The Beacon: Blog of Independent Institute

Obamacare’s Individual Mandate and Tax Credits Are Really, Really Inefficient
Tuesday January 17, 2017 | John R. Graham

Obamacare’s least popular feature is the individual “mandate” to have health insurance. This requirement was the subject of the 2012 lawsuit asserting Obamacare was unconstitutional: Never before had the federal government forced any resident to buy a good or service from a private business. The people lost that argument. Nevertheless, whether we label the...
Read More »

Members of Congress Boycotting the Inauguration: What Are They Protesting?
Tuesday January 17, 2017 | Randall Holcombe

As the inauguration of Donald Trump approaches, this article says “A growing number of Democratic lawmakers are boycotting President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration,” and “Some members of Congress have said they will be protesting in Washington, D.C., and in their districts instead.” What are they protesting? The article gives brief statements from 25 Democrats who...
Read More »

What Trump Can Learn from the Treaty that Created America
Tuesday January 17, 2017 | William Watkins

In January, the winds of political change often blow with ferocity. The District of Columbia is now bracing itself for a gale-force disruption as Donald Trump prepares to become the 45th President of the United States. An upheaval in foreign affairs, trade, and immigration policy is in the offing. It’s tempting to focus solely...
Read More »

Fake News, Fake Politics, and Fake Policy
Tuesday January 17, 2017 | Robert Higgs

Fake news has been a hot topic recently. All sides of the political sound and fury surrounding the recent presidential election have leveled charges and counter-charges against their opponents in this regard. Democrats, embracing a newfound, touchingly naive faith in the CIA and the other agencies of the so-called intelligence community, have claimed that...
Read More »

Obama Economists’ Bad Obamacare Economics
Thursday January 12, 2017 | John R. Graham

President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) has issued its valedictory report on the state of Obamacare. The gist of its argument is that Obamacare is doing fine, on the verge of overcoming its growing pains since 2014. Critics (like me) who suspect the 25 percent increase in premiums for 2017 are a problem...
Read More »

More Money, More Problems: Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Won’t Help Inflation
Wednesday January 11, 2017 | Abigail R. Hall Blanco

It seems like Venezuela always provides great classroom examples for all the wrong reasons. I’ve written on this blog multiple times about the government of Venezuela and the polices it has enacted. I’ve argued that falling oil prices aren’t to blame for the country’s troubles and that the once-high oil prices only masked the underlying...
Read More »

Why Donald Trump Is Obama’s Logical Successor (And How an App Might Help)
Monday January 9, 2017 | Mary Theroux

Establishment Republicans have been beating their breasts over Trump’s election no less than Hillary’s supporters, bewildered that a man so beyond the pale could have been the Republican nominee, much less President-elect. Chief among their theories is that a stronger national committee mechanism to identify and back their favored (read: establishment-representative) candidate for the...
Read More »

» More from The Beacon ...

MyGovCost: Project of Independent Institute

Taxpayers Beware of Scam Cell Ad Copy
Tuesday January 17, 2017 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

For more than a decade, according to David Jensen of the California Stem Cell Report, the $3 billion California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has been “has given away money at a rate of $22,000 an hour, seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” Donald Kohn of UCLA got $52 million from CIRM and...
Read More »

Brown Green-Lights More Government Greed
Monday January 16, 2017 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

As Chriss Street of Breitbart News reports, California Governor Jerry Brown wants a 42-percent increase in the tax on gasoline and seeks to hike Californian’s vehicle registration fees by 141 percent. These tax and fee increases are not to fix the state’s terrible roads, build more water storage, which the state desperately needs, or...
Read More »

Bullet Train Waste Still Railroading Taxpayers
Monday January 16, 2017 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

Before anybody else climbs aboard California’s “high-speed rail” project they might give a listen to Ralph Vartabedian of the Los Angeles Times, who has been riding herd on this boondoggle from the start. The reporter has obtained a confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis charging that the bullet train could cost taxpayers 50 percent...
Read More »

The Next Grim Milestone for the National Debt Nears
Monday January 16, 2017 | Craig Eyermann

Last week, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of a new budget resolution, an action that was followed by the House of Representatives a day later, as it approved the same 10-year blueprint for the future budget of the federal government. The measure is highly significant in two ways. First, it clears the legislative...
Read More »

California Bureaucrats Learn It’s Not Okay to Lie in Court
Wednesday January 11, 2017 | Craig Eyermann

This week, a three-judge panel of U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals laid down the law on whether government bureaucrats, in this case ones employed by Orange County, can have a free pass from having to comply with any sort of ethical standards of conduct while appearing in court as part of their official...
Read More »

Double Jeopardy Waste in Reactionary California
Tuesday January 10, 2017 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

California imposes some of the highest income and sales taxes in the nation, and Governor Jerry Brown’s own budget team says the state could face a budget deficit of $4 billion by the summer of 2020. Even so, the governor maintains the statist view that there is always money for everything. The Golden State...
Read More »

Change Taxpayers Can’t Believe In
Monday January 9, 2017 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

  As the Associated Press reports, on Thursday, January 5, Shiloh Heavenly Quine, 57, “became the first U.S. inmate to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery.” The procedure cost some $100,000, so Californians might wonder what Shiloh Heavenly Quine did to receive such an expensive procedure on the taxpayers’ dime. In February of 1980 in Los Angeles,...
Read More »

» More from MyGovCost ...