith, but he is 52 and has a 40-year-old “adopted” black son who has a lengthy criminal record, lives in Los Angeles and has fathered four children. Speaker Johnson and his wife took custody of Michael Tirrell James, but never formally adopted him.  He is not included in their family pictures, by his own choice.

In 2022, the speaker revealed to media that he had installed “accountability software” between himself and his then 15-year-old biological son.  The surveillance software is called Covenant Eyes and is on devices in order to abstain from internet porn and other unsavory websites.  It is spyware. Covenant Eyes developed important relationships with Promise Keepers, Focus on the Family, churches and many other organizations.  Their founder is Ron DeHaas, an elder in his Calvinist Presbyterian Church.

Mike Johnson and his biological son, who is now 17, receive weekly reports on sites they’ve been to on their phones and computers.  One wonders if this includes his father’s political correspondence.  And why would anyone use this unless there was a problem?

Promise Keepers has a radical charismatic connection and promotes strong overt ecumenicism of the movement. One variation of the charismatic movement is the Vineyard movement, which has strong links to the Kansas City Prophets — a controversial cult claiming visions and revelations from God. They believe that God is giving new revelation today and that the miraculous signs of the early church should be normative for today. These beliefs have led to much confusion and error.

Treason

Johnson must think surveillance is just fine if he’s doing it with his son and vice versa, as he was the tie breaker to pass the reauthorization of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), without a requirement for warrants for surveillance on American citizens.  This was a massive betrayal of the fourth amendment.

In a highly unusual outcome, the amendment from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) to the reauthorization of the FISA Act tied at 212 — thereby failing. More than 80 Democrats joined with 128 Republicans in backing the measure, while 86 Republicans and 126 Democrats opposed it.

Face it! The betrayal is massive, and it’s not just the Stalinist Democrat Party; it is the majority of Trotskyite Republicans as well.  Our own country comes last with the representatives in both houses of Congress. Gaetz got rid of McCarthy, and we ended up with someone equally deceptive.

There is $61 billion more for Ukraine in this bill, bringing the total with armaments to over $250 billion given to the corrupt nation of Ukraine. (Zelensky just purchased the former home of Prince Charles and Diana.)  Israel will get $26.4 billion in aid and Taiwan will get $8 billion.

Johnson also buried $9 billion in aid to Gaza – meaning that money will be confiscated by Hamas.

Not a single penny went to secure our southern border.

Instead, Speaker Johnson actually endorsed the open border by making sure that another $4 billion is allocated for “migration and refugee assistance,” which is used by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the border invasion and migrant freebies.

The divvying up is this: $481 million in the Ukraine bill and $3.5 billion in the Israel bill.

Oh, and there’s $300 million for the State Border Guard and police…in Ukraine, not America.

In Rep. Andy Biggs’ (R-AZ) Washington Times article, Speaker Johnson’s Foreign Aid Bill is a Disaster, Andy explains where the funds are really going.

Cindy Dyer is the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and appears to be highly qualified to lead that State Dept. office.  But it’s like pulling teeth to get this woman to talk about the mass human trafficking at our compromised southern border.

Tara Lee Rodas, who worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to place unaccompanied migrant children with sponsors said, “Whether intentional or not, it can be argued that the US Government has become the middleman in a large scale, multi-billion-dollar, child trafficking operation run by bad actors seeking to profit off the lives of children.”

Chinese military, dangerous criminals, terrorists, and Mexican cartels are making tons of money in child trafficking and drugs as they pour across our southern border.

Our new Speaker spoke to Hakeem Jeffries, and said he would pray about the bill and how many Republicans he could deliver.  Apparently, Johnson believes the Lord told him to give billions of our tax dollars to Ukraine and Gaza and to ignore the invasion of our nation.

Democrats cheered this recent foreign aid bill and waved Ukrainian flags in the House.

Joe Biden lauded the Speaker and signed the bill.

Senator Schumer heaped praise on Johnson’s bi-partisan efforts.

Speaker Johnson has sided with the Stalinist Democrats who are decimating our country.

“Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, has come under scrutiny following revelations that he received significant campaign contributions from a foreign lobby group, particularly known for its pro-foreign policy stance. According to analysis conducted by The Intercept based on Federal Election Commission records, this lobby group donated approximately $95,000 to Johnson’s campaign in November of last year.” Link

“In a shockingly short period of time, Speaker Johnson went from a MAGA hopeful to a Deep State stooge.”   Scott Adams explains in layman terms how the CIA ‘captures’ our lawmakers right under our nose.

Betrayal

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was threatened with a $500 fine for posting evidence of Congressional treason with the betrayal of lawmakers waving Ukrainian flags in celebration of them passing a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel.

Dinesh D’Souza reposted it on X after Massie was told by Johnson to take it down.

Johnson had to walk back the fine as there was outrage from the GOP.  Instead of securing the border, Johnson caved to the Democrats.

Where in the Constitution is it legal to give tax dollars to foreign countries, and why is it that only Israel ever repays the funds and favors?

Our nation’s elected representatives are selling us down the river.  They’re all in on it, other than a small handful, and Matt Rosendale, one of the good guys, is leaving at the end of the year.

Our national debt is at the untenable amount of $35 trillion, yet they’re giving away borrowed money that is losing more value every day.  Inflation and shrinkflation are taxing the public into the poor house.

We’re looking at becoming the Weimar Republic in more ways than one, with hyper-inflation, Nazi rise and ultimate collapse.

Leo Hohmann writes, “Included in the package is $300 million to protect Ukraine’s border with Poland. This $300 million will be used to keep Ukrainians from fleeing into Poland to escape the military draft, which sends them into the meatgrinder and certain death at the front with a superior Russian military. No matter how hard they try to serve it up on a pretty platter, it doesn’t get any more evil than this.”

Leo ends his latest article with, “As the Bible says, woe to those who call good evil and evil good. Our politicians are on a mission to crash and burn what’s left of Western civilization.”

Johnson blew any border security leverage we had with his betrayal of the American people.

Johnson’s Advisors

Breitbart reports that Johnson’s top policy adviser is a former lobbyist who has corporate interests in the Ukraine War.  Dan Ziegler was previously executive director of the conservative Republican Study Committee that Johnson chaired from 2019 to 2021, and he left the Hill in December to join Williams and Jensen as a principal.

As a lobbyist with Williams and Jensen, Ziegler had a client list prone to support the Ukraine funding.  Here is a list of the groups and corporations who have retained them. Ziegler is a Heritage Action and American Energy Alliance alum, who lobbied for a range of health care clients, including Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi (the one Dr. Robert Malone loves), Owens & Minor, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, PhRMA, Amgen and Elevance Health, in addition to companies like Visa, Vanguard GroupBloom Energy and W Diamond Corporation.  (Heritage Action is a sister organization of controlled-opposition Heritage Foundation.)

According to a recent Breitbart article, Ziegler also represented News Media Alliance which was lobbying congress back when Ziegler worked for Williams and Jensen, to promote a very dangerous proposal that would silence conservative media. The proposal is called the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA).  It has failed, but keeps coming back.

Johnson has several neo-con backers in his party.  House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) attacked conservatives who were against this horrendous bill in order to achieve passage.  He even launched an “unhinged attack” on Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) over Ukraine aid.  McCaul endorsed the bill before even having seen it.

Dan Ziegler and Josh Hodges are the top aides to Johnson and influence how he votes.  Hodges is Johnson’s National Security Adviser but reports to Ziegler.  Breitbart states, “Hodges is the brain behind many of the most controversial Johnson policy decisions related to funding foreign wars, FISA, foreign affairs, and national security, a source familiar with the Speaker’s office’s inner workings told Breitbart News. According to Legistorm, Hodges handles Johnson’s armed forces and national security portfolios.”

Both Zeigler and Hodges advocate the votes we’ve seen Johnson make. Johnson’s Deputy Chief of Staff for communications, Raj Shah, has refused to answer any questions.  After Shah left Trump’s White House, he went to work for Fox News with Paul Ryan.  Shah called out Massie and Greene for their threats to oust Johnson. Knowing that Ryan and Mike Pence were good friends in Congress doesn’t make me feel all warm and cuddly about Shah, much less about Ziegler and Hodges.

In Rep. Greene’s (R-GA) interview with Tucker Carlson, she claimed that Mike Johnson often speaks with Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan.  ABC reported that Sullivan “pushed” Johnson to put a bipartisan foreign aid bill to a vote.  He has been an adviser to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  He clerked for former Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.  Sullivan is a Rhodes scholar and earned his law degree at Yale.  He was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Daily News. He interned at the globalist Council on Foreign Relations, and often writes for their Foreign Affairs Magazine.

Sullivan was a State Department official under then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when in 2012, four Americans were killed in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  In 2015, he was called to testify before the U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi.  Sullivan’s testimony became part of the Committee’s final report that concluded Clinton and Sullivan may have sent highly classified information using unsecured private emails rather than through secure government servers.

Jake speaks often at the Brookings Institute regarding the Biden administration’s international agenda.  Its largest contributors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Hutchins Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, the LEGO Foundation, David Rubenstein, State of Qatar, and John L. Thornton.

Even Mike Pompeo and the Stalinist owned intel community impressed upon Johnson the urgent need to approve assistance for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion.

Edward Snowden says Johnson is a textbook case of Congressional captureRevolver News explains, “In short, ‘Congressional capture’ is when lawmakers or legislative bodies fall under the heavy influence of outside interests, like big corporations, special interest groups, or US intel. These influences ensure that their agendas take precedence over the public’s needs. In simple terms, this means certain policies or laws that favor these groups are advanced, while criticism or resistance is quietly suppressed. Suddenly, their most ferocious critics become their biggest cheerleaders.”

We’re $35 trillion in debt, but that doesn’t even stop them!  These are inflationary dollars they’re printing with no backing.

This is the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation in America!

There is no accounting for any of the money given to Ukraine.

And no audits of the US funding.

This could be one of the greatest financial frauds in US history – Next to the Biden COVID assistance fraud.  Link

Plenty of Republicans are angry. Tennessee’s own Andy Ogles, (R-TN) believes Johnson is giving up a significant negotiation tool without addressing the border crisis in these bills.  Andy is part of the hardline Freedom Caucus and he believes that Ukraine should look for its money elsewhere.

The new “Christian Conservative Constitutional Attorney” is fulfilling the dreams of the Democrat Party while making Matt Gaetz’ removal of Kevin McCarthy look downright stupid.

Conclusion

President Trump said, “I stand with the Speaker,” and “Johnson is doing a very good job.”

Sorry President Trump, but Mike Johnson is being controlled by the very people stabbing you in the back.

Giving Biden’s political gestapo a brand-new FBI building bigger than the Pentagon, while not providing a dime to protect the southern border from the swarms of people entering the country illegally, is doing a “good job?

Meanwhile, Chinese military, dangerous criminals, terrorists, and Mexican cartels are making tons of money in child trafficking and drugs as they pour across our southern border.

This administration invited this invasion, and Speaker Johnson is complicit.

©2024. . All rights reserved.

‘Economic Suicide’: Biden Admin Justifies Tax Hike Based On Racial Criteria thumbnail

‘Economic Suicide’: Biden Admin Justifies Tax Hike Based On Racial Criteria

By The Daily Caller

The Biden administration’s analysis of its revenue proposals for fiscal year 2025 argues targeted tax hikes that disproportionately affect white people would ease racial wealth inequality.

Increasing taxes on capital gains and income-based wealth would reduce racial wealth inequality for black and Hispanic families, the Treasury Department outlined in the analysis published in mid-March. The Treasury points out that white families disproportionately hold assets subject to capital gains tax or are in a higher tax bracket, meaning a hike in those taxes would benefit black and Hispanic families.

The Biden administration argues for taxing capital income for high-income earners at “ordinary rates,” increasing the top rate from 37% to 39.6% for those who earn more than $1 million a year. Taxes on net investment income would also be hiked by 1.2 percentage points to 5% for those who make over $400,000 per year, bringing the total top marginal rate to 44.6%.

