Friday, September 22, 2017

The Wages of Borking

Posted on by Steven Hayward in Democrats, Judicial nominees, Supreme Court

This week marks the 30th anniversary of one of the turning points in modern American politics: the travesty of the Bork confirmation hearings. The “Borking” of Bork changed the rules of judicial appointments, and have poisoned judicial politics, ever since. It was a shameful moment because of the duplicity and hypocrisy of Democrats.

Several days before President Reagan announced Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Howard Baker and Ed Meese met with Judiciary Committee chairman Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd to go through a list of possible nominees, and neither man indicated that Bork was unacceptable. Byrd said to a reporter when asked about Bork’s possible nomination: “I frankly think he would probably be confirmed,” and Byrd cautioned fellow Democrats that Bork’s nomination should not become “a litmus test of party affiliation and loyalty.”

Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) said “I start with the assumption that the President has the right to appoint whom he wants.” Biden, never at a loss for words—even if they were someone else’s—had told a reporter in 1986: “Say the administration sends up Bork, and, after our investigation, he looks a lot like another Scalia. I’d have to vote for him, and if the groups tear me apart, that’s the medicine I’ll have to take.  "I’m not Ted Kennedy.”

But then came Ted Kennedy’s single most demagogic moment on the Senate floor:........To Read More.....

My Take - Ted Kennedy was a disgrace for all of his life, much as was his father, and his brothers before him.  As the years go by his "legacy" will be exposed for what it was - the irrational rantings of a drunken murderer and an uncompromising promoter of infanticide who led a privileged life without having to face the consequences for his actions.  One final thought.  It was a disgrace for the Catholic Church to bury this man - an unrepentant heretic - in the Church.  But at some point - we all have to face real justice and so will they. 

 

Voter Fraud Evidence Is Emerging – And the Media Wants to Keep You in the Dark

Hans von Spakovsky September 21, 2017

If you have no idea what happened at the second meeting of President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in New Hampshire on Sept. 12, I’m not surprised. Though a horde of reporters attended the meeting, almost all of the media stories that emerged from it simply repeated the progressive left’s mantra that the commission is a “sham.”.........To Read More....

Politicians in Washington Should Learn from Successful Tax Reform in North Carolina

September 21, 2017 by Dan Mitchell
 
Earlier this year, I pointed out that Trump and Republicans could learn a valuable lesson from Maine Governor Paul LePage on how to win a government shutdown.

Today, let’s look at a lesson from North Carolina on how to design and implement pro-growth tax policy.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Senator Thom Tillis from the Tarheel State explains what happened when he helped enact a flat tax as Speaker of the State House.
In 2013, when I was speaker of the state House, North Carolina passed a serious tax-reform package. It was based on three simple principles: simplify the tax code, lower rates, and broaden the base. We replaced the progressive rate schedule for the personal income tax with a flat rate of 5.499%. That was a tax-rate cut for everyone, since the lowest bracket previously was 6%. We also increased the standard deduction for all tax filers and repealed the death tax. We lowered the 6.9% corporate income tax to 6% in 2014 and 5% in 2015. …North Carolina’s corporate tax fell to 3% in 2017 and is on track for 2.5% in 2019. We paid for this tax relief by expanding the tax base, closing loopholes, paring down spending, reducing the cost of entitlement programs, and eliminating “refundable” earned-income tax credits for people who pay no taxes.
Wow, good tax policy enabled by spending restraint. Exactly what I’ve been recommending for Washington.

Have these reforms generated good results?  The Senator says yes.
More than 350,000 jobs have been created, and the unemployment rate has been cut nearly in half. The state’s economy has jumped from one of the slowest growing in the country to one of the fastest growing.
What about tax revenue? Has the state government been starved of revenue?
Nope.
…a well-mobilized opposition on the left stoked fears that tax reform would cause shrinking state revenues and require massive budget cuts. This argument has been proved wrong. State revenue has increased each year since tax reform was enacted, and budget surpluses of more than $400 million are the new norm. North Carolina lawmakers have wisely used these surpluses to cut tax rates even further for families and businesses.
Senator Tillis didn’t have specific details on tax collections in his column. I got suspicious that he might be hiding some unflattering numbers, so I went to the Census Bureau’s database on state government finances. But it turns out the Senator is guilty of underselling his state’s reform. Tax revenue has actually grown faster in the Tarheel State, compared the average of all other states (many of which have imposed big tax hikes).

Another example of the Laffer Curve in action.

And here’s a chart from North Carolina’s Office of State Budget and Management. As you can see, revenues are rising rather than falling.



By the way, I’m guessing that the small drop in 2014 and the big increase in 2015 were caused by taxpayers delaying income to take advantage of the new, friendlier tax system. We saw the same thing in the early 1980s when some taxpayer deferred income because of the multi-year phase-in of the Reagan tax cuts.

But I’m digressing. Let’s get back to North Carolina.

Here’s what the Tax Foundation wrote earlier this year.
After the most dramatic improvement in the Index’s history—from 41st to 11th in one year—North Carolina has continued to improve its tax structure, and now imposes the lowest-rate corporate income tax in the country at 4 percent, down from 5 percent the previous year. This rate cut improves the state from 6th to 4th on the corporate income tax component, the second-best ranking (after Utah) for any state that imposes a major corporate tax. (Six states forego corporate income taxes, but four of them impose economically distortive gross receipts taxes in their stead.) An individual income tax reduction, from 5.75 to 5.499 percent, is scheduled for 2017. At 11th overall, North Carolina trails only Indiana and Utah among states which do not forego any of the major tax types.
And in a column for Forbes, Patrick Gleason was even more effusive.
…the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature enacted a new budget today that cuts the state’s personal and corporate income tax rates. Under this new budget, the state’s flat personal income tax rate will drop from 5.499 to 5.25% in January of 2019, and the corporate tax rate will fall from 3% to 2.5%, which represents a 16% reduction in one of the most harmful forms of taxation. …This new budget, which received bipartisan support from a three-fifths super-majority of state lawmakers, builds upon the Tar Heel State’s impressive record of pro-growth, rate-reducing tax reform. …It’s remarkable how much progress North Carolina has made in improving its business tax climate in recent years, going from having one of the worst businesses tax climates in the country (ranked 44th), to one of the best today (now 11th best according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation).
Most importantly, state lawmakers put the brakes on spending, thus making the tax reforms more political and economically durable and successful.
Since they began cutting taxes in 2013, North Carolina legislators have kept annual increases in state spending below the rate of population growth and inflation. As a result, at the same time North Carolina taxpayers have been allowed to keep billions more of their hard-earned income, the state has experienced repeated budget surpluses. As they did in 2015, North Carolina legislators are once again returning surplus dollars back to taxpayers with the personal and corporate income tax rate cuts included in the state’s new budget.
Last but not least, I can’t resist sharing this 2016 editorial from the Charlotte Observer. If nothing else, the headline is an amusing reminder that journalists have a hard time understanding that higher tax rates don’t necessarily mean more revenue and that lower tax rates don’t automatically lead to less revenue.
A curious trend you might have noticed of late: North Carolina’s leaders keep cutting taxes, yet the state keeps taking in more money. We saw it happen last year, when the state found itself with a $400 million surplus, despite big cuts in personal and corporate tax rates. …Now comes word that in the first six months of the 2016 budget year (July to December), the state has taken in $588 million more than it did in the same period the previous year. …the overall surge in tax receipts certainly shouldn’t go unnoticed, especially since most of the increased collections for the 2016 cycle so far come from higher individual income tax receipts. They’re up $489 million, 10 percent above the same period of the prior year.
Though the opinion writers in Charlotte shouldn’t feel too bad. Their counterparts at the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal have made the same mistake. As did a Connecticut TV station.

