Monthly Archives: September 2017

News Study Details Cost of Illegal Immigration

Similar to most contentious political issues, the question of illegal immigration eventually must be understood in terms of cost, particularly with a national debt of $20 trillion, and state and local governments facing economic challenges of their own.

A new report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIRUS) . outlines the extraordinary fiscal burden imposed on U.S. taxpayers by illegal immigrants.

“At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens. That amounts to a tax burden of approximately $8,075 per illegal alien family member and a total of $115,894,597,664. The total cost of illegal immigration to U.S. taxpayers is both staggering and crippling. In 2013, FAIR estimated the total cost to be approximately $113 billion. So, in under four years, the cost has risen nearly $3 billion. This is a disturbing and unsustainable trend.”

FAIRUS breaks down the expense for federal and state governments.

Federal

The Federal government spends a net amount of $45.8 billion on illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children. This amount includes expenditures for public education, medical care, justice enforcement initiatives, welfare programs and other miscellaneous costs. It also factors in the meager amount illegal aliens pay to the federal government in income, social security, Medicare and excise taxes.

The approximately $46 billion in federal expenditures attributable to illegal aliens is staggering. Assuming an illegal alien population of approximately 12.5 million illegal aliens and 4.2 million U.S.-born children of illegal aliens, that amounts to roughly $2,746 per illegal alien, per year. For the sake of comparison, the average American college student receives only $4,800 in federal student loans each year.

Fairus notes that the approximately t$22.1 Billion in taxes collected from illegal aliens offset fiscal outlays and, therefore must be included in any examination of the cost of illegal immigration. The net federal cost of illegal immigration is, therefore, $30.4 billion.

FAIR believes that most studies grossly overestimate both the taxes actually collected from illegal aliens and, more importantly, the amount of taxes actually paid by illegal aliens (i.e., the amount of money collected from illegal aliens and actually kept by the federal government). This belief is based on a number of factors: Since the 1990’s, the United States has focused on apprehending and removing criminal aliens. The majority of illegal aliens seeking employment in the United States have lived in an environment where they have little fear of deportation, even if discovered. This has created an environment where most illegal aliens are both able and willing to file tax returns. Because the vast majority of illegal aliens hold low-paying jobs, those who are subject to wage deductions actually wind up receiving a complete refund of all taxes paid, plus net payments made on the basis of tax credits..As a result, illegal aliens actually profit from filing a tax return and, therefore, have a strong interest in doing so.

STATE AND LOCAL SPENDING

“FAIRUS notes that “while barred from many federal benefits, state laws allow illegal aliens to access many state-funded social welfare programs. Because so little data is collected on the immigration status of individuals collecting benefits, it is difficult to determine the rate at which illegal aliens use welfare programs. However, based on the average income of illegal alien households, it appears they use these programs at a rate higher than lawfully present aliens or citizens. The combined total of state and local government general expenditures on illegal aliens is $18,571,428,571 billion… The calculation for each state is based on the state’s annual operating budget, reduced by the amount covered by the federal government. That expenditure is then reduced further based on the relative size of the estimated population of illegal aliens and their U.S.-born minor children. As noted in our population estimate, this means states like California, Texas, Florida, New York, etc., with larger illegal alien cohorts, will bear larger shares of these costs.

“Offsetting the fiscal costs of the illegal alien population are the taxes collected from them at the state and local level. Many proponents of illegal immigration argue that the taxes paid to the states render illegal aliens a net boon to state and local economies. However, this is a spurious argument. Evidence shows that the tax payments made by illegal aliens fail to cover the costs of the many services they consume.Illegal aliens are not typical taxpayers. First, as previously noted in this study, the large percentage of illegal aliens who work in the underground economy frequently avoid paying any income tax at all. (Many actually receive a net cash profit through refundable tax credit programs.) Second, and also previously noted, the average earnings of illegal alien households are considerably lower than both legal aliens and native-born workers.

FAIRUS estimates that states and localities collect $3.5 billion in taxes, which, after offsetting expenditures, results in a net state tax loss of $85 billion.

GOP Tax Plan Details

President Trump unveiled the GOP Tax Reform plan at a speech in Indianapolis on Wednesday.  The following outline.directly from the GOP proposal, entitled “THE UNIFIED TAX REFORM FRAMEWORK,” provides a summary.

