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Recent Policy Studies
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Hans A. von Spakovsky, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 07/18/2013
America is one of the few democracies in the world that do not uniformly require voters to present photo identification when they vote. All of the other 100 countries administer such a requirement without any problems and without any reports that their citizens are in any way unable to vote. Requiring voters to authenticate their identity is a perfectly reasonable and easily met requirement. It is supported by the vast majority of voters of all races and ethnic backgrounds. As the U.S. Supreme Court has said, voter ID protects the integrity and reliability of the electoral process. It should be applied to in-person voting as well as to absentee ballot voting, which is all too often the “tool of choice” of vote thieves.
Health CareBy Chris Jacobs, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 07/18/2013
Congress may soon revisit the issue of Medicare physician reimbursement. Under the SGR, the federal government computes an annual target for Medicare physician spending based in large part on annual changes in economic growth as measured by GDP. Physician spending exceeding the growth in GDP in any given year will result in an automatic, proportional cut in physician reimbursement the following year. Since 2003, Congress has blocked the SGR formula from going into effect because the applicable cuts would threaten seniors’ access to care. For 2014, the formula calls for a reimbursement cut of almost 25 percent. Many policymakers have concluded that the SGR must be reformed. They are right, but Congress must ensure that any fundamental reform of the SGR is accompanied by fundamental Medicare reform.
National SecurityBy Richard J. Dunn III, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 07/18/2013
Imbalances in combat readiness could undermine the U.S. military’s ability to protect U.S. interests. Because some dimensions of combat readiness lack natural constituencies, readiness may suffer disproportionate and significant harm in the increasingly fierce competition for budgetary resources. Congress has an obligation to learn from history rather than repeat past mistakes of allowing military readiness to decline to a point that puts the lives of service members and U.S. national interests at risk.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Paul Rosenzweig, The Heritage FoundationLegal Memorandum, 07/18/2013
All too often, America’s legislature writes laws that are silent on the question of intent. Whether by mistake, through laziness, or due to purposeful ambiguity, Congress often writes laws without a “guilty mind” (mens rea) requirement and leaves it to the courts to decide whether that law has an intent requirement in it, what that requirement is, and the actions to which it applies. As a result, innocent persons are facing unjust conviction for violating federal criminal offenses. Congress should stop creating laws that do not have mens rea requirements, but simple solutions can be difficult to implement. America therefore needs a systemic solution: a statute that, by its terms, sets a default rule for mens rea requirements.
Budget & TaxationBy Scott Drenkard, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 07/17/2013
Virginia gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli (R), Terry McAuliffe (D), and Robert Sarvis (L) made a splash in early May when they rolled out the preliminary details of their tax plans, all of which would make substantial changes to the state tax code. While details are still in flux, this report describes the candidates’ current tentative plans followed by commentary on their impacts on economic activity in the state.
Crime, Justice & the Law
The Unfair Attack on Arbitration: Harming Consumers by Eliminating a Proven Dispute Resolution SystemBy Hans A. von Spakovsky, The Heritage FoundationLegal Memorandum, 07/17/2013
Opponents of strong enforcement of arbitration agreements, as authorized by the Federal Arbitration Act, contend that arbitration is unfair and biased. The evidence is to the contrary. Study after study shows that consumers and employees fare as well, if not better, in arbitration than in court. Moreover, arbitration’s speed and low costs allow the resolution of many claims that would be impractical to litigate. While the arbitration process may not treat lawyers as well as drawn-out litigation does, it is a boon for consumers, and legislation or regulation to curtail it would only injure them by cutting off a fast and efficient means of dispute resolution.
ImmigrationBy Jessica Zuckerman, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 07/17/2013
Rather than taking up the Senate’s Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744), the House has chosen to take a piece-by-piece approach to immigration reform, with five separate bills currently up for consideration, each seeking to address a specific challenge within the nation’s broken immigration system. While this approach should be applauded, the devil, of course, is in the details. The Border Security Results Act of 2013 (H.R. 1417) is one of the five bills that the House is considering. Regrettably, H.R. 1417 calls for misguided border security metrics and potentially opens the door for amnesty. The goal of any immigration reform effort should recognize that it should not end in comprehensive legislation or blanket amnesty. Instead, meaningful reform should offer practical and effective solutions.
