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Entries in CEI (1392)

Saturday
Jun022012

CEI Today: Donuts & Bloomberg soda ban, national R&D bank, and NLRB ethics 

NATIONAL DONUT DAY - SAM KAZMAN & MICHELLE MINTON 

CEI.org: On National Donut Day, Be a Patriot – Eat One for Yourself, One for Your Freedom

In a week that New York City’s mayor announced a planned ban on large-size sugary sodas, consumers have a chance to fight back - with donuts.  Friday is National Donut Day, created by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the American women who served donuts to soldiers in World War I. But now, it’s becoming a day to stand up to government food regulators. > Read more about National Donut Day at CEI.org

> See also, New York City Mayor Michael “Nanny” Bloomberg Wants To Ban Super-Sized Soda


> Interview Sam Kazman or Michelle Minton


 

NAT'L R&D BANK - BILL FREZZA

Forbes.com: Can Big Science Bypass Congress and Help Itself to Cash?

 

A rather extraordinary proposal is making the rounds among the scientific grandees who live comfortably on your tax dollars, but are increasingly worried that budget constraints might cramp their style.


A conference organized by the New America Foundation recently brought together government scientists, concerned journalists, and public policy experts to tackle the question of how to “Save America’s knowledge enterprise” from tight budgets and the threat posed by “primitive myths of the lone inventor.” United in the belief that progress does not come from individuals but, rather, from big collective enterprises, these experts in Washington proposed that they should all feast from … a national R&D Bank.

  > Read the full commentary on Forbes.com

 

> Interview Bill Frezza

 

 

NLRB - VINCENT VERNUCCIO & TREY KOVACS

 

WashingtonTimes.com: Big union’s unethical influence in government

 

In one of the most glaring examples of Washington’s sordid revolving-door political culture, former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Craig Becker took a job as co-general counsel with the AFL-CIO barely six months after leaving the government. Mr. Becker was the first-ever NLRB member to be appointed directly from a union. At the time of his recess appointment by President Obama, he worked as an attorney for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).


The fact that Mr. Becker left a large union, worked for the federal agency that is supposed to function as a neutral arbitrator in labor disputes, and then went back to another labor organization as soon as his appointment ended should raise questions about his ability to act as an independent judge.  > Read the full commentary on Washingtimes.com

 

 

>Interview Vincent Vernuccio or Trey Kovacs

 

 


Also featuring...

If Only All Policemen were Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Lawyer Arrested for Constitutionally Protected Blogging Against Convicted Bomber, After Hearing Before Judge C.J. Vaughey

CEI Podcast for May 31, 2012: Ten Thousand Commandments

Congress passed 81 bills last year, while agencies passed 3,807 regulations. This, according to Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews, is regulation without representation. Crews discusses this and other findings from the just-released 2012 edition of his annual report, “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Regulatory State.”

 

New!

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.

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.

Saturday
Jun022012

CEI Weekly: Regulators Partly to Blame for Facebook IPO Disappointment

Friday, June 1, 2012

 

 

Feature: John Berlau discusses how regulations have changed the nature of IPOs.

FEATURE: Regulators Partly to Blame for Facebook IPO Disappointment

 

Facebook's recent IPO fell flat in front of a global audience; and while analysts have several viable explanations for what went wrong, few have addressed the role regulations may have played in changing the nature of IPOs. In a new op-ed in The Sun Sentinel, CEI Senior Fellow for Finance and Access to Capital John Berlau explains how financial regulations have led to firms waiting to issue IPOs until they are over-bloated.

 

 

 

SHAPING THE DEBATE

 

Big Union's Unethical Influence in Government

Vincent Vernuccio & Trey Kovacs' op-ed in The Washington Times

 

Is America Dead? Yes, if America's Surveillance State Drones On

Wayne Crews' column in Forbes

 

Can Big Science Bypass Congress and Help Itself to Cash?

Bill Frezza's column in Forbes

 

 

Tax Equity for Real

Matthew Sinclair & Iain Murray's op-ed in The American Spectator

 

Regulators Regulate, and That's a Problem

Wayne Crews' citation in Deroy Murdock's syndicated column

 

Earth's Carbon Dioxide Levels Hit 'Troubling Milestone' in Arctic

Myron Ebell's citation in the Associated Press

 

55,000 Green Cards for Foreign Tech Graduates

David Bier's citation in The Telegraph

 

Union Rights? Wis. Dem Recall Silence Speaks Volumes

Vincent Vernuccio's citation in Investor's Business Daily

 

 

 

                     

 

 

CEI PODCAST

 

May 31, 2012: Ten Thousand Commandments

 

Congress passed 81 bills last year, while agencies passed 3,807 regulations. This, according to Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews, is regulation without representation. Crews discusses this and other findings from the just-released 2012 edition of his annual report, “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Regulatory State.”

 

Thursday
May312012

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

DIGITAL AGE PRIVACY - WAYNE CREWS   

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


 

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - MATTHEW SINCLAIR & IAIN MURRAY

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

 

RELIGIOUS PROFILING & AIRPORT SECURITY - DAVID BIER

 

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

 

 

New!

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.

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.

Wednesday
May302012

CEI Today: Fuel credit fraud, new old plans to regulate wireless, and EPA pre-regulation on Pebble Creek mine

ENERGY FRAUD - BRIAN McGRAW

Globalwarming.org:
Fraudulent Renewable Fuel Credits Continue to Surface

When the government introduced the mandates for ethanol and related biofuels, they needed a way in which companies could verify that they were complying with the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007. For whatever reason, the decided mechanism would require that companies purchase credits to demonstrate that they had complied with the mandate: a renewable identification number (RIN). Each RIN is theoretically tied to a gallon of ethanol, biodiesel, or similar renewable fuel. However, because the RINs can be sold and traded similar to stock, in practice the pairing of a RIN with a particular gallon of fuel is somewhat superficial.


Unfortunately, this government created market in RINs has created an opportunity for criminally-minded entrepreneurs to scam the companies who are attempting to comply with the law by creating fake RINs and selling them in the marketplace. > Read the full commentary on Globalwarming.org


> Interview Brian McGraw


 

REGULATING WIRELESS - BEN SPERRY

Openmarket.org: Classic Obfuscation: The New America Foundation’s Search for the “Public Interest”

 

Milton Friedman once quipped that “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” Perhaps he would add the outmoded idea of the “public interest” as used by the FCC if he were still alive today.


On May 23, the New America Foundation, in coordination with Public Knowledge and the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law, held an event titled Broadcast to Broadband: New Theories of the Public Interest in Wireless. Unfortunately, though, no new theory of the public interest was forwarded. Instead, there was a rehashing of the same tired clichés about universal service, localism, and diversity.  > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

 

> Interview Ben Sperry

 

 

EPA PRE-REGULATION

Resourcefulearth.org: EPA Jumps the Gun on Mine Assessment

 

Earlier this month, the EPA released its long-awaited assessment of the potential effects of mine development north of Bristol Bay, Alaska. However, it was curious that the EPA began to study this issue in anticipation of a potential permit application for development of the Pebble Mine, an ambitious mining project that has been previously discussed at Resourceful Earth.

In recent years the EPA has made it clear that, likely due to political interests, they have no problem siding with radical environmentalists who are interested in leaving everything in the ground, ignoring the economic impact this will have on Alaska and the rest of the world as these deposits of gold, copper, etc. never make it to the market. Keeping U.S. mineral deposits in the ground also encourages mining in other, less wealthy, countries where environmental safeguards are often non-existent.


Furthermore, it appears that the EPA assessed a hypothetical mine based off of initial plans made public, rather than collaborating with the companies interested in the Pebble deposit. > Read the full commentary on Resourcefulearth.org


Interview an expert



 

May 24, 2012: Driverless Cars

May 24, 2012

Driverless cars are a new technology that could revolutionize the way we think about transportation. A prototype driverless car made by Google recently made the rounds in Washington, DC, and Land-use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner got to take a ride. He shares his experience, talks about the potential benefits for road safety and congestion, and the regulatory hurdles that driverless cars must clear before they can enter the marketplace.

 

New!

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.

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.

Wednesday
May302012

CEI Today: Ethanol folly, Paycheck Fairness Act, Kimberlin injunction, Battered Business Bureau, and more

ETHANOL - BRIAN McGRAW

Globalwarming.org:
EPA Continues the Cellulosic Ethanol Folly

Last week the EPA dismissed a petition by the American Petroleum Institute seeking relief from the cellulosic ethanol mandate, which requires that oil refiners blend 8.65 million gallons of ethanol into the fuel supply by the end of 2012.

The whole problem with the EPA’s non-flexible mandate is that there is no commercially available cellulosic ethanol, thus making it impossible to meet the mandate. The EPA’s justification for this policy is that they need to maintain an incentive for companies to begin producing cellulosic ethanol, despite many past failures.
> Read the full commentary on Globalwarming.org


> Interview Brian McGraw


 

PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT - HANS BADER

Openmarket.org: Paycheck Fairness Act Contains Unfair Provisions, Would Result in Equal Pay for Unequal Work

 

The Paycheck Fairness Act would effectively force many businesses to prove themselves innocent of pay discrimination, and would in some cases create a conclusive presumption of guilt, by narrowly limiting the availability of affirmative defenses (for employers that rely on sensible factors “other than sex” to set pay in ways that result in statistical disparities that have perfectly innocent explanations).As I previously explained, the Paycheck Fairness Act would effectively mandate equal pay for unequal work, not equal pay for equal work as its supporters claim.  > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

 

> Interview Hans Bader

 

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  • 95 new final rules were published last week, up from 84 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every hour and 46 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 1,583 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,968 new rules.
  • 1,628 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 31,432 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 77,040 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 22 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $14.3 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.
  • No economically significant rules were published last week. So far, 172 significant final rules have been published in 2012.
  • So far this year, 292 final rules affect small businesses. 40 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • Good news on the international trade front: the International Trade Administration published a rule withdrawing a tariff quota on imported fabric that expired in 2009 (timely!). The rule also repeals rules for short supply procedures. “Short supply procedures” means that when domestic supply falls short of demand, the government blocks fewer imports than usual to ease the shortage. Now the ITA will stay out of the way entirely, as far as cotton is concerned. This bit of housecleaning came about through President Obama’s January 2011 Executive Order, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.”
  • The official legal meaning of the term “unblockable drain” has been revised, thanks to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • It is against federal rules for a commercial driver to make entries to an automatic on-board recording device while his vehicle is in motion. A new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule specifies that it’s OK for anyone else in the vehicle to do so.
  • Morelet’s crocodile is no longer an endangered species, though the crocs “will remain protected under the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.”

For more data, updated daily, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.

> Follow Ten Thousand Commandments on Twitter

 

New!

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.

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.