Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Politics

New Jersey Governor Ignores Pension Crisis, Wants More Spending

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 17, 2018: 

English: Teachers at New College Nottingham pr...

Teachers protesting over proposwed cuts to government pension plans.

While running for governor of New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy was asked what he would do about the state’s overwhelming pension crisis, and he waffled: there’s “no easy answer,” he said. He added that the state would have to do something about the problem. Said Murphy, “The state has to stand up for its side of the bargain. Period. If the state doesn’t, there’s no use in having [any further] discussion.”

Murphy was inaugurated as the New Jersey’s 56th governor on Tuesday and promptly forgot all about the pension tsunami about to engulf the state. Instead he offered both a “wish list” and a “to-do list” for his supporters and Democratic legislators in attendance. His “wish list” contained the usual collection of liberal promises, while his “to-do” list is what he wants the state legislature to bring to his desk within the next 30 days.

His “wish list” was a rehash of his campaign promises — long on generalities but short on specifics — including legalizing marijuana, protecting illegal immigrants from ICE, providing free tuition at the state’s community colleges, eliminating “tax breaks” that large corporations are allegedly unfairly enjoying, investing state funds in more costly “green energy” projects, and paying for it all by raising taxes on those few millionaires still residing in one of the country’s highest-tax states.

He was much more specific with his “to-do” list. He ordered the state’s liberal and heavily Democratic legislators to get off the snide and send him six bills within the next 30 days, each of which, said Murphy, “will be met with a signing ceremony.” Their marching orders from Murphy included new funding for “women’s health” and Planned Parenthood, raising the minimum wage in the state to $15 an hour, mandating “equal pay” for women, requiring employers in the state to provide paid sick leave to their employees, passing laws removing barriers to having illegals vote, and, of course, additional attacks on the state’s more than three million law-abiding gun owners.

He mentioned not a word about the state’s pension crisis, which has been brewing for years and accelerating nearly exponentially. It’s not that Murphy doesn’t know about the crisis or its extent and potential for bankrupting the state. In 2005, acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey convened a commission to study “the problem,” naming Phil Murphy as its head. In its conclusion, that study urged the state in no uncertain terms to end immediately all “pension holidays” (the skipping of payments to the state’s five pension plans for a period of time), to avoid actuarial “gimmicks” commonly used to make those liabilities appear to be smaller than they actually are, and to eliminate borrowing to pay the state’s contributions. It also recommended a series of reforms, including an end to pension “spiking” (by which employees can sweeten their final payouts as they approach retirement), and raising the age at which plan beneficiaries could retire with full benefits. That last recommendation, which was never implemented, would have raised the full-benefit retirement age from 55 to 60.

So Murphy cannot claim ignorance. He is also certain to know of the accounting chicanery that took place last year, i.e., using the state’s lottery program to help pay the state’s pension contributions. But it was chicanery taken to level of audacity rarely seen even in states as corrupt as New Jersey. Instead of demanding that the lottery’s annual $1 billion proceeds flow into the pension funds’ coffers, the legislature actually transferred the entire program into those coffers and then declared that the future value of those annual proceeds (happily and likely generously estimated at more than $13 billion) was now an asset, reducing (on paper at least) the amount of the unfunded liability.

Moody’s Analytics was not impressed: “The lottery transfer does not change the state’s weak [and] steeply rising pension contribution schedule. [Even after the transfer] there remains considerable risk that the state will be unable to afford rapidly growing pension contributions.”

Also not impressed were two senior fellows at the Manhattan Institute, who just released their study of New Jersey’s pension problems. In January, well before Murphy neatly demurred on even mentioning them, the authors concluded: “It is highly unlikely that New Jersey will generate enough new revenues to meet its pension obligations without severely hobbling the rest of the state’s budget. At the same time, allowing its pension system to continue to accumulate debt by not contributing adequately to it will push New Jersey toward a potentially catastrophic failure of its government pensions.”

At the moment, those five government pension plans have the lowest funding ratio of any state in the union, with a liability estimated to be $124 billion. Those plans are only 30-percent funded currently and declining with each passing day.

