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Capitol Comment 222 - The Real Cost of the Kyoto Protocol
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 222 - The Real Cost of the Kyoto Protocol

Estimating the cost of the Kyoto Protocol, the international global warming treaty, has produced disagreement among the government’s energy analysts. President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) put the cost of the treaty at $12 billion annually.1 Energy experts at the Energy Information Administration (EIA) put the yearly impact as high as $397 billion.2 Who’s right? Judging by the continued failure of international negotiators to create alleged cost-saving implementation measures, such as global emissions trading, the dire projections by EIA may be all too real.

02/10/1999
Capitol Comment 219 - Governors and State Legislators are Shooting Consumers in the Foot With Health Insurance Regulations
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 219 - Governors and State Legislators are Shooting Consumers in the Foot With Health Insurance Regulations

As states look for ways to improve health care quality and affordability, many are turning to increased regulation — which does the opposite. Whether intended to expand access to particular types of coverage (health benefit mandates), require health insurers to take all comers (guaranteed issue), or make coverage affordable through price controls (community rating), health insurance regulations actually increase costs and restrict access to coverage. Health insurance regulation is growing at an explosive rate.

12/17/1998
Capitol Comment 217 - Microsoft and Monopoly
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 217 - Microsoft and Monopoly

Over the past year, Microsoft has made headlines across the country, and not just for its new and innovative products. The software giant has been the target of an antitrust case by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The government claims that Microsoft is acting anti-competitively by using its operating system, Windows, as leverage to dominate the market for Internet browsers. Before intervening in one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy, the DOJ must demonstrate that Microsoft is a monopolist rather than a successful company in a fiercely competitive market.

12/14/1998
Capitol Comment 215 - Do Rail Mergers Mean Higher Rates?
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 215 - Do Rail Mergers Mean Higher Rates?

The railroad industry has undergone a large number of mergers since 1981, which has raised fears of monopolization. Some economists and most politicians equate the number of competitors or degree of industry concentration with the robustness of competition. They reason that, as mergers leave more shippers served by only one railroad, surely higher rail rates must follow.

11/20/1998
Capitol Comment 214 - Railroad Competitive Access: Re-Regulation in Cheap Clothing
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 214 - Railroad Competitive Access: Re-Regulation in Cheap Clothing

By most measures, railroad deregulation under the Staggers Act of 1980 has been a resounding success. The Staggers Act lowered real rail rates on most commodities by 15 percent to 25 percent, saved shippers $11 billion to 18 billion annually due to lower rates and more timely service, and staved off a massive taxpayer bailout of an industry that was a financial basket case.1

11/19/1998
Capitol Comment 209 - Tales from the Crypt Part I: The Pork-Laden Omnibus Appropriations Bill of 1998
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 209 - Tales from the Crypt Part I: The Pork-Laden Omnibus Appropriations Bill of 1998

Who can forget the image of President Ronald Reagan hoisting a foot-high, pork-laden spending bill during his 1988 State of the Union Address and warning the then-Democratically-controlled Congress not to send him another such bill upon the threat of his veto.

10/28/1998
Capitol Comment 206 - Rethinking Compulsory Auto Insurance Liability Laws
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 206 - Rethinking Compulsory Auto Insurance Liability Laws

How should a civilized society respond when A crashes his car into a car driven by B, causing injury to B and damaging his property? The common law of tort is predicated on the notion that people who are harmed by the actions of others are owed restitution by those responsible for their losses. But what if the responsible party lacks the financial wherewithal to provide full compensation? Unless he has purchased liability insurance, the accident victim will have to absorb the losses himself. The law can assign responsibility, but it cannot redistribute wealth that does not exist.

10/12/1998
Capitol Comment 205 - Tying Regulation to Reality
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 205 - Tying Regulation to Reality

I make mistakes. For example, last weekend the one tie that I brought to an out-of-town wedding did not match my suit. I took responsibility for poor wardrobe selection and wore the tie anyway. However, there were other choices. It would have been possible to purchase a new tie, borrow a tie, or go to the wedding with no tie at all. In the end, I chose to wear the tie and accept the ridicule associated with that decision.

10/02/1998
Capitol Comment 204 - Are Mergers Really Harmful to Consumers?
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 204 - Are Mergers Really Harmful to Consumers?

Imagine the following headline: "Policymakers Panic in Fear of Merger Mania!" Although it could be true, in reality, there is little to fear. With the economy growing rapidly for the past eight years, we have witnessed a record increase in the number of corporations merging with one another. Common reaction to mergers is a suspicion that corporate America is gobbling up its competitors, which will mean higher prices for consumers.

09/29/1998
Capitol Comment 202 - A Health Care Checklist for Congress and President Clinton: Time to Clean Up Your Mistakes
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 202 - A Health Care Checklist for Congress and President Clinton: Time to Clean Up Your Mistakes

Members of Congress have only a few weeks before they go home and learn whether voters want them to return to Washington or stay put. Though they have much to do between now and Election Day, Congress and the president need to correct three dangerous errors they made that are threatening America’s health care. Mistake #1: Crippling Patient Access to Medical Savings Accounts.

09/24/1998

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