CEI Today: Union budget-buster, European left wants capitalism?, and a Grand Old Picture Show in Tampa


The “Gift Clause” Would Force Camden Police Union Bosses To Do Police Work


The real question taxpayers need to answer in these times of economic hardship is: Should taxpayers  pay individuals to do work for private entities — such as a union — that provides absolutely no benefit to the taxpayer? Thankfully, taxpayers in Camden, New Jerrsey have recourse available to them.

The New Jersey state constitution prohibits what is in effect a gift from the taxpayers to private individuals and entities. The provision, called the “Gift Clause,” prohibits subsidies of any kind to private individuals, associations, or corporations. It explicitly states, “No county, city, borough, town, township or village shall hereafter give any money or property, or loan its money or credit, to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation.”

It is time to stop giving away taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars to public servants who refuse to perform work we all pay them to do. Enforcing the Gift Clause would be a good start.  > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

>Interview Trey Kovacs



In an illuminating piece in today’s EU Observer, the head of the European Parliament’s Socialist group demonstrates just how far the European Left will go to keep Greece in the euro zone. Scorning the idea that Greece needs to leave the euro to get its economy back on track, Hannes Swoboda says:

Even with the most basic economic knowledge, it is obvious that what Greece requires to get back on its feet is economic growth. Privatisations and increased efficiency as well as serious cutting of red tape will facilitate investments and projects resulting in job creation and therefore increase the number of taxable incomes, simultaneously providing opportunities for the jobless in Greece.

To say I was shocked to read this is an understatement. This is the most prominent socialist in the European Parliament (bar its president, Martin Schulz) speaking. Have we really reached the stage that European socialists are farther to the right on fiscal and regulatory matters than mainstream Democrats? > Read the full post on Nationalreview.com

> Interview Iain Murray

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week In Regulation - RYAN YOUNG

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  • Last week, 76 new final rules were published, up from 65 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 13 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • All in all, 2,507 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,872 new rules.
  • Last week, 1,687 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register, for a total of 52,597 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 78,178 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 29 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $16.5 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates, and a third cost estimate does not give a total annual cost. We assume that rules lacking this basic transparency measure cost the bare minimum of $100 million per year. The true cost is almost certainly higher.
  • One economically significant rule was published last week.
  • So far, 250 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
  • So far this year, 474 final rules affect small business; 64 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • Last week’s economically significant rule comes from the intimidatingly named Safety and Environmental Enforcement Bureau. New oil and gas drilling regulations for the outer continental shelf will cost an estimated $131 million per year.
  • The State of New York wants to set its own odometer standards. They had to petition the federal government first.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.



Also featuring...

The Dark Ages Weren’t So Dark, And Neither Is Modernity

CEI Podcast for August 23, 2012: Bailouts as Corruption

Senior Fellow Matt Patterson argues that when government is big and powerful enough to dispense favors like bailouts, special interests will flock to Washington to get a piece of the pie. Corruption is the inevitable result, as the GM/Delphi/UAW bailout showed. The only effective way to limit corruption, Patterson argues, is to limit government.


In Tampa this week?  Catch the Grand Old Picture Show on Wednesday afternoon!


Join us for an afternoon screening of films that support free enterprise and property rights! Admission is free and includes a complimentary reception before the screening.  Visit www.grandoldpictureshow.com for more information. For tickets, email info@grandoldpictureshow.com.  Invite friends on Facebook.

Featured films:

We the People: A series of movie trailers commissioned by the State Policy Network to promote their new curriculum for patriots and activists for liberty.

The Empire State Divide: A powerful look at rural communities in upstate New York fighting for survival.

Saving the Oasis: A series of short documentaries commissioned by Syngenta to explore how modern agriculture preserves our water and our environment by building sustainable models for food production.

I Pencil (Rough Cut
): A sneak peak at the Competitive Enterprise Institute's film adaptation of Leonard Read's timeless essay.

Following the screenings will be a discussion with the following panelists:

Josh Gilder, a former Reagan speechwriter

Karen Moreau, president of the Foundation for Land & Liberty

Nicholas Tucker, director and producer for Passing Lane Films

Nicole Ciandella, screenwriter of I Pencil

Drew Tidwell, production coordinator for I Am Legend, Eagle Eye, and United 93


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.