Big government

Gettysburg Stands Firm: Battlefield Says All Monuments Staying Put

Officials at the Gettysburg National Military Park said Wednesday that the monuments at the expansive Pennsylvania battlefield will stay despite unrest over Confederate memorials. “These memorials, erected predominantly in the early and mid-20th Century, are an important part of the cultural landscape,” battlefield spokeswoman Katie Lawhon told the Hanover Evening Sun. Gettysburg was the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, from July 1-3, 1863. There are more than 1,300 memorials at the park- ranging in size from tiny stone markers for smaller regiments’ positions, to the massive Pennsylvania State Monument that includes a cupola for visitors. The park also has several streets named after soldiers on both sides, including the Union’s Daniel Sickles and Winfield Scott Hancock, and the Confederacy’s Ambrose Wright. The National Park Service’s policy on battlefield monuments states that the feds are “committed to safeguarding these unique and site-specific memorials in perpetuity, while simultaneously interpreting holistically and objectively the actions… they commemorate.” Farther south in Richmond, Va., gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam (D-Accomac) said he will press for several Confederate statues along the city’s Monument Avenue to be taken down. However, Northam said he would “defer to the city” on how to proceed in doing so, according to the Richmond Post-Dispatch. Democratic Mayor Levar Stoney said a commission established to “add context” next to the monuments is preferable to taking them down, the paper said.

Glad to see the National Park Service and the Dept of the Interior aren’t jumping on this frightening band wagon of sanitizing our country of our history.

Analysis: Twelve Memorials that Must Be Removed if Democrats Are Serious About Erasing Racism

If Democrats seeking the removal of historical memorials tied to racist history are serious, they should be tripping over one another to get in front of a camera and call for the removal of memorials and namesakes to Presidents Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Sen. Robert C Byrd. These five men had two things in common–all had a penchant for racism to one degree or another, and all were Democrats. Some of the memorials to them are monuments, some are groves, others are highways, bridges, colleges, and even cemeteries. Of course, the cemeteries ought not be disturbed, but they should be renamed if the Democrats are serious about rooting out the vestiges of racism. Click here to read a short description of each of the Democrats and the memorials and/or namesakes in their honor:

Democrat politicians and the dominantly liberal mainstream media have a short memory…a VERY short memory.  After all, the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) was the Sen. Majority Leader (for crying out loud), and was in the Senate up til 2010; only 7 years ago.  Keep in mind that Sen. Byrd was an “exalted cyclops” of the Ku Klux Klan!! And yet NOBODY in the Democratic party OR in the liberal media said ANYTHING about that.  Where was Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer, the NAACP, PBS/NPR, CNN, and of course, MSNBC?!? Their silence for decades has been deafening.  Talk about brazen hypocrisy!!  And, that’s just for starters..  The liberal media and Democrats like to bring up the KKK, and throw out the name “David Duke” (a former Louisiana state legislator and former leader of one of the many Klan organizations in the U.S.) as some sort of talking point.  It’s totally scripted, and phony.  For those who may not know..  Started in 1865 after the Civil War, the membership of the KKK was almost exclusively Democrats for the first ONE HUNDRED YEARS of it’s existence!  That’s a very inconvenient FACT that the left doesn’t want you to know.  Anyway, to read the rest of this outstanding op/ed by AWR Hawkins, click on the text above.

Feds Collect Record Income and Payroll Taxes Through July

The federal government collected record amounts of both individual income taxes and payroll taxes through the first ten months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through the end of July), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. Through July, the federal government collected approximately $1,312,691,000,000 in individual income taxes. At the same time, it collected $976,278,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes. Prior to this year, fiscal 2015 held the record for individual income tax collections through July. That year, the Treasury collected $1,309,431,860,000 (in constant 2017 dollars) in individual income taxes in the first ten months of the fiscal year. Last year (fiscal 2016), individual income tax collections from October through July dropped to $1,293,490,000,000 (in constant 2017 dollars). This year’s record of $1,312,691,000,000 in October-to-July individual income taxes is $3,259,140,000 more than the 2015’s previous record of $1,309,431,860,000. Before this year’s record $976,278,000,000 in October-through-July payroll tax collections, fiscal 2016 held the record at $948,709,020,000 (in constant 2017 dollars)—or about $27,568,980,000 less than this year. Overall federal tax collections in the first ten months of fiscal 2017 were $2,739,861,000,000. Yet that did not the record for October-through-July total federal tax collections. In the first ten months of fiscal 2015, the Treasury collected $2,741,079,280,000 (in constant 2017 dollars) in total taxes. That was $361,218,280,000 more than this year.

