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: taxpayer

Trump’s “Great, Great Wall” to be Big and Scary

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 20, 2017:

United States Customs and Border Protection of...

United States Customs and Border Protection officers, fully armed and armored for a counter-terrorism operation.

In his address to Congress earlier this month, President Donald Trump said, “We will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border” to “restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders.” Now that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has begun issuing RFPs — requests for proposals — the wall is also going to be big and scary: “The wall design shall be physically imposing in height,” according to CBP officials.

It will be at least 18 feet in height, but CBP’s “nominal” goal is more like 30 feet above ground, and another six feet below ground (to discourage tunneling underneath it). It’s also going to be thick, as one of the requirements is that it must take someone at least an hour — and ideally more than four hours — to bore a hole in it large enough to allow him to crawl through it. That, theoretically at least, would allow enough time for border agents to respond to the attempted breach.

Its RFPs will entertain alternatives to the concrete wall many have already envisioned, responding to border agents’ suggestions that it have a “see-through” component,

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Trump Preframes the Budget Conversation with His “Blueprint”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 17, 2017: 

After reading Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal, “Peter W.” wrote how “The Donald” preframes a conversation with an opponent: “When he makes an opening bid, it is far away from where his deals end. It is a poker game with high stakes, and it is up to the other to negotiate a better position.”

That is what Trump and his OMB Director Mick Mulvaney offered on Wednesday: the opening bid in the budget conversation to take place later on this year. Mulvaney was very clear about that: “This Blueprint is not the full Federal budget, [but] it does provide lawmakers and the public with a view of the priorities of the President and his Administration.”

It also serves to warn the public – the American taxpayer who is the deeply interested third party in that conversation – that the budget is going to be much larger than the one Obama left his office with in 2017, which was $4.15 trillion.

It’s called “America First – A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” and it’s Trump’s attempt to set the parameters of the conversation with Congress after his full budget is released in late May. The strategy might have worked well for Trump – he brags that he successfully closed more than 100 real estate “deals” during his career – but dealing with 535 members of the House and Senate is, to put it mildly, going to be a different cup of tea.

Said Trump:

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Trump’s “Blueprint” Budget Is a Policy Statement; Real Budget to Follow

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 16, 2017:

English: Official portrait of US Rep. Mick Mul...

Mick Mulvaney. Trump’s OMB Director

President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) unveiled “America First — A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” on Thursday, noting that the president’s actual budget will be released in May. President Trump and his OMB Director Mick Mulvaney joined in outlining the “blueprint” without disclosing hard numbers, revenue projections, or even an economic outlook to back it up. It was, in other words, a policy statement, with details to follow.

Said Trump:

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Australia’s Second Gun Buyback Likely to Fail

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 13, 2017:  

In announcing Australia’s new federal gun amnesty program, Justice Minister Michael Keenan told the Sunday Mail last week: “This is the first Australia-wide gun amnesty program since 1996, when the Howard government took action following the devastation of the Port Arthur Massacre.” (above: fountain in Port Arthur) The massacre of 35 people and the wounding of another 23 in late April, 1996 at the popular tourist site in southeastern Australia served as the excuse to implement the country’s National Firearms Agreement (NFA). The NFA turned millions of law-abiding gun owners into criminals with its heavy restrictions, and the amnesty program was designed to remove the now-illegal weaponry from their rightful owners with a mixture of carrot and stick.

Those restrictions included

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Aussies Know When Their Rights Are Being Violated

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 13, 2017:

Location of Port Arthur, where the majority of...

Location of Port Arthur, where the majority of the shootings occurred

A series of referendums from 1898 to 1900 led to the ratification of Australia’s constitution, which became effective on January 1, 1901. Unfortunately, the idea of adding a Bill of Rights similar to those contained in the United States Constitution was voted down, with the majority holding that the traditional rights of British subjects were sufficient to keep the national government in check. Some rights are included, including the right to trial by jury, the right to just compensation for government’s “acquisition” of private property, the freedom of religion, the freedom of “political” communication, and the right to vote. Missing are explicit guarantees of the freedom of association, the freedom of assembly, and the Second Amendment.

Also missing from the country is the National Rifle Association or anything like the “gun” culture present in the United States.

That’s why, following the ghastly atrocity known as the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996, it was fairly easy for the national government to pass the

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The PBGC is Falling. Where is Superman When He is Needed?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 3, 2017:

In the 1978 film Superman, Lois Lane is caught mid-air by Superman who says: “Easy, miss. I’ve got you.” Responds Lois: “You – you’ve got me? Who’s got you?

Concerning government agencies making promises, the answer is always and everlastingly: the U.S. taxpayer.

For example, consider the 42-year-old government agency backing up single-employer and multi-employer pension plans:

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Federal Insurance Agency Backing Union Pensions Facing Crisis Itself

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 2, 2017: 

Logo of the United States Pension Benefit Guar...

When Teamsters Local 707’s pension plan ran out of money in February, it sought assistance from the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Said PBGC Director Tom Reeder:

This is a big issue for us. It’s a big issue for Local 707 and it’s a big issue for others in the same situation across the country.

 

We’re projected to run out of money in eight to 10 years. Many union pension plans are projected to run out in 20 years.

The federal insurance agency is now paying out $1.7 million every month to the stranded retirees of Local 707.

707’s problems have been decades in the making.

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Dakota Access Final Tally: 750 Arrested, 24,000 Tons of Trash Left, and $1 Million Cleanup Bill

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 1, 2017:

So much for “environmentalists” really caring about the environment.

