Category Archives: Economic Issues

JIMMY CARTER’S COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT

How the Community Reinvestment Act oppressed blacks and other people of color

On September 2, I authored an article entitled “My Thoughts on Colin Kaepernick.” My thoughts when I initially learned about Kaepernick’s actions were, how is the United States currently oppressing black people or all people of color, for that matter? Affirmative action programs are still in place which allow blacks to get “bumped up” ahead of whites with respect to employment, promotions, college acceptance, etc. Along that line, Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act paved the way for many people to qualify for loans to purchase homes when those same people were not capable of making the house payments. A lot of those folks were black. Furthermore, being able to collect welfare for having a child out of wedlock, a part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, was directed toward blacks in order to keep them voting Democrat.

According to discoverthenetworks.org, in his book, Back to Work, former president Bill Clinton attributed the housing market crisis of 2008 to the greed of banks that were over-leveraged, with too many risky investments, especially in subprime mortgages and securities and derivatives that were spun out of them. Clinton opined that the crash occurred because there was too little government oversight of, and virtually no restraint on, risky loans without sufficient capital to back them up. President Obama attributed the crisis to the failed policies of the days when Wall Street, unencumbered by government regulators, played by its own rules.

Discoverthenetworks.org further indicated that the earliest roots of these government policies can be traced back to the mid-1970s when progressive Democrats in Congress began a campaign to help low income minorities improve their economic condition through homeownership. At that time, the homeownership rates of blacks and Hispanics alike were just above 40%, while the white rate hovered nearly 70%. Because the Congressional Democrats felt that these inequities were evidence of America’s persisting racial injustice, many Democrats pushed for measures to rectify the situation.

Henry Reuss, a far-left McGovern Democrat sponsored the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977. Title VIII of this bill, known as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), required each appropriate Federal financial supervisory agency to assess each bank’s record of helping to meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. In other words, this was a mandate for banks to make special efforts to seek out and lend to minority borrowers of meager to modest means. The bill passed with near unanimous Democrat support and was signed into law by President Carter in 1977.

The law was founded upon a principle with far reaching implications that government intervention was necessary to counteract the racist and inequitable nature of American society, including the free market. In the early 1990s, implications of this premise began to “hit the fan” when studies showing disparate mortgage loan approval rates for blacks and whites resulted in sensational media headlines. In 1992, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released the results of a seminal study which found that whites and blacks with equivalent incomes had been denied mortgages at the rates of 17% and 38% respectively.

As a result of the study, then Attorney General Janet Reno warned that no bank would be immune to an aggressive Justice Department campaign to punish discrimination in lending practices. Also, Comptroller of the Currency, Eugene Ludwig told the Senate Banking Committee, “We have to use every means at our disposal to end discrimination and to end it as quickly as possible.”

Media institutions including not only the liberal Boston Globe, but Business Week jumped on the bandwagon with Business Week sporting a headline that read, “There’s no Whites Only Sign, but…”

A second study that was done for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston showed that black loan applicants not only had greater debt burdens and poorer credit histories than their white counterparts, but also tended to seek loans covering a higher percentage of proper values in question. The later study determined that after correcting for these and other standard credit criteria such as income, net worth, age, education, and probability of employment, the loan rejection gap between racial groups dwindled to 11% for whites and 17% for blacks. By manipulating the numbers, The Boston Federal Reserve Bank report chose to imply that racism played a role in the disparity. For additional statistics, visit DiscoverTheNetworks.org.

The Federal Reserve Board in Washington later re-examined the original Boston Fed Study and found its conclusions difficult to justify. Similarly, Nobel Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, found that the first Boston Fed study had some serious methodological flaws, making its results dubious. Furthermore, in 1988, it was reported that the data used by that study contained literally hundreds of errors via such variables as the net worth of the applicants and the interest rates of the loans they sought. When those data errors were corrected, evidence suggesting that lenders had discriminated against minority borrowers disappeared.

As we all know, Democrats don’t use facts when determining their plans of action, they float on emotions while considering how they, the governing powers, can further intrude into our lives and make us more dependent on big government. Thus, the Clinton administration was determined to transform the CRA from an outreach effort into a strict quota system. Under this new arrangement, if a bank failed to meet its quota for loans to low income minorities, it ran a high risk of failing to earn a satisfactory CRA rating from the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Because this could derail bank operations and expansion, the banks had no recourse other than to drastically lower their standards on down payments and underwriting in order to approve many loans even to borrowers with weak credit credentials.

