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 >>
President Obama is packing his bags for a 17-day, taxpayer-funded Christmas vacation to Hawaii, The Washington Times reported. The vacation begins on Friday, December 20.
The first family will reportedly be shacking up at a palatial oceanfront home that rents for $24,500 a week. When you toss in the shaved ice, greens fees, and gas for Air Force One, the American taxpayers could be on the hook for one mighty expensive Hawaiian holiday.
The Hawaii Reporter ran the numbers on last year's trip and found that it cost taxpayers more than $4 million. That's some pricy poi. more >>
Given the magnitude of the Obamacare debacle, it's hard to imagine how Republicans could manage to one-up the dysfunction and dissolution of the Democrat party. Much to the delight of the media, however, the GOP has managed to redirect the spotlight away from the train wreck of the Affordable Care Act in exchange for its own dog and pony show.
Frustrated by conservative criticisms of the recently passed House budget compromise, Speaker John Boehner has declared open season on "outside conservative groups," claiming that their criticism of the budget deal is mere window dressing designed to foment grassroots anger against the "establishment":
"They are not fighting for conservative principles," Mr. Boehner told rank-and-file House Republicans during a private meeting on Wednesday as he seethed and questioned the motives of the groups for piling on against the plan before it was even made public. "They are not fighting for conservative policy," he continued, according to accounts of those present. "They are fighting to expand their lists, raise more money and grow their organizations, and they are using you to do it. It's ridiculous." more >>
A new study just published by the National Institute on Retirement Security – Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States- presents a dismal snapshot of the state of retirement savings of minority American families.
It reports that 54.3 percent of blacks work for employers that offer retirement plans compared to 62.3 percent of whites. And 43.9 percent of blacks participate in those plans compared to 53.9 percent of whites.
Among Latinos, 37.8 percent work for employers with retirement plans and just 29.7 percent participate. more >>