The teacher was trying to explain what media bias looks like. Fox News was the only media example she used (because no other media outlets are biased, dontcha know?). FYI, snarky Wonka memes are an example of TEACHER bias, not media bias.
This is so typical. I remember from my “Critical Thinking” class in college, I could tell you exactly how the textbook authors and teachers voted by the end of the class. Their bias was that obvious. Â Â Of course, you expect that now in universities, but it’s already seeped down to grades K-12.
A mother at a Wisconsin public school said her daughterâ€™s eighth grade class was assigned a worksheet with some eyebrow-raising definitions for â€œconservatismâ€ and â€œliberalism.â€
Conservatism, it stated in part, believes in â€œpreserving traditional moral values by restricting personal freedomsâ€ while liberalism is for â€œequality and personal freedom for everyone.â€
â€œThis is indoctrination,â€ Tamra Varebrook, a Republican activist in Racine, Wis., told TheBlaze on Thursday after her 13-year-old daughter showed her the crossword-style vocabulary sheet from Union Grove Elementary School earlier this week.
In New York, students were asked to write an essay from the Nazi perspective of “Why Jews Are Evil”:
An unnamed English teacher at Albany High School who wanted to “challenge” his/her students to “formulate a persuasive argument” tasked them withÂ writing an essay about why “Jews are evil,”Â as if they were trying to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty. One third of the class refused, and the principal has apologized while insisting that there wasn’t any “malice or intent to cause any insensitivities to our families of JewishÂ faith.”
The words are written in crayon, in the haphazard bumpiness of a childâ€™s scrawl.
â€œI am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure.â€
Theyâ€™re the words that Florida father Aaron Harvey was stunned to find his fourth-grade son had written, after a lesson in school about the Constitution.
Harveyâ€™s son attends Cedar Hills Elementary in Jacksonville, Fla. Back in January, a local attorney came in to teach the students about the Bill of Rights. But after the attorney left, fourth-grade teacher Cheryl Sabb dictated the sentence to part of the class and had them copy it down, he said.
If you think these are isolated incidents that would never happen at your child’s school, think again. Â These are just the more blatantly obvious ones that happened to get caught. Â The real indoctrination happens far moreÂ subtly, through half-truths and omissions, false assumptions, stories that manipulate the emotions and pressure to agree with the teacher and follow the crowd. Â Day after day, year after year, they slowly break down the child’s resistance to their view of the world.
The liberal strategy for indoctrinating children is rather simple: it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Â They teach revisionist history and Marxist ideology, make up excuses and promise “we’ll look into it” when the initial outrage arises, and then move right along as the protests die down. Â Even if they’re stopped temporarily, they never give up.
In a unit of high school world history, the online material students areÂ givenÂ is essentially a paean to the greatness of Islam and its founder, Mohammed.
One portion involves open-ended discussion of the merits of the hijab â€” the face and body covering worn by many Muslim women (and under threat of arrest in Saudi Arabia and Iran). Perhaps high school students think the hijab is â€œfreeing because it prevents others from making them into sexual objects.â€ Or perhaps they think the hijab suggests that â€œwomen need to be obscured so as not to arouse male desire.â€ Either way, itâ€™s fine.
The widespread and ordinary mistreatment of women in Islamic countries â€” particularly Arab ones â€” is ignored. Texas high schoolers donâ€™t learn, for example, that Jordan and other Islamic kingdoms have laws thatÂ pardonÂ rapists if an arrangement can be reached for rapists and their victims to get married.
2. Christianity is a cult
Another portion of the materials on Islam lists several specific lessons that Muslims take from the example of Islamâ€™s founder, such as â€œBe respectful of other religions.â€ Strangely, there does not appear to be any such lesson focused on, say, Moses or Jesus Christ.
Instead, the materials in another world history lessonÂ informÂ students that Christianity is a cult that parallels the death and resurrection in the story of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead. The same material takes pains to point out that early Christians were accused of incest, cannibalism and other atrocities.