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (DES) said on Tuesday that a Florida-based clean-up company it hired to clear trash, waste, and debris from the Oceti Sakowin camp protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline has already run up a bill of $1 million after hauling away from the site 24,000 tons of trash, garbage, rotting food, tents, teepees, sleeping bags, dozens of empty propane tanks, human excrement, and several automobiles. They also left behind two dogs and six puppies, apparently abandoned.

When The New American reported a month ago on protesters polluting the environment they allegedly claimed to revere, the amount of time, effort, and money it would take to clear the site was understated.

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Another Way to Fund Trump’s Wall: Interdict Drug Cartels’ Cash Flowing Into Mexico

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 28, 2017:

United States Border Patrol Dodge Ram at a che...

United States Border Patrol Dodge Ram at a checkpoint near Tucson, Arizona.

With the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday that sites have already been selected to start building the wall across the country’s southern border came increased concerns about how it was going to be paid for. Said the DHS:

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Trump’s 2018 Budget Won’t Touch Social Security, Medicare

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 27, 2017:

English: The standard Laffer Curve

The standard Laffer Curve

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox News on Sunday that cuts in entitlement programs — i.e., Social Security and Medicare — won’t appear in the president’s budget: “We are not touching those now. So don’t expect to see that as part of this budget, OK? We are very focused on other aspects and that’s what’s very important to us.”

Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2018 (starting October 1, 2017) is expected to be presented to the House on Monday, March 13, just two weeks away. And there are a lot of moving parts that must be glued into place before then.

Those parts include

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The Restoration of Liberty Begins with Budget Cuts

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 27, 2017:

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

For proof, look what’s happened to the IRS. A combination of pique and outrage has caused Congress to cut the agency’s budget each year since 2010, except for a slight uptick last year. As a consequence, it now employs fewer than 80,000 people, down from 94,722 in 2010, with its enforcement arm suffering the most, losing 30 percent of its field agents.

The consequence was predictable.

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Good, Bad News From IRS: Audits Down Again; New Treasury Secretary Wants Larger Budget

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 23, 2017: 

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service

Seven years ago the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited one out of every 90 individual income tax returns. Last year it was one out of every 119. This year it is expected to be just one out of every 143. And for those who don’t include a Schedule C or other special (i.e., tax shelter, farm income) forms, the audit rate drops even further: one out of every 330.

Even high-income earners (over $1 million a year) can breathe easier, at least for the moment. In 2015, the agency audited nearly 10 out of every 100 of those returns while this year it’ll only be able to audit

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Dallas Pension Plan Solution: Everyone Shares the Pain

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 22, 2017: 

Downtown Dallas in the background with the Tri...

Downtown Dallas in the background with the Trinity River in the foreground.

Following the pension plan board meeting on Monday, Presidents’ Day, a decision was made to accept the rough outlines of a proposal by Texas House Pensions Committee Chairman Dan Flynn to keep the Dallas police and firefighters pension plan from going bankrupt. Said city council member Philip Kingston, “Flynn’s [plan] is the best of the bad options.”

Everyone involved will share the pain: some by having their benefits cut back, and some by having the contributions increased.

Under the Summary issued late Monday night:

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ObamaCare Replacement Plan Introduced in Congress

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 16, 2017: 

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY).

Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Representative Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) introduced their ObamaCare Replacement Act (ORA) on Wednesday. It would simultaneously repeal nearly all of ObamaCare’s most onerous demands and mandates while opening up the health-insurance market to individuals to purchase, or not to purchase, coverage. The bill, S.222, might more appropriately be named the “Health Insurance Freedom to Purchase Act,” putting the decision to buy, or not to buy, coverage back in the hands of individual citizens and taking it out of the hands of the federal government.

Senator Paul said,

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Study: Savings in Welfare Costs Could Pay for Trump’s Wall

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 16, 2017:

On paper, the study entitled “The Cost of a Border Wall vs. the Cost of Illegal Immigration,” published by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), seems to make sense:

If a [southern] border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall.

There are many assumptions built into Camarota’s analysis, but the big one not mentioned is this:

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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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Greece Needs Another Bailout; Disagreement Threatens EU Itself

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 9, 2017:

IMF Headquarters, Washington, DC.

IMF Headquarters

The report on Greece’s financial condition issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday was dismal, but, said the central bank, its future remains bright. First, the bad news: The EU member will fall far short of the budget-surplus targets put in place in order to get the last bailout. The Greek economy must grow at 3.1 percent but it expanded by only 0.4 percent last year.

However, the IMF said Greece’s economy is expected to grow by 2.7 percent in 2017. An unnamed European Union official who spoke to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity said that

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Another Travel Ban: This One From IRS, for Back Taxes

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

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released its final details on just how it can revoke American citizens’ passports for being behind in paying their taxes. Effective Monday, February 6:

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ALEC, United Van Lines Studies: People Moving to Lower-tax States

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 23, 2017:

State Seal of South Dakota.

State Seal of South Dakota.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) just released its latest Rich States, Poor States study showing how states measure up in economic performance based on three variables, and then ranking them in a forecast based on 15 variables. Its conclusion is the same this year as in the past:

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IG Report on Social Security: Dead People Still Reporting Wages

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 6, 2017:

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

The latest report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) overseeing operations at the Social Security Administration has “identified 1,074 individuals who were at least age 85 in 2009, [who had] about $145 million in wages posted to their earnings record” over the next five years.

In addition inspectors identified another 7,949 people who had $57 million in wages posted to their Social Security accounts whom the agency knew were dead.

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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.