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Archive for December, 2013
Carpe Diem: Washington’s Foundations Are Showing Cracks

After 12 years of seemingly inexorable blind faith in an ever more powerful and intrusive government, a spate of recent polls finally shows support crumbling for Washington’s hubristic overreach: The new Gallup poll: “Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat: Now 72% say it is greater threat than big business or big…
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Rationing Schooling Freedom in Collectivist Oakland

You can’t have too much of a good thing—unless you mean freedom and you live in Oakland, apparently. Oakland Unified School District school board member Jody London says enough’s enough when it comes to parents looking out for their own kids’ education. What does she mean? Oakland has the highest concentration of charter schools…
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Police Claim Teen Shot Himself In Head—While Handcuffed Behind Back

If the police found a dead body in the back of your car, hands tied behind the back, with a hole in the head, and your defense was that the person shot himself, how do you think they would react? And yet this has happened in police cars at least three times. This time,…
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FBI Successfully Foils Another FBI Plot

Despite Dianne Feinstein’s claims to the contrary, there’s no actual evidence that the U.S. surveillance apparatus has foiled any actual, independent plots of terrorism. There is, in fact, far more actual evidence that the surveillance state has missed numerous signals of plots: from 9/11 to the Boston bombings. In its latest attempt at P.R….
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Oh No! The Republicans Are Going to Tax Your Health Benefits!

If even the Wall Street Journal offers biased coverage on reforming the tax code to allow individuals to own their own health insurance (and it does), we have a bigger hill to climb before we can eliminate the discrimination against individually owned health insurance. According to the WSJ, Congressional Republicans are more gun-shy than…
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PISA Results Show We’re a World Leader . . . in Spending, Not Performance

Spending more and getting less—it’s an increasingly common refrain in education circles these days. Even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called the performance of American 15-year-old students, who slipped in the latest international reading, math, and science rankings, a portrait of stagnation. Every three years since 2000 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and…
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Eliminate Long-Term Unemployment Compensation

Unless Congress decides to extend it, long-term unemployment compensation will expire on December 28.  Unemployment compensation has typically been available for up to 26 weeks of unemployment, but has been extended during the past recession to up to 99 weeks.  When you pay people to be unemployed, then not surprisingly, you get more unemployed…
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Are We About to Face a Severe Doctor Shortage?

“No, there won’t be a doctor shortage,” wrote Zeke Emanuel and Scott Gottlieb in the New York Times the other day. Obamacare will weather that challenge just fine. How? Nurses and other paramedic personnel can substitute for physicians, and new technology is making remote monitoring of patients easier than ever before. All that is…
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“Job Lock” from Employer-Based Health Benefits: What Should Government Do?

Back in 1993, the economists Jonathan Gruber and Brigitte C. Madrian highlighted the problem of “job lock,” a consequence of employer-based health benefits. Job lock referred to the fact that the U.S. Internal Revenue Code does not tax employees’ health benefits if they are provided through employers’ group plans. However, if employers gave the…
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It’s Official: The Top 40% of Income Earners Pay More Than 100% of Federal Income Taxes

The Congressional Budget Office has just published a study, The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2010, which shows that the top 40% of income earners paid 106.2% of total federal income taxes, while the bottom 40% paid -9.1%.  This isn’t the study’s headline, so you have to dig a bit to get…
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