The Trump Administration, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance have developed a unified framework to achieve pro-American, fiscally-responsible tax reform. This framework will deliver a 21st century tax code that is built for growth, supports middle-class families, defends our workers, protects our jobs, and puts America first. It will deliver fiscally responsible tax reform by broadening the tax base, closing loopholes and growing the economy. It includes: Tax relief for middle-class families. The simplicity of “postcard” tax filing for the vast majority of Americans. Tax relief for businesses, especially small businesses. Ending incentives to ship jobs, capital, and tax revenue overseas. Broadening the tax base and providing greater fairness for all Americans by closing This unified framework serves as a template for the tax-writing committees that will develop legislation through a transparent and inclusive committee process. The committees will also develop additional reforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of tax laws and to effectuate the goals of the framework. The Chairmen welcome and encourage bipartisan support and participation in the process.

Over the last decade too many hard-working Americans have struggled to find good-paying jobs, make ends meet, provide for their families and plan for their retirement. They are the focus of this framework. Strengthening and growing the middle class, and keeping more money in their pockets, is how we build a stronger America. By lowering the tax burden on the middle class, and creating a healthier economy, we can give American families greater confidence and help them get ahead. At the same time, taxpayers deserve a system that is simpler and fairer. America’s tax code should be working for, not against, middleclass families.

Small businesses drive our economy and our communities, and they deserve a significant tax cut. This framework creates a new tax structure for small businesses so they can better compete. Furthermore, America’s outdated tax code has fallen behind the rest of the world – costing U.S. workers both jobs and higher wages. In response, the framework puts America’s corporate tax rate below the average of other industrialized countries and promotes greater investment in American manufacturing.

The framework puts America on a level international playing field and puts an end to the incentives for shipping jobs overseas.

HIGHLIGHTS

Lowers Rates for Individuals and Families

The framework shrinks the current seven tax brackets into three – 12%, 25% and 35% – with the potential for an additional top rate for the highest-income taxpayers to ensure that the wealthy do not contribute a lower share of taxes paid than they do today.

Doubles the Standard Deduction and Enhances the Child Tax Credit

The framework roughly doubles the standard deduction so that typical middle-class families will keep more of their paycheck. It also significantly increases the Child Tax Credit.

Eliminates Loopholes for the Wealthy, Protects Bedrock Provisions for Middle Class

To provide simplicity and fairness the framework eliminates many itemized deductions that are primarily used by the wealthy, but retains tax incentives for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions, as well as tax incentives for work, higher education, and retirement security.

Repeals the Death Tax and Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

The framework repeals the unfair Death Tax and substantially simplifies the tax code by repealing the existing individual AMT, which requires taxpayers to do their taxes twice.

Creates a New Lower Tax Rate and Structure for Small Businesses

The framework limits the maximum tax rate for small and family-owned businesses to 25% – significantly lower than the top rate that these businesses pay today.

To Create Jobs and Promote Competitiveness, Lowers the Corporate Tax Rate

So that America can compete on level playing field, the framework reduces the corporate tax rate to 20% – below the 22.5% average of the industrialized world.

To Boost the Economy, Allows “Expensing” of Capital Investments

The framework allows, for at least five years, businesses to immediately write off (or “expense”) the cost of new investments, giving a much-needed lift to the economy

Moves to an American Model for Competitiveness

The framework ends the perverse incentive to offshore jobs and keep foreign profits overseas. It levels the playing field for American companies and workers.

Brings Profits Back Home

The framework brings home profits by imposing a one-time, low tax rate on wealth that has already accumulated overseas so there is no tax incentive to keeping the money offshore.

The Eroding U.S. Navy, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its two-part look at how slashed funding from Washington  and rising threats from abroad have left the United States vulnerable at sea.

Admiral William F. Moran, the Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations, informed Congress earlier this year that “Time is running out. Years of sustained deployments and constrained and uncertain funding have resulted in a readiness debt that will take years to pay down. If the slow pace of readiness recovery continues, unnecessary equipment damage, poorly trained operators at sea, and a force improperly trained and equipped to sustain itself will result. Absent sufficient funding for readiness, modernization and force structure, the Navy cannot return to full health, where it can continue to meet its mission on a sustainable basis. And even if additional resources are made available, if they continue to be provided in a way that cannot be counted on and planned for, some will be wasted.”

Earlier this month, Admiral Moran  expanded on his worrisome theme:  “The Navy has deployed, on average, about 100 ships around the world each day, collectively steaming thousands of underway days each year, despite having the smallest battle fleet since before World War I, and significantly smaller than the Navy we had immediately after 9/11 over a decade ago. 2 Although warfighting capabilities of ships have dramatically increased in the last century, the size and scope of U.S. responsibilities around the world have also increased.”

While the U.S. Navy struggles, America’s maritime adversaries grow larger and bolder. According to a study by the Brookings Institute  “Russia is, impressively, both retrofitting older vessels and procuring newer ones. And the [Russian] navy has unveiled a significant capability: Its Caspian Sea corvettes and frigates can fire cruise missiles at targets over 900 miles away. This is a previously unknown capability. To put things in perspective, the two variants of the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship, Freedom and Independence, are substantially larger at roughly 2,900 tons and 3,100 tons respectively—but they do not possess any cruise missile or similar power projection capability.”