Budget & TaxationBy Emily Goff, Romina Boccia, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 07/17/2013
House appropriators are considering the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill in full committee this week. The bill would allocate $47.4 billion for commerce, justice, science, and related agencies—only $350 million (1 percent) less than the FY 2013 post-sequestration level. House appropriators can do better than that. There is ample room in the CJS bill to eliminate or reduce funding for agencies and programs whose activities are duplicative or inappropriate for the federal government to undertake. The following examples show how Congress could save an additional $2.3 billion.
Economic GrowthBy James Sherk, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 07/17/2013
Conventional wisdom holds that worker productivity has risen sharply since the 1970s while worker compensation has stagnated. This belief rests on misinterpreted economic data. Accurate and careful comparisons show that over the past 40 years measured productivity has increased 100 percent and average compensation has risen 77 percent. Inflated productivity measurements account for most of the remaining 23 percentage point difference. An apples-to-apples comparison shows that employee compensation continues to closely follow productivity. American workers continue to earn more as they become more productive. To help Americans advance economically, policymakers should seek policies that will increase productivity.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Derek Scissors, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 07/16/2013
The tidal wave of Chinese investment around the world predicted by some and feared by others has not materialized and is unlikely to. Various obstacles to overseas spending by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) kept growth moderate in the first half of 2013. Energy was again the focus, but the dominance of state-owned enterprises has begun to ease. Chinese investment in the U.S. was substantial in the first half of the year, continuing the performance in 2012. This trend indicates that certain American policy choices should be clarified. The U.S. benefits from Chinese investment, but there is little reason to heed Chinese demands for a more welcoming environment until there is progress on American investment interests in China.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy James L. Gattuso, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 07/16/2013
The July 6 crash landing of an Asiana jetliner that killed three passengers and injured dozens more was a tragedy. The accident is rightly being thoroughly investigated by federal safety officials as well as aviation industry experts to determine how it happened and prevent such a tragic accident from happening again. But hidden between the lines in the news coverage of the event is a remarkable story: the breathtaking, long-term improvements in safety in the airline industry. It is exactly the sort of good news that is too often ignored by the media.
EducationBy Scott Piazza, Victor Nava, Reason FoundationPolicy Brief, 07/16/2013
In the last decade total student loan debt has grown nearly fourfold, from roughly $240 billion in 2003 to nearly $1 trillion at the start of 2013. Much of the focus on this growing problem has concentrated on the increasing cost of higher education, which has been a significant concern for families, students and universities themselves. This brief looks at another side of the student loan bubble: the crony capitalism of SLM Corporation—more commonly known as Sallie Mae—and how it has come to dominate student loan markets.
Economic GrowthBy Keith Hall, Mercatus CenterTestimony, 07/16/2013
Over 100 million people are now jobless and there are about four and a half million long-term unemployed. There are likely millions more long-term jobless that are not being counted. We are looking at a decade before the labor market is close to fully recovered. Many of the long-term jobless will never fully recover their lost earnings. Our primary focus should be on encouraging the economic growth that we need to push our labor market into full recovery mode. The biggest problem with the US labor is a lack of economic growth. And according to our biggest job creators, small business owners, government is playing a big role in holding back the economy. Remarkably, surveys of small business owners show they are more worried about government than the weak economy.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Jerry Ellig, James Broughel, Mercatus CenterMercatus on Policy, 07/16/2013
For more than three decades, presidents have instructed executive branch agencies to use the results of Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIAs) when deciding whether and how to regulate. Scores from the Mercatus Center’s Regulatory Report Card—an in-depth evaluation of the quality and use of regulatory analysis conducted by executive branch agencies—show that agencies often fail to explain how RIAs affected their decisions. For this reason, regulatory reform should require agencies to conduct analysis before making decisions and explain how the analysis affected the decisions.
