By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
Wow! Busy week. Some states are opening, some states are dragging their feet, the stock market is climbing, employment is rocketing back up but people are still social distancing unless they’re protesting. And, in the true American spirit, some people just have never stopped working through it all, as free market policy people are proposing ways to lead us out of these multiple crises. Read on …
- Elections Will Have Consequences…Like Higher Corporate Taxes. It’s not “Voodoo”, “Trickle Down” or “Supply Side” Economics. It’s a fact of life: when corporate taxes go up they pass the cost on to us, or leave town. Apparently this doesn’t concern presumptive Democrat Presidential Nominee Joe Biden who has announced plans, if elected, to raise the U.S. Corporate tax rate to 28% — higher than Red China! Also higher than Canada, Ireland and the U.K. President Trump has lowered the U.S. corporate rate to 21%, which many feel was a major contributor to the booming economy, and to many U.S. companies bringing back operations from overseas. A necessary windfall for Government spending, or sudden brakes on an economy recovering from COVID-19? Read more from Americans for Tax Reform here.
- Are You Sick of the Cost and Inefficiency of Health Care? Here’s Hope. Government tried to “fix” our not necessarily broken healthcare system by imposing Obamacare. The result? Sky high costs, reduced patient choices, limited access to care, ever increasing prescription drug costs. The government solution? Since Government messed it all up, let’s turn everything over to Government. Health Care Choices 2020, https://www.healthcarechoices2020.org, believes there are better solutions. It’s worth some serious thought.
- Your Vote’s in the Mail. Honest. And it’s sure to arrive sometime in December. Or maybe January. Okay, the potential for error, misplaced votes and voter fraud in nationwide vote by mail is no laughing matter. Peter Roff takes a scary look at one aspect and found that between 2012 and 2018 nearly one in every five ballots mailed to voters in states that vote entirely by mail simply disappeared. Gone. Vanished. Kaput. 1/5th of the electorate disenfranchised. And the figure of 28 million missing ballots is likely even higher because some areas in the country, notably Chicago, did not respond to the federal agency’s survey questions. Even more sobering (if you care about elections) is that the number doesn’t include ballots that were spoiled, undeliverable, or came back for any reason. In case your copy of Newsweek somehow got lost in the mail, read Peter’s findings here.
- Women Speaking Up. Thank God for Sanity. There are many differing viewpoints and means of expression on how to deal with the sudden and complex problems facing America. Thank heaven we have the intelligent and thoughtful views and policy prescription being advanced by The Independent Women’s Forum to offer some true guidance on how to move forward on Education, Healthcare, National Security, Employment and Rebuilding our Communities. Good stuff here.
- Is ‘Buy American’ the Answer? NTU and Others Have Questions. Faced with the sudden revelations about the weakness of our supply chain and our dependence on Communist China, a strong ‘Buy American’ reaction seemed logical. But the National Tax Payers Union, and over 250 leading economists have serious questions. You can read their concerns in a letter to President Trump, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader McConnell here, and even see their video message. Or, form your own opinion (it’s still allowed).
- Bringing Due Process to the Regulatory State is Overdue. Thankfully, the Trump Administration is doing something about it. The abuses Americans and American businesses suffer at the hands of unelected bureaucrats is shameful. For far too long mere agency employees, not appointed by or overseen by the President, have been able to weave a net of regulations, rules and administrative sleight of hand to limit, harass and abuse the people. President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget is looking into the matter and long overdue action is being taken. The Pacific Legal institute looks into the issue and highlights nine cases showing common agency failings here.
- Put Down That Phone and Listen! Connectivity is Critical. One of the outgrowths of the Coronavirus pandemic is a dramatically increased reliance on smartphone and internet connectivity. We are meeting, shopping, going to school and communicating with family, friends and the world through our phones, tablets and computers. But do we have the bandwidth we need…now and for the future? Mario Lopez, President of The Hispanic Leadership Fund looks at how our dependence affects different communities, and the steps we need to consider for a workable future here.
- Trump Cuts Regulations and…We’re Still Over-regulated. Way over-regulated. Think of it as economic death by ten thousand regs. While the Trump Administration has been aggressive at seeking to limit and decrease the regulatory state, and while he has issued an Executive Order aimed at making the essential COVID-19 deregulations permanent, this is still the tip of the regulation iceberg. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has issued a report detailing some of the costs of the regulatory state. Lowlights? Federal regulation costs each U.S. household about $14,000 annually, on average. That’s about one-fifth of the average pre-tax household budget, the second-biggest item after housing. More? The $1.9 trillion “hidden tax” of regulation exceeds corporate and personal income taxes combined. An important lesson in how our government runs us, we don’t run our government.
- Treating the After Effects of COVID-19: Curbing the Tort Fest. It seems inevitable and it is a stain on the American Way. As we begin to come out of the lockdown and panic over the Coronavirus, some (hopefully few) greedy lawyers are already lining up cases to sue the valiant companies, organizations and individuals who stayed open or went to work to feed us, clothe us and provide basic necessities (thanks Amazon!) in our time of need. Inevitably, not everyone who went into a grocery store wore a mask. Not every worker remained disease free. So a tort lawyer needs only to find one person who contracted a disease, find a receptive Judge in a “plaintive-friendly” jurisdiction, sue…and make a lot of money. Can tort abuse be curbed? Victor E Schwartz, co-author of the most widely used torts casebook in the United States, has a proscription to halt greedy lawyers. It’s an important issue and worth a look here.
- Texas Steps up for Public Employees. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has taken the U.S. Supreme Court Janus Decision to heart, authoring a strong legal opinion that public employees must actively consent to have payroll deductions taken for public sector union dues or organizations fees. Paxton stated additional protections to assure employees First Amendment rights. Important steps and important changes in union/employee relationships.
- Controlling Social Media…a Bad Fix to a Bad Problem. Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, ‘fact checks’ President Trump and he is outraged. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg leaves Trump’s controversial posts up and thousands of his young ‘woke’ employees stage a virtual walkout. It’s a contentious issue. Conservatives want social media controlled so their voices aren’t silenced. Liberals want social media controlled so nothing is published they don’t agree with. Both are probably wrong. Are Facebook, Twitter, et.al. public utilities or private business? It all comes down to Section 230 and this is an argument that will have much to do with shaping our political and social discourse. Get into the details here and read more here.
- The Coming High Tech War with China is Here. We have learned a lot from the COVID-19 experience, mostly bad, unfortunately, but some good. But among the bad has been the revealing of just how dangerous an enemy Communist China could be…and what steps they are taking right now, and have been taking, to assure dominance in the future. A key area? High Tech. George Landrith, President and CEO of Frontiers of Freedom, sends a warning here.
Events: Okay, I’m spoiled. I like taking meetings by ZOOM and TEAM. Sit on my couch in my sweats, no commute, no parking. Fortunately, most events and meetings are now on line. Check to make sure your event has not been cancelled. The good news: You don’t have to wear your mask at a livestream event.
- Acton University. Four Day Conference. June 16 – 20, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Apply at university.acton.org.
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.