Featured

  • Support Our Troops: Honoring American Heroes on 9/11 Anniversary

    Posted by:

    By Neil A. Carousso

    On the 16th anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Adopt-A-Battalion, Inc. held its annual memorial barbecue to honor the heroes in the U.S. military who perished in the global war on terror and the brave men and women who continue to fight for freedom.

    The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, perpetrated by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda, killed 2,996 innocent people and injured over 6,000 people while leaving first responders and others with illnesses resulting from the carnage at Ground Zero. Our country will never forget.

    Present at Adopt-A-Battalion’s 9/11 memorial barbecue were veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korean wars, veterans from all different services and missions, and families of our troops who are currently stationed overseas plus first responders from the New York City Policy Department and the Fire Department of New York.

    Adopt-A-Battalion volunteers gather weekly to prepare care packages with necessities to U.S. military members in Afghanistan and Kuwait.

    The Sgt. Peter F. Colleran Jr. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7763 in Massapequa Park, NY accepted a flag on behalf of the fallen soldiers from Massapequa who died fighting in the war on terror that the United States was thrust into after 9/11.

    “Unfortunately, our troops have to go in where [U.S. enemies] are or they’ll come where we are,” said VFW Post 7763 Commander William E. Colfer. “I’m very proud of the men and women who served and I am more than proud to do anything I can to help.”

    “For anything that respects our people, any of the veterans, especially from 9/11, responders who are equally as courageous, we will do whatever it takes to honor them,” First Sgt. Rick Zarembski said.

    Zarembski fought in Vietnam and now associates with the 11th New York Regiment Volunteers. The volunteers organize proper military funerals and burials for any soldier’s family in the area at no cost to the Gold Star Family.

    As we are reminded of the day that changed the country and the world forever, we stand in solidarity with the heroes – past and present – abroad and at home – who fight for freedom – some who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

    Adopt-A-Battalion President and Vietnam Veteran Richard Olson gave an emotional address to volunteers and military families about how the country is more united than portrayed, echoing the nation’s responsibility to respect and take care of those who protect our citizens, our freedom, our sovereignty and our way of life.

    While getting choked up, Olson said, “This is America. It is our country. And, we do love them.”

    Read More

  • EXCLUSIVE: Congressman Pete King Will Not Vote for Tax Reform, Only Tax Cuts as President Trump Prepares to Use the Bully Pulpit

    Posted by:

    By Neil A. Carousso

    In a wide-ranging 25 minute-long sit-down interview with Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) on the GOP legislative agenda, a variety of pressing national security concerns and the nationwide opioid epidemic at his congressional district office in Massapequa Park, NY, Mr. King emphasized tax cuts over President Donald J. Trump’s promised tax reform and urged Republicans to compromise with Democrats.

    “Tax reform, I think, would be another debate going on forever,” said Rep. King, adding, “I wouldn’t vote for it myself.”

    Rep. King suggested that his fellow House Republicans feel Democrats will not support any tax reform legislation. He substantiated his reasoning for favoring tax cuts this year by citing former President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 that preceded the Tax Reform Act of 1986 – the last comprehensive tax reform law that included a slashing of the top individual income tax bracket to 28 percent from 50 percent, a reduction in the number of tax brackets from fifteen levels to four levels of income, and expansions of the standard deduction and personal exemptions.

    Rep. King is not alone in preferring tax cuts to reform. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) – a friend and informal advisor to President Trump, and sometimes, a critic of the Trump Administration in appearances on Fox News Channel – wrote an op-ed in The Hill earlier this month in which he called for Republicans to get points on the board with favorable and “easy to explain” tax cuts.

    President Trump has proposed a simplification of the complex tax code that has 4 million words and takes a collective 6.1 billion hours a year for taxpayers to comply with the tax laws. Mr. Trump has called for a reduction of individual tax brackets from seven to four with the rates being 0 percent, 10 percent, 25 percent and a top-rate of 35 percent.

    The Chief Executive emphasized reducing the corporate tax rate to 15 percent; the current effective corporate tax rate is 39.6 percent, which is the highest among industrialized nations. A 15 percent corporate tax rate would be the lowest since 1937. It peaked at 52.8 percent in 1968 and 1969.

    “I think to get it through, we have to get the party in a stronger position and that’s why you need tax cuts,” said Congressman King. “Tax cuts, to me, would be a lot easier to get Democrats on your side.”

    Rep. Pete King introduces President Donald Trump who gave remarks to local, state and federal law enforcement on the MS-13 gang threat to the Long Island community in Brentwood, NY on July 28, 2017. This reporter and Congressman King discuss the MS-13 gang threat on Long Island communities in detail. Screenshot: The White House/YouTube
    Rep. Pete King introduces President Donald Trump who gave remarks to local, state and federal law enforcement on the MS-13 gang threat in Brentwood, NY on July 28, 2017. This reporter and Congressman King discuss the MS-13 gang threat on Long Island communities in detail. (Screenshot: The White House/YouTube.)

    Rep. King said the priority this fall should be tax cuts for “working class middle income people who are the backbone of the country” and reducing the corporate tax rate to unleash private sector business growth, and hopefully, the hiring of American workers out of the labor force.

    The significant drop in the corporate tax rate and President Trump’s proposed repatriation of trillions of corporate dollars stored overseas to be taxed at a one-time low-rate of 10 percent would contribute to further economic growth. The U.S. markets have been banking on tax cuts, at the very least, seeing gains over optimism of tax cuts coming into fruition after Congress’ August recess.

    “I think repatriation is absolutely essential,” Rep. King said. “We should be able to get a certain amount of bipartisan cooperation.”

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 22,000 for the first time at the beginning of August, although it has slipped for a variety of reasons, and $4.1 trillion in wealth was created in U.S. markets in President Trump’s first 6 months in office – absent of major legislation on taxes, infrastructure and health care. The President’s executive orders on cutting bureaucratic regulations plus Trump’s campaign promises have sustained investors’ hopes to this point.

    “Within a year or two, you’re going to see more jobs being created,” said Congressman King on President Trump’s roll back of Obama-era regulations. “I fully support what he’s doing as far as cutting back on the regulations. They got totally out of control.”

    President Trump’s successful removal of over 860 regulations in his first 7 months in office and an executive order he signed on the early days of the Administration to eliminate two regulations for every new one created by the federal government has been a contributing factor in the 2.6 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) growth in the second quarter of 2017.

    The economy grew at a sluggish 1.4 percent of GDP in Q1 and an anemic average of 1.5 percent of GDP in 8 years under former President Barack Obama who is the only U.S. president to not see 3 percent annual growth since the Great Depression.

    While 41,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in the U.S. since President Trump was sworn in on Capitol Hill on January 20, the rate of job overall growth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, has essentially remained the same – 184,000 jobs per month this year compared to 187,000 in 2016.

    Companies such as Foxconn, Wal-Mart, Alibaba, Toyota, Ford and others have made commitments to the “blue collar billionaire” elected President to invest in the U.S. and employ American workers based on the promise of pro-business and pro-growth policies and legislation.

    President Trump begins a campaign to garner support for his proposed overhaul of the federal tax system Wednesday when he visits Missouri – a state Mr. Trump won by 19 points over Hillary Clinton in November.

    President Trump tweeted Sunday morning with a jab at Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, who stands for re-election in The Show-Me State in 2018. McCaskill said in a statement she hopes she and the President can “find common ground.”

    Congress is expected to begin pushing for tax cuts after the recess. Congress has pressing priorities such as raising the debt ceiling by the end of September to keep the government open.

    Neil A. Carousso interviews Rep. Peter T. King R-NY) at Congressman Kings district office in Massapequa Park, NY on August 24, 2017.
    Neil A. Carousso interviews Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) at Congressman King’s district office in Massapequa Park, NY on August 24, 2017.

    Watch this reporter’s comprehensive interview with Congressman King on the embedded player above or below about Congress’ legislative priorities and whether the Republican Party will keep their promises, including “repeal and replace” of Obama’s signature Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, which Rep. King said will be “pushed to the side for a while.”

    Further, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence slams Democrats’ divisive rhetoric over the construction of the border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that was supported by both parties in 2006. Rep. King emphasizes progress under the Trump Administration in tackling the heinous MS-13 gang that is responsible for double-digit murders this year on Long Island and discusses citizens’ roles in the nationwide opioid epidemic.

    FULL TRANSCRIPT: NEIL A. CAROUSSO’S INTERVIEW WITH REP. PETE KING (R-NY)

    Read More

  • Big League Jobs: Apple and Wal-Mart Become the Latest U.S. Manufacturers to Commit to Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” Mandate

    Posted by:

    By Neil A. Carousso

    Apple, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores made major jobs announcements including billions in investments in U.S. manufacturing that President Donald J. Trump touted at The White House Wednesday evening.

    LCD maker and Apple-supplier Foxconn announced the building of a new large, state-of-the-art U.S. manufacturing plant in Southeast Wisconsin on Wednesday that is expected to be completed by 2020. This is a nod to President Trump’s​ promised pro-jobs and pro-growth economic agenda that he is pressuring Congress to pass this year.

    Foxconn Founder & Chairman Terry GFoxconn Founder & Chairman Terry Gau wrote an open letter to then-President-elect Donald Trump in December about his intention of getting Apple to build iPhones in the United States. (Terry Gau)
    Foxconn Founder & Chairman Terry GFoxconn Founder & Chairman Terry Gau wrote an open letter to then-President-elect Donald Trump in December about his intention of getting Apple to build iPhones in the United States. (Terry Gau)

     
    The facility will employ 3,000 Americans “at a minimum” with the potential of 13,000 new jobs. Taiwanese tycoon and Foxconn Founder and Chairman Terry Gau is making an initial investment of $10 billion in American manufacturing.

    “If I didn’t get elected, [Gau] definitely would not be spending $10 billion,” said President Trump, which was met with Gau’s affirmation and a pat on the Chief Executive’s arm.

    Wisconsin went red for Mr. Trump in November – the first time a Republican presidential candidate won the Badger State since Ronald Reagan won his re-election in 1984.

    Twitter/Ivanka Trump
    President Donald Trump shakes hands with Foxconn Chairman Terry Gau. Behind them, from left to right, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) applaud the jobs announcement in the East Room of The White House. (Twitter/Ivanka Trump)

    Among those in attendance, President Trump and Gau were joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President Reed Cordish, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of The White House. Speaker Ryan and Gov. Walker both represent Wisconsin. Priebus is the former chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

    Cook announced in April that the iPhone maker is planning to create a $1 billion investment fund in U.S. companies that perform advanced manufacturing with details to follow this summer.

    Wal-Mart proposed 10 policy actions on Wednesday to boost U.S. manufacturing that the retailer said could help recapture $300 billion of the $650 billion worth of consumer goods that are currently imported. Its plan will create an estimated 1.5 million new jobs in the United States.

    Wal-Mart Stores
    Wal-Mart Stores

    Wal-Mart cited several barriers to its manufacturing growth in the country, including complex bureaucratic regulations that create high compliance costs and legal risks and the need for tax reform that President Trump has been promised through his agenda and Congress once said would come before the August recess. The world’s largest retailer also said poor trade deals prevent its growth in the nation.

    The Chief Executive has railed against one-sided trade deals with countries like Mexico, Canada and China, and international deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); Mr. Trump has made progress since January.

    President Trump speaks at a "Make America Great Again Rally" in Youngstown, OH on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo)
    President Trump speaks at a “Make America Great Again Rally” in Youngstown, OH on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo)

    President Trump withdrew from the TPP shortly after his inauguration. The President is in the midst of negotiations of NAFTA and announced at Tuesday night’s “Make America Great Again Rally” in Youngstown, OH that he will scrap the deal if he cannot improve the agreement with America’s neighbors in favor of U.S. workers.

    Since President Trump took office 6 months ago, over one million jobs have been created, including 41,000 manufacturing jobs. Further, $4.1 trillion of wealth has been created in the U.S. under Trump with investments in American markets at all-time highs.

    President Trump hits a home run with blue collar jobs. Earlier this month The White House held its "Made in America" week showcasing U.S. goods like this Marucci bat from Baton Rouge, LA. Vice President Mike Pence laughs behind the Commander-In-Chief. (July 17, 2017, The White House, AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump hits a home run with blue collar jobs! Earlier this month The White House held its “Made in America” week showcasing U.S. goods like this Marucci bat from Baton Rouge, LA. Vice President Mike Pence laughs behind the Commander-In-Chief. (July 17, 2017, The White House, AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Over 20 American companies have committed to increase its manufacturing in the U.S., build plants and bring jobs back to middle America.

    Food stamp enrollment is at lowest point since former-President Barack Obama took office.

    Under Obama, 13 million additional people enrolled in food stamps, the labor participation rate was at a 40 year low and the economy grew at an anemic average of less than 1.5 percent of GDP – the slowest economic recovery since the 1940s after the Great Depression. Obama was the first president to not see economic growth of at least 3 percent despite his $800 billion stimulus that instead contributed to the most debt tacked on than all 43 presidents before Obama combined.

    Time to make America prosperous again.

    Watch Wednesday’s White House Jobs Announcement:

     

    Featured Image of President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump taking to the stage at a Youngstown, OH rally Tuesday evening courtesy of Carolyn Kaster of the Associated Press.

    Read More

  • “Carousso’s Comments:” Repeal ObamaCare and Remove Government from Health Care Business

    Posted by:

    By Neil A. Carousso

    Two Republican senators announced their opposition to the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” the Senate healthcare bill to repeal and replace the “Affordable Health Care Act,” known as ObamaCare, that has resulted in fewer options and premium increases across the board, including a 116 percent increase in premiums in Arizona last year. On average, premiums have doubled.

    Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from The Department of Health and Human Services
    Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from The Department of Health and Human Services

    Last night, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mike Lee (R-UT) tweeted their opposition to the Senate Republicans’ proposal.

    After 7 and a half years of campaigning and promising “repeal and replace” of ObamaCare, the fate of that promise is hanging in the balance despite having majorities in both houses of Congress and a Republican president who is arguably working harder than anyone to negotiate a better healthcare deal for Americans while attempting to unify moderates and conservatives.

    President Donald J. Trump tweeted Monday night: “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!”

    This may be the only sensible option at this point.

    Senate Republicans passed a bill in December 2015 to repeal most of ObamaCare in a 52-47 vote. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), who also opposes the BCRA, and then-Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted “no” with the Democrats – the only two Republicans who opposed the bill that was dead on arrival when it hit former-President Barack Obama’s desk in the Oval Office.

    On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted: “With only a very small majority, the Republicans in the House & Senate need more victories next year since Dems totally obstruct, no votes!”

    I’m not sure the GOP deserves victories, though. While Democrats’ partisan, anti-Trump obstruction is impeding progress and sets a standard of unprecedented division and so-called “resistance,” Republicans have been weak in passing the legislative agenda that was voted for on November 8, 2016.

    That is why “Drain the Swamp” was a message that resonated through the heartland of America with Americans frustrated over the gridlock in Washington and broken campaign promises. Americans deserve better from their government officials. The fact remains, the only “politician” who is not receiving funds and lobbying from special interests is the President.

    The Chief Executive also tweeted Tuesday in favor of changing the Senate rules to pass healthcare legislation.

    Using the so-called “nuclear option” will hurt Republicans, in my opinion, if and when Democrats control Congress in the future.

    The nuclear option was first invoked by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2013 to expedite the confirmations of Obama’s judiciary nominees. In April of this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used it to the Republicans’ advantage in confirming Constitutionalist Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    Democrats are good at passing legislation and moving the country left through judiciary confirmations and laws. Republicans are divided among the moderate and conservative facets of the Party. It is incumbent upon the GOP to use the rules of the Senate, as is, to do their jobs that they were voted to perform by the citizens of the United States.

    On the Senate floor Tuesday morning, McConnell said the Senate will vote on the repeal legislation from 2015. “President Obama vetoed it then. President Trump will sign it now.”

