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Posts Tagged ‘free market’
April 5th, 2011 at 1:19 pm
FCC Commissioner Clyburn Thinks Government Should Enter the Communications Business, Too
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In this era of bureaucratic overreach and unsustainable spending and deficits, should government also enter the business of competing against private communications service providers?  Doesn’t it already have its hands full?

We at CFIF think so.  In fact, we testified last month before the North Carolina legislature on behalf of thousands of supporters and activists across that great state in support of H.B. 129, which would restrain government bureaucrats from unfairly competing against private providers of communications services.   And with good reason.  From Taiwan to Australia, from Chicago to Houston, and inside North Carolina itself, the history of public broadband is without exception one of failure.  Every single public broadband project of which we’re aware has failed to so much as break even.  Ultimately, taxpayer bailouts become necessary as government endeavors lose money and require constant upgrades to keep pace with evolving technology.  Moreover, government broadband boondoggles undermine the billions of dollars invested in private network improvement and expansion, and discourage future private investment.  After all, why risk one’s capital to compete against governments that can manipulate the rules and go to taxpayers for bailout?  Inevitably, poorer service and layoffs in the vibrant tech sector result.  Rural communities particularly suffer.

But none of that logic seems to matter to Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.   In a statement Monday, Clyburn attacked the North Carolina’s sensible legislation and defended the concept of government entering yet another portion of the private sector.   Perhaps that’s not surprising, considering Clyburn’s vote last December to impose so-called “Net Neutrality” in the face of two-to-one public opposition, a unanimous Court of Appeals decision that the FCC didn’t possess such authority and condemnation from bipartisan groups in Congress.

Predictable or not, however, it is critical that Americans at the federal, state and local level vocally oppose the sort of government tech sector overreach that she advocates.

March 18th, 2011 at 10:32 am
Gallup Survey: Unions Reduce Workplace Wellbeing
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Apparently, whatever jobs labor unions don’t drive overseas or eliminate entirely are made worse by them.

According to a just-released Gallup survey, “U.S. Union Workers Score Lower on Work Enforcement Index.”  On a variety of measures, from the sense of employee/supervisor partnership to overall trust, unionized workplaces simply maintain substantially lower levels of workplace wellbeing.  Ultimately, as the Gallup report states, unionized workplaces impact the factors that “in turn have well-documented associations to various desirable business outcomes, including customer engagement, turnover, absenteeism, and productivity.”

As critical standoffs between taxpayers and intransigent labor bosses in Wisconsin and across the nation continue, this new Gallup survey sheds some important information on the matter.

March 16th, 2011 at 3:49 pm
New Congress Deals Big-Government “Net Neutrality” Another Blow
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Yesterday, the new House of Representatives took another step to make good on its campaign promises last fall to the American people.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee, by a 30 to 23 vote, approved a resolution prohibiting Obama’s rogue Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from imposing so-called “Net Neutrality” on the nation’s Internet sector. This follows last week’s 15-8 vote by the Communications and Technology Subcommittee on the same issue. The FCC doesn’t possess the legal authority to regulate the Internet via “Net Neutrality” in the first instance, as a unanimous court of appeals ruled last year.  Further, Americans oppose this sort of Internet regulation by a solid two-to-one margin, and a rare bipartisan majority of 300 from Congress has formally instructed the FCC against pursuing this lawless course.  Ignoring all of that, the FCC rammed through “Net Neutrality” by a partisan 3-2 vote in December.

Big-government activists claim that “Net Neutrality” is somehow necessary to prevent Internet service providers, who invest the tens of billions of dollars necessary to create the networks on which the Internet passes, from blocking various websites or maliciously discriminating in Internet traffic.  But they cannot explain why that hypothetical epidemic of blockage has never occurred despite two decades of explosive Internet growth in our lives.  And with good reason – any service provider that did so would quickly find itself out of business due to irate customers.  But never mind that.  What are facts, after all, against the desire to add yet another sector of the American economy to the Obama Administration’s regulation?

Fortunately, Americans know better.  And just as fortunately, Congress and the courts are doing something about it.

March 14th, 2011 at 10:17 am
Economist Survey: Unemployment for 2012 Election Will Be Highest Since 1976 Carter/Ford
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According to a Wall Street Journal survey of economists, unemployment for the November 2012 election will remain elevated at 7.7%.  That would make it the highest for a presidential election since the Carter/Ford nailbiter in 1976, when it was 7.8%.