But Murphy’s term is for only four years, and if he wins reelection, his tenure ends in eight years. Those plans will likely remain in place, continuing to threaten pensioners who still think they will be getting their benefits, and threatening the state with bankruptcy if it tries to fund them properly. But Murphy will be long gone, proving once again the old adage: Politicians come and go, but the unfunded promises they make live long after them.

The Unlamented Passing of a “Free Trade” Pro-illegal Immigration Fraud, Peter Sutherland

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 15, 2018: 

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN11 - Peter D. Sutherla...

Peter D. Sutherland

Peter Sutherland lived just long enough to see his dream – a beige world filled with non-resistant sheeple – seriously challenged. He is quoted as saying that plans to extricate itself from the European Union by the United Kingdom (Brexit) are “insane” and “morally indefensible.” During President Trump’s first year in office, Sutherland was in declining health (he’d suffered a heart attack last year and had never fully recovered) and so quotes about his opinion of MAGA and “America First” aren’t available. But during Trump’s presidential campaign Sutherland was in full throat:

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No One is Neutral About “Sheriff Joe”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 12, 2018: 

Following former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s announcement on Wednesday that he was running for Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s seat (Flake is retiring), President Trump tweeted: “Sheriff Joe is a patriot, Sheriff Joe loves our country, Sheriff Joe protected our borders.” Arpaio owes his freedom to Trump, who pardoned him in August after a Clinton/Obama-era judge convicted him of mistreating Arizona’s uninvited illegal immigrant “guests” as criminals and defying her order to stop. At the time, Arpaio called out the judge’s conviction for what it was: “a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department.”

Arpaio’s announcement sent liberals into hyperactive overdrive, beginning with DNC’s ultra-liberal chairman Tom Perez:

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Sheriff Joe Incurs Wrath of Liberals in Announcing for Jeff Flake’s Senate Seat

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 11, 2018:  

speaking in Phoenix, Arizona on February 26, 2011.

Joe Arpaio, the World’s Toughest Sheriff

During an interview with Fox and Friends on Wednesday morning former Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced he would be running for Senator Jeff Flake’s seat in the upcoming primary. Said Arpaio: “I’m doing it for the people of Arizona, for our country and to support our great president.”

This immediately elicited a tweet from President Trump: “Sheriff Joe is a patriot, Sheriff Joe loves our country, Sheriff Joe protected our borders.” “Sheriff Joe” also ticked off vast numbers of liberals for having the audacity at age 85 to run for Flake’s seat in the upcoming primary. One of the most prominent is Tom Perez, the hard-left liberal running the Democratic National Committee (DNC), who said,

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Establishment Insider Calls for Military Intervention in Venezuela

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 10, 2018: 

English: Ricardo Hausmann

Ricardo Hausmann

When an obscure college professor nearing retirement age suggests that the only way to “solve” the Venezuelan “crisis” is through military intervention, few people would pay any attention. But when that person, Ricardo Hausmann, is a professor at Harvard and a director of the John F. Kennedy School of Government there, his proposal represents much more than just wishful thinking.

Hausmann, with a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University, is a bona fide Keynesian interventionist. Considering that Hausmann was a former minister of planning in Venezuela and a member of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Venezuela in the early 1990s, one can rest assured that free market principles aren’t being considered as any part of his solution to Venezuela’s problems.

Under socialism, things have gotten so bad in Venezuela that Hausmann now thinks military intervention is the only cure. His plan, “D Day Venezuela,”

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Deep State: Pulling Strings From Behind the Scenes, by Alex Newman

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 8, 2018. Its author, Alex Newman, will be speaking in Colorado Springs at 21C Library on Wednesday evening, February 7th, on the same topic. If you need a ticket, call me at 481-3890. 

Even a mere few years ago, many Americans would have scoffed at the idea of privately organized individuals controlling the levers of government. Now most people see it.

In 1770, William Pitt famously told the U.K. House of Lords that “there is something behind the throne greater than the king himself.” Today, in the face of what appears to be a broad and highly coordinated effort to destroy President Donald Trump, Americans are waking up in huge numbers to the fact that there is a hidden “power behind the throne” in America, too. Trump himself has helped to bring about this awakening. For instance, among other concerns, candidate and later President Trump warned his followers about the “swamp,” about a “cabal” seeking “global government,” and of course, about the “Deep State” seeking to sabotage the United States and especially his America First agenda. This view is now becoming mainstream, the evidence suggests.

