Senators are currently considering an amendment to the United States Constitution that would “repeal the free speech protections of the first Amendment.”
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Examining a Constitutional Amendment to Restore Democracy to the American People,” Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 94% delivered a passionate defense of the First Amendment and free speech — which is why he so adamantly opposes the amendment in question.
On May 30, 2014, House Republican Leaders announced a plan to bail out the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to the tune of $15 billion, paying for it with savings generated by reforms to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). This proposal is flawed on a number of levels and should be rejected by Congress.
Under current law, drivers pay a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents on diesel fuel, which gets deposited into the HTF. Excessive spending levels set by highway bills enacted in recent years, and many spending diversions to non-road, non-bridge activities, have left the HTF with too many bills to pay but not enough money on hand. An additional $5 billion is needed to keep spending on pace through the end of the fiscal year, and that figure jumps to $15 billion for a one-year extension at current spending levels. If Congress does not bail out the HTF by the end of July, the federal government will continue to collect federal gas tax revenues, but it would have to begin slowing down its reimbursements to state Departments of Transportation.
The Obama Administration is notorious for the economically harmful and burdensome regulations it has imposed across the U.S. economy. Energy exports have not been spared. But rather than removing regulatory barriers to energy exports, some Washington politicians want to subsidize them at taxpayers’ expense.
The Export-Import Bank has been a channel for these energy export subsidies, so much so that 30 percent of the Bank’s loans and guarantees in 2013 went to producers of energy technologies and equipment.
The Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris argues that the Ex-Im Bank should be eliminated, because it exists to provide corporate welfare to politically connected companies. It distorts markets and saddles taxpayers with risk.
“With billions at stake,” says the Seattle Times editorial board, “this state’s congressional Republicans, especially, now need to lead on the issue.”
This was the conclusion of a passionate defense of the Export-Import Bank, which the editorial board says is “of particular importance” to their state, “where about 40 percent of jobs are linked to international trade.”
The Bank’s charter is set to expire in September, which accounts for the editorial board’s sense of urgency. The Seattle Times lauds the Bank for the loans and loan guarantees it gives foreign companies to purchase goods and services from U.S. exporters, and they note that “90 percent of Ex-Im transactions support firms typically too small for commercial Banks.”
But in urging Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, the Seattle Times made two massive errors.
Today the Export-Import Bank sent out a tweet telling small business owners to check out how they can get assistance from the Bank. This is nothing new, though. Small businesses get a lot of attention from the Bank on Twitter.
Since the Bank sent out it’s first tweet on May 4, 2012, they’ve tweeted using the hashtag #smallbiz 153 times (160 including the times they tweeted it without the hashtag symbol), and they’ve tweeted the phrase “small business” 28 times.