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OpenMarket: January 2013

  • The Anti-Democracy Index

    January 29, 2013
    In compiling Ten Thousand Commandments over the years (alas, February 8 is going to mark 20 years of this project) it long ago became apparent that the unelected do the bulk of the lawmaking. That's why we see legislative proposals to cope with over-delegation of power, the latest being Rep. Todd Young's (R-Indiana) introduction of the REINS Act (with stands for Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny). REINS passed the House in the 112th Congress, but not the Senate. The 113 Congress will try again. The re-introduction of REINS inspired me to peruse past annual editions of the Ten Thousand Commandments report with my research assistant. We've extracted, since 2003, the number of rules finalized in the Federal Register, and compared it to the number of laws passed by both Houses of...
  • Thrifty People Punished Yet Again By Obama Administration

    January 29, 2013
    When I bought my home, I chose a mortgage that was within my means. That meant buying a little two-bedroom house, and using much of my life savings for a 40-percent downpayment, so that my mortgage interest rate would be lower, and my monthly payment would be manageable even on my modest salary as a think-tank employee. It turns out that people who behaved like me -- saving up their money for a big downpayment and not buying more house than they could afford -- are suckers, since the Obama administration is using their tax money to bail out people who made smaller downpayments relative to their home value (and thus have larger mortgages that exceed the value of their home in the current depressed real estate market). The administration is busy writing...
  • New Study Links Anti-Immigration Groups To Pro–Population Control Environmentalists

    January 29, 2013
    America's immigration debate is heating up, and conservatives anxious about liberal solutions to the issue are looking for answers of their own. Unfortunately, the major immigration groups that often receive the name “conservative” are anything but. A new study published in Human Life Review reveals these groups all were founded by the same radical environmentalist that advocates ending population growth with immigration restrictions, abortions and sterilizations. The largest and most active anti-immigration groups -- that is, groups that want to restrict the number of legal admissions -- are the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and NumbersUSA. All these groups were founded by the same man: radical...
  • $180 Billion Wasted On Head Start; Progressives Seek To Ban Private Schools And Homeschooling

    January 28, 2013
    The Head Start program has now wasted $180 billion, but it has no lasting effect on student achievement. In the long run, children who participate in the taxpayer-funded program do no better than similarly situated children who don't. But even in the short-run, the benefits of participation are virtually non-existent, as a study earlier found:
    “Head Start,” the flagship pre-kindergarten program introduced in 1965, has been a $166 billion failure. That’s the upshot of a sophisticated multi-year study just released by the Department of Health and Human Services. An earlier iteration of the study, published in 2005, had...
  • 6 Ways To Improve The Senate's Immigration Proposal

    January 28, 2013
    “We will ensure that this is a successful permanent reform to our immigration system that will not need to be revisited.” That’s from a statement released today from Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). The senators argue that their proposal will provide the permanent fix America’s immigration system needs, but here’s six ways it could be better.
    1. Keep immigration enforcement a government responsibility. The proposal endorses “stiff fines and criminal penalties” for employers who hire unauthorized workers. These penalties conscript American employers to act as de facto immigration agents....
  • How Much Does Federal Paperwork And Tax Compliance Cost?

    January 28, 2013
    Regulations notwithstanding, the off-budget costs of tax compliance for individuals and businesses are said to account for most of the federal paperwork burden, although there might increasingly be cause to question that assumption given growing paperwork-heavy regulation in health care and finance. In any event, for present purposes, government paperwork costs associated with regulation are presumably (but in actual fact perhaps not likely) accounted for in the Regulatory Impact Analyses for particular executive agency rules, and thus already reflected captured in OMB Costs and Benefits reports; however, again, here only major or economically significant rules and those cited as having a notable impact on small business get counted. So the paperwork associated with the bulk of rules...
  • 'Right-To-Work' All Right In Indiana

    January 28, 2013

    Controversial anti-union laws continue to thrust the typically camera-shy Midwest into the national spotlight.

    On January 17, a federal judge shot down a union-driven lawsuit aimed at overturning Indiana’s “right-to-work” law, passed last February. Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers spokesperson Ed Maher attacked the constitutionality of the law by arguing that free riders benefit from unions that “are legally obligated to provide services including contract negotiation, grievance representation, and legal assistance.” Unions claim that this is forced labor without compensation.

    Judge Philip Simon of the U.S. District Court, however, didn't buy it,...

  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week In Regulation

    January 28, 2013
    56 new regulations, from medical records to crop insurance.
  • Obama Administration Thumbs Nose At Court Ruling On Separation Of Powers

    January 25, 2013
    Thumbing its nose at the federal courts, which ruled today President Obama's appointments to the National Labor Relations Board last year were not constitutionally valid "recess appointments," the Obama administration has indicated it will not remedy constitutional violations identified by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Noel Canning v. NLRB...
  • Alcohol Regulation Roundup: January 25, 2013

    January 25, 2013
    National: According to the Brewers Association, the trade group that represents smaller craft breweries, the Small BREW Act will be reintroduced in Congress in January 2013 after failing to come to a vote in 2012. H.R. 1236 and its companion legislation, S. 534, would have reduce excise tax rates for small brewers (those making under 6 million barrels a year), from $7.00 to $3.50/barrel on the first 60,000 barrels and $16.00 per barrel on beer production above 60,000 barrels up to 2 million barrels. Alabama...

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