Friday, May 21, 2021

Rand Paul Warns America: Time to ‘Wake Up’ to ‘Profound Repercussions’ of Biden’s Spending Binge

Senator Rand Paul
“There is [going to be] a time in which people wake up and say ‘the emperor has no clothes." 

by Brad Polumbo. Foundation for Economic Education, Thursday, May 20, 2021 - The federal government has broken the bank with an astounding $6+ trillion in (ostensibly) pandemic-related spending to date, and President Biden wants to spend trillions more. 

Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress have been too inconsistent on this issue to protest this spending binge in any meaningful way. But one of the few principled fiscal conservatives left in Washington, Senator Rand Paul, is warning Americans to “wake up” to the “profound repercussions” this big government blowout will have. 

In a Wednesday interview with Fox Business, Paul argued that mounting inflation levels are a serious cause for concern—not temporary, as proponents of big government insist.  His warning comes after new data show inflation is at a 12-year high, with price levels increasing, at minimum, 4.2% over the last year. 

 “When the [Federal Reserve] says this [inflation] is transitory, I think that's an excuse for government spending and borrowing,” the senator said. “It's sort of from the same kind of lexicon of ‘deficits don't matter.’” But our spending levels aren’t sustainable. “We added four or five trillion dollars’ worth of debt last year,” Paul added. “We're probably going to do the same again this year.” It’s more than just bad budgeting, the senator warned. 

“What you've caused is a massive misallocation of resources, a massive infusion of cash into the stock market.” “There is [going to be] a time in which people wake up and say ‘the emperor has no clothes,’” Paul said. “And at that moment in time, you will discover that there's a lot of capital that's gone in the wrong direction, that demand is exceeding supply... because we've disrupted the normal marketplace.”

Rand’s point about misdirected capital is a reference to the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, which explains how the creation of new money (generally by central banks like the Fed) causes distortions in the economy that must eventually be ironed out by a corrective “crash.” (For more on this, check out this FEE article by economist Jonathan Newman.) “I don't think it's as benign as people say it's going to be,” Senator Paul said. “I think [the spending blowout] is going to have profound repercussions—and that we're just getting started.”

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Does debt no longer matter? Why collect taxes at all? Remember when Jim Cooper was a budget hawk?

by Rod Williams - Many Republicans forgot all about the concern with cutting spending when it was not a priority with Donald Trump.  They did not say, "Hold on, what about the deficit," when Trump proposed new spending or a major tax cut that would not pay for itself. Republicans lost the moral authority to be outraged at Biden's reckless spending because they supported reckless spending under Trump.  Not that Trump's ballooning of the deficit was anywhere near as great as Biden's, but Republican outrage now seems selective. I guess that is why we are not hearing a lot of outgaged Republicans.

Remember that Donald Trump wanted the Federal Government to send every American $2000, in pandemic stimulus money, no questions asked?  This makes it more difficult for Republicans now to argue for austerity and balanced budgets.

And Democrats?  They have been big spenders forever.  However, there were, at one time a few Dems who cared about the deficit.  It is hard to believe it now, but at one time our own congressman, Jim Cooper, was a budget hawk.  He even kept a national debt clock in his office.  In 2009 he opposed the Obama stimulus package.  

As recent as 2009 Cooper wanted us to know that the President’s budget, and the subsequent Congressional budget, is based on "cash accounting" which ignores future commitments to retirees, the sick and the disabled. The path we’re on, said Cooper is “unsustainable,” and could even threaten our national security. He warned that the large federal debt forces our government to borrow large amounts of money from other nations to continue functioning. “We are the richest nation on earth, yet we have to borrow $1 billion every day from foreigners just to get by,” he said.

Well, what happened to that Jim Cooper?  Cooper now has endorsed Medicare for all and the Green New Deal.  This amounts to trillions in new spending with no means to pay for it.  Cooper no longer talks about the danger of deficit spending and the need for balanced budgets.  The National Debt Clock is no longer in his office.  Maybe Cooper has become a convert to Modern Monetarty Theory.  Or, maybe his desire to withstand a challenge from his left flank causes him to abandon his values. 

Democrats now have an intellectual fig leaf to cover their desire to spend whatever it takes to achieve their goals and the deficit be damned. That is Modern Monetary Theory.

MMT argues that government can spend all it wants because it can always create more money to pay off the debts. The theory suggests government spending can grow the economy to its full capacity, enrich the private sector, eliminate unemployment, and finance major programs such as universal healthcare, free college tuition, and green energy. If the spending generates a government deficit, this isn't a problem. The government's deficit is by definition the private sector's surplus. Increased government spending will not generate inflation as long as there is unused economic capacity or unemployed labor. 

This magic thinking with a sprinkle of fairy dust can justify unlimited government growth and spending.  I am not sure why we need to collect taxes at all if there is no downside to just creating all the money the government needs.  I can only assume the reason for taxes is redistribution to equalize wealth. 

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021


"Secretly-Funded Radical Extremists Aim to Disrupt Nashville," says supergroup composed of business interest, public sector unionist, and assorted liberal and woke progressive organizations. 

Save Nashville Now press release Nashville) - A broad coalition of community organizations, neighborhood leaders, small business-owners, taxpayers, homeowners, renters, faith leaders, educators and parents from across Nashville joined together today to announce the launch of Save Nashville Now.

This campaign will defeat a July 27th referendum that would result in drastic cuts to critical services, threaten the safety and security of residents, and hamper the city’s efforts to fully recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

“This is a very dangerous referendum,” Amanda Kail, president of the Metro Nashville Education Association, said in describing the referendum’s impact on education. “If this passes, our students will see drastic cuts to their schools, including fewer teachers, bigger class sizes, and major cuts to social and emotional supports, educational materials, athletics, school libraries, art and music programs, and career and technical education courses. We must vote no on July 27th.”

“This group funded by dark money threatens the quality of life in Nashville,” said Central Labor Council President Vonda McDaniel. “Rather than making needed investments in our city and neighborhoods, this referendum would make deep cuts to public safety and local government. It will be devastating to our quality of life if it passes.”

“Our city employees have been doing more with less every year as Nashville has grown. We are just now starting to be in a position to make the investments the city needs. This referendum will result in libraries, parks, and community centers closing,” said SEIU Local 205 President Brad Rayson. “We have to vote no on July 27th.”

The coalition also announced that the following local leaders, organizations and community groups will serve on the Save Nashville Now campaign committee:

Labor, safety, education and public employees 
  • The Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee 
  • International Firefighters International Association IFFA local 140 
  • Service Employees International Union Local 205 
  • Laborers International Union of North America Local 386 
  • Metro Nashville Education Association, NEA affiliate 
Faith groups 
  • IMF — International Ministerial Fellowship AMAC — American Muslim Advisory Council NOAH — Nashville Organizing for Action and Hope is a multi-faith organization with over 60 congregations and faith groups represented. Full list is here. 
  • Nashville Jewish Social Justice Roundtable 
Community groups 
  • The Equity Alliance Fund 
  • TIRRC Votes! 
  • A VOICE for the Reduction of Poverty 
  • Nashville for All of Us 
  • Stand Up 
Nashville Business groups 
  • Nashville Chamber of Commerce — President/CEO Ralph Shulz 
  • LGBT Chamber of Commerce — President/CEO Joe Wooley 
  • Nashville Business Coalition — President Joseph Woodson 
  • Nashville Visitor Convention Bureau — President Butch Spyridon 
  • Greater Nashville Realtors Association — President Jarron Springer 
  • Nashville Business Alliance – President Michael Carter 
“We care about the future of our city,” members of the committee said. “And we understand what’s at stake. That’s why we are coming together on behalf of our families, neighborhoods, and our most vulnerable residents to fight against this dangerous referendum. Nashville cannot afford to let these radical extremists win.”

As the author of A Disgruntled Republican I often post items that I think may be of interest to the conservative, Republican, libertarian or the greater community. Posting of a press release or an announcement of an event does not necessarily indicate an endorsement. Rod

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Nashville tax referendum tied up in court, again.

By Vivian Jones, The Center Square, May 17, 2021 – A referendum election on reforms to limit Nashville’s property tax rates, end lifetime benefits for public employees and make it easier for officials to be recalled is again held up in court. 

Davidson County election commissioners voted last week to send the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act to voters in a special election July 27. In response, the Metropolitan Government and a Nashville business PAC filed a lawsuit.  Election commissioners voted, 3-2, on Thursday to ask a judge to decide whether an alternative proposal from the Metro Council to maintain the Metro Charter should go to voters. 

The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, written by attorney Jim Roberts, is a slate of six reforms to the Metro Charter, on which 12,398 Davidson County voters have petitioned to hold a referendum election. 

Sparked by Nashville’s 34% property tax increase last year, voters petitioned for a referendum on a similar set reforms in 2020, and election commissioners, represented by Nashville School of Law Dean Bill Koch, asked a judge to decide whether an election should be held. Mayor John Cooper called the effort a “poison pill,” and threatened to cut city services such as trash pickup, school budgets and first responder staffing.  After a trial last fall, Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled the proposal was unconstitutional and prohibited an election. 

The 4 Good Government group, led by Roberts, decided to try again. Roberts again collected more than 14,000 signed voter petitions and delivered them to the Metro Clerk in March. After comparing them with voter signatures on file, Election Commission staff verified 12,398 signatures. 

Before the Davidson County Election Commission’s first organizational meeting with two new members, Metro’s Department of Law retained Koch to represent the Election Commission.

Commissioners found Metro’s retainer created a conflict of interest for Koch and voted to hire new, independent attorneys to advise the commission on the 4 Good Government matter. Commissioners then had to determine how many signatures are sufficient to trigger a referendum election and whether enough signatures were filed. According to the Metro Charter, signatures equal to 10% participation in the last general election are required to trigger an election. Based on the November election during which a special election was held for a school board vacancy, 31,212 signatures are needed. Based on the August general municipal election, 12,142 signatures are needed. 

Metro Legal Director Bob Cooper advised commissioners the November election should be the basis for determining the number of signatures needed. The commission’s new attorney, Vanderbilt Professor of Law Jim Blumstein, advised commissioners the August 2020 election should be the basis.

Commissioners voted unanimously to base signatures needed on the August election and found that sufficient signatures were filed. 

After hearing testimony opposing the petition from a member of the Metro Council, commissioners voted May 10 to send the issue to the public in a special election, to be held July 27. 

Mayor John Cooper called the effort an “unconstitutional attempt to sabotage our city using a California-style referendum.” “Nashville is solving big problems and making big investments in our future,” Cooper said. “The proposed amendment jeopardizes that important work. It threatens our ability to invest in teacher pay, to hire more first responders and to build more affordable housing.”

Less than 24 hours later, the Metro Government filed a lawsuit, claiming the petitioned reforms are unconstitutional, in bad form and insufficient signatures were filed. Separately, the Nashville Business Coalition, a pro-business PAC, also filed a lawsuit, asking for a judge to prohibit an election from taking place. 

The Metro Council unanimously voted last month to offer its own proposal for a public referendum that would maintain the parts of the Metro Charter affected by the 4 Good Government petition.

Commissioners voted Thursday evening to ask a judge whether the Council’s proposed amendment should go to voters.

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National Speakers To Address Critical Race Theory Taught in Williamson County Schools

Franklin, TN, Moms for LIberty, May 17, 2021 - The Williamson County chapter of Moms for Liberty will host “Critical Race Theory 101” on May 19 from 5-8 p.m. at Liberty Hall in the Factory, 230 Franklin Rd. in Franklin. 

Doors open at 4pm. Admission is free with food available for purchase. The event is designed to educate Williamson County parents about what Critical Race Theory (CRT) teaches children and how—despite recent legislation intended to keep CRT out of Tennessee schools—it has seeped into Williamson County Schools (WCS) via new curriculum and an anticipated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan up for adoption this summer. 

“Critical race theory claims to solve racial discrimination by promoting racial discrimination,” said Robin Steenman, head of Moms for Liberty’s Williamson County chapter. “It is based on inherently racist assumptions and views virtually every situation through the lens of race.” 

Steenman believes CRT indoctrination divides rather than unites by promoting race-based stereotypes. “School board member Eric Welch, Superintendent Jason Golden and others deny that CRT is being taught in Williamson County Schools. However, just because curriculum isn’t labeled CRT does not mean that its concepts aren’t being taught to impressionable and defenseless children,” Steenman noted.

She extended an invitation to the WCS school board, Superintendent Golden, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Dave Allen, county commissioners, aldermen and other public officials to attend the May 19 event and hear from a panel of experts, as well as a local parent, about their experiences with CRT. Like all attendees, they will have an opportunity to participate in the Q&A session. 

Williamson County Schools Approves CRT
In February the WCS board of education unanimously approved a contract with Fostering Healthy Solutions—a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion(DEI) firm—to help the school system develop a “cultural strategic plan.” It is well documented that DEI is another label for CRT, for which there are many labels to include “social justice”, “culturally responsive teaching,” “white privilege,” “cultural sensitivity training,” and “anti-racism.” 

“Far from providing positive solutions, CRT is destructive and divisive, which is why it is so important for Williamson County parents to understand exactly what is being taught to our children, sometimes in subtle ways, and the euphemistic language used to plant seeds that oppression and racism are everywhere,” Steenman said. 

“Curriculum that is repeatedly hyper-focused on division along racial lines is very harmful to young children who do not yet have the level of maturity or capacity to think critically, and this can have serious consequences” added Lori Fredhim, a member of Moms for Liberty-Williamson County.  “When elementary school kids come home from school and say they are ashamed of the color of their skin, it seems pretty clear they are being influenced by CRT ideology.” 

CRT101 Line Up 
The “CRT 101” speakers are as follows: 
  • Dr. Beth Meyers, independent research consultant and education advocate, who will address Wit and Wisdom (WCS K-5 curriculum, adopted last year). 
  • Robby Starbuck, a producer and director, who as a Latino-American father opposed to CRT and seeks to ban it nationally. 
  • Dr. Gary Thompson, doctor of clinical and forensic psychology and co-founder of Early Life Child Psychology, who will address the psychological effects that CRT has on the minds of children. 
  • Dr. Wenyuan Wu, executive director of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, a non-partisan and non-profit organization dedicated to the cause of equal rights. Dr. Wu taught CRT at the collegiate level and is considered an expert on the topic. 
The presentations will be followed by an audience Q&A session with the panel. 

Moms for Liberty is a national organization with chapters in 15 states. It exists to unify, educate and empower parents about various issues affecting public schools and students.

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Monday, May 17, 2021

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Against Cops Seizing Guns From People’s Homes Without a Warrant and Against Warrantless Entry.

by Rod Williams- Today was a victory for the Second Amendment and the Fourth Amendment.  In an outcome that should please advocates of the right to bear arms as well as advocates of police reform and a ruling that handed a defeat to the Biden Administration, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 against cops seizing guns from people’s homes without a warrant.  In the article below from March, when the case was argued before the court, Hannah Cox explains this case. 

Biden Administration Argues for Warrantless Home Entry and Gun Seizures Before the Supreme Court a Year After Breonna Taylor’s Death 

Hannah Cox
by Hannah Cox, Foundation for Economic Education, Thursday, March 25, 2021 -
In a case argued before the US Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Biden Administration, along with attorneys general from nine states, submitted arguments asking the justices to uphold warrantless home entry and gun confiscation by police. 

The case stems from a domestic dispute between an elderly married couple, Edward and Kim Caniglia. After an intense argument between the two that led to Edward dramatically telling his wife to shoot him with one of his handguns, Kim left the home to spend the night in a hotel. The next day she was unable to reach her husband and became concerned. She reached out to police for a wellness check and an escort back to the home. But upon their arrival, police manipulated Edward into a psychiatric evaluation even though officers admitted in their incident report that he “seemed normal” and “was calm for the most part.” 

The police officers then lied to Mrs. Caniglia and told her Mr. Caniglia agreed to confiscation of his weapons. Even though Edwards was promptly released from the hospital, he was only able to regain his property after filing a civil rights lawsuit. 

How Are Warrantless Seizures Okay? 

Police in the case relied upon a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment called “community caretaking.” This exception is a half-century old Supreme Court-created doctrine designed for cases involving impounded cars and highway safety. Essentially it was meant to give law enforcement a legal way to remove cars from the side of the interstate or clear wrecks. 

While the First Circuit US Court of Appeals acknowledged the doctrine’s reach outside the context of motor vehicles is “ill-defined,” it upheld the arguments in this case and allowed the exception to extend to private homes. 

In its finding the Court states that this exception is  “designed to give police elbow room to take appropriate action.” But attorneys for Caniglia argue that extending the community caretaking exception to private homes would be an assault on the Fourth Amendment and would grant police a blank check to intrude upon the home. 

An amicus brief filed by the ACLU, the Cato Institute, and the American Conservative Union agreed with the attorneys and pointed to jurisdictions that have extended such provisions leading to warrantless invasions of homes for things like loud music or leaky pipes. 

Potential Problems 

One does not need to have a long memory to understand exactly how such permissions could go awry. For anyone who has paid attention to the news cycle over the past year, it is jarring to see a Democratic administration argue for warrantless home entry and gun seizures merely one year after Breonna Taylor’s death. 

Taylor was killed in her home by police after a no-knock entry (tied to a falsified warrant) led to cops spraying her apartment (and surrounding ones) with bullets. Taylor’s boyfriend, believing the home was being broken into by criminals during the middle of the night, fired in defense and was originally charged in the case (all charges were later dropped and he is suing the department). 

The case created a national firestorm that elevated conversations around Second Amendment rights and self-defense, no-knock warrants, Fourth Amendment protections, and the need for policing reform and accountability. If such atrocities occurred under our current laws, it is pretty scary to imagine what law enforcement might get away with should the Biden administration get its way in this case. 

Such arguments before the Supreme Court show that for many progressives their admirable instinct to restrict police power quickly goes out the window when they see an opportunity to chip away at gun rights. This is severely misguided. A cursory overlook of the justice system’s operations reveals that the expansion of police powers almost always impacts marginalized communities more harshly— communities the Democrats claim to stand for. 

In a 2016 speech on the Senate floor, Senator Tim Scott (R, SC) spoke about his own experience with racial bias in policing as a black man in this country. “In the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement,” Scott said. “Not four, not five, not six, but seven times in one year as an elected official.” 

There is no reason to think that an extension of the community care exception would not have the same effect on communities of color. To cite just one study out of hundreds, the US Sentencing Commission found that when it comes to federal gun crimes, black people are more likely to be arrested, more likely to get longer sentences for similar crimes, and more likely to get sentencing enhancements. 

If the Supreme Court upholds the administration’s argument, it is not difficult to predict which communities will be impacted the most by this new expansion. Progressives are not the only ones experiencing a disconnect in principles at the moment either. Many Republicans were surprised in recent months to see police departments readily enforce unconstitutional lockdowns—carting business owners off to jail and fining law-abiding people who simply wanted to go to work. 

Likely, the majority on the right will be aghast at the arguments presented in this case and their clear violation of both our Second and Fourth Amendment rights. But it should not escape them who is arguing for these violations, nor who would ultimately enforce them. 

In another amicus brief filed by the public interest litigation giant, the Institute for Justice, attorneys argued “The Fourth Amendment protects our right to be secure in our property, which means the right to be free from fear that the police will enter your house without warning or authorization. A rule that allows police to burst into your home without a warrant whenever they feel they are acting as ‘community caretakers’ is a threat to everyone’s security.” 

The Breonna Taylor case should have been a turning point in our nation’s history and spurred legislation that would strengthen and uphold our essential individual rights and restrict police power. Many hoped it would be the final straw that brought an end to egregious practices like no-knock warrants. Instead, despite much public outcry and demand, we continue to see politicians on both sides of the aisle push for increased police power and an erosion of our right to be secure in our homes and our property. 

Former Congressman Justin Amash (L-MI) said protection from warrantless searches is central to the Bill of Rights. “The warrant requirement isn’t optional; it’s at the heart of the Fourth Amendment,” Amash told FEE. “Treating the Fourth Amendment as though it flatly permits searches and seizures that seem ‘reasonable’ in the eyes of government officials, regardless of whether a warrant has been obtained, drains it of its purpose: protecting the right of the people to be secure in their persons and property.” 

Make no mistake, this is among the most appalling attacks on our fundamental rights and way of life currently occurring. It is an attack on property rights, on our right to self-defense, and on our right to privacy, and if it is allowed there will be gross violations of individuals as a repercussion. It is vitally important to remember that police brutality is a direct consequence of a government that has grown too big and powerful. The more power we give to the government and its agents, the more prone it is to abuse. It’s time we address the root cause of the problem and put the government back in its place.

Hannah Cox is the Content Manager and Brand Ambassador for the Foundation for Economic Education. Formerly she resided in Nashville where she was Director of Outreach for the Beacon Center of Tennessee.

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