Big government

Per Capita Federal Spending Up Sevenfold Since 1941

Real per capita federal spending has increased more than sevenfold since fiscal 1941, which concluded on June 30 of that year — or about five months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. In fiscal 1941, real per capita federal spending was approximately $1,718. In fiscal 2017, which concluded at the end of September, it was about $12,239. Back in 1941, at the beginning of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s unprecedented third presidential term, the federal government spent $13,653,000,000, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Although that was a massive increase from the $4,598,000,000 the federal government had spent in 1933, when Roosevelt first took office, it was a pittance compared to what it would spend in the years to come. The national population was about 133,402,471 in 1941, according to the Census Bureau, which means the approximately $13,653,000,000 shoveled out by the Treasury that year equaled $102.34 per capita. Converted into September 2017 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, that equals $1,718.33 in real per capita federal spending. Over the next four years, as the United States fought a world war in both Europe and the Pacific, real per capita spending understandably escalated. In fiscal 1945, at the height of the war, federal spending hit $92,712,000,000 while the national population reached 139,928,165. Per capita spending that year was $662.57 or $9,035.08 in 2017 dollars. Federal spending initially tailed off after the war, but it did not return to prewar levels. By fiscal 1948, it was down to $29,764,000,000. With the population at 146,631,302, that equaled about $202.99 in per capita spending or $2,078.91 in 2017 dollars. That $2,078.91 in real per capita spending in fiscal 1948 was still $360.58 (or about 21 percent) higher than the real per capita spending of $1,718.33 in fiscal 1941. In fiscal 2017, the federal government spent $3,982,000,000,000, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s Monthly Budget Review. With the Census Bureau estimating that the population was 325,344,115 as of July, that makes per capita federal spending in fiscal 2017 about $12,239.35. That is $3,204.27 (or about 35 percent) higher than the $9,035.08 in real per capita spending in fiscal 1945 — at the height of World War II. It is more than seven times greater than the $1,718.33 in real per capita spending the federal government did in fiscal 1941 — the last fiscal year before World War II. Measured against the population of the country, the federal government is now seven times bigger than it was when FDR started his third term. Is it seven times better? What are Americans getting for this massive increase in the federal government?

Some really good questions…  To read the answer to those questions, and the rest of the article, click on the text above.  Our federal government is WAY too big and out of control.  We need to demand from our federally elected officials that they reduce the size and scope of the federal government, and return to a more “limited government.”  Of course, one way to do that is to make massive tax cuts.  After all, the money we send to Washington, D.C. is their source of power….over us.  So, next time there is an election, vote for that candidate who will cut your taxes the most.

Push is on to have ex-FBI chief Comey disbarred after Clinton scandal

A crusading lawyer filed a bar grievance this week accusing former FBI Director James Comey of lying to Congress and destroying potential evidence in the Clinton email scandal, in a process that could end up costing him his law license. Ty Clevenger filed the grievance in New York, where Mr. Comey was a former U.S. attorney and is licenses to practice law. Mr. Clevenger said Mr. Comey’s testimony to Congress that he did not predetermine the outcome of the FBI’s probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is belied by revelations this week that he in fact started drafting an exoneration months before even speaking with Mrs. Clinton. “Insofar as Mr. Comey gave materially false testimony to Congress, it appears that he violated Rules 1.0(w), 3.3(a)(1), and 8.4 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct,” Mr. Clevenger wrote. He also asked to renew grievances in New York against former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, saying Mr. Comey’s claim that she tried to pressure him to downplay the Clinton probe should subject her to scrutiny. The state grievance committee had deferred an investigation in January, saying there were ongoing probes by Congress and they would await the outcome.

A very interesting development..  To read the rest, click on the text above.

