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

Tag Archives: Regulations

Union Influence Fades as Right-to-work Gains Momentum

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 21, 2017:  

English: Economic regions of California, as de...

When Rebecca Friedrichs, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the California Teachers Association, learned in June that the Supreme Court denied her petition to rehear her complaint over the union extracting dues from her paycheck without her consent, she declared:

My heart is broken for America’s children and families, as their teachers will continue to be forced to fund policies and highly political collective bargaining processes which place the desires of adults above the rights and needs of children.… I’m optimistic [that] we can continue … to restore First Amendment rights to teachers and other public sector workers. Our kids are worth the fight!

Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, the public-interest law firm representing Friedrichs, agreed:

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Heritage Foundation Blames Obama Admin. for America’s Economic Decline

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 15, 2017:

The Heritage Foundation minced no words in commenting on its latest Index of Economic Freedom: America’s continuing decline is all Obama’s fault:

America’s standing in the index [now in 17th place, the lowest in history] has dwindled steadily during the Obama years. This is largely owed to increased government spending, [increased] regulations, and a failed stimulus program that enriched the well-connected while leaving average Americans behind.

For the ninth time in 10 years, America’s index has lost ground. Coming in above 80 in 2008, the United States’ current index is barely above 75, tying it with

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Trump Has Great Opportunity to Influence U.S. Jurisprudence

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 15, 2017:

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010.

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention after becoming the Republican nominee for president, then-candidate Donald Trump reiterated the importance of the replacement of deceased Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia, stating, “The replacement of our beloved Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views, principles and judicial philosophies. Very important. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election.”

Following Trump’s election victory in November, liberals voiced shock and consternation, especially in light of the Republican Party maintaining its majority in the branch of the legislature tasked with confirming Scalia’s replacement — the Senate. Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio declared that

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Number Two at ATF Offers Options to Reduce Firearms Regulations

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 7, 2017:  

English: Official logo for the ATF

Ronald Turk, the associate deputy director (chief operating officer) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), created an internal 11-page document intended for “eyes only” at the bureau: “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations,” dated January 20, 2017. The Washington Post obtained a copy and was astonished at its contents:

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Jobs Report: Across-the-board Growth, Except for Government

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 3, 2017:

Friday’s jobs report from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for January surprised on the upside in almost every category with job growth of 227,000 new jobs, beating economists’ predictions by more than 50,000. The report reflected numbers from the week before President Donald Trump was inaugurated, and showed growth in every major category, including manufacturing. On the flip side, government employment dropped by 10,000 jobs.

This is the best jobs report in the last four months, and exceeds 2016’s average monthly jobs growth of 187,000. Construction added 36,000 jobs, retail trade added 46,000 jobs, financial services grew by 32,000 jobs, professional and business services increased by 39,000 jobs, education and health services jumped by 24,000 jobs, leisure and hospitality added 34,000 jobs, and manufacturing added 5,000 jobs.

The job market was attractive enough to entice those not in the work force to begin to look for work once again, increasing the workforce participation rate. The labor force increased by 584,000 in January while wages continued to increase, rising 2.5 percent over the past year, and long-term unemployment dropped.

The report reflected a positive change, especially in manufacturing versus government. Over the last year the manufacturing sector lost 46,000 jobs while government employment under the Obama administration jumped by 162,000 jobs. Future reports from the BLS will confirm whether the January reversal has legs.

The January report is merely a snapshot of an economy in transition, which makes it difficult to draw long-term conclusions. Part of its rosy tone may reflect anticipation of the fulfillment of Trump’s promises, such as repealing ObamaCare, cutting taxes and regulations, and removing executive-order impediments that flowed from Obama’s pen especially as he was making his exit.

A broader picture suggests that, as good as the report is, the underlying economy is doing even better. Baby Boomers are exiting the jobs market and retiring at an estimated 10,000 every day. That’s nearly four million leaving the workforce every year. And it could continue for years as the Baby Boomer cohort exceeds 75 million.

There’s also the factor of robotics increasingly replacing jobs as cost-cutting continues to drive automation, along with the push from minimum-wage laws. And yet the jobs report reflected a growing economy that is able to overcome those negatives.

