January 30, 2017
I’ve heard a lot of discussions about the President’s executive orders, but not a lot of accurate information. Here is a short summary of orders as of this morning:
- An order instructing agencies that whenever they introduce a regulation, they must first abolish two others.
- An order to restructure the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
- An order to lengthen the ban on administration officials working as lobbyists. There is now a 5 year-ban on officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government, and a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
- An executive order imposing a 120-day suspension of the refugee program and a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from citizens of seven terror hot spots: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.
- Multi-pronged orders on border security and immigration enforcement including: the authorization of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the stripping of federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants; and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships.
- Two orders reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access piplines. He also signed three other related orders that would: expedite the environmental permitting process for infrastructure projects related to the pipelines; direct the Commerce Department to streamline the manufacturing permitting process; and give the Commerce Department 180 days to maximize the use of U.S. steel in the pipeline.
- An order to reinstate the so-called “Mexico City Policy” – a ban on federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion. The policy was instituted in 1984 by President Reagan, but has gone into and out of effect depending on the party in power in the White House.
- A notice that the U.S. will begin withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trump called the order “a great thing for the American worker.”
- An order imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers as a way to shrink the size of government. This excludes the military, as Trump noted at the signing.
- An order that directs federal agencies to ease the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare. It orders agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of ObamaCare that imposes a “fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”
Of course, you can find the official documentation for Presidential Executive Orders, Memoranda and Proclamations at the White House web site: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/executive-orders
June 1, 2016
The White House, Congress, and federal agencies routinely ignore regulatory costs, exaggerate benefits, breach legislative and constitutional boundaries, and dictate lifestyle choices rather than focusing on public health and safety.
The Obama administration has added 229 major regulations since 2009 with annual costs of over $100 billion. The administration already has 144 additional rules being put into place for 2016. You can read more about how the Obama administration has ignored both constitutional and legislative mandates to install these government controls here.
April 5, 2016
Three discussions of the relationship between Big Business and Big Government. The Cato Institute offers this essay, an older but excellent piece demonstrating that “the history of Big Business is the history of Big Government.” (This article is interesting as it predates the “Great Recession,” a downturn caused at least in part by the disfunctional partnership of these two elements.) Aaron Houlihan of Generation Opportunity offers a short, succinct demonstration that “ It’s Not Big Business vs. Big Government, It’s Both Against You.” Houlihan points out, “[b]efore he supported it, Barack Obama called it corporate welfare.” Finally, The Weekly Standard‘s Irwin Stelzer asks where the traditional US support for capitalism has gone in “Clueless Capitalists.” Stelzer includes a nice description of how each of the four main presidential candidates stands on the capitalist system.
February 19, 2016
Steve McCann of the American Thinker has one of the best descriptions of our current problems and their imminent impact on our country. Here is just part of his excellent, if emotional, piece:
Beginning in the late 1980’s, the cognoscenti declared that expansive government spending, globalization and free trade, combined with a comprehensive and overarching regulatory regime determined to root out so-called corruption and inequality as well as save the planet from the over blown evils of global warming, would be the course the nation should pursue. The result of this foolhardy and myopic scheme:
- In 1988 the national debt of the United States stood at $2.6 Trillion, today it is over $19.0 Trillion– an increase of 635% (and projected to reach $29.0 Trillion by 2026). On the other hand the debt of all the nations on earth has grown by only 135% since 1988.
- Since November of 2008 the working age population has increased by over 18 million. However, the number of those employed has increased just 5.5 million. Meanwhile those unemployed or no longer in the work force has ballooned by 12.4 million to a staggering total of 102 million or 40.4% of the working age population.
- Another factor impacting on the economic health of the American people is immigration. In 1988 there were 16 million immigrants (including less than a million illegal aliens) living in the United States. Today that number has skyrocketed to 42.4 million (including an estimated 12 million illegal aliens). This enormous increase (165%) in the immigrant population has not only put pressure on a stagnant job market but it has also been a major factor in the decline of median income in the country.
- The upshot of all the above is that since 1988 the income of the top 5% has risen 39.3% (adjusted for inflation) and the income of the bottom 50% has fallen by 1.9%.
- Since 2008 the Obama cabal has added over 18,000 pages to the Code of Federal Regulations. It is estimated that complying with federal regulations costs the economy nearly $2 Trillion per year and is, along with taxes and innumerable mandates, one of the principle reasons for the lack of new business start-ups and loss of jobs to other countries.
McCann further notes that these problems have come from both Democrat and Republican leadership, as well as business leaders, leaders in entertainment, etc. You can read the full article here.