The president's annual state of the union address is another example of how dysfunctional our government in Washington has become.
Article 2, section 3 of the US Constitution says that the president "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union…."
The president is the chief executive of our government. As chief executive, it makes sense that he report periodically about the state of affairs to the body responsible for passing laws, the Congress, so they have a sense of what needs to be done. more >>
Last week, Moody's rating agency lowered the outlook for health insurers from stable to negative, blaming Obamacare. Few Americans will shed tears for insurance companies. But the Moody's announcement is a warning sign to taxpayers. They'll be getting clobbered. Section 1342 of the Affordable Care Act forces taxpayers to make insurers whole for most of the losses incurred selling Obamacare exchange plans through 2016. The bailout is designed to conceal the failure of the president's signature health law until he is out of office.
No one in the Obama administration talked up the advantages of bailing out insurers. It was kept under wraps until the fall of 2013. That's when five to six million health plans were cancelled because they didn't comply with Obamacare's one-size- fits all coverage requirements effective January 1, 2014. . Insurers developed new plans, as the health law required, set premiums (generally higher) and sent out notices cancelling the old plans.
That caused public outrage. Trying to quell it, the president ignored his own law and told insurance companies on November 14 they could keep selling the old plans. Insurers were caught off guard. They predicted there would be less demand for their new plans, and they'd lose money. more >>
For generations, people worldwide who yearn for freedom have looked to the United States. Here, every citizen can speak his mind, pursue his passion, and exercise other God-given liberties that are unjustly denied many others around the globe.
But that doesn't mean we're above reproach in all areas of freedom. Take economic freedom, which continues to deteriorate a little more each year.
I'm not basing this on hearsay, or on the latest jobs report. Every year, The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal release a detailed, country-by-country policy guide known as the Index of Economic Freedom. And the news for the United States has been getting a little worse each year over the last several editions. more >>
The "rule of law" has served as the backbone of democracy from America's founding. First, all Americans agree to be held accountable under the law. To secure that consent, the process to enact, administer and enforce those laws must be transparent, democratically accessible, and impartial. While that process has rarely been perfect, it has consistently created stable, predictable laws that serve as the guide rails for civil society.
The last several decades have marked a continued erosion of the rule of law in America's federal government. The gradual change has resulted from Congress ceding its constitutional powers, leaving essentially a type of ad hoc rule by the President and the executive branch agencies.
For example, most of the recent political battles related to the EPA involve legislative authority delegated to the agency under the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. The last major amendments to those laws by Congress occurred in 1987 and 1990 respectively. Since then, the executive branch has used its tremendous regulatory power to essentially create updated versions of the laws that carry the same force as those duly enacted several decades ago. more >>
Have you ever wondered why you vote the way you vote? It seems it is a little more complex and a little less comical than some would like to make it.
Take the recent study by National Media Research Planning and Placement suggesting there might be a link between Republicans, Democrats and the type of alcohol they prefer. The study seems to be nothing more than an amusing diversion at best. Seems a better analysis would include having bartenders use the information to do some predictive analysis about which patrons are more likely to pay for their own drinks as opposed to those who might try to get their drinks for free.
Or how about the new study which will probably make the rounds on late night comedy shows from The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science which found that felons favored Democrats six-to-one in three states which allow felons to vote, post incarceration, according to the Washington Examiner. more >>
With skyrocketing tuition, there is no denying that college is too expensive. My friend, Professor Richard Vedder of Ohio University, has produced a lifetime of work showing that colleges' hefty price is directly related to students' easy access to Federal Pell grants and student loans. Those taxpayer-subsidized funds allow universities to handsomely compensate tenured professors who rarely teach and ensure administrators at state institutions remain the highest paid public employees in America.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out this model is unsustainable. With student loans already surpassing $1.2 trillion, this is a financial bubble ready to burst. And the failure will be another burden on taxpayers because these loans are backed by the government. That is why we must insist that public colleges and universities model their business practices after private industry, such as incentivizing schools to reduce the time it takes to graduate and to reduce budgets by outsourcing services which can be performed better and more economically by the private sector.
Privatized dorm buildings, food services, and busing contracts are some good examples of public colleges and universities contracting services to save taxpayers money. But one important outsourcing idea is under attack by the Obama administration and government bureaucrats. more >>