CEI Daily - Judgment Funds, IHOP, and Wild Tigers


Judgment Fund


Government judgment funds essentially serve as slush funds for NGOs who want to sue government agencies for not enforcing regulations enough.


Warren Brookes Fellow Kathryn Ciano outlines how taxpayers are now on the hook for expensive litigation.


"The federal government is paying environmental advocacy organizations billions of dollars — to fund lawsuits against itself. When the government has to pay or settle, the green groups dip into the public trough yet again. [...] Government agencies’ 'judgment funds' act as a slush fund for lawyers and special interests. These funds set money aside to fund lawyers’ costs for lawsuits and the payouts from these suits, which benefit lawyers and agencies. Taxpayers are paying both sides — and we don’t even get to see the numbers."





The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is subsidizing the construction of an IHOP in a rich D.C. neighborhood.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader points out the irony of the HHS pouring money into a pancake house while other agencies work to curb American obesity.


"While HHS is busy subsidizing IHOP, another branch of HHS, the FDA, is trying to restrict the salt content of food, which could lead to increased obesity rates, more heart attacks, and 'higher death rates among some individuals,' and make it harder to market low-fat foods. Ironically, if salt levels are curbed, people will compensate by eating fattier food, since there seems to be a trade-off between salt and fat."




Wild Tigers


The population of the wild tiger is dwindling.


Research Associate Brian McGraw argues that continuing to crack down on poaching will not solve the problem.


"More of the same will not work. Poachers will continue to be allured by large profits and conservation efforts will not succeed. Allow tigers to be traded internationally. There is some worry that the Chinese truly prefer 'wild tigers' rather than one which would be raised by humans, though I cannot imagine that their would be much hesitation when the price of tigers drops precipitously due to market forces. The incentive to poach tigers will disappear, and breeders of tigers will ensure there is an adequate number of tigers remaining to assist with re-breeding efforts if that becomes necessary."