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George Landrith speaks out against expanding electric car subsidies

Heller's bill is a horrible idea. Fredric Bastiat called it "legalized plunder." In contrast, Barrasso's "Fairness for Every Driver Act" is a great idea whose time has come. It is time to drain the swamp and end payouts for companies with high priced lobbyists. Barrasso deserves our praise!

By George Landrith • Frontiers of Freedom

Frontiers of Freedom President, George Landrith made the following statement on Senator Heller’s expansion of massive subsidies for electric vehicles and Senator Barrasso’s Fairness for Every Driver Act  which would end those subsidies:

Senator Heller’s Expansion of Massive Subsidies

Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada) introduced a bill to lift the cap on the number of electric vehicles eligible for a large $7,500 tax credit given to those who buy electric cars.

The big winners here are Elon Musk, Tesla and GM. Elon Musk is the fellow who recently was smacked down by the feds for violating the law and fined millions of dollars. I am not all sure why Elon deserves this big bonanza!

The big losers are average, everyday Americans who work hard and play by the rules and don’t have high priced lobbyists scamming the system for them. So if you’re working hard to make ends meet, or saving for your children’s future or simply wish you had a little more money at the end of the month, you should be outraged that Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle think you should be forced to help rich guys buy fancy, expensive electric sports cars.  

Heller’s bill also proposes to eventually phase out the tax credit, but let’s be honest, that will be postponed and postponed so that it never actually happens. All that will remain is the greatly expanded tax credit that benefits a couple big corporations and burdens millions of taxpayers. 

Heller is in a tight reelection bid and perhaps this is why. Putting the interests of big corporations ahead of the taxpayer isn’t a good longterm electoral strategy. As a purported conservative, he ought to know better. But sadly, with a Tesla plant in Nevada, he’s given in to the lobbying pressure. 

The electric vehicle tax credit is a bad deal for a very simple reason. When someone buys a $70,000 to $140,000 Tesla, there is no good reason to ask lower income workers to help pay for it. If you want a fancy electric car, please feel free to buy one! But please don’t ask the rest of us to help you pay for it!

I’ve never asked anyone to help me buy a car. If I can’t afford the car I really want, I buy one I can afford. So I am not sure why it makes any sense to force millions of Americans to help relatively rich people buy expensive electric sports cars like Tesla makes. Even if the car were less expensive, why should the rest of America be forced to help them buy it using a corrupt federal tax code to effectively rob the rest of us? 

I am not against electric cars. I am not against expensive electric cars. I believe if you want one and can afford one, you have every right to buy one. But what you don’t have the right to do is to get your congressman or senator to reach into my pocket and take my money to help you buy it. Yet that is exactly what Congress is promoting when it imposes the electric car tax credit on us. Shame on Congress! 

Congress is engaging in what famed economist Frederic Bastiat called “legal plunder.” Simply stated, it is illegal to beat someone up and steal their money so that you can afford to buy a new car. Bastiat pointed out that rather than risk jail time, people lobby their representative to steal for you and help you buy the new car. He famously said, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”This sort of abuse is exactly the sort of things that our Constitution was supposed to prevent. But sadly, too many on Capitol Hill, are all to happy to engage in this form of plunder if it will get them good press coverage or win them votes. But it is theft and it wrong. 

In fairness, Senator Heller’s opponent Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada) will be a far worse practitioner of legal plunder than he is. If you look at her stands on the issues, it is clear that she is a big fan of what Bastiat called “legal plunder” and is committed to plundering the taxpayer every day of the week and twice on weekends.

Americans everywhere should rise up and oppose any effort to expand the electric vehicle tax credit. There is no good reason to expand it or even allow it to continue. It should be terminated immediately. The next best option would be to phase it out very quickly. But substantially expanding it while pretending to phase it out, as the Heller bill does, is doubly bad — because on top of being bad policy it is profoundly disingenuous.

Senator John Barrasso’s Fairness for Every Driver Act

This is why I am excited about the work that Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) is doing with his proposed Fairness for Every Driver Act. He has proposed ending subsidies for electric vehicles. This is a big win for working-class Americans. And it shows that Senator Barrasso is a principled, public servant who committed to our constitutional heritage of limited government. It From 2011 to 2017 alone, hard working taxpayers have been forced to pay almost $5 Billion to big corporations who make electric cars. Senator Barrasso is trying to end this corrupt practice. Kudos to him! 

After the election, it is expected that there will be a lame duck session. We call upon Members of Congress to support the Fairness for Every Driver Act. And we call upon Members of Congress to oppose Heller’s back door attempt to pad the pockets of Tesla and GM. 

