Stephen Moore from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 10 Aug 2020 13:54:30 -0700 Stephen Moore from Creators Syndicate 30c5e181f1a9c291a6a3ba7421f424a0 Trial Lawyers Looking For a $100 Billion Coronavirus Jackpot for 08/04/2020 Tue, 04 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Not everyone is suffering job loss, income declines and financial devastation from the coronavirus pandemic. Some people are looking to get rich off the tragedy. Trial lawyers see COVID-19 casualties and images of asbestos and tobacco lawsuits dancing in their heads. They are drooling over the prospects of a $100 billion COVID-19 jackpot. The Democrats in Congress who the trial bar has spent years buying and paying can't wait to help in the grand heist.</p> <p>They aren't wasting any time. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Employers across the country are being sued by the families of workers who contend their loved ones contracted lethal cases of Covid-19 on the job, a new legal front that shows the risks of reopening workplaces." Who's in the bull's-eye? So far, the deep pockets include Walmart Inc., Safeway Inc., Tyson Foods Inc., nursing homes and hospitals. They are seeking millions for gross negligence or wrongful death, and the cases are mounting. So far, the number of suits is approaching 5,000. The Journal reports, "Employees' loved ones contend the companies failed to protect workers from the deadly virus and should compensate their family." </p> <p>In past class action suits, such as asbestos, trial lawyers have won judgments of more than $40 million per case with about 40% of the awards going to the legal counsel. This is why in many towns across America the richest residents are the lawyers. <p>Updated: Tue Aug 04, 2020</p> 9663c69f3c9c9f718373821d38619137 Paying People Not to Work Is Not an Economic Stimulus for 07/28/2020 Tue, 28 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Back in 2009, Nancy Pelosi infamously declared the best way to revive the economy was to dole out ever more generous food stamps and unemployment benefits. The more people collecting welfare the better. At the time, this notion seemed laughable. Now this economic illiteracy seems to have become a conventional wisdom. </p> <p>This was a headline in the New York Times recently: "End of $600 Unemployment Bonus Could Push Millions Past the Brink."</p> <p>Here was the lead on the "news" piece: "When millions of Americans began losing their jobs in March, the federal government stepped in with a life preserver: $600 a week in extra unemployment benefits to allow workers to pay rent and buy groceries, and to cushion the economy.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 28, 2020</p> 0e709b5236a48388302d3be43ad450d2 Are You Lonesome Tonight? for 07/21/2020 Tue, 21 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Are you lonesome tonight? / Do you miss me tonight? / Are you sorry we drifted apart? / Does your memory stray to a brighter, sunny day?" &#8212; Elvis Presley</p> <p>Loneliness is such a sad affair, as the saying goes, and our politicians have succeeded in turning America into a lonely nation by decree. We are going on four months now of lock-ins, business shutdowns and few, if any, social gatherings. What this is doing to the nation's psyche has been devastating. <p>Updated: Tue Jul 21, 2020</p> 0e8f501df35459d18e9a4730a0d584e8 Will the Left Kill America's Energy Dominance? for 07/14/2020 Tue, 14 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If the "liberal" green movement had the political power during earlier periods of our nation's history that it has now, we would not have built the railroads. Also, there would be no interstate highway system, and the electric grid system that powers our country would be disconnected and shattered.</p> <p>What else can one conclude when a significant and vital energy pipeline, the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline from West Virginia into the southern states, has been canceled because of environmental activist opposition? Another pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline, has been suspended by a federal judge's order in recent days. Even the urgently needed Keystone XL Pipeline, which will transport natural gas and oil from energy-rich areas in Canada and the Dakotas down to Houston for export and delivery across the country, faces a court-ordered injunction. These actions are all said to be in the name of wetlands preservation, Endangered Species Act issues and other environmental protections.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">It isn't safeguarding the safety of our nation. It is sabotaging it.</span><p>Updated: Tue Jul 14, 2020</p> 8941bd1f8b57d284f4a41083fb23bc12 This Is a Good Time to Be a Government Worker for 07/07/2020 Tue, 07 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The June blockbuster jobs report is more evidence that the economy is healing, but this remains a brutal period for the some 30 million still unemployed Americans. </p> <p>Nearly every industry &#8212; with very few exceptions &#8212; has been forced to impose layoffs, furloughs or dramatic reductions in hours for its employees. The one major exception has been the United States federal government, which has had virtually no layoffs since the start of the year. Since January, federal employment has risen slightly, in part due to Census workers added. Meanwhile, through May, the construction industry has lost nearly 400,000 workers; manufacturing has lost 750,000 workers; retail trade has lost 1.25 million workers; health care and education have lost 1.75 million workers; and the hospitality industry has lost almost 5 million workers.</p> <p>So much for draining the swamp. The one group of workers who have suffered no loss of wages, salaries or benefits is federal employees.