Information TechnologyBy Adam Thierer, Brent Skorup, Mercatus CenterWorking Paper, 07/16/2013
This paper documents the evolution of government-granted privileges, or “cronyism,” in the information and communications technology marketplace and in the media-producing sectors. It also shows that cronyism is slowly creeping into new high-technology sectors. This influence could dull entrepreneurialism and competition in this highly innovative sector since time and resources spent on influencing politicians and capturing regulators cannot be spent competing and innovating in the marketplace. Cronyism will also negatively impact consumer welfare by denying consumers more and better products and services. Additionally, consumers might end up paying higher prices or higher taxes due to government privileges for industry. Finally, this paper offers strategies for stalling and diminishing the cronyism already taking root in the high-tech sector.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Cheng Li, Hoover InstitutionChina Leadership Monitor, 07/16/2013
This essay assesses the new Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party—the 25 highest-ranking leaders in the party, government, and military in present-day China—using biographical data regarding age, gender, birthplace, educational and occupational credentials, bureaucratic portfolio and career patterns, and political affiliations and factional backgrounds. Norms of elite selection may be inferred from such data, which allows a broad-based quantitative and qualitative analysis of the changes in the top leadership. Findings include the ascendancy of leaders with experience as provincial party secretaries, the swift decline of technocrats, and the appearance of a new form of the factional balance of power. The essay concludes with a preview of the leading contenders for the next Politburo and its supreme Standing Committee.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Alice L. Miller, Hoover InstitutionChina Leadership Monitor, 07/16/2013
Appointments to PRC government posts at the 12th National People’s Congress in March 2013 completed the generational leadership transition that began at last fall’s 18th Party Congress. Analysis of the division of policy responsibilities among the new leadership provides insight into the structure and processes of policy-making under the new party general secretary, Xi Jinping.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Joseph Fewsmith, Hoover InstitutionChina Leadership Monitor, 07/16/2013
To paraphrase Hobbes’ characterization of life, one may say that the politics preceding the 18th Party Congress were long, nasty and brutish. The irony of this process is that in the end the political calculus worked out well for new party leader and president, Xi Jinping. As far as one can tell from the outside, he neither presides over a deeply divided Standing Committee nor faces an incumbent head of the Central Military Commission (CMC), as Hu Jintao was forced to do a decade ago. Moreover, as a princeling whose revolutionary heritage is unquestioned, Xi has approached his job with a confidence unseen in his two predecessors, especially early in their terms.
International Trade/FinanceBy Barry Naughton, Hoover InstitutionChina Leadership Monitor, 07/16/2013
China’s leaders declared a reform renewal last year, but nothing of significance occurred until the National People’s Congress concluded. Although the congress confirmed the appointments of important reformist technocrats Zhou Xiaochuan and Lou Jiwei, and Liu He took over the office of the Economics and Finance Leadership Small Group of the Communist Party, power was also carefully balanced with representatives of the state sector. Since the NPC meeting, however, there have been clear signs of a renewal of reform policy-making in both the Communist Party and the State Council. The progress of these initiatives should be carefully monitored.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy James Mulvenon, Hoover InstitutionChina Leadership Monitor, 07/16/2013
The first plenary session of the 12th National People’s Congress, convened in March 2013, was attended by a large delegation of Chinese military deputies who put forward legislative proposals, listened to government speeches, and met to discuss national military and security issues. This article highlights key military themes from the congress sessions, in particular the role of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping’s vision of the “China dream” and Xi’s three-part “instructions” to the PLA for the coming year.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Alan D. Romberg, Hoover InstitutionChina Leadership Monitor, 07/16/2013
As Beijing established a new state leadership at the 12th National People’s Congress and its companion meeting, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in March 2013, People’s Republic of China (PRC) officials continued to stress policy consistency toward Taiwan along lines laid out at the 18th Party Congress in November 2012. One PRC legal scholar pointed out, the central issue regarding Taiwan is “the problem of the Republic of China,” that is both a political issue and a legal issue and at present without solution. The newly appointed head of the Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhang Zhijun, underscored the point when he stated, “as viewed from any perspective, there is no possibility the Mainland will accept the ‘Republic of China.’”
