The Beacon: Blog of Independent Institute

Politics Creates Conflict
Tuesday February 9, 2016 | Randall Holcombe

One interesting thing to note about the political statements coming from candidates as the primaries approach is the adversarial nature of their rhetoric. They don’t hesitate to attack their primary opponents despite the fact that they broadly agree on most things. Yes, Republicans will take an occasional jab at Hillary, but mostly they are...
Read More »

Will Congress Fix Its Electronic Health Records Fiasco?
Tuesday February 9, 2016 | John R. Graham

There is some hope that Congress will fix—at least partially—the largely bungled Electronic Health Records (EHRs) deployment on which it has spent $30 billion since 2009. Doctors are very frustrated by EHRs, which interfere with their practice of medicine. The current government program to have them installed nationwide should be abandoned. Tomorrow, the Senate...
Read More »

Trumping Washington Won’t Make America Great Again
Monday February 8, 2016 | Gary Galles

Americans have begun voting in the process to select the 44th person to succeed George Washington as President. Unfortunately, missing from the process have been the principles that animated Washington as America’s “indispensable man,” in historian Forrest MacDonald’s words. The character that made him “first in war, first in peace, and first in the...
Read More »

Imprisoning the Messenger
Monday February 8, 2016 | Mary Theroux

Those behind the prosecution of the Planned Parenthood/StemExpress sting videographers might be surprised by the stunning parallels with an earlier case: that of pioneering investigative journalist William T. Stead, imprisoned for exposing the horrors of human trafficking of girls into forced prostitution more than 130 years ago. Stead was drawn into the anti-trafficking crusade...
Read More »

Section 1332, Where Are You?
Monday February 8, 2016 | John R. Graham

People are starting to get excited about another Obamacare work-around: The section 1332 waiver. This refers to a section of Obamacare that allows states great flexibility in how they deliver Obamacare within their borders. The curious thing about section 1332 waivers is that they can only be issued as of January 1, 2017. Why?...
Read More »

No, Senator Sanders, the Fed Was Always a Creature of Cronyism
Thursday February 4, 2016 | David Flemming

Reforming the Federal Reserve can brighten the future of American democracy—but unless the reforms reflect an understanding of how and why our central bank was created, the Fed will continue to serve the interests of the privileged few at the expense of the rest of us. Regrettably, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ misunderstandings about the...
Read More »

Ted Cruz and Health Reform
Wednesday February 3, 2016 | John R. Graham

Senator Ted Cruz has won the Iowa Republican caucuses. Over the weekend, Chris Wallace of Fox News challenged Sen. Cruz on his proposal “to sell health insurance across state lines,” citing my argument that federal action to mandate this would be ineffective. The argument in question appeared in an op-ed in The Hill last...
Read More »

» More from The Beacon ...

MyGovCost: Project of Independent Institute

Government Give and Take is Mostly One-Way
Tuesday February 9, 2016 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

Contrary to what many politicians seem to believe, government makes mistakes. For example, as the intrepid Jon Ortiz of the Sacramento Bee notes, the state of California recently overpaid some 20,000 employees. The overpayments amount to $37 to $101 per employee and, overall, about 5 percent of all state paychecks in a single month....
Read More »

Pillage People Pick Off Professionals’ Pay
Monday February 8, 2016 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

The Denver Broncos took the game 24-10 but the real winners of Super Bowl 50 were California’s pillage people. This is due to the state’s “jock tax” on players and coaches for their “duty days” in the state. As Matthew Artz notes in the San Jose Mercury News, California’s jock tax is highest in...
Read More »

Dealing in Bad Faith
Monday February 8, 2016 | Craig Eyermann

Watching U.S. territory Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is a lot like watching a train derail from its tracks in slow motion. Except with one important difference – it’s a train wreck where the locomotive operators’ best idea for dealing with it involves making it worse by setting the crashing train on fire. With that...
Read More »

The VA’s Institutionalization of Corruption Deepens
Saturday February 6, 2016 | Craig Eyermann

When we last looked at the ongoing ethical saga of Kimberly Graves and Diana Rubens, the two executives at the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) who abused their power to displace lower ranking employees from their jobs so they could take them for themselves, complete with big relocation bonuses and...
Read More »

California Still High on Taxes
Wednesday February 3, 2016 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

With all this excitement over national elections, taxpayers may have lost count of how much their state government is taking from them. Fortunately, veteran Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters has been keeping track. By his count, “California’s state and local governments hit us with about $250 billion in taxes every year, $6,000-plus per Californian.”...
Read More »

Obama Administration Manufactured Debt Ceiling Crises?
Monday February 1, 2016 | Craig Eyermann

Richard Pollack of the The Daily Caller News Foundation has something of a blockbuster news scoop out today. Here, documents obtained from the New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee would appear to confirm that the Fed was directed by U.S. Treasury Department officials...
Read More »

The Institutionalization of Corruption at the VA
Saturday January 30, 2016 | Craig Eyermann

The ongoing ethical meltdown of the leadership at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs took a new, nasty turn for the worse on Friday, January 29, 2016, as Kimberly Graves, who was “demoted” along with fellow VA executive Diana Rubens after having been found to have abused their power by securing cushy new jobs...
Read More »

» More from MyGovCost ...