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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The New Deal is long gone; let’s leave it to its place in history



Few people alive today experienced “The Great Depression,” that period brought on by the stock market crash of 1929 and made worse by the Dust Bowl of the 30s. It was a time of great misery for America, and much worse than what today is referred to as “The Great Recession” that followed the market’s steep downturn beginning in December 2007.

While the latter event was the longest recession since World War II, lasting until June 2009, and its severity notable, it was not comparable to the Depression from which it got its name.

In the 30s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt responded to the severe economic conditions with programs known as the New Deal. Those who lived through it may well regard FDR’s efforts in a positive light, as they “gave the country hope.”

But as is often the case, those memories do FDR more justice than he deserves. His program of high taxes and spending prolonged and deepened the misery. Though the country suffered longer and more severely, however, it did survive.

Democrats still entertain ideas similar to Roosevelt’s. In a nation created with specific limits on government’s size and power, a major political party does its best to increase government’s size and influence over its citizens.

A current proposal harkens back to the dark days of the 30s with a new “New Deal,” this one called the “Green New Deal,” combining the horrors of FDR’s missteps with the equal horrors of the manic climate change faction.

Typical of leftist/liberal prescriptions for a better world, this one touts and focuses on a set of desired results, but avoids paying any real attention to the enormous costs those desired results would create.

The Green New Deal is only a draft resolution at this point, but it proposes to do away with all fossil fuel use by 2030, just 10 years after its legislation is supposed to be completed.

The proponent of this measure is – surprise, surprise, surprise! – the newly elected Democrat Darling, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has raised the ire of her Democrat colleagues with her behavior, which pays little deference to the Party leadership, as she stumbles in and out of controversy.

Her methodology for this grand idea asks questions like “wouldn’t it be nice if,” or “shouldn’t we?” But it pays little attention to the answers to those questions, such as “at what cost” or “who will this hurt?”

On the subject of “wouldn’t it be nice,” the Green New Deal proposes making the nation run on only renewable forms of energy, as well as upgrading every residential and industrial building to improve comfort and safety.

And it goes further beyond the green aspects of our lives. It also proposes to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one. And we must establish additional measures, such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others that the select committee, which will be formed to flesh out the draft, deems appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism.

The cost of these pie-in-the-sky goals runs about 40 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, roughly double the current national debt.

Fossil fuels have weaknesses that make them undesirable. But renewable energy sources have weaknesses, too. Windmills kill birds at alarming rates, and large solar arrays also kill birds. You might expect these factors to upset green organizations that work to protect animals.

Solar panels only work when the sun is shining, and windmills only work when the wind blows. As it turns out, according to the Department of Energy, the most advanced wind turbines only reach their rated capacity roughly 42.5 percent of the time. And the most advanced, motorized solar panels achieve their rated capacity roughly 26 percent of the time.

Currently, fossil fuel backup systems turn on when wind and solar can’t work, but the plan is to stop using them. If we are to be prohibited from burning coal and natural gas, the other options are using more nuclear energy, which attracts strong opposition like that of fossil fuels, or store energy in batteries in humongous numbers.

Further, banning fossil fuels from all agricultural, manufacturing, and transportation uses would dramatically increase the cost of every product in the United States and make it difficult for American businesses to export products at reasonable prices.

This proposal, like so many liberal creations, sounds wonderful, but poses substantial problems.

What works best in such monumental transitions like this is a gradual evolution from the old to the new. That, however, is not part of the plan. The left/liberal method is not gradual evolution, but government force, as we saw in former President Barack Obama’s war on coal, with all the unemployment and extraneous human costs associated with that which were, unfortunately, not accompanied with any semblance of pity for the negatively affected thousands.

As science, technology and manufacturing processes evolve and improve, green energy will gradually and naturally replace burning fossil fuels for many of their uses. America already leads the world in carbon reduction. It should not punish its citizens further by implementing unnecessary and painful measures.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Democrats re-take the House: It is just as bad as we expected



She’s baaa-aaak! Imagining herself suddenly somehow equal to the President of the United States, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, basked in the glory of getting the gavel returned, after Democrats won back control of the House in the mid-term election.

