Sean Hackbarth @seanhackbarth

Senior Editor at @uschamber. The man behind Newt Gingrich: Ex-GOPer. Email: My views are my views.

Recent quotes:

Instead of whining about President Trump’s budget, work for entitlement reform - AEI | Economics Blog » AEIdeas

The Trump budget’s severe cuts in government programs will shock many in Washington. But instead of outrage, the correct reaction should be to join a coalition for entitlement reform. For decades, as entitlements have grown, the controllable parts of the budget—the parts for which Congress actually appropriates money—have become a smaller and smaller percentage of the government’s spending. Unless we are willing to see the nation’s debt increase to an unsustainable level—bringing on uncontrolled inflation and a financial crisis at some unpredictable point in the future—painful cuts in the controllable parts of the federal government’s spending are inevitable.

Energy security requires not going 'green' - Washington Times

In Germany, the world leader in green energy, electricity prices have now reached a level triple those paid in the United States.

Entitlements Driving Washington to Trillion-Dollar Deficits | Economics21

A decade from now, rising entitlement spending and interest on the national debt will consume 99 percent of tax revenues – forcing virtually the entire discretionary spending budget to be financed on the nation’s credit card.

Resource Cursed or Policy Cursed? US Regulation of Conflict Minerals and Violence in the Congo: Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists: Vol 4, No 1

Using georeferenced data, we find the legislation increased looting of civilians and shifted militia battles toward unregulated gold-mining territories. These findings are a cautionary tale about the possible unintended consequences of imposing boycotts, trade embargoes, and resource certification schemes on war-torn regions.

Don’t End NAFTA. Fix It. - POLITICO Magazine

Trade in Texas – specifically along our Southern border with Mexico – doesn’t just work in theory. It’s the reality on the ground too. Last week I led a congressional delegation to the border to see this economy in action. We visited the Pharr International Bridge in the Rio Grande Valley – a bridge that facilitates about $30 billion in trade a year. We also visited Laredo, a port that handles about a third of all international trade in Texas, with 14,000 trucks passing through daily. In other words, the Texas border serves as a major gateway for agriculture and manufactured goods trade. It moves more freight along its 1,200-plus miles of southern border than any other border state. And this trade in turn fuels economic growth and vitality across the region and the entire country. But like anything that’s dated, there’s room for NAFTA to be improved. It’s now more than 20 years old. Texas and the United States as a whole would benefit from a revised agreement that makes trade freer and fairer. By fixing NAFTA, we can address modern-day challenges and preserve and protect America’s unrivaled stability and prosperity into the next century.

Socon Signaling

The Beltway Socon cannot see this obvious reality because he has allowed his shallow personal connections to Left Liberals to blind him to what the nature of what their true relationship should be. Namely one of open and continual personal enmity. His conflict with the Left Liberal is an existential one and one that has to extend to the personal level, as all politics, whether one chooses to admit it or not, are inherently personal.

D'Amato: No silver lining in Packers' loss

So desperate was defensive coordinator Dom Capers to stem the bleeding that on one play late in the first quarter he dropped nine into coverage and rushed two – and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan still completed a 16-yard pass to Mohamed Sanu. When your nine can’t cover their five, it’s going to be a long day.

Race to save rare breed of pig hinges on eating them

The way to save declining breeds of livestock, she argues, is to get people to eat them — thereby increasing demand that will lead to more breeding. She wants the mulefoot restored to its early 20th-century status as a premier pig. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is listening. The agency is giving her $50,000 to help increase interest in products made with mulefoot meat, and Frank is spreading her gospel to chefs, restaurants and markets around New England and New York. "I know it sounds weird, but you have to eat a rare breed to help it come back," she said. "I see it as a way to spread the word about mulefoot."

Can U.S. Shale Add 1 Million Bpd In 2017? |

U.S. shale is already up about 300,000 barrels per day from a low point in the summer of 2016, at least according to preliminary data. The gains are expected to continue. The industry is producing about as much oil as it was two years ago, with only one-third of the more than 1,700 rigs in 2014. Drillers are producing just as much oil with a lot less effort.

Jamie Dimon on Trump, Taxes, and a U.S. Renaissance - Bloomberg

I think it’s a reset moment for how businesses are going to be treated: 145 million people work in America; 125 million of them work for private enterprise; 20 million work for government—firemen, sanitation, police, teachers. We hold them in very high regard. But you know, if you didn’t have the 125 you couldn’t pay for the other 20. Business is a huge positive element in society. But for years it’s been beaten down as if we’re terrible people. So I think it’s a good reset.

Rise of the alt-right: How mainstream conservatives’ obsession with purity fueled a new right-wing radicalism -

The bracing critique of the conservative infotainment complex leveled by the dissident right is something to which most conservative elites simply have no answer. For every conservative leader like National Review’s Goldberg or David French who are willing to admit that the right has been fleecing its grassroots with fake medical cures and wild conspiracy theories, there are at least 10 more who are doing that exact thing or renting out their email lists to companies who do.

What the Dakota Access Pipeline Is Really About - WSJ

Political expediency in a White House that does not see itself as being bound by the rule of law. The Obama administration has decided to build a political legacy rather than lead the country. It is facilitating an illegal occupation that has grown wildly out of control. That the economy depends on a consistent and predictable permitting regime seems never to have crossed the president’s mind.

Quotation of the Day... - Cafe Hayek

Not only will power still, in practice, be exercised chiefly by a small cadre of individuals – who by this very reality will be, or will inevitably become, elite – the fact that the power that is exercised by the state will be no less, and perhaps more, than is the power that is exercised under the system displaced by populism means that the the poison remains.

Misty Callahan

But why "fact-check" anymore when fiction make you feel good? We have become, as a culture, more obsessed with feeling right than actually being right.  Which is good for the ego, but it's not good for soiciety in general. If we only accept that which appeals to our biases, or our feelings, it creates echo-chambers or emotional enclaves that reason can not penetrate. When you get to a point where reason nor reality can penetrate the psyche of an individual, at best at best you're dealing with denial, at worst, a delusion. Both can give way to a mob-mentality which, historically, is often detremental to society.

It's Not Just About the Paycheck. Ask Workers. - Bloomberg View

Putting such employees on a time clock is not just a burden. It can seem like an insult. Scott M. Fitzgerald, the director of human resources at Otterbein University, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that he’d had staffers at a previous institution cry in his office when told of the change. They saw the shift to hourly pay as a demotion. At the Y, says Baddley, the emotional response has been “intense.” For professionals who’d never before punched a clock, “it was upsetting.”

The ACA’s Impact on Employer-Provided Health Benefits | RealClearHealth

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, employer-sponsored health benefits will cost $975.6 billion in 2016, or $5,697 per covered life.  Direct and indirect ACA provisions likely increased the cost of employer-sponsored health benefits by 5.8 percent in 2016.  This means the ACA likely cost employers $56.6 billion in 2016, or $330 per covered life.

Shirtless Trump Saves Drowning Kitten - MTV

But at some point, the American right — starting with the non-alt version, the one before the one we just elected — took another look at the postmodern critique of the linguistic basis of virtue and tumbled absolutely spinning into love with it.

Donald Trump's Victory is a Victory for Populism | PJ Media

Donald Trump is Theodore Roosevelt's true successor. He's charismatic, has a sense for style, knows how to play the media, and he believes in the power of government to do good. To him, the problem of the last eight years wasn't that President Obama made the government bigger than ever before, but that his policies and the folks he put in charge were "stupid." That's populism in a nutshell: the idea that government can do much good by being active and involved in the economy, but that politics has to be taken back by 'the people.' His wasn't a battle against Big Government, but against The Elites. And he has won that battle decisively.

Look outside politics for heroes: Glenn Reynolds

And, for that matter, as we face one of the uglier elections in recent history, one that bids fair to leave whichever half of the country loses feeling grimly unhappy, remember that while our politics may be toxic, America is not. Though politicians on the left and right foster division and despair, because that suits their interests, all over America ordinary people — well, extraordinary people, really, just not politicians or celebrities — are doing their best to make things better.

Protesting the Dakota pipeline is not cut and dried - The Washington Post

HOW DID the out-of-state activists protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline arrive at the North Dakota site? How were the sleeping bags they will use when the high plains winter arrives manufactured and shipped to the stores at which they were purchased? What are the plastics made of in the phones they have been using at Standing Rock, N.D.?

I was assaulted by ‘peaceful’ pipeline protesters | New York Post

Don’t listen to reports that this is some kind of touchy-feely sage-sniffing lovefest. These were thugs who hated journalists asking tough questions. They love journalists and celebrities who portray them as peaceful and ask easy questions that address none of their lies or contradictions.

Immigrants Are Keeping America Young — And The Economy Growing | FiveThirtyEight

You wouldn’t know it from this year’s overheated campaign rhetoric, but immigration is the only thing keeping the U.S. from facing a Japan-style demographic cliff. At a time when aging and other factors mean that fewer Americans are working, immigrants — who tend to come to the U.S. during their working years and have a higher rate of labor-force participation than native-born Americans — play an increasingly important role in the U.S. workforce. Foreign-born U.S. residents made up 13.1 percent of the population in 2014 but 16.4 percent of the labor force, up from 10 percent two decades earlier.1 Immigrants help the economy in other ways too: They are more likely than native-born Americans to start businesses, and because they pay into Social Security but only receive benefits if they stay in the country permanently, they help ease the U.S.’s long-run fiscal burden.

Trump Is Right About Mexico Trade -- Just in The Wrong Way - Bloomberg

Bloomberg's Nacha Cattan's trip around Mexican retailer Selecto reveals an array of made-in-USA goods and produce that are flying off the shelves. Mexico's rapidly expanding middle class dines on U.S. steak, fruit, cookies and whet their whistle with soda, beer and hot chocolate all made in the USA.

Clinton ally's advice: Meet with NYT publisher to try to improve coverage - POLITICO

Tanden also wrote that Wolfson “thinks the brown and women pundits can shame the times and others on social media” for their coverage, and suggested that “cultivating” The Nation’s Joan Walsh, Vox’s Matt Yglesias, The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent and NBC’s Perry Bacon, among others, would be “helpful.”

#NoDAPL Movement Takes a Dark Turn as Organizers Tell Cops “Do What You’ve Got to Do” - Say Anything

In rejecting that path, the protesters tell us they don’t want peace. They want conflict and violence as fodder their propaganda machines.

Someone Who Has 3 Million Followers on Facebook Explains The Ways Social Media Is Making Us All Dumber - John Hawkins

Nowhere on Planet Earth does being crazy, hyper-obnoxious or arguing with people like a crazy homeless guy pay off like it does on Twitter.