In fact, an ABC News/Washington Post poll from April of 2017 shows that

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What the Latest Jobs Reports Really Mean

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 8, 2018:

There were three jobs reports released last week: two from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (one based on its “household” survey, the other on its “establishment” survey), and one from ADP based upon its payroll data.

ADP’s numbers came in first on Thursday, showing job growth in December exceeding forecasters’ predictions at 250,000. This was followed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on Friday, showing 148,000 new jobs in December. They both said that the unemployment rate held steady at a record low 4.1 percent.

Mark Zandi, the establishment economist at Moody’s, was “disappointed” in Friday’s numbers from the BLS and thinks they’re going to get worse going into the New Year. First,

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Economist Mark Zandi Exposes His Statist Worldview

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 8, 2018:

Mark Zandi should be embarrassed. Not because he is an establishment economist. Not because he is a Keynesian. And not because he’s not a smart guy. He should be embarrassed that someone allowed him to publish nonsense about the state of the economy in order to promote his worldview.

He lives in a world that is behaving much differently than he expected or than he apparently wants. He wants the Trump tax reform law to fail. He must admit that the economy is working much better than he ever expected it to. But, in the end, he says that it’s all a mirage, temporary, that the resurgence measured by nearly every metric isn’t going to last.

He is establishment to the core, and perhaps that’s why he’s willing to go to the mat for a worldview that is being overturned and increasingly discredited: that statists can control things much better than an uncontrolled “free” economy can.

He admitted in an article for CNBC that things are going just swimmingly:

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Trump Economy Making Democrats Look Increasingly Foolish

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 5, 2018:

The kept media dutifully reported California Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s disgust over President Trump’s tax reform program, even though it made her look foolish. Said Pelosi, “If this goes through, kiss life on earth goodbye. The debate on health care is life/death. This is Armageddon.” This was followed by the media quoting Democrat Chuck Schumer: “Tax breaks don’t lead to job creation … [this bill is a] punch in the gut for the middle class.”

It may be a little early to tell, but at the moment the middle class is doing just fine. Life goes on; if Armageddon occurred, the media missed it. That “punch in the gut for the middle class” is about to be caused by heavier wallets, thanks to tax cuts showing up in their February paychecks.

For hundreds of thousands, that punch in the gut was immediate:

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Sen. Hatch’s Retirement Paves Way for Romney: One RINO Replacing Another

, member of the United States Senate.

Utah RINO Orrin Hatch

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 3, 2018:

If Mitt Romney ends up in Orrin Hatch’s Senate seat, that would mean one RINO (Republican In Name Only) replacing another.

A boxer in his youth, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah announced on Tuesday that he was hanging up his gloves for good. After 40 years in the Senate, he said that he had been fighting the good fight but that it was time for him to make his exit:

When the president visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington.

But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves.

He said he will leave the Senate when his current term ends at the end of this year.

It was unclear exactly what “fight” the 83-year-old senator was referring to.

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Minimum Wage Increases in 2018 Putting People Out of Work

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 3, 2018: 

According to Mic, the left-wing internet and media company that caters to millennials, Seattle “is quickly becoming one of the most interesting cities in the country for political observers.” The city boasts having an avowed socialist on its city council and proved his influence through its $4.8 billion budget in 2014 that is “loaded with a number of initiatives that illustrate how Seattle is making strides toward becoming a testing ground for boldly progressive policies.”

That salute to Seattle’s progressivism was published in 2014, and little has changed in the city council’s ideology. It now boasts a minimum wage of $15.45 an hour, with predictable effects: total wages paid to lower-income people has gone down, not up. A study just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) explained:

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Craziest Idea of 2017: Let Students Pay Down Their College Loans by Delaying Their Social Security Benefits

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 1, 2018:  

What a world! Broken promises traded for other broken promises, and offered with a straight face!

Representative Tom Garrett (R-Va.) turns 46 in March and is still paying off his student loans. In less than 20 years he’ll qualify to retire under present Social Security rules. He put two-and-two together and came up with the Student Security Act (SSA): Pay down some of his student loans by pushing back his retirement age.

