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In Wake Of Federal Tax Reform, Blue States Scramble To Hide High Taxes

By Kyle Samminthe Federalist

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law in 2017, government officials in high-tax states have been frantically trying to find a way to overturn the provision that limits taxpayers’ deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000. That limit makes taxpayers in high-tax jurisdictions feel the impact of their local governments’ tax-and-spend policies more keenly, and those governments will do anything (short of actually cutting taxes) to prevent that from happening.

First they resorted to weird workarounds that will surely be ignored by the Internal Revenue Service and struck down by the courts as the ruses that they are. Then they sued in federal court to stop Congress from changing the tax law. The lawsuit is without merit—it’s so bad, even California declined to join it.

Now at least one state, Connecticut, is considering radically reordering its tax system in a way that will be objectively worse for its citizens, all to spite the federal government. Sooner or later, these tricks will be used up and the high-taxing states will have to face reality.

Like It Or Not, The Government Can Tax All Income

Any analysis of the federal income-taxing power must begin with the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which is brief but sweeping: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” While Article I always gave Congress the power to impose direct taxes, the Sixteenth Amendment removed the constitutional restrictions on that power that made its exercise practically impossible.

That power, with the pre-1916 restrictions removed, is as broad as it gets. If you have income, the federal government can tax it. From the beginning, courts have recognized the sweeping nature of the Sixteenth Amendment and, in 1955, clarified further just how broad the amendment is in the landmark case of Commissioner v. Glenshaw Glass Co. In that case, the upheld the Internal Revenue Code’s definition of income as being truly “all-inclusive.”

To admit this does not require an endorsement of high taxes, or indeed of any taxes at all. To say that the government can tax all income does not mean you think they shouldtax all income. It is only to admit a fact that, until recently, Democrats were especially fond of acknowledging: the government has the power to tax your income.

Admitting that also does not mean that the government must tax all income. We have never had a truly flat tax. The 1916 Revenue Act, for example, allowed a deduction for foreign taxes as well as state and local taxes (commonly abbreviated as SALT). It also contained deductions for depreciation, depletion, and interest that are similar to those still in the code.

But none of these deductions were a matter of right; they were legislative choices, undertaken to reduce the burden of taxation in ways that Congress thought made the income tax fairer. That’s a fine idea, but it does not create an inalienable right to that tax deduction.

State-Level Tax Evasion

Connecticut’s plan to beat the system is clever—too clever, really. Jared Walczak of the Tax Foundation explained the details in a recent article: “the state’s graduated-rate income tax would be largely replaced by a 5 percent payroll tax, plus an additional 2 percent tax on income above $200,000, which would raise more money than the current income tax. The state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would be increased to offset the higher tax liability for low-income earners, and because the payroll tax is a deductible expense for businesses, taxpayers subject to the $10,000 [SALT] deduction cap would get a federal tax cut even as the state generates more money.”

Walczak’s article points out the main problems with the complicated proposed tax structure. Getting the thing to work at all without creating bizarre incentives is a problem. For example, a payroll tax with multiple brackets will inevitably require massive end-of-year adjustments for anyone working multiple jobs. It also results in a different tax structure for wage workers and independent contractors, as well as people who live off investments.

Does the Nutmeg State really want to shift the tax burden away from one group of people based purely on the terms of their employment? If so, regular jobs are going to shift to other states and freelancers are going to move in, creating a hole in the state budget. The idle rich will come out ahead, too, as their non-wage income becomes non-taxed.

That’s a strange thing for a supposedly liberal state to do, but ordinary concerns fly out the window when the overriding goal of thwarting the president enters the equation. Democrats have made a cottage industry out of saying richer people need to pay more taxes. When that becomes slightly true because of a Republican initiative, however, all of the well-heeled blue staters want to use corporations to hide income from the federal government.

