by Robert Rector, The Heritage Foundation / May 25, 2017 / The Daily Signal
Research shows overwhelming bipartisan support for work requirements in welfare policy.
Robert Rector, a leading authority on poverty, welfare programs and immigration in America for three decades, is The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow in domestic policy.
President Donald Trump’s newly released budget contains a proposed food stamp reform, which the left has denounced as a “horror” that arbitrarily cuts food stamp benefits by 25 percent.
These claims are misleading.
In reality, the president’s proposed policy is based on two principles: requiring able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work in exchange for benefits, and restoring minimal fiscal responsibility to state governments for the welfare programs they operate.
The president’s budget reasserts the basic concept that welfare should not be a one-way handout. Welfare should, instead, be based on reciprocal obligations between recipients and taxpayers.
Government should definitely support those who need assistance, but should expect recipients to engage in constructive activity in exchange for that assistance.
Under the Trump reform, recipients who cannot immediately find a job would be expected to engage in “work activation,” including supervised job searching, training, and community service.
This idea of a quid pro quo between welfare recipients and society has nearly universal support among the public.
Nearly 90 percent of the public agree that “able-bodied adults that receive cash, food, housing, and medical assistance should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving those government benefits.”
The outcomes were nearly identical across party lines, with 87 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans agreeing with this statement. Establishing work requirements in welfare was the core principle of the welfare reform law enacted in the mid-1990s. That reform led to record drops in welfare dependence and child poverty. Employment among single mothers surged.
Despite the harsh impact of the Great Recession, much of the poverty reduction generated by welfare reform remains in effect to this day.
Would prevent future bans similar to one attempted under Obama administration
BY: Stephen Gutowski Washington Free Beacon June 1, 2017
Representative Rob Bishop (R., Utah) introduced a bill last Wednesday that would prohibit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) from unilaterally reclassifying ammunition.
The Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act would remove the ATF's discretion in classifying certain ammunition as "armor piercing." Instead of relying on the ATF or attorney general's judgment on which "armor piercing" rounds should be given a "sporting purpose" exception, the bill would rely on the manufacturer's design and intent. Rep. Bishop said his intention is to prevent gray areas in the law from being used to push new gun control.
"The Founding Fathers were clear when they drafted the Bill of Rights," Rep. Bishop said in a statement. "The 2nd Amendment is about security and self-defense. Vagaries in today's legal code pose a real threat to the right to keep and bear arms. The Obama administration exploited this ambiguity to forward its agenda of restriction. It's time to ensure no future administration tramples on these freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution." READ it HERE
By MI President Brett Healy | June 2, 2017 McIver Institute
[Madison, Wis...] President Trump announced Thursday that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, a decision applauded and celebrated by the MacIver Institute.
In reaction to the President's decision to pull the plug on Paris, MacIver Institute President Brett Healy issued the following statement:
"President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Accords is welcome news. His decision corrects one of the Obama administration's many terrible actions that endangered our economy, bypassed Congress, and ignored the will of the American people.
Obama's Costly Power Plan, an attempt to carry out the promises made in Paris, would have devastating economic consequences. In Wisconsin alone, the plan would cost nearly 21,000 jobs and result in a $1.82 billion drop in our disposable income over the next 15 years, according to a 2015 study by the MacIver Institute and Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University.
"Obama's draconian CO2 reduction agenda couldn't even pass Congress when both chambers were controlled by Democrats. That's why he completely bypassed the U.S. Senate to ensnare the American people in the agreement. Worse, to implement his job-killing 'Costly Power Plan' agenda, Obama turned to unelected bureaucrats at the EPA. READ it HERE
Green energy CEO bailing on Trump advisory committee
BY: Susan Crabtree Washington Free Beacon June 2, 2017
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's decision to quit serving as a business adviser to President Trump because of Trump's exit from the Paris climate accord is spurring additional scrutiny of the billions of dollars in tax subsidies Tesla, SolarCity, and other Musk companies have received over the last decade.
The Heritage Foundation's Stephen Moore called the "green-energy" tax credits Musk and his companies have benefited from "low-hanging" fruit that could help Republicans offset plans to lower the corporate rate, estimating there could be $150 billion in savings over 10 years by ending them.
"We're scrounging for offsets so those credits and subsidies are the low-hanging fruit," he told the Washington Free Beacon Friday.
Moore said Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement is a sign of the changing times with Republicans in control of the White House and Congress, and that Musk is simply reacting to the less hospitable political environment.
Why do judges wear black robes? It’s a question few judges today seem to be asking themselves.
It certainly appears not to have troubled the mind of Chief Judge Roger Gregory of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals who, it seems, must instead be a student of Jorge Luis Borges. A couple of days ago, Judge Gregory, writing for the majority, upheld a lower court’s decision against President Trump’s revised Executive Order imposing a temporary travel ban from a handful of countries identified as hotbeds of terrorist activity. As Byron York points out, the decision broke 10 to 3 along partisan lines: the 10 judges who decided against the travel ban were appointed by Presidents Clinton or Obama, the 3 judges who supported the ban were appointed by one of the Bushes.
