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“Americans Deserve Accountability from Their Government,” Reforms, Result$, Counted, and Coming

June 7th, 2018 Comments off

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Americans deserve accountability from their government,” President Donald J. Trump said.

 

In a release to the Daily Business News, the White House press room has provided a partial list of some of what the Trump Administration sees as accomplishments on behalf of the Americans.

Through the first 500 days of the Trump Administration, the President has refocused the Federal bureaucracy to make sure that voters are truly in charge of Washington,” the release said.

Among their bullets:

President Trump has issued multiple Executive Orders that reform the Civil Service, including making union contracts open to public inspection, cutting down on taxpayer-funded union activities at Federal agencies, and easing the process to remove poor-performing workers.
The Administration is operating under a “One Federal Decision” memorandum of understanding for infrastructure, which puts the burden of coordinating complex permitting reviews on Federal officials, not applicants.
Despite obstruction from Congressional Democrats, the President has appointed a record number of Federal judges who are interpreting the law as it is written, promoting federalism, and standing for Constitutional liberties to combat government overreach.

As MHProNews has noted in recent reports, such as those linked below, the president is a builder, who’s administration has taken numerous pro-growth, pro-industry steps.

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Vice President Pence knows manufactured housing first hand, and HUD Secretary Ben Carson has praised manufactured homes as “amazing,” called the regulations frozen at HUD as “ridiculous,” telling MHProNews that he hears the industry, and wants to work with manufactured home industry companies of all sizes.

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

So far, these represent unprecedented levels of support for manufactured housing at the federal level in over 25 years, per industry sources.

 

 

More from the White House

The White House also reminded MHProNews that the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is recovering nicely, and made her first public appearance since her kidney surgery last month.

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Today is also Vice President Mike Pence’s birthday. The Daily Business News editorially notes that VP Pence has not received as much recognition as his high-profile work has arguably merited.  He and the president do some events jointly, but VP Pence has also done several international and domestic events solo, engaged with Congressional or business leaders as the Oval Office has desired, and more.

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An extended quote from the White House media communications team regarding the first 500 days to MHProNews is below.

— start of extended quote —

TheWhiteHouseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

TheWhiteHousedatelineJune72018

REFORMING BUREAUCRACY: Through Civil Service and VA reforms, President Donald J. Trump is refocusing

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the Federal workforce and increasing its accountability to taxpayers.

  • President Trump signed legislation to bring more accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide our veterans with more choice in the care they receive.

o   President Trump signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, and worked with Congress to forge an overwhelming bipartisan vote of support for the MISSION Act.

o   President Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act into law, authorizing $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.

  • The President has issued multiple executive orders aimed at reforming the civil service to work for the American people. These orders:

o   Require agencies to work on negotiating better, more efficient, union contracts and to make those contracts open to public inspection;

o   Cut down on tax-payer funded union activities at Federal agencies, saving tax-payers an estimated $100 million a year; and

o   Enhance the accountability of the Federal bureaucracy by easing the process for removing poor performing employees and strengthening the merit system.

  • The President issued his “One Federal Decision” memorandum of understanding, encouraging coordinated infrastructure permitting reviews across the Federal government.

RETURNING CHOICE TO HEALTHCARE: President Trump’s actions on healthcare have increased options for Americans and returned decision-making about healthcare to individuals.

  • President Trump successfully eliminated the penalty for Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • President Trump is expanding affordable coverage options through Association Health Plans and short-term, limited-duration plans for families and employers harmed by Obamacare.
  • President Trump has released a blueprint to lower drug prices for American patients and consumers, reform Medicare programs, promote competition, and increase transparency.
  • Last year alone, the FDA approved more new drugs than ever before in history, saving consumers $8.8 billion.  Medicare changes will save seniors an estimated $320 million.

EXPANDING LIBERTY: The President has appointed judges who faithfully apply the law and is working with State, local, and Tribal leaders to combat government overreach.

  • President Trump has appointed a record number of Federal judges, who are interpreting the law as it is written, promoting federalism, and standing for our individual constitutional liberties – including appointing Justice Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.
  • The President has protected freedom of conscience by issuing rules protecting religious employers from having to violate their religious or moral beliefs or shut their doors; revising FEMA policy to ensure that houses of worship receive the disaster aid to which they are legally entitled; and ardently defending religious liberty in the courts.
  • President Trump has improved the accountability of America’s immigration system and is actively combatting ‘sanctuary city’ laws, which endanger communities across the Nation.

