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OpenMarket: September 2010

  • Sugar Program Opponents Stake Out Their Position

    September 30, 2010
    Sugar producers got a sweet deal in the 2008 Farm Bill. Now, with the next bill scheduled for 2012, some opponents of the U.S. sugar program are already positioning themselves for another battle over one of the most egregious examples of central planning that raises prices for consumers and costs jobs. On September 29, 2010, Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) introduced a bill -- The Free Market Sugar Act -- that takes direct aim at the sugar program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Here's Pitts' statement:
    The USDA sugar program is a needless waste of government money that is actually counterproductive to the goal of creating jobs in the U.S. Using taxpayer money to back loans to the sugar industry and buy sugar should not be a function of our federal government. Since the program...
  • CEI Podcast - September 30, 2010: William F. Buckley

    September 30, 2010
    Jeremy Lott, a former Warren Brookes Fellow at CEI and an editor for RealClearPoltics, talks about his new book, William F. Buckley.
  • Wholesale Special Interest Manipulation

    September 30, 2010
    Sometimes politicians say things so dumb that no one could have made them up. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told the Salt Lake City Tribune yesterday that the National Beer Wholesalers Association drafted testimony he offered before the House Judiciary Committee earlier in the day on H.R. 5034. H.R. 5034 is an alcohol regulatory bill pushed by wholesalers who want to advance anti-competitive state laws -- laws that mandate all alcohol be sold through wholesalers rather than direct to retailers or consumers from wineries, breweries, or distilleries....
  • Take a Look at U.S. Tariffs - They Raise Costs and Restrict Choice

    September 29, 2010
    With so much focus on "unfair" trade vis-à-vis U.S. trade partners, especially China, it's sometimes sobering to look at protectionist U.S. policies that restrict imported goods and services by slapping them with high tariffs.  The Business Insider provides a good start in its focus on 25 imported products that have the biggest U.S. tariffs. Take a look at the highlighted tariffs that range from 20 percent on some dairy products to 37.5 percent for leather shoes, then 163.8 percent on unshelled peanuts up to a whopping 350 percent for imported tobacco. But what do these tariffs mean for consumers?  Obviously, they raise their costs.  Ed Gresser of the Progressive Policy Institute has written extensively on how U.S. tariffs are...
  • Science Credibility Flu Away - At Least in Europe

    September 29, 2010
    Throughout the phony flu pandemic I warned that health officials would lose credibility because basically everything they were telling us was false and, unlike with some phony predictions which are safely years away, these quickly be shown false. Turns out I was right -- depending on what part of the world you live in. A combined Scientific American/Nature magazine poll shows that of the 15 issues people were asked about, they trusted scientists the least regarding flu pandemics. Ah, but there's a big asterisk. It was a poll of both Europeans and Americans. And only 29 percent of the Americans expressed serious distrust, compared to 69 percent of the Europeans. Why the difference? The very media I was constantly criticizing. While a number...
  • Ethanol: Following the E10 to E15 Debate

    September 29, 2010

    The ethanol industry was patiently waiting for the EPA to approve an increase from 10 percent ethanol blends to 15 percent in gasoline. They are still waiting, but no longer patiently.

    Numerous groups have voiced their opinion to keep the blend wall at 10 percent, or at least not to approve the increase until further testing is done. Despite the fact that the opposition comes from organizations such as the National Council of Chain Restaurants (this one is admittedly confusing), the Engine Manufacturers Association, and the Motorcycle Industry Association, the domestic ethanol industry is convinced this...

  • The Failed Stimulus Package Reveals What Economy Really Needs

    September 29, 2010

    A failure can make for a valuable learning experience, and the stimulus package is no exception. Clearly the stimulus has not worked, and from its inception many economists doubted the wisdom of the federal government trying to spend our way into prosperity. But putting aside questions about the merits of spending as means of sparking an economic recovery, it appears that the feds were not even able to dole out the money in a timely manner. The culprit -- regulatory red tape.

    Several studies conducted by the Department of Energy’s Office of the Inspector General (here , here , and ...

  • 22,000 Lose Their Health Insurance Due to Obamacare

    September 29, 2010
    Approximately 22,000 senior citizens just lost their health plan with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, which dropped its Medicare Advantage Program due to "cuts in Medicare" that "are being used to fund national health care reform."  As the Washington Examiner notes, "President Obama's most frequently repeated health care reform claim -- 'If you like your present health insurance, you can keep it' -- sounds about as credible these days as the finger-wagging Bill Clinton did when he said, 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman.'" While Obamacare cuts Medicare for the elderly, it does nothing to slow the growth of health-care...
  • New EPA Rules Will Cost More than 800,000 Jobs

    September 28, 2010
    New EPA rules will cost more than 800,000 jobs, probably far more, according to a newly released congressional report.  That includes the EPA's first set of rules "for Greenhouse Gas Emissions," and "new standards for commercial and industrial boilers."  Indeed, the boiler rules alone could cost close to 800,000 jobs. This shouldn't be a surprise.  In 2008, President Obama admitted that under his greenhouse gas regulations, people's utility bills would "skyrocket...
  • Not Wright for Internet Gambling

    September 28, 2010
    Some Net gamblers are lamenting the indictment of California State Senator Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) who was indicted by a grand jury for alleged voter fraud. Wright is seen as a proponent of online gambling in California because of the bill he introduced earlier this year which would legalize online gambling in a limited form in California. If convicted of voter fraud, the chances of his bill passing are slim to none. Perhaps online gamblers in California shouldn't be too upset. As I wrote in June, Wright's plans for bringing Internet gambling to California aren't exactly ideal...to put it mildly. Actually, what I said was that Wright's SB 1485, while apparently legalizing...

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