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: Competitive Enterprise Institute

Public-Private Partnerships the Key to Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 13, 2018:

On the surface, the White House’s plan to rebuild America’s failing infrastructure looks like magic: The job is going to cost $1.5 trillion, but the federal government will only have to “invest” $20 billion each year for the next 10 years to get the job done. The rest will come from states and local municipalities in response to various “incentives” through the grant process. Additionally, the White House’s proposed plan will cut the permitting process down from the usual 10 to 13 years to just 24 months — 21 months to consider the project and three months to approve it. It also relies heavily on the concept of “public-private partnerships” to fund the program.

The president promoted the idea that “it is time to give Americans the working, modern infrastructure they deserve.” Of course, the government has nothing to give which it has not already previously extracted from its citizens. But no matter. Trump added:

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Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks Already Being Felt

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 22, 2017:

English: G. Edward Griffin

G. Edward Griffin

The latest report from the American Action Forum (AAF), which has been tracking President Trump’s promise to deregulate American businesses, continues to be upbeat. In April it had found that the repeal or delay of regulations imposed during the Obama administration could lead to $86 billion “in net fiscal effects” for taxpayers as a result. The latest from AAF said that the trend downward in regulations and upward in freedom from them continues apace.

In July the Washington Post counted 860 regulations that the Trump administration was either pulling or suspending, and then included commentary from anti-Trump liberals that

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Pence Pledges U.S. “Continued Cooperation and Partnership” With EU

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

Official portrait of Congressman (R-IN)

Vice President Mike Pence (shown) went out of his way on Monday to reassure European Union leaders that the United States will continue its support of the transnational union. At a press conference, with Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, at his side, Pence said:

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Oil and Gas Prices Dropping in Anticipation of Trump Presidency

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 14, 2016:  

Even as prices for crude oil and natural gas were already declining thanks to continued overproduction by the OPEC cartel, the commitment of millions of dollars in new capital expenditures by major oil companies next year, and the stirring of recovery in the oil patch, last Tuesday’s election added additional impetus to the decline. The price for crude oil for December delivery has dropped more than $2 a barrel since the election, and Evan Kelly, writing at OilPrice.com, thinks it’s going to drop further, perhaps much further.

Reasons abound, mostly around Donald Trump’s promise to breathe new life into an industry hampered by overregulation driven by questionable concerns over global warming.  As Kelly wrote:

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A Billion Dollars to Elect Good Conservatives?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Thursday, January 29, 2015:

The assumption behind raising and spending a billion dollars, as the Koch brothers Charles and David seem to support, is that with enough money, enough grassroots action, and sufficiently elegant voter software, election successes like that of last November can be repeated in 2016. This past weekend, Freedom Partners, the Koch’s equivalent to a chamber of commerce for wealthy conservatives (each of its 200 members pays a minimum of $100,000 in annual dues), announced at its Palm Springs winter meeting that it was going to raise $900 million to pour into the upcoming presidential election.

Part of the money would go into advertising,

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Koch Brothers’ Network to Spend $900 Million on 2016 Elections

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 27, 2015: 

Spokesmen for Freedom Partners, the Koch Brothers-funded “chamber of commerce” and sponsor of their annual winter meeting in Palm Springs, announced last weekend that its network of over 200 wealthy conservatives is planning on raising nearly $900 million to invest in the 2016 elections. This is more than double what the network raised and spent during the 2012 presidential campaign, and exceeds what both political parties spent that year put together. 

Freedom Partners is building on the momentum from the November elections that gave Republicans control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House of Representatives. As Freedom Partners President Marc Short remarked, “2014 was nice but there’s a long way to go.” He noted that his group’s ultimate goal is to make the ideals of a free market “central” in American society, adding, “Politics is a necessary means to that end.” Freedom Partners invested more than $400 million in those midterm elections. 

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Latest Poll: Vast Majority Oppose Gas Tax Increase

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 17, 2014:

A new poll from Benson Strategy Group confirms not only that most Americans don’t want an increase in their gasoline taxes but that they’re afraid Congress will enact one anyway. Coming on the heels of Republicans joining with Democrats to pass a pork-laden CRomnibus bill earlier this week, the poll’s results show that two out of every three Americans don’t want to pay more at the pump. 

Those polled are likely also concerned that the recent precipitous drop in the price of gas will be seized by the Congress as an opportunity to raise the tax with minimal initial pain to drivers. 

