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Wednesday: Below the Fold

National debt tops $31 trillion, crooked IRS staffers took thousands in fraudulent COVID relief, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • National debt tops $31 trillion: The total national debt has officially surpassed $31 trillion. Much of the recent debt came from the government’s response to the COVID pandemic, as wild new spending in Washington increased the rate of debt accumulation. By the end of 2020, federal government spending added $3.1 trillion to the debt, and an additional $2.8 trillion was added in 2021. By the end of this year, government spending is projected to add an additional $1 trillion to the national debt, much of it thanks to Democrats passing Joe Biden’s erroneously named Inflation Reduction Act. Some economists see $1 trillion as the new baseline average the government will add annually. Of the new record, Republican Representative Chip Roy (TX) observed that the national debt was “$21 trillion just 5 years ago.” It was $11 trillion in 2009. Fellow Republican James Baird (IN) noted, “This is what happens when Congressional Democrats engage in unchecked partisan spending — and hardworking Americans are paying the price.” Meanwhile, Biden insists that he is being fiscally responsible, regularly touting that he “reduced the deficit $350 billion” this year. His “responsibility” is the result of convenient timing and failure to pass his full agenda.

  • Crooked IRS staffers took thousands in fraudulent COVID relief: The Justice Department has charged five current and former IRS employees with wire fraud related to their theft of thousands of dollars in COVID relief funds. According to U.S. Attorney Kevin Ritz, “These individuals — acting out of pure greed — abused their positions by taking government funds meant for citizens and businesses who desperately needed it.” He added, “Our office will not hesitate to pursue and charge individuals who steal from our nation’s taxpayers.” The IRS employees are charged with defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), two programs Congress set up to provide relief funds for small business owners impacted by the pandemic. The individuals charged stole funds in the range of $11,000 to more than $170,000. We’re sure the 87,000 new IRS employees will do better.

  • San Francisco celebrates 73 years of Chinese communism: The Chinese communist flag was flown over San Francisco’s city hall last week in a gesture commemorating the October 1, 1949, victory of Mao Zedong’s communist forces formally proclaiming their control over China. The genocide that Mao’s communists would mete out on the Chinese people is unparalleled in world history. Of course, that history is entirely ignored, as one of America’s most leftist cities is perfectly fine with Beijing’s anti-liberty agenda. And this practice is nothing new. Back in 2014, San Fransisco’s then-mayor explained why city hall flew the communist China flag: “San Fransisco, as well as California, has very strong ties with China.” And those ties have seemingly only grown despite continued examples of China’s inhumane treatment of minority groups like the Uyghurs, which last year the U.S. State Department declared a genocide. Just last month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation making the Chinese Lunar New Year a state holiday. In doing so, Newsom proclaimed, “Recognizing this day as a state holiday acknowledges the diversity and cultural significancy Asian Americans bring to California and provides an opportunity for all Californians to participate in the significance of the Lunar New Year.” Beijing praised Newsom’s action. Yet last year Newsom renamed Columbus Day “Indigenous People’s Day” because of woke activists blaming the Italian explorer for unleashing colonialism and death onto the native Americans.

Headlines

  • Ex-Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski: FBI “altered history” in handling of laptop before 2020 election (Fox News) | FBI sued for alleged failure to provide communications with Big Tech regarding Hunter Biden laptop censorship (Fox News)

  • OPEC+ weighs large oil cutback to boost sagging prices (AP) | Americans should prepare for gas prices to keep rising, analysts warn (Fox Business) | As gas prices rise, Democrats scramble to lay blame on Big Oil (WaPo)

  • Deal back on? Elon Musk gets closer to buying Twitter (AP) | Media worries as Elon Musk closes deal to buy Twitter (Fox News)

  • Florida faces grim reality: Hurricane Ian is deadliest storm in state since 1935 (AccuWeather)

  • John Fetterman cast lone vote in failed bid to free man convicted in first-degree murder of high schooler (Fox News)

  • Mayra Flores’s Democrat opponent has funneled tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash to his own company (Free Beacon)

  • Planned Parenthood pimps puberty blockers in cartoon aimed at kids (Daily Wire) | “Transgender” surgery poised to become a $5 billion industry (Daily Wire)

  • Lawsuit challenging Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law tossed by federal judge (TND)

  • DHS released unvaccinated Afghans while threatening to fire unvaccinated Border Patrol agents (Washington Times)

  • Massachusetts colleges to enforce mask mandates “indefinitely” (Fox News)

  • Five years after Las Vegas concert shooting, an FBI whistleblower reveals probable motive (PJ Media)

  • Putin signs annexation of Ukrainian regions as losses mount (AP)

  • Policy: Fearing shortages, top oil groups warn Biden against export ban (Free Beacon)

  • Humor: “He hit a walk-off homerun during the 1874 Congressional Baseball Game”: Here are other times Biden recalled stories that never happened (Genesius Times)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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