Eroding Federalism For a Century Comes Back To Bite 

The pending case of New York v. Mnuchin, to which Connecticut is also a party, makes even less sense. The attorneys general of these four high-tax states suggest that the federal taxing power was never intended to interfere with the states’ taxing power. There is no citation for this point, which tells you about all you need to know: the claim is invented out of thin air.

The idea that the reduced SALT deduction impairs the states’ taxing power is also nonsensical; the states retain the power to tax, they just can’t use a federal deduction to hide how high their taxes are. As Joseph Bishop-Henchman wrote for the Tax Foundation, “Tax deductions and carve-outs are a matter of legislative grace.”

Even the idea that federal taxation must exempt all state taxes is unsupported by history. Bishop-Henchman cites several instances when the deduction was limited, including in 1964, 1969, 1986, and 1993. And from the start, federal tax never completely excluded state and local taxes: it was a deduction, not a credit. While taxpayers did not pay taxes on the portion of their income that they paid to their state, they did not get a full credit for that amount, either. The deduction only saves the marginal rate on the income devoted to state taxes—the fraction of the fraction.

The complainants say that “at ratification, it was widely understood that the federalism principles enshrined in the Constitution would serve as a check on the federal government’s tax power.” That’s true, but not in the way they think it is.

Federalism did result in informal limits on federal power, but only because the states, represented in the Senate, kept the federal government from fully exercising its powers at their expense. If those limits have been eroded in the past century, it is because progressives went out of their way to erode them, first by requiring the direct election of senators and later by appointing judges who allowed them to ignore all limits on federal power, written and unwritten.

These same progressives now want you to believe that one of those unwritten, informal restrictions must override the law. The change of heart is cynical, if predictable. Rich people in high-tax states are paying more federal tax, not because the federal tax rate has gone up, but because Congress decided to stop helping the states hide the effect of their unsustainable tax-and-spend policies. Those who destroyed the norms of federalism now wish the courts to re-erect them—but only insofar as it helps their friends.

It’s Not Fair!

All of these lawsuits and legal hedges are rooted in the same complaint: the rich blue states want to keep imposing high taxes on their people and want the federal government to help them obscure the consequences.Their argument here is that imposing the same rule on all taxpayers is unfair.

“By decreasing state tax revenue and making state taxes more expensive,” they write in the complaint, “the new cap on the SALT deduction will ultimately force the Plaintiff States to choose between maintaining or cutting their public investments and level of services, and the taxes supporting them. As such, the new cap on the SALT deduction directly and unfairly interferes with the Plaintiff States’ sovereignty, by depriving them of their authority to determine their own taxation and fiscal policies without federal interference.”

Their argument here is that imposing the same rule on all taxpayers is unfair. That’s a definition of “unfair” that only a small child could love. What it really means is, “I didn’t get what I want.” What they want, as the complaint plainly acknowledges, is to avoid making hard choices to balance their budgets. Every other state has had to make hard choices, but these four states don’t want to. Unfair!

Even if it were true that the law is unfair, this would be a political argument, not a legal one. Politicians on the far left want the courts to impose rules that the people and their legislators have rejected. Even their own statements confuse to whom exactly the law is unfair.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attacked the tax law as one “that benefits the 1% at the expense of middle-class families.” But the loss of the deduction hits only those families who pay more than $10,000 in state and local taxes—hardly the average Joes Cuomo awkwardly attempts to evoke.

That’s Not How Any of This Works

This lawsuit will fail, and Connecticut’s too-clever workaround probably will, too. What happened in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was a result that politicians from these four states found distasteful. It will force them to make the kind of hard choices that they were elected to make. It will make their previous bad decisions more obvious to their voters and put pressure on them to fix them. It will, in short, force them to govern.Twenty-first-century politicians will do nearly anything to avoid governing.

Twenty-first-century politicians will do nearly anything to avoid governing. The arguments are flimsy at best, and the remedy is uncertain. Asking the courts to strike down the partial limitation of a tax deduction is novel enough, but what comes in its place? Do they want the courts to impose taxes directly, an act that is at the core of a legislature’s functions?