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Michael D. Swaine, Hoover InstitutionChina Leadership Monitor, 07/16/2013
China’s behavior and rhetoric toward Japan regarding a range of controversial events in the East China Sea—from resource claims to naval transits and island territories—constitute a major component of an arguably escalating pattern of assertiveness between Beijing and several of its maritime neighbors. Among these altercations, Beijing’s increasingly acrimonious confrontation with Tokyo over five small islands northeast of Taiwan (called the Diaoyu Islands by China and the Senkaku Islands by Japan) is arguably the most dangerous.
Budget & TaxationBy Clint Bolick, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 07/16/2013
By now it is well-known that public employee contracts with generous wage and benefits are bankrupting state and local governments across the country and encircling the necks of future generations with an anvil of debt. What is almost completely unknown is that the hard-nosed union officials who negotiate lavish contracts for government workers are often paid to do so with taxpayer dollars.
Information TechnologyBy Randolph J. May, Free State FoundationTestimony, 07/16/2013
The FCC still operates today with a pro-regulatory bent pretty much as it did in 1999 when FCC Chairman William Kennard called for the reorientation of the agency's mission to account for the increasingly competitive environment evident even then. The reforms in the draft bills, along with a few additional proposals I will suggest, would make the FCC less likely to default so often to regulatory measures, even absent clear and convincing evidence of market failure or consumer harm. In today's marketplace environment, the default position should not be regulation.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Brett D. Schaefer, Anthony B. Kim, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 07/15/2013
The ongoing political crisis in Egypt has an economic foundation. Long-standing economic weaknesses have contributed to economic stagnation and high unemployment. To ease discontent, the government has heavily subsidized a number of essential commodities, including food and fuel. Given the fact that Egypt relies heavily on imports for key commodities, foreign exchange reserves—already hit by lower tourism revenue during the recent instability—have declined sharply. If the government is forced to cut these subsidies abruptly, already disruptive political tensions will be augmented by food riots. The U.S. can and should provide food assistance as a short-term solution. However, Egypt’s long-term economic stability requires fundamental economic reforms to install a more market-oriented economy backed by the rule of law.
National SecurityBy Baker Spring, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 07/15/2013
The Department of Defense announced on July 5 that an intercept test earlier that day of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) missile defense system, which protects U.S. territory against long-range missiles, failed to result in a successful intercept. The GMD version that was tested is the system that is already in the field; thus, this was an operational test, not a developmental test. Unless the failure was due to a problem not related to the interceptor system—such as a failure of the test target missile—this is a serious setback for the GMD system. Further, the last successful test of the GMD system was in 2008, and the system has now achieved eight intercepts out of 14 attempts. Accordingly, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) should maintain another option for defending U.S. territory against long-range missiles.
EducationBy Ben Austin, Education NextResearch, 07/15/2013
Parents don’t care if a public school is a traditional district school or a charter school; they just want it to be a good school. In California, the parent trigger law gives parents a seat at the decision-making table. It empowers parents to transform a failing school through community organizing. According to the law, if 51 percent of parents with children in a school agree to change the direction of the school, the school board must listen.
EducationBy Joey Gustafson, Education NextResearch, 07/15/2013
Since the first charter school opened 20 years ago in Minnesota, charters have been a focus of school reform advocates and the subject of substantial research. Yet the regulators of the charter industry (called “authorizers” or “sponsors”) remain a mystery to many. In fact, many authorizers work in isolation, developing their own best practices, and are often just trying to keep their heads above water. Why is this?
Lessons Learned: How the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina Avoids Kentucky’s Medicaid Reform MistakesBy Jonathan Ingram, Katherine Restrepo, John Locke FoundationPolicy Report, 07/15/2013
In 2011, Kentucky transitioned to a statewide Medicaid managed care program. Unfortunately, an ill conceived implementation timeline and the absence of key provisions resulted in several complications for patients, providers, and policymakers. This report examines these and other mistakes that left Kentucky with a botched Medicaid reform. It also explains the strategies and provisions included in the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina that help to ensure North Carolina’s patient-centered Medicaid reform does not replicate Kentucky’s failings.
National SecurityBy Luke Coffey, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 07/15/2013
Reductions in the U.S. military capability in Europe are often carried out without considering either their possible effect or how they will be viewed by both friends and foes. Reductions in U.S. troop numbers in Europe send the wrong signal about America’s commitment to transatlantic security and will embolden U.S. adversaries. Most important, they will reduce the ability and flexibility of the U.S. to react to the unexpected in the region. Therefore, the Obama Administration should freeze all plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Europe until a proper review has been carried out and America’s allies have been properly consulted and should examine ways to increase the U.S. presence, especially on Europe’s periphery and with allies who have been committed to Euro–Atlantic security.
Health CareBy Waldemar Ingdahl, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2013
Increasing antibiotic resistance is of great concern—the health of millions is dependent on our ability to defeat the threat of infectious diseases. The World Health Organization estimates that multi-drug resistance accounts for more than 150,000 deaths each year from tuberculosis alone. Without effective antibiotics in health care, humanity would be thrown back to the time when urinary tract infections and pneumonia were lethal. Infant and maternal mortality would rise and ordinary surgical procedures would become risky to perform. Antibiotic resistance is a race between humanity and bacteria. The bacteria’s advantage is rapid adaptation to their environment; ours is ingenuity. There is no single solution to such a complex problem as antibiotic resistance. That is why we need to leave the field open for several solutions.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Leon Aron, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2013
Russia faces two challenges that will affect not only its preeminence as an energy supplier but also its ability to wield oil and gas as geostrategic tools. New technologies are helping other countries develop their own natural resources more easily and inexpensively, threatening billions of dollars of Russian state revenue. At the same time, to maintain the current level of production, not to mention increase it, Russia must make huge investments in exploring and recovering oil from virgin deposits (“greenfields”) of the east Siberian region and the Arctic shelf. The likely result is a significant thinning of oil and gas rents—jeopardizing the stability of the regime and perhaps even its survival.
Budget & TaxationBy Benjamin Zycher, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2013
This 35th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 13—often described as the opening shot in the Reagan-era tax revolt—is a good time to return to first principles. In pursuit of fiscal discipline, we must emphasize true institutional reform—federalism and competition in the provision of public services—so as to impose constraints on the ability of officials and bureaucracies to satisfy the preferences of spending interests rather than those of taxpayers. Above all, we must undertake the hard work of public education on the virtues of market processes and limited government, and the freedom that both advance.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Michael M. Rosen, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2013
So what is the net effect of the Myriad and Monsanto decisions, separated as they are by one month? For one thing, it’s encouraging to see the Supreme Court speaking with a single voice on these important issues, a rarity given its ideological makeup and often strident dissents and concurrences. The relatively clear guidance the Court issued in both cases will help steer patent practitioners, biotech companies, patients, doctors, farmers, and grain elevators in a consistent direction.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy John Steele Gordon, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2013
The inevitable result of employees who cannot be fired is, of course, a federal workforce that, feeling safe in their jobs, is not likely to overexert itself and is more prone to fall into corruption—as some employees of the IRS clearly have. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma estimates that over a seven-year period, the federal government lost 9,000 man-years of work due to employees who simply failed to show up to the office some days. The solution, obviously, is a much reformed, simplified, and faster process for dealing with incompetent, lazy, and corrupt employees. But like reforming the spoils system of the 19th century, which is a good deal easier said than done. As always with human affairs, self-interest rules.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Benjamin Zycher, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2013
President Obama’s recently proposed policies will do little to combat climate change—but they will do much for his political and economic objectives. No crisis should go to waste, an eternal truth highlighted in bold by a purported climate change apocalypse that is now the target of actions newly proposed by President Obama. This so-called “crisis” will flood not various coastlines, but instead the front pages, replacing other, less flattering political headlines for the administration. And if the proposed actions offer the potential of sizeable wealth transfers to political allies? That is far more than mere icing on the cake.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Steve H. Hanke, Cato InstituteResearch, 07/15/2013
For various reasons — ranging from political mismanagement, to civil war, to economic sanctions — some countries are unable to maintain a stable domestic currency. These “troubled” currencies are associated with elevated rates of inflation, and in some extreme cases, hyperinflation. Often, it is difficult to obtain timely, reliable exchange-rate and inflation data for countries with troubled currencies. To address this, the Troubled Currencies Project, a joint Cato Institute-Johns Hopkins venture, collects black-market exchange-rate data for these troubled currencies and estimates the implied inflation rates for each country.
