Monthly Archives: October 2021

Dan Mitchell: “Is Venezuela a Warning for the United States?”

Is Venezuela a Warning for the United States?

Thanks to socialism, Venezuela is a basket case.

This video from John Stossel asks if the United States can and should learn from this bad example.

The easy answer is yes. Indeed, you can click here and here to get 56 examples of why we should not copy Venezuela’s descent to statism.

The main thing to understand is that the world is an economic laboratory and the various countries are experiments showing what works and what doesn’t work.

Nations such as Venezuela clearly are wretched examples of what happens if there is a large amount of bad policy.

Other nations, by contrast, are examples of what happens if there’s a medium level of bad policy. Think Greece, Argentina, and Italy.

While countries such as the United States and Denmark show what happens if there is a (comparatively) modest amount of bad policy.

All this is depicted in the “socialism slide,” which I created back in 2019 to show how nations score in the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World.

The good news is that the United States would have to fall a long way down the slide before approaching Venezuela-style economic despotism.

Even Biden’s plan would represent just a small step in that wrong direction.

P.S. I’m focused on the dangers of copying Venezuela’s bad economic policies, but I agree about the downsides of the other two policies – gun control and speech control – mentioned in the video.

P.P.S. I’ll never stop being amazed that the New York Timeswrote about Venezuela’s economic crisis and never once mentioned socialism.

Defending Capitalism, Part I

I was a big fan of (and occasional guest on) John Stossel’s TV show, and I’m now a big fan of his videos (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

So it was an honor to appear in his latest video about “Capitalism Myths.”

It’s a two-part series. In this first video, we discussed three myths about free enterprise.

Myth #1 – Capitalists get rich by ‘taking’ money from others.

Since voluntary exchange, by definition, is mutually beneficial, this is a truly absurd argument. Indeed, only the most vapid politicians and pundits suggest otherwise.

The most definitive research in this area came from Professor William Nordhaus of Yale, who estimated that, “innovators are able to capture about 2.2 percent of the total social surplus from innovation.”

Translated from economic jargon, that means the rest of society gets nearly 98 percent of the value created by rich entrepreneurs.

Myth #2 – The rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer.

This is an issue I’ve repeatedly addressed, showing how poverty was the natural state of humanity until capitalism appeared a few hundred years ago.

Now we are incomprehensibly rich by comparison. At least in market-oriented nations.

Focusing on more-recent data, I’ve shown that living standards have dramatically increased in the post-World War II era.

In the video, John and I also discussed the Census Bureau’s data showing that the middle class is shrinking, but only because more people are becoming rich.

Myth #3 – Monopolies destroyed the free market.

Supporters of government intervention commonly argue that capitalism produces monopolies, meaning big producers capture the market and exploit consumers.

This is a rather puzzling argument since monopolies almost always are the result of government favoritism.

Even if we go back to the days of the so-called Robber Barons, we find that the consumers were only exploited when politicians decided to prohibit competition.

P.S. Next week, the second video will look at four other myths about capitalism.

P.P.S. On a related note, I have a five-part series (Part IPart IIPart III, and Part IV, and Part V) on “The Case for Capitalism.”

The climate-change hustle

John Stossel: Through 50 years of reporting on scares, only COVID proved true

I hear that climate change will destroy much of the world.

“There will be irreversible damage to the planet!” warns a CNN anchor.

Joe Biden says he’ll spend $500 billion a year to fight what his website calls an “existential threat to life.”

Really?

I’m a consumer reporter. Over the years, alarmed scientists have passionately warned me about many things they thought were about to kill Americans.

Asbestos in hair dryers, coffee, computer terminals, electric power lines, microwave ovens, cellphones (brain tumors!), electric blankets, herbicides, plastic residue, etc., are causing “America’s cancer epidemic”!

If those things don’t get us, “West Nile Virus will!” Or SARS, Bird Flu, Ebola, flesh-eating bacteria or “killer bees.”

Experts told me millions would die on Jan. 1, 2000, because computers couldn’t handle the switch from 1999. Machines would fail; planes would crash.

The scientists were well-informed specialists in their fields. They were sincerely alarmed. The more knowledge you have about a threat, the more alarmed you get.

Yet, mass death didn’t happen. COVID-19 has been the only time in my 50 years of reporting that a scare proved true.

Maybe you accepted the phrase I used above: “America’s cancer epidemic.” But there is no cancer epidemic. Cancer rates are down. We simply live long enough to get diseases like cancer. But people think there’s a cancer epidemic.

The opposite is true. As we’ve been exposed to more plastics, pesticides, mysterious chemicals, food additives and new technologies, we live longer than ever!

That’s why I’m skeptical when I’m told: Climate change is a crisis!

Climate change is real. It’s a problem, but I doubt that it’s “an existential threat.”

Saying that makes alarmists mad.

When Marc Morano says it, activists try to prevent him from speaking.

“They do not want dissent,” says Morano, founder of ClimateDepot.com, a website that rebuts much of what climate activists teach in schools.

“It’s an indoctrination that’s so complete that by the time (kids) get to high school, they’re not even aware that there’s any scientific dissent.”

Morano’s new movie, “Climate Hustle 2,” presents that dissent. My new video this week features his movie.

Morano argues that politicians use fear of global warming to gain power.

“Climate Hustle 2” features Sen. Chuck Schumer shouting: “If we would do more on climate change, we’d have fewer of these hurricanes and other types of storms! Everyone knows that!”

But everyone doesn’t know that. Many scientists refute it. Congress’ own hearings include testimony about how our warmer climate has not caused increases in the number of hurricanes or tornadoes. “Climate Hustle 2” includes many examples like that.

“Why should we believe you?” I ask Morano. “You’re getting money from the fossil fuel industry.” After all, Daily Kos calls him “Evil Personified” and says ExxonMobil funds him.

“Not at all,” he replies. “I’m paid by about 90% individual contributions from around the country. Why would ExxonMobil give me money (when) they want to appear green?”

Morano’s movie frustrates climate activists by pointing out how hypocritical some are.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio says he lives a “green lifestyle … (using) energy-efficient appliances. I drive a hybrid car.”

Then he flies to Europe to attend a party.

I like watching Morano point out celebrities’ hypocrisy, but think one claim in his movie goes too far.

“Stopping climate change is not about saving the planet,” says narrator Kevin Sorbo. “It’s about climate elites trying to convince us to accept a future where they call all the shots.”

I push back at Morano: “I think they are genuinely concerned, and they want to save us.”

“Their vision of saving us is putting them in charge,” he replies.

And if they’re in charge, he says, they will destroy capitalism.

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State of the Union 2013

Published on Feb 13, 2013

Cato Institute scholars Michael Tanner, Alex Nowrasteh, Julian Sanchez, Simon Lester, John Samples, Pat Michaels, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Michael F. Cannon, Jim Harper, Malou Innocent, Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus and Neal McCluskey respond to President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address.

Video produced by Caleb O. Brown, Austin Bragg and Lester Romero.

_______________

In the past I have written the White House on several issues such as abortion, medicare, welfare,  Greece, healthcare, and what the founding fathers had to say about welfare programs,   and have got several responses from the White House concerning issues such as Obamacare, Social Security, welfare,  and excessive government spending.

Today I am taking a look at the response of the scholars of the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute scholars to the 2013 State of the Union Address.

Amy Payne

February 13, 2013 at 8:22 am

State of the…Climate?

Swept into office four years ago based, in part, on promises to slow sea-level rise, President Obama initiated a radical climate agenda. It seems we are seeing a rerun in 2013. It is worth asking what is different four years after his first State of the Union Address?

There have been four more years of no global warming. In 2010, there had been no significant world temperature increase for over a decade. The streak is now 16 years long. We have four years of costly lessons on the waste and inefficiency of green-energy subsidies.

The scientific basis for catastrophic climate change gets weaker and weaker. The economic argument for green subsidies has already collapsed. It is time for the administration to quit using both arguments to justify a regulatory and fiscal power grab.

David W. Kreutzer, PhD, research fellow in energy economics and climate change, Center for Data Analysis

Related posts:

President Obama responds to Heritage Foundation critics on welfare reform waivers

Is President Obama gutting the welfare reform that Bill Clinton signed into law? Morning Bell: Obama Denies Gutting Welfare Reform Amy Payne August 8, 2012 at 9:15 am The Obama Administration came out swinging against its critics on welfare reform yesterday, with Press Secretary Jay Carney saying the charge that the Administration gutted the successful […]

HERITAGE FOUNDATION INTERVIEW:Senator Blunt Vows to Keep Pressure on President Obama Over Contraceptive Mandate

Senator Blunt Vows to Keep Pressure on President Obama Over Contraceptive Mandate Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Feb 13, 2012 http://blog.heritage.org/2012/02/13/sen-blunt-vows-to-keep-pressure-on-obama-… | Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced legislation to protect religious organizations from Obamacare’s overreach last summer. Now, as President Obama presses forward with his anti-conscience mandate, Blunt is prepared to keep the pressure on the […]

Cartoons from Dan Mitchell’s blog that demonstrate what Obama is doing to our economy Part 2

Max Brantley is wrong about Tom Cotton’s accusation concerning the rise of welfare spending under President Obama. Actually welfare spending has been increasing for the last 12 years and Obama did nothing during his first four years to slow down the rate of increase of welfare spending. Rachel Sheffield of the Heritage Foundation has noted: […]

Heritage Foundation Videos and Interviews are displayed on www.thedailyhatch.org

Sen. Mitch McConnell: Americans Don’t Approve of Anything Obama Has Done Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Dec 8, 2011 In an exclusive interview at The Heritage Foundation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sharply criticized President Obama for engaging in class warfare and accused him of shifting the focus away from his own failed policies in […]

Did Obama prolong the recession with the auto baleout?

Obamanomics: A Legacy of Wasteful Spending Published on Aug 12, 2012 by CFPEcon101 This mini-documentary from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation highlights egregious examples of wasteful spending from the so-called stimulus legislation and explains why government spending hurts economic performance. **Links to additional reading material** Thomas Sowell, “Stimulus or Sedative?” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/03/09/stimulus_or_sedative_104… Veronique de […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 222)

  President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. Is […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 221)

  President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. The […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 216)

Thomas Sowell (This letter was mailed before September 1, 2012) President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a […]

Open letters to President Obama displayed here on www.thedailyhatch.org

I have been writing letters to President Obama almost all of 2012. I have received several responses from the White House but none of the responses have been personal responses from the President. Below is a letter I wrote to the President and a form letter response that I got followed by links to other […]

When I think of our welfare state society it makes me think of words of Milton Friedman: society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both!

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When I think of our welfare state society it makes me think of words of Milton Friedman: society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.


Linda and Leo, Wards of the State

During his 2012 reelection campaign, Barack Obama created a fictional character named Julia and showed how she could mooch off taxpayers from cradle to grave.

Given Biden’s reputation as a plagiarizer, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the White House has reincarnated Julia as part of a push to trap more people in government dependency.

Here is the story of Linda and Leo.

The shocking part of the story, right at the start, is that Linda actually has a job in the private sector.

But Linda soon figures out that she can use the coercive power of government to take money from her neighbors.

She starts with Biden’s per-child handout.

She then puts her son into government-subsidized child care (with no discussion, of course, of how third-party payer causes prices to skyrocket).

I can only imagine the nursery rhymes he’ll hear in that setting.

She then enrolls him in a “free” pre-K program, presumably unaware that such programs have no evidence of success (but at least Biden will be happy that this program creates more unionized teachers to fight against quality education).

Next, her son enters taxpayer-funded community college (another third-party payer problem).

After college, he gets a job, which is nominally in the private sector, but which largely exists because of government distortions (all jobs are not created equal).

Last but not least, Linda gets to rely on taxpayers in her old age, thanks to other programs that are designed to produce additional overpaid government employees.

Let’s close this depressing celebration of dependency by shifting to humor.

Here’s a tweet about Biden’s people plagiarizing Obama’s people.

While I appreciate the satire, I’m quite worried about the long-run impact of Biden’s agenda (i.e., becoming Greece).

P.S. Regarding Obama’s Julia, here’s a great Michael Ramirez cartoon and here’s some clever Iowahawk satire.

P.P.S. And here’s my two-cartoon set on what happens as more and more people are lured into the wagon of government dependency.

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

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Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

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Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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February 24, 2012 – 12:21 am

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February 10, 2012 – 12:09 am

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“Friedman Friday” Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

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What were the main proposals of Milton Friedman?

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“Friedman Friday,” EPISODE “The Failure of Socialism” of Free to Choose in 1990 by Milton Friedman (Part 1)

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Defending Milton Friedman

July 31, 2012 – 6:45 am

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10 Downsides to the Democratic Spending Plan 

OCTOBER 29, 2021 5:01PM

10 Downsides to the Democratic Spending Plan

By Chris Edwards


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President Biden has released a framework for his Build Back Better plan, which he hopes will gain the support of Democrats in the House and Senate. The plan includes spending increases of $1.85 trillion over 10 years, but that figure relies on gimmicky accounting and the actual cost would be higher.

The plan includes new and expanded subsidies for housing, preschool, renewable energy, health care, elderly care, electric cars, child care, school meals, higher education, farming, refundable tax credits, and other activities. The aim is to pass the plan as a reconciliation bill, which requires 51 votes in the Senate.

The spending would be funded by a $2 trillion tax increase, thus likely damaging investment, hiring, and growth. A rule of thumb is that each dollar of an income tax increase causes about 50 cents of deadweight losses or economic damage. Thus, a $2 trillion tax increase would damage the private sector by about $3 trillion.

But the spending itself would be harmful even without a tax increase. Let’s look at 10 downsides to the Democratic spending plan.

States Can Do It. Much of the proposed spending is for activities that states can fund themselves. Expanding subsidy programs is a bad idea, but such programs are even more inefficient when imposed top‐​down by Washington. If West Virginia or Arizona want to subsidize housing, preschool, or renewable energy, they can do so with their own state revenues. There is no need for aid from the federal government, especially when it is running large budget deficits while West VirginiaArizona, and other states have large surpluses. State and local tax revenues are currently up 11 percent over pre‐​pandemic levels.

Private Sector Can Do It. Some proposed spending is for activities that the private sector is already doing, so there is no need for new subsidies. The plan would increase subsidies for electric vehicles even though EV sales are already booming. In other cases, the plan would subsidize activities that the private sector would address by itself if governments got out of the way. The plan, for example, includes $150 billion in housing subsidies, but governments are causing the affordable housing problem by restricting supply with excessively tight zoning and building regulations.

Fix Existing Policies. The plan includes $555 billion in subsidies to address climate change, but the government itself imposes policies that exacerbate the harms from climate‐​related disasters such as hurricanes, droughts, and fires. Furthermore, the green way to fund infrastructure is through user charges that restrain resource use, but the Democrats plan to subsidize infrastructure, which is not green or efficient. Rather than creating new subsidies to address climate change, the government should fix its current anti‐​green policies.

Federal Overload. Policymakers do a poor job of managing and overseeing the vast array of current federal programs, and new programs would further overload them. The federal budget at $6.8 trillion is 150 times larger than the average state government budget of $45 billion. Most federal politicians have probably never even heard of hundreds of the government’s 2,300 or so programs, let alone actively oversee them.

Democracy. The spending plan would reduce democratic control of government. When the federal government funds state and local activities, decision​making moves from elected state and local officials to unelected and unknown officials in far‐​away Washington. The Democratic plan would move control over activities such as preschool and child care to federal bureaucrats. In an April speech, President Biden lauded “democracy” 16 times, but his spending plan would result in more top‐​down mandates on state and local activities.

Diversity. Residents of each state have varying preferences for spending programs and taxes. State governments can maximize value by tailoring policies to those preferences. But the Democratic proposals would undermine such beneficial diversity by imposing one‐​size‐​fits‐​all rules for energy, preschool, child care, and other activities. Biden promised that he would bring the nation together, but trying to force conformity on Americans with top‐​down programs would increase anger and division.

Corporate Welfare. Democratic leaders often rail against corporate subsidies, yet their spending plan includes subsidies for industries such as housing, automobiles, and energy. The subsidies would increase the feeding frenzy of corporate lobbying in Washington.

Costly Regulations. Federal subsidies come tied to regulations that raise costs for the states, cities, businesses, and organizations that receive funding. Federal infrastructure subsidies, for example, come tied to labor and environmental rules that raise costs and delay projects. The Democratic spending plan would probably lead to costly new rules imposed on education, energy, housing, preschool, child care, and other activities.

Fraud and Waste. Federal subsidy programs suffer from waste and fraud because state and local administrators have little incentive to restrain costs when the funds come “free” from Washington. Programs such as Medicaid and school lunches have long had high fraud rates, and we have seen massive fraud in recent pandemic aid to the states. Meanwhile, federally funded projects, such as light‐​rail systems, often suffer from large cost overruns. The new hand‐​out programs would likely suffer these same problems.

Programs With Poor Records. The Biden administration promised that it would follow “evidence‐​based policymaking,” but Biden’s plan would expand programs that have poor track records. For example, the plan would expand workforce training subsidies, but such efforts have never worked very well. And the plan would expand the earned income tax credit, but the program has an error and fraud rate of about 20 percent and it creates work disincentives as income rises and the credit is phased out.


The Economic Damage of Biden’s Fiscal Agenda

President Biden’s fiscal agenda of higher taxes and bigger government is not a recipe for prosperity.

How much will it hurt the economy?

Last month, I shared the results of a new study I wrote with Robert O’Quinn for the Club for Growth Foundation.

We based our results on a wide range of economic research, especially a scholarly study from the Congressional Budget Office, and found a big drop in economic output, employment and labor income.

Most troubling was the estimate of a long-run drop in living standards, which would be especially bad news for young people.

Today, I want to share some different estimates of the potential impact of Biden’s agenda.

A study for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, authored by  E. J. Antoni, Vance Ginn, and Stephen Moore, found even higher levels of economic damage. Here are some main excerpts.

President Biden and congressional Democrats seek to spend another $6.2 trillion over the next decade, spread across at least two bills that comprise their “Build Back Better” plan. This plan includes heavy taxing, spending, and debt, which contributes to reducing growth rates for GDP, employment, income, and capital stock.  Compared to baseline growth over the next decade, this plan will result in estimated dynamic economic effects of 5.3 million fewer jobs, $3.7 trillion less in GDP, $1.2 trillion less in income, and $4.5 trillion in new debt.…There are many regulatory changes and transfer payments in current legislation whose effects have not been included in this paper but are worth mentioning in closing since they will have many of the same effects as the tax increases discussed in this paper. Extending or expanding the enhanced Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and more, disincentivizes working, reducing incomes, investment, and GDP. Just the changes to these three tax credits alone are expected to cause a loss of 15,000 jobs… Permanently expanding the health insurance premium tax credits would similarly have a negative effect… Regulatory changes subsidizing so-called green energy while increasing tax and regulatory burdens on fossil fuels also result in a less efficient allocation of resources.

If we focus on gross domestic product (GDP), the TPPF estimates a drop in output of $3.7 trillion, which is higher than my study, which showed a drop of about $3 trillion.

Part of the difference is that TPPF looked at the impact of both the so-callled infrastructure spending package and Biden’s so-called Build Back Better plan, while the study for the Club for Growth Foundation only looked at the impact of the latter.

So it makes sense that TPPF would find more aggregate damage.

And part of the difference is that economists rarely agree on anything because there are so many variables and different experts will assign different weights to those variables.

So the purpose of sharing these numbers is not to pretend that any particular study perfectly estimates the effect of Biden’s agenda, but rather to simply get a sense of the likely magnitude of the economic damage.

Speaking of economic damage, here’s a table from the TPPF showing state-by-state job losses.

I’ll close by noting that you can also use common sense to get an idea of what will happen if Biden’s agenda is approved.

He wants to make the United States more like Western Europe’s welfare states, so all we have to do is compare U.S. living standards and economic performance to what’s happening on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

And when you do that, the clear takeaway is that it’s crazy to “catch up” to nations that are actually way behind.

Biden’s Tax Plan Contains a Poison Pill for American Firms that Compete in Global Markets

May 24, 2021 by Dan Mitchell

As explained here, here, here, and here, I don’t like Biden’s class-warfare tax policy.

I’m especially concerned about his approach to business taxation.

  1. He wants to penalize American-based companies with the highest corporate tax rate among all developed nations.
  2. He wants to export that bad policy to the rest of the world with a “global minimum tax” – sort of an OPEC for politicians.
  3. He wants to handicap American multinational companies with taxes that don’t apply to foreign-based firms.

Regarding the third point, I wrote a column on that topic for the Orange County Register.

Here’s how I described Biden’s proposal.

Biden has proposed several tax increases that specifically target American firms that compete in world markets. Most notably, the Administration has proposed to double the tax rate on “global intangible low-tax income” (GILTI) from 10.5 percent to 21 percent. Translated from tax jargon to English, this is largely a tax on the income American firms earn overseas from intellectual property, most notably patents and royalties. Keep in mind, by the way, that this income already is subject to tax in the nations where it is earned. Most other nations do not handicap their companies with similar policies, so this means that American firms will face a big competitive disadvantage – especially when fighting for business in low-tax jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, and most of Eastern Europe.

And here are some additional reasons why it is very bad news.

…let’s simply look at the bottom-line impact of what Biden is proposing. The Tax Foundation estimates that, “The proposal would impose a 9.4 percent average surtax on the foreign activities of U.S. multinationals above and beyond the taxes levied by foreign governments” and “put U.S. multinationals at a competitive disadvantage relative to foreign corporations.” …a stagging $1.2 trillion tax increase on these companies. …This is not just bad for the competitiveness of American-based companies, it is also bad policy. Good fiscal systems, such as the flat tax, are based on “territorial taxation,” which is the common-sense notion that countries only tax economic activity inside their borders. …Many other nations follow this approach, which is why they will reap big benefits if Biden’s plan to hamstring American companies is approved. The key thing to understand is that the folks in Washington have the power to raise taxes on American companies competing abroad, but they don’t have the ability to raise taxes on the foreign companies in those overseas markets.

The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page has been sounding the alarm on this issue as well.

Here are some excerpts from an editorial back in April.

…the tax on global intangible low-tax income, known as Gilti, which was created by the 2017 tax reform. …Gilti was flawed from the start…but Mr. Biden would make it worse in every respect. …The 2017 tax law set the statutory Gilti rate at…10.5%. Mr. Biden would increase that to 21%… the effective rate companies actually pay is higher. This is because Gilti embedded double taxation in the tax code. …Gilti allows a credit of only 80% of foreign taxes, with no carry-forwards or carry-backs. …Raising the statutory rate to 21% increases that effective rate to 26.25%. This new Biden effective minimum tax would be higher than the statutory tax rates in most countries even in Western Europe… The Biden plan would further increase the effective Gilti rate by expanding the tax base on which it’s paid. …A third Biden whammy would require companies to calculate tax bills on a country-by-country basis. …Requiring companies to calculate taxable profits and tax credits individually for every country in which a company operates will create a mountain of compliance costs for business and work for the Internal Revenue Service. …The Biden Administration and its progressive political masters have decided they don’t care about the global competitiveness of American companies.

Let’s close with some international comparisons.

According to the most-recent International Tax Competitiveness Index, the United States ranks #21 out of 35 nations, which is a mediocre score.

But the United States had been scoring near the bottom, year after year, before the Trump tax reform bumped America up to #21. So there was some progress.

If the Biden plan is approved, however, it is a near-certainly that the U.S. will be once again mired at the bottom. And this bad policy will lead to unfortunate results for American workers and American competitiveness.


Biden’s Infrastructure Boondoggle Will Undermine Growth

President Biden has proposed a massive $2 trillion-plus infrastructure plan. Here are the two things everyone should understand.

  1. It will hurt growth because it will be financed with very harmful tax increases, most notably a big increase in the corporate tax rate that will undermine competitiveness.
  2. It will hurt growth because the new spending will divert resources from the productive sector of the economy, leading to inefficient allocation of labor and capital.

Actually, there’s another thing everyone should understand. As illustrated by this summary from the Washington Post, it’s not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a spend-money-on-anything-and-everything plan, presumably to reward various interest groups.

Though I guess we have to give the Biden Administration points for consistency. The President’s COVID relief plan from earlier this year had very little to do with the pandemic, so we shouldn’t be surprised to see that the infrastructure plan has very little to do with infrastructure.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized about this bait-and-switch scam.

