In formal comments filed with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) this week, the Center for Individual…
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CFIF Files Comments in Support of IRS Rulemaking to Protect Donor Privacy

In formal comments filed with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) this week, the Center for Individual Freedom (“CFIF”) offered strong support for the IRS’s proposed rulemaking to eliminate the requirement that certain nonprofit organizations provide the names and addresses of contributors on Schedule B of their annual tax filings.

As CFIF notes in its filing, "the Proposed Rulemaking would help protect the First Amendment rights of subject organizations and their citizen donors, without negatively impacting the legally permissible handling of the nation’s tax laws or 501(c) organization tax filings."

Read CFIF’s comments here (PDF).…[more]

December 11, 2019 • 03:45 pm

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Socialist Agenda Rests Upon a Mythical Europe Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, November 21 2019
The alternative to the U.S. system is worse for consumers, not better.

Political leftists often recoil when someone affixes the derisive “socialist” descriptor to their agenda. 

Apparently, those who object are old enough or historically literate enough to fathom socialism’s dismal historical record and react accordingly. 

This week, however, brought inconvenient news to such people in the form of a new Gallup survey. 

Namely, Democrats who maintain a positive view of socialism now outnumber those who maintain a positive view of capitalism by an astonishing 13%.  As recently as 2012, Democrats viewed capitalism more favorably than socialism by a 51% to 50% margin.  But today, 65% of Democrats view socialism favorably, compared to only 52% who view capitalism favorably. 

For purposes of comparison, Republicans view capitalism more favorably than socialism by a 78% to 9% margin, and independents by a 57% to 41% margin. 

For that growing number of people too young or historically illiterate enough to not object to the “socialist” label, the offense comes when someone derisively cites Venezuela as an example of what their preferred policies inevitably bring.  No, they say, Europe offers the better exemplar of socialist governance. 

An initial defect in that reflexive rationalization is that many of the European nations that some mindlessly assume to be socialist are not socialist at all. 

Prosperous Switzerland, for instance, with no minimum wage and high private firearm possession rate, ranks fourth in the world on the Heritage Foundation’s annual index of economic freedom.  Again for purposes of comparison, the U.S. ranks twelfth. 

But more fundamentally, “Europe” in too many people’s minds conjures up images of posh vacations, Amsterdam canal rides, pastries beneath the Eiffel Tower and Austrian Alps hikes.  But that’s not the everyday reality for citizens there. 

This week, The Wall Street Journal exposed that very different reality in a front-page report entitled “Europe’s New Jobs Stoke Discontent.”  Although Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren portray European economies as socialist utopias, the hard truth is that workers there don’t enjoy the benefits of popular myth: 

[B]ehind the numbers is a shift that is changing Europe.  A growing proportion of new jobs are part-time, temporary or self-employed positions that lack the benefits that European workers have long expected.  By last year, 14.2% of European jobs were temporary, compared with just 4% in the U.S. – leaving many workers without insurance, a pension or disability benefits.  The result is a surge in the ranks of Europeans who have jobs and still struggle to make ends meet, while watching the lives of many others improve. 

“In Europe,” the report continued, “such work is rarely a stepping stone to full-time employment, as it can be in the U.S.” 

Even assuming that Europe, not Venezuela or Cuba, represents socialism in real-world practice, who wants to sign up for that state of affairs? 

Consider that here in America, unemployment has reached 50-year lows, and Black unemployment has plummeted to all-time record lows.  Incomes have finally increased after years of Obama stagnation, and the number of available jobs now exceeds the number of unemployed Americans for the first time in recorded history.  Economic growth in America also exceeds that of Europe, which teeters perilously close to recession. 

The same hard reality applies with regard to healthcare reform and drug prices, one of today’s most salient issues. 

Although some politicians demagogue and point to Europe as somehow offering a better model, the reality is that their policies result in unavailability of lifesaving drugs widely available in the U.S. 

Out of 74 new cancer drugs developed between 2011 and 2018, for instance, 70 of them are available in the U.S., a 95% rate.  In the United Kingdom, only 74% of those drugs are available.  In Japan, the number is just 49%, and in places like Greece it’s all the way down at 8%.  That’s because those supposedly elevated European systems threaten to ignore drug patents and sell generic copies if pharmaceutical innovators don’t comply with bureaucratic demands. 

Consequently, cancer survival rates in the U.S. exceed those supposedly more enlightened nations.  The alternative to the U.S. system is worse for consumers, not better. 

These realities should shatter the myth of European socialist utopias peddled by too many on the political left.   If they don’t, Americans may find themselves increasingly suffering the same unwelcome fate. 

Question of the Week   
The most recent U.S. Senator to be elected President of the United States was Barack Obama. Who was the first U.S. Senator to be elected President?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"The great debate about whether the FBI spied on the Trump campaign continues. The question is why there is still any argument. The newly-released report from Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz shows that by any definition the FBI did indeed spy. ...It turns out the FBI used what should have been a routine intelligence briefing of the Trump campaign to pursue its investigation.…[more]
 
 
—Byron York, The Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent
— Byron York, The Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent
 
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