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How does government welfare stack up against private charity? It’s no contest

FEE’s Joel Lim writes, “It’s that time of year again, the time when Americans consume more than ever, but also the time when Americans give more than ever. Indeed, America's generosity as a whole is actually quite extensive, with Americans giving $471 billion in 2020, an all time high. That's more than what the vast majority of countries bring in for tax revenue. 80% of this is from individuals, according to Giving USA.

Americans, in general, are incredibly generous, with 25% of Americans volunteering every year...

Since the government started the ‘War on Poverty’ 56 years ago, it has spent $27 trillion on this effort. And yet, it was only the beginning 7 years when poverty rates went down. Why? Well, one likely explanation is that welfare has taught people not to work, as governmental welfare dependency statistics have shown. Indeed, 93% of welfare recipients rely on welfare for more than 2 years. Charity, on the other hand, is not guaranteed, so it encourages people to take responsibility and become self-sufficient…

Americans are a generous people, and we will step up and provide for the poor, especially if taxation is lowered through sensible cuts in welfare. Studies have found that ‘decreasing government funding increases the number of donors,’ which makes sense because a decrease in public spending means the people have more money to spend themselves.

A huge welfare state is not a practical solution for America, and its one-size-fits-all approach simply isn't working. The effects of the interventionist welfare state have been disastrous to taxpayers, communities, liberty, and the poor.”

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Run the numbers: Rand Paul has been right in every argument with Fauci

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Biden’s far-left FCC nominee Gigi Sohn would be a complete disaster

Freedomworks’ Alex Deise writes, “Despite campaigning as a moderate Democrat, President Biden has spent his first year in office governing no differently than how President Bernie Sanders would. As a result, his approval rating stands at a record low of 38%, inflation is completely out of control, and the economy is struggling to grow.

Instead of changing course, President Biden has decided to continue in the same direction. He is still nominating far-left radical partisan ideologues to run the most powerful administrative agencies in the federal government. Today’s example features Gigi Sohn, whom President Biden nominated to be a Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

If Sohn is confirmed, the FCC will promulgate a series of high-profile liberal policies that would never receive the support necessary to pass Congress. For starters, it is likely the FCC will adopt the same net neutrality policy it did when Sohn served as counsel to FCC Chairman Wheeler.”

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‘Build Back Better’ will likely cost double what the CBO projects

Reason’s Eric Boehm writes, “President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act is likely to end up costing taxpayers about double what the official price tag suggests, and much of that hidden cost will end up being added to the national debt.

That's the conclusion from two independent analyses of the proposal released in recent weeks. Both rely on a key assumption that did not figure into the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) analysis of the bill: that the Build Back Better plan's various policies will be in place for at least the next 10 years.

‘The Build Back Better Act relies on a number of arbitrary sunsets and expirations to lower the official cost of the bill,’ explains the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a nonprofit that advocates for balanced budgets. The group's newly updated analysis of the Build Back Better plan finds that the package will cost an estimated $4.8 trillion over 10 years if all provisions are made permanent—double the price tag applied by the CBO last month.”

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Passing ‘Build Back Better’ could doom Biden's presidency

Passing ‘Build Back Better’ could doom Biden's presidency

Reason’s Peter Suderman writes, “One of the strangest ticks of left-leaning punditry over the last year has been the contention that if Democrats in Congress didn't join together to pass some sort of climate and social spending bill—the various multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation packages that have gone under the label Build Back Better—then President Joe Biden would have presided over a failed presidency. The idea was that without this legislative package, Biden would have no accomplishments, no legacy, and nothing to show for his years in office with congressional majorities. Without the spending bill, Biden and the Democratic Party were doomed.

On the contrary, the evidence suggests that Biden is already presiding over a failed presidency—and passing the spending bill could further cement that failure.”

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Maskless Joe Biden caught violating mandates (again)

FEE’s Brad Polumbo writes, “If politicians didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all. At least, that’s the seemingly inescapable conclusion offered by President Biden’s latest flaunting of mask rules.

The president spent his holiday in Nantucket, Massachusetts. While there, he reportedly visited a local shop and was caught on camera maskless inside the store, despite a clear sign mandating masks inside and a local ordinance requiring mask-wearing indoors.

