Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have to choose between having kids and being comfortable

A little-known element of President Trump’s 2020 budget proposal may be among its most important: $1 billion for child-care providers and new incentives for paid family leave.

Great challenges, such as wars and disasters, are plain to see and spur us into action as a nation. Others, such as the devastating opioid crisis, sneak up on us slowly like the proverbial frog in gradually heating water — we might not notice how dire our situation is until it’s too late.

Some are practically invisible, like the challenge facing would-be parents today.

It’s never been easy to be a working parent, but today, with rapidly increasing child-care costs and no guarantee of paid family leave, it’s harder than ever. The response of many millennials is to put off having kids — sometimes permanently — or to have fewer than they’d like.

Pennsylvanians are having kids at one of the lowest rates in the entire country. That’s heartbreaking. It means hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who will never know the joy of parenthood, and whose parents will never have grandchildren.

It’s not because young people are choosing to have fewer children, though. They simply can’t afford the expense, especially in the early stages of a child’s development, and in the early years of membership in the workplace when earnings tend to be lowest.

Don’t take my word for it — it’s what millennials themselves tell pollsters. Among people of childbearing age who wish they could have more kids, the leading reason, given by almost two-thirds of respondents in a 2018 survey, is that “childcare is too expensive.”

This is a significant issue in Pennsylvania, where child-care costs for two children are higher on average than rent. At $10,640 per year per child, the average Pennsylvania family can’t even afford full-time care for a single child, let alone a house full of kids.

Since the median income for a millennial is around $35,000, $10,000 represents almost a third of a typical single parent’s income before taxes. Additionally, young people also represent the greatest number of renters. After high housing costs, insurance, transportation, and utilities, there is barely enough left for food, much less a child. There are more millennials living in poverty than any previous generation.

And more millennial households are run by single women than any previous generation, meaning the majority of would-be mothers have to take time off work if they want to have kids.

Far too many women in the prime of their life are deferring pregnancy because they can’t make the financial sacrifice. They need to know — in the make-or-break moment of their careers — that their job will still be there after they’ve spent time with their newborn. They also need to know that child-care costs won’t bankrupt them once they do return to work.

As a country, we need to fix this. The best way to do that is with the methods that White House adviser Ivanka Trump urged President Trump to add to his FY 2020 White House budget request.

The one-time, $1 billion investment detailed in the budget plan, for instance, would push states expand the availability of affordable child-care. The President’s budget also calls for a minimum of six weeks of paid family leave for new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents, which would enable them to spend time with their children during the most crucial phase of development.

Women shouldn’t have to make the choice between a job they love and starting or growing their family. Families everywhere should have access to affordable childcare so they can carry on their legacy instead of feeling as though they can “never afford kids.”

The future of Pennsylvania, and America, depends on it.

Americans choose security, not insanity

Americans are smart enough to know that border security benefits them long-term in ways that the Green New Deal never could. If it comes down to a choice between a flawed proposal calling for elimination of air travel and 99 percent of cars — to name a few insanities — and protecting our sovereign borders against the continuing onslaught of drugs, weapons, and human-trafficking, the latest polling numbers show that the American people are never going to choose insanity over security.

According to a recent survey published by the Remington Research Group, President Trump's border wall remains far more popular than the Democratic Party's radical Green New Deal — and by a hefty margin.

The poll found that 51 percent of Americans prefer that the U.S. government construct a border wall, while only 31 percent said the same about the Green New Deal.

Border wall at Anapra, Texas. Photo credit: Dicklyon.

Notably, the disparity is even greater when Democrat respondents are excluded, because self-identified independents reported preferring a border wall to the Green New Deal by a 2–1 margin, while Republicans predictably expressed an overwhelming preference for the border wall.

Those results are not terribly surprising, given the Green New Deal's astronomical price tag — according to one recent study, the proposal would cost taxpayers as much as $93 trillion, or $600,000 per household.