Most Americans think of infrastructure as roads, highways, bridges and other traditional public works. That’s why it polls well… Yet this accounts for a mere $115 billion of Mr. Biden’s proposal. There’s another $25 billion for airports and $17 billion for ports and waterways that also fill a public purpose. The rest of the $620 billion earmarked for “transportation” are subsidies for green energyand payouts to unions for the jobs his climate regulation will kill. …The magnitude of spending is something to behold. There’s $85 billion for mass transit plus $80 billion for Amtrak, which is on top of the $70 billion that Congress appropriated for mass transit in three Covid spending bills. The money is essentially a bailout for unions… Then there’s $174 billion for electric vehicles, including money to build 500,000 charging stations and for consumer “incentives” on top of the current $7,500 federal tax credit to buy an EV. …Mr. Biden is also redefining infrastructure as social-justice policy and income redistribution. …His plan also includes $213 billion for affordable housing, $100 billion for retrofitting public schools, $25 billion for child-care facilities and $400 billion for increasing home-health care.

Michael Boskin, a professor at Stanford, is not optimistic that Biden’s plan will generate good results.

Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan would be many times larger than previous such bills, only about one-third of it would meet even a broad definition of “infrastructure.” …What could possibly go wrong? A lot. …federal spending would crowd out private and local government spending, with a substantial risk of boondoggles piling up along the way.…The Biden plan is rife with opportunities for earmarked pork-barrel projects (bridges to nowhere) and crony capitalist corporate welfare (next-generation Solyndras). Consider California High-Speed Rail, an infrastructure train wreck that will soon be begging for a bailout from the Biden administration. It originally used a grant from President Barack Obama’s 2009 “stimulus” package to pay, six years later, for a tiny initial rail line. Yet, because the project’s projected total San Francisco to Los Angeles cost has tripled to $100 billion.

And even if the plan was nothing but real infrastructure, that wouldn’t be a cause for optimism.

Kenneth Rogoff, a professor at Harvard, wrote late last year that governments have a terrible track record with cost overruns.

…perhaps the biggest obstacle to improving infrastructure in advanced economies is that any new project typically requires navigating difficult right-of-way issues, environmental concerns, and objections from apprehensive citizens… The “Big Dig” highway project in my hometown of Boston, Massachusetts was famously one of the most expensive infrastructure projects in US history. The scheme was originally projected to cost $2.6 billion, but the final tab swelled to more than $15 billion… The construction of New York City’s Second Avenue Subway was a similar experience, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. In Germany, the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport recently opened nine years behind schedule and at three times the initial estimated cost.

Amen. I wrote a column about the infamous Second Avenue Subway, and I’ve also repeatedly opined about how government projects always wind up costing much more than initial projections.

Let’s wrap up by looking at an economic analysis of Biden’s plan by the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model.

The overall macroeconomic effects of enacting the AJP, including both its spending and tax provisions, are shown in Table 4. …After the AJP’s new spending ends in 2029, however, its tax increases persist—as a result, federal debt ends up 6.4 percent lower by 2050, relative to the current law baseline.Despite the decline in government debt, the investment-disincentivizing effects of the AJP’s business tax provisions decrease the capital stock by 3 percent in 2031 and 2050. The decline in capital makes workers less productive despite the increase in productivity due to more infrastructure, dragging hourly wages down by 0.7 percent in 2031 and 0.8 percent in 2050. Overall, GDP is 0.9 percent lower in 2031 and 0.8 percent lower in 2050.

Here’s Table 4, which I’ve augmented by circling the two most important statistics.

The immediate lesson from all of this is that Biden’s plan is a boondoggle waiting to happen (just as would have been the case with Trump).

The longer-term lesson is that we should get the federal government out of the business of infrastructure.


The Political Consequences of Tax Migration

When I ask my left-leaning friends what they think about the flight of investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners from high-tax states, I tend to get three responses.

  1. It isn’t actually happening (these are my friends who apparently don’t know how to read).
  2. It’s happening, but it doesn’t matter (data from the IRS suggests it actually is significant).
  3. It’s happening, but high-tax states will be better off without these selfish and greedy people.

The folks making the third point actually have a decent argument, at least in terms of short-run political outcomes. Democrats rarely have to worry about retaining control of states like CaliforniaNew YorkIllinois, and New Jersey now that many Republican-leaning voters have moved away.

But sometimes short-run benefits are exceeded by long-run costs, and the recent data on congressional redistricting from the Census Bureau is a good example.

As you can see, there’s a continuing shift of political power – as measured by seats in Congress – from blue states to red states.

Patrick Gleason of Americans for Tax Reform explains what this means in a column for Forbes.

Over the past decade Americans have been voting with their feet in favor of states with lower overall tax burdens… As a result, high tax states…are set to lose congressional clout for the next decade, to the benefit of low tax states… the seven states that will lose congressional seats due to stagnant population growth have higher top income tax rates and greater overall tax burdens, on average, than do the six states gaining seats. In fact, the average top personal income tax rate for states losing seats in congress is 6.5%, which is 46% greater than the 4.45% average top income tax rate for states gaining seats.

Some people may want to dismiss Mr. Gleason’s column since he works for a group that supports smaller government.

But you can find the same analysis in this column in the Washington Post by Aaron Blake.

…what does the new breakdown mean from a partisan perspective? All told, five seats will migrate from blue states to red ones — owing to population shifts from the Rust Belt, the Northeast and California to the South and other portions of the West. Five of the seven seats being added also go to states under complete GOP control of redistricting, with three of seven being taken away coming from states in which Democrats have some measure of control over the maps. …That should help Republicans… The Cook Political Report estimates the shifts are worth about 3.5 seats… As for the electoral college in future presidential elections, …Michigan and Pennsylvania…are states Democrats probably need to win in the near future, meaning it’s probably a bigger loss for them. …If we reran the 2020 electoral college with the new electoral votes by state, Biden’s margin would shrink from 306-232 to 303-235. That seems negligible. But if you overlay the 2000 presidential results — three reapportionments ago — on the current electoral vote totals, George W. Bush’s narrow win with 271 electoral votes becomes a much more decisive win with 290. That gives you a sense where things have trended.

Let’s now return to the hypothesis that tax-motivated migration is playing a role.

Here’s an instructive tweet from Andrew Wilford of the National Taxpayers Union.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1386785330020356103&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fdanieljmitchell.wordpress.com%2F2021%2F04%2F27%2Fthe-political-consequences-of-tax-migration%2F&sessionId=fbae0e0c1efd7628dbdc1ee1673d407a81777661&siteScreenName=wordpressdotcom&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

I’ll wrap up today’s column by augmenting the data in Mr. Wilford’s tweet.

Because not only are there, on average, lower tax burdens in the states gaining congressional seats, but every one of them has some very desirable feature of its tax code.

To be sure, not all of the state-to-state migration is due to tax policy. There are all sorts of other policies that determine whether a state is an attractive place for people looking to relocate.

And there are other factors (family, climate, etc) that have nothing to do with public policy.

All things considered, however, being a low-tax state means more jobs, growth, and people, at least when compared with being a high-tax state.

P.S. If you’re interested in seeing how states rank in various indices, click herehere, and here.

The Suddenly Real Threat of a Higher Corporate Income Tax Rate

After November’s election, I figured we would have gridlock. Biden would propose some statist ideas, but they would be blocked by Republicans in the Senate.

All things considered, not a bad outcome.

But Democrats won the run-off elections yesterday for both Georgia Senate seats, which means they now have total control of Washington.

And that means, as I recently warned, a much bigger threat that Biden’s proposed tax increases may get enacted.

That won’t be good news for America’s economy or American competitiveness.

Today, let’s focus on the biggest tax increase that the President Elect is proposing.

In an article for National Review, Joseph Sullivan writes about the adverse impact of Biden’s increase in the corporate tax rate.

Biden’s corporate-tax proposal is remarkable. …If the U.S. adopted Biden’s proposed federal tax rate, its overall corporate-tax rate would not be “in line” with the rest of the G7. Assuming U.S. state and local corporate taxes stayed the same, Biden’s proposal would result in nearly the highest overall corporate-tax rate in the G7, according to data from the OECD. The U.S. would be tied with France. …The average overall corporate rate among the G7 has fallen to 25 percent… With the G7 average trending in one direction, Biden would move the U.S. in the opposite direction.

In other words, while the Biden team claims that a higher corporate tax won’t be too damaging because it will be similar to the rate in other major nations, the U.S. actually will be tied with France once you include the impact of state corporate tax burdens.

Here’s the chart included with the article.

And don’t forget that there are many other economies where the corporate tax rate is well below the G7 average.

The bottom line is that the United States currently ranks only #19out of 35 nations in the Tax Foundation’s competitiveness ranking for OECD nations.

The good news is that being #19 is much better than being #31, which is where the U.S. was in 2016.

The bad news is that Biden wants to undo much of the 2017 reform, as well as impose other tax increases. And that means a much lower competitiveness score in the future.

Which ultimately means lower wages for American workers.

P.S. Although the proposed increase in the corporate rate is theoretically the biggest revenue raiser in Biden’s tax plan, I will safely predict that it won’t raise nearly as much revenue as projected by static revenue estimates. I wasn’t able to educate Obama on this issue, and I’m even less hopeful of getting through to Biden.

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Three Economics Risks for 2021 and Beyond

In an interview with Fox Business last week, I touched on three policies (easy money from the Fed, Biden’s class-warfare tax agenda, and the ever-increasing burden of federal spending) that create risks for the economy in 2021.

I didn’t have a chance to elaborate in the interview, but it’s worth noting that Biden will inherit two of the aforementioned problems.

Trump has been profligate with our money, and he was that way even before the coronavirus became an excuse to open the budgetary spigot. Moreover, he was just like Obama in pressuring the Federal Reserve for Keynesian-style monetary policy.

Unfortunately, there’s no reason to think Biden will try to reverse those mistakes.

Indeed, he wants expand the burden of federal spending. And, regarding monetary policy, appointing Janet Yellen as Secretary of Treasury certainly suggests he is comfortable with the current approach.

And to make matters worse, he definitely wants a more punitive tax system. We will shortly learn whether Democratstake control of the Senate, which presumably would give Biden more leeway to enact his class-warfare tax agenda.

As I said in the interview, that would create economic headwinds.

P.S. I mentioned in the interview that we have “three Americas” with regards to coronavirus. I’m not sure I was completely clear, so here’s what I was trying to get across.

  1. Tourism-reliant states – They are going to be in bad shape until coronavirus is in the rear-view mirror and people feel comfortable with traveling and socializing.
  2. Lock-down states – They have higher unemployment rates because more businesses are shut down.
  3. Laissez-faire states – These are the states that generally allow businesses to remain open and have lower unemployment rates.

For what it’s worth, I think it’s best to let businesses stay open and to allow them and their customers to assess safety risks. It will be interesting to see whether any link is discovered between state policy and coronavirus rates.

P.P.S. At the risk of over-simplification, bad fiscal policy erodes the economy’s long-run growth rate. Bad monetary policy, by contrast, is what causes economic volatility and downturns.


Another Leftist Has an Epiphany on Guns

I’m (unfortunately) not a rich person, but that doesn’t stop me from opposing punitive taxes on successful entrepreneurs, investors, and small business owners.

Likewise, I’m not a gun aficionado, but that doesn’t stop me from opposing efforts to restrict the rights of law-abiding people to own and bear arms.

In part, my views on guns are driven by cost-benefit analysis. Simply stated, the evidence is fairly clear that there is less crime when bad people have to worry that potential victims have the ability to defend themselves.

But I also very much agree with the constitutional argument for gun ownership, as well as the “societal disarray” argument.

Interestingly, it seems that more folks on the left are coming to their senses on the issue of gun control, generally for practical reasons rather than philosophical reasons.

  • In 2012, I shared some important observations from Jeffrey Goldberg, a left-leaning writer for The Atlantic. In his column, he basically admitted his side was wrong about gun control.
  • Then, in 2013, I wrote about a column by Justin Cronin in the New York Times. He self-identified as a liberal, but explained how real-world events have led him to become a supporter of private gun ownership.
  • In 2015, I shared a column by Jamelle Bouie in Slate, who addressed the left’s fixation on trying to ban so-called assault weapons and explains that such policies are meaningless.
  • More recently, in 2017, Leah Libresco wrote in the Washington Post that advocates of gun control are driven by emotion rather empirical research and evidence.
  • Last but not least, Alex Kingsbury in 2019 acknowledged the futility of gun control in a column for the New York Times.

Today, we’re going to add to the collection.

Charles Blow of the New York Times recently wrote about how he has become more understanding of why fellow blacks want to own guns.

Growing up in rural northern Louisiana, everyone I knew, at least every household, seemed to have guns. …Gun ownership was the norm in those parts, including in the Black community. It was not associated with danger but with safety. …Indeed, one could argue that the right to bear arms in this country has never been so brazenly and openly abridged as it has against Black people. Many state codes prohibited Black gun ownership before the Civil War and allowed for the disarmament of Black people after. …When I moved north, first to Detroit and then to New York, I moved into a mental space of more stringent gun control. …city dwellers simply didn’t have the same need for weapons as the people in the rural community where I was raised… I, like many, were convinced that fewer guns in the Black community would make it safer. But, for many Black people, that sentiment has turned. …gun sales to Black people are surging. …I, as much as anyone, would like to live in a society in which all citizens felt safe without the need of personal firearms. America could have created such a society. However, it chose not to. …many Black people feel the need to defend themselves from their own country.

To be sure, Mr. Blow can’t be considered a full convert to the 2nd Amendment. That being said, I think it’s nonetheless remarkable that even a committed, hard-core leftist has (partially) seen the light.

Though I can’t resist quibbling with one point in his column.He wrote, “America could have created” a society where gun control would be desirable because no guns would be needed, but “it chose not to.”

I would replace “it chose not to” with “our government is not sufficiently competent.”

Heck, I would probably add “or trustworthy” as well. Given the unsavory history of gun control, Mr. Blow should be among the first to appreciate that argument.

P.S. In 2018, I shared the story of Ryan Moore, another leftist who changed his mind on gun control. But since he also evolved away from being a leftist, I don’t include him

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Reusable: biden obama gun control speechPresident Barack Obama announces the creation of an interagency task force for guns as as Vice President Joseph Biden listens on.Getty Images

Is Gun Control Dead?

In recent months, governments released prisoners and announced that some laws wouldn’t be enforced because of the coronavirus. Now, with protests against police misbehavior, we’re seeing governments fail to maintain law and order.

As suggested by this excellent Reason video, these developments bolster the case against gun control.

But does this mean politicians will be more supportive of the 2nd Amendment?

The answer (at least for anyone with an IQ above room temperature)should be yes.

From an economic perspective, one major goal is to change the cost-benefit analysis for criminals. If bad guys have to worry that good guys may be armed, that significantly increases the potential cost of illegal behavior.

A well-functioning system of law enforcement can help, of course, but that’s not a description of how things work in some communities – even in normal times, much less when there’s civil unrest.

But all this evidence and analysis doesn’t seem to matter for Joe Biden. A look at his campaign website shows support for a wide range of gun-control laws from the soon-to-be Democratic nominee.

…gun violence is a public health epidemic. …In 1994, Biden – along with Senator Dianne Feinstein – secured the passage of 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will defeat the NRA again. …As president, Biden will: …Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. …Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. …Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one. …End the online sale of firearms and ammunitions. …Give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs.

What’s especially discouraging is that Biden apparently hasn’t learned anything about so-called assault weapons since 1994.

In a 2019 column for Reason, Jacob Sullum dissected Biden’s incoherent views on the topic.

Joe Biden…is still proud of the ban on “assault weapons”… Biden argues that it made mass shootings less common…, citing a study reported in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery last January. But that is not what the researchers, led by New York University epidemiologist Charles DiMaggio, actually found.…The study…looked not at the number of mass shootings, as Biden claims, but the number of mass-shooting deaths as a share of all firearm homicides. The difference in total fatalities during the period when the ban was in effect amounted to 15 fewer deaths over a decade, or 1.5 a year on average, including mass shootings that did not involve weapons covered by the ban. …The causal mechanism imagined by Biden is even harder to figure out. He describes “assault weapons” as “military-style firearms designed to fire rapidly.” But they do not fire any faster than any other semi-automatic. …Under the 1994 ban, removing “military-style” features such as folding stocks, flash suppressors, or bayonet mounts transformed forbidden “assault weapons” into legal firearms, even though the compliant models fired the same ammunition at the same rate with the same muzzle velocity as the ones targeted by the law.

I wonder if Biden understands the policy he’s advocating.

Does he think that “assault weapons” are actual machine guns, capable of firing multiple rounds with one pull on the trigger (a remarkably common misconception among gun-control advocates)?

Or, if he understands that a so-called assault weapon is just like any other gun (firing one round each time the trigger is pulled), then why would he think anything would be achieved by banning some guns and leaving others (that work the same way) legal?

Perhaps most relevant, does he even care what the evidence shows?

The bottom line is that people are “voting with their dollars” for gun ownership for the simple reason that they know it’s unwise to trust government (either to protect them from crime or to respect their rights).

But that doesn’t mean their constitutional freedoms will be secure if Biden wins the 2020 election.

P.S. The good news is that there will be widespread civil disobedience if politicians push for new gun bans.

P.P.S. Another silver lining is that we’ll get more and more clever humor mocking gun control.

The Case Against Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Policy, Part II

In Part I of this series, I expressed some optimism that Joe Biden would not aggressively push his class-warfare tax plan, particularly since Republicans almost certainly will wind up controlling the Senate.

But the main goal of that column was to explain that the internal revenue code already is heavily weighted against investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and other upper-income taxpayers.

And to underscore that point, I shared two charts from Brian Riedl’s chartbook to show that the “rich” are now paying a much larger share of the tax burden – notwithstanding the Reagan tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, and Trump tax cuts – than they were 40 years ago.

Not only that, but the United States has a tax system that is more “progressive” than all other developed nations (all of whom also impose heavy tax burdens on upper-income taxpayers, but differ from the United States in that they also pillage lower-income and middle-class residents).

In other words, Biden’s class-warfare tax plan is bad policy.

Today’s column, by contrast, will point out that his tax increases are impractical. Simply stated, they won’t collect much revenue because people change their behavior when incentives to earn and report income are altered.

This is especially true when looking at upper-income taxpayers who – compared to the rest of us – have much greater ability to change the timing, level, and composition of their income.

This helps to explain why rich people paid five times as much tax to the IRS during the 1980s when Reagan slashed the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.

When writing about this topic, I normally use the Laffer Curve to help people understand why simplistic assumptions about tax policy are wrong (that you can double tax revenue by doubling tax rates, for instance). And I point out that even folks way on the left, such as Paul Krugman, agree with this common-sense view (though it’s also worth noting that some people on the right discredit the concept by making silly assertions that “all tax cuts pay for themselves”).

But instead of showing the curve again, I want to go back to Brian Riedl’s chartbook and review his data on of revenue changes during the eight years of the Obama Administration.

It shows that Obama technically cut taxes by $822 billion (as further explained in the postscript, most of that occurred when some of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent by the “fiscal cliff” deal in 2012) and raised taxes by $1.32 trillion (most of that occurred as a result of the Obamacare legislation).

If we do the math, that means Obama imposed a cumulative net tax increase of about $510 billion during his eight years in office

But, if you look at the red bar on the chart, you’ll see that the government didn’t wind up with more money because of what the number crunchers refer to as “economic and technical reestimates.”

Indeed, those reestimates resulted in more than $3.1 trillion of lost revenue during the Obama years.

don’t want the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to have more tax revenue, but I obviously don’t like it when tax revenues shrink simply because the economy is stagnant and people have less taxable income.

Yet that’s precisely what we got during the Obama years.

To be sure, it would be inaccurate to assert that revenues declined solely because of Obama’s tax increase. There were many other bad policies that also contributed to taxable income falling short of projections.

Heck, maybe there was simply some bad luck as well.

But even if we add lots of caveats, the inescapable conclusion is that it’s not a good idea to adopt policies – such as class-warfare tax rates – that discourage people from earning and reporting taxable income.

The bottom line is that we should hope Biden’s proposed tax increases die a quick death.

P.S. The “fiscal cliff” was the term used to describe the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. According to the way budget data is measured in Washington, extending some of those provisions counted as a tax cut even though the practical impact was to protect people from a tax increase.

P.P.S. Even though Biden absurdly asserted that paying higher taxes is “patriotic,” it’s worth pointing out that he engaged in very aggressive tax avoidance to protect his family’s money.

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

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Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

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Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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March 9, 2012 – 12:29 am

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March 2, 2012 – 12:26 am

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What were the main proposals of Milton Friedman?

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Defending Milton Friedman

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Democrats Are Peddling False Tax Narratives to Sell Their Agenda 


Democrats Are Peddling False Tax Narratives to Sell Their Agenda

If Democrats entrench new entitlements in the federal budget, the programs would likely cost more than planned, and tax hikes on the rich would collect less than planned.OCTOBER 25, 2021 • COMMENTARYBy Chris EdwardsSHAREThis article appeared in Washington Examiner on October 25, 2021.

President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats have been pushing tax increases to fund a large expansion of entitlement programs.

Facing resistance, Biden is now backpedaling on some of the proposed tax hikes. But the threat has not passed, and we can expect Democrats to shift their revenue‐​raising strategy in the weeks ahead. The problem Democrats face is that the public does not favor tax increases. Gallup polling finds that 50% of us want fewer government services with lower taxes, while just 19% want more services with higher taxes. To sidestep public resistance, Democrats are pushing two false narratives.

The first is that tax hikes will only target the rich, not the middle class. But House Democrats have already broken that pledge with a proposal to raise tobacco taxes by $97 billion over 10 years. They have also broken it with their plan for new Internal Revenue Service data gathering from bank accounts. This could target millions of middle‐​income households and businesses for enforcement actions over transactions that IRS computers erroneously flag as suspicious.

If Democrats entrench new entitlements in the federal budget, the programs would likely cost more than planned, and tax hikes on the rich would collect less than planned. 

More broadly, Democrats are promising an expansion in cradle‐​to‐​grave welfare benefits, akin to the benefits in many European countries. But Europe finances these with a mass tax on the middle class — the value‐​added tax. VATs are imposed on the products that all families consume with an average VAT rate in Europe of an exorbitant 21%.

If Democrats entrench new entitlements in the federal budget, the programs would likely cost more than planned, and tax hikes on the rich would collect less than planned. That would create pressure to go after the wallets of the middle class with a VAT.

The second false narrative is that rich people don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes and enjoy lower tax rates than the middle class. Such claims are repeated endlessly by Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The president, for example, recently tweeted: “I’m sick and tired of the super‐​wealthy … not paying their fair share in taxes.”

The strategy is to frame the rich as freeloaders and target them for punishment. But the Democratic claims are false. All authoritative data sources show that high earners pay much higher effective tax rates than the rest of us. IRS data show that the average individual income tax rate on the top 1% of households is 25%, which compares to just 7% for middle‐​income households and 3% for the bottom half of households.

The pattern is the same when including all types of federal taxes: income, corporate, payroll, excise, and estate. Treasury data show that the top 0.1% pay an average tax rate on all taxes of 32%, while middle‐​income households pay an average of about 12%. Congressional Budget Office data show the top 1% pay an average rate of 32% while middle‐​income households pay about 14%. Finally, Joint Tax Committee data show that the top 0.01% pay an average tax rate of 33%, while middle‐​income households pay about 14%.

True, some rich individuals do use loopholes that Congress carved into the tax code to lower their rates. But the overall averages reveal that the wealthy generally pay a much heavier tax load than nurses and teachers. Besides, the solution to the loophole problem is to close the loopholes. Instead, the House tax bill includes dozens of new and expanded tax loopholes for the electric vehicle industry, housing developers, energy companies, ethanol producers, and many other special interests.

While carving out new loopholes, the Democrats would raise overall tax rates on individuals, small businesses, and large businesses. Contrary to Biden, such tax hikes would punish success and damage the middle class by reducing investment and growth in the economy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards

Director of Tax Policy Studies and Editor, Down​siz​ing​Gov​ern​ment​.o


Biden’s Dishonest Budget Gimmickry

Having been in Washington for close to 40 years, I’ve seen lots of budget dishonesty, but nothing compares to Joe Biden’s claim that his profligate budget proposals have zero cost.

According to the official numbers, that’s a $3.5 trillion lie.

In reality, as I noted in July, it’s much bigger.