3. Communism is awesome
An illustration in a CSCOPE high school world history handoutÂ showsÂ a figure with a trekking pole climbing steps made out of money. A chart immediately to the right concerns â€œbig ideasâ€ in 18th- and 19th-century economic thinking. At the bottom of the chart is free-market capitalism, where â€œall people strive to fulfill their own needs and wants,â€ and where government control and planning are low.
In the middle is socialism, where â€œthe big thingsâ€ in society (e.g., â€œtelephones, roads, airportsâ€) are â€œowned by the people.â€ â€œCan you think of other big stuff that should be covered?â€ the chart asks. (Note the loaded verb, â€œshould.â€)
At the top of the chart is communism, which the CSCOPE creators innocuously describe as â€œthe idea of living together in a â€˜communeâ€™ where all people work together for everyone.â€ The chart manages to insult the Marxist vision of communism as well, by suggesting that government control and planning is highest under the system.
There is no mention of theÂ nearly 100 million peopleÂ who died in the 20th century under various self-described communist regimes around the world.
4. Hey kids! Letâ€™s make communist flags
â€œImagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag,â€Â readÂ the instructions from an activity that directs sixth graders to design a socialist or communist flag. â€œUse symbolism to represent aspects of socialism/communism on your flag.â€
In the same lesson, students are also instructed that socialist utopian Robert Owen wanted to â€œgive every child born into the world an equal chance to live and grow and to lead a happy life.â€
No mention is made of the two socialist utopias Owen attempted to create, or how they ended up disastrously failed and disease-ridden.
5. The Boston Tea Party was a terrorist attack
A CSCOPE high school world history lesson planÂ Texas-schools-teach-boston-tea-party-as-act-of-terrorism/”>depicts the Boston Tea Party, the famous protest against taxation without representation, as an act of terrorism.
â€œA local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nationâ€™s busiest port,â€ the part of the curriculum pertaining to the Boston Tea Party reads. â€œAlthough no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities.â€
The seeds have already been in a child’s mind, whether or not a parent objects with the material and tries to explain the truth to their child later. Â The child cannot unsee or unhear what he has been taught. Â He’s now trying to decide who to believe: mom and dad, or the teacher. Â Unfortunately, most students eventually begin to agree with the material being taught. Â Why? Â Because they are told that the older, “unenlightened” generation (i.e., parent) is probably too “close-minded” or doesn’t have all the facts of “new discoveries,” but they’re the young ones who know better. Â Nothing like stroking an ignorant kid’s ego to get him to swallow the bait.
Historian David Barton Breaks Down CSCOPE on the Glenn Beck show:
To glean greater insight, Glenn Beck invited special guests David Barton and Pat Gray, along with teachers Mary Bowen, Stan Hartzler and Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick to discuss what is truly going on within their stateâ€™s education system.
Barton explained that CSCOPE is referred to as â€œinstructional materialâ€ and not â€œcurriculum,â€ therefore is not subject to regulation by the State Board of Education. The historian alsoÂ brought in artifacts of Texas public school curriculum to showcase just how different it is today and to mark, year-by-year, the increasing application of political correctness in lesson plans.
Using a chart, Barton documented and mapped out core CSCOPE material, which eliminatesÂ national values, Americanism or rather, American exceptionalism, the study of federalism and majority rule (the core of our constitution) along with patriotic symbols like the Liberty Bell. Christopher Columbus, Rosh Hashanah and Christmas are all relegated to the dustbin along with American militaryÂ history. Equality and a belief in justice is replaced by â€œfairnessâ€ and instruction on American propaganda and imperialism.
Disturbingly, Beck and Barton noted that the worst is yet to come. Showcasing a lesson plan for grades 1-3, Barton revealed CSCOPEâ€™s list of â€œheroes,â€ which comprises a dozen secular progressives and only three conservatives or political moderates.
Â According to a previousÂ reportÂ from TheBlaze, teachers complained that they were expected to deliver the curriculum verbatim and only on days allotted by the CSCOPE lesson plan. Even if students were unable to absorb the lesson, teachers were allegedly directed to progress to the next lesson regardless. TheBlaze also reported that teachers were â€œasked to sign a contract that would prevent them from revealing what was in the CSCOPE lessons or face civil and criminal penalties.â€
On Nov.7, the day after President Barack Obama was re-elected, the White Houseâ€™s website receivedÂ a petitionÂ asking the administration to allow Louisiana to secede.