As much as the American people love the environment, they don't want to be taxed into oblivion — especially not for a radical program that aims to dictate what cars they can buy and what food they can eat. Over the last 40 years, we have made dramatic improvements to the environment. Cars today are 90% cleaner than in the early '70s, to cite just one example.

By contrast, President Trump's proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border costs just $8 billion and promises to quickly address the ongoing border security crisis that threatens to destroy our communities.

"The Green New Deal has presented an interesting situation for Democrats," said Titus Bond, the president of Remington Research Group. "Democratic voters support this legislation, while the rest of the country overwhelmingly opposes it."

"It will be intriguing to watch Democratic leaders and presidential hopefuls navigate this issue with their base while still appealing to mainstream voters," Bond added.

Sadly, we already know the default position of the Democratic Party — radicals in Congress will continue trying advocate for proposals such as the Green New Deal that would result in a major redistribution of wealth and massive government-run programs.

Already, the Green New Deal has gained endorsements from some of the leading figures on the left, including leading 2020 presidential candidates such as Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker.

"There are a lot of people out there pushing back against the Green New Deal, saying it is impractical, it is too expensive, it is all of this," Booker said last month. "If we used to govern our dreams that way, we would have never gone to the Moon."

Adjusted for inflation, though, the entire Apollo program only cost about $200 billion — much closer to the $8 billion President Trump needs to secure the border than it is to the $93 trillion Democrats say they need to stop the world from ending in 12 years.

For most Americans, the choice between security and insanity is crystal-clear — taxpayers would rather invest $8 billion on a border wall than waste $93 trillion on a socialist scheme that will bankrupt our country.

Jill Abramson Plagiarism Scandal Shows Media Stinks from the Head

Even humanity’s greatest novelists would be hard-pressed to compose a more poetic indictment of the Fake News media than a 500-page defense of journalistic integrity that turns out to be plagiarized. Next to absolute falsehood, this is the literary world’s most deadly sin.

The former executive editor of The New York Times just published a book scolding insurgent online media outlets and pleading for journalistic ethics and integrity… and it looks like she plagiarized and got facts wrong throughout the book, unfortunately named Merchants of Truth.

Jill Abramson is the very personification of the media establishment. She spent four decades on the mastheads of the oldest names in prestige news media: Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and more. She even has facsimiles of the big Harvard University “H” and the iconic, New York Times font “T” tattooed on her body in homage to “the two institutions that I revere, that have shaped me.”

Now, Abramson, who once taught journalism at Princeton, took it upon herself to give her “new media” competitors a book-length chiding that concludes with the charge that they don’t have “the expertise to compete on the biggest news stories.” Perhaps more fittingly, she wrote it from her new position as a creative writing professor at Harvard.

Michael Moynihan, an editor at VICE News, one of the new media targets of Abramson’s criticism, was initially just concerned with her wildly inaccurate portrayal of his company. By his own account, it was only when picking apart Abramson’s claims that Moynihan discovered she had lifted large sections of her book, whole cloth, from at least a half-dozen other journalists, journals, and even a college student.

Most amusingly, it appears that Abramson, as she lectured about journalistic ethics, plagiarized from the leading journalistic ethics journal, the Columbia Journalism Review.

Confronted with the identical passages, Abramson denied everything, only to reverse herself by the end of the interview and say she “will review the passages in question.” Publisher Simon & Schuster is signaling that something is going to be done, but the significance of this episode cannot be overstated.

We’re not talking about some intern, or a promising up-and-comer at the New Republic, or a middling writer at The New York Times, or even a veteran investigative reporter at Rolling Stone.

We’re talking about Jill Abramson, first female chief of the Grey Lady, empress of the newsroom, and the supposed gold standard epitome of the “journalistic profession.” She took the same shortcuts and played the same dirty tricks that have undermined public faith in the great “institutions of American journalism” — whose line, in essence remains, “trust us, we’re the experts here.”