Celebrities Urge Americans to Reject NRA, Concealed Carry in Wake of Vegas Shooting

Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, and Sheryl Crow are among a number of celebrities urging Americans to “reject the NRA” and concealed carry of firearms in the wake of the shooting at a Las Vegas country music concert this month. Laura Dern, Bill Hader, and Adam Scott are also taking part in the anti-gun campaign, as is noted gun control advocate Julianne Moore. The celebrities are part of the Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety PSA against the NRA specifically, and against gun rights generally. In typical Everytown fashion, the PSA does not present real solutions to the attack in Vegas–after all, the attacker complied with all gun controls, including background checks, so no new law would have stopped him. Even gun control advocate Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) admitted as much on the October 8 airing of Face the Nation. Therefore, in lieu of a substantive position, the celebrities are urging Americans to call Congress and oppose things that had nothing to do with the Las Vegas attack. “The mass shooting in Las Vegas has all of us grieving, scared and angry,” Stone opens the video. From here, various other celebrities appear, telling people to text “REJECT” to Everytown. They inform viewers that the gun control group will call those who text, give them contact numbers for lawmakers, and “give [them] guidelines” on what to say when they talk to their lawmakers. The celebrities voice opposition to national reciprocity for concealed carry. National reciprocity means Americans with a concealed carry license from their home state can carry their gun for self-defense in the other 49 states as well. Stone, Crow, and the other celebrities oppose this broadening of Americans’ ability to have a gun on their persons for self-defense. They also mention the SHARE Act, and can be heard urging Congress to oppose it. This Act contains legislation which removes the federal tax from suppressors and lessens the number of hoops law-abiding Americans must jump through in order to acquire a suppressor for hearing protection. It is ironic to note that suppressors had absolutely nothing to do with the Las Vegas attack. Julianne Moore’s participation in the PSA comes as she currently stars in the spy film Kingsman: Golden Circle. That film features the use of automatic weapons 70 times, according to MRC/Newsbusters.

Typical liberal, elitist, hypocrites…

Report: FBI Uncovers Confirmation of Hillary Clinton’s Corrupt Uranium Deal with Russia

New evidence has emerged to confirm Peter Schweizer’s account in his bestselling book Clinton Cash about the corrupt tactics behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approval of Russia’s purchase of 20 percent of U.S. uranium. Josh Solomon and Alison Spann report in The Hill: “Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews. Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show. They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill. The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later. Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefitting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.” As Breitbart News has previously reported, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was one of eight agencies to review and sign off on the sale of U.S. uranium to Russia. However, the then-Secretary of State Clinton was the only agency head whose family foundation received $145 million in donations from multiple people connected to the uranium deal, as reported by the New York Times.

Wow!!  This is HUGE!!  The next time you hear some Democrat or some tool in the dominantly liberal mainstream media utter the phony phrase, “Trump-Russia collusion,”…bring this up.  There is NO evidence whatsoever that Trump, or anyone in his campaign, “colluded” with Russia to affect the outcome of the last election.  No evidence whatsoever.  BUT, we DO know that Hillary “colluded” with Vlad the Bully regarding our uranium.  Google “uranium one” to learn more.  It’s WAY past time that Hillary and others in her inner circle were held to account for all of this.  We’re pretty sure this is just the beginning.  So, stay tuned!!

Trump declares Obamacare payments illegal; deals second blow to health law

The Trump administration announced late Thursday that it has concluded it can no longer legally make critical Obamacare “cost-sharing” payments and will cut them off, dealing another blow to the struggling 2010 health law. The payments had specifically been denied by Congress but President Obama had made them anyway, drawing a rebuke from a court who said he was overstepping his powers. The case has raged for months, and both the Obama and Trump administrations had continued making payments — until now. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in a statement, said the Justice Department has concluded the judge’s ruling is correct, and there is no valid legal ability to make the payments. “The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system,” Mrs. Sanders said. “Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people.” The White House statement doesn’t explicitly say Mr. Trump won’t make the payments anymore, but a Justice Department statement said the agencies responsible for them “have decided not to spend money to fund those payments.” The cost-sharing payments go to insurance companies to pay for reimbursements for low-income customers’ out-of-pocket costs. Without the payments, insurers have said they would jack up premiums, which would further upend the already shaky economic underpinning the Affordable Care Act. The move comes just hours after Mr. Trump signed an executive order pushing his administration to allow association health plans, which would allow individuals and small businesses to join up and purchase insurance on the group market across state lines.