In addition, there is the difficulty of measuring exactly how many people are working and for whom. The Wall Street Journal raised the issue in its recent report “The End of Employees,” which said, “Never before have American companies tried so hard to employ so few people.” The problem, said the Journal, is that “no one knows how many Americans work as contractors, because they don’t fit neatly into the job categories tracked by government agencies [such as the BLS].”

For example, Southwest Airlines has about 53,000 real full-time, full-benefits employees, but another 10,000 outside employees. Google’s parent Alphabet uses contract staff from various outside staffing agencies such as Zenith Talent, Filter, and Adecco, running up an annual bill for those services in excess of $300 million. When Todd Gibbons, CEO of the Bank of New York, was quizzed on the matter, he responded, “It’s just too hard to tell exactly what’s going on with [our] head count and how people compute it and whether [we’ve] got contractors versus full-time employees.” If he doesn’t know how many people work for BNY, how would the BLS know?

What is clear is that January’s report, if it is sustained in the months ahead, reflects the new paradigm emanating from Washington: one of support and encouragement backed by real efforts to unleash the free market by removing some (many) of the impediments placed before it by previous administrations.

Trump’s Regulatory Executive Order: One In, Two Out

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 30, 2017:

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan

White House officials described President Donald Trump’s Executive Order for “Reducing Government Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Cost” as Trump’s “one in, two out” plan: For every regulation promulgated by a federal agency, that agency must “identify” two existing regulations to be targeted for extinction.

The order also sets a cap of $0 for the cost of new regulations, with the only exceptions being military and national security regulations. The president said when signing the order,

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Congress Plans to Repeal Obama Rules Through Congressional Review Act

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 26, 2017:

To facilitated mining of a coal seam in Gillet...

To facilitate mining of a coal seam in Gillette, Wyoming, blasting was used to loosen the coal after the overburden was removed. Approximately half a million tons of coal in a seam 80 feet thick was loosened by this single blast.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy explained in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday just how Congress is planning to roll back numerous egregious and harmful rules promulgated by the Obama administration: the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA was included in the “Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996” and allows Congress to review, and to cancel by majority rule, new federal regulations issued by federal agencies. There’s a window of 60 “legislative” days to disapprove, which explains some of the Trump administration’s haste in pushing to repeal them. Once passed by both houses, repeals then become effective with President Donald Trump’s signature.

There are plenty of targets, but McCarthy focused on just three: the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule impacting the coal-mining industry, new methane gas regulations that would cost up to $1 billion and force many small energy developers out of business, and the Social Security Administration’s new rule that states that if a S.S. recipient needs a third party to manage his finances, he will be added to the gun background check list.

The CRA shouldn’t be necessary. If Congress hadn’t unconstitutionally allowed power it alone possesses under the Constitution to make laws to pass over to the executive branch’s various and sundry regulatory agencies, the problems with the Obama administration’s overreach wouldn’t exist in the first place. Those agencies have grown into Leviathan, issuing rules, regulations, and mandates far beyond those imagined by Congress. Now Congress is in the backward position of having to limit the regulations pouring out of that unconstitutional “fourth branch” of government. The child is now threatening its parent.

Parsing the language of the Interior Department’s rules on its expanded regulation of coal miners proves the point:

Under [the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977], the regulatory authority may not approve a permit application [from a coal mining company] unless the application demonstrates, and the regulatory authority finds, that the proposed operation would not result in material damage to the hydrologic balance [i.e., streams and rivers] outside the permit area.

How does a coal mining company, in its application, “prove” a negative? How does it satisfy a bureaucratic unelected unaccountable and invisible agency that it will cause no harm, or at least not enough harm to avoid trespassing on that agency’s environmental sensitivities? What assurance does a coal mining company have that said agency won’t change the rules arbitrarily and capriciously in the future? Would not such future uncertainty tend to dampen said coal company’s interest in developing its reserves?

Similar charges could be levied against the federal agency issuing its rules on methane emissions, but the best example of egregious overreach is the Social Security Administration’s new rule that allows it to “deem” who shall have his or her name entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) based on whether or not they receive third-party assistance in managing their finances. Here’s what the SSA says it will do:

We will identify, on a prospective [in the absence of evidence of any proclivity towards criminal activity] basis, individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits … or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments … who meet certain criteria, including … a finding that the individual’s mental impairment meets or medically equals [various] requirements.

