Swiss bank settlement, Hurricanes, Healthcare debate continues


In an unprecedented move, the Swiss bank UBS agrees to turn over  to the IRS the names of 4,450 U.S. account holders.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau makes a statement on the compromise:

“While the Obama administration may paint this as a victory, this number is less than 10 percent of the 52,000 names it had originally asked for.  It is even lower than the estimate of 5,000 to 10,000 names that news reports speculated UBS would turn over once the agreement was announced.  In short, the U.S. government was forced to back away from even more outrageous demands that would have set a precedent endangering U.S. competitiveness as well as civil liberties throughout the world.”


In spite of alarmists’ continued dire predictions, the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic season gets downgraded.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis, in the new documentary film Policy Peril, speaks on the misleading past predictions about global warming’s affect on hurricane strength and destructiveness:

“Is global warming making hurricanes more destructive?  Did global warming contribute to the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina?  Would Kyoto-style energy rationing help avert future weather-related catastrophes?  Well, just ask Al Gore!  In An Inconvenient Truth, Gore claims there’s a “strong new emerging consensus” that global warming is increasing the duration and intensity of hurricanes, he depicts New Orleans as a global warming victim, and the threat of increasingly powerful storms is a major part of the alleged “climate crisis” that Gore proposes to solve by restricting our access to carbon-based energy.”


Despite recent political setbacks and public outrage, the President is still trying to make the case for more government control over the health care system. 

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Gregory Conko on why we need a different kind of reform that what the President wants:

“Obama’s seeming support for free choice resembles a bait-and-switch scam.  Though the president has offered few details, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel admits that the administration’s first priority is "getting health care costs under control.”  This goal comes with a bitter truth: If 40 million currently uninsured Americans are to be brought into public or private health plans with unlimited choice of physicians, the only way to cut costs is to restrict the services those doctors provide. Inevitably, patients would see fewer choices and lower-quality care.  Even in the best system, every consumer cannot expect Lexus-caliber health care.  Rather, the more pertinent issue is whether everyone–or the vast majority–will be relegated to options on par with a Chevy compact.  Developments on Capitol Hill suggest the latter.”

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