    The U.S. Government should have never been in the business of healthcare. At this point, the most viable option for the GOP would be to repeal the mess of ObamaCare and alleviate middle class Americans and small business owners of the outrageous taxes and mandates.

    Then, the GOP should work on small bills to fix minor problems, not one-size-fits-all legislation that moves us towards socialist, single-payer healthcare, supported by Democrats, that would undoubtedly result in longer wait times than veterans experience at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The free market, not politicians driven by special interests, should dictate healthcare costs through competition, health savings accounts and individual and family choices.

     

    Featured Image: President Donald Trump, flanked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentiucky, left, and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, speaks during a meeting with House and Senate leadership on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at The White House in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)

    Read More

  • No Cuts to Medicaid! The Facts on the GOP’s Repeal and Replace Healthcare Bill

    Posted by:

    By Neil A. Carousso

    CBO Score – What It Means:

    Most people have seen the headlines that the Congressional Budget Office is predicting 22 million more uninsured by 2026 if the Senate health bill passes into law in its current form.

    The CBO also reports that the bill would lower premiums and cut $321 billion from the federal budget deficit. The CBO had projected that the American Health Care Act, passed by the House, would cut the deficit by $119 billion.

    The report also says the Senate GOP ObamaCare repeal and replace plan will increase Medicaid spending by $71 billion over the next 10 years. ObamaCare calls for a $231 billion spending hike. 

    This is the free market and a smaller, less intervening government at work. People who don’t want health insurance, will not be forced to pay for healthcare (at their own peril) under the “Better Care” plan because the individual and employer ObamaCare mandates are removed.

    The CBO was also wrong when it predicted 22 million people would be on the ObamaCare exchanges by 2016; only 10 million Americans were enrolled. People would rather pay the penalty than be forced to pay for health insurance they couldn’t afford with rising costs each year.

    The CBO projected that the ACA Medicaid expansion would be much smaller and less expensive than it has turned out to be.

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the top three mandatory spending items, accounting for over $1.87 trillion combined, which is roughly 48 percent of the United States federal budget. With a national debt of over $19.9 trillion, these government programs are not sustainable.

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid must be reformed and its growth slowed (like the Senate healthcare plan does) or the entitlement programs will not exist for future generations.

    No Cuts to Medicaid:

    What Republicans and President Donald Trump must do a better job of is communication and messaging about its healthcare bill. They need to be transparent and honest about its plans and discuss the reasons why they believe in certain policies that are fiscally responsible while the President touts “heart.” Otherwise, Americans, unlike this reporter, who don’t read the bill will have a grasp on the GOP’s intentions to improve the failing healthcare system in the U.S. with skyrocketing costs and poor coverage throughout the nation. (This is why socialism doesn’t work.)

    POLICY DETAILS IN THE “BETTER CARE RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2017″

    Democrats like self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said, “Thousands of our fellow Americans every single year will die.”

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Many more people, millions, hundreds of thousands of people will die if this bill passes.”

    And, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) piled on with erroneous numbers, saying, “One to 2,000 people will die if you cut 750,000 people from Medicaid. So that means you’re killing one to 2,000 — killing them.”

    The left’s scare tactics continue with vile and outrageous rhetoric that could be seen as a call to action following the politically-motivated terrorist attack against Republican lawmakers at the Congressional baseball field that seriously injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), but the Democrat bullet points are not based on fact.

    Former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush’s first term Ari Fleischer explained Medicaid policy in the Senate GOP bill best in a series of Tweets on Sunday:

    Medicaid has vastly increased as a percentage of government spending. In 1986, Medicaid accounted for 2.5 percent of all government spending. At the end of 2016, Medicaid accounted for 9.6 percent of the budget with a deficit of over $19 trillion.

    There are also people receiving Medicaid who shouldn’t and there is plenty of waste, fraud and abuse of big government bureaucracy. We are moving in the right direction in my eyes. Of course, it’s not perfect, but it’s much better than ObamaCare.

    Featured Image of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answering media questions courtesy of the Associated Press.

    Read More