Heritage Foundation

Subscribe to Heritage Foundation feed Heritage Foundation
Policy News, Conservative Analysis and Opinion
Updated: 18 min 47 sec ago

Obama’s Anti-Discipline Policies Set Our Students Up for Failure

Wed, 2018-10-03 00:01

President Barack Obama’s first education secretary, Arne Duncan, gave a speech on the 45th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where, in 1965, state troopers beat and tear-gassed hundreds of peaceful civil rights marchers who were demanding voting rights.

Later that year, as a result of widespread support across the nation, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. Duncan titled his speech “Crossing the Next Bridge.” Duncan told the crowd that black students “are more than three times as likely to be expelled as their white peers,” adding that Martin Luther King would be “dismayed.”

Gail Heriot, a law professor at the University of San Diego and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and her special assistant and counselor, Alison Somin, have written an important article in the Texas Review of Law and Politics, titled “The Department of Education’s Obama-Era Initiative on Racial Disparities in School Discipline” (Spring 2018).

The article is about the departments of Education and Justice’s “disparate impact” vision, wherein they see racial discrimination as the factor that explains why black male students face suspension and expulsion more often than other students.

Faced with threats from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, schools have instituted new disciplinary policies. For example, after the public school district in Oklahoma City was investigated by the office, there was a 42.5 percent decrease in the number of suspensions.

According to an article in The Oklahoman, one teacher said, “Students are yelling, cursing, hitting, and screaming at teachers and nothing is being done but teachers are being told to teach and ignore the behaviors.” According to Chalkbeat, new high school teachers left one school because they didn’t feel safe. There have been cases in which students have assaulted teachers and returned to school the next day.

Many of the complaints about black student behavior are coming from black teachers. I doubt whether they could be accused of racial discrimination against black students.

The first vice president of the St. Paul, Minnesota, chapter of the NAACP said it’s “very disturbing” that the school district would retaliate against a black teacher “for simply voicing the concern” that when black students are not held accountable for misbehaving, they are set up for failure in life.

An article in Education Week earlier this year, titled “When Students Assault Teachers, Effects Can Be Lasting,” discusses the widespread assaults of teachers across the country: “In the 2015-16 school year, 5.8 percent of the nation’s 3.8 million teachers were physically attacked by a student. Almost 10 percent were threatened with injury, according to federal education data.”

Measures that propose harsh punishment for students who assault teachers have not been successful. In North Carolina, a bill was introduced that proposed that students 16 or older could be charged with a felony if they assaulted a teacher. It was opposed by children’s advocacy and disability rights groups.

In Minnesota, a 2016 bill would have required school boards to automatically expel a student who threatened or inflicted bodily harm on a teacher for up to a year. It, too, was opposed, even in light of the fact that teachers have suffered serious bodily harm, such as the case in which a high school student slammed a teacher into a concrete wall and then squeezed his throat. That teacher ended up with a traumatic brain injury.

There are plenty of visuals of assaults on teachers. Here’s a tiny sample: Florida’s Seminole Middle School, Pennsylvania’s Cheltenham High School , Illinois’ Rich Central High School.

Byongook Moon, a professor in the criminal justice department at the University of Texas at San Antonio, says that according to his study of 1,600 teachers, about 44 percent of teachers who had been victims of physical assault said that being attacked had a negative impact on their job performance. Nearly 30 percent said they could no longer trust the student who had attacked them, and 27 percent said they thought of quitting their teaching career afterward.

My question is: Is there any reason whatsoever for adults to tolerate this kind of behavior from our young people?

The post Obama’s Anti-Discipline Policies Set Our Students Up for Failure appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

These 2 Companies Plan to Expand Workforce by 20% Thanks to Tax Reform

Tue, 2018-10-02 18:15

The Wilson Construction Co. in Canby, Oregon, will be expanding its workforce by at least 20 percent in the coming months, says Stacy Wilson, who runs the business her grandfather founded 65 years ago.

Wilson credits the tax reform law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that President Donald Trump signed late last year for making the expansion possible.

So does the president of a Ridgewood, New York, electrical contractor, who says he will be increasing his company’s workforce next year as well.