The United Kingdom’s Royal United Services Institute, reports the Daily Mail,

“has warned the Kremlin is building up its maritime arsenal. It calls on Nato to prepare for how to deal with Russian hybrid warfare at sea ‘before it is too late.’ Its study notes that “Russia could send new submarines and ships to launch undersea attacks to ‘paralyse’ Europe…”

China’s threat may exceed Russia’s, and the two nations are closely allied, and increasing their coordination through joint training exercises. In its Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2016 the Department of Defense notes that “Over the past 15 years, China’s ambitious naval modernization program has produced a more technologically advanced and flexible force. The PLAN now possesses the largest number of vessels in Asia, with more than 300 surface ships, submarines, amphibious ships, and patrol craft. China is rapidly retiring legacy combatants in favor of larger, multi-mission ships equipped with advanced anti-ship, antiair, and anti-submarine weapons and sensors. China continues its gradual shift from “near sea” defense to “far seas” protection.”…China is expanding its access to foreign ports to pre-position the necessary logistics support to regularize and sustain deployments in the “far seas,” waters as distant as the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. In late November, China publicly confirmed its intention to build military supporting facilities in Djibouti…This Chinese initiative both reflects and amplifies China’s growing geopolitical clout, extending the reach of its influence and armed forces…”

Essentially, China has developed a modern and powerful navy with a growing capability for conducting operations beyond China’s near-seas region. Observers of Chinese and U.S. military forces view China’s improving naval capabilities as posing a potential challenge in the Western Pacific to the U.S. Navy’s ability to achieve and maintain control of blue-water ocean areas in wartime—the first such challenge the U.S. Navy has faced since the end of the Cold War. More broadly, these observers view China’s naval capabilities as a key element of an emerging broader Chinese military challenge to the long-standing status of the United States as the leading military power in the Western Pacific.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. To learn more about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, visit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance’s Web site at www.ocrf.org, which also discusses the methods used to diagnose and treat ovarian cancer. Show your support in the fight against ovarian cancer by making a donation to OCRFA online or by contacting the organization P.O. Box 32141, New York, NY 10087-2141 or by calling 212-268-1002.

The Eroding U.S. Navy

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government takes a two-part look at how slashed funding from Washington  and rising threats from abroad have left the United States vulnerable at sea.

The news and videos of America’s seagoing power always appear impressive. But behind the photography, the U.S. Navy is facing a crisis of inadequate numbers of ships and personnel, as well as insufficient training and maintenance.

A study by the U.S. General Accounting Office reports that “Since January 2017, the Navy has suffered four significant mishaps at sea that resulted in serious damage to its ships and the loss of 17 sailors. Three of these incidents involved ships homeported in Japan. In response to these incidents, the Chief of Naval Operations ordered an operational pause for all fleets worldwide, and the Vice Chief of Naval Operations directed a comprehensive review of surface fleet operations, stating that these tragic incidents are not limited occurrences but part of a disturbing trend in mishaps involving U.S. ships.

GAO’s prior work shows that the Navy has increased deployment lengths, shortened training periods, and reduced or deferred maintenance to meet high operational demands, which has resulted in declining ship conditions and a worsening trend in overall readiness. The Navy has stated that high demand for presence has put pressure on a fleet that is stretched thin across the globe. Some of the concerns that GAO has highlighted include:

  • Degraded readiness of ships homeported overseas : Since 2006, the Navy has doubled the number of ships based overseas. Overseas basing provides additional forward presence and rapid crisis response, but GAO found in May 2015 that there were no dedicated training periods built into the operational schedules of the cruisers and destroyers based in Japan. As a result, the crews of these ships did not have all of their needed training and certifications. Based on updated data, GAO found that, as of June 2017, 37 percent of the warfare certifications for cruiser and destroyer crews based in Japan—including certifications for seamanship—had expired. This represents more than a fivefold increase in the percentage of expired warfare certifications for these ships since GAO’s May 2015 report. The Navy has made plans to revise operational schedules to provide dedicated training time for overseas-based ships, but this schedule has not yet been implemented.
  • Crew size reductions contribute to sailor overwork and safety risks: GAO found in May 2017 that reductions to crew sizes the Navy made in the early 2000s were not analytically supported and may now be creating safety risks. The Navy has reversed some of those changes but continues to use a workweek standard that does not reflect the actual time sailors spend working and does not account for in-port workload—both of which have contributed to some sailors working over 100 hours a week.
  • Inability to complete maintenance on time: Navy recovery from persistently low readiness levels is premised on adherence to maintenance schedules. However, in May 2016, GAO found that the Navy was having difficulty completing maintenance on time. Based on updated data, GAO found that, in fiscal years 2011 through 2016, maintenance overruns on 107 of 169 surface ships (63 percent) resulted in 6,603 lost operational days (i.e., the ships were not available for training and operations).

