HERE’S SOME GOOD ADVICE. It does no harm to just once acknowledge that the whole country isn’t in flames. It wouldn’t hurt people to simply stand up for the country despite our differences.

Consider the fact there are people in the country besides politicians, entertainers and criminals. We shouldn’t automatically treat people who disagree with us as though they are evil. That just isn’t the case.

Former governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal said politicians take credit for things they didn’t do and avoid accountability for the messes they make. The goal posts are continually moving.

This is nothing new. Politicians like to warn voters that the current election season is the most important one in their lifetimes. Most want to believe their election is critical to the fate of the republic and that their opponents must lose for humanity to continue flourishing.

Republicans remind voters of the unique virtues of the Founding Fathers and the limited government they created, while constantly warning that the next Democrat’s election threatens to undo centuries of sacrifice.

Politicians know their legacies will be burnished by grand gestures and not incremental reforms. There is little downside for government overspending. Nobody gets blamed for describing the next crisis on the horizon and responding with a public emergency declaration, even if the crisis proves illusory or impervious to the promised solutions.

The federal and state governments are filled with decades of failed blue-ribbon reports on how to improve performances, the one constant being that more government spending and intervention are required, with lots of spending of other people’s money, wrote Jindal.

Voters should have confidence in the continued success of the American experiment despite, not because of, politicians. The Founders had it right. The people can be trusted and government is there to secure, not create, their rights.



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“GOVERNMENT POLICIES HAVE eroded the values that enable people to succeed in life,” wrote Howard Husock, vice president at the Manhattan Institute. “And for undermining traditional practices, like marriage, that cultivate success in all sorts of ways.

“Despite the massive scale and blanket coverage of the modern social service state, it fails to provide something essential, the modeling of habits and values that lay the foundation for upward social mobility and life as a contributor to one’s community.”

Husock is the author of “Who Killed Civil Society?” He said people need what the government doesn’t provide: help in developing the personal traits that will reduce dependency and foster success.

It’s true that many people require the kinds of assistance that government provides today and it would hurt if it were withdrawn.



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HERE’S WHAT former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on NBC’s “Today Show” when asked whether Russian meddling swung the 2016 election.

“I don’t think there is any evidence of that. I think that narrative devalues the people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania who decided to vote for President Donald Trump by suggesting the Russians meddled and somehow tricked those people is an insult to them.

“Whether you believe Trump should be president or not, let’s give the credit to the Americans who went out and voted for somebody who they thought would bring change. It’s time to move on.”



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THE NONPARTISAN Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the federal budget deficit will exceed $1 trillion by 2020. The agency said cumulative deficits over the next decade will be $12.2 trillion, an increase of $809 billion over what they forecast just three months ago. Federal budget deficits are routinely shrugged off.

CBO Director Phillip Swagel told us the obvious. “Lawmakers will have to make significant changes to tax and spending policies, making revenues larger than they would be under current law, reducing spending below projected amounts or adopting some combination of those approaches.”

Republicans routinely want to cut taxes. Democrats usually want to increase spending to kick-start growth. The CBO warned that both visions will likely boost the deficit projections. The national debt will soar from the current $23 trillion to more than $35 trillion by 2030.

The CBO said federal spending has increased after budget caps were lifted, more has been spent on disaster relief and border security. “At the same time, there has been a decrease in tax revenues due to tax cuts for individuals and corporations,” said Swagel.

Talk about mixed signals. We’re told the economy is very strong, employment is at all-time highs, but there are worries about a recession after 10 robust years following the Great Recession of 2007. The recovery started in March of 2009. Tariffs also are having a negative effect.

With a general election just 12 months away, political candidates are pandering for votes by offering massive new spending programs that would cost more than $80 trillion over the next 10 years. All of that is on top of big future growth for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security obligations.