The Fraser Institute and Cato Institute (along with many other free-market think tanks) have republished their economic freedom ranking for various countries around the world. Sadly, the United States has fallen further in their ranking and free-market thinkers are now justified in questioning whether Canada should start referring to the U.S. as their “socialist neighbour to the south.”
Americans have long dismissed Canadians as “our socialist neighbors to the north.” But since 2005 Canada has been more economically free than the supposed laissez-faire wonderland of the United States—and the gap is widening. …
Economic freedom is defined by the Fraser Institute as “the extent to which you can pursue economic activity without interference from government, as long as your actions don’t violate the identical rights of others.” This ideal is difficult to define, much less quantify, so the index breaks each country’s score into five broad categories: size of government, legal structure and property rights, access to sound money, international free trade, and regulation of credit, labor, and business.
Every country is ranked on a scale of one to ten, with ten being most free. In 2013 the report ranked 152 countries and territories. The Index has data on most going back to 1980. This allows for long-term analyses of what policies caused countries to catch up, or in the case of the United States, fall behind, in economic freedom.
Canada’s policies can serve as an example for policy makers looking to jumpstart U.S. growth. Canada has a federal corporate tax rate of just 15 percent whereas the United States has a top rate of 35 percent, the highest among OECD countries. Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio is 35 percent. It is targeting a ratio of 25 percent by 2021 thanks to a strong commitment to spending cuts from Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The U.S. ratio is 73 percent and rising. Mr. Harper has publicly pushed for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would benefit the economies of both countries, while President Obama has done all he can to block the State Department’s permit. Canada also has an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, lower than America’s.
The increasing gap in economic freedom, the rapid growth of public debt, the push toward socialized health care, increasing burdens of extreme regulatory pressure, and many other factors are a shameful and destructive attack on what once was the most free country on the planet.
It is becoming increasingly clear that true patriots, conservatives, and libertarians need to push to return government to a far more states-oriented, federalist view as a means of returning the country to its founding principles. We need to use the rights of states to act as a constitutional circuit breaker on the growing power of the federal government. Check out the work of groups like the Goldwater Institute for more information on how that can be achieved.
“No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.”
–George Washington, Message to the House of Representatives, 1793
I’m sad to see thatMs. Obama is actually this small and petty.
As the COTR asked, does she actually believe that the American people will miss her tweets? Are there people who seriously sit around, waiting for her to send out whatever fleeting thought that passes through her head? Will those people somehow suffer from a lack of FLOTUS?
This is an nothing more than an embarrassing and pathetic political stunt.
Ms. Obama is just using Alinsky tactics #5, #8, #9, #10, #11, and #13 in a lamentable ploy to pretend that the government shutdown keeps her from reaching the little people.
This BizPac Review post describes the horrors of FLOTUS’ life under a government shut down. During the shut down 16—Yes, you read that right sixteen—of her personal assistants have been furloughed. I don’t even think Hillary could muster up the cojones to hire sixteen personal assistants.
First lady Michelle Obama had some bad news for her Twitter followers after the government shutdown on Tuesday: Her tweeting will be limited.
Nearly three-quarters of the White House staff will be on furlough during the shutdown, according to The Hill. American Overlook said that number includes 16 assistants to the first lady.
Imagine that, the poor dear has to make due without her sixteen personal assistants (and her Twitter account). The HORRORS! She’s almost been lowered to living like the rest of us peasants across the country—except for the obvious fact that she still lives in a taxpayer funded mansion, still enjoys several multi-million dollar vacations each year, has a personal chef to cook her meals and snacks, … Yeah, other than that, she’s really suffering from this shutdown.
First time in a loooong time that I have seen a White House reporter actually press Jay Carney like this. Amazing.
“It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that the nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it, nay that absolute monarchs, will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for purposes and objects merely personal.”
–John Jay, Federalist No. 4, 1787
Bernard Goldberg nails it in his recent editorial, “How Ann Coulter Became Miley Cyrus.”
It’s clear that Ann has effectively confirmed her “jumped the shark” status when she thinks she can pretend to innocently refer to the President, not once, not twice, but (incredibly) three times in one interview as a “monkey.” (A term she very well knows has been a treasured verbal epithet of brain dead racists throughout the ages.)
Ann Coulter was on television plugging an old book that just came out in paperback and a new one coming out next month. So Ann did what Ann always does to drum up business. She came up with something outrageous to say that would get the buzz going.
She went on Sean Hannity’s TV show and decided the best way to create some noise would be to call the first black president of the United States of America … a monkey. …
Ann Coulter is the Miley Cyrus of political commentary. Miley tried to shock us with her sex act on national TV. She wanted everyone over 25 to gasp and be outraged. Instead we yawned and said she’s pathetic. Anyone who tries that hard to shock is automatically boring. Take note, Ann.
It’s time for Ann to step it back a whole lot. Maybe in doing so, she could regain a touch of credibility.
I get that it’s a free country – even free enough for racist morons to spew their garbage – even free enough for Ann to pretend that she didn’t mean to call the first African-American President a “monkey” (three times). I get that she’s trying to sell books. I get that she’s trying to be edgy.
I get it, but honestly, I’m tired of all the edgy, wild, libertine souls among us trying to shock and offend as a means of proving how liberated, or new, or different they are from all the other squares out there. That sort of thing worked for James Dean in the 50’s. It worked for Elvis in the 60’s. It worked for the Sex Pistols in the 70’s. It worked for Boy George in the ’80’s. It even worked for Jaye Davidson and Madonna in the ’90’s. It’s getting old now, and it’s pathetic to see people like Ann, Lindsay, and Miley duke it out for the wild-child title belt today.
The sad thing is that Ann’s boorish behavior only distracts from the fact that Putin did completely outmaneuver President Obama by publicly claiming to have brokered a deal with Syria to address the oversight and disposal of their chemical weapons.
Of course our mainstream media will pull a hamstring struggling to build a story that the entire world somehow suddenly fell under the sway of the President and was forced by the sheer power of his personality, Nobel Peace Prize, and the threat of his Clinton-esque “just lob a few cruise missiles at it” style of foreign diplomacy to step in. The reality is, however, that to the rest of the world President Obama came away from this situation looking like a bumbling weakling and a fool.
Everyone else on the planet can see that Putin took charge in this situation, while Mr. Obama just fumbled around claiming he wouldn’t help Al-Qaeda by helping Al-Qaeda and trying to lay the blame for yet another diplomatic failure on Congress, the world, President Bush, … anyone at all, except for himself.
Our President is turning our foreign policy into a complete joke and rather than addressing that in a head on, honest fashion, Ann somehow manages to verbally twerk the situation into something even more pathetic.
I’m just hoping now that Jimmy Kimmel will step into the picture with a fire extinguisher and let us know that the whole thing was a hoax.
Today and tomorrow will mark the 44th anniversary of Senator Ted Kennedy’s very active and personal role in the death of Mary Jane Kopechne. Although I haven’t posted this in a few years, I believe it is still worthwhile remembering how the senior Senator from Massachusetts did everything in his power to cover up the facts and to protect himself, after having fled the scene of the accident that he had caused, abandoning Kopechne to die a horrific and prolonged death in his overturned car.
In this post we also continue to recognize how money, power, and the family name allowed Senator Kennedy to avoid any responsibility for his actions. Any other person involved in a similar accident would have been charged with numerous crimes and would have spent several years in jail. Senator Kennedy, however, not only remained free, he continued to posses — over several decades — a level of influence and power that many can only imagine. When he passed, he was remembered as “a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the U.S. Senate.”
So we don’t forget how this revered and respected “Lion of the Senate” was able to escape culpability for his role in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, here once again, is the text of my original post from nine years ago.
35 years ago today, Ted Kennedy’s self-absorbed and self-protective actions ensured that the life of one Mary Jo Kopechne was ended. Ted Kennedy fled the scene of an accident that he caused. and in doing so, he left that woman to drown.
Ted Kennedy was too great a coward to help her. He was more worried about his political career and his reputation, so he helped himself, ran away and tried to cover up his actions while she struggled to stay alive by breathing from the rapidly dwindling air pocket in the backseat of the car.
Anyone else would have been jailed for this crime, but thanks to the Kennedy fortune and friends in high places, Teddy not only stayed out of jail, he has been re-elected several times since then.
Teddy’s question a few years later seems especially pertinent at this time
Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?— Senator Ted Kennedy, 1973
Trey Gowdy is rocking the questioning in this video.
Former IRS Commissioner Shulman demonstrates clearly that he is at the (very) best a completely incompetent moron and at worst was criminally negligent in the performance of his duties at the IRS.
Peggy Noonan‘s latest WSJ blog post is a blistering attack on the Obama administration’s use of the IRS as a bludgeon to intimidate, censor, and silence political opponents. It is an essential read for anyone interested in policy and politics.
The IRS scandal has two parts. The first is the obviously deliberate and targeted abuse, harassment and attempted suppression of conservative groups. The second is the auditing of the taxes of political activists. …
This is not about the usual partisan slugfest. This is about the integrity of our system of government and our ability to trust, which is to say our ability to function.
This video is classic Chicago-style politics. Pass the buck, blame someone else, don’t look behind the curtain, just focus on the spin and everything will be fine.
Sad thing for David Axelrod is that he apparently doesn’t even realize he has just given the Libertarians and the Tea Party their winning 2014 election soundbite. Watch the video; you’ll see.
Yes, you did just hear Axelrod argue that that President Obama can’t possibly be to blame for the IRS scandal (and by logical extension – Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the Justice Department seizing two months of AP phone records, the brewing EPA scandal, etc., etc., etc.) because the government is “so vast” that it is impossible to track what happens in these diverse and sundry bureaucracies.
“So vast” were his words – e’nuf said.
But for those who might have missed the obvious … THAT”S THE WHOLE POINT!!! That’s exactly why supporters of limited government are pushing to have all of this addressed, taxes cut, the bureaucracy limited. Government has passed the point of accountability and effective, efficient, Constitutional service to “we the people.” By Axelrod’s own admission government has become a massive, gaping hole, where responsibility and accountability go to die – along with multiple trillions of our tax dollars.
When pro-big government socialists like Axelrod are openly admitting government is “so vast” that no one can know what it is doing, it really is time to cut budgets on a massive scale.
I posted yesterday about the gross miscarriages of justice by the “Justice” Department, the IRS, and the State Department. (Of course, I forgot to include the even more overt criminal acts carried out by the Justice Department as part of their Fast and Furious scandal where the federal government effectively supplied thousands of firearms to drug cartels. Those firearms were then directly involved in the death of US Border Guard, Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens.)
Today we are learning that the EPA routinely played politics in their handling of fee waivers for environmental groups and politically conservative groups. The Competitive Enterprise Institute noted today that,
It’s not just the IRS that treats groups on the right differently from the rest. According to documents obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency is in on it too.
Public records produced by EPA in response to a lawsuit filed by CEI under the Freedom of Information Act illustrate a pattern of making it far more difficult for limited-government groups – in particular those who argue for more freedom and less EPA – to access public records. …
EPA routinely grants … fee waivers to its favored left-wing groups who demand a more intrusive and powerful EPA, but systematically denies waivers for groups on the right, according to research compiled by CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner, author of “The Liberal War on Transparency.”
In a review of letters granting or denying fee waivers granted at the “initial determination” stage from January 2012 to this Spring, Horner found green groups, such as the National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and EarthJustice, had their fees waived in 75 out of 82 cases. Meanwhile, EPA effectively or expressly denied Horner’s request for fee waivers in 14 of 15 FOIA requests over this same time.
It seems that many of the federal government bureaucracies are now infested with career employees who feel quite comfortable playing political games with citizens and taxpayers. The actions of these government employees necessarily lead reasonable people to believe that government is working hand in glove with left-wing political and environmental groups to further so-called progressive world views.
When even John Stewart is saying that the partisan, corrupt, and possibly even criminal behavior of these government employees is encouraging the very anti-government mindset that so many progressives have derided as lunatic fringe, you know that it is well past time for Congress to step in and clear up this mess.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Barack Trek: Into Darkness|
Investigations, firings, fines/loss of pensions, and jail time need to become real possibilities for government employees and managers that refuse to follow the Constitution, legislation, and regulations.
