Thursday, August 10, 2017


1. Sen. Mike Lee: Make the CBO Show Its Work - by Sen. Mike Lee via Washington Examiner
When Democrats passed Obamacare on a party-line vote in March 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that by 2016, 21 million people would receive health insurance through the law's exchanges. In reality, just 10 million people did.
The CBO's model was off by more than 100 percent.
Congress does need a scorekeeper to provide budgetary estimates for the policy changes it considers. But at a bare minimum, that scorekeeper should be forced to show how its models work. Currently the CBO doesn't have to do that. It's a "black box," a secret formula even Congress can't be allowed to see, yet which the House and Senate must treat as if they were handed down on stone tablets at Mt. Sinai. Read more here...

2. Grover Norquist: 6 Reasons Congress Shouldn't Have Any Trouble Passing Tax Reform - by Grover Norquist via The Hill
There are six reasons tax reform will pass "easily" unlike ObamaCare repeal.
First, on taxes, the GOP is united. Speaker Ryan says that "we had agreement on 80 percent of tax reform (before jettisoning border-adjustability) and we are now 97 percent in accord." All agree that the business tax rate must come down to 15 percent or at worst 20 percent to be internationally competitive. Abolition of the death tax and alternative minimum tax have universal appeal. Full and immediate expensing has the backing of most Republicans and heavy manufacturing. Read more here...
In October of 2015, Congress chose to avoid the usual fight over setting a symbolic debt target by agreeing to waive any limit on the debt for 17 months, until March of this year. For the past few months, the Treasury Department has engaged in what it calls “extraordinary measures” to extend the deadline through the end of September. By that time, the U.S. national debt will officially exceed $20 trillion.
Many Republicans see this as one of their few opportunities for budget leverage. Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson is typical in warning, “I’ve been raising the issue of the debt ceiling for months now, and certainly what I’d like to see is some meaningful, structural control enacted in conjunction with increasing [the debt limit].” Read more here...
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5. Rewriting the Roadmap to Innovation - by Wayne T. Brough via The American Spectator
Since it went commercial roughly 20 years ago, the internet has become a part of our daily lives, from entertainment to shopping to social networking. Today’s internet is a vibrant global network connecting more than 3.5 billion users worldwide through 224 million websites. Every day, users send almost 270 million emails worldwide and 2 billion users connect with each other through Facebook, the most popular social media platform. That the United States is the dominant force in all of this is not an accident. America’s tech giants emerged from a policy framework that fostered innovation and entrepreneurship.
Unfortunately, these bedrock principles are under attack today as lawmakers ponder expansive new liability laws that would profoundly alter the way the internet works. The latest effort to rewire the internet comes in the noble sounding “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017” (SESTA). While the goals are laudable, it would have a significant adverse impact on how we use the internet, but little impact on sex trafficking. Read more here...
Contrary to the claims of certain politicians, lots of stuff is still made in the United States. Enough stuff that it hit a new peak in output as of the first quarter of this year, in fact. Even more surprising is that, despite the automation that reduces costs and makes much domestic production possible, there's even some growth in manufacturing jobs (though the numbers remain far below their past heights). That small resurgence in jobs may be because of the recent boom in small, urban-based manufacturers.
It's an encouraging trend, but don't get too attached to those new businesses and their employees.
Regulators are busy trying to kill them off. Read more here...

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