Most folks have no idea what federal agencies do. John Stossel reports on wasteful programs like the Agriculture Department forcing farmers to let cherries rot…
John Stossel investigates what government agencies actually do and finds out that your tax money goes to ridiculous things.
The Agriculture Department actually forces farmers to dump cherries on the ground so you pay higher prices at the supermarket.
President Trump wanted to cut the budgets for many government departments – like the Commerce Department and the Agriculture Department. But Congress increased spending on the very departments Trump wanted to cut.
Departments that almost nobody knows what they even do.
Ed Stringham, President of the American Institute for Economic Research, tells Stossel about how the Agriculture Department even forced one farmer to dump cherries on the ground and let them rot. The government wanted to keep the price of cherries higher, which helps some cherry farmers.
Every day, law enforcement officials across the United States seize cash from motorists stopped at the side of the road. It’s called “civil forfeiture,” and the stories of abuse are legion: over $17,000 seized from the owner of a barbecue restaurant in Staunton, Virginia; over $13,000 seized from a former church deacon in DeKalb County, Georgia; and over $50,000 seized from a Christian rock band in Muskogee County, Oklahoma.
Civil forfeiture allows government to seize property based on the mere suspicion that it is connected to a crime. For instance, the fact that the cops think someone has too much cash is enough to warrant a seizure. After the property is seized, in a complete reversal of the way the American justice system is supposed to work, owners must prove their own innocence to get it back.
Public outrage over the practice has grown as more tales of abuse have been reported. And fortunately, over the last three years, 24 states have passed reforms to protect property owners and curtail civil forfeiture. Less fortunately, on Wednesday Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new federal policy that threatens to undermine those reforms.
Speaking in a small conference room surrounded by law enforcement officials, Sessions announced the federal government was rolling back a Holder-era policy that had sharply curtailed so-called adoptive seizures. An adoptive seizure occurs when a state police officer seizes property and then transfers it to the federal government, which then forfeits the property under federal law. Importantly, state law enforcement gets to keep up to 80 percent of the proceeds of the forfeiture.
The comment period for the Trump administration’s national monument review has officially ended, and the administration if facing stiff public backlash over its attempt to downsize national monuments across the West.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in April directing the Department of the Interior to review two decades’ worth of national monument designations in an effort to decide whether to rescind, modify, or maintain their designations. The review encompasses 21 monuments, mostly located in the Western United States, from New Mexico to Washington.
The review’s public comment period, which lasted for 60 days, elicited more than 2.5 million responses. According to a Center for Western Priorities analysis of the 654,197 comments that had been processed by Interior Department staff as of Monday morning, 98 percent were supportive of maintaining or expanding current national monument boundaries, while just 1 percent supported the idea of shrinking monuments.
Several recently-designated monuments have been the target of Republican lawmakers, primarily the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which President Obama designated in December of 2016. The designation, which was granted after a proposal from five indigenous tribes, meant that oil and gas companies would not be allowed to drill or mine for minerals in some 1.35-million acres of the state. On June 13, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke released a recommendation calling for Bears Ears to be downsized, which Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a fierce opponent of the national monument, called “ an unquestionable victory for Utah.”
The recent special election in Kansas for Mike Pompeo’s old House seat — Pompeo’s now ensconced in Langley, where he has the Augean Stables ahead of him — had Democrats excited about their chances right up to election day… and beyond. Even though they lost by nearly seven points, they were quick to claim a “near-victory,” on the grounds that their guy lost by a lesser margin than any of Pompeo’s previous tomato cans.
Now we have another special election, this one in Georgia, to replace Tom Price, who’s moved on to the Department of Health and Human Services.
And once again, the Progressive donkeys are all hot and bothered by their chances, given that their man is one of only five Democrats in the first round against eleven GOP wannabes.
So they’ve poured $8.5 million into the race in the hopes not simply of blackening Donald Trump’s eye, but perhaps snatching the seat as well — all candidate Jon Ossoff needs to do is grab 50 percent of the vote-plus-one and he wins the seat outright.
President Donald Trump proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending Thursday as promised, a plan that the White House says will provide the necessary funding to ramp up the fight against ISIS, improve troop readiness and build new ships and planes.
Released as part of Trump’s $1.1 trillion budget outline for 2018, the 10% boost to the military comes at the expense of deep cuts to non-defense spending at the State Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency and dozens of other federal programs.
Her Senate confirmation last week—won by a hair’s breadth—didn’t help to make US education secretary Betsy DeVos any less blisteringly controversial. Neither, surely, will this. In an interview with Axios’s Jonathan Swan published this morning, DeVos—a Michigan billionaire with no personal experience in public education—revealed she was apparently just as taken by surprise by president…
It was the day after the election that somebody with whom I’ve worked for a number of years actually e‑mailed and said, ‘Would you ever think about secretary of education?’I literally have never given it a thought. But if the opportunity ever presented itself, how could I not consider it?
After the messy and high-profile resignation of Michael Flynn, the president and at least one key congressional Republican have directed their ire at the leaks that exposed the now-former National Security Advisor’s clandestine conversations with Russian officials. “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) echoed the president’s concerns.
“I am going to be asking the FBI to do an assessment of this to tell us what’s going on here because we cannot continue to have these leaks as a government,” he told Fox News.