I’m a Pediatrician. Here’s What I Did When a Little Boy Patient Said He Was a Girl.

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H/T The Daily Signal.

It is a shame more doctors do not have this kind of courage and this transgender stuff would be treated for the mental disorder that it really is.

“Congratulations, it’s a boy!” Or, “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”

As a pediatrician for nearly 20 years, that’s how many of my patient relationships began. Our bodies declare our sex.

Biological sex is not assigned. Sex is determined at conception by our DNA and is stamped into every cell of our bodies. Human sexuality is binary. You either have a normal Y chromosome, and develop into a male, or you don’t, and you will develop into a female. There are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women. Hormones and surgery cannot change this.

An identity is not biological, it is psychological. It has to do with thinking and feeling. Thoughts and feelings are not biologically hardwired. Our thinking and feeling may be factually right or factually wrong.

If I walk into my doctor’s office today and say, “Hi, I’m Margaret Thatcher,” my physician will say I am delusional and give me an anti-psychotic. Yet, if instead, I walked in and said, “I’m a man,” he would say, “Congratulations, you’re transgender.”

If I were to say, “Doc, I am suicidal because I’m an amputee trapped in a normal body, please cut off my leg,” I will be diagnosed with body identity integrity disorder. But if I walk into that doctor’s office and say, “I am a man, sign me up for a double mastectomy,” my physician will. See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.

No one is born transgender. If gender identity were hardwired in the brain before birth, identical twins would have the same gender identity 100 percent of the time. But they don’t.

I had one patient we’ll call Andy. Between the ages of 3 and 5, he increasingly played with girls and “girl toys” and said he was a girl. I referred the parents and Andy to a therapist. Sometimes mental illness of a parent or abuse of the child are factors, but more commonly, the child has misperceived family dynamics and internalized a false belief.

In the middle of one session, Andy put down the toy truck, held onto a Barbie, and said, “Mommy and Daddy, you don’t love me when I’m a boy.” When Andy was 3, his sister with special needs was born, and required significantly more of his parents’ attention. Andy misperceived this as “Mommy and Daddy love girls. If I want them to love me, I have to be a girl.” With family therapy Andy got better.

Today, Andy’s parents would be told, “This is who Andy really is. You must ensure that everyone treats him as a girl, or else he will commit suicide.”

As Andy approaches puberty, the experts would put him on puberty blockers so he can continue to impersonate a girl.

It doesn’t matter that we’ve never tested puberty blockers in biologically normal children. It doesn’t matter that when blockers are used to treat prostate cancer in men, and gynecological problems in women, they cause problems with memory. We don’t need testing. We need to arrest his physical development now, or he will kill himself.

But this is not true. Instead, when supported in their biological sex through natural puberty, the vast majority of gender-confused children get better. Yet, we chemically castrate gender-confused children with puberty blockers. Then we permanently sterilize many of them by adding cross-sex hormones, which also put them at risk for heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancers, and even the very emotional problems that the gender experts claim to be treating.

P.S. If a girl who insists she is male has been on testosterone daily for one year, she is cleared to get a bilateral mastectomy at age 16. Mind you, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a report that urges pediatricians to caution teenagers about getting tattoos because they are essentially permanent and can cause scarring. But this same AAP is 110 percent in support of 16-year-old girls getting a double mastectomy, even without parental consent, so long as the girl insists that she is a man, and has been taking testosterone daily for one year.

To indoctrinate all children from preschool forward with the lie that they could be trapped in the wrong body disrupts the very foundation of a child’s reality testing. If they can’t trust the reality of their physical bodies, who or what can they trust? Transgender ideology in schools is psychological abuse that often leads to chemical castration, sterilization, and surgical mutilation.



Trump Administration Cites MS-13 Arrest to Push Change in Minor Immigrant Law

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H/T The Daily Signal.

The MS-13 thugs are the reason the people that came to America as result of DACA should not get amnesty. 

The Trump administration is pointing to a large federal roundup of members of the violent gang MS-13 as vindication of increased enforcement efforts and reason to change the policy on unaccompanied minor illegal immigrants.

The Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security announced a joint effort that led to the arrest of 214 gang members and those involved with gang-related crime.

MS-13 is an international criminal gang that spread throughout Central America into the United States—in largely urban centers such as Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, and into Toronto, Canada. The organization’s motto is “mata, viola, controla,” which means, “kill, rape, control.”

Of the 214, just 16 were U.S. citizens while 198 were foreign nationals. Of the foreign nationals, only five were in the country legally. Among those arrested, 64 entered the country as unaccompanied alien children, but most are now adults, according to the Trump administration.

During a press conference Thursday announcing the arrests, Tom Homan, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, noted the 2008 law on unaccompanied minors does not allow them to be immediately returned to their country of origin.

“The agencies sent up a series of policy requests to the Hill to address a lot of issues to further control the border and illegal immigration,” Homan said. “Some of these policies are being exploited and used by criminal organizations. That’s why that’s one of the policy issues we asked Congress to look at and help us with.”

The multi-state, multi-federal agency program was called “Operation Raging Bull.”

The current law states that unaccompanied minors from countries other than Canada or Mexico aren’t subject to expedited removal, but the minors are promptly released into the United States upon arrival at the border. The Department of Homeland Security transfers custody to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement within 72 hours. That office must promptly release the minor to relatives or other sponsors, according to the White House. In some cases, the sponsors were criminals who abused law.

Of the total immigration hearings for unaccompanied minors that came to the United States between 2014 and 2016, 12,977 cases out of 31,091 completed ended in removal, according to a Congressional Research Service report in January. Out of those removals, 11,528, or 89 percent, did not show up for their hearing to make their case against removal proceedings, and often remained in the country.

Also, more than half of the unaccompanied minors that came into the United States in 2014 and 2015 were 16 or 17 years old, according to the Government Accountability Office in a February 2016 report.

Out of the 214 arrested, 93 were charged with crimes including murder, aggravated robbery, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, narcotics possession, firearms offenses, domestic violence, assault, forgery, drunken driving, and illegal entry/re-entry. The remaining 121 were arrested on administrative immigration violations, according to the Justice Department.

