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Posts Tagged ‘Biden’
November 4th, 2022 at 11:12 am
USC Healthcare Fellow: Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” Already Killing Potential Pharmaceutical Cures
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We at CFIF often warn how attempts at “drug price controls” will only succeed in killing lifesaving drug innovation, in which the U.S. leads the world without a close second.

Joe Biden’s so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” constitutes a perfect illustration, and in a Wall Street Journal piece entitled “The Inflation Reduction Act Is Already Killing Potential Cures,” USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics fellow Joe Grogan shows how “we’re already getting signs of the damage”:

One poorly crafted provision is driving companies away from research into treating rare diseases.  In its Oct. 27 earnings statement, Alnylam announced it is suspending development of a treatment for Stargardt disease, a rare eye disorder, because of the company’s need ‘to evaluate impact of the Inflation Reduction Act.’  Alnylam’s decision turns on a provision in the Democrats’ bill that exempts from price-setting negotiations drugs that treat only one rare disease.  The company’s drug is currently marketed as treating only amyloidosis, and thus is exempt from Medicare’s price setting.  If Alnylam proceeded with research into treating Stargardt, it would lose its exemption.”

And that’s not even the end of it.  Earlier this week, Eli Lilly announced termination of a blood cancer drug because, “In light of the Inflation Reduction Act, this program no longer met our threshold for continued investment.”

Mr. Grogan proceeds to offer a must-read primer on how and why this is happening, then concludes by admonishing the next Congress convening in January to abandon this instant disaster and promote innovation instead of cheap Biden Administration talking point schemes:

The Democrats may have achieved a short-term talking point for the midterm elections, but in the long term this partisan healthcare bill will prevent patients from receiving innovative, lifesaving treatments.  A new Congress would serve Americans well by replacing the Inflation Reduction Act with an approach that recognizes the need for economic incentives to bring new treatments to patients.”

Good advice.

July 18th, 2022 at 1:13 pm
Image of the Day: “Putin Price Hike?” No, a Biden Inflation Blowup
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While Joe Biden attempts to blame a shifting array of scapegoats for inflation, the simple numbers demonstrate the unmistakable truth.  Consumer prices began skyrocketing upon Biden’s inauguration in January 2021, and wage gains plummeted toward an immediate deficit relative to inflation.  During the Trump presidency, wages consistently exceeded inflation, only rarely even coming in even, let alone in negative territory.  Economist Stephen Moore illustrates the reality unambiguously:

 

 

 

June 17th, 2022 at 12:18 pm
Inexcusable and Dangerous: Biden Administration Surrenders U.S. Patent Rights to World Trade Organization (WTO)
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For a man who constantly claims to support “Buy American,” Joe Biden demonstrates an inexplicable and almost fetish-like tendency to undercut American industries.

Since day one, the Biden Administration has ceaselessly besieged a domestic energy sector that finally achieved U.S. energy independence after decades of effort.  And now, it is following through on its inexcusably foolish assault against the U.S. pharmaceutical sector.

Each year, American pharmaceutical innovators account for an astounding two-thirds of all new lifesaving drugs introduced worldwide.  That’s the direct result of our system of intellectual property (IP) protections, including patents, which consistently leads the world.

Instead of protecting that legacy of American Exceptionalism, however, the Biden Administration remains bizarrely determined to eviscerate it.  Today, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced agreement to forcibly waive patent protections for Covid vaccines, a dangerous effort that the Biden Administration for some reason supports.

This is nothing short of a license to steal U.S. patents.

The WTO effort serves no valid purpose, because Covid treatments are already being provided to poor nations across the world and the underlying pharmaceutical patents it targets are already being licensed at reduced prices or even for free.  Moreover, the  nations that the WTO claims to help recognize that lack of immunizations stems not from vaccine shortages, but rather from local logistical distribution problems and vaccination hesitancy among unvaccinated people in those nations.  Indeed, biopharmaceutical manufacturers remain capable of producing 20 billion vaccine doses this calendar year, so the problem isn’t lack of vaccine availability.

Additionally, a  supermajority of American voters spanning the political spectrum oppose this forcible waiver of Covid vaccine patents, favoring instead the licensing of patents to boost the global supply of vaccines.  Specifically, over 70% of voters believe that waiving Covid vaccine IP could have significant negative implications on the safety and efficacy of supply.