They know this lawsuit is a damp squib, a feeble attempt to show the folks back home (and especially their rich donors) that they’re “doing something” to stop taxes on the rich from going up. Connecticut’s radical reform is somewhat better thought-out, but will certainly inflict unintended consequences on that state’s already struggling economy, even if the IRS doesn’t decide to ignore the whole shell game they are playing.

Like a child throwing a tantrum, they will flail and kick for as long as they can before finally having to do what they were elected to do: set a level of taxing and spending that their people can afford.


Upgrading Our Military’s Heavy Vertical Lift Capability

By George Landrith

By George Landrith • RealClear Defense

It is time to upgrade our military’s heavy-lift helicopter capabilities. The current workhorse, the CH-47 Chinook, has served our country since 1962. Despite its age, the Chinook is still the most capable heavy lift helicopter on the planet — flying at almost 200 miles per hour which is roughly the speed that the Army wants its next-generation Scout aircraft to fly. Our allies use the Chinook as well — precisely because of its utility and capability. 

Over the years, the Chinook has been upgraded and new technology built in.  As a result, our allies use the Chinook because it is a highly capable platform, and it is the world class heavy lift helicopter. However, the military’s needs have grown, and additional capabilities are needed. The question is how to most effectively and efficiently meet those needs. 

Given the Chinook’s inherent strengths and capabilities, the wisest approach is to update and upgrade the Chinook so that it can increase payload, range, and other vital capabilities. With the right upgrades to the drivetrain, rotors, and other systems, this capable and proven aircraft will continue to be the world class heavy lift helicopter platform for decades to come. Following this approach means our heavy lift needs are amply met and at a much lower cost — which means we also have available resources for other crucial national security needs. That’s a win-win.

However, recently, Army Secretary Mark Esper made remarks that suggested he wasn’t interested in upgrades, but would instead start over from scratch. Sometimes starting over from scratch makes sense. But often it doesn’t. This is one of those times where starting from scratch will waste taxpayer dollars and leave our military in a lurch while a brand new helicopter is developed and produced at a much higher initial cost and increased sustainment costs.

If the Pentagon starts over from scratch, the new helicopter fleet will not be available to our warfighters for another 30 to 40 years or longer. In contrast, an updated and upgraded Chinook is already in the works and can be rolled out relatively rapidly and at a much lower cost. This approach would give our military the world-class heavy lift helicopter it needs going well into the future, and it would save money so that other critical military needs are not neglected.

The Chinook can carry dozens of fully equipped infantry or special operators. It can transport 10 tons of supplies and equipment.  It can even carry the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (which replaces the older up-armored Humvee and provides a more capable and survivable vehicle) or a 155m howitzer in a sling below the aircraft. Cost effective upgrades and updates can increase payload, range, and other important capabilities. All of these upgrades can be done at a fraction of the cost of simply starting over. 

Special operators who fly the most dangerous and demanding missions in the Army swear by the Chinook and trust their lives in it. Even Espers, while signaling he wants to move on, admits that the Chinook  “is a very good aircraft” and that it should continue to be used by our special operations forces. He even admits that perhaps the future is simply “a version of the [Chinook]. I don’t know.” Clearly, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the Chinook as a platform. It is battle tested and battle proven. 

The wise choice would be to update and upgrade the Chinook — that would give our warfighters the capability they need and do so in the most efficient way possible. That means other mission-critical tools required by our warfighters can also be afforded. 

The truth is that the Chinook can continue to serve American warfighters with the right updates and upgrades.  And these updates are already in the works. It would be foolish to shut that down and waste money by starting over. This doesn’t require much imagination. With a new drivetrain, upgraded and redesigned rotors, and other new or upgraded systems, the lift capability, range and speed, can all be increased — even beyond its current world-class capability. This makes sense for the warfighter and the taxpayer. Esper would be wise to pursue the truth that even he admitted — our future heavy-lift helicopters “may be a version of [the Chinook.]”