Let’s investigate this issue. I’ll start by noting that I have mixed feelings about the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB). They think controlling red ink should be the main focus of fiscal policy, whereas I think controlling spending should be the top goal.

That being said, CRFB’s staff have a well-deserved reputation for being thorough and careful when producing fiscal analysis.

So it’s worth noting that the group estimates that the Biden’s fiscal agenda would actually cost between $5 trillion and $5.5 trillion over 10 years, much higher than the “official” estimate of $3.5 trillion.

Here are some of the bottom-line numbers from their report.

That’s a truncated version of their table. If you want to see all the gory details, click here.

You’ll also be able to read the group’s analysis, including these key excerpts.

While the actual cost of this new legislation will ultimately depend heavily on details that have yet to be revealed, we estimate the policies under consideration could cost between $5 trillion and $5.5 trillion over a decade, assuming they are made permanent. In order to fit these proposals within a $3.5 trillion budget target, lawmakers apparently intend to have some policies expire before the end of the ten-year budget window,using this oft-criticized budget gimmick to hide their true cost. …To fit $5 trillion to $5.5 trillion…into a $3.5 trillion budget, background documents to reporters explain that “the duration of each program’s enactment will be determined based on scoring and Committee input.”  In other words, tax credits and spending programs will be set to expire at some point before the end of the decade, in the hope that future lawmakers will extend these programs. …This budget gimmick…would obscure the true cost of the legislation

The Wall Street Journal opined about Biden’s gimmickry.

Democrats are grasping for ways to finance their cradle-to-grave welfare state, with the left demanding what they claim is $3.5 trillion over 10 years. The truth is that even that gargantuan number hides the real cost of their plans. The bills moving through committees are full of delayed starts, phony phase-outs, and cost shifting to states designed to fit $3.5 trillion into a 10-year budget window…Start with the child allowance… Democrats have hidden the real cost by extending the allowance only through 2025. Even if Republicans gain control of Congress and the White House in 2024, Democrats and their media allies will bludgeon them to extend the payments… Democrats are using a different time shift to disguise the cost of their Medicare expansion…delaying the phase-in of the much more expensive dental benefit to 2028. This “saves” $420 billion over 10 years, but the costs explode after that. …the new universal child-care entitlement…gives $90 billion to the states—but only from 2022 to 2027. …The bottom line: $3.5 trillion is merely the first installment of a bill that would put government at the commanding heights of family life and the economy for decades to come. Tax increases will follow as far as the eye can see.

Regarding the final sentence of the above excerpt, the tax increases in Biden’s budget are merely an appetizer.

Ultimately, a European-sized welfare state requires European-style taxeson lower-income and middle-class households.

In other words, a value-added tax, along with higher payroll taxes, higher energy taxes, and higher income tax rates on ordinary workers (with this unfortunate Spaniard being a tragic example).

But we do have a tiny bit of good news.

A small handful of Democrats are resisting Biden’s budget, which means the package presumably will have to shrink in order to get sufficient votes.

But this good news may be fake news if Biden and his allies in Congress simply expand the use of dishonest accounting.

Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute documents some of this likely dishonesty in a column for the New York Post.

How does Congress cut a $3.5 trillion spending bill down to $1.5 trillion? By using gimmicks to hide its true cost. …Progressives have been abusing these gimmicks from the start. They began with a reconciliation proposal that would cost nearly $5 trillion over the decade. Then, in order to cut the bill’s “official” cost closer to $4 trillion, the bill’s authors included a December 2025 expiration of the $130 billion annual expansion of the child tax credit…Of course, no one believes that Congress will actually allow the child tax credit to be reduced at the end of 2025… Democrats purposely selected for “expiration” a popular middle-class benefit that they know even a future Republican Congress or president would not dare take away from voters. …expensive child care subsidies, family leave, and “free” community college benefits may also have their full cost hidden with fake expiration dates early into the 10-year scoring window. Lawmakers fully expect to extend these policies later, ultimately raising the cost of the total reconciliation bill closer to the $3.5 trillion target (or even higher). …Progressives are also discussing delaying the proposed new Medicare dental benefits until 2028, which legitimately saves money within the 10-year scoring window but also hides a larger long-term cost.

I realize that it’s not a big revelation to write that politicians are dishonest (Washington, after all, is a “wretched hive of scum and villainy“).

And I also realize that that the main problem with Biden’s plan is the economic damage it will cause, not the reliance on phony accounting.

But truth should matter a little bit, even in a town where lying about fiscal policy is a form of art.

The Double-Barreled Danger of Biden’s Plan to Expand the Welfare State

The United States has a big economic advantage over Europe in part because the burden of welfare spending is lower.

This means fewer people trapped in government dependency in America. And it means a smaller tax burden in America.

But some of our friends on the left think it is bad news that the United States isn’t more like Europe.

They want more redistribution in America and they may get their wish if Congress approves Biden’s so-called American Families Plan.

The Economist has an article about Biden’s radical proposal, which would, as they correctly note, “Europeanise the American welfare state.”

President Joe Biden is proposing an ambitious reweaving of the American safety-net, which the White House says will cost $1.8trn. The American Families Plan has bits of the European welfare state that have long been missing in the country—a child allowance, paid family leave, universal pre-school, subsidised child care and free community college—but contains no reference to work requirements. …So how did Democrats go from Clintonism—which implicitly conceded the Reaganite critique that too much governmental assistance is a very bad thing—to its present-day unconcern about (even relish for) deficit-financed expansions of the safety-net?

Here are some of the specific details from the story, including discussion of Biden’s plan for per-child handouts.

This would bring America more in line with the rest of the developed world: the average government spending on benefits such as child allowances, family leave and early education is 2.1% of GDP in the OECD club of mostly rich countries. In America, it is just 0.6%. …A generous child allowance is the main anti-poverty tool in most rich countries—and also one that America lacks. One such scheme was created this year as part of the covid-19 relief bill that the president signed in March. It will pay most families $3,000 per year per child ($3,600 for young children)… The president’s plan proposes to extend these payments until 2025. Some Democrats think they should simply be made permanent.

The Wall Street Journal opined about Biden’s plan last month.

It’s more accurate to call this the plan to make the middle class dependent on government from cradle to grave. The government will tell you sometime later, after you’re hooked to the state, how it will force you to pay for it. We’d call the price tag breathtaking, but by now what’s another $2 trillion?…But the cost, while staggering, isn’t the only or even the biggest problem. The destructive part is the way the plan seeks to insinuate government cash and the rules that go with it into all of the major decisions of family life. The goal is to expand the entitlement state to make Americans rely on government and the political class for everything they don’t already provide. …This is now about mainlining benefits to middle-class families so they become addicted to government—and to the Democratic Party that has become the promoting agent of government.

I agree with the WSJ. Biden wants to create more dependency, even if that means eviscerating Bill Clinton’s very successful welfare reform.

For my contribution to this discussion, I want to make two points about the practical implications of Biden’s plan to “Europeanise” the United States.

First, it is impossible to have a European-sized government without massive tax increases. And since there aren’t enough rich people to finance big government, that inevitably means low-income and middle-class taxpayers will have to be hit with much bigger fiscal burdens. Which is exactly what has happened in Europe (and lots of honest people on the left openly admit a bigger welfare state would require similar policies in the United States).

Second, it is impossible to have a European-sized government and still maintaina big economic advantage over Europe. Higher spending and higher taxes will combine to reduce work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship. Simply stated, European fiscal policy will lead to European economic results, and that will be very bad news for ordinary Americans since living standards are 30 percent-40 percent lower on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s also worth noting that the United States ranks very high in societal capital, and that presumably will erode if more people are lured into government dependency.

P.S. Biden used to oppose a government-guaranteed income, correctly realizing it would undermine the work ethic.

P.P.S. The United States already faces a huge long-run challengebecause of entitlement spending, so it’s remarkable – in a bad way – that Biden wants to step on the gas rather than hit the brakes.


Consolation Humor: When Leftists Finally Understand Economics and Morality

I have three types of humor I periodically share.

  1. Libertarian Humor
  2. Gun Control Humor
  3. Socialism/Communism Humor

Today, we’re going to venture into “consolation humor.” At least that’s the best term I can think of for the following two memes, both of which show what happens when leftists suddenly grasp reality.

In our first example, a woman learns that envy actually is a negative personality trait.

Maybe she’ll also learn at some point that spending other people’s money isn’t compassion (another person needs to learn that lesson as well).

In our second example, a young woman is bereft after learning that there isn’t a magic money tree to finance never-ending goodies from government.

Maybe she should watch this video as part of her therapy?

P.S. This great cartoon from Chuck Asay shows what happens when people don’t learn about scarcity.

Gun Control Humor

Time to add to the collection of humor about gun control.

We’ll start with this observation from Ron Swanson (who periodically makes cameo appearances since he was TV’s most famous libertarian) about the relationship between gun laws and crime rates.

Next is a cartoon strip with an amusing twist.

For what it’s worth, I buy t-shirts that already have the right message.

Here’s a hotel employee giving a much-needed wake-up call.

Our next item features a sensible observation from Elizabeth Warren, followed by an equally sensible observation from Dan Gannon.

Next, we have an example of the “slippery slope” in action.

By the way, the above image is real. The United Kingdom has some of the world’s silliest anti-gun policies, which were the gateway drug for absurd anti-knife laws (and even – I’m not joking – anti-teaspoon laws).

I’ve saved the best for last, as usual.

Here’s “Fauxcahontas” getting a clever response from Meme Cat.

Just in case you don’t get the joke, Senator Elizabeth Warren falsely claimed Indian ancestry, even using her fake-minority status to get preferential treatment.

P.S. I also recommend this mockery of Sen. Warren’s approach to class warfare.

—-

Reusable: biden obama gun control speechPresident Barack Obama announces the creation of an interagency task force for guns as as Vice President Joseph Biden listens on.Getty Images

Is Gun Control Dead?

In recent months, governments released prisoners and announced that some laws wouldn’t be enforced because of the coronavirus. Now, with protests against police misbehavior, we’re seeing governments fail to maintain law and order.

As suggested by this excellent Reason video, these developments bolster the case against gun control.

But does this mean politicians will be more supportive of the 2nd Amendment?

The answer (at least for anyone with an IQ above room temperature)should be yes.

From an economic perspective, one major goal is to change the cost-benefit analysis for criminals. If bad guys have to worry that good guys may be armed, that significantly increases the potential cost of illegal behavior.

A well-functioning system of law enforcement can help, of course, but that’s not a description of how things work in some communities – even in normal times, much less when there’s civil unrest.

But all this evidence and analysis doesn’t seem to matter for Joe Biden. A look at his campaign website shows support for a wide range of gun-control laws from the soon-to-be Democratic nominee.

…gun violence is a public health epidemic. …In 1994, Biden – along with Senator Dianne Feinstein – secured the passage of 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will defeat the NRA again. …As president, Biden will: …Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. …Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. …Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one. …End the online sale of firearms and ammunitions. …Give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs.

What’s especially discouraging is that Biden apparently hasn’t learned anything about so-called assault weapons since 1994.

In a 2019 column for Reason, Jacob Sullum dissected Biden’s incoherent views on the topic.

Joe Biden…is still proud of the ban on “assault weapons”… Biden argues that it made mass shootings less common…, citing a study reported in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery last January. But that is not what the researchers, led by New York University epidemiologist Charles DiMaggio, actually found.…The study…looked not at the number of mass shootings, as Biden claims, but the number of mass-shooting deaths as a share of all firearm homicides. The difference in total fatalities during the period when the ban was in effect amounted to 15 fewer deaths over a decade, or 1.5 a year on average, including mass shootings that did not involve weapons covered by the ban. …The causal mechanism imagined by Biden is even harder to figure out. He describes “assault weapons” as “military-style firearms designed to fire rapidly.” But they do not fire any faster than any other semi-automatic. …Under the 1994 ban, removing “military-style” features such as folding stocks, flash suppressors, or bayonet mounts transformed forbidden “assault weapons” into legal firearms, even though the compliant models fired the same ammunition at the same rate with the same muzzle velocity as the ones targeted by the law.

I wonder if Biden understands the policy he’s advocating.

Does he think that “assault weapons” are actual machine guns, capable of firing multiple rounds with one pull on the trigger (a remarkably common misconception among gun-control advocates)?

Or, if he understands that a so-called assault weapon is just like any other gun (firing one round each time the trigger is pulled), then why would he think anything would be achieved by banning some guns and leaving others (that work the same way) legal?

Perhaps most relevant, does he even care what the evidence shows?

The bottom line is that people are “voting with their dollars” for gun ownership for the simple reason that they know it’s unwise to trust government (either to protect them from crime or to respect their rights).

But that doesn’t mean their constitutional freedoms will be secure if Biden wins the 2020 election.

P.S. The good news is that there will be widespread civil disobedience if politicians push for new gun bans.

P.P.S. Another silver lining is that we’ll get more and more clever humor mocking gun control.

The Case Against Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Policy, Part II

In Part I of this series, I expressed some optimism that Joe Biden would not aggressively push his class-warfare tax plan, particularly since Republicans almost certainly will wind up controlling the Senate.

But the main goal of that column was to explain that the internal revenue code already is heavily weighted against investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and other upper-income taxpayers.

And to underscore that point, I shared two charts from Brian Riedl’s chartbook to show that the “rich” are now paying a much larger share of the tax burden – notwithstanding the Reagan tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, and Trump tax cuts – than they were 40 years ago.

Not only that, but the United States has a tax system that is more “progressive” than all other developed nations (all of whom also impose heavy tax burdens on upper-income taxpayers, but differ from the United States in that they also pillage lower-income and middle-class residents).

In other words, Biden’s class-warfare tax plan is bad policy.

Today’s column, by contrast, will point out that his tax increases are impractical. Simply stated, they won’t collect much revenue because people change their behavior when incentives to earn and report income are altered.

This is especially true when looking at upper-income taxpayers who – compared to the rest of us – have much greater ability to change the timing, level, and composition of their income.

This helps to explain why rich people paid five times as much tax to the IRS during the 1980s when Reagan slashed the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.

When writing about this topic, I normally use the Laffer Curve to help people understand why simplistic assumptions about tax policy are wrong (that you can double tax revenue by doubling tax rates, for instance). And I point out that even folks way on the left, such as Paul Krugman, agree with this common-sense view (though it’s also worth noting that some people on the right discredit the concept by making silly assertions that “all tax cuts pay for themselves”).

But instead of showing the curve again, I want to go back to Brian Riedl’s chartbook and review his data on of revenue changes during the eight years of the Obama Administration.

It shows that Obama technically cut taxes by $822 billion (as further explained in the postscript, most of that occurred when some of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent by the “fiscal cliff” deal in 2012) and raised taxes by $1.32 trillion (most of that occurred as a result of the Obamacare legislation).

If we do the math, that means Obama imposed a cumulative net tax increase of about $510 billion during his eight years in office

But, if you look at the red bar on the chart, you’ll see that the government didn’t wind up with more money because of what the number crunchers refer to as “economic and technical reestimates.”

Indeed, those reestimates resulted in more than $3.1 trillion of lost revenue during the Obama years.

don’t want the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to have more tax revenue, but I obviously don’t like it when tax revenues shrink simply because the economy is stagnant and people have less taxable income.

Yet that’s precisely what we got during the Obama years.

To be sure, it would be inaccurate to assert that revenues declined solely because of Obama’s tax increase. There were many other bad policies that also contributed to taxable income falling short of projections.

Heck, maybe there was simply some bad luck as well.

But even if we add lots of caveats, the inescapable conclusion is that it’s not a good idea to adopt policies – such as class-warfare tax rates – that discourage people from earning and reporting taxable income.

The bottom line is that we should hope Biden’s proposed tax increases die a quick death.

P.S. The “fiscal cliff” was the term used to describe the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. According to the way budget data is measured in Washington, extending some of those provisions counted as a tax cut even though the practical impact was to protect people from a tax increase.

P.P.S. Even though Biden absurdly asserted that paying higher taxes is “patriotic,” it’s worth pointing out that he engaged in very aggressive tax avoidance to protect his family’s money.

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

——

Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

—-


Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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SOCIETYCOMMENTARY

Texas Heartbeat Act Again Before Supreme Court. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Sarah Parshall Perry  @SarahPPerry / October 29, 2021

Texas Heartbeat Act width=

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Nov. 1 to determine whether the federal government can sue so women in Texas can get abortions and, if so, whether the Texas Heartbeat Act can be enforced. Pictured: Pro-life demonstrators stand near the Supreme Court on Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

COMMENTARY BY

Sarah Parshall Perry@SarahPPerry

Sarah Parshall Perry is a legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

The Texas Heartbeat Act, known as SB 8, is once again up for consideration before the Supreme Court as a result of two consolidated cases.

Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson and United States v. Texas—scheduled for oral arguments on Monday—will require the court to consider whether the federal government can sue to enforce the right of Texas women to get an abortion and, if so, whether the Texas Heartbeat Act can be enforced at all.

SB 8—a Texas law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks’ gestation—has remained in effect in Texas since Sept. 1.

This is the second time the court has considered the Texas Heartbeat Act’s unique procedural positioning and is being asked to halt its enforcement while the case is litigated in the lower courts. The court declined to halt the law while the appeal is underway.

Both cases have been scheduled for oral arguments much faster than usual. A week ago, the court granted “certiorari before judgment,” placing the cases on what’s known as the Supreme Court’s rocket docket. This is an emergency review procedure that allows a party to leapfrog over the appeals court—in this case, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—without waiting for its outcome and go directly to the Supreme Court.

The two cases came to the Supreme Court at different times and originated in different waysdue to the unique procedural questions presented. The court has joined the two and set them both for oral arguments on Nov. 1.

SB 8’s unique enforcement mechanism provides the basis for both legal challenges. It has proven to be a barrier to those interested in maintaining the availability of abortion in the Lone Star State.

According to SB 8, state officials may not enforce the law and are granted sovereign immunity against anyone seeking to bring suit on the grounds that the bill is contrary to constitutional law.

Instead, the Texas Heartbeat Act allows private citizens to bring their own enforcement actions for violation of the law against those performing the outlawed abortions and anyone knowingly aiding and abetting them. This enforcement technique is generally reserved for state and federal fraud claims.

Therefore, the only way for an abortion provider to claim a defense against application of the law is to wait for a private actor to sue, and then raise the argument that the law itself is unconstitutional.

But for studious court-watchers and those following developments on abortion, Americans will recognize that this isn’t the first time SB 8 has appeared before the justices—even this year.

November: The Texas Heartbeat Act Is Back at the Supreme Court

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, when the Supreme Court made abortion a constitutional right, states have enacted more than 1,300 life-affirming laws, with more than 500 of them implemented in the last decade. The Supreme Court established a generalized right to privacy broad enough to include a right to abortion in its landmark 1973 decision.

Then, in 1992, the court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey affirmed that a state can’t impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to an abortion and may only restrict her right to abortion after a fetus becomes viable outside the womb, which is at approximately 24 weeks’ gestation.

SB 8 opposes the court’s jurisprudence on abortion and the framework set forth in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Therefore, on its face it’s unconstitutional under current Supreme Court precedent.

But the civil enforcement mechanism—criticized by abortion advocates as “vigilantism” —has allowed the law to remain in effect so far by shielding state officials, those normally tasked with enforcing the law from liability by way of sovereign immunity.

Unlike past state iterations of so-called heartbeat bills, the Texas law’s unique structure has flummoxed opponents and resulted in two trips to the Supreme Court and its continued operation at the state level during litigation.

The Texas law is rooted in both principle and science. Life is our most basic freedom. Science shows us that human life begins at conception and a baby’s heartbeat can be detected at roughly six weeks.

Since the Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect on Sept. 1, most abortion activity in Texas has come to a halt and an estimated 150 unborn children per day have been saved from abortion. 

The efforts of Texans have also demonstrated how civil society rallies to support women experiencing challenging or unplanned pregnancies. In one single year, according to the most recent data available, Texas pregnancy resource centers provided $33 million in “services, materials, and support at virtually no cost to Texas women and families.”

That work continues in communities across the state every day. Nationwide, such centers servednearly 2 million people and provided $266 million worth of services and assistance in 2019.

Most Americans support significant restrictions on abortion. Yet, America is only one of seven countries in the world that permits elective late-term abortions after 20 weeks—five months—of gestation.

America is an outlier when it comes to earlier restrictions, too. A recent study found that “47 out of 50 European nations limit elective abortion prior to 15 weeks.”

These statistics are reminders of the Supreme Court’s arbitrary and unworkable abortion jurisprudence, which has been a barrier to states seeking to enact life-affirming policies that protect unborn children before viability and reflect advances in technology and science on fetal development.

While the Supreme Court will not address the constitutionality of the Texas prohibition on abortions before viability per se, the issue will likely come up during the argument itself. Rather, the primary focus will be on strictly procedural questions.

In United States v. Texas, the court will address whether the Department of Justice has standing to sue Texas at all and, if so, under what cause of action. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, the court will address the abortion provider’s claim that the civil enforcement mechanism itself is unconstitutional.

For its part, Texas is arguing that “neither the federal government nor abortion providers are entitled to demand Texas write its laws to permit them to be challenged” before they are even enforced. In the alternative, and if the court decides to address the underlying constitutionality of the six-week ban on abortion after all, Texas also argues that the court should overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

December: Unworkable, Unsettled Abortion Jurisprudence Under Scrutiny in Dobbs v. Jackson Woman’s Health Organization

It’s highly unlikely the court will get to such substantive constitutional questions in the Texas cases. But on Dec. 1, the justices will hear oral arguments in a case that will explicitly reexamine Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s arbitrary “viability” framework and address head on whether the court should even be mired in the minutiae of state abortion restrictions in the first place.  

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court will consider the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation with limited exceptions for medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities.

At that time, the court will be asked to consider whether all pre-viability restrictions on abortions are unconstitutional (that is, prohibitions on abortion before the child can survive outside the womb).

In the meantime, the Texas Heartbeat Act is saving hundreds of lives every day.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence has distorted the Constitution, failed to settle the abortion debate in our country, and poisoned our laws, courts, and culture.

The court’s arbitrary and unworkable standards do not account for advances in science, shifts toward pro-life public sentiments, and the status and financial independence of women—both of which have increased significantly since the court’s determination to legalize abortion in Roe v. Wade.

Looking Ahead

The Texas Heartbeat Act isn’t the first time pro-life policymakers have gotten creative to challenge the status quo, and it likely won’t be the last.

Regardless of the outcome of Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson and United States v. Texas, Dobbs v. Jackson Whole Women’s Health will provide the court with a prime opportunity to make a course correction on abortion jurisprudence rooted in a proper understanding of the Constitution.

Should the Supreme Court change course and reverse its prior holdings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, all abortion policymaking would return to the states.

There, through legislation, debate, and representative government, states would have the power to further address outdated and extreme abortion laws without being subject to an arbitrary and unworkable viability standard.

Policymakers could then craft laws that acknowledge the humanity of children in the womb and reflect public sentiment that supports protecting unborn children before and after viability.

In her scathing dissent to the court’s refusal to stay SB 8’s operation during the pendency of United States v. Texas, Justice Sonya Sotomayor argued that the court should have put a temporary hold on the law so that women might continue to receive abortions.

She argued, “There is no dispute that under this Court’s precedents, women have a constitution right to seek abortion care prior to viability…[But] SB 8 was created to frustrate that right by raising seemingly novel procedural issues [and] it has had precisely the intended effect.”

For the drafters of SB 8, and pro-life advocates in Texas and beyond, they might consider Sotomayor’s statement proof of a job well done

I am a proud member of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers and I attended the convention in Dallas in July and we have officially launched a nationwide push against abortion rights.

The article below notes:

At its first annual policy conference last weekend, group members voted to make a controversial new Texas law, the “Texas Heartbeat Bill,” the organization’s first piece of model legislation, meaning that similar bills may soon pop up in state capitols across the country.

Also I am excited to report that the WASHINGTON POST wrote in September 3, 2021:

Announcing he planned to introduce a copycat bill, Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert (R), the founder and president of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, shared a template of legislation lawmakers in other states could fill in the blanks on and reproduce.