American patent protections explain our unmatched record of innovation, and also why we produce the overwhelming share of new drugs worldwide.  As the pandemic demonstrated once again, that includes Covid vaccines.  The WTO proposal egregiously sacrifices U.S. property rights and undermines the rule of law, which in turn will mean fewer lifesaving vaccines and treatments in the future.  If the Biden Administration won’t correct course, Congress must intervene to do so.

 

 

 

 

May 19th, 2022 at 12:51 pm
Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living
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In last week’s Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation’s 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index’s invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 

April 18th, 2022 at 9:54 am
Image of the Day: “Light Touch” Regulatory Policies Have Kept Broadband Prices Low
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As Americans express growing alarm over consumer price inflation that commenced in January 2021 under the Biden Administration and Pelosi/Schumer Congress (see here), it’s worth highlighting how critical broadband access on which our economy increasingly depends has diverged from that trend.  It’s also worth highlighting that stems from the fact that internet service has so far escaped Biden Administration regulatory attempts to reverse free-market progress achieved under former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai:

April 4th, 2022 at 12:05 pm
Image of the Day: Biden’s Silly “Putin Price Hike” Excuse
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Apparently nothing is too preposterous for Joe Biden and his apologists.  They attempt to rationalize out-of-control inflation and wage erosion as a “Putin Price Hike,” but a simple chronology immediately refutes that (unless Vladimir Putin somehow took control of the U.S. economy in January 2021):

 

“Putin Price Hike?”

January 10th, 2022 at 10:11 am
Image of the Day: Biden, Pelosi and Schumer Faceplanted On Jobs in 2021
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On the heels of Friday’s unsettling jobs report from the Labor Department, we can now judge the performance and promises of Joe Biden and the Pelosi/Schumer Congress against actual reality.  They promised 10.3 million jobs would be created in 2021 if their massive spending and regulation blowout passed, versus 6.3 million jobs if their agenda wasn’t passed.  So how did it turn out?  Their agenda was passed, but only 6.1 million jobs were created as the U.S. economy slowed and struggled to recover from the Covid dip, as AEI’s Matt Weidinger highlights.  They apparently made things worse, not better, illustrating the sardonic adage, “Don’t just do something – stand there.”

Biden Jobs Performance: Worse Than Doing Nothing

Biden Jobs Performance: Worse Than Doing Nothing

 

December 10th, 2021 at 12:39 pm
Image of the Day: “Build Back Better?” More Like Build Back Bigger Inflation
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As if enough reasons to oppose Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, from destructive drug price controls to higher taxes, didn’t already exist:

Build Back Bigger (Inflation)

Build Back Bigger (Inflation)

 

November 1st, 2021 at 9:20 am
WSJ’s Holman Jenkins on Congressional Climate Extremist Emperors’ Lack of Intellectual Clothing
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Late last week we highlighted how some far-left climate radicals in Congress mindlessly, obsessively and ostentatiously continue to demonize domestic energy producers – who achieved what was once considered fantasy by securing U.S. energy independence and lowering energy costs for American consumers – even while they and the Biden Administration beg OPEC and Russia to increase petroleum production.  The Wall Street Journal’s always-insightful Holman Jenkins brilliantly notes the proverbial emperor’s lack of clothing on that same Congressional obsession:

 

As it cyclically does, the hypocrisy show returned this week to ‘Big Oil.’  To cover up the political class’s, and particularly Joe Biden’s, inability to do anything meaningful about climate change, a House hearing on Thursday accused industry CEOs of blocking action as if somehow the pennies they spent on advocacy could haven countered the 30-year torrent of climate-change propaganda coming from governments, universities, green lobbyists and scientific organizations.  ‘They are obviously lying like the tobacco executives were,’ intoned Rep. Carolyn Maloney, in windup-toy fashion.  This line she was guaranteed to utter no matter what was said at the hearing (in fact, executives repeated what their companies had long said about the risks of climate change and the lack of alternatives to fossil fuels).

Most of us would be repulsed to behave the way politicians routinely do, which brings us to an unexpected counterpoint.  For want of something shiny to wave at next week’s global climate summit, and not too discerning about what it was, President Biden caused the U.S. intelligence services to gin up a new climate assessment.  Lo, the result is notable mainly for its skepticism about the kind of summits Mr. Biden will be attending…

At least one establishment institution has stopped paying lip service to the pipe dream that the world will give up fossil fuels on a timespan relevant to our climate risks.”

