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Bad News from the Index of Economic Freedom (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) March 21, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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The 2017 Index of Economic Freedom has been released and it contains some bad news for Americans.  The U.S. dropped 6 positions in the ranking of economic freedom around the world to #17, its lowest level since these studies have been published.  While most nations of the world increased their economic freedom, the U.S. saw a significant decline, rated now not “free” but only “mostly free.”

The main contributor was a new category in the study called “fiscal health.”  This shows that a shocking 38 percent of our gross domestic product now goes to government and also emphasizes our growing national debt and deficit.

Milton Friedman, the greatest economist of the 20th century, said that the country that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither, but the nation that puts freedom ahead of equality will end up with a great measure of both.

Clearly we need more economic growth, less government spending and less debt.  In other words, more freedom.

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States Could be Winners with Trump (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) December 28, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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Since Ronald Reagan, Republican and Democrat presidents alike have grown the federal government and its role in our lives. From No Child Left Behind to environmental laws, the pattern has been more and more federal regulation.

The Trump administration may finally swing the pendulum of government power back toward the states.  As a conservative former governor, vice president Mike Pence will champion state control. The new Secretary of Education favors vouchers, which means less government power over education. The heads of Energy and the Environment are both state officials who have fought federal power.

The most important questions the Trump administration can ask are:  should the government act and, if so, which branch and which level? When the federal government has taken over everything from healthcare to the environment and education, it’s high time for an administration that asks those important federalism questions and returns power to individuals and to the states, as promised in the 9th and 10th Amendments.

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http://www.townhallreview.com

California Seceding From President Trump’s U.S. (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) December 10, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Commentaries.
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To the list of 23 celebrities who have said they are leaving the country if Donald Trump became President, we can now add one of the 50 states.  An effort is under way for California to secede from Donald Trump’s United States. “Calexit” seeks a ballot initiative or a constitutional amendment for California to leave the Union.

Perhaps they should study their American history because the last time this was tried, by the Confederate States in the 1860s, it ended rather badly.  There is simply no constitutional basis for nullification or exit from the Union.

Meanwhile, San Francisco’s Mayor said they are doubling down on being a sanctuary city, openly welcoming and harboring people who violate the federal immigration laws.  San Franciscans are incensed that Trump might pull their federal money for this.

Californians live in a bit of a dream world, voting radically differently than most any place else in the U.S.  But even California must learn that elections have consequences.

 

To listen to the podcast:  www.townhallreview.com

Why Not Prosecute ISIS for War Crimes and Genocide? (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) October 12, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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International courts love to take on political cases, such as those against Israel or the U.S., but when there are obvious and serious international crimes, they often take a pass. The latest examples of obvious war crimes and genocide come from ISIS … but there is no prosecution in the works.

Investigators have collected evidence of kidnapping women as sex slaves, genocide against ethnic Kurdish religious communities and other atrocities, yet no one wants to bring these matters to court. They clearly constitute war crimes of the worst sort and the ISIS leadership is nothing but a criminal syndicate.

The U.N. Security Council could refer these matters to the International Criminal Court which, frankly, needs more to do. Or a special court in the region could be established for this purpose.

It’s time for international law to stop talking and do something useful. Bringing cases of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity against the ISIS leadership would be a good place to start.

To listen to the audio: http://www.townhallreview.com

Trump is from Mars, Clinton is from Venus (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) October 4, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Commentaries.
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This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

The first presidential debate made one thing clear: the two candidates come from two different planets. Trump is from Mars and Clinton is from Venus.

Hillary Clinton is a classic insider candidate. She’s been first lady, a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State. When she debates, she has a plan or a program for everything.

Donald Trump, a businessman with no prior political experience, is a classic outsider. When Clinton says she has more experience, Trump dismisses that as bad experience. When she says she has a plan to defeat ISIS, he says so why haven’t we done that?—and why should we believe it will work?

People who want a traditional candidate for President believe Hillary won the first debate and will win the presidency. But the large number of eligible voters who are frustrated with politics as usual say “not so fast.”

Who do you want? Mars or Venus? That’s your choice.

I’m David Davenport.

To listen to the audio: http://www.townhallreview.com

“Beware Election Reforms,” National Radio Commentary, Salem/Townhall September 13, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Commentaries.
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This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

A few years ago we reformed primary voting in California. Now we have open primaries, meaning you can vote for candidates of either party, and top two primaries, where the top two vote getters run in the fall general election, regardless of party. It was supposed to reduce partisanship and elect more centrist candidates.