IfÂ 25,000 people sign the petition by Dec. 7, it will â€œrequire a responseâ€ from the Obama administration, according to published rules ofÂ the White Houseâ€™s onlineÂ â€œWe the Peopleâ€Â program.
The Louisiana petition has collected more than 12,300 signatures in four days.Â A separate effort from Texas has 15,400 supporters.
Similar petitions from 18 other states began arriving Nov. 9, bringing the total â€” for the moment â€” to 20.
The Obama administration is moving to shut down nine Border Patrol stations across four states, triggering a backlash from local law enforcement, members of Congress and Border Patrol agents themselves.
Critics of the move warn the closures will undercut efforts to intercept drug and human traffickers in well-traveled corridors north of the U.S.-Mexico border.Â Though the affected stations are scattered throughout northern and central Texas, and three other states, the coverage areas still see plenty of illegal immigrant activity — one soon-to-be-shuttered station in Amarillo, Texas, is right in the middle of the I-40 corridor; another in Riverside, Calif., is outside Los Angeles.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it’s closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border.
“These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America’s borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally,” CBP spokesman Bill Brooks said in a statement. “By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission.”
But at least one Border Patrol supervisor in Texas has called on local officers to “voice your concerns” to elected officials, warning that the “deactivation” will remove agents from the Texas Panhandle, among other places. Several members of Congress have asked Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher to reconsider the plan. And local officials are getting worried about what will happen once the Border Patrol leaves town, since they rely on those federal officials to assist in making immigration arrests.
“It could impact us tremendously since we’ve only got two agents up here now for 26 counties,” Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas told FoxNews.com.
A prosecutor has decided to pursue and possibly charge members of El Paso area churches who promoted petitions opposing the city administrationâ€™s decision to implement benefits for same-sex partners even after voters decided not to allow that.
The result is an emergency appeal to the state Supreme Court by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, which has been working on the freedom of speech dispute.
The organization today warned that hundreds of Christians and other El Paso citizens â€œare facing jail time for exercising their constitutionally protected right to speak out against Mayor John Cookâ€™s policies.â€
The issue arose when voters in November 2010 placed on the ballot and passed an ordinance prohibiting unmarried domestic partner benefits in their city.
Several members of the city council refused to follow the will of the vote, and voted to rescind the ordinance approved by voters. The mayor joined in the effort.
That produced a grassroots recall campaign seeking to remove the mayor and council members who violated the will of the people.
The mayor subsequently sued Tom Brown Ministries, Word of Life Church of El Paso, El Pasoans for Traditional Family Values and other local citizens who circulated recall petitions. He cited a Texas election law, arguing that it prohibits churches from circulating a petition.
While ADF attorneys have filed a separate federal suit against the law to have it declared unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds, a state judge denied Cookâ€™s request to order the election halted.
Then the Court of Appeals for the 8th District took up the mayorâ€™s cause and ordered the election stopped and the petition signatures decertified. Almost immediately, El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza subpoenaed the petitions and convened a grand jury to proceed with possible criminal indictment of those behind the petition effort.
That leaves those who worked on petitions expressing their opposition to the decision by the mayor and council to ignore the votersâ€™ intentions subject to criminal charges, the ADF said.
â€œEl Paso citizens should not live in fear of being arrested and jailed for exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech,â€ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster, who argued before the appeals court on Jan. 24 in Cook v. Tom Brown Ministries.
â€œWe have more than 250 signed affidavits from local citizens who are terrified that they may go to jail for their legitimate political and free speech efforts. This is America, and the mayor canâ€™t be allowed to put his opponents in jail just because he doesnâ€™t like the fact that they participated in a valid effort that he doesnâ€™t favor,â€ said Oster.
Even if it were, however, we must remember that our first duty is to Christ â€“ to speak the truth, defend the defenseless and stand up for righteousness, no matter what. The church is called to be salt and light, not tax exempt.
