For many years, we have bestowed a Ringside Politics Turkey of the Year Award to a worthy celebrity or politician. This designation is anything but flattering, so last year we decided to start a positive award category by recognizing an annual Champion of the Year.
The 2014 recipient was quite deserving, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Ever since he burst upon the national stage, Cruz has stood up for conservative values in the midst of withering criticism. He has run a very efficient and effective presidential campaign and is now unquestionably in second place in the national polls of Republican Party voters.
The front-runner in the national polls is also the winner of the 2015 Ringside Politics Champion of the Year Award, Donald Trump. Even though the past year has been a crazy one in American politics, it has been dominated by one person, Donald Trump, who stole the spotlight from President Barack Obama.
Ever since he entered the presidential race in June, Trump has captured the media headlines. All of the other candidates have responded to his statements and his positions on the issues.
The public has responded very favorably to Trump’s politically incorrect message. While other politicians apologize on a regular basis for making controversial statements, Trump does the opposite, he doubles down.
Whether the issue is illegal aliens, the border wall, relations with Mexico, trade with China, Muslim immigration, or Hillary Clinton, Trump refuses to play the normal political games and let the media dictate the conversation.
His rallies generate massive crowds and enthusiasm. Unlike other candidates, Trump is not scripted and actually takes questions from the audience and the media. He will go on all of the national political shows, avoiding none of them, as opposed to Hillary Clinton who only appears on friendly programs.
In one respect, he has won all five of the presidential debates, because his presence has attracted massive viewership. The ratings for the GOP debates have been spectacular due to one person, Donald Trump. On the other side, the Democrat presidential candidates drew only 8 million viewers to their last debate on ABC, which is a paltry one-third of the audience that watched of the first Republican debate on Fox News.
All of the attention is due to the fact that Americans have never seen a presidential candidate like Donald Trump. He is a lifelong businessman who has been extremely successful building a real estate empire worth $10 billion. He has also valuable experience in the media by hosting a successful reality TV show, The Apprentice. What distinguishes Trump from the other candidates is not only his business background, but also his track record of accomplishment in the private sector, which is quite a contrast to most of his opponents, who are career politicians.
As a shrewd capitalist, Trump has run a very unorthodox and streamlined campaign, spending very little money. Since he generates such massive media attention, Trump does not need to traditional advertising to bolster name recognition. Nonetheless, he will start to advertise in the next month and spend some of his fortune to bolster his frontrunner status.
While most politicians have to spend precious time and energy raising funds, Trump can finance his entire campaign with little impact on his net worth. This gives Trump as major advantage over his opponents. Unlike other candidates who will be beholden to big donors, Trump is the ultimate independent candidate, beholden to no one except the voters who will determine whether he wins the presidential election or not.
A candidate that is not tied to special interests is a major threat to the Republican Party establishment, which is the reason GOP bigwigs have tried to thwart his campaign. These Republican Party insiders and power-brokers have selected every Republican presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan, but they have no control over Trump.
It is very refreshing to see the elitists inside the Republican Party have such anxiety over the Trump campaign. Hopefully, he will continue to cause them heartburn and his message of making America great again will continue to find strong support among Republican voters.
Even if he does not win, he has provided a tremendous service to the political system by challenging the corrupt alliance of special interests, party leaders, political consultants and the national news media. Trump has gone around, above and through the forces arrayed against him and connected with the one group often forgotten by these Beltway snobs, the American people.
For all of these reasons and more, we are proud to present the 2015 Ringside Politics Champion of the Year Award to Donald Trump.
For the past ten years, we have enjoyed a holiday tradition on the Ringside Politics program, bestowing the “Turkey of the Year” award on the most deserving politician or celebrity. Previous winners have included former House Speakers John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. While all of the former winners have been very worthy recipients, this year’s honoree is the most deserving of all time. No one fits the bill of “Turkey of the Year” more than President Barack Obama.
Just a few days ago, the President was pardoning the official White House turkeys of the year. Unfortunately, we cannot pardon Barack Obama for his actions as President. He has presided over the dismantling of our country’s economy, our military and our standing in the world.
Despite the reports of a low unemployment rate and the media hype of a “recovery,” the United States is facing a crisis of confidence among its people. Just last month, the consumer confidence rating plunged to a 15 month low. Experts noted that Americans have a pessimistic attitude about the job market. Of course, it is easy to understand why that is happening. Today, there are over 94.5 million Americans not in the labor force, the highest total, 37.6%, since 1978. In addition, there are 46 million Americans receiving food stamps and 50 million people mired in poverty. These struggling families are having a hard time just paying for basic expenses.
With such a bleak economic situation, it should come as no surprise that spending for Black Friday this year was down 10%. Even with a slight increase in online spending, the overall sales total this year was down $1.2 billion from 2014.
The President’s answer is always more government action, growing the public sector at the expense of the private sector. His stimulus program just added to the national debt without the “shovel ready” jobs that were promised. Currently, the federal debt is $18.7 trillion, an increase of over $8 trillion since President Obama took office. His signature program, the Affordable Care Act, will add trillions of dollars more to the national debt, produce higher premiums and deductibles for Americans and in 10 years, 31 million people will still not have health insurance.
When he is not increasing the size of government, President Obama is expanding the scope of presidential power. Regarding the serious problem of illegal immigration, the President issued an executive action granting amnesty to 5 million undocumented aliens. Fortunately, this initiative was challenged in court by 26 states and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court injunction against the executive action. The administration will appeal and the issue will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court. In the meantime, illegal aliens will continue to stream into the country across borders that are not secure.
While the President is not concerned about the dangers of illegal immigration, he is concerned about “climate change.” His EPA is issuing new regulations to limit the consumption of fossil fuels and force his climate change agenda on American businesses. This philosophy is reflected at the worldwide climate change conference in Paris, where President Obama has repeated his claim that it is the most serious problem facing the planet. It is not famine, disease, slavery, genocide, Islamic terrorism, poverty or a host of other problems, but the hoax of climate change that most worries our President, even though this fear has been refuted by thousands of reputable scientists.
Instead of climate change, President Obama should be fearful of Islamic terrorism, but he will not even name the threat we are facing. He uses the meaningless term “extremism” to label the killers who are targeting “infidels” worldwide. Islamic terrorism has increased greatly since President Obama took office. Our biggest enemy, the Islamic State, has not been “confined” as the President stated. Incredibly, he referred to this organization of 30,000 ruthless killers as the “JV.” Yet, the “JV” has accomplished what other Islamic terror groups never achieved; take control of a large region of territory in Iraq and Syria. In fact, the area occupied by the Islamic State today is larger than the country of Great Britain.
The President’s ineffective efforts to stop the Islamic State have been laughable. According to Michael Morell, former CIA Director, we refused to bomb their oil wells because of a concern for “environmental damage.” With this kind of ludicrous thinking, the United States would have never dropped two atomic bombs on Japan or won World War II.
Obama is a turkey is many respects, but especially in his handling of the military. Today, the United States has 273 ships, the lowest total since 1916. We have the fewest aircraft since 1947 and the smallest army since 1940. Too bad we are decreasing our military at a time of increasing threats to this nation.
The President wants to add 100,000 Syrian refugees to our country in each of the next two years. Most Americans want this program to halt, especially after the Paris attacks. Yet, the President claims that critics are worried about widows and children. In reality, all Americans should be worried that terrorists used the refugee crisis to enter Paris and kill innocent civilians and they could do the same thing in this country.
President Obama is an ideal “turkey” and justified winner of this year’s award. Sadly, he has spent a lifetime gobbling down socialist theories, so his ideas amount to nothing more than pure gobbledygook.
It seems that Missouri is the state for mob rule. Last year, America witnessed a breakdown of order in Ferguson following the death of African American teenager Michael Brown. Even though the Justice Department exonerated Darren Wilson, the white police officer involved in the shooting of Brown, protesters still maintained the fiction that Brown was ruthlessly killed in a racist manner. They repeated the false mantra, “hands up, don’t shoot,” even though witnesses say that Brown never uttered those words. Instead, he attacked Wilson shortly after the officer asked Brown to move out of the middle of the street. Protesters also conveniently overlooked the video evidence showing Brown robbing a store minutes before his encounter with Wilson.
The Ferguson shooting created the “Black Lives Matter” movement which has been issuing demands to politicians across the country. The incident also created an untenable situation for Wilson at the Ferguson Police Department, where he was relieved of his duties. Today, he is unemployed and in hiding, even though he did nothing wrong.
A few miles down the road from Ferguson another supposed white racist is unemployed and may have to go into hiding even though he did nothing wrong. Yesterday, Timothy Wolfe resigned his position as President of the University of Missouri system. His crime is that he is white and did not do enough to respond to the outrageous demands of black protesters, who claim that the university has become a racially hostile environment.
The activists point to an incident where racial slurs were uttered from a passing vehicle. They also note that a swastika made of feces was drawn in a dormitory room. Finally, they say that the Wolfe did not meet with protesters who were blocking his vehicle during the Homecoming parade.
It is preposterous to tie Wolfe to any racist activity. He did not yell the slurs or draw the offensive symbol. While those incidents may involve true racism, they could also be hoaxes, as we have seen in many other cases. Also, he was criticized because he asked police officers to remove the protesters during the parade because they were blocking his vehicle. Since he did not act according to the wishes of protesters, Wolfe represents “white privilege,” and, therefore, was sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.
Initially, the protests created some controversy but they reached a new level of agitation when 30 black football players on the University of Missouri team decided to join forces with the activists. They vowed not to play in this weekend’s game against Brigham Young University unless Wolfe resigned or was fired. After Gary Pinkel, the highly paid white football coach, sided with the players, it was all over for the President. He resigned the next day, surely under pressure from university leaders nervous about the football team forfeiting a game. Supposedly, it would have cost the university $1 million to forfeit the upcoming game.
So, now we know who is really valued at the University of Missouri. It is not the scholar, it is the football player. In fact, since the football team forced the President from his position, maybe they should take over all of the functions of running the school. Why does the university need a president when they have activists and football players who are making the major decisions?
These activists prepared an eight part manifesto with a variety of demands, including the right to approve whoever is hired to replace Wolfe. They are also demanding that more minorities be hired at the university and that more funds be dedicated to counseling services.
By succumbing to the demands, Wolfe has created a very dangerous precedent. Other football teams may realize their financial power in universities and start making similar demands. This could have repercussions all over the country.
While Wolfe was not guilty of racism, he was guilty of displaying weakness. He should have said he was not resigning because he did nothing wrong. Then he should have withdrawn the scholarships of all of those who boycotted the game and fired the hapless coach. The season would have ended, but a great message would have been delivered to these protesters. Instead, the protesters have won again and they show no signs of stopping anytime soon.
It must be nice being Barack Obama. He gets to travel the world on the taxpayer’s dime and never worry about the cost. Thanks to Judicial Watch, the American people now know how much it costs to travel like a rock star. Due to a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, the U.S. Department of the Air Force reluctantly released records that show the travel costs for President Obama in February and March of this year exceeded $4.4 million.
During these months, the President enjoyed golf trips and participated in Democratic Party fundraisers. For every hour it is in use, Air Force One costs taxpayers $206,337. Thus, it cost over $1 million for the President to attend a golf outing in Palm Springs, California. He enjoyed an extended stay at the Sunny lands resort, owned by the Annenberg family.
In February and March, the President also traveled to Chicago, Los Angeles and Palm City for political campaigning and fundraisers. The travel costs of all of these trips were covered by the taxpayers.
In Chicago, the President made a campaign appearance for his former Chief of State Rahm Emanuel, who was running for re-election as Mayor. In Los Angeles, he attended Democratic Party fundraisers and appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel comedy show. In Palm City, the President enjoyed golf at the Floridian National Golf Club, a “spectacular” resort on the St. Lucie River.
With a budget deficit of $438 billion and a national debt that exceeds $18.4 trillion, such expensive travel costs are outrageous. Obviously, the President is not concerned about appearances for he has been a world class traveler ever since he took office in 2009.
If these two months are typical of his tenure in office, it would mean that the President’s travel costs alone will exceed $200 million after his eight years in office.
These expenses are just the tip of the iceberg for they do not include the security and lodging costs of his entourage, including the secret service detail. At this time, Judicial Watch is still waiting for the Secret Service to provide this information, as required by the FOIA request.
Obviously, every President should be able to take vacations, but Barack Obama is different. Whereas Presidents Reagan, G.H.W. Bush and George W. Bush spent most of their vacation time at family ranches or homes, this President prefers to spend his time at expensive resort destinations such as Martha’s Vineyard. The resulting cost to taxpayers is quite significant.
In addition, the Obama family often travels separately, increasing the costs that taxpayers will have to cover. Over the past seven years, Michelle Obama has also traveled the world and in a solo trip to China, the travel costs for taxpayers exceeded $360.000.
According to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, “Taxpayers should be outraged that Barack Obama’s wastes $4.4 million of their precious tax dollars on golf vacations and political fundraising…and to make matters worse, the Secret Service has simply refused to respond to our requests for documents about the security costs of these controversial trips. The Obama travel scandal is about abuse of office, abuse of the taxpayer, and contempt for the rule of law.”
Thank goodness that Judicial Watch is doing the job that the media refuses to do. Taxpayers have a right to know how much of their money is being spent to send the First Family to golf resorts, Democratic Party fundraisers and exotic vacations. The only benefit is that at least the American people can live vicariously through Barack and Michelle Obama as they enjoy champagne wishes and caviar dreams.
In a new web advertisement, Hillary Clinton expresses solidarity with victims of sexual assault. She implores those who have been abused not to “let anyone silence your voice. You have a right to be heard. You have a right to be believed. We’re with you.”
So, Hillary Clinton, the architect of the Clinton campaign’s plan to handle “bimbo eruptions,” is supposedly concerned with victims of sexual assault. She is so skilled at lying that she does not realize the hypocrisy so evident in her new campaign message.
In defending her husband from the “vast right wing conspiracy,” Hillary helped to demonize the women who claimed to have been assaulted by Bill Clinton. To protect her husband’s political career and her future in politics, Hillary helped trash the reputations of the women who made accusations against Bill Clinton.
The most serious charge was made by Juanita Broaddrick, who maintains that she was raped by Bill Clinton in a Little Rock hotel in 1978. She claims that several weeks after the rape, Hillary Clinton threatened her at a political event. According to Broaddrick, she became “physically ill” after Hillary tightly held her hand and said she appreciated “everything you do for Bill.” Broaddrick was convinced Hillary knew of the assault and wanted to pressure Broaddrick to remain quiet.
Kathleen Willey said that in 1993, during a visit to the White House, she was sexually groped by then President Clinton in a hallway adjacent to the Oval Office. At the time, she was a strong Clinton supporter and campaign volunteer; however, on this occasion, Willey claims that the President fondled her breast and placed her hand on his genitals.
Willey was visiting Clinton to request a paid position since her husband was being investigated for embezzlement from one of his legal clients. While she was not offered a job by the President, she was subjected to his unwanted touching and his crude acts of sexual harassment. Sadly, on the day of her White House visit, Willey’s husband committed suicide.
In an interview with the American Mirror, Willey states that Hillary was well aware of what Bill Clinton did to her and many other victims. In Willey’s view, Hillary “just chose to ignore the plight of all of his victims, thus enabling him to continue to abuse and rape women in the future.” Needless to say, Willey is quite angry with Hillary Clinton and believes “she’s a money-hungry hypocritical witch who will do anything for money.” Willey continues, “She’s a lying pig. I cannot believe that she had the gall to make that commercial. How dare she? I hope she rots in hell.”
Congratulations to the courageous Kathleen Willey who refuses to go away quietly and keep quiet about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Hopefully, her words of warning will make a major impact in the upcoming presidential race. The last thing this country needs is for Hillary Clinton and her husband, the serial adulterer, to be back in the White House. It would be a clear case of giving way too much power to the wrong people with potentially devastating results.
The latest polls tell a horrible story for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the most persistent presidential candidate of them all. According to the Loras College Iowa poll, released today, Jindal is languishing at 1% support in Iowa, tied for 12th place. Thus, Jindal has received no political benefit from his countless trips, speeches and campaign appearances in the Hawkeye state.
It is even worse news for the Governor in the latest national poll released by Public Policy Polling. In this survey, Jindal is at the very bottom, tied for 14th place with less than 1% support. Nationally, Jindal is going nowhere fast despite innumerable appearances on national cable networks over the past few years.
At this point, it is quite clear that Bobby Jindal is not presidential material. While he has political experience, he has very little real world experience. Today, Republican primary voters are looking for a non-politician to lead the party back to power. Voters are tired of politicians like Bobby Jindal who promise hope and change, but deliver broken promises.
Jindal is the Republican version of President Obama, a politician delivering strong rhetoric, but poor results. Today, Louisiana is in the midst of another budget crisis and Jindal is nowhere to be found. In the last legislative session, he appeared on the opening day and then did not reappear until the closing day. In between, Jindal campaign aggressively for President, but offered almost no legislative agenda and allowed legislators to pass a budget based on smoke and mirrors.
In the last legislative session, legislators used an oil price of $62 per barrel for budget planning purposes. This highly inflated figure was based on wishful thinking, not reality, for the price of oil today is hovering around $40 per barrel. With oil and gas revenue comprising a major portion of our state budget, such a faulty prediction created a major hole in our financial projections.
Barely a few months into our current operating budget and the state is already facing a $19 million shortfall in the TOPS college scholarship program and a whopping $336 million hole in the Medicaid budget. According to Louisiana political and legislative watchdog C.B. Forgotston, “Failing to address these daily budget fissures will result in the exponentially increasing the size of the additional taxes, tuition, fees increases and mid-years cuts.”
In the last legislative session, taxes, fees and tuition were increased by the largest amount in state history, using unconstitutional measures that are being challenged in court. According to Forgotston, all of the legislative decisions were “counter-productive” to growing the state’s economy and did not address the real problem facing Louisiana, the “size” of our state government.
For one important area in the state budget, higher education, spending has already been slashed. According to State Treasurer John Kennedy, Louisiana colleges and universities have already been “cut to the bone.”
Today, none of the budget options for Louisiana are very palatable, so very difficult decisions need to be made. The problem is that Louisiana is suffering from absentee leadership, as our Governor is busy campaigning for President.
With poll results showing his presidential campaign in shatters and a state budget nightmare getting worse, it is time for Governor Jindal to come home and finish his term with a semblance of dignity. He needs to try to solve these difficult problems that he helped create, so the next Governor is not dealing with a total financial catastrophe.
From the very beginning of the first GOP presidential debate, Donald Trump was in the spotlight and under fire from Fox News commentators. The first question asked for a show of hands of all candidates who would not pledge to support the Republican presidential nominee. Only Donald Trump raised his hand, which led to the first of many confrontations during the debate. He was challenged by moderator Brett Baier and lambasted by Senator Rand Paul for “buying and selling politicians.” While Trump declared that he wants to “run as the Republican nominee,” he is wise to keep his options open.
The Republican establishment is terrified of Trump, who can finance a third party campaign and is independent of special interests. They will continue to mercilessly attack him, hence Trump is smart to maintain “leverage” and keep open the third party alternative.
It may also provide a needed choice for the American people. If the presidential nominees are Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush, or another RINO, Trump should enter the race to give voters a real alternative. The last thing the country needs is another Bush or Clinton in the White House.
In fact, in a three way race between Clinton, Bush and Trump, there is a possibility that Trump may win. There is great dissatisfaction with political dynasties and millions of Americans would refuse to vote for either Clinton or Bush, giving a well-funded third party candidate like Trump a chance.
There is certainly precedent for a strong third party candidacy. In 1992, Texas businessman Ross Perot was leading the presidential race before he exited amid claims that he did not want to throw the election into the House of Representatives. He later said he left the race because he was concerned that Republicans were planning to disrupt his daughter’s wedding. When he returned to the campaign months later, his prospects were severely diminished. Nevertheless, he finished with almost 19% of the vote, the highest third party total since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912.
Unlike Perot, who destroyed his chances when he abandoned the race, Trump would be a more formidable third party contender. He has universal name recognition, billions of dollars to spend, and no need to placate special interests or big donors. Clearly, the GOP establishment, and their media lapdogs, will try to destroy his chances. This is exactly what happened during the Fox News debate. After being immediately confronted on the third party question, Trump spent the rest of the debate fending off queries about his bankruptcies, his stand on abortion and Obamacare, his treatment of women, and his previous support of Democrat candidates. Throughout it all, Trump stayed on the offensive and refused to apologize.
This stance was extremely popular with the vast conservative audience of the Drudge Report website. After 531,000 votes were tabulated, Trump was declared the winner by over 45% of the voters, far outpacing second place finisher Senator Ted Cruz who received just 14% of the vote. While the public loved Trump’s performance, so-called experts such as analyst Charles Krauthammer and pollster Frank Luntz panned The Donald’s showing. In true Trump fashion, he blasted Luntz as a “low class slob.”
Clearly, Trump’s best chance for victory would be as the GOP nominee. Obviously, he would prefer to win the Republican nomination; however, he may be subjected to impossible hurdles as the race progresses.
While a third party candidacy is not the ideal scenario for Trump, he definitely needs to keep it as an option as the race progresses. It is too early to determine what will happen, but we do know that since Donald Trump is involved, practically everyone will be watching.
Today, the GOP race for President took a very different turn as real estate billionaire Donald Trump entered the fray. After three decades of flirting with the idea of running for President, Trump finally made the official plunge in front of a crowd of supporters at Trump Tower in New York City. With his entrance, there are now 12 announced candidates contending for the GOP nomination.
In his speech, Trump vowed to “make America great again.” He said he will focus on creating jobs and noted that the official unemployment rate does not come close to reality. During his lengthy remarks, Trump skewered Obamacare; the President’s handling of the war against Isis, our trade policies with China and our country’s lax immigration policies among many other issues. Trump promised to build a fence on the Southern border and “have Mexico pay for that wall, mark my words.” He also pledged to rebuild the military, take a tough stance with Iran and repeal the “disaster” of Obamacare.
The essence of Trump’s speech was that he will restore the American dream. With the elegant backdrop of the Trump Tower, the Donald was showcasing to the American people his accomplishments and promising to achieve greatness for his country as well.
While the political elite have completely dismissed Trump’s chance to win the White House, in reality, there are a number of reasons why he should not be overlooked. First, he has achieved incredible success in his professional life. Trump has built a real estate empire and established a number of very successful businesses, employing thousands of people. Along with his success in the business world, Trump created a very popular television show, “The Apprentice.” This reality TV franchise has been on the air for 14 seasons, no small achievement.
With a net worth of almost $9 billion, Trump will be like no other candidate in the race. He can easily self-finance a serious nationwide campaign for the nomination. Unlike his opponents, Trump will not have to spend any time raising money. He can focus all his energies on campaigning and earning the votes of the GOP electorate.
Over the next few days, he will make numerous media appearances as well as campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire. While Trump has never been an official candidate, he is no stranger to public speaking and television interviews. This is one candidate who will not need any media training.
Trump will also not need to deviate from the message he outlined in his announcement speech. On the campaign trail, Trump will be able to easily motivate conservative audiences by emphasizing the signature issues he discussed today.
In business and in the media, Trump has enjoyed massive success. It remains to be seen whether this will translate into victories in the political world, but at least he does not have to worry about building name recognition among the public due to his decades in the public eye. Trump has another significant advantage over some of his rather young opponents as he has years of business and negotiation experience both nationally and internationally.
At the age of 69, Donald Trump is a household name. He has spent a career building wealth and his brand and will now attempt for the first time to build political support. However, based on his business track record, his positions on the issues and his incredible resources, it would be very unwise to discount the Donald’s chances.
This was the horrible week in which millions of Americans paid their taxes to the ever increasing and intrusive federal government. This year, the tax burden has grown with Tax Freedom Day appearing on April 24, meaning that Americans will spend approximately one third of the year working for government before they can provide for their families.
Taxes are certainly oppressive in this country. Compared to last year, tax revenue increased 4.3% to $1.478 trillion in the first 6½ months of the 2015 fiscal year. Even worse, the insatiable federal government continues to spend money with reckless abandon. Through April 1 of this year, the budget deficit was an astounding $439 billion, a significant increase from 2014.
Not only are taxes and deficits increasing, but the actual size of the federal tax code is exploding. When the income tax was created in 1913, the tax code was only 400 pages. It increased to 26,000 pages by 1984 and has tripled in size in the last 30 years. Since the implementation of Obamacare in 2010, the federal tax code has increased another 3,300 pages, resulting in more rules and regulations for Americans to decipher. Today, the federal tax code is over 74,000 pages of bureaucratic nonsense, making it impossible for the average American to complete their own tax return. It is no surprise that 94% of Americans need professional assistance in finishing their tax return.
According to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, Americans spend $32 billion to prepare ever more complicated tax forms and in the process waste 6.1 billion hours annually. This costs our economy $234 billion in lost productivity. Americans should be using their time and money on more fruitful pursuits, such as providing for the needs of their families.
In the shaky Obama economy, Americans need to be as industrious as possible. While the federal government is expanding and creating massive budget deficits, leading to a national debt exceeding $18.1 trillion, it is a much different situation for average Americans. For the 119 million Americans who are working, most are seeing only minimal wage increases and, in March, the Labor Department reported that their average work week declined to 34.5 hours, below what many need to live comfortably. Thus, it is no surprise that there are 6.7 million Americans who have to work multiple jobs just to pay their household bills.
While the unemployment rate is supposedly at 5.5%, the real situation is reflected in the number of people who have left the workforce. There are over 93 million eligible Americans who are not employed, an all-time high, resulting in a labor force participation rate of 62.7%, the lowest in almost four decades. These unemployed Americans are not paying income taxes, increasing the burden on those in the labor force, who are subjected to oppressive taxes to fund our constantly expanding government.
In this country, the tax man cometh in life and death as we currently impose a draconian 40% estate tax. Fortunately, House Republicans just passed a bill to eliminate this immoral tax, but when it moves to the Senate it faces an uncertain future. Not surprisingly, Democrats claim that eliminating the estate tax will only help the “wealthy.” In reality, it will allow the survival of many small family businesses, and the continued employment of Americans who need those jobs.
Our unfair tax burden should be a primary issue in the upcoming presidential campaign. One candidate, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), has offered a particularly bold solution: close down the IRS and allow Americans to complete their taxes on a postcard. This plan offers tax reduction and simplification, just what America needs after six years of President Barack Obama.
The first two months of the new Republican Congress has been extremely disappointing. The only significant accomplishment has been the passage of the Keystone Pipeline bill. Unfortunately, when the Republicans caved on the issue of stopping President Obama’s executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, it sent a strong signal to conservatives across the country that the party leadership will not stop the radical policies of this administration.
This begs the question, why did voters send Republicans to Congress? It certainly was not a mission to be a rubber stamp for the most liberal President in our nation’s history. They were sent to Washington D.C. to stop Obama’s liberal policies and serve as a check and balance to the expansive agenda of the White House.
Next week, the Senate Republicans will have an opportunity to redeem themselves and improve their tattered reputation. To replace the outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama has nominated another extreme liberal, Loretta Lynch, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. In testimony before Congress, Lynch expressed support for everything Eric Holder has done. In fact, she told U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), that as Attorney General she would pursue an agenda that “would not be different” from Eric Holder.
While continuing Holder’s liberal policies is extremely troubling, Lynch’s support of the President’s lawless executive amnesty should be more than enough to disqualify her for the important position of Attorney General. The President decreed, without congressional approval, the halting of deportations for five million illegal aliens, who will immediately qualify for work permits and benefits totaling $35,000 per year.
In testimony before Congress, Lynch made the incredulous statement that all illegal aliens have a “right to work.” The vast majority of Americans would disagree with Lynch. Illegal aliens do not have the right to enjoy benefits or secure employment. Instead, they have a right to return to their country of origin, posthaste.
After receiving approval from the Judiciary Committee with the support of three Republicans, Lynch now has the support of four Republicans in her battle for confirmation. This nefarious “Gang of Four” includes Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine.
If nothing changes, those four Republicans will be enough to confirm Lynch if she receives the unanimous support of all 46 Senate Democrats. In the case of a 50-50 tie, Vice President Joe Biden will cast the deciding vote in favor of Lynch.
Along with the four Republican Senators in support of Lynch, there are also several uncommitted Republican Senators including Mark Kirk of Illinois and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. However, Alexander is somewhat uncomfortable with Lynch, especially her “refusal to put limits on the president’s executive power.”
Another undecided Senator is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. McConnell previously promised to oppose Lynch if she supported the President’s executive action granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Now that the vote is nearing, McConnell is non-committal. This is another reminder that the Republicans are so very poorly served by McConnell in the Senate and Speaker John Boehner in the House. Neither of these “leaders” are committed to conservative principles and neither of them have the courage to take on President Obama on issues of substance.
Next week will be an important test for the Republican Party and will determine how the remainder of Obama’s term will progress. Let’s hope Republican Senators finally decide to represent the voters who elected them and reject Loretta Lynch. It is time they stopped being intimidated by the liberal news media, their Democratic colleagues, and, most importantly, the President of the United States.
As predicted by many, it has happened, the world’s first three-way gay marriage. In Thailand, three gay men, known only as Art, Bell and Joke, exchanged marital vows in a wedding sanctioned by the Buddhist church, but not by the government, which officially forbids same sex marriage. While the announcement was just made public, the trio married on Valentine’s Day in the country’s Uthai Thani Province. According to Bell, “Some people may not agree and are probably amazed by our decision, but we believe many people do understand and accept our choice. Love is love, after all.”
Unfortunately, Bell, along with advocates of same sex marriage, has a misguided view of marriage. As noted by Brian Brown, President of the National Association of Marriage, it is “an institution that serves to bind the complementary halves of humanity — male and female — in a publicly declared relationship that is designed to be stable, permanent, exclusive and faithful.” Brown believes the main reason why men and women come “together in holiday matrimony” is that this sacred union “offers the potential for children… and children are why the government is interested in marriage in the first place.”
Sorry, Bell, the institution of marriage is not just about love. Marriage has throughout human history been the best method to not only unite couples together, but also to propagate our species. Advocates of same sex marriage are making a mockery of this precious institution and opening the door for even more creative interpretations such as three-way unions.
Incredibly, the gay threesome in Thailand is not the first “throuple” to become “married.” In August of 2013 in Massachusetts, three lesbian women, Doll, Kitten and Brynn Young were “married” in a commitment ceremony. Through a sperm donor, Kitten became pregnant and the women welcomed their first child last July. Just imagine the weird environment that this poor child will have to navigate throughout life. Ideally, children should have a mother and father and be exposed to both male and female role models during their formative years, not three lesbians, each serving as the child’s mother.
These three-way marriages are only one manner in which the traditional concept of marriage is under assault in 2015. In the United States and other countries, there has been a well funded and highly publicized campaign to extend the definition of marriage to same sex couples. Liberal politicians and popular celebrities have joined together to show strong support for the “right” of gays and lesbians to marry. Today, 37 states recognize same sex marriages, although it has been approved by voters in only a handful of areas. Sadly, judges are disregarding the wishes of the majority of voters in several dozen states to officially sanction same sex marriages.
The mantra from liberal activists is that to deny marital rights to same sex couples is to engage in discrimination. In contrast, it is not discrimination to demand that the definition of marriage be limited to the union of one man and one woman. Homosexuals can have a civil union, a partnership, or whatever kind of arrangement they want, but not a marriage. Once society expands the definition of marriage, where will it end? Can it be expanded to family members, animals or multiple people?
As Joke noted, the acceptance of same sex marriage in Thailand paved the treacherous path for their three-way union. “Now Thai society has a better understanding of sexual orientation as many same sex weddings appear on TV, newspapers and social media, we feel more accepted and able to come out,” he said.
With three-way marriages today in Thailand and Massachusetts, who knows what surprises will be coming to a community near you.
In a recent interview, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that to fight terrorism, “we need to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs….”
In other words, we can fight terrorism with a jobs program, sort of a stimulus program for the jihadists. If we only have enough shovel ready jobs for the jihadists, there will be no terrorism. How amazing naïve and how terrifyingly stupid, but this is the mentality that is prevalent throughout the Obama administration.
The history of Islamic terrorism is replete with examples of very rich Muslims, such as Osama Bin Laden, who join the jihad and kill for one basic reason and it is not the lack of a job. They kill the “infidels” because of their commitment to their Islamic faith, their interpretation of Islamic doctrine and their desire to serve Allah. It is why so many Islamic terrorists shout “Allahu Akbar” when they kill innocent people.
Harf either does not understand the threat we face or is purposely ignoring the threat, but, either way, it is troubling. Her “jobs” theory took another hit this week with the revelation of the identity of “Jihadi John,” the masked man seen in Islamic State videos beheading innocent hostages. According to multiple media and governmental sources, the masked man is Mohammed Emwazi, a 26 year old Kuwaiti, who moved to London with his family at an early age.
In London, he attended fine schools, was raised in an upper middle class neighborhood and received a degree in computer programming from the University of Westminster in 2009. In fact, he found employment as a computer programmer, but that job did not stop him from becoming radicalized.
According to Shiraz Maher of the King’s College radicalization center, Emwazi may well have traveled to Syria in 2012, later joining the Islamic State. In Maher’s view, Emwazi’s route to terrorism was not caused by the lack of economic opportunities. He said Emwazi’s case is similar to other jihadists, who are “by and large upwardly mobile people, well educated.” The disclosures about Emwazi and the vast majority of Islamic terrorists should debunk the theory held by Harf and others in the Obama administration “that these guys are all impoverished, that they’re coming from deprived backgrounds.”
Emwazi joined the Islamic State to commit terrorist acts and kill “infidels.” He was not looking for a job; he was looking for a religious crusade. He was motivated by religious fervor, not financial considerations.
Back in 2010, the British government recognized that Emwazi was becoming radicalized and prevented him from traveling to Tanzania. Reports indicate that the government was concerned that Emwazi was going to join the Islamic terror group Al-Shabaab.
Incredibly, some pro-Muslim activists criticized how the British government dealt with “Jihadi John” and blame his terrorist activity on supposed “mistreatment.” In reality, he was only targeted for surveillance due to his radical associations. If the government could have stopped him from traveling to Syria in 2012, possibly he would have been unable to join the Islamic State.
At the current time, “Jihadi John” is not using his computer programming degree; he is engaged in 7th century barbarism, beheading innocent hostages who have the misfortune of being captured by the Islamic State.
Unfortunately, at a time of great crisis, the country is being led by an administration that does not want to recognize this reality and refuses to admit the threat emanating from Islamic terrorism or even call it by its name. They prefer the title of “extremism,” a meaningless term for an administration engaged in a meaningless response to Islamic terrorism.