Released on Tuesday, the Census Bureau’s annual report flashed a dismal economic outlook, showing that U.S. poverty has exceeded 46 million people — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — and the number without health insurance spiking from 49 million to almost 50 million. As unemployment continues to hover around 9 percent, many Americans are financially exhausted, as the overall poverty rate reached 15.1 percent, up from the 14.3 percent recorded the previous year. The number of Americans now below the poverty line is the highest number recorded since 1959, when the Census first started analyzing such data.
President Obama sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Tuesday detailing seven new regulations that would each cost the U.S. economy more than $1 billion annually. With regulatory costs for American businesses of at least $38 billion per year and compliance costs of $100 billion per year, the seven proposed regulations would target transportation and the environment.
The state of Nevada was the fortunate recipient of a $490,000 federal grant to grow trees and plants — and of course, to "stimulate" the state’s economy. The only problem is the stimulus spawned a whopping 1.72 permanent jobs. In 2009, the U.S. Forest Service awarded the federal money to Nevada’s Clark County Urban Forestry Revitalization Project with the intent of enlivening urban areas of the county with trees and plants, and of providing green-industry training.
While the private-sector is drowning under a perpetual recessionary storm, U.S. regulatory agencies are flourishing. "If the federal government’s regulatory operation were a business, it would be one of the 50 biggest in the country in terms of revenues, and the third largest in terms of employees, with more people working for it than McDonald’s, Ford, Disney and Boeing combined," writes John Merline of Investors.com.
Congress will soon be consummating its most underactive session in recent decades, as both chambers of the legislature will have passed a meager number of bills compared with other non-election years. As debates over tax policy and government spending heat up Congress, Washington’s seemingly hyperactive legislative hearings are in fact rather fruitless, and many critics have taken the small amount of legislation as indicative of the federal government's waning degree of power.
While Congress abides in gridlock, as Republicans and Democrats debate tax policy, and the SuperCommittee admits failure over deciding how to tame the mounting federal deficit, the fight against American liberty remains a bipartisan war. Conservative and liberal elites seem to share a common theme: The American people are too free for their own good.
President Obama’s efforts to tighten the leash on U.S. immigration enforcement have caused a sharp drop in the number of deportations, according to a report by the Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. In the last three months of 2011, following the administration’s directive to curb deportations of illegal immigrants without criminal records or who came to the United States as a child or student (among other discretionary factors), deportations have plummeted.
Over half of U.S. immigration officials believe the White House focuses more heavily on promoting immigration than improving national security, according to a 2011 survey directed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS Inspector General (IG) audit, which was administered between January and May 2011, submitted an online survey to a random selection of Immigration Services Officers (ISOs) in all 26 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) districts across the United States.
The White House announced Tuesday that Cecilia Muñoz, President Obama’s point person on immigration, will be director of the Domestic Policy Council, a high-ranking aide position that oversees policies on issues including education, healthcare, and immigration. Muñoz is currently director of intergovernmental affairs, acting as a liaison between the White House and Mayors, Governors, tribal leaders, and other officials in state and local governments.
In an effort to discourage the Mexican government's violations of the human rights of Central American migrants, last Friday more than 30 House Democrats urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to put pressure on the Mexican government by making any American aid to Mexico contingent on Mexico's proper treatment of Central American migrants.