AAI's bulletins to Arkansas policy leaders.
Strategic Amnesia, Domestic Drones, & Terrible TSA Truth
The Arkansas Project
Did Arkansas State Representative Hank Wilkins' wife commit two felonies while twice violating the state's anti-nepotism law--that her husband sponsored? And the charges against Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson have been dropped. Read how one citizen's concern for justice altered the course of Arkansas' political history. These stories, and much more, are featured at The Arkansas Project.
Defending Tax Cuts for the 'Rich'
Democrats have been having a field day with the cry of "tax cuts for the rich" - for which Republicans seem to have no reply. This is especially surprising, because Democrats made the same arguments back in the 1920s, and the Republicans then not only had a reply, but one that eventually carried the day, when the top tax rate was brought down from 73 percent to 24 percent. What was the difference then? Thomas Sowell explains at NRO.
The Strategic Amnesia of Campaign 2012
Our media culture and campaign-coverage environment somehow manage to feel repetitive and yet riddled with attention-deficit disorder simultaneously. Jim Geraghty explains at NRO.
Bubbles, Malinvestment, and Higher Education
Many commentators are asking whether the next big bubble to burst will be the debt associated with the rising cost of higher education. College costs have strongly outpaced the inflation rate, and the debt students are racking up is crippling. The reasons behind this trend are significant and diverse, says Steven Horwitz at The Freeman.
Besides getting both government and private institutions into the distasteful business of imposing a politicized racial-classification system on the American public, "diversity" of the Harvard variety has undermined the genuine study and appreciation of human diversity. The story of Elizabeth Warren serves as a good example. Read the story from National Review Online. And David French also highlights the 'diversity mania' in higher education at NRO.dfs
Years of Absurd Outcomes Prompt Reconsideration of "Zero Tolerance" School Policies
Today the Los Angeles Times explores the possibility that states and school districts might finally be easing off on its various "zero tolerance" policies that have frequently led to absurd, overwrought responses to normal child misbehavior. Scott Shackford explains at Reason.
A Case for Defunding Public Broadcasting
Assailed from all sides with allegations of bias, charges of political influence and threats to defund their operations, public broadcasters have responded with everything from outright denial to personnel changes. Yet government-funded media companies are inherently problematic and impossible to reconcile with either the First Amendment or a government of constitutionally limited powers, says Trevor Burrus of Cato Institute.
Capitalism Through Hollywood's Lens
In a free market, businesses are in a relentless competition to improve products and satisfy the needs of the consumer. "A new test for pancreatic cancer? Great! Let's be the first to get it to market." In the cozy world of government-business collusion, the state counts on the status quo existing far out into the future, for that's the only way to preserve and plan out "the system." Jonah Goldberg explains at NRO.
When Government Privileges Trump the Rights of Citizens
Democrats and Republicans in the California Legislature have once again broadcast this troubling fact: They are far more concerned about the ever-expanding demands of a relatively small group of public sector union members than they are about the public welfare of the citizens of our state. Steven Greenhut explains at Reason.
The History Boys
Riffing on the re-election trail, President Obama often tells crowds that "We've got to move forward to the future we imagined in 2008." An imaginary future from the past-got it. Then there's the imaginary history of the past that Mr. Obama has been recounting lately, when his first-term spending and debt boom never happened. The Wall Street Journal has the story.
Budget Histrionics--and Reality
The mainstream (liberal) media headlines are red hot in the aftermath of House Speaker John Boehner's remarks last week about reigning in the federal budget. Doulgas Holtz-Eakin explains the reality of the situation at NRO.
Earlier this week, the federal government announced that the Air Force might be dispatching drones to a backyard near you. The feds predict that they will dispatch or authorize about 30,000 of these unmanned aerial vehicles across America in the next 10 years. At Reason, Andrew Napolitano discusses what this means for liberty.
The Terrible Truth About the TSA
A necessary evil or not, writes J.D. Tuccille at Reason, one thing is increasingly apparent: The TSA is spectacularly inefficient and inept at everything it tries to do.
President Me, Scumbaggery, & Cash Organs
The Arkansas Project
Four members of Occupy Little Rock were arrested last week. Why did they feel they had the right to indefinitely occupy public property? We take a look at their perverse logic. And how can you exercise or defend your rights if you do not know them? Brush up on your right to know, via the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Obama and GM Cook the Books
Three years ago Obama invested more than $100 billion in taxpayer money to bail out General Motors. On Tuesday, the entire company was worth less than $34 billion. Yet over the last few days the Obama campaign, in a $25 million marketing blitz, has flooded the airwaves with ads in battleground states, claiming the bailout should be counted a rousing success. More from John Lott of NRO.
