In this week's Liberty Update, we highlight the falsity of the persistent claim that Barack Obama somehow…
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GDP Report Confirms Our Commentary on Obama's Economic Record

In this week's Liberty Update, we highlight the falsity of the persistent claim that Barack Obama somehow prevented a great depression:

[T]he federal government's own economic data shows that Obama actually inherited an emerging recovery.  The American economy was already rebounding before he even officially became president.  What he has done is impose policies that have resulted in the slowest decade of economic growth in recorded U.S. history."

Yesterday's official report on first-quarter 2016 economic performance provided same-day confirmation.  More specifically, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product (GDP), the basic metric by which the economy is measured and by which recessions and recoveries are defined, grew at a disturbing 0.5%.  Not only is that…[more]

May 03, 2016 • 11:52 am

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America’s Economic Civil War Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, September 16 2010
As Americans become more mobile and the economic policies of the states become more polarized, we are becoming a nation engaged in an extraordinarily civil war – one in which the most productive Americans are increasingly choosing a self-imposed quarantine from their statist siblings.

If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that the inconvenient truths of the free market have a way of puncturing political pretension. Take, for example, these data from a 2009 report by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC):
 
"When comparing California with Texas, U-Haul says it all. To rent a 26-foot truck oneway from San Francisco to Austin, the charge is $3,236, and yet the one-way charge for that same truck from Austin to San Francisco is just $399. Clearly what is happening is that far more people want to move from San Francisco to Austin than vice versa, so U-Haul has to pay its own employees to drive the empty trucks back from Texas."
 
Much to the chagrin of California’s governing class, the San Francisco-Austin example is a specific representation of a general trend. With the Golden State beset by hemorrhaging budget deficits, a crushing regulatory burden and some of the nation’s highest taxes, a group of more than 650 CEOs recently ranked California the nation’s worst place to do business. Texas was ranked the best. According to American Enterprise Institute’s Mark J. Perry, comments by sampled chief executives included:

-- “Texas is pro-business with reasonable regulations, while California is anti-business with anti-business regulations.”
 
-- “California is terrible. It’s the most difficult state in the nation.”
 
-- “The leadership of California has done everything in its power to kill manufacturing jobs in this state.”
 
-- “You feel like the Texas state government understands the value of business and industry to create jobs and growth.”

On first blush, the obvious consequence of this sharp disparity between the nation’s two most populous states is economic. Higher barriers to prosperity mean fewer jobs and less tax revenue for state governments. For incurious legislators, this may well be where the analysis ends. But as the ALEC report underscores, there’s a deeper problem: Americans are increasingly voting with their feet. Thus, the result of anti-business policies isn’t just less money. It’s less money and fewer people.
 
In light of their sharply contrasting economic climates, it should come as no surprise that California and Texas are likely to head in different directions when the congressional reapportionment from the 2010 census is implemented. For the first time in its history of more than 150 years, previously invincible California may lose a seat in the House of Representatives. By contrast, Texas is widely expected to gain four.
 
While California and Texas are examples at the extremes, the same trend is playing out throughout the nation. Reapportionment is expected to add seats in the more market-friendly states of the West and the South, such as Nevada, Utah, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. At the same time, the sclerotic economies of the Upper Midwest and the Northeast – dominated by government intervention and large union presences – will cause congressional losses in a nearly unbroken string running from Minnesota to New York (only Wisconsin and Indiana are expected to escape the knife). 
 
Welcome to the new federalism. As Americans become more mobile and the economic policies of the states become more polarized, we are becoming a nation engaged in an extraordinarily civil war – one in which the most productive Americans are increasingly choosing a self-imposed quarantine from their statist siblings. 
           
For now, this arrangement is preserving a fragile peace. But every day we get closer to the hour when the high taxes, reckless pensions and lavish entitlements of the government-driven states will lead them to rattle their tin cups at the doors of those who have embraced the free market.

They shouldn’t hold their breath.

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following national political parties most recently held a brokered presidential nominating convention?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Mr. Obama's efforts in Iraq today are the anti-Iraq surge. Whereas Mr. Bush in 2007 learned from his mistakes, Mr. Obama remains stubbornly committed to his failing approach. Whereas Mr. Bush listened to military leaders, Mr. Obama's favors inexperienced ideologues. Whereas Mr. Bush doubled-down to win in Iraq, Mr. Obama plays to run out the clock -- fueling a foolish narrative that the Islamic State…[more]
 
 
—Pete Hegseth, The Washington Times
— Pete Hegseth, The Washington Times
 
Liberty Poll   

If Donald Trump is the Republican presidential nominee and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, for whom will you vote in the general election?