Both joined Trump on stage at the National Electrical Contractors Association convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

“We employ about 500 employees, and thanks to Mr. Trump and tax reforms and the general confidence in the economy, we have really been able to invest more in our employees and grow our company in the last year,” Wilson told the gathering.

Trump invited her onto the stage to speak in the middle of his remarks about the economy.

“We are investing more in employee wages and benefits and bonuses,” Wilson continued. “We are spending millions on equipment and assets, and in general, we are just seeing a huge increase in the work that is coming out, because utilities are spending more to update this aging infrastructure.”

The number of employees could even grow up to 30 percent, she said.

“We have a lot of large projects that are starting,” Wilson said. “This will make a lot of difference. Really, these incentives that are good for businesses are really important for our employees, but also the communities we work in.”

The tax reform law cut the corporate tax rate, previously the highest in the world among developed countries, from 35 percent to 21 percent, putting the U.S. on par with most other industrialized nations, and thus making it more competitive.

The tax law also cut individual tax rates and eliminated some loopholes.

“At the heart of our economic revival are the massive tax cuts passed by Republicans in Congress,” Trump said when speaking to the convention crowd.

“We didn’t get one Democrat vote,” the president added. “Those tax cuts are one of the reasons the economy is doing so well. You are talking about a lot of money in the pockets of everybody in this room.”

Under the new law, Trump noted, small businesses can now deduct 20 percent of their business income, as an incentive to invest.

Trump joked that the economy makes him want to return to the private sector.

“Capital investments are soaring because you can now immediately deduct every penny spent on new equipment,” Trump said. “You can do one-year expensing.

“Nobody ever thought that was going to happen. In fact, I should leave and go back into business, maybe. If you would have told me that when I was a private businessman, maybe I wouldn’t have run for president,” he said.

Tax reform also means more jobs being added at Arcadia Electrical Co. in Ridgewood, New York, said Steve Gianotti, the company’s president.

“I’d like to thank President Trump for his perseverance in helping us with his fiscal policies, which enabled my company, Arcadia Electric, to bid on more work and take on more jobs that we are able to do, because we have more coming that is available to us, more than ever before,” he said after Trump invited him onto the stage.

“As a result, we have been able to keep our 120 people employed, but next year, we anticipate hiring 25 percent more hardworking union workers, middle-class workforce, that will bring our company to approximately 150 employees, which we are very proud of,” Gianotti said.

“They work hard. They are the safest, hardest union workers. Their professional abilities is what makes us successful,” he said.

The post These 2 Companies Plan to Expand Workforce by 20% Thanks to Tax Reform appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Denmark Wants to Ban Gas-Powered Cars, Even Hybrids

Tue, 2018-10-02 17:52

Denmark is presenting a proposal to the country’s parliament later in October that would ban the sale of all gas-powered cars, including hybrids, by 2035, Reuters reports.

Denmark’s government is presenting the plan as a way to curb vehicle pollution and combat climate change. The plan will be implemented incrementally, banning the sale of gas- and diesel-powered cars in 2030 and extending the ban to hybrids five years later.

“It is a big ambition that will be hard to achieve. But that’s exactly why we need to try,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told parliament Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Denmark’s proposal is similar to others that have been introduced across Europe and in the United States.

France and the U.K. have passed laws banning gas and diesel cars by 2040 for similar reasons as Denmark; they want to cut down on pollution in cities and shift the vehicle market to favor electric vehicles.

France has gone after the oil and gas industry. President Emanuel Macron issued a freeze on any new oil and gas leases in 2017 and intends to ban all oil and gas drilling by 2040.

A lawmaker in California, which boasts some of strongest environmental laws in the U.S., introduced a bill to ban the sale of gas-powered cars in the state by 2040 in January.

Numerous cities such as Paris and Copenhagen have passed similar bans on the sale of gas- and diesel-powered cars or restrict their use.

Denmark intends to phase out fossil fuels from its power supply by 2050.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The post Denmark Wants to Ban Gas-Powered Cars, Even Hybrids appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Georgetown Professor Says White Men Should Be Castrated, Fed to Swine Over Kavanaugh Support

Tue, 2018-10-02 16:51

A professor at Georgetown University known for making incendiary comments against supporters of President Donald Trump said white men deserve “miserable deaths” for supporting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

C. Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown in the School of Foreign Service, tweeted Saturday, saying white Republican men should die and an added bonus would be if women “castrate their corpses and feed them to swine.”

