Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American”

THE PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY REPORT
by John and Andy Schlafly

It is not enough to “buy American.” It is also important to “hire American,” which means curtailing corporate abuse of the H-1B visa program that gives our good jobs to foreigners.

President Donald Trump traveled to Wisconsin on Tuesday to deliver on his campaign pledge to limit the H-1B visa program that allows employers to bring in lower-cost foreign labor to fill American jobs. President Trump’s new Executive Order to “Buy American, Hire American” starts to roll back the failed policies of his predecessors, which has cost American workers attractive jobs and has driven down wages for everyone.

Despite unemployment rates at or below 5 percent for nearly two years, wages for Americans are actually declining when adjusted for inflation. The average American’s paycheck is less than what it was last year, after inflation is factored in, and many are choosing not to work due to a lack of good-paying jobs, particularly in engineering and manufacturing.

Many engineering jobs have been going to foreigners under the H-1B visa program, which allows corporations to bring in tens of thousands of foreign workers annually to work for less, thereby driving down the wages of all Americans. While there is an official cap to this program of “only” 85,000 workers per year, the law has loopholes that allow employers to ignore the cap and replace many tens of thousands of additional American workers with foreigners.

Phyllis Schlafly rightly criticized the H-1B program beginning more than 15 years ago. “Employers want aliens with H-1B visas not only because they can pay them less than U.S. technicians, but especially because the H-1B visas lock them into sticking with the sponsoring employer and prevent them from job-hopping for better pay as Americans do” she observed in 2001.

“Why is it taking you five years to get through college?” Phyllis asked a student attending one of her college speeches, of which she gave many hundreds. “Because I changed my major from computer science to accounting after I discovered there are almost no jobs available for computer majors,” the student responded.

The misuse of the H-1B visa program has extended even to Walt Disney World, which has reportedly used it to replace information technology American workers with foreign ones. To add insult to injury, often the laid-off American workers are even told to train their foreign replacements.

If you have a son or grandson who dreams of playing major league baseball, his chances are far less today because foreign players are hired instead. More than 25% of the high-paying baseball jobs go to foreigners under P-1 visas not subject to the H-1B visa caps, despite how Japan sharply limits the number of foreign players it allows to play in its major league.

Manufacturer and software developer Snap-on Inc. is located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, right smack in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district, but he is away on a foreign trip instead. Snap-on welcomes Tuesday’s visit by President Trump instead, to promote “the essential nature of American manufacturing to our nation’s future.”

Essential indeed. Without renewed growth in good manufacturing and technology jobs, America will continue to decline economically, with middle-class men and their families hit the hardest.

President Trump is ordering the Secretary of Commerce to review provisions in the harmful “free trade” agreements, to close loopholes on this issue. Trump’s directive will also require reforms of the H-1B visa program to limit bypassing skilled American workers.

Corporations prefer foreign workers because they become like the indentured servants of colonial America, who were unable to leave their master for seven years under threat of being shipped back to where they came from. H-1B visas tie the workers to the companies that brought them into our country, which reduces competition and harms the free market.

The H-1B visa racket is not true free enterprise, and it is not healthy for the United States. President Trump’s action in Wisconsin is a good first step, and Congress should take the cue and repeal this program entirely.

President Trump’s Executive Order will also enhance the use of American goods in federal construction and transportation projects, which typically support high-paying jobs. If taxpayers are funding the project, then it obviously makes sense to use American goods for it.

Only 71 percent of young adults, aged 25 to 34, who did not go to college were employed in 2016, and only about 85 percent of their counterparts who hold college degrees had a job. Moreover, many of those who had a job were paid low wages in the retail or food industries.

Donald Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin in more than 30 years, as part of his historic sweep of the Rust Belt States. The Badger State is the perfect place to begin reducing the flow of American jobs to foreigners.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6, 2016.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fourth Circuit ‘Lawyers Up’ Against Trump

THE PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY REPORT
by John and Andy Schlafly

“Lawyer up” refers to hiring a bunch of lawyers to address an emerging dispute. An example was when President Bill Clinton “lawyered up” to deal with the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has just “lawyered up” in order to take on Donald Trump’s second travel ban, Executive Order 13,780, which is on appeal from a federal district court in Maryland. The Fourth Circuit has convened an en banc (full sitting) of its lawyers-turned-judges to consider this standoff between the courts and the President of the United States, in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump.

It is nearly unheard of for a court to convene en banc to consider an initial federal appeal. More than 99% of federal appeals are heard by a three-judge panel chosen at random from among the judges who sit on that particular federal appellate court.

But there are several reasons why the Fourth Circuit broke from tradition and insists on all its active judges hearing this case from the get-go. The current composition of this appellate court reveals why.

From its headquarters in Richmond, the Fourth Circuit presides over Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North and South Carolina. Historically the Fourth was the most conservative Circuit in the entire Nation, featuring judges handpicked by Senators Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Strom Thurmond (R-SC).

But today the Fourth is one of the most liberal of the 13 federal circuit courts, stacked with 10 Democrats against only 5 Republicans on active service, and no vacancies. President Obama placed 6 judges on the Fourth Circuit, all in his first term alone.

By insisting on going en banc at the outset, this Democrat-dominated court ensures that Trump will not draw a Republican majority on a three-judge panel, which would have been possible under the ordinary process. Instead, Trump will be looking at a group of judges more liberal on social issues than the voters in California, where Trump lost by 62-32%.

Another likely reason why the Fourth Circuit took this extraordinary step was to muscle up for its stand-off with the commander in chief. It will be easier to rule against the Chief Executive with the support of ten judges than merely with only two or three.

That’s more judges than the entire U.S. Supreme Court, which will almost certainly get the appeal one day. The Fourth Circuit, however, can take as long as it likes with this case, and could easily wait until just before the midterm elections next year before slapping Trump down with another judicial supremacist ruling.

The federal district court ruled that Trump’s executive order limiting travel from six Muslim-majority countries was probably a violation of the Establishment Clause, and the court enjoined it on that basis. The lower court said that statements made by candidate Trump reflected an animus towards Muslims, and thus as President he would not be allowed to protect our Nation from possible terrorists with this travel ban.

The district court issued its injunction nationwide, even though it sits only in Maryland. The court insisted that no one would be hurt by the injunction, although people have been hurt and killed by individuals entering our Nation from the designated foreign countries.

At issue is a mere 90-day ban on travel by citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, to the United States. One may wonder why foreigners even have a right to challenge an order of the President of the United States concerning entry into our country.

Included among the plaintiffs were American citizens and lawful permanent residents who sponsored relatives living in one of the six designated countries for immigrant visas to the United States. These plaintiffs assert that they will be injured if their relatives cannot visit them here.

But why don’t these plaintiffs travel abroad to visit with their relatives there instead? Or, perhaps better yet, why don’t they seek a waiver as allowed by Trump’s Second Executive Order?

The court found that the waiver process imposes an additional hurdle to “reunification” of these families, and thus the court allowed the relatives here to sue on behalf of their kin there. In addition, the court found that Muslim lawful residents here could sue to overturn the travel ban based on “fear, anxiety, and insecurity” due to Trump’s allegedly anti-Muslim views.

As Phyllis Schlafly observed a decade ago in The Supremacists, “Textbooks still say that we have three balanced branches of government — but textbooks are badly behind the times because one branch has assumed authority over the other two.” This overreaching in power by the judicial branch will not be rectified by appointing a few good judges to the bench.

Instead, Trump’s advisers need to realize that the courts will block Trump and drive down his approval rating again and again. Congress should simply withdraw jurisdiction from the courts over the travel ban, and Trump’s executive branch should decline to enforce unconstitutional court orders that interfere with our national security.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Phyllis was absolutely right about feminist movement

Greg Corombos writes in WND about feminist Cleta Mitchell:
FEMINIST PIONEER: 'PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY WAS RIGHT'
Says abortion-rights lobby now in control, dissent considered treasonous ...

She said the past 45 years have proven a conservative icon 100 percent correct.

“The truth of the matter is Phyllis Schlafly was right. In the final analysis, Phyllis was absolutely right. I’m glad I was able to tell her that many, many times before she died last year. She said that it wasn’t possible to have an Equal Rights Amendment and the women’s movement without it morphing into something we didn’t want to have happen,” said Mitchell.

“Phyllis was right that it was the natural progression that it would be taken over by the left wing, which it was,” said Mitchell.

So instead of empowering all women, Mitchell said abortion quickly became a wedge issue by which liberal women would shun their conservative counterparts.

“I think that conservative, professional women are virtually invisible within the ranks of what would be the women’s movement. If you are a pro-life, conservative professional woman, you’re really a pariah,” said Mitchell, who recounted how women at a conference sponsored in part by her firm turned on her after learning of her legal work on behalf of conservative clients.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Judge Posner defends supremacy

Here is how Judge Richard Posner rationalizes judicial supremacy, where he imposes his views on everyone:
I would prefer to see us acknowledge openly that today we, who are judges rather than members of Congress, are imposing on a half-century-old statute a meaning of “sex discrimination” that the Congress that enacted it would not have accepted. This is something courts do fairly frequently to avoid statutory obsolescence and concomitantly to avoid placing the entire burden of updating old statutes on the legislative branch. We should not leave the impression that we are merely the obedient servants of the 88th Congress (1963– 1965), carrying out their wishes. We are not. We are taking advantage of what the last half century has taught.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

End NFL Subsidies as It Moves to Gambling

THE PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY REPORT
by John and Andy Schlafly

Nearly a billion dollars in taxpayer money are being wasted by the NFL Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas.  In direct costs are the $750 million in taxpayer subsidies to build a luxurious new stadium in the desert, plus roughly $95 million in unpaid debt on the stadium that will be left behind in Oakland.

Oakland taxpayers had already spent $110 million in improvements to the stadium being abandoned.  St. Louis taxpayers are still on the hook for $85 million of the $300 million they committed to for the Rams' now-abandoned stadium; San Diego owes $47 million on the football stadium renovated for the Chargers, who have moved to Los Angeles.

That is pricey litter by the billionaire NFL owners, which blights our struggling cities.  Where are the environmentalists when we need them?
Overall, an estimated $6.7 billion in public money props up NFL stadiums today.  In addition, the NFL receives tax breaks and free public services, and demands massive sales taxes refunds from locations that host the Super Bowl.

Now the NFL has gone from bad to worse.  Last month nearly every NFL owner approved the move of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, cozying up to gambling.

Former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle would roll over in his grave if he knew.  Rozelle, a long-time admirer of Phyllis Schlafly, prohibited the playing of NFL games on Christmas to avoid interfering with the holy day.

Pete Rozelle built the NFL for 29 years into the success it is today by defending its integrity against the corrupting influence of gambling.  The NFL had even prohibited visits to Las Vegas during the football season, and had banned advertisements to promote Vegas during the Super Bowl.

The NFL still publicly pretends to disfavor gambling on its games, yet nearly all of its teams have signed lucrative, multi-million-dollar deals for “fantasy football” to encourage gambling by fans.  As Phyllis Schlafly walked around Cleveland Browns stadium last summer for her pro-life event during the Republican national convention, she faced many banners promoting fantasy football.

  This is not Pete Rozelle’s NFL any more, but “fantasy football” is profitable for it.  Now, with the move of one of the most widely followed franchises to the gambling capital of the United States, there can be little doubt where the NFL really stands.

Yet hypocrisy lingers as the NFL still publicly opposes betting on its games.  Its real underlying issue probably has more to do with whether it profits from the gambling.
Betting on NFL games already constitutes more than 40% of all the lawful sports betting in Nevada.  In addition, the American Gaming Association estimates that $150 billion is spent annually on illegal sports betting.
So why are taxpayers subsidizing the corporate welfare to the NFL as it moves towards gambling?  We should not be footing the bills for the billionaires who are profiting from the massive taxpayer subsidies to the NFL.

The NFL has abandoned numerous stadiums to depress the downtowns of multiple cities.  In addition to forcing taxpayers to pay massive costs for these stadiums, many have been financed with tax-exempt bonds.

A study by the Brookings Institute revealed that 36 of the 45 stadiums built or significantly renovated since 2000 used tax-exempt municipal bonds, which indirectly cost federal taxpayers $3.7 billion.  Meanwhile, “abandoned stadiums” as an internet search yields nearly a half-million website displays of dilapidated structures left behind as billionaires found new cities to fleece.

Oklahoma congressman Steve Russell has introduced H.R. 811, the "No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act," to close the tax exemption for financing these stadiums.  His bill would “amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat obligations financing professional sports stadiums as private activity bonds if such obligations meet the private business use test.”

This bill could go further and end the tax write-offs for the luxury boxes purchased by corporate executives in these wasteful stadiums.  States could also pass laws prohibiting sales tax refunds to the NFL for the Super Bowl, which amount to millions of dollars.

New Jersey ended up paying so much to the NFL after hosting the Super Bowl in 2014, without a significant boost to local commerce, that 55% of its business leaders surveyed said they do not want the Super Bowl hosted in their state again.  Yet the NFL uses the Super Bowl to threaten state legislators against enacting conservative legislation, as it did earlier this year to Texas.

Fortunately, the public is waking up.  Voters are increasingly rejecting demands by the NFL for greater subsidies, and rightly so; Las Vegas raided its taxpayer’s pockets for the Raiders only by persuading the state legislature to pony up the money.

Television ratings for the NFL were down last season after years of boundless growth.  Despite the most exciting finish ever, more people decided not to watch the Super Bowl.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6, 2016.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.