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  • Would a TSA Strike Force an End to the Shutdown?

    January 22, 2019
    As the current partial federal government shutdown drags on and many federal employees continue to go without pay, some pundits have suggested that one way to end the shutdown is for Transportation Security Administration employees to strike.
  • In Aftermath of 'Janus' Decision, Blue States Push Pro-Union Bills

    January 22, 2019
    Prior to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, government unions were already devising ways to keep members and dues flowing. In a previous post, I discussed some of the ideas that the National Education Association put forth to lessen the impact of a potential Supreme Court decision that ruled forced union dues unconstitutional.
  • EPA's Wheeler Responds to Renewable Fuel Standard Questions

    January 22, 2019
    The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held its confirmation hearing for acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler on January 16th. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a significant part of the discussion. Several corn-belt senators—Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—focused particularly on two RFS issues: year-round sales of E-15 and small refinery exemptions. Both sought administrative changes by EPA that would favor corn growers and ethanol producers.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    January 21, 2019
    Last week, people got worked up over hamburgers and a television commercial about razors. Meanwhile the partial federal shutdown continued, and a bill to introduce a $15 federal minimum wage was introduced. Tuesday’s one-page Federal Register may have set a record for brevity, with just one agency notice and no new regulations. Regulations that did appear during the week range from Chinese archaeology to Rolls-Royce engines.
  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: Banking and Finance

    January 21, 2019
    Perhaps one of the most under-appreciated aspects of our modern world is the fact that finance is fundamental to the operation of a free and prosperous society. It is a time machine, allowing us to move value forward and backward through time, and it acts like the oil to a smooth-running economic engine. Without it, our modern economy would grind to a halt. Indeed, as financial historian William Goetzmann has argued, in many ways it is finance that has made our current civilization possible.
  • VIDEO: Lower Shipping Costs, Repeal the Jones Act

    January 18, 2019
    The Jones Act, originally passed in 1920, is a law that requires ships that service U.S. ports to be entirely U.S. owned and operated. This protectionist measure unnecessarily increases costs on American consumers (and producers), especially in places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii, which depend on ocean-shipped cargo for much of their consumer goods.
  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: Trade

    January 18, 2019
    President Trump’s doubling of tariffs has already cost the economy almost 1.8 percentage points of growth. That means 2018’s 3.4 percent third quarter growth could have been 5.2 percent instead. If the economy veers into recession in the near future, President Trump’s trade policies will have played a major role. Congress needs to act as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Our trade policy recommendations follow four general themes that have bipartisan appeal—important in a newly divided Congress.
  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: Energy and Environment

    January 17, 2019
    Wealthier is healthier—and environmentally cleaner as well. Despite the fact that the most prosperous nations are also the cleanest, and that prosperity is best achieved through free markets and limited government, Washington, D.C. insists on an intrusive approach that does more economic harm than environmental good. This is especially so regarding costly federal interference in energy markets, as energy is the lifeblood of the economy and its affordability is critical to growth.
  • Brexit: The EU's Gordian Knot Strangles May's Government

    January 16, 2019
    When Rory Broomfield and I were examining the prospects for Britain leaving the European Union in 2014-16, we recognized that there was no easy way out. No off-the-shelf solution existed apart from the “Norway model,” which suffered from much the same problems that full membership of the EU inflicted upon Britain. Britain had become so entangled in the EU system that it amounted to a Gordian Knot incapable of being unraveled.
  • Department of Justice Disregards Intent of Congress on Internet Gambling

    January 16, 2019
    Congress was not vague in its intent when it enacted the Wire Act in 1961. The law, developed and supported by then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, was never meant to establish new prohibitions on any type of gambling. Rather, it was designed to provide federal enforcement support for illegal interstate sports gambling or, as a House Judiciary report in 1961 put it, to “assist the various States and the District of Columbia in the enforcement of their laws pertaining to gambling, bookmaking, and like offenses…”

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