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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
Capitol Comment 201 - In Defense of Auto Choice Insurance Reform
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 201 - In Defense of Auto Choice Insurance Reform

In the current debate over auto choice insurance reform, a formidable critic of the proposal now before Congress has emerged in George Priest of the Yale Law School. Professor Priest, who carries impressive credentials as a market-oriented legal scholar, recently called the federal auto choice bill a "lemon" in a widely noticed Wall Street Journal op-ed. On September 1 he reiterated his critique in a speech delivered at The Heritage Foundation that was televised nationwide on C-SPAN.

09/09/1998
Capitol Comment 198 - Would We Tax Freedom?
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 198 - Would We Tax Freedom?

Last month, Lady Margaret spoke and the House moved. The remarks of Great Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to the World Congress on Information Technology reinforced the idea that information is an essential component of freedom. As such, it should not be heavily taxed.

07/24/1998
Capitol Comment 197 - Al Gore’s Hidden Phone Tax: Bad Economics, Bad Politics
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 197 - Al Gore’s Hidden Phone Tax: Bad Economics, Bad Politics

If you haven’t heard of the "Gore tax," you’re probably missing an important battle over the nature of American democracy and the American economy. The battle has two fronts and the public is losing on both. On one front, the methodical centralization of power in the hands of unelected bureaucrats moves forward. On the other, the burdening of our economy continues. Here are the details of the current skirmish:

07/24/1998
Capitol Comment 193 - A Real Patients’ Bill of Rights
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 193 - A Real Patients’ Bill of Rights

America’s health care system is the finest in the world, yet American patients increasingly face higher costs, fewer choices and greater rationing of medical care. A recent news item describes how politicians typically address these problems: Democrats are often more willing to spend money on new or existing government programs and to regulate the insurance market, while Republicans usually prefer to use the tax code as an instrument of social policy.1

06/19/1998

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