Commentary: The Treacherous Road to Runaway Inflation

In January, 2001, America had a balanced budget, low debt, and was at peace. Here, briefly, is what lay ahead: war, financial crisis, civil unrest, massive growth of the federal government, and now severe inflation.

Never in the history of America has our government in its ineptitude created such a false economy, risking hundreds of years of hard work on unsound and unworkable economic policies. The Founders wisely relied on dispersion of power. They knew there would be dishonest and incompetent politicians but, in this case, the entire government is infected with deceptive leaders.

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Commentary: The Afghanistization of America

The United States should be at its pinnacle of strength. It still produces more goods and services than any other nation—China included, which has a population over four times as large. Its fuel and food industries are globally preeminent, as are its graduate science, computer, engineering, medical, and technology university programs. Its constitution is the oldest of current free nations. And the U.S. military is by far the best funded in the world. And yet something has gone terribly wrong within America, from the southern border to Afghanistan. 

The inexplicable in Afghanistan—surrendering Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night, abandoning tens of billions of dollars of military equipment to the Taliban, and forsaking both trapped Americans and loyalist Afghans—has now become the new Biden model of inattention and incompetence.

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Brown University Exempts its Official Functions from New Indefinite COVID Restrictions

On Monday, administrators at Brown University  informed students that the school had confirmed eighty-two “positive COVID-19 asymptomatic tests in the past seven days”  arising largely from asymptomatic undergraduate students.

Brown then introduced several temporary restrictions. But rather than providing a specific end date, the university told students that restrictions will be removed “after achieving a decrease in positive tests.”

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Stock Market Nosedives as Massive Sell-Off Continues

Major stock market indices plummeted Monday in a continuing sell-off tied to China’s declining property value, increasing COVID-19 cases and lack of progress in Congress on increasing the debt limit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), an index measuring 30 major U.S. corporations, dropped 1.78% on Monday. The S&P index, which measures 500 of the largest publicly traded companies, fell 1.7%, while the NASDAQ, an index composed largely of technology firms, declined 2.19%.

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Commentary: The Other Back to School Story

Back to school stories this year will focus, naturally, on the Covid-19 pandemic’s toll on students and families and on remedying these difficulties.

But another story is being shortchanged: it’s about how parents sought new options for their children like homeschooling, small learning pods, and micro-schools, with civic entrepreneurs and their partners creating new organizations or expanding existing ones to meet this demand.

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Americans Support Governors’ Revolt Against Federal Vaccine Mandate, Poll Shows

New polling shows that the majority of Americans do not approve of President Joe Biden’s new vaccine mandate.

Biden announced the mandate last week, which includes requirements that any business with more than 100 employees ensure they are vaccinated or be tested weekly. Biden’s announcement included a range of other federal rules that are estimated to affect 100 million Americans.

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Wisconsin Representative Gallagher Calls for Fauci to Resign

Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher (R-08-WI) called for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Adviser, to resign in an interview with Fox News. Gallagher said, “At a minimum he should step down and we should have a full investigation to untangle the complex web of US taxpayer dollars funding this type of research.”

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University of California Doctors Challenge Its COVID Vaccine Mandate as ‘Irrational’

A new category of professional has joined the legal challenges to university vaccine mandates: doctors.

University of California Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine psychiatrist and medical ethicist Aaron Kheriaty is suing the university system to recognize his natural immunity from COVID-19 recovery, and he’s getting help from fellow UC medical professors.

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Boosted Unemployments Benefits End, Unclear Whether Michigan Labor Shortage Will Ease

About 442,196 unemployment claimants saw their pandemic unemployment assistance benefits end on Sept. 4, but it’s unclear if that will ease Michigan’s labor shortage.

The federal Pandemic Unemployment plus regular unemployment benefits let recipients receive up to $662 weekly.

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Real Rebels: Eric Clapton, Van Morrison Defy COVID-19 Groupthink

Comedians like Lenny Bruce once risked jail time to slam the status quo. Rockers routinely mock authority, like Green Day’s Grammy-winning screed against President George W. Bush, “American Idiot.”

Now, as vaccine mandates spring up across the country those rebellious groups are mostly silent about rules insisting citizens get the jab before resuming normal life.

