In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

Liberty Update

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Notable Quotes
 
On Ongoing Problems at the Internal Revenue Service:
 
 

"Lawmakers continued to raise concerns about the Internal Revenue Service at a Congressional hearing this week as the agency deals with billions in misspent dollars, hefty processing backlogs, and complaints over poor customer service.

Lawmakers lobbed questions at the tax-collecting agency during the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing.

'The program has an annual improper payment rate of around 25%. In the latest fiscal year, the improper payment amount totaled $19 billion,' Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., said at the hearing this week.

Rice said the agency has 16 million unprocessed returns. Critics have blasted the agency for months for its backlog of millions of returns. Others pointed to the poor customer service at the IRS, an agency that has struggled to keep up with call volume from Americans asking for help. ...

Lawmakers from both parties have sent a series of letters to the IRS asking questions and looking for solutions. A bipartisan group of over 100 members of Congress sent a letter to the IRS in March about some of these issues."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— Casey Harper, The Center Square
— Casey Harper, The Center Square
Posted May 20, 2022 • 07:40 AM
 
 
On the Nation's Baby Formula Shortage:
 
 

"'We don't have a food shortage problem,' then-candidate Joe Biden said just months after the COVID pandemic began in May 2020. 'We have a leadership problem.'

"Now that he is president, however, Biden is singing a different tune. Asked if he should have taken steps to address the nation's baby formula shortages sooner, Biden replied, 'If we had been better mind readers, I guess we could have.'

"But the Biden administration never had to read minds. It had been informed of problems at a Michigan baby formula plant eight months ago, and in fact, the Food and Drug Administration issued a recall of formula from that same plant three months ago. Yet Biden never spoke of or acted to address the formula shortage until last Friday.

And yes, there is plenty he could have done."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
Posted May 19, 2022 • 08:08 AM
 
 
Reporting on Comments Made by Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke on Proposals to Cancel Student Loan Debt:
 
 

"Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke said that cancelling student loan debt would be unfair.

"'It would be very unfair to eliminate. Many of the people who have large amounts of student debt are professionals who are going to go on and make lots of money in their lifetime. So why would we be favoring them over somebody who didn't go to college, for example?' Bernanke said, according to the New York Times.

"President Joe Biden said last month that he is 'considering dealing with some debt reduction,' though he added that $50,000 debt reduction is not on the table -- some Democrats have pushed for Biden to nix up to $50,000 of federal student loan debt per person.

"But the concept of wiping out some or all student debt obligations remains deeply polarizing. Debt forgiveness would not benefit those who have already worked diligently to pay off their own student loans or the millions of Americans who chose not to attend college."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— Alex Nitzberg, Blaze Media
— Alex Nitzberg, Blaze Media
Posted May 18, 2022 • 07:24 AM
 
 
On the Federal Court Decision Striking Down a California Law Requiring Gender-Based Quotas on the Boards of Publicly Held Corporations:
 
 

"A California law requiring publicly-held corporations to include women on their boards has been declared unconstitutional by a Los Angeles judge.

Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis said the law, which requires corporations with principal executive offices in California to include women on their boards, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the state's Constitution.

The law was challenged by Judicial Watch, who argued that the law created an unconstitutional gender-based quota system. Judicial Watch represented three California taxpayers who brought forth the case. The judge issued the ruling on Friday. ...

The 2018 law at the center of the case, Senate Bill 826, required that publicly held foreign or domestic corporations with principal executive offices in California add at least one female director to its board by the end of 2019. By January 2022, the law required corporations to have at least three female directors on boards of six or more members and at least two female directors on boards of five members."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— Madison Hirneisen, The Center Square
— Madison Hirneisen, The Center Square
Posted May 17, 2022 • 08:14 AM
 
 
On the First Open Congressional Hearing on UFOs in More Than 50 Years:
 
 

"The House Intelligence Committee will hold the first open hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years. ...

"For just one example as to why public awareness of this topic is important, the Washington Examiner has seen compelling evidence that the Space Force is undertaking quiet work in support of the government's UFO research. That doesn't mean UFOs are aliens. But something very significant is going on.

"This hearing is a blow to the Pentagon bureaucracy, which had hoped to keep the UFO issue out of the public gaze. But as Bryan Bender reported last week, Congress has become increasingly agitated by the Pentagon's failure to undertake a more comprehensive approach to the UFO issue. Described inside the government as 'Unidentifies Aerial Phenomena (UAPs),' UFOs have seen greater public attention in recent years following the release of videos recorded by Navy aircraft showing these objects. ...

"But what's motivating Congress to take public action is its access to a larger portfolio of imagery, data, and military witness testimony that has yet to be released to the public."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— Tom Rogan, Foreign Policy/National Security Writer for the Washington Examiner
— Tom Rogan, Foreign Policy/National Security Writer for the Washington Examiner
Posted May 16, 2022 • 08:45 AM
 
 
On FBI investigations Against Parents Protesting School COVID Policies:
 
 

"The FBI opened 'at least dozens' of investigations of parents and elected officials across the country for opposing COVID-19 school policies such as mask and vaccine mandates, House Judiciary Committee Republicans alleged this week.

