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Canceling pay raises is a start, but we need actual budget cuts to survive

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Canceling pay raises is a start but we need actual budget cuts to survive

With so much crammed into our bloated federal budgets, it’s not surprising to see President Trump make the call to cancel pay raises for federal employees. It’s a good start, but nowhere near what is required to bring the astronomical spending in DC in line with where it needs to be.

At least something is being done to prevent spending increases.

Trump cancels pay raises for federal employees

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/30/politics/trump-cancels-federal-employee-pay-raises/index.htmlIn a letter to House and Senate leaders, Trump said the pay increase would amount to $25 billion, which he described as “inappropriate.”

“We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” the President wrote.

He stressed the change wouldn’t affect the federal government’s ability to attract qualified workers, and wrote the government would focus on “recruiting, retaining and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets.”

My Take

Unlike many on both sides of the aisle, I’m not one who believes most federal employees are generally overpaid. There are examples of them being paid both more and less than their private counterparts, so it’s hard to say if the allure of the “cush” federal job is fact or fiction.

What’s definitely a fact is there are way too many federal employees. Ironically, most agencies and departments complain about being understaffed, yet examples of tremendous waste are seen through ever hallway of every federal building in America.

There’s a reason utilizing private contractors and American companies to accomplish government goals is invariably more successful than bringing these tasks under the wings of direct government employees. From the ownership and management levels down to the entry-level employees, a private business is more likely to handle jobs with more care. There’s more at stake and less chance that things will fall through the bureaucratic cracks when private industry is driving the various government buses.

We will save money, cut budgets, and get more out of every tax dollar spent by reducing the number of federal employees. In some cases, that can even mean getting rid of entire agencies and departments. If we don’t do it soon, the print-and-pay money scheme in DC will turn us into Venezuela.

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Economy

Frontier Flight Attendants vote to authorize strike

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Frontier Flight Attendants vote to authorize strike

Frontier Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), today voted 99 percent to authorize a strike.

“Frontier Flight Attendants sent a strong message today that we are united in our fight for the contract we have earned,” said Jennifer Sala, AFA Frontier President. “We are ready to do whatever it takes to get the contract we deserve.”

Frontier Flight Attendants have picketed at Frontier-hub airports over the last six months. Frontier Pilots recently announced a tentative agreement, but Flight Attendants still face labor unrest.

Negotiations are overseen by the National Mediation Board and are scheduled to continue at the end of November. Lack of progress could lead to the National Mediation Board (NMB) declaring that negotiations are deadlocked and releasing both parties into a 30-day “cooling off” period leading to a strike deadline. AFA has a trademarked strike strategy known as CHAOS or Create Havoc Around Our System™. With CHAOS, a strike could affect the entire system or a single flight. The union decides when, where and how to strike without notice to management or passengers.

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Economy

The best thing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has ever said

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The best thing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has ever said

The freshman congressional sensation from New York, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has made some pretty awful remarks about the economy. She was so proud of answering, “You just pay for it,” when asked how to pay for the $32 trillion price tag on her proposed healthcare plan that she posted it on social media.

For someone with a degree in economics, her ideas seem to be fueled by something other than economic logic. That didn’t stop her from making a short but incredible statement about the economy.

“I don’t think most of Congress understands how economics works.”

I agree. I also think her presence in Congress isn’t going to raise the level of economic understanding any time soon. Welcome to Washington DC, Congresswoman!

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Economy

Keystone XL stopped by judiciary using bureaucracy to promote lunacy

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Keystone XL stopped by judiciary using bureaucracy to promote lunacy

Activist judge Brian Morris in Montana may have just put the final nail in the Keystone XL pipeline project. He suspended construction of the pipeline pending another environmental review. Apparently, he didn’t like the conclusions of the first one he ordered, so he’s asking for a second opinion.

Montana Judge Puts Brakes On Keystone XL

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Montana-Judge-Puts-Brakes-On-Keystone-XL.htmlThe court has asked the government to review its assessment and revise it, taking into account the changes in the oil markets since 2014, the latest in climate change, and the presence of “cultural resources” along the route of the pipeline that was planned to carry heavy oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. The 830,000 bpd pipeline will run from the Albertan oil sands through Montana and South Dakota, ending in Nebraska, where it would connect to the existing pipeline network that goes on to the Gulf Coast.

The court’s ruling comes a little more than a month after TransCanada said that construction of the pipeline could begin as soon as next year. The announcement followed an environmental impact review from the U.S. State Department, which concluded the pipeline’s impact on the environment would be “negligible to moderate.”

My Take

Even if the project can exhaust this activist judge’s attempts to stop it, there is growing tension on the Canadian side that is likely to table the deal indefinitely. For all intents and purposes, the Keystone XL pipeline is dead.

This is lunacy. We’re talking about the most modern and safe method of transporting heavy oil from the place it can’t be used to the place it can be used. Instead, we will remain reliant on Middle Eastern oil that comes without the unnecessary baggage snowflakes like Judge Morris impose on North America.

But that’s the mood of the day for the judiciary that continues to side with former President Obama to oppose current President Trump. Their power to maintain demonstrably dangerous policies and subvert progress is one of the main reasons we need judicial reform. These maverick judges can harm the nation at will and in cases such as this, they do.

Canada will be hesitant to cooperate on big projects like Pipeline XL because of our judiciary, and who can blame them? One man swimming in power can harm two nations with the stroke of his gavel. Sadly, he’ll sleep well believing he just saved an oil or two.

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