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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
Capitol Comment 256 - Schizophrenic Health Care Reformers
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 256 - Schizophrenic Health Care Reformers

The House of Representatives passed tax breaks to make health insurance more affordable on October 7 – then followed up with a law to make it more expensive on October 8. This isn’t the only instance where politicians are ‘reforming’ at cross-purposes. Consider their schizophrenic stands on managed care and Medicare reform. Causing people to lose their insurance contradicts the whole notion of patients' rights.

10/27/1999
Capitol Comment 255 - A Toxic Recipe for Bigger Government: Renewing the Superfund Tax
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 255 - A Toxic Recipe for Bigger Government: Renewing the Superfund Tax

President Clinton Calls for New Taxes. On September 30, President Clinton signed a three-week continuing resolution for fiscal year 1999. During his remarks after the signing, the president referred to a renewal of the Superfund tax, which expired in 1995.

10/12/1999
Capitol Comment 255 - A Toxic Recipe for Bigger Government: Renewing the Superfund Tax
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 255 - A Toxic Recipe for Bigger Government: Renewing the Superfund Tax

President Clinton Calls for New Taxes. On September 30, President Clinton signed a three-week continuing resolution for fiscal year 1999. During his remarks after the signing, the president referred to a renewal of the Superfund tax, which expired in 1995.

10/12/1999
Capitol Comment 254 - When the Government Sues: How to Defend Against the Threat to Liberty
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 254 - When the Government Sues: How to Defend Against the Threat to Liberty

Most people understand that government programs—whether in the form of public schools, Medicare, disaster relief, crop subsidies, or a myriad of other things—cost money. High rates of taxation are the price we pay for the social goods that flow from the welfare state. Less obvious is the price that the state’s largesse exacts on personal liberty.

09/17/1999
Capitol Comment 253 - Taxing Disaster Reserves is Disastrous
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 253 - Taxing Disaster Reserves is Disastrous

A constant refrain from opponents of tax cuts is that the federal budget surplus should be "invested" in programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and education. Planning responsibly for the future, they insist, requires that government spend the surplus rather than return it to the taxpayers. But when it comes to planning for natural disasters, Washington has developed a policy whose costs are so prohibitive that the private sector cannot even attempt prudent planning for the future.

09/16/1999
Capitol Comment 252 - No Internet Tax: Why Internet Sales Taxes Aren’t Necessary
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 252 - No Internet Tax: Why Internet Sales Taxes Aren’t Necessary

Ten years ago, discount retailers like Wal-Mart were redefining the face of the American retail industry. Today, online retailers like Amazon.com are again redefining not only the ways that businesses interact with their customers, but also how they interact with each other. Two years ago, Congress passed a three-year moratorium on new Internet taxes to help the fledgling market grow. In the interim, the battle to create an Internet tax plan has begun.

09/16/1999
Capitol Comment 251 - Rapid-Fire Assault on the Separation of Powers
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 251 - Rapid-Fire Assault on the Separation of Powers

Quietly and without much fanfare, state supreme courts across the nation are subtly taking powers from state legislatures. Traditionally, state legislatures, which are most accountable to the electorate, pass laws and state supreme courts, which are less accountable, interpret these laws. For years state supreme courts have exercised "judicial restraint;" i.e., even if the court thought the legislature created bad policy, the separation of powers doctrine mandated that the court defer to the legislature’s judgment.

09/09/1999
Capitol Comment 250 - Snowe-Wyden: No Fairy Tale for Seniors and Taxpayers
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 250 - Snowe-Wyden: No Fairy Tale for Seniors and Taxpayers

Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) recently introduced the Seniors Prescription Insurance Coverage Equity (SPICE) Act, S.1480. The SPICE Act has seven shortcomings that dwarf any benefits for seniors. Premium Coverage Under S. 1480 IF a Senior’s or Couple’s Income is… …THEN Taxpayers Would Pay This Portion of Their Premiums Up to 150% of the poverty level 100% 150% to 175% of the poverty level Between 100% and 25% Over 175% of the poverty level 25%

09/03/1999
Capitol Comment 249 - Hey Congress: Please Don’t Feed the Trial Lawyers! Dingell-Norwood Hurts Patients, Helps Lawyers
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 249 - Hey Congress: Please Don’t Feed the Trial Lawyers! Dingell-Norwood Hurts Patients, Helps Lawyers

The "Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Improvement Act" (H.R. 2723) is the federal government’s latest misguided attempt at controlling health care. While the bill’s list of sponsors demonstrates that it is bipartisan, if it becomes the consensus approach, Americans in managed care would see few, if any, improvements. It gives them little more than an expanded ability to sue. In reality, this approach will only take money out of consumers’ checkbooks and put it into the pockets of trial lawyers, making health insurance less affordable for all Americans.

08/25/1999

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