And just how, pray tell, would such “identification” take place? The SSA responds:

If we have information that the beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that prevents him or her from managing or directing the management of benefits, we will develop the issue of capability.

And just how is that “issue of capability” to be determined? Again, the SSA provides the guidelines its bureaucrats should follow in making that determination:

Does the individual have difficulty answering questions, getting the evidence or information necessary to pursue the claim, or understanding explanations and reporting instructions?

 

If so, do you think this difficulty indicates [that] the beneficiary cannot manage or direct the management of [his or her] funds?

If the answer, by this nameless, faceless unaccountable bureaucrat, is yes, his or her name is entered into the NICS.

The agency then condescends to tell the soul who just had his Second and Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution obliterated that they have just done so, and that if he cares to contest this arbitrary and capricious decision by said unnamed bureaucrat, he is free to hire an attorney and seek redress. Guilty until proven innocent.

Where is due process? Where is the beneficiary allowed to defend himself or explain himself or offer an explanation? What happens to the right to face his accuser in a court of law?

When Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action (NRAILA), learned of McCarthy’s plan of attack to repeal this particular rule, he was delighted:

Congress’ decision to review the Obama administration’s back-door gun grab is a significant step forward in restoring the fundamental Constitutional rights of many law-abiding gun owners.

 

The NRA has been fighting this unconstitutional government overreach since it was first discussed, and we look forward to swift congressional action to overturn it.

Those in the energy industry will likely be equally ebullient once Congress has righted the wrongs imposed by federal agencies on its businesses. Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the House Energy Committee, told Reuters that using the CRA will not only wipe out entire regulations but forbid them from writing new versions in their place.

In effect Congress’ use of the CRA will be equivalent to hacking off some of the branches of the Fourth Branch’s tree, but leaves the trunk and the root intact. It’s a start, but only a start.

Is Obama Worst U.S. President?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 20, 2017:

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010.

If one asks Joe Hoft, a corporate executive with a Fortune 300 company based in Hong Kong about President Obama’s economic policies during his eight years as president, he will note that Obama “currently ranks as the fourth worst president on record in GDP growth.” At just 1.45 percent average annual GDP growth over those eight years, only Herbert Hoover (minus 5.65 percent), Andrew Johnson (minus .7 percent) and Theodore Roosevelt (1.4 percent) have worse records. However, “Barack Obama will be the only U.S. president in history who did not deliver a single year of 3.0 or better percent growth.”

Hoft will remind us that

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Obama’s Rush to Leave a Legacy Leaves a Mess Instead

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 17, 2017:

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

Goodbye

In Greek mythology Augeas is best known for his stables, which housed 3,000 head of cattle. The stables hadn’t been cleaned for 30 years, and Heracles’ job — to keep working until he had cleaned the stables entirely — was deemed impossible, as the cattle were immortal.

Happily President-elect Donald Trump’s challenge to undo egregious Obama administration actions isn’t as overwhelming as Heracles’. Consider Obama’s parting gift of

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Federal Investigation Into Chicago Police Following Same Pattern as Baltimore

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 13, 2017:

The federal Department of Justice’s final report of its “Investigation of the Chicago Police Department” was released on Friday and, as expected, it sounded very similar to the one it completed on the Baltimore Police Department. That investigation led to a consent decree approved by Baltimore’s City Council on Thursday. There’s no reason to doubt the same outcome in Chicago.

From the Chicago report:

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Ford Cancels Plans for Mexico Plant, Shifts 700 jobs to United States

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 4, 2017:  

English: Ford Motor Company Headquarters, Dear...

Ford Motor Company Headquarters, Dearborn, Mi.

When Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company’s executive chairman, called President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday to inform him of his company’s decision to cancel its plans to build a new plant in Mexico and instead shift some of those new jobs to Michigan, liberal eyebrows were raised. Was this a “capitulation” to Trump? Was it a “sell-out?” Was it a “peace offering?”

CNN’s Poppy Harlow interviewed Ford’s president and chief operating officer Mark Fields following the company’s announcement, attacking him mercilessly with loaded questions. She peppered him with insinuations that

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Trump Names Jay Clayton, Quintessential Wall Street Lawyer and Goldman Sachs Advisor, to Head SEC

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 4, 2017:

English: Logo of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc....

