By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
What a week…Impeachment…State of the Union (watch it here)…Iowa! Well, no matter how crazy the politicians make us, free market policy people keep working on issues and ideas that affect America, and the world. Read on for this week’s news…
- The PRO Act is a Con. At some point this week the House of Representatives will vote on, and probably pass, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The bill, which reads like a wish list for Labor organizers, would codify many of the Obama era pro-labor regulations, wipe out all state level Right to Work laws, nationalize California’s ill-formed ABC law that handicaps freelancers and independent contractors, cause non-union employees to pay union dues…the list goes on and on. Over 70 organizations have signed a coalition letter to Congress calling for defeat of the legislation and, should it pass the House and Senate, it is inevitable that President Trump would veto it. Still, the PRO Act shows clearly the intentions of our more liberal legislators and employees and employers should know what it is all about. Read more here.
- To Help Free Venezuela, Cut Off Cuba. The Maduro regime in Venezuela continues to terrorize its own people, imprison and kill protestors and keep iron control of a country in the throes of a disastrous economy. A key to Maduro’s continued rule is the economic aid it receives from Cuba. Cuba is heavily dependent on Venezuelan oil and offers substantial, essential military and economic aid to Maduro. Otto Reich, former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere has suggested solutions, calling for the U.S. to take actions to return to pre-Obama restrictions on Cuba and to dry up Cuba’s flow of International currency. Reich shows how the Trump Administration could kill two Hemisphere bad birds with the same stone. See his approach here.
- Saving Americans’ Savings. Economists all agree — everyone should have regular savings to build an emergency nest egg. Or just any nest egg, really. But savings are taxed twice — when you earn the money to put into your savings, and when you withdraw it. Not much incentive… and it could even get worse. Democrat Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want to add a bunch more taxes. But now comes a suggestion from Adam Michel and Stephen Moore for Universal Savings Accounts — simple, flexible savings accounts where the growth on savings would be tax free. Sound like a good idea? Get more details at the Daily Signal.
- You’ll Need a Drink…Sobering News About the National Debt. You knew it was bad, but did you know it was this bad? Meet The Debt Curve from Hell — the Debt to GDP Ratio from 1957 to (projected) 2050. It shows a climb from a National Debt of 47.9% of Gross Domestic Product to 180% of GDP in 2050. Yes, Virginia, Washington has a spending problem. And it had better get it under control. 180%!!!. Get the full, gloomy, picture at the Daily Caller.
- More Government is NOT the Answer to Surprise Medical Bills. Surprise medical bills are suddenly getting a lot of attention, but the Coalition Against Rate Setting is worried that having the problem “fixed” by D.C. bureaucrats will do more harm than good. See their suggestions for putting patients first at www.noratesetting.org. And Peter Roff, former U.S. News and World Report contributing editor, gives a cogent overview here.
- REPUBLICAN NATIONAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. Lunch featuring Rep. Mark Meadows.Thursday, February 12, 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM. Capitol Hill Club, 300 1st, SE. Tickets at www.rnla.org.
- PENNSYLVANIA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE. Congressman Jason Chaffetz. March 27-28. Radisson Penn Harris, Camp Hill, PA. Info and register at PALeadershipConference.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.