The Obama administration has been quietly withdrawing the majority of the 1,200 National Guard troops assigned to the U.S./Mexican border in 2010. After January, less than 300 troops will reportedly remain in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas combined.
According to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), only 14 troops will remain along Californiaâ€™s border with Mexico.
The administration is pulling the troops seemingly in spite of a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) report that paints a very frightening picture for law enforcement along the Southwest border.
In September, the DOJâ€™s 2011 Drug Market Analysis for Arizona stated Mexican drug cartels â€œhave begun to threaten local police officers to deter their enforcement activities. Violent criminal groups often referred to as border bandits, rip crews, or bajadores, operate along trafficking corridors in remote locations, preying upon law enforcement officers and smugglers who transit their territories.â€
Yesterday, I received a press release from my home stateâ€™s government boasting about $5 million in federal â€œbonusesâ€ it was awarded – for its success and efficiency in adding more people to its entitlement program and supporting them with tax dollars.
Oregon’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, has again ranked among the best in the nation, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week, the release says.
The state earned one award for ensuring that people eligible for food benefits receive them and a second recognition for its swift processing of applications. The two awards combined bring a $5 million performance bonus to Oregon.
This is the fifth consecutive year Oregon has been recognized for exceptional administration of the SNAP program. But, it’s the first time Oregon has earned a timeliness bonus. SNAP is administered by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS).
The press release goes on to describe how the number of Oregon residents dependent on this government program has skyrocketed:
â€œSince July 2008, the demand for SNAP in Oregon increased more than 60 percent. In August 2011, about 785,000 Oregonians received benefits, meaning that about one in five Oregonians receive food stamp benefits.â€
DailyCaller: The EPA is asking taxpayers to fund up toÂ 230,000 new government workers to process all the extra paperwork, at an estimatedÂ costÂ of $21 billion. That cost does not include the economic impact of the regulations themselves.
â€œHiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year,â€ the EPA wrote in the court brief.
So while the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) as well as Â Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) rules are going to wreak havoc on places like Texas, destroy the coal industry, and ultimately force power bills to increase almost as quickly as energy sector jobs are shed, the United States government will be embarking on its own jobs initiative: 230,000 freshly minted pencil-pushingÂ bureaucrats!
As stated above, these new jobs would serve the purpose of enforcing all of the new regulations under the Clean Air Act Â which was created by the EPA in 2009. Â So why are courts involved? Â Because the EPA is deliberately violating the very Clean Air Act they are intending to enforce.
EPA studied and considered the breadth and depth of the projected administrative burdens in the Tailoring Rule. There, EPA explained that immediately applying the literal PSD statutory threshold of 100/250 tpy (tons per year) to greenhouse gas emissions, when coupled with the â€œany increaseâ€ trigger for modificationsâ€¦would result in annual PSD permit applications submitted to State and local permitting agencies to increase nationwide from 280 to over 81,000 per year, a 300-fold increaseâ€¦Following a comprehensive analysis, EPA estimated that these additional PSD permit applications would require State permitting authorities to add 10,000 full-time employees and incur additional costs of $1.5 billion per year just to process these applications, a 130-fold increase in the costs to States of administering the PSD programâ€¦.Sources needing operating permits would jump from 14,700 to 6.1 million as a result of application of Title V to greenhouse gases, a 400-fold increase.â€¦Hiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year.Â [Bold added.]
In summary, they canâ€™t keep up with regulating something that they volunteered to regulate, so rather than reconsidering the law, they are just breaking it. Â And while theyâ€™re breaking it, they are requesting that taxpayers (you know, the people who donâ€™t have the option to simply break laws that are overly burdensome) have to fork over $21 billion so the EPA can hire enoughÂ bureaucratsÂ to handle the absolutely ridiculous hours it would take to regulate all of the carbon dioxide in America.
