by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for 2018 would reduce the deficit over the next decade by $160 billion and increase GDP at the same time, according to an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.
Trump’s budget proposes a cut back in mandatory and discretionary spending that would not only reduce the deficit, but the debt as well.
Relative to the size of the economy, federal budget deficits are projected to decline by 2.6 percent to 3.3 percent of gross domestic product over the next 10 years. This would mean that the deficit would be roughly one-third smaller than it was originally projected to be.
Trump’s budget also aims to reduce the debt to 80 percent of GDP, which is 11 percentage points below the budget office’s baseline. By the end of the next decade, debt held by the public is projected to decline by 0.6 percent of GDP. Continue reading
by Peter Roff • Townhall
Since coming to office South Korean President Moon Jae-in has moved quickly to put the past behind him. Politically, this is wise. His countrymen are tired of the byzantine games and corruption that for decades influenced the system of government and drove his predecessor from office.
His need to put his country’s house in order defies ideological concerns. He faces daunting security threats, especially from the North, but also a restless and dissatisfied people hungry for change. He leads an Asian tiger whose economic power is being challenged and which desperately needs to improve its trade relations with the West.
U.S. President Donald Trump is making the most of South Korea’s internal turmoil to bolster the U.S. efforts to exert its political and economic influence in Korea. Just a week before the special election that brought President Moon to power, Trump summed up the existing free trade agreement with South Korea as “horrible” and vowed to renegotiate the pact. Continue reading
by Joshua Caplan • Gateway Pundit
According to the report, which has been peer reviewed by administrators, scientists and researchers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), and several of America’s leading universities, the data is completely bunk:
In this research report, the most important surface data adjustment issues are identified and past changes in the previously reported historical data are quantified. It was found that each new version of GAST has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history. And, it was nearly always accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern. This was true for all three entities providing GAST data measurement, NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU.
As a result, this research sought to validate the current estimates of GAST using the best available relevant data. This included the best documented and understood data sets from the U.S. and elsewhere as well as global data from satellites that provide far more extensive global coverage and are not contaminated by bad siting and urbanization impacts. Satellite data integrity also benefits from having cross checks with Balloon data.
The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data. Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever –despite current claims of record setting warming.
Finally, since GAST data set validity is a necessary condition for EPA’s GHG/CO2 Endangerment Finding, it too is invalidated by these research findings. (Full Abstract Report)
By George F. Will • Washington Post
The Bronx, the only one of New York City’s five boroughs that is on the American mainland, once had a sociological as well as geographical distinction. In the 1930s it was called, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan noted, “the city without a slum.” It was “the one place in the whole of the nation where commercial housing was built during the Great Depression.” In the third quarter of the 20th century, however, there came, particularly in the South Bronx, social regression that Moynihan described as “an Armageddonic collapse that I do not believe has its equal in the history of urbanization.”
Of the several causes of descent, there and elsewhere, into the intergenerational transmission of poverty, one was paramount: family disintegration. Some causes of this remain unclear, but something now seems indisputable: Among today’s young adults, the “success sequence” is insurance against poverty. Continue reading
To project power and protect America the U.S. military requires a robust American sealift capability. Transporting materials and weaponry over across the high seas is a key component of America’s ability to protect its interests around the globe yet it is often overlooked, misunderstood and underappreciated.
History teaches this lesson unmistakably. In 1812, when the greatest army the world had seen up to that time launched an invasion of Russian. Napoleon had an army of almost 700,000 men. At first his troops routed the opposition wherever they engaged but, as he led his forces deeper and deeper into Russia, supplies ran short and his men began to starve.
As winter came, his men began to freeze, not from fear but from hypothermia. Napoleon was forced to beat a hasty retreat back to France, leaving 380,000 dead, 100,000 captured, and many so sick that they could no longer fight. His once great army had only 27,000 soldiers capable of fighting. Continue reading
by Eddie Scarry • Washington Examiner
How the intelligence community is decoding Donald Trump Jr.’s emails
CNN correspondent Jim Acosta erred on Thursday when he said it was “fake news” for President Trump, speaking Thursday in Poland, to state that it was “three or four” intelligence agencies who concluded that Russia had meddled in the 2016 election.