Looking to the future, the Navy wants to grow its fleet by as much as 30 percent but continues to face challenges with manning, training, and maintaining its existing fleet. These readiness problems need to be addressed and will require the Navy to implement GAO’s recommendations—particularly in the areas of assessing the risks associated with overseas basing, reassessing sailor workload and the factors used to size ship crews, and applying sound planning and sustained management attention to its readiness rebuilding efforts. In addition, continued congressional oversight will be needed to ensure that the Navy demonstrates progress in addressing its maintenance, training, and other challenges.

Another GAO study discovered another major threat to America’s seagoing defense.  The readiness of the surge sealift and combat logistics fleets has trended downward since 2012.

Military Sealift Command ships perform a wide variety of support services and missions, including transporting military equipment and supplies in the event of a major contingency (performed by the surge sealift fleet) and replenishing fuel and provisions for U.S. Navy ships at sea (performed by the combat logistics force). An aging surge sealift fleet in which some ships are more than 50 years old, and a combat logistics force tasked with supporting more widely distributed operations (i.e., the employment of ships in dispersed formations across a wider expanse of territory), present several force structure and readiness challenges.

For example, GAO found that mission-limiting equipment casualties—incidents of degraded or out-of-service equipment—have increased over the past 5 years, and maintenance periods are running longer than planned, indicating declining materiel readiness across both fleets. The Navy has started to develop a long-term plan to address recapitalization of the aging surge sealift fleet, but this plan has not been finalized. The average age of the ships in the surge sealift fleet is nearly 40 years, and the number of surge sealift ships reaching the end of their programmed service lives over the next 10 years will reduce sealift capacity by over 25 percent. The Navy has not finalized these plans, and officials acknowledged that these efforts do not fully incorporate leading practices for capital investment planning. For example, Navy officials told us that the plan does not include a needs assessment or project prioritization comparing the costs and benefits of proposed investments to each other. Without effective capital planning to ensure the availability of surge sealift capability, the equipment and supplies needed by the Army, Marine Corps, and other forces may not arrive when needed, potentially hindering U.S. operations.

The Navy has not assessed the effects of widely distributed operations, which could affect the required number and type of combat logistics ships. The Navy released its new operational concept of more widely distributed operations—ships traveling farther distances and operating more days to support a more distributed fleet—in 2017. The Navy has not assessed the effects that implementing this concept will have on the required number and type of combat logistics ships. These effects could be exacerbated in the event that the Navy is less able to rely on in-port refueling—which has comprised about 30 percent of all refuelings over the past 3 years—placing greater demand on the combat logistics fleet. Given the fleet’s dependence on the combat logistics force, waiting until 2019 or 2020 to conduct an assessment, as planned, could result in poor investment decisions as the Navy continues to build and modernize its fleet. Furthermore, without assessing the effects of widely distributed operations on logistics force requirements and modifying its force structure plans accordingly, the Navy risks being unprepared to provide required fuel and other supplies.

The Report concludes tomorrow.

Repealing America’s Revolution, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its two-part look at how the basic foundational concepts of the United States are being challenged as never before.

The most basic American right of free speech continues to be assaulted. In 2014, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced legislation to limit the First Amendment. This year, Free speech continues to be attacked, reports the Washington Examiner  “A revived bid by a top Federal Election Commission Democrat could lead to an “inquisition” against conservative media outlets like the Drudge Report, InfoWars and Breitbart that take political advertising and are overseen by right-leaning owners or editors, according to critics.” The College Fix  reports that the dean’s office in Utah Valley University, a public institution, distributed a guidance letter to all faculty encouraging them to report to the school’s Behavior Assessment Team any students who use “inappropriate language,” are “argumentative,” or who speak “loudly”—a move widely interrupted to mean not those who protest from the Left, but only those who disagree with left-leaning professors.

The concept of respecting the results of free and fair elections is attacked daily. In the past, the nation transitioned from Democrat to Republican, liberal to conservative, without a hitch. Whether one likes or disdains Donald Trump, there is no disputing the reality that he was fairly elected.  Nevertheless, even before he took the oath of office, calls for his impeachment, and for ignoring the results of the 2016 election, were rampant. Further,  Zero Hedge disclosed that former CIA director John Brennan advised federal government officials to disobey President Trump under certain circumstances.

