FreedomWorking Newsletter

McConnell Says Senate Republicans Might Revisit ObamaCare Repeal

Via The Washington Free Beacon

Republicans could try again to repeal Obamacare if they win enough seats in U.S. elections next month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, calling a failed 2017 push to repeal the healthcare law a "disappointment." He said, "If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks… We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working."

In a forecast of 2019 policy goals tempered by uncertainty about who will win the congressional elections, McConnell also blamed costly social programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, for the fast-rising national debt. On social programs, McConnell said in an interview with Reuters: "Entitlements are the long-term drivers of the debt."

"We all know that there will be no solution to that, short of some kind of bipartisan grand bargain that makes the very, very popular entitlement programs be in a position to be sustained. That hasn’t happened since the ‘80s," he added. "But at some point we will have to sit down on a bipartisan basis and address the long-term drivers of the debt."


World Economic Forum Ranks U.S. First in Global Competitiveness for the First Time in a Decade

Via The Hill

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2018 World Competitiveness Report ranks the United States No. 1 in global competitiveness, up from No. 3 in the past few years and its first top ranking in a decade. A high ranking matters. As the WEF reports: “Global competitiveness is determined by the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country … And productivity leads to growth ... and improved well-being." The U.S.’s top-ranking therefore suggests a lot of growth and prosperity to come.

On Trump’s signature deregulation actions, the WEF ranks the U.S. second (behind Finland) in the efficiency of the legal framework in challenging regulations. The report praises diverse U.S. capital markets as open to financing new businesses and risky ventures and as efficiently allocating capital, while the rest of the world relies on stodgy banks to decide who gets financing.

In contrast, the American left views the financial system with distrust and hostility, as an institution designed to cheat rather than to grow business. Instead of viewing the U.S. labor market as a marvel of flexibility and fast reaction to change, the left views it as an instrument of exploitation. New technology is regarded by the left as a means to displace workers and knock them out of the middle class — a view, by the way, that crosses the political spectrum. 


Listen to Episode 18 of Freedom Files with Adam Brandon Featuring Michael Chase of @CrimeADay!

FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye fills in for Adam and talks with Michael Chase, author of the CrimeADay Twitter profile, about ridiculous federal laws and how easy it is for average Americans to break them.


Under Democratic Tax Plan, the Middle Class Pays While the Rich Find Tax Shelters

Via The Hill

Planning to vote in November? Ambivalent about the two parties? Well, if you’re concerned about wealthy individuals moving their money offshore to prevent paying income taxes — and forcing you to pay more  — then you have just one choice: Vote for Republicans. The same goes if you’re concerned about the middle and working classes being burdened by new taxes and deficit spending. Remember, any plan that talks about taxing the rich means that the dollars will come out of your pocket.

Yes, Republicans are the only party whose policies will prevent billions of dollars from being patriated overseas to avoid higher income taxes. Lower tax rates across the board and the elimination of loopholes will keep capital in the country. Democrats are likely to raise taxes on the middle class, but are absolutely clear about jacking up rates on high earners.

Raising the highest income tax bracket without sufficient relief will ensure that the rich will simply send their money to where they can keep the most of it, which is often overseas. George H.W. Bush’s tax hikes harmed the economy. Bill Clinton’s increase of taxes on the rich was offset by a capital gains tax cut. Higher taxes on the wealthy as the George W. Bush’s tax cuts expired fueled the poor economy under Barack Obama.


Want to Fix the Senate? Repeal the 17th Amendment

By FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye and Federal Affairs Manager Sarah Anderson via RealClearPolicy

Recently, there have been several complaints from leftists about the Senate, particularly since the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. They complain that the Senate is undemocratic and should have proportional representation like the House of Representatives.