Early research suggests it hasn’t accomplished either of its major goals but it has reduced voter choice. This fall in the race for the U.S. Senate, I can vote for Democrat A or Democrat B. No Republican survived the top two primary to run in the fall. I call my choice “Left and Lefter” because, really, it is no choice at all. A recent poll shows that half of Republicans don’t even plan to vote in the Senate race.

Elections should not just be contests between two people but between sets of ideas. Beware election reforms such as the “top two” primary that eliminate choices.

I’m David Davenport.

To listen to the audio: http://www.townhallreview.com

Why Isn’t Anyone Talking about the National Debt? (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) September 6, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Commentaries.
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In a presidential campaign, it’s amazing that no one is talking about the national debt. Well, actually someone is: the Congressional Budget Office issued a report this summer and we should be shocked.

Here are the top 2 things the nonpartisan CBO concluded:

1) Deficits are growing because spending—primarily on Social Security, health care and interest on the debt—is growing faster than revenue.

2) The ratio of debt to Gross National Product has nearly doubled during the Obama administration to 75% today, and it is projected to grow to 141% in 2046.

But don’t worry, because the Democrats have a plan: spend more and tax the rich. And Donald Trump says when we go bankrupt he will renegotiate our debt.

Is anyone besides me worried about this? Are we numb to the rapidly escalating debt? Debt is not only a question of fiscal responsibility, it is a problem of national security.

To listen to the audio at Townhall:
http://www.townhallreview.com

Separation of Powers is Slow but Alive (National Radio Commentary, Salem/Townhall) July 18, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Commentaries.
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Two recent court cases are a welcome reminder that the separation of powers doctrine may be slow to act, but is still alive.

A federal judge declared that the U.S. Department of Interior did not have the power to issue rules about fracking on federal land. And the U.S. Supreme Court, on a split 4-4 vote, allowed a court of appeals decision to stand holding that the president does not have the power to unilaterally allow those in the country illegally to remain. Only Congress has these powers, the courts said, not the executive branch.

The Obama administration has been pressing the envelope of executive power for years, using executive orders to carry out its agenda on gun control, immigration, environmental regulations and the like.

The founders separated powers so that no one–not even the president–could act alone on important matters. It may take years for other branches like the courts to catch up (at least in this case) but they finally have.

To listen to the audio, go to
http://www.townhallreview.com

Stop the Marijuana Rush in California (National Radio Commentary, Salem/Townhall) July 14, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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There is a new gold rush in California, a rush for the pot of gold promised by the legalization of marijuana. Although California voters rejected it in 2010, it is on the ballot again and current polls show it winning. With the 6th largest economy in the world, California’s vote is especially important.

What have we learned from the states that have already legalized marijuana: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and D.C?
• First, it’s not quite the economic boon the states expected, with people buying on black markets or avoiding the taxes in other ways.
• More important, a Colorado report shows increases in marijuana-related traffic deaths, hospital visits, school suspensions and other legal problems, and:
• Legalization sometimes causes prices to fall and increases use and related disorders.

It’s no wonder that the California measure is opposed by law enforcement, prison officials and health groups. It’s not merely a question of freedom or lifestyle—it’s doubling down on serious societal problems.

To listen to the audio at Townhall.com:

Www.townhallreview.com

Hillary’s Email in the Court of Public Opinion (National Radio Commentary, Salem/Townhall) July 13, 2016

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Commentaries.
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The FBI concluded that Hillary Clinton’s email practices were “extremely careless” but not criminal. That’s the court of law, but the court of public opinion will speak on this matter at the ballot box November 8.

Let’s face it, there is plenty of room for the electorate to draw a different conclusion about electing a president than the FBI reached on a criminal indictment. “I’m extremely careless but not a crook” isn’t a great slogan for a campaign bumper sticker.

What should voters weigh about this?
• 110 emails in her personal account contained classified information

• Thousands of her emails were deleted and not made available

• It is possible, the FBI said—probable I would say—that other countries hostile to our interests hacked her insecure emails.

Voters, who already say they are concerned about Clinton’s integrity, are right to consider her lack of care and openness in handling this vital matter of national security.

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2016-07-11