‘The president was seen inside Murray’s Toggery Shop on the island of Nantucket Saturday with his mask around his neck and not covering his mouth despite a visible sign outside the door instructing patrons to wear a mask,’ Fox News reports. ‘According to the White House press pool, Biden walked out of the shop at 4:45 p.m. with his mask down and drinking what appeared to be a milkshake.' (The store’s sign doesn’t say ‘unless you’re drinking.’ It says to wear a mask.)

In the still frame shown above, you can clearly see the president maskless while others inside are wearing masks—including a young child almost certainly at far less risk from COVID-19 than Biden.”

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Biden wants to empower the IRS and trample on your rights

Reason’s Eric Boehm writes, “President Joe Biden's plan to beef up IRS enforcement and snoop on Americans' bank accounts will require hiring more than 80,000 additional tax cops—expanding a federal bureaucracy with a long track record of flouting due process and undermining privacy.

As part of Biden's 'Build Back Better' plan, the IRS would get $80 billion in additional funding over the next 10 years. The bulk of those new funds, nearly $45 billion, would be directed toward enforcement actions with the goal of doubling the number of annual audits of small businesses. By comparison, the bill spends a relatively meager $1.93 billion on improving taxpayer services, including education and filing assistance.

In short, for every new dollar the IRS will spend helping Americans understand the endlessly complicated federal tax code, the agency will spend roughly $23 new dollars on enforcing those same rules.”

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They said inflation would be ‘transitory.' The data say something different.

FEE’s Nathan J. Richendollar writes, “President Joe Biden once bizarrely remarked on the 2020 campaign trail, ‘Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore.’ It shows.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported that the CPI rose at its fastest rate since 1990: 0.9 percent for the month of October and 6.2 percent year over year—faster than Wall Street consensus estimates of 0.6 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively.

Perhaps most telling, the acceleration in prices still clocks in at 0.6 percent monthly when the volatile food and energy categories are excluded, suggesting inflation is here to stay. Astute observers might notice that the 0.9 percent monthly change in CPI represents faster inflation than earlier this year, and that if current trends continued for one year, next October’s annual price increase would be 10.8 percent. These figures, quite frankly, obliterate any notion that our inflation is ‘transitory’ or trivial. In response, the president declared inflation his ‘top priority.’ Judging by the administration’s economic agenda, this only spells more trouble.”

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This holiday season, let’s avoid the ‘gift’ of a postal service bailout

Freedomworks' Cesar Ybarra writes, “It is no secret that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been hemorrhaging money for years, and 2021 is no different. Last week, the USPS posted a net loss of nearly $5 billion in fiscal year 2021. Any reasonable mind would agree that this trend is unacceptable and that serious, substantive changes need to be made to get the agency on a path of financial stability.

After operating at a loss for so long, few can believe that postal leadership, regulators and lawmakers have not yet taken steps to genuinely fix the Postal Service’s business model. The fiscal management of the USPS has become so dire to the point that all sides of the political spectrum recognize the perilous state of the agency and how its direction is simply unacceptable.

Across multiple administrations, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has squarely pegged the USPS on its ‘high risk’ list since 2011.”

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The scariest inflation chart you’ve ever seen

FEE’s Jon Miltimore writes, “Inflation has been in the news a lot lately. The massive money pumping the Federal Reserve began in 2020 has finally got people’s attention, and is no longer a topic for just economists and free market advocates.

CNN last week reported that price increases recently hit a three-decade high and 25 percent of Americans say their standard of living has fallen. Speaking on CNBC’s 'Squawk Box,' Home Depot founder Ken Langone noted that 'inflation is a regressive tax [that] hits poor people hardest.' On CNBC’s sister network, MSNBC, host Joy Reid noted that 'unless you’ve been living under a rock your money isn’t going as far as it used to, with higher prices on gas, food and your energy bills...'

Most people understand what inflation is, but in case you don’t, let’s define it. Inflation is essentially an increase in the supply of money. That’s basically it, and this was the standard definition of inflation for centuries, economist Joseph Salerno notes. Economists later added a second definition describing inflation as 'a general and sustained increase in prices.'

Polls show Americans are quite worried about these 'sustained price increases.' As FiveThirtyEight recently observed, some surveys show 87 percent of registered voters are 'very' or 'extremely' concerned about inflation."

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