Our bicameral legislature — a lower chamber with proportional representation based on population and an upper chamber with representation equal for every state regardless of population — was borne out of intense debate among the Founders on how to balance the interests of small states versus large states. The agreement reached between those interests was known as the “Great Compromise,” and is still great because it satisfies the interests of both large and small states while effectively guarding against mob rule. Between 1789 and 1913, senators were appointed by state legislatures, as the Founders had envisioned. The Constitution states, “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.”

In 1913, singularly the worst year for American liberty, the 17th Amendment was ratified, providing for the direct election of senators by the people. Without question, the 17th Amendment has led to more growth in the federal government since it eliminates the state voices that would traditionally advocate for a balance of power between state and federal government. Unsurprisingly and unfortunately, the direct election of senators has almost completely undermined federalism.


ALEC-FreedomWorks Legislator of the Week


This week, ALEC and FreedomWorks introduce Alaska State Representative Chris Birch. Representative Chris Birch’s family has a proud history in Alaska beginning in 1944 and now Rep. Birch serves the 26thdistrict.

Growing up in mining camps near Fairbanks and the Brooks Range, Chris chose to follow in his father’s footsteps, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1972 and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management in 1979. As a licensed professional engineer, he has broad experience in both public and private sector business operations and management.

This professional experience coupled with his service on the Assembly, along with many other community organizations in Fairbanks and Anchorage, have been instrumental in preparing him to offer the leadership, budget discipline, and experience necessary to move Alaska forward.



The Regulatory Update
With Patrick Hedger

Sponsored by the Allied Educational Foundation

Regulatory Reform Success in 2018
and Plans for 2019

On this week's episode of the Regulatory Update, Patrick Hedger discusses the $23 billion saved in 2018 thanks to deregulation and the White House's regulatory reform plans for 2019.


Despite Scare Tactics, Poll Shows Wide Support for FIRST STEP Act, a Conservative Justice Reform Bill

Via Reason

A new survey shows wide support among registered voters for provisions in a major  justice reform bill in Congress, in sharp contrast to a survey promoted by a group of federal prosecutors released last week showing opposition to the bill. According to a national survey of 1,234 registered voters conducted online between Oct. 11-12, 82 percent of respondents approved of the specific provisions in the FIRST STEP Act, a prison reform bill that passed the House by a wide bipartisan margin this May.

"Virtually every poll we've seen shows support for prison reform and sentencing reform," says Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs at FreedomWorks, a grassroots conservative advocacy group. "After all, people are seeing the successes of state-level efforts."

As an example, Pye cites Georgia, where Republican Gov. Nathan Deal began a series of criminal justice reforms in 2012. "Today, the rates of violent crime and property crime are lower than before Deal began this effort," Pye continues. "In fact, Georgia's violent crime rate is lower than it has been since 1971."


HUD Secretary Ben Carson Targets Subsidies for Corrupt Zoning Laws That Cause High Housing Costs

Via National Review

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has not hesitated to challenge many of his department’s sacred cows. He’s called for the elimination of Community Development Block Grants, long known as a source of both corruption and political patronage, and he’s been willing to slash some of the bureaucratic red tape that has long afflicted HUD. He’s also shown a willingness to adjust rents in public housing in an effort to control the department’s ballooning expenditures.

But Carson’s most important initiative — and the one that holds the most promise — is his full-frontal assault on zoning and land-use ordinances that deprive the poor of affordable housing. Born largely out of racism (Baltimore’s zoning laws, for instance, explicitly prohibited anyone from buying a house or renting on a block where more than half the residents were of a different race), zoning has evolved into a tool for wealthy property owners to protect their property values at the expense of the poor and minorities.

It is a simple question of supply and demand: By restricting the supply of new housing, zoning and land-use regulations drive up the cost of housing and rents beyond the reach of many poor Americans. Studies show that such regulations add as much as 20 percent to the cost of a home in Baltimore, Boston, and Washington, 30 percent in Los Angeles and Oakland, and an astounding 50 percent or more in cities such as San Francisco, New York, and San Jose.


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