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Capitol Comment 264 - The Internet: Do the Candidates Get It?
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 264 - The Internet: Do the Candidates Get It?

The Republican debates have always provided an ample opportunity for voters to learn where candidates stand on tax issues. What is new this year is an emphasis on taxation of the Internet and electronic commerce. It appears the candidates are just beginning to hear the message from voters: We need a new tax code that respects the modern family and encourages the emerging digital economy.

01/14/2000
Capitol Comment 263 - Lessons From This Year’s Budget Debacle
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 263 - Lessons From This Year’s Budget Debacle

In the heat of the debate over Congress’s $792 billion tax relief plan, Bill Archer, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, guaranteed his colleagues that unless they fought to return the $1 trillion in general fund surpluses to hard-working Americans, "the politicians will spend every dime of it on more government programs. They always have, and they always will." Lawmakers shamelessly used the pretense of meeting Clinton’s demands as cover for filling this year’s spending bills with hundreds of pork barrel projects.

12/10/1999
Capitol Comment 262 - Old Regulations for the New Economy
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 262 - Old Regulations for the New Economy

Generally speaking, organizations that keep two sets of accounting records have something to hide. Organized crime is such an example. Congress is perhaps another, given all the spending that exists "off budget." However, many local phone companies also keep two sets of books, but not because they are doing anything wrong – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forces them to comply with two different sets of accounting standards.

11/29/1999
Capitol Comment 261 - You’ve Got Money ... The Internet Paves the Way for Small Business
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 261 - You’ve Got Money ... The Internet Paves the Way for Small Business

The romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail seems to have found the pulse of the nineties. Tom Hanks plays the chain store bully who forces Meg Ryan’s small, family-owned bookstore out of business. However, that story has been around since Wal-Mart first came on the scene; what makes this a nineties romantic comedy is that Ryan and Hanks meet online, and they fall in love as they exchange email. The Internet has really only emerged in the last four or five years, but already has made a tremendous impact on the way Americans communicate, both personally and professionally.

11/12/1999
Capitol Comment 260 - Politics at Play in the National Forests
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 260 - Politics at Play in the National Forests

On October 13, 1999, President Clinton issued a sweeping directive that, once again, demonstrated the great power the executive branch holds over America’s public lands. The directive instructs the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to propose a rule blocking road building, logging, mining, and virtually all other human activity on 40 million acres of Forest Service land.

11/10/1999
Capitol Comment 260 - Politics at Play in the National Forests
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 260 - Politics at Play in the National Forests

On October 13, 1999, President Clinton issued a sweeping directive that, once again, demonstrated the great power the executive branch holds over America’s public lands. The directive instructs the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to propose a rule blocking road building, logging, mining, and virtually all other human activity on 40 million acres of Forest Service land.

11/10/1999
Capitol Comment 259 - What’s a Dollar Raise Really Worth?
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 259 - What’s a Dollar Raise Really Worth?

Possibly driven by guilt over the raise they just gave themselves, Congress wants to help those at the bottom of the pay scale. Their plan is to help poor Americans by raising the minimum wage one dollar over the next two or three years. It is a bad policy hiding behind a compassionate sound bite.

11/04/1999
Capitol Comment 258 - Truth about Texas' Environmental Progress Lost in Election Politics
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 258 - Truth about Texas' Environmental Progress Lost in Election Politics

TACC Attack. On October 19, a coalition of 44 of groups launched a coordinated media attack on Gov. George Bush’s environmental record. Dubbing themselves the "Texas Air Crisis Campaign," the group issued a 12-page report that purported to show a dramatic worsening of air quality during Bush’s tenure as governor. The report was quickly picked up by media outlets, which dutifully repeated TACC’s message.

11/02/1999
Capitol Comment 258 - Truth about Texas' Environmental Progress Lost in Election Politics
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 258 - Truth about Texas' Environmental Progress Lost in Election Politics

TACC Attack. On October 19, a coalition of 44 of groups launched a coordinated media attack on Gov. George Bush’s environmental record. Dubbing themselves the "Texas Air Crisis Campaign," the group issued a 12-page report that purported to show a dramatic worsening of air quality during Bush’s tenure as governor. The report was quickly picked up by media outlets, which dutifully repeated TACC’s message.

11/02/1999
Capitol Comment 257 - Smart Growth? Not in My Backyard
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 257 - Smart Growth? Not in My Backyard

As the vilification of "urban sprawl" reaches ever-louder decibels, "smart growth" has been held out as the answer to concerns about our quality of life. Smart growth, though not clearly defined even by its supporters, generally consists of several proposals: "in-fill," which means channeling growth towards existing urban areas, "clustered" development, in which tightly grouped homes are surrounded by large areas of open space, greatly expanded commuter rail systems, and high density development.

10/28/1999

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