Her tweet was in response to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s comments in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He defended Kavanaugh against an “unethical sham” and slammed Democrats for not releasing sexual assault allegations against the judge for weeks after they first received them.

In the tweet Fair called Kavanaugh a “serial rapist,” although he has never been convicted or even accused of rape. The FBI is currently investigating the accusations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh and plans to have its investigation finished by Friday.

Twitter has suspended, and perhaps permanently banned, the account of Georgetown Professor C. Christine Fair, apparently due to this tweet: pic.twitter.com/wN2OvrgRcA

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 2, 2018

Fair has previously made offensive comments on social media, telling a Muslim Trump supporter “f— off” and “GO TO HELL.”

Georgetown University said Fair’s views are her own and “not the views of the University,” in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The views of faculty members expressed in their private capacities are their own and not the views of the University,” the university said. “Our policy does not prohibit speech based on the person presenting ideas or the content of those ideas, even when those ideas may be difficult, controversial or objectionable. While faculty members may exercise freedom of speech, we expect that their classrooms and interaction with students be free of bias and geared toward thoughtful, respectful dialogue.”

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The post Georgetown Professor Says White Men Should Be Castrated, Fed to Swine Over Kavanaugh Support appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

FBI’s Previous Probes Would Have Looked Into Kavanaugh’s Drinking

Tue, 2018-10-02 15:53

Previous FBI background checks should have determined whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had a substance abuse problem, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told reporters Tuesday.

Senate Democrats initially called for an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh. After that update of six previous background investigations commenced, however, many of the same senators insisted it be expanded to look into Kavanaugh’s drinking habits.

“Background investigations generally determine the suitability of a nominee for public office and inquire into several subjects that includes questions about substance abuse and other relevant matters,” Mukasey said in a conference call with reporters.

The current probe is the seventh FBI background investigation on Kavanaugh since 1993, conducted for various federal jobs, including working for President George W. Bush’s White House and serving on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006.

More than likely, if Kavanaugh had a drinking problem, as some have charged in recent weeks, it would have emerged by now, Gregg Nunziata, former chief nominations counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, said.

“There have been half a dozen FBI investigations,” Nunziata said on the press call. “This is a standard question for every witness. Questions about alcohol and substance abuse would have been asked of hundreds of people who know the judge.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., convinced the Senate Republican majority Friday to ask for a seventh FBI investigation of Kavanaugh, a review to be limited in scope and wrapped up in a week.

President Donald Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh, said he instructed the FBI to conduct the update of his file.

In the supplemental investigation, the FBI will interview individuals who have credible information regarding alleged sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh during his high school or college years, the legal experts said.

The FBI normally would provide the information to the Senate Judiciary Committee without drawing conclusions on the credibility of witnesses.

Only senators and certain Senate staff would have access to the FBI’s information under standard rules, Mukasey said.

“The content of what the FBI finds in background investigations is to be treated the same way that classified information is treated,” the former attorney general said.

Mukasey, a former federal judge, was Bush’s third and final attorney general.

Nunziata, while serving as a lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee, was involved in the confirmation process for Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005 and Justice Samuel Alito in 2006.

Asked about actions by the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Nunziata said they were unusual.

Feinstein received a confidential letter July 30 from Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford. However, Feinstein didn’t share the information with the committee, including Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

Nor did she ask for an FBI inquiry until Sept. 13, after the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings seemingly had concluded.

In addition to Ford’s allegations, the FBI reportedly is investigating allegations from two other accusers, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.

Kavanaugh has strongly denied the accusations of all three women.

Ford’s high school friend, Leland Ingham Keyser, told the FBI that she has no knowledge of Ford’s accusation, her lawyer told The Washington Times. Keyser also had no memory of the gathering of six teens where Ford claimed Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.

Keyser previously said the same thing in a sworn statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In both cases, lying would be a felony.

The others Ford said were at the gathering, which she eventually said occurred in 1982, also said in sworn statements to the committee that they didn’t recall it.

