22 Quotes to Celebrate Milton Friedman Day

Samantha Reinis /

July 31 is known as a day to honor conservative economist Milton Friedman, as he would have been 103 years old if he were still living today.

Friedman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in economics, specifically for “his achievements in the field of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy.”

He served as an advisor to President Nixon in the White House and was the president of the American Economic Association before becoming a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Friedman was known for his defense of the free market and call for school choice through a voucher programs.

To honor this great man, here are 22 of his most notable quotes regarding the economy, government, and life.

  1. “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
  2. “The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.”
  3. “Governments never learn. Only people learn.”
  4. “Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”
  5. “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
  6. “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
  7. “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstance and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”
  8. “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
  9. “If all we want are jobs, we can create any number—for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs—jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.”
  10. “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”
  11. “When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union—like public housing in the United States—look decrepit within a year or two of their construction.”
  12. “Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.”
  13. “The lack of balance in governmental activity reflects primarily the failure to separate sharply the question what activities it is appropriate for government to finance from the question what activities it is appropriate for government to administer—a distinction that is important in other areas of government activity as well.”
  14. “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”
  15. “Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy.”
  16. “I think the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem and very often makes the problem worse.”
  17. “The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.”
  18. “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
  19. “I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government.”
  20. Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.”
  21. “Inflation is taxation without legislation.”
  22. “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.”
Obama Administration to Give Pell Grants to Prisoners - The Daily Signal

Obama Administration to Give Pell Grants to Prisoners

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson /

The Obama administration announced Friday that certain federal and state prisoners will be eligible for federal Pell grants to pay for college classes while they serve out their time behind bars.

The U.S. Department of Education revealed the pilot program with the aim to keep convicts from returning to incarceration by giving them the opportunity to secure jobs and “turn their lives around.”

The program lifts a 20-year ban on inmates receiving Pell grants following multiple studies that found education programs reduce recidivism rates, breaking the cycle of criminal relapses and in turn saving taxpayer money.

“We know from research that incarcerated individuals who participate in correctional education — including remedial, vocational and postsecondary programs — are more likely to stay out of prison; more likely to seek, gain and maintain employment; and substantially more likely to remain crime-free,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.

Pell grants were created in 1965 as federal financial aid for low-income college students that do not need to be repaid. This upcoming school year, students can receive up to $5,775 to help pay for tuition and other educational expenses.

Congress banned prisoners from Pell grants in 1994 after lawmakers argued it was unfair for prisoners to receive financial aid when many law-abiding citizens were not.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan joined Lynch in the announcement at Goucher College’s Prison Education Partnership at the Maryland Correctional Institute. She said the program will create “experimental sites” for inmate’s to receive Pell grants to “help them get job training and secure a productive life” once they leave prison, the Associated Press reports.

More than 70 students from two separate prisons are enrolled in the Goucher College partnership. It is among many schools that offer degrees to people in prison as part of the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, which formed in 2009 and does not receive government funding.

In its press release, the Department of Education cited a 2013 RAND Corporation study that found incarcerated people who participated in education programs were 43 percent less likely to return to prison than prisoners who did not participate. The study also found the programs would cost-effectively save the government money because the recidivism rates would be lower.

The program is a piece of a broader Obama administration push to overhaul the U.S.’s criminal justice system. President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 inmates earlier this month, traveling to a federal prison in Oklahoma days later, becoming the first sitting president to make such a visit.

D.C. Politicians Have Promised Seniors Trillions in Unpaid Benefits - The Daily Signal

D.C. Politicians Have Promised Seniors Trillions in Unpaid Benefits

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson / Robert Moffit /

Medicare is still in trouble. The Medicare Trustees just issued their 2015 report. Like last year’s report, it says that the Hospital Insurance trust fund will enjoy a few years of surpluses, followed by deficits, ending in insolvency in 2030.

The trustees’ report is a bracing corrective to the complacency and demagoguery that often mar the ongoing Medicare debate. Facts, as President John Adams once remarked, are “stubborn” things.

The Big Fact is that Medicare, as currently constituted, is piling up enormous financial burdens for current and future workers. The Medicare Actuary says that taxpayers now face a Medicare unfunded liability ranging from $27.9 to $36.8 trillion. In plain English, this means that over the next seventy-five years (the so-called long-term “actuarial window”), Washington politicians have promised seniors tens of trillions of dollars of Medicare benefits that are not paid for. In other words, they’re running up a huge debt.

The $9-trillion difference between the two Medicare debt estimates reflects the necessarily broad range of uncertainty that must accompany such long-range projections. The lower number is based on the assumption that “current law” (such as Obamacare) remains intact; the higher number is based on a more realistic “alternative” assumption: that current law will not remain in force. In any case, both the trustees’ “current law” and the “alternative scenario” debt projections exceed last year’s estimates by more than $1 trillion. In short, Medicare’s long-term financial status worsened.

Real reform of the financially troubled Medicare program is still not a priority on Washington’s policy agenda. The president’s health law promises Medicare savings and improved health outcomes from various “delivery reforms,” but the jury is still out. CBO evaluations of previous reforms found them unimpressive.

The major Medicare changes enacted by the president and his congressional allies impose hundreds of billions of dollars in Obamacare payment reductions for medical professionals. Yet independent analyses by CBO and the Medicare Actuary—as well as independent, nongovernmental research organizations—suggest that such Medicare cuts are both unrealistic and unsustainable.

The largest share of Obamacare’s payment reductions will fall on Medicare Part A institutions: hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and even hospice-care organizations. If one assumes current law, say the Medicare trustees in this year’s report, “[b]y 2040, approximately half of hospitals, 70 percent of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and 90 percent of home health agencies (HHAs) would have negative total facility margins, raising the possibility of access and quality of care issues.” (Emphasis added.)

For its part, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The law repeals the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for updating Medicare physician payment and replaces it with an alternative physician payment system. Professional medical organizations desperately wanted the physician payment change, and liberals wanted the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorized. So Congress not only increased Medicare spending, but also added an estimated $141 billion to the deficit over the next ten years.

For all of that, Medicare doctors and patients are likely to end up with a bad bargain. On page 2 of their report, the Trustees say, “While the physician payment updates and new incentives put in place by MACRA avoid the significant short range physician payment issues that would have resulted from the SGR system approach, they nevertheless raise important long-range concerns…The Trustees anticipate that physician payment rates under current law will be lower than they would have been under the SGR formula by 2048 and will continue to worsen thereafter. Absent a change in the delivery system or a level of update by subsequent legislation, the trustees expect access to Medicare—participating physicians to become a significant issue in the long-term under current law.” (Emphasis added.)

So, Republicans and Democrats in Washington are promising more, delivering less, piling up deficits and debt, reducing Medicare payments and threatening seniors with reduced access to care. That, in a nutshell, is the Medicare status quo.

There is a better way. Congress could borrow the best features of Medicare Part D, the drug program and the Medicare Advantage program, and create a defined-contribution (“premium support”) system for the entire Medicare program. With enrollees armed with a generous government contribution, health plans and providers would be forced to compete on a level playing field in the delivery of care.

This approach has a terrific record. The CBO reported that Part D drug costs came in at 50 percent below original projections, and its premiums have been remarkably stable. Medicare Advantage plans have shown that they can deliver Medicare’s traditional benefits cheaper than traditional Medicare itself, and the trustees now say that they are on track to enroll 35 percent of all Medicare patients by 2022. In 2013, the CBO reported that Medicare premium support, and the intense competition among health plans and providers inherent in this approach, would save serious money for both seniors and taxpayers.

Real Medicare reform, based on the free-market principles of choice and competition, would realign economic incentives of plans and providers, drive innovation and productivity, improve health outcomes and enhance patient satisfaction.

Originally published in The National Interest.

How Welfare Spending Hurts the People It’s Supposed to Help - The Daily Signal

How Welfare Spending Hurts the People It’s Supposed to Help

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson / Robert Moffit / Paul Winfree /

Federal and state governments spent $1.02 trillion on welfare in 2014—an increase of $274 billion, or 36 percent, since 2003 after adjusting for inflation. At the federal level, the welfare bureaucracy spans numerous agencies and includes more than 80 different means-tested aid programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care and social services to poor and low-income Americans. These programs range from public housing and food stamps to direct cash benefits through the earned income tax credit (EITC) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

The rapid growth in welfare spending has been driven by two interrelated factors. First, over time, more people above the poverty level have been made eligible for higher benefits. For instance, a forthcoming paper in the journal Demography finds that welfare benefits going to single parents with incomes less than half of the poverty level have decreased by 35 percent over the 1983 to 2004 period, whereas benefits to single parents making almost twice the poverty level have increased by 80 percent.

>>> Read the full 2015 Index of Culture and Opportunity.

A second factor driving the growth of welfare spending is the lack of incentives built into the system for states to be good stewards of the federal programs that they administer. About 75 percent of welfare spending is federal, with the remainder contributed by states; however, states administer the programs and therefore have—but do not exercise—the capacity to constrain welfare growth. Instead, states use their discretionary authority to expand welfare while at the same time underinvesting in anti-fraud activities.

For instance, a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that Massachusetts had just 37 fraud investigators responsible for guaranteeing that no one among the 888,000 people with SNAP benefits, the 1,273,000 receiving Medicaid, and the 92,000 with TANF cash assistance was abusing the program.

Far from being a compassionate series of programs worthy of defense against reform, the current welfare architecture has been a disaster for struggling communities and has done its gravest disservice to recipients themselves. The damage has been twofold.

First, the existing welfare system undermines work. By offering a generous system of entitlements to able-bodied adults without any obligation to work or prepare for work, welfare undermines the need and motivation for self-support. Welfare is primarily a system of one-way handouts: Only two out of more than 80 means-tested welfare programs include even modest work or training requirements.

Second, nearly all of these means-tested welfare programs impose significant penalties against marriage. For 50 years, welfare has driven fathers from the home. As a consequence, single mothers have become increasingly dependent on government aid. Meanwhile, low-income fathers, deprived of meaningful roles as husbands and breadwinners, have drifted into the margins of society. Their attachment to the labor force has deteriorated, and the tendency toward self-destructive and anti-social behavior has increased.

But the greatest victims of the anti-marriage incentives embedded in the welfare system have been children. Children raised without fathers in the home are substantially more likely to experience emotional and behavioral problems, to be expelled from or drop out of school, and to engage in juvenile and adult crime.

Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times has reflected on the unintended negative side-effects of welfare. Analyzing the Supplemental Security Income program for children, he recently wrote that “America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.”

Costing over $1 trillion per year, the current welfare system is enormous, but much of this spending is counterproductive. Today’s welfare programs undermine work and marriage, leading to a broadening pattern of intergenerational dependence and self-defeating behaviors.

Furthermore, if work provides benefits besides monetary compensation (such as a greater connection to society), the fact that welfare discourages work may have severe and immense long-term consequences. This shift in cultural standards is already having deep effects in other areas, such as the ability to build lasting relationships that increase opportunity and general fulfillment.

Welfare should provide aid to those who genuinely need it, but it should also strive to mobilize the best efforts of the poor to help themselves. The foundations of the welfare state must be revamped to promote rather than discourage work and marriage.

To accomplish this, all able-bodied, non-elderly adult recipients of means-tested welfare benefits should be required to work, or at least prepare for work, as a condition of receiving aid. In addition, welfare’s current financial penalties against marriage must be reduced. Reforming the welfare system in this manner would best serve the interests of the poor, the taxpayers and society at large.

Originally appeared in The Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Culture and Opportunity.

Cultural Woes Affect Our Economy, Too - The Daily Signal

Cultural Woes Affect Our Economy, Too

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson / Robert Moffit / Paul Winfree / Rachel Sheffield / Christine Kim /

A thriving society needs a strong economy. The reverse is just as true: A healthy economy is built on a vibrant culture that promotes individual and social well-being.

It’s helpful to think of a society as an ecosystem—one in which cultural, political and economic spheres greatly overlap. As in any ecosystem, change in one sector reverberates across the entire system.

Take marriage, for example, a most foundational socio-economic institution. In America, this institution has been in a decades-long decline; fewer children are born to and raised throughout their entire childhood by their married mothers and fathers. Voluminous social scientific research suggests that children raised in non-intact families tend to fare less well on a host of outcomes, including educational achievement and economic mobility. Today, more than half of all American children have spent at least some portion of their childhood in non-intact households. The implications of this trend are felt throughout all sectors of society.

Last week, The Heritage Foundation released its second annual Index of Culture and Opportunity. It examines the trends prevailing in 31 cultural indicators that influence opportunity in America, including the health of marriage and the family, respect for life, educational and economic opportunity, self-sufficiency, volunteering, and labor force participation.

As Yuval Levin, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the editor of National Affairs, puts it: “The institutions [the Index] tracks are those that fill the space between the individual and the state: families, schools, local religious and civic institutions, and a robust free economy. The trends it follows chart the state of the core prerequisites for a flourishing society. The questions it asks are those that conservatives take to be essential to understanding the state of American life. And the answers it finds are, in all too many cases, quite distressing.”

The health of our society is distressing because, in the past decade, too many Americans have detached from the vital institutions, continuing trends that began much earlier. For example, the marriage rate is at an all-time low. More than two of every five children are born outside marriage. Fewer Americans volunteer. Religious attendance has declined.

>>> Read The Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Culture and Opportunity.

Furthermore, self-sufficiency has not increased. Instead, government spends over $1 trillion annually on roughly 80 means-tested welfare programs that seem to keep people trapped in poverty and dependence. Meanwhile, reading proficiency remains flat, and labor force participation continues to lag.

Despite the negative trends, there are some bright spots. Divorce rates have declined since the 1980s, the crime rate continues on a downward course and the abortion rate has dropped precipitously. As Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, notes, “[w]e now have fewer abortions than at any time since legalization in 1973.”

Rates of divorce, crime and abortion are still too high, but these downward trends are promising. Furthermore, more families today have access to private-school choice, which, as research shows, has promising results. Overall, however, the index shows much movement away from the institutions that promote opportunity.

Trends can change, though, if enough people recognize a problem and work to reverse course. A prime example is how the pro-life movement has successfully worked to promote restrictions on abortion and to decrease the number of children whose lives are ended by this practice.

“Addressing America’s current social and economic dysfunction will be no easy feat,” Levin said. “In order to try, society needs a clear picture of the challenges it confronts. That means first asking the right questions, an endeavor often thwarted by the politics of ‘issues’ and the radical individualism that is so endemic today. In that respect, at least, this index is not merely an insightful diagnosis but the beginning of a cure.”

Originally published in the Washington Times.

Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton Take Different Paths to Solving Racial Inequality - The Daily Signal

Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton Take Different Paths to Solving Racial Inequality

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson / Robert Moffit / Paul Winfree / Rachel Sheffield / Christine Kim / Natalie Johnson /

Before a predominantly African-American audience, Jeb Bush on Friday lauded President Obama’s recent comments on racial injustice, while also brushing aside a fiery attack from Hillary Clinton who just an hour before inferred that the former governor of Florida has hindered the black cause.

Bush’s adamancy to appeal beyond the GOP’s typical base was evident as he trekked into traditionally Democratic terrain to discuss the “unjust barriers to opportunity and upward mobility” during a speech at the National Urban League’s annual convention.

“When President Obama said that ‘for too long we’ve been blind to the way that past injustices continue to shape the present’ he is speaking the truth,” Bush said of the president’s remarks following the fatal shooting at a historic black church in Charleston.

Bush and Ben Carson were the only two Republican candidates who spoke at the conference. All 21 2016 candidates were invited, but only five accepted the invitation, including Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Hillary Clinton caught headlines early on after making an indirect, but brazen jab at Bush’s “Right to Rise” super PAC.

“I don’t think you can credibly say that everyone has a right to rise and then say you’re for phasing out Medicare or for repealing ObamaCare. People can’t rise if they can’t afford health care,” Clinton said.

“They can’t rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on. They can’t rise if their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. And you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise and support laws that deny the right to vote.”

Clinton focused heavily on racial disparity, highlighting the “Black Lives Matter” movement as she explicitly named Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott and Sam DuBose as the marks of “senseless tragedy.”

“Race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind,” she said.

Bush pivoted to the education system, emphasizing the growing gap between technology and access to education as the “worst inequality in America today.”

He ticked off his accomplishments as governor, including the removal of the Confederate flag from Florida’s state capitol 14 years ago, the “easy call” to increase the number of black judges by 43 percent, and the increased state contracts with minority businesses.

“You can’t serve all the people unless you represent all the people,” Bush said. “Social progress is always the story of widening the circle of opportunity.”

The Urban League convention marked the first time Clinton and Bush shared a stage at the same event since the two announced their candidacies. Bush has focused much of his campaign strategy on the need to broaden the GOP base, particularly in regard to minorities.

He closed his speech with a promise to the audience that he would work with them to “better” the community, whether as their “neighbor” or president.

What the Death of a Senior Al-Qaeda Terrorist Means for the U.S. - The Daily Signal

What the Death of a Senior Al-Qaeda Terrorist Means for the U.S.

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson / Robert Moffit / Paul Winfree / Rachel Sheffield / Christine Kim / Natalie Johnson / Ashley Traficant /

The Pentagon announced that terrorist and leader of the al-Qaeda (AQ) based Khorasan Group, Muhsin al-Fadhli, was killed in a drone strike earlier this month.

The Khorasan Group

The Khorasan Group is a product of the al-Qaeda core that has emerged in Syria within the last couple of years.

Many believe that of all the al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups, the Khorasan Group is the greatest threat to the United States homeland. Comprised of al-Qaeda veterans dispatched directly from the organization’s high-command, the Khorasan Group is a fusion cell that combines some of the most effective practices of the various al-Qaeda cells.

This group exists to plan terrorist attacks against the United States homeland; though they are not publicly known to have launched such an attack.

The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has testified that the Khorasan Group is at least as great of a threat to the United States as ISIS.

The Khorasan group was targeted by U.S. airstrikes in Syria when it was believed to have nearly completed plans to carry out an attack on a Western target.

Muhsin al-Fadhli

A native of Kuwait, al-Fadlhi led al-Qaeda in Iran, prior to becoming the leader of the Khorasan Group.

It is believed he was involved with an attack on a French oil tanker in 2002.

Al-Fadlhi was a close associate of Osama bin Laden, so much so that he was one of the few privy to the 9/11 plot before the attack occurred.

Al-Fadhli’s ability to operate for Sunni al-Qaeda in Shia Iran should not be overlooked.

The groups are from opposing brands of Islam. The fact that al-Fadhli was able to successfully move al-Qaeda money and personnel through Iran and into Syria suggests that Iran permitted, perhaps even supported, AQ’s efforts.

Iran supports Shia terrorist activity across the region. Their implicit, if not explicit, support of al-Fadhli suggests that Iran favored his end goal of enough to overlook their differences.

This is a red flag that Iran may still see the United States as a greater adversary than its regional enemies; calling into question whether or not they can be trusted in any agreement with the United States, including the recently passed nuclear deal.

Moving Forward

While the death of al-Fadlhi is important, it is not the end of the Khorasan Group.

Al-Fadhli’s death is not a decisive blow to al-Qaeda. His death is important because it is a reminder that al-Qaeda is alive and well, still determined to attack the United States homeland.

Terrorist groups do not die with their leader.

The defeat of al-Qaeda, the Khorasan Group, and ISIS requires a long term strategy rooted in the understanding that the United States is not at war with individual terrorists or terrorist organizations, but with radical Islamist ideology.

The United States must engage in a sustained, multi-faceted campaign to defeat this Islamist ideology.

  1. Military- Degrade and destroy terrorist groups, including but not limited to increased drone and air strikes.
  2. Civil- Support and encourage those who speak out against radical Islam, especially Muslims.
  3. Democracy-promote good governance in these affected countries, governments compatible with the democratic principles of the United States.

This is a war of ideas. It will not be won overnight, but it can be won.

The United States needs to go beyond degrading and destroying Islamist terrorist groups, like the Khorasan Group or ISIS.

Defeating these groups is part of a means to an end but not the end itself. This is a long term objective that requires the United States to maintain the will and strength to counter and defeat radical Islam wherever it appears.

The United States must engage in a generational war of ideas that defeats the driving force of the Khorasan Group by defeating radical Islamist ideology.

Only then will the hydra of Islamist terrorism be destroyed.

 

Rand Paul: The Tax Code Is ‘Chasing American Jobs Overseas’ - The Daily Signal

Rand Paul: The Tax Code Is ‘Chasing American Jobs Overseas’

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson / Robert Moffit / Paul Winfree / Rachel Sheffield / Christine Kim / Natalie Johnson / Ashley Traficant / Leah Jessen /

WATERLOO, Iowa—Sen. Rand Paul said he would cut spending in a “dramatic fashion” while speaking at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center here Friday morning.

He spoke on his “fair and flat” tax plan.

“The 70,000 page tax code is chasing American jobs overseas, it’s chasing companies overseas.”

With the highest taxes in the world, Paul says America cannot expect to keep jobs at home.

“Let’s scrap the whole thing,” Paul said.

.@RandPaul has arrived in Waterloo #iacaucus pic.twitter.com/JO76Nr5Rxc

— Leah Jessen (@_LeahKay_) July 31, 2015

Paul wants to lower taxes and get rid of the payroll tax. Replacing the current system, he would like to see a one-page tax return with a flat 14.5 percent rate for businesses and individuals.

Acknowledging that his plan is a dramatic change from what is in place currently, Paul states, “We’ll be very lucky to ever get what I’m proposing.”

Nonetheless, he is confidently in favor of one simple rate where everyone gets a tax cut.

“Starving the beast,” as Paul calls it, he wants to see less money sent to Washington.

Paul would like to eliminate whole departments.

“Let’s get rid of the Department of Education once and for all. There’s no evidence that it’s helping. There’s no evidence that our kids are any smarter or doing any better on the test. There’s no evidence that teachers like it or parents like it.”

“The money gets swirled around in a bureaucracy and never gets back into education.”

“I think we should balance the budget,” said Paul. “I think we should just simply spend what comes in. We bring in $3 trillion. Could we not just live on $3 trillion?”

"I think we should just simply spend what comes in," says @RandPaul #iacaucus pic.twitter.com/fdXIsKBZiq

— Leah Jessen (@_LeahKay_) July 31, 2015

Having practiced medicine for almost 20 years, Paul was asked by an audience member about how to fix health care in the United States. He feels capitalism is the solution.

“The most important thing about fixing health care is actually an economic answer.”

“Obamacare made it illegal to sell inexpensive health care.”

Paul feels it is important to create a marketplace for health care and “make it legal to sell any kind of insurance that people want.”

He explained that expanding health savings accounts for all people would be a way to get to higher deductibles “and hopefully lower premiums.”

Another issue Paul was asked on: Planned Parenthood.

“There’s absolutely no argument for any money to go to Planned Parenthood.”

The Senate will hold a vote on Monday to defund America’s largest abortion provider.

“After seeing these grizzly videos, it has to stop.”

Miracle Preemie Released From Hospital After Nearly a Year in North Dakota NICU - The Daily Signal

Miracle Preemie Released From Hospital After Nearly a Year in North Dakota NICU

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson / Robert Moffit / Paul Winfree / Rachel Sheffield / Christine Kim / Natalie Johnson / Ashley Traficant / Leah Jessen / Leah Jessen /

For Becky and Bo Frolek, August 12th represents a milestone they hardly could have imagined this time last year.

The couple, who live in Fargo, North Dakota, will celebrate their son Trevor’s first birthday–and the long way he’s come.

Born at just 23 weeks, Trevor spent 345 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at a hospital in Fargo. He weighed only one pound, six ounces at birth; he was so small that dad Bo’s wedding ring could fit around his foot.

“The doctors and nurses have worked so hard to get him to this point,” Becky Frolek told TODAY. “It’s beyond amazing.”

Today, the smiling, 20-pound baby is nothing short of a miracle.

“It has been quite a journey,” Becky wrote on Facebook. “We are blessed to have Trevor at home! God is good! Prayers are answered!”

Becky’s pregnancy began normally enough, as the couple excitedly prepared for a December 2014 labor. But just before she was set to begin her third trimester, Becky noticed something wrong. She started cramping in mid-August, and was rushed to Essentia Health in Fargo where she gave birth to her son.

Delicate baby Trevor was put on life support because he could not breathe on his own.

“It was scary but he was more human-like than I expected. All his fingers, all his toes, everything was there … just so tiny,” Becky told TODAY. “His skin was so transparent and fragile.”

Not knowing if their son would live, Bo had a priest baptize their son.

“The doctor told us it was going to be a rollercoaster ride,” Bo told WDAF-TV. “We were going to have our good days and we’re going to have our bad days.”

The Frolek family. (Photo: Bo Frolek/Facebook)

The Frolek family. (Photo: Bo Frolek/Facebook)

That doctor turned out to be spot on.

“A lot of days we left here and were not sure we would see him again,” Essentia Health’s lead NICU nurse Erin Kuehl told WDAF-TV. “To see him do well … this is the best reward we could ask for.”

During Trevor’s stay at the hospital, he had surgery on his heart and on his eyes, which were fused shut at birth.

Last Friday, after a full year of care, Trevor was able to go home. The nurses and doctors who took care of Trevor attended a celebration for the family.

Trevor will still need physical and occupational therapy, and remains on both an oxygen line and a feeding tube. His parents are alerted to any potential problems by a connected monitor, but doctors say he should have a normal childhood.

For now, he’s relishing his days with mom, dad, and big sister Brookelyn. And, in a couple months time, he’ll become a big brother.

“I am nervous, excited. I am sure there will be tears,” Becky told WDAF-TV. “I hope I have what it takes.”

Yes, There Are Good Alternatives to the Iran Deal (Besides War) - The Daily Signal

Yes, There Are Good Alternatives to the Iran Deal (Besides War)

Samantha Reinis / Natalie Johnson / Robert Moffit / Paul Winfree / Rachel Sheffield / Christine Kim / Natalie Johnson / Ashley Traficant / Leah Jessen / Leah Jessen / Ashley Traficant /

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei recently tweeted an image that represented President Obama with a gun to his own head with the caption,

“If any war happens, the one who will emerge loser will be the aggressive and criminal U.S.”

Such violent rhetoric coming from Iran is nothing new.

The only difference now is that Iran continues its anti-American campaign even as the Obama administration has bent over backwards to cut a deal with them.

A deal that benefits only Iran and jeopardizes the security of the Middle East and the U.S.

The ayatollah’s tweet came the day after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to review the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

Congress’ decision on the deal intends to determine what is best for the security of the United States.

But their choice has been framed as a false dilemma: support the deal or resort to war.

The day after the agreement was signed President Obama stated, “Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation, or it’s resolved through force, through war.”

While the Obama administration pressures Congress to accept the Iran Nuclear Agreement, U.S. security and foreign policy experts have outlined a better alternative that frees the United States from taking the Iranian regime at its word.

This deal, with its weak and secretive inspections regime, makes a nuclear Iran nearly inevitable and only potentially delayed.

The Deal

The deal has strained America’s relations with allies in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia and Israel who feel the U.S. has put their security at risk by paving the way for Iran to become a nuclear power.

The current deal only postpones a nuclear Iran for 15-20 years, and that is assuming the Iranians uphold their end of the deal. Saudi Arabia has made it known that it wants whatever Iran is allowed to have. This would likely lead to a nuclear arms race in one of the most volatile regions in the world.

The deal also eliminates other diplomatic measures taken to prevent a nuclear Iran. Up to $150 billion of frozen Iranian assets will be released. It is widely recognized that a good portion of that money will fund terrorism.

Consequently, this deal alienates U.S. allies, will potentially lead to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, and expand Iran’s ability to sponsor terrorism.

War is not the only alternative to this deal. There is another, more viable, option.

A Better Alternative That Protects U.S. Interests

Congress should reject this deal and maintain the U.S. sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place. The Heritage Foundation has offered an alternative that would:

America cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear power, whether today or 20 year from now. This agreement disregards America’s obligation to secure its own defense while passing the problem to the next generation.

The good news is the United States has options. The alternative path forward doesn’t pave the road to a nuclear Iran but reassures U.S. allies and protects American interests.