“Taxing capital gains at 44.6% at the federal level — not to mention state taxes — would be economic suicide,” Preston Brashers, research fellow for tax policy in the Heritage Foundation’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Before the tax ever took effect, investors would rush to pull their money out of equities subject to such exorbitant tax rates. U.S. businesses would be starved for capital, and business activity would slow to a crawl. Ultimately, corporate income and capital gains income would fall off a cliff, so the net result would be less tax revenue, not more. The middle class and working class would be slammed with mass layoffs and lower real wages.”

The Treasury estimates that white families are the recipients of 92% of the benefits of preferential rates on capital gains and qualified dividends, compared to 2% and 3% for Hispanic families. Only 0.4% of white families, less than 0.05% of black families and 0.1% of Hispanic families will be affected by the proposed rule change on capital gains.

“So, if President Biden’s goal of redistribution is to make the rich poorer, his proposal would be successful,” Brashers told the DCNF. “But if the goal is to lift up the middle class, the plan would fail spectacularly. Note, even the Urban-Brooking Tax Policy Center use estimates that imply that the revenue-maximizing long-term capital gains rate is about 28%, so it’s clear that Biden’s proposal is on the wrong side of the Laffer curve.”

The proposal also calls for establishing a minimum 25% income tax that includes unrealized capital gains for those with wealth over $100 million. The Biden administration argues that the wealthiest taxpayers utilize their stake in unrealized gains to lower their total income and reduce their tax liability, but taxing unrealized gains may force many business owners to sell stakes in their company if they are not liquid enough to pay the burden.

“The wealthy already pay far more than their fair share, while the tax burden on large corporations ends up landing on individuals across the economy, including low-income individuals,” Chris Edwards, the Kilts Family Chair in Fiscal Studies at the Cato Institute, told the DCNF.

GOING STAGhttps://t.co/O1240CSl51

— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 28, 2024

The Biden administration also calls for ending a “loophole” that allows families to postpone their estate tax burden by creating trust assets that benefit multiple future generations and are not taxed on the death of the beneficiary. Around 30% of white families receive an inheritance that would qualify as of 2019, compared to 10% for black families and 7% for Hispanic families.

“Left-wing Biden economists seem unable to appreciate that raising taxes on capital hurts labor. Capital and labor work together to produce economic growth,” Edwards told the DCNF. “They are complements. The Biden economists seem to hold the Marxist view that capital and labor are bitter enemies, and that the only way that labor can win is for the government to crush capital.”

The Biden administration is also proposing to expand the child tax credit, temporarily increasing the amount given per child and permanently restoring the full refundability provision. The Treasury argues that it will ease racial disparities since a disproportionate number of black and Hispanic kids have benefited from it in the past.

“These proposals would also increase the fairness of the tax system by addressing some of the features that have historically reinforced racial disparities,” the proposal reads. “Over time, these proposals are expected to increase wealth accumulation by low- and middle-income families and reduce racial wealth gaps.”

The proposal was released in conjunction with calls from the Biden administration to drastically increase spending for fiscal year 2025, adding at least $14.8 trillion to the national debt by the end of a presumptive second term for the president.

The national debt has continued to grow rapidly under President Joe Biden, totaling more than $34.55 trillion as of April 26, up from $34 trillion at the beginning of the year, according to the Treasury Department.

Huge government spending is also putting the U.S. economy at risk of stagflation, with first quarter growth only totaling 1.6% while inflation remains high at 3.5% in March year-over-year.

“This hints at the false view that sadly underlies much of the Biden administration’s economic policy: high-earners only achieve success through luck, and low-earners can only achieve success through government handouts,” Edwards told the DCNF. “That is an appalling, un-American view.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the DCNF.

AUTHOR

WILL KESSLER

Contributor.

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

‘Too Little, Too Late’: Congress’ $60 Billion Aid Package Won’t Get Ukraine Off The Ropes, Experts Say thumbnail

‘Too Little, Too Late’: Congress’ $60 Billion Aid Package Won’t Get Ukraine Off The Ropes, Experts Say

By The Daily Caller

Congress’ new $60 billion aid package is unlikely to move the needle in Ukraine’s war against Russia, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The House overwhelmingly voted to pass the $60.8 billion package on Saturday that aims to bolster Ukraine’s war effort and replenish U.S. stockpiles, and the Pentagon is reportedly quickly sketching up a plan to deliver Kyiv tactical vehicles, armored personnel carriers and missiles if the bill is ultimately signed off on by President Joe Biden, according to Politico. But given the lack of an endgame strategy to end the war and Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive in the face of a growing Russian military, the aid could help bolster Kyiv’s defenses for a while, but is unlikely to push it closer to a military victory, former U.S. officials and defense experts told the DCNF.

“By itself, the latest tranche of U.S. aid is not zero-sum and it’s hard to imagine it will prompt a turning point in the war. However, if used properly the funds should be helpful for a period of time,” Michael Bars, former White House senior communications advisor and National Security Council official, told the DCNF. “It’s disappointing that another $60 billion went out the door without a penny for U.S. border enforcement, on which the Speaker long-conditioned additional Ukraine aid.”

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, who helped spearhead the bill’s creation and passing, previously insisted that any future Ukraine aid needed to be tied to border security. Johnson ultimately discarded that idea and helped pass the Ukraine bill separately, provoking ire from several GOP lawmakers.

This is the U.S. House of Representatives under the direction of Speaker Mike Johnson. Democrats are celebrating his total capitulation with no victory for securing our border. #MTV pic.twitter.com/TtaIgnX9eg

This is the U.S. House of Representatives under the direction of Speaker Mike Johnson. Democrats are celebrating his total capitulation with no victory for securing our border. #MTV pic.twitter.com/TtaIgnX9eg

— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 20, 2024

“I think there’s not enough money available, either in this bill or in a much larger one, to help Ukraine achieve their goals of retaking all their territory or even go on offense in a sustained way,” Benjamin Friedman, policy director at Defense Priorities, told the DCNF. “So in a sense, moving forward is beyond their grasp, even if we give them a lot more weapons. The aid might be useful in helping them hold the line and not suffer some kind of breakthrough where the Russians start to make real progress. So I think it’s a little bit opaque exactly how dire things are for Ukraine.”

Ukraine has thus far received approximately $73 billion in aid, including military and economic assistance, from the U.S. alone since the country’s war with Russia began in February 2022. Ukraine has burned through existing aid and yet has failed to make any territorial advances in its counteroffensive operations.

Ukraine suffers not only from a lack of munitions and weaponry but also a shortage of manpower, having lost an estimated 70,000 troops as of December, U.S. officials previously told The New York Times. Ukrainian forces took a significant blow during the withdrawal of Avdiivka in Eastern Ukraine amid a shortage of manpower as Russian forces advanced and seized control of the city.

Zelenskyy is lowering broadening conscription standards in a bid to increase mobilization, but it may be too late to make a difference now, even with additional munitions, Michael DiMino, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities and former CIA officer, told the DCNF.

“It’s kind of too little, too late,” DiMino told the DCNF. “Even if you mobilize those people now, you’re 30 points down right now… if you want to do the right thing, Zelenskyy should have made that call two, three years ago at this point.”

Complicating matters further is Russia’s military-industrial complex, which, despite heavy sanctions from the West, is at full operational capacity and producing armaments at a swift rate. Despite sustaining heavy manpower losses, Russia’s military has recovered back to pre-war levels and is growing much faster than Ukraine’s, head of U.S. European Command Gen. Christopher Cavoli warned Congress last week.

“It appears that Russia, with a reputedly sanction-proofed economy, is prepared for a long haul and will continue insisting on territorial concessions from Ukraine,” Bars told the DCNF. “This will put the U.S. on the hook for even more aid down the road as part of protracted conflict.”

Russia has economically allied itself more closely with Western adversaries such as China, Moscow’s largest trading partner as of 2024, to ease some of the weight of sanctions. Russia has also deepened its military cooperation with Iran and North Korea, both of whom are also burdened by sanctions.

The new Ukraine aid package, if signed into law, will provide Kyiv with approximately $14 billion for the direct purchase of weapons and munitions through the Pentagon’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. At least $13.4 billion will go toward replenishing the U.S.’ weapons stockpile, which can be transferred to foreign allies through the presidential drawdown authority.

Roughly $10 billion will be provided as an economic loan under the package, which the president would eventually be able to waive in its entirety.

“The loan system itself is an innovation and allows for much-needed oversight. Otherwise, it would be a straight grant and no oversight,” Johnson’s office told the DCNF on Monday. “Every single dollar that goes to Ukraine for aid is now a loan. The other money goes to our own national security and replenishes our stockpile.”

“The loan system is split in a tiered system so it cannot all be forgiven immediately or at one time,” Johnson’s office told the DCNF. “The process for congressional review puts heavy oversight on the president’s ability to forgive the loan.”

DiMino told the DCNF he is not opposed to sending Ukraine more military aid so long as it is attached to a cohesive war strategy, which he felt has thus far not been presented by the Biden administration or supporters in Congress.

“Whether people are in favor of the aid or not, I don’t really care about that. What I care about is, what is the theory of victory? I would argue right now that this current administration does not have a theory of victory.” DiMino told the DCNF. “President Biden mentioned Ukraine for two minutes at the top of the State of the Union, and he said, ‘Putin is evil, and democracy is important.’ And that’s great, and we can probably agree on that. But that’s not a strategy to win a war. That doesn’t actually discuss the tactical realities on the ground.”

“$50 billion, $60 billion, $10 billion — it doesn’t matter. It has to be tied to a strategy and to an objective that’s achievable,” DiMino told the DCNF. “It has to be a realistic objective. And I would argue that taking back 100% of Ukraine’s territory is not really a feasible military objective at this juncture.”

AUTHOR

JAKE SMITH

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

House Bursts Into Pro-Ukraine Chant During Foreign Aid Vote

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Biden Admin Weighs California’s Latest Green Gambit That Could Set Off Chain Reaction Of Economic Pain thumbnail

Biden Admin Weighs California’s Latest Green Gambit That Could Set Off Chain Reaction Of Economic Pain

By The Daily Caller

The Biden administration could allow California to implement a rule designed to push green locomotives, but a growing list of stakeholders are warning that the regulation would severely impact the state’s economy and the national rail industry.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could soon determine whether it will allow the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to move forward with a state regulation that would ban the use of locomotives that are more than 23 years past their manufacturing date unless they run using zero-emissions technology, according to Progressive Railroading.

The rule could disrupt supply chains and saddle the state’s railway industry with huge new costs that would flow to consumers, with the effects of the rule potentially spilling out in other parts of the country, according to numerous trade groups, lawmakers and policy experts who believe the Biden administration should reject CARB’s request.

CARB passed the locomotive rule in April 2023, but the agency must first receive the EPA’s permission before it enacts a regulation that goes above and beyond federal rules, according to the EPA’s Federal Register entry on the request. Monday was the last day to file comments with the EPA about the matter, signaling that a final determination could be coming soon.

“When you look at regulations in California, they’re being promulgated by people who don’t really understand the ramifications of what they’re requiring,” Edward Ring, a veteran of the railroad industry who is now the director of water and energy policy for the California Policy Center, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “CARB is asking for something — zero-emissions locomotives — that do not yet exist. And what’s going to happen is it’s going to dramatically raise the cost of shipping anywhere in California, and that’s going to have a ripple effect across the country. This is another example of California’s environmentalist regulations raising the cost of living.”

California Is Staring Down The Barrel Of A Yawning Budget Deficit. Can It Even Be Fixed? https://t.co/pxy1zh0Smp

— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 11, 2024

The rule for locomotives would take effect in 2030, assuming EPA allows CARB to proceed. Some of the rule’s critics say that timeline is too tight to meet given the current lack of dependable, affordable zero-emissions technology available for locomotives on the market.

