Sunday, August 28, 2016

Federal Agency Overreach

Placing the Administrative State in Constitutional Context

America’s administrative state now wields vast power over nearly every aspect of daily life. From setting up a business to building a home to accessing contraceptives, it is often an administrative agency that writes, enforces, and adjudicates the legal standards that govern these activities. This legal brief explores the problem of governance by administrative agency. First, the brief highlights how often the legal rules that affect individuals and businesses are made, not by Congress, but instead by unelected administrators.

The brief then explores the Framers’ views of constitutional structure, and in particular, their understanding of separation of powers and nondelegation as necessary to preserving individual liberty. Next, the brief locates the origins of the administrative state in anti-constitutional progressive thought. For the Progressives, administration, rather than republicanism, was the key to good government. Because administrators were to be neutral experts, the Progressives designed administration to be unaccountable to elected officials. They wanted a different kind of government, one where republicanism—or governance by elected representatives—didn’t get in the way of efficiency.

Finally, the brief explains why the administrative state is in significant tension with the Founders’ Constitution. In particular, the current administrative state contravenes the limited government envisioned by the Founders by placing all of the government’s power in one branch, rather than in the three separate branches. This so-called Fourth Branch of government typically exercises legislative, executive, and judicial powers, and without much oversight by the elected branches. Further, broad and open-ended statutes passed by Congress give administrative agencies unheard of discretion to “write” the law. Practically speaking, the executive exercises little oversight over these agencies. And the Supreme Court has largely ceded the field when it comes to judicial review. While the Progressives did not care about upending the constitutional framework—they viewed the Constitution as a historical anachronism that must give way to more efficient administration—we should be wary of arguments and institutions that exchange liberty for efficiency. Though the vast size of our federal government makes it difficult to envision life without the administrative state, like the Founders, we should be concerned when government agencies ordinarily exercise all of the government’s power and are often practicably unaccountable to the people and their elected representatives.

$590 billion Deficit Ahead

Another Obama Parting Gift, His final fiscal year federal budget deficit will increase by 35%. 8/23/16

As President Obama ends his second term, he’s leaving plenty of political parting gifts. The latest is a 35% single-year increase in the federal budget deficit, and a rising trajectory of spending and debt as a share of the economy. Hillary Clinton’s campaign promise of more “stimulus” spending next year suddenly looks a lot more politically problematic.

That’s the story you haven’t read from the Congressional Budget Office’s latest fiscal and economic outlook released this week. For the 2016 fiscal year that ends next month, CBO now forecasts that revenues will rise by only $26 billion while outlays will increase by some $178 billion. The federal deficit will therefore rise from $438 billion to $590 billion, the biggest deficit since 2013.

The revenue shortfall reflects the decline in corporate profits and slower economic growth; the second quarter was revised down to 1.1% Friday. Meanwhile, outlays will rise 5% thanks in large part to the automatic spending drivers of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (which has soared thanks to ObamaCare). Net interest outlays will rise 11% this fiscal year despite historically low interest rates as overall debt continues to increase.

As a share of the national economy, debt held by the public—the kind the Treasury must repay—will increase to 76.6% this fiscal year. That’s the highest share of GDP since 1950 when the debt burden was winding down after World War II. It was 52.3% in President Obama’s first year in office, and it usually is flat or falls during an economic expansion.

No such debt reduction is on the horizon now. Thanks to ObamaCare and his refusal to reform entitlements, Mr. Obama has set the federal fisc on an even uglier path long after he’s left for a tour of the world’s great golf courses. CBO says spending will keep rising and so will debt as a share of GDP—to 77.2% in 2017, 79.3% in 2021 and 85.5% in 2026. (See the nearby chart.) All of this assumes no change in current policy and no economic recession. The odds of the latter are close to zero.

One intriguing question is whether Mr. Obama has planned it this way. One of his abiding goals has been to reorient federal spending away from defense toward more income redistribution and social spending. He has achieved that to some extent during his eight years in office, but his spending wedge will grow even more pronounced as the years go on. Budget room for defense will shrink as the entitlement state expands. He is Europeanizing the U.S. military budget.

