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The Federal Reserve is, and always has been, politicized

The Federal Reserve is, and always has been, politicized


Audit the Fed recently took a step closer to becoming law, when it was favorably reported by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This means the House could vote on the bill at any time. The bill passed by voice vote without any objections, although Fed defenders did launch hysterical attacks on the bill during the debate as well as at a hearing on the bill the previous week.

One representative claimed that auditing the Fed would result in rising interest rates, a stock market crash, a decline in the dollar’s value, and a complete loss of confidence in the U.S. economy. Those who understand economics know that all of this is actually what awaits America unless we change our monetary policy. Passing the audit bill is the vital first step in that process, since an audit can provide Congress a road map to changing the fiat currency system.

Another charge leveled by the Fed’s defenders is that subjecting the Fed to an audit would make the Fed subject to political pressure. There are two problems with this argument. First, nothing in the audit bill gives Congress or the president any new authority to interfere in the Federal Reserve’s operations. Second, and most importantly, the Federal Reserve has a long history of giving in to presidential pressure for an “accommodative” monetary policy.

The most notorious example of Fed chairmen tailoring monetary policy to fit the demands of a president is Nixon-era Federal Reserve Chair Arthur Burns. Burns and Nixon may be an extreme example — after all no other president was caught on tape joking with the Fed chair about Fed independence, but every president has tried to influence the Fed with varying degrees of success. For instance, Lyndon Johnson summoned the Fed chair to the White House to berate him for not tailoring monetary policy to support Johnson’s guns and butter policies.

Federal Reserve chairmen have also used their power to shape presidential economic policy. According to Maestro, Bob Woodward’s biography of Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton once told Al Gore that Greenspan was a “man we can deal with,” while Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen claimed the Clinton administration and Greenspan’s Fed had a “gentleman’s agreement” regarding the Fed’s support for the administration’s economic policies.

The Federal Reserve has also worked to influence the legislative branch. In the 1970s, the Fed organized a campaign by major banks and financial institutions to defeat a prior audit bill. The banks and other institutions who worked to keep the Fed’s operations a secret are not only under the Fed’s regulatory jurisdiction, but are some of the major beneficiaries of the current monetary system.

There can be no doubt that, as the audit bill advances through the legislative process, the Fed and its allies will ramp up both public and behind-the-scenes efforts to kill the bill. Can anyone dismiss the possibility that Janet Yellen will attempt to “persuade” Donald Trump to drop his support for Audit the Fed in exchange for an “accommodative” monetary policy that supports the administration’s proposed spending on overseas militarism and domestic infrastructure?

While auditing the Fed is supported by the vast majority of Americans, it is opposed by powerful members of the financial elite and the deep state. Therefore, those of us seeking to change our national monetary policy must redouble our efforts to force Congress to put America on a path to liberty, peace, and prosperity by auditing, then ending, the Fed.

–Ron Paul

Source: Will County News

Trump News April 17, 2017

The White House

Today is the 139th White House Easter Egg Roll
Join us and watch all the festivities LIVE


President Donald J. Trump’s Weekly Address.
Read More
President Trump Proclaims April 15 through April 23, 2017, as National Park Week.
Read More
White House Commends Atlanta First Responders for Response to Interstate 85 Bridge Fire.
Read More

Source: Will County News

Barickman files education funding legislation

Barickman files education funding legislation including true parity for schools

Fixing the state’s broken school funding formula could soon become a reality, due in large part to two pieces of legislation filed by State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington).

“This has taken years of bipartisan negotiations to get us to this point,” said Senator Barickman. “But I believe we finally have put together a good solution for all of our schools that will begin to reduce the inequity and inadequacy that has plagued the current system, and truly addresses questions of parity between schools.”

The legislation is based on the framework advanced by the Governor’s bipartisan Education Funding Reform Commission.

Barickman’s legislation establishes an evidence-based school funding formula that uses 27 different variables to set individual adequacy targets for each school district, based on the real costs of the districts, accepted best practices, and student demographics.

“There are more than 800 school districts in Illinois, from urban schools in Chicago to rural schools downstate, and they have a wide variety of different issues and demographics,” said Senator Barickman. “The evidence-based system represents the first time Illinois will have a formula that actually takes those differences into account, and it will drive dollars to where they are needed most and where they can do the most good.”

That data will be used to establish four tiers to ensure that additional funding goes to those districts that are most in need. Tier 4 would encompass the districts that are financially the strongest, with spending already exceeding their adequacy target, and Tier 1 containing the districts that are struggling the most severely, with spending far below their adequacy target.

In the case of future budget cuts, the four tiered system would also be used to protect the most vulnerable schools. This would end the regressive nature of proration, which is what has happened when school funding was cut in the past. Under proration, the districts with the most need would often see the largest cuts to their budgets.  “Eliminating the proration of GSA is a defining characteristic of this legislation,” said Senator Barickman.

All school districts would be protected through a hold harmless provision, which during the first year would be based on the amount the district received in FY17. In year two and thereafter, the hold harmless would be tied to the actual student population to better reflect need, with funding based on the amounts the districts received per student in FY17.