Additional pressure was applied to banks by community organizations such as ACORN and the Greenlining Institute. By accusing banks, however frivolously or unjustly, of having engaged in racially discriminatory lending practices that violated the mandates of the CRA, these groups could stall or prevent banks from expanding or merging as they wished. Moreover, these groups routinely threatened to file lawsuits or negative publicity campaigns against such banks.

As a result of such pressures, CRA commitments, which from 1977 to 1991 had cumulatively totaled just under $9 billion, suddenly jumped to $34 billion in 2991 alone. Then over the next 16 years, those commitments would amount to $6 trillion.

However, the CRA was not the only mechanism designed by government to impose lending quotas on financial institutions. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the leadership of Henry Cisneros, developed rules encouraging lenders to increase their approval rates for loans to minority applicants by a hefty 20% within one year. In 1993, HUD began filing legal actions against mortgage bankers who had turned down a higher percentage of minority applicants than white applicants, regardless of their reasons for doing so. This caused lenders to lower their down payment and income requirements for minorities. Moreover, HUD pressured the government sponsored institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest sources of housing finance in the United States, to earmark a rising number of their own loans for low-income borrowers.

No one supported these reckless lending practices more fervently than Democratic Congressman, Barney Frank, a member of the powerful House Committee on Financial Services. Subsequently in 2004, Frank said that the federal government had probably done too little rather than too much to push Fannie and Freddie to meet the goals of affordable housing.  Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, called Freddie and Fannie, of the greatest success stories of all time.

It should be noted, though, that some Republicans were also in favor of lower mortgage approval standards. In 2002, the Bush administration pressed Congress to pass the American Dream Down Payment Initiative to subsidize the down payments and closing costs of low income and first time home buyers. After ADDI was enacted, President Bush also pushed Congress to pass legislation permitting the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to make zero down payment loans at low interest rates to low income individuals.

These political pressures entirely restructured the landscape of the mortgage lending business. Subprime loans, which had constituted just 7% of all mortgages in 2001, accounted for 19% of mortgages by 2006. The situation was exacerbated further by the fact that many banks securitized the risky loans.

The result of these ill-conceived lending practices was a full-blown financial crisis characterized by countless home foreclosures and skyrocketing employment rates. The primary victims of these calamities were non-white minorities of modest means, the very people who were the intended beneficiaries of the CRA, the ADDI, and the aforementioned HUD and FHA policies. As of November 2011, approximately one quarter of all black and Hispanic borrowers had either already lost their homes to foreclosure or were seriously delinquent, compared to just under 12% of white borrowers. These disparities in foreclosure rates were, for the most part, due to African Americans and Hispanics having comparatively poor credit ratings and being disproportionately represented among those who had fallen into the financial trap of the high-priced subprime mortgages encouraged by the CRA and similar government policies.

Is stated by discoverthenetworks.org that the housing market crisis cast a black cloud over what had been one of America’s greatest success stories, the rise of the black middle class. Between 1949 and 1994, the proportion of African Americans in the middle class had nearly quadrupled, from 12% to 44%, an unprecedented advance for any formerly oppressed group in any society on record.

In addition to foreclosures, other indignities suffered by non-white minorities included the loss of jobs and the rising unemployment rates. And if these blows to the black community were not enough, left-wing Democrats, for reasons of promoting economic justice, tried to resurrect the CRA in 2009. In that year, 53 Congressional Democrats sponsored the Community Reinvestment Modernization Act in order to close the wealth gap in the United States by increasing home ownership and small business ownership for low and moderate income borrowers and persons of color. Specifically, the legislation sought to extend the CRA’s strict lending requirements to credit unions, insurance companies and mortgage lenders and to make its mandates more explicitly race-based by applying lower lending standards not only to low and moderate income borrowers, but to any non-white minorities, regardless of income.

Every American, man, woman, and child, was hurt by the Community Reinvestment Act and other  liberal/progressive policies that were put in place over the years since the late seventies, with minorities and people of color being hit the hardest.

While very few people “on the street” can intelligently discuss the Community Reinvestment Act, implemented by the far left and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter, this law, to date, as wreaked more suffering on the American people than any other piece of passed legislation and it took it took nearly a generation after its enactment for the full effects to be realized.

I have often said that the Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare is the most insidious piece of legislation that has ever been wrought on the American people and I sticking to my statement. It took thirty years for the American people to realize the full results of the Community Reinvestment Act. What is in store for the American people thirty years from now?