Moreover, the rule also would require locomotive operators to pay into their own trust accounts to fund the acquisition of zero-emissions locomotives and related infrastructure, according to CARB. The payment structure requires operators to contribute more into the accounts for operating dirtier locomotives than they have to put up for running cleaner ones.

Because many other states adhere to CARB guidelines, the EPA’s approval could set off a chain reaction expanding the impact of the rule well beyond California’s borders, according to Ted Greener, vice president of public affairs for the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

“If EPA approves the waiver the rule becomes a national matter on the first day. Roughly 65% of the locomotive fleet goes in and out of California and almost all of the freight rail traffic that moves in the state of California traverses state lines,” Ted Greener, vice president of public affairs for the Association of American Railroads (AAR), told the DCNF. “Moreover, EPA granting the waiver enables other states to opt-in and replicate the regulation in full – including the phase out dates and the spending accounts. Such a balkanized system would be unspeakably costly, but also disruptive to the flow of goods.”

A “large number” of locomotives would be impacted by the rule, Greener told the DCNF. Typically, locomotives have a lifespan ranging from 30 to 50 years, and they are regularly upgraded or otherwise modified to be more fuel-efficient, Greener added.

Other rail industry interest groups, such as the American Short Line and Railroad Association (ASLRRA), have also opposed the rule.

“While the spirit behind this rule is consistent with short lines’ environmental commitment, the rule itself is impractical, unworkable, and simply not feasible for most short lines,” Chuck Baker, president of ASLRRA, said of CARB’s rule in May 2023. “In addition, this rulemaking does not acknowledge the impact of the elimination of some short line rail service to Californians … Short lines would not in fact be able to pass on these costs to their customers and some of them would be eliminated by this rule.”

For its part, CARB downplays most of these criticisms and concerns.

“Despite the availability of cleaner options, railroad companies have failed to make investments to replace their outdated, dirty locomotives that contribute to the state’s air quality problems and endanger the lives and health of Californians,” a CARB spokesperson told the DCNF. “Passenger vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, ocean-going vessels, heavy off-road equipment, small off-road engines used in landscaping, among other emissions sectors are all doing their part. It’s time for the rail industry to join and work with us to become part of the solution rather than focusing their efforts on litigation and PR campaigns.”

“In addition, under CARB’s Locomotive Regulation, railroads need not purchase new locomotives, but instead have many options available to them, including the use of zero-emission tender cars, rail electrification, or retrofitting of their existing locomotive fleet to ensure zero-emission operation while operating within California,” the spokesperson continued.

California is suing oil companies over climate change https://t.co/jM65aSB2px

— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 17, 2023

Labor unions, including the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, have filed comments with EPA making their opposition to CARB’s rule clear.

Moreover, a diverse coalition of more than 60 trade groups — including the National Association of Manufacturers, the Beer Institute and the Aluminum Association — wrote a letter Friday to Karl Simon, the director of EPA’s Transportation and Climate Division, expressing significant concerns with the rule should CARB be allowed to proceed.

“This regulation from CARB has the potential to create significant disruptions in the supply chain for all sectors of the U.S. economy, especially manufacturers and shippers who rely on consistent, reliable rail service,” the letter reads. “This rule could lead to delays for businesses and increased costs for both shippers and consumers that could ultimately lead to a massive supply chain crisis. If railroads are forced to spend large amounts of money to ensure compliance with this rule, those costs will be passed along the entire supply chain and could inhibit rail service at facilities across the country – not just in California.”

“The issue is that no viable technology exists today to move freight beyond yards on a zero-emissions basis,” the letter continues. “Despite aggressive [research and development] and innovation in the rail sector and significant private investments, the technologies to achieve this rule simply do not exist at this point.”

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and 11 Republican Senators also wrote their own letter expressing concern about the CARB rule to EPA Administrator Michael Reagan on April 16. In addition to raising questions about the legality of CARB’s rule, the lawmakers urged the EPA to “carefully consider the environmental, supply chain, and modal shift implications that EPA approving CARB’s waiver request would have.”

The EPA did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

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What Has California’s War On Fossil Fuels Actually Accomplished?

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

‘Blank Checks and Slush Funds’: House Passes $95 Billion Foreign Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel thumbnail

‘Blank Checks and Slush Funds’: House Passes $95 Billion Foreign Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel

By Family Research Council

Members of Congress chanted “Ukraine!” and waved a sea of rippling, blue-and-gold flags across the House floor, as the House of Representatives approved a massive $95 billion foreign aid package that benefits Ukraine, Taiwan, and both sides of the Israel-Hamas war.

The aid package contained approximately $61 billion in additional funding for Ukraine’s war against Russia, which supporters say will pay for the military’s next year of efforts. The bill also contains $26 billion for Israel, $9 billion of which is constituted as “humanitarian aid” for the Gaza Strip. The Awdah Palestinian TV, owned by the Fatah Party, accused Gaza’s Hamas-controlled government of stealing and absconding with food and other vital supplies intended for its citizens “to their own homes.” The package also contains $8 billion for the “Indo-Pacific” region, primarily Taiwan.

The bill passed the House on Saturday by a 311-112 vote. While Democrats voted unanimously in favor of the bill, a majority of Republicans opposed additional aid (112-101). One congressman, Rep. Daniel Meuser (R-Pa.), voted present. The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to pass the bill on Tuesday.

Raucous congressmen began chanting, “Ukraine! Ukraine!” and waving foreign flags in the lower chamber of the U.S. people’s House immediately upon the bill’s passage, putting off critics of continued aid. “Too much Ukraine. Not enough USA,” remarked Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).

The only member of the House born in Ukraine, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), voted against sending more aid to her homeland, saying she would only vote to forward additional aid if it came with tighter oversight and provisions to secure the U.S. border. This aid package continues the Biden administration’s policy of “blank checks and slush funds,” Spartz declared on the House floor. “Unfortunately, this strategy has failed the American people. Biden has failed the American people.”

“If we don’t have proper oversight, we are not going to achieve our goals,” said Spartz earlier this month. “We cannot have these never-ending wars.”

House Republicans hoped to at least secure additional border enforcement from the aid package, but the measure failed to get the necessary two-thirds supermajority to be included in this bill.

House Democrats deemed the measure unnecessary. “Some say, ‘Well, we have to deal with our border first.’ The Ukrainian-Russian border is our border,” declared Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.).

Ultimately, insiders familiar with the process say, the Ukrainian aid package “would not have passed without Donald Trump.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told “Fox News Sunday” that “President Trump has created a loan component to this package that gives us leverage down the road.”

The legislation allows the U.S. to ask Ukraine to repay $10 billion in aid. But Ukraine is not expected to pay back U.S. taxpayers.

Controversially, the bill gives the president the ability to absolve Ukraine of half of that remaining $10 billion debt after the next presidential election but before the next president takes office.

“The ‘loan’ for Ukraine is all smoke and mirrors,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) posted on the social media platform X. “It allows the president to cancel up to 50% of funds owed after November 15, 2024, and all remaining funds owed after January 1, 2026. No bank would allow this.” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) dismissed the loan as “a joke.”

The deepening fissure within Republican ranks had been signaled during a procedural, rules vote on Friday. “What was significant about it is that the Democrats actually joined Republicans in voting in favor of the bill,” reporter Victoria Marshall told “Washington Watch” guest host Joseph Backholm shortly after that tally.

That bipartisan support may have cost Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) vital support among his own House caucus, as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) doubled down on their threat to vacate the chair, terminating Speaker Johnson’s short and embattled tenure in office. Observers say that could result in a unified Democratic caucus overpowering a fractured Republican bloc to hand far-Left Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) the speaker’s gavel — and its attendant powers to move, or block, legislation.

“One of the things that’ll be interesting to track is how this plays in the Republican caucus that Speaker Johnson continues to try to hold together,” said Backholm on Friday. This weekend’s vote holds “lots of political ramifications for him personally and certainly for the caucus, as they head into November.”

Alongside the aid package, Congress passed the REPO Act, which allows the Biden administration to freeze, seize, and redistribute an estimated $6 billion in Russian assets, sending the proceeds to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has already promised “retaliatory actions and legal proceedings” if Washington follows through with its threat.

An ebullient Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told “Meet the Press” the fresh injection of U.S. taxpayer funds gives his nation “a chance for victory” over Russia. Likewise, CIA Director William Burns insisted the additional resources were aimed at “puncturing Putin’s arrogant view that time is on his side” during a speech at the Bush Center Forum on Leadership in Dallas on Thursday.

But military experts say Ukraine’s defeat is inevitable.

“This aid does not enable Ukraine to win the battle,” Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst now with the America First Policy Institute, told Newsmax TV on Monday morning. “It simply keeps Ukraine in the fight.”

“The best option, which Zelensky and Biden won’t talk about, is to end the war — to start a ceasefire and a process to end the killing,” said Fleitz. “Because Ukraine will eventually lose this war of attrition.”

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Rep. Anna Paulina Luna Scolds Dems Waving Ukrainian Flags After Vote – ‘Put Those Damn Flags Away!’ 

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The final sellout? Uniparty devils sending $95 billion to corrupt foreign governments – $300 million goes to prevent Ukrainians from escaping military draft by fleeing to Poland thumbnail

The final sellout? Uniparty devils sending $95 billion to corrupt foreign governments – $300 million goes to prevent Ukrainians from escaping military draft by fleeing to Poland

By Leo Hohmann

The House voted on Saturday to betray America and American interests. As sellouts go, this was a big one, even by Washington Uniparty standards, as these members of Congress basically flipped their collective middle finger at America’s working poor and its increasingly struggling middle class.

These globalist sycophants, led by the globalist Speaker Mike Johnson, passed three separate foreign-aid bills that will provide funding to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, transferring a total of $95 billion from the U.S. Treasury directly to foreign governments. The massive foreign-aid package now heads to the Senate, where it will be rubber-stamped and signed by Joe Biden.

According to Just the News, the Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed 311-112. The bill contains $61 billion for Ukraine.

This bill is not only anti-American, it’s anti-Ukrainian. Even more so, it’s anti-human because it will result in many more dead Ukrainians and Russians.

Included in the package is $300 million to protect Ukraine’s border with Poland. This $300 million will be used to keep Ukrainians from fleeing into Poland to escape the military draft, which sends them into the meatgrinder and certain death at the front with a superior Russian military. No matter how hard they try to serve it up on a pretty platter, it doesn’t get any more evil than this.

Watch Steve Poplar’s report on the bill below.

Democrats cheered after the foreign-aid bills were passed, according to CNN. Some celebrated by raising Ukrainian flags in the House chamber.

Democrats wave the Ukrainian flag on the House floor during billion dollar foreign aid vote pic.twitter.com/qAVI01ZAHQ

— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 20, 2024

The House then passed the Israel Security Supplemental with a vote of 366-58. It contains $26.4 billion to aid Israel. Taiwan will get $8 billion.

Some of House Speaker Mike Johnson’s GOP colleagues have threatened to oust him as speaker if he moved forward with Ukraine aid. He ignored them. Johnson is now so popular with Democrats that some say they will prevent Republicans from ousting him.

Congressman Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told reporters, according to The Washington Post:

“To send $100 billion overseas without reinforcing our own borders shows that we put America last.”

Ya think?

Massie and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., have cosponsored a motion introduced by Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s to vacate the office of the Speaker, while Democrats including Tom Suozzi of New York and Jared Moskowitz of Florida have pledged to save Johnson if that attempt to oust him arrives, according to the New York Post.

Congressman Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., on Thursday called the foreign aid package that funds the Ukraine war “America Last.”

I would call it something even worse: America’s betrayal.

And, by the way, you can bet your last dollar that the U.S. Congress will approve funding for securing U.S. borders, only after they have reinstituted the military draft.

I’ve been predicting this for some time, that a wall will be built, but only to keep us in, not to keep anyone out. They’ve already set the precedent with $300 million to secure Ukraine’s border with Poland.

