CEI Experts on State of the Union: Jobs & Economy, Energy, Regulatory Reform and More



Iain Murray, Vice President for Strategy:
Iain Murray is a leading expert on financial regulation and regulatory reform - specifically on employment and immigration issues. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and the National Review, among other publications. Murray is the author of the best-selling books, "The Really Inconvenient Truths" and "Stealing You Blind: How Government Fat Cats Are Getting Rich Off of You," the latter of which provides a difference perspective on the income inequality issue. He is also a visiting fellow at The Adam Smith Institute in London.

“The fact is: Today’s America is divided between those who work for government and those who don’t. Those who work for government have a job for life, guaranteed retirement and other benefits, and financial security,” said Murray. “Those who don’t, have uncertain prospects. They are at the mercy of an administration that is making their benefits more expensive and restricting their access to credit with more and more regulations. That is the true inequality in President Obama’s America.”

Ryan Young, Fellow:
Ryan Young specializes in regulatory reform, as well as monetary and financial regulation. His recent work has focused on the Federal Reserve and the unintended consequences of the minimum wage. Young’s work has been featured in USA Today, Politico and Investor’s Business Daily, among other publications. Young was formerly CEI’s Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellow.

“Given what reports suggest will appear in the president’s State of the Union address, we need to keep in mind three things. First: A higher minimum wage is not a free lunch, and will force some employers to reduce hours or fire workers. And, second, extending unemployment benefits will keep unemployment unnaturally high,” said Young. “The third thing is: If the president is truly concerned about the poor, he should support policies that would make the poor better off instead of focusing on income inequality. One of these policies could be a deregulatory stimulus that would make it easier to start a business and hire workers.”


Wayne Crews, Vice President for Policy:
As a leading expert in technology issues and regulatory policy, Wayne Crews is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and a frequent guest on radio and television programs nationwide. He is the author of the publication the 10,000 Commandments, an annual report on the growing compliance costs of federal regulations, and some of his most recent work has focused on the need to rein in the power of the executive branch. Crews formerly worked at the Cato Institute, the U.S. Senate and the Food and Drug Administration.

"Ours is the era of big borrowing and big regulation -- and big executive power, perhaps untethered by Congress or the Constitution. The latter will be a centerpiece of President Obama's State of the Union address," said Crews. "What America needs instead is a leaner government that rejects overspending and over-regulating. Leadership means unleashing the entrepreneurial sector from over-regulation, and allowing U.S. citizens their natural right to opt out of big, destabilizing government programs like the president's health care law."


Myron Ebell, Director of CEI's Center for Energy and Environment:
The Financial Times called Myron Ebell, “one of America’s most prominent climate-change skeptics.” Ebell has testified before nine House and Senate committees and made thousands of radio and television appearances to discuss climate policies, the costs of energy regulations and legislation affecting property rights, endangered species and federal lands. 

“If President Obama were really committed to boosting the economy, he would tell Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring the pro-energy, pro-jobs bills passed by the House to the Senate floor for a vote,” said Ebell.” I would recommend the president announce his intentions to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline in the State of the Union address. However, he seems more determined to order new EPA regulations that will raise energy prices and impoverish Americans.”  


Aloysius Hogan, Senior Fellow:
A former government affairs director with extensive experience on Capitol Hill in the U.S. House and Senate, Aloysius Hogan specializes in labor and employment policy. His recent work on unemployment insurance was featured in USA Today and Human Events. Hogan is a lawyer by trade, and his experience runs the gamut including working for law firms, non-profits, political campaigns and a judicial clerkship.

“An actual focus on jobs is sorely needed in America, but the president’s promises past and present haven’t borne fruit. Hiring is held back by ObamaCare, according to business surveys. Jobs are being killed by the administration’s regulatory policy such as those in the coal-mining industry. Financing of start-ups and expansion is hamstrung by Volcker Rule red tape,” said Hogan. “America’s labor-force participation rate is the lowest in more than a generation, and the president’s approach to jobs is not helping the situation.”


Ryan Radia, Associate Director of Technology Studies:
Ryan Radia specializes in adapting law and public policy to the unique challenges of the information age. His recent work focuses on information privacy and Internet freedom, including issues that have arisen due to the NSA scandal.

“I expect the president will echo his recent proposal to ‘reform’ the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs in his State of the Union address. His latest plan focuses on shifting the burden of collecting, storing and securing Americans’ phone records to telecom companies or another private ‘third party,’” said Radia. “The problem is the government will still be able to access privately held phone records without a warrant. What is worse: outsourcing bulk-data collection to America’s private sector would undermine trustworthy digital relationships, and with them, the nation’s enviable position atop the global information economy.”


John Berlau, Senior Fellow:
Formerly an award-winning financial and political journalist, John Berlau specializes in financial regulation and access to capital. His recent focus, discussed in his writings for various publications and as a frequent television and radio guest, includes: the regulatory impact and consequences of the Dodd-Frank Act. Berlau is a former media fellow at the Hoover Institution, and also the author of Amazon bestseller, “Eco-Freaks" (2006).

“Given the impact regulations have on our economy, I would like to see President Obama address some of the consequences we are seeing from the Dodd-Frank Act,” said Berlau. “We need a moratorium on issuing new Dodd-Frank regulations in order to allow for a review of the negative, unintended consequences of the current ones. Even Democrats, like Rep. Maxine Waters of California, are concerned about these overly burdensome rules and the suffering they are causing main street banks and credit unions.”


CEI is a non-profit, public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. Founded in 1984, CEI is an effective advocate for economic freedom on a wide range of critical policy issues, including: energy, environment, business and finance, technology, telecommunications, and food and drug regulation.