In announcing Jay Clayton as his pick to run the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), President-elect Donald Trump issued a statement that was both laudatory and a thinly veiled warning to Clayton: “Jay Clayton is a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law, and he will ensure our financial institutions can thrive and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time.”

And then, as if quoting from the job description Trump no doubt created as he was sorting through prospective picks for the position:

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Social Security uses “Nuremberg Defense” to Explain Why it Wants to Add Beneficiaries to the NICS

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 26, 2016:  

The defendants at Nuremberg Trials

The defendants at Nuremberg Trials

The Nuremberg Defense was developed following the Second World War in an attempt to reduce the sentences of those convicted of heinous crimes ordered by their superiors. The Social Security Administration (SSA) used a variation to deflect criticism over its “final” rules regarding adding names of certain beneficiaries to the NICS – the National Instant Criminal Background Check System:

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Trump Names Carl Icahn Special Advisor on Deregulation

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 22, 2016:

President-elect Donald Trump has named a longtime close friend as his “special advisor” on deregulation: multi-billionaire activist Carl Icahn. In acknowledging the honor, Icahn stated, “It’s time to break free of excessive regulation (see above) and let our entrepreneurs do what they do best: create jobs and support communities.”

Icahn started as a stock trader and then moved into a position where he could

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Trump’s Labor Secretary: Fast-food Magnate Is Anti-Minimum Wage

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, December 9, 2016:  

CKE Restaurants

When President-elect Donald Trump nominated Andy Puzder, the head of CKE Restaurants (Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.), on Thursday, he called him the “ideal candidate,” stating, “Andy Puzder has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor. Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring [that] workers receive the benefits they deserve. [In addition] he will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages.”

Puzder is ideal in more ways than one.

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“Upside Sensitivity” the New Buzzword as Companies Plan for Trump Economy

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 9, 2016: 

English: Photo of the AT&T Midtown Center in M...

AT&T Midtown Center in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia.

AT&T’s Chief Executive, Randall Stephenson, spoke to a UBS investment conference on Tuesday, introducing a new phrase that more and more American companies will shortly be adopting: “upside sensitivity” studies. He spoke of how less government oversight and lower taxes would impact his business, expressing optimism that “a more moderate approach to some of those regulations is in the making under a Trump administration.” He then added:

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U.S. Steel Latest to Bring Jobs Back to the United States

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 8, 2016:  

U.S. Steel

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, U.S. Steel’s CEO Mario Longhi said he’d like to bring back up to 10,000 jobs to the United States:

We’re already structured to do some things, but when you see in the near future improvements to the tax laws, improvements to regulation, those two things by themselves may be a significant driver to what we’re going to do….

 

I’d be more than happy to bring back the employees we’ve been forced to lay off during [the Great Recession].

His company used to employ 37,000 people but that dropped to just 21,000 as of last December, thanks not only to the Great Recession and its almost immeasurably small recovery but also due to excessive regulations:

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Final and Buried Reports Reveal Fantastic Government Waste

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 6, 2016:  

English: Official portrait of US Rep. James La...

Senator James Lankford

Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) issued his second annual Federal Fumbles study last week, totaling $247 billion in wasteful projects and nonsensical studies. When fellow Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn retired, the job of finding and then criticizing wasteful projects fell to Lankford.

He is up to the task:

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Trump Picks Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 30, 2016:  

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

President-elect Donald Trump picked Elaine Chao shown) for secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday, raising concerns about her connections with the Republican establishment as well as China. Some of those concerns are balanced by her affiliations with pro-freedom and pro-free market organizations.

If confirmed, she will face a host of issues,

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Trump: TPP RIP; Put “America First”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 23, 2016:  

On Tuesday, November 8, the election of Donald Trump foretold the death-knell of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — assuming of course he meant what he said when he made opposition to the jobs- and sovereignty-destroying TPP a signature part of his campaign. On Monday, November 21, President-elect Trump posted a short video message on Facebook (available on YouTube) citing several executive actions he would take on “day one” as president. First mentioned: “I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country.”

In the same video, Trump also said:

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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.