CEI Today: Farm Bill, Egypt democracy vs liberty, and the Apple anti-trust case


House Votes to Permanently Extend Taxpayer Fleecing in Farm Bill

Thursday, the House of Representatives approved the 2013 Farm Bill on a mostly partisan vote of 216-208. No Democrats voted for the legislation, and only 12 Republicans voted against it. Moreover, the legislation, H.R. 2642, was rammed through the Republican-controlled House under a closed rule allowing no amendments.


The legislation greatly expands the crop insurance subsidy program, where farmers’ premiums and insurance companies’ administrative costs are heavily subsidized. It includes no means tests for those subsidies. It leaves in place the sugar program, which is a central planning scheme that allocates domestic supply, restricts imports and sets prices substantially higher than the world price.  > Read more

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> Interview Fran Smith




American Spectator: Egypt’s Missing Precondition


It is commonplace today to regard liberty and democracy as inextricably correlated — if you have one, you must have the other. Yet as Egypt and other failed democracies are showing, that is not the case. Indeed, we are rediscovering some fundamental truths that the American Founders knew — that liberty is an essential precondition for sustainable democracy and that there is more to democracy than majority rule.

Democracy as we know it took centuries to establish not only in Britain, but also in the relatively young United States, where such illiberal institutions as slavery and the denial of the vote to the unpropertied and women took a long time to overcome. However, it was the institutions of liberty that provided the foundation on which democracy and equal rights for all could be built.

Egypt has underlined this lesson. It has shown us one undeniable truth: The institutions of liberty are more important than the trappings of democracy. > Read more


> Interview Iain Murray



Daily Caller: Apple’s ebook ruling and the absurdity of antitrust law


Apple committed offense number one [raising prices] when it raised its e-book prices at publishers’ behest in 2010. The Justice Department sued, to the delight of Apple’s competitors. This Wednesday, Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York ruledin the Justice Department’s favor (here’s the decision). The argument goes that Apple colluded with publishers to raise e-book prices, which took away the pressure on competitors like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to keep their prices down.

Apple will likely appeal the decision for this and other reasons. This would send the case to the Second Circuit, which is unlikely to overturn Judge Cote’s decision. That would be unfortunate, but this state of affairs will persist until the President and Congress bring antitrust laws in line with market realities. 
> Read more


> Interview Ryan Young


The True Story of European Austerity; Cutting Taxes and Spending Leads to Renewed Growth

A new CEI OnPoint measures austerity and its effects from the time austerity officially began in each country, with very different results from reports that have been cited widely in the media. > Listen to the Liberty Week podcast

>View the US News & World Reports commentary





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Stossel: Should Online Gambling Be Legalized?

University of Illinois professor John Kindt and CEI fellow Michelle Minton debate a ban on online gambling.

> View the debate

New Study: EPA's Shocking Record of Failure on Statutory Deadlines Raises Serious Questions

The EPA has routinely failed to comply with statutory deadlines established for three core Clean Air Act programs and, more often than not, now promulgates regulations almost six years after established deadlines, according to a new CEI study. > Read more