The Gateway Pundit reports that Virginia Democrat Rep. Gerry Connolly declared, in an unhinged speech on the House floor, that “the Ukrainian-Russian border is OUR border.”

Connolly was raging at Republicans opposing the aid package to Ukraine before Saturday’s vote.

“Some say, well, we have to deal with our border first,” Connolly claimed. “The Ukrainian-Russian border is our border! It’s the border between depraved autocracy and freedom-loving people seeking our democratic way of life! Do we have a stake in that outcome? Yes. Undeniably, yes.”

The melodramatic pontificating continues with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). “Some say, well, we have to deal with our border first,” bellows Connolly. “The Ukrainian Russian border is OUR border!”

Who knew?!? It’s basically like the border between Virginia and Maryland pic.twitter.com/51rQcpdqOd

— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 20, 2024

This is the twisted talk of a deranged Luciferian-influenced globalist. He’s no longer even capable of seeing the interests of his own people, and his definition of protecting America centers on how much of our hard-earned tax dollars he can ship overseas to foriegn governments to fritter away on new war-making mischief. It matters not that this policy of endless war is killing more than 1,000 Ukrainians per day, and their government is now kidnapping middle-aged men off the streets to send them to the front.

And any foreign government that acts to discourage or repress the worst aspects of humanity is labeled a “depraved autocracy,” while encouraging mankind to live in actual depravity is called “freedom loving” and “democratic.”

When the Uniparty operatives in the Democrat and Republican parties refer to “our democracy,” they’re referring to their version of a demented and perverted ideology that operates like a death cult. Their idols are abortion on demand (they only argue now over how old of an unborn baby it’s OK to kill), LGBTQ obsessions, toxic injections for all, and perpetual war.

As the Bible says, woe to those who call good evil and evil good.

Our politicians are on a mission to crash and burn what’s left of Western civilization. Will you let them offer up your child or grandchild to the globalist death cult? Let me know in the comments below.

©2024. Leo Hohmann. All rights reserved.

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Here Are The 30 GOP Senators Who Voted To Reauthorize Warrantless Spying Tool

POST ON X:

Mike Johnson betrayed America once again.

After doing nothing to secure America’s Southern border, reauthorizing FISA to spy on the American people without a warrant, fully funding Joe Biden’s DOJ that has indicted President Trump 91 times, and giving Biden’s political gestapo a… pic.twitter.com/8ZnQB5ry5j

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) April 20, 2024

‘Hammered From All Sides’: Minority Truckers Say California’s Green Regs Are Destroying Their American Dream thumbnail

‘Hammered From All Sides’: Minority Truckers Say California’s Green Regs Are Destroying Their American Dream

By The Daily Caller

Minority truckers are struggling to stay afloat as the state of California levies stringent green regulations on their businesses, according to some of those affected who spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB), California’s environmental regulatory agency, will ban the sale of new diesel heavy-duty trucks starting in 2036, a policy partially motivated by a desire to improve health outcomes for minority populations. That requirement is the latest in a string of similar requirements imposed in recent years, all of which have made it excessively difficult for minorities to operate their own trucking enterprises and pursue the American dream, some of those small business owners told the DCNF.

“Many California neighborhoods, especially Black and Brown, low-income and vulnerable communities, live, work, play and attend schools adjacent to the ports, railyards, distribution centers and freight corridors and experience the heaviest truck traffic,” CARB said in 2020 after proposing its most recent “clean truck” rule. That particular rule for trucks was motivated in part to address the “disproportionate risks and health and pollution burdens affecting these communities,” the agency said at the time.

Biden’s Emissions Rule For Trucks Could Crush Small Companies And Jack Up Costs, Truckers And Supply Chain Experts Say https://t.co/Y18vlz5F2F

— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 2, 2024

While bureaucrats writing the rules pitch them as a way to reduce respiratory and health ailments in minority communities that live in and around frequently-trafficked trucking routes, some minority truckers told the DCNF that the rules are squeezing them financially in ways that render any purported health benefits moot.

“A lot of our members are minority-owned small businesses,” Joe Rajkovacz, the director of governmental affairs and communications for the Western States Trucking Association, told the DCNF. “Here in California, there is a decided indifference to small business trucking by both politicians and bureaucrats.”

Randy Thomas, a black man, grew up in South Central Los Angeles as the son of a World War II veteran and a lifelong resident of California. He ran his trucking firm for many decades, growing his business from a one-man operation to a company that employed 15 drivers and provided enough income to send all of his children to college, making them the first in his family to get the chance to do so.

By 2009, the regulatory environment left him no choice to shut down his business, as it did not make financial sense for him to purchase new and expensive trucks to meet new mandates.

“I did my first trip when I was 20. Everything was going great from 1971 up until around the time that (former President Barack) Obama got into office,” Thomas told the DCNF. “By 2008, we come up with this clean truck program here. We were having all these meetings. I’m looking at the division between the environmentalists, telling us about CO2 and gases …  I’m looking at the charts of what our engines that we had at that time, which were made mainly mechanical diesel, and they had no idea what engine was gonna be the engine they were writing into prospective goals.”

“Guys are going out of business like you wouldn’t believe,” Thomas told the DCNF about other Californian truckers he knows.

After closing his business, Jackson moved on to a different company, and he still drives truck routes delivering medical supplies and other time-sensitive loads. But, as he explained to the DCNF, “it wasn’t my company anymore.”

Bill Aboudi, a Palestinian-American who still owns his own small trucking company operating out of the Port of Oakland, touched on some of the same themes in an interview with the DCNF.

Aboudi was born in 1966, and his father went missing in action during the Six Day War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states in 1967. Aboudi immigrated to the U.S. when he was 14 years old, and started helping his brother out with his trucking business in 1989 after he got out of the California National Guard and never left the industry.

“I live in the middle of getting hammered from all sides. One of the first things that CARB always makes it out to be, is if you’re in the trucking business, you’re a polluter. I always try and explain to them, I’ve got an organic garden, I have about three fruit trees in my backyard. I used to keep bees … I’ve got 12 chickens. I love the environment, and I want to get the best technology for my operation,” Aboudi told the DCNF. “It seems like the regulators have no clue. They want to be able to turn on a switch and have everybody switch directionally right away … They end up reducing our company size and stunting our growth.”

Assembly Bill 5, which reclassified California’s 70,000 independent owner-operators as employees of shipping companies rather than independent contractors, was another policy that hurt the workers politicians purported to help, Aboudi said.

“This kills the liberty of being a trucker and kills the American dream,” Miguel Ramirez, a Los Angeles-based trucker, told the DCNF in July 2022.

It’s not just truckers who are impacted by regulations and their impacts on California’s trucking operators, Aboudi explained to the DCNF. There are many thousands of blue-collar workers — including immigrants like him — whose jobs rely on California’s busy ports, providing parts for trucks and other closely-related trades.

“I am still paying for trucks that I upgraded on the last round, and I can’t use them,” Aboudi continued, referencing older regulations. “Now I’m paying for the newer trucks that I upgraded to. And I’m being told I’m gonna have to go to zero-emission trucks that are still in the first stage of development … We’ve already had to downsize our company from 13 trucks to eight trucks.”

While bureaucrats in Sacramento and the supporters of their political superiors in Los Angeles and San Francisco may think that their progressive approach to environmental policy is benefiting minority communities, the opposite is true in many cases, according to Donna Jackson, the director of membership development for the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Project 21.

“California leads the country in enacting climate change policies that are increasingly leading to tiered social classes, the rich and the poor,” Jackson told the DCNF. “Like the Biden administration, California has ignored the real needs of underserved communities. Its climate change policies are destroying minority businesses and creating needless barriers to upward economic mobility. The result of all of this is not just job losses, but lost role models, financially unstable families, declining home ownership rates and a loss of community pride.”

CARB did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Bidenomics Inflate-and-Spend Policies Are Penny Bad, Pound Foolish thumbnail

Bidenomics Inflate-and-Spend Policies Are Penny Bad, Pound Foolish

By Family Research Council

Under a metal standard, inflation is caused by bad pennies. Under the Biden standard, inflation is a bad penny, in that it keeps turning up. In fact, nearly two years after inflation peaked in the summer of 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Wednesday that inflation is still chugging along at nearly twice the Federal Reserve’s target rate. Not only does the Biden administration not understand inflation’s cumulative burden on workers and families, they don’t seem to understand the economic phenomenon at all.

According to BLS, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.4% in March and the same percentage in February, for a 12-month increase of 3.5%. Excluding the volatile categories of food and energy, core inflation rose 0.4% in March, matching February and January, and rose 3.8% over the past 12 months. Costs continue to rise across the economy, from gasoline (1.7%) to transportation services (1.5%) to electricity (0.9%) to apparel (0.7%) to medical care services (0.6%). For families who already feel like they’re carrying an armload of bricks, March’s report just placed one more brick on top.

The government has two ways to respond to inflation. One way is monetary policy, primarily controlled by the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to combat inflation and lowering them to combat recessions. The other way is fiscal policy, or how much money the federal government collects and expends.

As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has “repeatedly insisted,” the Fed wants to keep price inflation at 2% annually — at least they do on paper. But economist Marc Goldwein observed that, “at our current pace, we’ll have 4%-4.5% inflation.” A third grader could explain that four is twice as much as two.

Despite its professed commitment to 2% inflation, the Federal Reserve has been reluctant to raise interest rates at all, and it has only done so slowly and gradually. The Fed was recently contemplating cuts to the interest rate as early as June, even though inflation had not yet returned to its 2% target.

Indeed, considering who first proclaimed the emperor’s nakedness, perhaps the Federal Reserve Board could learn wisdom from a third grader’s simplicity. “The CPI rebound is one more data point that the Fed’s monetary policy isn’t as tight as it claims,” argued The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “Three months is more than a blip in the data.”

While the March inflation report wasn’t good, at least it may have forced the Fed to respond seriously. The WSJ suggested the ongoing prices hikes are “depriving [the Fed] of a credible justification for cutting rates.” An asset management strategist predicted to CNBC that “there is likely sufficient caution within the Fed … that a July cut may also be a stretch, by which point the US election will begin to intrude with Fed decision making.”

Speaking of the election, that decision point could be far more impactful to the other inflation-control level, fiscal policy. Voters have virtually no say over who runs the Federal Reserve, but they are directly responsible for choosing members of Congress and the occupant of the White House — those figures responsible for setting the nation’s fiscal policy.

Thus far, the vast majority of Americans are deeply frustrated about the cost of living. A recent WSJ poll of seven swing states found that 74% of voters thought inflation had moved in the wrong direction over the past year.

The White House has argued that “the only problem in the economy is consumer psychology,” noted the WSJ. “But if voters are downbeat about the economy, persistent inflation is a good reason. Price increases across the Biden Presidency are unlike anything Americans have seen in recent decades. They have been a particular shock for low-income and younger workers who haven’t accumulated a wealth cushion in the stock market or housing values.”

“It is not ‘the rich’ who are suffering in this economy; it’s everyone else,” declared National Review’s Charlie Cooke. “Grocery prices are up by more than 30 percent since 2020. The costs of new mortgages have skyrocketed, as have the costs of financing, insuring, and repairing a car.” Meanwhile, real average hourly wages are down 2.54% since January 2021, according to the WSJ.

The connection between the government’s disgraceful conduct and the disastrous consequences for average Americans is no secret. Inflation always occurs when there is too much money and not enough to spend it on. When the federal government runs a deficit, it effectively dumps extra money into circulation (even if the debt must be paid back later). When the federal government runs an obscenely large deficit, it can spark an inflationary cycle. That is exactly what happened when Congress went on a spending spree during COVID — a spree which has never stopped.

“The problem is the federal government ran a $2 trillion deficit last year, is set to run a similarly large deficit this year, and if Biden gets what he wants, it will run a $1.8 trillion deficit next year,” noted economic analyst Dominic Pino. The U.S. government is currently running a deficit equivalent to about 7% of national GDP — far more than other countries — without either a war or a recession to justify it,” Pino complained. “One really big thing that could help prevent these ugly situations is for the federal government to stop spending so much money that it doesn’t have.”