Had Feinstein asked the FBI for an inquiry earlier, Ford likely would have maintained her requested anonymity. Instead, Ford’s letter to Feinstein somehow leaked to the media.

“Certainly, this is a massive violation of standard operating procedure,” Nunziata said. “When I was there [on the Judiciary Committee], the chairman and the ranking member worked hand-in-glove on background investigations.”

The post FBI’s Previous Probes Would Have Looked Into Kavanaugh’s Drinking appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

NBC Airs Interview With Julie Swetnick Without Corroborating Her Story

Tue, 2018-10-02 15:22

NBC News aired an interview with a woman who said she saw Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at as many as 10 teen parties where young women were drugged and gang-raped, although the network was unable to corroborate her account.

“This morning, [Julie] Swetnick provided four names of friends she says went to the parties with him,” NBC News correspondent and weekend anchor Kate Snow said at the end of her interview Monday with Swetnick.

“One of them says he does not recall a Julie Swetnick. Another of the friends she named is deceased,” Snow said. “We reached out to the other two and haven’t heard back. Swetnick says after the alleged attack on her when she was 19, she never returned to those big house parties.”

Kavanaugh has called Swetnick’s allegations a “joke” and a “farce.”

Swetnick, 55, has said she was drugged and gang-raped at one of the parties, which she alleged took place when she already was a graduate of Gaithersburg High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland. That public school in Montgomery County is about 12 miles north of all-boys Georgetown Preparatory School, where Kavanaugh, 53, went to high school.

Swetnick has claimed she saw Kavanaugh “drink excessively at many of these parties and engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior towards girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts.”

In the NBC interview, she did not say Kavanaugh was one of those who raped her, nor that she saw him assault anyone at the parties or spike what she called punch that she said he and others gave to young women.

Swetnick, who lives in Washington, D.C., told Snow that she decided to go public with her story after allegations from research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford, 51, went public.

Ford, who lives in Northern California, told The Washington Post in a story published Sept. 16 that Kavanaugh held her down, groped her, and tried to remove her clothes in a bedroom during a gathering of six teens in the early 1980s in Montgomery County.

“I started to think back to my days when I was in the early ’80s in Montgomery County, Maryland, and I thought that I might have some information that might corroborate some of the things that she had stated,” Swetnick said in the NBC interview.

Kavanaugh has strongly denied the incident with Ford happened, or that he ever sexually assaulted anyone.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that the Senate likely will vote this week on confirming Kavanaugh.

At the direction of President Donald Trump, the FBI is updating six previous background investigations of Kavanaugh by looking into the allegations of sexual assault. Trump reportedly gave the FBI until Friday to complete its investigation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called NBC a  “co-conspirator in the destruction of Kavanaugh.”

“Do you think NBC would have done that if it had been a male, Democratic nominee?” Graham asked Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity.

The post NBC Airs Interview With Julie Swetnick Without Corroborating Her Story appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Why Leftists Feels Entitled to Block Highways, Shut Down Speakers, and Harass Public Officials

Tue, 2018-10-02 13:40

When I was in graduate school, I learned a lot about the left.

One lesson was that while most liberals and conservatives abide by society’s rules of order and decency, most leftists do not feel bound to live by these same rules.

I watched the way leftist Vietnam War protesters treated fellow students and professors. I watched left-wing students make “nonnegotiable demands” of college administrations. I saw the Black Panthers engage in violence—including torture and murder—and be financially rewarded by leftists.

Today, we watch leftist mobs scream profanities at professors and deans, and shut down conservative and pro-Israel speakers at colleges. We routinely witness left-wing protesters block highways and bridges, scream in front of the homes of conservative business and political leaders, and surround conservatives’ tables at restaurants while shouting and chanting at them.

Conservatives don’t do these things. They don’t close highways, yell obscenities at left-wing politicians, work to ban left-wing speakers at colleges, smash the windows of businesses, etc.

Why do leftists feel entitled do all these things? Because they have thoroughly rejected middle-class, bourgeois, and Judeo-Christian religious values.