Specifically, Garrett’s bill (H.R.4584, which has four co-sponsors so far) would forgive

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Bah Humbug: The Left Is Unhappy with Year-end Bonuses Paid Following Tax Reform

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 27, 2017:  

Within hours of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) on December 20, major American companies began announcing year-end bonuses, salary increases, and plans to expand capital investment. This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise to many, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted: “It’s only been a few hours … and companies are already announcing new investments into the US economy & raises for their employees.”

Senator Tim Scott, Republican conservative from South Carolina, called its passage “a tremendous victory,” adding that it’s an “early Christmas present for the American people.”

Details of raises, bonuses, and capex expansion plans poured out of Comcast

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Venezuela Descends into Barbarity and Depravity

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 22, 2017:

Former Harvard University professor George Santayana said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” What’s frustrating isn’t that those lessons are obscure; it’s that those promoting provable falsehoods from history are allowed such public acceptance and credibility. It reminds one of the cigarette sellers’ slogan: “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.” Never mind that smoking will kill you.

That’s why this writer holds in such contempt liars like

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The GOP Tax Reform Bill Now Ready for Trump’s Signature

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 21, 2017:

Without a single Democrat vote in either the House or the Senate, the tax reform bill headed for President Donald Trump’s desk on Wednesday is likely to cost them dearly in the midterm elections. That is, if the bill works as intended: giving Americans “more take home pay” as the president expressed it, adding. “It will be an incredible Christmas gift for hardworking Americans.”

Most of those hardworking Americans won’t see a thing until

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Maduro’s Socialist Paradise Descends Further into Depravity: Citizen Murder

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 21, 2017:

Luisa Ortega, once Marxist Nicolas Maduro’s Prosecutor General, was lucky to get out alive. When she protested the country’s Supreme Court’s assumption of powers reserved to the duly-elected National Assembly last summer, that court froze all of her personal assets and barred her from leaving the country. Her replacement, Tarek William Saab, learned she was attempting to flee the country and almost succeeded in stopping her. She and her husband fled from Venezuela by speedboat to Aruba and from there they flew into Columbia.

From there she has been waging a war of exposure of Maduro’s criminal activities and the Wall Street Journal just reviewed her 495-page report of his atrocities.

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Final Tax Reform Bill: The Goods Outweigh the Bads

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 19, 2017:

With victory over tax reform clearly in sight, President Trump on Sunday tweeted, “As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive TAX CUT for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country. Now, we are just days away.” From the White House came more details:

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Venezuela’s Socialism Is Killing Its Children; NY Times Blames “Economic Mismanagement”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 19, 2017:

For five months investigative journalists from the New York Times sought and uncovered the truth about Nicolas Maduro’s socialist paradise in Venezuela, and then blamed the horror they found on “economic mismanagement.” This is a lie of the first magnitude, as expressed by Alfred Lord Tennyson: “A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.”

The half-truth referred to by Tennyson assumes that the Times got their story at least half right:

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Trump Can’t Do Everything Himself, so He Nominated Neomi Rao to Help Him

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 18, 2017:  

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Who? Up until Thursday, few had ever heard of Neomi Rao. Looking into her background, fewer still would have predicted the role she is playing in helping President Donald Trump keep one of his most important campaign promises.

After graduating from Yale University with “highest distinction” in ethics, economics, and philosophy, she attended the University of Chicago Law School where she received her Juris Doctor degree. She was comment editor of the school’s law review and also executive editor for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

But she never drank from the cup of regulatory Kool-Aid. Instead she went on to clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and from there to serve as a staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 2012, she received tenure from George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School where she founded the Center for the Study of the Administrative State.

In other words, until Thursday, Rao was invisible.

But when Trump nominated her in April to his Office of Management and Budget with the mind-bending title of Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Jonathan Adler took notice.

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Trump’s Regulatory Rollback: Not 2 to 1, but 22 to 1!

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 18, 2017:

In his first 11 months in office, President Donald Trump is keeping another of his campaign promises: reducing regulations so that the economy can breathe again. Speaking in the Roosevelt Room — an irony that may have been intended — Trump summarized brilliantly exactly how the greatest economic miracle in history got bogged down:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.