June 11, 2015 at 3:20 pm
Bill Cassidy, a physician who is a Republican senator representing Louisiana, has introduced the Patient Freedom Act, which would address the consequences if the Supreme Court decides King v. Burwell in a way that eliminates ObamaCare subsidies for five to ten million people in states that haven't established their own exchanges. A press release from Dr. Cassidy reports:
June 11, 2015 at 1:50 pm
Harvard Business School's Michael Porter and the Boston Consulting Group are out with a new report, America's Unconventional Energy Opportunity, that is very much worth a look for those interested in economic policy or energy investing. Conservatives won't like the fact that it calls for a "carbon charge" — a euphemism for a tax — or a cap-and-trade system. The rest of the report focuses on the economic growth opportunity in the U.S. domestic natural gas and oil industry and the potential for exports.
June 11, 2015 at 12:18 pm
"Living wage" laws mandating $15 an hour pay rates in Los Angeles and SeaTac include language that "would, in effect, exempt unionized workplaces," a USA Today editorial notices. Says the editorial, "The real motivation appears to be to promote unionization. By getting cities to dramatically increase the minimum wage, unions can claim they are fighting on behalf of all workers. By including opt-out clauses for themselves, they can use these new laws as a weapon to pressure companies to unionize."
It's almost unbelievable that this would be a union bargaining approach with an employer: in essence, "Recognize our union and allow us to collect union dues from your employees, and in return, we'll give you access to an exemption in the law that allows you to pay a sub-minimum wage."
June 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm
Expansion of food manufacturing and distribution in New Jersey is the topic of an article in the New York Times real estate section. It reports on a "30 million, 10-year tax break" for "Wenner Bread Products, which signed a lease for space in New Brunswick last year, moving the bulk of its operations from Long Island," New York. And it reports on the food company Goya: "An $82 million, 10-year tax credit from the state persuaded the company to stay."
Governing magazine took a tough look at Christie's tax incentives a few years back and found that Goldman Sachs was one of the largest recipients.
June 9, 2015 at 10:41 pm
Adam Bellow, who has edited Sarah Palin, Dinesh D'Souza, Arthur Brooks, Charles Murray, and James Q. Wilson, has a very nice interview with C-Span's Book TV about publishing conservative books. "I'm a capitalist," he says at one point.
June 9, 2015 at 1:19 pm
GE is considering moving its corporate headquarters out of Connecticut after the Nutmeg State's latest tax increase, National Review reports. The publication links to an email from GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who writes, "As a result of this law passing, I have assembled an exploratory team to look into the company's options to relocate corporate HQ to another state with a more pro-business environment...Our taxes have been raised five times since 2011...This will be the second highest tax increase in the state's history behind only the more than $2 billion tax hike passed in 2011."
June 9, 2015 at 10:53 am
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's support for a $250 million taxpayer subsidy for a new basketball arena for the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team comes in for some criticism from the Cato Institute's David Boaz in this Huffington Post article. Mr. Boaz notes the team is owned by three money managers: James Dinan of York Capital, Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital, and Wes Edens of Fortress. All three are major Democratic donors, federal campaign finance records show, though Mr. Edens has also given some money to Carly Fiorina, John McCain, and Rudolph Giuliani.
June 8, 2015 at 4:41 pm
Senator Ted Cruz is sounding the theme from the book JFK, Conservative on the presidential campaign trail, my column reports this week. Please check the column out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).
June 4, 2015 at 1:54 pm
The New York Times has an unflinching look at the problems with ObamaCare in Vermont:
June 3, 2015 at 10:41 pm
Ruth Marcus, writing in the Washington Post, runs against the journalistic pack and argues that the prosecutions of Dennis Hastert and the international soccer officials may not be the wisest use of resources:
Link via the Facebook feed of Donald Graham, who liked the column.
June 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm
The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch has an editorial celebrating a deal for a new data center between Amazon and the state of Ohio, which is led by a Republican governor, John Kasich: "The state has approved tax incentives for the project valued at an estimated $81 million. That isn't a handout, but a benefit that Amazon will earn as it actually invests and creates jobs here."
When advocates of a special tax break for a big business need to specify or insist that it "isn't a handout," it's usually a pretty good indication that it is precisely that. I don't fault Amazon for using the competition between states to try to get the best deal it can to increase profits for its shareholders and lower costs for customers. But a one-low-tax-rate-for-everyone approach is, for a whole lot of reasons, preferable to these kinds of special deals, regardless of whether the word used to describe the special deals is "benefit" or "handout."
June 3, 2015 at 11:01 am
A $1 million, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom beachfront home in Massachusetts that is owned by a Florida woman is getting moved and rebuilt with a $180,000 federal grant, according to an article by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting that highlights some of the problems with the federal flood insurance program:
This particular home, "damaged at least 10 times by Atlantic storms," is a repeat beneficiary: "The house was first raised about three feet with a $40,000 federal grant about a dozen years ago. This time, it will go up five feet more."
June 3, 2015 at 10:41 am
"'Inequality' represents one of a half-dozen books dealing with the subject that Harvard University Press alone has published on the subject since it introduced the translation of Professor Piketty's opus to the United States market last year." — From Jonathan Knee's New York Times book review of Inequality: What Can Be Done by Anthony B. Atkinson.
June 2, 2015 at 1:53 pm
Those who have been waiting for the monetary policy issue to come to the forefront in this presidential campaign finally got the moment they have been waiting for this weekend during Jeb Bush's appearance on WMUR television in New Hampshire.
In response to a question from a voter about whether foreign currency manipulation had put American manufacturers at a disadvantage, Governor Bush turned the question around: "You can make a case that in the last few years, given our monetary policy, that we've been manipulating our currency," Governor Bush said. "We've never had a time where our central bank is just printing money like nobody's business. And that depreciates our currency. It lowers our interest rates and depreciates our currency."
June 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm
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