An early attempt by a safe-district liberal Democrat from Oregon, Earl Blumenauer, a year ago to raise gas taxes by 15 cents a gallon failed to gain any traction, with just one co-sponsorship coming from a House member who knew he would be retiring this year. 

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Congress to Grill Ex-Im Bank Chairman Over Corruption Charges

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 25, 2014: 

English: , President of the

Fred Hochberg, President of the Export-Import Bank

On Thursday Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank, will be grilled by members of the House Financial Services Committee over charges of corruption and mismanagement at the 80-year old agency. His task to defend the agency appears formidable, especially with its charter being up for renewal at the end of September.

On Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported that four Ex-Im employees have either been suspended or fired over the last few months as a result of “investigations into allegations of gifts and kickbacks.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Heritage Foundation reported on the same day that

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How much is a Trillion Dollars, anyway?

Historical government spending in the United S...

Historical government spending in the United States from 1902 to 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wayne Crews has a problem. For years now he has been updating the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s “Ten Thousand Commandments” but the numbers, despite his best efforts, are simply beyond human comprehension.

 

But he continues to try, nevertheless. He says that the regulatory state takes

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Cost Estimate of Government Regulations Doesn’t Measure the Real Cost

This article initially appeared at The New American on May 21st, 2013:

 

The federal government’s cost is measured not only in taxes paid by citizens, or in borrowing when tax revenues aren’t sufficient, but also must be measured in terms of regulations imposed by government agencies to accomplish what congress can’t or won’t. That’s the core of the argument presented by Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in his introduction of this year’s “Ten Thousand Commandments 2013.”

For the first time in the 20 years that the institute has been attempting to measure the cost of government agencies’ regulations that cost now exceeds

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Please Don’t Let My Kid Grow Up To Be President!

What sane person would want a job that destroys your privacy, makes it  impossible for you to go out on the street, subjects your family to intrusive  media scrutiny, forces you to watch everything you say, and drives some people  to want to take a shot at you? Apparently someone who feels that the power that  comes with the office is worth the attendant indignities.

USAREUR, USACE close books on 10-year transfor...

(Photo credit: USACE Europe District)

Ryan Young of the Competitive Enterprise Institute made this pithy observation. Why indeed? Because they are narcissists (ie, Obama) or megalomaniacs (ie, Romney). Regardless of my characterization, each has been selected in advance to represent the Anglo-American establishment which is run primarily by the Council on Foreign Relations. To ignore or overlook this is to play the game they want us to play: that the debates mean something. They don’t.

Young makes it clear that one needs to be corrupt – to have sold out – in order to have any chance at winning the prize:

“Great men are almost always bad men,” Lord Acton famously said. “There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.” Indeed, good men rarely run for president. And when they do, they rarely win. An honest man  stands no chance against a Lyndon Johnson or a Richard Nixon. Yes, one slips  through the cracks now and then.

We could use Grover Cleveland’s restraint in  handling the economic crisis today. I have a particular fondness for Calvin Coolidge, who conspicuously lacked the pathological need for attention that  characterizes most officeholders.

It’s the process of running for office that also inflicts moral damage:

Campaigning for even minor office requires a candidate to prostrate himself  before people he’s never met, and make grand promises he may — or may not — keep. He must build himself up while tearing down his opponent through vicious  attacks. Imagine what that does to a candidate’s mind — especially one that  starts to believe his own hype.

A successful candidate often must hide his true beliefs, assuming he has any,  tailoring his message to match his constituents’ wishes.

In other words, to be successful he has to sell his soul. That’s why I don’t want my son to grow up to be President. His soul is too valuable to lose in the process.

Two Camden Union Bosses Exposed!

Competitive Enterprise Institute: The “Gift Clause” Would Force Camden Police Union Bosses To Do Police Work

[Camden] Mayor Dana Redd is unable to even order two police union bosses, whose salaries are paid for by taxpayers, to fulfill their duties to serve the Camden community…

Camden police union bosses John Williamson and Kevin Wilkes have decried the mayor’s call for them to work as police officers as “retaliation”…

The two officers claim that their union contract requires taxpayers to pay them for conducting union activities, rather than provide police services.