Leftists are the only source of their values. Leftists not only believe they know what is right—conservatives, too, believe they are right—but they also believe they are morally superior to all others. Leftists are Ubermenschen—people on such a high moral plane that they do not consider themselves bound by the normal conventions of civics and decency. Leftists don’t need such guidelines; only the non-left—the “deplorables”—need them.

In August 2017, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax wrote a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer in defense of middle-class values. She and her co-author cited a list of behavioral norms that, as Wax, put it, “was almost universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s.”

They were: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”

She later wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “The fact that the ‘bourgeois culture’ these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s largely explains today’s social pathologies—and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward addressing those pathologies.”

For her left-wing colleagues at Penn Law School, this list was beyond the pale. About half of her fellow professors of law—33 of them—condemned her in an open letter. And Wax wrote in the Journal, “My law school dean recently asked me to take a leave of absence next year and to cease teaching a mandatory first-year course.”

The Pennsylvania chapter of the left-wing National Lawyers Guild condemned her for espousing bourgeois values and questioned “whether it is appropriate for her to continue to teach a required first-year course.”

As regards traditional Jewish and Christian codes of conduct, just read the left’s contempt for Vice President Mike Pence’s religiosity. They fear him more than President Donald Trump solely for that reason.

One would think that leftists, as sensitive as they are to sexual harassment of women, would admire Pence’s career-long policy of never dining alone with a woman other than his wife. On the contrary, they mock him for it.

With such high self-esteem and no middle-class, bourgeois, or Judeo-Christian values to guide them, many leftists are particularly vicious people.

The opening skit of “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend—Matt Damon’s mockery of Judge Brett Kavanaugh—provided a timely example.

It is unimaginable that a prominent conservative group or individual would feature a skit mocking Kavanaugh’s accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Indeed, Kavanaugh noted his 10-year-old daughter’s prayer for his accuser, and a political cartoonist promptly drew a cartoon with her praying that God forgive her “angry, lying, alcoholic father for sexually assaulting Dr. Ford.”

Is there an equally prominent conservative public figure on the right who has ever said “F— Obama!” on national television just as Robert De Niro shouted, “F— Trump!” at the recent Tony Awards?

Now, why would De Niro feel he could shout an obscenity at the president of the United States with millions of young people watching him? Because he is not constrained by middle-class or Judeo-Christian moral values.

In Nietzsche’s famous words, De Niro, like other leftists, is “beyond good and evil,” as Americans understood those terms until the 1960s.

In 2016, at a Comedy Central roast of actor Rob Lowe, the butt of the jokes was Ann Coulter, not Lowe. They mostly mocked her looks, and if there is something crueler than publicly mocking a woman’s looks, it’s hard to identify. For example, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson said, “Ann Coulter, if you’re here, who’s scaring the crows away from our crops?”

There surely are mean conservatives—witness some of the vile comments by anonymous conservative commenters on the internet. And it is a moral scandal that Ford has received death threats.

The difference in left-wing meanness is the meanness of known—not anonymous—people on the left. They don’t hide behind anonymity because they do not feel bound by traditional notions of civility, for which they have contempt.

Now you can understand why the left hates Pence, a man who has, by all accounts, led a thoroughly honorable life. He—and other evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews—tries to live by a code that is higher than him.

That ethic is what Ubermenschen seek to destroy. They are succeeding.

The post Why Leftists Feels Entitled to Block Highways, Shut Down Speakers, and Harass Public Officials appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

What You Need to Know About the New Trade Deal

Tue, 2018-10-02 13:02

This is a transcript of an interview on the Oct. 2 Daily Signal podcast. 

Katrina Trinko: So, before we break out the champagne and start a chorus of USMCA, we’re bringing in The Heritage Foundation’s Tori Whiting, who is the Jay Van Andel trade economist, to talk to us about this deal and why it matters.

So Tori, first off, what are some significant changes in this trade deal? How does it differ from the former agreement we had in place between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada?

Tori Whiting: Well, the first thing to point out with this agreement is that despite the weeks and weeks of uncertainty about whether or not Canada was going to be involved in it, we do in fact have a trilateral renegotiation, which is a huge, huge accomplishment. We were really worried that it was going to end up being bilateral and that would cause a lot of disruption to supply chains.

