June 10, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) saying a carbon tax would harm the economy and should not be enacted. The 237–163 vote in favor of the resolution included only six Democrats, who joined the entire Republican caucus.
The Supreme Court recently stepped back from its campaign to impose its political preferences on the states. In Evenwel v. Abbott, the justices held while the U.S. Constitution requires states to apportion their legislatures solely by population, the Constitution does not prescribe a particular way of counting population.
Behold “Mother May I?” government. Where the private sector can’t do a thing, make a move, invent or innovate – until after the incompetent, pathetically slow government finally gets around to granting permission to do so. If we’re lucky – more likely than not, they’ll say Nay.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)—also known as the ethanol mandate—was passed by Congress in 2005 and expanded in 2007. Regardless of market conditions, it required ever-increasing quantities of biofuel be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply—though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does have the flexibility to make some adjustments based on conditions, such as availability and infrastructure.
Like the camel that gets its nose under the tent, once the federal government butts into people’s business it’s very hard to get it out. But in a per curiam decision in Zubik v. Burwell on May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court may have indicated that even in the age of the nanny state, even Supreme Court Justices can abide only so much.
It’s planting season, and farmers are taking to the fields to put food on our tables. Even though Ted Cruz has withdrawn from the presidential race, his victory in the Iowa Caucuses caused political pundits of all stripes to speculate about the future of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and the corn ethanol mandate, largely because someone, Cruz, had finally campaigned against the ethanol mandate and managed to win in Iowa. While some wonks in Washington, DC may talk about a political end for the ethanol mandate, for the nation’s farmers, the biofuel bubble has already burst.
Whether it’s gun control, health care reform, climate change, or a host of other issues, President Barack Obama does not follow the law if it conflicts with his policy preferences. While Obama is not unique in this regard, he has taken ignoring the oath U.S. presidents take to uphold and faithfully execute the Constitution and the laws of the United States to a whole new level.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) describes itself thus: “An independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress.” Under the Barack Obama Administration, it has been none of these things.
There is much bemoaning of the loss of bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. Gone, they say, are the grand bargains – the two Parties coming together to reach deals that solve problems. Such the loss, they say.
By now, most people probably know about one of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign gaffes to date: “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” As soon as I heard it, I tweeted: “Imagine a presidential candidate running for office based on putting people out of work?”
The Reciprocity Ensures Streamlined Use of Lifesaving Treatments Act of 2015 (RESULT Act) would fast-track drug and medical device applications through the Food and Drug Administration’s sluggish and costly approval process. The act would streamline new products already vetted by a government agency in another Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nation with a proven record of providing safe medical devices and pharmaceutical products.
At his February 16 press conference discussing the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the newly vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Barack Obama said, “The Constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now.” And so it is.
Uncle Sam is becoming “Uncle Shrink” to millions of schoolchildren, including many preschoolers, who are now subject to various psychology-focused educational components that have been implanted in federal education legislation over the past decade.
Despite its reputation for freedom, the U.S. has the world’s highest prison population rate, 716 inmates per 100,000 people. More than half the countries of the world have rates less than one-fifth of that. The United States’ rate is six times that of Canada and six to nine times greater than the rates of Western European nations, with whom we have the most cultural and historical ties. Why is criminality so much higher here than in those countries? The U.S. has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but 22 percent of its prison population.
If you want more of something, mandate it, subsidize it and exempt it from regulations. If you want less of something, punish it with taxes and regulations. Put more bluntly, the power to tax and regulate is the power to destroy. This is the First Rule of Government.