By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
Here’s some great public mental health advice: stay home, wear a mask, and definitely wear earplugs and blinders when you watch TV news. Or you can just read about free market policy people who are working through the storm, offering perspective and policy options to lead us to better times. This week’s news …
- Businesses are Locked Down, the Economy is Struggling…Let’s Raise Taxes! It’s not a joke, it’s a cruel reality facing the people of New Hampshire. Back when the economy was booming (remember? It was only a few months ago) both Democrat and Republican New Hampshire governors pushed through tax cuts on business profits and payroll taxes. The Democrat led state legislature put a landmine in the 2020-2021 budget however: if the economy slows, taxes will be raised. So: Businesses shut down. Paychecks shrinking or nonexistent. Let’s have a tax hike. Want the details? Check it out here. The new New Hampshire motto — Live Free or Die…from Overtaxation.
- Does Protecting American Workers Hurt the Economy…and our Future? It’s not just a cliche: America is a nation of immigrants. Still, concerned about the vast numbers of Americans who have lost their jobs to the Wuhan Flu, President Trump signed an order severely limiting immigration, including work visas, until Americans have a chance to go back to work and get first shot at the jobs. Makes sense? Well, maybe not. Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) makes a strong argument for the positive contributions immigrants make to our economy, even in bad times. Human capital may be the most valuable natural resource. Norquist shows why this may not be the best time to limit resources.
- We Can’t Cure the Coronavirus, But Maybe We Can Cure the Testing and Tracking. This whole COVID-19 thing has us buffaloed. There is so much information, so often contradictory, that everyone, from the President on down isn’t sure of what to do. What would help is solid information. Justin D. Silverman, Nathaniel Hupert, and Alex D. Washburne have released an important, detailed report that could help, citing the use of influenza surveillance networks to estimate the state specific prevalence of COVID-19. Accurate testing and tracking is one more piece of the puzzle that will help us beat this thing.
- COVID-19 — What are Your Odds? We Got ‘em. Another thorough, detailed study, this one from Italy, takes an in-depth look at the probability of symptoms and critical disease after Covid-19 infection. There’s a bunch of science here, but it could put your mind at rest…or give you the willies.
- Brighter Future Department: Trump Admin Deregulates Retirement Plans. In good news for individuals with 401(k)s and IRAs, the Trump Administration has announced a new deregulation proposal to allow individuals to use their 401(k) and IRA retirement accounts to invest in private equity funds. A popular, and usually profitable investment, private equity funds have been available to public pension funds, but have ave been unavailable to the individual account holder. Alex Hendrie gives the details and a cogent explanation here.
- Help Wanted! Really! Who said anything about unemployment? The Leadership Institute (LI) has 12 — count them 12! — job openings ranging everywhere from Interns to Management, from Cyber to Campaigns. Check them out here, and learn more about LI here.
- Help the Recovery, Hold off the IRS. As the President, and the nation, try to figure out how to recover from the dizzying blow Coronavirus has dealt our economy, Peter Roff has a good idea: Postpone the payment of taxes. Pushing back the filing date helped, but approximately $1 Trillion is due in July if everybody pays everything they owe. That’s a lot of money to take out of a sick, but recovering economy. We’ve seen some good, and some bad, decisions by the President, Governors, Mayors and even Congress. Here’s a good one everybody would gain from.
- JUSTICE for All, Including the Police. “Defund the Police”? “Abolish the Police”? In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death we have had a rush to judgement that has rushed right over the cliff of reason and responsibility, when these issues need to be addressed in a calm and intelligent manner. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has introduced the JUSTICE Act (S. 3985) a well thought piece of legislation that calls for greater transparency and accountability without limiting the effectiveness of the police, or overstepping Federal bounds in dealing with stater and municipal jurisdictions. Grover Norquist of ATR gives good reasons for the legislation in a letter of support to Senator Scott here.
- HERITAGE FOUNDATION offers a selection of Virtual Programming on a variety of topics, always with interesting and highly credible presenters. Check here for a complete listing.
Andresen Blom is a Washington based policy and political analyst and author who has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Politico.