Wow..  For more of this exhausting report, click on the text above.

Less is more? Trump slows federal regs to a crawl in first six months

Just halfway through his first year in office, President Trump is delivering on a key campaign promise to cut red tape, according to a new study. The six-month review of Trump’s regulatory agenda by the American Action Forum shows the federal government practically slamming the brakes on regulation. The number of new rules is now at a record low, according to the study, in sharp contrast to the start of the Obama administration. “If you look at what’s happening in the first six months for President Trump compared to President Obama, it’s staggering,” group president Douglas Holtz-Eakin told “Fox & Friends” on Friday. On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump promised that “for every new regulation, we’re going to cut two,” and to “get rid of all the unnecessary regulations.” The data from AAF, a conservative-leaning think tank, shows a total of 27 rules have been withdrawn so far this year, which is slightly lower than the 41 rules that were approved. But the study shows the regulatory push at the beginning of the Obama administration was roughly 20 times more costly to the U.S. economy than at the start of the current administration. The Obama administration’s first six months of regulations imposed $24.4 billion in total costs, compared with the $1.2 billion for the Trump administration. And the 41 rules approved represents a fraction of the number approved at the start of previous administrations. “The business community really feels like the beatings have stopped, Washington is not trying to put them in the bullseye, and they can go about running their businesses and not worrying about the regulations,” Holz-Eakin, who ran the Congressional Budget Office under then-President George W. Bush, said. A Fox News review of Trump’s first 100 days in office in April also showed the president following through on vows to roll back red tape. Thirteen of the 28 bills signed at the time were done under the Congressional Review Act to roll back Obama-era regulations. According to AAF, those measures overturned a series of Obama-era rules that produced annual cost savings of $1.1 billion–or $3.7 billion in lifetime cost savings. “No longer can we allow these rules and regulations to tie down our economy, chain up our prosperity, and sap our great American spirit,” Trump said in June at the Department of Transportation.

Excellent!!   🙂

Trump signs bill to fund veterans medical care program

President Donald Trump has signed an emergency spending bill that will pump more than $2 billion into a program that allows veterans to receive private medical care at government expense. Trump, who made improving veterans care a central campaign promise, signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act while at his New Jersey golf club on Saturday. The bill, which addresses a budget shortfall at the Department of Veteran Affairs that threatened medical care for thousands of veterans, provides $2.1 billion to continue funding the Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to seek private care. Another $1.8 billion will go to core VA health programs, including 28 leases for new VA medical facilities. “Today is another milestone in our work to transform the VA where we’re doing record-setting business,” Trump said. The Choice program was put in place after a 2014 wait-time scandal that was discovered at the Phoenix VA hospital and spread throughout the country. Veterans waited weeks or months for appointments while phony records covered up the lengthy waits. The program allows veterans to receive care from outside doctors if they must wait at least 30 days for an appointment or drive more than 40 miles to a VA facility. VA Secretary David Shulkin has warned that without legislative action, the Choice program would run out of money by mid-August, causing delays in health care for thousands of veterans. The bill will extend the program for six months. Costs will be paid for by trimming pensions for some Medicaid-eligible veterans and collecting fees for housing loans. Veterans groups applauded the bill being signed, though some criticized the delay and the cost. “We’re grateful President Trump is taking decisive action to ensure veterans using the Choice Program won’t see lapses in their care due to a lack of funding,” said Dan Caldwell, policy director for Concerned Veterans for America. “Unfortunately, this bill took far too long to get to the president’s desk and is $1.8 billion more expensive than it needed to be.” Leaders of the House Veterans Affairs Committee said the six-month funding plan was urgently needed and would give Congress more time to debate broader issues over the VA’s future. While the bill may avert a shutdown to Choice, disputes over funding may signal bigger political fights to come. During the 2016 campaign, Trump criticized the VA for long wait times and mismanagement, saying he would give veterans more options in seeing outside providers. Shulkin announced the budget shortfall last month, citing unexpected demand from veterans for private care and poor budget planning. To slow spending, the department last month instructed VA medical centers to limit the number of veterans it sent to private doctors. Currently, more than 30 percent of VA appointments are in the private sector, up from fewer than 20 percent in 2014. The VA has an annual budget of about $180 billion.

