CEI Today: Surveillance state, capital gains tax, and religious profiling


Forbes.com: Is Privacy Dead? Yes, If America's Surveillance State Drones On

Today’s convergence of privacy-invading technologies and Washington‘s appetite for surveillance could send civil liberties packing if we’re not careful. New developments are particularly provocative.

One is the House-passed cybersecurity legislation called CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), now wrapped into the Senate’s noxious Cybersecurity Act of 2012. It’ll be considered in June, to the consternation of many on both the left and right who see it as a conduit for inappropriate information sharing between business and government.

 > Read the full analysis on Forbes.com

> Interview Wayne Crews



Spectator.org: Tax Equity for Real


President Obama has repeatedly called for a fairer tax system. Last month he told a crowd, "Keep in mind, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle class households. You've heard me say it: Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary." This is, of course, a political stunt rather than a serious proposal, but we should learn from it. If you really want to tax all income at the same tax rate independently of how it is earned -- whether via dividends from a company you invest in or wages from your employer -- the last thing you should do is hike the tax rate on capital gains.  > Read the full commentary on Spectator.org


> Interview the authors




Openmarket.org: The Futility of Religious Profiling at Airport Security Checkpoints


While religious profiling may not seem like a hot campaign topic, America’s intrusive airport security process will force the question into debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney this fall. 


Religious profiling is dangerous because complex security rules lower efficiency and create new avenues for attack. The impossibility of reducing the error rate for such a profiling system is compounded by the principle agent problem. Even a relatively successful profile wouldn’t provide significant security benefits. To these problems, we must add bureaucracies’ inflexibility. If government creates a profile, terrorist organizations will adapt within months. Consider the fact that al Qaeda was already planning methods to thwart presumed U.S. racial profiling within months of 9/11. Any profile wouldn’t be able to adjust as fast as a potential enemy could.  > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org


>Interview David Bier




Ten Thousand Commandments 2012

An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State
May 15, 2012

The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government’s reach extends well beyond the taxes Washington collects and its deficit spending and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the policy debate.

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