P.S. My leftist friends doubtlessly will cite Kansas as a counter-example to North Carolina. According the narrative, tax cuts failed and were repealed by a Republican legislature. I did a thorough analysis of what happened in the Sunflower State earlier this year. I pointed out that tax cuts are hard to sustain without some degree of spending restraint, but also noted that the net effect of Brownback’s tenure is a permanent reduction in the tax burden. If that’s a win for the left, I hope for similar losses in Washington. It’s also worth comparing income growth in Kansas, California, and Texas if you want to figure out what tax policies are good for ordinary people.

Irma illusions – and realities

If human emissions made Irma worse, did they also bring the 12-year lull in Cat 4-5 hurricanes?

Paul Driessen

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma brought out the best in us. Millions of Americans are giving money, toil and sweat to help victims rebuild. Unfortunately, the storms also highlighted some people’s baser instincts.

Some advanced ideological commitments to campaigns to “keep fossil fuels in the ground,” raise energy costs and reduce living standards. Others hyped Harvey’s record rainfalls, claiming carbon dioxide emissions made the Gulf of Mexico warmer and its air more moisture-laden. A few were just obnoxious.

These storms are a product of “this administration’s climate denial, racism and callousness,” 350.org activist Jenny Marienau fumed. “How many once-in-a-lifetime storms will it take, until everyone admits manmade climate change is real?!” Daily Show comedian Trevor Noah fulminated.

Perhaps these newly minted “experts” received mail-order degrees in climatology or meteorology – or recently stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  They should at least take a few minutes to review hurricane and climate history, and talk to real climatologists and meteorologists, before launching tirades.

My geology, ecology and other studies taught me that climate change has been “real” throughout history. I’ve learned to be humble, respectful and vigilant in the face of nature’s power; to recognize that climate shifts can range from beneficial or benign to harmful or unbelievably destructive; and to understand that the sun and other powerful natural forces totally dwarf whatever meager powers humans might muster to alter or control Earth’s climate and weather.

Harvey marked the end of a record 12-year absence of Category 3-5 hurricanes hitting the US mainland. The previous 8-year record was set 1860-1869. NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division counts ten Category 4-5 monsters 1920-1969 (50 years) hitting the USA, but only three 1970-2016 (46 years). This year has brought two more, and the hurricane season isn’t over yet.

If Harvey and Irma were caused or intensified by human greenhouse gas emissions, shouldn’t those gases be credited for the 12-year lull and half-century decline in Cat 4-5 landfalling storms? For Irma’s changed intensity and route as it reached Florida and headed north? Certainly not.

If fossil fuels caused Harvey’s rainfall, were previous deluges like Hurricane Easy (45 inches in Florida, 1950), Tropical Cyclone Amelia (48 inches in Texas, 1978) and Tropical Storm Claudette (a record 43 inches in 24 hours on Alvin, Texas, 1979) the result of lower fossil fuel use back then? Highly unlikely.

Indeed, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concludes that neither the frequency of North Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes, nor their energy level, has displayed any trend since 1950. Despite slightly warmer ocean waters in some regions, global Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) levels in recent years have been at their lowest levels since the late 1970s.

When the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is in its cyclical positive phase, the tropics, west coast of North America and our Earth overall get warmer; cooling occurs during the PDO’s negative phase. The Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) also cycles between warm and cool phases, affecting regional and planetary temperatures, as well as hurricane formation, strength and duration.

Any link between hurricanes and human carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas emissions is nebulous, tenuous and very poorly understood at this time. Asserted links to recent hurricanes are ideological illusions.

Hurricane Irma remained symmetrical and grew in size and intensity into the massive Category 5 hurricane seen in satellite photos, because it remained over warm water for a week as it crossed the Atlantic and Caribbean – and was not pulled apart by mid-altitude wind sheer – weather experts explained. Its encounter with Cuba’s coastal lands and mountains finally reduced its wind speeds and disrupted its symmetry.

Over Florida, strong north-to-south winds high in the atmosphere clipped the top off the hurricane. That further disturbed Irma’s shape and intensity, and steered the storm westward as it traveled north up the Citrus State. As is usually the case with storms moving north over Florida and parallel to its west coast, Irma’s front wall began to pull in both drier air and upwelling water. The bigger the storm the more it does this, WeatherBELL Analytics chief forecaster Joe Bastardi explained.

All these factor combined to slow whirling winds in the storm’s eyewall still more. It began wobbling on its axis, and Irma gradually became a disorganized tropical storm after it pounded Fort Meyers.

As to Hurricane Harvey, consulting meteorologist Joe D’Aleo notes that “hurricanes entering Texas are almost always very wet and often stall or meander.” This year, a large cool trough trapped Harvey and kept it from moving inland, enabling the Gulf of Mexico to feed it trillions of gallons of water for days, said Bastardi. It was “an unusual confluence of events,” said Weather Channel founder John Coleman, “but it was certainly not unprecedented.”

If there was a “human factor” in Harvey and Irma, climate alarmists need to explain exactly where it was, how big it was and what role it played. They must present hard evidence to show that fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions played a significant role amid, and compared to, the hundreds of natural forces involved in these storms. Their loud rhetoric only highlights their failure and inability to do so.

In fact, the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are warm enough every summer to produce major hurricanes, says climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer. But you also need other conditions, whose origins and mechanisms are still unknown: pre-existing cyclonic circulation off the African coast, upper atmospheric calm, sea surface temperatures that change on a cyclical basis in various regions, to name just a few.

The combination of all these factors – plus weather fronts and land masses along the way – determines whether a hurricane arises, how strong it gets, how long it lasts, and what track it follows.