"Ranking Member Jim Jordan of Ohio and Louisiana's Mike Johnson, ranking member of the civil liberties subcommittee, accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of giving sworn testimony last fall that was 'contrary' to evidence subsequently provided to them by 'brave whistleblowers.'

"The renewed attention on Garland's statements follows government motions to dismiss a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by 14 Republican state attorneys general seeking the Biden administration's communications with the National School Boards Association (NSBA), which had asked the president to prosecute 'domestic terrorism and hate crimes' by critics of COVID policies and the teaching of racially deterministic doctrines like critical race theory."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— Greg Piper, Investigative Report at Just the News
— Greg Piper, Investigative Report at Just the News
Posted May 13, 2022 • 07:33 AM
 
 
On Inflation:
 
 

"Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, accelerated in April, rising 0.6 percent from the previous month, while the March increase was 0.3 percent. That is bad news. In addition, the headline print on 12-month price hikes was 8.3 percent, worse than the consensus expectation of 8.1 percent.

"The only life raft for President Biden? That 8.3 percent year-over-year boost is modestly lower than the 8.5 percent inflation recorded for March.

"The friendly media clung to that bit of flotsam for dear life. Inflation 'slowed in April', as USA Today reported, asking: 'Will it bring a bit of relief to price-weary shoppers?'

"No, it's doubtful that people paying almost 11 percent more for groceries, 44 percent more for gasoline, 80 percent more for fuel oil and 23 percent more for a used car than they did a year ago will be comforted to know that it could have been worse."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— Liz Peek, Former Partner of Wall Street Firm Wertheim & Company
— Liz Peek, Former Partner of Wall Street Firm Wertheim & Company
Posted May 12, 2022 • 08:05 AM
 
 
On 'Democratic Superlawyer' Marc Elias
 
 

"It's not every day that a federal judge calls a lawsuit from one of the country's top lawyers a nasty and partisan 'Hail Mary pass,' intended to undermine free and fair elections. But that's what happened on Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, a Clinton appointee, tossed out a lawsuit brought by Democratic superlawyer Marc Elias.

"'In the 102 years since my father, then a Ukrainian refugee, came into this country, if there were two things that he drilled into my head, they were â€Ã‚¦ free, open, rational elections [and] respect for the courts. The relief that I'm being asked to give today impinges, to some degree, on the public perception of both,' Kaplan said of the lawsuit, which sought to preserve redistricting lines in New York state that a court had already ruled unconstitutional. 'And I'm not going to do that.'

"It's been a rough month for Elias, the man former president Barack Obama tapped to lead his post-presidential initiative to expand 'voting rights' and the Democratic Party's premier legal attack dog. Just last week, Special Counsel John Durham accused Elias, who represented Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign -- and who every election cycle counts virtually every powerful Democrat as a client -- of lying about his relationship with the opposition research firm he retained to assist that campaign."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— Kevin Daley, Washington Free Beacon
— Kevin Daley, Washington Free Beacon
Posted May 11, 2022 • 08:12 AM
 
 
On Student Learning Loss from Remote Learning as a Result of Covid:
 
 

"No parent needs to be told that remote learning during COVID was a disaster.

"But a new study confirms it. Its findings cry out to heaven for accountability among those who brought this disaster upon their own school districts by ignoring science and keeping school buildings closed long after there was any justification.

"Harvard researchers found that students in schools that stayed remote into 2020 lost the equivalent of half a school year of learning over the two-year window beginning in the fall 2019 academic year.

"There was a significant difference between the students who went back to in-person learning after the initial jitters over COVID and the ones who did not. Students who returned to in-person schooling in fall 2020 lost only 20% of a school year.

"Thus, in the mostly liberal jurisdictions that bowed to the teachers unions and kept schools closed long after there was any scientific justification, students suffered a loss that was 150% greater. It is also worth noting, with Democrats giving so much lip service to 'equity' and 'inclusion,' 'that their policies were much harder on school districts with high levels of poverty."

Read the entire article here.

 
 
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
Posted May 10, 2022 • 08:36 AM
 
 
18 U.S. Code § 1507 - Picketing or parading:
 
 

"Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, or with such intent uses any sound-truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

"Nothing in this section shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of the United States of its power to punish for contempt."

 
 
— h/t to James Woods on Twitter
— h/t to James Woods on Twitter
Posted May 09, 2022 • 08:49 AM
 
Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"Lawmakers continued to raise concerns about the Internal Revenue Service at a Congressional hearing this week as the agency deals with billions in misspent dollars, hefty processing backlogs, and complaints over poor customer service.Lawmakers lobbed questions at the tax-collecting agency during the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing.'The program has an annual improper payment rate…[more]
 
 
—Casey Harper, The Center Square
— Casey Harper, The Center Square
 
Liberty Poll   

Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?