We will be watching how Congress votes and we will make sure that good votes are rewarded and that bad votes are publicized.


Here’s What I Learned About the Jones Act While in Puerto Rico

by Gabriella Hoffman • Maven

Here’s more from my reporting trip to Puerto Rico.

I recently joined a group of center-right bloggers and journalists on a reporting trip to Puerto Rico examine the status of the Jones Act and how the law is aiding relief efforts there following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

President Trump was reluctant to waive the Jones Act following Hurricane Maria, but later did for ten days. Outlets like Reason Magazine said the waiver didn’t go far enough. The topic has been in the news, so I wanted the opportunity to see it for myself despite media reports projecting doom and gloom.

During the course of the reporting trip, we heard from a series of speakers from the shipping industry to get their take on the law and the status of their industry. Continue reading


Frontiers of Freedom Applauds President Trump’s Action to support American Businesses in International Shipping Markets

President Trump announced plans to withdraw the United States from the 144-year-old postal treaty through the Universal Postal Union that has preserved international shipping imbalances to greatly favor companies from foreign nations and undercut American businesses who deliver to consumers in the U.S.

Frontiers of Freedom lauded President Trump’s ongoing attention to this issue and the new strategy to get fair rates for American shippers. Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith said:

“President Trump deserves huge recognition for the effort to achieve substantive changes to an ill-considered international postal pricing system. For far too long Americans have been forced to compete with sellers from abroad who have access to majorly reduced rates from the U.S. Postal Service. This new plan will be critical to help fix the USPS’ approach to facilitate the exchange of goods among individuals within the country, and stem the flow of counterfeit goods and other illicit substances that have permeated the mail system and endangered our communities.

“Under the treaty that Trump plans to withdraw from, Chinese firms could ship things like computer cables to consumers in the United States for about one dollar for shipping. That same package to be mailed from an American small business on Main Street to a home just 30 minutes away, would cost $8 to $15. That makes no sense. There is no way it only costs a dollar to send a box from China to a consumer anywhere in America. And yet, it helps China businesses undermine and undercut American businesses. Chinese businesses should pay the reasonable price of their shipping. It is not right that the American taxpayer and postal rate payers have been forced to subsidize them. Donald Trump got this 100% right!”

As a result of terminal dues rates set by the UPU, domestic businesses often face much higher rates for sending items within the country than what shippers from countries like China pay to deliver to destinations in the United States. Furthermore, current terminal dues rates have produced in a loss of $410 million for the Postal Service since 2015.

The U.S. State Department will now inform the UPU of U.S. intention to withdraw and adopt self-declared rates for terminal dues as soon as practical, and no later than January 1, 2020.


Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test Proves She Was Lying

By David Harsanyi • The Federalist

Why did Sen. Elizabeth Warren spend all these years claiming to be a Native American?

One plausible answer might be that her family had lied to her, or were also misled about their heritage, and that Warren truly believed she was Cherokee. This happens relatively often, I suppose. Then again, few people exhibit as much certitude, and gain as many benefits, over a claim that’s so obscure and unverifiable.

The second is that Warren herself lied or exaggerated her heritage, knowing full well that her contention to Cherokee ancestry was likely nothing more than lore. She then latched on to this negligible history to gain traction in an academic field that was searching for more diversity in their candidates.

We now know that the second option is more probable after the prospective presidential candidate decided to make a huge deal out of taking a DNA test, that, in reality, only proves she is as white as I am. Continue reading


Who and What Threaten the Constitution?

By Victor Davis Hanson • American Greatness

Donald Trump on occasion can talk recklessly. He is certainly trying to “fundamentally transform” the United States in exactly the opposite direction from which Barack Obama promised to do the same sort of massive recalibration. According to polls (such as they are), half the country fears Trump. The media despises him. Yet Trump poses no threat to the U.S. Constitution. Those who since 2016 have tried to destroy his candidacy and then his presidency most certainly do.

When, and if, we ever lose our freedoms, it will not likely be due to a boisterous Donald Trump, damning “fake news” at popular rallies, or even by being greeted with jarring “lock her up” chants—Trump, whom the popular culture loves to hate and whose every gesture and, indeed, every inch of his body, is now analyzed, critiqued, caricatured, and damned on the national news.