In a world where the government needs to do more with less, upgrading the Chinook makes a lot of sense. This will give our warfighters the greater range, speed, and payload capacity that will be needed in the future.  And while achieving all of these milestones, it will keep both production costs and sustainment costs lower. Ditching the Chinook and starting from scratch makes no sense at all — either for the warfighter or the taxpayer.


Five Decades’ Stagnation or Two Decades’ Weak Growth

By:  RAMESH PONNURU National Review

Something feels off in the timing of our debate over the economy. A loss of faith in free markets, among intellectuals and the public alike, was only natural in the 1930s. But today? Intellectuals on the left and the right are more convinced than ever that our economic policies are deeply misguided, at the same moment that unemployment rates and wage growth are the best they have been in decades. When Americans answer polls, they express less and less confidence in free-market capitalism — even as they express more and more satisfaction about economic conditions.

Perhaps people are evaluating these questions against different time horizons. They may, that is, think that the economy is performing well at the moment but has become less capable of delivering broad-based prosperity over the course of a generation. If today’s conditions persist long enough, then, the reputation of capitalism may recover.

Timing is relevant to our evaluation in another way. If our economy has gotten worse at generating sustained prosperity, worse enough to make a loss of faith in capitalism understandable if not justified, then it matters when this decline began.

In 2015, during the last presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton suggested that “for decades” the economy had been offering a worse deal for most people. Her explanation: “For 35 years, Republicans have argued that if we give more wealth to those at the top — by cutting their taxes and letting big corporations write their own rules — it will trickle down. It will trickle down to everyone else.” The election of Ronald Reagan, in other words, was the turning point. It followed that many of his policies should be reversed: The top tax rates should go back up and unions should be strengthened.

If economic conditions have been deteriorating for an even longer period, however, then merely reversing Reaganomics might not be enough. And it is common to run into claims, apparently backed by data, that suggest as much. The Pew Research Center notes that the average wage, adjusted for inflation, fell between 1973 and 2018. It had risen steeply from 1964 (when the data series began) through 1973. Then it dropped for roughly two decades, and over the next two recovered but did not get back to its peak.

If real wages have truly been stagnant for longer than most Americans have been alive, then the economy has not worked in anything resembling the fashion we expect. Economic growth has been mostly an illusion: We have more stuff only because more of us work, large numbers of women having joined the paid labor force. If this picture is accurate, we need to make radical changes either to the economy or to our expectations of ever-rising prosperity.

There are, however, two big reasons to doubt the stagnation thesis. The first is that non-wage benefits have become a larger and larger element of compensation. Perhaps they have become too large an element: The tax code encourages employees to get health insurance through their companies rather than take higher wages and buy coverage themselves, and there are reasons to think we would be better-off if the tax code did not do that. But non-wage benefits have economic value to employees, and so looking at wages alone will cause us to underestimate employees’ material welfare.

The second reason for doubt is that a common method of adjusting for inflation — the one used in the Pew numbers cited above — overdoes it. The center-right social scientist Scott Winship has been indefatigable in explaining why using the Consumer Price Index (specifically a measure called “CPI-U”) as the gauge of inflation is a mistake, and how it warps our understanding of economic trends. It overestimates housing inflation before 1983, and ignores how consumer behavior responds when prices change.

Since inflation compounds, small errors each year add up to major changes over decades. Use a better measure of inflation, one based on personal-consumption expenditures, and the average wage rose by 21 percent from 1973 to 2018. (Average compensation must have risen more.)

The data on median family income also show a reassuring amount of growth. The family in the middle of the pack in 2015 made 45 percent more, with the right inflation adjustment, than its counterpart in 1970.

