In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential…
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ProPublica/IRS Leak: There's No Underlying "There" There

In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxpayer returns spanning over 15 years, confirming that the partisan and power-hungry IRS simply cannot be trusted to safeguard our sensitive records, let alone to begin collecting sensitive private information from nonprofit organizations on donors who contribute to them in violation of the First Amendment.

Getting to the substance of the ProPublica/IRS leaked documents themselves, former Senator Phil Gramm and U.S. Policy Metrics partner Mike Solon explain in The Wall Street Journal how there's nothing scandalous in the least in what they reveal:

ProPublica’s 'blockbuster' story showing that the wealthy 'pay income taxes that are only…[more]

June 18, 2021 • 04:40 PM

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California: Becoming Venezuela Before Our Very Eyes Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 10 2020
Crippled by three decades of nearly airtight political control by leftists, California literally cannot keep its residents’ lights on or their homes cool in the sweltering summer heat.

As infernos raged this week and California descended further into its self-created dysfunctional abyss, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted the following alert:  

It’s almost 3 p.m.  Time to turn off major appliances, set the thermostat to 78 degrees (or use a fan instead), turn off excess lights and unplug any appliances you’re not using.  We need every Californian to help conserve energy.  Please do your part.  #FlexAlert 

Responding wryly to Garcetti’s foreboding admonition, Representative Dan Crenshaw (R – Texas) tweeted, "Alexa, show me what happens when you let Democrats control energy policy."  

Once known as the Golden State and the dream destination of millions of Americans awed by its natural blessings and glamorized lifestyle, today California represents a cruel punchline and can’t restrain the outflow of residents and businesses to more hospitable states like Texas.  As Representative Crenshaw observed, that’s the direct result of decades of nearly continuous liberal governance.  

Last week, we highlighted how nations like Venezuela provide abject lessons in socialism’s uninterrupted record of catastrophe, whereas nations that safeguard individual freedoms and market principles flourish.  Socialism’s apologists often rationalize that nations like Venezuela or North Korea don’t represent “true socialism” or “democratic socialism,” but the fact is that even Scandinavian nations Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark see more of their citizens migrate to the United States than vice-versa, and that disparity is even more pronounced when adjusted per capita due to the U.S.’s much larger population.  

One needn’t look abroad, however, to understand the calamitous results of leftist governance relative to states where lower taxes, less regulation and greater individual liberty prevail.  States like California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois offer equally stark lessons.  

Consider unemployment, for instance.  

Amid the ongoing coronavirus recession, the six lowest-unemployment states are Utah, Nebraska, Idaho, Kentucky, South Dakota and Montana, with rates ranging from 4.5% to 6.4% as of July.  In contrast, the six highest-unemployment states are Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California, with rates spanning 13.3% to 16.1%.  

Notice the trend?  

And in an era where even coronavirus responses have been politicized, with President Trump shamelessly scapegoated by the left despite the virus’s worldwide impact, consider the conspicuous performance differences between states.  As of this week, New York under the governance of bombastic and curiously self-righteous Andrew Cuomo maintained a distant lead in state coronavirus deaths at 32,987.  In a distant second with 15,989 deaths was New Jersey, followed by California at 13,732 deaths.  

Subtract just those three leftist states from the nationwide total, and the U.S. coronavirus death total plummets by fully one-third.  But somehow that’s all President Trump’s fault, right?  

Meanwhile, as referenced earlier, California’s “green energy” mandates and environmental extremism have made the state a tinderbox that cannot even power its residents’ homes.  State lawmakers over recent years have prohibited controlled burns to clear potential fire zones, they’ve restricted logging operations that help limit fire danger and they’ve imposed renewable energy mandates that strain infrastructure, produce inconsistent and insufficient power supply and discourage infrastructure upkeep.  

As a result of California’s policy choices and despite its vast natural resources, it literally must import power from neighboring states like Arizona.  

Additionally, the state’s utilities in recent years have been forced to impose widespread public safety power shutoffs that cut electricity to broad swaths to reduce wildfire risk.  Last year, 2 million residents in 34 counties lost power for days at a time, and this year the shutoffs have coincided with a stifling heat wave.  

Crippled by three decades of nearly airtight political control by leftists, California literally cannot keep its residents’ lights on or their homes cool in the sweltering summer heat.  And like other similarly leftist states like New York and Illinois, it cannot keep its discouraged residents and employers from abandoning ship for such states as Florida, Georgia, Texas and Utah.  

Accordingly, Americans needn’t look to Venezuela to understand the failure of the leftist governmental model.  The same illustrations lie right here before their very eyes.  

Quiz Question   
What is the current U.S. national debt?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"Last month, we warned Republicans about the pitfalls of indulging President Biden's infrastructure fantasies. The bipartisan framework announced Thursday isn't causing us to change our mind.There is much to dislike about the so-called compromise proposal (even putting aside the minor detail that the nation's infrastructure is not, in fact, in dire need of repair). The deal negotiated by a group of…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, National Review
— The Editors, National Review
 
Liberty Poll   

In the first Supreme Court term with Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett all now on the bench, how satisfied are you with decisions in cases you care about?