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OpenMarket: April 2009

  • Slandering the Tea Parties

    April 16, 2009
    The "tea party" protests against out-of-control government spending have been very clear in identifying what wasteful spending they object to. One example is Obama's $800 billion stimulus package, which was falsely sold to the public as needed to prevent "irreversible decline," but which the Congressional Budget Office...
  • D.C. Tea Party and the 1,000,000 Teabags

    April 16, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bour14qOiE 285 234]
  • Well, the Feds at least banned an "amusement tax"

    April 16, 2009
    An aberration that's a somewhat happy update to yesterdays sad "Tax Poem." The excerpt from BNA’s Electronic Commerce & Law Report says it all:
    Federal Court Bars Chicago From Collecting Amusement Tax From Online Ticket Resellers: The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ruled that the City of Chicago lacked the authority under state law to require StubHub Inc.—a nationwide Web site where parties buy and sell tickets to events—to collect and remit the city's 8 percent amusement tax. Case name is Chicago v. StubHub...
  • Chris Horner on Renewable Fuels and Corporate Welfare

    April 15, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iARSO30KAks 285 234]
  • Regulated Out of Work

    April 15, 2009
    CEI has highlighted the fact that poorly drafted drinking water regulations do more harm than good. In particular, the that greatly increased the stringency of the drinking water rule for arsenic promised no real benefits, but its high cost hurts communities and individuals. It forces communities to abandon important things--like the purchase of fire trucks or more useful upgrades to infrastructure--to pay for a rule that does nothing for them. The rule allows drinking water to contain no more than 10 parts per billion of arsenic. Prior to that, water could contain up to 50 parts per billion. The 50 ppb standard had been in place in the U.S. for decades and there is no evidence of it ever causing a public...
  • Horse Racing As A Public Good?

    April 15, 2009
    Maryland politicians really have their hands full as the legislative session draws to a close. Instead of focusing on their state’s looming long-term budget crisis, the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Martin O’Malley spent yesterday working on a far more important issue: authorizing the use of public resources to seize and operate the Preakness Stakes. The owner of the Preakness and its Pimlico race track, Magna Entertainment, is currently in federal bankruptcy.  Last week, a Baltimore Sun editorial compared the oh-so-dire situation to the 1984 Baltimore Colts’ move to Indianapolis (in part...
  • 1,000,000 Tea Bags Find a Home

    April 15, 2009
    The good folks from MillionTeaBags.org dropped by CEI today after the Park Service told them that while they had a perfectly legal permit to demonstrate in LaFayette Park today, that they hadn't specifically asked if they could display the 1 million bags of tea they had trucked in.  It's tougher to have a tea party these days—regulations and permits were not a part of the first one. Thankfully, some of these tea partiers were friends of CEI. So the tea bags—at least a portion of them—were stacked to the ceiling in our conference room.  Each bag of tea represented the donation of someone to the project, meaning that over a million Americans are sick and tired of being treated like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama's ATM. The photo-op still happened, though not as dramatic as if it were surrounded by the...
  • The Liberal War on Science

    April 15, 2009
    Christina Hoff Sommers writes about a looming liberal war on science. Based on a campaign promise Obama made to feminist groups in October 2008, Sommers foresees the Obama Administration moving to artificially cap male enrollment in math and science classes to achieve gender proportionality -- the way that Title IX currently caps male participation in intercollegiate athletics. The result could be a substantial reduction in the number of scientists graduating from America's colleges and universities. Critics have long argued that the Title IX cap is in tension with the Supreme Court's warnings against proportional representation. In a ruling by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the Supreme...
  • DC Tea Party Draws Big Crowd in Pouring Rain

    April 15, 2009
    Hundreds of people turned out in the pouring rain for Washington, DC's Tea Party - one of many tax protest events taking place around the U.S. today. A sea of multi-colored umbrellas filled Lafayette Park, which is situated near the White House. Many protesters made a family day of the outing, carrying homemade signs expressing outrage at the unprecedented government bailouts of the banking and auto industries over the past year, along with the high level of government spending to which taxpayers are now committed to paying back. Check out some photos of the event on CEI's flickr account.
  • We Wouldn't Have Teaparties If It Wasn't For Rentseeking

    April 15, 2009
    Those who say we tried the free market and it failed should research the history of the Boston Tea Party a little.  We didn't even have a free market in the 18th century, a period referred to in British history as The Whig Supremacy.  Here's the background; and to prove that there is nothing new under the sun, it involves company rent-seeking, market distortion, bailouts and stealth taxes. As early as 1698, the English Parliament awarded the East India Company the monopoly on tea importation into England.  In return the Company paid Parliament a 25% ad valorem tax on the tea imported.  Now, at this stage the Company was not allowed to import tea to the American colonies, so it sold the tea it had imported into England on to other merchants, who sold it in the colonies.  So even at this stage, government was distorting the tea market, by granting a monopoly to a rent-seeking company in...

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