All of this also means that his successor will have less running room for fiscal expansion. These columns put a higher priority on promoting economic growth than on deficit reduction, and we’d support a pro-growth tax cut to restore a 3% growth path. But even a reserve currency nation like the U.S. has to worry when its debt to GDP ratio heads above 80%, especially if economic growth continues to be as slow as it has been during the Obama era.

Mrs. Clinton is promising a five-year $275 billion increase in spending for roads, bridges and airports, and her chances of getting that through a Republican House diminish as the deficit grows. The tax increases she is proposing would hurt growth and further reduce federal revenues. Donald Trump is promising to spend more on roads and defense than Mrs. Clinton while cutting taxes by multiple trillions of dollars over 10 years. The deficit would restrain his ambitions too.

Mr. Obama said he wanted to be the reverse Reagan, and in both slower economic growth and an expanding government fiscal burden he has succeeded.

Election Fraud Ahead

Anonymous Warns Trump Campaign – Expect Rampant Election Fraud In Nov,   8/17/16


Anonymous Warns Trump Of Democrat Election Fraud. Expect Electronic Machines To Be Hacked, Be Prepared, Don’t Allow Certification

More and more people are becoming concerned that the stage has been set and the fix is in for election fraud to steal the upcoming election and award it to Hillary Clinton. Obama isn’t acting like someone who recognizes he might lose this November and there appears to be more than just his typical arrogance at play. The Democrat candidate is a career criminal with failing health and yet the polls show her rising and the man of the people slumping. His crowds dwarf hers, easily drawing ten times the number of enthusiastic supporters to her bussed in union members. Corrupting the polls is part of the process of stealing the election, a fact that Anonymous has picked up on as well.

Anonymous has a message for the Trump campaign, a warning of election fraud that is already underway. The spokesman says, “The fake polls are setting up a Hillary Clinton win by electronic vote machine hacking. The media polls are already reflecting the flipped vote.” He implores the American people, “Don’t let this be the greatest vote theft of all time.”

“The fake polls are framing Hillary’s win as a plausible outcome,” he warns, “while the electronic voting machines were made to be hacked, and oh they will be. You think the global elite will allow a loss of power? We doubt it. Hillary will win unless adequate counter measures are activated to mitigate the vote hacking.”

He says, “Here is one way Trump can prevent the greatest election theft of all time. One way is to send a team of two exit pollers, one statistician and one attorney, to each precinct in the swing state districts where it will be stolen; Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, etc, the swing states. When shenanigans are identified, and there will be many, the team needs to activate an official complaint and go file on the same day. Don’t wait, that’s what they want is a delay while the election gets certified in the background.

“It has to be a legal complaint that brings the cops in and maybe the government, “he says. “The media polls are already reflecting the flipped vote. It’s common knowledge the electronic voting machines can be hacked to flip the vote from one candidate to another.”

He points out, “The current polls show Hillary as gaining and Trump slumping are in reality reversed. This is a setup, all laying the foundation for flipping Hillary’s horrendous popularity with Trump’s huge popularity. So when they flip the votes in the swing states districts to squeak it out for Hillary, she’d begrudgingly go along with the result and the evil guys win.”

He says, “Just look at Hillary’s crowds and Trump’s crowds and the recent polling sequence since the beginning of the year and it’s easy to see that as Trump’s crowds get bigger and Hillary’s smaller, the polls reflect Hillary’s lead inching forward and Trump’s polling slumping.”

Anonymous says, “It’s clear the globalists’ media is prepping for the vote flip in those key swing states district precincts. Trump’s team needs to identity those precincts and those districts in those swing states that the globalists are targeting for the vote flip. They have the calculation of which little precincts they will send in agents to flip the vote of the electronic voting machine with a cell phone. Be alert of this move.”

“Someone get word to the Trump team,” says Anonymous. “This is the only way he can win. Anonymous and the collective will be monitoring. What will we be monitoring? Well, that, we cannot tell you. Operations Voter Fraud will engage November 8th.”

Minimum Wage Hike closes Chicago Restaurant

Facing High Labor Costs from Minimum Wage Hikes, Chicago Restaurant Closes, by Leah Jessen, 8/23/16

A Chicago restaurant abruptly closed this week, with ownership blaming the “rapidly changing labor market” and a 27 percent increase in base minimum wage costs over the last two years as culprits for the collapse.

