By following through on entitlement reforms started in the 1990s, Congress can defuse a ticking entitlement-spending time bomb and allow states to lead the way on holding costs down and better serving taxpayers.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Managing Editor of Environment & Climate News H. Sterling Burnett speaks with Lindsay Leveen. Leveen runs a groundbreaking, award-winning, news blog called Green Explored. Burnett and Leveen discuss Bloom Energy.
Since 2011 NLPC has tracked the stimulus-funded fiascoes that were/are battery-maker A123 Systems and luxury electric automaker Fisker Automotive, who at one point were business partners (or stuck with each other, depending on your perspective). Both eventually went bankrupt, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars from Department of Energy awards that were never paid back. Chinese company Wanxiang Group ended up with both failed enterprises, buying their assets for cheap.
Suppose instead of making common cause with corporate titans and Washington technocrats to impose Common Core standards uniformly on education, philanthropist Bill Gates instead used his vast wealth to create his own brand of schools to compete in a vibrant educational marketplace.
President Obama, and his administration, has enacted so many foolish and cost-increasing energy policies, it is easy to think that they are his purview alone. But in 2007, Republicans were just as guilty. Seeds were planted and a garden of bad legislation took root in a totally different energy environment. At the time, the growth seemed like something worthy of cultivation. However, what sprouted up more closely resembles a weed that needs to be yanked out.
Last year, Congress enacted 72 new laws and federal agencies promulgated 3,659 new rules, imposing $1.86 trillion in annual regulatory compliance costs on American businesses and families. It’s hardly surprising that America’s economy shrank by 1% the first quarter of 2014, our labor participation rate is a miserable 63% and real unemployment stands at 12-23% (and even worse for blacks and Hispanics).
This morning the House Judiciary Committee will undertake the markup of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. The Act would protect consumers from the increased costs in accessing and using the Internet by permanently extending the moratorium on Internet access taxes, and would prevent multiple and discriminatory taxation of Internet sales.
For every 100 mortgages being sold in the United States these days, at least 95 of them have government backing. We’re told America has a free-market economy? Not judging by the government’s involvement in housing, arguably the most important market there is. Most people can go years without needing health care. A healthy adult can go weeks without food. We cannot go one day without needing shelter.
President Obama seems committed to forcing the minimum wage up through federal intervention. If he succeeds, it will only damage the economy further, resulting in higher unemployment and less growth. Here are four reasons a minimum wage is a bad idea.
The collecting of taxes is always a sticky subject for proponents of the free market to address. This is due to their natural tendency to spurn taxes in general. Yet, if change to the current unfair, prosperity-stifling tax regime is to occur, we need to offer a meaningful solution beyond the simple call to reduce taxes and spending (appealing as they might be). One solution that might go a long way toward improving how the government collects taxes is the Automated Payment Transaction Tax (APT tax).
Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately fifty percent of the total. Today it is approximately forty percent and, when the Environmental Protection Agency regulations take effect as of June 2, more such utilities are likely to close their doors. The basis for the regulations is utterly devoid of any scientific facts.
We’ve seen it in too many sectors of the economy to possibly mention – both domestically and internationally. The greater the government involvement in an economic sector – the greater the ensuing economic damage. To that sector – and the broader economy.
The siren song of independence and national self-determination has sounded once again across Europe. It is a song that holds echoes of a century ago, when the internal force of nationalism convulsed the European empires into world war. Yet, while the song remains the same, the tune has changed.
The Left has made an art form out of the maxim “If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again.” They perpetually push terrible, government-expanding policies – and no number of failures deters them from pushing until they win.
It is largely why they fight so hard to protect power grabs already won – no matter how huge the failures.
Spectrum management is the least efficient part of the federal government.
That’s a big national problem because radio spectrum is the essential fuel of the mobile revolution of smart-phones, tablets, video streaming and the Internet of things.
Last week John Stossel hosted a segment on Earth Day featuring Heartland Senior Fellow James Taylor and Paul Gallay from the Riverkeeper environmentalist organization. Taylor (with some backup from Stossel) crossed swords with Gallay on a number of environmental subjects.
Consumers considering installing solar panels on their rooftops have far more to think through than the initial decision to “go solar.”
They may search for the best price, only to discover, as customers in central Florida did, that after paying $20,000-40,000 for their systems, they are stuck with installations that may be unusable or unsafe. BlueChip Energy—which also operated as Advanced Solar Photonics (ASP) and SunHouse Solar—sold its systems at environmental festivals and home shows. Buyers thought they were getting a good deal and doing the right thing for the environment. Instead, they were duped.
NLPC has detailed extensively the wastefulness and folly of spending billions of taxpayer and consumer dollars to subsidize wind energy, solar energy and electric vehicles, all in the name of fighting climate change.
But the complicated, uneconomical boondoggle that Duke Energy built in Edwardsport, Ind. so as to burn coal gas rather than coal – and thus produce less carbon dioxide than a traditional coal plant – may be the dumbest idea to fight imaginary global warming to date. If you swallow the alarmists’ premise and “solutions,” the plant so far is a joke, as recent evidence shows it is using more energy than it produces.