Damage from hurricanes has certainly increased over the years. But that is because far more people now live and work in far more expensive communities along America’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Since 1920, Greater Houston has grown from 138,000 people to 5.7 million; Miami from 43,000 to 6.1 million; Tampa from 50,000 to 3 million.

Meanwhile, death tolls have declined – at least in countries where fossil fuels, highways and modern technologies enable us to construct stronger buildings, track storms, warn, evacuate and rescue people, and bring in water, food, clothing, and materials to rebuild power lines and buildings in stricken areas.

Over 6,000 people perished in the 1900 Category 4 Galveston Hurricane, 2,500 in the 1928 Okeechobee, Florida Category 4 hurricane and storm surge. More than 1,800 died in Katrina (Category 3), due largely to corrupt and incompetent local and state governments.

Thanks to better preparation, warning and evacuation, overall tragic deaths were kept to 82 from Harvey and 93 from Irma. Incredibly, despite the vicious 185-mph winds that reduced most of Anguilla and Barbuda to rubble, Irma killed only one person on those Caribbean islands.

Even in recent years, cyclones and hurricanes have brought far more death and destruction to poor nations where modern energy and technology are still limited or nonexistent: 400,000 dead in Bangladesh in 1970, 138,000 in Myanmar in 2008, and 19,000 from Hurricane Mitch in Central America in 1998.

It may be fashionable to focus on alleged “social costs of carbon” and asserted fossil fuel contributions to extreme weather events. But it is essential that we never forget the enormous benefits these fuels bring.

Our Earth is a complex, wondrous, resilient planet. But it can unleash incredible fury. Wealthy, technologically advanced nations fueled by oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear power are far better able to avoid, survive and recover from those disasters. We must count our blessings, but always be prepared.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books on the environment.
 
 

North Korea claims sanctions threatens the survival of their children

All the world wants is for them to behave like a member of a civilized society.

September 21, 2017

Han Tae Song, Pyongyang’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, took advantage of a hearing by a UN committee on children to whine about how sanctions "seriously threaten" the health and well being of North Korea's children. What's ironic about the ambassador's warning is that the hearing he was testifying at was held to look into independent allegations of forced child labor, sexual abuse and trafficking in North Korea. Reuters: Han said North Korea, whose population is 26 million, is a “people-centered socialist country... where protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of the child are given top priority ... There is room for improvement.” But Han said that new sanctions imposed by the United States and the U.N. Security Council over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests were hampering the production of nutritional goods for children and provision of textbooks. More

My Take - N. Korean leadership has been starving their people since 1948, and now their concerned.  Right! 

Will Government Union Gravy Train Come to an End?

Trey Kovacs  September 20, 2017

No worker should be forced to financially support an organization against his or her will. For too long, government employee unions have possessed the power to compel workers to pay for representation they may not want.

But that could change soon. Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court could decide to hear a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of compulsory union dues among public sector workers.
The lawsuit, Janus v. American Federation State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, challenges, on First Amendment grounds, the validity of “agency fees,” which require non-union public employees to pay fees to an exclusive representative—the union. The plaintiffs argue that laws forcing public employees to subsidize the speech of a third-party union to speak and contract with government over work conditions, pay, and benefits infringes on public employees’ First Amendment rights of free speech......To Read More.....

Explaining the Narcissistic Rage of the Left

The real-time destruction of the left 

Pennel Bird

How to account for the scorched-earth hatred of Donald Trump?  He inspires a darkly fanatical dislike, disapproval, and disgust in his most ardent detractors. He is a distillation for millions of unhappy Americans of all things repugnant, repulsive, and wretched. The fever pitch at which he has been mocked, ridiculed, condemned, and threatened is beyond anything anyone in living memory has been subject to – let alone a sitting American president. From Colbert's "holster" to Madonna's fantasy of blowing up the White House to Kathy Griffin's decapitation stunt, and De Niro's thug life wish to "punch him in the face," the gloves are most certainly off – if only to better grasp a bludgeon. And that's just the celebrities. Even a state senator from Missouri hoped for Trump's assassination on Facebook. Why such unabated arch-loathing?..........To Read More

Leftist Global Warming Mythology

Bruce Walker

Why does the left love its silly theory of man-made global warming? The left's response to the natural disasters in Florida was to raise again the bogeyman of man-made global warming. The left blames every natural disaster or significant change in weather on man-made global warming. So if the weather is unseasonably hot, man-made global warming is the culprit, but if the weather is unseasonably cold, the man-made global warming is to blame as well. The "science" of the left simply plugs in man-made global warming to every natural disaster or significant change in the weather.........This is anti-science in its purest form. Totalitarianism – and the left is utterly totalitarian – always claims to base its actions upon "science." So the Nazis insisted and persuaded many scientists involved in genetics, psychology, biology, and so forth to agree with Nazi racial policies as "scientific," and almost everything that happened was accounted for by the Nazis as part of racial "science." So the Soviets coerced all scientists to accept as an overarching "science" Marxism, and so geneticists and physicists were sent to the Gulag or worse if their scientific discoveries conflicted with Marxist "science.".............To Read More

AG Sessions Must Resign or Do His Job

Do we have a Justice Department or not?
Jeff Sessions has dropped the ball big-time.
By J. Marsolo
During the past few weeks, we have confirmed what we suspected.  The Comey investigation of the Hillary email "matter" was a sham.  We knew that Comey did not call for a grand jury, did not issue subpoenas, and granted immunity to most of Hillary's pals.  Loretta Lynch told Comey to use the word "matter" instead of "investigation," and Lynch met with Bill Clinton days before the FBI questioned Hillary.  But now we know that Comey wrote the exoneration letter before he interviewed Hillary and before he completed the sham investigation.  Now we know why Comey did not put Hillary under oath when questioned.  There was no point to it, since he had already decided to give her a pass.  And not putting her under oath saved the additional problem that Hillary would naturally lie under oath, which would have required Comey to explain that Hillary lying under oath to the FBI was done without intent.  Now we know that Trump was correct.............Read more

They were convinced Hillary was going to win and protect them
 By Silvio Canto, Jr. September 22, 2017
Another day and another round of stories about unmasking. The latest story is about Samantha Power, UN representative under President Obama: Former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power will become the latest Obama-era official to meet with congressional investigators probing a vastly different side of the Russian election meddling story, the possibility the previous White House spied on Trump campaign and transition personnel, when she gives private testimony Friday before a congressional panel. Earlier this year the House intelligence committee issued subpoenas to the CIA, FBI and NSA, seeking details related to alleged requests to “unmask” the identities of Trump associates swept up in U.S. surveillance operations against foreign intelligence targets. Let's not jump to conclusions but it smells funny, as my little sister used to say. Were these inquiries about U.S. citizens legitimate in the context of national security? or.............  Read more:

AG Sessions: Justice reformer or justice feeb?
Is former senator Jeff Sessions actually fit to run the Justice Department?
By James Tygart
He's a feeb. Sorry, but it has to be said. We're all thinking it. Why waste any more time with this disastrous mediocrity? Like some bizarro-world opposite of the courageous little Dutch boy standing up to the weight of an ocean with a firm finger in a dyke, this anti-charismatic Washington feeb can't muster enough conviction to withdraw his finger from the dyke of lies and old-boy swampism that's for years protected the most notorious group of political gangsters ever to tread upon the Constitution. And via carefully proscribed special prosecutors (anti-Muellers), subpoenas, and systematic under-oath interviews, what an oceanic, cleansing justice it could be. Accountability at last: ............ Read more

Gregg Jarrett: Sessions should resign, but not before taking action against Clinton, Comey and Rice
By Gregg Jarrett, Fox News 

Jeff Sessions should never have accepted the position of Attorney General of the United States.  His leadership has proven unproductive and ineffectual.  There are two reasons for this.  First, he deceived President Trump by concealing his intent to recuse himself from the federal investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.  Hours after he was sworn in, Sessions began setting his recusal in motion by meeting with Department of Justice officials to discuss stepping aside from the probe.  Failing to disclose such a material matter to the president was an egregious betrayal.

Trump was reportedly disgusted and angry with Sessions when he learned of the recusal – rightly so.  “If he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office, and I would have picked someone else,” said Trump at a news conference.  The president was entitled to know the truth, but Sessions actively hid it from him.  Sessions’ deception deprived him of Trump’s confidence and trust which are essential to the job of Attorney General.  This ethical impropriety renders him unfit to serve.

Second, Sessions appears either incapable or incompetent.  He has resisted producing the documents relevant to the anti-Trump dossier which were subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee.  He has failed to appoint a special counsel to reopen the case against Hillary Clinton for likely violations of the Espionage Act in the use of her email server, obstruction of justice for destroying 33,000 emails under congressional subpoena, and potential self-dealing for profit through her foundation............. To Read More.... 

AG Sessions Must Resign or Do His Job
 
Freedom Watch TV September 18, 2017
 
By  Monday, 18 Sep 2017 Current | Bio | Archive
Jeff Sessions, our current attorney general, is a nice man who I call Jeff as he calls me Larry...........
But when it comes to Jeff and his predicament, I have to put my regional and political ideologies aside and talk straight. Simply put, the man has not done his job; nor has he implemented what he has done in an intelligent manner, having been indirectly responsible for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.............If Jeff is not willing to put his own personal and professional interests aside — and he shows no inclination to do so — he must do what is best for the nation and simply step down as attorney general? Given his refusal to even entertain a review of the Sheriff Joe Apraio and Cliven Bundy political prosecutions commenced by his predecessor Loretta Lynch under watchful eye of and obvious direction of President Obama, which I requested before President Trump, who apparently requested the same thing but was also shown the back of Jeff’s timid hand, had to step in and pardon the sheriff, this “litmus test of cowardice” tells the tale............Attorney General Jeff Sessions has become an ineffective Republican establishment elephant and while this is sad, it's time for him to go.............To Read More....

Mueller must be removed, disbarred, prosecuted
by Larry Klayman
As a former prosecutor of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), founder of Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch, and its current general counsel and chairman, I filed a complaint Monday before the Office of Professional Responsibility and Inspector General of the DOJ, demanding an investigation and the eventual removal and prosecution of Special Counsel Robert Mueller for his and his conflicted staff – which are Democrat/Clinton political campaign donors and supporters in large part – having illegally leaked grand jury information to harm President Trump, his family and former and present colleagues.  The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and Inspector General (IG) are charged with investigating and remedying unethical and illegal behavior by the special counsel, his office and other DOJ lawyers and staff. Special Counsel Mueller derives his authority and powers from the DOJ, as he was appointed by Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Rod Rosenstein – not coincidentally a closet Democrat and President Barack Obama’s former U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland. Attorney General Jeff Sessions must have been smoking his “hated” marijuana, or been high or drunk on something else, when he chose Rosenstein as his No. 2. A worse and more stupid choice could not have been made!..............Read more
 

Here's More Evidence Team Hillary Tried to Destroy
 New York Post September 18, 2017Something else happened the week of Hillary Clinton's book launch: the release of more "lost" emails that further highlight her corrupt ways.  The watchdogs at Judicial Watch shared 1,600 fresh emails released thanks to their Freedom of Information lawsuits — missives that Clinton & Co. failed to turn over from her private servers, but which the feds recovered from other sources.  Continue Reading.....
Samantha Power, a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President Barack Obama, put in more than 260 unmasking requests regarding intelligence reports last year — and submitted others just days before President Donald Trump was inaugurated.  Fox News reported Wednesday that Power's rate of unmasking requests was more than one per day of the work week. Many of those requests reportedly occurred in the latter part of 2016.  Continue Reading.....

Klayman: Obama and His Minions Illegally Surveilled and the Sessions Justice Department Doesn't Have the Guts to Prosecute!

Lois Lerner and Non-Conspiracy Conspiracy
By Tadas Klimas
On Friday, September 8, 2017 -- just before the weekend -- the DOJ announced that it would not prosecute Lois Lerner for her part in the IRS-Tea Party scandal. Evidence of Lerner's guilt is overwhelming. As Peter Roskam (R, Il), chairman of the House Tax policy subcommittee, stated in response to the DOJ's declination, The decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner is a miscarriage of justice. On top of Ms. Lerner’s actions against taxpayers -- denying tax-exempt status to groups for political gain and failing to protect taxpayer information -- the Department’s response blatantly ignores our most troubling finding: that Ms. Lerner intentionally misled federal investigators in a flagrant violation of the law. This is unacceptable and Ms. Lerner must be held accountable. Our democracy is injured when those who taxpayers entrust with great authority ignore the law to advance their own political agenda without repercussion. Yet the DOJ letter, signed by a Stephen E. Boyd, claims that after having reviewed the matter, that "reopening the investigation would not be appropriate based on the available evidence," specifically focusing on the lack of evidence of intent to discriminate.......... Read more:

My Take - As you read this ask yourself:  What exactly did he say?  I'm not sure what the author is promoting and I'm not sure he does either, but I'm posting it because is shows how difficult it is for sanity to infiltrate the swamp.  It's clear the Justice Department and the IRS discriminated against conservatives and favored liberals.  It's clear they performed illegal acts.  It's clear the current set up at the Justice Department isn't much better and possibly just as bad.  If Lerner had noting to hide why did she hide behind the 5th amendment?  Why did they let her get away with this since she had already testified in her own behalf by making a statement under oath, which precluded any future claim of 5th amendment protection.  At least that's the way I see it.  If someone else has a different take on this please post it. But I think something really stinks.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Did GMO connection prompt Gates Foundation to halt support for corn-aflatoxin breakthrough?

