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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Liberals Once Cared About Deficits, Until Obama Multiplied Them Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 22 2015
[S]ince that day on which Obama labeled Bush's deficit record "unpatriotic," the U.S. has added nearly $8 trillion in debt, which constitutes a 140% increase.

Back when George W. Bush was president, liberals ceaselessly condemned his comparatively mild budget deficits. 

When Barack Obama became president and proceeded to compound those deficits, however, they conspicuously went silent. 

Recall what candidate Obama had to say about the issue on July 3, 2008.  On that date, the most recent deficit on record was a paltry $161 billion.  Nevertheless, candidate Obama boldly labeled Bush's fiscal record "unpatriotic": 

"The problem is, that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents, number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back - $30,000 for every man, woman and child. 

"That's irresponsible.  It's unpatriotic." 

Upon becoming president himself, however, Obama proceeded to dwarf Bush's deficits.  Yet he and his enablers applaud themselves now that they've returned below the record trillion-dollar threshold they breached several years in a row. 

For purposes of clarity and specificity, let's compare the two presidents' respective deficit records. 

In nominal dollars, Bush posted a surplus of $127 billion in 2001, then deficits of $158 billion in 2002, $378 billion in 2003, $413 billion in 2004, $318 billion in 2005, $248 billion in 2006, $161 billion in 2007 and $459 billion in 2008. 

Over an eight-year period, that amounts to an accumulated $2.01 trillion under Bush. 

Obama's six-year record to date includes deficits of $1.413 trillion in 2009, $1.294 trillion in 2010, $1.299 trillion in 2011, $1.1 trillion in 2012, $680 billion in 2013 and $492 billion in 2014 and $435 billion in 2015. 

Over a seven-year period, that amounts to an accumulated $6.713 trillion under Obama. 

Perhaps Obama will miraculously run a $4.7 trillion budget surplus for the 2016 fiscal year, which would bring him back even with Bush's cumulative deficit amount.  Maybe then Obama will consider himself equally patriotic to Bush. 

Regardless, since that day on which Obama labeled Bush's deficit record "unpatriotic," the U.S. has added nearly $8 trillion in debt, which constitutes a 140% increase.  Making matters worse, historically low interest rates have so far mitigated the amount of interest that we must pay on existing debt.  When rates inevitably rise at some point down the road, interest payment increases will only add to fiscal pressures that are already unsustainable for the long term. 

There's another distressing fact that mustn't be overlooked.  Namely, all of these record deficits under Obama have occurred while incoming revenues have also reached all-time highs.  For the 2014 fiscal year that just ended on September 30, the U.S. received a record $3.25 trillion.  Even with that, however, we suffered a depressing $435 billion deficit because federal spending also increased 5.2% to $3.7 trillion. 

Accordingly, the problem is reckless and wasteful federal spending, not insufficient taxation. 

Despite that, candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders now race to out-socialist the other by promising even more spending on new federal giveaways.  By one estimate, Sanders has proposed new programs that would add an additional $18 trillion in spending over ten years. 

Unfortunately, the one area where neither Clinton nor Sanders seek increased spending is the only one that arguably needs it:  national defense. 

It should also be noted that the downward deficit trajectory commenced after Obama lost the House of Representatives to Republicans in 2010, which led to the subsequent budget standoff that resulted in automatic spending cuts commonly referred to as "sequestration."  Thus, the same Republicans that Obama regularly demonizes actually deserve credit for what spending moderation and deficit reduction has occurred more recently.  Also note that Obama and other liberals now malign the sequestration limits as some sort of draconian straightjacket that must be reversed, even under threat of vetoing the defense spending bill Congress just passed. 

With this record in mind, instead of labeling Bush's deficits "unpatriotic" during that July 2008 campaign speech, perhaps Obama should have instead announced that, "We've got to quadruple the deficit so that we can cut it in half." 

In addition to anticipating Nancy Pelosi's infamous words about ObamaCare two years later, at least it would have brought a rare element in truth in advertising for the American electorate. 

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)?