Speaking on CNN’s “New Day,” Acosta wondered where Trump got the “three or four” figure, though it has been reported that out of 17 agencies, only the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the FBI, and the National Security Agency have formally drawn the conclusion about Russia.
“The other thing that was ‘fake news’ coming from President Trump is when he said, well, I keep hearing it’s 17 intelligence agencies that say Russia meddled in the election, I think it’s only three or four,” Acosta said. Continue reading
by James Taylor • Forbes
Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.
The timing of the 1979 NASA satellite instrument launch could not have been better for global warming alarmists. The late 1970s marked the end of a 30-year cooling trend. As a result, the polar ice caps were quite likely more extensive than they had been since at least the 1920s. Nevertheless, this abnormally extensive 1979 polar ice extent would appear to be the “normal” baseline when comparing post-1979 polar ice extent.
Updated NASA satellite data show the polar ice caps remained at approximately their 1979 extent until the middle of the last decade. Beginning in 2005, however, polar ice modestly receded for several years. Continue reading
About 40 years ago, Ronald Reagan and U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop shared breakfast at U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt’s ranch. Virtually no one knew that this meeting took place or understood how important it would be to America’s security. As friends shared breakfast, Wallop explained the need for a robust missile defense — including developing a space-based defensive system. Once elected to office, President Reagan made it a national goal to develop effective high-tech defenses against missile attacks. That policy objective was an important factor in the U.S. winning the Cold War. Simply stated, even before missile defense was able to shoot down a missile, it was helping America defeat the Soviets.
During most of the last decade, missile defense was de-emphasized. It was a self-evidently foolish policy decision even though some offered misguided defenses of it. But now, given recent news from North Korea, few could argue that the Obama Administration’s disdain for missile defense has served America’s interests. Kim Jong Un has pushed North Korea’s nuclear program to develop nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach our West Coast. Pyongyang intends to threaten not just the West Coast, but all of America. Iran is headed in the same dangerous direction as North Korea. Continue reading
by Julie Kelly • National Review
A new study by Environmental Progress (EP) warns that toxic waste from used solar panels now poses a global environmental threat. The Berkeley-based group found that solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear power plants. Discarded solar panels, which contain dangerous elements such as lead, chromium, and cadmium, are piling up around the world, and there’s been little done to mitigate their potential danger to the environment.
“We talk a lot about the dangers of nuclear waste, but that waste is carefully monitored, regulated, and disposed of,” says Michael Shellenberger, founder of Environmental Progress, a nonprofit that advocates for the use of nuclear energy. “But we had no idea there would be so many panels — an enormous amount — that could cause this much ecological damage.”
Solar panels are considered a form of toxic, hazardous electronic or “e-waste,” and according to EP researchers Jemin Desai and Mark Nelson, scavengers in developing countries like India and China often “burn the e-waste in order to salvage the valuable copper wires for resale. Since this process requires burning off plastic, the resulting smoke contains toxic fumes that are carcinogenic and teratogenic (birth defect-causing) when inhaled.” Continue reading
As nuclear threats grow, the U.S. needs more advanced protection.
Liberal opposition to missile defense has persisted since the 1980s, but the politics may be changing with technological progress and the rising threat from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons. Congress has an opportunity this summer to notch a rare bipartisan deal that enhances U.S. security.
Kim has already overseen more nuclear and missile tests than his father and grandfather combined, and the Defense Intelligence Agency warns that “if left on its current trajectory” Pyongyang will develop a capacity to hit Japan, Alaska, Hawaii or even the U.S. West Coast. The Trump Administration is pleading with China to stop the North, but Chinese leaders never seem to act and they’re even trying to block regional missile defenses in South Korea.