— end of extended quote —

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President Trump and VP Mike Pence have both said they will be in the promise keeping business.

MHProNews notes as a disclosure that we’ve editorially supported Team Trump’s “America First” agenda as best for manufactured home owners, businesses, and the nation at large.

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That support began during the presidential primaries, and has continued since. “Promises made, promises kept.”

As the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), and the Manufactured Housing Association of Regulatory Reform (MHARR) leadership have noted, the administration’s policies have been raising the boats of workers, investors, and other professionals.

There’s more work to do, and the midterms are looming. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Plot Twist – Duty to Serve – Freddie Mac CEO Layton Called to Accountability w/Congressional, Administration Leaders Over New Manufactured Home Lending Revelations

March 5th, 2018 Comments off

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The Duty to Serve (DTS) program for manufactured housing industry retailers, communities and potential home buyers took what may be a problematic twist in news revealed, according to a memo obtained by the Daily Business News.

 

The memo to Donald H. Layton, Chief Executive Officer, Freddie Mac – one of the largest lenders in the nation, cc’d Congressional leaders and Trump Administration officials as follows:

  • Hon. Michael Crapo
  • Hon. Sherrod Brown
  • Hon. Jeb Hensarling
  • Hon. Maxine Waters
  • Hon. Jeff Sessions
  • Hon. Mick Mulvaney
  • Hon. Gary Cohn
  • Hon. Melvin Watt

The memo said that, “At a February 26, 2018 telephone conference meeting of the MHIT, Freddie Mac representative, Ms. Simone Beatty, indicated, for the first time, that Freddie Mac plans to pursue implementation of a “pilot program” — on an expedited basis (i.e., during June and July 2018) — for loans on an undefined “new class” of manufactured homes, apparently based on the exclusionary (i.e., limited to MHI members) / proprietary MHI “new class” of manufactured home research and development activity.”

The MHIT meetings are supposed to be confidential, sources tell MHProNews. 

But when the Daily Business News inquired, how can an important public policy matter like this that impacts thousands of businesses be kept confidential?’ no reasonable response has come forward from any source yet.

Secrecy over DTS regulations defies common sense.  MHProNews has called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to produce all minutes from all meetings, for complete transparency in a process that critics say has notably provided Berkshire Hathaway lenders with a windfall every year that the program has been delayed.

 

Per the memo, obtained today by MHProNews, and linked here and here as a download, says in part:

 

“...a participant in Freddie Mac’s “Manufactured Housing Initiative Task Force” (MHIT), has learned that Freddie Mac apparently plans to divert an unspecified portion of its already minimal and wholly inadequate support of the manufactured housing market under DTS to a so-called “new class” of manufactured homes which is currently being researched and developed on an exclusionary, proprietary basis by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), under the direction and authority of a control group comprised, in relevant part, of executives of the industry’s three largest manufacturers.”

As noted, the memo CC’d key Washington leaders, concludes by saying:

For Freddie Mac, after ten years of inaction on DTS, followed by a blatantly inadequate DTS implementation plan, to now even consider diverting any aspect or portion of DTS to a “new class” of proprietary, high-priced, non-affordable manufactured home, is indefensible, inexcusable, in direct defiance of DTS, and unacceptable,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Weiss says MHARR will take any and all steps necessary to see that this rerouting of DTS monies won’t go to the controversial, so-called ‘new class’ of manufactured homes.

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plans for Duty to Serve (DTS) Program

Once more, the link to the full memo is here, or is available here as a downloadable PDF of the document provided. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related:

‘Over Target’ Reactions, WHA Exec (ret) Ross Kinzler, Won’t Defend MHI Policies & Points to Prior MHI Failure

Keith Anderson, CEO Champion Homes, MHI ‘New Class’ Monopoly Concerns Memo, ‘Harms Owners, Independents’

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

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Big League Presidential Deals Undermine DC Narrative of Struggling Trump Administration

May 22nd, 2017 Comments off
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A Harvard study shows how media has covered the President over the first 100 days. Credit: Harvard.

As President Donald Trump continues his first overseas trip, rumblings back home continue.

As the Daily Business News covered last week, the fallout from President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on May 10th, followed by accusations of discussing classified information in a meeting with Russian officials, has caused an already bubbling cauldron to begin boiling over.

The plan, it appears, is the impeachment of President Trump.

While Democrat leaders such as Maxine Waters (TX), Nancy Pelosi (CA), and even legendary attorney Alan Dershowitz are saying  that there is no “there there” regarding a call for impeachment, or Russian collusion, Rep. Al Green (D-TX) fired the first shot in the battle on the House floor.

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Rep. Al Green (D-TX.) Credit: Twitter.

I rise today…to call for the impeachment of the President for obstruction of justice,” said Green.

We are talking about a president who fired the FBI director who was investigating the president for his connections to Russian involvement in the president’s election.”

President Trump didn’t take the call sitting down, calling out all responsible parties.

It’s SABOTAGE,” said President Trump in a White House press release to MHProNews.
The fake news media is working hand-in-hand with Washington’s corrupt bureaucracy to try to slow and block our America First Agenda.”

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President Trump with a graduate at the U.S. Coast Guard Commencement. Credit: Daily Mail.

The special interests know they can only win when you, the American people, lose,” Trump continued. “But we’re fighting to break the special interest stranglehold around our country that has silenced our citizens, stripped our nation of its wealth, and bled America dry.”

 

Progress in Spite of Protest

While President Trump continues to make progress, including the lowest unemployment rate in decades, and the highest consumer, business confidence, and homebuilder confidence numbers in years, along with over $300 billion in deals with Saudi Arabia, what ELS Chairman Sam Zell colorfully called a “cacophony” of Deep State resistance has moved into high gear.

Talking heads and news organizations around the world have predicted President Trump’s demise from the time he was nominated, and have continued to do so. Meanwhile, the President remains fixated on delivering campaign promises, including economic opportunities that are designed to spur job creation. The weekend trip to Saudi Arabia is expected to directly create 125,000 jobs in the U.S.

BigLeaguePresidentialDealsUnderminesDCNarrativeofStrugglingTrumpAdministrationcreditWhiteHouse2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The President and  Saudi leaders meet. Credit: The White House.

With the recent news of the special counsel, much of the Trump risk has already been priced into markets, so the downside potential is probably limited,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network during a recent CNBC segment.

Overall, if the President can get through the trip without major problems, and even more if he can log some wins, that will probably push the market higher.”

 

Weaponized News? 

Underscoring the ongoing battle against President Trump is a new study from Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, which looks at the news coverage of the President over his first 100 days in office.

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Credit: Harvard.

The study is based on an analysis of news reports in the print editions of The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, and three European news outlets – the Financial Times and BBC, and Germany’s ARD.

Some of the findings in the study show the power of media and the creation of echo chambers.

President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs that were studied, with President Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories. This is three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents. He was also the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds of his coverage.

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Credit: Harvard.

And with that coverage, the President has received it almost non-stop for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where the coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.

In Europe, the study found that reporters stood out in their own way. When compared with American journalists, they were more likely to question directly President Trump’s fitness for office.

BigLeaguePresidentialDealsUnderminesDCNarrativeofStrugglingTrumpAdministrationcreditHarvard3-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Harvard.

European journalists were significantly less restrained (with the exception of BBC journalists, who are governed by impartiality rules that prohibit such reporting,) while journalists at ARD, Germany’s main public broadcasting outlet, who are not governed by the same rules, made President Trump’s “suitability for the presidency” their leading topic in January and February, with the topic accounting for between 18 and 20 percent of their total coverage.

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The President and First Lady arrive in Saudi Arabia. Credit: The White House.

The study also covered the perception that journalists have a “liberal bias,” finding that their real bias is a preference for the negative.

The study showed that news reporting turned sour during the Vietnam and Watergate era and has stayed that way since, as journalists’ incentives – from getting their stories on the air to acquiring a reputation as a hard-hitting reporter – encouraged them to focus on what’s wrong with politicians rather than what’s right.

 

A Rising Tide…

The manufactured housing industry’s fortunes stand to rise with the economic effects from President Trump’s moves.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach spoke on the matter during in his Inside the MH Road Show video interview with MHARR adviser and former association leader Danny Ghorbani, and current MHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss, JD.


Well, let me put it to you this way, if this industry was to create a person to put in the White House for betterment of our industry and consumer, they could not have come up with a better person than President Trump,” said Ghorbani.

If this industry, by the time he’s done 4 years, or hopefully 8 years, if this industry does not advance the way it should, the way it must in Washington, I hate to say this, the industry has dropped the ball.”

Manufactured housing is the private sector solution to affordable housing, without costing government subsidies. And we can supply that need,” said Weiss.

We just need to be unshackled from excessive regulations, in order to pursue our full potential.”

For more on President Trump, including a recap of his first 100 days, click here.

The full study from the Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy is linked here. ##

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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Bark Worse than Bite? Manufactured Housing Institute Slams Trump Administration Lumber Tariffs

April 27th, 2017 Comments off
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Credits: MHI, MHProNews, GraphicClick.

Comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on CNBC yesterday regarding proposed anti-subsidy tariffs on Canadian goods raised quite a stir.

The tariff is not the beginning of a trade war with Canada,” said Ross.

It shows President Trump is making good on promises to hold Canada accountable for unfair practices such as those that have hurt American dairy farmers.”

And, for lack of a better term, one “shark” was swimming in the waters and shared his feelings on the matter.

By the time it’s over softwood lumber, automotive parts, milk would all need to be renegotiated,” said investor and star of the TV show Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary, who is also running to lead Canada’s Conservative Party.

If all of a sudden we have to say let’s get rid of supply-side management in Canada, you have to do it in Vermont. You have to do it in Wisconsin. And by the way, the milk market in the United States is 10 times bigger. You will wipe out millions of farmers and the supply chain and all the people they work with.”

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland pointed out that the actions by the U.S. had not started a trade war, but instead mentioned that Washington D.C. needed to better understand the situation.

You need our lumber. You need our lumber to build your homes,” said Freeland.

Lumber prices are already very high in the United States. They’ve gone up about $3,000 per house this year, and for every $1,000 in increase of the price of a house, U.S. homebuilders estimate that means another 150,000 U.S. families can’t afford a home.”

 

MHI Weighs In – Who’s Manning the Train?

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) weighed in on the matter.

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MHI meetings are closed to journalists and reporters, even pro-industry trade reporters. Why? Photo credit, MHProNews, MHI logo is that organization’s intellectual property.

MHI has long advocated that consumers need access to a stable, dependable and affordable lumber supply. Canadian imports of softwood lumber account for as much as one-third of the lumber used in the construction of manufactured homes,” said MHI in a release.

MHI is concerned that these tariffs on softwood lumber will have negative repercussions for consumers because of the increased cost of materials. According to the Department of Commerce, imports of softwood lumber from Canada in 2016 were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion.”

MHI has said in recent weeks that they have wanted to head off a potential tariff issue, and also announced that it has joined the American Alliance of Lumber Consumers (AALC), a coalition of business groups who support open trade in lumber and building materials.

AALC members include the National Association of Home Builders, the National Retail Federation, and the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association.

The American Alliance of Lumber Consumers believes that unilaterally imposing punitive tariffs is counterproductive and could create large and unpredictable swings in the cost and supply of lumber. We urge the U.S. and Canada to work quickly and cooperatively to achieve a long-term solution to resolve this ongoing trade conflict,” the organization said in a statement.

It is important to note that pro-Trump Administration industry sources are concerned that MHI’s staff don’t understand President Trump’s America First, American Jobs thinking.

Those same sources point out that about half of MHI team members, by design, are Democrats. MHI says that they want this mix, in order to give them “balanced access” to either party in Washington D.C.

One week before the U.S. Presidential election in November, MHI hosted two featured speakers at their meeting in Chicago, who were pro-Clinton.

This fact poses an interesting question: are the Democratic voices conducting the train on MHI’s handling of the tariff topic?

 

Another View of the Story – More Bark Than Bite?

Canadian Lumber. Credit: Breitbart News.

An analysis from Breitbart News digs deeper, and shows that there may be more bark than bite in President Trump’s move.

For one thing, lumber prices actually declined after the tariffs were announced. Lumber futures fell on Tuesday by the $10 exchange limit in Chicago, a 2.5 percent drop. The prices of Canadian lumber companies rose, some sharply. Shares of Canfor Corp were up by 8.09 percent on Tuesday and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. rose by 2.37 percent,” said writer John Carney.

John Carney. Credit: Breitbart News.

As it turns out, the 20 percent tariff was smaller than what the market expected. The Trump administration has actually adopted a gentler policy on Canadian lumber than analysts and investors had forecast.”

Carney also points out that the lumber tariff is more accurately understood as a symbolic gesture by the Trump Administration, aimed at giving its “America First” stance additional face time. It’s intended target, says Carney, are trading partners in Europe, Japan and Mexico. The move sends a message without impeding larger trade flows.

The Trump administration also hoped the move would be welcomed by economic nationalists, first announcing the tariffs at a meeting with conservative journalists on Monday night,” writes Carney.

Many of Trump’s economic nationalist supporters have become increasingly concerned that the administration may be backing away from America First trade stance that was central to its electoral victory in November.” ##

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Trump Administration Readies Budget Cuts, Familiar Name on List

February 23rd, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: Media Matters.

As the Trump Administration prepares its first budget, a familiar name is on the chopping block.

Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), parent of National Public Radio (NPR), are all in the crosshairs for cuts.

According to the New York Times, Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, is now in place as budget director and his office is ready to move ahead with a list of nine programs to eliminate, in an effort to reorder the government and increase spending on defense and infrastructure.

The total amount of annual savings from cutting these programs would be in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion, which would be comparatively small. However, Trump administration officials have said that they want to highlight the agencies in their coming budget proposal as examples of misuse of taxpayer dollars.

A balanced budget is fine,” said President Trump in an interview with Fox News.

But sometimes you have to fuel the well in order to really get the economy goingI want a balanced budget eventually. But I want to have a strong military.

Some feel that the targets on the Trump Administration list don’t make sense.

Steve Bell, a former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee who is now with the Bipartisan Policy Center, said the programs identified in the memo would be of little significance in the government’s financial picture.

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Credit: 12 Bytes.

It’s sad in a way because those programs aren’t causing the deficit,” said Bell.

These programs don’t amount to a hill of beans.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, the CPB and NPR not only receive government funding, but also solicit donations from viewers and listeners. NPR recently produced a segment that cited UMH properties in Nashville, Tennessee, which not only included misinformation, but was also picked up by the Tennessean, which in turn contradicted a recent story they did on UMH, which highlighted how pleased residents were with their communities.

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Credit: iMediaEthics.

With huge deficits and mounting debt, should U.S. taxpayers be funding any media,” said MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach, commenting on a recent op-ed on the topic, “other than video feeds from CSPAN or social media posts by agencies that allow citizens to follow their government’s actions?

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156Kovach continued, speaking to “agenda journalism (as opposed to legitimate editorializing, which should be in a different part of publication) is the recent case of NPR’s attack on private investor owned manufactured home communities.

MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com dug into those issues, revealing facts that NPR simply ignored. When we contacted NPR for comments on clearly overlooked third-party information that ran counter to their narrative, their reply? That they stand by their reports, said Kovach.

Of the targets on the list, backers of the National Endowment for the Arts are very likely to put up a significant fight to survive.

The public wants to see agencies like the N.E.A. continue,” said Robert L. Lynch, head of Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization.

There is always a debate, but there has been agreement among Republicans and Democrats that funding for the arts is a good thing, and it has been kept in place.

But, Stephen Moore, a Heritage Foundation economist, says that “powerful constituencies” are behind many of the programs that are in the crosshairs.

Even so, he believes that since Republicans are now in control of the government, they need to make good the promise made to voters not only during the campaign, but over many years.

I think it’s an important endeavor to try to get rid of things that are unnecessary,said Moore.

The American public has a lot of contempt for how government is run in Washington, in no small part because there is so much waste.

The original NPR segment on UMH is linked here. ##

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

RC Williams, for Daily Business NewsMHProNews.