But the same numbers may also explain some of the public’s dissatisfaction with the economy. Median family income grew by a spectacular 58 percent in the 15 years from 1955 to 1970, then grew another 11 percent from 1970 to 1985, and 24 percent from 1985 to 2000. But the median family income of 2014 was slightly lower than it was in 2000.

What happened is that after the turn of the millennium we went through an extended period of slow growth punctuated by one mild and one severe recession. Median family income dropped more than 7 percent from 2007 through 2011, the sharpest decline since this data series started in 1953. It did not recover completely until 2015.

We have had a few good years since then. But it is not surprising that during the last two decades many Americans came to feel that their economic circumstances were stagnant and insecure. It is not surprising, either, that many of them have the sense that things used to be better — or that a generation of young people who started their work lives in a slow-growth economy tend not to have positive attitudes toward capitalism.

Instead of five decades of economic stagnation, we have had two decades of weak growth. That record does not suggest that the pro-market policies of the 1980s and 1990s were fundamentally mistaken. It suggests, rather, that we have discrete problems that deserve to be tackled.

High on the list of needed changes should be a reform of our monetary regime. It failed badly over the last dozen years. In 2008, excessive fear of inflation led the Federal Reserve to signal that it was going to tighten monetary policy even as the economy was sinking into a recession. It kept monetary conditions too tight after the crisis hit, too, for example by encouraging banks to hold additional reserves. These policies made the recession more severe and the recovery weaker. That these failures are not more widely appreciated is symptomatic of the misguided thinking that continues to govern monetary policy.7

Reforms should be undertaken in other areas, too. Our higher-education system is not working for most young people. Our immense health sector includes immense inefficiency. Regions of the country with high economic growth have imposed regulations that make it prohibitively expensive for less fortunately situated Americans to move there.

So we are called to be ambitious, but not revolutionary. Capitalism does not need to be overthrown or even rethought. Rather, the principles that make markets work need to be applied to some areas where they have not been present. Our economic system does not need dismantling. But it does 


Taxpayers Should Not Be Forced to Pay Subsidies for Electric Vehicles: Let the Subsidies Die!

By George LandrithFrontiers of Freedom

The taxpayer provided $7,500 subsidy to manufacturers of electric vehicles is about to expire.  Not surprisingly, two of the biggest beneficiaries of this huge subsidy — General Motors and Tesla — are frantically trying to extend the subsidy and keep taxpayer money flowing into their bank accounts.  Most of this effort is predictably supported by Democrats in Congress — the same people who enthusiastically lent there verbal support to the idiotic and laughably impractical “Green New Deal.” 

Unfortunately, there are also a few Republicans who are joining the effort to extend the flow of taxpayer dollars to special interests like Tesla and GM. Elon Musk has made a handsome fortune by getting government to subsidize his businesses. For any Republican to support this approach is shortsighted and foolish. Giving the hard left political cover by making this insanity appear “bipartisan” is counterproductive. Serious minded legislators should not breathe life into extraordinarily bad ideas that are about to expire. 

The Green New Deal is on its face absurd.  No serious thinker can support the idea of government outlawing automobiles and planes, or mandating that every building in America either be entirely retrofitted or demolished and rebuilt. If a high school senior suggested this in a civics paper, he would have to be given a failing grade for proposing something that is not remotely plausible. Just as a research paper that calls for the licensing and regulation of unicorns, should be met with laughter and a failing grade, so too should the Green New Deal. Extending and expanding taxpayer provided subsidies for electric vehicles is simply taking bits and pieces of the zany Green New Deal and implementing them a piece at a time. The Green new deal is stupid as a whole and also stupid if taken a piece at a time. 

Too often special interests with large lobbing operations wield their insider influence to get government to give them benefits and subsidies that are both indefensible and unjust. Government power should not be used to take money from single mothers struggling to make ends meet and then give that money to well-to-do professionals who want to drive fancy electric sports cars or to the corporations that make them. Yet, that is precisely what the subsidies for electric vehicle does — take money from hard working Americans and give it to wealthy corporations and individuals.

