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Economic Freedom

The Green New Deal Is Simply A Delusional Excuse To Seize Power

By Sumantra Maitra • The Federalist

Cathy Young wrote last year that “commie chic” is cool again. In an essay, she cited a Gallup poll stating that “among Democrats, Democratic-leaning independents—and, perhaps most significant, among all American adults under 30—socialism is now viewed more positively than capitalism.”

Look around and you can see essays in papers of record praising the sex lives of East German women (failing to mention that they probably had to do it with a Soviet soldier in a back alley for a loaf of bread), and the idea that taxing billionaires would help make a society where there’s no inequality, and where everyone has not just a means but a “right” to a guaranteed satisfactory life and minimum income, health care, and education. Oh, and there are also free unicorns at the end of each red rainbow.

Almost determined prove her point, within a few months of that essay the darling of the Anglo-American left, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, took out the structural plan for the much-vaunted Green New Deal, which might be better described as a neo-Maoist Green Leap Forward, and it is comedy gold. Continue reading


Liberals’ ‘Green New Deal’ Is Really A Call For Enviro-Socialism

Investor’s Business Daily

The far-left Democrats finally unveiled their plan for their “Green New Deal.” It’s a shocking document, essentially a call for enviro-socialism in America. It’s no doubt prompting many across the nation to wonder: Has this once-respectable political party of the working class gone collectively mad?

It sure seems that way. Reading the Green New Deal (GND) plan, put out Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, one is tempted to think it’s not real, just a joke from the satirical “The Onion.” The individual planks in the plan, individually and collectively, sound like the rantings of someone who should be institutionalized, not like a rational political plan to solve a real problem.

Let’s begin with what the plan promises: “a massive transformation of our society with clear goals and a timeline.” Continue reading


Kamala Harris leaps to unwarranted conclusions in tax tweet

By Glenn Kessler • Washington Post

“The average tax refund is down about $170 compared to last year. Let’s call the President’s tax cut what it is: a middle-class tax hike to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations and the 1%.”

— Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), in a tweet, Feb. 11, 2019

Harris, who is running for president in 2020, attacked President Trump’s tax law after the Internal Revenue Service reported that preliminary data shows that the average tax refund check is down 8 percent ($170) this year compared with last year.

Boy, talk about a non sequitur that turns out to be nonsensical and misleading. Let’s take a look.

The Facts

The average tax refund is down, at least according to very preliminary data for returns processed through Feb. 1. (That’s essentially one week of filing data.) But the size of a refund tells you nothing about a person’s tax bill. Continue reading


McConnell: Senate to Vote on Green New Deal So Lawmakers Can ‘Go on Record’

By Jack Crowe • National Review

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the Senate will vote on the Green New Deal resolution introduced last week by a coalition of progressive lawmakers vowing to eliminate all greenhouse-gas emissions within ten years, while simultaneously creating millions of jobs in a government-subsidized green-energy sector.

“I’ve noted with great interest the Green New Deal. And we’re going to be voting on that in the Senate. Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal,” McConnell said with a sly smile during a Tuesday press conference.

The resolution, which was introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) on Friday, provides a sweeping list of climate-change- and social-justice-related measures including the refurbishing of every structure in the country with renewable-energy technology and the creation of millions of federally funded jobs in the green-energy sector. Continue reading


Gov. Cuomo’s Right: The Rich Are Leaving High-Tax New York

Investor’s Business Daily

We don’t often praise New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but we have to say, we appreciate his recent frankness on taxes.

On Monday, he told his state’s citizens that income tax revenues were coming in $2.3 billion below the expectations of just a month ago. “That’s as serious as a heart attack,” he said.

He’s right. The question is why?

A little budget talk is in order. New York plans to spend about $176 billion in the coming fiscal year, starting April 1. About $100 billion of that, according to Carl Campanile of the New York Post, will come from federal funds.

That means the actual deficit in state funding after just one month is 3%. Cuomo says it’s due to the new federal tax code, which limits state income tax deductions to $10,000, and recent volatility in the stock market. Continue reading


Wealth Tax Fails The Test Around The World

Investor’s Business Daily

There’s little doubt that the political flavor of the day is what the left calls “democratic socialism.” And one of this movement’s more recent ideas, from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is to impose a “wealth tax” on the wealthy. Sorry, senator, it’s an old idea — one that’s thoroughly discredited.