Note: The facts and substances of this article originated from the website, http://www.discoverthenetworks.org.

 

 

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BUSH TAX CUTS

When Republicans propose across the board income tax cuts, the Democrats always holler, “tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for the rich.” Sounds a little like “citizen’s arrest, citizen’s arrest,” doesn’t it?

UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 16:  U.S. President George W. Bush waves upon arrival at RAF Aldgerove in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Monday, June 16, 2008. Gordon Brown, U.K. prime minister said Britain is pushing the European Union to impose new sanctions against Iran, including freezing the assets of its biggest bank, to pressure the nation to give up its nuclear program at a press conference with Bush in London today.  (Photo by Paul McErlane/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Stephen Moore, of the Wall Street Journal, in his 2008 book, “The End of Prosperity,” indicated that President Bush’s 2001 tax cuts failed to revive an economy still staggering from the bursting of the dot-com bubble. The president’s strategy had been to adopt a demand-side Keynesian stimulus, hoping that putting a few extra dollars in American’s pockets would jump start the economy through increased consumption. This approach faltered, not just because Americans opted to save their rebates, but because it neglected the importance of business investment to overall growth. The economy lagged and revenues stagnated. What the United States needed then (and now) was to stimulate investment, not consumption.

In 2003, President Bush cut the dividend and capital gains rates to 15 percent each, and the economy responded. In two years, stocks rose 20%. In three years, $15 million of new wealth was created. The U.S. economy added 8 million new jobs from mid-2003 to early 2007, and the median household increased its wealth by $20,000 in real terms.

But the real jolt for tax-cutting opponents was that the 03 tax cuts also generated a massive increase in federal tax receipts. From 2004 to 2007, the federal tax revenues increased by $785 billion, the largest four-year increase in American history. According to the Treasury Department, individual and corporate income tax receipts were up 40 percent in the three years following the Bush tax cuts. And the rich paid an even higher percentage of the tax burden than they had at any time in at least the previous 40 years. This was news to the New York Times, whose astonished editorial board could only describe the gains as a “surprise windfall.”

Unfortunately, President Bush allowed Congress to spend away those additional tax revenues when those tax revenues that flowed from the 03 tax cuts could have paid for both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

When President George W. Bush was elected, we were in a recession caused by the dot-com bust of the late nineties. The economic prosperity of the nineties, the Bill Clinton presidency years, were fueled by a Republican Congress’s balancing of the budget and the private sector technological revolution which changed forever the way we live our day to day lives.

During the weeks between the determination that Bush had been elected and the inauguration, the main stream media suggested that the word, “recession” not be used to describe our current economic status.  It was the opinion of the MSM that the American people were depressed enough as it was and didn’t need to hear the term “recession.”

However, after the crash of 2008 and the election of Barak Obama to the presidency, the MSM couldn’t use the word, “recession,” enough. In fact they were calling it the “great recession,” and seemed tempted to call it a depression.

The current president, the MSM, and the rest of the Democrats, would have you think that the Bush presidency was one of economic purgatory. Not so. When Mr. Bush first took office, he had the nineties recession or maybe you might call it the “Clinton recession” to combat. Then, there was 9/11 and if you don’t think the first major foreign attack on American soil would not “shake things up,” I have a bridge you might be interested in purchasing. The economy did pick up in late 2003 and 2004 and prosperity reigned until the price of gas began increasing in 2008. And we all know when the price of gas increases when a Republican has the presidency, it is the Republican president’s fault. On the other hand, when a Democrat is in office and the price of gas increases, the president actually has nothing to do with the price of gas. Also, the inverse it true.

Then came the crash of 2008 in the fall of 2008, just before the presidential election. Democrats would have you believe that it was all George Bush’s fault when in fact, the problems began during the Jimmy Carter administration, continued with the Clinton administration’s social engineering in order that all Americans could purchase homes, whether they could afford them or not.

I’ve never seen so much hatred directed toward a president as the left has directed toward George W. Bush.

But that’s okay, they’re Democrats, darlings of the media. It’s okay for them to lie, cheat, steal, and kill because they’re Democrats. Sometime I wonder what it would be like to be a Democrat. I wouldn’t get called the names I do now. I wouldn’t get the threats that I do now. I wouldn’t have lies told about me like I do now. Do I want to become a Democrat? NO…NO…NO!

Note: Thanks goes to the Washington Times and opinion/analyst Ryan Dwyer for his February 2010 article in supplying the above information.

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SURELY, YOU’VE LEARNED BY NOW

In addition to being a political blogger, I’m also the owner, designer, and administrator of an Alabama Crimson Tide sports website, http://www.bamareport.com. With Alabama playing its cross-state rival this past Saturday, November 28, 2015, I’ve been extremely busy with keeping that site up to date. There’s competition, you know, and I have to be more on top of things than my competitors.

So, when the Planned Parenthood shooting happened in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I thought, oh no. The liberals are going to have a field day with this. And sure enough, they began denigrating Republicans and Christians because they were sure that the suspect, Robert Dear, was a conservative/anti-abortion zealot. One post by a liberal that appeared on my Facebook newsfeed indicated that conservative Christians were nothing but terrorists and as dangerous as Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Then they came out with the rhetoric that none of the Syrian refugees had committed a mass shooting, but a Christian had. This all came out within hours of the shooting before anyone knew the facts. Of course, liberals don’t care about facts. If there’s an opportunity to smear conservatives, Christians, etc. they’re going to go after it with gusto.

Meanwhile, here in the southeast, we’re hearing rumors of head football coaches at certain universities being fired because the team they coach had lost three games this season. As of this writing, LSU Coach Les Miles has been retained, but University of Georgia head football coach, Mark Richt, is out. Coach Miles lost three games in a row before winning this past weekend against Texas A&M. Georgia also lost three games before beating its in-state rival, Georgia Tech this past Saturday. For both LSU and Georgia, one of their losses was to Alabama.

Of course, I’m prejudice, since I attended and graduated from the University of Alabama. But no one can deny the fact that they are good, perhaps the best team in the nation. If Alabama is on your schedule, you’re most likely going to have at least one loss. Now, Alabama can be beat. But you have to play your best game of the season and hope that Alabama is having an “off day.” Even if the “perfect storm” comes together, the game is going to go down to the wire. Beating Alabama is not easy and more than likely, you’re not going to beat Alabama.

I’ve had to listen to coaches, players, fans, etc. from opposing teams say how they’re going to manhandle Alabama, how Alabama doesn’t have good players and coaches, etc. Well, I think this year, Georgia and LSU had to be the worst offenders. With Alabama coming off a loss to Ole Miss, Georgia was so sure that they could take Alabama at their home stadium, Sanford Stadium. We know how that worked out. LSU was no different. They were so sure they could come into Tuscaloosa and take Alabama. Again, we know how that worked out.

The point I’m trying to make is that teams that play Alabama need to learn that they’re probably going to lose, except under certain conditions. Not that teams should chalk up Alabama as a loss, but they should be aware that Alabama currently has a great team. No coach should be fired or put on the hot seat because his team couldn’t beat Alabama. Opposing teams should look at Alabama in proper perspective and not just assume that they can take Alabama. When will they ever learn?

It’s the same with liberals. So many times they jump to conclusions without waiting for the facts to come out. They blame conservatives, George W. Bush, Fox News, Christians, the Confederate flag, etc. and most of the time they end up having egg on their face. But seeing that liberals care nothing about facts or the truth, they just go on with their rhetoric. Even though they are wrong, maybe there will be enough low information voters who blindly get their news from the major networks and think that taxing the rich and punishing corporations with high taxes and burdensome regulations will cause the middle class to prosper.

According to npr.org, hardly a conservative outfit, the Planned Parenthood shooter was not affiliated with any political party, and while he appeared to be conservative, he wasn’t a talker of politics. Liberals are going to do everything they can with this tragedy to insure that conservative Christians get a black eye, further turning Americans against conservative Christians.

Once again, instead of promoting their big government, totalitarian policies and making sound arguments with respect to how these policies are best for America, they content to beseech conservatives, George W. Bush, Fox News, Christians, etc. They will continue to be embarrassed, but what do liberals care? They don’t care about the truth or about facts. They certainly don’t care about low income and middle class individuals.

To you liberals, I wouldn’t be so quick to want to do away with white conservative Christians, especially southern white conservative Christians. Without us, you will have no one group to disparage. All the other groups are protected. When will you ever learn?

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TERRORISM SOLVED!

According to breitbart.com, the French edition of the Huffington Post went full-Guardian with its response to Friday’s massacre in Paris, insisting there were several undeniable links between these barbaric and fascist acts by radical Islamists and the climate.

Oliver Lane of Breitbart, in an article entitled “Huffpo: Combating Climate Change is the Best Way to fight ISIS,” indicates that mass casualty terror attacks seem to have a strange side effect of sending the leftist Twitterati into a spin, leaving them totally off-note and publishing inappropriate, tone-dear nonsense. Salon was dishing up family size portions of it almost immediately, rushing out a Saturday editorial linking Islamist murder in Paris with the American right and Fox News and #BlackLivesMatter.

The French edition of the Huffington Post, in an article entitled, “A Successful Climate Change Conference is the Best Response to ISIS Brutality,” acknowledges that ISIS has declared war on us all. As a result, the only thing that matters from now on, as a response to terrorism, is a security reinforcement and a re-examination of our priorities. The Huff Post article, written by Corrinne LePage, goes on to indicate that the war that’s been declared on us is also psychological.

The report released by ISIS to claim the massacre in Paris uses all the tools of conditioning and psychological manipulation: a turning of tables, presenting the Islamic State as a victim instead of an assassin, while promising to continue to spread terror, and criticizing policy makers for creating internal divisions, a criticism intended to bring about self-doubt. (I don’t know what this means, so maybe I need to get a liberal to translate for me since I’m nothing but an unenlightened oaf.)

Ms. LePage indicates that our first response to ISIS should be to understand the above psychological tactic, so that we don’t allow them to win. She says we don’t have to be guilt-tripped into fighting these barbaric groups. Our values are strong enough to refuse to sink to their level. Instead, we should turn toward reinforcing national unity against their aggression. LePage believes that enlightenment and democratic progress are strong enough to stand up to such behavior, which is sending us back to pre-historic times.

Ms. LePage believes that the climate change issue will determine, in the long term, the survival of mankind, and in the short term, the demographic balance. She also believes that there are definitely several undeniable links between these barbaric and fascist acts by radical Islamists and the climate.

Because ISIS lives off of the smuggling and trafficking all kinds of goods, but in particular, on aid coming from oil-rich countries and oil smuggling, reducing the locations of oil and hydrocarbons, developing energy autonomy of each country through renewable energy, and fighting the omnipotence of oil producers will all help to reduce the power of ISIS. LePage believes that the consequences of climate change are forming the conditions of terrorism; mass migration tied to poor weather has destabilized a number of areas around the world, inevitable transforming them into zones of conflict. She further believes that postponing the COP21 conference would not be a wise thing to do because that would give ISIS the impression that they had won.

This woman also goes on to say that the behavior of countries in the North is sometimes questionable, and that democracy may not have been fully achieved. But that does not mean that humanism and democracy are not the best systems that humanity could have invented to protect and defend us. LePage ends the article indicating that the COP 21 conference will surely take place and she hopes that it will be a great success, as well as a huge slap in the face for the ISIS butchers.

Some liberals are blaming Fox News and conservative Americans for the Paris attacks. What else is new? Ms. LePage of the French Huffington Post is saying climate change is responsible for the terrorist attacks and the sooner we get off of fossil fuels, ISIS will be weakened.

Has anybody forgot the State Department Spokesperson (Marie Harf or Jen Psaki) who said that we needed to provide the terrorists with jobs, so they will quit doing bad things?

Let’s get off of fossil fuels and make the transition to green energy as soon as possible. And while we’re doing that, let’s get the terrorists jobs. The COP 21 conference needs to be re-scheduled as soon as possible. Originally, Al Gore was supposed to speak from atop of the Eiffel Tower, but that has been cancelled. And it’s too bad because that would have been so moving.

In closing, “Hip, Hip, Hooray,” we have a solution to weakening and eventually destroying ISIS: Attack climate change with vigor, transition to fossil fuels, and get the terrorists jobs.

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CANDIDATES’ STANDS ON THE ISSUES

The website, ConservativeReview.com is the best site I’ve found for illustrating where the different Republican presidential candidates stand on the issues. The issues it lists are as follows:

  • Budget, Spending, and Debt
  • Civil Liberties
  • Education
  • Energy and Environment
  • Foreign Policy and Defense
  • Free Market
  • Health Care and Entitlements
  • Immigration
  • Moral Issues
  • Second Amendment
  • Taxes, Economy, and Trade

On the scorecard page, the website administrators give the candidates green, yellow, or red dots for their stand on each of the above issues. Green means good, yellow means mixed, and red means bad. For example, candidate Donald Trump was awarded a green dot for his stance on immigration because he wants to deport all illegals and build a wall on the United States/Mexico border. On the other hand, Mr. Trump is given a red dot on Free Market because he supports the seizure of private land for economic development by private investors, he supported President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, and he supported TARP.

An eyeball review of the colored dots indicates that Ted Cruz is the most conservative, being awarded 10 green dots and 1 yellow dot. The yellow dot was for Free Market. Lindsey Graham looks to be the most liberal having been awarded 8 red dots, 3 yellow dots, and no green dots. Cruz and libertarian, Rand Paul were the only candidates who received no red dots. Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, and Lindsey Graham were the only candidates that did not receive a green dot.

Of the eight candidates that participated in the “primary debate” telecasted by Fox Business Network on November 10, Carly Fiorina was awarded the most red dots, 7.

By clicking on a dot under a particular candidates’ picture, you will be directed to a page with content outlining the details of each candidates’ stances.

Because we’ve all grown up with government provided safety nets and become used to them, no one is a pure conservative Furthermore, most of us are not in favor of eliminating government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment compensation.

I’m not about to outline the details of the top eight candidates’ stances on all of the above issues. You can do that yourself. However, the following will give a brief description of Donald Trump’s and Dr. Ben Carson’s stances on the issues that are the most important to me and possibly to you, also.

Donald Trump

Healthcare/Entitlements: Has said, “I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country. However, he has advocated for universal healthcare in a system similar to the Canadian system and has indicated that our objective should be to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice.

Energy/Environment: Believes that climate change is a hoax. Advocates utilizing America’s natural energy and oil resources. Supports fracking and nuclear energy. Opposes cap and trade policies. Did support the renewable fuel mandate.

Tax Plan: Reduces the top marginal rates on individuals from 39.6% to 25%. The plan has a bottom rate of 0%, a tax bracket for anyone making between $25 and $50 thousand. Reduce the corporate rate to 15%. Reduce capital gains and dividend taxes. Eliminate death tax.

Immigration: Wants to build a wall on our southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. Opposes amnesty for illegals. Supports ending the birthright citizenship loophole frequently employed by illegals. Said he would deport any Syrian refugees let into the United States by the Obama administration.

Foreign Policy: Sees Obama as a serious threat to Israel. Says he has an absolute way of defeating ISIS that would be decisive and quick, but wouldn’t do so until ISIS toppled Syrian dictator, Bashir al-Assad. Opposed nuclear talks with Iran. Opposed the second Iraq War. Made the case for not removing troops immediately from Iraq because of the potential for Iraq to become radicalized by Iran. Believes U.S. forces have no role in the Middle East.

Dr. Ben Carson

Healthcare/Entitlements: Has said that Obamacare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. Supports health savings accounts and other free-market reforms in place of Obamacare. Believes that any fix to the long-term solvency of Social Security must start by gradually the age seniors become eligible for benefits based on the rise in life expectancy.

Energy/Environment: Opposes policies aimed at regulating climate change and supports increased energy production. Believes that developing our energy resources is a key component of world peace. Believes the EPA’s responsibilities should be focused on working with the private industry and academia to find the safest and cleanest ways to utilize our natural resources.

Tax Plans: Has proposed a ten percent flat tax based on the biblical concept of tithing. But has said that the 10% number is not necessarily the number he would propose. Has said that Obama is wrong that raising the minimum wage will reduce income inequality. Has said that he supports raising the minimum wage, a form of government wage controls. Proposed the democrat idea of indexing the minimum wage to inflation so that we never have to have this conversation again in the history of America. Opposed passing Trade Promotion Authority to give Obama fast-track authority.

Immigration: Supports a national guest-worker program. Said that immigration reform should start by ending 5incentives for illegal immigrants. When asked about a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in 2013, he said, “of course allow illegal immigrants to have a pathway to citizenship.

Foreign Policy: Has indicated simplistically that the solution for combatting terrorism is not war, but ending our oil dependency on Arab states, stating, “the terrorists will be defunded, and that’s the way you get them.” Blames low morale and weakness in our current military on the sequester spending cuts. Strong supporter of Israel. Called the Iran deal the worst deal in American history. Has shown a lack of understanding of the way foreign governments work.

In subsequent posts, I will continue outlining candidates’ stances on these issues. However to obtain additional details, which you will surely need to determine which candidate gets your vote, visit the conservativereview.com site.

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