The basis of representational government, in which it is the voter that is the ultimate holder of power, is diminished by an unelected, unresponsive and arrogant bureaucracy. Increasingly, key decisions affecting the daily lives of Americans are being made not in the halls of Congress as intended by the Constitution but by unelected and relatively unknown bureaucratic bodies. According to the CATO institute, “In the 125 years since Congress created the first regulatory agency, the number of agencies and the scope and reach of the regulations they issue have increased dramatically. In 2014, there are over 70 federal regulatory agencies, employing over 300,000 people to write and implement regulation. Every year, they issue thousands of new regulations, which now occupy over 168,000 pages of regulatory code.” During the Obama Administration, powerful federal agencies such as the IRS and the FCC were used to engage in partisan political attacks against those who disagreed with the White House.

The very concept of citizenship itself is challenged by those on the left who, annoyed at the lack of support by the current population, fight to maintain “open borders” to allow in those unfamiliar or unsympathetic to America’s founding principles. Some municipalities are openly considering allowing immigrants—including illegals—to vote. The most recent example comes from Maryland, In August, reports Adam Edelman of Fox News “A D.C. suburb in Maryland began considering  a plan that would give undocumented immigrants the right to vote, making their city the largest in the Old Line State to do so. The city, which is home of the University of Maryland’s main campus and nearly 30,000 residents, is weighing approval of the new measure to let noncitizens cast ballots for mayor and City Council,” according to the The Baltimore Sun.

Civil discourse is replaced by violence and the threat of violence. Examples are worrisome.  In a scene eerily reminiscent of Nazi or KKK activities, Antifa’s “Black-clad anarchists …stormed into what had been a largely peaceful Berkeley protest against hate and attacked at least five people, including the leader of a politically conservative group who canceled an event a day earlier in San Francisco amid fears of violence” reported the Chicago Tribune. “The group of more than 100 hooded protesters… busted through police lines, avoiding security checks by officers. Separately, groups of hooded, black-clad protesters attacked at least four other men in or near the park, kicking and punching them.”

All of this threatens America’s very existence. Author Eric Metaxas asks, “If America was indeed a country created not because of ethnic or tribal boundaries but instead because people had come to believe—and therefore embody—a set of ideas, how could America be said to exist if…these ideas had essentially evaporated from our national consciousness…?” In the past, Metaxas notes, America “stood for something greater than itself,” and asks “when [the] nation has forgotten who it is at its core, has forgotten not just the important ideas that animated it in the first place but the heroes who brought those ideas to life…can we keep the republic that has been a beacon of liberty and a promise to the future and to the world?”

The challenges from groups like Antifa, the preferences for socialism over capitalism within the academic world, and the growing practice of governance by unelected “experts” over elected officials may seem new, but they are merely the latest incarnation of the horrors of the totalitarian movements that reached their height in the 20th Century. What is different is the unusual level of acceptance of these failed philosophies by many within the United States, and the blatant touting of them by universities, many popular personalities, the media, and a number of political figures.

it’s not just disaffected and arrogant masked domestic terrorists that are altering the current American political and cultural landscape.  Take New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, for example.  Despite his support for Nicaragua’s communist regime during the period when Moscow was sending its military to the region, his fondness for at least one terrorist group, and his open embrace of Marxist principles, he commands America’s largest city.  The Washington Free Beacon  has described how De Blasio “Rails against [the] concept of private property, [and] says it impedes NYC’s ‘Socialistic Impulse.’  De Blasio complains that “private property rights” stand in the way of his agenda.

Again, this is nothing new. The Bolsheviks stole the Russian Revolution from those who wished to replace the Czar with a more open government, and sought to eliminate private property rights. A few decades later, notes British politician and author Daniel Hannan, Hitler proclaimed that “Capitalism has run its course.” He believed, writes Hannan, as did other socialists (remember, “Nazi” is short for “National Socialists”) that individual rights were a perversion of the natural order “in which the group was more important than the individual.”

America’s very essence is under sustained assault from those who substantially disagree with all that it was founded upon.

Repealing America’s Revolution

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government provides a two-part look at how the basic foundational concepts of the United States are being challenged as never before.

A small portion of the U.S. population has rejected the foundational concepts of what America is all about.  Bedrock principles of individual rights, free enterprise, and even national sovereignty have been called into question as never before.

Unlike previous major controversies, this division does not center around a single issue or dispute. Rather, it calls into question the essential reasons for the founding of the country, and even the great principles of western civilization that guided and motivated the thirteen original colonies to form an entity unlike any ever seen before.

