Tag Archives: Big Government

As Speaker of the House in Florida, Marco Rubio pushed for cap and trade

Marco Rubio with his allies: Democrat Churck Schumer and RINO John McCain
Marco Rubio with his allies: Democrat Churck Schumer and RINO John McCain

Somehow, I missed this story about Rubio’s support for a radical anti-business policy that is pushed by global warming alarmists. (It came up in the Fox News debate last night)

Read this from Breitbart News:

As the Speaker of the Florida state House of Representatives, now U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)  was aggressively pushing for Florida to adapt to what he viewed as an inevitable “federal cap and trade program.”

In a politically damning video, Rubio backs cap and trade and argues that Florida—his state—should get in line to comply with the federal government rather than fight back.

“Florida should do two things,” Rubio said in 2008 on Florida television, in video discovered by Breitbart News.

First, Florida should position itself for what I believe is inevitable and that is a federal cap and trade program. Florida should do everything it can to be an early complier so it can access early compliance funds and so that it can help influence what that cap and trade looks like at the federal level. So I’m in favor of giving the Department of Environmental Protection a mandate that they go out and design a cap and trade or a carbon tax program and bring it back to the legislature for ratification some time in the next two years.

Cap and trade is an environmental system that hardcore liberals including former Vice President Al Gore support. A federal cap and trade program would be centered around a carbon tax.

“It will be difficult for sure but we can back away from the fiscal cliff and the climate cliff at the same time,” Gore said in 2012. “One way is with a carbon tax.”

Support for cap and trade is basically about as politically toxic a position as a Republican can take when it comes to the party’s voters, and ranks up there among GOP base voters as about as unacceptable a position as support for amnesty for illegal aliens, government-run healthcare, restrictions against the Second Amendment or support for open borders style international trade policies.

That Rubio has now racked up questionable behavior not just on immigration and international trade—which have been known quantities heading into this election cycle—but now questions about his Second Amendment stance, his actions on Obamacare, and even his work for cap and trade have conservatives questioning if there’s anything Rubio agrees with them on.

Here’s the video:

It looks like Rubio agrees with Barack Obama on this:

Yes – Rubio and Obama agree that your electricity prices should skyrocket, because we have to stop “global warming”. So pay up, suckers. You have lots of money for global warming schemes, don’t you?

In the past, I blogged about Marco Rubio’s support for amnesty, his support for Hillary Clinton’s disastrous Libya intervention, and his deliberate skipping of votes to defund Planned Parenthood to do campaign events instead. Rubio has a billionaire donor who is strongly in support of gay rights, gay marriage and amnesty – does anyone believe that he does not expect to get his money’s worth if Rubio is elected President?

And in my afternoon post, I’ll be blogging about ANOTHER time where Rubio sided with Democrats on their priorities – this time on removing the rights of people accused of rape and sexual assault on university campuses. Rubio just seems to always want to side with Democrats on their issues, and never with conservatives on our issues.

The good news about this is that we don’t have to pick a pro-amnesty, pro-cap-and-trade, pro-Libya-debacle liberal in the GOP primary. We can vote for Ted Cruz, who has made none of these mistakes.

DHS whistleblower: Obama more concerned with protecting Islamists than Americans

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

This PJ Media article is by Debra Heine.

Excerpt:

Philip Haney, the Homeland Security whistleblower whose investigation into Islamic infiltration of the U.S. might have prevented the San Bernardino attack, has written an important op-ed for The Hill, warning of President Obama’s misplaced priorities when it comes to national security. In brief, says Haney, “the Obama administration is more concerned with the rights of non-citizens in known Islamist groups than with the safety and security of the American people.”

There are terrorists in our midst and they arrived here using legal means right under the noses of the federal law enforcement agencies whose mission is to stop them. That is not due to malfeasance or lack of effort on the part of these officers; it is due to the restrictions placed on them by the Obama administration.

Not only did the Obama administration shut down an important investigation that could have connected enough dots to prevent the San Bernardino terrorist attack, they went back and erased the dots Haney was “diligently connecting.” Worse yet, when he complained to the DHS inspector general, the DHS and the Department of Justice subjected him “to a series of investigations and adverse actions, including one by that same inspector general.”

None of them showed any wrongdoing; they seemed aimed at stopping me from blowing the whistle on this problem.

Debra (Nice Deb) was one of the first people to blogroll me when I was first starting out with blogging.

She links to Gates of Vienna, another of my blogroll friends, and quotes them about that:

The “behavioral indicators” listed to help DHS agents identify potential domestic terrorists include carrying around a copy of the Constitution, promoting First and Second Amendment rights, having a Gadsden flag sticker on one’s car, and advocating for a minimal federal government.

[The Obama administration’s approach] is thus designed to serve a dual purpose: (1) to protect Muslim Brotherhood organizations and their operatives who have penetrated federal, state, and local governments, and (2) to help the Obama administration crack down on its real enemies, domestic conservatives who want to re-establish constitutional governance.

Debra wrote a couple of prior articles on this DHS whistleblower, one from 12/14 and one from 12/11.

So is it really true that the Obama administration – in their mad rush to let in immigrants from countries that don’t like us very much – is not serious about keeping terrorists out?

CBS News reported that 5 different Obama administration agencies failed to detect one of the San Bernadino terrorists:

Tashfeen Malik arrived in the United States with her fiance Syed Farook in July 2014. Just two months earlier, her U.S. government background check found no suspected ties to terrorism.

She was granted a K-1 visa, even though the FBI now believes she was radicalized before she met Farook.

The State Department says Malik was thoroughly questioned during an interview at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan.

[…]Five U.S. agencies also vetted her, checking her fingerprints against two databases. Neither her name nor image showed up on a U.S. terror watch list.

One can only imagine that the questions were like “do you believe in the Constitution?” or “do you attend a Christian church?” or “do you think that abortion should be restricted?”. She would be rejected if she affirmed any of those, of course, but affirming Islamic jihad is nothing to be concerned about – if you’re a Democrat.

Homeland Security's new enemy!
Homeland Security’s new enemy! This little girl who supports the Constitution.

It seems to me our national security agencies have been indoctrinated by their Democrat leaders to target conservative taxpayers instead of radicalized Islamists. And in fact we have evidence of that, reported in the Washington Times way back in 2009:

The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in “rightwing extremist activity,” saying the economic recession, the election of America’s first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the warning says.

[…]The nine-page document was sent to police and sheriff’s departments across the United States on April 7 under the headline, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

It says the federal government “will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months” to gather information on “rightwing extremist activity in the United States.”

The joint federal-state activities will have “a particular emphasis” on the causes of “rightwing extremist radicalization.”

According to Democrats, radical Islam is not the real threat. American taxpayers who want to not pay for abortions are the real threat. And it turns out that many Democrat voters think that this is correct, even in an age of Islamic terrorism.

Nile Gardiner writes about a recent Rasmussen Reports poll in the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

[A]mong those who approve of the president’s job performance, just 29% see radical Muslims as the bigger threat. Twenty-six percent (26%) say it’s the Tea Party that concerns them most. Among those who Strongly Approve of the president, more fear the Tea Party than radical Muslims.

[…]Twenty percent (20%) of government workers see the Tea Party as the nation’s bigger terror threat.

That’s what we voted for, when we voted for Barack Obama.

Seven policies that conservatives oppose, because they cause poverty

Women for bigger government, higher taxes
Women for bigger government, higher taxes

The list is from John Hawkins, who runs Right Wing News. It’s posted at Townhall.com, though. (H/T Lindsay)

Intro:

Keeping Americans poor in a prosperous country like America is not as easy as you think. After all, this is the “land of opportunity.” Legal immigrants pay tens of thousands of dollars and wait years for the opportunity to come legally and illegal immigrants often risk their lives just so they can get here and do menial work. This is the country that made Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and even OPRAH into billionaires and it’s a nation where you can have everything from hoverboards to medicine for your pet delivered right to your door. So when there’s so much wealth and opulence everywhere, how do you lock Americans out of that success?

No matter what you do, there will always be a few poor people around, but to really maximize those numbers there are very specific government policies abetted by a few cultural attitudes that will make all the difference.

Here’s the list of policies that make people poor:

  1. Making Sure Taxes And Regulations Are Sky High
  2. Encouraging Dependency
  3. Encouraging People To Have Babies Out Of Wedlock
  4. Demonizing Success
  5. Screwing Up The Education System
  6. Having Massive Immigration
  7. Ratcheting Up Their Expenses

I partially disagree with him on #6, where he goes after skilled immigrants. I think it’s right to go after unskilled immigrants, and immigration through family sponsors, since those people may use more social programs than they pay for in taxes. I don’t mind if they come, so long as they are barred from social programs. Failing that, we should only allow skilled immigrants to come – they pay in more than they use up.

However, if he was talking about illegal alias, and not skilled workers, I agree 100%. Everyone who is here should be here legally with a work permit, and there should be enforcement to punish employers who cheat.

Here’s the one I really like, though – the one I think my Democrat co-workers would not be surprised by:

7. Ratcheting Up Their Expenses: Of course, if you want to create more poor Americans, it’s best to tax the middle class as much as possible, but in a country where they can vote you out of office, you have to be careful about directly reaching into their wallets. So, how do you take their money without their realizing that you’re responsible?

Have the Federal Reserve print money non-stop, which drives up inflation. Over time, that reduces the purchasing power of the middle class as the cost of everything seems to creep up. It’s also important to go after cheap sources of energy like oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear power. Not only does that drive up the cost the middle class pays across the board for products, it also hits people directly when they heat and cool their homes. Exploding medical costs are also helpful and Obamacare has done an amazing job of this. Medical costs are skyrocketing for the middle class and helping to drive them towards poverty. As an extra added bonus, middle class Americans who can no longer afford to pay for their medical care because of Obamacare will also be hit with a tax penalty. If your goal is to hurt middle class Americans financially, you could not do much better than Obamacare.

There are many ways to impoverish working people more than just raising their taxes. Just make them pay more for everything by regulating and taxing the people who create the services and products that people buy.

New study: Tennessee pre-K program provides no educational benefit over control group

This is the most thorough study that I have ever seen evaluating the effectiveness of pre-K programs. The study was done by researchers at Vanderbilt University. (H/T Brad Wilcox tweet)

The study was reported on by the well-respected but leftist Brookings Institute.

They write:

State investments in center-based school readiness programs for preschoolers (pre-K), whether targeted for poor children or universally implemented, have expanded more rapidly than evaluations of their effects. Given the current interest and continuing expansion of state funded pre-K, it is especially important to be clear about the nature of the available evidence for the effectiveness of such programs. Despite widespread claims about proven benefits from pre-K, there is actually strikingly little credible research about the effectiveness of public pre-K programs scaled for statewide implementation.

Like many states that became interested in scaling up a state funded pre-K program in the early 2000’s, voluntary pre-K (TNVPK) was introduced in Tennessee in 1996 as a way to provide academic enhancement to economically disadvantaged children. It expanded in 2005 to an $85 million-plus statewide investment serving 18,000 Tennessee income-eligible children in 935 classrooms across all 95 counties.

Launched in 2009, the TNVPK Effectiveness Study, a coordinated effort between Vanderbilt’s Peabody Research Institute and the Tennessee Department of Education, is a five-year evaluation study funded by the US Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences. It includes the first randomized control trial of a scaled up state funded pre-K program and the first well-controlled comparison group study of the effects of program participation as children progress through elementary school..

Policymakers and proponents often cite some of the famous early studies of pre-K programs that have shown long term benefits extending into adulthood for the participating children. But those were studies of especially complex programs that are unlike scaled-up public pre-K in many ways. The Vanderbilt study is the first rigorous controlled longitudinal study to be conducted on a large-scale state-funded pre-K program.

And here is a summary of the results:

Standard score results from pre-K through 3rd grade on a composite measure that averaged the six achievement subtests are presented from baseline forward in the graph below.

As is evident, pre-K and control children started the pre-K year at virtually identical levels. The TNVPK children were substantially ahead of the control group children at the end of the pre-K year (age 5 in the graph). By the end of kindergarten (age 6 in the graph), the control children had caught up to the TNVPK children, and there were no longer significant differences between them on any achievement measures. The same result was obtained at the end of first grade using two composite achievement measures (the second created with the addition of two more WJIII subtests appropriate for the later grades). In second grade, however, the groups began to diverge with the TNVPK children scoring lower than the control children on most of the measures. The differences were significant on both achievement composite measures and on the math subtests. Differences favoring the control persisted through the end of third grade.

In terms of behavioral effects, in the spring the first grade teachers reversed the fall kindergarten teacher ratings. First grade teachers rated the TNVPK children as less well prepared for school, having poorer work skills in the classrooms, and feeling more negative about school. It is notable that these ratings preceded the downward achievement trend we found for VPK children in second and third grades. The second and third grade teachers rated the behaviors and feelings of children in the two groups as the same; there was a small positive finding for peer relations favoring the TNVPK children by third grade teachers, which did not meet traditional levels of statistical significance.

Results graph:

TNVPK data: pre-K program is in red, baseline is in blue
TNVPK data: pre-K program is in red, baseline is in blue

We are already seeing that cheap daycare in high-tax, big government provinces like Quebec cost a lot, and produce negative results. And of course Hillary Clinton is a longstanding advocate of universal pre-K. As a Senator of New York, she introduced a universal pre-K plan that would cost $10 billion over 5 years. President Barack Obama’s own Preschool for All plan would cost $75 billion over 10 years. This Vanderbilt study should cause us to question whether the policies of the secular left, pushed largely because of emotions and ideology, are worth the tens of billions of dollars they want to take from us. And if you take tens of billions of dollars out of families, then families on the margin will have to give their children to the state to raise. And that includes Christian families, who would no longer be able to afford a stay-at-home mother.

Now, taking children away from parents so that their mothers can work is seen as a worthy goal by those on the secular left. First, communally raising the children is “good” because it removes inequalities between single mothers and traditional working-husband homes. Second, making it easier for women to “go fatherless” is “good” because fathers are not to be trusted to teach their children about morality and religion. That is best left to secular government workers. Third, mothers who choose to marry good providers pay less in taxes if they choose to stay home with their kids and not work. That is “bad” because the government wants more taxes, so they can spend it on vote-buying social programs. Fourth, children who form stable bonds with their parents are less likely to become dependent on the government, meaning their allegiance cannot be bought with government handouts. That is also “bad”. Fifth, it is also “bad” that children who grow up with stay-at-home mothers are more likely to develop empathy and morality, which gives them an independent standard by which to judge the government’s actions.

Related posts

If you want to know what’s ahead for America, look north to Canada

Canada election results 2015
Canada election results 2015 (click for larger image)

A friend of mine pointed out this post by a pro-life woman based in Calgary, Alberta named McKenzie. As you all know, Canada lurched hard left last Monday, electing a strongly pro-abortion Liberal Party government, led by a man who insisted that candidates in his party swear their allegiance to abortion on demand, through all 9 months of pregnancy.

I took a look at some of the pro-life Members of Parliament and noticed that a bunch of them stepped down this election, and many others were defeated by Liberals. So, McKenzie is looking forward and seeing where the pro-abortion Liberal Party is going next now that they have a majority government.

She writes:

As tempting as it is to write a semi-encouraging post about the state of affairs for the next two to four years, the reality is that the political sphere of the pro-life movement has been dealt a treacherous blow in seeking to protect the most defenseless lives among us.

In the foreseeable future, here are three possible federal pressures we can expect from our Parliament over the next few months and years:

1. Legislation inhibiting, directly or indirectly, the freedom and mobility of life-affirming organizations, including pregnancy resource centres, and their ability to reach women seeking abortions. We’ve had zero laws restricting abortion access throughout all nine months of pregnancy since 1988, but that hasn’t stopped our new Prime Minister from enforcing a strictly pro-choice view among his party. The question at the front of their minds seems to be, “how much further could we go in promoting abortion in our society – and overseas?” A reasonable prediction is that the CRA and Human Rights Commissions will put additional pressure on Christian or pro-life charities to comply with any new laws enacted, regardless of their protections under the Charter – similar to our friends in California presently forced to give out abortion information alongside life-affirming options at pregnancy resource centres, though abortion clinics are not required to reciprocate.

CRA = Canada Revenue Agency, their IRS. We’ve already had a scandal where the IRS, probably under the direction of the White House, went after charities that were working against the Democrats on certain issues like stopping voter fraud. She is expecting to see the CRA used similarly to go after pro-lifers. As you know, the Human Rights Commissions are tools used by the secular left to punish conservatives for offending people on the secular left. The laws are only ever applied against conservatives, and they almost always lose their cases. Well, pro-lifers are offensive. McKenzie thinks that the HRCs are going to go after them.

Another one:

3. Economic policies directly and/or indirectly inhibiting our ability to donate towards charities and charitable causes, especially pro-life or pro-family causes. Less money in the hands of private donors (especially those in the middle class) in a recession, coupled with higher redistribution through taxes, hits families the hardest when men and women are in their peak income-earning years. Less resources to go around means less charitable giving when mom and dad need to put their own needs for bills, food, and shelter first.

This is not surprising. The left is always anxious to go after charitable giving, because people are giving their money to causes they care about and the left doesn’t get any benefit. What the left prefers is that they take the money from potential charitable donors and then use it to buy votes. Obama’s latest budget of 2015 was the latest attempt to limit charitable contributions. She is expecting that pro-life donors will be targeted by the new Liberal majority government. And she undertstands that whatever impact she is going to have as a Christian is going to be funded by her own efforts to work for money, he husbands efforts to work for money, and the charitable donations she can get. The government never funds the efforts of Christians and/or conservatives to push Christian or conservative views. Which is why it makes zero sense for Christians to vote to expand the federal government outside of its Constitutional responsibilities.

So what are my thoughts on all this?

Well, I wish more pro-lifers down here were as aware of the effects of laws and policies on life plans. If you read the rest of her post, McKenzie clearly has some kind of pro-life plan there, and it’s a good one in that it’s practical and evidence based. She intends to get results. But she’s not looking inside at her own feelings and thoughts when she makes these life plans, she’s looking at politics and laws and trying to anticipate where the threats will come from, and how to adjust. I wish pro-lifers here were more like that… especially when it comes to size of government. We need to keep our own money and not give it to the government. We need to keep the government away from our rights, e.g. – free speech and religious liberty.

Anyway, if you follow the gay rights vs religious liberties battles we are having now with florists, bakers, photographers, etc., then you might recall that similar things were happening in Canada 10-20 years ago. Canada was going through these problems in the late 90s, early 2000s, when the Liberals were in charge. It sort of died out when the Conservatives took over, but there’s no reason I can see for it not to come back now that Canada has elected a Liberal majority. I’m going to be watching the situation closely up there, because whatever the Liberals do up there now is likely to make its way down here in the next 10-15 years – if we elect Democrats.

In fact, with respect to what she said about restricting pro-lifers, the Democrat Party already introduced a bill to remove all restrictions on abortion at the state and local levels. This is what they do. Laws, taxes and politics do matter.