By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
Summer’s over and it’s back to work…well for the rest of us. Not Congress, of course. They are too busy campaigning and recessing to do something as simple and BIPARTISAN as passing coronavirus relief for us working folks. Well, free market policy people are still working — offering policy and programs to combat the problems of the day. Here’s this week’s news …
In a Time of Economic Crisis NJ Reacts with…MORE Taxes. H.L. Mencken said ‘nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people’ We all can go broke, however, underestimating the greed and perfidy of our political class. Now, in the midst of the economic struggles of the pandemic, and with his state bleeding population under the dual burden of high taxes and restrictive lockdowns, New Jersey Governor Murphy is pushing a revised budget with nearly $1 billion in new tax hikes — hitting everything from cigarettes to gun fees to boat sales and lathering businesses with new taxes. Read the bad news here and, if you’re in NJ, call the moving van.
Iowa – the Epicenter of America’s Stock Market Trading? Sound implausible? Well just wait. It seems New York and New Jersey are intent on driving Wall Street out of town with a bevy of new taxes on the wealthy and financial transactions. Aimed at not merely soaking the rich (who have lost, not gained, billions during the pandemic), these new taxes could hurt every single American who owns a single share of stock. Take that, 401K! Americans for Tax Reform has the story.
May the Force (i.e. the Electoral College) Be With Us. We may be headed towards one of the most confusing and contentious elections, and election results, in American history. Many are projecting a constitutional crisis. Who has our backs? The Electoral College. And the Heritage Foundation has everything you need to know about it in a handy little book. Get the facts before the crisis hits — for your own peace of mind and to correct your friends.
A Bipartisan Win for the Kids, and Parents. North Carolina’s Democrat Governor, Roy Cooper, came into office vowing to eliminate the state’s school choice program. Not so fast, Guv. The state legislature, in a bipartisan action, not only preserved the school choice program, but used the state’s $1.1 billion relief package to expand it. The program even includes funding for families to hire private tutors or upgrade their wifi system to improve remote learning. See positive details here and be proud of what politicians can do when they put people before party.
Enough Worrying About Taxes, Let’s Worry About Your Doctor. Covid-19 isn’t only affecting patients, it’s affecting independent physicians as well. No, they are not catching the disease in droves. They’re facing economic problems because the Wuhan Flu has reduced their business. With so many routine and non-emergency patient visits cancelled or moved to telemedicine, and elective surgeries postponed, independent physician practices are hurting. NDP Analytics’ Nam D. Pham, Ph.D and Mary Donovan offer a report on this problematic side effect.
Price Transparency in Healthcare Could…Raise Prices? There’s a stunner. Contrary to the near universal assumption that healthcare price transparency would aid consumers and lower prices, Robert Graboyes and Jessica McBirney of The Mercatus Center warn the opposite could happen. In fact, they warn that price transparency could have two main problems — tacit collusion, or price fixing, among providers, and the simple failure of consumers to compare prices. Could this be another instance of ‘be careful what you wish for’ or ‘unintended consequences’?
Coronavirus Report Card – How Did Your State Do? Okay, we all know not to go into a nursing home in New York. But other than that gigantic blunder, how is your state doing in opening the economy, controlling cases? The Committee to Unleash Prosperity, which has been on the leading edge of all issues virus-related, has released a report. Check the winners and losers here.
Pebble Mine Getting a Red Light from Greens. As America fights for strategic mineral supremacy, a key component is in danger due to environmentalist objections. Alaska’s Pebble Mine, potentially the most valuable mineral resource on the planet (essential in the design of computer components) is suffering through a maze of procedural and political opposition. Approvals by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the Trump Administration are being blocked by green activists’ efforts. Peter Roff gives you the details, and they matter to us all.
Here’s a Nice Idea — Let’s Celebrate Us. In the midst of virus, riots, lockdowns and chaos the Human Achievement Alliance has a good idea- let’s celebrate the positive…the good things humans have, are and will do…with Human Achievement Day. They’ve chosen October 21 and you can learn all about it, and how to join here.
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.