FDA Going ‘Full Speed Ahead’ on E-Cig Regulations

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff announced the...

States’ Growing Autonomy Frees Up Federal Highway Funding

With no political consensus on how to fund a $90 billion shortfall in the U.S. Highway Trust Fund,...

Minnesota House Passes Death Tax Reform

The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved an omnibus tax bill cutting government revenue...

Leo Catholic High School Students Provide Evidence Favoring School Choice

A great example in Chicago of how school choice works, and works well, is Leo Catholic High...

Merchants of Doubt: A Climate Change Dud

Financially speaking, Merchants of Doubt, which purports to debunk global warming...

Radical Eco-Activists Hijacking the Pope’s Message on the Environment?

Radical activists are hijacking the forthcoming papal encyclical on the environment and the planned...
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Education

Nevada Senate Approves ESA Program

Nevada is a step closer to enacting the first universal education savings account program in the nation. On May 27, the state Senate passed a bill to create universal education savings accounts (ESAs) for students to attend private schools, according to a report in the Reno Gazette-Journal. Senate Bill 302 would grant low-income and special needs students 100 percent of their state per-pupil...

Environment

States Backing Away from Renewable Power Mandates

Marita Noon, executive director of Energy Makes America Great Inc., reports 2015 may go down in the books as the year support for renewable energy died. State and Federal legislators are adjusting their policies with regard to both electricity generation or transportation fuels. Wind in Oklahoma In the American Spectator (April 30), Noon notes the public, previously favorable towards renewable...

EPA Misstates the Costs, Benefits of Its Mercury Rule

The EPA claims new mercury and air toxic standards (MATS) will result in $24 to $80 billion in net health benefits per year. Others disagree with this assessment, arguing, the EPA dramatically overstates the benefits of the new rule while understating its direct and indirect costs.  SCOTUS Challenge The Supreme Court of the United States is being reviewing the EPA’s mercury rule to...

Papal Climate Conference, Statement Ignore Evidence

Pope Francis hosted a one-day conference, “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development,” as a prelude to his promised encyclical on climate change. Many representatives from the United Nations, particularly from its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), were invited to attend the April 28 event to help formulate and inform...

Finance & Insurance

Auto Insurance Reforms a Good Start

With Senate Bill 248 the Michigan Legislature is attempting to address a number of problems with the auto insurance market in the state. Michigan’s no-fault system creates misaligned incentives, resulting in auto insurance rates that are among the highest in the nation. There is also a larger question of why we treat severe injuries from car accidents differently than we treat the similar...

Study: ‘Sharing Economy’ Revolution Empowers Customers

Businesses such as Airbnb and Uber, which directly connect consumers and service providers without the need for middlemen, are empowering consumers and creating a self-regulating economy, a recent study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has found. By allowing “underutilized assets or ‘dead capital’ to be put to more productive use,” the authors explain, the sharing economy...

A Well-Written Overview of Governments’ Economic Misdeeds

The Impending Monetary Revolution, the Dollar and Gold, Second Edition By Edmund Contoski; American Liberty Publishers, November 2014 281 pages, ISBN-13 978-0-9655007-1-5 $28.95 on publisher’s website, http://www.amlibpub.com/order.html The first edition of Edmund Contoski’s book The Impending Monetary Revolution, the Dollar and Gold was excellent, and it makes an outstanding textbook for a...

Health

GMOs Are Good, Scientist Says

Amanda Maxham, Ph.D., Ayn Rand Institute’s resident expert on science and the environment, says genetically modified foods (GMO) are beneficial, strongly contradicting a growing contingent of activists pressing for governments and businesses to limit or ban their use. In May, Maxham praised GMOs in a lecture she delivered in Chicago titled “Why GMOs Are Good.” The event was sponsored by the...

People Aren’t Getting More Care or Better Care Under Obamacare

Some 14 million people are newly insured because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and millions of others have more generous insurance with promising new benefits. So you might think doctors’ offices would be flooded with a host of new patients seeking more care than they had before. It’s not happening. To exclude the effects of the 2008 financial crisis, the recession, and the slow recovery,...

States Can’t Be Sued Over Low Medicaid Rates, Supreme Court Rules

In a victory for states trying to hold down Medicaid costs, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled providers cannot sue over low reimbursement rates. The case, Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, was brought by a group of Idaho providers of certain Medicaid services who sued Idaho state officials, arguing that their payments from the state were too low under the governing statute. Federal law...

Taxes

FDA Going ‘Full Speed Ahead’ on E-Cig Regulations

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff announced the agency’s intention to proceed “full steam ahead” on regulations intended to reduce e-cigarette use. Ostroff says FDA intends to enact a “deeming rule” expanding the agency’s regulation of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, which do not contain tobacco.  California Polytechnic State University...

Minnesota House Passes Death Tax Reform

The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved an omnibus tax bill cutting government revenue by $2 billion. In addition to revenue cuts and tax breaks, the bill proposes gradually raising the minimum threshold of wealth subject to the state’s estate tax, phased in over a three-year period. By 2018, the estate tax will apply only to estates larger than $5 million. Under current Minnesota law...

States’ Growing Autonomy Frees Up Federal Highway Funding

With no political consensus on how to fund a $90 billion shortfall in the U.S. Highway Trust Fund, attention has focused to shifting a larger share of transportation funding to the state and local levels. That approach has been gaining attention not just among fiscal conservatives and congressional Republicans but also with groups such as Transportation for America, the Brookings Institution, and...

Tech

Rather Than Make a Bad Bill Look More Like a Good Bill – Just Pass the Good Bill

Some in government are yet again using a tiny private sector problem to allegedly justify a massive government private sector invasion. Proposed is a huge government hammer. To obliterate – a gnat. The gnat in question is the “patent troll” – a term the Theft Coalition loves (and likely coined). Theft Coalition? These are people who steal intellectual property – and are now looking to have...

Why Court Very Likely Will Stay FCC’s Title II Reclassification

Based on the latest best arguments this week from both the FCC and broadband petitioners, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is very likely to partially stay the FCC Open Internet Order’s reclassification of broadband as a Title II service and imposition of a new Internet conduct standard -- in the coming weeks. That’s because a close comparison of the broadband industry’s...