As a result of Washington’s reckless debt guzzling, “the Fed alone won’t be able to cure our sustained inflation,” argued National Review’s Veronique De Rugy. Extinguishing this inflationary blaze will take two committed parties who are hooked up to a hydrant. The Fed’s firehose cannot put out the fire until Congress and the president put down the flamethrower.

President Joe Biden paid lip service to this responsibility on Wednesday when he reacted to the BLS report with the claim, “Fighting inflation remains my top economic priority.”

“Who is he kidding?” retorted the WSJ editors. “His real priority is to keep the government and consumer spending spigot wide open with subsidies galore for electronic vehicles, student-loan write-offs and social welfare. His other main priority is using regulation to put government in control of more of the economy. None of this restrains prices.”

Biden attempted to preempt the obvious rebuttal. “I have a plan to lower costs for housing — by building and renovating more than two million homes — and I’m calling on corporations including grocery retailers to use record profits to reduce prices,” he declared. “My agenda is lowering costs for prescription drugs, health care, student debt, and hidden junk fees.”

Fear not, troubled householder! Lord Biden has heard your cries for price relief and has demonstrated his unparalleled knowledge of economics by demanding that prices be lower. Gape awestruck at his superior insight and bend a thankful knee.

Pino skewered “any sector-specific efforts to fight inflation” as “a game of economic Whack-a-Mole.” Since the fundamental “problem is too much money chasing too few goods,” he explained, “if you scare some of the money away from one category of goods, it will scurry to another category.” Thus, he predicted that “inflation will likely show up in seemingly random places” from month to month.

There are two methods to make a large float lie on the bottom of a pool. The first method is to simultaneously press down on every inch as it tries to rise to the surface. The second method is to drain the pool. Biden is not only trying the first method, but is also continuing to fill the pool.

A clever reader may object that Congress has at least as much control over fiscal policy as the president, as Congress is the organ of government responsible for raising the debt limit, authorizing spending, passing a budget (or, in lieu of a budget, a pork omnibus), and passing any other spending bills. Under normal circumstances — and under the Constitution — I would agree.

It’s true that Congress has failed — and has been failing — at its stewardship of taxpayer dollars (or, more accurately, the dollars future taxpayers have not yet earned).

However, it’s also true that Biden keeps trying to incur other costs not authorized by Congress. President Biden on Friday announced new plans to cancel student loans, something the Supreme Court already ruled he lacked the authority to do. In a lawsuit filed Monday that challenges Biden’s new student loan forgiveness scheme, seven state attorneys general argued the plan — which would cost $475 billion across 10 years — “is only the most recent instance in a long but troubling pattern of the President relying on innocuous language from decades-old statutes to impose drastic, costly policy changes on the American people without their consent.”

In exchange, Biden offered to target junk fees and build some houses. (By the time the federal government finishes “building and renovating more than 2 million homes” at the speed of a sloth in syrup, they’ll likely have to admit those units are barely sufficient to house the more than 2.3 million migrants who have illegally entered the country under Biden’s watch.) But forget about Biden lobbing inflation grenades into a crowded concourse; concentrate instead on how he personally supplied every member of the crowd with rubber gloves to shield themselves.

In November, the public will get their first direct opportunity to grade Biden’s performance as the nation’s chief executive, as well as the disgraceful conduct of other government officials who pretend to be in charge of fiscal policy. How will they rate them? “Americans, history shows us, will forgive a president who is obliged to fight inflation with higher interest rates,” Cooke granted, “unless, of course, he is the same president who is blamed for the inflation in the first place.”

Monetary policy and fiscal policy work like tongs. Between them, they can take hold of inflation — so long as both prongs contract. Getting inflation under control requires draining off all the excess money through higher interest rates — and then not adding more through deficit spending. But this plan would require a measure of fiscal discipline not seen in Washington — or the Fed — for decades.

Judging by the history of other nations, governments who embark on a debt-fueled vote-buying binge rarely restrain themselves until they crash off a fiscal cliff. Will American voters force our elected officials to be wiser?

We may learn the answer in November. For now, the Biden administration’s plan to combat inflation is to place trash cans under every drip from the ceiling, but never fix the leaky roof.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden Reportedly Has No Plans To Address Inflation With Policy Changes Before Election thumbnail

Biden Reportedly Has No Plans To Address Inflation With Policy Changes Before Election

By The Daily Caller

President Joe Biden reportedly has no plans to address inflation with policy changes ahead of the 2024 election, officials told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The issue of inflation and how the Biden administration will address it has resurfaced after the consumer-price index (CPI) increased to 3.5% in March, a figure that is higher than what was anticipated, according to the WSJ. While the White House issued a statement touting how the administration has done “more to do to lower costs for hardworking families,” the president and his aides are reportedly not planning to make any policy changes to address the rising issue, officials told the WSJ.

Instead, the White House is reportedly planning to continue to tout the president’s efforts to lower prescription drug prices and house costs, the WSJ reported.

“Our agenda to lower costs on behalf of working families is as urgent today as it was yesterday,” Jared Bernstein, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told the WSJ. “We’re just going to keep our heads down and continue fighting to lower costs.”

As the 2024 presidential election inches closer, the president and his allies have abandoned the use of “Bidenomics,” the branding coined to promote Biden’s economic policies, according to an Axios analysis. The president has not used the term “Bidenomics” since Jan. 25 aside from a speech he gave in North Carolina in March, Axios reported.

Democrats and other allies of the president reportedly once urged the White House to tone down its use of the term, with some fearing that the branding wasn’t hitting with the American people, Politico reported.

“With all due respect to the president, to the White House, this is not so much about them as it is the people who are benefiting by the policies that they came out and demanded,” Democratic Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford told the outlet. “We have to do a better job framing this not so much for one person — for the office of the presidency — but for the people.”

The White House reportedly was shown data on how the American people received the term, according to Politico in 2023.

“I don’t like it, either,” Democratic South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, previously said about the use of “Bidenomics.”

The president’s former chief of staff Robert Klain reportedly voiced his frustrations with the White House communication strategy, according to audio exclusively obtained by Politico. Klain reportedly argued that the president needed to spend less time focusing on infrastructure projects and more time talking about the economy, Politico reported.

“I think the president is out there too much talking about bridges,” Klain said, according to Politico. “He does two or three events a week where he’s cutting a ribbon on a bridge. And here’s a bridge. Like, I tell you, if you go into the grocery store, you go to the grocery store and, you know, eggs and milk are expensive, the fact that there’s a fucking bridge is not [inaudible].”

Klain then added that he thought there was some benefit to touting infrastructure projects, though he was generally skeptical.

“He’s not a congressman. He’s not running for Congress,” said Klain. “I think it’s kind of a fool’s errand. I think that [it] also doesn’t get covered that much because, look, it’s a fucking bridge. Like it’s a bridge, and how interesting is the bridge? It’s a little interesting but it’s not a lot interesting.”

AUTHOR

REAGAN REESE

White House correspondent. Follow Reagan on Twitter.

RELATED ARTICLES:

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‘That’s Not True’: Former Obama Official’s Attempt To Blame Businesses For Inflation Swatted Down

RELATED VIDEO: REAL AMERICA- Dan Ball W/ ‘Brian,’ Business Owner Alleges Illegals Get Social Security Cards

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

Prices Edge Even Higher As Fed Chair Speculates If Inflation Is Really Under Control thumbnail

Prices Edge Even Higher As Fed Chair Speculates If Inflation Is Really Under Control

By The Daily Caller

Inflation jumped year-over-year in March amid speculation over whether the rate of inflation is really decelerating, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics release on Wednesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), a broad measure of the price of everyday goods, increased 3.5% on an annual basis in March and 0.4% month-over-month, compared to 3.2% in February year-over-year, according to the BLS. Core CPI, which excludes the volatile categories of energy and food, remained high, rising 3.8% year-over-year in March, compared to 3.8% in February.

“Indexes like the median CPI and trimmed-mean CPI remove outliers and they show inflation much higher than the headline, or even the core, inflation rates,” E.J. Antoni, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “That tells us the rise in prices is widespread and not simply one or two volatile components jumping for a few months. We’re facing persistently high inflation — period.”

March’s report marks the second month in a row that the annual rate of inflation has increased.

The series of recent high reports adds more speculation as to whether inflation is moving towards the Fed’s target of 2%, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell saying on April 3 that it was too soon to tell whether recent upticks in inflation were more than temporary fluctuations, indicating that high inflation could be around longer than expected, according to The Hill. The Fed has placed its federal funds rate in a range of 5.25% and 5.50% in an attempt to bring inflation down to 2% year-over-year.

Inflation peaked at 9% in June 2022, rising from around 1.4% year-over-year in January 2021, when President Joe Biden first took office, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Since its peak under Biden, the rate of inflation has not declined below 3%.

Investment managers cooling their heels, particularly on tech, this month as risk appetite comes down and near-term market outlook worsens; energy leaped back into the lead as persistent currency devaluations elevate commodity prices and hopes of interest rate cuts are dampened: pic.twitter.com/ptKYJFNSrK

— E.J. Antoni, Ph.D. (@RealEJAntoni) April 9, 2024

The Fed’s next rate decision is expected to be announced at the conclusion of the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting on May 1, with investors nearly unanimous that the Fed will not cut rates, according to the FedWatch tool from the CME Group.

“The FYTD deficit is an annualized $2.8 trillion, much higher than estimates by the Treasury, CBO, or OMB,” Antoni told the DCNF. “To pay for these unfunded bills, the Federal Reserve has allowed bank reserves to climb more than 20% from their trough last year, which is fueling inflation by growing the money supply. Rate cuts should be off the table, the balance sheet runoff should be accelerated, and interest rates should be allowed to float higher, instead of being set at today’s artificially low level.”

The high rate of inflation comes in tandem with continued above-trend economic growth, which measured 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 4.9% in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

AUTHOR

WILL KESSLER

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: We’re Now Spending More On Debt Interest Than Defense, Report Finds

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Shutting Down The Federal Government’s A Good Thing—Here’s Why! thumbnail

Shutting Down The Federal Government’s A Good Thing—Here’s Why!

By Dr. Rich Swier

“We must consult our means rather than our wishes.” ― George Washington


American families make a budget, corporations make a budget, small businesses make a budget. These budgets are designed to keep the doors open and keep spending in check, in order to put money away for a rainy day.

Budgets are how we, as individuals, get things done. Budgets are how we the people keep our doors open for family and friends. How we save to send our children to schools and universities, how we purchase our homes, buy our cars and eat, drink and be merry.

The federal government has “intentionally and repeatedly” failed to create budgets on time, within we the taxpayers means and it has failed to spend our tax dollars on what we the people value most, the health, wellbeing, safety and security of our families.

There is always the fear that somehow shutting the government down is a bad thing. But is it?

Let’s take a look at the federal budget process to understand that it may be a “good thing” to let the government shut down.

The federal budget for each fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30, is approved by the House, Senate, and the President combined.

The President submits a detailed budget request for the coming fiscal year, which begins on October 1. The budget contains estimates of federal government income and spending for the upcoming fiscal year and also recommends funding levels for the federal government. Congress then must pass appropriations bills based on the president’s recommendations and Congressional priorities.

Congress’ 12 Appropriations Committees

There are currently 12 Appropriations Committees that create their respective budget and send it to the floor of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate for a vote. BTW, we pay these committee members and their staffs to get the job done on time and within the budget.

The 12 Appropriations Committees are:

  1. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  2. Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
  3. Defense
  4. Energy and Water Development
  5. Financial Services and General Government
  6. Homeland Security
  7. Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
  8. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
  9. Legislative Branch
  10. Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
  11. State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
  12. Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

If Congress does not pass all appropriations measures by the start of the fiscal year (October 1st), it has to enact a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running.

