File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
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April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

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31 After the U.S. Credit Downgrade, Let's Talk About a Radical Budgetary Change

Fitch Ratings just downgraded the U.S. government's credit rating due in part to Congress's erosion in governance. Indeed, year after year, we see the same political theater unfold: last-minute deals, deficits and, all too often, the passage of gigantic omnibus spending bills without proper scrutiny, along with repeated debt-ceiling fights and threats…

32 Should We Blame the Budget Players or the Game?

It's common knowledge among budget experts that the budget process is "broken." Anyone who regularly reads this column knows about debt limits, government shutdowns, out-of-control spending and borrowing ... the list goes on. Well, part of the problem is that almost 50 years since the last budget process reform, it needs a serious update.…

33 Supreme Court Confronts Unfair and Unconstitutional “Wealth Tax”

In his desperate effort to rebrand “Bidenomics” as some sort of positive, Joe Biden regularly whispers into the microphone that he’s a deficit slasher.   Nevermind that deficits only temporarily dipped because Covid spending expired, and that if Biden’s original “Build Back Better” had passed, spending…

34 Why We're Asking the Wrong Question About the Industrial Policy Push

Proponents of the ongoing push for national industrial policy, whether they come from the left or the right, frequently argue that we need to promote certain sectors or technologies to create a manufacturing boom. This boom, we're told, is necessary to create more high-paying jobs. But I beg to differ. Industrial policy isn't and shouldn't be primarily…

35 'Bidenomics' Is a Marketing Term

Politics is sometimes little more than marketing. As evidence, behold the sudden use of the term "Bidenomics" by Democrats to describe administration policies of the past few years. Indeed, what's being branded as "new" is nothing but the same old program of big spending, big regulations and big cronyism. The only difference is…

36 Bidenomics Is a Big Bust

Word out of the White House is that President Joe Biden wants to tout his economic successes. He's even embracing the slogan "Bidenomics" – which most people think is a term of derision and policy flops.  On the one hand, the unemployment rate is low and millions of jobs have been created over the past two years. Reality…

37 What to Make of New Projections of Big Government Savings

We have a debt-ceiling deal. It's a relief for most people. This deal avoids a default and the need for the Department of the Treasury to make hard choices over which bills to pay. It gives Republicans the sense that a step was taken toward fiscal responsibility and gives Democrats the sense that they've made an unprecedented sacrifice. Many hope their…

38 Surprise: Debt Conversation Brings More Pointless 'Tax-the-Rich' Talk

Whenever we have a national conversation about government debt, Democrats invariably respond that spending is not the reason the debt is now nearly equal to our national GDP. The real cause of our indebtedness, they inform us, is that taxes aren't high enough and the rich don't pay their fair share. From increasing the marginal tax rate to more than…

39 Gavin Newsom’s $32 Billion California Deficit Versus Ron DeSantis’s $22 Billion Florida Surplus

As the economic climate deteriorates amid Biden Administration mismanagement, the Federal Reserve announced this week that consumer debt rose to an all-time record in the first quarter of this year and surpassed $17 trillion for the first time.   It also reported that more Americans find it difficult to remain current on car, credit card…

40 Why the Debt Ceiling Continues to Matter

The debt-ceiling standoff has people concerned about what will happen if the U.S. defaults on its debt. I certainly hope both sides will come together to avoid this outcome. But it is still worth reminding everyone how incredibly precarious the status quo is, and why something needs to change. You've heard the warnings about our debt levels, to the…

41 Recession and the 2024 Campaign

For more than two years now, Republicans have been predicting that President Joe Biden's big-spending policies will crash the U.S. economy into recession. It hasn't happened yet, although the country did experience two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth – a widely accepted definition of recession – in the…

42 What You Need to Know About the Debt-Ceiling Debate

If you read news coverage about the brewing battle over raising the debt ceiling, you might think it's a fight between demons and angels. On one side, you have Republicans who are willing to risk a default on the government's debt unless they get spending cuts that will starve people. On the other side, you have Democrats who, guarding the interests…

43 Real Patriots Cut Taxes, Not Raise Them

On Tax Day this year, about a dozen left-wing millionaires joined with some of the most liberal Democrats in Congress for a Washington, D.C., press conference. The luminaries included Abigail Disney, Walt Disney's granddaughter, and former BlackRock whiz kid Morris Pearl.  The group argued that it wants to pay more taxes and urged new tax laws…

44 One Stat Rarely Tells the Story

Government debt as a share of the U.S. economy is falling. This must mean the Biden administration and Congress are practicing fiscal responsibility, right? No, it doesn't. The main driver behind the reduction is inflation – inflation that politicians in Washington created with their irresponsible spending and refusal to engage in austerity…

45 Biden Economy Threatens His 2024 Viability

Whom will American voters believe in 2024, Joe Biden or their lying bank balances?   In the years preceding Biden’s presidency, average U.S. wage gains outpaced inflation, which meant increasing purchasing power for American consumers.  As this graph starkly illustrates, however, when Biden entered the White House those two trend…

46 The Fed Has More Than a 'Credibility' Problem

I have heard some people say that the Federal Reserve has a credibility problem. The agency missed the biggest inflation spike since the 1980s, was slow to start rolling back pandemic policies and failed to spot the risks that some banks, such as Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), were facing. Instead of instilling confidence and stability, the Fed's policy…

47 Honey, Joe Biden Just Shrunk Our Pension

President Joe Biden recently issued his first veto since taking office on Jan. 20, 2021.  Biden rejected a bipartisan bill that would have required investment fund managers to take politics out of their investment decisions and to stay focused on providing the best return to their clients as much as possible.  Why should you care? Because…

48 The President's Budget Reveals the Real Priority: Tax Hikes

Budgets are about priorities. In the Biden administration's new budget, its apparent priorities are marred by problems. Here's the cheat-sheet version: Rather than containing explosive growth in spending, it would use a bunch of new taxes to wage class warfare. While this budget is dead on arrival in Congress, it's worth reviewing some reasons why…

49 Biden's Banking Busts

The failure of three banks in the last two weeks, including Silicon Valley Bank on Friday and Signature Bank on Sunday, is a saga of utter government incompetence. Call these bank collapses Biden's Banking Busts. The Biden administration has been obsessing on woke causes while banks teeter toward insolvency. Three days before Silicon Valley Bank collapsed…

50 Death Taxes Are Immoral. Even Worse, They Don't Work.

"I have no respect for the passion of equality," Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., one of America's great jurists, once declared, "which seems to me merely idealizing envy."  But envy, and its sister vice, greed, are very much back in fashion today when it comes to the progressive Left. Just listen to President Joe Biden, who wants…

51 Biden’s Own IRS Debunks His Class-Warfare Tax Myths

Joe Biden's name has never been synonymous with factual accuracy or intellectual integrity.   True to form, his 2023 State of the Union address pitched an exhaustive wish list employing a class-envy predicate that the U.S. income tax system “is not fair”:   And we pay for these investments in our future by finally…

52 Don't Fall For Joe Biden's Economic Fairy Tale

Like Nero bragging about rebuilding Circus Maximus after burning it down, President Joe Biden took to the podium Tuesday night to take credit for solving a slew of problems he helped create. At the top of his State of the Union address, the president boasted that he had "more jobs created in two years than any president has created in four years…

53 Accumulating Numbers Confirm Biden’s Economic Mismanagement

For a man who ironically chose “No Malarkey!” as his campaign slogan, Joe Biden certainly traffics in it.   In the latest farcical example, witness the Biden Administration repeating for weeks on loop that he “takes classified documents very seriously,” even while continuing new discoveries confirm just the opposite…

54 Democrats' Spending Threatens Americans' High Standard of Living

The average American home is almost 2,200 square feet. An average home in the United Kingdom is a minuscule 818 square feet, in Finland 880 square feet and in Germany under 1,200 square feet. Cramped. Americans have bigger houses and a higher material standard of living – more appliances, clothing and cars – largely…

55 Spendaholic Politicians Are Destroying Your Economic Future

Most people don't lie awake at night worried about the national debt. Unfortunately, that includes President Joe Biden and the spendaholic Democrats in Congress.  They should be worried. Frankly, so should you, no matter what your politics. Economics is a science, and numerous studies by world-class economists confirm that when a nation's debt…

56 Biden Celebrates Slightly-Less-Terrible Inflation Report

In what has become a miserable new normal, the U.S. Labor Department this week reported a November annualized inflation rate of 7.1%.   So how did Joe Biden react?  By spinning the number as some sort of triumph and spiking the ball, naturally.   We’re now two years into the Biden presidency, and the best they can say…

57 Lost Retirement Horizon: Why 401(k)s Are Not OK (and Not Just Because of the Lousy Economy)

Fretting over your 401(k) lately? For all the current turbulence in these retirement plans – from their rocky recent market performance to asset managers' politicization of their investments through the "environment, social and governance" agenda – the main problem lies in their flawed design decades ago, a range of retirement…

58 IRS Hiring Spree Is the Biggest Expansion of the Police State in American History

The Democrats' new reconciliation bill isn't just going to be the largest-ever expansion of a government agency. It's going to be the largest expansion of the domestic police state in American history. Only a statist could believe that a federal government, which already collects $4.1 trillion every year – or $12,300 for every citizen…

59 It's Not a Loophole Just Because Dems Don't Like It

While peddling the ludicrously named Inflation Reduction Act on CNN this past week, Sen. Joe Manchin claimed that Democrats were merely trying to "close the loopholes and collect the taxes that are owed to the Treasury and the United States people." In Washington, a "loophole" is a euphemism for a perfectly legal policy that Democrats…

60 Manchin Flip-Flops on “Build Back Better” Tax Increases

With Americans increasingly desperate for a life preserver, Senator Joe Manchin (D – West Virginia) instead just threw them an anvil forged by Chuck Schumer (D – New York).   Although our economy just entered a recession, Manchin inexplicably decided that now’s the perfect time to reverse years of promises by supporting…

 
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Notable Quote   
 
"Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers' expense, RealClearInvestigations has found.The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration's unprecedented demand that…[more]
 
 
— Ben Weingarten, Real Clear Investigations
 
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