Sunday, July 13th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy
Here is our latest op-ed advocating for suspension of all foreign aid to the Palestinians. Read the full piece at Investor’s Business Daily.
Now that we live in a post-constitutional era, there will always be sharp political debates over the role of the federal government and what we choose to fund with taxpayer dollars.
But can’t we all agree that there is no benefit to sending $500 million to the Palestinian Authority? What national interests does it serve for us to fund ruthless terrorists?
While aid to the PA should have been cut off years ago, the recent unity pact with Hamas, which is responsible for murdering three Israeli teens, should serve as the last straw even for the most naive foreign service workers at the State Department.
Under current law, given that Hamas is designated as an official terror group, they should immediately suspend aid. However, inasmuch as this administration will never follow the law, Congress should move directly to cut off aid.
According to the Congressional Research Service, we have sent roughly $5 billion to the Palestinian government since the mid 1990s. Our annual aid has fluctuated a bit, but has hovered around $500 million per year.
Moreover, at roughly $275 million a year, the U.S. is the largest donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, a multinational group that has long harbored Palestinian terrorists under the guise of humanitarian aid.
It’s time for Congress to stop playing the Palestinian game. The notion that Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah gang are any better than Hamas has always been absurd. Just last week, Israel National News reported that Fatah has declared full solidarity with Hamas and Islamic Jihad by declaring the Palestinian Authority and Hamas share “one goal.”
A post on the official Facebook page of Abbas’ Fatah faction showed a picture of terrorists in the military wings of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, featuring the words “brothers-in-arms: one G-d, one homeland, one enemy, one goal.”
Hence, the liberal foreign policy establishment can no longer attempt to decipher between uniformed terrorists and “suit” terrorists.
Thankfully, a number of rank-and-file Republicans have already taken the initiative to cut off aid. Reps. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., have introduced a resolution to bar all aid to the Palestinians under any circumstances.
Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Immigration
When it comes to intellectual and moral dyslexia, the ACLU never disappoints our expectations of their absurdity. Yesterday, the ACLU and the American Immigration Council filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of some of the recent illegal immigrants accusing the federal government of denying them legal counsel. They are trying to use the courts to compel the Justice Department to providing the illegal children with taxpayer-funded legal services.
The irony of this lawsuit is that the Justice Department is indeed providing taxpayer-provided legal services to these illegals – and it is against the law! Last month, Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would be providing young illegal entering deportation proceedings with 100 lawyers and paralegals through the Corporation for National and Community Service. But as the Heritage Foundation has already noted, Section 1229a(b)(4)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act explicitly bars legal services to illegal aliens that are provided at government expense.
As maddening as this ACLU lawsuit is, conservatives should let this serve as an ominous warning against cutting a deal with Democrats who claim they support enforcement first.
The notion that we are going to grant amnesty once again before securing our borders is so absurd that even the most militant followers of this dogma are forced to outwardly reject it. Even Senator John McCain and Lindsey Graham are now touting the importance of doing enforcement first. But as we’ve painfully learned over the past few years, their version of “enforcement first” means passing an amnesty bill that promises enforcement before legalization.
At its heart, our border crisis is not a legislative problem, it is an executive problem. We have had successive administrations, culminating with the current malfeasant president, who have refused to follow the laws on the books. Therefore, any promises to secure the border without actually waiting to see if those new laws are implemented, will only lead to a perennial cycle of amnesty and open borders.
But there is one more important angle to the order of operations – even to the extent that one can think amnesty is ever a good idea. Not only do we need an administration that actually implements the laws on the books, we need to wait a number of years thereafter to even consider any legalization.
We cannot forget the most powerful branch of government – the judiciary.
Even if we had an administration that preserved our sovereignty and implemented the said enforcement measures, we will still have to contend with the courts. The illegal immigration lobby has unlimited resources and access to truculent pro-bono lawyers. They will litigate every aspect of enforcement; from workplace enforcement and visa tracking to reforms to our welfare system and birthright citizenship status. They will even challenge construction of a border fence on environmental grounds, and have already done so in the past.
Sadly, judges all over the country have already thrown out enforcement measures across the country. Hence, by granting amnesty before these laws are given time to succeed in court, we run the risk of repeating the mistakes of the past.
The alacrity of the ACLU to create chaos and encourage lawlessness is just one more reason why we need to bury any discussion of amnesty for a very long time.
