Economist Deirdre McCloskey will soon release her new book entitled "Bourgeois Equality:  How Ideas…
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Image of the Day: A Powerful Tribute to Free Market Capitalism

Economist Deirdre McCloskey will soon release her new book entitled "Bourgeois Equality:  How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World." It it, she describes the unprecedented transformation  and improvement of human wellbeing through the power of economic freedom, as illustrated by this graph:

. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="568" caption="The Power of Free Markets"][/caption]

. As McCloskey summarizes, that's the result of the free market revolution:

. [I]n the two centuries after 1800, the trade-tested goods and services available to the average person in Sweden or Taiwan rose by a factor of 30 or 100.  Not 100 percent, understand - a mere doubling - but in its highest estimate a factor of 100, nearly 10,000 percent, and at least a factor of 30…[more]

August 18, 2017 • 01:52 pm

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Gang’s Immigration Bill Funnels $100 Million to Leftwing Community Organizers Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, May 09 2013
[A] close reading of the text reveals that the structure, membership and funding requirements are all designed with one goal in mind – creating a publicly financed slush fund for radical leftwing activists.

A little-noticed section of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill could funnel up to $100 million in taxpayer-provided funds to leftwing community organizers for helping to “integrate” newly legalized immigrants into American society.

At the heart of the 24-page scheme (pp.383-407) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The entity, called the “United States Citizenship Foundation” (USCF), will be created by politically appointed immigration officials to disperse $100 million in congressionally appropriated grant money to private organizations specializing in outreach to immigrant communities. 

In addition, because of its non-profit status, USCF will be able to receive large donations from private individuals to supplement its $10 million annual operating budget.

According to the proposed statute, the purpose of USCF is to use its grant-making power to “coordinate immigrant integration with State and local entities.”

But a close reading of the text reveals that the structure, membership and funding requirements are all designed with one goal in mind – creating a publicly financed slush fund for radical leftwing activists.

Let’s start with the structure.

Creating a non-profit corporation allows those overseeing USCF to move at least one step outside of direct congressional oversight. As a government-run private enterprise, it’s unclear how much access Congress can demand into its internal operations, such as funding and spending decisions.  

Moreover, seeding the foundation with $100 million in grant money for its first five years loosens Congress’ hold on the purse strings, since the Gang’s bill, if passed, makes an immediate appropriation that will last until 2018.

The foundation’s ability to receive donations from private parties also opens the door to contributions from leftwing financiers like George Soros, who could use the tactic to conceal funding to ideologically aligned groups.

In this scenario, Soros could cut a check to USCF knowing that the money will find its way into the hands of groups he supports, but avoiding a direct paper trail.

How could he be sure?

Check out the membership.

Of the twelve people who will sit on USCF’s “Council of Directors,” only two will be public officials – the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Chief of the Office of Citizenship and New Americans.

The other ten directors will be appointed by the two public officials above, and will be drawn “from national community-based organizations that promote and assist permanent residents with naturalization.”

As the criteria implies, membership on the Council will be limited to people representing groups that already fulfill that requirement.

John Fonte of the Hudson Institute provides a helpful snapshot of which groups are likely to qualify.

In Illinois, it will be outfits like the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR); a group whose integration bona fides include getting “state support for illegal immigrants’ access to in-state college tuition, preschool, and health benefits, and secured recognition for foreign-consular (matricula consular) identity cards.”

ICIRR also helped Islamic groups resist “law-enforcement examinations of suspicious Muslim charities.”

Another likely beneficiary is CASA de Maryland, a recipient of $1.5 million from Hugo Chavez from 2008 to 2010.

Both ICIRR and CASA de Maryland work closely with state and local politicians on immigrant outreach initiatives. They are also heavily involved in mobilizing voters.

Other usual suspects Fonte mentions include notable leftwing activist groups such as the Service Employees International Union, La Raza, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund.

With Directors like those on board, all that’s left is to prioritize who gets the taxpayers’ money.

The Gang of Eight bill does that too.

USCF funding goes to “qualified entities that… use matching funds from non-Federal sources, which may include in-kind contributions;” or “demonstrate collaboration with public and private entities to achieve the goals of …[integration].”

Whatever supporters say, this much is true: If the USCF provision becomes law, it will create a cycle of potential and difficult-to-uncover corruption that allows leftwing activists and their financiers to siphon off taxpayer money while using the federal government as a tax and liability shield.  

Question of the Week   
How many times between 1996 and 2016 did the U.S. Congress pass a full federal budget instead of relying on continuing resolutions or omnibus spending bills?
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Quote of the Day   
 
" ... Americans have grown increasingly accustomed to the view that your politics is determined by your racial, ethnicity or gender identity. Politics is seen as a zero-sum battle for government favor. College and corporate leaders join in.Universities sponsor separate orientations, dormitories and commencements for identity groups (are separate drinking fountains next?). A corporate CEO fires an…[more]
 
 
—Michael Barone, Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst and AEI Resident Fellow
— Michael Barone, Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst and AEI Resident Fellow
 
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