Something has been profoundly wrong in the journalistic community for a long time. In the Donald Trump-era — as Abramson herself seems to have noticed in one fleeting, lucid moment — the problem has grown out of control. One has to ask, given her apparently loose association with journalistic ethics, what other dishonesties were perpetrated by her during her time as the “paper of record’s” news chief? How many stories were massaged, distorted, or ignored. Inquiring minds want to know.

Establishment journalists have to ask themselves some hard questions. Is this going to be the turning point that forces them to realize that working at one of a few century-old, “prestigious” publications does not confer a monopoly on the truth or a free license to print opinion as fact? Or is it going to be just another occasion for the members of the old media club to circle the wagons in an effort to protect one of their own at the expense of the public they supposedly serve?

The answer will tell us all we need to know about what remains of the credibility of the mainstream media.

President's Trump's Accomplishments Thus Far

COAL INDUSTRY

 

·         Since Trump declared “the war on coal is over”, Corsa Coal Corporation in PA is opening a second coal mine since President Trump took office.

 

·         This is the first coal mine to open since President Trump took office.

 

·         Renovations on a second mine stopped, five years ago, will start next month with a projected reopening in early 2018.

 

·         Trump reversed decades long decline in coal mining the central tenet of his environmental policy.  He blamed federal regulations curbed at global warming emissions for job losses in the industry.

 

·         President Trump is encouraging more coal mining on lands owned by the federal government.

 

·         President Trump will continue Keystone & Dakota Energy pipelines.

 

·         U.S. is selling energy to Poland.

 

GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS

 

·         CEO George Dethlefsen told Fox News that Trump’s efforts to deregulate the U.S. economy will generate a “very strong market” for steel.

 

·         Dethlefsen said that Trump’s administration is planning to repair the infrastructure and tax code to help the economy.

 

·         Daily Caller reports regulations have plunged under President Trump in the first seven months.

 

·         In 2017 the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has processed some 67 regulatory actions, ranging from notices to final rules.  During the first six months of former President Obama’s first term, the department did three times as many, processing 216 regulatory actions.

 

·         New regulations spiked even more under President Bush and Bill Clinton.  There were 310 under Bush and 993 under Clinton.

 

 

ECONOMY/TAXES

 

·         Since taking office Trump signed more executive orders rolling back Dodd-Frank.

 

·         Slashed regulations imposed on American small businesses.

 

·         Promises to end all unnecessary regulations on the energy industry.

 

·         President Trump has moved to increase the efficiency and productivity of the federal government by cutting unnecessary and burdensome rules the agencies are required to follow.  White House Office of Management and Budget Directory, Mick Mulvaney, announced a memo that rescinds or modifies many of the requirements.

 

·         Business owners and investors are meeting these deregulations with optimism.  This is part of a broad and sustained trend that has gone largely unremarked.

 

·         National Federation of Independent Business found a heightened demand for new labor and investment.

 

·         The National Association of Manufacturers reports for the first three quarters 90.9% of manufacturers are positive about the outlook of their companies.  This is the highest three quarter reading in the survey’s 20 year history.

 

·         Gallup’s investor optimism index hit a 17 year high in September.  Gallup’s weekly economic confidence index has been positive since November 2016.  It previously was negative for all but a handful of weeks since 2008.

 

·         The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index dipped in September 2016 to 119.8,

 

·         University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment has averaged 96.2 so far this year comparing that with 91.4 over the same time period in 2016.  You need to go back to 2004 to find another nine month stretch where the index was in the mid to high 90’s.

 

·         The Small Business Optimism Index averaged 104.9 through August.  That is up 12% from the before.

·         In September the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index marked its 12 straight month in positive territory.  This is the first time in 12 years.  The index is at 53.4 in September and 48.6 in 2016.  Anything below 50 is pessimistic.

 

·         The stock market has been at historic highs. The Dow Jones is up 14% for the year and 24.5% compared with a year ago.

 

·         It is important to note that all these indexes skyrocketed after November 2016.

 

·         President Trump’s assault on red tape has saved businesses nearly $4 billion per year compared with President Obama’s pace of imposing regulations.

 

·         Federal debt is reduced by $100 billion.

