One of the topics in Monday night’s presidential debate was, naturally, crime, law and order. For some implausible reason, Hillary claimed that crime is down from it’s peak in 1991 and continues to decline. This flies in the face of yesterday’s report by the FBI that violent crime is up over 10% from 2015.

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Libertarian comedian and author P.J. O’Rourke no longer plans to vote for Hillary Clinton for President, he told attendees of the Heartland Institute’s annual dinner on September 15th. 

Thorner: Comedian P.J. O’Rourke backs away from Hillary Clinton

As a libertarian thinker, O’Rourke says he can’t stand either party. Although there were many libertarians in the room because of Heartland’s libertarian bent, there was also a sizable number of conservative Republicans present who didn’t appreciate remarks made by O’Rourke on May 11, 2016 on National Public Radio when he announced he’s be endorsing Hillary Clinton with all her empty promises, because, he said, “she is the devil we know.”

At his speech for Heartland, however, he recanted that statement, and said he “will not vote for Clinton.” O’Rouke was called by Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, “the funniest writer in America.” An American political satirist and journalist, O’Rourke is the author of 15 books, including his latest, Thrown Under the Omnibus.

O’Rourke’s recitations of humor, to some in attendance, were somewhat risqué at times. But it was clear that his comments about the 2016 election were enjoyed by the audience. 

Several of O’Rourke’s comments were especially well received. Since humor depends so much on the way it is presented by the humorist, some of his comments in printed form below might not have the same impact, but I share them nonetheless:

  • Why is it so flat in the Midwest? So we can see you coming.
    • Citing the Heartland Institute as a center for clear thinking, O’Rourke spoke of himself as not much of a clear thinker – which made him too stupid to be talking to those assembled. As a student of stupid, O’Rourke said he is perfectly qualified to talk about the election, as 50 percent of the American people are, by definition, of below average intelligence.  That explains everything!
  • In making fun of Hillary: What can be funnier than Hillary’s pantsuits?
    • The Republicans’ large list of presidential candidates was eventually whittled down to five, but it was not a list of presidential candidates. It was a list of the finest law firm in the world.
    • Jeb Bush had it all. He was young, good looking, and the former governor of Florida, but he was rolling like a dirty dog in campaign contributions. 
    • Hillary was challenged by Bernie the Socialist. So, is it OK to steal stuff to make this nation more like Europe? But where do we go to get all the Nazis, Commies, and dead people?
  • The Clinton Foundation is so large that it must be weighed on Chris Christie’s bathroom scale.
    • What’s wrong with the Republican Party when John Kasich could win in a state, Ohio, that is as purple as Barney the Dinosaur. 
    • There are two parties, the Stupid Party and the Silly Party. Republicans have fewer ideas but not few enough, while Democrats believe that government can make us richer and smarter.
    • The words “bi-partisan consensus” are frightening because of the polarization of America, but libertarians want all politics to go away much the same way as you fix a pet. You teach a pet not to beg at the table. Domestic policy would demand that a pet stayed off your bed, while foreign policy would require teaching your pet not to mess on other people’s lawns. 
    • Politicians attempt to solve every one of the world’s problems, when they can’t even run a post office. 
    • Government takes 40 percent of our money. Ought that be enough! But is government doing 40 percent of our work, such as doing the laundry or cleaning the house or taking care of our spouse if we are tired? If Bill Clinton is back in the White House this might happen.
  • Political corruption is a law of economics. The first thing that gets sold is your votes.
    • O’Rourke’s 16-year-old daughter keeps complaining, in general: “It’s not fair.” To which O’Rourke replies: “You’re cute. That’s not fair. You were born in America. That’s not fair. Get down on your knees and pray that things are not fair.”

A Q&A session with O’Rourke was lively and entertaining, and elicited unusual responses from the keynote speaker. 

Q: Who will our president be on November 9?

A: “Someone you won’t like.” O’Rourke followed up by musing why it was so important who the president is. The president is not supposed to be so powerful. The large expansion of presidential power began with Abraham Lincoln – and we, as citizens, we never made it go away.

Q: You detailed Libertarian Party Candidate Gary Johnson’s platform without indicating your support of him?

