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Fun on Friday: Did You Know There Are 31 Ongoing National Emergencies?

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Well, if you’re any kind of news junkie, you probably know that the Senate voted this week to reject President Trump’s national emergency declaration. But fear ye not – there are plenty of other national emergencies on the table!

On a side note, I don’t know about you, but I find it a little disconcerting that the government can’t even agree whether or not there is an emergency. I mean, for the most part, you know when there’s an emergency situation, right? It’s pretty obvious. The house is on fire – emergency! The heat goes out and it’s 20-below – emergency! You run out of M&Ms – emergency.

But this is the government. Those people can’t agree on anything. They would argue about the color of the sky. So, is there an emergency on the border or no? Who knows.

At any rate, if you’re concerned about not having an emergency due to congressional stonewalling, well, don’t you worry. Because like I said, there are still plenty of emergencies for the government to attend to.

Thirty-one to be precise.

I kid you not. There are 31 national emergencies in effect, right at this very moment. That’s not including the 2019 build the wall crisis.

For instance, Jimmy Carter declared a national emergency in response to the Iran hostage crisis. That went into effect on Nov. 14, 1979. Forty years later, it’s still in effect. In case you’ve forgotten, the hostages were released in 1981.

Now, you might think some absent-minded bureaucrat forgot to end the national emergency when the hostages came home. Nope. These things have to be renewed every year. So, why is this one still in effect? I’m sure the government could give you a good reason. And by good, I mean dumb. But I’m going to guess that it has something to do with giving some government entity (like the executive branch) some kind of unconstitutional power they shouldn’t have ever had in the first place. You can call me cynical, but you know I’m not wrong.

Here’s another ongoing emergency that was declared on March 1, 1996. It involves “Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba.” This was declared after civilian planes were shot down near Cuba. Looks like they solved that one too. Last time I checked, there haven’t been any planes shot down over that way recently.

Clinton also declared a national emergency “With Respect to Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan.” I’m glad the government is on that one.

Here’s a fun one courtesy of George W. Bush. He declared a national emergency “With Respect to Export Control Regulations.” This renewed presidential power to control exports during a national emergency after the Export Administration Act of 1979 lapsed. So, in essence, Bush declared an emergency so that he could control exports in the event of an emergency.

And it shouldn’t escape you that there is ALWAYS some kind of emergency. (Or 31. Or 32, depending on how you count Trump’s emergency.)

Of course, we’re still under the state of emergency that was declared after 9-11.

Bush was pretty fond of national emergencies. So was Obama. Between them, the declared 21 that remain in effect today. Most of them involve economic sanctions. They read like this one – courtesy of Barack Obama.

“A National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine.” This was in response to the Russian invasion of Crimea.

Basically, this is a workaround Congress. The president can declare an emergency and regulate trade without having to bother with the Congresscritters. This is wise from the president’s perspective given Trump’s recent experience. Best to keep those “representatives of the people” out of the loop as much as possible.

Obama declared 10 of these national emergencies – all still in effect.

And the wall emergency wasn’t Trump’s first 911 call. He’s declared three other emergencies, the most recent on Nov. 27.

The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua was declared by President Trump in response to violence and the Ortega regime’s “systematic dismantling and undermining of democratic institutions and the rule of law” that constitutes an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

So – there ya go! It’s a constant emergency situation here in America. But don’t panic. Government officials have it all under control.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me. I’m almost out of M&Ms!

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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