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Quote of the Day: Taxpayer Privacy and IRS Abuse

At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains among our most important missions.  Among the abuses that we've chronicled is the case of convicted criminal Charles Littlejohn, who rejoined the IRS in 2017 with the specific purpose of illegally breaching and leaking the private tax returns of Donald Trump and other Americans to radical left-wing organizations like ProPublica.

In The Wall Street Journal this week, one of those victims speaks out on his own experience and the need for greater taxpayer protection against this recurring problem that should terrify all Americans of every political persuasion.  Ira Stoll, whose tax information was passed to ProPublica, even helpfully details how…[more]

May 29, 2024 • 11:28 AM

Liberty Update

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Alarming New Poll: Biden Eroding Public Trust in U.S. Military Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, December 09 2021
Tellingly, when asked to identify reasons for declining confidence in the military, respondents cited 'political leadership.'

Joe Biden’s job approval continues to evaporate faster than Chris Cuomo’s career prospects, which triggers little surprise as his administration’s incompetence sows increasing chaos both domestically and abroad.  

What might surprise, however, is the severity of Biden’s decline.  

For anyone deplorable enough to find such things amusing, Biden’s approval now languishes below every single governor in America.  According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, he’s fully seven points lower than the least-popular governor in the nation - Oregon’s Democratic governor Kate Brown.  

Biden has also set an inglorious record by suffering the steepest approval decline in presidential polling history, and falls below predecessor Donald Trump’s approval rating at the same point in his presidency in multiple polls.  

What’s far less amusing, however, is the way that Biden’s mismanagement is dragging other American institutions like the U.S. military down with him.  

For decades, Gallup has surveyed Americans on their degree of trust in various institutions like the military, police, business, education, healthcare, political institutions and media.  Throughout those years, three institutions have continued to score high in public approval:  small business, police and the military.  Note that all three institutions are traditionally associated with conservative principles of free markets, law and order and strong national defense.  

Today, however, the U.S. military is losing public trust accumulated over the decades, according to the latest poll from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.  With increasing politicization among military leadership, Biden’s disastrous retreat from Afghanistan and growing menace from nations like China, Russia and Iran, public trust in the military has declined by 25 points since 2018:  

For the first time in our survey, a minority of Americans – only 45% – report having a great deal of trust and confidence in the military.  Alarmingly, this is down 25 points in the last three years.  Increasing numbers of Americans say they have little or not much confidence in the military, which is up 15 points in the last three years.  Those reporting some confidence have grown by 10 points.  

What’s especially disturbing is that younger adults who provide current and future staffing prospects for our all-volunteer military express the lowest levels of high confidence:  

Perhaps most troubling for recruitment in the all-volunteer force is that only a third (33%) of adults younger than 30 have high confidence in the military, which is down 20 points since 2018.  Confidence is lower among young Americans than any other demographic subgroup, including ideological, religious, ethnic, economic, or geographical region.  

The good news is that the U.S. military remains our most trusted public institution, immediately followed by police and the medical sector.  Unsurprisingly, mainstream media and Congress ranked lowest in the survey.  Nevertheless, the military has suffered the biggest hit under Biden:   

While the military continues to top the list of trusted institutions, the trend of declining trust is occurring more rapidly for the military than it is for other public institutions.  The military has declined in trust by 25 points since 2018, while law enforcement has declined by 17 points from 50% to 33%.  Those who say they have a great deal of confidence in the presidency declined by 9 points, from 27% to 18%.  

Tellingly, when asked to identify reasons for declining confidence in the military, respondents cited “political leadership.”  After all, Americans witnessed the heroics of ground-level military personnel in Afghanistan last summer, placed in an impossible situation by Biden and his appointed leadership.  

With adversaries like China, Russia and Iran sensing weakness and incompetence in Biden, all of this creates a disturbing mosaic.  As Ronald Reagan often noted, the clearest way to achieve peace is through military strength.  By undermining public confidence in our military, the Biden Administration jeopardizes that strength, in turn increasing the likelihood of deadly international conflict.  

Since the 1960s, when the size and scope of the federal government in our lives exploded under Lyndon Johnson, public trust in government has eroded accordingly.  The military remained one of the few exceptions to that trend, but with the Biden Administration considering it another one of its social experiment sandboxes, that status is eroding.  

America can survive even an incompetent and unpopular Biden Administration.  If he manages to preside in ways that bring down critical U.S. institutions like the military with him, however, the consequences suddenly become much more dire.

Notable Quote   
"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says Democrats have tipped their hand to their desire to unleash noncitizen voting by opposing his state's citizenship verification in court and he is urging elections chiefs in other states to fight such lawsuits.Georgia's citizenship verification system has prevented noncitizens from getting on state voter rolls, but the state had to defend it in court…[more]
— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
Liberty Poll   

Which would be the most useful for voters: a televised presidential debate that only includes Trump and Biden or one that adds Kennedy?