This is the key problem that keeps rearing its ugly head, as it did in 2024 as follows:

  • On January 19th, 2024 Congress, failing to do its job, passed a CR extending the dealing to March 1, 2024.
  • On February 2, 2024 Congress, failing to do its job, extended the CR to March 8, 2024.
  • On March 8, 2024, Congress, failing to do its job, extended the CR to March 22, 2024.

NOTE: According to the Government Accountability Office, there have been 47 CRs between fiscal years 2010 and 2022.

At 5:00 a.m. on March 22, 2024 the budget, which should have been passed on October 1, 2023, finally passed, 6 months late.

Congress has failed we the people.

This failure is not just a one off, it has become Washington, D.C.’s way of doing business. Creating anxiety and concern in order to pass budgets that benefit the few and take away from the many.

We the people are facing death by CR after CR after CR and budget after budget after budget!

The budget process has become a joke.

The Federal Budget and America’s Values

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. said, “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”

Those who are supposed to spend our money wisely and on things that we truly value, i.e. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, have failed us.

We saw just this year that Congress use CRs to keep the government open but funded programs that are patently offensive to the majority of Americans.

Here’s a short list created by the ,

  • $400,000 requested by Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) for Briarpatch Youth Services in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. The group promises to hide minors’ struggle with gender dysphoria from their parents while indoctrinating teens in extreme gender ideology.
  • $400,000 requested by Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) for the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia, which carries out transgender hormone shots, clears the way for transgender surgeries, advertises transgender services for minors, and holds drag show fundraisers.
  • $1,808,000 requested by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed (both D-R.I.) for Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, which carries out first- and second-term abortions at its Family Planning Clinic.
  • $650,000 requested by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for Dartmouth Hitchcock Nashua in New Hampshire. “We routinely provide both medication and procedural abortion care up to 22 weeks of pregnancy,” the group declares.
  • $780,000 requested by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) for Amador Health Services in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which boasts that it “can provide transgender/gender non-conforming (GNC) health education, therapeutic counseling and referrals, and additional LGBTQ+ support that puts your safety and comfort first.

Also listed the following concerning earmarks in the 2024 budget:

  • “Sen. Bennet (D-CO), $845,000 – Envision: You, CO (SAMHSA) – LGBTQ advocacy.”
  • “Sen. Shatz (D-HI), $550,000 – Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center, HI (SAMHSA) – LGBTQ services and syringe exchange.”
  • “Sen. Schumer (D-NY), $1,000,000 — SAGE, NY (ACL) – LGBTQ advocacy.”

QUESTION: Do these $6,433,000 in appropriations and earmarks truly fit your personal values?

Shut It Down

Brookings Institutes’ [1] reports, “Under the Antideficiency Act (initially passed in 1884 and amended in 1950), federal agencies cannot spend or obligate any money without an appropriation (or other approval) from Congress. When Congress fails to enact the 12 annual appropriation bills, federal agencies must cease all non-essential functions until Congress acts. This is known as a government shutdown. If Congress enacts some but not all of the 12 appropriations bills, only agencies without appropriations have to shut down; this is known as a partial shutdown.”

Here’s what happens and why it is a good thing:

  1. During shutdowns, many “non-essential” federal employees are told not to report for work. If these employees are non-essential then why are they on the payroll. Companies don’t hire non-essential employees, why should the government. Identifying these non-essential employees is the perfect way to start cutting government.
  2. Government employees who provide what are deemed “essential services”, such as air traffic control and law enforcement, continue to work, but don’t get paid until Congress takes action to end the shutdown. All this applies only to the roughly 25% of federal spending subject to annual appropriation by Congress. So, technically 75% of government employees are not essential? Does this mean we can fire up to 75% of those currently working for the federal government!
  3. Benefits such as Social Security and Medicare continue to flow because they are authorized by Congress in laws that do not need annual approval (although the services offered by Social Security benefit offices may be limited during a shutdown). So we the people will still get our Social Security checks and Medicare benefits. That’s a good thing.
  4. The Treasury continues to pay interest on U.S. Treasury debt. If we eliminate the debt this all goes away. Does this make sense to you? NOTE: According to GAO’s projections, debt held by the public will more than double over the next 30 years, rising from around 97% of GDP at the end of fiscal year 2023 to 29% in 2054.
  5. Shutdowns can be disruptive, leading to delays in processing applications for passports, small business loans, or government benefits; shuttered visitor centers and bathrooms at national parks; fewer food-safety inspections. Why not turn these over to the private sector or to the states? The states issue drivers licenses, why not let them issue passports using federal guidelines? Why not get the government out of the small business loans and turn that over to the banks and other lending institutions? Why not privatise visitor centers and make them a profit making entity that pay for themselves? As far as some government benefits, bathrooms at national parks, food-safety inspections aren’t these best left up to the private sector?
  6. Other workers deemed “essential” would remain on the job, though they also would not get paid. Services like mail delivery and tax collection would continue. [2]

Interestingly the Federal Courts and Congress itself are minimally impacted by a government shutdown. While some congressional staff may be sent home without pay, the question remains is the Congressional staff bloated?

So there you have it. Government can “shut down” with minimal impact if government cuts itself and shifts many of its responsibilities to the privates sector or to the individual state, e.g. Texas dealing with the border.

We are concerned that big government has become the opiate of the people. We now believe that we the people’s money is truly the opiate of big government.

©2024. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

Sources:

[1] What is a government shutdown?

[2] US government shutdown: what does it mean?

‘Total Abomination’: $1.2 Trillion Bill Funds Teen Trans Programs, Abortion to 22 Weeks thumbnail

‘Total Abomination’: $1.2 Trillion Bill Funds Teen Trans Programs, Abortion to 22 Weeks

By Family Research Council

A sprawling, $1.2 trillion government funding bill includes funding for abortion facilities, as well as LGBTQ activist centers that carry out transgender injections, target minors, hold drag shows, and help illegal immigrants who identify as gay or transgender gain U.S. citizenship — a bill one congressman calls “a total, total abomination.”

The “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024” funds the Departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security (DHS), Labor, and State until the end of the fiscal year, September 30. Congressional leadership released the text of the 1,012-page bill at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, giving members of Congress just hours to read before an anticipated vote to head off an impending government shutdown at midnight Saturday.

As of this writing, the bill contained the following earmarks:

  • $400,000 requested by Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) for Briarpatch Youth Services in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. The group promises to hide minors’ struggle with gender dysphoria from their parents while indoctrinating teens in extreme gender ideology. Its “Queer 101 Training” promises to teach “an intersectional understanding on queer oppression” and aims “to demonstrate how limiting the ‘male’ and ‘female’ binary is.” The organization offers “individual counseling services” for children “ages 12-17,” in which a “[c]ounselor can work with children on exploring identity, resiliency, and creating a Gender Support Plan for school support and advocacy.” The group’s website says, “Youth do NOT need parent/guardian permission to join Teens Like Us. We understand not all youth are at a point in their lives where they can safely and confidently ‘come out.’” (Emphasis in original.) The group’s “Queer 101 Training” aims “to demonstrate how limiting the ‘male’ and ‘female’ binary is.”
  • $400,000 requested by Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) for the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia, which carries out transgender hormone shots, clears the way for transgender surgeries, advertises transgender services for minors, and holds drag show fundraisers. Mazzoni carries out cross-sex hormone injections and provides medical letters for transgender surgeries. The center begins targeting teens with its Pediatric & Adolescent Comprehensive Transgender Services (PACTS). Its “Youth Drop In,” which is held each Wednesday night, is aimed at teens “ages 14 to 24” and notes, “Patients under 18 can receive confidential care regarding sexual and mental health without parental permission.” The Mazzoni Center both contributes to and profits from the LGBT movement. Mazzoni invited donors to mingle with “a wide range of acts that include drag queens, drag kings, trans-identifying, bearlesque, and burlesque performers” at its December 3 Code Red fundraiser. “In December, fundraising for Mazzoni Center truly was a drag,” the center cracked. “Drag entertainer Cherry Pop and her fabulous friends united for the 10th annual Code Red fundraiser, a drag/variety show,” which it described as a “powerful night” for a “vital cause.”
  • $1,808,000 requested by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed (both D-R.I.) for Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, which carries out first- and second-term abortions at its Family Planning Clinic. “If you need to discuss abortion care for pregnancy, please feel free to contact the Family Planning Clinic,” states its website. Its “services” include “[s]urgical abortion under general anesthesia in the operating room for people up to 22 weeks pregnant” and “[m]edication abortion (the ‘abortion pill’) for people up to ten weeks pregnant.” The facility will also implant a potential abortifacient inside women after the abortion, advertising a “[p]ost-abortion IUD or contraceptive implant.”
  • $650,000 requested by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for Dartmouth Hitchcock Nashua in New Hampshire. “We routinely provide both medication and procedural abortion care up to 22 weeks of pregnancy,” the group declares. The facility describes surgical abortion as a procedure “ending a pregnancy by having the pregnancy removed by doctors.”
  • $780,000 requested by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) for Amador Health Services in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which boasts that it “can provide transgender/gender non-conforming (GNC) health education, therapeutic counseling and referrals, and additional LGBTQ+ support that puts your safety and comfort first. If you’ve felt rejected by family and loved ones, isolated from your community, or are just in need of an ear to listen, we’re here.” It also decries the “social stigma” surrounding “undocumented immigration” (e.g., illegal immigration). “[W]e’re working every day to eliminate that stigma and make all feel like they belong.”
  • $146,000 requested by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) for Apicha Community Health Center, for facilities and equipment. Apicha’s two locations in Manhattan and Queens advertise “transgender and gender-affirming services” — specifically “initiation and maintenance of hormone replacement therapy,” “letters of support for gender-affirming surgeries” and “help with name change process.” They also distribute potential abortifacients Plan B and IUDs.
  • $706,000 requested by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) for Entre Hermanos, an LGBT group that helps put illegal immigrants on a path to U.S. citizenship. It offers legal counseling and “free immigration clinics” to illegal immigrants who identify as LGBTQ to obtain U.S. citizenship and hosts workshops on “the many identities” under the transgender “umbrella” and strategies to minimize “transphobia.” The group’s website currently advertises the upcoming “Drag Brunch” on April 28.
  • $850,000 requested by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) for LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc. (“The Pryde”), in Massachusetts, a controversial funding provision that House Republicans stripped out of a Transportation funding bill last year.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, also listed the following concerning earmarks:

  • “Sen. Bennet (D-CO), $845,000 – Envision: You, CO (SAMHSA) – LGBTQ advocacy.”
  • “Sen. Shatz (D-HI), $550,000 – Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center, HI (SAMHSA) – LGBTQ services and syringe exchange.”
  • “Sen. Schumer (D-NY), $1,000,000 — SAGE, NY (ACL) – LGBTQ advocacy.”

The “earmarks in it for abortion facilities” make the bill a “total, total abomination,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) told Steve Bannon’s “War Room” on Thursday.

“We continue to fund abortion tourism, we continue to fund transgender surgeries at the Department of Defense,” Roy continued. “It busts the [spending] caps … funds the FBI headquarters, doesn’t secure the border, funds the World Health Organization.”

Even these dedicated funding streams do not cover the full extent of the bill’s harmful funding, say its critics. “I have multiple concerns, among them are the many new social services that this bill would create for the millions of illegal immigrants streaming across our border. Additionally, it would fund facilities providing routine abortion services, including late-term abortions,” said Aderholt.

Experts say the short time frame legislators have to review such massive legislation makes it more likely wasteful or immoral spending will find congressional approval. “Lawmakers are using arbitrary deadlines and shutdown politics to extort the American people and force lawmakers to vote for a bill they don’t have time to read,” said Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation. “Conservatives were told that the days of omnibus spending bills shrouded in secrecy were over. But this process and the bill it produced are indistinguishable from typical Swamp behavior that’s taken our economy and country to the brink of disaster.”