41 Percent Say It's OK to Pay Organ Donors in Cash Money
At long last, Americans are warming up to the idea of a market for all of the spare kidneys, bone marrow, liver chunks, and other life-saving organs that walking, talking, still-alive humans have to offer. Katherine Mangu-Ward explains at Reason.
Reflecting on his two terms in office, President George W. Bush said in 2010, "You realize you're not it. You're a part of something bigger than yourself." This is a sentiment President Barack Obama did not inherit from his successor. More from Heritage's Morning Bell.
We Find the Defendant, John Edwards, Guilty of Scumbaggery
If John Edwards were on trial for cheating on his dying wife, fathering his mistress's child, lying to everyone about the affair, and squandering other people's money in a vain attempt to keep these secrets, there would be no room for reasonable doubt. Jacob Sullum explains at Reason. For a contrary view, see Hans A. von Spakovsky's assessment at NRO.
At graduation ceremonies across the country, politicians, authors, actors, and businessmen take to the stage to tell young people they are fantastic simply because they are young. This year, the ritual is more pathetic than usual because there's a presidential election in the offing. Read Jonah Goldberg's take at NRO.
Extend the Bush Tax Cuts Now
The uncertainty over the Bush tax cuts already has caused a number of business leaders to threaten a hiring freeze and a dampening of investment until they can figure out the after-tax cost of capital and rate of return on investment. Larry Kudlow issues a warning at NRO.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Expiring Bush Tax Cuts
Billions of dollars in tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. Read this story from the Tax Foundation for brief explanations of some of the often-asked questions regarding the Bush Tax Cuts.
Questioning Homeownership as a Public Policy Goal
It is not a stretch to say that the bust to owner-occupied housing in the United Stated led to a sizeable contraction of global economic output, says Morris A. Davis, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, School of Business. Read more from the National Center for Policy Analysis.
A Tale of Two Commencements
Two days after Mitt Romney delivered the commencement speech at Liberty University, the big evangelical Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Barack Obama tutored graduates at Barnard College, the intensely liberal all-women's school adjacent to Columbia University. As you might guess, the wisdom these two political elders imparted to the Class of 2012 was not the same. Daniel Henninger elaborates at The Wall Street Journal.
The Good News About Race in America
Trayvon Martin. Voter ID laws. Color-conscious college admissions policies heading for the Supreme Court again. It seems like a good time to check in with Abigail Thernstrom, a reliable fount of honesty and uncommon sense on matters racial. More from Jason L. Riley at The Wall Street Journal.
We're Number Two, Stimulus Fail, & The Largest Tax Hike In History
The Arkansas Project
Congratulations Arkansas, we're number two! (for barriers to job creation) A new report from the Institute for Justice outlines Arkansas' regulatory tyranny. Max Brantley is still after those dangerous ALECpeople--but he's dangerously silent about our state's Medicaid crisis. And check out the video of my insightful visit with an Occupy Little Rock member.
Demolishing Paul Ryan
With the presidential battle begun, the Obama campaign has revived the Cold War nuclear strategy of launch on warning. At any suggestion that a conservative idea might be threatening its ideological fortress, the American left now launches ICBMs of rhetorical destruction. Daniel Henninger explains at The Wall Street Journal.
Movie Production Incentives in the Last Frontier
State film tax incentives have exploded in popularity in the last decade. In 2000, only three states offered the subsidies. By 2010, the number of states offering incentives had peaked at 40. Among these, the state government of Alaska offers one of the most generous incentive systems, say I. Harry David and Mark Robyn of the Tax Foundation.
The Moral Case for Capitalism
Capitalism has become the scapegoat for many social woes. When critics are pressed to assert their opinion, a couple of distinct charges are leveled at the economic system: it generates inequality and it threatens social solidarity by allowing individuals some priority over their communities, says James R. Otteson, chair of the Philosophy Department at Yeshiva University in New York, as reported by theNational Center for Policy Analysis.
Scott Walker is No More Anti-Union Than FDR
Those trying to oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a June 5 recall election are portraying him as a wild-eyed, Koch-brothers-controlled, right-wing ideologue hell-bent on destroying unions. In reality, Walker is more like a panicked accountant trying to fix the Badger State's out-of-whack books. Shikha Dalmia explains at Reason.