At the July 17th session of THE CHRISTIAN LAWMAKERS meeting in Dallas, I really got a lot out of the expert panel moderated by Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes entitled ABOLISHING ABORTION IN AMERICA. Here below is what Wikipedia says about Senator Hughes:

On March 11, 2021, Hughes introduced a fetal heartbeat bill entitled the Texas Heartbeat Bill (SB8) into the Texas Senate and state representative Shelby Slawson of Stephenville, Texas introduced a companion bill (HB1515) into the state house.[22]The bill allows private citizens to sue abortion providers after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.[22] The SB8 version of the bill passed both chambers and was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on May 19, 2021.[22] It took effect on September 1, 2021.[22]

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 1 | Abortion of the Human…

Tucker: Democrats have abandoned their ‘my body, my choice’ argument

These Christian lawmakers are on the offensive against abortion

That National Association of Christian legislators has made the so-called ‘Texas Heartbeat Bill’ the basis for its first piece of model legislation

Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert presides over a Senate committee at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. in this March 14, 2018, file photo. Rapert’s National Association of Christian Lawmakers met recently to talk model legislation and pass resolutions. Kelly P. Kissel, Associated Press

The National Association of Christian Lawmakers has officially launched a nationwide push against abortion rights.

At its first annual policy conference last weekend, group members voted to make a controversial new Texas law, the “Texas Heartbeat Bill,” the organization’s first piece of model legislation, meaning that similar bills may soon pop up in state capitols across the country.

The model legislation, called the Heartbeat Model Act, was accepted unanimously by the executive committee during a Saturday meeting.

The Texas bill it is based upon, Senate Bill 8, bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The legislation also allows for any state resident to bring a civil suit against a doctor who performs an abortion after a heartbeat is detectable. Under the law, a woman who has an abortion would be liable to civil suits, as would anyone who supported her in the act — from family members to the receptionist who checks her in at a clinic.

Not only is the doctor liable, but anyone found aiding and abetting,” said Texas legislator Bryan Hughes, the bill’s author, during the Saturday meeting, which was led by the organization’s founder and president, Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert.Texas state Rep. Bryan Hughes speaks during the opening session of the 2015 legislative session on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Eric Gay, Associated Press

Speaking to the Deseret News on Monday, Rapert said the provision allowing residents to bring civil suits against anyone involved in an abortion is like “putting a SCUD missile on that heartbeat bill — they can’t stop it.”

Rapert was the author of a similar 2013 bill in Arkansas, portions of which were later struck down by a federal judge. At least a dozen states have implemented a variety of abortion restrictions in recent years, leading numerous observers to say that the landmark 1973 Supreme Court abortion ruling, Roe v. Wade, is under threat.

Critics of the legislation have likened the Texas law to putting “a bounty on the head” of anyone involved in an abortion; they have also called it “unconstitutional.” Last week, a group of providers filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to derail the law, which is supposed to go into effect in September.

Speaking Saturday to the Christian legislators gathered in Dallas, Hughes reminded the legislators that the Heartbeat Model Act is just a starting point and that the legislation will have to be tailored to work within each state’s laws.A anti-abortion supporter argues with those who attended a press conference and rally held by the Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah outside of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Aug. 25, 2015. Stacie Scott, Deseret News

The National Association of Christian Lawmakers formed last year with three key goals: to offer conservative, Christian legislators networking opportunities,; to help lawmakers share bills that have been successful in their states so that legislators elsewhere might push through similar legislation; and to support Christians running for local, state or national office.

At the policy conference last week, the organization worked toward meeting these goals in various ways, including by approving the Heartbeat Model Act. The executive committee also passed a resolution supporting Israel’s “right to defend itself from terror attacks” and creating a standing American-Israeli Committee.

Speaking to the executive committee, Rabbi Leonid Feldman, who was born in the Soviet Union and was imprisoned there for his pro-Israel activities, remarked that the Jewish people “remember our friends.”

This conference and this organization will be remembered by the Jewish people,” he said.

The organization also approved a resolution in support of “election integrity.”

The executive committee also approved a second piece of model legislation: the National Motto Display Model Act. Based on bills passed in Arkansas in 2017 and this year in Texas, the legislation requires public schools to display the national motto “In God We Trust” when printed versions of the motto are donated to schools or copies of the national motto are bought with funds from private donors.

“As the Texas House sponsor of the Motto Act, I am proud to see a model put out by the NACL so that legislators from every other state can have a mechanism to ensure our citizens — especially our school-age children — are reminded of our nation’s motto,” said Tom Oliverson, a state representative from Texas and chairman of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers’ national legislative council.

During the executive committee’s meeting on Saturday, Rapert said Hobby Lobby would make frames available for a reduced price if they’ll be used for national motto displays.

Asked Monday what other pieces of legislation the organization might adopt as model legislation in the future, Rapert told the Deseret News that the National Association of Christian Lawmakers is already weighing some options.

Since religious freedom is central to the organization, it could end up adopting model legislation similar to bills promoted in Texas this year by Oliverson. He supported three measures designed to make it harder for the government to force church closures during public emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic, and a bill that would ensure homeowners’ associations can’t infringe on homeowners’ rights to display religious symbols.

Supreme Court votes 5-4 to leave Texas abortion law in place

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court’s three liberal justices

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A deeply divided Supreme Court is allowing a Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in force, for now stripping most women of the right to an abortion in the nation’s second-largest state.

The court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others that sought to block enforcement of the law that went into effect Wednesday. But the justices also suggested that their order likely isn’t the last word on whether the law can stand because other challenges to it can still be brought.

The Texas law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks and before many women know they’re pregnant.

It is the strictest law against abortion rights in the United States since the high court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and part of a broader push by Republicans nationwide to impose new restrictions on abortion. At least 12 other states have enacted bans early in pregnancy, but all have been blocked from going into effect.

The high court’s order declining to halt the Texas law came just before midnight Wednesday. The majority said those bringing the case had not met the high burden required for a stay of the law.

“The Court’s order is emphatic in making clear that it cannot be understood as sustaining the constitutionality of the law at issue.”— Chief Justice John Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts (Supreme Court)

Chief Justice John Roberts (Supreme Court)

“In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit. In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts,” the unsigned order said.

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court’s three liberal justices. Each of the four dissenting justices wrote separate statements expressing their disagreement with the majority.

Roberts noted that while the majority denied the request for emergency relief “the Court’s order is emphatic in making clear that it cannot be understood as sustaining the constitutionality of the law at issue.”

The vote in the case underscores the impact of the death of the liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year and then-president Donald Trump’s replacement of her with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Had Ginsburg remained on the court there would have been five votes to halt the Texas law.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor called her conservative colleagues’ decision “stunning.” “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” she wrote.

“A majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”— Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Supreme Court)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Supreme Court)

Texas lawmakers wrote the law to evade federal court review by allowing private citizens to bring civil lawsuits in state court against anyone involved in an abortion, other than the patient. Other abortion laws are enforced by state and local officials, with criminal sanctions possible.

In contrast, Texas’ law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in facilitating abortions. Among other situations, that would include anyone who drives a woman to a clinic to get an abortion. Under the law, anyone who successfully sues another person would be entitled to at least $10,000.

In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan called the law “patently unconstitutional,” saying it allows “private parties to carry out unconstitutional restrictions on the State’s behalf.” And Justice Stephen Breyer said a “woman has a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion during” the first stage of pregnancy.

After a federal appeals court refused to allow a prompt review of the law before it took effect, the measure’s opponents sought Supreme Court review.

In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan called the law “patently unconstitutional,” saying it allows “private parties to carry out unconstitutional restrictions on the State’s behalf.” And Justice Stephen Breyer said a “woman has a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion during” the first stage of pregnancy.

After a federal appeals court refused to allow a prompt review of the law before it took effect, the measure’s opponents sought Supreme Court review.

In a statement early Thursday after the high court’s action, Nancy Northup, the head of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents abortion providers challenging the law, vowed to “keep fighting this ban until abortion access is restored in Texas.”

“We are devastated that the Supreme Court has refused to block a law that blatantly violates Roe v. Wade. Right now, people seeking abortion across Texas are panicking — they have no idea where or when they will be able to get an abortion, if ever. Texas politicians have succeeded for the moment in making a mockery of the rule of law, upending abortion care in Texas, and forcing patients to leave the state — if they have the means — to get constitutionally protected healthcare. This should send chills down the spine of everyone in this country who cares about the constitution,” she said.

Texas has long had some of the nation’s toughest abortion restrictions, including a sweeping law passed in 2013. The Supreme Court eventually struck down that law, but not before more than half of the state’s 40-plus clinics closed.

Even before the Texas case arrived at the high court the justices had planned to tackle the issue of abortion rights in a major case after the court begins hearing arguments again in the fall. That case involves the state of Mississippi, which is asking to be allowed to enforce an abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Associated Press writer Paul J. Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.

—-

June 23, 2021

President Biden c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to reach out to you because of some of the troubling moral issues coming out of your administration.

Over and over on my blog I have written about your efforts as Vice President and President to attack legally the rights of our unborn babies in the USA. These views of yours are due to your allegiance to the humanist worldview which Francis Schaeffer and Tim LaHaye exposed in their books. Your vast support from humanist groups in the 2020 election proves my point. No wonder we have seen criminals let go and an effort by Democrats (namely VP Harris) to defund the police. The Bible recognizes the sinful nature of humans and calls for the authorities to have the power of the sword in Romans 13! However, there have been times when the IRS has been used against freedom of expression such as the past persecution of the Tea Party. The Founding Fathers did NOT think the King was above the law! Unfortunately many lawmakers today don’t care about the law very much it seems which is a result of loss of a Christian Consensus influence in our society!

I recently read this article below:

The Archbishop Who Fears for Joe Biden’s Soul

America’s second-ever Catholic president supports abortion rights, leaving the bishops unsure about how to move forward.By Emma Green

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, at a Mass held on the eve of the 2020 March for Life in Washington, D.C.Gregory A. Shemitz

MARCH 14, 2021 

Archbishop Joseph Naumann is anxious about President Joe Biden’s soul. The two men are in some ways similar: cradle Catholics born in the 1940s who witnessed John F. Kennedy become America’s first Catholic president. Both found a natural home in the Democratic Party—in Naumann’s midwestern family, asking Catholics if they were Democrats was a redundancy. Naumann became a priest and Biden became a politician, but their paths really diverged over the issue of abortion. Now in his 70s, Naumann watched Biden—America’s second Catholic president—transform into a vocal supporter of abortion rights while competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Naumann runs the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and also leads what the Catholic bishops describe as their pro-life activities. He has suggested that Biden should no longer call himself a devout Catholic. At the very least, Naumann says, Biden should stop receiving Communion, a holy sacrament in Catholic life.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently convened a working group to discuss how the bishops should interact with Biden, and how they should deal with the challenge of having a visibly Catholic president who defies Church teachings on a central issue. Naumann was part of that group. Conflicts have already arisen: Naumann recently co-authored a statement expressing moral concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was developed and tested using cell lines from aborted fetal tissue. He also joined a statement from a group of the country’s top bishops celebrating the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, but called it “unconscionable that Congress has passed the bill without critical protections needed to ensure that billions of taxpayer dollars are used for life-affirming health care and not for abortion.”

John MacArthur gave a sermon in June of 2021 entitled “When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good” and in that sermon he makes the following points:

INTRODUCTION AND DISCUSSION OF ROMANS 13

GOVERNMENT CAN FORFEIT ITS AUTHORITY

THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOSPEL

ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY IS PROGRESSING TOWARD A GLOBAL KINGDOM UNDER THE POWER OF SATAN

ONE FALSE WORLD RELIGION IS FINAL PLAY BY SATAN

REAL PERSECUTION CAN ONLY BE DONE BY GOVERNMENT

PERSECUTION IN BOOK OF DANIEL

THE LAW IS KING AND NOT THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME PURVEYOR OF WICKEDNESS

THERE IS A PLACE FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

DOES GOVERNMENT WIN?

Let me just share a portion of that sermon with you and you can watch it on You Tube:

GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME PURVEYOR OF WICKEDNESS 

One New Testament writer says that Romans 13 has “caused more unhappiness and misery . . . than any other . . . verses in the New Testament by the license they have given to tyrants . . . used to justify a host of horrendous abuses of individual human rights.” Hitler’s Holocaust, racism in the apartheid of South Africa, Cantrell says, “Both the Jews in Germany and blacks in South Africa were viewed as a threat to public health and national security. . . . “‘Trust us,’ said government . . . ‘we truly have your best interests at heart. All we want to do is help . . . keep you safe.’”

Government has already become the purveyor of wickedness. Government is a murderer, slaughtering millions of infants in abortion; elevating the LGBTQ agenda, the bizarre transgender deception. The culture has become anti-truth, we all know that. The truth is the biggest threat to lies. William Pitt, well-known name in English history, said this: “Necessity (i.e., public health, common good) is the plea [of] every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants. “Get people afraid, and they’ll do whatever you want. A fearful society will always comply; panicking people will believe anything” [(Cantrell)].

“During the gruesome and bloody days of the French Revolution, when 40,000 innocent [people] lost their heads,” you would be interested to know who was operating the guillotine: the Committee for Public Safety [(Cantrell)]. One writer says, “Governments now get voted into power by promising to oversee housing, education, medicine, the economy, [the] currency, a minimum income, food, water, land, and the list goes on. The government become a parent, and the citizens are dependents. The government in this role becomes a monstrous juggernaut of bureaucracy, devouring taxes and trying to regulate every detail of life.” And they definitely want to regulate the church and silence its proclamation.

In his book The Glorious Body of Christ, Kuiper wrote, “Our age is one of ecclesiastical passivism. . . . When a church ceases to be militant it also ceases to be a church of Jesus Christ. . . . A truly militant church stands opposed to the world both without its walls and within. . . . Time and again in its history the church has found it necessary to assert its sovereignty over against usurpations by the state.” And Kuiper gave some biblical examples, like when King Saul or King Uzziah usurped the priesthood, stating, “In both cases a representative of the state was severely punished for encroaching [on] the sovereignty of the church.”

“Lord Macaulay of England summed up the Puritan reputation this way” [(Cantrell)]. He said of the Puritans, “He bowed himself in the dust before his Maker; [as] he set his foot on the neck of his king.” Kuiper says, “Ours is an age of state totalitarianism. All over the world statism is [rising] . . . . In consequence, in many lands the church finds itself utterly at the mercy of the state whose mercy often proves cruelty, while in others the notion is rapidly gaining ground that the church exists and operates by the state’s permission.” We do not operate by the state’s permission; we operate by the Lord’s command.

—-

Francis Schaeffer discusses this more in his fine book CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO:

PAGE 437

CHAPTER 3 THE DESTRUCTION OF FAITH AND FREEDOM

And now it is all gone!

In most law schools today almost no one studies William Blackstone unless he or she is taking a course in the history of law. We live in a secularized society and in secularized, sociological law. By sociological law we mean law that has no fixed base but law in which a group of people decides what is sociologically good for society at the given moment; and wha they arbitrarily decide becomes law. Oliver Wendall Holmes (1841-1935) made totally clear that this was his position. Frederick Moore Vinson (1890-1953), former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, said, “Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes.” Those who hold this position themselves call it sociological law. 

As the new sociological law has moved away from the original base of the Creator giving the “inalienable rights,” etc., it has been natural that this sociological law has then also moved away from the Constitution. William Bentley Ball, in his paper entitled “Religious Liberty: The Constitutional Frontier,” says: 

i propose that secularism militates against religious liberty, and indeed against personal freedoms generally, for two reasons: first, the familiar fact that secularism does not recognize the existence of the “higher law”; second, because, that being so, secularism tends toward decisions based on the pragmatic public policy of the moment and inevitably tends to resist the submitting of those policies to the “higher” criteria of a constitution. 

This moving away from the Constitution is not only by court rulings, for example the First Amendment rulings, which are the very reversal of the original purpose of the First Amendment (see pp. 433, 434), but in other ways as well. Quoting again from the same paper by William Bentley Ball:

Our problem consists also, as perhaps this paper has well enough indicated, of more general constitutional delegation of legislative power and ultra vires. The first is where the legislature hands over its powers to agents through the conferral of regulatory power unaccompanied by strict standards. The second is where the agents make up powers on their own–assume powers not given them by the legislature. Under the first, the government of laws largely disappears and the government of men largely replaces it. Under the second, agents’ personal “home-made law replaces the law of the elected representatives of the people. 

Naturally, this shift from the Judeo-Christian basis for law and the shift away from the restraints of the Constitution automatically militates against religious liberty. Mr. Ball closes his paper:

Fundamentally, in relation to personal liberty, the Constitution was aimed at restraint of the State. Today, in case after case relating to religious liberty, we encounter the bizarre presumption that it is the other way around; that the State is justified in whatever actions, and that religion bears a great burden of proof to overcome that presumption. 

It is our job, as Christian lawyers, to destroy that presumption at every turn. 

As lawyers discuss the changes in law in the United States, often they speak of the influence of the laws involved in the reentrance of the southern states into the national government after the Civil War. These indeed must be considered. But they were not the reason for the drastic change in law in our country. This reason was the takeover by the totally other world view which never have given the form and freedom in government we have had in Northern Europe (including the United States). That is the central factor in the change. 

PAGE 439

It is parallel to the difference between modern science beginning with Copernicus and Galileo and the materialistic science which took over the last century. Materialistic thought would never have produced modern science. Modern science was produced on the Christian base. That is, because an intelligent Creator had created the universe we can in some measure understand the universe and there is, therefore, a reason for observation and experimentation to be pursued. 

Then there was a shift into materialistic science based on a philosophic change to the materialistic concept of final reality. This shift was based on no addition to the facts known. It was a choice, in faith, to see things that way. No clearer expression of this could be given than Carl Sagan’s arrogant statement on public television–made without any scientific proof for the statement–to 140 million viewers: “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever was or ever will be.” He opened the series, COSMOS, with this essentially creedal declaration and went on to build every subsequent conclusion upon it. 

There is exactly the same parallel in law. The materialistic-energy, chance concept of final reality never would have produced the form and freedom in government we have in this country and in other Reformation countries. But now it has arbitrarily and arrogantly supplanted the historic Judeo-Christian Consensus that provided the base for form and freedom in government. The Judeo-Christian consensus gave greater freedoms than the world has ever known, but it also contained the freedoms so that they did not pound society to pieces. The materialistic concept of reality would not have produced the form-freedom balance, and now that it has taken over it cannot maintain the balance. It has destroyed it. 

Will Durant and his wife Ariel together wrote The Story of Civilization. The Durants received the 1976 Humanist Pioneer Award. In The Humanist magazine of February 1977, Will Durant summed up the humanist problem with regard to personal ethics and social order: “Moreover, we shall find it no easy task to mold a natural ethic strong enough to maintain moral restraint and social order without the support of supernatural consolations, hopes, and fears.”

Poor Will Durant! It is not just difficult, it is impossible. He should have remembered the quotation he and Ariel Durant gave from the agnostic Renan in their book The Lessons of History. According to the Durants, Renan said in 1866: “If Rationalism wishes to govern the world without regard to the religious needs of the soul, the experience of the French Revolution is there to teach us the consequences of such a blunder.” And the Durants themselves say in the same context: “There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.”

PAGE 440 

Along with the decline of the Judie-Christian consensus we have come to a new definition and connotation of “pluralism.” Until recently it meant that the Christianity flowing from the Reformation is not now as dominant in the country and in society as it was in the early days of the nation. After about 1848 the great viewpoints not shaped by Reformation Christianity. This, of course, is the situation which exists today. Thus as we stand for religious freedom today, we need to realize that this must include a general religious freedom from the control of the state for all religion. It will not mean just freedom for those who are Christians. It is then up to Christians to show that Christianityis the Truth of total reality in the open marketplace of freedom. 

This greater mixture in the United States, however, is now used as an excuse for the new meaning and connotation  of pluralism. It now is used to mean that all types of situations are spread out before us, and that it really is up to each individual to grab one or the other on the way past, according to the whim of personal preference. What you take is only a matter of personal choice, with one choice as valid as another. Pluralism has come to mean that everything is acceptable. This new concept of pluralism suddenly is everywhere. There is no right or wrong; it is just a matter of your personal preference. On a recent SIXTY MINUTES program on television, for example, the questions of euthanasia of the old and the growing of marijuana as California’s largest paying crop were presented this way. One choice is as valid as another. It is just a matter of personal preference. This new definition and connotation of pluralism is presented in many forms, not only in personal ethics, but in society’s ethics and in the choices concerning law, 

PAGE 440

Now I have a question. In these shifts that have come in law, where have the Christian lawyers been? I really ask you that. The shift has come gradually, but it has only come to its peak in the last 40 or 50 years. Where have the Christian lawyers been? Surely the Christian lawyers should have been the ones to have sounded the trumpet clear and loud, not just in bits and pieces but looking at the totality of what was occurring. Now, a nonlawyer like myself believes I have a right to feel let down because the Christian lawyers did not blow the trumpets clearly between, let us say, 1940 and 1970. 


PAGE 441

When I wrote HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? From 1974 to 1976 I worked out of a knowledge of secular philosophy. I moved from the results in secular philosophy, to the results in liberal theology, to the results in the arts, and then I turned to the courts, and especially the Supreme Court. I read Oliver Wendell Holmes and others, and I must say, I was totally appalled by what I read. It was an exact parallel to what i had already known so well from my years of study in philosophy, theology, and the other disciplines. 

In the book and film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? I used the Supreme Court abortion case as the clearest illustration of arbitrary sociiological law. But it was only the clearest illustration. The law is shot through with this kind of ruling. It is similar to choosing Fletcher’s situational ethics and point to it as the clearest illustration of how our society now functions with no fixed ethics. This is only the clearest illustration because in many ways our society functions on unfixed, situational ethics. The abortion case in law is exactly the same. It is only the clearest case. Law in this country has become situational law, using the term Fletcher used for his ethics. That is, a small group of people decide arbitrarily what, from their viewpoint, is for the good of society at that precise moment and they make it law, binding the whole society by their personal arbitrary decisions. 

But of course! What would we expect? These things are the natural, inevitable results of the material-energy, humanistic concept of the final basic reality. From the material-energy, chance concept of final reality, final reality is, and must be b it nature, silent as to values, principles, or any basis for law. There is no way to ascertain “the ought:” from “the is.” Not only should we have known what this would have produced, but on the basis of this viewpoint of reality, we should have recognized that there are no other conclusions that this view could produce. It is a natural result of really believing that the basic reality of all things is merely material-energy, shaped into its present form by impersonal chance. 

No, we must say that the Christians in the legal profession did not ring the bell, and we are indeed very, very far down the road toward a totally humanistic culture. At this moment we are in a humanistic culture, but we are happily not in a totally humanistic culture. But what we must realize is that the drift has been all in this direction. if it is not turned around we will move very rapidly into a totally humanistic culture. 

PAGE 442 

The law, and especially the courts, is the vehicle to force this total humanistic way of thinking upon the entire population.This is what has happened. The abortion law is a perfect example. The Supreme Court abortion ruling invalidated abortion lawsin all fifty states, even though it seems clear that in 1973 the majority of Americans were against abortion. It did not matter. The Supreme Court arbitrarily ruled that abortion was legal, and overnight they overthrew the state laws and forced their will on the majority, even though their ruling was arbitrary both legally and medically. Thus law and the courts became the vehicle for forcing a totally secular concept on the population.

—-

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. I also respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children. I wanted to encourage you to investigate the work of Dr. Bernard Nathanson who like you used to be pro-abortion. I also want you to watch the You Tube series WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop. Also it makes me wonder what our the moral climate Of our nation is when we concentrate more on potential mistakes of the police and we let criminals back on the street so fast! Our national was founded of LEX REX and not REX LEX!

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

PS: In this series of letters John MacArthur covers several points. In the first letter, he quotes you saying that the greatest threat to America—he said on one occasion—is systemic racism, which doesn’t exist; he said white supremacy, which doesn’t exist with any power; and then he said global warming, which doesn’t exist either, and if it does, God’s in charge of it.

In reality the greatest threat to this nation is the government, the government. And I want to show you how we are to understand that. Turn to Romans 13

In the 2nd letter, Dr. MacArthur noted When government turns the divine design on its head and protects those who do evil and makes those who do good afraid, it forfeits its divine purpose

In the 3rd letter Dr. MacArthur noted The world is the enemy of the gospel. The world is the enemy of the church. I pointed out that this manifests itself today in the form of HUMANISM.

In the 4th letter Dr. MacArthur points out how much today the devil is having his way in our society and that the Bible predicts that these will get worse!