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is famous worldwide for using its $37 billion in assets to deliver vaccines, treat HIV, improve health for the world’s very poor, encourage sustainable farming and fund medical research.

But is the world’s largest private foundation backing away from certain advances involving genetic modification of food? Monica Schmidt, a plant scientist at the University of Arizona, has been studying the ability of “interference RNA” (RNAi) to switch off the production of aflatoxin, a persistent and hazardous toxin, in corn. Her work has shown a great deal of success—an earlier study showed RNAi shut down all corn aflatoxin—but the Gates Foundation turned down her proposal for a grant.

Why?..........To Read More....

 My Take - This is an excellent example of how irrational, misanthropic and morally defective is the green movement and their infiltration into science and policy making.  Bill Gates should be ashamed of himself.  What would be the results of the Gates Foundation making a public announcement they were going to support GMO research and implementation?  They'd be attacked even more voraciously than the left attacks Trump.  Marcus Aurelius once said, “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”  It looks like it's too late for that.

Science and the Offspring of Vipers

By Rich Kozlovich

(Editor's Note:  As I've watched this latest round of claims, accusations, assertions and outright clabber from the Global Warming crowd regarding the cause of the hurricanes hitting the nation, and the anti-GMO misanthropes I decided to republish this article to help establish just how much corruption is a part of "science" today, and how it occured.  The term scientific integrity is now become an oxymoron.  RK)

On October 23, 2016 Alex Berezow posted this article, PC Mafia's Hit on Science Education, on The American Council On Science and Health (ACSH) website saying one of the scientific advisers to ASCH, "David Seidemann, a geology professor at Brooklyn College....was placed on a hit list by the academic PC mafia." What was his alleged misconduct? Hard to tell, because "the nature of his misconduct and the identity of his accusers -- even the existence of the investigation itself -- were withheld from him." In fact the author states "His chief inquisitor said there were no written records and denied that an investigation ever took place."

Apparently, he outrageously took the position "This classroom is an 'unsafe space' for those uncomfortable with viewpoints with which they may disagree: all constitutionally protected speech is welcome" - and worse yet - "he wanted to reward some students for effort," [which] "was interpreted by the administration as possible sexual harassment."

Have we lost our minds? Yes!!!!

When Adolph Hitler was in power in Germany every discipline had to have a "race" component. According to Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich a well-known mathematician of that era stated there was no way you could separate race from math. Really? Why? What was the logical foundation for that statement? There is none, but it was politically correct, so who cares about logic? What about sanity? Who cares about sanity when the body politic is insane? Marcus Aurelius once said, “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

Leftists have controlled the institutions of "higher learning" for decades and political correctness still infests their hallowed halls, just as it did in Nazi Germany. The author demonstrates this by saying:

"An entire subdiscipline of geology is under assault by feminists who believe that glaciology (i.e., the study of glaciers) must be reanalyzed within a "feminist glaciology framework" in hopes that it will lead to "more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions." Feminists are also attacking neuroscientists, some of whom are afraid to discuss their research on the biological differences between men and women."

Geology has a "feminist" framework? Really? Is that like mathematics and race can't be separated? The insanity increases like a geometric problem as the author points out:

"Feminist philosopher Sandra Harding referred to the laws of motion as "Newton's rape manual." "Postmodernists are busy undermining the scientific method as a whole. Without a doubt, such relativism and political correctness are holding back science."

He goes on to say:

The most perverse thing about all of this is that the burden is now upon scientists to prove that they aren't patriarchal, sexist, racist, chemical-pushing, Monsanto-pleasing, animal killers. It is simply assumed that they are unless they can provide evidence that they are not.

In other words, they're required to prove a negative, which is impossible. This insanity falls into the lap of the scientific community itself.

Most scientists have personalities that are not conducive to being the rock in the current. They just want to do their research and be left alone. Furthermore, PhD's are much like military officers. They rise in the ranks by going along to get along. Show me an officer who told his superiors they were wrong - and proved it - and I will show you a career junior officer. Show me an academic going for his doctorate who tells his professors their theories are all wrong and has a dissertation clearly demonstrating it - and I will show you someone who will have to be in love with a master’s degree.

This pattern repeats over and over again. During the years Stalin was slaughtering his people in the Soviet Union with his insane agricultural policies one scientist became his favorite, Trofim Denisovich Lysenko.

Lysenko believed that “amassing of evidence was substituted for casual proof as the means demonstrating the “correctness” of the underlying hypotheses” and those who failed to conform to the tenets of the new biology could be silenced or suppressed as enemies of the truth. It also did not concern him if his followers “manipulated” somewhat their data or their experimental results, since minor falsifications could still support the ideological cause, which represented a higher level of truth than the precise reporting of facts”, and for almost 30 years some of the finest minds in Russian biology either “became infected with....[the] madness” or “converted” to it. Many if not most scientists in America are now converts to the insanity because the holy grail of science is no longer truth but grant money.

In Russia, “scientists, who were skeptical, were threatened with loss of their working and publishing opportunities if they did not conform to these views. As a result, they were forced to adjust the direction of their research or to contribute some kind of work which was in accord with the Stalinist ideology.” Some got around this by publishing entirely in Latin …of which the commissars were ignorant. Some refused to bend to the madness of the new biological ideology at all, and were permanently silenced.

We don't send people to gulags or execute them out of hand for having differing scientific views but those who don't accept the "consensus" have been silenced or suppressed as enemies of the truth, and have been threatened with loss of their working and publishing opportunities if they did not conform to the acceptable politically correct standards of "the higher truth".

The left still demands total obedience and obeisance no matter how insane their positions may be. Stalin and his favorite scientists caused millions to starve to death, and no one dared complain! One New York Times reporter, Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for lying about Stalin's atrocities claiming no one was starving Russia.

Yes, the media is part and parcel of this outrage, and have been since they were infiltrated and infested with communists and Stalinist agents starting in the 20's. And yes - I might as well really tick someone off - Joe McCarthy was right! Also, McCarthy didn't go after Hollywood! That was done by the House Committee on Un-American Activities - and that was run by the Democrats. And we also know along with government and Hollywood, these agents infested the unions, academia, newspapers and radio.