But the Left doesn’t merely want to extend the subsidies for electric vehicles, they also want to expand and grow the subsidies. Under current law, the subsidies are limited to 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer.  But if the subsidy is revived, those doing the reviving, want to lift that 200,000 car limit and simply give Tesla and GM an unlimited supply of taxpayer cash. 

When this subsidy was created, it was when the US was concerned about our dependence on foreign oil. But now America is a net oil exporter so the rationale is no longer there. And those who claim that electric vehicles are “cleaner” do not take into account things like the electricity that these vehicles use is generated at power plants that burn coal and natural gas. So to call them “zero emission vehicles” is, quite frankly, not honest or accurate. Moreover, the batteries used in electric vehicles are extraordinarily unfriendly to the environment. And gasoline vehicles are now so much more clean, efficient and environmentally friendly, that electric vehicles provide no substantial environmental benefit, according to a recent study by the Manhaattan Institute for Policy Research.  So arguing for these subsides on environmental grounds is pretty lame. 

But the real kicker is that the electric vehicle subsidies go almost exclusively to the rich. More than half claiming the subsidy earn more than $200,000 a year and nearly 80% claiming the subsidy earn more than $100,000 a year, according to a recent study by the Pacific Research Institute. There is no good reason to extend and expand a government program that taxes working class Americans so that a few rich guys can get some help to buy an expensive electric sports car. And the idea that large corporations with vast lobbying operations like Tesla and GM should be getting taxpayer cash is manifestly absurd. 

If Americans want to buy electric cars, let them! But don’t require their neighbors or even worse, the working poor, to help pay for their fancy, new electric sports car! It is time for Congress to stop the insanity and stop taking money from hard working Americans and giving it to the rich to help them pay for their vanity sports car purchases.  Congress should let the subsidy for electric vehicles die. Extending the subsidy would be an act of political avarice, cowardice and mendacity. 


Hawley: How American Elites Threaten Our Common Liberty

By Madeline Osburn The Federalist

On Saturday, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley addressed the class of 2019 at The King’s College in New York, where he called on the graduates to reject the Pelagian worldview that dominates our public way of life.

Hawley, who has also recently questioned the uses of social media and railed against Facebook for data and privacy violations, noted that Pelagius was loved by the wealthy, educated aristocrats of Rome, “because he validated their position and their power.” He called out the elites of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in his commencement address for the same Pelagian love of hierarchy enforced on Americans today.

Pelagius was a British monk and a moralist who rejected Saint Augustine’s views on sin and grace for a different view of human freedom and prosperity, in which freedom was earned. Hawley discussed how the elites of American society implement a Pelagian worldview, and ultimately threaten freedom for all humans.

A society that is divided by class, where one class has all the advantages, is a society gripped by hierarchy. It is also a society defined by elitism. Of course, our elites don’t use that word. They say their privileged position comes from merit and achievement. They point to their SAT scores and prestigious degrees. They talk about economic efficiency.

How Pelagian of them.

The truth is, the people at the top of our society have built a culture, and an economy, that work mainly for themselves. Our cultural elites look down on the plain virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice. Things like humility and faithfulness. They celebrate self-promotion, self-discovery, self-aggrandizement. Self. Self. Self.

And then when industry shifts jobs overseas they say, well, workers should find another trade. I mean, capital must be allocated to its most efficient use.

When workers without college degrees can’t get a good job, they say, that’s their fault – they should’ve gone to college.

Now, I rather suspect – it’s just a hunch – that if globalization threatened America’s tech industry or it’s, say, banking sector, that we would hear a different tune. I slightly suspect we would hear that these industries are the lifeblood of the American economy and must be defended at all costs. And that’s just my point. The elites assume that their interests are vital, while everyone else’s can be done without. They assume their value preferences should prevail, while denigrating the loves and loyalties of the great middle of America. That’s the nature of elitism. And at the end of the day, this hierarchy, and this elitism, threaten our common liberty. For the steady erosion of working-class jobs and working-class life for millions of Americans means losing respect, it means losing their voice, it means losing their standing as citizens in this nation.