Principled lawmakers seem to agree. “This is not the bill that my subcommittee produced and supported,” the chairman added. “The Senate has taken liberties with their Congressionally Directed Spending requests that would never stand in the House.”

“Under no circumstances should [House Republicans] vote for this bill,” said Roy. “A vote for this bill is a vote against America.”

“In good conscience, I cannot and will not vote for these projects or this bill,” Aderholt concluded.

The bill is expected to pass Friday.

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Rep. MTG Files Motion To Remove Mike Johnson As Speaker Of The House thumbnail

Rep. MTG Files Motion To Remove Mike Johnson As Speaker Of The House

By The Daily Caller

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion Friday morning for Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to vacate the chair.

Greene called on Johnson to not bring the $1.2 trillion spending bill to the floor for a vote, calling it “a Chuck Schumer, Democrat-controlled bill coming from the ‘Republican-controlled’ House.” She would have to be recognized to try to vacate the speakership, and the House would have to take action within two legislative days. Having not noticed the privilege, the motion cannot be considered until after the recess.

WATCH: 

No Republican in good conscience can vote for the uniparty minibus.

This is not a Republican bill. It is a Chuck Schumer, Democrat-controlled bill coming from the “Republican-controlled” House.

The Speaker of the House should not bring it to the floor. pic.twitter.com/EGosNo5Sz7

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) March 22, 2024

pic.twitter.com/a6Vdu1X03D

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) March 22, 2024

“Speaker Johnson always listens to the concerns of members, but is focused on governing. He will continue to push conservative legislation that secures our border, strengthens our national defense and demonstrates how we’ll grow our majority,” Johnson’s spokesperson Raj Shah said in a statement.

JOHNSON SPOX RAJ SHAH stmt re. MTV: “Speaker Johnson always listens to the concerns of members, but is focused on governing. He will continue to push conservative legislation that secures our border, strengthens our national defense and demonstrates how we’ll grow our majority.”

— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) March 22, 2024

The House ended up on Friday passing the $1.2 trillion consolidated spending bill, which included millions of dollars in earmarks, to fund the remainder of the U.S. government for the 2024 fiscal year. The bill passed with 286 yeas to 134 nays, meeting the two-thirds majority requirement to suspend the rules and pass expeditiously.

Leading up to the vote, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus (HFC) members encouraged their Republican colleagues to vote against the package, which Chairman Bob Good slammed in a statement.

“Is there anything that some Republicans won’t do to keep this government open? Why are we in a rush to keep this government open that is so harming the American people by the very policies which they are suffering under?,” Good said. “And the bill that’s being voted on today will be Republicans joining with Democrats to fund this DHS. Instead we must say enough, not on our watch.”

Former HFC Chairman Scott Perry echoed Good’s concerns, saying Republicans who vote yes “should be ashamed,” while Republican Rep. Chip Roy argued that they will “own the destruction of America” for passing the bill.

“Every single Republican should vote no, should vote no. And should be ashamed of ever voting yes,” said former HFC Chairman Scott Perry. “And if they don’t vote no on this bill, what they’re saying to their constituents — their bosses who sent them to Washington, D.C. — Democrat or Republican, what you saw at the border, that’s fine with me. That’s good. Let’s get more of that.”

“Anybody who votes for this bill today owns every stinking bit of it,” Roy said. “They own the destruction of the American economy with all these regulations killing families. They own the wide open borders, causing death and destruction. They own the fentanyl pouring into communities. If you fund it, you own it.”

AUTHOR

Massive Spending Bill Provides Money for Transgender Clothing for Teens, Chest Binders, Tuck Equipment, ‘Counseling’ all WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT thumbnail

Massive Spending Bill Provides Money for Transgender Clothing for Teens, Chest Binders, Tuck Equipment, ‘Counseling’ all WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT

By The Geller Report

The House Appropriations Committee just released a $1.2 trillion government spending bill at two in the morning.

Included in this trillion dollar, bankrupting boondoggle is taxpayer monies earmarked  funneled to Briarpatch Youth Services. Briarpatch gives 13-year-old kids chest binders, tuck equipment, “counseling” all without parental consent.  This was requested by Senator Baldwin.

Let’s talk about who actually writes up these monstrosities. Who us behind this? Who is running the country.

Read Page 146: docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/

Massive Spending Bill Provides Money for Transgender Clothing for Teens

By: Todd Starnes, March 21, 2024

There are troubling developments out of our nation’s capital.

A $1.2 trillion spending bill was released by House Speaker Mike Johnson and Republican leaders in the wee hours of the morning. The bill is more than 1,000 pages and is filled with outrageous expenditures.

House members have been told to prepare for a vote on Friday morning. That would be a direct violation of the 72-hour rule – which requires the text of a bill to be released at least 72 hours before a vote.

“It is total lack of backbone, total lack of leadership and a total failure by Republican leadership,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) told Steve Bannon. “I don’t even have words for any Republican that votes for this bill. I promise you I will not be going out and supporting any Republican who votes for this bill for any position, ever again.”

The proposed bill already represents a complete surrender on any efforts to secure our southern border. But it’s also filled with other outrageous proposals.

There’s $400,000 in tax money earmarked for Briarpatch Youth Services, an organization that gives gender confused 13-year-old children “binding and tucking” clothing — without parental permission.

A call to vacate the chair should be declared if the House of Representatives is not given at least 72 hours to read this monstrosity of a spending bill. If the GOP can’t be leaders in fiscal responsibility, what’s the point?

Meanwhile, call your elected members of Congress and tell them to vote NO on the spending bill — even if it results in the shutdown of the federal government. Enough is enough!

Read more.

America under the Democrat regime is an evil, horrible joke.

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

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

Javier Milei Delivers Argentina’s First Surplus in Over a Decade—and U.S. Media is Silent thumbnail

Javier Milei Delivers Argentina’s First Surplus in Over a Decade—and U.S. Media is Silent

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

Argentines witnessed something amazing last week: the government’s first budget surplus in nearly a dozen years.

The Economy Ministry announced the figures Friday, and the government was $589 million in the black.

Argentina’s surplus comes on the heels of ambitious cuts in federal spending pushed by newly-elected President Javier Milei that included slashing bureaucracy, eliminating government publicity campaigns, reducing transportation subsidies, pausing all monetary transfers to local governments, and devaluing the peso.

Javier Milei’s minister of economy just announced an “emergency package” of measures to completely balance the budget in 2024 equivalent to over 5% of GDP.

This would be equivalent to a $1.4 trillion austerity package in a single year in the U.S. economy.

The measures include:…

— Daniel Di Martino 🇺🇸🇻🇪 (@DanielDiMartino) December 13, 2023

Milei’s policies, which he has himself described as a kind of “shock therapy,” come as Argentina faces a historic economic crisis fueled by decades of government spending, money printing, and Peronism (a blend of national socialism and fascism).

These policies have pushed the inflation rate in Argentina, once one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America, above 200 percent. Today nearly 58 percent of the Argentine population lives in poverty, according to recent study.

And Milei rightfully blames Argentina’s backward economic policies for its plight—policies that, he points out, are spreading across the world.

“The main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism,” Milei said in a recent speech in Davos. “We’re here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world—rather they are the root cause.”

The revelation that Argentina has done something the US government hasn’t done in more than two decades—run a budget surplus—seems like a newsworthy event.

Yet to my surprise, I couldn’t find a word about it in major US media—not in the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, or Reuters. (The New York Sun seems to be the only exception.)

I had to find the story in Australian media! (To be fair, the Agence France Presse also reported the story.)

One could argue that these outlets just aren’t very interested in Argentina’s politics and economics, but that’s not exactly true.

The Associated Press has covered Argentinian politics and Milei extensively, including a recent piece that reported how the new president’s policies were inducing “anxiety and resignation” in the populace. The same goes for Reuters and the other newspapers.

A cynic might suspect these media outlets simply don’t wish to report good news out of Argentina, now that Milei is president.

Indeed, in the wake of the news that Milei’s reforms had already resulted in a budget surplus, both Reuters and the AP ran articles highlighting a new study under the headline “Poverty in Argentina Hits 20-year High.”

Why US media would choose to ignore Milei’s budgetary accomplishments and highlight Argentina’s soaring poverty, which is decades in the making, is a difficult question to answer.

The decision could stem from the fact that these outlets have described Milei as a “far-right libertarian,” and a “Trump-like” figure (even though Trump, unlike Milei, is not a libertarian or classical liberal).

Another possibility is that these media institutions are suffering from something known as “media capture.”

Media capture can come in various forms and has numerous definitions, but the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) defines it as “a form of governance failure that occurs when the news media advance the commercial or political concerns of state and/or non-state special interest groups controlling the media industry instead of holding those groups accountable and reporting in the public interest.”

The most obvious examples of media capture would be outlets refusing to cover stories due to explicit threats of retaliation from powerful actors.

Maybe a sponsor says they’ll pull advertising if you run a story about the side effects of their product, or maybe a powerful Hollywood director threatens reprisals if you report his sexual abuses. Perhaps a certain Royal Family threatens to cut off interview access to your network if you run an interview with a sex trafficking victim who says she was victimized by a member of that Royal Family.

These are all very real scenarios of captured media, and such situations can have a profound impact on independent journalism.

“Captured media can go from vigilant watchdog to toothless public relations machine, ignoring the news of the day,” CIMA notes.

This is why the government takes such an interest in media. The economist Murray Rothbard famously wrote that because “its rule is exploitative and parasitic,” the state has a great incentive to shape opinion and ideology, which are the source of power.

Few tools are more effective at shaping thought than media, which is no doubt why the greatest tyrants of the 20th century went to great lengths to control it.

Constitutional systems of course require more subtlety. Which is why, as Rothbard wrote, the state purchases “the alliance of a group of ‘Court Intellectuals,’ whose task is to bamboozle the public into accepting and celebrating the rule of its particular State…”

The state has various methods to “purchase” the allegiance of media and others who can shape opinion, and some of these are downright shocking.

Writing for Rolling Stone in 1977, legendary reporter Carl Bernstein exposed records showing that hundreds of US journalists had been paid by the CIA over years to do work on the Agency’s behalf.

“Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation, and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services,” wrote Bernstein, who along with Bob Woodward broke the Watergate scandal.

He continued:

Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without-portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting the CIA is paying the above-mentioned media organizations not to write flattering stories about Milei.

Media capture, as mentioned, comes in various forms. And my hunch is that it typically involves applying pressure and offering incentives in more subtle ways than overt quid pro quos.

What I am saying is that no institution is more effective at media capture than the government, which has even more resources and power than Hollywood directors and royal families. And chief among the state’s many agendas is its own self-preservation. This puts the state at odds with free-market libertarians like Javier Milei who wish to create a more prosperous society by reducing (or eliminating) government’s influence over our lives. And this is the reason a resounding free-market success story in Argentina is likely unwelcome news to both the state and the Court Intellectuals who serve it.

The problem is, free-market economics is the only force that can save Argentina from proceeding further into an economic death spiral.

A financial surplus only two months into a libertarian presidency. A miracle.

Argentina previously ran extreme fiscal deficits, passing on the bill to the average Argentine through taxation and extraordinary inflation (over 100% year over year).

Bravo @JMilei 👏 https://t.co/wvZK36MlPt

— Maggie (@LibertyAnders) February 20, 2024

From countries like Hong Kong and Ireland to former Soviet Bloc countries such as Estonia and beyond, free markets have transformed struggling and impoverished economies with what Adam Smith long ago recognized as the surprisingly simple recipe for prosperity: “peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.”

It will do the same in Argentina, given the opportunity—whether media choose to cover it or not.

What do you think of Javier Milei? Is he a mad libertarian? Is he the saviour of Argentina? Does he need a better barber? Tell us in the comments below. 

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article

AUTHOR

JON MILTIMORE

Jonathan Miltimore is the Editor at Large of FEE.org at FEE.