His numbers may have been off, but the administration of FDR was totally infested with communist agents including the OSS, which became the CIA, and they continued on for years after FDR was dead and gone, and Truman refused to accept that fact, even after he was briefed about the Venona intercepts. Both he and Eisenhower attacked McCarthy, and I believe they were trying to cover up their own lack of courage.

In 1995 the Venona intercepts, (More here and especially here ) which was "an American government effort from 1943-1980 to decrypt coded messages by intelligence forces of the Soviet Union." There are still a large number of code names of agents they can't identify. And yes....the Rosenberg’s were guilty as sin and the Venona intercepts proved it, and Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss and Lauchlin Currie were also (all senior people in FDR's administration) Soviet agents.

"There was not a single agency of the American government that Soviet espionage had not infiltrated, and it stole the secrets of many other organizations concerned with national security. No modern government was more thoroughly penetrated."

Well, it's time honest scientists organized, stood up on their hind legs and started suing these misfits of academia, science, sanity and reality, otherwise they may find out this nation will become a scientific gulag. The Soviet Union and their viperous agents may be gone, but these misfits in academia are the offspring of vipers, and they're just as deadly in their desires and intentions as was Stalin was to destroy the United States, one institution at a time.


Did Obama Spy on America to Protect Islamists?

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 4 Comments Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ Sultan Knish Blog

After months of denials, the pretext for Susan Rice’s eavesdropping on Trump officials has finally been made public. It had been widely known that Obama’s former National Security Adviser had contrived to unmask the names of top Trump officials who had been spied on by the administration. And the same media that still treats Watergate as the Great American Scandal had claimed that there was nothing “improper” in an Obama loyalist eavesdropping on members of the opposition party.

Every time Obama Inc. was caught eavesdropping on opposition politicians, it presented its spin in a carefully packaged “scoop” to a major media outlet. This time was no different.

When Obama Inc. spied on members of Congress to protect its Iran nuke sellout, it packaged the story to the Wall Street Journal under the headline, “U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress”. The idea was that Obama Inc. was “legitimately” spying on Israel, that it just happened to intercept the conversations of some members of Congress and American Jews, and that the eavesdropping somehow meant that its victims, Jewish and non-Jewish, rather than its White House perpetrators, should be ashamed.

The White House had demanded the conversations between Prime Minister Netanyahu, members of Congress and American Jews because it "believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu's campaign." This was domestic surveillance carried out under the same pretext as in the Soviet Union which had also accused its dissident targets of secretly serving foreign interests.

Obama and his minions had used the NSA to spy on Americans opposed to its policies. Including members of Congress. They did this by conflating their own political agenda with national security.

Since Obama’s spin was that the Iran Deal was good for national security, opponents of it were a “national security” threat.

And its fig leaf for domestic surveillance was that a “foreign leader” was involved.

Now get ready for a flashback.

Susan Rice’s excuse for unmasking the names of top Trump officials in the Obama eavesdropping effort was that they were meeting with the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates. The carefully packaged CNN story, which reeks of the Goebbelsian media manipulations of “Obama whisperer” Ben Rhodes, tries to clumsily tie the whole thing to the Russians. But for once it’s not about Russia. It’s about Islam.

The UAE has become best known for being the first regional Muslim oil state to turn against the Muslim Brotherhood and the entire Arab Spring enterprise. It helped mobilize opposition to the Qatari agenda. The ultimate outcome of that effort was that Egypt was stabilized under a non-Islamist president and the Islamist takeover in Libya is looking rather shaky. The Saudi coalition against Qatar, the sugar daddies of Hamas, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, has its origins in that effort.

When Obama Inc. spied on members of Congress before, it was to protect Iran. This time around, the gang that couldn’t spy straight was trying to protect the Muslim Brotherhood. The Iran Deal was never about stopping Iran’s nuclear program. It certainly does not do that. Nor was it ever meant to do it.

Instead the real goal of the Iran negotiations was a diplomatic arrangement with the Islamic terror state. The fruits of that arrangement can be seen from Beirut to Baghdad. They are written in blood and steel across Syria, Israel and Yemen. And that arrangement had to be protected at all costs.

Even if it meant spying on Americans. Even if it meant spying on members of Congress.

The arrangement that Susan Rice was protecting by spying on top Trump officials was even older and dirtier. It goes back to Obama’s Cairo speech and the resulting bloody horrors of the Arab Spring.

Both times Obama Inc. was caught spying on American officials to protect its dirty deal with Islam.

Obama officials had spied on Americans to protect Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s more than a mere crime. It’s treason. Imagine if Watergate had been about the White House spying on Democrats for the KGB. That is the sheer full scope of what we appear to be dealing with here.

Both high-level eavesdropping incidents involve an effort by Obama Inc. to protect Islamist enemies.

These efforts checked all the right and wrong legal boxes. The orders were carried out by men and women who know all the loopholes. Each decision was compartmentalized across a network. There were always pretexts. And a media eager to fight for the right of the left to spy on the right.

It is as unlikely that Susan Rice will be held accountable for pulling off a crime that makes Watergate into the gold standard of governmental ethics as it is that Hillary will ever go to jail for abusing classified information. The network, which some dub the swamp, has excelled at defending its own. That’s why current National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster protected Susan Rice’s access to classified information and nurtured all the Obama holdovers behind the leaks while purging those who tried to expose them.

It is also why Susan Rice’s testimony did not leak until CNN was able to roll out its carefully packaged spin.

Conservatives excel at zeroing in on abuses like Hillary’s email account, the Rice unmasking and the Benghazi cover-up, but falter when it comes to exposing the motives behind them. And so the investigation of the abuses quickly vanishes into a thorny thicket of alibis, technical legalities, cover-ups and licenses. And a baffled public reads about hearings that delve into acts rather than motives.

It is vital that we understand not only what Rice did, but why she did it. It is important that we expose the pattern of misconduct, not just the individual act.

Susan Rice’s eavesdropping would have remained hidden if Flynn and his appointees hadn’t temporarily obtained the keys to the kingdom. And the network quickly worked to have Flynn forced out and replaced with McMaster. And McMaster has steadily forced out Flynn’s appointees so that there are no more leaks like the one that exposed the Rice eavesdropping. The swamp looks after its own.

Unless there are fundamental changes at the NSC and beyond, we will never know the full scope of the Obama eavesdropping operation. But we still do know a great deal about what motivated it.

Susan Rice and the White House didn’t just eavesdrop on the political opposition. There was an agenda so urgent that they were willing to pull out all the stops to protect it.

Even right down to committing what has become the ultimate crime in the White House.

It was the same agenda that dragged us into a war in Libya. The same agenda that was at the heart of the diplomatic efforts of the administration over eight years. That agenda was empowering Islamists.