Camden Police, New Jersey

Camden Police, New Jersey (Photo credit: scoutnurse)

This is how two union bosses think: despite Camden, New Jersey’s financial woes (caused in large part by over-generous pensions negotiated by the unions) which have forced the city to merge its police operations into the county’s Metro Police Division in order to save money, they consider their jobs as union bosses more important than what they are actually being paid for: police work.

Here’s the outrage:

City residents have paid two police union presidents their full combined salary of $180,000 in 2011 for the equivalent of 13 years to do work for the union while avoiding the performance of any and all law enforcement work. Not only that, but the primary activities performed on union release time include collective bargaining and representing members at grievance and lobbying, which pit the union against the city.

In addition, public employees on union release time accumulate pension and healthcare benefits without contributing a penny to pay for them. According to the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits formula, Williamson alone is eligible for a lifetime pension amounting to slightly over $16,000 per year for life, just for doing union duties.

But there appears to be a way out. The New Jersey state constitution prohibits making “gifts” to these people: “No county, city, borough, town, township or village shall hereafter give any money or property, or loan its money or credit, to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation.”

As Kovacs suggests:

It is time to stop giving away taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars to public servants who refuse to perform work we all pay them to do. Enforcing the Gift Clause would be a good start.

JOBS Act Is Starting to Work

Image representing SolarCity as depicted in Cr...

ClearSign Combustion in Seattle, Washington, is one of the first small “early-stage” companies to raise public capital under the JOBS Act enacted in early April. The company’s core expertise is in using computer technology to make boilers, furnaces, turbines, and other combustion systems more efficient. It sold three million shares at $4 each, raising $12 million in the process. After expenses and underwriters’ fees, the company expects to net about $9.5 million. But without the JOBS Act it might not even have bothered.

Allowed to avoid temporarily some of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act‘s more draconian reporting requirements—e.g., providing two years’ worth of financials instead of five, and avoiding other reporting requirements that cost public companies more than $1 million a year to complete—ClearSign offered its shares through the “cloud,” making it easier for the small investor to climb aboard. The company plans to use $5 million of the IPO proceeds for research and development and related capital expenditures, another $1 million to secure patents on its unique computer technology, $1.25 million for marketing purposes, and the balance for working capital.

While far from ensuring the company’s success, the insertion of this capital into ClearSign at this time breathes new life into a company that was on the verge of disappearing altogether. At the end of 2010 the company had just $25.00 in its corporate checking account. It was able to raise $3 million through a private offering last year, but that wasn’t enough to push the company into profitability.

But when investors were informed about the company’s prospects through the offering memoranda that the new rules allowed, the initial offering was oversubscribed and the stock price soared to

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More than Executive Orders Needed to Reign in Regulators

The Executive Order issued by President Obama last week, “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens,” made it sound as if the reality of crushing regulatory burdens was at long last being recognized as part of the cause of the sluggish economy. Said the order:

Regulations play an indispensable role in protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment, but they can also impose significant burdens and costs. During challenging economic times, we should be especially careful not to impose unjustified regulatory requirements.

His order then went on to state that “our regulatory system must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements… [through] periodic review of existing significant regulations.” Since his previous Executive Order issued in January 2011 agencies have already identified over five hundred “initiatives” that are supposed to save “billions of dollars in regulatory costs and tens of millions of hours in annual paperwork burdens.”

Cass Sunstein, the head of one of those regulatory agencies, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs—the “regulator of the regulators” so to speak—touted some of the burdens that allegedly have already

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NLRB’s “Ambush Rule” Overturned, for the Moment

Union members picketing outside the National L...

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled against the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush rule” that would greatly shorten the time an employer had to defend against an effort to unionize his business, from 42 days to 10 days.

With five board members, the NLRB needs a quorum of three to pass any “administrative” rules but when the “ambush rule” was promulgated by the union-friendly board, only two were present. Said Boasberg:

According to Woody Allen, 80 percent of life is just showing up. When it comes to satisfying a quorum requirement, though, showing up is even more important than that. Indeed, it is the only thing that matters—even when the quorum is constituted electronically. In this case, because no quorum ever existed for the pivotal vote in question, the Court must hold that the challenged rule is invalid.

The rule would clearly have favored unions in that it would greatly shorten the time an employer would have to promote his side of the issue. According to labor policy specialist Vincent Vernuccio at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, union efforts to persuade employees to join a union begin months in advance of any formal demand for a vote. Shortening the time to respond to less than two weeks gives unions an unfair advantage. And Bloomberg Government noted that when unions are able to force elections within 15 days of their demand for a vote, they are

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As Regulations Strangle the Economy, History Provides an Alternative

Small Steps Toward Deregulation

President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...