International Trade/FinanceBy Simon Lester, Cato InstitutePolicy Analysis, 07/15/2013
Private investment is the great driver of economic growth. Despite this positive economic impact, however, there are sometimes objections to investment when it comes from foreign sources. These objections are misguided. Aside from occasional national security concerns, foreign investment offers all the same benefits as investment from domestic sources. A liberal and open policy toward foreign investment is clearly the optimal one. Governments should allow foreign companies to invest in the domestic market and should also allow domestic companies to invest abroad.
PhilanthropyBy James Simpson, Capital Research CenterOrganization Trends, 07/15/2013
The Left’s strategy for unhindered political power continues to be refined. In this electoral juggernaut, an increasing role is played by statewide networks of nonprofits that battle in the fields of media, the courts, think tanks, and grassroots organizing. Colorado was one of the first states to fall, but now the Left has its sights set on no less than Texas.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Chris Prandoni, Capital Research CenterGreen Watch, 07/15/2013
In a process known as sue-and-settle, activists sue government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, negotiate settlements with friendly bureaucrats, and obtain judicial decrees that have the force of law. This process twists laws and creates disruptive regulations, while largely avoiding the scrutiny of Congress and the public.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Benjamin Zycher, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2013
That there are no free lunches is an eternal truth, notwithstanding the assertions of experts and public officials. The Obama version of this ancient snake oil is simple: we can have a stronger economy and more employment if we discard part of the power-generating capital stock. That is a blatant example of the old broken window fallacy: if a window is broken, output and employment will rise because someone has to hire someone else to replace the window. For the economy as a whole, the broken window—or the electric generating capital forced into retirement—is a net loss. We cannot become richer over time by making ourselves poorer in the here and now.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Michael M. Rosen, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2013
The Supreme Court reached the best possible result, legally and politically speaking, by dismissing Hollingsworth v. Perry. The United States is not ready for the Supreme Court to articulate a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, but neither is it ready for the Court to overrule a lower court’s decision to strike down a gay marriage ban, especially in a state like California where popular views have shifted markedly in favor of same-sex marriage in the past five years. Nonetheless, the Court’s decision in Perry successfully dodged the bullet of a same-sex marriage ruling, but it also placed the democratic initiative process in peril.
Health CareBy Sally C. Pipes, Encounter BooksBook, 07/15/2013
Like welfare reform, the battle to bring about meaningful health care reform is a long-term fight. We must not give up. The election of 2016 will be very important for the future direction of health care. A reform plan will be offered. If Obamacare is not repealed and replaced, the U.S. will be on the road to a single-payer, “Medicare for All” system such as exists in Canada. We, too, will face long waiting lists, rationed care, and a lack of access to the latest technology and treatments. America will be on the “Road to Serfdom” and there will be no off-ramp.
EducationBy Eric Montarti, Allegheny Institute for Public PolicyPolicy Brief, 07/15/2013
Believe it or not, for the first time since the 1970s—as far back as reliable data is available—Pennsylvania might have just had its first school year without a teacher strike. Taxpayers, students and parents might be unaware that this strike free year (if the Old Forge dispute is ruled a lockout) occurred even though the Legislature has not enacted a statute outlawing teacher strikes. There have been many attempts to take away the right to strike; none have come close to being successful. And that means the 2012-13 year was almost certainly an anomaly and probably won’t be repeated. But it would be nice to think a new, strike free era has started.
EducationBy Matthew Ladner, Dave Myslinski, American Legislative Exchange CouncilPolicy Report, 07/15/2013
The United States suffers from a costly and ineffective system of K–12 schooling — a disadvantage that we can scarcely afford in an increasingly competitive world. A small handful of the wealthiest states do reasonably well in international comparisons, but not one is a world contender.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Alabama Policy Institute, Alabama Policy InstituteGuide to the Issues, 07/15/2013
Sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 pertaining to the “covered” jurisdictions were set to expire after five years but were reauthorized in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006. In 2009, the racial gap in voter registration and turnout was lower in the states originally covered than it was nationwide. In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the formula in section 4 of the VRA is no longer appropriate since “the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions.”