Shrinking workforce participation still cause for concern in jobs report

Feb. 7, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement on the latest jobs numbers:

“We learned this week that the Obama Administration views a shrinking workforce participation as a good thing based upon their response to Congressional Budget Office analysis of Obamacare which asserts that more than 2 million people are likely to leave the full-time workforce due to Obamacare.

“The ups and downs of any monthly unemployment report pale in comparison to this startling analysis.  While the labor participation rate shifted upward slightly, it still remains that 3.5 million fewer people who are 16-54 are participating in the workforce compared to January 2009 levels. If they were included in today’s jobs report, the unemployment rate would be 8.6 percent, instead of the reported 6.6 percent.

“The impact of this long term shift in workforce participation remains a real source of concern for the future health of the U.S. economy.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG urges Congress to force special counsel in IRS targeting scandal

Feb. 6, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Richard Manning today issued the following statement urging the House of Representatives to use its power of the purse to force the Attorney General to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS tea party targeting scandal:

“Congressman Jim Jordan earned the nation’s respect today for holding a hearing highlighting the IRS abuses against conservative oriented social welfare groups.  It was astonishing to hear Democrats on the Committee continue to deny the obvious weaponization of government experienced by these Americans triggered for no other reason than their decision to formally engage in the political process.

“It is truly embarrassing that these Democrats, who purport to support democracy and involvement, would make excuses and even go so far as to attack those who have already been victimized once.

“Fortunately, Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote and Becky Gerritson of Wetumpka Tea Party in Alabama continue to refuse to be victims and will not be silenced.  Their efforts, along with outstanding members of Congress like Mr. Jordan have brought the Obama Administration’s obvious abuse of power to the national spotlight.

“Last year, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called for a special counsel to investigate and prosecute these egregious abuses of power that threaten the fabric of our representative democracy.  That call was echoed today by Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.  It is clear that the Justice Department is stonewalling any legitimate investigation and there is no longer any excuse for denying a legitimate independent investigation of these blatant attacks on the fundamental right to dissent.

“To force the issue, Congress using its power of the purse should stop all attempts by the IRS to impose new regulations governing social welfare groups, and additionally force a full investigation into these abuses by a special counsel.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Perez hoisted on racial disparate impact petard

Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in response to allegations by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 12 that the Obama-run Department of Labor has engaged in racial discrimination in their internal promotion policies dating back to 2009:

“It is the ultimate irony that Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is facing a union crisis at the Department he leads that is largely based upon racial discrimination claims built around the discredited disparate impact theory that he has long sought to impose on private employers.

“The racism claim from Labor’s public employee union local is based upon statistical analysis of job promotions rather than a critical look at the comparative candidates who were being considered.  Under Perez’s own enforcement of the law while at the Justice Department, the merits of individual candidates don’t matter, the only guideline for racial discrimination is if the correct proportion of each race and gender are represented.  Now, he faces a complaint that accuses his predecessor and many of his subordinates in the Department with being branded with the scarlet R of racist due to their promotion practices.

“Now Perez and Obama himself are being hoisted on the very petard they have been using as a cudgel against private employers.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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IRS smoking gun uncovered by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp

Feb. 6, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement calling attention to documents uncovered by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp proving that the proposed IRS regulations against 501(c)(4)s were planned while the targeting of the tea party was ongoing, and not in response to that scandal in 2013 as the Obama administration has contended:

“President Obama can no longer hide behind his seemingly perpetual state of confusion over what is happening in his administration, as records now clearly show. The 2012 email released by Chairman Camp proves that the new IRS regulation restricting 501(c)(4) organizations’ political speech was not in response to the scandal targeting the tea party or any confusion about what (c)(4) regulations mean, but was devised well in advance.

“The IRS had a long-term plan to use its power to intimidate and stop small conservative groups from participating in the political process using the same tax-exempt status as groups like Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters that publish voter guides.

