At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
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

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Dear Joe: It’s the Substance, Stupid Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 02 2022
Instead of substantively correcting course and moderating his agenda, Biden simply repeats his demands for higher taxes, more regulation and the same policies that have brought us to this point. The problem isn’t Biden’s messaging, it’s his substance.

As Joe Biden’s approval trails every president on record and crises of his own making accumulate, NBC News reported this week that things are getting ugly within his Administration.  

Biden himself reportedly seethes at what he considers staff mismanagement of messaging while complaining that he “can’t catch a break.”  

According to the NBC exposé, Biden also insists that his problems boil down to aides not letting him be himself, thereby diluting his “authenticity”:  

Beyond policy, Biden is unhappy about a pattern that has developed inside the West Wing.  He makes a clear and succinct statement – only to have aides rush to explain that he actually meant something else.  The so-called clean-up campaign, he has told advisers, undermines him and smothers the authenticity that fueled his rise.  Worse, it feeds a Republican talking point that he’s not fully in command.  

“Authenticity?”  This is a man who repeatedly lied about his academic credentials and withdrew from multiple presidential campaigns after admitting plagiarism in speeches.  And if the incorrigibly inarticulate Biden considers his rhetorical style “clear and succinct,” then he’s more detached from reality than feared.  

Moreover, imagine the degree of global tension and domestic drift if Biden’s aides refrained from correction and cleanup.  

In any event, Biden stubbornly insists that ineffective messaging explains his problems:  

Biden has vented to aides about not getting credit from Americans or the news media for actions he believes have helped the country, particularly on the economy…  The president also told aides he doesn’t think enough Democrats go on television to defend him.  A particular sore spot is his slumping poll numbers…  “He’s now lower than Trump, and he’s really twisted about it,” another person close to the White House said.  

Biden’s problem, however, isn’t one of style.  

Paraphrasing James Carville, it’s the substance, stupid.  

Substantively, Biden’s international weakness and bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan signaled opportunity to aggressive nations like Russia and China.  His restrictive pivot against domestic energy from literally the first day in office discouraged production and undermined energy independence.  His needless $2 trillion “stimulus” at the beginning of his presidency in March 2021 fueled inflation in an already surging economy, as even prominent Democratic economists warned from the outset.  His deliberate abandonment of border enforcement has led to a record number of illegal migrant encounters and complete chaos in a region where deadly drugs enter the country.  He sold himself as a “uniter,” but his needlessly angry and antagonistic rhetoric has driven Americans apart more than ever.  

None of that is bad luck.  Those are the direct and foreseeable consequences of his choices and failures.  

As for messaging, when Biden is allowed to speak freely and “be himself,” he only whiffs, lies and makes matters worse.  

One year ago, for example, Biden assured the nation that inflation was “temporary” while attempting to persuade Congress to pass yet another $4.7 trillion “stimulus” that he claimed would ease rather than accelerate inflation even further.  “Our experts believe, and the data show, that most of the price increases we’ve seen were expected and are expected to be temporary,” Biden said.  

He probably wishes now that one of his aides had cleaned that one up.  

That was back when inflation had only reached 5.4%.   It was also about the same time that the White House infamously descended into self-parody with a tweet highlighting how a July 4 cookout was down $0.16 from the previous year.  

And for the record, one of the “experts” whom Biden cited a year ago in assuring us that inflation was “temporary” was Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.  This week, Yellen made headlines by openly admitting that, “I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take.”  

Now they tell us.  

Meanwhile, in a commentary this week in The Wall Street Journal, Biden flatly misstated basic facts in promoting his economic agenda.  “In January 2021, when I took office, the recovery had stalled and Covid was out of control,” Biden wrote.  “In less than a year and a half, my administration’s economic and vaccination plans helped achieve the most robust recovery in modern history.”  Biden also bragged that he achieved “the fastest decline in unemployment on record.”  

That’s simply not true.  Biden inherited the Covid vaccines developed in record haste under the Trump presidency, and in the three quarters preceding Biden’s presidency and “stimulus” package, U.S. economic growth came it at 33.8%, 4.5% and 6.3%.  In the first quarter of this year, in contrast, Biden has brought us to the precipice of an economic recession with a contraction of 1.5%.  And the U.S. unemployment rate declined from 14.7% in April 2020 to 6.4% by January of 2021, compared to a 2.8% decline since Biden arrived.  

All of this matters for reasons beyond the schadenfreude of seeing egg on the faces of Biden Administration officials and their apologists.  Instead of substantively correcting course and moderating his agenda, Biden simply repeats his demands for higher taxes, more regulation and the same policies that have brought us to this point.  

The problem isn’t Biden’s messaging, it’s his substance.  He mustn’t be given a pass, lest he be allowed to perpetuate and even enlarge the policy agenda that crashed a surging economy that he inherited.

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?