Even the EPA acknowledges that itâ€™s all pretty insane:
While EPA acknowledges thatÂ come 2016, the administrative burdens may still be so great that compliance at the 100/250 tpy level may still beabsurdÂ or impossibleÂ to administer at that time, that does not mean that the Agency is not moving toward the statutory thresholds. To the contrary, through this regulatory processÂ â€œEPA intends to require full compliance with the CAA applicability provisions of the PSD and Title V programsâ€¦.â€â€¦(explaining that EPA will implement the tailored approach â€œby applying PSD and Title V at threshold levels that are as close to the statutory levels as possible, and do so as quickly as possibleâ€¦.â€).[Bold added]
And yet, they are pushing forward, requesting enough employees to process the 6,085,300 new permit applications from companies needing to stay in compliance by hiring enough people to fill 1.4 billion hours of work with every single hour financed by the very tax payer they themselves seem to admit they are overburdening.
Hereâ€™s hoping that the EPAâ€™s inability to comply with its own standards will create some type of a wake up call within the CentralÂ Bureaucracy. Â Somehow I doubt it.
But, earlier this month, Dr. Robert Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research meteorologist, who served as the lead author of the U.S. Climate Change Science Plan Synthesis and Assessment, clearly and emphatically dispelled the notion that climate change has anything to do with droughts in Texas.
“This is not the new normal in terms of drought. Texas knows drought. Texas has been toughened on the anvil of droughts that have come and gone,â€ Hoerling said.
As a preface, sometimes it helps to have been â€œon the other sideâ€ when trying to determine what the unionsâ€™ game plan is within the Obama Administration. What you are about to read comes from having been on the other side and, quite frankly, putting two and two together. And, if you are not alarmed when you finish reading this, you should be, because there may be something much more sinister afoot at the Department of Labor than most people realize.
There has been one sentence, more than others, in the Department of Laborâ€™sÂ 160-page proposed ruleÂ change that indicates the DOLâ€™sÂ expansion of the definition of â€˜persuaderâ€™ to mean just about any vendor who has anything to do directlyÂ or indirectlyÂ with an employerâ€™s relationship with employees since activities mayÂ implicitlyÂ influence the decisions of employees with regard in the exercise of their rights in the workplace.
Until now, however, one part of the sentence has been overlooked which, unless addressed, may cause individuals great harmâ€”literally,Â physical harm.
Here is the operative sentence [emphasis added]:
An employer and consultant each must file a report concerning an agreement or arrangement pursuant to which the consultant engages in activities that have as a directÂ or indirectÂ object to, explicitlyÂ or implicitly, influence the decisions of employees with respect to forming, joining or assisting a union, collective bargaining, orÂ any protected concerted activity (such as a strike)Â in the workplace. [PageÂ 68 & 69]
One of the problems that unions have had for years is that their effectiveness to wage successful strikes has been diminished because employers choose to operate their businesses through the use of outsourcing or the hiring of replacement workers. While much of the blame has been aimed at Ronald Reaganâ€™s use ofÂ Jimmy Carterâ€™s strike planduring the air traffic controllersâ€™ strike, the reality is,Â since 1938, employers have always had the right to permanently replace economic strikers. While employers do not always choose to permanently replace strikers, many employers do hire temporary replacement workers during strikes.
For example, on Thursday, up to 23,000 registered nurses in California will be striking 34 hospitals. Those hospitals that choose to operate will beÂ bringing replacement nurses inÂ to run theirÂ facilities. Â Those replacement nurses are likely independent contractors hired by firms contracted by the hospitals to help them tend to their patients.
Although the strike is for one day, many hospitals have informed union leaders they will prevent striking workers from returning until Sept. 27 because they have signed five-day contracts with the firms bringing in temporary workers.
Despite Barack Obamaâ€™sÂ campaign promiseÂ to ban the use of permanent replacement workers, it would require legislation in Congress to do so. This wonâ€™t likely occur any time soon. Therefore, hisÂ union croniesÂ at the Department of Labor may have devised a more devious strategy,Â which is to make the replacement workers themselves targets for union retaliation.
Under the Department of Laborâ€™s proposal, not only will the firms that supply replacement workers like be required to file reports with the Department of Labor, it is highly likely that the Department of Labor will require the replacement workers themselves have to file with the DOL, which will then make the information public, on the internet, for union bosses (and others to view).
The filing form (see below), would require the independentÂ contractorâ€™s name, as well as address,Â and the requirement is that they file within 30 days of being contracted to do the work.