“Congress can no longer stand idly assuming good will from this administration and it must use its power of the purse including any extension of the debt ceiling to expressly prohibit the implementation of these new IRS rules designed to squelch First Amendment rights of Obama’s political opponents.”

Attachments:

“Camp Blasts Treasury & Lois Lerner for Developing 501(c)(4) Rules ‘Off-Plan’” Feb. 5, 2014 at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=369014

“Obama’s state of confusion on IRS underscores cover-up,” By ALG Senior Editor Robert Romano, Feb. 5, 2014 at http://netrightdaily.com/2014/02/obamas-state-confusion-irs-underscores-cover/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG praises Rep. Dave Camp for taking IRS investigation lead

Jan. 31, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today praised Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) for directing the investigation of the IRS targeting of the tea party and other 501(c)4 organizations toward a November 2013 proposed rulemaking by the Treasury Department that will severely restrict the political speech of all 501(c)4s:

“House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s request for all documents related to the IRS rulemaking is a step in the right direction to stop these egregious regulations from taking effect.  The regulations would effectively legitimize the very IRS activity that resulted in the tea party targeting scandal of the past couple of years.  Chairman Camp’s request will help determine if the new regulations were driven more by politics than the law.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Did Geithner threaten S&P on debt downgrade in political retaliation?

Jan. 22, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement blasting the Obama administration via then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for allegedly threatening Standard and Poor’s in 2011 when it downgraded U.S. debt:

“Standard and Poor’s sworn declaration that they were threatened by Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the wake of their downgrading U.S. debt makes the New Jersey bridge closure claims look like child’s play.  The worldwide economy depends upon S&P rating bond risks appropriately and the clear attempts to intimidate those who measure those risks by Obama’s henchman shows just how out of control this Administration has been since almost its inception.

“The President must be held accountable for these actions. This was an egregious abuse of power that calls into question not only our creditworthiness, but the lengths the Obama administration will go to in order to hide the truth about our coming fiscal ruin. Our $17.3 trillion debt is not going away, and threatening those who say it is a problem will not save us when the bill finally comes due.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Senate Republicans block unemployment benefits extension

Jan. 14, 2014, Faifax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement praising Senate Republicans for blocking an extension of unemployment benefits:

“It is refreshing that Senate Republicans have found the backbone to stop Harry Reid’s attempt to jam through a massive unemployment insurance extension spending increase without making the necessary cuts to pay for it.  It is time for Congress to have an honest discussion about Obama policies, including Obamacare and runaway environmental regulations, that are exasperating this long-term unemployment crisis, rather than just passing the buck on to future taxpayers.

“Currently, those who have the misfortune of being unemployed receive more than six months of benefits, and with the Obama Administration’s Labor Department reporting that the unemployment rate has shrunk to 6.7 percent, it just may be time to end the extension altogether.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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The moral evolution of progressives

By Marta H. Mossburg

Boy, have progressives “evolved.”

The party of saloon protesters, suffragettes and crusaders against smoking, prostitution and immigration are now the champions of government-regulated vice.

They no longer want to save souls, but use them to increase tax revenue to fund an ever expanding list of new priorities in a turnaround that would likely make Frances Willard, the famous head of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the late 1800s, reach for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

The reversal is not totally consistent, however. No sooner had progressives successfully helped to ban smoking everywhere in public places had they moved on to champion legalizing marijuana.

Pot legalization is the cause du jour for Heather Mizeur, a Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, who would like to use the money generated from selling pot to fund universal pre-kindergarten. She recently told MSNBC, “When we tax, legalize and regulate marijuana, we’ll have the revenue to invest in other important priorities like making sure that every one of our children are [sic] ready to enter school able to learn at the same pace as every other kid in our state.”

Whoa, so it doesn’t matter if the kids’ parents are lighting up each night so long as the government gets to teach their offspring during the day?

Buying, selling and smoking pot is now legal in Colorado and soon will be in Washington. The war on drugs has failed, just as Prohibition did, but that never stopped progressives of yesteryear from deploring ideals that did not conform to their moral standards.