Our Pelagian public philosophy says liberty is all about choosing your own ends. That turns out to be a philosophy for the privileged and for the few. For everybody else, for those who cannot build an identity around what they buy, for those whose life is anchored in family, and home, and nation, for those who actually want to participate in our democracy, today’s Pelagianism robs them of the liberty that is rightfully theirs. And we cannot afford to let it to happen any longer. The age of Pelagius must end.


Yes, the economy is thriving and you can thank President Trump

By Andy Puzder • The Morning Call

Anyone listening to President Donald Trump and to Democratic presidential hopefuls hears an almost Dickensian tale of two very different Americas.

The president takes “the best of times” view and spoke during his State of the Union address about “an unprecedented economic boom” in which “our economy is thriving like never before.”

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the “the worst of times” view and speak of an America that works only for the rich, while working-class paychecks fail even to keep up with the cost of living and people are struggling to get by.

Is either side right?

The American public appears to increasingly share Trump’s sunny view. A Gallup poll released on Monday, under the headline “Americans’ Confidence in Their Finances Keeps Growing,” found that more than two-thirds — 69 percent — of Americans expect to be better off in the coming year. That’s “only two percentage points below the all-time high of 71%” recorded 20 years ago. The poll was based on telephone interviews with 1,017 adults conducted between Jan. 2 and Jan. 10. Continue reading


U.S. Should Be Exporting LNG, Not Importing It

By Peter RoffTownhall

The president’s responsibilities in the national security arena may be his most important. It certainly has the current occupant of the White House thinking an executive order declaring an emergency on the U.S. border with Mexico to secure funding for the proposed wall might well be in order.

The Trump Administration is also considering action that would allow Chinese and other foreign flagged shippers to deliver liquified natural gas to Puerto Rico and Massachusetts, citing the same rationale: that it is in the interests of U.S. national security to allow this to happen.

In only one instance is this even possibly correct. The finding a national security emergency exists gives the executive branch considerable latitude in the actions it can take and, say more than expert in the issue, there’s a straight forward argument to be made in that regard for the border wall. Thousands of undocumented immigrants pour into our country over the border and embed themselves in the underground of American society. From their hiding places, they add to the problems associated with violent crime, the importation, and sale of illegal and counterfeit drugs, human trafficking, kidnapping, gang activity and other things damaging to the fabric of the nation. Continue reading


Frontiers of Freedom President George Landrith endorses the Fairness for Every Driver Act

Senator Barrasso’s and Representative Jason Smith’s “Fairness for Every Driver Act” is a great idea whose time has come. It is time to drain the swamp and end taxpayer provided payouts for those with high priced lobbyists!

 

This week Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO-08) and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced the Fairness for Every Driver Act to save billions of taxpayer dollars by eliminating the tax credit for high-end electric vehicles. 

Frontiers of Freedom President, George Landrith made the following statement in support of the Fairness for Every Driver Act:

Who are the big winners when taxpayers are forced to pay up to $7,500 to buyers of expensive electrical cars?  The answer is simple:  billionaire Elon Musk, and big corporations like Tesla and GM.  Elon Musk is the fellow who recently was smacked down by the feds for violating securities fraud laws and fined millions of dollars. I am not all sure why Elon deserves the big bonanza funded by hardworking American taxpayers!

The big losers of this cash payout program 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 Congress has been forcing you to help rich guys buy fancy, expensive electric sports cars.

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 don’t ask the rest of us to help you pay for it!  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 pay for it. Yet that is exactly what Congress has been doing. Shame on Congress! 

Additionally, under current law, users of alternative fuel vehicles do not contribute funds to improving the roads and bridges all drivers use. This law would rectify this injustice as well.  Everyone who uses the public roadways should help pay for their construction and maintenance.  It makes no sense to give rich car buyers a pass on helping to pay for the roadways that they also use. 