A few, like Dee Snider, are cheering on the regulations.

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COVID Vaccination Status Increasingly Determines Treatment Under American Legal System

Are you vaccinated against COVID-19? The answer to that question may determine how the American legal system treats you, whether an inmate, party or even lawyer.

From custody fights and bail conditions to courthouse access and grooming privileges, vaccination status is playing an outsized role in courts and jails nationwide.

An Illinois judge provoked outrage a month ago by revoking a divorced mother’s visitation rights to her 11-year-old son after Rebecca Firlit told him she couldn’t get vaccinated because of adverse reactions.

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Studies Point to Varied Effects of Masking

Crowded street market with people wearing masks

New research published by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Bangladesh, which tracked mask-wearing among 340,000 Bangladeshi adults, indicates mask usage can considerably reduce the spread of symptomatic COVID-19. 

Some medical professionals, however, remain uneasy about mask mandates in schools because of their possible impact on children’s learning and social health.

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Police Officers, Firefighters Sue Oregon Governor Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Police and firefighters are suing Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, arguing her vaccine mandate for state workers conflicts with the U.S. and state constitutions.

The lawsuit filed in Jefferson County by the Oregon Fraternal Order of Police and the Kinglsey Firefighters Association asks the judge seeks to block the state from enforcing Brown’s executive order requiring COVID-19 inoculations fir all executive branch employees.

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Wisconsin Health Provider COVID Vaccine Declination Form Says Employees ‘Endangering Others’

A COVID vaccine declination form from a Wisconsin health provider, Hudson Physicians, says that the employee must understand that by declining they are “endangering” others. The form also states that by signing the form, the employee is acknowledging that “COVID-19 is a serious virus.”

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Michigan State Senators Introduce Bill to Create Exemptions to College Vaccine Mandates

State Senators Kim LaSata (R-MI-Coloma) and Jim Runestad (R-MI-White Lake) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would allow students in Michigan’s colleges and universities the right to opt out of vaccine mandates imposed by those institutions.

The bill would create a range of medical and non-medical exceptions to requirements for students at any higher-education institution in Michigan to get any kind of vaccine.

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Residents of Democratic Stronghold Genesee County, Michigan Speak to Commissioners Overwhelmingly Against School Mask Mandate

An informal meeting of the Genesee County, Michigan Board of Commissioners on Monday saw residents turn out heavily against a school-mask mandate for students in grades K-6. 

County Medical Health Officer Pamela Hackert told attendees she imposed the requirement only on those lower grades because she wanted to provide protection to students who do not yet have the option of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Roughly One-Third of U.S. Population Had COVID-19 by the End of 2020, New Study

Roughly one-third of the U.S. population had been infected by the coronavirus by the end of 2020, according to a new study that appears to show how widespread but underreported the virus was.

The study was conducted by Columbia University researchers and published Thursday in the science journal Nature.

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Showdown Coming at University of Wisconsin Over Coronavirus Rules

Republican lawmakers are talking about suing the University of Wisconsin over mask mandates and test requirements for those who haven’t received a coronavirus vaccine.

State Senator Steve Nass (R-WI) said he will ask permission to begin legal proceedings if the UW System doesn’t change its mind about coronavirus restrictions by next week.

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Parents Demonstrate Against School Mask Mandate and Health Officer in Kent County, Michigan

On Thursday, several Kent County commissioners and a packed room of parents expressed outrage over Health Officer Adam London’s mandate that school children wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

London, who issued the requirement mere days before children in the Grand Rapids area headed back to school this Monday, insisted at a board of commissioners meeting that no negative consequences come to children from wearing masks. 

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Biden Investigation into COVID Origins Come to an End, Remains Classified

The 90-day investigation ordered by the Biden Administration into the origins of the Chinese Wuhan coronavirus has come to a conclusion, but remains classified to the general public for the immediate future, according to CNN.

In the month of May, Biden ordered the intelligence community to conduct their own investigation into where the virus originated from, after shutting down previous ongoing investigations that had been initiated by the Trump Administration, and ordered his new investigations to report back in 90 days with their findings. The 90-day deadline was Tuesday.

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Facebook Under Fire from White House, Critics over Lack of Transparency

Facebook is facing backlash over several decisions in August that critics say indicate a lack of transparency, particularly regarding the problem of misinformation.

The tech company drew criticism after it published a report Saturday detailing the most widely-viewed content on the platform for the first quarter of 2021, showing that the most viewed news article was a factual story published by the Chicago Tribune about a doctor dying two weeks after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Facebook had initially shelved the report and published data on the second quarter of 2021 instead, but released it following an investigation by The New York Times that revealed the tech company withheld the report due to fears it would seem like it was promoting misinformation.

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Report on Arizona’s Maricopa County Ballots in 2020 Election Delayed, Auditors Have COVID, Report

The report of ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election in Arizona’s Maricopa County has been delayed because the chief executive and two other employees of the audit team reportedly have COVID-19 and are “quite sick.”

A draft report of the findings was expected to be delivered Monday to Republicans in the state Senate, who hired the Florida-based firm Cyber Ninjas to conduct the audit.

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Commentary: Vaccine Mandates and Bribery Are Headed for K-12 Schools

Young girl getting COVID vaccination

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, more than 680 U.S. public and private colleges require students to get a coronavirus vaccine. This is a non-negotiable mandate for students to maintain enrollment status.

The vaccination edicts come even as the coronavirus has an extremely low mortality rate among college-aged students — CDC data attributes only 2.8 percent of coronavirus deaths to those under age 45. Regardless of this reality, those favoring mandated vaccines argue that schools already require students to provide proof of other vaccinations.

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FDA Fully Approves Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval Monday to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, a major step that will likely have significant implications for vaccination mandates nationwide. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have not yet received full FDA authorization.

The Pfizer vaccine previously received FDA authorization, which allowed its emergency use but did not give the full approval. Pfizer is the first company to receive full approval in the U.S.

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State Senator from Wisconsin: Governor Evers Has Failed to Raise Refugee Concerns

The Wisconsin state senator who represents the towns around Fort McCoy has issued the strongest objection yet to the still murky plan to bring thousands of Afghan refugees to central Wisconsin.

Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, on Friday sent a strongly worded letter to Gov. Evers asking for answers about who the refugees are and where they will go once they arrive.

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After Recall, Newsom to Require COVID Vaccine Proof or Negative Test at Smaller Indoor Events

Californians wanting to attend events with more than 1,000 people will have to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The California Department of Public Health announced attending indoor events with 1,000 or more guests will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. The requirement previously was triggered at events with 5,000 or more attendees.

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Commentary: Massive Nurse Shortage Hits Houston, Weeks After 150 Unvaccinated Nurses and Hospital Workers Fired

Jennifer Bridges knew what was coming when her director at Houston Methodist hospital called her up in June to inquire about her vaccination status.

Bridges, a 39-year-old registered nurse, responded “absolutely not” when asked if she was vaccinated or had made an effort to get vaccinated. She was terminated on the spot.

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McAuliffe Fundraising Prowess Becomes Liability After Vineyard Gala, Disabilities Snub

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe is famous for his voracious fundraising, from his roles as head of the Clinton money machine to his success the last time he was governor. But now his fund-raising is earning him some infamy.

McAuliffe, in a close race to reclaim the Virginia governorship against GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, has for decades raised millions for his party and some of its marquee candidates including former President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton, a two-time White House candidate.

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Texas Counties That Requested Disaster Aid for Border Crisis Haven’t Got it, Officials Say

While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this spring allocated $1 billion in border security funds to the state’s Department of Public Safety and 1,000 members of law enforcement to secure the border, counties that made disaster declarations over the illegal migrant crisis say they still haven’t received the resources they sought four months later.

“Kinney County has not received anything that we requested from the governor on April 21,” County Attorney Brent Smith told Just The News. “We have heard promises and have been told that all the resources that we so desperately require are available, but thus far, nothing has been delivered. Empty promises don’t keep our residents safe. Empty promises don’t secure our border.”

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Commentary: Distrust in Television Ratings

While they may not agree on nearly anything else, one issue manages to unite Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN: an archaic television ratings system that is known to wildly misrepresent viewership.

At a time when cord-cutting has brought about many new ways to consume television news and entertainment, the industry’s primary measurement tool, Nielsen Ratings, seems stuck in another era. Those chosen as “Nielsen families” have complained for years about the cumbersome, almost primitive methods used to track their viewership.

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Michigan Bill Aims to Ban Employers from Requiring Vaccines, Masks

Lawmakers heard testimony on House Bill 4471, which aims to ban employers from requiring certain vaccines and wearing masks.

The bill aims to ban employers from firing or discriminating against employees who choose not to get certain vaccinations, including tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, or COVID-19, or making them wear masks or disclosing vaccination status.

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Science on Mask Usage Indicates Scant Benefit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that all schools require mask-wearing indoors by teachers and students, vaccinated or unvaccinated against COVID-19. 

And many school districts are adopting that requirement, to the dismay of many parents.

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College Students Giving Up on Their Degrees in Significant Numbers: Report

Tennessee Star

American colleges continue to face the consequences of COVID, as data show they experienced a significant decrease in returning students this past school year.

Many post-secondary education plans to take classes were canceled in 2020. In August of last year, the US Census Bureau conducted a survey which showed 29.4 percent of households with at least one prospective student had canceled their plans to take classes in the fall of 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

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U.S. Senators Call for Investigation into Michigan and Other States that Sent COVID Patients to Nursing Homes

Republican members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Friday urged that committee’s chair to commence an investigation into the decisions of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) and several other governors to discharge COVID-19-infected patients into their states’ nursing homes in 2020.

In addition to Whitmer, Tom Wolf (D-PA), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Phil Murphy (D-NJ) are specifically criticized in the letter written to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL).

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Vast Majority of Michigan Restaurants and Hotels Operating Without Full Staffs, Study Says

According to the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA), about nine out of 10 restaurants and hotels are operating with too few employees. 

On June 22, state officials lifted COVID-related restrictions on restaurant capacity.

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Parents Launch Effort to Recall Mount Pleasant Public School Board Members Who Imposed Mask Mandates

Michigan voters upset with mask mandates and other school-board actions can organize recall efforts, as Mount Pleasant Public Schools parents are now doing. 

Three directors of that central-Michigan school district could be electorally removed owing to public backlash over a requirement that all students up to the age of 12 wear masks in school.

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Michigan Board of Education Votes to Let Schools Mask or Not Mask

Michigan’s Board of Education passed a resolution Tuesday evening allowing individual school districts to either adopt or reject masking for students and staff to prevent COVID-19’s spread.

The Democrat-run board adopted the resolution instead of another offered by the panel’s two Republican members, Tom McMillin (Oakland Township) and Nikki Snyder (Dexter), who wanted a statewide policy against district mask mandates.

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Citing Vaccine Requirement, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Shirkey to Skip Detroit Regional Chamber’s Conference

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) has indicated he plans to skip the Mackinac Policy Conference, which is hosted annually by the Detroit Regional Chamber, citing the conference’s COVID vaccine requirement. 

The Republican leader reportedly said he is already immune, having gotten COVID-19, and therefore chooses not to get vaccinated.

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Despite Michigan’s New Status as ‘Substantial’ Center of COVID Spread, Deaths Per Day Remain in Single Digits

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elevated Michigan’s level of COVID-19 spread to “substantial” on Wednesday, daily death totals statewide due to COVID remain in single digits.

According to the widely cited tracking website worldometers.info, the seven-day moving average of COVID deaths per day in Michigan has stayed under double digits since July 1st.

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Commentary: Biden’s Approval Rating Is Dropping Fast

Joe Biden

In recent days, conservative media outfits have gleefully presented one of the least surprising headlines of modern times. Namely, that Joe Biden’s presidential approval rating has sunk below the waves.

In the latest Rasmussen poll, Biden is now at a 47 percent approval rating, with 52 percent disapproval. Worse, his Strong Approval number is only 27 percent, compared to a Strong Disapproval of 42. That gives him a minus-15 in Rasmussen’s approval index numbers.

Thursday’s numbers were one point better than Wednesday’s, which is likely statistical noise. The trend, however, is not Biden’s friend.

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Health Officials Less Confident in COVID Vaccine Efficacy with Rise of Delta Variant

Woman in blue hair net and mask

Public health confidence in the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be waning as officials warn of enhanced danger — even for vaccinated individuals — from the “Delta variant” of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

For most of the past year officials have claimed that vaccinations are the only viable path back to normalcy and away from lockdowns and other aggressive mitigation measures. “Look at the folks in your community who have gotten vaccinated and are getting back to living their lives — their full lives,” President Joe Biden said at a May press conference, arguing that the vaccine was “going to help them and their loved ones be safe, get our businesses open again, and get us back to normal.”

The rollout of the vaccines starting last year and continuing throughout the spring and summer of this year has been hailed as the driving force behind the reopening of the economy and the ending of masking mandates and similar restrictions.

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After Testing Positive for COVID, Olympic Athletes Summarily Expelled

Olympics ring logo in dark in Tokyo

Five U.S. athletes have tested positive for coronavirus prior to the start of the Tokyo Olympics, crushing their dreams of competing in the world’s largest sporting event.

U.S. men’s basketball player Bradley Beal tested positive on July 15 which made him unable to travel to Tokyo, USA basketball announced in a tweet.

U.S women’s tennis star Coco Gauff announced on twitter that she tested positive for COVID on July 18. Gauff, 17, received her positive test in Tokyo, and has been barred from competing in the Olympic games, according to the tweet.

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Congressman Clay Higgins Gets COVID for a Second Time

Clay Higgins

Louisiana Republican Rep. Clay Higgins said Sunday that he, his wife and his son all tested positive for COVID-19.

“I have COVID, Becca has COVID, my son has COVID,” Higgins wrote on Facebook, adding that he and his wife had already tested positive for the virus early in 2020.

“Becca and I have had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was,” Higgins wrote. “So, this is our second experience with the CCP biological attack weaponized virus… and this episode is far more challenging.”

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Opponents of Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf’s COVID Orders Present Case to Third Circuit Court

Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment. 

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Economy Added 559,000 Jobs in May, Below Expectations for Second Straight Month

Walmart Hiring Sign

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 559,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate declined to 5.8%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 559,000 in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons dropped to 9.3 million. Economists projected 671,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“We think it will take several months for frictions in the labor market to work themselves out,” Barclays chief U.S. economist Michael Gapen told the WSJ. “That just means we shouldn’t be expecting one to two million jobs every month. Instead, it will be a more gradual process.”

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Analysis: Deficit Will Top $3.6 Trillion in Fiscal Year 2021 as $7.27 Trillion of the National Debt Comes Due in the 2022

United States currency

The annual budget deficit has already hit $1.9 trillion and counting for the fiscal year that will end in September, according to the U.S. Treasury’s April statement, and it will reach as high as $3.6 trillion this year, says the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comparatively, in 2020, the deficit totaled about $3.1 trillion for the entire year.

This comes amid the massive government spending in response to the Covid pandemic, including the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, the $900 billion phase four legislation in Dec. 2020 and then President Joe Biden’s additional $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus bill in March 2020. Another $2.1 trillion infrastructure plan is in the works. And now, Biden is offering his $6 trillion budget, which will blow another $1.8 trillion hole in the deficit in 2022.

As a result, 33 percent of marketable national debt, or about $7.27 trillion of the $22 trillion of publicly held debt, will be coming due within the next year, according to the latest data by the U.S. Treasury. For perspective, that’s more debt than existed as recently as 2003.

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Commentary: The Left Will Not Let Go of COVID

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden

COVID’s grip on America is relaxing, not so the Left’s. The Left seized COVID as an unprecedented statist opportunity to advance their agenda. Unsurprisingly, they now resist relinquishing it. Since the Left refuse to let go of America, America must let go of the Left.

Last week the CDC relaxed its guidelines for outdoor mask-wearing by those fully vaccinated against COVID. It was more a rearguard action than a vanguard one, but at least it was a start. Several states are well ahead in their return to normalcy.

America’s virus statistics demonstrate the remission of the virus and validate accelerating relaxation of the lockdowns. On a seven-day moving average, active cases, daily new cases, and daily deaths have been plummeting since the beginning of the year.
On the ledger’s other side, vaccinations began in the U.S. in December, averaging over two million a day since February; as a result, around 31 percent of the population is now fully vaccinated at this writing.

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