If, in fact, the Department of Labor is doing union bossesâ€™ bidding by establishing a public list of replacement workers and then those same workers (or their families) are retaliated against, it would be difficult for unions to be prosecuted. Since, according to aÂ 1973 US Supreme Court decision, unions are immune from prosecution for union violence if it occurs in the pursuit of union goals, holding unions accountable for retaliation that occurs in the dark of night or at an individualâ€™s home will prove difficult, at best.
Whether or not the union bosses intend for intimidation, retaliation, or even violence to occur is unknown. However, that the Department of Labor seems to be heading toward making a hit list for union bosses seemsÂ abundantly clear.
The question that remains now, though, is whether or not anyone is paying attention.
Public comments must be received on or before Wednesday. You can commentÂ here, if you choose to make your voice heard.
A gentleman recently shared his beliefs that employees should have the right to work without having to pay union dues and offered the opinion that unions can be bad for business and economic growth. So what happened?
He got picketed. And he got threatened. The response from a union official:
â€œWe just wanted Mr. Kfoury to know if heâ€™s going to be out there saying things that arenâ€™t true about rightâ€“to-work, that unions are bad for business in New Hampshire, thereâ€™s going to be a price to pay for that,â€ said Kurt Ehrenberg, spokesman for the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, which organized the protest in response to the video.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department in Michigan are working to solve a shooting, after a man painting the word â€˜scabâ€™ on a non-union employerâ€™s vehicle took a shot at itâ€™s owner.
WTOL-TVÂ reports that John King, the owner of King Electrical Services was shot in the arm last week when he surprised a man trying to slash the tires on the truck at his home. The word “scab” was also scrawled on the side.
King says he saw an outside security light go on, stepped out of his front door and was shot at.
King is the owner of the largest non-union electrical contracting company in the area.
When Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his campaign for president last weekend in a speech to the RedState Gathering in Charleston, S.C., he saved his best line for the end. “I’ll promise you this,” he said to exuberant cheers and applause, “I’ll work every day to try to make Washington, DC, as inconsequential in your life as I can.”
To a Democrat steeped in the big-government tradition of the New Deal and the Great Society, there could hardly be a greater heresy.
For liberals, perhaps the only thing more absurd and disagreeable than the prospect of a Washington with radically reduced influence in American life is a presidential candidate pledging to make that reduction a priority. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, a former Jimmy Carter speechwriter and aide to Tip O’Neill, characterized Perry’s applause line as nothing less than a call for anarchy. The governor is saying “not just that the era ofÂ bigÂ government is over,” Matthews hyperbolically told his “Hardball” viewers on Monday, “he’s saying the era ofgovernmentÂ is over. . .. Let’s get rid of the government, basically.”
But to countless libertarians and free-market conservatives, it is exhilarating to hear a candidate talk this way. And why wouldn’t it be? After all, large majorities of Americans consistently say they don’t trust the federal government and have little faith in the ability of Washington’s immense bureaucracy to solve the nation’s problems. In promising to curb Washington’s outsize authority, Perry is responding to an alienation from government that is very much a Main Street phenomenon.
It is also a relatively recent phenomenon, one that has grown in proportion with the federal establishment’s self-aggrandizement. As Charles Murray has written, the more Washington has tried to do, the less it has done well — including the relatively few functions it used to perform competently. It is only natural that there should be such widespread frustration with the intrusive, expensive federal behemoth — all the more so when efficient and attractive private alternatives (such as e-mail instead of snail mail) make clear just how apathetic and ungainly big government tends to be.
Over the past half-century, Washington has insinuated itself into a thousand-and-one decisions that individuals or local governments are more than capable of making for themselves. Which medicines can you buy? How efficient should your light bulbs be? Can your children’s school day begin with a prayer? Who qualifies for a mortgage? When do unemployment benefits run out? Can you pay an employee $5 an hour if that’s what his labor is worth? Should abortions be restricted? Is health insurance optional? Do artists or farmers or broadcasters require subsidies? Are you in charge of your retirement income?
