Congress Adds New National Parks to System in Decline

Despite an $11.5 billion maintenance backlog marring visitor experiences at national parks and...

City of Chicago Hits Taxpayers with New ‘Netflix Tax’

The City of Chicago is expanding an existing excise tax on movie and theater tickets to include...

FAA Warning Raises More Questions About Boeing Batteries

It appears – two years after Boeing had fire incidents from installed lithium ion batteries that...

The Donald Trump Rule: ‘Flip-Flopping’ to the Right Position Can Be a Very Good Thing

We hear the charge leveled all the time: “Flip-flopper.” When someone fundamentally changes their...

Chris Farley Government: Remember When It Was Congress That Made Law? That Was Awesome

Remember that recurring Saturday Night Live skit where the late Chris Farley was the...

Freedom to Move: Personal Freedom or Government Control, Part II

There are many economic fallacies that surround the issue of freer or open immigration into the...
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Education

Study: Common Core Violates Federal Law

A new research paper by the Pioneer Institute, a free-market think tank based in Massachusetts, says Common Core standards along with two testing consortia responsible for administering tests aligned with the standards are in violation of federal laws. The Pioneer Institute cites the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the General Education Provisions Act of 1970, and the...

Environment

Congress Adds New National Parks to System in Decline

Despite an $11.5 billion maintenance backlog marring visitor experiences at national parks and leaving important maintenance projects unaddressed, the federal government continues to add new properties to the park system.             The parks are managed by the National Park Service (NPS), a division of the Department of the Interior....

Supreme Court Blocks EPA’s Mercury Emissions Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has set aside a far-reaching set of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations targeting mercury, arsenic, and acid gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.             SCOTUS’ June 26 decision was a rare judicial setback for the Obama administration’s policies targeting carbon dioxide emissions....

States Sue Over WOTUS

States Sue Over WOTUS By Bonner R. Cohen  The Obama administration’s plan to expand the definition of wetlands in order to increase the number of waterways protected by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) edicts is running into multiple roadblocks.             Twenty-nine states are suing EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in...

Finance & Insurance

New Jersey Lawmakers Propose Tax Breaks for Bitcoin Exchanges

New Jersey State Assemblymen Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) and Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen), are proposing a bill creating a regulatory framework for digital currency exchange companies and offering tax breaks to exchange companies created in or relocating to the state. Andrea Castillo, the Technology Policy Program Manager at the Mercatus Center, says the bill will benefit New Jersey’s residents, and the...

Wyoming Banking Regs Squeeze Bitcoin Exchange Company

Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet and exchange service company with operations serving more than 2.5 million users in 190 countries, has announced the suspension of all operations in Wyoming as a result of state financial regulators’ interpretation of the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act. As state regulators currently interpret the law, exchanging Wyomingites’ fiat currency for bitcoins or depositing...

Department of Education Presses for New Authority Over Banks

The U.S. Department of Education is proposing a new rule granting itself new power over how banks can work with colleges to assist with loan disbursements to students. Under the proposed rule, banks would be prohibited from assisting colleges with financial aid disbursements into student accounts if the financial institution charges overdraft penalties or other common fees. Some schools currently...

Health

Legislative Pulse: Oregon

Editor’s Note: Rep. Julie Parrish is a member of the Oregon House of Representatives (R-Tualatin) who serves on the Human Services and Housing, Veterans, Emergency Preparedness, and Natural Resources Committees. Managing Editor Kenneth Artz discusses with Rep. Parrish the Obamacare “Cadillac tax” and the state’s budget problems. Artz: What is the “Cadillac tax,” and how would it affect public...

Analysts, Activists Hone Strategies in Wake of Court’s Obamacare Decision

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in King v. Burwell in favor of the Obama administration’s move to make federal tax subsidies available to all Americans, regardless of whether health insurance was purchased in a state-established or federal health insurance exchange. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) June ruling in Burwell, analysts, activists, and lawmakers on both sides...

Medicaid, Medicare Threaten New Mexico’s Budget

High health care costs in government programs and other expenses have New Mexico on its way to becoming the Greece of the United States. One out of every 2.5 New Mexico residents is on Medicaid, compared to the national average of one out of every 4.5 Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New Mexico, similar to Greece, is becoming a textbook example of what happens when politicians hand...

Taxes

City of Chicago Hits Taxpayers with New ‘Netflix Tax’

The City of Chicago is expanding an existing excise tax on movie and theater tickets to include streaming online video and music services, such as Netflix and Spotify, in order to generate additional revenue. Steven Titch, a telecommunications policy analyst with the R Street Institute, says Chicago’s expansion of the tax is arbitrary and “an incredible overreach.” Undefined Terms “Chicago made...

GAO: Federal Tech Spending is Inefficient, Wasteful

The federal government’s annual expenditure of more than $80 billion for information technology incurs rampant waste and inefficiency, according to a June report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Despite widespread inefficiencies in tech spending, President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget, released in February, calls for a $2.3 billion increase in spending on hardware and software, up to...

Rebuilding America’s Greatness by Challenging Federal Overreach

Review of By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, Charles Murray, Crown Forum, 2015, 336 pages; ISBN-13: 978-0385346511: $17.18 on Amazon.com. American freedom is being threatened.  Whether we are trying to run a business, practice a vocation, or just raise our families, we continually run afoul of the government, not because we are doing anything wrong but because the...

Tech

Why Entitle-ify Special Access If There’s No FCC Utility Rate Regulation?

We will learn quickly and unequivocally at the FCC’s August 6th meeting, if the FCC is true to its word -- that there will be no “utility-style rate regulation” of broadband. While the FCC’s Open Internet Order fact sheet stated: “the Order makes clear that broadband providers shall not be subject to tariffs or other form of rate approval, unbundling, or other forms of utility...

FCC’s Title II Trifecta Gamble

The FCC could not have gambled more riskily in how it implemented net neutrality. It simultaneously snubbed all three branches of the U.S. Government with its Title II utility regulation approach. If this were a horse race bet, the FCC’s Title II gamble would be like someone betting their mortgage on a trifecta bet where the bettor only wins by guessing exactly which horses come in first,...