Generic drugs are supposed to lower healthcare costs and provide you with another medical alternative. That’s what it says on paper. But there’s a real danger that goes along with these drugs. A danger even your doctor might not be aware of.
Ask a D.C. insider what’s the best way to solve the debt crisis. Nine times out of ten, they’ll recommend taking on more debt. That’s how things operate in the Potomac swamp. Up is down, right is left, digging yourself into more debt is the best way to get out of it. But it wasn’t always like this. In fact, there used to be common sense when it came to the economy. So where did it all go wrong?
Politicians talk about the uninsured. Special interests argue on behalf of those with pre-existing conditions. But why is no one wondering how doctors are affected by the new law? They’re the ones on the frontlines dealing directly with new patients, as well as the red tape that makes bureaucracies go round.
Politicians proclaim the benefits of small business while on the campaign trail. But when they meet in the seedy halls of Congress, they have no problem doing whatever they can to stifle, regulate, and subdue their progress. Instead of siding with entrepreneurs, these politicians often side with political allies and cronies that helped put them into office.
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Especially now that you have all the time in the world to do what you really want. Entrepreneurs don’t only come out of Silicon Valley. They come from all walks of life, from all different ages. If you’re retired and want to stay active while you relax, then find out the steps you need to take in order to start, manage, and grow your next small business.
Technology brought the world together. But has it gone too far? Decades ago, mail was delivered by hand. Now it’s delivered in seconds. How has that changed the way you live your life? How has it changed the way people act with each other? These are just some of the questions we need to ask.
The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for almost a century, and already there are signs it may be in decline. But that doesn't mean it's not still valuable. On the contrary... As Chris Mayer explains, there are many reasons the U.S. dollar will remain relevant on the world stage for years to come. Read on...
Gun control isn’t a modern idea. The rise of gun control laws and limits on your 2nd Amendment freedom go hand in hand with the increase in the size and scope of government. Politicians want you to think the only people who can keep you safe are government forces. But as one renown libertarian economist and thinker will show you, their misguided laws do nothing but take away your freedoms and leave you less safe.
The government will do whatever it takes to make sure it has enough of your money to fund itself. On the surface you might think that means enduring a grueling audit. But the IRS and the government is more than willing to ignore your privacy in the cold relentless pursuit of the money they think they deserve. As they get bigger and bigger every year, the smaller and smaller your paycheck becomes as they leach off it.
The Congressional Budget Office said the government needed to reach 7 million people by the end of March. They claim to have reached the goal and now the debate about Obamacare is over. But what does this milestone really mean in the ongoing healthcare discussion? And more importantly, how will it affect reforms going forward?
If you’re good at something should you be penalized so others have a chance at success? Should award winning actors and actresses be barred from future Oscar ceremonies to give other men and women the chance to succeed? Success should always be rewarded and encouraged. But what happens when you have a government that wants to even the playing field and take away the spoils of success. Gregory Bresiger finds out...
In an effort to cut costs and keep track of patients' records, governments could institute a medical guideline cookbook. Bureaucrats might think they have the best of intentions in mind, but these new rules would drag down the medical process and destroy whatever quality is left in our current system.
Practical people often pooh-pooh fiction reading as a time wasting dalliance, dominated by a Marxist coloring of the world. However, fiction readers were given a scientific reason recently for spending hours absorbing fanciful figments of someone’s imagination.
Argentina is suffering the ravages of government debasement of the currency -- i.e., inflation, the process by which government pays for its ever-increasing debts and bills by simply printing more paper currency. The expanded money supply results in a lower value of everyone’s money, which is reflected in the rising prices of the things that money buys.
When government expansion is allowed to continue unabated or when it casts a heavy regulatory shadow on America’s entrepreneurial spirit, the freedoms that we’ve come to know, and perhaps take for granted, slowly begin to slip away.
The saga of All Saints could soon be coming to a community near you. Thanks partly to the scandal surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the agency has proposed a new set of rules for a huge number of social-welfare groups that claim tax exemption under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code.
The new reality of Obamacare’s tax credits has left finance reporters to pen articles warning readers to “take care” when considering a tax credit and providing strategies for how best to “protect yourself.” So what do finance reporters know that the White House doesn’t?
Nihilo ex nihilo fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. First put forward by ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides in the fifth century B.C., Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine later used this axiom to prove that the universe needed a “first mover” to get things going. Even if the whole thing began with some kind of “Big Bang” moment, it still needed a banger to bang it. Who? God, of course.
What positive steps can we take? The energy that is now expended by well intentioned, freedom-seeking individuals on the destructive course of politics can be turned into powerful steps that will have a positive effect on the future. All are moral, right and just. None require aggressing. Consider the following...
The Affordable Care Act creates a new health insurance marketplace (the exchange). But because of the great uncertainty about what buyers will enter the market and who will buy what product, the law creates three vehicles to reduce insurance company risk.
Politicians and bureaucrats are notorious for manufacturing euphemisms -- clever but deceptive substitutes for what they really mean but don’t want to admit. That’s how the phrase “revenue enhancement” entered the vocabulary. Some of our courageous friends in government couldn’t bring themselves to say “tax hike.”
“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future,” says a proverb often attributed to Yogi Berra. Imagine the world of freedom, or lack of it. Who could foresee the technologies that make our lives so rewarding and convenient? The same technologies have us all under the government’s giant microscope. Thankfully, the brave have turned the microscope around.
In the months since Edward Snowden revealed the nature and extent of the spying that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been perpetrating upon Americans and foreigners, some of the NSA's most troublesome behavior has not been a part of the public debate.