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

Poll Shows Biden Unpopular among Voters as Immigration, Inflation Worsen thumbnail

Poll Shows Biden Unpopular among Voters as Immigration, Inflation Worsen

By Family Research Council

A sprawling new survey is revealing that voters are getting sick of the Biden administration, and Trump’s popularity is holding strong. According to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, President Joe Biden’s approval rating is floundering, underwater at 45% (23% strongly approve, 22% somewhat approve), with his disapproval rate (39% strongly disapprove, 15% somewhat disapprove) remaining fairly steady since January of 2022. Nearly half of voters (48%) said that Biden is getting worse as a leader, while 27% (mostly Democrats) said he’s improving and 25% said he’s pretty much the same.

Furthermore, voters are disappointed with Biden’s performance on key issues. The 81-year-old president’s approval rating is low regarding his management of immigration (35%), inflation (39%), the economy (43%), rising crime rates (41%), and others. The only area where voters said Biden has done a good job was in responding to COVID-19. When asked what Biden’s biggest achievement has been as president, more voters (30%) said he hasn’t had a big achievement than voters (28%) who agreed that lowering the cost of prescription drugs is the biggest feather in Biden’s cap.

The Biden administration’s biggest failure is, according to voters, its border policy. Forty-four percent of voters (including about a third of Democrats and nearly half of Independents) believe Biden’s biggest failure was overseeing “an open borders policy and a historic flood of immigrants.” Runners-up for the title of “biggest failure” include weak leadership, “rampant inflation,” “a shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan,” and a failure to tackle surging crime rates.

Immigration, inflation, and the economy are the top issues that voters are concerned about heading into the next presidential election. Thirty-six percent of voters expressed concern over immigration, 33% over inflation and price increases, and 24% over the economy and jobs. Inflation was rated the most important issue to voters personally with 42% of voters responding that they have been personally impacted by rising prices, up four percentage points just since January. Immigration and crime were next, at 18% and 11% respectively. Additionally, 54% of voters said their personal financial situations were suffering under Biden and upwards of 70% said they fear that inflation is “here to stay.”

On immigration, 63% of voters said that the border crisis is worsening (including 42% of Democrats and 65% of Independents) and a staggering 71% said that the U.S. needs tougher laws against illegal immigration (including 56% of Democrats and 76% of Independents). A majority of voters also believe the federal government already has the power and authority it needs to fix the illegal immigration crisis and that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is simply not enforcing existing border control laws. Sixty-two percent of voters (including nearly half of Democrats) support impeaching Mayorkas “under the charge that he is willfully not enforcing immigration laws and securing the border…”

Also according to the survey, Biden would lose against former President Donald Trump if the election were held today. Forty-eight percent of voters said that they would pick Trump over Biden, with 9% saying they weren’t sure. When that 9% were asked which way they lean, Trump would beat Biden 53% to 47%. Significantly, Trump would earn 52% of the Independent vote and even 13% of the Democratic vote.

When third-party players are introduced, Trump still comes out on top, with former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. taking a substantial portion of the vote (nearly 10%) that would otherwise go to Biden. Trump also garnered nearly 80% support among GOP voters for the Republican presidential nomination, with former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley earning a paltry 14%. Biden would also beat Haley (41% to 39%, 19% undecided) if the two were to go head-to-head.

Even if Trump were to be convicted of the numerous indictments leveled against him by leftist prosecutors and Biden’s Justice Department, voters would still likely go for him over Biden. A whopping 54% of voters said they’d vote for Trump even if he were convicted of inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Only 46% said they’d back Biden, which is actually down from 52% just a month ago. Fifty-two percent of voters said they would still vote for Trump if he were convicted of election interference charges in Georgia, but voters were split on whether to vote for him if convicted of allegedly mishandling classified presidential documents, with 50% backing Trump and 50% backing Biden.

A clear majority of voters (58%) also believe that the prosecutions against Trump are politically motivated. Even a surprising 42% of Democrats said they think that the Biden administration is “using the legal system in biased ways to take out a political opponent.” Voters were split when asked if Trump poses a “threat to democracy,” with 50% saying he doesn’t and 50% saying he does, which is down from 52% a month ago.

When asked if Trump will impact the nation “for the better,” 56% of respondents said yes, while 44% said he’s “a danger to democracy and will hopelessly divide the country if elected.” Nearly 60% of respondents also agreed with the statement, “I miss Donald Trump’s policies on the economy, immigration and crime,” and 62% agreed that Democrats “are trying to unfairly scare the voters over Donald Trump by labeling him as a dictator.”

When asked, nearly 60% of respondents said that they think Trump did a good job as president — that includes a majority in every age range polled, a majority among urban, suburban, and rural voters, 53% of independents, and even 29% of Democrats. Trump was also rated among the political figures with the highest net favorability, while Biden, his son Hunter, and other Democrats like Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), and others received some of the lowest scores.

This comes as numerous other polls show Trump leading Biden in November and concern over illegal immigration skyrocketing.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

To learn more please visit: BIDENOMICS IS BAD ECONOMICS

POST ON X:

President Trump: “President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that.” pic.twitter.com/5BwASZKXqB

— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) March 4, 2024

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Are You Sick and Tired of Sending Your Tax Dollars to a Federal Government that Doesn’t Give Damn about You? thumbnail

Are You Sick and Tired of Sending Your Tax Dollars to a Federal Government that Doesn’t Give Damn about You?

By Dr. Rich Swier

As we the tax paying citizens of America approach the 2024 tax season, we are witnessing a growing anger against the federal government.

Washington, D.C. doesn’t give a damn about you, they just want your money to spend on everything and anything that keeps them in power.

All three branches of government are wasting our money in different ways.

Big Government Writ Large

Let us look at a list of our top criticisms and recommendations of the Big Federal Government spending troika.

Truths and recommendations (a short list):

  1. They tax us more and more and then spend furiously on things that do nothing for the American citizen. BTW, when was the last time you saw a tax cut?
  2. The growing national debt, now reaching $34+ trillion. Printing money isn’t the answer, cutting government spending, except for mandatory items like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, is.
  3. Spending more and more money to support illegal aliens, a.k.a. illegal migrants/drug cartel members/foreign terrorists/child traffickers/drug traffickers, who are coming across our borders by the thousand each and every week.
  4. Spending billions on foreign wars, with the exception of fully supporting the state of Israel. It’s time to defund foreign wars and use that money to build up our own prosperity.
  5. Buying foreign oil and natural gas when we have abundant amounts right under the ground and off the shores of America.
  6. Investing in private green companies that waste our tax dollars and then go broke.
  7. Bailing out students who took out federal government loans to go to college or university. What are we teaching our children about taking responsibility for their own debts? We need to return student loans back to the private sector.
  8. Using our tax dollars to fund foreign entities, e.g. the PLO, and even terrorists organizations, like Hamas, via our monetary support of the United Nations and U.N.R.W.A.
  9. Funding federal department that are unconstitutional, e.g. the Department of Education.
  10. Stop over paying our federal elected officials, their staff, appointed members of the various departments and their staffs and the growing numbers of federal employees, e.g. the IRS armed agents. Cut the pay at every level.
  11. Wasting our tax payer dollars to attack we the people, via a two-tiered and militarized justice system, that seeks to destroy our Constutional Republican form of government.
  12. Finally, making us taxpayer fund a bloated Executive Branch, Congressional and Supreme Court staff. Cut each branch in half and you will see half the damage done to we the people.

The Bottom Line

Many today are addicted to a bloated, corrupt, and wasteful big government.

It’s past time to cut government and with it government spending.

Time to implement the Fair Tax and get rid of the federal income tax.

We live in the free state of Florida. Florida gets its income from a state 6% sales tax. Florida has a multi-billion dollar surplus.

Get the idea?

Time to defund, defang and damn the federal government to hell.

©2024. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

Another weapon of mass destruction: Central Bank Digital Currency thumbnail

Another weapon of mass destruction: Central Bank Digital Currency

By Cherie Zaslawsky

Liberty Counsel has launched a petition to pressure Congress to prevent the CBCD trainwreck by passing two all-important bills: H.R. 1122, and Senate Bill 887.

Liberty Counsel continues to fight the good fight.

Those interested can sign their petition or send faxes to pressure Congress to stop the planned Central Bank Digital Currency that would make cash obsolete, and bind us to a Social Credit score system as in Communist China.

Here’s what Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver has to say:

“A CBDC in the hands of government spells doom for American liberty. Suddenly, politicians and government agents won’t simply “suggest” you follow their increasingly bizarre policies like replacing beef with bug protein or buying electric cars whose batteries poison the earth. With a CBDC, the government will be able to dictate these decisions by preventing you from using your own money to buy a steak or a tank of gas.”

“Americans have already experienced tyranny firsthand, thanks to COVID lockdowns and the planned destruction of the U.S. economy. We MUST NOT allow them to take the next step in financially enslaving Americans to their bizarre progressive policies.”

Liberty Counsel is working with several legislators to stop Joe Biden’s CBDC plans in their tracks.

Link below:

We need YOUR HELP to compel Congress to pass the CBDC Anti-Surveillance Act (HR 1122 and S 887). Please, fax Congress NOW to protect YOUR financial future.

©2023. Cherie Zaslawsky. All rights reserved.

Please follow Cherie on her Substack: https://cheriezaslawsky.substack.com/

Save our Republic—Shut Down the Government on March 8th, 2024 thumbnail

Save our Republic—Shut Down the Government on March 8th, 2024

By Geoff Ross

The weak do nothing Congressional Republican and Democrat socialists and Communists are still unable to script a balanced budget that eliminates the massive fraud waste and abuse of U.S. taxpayers hard earned money.

Currently the congress have not been able to agree on legislation to fund military construction and to fund the departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Energy, Transportation and Housing and Urban Affairs. Only the Veterans Affairs and military construction has any legitimate constitutional standing.

But with that said.

The Communists and Socialists in Congress have no problem printing more money in the Treasury Department and borrowing more money from Communist China to fund the traitorous salary of impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s salary.

The do nothing weak Republican led Congress have no problem funding the woke led Pentagon which allows woke indoctrinated military members to slaughter their pre-born children.

The Pentagon uses our tax dollars to reimburse the travel costs allowing these woke military members to kill these pre-born future Americans who are denied their constitutional protections of life and liberty.

The Marxist Biden administration’s climate agenda designed to dismantle our free markets and capitalist entrepreneurial enterprises is still funded driving inflation to its highest levels in 50 years.

The minority group of conservative congressional patriots like Matt Gaetz (R-FL) continue to fight for the fiscal economic sanity of our Republic which could result in a much needed partial government shutdown after March 1 2024 to stop this Marxist agenda.

Globalist Socialist Republican In Name Only (RINO) and non functioning geriatric GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) has no problem funding billions of unaccounted for tax payer money to the corrupt Ukraine.

But then he screams to his House GOP colleagues on February 26th 2024 that shutting down the government due to fiscal restraints put in place by conservatives is not an option.
“Shutting down the government is harmful to the country. And it never produces positive outcomes — on policy or politics,” he warned on the Senate floor.

I’m thinking the massive national debt created in part by loser Mitch McConnell and his out of control spending with his Socialist / Marxist Republican and Democrat pals is far more damaging to our Republic.

The useless UniParty have a deadline to fund the rest of the government by March 8th 2024.

I’ve got no problem shutting the government down until these worthless members of congress initiate a balanced budget that reduces significantly our 34 trillion national debt and eliminates totally this unconstitutional fraudulent spending.

If a government shutdown hurts the reelection of these Republican and Democrat traitors to our Republic then so be it. Good riddance to them come Election Day. But the end result will be the survival of our Republic.

©2024. Geoff Ross. All rights reserved.

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When I met with the White House and Congressional leaders today, my purpose was to express what I believe is the obvious truth: that we must take care of America’s needs first. pic.twitter.com/bbNWgvCVCI

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