The Obama edition of Watergate wasn’t committed merely for domestic political gain. It was carried out for a reason that was encompassed in his address to the United Nations after the Benghazi massacre.

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

This foul slogan led to the first arrest of a filmmaker for political speech in almost a century. It led to the sordid betrayal of our national security and our allies. And to domestic espionage against Americans.

The future must not belong on those who spy on Americans to protect Islamism.

Unsurprisingly, “Free” Healthcare from Government Is Very Expensive

September 15, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

In a strange way, I admire Bernie Sanders. He openly embraces big government. Back during the 2016 campaign, I frequently observed that the difference between the Vermont Senator and Hillary Clinton is that he wanted America to become Greece at a much faster rate.




Well, he just installed a turbo-charged engine and stepped on the accelerator. He’s proposed a single-payer healthcare scheme that is being called “Medicare for all.”

According to Sanders and other advocates, the government’s health system is a good role model: People pay a tax while working and they get health care when they’re old. But there’s a not-so-slight problem with that approach. For every dollar that Medicare recipients paid to the program, taxpayers are financing three dollars of spending.

That approach is workable (though only in the short run) for Medicare. But it won’t work if government is paying for everyone’s health care.

So even Bernie admits that a tax increase will be necessary. And not just any tax hike. He’s proposing the biggest tax hike in the history of the United States. Heck, it’s the biggest tax hike in world history. Here are some of the frightening details, as reported by the Washington Post.
The Medicare for All legislation backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 16 Senate Democrats does not include details on how it might be paid for. …Sanders’s Senate office released a white paper on possible ways to pay for the legislation.
He starts with a giant payroll tax of 11.5 percent (on top of the 15.3 percent payroll tax that already exists).
The taxes themselves would fall on both employers and employees. Sanders floats the idea of a 7.5 percent tax on employers… Another tax, of 4 percent, would hit individuals.
To understand what this means, just contemplate the disastrous impact of Obamacare on the job market.

Sanders also has a big class-warfare tax hike.
The next big slice of funding: higher tax rates on the very wealthy. Income…$250,000…higher…would be hit harder, on an upward sliding scale, ending at a 52 percent tax on income over $10 million.
By the way, imposing a tax is the easy part. Collecting revenue will be a much harder task, especially since Sanders wants to take the very successful experiment of the 1980s and run it in reverse. He also wants a big levy on banks (foreign financial institutions are probably praying for that outcome), an extra layer of tax on American companies competing in world markets (foreign corporations are cheering for that one), along with a huge boost in the death tax and the imposition of a wealth tax (lawyers and accountants doubtlessly are licking their chops).
Sanders imagines a tax on financial institutions worth more than $50 billion, a one-time tax on offshore profits (an idea that is continually floated then sunk in tax reform negotiations), a higher estate tax (topping out at 55 percent), and a 1 percent wealth tax on the richest 0.1 percent of households. 
That’s all the tax hikes listed in the Washington Post story, but Sanders also has some additional material on his office website.

A huge increase in the double taxation of dividends and capital gains (particularly when you consider that personal tax rates will be much higher.
…end the special tax break for capital gains and dividends on household income above $250,000, treating this income the same as income earned from working.
A restriction on itemized deductions.
…itemized deductions would be capped at 28 percent for households making over $250,000. In other words, for every dollar in tax deduction a high-income household could save at most 28 cents.
For what it’s worth, I don’t like the state and local tax deduction and the charitable deduction, and I also don’t like preferences for housing.

But I want to eliminate such distortions only if the revenue is used to finance lower tax rates, not to finance bigger government.

That being said, let’s get back to our list. Sanders has a special tax targeting small business.
…ensure that all business income of high-income people would be subject to the existing 3.8 percent tax to fund Medicare, either through the net investment income tax or the additional Medicare tax on earned income.
Last but not least, he wants to skim $112 billion over 10 years from corporations by manipulating accounting rules.
…eliminate the “last-in, first-out” (LIFO) accounting method.
The bottom line is that Sanders, in one fell swoop, would saddle America with a European-sized government. And that would mean European-level taxes. The only thing that’s missing is he didn’t propose a value-added tax.

Though I’m sure that would get added to the mix since the huge increase in the government’s fiscal burden would retard growth. And since that would mean sluggish revenue, politicians would seek another way to extract more money from the economy’s productive sector.

P.S. I’m a policy wonk rather than a political tactician, but my guess is that Bernie is misreading the mood of the American people. Yes, “free” healthcare sounds nice, but people get understandably scared when they get a price tag. This is why single-payer was repealed in Bernie’s home state. And it’s why Colorado voters rejected a similar scheme by a landslide margin.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cartoon of the Day!

Joe Biden, Basic Income, and Societal Capital

September 19, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
Most economic policy debates are predictable. Folks on the left urge higher taxes and bigger government while folks on the right advocate lower taxes and smaller government (thanks to “public choice” incentives, many supposedly pro-market politicians don’t follow through on those principles once they’re in office, but that’s a separate issue).


The normal dividing line between right and left disappears, however, when looking at whether the welfare state should be replaced by a “universal basic income” that would provide money to every legal resident of a nation.

There are some compelling arguments in favor of such an idea. Some leftists like the notion of income security for everybody. Some on the right like the fact that there would be no need for massive bureaucracies to oversee the dozens of income redistribution programs that currently exist. And since everyone automatically would get a check, regardless of income, lower-income people seeking a better life no longer would face very high implicit tax rates as they replaced handouts with income.



But there are plenty of libertarians and small-government conservatives who are skeptical. I’m in this group because of my concern that the net result would be bigger government and I don’t trust that the rest of the welfare state would be abolished. Moreover, I worry that universal handouts would erode the work ethic and exacerbate the dependency problem.

And I have an ally of the other side of the ideological spectrum.
Former Vice President Joe Biden…will push back against “Universal Basic Income,”… UBI is a check to every American adult, but Biden thinks that it’s the job that is important, not just the income. In a blog post…timed to the launch of the Joe Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, Biden will quote his father telling him how a job is “about your dignity. It’s about your self-respect. It’s about your place in your community.”
I often don’t agree with Biden, but he’s right on this issue.


Having a job, earning a paycheck, and being self-sufficient are valuable forms of societal or cultural capital.

By contrast, a nation that trades the work ethic for universal handouts is taking a very risky gamble.
Let’s look at what’s been written on this topic.

In an article for the Week, Damon Linker explores the importance of work and the downside of dependency.
…a UBI would not address (and would actually intensify) the worst consequences of joblessness, which are not economic but rather psychological or spiritual. …a person who falls out of the workforce permanently will be prone to depression and other forms of psychological and spiritual degradation. When we say that an employee “earns a living,” it’s not merely a synonym for “receives a regular lump sum of money.” The element of deserving (“earns”) is crucial. …a job can be and often is a significant (even the primary) source of a person’s sense of self-worth. …A job gives a person purpose, a reason to get up in the morning, to engage with the world and interact with fellow citizens in a common endeavor, however modest. And at the end of the week or the month, there’s the satisfaction of having earned, through one’s own efforts, the income that will enable oneself and one’s family to continue to survive and hopefully even thrive.
Dan Nidess, in a column for the Wall Street Journal, opines about the downsides of universal handouts.
At the heart of a functioning democratic society is a social contract built on the independence and equality of individuals. Casually accepting the mass unemployment of a large part of the country and viewing those people as burdens would undermine this social contract, as millions of Americans become dependent on the government and the taxpaying elite. It would also create a structural division of society that would destroy any pretense of equality. …UBI would also weaken American democracy. How long before the well-educated, technocratic elites come to believe the unemployed underclass should no longer have the right to vote? Will the “useless class” react with gratitude for the handout and admiration for the increasingly divergent culture and values of the “productive class”? If Donald Trump’s election, and the elites’ reactions, are any indication, the opposite is likelier. …In the same Harvard commencement speech in which Mr. Zuckerberg called for a basic income, he also spent significant time talking about the need for purpose. But purpose can’t be manufactured, nor can it be given out alongside a government subsidy. It comes from having deep-seated responsibility—to yourself, your family and society as a whole.
An article in the American Interest echoes this point.
…work, for most people, isn’t just a means of making money—it is a source of dignity and meaning and a central part of the social compact. Simply opting for accelerated creative destruction while deliberately warehousing the part of the population that cannot participate might work as a theoretical exercise, but it does not mesh with the wants and desires and aspirations of human beings. Communities subsisting on UBIs will not be happy or healthy; the spectacle of free public redistribution without any work requirement will breed resentment and distrust.
Writing for National Review, Oren Cass discusses some negative implications of a basic income.
…even if it could work, it should be rejected on principle. A UBI would redefine the relationship between individuals, families, communities, and the state by giving government the role of provider. It would make work optional and render self-reliance moot. An underclass dependent on government handouts would no longer be one of society’s greatest challenges but instead would be recast as one of its proudest achievements. Universal basic income is a logical successor to the worst public policies and social movements of the past 50 years. These have taken hold not just through massive government spending but through fundamental cultural changes that have absolved people of responsibility for themselves and one another, supported destructive conduct while discouraging work, and thereby eroded the foundational institutions of family and community that give shape to society. …Those who work to provide for themselves and their families know they are playing a critical and worthwhile role, which imbues the work with meaning no matter how unfulfilling the particular task may be. As the term “breadwinner” suggests, the abstractions of a market economy do not obscure the way essentials are earned. A UBI would undermine all this: Work by definition would become optional, and consumption would become an entitlement disconnected from production. Stripped of its essential role as the way to earn a living, work would instead be an activity one engaged in by choice, for enjoyment, or to afford nicer things. …Work gives not only meaning but also structure and stability to life. It provides both socialization and a source of social capital. It helps establish for the next generation virtues such as responsibility, perseverance, and industriousness. …there is simply no substitute for stepping onto the first rung. A UBI might provide the same income as such a job, but it can offer none of the experience, skills, or socialization.
Tyler Cowen expresses reservations in his Bloomberg column.
I used to think that it might be a good idea for the federal government to guarantee everyone a universal basic income, to combat income inequality, slow wage growth, advancing automation and fragmented welfare programs. Now I’m more skeptical. …I see merit in tying welfare to work as a symbolic commitment to certain American ideals. It’s as if we are putting up a big sign saying, “America is about coming here to work and get ahead!” Over time, that changes the mix of immigrants the U.S. attracts and shapes the culture for the better. I wonder whether this cultural and symbolic commitment to work might do greater humanitarian good than a transfer policy that is on the surface more generous. …It’s fair to ask whether a universal income guarantee would be affordable, but my doubts run deeper than that. If two able-bodied people live next door to each other, and one works and the other chooses to live off universal basic income checks, albeit at a lower standard of living, I wonder if this disparity can last. One neighbor feels like she is paying for the other, and indeed she is.
In a piece for the City Journal, Aaron Renn also comments on the impact of a basic income on national character. He starts by observing that guaranteed incomes haven’t produced good outcomes for Indian tribes.
…consider the poor results from annual per-capita payments of casino revenues to American Indian tribes (not discussed in the book). Some tribes enjoy a very high “basic income”—sometimes as high as $100,000 per year— in the form of these payments. But as the Economist reports, “as payment grows more Native Americans have stopped working and fallen into a drug and alcohol abuse lifestyle that has carried them back into poverty.”
And he fears the results would be equally bad for the overall population.
Another major problem with the basic-income thesis is that its intrinsic vision of society is morally problematic, even perverse: individuals are entitled to a share of social prosperity but have no obligation to contribute anything to it. In the authors’ vision, it is perfectly acceptable for able-bodied young men to collect a perpetual income while living in mom’s basement or a small apartment and doing nothing but play video games and watch Internet porn.
Jared Dillian also looks at the issue of idleness in a column for Bloomberg.
I do not like the idea of a universal basic income. Its advocates fundamentally misunderstand human nature. What they do not realize about human beings is that for the vast majority of them, a subsistence level of income is enough — and those advocates are blind to the corrosive effects that widespread idleness would have on society. If you give people money for doing nothing, they will probably do nothing. …A huge controlled experiment on basic income has already been run — in Saudi Arabia, where most of the population enjoys the dividends of the country’s oil wealth. Saudi Arabia has found that idleness leads to more political extremism, not less. We have a smaller version of that controlled experiment here in the U.S. — for example, the able-bodied workers who have obtained Social Security Disability Insurance payments and are willing to stay at home for a piddling amount of money. …the overarching principle is that people need work that is worthwhile, for practical and psychological reasons. If we hand out cash to anyone who can fog a mirror, I figure we are about two generations away from revolution.

By the way, it’s not just American Indians and Saudi Arabians that are getting bad results with universal handouts.

Finland has been conducting an experiment and the early results don’t look promising.  The bottom line is that our current welfare system is a dysfunctional mess. It’s bad for taxpayers and recipients.

Replacing it with a basic income probably would make the system simpler, but at a potentially very high cost in terms of cultural capital.

That’s why I view federalism as a much better approach. Get Washington out of the redistribution racket and allow states to compete and innovate as they find ways to help the less fortunate without trapping them in dependency.