Why We're Losing
It seems intuitive to think that a smart group of planners concerned about the collective good can accomplish more than free people pursing their own interests individually in the private sector. But history is filled with examples of how the solutions politicians propose create new problems without solving the old. John Stossel expounds at Reason.
Obama's College Promises
The Obama campaign has a message for young-adult voters: When it comes to higher education, the president will dole out taxpayer dollars and "free stuff" at the rate Joe Biden makes gaffes. Katrina Trinko explains at NRO.
Sometimes a trivial embarrassment can become a teachable moment. It was recently revealed that Harvard professor and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren had self-identified as a Native American for nearly a decade - apparently to enhance her academic career by claiming minority status. Victor Davis Hanson explains at NRO.
The Real Palestinian Refugee Problem
After World War II, the British left India, which was to be partitioned into two independent nations. One of them would have a Hindu majority, the other a Muslim majority. More than 7 million Muslims moved to the territory that became Pakistan. A similar number of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India. Today, not one remains a refugee. Clifford May examines at NRO.
Why Nurses Need More Authority
The United States is facing a severe shortage of primary care physicians. In addition to issues such as general population growth, especially among the elderly, is the problem of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Providing coverage to millions more Americans, demand for primary care is expected to increase sharply, further exacerbating the shortage of physicians, says John Rowe, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Obama's Technocratic Meddling
In his new book The Escape Artists: How Obama's Team Fumbled the Recovery, Noam Scheiber, a senior editor at the venerable liberal journal The New Republic, presents a reminder that the senior officials who drive the policymaking process are also people with unique and often clashing personalities. Peter Suderman expounds at Reason.
The Tale of the Whale
Mr. Brennan beat me to the punch on J. P. Morgan, and I do indeed suspect that he is right that this "London whale" episode will be used to argue to for regulations that would have done nothing to prevent it. Kevin Williamson of NRO explains.
Stimulus Spending Keeps Failing
The weak economic recovery in the U.S. and the even weaker performance in much of Europe have renewed calls for ending budget austerity and returning to larger fiscal deficits. Curiously, this plea for more fiscal expansion fails to offer any proof that Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries that chose more budget stimulus have performed better than those that opted for more austerity. Similarly, in the American context, no evidence is offered that past U.S. budget deficits (averaging 9% of GDP between 2009 and 2011) helped to promote the economic recovery. Robert J. Barro explains at The Wall Street Journal.
Stopping the Largest Tax Hike in History
The largest tax hike in history is due to strike the United States on January 1, 2013. Known as "Taxmageddon," it would impose $494 billion in higher taxes on the American people in the first year. Read more from The Heritage Foundation.
The Trial of the Alleged Masterminds of 9/11
Are natural rights truly inalienable, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, or can the government take them away from those it hates or fears? Does the Constitution protect the rights of all persons who come in contact with the government, or does it protect only certain Americans, as the government argues? Andrew Napolitano examines at Reason.
The Reality of Voter Fraud, Unholy Unions, & Is The Postal Service Doomed?
The Arkansas Project
9 states that have no income taxes have seen 50% faster growth than their income-taxing counterparts. Is it time for Arkansas to consider doing away with its income taxes? I moderated a state rep. debate in Heber Springs last weekend. Read what these candidates had to say on the most important issues facing our state. And why is Arkansas advancing towards Obamacare implementation while other states--even Obama's Illinois--are retreating?
Feds, Dems Lead Way In Creating More Student Loan Defaults
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, who has been covering the higher education bubble like nobody's business, has a sharp op-ed in the New York Post on student loan woes. Take a look at Reason.
Labor unions, like the United Nations, are all too often judged by what they are envisioned as being - not by what they actually are or what they actually do. Thomas Sowell expounds at National Review.
The Left's Favorite Bad Statistic
An entire movement has grown up around the factoid that American women make about 80 percent of the pay of men. It is a reliable talking point of Democrats who insist the country is racked by a "War on Women." Rich Lowry explains at NRO.
Ask Me About Your Volt
The president of the United States stooped to telling the United Auto Workers that he'll buy a Volt the day he leaves office. No president ever had to endorse the Model T. Daniel Foster explains at NRO.