Meanwhile, the U.S. last month successfully tracked and shot down a mock intercontinental ballistic missile, akin to a bullet hitting a bullet. The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD)—first fielded in 2004 but untested since 2014—has a success rate of nine in 17 intercept trials. But even the failures show the GMD is increasingly effective. Continue reading
Elon Musk’s business model is a travesty.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been in recent headlines with a recent launch of a spy satellite. In fact, SpaceX is better at well managed and scripted messaging than it is at actually launching cargo into space in a timely and successful fashion. Always the public relations maestro, Musk announced that he plans to reuse every major component of the rocket by 2018. One of the themes SpaceX has carefully crafted is that it represents the future of “free-market” space flight.
The problem with this public relations hype is that it bears little resemblance to reality. Whether it is SpaceX or Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, the business model is based on lining up billions in taxpayer-provided subsidies and obtaining exclusive regulatory benefits and exceptions. Then, they engage in slick marketing to convince everyone how free-market and innovative they are.
Tesla survives on the back of hefty subsidies paid for by hard-working Americans just barely getting by so that a select few can drive flashy, expensive electric sports cars. These subsidies were originally scheduled to expire later this year, and Tesla is lobbying hard to make sure that taxpayers continue to pay $7,500 per car or more to fund their business model. Tesla even tried to force taxpayers to pay for charging stations that would primarily benefit their business. That is not what Musk’s high priced image managers will tell you, but it’s the truth. Continue reading
A Chinese company, Ant Financial, largely owned by the government of China, is intent on taking over MoneyGram, a leading US-based financial payments company. This planned acquisition raises serious questions as to whether ownership of MoneyGram would be part of China’s strategic plan to obtain sensitive personal and financial information of Americans and westerners worldwide as well as to undermine American economic strength. This acquisition should be stopped for that reason.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) exists to review the national security implications of foreign investments in US companies. CFIUS is comprised of representatives from a number of US agencies or departments — including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State and Commerce. CFIUS can block foreign sales and investments that would result in a foreign power acquiring assets and intellectual property that would harm America’s national security.
There are a number of important national security and strategic reasons that CFIUS should reject Ant Financial’s proposed takeover of MoneyGram. Continue reading
Perhaps nowhere has President Trump’s roll-back of eight years of Obama’s presidency been more successful, early on, than in his efforts to unshackle the Internet from the hands of the federal government.
Fueled by $200 million in money from the Ford Foundation and George Soros, a cottage industry of activists and groups were funded to help transform the Internet into a government-run and monopolized utility. Among them was one called Free Press, operated by neo-Marxist Robert McChesney. McChesney has openly bragged about the need to transform the media to be “part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism,” and has cited Venezuelan strong-man Hugo Chavez as the exemplar of “free press.”
Rather than treat McChesney’s comments as the rantings of a mad-man, the FCC cited him as “remarkable” 46 times in justifying their decision to enact disingenuously named “Net Neutrality,” a key step in transforming the Internet under the thumb of government control. Continue reading
Frontiers of Freedom signed a letter to the U.S. house of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), along with 10 other leading conservative organizations and former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese III, opposing H.R.1215 — legislation that would impose federally mandated caps on medical malpractice awards. Frontiers of Freedom sees merit in states passing tort reform as tort law has always been the providence of states. But federally mandated reform of state tort law is simply not constitutional. Our constitutional system of federalism demands that Congress respect that states, not the federal government are responsible for state tort law.
Some argue that certain states won’t pass needed tort reform. That may or may not be true. But who is to say that states must pass tort reform measures that legislators in Washington D.C. may prefer? Imagine someone who has unsuccessfully argued for years for longer hunting seasons, or lower tax rates in his home state. Now picture that this unhappy state citizen finally gives up an asks Congress to force his state to adopt his views? If Congress acts on this request, doesn’t that mean that the important constitutional principle of federalism is dead? This is why Frontiers of Freedom considers this bill constitutional malpractice. Even if you generally like the idea of tort reform, which Frontiers of Freedom supports, you cannot impose it by unconstitutional means.
