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  • Commentary posted July 31, 2014 by James Sherk, Emily Goff Bridges to Nowhere are no Economic Stimulus

    Standard and Poor’s just published a report sure to warm special interest hearts. The ratings agency argues that spending an additional $1.3 billion on infrastructure would boost the economy by $2 billion, create 30,000 jobs AND reduce the deficit. If true, more infrastructure spending is a no-brainer. Sadly, this economic free lunch does not actually exist. S&P’s report…

  • Commentary posted July 30, 2014 by Diane Katz Ex-Im Bank - A Conduit for Corporate Welfare

    The most successful lobbyists in the nation’s capital are masters of masquerading propaganda as fact. Repeat even outright falsehoods with a modicum of conviction, and they start to sound like truth. So be forewarned: claims about the manifold small-business benefits of the Export-Import Bank of the United States are simply fictitious. Until recently, few Americans had…

  • Commentary posted July 30, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Diane Katz Dodd-Frank an Unfinished Failure

    This month marks the 45th anniversary of man landing on the moon, and the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The two events couldn’t be more different. The moon landing was a rousing, tangible achievement that millions of people watched on TV. Dodd-Frank was an amorphous piece of legislation that failed to…

  • Issue Brief posted July 28, 2014 by Romina Boccia Congress Should Fund Wildfire Suppression Without Creating a New Spending Loophole

    As part of a request to authorize $615 million in emergency deficit spending for wildfire suppression and rehabilitation in 2014, President Obama also asked Congress to fund 30 percent of wildfire suppression costs by creating a new spending loophole in the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA). Although Congress should appropriate sufficient funding for wildfire suppression,…

  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. IMF Wants U.S. Taxpayers to Shoulder More Risk

    The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) report on its 2014 Article IV consultation with the United States highlights the importance of securing a safer financial system. The IMF’s policy recommendations would, however, achieve the opposite while putting U.S. taxpayers at risk. IMF Report Gets Housing Finance Wrong For starters, the IMF report states the U.S. should…

  • Backgrounder posted July 23, 2014 by Nicolas Loris Energy Exports Promote Prosperity and Bolster National Security

    W‌ith the wealth of U.S. natural resources and the recent growth in domestic energy production, the United States is in a position to export more energy. Free trade is imperative to a free society because it fosters economic growth and improves human well-being. Policymakers should treat energy like any other good or service that is traded freely around the world by…

  • Commentary posted July 23, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Fed Is Not An Investment Manager

    “Buy low, sell high.”  It’s a sure-fire prescription for making money on Wall Street…if you can do it. The problem is that it’s difficult to know when a stock price will bottom out or peak. Also, there’s no objective measure against which you can compare a stock’s price. How high is “too high,” for instance? Well, fret no more. Apparently, the Federal Reserve has…

  • Commentary posted July 23, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Will FCC rules crash the Internet?

    The comment period on the FCC’s latest plan to regulate Internet traffic through so-called “net neutrality” rules was slated to end last Tuesday. But the agency had to extend the deadline. Because its website crashed. The irony was hard to miss. The agency has been beating the drum for Internet regulation for nearly a decade. The Federal Communications Commission has…

  • Issue Brief posted July 10, 2014 by Daren Bakst FDA’s Artificial Trans Fat “Ban”: A Dangerous Step to Control Personal Dietary Choices

    In November 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its tentative determination[1] to revoke the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat. As explained in a recent FDA update, “If FDA determines that PHOs are not GRAS, it could, in effect, mean the end of…

  • Issue Brief posted July 10, 2014 by David Inserra, Romina Boccia Crisis at the Border: Throwing Money at the Problem Is Not the Solution

    President Obama has just made public the details of his $4.3 billion emergency request, including $3.7 billion in additional emergency funding to deal with the immigration crisis on the southwest border. While the federal government does need to take action to better protect U.S. borders and enforce immigration laws, throwing money at the problem is not the solution,…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Diane Katz Ex-Im Bank and the Bigger Fight Against Cronyism

    Few Americans know much about the Export-Import Bank, and yet this obscure government agency is currently the focus of intense debate in the nation's capital. So what gives? At the most practical level, lawmakers must decide whether to reauthorize Ex-Im's charter, which expires on Sept. 30. The bank provides taxpayer-subsidized financing to foreign firms so they can buy…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Nicolas Loris Obama's Climate-Change Deceptions

    President Barack Obama again sought to make the case to the American people for “dealing with the rapidly growing threat of climate change” last Wednesday, in a speech to the League of Conservation Voters. Right up front he said that his speech would not have “a lot of spin, just the facts.” When a politician says that, you know to expect the opposite. Obama assured the…

  • Issue Brief posted July 2, 2014 by Romina Boccia The IMF Is Following the Obama Administration’s Playbook on the Federal Budget

    The International Monetary Fund’s report on its 2014 Article IV Consultation with the United States risks encouraging inaction by U.S. lawmakers on adopting structural entitlement reforms to control U.S. spending and debt growth. The IMF report suggests institutional budget reforms to “lessen fiscal policy uncertainty,” citing “recent experience of debt ceiling…

  • Backgrounder posted July 1, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Centennial Monetary Commission Act of 2013: A Second Look at the Fed and the 2008 Financial Crisis

    More than five years after the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve’s role is still the subject of much debate. Some critics feel that the Fed’s efforts to stem the financial panic were misguided because they allocated credit directly to insolvent institutions. They believe that the Fed should have allowed insolvent firms to restructure through bankruptcy and should…

  • Issue Brief posted June 30, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Read My Bits: No New Taxes (Permanently)

    At midnight on October 31, Congress’s long-standing moratorium on state Internet taxation expires, freeing state and local governments to tax online access and other Web services enjoyed by Americans. The ban has been up for renewal four times in the past 16 years, raising constant concern that this protection from taxation will not be continued. This time, Congress…