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Constitutional and Political Freedom

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 LandrithFrontiers 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.


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”

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

By George LandrithRedState

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


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


Why NASA’s Space Launch System is Indispensable

By Peter Huessy

If the 1986 Challenger disaster taught us anything it was – “Don’t put all your Space Launch eggs in one basket.” After that accident and the other ones that grounded all of America’s older space launch vehicles for about two years, NASA and the Air Force decided to build two sets of rockets under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program.

The EELV program has been a success. Both Atlas V and the various Delta rockets, especially Delta Heavy, have been putting America’s important science and military payloads into space for roughly a quarter of a century.  Continue reading


Fixing the Nation’s Vulnerable Postal Service Depends on the Completion of the STOP Act

By George Landrith

This week, the House and Senate are aiming to finalize the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act within a set of opioid bills to be signed by President Trump. The STOP Act is a significant success for lawmakers and the administration to strengthen the nation’s public safety and combat the opioid crisis that continues afflict the nation’s communities.

Regarding the imminent STOP Act framework, Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith stated, “The U.S. Postal Service has continuously failed to properly identify international shipping threats while neglecting to reform its deficient system. Adopting thorough data collection and monitoring practices of inbound packages in ways that are consistent with industry standards is an essential step for the Postal Service to protect our communities from hazardous materials and substances. Lawmakers and the President must adopt these solutions to put Americans’ public safety first.”

Previously, in June, Landrith hailed the key leadership efforts of the House Ways and Means Committee to assemble a fully viable plan, which convincingly passed the House.

For international shipping through private carriers, U.S. Customs and Board Patrol regularly depends on data and information that allows security agencies to trace the senders, receivers, and contents of packages. Only with the passage of the STOP Act will the U.S. Postal Service will be required to match these important security measures. Collecting and analyzing advance electronic data is a practice that the USPS must adhere to.

Given the depths of the opioid epidemic across the country, it is crucial to finalize the commonsense solutions of the STOP Act. We cannot act to soon enough to help mitigate the flow of synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, into the U.S. and ultimately establish the trust we need within our postal system.


Viktor Orban at the Crosshairs of the European Union

By Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi

Since he stepped into the turbulent waters of Hungarian politics by delivering a highly emotional funeral oratory at the reburial of Imre Nagy the murdered hero of the 1956 anti-Soviet Revolution on June 16, 1989, Viktor Orban has traversed the entire spectrum of his country’s political life. Completely unnoticed in the 1990s, he as the head of a marginal political party by the acronyms FIDESZ (The Alliance of Young Democrats) underwent a troubling political epiphany. After losing two consecutive elections in 1990 and 1994, he converted his miniscule party from a left-leaning liberal to a self-described conservative party. Becoming Prime Minister in 1998, Viktor Orban’s conservatism manifested itself in a peculiar form of ethnic arrogance and even superiority, which romanticized and thoroughly falsified Hungarian history. Moreover, it dangerously politicized morality that led to divisiveness and intolerance fueled by visceral hatred.

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Elon Musk’s Increasingly Bizarre Behavior Makes Him An Even Worse Bet

by Seton Motley • RedState

I am opposed to any and all government money going towards picking private sector winners and losers.

In no small part because government doesn’t pick winners and losers – it picks losers at the expense of winners.

Government takes money from winners – people who have good ideas, implement them well, make money…and pay taxes.

And gives it to losers – people with bad ideas, implement them badly…and lose money. They need the government money – because they don’t generate any of their own.

A good idea – doesn’t need government money. No one needs to subsidize ice cream.

The King of All Government Money Recipients – is Elon Musk. Continue reading


Blame Congress for Politicizing the Court

By Senator Ben Sasse (NE) • Wall Street Journal

Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of hating women, hating children, hating clean air, wanting dirty water. He’s been declared an existential threat to the nation. Alumni of Yale Law School, incensed that faculty members at his alma mater praised his selection, wrote a public letter to the school saying: “People will die if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.”

It’s predictable now that every Supreme Court confirmation hearing will be a politicized circus. This is because Americans have accepted a bad new theory about how the three branches of government should work—and in particular about how the judiciary operates. Continue reading


She’s Allergic to Grass Pollen, and the Local Government Is Forcing Her to Grow Turf Grass

by John-Michael Seibler • The Daily Signal

For four years, Carl and Janice Duffner of St. Peters, Missouri, have been fighting the city’s enforcement of a mandate to grow turf grass in their yard despite Janice Duffner’s grass pollen allergy.

Now facing potential cumulative penalties of more than 20 years in prison and $180,000 in fines, the Duffners’ case is pending before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where they are arguing that the mandate to cover half of their lawn in allergens violates their state and federal constitutional rights.

Whatever comes of those claims, the city’s enforcement action may violate Duffner’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Congress barred state and local government entities from discriminating against individuals with certain disabilities through any services and activities, including the enforcement of an ordinance.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the law “protects people with asthma and allergies even if reactions or attacks happen only when triggered. The Americans With Disabilities Act can help to create an environment where patients can avoid their triggers.” Fortunately for the Duffners, that extends to the place where people most want and expect to escape their “triggers”—in their own home. Continue reading


EPA’s Wheeler Must Stop Bad Cleanup Plan for Missouri Superfund Site

By Travis KorsonNewsMax

Liberal activists are once again contradicting themselves on environmental policy but for once, it has nothing to do with climate change.

Instead it involves the cleanup of a Superfund site known as the West Lake Landfill. An old quarry outside of St. Louis that for several decades acted as a landfill, it was contaminated with radioactive material in the 1970s when a contractor illegally dumped left over Manhattan project waste. Subsequently named a Superfund site in 1990, federal bureaucrats have been struggling ever since to come up with a plan to clean it up. Continue reading


Trump Administration Makes a Strong Case for Changes to the International Postal System

This week, Frontiers of Freedom commends the President’s recent memo to Postmaster General Megan Brennan and the Postal Regulatory Commission calling for a long overdue removal of the U.S. Postal Service’s international shipping discounts.

These longstanding USPS policies, as Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith has noted, promote an egregious consumer market imbalance in which it is cheaper to ship goods to a U.S. customer from countries like China than from an American warehouse. Continue reading