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 07, 2020</p> 24551bb5d385bf18cc8042b12ed5274d Liberalism Is Dangerous to Your Wallet and Your Health for 06/30/2020 Tue, 30 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The most recent jobs report found that nine of the 10 states with unemployment rates above 14% are in liberal blue states. Ranked from highest to lowest, they are Nevada (25.3%), Hawaii (22.6%), Michigan (21.2%), California (16.3%), Rhode Island (16.3%), Massachusetts (16.3%), Delaware (15.8%), Illinois (15.2%), New Jersey (15.2%) and Washington state (15.1%). I call this the "blue-state jobs depression." The states with the lowest unemployment rates are all conservative red states: Nebraska (5.2%), Utah (8.5 %), Wyoming 8.8%, Arizona (8.9%) and Idaho (8.9%).</p> <p>It is hardly shocking news. Liberals are anti-business, and their policies are especially hostile to small businesses. As my old boss, former Rep. Dick Armey of Texas, used to say, liberals love jobs but hate employers. Democratic governors had the strictest economic lockdowns, and they let their businesses burn and get looted during the riots. They raise taxes and protect the unions over the general welfare of the citizens.</p> <p>The meltdown of blue-state America isn't new. It has been going on for at least three decades. Over the last five, 10, 20 or 30 years, red states with low taxes have created double the percentage of jobs than blue states with high taxes.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 30, 2020</p> 08efb1e4c98c0b85fd1ea875ddfbe518 Stop the Madness of Congressional Spending for 06/23/2020 Tue, 23 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The coronavirus shutdown has flattened multiple industries across America &#8212; everything from airlines and manufacturers to hospitals, retailers, oil and gas producers, and restaurants. Many of the 30 million small and large businesses in the country have reported a 30% reduction in revenues. Amid the carnage, one sector of the economy is thriving like never before in the history of the republic: the government.</p> <p>Congress has already spent more than $2 trillion on phases one, two, three and 3 1/2 of coronavirus relief packages. The irresponsible bill from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would raise that spending total to $5 trillion, which is on top of the $4.71 trillion that Congress already authorized. We are getting very close to an unfathomable $10 trillion federal budget, which is more money in one single year, adjusted for inflation, than the nation devoted to fighting the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 23, 2020</p> a98981c1eaa581e4f8d5caa01ac09b60 Don't Break Up Big Tech for 06/16/2020 Tue, 16 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It's the oddest thing. The more America's Big Tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have contributed to keeping America's economy afloat during the coronavirus lockdown, the louder the voices get to break them up or to tie them up into regulatory knots.</p> <p>At the same time that the White House and many conservatives are pushing to "bring our businesses and manufacturing back home" from nations such as China, plenty of so-called nationalists see our globally dominant, high-tech firms as the enemy. Do they realize that there is nothing that the communists in Beijing would wish to do more than to knock Amazon, Apple or Google from their king-of-the-hill status and replace them with state-assisted enterprises such as Huawei or Alibaba? Washington's assault against America's trillion-dollar companies would aid and abet Chinese President Xi Jinping's efforts.</p> <p>But it is happening. Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk blasted Amazon for being a "monopoly" and tweeted, "Time to break up Amazon." Conservatives piled on. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has introduced new antitrust legislation against the tech companies. President Donald Trump has threatened to regulate social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook "strongly." Some in Congress want an investigation into Google's search engine algorithms to make sure they aren't discriminating against conservative websites.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 16, 2020</p> 7818ff0f2c657431456d4a90eaf4c9f3 The Clear Differences Between the Left and the Right for 06/09/2020 Tue, 09 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The crisis of the coronavirus-induced economic lockdown and now the violent protests in the streets have unleashed a depression-level financial crisis and unprecedented human suffering &#8212; especially in our inner cities.<span class="column--highlighted-text"> These events have also exposed a Grand Canyon-sized chasm that now separates how the left and the right see America today.</span> To wit:</p> <p>No. 1: The right believes that stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements are counterproductive and should be repealed safely and immediately. The left believes that those orders must stay in place but should only apply to those on the right, not to liberal protesters.</p> <p>No. 2: The right engages in nonviolence. The left shows tacit support for mob violence.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 09, 2020</p> edf1733fa2d8e7a596e14ad2f735de57 Suspending the Payroll Tax Really Would Stimulate the Economy for 06/02/2020 Tue, 02 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The recovery stage for our economy is finally here, and now the policy priority has to shift to getting people back on the job and getting businesses up and running. The best incentive to get businesses hiring again and get workers off unemployment is to suspend the payroll tax for the rest of the year.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">So far, Congress' "stimulus" plans have cost more than $2.1 trillion on short-term aid to workers, businesses and states, but they haven't stimulated much of anything other than government dependence. </span>House Speaker Nancy Pelosi favors another $3 trillion spending bill that would actually encourage states to keep their economies shut down by paying their bills and incentivizing workers to stay unemployed for many more months by extending unemployment benefits that pay more than a job would. It's no surprise that even though we now have 35 million unemployed workers in America, employers are having a hard time luring workers back to jobs. In 31 states today, welfare and unemployment benefits can pay more than work.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 02, 2020</p> c73b70e28b14afbb9a2fcf9e80bd2b8e The Lockdown Democrats for 05/26/2020 Tue, 26 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>America is starting to reopen for business across the country &#8212; except for a handful of states where lockdown orders are expected to remain in place for weeks to come. With very few exceptions, the cities and states that have ordered their businesses to remain comatose and their millions of workers to go without paychecks are blue, blue, blue. This list includes New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California and Oregon. They all have Democratic governors.</p> <p>Once great and mighty cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Manhattan are ghost towns. They all have Democratic mayors. <p>Updated: Tue May 26, 2020</p> bf5c02fd7379b9e7c63bcc71d06afdd3 The Weird Andrew Cuomo Boomlet for 05/19/2020 Tue, 19 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Usually, when a CEO severely underperforms peers, he or she is fired or handed a gold watch and given a quick retirement party. In the Democratic Party, a rotten performance is a qualification for the presidency.</p> <p>I'm referring to the bizarre infatuation inside Democratic circles with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a possible replacement for Joe Biden at the top of the ticket. Democratic operatives are increasingly nervous that the party has tethered itself to a fatally flawed nominee. Cuomo is now heralded as the sure bet to beat President Donald Trump this November.</p> <p>The love affair began when Cuomo began holding nationally televised addresses on the state of affairs with the coronavirus in the Empire State. The media fawned: He is so eloquent, so smart, so charming, so factual. He is everything, they gushed, that Trump is not.<p>Updated: Tue May 19, 2020</p> 9285f535b7601974fbf21d0b4a8855c8 Grading the Governors on Economic Response to COVID-19 for 05/12/2020 Tue, 12 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The U.S. economy is at last moving into the recovery stage from the coronavirus, at least in most states.</p> <p>One definite pattern has emerged: Republican states are reopening much more swiftly than Democratic states. A most notable case in point is the revival strategies of the four largest states. California and New York are closed for weeks to come; Florida and Texas are getting back in business now.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most blue-state governors, with a few notable exceptions, are imperiling their states' recoveries and the very survival of their businesses by remaining shuttered.<p>Updated: Tue May 12, 2020</p> 58e9bf96f64205c3c31b34945b95d992 The Federal Government Cannot Bail Out the Blue States for 05/05/2020 Tue, 05 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Battle lines are getting drawn up between the two parties on the next round of "stimulus" for the economy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are demanding as much as $1 trillion more in federal money to bail out state budgets. The blue states of California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York are lining up to be first at the trough. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there should be "no blue state bailout," and he is right.</p> <p>The whole idea of the federal government giving money to states is a foolish one. It is based on the fiscal illusion that the politicians in Washington magically have some multitrillion-dollar stash of money that it can pass out to businesses, mayors and governors. But this is an obvious fiction. The federal government doesn't produce anything, which is why it is called "the swamp." Congress and the White House can only "give" money to states by taking it from states and their people in the first place. Any money from the federal government is a redistribution of income from taxpayers in some states to governments in other states. For every state that is a winner, there is, necessarily, a state that is a loser.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">So, which states will win, and which will lose? Gee, that is no mystery. We know the states that have been hardest hit are the blue states such as New York, of course, and California, Illinois and New Jersey.</span> Except for Louisiana, the hardest-hit states are all the bluest of blue. We also know the states with the largest unfunded liabilities in their public pension programs are California, Illinois, New Jersey and so forth. These states handed out massive pension benefits that, in some cases, pay $100,000 or more per year to former government workers, which generally ranges from 30% to 50% &#8212; and in some cases, 100% &#8212; more than private sector workers (who pay the government workers' salaries) get.<p>Updated: Tue May 05, 2020</p> ce06d65c365955ccf66c690dfd493915 China Deserves Stringent Financial Penalties for its Role in the COVID-19 Outbreak for 04/28/2020 Tue, 28 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We've known for years that China lies and cheats and steals when it comes to international trade. Now we've learned that it also spread the deadly disease COVID-19. Donald Trump ran for president five years ago as the ultimate China hawk on trade, and he was way ahead of the curve for protecting against China's devious behavior. He saved countless lives here in the United States by shutting down travel from China back in February.</p> <p>But even Trump didn't see how mendacious this tyrannical regime under President Xi Jinping could be in terms of concealing a disease that has killed close to 200,000 people. And the number of body bags grows by the day.</p> <p>My former colleague, Holman Jenkins at the Wall Street Journal, has chronicled Beijing's misbehavior and cover-up. He notes that internal records recently made public reveal the politburo in China knew by early January that Wuhan, a city of more than 10 million people, had a fast-spreading and, in some cases, fatal disease on the move. He writes that by mid-January, "China's government took steps to expel certain foreign reporters from Wuhan, and then from the country, as well as to silence and threaten with arrest doctors, scientists and local journalists who sought to track the outbreak."<p>Updated: Tue Apr 28, 2020</p> 478bdeb21816daf00040f1fc97ca5faf Save Our Energy Industry by Slashing Royalty Payments and Energy Taxes Now for 04/21/2020 Tue, 21 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>America's domestic energy producers are under siege. The price of oil fell to below $5 a barrel on Monday, down from roughly $50 a barrel a year ago. This 90% drop in price is sending nearly the entire oil and gas industry into bankruptcy.</p> <p>What is going on here?</p> <p>Saudi Arabia and Russia have flooded the international market with cheap oil at the very time of a massive drop in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. This "perfect storm" for America's drillers sent prices into this unprecedented tailspin.<p>Updated: Tue Apr 21, 2020</p> 8c4efb47163152b1dc6d5a4f3f5ae412 Beware the Left's 'Degrowth' Movement for 04/14/2020 Tue, 14 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It would be natural to believe that nearly everyone on the planet is horrified by the death and economic destruction wrought from the COVID-19 pandemic. But some see the body bags and the shutdown of economic production as a weird kind of blessing in disguise. </p> <p>These are the proponents of a radical and increasingly chic movement on the left called "degrowth." This is the idea that economic growth and increased prosperity are the root CAUSE of massive ecological destruction and health pandemics. The agenda is to shut down industrial production and industries like fossil fuels, automobiles and airline travel that contribute to global warming. COVID-19 and the economy lockdown are seen as a kind of test run for the theory.</p> <p>For example, professor Natasha Chassagne of the University of Tasmania and a disciple of this movement gushes that "we can draw many lessons and opportunities from the current health crisis when tackling planetary warming."<p>Updated: Tue Apr 14, 2020</p> d9320f484f1ebb2d04f82659a73e2a26 Don't Put Uncle Sam in Corporate Boardrooms for 04/07/2020 Tue, 07 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There is nothing worse than the government bailing out private industries. I've spent a career opposing corporate welfare giveaways. When an industry gets in financial trouble because of its poor business practices, the owners, shareholders and executives should bear the cost &#8212; not the taxpayers.</p> <p>The coronavirus crisis is a bit different because the government has ordered many industries to, in effect, shut down for many months. In the case of the major airlines, such as United and Delta, the government has precluded many passengers from boarding planes and even shut down many flights. That's why the government took steps in the recent $2 trillion aid package to keep these companies out of bankruptcy. It's providing grants (a bad idea) and loans to be repaid (a better way to provide temporary assistance) to the tune of up to $50 billion. American Airlines, for example, is eligible for up to $12 billion in aid.<p>Updated: Tue Apr 07, 2020</p> ec1adcabdc484079a506e54e79952fd4 Atlas Is Shrugging for 03/31/2020 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"Government help to business is just as disastrous as government persecution. ... The only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off." &#8212; Ayn Rand</p> <p>Congress has just approved an economically bloated $2.2 trillion spending relief bill, an amount more substantial than the GDP of all but a handful of countries. It is only the third massive relief bill, and we've been told several trillion dollars more would have to get spent. Then there are the trillions of dollars more of Federal Reserve Board liquidity injections. We are starting to talk about real money here.</p> <p>The politicians believe that sending $1,200 checks to people will "stimulate" the economy. Among the many mistaken provisions of this new law is a welfare benefit to workers that pays them more money if they quit and become unemployed than if they stay on the job.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 31, 2020</p> 9f1dbc6853d2f6ff54f6a8b4dbcb4b86 $5 Trillion Down the Drain for 03/24/2020 Tue, 24 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone should read Robert Higgs' economic classic "Crisis and Leviathan." The critical warning of this masterpiece is that government always uses a crisis &#8212; from the Civil War to the Great Depression to World War II &#8212; to expand power, not only during the emergency but also afterward. Emergencies tend to ratchet up the cost and power of government permanently.</p> <p>That expansion of government authority is especially unwise now, given that when this coronavirus fiasco is finally over, it may go down in history as one of the greatest government screwups in American history. That's saying a lot.</p> <p>As a nation, we spend just short of $5 trillion a year in Washington and at least another $1 trillion at the state and local level. Our government spends 1 of every 3 dollars that passes through the U.S. economy. It is the largest enterprise in the history of the world.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 24, 2020</p>