Bill Would End EPA Use of “Secret Science”

The House Science Committee under Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) passed H. R. 4012, “The Secret...

Obamacare Enrollment Overstated by 400,000

In yet another embarrassment for President Obama and his signature domestic legislation, the...

Rural Nebraskans hit with Big Obamacare Rate Hikes

LINCOLN, Neb. – Allan Douglas has been selling insurance since the 1980s, and as the owner of an...

Dear Northeast, How’s That Solar Working Out For Ya?

A couple of months ago, effective in November, National Grid, one of Massachusetts’ two...

Medicaid Expansion Damages Corbett Reelection Bid

In the Republican wave election that swept the nation in November, Pennsylvania Republicans...

Colorado’s Renewable Energy Mandate Constitutionality Challenged

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute is challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s...
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Education

A Better Reason to Ditch E-rate Subsidies

School Choice Weekly #64 It seems even Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission can’t think of good reasons why the agency shouldn’t hike everyone’s phone taxes to expand a wasteful federal program that lines the pockets of business cronies in the name of getting poor kids broadband access and laptops at school. The E-Rate program tax hike, which the commissioners can impose with no...

Environment

Bill Would End EPA Use of “Secret Science”

The House Science Committee under Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) passed H. R. 4012, “The Secret Science Reform Act,” out of committee in June. Further action on the bill, including a possible floor vote, may take place when Republicans take control of the Senate in January. The bill would “prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or...

Storm Brewing Over New EPA Ozone Standard

With Republican majorities both Houses, the incoming Congress is likely to be unreceptive to the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda and could pose resistance to the Environmental Protection Agency’s highly controversial proposal to lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone. The EPA’s new ozone standard, widely reported to be between 60-70 parts per billion (ppb), was sent to...

States Reject GMO Scares

Voters in two states, Colorado and Oregon, defeated GMO labeling at the ballot box in the November elections. This is the third year in a row activists who want labels identifying genetically modified foods have lost state initiatives and referenda. Voters rejected Colorado’s Proposition 105 with 67 percent of the vote. Measure 92 in Oregon was a much closer race, with 49 percent of the vote in...

Finance & Insurance

Gordon Tullock, R.I.P.

Gordon Tullock, one of the truly great economists of the 20th century, passed away on Monday. He was 92. Tullock is best known for the role he played in founding the “public choice” school of economics, which subjects political decisions and programs to rigorous economic analysis, and for promoting the idea of “rent seeking,” whereby the origins of many regulations are tracked back to the self-...

Toxic “Consumer-Friendly” Insurance Laws More Bane than Boon to Homeowners

Reflexively responding to the 2008 financial crisis, many government regulators moved to reduce the burden of toxic assets in the financial market, after widespread speculation instigated a credit crunch and contributed to the economic slowdown. Yet, despite the consensus that it was these firms’ inability to shed these assets which instigated their failure, many state governments continue to use...

Private Companies Mimic Government’s ‘Choke Point’ Program

Earlier this year, an innovative new credit-card processing service company quietly changed its terms of service to exclude legitimate firearms transactions, seemingly falling into compliance with federal law-enforcement agencies’ crackdown on certain “high-risk” — but legal — industries. Square, the card reading mobile app which allows payment processing for merchants through their cell phones...

Health

Rural Nebraskans hit with Big Obamacare Rate Hikes

LINCOLN, Neb. – Allan Douglas has been selling insurance since the 1980s, and as the owner of an independent insurance agency in Omaha he had a front row view of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Douglas not only helps clients navigate the health care law, commonly called Obamacare, he also had to navigate it himself since he buys his own insurance. As enrollment began in mid-November for...

Obamacare Enrollment Overstated by 400,000

In yet another embarrassment for President Obama and his signature domestic legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services was forced lower the number of Americans enrolled in health plans through the federally-run exchange in 2014. After the latest reduction, approximately 6.7 million Americans remained enrolled as of October 15 through the exchanges established under the Affordable...

Jonathan Gruber and the Truth About Obamacare

Consumer Power Report #446 Jonathan Gruber has been called to testify on Capitol Hill before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in December, a hearing that will almost certainly turn into an airing of grievances over Obamacare and his statements about voter stupidity. As John Davidson of the Texas Public Policy Foundation notes, Gruber’s lies have been very revealing when it...

Taxes

Government Green Appliance Subsidy Half-Baked, Says Study

Academic research examining the outcomes of a green subsidy program contained within the larger American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has found that the program largely failed to achieve its stated goals. The State Energy-Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP)—commonly referred to as “Cash for Appliances” (C4A)—was a green subsidy program baked into the federal government’s “...

Study Says States Skimping on Pension Funding

Despite requirements to fully account for and balance spending and revenue, state governments are carrying a massive amount of unfunded liabilities on their accounting sheets—endangering the finances of future taxpayers and retiring public-sector employees alike. New research conducted by State Budget Solutions (SBS)—a non-partisan public policy organization focusing on local and state budget...

CPSC Offers Bad Tidings of Holiday Season Regulations

Federal consumer safety regulators may make the holiday season less festive for homeowners this year, as a wave of new product safety rules take effect. Taking effect in December, rules issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will ban the sale of some types of decorative holiday lights, in hopes of reducing holidays lights' lethality. The new regulations, proposed in October, aim...

Tech

The Government Assaults 'Big Dogs' - To Advantage the Biggest Dog of Them All

One of the largest myths going is that government helps the Little Guy. On it’s face this is patently absurd.  More government – taxes and/or regulations – raises the costs of everything for everyone.  The Big Guys are far better equipped to absorb the punishment – while the Little Guys are pummeled into un-existence. Then there’s the Crony Socialism – it’s not Crony Capitalism,...

Thinking the Unthinkable - Part IV

I was gratified by the excellent attendance at the Free State Foundation’s program last Friday titled, “Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the ‘Utility Model’ on Internet Providers.” If you weren’t there, you missed what was a very important event – one that, in light of the substantive discussions that occurred, likely will play an important role going forward in the debate over the...