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  • Yearly Archives: 2013

    The Washington Post Agrees: It’s Time to Make a Down Payment on Medicare Reform

    Newscom

    The editorial board of The Washington Post, no organ of conservative opinion, is absolutely right: “Medicare as we know it is not sustainable,” and the “ultimate solution” is structural reform. Bingo. The right structural reform is to expand Medicare’s defined-contribution financing (routinely called “premium support”) as it broadly exists today … More

    Shining the Light of Transparency on U.S. Public Diplomacy

    Voice_of_America_Logo.svg

    Transparency in government took a huge step forward on January 3. On that day, President Obama signed into law the Smith–Mundt Modernization Act as an amendment to the 2013 Defense Authorization Bill. With the new revision, State Department foreign programming may be broadcast in the United States, though it may … More

    Russia Sails New Nuclear Submarine While U.S. Continues Fleet Delays

    Pavel Kononov/EPA/Newscom

    Last week, after long delays, Russia made operational a new ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), or nuclear submarine, for the first time in over 20 years. This marks a significant step forward for the Russian Navy, which has pledged tens of billions of dollars to revitalize its fleet in the near … More

    Chavez’s Swearing-In No Show: Dispensing with a Constitutional “Formality”

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    According to Venezuela’s constitution, Hugo Chavez—elected president for an unprecedented fourth term in October 2012—must be sworn in as president on January 10, but it will not happen. Like so many constitutional principles in Venezuela, this requirement, according to Vice President Nicolas Maduro, is just a “formality.” Never mind the … More

    The Legacy of James M. Buchanan

    Photo Credit: Newscom

    Today’s passing of Nobel Prize-winning economist James M. Buchanan is a sad milestone, but a good time to remember his impact on economics. Buchanan’s basic contribution to economic theory (and policy) was both simple and profound: Political decision makers, just like consumers and producers, are self-interested and subject to constraints. … More

    Iran Endorses Obama Pick Hagel for U.S. Secretary of Defense

    Photo: Patsy Lynch/Polaris/Newscom

    Iran’s Foreign Ministry dumped more fuel on the fire of former Senator Chuck Hagel’s (R–NE) nomination for Secretary of Defense by announcing its approval for President Obama’s pick. It’s no secret that Hagel, an outspoken critic of sanctions on Iran, has preferred a policy of engagement and direct talks with … More

    Morning Bell: Defying the Obama Administration on Religious Liberty

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    Hobby Lobby gained national attention when its leadership announced they would not bow to the Obama Administration’s violation of their religious liberty. Thousands of Americans pledged to shop at the retailer over the weekend to show their appreciation for this stand—a stand that could cost the company up to $1.3 … More

    Obama Continues to Skin the Cat with More Coal Closures

    Photo: Newscom

    The skin continues to come off the cat. President Obama’s wish of a cap-and-trade plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would have bankrupted the coal industry, but the legislation failed to make it through the Senate. The frustrated President then said that cap and trade was only one way of … More

    Economic Development and Disaster Relief Inhibited by the Jones Act

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    If the Jones Act was created to mitigate disasters at sea, why has it been waived during such disasters? Such a question was posed in a recent Bloomberg article. The answer is that, rather than supporting wartime goals or sustaining national security, the Jones Act now serves primarily as a … More

    EPA Gives Green Light for California's Costly Car Program

    DC: INNOVATIVE ELECTRIC CARS GATHER IN WASHINGTON

    Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a waiver to the state of California to move forward with its Advanced Clean Cars Program. The EPA waiver allows California to implement even tougher fuel efficiency standards than the White House announced last summer in an attempt to integrate more zero-emission … More