By Clarice Feldman
Here and in Britain voters are torn as to whether or not to jump off the globalization, open borders bandwagon and government
by unelected bureaucrats or voting to retake sovereignty and re-establish free markets. The polls show the sentiments for retaining the status quo or starting over (Brexit) seem too close to call, I predict Britain will leave. I hope we, too, will choose to return to less intrusive more accountable government, sovereignty and freedom by rejecting Hillary Clinton ourselves.
Why is this the last chance for Britain to retain its national identity?
This crowdsourced British video sets forth the significance of the Brexit vote. (It’s long, but if you’re pressed for time -- the first 15 minutes provides a good summary). The EU is a richly compensated, enormous, anonymous unelected bureaucracy completely lacking in transparency. Its power rests in people the voters are unaware of and unable to remove. They are utterly unaccountable to the voters. It is a wasteful crony capitalist racket, working largely to keep its own gravy train (and that of its favored friends) going and growing.
Europeans seem to be overly attracted to the notion of government by wiseman elites. British love of independence and freedom is deeper and stronger, although government regulation and control took root during the World War I and that increased even more during World War II -- power the government didn’t relinquish when the war was over. This softened their resolve when the notion of the EU was hatched.
In contrast, postwar Germany stripped out the regulatory bureaucracy and created a much more successful, dynamic economy. Production rose, competition thrived, wages rose and it became a powerhouse as Britons still struggled with shortages, rationing, and economic stasis.
The European Economic Commission was created in the 1970s and the thought of becoming more like Germany appealed to Britons who joined the Common Market hoping to capture the benefits of the “German miracle”. Unfortunately, it was headed not by the Germans but by a Frenchman who had played a major role in the British postwar disaster with predictable results: It shackled itself to higher prices, lower employment, restricted innovation, and economic disaster. Being part of the EU has added to Britain’s woes as they have no good trade deals with the most dynamic parts of the world’s economies -- Asia, Africa, and the U.S.
With less than two weeks before the vote, polls indicate the British have had enough of this.
Pollster Frank Luntz, like me, sees a connection between Trump’s popularity and the movement to leave Brexit in Britain.
The Brexit question represents the political conflict rapidly spreading across the globe: Do hardworking, taxpaying citizens fundamentally trust or reject half a century of globalization, integration and innovation? Have the
The scope of federal government spending, deficits and the national debt is staggering, but so is the impact of federal regulations, which now exceeds half the amount the federal government spends annually. Unfortunately, regulations get too little attention in policy debates because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted. They are also difficult to quantify because their effects are often indirect. In Ten Thousand Commandments, Crews compiles available data on regulatory costs and trends. By making the size, extent and cost of Washington’s rules and mandates more comprehensible, Crews underscores the need for more review, transparency and accountability -- for both new and existing federal regulations.
Highlights of the 2015 edition include:
• Federal regulation and intervention cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in 2014 in lost economic productivity and higher prices.
• If U.S. federal regulation was a country, it would be the world’s 10th largest economy, ranking behind Russia and ahead of India.
• Economy-wide regulatory costs amount to an average of $14,976 per household -- around 29 percent of an average family budget of $51,100. Although not paid directly by individuals, this “cost” of regulation exceeds the amount an average family spends on health care, food and transportation.
• The “Unconstitutionality Index” is the ratio of regulations issued by unelected agency officials compared to legislation enacted by Congress in a given year. In 2014, agencies issued 16 new regulations for every law -- that’s 3,554 new regulations compared to 224 new laws.
• Many Americans complain about taxes, but regulatory compliance costs exceed what the IRS is expected to collect in both individual and corporate income taxes for last year—by more than $160 billion.
• Some 60 federal departments, agencies and commissions have 3,415 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline. The top six federal rulemaking agencies account for 48 percent of all federal regulations. These are the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interio
r, Health and Human Services and Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.
• The 2014 Federal Register contains 77,687 pages, the sixth highest page count in its history. Among the six all- time-high Federal Register total page counts, five occurred under President Obama.
• The George W. Bush administra tion averaged 62 major regulations annually over eight years, while the Obama administration has averaged 81 major regulations annually over six years.
The underlying currents are moving in Leave’s favor -- and they are doing so worldwide. Having conducted extensive polling and focus groups in the U.S., U.K. and across Europe, it is clear that more and more people have come to reject traditional theory and party orthodoxy, wreaking havoc on the politicians and political structures standing in its way. In Britain, the choice is between whether we want to “put ourselves first,” or “continue contributing to the global community.” In America, the fundamental question for the upcoming election is similar, and just as significant: whether to seek changes at the margins, or blow it all up and start over -- in the name of “Making America Great Again.”
Brexit is the beginning of a debate the developed world is about to have with itself, not the end.
Take the Fast & Furious scandal, where we handed over weapons to Mexican cartels and then hid from scrutiny the evidence of the wrongdoing.
We cannot have a healthy democracy in the digital age, in the modern age without more transparency in our government. And President Obama not only said what you said, [that his administration would be the most transparent in history] but also he said that from now on there’s going to be a presumption that every document that is produced by my government will be public, unless we can make the presumptive argument that it needs to be private. Instead, he has, factually been, the least transparent administration, probably in this nation’s history, certainly in modern time. And it comes at a time when people are demanding to have more transparency in their government, when we need to have more transparency in our government, and when we’re losing all trust in our government. And when you have something like this, where the administration is clearly lying, it’s clearly hiding documents that belong to us, not them, and their secretary of state did what she did with her emails, we really have a problem. And we all do, not just the Democratic Party, not just the Republican Party, but how are we going to conduct our government in this coming century?”
Or Benghazi. Or Hillary’s misuse of classified information.
As they choke the U.S. economy and beset us with preposterous diktats with regulations on everything, including school lunch menus, public bathroom policies, health coverage and insurance, college rape adjudication policies, proper light bulbs, water use, appliance efficiency, fuel mixes, the bureaucrats feather their nests.
America’s 2.1 million career civil service workers make on average 78 percent more in total compensation than private sector workers, according to new data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The total compensation average for federal workers is $119,934, including the value of leave, insurance and other perks, or 78 percent more than the average total compensation for private sector employees of $67,246. The BEA analysis excluded U.S. Postal Service workers.
The 2014 average federal salary in 2014 of $84,153 compared to $56,350 for all private sector workers. The 2014 salary average represented the first annual increase since 2011 when a partial pay freeze was implemented in a budget deal between President Obama and House Republicans.
Congress is even more lavish in awarding itself benefits as it turns over more of its Constitutional prerogatives to regulators. For example, it treats itself and its staff to special treatment under ObamaCare:
Congressional leaders from both parties quietly and gratefully accepted the special deal from the administration’s Office of Personnel Management. It gives legislators and staff “Gold Level” ObamaCare coverage with a 75 percent subsidy paid by taxpayers or even the option of opting out and retaining their previous heavily subsidized plan. The income of members and staff is simply not counted.
This is in direct violation of the specific language of the law Congress enacted. The White House broke its own law to provide Congress ObamaCare gold and then fraudulently administered it through the District of Columbia’s Small Business Healthcare Exchange. In order to get their waiver, representatives of the House and Senate signed documents, under penalty of perjury, that each body employed no more than 50 people. To date more than 13,000 members and staff have signed up with the help of another gift -- a dedicated team assigned only to Congress.
Both Congress and federal employees receive generous pension benefits and Congressmen receive generous other perquisites of office.
One thing is clear -- both the EU officialdom and ours are wiser than voters only in their ability to feather their own nests, not in making us safer, richer, or happier. Many predict that if the UK exits Brexit, other European countries will follow, Maybe one of