A Recovery Stymied by Redistribution

Public policy intended to make layoffs less painful actually made layoffs cheaper and more common.

unemploymentby Casey B. Mulligan

Why has the labor market contracted so much and why does it remain depressed? Major subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor and unemployed were changed in more than a dozen ways—and although these policies were advertised as employment-expanding, the fact is that they reduced incentives for people to work and for businesses to hire. [Read more…]

“Not even smidgen of corruption…” Really?

Obama Smirk

by George Landrith

On Super Bowl Sunday, President Obama was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly. In that interview, he claimed that there was zero evidence of any scandal or corruption in the IRS scandal. “Not a smidgen,” were his exact words. But the facts do not support the President’s assertion. In fact, while there is much more to be learned because the DOJ’s investigation hasn’t even interviewed the known targeting victims yet, what we do know is damning indeed. A top IRS official has pleaded the Fifth in response to very simple questions. If the IRS targeting was the result of some honest confusion at the IRS, why plead the Fifth? Plus, most everything the White House has asserted about this scandal has already proven to be false. Remember how the White House said it was just a couple low-level rogue employees in Cincinnati?  We now know that there isn’t a smidgen of truth in that assertion. [Read more…]

Obama Using the IRS to Quash Dissent

obama-irs

by George Landrith

When the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight grills the Internal Revenue Service’s John Koskinen next week about his scandal-plagued agency, it would do well to ask him to defend its proposed guidelines for the operation of “social welfare groups.” If finalized as written, these guidelines would effectively “gag” many organizations that engage in the nation’s policy discussions.

The IRS now claims that the targeting of conservatives was the result of ambiguous rules rather than a deliberate strategy to silence conservative groups that might oppose the Obama Administration’s policy objectives. While the IRS has been stonewalling Congress on the targeting scandal, it has been secretly preparing these new rules to expand its power and legalize its past abuses. [Read more…]

Obama: If you like your privacy, you can keep it

Obama Privacy NSA

by George Landrith

President Barack Obama had too little to say about the needed reforms at the National Security Agency in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. His previous comments on the subject have captured the natural and necessary tension between one’s right to be left alone by the government and the government’s responsibility to catch criminals and prevent terrorist attacks.

At other times, however, Obama has telegraphed that he has no real interest in reform. In his recent speech devoted to the subject, the president suggested no one should be overly concerned because “the folks at NSA and other intelligence agencies are our neighbors. They’re our friends and family.”

This sounds good but is in fact a Pollyannaish view: Those who act on behalf of the government are our neighbors, friends, and family, but America is a nation of laws. [Read more…]

Congress was Right to Ring in the New Year by Ending Wind Subsidies

wind-turbine-money

George Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom, commended Congress for allowing the decades-old practice of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the wind industry to expire with the New Year.

Landrith remarked:

“2013’s end marked the expiration of the investment and production tax credits for the wind industry. As we ring in the New Year, Congress took advantage of this opportunity and permanently ended these wasteful tax credits. These subsidies did nothing but hide the true costs of these projects, subsidized corporate rent seekers, and dramatically increased the cost of electricity for taxpayers.” [Read more…]

Intellectual Property Rights and Regulation of Technology

Intellectual Property - Brain

by George Landrith

One of the most important parts of the Constitution is one of the least recognized. While American’s appreciate the importance of free speech and free elections, few realize that America may well have become the world’s unmatched economic superpower because the Founders wisely authorized Congress to protect intellectual property rights. This, in turn, provided the incentive to innovate and create.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries….” With this under-appreciated constitutional provision, the Founders made the U.S. the engine of innovation that drove technological, economic, and medical advances for the entire world.  [Read more…]

How the Shutdown can inform the debt ceiling debate

Debt Deficit

by George Landrith & Iain Murray

It’s all-shutdown-all-the-time in Washington these days. But all that talk has obscured the far bigger challenge facing the nation next week, when the government runs out of room to borrow more money to cover its expenses as it hits the congressionally imposed “debt ceiling.” It would be a disaster for the global economy to see America default on its debts. While it is true America can continue to pay the obligations on its debt and most of its other outlays each month with the tax dollars that are collected, that is only a stop-gap solution.  As a nation we must find a sustainable long-term solution to run away debt and eventual insolvency. [Read more…]

Doubling Down on Absurdity

Obama Biting Lip

by George Landrith

While British Prime Minister David Cameron was in town this earlier this week, President Barack Obama held a press conference and was asked about several growing scandals including the Benghazi coverup. At issue were the CIA talking points that Administration officials radically changed – removing all references to warnings before the attack, terrorism, al-Qaeda, and the planned and coordinated nature of the attack. Obama claimed it was all a politically motivated “sideshow.” [Read more…]