 

 

October 15th, 2021 at 12:30 pm
Statistic of the Day: Going Carbon-Free Would Cost Every American $11,300 PER YEAR
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From realistic climatologist Bjorn Lomborg, writing in The Wall Street Journal this week, a jarring analysis of the cost of imposing the Biden/Pelosi/Schumer/AOC carbon-free “Green New Deal” agenda for every American annually:

A new study in Nature finds that a 95% reduction in American carbon emissions by 2050 will annually cost 11.9% of U.S. gross domestic product. To put that in perspective: Total expenditure on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid came to 11.6% of GDP in 2019. The annual cost of trying to hit Mr. Biden’s target will rise to $4.4 trillion by 2050. That’s more than everything the federal government is projected to take in this year in tax revenue. It breaks down to $11,300 per person per year, or almost 500 times more than what a majority of Americans is willing to pay.

But don’t you dare ask any questions.  Just do what they say (not what they necessarily do, of course).

October 12th, 2021 at 8:59 am
Image of the Day: Biden’s Unwelcome Gift of Inflation to America in One Chart
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From Andy Puzder, a snapshot of how inflation dreadfully continues to outpace American workers’ paycheck gains:

Biden's Inflationary Gift

Biden’s Inflationary Gift

September 17th, 2021 at 12:54 pm
Notable Quote: WSJ on H.R. 3, Biden & Pelosi’s Dangerous Healthcare Bill
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In this week’s Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare and drug price control bill that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are attempting to rush through Congress.  The Wall Street Journal helpfully offers further insight this morning on how H.R. 3 would threaten lifesaving U.S. pharmaceutical innovation and leadership, including on things like the Covid vaccines:

Companies that refuse the government’s price must pay a 95% excise tax on all revenue they generate from that drug in the U.S.  They’d also have to offer the government price to private insurers.  There’s no “negotiation” when a gun is pointed at your head.  A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that drug spending in the U.S. would have been 52%, or about $83.5 billion, lower in 2020 based on the bill’s formula.  The research outfit Vital Transformation estimates the bill would reduce bio-pharmaceutical earnings by $102 billion a year…

The hugely successful mRNA Covid vaccines are the result of years and billions of dollars in research.  BioNTech initially set out to create cancer vaccines and linked up with Pfizer in 2018 to work on a more effective flu vaccine.  Biotech firms are trying to use mRNA technology for personalized cancer vaccines, autoimmune treatments and gene therapies.”

Americans cannot allow Biden, Pelosi and Schumer to jeopardize our future health on behalf of their hyper-partisan agenda.

August 24th, 2021 at 4:51 pm
Image of the Day: Meanwhile, the Biden Inflation Boom Continues…
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The Biden Administration’s failures aren’t exclusively overseas in nature.  For seven consecutive months now, average U.S. hourly wages have declined when adjusted for inflation.

 

The BIden Inflation Boom

The Biden Inflation Boom

 

 

August 13th, 2021 at 1:11 pm
Image of the Day: The Biden Inflation Surge
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From RealClearPolitics, a comparison of wage gains (blue line) versus inflation (red line) under President Trump and now Joe Biden.  But don’t sweat it, Joe – nothing that another creepy photo-op to an ice cream shop for fawning reporters won’t cure.

Biden's Inflation Boom

Biden’s Inflation Boom

 

April 19th, 2021 at 10:52 am
Image of the Day: Biden Wants U.S. to Suffer World’s Highest Corporate Tax Rate
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In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how even some elements of the Biden Administration’s wasteful spending blowout that actually do constitute “infrastructure” are nevertheless terrible ideas — his broadband plan chief among them.  Along the way, we note in passing how part of Biden’s plan includes returning the U.S. to the inglorious status of imposing the developed world’s highest and least-competitive corporate tax, which the Tax Foundation illustrates nicely:

 

Biden Plan Imposes World's Highest Tax Rate Upon U.S.

Biden Plan Imposes World’s Highest Tax Rate Upon U.S.

 

January 26th, 2021 at 5:58 pm
President Biden’s Private Prison Executive Order Is Ill-Considered and Misguided

People should experience before they judge.

I say that in reference to the escalating national debate about private prisons, fueled even more by President Biden’s ill-considered executive action today ordering the Department of Justice not to renew its contracts with private facilities.

I would know, because I took the time to actually visit two private facilities – and could not have been more impressed. As I explained in an op-ed in March, I toured two re-entry facilities and was able to freely interact with staff and residents.

Everyone was filled with mutual respect, with the staff displaying genuine pride in helping residents succeed and providing them with the opportunities and tools to lead successful lives on the outside. Residents spoke with a newfound optimism and hope that they could finally break the cycle of incarceration.

In other words, the supportive atmosphere is the exact opposite of what many might expect, based on the media narrative and extreme rhetoric surrounding this issue.

As such, federal officials should take the time to tour privately managed detention facilities before hastily deciding to ban them. Unless and until that happens, President Biden should reconsider – and reverse – the executive action he signed today.

Any impartial examination of the facts and evidence show that companies such as the GEO Group, which manages private prisons and detention centers, are doing good work. GEO is so focused on providing services and promoting rehabilitation that it actually has a division for it: the Continuum of Care. The company invests $10 million a year into this forward-thinking division, and evidence of its effectiveness is growing.

A GEO study using Illinois Department of Corrections data, for example, shows that prisoners who graduated from a GEO Reentry Service Center re-offended at half the rate of other inmates.

Another critical misconception surrounds mass incarceration, for which many blame private prisons. Yet evidence shows that is simply wrong: only about eight percent of prisoners in the U.S. are held at privately run facilities.

In a recent law review article, Fordham University law professor John F. Pfaff put it plainly. “Mass incarceration is a public sector affair in the United States,” he wrote.

And as it turns out, it’s further unfair to hold private prisons accountable for mass incarceration because the overwhelming majority, if not all, of those housed in federal private prisons are criminal aliens, non-U.S. citizens convicted of federal crimes by courts of law.

They do not house U.S. citizens.

Those who oversee state-run prisons could learn a thing or two from privately contracted facilities and the sound, smart and humane management they offer. President Biden and those around him should take the time, as I did, to learn the facts.

July 31st, 2020 at 2:19 pm
Image of the Day: Defund Police, While Crime Spikes Upward?
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As Dennis Prager neatly illustrates, is now really the time for Joe Biden and other leftists to be advocating “Defund the Police?”

 

Not the Time to Defund Police

Not the Time to Defund Police

 

 

July 10th, 2020 at 4:47 pm
Biden Drug Plan Would Slash Innovation and U.S. Consumer Access
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Joe Biden’s inexorable march toward the fanatical left continued this week, as he and Bernie Sanders (D – Vermont) introduced their “unity platform” in anticipation of this year’s Democratic convention.  We can thus add weaker U.S. patents and drug price controls imported from foreign nations to Biden’s existing dumpster fire of bad ideas.

Here’s the problem.  As we’ve often emphasized, and contrary to persistent myth, American consumers enjoy far greater access to new lifesaving drugs than people in other nations, including those in “other advanced economies” (Biden’s words) whose price controls Biden seeks to import:

Of all new cancer drugs developed worldwide between 2011 and 2018, 96% were available to American consumers.  Meanwhile, only 56% of those drugs became available in Canada, 50% in Japan, and just 11% in Greece, as just three examples.  Patients in nations imposing drug price controls simply don’t receive access to new pharmaceuticals as quickly as Americans, if they ever receive them at all.”

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges that overseas consumers’ lower access to pharmaceutical innovations stems from their governments’ imposition of price control regimes:

Every time one country demands a lower price, it leads to lower price reference used by other countries.  Such price controls, combined with the threat of market lockout or intellectual property infringement, prevent drug companies from charging market rates for their products, while delaying the availability of new cures to patients living in countries implementing those policies.”

Just as dangerously, Biden also advocates weaker patent protections for U.S. pharmaceutical innovators.  The United States has throughout its history led the world in protecting patent and other intellectual property (IP) rights, and as a direct result we’re the most innovative, inventive, prosperous nation in recorded history.  The U.S. claims just 4% of the world’s population, and even our  world-leading economy accounts for less than 25% of global production, yet we account for an amazing two-thirds of all new pharmaceuticals introduced to the world.  Public policy should be strengthening patent rights, not weakening them.

Biden rationalizes his socialized medicine proposal by asserting that “taxpayers’ money underwrites the research and development of many prescription drugs in the first place.”  But as we’ve also noted, private pharmaceutical investment in R&D dwarfs public funding, so he can’t justify his heavy-handed bureaucratic idea on that basis.

Just three months into the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, American pharmaceutical innovators are already entering final testing phases, far ahead of original estimates of their anticipated arrival.  That should come as no surprise, because we’ve long led the world.  But it emphasizes even more that Biden’s toxic proposal to impose foreign drug price controls and to weaken U.S. patent protections is particularly dangerous at a moment like this.

 

October 10th, 2012 at 6:49 pm
Obama’s Hurricane Hypocrisy — with More Details

I had a big story today at the Daily Caller about how Barack Obama first was directly told that the Bush administration was releasing federal money to Louisiana post-Katrina and letting LA use that same federal money as the Stafford Act “match” for the rest of the federal recovery money — in other words, that the locals actually put up not one red cent — but declared himself unsatisfied even with that. THEN he, Obama, voted AGAINST a bill that provided Katrina recovery funds while waiving the Stafford Act. Then, in the now-infamous Hampton University speech, he blasted Bush for not waiving funds that Bush already had de facto waived and that the Senate then had waived while Obama had voted against the bill providing the waiver.

NOW, with Obama as president, he has REFUSED to waive the Stafford Act for LA victims of Hurricane Isaac.

One’s head spins at the multiple hypocrisies.

But now I would like to hash out some details. It is true, as Media Matters has reported, that Obama had voted for an alternative version of the Katrina relief bill that also waived the Stafford Act “match” requirements. The overall bill provided not just Katrina relief but also provided for better military support related to the war in Iraq. Obama voted for a bill that did all that while requring a specific timeline for troop withdrawal for Iraq, and issued a statement saying he had voted against the bill that actually did pass because it provided for no such timeline. But this is not a good excuse; in fact it raises serious questions about his judgment.
Why?

Because Obama’s desired timeline requirement would have been imposed just as the famously successful “Surge” in Iraq was going on and in a key phase. The timeline would have undermined the Surge. And Obama’s holier-than-thou intransigence wasn’t popular even among the anti-war crowd in his own party in the Senate: The bill that passed without a timeline did so by an 80-14 vote, including overwhelming support among Democrats.

Among those liberal Democrats who voted for the bill waiving the Stafford Act, despite its lack of an Iraq timeline, were Joe Biden, Richard Durbin of Obama’s home state of Illinois, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and West Point graduate Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a military procurement expert who had voted against authorizing military activities in Iraq in the first place.

By the time of the vote, of course, Obama was running for president. He was obviously playing up his timeline thing as a sop to the liberal base of his party for presidential primary purposes; while most Democrats, as we have seen, obviously thought it irresponsible to vote against the bill that actually passed just in order to make a point — an ill-timed, indeed dangerously timed point — about wanting to pull the troops home.

In short, Obama’s explanation doesn’t mitigate against the charge of hypocrisy; it just adds irresponsibility on top of the hypocrisy.

September 25th, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Romney’s Admirable Charitable Giving

John Podhoretz wrote the column I was intending to write. “[T]he release of these tax records,” wrote Podhoretz, “leaves no doubt about one thing: Mitt Romney is an extraordinarily, remarkably, astonishingly generous man. A good man. Maybe even a great man.”

Well, yes.

The media kvetching about Romney’s tax returns is so misplaced as to be sickening. The story isn’t that Romney paid “only” 14.1 percent of his income in taxes. The story is WHY that rate was comparatively low. The measure of a man isn’t how much he pays in taxes; some of us, after all, think that much of the money paid in federal taxes is wasted. If I had a million dollars and a choice of whether to let the feds spend it or to give it to a charity I trust, I would give it to a charity without a second thought. The charity will do more good with it than the feds will. More people will benefit, and the benefits will be more lasting.

For the idiotic media (forgive the redundancy there) to carp about the “low” taxes is for them to buy into the notion that tax-paying is somehow noble while (and this is a really strange but growing sub-belief on the left) that charitable giving is somehow selfish. How twisted! How morally depraved.

For Mitt Romney to have donated so much money to charity is indeed a mark of his great decency as a human being. I welcome the comparisons with the Gores’ and Bidens’ pathetically low amount of giving, and with Bill Clinton trying to claim a tax deduction for the donation of used underwear (yuck!). (Yes, Clinton really did that — or at least Hillary did, with regard to Bill’s used underwear. But this was before anybody might have wanted to test it in a lab….)

Romney, a private man, apparently has been donating huge amounts to charities long, long before he ran for public office. These donations are those of the heart, not of a cynical mind. It’s about time he gets some credit for it.