Ominously, the report adds, “Economists in the survey slightly raised the likelihood of recession over the next 12 months to 14%, largely due to rising oil prices.”  The article endeavors to highlight the caveat that, “analysts point out that it is often the overall trend – rather than the level of joblessness – that determines an incumbent’s fate.”  The 7.8% rate of November 1976 (in which the incumbent Ford lost), however, had declined from 9.0% in May of 1975, 8.3% one year earlier and 7.9% at the beginning of 1976.

Liberal pundits appear eager to claim that no Republican wants to take on the supposedly strong Obama, but this survey and storm clouds in the form of higher gas prices, overall inflation and worldwide chaos may suggest otherwise.

February 17th, 2011 at 2:39 pm
House, Senate Introduce Resolution to Repeal “Net Neutrality”
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Two months ago, when Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed its “Net Neutrality” proposal by a partisan 3-2 margin, we guaranteed that it would inevitably be defeated via legislation, the courts or both.

Sure enough, last month Verizon Communications challenged the FCC’s rogue vote in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the same court that unanimously ruled last April that the FCC doesn’t possess lawful authority to impose Net “Neutrality.”  Now this week, both the House and Senate introduced resolutions to repeal the FCC’s rogue action.  The resolutions were introduced pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review and overrule federal agency regulations via simple majority.  Importantly, such resolutions are not subject to normal Senate filibuster hurdles.

“Net Neutrality” constitutes a destructive and illegal federal intrusion into the Internet, which has managed to flourish just fine over the past two decades without Obama Administration micromanagement, thank you very much.  The American public opposes it by a 2-to-1 margin, courts have rejected it unanimously and Congressional opposition is bipartisan.  While “Net Neutrality’s” demise is a matter of when, not if, it is still absolutely critical that we as citizens maintain our resolve to spare the Internet sector from becoming bureaucrats’ tech version of ObamaCare.

February 14th, 2011 at 10:35 am
Obama Budget Proposal: Record $1.6 Trillion Deficit
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Last month, we noted with alarm that the Congressional Budget Office forecast a record $1.5 trillion federal budget deficit for fiscal 2011.

It’s apparently even worse than that.  Today, the Obama Administration unveils its proposed budget, projecting that this year’s deficit will actually reach $1.6 trillion.  So after telling Americans during his 2008 campaign that he was going to go through the budget “line-by-line” and reduce the deficit, Obama has given us deficits of $1.4 trillion, $1.3 trillion and now a record $1.6 trillion.  And what to show for it?  Unemployment remains at or above 9% for a post-World War II record 21st consecutive month, despite Obama’s promises that it would top out at 8% in October 2009 and decline to between 6% and 7% today.

As for those who continue their mindless “Blame Bush” rationalization crusade, they must explain how three years into the Age of Obama, the deficit is increasing, not decreasing, from $1.3 trillion to $1.6 trillion (an almost 25% increase).

February 4th, 2011 at 10:25 am
Unemployment: On Eve of Reagan’s 100th Birthday, Let’s Compare Presidents
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In its monthly report this morning, the Labor Department announced that unemployment has now remained at or above 9% for a post-World War II record 21st consecutive month.  Additionally, it reported just 36,000 new jobs, well short of the expected 140,000 number.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, these numbers contrast the results of a big government agenda versus a free market agenda.  In the 23 months since Obama’s massive $1 trillion “stimulus” passage, unemployment has increased from 8.2% to 9%.  One would expect better results in exchange for deficits of $1.4 trillion in 2009, $1.3 trillion in 2010 and an expected record $1.5 trillion this year.  Keep in mind that Obama projected that if we followed his big government agenda, unemployment would be down between 6% – 7% by now.  In contrast, the 23 months following the effective date of Reagan’s tax cuts in January 1983 saw unemployment plummet from 10.4% to 7.2%.

The facts speak for themselves.  Inexplicably, Obama nevertheless called for even more federal “stimulus” in his State of the Union address.  As we celebrate the Gipper’s 100th birthday, we should remember the timeless lesson taught by his freedom agenda’s success.