In general, free societies more often become unfree with a whimper, not a bang—and usually due to self-righteous pious movements that always claim the higher moral ground, and justify their extreme means by their self-sacrificing struggle for supposedly noble ends of social justice, equality, and fairness. Continue reading


NBC’s Ken Dilanian: North Dakota, New York Having Same Number of Senate Votes ‘Has to Change’

by Aryssa Damron • The Washington Free Beacon

Ken Dilanian, a reporter for NBC News, tweeted on Monday that the idea of North Dakota and New York having the same amount of senators “has to change” because of the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

“It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change,” Dilanian tweeted, linking to a Washington Post article about the confirmation of Kavanaugh. “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans”

Continue reading


NASA’s Inspector General Is A Political Hack — Abusing His Office And Fleecing Taxpayers

By George Landrith • RedState

The function of an Inspector General (IG) in the federal government is to detect waste, mismanagement, fraud, abuse, and even criminality. Each federal department or agency has an IG. But not all IGs are created equal. Some are fair minded watch-dogs who protect the taxpayer and follow the law in a nonpartisan way. But some are not. NASA’s Inspector General, Paul Martin, has repeatedly proven himself to be a defender of cronyism and a partisan hack.

Congressional leaders passed along whistleblower information to Martin that NASA had employed a Chinese spy and that Obama NASA appointees sought to circumvent the rules prohibiting the hiring of foreign nationals at NASA. Martin was angry with congressional leaders for revealing the spy problem, not with NASA officials for breaching our national security. He did nothing. Within days, the FBI arrested the Chinese spy, Bo Jiang, at the airport as he was fleeing to China on a one-way ticket with a treasure trove of sensitive information. Sadly, this was not the spy’s first data dump. But Martin wasn’t interested in investigating.

Martin isn’t just soft on spying at NASA. He has not protected the taxpayer, or rooted out waste or fraud. For example, NASA employees objected to the special treatment given SpaceX and provided evidence of favoritism, bid-rigging, and a long list of unethical and illegal actions. The entire process was subverted to benefit SpaceX, while the taxpayer was fleeced and competitors locked out. Long before the process was completed, top NASA officials were directing staff to give the award to SpaceX. In other words, the process was backwards — “Fire! Aim! Ready!” Continue reading


Federal Employees Who Resist Elected Officials’ Orders Should Be Fired

By Inez Feltscher Stepman • The Federalist

Most Americans are still under the illusion that when they elect a president, he takes control over the executive branch and proceeds to implement his agenda by working with Congress. Sadly, “School House Rock” is out of date.

An enormous amount of policymaking these days goes through the administrative state – the alphabet soup of agencies that have been proliferating like weeds since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The outsourcing of legislative and adjudicatory powers to agencies is bad enough, and cannot square with the separation of powers between legislation, judiciary, and executive that is delineated in the Constitution. To make matters worse, these agencies and the employees who staff them are also politically unaccountable to the elected representatives of the people, violating not just the wise guardrails of our Constitution, but also the very idea of self-government.

Today, it is nearly impossible to fire the 2.8 million federal bureaucrats who staff the executive agencies, from which they issue regulations and policy guidance that directly affect the lives of Americans every day. Continue reading


Netanyahu to U.N.: Iran Has ‘Secret Atomic Warehouse’ in Tehran for Nuclear Program

by David Rutz • Washington Free Beacon

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of having a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran for its illicit nuclear weapons program during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

Netanyahu castigated what he called “inaction” by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s atomic watchdog, in the face of Israeli intelligence about Iranian clandestine nuclear work, adding that he would reveal a new finding to the world by Israel in its battle to keep Iran’s nuclear ambitions at bay. Continue reading


In Contemporary American Politics, There’s No Such Thing as Rock Bottom

By George Will • National Review

If this week has proven anything, it’s that we can always go lower.
When John Keats said that autumn is the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness,” he did not anticipate this American autumn. It resembles the gorier Shakespearean plays in which swords are brandished, people are poisoned and stabbed, almost everyone behaves badly, and those who do not are thinking: Things cannot continue like this. Actually, they probably will because this is the first law of contemporary politics: There is no such thing as rock bottom.

On Monday, some hysterics in hot pursuit of the often heralded but never reached “constitutional crisis,” galloped off on the basis of rumors about speculations concerning hypotheses, all because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein went to the White House, perhaps — there was a frisson of anticipation — to be fired. He was not. On Thursday, however, Rosenstein is expected to speak with the president, presumably because of last week’s report that in May 2017, Rosenstein spoke, in the presence of other senior Justice Department officials, about possibly wearing a wire to surreptitiously record the president, presumably to facilitate invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him. Continue reading