To begin with, the wealth tax is nothing new. It’s been tried by many nations, but most who’ve tried it have dropped it. As recently as 1990, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 12 of its member countries imposed a wealth tax on citizens. Today, it’s just four.

The irony is that those who ended their failed experiments with the wealth tax are those that America’s “democratic socialists” say they most admire. That includes Denmark and Sweden, nations often cited by people like Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as worthy of emulation by the American left. Continue reading


U.S. Postal Service details another quarterly loss of $1.5 billion

Washington D.C. – Frontiers of Freedom President expressed alarm about the U.S. Postal Service’s latest quarterly loss of $1.5 billion to start the 2019 fiscal year. The latest losses underscore the USPS’ failure to fulfill proper cost controls, accuracy in pricing, and neglect in meeting its long-term obligations to the federal government and the agency’s thousands of employees.

On the USPS financials, George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom, stated:

“The latest massive loss detailed by the Postal Service demonstrates that there is still much work left to be done to meaningfully change the USPS business model. In 2018, the Administration had success in helping the USPS to better crack down on drug transports through the mail, and to ensure better deals for American businesses on international shipments.”

Landrith continued, observing that, “the Postal Service wants to be treated like a private business, but nearly every “business decision” has made its finances and service quality increasingly worse. Fortunately, the Administration’s Postal Task Force report provides a promising roadmap for reform with an emphasis on critical structural separation changes. In truth, there needs to be clear distinctions between USPS’ monopoly service and its underpriced competitive services, like subsidized parcel shipments.”

Landrith concluded: “Analyzing the viability of all USPS services based on proper cost and revenue analyses will be an essential step for Postal leaders. The understaffed oversight bodies must be outfitted with financially astute professionals who are commitment to transparency and accountable practices. Installing experienced regulators and leaders must be a priority to get the Postal Service on a sustainable path.”

The USPS Board of Governors is currently seven members short of its full complement. Nominees announced by the President last month have yet to be confirmed: Ron A. Bloom, Robert M. Duncan, Roman Martinez IV, and Calvin R. Tucker. The Postal Regulatory Commission, which recently added Michael Kubayanda, will soon be two members short as the terms for Nanci Langley and Tony Hammond are expiring this year.


Here’s The Brief Moral Case Against ‘Democratic Socialism’

By David Weinberger • The Federalist

For most people, moral visions trump economic realities, and that is why so-called “democratic socialism” has growing appeal. One’s sense of compassion outweighs the pain of higher taxation.

Consider, for example, this exchange between Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Rep. Tom Price:

Sanders: Congressman Price, America is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right. Do you believe health care is a right of all Americans, whether they’re rich or they’re poor? Should people, because they are Americans, be able to go to their doctor when they need to, be able to go to into a hospital, because they are Americans? Continue reading


Harris’s Call to Eliminate Private Insurance Is ‘Major Slip-Up’ That ‘Will Haunt Her’

Washington Free Beacon

Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Wednesday that Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D., Calif.) denunciation of private health insurance could haunt her presidential campaign.

At a town hall event on CNN Monday (watch here), Harris said there are a host of problems associated with private health insurance, including delays and costs, and she said, “Let’s eliminate all of that.” After liberal commentator Richard Fowler downplayed the radicalism of Harris’s comment, Continetti answered affirmatively when co-host Bill Hemmer asked if the comment will “stick to her.”

“Yes, [it will stick to her], and it would stick to her if she became the Democratic nominee,” Continetti said. “I think Senator Harris had a pretty good rollout: She had that big rally in Oakland, she had the good fundraising number in her first day. This is a major slip-up for her, which will haunt her if she makes it to the general election.” Continue reading


Eliminator

National Review

Kamala Harris has a big idea for your health-care plan: elimination.