In the 5th letter Francis Schaeffer points out “The HUMANIST MANIFESTOS not only say that humanism is a religion, but the Supreme Court has declared it to be a religion. The 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins specifically defines secular humanism as a religion equivalent to theistic and other non theistic religions.”

In the 6th letter Dr. MacArthur noted God has given government the sword, the power; and when they prostitute that power and they begin to punish those who do good and protect those who do evil, they wield that power against the people of God.

In the 7th letter Dr. MacArthur asserted, Throughout history, even in the Western world, people lived under what was called the divine right of kings. Kings were believed to have had a divine right. This was absolute monarchy. What broke that was basically the Reformers. The Reformers—a little phrase was “the law is king,” not the man.

In the 8th letter Dr. MacArthur noted that today the United States “Government has already become the purveyor of wickedness. Government is a murderer, slaughtering millions of infants in abortion.”

In the 9th letter the article

Judge gives preliminary OK to $3.5M settlement of IRS case is discussed about the 2013 lawsuit during the Barack Obama administration over treatment of conservative groups who said they were singled out for extra IRS scrutiny on tax-exempt status applications. Then Dr. MacArthur talks about persecution in the Book of Daniel.

“These are groups of law-abiding citizens who should have never had their First Amendment rights infringed upon by the IRS,” Jenny Beth Martin, president of the Tea Party Patriots umbrella group, said Wednesday. “These are groups that want the government to be accountable.”

The government has been used to persecuting people they don’t like for centuries! Let me just share a portion of that sermon by John MacArthur with you and you can watch it on You Tube: 

PERSECUTION IN BOOK OF DANIEL

In the 10th letter Dr. MacArthur noted:

THERE IS A PLACE FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

Francis Schaeffer, who died in 1984, says, “If [there’s] no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, anas such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” And that point is exactly when the early Christians performed their acts of civil disobedience, even when it cost them their lives. “Acts of State which contradict God’s [Laws] are illegitimate and acts of tyranny. Tyranny is ruling without the sanction of God. To resist tyranny is to honour God. . . . The bottom line is that at a certain point there is not only the right, but the duty to disobey the State.”

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 4 | The Basis for Human Dignity


Sunday Night Prime – Dr. Bernard Nathanson – Fr Groeschel, CFR with Fr …

——

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured above

Larry King had John MacArthur as a guest on his CNN program several times.

https://youtu.be/Tfq-maVMxiM

When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good

_________________________

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January 8, 2012 – 12:54 am

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

January 1, 2012 – 12:51 am

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December 4, 2011 – 12:33 am

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November 27, 2011 – 12:26 am

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November 6, 2011 – 12:01 am

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MY OPEN LETTER ASKING WHY THIS CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN VOTED TO PERPETUATE THE JANUARY 6TH HOAX THAT AN INSURRECTION HAPPENED? PART 6 Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington (Tucker Carlson comments on Chuck SCHUMER’s words: ”The greatest attempted insurrection since the Civil War”)

—-

The Honorable Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Washington D.C.

Dear Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, 

I noticed that you are a pro-life representative that has a long record of standing up for unborn babies! It was in the 1970’s when I was first introduced to the works of Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop and I wanted to commend their writings and films to you.

I recently read about your impressive pro-life record:

Washington State Congresswoman Tells March for Life about Her Miracle Baby

 

At the March for Life rally on the National Mall this afternoon, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) told the story of her daughter Abigail to illustrate the value of every unborn life.

As she stood on the stage with her husband and children, Herrera Beutler said that several years ago, her unborn daughter had been diagnosed at 20 weeks’ gestation with a fatal deformity. The doctor told her and her husband Dan that their child had no kidneys and would miscarry or suffocate at birth because her lungs could not develop.

Their doctor told them, too, that, when women received this type of news, they would immediately head across the street to schedule an abortion procedure. “The sooner you start over, the better off you will be emotionally,” the doctor told them.

But Herrera Beutler and her husband did not choose to “start over” in that way. They chose, instead, to hope, and pray, and even work for a miracle. They found doctors willing to believe that their unborn daughter could be saved and who tried experimental medical procedures to save her life. And, as Herrera Beutler addressed the crowd, her daughter Abigail stood beside her, holding her hand, smiling, and waving.

“I was told there was no chance of survival, but they were wrong,” Herrera Beutler went on. “And they weren’t bad people. They just had never seen a baby with this condition survive. But that’s the point. What if they’re wrong about others, too? What if, together, we can break new ground and find new treatments that will benefit more than just our own families?  What if every baby was given at least a shot to reach their true potential?”

Herrera Beutler continued:

Who would we be as a nation? What richness would we get to see? Instead of the equivalent of two generations missing because of that choice. Would we have already witnessed one of these individuals finding a cure for cancer or the key to eradicating extreme poverty? What if we had spent the last 45 years pouring that time and that money into finding cures in the womb for medical conditions like spina bifida or microcephaly or congenital heart defects? What if that money was used to end the baby’s disease, and not the baby’s life?

 . . . Today, we have come together to say, ‘There’s hope for every expectant mother who has been given a devastating diagnosis, for every woman who feels fear, or anger, or anxiety because she doesn’t know how she can afford care for that child, for every woman that feels hopeless: Jesus loves you. And for every baby that has been given up on by the status quo: Jesus still does miracles.

We must recognize the unborn child as the miracle that he or she is, a person developing with extraordinary potential and purpose, who deserves a fighting chance to live and just maybe reach that extraordinary potential. I believe it’s the only way our society is ever truly going to reach ours.

 

It seems you have a grudge against President Trump while our freedoms under President Biden are being taken away. I recommend to you the article below:

The January 6 Insurrection Hoax

 • Volume 50, Number 9 • Roger Kimball

Roger Kimball
Editor and Publisher, The New Criterion

Mr. Kimball concludes his article with these words: 

That’s one melancholy lesson of the January 6 insurrection hoax: that America is fast mutating from a republic, in which individual liberty is paramount, into an oligarchy, in which conformity is increasingly demanded and enforced.

Another lesson was perfectly expressed by Donald Trump when he reflected on the unremitting tsunami of hostility that he faced as President. “They’re after you,” he more than once told his supporters. “I’m just in the way.”

 

Bingo.

You can google and get Roger Kimball article “The January 6 Insurrection Hoax”

NOW WHAT DID YOU DO TO TURN YOUR BACK ON OUR LIBERTY AND PERPETUATE THE HOAX THAT JANUARY 6TH WAS AN INSURRECTION? Read below!! 

9 Republicans voted to hold Trump aide Bannon in contempt of Congress

 

There were a few Republicans Thursday who surprised observers when they voted in support of holding former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress and referring him to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.

Prior to the vote, four Republicans were considered a lock to approve the criminal referral, according to Capitol Hill sources: Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.

 

Cheney and Kinzinger are on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and have for months stood alone as the only two House Republicans willing to speak out against former President Donald Trump’s continued lies about the 2020 election. They were the only two House Republicans to vote for the formation of the select committee on June 30.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formed the select committee after Republicans rejected a bipartisan commission that would have been evenly split between five Democrats and five Republicans. Only 35 Republicans voted for that measure when itpassed the House of Representatives, and it was defeated by a GOP filibuster in the Senate.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27:  (L-R) Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) arrive for the House Select Committee hearing investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 at the Canon House Office Building in Washington, DC. Members of law enforcement will testify about the attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump on the U.S. Capitol. According to authorities, about 140 police officers were injured when they were trampled, had objects thrown at them, and sprayed with chemical irritants during the insurrection. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

 

 
More

Upton has served in the House for more than three decades, since 1987, and will face a primary challenge next year because of his willingness to stand up to Trump.

Gonzalez is retiring from Congress next year, after only four years in the House. “While my desire to build a fuller family life is at the heart of my decision, it is also true that the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party, is a significant factor in my decision,” Gonzalez said in September when heannounced he would not seek another term.

 

The remaining five Republicans included three who voted for impeachment — Peter Meijer of Michigan, John Katko of New York and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington — and two House Republicans who did not vote to impeach Trump: Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

Do you realize that Americans rights are being taken away from them and would you like an example? I am going to quote Mr. Kimball again.  You can google and get Roger Kimball article “The January 6 Insurrection Hoax”

Trump seems never to have discerned what a viper’s nest our politics has become for anyone who is not a paid-up member of The Club. 

Maybe Trump understands this now. I have no insight into that question. I am pretty confident, though, that the 74 plus million people who voted for him understand it deeply. It’s another reason that The Club should be wary of celebrating its victory too expansively. 

Friedrich Hayek took one of the two epigraphs for his book, The Road to Serfdom, from the philosopher David Hume. “It is seldom,” Hume wrote, “that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” Much as I admire Hume, I wonder whether he got this quite right. Sometimes, I would argue, liberty is erased almost instantaneously.

I’d be willing to wager that Joseph Hackett, confronted with Hume’s observation, would express similar doubts. I would be happy to ask Mr. Hackett myself, but he is inaccessible. If the ironically titled “Department of Justice” has its way, he will be inaccessible for a long, long time—perhaps as long as 20 years. 

Joseph Hackett, you see, is a 51-year-old Trump supporter and member of an organization called the Oath Keepers, a group whose members have pledged to “defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” The FBI does not like the Oath Keepers—agents arrested its leader in January and have picked up many other members in the months since. Hackett traveled to Washington from his home in Florida to join the January 6 rally. According to court documents, he entered the Capitol at 2:45 that afternoon and left some nine minutes later, at 2:54. The next day, he went home. On May 28, he was apprehended by the FBI and indicted on a long list of charges, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and illegally entering a restricted building. 

As far as I have been able to determine, no evidence of Hackett destroying property has come to light. According to his wife, it is not even clear that he entered the Capitol. But he certainly was in the environs. He was a member of the Oath Keepers. He was a supporter of Donald Trump. Therefore, he must be neutralized.

Joseph Hackett is only one of hundreds of citizens who have beenbranded as “domestic terrorists” trying to “overthrow the government” and who are now languishing, in appalling conditions, jailed as political prisoners of an angry state apparat.

 

This is a rush transcript from “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” September 23, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Good evening and welcome to TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT.

In March of 1971, a bomb went off inside the U.S. Capitol Building. There was never any question about who did it, a Marxist group called the Weather Underground immediately took responsibility for it even before the explosions.

The Weathermen were not ashamed of what they did, they planned to overthrow the U.S. government and they wanted everyone to know it, yet even at the time, many Americans were not aware of this because the media immediately began telling a very different story about what happened.

“The Washington Post” for example explained that the radical left wasn’t actually to blame for the Capitol bombings, instead the culprit was something far more general something called, quote: “The easy contagion of extremism in a time of dark frustrations and deep disillusionment,” whatever that means, it probably meant there was a Republican President at the time.

The actual bombers meanwhile remained welcome in polite society. Years later, one of them became a quote, “distinguished professor” at a supposedly prestigious American university, if you can imagine.

Even now, 50 years after the fact, the whitewash of that day continues. POLITICO just ran a long piece telling us that the real villain in the 1971 terror attack on the Capitol was Richard Nixon, who by the way was not there. But according to POLITICO, the bombing quote, “Supercharged Nixon’s paranoia,” and in the end led to Watergate.

The story ends this way, “Fifty years on, it seems remarkable how fast the 1971 attack faded from collective memory.” Oh, but is it remarkable? Maybe not so remarkable. Leftists commit violence and the media covers for them? That’s something most of us are highly familiar with. It’s been happening for a very long time.

To this day, there are still a lot of Americans who think a right-winger killed JFK. Of course, the gunman was a person so committed to communism that he actually defected to the Soviet Union, but the media told the public it was a conservative, so many believed them.

The point here, the lesson that you should remember is that the first draft of history very often is a lie, and it’s not an accidental lie, it’s intentional. Partisans understand that history is among other things, a tool and they can use it to accumulate power. So they lie about something to suit their ends, they keep lying about it and before long, their lies are recorded as truth. They’re on Wikipedia and your kids believe them.

Now, we’ve watched this happen all this year in real time, we’re living through distorted history as we watch the offense of January 6th described by everyone. Here is how the media describe what happened that day that day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That day will be another day that lives in infamy in American History similar to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We can now add January 6, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American History that will live forever in infamy.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: A hundred and fifty days since the worst single act of political violence since the Civil War.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: The worst attack on American democracy arguably probably since the Civil War.

SCHUMER: The greatest attempted insurrection since the Civil War.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 1/6 attacks are likely to kill a lot more Americans that were killed on the 9/11 attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Though there was less loss of life on January 6th, January 6th was worse than 9/11.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: For the record, we really try our hardest not to put liars, people we know who lie for a living on television because it’s irresponsible, other channels do it every day.

But because we’re literal, let’s go through the evidence here. Only one person was killed on January 6th, and that person was an unarmed female protester who was shot in the neck without warning by a Capitol Hill police officer who happens to have a publicly documented history of extreme recklessness.

The protesters meanwhile killed no one and yet, they are telling you that those protesters were worse than the Imperial Japanese Army that attacked Pearl Harbor, killed thousands of Americans and led to the Second World War, the biggest war in history. They are also by the way worse than al- Qaeda.

So as a talking point, as a political talking point, that seems a little — how do you say — over the top, actually kind of insane. But no, it’s apt. Everybody argued that what we saw on January 6th was exactly like 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Civil War, including a guy who writes popular histories for airport bookstores.

He assured us that historically speaking, those comparisons are entirely valid. Here’s that historian on NBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Think of the 6th of January, if those terrorists who committed that attack on our Capitol had been a little bit faster, they could have and probably would have executed the Vice President, executed the Speaker of the House, executed other Members and leaders of Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: They probably would have, therefore they were as bad as people who actually did. Now you look at that and you say, well that guy is stupid and that’s fair, by the way, but then you look at 15 other guys just like him saying exactly the same thing and you have to ask yourself, why are they all saying exactly the same thing? Maybe there’s a purpose here.

And that might lead you to ask, what actually happened? And how can we find out? How do we make up our minds for ourselves? It’s clearly a significant day in American History. It’s being used to change the country, so maybe we should get to the actual facts of that day, what are they?

Well, it turns out the Biden administration didn’t want to tell us what they were. They refused to release thousands of hours of surveillance footage taken from within the Capitol on January 6th. Why wouldn’t they want us to see that? Well, we’re not sure, but we know they really didn’t want us to see it. In fact they went to court to keep that footage under seal.

In one court document, the Department of Justice argued that releasing that footage from January 6 would — and we’re quoting here — “compromise the security of the United States Capitol and those who work there.” They went on to say that that footage might quote, “create a visual pathway where other bad actors could use in planning their breach point and pathway for future attacks.”

No word if ISIS-K was involved in those plans or even if ISIS-K in fact exists, but that’s not the point. The point is, they can’t let you see the video because it’s just too dangerous to American National Security.

Keep in mind, the Capitol is a public building which technically speaking you own, you’ve probably been inside because until the other day you were allowed to because it’s your country or was.

So the idea that you’re not allowed to see the inside of the Capitol is insane. The idea that the public has a clear interest in knowing what happened that day is real.

So the footage we’ve seen up to this point shot by journalists and citizens contradicted the official story line. Here for example is the Chewbacca guy wandering around the Senate, this is the dangerous terrorist, this is the al-Qaeda operative. This is the Tojo of January 6th, wandering around the senate chamber looking a lot more like a confused street performer than a dangerous terrorist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey [bleep] man. Glad to see you guys. You guys are patriots. Look at this guy, he is covered in blood. God bless you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You good, sir? Do you need medical attention?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’m good, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got shot in the face. I got shot in the face with some kind of plastic bullet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any chance I could get you guys to leave the Senate wing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will. I’ve been making sure they ain’t disrespecting the place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, I just want to let you guys know this is like the sacredest place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: So you look at the guy in the Viking horns, the Chewbacca guy and you may reach the obvious conclusion, maybe psilocybin mushrooms aren’t good for you, and that’s fair. But no honest person could look at that video and decide America is under attack from terrorists.

So then you have to ask, is that what the rest of the so-called insurrection look like?

Well, now we have an answer because a Federal Judge just rejected the Biden administration’s strenuous attempts to hide the surveillance footage from January 6th.

So footage was just released. It was obtained by BuzzFeed. It covers 15 minutes on January 6th from 2:25 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. Eastern and those are key moments in the so-called insurrection.

Now right now, you’re seeing images from a surveillance camera positioned at the entrance to the Senate wing of the Capitol. You don’t see people hiding bombs or using bayonets or firing weapons, trying to take over the country in an insurrection.

You see people walking around and taking pictures. They don’t look like terrorists, they look like tourists, and all of them by the way are Americans.

The rest of the footage including shots from surveillance cameras outside the crypt of the Capitol is similar to this. You can look it all up by the way, it’s online right now and you should because you will notice that contrary to what the Department of Justice, we’re going to have to start putting air quotes around that, contrary to what D.O.J. claimed, none of the footage shows a secret route into the Capitol. Oh, that ISIS-K could use.

So why did they keep this from us? Well, here is one theory. You can compare the footage released today was what Democrats showed us during the impeachment hearings earlier this year.

Take a look at this. It is surveillance footage showing a squad of people dressed in all black systematically entering the Capitol and kicking open one of the exterior doors on the Senate side. These people appear to be well-trained and coordinated. They’re not high in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The question is: who are they? And why don’t we know their names? And why aren’t they dressed like any of the other people in the footage that was just released?

Remember, we were attacked for saying this, but we’ve already been vindicated for it. We still don’t know how many Federal agents were involved in the events that day on January 6th, but we have very good reason to believe from court documents that it’s a significant number.

And here’s one clue. At a recent rally in Washington, the Feds managed to arrest one of their own undercover agents. There were so many Feds at the event that they lost track of each other and arrested one of them.

So we ask once again, how many Federal agents were there on January 6th? Why can’t we know? What is clear is that once again, this footage reveals the first draft of history was a total lie, an intentional distortion, a mirage created to control you. It was the work of a specific political party. It was the work of the Democratic Party.

So, it turns out, the vast majority of people inside the Capitol on January 6 were peaceful. They were not insurrectionists, they shouldn’t have been there. They weren’t trying to overthrow the government. That’s a total crock.

And with that in mind, some of the other lies about January 6th start to make more sense. Do you remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Officer Brian Sicknick died after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the hours-long attack.

NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: They beat a Capitol police officer to death with a fire extinguisher.

COOPER: Officer Brian Sicknick died after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He died at the age of 42 after he was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: So here’s a rule of thumb going forward if you ever watch television again or read the newspaper, when they are absolutely insistent that you believe something, when they keep beating you over the head with the same talking point again and again and again, beware. There’s a reason they’re saying when all of them are using exactly the same line, maybe there’s a reason for that. Maybe it’s coordinated. Maybe they’re lying.

In this case they were lying. Brian Sicknick was not murdered. There is no evidence of that at all. The Medical Examiner said he died of a stroke.

So the reason they told you that was because they wanted to establish a storyline before all the facts were in. That’s a common theme for virtually everything that happens in the news right now, you will notice.

Something happens, you’re not exactly sure what the outline is, you don’t know all the facts, nobody does, and all of a sudden they hang a story on it that helps them politically and they ram it down your throat, day after day after day. They used to be called propaganda, now it’s so ubiquitous, I don’t know what to call it.

You remember the lies that you heard again and again about the McCloskeys in St. Louis who were white supremacists, or the Covington kids who were, of course, also white supremacists.

Remember how they claimed that George Floyd was choked to death even though an autopsy showed he was not choked to death and he had a fatal level of fentanyl in his system and zero signs of suffocation? That’s what it said. We’re not making that up.

What medical reports don’t matter anymore? That’s true.

Remember what they said about how the laptop showed that Hunter Biden was selling access to his father for years, but no it wasn’t real?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: … super spreader events and giving Russian disinformation, spreading Russian disinformation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disinformation that he knows to be fabricated and supplied by a foreign Intelligence Service, and despite the warning, he is still doing it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have said this entire thing is so obviously a Russian plot.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It’s sort of a crazy quilt at this point, which has all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation. That said, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

WALLACE: Rudy basically functioning as a Russian asset by pushing Russian disinformation.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: CNN reported on Friday, the U.S. authorities are saying, if those e-mails we just talked about are connected to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: These people are so shameless. They know they’re being used by liars in the Democratic Party, in the so-called Intel Community, and they just mouth the words anyway. They say whatever they’re told to say, and then of course the tech community gets involved and shuts down all conversation about it.

Facebook and Twitter censored “The New York Post” for reporting the truth. Joe Biden went on stage in a presidential debate and repeated the lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), THEN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are in a situation where we have foreign company — countries trying to interfere in the outcome of our election. His own National Security adviser told him that what is happening with his buddy, well I shouldn’t — well, I will — his buddy, Rudy Giuliani, he is being used as a Russian pawn. He is being fed information that is Russian — that is not true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: They all knew it was true at the time. They knew within hours of the first “New York Post” story that really was the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, everybody knew it, everybody, especially, Joe Biden. His text and e-mails were all over the laptop. Of course, he knew they were real. He wrote them.

But the media lied on his behalf then Biden got elected because they covered for him and now that he is President, they can admit in fact it’s all true. Too late, it’s true.

POLITICO finally got around to confirming that every bit of “The New York Post” reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop was absolutely accurate. It wasn’t Russian disinformation, it was totally real.

When are they going to admit there was no insurrection? Never.

Candace Owens is the host of “Candace,” and we’re always grateful to have her on the show. Candace Owens, thanks so much for joining us. So when are they going to — I mean, how do they explain away this footage from inside the Capitol on January 6th, our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11, our Civil War — that shows people kind of wandering around sort of wondering how they got there?

I mean, whatever these people are, they are trespassers clearly, but they’re not a crack team of QAnon insurrectionists like they’re just not.

CANDACE OWENS, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, these people look like they’re walking around a museum. It is the truth. I looked at the footage and I was absolutely shocked that they went through such tremendous effort.

Talk about Russian disinformation. No. It’s Department of Justice misinformation. Our Department of Justice has really launched a concerted effort to divide the American people. They have been lying left and right, front and center from the very beginning and they have no shame.

The idea they had to lock down these tapes because of National Security — are you kidding me, Tucker — it’s not National Security, it’s fake news security, right? They have their propaganda arm. They have their MSNBC, they have their CNN, and they want to make sure that the American people believe the constant effort to psychologically brainwash the American people by saying, don’t worry about seeing anything, we’re going to tell you what happened in there.

And you know what? It’s sick that they said that this was akin to Pearl Harbor, this is akin to 9/11. How insulting to the victims that actually endured those real tragedies?

I mean, there’s no limit that they won’t go. There is no limit that they won’t go through. It’s so extreme this rhetoric, and I also want to say this. Looking beyond this entire situation, the most embarrassing thing is that they’re not thinking about internationally how embarrassing this looks for the American people.

Think about when Vladimir Putin sat down with MSNBC and they said to him, look what you do to political dissidents? And he basically laughed in their face and said, look at what you do your political dissidence. He brought up January 6th, and you know what? Vladimir Putin was right. We no longer have the moral high ground in the international community because of this, because we have made an absolute mockery in terms of January 6th, and we have locked up political dissidents and those political dissidents are Trump supporters.

CARLSON: I think poor Chewbacca guy who clearly posed no threat to anyone, maybe himself, but certainly not our Republic, I think he’s still in jail. Why is no one in Congress saying anything about that?

OWENS: Yes, and not even that. I mean, I remember reading a story about a teenager that was imprisoned for months and months. He was begging, writing to the judge, please, let me go. Think about this now weighed against the Black Lives Matter protest, right?

I lived in D.C. during this time. They burned our city for six weeks and we have people signing up saying that we have to make sure that we bail them out of prison immediately and guess what, by and large, they were bailed out of prison immediately no matter what they did, because it was considered justice. Social justice, they’re allowed to do whatever they want even the middle of a pandemic.

And then you have these people which essentially, it was a grandma selfie party. Once they got into the Capitol Building, it was a grandma selfie party. There were American flags. They were wandering around aimlessly and they left.

And you know what? There seems to be different consequences for those people when weighed against the Black Lives Matter protesters who were burning entire churches to the grounds and pulling statues down with rope in D.C.

CARLSON: We’ve been talking about this story for eight months and the phrase “grandma selfie party” never occurred to me and I’m ashamed. I’m feeling it, going forward.

Candace Owens, it is so good. Thanks a lot.

—-

I want to recommend to you a video on YOU TUBE that runs 28 minutes and 39 seconds by Francis Schaeffer entitled because it discusses the founding of our nation and what the FOUNDERS believed: 

How Should We Then Live | Season 1 | Episode 5 | The Revolutionary Age

 

Thank you for your time, and again I want to thank you for your support of the unborn little babies!

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, 13900 Cottontail Lane, AR 72002, cell 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org

——————————————————————————————

——

Dr. Francis schaeffer How Should We Then Live | Season 1 | Episode 5 | The Revolutionary Age

 

– Whatever happened to human race? PART 1 Co-authored by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop)

C. Everett Koop
C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg
 
13th Surgeon General of the United States
In office
January 21, 1982 – October 1, 1989

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 2 | Slaughter of the Innocents

Francis Schaeffer – Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 3 | Death by Someone’s Choice

Mr. Hentoff with the clarinetist Edmond Hall in 1948 at the Savoy, a club in Boston.

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 4 | The Basis for Human Dignity 

Image<img class=”i-amphtml-blurry-placeholder” src=”data:;base64,Edith Schaeffer with her husband, Francis Schaeffer, in 1970 in Switzerland, where they founded L’Abri, a Christian commune.

________________

______________________

March 23, 2021

President Biden c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. I know that you don’t agree with my pro-life views but I wanted to challenge you as a fellow Christian to re-examine your pro-choice view. Although we are both Christians and have the Bible as the basis for our moral views, I did want you to take a close look at the views of the pro-life atheist Nat Hentoff too.  Hentoff became convinced of the pro-life view because of secular evidence that shows that the unborn child is human. I would ask you to consider his evidence and then of course reverse your views on abortion.

___________________

The pro-life atheist Nat Hentoff wrote a fine article below I wanted to share with you.

Nat Hentoff is an atheist, but he became a pro-life activist because of the scientific evidence that shows that the unborn child is a distinct and separate human being and even has a separate DNA. His perspective is a very intriguing one that I thought you would be interested in. I have shared before many   cases (Bernard Nathanson, Donald Trump, Paul Greenberg, Kathy Ireland)    when other high profile pro-choice leaders have changed their views and this is just another case like those. I have contacted the White House over and over concerning this issue and have even received responses. I am hopeful that people will stop and look even in a secular way (if they are not believers) at this abortion debate and see that the unborn child is deserving of our protection.That is why the writings of Nat Hentoff of the Cato Institute are so crucial.

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer

__________________________

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

_____________________________________

 

Dr. Francis schaeffer – from Part 5 of Whatever happened to human race?) Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 5 | Truth and History

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – A Christian Manifesto – Dr. Francis Schaeffer Lecture

Francis Schaeffer – A 700 Club Special! ~ Francis Schaeffer 1982

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – 1984 SOUNDWORD LABRI CONFERENCE VIDEO – Q&A With Francis & Edith Schaeffer

________________

Jewish World Review June 12, 2006/ 16 Sivan, 5766

 

Insisting on life

http://www.NewsandOpinion.com | A longtime friend of mine is married to a doctor who also performs abortions. At the dinner table one recent evening, their 9-year-old son — having heard a word whose meaning he didn’t know — asked, “What is an abortion?” His mother, choosing her words carefully, described the procedure in simple terms.

“But,” said her son, “that means killing the baby.” The mother then explained that there are certain months during which an abortion cannot be performed, with very few exceptions. The 9-year-old shook his head. “But,” he said, “it doesn’t matter what month. It still means killing the babies.”

Hearing the story, I wished it could be repeated to the justices of the Supreme Court, in the hope that at least five of them might act on this 9-year-old’s clarity of thought and vision.

The boy’s spontaneous insistence on the primacy of life also reminded me of a powerful pro-life speaker and writer who, many years ago, helped me become a pro-lifer. He was a preacher, a black preacher. He said: “There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of a higher order than the right to life.

“That,” he continued, “was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore out of your right to be concerned.”

This passionate reverend used to warn: “Don’t let the pro-choicers convince you that a fetus isn’t a human being. That’s how the whites dehumanized us … The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify what they wanted to do — and not even feel they’d done anything wrong.”

That preacher was Jesse Jackson. Later, he decided to run for the presidency — and it was a credible campaign that many found inspiring in its focus on what still had to be done on civil rights. But Jackson had by now become “pro-choice” — much to the appreciation of most of those in the liberal base.

The last time I saw Jackson was years later, on a train from Washington to New York. I told him of a man nominated, but not yet confirmed, to a seat on a federal circuit court of appeals. This candidate was a strong supporter of capital punishment — which both the Rev. Jackson and I oppose, since it involves the irreversible taking of a human life by the state.

I asked Jackson if he would hold a press conference in Washington, criticizing the nomination, and he said he would. The reverend was true to his word; the press conference took place; but that nominee was confirmed to the federal circuit court. However, I appreciated Jackson’s effort.

On that train, I also told Jackson that I’d been quoting — in articles, and in talks with various groups — from his compelling pro-life statements. I asked him if he’d had any second thoughts on his reversal of those views.

Usually quick to respond to any challenge that he is not consistent in his positions, Jackson paused, and seemed somewhat disquieted at my question. Then he said to me, “I’ll get back to you on that.” I still patiently await what he has to say.

As time goes on, my deepening concern with the consequences of abortion is that its validation by the Supreme Court, as a constitutional practice, helps support the convictions of those who, in other controversies — euthanasia, assisted suicide and the “futility doctrine” by certain hospital ethics committees — believe that there are lives not worth continuing.

Around the time of my conversation with Jackson on the train, I attended a conference on euthanasia at Clark College in Worcester, Mass. There, I met Derek Humphry, the founder of the Hemlock Society, and already known internationally as a key proponent of the “death with dignity” movement.

He told me that for some years in this country, he had considerable difficulty getting his views about assisted suicide and, as he sees it, compassionate euthanasia into the American press.

“But then,” Humphry told me, “a wonderful thing happened. It opened all the doors for me.”

“What was that wonderful thing?” I asked.

“Roe v. Wade,” he answered.

The devaluing of human life — as the 9-year-old at the dinner table put it more vividly — did not end with making abortion legal, and therefore, to some people, moral. The word “baby” does not appear in Roe v. Wade — let alone the word “killing.”

And so, the termination of “lives not worth living” goes on.

 

______________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. Now after presenting the secular approach of Nat Hentoff I wanted to make some comments concerning our shared Christian faith.  I  respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

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I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 1 0   Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode X – Final Choices 27 min FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 9 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IX – The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 27 min T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

MY RESPONSE LETTER TO PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S JULY 9, 2021 LETTER TO ME ON ABORTION Part 30 Mr. President, you have for decades supported the Hyde Amendment, but now you have changed your mind. This week Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who supports the Hyde Amendment, was asked about including it in reconciliation. His response was clear: “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.”

Abortion: When Does Life Begin? – R.C. Sproul


Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race? Co-authored by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop)

C. Everett Koop
C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg
13th Surgeon General of the United States
In office
January 21, 1982 – October 1, 1989

Abortion: What About Those Who Demand Their Rights? – R.C. Sproul

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 1 | Abortion of the Human Race (2010)

Standing Strong Under Fire: Popular Abortion Arguments and Why They Fail

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 2 | Slaughter of the Innocents (2010)

Ben Shapiro Obliterates Every Pro-Abortion Argument

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 3 | Death by Someone’s Choice (2010)

Adrian Rogers: Innocent Blood [#1004] (Audio)

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 5 | Truth and History (20…

Abortion: What Is Your Verdict? – R.C. Sproul

John MacArthur Abortion and the Campaign for Immorality (Selected Scriptures)

John MacArthur on Romans 13

Image<img class=”i-amphtml-blurry-placeholder” src=”data:;base64,Edith Schaeffer with her husband, Francis Schaeffer, in 1970 in Switzerland, where they founded L’Abri, a Christian commune.

________________

______________________

September 30, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. I know that you don’t agree with my pro-life views but I wanted to challenge you as a fellow Christian to re-examine your pro-choice view.

In the past I have spent most of my time looking at this issue from the spiritual side. In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer

__________________________

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? which can be found on You Tube. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.

Today I want to respond to your letter to me on July 9, 2021. Here it is below:

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

July 9, 2021

Mr. Everette Hatcher III

Alexander, AR

Dear Mr. Hatcher,

Thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts on abortion. Hearing from passionate individuals like me inspires me every day, and I welcome the opportunity to respond to your letter

Our country faces many challenges, and the road we will travel together will be one of the most difficult in our history. Despite these tough times, I have never been more optimistic for the future of America. I believe we are better positioned than any country in the world to lead in the 21st century not just by the example of our power but by the power of our example.

As we move forward to address the complex issues of our time, I encourage you to remain an active participant in helping write the next great chapter of the American story. We need your courage and dedication at this critical time, and we must meet this moment together as the United States of America. If we do that, I believe that our best days still lie ahead.

Sincerely

Joe Biden

Mr. President, you have for decades supported the Hyde Amendment, but now you have changed your mind. This week Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who supports the Hyde Amendment, was asked about including it in reconciliation. His response was clear: “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.”

_________________

The Left Is Trying to Bypass Longstanding Pro-Life Protections in $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill. Here Is What You Need to Know.

Melanie Israel  @Melanie_Israel / September 30, 2021

Pro-Life width=

Democrats are trying to bypass longstanding policies that prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortion in their $3.5 trillion spending bill. Pictured: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during an event with House Democrats about the spending bill on Sept. 28. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

COMMENTARY BY

Melanie Israel@Melanie_Israel

Melanie Israel is a policy analyst with the DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

Congress is currently piecing together a massive $3.5 trillion spending package. The legislation covers a vast range of issues: welfare, immigration, taxes, energy, families, and much more. In its current form, the bill contains a major and divisive change to abortion policy that would reject longstanding policies—which have been enacted on a bipartisan basis and are broadly supported across the political spectrum—that disentangle tax dollars from abortion activity.

For more than four decades, Congress has taken steps to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortions in federal programs by incorporating “policy riders” into spending bills. These riders establish certain conditions or limitations on how federal agencies can use taxpayer dollars.

One such policy is the Hyde Amendment, which since 1976 has prohibited the Department of Health and Human Services from spending taxpayer dollars for most abortions. The principle of the Hyde Amendment has been applied in many additional contexts over the years, from foreign aid funding to government workers who get health insurance through the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.

The Hyde Amendment is good, lifesaving policy. It has saved over 2.4 million lives since its inception. And it’s also a broadly supported policy: a majority of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortion.

When Congress initially began work on this bill, the Senate voted—on a bipartisan basis—to include an amendment calling for the budget to comply with pro-life policies like the Hyde Amendment. While the move was nonbinding, it demonstrated that senators rightly recognized the process being used to consider this bill—which allows it to pass on a narrow party-line vote—could become a vehicle to bypass consensus pro-life guardrails that have become standard inclusions during the normal appropriations process.

Those senators were right to be concerned. Progressives in Congress are attempting to massively expand taxpayer spending on health care services. Yet the current bill text, as crafted in House committees, fails to incorporate language applying longstanding pro-life policies like the Hyde Amendment.

What does that mean in practice?

First, the bill creates a new program directed at individuals living in a dozen states that have elected to not expand Medicaid, a program designed originally to help lower-income Americans access care. Per the Hyde Amendment, Medicaid funds haven’t been used for more than 40 years to pay for most abortions (there are exceptions for rape, incest, and when a mother’s life is in danger). But the new program—which is basically a Medicaid look-alike program, would not include these protections—meaning taxpayers would directly pay for elective abortions within this parallel program.

But that’s not all. The Medicaid look-alike program for individuals in nonexpansion states wouldn’t go into effect until 2025. So, in the meantime, the House proposal would provide qualifying individuals with heavily subsidized Obamacare plans.

The plans would also be required to cover “family planning” services for those individuals, with the Department of Health and Human Services reimbursing insurers for 100% of the added cost—all without the Hyde-like protections that apply in other contexts of Obamacare to ensure that tax dollars aren’t underwriting abortion.

There are also massive amounts of spending for various public health programs, such as community health centers, health care education programs, medical education institutions, and more. This spending is being routed through new funding streams.

Unlike the traditional way of enacting federal health spending—i.e., Congress appropriates funding for HHS—which would be subject to a 60-vote threshold in the Senate, these new funding streams are separate from HHS appropriations and do not apply the principle of the Hyde Amendment to restrict tax dollars from promoting abortion.

It also only faces a lower threshold of votes to pass, needing only a simple majority of 51 votes.

During committee markups, multiple attempts by Republican lawmakers to remedy these problems and apply Hyde protections were rebuffed.

While the final text of the bill is still in flux—the full House still has to vote, and the Senate is still writing its version—one thing is very clear: House Democrats have crafted a bill that deliberately excludes decades of consensus policies to disentangle tax dollars from abortion activity in federal programs.

This week Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who supports the Hyde Amendment, was asked about including it in reconciliation. His response was clear: “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.”

Failing to incorporate the lifesaving principles of the Hyde amendment in the $3.5 trillion monstrosity opens the door for taxpayer dollars to pay for elective abortions, abortion-related training for health care providers, and more.

It’s not too late to change course. Congress should reject attempts to use the reconciliation process to bypass the decades-long, bipartisan approach to applying pro-life protections in spending measures.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

I am a proud member of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers and I attended the convention in Dallas in July and we have officially launched a nationwide push against abortion rights.

The article below notes:

At its first annual policy conference last weekend, group members voted to make a controversial new Texas law, the “Texas Heartbeat Bill,” the organization’s first piece of model legislation, meaning that similar bills may soon pop up in state capitols across the country.

Also I am excited to report that the WASHINGTON POST wrote in September 3, 2021:

Announcing he planned to introduce a copycat bill, Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert (R), the founder and president of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, shared a template of legislation lawmakers in other states could fill in the blanks on and reproduce.

At the July 17th session of THE CHRISTIAN LAWMAKERS meeting in Dallas, I really got a lot out of the expert panel moderated by Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes entitled ABOLISHING ABORTION IN AMERICA. Here below is what Wikipedia says about Senator Hughes:

On March 11, 2021, Hughes introduced a fetal heartbeat bill entitled the Texas Heartbeat Bill (SB8) into the Texas Senate and state representative Shelby Slawson of Stephenville, Texas introduced a companion bill (HB1515) into the state house.[22]The bill allows private citizens to sue abortion providers after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.[22] The SB8 version of the bill passed both chambers and was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on May 19, 2021.[22] It took effect on September 1, 2021.[22]

______________________________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. Now I wanted to make some comments concerning our shared Christian faith.  I  respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

Related posts:

Al Mohler on Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ Picture of Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith from the 1930′s above. I was sad to read about Edith passing away on Easter weekend in 2013. I wanted to pass along this fine […]

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ABORTION – THE SILENT SCREAM 1 / Extended, High-Resolution Version (with permission from APF). Republished with Permission from Roy Tidwell of American Portrait Films as long as the following credits are shown: VHS/DVDs Available American Portrait Films Call 1-800-736-4567 http://www.amport.com The Hand of God-Selected Quotes from Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., Unjust laws exist. Shall we […]

Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 9)(Donald Trump changes to pro-life view)

When I think of the things that make me sad concerning this country, the first thing that pops into my mind is our treatment of unborn children. Donald Trump is probably going to run for president of the United States. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council recently had a conversation with him concerning the […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part U “Do men have a say in the abortion debate?” (includes the film SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS and editorial cartoon)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part T “Abortion is a dirty business” (includes video “Truth and History” and editorial cartoon)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Abortion supporters lying in order to further their clause? Window to the Womb (includes video ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE)

It is truly sad to me that liberals will lie in order to attack good Christian people like state senator Jason Rapert of Conway, Arkansas because he headed a group of pro-life senators that got a pro-life bill through the Arkansas State Senate the last week of January in 2013. I have gone back and […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part D “If you can’t afford a child can you abort?”Francis Schaeffer Quotes part 4 includes the film ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE) (editorial cartoon)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part C “Abortion” (Francis Schaeffer Quotes part 3 includes the film SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS) (editorial cartoon)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part B “Gendercide” (Francis Schaeffer Quotes Part 2 includes the film ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE) (editorial cartoon)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

SANCTITY OF LIFE SATURDAY “AngryOldWoman” blogger argues that she has no regrets about past abortion

Sometimes you can see evidences in someone’s life of how content they really are. I saw  something like that on 2-8-13 when I confronted a blogger that goes by the name “AngryOldWoman” on the Arkansas Times Blog. See below. Leadership Crisis in America Published on Jul 11, 2012 Picture of Adrian Rogers above from 1970′s […]

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In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close […]

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I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part G “How do moral nonabsolutists come up with what is right?” includes the film “ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE”)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part E “Moral absolutes and abortion” Francis Schaeffer Quotes part 5(includes the film SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS) (editorial cartoon)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 1 0   Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode X – Final Choices 27 min FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 9 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IX – The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 27 min T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

Dan Mitchell: Biden Wants the U.S. to Be #1…in a Bad Way


Biden Wants the U.S. to Be #1…in a Bad Way

The good news is that President Biden wants the United States to be at the top. The bad news is that he wants America to be at the top in bad ways. My

  • The highest corporate income tax rate.
  • The highest capital gains tax rate.
  • The highest level of double taxation.

We can now add another category, based on the latest iteration of his budget plan.

According to the Tax Foundation, the United States would havethe develop world’s most punitive personal income tax.

Worse than France and worse than Greece. How embarrassing.

In their report, Alex Durante and William McBride explain how the new plan will raise tax rates in a convoluted fashion.

High-income taxpayers would face a surcharge on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), defined as adjusted gross income less investment interest expense. The surcharge would equal 5 percent on MAGI in excess of $10 million plus 3 percent on MAGI above $25 million, for a total surcharge of 8 percent. The plan would also redefine the tax base to which the 3.8 percent net investment income tax (NIIT) appliesto include the “active” part of pass-through income—all taxable income above $400,000 (single filer) or $500,000 (joint filer) would be subject to tax of 3.8 percent due to the combination of NIIT and Medicare taxes. Under current law, the top marginal tax rate on ordinary income is scheduled to increase from 37 percent to 39.6 percent starting in 2026. Overall, the top marginal tax rate on personal income at the federal level would rise to 51.4 percent. In addition to the top federal rate, individuals face taxes on personal income in most U.S. states. Considering the average top marginal state-local tax rate of 6.0 percent, the combined top tax rate on personal income would be 57.4 percent—higher than currently levied in any developed country.

Needless to say, this will make the tax code more complex.

Lawyers and accountants will win and the economy will lose.

I’m not sure why Biden and his big-spender allies have picked a complicated way to increase tax rates, but that doesn’t change that factthat people will have less incentive to engage in productive behavior.

What matters is the marginal tax rate on people who are thinking about earning more income.

And they’ll definitely choose to earn less if tax rates increase, particularly since well-to-do taxpayers have considerable controlover the timing, level, and composition of their income.

P.S. Based on what happened in the 1980s, we can safely assume that Biden’s class-warfare plan won’t raise much money.

Biden Pick Becerra’s Indecent, Indefensible Legal Assault on Nuns, Human Life

Sean Spicer  @seanspicer / October 26, 2021

 width=

COMMENTARY BY

Sean Spicer@seanspicer

Sean Spicer, who served as press secretary in the Trump White House, is the host of “Spicer & Co.” on Newsmax TV.

The following is excerpted from Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s new book “Radical Nation: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s Dangerous Plan for America.“ It is available here and elsewhere.

Founded in France in 1839, the Little Sisters of the Poor is a Catholic order of nuns who operate 29 care homes across the United States. The nuns take vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and hospitality, and they serve Christ by serving the elderly poor. 

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or “Obamacare”) was enacted in March 2010, it required employers to offer health insurance plans that included contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilizations—all of which violate the precepts of the Catholic Church. 

Though the ACA exempted churches, it did not exempt faith-based ministries such as the Little Sisters of the Poor. These ministries were subject to fines if they did not comply—and the Little Sisters refused to comply. 

St. Paul once wrote that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. The Obama administration was determined to make good on that biblical promise and proceeded to persecute the Little Sisters all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

In 2016, the Supreme Court directed the Obama administration to compromise with the Little Sisters and “arrive at an approach going forward” to end the standoff. The Obama administration failed to achieve that goal before leaving office.  

In 2017, the Trump administration took over and structured an accommodation that resolved the Little Sisters’ problems with the ACA mandate. In October of that year, the Department of Health and Human Services issued an updated religious-exemption rule that protected religious nonprofit organizations such as the Little Sisters of the Poor.  

Case closed, right? Wrong.  

The next month, November 2017, attorneys general from several states, including Pennsylvania and California, ramped up the persecution of the Little Sisters. They went to court and obtained a nationwide injunction against the new HHS rule. Pennsylvania and California sued the federal government, asking the judges to force the Little Sisters to comply with the Obamacare mandate or face millions of dollars in penalties.

In July 2019, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Little Sisters in the Pennsylvania case. In October 2019, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Little Sisters in the California case. At that point, the Little Sisters asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a definitive ruling.  

On July 8, 2020, the Supreme Court delivered a decisive 7 to 2 ruling in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The court affirmed the religious liberty exemptions for faith-based organizations. The Little Sisters of the Poor would not have to pay for abortions under the Obamacare mandates. After spending over a decade fighting federal and state governments in the courts, the Little Sisters could finally get back to serving the poor in peace. 

The Little Sisters set an example for us all, refusing to back down in the face of government pressure. They were determined to serve the elderly poor without lending support or endorsement to abortion. They correctly understood that the assault on their freedom was an assault on the sanctity of human life. 

Is this really why government exists? To harass and intimidate nuns who are simply living out their faith and serving the poor? It’s hard to believe, but there are people in government who get up in the morning and say, “I’m going to punish a Catholic ministry today! I’m going to scare nuns and force them to pay for abortions!” 

I mean, such a person would have to be a mustache-twirling villain of the Snidely Whiplash variety, right? 

Well, meet one of the persecutors of the Little Sisters of the Poor—namely, President Joe Biden’s secretary of health and human services, Xavier Becerra. In November 2017, after the Little Sisters had already prevailed once in the Supreme Court, it was Becerra [then the state attorney general] who made the decision for California to sue again in federal court to take away the nuns’ religious exemption. He lost that case in 2020—but the following year, Biden tapped Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, the very agency he had unsuccessfully sued in 2017. 

In February, Becerra was in a Senate confirmation hearing for the Biden Cabinet post, trying to explain away his relentless pursuit of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said to him, “It does seem like, as attorney general, you spent an inordinate amount of time and effort suing pro-life organizations, like Little Sisters of the Poor, or trying to ease restrictions or expand abortion.” 

Apparently realizing how bad his pursuit of the Little Sisters looked, Becerra replied, “I have never sued the nuns, any nuns. I’ve never sued any affiliation of nuns, and my actions have always been directed at the federal agencies.” 

It’s a flimsy alibi. Becerra did, in fact, sue to force a religious order of nuns to pay for Obamacare’s contraceptive and abortifacient mandates. Moreover, the case is named State of California v. Little Sisters of the Poor. It doesn’t get any plainer than that. Had Becerra won his case, the Little Sisters would have lost millions of dollars, along with their First Amendment rights. Becerra pursued the nuns in court for three years. 

Despite his evasive testimony, Becerra did sue nuns, an act of cold-hearted villainy that would have done Snidely Whiplash proud. As Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted on Feb. 24, “Xavier Becerra is now claiming he didn’t sue nuns because he wants to get confirmed. But Becerra did sue nuns. He repeatedly harassed the Little Sisters of the Poor. That’s why he should be rejected by the Senate.”  

In selecting Becerra to head HHS, Biden signaled his intention to move America to the extreme edge of pro-abortion policy. No American politician has ever demonstrated more enthusiasm for unrestricted abortion than Becerra.  

I am a proud member of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers and I attended the convention in Dallas in July and we have officially launched a nationwide push against abortion rights.

The article below notes:

At its first annual policy conference last weekend, group members voted to make a controversial new Texas law, the “Texas Heartbeat Bill,” the organization’s first piece of model legislation, meaning that similar bills may soon pop up in state capitols across the country.

Also I am excited to report that the WASHINGTON POST wrote in September 3, 2021:

Announcing he planned to introduce a copycat bill, Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert (R), the founder and president of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, shared a template of legislation lawmakers in other states could fill in the blanks on and reproduce.

At the July 17th session of THE CHRISTIAN LAWMAKERS meeting in Dallas, I really got a lot out of the expert panel moderated by Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes entitled ABOLISHING ABORTION IN AMERICA. Here below is what Wikipedia says about Senator Hughes:

On March 11, 2021, Hughes introduced a fetal heartbeat bill entitled the Texas Heartbeat Bill (SB8) into the Texas Senate and state representative Shelby Slawson of Stephenville, Texas introduced a companion bill (HB1515) into the state house.[22]The bill allows private citizens to sue abortion providers after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.[22] The SB8 version of the bill passed both chambers and was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on May 19, 2021.[22] It took effect on September 1, 2021.[22]

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 1 | Abortion of the Human…

Tucker: Democrats have abandoned their ‘my body, my choice’ argument

These Christian lawmakers are on the offensive against abortion

That National Association of Christian legislators has made the so-called ‘Texas Heartbeat Bill’ the basis for its first piece of model legislation

Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert presides over a Senate committee at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. in this March 14, 2018, file photo. Rapert’s National Association of Christian Lawmakers met recently to talk model legislation and pass resolutions. Kelly P. Kissel, Associated Press

The National Association of Christian Lawmakers has officially launched a nationwide push against abortion rights.

At its first annual policy conference last weekend, group members voted to make a controversial new Texas law, the “Texas Heartbeat Bill,” the organization’s first piece of model legislation, meaning that similar bills may soon pop up in state capitols across the country.

The model legislation, called the Heartbeat Model Act, was accepted unanimously by the executive committee during a Saturday meeting.

The Texas bill it is based upon, Senate Bill 8, bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The legislation also allows for any state resident to bring a civil suit against a doctor who performs an abortion after a heartbeat is detectable. Under the law, a woman who has an abortion would be liable to civil suits, as would anyone who supported her in the act — from family members to the receptionist who checks her in at a clinic.

Not only is the doctor liable, but anyone found aiding and abetting,” said Texas legislator Bryan Hughes, the bill’s author, during the Saturday meeting, which was led by the organization’s founder and president, Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert.Texas state Rep. Bryan Hughes speaks during the opening session of the 2015 legislative session on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Eric Gay, Associated Press

Speaking to the Deseret News on Monday, Rapert said the provision allowing residents to bring civil suits against anyone involved in an abortion is like “putting a SCUD missile on that heartbeat bill — they can’t stop it.”

Rapert was the author of a similar 2013 bill in Arkansas, portions of which were later struck down by a federal judge. At least a dozen states have implemented a variety of abortion restrictions in recent years, leading numerous observers to say that the landmark 1973 Supreme Court abortion ruling, Roe v. Wade, is under threat.

Critics of the legislation have likened the Texas law to putting “a bounty on the head” of anyone involved in an abortion; they have also called it “unconstitutional.” Last week, a group of providers filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to derail the law, which is supposed to go into effect in September.

Speaking Saturday to the Christian legislators gathered in Dallas, Hughes reminded the legislators that the Heartbeat Model Act is just a starting point and that the legislation will have to be tailored to work within each state’s laws.A anti-abortion supporter argues with those who attended a press conference and rally held by the Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah outside of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Aug. 25, 2015. Stacie Scott, Deseret News

The National Association of Christian Lawmakers formed last year with three key goals: to offer conservative, Christian legislators networking opportunities,; to help lawmakers share bills that have been successful in their states so that legislators elsewhere might push through similar legislation; and to support Christians running for local, state or national office.

At the policy conference last week, the organization worked toward meeting these goals in various ways, including by approving the Heartbeat Model Act. The executive committee also passed a resolution supporting Israel’s “right to defend itself from terror attacks” and creating a standing American-Israeli Committee.

Speaking to the executive committee, Rabbi Leonid Feldman, who was born in the Soviet Union and was imprisoned there for his pro-Israel activities, remarked that the Jewish people “remember our friends.”

This conference and this organization will be remembered by the Jewish people,” he said.

The organization also approved a resolution in support of “election integrity.”

The executive committee also approved a second piece of model legislation: the National Motto Display Model Act. Based on bills passed in Arkansas in 2017 and this year in Texas, the legislation requires public schools to display the national motto “In God We Trust” when printed versions of the motto are donated to schools or copies of the national motto are bought with funds from private donors.

“As the Texas House sponsor of the Motto Act, I am proud to see a model put out by the NACL so that legislators from every other state can have a mechanism to ensure our citizens — especially our school-age children — are reminded of our nation’s motto,” said Tom Oliverson, a state representative from Texas and chairman of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers’ national legislative council.

During the executive committee’s meeting on Saturday, Rapert said Hobby Lobby would make frames available for a reduced price if they’ll be used for national motto displays.

Asked Monday what other pieces of legislation the organization might adopt as model legislation in the future, Rapert told the Deseret News that the National Association of Christian Lawmakers is already weighing some options.

Since religious freedom is central to the organization, it could end up adopting model legislation similar to bills promoted in Texas this year by Oliverson. He supported three measures designed to make it harder for the government to force church closures during public emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic, and a bill that would ensure homeowners’ associations can’t infringe on homeowners’ rights to display religious symbols.

Supreme Court votes 5-4 to leave Texas abortion law in place

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court’s three liberal justices

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A deeply divided Supreme Court is allowing a Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in force, for now stripping most women of the right to an abortion in the nation’s second-largest state.

The court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others that sought to block enforcement of the law that went into effect Wednesday. But the justices also suggested that their order likely isn’t the last word on whether the law can stand because other challenges to it can still be brought.

The Texas law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks and before many women know they’re pregnant.

It is the strictest law against abortion rights in the United States since the high court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and part of a broader push by Republicans nationwide to impose new restrictions on abortion. At least 12 other states have enacted bans early in pregnancy, but all have been blocked from going into effect.

The high court’s order declining to halt the Texas law came just before midnight Wednesday. The majority said those bringing the case had not met the high burden required for a stay of the law.

“The Court’s order is emphatic in making clear that it cannot be understood as sustaining the constitutionality of the law at issue.”— Chief Justice John Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts (Supreme Court)

Chief Justice John Roberts (Supreme Court)

“In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit. In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts,” the unsigned order said.

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court’s three liberal justices. Each of the four dissenting justices wrote separate statements expressing their disagreement with the majority.

Roberts noted that while the majority denied the request for emergency relief “the Court’s order is emphatic in making clear that it cannot be understood as sustaining the constitutionality of the law at issue.”

The vote in the case underscores the impact of the death of the liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year and then-president Donald Trump’s replacement of her with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Had Ginsburg remained on the court there would have been five votes to halt the Texas law.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor called her conservative colleagues’ decision “stunning.” “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” she wrote.

“A majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”— Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Supreme Court)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Supreme Court)

Texas lawmakers wrote the law to evade federal court review by allowing private citizens to bring civil lawsuits in state court against anyone involved in an abortion, other than the patient. Other abortion laws are enforced by state and local officials, with criminal sanctions possible.

In contrast, Texas’ law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in facilitating abortions. Among other situations, that would include anyone who drives a woman to a clinic to get an abortion. Under the law, anyone who successfully sues another person would be entitled to at least $10,000.

In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan called the law “patently unconstitutional,” saying it allows “private parties to carry out unconstitutional restrictions on the State’s behalf.” And Justice Stephen Breyer said a “woman has a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion during” the first stage of pregnancy.

After a federal appeals court refused to allow a prompt review of the law before it took effect, the measure’s opponents sought Supreme Court review.

In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan called the law “patently unconstitutional,” saying it allows “private parties to carry out unconstitutional restrictions on the State’s behalf.” And Justice Stephen Breyer said a “woman has a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion during” the first stage of pregnancy.

After a federal appeals court refused to allow a prompt review of the law before it took effect, the measure’s opponents sought Supreme Court review.

In a statement early Thursday after the high court’s action, Nancy Northup, the head of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents abortion providers challenging the law, vowed to “keep fighting this ban until abortion access is restored in Texas.”

“We are devastated that the Supreme Court has refused to block a law that blatantly violates Roe v. Wade. Right now, people seeking abortion across Texas are panicking — they have no idea where or when they will be able to get an abortion, if ever. Texas politicians have succeeded for the moment in making a mockery of the rule of law, upending abortion care in Texas, and forcing patients to leave the state — if they have the means — to get constitutionally protected healthcare. This should send chills down the spine of everyone in this country who cares about the constitution,” she said.

Texas has long had some of the nation’s toughest abortion restrictions, including a sweeping law passed in 2013. The Supreme Court eventually struck down that law, but not before more than half of the state’s 40-plus clinics closed.

Even before the Texas case arrived at the high court the justices had planned to tackle the issue of abortion rights in a major case after the court begins hearing arguments again in the fall. That case involves the state of Mississippi, which is asking to be allowed to enforce an abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Associated Press writer Paul J. Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.

—-

June 23, 2021

President Biden c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to reach out to you because of some of the troubling moral issues coming out of your administration.

Over and over on my blog I have written about your efforts as Vice President and President to attack legally the rights of our unborn babies in the USA. These views of yours are due to your allegiance to the humanist worldview which Francis Schaeffer and Tim LaHaye exposed in their books. Your vast support from humanist groups in the 2020 election proves my point. No wonder we have seen criminals let go and an effort by Democrats (namely VP Harris) to defund the police. The Bible recognizes the sinful nature of humans and calls for the authorities to have the power of the sword in Romans 13! However, there have been times when the IRS has been used against freedom of expression such as the past persecution of the Tea Party. The Founding Fathers did NOT think the King was above the law! Unfortunately many lawmakers today don’t care about the law very much it seems which is a result of loss of a Christian Consensus influence in our society!

I recently read this article below:

The Archbishop Who Fears for Joe Biden’s Soul

America’s second-ever Catholic president supports abortion rights, leaving the bishops unsure about how to move forward.By Emma Green

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, at a Mass held on the eve of the 2020 March for Life in Washington, D.C.Gregory A. Shemitz

MARCH 14, 2021 

Archbishop Joseph Naumann is anxious about President Joe Biden’s soul. The two men are in some ways similar: cradle Catholics born in the 1940s who witnessed John F. Kennedy become America’s first Catholic president. Both found a natural home in the Democratic Party—in Naumann’s midwestern family, asking Catholics if they were Democrats was a redundancy. Naumann became a priest and Biden became a politician, but their paths really diverged over the issue of abortion. Now in his 70s, Naumann watched Biden—America’s second Catholic president—transform into a vocal supporter of abortion rights while competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Naumann runs the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and also leads what the Catholic bishops describe as their pro-life activities. He has suggested that Biden should no longer call himself a devout Catholic. At the very least, Naumann says, Biden should stop receiving Communion, a holy sacrament in Catholic life.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently convened a working group to discuss how the bishops should interact with Biden, and how they should deal with the challenge of having a visibly Catholic president who defies Church teachings on a central issue. Naumann was part of that group. Conflicts have already arisen: Naumann recently co-authored a statement expressing moral concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was developed and tested using cell lines from aborted fetal tissue. He also joined a statement from a group of the country’s top bishops celebrating the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, but called it “unconscionable that Congress has passed the bill without critical protections needed to ensure that billions of taxpayer dollars are used for life-affirming health care and not for abortion.”

John MacArthur gave a sermon in June of 2021 entitled “When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good” and in that sermon he makes the following points:

INTRODUCTION AND DISCUSSION OF ROMANS 13

GOVERNMENT CAN FORFEIT ITS AUTHORITY

THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOSPEL

ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY IS PROGRESSING TOWARD A GLOBAL KINGDOM UNDER THE POWER OF SATAN

ONE FALSE WORLD RELIGION IS FINAL PLAY BY SATAN

REAL PERSECUTION CAN ONLY BE DONE BY GOVERNMENT

PERSECUTION IN BOOK OF DANIEL

THE LAW IS KING AND NOT THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME PURVEYOR OF WICKEDNESS

THERE IS A PLACE FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

DOES GOVERNMENT WIN?

Let me just share a portion of that sermon with you and you can watch it on You Tube:

GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME PURVEYOR OF WICKEDNESS 

One New Testament writer says that Romans 13 has “caused more unhappiness and misery . . . than any other . . . verses in the New Testament by the license they have given to tyrants . . . used to justify a host of horrendous abuses of individual human rights.” Hitler’s Holocaust, racism in the apartheid of South Africa, Cantrell says, “Both the Jews in Germany and blacks in South Africa were viewed as a threat to public health and national security. . . . “‘Trust us,’ said government . . . ‘we truly have your best interests at heart. All we want to do is help . . . keep you safe.’”

Government has already become the purveyor of wickedness. Government is a murderer, slaughtering millions of infants in abortion; elevating the LGBTQ agenda, the bizarre transgender deception. The culture has become anti-truth, we all know that. The truth is the biggest threat to lies. William Pitt, well-known name in English history, said this: “Necessity (i.e., public health, common good) is the plea [of] every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants. “Get people afraid, and they’ll do whatever you want. A fearful society will always comply; panicking people will believe anything” [(Cantrell)].

“During the gruesome and bloody days of the French Revolution, when 40,000 innocent [people] lost their heads,” you would be interested to know who was operating the guillotine: the Committee for Public Safety [(Cantrell)]. One writer says, “Governments now get voted into power by promising to oversee housing, education, medicine, the economy, [the] currency, a minimum income, food, water, land, and the list goes on. The government become a parent, and the citizens are dependents. The government in this role becomes a monstrous juggernaut of bureaucracy, devouring taxes and trying to regulate every detail of life.” And they definitely want to regulate the church and silence its proclamation.

In his book The Glorious Body of Christ, Kuiper wrote, “Our age is one of ecclesiastical passivism. . . . When a church ceases to be militant it also ceases to be a church of Jesus Christ. . . . A truly militant church stands opposed to the world both without its walls and within. . . . Time and again in its history the church has found it necessary to assert its sovereignty over against usurpations by the state.” And Kuiper gave some biblical examples, like when King Saul or King Uzziah usurped the priesthood, stating, “In both cases a representative of the state was severely punished for encroaching [on] the sovereignty of the church.”

“Lord Macaulay of England summed up the Puritan reputation this way” [(Cantrell)]. He said of the Puritans, “He bowed himself in the dust before his Maker; [as] he set his foot on the neck of his king.” Kuiper says, “Ours is an age of state totalitarianism. All over the world statism is [rising] . . . . In consequence, in many lands the church finds itself utterly at the mercy of the state whose mercy often proves cruelty, while in others the notion is rapidly gaining ground that the church exists and operates by the state’s permission.” We do not operate by the state’s permission; we operate by the Lord’s command.

—-

Francis Schaeffer discusses this more in his fine book CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO:

PAGE 437

CHAPTER 3 THE DESTRUCTION OF FAITH AND FREEDOM

And now it is all gone!

In most law schools today almost no one studies William Blackstone unless he or she is taking a course in the history of law. We live in a secularized society and in secularized, sociological law. By sociological law we mean law that has no fixed base but law in which a group of people decides what is sociologically good for society at the given moment; and wha they arbitrarily decide becomes law. Oliver Wendall Holmes (1841-1935) made totally clear that this was his position. Frederick Moore Vinson (1890-1953), former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, said, “Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes.” Those who hold this position themselves call it sociological law. 

As the new sociological law has moved away from the original base of the Creator giving the “inalienable rights,” etc., it has been natural that this sociological law has then also moved away from the Constitution. William Bentley Ball, in his paper entitled “Religious Liberty: The Constitutional Frontier,” says: 

i propose that secularism militates against religious liberty, and indeed against personal freedoms generally, for two reasons: first, the familiar fact that secularism does not recognize the existence of the “higher law”; second, because, that being so, secularism tends toward decisions based on the pragmatic public policy of the moment and inevitably tends to resist the submitting of those policies to the “higher” criteria of a constitution. 

This moving away from the Constitution is not only by court rulings, for example the First Amendment rulings, which are the very reversal of the original purpose of the First Amendment (see pp. 433, 434), but in other ways as well. Quoting again from the same paper by William Bentley Ball:

Our problem consists also, as perhaps this paper has well enough indicated, of more general constitutional delegation of legislative power and ultra vires. The first is where the legislature hands over its powers to agents through the conferral of regulatory power unaccompanied by strict standards. The second is where the agents make up powers on their own–assume powers not given them by the legislature. Under the first, the government of laws largely disappears and the government of men largely replaces it. Under the second, agents’ personal “home-made law replaces the law of the elected representatives of the people. 

Naturally, this shift from the Judeo-Christian basis for law and the shift away from the restraints of the Constitution automatically militates against religious liberty. Mr. Ball closes his paper:

Fundamentally, in relation to personal liberty, the Constitution was aimed at restraint of the State. Today, in case after case relating to religious liberty, we encounter the bizarre presumption that it is the other way around; that the State is justified in whatever actions, and that religion bears a great burden of proof to overcome that presumption. 

It is our job, as Christian lawyers, to destroy that presumption at every turn. 

As lawyers discuss the changes in law in the United States, often they speak of the influence of the laws involved in the reentrance of the southern states into the national government after the Civil War. These indeed must be considered. But they were not the reason for the drastic change in law in our country. This reason was the takeover by the totally other world view which never have given the form and freedom in government we have had in Northern Europe (including the United States). That is the central factor in the change. 

PAGE 439

It is parallel to the difference between modern science beginning with Copernicus and Galileo and the materialistic science which took over the last century. Materialistic thought would never have produced modern science. Modern science was produced on the Christian base. That is, because an intelligent Creator had created the universe we can in some measure understand the universe and there is, therefore, a reason for observation and experimentation to be pursued. 

Then there was a shift into materialistic science based on a philosophic change to the materialistic concept of final reality. This shift was based on no addition to the facts known. It was a choice, in faith, to see things that way. No clearer expression of this could be given than Carl Sagan’s arrogant statement on public television–made without any scientific proof for the statement–to 140 million viewers: “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever was or ever will be.” He opened the series, COSMOS, with this essentially creedal declaration and went on to build every subsequent conclusion upon it. 

There is exactly the same parallel in law. The materialistic-energy, chance concept of final reality never would have produced the form and freedom in government we have in this country and in other Reformation countries. But now it has arbitrarily and arrogantly supplanted the historic Judeo-Christian Consensus that provided the base for form and freedom in government. The Judeo-Christian consensus gave greater freedoms than the world has ever known, but it also contained the freedoms so that they did not pound society to pieces. The materialistic concept of reality would not have produced the form-freedom balance, and now that it has taken over it cannot maintain the balance. It has destroyed it. 

Will Durant and his wife Ariel together wrote The Story of Civilization. The Durants received the 1976 Humanist Pioneer Award. In The Humanist magazine of February 1977, Will Durant summed up the humanist problem with regard to personal ethics and social order: “Moreover, we shall find it no easy task to mold a natural ethic strong enough to maintain moral restraint and social order without the support of supernatural consolations, hopes, and fears.”

Poor Will Durant! It is not just difficult, it is impossible. He should have remembered the quotation he and Ariel Durant gave from the agnostic Renan in their book The Lessons of History. According to the Durants, Renan said in 1866: “If Rationalism wishes to govern the world without regard to the religious needs of the soul, the experience of the French Revolution is there to teach us the consequences of such a blunder.” And the Durants themselves say in the same context: “There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.”

PAGE 440 

Along with the decline of the Judie-Christian consensus we have come to a new definition and connotation of “pluralism.” Until recently it meant that the Christianity flowing from the Reformation is not now as dominant in the country and in society as it was in the early days of the nation. After about 1848 the great viewpoints not shaped by Reformation Christianity. This, of course, is the situation which exists today. Thus as we stand for religious freedom today, we need to realize that this must include a general religious freedom from the control of the state for all religion. It will not mean just freedom for those who are Christians. It is then up to Christians to show that Christianityis the Truth of total reality in the open marketplace of freedom. 

This greater mixture in the United States, however, is now used as an excuse for the new meaning and connotation  of pluralism. It now is used to mean that all types of situations are spread out before us, and that it really is up to each individual to grab one or the other on the way past, according to the whim of personal preference. What you take is only a matter of personal choice, with one choice as valid as another. Pluralism has come to mean that everything is acceptable. This new concept of pluralism suddenly is everywhere. There is no right or wrong; it is just a matter of your personal preference. On a recent SIXTY MINUTES program on television, for example, the questions of euthanasia of the old and the growing of marijuana as California’s largest paying crop were presented this way. One choice is as valid as another. It is just a matter of personal preference. This new definition and connotation of pluralism is presented in many forms, not only in personal ethics, but in society’s ethics and in the choices concerning law, 

PAGE 440

Now I have a question. In these shifts that have come in law, where have the Christian lawyers been? I really ask you that. The shift has come gradually, but it has only come to its peak in the last 40 or 50 years. Where have the Christian lawyers been? Surely the Christian lawyers should have been the ones to have sounded the trumpet clear and loud, not just in bits and pieces but looking at the totality of what was occurring. Now, a nonlawyer like myself believes I have a right to feel let down because the Christian lawyers did not blow the trumpets clearly between, let us say, 1940 and 1970. 


PAGE 441

When I wrote HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? From 1974 to 1976 I worked out of a knowledge of secular philosophy. I moved from the results in secular philosophy, to the results in liberal theology, to the results in the arts, and then I turned to the courts, and especially the Supreme Court. I read Oliver Wendell Holmes and others, and I must say, I was totally appalled by what I read. It was an exact parallel to what i had already known so well from my years of study in philosophy, theology, and the other disciplines. 

In the book and film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? I used the Supreme Court abortion case as the clearest illustration of arbitrary sociiological law. But it was only the clearest illustration. The law is shot through with this kind of ruling. It is similar to choosing Fletcher’s situational ethics and point to it as the clearest illustration of how our society now functions with no fixed ethics. This is only the clearest illustration because in many ways our society functions on unfixed, situational ethics. The abortion case in law is exactly the same. It is only the clearest case. Law in this country has become situational law, using the term Fletcher used for his ethics. That is, a small group of people decide arbitrarily what, from their viewpoint, is for the good of society at that precise moment and they make it law, binding the whole society by their personal arbitrary decisions. 

But of course! What would we expect? These things are the natural, inevitable results of the material-energy, humanistic concept of the final basic reality. From the material-energy, chance concept of final reality, final reality is, and must be b it nature, silent as to values, principles, or any basis for law. There is no way to ascertain “the ought:” from “the is.” Not only should we have known what this would have produced, but on the basis of this viewpoint of reality, we should have recognized that there are no other conclusions that this view could produce. It is a natural result of really believing that the basic reality of all things is merely material-energy, shaped into its present form by impersonal chance. 

No, we must say that the Christians in the legal profession did not ring the bell, and we are indeed very, very far down the road toward a totally humanistic culture. At this moment we are in a humanistic culture, but we are happily not in a totally humanistic culture. But what we must realize is that the drift has been all in this direction. if it is not turned around we will move very rapidly into a totally humanistic culture. 

PAGE 442 

The law, and especially the courts, is the vehicle to force this total humanistic way of thinking upon the entire population.This is what has happened. The abortion law is a perfect example. The Supreme Court abortion ruling invalidated abortion lawsin all fifty states, even though it seems clear that in 1973 the majority of Americans were against abortion. It did not matter. The Supreme Court arbitrarily ruled that abortion was legal, and overnight they overthrew the state laws and forced their will on the majority, even though their ruling was arbitrary both legally and medically. Thus law and the courts became the vehicle for forcing a totally secular concept on the population.

—-

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. I also respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children. I wanted to encourage you to investigate the work of Dr. Bernard Nathanson who like you used to be pro-abortion. I also want you to watch the You Tube series WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop. Also it makes me wonder what our the moral climate Of our nation is when we concentrate more on potential mistakes of the police and we let criminals back on the street so fast! Our national was founded of LEX REX and not REX LEX!

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

PS: In this series of letters John MacArthur covers several points. In the first letter, he quotes you saying that the greatest threat to America—he said on one occasion—is systemic racism, which doesn’t exist; he said white supremacy, which doesn’t exist with any power; and then he said global warming, which doesn’t exist either, and if it does, God’s in charge of it.

In reality the greatest threat to this nation is the government, the government. And I want to show you how we are to understand that. Turn to Romans 13

In the 2nd letter, Dr. MacArthur noted When government turns the divine design on its head and protects those who do evil and makes those who do good afraid, it forfeits its divine purpose

In the 3rd letter Dr. MacArthur noted The world is the enemy of the gospel. The world is the enemy of the church. I pointed out that this manifests itself today in the form of HUMANISM.

In the 4th letter Dr. MacArthur points out how much today the devil is having his way in our society and that the Bible predicts that these will get worse!