A: America only has two large political parties. We’ll never get rid of either one of the parties until one party collapses. 

Q: What do you think of Brexit? 

A: O’Rourke said, as an individual, he would probably have voted against Brexit. But Europe is not going to survive. It is more messed up than America, and Britain had to get off the boat. Britain has forgotten border control, spent all its money on social welfare program, and can’t stand up to Putin.

Q: If Trump becomes dictatorial or goes off the deep end in other ways, will Republicans bring up impeachment?

A: O’Rourke said he had not the foggiest idea what would happen, as he has never been so wrong so often in his life than in this election cycle.

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Joe Morris, Jameson Campaigne, Morton Blackwell

Heartland Liberty Prize: Morton Blackwell

Following O’Rourke’s remarks, Morton C. Blackwell, president of The Leadership Institute, was honored as the recipient of the 2016 Heartland Liberty Prize. The award was presented by Jameson Campaigne, founder and president of Green Hill Publishers and Jameson Books, and Joseph Morris, president of the Lincoln Legal Foundation.  

Campaigne described Blackwell as “a leader who can create.” It was Blackwell who helped launch Turning Point USA, headed by Charles Kirk. It was Blackwell who predicted a year ago that “we would get Donald Trump.” Campaigne astutely noted that if conservatives don’t seek out the best and the brightest to run for office and win, someone else will.

Joe Morris spoke of Blackwell as “a leader who has devoted his life to advocacy for the cause of freedom.” Furthermore, Blackwell is a “teacher” and hails as “chief of the freedom movement in America.” 

As to why Blackwell was selected for Heartland’s award, Joe Bast applauded Blackwell for never turning down a request for assistance, and not caring who received credit as long as a good job was done, rare qualities, indeed. 

Upon presented of the Heartland Liberty Prize, Blackwell described what comes out of The Heartland Institute as “sparkling,” given its “healthy sense of moral indignation,” and with staffers who “really enjoys what they are doing.” Blackwell shared a condensation of his article, The Real Nature of Politics, written in the early ’70s, and which is as important today as it was at that time. It outlines what determines victory and why the right side doesn’t always win.

As a teacher, Blackwell has trained thousands of young people who have attended his Leadership Institute conferences over the decades. He tells young people:

  • Keep your word.
  • Keep your principles.
  • Keep your hands out of other people’s pockets.
  • Keep your pants on.
  • Keep studying and putting into practice how to win.

Before the keynote speech and Liberty Prize was given, Heartland President Joe Bast welcomed nearly 500 friends and supporters who attended its 32nd Anniversary Benefit Dinner, the organization’s biggest gala event.

Under the theme of Freedom Rising, Bast spoke of the evening as a means to celebrate the achievements of The Heartland Institute, to thank Heartland’s staff and volunteers and friends for their hard work, and to recognize and thank the donors whose generosity makes everything Heartland does possible.  

Continuing his opening remarks, Bast noted that The Heartland Institute was founded in 1984 for one purpose: to preserve and expand individual freedom. This is done by discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems, Bast said. The organization has accomplished over the year in its successful fights for lower taxes, fewer government regulations, reform of education and welfare policy, and more. 

Heartland has also created a literature of liberty with books studies, articles, and videos about America’s unique gift to the world: the idea that a nation can be founded on principles instead of privileges, and on freedom instead of force. Heartland does wear a special badge of honor, having become the world’s leading think tank rejecting claims that global warming is a crisis, caused by human activity, and merits surrendering our freedoms to national or international government authorities. 

Bast was not hesitant to note sad news: how in the last decade, our inalienable freedoms, fought for by the Founding Fathers and enshrined in the Constitution, have been greatly eroded. Consequently, we are less free today than we were in 2006, as the national government has greatly expanded its spending, borrowing, and regulating. Accordingly, this nation is on the road to nationalized health, nationalized education (both elementary and secondary and higher education), a nationalized energy sector, and a nationalized banking system. And all this has happened with a socialist in the White House, and with very little opposition from self-described conservatives in Congress and on the Supreme Court – which amounts to a bipartisan crime against freedom, against free men and women, and against all Americans and their loved ones.

Why does this disturbing trend matter? Because without the freedom to choose, there can be no moral actions, no right or wrong, no discovery of every person’s unique skills and potential. Without individual liberty and free enterprise, there would be no human progress, no innovation and economic growth, none of the peace and prosperity we take for granted today. Freedom, Bast said, is the most powerful idea ever discovered by man. It has liberated billions of people from poverty and slavery. It has transformed the world, but we seem to be throwing it away. As Ronald Reagan said, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” 

As Bast warned, it’s about to disappear on our watch. Freedom today is under attack by people who call themselves progressives, liberals, socialists, Marxists, and sometimes – in a rare blaze of honesty – communists. Whatever the label they hide behind, the Left wants more government and less freedom, along with more power to impose their ideas on others, and to live off the work and ingenuity of others. In contrast, those in attendance at Heartland’s benefit dinner want just the opposite – less government and more freedom!  This is why Bast spoke of the coming election as one that may decide if we continue losing at the national level, or stop the bleeding and start restoring our lost freedom.

Bast ended his soliloquy is support of freedom with these five things everyone present should attempt to do to help restore American freedom, knowing that it is not through politics alone that freedom will rise again:

1.  Educate yourself about freedom – its history, institutions, and importance. Check out a copy of The Black Book of Communism to see what happens to societies that lose their freedom.

2.  Educate the people around you. Share your knowledge with others, give them books, sign them up for subscriptions to magazines and memberships in organizations, like The Heartland Institute and many more, that support the freedom philosophy.

3.  Be a role model for others. If you live a successful and righteous life, if you are faithful to your spouse and a good mother or father to your children, people will naturally look up to you and respect your political views.

4.  Help build new institutions. When the Left takes over Ivy League colleges and universities, stop sending your kids to them and donating to them. Support colleges such as Hillsdale and Carthage College instead. When it takes over elementary and secondary schools, vote against property tax hikes and instead support charter schools and private schools – such as Chicago Hope Academy, which filled a table at the dinner.

5.  Hang together … or else we shall surely hang separately, as Benjamin Franklin famously said.

Bast further asked for the support of brave men and women – in politics and outside politics – that we thank them for their sacrifices, and then work to make sure they keep their promises. For freedom can rise again only if everyone does their part.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

By Nancy Thorner – 

As previously discussed, (read it here) renowned scientist, speaker, author and Heartland Institute Science Director Dr. Jay Lehr and Colorado State University Atmospheric Science Professor Dr. Scott Denning debated two film clips from Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The debate was hosted by The Heartland Institute on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, to determine how the movie has fared through the test of time on its 10th anniversary.

The first two film clips debated in Part 1 were; “Solar Radiation in the Form of Light Waves Passes Through the Atmosphere,” and “The Coral Reefs Off the Coast of Australia Are Being Bleached and Destroyed Due to Global Warming.” (View the entire debate here.) In Part 2, I will recount how Lehr and Denning debated the final four of the six featured film clips.

Film Clip #3: Fresh Meltwater is Tunneling Straight Down Through Greenland.

Claim: Tony Blair’s Scientific Advisor said in 2005 that if Greenland breaks up (even half of it) maps will have to be withdrawn because the Netherlands and other low lying areas would be covered with water. Among areas affected would be San Francisco Bay, Beijing, Shanghai, and Calcutta.

Denning: Sea level rising has gotten much worse because of melting ice. Ice can melt very fast with a huge impact, such as in property loss and the creation of a refugee crisis worse than the one that exists today.

Lehr: This is fear mongering at its worst, a global warming fraud that is casting an extremely negative impact on the future of the world. Between 1000 and 1250 there was farming in Greenland during a mini warming period. Corn and barley were grown. As far as loss to our economy, billions have already been squandered trying to develop green energy to replace fossil fuels. Why? Because green energy sources are more expensive to operate and maintain.

Film Clip #4: Polar Bears Are Endangered Because Ice Is Melting.

Claim: Polar bears have drowned when having to swim 60 miles to find ice and food.

Lehr: Polar bears can swim 100 miles. This cuddly little icon of global warming was a poor choice for Gore. Polar bears have been around for 500,000 years and are thriving today, with ample evidence population is increasing. Some 10,000 visitors come every year to view the polar bears feed at Churchill Matoba (Hudson Bay) where polar bears have been studied for 21 years. Polar bears coming to feed at Churchill increase every year.

Denning: Denning didn’t deny the increase in polar bear population at Churchill, but as ice is the habitat of the polar bear, due to melting ice there is less habitat available for polar bears. As Denning did when he spoke about the exposure of the Great Coral Reef as being a side issue to global warming, he likewise considered the polar bear a side issue in the overall discussion of climate change. Economics once again became the dominant issue for Denning as he reiterated the lost economic growth that would take place if 10 times more fossil fuel were burnt as has occurred to date.

Film Clip #5: Are We Capable of Rising Above Ourselves and History?

Claim: After all, freedom and self-determination was established here in the U.S. and spread around the world. We landed on the moon and defeated fascism.

Denning: We are fortunate global warming is a problem that is not all that expensive to solve. Our problems today aren’t as difficult to deal with as were some that faced our forefathers. Our grandparents did well for themselves by building roads, bridges and highways. Our generation built the Internet. The American people are capable of solving problems. We know how to do it. Economics was again cited: A 1 percent reduction in GPD over the next century beats a 25 percent reduction if we fail to deal with the global warming problem now.

Lehr: The mention of economics by Denning raised his dander. Lehr mentioned that we have already spent well over $1 trillion with zero results in trying to develop alternate salable and affordable sources of energy to reduce CO2. The U.S. and France were cited as the only countries that have reduced CO2 levels: France because of using nuclear energy, and the U.S. because of scrubbers installed on coal plants. As a nation, we are capable of doing great things. However, the so-called global warming crisis is fear mongering, which hasn’t yet, nor will ever, come true.

Film Clip #6: Gore compared a photo of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa taken 30 years ago with one recently taken.

Claim: Human-caused global warming is causing the famed Snows of Kilimanjaro to disappear.

Lehr: Lehr had no quibble about the photos. At 19,340 feet high, Kilimanjaro was losing ice long before man began pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Since the temperature at the top of Kilimanjaro has never risen above freezing, why then is the ice melting? Lehr attributed the melting to what is known in physics as “sublimation” from solid to gas. Because of deforestation over the centuries at lower levels, the resulting dry air rises up the mountain and causes ice to go from solid to gas. Like the polar bear, Dr. Lehr considered Kilimanjaro a poor choice by Al Gore to include in his movie.

Denning: The melting is not just happening at Kilimanjaro, but at every mountain in the world. 70 million people depend on water from melting mountain snow. In Colorado, a state Denning is familiar with, snow pack is down 20 percent since 1980, and this has happened with only 1 degree F of global warming. What will happen if 10 times more fossil fuel is burnt?

Debate Wrap up

Denning: He noted again his three S’s of climate change: Simple, Serious, Solvable. In referencing how Lehr denies climate change is taking place even if 10 times as much fossil fuel is used, Denning challenges Lehr’s inability to explain why. According to Denning, it’s very easy to explain: heat in, heat out. When six-and-a-half watts was added to the world for 100 centuries, the sea rose hundreds of feet. When either heat or cold is added, temperature changes occurs as they did during the Medieval warming period and the mini ice age which followed.

If we deal with the problem now, it will cost our kids a hundred times less than if we fail to take immediate steps to solve global warming. Denning strongly suggested that as a free market think tank The Heartland Institute must become involved or else the Left will take over completely. The market system is not weak. We must be brave. Modern free-market solutions must be applied. As civilization comes from inside us, this nation will be just fine if our kids remain creative and hardworking.

Lehr: In offering a critique of his challenger, Lehr questioned how it was possible to like someone yet disagree so much with everything he says? Lehr spoke of global warming as a political ploy to gain power. Global cooling was tried during the ’70s, but that didn’t scare the world. Global warming is not about the environment; it is about reducing individual freedom. It’s also about the elimination of fossil fuels. But why eliminate fossil fuels when they are improving the quality of live all across the world? This nation is awash in shale gas. In Colorado, for instance, there is more oil and gas reserves than in all of Saudi Arabia. Yet the push continues to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar power when both require backup energy sources.

Climate alarmists are predicting how the weather will be much warmer 100 years down the road with possible catastrophic results, even though predicting the weather one week ahead is risky to attempt. Eliminating the generous subsidies given to developers of wind and solar power will bring out new and better things. As an self-described extremely optimistic person, Lehr opined how the future is always better than what went before, but this still doesn’t prevent a new scenario of doom and gloom from being offered up during next year’s Earth Day celebration.

Debate Finale

Jim Lakely, communications director at The Heartland Institute, fielded question for Lehr and Denning from event participants and from those watching the live-stream on YouTube. (Click here to view.)

Not disputed was what is considered our most valuable resource which is found between our ears, the human mind.

Notable is that global warming is near the bottom of the list of concerns people have around the world. And global warming deserves to be near the bottom of the list. As related in this recent, hard-hitting and credible article about climate change posted on September 2, 2016, Tens of Thousands of Scientists Declare Climate Change A Hoax, a staggering 30,000 scientists have come forward saying man-made climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the elite in order to make money.

One of the experts is Weather Channel Founder John Coleman, who warns that huge fortunes are being realized by man-made climate change proponents such as Al Gore. In a recent interview with Climate Depot, Natural News reports:

“Al Gore may emerge from the shadows to declare victory in the ‘global warming’ debate if Hillary Clinton moves into the White House. Yes, if that happens and the new climate regulations become the law of the land, they will be next to impossible to overturn for four to eight years.”

Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

 

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

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Wpid-20150824__150826ttd-watch_fieldofdreams

By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold – 

Although the 1989 film, “Field of Dreams” (see film clip), as reviewed by Roger Ebert in the “Chicago Tribune” on April 29, 1989, had to do with a farmer standing in the middle of a cornfield hearing voices that tells him, “If you build it, he will come” (the voice seems to promise Joe Jackson will come and play on it), the same catch phrase from the movie reflects the Democrats’ “economic” recovery plan.  It you build roads and bridges, industry will respond by expanding and adding jobs.  What baloney!   

What about the stimulus packed signed into law by President in 2009?  In the stimulus package was $30 billion designated for infrastructure spending that was handed over to the states for shovel ready jobs.  It was thought that injecting money into transportation projects would not only put construction workers and contractors to work quickly, but it would also lay the groundwork for future economic growth and development.  Obama predicted the transportation money alone would put hundreds of thousands of workers on the job.

This report  found that states spent more than a third of the money on building new roads—rather than working on public transportation and fixing up existing roads and bridges.  As a result, states missed out on potentially thousands of new jobs, and bridges, roads, and overpasses around the country are still crumbing.

The Democratic mantra, according to “The Atlantic” in 2015, is that each dollar spent on “infrastructure” will add $1.44 to the economy. Democrat VP candidate cited a figure of $1.76, a reference which is undocumented. The economic windfall will come from the money spent on concrete, asphalt and labor, plus the money the laborers will spend on groceries and other items. In other words by planting good money in roads, money trees will spring forth and bear fruit. There are a couple of problems with this arithmetic. First, workers who would build these roads are already eating and buying things. And where does asphalt come from or the energy to roast limestone into cement?  From coal and oil Obama has pledged to eliminate.

“If you build it …” implies roads create industries and jobs, whereas the opposite is true. What business can you cite whose growth has been limited by the ability to move raw materials and goods or workers to their stations?  Add to this the fact that any business exhibiting success will be punished through taxation and regulation by Obama and his heir-apparent, Hillary Clinton. The truth is more business will create more tax revenue even without raising rates.  That revenue can be used to repair and improve the roads and bridges.

Going back to the 19th century, men like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford created a demand for roads at a time most highways were dirt (and often mud), when many were toll roads maintained by private entrepreneurs. Carnegie invested in railroads and found it hard to find steel for rails. He built steel mills to supply his railroads, as well as the framework for modern buildings. Henry Ford invented cars which were tall enough to navigate the rutted roads of the time. As people bought cars, they demanded public roads on which to drive, and cars became sleeker and faster.

Returning to coal and oil for a moment, Obama and Hillary want to replace them with “clean, renewable” energy as quickly as possible.  In 2015 the United States generated about 4 trillion kilowatthours of electricity, which runs our homes and business.  About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum): 33% Coal; 30% Natural Gas; 1% Petroleum.  The production cost using fossil fuel is about $0.04 per kwh, compared to $0.25 per kwh for solar. In order to make the latter even remotely feasible, it is heavily subsidized by tax money (more accurately, borrowed money). Unlike fossil fuel, which is available on demand, “green” energy depends on the wind and sunlight.  There is no way, at present, to store excess energy for use when wind and sun aren’t available, so coal and natural gas provide the backup.

Trump, the builder

In a speech on August 19, 2016, in Diamondale, Michigan, Donald Trump promised to reverse The Obama/Clinton ban on coal and exploration, claiming it will produce over $6 trillion in tax revenues alone over the next 4 years, and at least 500,000 high paying jobs. Apparently Trump thinks we have enough people selling French fries and T-shirts.

Who will take these jobs? Trump has plans for education too, with a renewed emphasis on charter schools for children of depressed neighborhoods and others who want to learn skills beyond basic survival. The selection will be based on merit, not lotteries as in the magnet schools favored by Obama/Clinton and the Democrats.

Speaking of building things, there is the famous Trump Wall which Trump promises to build between Mexico and the United States to stem the flow of illegal immigration. This goal is corrupted by Democratic Spin Masters to say Trump is against all immigrants and immigration. However it is these legal immigrants who suffer the most from illegal immigration. Lacking education and language skills, new immigrants tend to occupy the lowest wage jobs. Illegal immigrants compete for the same jobs, but without documentation they must work at the offered wages without any real ability to complain.

Perhaps Mr. Trump should rephrase his statements to say that it is a metaphor for a wall which already exists – the law?  It is the law which is being ignored or usurped by the current administration. The law is not just a wall but a ceiling, which extends from border to border and beyond.

The other thing Mr. Trump can rebuild is our relationships with other countries. President Obama has pursued “deals” with our enemies and ignored our friends. It is based on the philosophy that any deal is better than no deal. Mr. Trump built his business on the principle that a bad deal is worse than no deal. In a negotiation, you can’t get the best deal if you are unwilling to walk away from the table. This is a technique well known to anyone who has bargained for a new car.  It is utterly foreign to a President and his designated successor, who have apparently never owned a car nor driven one.

 

 

 

Friday, August 12, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner – 
“A Salute to Rep. David Brat was presented by Family-Pac Federal, Paul Caprio, Director, at a private luncheon event held at Harry Caray’s MVP Room, 33 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL  60011.  David Brat received Family-Pac’s “Congressman of the Year” award at last year’s Family Pac’s 14th Anniversary Boat Cruise on Lake Michigan.  He was also the featured speaker. Brat, a Republican, has been the representative for Virginia’s 7th congressional district since Nov 12, 2014, when he defeated Eric Cantor in 2012. Hislegislative record is impressive. According to Heritage Action Score card, Rep. Brat has a lifetime average of 95%, in contrast to a 67% average of all Republicans.
Prior to lunch being served and enjoyed, Paul Caprio expressed his disappointment over the failure of the Republican majority in Congress to take charge of the purse strings, with specific mention of the Budget Authorization Bill which included $543 million for Planned Parenthood and even $289 million in additional spending for the most hated of all government agencies, the IRS.  Rep. Brat went counter to the Party establishment in support of the grass roots when he voted “nay.”
John McEnroe, Chairman of the Board, introduced Rep. Brat.  Emphasized was the unique prospective Brat brought to the House, having earned a masters of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in economics from American University.  Brat worked for the World Bank assisting developing world economies and in the private sector for Arthur Andersen before he became a professor of economics and chairman of the economics department at Randolph Macon College.
In keeping with Rep. Brat’s background in religion and history, John McEnroe recommended Brat’s recently published book, “American Underdog: Proof that Principles Matter”, published on June 28, 2016, which emphasizes the role history and classic philosophy in the future of America.  Rev. Brat’s book can be purchased here.
 