Now, there are lots of changes in this agreement. It’s almost 1,700 pages long. It’s going take a lot of time for Heritage analysts to get through, but some of them—

Trinko: I bet you are also really excited to read 1,700 pages.

Whiting: Well, luckily, I have a lot of great experts here at Heritage in different issue areas that help dig down to the details.

But one of the biggest accomplishments I think that we’re going to see in this is the effort in which the administration took to modernize the new USMCA, or NAFTA 2.0, however, you want to refer to it. And I think that that really helps us get into the 21st century and trade with things like intellectual property, digital trade, services, financial services, and all these new kind of a 21st-century types of products.

Ginny Montalbano: Tori, what is the biggest benefit for these three countries being a part of such an agreement like this?

Whiting: Well, NAFTA, in 1994, did a great thing where it created the largest free trade area in the world, one of the largest. And what that means is that it helped North America become a region where we were being very, very competitive at lots of different areas of production, specifically manufacturing.

So moving this agreement forward, like I said before, in a trilateral way, really preserves that ecosystem that has been created over 25 years and can help our businesses, say automakers or other manufacturers, maintain their supply chains that make them so efficient so that we can export our products abroad.

Trinko: Of course, one of the things that President Trump has made very clear is that he’s interested in bringing jobs back to the United States, having more of a robust manufacturing sector.

I asked some of our followers on Twitter if any of them had questions for you and on Twitter Nancy H. asked, “Have U.S. companies discussed plans to build new plants in the U.S.—timeline?

So do you think that this deal, obviously, there’s a lot that happens that is not set in stone, but potentially could it lead to perhaps more manufacturing in the U.S.?

Whiting: Well, here’s the thing, manufacturing jobs are actually up right now. This year, I think I just looked at the statistics today, the U.S. has added 139,000 manufacturing jobs since January. That’s huge. And unemployment is at the lowest rate that it’s been in many, many years, and so we’re looking at a great environment to do business here in America.

Now, one thing that this concluded renegotiation can result in is increased certainty in the North American market and in the United States. When businesses know that some sort of NAFTA agreement is so going to be in place in the future, they’re going to be more likely to be building factories and hiring workers in America.

Montalbano: Tori, when it comes to tariffs, the U.S. has imposed many on Canada and Mexico this year. Where does that stand with this new agreement?

Whiting: Well, this is one of the unfortunate aspects of the result of this renegotiation. The administration said to begin with that these tariffs were a negotiating tactic and that once we reached a new NAFTA, they would remove the tariffs on Canada and Mexico and that actually hasn’t happened yet and it’s unclear whether or not the administration will really eliminate these tariffs.

And that’s really a problem because what it does is that results in prices for steel and aluminum in the United States being higher. They are 50 percent higher than world prices, 50 percent higher than prices in Europe.

And that just makes it so that our manufacturers that use steel and aluminum as a means of production, they’re going to be less competitive because it will increase the price of their final goods that they want to export.

Trinko: Now, I understand this news has some big implications if you’re a dairy farmer. Could you perhaps expound upon that?

Whiting: Yes. So the dairy details are a little bit unclear and I haven’t totally dug into that chapter yet.

Trinko: You haven’t read all 1,700 pages before doing this podcast in six hours? This is unbelievable. OK.

Whiting: Not yet, but it looks like the administration did make some gains in regards to dairy and that’s really promising because anything that we can do to help lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers for U.S. exporters is a positive thing. So I look forward to looking into those details more.

Montalbano: Tori, what comes next? Like you just said, there are so many pages and things to tackle, but after all the analysis comes through, what can we expect to hear from the research side, from you and other experts, but also what’s next for the administration to do?

Whiting: Well, I’d say that right now with the NAFTA renegotiation USMCA, we’re kind of at halftime. We’ve reached some great points. We have a text, but there’s actually still a lot left to go.

The administration, the International Trade Commission specifically within the administration, will do a full-scale economic analysis of this new agreement and what they’ll look at is the impact that it will have on jobs and the impact it’ll have on economic growth. And that’ll take probably about 100 days or so for that to happen. It’s a very big endeavor.

Heritage will also be doing its own economic analysis, but it’ll be mostly focused on, have we lowered tariffs, have we lowered non-tariff barriers, and have we modernized NAFTA for the 21st-century?