While backers of this bill claim to have added “clarifying language” to resolve concerns, no such thing has been done. There is no language that can clarify or fix the idea of the federal government imposing its view of tort reform on the states. Tort law and tort reform have always been a matter of state law. Different states have different tort laws. That is how it has always been. When students study tort law in law school, they learn that the law varies from state to state which is why sometimes the real battle is which state has jurisdiction. The Constitution envisioned that the states would have different laws. Moreover, the Constitution never envisioned that Congress would require that the states adopt a new federalized tort law approach.
Arguing that tort reform will save money is an argument that should be made to the state legislature, not to Congress. Just as state legislatures lack the authority to ratify treaties, Congress lacks the authority to impose tort reform measures on the states. Treaties are a matter for the federal government, not the states. And tort law is a matter for the states, not the federal government. This is Constitutional Law 101. The Senate should reject this creeping and massive intrusion of federal laws into matters that are reserved in the Constitution to the states.
Here is the text of the letter:
Dear Mr. Speaker:
Despite promises by House leaders to include “clarifying language” to address concerns that it would undermine the freedoms of states and their citizens, the proposed “medical malpractice reform” bill (H.R. 1215) now once again making its way before the full body remains a premier example of constitutional malpractice.
The reason: there is fundamentally no “clarifying language” that would reconcile a sweeping effort to federalize tort law with our system of federalism, which reserves that province solely to the states.
As we underscored in our previous letter to you on HR 1215, the clear intent of the Founders was to promote, not prevent, the kind of diverse perspectives and approaches with which nearly all of the states have spoken on this issue, in what they view to be the best interests of their citizens. [In fact, the legislation would go so far as to pre-empt several state constitutional amendments, the strongest and clearest legislative expression of the people’s will at the state level.]
While it is urged upon organizations such as ours, and our members, that “reining in” expensive malpractice – and, in the case of this legislation, product liability – awards is a “conservative” position, the pre-eminent conservative principle is to rein in the power of an avowedly all-knowing and increasingly all- encompassing national government.
Regardless of the potential cost savings claimed for medical malpractice reform, the costs to freedom – and the spirit of innovation and regional diversity – of the creeping and, more recently, massive intrusion of federal laws and regulation on state prerogatives, especially in the health care arena, are far higher.
Conservatives rightly pointed out the corrosive and dampening effect of the expansion of federal power when it occurred in the context of Obamacare, and we should be equally concerned when it is proposed as part of a broader effort to roll back that legislative scheme. It will never be acceptable to substitute unconstitutional Democratic-sponsored legislative mandates with Republican ones.
Given its continued encroachment on the rights and privileges of states and their citizens, the undersigned organizations continue our vigorous opposition to H.R. 1215 and ask that the Republican leadership withdraw it from consideration, this time permanently.
Frontiers of Freedom
Edwin “Ed” Meese III
American Future Fund
The Institute for Policy Innovation
Let Freedom Ring
The Hispanic Leadership Fund
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance
The Institute for Liberty
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy
When I heard that Sen. Elizabeth Warren had introduced the “Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017” claiming that she wanted to create an all new over-the-counter (OTC) category for personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), I knew something disingenuous was afoot.
Sen. Warren has not been a champion of deregulation or of making government less intrusive. So I dug a little deeper, and found that Warren’s bill expands the power of federal bureaucrats, eliminates state authority, and reduces consumer access to amplification devices by making them more expensive and highly regulated. That’s not how she advertises the bill, but that’s how it would be described if truth in labeling laws applied to Congress.
Today, without her proposed law, there are PSAPs legally available at Best Buy, Walmart, and thousands of other stores and outlets for very reasonable prices. Anyone can buy these devices. They simply amplify sound — some use them for bird watching, others to snoop on conversations that are ordinarily out of ear shot. Continue reading