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CATO at Liberty 03/20/2019 14:36
The United States has “ at least $232 billion in critical public transportation” needs, claims the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Among the “critically needed” infrastructure on APTA’s list are a streetcar in downtown Los Angeles, another one in downtown Sacramento (which local voters have rejected), one in Tempe, and streetcar extensions in Tampa and Kansas City. Get real: even ardent transit advocates admit that streetcars are stupid . The economic development benefits that supposedly come from streetcars are purely imaginary , and even if they weren’t, it would be hard to describe streetcars – whose average speed, APTA admits , is less than 7.5 miles per hour – as “critically needed.”Much of the nation’s transit infr.
CATO at Liberty 03/20/2019 10:50
The government can’t force people to promote messages they disagree with, even when – particularly when – the government actors are public university professors and the speaker is a student who needs to pass certain classes to get a degree. William Felkner, a self-identified "conservative libertarian," studied social work at Rhode Island College, a state school.
CATO at Liberty 03/20/2019 09:54
Modern Monetary Theory has been accused, not always fairly , of more serious shortcomings than you can shake a stick at. Among other things, critics have faulted it for not being all that modern , for passing-off tautologies as profundities , for wrongly assuming that the value of fiat money rests upon the government’s power to levy taxes , and for misunderstanding the causes of inflation while being grotesquely overconfident in fiscal authorities’ ability to control it. But a shortcoming of Modern Monetary theorists seems to me more irksome than any of the flaws in their theories. I mean their habit of confounding things they would like government officials to do with things those officials are both able and willing to do. They acknowledge.
CATO at Liberty 03/20/2019 09:30
In January 2017, President Obama eliminated the decades-long policy of “wet foot, dry foot” that allowed Cubans who made it to the United States to enter legally in order to apply for a green card under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. Prior to the change, the numbers of Cubans had steadily increased to the highest levels since the early 1990s. At the time, I wrote :. Because the normal asylum system is so backlogged, [ending wet foot, dry foot] could result in Cubans filing asylum claims under the normal system, as Central Americans do … The current asylum system, which is already massively backlogged, will only grow more so as a result. At a time when a record number of asylum seekers from Central America are coming to the border, the Uni.
CATO at Liberty 03/19/2019 17:15
Last week the White House budget called for eliminating Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) spending a third year in a row. Similar to political years past, media outlets are running glowing stories in defense of CDBG. Of course, these articles strenuously avoid mentioning any less-useful activities that CDBG pours money into, and avoid mentioning that if politicians cared about these activities as much as they claim then they would likely be willing to support these activities with local money in CDBG’s absence. In reality, CDBG supports crony spending and a variety of activities that cater to high income preferences rather than low-income needs, along with any activities that can reasonably be defended as beneficial to the poor. Addi.
CATO at Liberty 03/19/2019 16:52
With Justices Kavanaugh and Roberts crossing over to join the liberals, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 today in Air & Liquid Systems v. DeVries that federal maritime law permits seafarers claiming asbestos-related ailments to sue manufacturers of ship components such as boilers and turbines that contained no asbestos, on the grounds that they knew that the mineral would be used in conjunction with their product later in such forms as insulation or connective gaskets. Justice Neil Gorsuch, dissenting on behalf of himself and Justices Thomas and Alito, had the better argument: doing so requires stretching traditional bounds of tort liability in a way that imposes unreasonable duties to warn. By requiring makers of components to pay for damages t.
CATO at Liberty 03/19/2019 09:48
President Trump’s new budget proposes to increase federal spending on infrastructure by $200 billion over 10 years. Many members of Congress are supportive. Some favor raising federal gas taxes to fund more highway spending, and President Trump may be on board with that idea. However, increasing federal gas taxes and federal infrastructure spending is a bad idea. For one thing, the vast majority of government infrastructure is owned by the states, including 98 percent of all U.S. streets and highways. The states have many options to finance their highways and other infrastructure including state gas taxes, sales taxes, debt, user charges, public-private partnerships, and privatization. A federal gas tax hike makes no sense because states ca.
CATO at Liberty 03/19/2019 08:51
In the late 1970s, Congress passed the Wright Amendment to encourage the development of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport by restricting a nearby airport, Love Field, to servicing final destinations only in Texas and four contiguous states. Over time, pressure began mounting to “Free Love Field” and allow more interstate air travel. Love Terminal Partners (“LTP”) owned a lease of 26.8 acres of Love Field that gave it access to the runways and the ability to offer air passenger service. In 2000, LTP built a six-gate terminal on its acreage near Lemmon Avenue. Although it could not operate profitably due to the Wright Amendment, LTP invested tens of millions of dollars in this terminal on the reasonable view that that the restrictions would eventuall.
CATO at Liberty 03/18/2019 16:35
During the Cold War, Washington’s foreign policy establishment operated comfortable in the knowledge that sizeable majorities supported vigorous American global leadership in the struggle with the Soviet Union. More recently, however, many observers have started worrying about the growing disconnect between the Washington’s elites and the public. The scholar Walter Russell Mead argued in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece that the most important question in world politics today is “Will U.S. public opinion continue to support an active and strategically focused foreign policy? The answer is a qualified yes. Americans on balance remain committed to international engagement but advocates of the status quo are right to worry because Am.
CATO at Liberty 03/18/2019 16:01
The following letter was sent to the editors of the Wall Street Journal in response to a March 13 th opinion piece by Stephen Moore and Louis Woodhill entitled “ The Fed is a Threat to Growth .”To the editor,. While we at Cato hardly qualify as apologists for the Fed, I can’t resist defending it from Stephen Moore’s sensational claim (“The Fed is a Threat to Growth,” March 14) that its “deflationary” policies have “chopped 1 to 1.5 percentage points off real growth over the past six months.”“Deflation,” first of all, means an absolute decline in prices, and not merely a decline in the rate at which prices increase. And notwithstanding Mr. Moore’s assertion that “the consumer-price index has been remarkably flat or slightly negative,” neith.
CATO at Liberty 03/18/2019 15:03
Marijuana advocates often cite the expansion of individual freedom as a major benefit of legalization. One aspect of this enhanced freedom is fewer police searches. NBC News reports :. Traffic searches by highway patrols in Colorado and Washington dropped by nearly half after the two states legalized marijuana in 2012. That also reduced the racial disparities in the stops, according to a new analysis of police data, but not by much. Blacks and Hispanics are still searched at higher rates than whites. For more on the effects of state marijuana legalizations, see here . Research assistant Erin Partin co-authored this blog post.
CATO at Liberty 03/18/2019 13:12
Canada privatized its air traffic control (ATC) system in 1996. Today, Nav Canada is on the leading edge of ATC innovation worldwide. With Iridium, Nav Canada co-founded Aerion in 2012, which produces satellite-based tracking of global airliner movements. This is the future of air traffic control as it promises greater safety, fewer delays, savings of fuel, and more efficient use of airspace. The U.S. ATC system is not an investor in this revolutionary project. Our government-run ATC is falling behind the privatized systems in Canada and the United Kingdom. ATC is a high-tech business, yet we run our system as an old-fashioned and mismanaged bureaucracy within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Aerion made the news last week when it.
CATO at Liberty 03/18/2019 10:49
Earlier this month a new Jones Act-eligible ship, Kaimana Hila , was officially christened when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard broke a ceremonial champagne bottle against the ship’s super-structure. On the surface, the new vessel is a triumph. At 850 feet in length and featuring a cargo capacity of 3,600 TEUs Kaimana Hila is—along with sister ship Daniel K. Inouye —the largest containership in the Jones Act fleet. But this is no shining example of U.S. seagoing prowess. In fact, the ship is in many ways symptomatic of the damage and dysfunction wrought by the Jones Act upon the U.S. maritime industry. Such dysfunction begins with the vessel’s $209 million price tag ( Kaimana Hila and Daniel K. Inouye were purchased for a combined price of $418 million)
CATO at Liberty 03/12/2019 14:38
The Trump Administration’s proposed U.S. Department of Education budget , released yesterday, is due some props. It would cut spending by about 10 percent from 2019, and kill some bad programs. But there’s also a downside: it would push federal tentacles further toward private schools, and deeper into charters. Which means the lesson still hasn’t been learned: The Constitution gives Washington no authority to govern in education , and that includes advancing ideas the Trump Administration—and I!—like. Let’s first acknowledge that it takes some guts to cut education department funding, because the average person probably hears “cuts to education” and thinks “oh no, cutting education!” What they should hear is “cutting spending in the name of.
CATO at Liberty 03/12/2019 13:15
Some modern immigration restrictionists are arguing that immigration will cause a civil war in the United States or other countries unless it is curtailed or radically altered. Reihan Salam’s recent book Melting Pot or Civil War? is the most glaring example. In addition to the title, he points to immigration being a problem in and of itself that also increases the severity of other issues dividing American society. The result could be a civil war. Salam writes that “[t]he divisions that define this moment in American history are not yet as worrisome as those that led to the Civil War or the bloody battles putting workers against industrialists at the dawn of the last century … [n]evertheless, it is hard to shake the feeling that our luck mi.
CATO at Liberty 03/12/2019 13:01
President Trump’s budget yesterday provides the latest evidence of out-of-control entitlement spending. In the baseline projections, Social Security spending will grow 5.9 percent in 2020 and Medicare spending will grow 8.8 percent. Social Security will grow at a 5.8 percent compound annual rate over the coming decade, while Medicare will grow at 7.8 percent. By contrast, inflation is expected to average 2.3 percent annually over the coming decade. Social Security and Medicare are the first- and third-largest programs in the federal budget, and they are pushing the government toward a fiscal crisis. Medicare spending this year, net of premiums, is $645 billion, while the second-largest program, defense, is $674 billion. But Medicare spendin.
CATO at Liberty 03/12/2019 10:03
Laws on hate crimes raise longstanding questions of fairness both in theory and application, including (when enacted at the federal level) dangers of overextension of federal criminal law and inroads on the prohibition against double jeopardy. The role of hate crimes as culture war rallying points can make things worse. In the Jussie Smollett episode, journalists came under fire for raising questions about unlikely elements of the actor’s story — Smollett had been “doubly victimized as the subject of speculation by the media industry and broader culture,” said the head of one progressive outfit — and even for hedging their stories with words like “allegedly.”After Smollett’s story fell apart, some advocates argued that no matter what might.

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