Why Does the IRS Need Guns?


(An article from the Wall Street Journal)

After grabbing legal power, bureaucrats are amassing firepower. It’s time to scale back the federal arsenal.

Special agents at the IRS equipped with AR-15 military-style rifles? Health and Human Services “Special Office of Inspector General Agents” being trained by the Army’s Special Forces contractors? The Department of Veterans Affairs arming 3,700 employees?

The number of non-Defense Department federal officers authorized to make arrests and carry firearms (200,000) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000). In its escalating arms and ammo stockpiling, this federal arms race is unlike anything in history. Over the last 20 years, the number of these federal officers with arrest-and-firearm authority has nearly tripled to over 200,000 today, from 74,500 in 1996.

What exactly is the Obama administration up to?

On Friday, June 17, our organization, American Transparency, is releasing its OpenTheBooks.com oversight report on the militarization of America. The report catalogs federal purchases of guns, ammunition and military-style equipment by seemingly bureaucratic federal agencies. During a nine-year period through 2014, we found, 67 agencies unaffiliated with the Department of Defense spent $1.48 billion on guns and ammo. Of that total, $335.1 million was spent by agencies traditionally viewed as regulatory or administrative, such as the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Mint.

Some examples of spending from 2005 through 2014 raise the question: Who are they preparing to battle?

• The Internal Revenue Service, which has 2,316 special agents, spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment. That’s nearly $5,000 in gear for each agent.

• The Department of Veterans Affairs, which has 3,700 law-enforcement officers guarding and securing VA medical centers, spent $11.66 million. It spent more than $200,000 on night-vision equipment, $2.3 million for body armor, more than $2 million on guns, and $3.6 million for ammunition. The VA employed no officers with firearm authorization as recently as 1995.

• The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spent $4.77 million purchasing shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night-vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote-control helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes and more.

• The Environmental Protection Agency spent $3.1 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment. The EPA has put nearly $800 million since 2005 into its “Criminal Enforcement Division.”

• The Food and Drug Administration employs 183 heavily armed “special agents.”

• The University of California, Berkeley acquired 14 5.56mm assault rifles and Yale University police accepted 20 5.56mm assault rifles from the Defense Department. Texas Southern University and Saddleback College police even acquired Mine Resistant Vehicles (MRVs).

Other paper-pushing federal agencies with firearm-and-arrest authority that have expanded their arsenals since 2006 include the Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Education Department, Energy Department, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology and many others.

People from both ends of the political spectrum have expressed alarm at this trend. Conservatives argue that it is hypocritical, unconstitutional and costly for political leaders to undermine the Second Amendment while simultaneously equipping nonmilitary agencies with heavy weapons, hollow-point bullets and military-style equipment. Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders have raised civil liberties concerns about the militarization of local police with vehicles built for war and other heavy weaponry.

Meanwhile, federal authorities are silent on the growing arsenal at federal agencies. In fact, we asked the IRS for an asset accounting of their gun locker—their guns and ammunition asset inventory by location. Their response? “We don’t have one [an inventory], but could create one for you, if important.”

Our data shows that the federal government has become a gun show that never adjourns. Taxpayers need to tell Washington that police powers belong primarily to cities and states, not the feds.

Dr. Coburn is a physician and former U.S. senator from Oklahoma. He is the honorary chairman, and Mr. Andrzejewski is the founder and CEO, of OpenTheBooks.com, a repository of public-spending records.

After Orlando – Sheriff Waives All Fees For Concealed Carry Permits

After Orlando – Sheriff Waives All Fees For Concealed Carry Permits

Bates County, Missouri Sheriff Chad Anderson is waiving the $100 fee for a resident to get his concealed carry permit.

He has caused quite a stir as much of the nation cries out for more gun control. This county sheriff sees protecting his residents a different way.

This is the statement from the Bates County Sheriff Facebook page:

In the wake of continued attacks against Americans on American soil. The Bates County Sheriff is waiving the cost of the CCW Permits for the rest of June. The Bates County Sheriff’s Office will hold another CCW Class on July 9th with those attendees also receiving their 5 year permits at no cost along with the free class taught by Bates County Sheriff’s Office. This is for Bates County Residents only.

“I feel that I have a Duty to Protect the Citizens while here in Bates County and allow them to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones while they are away,” Says Sheriff Anderson. “I will continue to pray for peace for our country and the world. But I will not put blinders on and act like this can not happen here or to people we know and love. I want to say a Big Thank You to the Law Enforcement and First Responders Community for what you are willing to sacrifice for our nation at home. While this will be debated on so many different levels please remember that your local first responders are the ones that will be there ready at a moments notice to handle any of these threats.”

The move seems to be well received in Bates County if not the rest of the country. From NBC4i:

The move only affects people living in Bates County and also comes with a waiver of fees for a sheriff’s office-taught CCW class. The fee for a CCW permit is $100.

“I think it’s a great decision by our sheriff because I think it’s one of the safest ways we as Americans have to protect ourselves is with ourselves,” said Immanuel Baptist Church Pastor Jeff Connell. “If someone came into church with a gun, I would rather have my members have a gun to protect themselves than having nothing to protect themselves against one.”

“Properly trained and responsible adults. I think if we had more people out there that were responsible concealed carriers, I think we’d have a lot less of this going on,” said Dennis Barr, who was who was traveling through Butler.

In Bates County…lock and load.

Read more at http://dailysurge.com/2016/06/orlando-sheriff-waives-fees-concealed-carry-permits/


The Trump Speech On Muslim Terrorism Every American Should Hear

From http://www.conservativehq.com

George Rasley, CHQ Editor | 6/14/2016

Yesterday, Donald Trump delivered a speech that should change the dynamics of this year’s presidential election – especially when it is compared to the dangerous lies of Hillary Clinton and the follies of the Republican establishment regarding the war Islam has declared on America and the West.

Trump went straight to the point of why the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was targeted and the Islamic religious motivation behind it:

A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation.

It is a strike at the heart and soul of who we are as a nation.

It is an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want and express their identity.

It is an attack on the right of every single American to live in peace and safety in their own country.

We need to respond to this attack on America as one united people – with force, purpose and determination.

Trump also had the guts and integrity to say what every honest person working in the national security field already knows – but under Obama is afraid to say lest they lose their job:

The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here.

Trump had much more to say about border security, about Obama’s failure (we say intentional failure) to effectively confront Islamism here and abroad, and other related matters, but in that one line he identified the crux of the entire debate over Muslim immigration to the United States.

If we allow more Muslims to come here we can expect more of the same, and if we do not treat Muslims who are here as potential subversives we can expect more of the same.

Trump then elaborated on his view of how to address the problem and we say with some pride more or less echoed what we here at CHQ have been saying for years:

I called for a ban after San Bernardino, and was met with great scorn and anger but now, many are saying I was right to do so — and although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on. The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country. (See our article “We Can – And Should – Ban Most Muslim Immigration To America.”)

The immigration laws of the United States give the President the power to suspend entry into the country of any class of persons that the President deems detrimental to the interests or security of the United States, as he deems appropriate.

I will use this power to protect the American people. When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.

After a full, impartial and long overdue security assessment, we will develop a responsible immigration policy that serves the interests and values of America.

We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer. (See our article “Why Do We Let These Vipers Into America.”)

Many of the principles of Radical Islam are incompatible with Western values and institutions.

Radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American.

I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, and Jewish people, are the targets of persecution and intimidation by Radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence.

It’s not just a national security issue. It is a quality of life issue. (See our article “Orlando Massacre: Muslim Kills Gays To Enforce Shariah In America.”)

We contrast Trump’s clarity of purpose as expressed in this speech with the PC nonsense spouted by Hillary Clinton who predictably blamed the Orlando attack on guns and not only downplayed the threat, but defended further Muslim immigration to America.

But Trump’s speech also bears contrast with the dangerous comments and actions of establishment Republicans, especially Speaker Paul Ryan and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (TX-10). Ryan has steadfastly, and inexplicably, supported increasing Muslim immigration to America, while Chairman McCaul has steadfastly, and inexplicably, supported Obama’s failed Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy that pours millions into Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups – the same kind of groups that were granted immediate media platforms to promote the lie that the Orlando massacre “had nothing to do with Islam.”

Donald Trump concluded his remarks with this promise: “When I am President, I pledge to protect and defend all Americans who live inside of our borders. Wherever they come from, wherever they were born, all Americans living here and following our laws will be protected.”

If you are still on the fence about voting for Donald Trump I suggest you read his speech and then ask yourself, for all his foibles, who is more credible, focused and trustworthy on winning the war Islam has declared on America, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

And then ask yourself if you can risk handing over the future of America and Western Civilization to Mrs. Clinton, when she is so clearly compromised by having Islamists like Huma Abedin in her inner counsels, that she plans to continue, if not expand, the very policies that led directly to the San Bernardino and Orlando Muslim terrorist massacres?

Trump wasn’t my first choice, but he’s earned my respect and my vote with this speech and the clarity, focus and understanding he demonstrated in this speech. I urge you again, read this speech and vote for Donald Trump to save your country.

Major GOP Donor Meg Whitman is Voting For Clinton over Trump

In 2010 I supported Steve Poizner for Governor.  He lost the primary to someone I called “Arnold in a skirt”, Meg Whitman.  I know I need to apologize to Arnold—I was wrong.  Meg Whitman is Hillary in a skirt—her candidate for President.  “Whitman reportedly didn’t say whether she would be throwing her financial support behind Clinton or just her vote.”

California Republican Party Chair in 2010 was Ron Nehring—he told the delegates we had a responsibility to join the effort to elect Meg Whitman for Governor, since she was the GOP nominee (this is when it was legal to nominate candidates for partisan office).  Though she was a very liberal Republican, having few values or principles of the Party, no background in support of the Party—her only effort had been to raise money for George Romney, who helped her financially years before in the corporate world.  Whitman had never attended a State Party meeting, a County Committee meeting or a GOP volunteer club, in her life, till she decided to be a Republican to run for governor.  In fact, it had been many, many years, since she even voted.

Now, the woman who demanded Republicans support her because she was registered as a Republican is telling the GOP to go to hell, she will support the most ethically challenged candidate in the history of the nation.  The good news is that there is no hope of her ever attending a GOP event ever again.

I presume the Bush’s, Romney, Whitman and their friends will also stay away from the Republican Party in the future—if they endorse anybody, for any office, that person is a sure loser in a real Republican primary.

I fully expect that CRP Chair Jim Brulte will send out messages, promote the volunteer efforts and  use the CRP resources to maximize the votes for the Republican candidate for President, Donald Trump.

Meg Whitman & Mitt Romney courtesy jurvetson, Flickr

Major GOP donor Meg Whitman is considering supporting Clinton over Trump

Aol.com,  6/11/16

Reports are circulating that Meg Whitman, a high-profile Republican donor, is considering supporting Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump.

Whitman reportedly attended an exclusive Republican summit hosted by Mitt Romney on Friday. A source told ABC that Whitman asked, “‘Is it not reasonable to support Hillary Clinton?’ given all the awful things Trump has said.”

Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has a long history with the Republican Party. She was the finance co-chair for Romney’s and Chris Christie’s presidential campaigns,and she launched an unsuccessful bid for California governor in 2010.

But she’s been pretty open about her disdain for Trump, telling CNBC earlier this year, “Look at the comments he’s made about women, Muslims, disabled people, reporters. It’s just repugnant.”

Whitman also grilled House Speaker Paul Ryan at the summit about how he could throw his support behind Trump. One source told Politico she even compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Whitman seems to be in a similar position to a lot of Republicans, who want to stay loyal to the party but are unwilling to support Trump.

Even after Trump secured enough delegates to win the party’s nomination for president, some Republicans are still speaking out against him.

“Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America,” Romney told CNN.

Whitman reportedly didn’t say whether she would be throwing her financial support behind Clinton or just her vote.

Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger face runoffs in L.A. County supervisor races

Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger face runoffs in L.A. County supervisor races

From http://www.latimes.com

By Abby Sewell, David Zahniser and Alice Walton

With 100% of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Hahn outpolled Napolitano in the District 4 race, 47% to 37%.

In a second county contest, Kathryn Barger, chief of staff to the current supervisor, secured a runoff spot for the District 5 seat with 30% of votes cast.

Darrell Park, a former White House Office of Management and Budget staffer, moved into second place in later returns and finished 417 votes ahead of the third-place finisher, state Sen. Bob Huff, each with about 15% of the vote.

The results are unofficial until late mail-in and provisional ballots are counted.

This year’s election represents the second phase of a major shift on the Board of Supervisors brought on by term limits approved by voters in 2002.

Departing supervisors Don Knabe and Michael D. Antonovich have been on the board for decades. Knabe was first elected in 1996 and Antonovich in 1980. They are the only two Republicans on the officially nonpartisan five-member board.

Eight candidates were on the ballot in the race to replace Antonovich: Barger, Huff, Park, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander, prosecutor Elan Carr, former Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian, Palmdale-area real estate investor Raj Pal Kahlon and Altadena Town Council member Billy Malone.

Park, Kahlon and Malone are Democrats. The other five are Republicans.

Englander and Barger had led the pack in fundraising, each raising more than $1 million through their campaign committees and also receiving substantial support from independent expenditure committees. Unions representing county firefighters and sheriff’s deputies put $1.2 million into an outside committee set up by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to back Barger’s bid.

At Barger’s election night party at a restaurant in Pasadena with Antonovich and a crowd of supporters, Barger noted the importance of faith-based groups in the Antelope Valley and the nonprofit communities in Santa Clarita and the San Gabriel Valley in supporting her campaign. She also acknowledged the boost her campaign got from labor.

“They know that my word is good,” Barger said about getting the endorsement of the labor federation. “If I don’t agree, I’ll give you the reasons why I don’t, but I will always listen and in areas where compromises can be made, I will.”

Park said he does not expect the vote tally to be finalized until later in the week, but said he was encouraged by the results.

“It goes to show you, in this cynical time in our politics, everyone thinks it’s only big money that matters, and it’s not true,” he said.

Park, who runs a start-up called Better Than We Found It and advises green energy companies, raised about $200,000, hundreds of thousands less than the Republicans in the race. He said he thought the fact that he was a Democrat and endorsed by the county Democratic Party gave him a boost in the district, where registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans, 41% to 30%.

“We didn’t have to come up with a message that makes us into something we aren’t,” he said.

Huff, who had held a slim edge for second place in early returns, said Tuesday night he thought his record of working across party lines in Sacramento had helped him compete with better-funded opponents.

“There’s something to love and hate about my record, because it’s so public,” he said.

Huff noted Wednesday morning that there were still thousands of votes to be counted, including mail-in ballots sent on election day.

“It’s close, and we’ll just stay tuned,” he said.

Englander, who had been expected by many to make the runoff, finished fifth with about 12% of the vote.

As his supporters watched the results roll in at the Angeles National Golf Club in Sunland, Englander said the county election and other local races had been overshadowed by the presidential contest.

In the race to replace Knabe, Hahn, a former Los Angeles city councilwoman and daughter of longtime former county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, was widely considered the favorite, with some predicting she would win outright Tuesday.

She faced off against Napolitano, a Knabe aide and former Manhattan Beach city councilman, and Whittier school board member Ralph Pacheco. Napolitano is a Republican; Pacheco is a Democrat.

Napolitano now will face Hahn in November. He and Hahn each raised more than $1 million as well – Napolitano by putting in more than $760,000 of his own money and Hahn through substantial support from both public and private-sector unions.

With early returns showing her in the lead, Hahn said she would be honored and humbled to serve in a post that her father held for decades.

“I’ve always felt that I’m going to win this,” she said Tuesday night. “It’s either tonight or it’s going to be in November.”

Napolitano said he was pleased with the momentum his campaign had gained despite beginning with much lower name recognition than Hahn.

“We just did an old-school campaign, reaching people and talking about the issues and about records,” he said.

FBI: Records From Hillary’s Email Scandal Being Held As ‘Evidence’

FBI: Records From Hillary’s Email Scandal Being Held As ‘Evidence’

 From http://www.hannity.com
Posted Wednesday, June 8th 2016  by Hannity.com Staff

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is refusing to release any details about documents they’ve secured from Hillary Clinton home-brew email server. In recently filed court documents, the bureau claims that the records are “evidence” in an ongoing investigation.

The Washington Examiner reports:

FBI agents have confirmed that they recovered records from Hillary Clinton’s private server and other electronic devices, but won’t reveal any details about those records because that information is being treated as “evidence” in a “pending investigation.”

“[A]ll of the materials retrieved from any electronic equipment obtained from former Secretary Clinton for the investigation are evidence, potential evidence, or information that has not yet been assessed for evidentiary value,” the FBI said in documents filed with a federal court Monday.

Last month FBI Director James Comey actually denied the bureau was engaged in a “security review” of Clinton’s email according to The Politico, telling reporters that he was unfamiliar with the term.

Gingrich: GOP establishment should back, not battle, Donald

From http://www.washingtontimes.com

Trump after New York: The presumptive nominee -GOP establishment should back, not battle, Donald

 – – Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The scale of Donald Trump’s victory in New York turned him from frontrunner into presumptive Republican nominee.

The vehemently anti-Trump faction of the party will reject this conclusion.

The news media will dither and analysts will knit pick.

The pseudo-sophisticated will point to the cleverness of stealing delegates legally pledged to Trump.

It is all baloney.

Trump’s emphasis on the will of the voters will “trump” these arguments and analyses. When one candidate has won the lion’s share of the popular vote—and almost certainly Trump will have won more than his two rivals combined—the Republican base is not going to support overturning that outcome with insider cleverness at local, state or national conventions.

And even those efforts are likely to be moot since Trump seems poised to win the nomination outright.

Let’s start with New York.

As I write, the latest numbers are 89 delegates for Trump, 3 for John Kasich, and zero for Ted Cruz.Let me repeat: The champion of the stop Trump movement just won ZERO delegates.

Ahh, the sophisticates say, but this is Trump’s home state. Of course he won all the delegates. If that is the standard, let’s look at the results in Cruz’s home state.

In the Texas primary on March 1, Cruz got 104 delegates, Trump got 48, Rubio got 3 and Kasich got none. In Cruz’s home state, Trump got nearly one third of the delegates in a four-person race.

One other really big state, Florida, has also had the chance to vote. And what happened there? On March 15, Trumpwon 99 delegates. Cruz, Rubio and Kasich combined won zero.

So in the three biggest states to have voted so far, the delegate count is Trump 236, Cruz 104, and Kasich 3. (California will vote on June 7 and the latest CBS poll shows Trump at 49 percent, Cruz 31 percent, Kasich 16 percent.)

Trump is far ahead in delegates in the three biggest states to have voted.

Of course, Trump’s core argument is not about delegates. It’s about the popular vote.

In Florida, New York, and Texas, Republicans have voted. Roughly 2.4 million voted for Trump, compared to 1.8 million for Cruz and 500,000 for Kasich. In these three biggest states, Trump has attracted more votes than Cruz and Kasichcombined.

All evidence is that California will further widen that margin based on recent polling.

Trump is probably going to win all of New Jersey’s delegates (which is winner-take-all, with poll numbers resembling the results in New York). He’s probably going to win Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland as well (though by a narrower margin) and possibly Rhode Island.

It is likely that Kasich will come in second and Cruz will come in third in all of those states. That could strengthen Kasich enough for him to rival Cruz in California (further widening the “Never Trump” candidate’s gap behind Trump).

Cruz’s best shot to turn the race around may be Indiana. That state could be a legitimate battleground for all three candidates. (Kasich is the governor of Ohio right next door, so he also has a shot at Indiana.)

Cruz may win a few small western states. He may also cleverly keep poaching Trump’s delegates at state conventions in an effort to overturn the popular vote with insider maneuvering.

There are two problems with those strategies.

First, Trump is correct in asserting that a manipulated nomination defying the popular vote would be anathema to the Republican base. It would make Cleveland and the fall campaign chaotic and unmanageable.

Second, Trump is probably going to win the nomination on the first ballot.

Take a clear-eyed look at the numbers. After New YorkTrump has 845 delegates. Cruz has 559, and Kasich has 147.

So Trump is 139 delegates ahead of the other two combined.

He is almost 300 delegates ahead of Cruz, his closest rival.

Every analysis of the next few weeks indicates Trump’s margin will widen and he will move steadily closer to 1237. Already, he is only 392 short before any undecided delegates, Rubio delegates, and the like are counted.

These are the numbers of a presumptive nominee, not a front runner. If this were any candidate but Donald Trump, the media would be saying his rivals’ efforts were hopeless and the establishment would be pressuring them to exit the race.

It is time for the GOP establishment to work with this new reality rather than wage war against it.

West Hollywood Bans Trump In the Name of ‘Diversity’

Oh… the hypocrisy of the left, the Mayor of the beautiful city of West Hollywood is a very pretty young woman who happens to be a lesbian, and we gather that she is also smart, outspoken and most likely very liberal and….a Dem, but she does not know anything about the First Amendment. So I guess she does not need our business, fair enough. No shopping, eating or entertainment in West Hollywood! – Celeste

From http://www.truthrevolt.org

West Hollywood Bans Trump In the Name of ‘Diversity’

Donald Trump is apparently so intolerant that the tolerant city of West Hollywood wants to ban him.

Speaking on CNN Tuesday, West Hollywood mayor Lindsey Horvath defended her position to ban Donald Trump in the name of “diversity” by saying the city is too “welcoming” to host Donald Trump. That makes perfect sense.

“You know, West Hollywood is a very diverse community,” Horvath told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin Tuesday. “We’re over 40 percent LGBT. We have Russian-speaking immigrants, some of whom were concentration camp survivors. We’re the first declared pro-choice city in America. Our city is very diverse, we’re very open, we’re very welcoming. And that’s the kind of community we want to continue to be.”

Unaware of the complete logical fallacy at play, Horvath added that “Donald Trump has used hate speech, his violent tactics, and systemically targeting people for their religion, for their country of origin, for their gender, is not the kind of behavior, not the kind of language that we want in our community.”

Making good on her promise, Horvath has instructed city staff to refuse event permits to Trump’s campaign, saying his rhetoric goes beyond just mere disagreement. Asked whether or not she has the authority, let alone constitutional right to deny Trump from campaigning in her city, Horvath could only say that Trump has no right to speak his mind, because its “hate speech.”

“The city is going to follow the law,” Horvath said. “This isn’t about free speech, this is about hate speech. We are able and willing to exercise our voice and use our first amendment rights to say we want to elevate the discourse here. We’re demanding civil discourse. That’s not too much to ask, certainly not of someone who’s running for the highest office in the land. He should respect the office by treating it with the respect that it deserves.”

The Freedom Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Therefore we do not endorse political candidates either in primary or general elections. However, as defenders of America’s social contract, we insist that the rules laid down by both parties at the outset of campaigns be respected, and that the results be decided by free elections. We will oppose any attempt to rig the system and deny voters of either party their constitutional right to elect candidates of their choice.

Here Is California’s Economic Future After Huge Minimum Wage Hike

No wonder people are moving in large numbers out of California. Small business would be closing as they will not be able to pay those higher wages. Large business will pass the increases to the consumers, unskilled and young workers will be the losers, and the labor unions will be the winners. – Celeste

From http://dailysignal.com

Here Is California’s Economic Future After Huge Minimum Wage Hike

California lawmakers and labor leaders are cheering a new deal that, if passed, raises the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, making the Golden State the first in the country to do so.

But labor experts are already warning that such a wage hike could lead to higher prices for consumers, more automation, and a drop in employment.

According to media reports, lawmakers and labor unions reached a deal this weekend raising the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, formally announced the proposal Monday.

“California is proving once again that it can get things done and help people get ahead,” Brown said. “This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change.”


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

The deal would raise the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour next year, with increases of $1 per hour taking place annually until the minimum wage hits $15 an hour. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees have until 2023 to comply.

According to the Los Angeles Times, state lawmakers could vote on the proposal as early as this week.

Though the new proposal has labor unions and Democratic state lawmakers cheering, labor experts are already forecasting increased prices for consumers and more transitions to automation for business owners.

James Sherk, a research fellow in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, said a $15-an-hour minimum wage is unprecedented for any state in the U.S., and the long-term impacts are therefore unknown.

Sherk said such a wage hike is likely to lead to a reduction in employment, specifically for manufacturing companies that sell products across state lines.

Those businesses, he told The Daily Signal, don’t have the opportunity to raise prices, and the industry employs 1.6 million Californians, 37 percent of which make less than $15 an hour.

“A lot of those jobs will move to other states and countries,” Sherk said.

Sherk also warned that in the fast food and hospitality industries, consumers can expect to see prices increase to compensate for increased labor costs.

“For industries like fast food or hotels or anything like that, the only place they can get money is by raising their prices,” he said. “This will cause consumers to purchase less goods and services. It’ll hurt consumers in their wallets.”

Some cities in California like San Francisco and Los Angeles have already enacted minimum wage increases above the statewide $10 an hour. Though many advocates argue that such wage hikes are intended to help workers struggling to make ends meet, particularly in cities with high costs of living, Marc Joffe, a policy analyst at the California Policy Center, fears that a wage hike could hurt the very people it’s intended to help.

According to an analysis of how a $15-an-hour minimum wage would impact the state, Joffe found that such a wage hike would negatively affect areas of the state that have higher unemployment rates and weaker economies, such as the Central Valley.

“A place like San Francisco can probably absorb [a wage increase], but the problem is that California is a really very diverse state in terms of income levels, levels of prosperity, productivity, and so forth,” Joffe told The Daily Signal. “When you put a one-size-fits-all solution like that in, you’re really hurting less affluent counties.”

In the wake of the most recent minimum wage hike from $9 an hour to $10 an hour, Joffe said that areas are already turning to automation as a way to cut down on labor costs. Self-checkouts are replacing cashiers in supermarkets, he said, and customers place restaurant orders on kiosks in San Francisco restaurants.

“Even in downtown San Francisco, which could sustain higher prices, they’re doing things to substitute for workers,” he said. “When you take these differences in cost of living and economic vitality, [raising the minimum wage] becomes a real problem in areas that are less affluent.”

Sherk, too, warned that more and more places could turn to automation to cut down on labor costs and employment substitution, which occurs when employers opt to hire more skilled workers.

“Companies will be choosier,” he said. “What we’ve seen in other cases is, you have more disadvantaged workers losing out. Those with more skills begin to get disproportionately favored and hired.”

Though Brown announced Monday the deal with state lawmakers and labor leaders, he previously said he was hesitant to raise the minimum wage beyond $10 an hour.

“Raise the minimum wage too much and you put a lot of poor people out of work,” he told reporters in January. “There won’t be a lot of jobs. It’s a matter of balance.”

According to Brown’s budget summary for 2016, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would cost the state $4 billion annually by 2021. Additionally, the state warned that not only would such a wage hike return the state budget to annual deficits, but it would also “exacerbate” a recession and add to job losses.

Similarly, the California Department of Finance warned against raising the minimum wage to beyond $10 an hour in a legislative analysis conducted in March. According to its analysis, which looked at a bill raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour in July 2017, the Department of Finance warned that such a wage hike would cost the state more than $4.7 billion over a three-year span.

The agency also stressed that the increased minimum wage would have a negative impact on California’s economy and lead to slower employment growth.

Brown said Monday the wage hike will cost the state $20 million in 2016.

“Small businesses in California are still struggling to cope with the 25 percent minimum wage hike over just the past two years,” Tom Scott, director of the California National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement opposing the proposal. “Proposing a 50-percent increase on top of that is reckless and ignores serious negative consequences including job loss and increased costs to job creators, senior citizens, and nonprofits.”

The minimum wage proposal unveiled Monday comes days after an initiative backed by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West qualified for the state’s Nov. 8 ballot. The proposal would have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.

A second proposal, also backed by the SEIU, is still being circulated for signatures, according to The Los Angeles Times. In addition to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the measure also requires businesses to provide employees three new sick days annually.

George Miller: The Trump Phenomenon

The Trump Phenomenon

By George Miller

I still can’t believe it myself. The larger than life real estate and reality show billionaire, from my original hometown, who always has something to say about nearly everything, who has gingerly dipped his toes in the political waters before but always hung back, is finally running for office. Not starting with city council or state assembly, but going for the gold- PRESIDENT of the You-nited Snakes of America. Wow.

What is the significance of this? Well, can you name the last billionaire businessman President we had? Bush, you say? Yeah, well he had degrees from Harvard and Yale, lost some money on a sports franchise and dry oil wells- no billionaire. Name a REAL businessman tycoon President. Romney was an also-ran.

We keep hearing from “The Media” that Trump doesn’t have “political experience,” therefore “he isn’t qualified.” Please, name a politician who has a better mastery of bending other politicians to his will and playing the media like a fiddle to achieve his agenda. Name a contemporary national politician who attracts huge, adoring crowds, besides Bernie (Obama doesn’t count anymore, having largely lost that franchise). Name a politician who has successfully built a multi-billion dollar organization in dozens of countries, with tens of thousands of employees and dealt with many jurisdictions to make all this happen. Hillary, Rubio, Kasich, even Cruz? Ha!

But , also name another American non-politician- or even politician- who has so many influential opponents- on the left, right, middle- doing everything in their power to stop him, but he STILL leads by commanding margins in the primaries and polls. This is unprecedented and bears some thought. It’s interesting that his most bitter political enemies are also the ones many deplore the most. The so-called “President.” The DNC. Republican elite, or “GOPe” as they are now often called (the “e” stands for establishment).

He is a flawed candidate- as ALL of them are. With a towering ego and surprising insecurities for such an accomplished man, vengeful, impulsive, not so discreet and improvisational, one wonders why he isn’t stopped right there. He makes lots unforced errors/gaffes. But many things he says and does that opponents think are errors are perceived otherwise by his growing supporter base. I personally believe he would be a lot more successful in his campaign if he would hold his tongue more and think about its effect. But, then again, I’m not leading in the Republican Presidential campaign last time I checked.

So, why isn’t he stopped? Well, for one thing, his force of personality, innovativeness, sheer energy, intelligence, drive and persistence make him somewhat akin to a force of nature. He can focus that like a laser when he wants to get great things accomplished and overcome great obstacles to do it. Every time he clears his throat, media surround him with cameras and microphones, leading detractors to claim the media loves him :-). If they really loved him, why do they eviscerate him at every opportunity?

All great people have major flaws. All great people have compensating attributes.

Consider that nearly all of his campaign opponents except Ben Carson were professional politicians, with years and years of experience and practice at campaigning, speaking, analyzing issues, controlling “spin,” letting opponents defeat themselves and helping them do so, when needed.

Many of his detractors are openly contemptuous of him, singly and in tag teams they attack him from all sides. Yet, every time the smoke clears, he is still standing, often higher than before. His political epitaph has been written, futilely, multiple times in the last 9 months.

So, what then is his secret weapon that keeps his campaign alive- thriving, actually? Simple- three things:

1- He never, never gives up, as long as he sees a path to victory- and he has better vision of such things than almost anyone. If thwarted, he will immediately counterattack, devastatingly. Or, he will wait, bide his time and later attack from another direction, at a time and place of his own choosing. A nine billion dollar fortune is also helpful when you need staying power and independence.

2- He has ideas which are often far more workable and popular than opponents, who consistently underestimate him, seem to think.

3- He has tremendous support from the public, from nearly all types of people, income, educational level and backgrounds, including many from groups the establishment claims hate him. He emphatically rejects political correctness, to a fault. For example, even though he had repudiated David Duke multiple times, he obstinately refused to sit up and bark like a trained seal once again for CNN’s Jake Tapper on that subject recently. His fans LOVE that in a way that the establishment can never even begin to comprehend. They LOVE hearing him run down establishment figures and their failed ideas.

I would prefer a better political “Messiah” for our troubled nation at this critical juncture- But don’t see a better one on the horizon at this time. Was it Donald Rumsfeld who said “you go to war with the army you have”? I think back to biblical passages where God calls upon deeply flawed individuals to carry out his will on earth. Well, why not The Donald? He has taken tremendous risks- to his reputation, business empire, even a physical risk of being killed by powerful, desperate opponents who will stop at nothing to prevail– “Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor.” His enemies say he is doing it for his ego, to make more money, whatever. But, he could instead be coasting on his victory lap of fulfilling the American dream- admired, enjoying his family, the fruits of his labor and the admiration of millions. But, at the age of 69 and at a peak of success in his life-long efforts, he’s NOT.

Next installment: Trump’s ideas on immigration, trade, jobs, foreign policy- are they crazy, “racist,” impractical or ….? Is he a “Conservative?”

George Miller is publisher of Citizensjournal.us and an Oxnard, CA resident