During the past century, the basics of Western Civilization were challenged across the globe.  However, within “the Anglosphere,” including primarily the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the guiding principles were kept alive, and improved upon.  The last vestiges of the world-wide tragedies of racism, sexism, dictatorship and religious persecution were attacked, and individual freedoms expanded, in contrast to the rest of the planet, where, in many cases, these evils expanded to previously unimaginable degrees.  Nazi concentration camps, Communist Gulags, and the medieval practices of Islamic extremism plagued the planet (and some continue to do so) but America remained largely immune.

That may be changing, as individual rights are replaced by collective rights, despite the history of this concept which resulted in 100 million people murdered by Communist states, 15 million or so extinguished by Hitler, and the growing daily ravages of radical Islam.

The attempts to eliminate the key, unifying ideas and traditions that bind America together become more serious each day.

Progressive” educators, from kindergarten through college, when they include American history at all in their curriculum, do so only in the most deprecating manner possible. Left-wing pundits work overtime to cast the nation’s founding fathers in the worst possible light. Bruce Thornton, writing for Frontpage  explains: “The politicizing of the universities has led to two ill effects. First… adding [anti-American] material to the curriculum necessitates the driving out of the traditional curriculum…Second, generations of credential students have sat in these courses and then gone on to teach in high schools and grade schools, and to write the textbooks and curricula that propagate this ideology. The result is a student population ignorant of the basic facts of history.” Even the unifying act of having young students recite the Pledge of Allegiance together is now under assault by those who wish to remove it from regular student activities.

As a result of biased or nonexistent education in U.S. history, there is little appreciation for the extraordinary leap in human rights brought about by the American Revolution, and the founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Therefore, when individuals who seek to dismantle America’s philosophical underpinnings point out the inevitable flaws in the nation’s founding figures, those flaws are all those undereducated students see.

Some entertainment and sports figures use their access to the public to attack unifying symbols and traditions.  Example:  Football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, rather than voice his concern over a particular set of issues, chooses instead to denigrate the nation as a whole by refusing to honor the traditional playing of the national anthem. As a result, his muddled message isn’t one of reform of whatever bothers him; it’s an undercutting of support for the nation as a whole.

The essential philosophical principles which underpin America are under constant siege. Freedom of religion has been a central tenet of American life. But now, holding any religious beliefs makes one vulnerable to attack.  Examples abound:

  • Houston’s former mayor sought to mandate that pastors had to submit their sermons to the city for approval.
  • The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal  noted with alarm Senator Diane Feinstein’s assault on a judicial nominee simply because the candidate for the bench held traditional religious beliefs: “David Rivkin, a constitutional litigator, says ‘the tenor of questions by Democrat Senators seemed designed more to challenge the ideas of Catholic orthodoxy—a subject more fitting for a theological debate than a Senate hearing…Sen. Dick Durbin jumped in to demand of Ms. Barrett: ‘Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic…This questioning is part of a broader effort on the left to disqualify people with strong religious views from the public square.’
  • It has also been reported  that a “A Washington state high school football coach… was punished for taking a knee at the 50-yard line for a post-game prayer violated the U.S. Constitution,” according to the radical 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • The co-chair of the Democrat National Committee has a long history of associating with anti-Semites.

The Report Concludes tomorrow.

Is America Racist? Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its two-part examination of the charge that America suffers from wide-spread racism.

In addition to claims of a systematic bias against blacks, the left pushes a false narrative of a Trump Administration bias against Muslims. The White House has a clear obligation to protect U.S. citizens.  Quite obviously, terrorism in its current form emanates from Muslim nations. During the Obama Administration, the Department of Homeland Security  restricted visa waivers for seven Muslim nations, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. The left did not raise much of an objection, However, when President Trump barred immigration and visitors from the same list of countries, it became a major left wing focus of criticism.

Trump’s move is clear and expected  outgrowth, and seamless continuation, of the Obama DHS move.  As was noted in it’s release:

“The addition of these three countries is indicative of the Department’s continued focus on the threat of foreign fighters. DHS continues to review the security of the Visa Waiver Program, the threat environment, and potential vulnerabilities. This is the latest step in a series of actions over the past 15 months to strengthen the security of the Visa Waiver Program and ensure the Program’s requirements are commensurate with the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters, many of whom are nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries.”

Jonah Goldberg provided this analyses in the Albuquerque Journal:

“This eagerness to hype “anti-Muslim backlash” stories has been around for nearly 20 years, and it has always been thin gruel. According to the FBI, in every year since the 9/11 attacks, there have been more – a lot more – anti-Jewish hate crimes than anti-Muslim ones. Which have you heard about more: the anti-Jewish backlash or the anti-Muslim backlash? Amazingly, the “experts fear an anti-Muslim backlash” stories keep popping up after every Islamic terror attack, despite the fact that the backlash never arrives…What has not been lacking is evidence that many activists want to convince Americans that such a climate exists…This effort has been old hat for the media-savvy spokesmen of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) for years. But since Donald Trump’s election, there has been an explosion of freelance anti-Muslim hate crime hoaxes.”

