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OpenMarket: May 2015

  • Defund the Partisan NLRB

    May 20, 2015
    One of the primary objectives of the National Labor Relations Act is to remedy the perceived "inequality of bargaining power" between employees and employers. However, the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces the NLRA, has tilted the playing field too far in favor of labor unions by bestowing upon them greater bargaining power than employees or employers.
  • Johnson-Crapo's Reemergence Ruins Reg Relief Bill

    May 18, 2015

    Last year, an overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac called Johnson-Crapo—named after then Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)—went down in flames after observers found that the bill was not reform, but a massive expansion of the government’s role in housing.

    One of the most vocal opponents of Johnson-Crapo was Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who voted against the bill in the Senate Banking Committee and blasted it in his statement in committee and it media interviews. “Shelby Opposes Massive New Regulator and Taxpayer Exposure in Housing Regulation Bill,” exclaims the headline of a press release from Shelby’s office on the date of the Senate Committee vote on May 15, 2014.

    Though the bill narrowly...

  • Welfare Recipients Relabeled As "Workers" Despite Doing Little or No Work

    May 18, 2015

    Welfare is often unpopular with voters, who fund it with their taxes. So California politicians and academics who support it are now redefining welfare recipients as “workers” even if they do almost no work, and as members of “working families” if they live in the same household as someone who does a tiny bit of work. By doing this, they hope to brand critics of welfare as “anti-worker.”

    Fifty-six percent of welfare recipients are in “working families,” according to a misleading recent report by the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education. But the report reached that erroneous conclusion by defining even very lazy people as “workers”: “We define working families as those that have at least one family member who works 27...

  • Yes, It Is Stupid to Blame Lack of Subsidies for Amtrak's Derailment

    May 18, 2015

    This morning, Amtrak Northeast Regional service was finally reopened following last week’s tragic derailment in Philadelphia that has killed at least eight and injured approximately 200. The tragedy was predictably exploited by cynical politicians, activists, and journalists, who seem to falsely believe that flushing more subsidies down the Amtrak drain would have somehow prevented the accident. It is true the technology at issue would possibly or even likely prevented this specific crash, speeding the deployment of it would dramatically increase costs and very likely reduce overall rail safety.

    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to investigate and a final report will likely take a year or more to complete, but we know that the...

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

    May 18, 2015

    It was a slow week despite more than 1,300 Federal Register pages, with just 36 proposed regulations and fewer than 50 final regulations, ranging from spearmint oil to flying over Baghdad.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 46 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 65 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 39 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,111 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 2,955 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 1,333 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,609 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 28,039 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for...
  • Dodd-Frank’s Thousands of Commandments and Near-Zero Benefits

    May 15, 2015

    Among the Ten Thousand Commandments in Wayne Crews’s annual survey of the federal regulatory state, are thousands of federal financial rules added by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – whose unfinished implementation has already cost the economy billions, perhaps close to a trillion dollars. (In Crews’ related study “Tip of the Costberg,” he calculates from official government figures that compliance and indirect costs of financial regulation total $79.125 billion annually. But he cites estimates that some of the law’s provisions could have a cost to the economy exceeding $1 trillion.)

    This is similar to the American Action Forum...

  • Regulation: A Hidden Tax

    May 15, 2015

    The scope and impact of federal regulations is staggering. Today, the unbudgeted costs of regulation now exceed half the amount the U.S. federal government spends annually.

    In CEI's latest edition of Ten Thousand Commandments Wayne Crews shows a $1.88 trillion "hidden tax" on American consumers, businesses and the U.S. economy from federal regulations and intervention.

    By making the size, extent and cost of Washington's rules and mandates more comprehensible, Crews helps Americans better understand how regulations affect them and makes the case for more review, transparency, and accountability for both new and existing federal regulations.

    Check out our new infographic that illustrates some of the report's key findings.

  • Missouri House and Senate Pass Right to Work

    May 14, 2015
    On May 12, Missouri took a great leap forward toward becoming the 26th right to work (RTW) state. First, the State Senate passed the bill 21-13. Then on May 13, the Missouri House sent the RTW bill to Governor Jay Nixon's desk with a vote of 92-66.
  • Right to Work is Right for Missouri

    May 14, 2015

    On May 12, Missouri took a great leap forward toward becoming the 26th right to work (RTW) state. First, the State Senate passed the bill 21-13. Then on May 13, the Missouri House sent the RTW bill to Governor Jay Nixon's desk with a vote of 92-66.

    Hopefully the below facts can persuade Gov. Nixon to get past partisan politics and do what is right for his state’s citizens by signing RTW into law. Further, he should take note that 54 percent of Missourians support RTW against only 34 percent opposed, according to a survey conducted by the...

  • Ten Thousand Commandments

    May 14, 2015

    The 2015 edition of Ten Thousand Commandments is out now. The report gives a 30,000-foot view of the federal regulatory state: how many new regulations come out each year (3,500+), how much they cost ($1.88 trillion annually), and other important information, along with a menu of reform ideas.

    This kind of big-picture information is readily available for the federal budget, but not the regulatory state. 10KC is an effort to make the government’s most opaque branch a little more transparent.

    You can read the whole report here. If you prefer a shorter version, the Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial summarizing the study’s main findings, as did...

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