Anxious to get back control of the House and wallowing in the glory of things to come, prior to the opening of the 2019 Congress caucusing Democrats, led by Maxine Waters, D-CA were overheard singing: “Investigate! Salivate! Dance to the music!”

And right on cue, the political foolishness began. The bad ideas Democrats had been discussing and preparing to unleash were officially unleashed.

Barely after members were sworn in and the election of the Speaker was completed, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-CA, rushed forth to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as his first order of business.

Not long after that, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN, introduced a few new bills, one of which proposes the elimination of the Electoral College.

They also introduced a bill that many people would support to fund government agencies affected by the shutdown. Too good to be true, however, the bill also contained a hidden element that would provide more than a half-billion dollars in pro-abortion funding, including repealing a provision implemented by the Trump administration that would not fund NGOs that engaged in pro-abortion activities.

On the matter of impeachment, freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-MI, wasted no time in calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump just hours after being sworn in.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters Thursday night, Tlaib said: "People love you and you win. And when your son looks at you and says, 'Momma, look you won. Bullies don't win.' And I said, 'Baby, they don't, because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the [vulgarity deleted].'”

Where the comment immediately placed her high in the running for the “2019 Classless Congressional Comment” award, it also garnered her much attention, but also a little welcome Democrat criticism.

Defensively, Tlaib pointed out that her “colorful” language should not overshadow her message. Well, if your message is really important to you, don’t use colorful language that interferes with it.

While we are on the topic of newbies, the freshman Democrat Darling and self-described socialist and radical, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has danced and talked her way into the limelight.

Her dancing may well be the strongest of her talents, with economic understanding bringing up the rear. The 29 year-old Representative has displayed a great lack of understanding of her country’s Constitution and government organization, characteristic of many others of her age.

She has expressed strong support for raising taxes on the highest wage earners to as much as 70 percent to pay for her list of socialistic freebies. As ridiculous an idea as this is, it wouldn’t make a dent in the costs of the programs she favors.

A 70 percent tax is punitive, and would shift a great deal of money to government use rather than use by those who earned it, and has very little support. It heaps unjust obligations on the top earners, who already shoulder a hugely disproportionate share of America’s tax bill.

Democrats apparently have been forbidden from discussing the death of Police Officer Ronil Singh, the most recent American to be killed by an illegal alien. Nancy Pelosi reportedly responded to a question about this senseless crime, “No comment.”

The ban on discussion is apparently complete, prohibiting even the expression of sympathy to Singh’s family and fellow officers, lest they admit indirectly that we have a true and serious illegal alien problem that includes sanctuary cities/fugitive cities. They didn’t even allow the automatic reaction to a gun death: the call for gun control.

As the 18th partial shutdown of the federal government since 1976 continues into its second week, there is no agreement between Congressional Democrats and President Trump to end it, as this is written.

Ranging from a few days to more than a month, under six presidents, both Democrat and Republican – Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, G.H.W. Bush and Obama – government shutdowns are not uncommon. The longest one lasted 32 days under Bill Clinton.

The responsibility for the security of the United States and its citizens falls upon the shoulders of the Executive Branch: the President, not the Speaker of the House or the Senate Minority Leader.

Following the advice – the sincere and desperation-prompted pleas – of the people who are on the border trying to secure it, Trump wants an impenetrable barrier along sections of the border.

Under those conditions, Congressional Democrats, who voted to fund a wall previously, are instead acting to support the status quo, which includes the horrible things illegal aliens have done and will do, while Trump is working to secure the border and improve the immigration process.

In 1986, Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million people in exchange for the promise of border security. But border security was not achieved. Reagan said that was his biggest mistake. Trump does not want to make that same mistake.