Next step after that is Congress. Congress has the final say when it comes to this USMCA and whether or not it will become law. So, we’ll probably look at early spring, I’d say at the earliest, where the new Congress, in 2019, will have the opportunity to vote on this new agreement.

Trinko: In terms of our trade deals with other countries, obviously USMCA is not directly related, but do you think it has a connection? Does it possibly suggest an administration’s mindset that might be applied to other trade deals? What, if anything, can we learn about the overall approach to trade from this?

Whiting: Well, at first glance, a lot of the modernization aspects of the USMCA actually come from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is the agreement that President Trump actually pulled the United States out of at the beginning of his term as president.

So those are things like intellectual property, I think even state-owned enterprises, digital trade, a lot of these 21st-century mechanisms. But what I think this does show, and we’ve already seen a little bit of it, the U.S. and Japan actually just announced that they’re going to be conducting negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement.

And so this really kind of signals, I think, a move by the administration to at least try to advance some aspects of opening trade. I hope that those efforts are really focused on decreasing tariffs and decreasing non-tariff barriers and not producing these managed trade environments, which I have a feeling that the USMCA might have a little bit of.

Montalbano: Tori, did you get a chance to watch President Trump speak about all this in the Rose Garden?

Whiting: Yes, I did.

Montalbano: Did anything stand out to you in those remarks? They were quite lengthy.

Whiting: Yes, they were. I think overall, what the president has in mind for wanting to help manufacturing grow United States. And it was really encouraging to see him be positive about the North American aspect of this. It’s not something that has been the focus in the past. And so I’m optimistic that they’re very committed to getting this across the finish line.

Trinko: OK, final question. What’s a better name: NAFTA or USMCA?

Whiting: I say NAFTA, but who knows, the USMCA kind of reminds me of the Marine Corps. And then somebody said earlier that they thought it sounded like YMCA.

Trinko: Right, which I think is very exciting.

Whiting: Maybe the name is like an intermediate name and Congress will come up with a better one later.

Trinko: I don’t know, President Trump seems very invested in it. Well, thank you for joining us, Tori. Good luck reading that.

Whiting: Thank you so much.

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, iTunesSoundCloudGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts

The post What You Need to Know About the New Trade Deal appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Why Low-Yield Nuclear Warheads Are Critical to Preventing Nuclear War

Tue, 2018-10-02 11:25

Last month, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., introduced a bill that if approved would stop the administration’s plans to modify select warheads on submarine-launched ballistic missiles to give them a low-yield option.

Such a step is unwise, considering the compelling rationale that drove the Pentagon to initiate the effort.

The bill argues that U.S. low-yield options would “increase a likelihood of a nuclear war.” But the truth is just the opposite.

If an adversary thinks the U.S.’ only option in response to an adversary’s limited nuclear use is to use U.S. high-yield nuclear weapons, an adversary might be tempted to use his low-yield nuclear weapons thinking that U.S. response options are not credible.

As the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review states, the development of a low-yield nuclear warhead for a U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missile is the fastest way to prevent this miscalculation.

The sense of urgency is justified.

Russia has stated that its first use of a nuclear weapon could serve to “de-escalate” a conflict on terms favorable to Russia. Moscow holds military exercises that simulate use of a nuclear weapon and periodically threatens U.S. allies in Europe with nuclear attack.

Credibility is at the heart of deterrence, and Russian actions indicate that the United States is losing credibility.

The Lieu bill argues, “a low-yield nuclear warhead would be indistinguishable to an adversary from the high-yield W76 and W88 submarine-launched warheads.” The U.S., however, has always assumed Russia would be able to distinguish between a limited nuclear launch and a large-scale nuclear exchange, even if the risk of a failure for such a distinction is not zero.

The United States has had low-yield nuclear weapons in its arsenal for decades, and their existence has not lowered the threshold for nuclear warfare.

Additionally, the United States currently must rely on aircraft to deliver low-yield weapons. Diversifying the delivery method is important for scenarios in which these specialized aircraft are unavailable or don’t have an ability to penetrate an adversary’s airspace.