There is another interesting side note to all this.

As the left continues to perpetuate the myth of racist America, it engages in bigotry on a near-industrial scale. Antisemitism is a mainstay of the progressive movement, and it starts at the very top.  Democrat National Committee vice chair, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) has a long career of anti-Semitic sympathies.  Much of the Progressive movement moves in lockstep with anti-Semitic activities thinly disguised as being anti-Israeli.

But most telling is the treatment the Left reserves for blacks who have moved off of the Progressive ideological plantation.  The treatment of blacks such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, or former presidential candidate Herman Cain, or Housing Secretary Dr. Ben Carson are prime examples.

Crystal Wright, in a Townhall article, reported:

Since Dr. Ben Carson uncorked himself as a black conservative during his speech at the White House Prayer breakfast, he’s been called an “Uncle Tom” and mocked by MSNBC Toure as having “intellectual tumors in his mind.” And of course civil rights attorney Leo Terrell, who told Sean Hannity “Carson is [a] monster…and should stay in the operating room.” Agitated by the vitriol hurled at Carson, one of the world’s preeminent pediatric neurosurgeons, I thought it was timely to remind everyone that Carson, though a new face to the movement, certainly isn’t the only black conservative to be assailed by the left. On a daily basis, black Janes and Joes are verbally abused for choosing to call themselves Republican or conservative.

The open racism expressed by organizations such as Black Lives Matter, against both non-blacks and black conservatives, hardly gets discussed in the media.

Is there a true racism problem in America?  The reality is that if one linked the total political influence of every racist organization in the nation, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, and any other similar group, their combined political power and general influence would be virtually zero.

Is America Racist?

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government presents a two-part examination of the charge that America suffers from wide-spread racism.

Progressive political interests and their media supporters continue to push a false narrative describing America as a nation that is racist at its core.

Having been soundly defeated at all levels of federal elections, as well as in state ballots, leftist interests have engaged in Plan B: rendering America asunder by inciting division and creating unwarranted and unjustified levels of internal hostility in order to distract from the voters’ rejection of their platform.

The two-fold gist of the Progressive argument is that:

the nation’s past transgressions of slavery and segregation, no matter how long in the past, are current issues, and

so long as there is any evidence of racial or ethnic bias by any individual, it must be imputed that America’s entire population, and its whole governmental framework, is bigoted.

Both charges lack merit.

The Capital Research Center’s James Simpson  describes how one organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center,  that has over the years metamorphized into a leading role in the false bias drive operates:

“By deliberately mischaracterizing conservatives and tea partiers as ‘extremists,’ the SPLC implies they have a potential for violence and thus offers a justification for the government to keep tabs on these potential ‘domestic terrorists.’ The Left, on the other hand, has a firmly established record of militancy, violence, and treasonous, unscrupulous and disgusting anti-social behavior. Occupy Wall Street, for example, is an anti-social, violent movement of the extreme Left.”

D.C. McAllister, writing for the Federalist  notes that “…the Left has effectively used social psychology strategies to label, stigmatize, and delegitimize…traditional American values… This…is merely a myth that has been popularized by the Left…The entire history of America’s founding has been labeled. Individualism has been labeled. Personal responsibility has been labeled. Free markets have been labeled. Christianity has been labeled. Conservatism has been labeled. The United States of America as a nation has been labeled and stigmatized…a belief Barack Obama reinforced when he said “Racism is in our DNA” and reinforced by Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, who recently called for whites to become a ‘minority’ to atone for racism. Everything conservatives hold dear culturally, politically, and socially has been labeled and stigmatized…”

To enhance and further the dishonest narrative, falsehoods continue to be perpetrated. The “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative from Ferguson is the most salient example.  An intensive study by the U.S. Justice Department during the Obama presidency concluded that the alleged shooting of a surrendering black man simply was false.  Despite that, the incident became a rallying cry widely employed by progressive political interests.

As the dominoes continued to fall in the “racist” America narrative based on isolated incidents, the concept of “white privilege” became a way of advocating the same falsehood without having to refer to specific events.

While that incident is the most famous, it is far from being the only capricious example touted.

Dennis Prager, in a National Review article, debunks the concept:

“A pillar of contemporary Leftism is the notion of “white privilege.” … The assertion turns out to be largely meaningless. And, more significantly, it does great harm to blacks. First, no reasonable person can argue that white privilege applies to the great majority of whites, let alone to all whites. There are simply too many variables other than race that determine individual success in America. Every high-school student knows that given similar scholastic and extra-curricular records, one’s chances of being accepted into a prestigious college are considerably greater if one is a member of a minority, most especially the black minority.