The Reality of Voter Fraud
The 2012 elections will feature many close races, likely including the presidential contest. That makes concern about voter fraud and ballot integrity all the more meaningful, and a conference held here last weekend by the watchdog group True the Vote made clear just how high the stakes are. John Fund opines at NRO.
School Discipline Has Become A Criminal Matter, Says ACLU
Once upon a time, misbehaving in school meant detention, or a conference wth your parents, or - in extreme cases - a temporary or permanent boot through the schoolhouse door. But school officials are increasingly handing even routine disciplinary matters to law-enforcement officers and the criminal justice system, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union. J.D. Tuccille explains at Reason.
Is The Postal Service Doomed?
If you ran a business with $25 billion in losses over the last five years, $20 billion in annual losses projected in the coming years, and 80 percent of its locations losing money, do you think that your company would stay afloat? Should it be rescued with a bailout from its customers? Heritage Foundation discusses the fate of the USPS.
Will Americans Ever Control As Many Of Their Health Dollars As Others?
Americans control a smaller share of their health spending than do residents of most other developed countries. The gradual sidelining of out-of-pocket spending by American health care consumers reduces the potency of market forces in aligning supply and demand, and contributes to inflated health care prices, says John R. Graham, director of health care studies at the Pacific Research Institute.
Elizabeth Warren, Box Lady
Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate running against Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, claimed for a decade in law-school directories that she was Native American even though her only evidence for her status was family "lore." John Fund analyzes how her checking or not checking boxes reveals her hypocrisy at NRO.
A Nation of Julias
In the competition for the creepiest campaign material of 2012, we may already have a winner. It is "The Life of Julia," the Obama reelection team's cartoon chronicle of a fictional woman who is dependent on government at every step of her life. Rich Lowry elaborates at NRO.
America's Budget Crisis In Pictures
It's pretty clear to most Americans that Washington is broken and spending money well beyond the country's means. In fact, Sunday marked three years since the U.S. Senate last passed a budget. Getting the fiscal house in order clearly isn't their top priority. But just how bad is the country's spending and debt crisis? See the picture evidence from Heritage.
Unions Gone Wild, Self-Defense Under Attack, & Why Women Make More Than Men
The Arkansas Project
Cyberbullying laws across the country are threatening the livelihood of trolls everywhere. We can't let this happen. State Rep. Nate Bell has a weird idea: let's stop wasting taxpayer money! And why is Max Brantley scared of free markets, government accountability, & fiscal sanity? Visit our new conspiratometer for the latest tally of Max's mentions of America's (and Arkansas's) most sinister conservative forces.
How Retirement Benefits May Sink the States
Government retiree costs are likely to play an increasing role in the competition among states for business and people, because these liabilities are not evenly distributed. Some states have enormous retiree obligations that they will somehow have to pay; others have enacted significant reforms, or never made lofty promises to their workers in the first place. Steven Mangala explains at The Wall Street Journal.
Victim of Warrantless, Wrong-Door Raid: "I'm Not The Same Person"
After finding two bodies in a burned-out SUV earlier this month, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office traced the vehicle's owner to the El Pueblo Apartments in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On April 10, the officers gathered at the complex to conduct a raid. At the last minute, they noticed activity in a unit two doors away, and decided to raid that one, too-without a warrant. Mike Riggs has the story at Reason.
Connecticut Agency Seeks to Whitewash Role in Kelo Eminent Domain Abuse
It's bad enough to employ a cute euphemism like baggage to describe the use of government-backed bulldozers to destroy somebody's house for no legitimate reason, but the self-pity on display by the NLDC is just beyond parody. These people should be ashamed of themselves. Damon Root elaborates at Reason.
My Papers? No, Thank You
With the Supreme Court taking up Arizona's "show me your papers" immigration law, we're once again thrust into a useful debate over the role of the government and the obligations of the citizen - and non-citizen. If there were one thing I could impress upon people about the nature of the state, it's that governments by their very nature want to make their citizens "legible." Jonah Goldberg explains at National Review.
Public-Employee Unions Gone Wild
Terry List, a teacher in Saginaw Township, Mich., has a depressing lesson for her students: "I would not recommend to my pupils to become a teacher in Michigan." What's discouraging her? A proposed pension-reform bill in Michigan would derail her plans to retire - at age 47. Patrick Brennan tells the story at National Review.
The Shrinking Immigration Problem
The illegal-immigration problem is going away. That's the conclusion I draw from the latest report of the Pew Hispanic Center on Mexican immigration to the United States. Michael Barone explains at NRO.