The legislation also repeals the controversial Chicago block grant and ensures equitable funding for charter schools. The plan would also put into place a panel to review the new formula every three years.

“This is an investment model, where lawmakers can see what they are spending money on and understand the outcomes that can be achieved for each school district. We will know the results of political decisions to spend more or less money in our schools, as well as how those budgetary decisions will impact in-class learning,” said Senator Barickman. “Taxpayers will have a better idea of how much funding their school needs, in terms of both state and local revenue.”

A second bill filed by Barickman would offer substantial mandate relief to all school districts, offering them various management tools that are currently granted only to CPS. These include cutting cost-prohibitive bureaucratic red tape involved in third-party contracting, flexibility on scheduling of physical education along with allowing student-athletes to replace P.E. hours with additional classes or study halls, and to allow citizens to discharge certain unfunded mandates from their districts via referendum.

Both bills would be tied to pension reform legislation filed by State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville). As a package, the bills would eliminate the controversial Chicago Block Grant while offering pension parity to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), creating a single, uniform funding system for every school district in Illinois.

“Few people would say that it’s fair to create special deals for certain schools, particularly when they adversely affect other districts,” said Senator Barickman. “And while pension parity has been a much-talked about topic in Springfield, these bills offer real parity across the spectrum. They can finally get us toward an environment where all schools are treated similarly in terms of funding, pension costs and management flexibility.”

Source: Will County News

Illinois House bill would regulate ‘trampoline safety’

From Illinois Policy April 2017


Instead of spending time on the budget, politicians crafted a bill that would apply new rules and regulations on trampoline safety that would add thousands of dollars in costs for equipment, travel and overtime for inspections.

Springfield lawmakers are still skirting their constitutional responsibility to pass a balanced budget, and a few of them have instead been focusing their attention somewhere else: trampoline regulation.

State Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, introduced House Bill 3897 – the Trampoline Safety Act – in February with cosponsors Laura Fine, D-Glenview, Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook and Robert Martwick Jr., D-Chicago. The bill provides for the adoption of new Department of Labor rules and regulations, including registration and inspection of trampoline courts, as well as requirements for use by patrons. It would also amend the State Finance Act and create a “Trampoline Court Safety Fund.”

Trampoline courts, as defined by HB 3897 are any “commercial facility with a defined area composed of one or more trampolines, a series of trampolines, a trampoline court foam pit, or a series of trampoline court foam pits.” This excludes things such as playgrounds operated by a school or local government, inflatable rides and bounce houses, physical rehabilitation and exercise facilities and gymnastic training facilities. But it creates brand new bureaucratic authorities and regulations seemingly without any major demand.

If the bill passes, the Department of Revenue will need to purchase thousands of dollars worth of new inspection equipment and pay travel and overtime for the new required inspections.

Under HB 3897, the director of the Department of Labor “shall adopt and formulate definitions, rules, and regulations for the safe installation, repair, maintenance, use, operation, and inspection of all trampoline courts as the director dins necessary for the protection of the general public using trampoline courts.” This also gives the Department of Labor the ability to establish fees for initial registration or renewal of registration of trampoline courts and deposit those fees in the Trampoline Court Safety Fund. The bill passed out of committee 5-3-1 on partisan lines and could be called for a vote on the House floor.

The legislative priorities of lawmakers – who adjourned April 11 for their spring break without passing a balanced budget – are out of whack. While lawmakers ignore the drivers of Illinois’ financial crisis and the state’s mounting backlog of bills, taxpayers and social service providers continue to suffer. Pay for social service providers remains delayed, while politicians – thanks to their own doing – get paid first. And taxpayers struggling with the nation’s highest tax burden are not being offered many signs of relief.

Instead of focusing on regulating trampolines, lawmakers should jump at the idea of enacting economic reforms that can change the trajectory of the state. As part of a balanced budget, passing a true, permanent property tax freeze and ending costly state subsides to local governments would be two ways lawmakers could give Illinoisans confidence that they are serious in turning the state around. Regulating trampolines is not.

TAGS: Elaine Nekritz, Illinois Department of Labor, Laura Fine, regulations, Robert Martwick, Robyn Gabel, Trampoline Safety Act


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Source: Will County News

Maybe this can help you stay alive

Republican Precinct Committeeman and Will County Board Member Gretchen Fritz is a Concealed Carry Instructor at Safer USA wrote an interesting article for the latest edition of The Illinois Shooter on the common misperceptions that her students had towards concealed carry. Here it is. A must read: “Not-So-Common Sense for Concealed Carry  

By Gretchen A. Fritz  April 2017

I have been involved with teaching Illinois concealed carry for SAFER USA since the state police authorized us to start teaching it, which was October of 2013. In that time SAFER USA has educated over 1000 students about the big concepts and finer points of concealed carry.

We prefer students arrive with open minds, ready to be filled with knowledge. But many come to class with some preconceived ideas that are not accurate and that do not contribute to their safety. To be honest, some of these ideas are so ludicrous that it is by sheer luck that these individuals have lived this long and are able to attend a concealed carry class at this point.