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy
After years of controlling most of our transportation policy from Washington, there is no longer enough money in the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), to cover the cost of construction projects for the remainder of the year. Naturally, instead of looking for policy changes to solve the problem, such as returning transportation authority to the states, repealing Davis-Bacon wage mandates, and cutting mass transit funding, the politicians in both parties are reverting to their comfort zone. They are doubling down on our failed federal transportation system by either proposing new taxes or increasing spending to cover the projected $16 billion annual shortfall in the trust fund.
With the August 1st deadline looming, when the DOT is expected to cut back on federal funding for projects, the House and Senate are now working on two short-term patches. Short-term fixes would be palpable if they were used to make structural policy changes in the long-run. However, as is the case with most reauthorizations, both parties are looking for immediate notional spending offsets so they can plan a long-term package that either increases taxes or spending on a failed system.
The House proposal, HR 5021, sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), would plug the shortfall in the HTF through May 2015 by using a combination of notional and superfluous offsets that have been trotted out as an accounting gimmick for many reauthorization bills in recent years. The projected $10.9 billion cost would be “offset” by extending custom fees for another year in 2024 – 10 years from now. Additionally, the bill would “save money” by extending a “pension smoothing” provision for taxpayer-backed pension insurance for another few years.
The pension smoothing provision is one of the most laughable budget gimmicks, yet it has been trotted out as a savior every time Congress wants to increase spending. This plan allows corporations to cut the level of payments into the retirement funds backed by the taxpayer-funded Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). By allowing companies to contribute less to pensions, they are entitled to less tax deductions, and in turn, incur a higher tax liability. That tortured labyrinth of projected new revenue, estimated at $6.4 billion over 10 years, is what will be used to offset the new highway spending.
Not only is this intangible 10-year offset for a 10-month expenditure reflective of the most absurd budget tricks in Washington – it is also bad policy.
Typically, when interest rates decline to the levels we have seen in recent years, companies must contribute more to their pension funds to ensure that the principle compounds enough for them to meet their overall obligation to retirees. If we lower the threshold for minimum contributions, taxpayers will likely be on the hook to bail out underfunded pensions in the coming years.
Alternatively, if companies are able to fill in the pension gaps in the coming years to compensate for the short-term underpayments, it will create a rubber-band effect on federal revenue. They will be entitled to increases in tax deduction commensurate with their added pension contributions, thereby voiding out the potential revenue increase being used as an offset in this bill. Garbage in, garbage out.
If Congress is committed to kicking the can down the road with a short-term extension, they should just be honest with the taxpayers and drop the phony offsets from the bill.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Immigration
Should an arsonist be granted money to repair and “deal with the crisis” he helped create after starting the fire in the first place? That is the question House Republicans should ask in response to President Obama’s request for $2 billion to deal with the border crisis.
Presidential requests for supplemental appropriations usually come on the heels of natural disasters or other catastrophic events. But as we’ve known for some time, the border crisis is not a natural disaster; it is a man-made crisis which Obama’s DHS now admits was the result, in large part, of widespread suspensions in deportations over the past few years. The collective result of Obama’s public declaration of independence from immigration enforcement has telegraphed an unambiguous message to Central American countries that America is open to any and all forms of illegal immigration. The word spread quickly, and it is now apparent that the administration has been gearing up for this invasion for quite some time.
Should this same administration now be granted another $3.8 billion, which will largely go towards caring for the illegal immigrants rather than repatriating them to their countries of origin?
Instead of playing defense, it’s time for House Republicans to go on offense and use their Article I powers to control the existing funds allocated to the DHS and HHS in order to ensure that our sovereignty as a nation is preserved. The supplemental request should be rejected outright, while Republicans should condition all existing funding to the relevant agencies to focus on enforcement, instead of subsidizing the illegal invasion. Any new funding granted to Obama will only encourage more of this behavior, which will, in turn, serve as a bailout for the drug cartels and human traffickers.
Republicans must place the following conditions on the next DHS appropriations bill:
- No funding shall be used to transport aliens to the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement. This will force DHS to have ICE immediately proceed to deportations.
- Obama’s DACA program must be completely defunded. It is quite clear that the blank check for illegal immigrant children is fueling this massive new wave across the border.
- All those who arrive under the current surge from Central America should be barred from being granted refugee or asylum status.
- The 700-mile border fence must be completed.
The answer to a raging fire is to first stop pouring on the gasoline. We need a change in policy, not more taxpayer funding to support the government-sponsored arson.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Elections, News, Press
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC made the following statement supporting Sen. Cruz’s call for a full investigation into the June 24, Mississippi U.S. Senate runoff election:
“We fully support Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and his call for a full investigation into the Mississippi U.S. Senate runoff election,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “The fact that a sitting U.S. Senator, who is a vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), is calling for an investigation shows how deeply troubling and volatile this situation truly is.
“Sen. Cruz knows that his call for an investigation will not be well received by the NRSC, especially in light of the fact that they were involved in some of the underhanded tactics employed by the Cochran campaign, but free and fair elections are paramount to the success of the Republic. We support Sen. Cruz’s commitment to the truth and the integrity of elections, and his willingness to ignore the political ramifications that accompany the quest for truth.”
Monday, July 7th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Elections
During the course of a protracted and contentious campaign, every candidate will invariably flub a media interview or make a public gaffe. However, nobody has mastered the art of the Freudian slip this cycle like Pat Roberts.
Pat Roberts has spent the past year – ever since Milton Wolf announced his intention to challenge him – remaking his political philosophy and his voting record. Much like Orrin Hatch in 2012, Roberts has forged a shot-gun marriage with conservatives. He has even touted his A score from Heritage Action in a TV ad. He’s moved so far to the right that those who are susceptible to political amnesia are scoffing at our effort to replace him.
Last week, Roberts let down his guard on two occasions in a way that even the most gullible conservative will see straight though his election-year conversion. First he retweeted a message from one of his supporters suggesting that Milton Wolf is a racist. Unless Roberts or one of his staffers had itchy fingers, this retweet is quite revealing, especially given what just happened in Mississippi. We all know that deep down and in private settings, the GOP establishment politicians express these sentiments about their own base on a daily basis.
That same day, when challenged on a radio show about his tenuous connection to the state he represents, Roberts reassured the listeners by saying “every time I get an opponent, uh, I mean every time I get a chance I’m home.”
Even his opponents could not have given a more apt description of the Roberts modus operandi. Throughout his tenure, Roberts had been a typical establishment Republican who views his base as nothing more than a bunch of racists who need to be pandered to before election time, especially when there is an opponent.
As we noted last year when we endorsed Milton Wolf:
More importantly, even the foxhole conversion is a result of Milton’s bold and articulate voice in Kansas as a primary challenger. Just weeks before he signed the Mike Lee letter, Roberts expressed his skepticism of the strategy at a tele-townhall. He noted that “it’s a lot harder than it used to be but, my hand is still out there stretched out across the aisle.” At the same event on July 29, Roberts referred to the Fair Tax as a “scheme.” After Milton announced his candidacy, Roberts became a supporter. Most interesting, Roberts has called for Sebelius to resign. This is an unambiguous admission that his 2013 voting record is a form of pandering, not principled leadership.
It is quite clear that if we fail to rally behind Milton over the next few weeks, the next six years of Pat Roberts will look a lot different than this past year.
Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Immigration
On this day 238 years ago, the Continental Congress adopted the 1338-word Declaration of Independence in which we declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
11 years later, as Benjamin Franklin left Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention crafted the new constitution, he was reportedly asked by a lady, “well doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” He famously replied, “a republic, if you can keep it.”
Sadly, many of us are spending this 4th of July wondering if our Founders would recognize that republic – that beacon of freedom built upon a strong civil society and ordered liberty. So many ordinary Americans feel our republic is long lost to a foreign socialist utopia centrally managed by an elitist oligarchy in the form of two corrupt political parties.
This small minority of radicals has completely vitiated our most fundamental characteristic as a republic – our sovereign borders. We are now languishing from the flood of over 100,000 illegal immigrants teaming over our southern border, adding to the millions of illegals already here. At stake is nothing less than the preservation of our civil society, sovereignty, and solvency as a nation and as a stable economy. They drain our resources, health care, education, and criminal justice system.
Our veterans are suffering waiting for care under single-payer health care, while private health care providers are being forced to provide immediate treatment to illegal aliens and are being threatened with arrest for speaking out against the threat of diseases. Border agents protecting our republic are now being sued by illegal immigrants for doing their jobs.
We feel like strangers in our own country.
Even without the illegal invasion, our republic is hanging on by a thread.
Almost every American is involuntarily subservient to the federal government for his or her retirement security and healthcare. Over 46 million people, and one-in-four children, rely upon government for food stamps. Under the new Obamacare mandates, an estimated 79 million Americans will be enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. This culture of dependency, an anathema to our spirit of independence, has saddled us with over $1 million in debt and unfunded obligations for every American taxpayer.
Meanwhile, ordered liberty in a constitutional republic needs a strong civil society and strong families in order to thrive, much like fish in water. Yet, the cultural degeneration, promulgated and encouraged by this small societal elite, has permeated every aspect of American life – to the extent that those of us who adhere to traditional family values are now ostracized and castigated. We have reached the point where we need a group of unelected judges to grant us small morsels of religious liberty from their high benches in Washington. The small minority who push this invidious anti-family agenda now seek to eradicate the very existence of gender to the degree that private individuals and businesses are now being forces to accommodate bizarre and licentious practices.
The “Republican” Party was supposed to serve as the bulwark against attempts to supplant our republican form of government, yet they have become part and parcel of the problem. Decades’ worth of treachery directed towards the party faithful from its leadership has finally culminated with the Mississippi election last week. A long-serving Republican, with the blessing of the entire party establishment, engaged in fraud and race-baiting to repudiate his own party base and steal the election.
We are now living through the worst consequences of elective despotism that James Madison warned about in Federalist 48. Indeed we are strangers in our own country and in our own party.
But thankfully, as we celebrate another Independence Day, there are signs that the original zeal for constitutional governance and freedom still runs through the veins and DNA of so many Americans. We have witnessed ordinary citizens risking their careers and reputation to challenge the entrenched political class with almost no funding and very little resources. Most of them came up short on the first try, but so many of them came close and have succeeded in exposing the duplicitous career politicians.
This revolution culminated with an ordinary college teacher knocking off the sitting House majority leader in a primary while being outspent 42 to 1. Even amidst the darkness of Mississippi, we see the light of the massive conservative majority that turned out to vote for Chris McDaniel, rising up against the state bosses who very well might have stolen the election.
These are some of the darkest days for our Republic, but that darkness has rekindled the burning light for freedom that has been our inheritance since 1776. We must harness this time of despair and use it as an opportunity to rise up in another non-violent revolution to restore our republic.
Let’s party like it’s 1776.
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Immigration
As we celebrate the 238th anniversary of our Independence, many Americans are wondering if we are indeed an independent nation with sovereign borders. Have we become strangers in our own land?
Yesterday, two very disturbing stories concerning our border crisis surfaced in the news. These stories should put goose bumps on all Americans.
Fox News’ Todd Starnes broke the news yesterday that a private security force contracted by the government had threatened doctors working at a refugee camp from disclosing information about the rampant illness among the illegal immigrants.
“There were several of us who wanted to talk about the camps, but the agents made it clear we would be arrested,” a psychiatric counselor told [Starnes]. “We were under orders not to say anything.”
The sources said workers were guarded by a security force from the Baptist Family & Children’s Services, which the Department of Health and Human Services hired to run the Lackland Camp.
The sources say security forces called themselves the “Brown Shirts.”
“It was a very submissive atmosphere,” the counselor said. “Once you stepped onto the grounds, you abided by their laws – the Brown Shirt laws.”
She said the workers were stripped of their cellphones and other communication devices. Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired.
So now we have the HHS hiring a charity group, which somehow has access to its own security force?
What is the government hiding and why don’t they want the public to know about the contagious diseases that were let through our porous borders?
With this in mind, let’s move onto the second story from yesterday. Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) attempted to visit the HHS refugee camp set up at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma and was completely rebuffed by agents of the department.
“I approached a security guard and asked to speak with the manager of the facility. The guard called his supervisor who said no visitors were allowed. I asked if they were aware that I am a Member of Congress. Eventually the manager came out and said that I would have to go through HHS legislative affairs and that the first chance to visit would be July 21st.
What are they trying to hide? Do they not want the children to speak with Members of Congress? As a Navy pilot, I have been involved in operations countering illicit human trafficking. I would like to know to whom these children are being released,” said Bridenstine in a press release.
We now have a situation in which the Obama administration’s policies engendered a new wave of illegal immigration, they clearly knew about the wave for months, and are in complete control over how taxpayer dollars are spent dealing with this man-made crisis. There is something wrong with this picture. Why is Congress being shut out of the process? Is this what our Founder’s envisioned when they declared independence from a king in 1776?
Thankfully, the American people are fighting back. On Tuesday, a group of patriotic Americans blocked the path of a bus attempting to drop off 140 illegal aliens in Murrieta, California. Now it’s time for Congress to fight back and reassert its constitutional mandate against an imperial president who has already promised to exacerbate his open border policy.
Here are some immediate steps Republicans in the House can take:
- Pass Rep. Randy Weber’s (R-TX) bill, the Illegal Entry Accountability Act of 2014, which would suspend aid to Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador until Congress determines that sufficient action is taken to keep their citizens from flooding out country.
- Change the statutes regarding children of illegal immigrants from Central America and treat them like migrants from Mexico who must be returned to their country of origin within 48 hours. Congress should bar DHS from transferring them to HHS and instead proceed immediately to repatriation.
- Bar DHS or HHS from using commercial transportation to transport illegals to reduce risk of spread of contagious diseases. Congress should also demand an immediate report from CDC on the public health threat posed by the new influx of illegals over the border.
- Most importantly, Congress must reassert control over the power of the purse and use the budget process, particularly the bills appropriating funds for DHS and the HHS, to stop Obama’s lawlessness. They should cut salaries of top DHS officials until the double-layered fence is complete, pursuant to the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
It’s high time for ‘We the People’ to take back our government and our sovereignty from a small group of elites in Washington. It is these elites and their unconstitutional ideas that should feel foreign in this great land, not law-abiding Americans. What better way to celebrate Independence Day?
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Immigration
Over the past few weeks, we have called upon Congress to hold those countries in Central America responsible for repatriating their citizens who are flooding our southern border. Now, Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) has taken up the mantle. Congressman Weber has introduced H.R. 5014, the Illegal Entry Accountability Act of 2014, which would suspend aid to Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador until Congress determines that sufficient action is taken to keep their citizens from flooding out country. Here’s what I wrote the other day at Breitbart about our potential to use foreign aid as an incentive for these countries to obey and respect our sovereignty:
According to the Congressional Research Service, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras receive $65.2 million, $22.3 million, and $41.9 million in foreign aid respectively. Some more funds are funneled to these countries through sundry programs run by the State Department, such as the Western Hemisphere Regional program. Moreover, it’s time for Congress to start holding Mexico accountable for their unwillingness to stop the flow from their side of the border. It’s hard to imagine how hundreds of thousands of children from Central America can march straight through their country and across our southern border without some degree of cooperation from the Mexican government. Perhaps some sort of deterrent can be attached to their foreign aid, which topped $200 million last year.
This flow of illegal immigration is not the result of a natural disaster. They were not blown over the border by a wind storm. There is clearly a concerted plan to export their poverty to our shores. Thousands of young children cannot leave a country without the governments taking notice. It’s time we force them to confront their own problems instead of shirking their responsibilities and saddling the American taxpayer with the cost. Read More
Monday, June 30th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Family Values, News
In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s final decisions for this term, conservatives appear jubilant in apparently winning two key court cases. In Harris v. Quinn, the high court ruled 5-4 that a group of home health care providers who work for a state government cannot be coerced into providing financial support for a public sector union. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the court ruled 5-4 against Obamacare’s contraception mandate, which would have forced a privately owned business to provide abortion and contraception-related health care coverage to its employees.
Indeed this is great news for religious liberty, as these decisions were both one vote from going the other way.
But therein lies the problem.
Why should bedrock inalienable rights pursuant to natural law and nature’s God be subject to the whims of nine justices in black robes? Why should we have to wait with baited breath on Twitter, wondering if our right to uphold our religious beliefs will be preserved? Remember, four justices clearly held that government can coerce a private company into providing any service that violates our rights. This should scare us all.
Moreover, to the extent that we place our rights and destiny into the hands of the remaining five justices, their decisions were quite narrow in scope. In the Hobby Lobby case, the majority ruling only covered “closely held private corporations.” Hence, until any future ruling is handed down on more expansive grounds, the government can still coerce religious institutions, non-profits, and publicly-traded corporations to provide abortifacients.
Furthermore, the decision only applied to contraception coverage and no other forms of religious liberty. The justices made it clear that coercion to accommodate gay marriages or other “ENDA style” mandates could be fair game.
We are supposed to rejoice over the fact that a narrow set of businesses were spared from the worst form of coercion? I guess so. Sadly, it could have been worse.
In the Harris case, while the court ruled against the coercion of home health care workers to join a union, they declined to uphold the natural rights of any worker to work freely – unfettered by unions. Why should any worker, particularly government workers who are funded by taxpayers, be coerced into supporting the circuitous Democrat campaign finance operation through unions?
There’s something fundamentally wrong that we now live in a time when we must wait for a new court case in order to preserve all areas of liberty – religious or anything else.
So was this a good day at the court? Sadly, yes. We are at the point when a day like today is reason to rejoice.
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