In the 5th letter Francis Schaeffer points out “The HUMANIST MANIFESTOS not only say that humanism is a religion, but the Supreme Court has declared it to be a religion. The 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins specifically defines secular humanism as a religion equivalent to theistic and other non theistic religions.”

In the 6th letter Dr. MacArthur noted God has given government the sword, the power; and when they prostitute that power and they begin to punish those who do good and protect those who do evil, they wield that power against the people of God.

In the 7th letter Dr. MacArthur asserted, Throughout history, even in the Western world, people lived under what was called the divine right of kings. Kings were believed to have had a divine right. This was absolute monarchy. What broke that was basically the Reformers. The Reformers—a little phrase was “the law is king,” not the man.

In the 8th letter Dr. MacArthur noted that today the United States “Government has already become the purveyor of wickedness. Government is a murderer, slaughtering millions of infants in abortion.”

In the 9th letter the article

Judge gives preliminary OK to $3.5M settlement of IRS case is discussed about the 2013 lawsuit during the Barack Obama administration over treatment of conservative groups who said they were singled out for extra IRS scrutiny on tax-exempt status applications. Then Dr. MacArthur talks about persecution in the Book of Daniel.

“These are groups of law-abiding citizens who should have never had their First Amendment rights infringed upon by the IRS,” Jenny Beth Martin, president of the Tea Party Patriots umbrella group, said Wednesday. “These are groups that want the government to be accountable.”

The government has been used to persecuting people they don’t like for centuries! Let me just share a portion of that sermon by John MacArthur with you and you can watch it on You Tube: 

PERSECUTION IN BOOK OF DANIEL

In the 10th letter Dr. MacArthur noted:

THERE IS A PLACE FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

Francis Schaeffer, who died in 1984, says, “If [there’s] no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, anas such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” And that point is exactly when the early Christians performed their acts of civil disobedience, even when it cost them their lives. “Acts of State which contradict God’s [Laws] are illegitimate and acts of tyranny. Tyranny is ruling without the sanction of God. To resist tyranny is to honour God. . . . The bottom line is that at a certain point there is not only the right, but the duty to disobey the State.”

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 4 | The Basis for Human Dignity


Sunday Night Prime – Dr. Bernard Nathanson – Fr Groeschel, CFR with Fr …

——

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured above

Larry King had John MacArthur as a guest on his CNN program several times.

https://youtu.be/Tfq-maVMxiM

When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good

_________________________

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

January 8, 2012 – 12:54 am

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

January 1, 2012 – 12:51 am

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

December 25, 2011 – 12:45 am

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

December 18, 2011 – 12:41 am

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

December 11, 2011 – 12:37 am

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

December 4, 2011 – 12:33 am

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged christian foundationsfreedom of pressfreedom of religionlex rexwww youtube | Edit | Comments (0)

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

November 27, 2011 – 12:26 am

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged authority of the biblechristian humanismold testament prophetsschool of athens.thomas cromwell | Edit | Comments (0)

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

November 20, 2011 – 10:03 am

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

November 13, 2011 – 12:13 am

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged byzantine artconservative evangelicalismgothic architecture.gregorian chantsnaturalism in art | Edit | Comments (0)

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

November 6, 2011 – 12:01 am

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

MY RESPONSE LETTER TO PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S JULY 9, 2021 LETTER TO ME ON ABORTION Part 29 Mr. President, listen to the words of Paul Greenberg: By now the toll has reached some 50 million aborted babies in America since 1973. That is not an abstract theory. And so, like Dr. Nathanson, I changed my mind, and changed sides.There is something about simple human dignity, whether the issue is civil rights in the 1960s or abortion and euthanasia today, that in the end will not be denied. And it keeps asking: Whose side are you on? Life or death?

Abortion: When Does Life Begin? – R.C. Sproul


Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race? Co-authored by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop)

C. Everett Koop
C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg
13th Surgeon General of the United States
In office
January 21, 1982 – October 1, 1989

Abortion: What About Those Who Demand Their Rights? – R.C. Sproul

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Standing Strong Under Fire: Popular Abortion Arguments and Why They Fail

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 2 | Slaughter of the Innocents (2010)

Ben Shapiro Obliterates Every Pro-Abortion Argument

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 3 | Death by Someone’s Choice (2010)

Adrian Rogers: Innocent Blood [#1004] (Audio)

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 5 | Truth and History (20…

Abortion: What Is Your Verdict? – R.C. Sproul

John MacArthur Abortion and the Campaign for Immorality (Selected Scriptures)

John MacArthur on Romans 13

Image<img class=”i-amphtml-blurry-placeholder” src=”data:;base64,Edith Schaeffer with her husband, Francis Schaeffer, in 1970 in Switzerland, where they founded L’Abri, a Christian commune.

________________

______________________

September 29, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. I know that you don’t agree with my pro-life views but I wanted to challenge you as a fellow Christian to re-examine your pro-choice view.

In the past I have spent most of my time looking at this issue from the spiritual side. In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer

__________________________

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? which can be found on You Tube. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.

Today I want to respond to your letter to me on July 9, 2021. Here it is below:

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

July 9, 2021

Mr. Everette Hatcher III

Alexander, AR

Dear Mr. Hatcher,

Thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts on abortion. Hearing from passionate individuals like me inspires me every day, and I welcome the opportunity to respond to your letter

Our country faces many challenges, and the road we will travel together will be one of the most difficult in our history. Despite these tough times, I have never been more optimistic for the future of America. I believe we are better positioned than any country in the world to lead in the 21st century not just by the example of our power but by the power of our example.

As we move forward to address the complex issues of our time, I encourage you to remain an active participant in helping write the next great chapter of the American story. We need your courage and dedication at this critical time, and we must meet this moment together as the United States of America. If we do that, I believe that our best days still lie ahead.

Sincerely

Joe Biden

Mr. President, listen to the words of Paul Greenberg: By now the toll has reached some 50 million aborted babies in America since 1973. That is not an abstract theory. It is fact, and facts are stubborn things. Some carry their own imperatives with them. And so, like Dr. Nathanson, I changed my mind, and changed sides.There is something about simple human dignity, whether the issue is civil rights in the 1960s or abortion and euthanasia today, that in the end will not be denied. And it keeps asking: Whose side are you on? Life or death?

_________________

The Doctor Who Saw What He Did

The good doctor could have stepped out of a Louis Auchincloss short story. A fashionable but conscientious professional on the Upper West Side, his ideas, like his Brooks Brothers suits, were tailored to fit in. His ideals were those of the enlightened, modern urban America of his time, which was the mid- to late 20th century. And he was always doing what he could to further them.

The doctor’s political, medical and social convictions were much what one would have expected of a New York liberal, as clear as his curriculum vitae. The son of a secular Jewish ob/gyn, he would follow his prominent father’s footsteps, graduate from McGill Medical College in Montreal, and start his practice in Manhattan. He was a quick study, whether absorbing the latest medical knowledge or political trend. Especially when it came to abortion.

Having no convictions about the sacredness of human life, he was defenseless against its growing and increasingly legal appeal. Indeed, he was soon a leader in Pro-Choice ranks.

By his own count, Bernard Nathanson, M.D., was responsible for some 75,000 abortions — without a twinge of conscience intervening. Not back then. Not when he picketed a New York City hospital in his campaign for the legalization of abortion in New York state. Preaching what he practiced, Dr. Nathanson became a tireless spokesman for NARAL, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws.

As director of the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health in Manhattan, where he routinely performed abortions and taught others to do the same, Dr. Nathanson knew of what he spoke. And never grew tired of rationalizing it. He wasn’t destroying human life but just “an undifferentiated mass of cells.” He was performing a social service, really. He was on a humanitarian mission.

Then something happened. The something was quite specific — the newest EKG and ultrasound imagery. Always a follower of the latest scientific evidence, he couldn’t deny what he was seeing. Political theory is one thing, but facts are facts.

By 1974, soon after Roe v. Wade had opened the way to his dream of abortion-on-demand, his eyes were opened. Literally. As he put it, “There is no longer any serious doubt in my mind that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy.” He changed his beliefs and his ways — and sides.

I can identify. When Roe v. Wade was first pronounced, I welcomed it. As a young editorial writer in Pine Bluff, Ark., I believed the court’s assurances that its ruling was not blanket permission for abortion, but a carefully crafted, limited decision applicable only in some exceptional cases. Which was all a lot of hooey, but I swallowed it, and regurgitated it in editorials.

The right to life need not be fully respected from conception on, I explained, but grew with each stage of fetal development until a full human being was formed. I went into all this in an extended debate in the columns of the Pine Bluff Commercial with a young Baptist minister in town named Mike Huckabee.

Yes, I’d been taught by Mary Warters in her biology and genetics courses at Centenary that human life was one unbroken cycle from life to death, and the code to its development was present from its microscopic origins. But I wanted to believe human rights developed differently, especially the right to life. My reasons were compassionate. Who would not want to spare mothers carrying the deformed? Why not just allow physicians to eliminate the deformity? I hadn’t yet come across Flannery O’Connor’s warning that tenderness leads to the gas chambers.

Then something happened. I noticed that the number of abortions in the country had begun to mount year by year — into the millions. Perfectly healthy babies were being aborted for socio-economic reasons. Among ethnic groups, the highest proportions of abortions were being performed on black women. (Last I checked, 37 percent of American abortions were being done on African-American women, though they make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population.)

Eugenics was showing its true face again. And it wasn’t pretty.

Abortion was even being touted as a preventative for poverty. All you had to do, after all, was eliminate the poor. They were, in the phrase of the advanced, Darwinian thinkers of the last century, surplus population.

With a little verbal manipulation, any crime can be rationalized, even promoted. Verbicide precedes homicide. The trick is to speak of fetuses, not unborn children. So long as the victims are a faceless abstraction, anything can be done to them. Just don’t look too closely at those sonograms. We are indeed strangely and wondrously made.

By now the toll has reached some 50 million aborted babies in America since 1973. That is not an abstract theory. It is fact, and facts are stubborn things. Some carry their own imperatives with them. And so, like Dr. Nathanson, I changed my mind, and changed sides.There is something about simple human dignity, whether the issue is civil rights in the 1960s or abortion and euthanasia today, that in the end will not be denied. And it keeps asking: Whose side are you on? Life or death?

Long before he died the other day at 84, Bernard Nathanson had chosen life. He became as ardent an advocate for life as he had once been for death. He wrote books and produced a film, “The Silent Scream,” laying out the case for the unborn, and for humanity. He would join the Catholic Church in 1996 and continue to practice medicine as chief of obstetrical services at Saint Luke’s-Roosevelt hospital in Manhattan.

“I have such heavy moral baggage to drag into the next world,” he told the Washington Times in 1996. But he also had sought to redeem himself. He could not have been expected to do other than he did in his younger years, given his appetite for fashionable ideas. He was, after all, only human. Which is no small or simple thing.

______________________________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. Now I wanted to make some comments concerning our shared Christian faith.  I  respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

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America in Debt Damage Zone 

OCTOBER 19, 2021 10:16AM

America in Debt Damage Zone


Federal government debt is rising rapidly. The government spent almost $1 trillion more than it raised in revenues in 2019, and the overspending gap widened to $3 trillion in 2020 and 2021. The excess spending was borrowed from domestic and foreign creditors, and it all represents costs pushed forward onto tomorrow’s taxpayers.

The United States is becoming one of the most indebted high‐​income nations in the world. Including state and local debt, our government debt totals 141 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which compares to an average of 100 percent of GDP for 32 high‐​income countries.

One likely effect of our high debt is slower economic growth. Economists have not nailed down precisely the mechanisms through which that happens, but many statistical studies find that higher debt correlates with slower economic growth.

Veronique de Rugy and Jack Salmon at the Mercatus Center summarized 24 cross‐​country studies that looked at government debt and growth, as summarized in the table below. Seventeen of the studies found a threshold above which rising debt is associated with reduced growth.

Government debt above 90 percent of GDP is correlated with slower economic growth, based on the average of 17 studies. That means America’s debt—at 141 percent and rising—is well into the debt damage zone and is likely undermining our prosperity already.

Salmon updated his debt and growth research in the Cato Journal. He found 36 studies that identified a statistically significant negative effect of government debt on growth.

s

Data note: for the 17‐​country average, I used the higher figure when a study found a range for the growth‐​slowdown threshold.


In their haste to pass massive spending bills and clobber the rich, the Democrats are floating some radical tax schemes. The latest far‐​out idea is to tax capital gains even before gains are realized. No other country in the OECD taxes capital gains in such an aggressive manner.

The Democrats are obsessed with raising taxes on capital. They’ve proposed raising the top capital gains tax rate, even though our federal‐​state rate of 29 percent is already higher than the 19.5 percentaverage in Europe. They’ve proposed raising the corporate tax rate, even though our federal‐​state rate of 27 percent is already higher than the 19 percent average in Europe. And some Democrats want to impose an annual wealth tax, even though nearly all European countries have eliminated those harmful levies.

Many high‐​income countries in Europe and elsewhere have heavier overall tax burdens than we do, but they make up the difference with high taxes on consumption, not capital. These countries recognize that taxes on consumption, such as value‐​added taxes (VATs), are less damaging than taxes on capital.

The Democrats are steering America to a worse place than Europe—a place where the private sector is undermined by expansive welfare programs, and where the programs are funded by taxes on capital rather than VATs. I am against a VAT for the United States because I favor smaller government, but I worry that the Democrats want to impose bigger government funded in an even more damaging manner than big European governments.

Let’s compare taxation in the United States and other high‐​income nations. In 2019, overall tax revenues were 24.5 percent of GDP in the United States and 33.8 percent in 35 OECD countries, on average. The charts below show the shares of overall tax revenues raised by taxes on goods and services or consumption (e.g. VATs and sales taxes) and taxes on income and profits (e.g. individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, and capital gains taxes). The charts are from here.

The United States raises a larger share of revenues from (more damaging) income and profits taxes and a smaller share from (less damaging) consumption taxes. Democratic proposals would worsen our reliance on the more damaging taxes. Instead, we should devolve government programs to the states and rely on state sales taxes to fund the needed activities.

s

Notes: The OECD tax shares appear to be based on 35 countries in 2019, but would include fewer countries in prior years. I calculate that U.S. taxes in 2019 were somewhat higher than the 24.5 percent reported by the OECD. I discuss unrealized capital gains here and here, and I examine taxes on capital income here and consumption taxes here.

Biden’s Befuddlement on Corporate Taxation

Let’s look today at the wonky issue of “book income” because it’s an opportunity to point out that there are three types of leftists.

  1. Honest leftists who understand economics and recognize tradeoffs (I think of them as “Okunites“).
  2. Dishonest leftists who understand economics but pretend that tradeoffs don’t exist (the “demagogues“).
  3. Leftists who have no idea what they’re saying or thinking (I think of them as, well, Joe Biden).

I’m being snarky about the President because of this recent tweet, which contains a couple of big, glaring mistakes.

What are the mistakes (I’m not calling them lies because I don’t think Biden has the slightest idea that he is wrong, much less why he’s wrong).

  • The first mistake is that corporations pay a lot of tax (payroll tax, property tax, etc) even if they are losing money and don’t owe any corporate income tax.
  • The second mistakes is that Biden is relying on a report about corporate income taxes that has been debunkedbecause it relied on book income rather than taxable income.
  • The third mistake is that the President implies that his plan force all big companies to pay the corporate tax when that’s obviously not true.

Regarding that third mistake, Kyle Pomerleau of the American Enterprise Institute explains why there will still be companies paying zero corporate income tax.

While the Biden administration’s proposals would increase the tax burden on corporations by about $2 trillion over the next decade, they would not change the basic structure of the corporate income tax. The Democrats’ proposal would not end corporations paying zero federal income tax in certain years.Corporations will still be able to carryforward losses, and credits will still be available for corporations to offset their tax liability. The administration has proposed a minimum tax to address these headlines by tying federal tax liability to book income. The minimum tax would require corporations with net income over $2 billion to pay the greater of their ordinary corporate tax liability or 15 percent of their book or financial statement income. Corporations would still be able to offset the book minimum tax with losses and general business credits.

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post tried to defend Biden’s tweet as part of his misnamed “Fact Checker.”

He had to acknowledge Biden was using a made-up number, but nonetheless concluded that the President’s assertion was “probably in the ballpark.”

This is one of Biden’s favorite statistics. …the president has used it in speeches or interviews 10 times since April. Normally he is careful to refer to “federal income taxes” so the tweet is little off by referring just to “taxes.” …Let’s dig into this statistic. It’s not necessarily wrong but there are some limitations. …The number comes from…the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). …Company tax returns generally are not made public, so ITEP’s numbers are the product of its own research and analysis of public filings. But it is an imperfect measure. …the information in the filings may not reflect what is in the tax returns. …Nevertheless, the notion that 10 to 20 percent of Fortune 500 companies do not pay federal income taxes is consistent with a 2020 report by the nonpartisan Joint Committee of Taxation. …This “55 corporations” number is probably in the ballpark.

For what it’s worth, I don’t care that Kessler gave Biden a pass for writing “taxes” instead of “federal income taxes.”

After all, that’s almost surely what he meant to write (just like Trump almost surely meant “highest corporate tax rate” when complaining about America being the “highest taxed nation”).

But I’m not in a forgiving mood about the rest of Biden’s tweet (or Kessler’s biased analysis) for the simple reason that there is zero recognition that companies occasionally don’t pay tax for the simple reason that they sometimes lose money.

I’ve made this point when writing about boring issues such as depreciation, carry forwards, and net operating losses.

At the risk of stating the obvious, companies shouldn’t pay any corporate income tax in years when they don’t have any corporate income.

P.S. I’m not mocking Biden’s tweet for partisan reasons. I was similarly critical of one of Trump’s tweets that was glaringly wrong on the issue of trade.

Corporate Taxes and the Laffer Curve

In a new documentary film, Race to the Bottom, I had an opportunity to pontificate briefly about corporate tax and the Laffer Curve.

Dan Mitchell on Corporate Tax Rates and the Laffer Curve

At the risk of understatement, I represented a minority viewpoint in the documentary. Most of the people interviewed had a negative view of tax competition, considering it to be (as suggested by the title) a “race to the bottom.”

By contrast, I view tax competition as a way of constraining the “stationary bandit” so that we don’t wind up with “goldfish government.”

For purposes of today’s column, though, I want to focus on the narrower issue of the relationship between corporate tax rates and corporate tax revenue.

In the above video, I asserted that lower rates did not result in lower revenue. Indeed, I even made the bold statement that revenues increased.

Is that correct?

Fortunately, I don’t need to do any elaborate calculations to prove my point. I’ll simply direct readers to the work of two left-leaning international bureaucracies.

Back in 2017, I cited an article form the International Monetary Fund that included a graph clearly illustrating that the drop in tax rates has not been accompanied by a drop in tax revenue.

This was a remarkable admission considering that the article argued in favor of higher tax burdens.

Likewise, last year I cited a study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that also acknowledged that falling tax rates on companies did not translate into lower revenues.

Given that the OECD has a big project to increase business tax burdens, that also was a startling admission.

None of this means, by the way, that lower rates always lead to more revenue.

Indeed, most tax cuts cause revenue to decline (though not as much as predicted by static estimates).

The bottom line is that lower tax rates are good for economic performance and my friends on the left shouldn’t get too worried about disappearing tax revenue.

P.S. There’s also some 2017 OECD data and 2018 OECD dataabout business tax rates and business tax revenues.

P.P.S. Earlier this year, I cited OECD data that also included personal income tax rates and tax revenue.

—-

Emailed to White House on 1-3-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

Class Warfare just don’t pay it seems. Why can’t we learn from other countries’ mistakes?

Back in mid-2010, I wrote that Portugal was going to exacerbate its fiscal problems by raising taxes.

Needless to say, I was right. Not that this required any special insight. After all, no nation has ever taxed its way to prosperity.

We’re now at the end of 2012 and Portugal is still saddled with a weak economy. And the higher taxes haven’t resulted in less red ink. Indeed, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, government debt has jumped from 93 percent of GDP in 2010 to 124 percent of GDP this year.

Why did higher taxes backfire in Portugal? For the same reasons that higher taxes have failed in Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and so many other nations.

  • Higher taxes undermine incentives for productive behavior, thus reducing an economy’s potential for growth. This means less economic output, which also means a smaller tax base. This Laffer Curve effect doesn’t necessarily mean less revenue, but it certainly means that tax increases rarely raise as much money as initially projected.
  • Higher taxes usually are a substitute for the real solution of spending restraint (i.e., Mitchell’s Golden Rule). Politicians oftentimes refuse to reduce the burden of government spending because of an expectation of additional tax revenue. Heck, in many cases, higher taxes trigger an increase in the size and scope of the public sector.

So did Portugal learn any lessons from this failed experiment in Obamanomics?

Hardly. Indeed, the government plans to double down on this approach – even though it’s increasingly apparent that higher tax burdens won’t translate into much – if any – additional tax revenue. Here are some excerpts from a report in the Financial Times.

Lisbon plans to lift income tax revenue by more than 30 per cent, raising the effective average rate by more than a third from 9.8 to 13.2 per cent. Anyone receiving more than the minimum wage of €485 a month, including pensioners, will also pay an extraordinary tax of 3.5 per cent on their income. …the steep tax increases facing many families have made the outlook for 2013 – the third consecutive year of austerity, recession and rising unemployment – the grimmest yet. Total tax revenue has fallen considerably below target this year, forcing the government to implement additional austerity measures… The coalition will be relying on increased state revenue to account for about 80 per cent of the fiscal adjustment required in 2013 – a reversal of the original bailout plan, in which consolidation was to be achieved mainly through spending cuts.

Amazing. The government imposes huge tax hikes, which don’t generate any positive results. Yet even though “tax revenue has fallen considerably below target,” confirming that there are significant Laffer Curve issues, the government chooses to repeat the snake-oil fiscal therapy of higher taxes.

Anybody want to guess what’s going to happen? The answer, of course, is that this will further dampen incentives to generate income and comply with the government’s fiscal demands.

The latest increases have stretched the tax system to the limit, says Carlos Loureiro, a tax partner at Deloitte. “The current model is exhausted. We need to do something different,” he says. “Any further increase in tax rates is unlikely to result in increased revenue.” Income from value added tax, the government’s biggest source of tax revenue representing about 36 per cent of the total, has been falling since 2008, despite a sharp increase in the rate – the main rate is now 23 per cent. Both the government and the European Commission have acknowledged the risks of depending on increased tax revenue, which is more growth sensitive, to meet fiscal targets and contingency spending cuts amounting to 0.5 per cent of national output have prepared in case of another tax shortfall.

I almost want to laugh at the part of the excerpt which notes that tax revenue “has been falling…despite a sharp increase in the rate.”

Maybe it’s time for these fiscal pyromaniacs to realize that revenues might be falling because rates are higher. In other words, Portugal not only isn’t at the ideal point on the Laffer Curve (collecting the amount of revenue needed to finance legitimate activities of government), it may even be past the revenue-maximizing part of the curve.

To be fair, there are lots of factors that determine economic performance, so higher tax burdens are just one possible explanation for why the tax base is shrinking or stagnant.

The one thing we can state with certainty, though, is that Portugal’s fiscal problem is too much government spending. The failure to address this problem then leads to very unpleasant symptoms, such as lots of red ink and self-destructive class-warfare tax policy.

If all that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s also a description of what President Obama is proposing for the United States.

Ummm…shouldn’t they be targeting politicians?

P.S. I don’t want to imply that Portugal is a total basket case. True, I’m not optimistic about the country’s future, but at least some lawmakers now acknowledge that Keynesian spending was a big mistake. And there are even signs that Portuguese officials are beginning to realize that lower tax rates should be part of the solution. But good policy may be impossible since so many people now have a moocher mentality.

P.P.S. At the risk of bearing bad news to close the year, research from both the Bank for International Settlements and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows the United States actually faces a bigger long-run fiscal challenge than Portugal.

The Laffer Curve – Explained

Uploaded by on Nov 14, 2011

This video explains the relationship between tax rates, taxable income, and tax revenue. The key lesson is that the Laffer Curve is not an all-or-nothing proposition, where we have to choose between the exaggerated claim that “all tax cuts pay for themselves” and the equally silly assumption that tax policy doesn’t effect the economy and there is never any revenue feedback. From http://www.freedomandprosperity.org 202-285-0244

__________________________________

__________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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