The early contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination are working feverishly to out-radical each other. Senator Elizabeth Warren has come out with a confiscatory wealth tax that in practice proved too oppressive for Sweden and Denmark, both of which abolished theirs years ago. Harris, not wanting to be outflanked on her left, has now called for the abolition of private health insurance, a proposal that would go well beyond even the practice in single-payer systems such as those of the United Kingdom and Canada.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked her whether under her “Medicare for All” proposal people would be permitted to keep their insurance if they like it. Harris, unlike Barack Obama, offered no such concession. Instead, she offered this: “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”

Move on to what? Continue reading


The Super Bowl of Corporate Welfare

By John Stossel • Reason

Today is the Super Bowl.

I look forward to playing poker and watching. It’s easy to do both because in a three-hour-plus NFL game there are just 11 minutes of actual football action.

So we’ll have plenty of time to watch Atlanta politicians take credit for the stadium that will host the game. Atlanta’s former mayor calls it “simply the best facility in the world.”

But politicians aren’t likely to talk about what I explain in my latest video—how taxpayers were forced to donate more than $700 million to the owner of Atlanta’s football team, billionaire Arthur Blank, to get him to build the stadium. Continue reading


School Vouchers Aren’t Welfare for the Rich

By Christian Barnard • Reason

“Do School Vouchers Only Benefit the Wealthy?” asks an article this month in Governing. Like too many headlines, the implication is that school choice is a scam that disproportionately benefits wealthy students who already live in high-performing districts. The Governing story suggests that Arizona’s education savings accounts (ESAs)––publicly-funded savings accounts that parents can use to pay for private school tuition or other education services for their children––rarely help out those who authentically need assistance, favoring already-privileged children instead.

The article cites a 2017 report from The Arizona Republic which found that 75 percent of the ESA money went to students leaving districts that had an “A” or “B” ranking, and only 4 percent of the money followed students opting out of districts rated “D” or lower.

But these numbers hardly even hint at the full story. Arizona’s ESA program can only be used by specific groups of disadvantaged students. In fact, Arizona Department of Education data from 2017 reveals that 82 percent of ESA recipients were students with special needs, from military families, or students from D/F rated schools. Continue reading


The Crippling Cost of 70% Tax Rates

By Edward Conard • Wall Street Journal

Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent her first few weeks on Capitol Hill calling for a 70% top marginal income-tax rate, and suddenly the debate over optimal rates has reopened. To support her charge, some liberals are citing a 2011 study by economists Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez, which advocates for confiscatory upper-range tax rates. But a quick look at their analysis reveals grave caveats that only an advocate of higher taxes could possibly overlook.

Messrs. Diamond and Saez admit that taxes can have detrimental…

Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent her first few weeks on Capitol Hill calling for a 70% top marginal income-tax rate, and suddenly the debate over optimal rates has reopened. To support her charge, some liberals are citing a 2011 study by economists Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez, which advocates for confiscatory upper-range tax rates. But a quick look at their analysis reveals grave caveats that only an advocate of higher taxes could possibly overlook. Continue reading


After Trump Gets His Wall Funding, He Should Fire The TSA

Investor’s Business Daily

In their constant search for shutdown-related disasters, the media are now fixated on airport screeners. The shutdown is wreaking havoc on airports, they say. Except that it isn’t. The shutdown does, however, present an opportunity to re-privatize the troublesome TSA.

News reports focus on the fact that TSA worker no-shows are up from a year ago. But the TSA’s own data show that wait times haven’t changed. Its latest report finds that “99.9% of passengers waited less than 30 minutes and 95.4% of passengers waited less than 15 minutes.”

That’s in line with normal operations. TSA reported in 2017, for example, that 99.9% of passengers waited less than 30 minutes during summer months. Continue reading


McAuliffe: I Don’t Want Dems Making ‘False Promises’ Like Free College

By Cameron Cawthorne • Washington Free Beacon

Former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe (Va.) on Monday said he doesn’t want Democrats going out on the campaign trail in 2020 making “false promises” like free college.

McAuliffe, who said he will make a decision on 2020 by the end of March, said Democrats don’t need a “compulsive liar” running against President Donald Trump, but instead a “compulsive optimist” and a “compulsive realist,” appearing to hint American voters need him.

Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power” host Jason Kelly referenced McAuliffe’s Washington Post op-ed from last week, where he said Democrats must not “make unrealistic ideological promises.” He then asked McAuliffe which policy proposal from his op-ed was the most “feasible.” Continue reading