Cantina 1910, a farm-to-table Mexican restaurant located in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, opened in September 2015.

Former Cantina 1910 employees said they were shocked to find out late Sunday evening of the closing, DNAinfo reported.

“We are unable to further raise prices in this competitive restaurant market in order to sustain the labor costs necessary to operate Cantina 1910,” Mark Robertson and
Mike Sullivan, Cantina 1910’s owners, said in an emailed statement to The Daily Signal.

Thank you! The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.  We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

In December 2014, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance to raise the city’s minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $13 an hour by 2019. The minimum wage for non-tipped employees went up to $10.50 an hour on July 1.

“Unfortunately, the rapidly changing labor market for the hospitality industry has resulted in immediate, substantial increases in payroll expenses that we could not absorb through price increases,” the restaurant’s owners said. “In the last two years, we have seen a 27 percent increase in the base minimum wage, a 60 percent increase in kitchen wages, and a national shortage of skilled culinary workers.”

The owners say they “do not see a path forward” with mandatory paid sick leave and minimum wage set to increase in 2017.

They stated: As we look down the road, we are facing a Dec. 1 change in federal labor regulations that will nearly double required salaries for managers to qualify as exempt, a 2017 mandatory sick leave requirement and another minimum wage increase. Coupled with increasing Chicago and Cook County taxes and fees that disproportionately impact commercial properties and businesses, we are operating in an environment in which we do not see a path forward.

Raising the minimum wage was a “much needed” and “an essential step in making sure that hard work pays off for all of our residents,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat and President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, said in a July 2015 statement.

Employment in the Chicago area’s leisure and hospitality sector sunk to a five-year low, according to government data, after a $1.75 an hour minimum wage hike went into effect in July 2015, Investor’s Business Daily’s Jed Graham wrote this past January.

“If Illinois mandated $15/hour starting wages this would cost over 300,000 jobs statewide.” —@JamesBSherk

“The law of demand states that when prices rise, customers buy fewer goods or services,” James Sherk, a research fellow in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, says. “Cantina 1910’s closing is another demonstration that this economic law applies to businesses too.

“Chicago raised mandatory starting wages in the city, but the restaurant could not afford to stay in business at those prices. So it closed and all its employees lost their jobs.

Heritage Foundation analysis finds that if Illinois mandated $15/hour starting wages this would cost over 300,000 jobs statewide.”

Greens split with Dems

Green Party splits with Dems over TPP trade agreement and Obamacare, but continue to support anti-energy, globalist and socialist policies.

Extensive Criticism of Clinton Edited out of Green Party Nominee’s Answer During PBS Interview, by Dave Urbanski 8/26/16

When Green Party nominee Jill Stein sat down with Judy Woodruff on “PBS News Hour” for an interview Tuesday, Woodruff asked this question:

You’ve made it clear that you think both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be terrible presidents for the country. So are you saying you think literally that Hillary Clinton is every bit as bad for the country as Donald Trump?

Stein gave an answer that spanned 1 minute and 9 seconds but only 21 seconds of her answer made it into PBS’ final version of the interview.

It’s possible that Stein’s answer was cut for time. But what was cut was extensive criticism of Clinton — and not in one big dialogue chunk, as you might expect if there were a time crunch.

Here’s the bulk of what was cut from Stein’s answer — 43 seconds out of 69 seconds of air time:

Because Hillary Clinton and now her transition director Ken Salazar … they’re big proponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which is basically NAFTA on steroids. And most observers believe that it will send our jobs overseas, as well as undermine American sovereignty by bringing in these international tribunals that get to pass judgment on our laws, on our public health protections, on our worker protections. So we can’t count on saving our jobs, saving our lives — one in three Americans now cannot afford health care under Obamacare — or saving the planet, because Hillary has been a big proponent of fracking, as is Ken Salazar, her transition director.

After that first edit ended, PBS resumed with Stein’s answer only to excise an additional 5 seconds. Here’s what hit the cutting-room floor this time: “Americans have not only the right to vote but a right to know who we can vote for.”

You can watch the unedited version of Stein’s answer on a PBS livestreamed Facebook clip, beginning after the 6:40 mark. But on the PBS website and on PBS’ YouTube clip, all you’ll get is the edited answer.

