Support for Federal Reserve Audit Increasing

Last week Cato hosted a policy forum on “Bringing Transparency to the Federal Reserve,” featuring Congressman Ron Paul. As mentioned in CQ Politics, Rep. Paul’s bill, HR 1207, has been gaining considerable momentum in the House, with currently 244 co-sponsors, ranging from John Boehner to John Conyers Jr. In fact, the Senate companion bill was […]

Gift Cards: What Congress Gives, the States Take Away

Little noticed in the recently enacted credit card bill was a provision prohibiting retailers and financial institutions from issuing gift cards that expired with a set time, except under certain circumstances.  While card issuers had been using expiration dates to estimate and manage their liabilities, many States had been “collecting” the value of these unused […]

Consumer Financial Product Commission Distracts from Real Reform

Today the Obama Administration released a 152-page draft bill to create a new Consumer Financial Product Commission. While intended to protect against consumer confusion and reduce the likelihood of future financial crises, the proposed agency will at best have little impact and at worst contribute to the next financial crisis, with the added effect of […]

The Roberts Revolution to Come

As I mentioned yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court surprised many people by ordering a reargument in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Specifically, the Court called for the parties to the case to address the question of overruling Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce. The Court decided Austin v. Michigan Chamber of […]

Private School Productivity Off the Charts

A new study of Florida’s tax credit scholarship program was announced yesterday, reporting test scores both for private school students in the program and for low-income public school students. The report notes that scholarship kids were much more disadvantaged than even the low-income public school students, and it wasn’t able to control for those differences, […]

Appointing Another Supreme Commander of NATO

The Obama administration has just carried out one of its standard rituals — choosing a new commander of NATO.  But why are we still in NATO? Reports the New York Times: When Adm. James G. Stavridis took over the military’s Southern Command in late 2006, his French was excellent but he spoke no Spanish. Not […]

Attention GM Shareholders (That Means You!)

As my colleague Doug Bandow pointed out this morning, today’s Washington Post has an analysis about the uncertain prospects of GM ever making taxpayers whole again. It is a very similar analysis to the one I gave in this L.A. Times Dust-Up installment four weeks ago, although I find prospects unlikely, rather than just uncertain. […]

Obama’s Back-Door Tax Hike on American Workers

A column in the Washington Post makes an excellent general observation about how taxes on business are actually paid by people. The piece also cites a couple of examples, including an explanation of why the Administration’s big tax hike on American multinational firms will backfire – which is the same argument I made in this […]

Don’t Count on Getting Your “Investment” Back from Government Motors

The president and his appointees have expressed their hope that Government Motors will eventually pay back taxpayers for their “forced investment” in the company.  But there aren’t many cases of this sort of lemon socialism actually paying off. Now most everyone connected with GM is admitting the same thing.  Reports the Washington Post: If a new General Motors […]

Some Thinking on “Cyber”

Last week, I had the opportunity to testify before the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation on the topic of “cybersecurity.” I have been reluctant to opine on it because of its complexity, but I did issue a short piece a few months ago arguing against government-run cybersecurity. That piece was cited prominently […]