I don’t care who you are, who you voted for, what you believe … etc. When you start adding these reports together, it’s time for reasonable people to start asking some serious questions about what is going on in our federal government.
The IRS has admitted to targeting conservative non-profits, and now this article indicates that the IRS may have released the unapproved applications from conservative groups to Propublica, a generally left-leaning news organization. Propublica admits to having published redacted examples of those applications.
Furthermore, the Obama administration abandoned consulate staff in Benghazi and then repeatedly edited their reports and talking points about the Benghazi attack for several weeks, prompting House investigations into their actions. Those investigations are ongoing, while the Obama administration claims they are politically motivated “circus.”
To top off the questionable performance of this current administration, we learned today that the Justice Department secretly collected two months of phone records for more than 20 separate Associated Press telephone lines last year.
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.
In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
Of course no one should miss the sick irony of this all coming to light a short time after the President told Ohio State students that they should “reject the voices” that warn of government tyranny.
Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.
Amazing that this young lady can be so well versed in basic civics and statistics when the so-called leaders of our country can’t seem to grasp even the most basic aspects of either.
Powerful words on the well-being of the American experiment. We are faltering because we have forgotten what made us unique and successful. We have embraced libertinism and a post-modernistic refusal to accept responsibility for our actions. We can remain successful if we return to our founding ideals.
This testimony from the head of the CDC demonstrates clearly how brazenly this White House and senior administration officials will use the health and welfare of children to advance their political goals.
In his questions to the head of the CDC, Rep. Andy Harris demonstrates that President Obama’s suggested budget projected spending cuts in the CDC’s 317 program of over $58 million. The CDC believed that, despite those cuts, they would be able to maintain current levels of vaccination. However, cuts of $30 million, brought on by sequestration-based spending limitations, caused CDC officials to state that they would have to cease providing vaccinations to over 2,000 children in the state of Maryland.
I’ll restate in simpler language so the math-deficient among us can understand. The CDC says it could weather a $58 million cut, if President Obama was the one making the cut. However, since the Obama administration wants to reinforce the idea that sequestration cuts are the Republican’s fault and that they are going make the sequestration as painful as possible for the average person on the street, Obama administration employees in the CDC were willing to let $30 million in sequestration cuts decimate Maryland’s vaccination program.
So, which side is playing politics with the health of children?
Paul Krugman is a pompous, disingenuous ass and the very personification of the term “useful idiot.”
This is the same Paul Krugman that spent months railing against the notion that taxes were going to rise and pooh-poohed the very thought of death panels in the humorously-named “Affordable Care Act” (aka Obamacare).
He vociferously trashed anyone who brought up either tax increases or death panels over the past several years as fringe, right-wing malcontents and lunatics. But earlier this week he admitted that something like death panels were going to have to be put in place in the near future to control spiking health care costs. He also clearly stated that taxes increases on the middle class would have to be put in place. (News flash for Mr. Krugman – those tax increases have already started.)
This graphic should give even the most ardent supporter of expanded government spending pause.
Mandatory spending is set to eat up 82% of the federal budget in the next few decades. Discretionary spending will (of course) then shrink to only 18%.
If we don’t get this under control immediately, we’re in for a massive, system-wide collapse.
Click here to read the full Mercatus Center article.
Here’s another recent video of Piers Morgan lowering the level of discussion to the gutter and logical fallacy.
The sum total of Piers Morgan’s arguments is this,
You are talking complete and utter nonsense….
… What you just said, Mr. Pratt, was an absolute lie …
… You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you? …
… What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever. You don’t give a damn, do you, about the gun murder rate in America. You don’t actually care …
… It’s complete nonsense …
… It’s down to idiots like you …
… You wouldn’t understand the meaning of the phrase ‘high level argument.’ You are a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense, and you shame your country …
Larry Pratt – whether you agree with his arguments or not – absolutely decimated Morgan’s scraping the bottom of the barrel style of argument. Pratt remained calm and collected throughout Morgan’s ad hominem laced assault. He made several logical points that repeatedly knocked Morgan off of his high horse. All Morgan had left in his pathetic bag of tricks was personal attacks.
When even the Obama sycophants at MSNBC are critiquing Biden’s performance in the debate, you know he did a substandard job.