This is why I am excited about the work that Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Representative Jason Smith (R-MO) are doing with their proposed Fairness for Every Driver Act. This is a big win for working-class Americans and for anyone who believes in fair play and equality before the law.

We call upon Members of Congress to support the Fairness for Every Driver Act. We will be watching how Congress votes and we will make sure that good votes are rewarded and that bad votes are publicized. 


President Trump’s Economic Recovery Proves America’s Freedom Still Has A Chance

By Adam Mill • The Federalist

Recently, Jesse Kelly wrote a worthy article forecasting the United States’ decline and eventual suffocation in the quicksand of socialism. He correctly notes that as government gets bigger, freedom must get smaller.

Kelly clearly fears a socialist America will follow the failures of Greece, Venezuela, and every other country that has followed a welfare state model to its logical conclusion. While he is absolutely right that economic failure and socialism are inexorably related, he is not correct that the United States is on an unstoppable path to this oblivion.

Take cheer, Kelly: we have reason to be optimistic as a result of President Trump’s brief but dazzling experiment with cutting taxes and regulation. While government is growing, it’s not growing fast enough to crowd-out all freedom. One byproduct of the Trump boom is that economic growth is actually outpacing growth in government spending. The government’s share of gross domestic product has fallen to Continue reading


Was Gorsuch Worth A Trump Presidency? It’s Starting To Look That Way

By David Harsanyi • The Federalist

It’s odd, isn’t it, that so many of the folks who warn us about the authoritarianism of the GOP also happen to support an array of policies that coerce Americans to do things they don’t want to?

Take, for example, the four reliably liberal Supreme Court justices, all of whom believe it’s OK to compel Americans to pay dues to political organizations they disagree with, to coerce them to say things they abhor, and to compel them to create things that undermine their principles.

For some, myself included, the prospects of a court run by people who ignore the Constitution was the best argument for Donald Trump in 2016. The question was, “What’s scarier, a Trump presidency or a progressive Supreme Court?” I imagine the answer is becoming a bit clearer for many conservatives.

In three cases this term — the rulings Continue reading


Newt Gingrich: Tax cuts are key to reaching four percent growth — Ignore the ‘experts’

By Newt Gingrich • Fox News

The left-wing media and the elites never seem to tire of being wrong.

Remember in May when President Trump said his policies would spur the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at a rate of 3 percent or higher? The so-called experts insisted that it was unrealistic, highly unlikely, and probably impossible.

Some of these experts suggested 3 percent growth could only happen if our immigrant population doubled over a decade or the nation went to a six-day work week. They said even if unemployment fell to zero, we still wouldn’t get close.

Imagine their surprise then when the Commerce Department announced on Friday that the GDP has grown at 3 percent – for the second quarter in a row. Continue reading


Rep. Marsha Blackburn – Hearing Aid Bill

Representative Marsha Blackburn


Rep. Michael Burgess – Hearing Aid Bill

Representative Michael Burgess


Rep. Earl ‘Buddy’ Carter – Hearing Aid Bill

Representative  Earl ‘Buddy’ Carter


GOP Bill Hikes Taxes, Helps Raise Obamacare Premiums but Doesn’t Kill Obamacare

by Crystal Wright    •    Morning Consult 

Just when you thought the disastrous Obamacare literally couldn’t get any sicker or more costly to Americans, think again.  However, this time it isn’t the law’s namesake President Obama and his Democrat cronies harming our country’s health care system while ballooning the federal budget, it’s Republicans.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) introduced a bill — the Taxpayers Before Insurers Act which requires funds paid in by private insurance companies collected under the auspices of the “reinsurance program” mandated under the Affordable Care Act to go the U.S Treasury instead of being used to reduce consumer medical costs.  And many Republicans in Congress say it’s a great idea. Continue reading