Some great news that the dominantly liberal mainstream media isn’t even reporting.  Kudos to President Trump for signing this bill!  Outstanding!    🙂

H-1B Visa Displaced American Workers, New Report Finds

The H-1B visa has led to American jobs being outsourced to India and displacement of U.S. workers, a new study confirms. The study by the Center for Global Development details how the widespread use of the H-1B visa has led to outsourcing and displacement of Americans while strengthening the pocketbooks of big business executives through “firm productivity” and “consumer welfare.” Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa and are allowed to stay for up to six years. That number has ballooned to potentially hundreds of thousands each year, as universities and nonprofits are exempt from the cap. With more entering the U.S. through the visa, Americans are often forced to train their replacements. The H-1B visa, according to researchers, is partly responsible for the outsourcing of American information technology (IT) jobs, as it led to a tech boom in India. “Indian students enrolled in engineering schools to gain employment in the rapidly growing US IT industry via the H-1B visa program,” the study states. “Those who could not join the US workforce, due to the H-1B cap, remained in India, and along with return-migrants, enabled the growth of an Indian IT sector, which led to the outsourcing of some production to India.” Researchers also admit that American workers, because of the importation of foreign workers through the H-1B visa, have been displaced and forced to take jobs in non-computer science careers. “The migration and rise in Indian exports induced a small number of US workers to switch to non-CS occupations, with distributional impacts,” the study states. Despite the researchers claiming the H-1B visa has made the U.S. and India “better off,” IT exports show otherwise. For instance, exports of IT goods from the U.S. has steadily declined since 1995. India, on the other hand, has enjoyed a steady rise of IT exports since 1995. The Center for Global Development study further confirmed previous research that indicates how American workers have gotten the short end of the stick while India has profited from frivolous U.S. immigration laws and visa programs.

Scott Pruitt: Obama EPA ‘Failed’ to ‘Protect the Environment’ Following Devastating Colorado Gold King Mine Spill

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the site of the devastating Gold King Mine spill in Colorado that spilled 3 million gallons of contaminated mine water into the Cement Creek and Animas River, saying the Obama EPA “failed” at its mission to protect the environment. “EPA should be held to the same standard as those we regulate,” Pruitt said about the visit that took place on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the spill. “The previous administration failed those who counted on them to protect the environment,” Pruitt said. The press announcement of the visit noted that in January 2017, the previous EPA administration denied 79 administrative claims filed by farmers, ranchers, homeowners, businesses, employees, state and local governments, as well as other individuals seeking damages in connection with the Gold King Mine incident. “Despite the release of 3 million gallons of contaminated water tainted with arsenic, lead and other heavy metals, which turned the Animas River mustard-yellow, and moved along the San Juan River through Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and American Indian land to Lake Powell in Utah, the EPA Administrator at the time, Gina McCarthy, nor President Obama nor Vice President Biden, ever visited the site of the spill itself,” the press release announcing the visit said. The visit fulfilled the promise Pruitt made during his confirmation hearing to visit the site. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper joined Pruitt for a tour of the site. Following the tour, EPA political appointees participated in a town hall in Durango, Colo. with local residents about how they were affected by the spill. “We want to listen and learn directly from the community,” Ken Wagner, senior advisor to the administrator for regional and state affairs, said. “The local community is ground zero in environmental disasters, and we want to hear their concerns and do our best to coordinate and provide assistance,” Wagner said. The Denver Post reported that Pruitt pointed out the hypocrisy on this disaster compared to the Obama administration’s anti-fossil fuel agenda. “I think it’s safe to say if this had been any other company, a BP-type of a situation, there would have been an investigation that would ensue by the agency and there would have been accountability,” Pruitt said. “That didn’t take place here. “The federal government should not be able to hide behind sovereign immunity when the facts don’t meet the protections,” Pruitt said. “In my estimation, the EPA walked away from those folks and left them in a position of incurring damages without taking accountability,” Pruitt said.