Because of disappointment over the economy’s rate of recovery which appeared to be confirmed by the March jobs numbers coming in at half the rate expected, the House is making efforts to roll back regulations that are said to be inhibiting the recovery.

The Wall Street Journal explained that, although the jobless rate edged down in March from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent, “that decline was due less to new hiring than people abandoning their job searches.” Indeed, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve a record 88 million people are “not in the labor force,” up from 60 million in the early 1980s.

Regulations emanating from regulatory agencies have turned into a veritable waterfall under the Obama administration, forcing the White House last summer to promise to “review hundreds of regulations that could get streamlined or scrapped in response to criticism from the GOP and business that burdensome rules are holding back the economy.”

Writing at The New American, William Hoar noted that, even if such a review actually took place and then resulted in any kind of rollback of regulations, it would amount to no more than “a speed bump for the diktaks racing out of Washington.” In fact, the White House is a significant part of the problem. Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) noted that since Obamacare became law it has grown from a 2000-page bill to more than 6,000 pages of regulations in the Federal Register.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) got so exasperated with the regulations threatening to asphyxiate the economy that he announced plans to introduce legislation to abolish every

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Oklahoma’s Constitutional Amendment Would Pit Taxpayers Against Unions

Oklahoma State Capitol

When Oklahoma State Senator David Holt discovered that Oklahoma was ranked the “most anti-taxpayer state in the southern United States” by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), he decided to propose amending the state’s constitution to stop the unions’ gravy train of collective bargaining contracts without taxpayer approval. His amendment says nothing about unions or collective bargaining. All he did was explain, in his press release, that if the amendment were passed, the constitution would allow local taxpayers to approve all spending of their tax dollars by local authorities for any purpose. He stated:

Oklahoma’s Constitution already makes it very difficult to raise taxes, and that’s a good thing. But every new tax starts with a new expense, and the Oklahoma Constitution, remarkably, does not give taxpayers or their local elected representatives the absolute power to spend tax dollars.

There are dozens of examples in recent years of local taxpayers being forced to take on new financial obligations, not only without the consent of either the taxpayers or their representatives, but actually over their objections.

And though he never mentions unions or dues extracted from union members’ paychecks to be spent for political purposes or benefits or pensions or job security—they are his target. Because of collective bargaining agreements, unions have routinely overridden

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Top Economists Tell How to Grow Jobs

GROWTH

Image by SamuelBenoit (.wordpress.com) via Flickr

Now that the Senate has officially and resoundingly defeated President Obama’s jobs bill (The American Jobs Act), the question remains: just how do real jobs grow?

Matt Welch, writing in the November issue of Reason magazine, reminds his readers of what doesn’t work: government promotion of ideology. The Solyndra debacle is the most recent but not the only example. In May 2010 the President gushed over the positive impact Solyndra was having in growing jobs in the “green” sector:

We invested…in clean energy because not only would this spur hiring by businesses but it creates jobs in sectors with incredible potential to propel our economy for years, for decades to come. And we can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra…

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High Gas Prices Set to Cause Double Dip Recession

Fuel Guage

Image by smemon87 via Flickr

“I’m sure the rising cost of energy is bothering the market,” said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D. A. Davidson & Company last week. “I do think the uptick in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer spending in the next few quarters.”

One could scarcely call it an “uptick,” with gasoline prices up by $.70 a gallon since the first of the year, and approaching $4 a gallon. The American Automobile Association said at that level consumers “will have to start cutting back to pay their fuel expenses. This could adversely affect restaurants, malls, and entertainment venues that count on people driving to get there.”

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Prof. Alfred Kahn, Father of Airline Deregulaton, Passes Away

Pan Am 747-121. Most of its parts have been re...

Image via Wikipedia

Professor Alfred Kahn, best known as “the father of airline deregulation,” died last month at age 93. His obituary from Cornell reminded his students and friends of his surprisingly significant influence in rolling back oppressive government regulation of the airline industry in the late ’70s: “He was largely instrumental in garnering the support necessary for the federal legislation that deregulated the airline industry and was the first thorough dismantling of a comprehensive system of government control since 1935.” (Emphasis added.)

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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.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann