Trump Should Have Vetoed the Omnibus Budget Bill

Trump Should Have Vetoed the Omnibus Budget Bill

The President’s signing of the 2018 omnibus spending bill is a stain on his otherwise stellar record. This is in many respects a betrayal of the Republican Party’s voter base.  The party of “so-called” fiscal responsibility may have just committed the worst act of wasteful spending in a generation.

Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky has become the leading spokesperson for the few remaining fiscal hawks within the conservative wing of the Party.  His YouTube video offered a line-by-line reference to the waste found in the omnibus bill, and accurately describing it as a betrayal of fiscal conservatism and the voters who sent Republicans to Washington.  He joked about a very serious matter:  we are paying for a wall to be built in Jordan and Tunisia to stop the flow of illegals, but not Trump’s wall on the border with Mexico.  You could not make this up if you tried.

A bill so full of pork spending and swamp-level deficits provides too many unnecessary spending items to count.  But we have assembled our top ten worst wasteful projects for our taxpayer dollars.

TOP 10 WORST LINE-ITEMS OF WASTEFUL SPENDING OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS IN THE 2018 OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL:

  1. Japanese Quail Study – $350,000.00 to fund injecting cocaine into Japanese quail to learn if it increases their sexual activity … our money (tax dollars) well spent.

 

  1. $218 million for “Promoting Democracy Development in Europe.” Yes, that Europe, which rarely agrees with us, almost always argues with us, and where democracy was started in the first place.  Our defense commitment is enough to let them pay for socialized medicine, let them pay for their own democracy promotion.

 

  1. $500 million for Planned Parenthood. It is illegal for tax dollars to fund abortion.  Planned Parenthood performs abortion with this money.  They say don’t, but money is fungible … in fact they do.

 

  1. $15 million in developmental assistance to China. You read that correctly – the world’s 2nd largest economy and a potential enemy is receiving grant money from the US – and that is not made up.

 

  1. $500+ million funding – not for our wall! The defense department is authorized to build walls in Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt to keep illegals out, but not a wall to protect Americans from criminals and terrorists.

 

  1. $2 billion+ … or more … Funding for sanctuary cities. This includes federal benefits to illegal immigrants.

 

  1. $1.6 billion to relocate refugees into the United States. Are you serious?  How much do you think it is going to cost to care for all these people once we have them here?  (Didn’t Donald Trump campaign against this?)  What the heck is going on?

 

  1. $1.7 billion to maintain empty federal buildings. There are 770,000 empty buildings around the world owned by the federal government that are being maintained by the taxpayer.  Here is a novel idea – sell them.

 

  1. $2 billion+ to fund Obama Stimulus Bill shovel-ready projects.   Seriously?  Funding a grants program from the Obama Stimulus Bill which has not produced substantial numbers of new roads, new bridges, and has only provided money to speculative green energy projects, it is a classic pork barrel waste of taxpayer dollars. (Can anyone show us a completed road or project … we don’t think so).

 

  1. $1.4 billion to fund Apple and others. Import-Export Bank is funded again.  Taxpayers loaning money to multi-national corporations like Apple to help them import iPhones and sell them to us for $1,000 a piece (Apple says that’s not the case – but if not, where did the $1.4 billion go … who’s steering the ship?).

 

There are other high value wasteful line-items, but these were our current top ten.  Please respond with your Top Ten!

Your government, that is $20 trillion in debt and who grows in size and malignancy every day, just got worse. And electing Republicans and Trump did not even slow it down.  That creates fiscal danger. There is no better reason to have your own personal money protected from those market swings. Give us a call today at 877-912-1919.

Obama Policies: Trump Still Needs to Fix

Obama Policies: Trump Still Needs to Fix

The Obama Era of massive government regulation and high taxes was supposed to be reversed with the election of Donald Trump.  While President Trump has changed many of the business-stifling policies from the previous Administration, there still remains much to be done.

Many of the Trump campaign promises remain unfulfilled, but they were going to require Congressional action anyways.  The most prominent of these was Obamacare, which Congress failed to repeal after 7 years of promises (since the election of 2010).  But there are several campaign promises coming true, such as the cancellation of the US participation in the Paris Climate Accord.

Let’s take a look at the major policies from the previous Administration that have been undone, as well as those that remain in place:

I. Obama-era policies that have been reversed by the Trump Administration:

  1. Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord. While climate change alarmists screamed to the high-heavens, Trump’s withdrawal from this global accord was the correct move on many fronts:  (A) it required the US taxpayer to transfer billions to third world countries to help with climate mitigation;  (B) it exempted China – the world’s worst carbon emitter – for decades;  and, (C) it was in form and content a “treaty,” which requires the Senate to advise and consent to the treaty … which Obama did not do.  So, for every legal and practical reason possible, withdrawal was the only legal and moral decision to make.
  2. Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Keeping his promises to workers throughout the rust belt, who rightly feel that the establishment sold out their jobs and their futures to foreign trade deals, Trump issued an Executive Order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TIPP) negotiations.  This was not as controversial as the Climate Accord since many Democrats opposed TIPP as well.  Conservative foreign policy hawks were and are concerned that we are not thinking about the broader global competition with China, and the need to counter economic alliances the Chinese are forming throughout the globe.  But for Trump, this was a non-starter:  we hold all the cards, so let’s deal from a position of strength.
  3. Net Neutrality reversed. Nice, fair sounding name, which confused much of the public.  However, “Net Neutrality” was an Obama policy to police the internet using 19th and early 20th century utility laws.  The internet, which had functioned without government interference since its launch in the early ‘90’s, was suddenly under the command of the US government using laws that were drafted to manage the railroads.  Obviously, the Trump appointment to the Federal Communications Commission cast the deciding vote to reverse this woeful decision to regulate what did not need regulating.

There have been many other reversals which have lessened the load on the taxpayer and removed the intrusive government intervention into the lives of small business owners, the tax payer, and the marketplace.

There also remains several important policy areas where the public is, and was, expecting action:

II. Obama-era policies that remain intact and that have yet to be reversed by the Trump Administration:

  1. Obamacare. The largest singular undertaking to socialize the US healthcare industry … and to do so in the worst way – high taxes, zero choices, mandated participation … remains intact.  Republicans had promised since 2010 that given the opportunity they would repeal Obamacare.  Trump agreed, and remains waiting for a bill to sign.  But once given both the House and the Senate, combined with Trump in the White House, a few Republicans in name only (RINO’s) in the Senate changed their mind, and did not vote for repeal.  Still, Trump has been successful at chipping away at the law – the individual mandate, the contraceptive mandate, and the court-ruled illegal payments to insurance companies have all been eliminated.
  2. DACA and Sanctuary-Fugitive Cities. Much has been made of Trump’s deportation efforts through ICE raids throughout the country.  Despite the uptick in deportations, and a limited decline in illegals attempting to cross the border, the southern border remains porous and illegals remain domiciled at unheard of numbers here in the US.  DACA was rescinded by executive order, but so far, Trump has not begun a deportation process for the so-called dreamers.  The lawlessness of sanctuary cities remain – threatening the safety and security of all Americans, and the secessionist acts of the loony-leftists in California is a daily headline.   A great deal more would need to be done to even put a dent in our “open borders” policies from the Obama era.
  3. Iran deal remains intact, for now.  Trump decertified the Iran Nuclear deal in October of 2017, but we still remain a signatory and have not moved to withdraw from it….at least not yet.  In January the Administration announced new sanctions on several Iranian entities and of all the Obama-era policies not yet reversed, this seems to be the most likely to be done so sooner rather than later.  Whether one agrees with Trump or not, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been a disaster for America.  Another Obama era “agreement” not submitted to the Senate for ratification, much of the turmoil in the Middle East was directly related to Obama’s negotiation of this agreement…..the chaos in Syria, the return and empowerment of Russia, Iranian military supplies easily transported to Hezbollah to threaten Israel, the loss of Iraq completely to Iran, $1.5 billion of frozen Iranian assets here in the US that was sent back to Iran … you could not have made this up in a movie and anyone believed you.  Having said that, Trump’s rhetoric suggests that despite not having been reversed yet, it is only a matter of time before it will be.

There is much that remains to be done of the Trump agenda, and it will be heavy-lifting given the president’s level of distraction.  But he is off to a good start, and the country needs him to succeed.

National Security is More Important than Free Trade

National Security is More Important than Free Trade

Much has been written on the proposed tariff increase President Trump announced last week, but substantial changes in trade policy are occurring across many areas of government policy.  The most recent being the Trump Administration’s blocking of the merger between Singapore-based Broadcom and US company Qualcomm.  Broadcom is Chinese-owned, and the specific reason for the blocked merger was not a secret – the Trump Administration publicly stated it was for national security reasons, to prevent US technology from being transferred into Chinese control.

It was the second such tech cancellation of the Trump Presidency and it was a clear signal that Chinese companies will not easily merge, or purchase, US corporate interests.  Intellectual property will be protected … US technology will be protected … and national security will be the principal reason behind those decisions.

This has roused the free-traders on the right.  Some have referred to the collective actions taken by the Trump Administration as bumbling into a “Trade War”. Others have reminded the pundit-class that this is the antithesis of conservative policy making – free trade, not protectionism, is the preferred Republican practice.  Let the market determine these deals, they say.

But is this the beginnings of a trade war, or the actions of a President who believes in fair trade?  Can free trade exist without such trades being fair to both sides, and is a trade war necessary to protect US national security and national interests?  Preventing the sale or merger of US companies and their proprietary technology may result in retaliation, but does national security trump international mergers and acquisitions?

This is not a new question for US Presidents …

 

 Top 7 Global Business Transactions Which Put US National Security at Risk:

  1.  Loral Satellite technology – 1995. When thinking of former President Bill Clinton, and his wife and former candidate herself Hilary Clinton, the only words that can ever come to mind is corrupt.  So, it was in 1995 – while investigating the illegal sale of stolen US nuclear warhead designs by a US scientist known as Wen Ho Lee – a Chinese national who had become a naturalized US citizen, the FBI stumbled upon the case of Loral Technology.  The Chinese had illegally obtained control chips from Loral earlier in the year, and this was discovered during the Wen Ho Lee investigation.  Indictments?  Jail time?  Nope, the Clinton Administration approved the sale of Loral Satellite technology to the Chinese later that year.  Within a few short years, buried in the pages beneath the Lewinsky scandal and impeachment, Chinese money was discovered flowing into both Clinton’s 1996 campaign and Al Gore’s 2000 Presidential campaign.  Gore at least gave the money back.  Key Result:  We failed to protect US interests.
  2.  Uranium One sends US uranium to Russia – 2013. Well, they claim it hasn’t gone to Russia yet.  Books can be written – and have – detailing the levels of technology transfer to our enemies which have occurred under Democratic administrations, but nothing takes the cake like a Clinton scandal.  While the issue has been polarized through social media, the known facts are, by themselves, damnable.  After receiving a $500,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation from the CEO of Uranium-One, the State Department and the Obama White House finally signed off on the sale of 20% of the mining company’s assets to Russian state-owned interests in the form of the ROSATOM corporation.  It technically precludes the transfer of uranium out of the US, and only allows for 20% of the profits from the company’s ongoing business.  Few believe that allowing Russian access to US uranium mines was a reasonable, nor wise, decision.  Key Result:  We failed to protect US interests.
  3. Obama blocks sale of German chip maker Aixtron – 2016. In one of the rare instances of protecting US interests, the Obama Administration blocked the sale of Aixtron, a German company with majority US shareholders and assets, which made computer chips with military applications.  As the Treasury Department said at the time:   “The national security risk posed by the transaction relates, among other things, to the military applications of the overall technical body of knowledge and experience of Aixtron, a producer and innovator of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and technology, and the contribution of Aixtron’s US business to that body of knowledge and experience.”  In other words – it’s our stuff, and to allow the Chinese to get it would put us at risk.  Key Result:  We protected US National Security.
  4.  George H.W. Bush unwinds sale of Seattle aircraft company MAMCO – 1990. This was a rare event and unprecedented, as the sale had already gone through.  Once the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) made their ruling, the Chinese International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) had already completed their purchase of MAMCO – a US airplane manufacturer.  The Bush Administration ordered the divestiture of the company on national security grounds, and reversed the transaction.  Key Result:  We protected US National Security.
  5.  Bush 43 prevents takeover of Dubai Ports World – 2005. At the height of the war on terror, there was grave concern over another attack occurring, and one of the major points of interest appeared to be US ports.  Dubai Ports World was the winning bid to serve as the primary Port management company through the US and abroad.  While the Bush Administration initially approved the purchase rights, political pressure began to mount as the deal became public.  Eventually, Bush rescinded the approval and the deal fell through.  Key Result:  We protected US National Security.
  6.  3com purchase by Huawei – financed by Bain capital – 2008. Huawei – a Chinese company – is the 3rd largest smartphone maker in the world, behind Apple and Samsung.  There attempts to buy US based 3com in 2008 was shot down by the Bush administration for fear of US tech falling into the hands of the Chinese military.  Huawei also had a recent attempt to purchase AT&T fall through (2017).  While the deal was not prevented by the US government, there was rumors of a great deal of political pressure being applied to AT&T behind the scenes to cancel the talks.  Huawei apparently had an indirect impact on the Qualcomm deal the Trump Administration just blocked:  Huawei is the leading competitor with Qualcomm to be the first into the market with 5G technology.  If Qualcomm had been bought by Broadcom, it was believed this would have reduced R&D expenditure on 5G tech, leaving the US without a domestic supply and market dominance to the Chinese through Huawei.  Key Result:  We protected US National Security.
  7.  Trump stops Broadcom-Qualcomm merger – 2018. A critical national security decision, as seen above, the Trump Administration signaled to China that US technology will no longer be so readily available in the market place – and virtually all US technology could have a “dual-use” military purpose.  Key Result:  We protected US National Security.

Combined with Trump’s tough trade rhetoric and increased tariffs, it is clear the Administration is taking a more confrontational course with our largest trading partner, and largest economic competitor – China.  While free trade purists and China’s government spokesmen warn of a looming trade war, Trump properly protects US national security interests.  It is also quite possible that the man many in the mainstream media make fun of as not a very smart or forward thinking could just be playing on a bigger chessboard than our journalists.  Tough trade action is long over-due; stopping technology transfers is a fair warning regarding intellectual property … these could be the moves that brings about a trade deal which protects US companies, and forces China to the table on national security issues like North Korea.

The “Art of the Deal” never looked so good.

Call now to discuss principal protection for your portfolio! 877-912-1919