Few would advocate relying on a single leg of the nuclear triad, owing to concerns over survivability. Similarly, few ought to support relying only on air delivery of low-yield nuclear warheads.

Converting a W76 warhead to provide for a low-yield option is not technologically challenging, nor is it particularly costly either.

British submarines reportedly carry low-yield nuclear warheads. Insofar as Moscow wouldn’t be able to distinguish a British launch from an American one, adding a low-yield option seemingly should not increase the risk of a miscalculation and could conceivably decrease it.

The complexity of nuclear threats has increased since the end of the Cold War, yet the United States has decreased the variety of nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

A strong and diverse nuclear arsenal deters other nations from using their nuclear weapons and provides security for both the United States and its allies that rely on U.S. nuclear guarantees for their own security.

Any policy precluding such a diversity for years to come is just plain wrongheaded.

The post Why Low-Yield Nuclear Warheads Are Critical to Preventing Nuclear War appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Kavanaugh’s Anger Is Justified

Tue, 2018-10-02 11:17

Brett Kavanaugh’s passionate outrage during his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday is generating scorn, not empathy, from plenty of liberals.

“I couldn’t help but think that if a woman had ever performed that way, they would say ‘hysterical,’” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Saturday, later adding, “I think that he disqualifies himself with … the manner in which he went after the Clintons and the Democrats.”

“Kavanaugh has revealed himself to be a man without measure, capable of frenzy, full of conspiratorial venom against Democrats. Justice would not be served by his presence on the Supreme Court,” wrote New York Times columnist Roger Cohen.

And The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman struck a similar note, writing, “Think about the man you saw on Thursday—that angry, entitled, disrespectful, uncontrolled man appealing not to the country but to his party to rally around him in order to stick it to the other side—and ask yourself if he demonstrated the kind of temperament you’d want on the Supreme Court.”

In other words, even if Kavanaugh’s FBI investigation finds he is not guilty of the accusations against him, the left is gearing up to argue that his manner was partisan and unbecoming a jurist of the highest court in the land.

Let’s take a step back and review the accusations that caused the mild-mannered Kavanaugh to be outraged.

He was accused of being the leader of a gang rape ring.

He was accused of exposing himself to a Yale classmate. (At a party that no one remembers.)

He was accused of attempted rape by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford while in high school over 36 years ago. (No one at the alleged party will corroborate Ford’s account.)

After 10 days of being accused of these heinous acts without one shred of evidence other than the word of the accuser, I, too, would address the committee members with scorn.

And you can bet if Kavanaugh treated the accusations without passion, those criticizing him would say he was cold and unfeeling, a clear sign that he is guilty as charged.

Think about what is actually at stake.

People are up in arms because after 10 days of wall-to-wall coverage of Kavanaugh being accused of everything from attempted rape to running a gang rape ring, he actually had the politically incorrect audacity to call out those responsible for the tragic circus and public hell that his family has endured.

Kavanaugh was not supposed to declare what everyone watching knew was the truth. He was to pretend that the sham of accusations was not “a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election.”

Within hours of his nomination, Democrats on the very committee that would judge him vowed to do whatever it took to block him from the court.

Kavanaugh had the audacity to tell these same Democratic conspirators who destroyed his good name, “You’ve tried hard. You’ve given it your all. No one can question your effort, but your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and to destroy my family will not drive me out.”

The Democrats’ complaint that Kavanaugh is too partisan has no merit.  He is not partisan; he merely called them out on their partisan effort to search out false claims and destroy his good name.

The Democrats have gotten everything that they asked for.

Democrats wanted the emails released. Republicans released the emails even before Sen. Cory “I am Spartacus” Booker had an opportunity to play to the cameras.

Democrats wanted Ford to have a hearing. Republicans were willing to make every accommodation for Ford to be heard, even flying to meet her in California.

The Democrats wanted another FBI investigation. Republicans have now delayed for another FBI investigation.

When the FBI investigation returns and adds to the evidence revealing the same good character that Kavanaugh’s other six FBI investigations have revealed, the true partisans will be clear.

The only people showing their partisan colors are Democrats who are poised to vote against Kavanaugh, no matter the actual evidence before them.

The post Kavanaugh’s Anger Is Justified appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy