Daily Archives: December 10, 2013

Firefighters and Obamacare

This is a new one.  Evidently, under the Obamacare legislation as it now stands, volunteer firefighters count as “employees” and will therefore have to be insured by the fire departments that “employ” them.  And this isn’t just a minor problem that affects a handful of rural communities.  No, 71 percent of fire houses in AmericaContinue Reading

Income Redistribution

The Congressional Budget Office released a report today called “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2010.”  I know.  Not exactly the most exciting title in the world.  But it contains some pretty interesting information.  The big headline I keep seeing is that the bottom 40% of households had an average federal income taxContinue Reading

Unintended consequences (not Obamacare, but the sugar policy)

For many years, the federal government has (unconstitutionally in my view) run a program that keeps out lower-cost foreign sugar in order to make nice with the US sugar industry, which is dominated by one very rich family. That program, as Cato’s Chris Edwards points out in this post, is behind the disappearance of jobsContinue Reading

Study: Quality teachers should have larger classes

Michael Hansen, a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research, just published Right-sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of Great Teachers.  Hansen examined data from North Carolina to determine the relationship between teacher effectiveness and student assignment/class sizes. Dr. Hansen found, North Carolina appears to differentiate class sizes based on teachers’ performance only to aContinue Reading

A good movie about the Federal Reserve?

Jim Bruce has made a movie entitled Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve. In this post, economic professor J. Huston McCulloch praises it, although with some reservations — especially the failure to mention the government’s role in the housing bubble. The Fed recently turned 100 and it seems that more and more people areContinue Reading

Don’t overreact to our poor international test results

Political science professor Robert Weissberg has a great piece on American Thinker that was inspired by the predictable wringing of hands over the recent poor showing for the US on international tests. They should not be the occasion of hysteria, he explains; nor should they be the excuse for still more government spending on andContinue Reading

Just what we need: More public policy schools

Writing for the Washington Post, James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley explore the growth in the number and scope of college-level schools of public policy. This fall, Georgetown University announced the creation of a new school of public policy , thanks to a gift of $100 million from an alumnus. And in October, the UniversityContinue Reading

York says the president is losing clout among his most enthusiastic supporters

Byron York devotes a Washington Examiner article to President Obama’s latest approval numbers among those groups that were most likely to support his election and re-election to the White House. President Obama won re-election with the rock-solid support of what has become known as the “Obama Coalition” — young people, minorities, women, and low-income voters.Continue Reading