This was exactly the right, constitutionally sound, move on the part of the Trump White House.  Obama had illegally raided the U.S. Treasury, and got slapped down by a federal court which found his actions unconstitutional, and actually a violation of ObamaCare itself!  So, Pres. Trump was exactly right for doing this, and sending it back to Congress, which is how it’s supposed to work.  Kudos to Pres. Trump for following the actual Constitution!  Imagine that..  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Social Security recipients to see 2 percent cost-of-living increase

Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 2 percent cost-of-living payment increase next year, the agency announced Friday. The increase is based on rising wages and prices, and is the highest since 2012. Benefits rose less than half a percent this year, and didn’t rise at all in 2016, because inflation was stagnant. The agency also said the threshold cap for paying Social Security taxes on income will rise, from $127,200 to $128,700. Because Social Security is supposed to be a pension-style program, with the maximum payout capped, the maximum amount of taxes paid is also limited. AARP, the lobby group for seniors, said the benefits hike was “some relief,” but complained that the increase wasn’t enough. “For the tens of millions of families who depend on Social Security for all or most of their retirement income, this cost of living increase may not adequately cover expenses that rise faster than inflation including prescription drug, utility and housing costs,” the organization said.

Probably not..

Analysis: The Great Regulatory Rollback

One by one, the artifacts of President Barack Obama’s rule by administrative fiat are tumbling. The latest is his signature Clean Power Plan, which Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt says he will begin the arduous process of unwinding. The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency has been characterized — despite his bumptiousness — not by executive overreach, but executive retrenchment. Trump the populist has operated within constitutional lines better than his technocratic predecessor, who used tendentious readings of the law and sweeping bureaucratic actions to impose his policies on immigration, health care, college campuses, and the environment. The Clean Power Plan, which sought to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, was government by the administrative state on a scale that has never been attempted before. The EPA took a dubious reading of a portion of the Clean Air Act (Section 111, which arguably prevented the EPA from taking this action rather than empowered it to do so) and used it to mandate that the states adopt far-reaching plans to reduce carbon emissions, under threat of the loss of federal highway funds. The legal foundation of the Clean Power Plan was so rickety that the Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of blocking its implementation pending all the lawsuits against it. The presumption of the plan was jaw-dropping. The EPA usually targets pollutants; carbon dioxide isn’t one (although the Supreme Court erroneously said that it meets the definition in the case of Massachusetts v. EPA). The EPA has always regulated specific power plants; in this scheme, it went “outside the fence” to mandate broader actions by the states, e.g., the adoption of quotas for renewable energy. The EPA once considered its mandate to be protecting clear air and water for Americans; with the Clean Power Plan, it sought to adjust the global thermostat for the good of all of humanity. The last gets to the absurdity of the Clean Power Plan on its own terms — it did virtually nothing to affect global warming. As Benjamin Zycher of the American Enterprise Institute points out, the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan (which includes the Clean Power Plan) would reduce the global temperature by 15 one-thousandths of a degree by 2100. The point wasn’t to fight climate change per se, but to signal our climate virtue in the hopes of catalyzing action by other nations and, not incidentally, hobble the U.S. coal industry in favor of more politically palatable sources of energy, namely wind and solar. Whatever the merits of this agenda, as a first-order matter, it must be enacted lawfully and not instituted by strained legal interpretations alone. In congressional testimony arguing that the Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional, liberal law professor Laurence Tribe noted that the Supreme Court has said that Congress doesn’t “hide elephants in mouse holes.” If Congress had authorized the EPA to remake the nation’s energy economy, we would presumably be aware of it and recall an impassioned congressional debate over this radical and costly change. In fact, the opposite is true. Congress has declined to enact laws limiting carbon emissions, including when Democrats held both houses of Congress under President Obama. If the future of the planet is at stake and it requires a generational effort to save it, surely it is not too much to ask that a statute or two be enacted by Congress explicitly committing the country to the task. Yes, this requires winning elections and gaining democratic assent, but such are the challenges of living in a republic and a nation of laws. In his impatience with Congress and his administrative imperiousness, President Obama dispensed with all that. What he imposed unilaterally is subject to unilateral reversal. The rollback will encounter its own regulatory and legal obstacles, but can be achieved more readily than if Obama had been able or bothered to write a swath of his legacy into law.

Agreed…  Rich Lowry is responsible for that analysis.  Excellent!