 

·         Working to reduce food stamp dependency by putting people back to work.

 

NATIONAL SECURITY

 

·         There are nearly five times as many counter terror Ops zones as Obama administration by nearly five times.

 

·         The U.S. has launched at least 100 counter-terrorism operations.  Only 21 were lunched under President Obama.  This includes raids, drone strikes and other lethal actions.

 

·         Raqqa is now back in U.S. forces.

 

·         President Trump ended “Catch and Release” immigration policy.

 

·         Illegal immigration arrests up 38%.

 

·         Reduced illegal border crossings by 73%.

 

·         Border security is increased.

 

·         ICE makes over 41,000 arrests in 100 days.

 

·         Kate’s Law increased penalties for previously deported criminals.

 

·         Punishing sanctuary cities.

 

·         Eliminated DACA and sent back to Congress to legislate.

 

·         Travel ban was put in place.

 

·         Construction of wall in prototype.

 

·         $100 million to help Flint, MI fix the water problems.

 

·         Sending Federal help to Chicago crime epidemic.

 

TRUMP GETTING STUFF DONE

 

·         Since President Trump took office Investor’s Daily noted that border crossings have plummeted.

 

·         President Trump has been busy filling lower court positions with conservative justices.

 

·         President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate change deal.

 

·         President Trump is killing 16 regulations for everyone his administration has enacted.  This beats their own goal of eliminating two regulations for every one imposed.

 

·         Newsweek claims that President Trump is a “lazy boy”.  He only sleeps 4 - 5 hours a night and works all day and most weekends.

 

·         Newsweek calls him “The Boy King”.  Newsweek asked if he still wanted to be President and he doesn’t like hard work.  President Trump’s accomplishments are staggering.

 

·         Appointed an Honorable Supreme Court Justice.

 

·         Withdrew from the corrupt TPP Agreement.

 

·         Ending tax payer funded abortions.

 

·         Protecting religious liberties for all Americans.

 

·         Re-established National Space Council.

 

JOBS

 

·         A record surge in job openings indicates a demand for workers and remained strong in the second quarter.  This was reported by the Labor Department.

 

·         The gain in job openings shows a need for workers in an economy that is expanding.

 

·         The pool of qualified Americans is shrinking and making positions tougher to fill.  This is an indicator of a strong growing economy.

 

·         In July payrolls increased more than forecasted and the unemployment rate matched a 16 year low.

 

·         There are 1.1 unemployed people vying for every opening in June down from 1.9 when the recession began in 2007.

 

·         Many industries showed increases in openings including record postings for health care and social assistance.  Gains were also seen with professional and business services.

 

·         In the 12 months through June 2.3 million jobs were created

 

·         The U.S. economy generated 209,000 jobs.   This is stronger than analyst expectations and above the average job gains so far this year.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

·         People who are penalized for not having insurance make less than $50,000 which equates to 79%.

 

·         The majority of households paying the penalty in 2015 were low and middle class income households according to data from the IRS.

 

·         There were 6,665,480 households who paid the penalty rather than sign up for Obamacare.  They paid a total of $3,079,255.00.

 

·         79% who paid the penalty made less than $50,000.00.  92% who paid the penalty earned less than $75,000.00.

 

·         Penalties increased every year since the ACA was implemented. 

 

·         Joe Antos, a scholar at American Enterprise Institute, stated low and middle income households are the least likely to have insurance and least likely to know how to avoid paying the penalty.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE:

 

·         United States has lower ground reducing emission levels than Canada even after leaving the Paris agreement.

 

·         Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) stated U.S. is pummeling Canada even though Canada has made fuel emissions a top priority.

 

·         Canada has a strong political will to reduce emissions and it should have fallen 17% from 2005 levels.  Canada emissions only dropped 2%.

 

·         Trump leaving the Paris accord has not resulted in an increase in the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

 

·         It is a fact that emissions continue to fall appreciably in the U.S.

 

·         U.S, carbon emissions have fallen roughly 12% since 2005.