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CATO at Liberty 07/20/2019 14:12
Possibly good news on the front page of the Washington Post today. A headline reads:. Trump. aims to cut. spending. after 2020. begins:. President Trump has instructed aides to prepare for sweeping budget cuts if he wins a second term in the White House, five people briefed on the discussions said, a move that would dramatically reverse the big-spending approach he adopted during his first 30 months in office…. [But for now] Trump is advocating swiftly lifting the federal debt ceiling, which would allow for more spending and borrowing. And that’s what we’ve gotten in Trump’s first two and a half years, including two years with full Republican control of government. Federal revenue has been rising strongly, about to hit $4 trillion. But spending i.
CATO at Liberty 07/20/2019 00:01
I was born in August 1969, a few weeks after Neil Armstrong’s “small step” onto the moon. Nonetheless, I was a child of the space age, idolizing Armstrong and his fellow astronauts, scrapbooking articles on the Viking landers and Voyager probes, and building lots (and lots and lots) of model rockets. NASA’s feats and American space policy were awe-inspiring. Yet, from today’s vantage point, it’s hard not to question the Apollo program. Yes, we got to the moon, but to what end? Of the 10 Apollo missions originally planned for the lunar surface, only seven flew, and one of them ; the . It’s as if, once the Apollo astronauts completed their initial science mission and trundled off some , policymakers asked, “OK, now what?” The mission cancella.
CATO at Liberty 07/19/2019 15:04
Families and children coming to the U.S.-Mexico border turn themselves in to Border Patrol and receive background checks, which they , prior to their release into the country. Yet security officials insist that these migrants are nonetheless a serious security concern. These officials have relentlessly promoted one narrative in particular for years: that asylum-seeking families unwittingly help drug smugglers. Here are a few examples:. : Families “are human screens that tie up Border Patrol Agents while the cartels smuggle narcotics and higher value aliens behind them.”: They “completely tied up our manpower and allowed the cartels to smuggle whatever they wanted across our border.”: “The way [smugglers] use families and children to tie up.
CATO at Liberty 07/18/2019 14:11
America’s strong economic growth and high living standards were built on our relatively smaller government. U.S. per capita income is higher than nearly all major countries and our government spending is still somewhat less. However, America’s lower-spending advantage has diminished. The data on total federal-state-local government spending as a percentage of GDP for its member countries. The chart shows spending for the United States and for the simple average of 30 OECD countries which have data back to 1995. These are high-income countries such as Canada, Germany, and Japan. The chart shows that the United States used to have a 10 percentage point advantage in government size, but that has now fallen to just 5 percentage points. In 1995,
CATO at Liberty 07/18/2019 11:50
The Washington Post recently received access to a database maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration that tracks the manufacture and distribution of every prescription opioid in the country. It that 76 billion pills were distributed throughout the US between 2006 and 2012, with higher volumes shipped to the areas that were most hard hit with opioid-related overdose deaths. This is being offered as proof that the overprescribing of prescription opioids caused the overdose crisis. But this flies in the face of other powerful evidence. Research reported in the last February that examined data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show there is no correlation between th.
CATO at Liberty 07/17/2019 15:58
Justice Stevens, who died yesterday at age 99, was the longest-lived justice in American history and the third-longest serving. A proud son of the Midwest, he lived an amazing American life that included witnessing Babe Ruth’s “called shot” and a valorous WWII stint in the Navy. I never had the chance to meet him but, as the personal accounts and eulogies now attest, he was a consummate gentleman and all class, a bow-tied throwback to an era to which we should all attitudinally aspire. Stevens, nominated by President Ford in 1975 as the first new justice after Roe v. Wade, had a confirmation process that lasted all of 19 days and concluded with a 98-0 vote. (A different world, indeed.) From 1994 until his retirement in 2010, he was the seni.
CATO at Liberty 07/17/2019 11:08
The government is implementing that would ban asylum for immigrants coming to the United States through Mexico. It pins the uptick in border crossers on the asylum process, but the government’s statistics reveal that 90 percent of crossers in 2019 were not referred for an asylum interview at the border, and the highest share ever referred was just 19 percent in 2018. In fact, the rate of referral was just 7 percent in March 2019. This strongly indicates that the asylum ban will not have its intended effects. Figure 1 compares the rate at which undocumented immigrants at the southwest border were referred for asylum interviews at the border—called credible fear interviews—for each year from 2010 and 2019 as well as March 2019—the most recent.
CATO at Liberty 07/17/2019 10:58
Government policies encourage Americans to live in risky places on seacoasts and along flood-prone rivers. Disasters happen, governments bail people out, they rebuild in the same places, bad incentives stay in place, further disasters strike and more dollars and lives are lost. The on recent flooding along the Mississippi River, which I’ve excerpted below. But first, here are some general points about flooding and governments:. Man-made vs Natural. Damage blamed on climate change and natural disasters is often caused by big government policies. Talking about Mississippi flooding, an expert in the Post story says, “The major cause of record, recent flooding is entirely man-made.” That is also true of a lot of seacoast damage from hurricanes.
CATO at Liberty 07/17/2019 09:21
At yesterday’s Senate Banking Committee on Libra, the digital currency project led by Facebook with 27 other partners, concerns about its potential to undermine U.S. national security featured prominently. Senators from across the political spectrum, including Arkansas’ Tom Cotton and New Jersey’s Bob Menendez, suggested that Libra might lend itself to the scheming of malicious actors and U.S. strategic foes, a worry the day before by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. How vulnerable will Libra be to criminal uses? A careful examination of the digital currency’s mechanics and its likely employment by financial services providers, suggests that policymakers have reacted prematurely. In fact, cryptocurrencies are significantly less useful to crimina.
CATO at Liberty 07/16/2019 15:38
For many decades, critics have noted that agencies were using Dear Colleague and guidance letters, memos and so forth — also known variously as subregulatory guidance, stealth regulation and regulatory dark matter — to grab new powers and ban new things in the guise of interpreting existing law, all while bypassing notice-and-comment and other constraints on actual rulemaking. That’s a problem we at Cato have been concerned about — the quote itself is from .
CATO at Liberty 07/16/2019 13:50
NASA’s Apollo 11 blasted off 50 years ago today sending astronauts to land on the moon and return safely to earth. The mission was planned rapidly and executed almost flawlessly. The Saturn V rocket was the most powerful. engine ever built. The computers available at the time were primitive, yet everything about the timing of burns and entry angles had to be precise. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were unbelievably brave. It was a stunning achievement. An American triumph. If the mission were pursued today, the president would be tweeting undignified comments and hogging the spotlight. The launch would be years behind schedule and the computers would jam like during the Obamacare launch. Environmental lawsuits would shut do.
CATO at Liberty 07/16/2019 13:45
As trade restrictions mount and as major trading countries remain mired in commercial impasse, an approaching global gathering in Central Asia next summer could prove to be the climax to the current battle between continued multilateral cooperation and increased unilateral confrontation in trade. The World Trade Organization, with its commitment to international cooperation, has been struggling with the headwinds of unilateralism and protectionism.
CATO at Liberty 07/16/2019 11:51
Members of Congress are growing more appreciative of the benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment in addressing the overdose crisis. Two bills presently under consideration—one in the Senate and one in the House—are the latest evidence of that awareness. Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid use disorder is one of the most widely-accepted and least controversial of the tools in the tool box. The strategy involves placing the patient on an orally-administered opioid that binds with enough opioid receptors to prevent painful withdrawal symptoms while, at the same time, not producing cognitive impairment or euphoria. The approach has been around since the 1960s and has greatly reduced overdose deaths as well as the spread of deadly infecti.
CATO at Liberty 07/16/2019 09:24
Policymakers, in America and around the world, have for the most part responded to the announcement of Libra with skepticism, fear, and not a little bit of loathing. In my , I argued that Libra’s association with Facebook and misleading references to it as a cryptocurrency led to an overreaction on the part of the policy elite. Like budding zoologists who think of zebras rather than horses when they hear hoofbeats, government officials are focusing on the memorable (crisis, monopoly, fraud) rather than the probable (an improved payments system) consequences of this innovation. My previous post showed that warnings about the systemic risk that Libra presents are overblown. In this post, I explore another concern policymakers have expressed a.
CATO at Liberty 07/16/2019 09:09
A recent Washington Post addressed highway funding and gas taxes. The piece noted that gas taxes went up in 13 states in July and that “31 of the 50 states have raised or reformed their motor fuel taxes during the past decade.”From these state policy actions, the Post deduced that the federal government should raise its own gas tax. But that makes no sense. The recent gas tax increases show that the states are already addressing their highway funding needs. The chart below, based on , shows that while the federal gas tax rate has been stable in recent years the average state rate has risen substantially. The states have powerful revenue sources to fund their highways and other infrastructure, including gas taxes, income taxes, sales taxes,
CATO at Liberty 07/16/2019 08:00
Since 1992, federal taxpayers have helped fund construction of urban rail transit lines through a program called New Starts . This program is due to expire in 2020, and today the Highways and Transit Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on whether or not to renew it. No doubt most of the witnesses at the hearing will be transit agency officials bragging about how their expensive projects have created jobs and generated economic development. But a close look at the projects built with this fund reveals that New Starts has done more damage to American cities than any other federal program since the urban renewal projects of the 1950s. Here are eight reasons why Congress should not renew the.
CATO at Liberty 07/15/2019 17:04
Tomorrow, the Senate’s Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on The Constitution will on Google’s alleged anti-conservative bias and “censorship.” In released last month, James O’Keefe, a conservative activist, interviews an unnamed Google insider. The film, which has been widely shared by conservative outlets and cited by Sen. (R-TX) and President , stitches a narrative of Orwellian, politically-motivated algorithmic bias out of contextless hidden camera footage, anodyne efforts to improve search results, and presumed links between unrelated products. Although the film’s claims are misleading and its findings unconvincing, they are taken seriously by lawmakers who risk using such claims to justify needless legislation and regulation. As such,
CATO at Liberty 07/15/2019 10:48
The Eleventh Circuit’s decision in , handed down last week, constitutes one of the most grotesque and indefensible applications of the qualified immunity I’ve ever seen. The case involves a claim of excessive force against Michael Vickers, a deputy sheriff in Coffee County, Georgia, who shot a ten-year-old child lying on the ground, while repeatedly attempting to shoot a pet dog that wasn’t posing any threat. Without even deciding the constitutional question, a majority of the Eleventh Circuit panel granted qualified immunity to Vickers, simply because there was no case on point with this particular set of facts. The key facts as alleged in the complaint are as follows: Vickers and other officers were pursuing a criminal suspect, Christophe.
CATO at Liberty 07/15/2019 09:27
My discusses the disastrous rise in federal government debt as profligacy dominates both parties in Washington. With the far-left lurch of the Democrats and the complete abdication of responsible budgeting by Republicans, I don’t see how the nation escapes from a damaging and protracted economic crisis down the road. It does not have to be this way, as my article discusses. Canada escaped a similar debt spiral in the 1990s as a left-of-center government imposed and sustained sharp spending cuts. We can and should do that here, now, yet virtually all members of Congress appear uninterested in reform. An excerpt :. So while debt projections already look scary, we’ll probably be hit by surprises that make the outlook even worse, such as recessi.

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