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Fifty Shades of Freedom
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Fifty Shades of Freedom

If you ever want to lose an audience, start talking federalism. Sure, a few of us policy geeks love this foundational principle of American polity but the other 97.4 percent closes the browser window faster than you can say “Alexis de Tocqueville.”

01/18/2013
Ceilings and Shutdowns: Understanding Government at an Impasse. A FreedomWorks Issue Analysis
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Issue Analysis

Ceilings and Shutdowns: Understanding Government at an Impasse. A FreedomWorks Issue Analysis

01/16/2013
Yet Again, HHS Secretary Sebelius Extends ObamaCare State "Exchanges" Deadline
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Yet Again, HHS Secretary Sebelius Extends ObamaCare State "Exchanges" Deadline

The more forgiving amongst us may feel some genuine pity for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. On one hand, President Barack Obama loaded her department with the mammoth task of writing up the thousands of rules and regulations that will constitute the real weight of ObamaCare. On the other, he charged Secretary Sebelius with the even more onerous duty of convincing a (rightfully) skeptical American public that the new 2,801 page health care reform law represented a landmark achievement that would benefit all citizens. So far, this hasn't gone so well.

01/16/2013
Sandy: Log-Rolling from Alaska to New Jersey
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Key Vote

Sandy: Log-Rolling from Alaska to New Jersey

The House of Representatives passed the second installment of the Hurricane Sandy bailout Tuesday night, as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) brought up a bill he knew would pass without support from his own party. That allowed conservatives to vote against a bill that conservative groups were adding to their legislative scorecards.The path of the bill has been marked by one consistent strawman argument: opposition has been cast as opposition to relief, rather than opposition to the corrupt spending accompanying it.

01/16/2013
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Blog

There Is No National Debt

As we approach the next artificially constructed, politically motivated, intentionally promoted national crisis, we should keep one thing in mind: though we speak of a national debt, there is no single national debt.  The debts the government owes are real enough, and a source of national shame, totalling as they do over $16 trillion.  But those debts are owed to millions of holders of the various Treasury notes, bills, and bonds, each of whom may own multiple securities of various maturities.  Sold weekly, the securities come due and, as people get around to it, are either rolled over or redeemed every business day.That is important because as we run up against the debt ceiling, the fear mongers will claim that failure to raise the ceiling will cause us to default on the debt, as if it is one single sum owed to a single debt holder.  Defaulting on it is made to sound like the sky is falling, as if it would be the end of the nation itself.Another category of securities are those held by government agencies, such as the Social Security "Trust Fund" and the federal pension funds.  Failure to redeem one of these securities would be politically explosive, exposing the duplicitous nature of the generational theft caused by runaway spending.In fact, defaulting on one of these debts, as stupid and irresponsible as that would be, would merely cause people to reconsider the soundness of tying up their money in Treasury securities.  That would cost the government more in interest payments in the future, which would probably lead to a chain reaction of inflation.  On the other hand, it might lead people and institutions to invest in more productive ways, such as in the stock market.

01/14/2013
Your Guide to the National Debt (Part 3)
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Your Guide to the National Debt (Part 3)

The problem of the national debt can seem overwhelming. How do you address $16.4 trillion in gross debt, or even $11.5 trillion in debt held by the public? Congress is gridlocked, President Obama doesn't want to deal with it, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that we will spend $3.554 trillion this fiscal year, thereby adding another $641 billion to the debt. Caught in such a difficult situation, the problem appears insurmountable.

01/11/2013
FreedomWorks Issue Analysis: Paycheck Protection and Pennsylvania
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Issue Analysis

FreedomWorks Issue Analysis: Paycheck Protection and Pennsylvania

Paycheck protection laws prevent union leadership from spending compulsory membership dues on political expenses prior to obtaining consent from membership as individuals.Paycheck protection programs have proved to be effective, so long as they remain comprehensive. Given the scope of unions in the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania workers stand to retain greater freedom and more of their hard-earned paychecks if an undiluted paycheck protection program is implemented in the state.

01/10/2013
Your Guide to the National Debt (Part 2)
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Blog

Your Guide to the National Debt (Part 2)

"I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude." - Thomas Jefferson, written in a letter to Samuel Kercheval on July 12th, 1816.

01/08/2013
The Fiscal Cliff Bill - Special Interests Profit While the Rest of Us Pay
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The Fiscal Cliff Bill - Special Interests Profit While the Rest of Us Pay

It's like deja vu all over again.  The fiscal cliff bill, H.R. 8, was drafted behind closed doors, and lawmakers were given six minutes to read the 154-page bill before voting on it.  Once again, we apparently had to pass the bill to find out what's in it.

01/04/2013
Your Guide to the National Debt (Part 1)
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Blog

Your Guide to the National Debt (Part 1)

If you ask many Americans, the largest long-term crisis facing the country is the national debt. Persistently high unemployment, an uncertain economic recovery, soaring health care costs, and a stuttering public education system are all significant contemporary problems, but the skyrocketing national debt seems to loom as a threat to the stability of the government and country itself. With that in mind, shouldn't more of us have a firm understanding of how the national debt works?

01/04/2013

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