Whether or not you have already taken an Illinois concealed carry class, if I can re-educate you, maybe I can help you stay alive. We take great care to encourage questions and to answer them with the best facts we can find, dispelling the myths that people too often believe. So here are some statements students have actually made in class.

“My town is safe (and I basically never leave my town).” There is no such thing as a 100% safe town. Suburbs and parts of Chicago that were previously thought to be “safe” have been experiencing never-before-seen crimes lately. A man was murdered in his car in a school parking lot in Naperville at the end of January. Three people were shot and wounded in a parking garage in the Gold Coast, also in late January.

In November 2016 two men kidnapped a rideshare driver in Glen Ellyn and forced him to withdraw money from ATMs. A man from Skokie committed an armed robbery at a Target store in Plainfield last August; that one hit close to home. So don’t tell me you live in a safe town. Bad stuff happens pretty much everywhere, and you never know when it will be in your town.

“I don’t plan to carry all the time.” Carrying occasionally is basically pointless. You cannot possibly know when you will need a gun. The very nature of crimes, terrorist attacks and mentally unstable people committing mass shootings in public places is that they are unexpected. If someone knew these things were going to happen, they would have been prevented. To the credit of law enforcement in this country, many of these incidents have been prevented, but 100% prevention is not attainable.

If more people carried all the time, mall and movie theater shootings would be rarer and would be cut short by “sheepdogs” when they did occur. (Lt. Col. David Grossman coined the term “sheepdogs” for people who protect others: law enforcement officers, soldiers and people who carry concealed weapons.) Carrying occasionally will give you a false sense of security when you do carry, but you will be less mentally and physically prepared than someone who carries all the time. It is my experience that when you carry a gun, your situational awareness is heightened. So you are more likely to detect that a situation just doesn’t feel right and either leave the situation or alert law enforcement than someone who does not carry.   

“Cook County is so anti-Second Amendment that I will be prosecuted if I defend myself with a firearm.” There is no denying that Cook County is anti-Second Amendment. That’s a fact. Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy gave many interviews about the problems he expected to come with legal concealed carry. Sheriff Tom Dart and Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn’t hold back either. But it is also a fact that not one single concealed carry self-defense incident in Illinois has resulted in prosecution of the law-abiding citizen who defended himself or others.

The first two uses of Illinois concealed carry for self-defense happened in July of 2014, one in West Pullman and one in Crestwood. In April 2015 an Uber driver shot a man who was shooting into a crowd on a Friday night in Logan Square. In October 2015 a man who was committing an armed robbery at a Gage Park corner store was shot and killed by a man with concealed carry. Not one of these four sheepdogs has been prosecuted despite all the incidents taking place in Cook County.

Even back when Chicago still had a handgun ban, many homeowners who used guns in self-defense against home invasions were not charged or prosecuted for violating the ban. So I think we have enough evidence to show that even Cook County is a good place for concealed carry.

“If I get pulled over by a police officer, s/he will find out that I have concealed carry and will give me a hard time (or will be anxious or will take some other undesirable action).” I can’t say that none of these things will ever happen, but I will tell you that most police officers support concealed carry. A 2013 PoliceOne survey of 15,000 police officers revealed that 91 percent of them support law-abiding citizens carrying concealed. They know that they simply can’t be everywhere to prevent every crime.

They also know that the primary responsibility to keep you safe is yours. In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Castle Rock v. Gonzales that police have no specific constitutional duty to protect persons from harm. The smart ones will also consider that three or four background checks have been run on you in the past three years or less in order for you to have gotten an Illinois concealed carry license. People who have concealed carry are the crème de la crème of law-abiding citizens! You are actually the last person a police officer needs to worry about, and I think most of them intuitively know that.

“I won’t carry my gun with a round in the chamber.” I immediately know two things about the person who says this. The first is that you don’t trust your gun. Why would you want to carry a gun that you don’t trust? It is highly unlikely that a modern firearm will go off accidentally, like by being dropped, for example. I once dropped my Glock on my driveway from a height of about three feet. Nothing happened, just as I would expect.

The second thing I know is that you don’t know anything about what will happen when your life is threatened and you need to use your gun for self-defense. Because when your life is being threatened, you will get a dump of adrenaline, also known as the fight or flight response. When that happens, your fine motor skills don’t work as well because your hands shake big time. So while you are shaking, now you need to cycle the slide of your firearm, which you will not be able to do. As it turns out, you have been carrying a paperweight around rather than a gun with which you can defend yourself.

It is absolutely imperative that the 2A community applies logic to the keeping and bearing of arms, concealed carry specifically. The illogical beliefs that the Second Amendment is outdated, that carrying guns in public, legally, is somehow dangerous and that people who carry concealed will turn into irrational hotheads and kill people over parking spots must constantly be refuted. We cannot let the gun controllers or the criminals win simply because we did not educate ourselves about the actual facts of self-defense and concealed carry.”
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Source: Will County News