If anything, it only made them more fervent in their quest to educate America’s public school children about the horrors of alcohol, castigate Hollywood for depicting pre-marital sex and smoking in movies and indoctrinate immigrants on Ellis Island in their teetotaling ways.

Now they are champions of “sex workers” and gambling for its job-creating capabilities, which makes one wonder if they might consider legalizing child labor so long as the taxes generated from it paid for universal access to dental care for child factory workers or championing bigamy if it paved the way for higher housing density and less urban sprawl. Or what about banning rich white families from adopting black children to prevent them from becoming Republicans? Ask MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry about that one.

Maybe it should not be surprising that progressive views have changed so dramatically in 100 years. Progressives themselves believe in moving ever forward to an as yet undiscovered ideal, and if that means discarding the moral underpinnings of the movement, so be it.

For all those who care about personal freedom, it probably feels good to have a movement that helped to elect President Barack Obama twice and the new mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, on your side. But ultimately the affinity libertarians may share with progressives about gay marriage or drug and prostitution legalization is temporary because freedom and other core values are not important in and of themselves. They are a means to achieve something else.

Look at how President Obama’s administration so quickly postponed or reinterpreted key provisions in his signature health law. His executive decisions will significantly impact how many people join the health exchanges and ultimately undermine the law from working as intended, since they mean fewer younger and healthier people will balance out the older and sicker people signed up.

If even he is willing to abandon central tenets of his philosophy, what does it say about progressive beliefs? And if the rule of law, even his own law, is secondary to maintaining political power, why take the trouble to have beliefs in the first place?

If anything, progressives should make Americans celebrate the Bill of Rights as an enduring defense against those for whom rights depend on who is in power. Evolution is poisonous to human life if tyranny is its final expression.

Marta H. Mossburg writes about national affairs, culture and Maryland, where she lives. Follow her on Twitter at @mmossburg.

ALG President Nathan Mehrens on new employment numbers

 January 10, 2014, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens issued the following statement on December’s job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“Another half a million people dropped out of the American labor force in December.  You can ignore every other statistic and spin coming out of this Administration about the job market, this is the only data point that matters.  That is a half million more dreams shattered as Americans give up on traditional, legal paths to economic success and wealth.

 ”Since Obama became president, the number of people who are considered to be in the civilian job eligible population has increased by just shy of eleven million people, but the number of people who have entered the work force has only increased by about 730 thousand people.  Quite simply our nation cannot survive when fewer than sixty six out a thousand working aged people are entering the workforce.  Of those sixty six who want a job, about five of them are unemployed.

“That is Obama’s economic legacy.  Political spin and economic shills can put whatever face they want on his economy, but any rational person can see, that this is not a sustainable model.  That is the takeaway from the December employment report, and it is ugly.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at  (703) 383-0880  or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

ALG President Nathan Mehrens on new employment numbers

 January 10, 2014, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens issued the following statement on December’s job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“Another half a million people dropped out of the American labor force in December.  You can ignore every other statistic and spin coming out of this Administration about the job market, this is the only data point that matters.  That is a half million more dreams shattered as Americans give up on traditional, legal paths to economic success and wealth.

 ”Since Obama became president, the number of people who are considered to be in the civilian job eligible population has increased by just shy of eleven million people, but the number of people who have entered the work force has only increased by about 730 thousand people.  Quite simply our nation cannot survive when fewer than sixty six out a thousand working aged people are entering the workforce.  Of those sixty six who want a job, about five of them are unemployed.

“That is Obama’s economic legacy.  Political spin and economic shills can put whatever face they want on his economy, but any rational person can see, that this is not a sustainable model.  That is the takeaway from the December employment report, and it is ugly.”

To view online: http://getliberty.org/alg-president-nathan-mehrens-on-new-budget-numbers/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at  (703) 383-0880  or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.