Self-Defense Under Attack
Critics of Florida's self-defense law object to its recognition of a right to "stand your ground" in public places, which eliminated the duty to retreat from an assailant. Yet many of these critics seem to believe they have a duty to stand their ground and never retreat, using George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin as a weapon to attack Florida's law, no matter what the evidence shows. Read more from Jacob Sullum of Reason.
Are Right to Work Laws the New Slavery?
Nothing concentrates the mind like a hanging, they say. And Indiana's labor unions regard the recently passed Right to Work law that bars them from collecting mandatory dues from workers as a condition of employment as nothing short of a hanging. Shikha Dalmia explains at Reason.
How the L.A. Riots Changed Nothing
It's worth remembering how universal was the belief that the root cause of the 1992 riots was economic, and that central planning would elevate the area by zoning out gun shops, convenience stores, fast food franchises, and "food deserts." Shikha Dalmia takes a look back at Reason.
Why Women Make Less Than Men
A Pew Research Center report tells us that young women have become more likely than young men to say that a high-paying career is very important to them. Are we really in the midst of what Pew calls a "gender reversal?" Kay Hymowitz explains at The Wall Street Journal.
State Budget Woes? Blame Medicaid
When states complain that ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion will cost too much, the health law's defenders often point out that the federal government will pick up much of the tab. And it's true that the law calls for the federal government to pay for 100 percent of the cost of the newly eligible initially, winding down to 90 percent by the end of the decade. If enacted, the law will also increase the overall percentage of Medicaid spending paid for at the federal level. Washington pays for a little more than half of all Medicaid spending right now; that figure would rise to as much as 63 percent after ObamaCare's coverage expansion kicks in. Peter Suderman explains at Reason.
Keep The First Amendment
The phrase "stunning development" is used far too often in our politics, but here is an item that can be described in no other way: Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats, frustrated by the fact that the Bill of Rights interferes with their desire to muzzle their political opponents, have proposed to repeal the First Amendment. Read the full story from National Review.
U.S. Falls Behind In Sheepskin Race
America is, once again, at risk. That's because the kids just won't buckle down to their studies, earn their degrees and set themselves to the task of driving the nation's GDP ever-higher with the sheer force of their state college Art History majors. At least, that's what David Wessell and Stephanie Banchero tell us over at the Wall Street Journal, and to prove the point, they've pulled together a bunch of data and examples that don't necessarily go together. J.D. Tuccille analyzes at Reason.
Banks Try To Seem Cool By Acting More Like Payday Lenders
Various and sundry anti-poverty activists are always looking for ways to get the "unbanked" to take their money out of their mattresses and put it in a gosh darned checking account like the rest of us. Well, congrats. Sort of. More from Reason.
Trickle-Down Taxation, Stupid Voters, & 17 Trillion Reasons to Repeal Obamacare
In his 1984 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Walter Mondale announced that if elected president he would raise taxes. He lost the Electoral College 525 to 13. Since then the two Democrats who won the presidency have promised that to pay for larger government they would only raise taxes on "the rich." Grover Norquist explains 'trickle-down taxation' at The Wall Street Journal.
California Spends $205,000 to Move $15 Shrub
Fast Times at the GSA
Mitt Romney says he likes to fire people. If elected, can the General Services Administration be his first target? Rich Lowry examines the latest national example of government waste at National Review.
Understanding 'Stand Your Ground'
The shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman has spurred national outrage over Florida's Stand Your Ground law. Unfortunately, the discussion of this law has been marred by misinformation. Robert Leider at The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the real meaning of the law. And Jacob Sullum at Reason analyzes whether or not the backlash against the law is justified.
Left-Wing Pressure Causes ALEC To Retreat
Watching left-wing groups gang up to falsely yell "racism" in a crowded political theater is an ugly thing to see. Too often there is a race for the exits by some people who should know better. That's what just happened with the liberal assault on the American Legislative Exchange Council, says John Fund at NRO.
Obama's "Green Jobs" Have Been Slow To Sprout
In targeting President Obama's campaign for green energy, Republicans have often employed the example provided by now-bankrupt Solyndra as the embodiment of wasteful spending. But new information regarding the broad impacts of the green energy stimulus suggests that the problems in the sector are much more far-reaching than a single company, says Reuters.
It's 1936 All Over Again
the ghost of a president past is indeed haunting the Obama White House-the ghost of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Daniel Henninger explains at The Wall Street Journal.
Conrad The Scrivener
Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. That means he's the Democratic point man for the absolutely essential work of not coming up with a budget. Rich Lowry at NRO takes a closer look. Yuval Levin also weighs in on the "The Conrad Fiasco."
Paul Ryan's Grand Compromise
Getting rid of tax preferences is sound policy. Tax deductions are regressive, because you have to have money to hide money. A Tax Policy Center study found that the top 0.1 percent of earners - those who make about $9.5 million and above annually - would lose 23 percent of their income if all tax deductions, credits, and exclusions were suddenly removed. Nash Keune explains at NRO.
Mixing Ignorance & Democracy
This is an election year, which means all of us will spend the next few months carefully following the campaigns, finding out all we can about the candidates' proposals and pondering what issues are most vital for the nation's future. Just kidding. Most of us wouldn't do that if you Tased us to within an inch of our lives. Steve Chapman talks about stupid voters at Reason.
Seventeen Trillion Reasons to Repeal Obamacare
Several brand-new reasons lately have emerged for repealing Obamacare. Like proper, government-designed straitjackets, they come in three sizes: hefty, huge, and humongous. Deroy Murdock expounds at NRO.
How Conservatives Can Erase the Gender Gap
Republicans are waging a "war on women," some Democrats say. But conservatives are not at war with women. Further, they can erase the gender gap with a set of policy proposals that empower individuals, expand choice and remove ridiculous government regulations, says John C. Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Will Fight Over Obamacare Live Even If the Law Dies?
An article in Politico suggests that if the Supreme Court overturns the law, "winding it down could be almost as contentious as building it up." Peter Suderman has more at Reason.
Revenue Soup, Bad Apples, Minimum Wage Mirage, & Unpunished Threats
Obama's Revenue Soup
In "Annie Hall," Woody Allen tells the joke of two women complaining about a restaurant. The first says the food here is awful and the second replies, yes, and they serve such small portions. Sounds like President Obama's proposal to raise the capital-gains tax: It will hurt the economy and it won't raise much new revenue. Read more from The Wall Street Journal.
Why It Matters That Obamacare's Coverage Will Cost $2 Trillion
The Boston Globe editorial board says we shouldn't be concerned about the cost of ObamaCare and points to a recent Congressional Budget Office memo to prove it. Peter Suderman has something to say about that at Reason.
The Obama Rule
Forget Warren Buffett, or whatever other political prop the White House wants to use for its tax agenda. This week the Administration officially endorsed what in essence is the Obama Rule: Taxes must be high simply to spread the wealth, never mind the impact on the economy or government revenue. The Wall Street Journal explains.
If you don't think it's fair for government employees to make substantially more money than people who do the same jobs in the private sector, a burgeoning public relations campaign is here to say you're wrong. Tim Cavanaugh explains at Reason. And three new studies show why he's right.
No, Obamacare Won't Reduce the Deficit
The short version: Despite repeated claims to the contrary, ObamaCare won't reduce the deficit over the next decade. Peter Suderman explains why at Reason.
Born This Way?
As a nation, we've made great strides overcoming our differences. North vs. South, Catholic vs. Protestant, black vs. white. These divisions once brought forth extraordinary animosity. Those differences have not disappeared, but the urgency and rancor has faded. Jonathan Haidt makes the case at Reason.
The New Black Panthers' Unpunished Threats
George Zimmerman is facing charges of second-degree murder. A jury will decide his guilt or innocence. Here's hoping the criminal-justice system cools rather than exacerbates the passions the killing of Trayvon Martin has raised. But Attorney General Eric Holder isn't helping. John Fund explains at National Review Online.
The Real Reason for the Tragedy of the Titanic
The disaster is often seen as a tale of hubris, social stratification and capitalist excess. The truth is considerably more sobering, says Chris Berg at The Wall Street Journal.
No Obamacare Exchanges
The most important front right now is to ensure that states do not create the health-insurance exchanges Obamacare needs in order to operate. Refusing to create exchanges is the most powerful thing states can do to take Obamacare down. Think of it as an insurance policy in case the Supreme Court whiffs. Michael F. Cannon expounds at National Review Online.
What Happens to the GSA in Vegas Doesn't Stay in Vegas
Official Washington's rapid response to the General Services Administration's billionaire-bachelor-party level of profligacy is welcome, as it goes. However, GSA's much-maligned, $822,751 team-building extravaganza in Sin City is like a whispered prayer compared to daily life in Washington. Alas, when it comes to partying 'til the money runs out, what happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas. Deroy Murdock explains at National Review Online.
The Minimum Wage Mirage
It would be nice if every worker were worth $9.80 an hour. But not all workers are. Steve Chapman makes the case at Reason.
Stop Cyberbullying Your Masters!
As further evidence that "cyberbullying" (with cyber-stalking close behind) has become the "disorderly conduct" of the online world-an all-purpose legal bludgeon with which to thump people in the kidneys when the authorities don't like what they're doing but can't find a real crime about which to complain-three San Francisco high school seniors were suspended for saying mean things about their teachers in Tumblr posts .J.D. Tuccille examines at Reason.
President of the Twilight Zone
Deconstructing one of President Obama's speeches can be a bit like taking a trip to an alternate universe. Take his remarks last week to the Associated Press, contrasting his budget vision with that of Paul Ryan and Republicans. All that was missing was a Rod Serling voice-over announcing, "You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination." Michael Tanner explains at National Review Online.
The Cure for Humanity's Natural State of Abject Poverty
Humanity's natural state is abject poverty. So how did some portion of the human race manage to escape this natural state? A remarkably insightful new book has some answers. Ronald Bailey opines at Reason.
Political Word Games, Diversitycrats, & Losers Write History
The Arkansas Project
Did the Little Rock police overplay their hand in arresting ArkansasSurgeon General Joe Thompson? It seemed so, and now AAI President Dan Greenberg has obtained the audio record of Thompson's arrest.Hear the audio for yourself at The Arkansas Project.
Political Word Games
One of the highly developed talents of President Barack Obama is the ability to say things that are demonstrably false, and make them sound not only plausible but inspiring. Thomas Sowell explains at National Review.
Tax Freedom Day Arrives on April 17th
Tax Freedom Day is a vivid, calendar-based illustration of government's cost, and it gives Americans an easy way to gauge the overall tax burden. When the nation has finally earned enough to pay all the taxes that will be due for that year, Tax Freedom Day has arrived, says William McBride, an economist at the Tax Foundation.
Government Partying Shows the Real Sin is in DC, Not Vegas
A funny thing about collective shame -- we are happy to administer it on CEOs who get their arms twisted by the feds, yet we shy away from applying it to one of the only truly collective entities we have: taxpayer-funded government. Matt Welch from Reason has more.
Health Reform in the Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court has concluded oral arguments on the legal challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and will spend several months establishing majority positions and writing concurring and dissenting opinions. The allocation of time for oral arguments is instructive in understanding the interplay of issues at hand, say Mario Loyola, Josiah Neeley and Spencer Harris of theTexas Public Policy Foundation.
Evaluating a Film Tax Incentive Program
Speaking before the Finance Committee of the Alaska House of Representatives, Joseph Henchman, vice president of legal and state projects for the Tax Foundation, argued against the state legislature's bill to extend the state's tax credit for film production companies through 2023. He states the credits, worth up to $200 million over the period, do little to benefit state residents and are not cost effective.
Investing in Diversitycrats
Americans have been investing more and more in education over the years, led by presidents Democratic and Republican. But it's become glaringly clear that we're getting a pretty lousy return on these investments. Michael Barone at National Review has more.
Why Do So Many Americans Drop Out of College?
The phrase "dropout factory" is ordinarily applied to America's failing high schools -- the ones where students are expected to fall through the cracks, where those who make it past graduation and on to college are considered the exceptions, the lucky survivors. But by that definition, another level of U.S. education counts as a "dropout factory" -- our entire higher education system, say The Atlantic.
What to Do on the Day After Obamacare
Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the administration's health law, aka ObamaCare. Opponents are giddy with the possibility that the law might be struck down. But what then? John Cochrane has some ideas at The Wall Street Journal.
"You're Not Stabilizing the Market. You're Creating More Chaos."
It's only taken six years to learn, but the lesson may finally be sinking in: Public policy designed to keep bad borrowers in homes they don't want to pay for has been a disaster. Tim Cavanaugh has more at Reason.
When Losers Write History
It's the losers, not the winners, who are writing the early historical drafts of this transformational media moment, while those actually making that history are treating their legacy interpreters not with kindness but contempt. So much misunderstanding and breathtakingly wrong-headed analysis tumbles forth from this one paradox. Matt Welch has more at Reason.
Forget About Income Inequality
According to David Grusky, professor of sociology at Stanford University, the central problem confronting America is income inequality. He argues that the root cause of this malady lies in how rich people acquire their pre-tax income -- by rigging the rules of the market to extract illicit "rents." According to him, the economic system, not the tax system, is unfair, says Shikha Dalmia, a Reason Foundation senior analyst.
The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin
The absurdity of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton is that they want to make a movement out of an anomaly. Black teenagers today are afraid of other black teenagers, not whites. Shelby Steele explains at The Wall Street Journal.
Argument from Disparity
However little evidence or logic there may be behind the belief that an absence of random distribution shows discrimination, there are nevertheless strong incentives for some people to cling to that belief anyway. Those who lag behind - whether educationally, economically, or otherwise - have every incentive to think of themselves as victims of those who are more successful. Thomas Sowell opines at National Review.
Eeyores, Red Herrings, & The Liberal Legal Bubble
The Arkansas Project
David Kinkade proposes a toast to liberalizing liquor laws. And did you know that Arkansas has a much later Tax Freedom day than most states? Just be glad you don't live in New York or New Jersey, where folks are working for the tax man till nearly May. Read more from The Arkansas Project.
Reducing Federal Aid Key to College Affordability
As the federal government seeks to address the skyrocketing tuition rates of postsecondary institutions, one consideration has been to expand bankruptcy eligibility so that students can escape crushing loan debt. However, as Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, explains, a better solution would be for the federal government to lower aid levels.
Obamacare & the Liberal Legal Bubble
How could members of the Supreme Court possibly seriously consider the argument that ObamaCare's individual mandate to purchase health insurance is unprecedented and unconstitutional? The quality of the arguments? The presence of a genuine legal debate? No, if you ask the law's liberal cheerleaders, there can only be one answer: pure partisan politics. Peter Suderman explains at Reason.
The Highest Taxes in the World
As of yesterday, the U.S. corporate tax rate of 39.2 percent claimed the world's top spot, edging out Japan which recently lowered its rate from 39.5 percent to 36.8 percent. (The U.S. rate includes the 35 percent federal rate plus the average rate the states add on.) That's well above the 25 percent average of other developed nations. Heritage's Curtis Dubay explains the impact on companies based in the United States.
Government Spending & Private Activity
A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research asks whether increases in government spending stimulate private activity. More from the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Why Income Inequality is a Red Herring
America has done a remarkable job of closing the only gap that matters: the personal well-being gap. The difference between the basic goods available to average Americans and mega-rich folks such as Bill Gates has steadily decreased, writes Shikha Dalmia at Reason.
Ten Things We've Learned from the Trayvon Martin Tragedy
Victor David Hanson provides some insight into this tragic event at National Review.
The GOP's Healthcare Eeyores
Conservatives are meant to be optimists, yet by the mutterings attending this week's Supreme Court drama, more than a few have been eating thistles with one depressive, gray donkey. To listen to this troop, the worst thing that might happen in this election season is for the court to . . . wait for it...kill ObamaCare. Kimberly Strassel expounds at The Wall Street Journal.
Some Questions on Obamacare's Compassion for Bleeding-Heart Liberals
Slate's Dahlia Lithwick, usually a solid advocate of civil liberties against government intrusions, can't for the life of her understand what all the fuss about the loss of economic liberties due to ObamaCare is all about. Shikha Dalmia has some questions at Reason.
Sally Pipes on the Future of Health-Care Reform in America
Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review sat down with Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, to discuss the future of health-care in America.
The Power of Capitalism to Eliminate Poverty
Most people paid no attention in 2000 when the United Nations proclaimed the goal of halving the number of earth's inhabitants living in extreme poverty by 2015, compared to 1990. But way ahead of schedule, writes Steve Chapman at Reason, the target has already been hit. We have capitalism to thank for that.
The Travyon Martin Tragedies
The shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida has sparked national outrage, with civil rights leaders from San Francisco to Baltimore leading protests calling for a new investigation and the arrest of the shooter. But what about all the other young black murder victims? Juan Williams asks tough questions at The Wall Street Journal.
It's Not About Stand Your Ground
President Obama, Jesse Jackson, and others have chosen to personalize the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., highlighting the racial issues by expressing concern for people who look like they do or live where "blacks are under attack." Many conservatives and liberals have also already concluded that the shooter committed a crime. All of these reactions are premature. John R. Lott Jr. explains at National Review Online.