In other news, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, introduced a Congressional term limits bill.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Costs of illegal immigration demand significant reform measures



That a sovereign nation should be able to control people coming into it is a no-brainer. So is the idea that in setting criteria for entry by immigrants a nation should consider what sorts of people will be good for the nation and its citizens.

The United States is under no obligation to let anyone come here; it is a completely voluntary thing that we can do or not do as we choose. The United States has benefitted greatly from immigration in the past, and if we a smart about it, we can benefit from immigration now and in the future.

As the most generous nation on Earth we can help people from other countries that really need help, but only under circumstances that are beneficial to us, or at least that are not harmful to our country and its legal residents and citizens.

We should not allow those to come here who carry disease, who are violent, who wish to undermine our way of life, or in other ways will do harm of some kind to the country. That such standards must exist is not even arguable.

Right now, and for many years, our immigration system has been a mess. The southern border is dangerously porous, and is routinely breached by persons wanting to come here illegally. Despite Border Patrol efforts, people routinely cross into the country. Others get visas to come here legally, but stay beyond the expiration date. These people by their very existence inside our borders are lawbreakers, and some of them commit crimes.

Answers for how much illegal aliens cost the country cover a broad range, depending upon whose numbers you use and exactly what kinds of things comprise the total. Estimates range from a bit over $100 billion to $338 billion annually.

A 2017 cost analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) puts the figure of illegal immigration costs to U.S. taxpayers at $155 billion annually. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, however, that cost is much higher: $338.3 billion. 

Some estimates of particular elements of illegal immigration costs are: $22 billion on social services; $2.2 billion on food assistance; $2.5 billion on Medicaid, $29 billion on education; $3 million per day to incarcerate illegal immigrants who comprise 30 percent of all federal prison inmates; $90 billion for welfare; $46 billion for deportation; and $200 billion in suppressed American wages.

Townhall.com reported in October that the U.S. is currently spending more to cover costs of illegal aliens having children here than for President Trump’s border wall this year. A new report tells us that illegal alien women had 297,000 children in 2014 at a cost of $2.4 billion.

Technically, illegal immigrants are not eligible for welfare services. But the report explained, "Medicaid will pay for a delivery in almost all cases if the mother is uninsured or has a low income. ... Illegal immigrants and most new legal immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid, but the program will still cover the cost of delivery and post-partum care for these mothers for at least a few months."

Forbes magazine’s Chris Conover ran the numbers in November and determined that at least $18.5 billion of tax money is spent on health care for illegal immigrants.

And there’s this from CNS News: “The federal government spent more money on the food stamp program in October, which was the first month of fiscal 2019, than President Donald Trump now wants the Congress to approve for the border wall for the entirety of fiscal 2019,” according to Editor-in-Chief Terence P. Jeffrey.

Dollar costs are not the only price Americans pay for our sloppy immigration control; crimes committed by illegals are a serious problem. One assault, one robbery, one rape or one murder is one more than we should accept.

Figures provided by Customs and Border Patrol as of August 31, one month before the end of FY 2018, include convictions of illegal aliens for:
Assault, battery, domestic violence = 506
Burglary, robbery, larceny, theft, fraud = 322
Driving under the influence = 1,062
Homicide, manslaughter = 3
Illegal drug possession, trafficking = 816
Illegal entry, re-entry = 3,637
Illegal weapons possession, etc. = 98
Sexual offenses = 78
Other offenses = 1,298

These 7,820 convictions are approximately half the number for FY2016. However, assuming the last month of FY2018 saw the average convictions of the first 11 months, the total for FY2018 would be 8,531. FY2017 also saw numbers significantly lower than FY2016, so things are moving in the right direction.

However, the fact that more than 8,500 people in the United States were direct victims of illegal aliens is inexcusable. 

We desperately need immigration reform and the first step is to secure the southern border so that the only people who enter the country are those who ask permission by coming to an official entry port, and after vetting receive permission to enter. 

The people who work on the border say, “Walls work!” We need to listen to them and erect walls/fences in places where they are most needed, to keep immigrant numbers under control, and to maintain the security of our people and our nation.