January 28th, 2011 at 10:13 am
Obama’s 2011 Deficit? A Record $1.5 Trillion
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Barack Obama assured Americans throughout his campaign that if we hired him, he’d reduce the deficit.  Here is Obama in his own words from his closing infomercial of October 29, 2008:

I believe we need to usher in a new era of responsibility.  Across the country, families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington.  That’s why, for my energy plan, my economic plan and the other proposals you’ll hear tonight, I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost.  I’ll also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that don’t work … and making the ones we do need work better and cost less.”

Here’s the ugly reality, over two years later:  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced this week that the 2011 budget deficit will reach a record $1.5 trillion.  That follows $1.4 trillion and $1.3 trillion deficits in his first two years.  The 2008 deficit, for purposes of comparison, was $455 billion.

Something to consider when assessing Obama’s latest State of the Union address, and his upcoming promises over the next two years.

January 22nd, 2011 at 6:13 pm
In Defense of Presidential Political Markets

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol writes a terrific defense of market forces in selecting the next Republican presidential nominee.

Here are two choice paragraphs:

This vision should be easy for conservatives to embrace. Believers in the free market understand the virtues of competition, of low barriers to entry, and of lots of opportunities for (so to speak) price discovery. We know the superiority of spontaneous order to central planning. But too many GOP bigwigs in Washington who claim to have read Hayek have succumbed to the fatal conceit. They’re meeting nonstop trying to determine for us all now, a year before the first primary—with limited information as to relevant candidate skills and almost no knowledge of next year’s political environment—who the best presidential candidate would be.

Democratic capitalists admire Schumpeter for explaining the virtues of creative destruction. But too many donors to the party of democratic capitalism are huddling in New York this winter figuring out if there isn’t some way to short-circuit this kind of healthy—if messy, to be sure—competition among entrepreneurial candidates testing their skills and their messages. Wealthy individuals who made their fortunes by defying the odds are trying to figure out who’s the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination so they can cluster behind him. Businessmen who swear by the virtues of competition decry the fact that there will be lots of competition for the GOP nomination. Shouldn’t they instead welcome the competition, even encourage it by putting a little venture capital behind several nominees to see how they do? Markets work, and political markets work too. At least, they’re better than the alternative.

Read all of Kristol’s argument for robust political competition here as an antidote for the establishment and media’s tendency to call results much too early.

January 21st, 2011 at 12:52 pm
The Economics of Federalism

Yesterday, 60 members of the House Republican majority endorsed a bill that would “deregulate” health insurance purchases by allowing consumers to buy plans across state lines.  The idea is to let companies compete on a national scale, spreading the risk and lowering premiums.  The bill is gaining support as a free market counterargument against ObamaCare’s one-size-fits-all regulation of health insurance.

There is a caveat.  In order to liberalize the insurance market, the GOP-sponsored bill must take away the states’ power to regulate insurance.  The reason insurance plans cost different amounts in different states is because individual states have different regulatory schemes.  Those schemes are the product of public policy decisions hammered out at the state level.  Importantly for 10th Amendment limited government types, the plan to “deregulate” the health insurance market comes at the expense of state sovereignty.

Ironically, the only way the House Republicans’ answer to ObamaCare gets passed is through an expansive reading of Congress’ ability to regulate interstate commerce “among the states.”  Members of Congress will (or at least should) have to struggle with which conservative principle they value more in this instance: the free market or federalism.  In a certain sense, federalism grants to states a public policy monopoly over all issues not expressly contained in the text of the U.S. Constitution.  That monopoly drives up prices for consumers in states with costly regulations.  Theoretically, if people want to pay less for health insurance, they could move to a state with less costly regulations.

Ideas like federalism have consequences.  As the Tea Party-flavored House GOP boards the ship of state, it will be interesting to see which crate of principles the revolutionaries toss over.

H/T: Los Angeles Times

January 21st, 2011 at 10:46 am
Verizon Challenges Net “Neutrality” – Obama’s FCC Picked a Fight, and It Got One
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Last month, President Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted by a partisan 3-2 margin to regulate Internet service via Net “Neutrality.”  On that date, we predicted,”The FCC’s reckless effort to regulate Internet traffic will now begin a slow death march to ultimate defeat from legal challenges and Congressional action.”

Exactly one month later, the judicial front in that battle is underway.

