Scott Powell


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Scott Powell is senior fellow at Seattle-based Discovery Institute and managing partner at RemingtonRand LLC.

Most Recent Articles by Scott Powell:

Revisiting Orwell to Understand our Times

Sep 21, 2017 — Scott Powell

Just two or three generations ago, most Americans understood that George Orwell’s classics Animal Farm and 1984 were written to explain how freedom is lost to totalitarianism and the intolerance that accompanies it. Big Brother, a term that many people still casually use to describe an all-knowing governing authority, comes right out of 1984. In the society that Orwell describes, all citizens are continually reminded that “Big Brother is watching you,” by way of a constant surveillance through the pervasive use of “telescreens” by the ruling class.

Orwell’s warnings about totalitarianism written in novel form in Animal Farm and 1984 came shortly after Freidrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom was published at the end of World War II. But it took the shocking revelations from books on Nazism and Soviet Communism, by scholars like William Shirer and Robert Conquest in the 1960s to really make Orwell relevant to the masses educated in American public schools.  And it was not just an academic exercise, insofar as Stalin was at that time brutally crushing all resistance, enforcing the Soviet model of totalitarian control on East European countries that became satellite states of Moscow.


Repealing Obamacare is Key to Economic Recovery

Aug 11, 2017 — Scott Powell

For the last seven-plus years, Republicans ran on repealing and replacing Obamacare. It was a winning platform, demonstrated by their gaining seats in Congress in almost every election since Obama was elected in 2008—achieving a majority in the House in 2010, a majority in the Senate in 2014, and finally the White House in 2016.  And with President Trump stating that he is anxious to sign a “repeal” or a “repeal and replace” bill into law, passage seemed like a sure thing.  Yet so far the Senate has failed to pass a bill.  But there is still a way forward. 

The legislative priorities of the new administration started with repealing Obamacare because of the need to eliminate the complexity and burden of its 20-odd new taxes on business, families and small businesses—a total of some $500+ billion in additional taxes—and to abolish and reduce costly regulations on small businesses.


Message to Republicans: In War there is No Substitute for Victory

Jul 24, 2017 — Scott Powell

Who would have ever thought that the United States could face a coup attempt against its duly elected President?  But for all intents and purposes that’s what’s going down.  It’s a derivative of an old-fashioned, third world banana republic mob-style coup that is brewing against Donald Trump.

It matters not that there is a lack of substance to the charges of Russian collusion.  That a charge of treason has been bandied about by Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine

to justify impeachment of Trump shows both madness and utter ignorance of the Constitutional definition of treason. It also begs the commonsense question of how a leader of the opposition party who lost thinks he can resurrect credibility by applying the extreme charge of treason to a man whose “America First” patriotism is so incontestable that even cynics don’t doubt it.


Travel from Countries Harboring Terrorists Should be Restricted

Feb 15, 2017 — Scott Powell

President Trump has been working at breakneck speed since inauguration, and perhaps more care should have been exercised in drafting the executive order imposing a 90-day travel ban from seven designated countries known for lawlessness and harboring terrorists. Were it redrafted, the travel ban could stop the potential bad guys, but provide entry for existing green card holders and those with prior visa documentation.  Nevertheless, the President had full and proper authority to issue such an order under the powers vested by the Constitution and the provisions of section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Additionally, it goes without saying that the vast majority of Americans want the President to take appropriate steps to prevent terrorists’ entry into the United States.


Real Risk is Blackmail, Not Just Interference with U.S. Politics

Jul 29, 2016 — Scott Powell

After the flap about Russia passing on internal emails and communiques from the DNC to Wikileaks who made public—on the eve of the DNC convention—documents that showed that the fix had been in on Bernie Sanders,  all hell broke loose a few days later on Wednesday when Donald Trump dropped his bombshell.  “Russia—if you are listening,” said Trump, “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing [and] I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”  Naturally, the press jumped on Trump, accusing him of encouraging the Russians to not only intrude in U.S. politics but also hack into Hillary’s server.


P.C. – R.I.P.

Mar 19, 2016 — Scott Powell

There should be no surprise that former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, who played a role in launching the political career of Barack Obama, was found among the street demonstrators in Chicago who succeeded in forcefully disrupting and shutting down Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign rally on March 11, injuring two police officers who were trying to maintain order.

When Trump proceeded to move to his next campaign stops in Ohio the following day, he came before crowds and naturally addressed the previous night’s unfortunate descent into violence, only to experience another attempt at disruption.  Four secret service agents raced to surround Trump after something was thrown and someone attempted to rush the stage.  What is going on?


Sanctuary Cities, Immigration Reform and Heightened Vigilance

Jul 16, 2015 — Scott Powell

In the wake of the San Francisco murder of Kate Steinle by serial illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez—a story garnering national headline attention—the spotlight on immigration debate has now shifted to sanctuary policies adopted by some 275 U.S cities to protect illegal aliens from the reach of federal law enforcement.

The sanctuary movement began in the 1980s as an extension of the “underground railroad” to help illegal aliens from El Salvador and Guatemala.  But it was more than that. The sanctuary movement in the U.S. not only sought to provide safe haven for the oppressed of foreign lands,  but sanctuary leaders saw their movement as being in the vanguard of the Democratic Party left to spearhead change in the demographics and political policies of the United States by increasing the number of illegal immigrants.


Trans-Pacific Partnership is about more than Trade

Jun 2, 2015 — Scott Powell

Most common sense people rightly assume that reducing trade barriers is good in and of itself. But it’s a mistake to think that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving the U.S., Canada and ten other countries that is close to being concluded after six plus years of negotiation under the Obama administration is primarily a free trade pact. It’s also a misstep to grant the Obama administration with fast-track authority and the attendant secrecy on all details of this trade pact.


Obama Turns Machiavelli on His Head

Apr 24, 2015 — Scott Powell

The most quoted political wisdom from Machiavelli is that “it is better to feared than it is to be loved.”  President Obama’s Middle East policy may well go down as the turning point in U.S. policy in which Machiavelli was turned on his head, setting the stage for the whirlwind of chaos and war.


The Real State of the Union and Simple Steps for Improvement

Jan 18, 2015 — Scott Powell

With a new year often comes anticipation and optimism. And this year the State of the Union address comes before a new Congress—a Republican majority in both the House and Senate.


2015 Needs to be the Year of Normalization at the Fed

Jan 8, 2015 — Scott Powell

Ordinarily, the plunging oil prices experienced during the last three months would be welcomed as beneficial for the economy—lowering transportation costs and stimulating consumer spending. But these are not normal times, and the sharp 45% drop in oil prices can trigger a larger financial market crisis and a recessionary contraction.


Republican Leadership:  What are You Prepared to Do?

Nov 18, 2014 — Scott Powell

Fresh off their mid-term tidal wave, the Republicans now face the same dilemma as in the story line of “The Untouchables”—the 1987 classic about dealing with Al Capone in Chicago. As Sean Connery asked Kevin Costner, “What are you prepared to do?”  Republican leadership must now decide what they are prepared to do to stop a President hell bent on taking executive action that ignores the Constitution and overturns current U.S. immigration law, by granting amnesty to 4-5 million illegal immigrants—a policy objective that a majority of Americans reject.


Obama’s Actions Against ISIS Asymmetrical and Ineffective

Aug 8, 2014 — Scott Powell

Recently Pope Francis declared that “the persecution of Christians today is even greater than in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs today than in that era.”  The slaughter of 200,000 Christians in the Darfur region of Sudan since 2011 may not have received the attention it deserved.  But now the religious cleansing of Christians in Iraq resulting from Islamic jihadists’ conquest of lands Christians had called home since the first centuries A.D. cannot be ignored.


Middle East Chaos Requires Action on Energy Independence

Jun 23, 2014 — Scott Powell

Middle East Chaos Requires Action on Energy Independence

What has suddenly become obvious is the extent to which President Obama’s imprudent policy-making decisions have compounded problems with unintended and unacceptable consequences.


What the Brat nomination means for November

Jun 13, 2014 — Scott Powell

If the U.S. government was a parliamentary system, Barack Obama’s Democratic Party rule would have collapsed by now with a vote of no-confidence.  In our Constitutional system of fixed terms and elections, there may be no clearer sign of an impending political realignment then when a Congressional Majority Leader goes down in a primary defeat to an underfunded almost unknown opponent—college professor Dave Brat.  Brat’s plain-spoken grass-roots campaign won by successfully connecting with average people and effectively communicating a clear and simple message of commitment to a balanced budget and a limited government with common sense limited priorities.  Many pundits have declared the Brat triumph as a Tea Party victory.