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Issue Analysis 92 - The Federal Government Has No Legal Case Against the Tobacco Companies
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Press Release

Issue Analysis 92 - The Federal Government Has No Legal Case Against the Tobacco Companies

In his State of the Union Address, President Clinton announced that the Justice Department would sue the tobacco companies. This directly contradicted earlier testimony Attorney General Janet Reno provided the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicating the federal government had no independent cause of action to bring such a lawsuit. Now the administration is seeking $20 million, largely to hire lawyers who can help them determine how and where to file their lawsuit. A closer look at the legal theories, however, indicates that the administration does not have a viable case. Last year, an outrageous transfer of wealth occurred – with as much as $250 billion going from the pockets of smokers (many of whom tend to be in lower income brackets) to state governments and private contingency-fee trial lawyers. This transfer was the result of a settlement entered into by the tobacco companies after a number of states filed lawsuits against them, but not before some states changed their laws to give the government an unprecedented upper hand in court.

06/14/1999
Capitol Comment 234 - Urban "Sprawl": The Nationalization of America’s Neighborhoods
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 234 - Urban "Sprawl": The Nationalization of America’s Neighborhoods

With the announcement of their "Livability Agenda" and "Lands Legacy Initiative," the Clinton-Gore administration has brought the federal government into the battle over what is euphemistically called "urban sprawl." The administration claims that its "smart growth" proposals will solve a host of problems such as air pollution, the loss of farmland and open spaces, traffic congestion and even having too little time in the day.

06/08/1999
Capitol Comment 234 - Urban "Sprawl": The Nationalization of America’s Neighborhoods
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 234 - Urban "Sprawl": The Nationalization of America’s Neighborhoods

With the announcement of their "Livability Agenda" and "Lands Legacy Initiative," the Clinton-Gore administration has brought the federal government into the battle over what is euphemistically called "urban sprawl." The administration claims that its "smart growth" proposals will solve a host of problems such as air pollution, the loss of farmland and open spaces, traffic congestion and even having too little time in the day.

06/08/1999
Capitol Comment 236 - The South Florida Re-Study: An $11 Billion Gamble
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 236 - The South Florida Re-Study: An $11 Billion Gamble

What is the Re-Study? The Central and Southern Florida Comprehensive Review Study ("Re-Study") is a review of the Central and Southern Florida Project (C&SF) that recommends a dramatically reconfigured approach to South Florida’s water policy. First authorized by Congress in 1948, the C&SF today provides fresh water and flood protection to nearly 6 million people in a 16-county region.

06/08/1999
Capitol Comment 236 - The South Florida Re-Study: An $11 Billion Gamble
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 236 - The South Florida Re-Study: An $11 Billion Gamble

What is the Re-Study? The Central and Southern Florida Comprehensive Review Study ("Re-Study") is a review of the Central and Southern Florida Project (C&SF) that recommends a dramatically reconfigured approach to South Florida’s water policy. First authorized by Congress in 1948, the C&SF today provides fresh water and flood protection to nearly 6 million people in a 16-county region.

06/08/1999
Capitol Comment 238 - Politicians "Playing Doctor" With Medicare
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 238 - Politicians "Playing Doctor" With Medicare

When politicians try to practice medicine, their remedy is often more dangerous than the disease. The latest Washington proposal to expand government-run health care — this time, Medicare — comes at a time when the main concern should be saving Medicare from bankruptcy.

06/07/1999
The Best Lockbox is a Personal Retirement Account
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Press Release

The Best Lockbox is a Personal Retirement Account

This week, the Senate will debate its version of the "lockbox" measure intended to put teeth behind Bill Clinton’s rhetorical promise to preserve every penny of the Social Security surplus for Social Security. Congressional leaders believe the lockbox issue will effectively counter Clinton’s demagoguery and clear the way for a tax cut bill this year. While it’s hard to argue with this political calculation, it’s still fair to point out that putting Social Security’s surplus into a lockbox will not improve the long-term health of the system.

06/07/1999
Capitol Comment 233 - Federal Mass Tort Litigation: An Insidious Abuse of Power
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 233 - Federal Mass Tort Litigation: An Insidious Abuse of Power

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine

06/03/1999
Capitol Comment 235 - New Law Brings More Accountability to Government Regulation
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 235 - New Law Brings More Accountability to Government Regulation

Summary. Every year, the federal government considers over 4,000 regulations, some of which can cost billions. The scientific and research data used to make decisions about these regulations must be of the highest quality in order to ensure that proposed regulations will actually benefit the public. However, it is often the case that the people who ultimately pay for the research, the taxpayers, do not have access to the research upon which a proposed government regulation based.

06/02/1999
Capitol Comment 235 - New Law Brings More Accountability to Government Regulation
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 235 - New Law Brings More Accountability to Government Regulation

Summary. Every year, the federal government considers over 4,000 regulations, some of which can cost billions. The scientific and research data used to make decisions about these regulations must be of the highest quality in order to ensure that proposed regulations will actually benefit the public. However, it is often the case that the people who ultimately pay for the research, the taxpayers, do not have access to the research upon which a proposed government regulation based.

06/02/1999

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