“With more than 10,000 members across 40 states, MS-13 is one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the United States today,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “President Trump has ordered the Department of Justice to reduce crime and take down transnational criminal organizations, and we will be relentless in our pursuit of these objectives. That’s why I have ordered our drug trafficking task forces to use every law available to arrest, prosecute, convict, and defund MS-13. And we are getting results.”


Meet These 5 Stellar Conservatives Trump Just Added to His Supreme Court List

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H/T The Daily Signal.

President Trump has the chance to put the Supreme Court back on the right path to the rule of law and not the path of liberalism.

On Friday, President Donald Trump announced the addition of five individuals to his outstanding list of potential candidates for a future Supreme Court vacancy.

As was the case with the lists Trump put out during his presidential campaign, these new additions to the list are conservative men and women who are committed to interpreting the Constitution according to its original public meaning.

While there are currently no vacancies on the Supreme Court, rumors abound that Justice Anthony Kennedy may retire in the near future. Here’s a look at the new names.

Amy Barrett

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
Age: Approximately 45

Barrett, a former University of Notre Dame law professor, was recently confirmed to the 7th Circuit. After graduating from Rhodes College and Notre Dame Law School, Barrett clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman on the D.C. Circuit and Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

She then worked in private practice (where she was part of the team that represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore) before starting her career in academia, teaching briefly at George Washington University and the University of Virginia before joining the Notre Dame Law faculty in 2002.

Barrett is a prolific writer, having published in leading law reviews across the country on topics including originalism, federal court jurisdiction, and the supervisory power of the Supreme Court.

In 2010, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed her to the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, where she served for six years.

At her confirmation hearing in September, Senate Democrats chided her for her writings as a law student in 1998 and asked inappropriate questions about her Catholic faith. But Barrett received robust bipartisan support from the legal community, including from Neal Katyal, a prominent liberal who served as President Barack Obama’s acting solicitor general.

Britt Grant

Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia
Age: Approximately 39

Appointed to Georgia’s highest court by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016, Grant previously served as the state’s solicitor general and in other capacities in the state attorney general’s office. She also worked in the George W. Bush administration, serving on the Domestic Policy Council and the Office of Cabinet Affairs.

Grant began working at the White House weeks before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and after that horrific day, her mission became making government “as effective as it can be and as protective of liberty as it can be.”

Earlier in her career, she served as an aide to then-Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., on Capitol Hill, clerked for Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit, and worked in private practice at Kirkland & Ellis, one of the top appellate law firms in Washington, D.C.

She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Wake Forest University.

In a letter recommending her appointment to the state’s high court, Kavanaugh praised Grant’s “superb” writing, which is “[o]ne of the most important duties” of judges. In her 11 months on the bench, she’s heard numerous cases and displayed her excellent writing abilities.

In a recent decision reinstating criminal charges against a woman who secretly filmed her boss in the nude, Grant wrote a special concurrence agreeing with the judgment but not the reasoning of the majority. The majority analogized a state law criminalizing “hostile intrusion or surveillance” by a private party with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She explained, “[t]he statute cannot bear the weight that the Fourth Amendment puts on it when addressing the behavior of private parties and not of the government” and that it “addresses a privacy interest quite different than the one that we all share against government search and seizure.”

Brett Kavanaugh 

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Age: 52

A former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy and graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Kavanaugh worked as a senior associate counsel and assistant to President George W. Bush and as an associate independent counsel.

He was nominated to the D.C. Circuit in 2003 but not confirmed until 2006.

Former Attorney General William Barr stated that Kavanaugh “quickly established himself as one of the key outside lawyers I went to on some of my toughest legal issues. He has a keen intellect, exceptional analytical skills, and sound judgment. His writing is fluid and precise. I found that he was able to see all sides of an issue and appreciate the strengths and weakness of competing approaches. He was particularly effective in dealing with novel issues which required some original thinking.”

Since joining the bench, Kavanaugh has distinguished himself as a thoughtful, apolitical jurist, who is not afraid to stake out bold positions on complex issues. We included him on The Heritage Foundation’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

Kavanaugh recently delivered the annual Joseph Story Distinguished Lecture at Heritage—joining the ranks of Justice Clarence Thomas and many other renowned federal judges. He spoke eloquently about the judiciary’s essential role in maintaining the separation of powers.

>>> Watch Judge Kavanaugh’s Speech at The Heritage Foundation.

Kevin Newsom

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
Age: Approximately 45

Kevin Newsom, former all-star appellate lawyer, was confirmed to the 11th Circuit in August. After graduating from Samford University and Harvard Law School, Newsom clerked for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain on the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. He then worked in private practice before serving as Alabama’s solicitor general.

After five years of government service, Newsom went back to private practice where he became a partner at Birmingham’s Bradley Arant.

Before joining the bench, Newsom had an extensive Supreme Court practice, arguing four cases at the high court and authoring dozens of cert. petitions and amicus briefs. Newsom has won countless awards for his work, including the National Association of Attorneys General’s Best Brief Award four times.

He has argued more than 30 cases in federal appellate courts across the country as well as in Alabama’s appellate courts. In 2011, Roberts, the chief justice, appointed Newsom to the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.

Patrick Wyrick

Justice, Supreme Court of Oklahoma
Age: 36

Patrick Wyrick is the youngest person on the Trump list, at 36 years old. Then again, Joseph Story was only 32 when he was nominated by President James Madison to serve as an associate justice to the Supreme Court, a position in which he served with great distinction for nearly 34 years.

Wyrick was appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court last February, after serving as the state’s solicitor general for six years.

As solicitor general, Wyrick argued cases before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and also successfully argued Glossip v. Gross (a case challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection) before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma and that school’s College of Law, Wyrick clerked for U.S. District Court Judge James Payne.

When Wyrick was nominated to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, then-State Attorney General Scott Pruitt described Wyrick as “a superb lawyer” and “a constitutional scholar well-versed in both state and federal law … ” He added that Wyrick’s “wisdom, compassion, and integrity are unparalleled among the many public servants with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working.”

In his short time on the bench, Wyrick has written some noteworthy opinions, including the majority opinion in a case striking down a fee that the Oklahoma Legislature imposed on cigarette companies for violating a provision in the Oklahoma Constitution that sets forth the procedures that must be followed before enacting a “revenue raising” measure.

Although young, Wyrick’s meteoric legal career could ultimately land him on the high court.

We commend the president for taking the utmost care in continuing to identify outstanding individuals to serve on all levels of the federal bench.

Current Gun Laws Should Have Made It Impossible for Texas Shooter to Buy Gun

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H/T The Daily Signal.

The United States Air Force dropped the ball in this case.

On the morning of Sunday, Nov. 5, Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire on the congregants of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The attack killed 26 people, including a pregnant woman and a number of children.

A man living nearby heard the shots, grabbed his own firearm, and pursued Kelley. Kelley was found dead in his truck 8 miles away from the scene, and it is not clear whether he or his pursuer fired the fatal shot.

As with every highly publicized mass casualty shooting, the news was followed by immediate calls for legislators to “do something.” Too often, these calls are made with limited knowledge of existing gun restrictions, of constitutional jurisprudence, and the facts of the shooting itself.

So, what is the current state of the law regarding possession of firearms? What do we know—and not know—about Kelley and his weapon? Could this shooting have been prevented if Congress “just did something” above and beyond what it has already done?

Current US Law on Firearms Disabilities

The Second Amendment dictates that, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that this right belongs to individual citizens, is grounded in the natural right of self-defense, and is applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment.

But the Second Amendment right is not unlimited and can be subjected to regulation and restriction. By far one of the most common restrictions on the Second Amendment right is the ban on firearm possession by certain classes of individuals determined to pose a danger to themselves or others.

The dominant federal law for purposes of firearm restrictions is 18 U.S.C. §922(g), which bars the possession of firearms by nine different categories of individuals, including: those convicted in any court of a crime punishable by more than one year imprisonment; those dishonorably discharged from the military; those subject to a restraining order against an intimate partner or child; and those convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

The only way for these individuals to legally possess a weapon is to have their firearm rights explicitly restored by the jurisdiction in which they were convicted [18 U.S.C. § (a)(33)(A)(ii)].

For those convicted of felonies or domestic violence misdemeanors in state courts, the convicting state determines the mechanism through which a person’s right to keep and bear arms can be restored.

Roughly half of states allow for restoration of firearm rights only through a gubernatorial pardon. States like Iowa and California do not allow restoration of firearm rights for certain offenses, even with a pardon.

Other states will automatically restore firearm rights after a certain number of years without another offense, and still others, like Texas, will automatically restore a limited right to possess only a handgun and only in the home.

A full overview of each state’s restoration laws can be found here.

Individuals convicted in federal or military courts face a practically impossible task to have their firearm rights restored. The Supreme Court determined in Beecham v. United States (1994) that only federal law can restore a federal offender’s civil rights.

However, while federal law technically affords a mechanism of application for the restoration of these rights, Congress has not funded this mechanism since 1992. Absent a presidential pardon, those convicted of applicable offenses in federal or military courts face a lifetime firearm disability.

What We Do and Don’t Know About Kelley

Kelley entered the Air Force in 2010, and was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. In 2012, he was court-martialed and sentenced to 12 months confinement in a military prison for assaulting his wife and child, in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 128.

The Air Force’s chief prosecutor for Kelley’s court martial revealed the case was very serious, and that Kelley intentionally fractured his baby stepson’s skull. He received a bad conduct discharge.

In April 2016, Kelley purchased a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic rifle from an Academy Sports & Outdoors store in San Antonio. According to officials, Kelley indicated on background check paperwork that he did not have a disqualifying criminal history, and listed an address in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is one of four guns he reportedly purchased after his court-martial.

Just days before the shooting, Kelley posted pictures of this rifle on his Facebook account, referring to it as “a bad b—-.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, citing the Texas Department of Public Safety, noted that Kelley at one point applied for and was denied a state license to carry weapons. It is unclear whether this occurred before or after Kelley purchased the Ruger, or for what reason the application was denied.

In Texas, long guns may be carried openly without a license, while a “license to carry” is required for handguns carried in any manner. Licenses are issued on a nondiscretionary, “shall-issue” basis. This means the Texas Department of Public Safety may only deny licenses to those who do not meet statutory criteria for eligibility.

Further, Texas law prohibits the possession and licensing of firearms for anyone found guilty in any jurisdiction of domestic violence misdemeanors or their equivalent.

Although former classmates allege Kelley was a staunch and outspoken atheist who repeatedly belittled religious believers online, investigators have stated the shooting was not motivated by race or religion.

It appears Kelley was in the midst of “an ongoing domestic situation” with his relatives, including his mother-in-law, who attended the church but was not present at the shooting. The morning of the shooting, Kelley sent threatening texts to his mother-in-law.

Enforce Existing Laws Before Calling for New Ones

There are a number of questions from Sunday’s events that still need answers, but one thing seems fairly certain—Kelley should not have been able to legally purchase a firearm under existing state and federal law.

Although Kelley received a bad conduct discharge and not a dishonorable discharge, he was convicted in a military court of domestic violence charges. Military courts are directed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, not state or federal statutes, and convictions are not divided by “felony” and “misdemeanor.”

However, Kelley was convicted of assault on his child, who was under the age of 16. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the maximum sentence for such an assault is confinement for two years, placing Kelley’s conviction squarely within the confines of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)’s prohibition.

Further, even if it were not the equivalent of a felony, it was for domestic violence, and he would still be barred from possessing a firearm under both federal and Texas law. Air Force officials have confirmed Kelley’s disqualification from purchasing firearms.

Let’s be very clear: No one is suggesting a person recently convicted of violent crimes should have access to firearms. In fact, there are laws in place to prohibit this exact type of violent offender from possessing deadly weapons.

There are also laws mandating that licensed firearms dealers submit the customer’s information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

According to NPR’s Tom Bowman, however, the Air Force failed to submit Kelley’s arrest and conviction to this federal database. Investigators must determine why the check did not raise these serious red flags, and whatever error occurred must be immediately remedied to prevent this from happening in the future.

This shooting appears to have been preventable under existing state and federal statutes. Sunday’s reign of terror should never have happened. The world is full of evil people who will break laws to slaughter innocent church-goers with illegally possessed weapons.

Many times, as this shooting indicates, the best way to stop this type of evil is not to impose more laws, but to better enforce current ones.

Is Right to Work Coming to Northeast? Delaware Councilman Introduces Ordinance

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H/T The Daily Signal.

Breaking the backs of every union in America will benefit companies and employees as they will no longer be hostage to unions thugs.

SEAFORD, Delaware—One Delaware county is poised to change its economic climate, with a council member prepared to fight for a right-to-work ordinance introduced Tuesday.

“This is not about ruffling political feathers, but is about the status quo no longer being tolerable for Sussex County and … the need for private sector jobs,” said Councilman Rob Arlett in an interview with The Daily Signal.

“Actual real wages have decreased in Delaware,” added Arlett. “Why should that be OK?”

Right-to-work laws prohibit private sector employers from entering into agreements that make union membership and payment of union dues a condition of employment.

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If Sussex County passes a right-to-work ordinance, it could signal change for the northeast region of the country, where no states are currently right to work, according to the National Right to Work Committee.

The all-Republican Sussex County Council needs at least three votes out of five for the ordinance to become law. The introduction of ordinance Tuesday begins the legal process that will allow for public discussion and debate of the proposal at a future date.

Arlett gave a presentation Tuesday based on a discussion he had with a private sector employer. That employer decided he could not expand his business in Sussex County, and instead decided to construct new facilities in North Carolina and Virginia, two right-to-work states.

“This is all about options and choices,” Arlett said while addressing the council and member of the public in attendance. “It is a tool in a toolbox. Companies have looked here, but once they realized we are not right to work they have gone elsewhere.”

Arlett expressed confidence in the prospects for his proposed ordinance in a phone interview after the meeting “I’m more optimistic now… based on the conversations I had with my fellow council members on right to work,” he said.

The proposed right to work ordinance is tentatively scheduled for public discussion when the council meets again in two weeks on Oct. 24

Seaford Mayor David Genshaw is keen on the idea of Delaware becoming the first state in the region to adopt a local ordinance that gives workers and their employers more choice. He anticipates that right to work could reverse the fortunes of his city, once home to the 35-acre DuPont nylon plant. The facility, which created thousands of local jobs, produced nylon used in military parachutes.

The Daily Signal visited with Genshaw in Seaford on Sept. 28. The city has around 7,000 residents, according to the latest Census data. Although the city is modest in size, Genshaw sees unexploited potential at the factory site DuPont previously occupied and in other parts of the city.

“I know a lot of families who want their kids to stay in the area,” Genshaw said. “But we have to create opportunities. Right to work is a tool we need to compete for jobs. If you compare right-to-work states with non-right-to-work states, you can see where this could mean big gains for Delaware.”

A total of 28 states are now right-to-work states, with Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia making the move since 2012. The U.S. territory of Guam also is a right-to-work jurisdiction.

Warren County, Kentucky, began the trend toward local right to work when it passed an ordinance in the fall of 2014. Other Kentucky counties quickly followed suit.

Any legal challenges directed against the proposed right-to-work ordinance in Sussex County could face a steep uphill climb.

That’s because on Oct. 2 the Supreme Court declined to hear a petition that sought to overturn a ruling from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a local right-to-work law in Hardin County, Kentucky, that has inspired similar measures in other parts of the country.

“By declining to retry the Kentucky case, the Supreme Court has clearly signaled to lower courts that the 6th Circuit’s reading on the matter was sound,” Matt Patterson, executive director of the Washington-based Center for Worker Freedom, told The Daily Signal in an email.  “Communities across the country considering local right to work should be heartened by this development and proceed accordingly.”

While Delaware is taking the first incremental steps toward right to work in a part of the country where it has never taken root, New Mexico has already held the first of two public hearings on its own proposed ordinance, which supporters say is needed to help the state become more competitive with its right-to-work neighbors.

Patterson was in attendance for the first of those hearings last Thursday before the Sandoval County Commission. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 19.

Unlike Delaware, New Mexico is surrounded by right-to-work states.

“The officials in Sandoval County are determined to do everything they can to make their community economically competitive, including right to work,” Patterson said.

“Unions and their supporters of course turned out and made a lot of noise at the public hearing, but I don’t think those commissioners are going to be intimidated, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the 6th Circuit’s reading of local [right-to-work] ordinances.”

The proposed ordinances in Delaware and New Mexico would only apply to the private sector. The Supreme Court recently agreed to take up Janus v. AFSCME, a case out of Illinois involving union mandates for government workers.

This article has been updated. 

Ohio Wants to Clean Up Its Voter Rolls. Why Are Democrats So Up in Arms?

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H/T The Daily Signal.

The DemocRats do not want voter roll cleaned up because some of these voters could be dead and voting DemocRat.

When Republicans went to the White House early in Barack Obama’s presidency to negotiate specifics of an economic stimulus bill, Obama reminded them that his policy preferences must prevail because “elections have consequences.”

“At the end of the day, I won,” he told them. “So, I think on that one, I trump you.”

Of course, when he said that, Obama couldn’t possibly have foreseen the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, but seldom has an election been more consequential.

That elections have consequences was further underscored when Trump rightly reversed course on a misinterpretation of a 1993 law by the previous administration. That law, the National Voter Registration Act, reformed the nation’s voter registration process.

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Having reversed course, the Justice Department is now siding with Ohio in its legitimate efforts to clean up its voter rolls.

That would not have happened under President Hillary Clinton, so elections do in fact have consequences.

The integrity of elections in Ohio will be significantly enhanced if the Supreme Court this fall upholds, as it should, the process the state uses.

In the appellate court, the Obama administration predictably had sided with Democrats and allied liberal groups seeking to prevent the Buckeye State from removing tens of thousands of voters from the state’s rolls after they were deemed to be “inactive.”

Justice Department lawyers wrote in a brief filed with the high court on Aug. 7 that, since Trump took office, they have re-evaluated the case.

They concluded that the 1993 law (widely known as the “motor voter” law) does not prohibit procedures like those used in Ohio, contrary to the deliberate misinterpretation of the law by the Obama Justice Department.

The Buckeye State has been mailing address-verification notices to voters who didn’t cast a ballot during a two-year period to ascertain whether they had moved, died, or otherwise were no longer eligible to vote and asking them to reconfirm their status.

If they failed to respond, and subsequently didn’t vote over the following four years, their names could be removed from the rolls.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who defends the six-year process as fair and reasonable, hailed the Justice Department’s about-face.

“Maintaining the integrity of the voter rolls is essential to conducting an election with efficiency and integrity,” he said after the Supreme Court announced May 30 that it would hear Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute in its upcoming term.

That case is the state’s appeal of a wrongheaded ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ignored the Justice Department’s long history of enforcing the law in other states consistent with Ohio’s practices prior to the Obama administration.

Husted, a Republican, told The Washington Post that since taking office in January 2011, nearly 560,000 deceased Ohioans have been removed from the voter rolls.

He added that the effort has also resulted in “the resolution of more than 1.65 million voters who were registered more than once”—most of them presumably from having moved and re-registered at a new address without the old registration being properly purged.

The presence on the rolls of the deceased and duplicate registrations provides fertile ground for would-be vote fraudsters. There’s no reason whatsoever for those registrations to be allowed to remain on the books.

Yet Democrats and self-styled “voting rights” groups are crying foul.

Contrary to the legislative language of the motor voter law and the law’s enforcement history prior to the Obama administration, they disingenuously argue that it doesn’t permit Ohio to use voter inactivity as a proxy to purge the rolls in the absence of additional proof.

But they can’t, or won’t, specify what “reliable evidence” would be sufficient, which suggests they’re content to allow voter rolls to remain bloated with registrations that are no longer valid.

If six years isn’t long enough, what would be?

The most blatant example of just how tainted voting rolls are nationwide came Aug. 11, when National Review tabulated Census Bureau and Election Assistance Commission figures compiled by the Election Integrity Project of Judicial Watch, a nonprofit legal watchdog.

National Review calculated that there are at least 462 counties in the 38 states it examined “where the registration rate exceeded 100 percent” of the number of U.S. citizens of voting age living in those counties. More than 3.5 million of these so-called “ghost voters” are on the rolls, by its calculation.

Of course, no one wants any legitimate voter to show up at the polls on Election Day and be told that they’re not on the list, having been improperly disenfranchised.

As for the more than 2 million Ohio “voters” purged from the rolls since 2011, how many have had that happen to them?

Apparently, few, if any. We know this because Democrats would have made an issue of it, vociferously so, by now.

But the absence of any significant voter disenfranchisement didn’t deter the Commission on Civil Rights on Aug. 18 from disagreeing with what is really nothing more than the Trump Justice Department’s restoration of the status quo ante in the Ohio case.

On a majority vote, the commission said the administration’s move “opens the door to more aggressive and inaccurate purging of voter rolls, which can lead to widespread voter disenfranchisement and suppression of low-income communities and communities of color.”

The commission’s “slippery slope” opposition should come as no surprise, however, given its current makeup. Nominally bipartisan, the eight-member panel comprises four Democrats, three independents, and just one Republican—and four of the members, including its chairman, were appointed by Obama.

“This case is about maintaining the integrity of our elections,” Husted insists, “something that will be harder to do if elections officials are not able to properly maintain the voter rolls.”

What Democrats and their liberal interest-group allies really fear is that if the Supreme Court upholds Ohio’s right to clean up its voter rolls, as it should, other states would likely follow suit—as they should.

GOP Lawmakers Ask Jeff Sessions to End Operation Choke Point

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H/T The Daily Signal.

It is refreshing to see Attorney General Jeff Sessions restoring honor to the Department Of Justice by doing away with Obama’s disgraceful operations.

Five high-ranking House Republicans have asked formally that the Trump administration end Operation Choke Point, an Obama administration program that critics say unfairly targets politically unpopular industries such as firearms sellers and payday lenders.

In a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the four lawmakers request that the Justice Department “repudiate” the program by the end of the month.

“Operation Choke Point was an Obama administration initiative that destroyed legitimate businesses,” their letter says, adding:

We request that your respective departments and agencies issue clear and public formal policy statements repudiating Operation Choke Point and the abuses by financial regulators of the ‘reputation risk’ guidance they developed and promulgated under Operation Choke Point’s auspices.

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The letter’s five signers include Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Darrell Issa of California.

As reported extensively by The Daily Signal, the Obama Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder, designed Operation Choke Point in 2012 to “attack internet, telemarketing, mail, and other mass market fraud against consumers, by choking fraudsters’ access to the banking system.”

The program works by using federal banking regulators to pressure banks out of doing business with entire industries the government declares to be “high risk,” choking their access to the U.S. banking system.

But instead of simply targeting illegal, fraudulent businesses, the program also affected legal business owners, who complained they were being unfairly denied credit and losing access to third-party payment processors central to running their businesses.

Over the past two years, The Daily Signal documented multiple cases of banks’ denying legal business owners access to banking services.

In one case, a large New England bank denied a line of credit to a former police officer who started a gun and tactical business in Monroe, Connecticut, telling him in a voicemail message that the bank “no longer lends to firearms dealers.”

Operation Choke Point had such an adverse impact on the payday lending industry that the Community Financial Services Association of America, which represents some of the nation’s largest short-term lenders, such as Advance America, filed a lawsuit.

The suit named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the government agency responsible for creating a “high risk list” of industries to target. That list grouped categories such as “racist materials” and “credit card schemes” with “firearms” and “tobacco” sales.

In July, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that payday lenders may press forward with their lawsuit against the FDIC and begin the discovery phase. That phase allows the plaintiffs to depose government officials under oath and examine documents and emails related to the program.

“We are thrilled by the court’s order to enter the discovery phase, as this illegal federal program has been unduly harming legal entities for years,” Dennis Shaul, CEO of the Community Financial Services Association, said in a July press release. “It is high time that the government’s unlawful and unjust crusade against lawful and licensed businesses be stopped.”

n April 2016, one of President Barack Obama’s top Justice Department officials behind Operation Choke Point admitted the program had “unintended but collateral consequences” on banks and consumers.

The five Republican House members asked Sessions to respond with a “plan for remedial action” by the end of August.

Freedom Foundation Drains Union Membership Rolls by Promoting First Amendment

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H/T The  Daily Signal.

Every American will benefit when the backs of every union gets broken.

Union leaders in Washington state who plotted to undermine a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning mandatory union dues are now seeing the other end of that boot in the form of free speech activism and diminished membership.

It’s illegal to force individuals who provide health care services in private homes to pay union dues.

But the powerful Service Employees International Union partnered with compliant government officials to prevent the caregivers from understanding their First Amendment rights, according to the Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit think tank headquartered in Olympia, Washington.

More than 20,000 union members opted to leave SEIU affiliates in Washington state and Oregon, however, after an aggressive outreach involving door-to-door canvassing, targeted mailings, phone calls, and television commercials.

The Freedom Foundation’s Brian Minnich told The Daily Signal that payroll data obtained from the state of Oregon indicate 11,399 out of 28,667 home care providers no longer paid dues to the SEIU affiliate there. That’s a drop of almost 40 percent.

In Washington state, payroll data from April, the latest available, show 9,100 former members of SEIU and the Washington Federation of State Employees no longer paid dues.

Beginning in November 2014, the Freedom Foundation hired and trained dozens of canvassers to educate home-based health care aides about their constitutional rights, as affirmed in that year’s Supreme Court ruling Harris v. Quinn, Minnich said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

The high court ruled that unions such as SEIU, which represent “quasi-public employees,” may collect dues only when they are offered voluntarily.

Since these workers are considered public employees only for the purposes of collective bargaining, government agencies and the courts do not view them as full-fledged public employees.

“We are an action tank, not just a think tank, and our strategy has been to inform SEIU members of their free speech rights and to let them know they have certain rights, including the right to not join a union and pay dues,” said Minnich, executive vice president of the Freedom Foundation, adding:

This effort has been very successful and remains ongoing. In the past year alone, we have cost the SEIU union [in Washington state] more than $10 million. We’ve been able to calculate this figure based on the number of people we know who have left the union, and what this has cost the union in terms of lost revenue from dues.

There is also the amount of money the union has spent on legal fees. Their legal fees have been huge because they are fighting us, and that’s money that they can’t spend on politics.

In 2016, policy analysts at the Freedom Foundation estimate, the SEIU in Washington state spent nearly $1 million on private law firms, an amount largely devoted to litigation against the foundation.

Since the only state payroll data the foundation has for Oregon is from May, they say, it is difficult to quantify how much SEIU 503, based in Salem, Oregon, has lost in union dues since the Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn ruling.

But Maxford Nelsen, the Freedom Foundation’s director of labor policy, offered an educated guess.

“My math shows that SEIU 503 lost about $400,000 in dues in May alone,” Nelsen said. “That means they’re on the path to losing about $4.8 million per year.”

No Comment From Union

The Daily Signal sought comment more than 10 days ago from the SEIU affiliates in Washington state and Oregon on their litigation and other disputes with the foundation. They had not responded by publication deadline.

The individual care providers who have left SEIU include home-based health care aides who receive Medicaid payments in exchange for services to needy and disabled individuals, who typically are family members. They also include child care providers paid by the state to serve low-income families

The Freedom Foundation initiated its outreach efforts in November 2014 with direct mail, email, and phone calls focused on the 7,000 child care providers who were members of Seattle-based SEIU 925 at the time. The following summer, the foundation sent out canvassers to meet individually with child care providers.

As of this past spring, almost two-thirds of family or child care providers no longer were paying dues to SEIU 925, according to the foundation.

Outreach efforts directed at 35,000 home care aides represented by Seattle-based SEIU 775 as of last year proved to be more difficult.

SEIU 775 fought in court and in the Washington state Legislature to prevent the Department of Social and Health Services from releasing a list of home care aides and contact information to the Freedom Foundation.

In April 2016, a state appeals court ruled against SEIU 775, saying the information had to be disclosed under the state’s Public Records Act.

The union also had lobbied state lawmakers to amend that law in 2015 and 2016 so that contact information for the individual care providers would be exempt from public records requests. This effort also failed.

Ties to Governor 

In early 2016, the Freedom Foundation began to receive contact lists from sources inside SEIU, making it possible to do the outreach. In September, the foundation received an official list of providers from Washington state officials after the state Supreme Court declined to hear the union’s appeal.

A separate but related educational campaign connected Freedom Foundation activists with about 1,000 workers who help the disabled and provide translation services for speakers of other languages. They were part of the Washington Federation of State Employees.

SEIU 775 continues to block and frustrate educational initiatives aimed at increasing understanding of free speech rights, Nelsen told The Daily Signal. The union received “special treatment” from government officials who benefit from its campaign contributions, he said.

A foundation study called the “Undue Influence Report” pulls together campaign finance data. It shows that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, raked in almost $6 million from organized labor in his 2012 race for governor, compared with about $18,000 for his Republican opponent.

SEIU alone donated about $1.8 million to Inslee during the 2012 cycle.

“Union officials with the SEIU have implemented a comprehensive set of responses to Harris v. Quinn making it possible for them to skirt the law,” Nelsen said. “We have litigation challenging each of them, but it remains a tough fight given how well-connected the SEIU is with top government officials.”

SEIU 775 negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the Inslee administration that calls for union dues to be withheld automatically unless an individual caregiver explicitly states that he or she doesn’t want dues to be deducted.

“This means every caregiver has union dues deducted from their paycheck regardless of whether or not they have signed up for the union,” Nelsen said. “We know from court filings that there are thousands of individuals who are having union dues deducted without their authorization, which we think is illegal.”

Millions in Illegal Dues

David Dewhirst, a litigation counsel with the Freedom Foundation, estimates that SEIU 775 collects $3.5 million in illegal dues each year. Each home caregiver pays about $585 per year to the union, he said, and about 6,000 caregivers did not give written authorization to the union to deduct dues.

The foundation lost in the Supreme Court of Washington, however, when it argued in May that automatic deduction of dues violates state law.

The organization has pursued a federal lawsuit against the Inslee administration and SEIU 775, seeking, in Nelsen’s words, “to end the various illegal and coercive means by which [individual care providers] are signed up for union membership.”

The Daily Signal sought comment from Inslee, but did not receive a reply from the governor’s press office by publication deadline.

In response to the Harris ruling by the nation’s highest court, SEIU changed the fine print on its membership form. Now, those who sign the form can’t cancel membership dues unless they submit a written statement during a 15-day annual window from 30 to 45 days before the anniversary of the date they first signed.

Until recently, caregivers were required to attend union presentations delivered as part of their orientation process, administered through the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services.

Department officials were not permitted in the room while union officials delivered their pitch to incoming caregivers.

“We did file litigation that forced the SEIU and the state government to make the union portion of the orientation process voluntary,” Nelsen said. “This was a recent win, but we are still trying to address the fact that caregivers are not told that the union portion of their orientation is voluntary.”

Meanwhile, SEIU operatives fell back on what Nelsen describes as a “last-ditch effort” to prevent the Freedom Foundation from getting the names and contact information of caregivers—in the form of Initiative 1501, which won voter approval in November.

Unions advertised the initiative as a measure that would protect against identity theft, he said, but the real objective was to prevent the foundation from communicating with caregivers about their rights.

‘Playing Games’

The Freedom Foundation filed a federal suit challenging the constitutionality of Initiative 1501 under the U.S. Constitution’s First and 14th Amendments.

The measure violates caregivers’ First Amendment right of free association and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, foundation lawyers argue, because unions can get ahold of personal contact information for caregivers while denying it to others.

The Freedom Foundation, which marks its 26th anniversary this year, also has offices in Oregon and California, where it is expanding outreach efforts. Nelsen and other labor policy analysts also are eyeing legal developments in other states.

Minnesota, for instance, stands out as a particularly important test case. In that state, home caregivers accuse the local SEIU of forging signatures on union membership cards and committing voter fraud in a union election conducted by mail-in ballot.

New cases challenging mandatory union dues continue to work their way up to the Supreme Court.

Minnich, the foundation’s executive vice president, cautions against the idea that favorable Supreme Court rulings will resolve the problem of labor practices that suppress free speech without committed activism.

“There is a certain amount of thinking out there that says favorable Supreme Court rulings will solve this problem,” Minnich said. “But in fact, when you look at our state [Washington] and Oregon and California and Minnesota, the lesson here is that state government officials and unions will continue to play games.”

He added:

People are not going to know they have rights unless somebody is there to tell them that they don’t have to join a union and pay dues. Certainly, the union is not going to tell them that. What a favorable Supreme Court ruling really means is that our work is just beginning.

Trump Appoints More Judges in 200 Days Than Obama, Bush, Clinton


H/T The Daily Signal.

It is a shame Mitch McConnell doesn’t have the balls to do what needs to be done to get President Trump’s nominees to the judiciary approved.

President Donald Trump has moved quickly in trying to fill federal court vacancies, outpacing his immediate predecessors during the first 200 days in office in circuit and district court appointments.

To date, Trump has nominated 44 federal judges and scored eight confirmations, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Eleven of the president’s nominations are to circuit courts and 23 are to district courts. The nine others are to specialty courts such as the Court of Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the U.S. Tax Court.


While the Supreme Court was a paramount issue during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump entered office with about twice as many lower court vacancies as predecessor Barack Obama had—presenting an opportunity to reshape the federal bench.

The nation’s highest court hears only a limited number of cases, so appeals court judges and even district judges can have significant sway over judicial precedent.

By comparison, Obama nominated 15 district and 12 circuit nominees during his entire first year in office, as well as nominating Sonia Sotomayor to an open seat on the Supreme Court.

During that first year, Obama scored 10 confirmations by the Senate, including Sotomayor’s. In the first 200 days of 2009, he nominated only five appeals judges and four district judges.

Trump has taken some criticism for not filling executive branch jobs more quickly. But the same cannot be said for appointments to the judiciary, as he is also surpassing Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in the first 200 days.

Trump entered office Jan. 20 with 105 judicial vacancies, about twice as many as Obama’s 54 openings. And more judges have left the bench over the last half year, bringing the current number of vacancies to 138.

Last week, before going on a two-week “working vacation” at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump submitted a sixth wave of judicial candidates to the Senate, this time with 10 nominees. The Senate is in recess until after Labor Day.

Although Senate Democrats can’t block Trump appointees to judgeships through the filibuster, as they can with legislation, they have the ability to slow things down.

“When President Trump took office, he faced more judicial vacancies than four of his five predecessors (105), and, because of the obstruction and ridiculous delays Senate Democrats are imposing, there are now more vacancies than there were then (138),” Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the the conservative group Judicial Crisis Network, told The Daily Signal in an email.

The Senate has confirmed three appeals court nominees:

  • Amul Thapar to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, by a vote of 52-44 in May.
  • John K. Bush to the 6th Circuit by a vote of 51-47 in July.
  • Kevin Newsom to the 11th Circuit in Atlanta by a vote of 66-31 last week.

The vote on John Bush for the 6th Circuit was the most divided, prompting outrage from liberal groups such as Alliance for Justice.

“Today we’ve witnessed a new low for both the Senate and the federal judiciary. The GOP-led Senate has confirmed to the federal bench a person, John Bush, who has repeatedly denigrated LGBTQ Americans, women, the former President of the United States, and others, using coarse slurs and citing disreputable sources,” Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron said in a statement, adding:

The nomination was rammed through under pressure from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was the beneficiary of millions of dollars raised for his reelection campaign by Mr. Bush’s wife. We commend Democratic Senators who stood in opposition to this nominee; this whole deal reeks, and we feel for the litigants who will have to face Judge Bush in court someday.

In a later statement, Aron said Trump’s judicial nominees target the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

Senators voted unanimously in July to confirm David Nye to the U.S. District Court in Idaho. And in a voice vote last week on a a package of various Trump nominees, the Senate confirmed three judges to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: Michael P. Allen, Amanda L. Meredith, and Joseph L. Toth.

“President Trump and his allies in the Senate campaigned on the promise to remake our federal courts, and Senate Democrats are once again proving that they will do just about anything to keep liberal extremists in control of our courts,” Severino said.

During his first year in office, George W. Bush nominated 13 appeals court judges, but only two before his 200th day in 2001. The Democratically-controlled Senate confirmed six that year; the others had to wait until 2002.

Bush nominated 35 district judges in 2001, but only two during the first 200 days. The Senate confirmed 22 of the 35 that year.

Clinton, after securing Senate confirmation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the Supreme Court, moved on Aug. 6, 1993, to send three appeals court nominees and 11 district court nominations to the Senate.

By the end of 1993, Clinton had nominated five appellate judges and won three confirmations. He nominated 32 district judges, securing confirmation for 24 during that first year.

Trump supporters have good reason to be hopeful, said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

“During his time in office, President Obama appointed 38 percent of the federal judges in the country and was matched closely by George W. Bush,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

Von Spakovsky said he would like to see Trump have more influence on federal courts:

There is no question in my mind that the individuals Obama picked for the federal courts were the most radical, left-wing ideologues. We need Donald Trump, frankly, to counter that. The White House is looking for young people who will have long stays on the courts.

Democrats’ ‘Better Deal’ Proposals Would Make Americans Worse Off

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H/T The Daily Signal. 

Since the days of Emperor Franklin the first the DemocRats have been a bad deal for Americans and Americans.

On July 24, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi unveiled proposals by House Democrats to create “a better deal” for American families and workers.

Unfortunately, the press releases accompanying the launch of the “Better Deal” initiative outline general policies that would undermine economic opportunities for Americans and harm American consumers.

In other words, this initiative flunks basic truth in labeling standards. More accurately, it constitutes “a worse deal” for Americans.

Let’s see why.

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First, the initiative calls for “rais[ing] the wages and incomes of American workers and creat[ing] millions of good-paying jobs.”

To this end, it calls for government “investment” in job creation projects, “fighting back” against corporations that outsource American jobs, and “ensur[ing] a living wage” for all Americans—a proposal that suggests a higher government-set minimum wage.

But all of these suggestions would harm, not help, the American workforce. As Heritage Foundation research shows, government spending does not encourage private businesses to expand or entrepreneurs to start new firms—for instance, the 2009 fiscal stimulus did not boost employment.

Moreover, higher minimum wages merely price less-skilled entry-level workers out of the workforce, reducing the portion of Americans who work. “Fighting back” against corporations that outsource does not create an incentive for them to expand employment.

Rather, as Heritage scholar David Kreutzer put it, “the best wage [and employment] policy is a pro-growth economic environment. A vibrant economy increases wages and jobs at the same time.”

Key to a pro-jobs, pro-growth economic policy is a reduction in government burdens imposed on the private sector, through a variety of reforms highlighted by The Heritage Foundation’s “Solutions 2016” report.

These include preventing inefficient fiscal stimuluses, repealing regulations that drive up prices, eliminating unnecessary occupational licensing rules that bar capable people from the job market, repealing laws (including Obamacare and the harmful provisions of the Dodd-Frank banking law) that give rise to economically harmful regulations, and repealing the job-killing Davis-Bacon Act that requires federal construction contractors to pay union rates.

Tax reform to lower individual and business tax rates and simplify the tax code, also outlined by The Heritage Foundation, would further reduce disincentives to hiring.

The “Better Deal” proposal also urges reducing the cost of living for families by “lower[ing] the crippling cost of prescription drugs” and “cracking down on monopolies and the concentration of economic power.”

Unfortunately, the prescription drug proposal would empower the federal government to regulate drug prices, creating an enormous disincentive for U.S. pharmaceutical companies to investment in research and development, which is key to improving medical outcomes and discovering the cures of the future.

Thus, American medical care would worsen over time, and shortages would afflict price-controlled drugs—a very bad deal for all Americans.

In short, as Heritage Foundation research shows, legislated price controls for drugs—and for medical care in general—simply do not work.

Reforms of government regulatory overreach and other barriers to pharma competition (and to health care sector competition in general) are a better solution that would avoid this problem.

The notion that Americans would benefit from crackdowns on “monopolies” and “concentrations of economic power” also misses the mark.

As I explained in a recent commentary, this “Better Deal” proposal is nothing less than a meritless attack on the largely bipartisan, economically centered enforcement of American antitrust law that has prevailed over the last 30 years.

It rehashes the discredited “big is bad” arguments that were rejected decisively by economic research over 40 years ago.

In fact, prices of important consumer goods have fallen in relative terms in recent years, and quality has increased astronomically, particularly in the high tech sector—think smartphones, for instance.

Bringing antitrust challenges against many more business transactions, particularly mergers, would disincentivize efficient new commercial arrangements and slow innovation, harming consumers and producers alike.

>>> Check out The Heritage Foundation’s proposals on health caretaxes, and regulatory reform.

Finally, the “Better Deal” promises to “build an economy that gives working Americans the tools to succeed in the 21st century” through a grab bag of government initiatives—including tax incentives for workforce training and education, ensuring the spread of high-speed internet service, government apprenticeships for millions of new workers, and ensuring that “start-ups and small businesses can compete and prosper.”

But once again, the “Better Deal” is misguided in asserting that government can kick-start the economy by creating special regulatory and tax “breaks” for favored activity, such as apprenticeships, worker training, and the launching of specified new businesses.

The problem is not that government is doing too little to spark the economy, but rather that it is stifling the economy through overregulation and overtaxation.

Left to their own devices, free of excessive regulatory and tax burdens, businesses will have a strong incentive to start and grow their enterprises, hiring and training new workers in response to demand in the marketplace.

In sum, the congressional Democrats’ “Better Deal” initiative is correct to be concerned about the economic plight of many Americans, but its diagnosis and proposed cures are all wrong. It sees “inadequate” government involvement and proposes new public sector oversight, programs, and regulations.

It should focus instead on how to undo the regulatory mess and tax burdens that have sapped American economy vitality and kept too many Americans from pursuing the American dream.

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