In this episode of the Heartland Institute’s weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Nelson J. Rockefeller Institute of Government director of fiscal studies Don Boyd about a new study examining how the assumptions and gimmicks public pension boards use to fund pensions are affected by investment risks, and how those risks affect taxpayers and government employees.
In the first success of its nature for “nanny state” advocates after many years of trying, Philadelphia Thursday became the first major city to attempt to control the non-alcoholic drink choices of its residents by enacting a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on soda, tea, sports and energy drinks. This is expected to embolden nanny state tax advocates across the United States.
South Carolina lawmakers have undertaken reforms to address some of the serious issues with their state’s pension system, but major changes are still needed to prevent future budget problems. In 2012, the state increased employee and employer contribution rates for the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS), the state’s public pension fund. The increase affected current members as well as new hires. The 2012 reforms also reduced the expected rate of return for pension investments and reduced the minimum cost-of-living benefit increase. In 2000 and 2002, the state created optional defined-contribution plans for existing and new state and local government employees and teachers.
In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway is joined by U.S. Rep. Pete Roskam (R-IL), the sponsor of the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act.
In a free-market economy, people have healthy incentives to work and save, to form businesses and invest, to explore, innovate and invent, in these and other ways “to truck and barter.” The incessant desire of man to do better, whether through profit or achievement or goodness, when governed by the rule of law, leads to a progressive society.
In this episode of The Heartland Institute’s weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Mercatus Center at George Mason University Spending and Budget Initiative program manager Adam Michel about a new study on which he collaborated, about how the U.S. tax code is holding back the nation’s prosperity-building power, and how common-sense tax reforms could unleash the nation’s economic beast and make America great again.
John and Donny continue their exploration of think tanks in #41 of the In The Tank Podcast. This weekly podcast features (as always) interviews, debates, and roundtable discussions that explore the work of think tanks across the country. The show is available for download as part of the Heartland Daily Podcast every Friday. Today’s podcast features work from the Independent Women’s Forum, the Mercatus Center, The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, and Reason.
The FCC’s proposed privacy rule in no way will lead to the stated goal of protecting consumers. In fact, the logical and obvious result of the proposal is to create a confusing thicket of government privacy rules emanating from both the FCC and FTC which will lead consumer confusion and likely real harm.
Why have prices fallen so low? Because government subsidies created a glut – and the market is flooded. This government money warps and distorts the marketplace – as otherwise productively-directed time and effort is instead spent chasing the government coin. Producers produce not what the marketplace needs – but for what the government pays.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Peter Ferrara, Heartland Senior Fellow and author of the Power to the People, joins host Michael Hamilton to discuss the different proposed plans to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Despite claims of helping low-income earners access the Internet, and thereby joining the digital economic revolution, taxpayer-funded Internet infrastructure projects have a long and expensive history of failing to achieve their stated goals, even though government Internet services enjoy advantages over private businesses.
In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration new “deeming regulations” for electronic cigarettes, which require e-cigarette manufacturers to submit their products through an arduous federal approval process.
In November 2016, Colorado voters will decide on a new ballot measure, a state constitutional amendment that would create “ColoradoCare,” a new single-payer, government-run health care system in Colorado. Colorado would be the second state — Vermont was the first — to attempt the creation of a single-payer health care system. Single-payer systems face major obstacles that make implementation difficult, if not impossible.
Should employees be allowed to pay for their health care with tax-excluded dollars? Dr. Roger Beauchamp, D.D.S., joined Michael Hamilton on the Health Care News Podcast to share his proposal for reforming the U.S. tax code to empower employees to spend their hard-earned wages on the health care solution of their choice.
Legislators have long attempted to reduce the negative health impacts of smoking through taxes, bans, and regulations. Some have tried to extend these same policies to electronic cigarettes or “e-cigarettes,” even though they contain no tobacco and are substantially less harmful than traditional cigarettes. This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled new regulations placing electronic cigarettes under an avalanche of new rules requiring that they be approved as a new type of tobacco product — effectively treating them like traditional cigarettes.
In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Wisconsin state representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield), the sponsor of a new law requiring state government agencies to submit a zero-based budget plan and a budget plan in which the agency becomes more efficient but uses less taxpayer money.
DPS has operated its school system using a top-down, bureaucrat-run model for decades. Under this structure, teachers are protected with outdated tenure rules and rewarded for the amount of time they work in the system, rather than for performance. Innovation is scarce, and administrators, who often enjoy exorbitant salaries, are not encouraged to make the sort of radical changes that are needed to turn the city’s schools around.
April 26 is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day: “We celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.”
Dr. Richard Armstrong, treasurer of the Docs4PatientCare Foundation, joined Heartland Research Fellow and Managing Editor Michael Hamilton to explain how Medicare and Medicaid–two government-run, taxpayer-funded health care programs–inadvertently obstruct patients from accessing, and doctors from providing, the best possible care.
North Carolina lawmakers recently backed away from a proposed bill that would have reformed the state’s occupational licensing laws. In testimony given before the state legislature’s Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee, lobbyists convinced lawmakers to ditch plans to eliminate government licensing requirements for a dozen occupations and consolidate government licensing boards. The lobbyists argued removing government restrictions on occupations such as acupuncturists and athletic trainers would have endangered consumers’ health.