Study: Sales Tax Exemptions Spur Tax Hikes

State and local governments often turn to increases in sales taxes to generate added revenue....

Oklahoma Lawsuit Muddles Tax Hikes, Tax Cuts

In July, the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that threatens both the state’s...

Calling for a Different Approach to Tobacco and Nicotine Regulation

Cigarette smoking is the most harmful form of tobacco use. Alternatives to smoking that supply...

EPA Forced to Retreat on Radiation Limits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is raising by a factor of 350 what it considers to be the...

The New York Times Has Zero Idea How the Internet Works - Or Is Lying Its Masthead Off

It takes a special man to cram so much wrong into a mere 342 words.  Or an Old Grey Lady. The...

EPA Pesticide Bans Threaten You and the Economy

When Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring”, was published, filled with totally false claims about...
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Education

A Common-Sense Approach to Common Core, Part II: Third-Grade Fractions

This article is the second in a series that provides alternate and common-sense interpretations of the Common Core math standards. In the first article,  I said Common Core (CC) lends itself to interpretations along reform math ideology, an ineffective method of teaching math that focuses on long, drawn-out ways to solve problems. In the wake of that first article, I have been asked, “How so...

Environment

Oklahoma Lawsuit Muddles Tax Hikes, Tax Cuts

In July, the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that threatens both the state’s economy, and its constitutional protection for taxpayers. In 1992, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 640 to add a taxpayer-protection provision to the State Constitution. The constitutional amendment was a direct response from citizens following tax and spending increases enacted prior to SQ 640’s...

EPA Forced to Retreat on Radiation Limits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is raising by a factor of 350 what it considers to be the threshold for safe radiation exposure, Jon Utley reported at Reason.com. The higher threshold belatedly rectifies overly restrictive standards that have cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars, Utley reported. Tsunami, Not Reactor, Was DeadlyUtley documented how the Fukushima, Japan...

Urban Heat Islands Hot and Getting Hotter

Climate Change Weekly #136 A new report by Climate Central, an online climate science and news organization, analyzing data from the 60 biggest cities in the United States found the urban heat island effect is big and getting bigger. Most cities have seen dramatic growth over the past century. Eighty percent of Americans now live in cities. Unfortunately, this growth has exacerbated the urban...

Finance & Insurance

Don’t Assume the ‘Unseen’ Does not Exist

The use of the ceteris paribus, or “other things equal” assumption is an essential aspect of economic education. It is an important caveat that helps make sense of a complicated world by clarifying the incentive stories that comprise the core of economics.  Unfortunately, the often unthinking acceptance of that phrase has also provided an opening for misrepresenting economic reality in...

Opponents Hope to Loosen Grip of Government’s ‘Choke Point’ Program

Two federal agencies have backed off – slightly – from a program that critics say has been intimidating banks into canceling services for legitimate, law-abiding businesses, making it difficult if not impossible for them to operate. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and US Department of Justice launched “Operation Choke Point” with no warning or public discussion in March 2013. They...

How Wall Street Tobacco Deals Left States With Billions in Toxic Debt

[Editor’s note: “Politicians wanted upfront cash from a legal victory over Big Tobacco, and bankers happily obliged. The price? A handful of states promised to repay $64 billion on just $3 billion advanced.” So reads the teaser headline on this report from the independent, non-profit ProPublica news organization. The beginning of the article follows, with a link to the full story.] By Cezary...

Health

Medicaid’s Financing Merry-Go-Round

Medicaid, which provides health-related welfare benefits to low-income individuals, is jointly financed by the federal and state governments. Before Obamacare, the split was 50/50 for rich states, but low-income states got more dollars. This mechanism is called the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP). So, if California spent $50 on Medicaid, the federal taxpayer would chip in $50....

Obamacare and the Aims of Progressivism

Consumer Power Report #433 Greg Scandlen notes the provision of health care, historically, has been an arena populated in America by a host of civil society institutions. These institutions were purposefully displaced by government over the course of the past century: These associations were formed by working class men and women from all ethnic groups. In some cases they owned and operated their...

A New Plan to Replace Obamacare

Consumer Power Report #432 Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute has been one of Obamacare’s most prominent critics over the past several years. On Wednesday he released his new plan – The Universal Exchange Plan – to replace Obamacare. He has been advocating for this plan in general terms for some time, and it could prove to represent the most realistic path for future reform if the politics of...

Taxes

Study: Sales Tax Exemptions Spur Tax Hikes

State and local governments often turn to increases in sales taxes to generate added revenue. Estimates of fresh revenue from the higher tax tend to be overly optimistic, partly because the number of sales tax exemptions tends to rise with the rising tax rate. Given the fact that politicians seek to raise a certain amount of revenue, and wish to maximize their chance of re-election, this...

'Blue States' Join 'Red States' On Tax Reform

Though conservative “red” states have more competitive tax systems and regulatory systems, legislators in many liberal “blue” states are beginning to respond with good reforms of their own, according to the latest release of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Rich States, Poor States report. In all, 17 states enacted important tax reforms in 2013, making it “a standout year for tax...

Oklahoma Lawsuit Muddles Tax Hikes, Tax Cuts

In July, the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that threatens both the state’s economy, and its constitutional protection for taxpayers. In 1992, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 640 to add a taxpayer-protection provision to the State Constitution. The constitutional amendment was a direct response from citizens following tax and spending increases enacted prior to SQ 640’s...

Tech

The New York Times Has Zero Idea How the Internet Works - Or Is Lying Its Masthead Off

It takes a special man to cram so much wrong into a mere 342 words.  Or an Old Grey Lady. The New York Times’ utterly ridiculous Editorial Board recently as one addressed Title II Internet regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality - and they did so in utterly ridiculous fashion.  They either have absolutely no idea what any of this is - or they are lying through their printing...

Debunking Consumerist Bogus Claim Mobile Data Does Not Compete with Cable

Pro-regulation interests often resort to highly misleading arguments to advance their cause. Fortunately that kind of deception ultimately exposes the weakness of their underlying argument and public policy position. To promote Netflix’ “strong” version of net neutrality regulation and to oppose the Comcast-TWC acquisition, Consumerist just framed a very deceptive whopper competition...