Rep. Brat’s remarks about the moral and economic lessons of our civilization
Rep. Brat mused how few politicians share this nation’s Judeo-Christian background with their voters.  Although senators and representatives do attend prayers sessions at the Capitol, an hour or so later they are “stabbing” fellow legislators on the floor of the House or Senate.  This question posed by Rep. Brat drew a blank. What is staring Paul Ryan in the U.S. Chamber from where he is sitting?  The answer:  Moses.
In referencing his book, Brat believe that in order to change the status quo we must tap into moral and economic lessons that are as old as our civilization, citing the following three areas that encompass the  philosophical roots of Western civilization and the ideas of classical Greece:
  • The Judeo-Christian tradition, which Rev. Brat currently believes to be at a critical point in this nation Separation of Church and State is now under attack. Our Founders believed rights came from God, not government.
  • The rule of law which is necessary for a civil society to exist or chaos takes over.
  •  Free-market economics where a large number of small factories compete against one another.  70% of jobs come from small business.
Rep. Brat’s staggering statistics from the CBO
According to David Brat the government is spending far beyond its means, and the cost to finance this enormous debt will only grow.  The situation exists, in part, to a sluggish economy and huge government spending programs, but it is further exacerbated by this nation’s deficit spending which increases the amount the government needs to borrow and the cost of the borrowing.  Brat predicted that by 2027 all federal revenues will go towards paying for mandatory programs and interest on the debt.  Unless our government takes on even more debt there won’t be any money left to pay for roads, bridges, education, the military, etc., unless this nation takes on even more debt.
Rep. Brat gave these staggering and extremely cautionary statistics according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office, the CBO report.
  • In 2008 the Federal debt held by the public was equal to 39 percent of gross domestic product; now it is 75 percent of GDP and on track to 86 percent of GDP in 2016 and to 141 percent in 2046.  This would be the highest ratio of debt to GDP ever recorded.  What has been the highest ratio, 106 percent, was recorded just after World War II.
  • The Social Security program will be insolvent in the next few years, as the Disability Insurance trust fund is scheduled to run out in fiscal year 2022 and the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund will be exhausted in calendar year 2030. Federal spending on health care is expected to increase 60 percent to 8.9 percent of GDP in 30 years, thanks mostly to increases in Medicare spending.
  • During the past 10 years Federal outlays for Social Security and Medicare made up almost 40 percent of the government’s non-interest spending, compared with 16 percent 50 years ago.  Medicare will be in deep trouble in 10 years.
  • In 10 years debt will average $1.2 trillion a year.
Rep. Brat stressed the importance of candidates becoming involved with NFIB (National Federation of Independence Business) as a way to win elections and get things right again with this nation.  Executive over reach and government regulations are strangling small businesses when it comes to job creation.
 
Freedom Caucus vs. the Patriot Group
When Rep. Brat was asked how he is treated in the House, Brat related this story.  House leaders don’t get it on slashing the federal budget. Aren’t Conservatives supposed to stand for fiscal discipline, balanced budgets and reducing government waste.  But despite Republican control of both the Senate and the House, the deficit is set to go up over $100 billion to the $530 billion range. Last year marked the highest level of federal government spending ever.
As a member of the Freedom Caucus, Brat and other Freedom Caucus members provided solutions on how to trim $30 billion from the Obama-Boehner deal budget number, but they were meet with scorn, even cursed at, by Patriot Group members, of which Bob Dold is a member.  In contrast to House Freedom Caucus members who don’t receive funding to run for reelection, the Patriot Program — chaired by GOP Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio — will provide fundraising and organizational help to its twelve members as Republicans seek to protect their historic majority.
 
Trump or Hillary?
Despite all the media attacks against Trump in the current Trump-Hillary battle, Rep. Brat still believes Trump will win, that the experts are wrong, because this is an unusual election.
If Hillary should be elected president, for those Republican who say that in four years Hillary can be taken out and an acceptable Republican candidate can then be chosen to run, this is but a pipe dream.  With academia and the media all in the tank for Hillary even now, how would four years from now be any different?  She could easily knock out a second term.  Brat is unsure whether this nation can survive if Hillary is elected.  Every time a legislator comes out to publicly announce that he/she is not supporting Trump, their action will lower Republican turnout.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016