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

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Deficit Growing Again, Despite Record Income Tax Haul Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, April 16 2015
If Obama considers yet another deficit of almost $1 trillion "austere," imagine the deficit if his vast bureaucratic spending wishes were fulfilled.

So Americans paid $1.4 trillion in income taxes for 2014, a new record high.  For 2015, the expected total is even higher. 

It is therefore unsurprising that a majority of Americans consider the amount of taxes they pay "too high" as opposed to "about right," according to a new Gallup survey.  Just 3% - perhaps the survey respondents who happen to work  for federal, state or local governments - consider taxes "too low." 

Despite record tax receipts and unacceptably high rates, however, the Treasury Department announced this week that the federal budget deficit actually widened for the first half of fiscal 2015.  At $439 billion, that would result in a full-year deficit of $900 billion if numerically doubled.  And that's fully 6% higher than last year at the same point. 

Keep in mind that even that bleak deficit number occurred under the federal budget "sequester," which Barack Obama curiously labels "mindless austerity."  If Obama considers yet another deficit of almost $1 trillion "austere," imagine the deficit if his vast bureaucratic spending wishes were fulfilled. 

Actually, we needn't imagine.  The first years of his administration constituted - by far - the worst deficit record of any president in American history. 

Prior to Obama, we had never witnessed a single deficit measured in the trillions, or even half a trillion dollars.  But Obama rattled off four in a row. 

This from the man who promised in February 2009 that, "today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office." 

That was an early false promise among many to come. 

When Obama offered that assurance, the most recent deficit was $458 billion, by far the worst of George W. Bush's presidency.  Over the entirety of his eight-year tenure, Bush's average deficit was $251 billion.  And even casting Bush in the most negative light, by attributing the entire 2009 deficit to him and removing the 2001 fiscal year surplus from his credit, he still averages just $444 billion for the years 2002 through 2009. 

Now let's roll the tape on Obama. 

The fiscal 2009 deficit reached $1.4 trillion, which was followed in 2010 by a deficit of $1.3 trillion and in 2011 by another $1.3 trillion total.  His election year of 2012 brought another $1.1 trillion deficit, followed by deficits of $680 billion and then $492 billion last year. 

Even in the most charitable light, excluding the 2009 deficit over which he presided for almost 9 months and for which he was partly responsible due to such things as his wasteful "stimulus," Obama's average deficit for the years 2010 through 2014 stands at a staggering $973 billion. 

When Obama's "stimulus" spending year of 2009 is included, his deficit average rises to a more reflective $1.05 trillion. 

Accordingly, perhaps his nickname should be "The Trillion-Dollar Deficit Man" instead of his preferred "No-Drama Obama." 

Recall also that when he was running for president in 2008, Obama labeled Bush's spending record "unpatriotic."  As a sidenote, leftists like Obama often get away with tossing that "unpatriotic" assertion around because everyone knows it doesn't stick.  But whenever turnabout occurs, and someone like Rudy Giuliani questions Obama's own patriotism, somehow the same label is suddenly outrageous. 

Regardless, Obama's deficit record stands as the worst in U.S. history by a great distance, dwarfing even a predecessor who received merciless criticism for his comparatively modest deficits.  Which adds a particularly unseemly quality to Obama's ongoing efforts to draw praise for "cutting the deficit in half" after tripling them for several consecutive years. 

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton officially commenced her 2016 presidential campaign this week. 

Her obvious dilemma is how to balance her need to retain Obama's remaining devotees while distancing herself from his atrocious foreign and domestic performance record.  Whether spoken or implicit, she will likely attempt to capitalize upon memories of the more halcyon aspects of the 1990s to the greatest degree possible. 

When it comes to federal deficits, we might indeed do well to return to 2000 budget parameters, when incoming revenues were merely $2 trillion while spending reached just $1.77 trillion - half today's amount. 

But somehow, one doubts that's what Hillary has in mind. 

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
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Notable Quote   
 
"The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name 'Hillary Clinton' in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election.For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as 'She who must not be named' in scandals…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
— Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
 
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Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?