“So then why all this left-wing talk about white privilege? The major reason is in order to portray blacks as victims. This achieves two huge goals for the Left — one political, the other philosophical. The political goal is to ensure that blacks continue to view America as racist. The Left knows that the only way to retain political power in America is to perpetuate the belief among black Americans that their primary problem is white racism. Only then will blacks continue to regard the Left and the Democrats as indispensable….The philosophical reason is that the Left denies — as it has since Marx — the primacy of moral and cultural values in determining the fate of the individual and of society. In the Left’s view…the disproportionate amount of violent crime committed by black males is not attributable to the moral failure of the black criminal or to the likelihood of his not having been raised by a father, but to an external factor over which he has little or no power — white racism.  White privilege is another left-wing attempt, and a successful one, to keep America from focusing on what will truly help black America — a resurrection of the black family, for example — and instead to focus on an external problem: white privilege. In doing so, the Left has become the only real enemy the black has in America today.”

The Report concludes tomorrow.

Will China and India Fight? Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its examination of the tensions between the world’s two most populous nations.

A clash between India and China would bring into play massive armed forces. Each nation possesses nuclear weapons. India is believed to have 110 nuclear warheads, 400 cruise missiles, and 5,000 ballistic missiles. China has a minimum of 260 warheads, 3,000 cruise missiles, and 13,000 ballistic missiles. The Chinese nuclear arsenal may be far larger, as open-source information may significantly underestimate the true size of Beijing’s atomic arsenal. A Diplomat study notes that “China officially communicates the least about the size, status and capabilities of its nuclear forces. A Georgetown University study by Dr. Philip Karber points out the challenge of correctly estimating the nuclear capability of a secretive state.  In the case of China, a large number of weapons may be concealed in a vast array of tunnels.”

The two nations have conventional forces that are also among the world’s most powerful, according to Global Firepower, the Arms Control agency , and other sources.  India has 188 surface ships, and 15 submarines. China has 342 surface ships, and 67 submarines. India has 3,468,000 men at arms, China has 4,635,000. India has 2,102 military aircraft, China possesses 2,955. India has 11,130 armored vehicles, China fields 11,245. India has 683 helicopters, China, 1,118. India has 7,704 artillery pieces, compared to China’s 8,136.

Kyle Mizokami, writing in The National Interest notes that “…war between India and China would be one of the largest and most destructive conflicts in Asia. A war between the two powers would rock the Indo-Pacific region, cause thousands of casualties on both sides and take a significant toll on the global economy. Geography and demographics would play a unique role, limiting the war’s scope and ultimately the conditions of victory… Both countries’ ‘No First Use’ policies regarding nuclear weapons make the outbreak of nuclear war very unlikely. Both countries have such large populations, each over 1.3 billion, that they are essentially unconquerable. Like all modern wars, a war between India and China would be fought over land, sea, and air; geography would limit the scope of the land conflict, while it would be the air conflict, fought with both aircraft and missiles, that would do the most damage to both countries. The trump card, however, may be India’s unique position to dominate a sea conflict, with dire consequences for the Chinese economy.”

Analysts believe that the territorial dispute was a symptom, rather than a cause, of the tensions between the two nations. Stratfor believes reports “This is a rivalry born completely of high-tech geopolitics…the theoretical arc of operations of Chinese fighter jets at Tibetan airfields includes India. Indian space satellites are able to do surveillance on China. In addition, India is able to send warships into the South China Sea, even as China helps develop state-of-the-art ports in the Indian Ocean. And so, India and China are eyeing each other warily…it becomes apparent that the two nations with the largest populations in the world (even as both are undergoing rapid military buildups) are encroaching upon each other’s spheres of influence…”

While remaining at loggerheads over border disputes and regional influence, trade relations between the two most populous nations on the planet are significant. India Today  describes the growth in economic relations: “In the past two years, Chinese investment in India has grown almost six times with the foreign direct investment jumping from 1 billion dollars in 2014 to 6 billion dollars in 2015. “As far as exports are concerned, it is obvious China considers India a hot investment destination and knows that India is the answer for boosting it’s manufacturing sector. Last year, Chinese exports to India stood at a whopping 60 billion dollars as compared to India’s miniscule 16 billion dollar export to China, widening the trade deficit between the two Asian Giants,” says economist Akash Jindal.

The Times of India  reports that “After years of decline, Indian exports to China rose sharply in the first four months of this year registering a 20 per cent increase to $5.57 billion, though the trade deficit continued to persist. Indian exports received a major boost mainly due to China increasing the steel consumption by importing big quantity of iron ore as well as gems and diamonds besides cotton materials.”