Yesterday, Verizon Communications challenged the FCC’s rogue vote in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  That’s the same court that unanimously ruled last April that the FCC doesn’t possess lawful authority to impose Net “Neutrality,” but the FCC defiantly pressed ahead despite that unequivocal ruling.  In so doing, the FCC also defied 2-to-1 public opposition and a bipartisan group of 300 from Congress.  Obama took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal this week to profess a new commitment to regulatory restraint in pursuit of a healthier economy, job creation and more humble federal government.  But his own FCC belies that supposed commitment with its Net “Neutrality” agenda.

Leaders of the new 112th Congress have also committed to overturning the FCC’s destructive attempt to regulate Internet service.  Whether the demise of Net “Neutrality” comes legislatively or judicially, it can’t come soon enough for American consumers, investors and employers.

January 18th, 2011 at 5:36 pm
Obama’s WSJ Op/Ed: Change of Heart, or Just More Political Deception?
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The nation’s capital is abuzz today over President Obama’s Wall Street Journal commentary, “Toward a 21st Century Regulatory System.” Astonishingly, Obama actually praises America’s free market system as “the greatest force for prosperity the world has ever known” while promising regulatory reform:

I am signing an executive order that makes clear that this is the operating principle of our government.  This order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth.  And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.  It’s a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades.”

Whether Obama speaks honestly, or simply seeks to deceive the electorate in anticipation of 2012, lies beyond our powers of divination.  The available evidence, however, justifies extreme skepticism.

One cause for doubt stands out immediately.  In identifying examples of the federal regulatory state run amok, the best Obama can do is point to saccharine, saying that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits it for consumption in coffee while his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labels it a “dangerous chemical.”  That’s it?  That’s the best example he can cite?

Just one month ago, Obama’s own Federal Communications Commission (FCC) flagrantly defied two-to-one public opposition, a unanimous Court of Appeals and a bipartisan group of 300 members of Congress by voting to regulate the Internet via “Net Neutrality.” Obama claims in his column that he aims to prevent “regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive,” but that’s exactly what “Net Neutrality” will do.  The FCC seeks to regulate an Internet sector that has thrived over the past two decades precisely because the federal government has refrained from interfering with regulations such as this.  The result will be fewer incentives for continued Internet investment, expansion and innovation, as well as declining service as capacity fails to keep pace with demand.

Additionally, Obama’s Labor Department seeks to impose “card check,” which will end secret ballot voting in union elections, and his EPA seeks to impose global warming carbon cap-and-tax regulations.  Both of those agenda items failed miserably in Congress even when controlled by Democratic supermajorities, but Obama’s regulatory agencies now seek to impose them anyway.

So Obama talks a good game in today’s op/ed.  But unless he issues an immediate cease-and-desist order on “Net Neutrality,” card check and cap-and-tax, his words will prove just as meaningless as his other broken promises.

January 14th, 2011 at 9:23 am
Just the Facts: International Economic Freedom = Prosperity
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This week, the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal released the 2011 edition of their Index of Economic Freedom.

Once again, the facts speak for themselves:  Economic freedom means not only more prosperity, but also greater overall wellbeing.  In calculating economic freedom and ranking the world’s economies, the Index examines 10 criteria:  business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom.  The correlation between economic freedom and living standards is once again made clear:

Despite varying degrees of economic freedom across the regions, the relationship between economic freedom and prosperity remains constant within the regions.  Per capita incomes are much higher in countries that are economically free.  Not surprisingly, overall human development also thrives in an environment that is economically free…  Higher economic freedom induces greater overall human development as measured by the United Nations Human Development Index, which assesses the combined progress of life expectancy, literacy, education, and the standard of living.”

The good news is that 117 of the world’s economies improved over the past year, whereas only 58 declined.  For Americans, the bad news is that we fell from 8th to 9th.  On that front, note the Index’s comments about the  importance of reducing government spending:

Countries that reduced government spending had economic growth rates almost two percentage points higher in 2009 than countries whose government spending scores worsened, and countries with the highest rates of government spending had gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates 4.5 percentage points lower on average than countries where government spending was best contained.”

Will the new 112th Congress help reverse that decline?  As we approach the 2012 elections, that will prove a critical question.

January 7th, 2011 at 9:37 am
Unemployment Report: Over 9% For 20th Consecutive Month, Fewer New Jobs Than Expected
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This morning, the Labor Department announced a national unemployment rate of 9.4%.  Unfortunately, this means that the unemployment rate has surpassed 9% for a post-World War II record 20 consecutive months.  Moreover, the announcement of just 103,000 new jobs fell well short of the anticipated gain of 150,000 new jobs.