In Federalist No. 45, James Madison emphasized that, under the Constitution, the powers of the federal government “are few and defined,” while those left to state and local communities “are numerous and indefinite.” For the first 150 years or so of US history that was largely the case. But New Deal and Great Society liberalism has turned the framers’ careful arrangement inside out. Today, there is almost nothing in American life that Washington does not consider itself fit to regulate, control, ban, tax, or mandate.
Former US Senator James Buckley, now a senior judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, points to the massive enlargement of Title 42 of the United States Code, which comprises laws dealing with health and public welfare. Between 1960 and 2010, Title 42 metastasized from 403 pages of statutory language to more than 6,300. Title 42, bear in mind, is just one of 50 titles in the US Code.
Has the staggering growth of the federal establishment made America a better, more humane, more optimistic place to live? Obviously it is possible to single out this or that law or regulation or expenditure and show that it has been beneficial. Not even the most ardent libertarian disputes the need for federal governance of inherently national matters — and the Constitution itself makes clear that Washington has a role to play in guaranteeing civic equality and political liberty.
Yet in crucial ways, the flow of power upward to the federal government has impoverished American culture and weakened civic society. A presidential candidate who was serious about making Washington less consequential in the lives of Americans would render his nation a great service. Whether Perry is really that candidate remains to be seen.
CNN’s latest poll shows that he already presents a formidable challenge to RINO Romney (which isn’t saying much), and eats away at Bachmann’s numbers (which shows he’s able to garner Tea Party support).
More than any other potential GOP presidential candidate,Â President ObamaÂ fears Texas Gov.Â Rick Perry.Â That’s because Perry is the only one who can devastate virtually any Obama claim.
Take the whine we hear most often from the President:Â That President George W. Bush handed him a terrible economic situation. AsÂ USA TodayÂ reported June 2:Â “[White House spokesman Jay] Carney noted that when Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, he faced the worst economy since theÂ Great Depression.Â Obama also inherited the biggest budget deficits in history, from a Republican Presidentâ€”George W. Bushâ€”who had come into office with budget surpluses.”
A full two and a half years after taking office, Team Obama still blames Bushâ€”for everything except the fall of Adam.Â Well, there is one other elected chief executive who inherited a Bush economy: Rick Perry, as governor of Texas.Â And yet I have never once heard Perry whining that the state would be doing so much better if it hadn’t been for the policies of his predecessor.
To use a football analogyâ€”I mean, we’re talking about Texasâ€”it’s not who hands you the football and it’s not where the ball is handed to you, it’s what you do with the ball after you have it.
Rick Perry took the ball from Bush and scored an economic touchdown for Texas.Â Obama took the ball from Bush and fumbled itâ€”repeatedlyâ€”giving the other team a chance to score a touchdown.
Which brings us to the Obama vs. Perry records on the economy.Â What has happened to some of the key indicators of economic well-being since Obama has been in charge (roughly January of 2009 to June 2011)?
Energy:Â Gasoline was $1.67 a gallon then.Â It’s now $3.79.
Food:Â Average cost of a gallon of milk was about $2.65.Â It’s about $3.50 today.
Housing:Â The median cost of a home was $229,600.Â Today it’s $217,900.
Budget deficit:Â We fell $438 billion short of balancing the federal budget in 2008.Â We missed it by $1.4 trillion this yearâ€”nearly four times higher.
U.S. debt:Â Total federal debt was $10.7 trillion then. It’s $14.5 trillion nowâ€”nearly 50% higher.
Unemployment:Â Then, 7.3% of Americans were unemployed and 9.1% are unemployed today.
To be fair, not everyone has done poorly under Obama.Â Federal government employees have made out like bandits.Â Mercatus Center (George Mason University) economist Veronique de Rugy noted last January that “federal employment has grown by 98,000 employees since the start of the recession.”Â AndÂ USA TodayÂ reported last year:Â “Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.”
A recent state-by-state comparison study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation found that Texas had a state tax burden of 8.4%, compared to a U.S. average of 9.7%.Â And the Texas gross state product grew 94.5% over 10 years, vs. 66.3% for the rest of the country.
Texas far outpaces other states in job creation.Â Michael Cox and Richard Alm, director and writer-in-residence, respectively, at Southern Methodist University’s William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom write:Â “From January 2000 to June 2010 [Perry’s tenure], Texas had a net increase of nearly 1.1 million jobsâ€”more than any other state by far.Â In fact, Texas’ outsized gains eclipsed the total of the next five job-creating states: Florida, Arizona, Virginia, Utah and Washington.”
More importantly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Texas created 129,000 new jobs in 2009â€”a recession year.Â That was more than half of all the jobs created in the country.
The Brookings Institution published a study earlier this year looking at job growth in major cities.Â Texas had five of the top 10 cities, with Austin leading the country in job growth.
See why Obama is concerned about a Perry bid?Â Would you want to stand before the public in a presidential debate and defend Obama’s record compared with Perry’s?
Not being able to defend his own economic record, or attack Perry’s, Obama would try to paint Perry in a negative light.Â That wouldn’t be easy.Â Perry served three terms in the Texas House as a Democrat, and supportedÂ Al Gore‘s 1988 presidential bid.Â That was when there were still some conservative Democrats.Â Perry switched to the Republican Party in 1989.
Because Perry is from Texas, Obama would accuse him of being in bed with the oil and gas industry.Â And yet Perry just signed a law requiring gas drillers to publicize the chemicals they use in “fracking” to extract the gas.Â As theÂ Wall Street JournalÂ reported on June 20, “Environmental groups said the law doesn’t go far enough, but they agreed it was an important step.”
Obama would also accuse Perry of being out of touch with most Americans.Â But Cox and Alm of Southern Methodist University’s O’Neil Center found in a different study that “Texas led all other states with a net in-migration of 500,000 people from 2004 to 2008.”Â People are voting with their feet and moving to Texas.
George Bush Clone?
And Obama would certainly try to accuse Perry of being a George Bush clone, perhaps because President Bush wouldn’t raise taxes and neither has Gov. Perry.Â But Perry’s conservative record in Texas, especially on holding the line on spending, would demonstrate clear distinctions.
â€œThatâ€™s a nice business you got there. Itâ€™d be a shame if something happened to it.â€
Thatâ€™s the voice of extortion rackets seeking protection money, whether on behalf of organized crime families or organized labor. One Ohio businessman heard that voice loud and clear recently from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 38.
Hereâ€™s what happened: An email from the account of IBEWâ€™s Ron Ols was sent to an Ohio businessman whose union-free workforce is working on a project in Toledo.
â€œWe are aware that you chose a different path in the Toledo area,â€ read the message, which expresses displeasure at the businessâ€™s unwillingness to acquiesce to union demands, â€œand this has possibly led to some problems for your company.â€
The email continues: â€œTo be 100% clear, should you opt for the same business practices in the greater Cleveland area as you chose to use in the Toledo area, your problems will multiply exponentially.â€
Only the hopelessly naive or willfully ignorant could read such a statement in ways other than the obvious. It is also hard to ignore that this is the latest evidence that the business model from â€œOn the Waterfrontâ€ is alive in the landlocked Rust Belt and beyond.
Think thatâ€™s explicit? A Texas businessman is suing a local branch of the powerful Service Employees International Union for allegedly threatening toÂ â€œkillâ€ his businessÂ for refusing to hand over his employees to union bosses without a secret-ballot vote.
These threats pose several problems for small businesses. The first, of course, is having to live under coercion and potential violence, which has a decidedly negative impact on the ability of entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and hire more workers.
But any small businessperson who reads the newspaper also knows that Big Labor put President Obama into the White House and many top Democrats into positions of power. In turn, organized labor gets to run amok within the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Labor Relations Board and in statehouses and bureaucracies across the nation. This means the full force of the government can come down on you if you dare to speak up.
Business owners frequently talk about the role uncertainty plays in their decisions to hire additional employees and invest more money in capital and equipment. But itâ€™s also true that if employers are certain they will be attacked by Big Labor and their friends in government, thereâ€™s no reason to consider hiring or expanding at all.
Itâ€™s important for voters to begin making the link between these thuggish tactics and an all-powerful government which strangles economic growth.