The rank partisanship on display is as disgusting as it is worrisome: a partisan judiciary is not a judicious judiciary. It is, on the contrary, a judiciary that dispenses its decisions based not on what you have done or left undone but on who you are. It is a government of men, not laws.
But the most extraordinary thing about the majority decision is not its partisanship but the personal nature of the opinion it expresses. It applies to Donald Trump and to Donald Trump only. As York notes,
The majority’s decision, as laid out by Gregory, suggests a mind-bending possibility: If the Trump executive order, every single word of it, were issued by another president who had not made such statements on the campaign trail, the court would find it constitutional.
This is where Borges comes in. In “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote,” Borges celebrates the stupendous labor of a man who endeavored to produce a book that would be identical—”word for word and line for line”— to Cervantes’ great novel. Menard never managed more than a fragment. But Borges is surely right that though “the text of Cervantes and that of Menard are verbally identical,” the works are in fact very different. For one thing, what was written in the seventeenth century by a Catholic ex-soldier is of necessity very different from what was written in the twentieth century by a cosmopolitan, world-weary intellectual. Their different personal histories infuse their words with very different assumptions. Then there is the matter of style. “The archaic style of Menard . . . suffers from a certain affectation. Not so that of his precursor, who handles easily the ordinary Spanish of his time.” Borges spins an amusing and thought provoking epistemological tale with this fiction.
Until yesterday, I hadn’t appreciated its application to the workings of the judiciary. Judge Gregory enlightened me about that. In his opinion for the court, Judge Gregory charges that although the travel ban invokes national security, “in context” it “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
By Charles Fain Lehman, The Washington Free Beacon, May 25, 2017
President Donald Trump on Thursday morning met with leaders of NATO and spoke out about the on-going problem of illegal intelligence leaks. Trump promised in a statement to launch an investigation led by the Justice Department into the matter and prosecute all culprits "to the fullest extent of the law."
Trump's statement was likely a response to the British government condemning U.S. intelligence for leaking lassified information about the terrorist attack in Manchester. The name of the attacker and photos of the crime scene were allegedly leaked to the press after being passed to the U.S. by British investigators. READ it HERE
U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Pope Francis during a meeting, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at the Vatican. (Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool.)
Pope and Trump focused on life, religious freedom and conscience, Vatican says
by The Crux Staff, May 24 The Crux
Pope Francis and President Donald Trump had a "cordial" talk Wednesday morning, according to a Vatican statement, which said they focused on areas of agreement including a “joint commitment in favor of life, and freedom of worship and conscience.”
Following this morning’s first-ever encounter between Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, a Vatican statement said that the two men focused on concerns they have in common during their half-hour together, including a “joint commitment in favor of life, and freedom of worship and conscience.”
Using the standard diplomatic verbiage, the statement referred to the discussion between Trump and Francis as “cordial.”
The Vatican statement, issued shortly before noon Rome time on Wednesday, some three hours after the meeting concluded, also said it’s hoped that there may be “serene collaboration between the state and the Catholic Church in the United States, engaged in service to the people in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants.”
The Vatican communique indicated that Trump and Francis also discussed a variety of international issues.
“The discussions then enabled an exchange of views on various themes relating to international affairs and the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue, with particular reference to the situation in the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities,” it said.
The protection of persecuted Christians was a major point on the campaign trail for Trump, who vowed to make it a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy, and it’s also emerged as a major theme for Francis, who repeatedly has referred to a “vast ecumenism of blood” shared by new Christian martyrs from all denominations.
The statement noted that Trump also met with Italian Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the pope’s closest aide, as well as British Archbishop Paul Gallagher, in effect the Vatican’s foreign minister, in keeping with the usual protocol for a visiting head of state.
In advance of the meeting, officials from both the Vatican and the White House emphasized they wanted a friendly encounter, and today’s statement strikes that tone. It avoided any direct mention of past flashpoints between Trump and the pontiff, such as the president’s call for building a wall along the U.S./Mexico border to halt the flow of immigrants or his reported consideration of abandoning the Paris climate change agreement that Francis and his encyclical letter Laudato’ Si helped to inspire.
Francis, did however, find a subtler way of making his ecological case to Trump, presenting him with a copy of Laudato Si’ along with other papal texts. READ the REST
The U.S.-Mexico border fence in Tijuana, Mexico
DHS budget invests heavily in border security, officers, technology
by Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon May 23, 2017
The Trump administration is seeking to pump $44.1 billion into the Department of Homeland Security in a bid to increase the number of federal agents patrolling America's porous Southern border, according to a preview of the agency's 2018 budget request, which focuses on investments in advanced technology and human personnel.
President Donald Trump's budget request for DHS "makes significant, critical investments in people, technology, and infrastructure for border security and enforcement of immigration laws," according to an overview of the security department's fiscal year 2018 budget request.
The investment represents a multi-billion dollar increase above the Obama administration's final budget and puts a focus on securing America's southern border, which experienced some of the highest levels of illegal immigration in history under Obama. READ it HERE