The Obama Administration will trumpet the misleading 0.4% decline from last month’s 9.8% rate as evidence that its agenda is somehow succeeding.  That claim, however, conceals the fact that the rate had already dropped from January 2010’s 9.7% rate to 9.5% in June, only to climb back to 9.8% to finish the year.  Further, this is the same Obama Administration that promised unemployment would peak at 8% in October 2009 – fourteen months ago – and be down to 7% by now if we just passed his so-called “stimulus” bill back in February 2009.  Almost $1 trillion in deficit spending and two years later, the verdict is clear.  It has failed miserably.

It’s something to remember as the Obama Administration attempts to “triangulate” and claim successful governance as we steam toward the 2012 reelection campaign.

January 3rd, 2011 at 11:51 am
New Year’s Resolution for FCC from WSJ’s Crovitz: Focus on Competition, Not Regulations
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The Wall Street Journal’s L. Gordon Crovitz just puts on a clinic on tech policy each Monday with his weekly “Information Age” column.  Today is no exception.  Entitled “Tech Resolutions for the New Year,” Crovitz directs his first resolution toward Chairman Julius Genachowski and the Obama Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that has again defied public opinion, a unanimous D.C. Court of Appeals and a bipartisan Congressional majority with last month’s “Net Neutrality” resolution:

For Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman:  Focus on competition, not regulations, lobbyists and lawyers.  By a partisan 3-2 vote, the Agency just before the holidays issued a plan to regulate the Internet.  The claim is ‘net neutrality,’ but throughout the 194-page order the reality is vague standards such as ‘reasonableness.’  This uncertainty creates a ‘regulator-may-I?’ approach to innovation and ensures years of litigation for a vital industry that evolved freely.  The real problem remains a lack of broadband competition, caused by government grants of monopolies and duopolies.  As open source guru Lawrence Lessig recently argued in Newsweek, the FCC should be replaced with regulators whose mission is ‘minimal intervention to maximize innovation.'”

Good advice.  Crovitz’s weekly commentaries are a must-read – especially if your name is Julius Genachowski.

January 3rd, 2011 at 11:11 am
The Price of Soft “Bipartisanship” – Schwarzenegger Departs With 22% Approval
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In October 2003, tough-talking optimist Arnold Schwarzenegger unseated bland public union yes-man Gray Davis as Governor of California in a revolutionary special recall election.  Today, Schwarzenegger departs with a depressed 22% approval rating that serves as a warning for Republican newcomers in Congress and across the 50 states against the perils of go-along-to-get-along “bipartisanship.”

During his first two years in office, Schwarzenegger maintained a confrontational demeanor that California desperately needed as it hurtled toward its current disastrous state.  In March 2004, for instance, he famously ridiculed California’s milquetoast political class as “girlie-men.”

Unfortunately, four common-sense and ultimately necessary ballot initiatives that he supported failed in November 2005.  Instead of sticking to principles, Schwarzenegger opted for “bipartisan” political expediency and personal survival.  What followed was a shameful litany of global warming bills, ObamaCare-like proposals, lack of leadership and tax hikes.  His capitulation provided a short-term payoff via reelection in 2006, but ultimately proved disastrous for himself and the state.  Today, despite Schwarzenegger’s early promise, California is in even worse shape than when he entered office.  And jaded voters witnessed yet another sad example of a politician who promised to change the political culture, only to allow the political culture to change him.

Schwarzenegger’s failure, however, provides a helpful cautionary guide for incoming Republicans this new year.  Namely, sacrificing the principles that got you elected at the tempting altar of “bipartisanship” will only deepen our nation’s current difficulties and eventually doom you politically.

December 16th, 2010 at 10:52 pm
Recent Obamacare Ruling a Pyrrhic Victory?

Christine Erickson at Free Enterprise Nation has a chilling analysis of Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling that Obamacare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional:

The idea behind the individual mandate is that it is a way to achieve universal coverage through the private market, rather than through a government-sponsored plan. When considering the regulations placed on insurance companies by the reform law, the individual mandate is necessary because it brings healthy individuals into the insurance pool. Under a major provision within the law, insurers can no longer deny policies to people with preexisting conditions. If this regulation is put in place without the individual mandate, a healthy individual can go without insurance, knowing that he or she can purchase coverage after having been diagnosed with a serious medical problem. For insurance companies that sell to the individual market, this would shift the makeup of their policy holders to the point where they would spend much more on claims than they make in premiums, leaving them with the decision to drastically raise premiums (15% to 20% by CBO estimations) or exit the individual market altogether. Once private insurers are forced out of the individual market, it is almost guaranteed that the government would step in and create a government-run plan.

With Judge Hudson’s ruling, as well as two other recent rulings that the mandate falls within Congressional limits, healthcare reform supporters now see two likely outcomes to a Supreme Court challenge: the law will be upheld in its entirety, or the individual mandate alone will be overturned. If the Supreme Court decides the latter, the country could be immediately set on a path towards a government-run, single payer system.

Oh, dear…

December 10th, 2010 at 10:24 am
FCC Recreates ObamaCare Fiasco with “Net Neutrality” Secrecy
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Remember how ObamaCare was furiously crafted behind locked doors, despite Obama’s assurances it would be “on C-Span?”  The public revolted against those tactics, but Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) apparently thought it all went pretty well.  Look no further than its secrecy in concocting its latest “Net Neutrality” draft, despite FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski’s own promises of “transparency.”

In this way, “Net Neutrality” imitates ObamaCare beyond the broader fact that it seeks to commandeer 1/6 of the American economy.  Like ObamaCare, it is strongly opposed by the public and judicially suspect, and proponents know that exposing its manufacturing process to the sunlight would only help doom it.  Accordingly, Chairman Genachowski appears intent on concealing his “Net Neutrality” proposal as long as possible before dumping it on the public later this month.

Why all the secrecy?  What do Chairman Genachowski and “Net Neutrality” proponents fear so much?  Instead of secrecy, they should follow Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker’s call to immediately make the draft public.  Apply the same “openness” that you claim to desire for the Internet, Chairman Genachowski.

December 3rd, 2010 at 9:13 am
Obamanomics Failing: Unemployment Rises Again to 9.8%
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Moments ago, the Labor Department announced that the nation’s unemployment rate, which had stagnated at 9.6% for three consecutive months, actually rose to 9.8%.

Alarmingly, this means that unemployment has now stood above 9% for 19 consecutive months, a post-World War II record.  Analysts had predicted 150,000 new jobs for October, but it turned out that only 39,000 were added, far below the number necessary to reduce the unemployment rate.

No American should take pleasure in others’ blight, but we simply must face the fact that the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Keynesian economic agenda has failed, and a course correction is critical.  In the 20 months since Obama signed the budget-busting $1 trillion “stimulus,” unemployment has only risen from 8.4% to 9.8%.  In contrast, in the 20 months following the effective date of the Reagan tax cuts, unemployment plummeted from 10.4% to 7.3%.  The facts speak for themselves.  It’s time for remedial free market action.

November 22nd, 2010 at 2:51 pm
Senators Coburn, Burr Demand Investigation Into Obama Education Department Attack on For-Profit Colleges
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For-profit colleges provide an invaluable tool for everyday Americans to climb the ladder and improve their skills, particularly during a period of high unemployment when every little advantage matters.  That’s one reason why, according to estimates, enrollment at for-profit colleges has increased over 20% even since the recession began.  Despite this, such colleges find themselves in the crosshairs of the Obama Administration, whose Education Department seeks to impose suffocating restrictions on loans to students who wish to attend them.

Stop for a moment and imagine the outcry if the Bush Administration had pursued such targeted restrictions, which hit poorer and minority enrollees disproportionately hard.

Now, however, there’s even more disturbing news.  Senators Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma) and Richard Burr (R – North Carolina) sent a letter to the Education Department last week citing public documents indicating that it “may have leaked the proposed regulations to parties supporting the Administration’s position and investors who stand to benefit from the failure of the proprietary school sector.”  The Senators’ letter comes on the heels of a lawsuit whose evidence includes emails between Education Department advisers and short-sellers.

The Obama Administration’s mindless attack against these important colleges for working Americans is bad enough, but allegations of corruption and insider trading obviously exacerbate that looming disaster.  We’ll be following these alarming developments in coming days, as should anyone who cares about the American workforce maintaining its edge amid fierce global competition.