Thursday: Below the Fold

Deaths by firearms rise, Biden’s student loan giveaway loses again, lame-duck spending spree, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • Deaths by firearms rise: The number of individuals killed with firearms in the U.S. has risen to a three-decade high. 2021 set a record of 48,953 deaths in the U.S. with firearms. Those killed by firearms were predominately male, though the data also indicates that since the 1990s all demographic groups across the U.S. have seen an increase in the number of deaths by firearm. Among black men, the leading cause of firearm deaths was homicide, while among white men it was suicide. For black men killed by firearms, the highest percentage were young men age 20 to 24. For white men, it was those between the ages of 80 and 84, again primarily due to suicide. Homicides with firearms were 23 times higher among black males and four times higher among Hispanic males than white men. The trends are clearly going in the wrong direction. Firearm-related homicides among black men have increased by 74% since 2014, and suicides among white men have risen 41% since 2007. While the mainstream media loves to target firearms as the culprit, this conveniently avoids the real societal problem — a culture that is feeding this kind of deadly behavior, particularly in gang-ridden Democrat-run urban centers.

  • Biden’s student loan giveaway loses again: On Wednesday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Joe Biden’s plea to reinstate his unilateral effort to “forgive” student loan debt. The court elected not to overturn U.S. District Court Judge Mark Pittman’s decision to temporarily suspend Biden’s student loan giveaway. Biden’s program would have eliminated upwards of $20,000 in federal loan debt per individual student at an estimated cost to taxpayers of at least $400 billion. The Fifth Circuit is the second appellate court to block Biden, as several Republican-led states sued on the grounds that Biden has no legal authority to enact such sweeping action without congressional consent. Biden’s move to go ahead and issue his executive order prior to the midterm elections was likely more of a politically calculated gambit than a genuine policy-minded move.

  • Dems push for lame-duck spending spree: With Republicans set to take control of the House in January, Democrats in both the House and Senate are scrambling to pass another massive spending bill through Congress before losing control. Democrats are seeking $150 billion in additional spending on their pet social programs to be added to an omnibus government funding bill. Democrats hope to get Republicans on board by adding $75 billion in defense spending, a 10.3% increase over last year. The investment in military spending is long overdue, and Democrats want Republicans to hold their collective noses and green light this spending spree. Total government spending this year was equivalent to 25.1% of GDP, far higher than the 50-year average of 21%. Meanwhile, tax revenue was also up, equalling 19.6% of GDP — the second highest in U.S. history. The Wall Street Journal observes, “Democrats want to build in baseline outlays that keep spending that high and maintain pressure to keep raising taxes.” Their goal, as always, is to grow Americans’ dependency on government, and this proposed omnibus is just another step down that road.

Headlines

  • US economy grew faster in third quarter than first estimated (The Hill)

  • House Democrats now have Donald Trump’s taxes, Treasury Department indicates (Daily Wire)

  • Ex-Twitter safety chief admits Hunter Biden laptop censorship was a ‘mistake’ (Fox News)

  • EU threatens Twitter ban unless Musk ramps up moderation tactics (Forbes)

  • House passes Biden-backed bill to avert rail strike (Fox Business)

  • House Democrats tap Hakeem Jeffries to succeed Nancy Pelosi as leader (National Review)

  • New study: Offshore wind farms aren’t as safe for marine ecosystems as proponents claim (Townhall)

  • Americans are losing trust in the military (Wall Street Journal)

  • Biden administration approves rule that funnels workers’ retirement funds into left-wing causes (Washington Times)

  • CNN announces layoffs amid difficult year (The Hill)

  • Katie Hobbs sues Arizona county for refusing to certify gubernatorial election (National Review)

  • Humor: Trans furry named “Best in Show” at national dog show (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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