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Blog

FCC's New Rule is Net Neutrality Lite

Proponents of net neutrality claim that all web traffic should be treated equally. This sounds nice on paper, but in fact not all web traffic is equal. Some sites, like Netflix and Youtube, suck up vast amounts of bandwidth by hosting popular video content. Bandwidth, as it turns out, doesn’t grow on trees. It must be generated at a cost to internet service providers. The big question is: who should ultimately be forced to bear this cost?

04/25/2014
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Protecting Private Property

The last clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” This is the provision used to defend the use of eminent domain laws, in which the government seizes private property without the consent of the owner, in order to serve some public purpose. Railroads, interstate highways, and other projects that require large swaths of land are frequently cited as justifications for the law, as it is unlikely that they could have completed—at least not without a significantly higher cost—if private land owners could simply refuse to sell to the government, regardless of the offered price.

04/23/2014
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How Obama Created a Monster

There is an old philosophical puzzle that asks the following: If you begin to replace the parts of your car, one by one, until no original parts remain, is it still the same car? If not, at what point did the change occur?

04/22/2014
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The IRS Blinks

Back in November, on the eve of Thanksgiving when they thought nobody would notice, the IRS surreptitiously announced its proposal of a new regulation that would severely limit the ability of tax exempt to groups to participate in the political process. The proposal was short on specifics, but the regulation would have given the IRS the power to narrowly define what constitutes “social welfare” and “political activity,” qualities it says organizations must exhibit in order to qualify for tax exempt status.

04/16/2014
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Lois Lerner Playing the Victim Card

The saga of Lois Lerner, the IRS official who oversaw the unjust persecution of conservative and tea party organizations during the 2012 election, continues to be one of the most interesting and infuriating cases of political corruption in recent memory. After twice invoking the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying on what she knew and when she knew it, Ms. Lerner now faces the prospect of jail time, having been officially held in contempt of Congress and recommended for criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice.

04/16/2014
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All Aboard… for Cronyism!

People often criticize capitalism as giving too much power to big business, and use this concern as a justification for more government intervention in the economy. But the kinds of business practices that are most damaging come not from free market competition, but from government-sponsored cronyism, where certain businesses are given legal advantage over others for political purposes.

04/11/2014
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The Soda Tax: Pop Goes Your Freedom

Taxes typically serve two purposes: to raise revenue, the most straightforward and the only one intended by the Constitution, and the more sinister purpose of shaping the behavior of others. This second use has been increasingly favored by progressives who are now using the term “nudge” to describe pushing people to do what they want by making the alternatives more expensive. Ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been the champion of this technique, aggressively pushing New Yorkers to stop smoking, stop eating trans fats and stop drinking sodas of 16 ounces or more.

04/10/2014
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In a Glass House: Democratic Hypocrisy on Money in Politics

Back in January, deep within the bowels of the liberal stronghold known as the Center for American Progress, Sen. Chuck Schumer delivered a scathing denunciation of the tea party, proposing a variety of strategies for Democrats to thwart the grassroots movement in the upcoming midterm elections.

04/08/2014
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Democrats Reveal Their Contempt for Voters on Campaign Finance

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling eliminating aggregate caps on the amount of money individual donors can contribute to political campaigns is an important victory for free speech. While caps on donations to individual campaigns remain in place, this ruling offers hope that they too may soon be recognized as unconstitutional and in violation of the First Amendment.

04/04/2014
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Millionaire Congressmen Look Out for Number One

At a recent “Raise the Wage” rally, Democratic Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes slammed Mitch McConnell for his personal wealth, which she estimated to be in excess of $25 million. While Grimes’ arguments for the minimum wage are wildly off-base, she has managed inadvertently to put her finger on a problem that plagues Congress in general: the propensity of lawmakers to use their positions to enrich themselves rather than serve their constituents.

04/02/2014

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