Posts by K. Lloyd Billingsley
K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.
Robert Klein, Davy Crockett, and the Quest for Another $5.5 Billion for Stem Cells


As this column has often noted, the 2004 ballot measure Proposition 71, the $3 billion California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, promised life-saving cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases, plus a steady stream of royalties for state coffers. In 2020, a ballpark estimate for the promised cures and therapies is zero, and...
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PBS Honors Smokey Robinson but Dishonorably Hustles for Taxpayer Dollars


While honoring Robinson, PBS gave plenty of screen time to politicians such as Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy, and that was no accident.

Is the Federal Bureaucracy America’s Nobility?


In last month’s impeachment hearings, Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan testified that the U.S. Constitution does not allow titles of nobility. Professor Karlan intended a witticism about Barron Trump, the president’s 13-year-old son, but she managed to raise an issue often overlooked: the possibility that America’s vast federal bureaucracy offers the equivalent to...
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A Jewell from Clint Eastwood


Southern males of pale complexion are doubtless the most vilified group in American popular culture. That particularly applies when the southerner is a rather dim, overweight gun nut who aspires to be a police officer. Georgian Richard Jewell, 33, was all that and more, but he was not the person who planted the bomb...
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California’s ‘Disammoment’ Campaign Targets Legal Gun Owners


California’s law requiring background checks for purchases of ammunition kicked in on July 1. Since then, according to the state attorney general, there have been 345,000 background checks. In 101 cases, the purchases were prohibited and 62,000 buyers were denied or rejected. Those 62,000 people, as it happens, were legally entitled to purchase ammunition....
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California Leads Nation in Occupational Licensing Lunacy


California deploys the nation’s highest income and sales taxes, but taxpayers may be unaware that the Golden State also leads the nation in occupational licensing. As Matthew D. Mitchell of the Mercatus Center notes, in a report submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, such licensing “represents a significant and growing barrier to work.” 

Cal Fire’s Nothing Burger Lawsuit


“Fast food chain In-N-Out was responsible for a 2017 grass fire in rural Arroyo Grande,” Kaytlyn Leslie of the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports, but an overcooked cheeseburger with fries did not touch off the blaze. According to a lawsuit filed by Cal Fire, a tractor mowing grass on property owned by In-N-Out caused...
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Data Sell-Off Gives New Meaning to DMV Golden Fleece Award


As Lawrence McQuillan noted in March, “The DMV took its sloth-like reputation to a new level last summer when average wait times in branch offices grew nearly 50 percent from the year before. Five-to-seven-hour waits were common.” The DMV also “botched record-keeping duties in 2018 by mishandling thousands of voter registrations from its motor-voter...
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Democrats Duel Over Taxes and Wealth Creation


At Wednesday’s debate in Atlanta, Sen. Elizabeth Warren touted her plan to hike taxes on the wealthy. The socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders liked Warren’s idea, and spoke of criminally prosecuting private companies. The sole dissenter on the stage was Sen. Cory Booker, who expressed a need for wealth creation. The New Jersey Democrat had...
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Will Demolishing Homes Solve California’s Housing Crisis?


For months now, California legislators have been decrying the state’s housing crisis. That crisis will soon be made worse by the Natomas Levee Improvement Plan, launched in Sacramento in 2007. The plan aims to reduce the area’s vulnerability to flooding and will make improvements to Garden Highway that runs atop the current levee. It...
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