The Beacon: Blog of Independent Institute

Clinton Cash Film Premieres
Sunday July 24, 2016 | David J. Theroux

The powerful, new, documentary-film version of Peter Schweizer’s bombshell, New York Times-bestselling book on the massive corruption, cronyism and hypocrisy of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, has premiered on YouTube for selectively...
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Decisive Brexit Referendum: What Happens Next? Part 4: The EU Enters its Endgame
Saturday July 23, 2016 | Kevin Dowd

[See Part 1 Here, Part 2 Here, and Part 3 Here) The Brexit vote was never just about whether the Brits would reject rule from Brussels. The real issues were much broader and felt across the whole EU—an arrogant and undemocratic elite, its disastrous economic policies and an increasing gap between haves and have-nots,...
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Big Government, Racial Violence and the Police
Thursday July 21, 2016 | Jonathan Bean

In August 1965, the streets of Los Angeles erupted in fire, as black rioters burned hundreds of stores and ill-equipped police withdrew from the violent scene. Initiated by a minor altercation with a police officer, Watts was followed by worse riots, often sparked by encounters with police, turning cities like Detroit into burnt-over districts....
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Decisive Brexit Referendum: What Happens Next? Part 3: Bust Banks, Banksters, & Bailouts
Tuesday July 19, 2016 | Kevin Dowd

[See Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here] A lot has happened since my last posting on the June 23rd Brexit vote. A new government in the UK, the petition for a new referendum vote has been exposed as a scam, most markets have stabilized as anticipated and the Labour Party civil war over...
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Rulers the People Deserve?
Monday July 18, 2016 | Robert Higgs

Like proverbial fish, Fearmongers and warmongers Stink, many people think From the head down ***** But in truth the guts stink first And the viscera’s putrefaction Encourages the heads To rot opportunistically

Black Lives Matter
Monday July 18, 2016 | Randall Holcombe

My initial reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, like many old white guys, was that All Lives Matter. But recent events have changed my thinking on this. My old thinking: Racial discrimination is a reality, but race is just one of many personal characteristics on which people discriminate. Good-looking people tend to be...
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Medical Marijuana Saves Taxpayers Money
Friday July 15, 2016 | John R. Graham

In a fascinating article in Health Affairs, Ashley Bradford and David Bradford of the University of Georgia have estimated that medical marijuana has benefited taxpayers: Using data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, we found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as...
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MyGovCost: Project of Independent Institute

Trump and the Future U.S. Budget
Friday July 22, 2016 | Craig Eyermann

If you’re anything like me, you’re doing everything you can to keep from having to watch any part of the major party political conventions this month. That’s because these kinds of events are far too often long on political hyperbole and short on substance. Too many promises get made that have absolutely no chance...
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Covered California Misery Mounts a Surge
Thursday July 21, 2016 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

We have been tracking Covered California, the Golden State’s wholly-owned subsidiary of Obamacare. Emily Bazar of the Center for Health Reporting has exposed glitches in the system’s $454 million computer system, problems with cancelation of policies when people turn 65, and difficulties in enrollment for others. For Bazar, these and other problems resulted in...
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Conventional Wisdom on Education?
Wednesday July 20, 2016 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

The Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week has showcased plenty of hoopla and boilerplate rhetoric – some of it apparently plagiarized – but provided little enlightenment on key themes such as education. On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan and New Jersey governor Chris Christie bypassed the subject completely. Not so Donald Trump Jr.,...
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Proposition 13 Liars Exposed
Tuesday July 19, 2016 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

In 1978, when Jerry Brown was governor, soaring property taxes were literally driving people from their homes. Embattled Californians responded with the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation. This measure capped property tax rates for residential and commercial properties at 1 percent of the assessed value and prevented assessed value from growing more than...
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The Debt Scenario You Should Believe
Monday July 18, 2016 | Craig Eyermann

Each year the Congressional Budget Office publishes its Long Term Budget Outlook, it presents two different scenarios that project the future value of the publicly-held portion of the national debt: the Extended Baseline scenario and the Alternative Fiscal scenario. Because the two have very different assumptions behind them, the question of which scenario is...
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Bullet Train’s “Blended” Boondoggle
Thursday July 14, 2016 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

We have been keeping track, so to speak, of California’s high-speed rail project, the vaunted “bullet train.” In February, we noted that farmers are not eager to sell the land the project needs. The alleged cost of $68 billion was already more than double the $33 billion estimate before California voters approved $9.95 billion...
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CBO: Out of Control Spending Worsens U.S. Fiscal Situation
Wednesday July 13, 2016 | Craig Eyermann

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office published its 2016 Long Term Budget Outlook for the U.S. government. Investors Business Daily‘s John Merline identifies the main takeaway from this year’s edition of the CBO report. The nation’s long-term fiscal picture has grown considerably more dire over the past year, according to the latest forecast from the...
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