Here’s that edited, 21-second answer from PBS News Hour’s YouTube page. It begins just after the 7:28 mark below: And just below is a video that restored the cut portions of Stein’s answer.

The narrator noted: I’m glad PBS livestreamed the full interview on Facebook, but Facebook interviews do not show up in Internet searches. So if anybody searched for the interview, they’d end up watching the censored version. So not only did PBS’ TV and YouTube viewers not actually hear what Jill had to say, even worse they were left with the impression that they actually did.

This story has been updated.

Muslim Invasion in Newton GA

AJC 8/27/16 metro reports that the Mayors of 3 cities in Newton County have asked the Newton County Commission to lift its 6 month ban on zoning for churches.  This ban was the result of over 300 Newton citizens showing up at the County Commission meeting to object to allowing the establishment of a Muslim cemetery and Mosque on 135 acres in Newton County where not Muslims currently live.  The letter from these Mayors said they didn’t want Newton County to ‘look bad’.  They were embarrassed by the ban.

The Commission should be commended for making the ban to consider this zoning application. 

The County Commission certainly has a case for refusing to allow this Muslim invasion to happen.  Muslims are not a “protected group” under US Civil Rights laws and Islam needs to court tested before it is allowed to be considered a religion instead of a form of government that seeks to usurp US law.  That is exactly what Newton citizens could expect because of the mayhem Moslems have caused in Europe.   

Most Americans oppose Muslim immigration to the US and I think the Newton County Commission decision to ban this project is correct and better represents the will of their citizens than the 3 Mayors, who are urging approval of the Muslim application.  There are currently dozens of Muslim terrorist training camps in the US on similar properties.   

Hijrah is the Muslim word for their takeover of other countries using migration to accomplish the overthrow of the existing government.  Sharia law is not compatible with US law.  Honor killings and polygamy are crimes in the US. Islam can easily be rejected as a religion within the US.

62% of Americans favor a ban on Muslim immigration to the US according to YouGov and other polls. See:

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Derivatives Need Regulation

Our Big Banks have over $200 Trillion in derivatives.  These are bets related to future asset increases or decreases.  If their bets go bad, they could go bankrupt.  There are currently no US laws on the books that require these banks to limit their derivative bets. 

We need for Congress to pass a law that requires all entities to limit their derivative bets to not exceed their net worth including all of their assets.  If their bets go bad, they would go bankrupt.  We do not want any bank or other entity “bailed out” by our government or Federal Reserve.  We expect those banks who do go bankrupt to administer the transfer of our money and loans to another bank.  We expect them to get their own loans to allow them time to sell their assets to pay for their losses from these derivative bets.  We don’t want the Federal Reserve to print any money.

US consumers rely on being able to access cash through their bank ATM machines and we don’t want any interruption to prevent us from getting our own money.  We are used to using our credit cards and want to choose our credit card processing companies based on their ability to continue this service without interruption.  We need regulations to require banks to keep sufficient reserves to ensure our ability to function.

We don’t want US law to allow the federal government any right to redirect our private investments to purchase Treasury Bills.  We want Congress to cut federal functions based on the “enumerated powers” stated in the US Constitution (as written).  We expect the federal government to balance their budget and pay off the National Debt. 

We expect the federal government to keep Social Security Retirement benefits at current levels for all who are current Social Security recipients.  We expect the federal government to deposit all social security payments into individually owned accounts for all US citizens who are not yet Social Security recipients. We encourage these citizens to continue to have 15% of their earnings to their individually owned retirement accounts.

From 1945 to 2008, we invested equally in stocks and debt.  We allowed the federal government to print money and cause inflation. The buying power of the 1913 US dollar dropped to 3 cents. Our instinct was to buy what we needed quickly before prices rose again. The dollar value of what investments we did have tripled because they were based on collecting high interest rates and climbing stock prices. 

In 2008 interest rates were “managed” down to 3%, the Treasury Bill went to 1% and interest income dropped to zero. If governments now balance their budgets, pay off their debts, stop printing money and allow the market to set the prices, we will again be able to accumulate wealth. We need to stop over-leveraging, avoid debt, stop excessive immigration, return manufacturing to the US and allow US citizens to earn their own living again.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader