Archive for April, 2015
Competition and Cooperation

Competition is often used to describe market activity, and cooperation is often used to describe political activity, but competition more accurately describes politics and cooperation more accurately describes markets. Market activity is based on voluntary exchange, and transactions take place only if all parties agree. Parties engage in voluntary exchange for their mutual benefit,...
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Health Spending Crushing a Stalled Economy

March’s estimate of last year’s fourth quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed that health spending was chewing through a weak economy. Today’s release of the advanced estimate of this year’s first quarter GDP might best be described as health spending crushing a stalled economy. GDP barely budged, increasing by a trivial 0.2 percent annualized....
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Campaign Finance Reform—After I’m Elected

Who knew that the New York Times had embraced irony? In a news piece—not its opinion page—”Clinton Fundraisers Show Scope of Family Network“: WASHINGTON—Hillary Rodham Clinton is tapping some of the biggest donors to her family’s philanthropy for her presidential campaign, even as the charity is under scrutiny over its own fundraising practices. Starting...
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Do Drones Degrade al Qa’ida?

On April 23, the White House announced that one of their drone strikes had killed two al Qa’ida hostages, one Italian and one American. A few weeks back I discussed the evidence regarding drones and civilian casualties. I argued that, as opposed to being “surgical instruments” capable of eliminating terror groups while minimizing damage to...
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Tax Freedom Day, 2015

The Tax Foundation announces “Tax Freedom Day” every year to mark the date on which the average U.S. taxpayer has earned enough income to pay in full all federal, state and local taxes owed. The date this year is today, Friday, April 24, 2015. “Tax Freedom Day” is determined by taking the ratio of...
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Barack Obama Has the Last Word on the Medicare “Doc Fix”

On April 15, President Obama signed the so-called Medicare “doc fix,” a bill that I previously warned would recruit Republicans onto Obamacare’s B-Team. I had also hoped that they would reject the bill, especially after Medicare’s Chief Actuary delivered an even harsher verdict on its consequences than the Congressional Budget Office had. Unfortunately, massive...
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Obamacare and Employment

Vox’s Mattew Yglesias, an undaunted Obamacare supporter, has listed “7 charts that show what Obamacare critics are getting wrong.” The first is, you guessed it, that chart from the Gallup survey of health insurance, which (wrongly) claims Obamacare reduces the number of uninsured Americans. Another chart claims that Obamacare is not causing part-time work...
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An Argument for “Selling” Babies

“Behave, or I’ll sell you.” This “threat” was one I heard with some regularity as a child. It was my mother’s way of letting me know that I was driving her up a wall. It was usually followed by something like, “then they’ll pay me to take you back.” (In retrospect, if this was true,...
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Is FDA Reporting Drug Shortages Adequately?

For a number of years, there has been a problem of shortages of certain generic drugs for injection. These are often important cancer drugs. In 2012, I wrote a report that concluded over regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was the primary cause of the shortages. The President and Congress acted, but...
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Is Sexual Orientation a Choice?

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio says, “I believe that sexual preference is something that people are born with,” but goes on to say, “I don’t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.” Let’s consider both of these ideas from a political perspective. First, whether people choose their sexual orientation or are born with it is...
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