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Former Democratic Party presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced his candidacy for New York mayor on Jan. 14, and it’s time we set the record straight on him.

Despite a colorful ad featuring New York bodegas, his Asian-American credentials, and his fundraising prowess, Yang’s run for mayor is nothing like the barnstorming presidential candidacy in which he presented new ideas and interesting credentials as an entrepreneur and nonprofit founder. Yang has become a standard Democratic candidate who now upholds very standard and uninteresting Democratic positions.

His signature issue, universal basic income cash payments of $1,000 a month, has lost its luster as more Democrat candidates in New York City have co-opted the proposal. We have also seen the limited effects of universal cash payments, as the Trump administration has carried out effectively the same policy to perverse consequences, such as inflation, that would be worse if payments are carried out over the long term, as Yang proposes. Consumer prices for groceries remain up even as the supply chain has righted itself, and the average American will pay roughly $400 more in 2021 for groceries than she did in 2020.

Other than a universal basic income, Yang’s policy priorities for New Yorkers are uninspiring. He wants to form a government-run bank to pick and choose winners and losers in business. He wants to add new teachers to a public school system mismanaged by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio. Although he has some other interesting ideas, such as fostering a startup incubator with $100 million in private capital, it is unclear where that money comes from or if he has the skill to raise it.

Yang’s most disheartening attribute is his quick descent from independent-minded freethinker to Democratic Party shill and coattails-rider. The quirky former presidential candidate came into national politics with concerns about automation taking away American jobs, admirably writing in his 2018 book, “The War on Normal People”: “America is starting 100,000 fewer businesses per year than it was only 12 years ago, and is in the midst of shedding millions of jobs due primarily to technological advances.”

Yang broke boundaries (not just racial) in his presidential campaign, appearing on Fox News, Joe Rogan’s podcast and “The View” to articulate his ideas, and he attracted young and tech-savvy voters known as the Yang Gang. At times, Yang wrote as an independent-minded and even admirable personality.

During the height of the lockdowns in 2020, Yang asked Asian-Americans to step up and become leaders in their communities, showing a gentle patriotism mixed with understanding about Asian-American fears. He wrote

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: “We Asian Americans need to embrace and show our American-ness in ways we never have before. We need to step up, help our neighbors, donate gear, vote, wear red white, and blue, volunteer, fund aid organizations, and do everything in our power to accelerate the end of this crisis.”

But after his presidential campaign ended, Yang ingratiated himself with the Democratic mainstream. He became a stump speaker for Joe Biden, who is hardly a reformer or changemaker by any stretch of the imagination, and capitulated to leftist identity politics by saying that a Biden-Harris win would be Asian-Americans’ best hope. He directed followers to move to Georgia for Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock before the runoff elections.

Now in his New York City mayoral campaign, he is promising free everything: from free money to free business bucks (at the mercy of the government, of course), to free college and forgiveness of college tuition. He has become a caricature of himself as free stuff Santa.

All the while, Yang has drifted further and further away from the concerns of ordinary Americans. In one interview at the start of his mayoral campaign, Yang said to The New York Times, “We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And so, like, can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?”

It was a classically Yang kind of thing to say, but criticism mounted immediately over his out-of-touch words, especially since Yang owns a second home far away from the city in which he camped during the pandemic. Over Twitter, New York critics compared his comments to “let them eat cake.” Yang responded feistily: “Anyone who thinks my New Yorkness is in question,” he said, “should come and say it to my face.”

An early poll shows Yang up among the candidates for NYC mayor. But pitfalls can also follow high initial name-recognition. His record—or lack thereof—will be put through the meat-grinder in the New York political machine. Without a truly independent brand, Yang may prove to be ultimately indistinguishable from either his more liberal or conservative opponents.

Yang’s evaporation is surely disappointing. A promising outsider, a family man, and a man with intellectual credibility about the decline of middle-class America has become a shill for the Democratic Party, and New Yorkers shouldn’t expect much more.



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COVID-19 Bill

Biden’s COVID-19 Bill Would fulfill Democrats far-left wish list

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It’s increasingly clear that the Biden administration’s nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package would appease special-interest groups rather than address the needs of those who actually need relief.

While about $1 trillion still sits unspent from previous relief bills, Biden’s bailout legislation would fulfill Democrats far-left wish list.

Among the many things that are unrelated to COVID-19 are a pension bailout, which could cost more than $60 billion, and a $350 billion bailout for states and localities.

Instead of a commitment to unity and working with Republicans to pass agreeable solutions, Democrats have decided to abuse the budget-reconciliation process to push through legislation that eclipses previous federal spending sprees.

They’re going to bail out special-interest groups and enact some of the worst fiscal policies this nation has ever seen. And unlike all five previous coronavirus relief efforts, this bill doesn’t have bipartisan support. 

This latest legislation is also the opposite of targeted: It throws billions and billions of dollars of good money after bad policies, using taxpayer funds for expensive bailouts that are unrelated to COVID-19 and unnecessary.

Predictions of plummeting state and local revenue have not come to pass. One recent report showed that tax revenue decreased only marginally, with 21 states reportedly seeing revenue growth in 2020.

In Kansas, tax revenues are already up now from where they were in fiscal year 2020, and neighboring Oklahoma is already projecting a $1.2 billion increase in its next fiscal year’s budget.

One bailout that’s included in Biden’s COVID-19 bill is an estimated $60 billion for pensions. Using coronavirus relief funds to bail out these pension funds is unfair to taxpayers, as many of the pensions have been mismanaged and continue avoiding reforms that would prevent insolvency.

As the former state treasurer of Kansas and trustee of the state’s pension program, I know that important management decisions can be made to ensure programs remain solvent.

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In Kansas, we proved it’s possible. Unfortunately, many in Washington think the answer to every question is to rack up billions, or even trillions, of dollars in debt on America’s credit card.

With such a dire budget situation at hand, Congress must ensure that any relief passed is targeted. Every dime spent on interest payments means less will go to what our federal government was designed to do by our Founders.

Uncontrolled spending by our federal government isn’t without consequence. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $2 trillion in spending could shrink the economy by about $100 billion over the next decade, and with the national debt topping $27 trillion, our budget will have to shift over the coming years to accommodate larger and larger interest payments.

The Kansans I represent don’t want Washington to spend trillions of their taxpayer dollars on partisan projects. They want lawmakers just to work on crushing this virus so we can get back to building our families, businesses, and communities.

This nearly $2 trillion bill isn’t the right approach. It’s not targeted and is full of partisan handouts that have little or nothing to do with COVID-19.

Congress should instead be focusing on policies that increase job opportunities and wages for all workers, not mortgaging our futures.

It was just a year ago that we saw the results of tax and regulatory reforms; namely, the first actual wage growth in decades and historic lows in unemployment.

In order to return to that booming economy, we should focus on defeating the virus and reopening our country.

(daily signal)

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Democrats

Video: “Democrats’ stimulus relief bill is ‘too costly, corrupt, liberal’ – McCarthy

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy provides insight into the coronavirus stimulus bill saying the bill is “too costly, corrupt and liberal”.

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(Fox News)

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Fox news

Video: Glen calls Biden’s CBO nominee Neera Tandem “corrupt” and a “slanderer”

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Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald tears into President Biden’s CBO nominee Neera Tandem calling her “corrupt” and a “slanderer.”

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(Fox News)

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