National Treasury Union President Colleen M. Kelly recently described the 2014 IRS budget allocation as “woefully inadequate.” But the agency has not proven itself to be an efficient steward of taxpayer dollars. Here are ten ways the IRS lost the trust of the American people.
It’s easy to be negative about the U.S. economy these days. Find a glint of silver, and folks come running to point out all of the dark clouds looming about. This, of course, is what we got last week when the monthly jobs report was released from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Folks pooh-poohed the number of jobs and whining that they’re not enough or that it’s less than a bunch of economists thought that it might be. But you know what? Stuff ’em.
Given how poorly states like California and Illinois have funded the pension funds for their own employees, one would think that this would stop dead in its tracks any plan to have the government assist in managing private sector funds too. The spate of recent activity, however, suggests otherwise.
Facts are easy. You can check facts. What supporters of the Affordable Care Act are doing, on the other hand, transcends factual bungling. It’s far more advanced: a warping of reality so debauched it looks like something out of a tale by H.P. Lovecraft.
I want gridlock. If the House of Representatives and the Senate both go Republican, as I expect they will, then the best chance for political paralysis may be a hostile Democrat in the White House. I want an angry Congress and a president with fingers itching to veto.
Ironically, a second-term presidency for Obama could well be America’s shining hope for fewer laws in the next four years. And less law is a situation to be devoutly desired, especially since it would come with a weakened presidency.
Political gridlock is a safeguard of freedom, and a constitutional restraint that the Founding Fathers consciously tried to place on power.
IN PRAISE OF AMERICAN GRIDLOCK
Political gridlock generally occurs in one of four ways: Congress is evenly enough divided so that no one party has the majority needed to push laws through; one legislature is Republican while the other is Democrat; the majority in the Senate is not large enough to overcome a filibuster; or,Congress and the executive are controlled by different parties. The opposite of political gridlock occurs when one party has across-the-board control.
Such a consensus of power produces strong or activist presidents. For example, both Franklin D. Roosevelt, who forged the New Deal, and Lyndon B. Johnson, who created the Great Society, had the advantage of one-party control during the entirety of their terms. This means they were able to push through sweeping social change that laid the foundation for much of today’s social control.
According to historian Bruce Bartlett, from 1856-2010, there were 91 years during which one party controlled the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, There were 63 years during which power was shared. In other words, 59% of the time, the United States has had a consensus of power.
The Founding Fathers would have been appalled. They consciously sculpted a political structure in which power would be balanced or antagonistic so that there would be a high bar for the passage of law.
The most obvious check on power is the tripartite separation of power. During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the delegates explicitly considered and rejected a parliamentary system similar to that of Great Britain. In that system, the prime minister heads the executive branch and, as a member of Parliament, also heads the governing party. Passing laws is comparatively easy.
Instead of a parliamentary system, however, the Constitutional Convention adopted a tripartite division of power. Three branches of government were given independent powers and responsibilities that act as restraints on each other: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. For example, while Congress controls the federal budget, the president can veto bills passed by Congress. In turn, Congress can override the presidential veto by a two-thirds vote in both houses. This makes it more difficult to pass and to enforce laws. (Some consider the American system to be a four-way division of power because of the bicameral Congress in which the two legislative houses often obstruct each other.)
Even the structure of the electoral process itself facilitates a check on power. The Federalist Papers, o 51 is titled “The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments.” In the essay, the constitutional architect James Madison highlights the danger that the legislative authority would dominate.
“The remedy for this inconveniency,” he concludes, “is to divide the legislature into different branches; and to render them, by different modes of election and different principles of action, as little connected with each other as the nature of their common functions and their common dependence on the society will admit.”
The executive and the legislature come from entirely different electorates, so those chosen are more likely to be diverse. Midterm elections ensure that most of the legislature comes to power at a different time than the president, so the elections act as a check on an unpopular leader. hat was the purpose of Madison’s “different principles of action”? To protect minorities from oppression by the majority, and no minority requires protection more than “the individual.”
From the juxtaposition of states’ rights and federal power to a political distribution that gives the same number of Senate seats to California as it does to Rhode Island, a salutary tendency toward gridlock is at the root of American government. The tendency has been strengthened by additions like the filibuster rule in the Senate. This rule allows a senator, or a series of them, to speak on the floor for as long as they wish unless or until “three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn” bring the process to a close.
ADVANTAGES OF GRIDLOCK
Sometimes, actions that not taken are more significant and advantageous than the ones that are. For example, if even one legislative house and the president are at loggerheads, then budgets are less likely to be passed and the deficit may cease to climb at its present rate. Stephen Slivinski writes in the Washington Examiner (Sept. 15, 2010):
“Between 1965-2009, the average growth rate of real per capita federal spending in the divided-government years [one House versus the presidency] was 1.9%. For the years of united government, that average was 3.1%…. The take-home message for fiscal conservatives? If it’s a bad idea to put your faith in politicians, the good news is you can probably put a decent amount of faith in institutional gridlock.”
Yet political gridlock is most often discussed as a sign of dysfunctional government. In a 2011 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Justice Antonin Scalia offered a refreshing rebuttal of the dysfunctional claim:
“I hear Americans saying this nowadays, and there’s a lot of it going around. They talk about a dysfunctional government because there’s disagreement — and the Framers would have said, ‘Yes! That’s exactly the way we set it up. We wanted this to be power contradicting power’ because the main ill that beset us, as Hamilton said in The Federalist, when he talked about a separate Senate, he said, yes, it seems inconvenient, but inasmuch as the main ill that besets us is an excess of legislation, it won’t be so bad. This is 1787; he didn’t know what an excess of legislation was.”
And that’s why — even though I long for a fresh face to detest and long for a world without democratically elected dictators — there might be good reasons to prefer Obama over Romney as the next president.