A summer whose entertainment headlines were dominated by Taylor Swift and her blowout concert tour just…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Event Ticket Purchases: The Proposed BOSS Act Would Empower Biden’s Rogue FTC and Make Matters Worse, Not Better

A summer whose entertainment headlines were dominated by Taylor Swift and her blowout concert tour just came to an end.  Unsurprisingly, a significant number of those headlines centered upon the ongoing public policy debate over the consumer ticket purchase experience, along with varying and differing calls for reform.

Unfortunately, some of that discussion served to introduce terribly ill-advised proposals that would only make the industry and American consumers’ enjoyment of it far worse.

To be sure, the genesis of the problem underlying various reform proposals is the issue of predatory ticket resellers who engage in harmful practices that hurt fans as well as the artists themselves.  As just one illustration, resale ticket prices at StubHub alone have increased over 100% since…[more]

September 26, 2023 • 07:25 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Liberalism’s Long, Hot Summer Print
By Troy Senik
Wednesday, July 08 2009
If you’re not on board with the agenda of the Democratic Party’s hard left, chances are you’ve spent the last six months or so in despair.

If you’re not on board with the agenda of the Democratic Party’s hard left, chances are you’ve spent the last six months or so in despair.

The current President of the United States’ previous day job was serving as the most liberal member of the United States Senate. The Senate Majority Leader who once shepherded him, Harry Reid, prattles on about bipartisanship during a Monday press conference, then tells the Senate Finance Committee chairman not to bother seeking Republican support for health care reform on Tuesday.

The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, prefaces a vote on the lower chamber’s cap and trade bill by saying “just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs.” Meanwhile, a recent study out of Spain – a nation that has already indulged in public subsidies for a new “green economy” – shows that for every four jobs created, nine were lost.

In this atmosphere, the only hope for conservatives on most days is that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy got enough sleep the night before.

America’s new management isn’t too fond of benign neglect. In case you’re keeping score at home, here’s what we have to show for 2009: terrorists captured in Afghanistan being read Miranda Rights; A nearly $800,000,000,000 stimulus package that has had no discernible effect on the economy; the restoration of public financing for overseas abortions; a $100,000,000 loan to the International Monetary Fund tucked into a defense spending bill; an attempt to take away the right to secret ballots in union elections; A Supreme Court nominee who claims that as a “wise Latina” she can make better rulings than a white man; continued bailouts supposedly intended to keep GM and Chrysler from bankruptcy – followed by the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler, replete with sweetheart deals for the United Auto Workers, and a Treasury Secretary who says the federal government should be able to seize any private business it perceives to be a “systemic threat to the economy.”

Pretty heady stuff right? Oh, but did we mention the following? An attempt to abolish private sector college loans; unemployment nearing 10 percent; Iran rigging an election and then violently suppressing democratic dissidents while the White House sits on its hands for a week; trillions of new dollars out of the Federal Reserve without a whiff of transparency; a proposed deal to sell out missile defense for Eastern Europe in exchange for Russian assistance with Iran; the Vice President telling the American people to stay out of confined spaces because of a disease less deadly than the common flu; an increase in the national debt larger than that of all previous American presidents combined; FDA control of the tobacco industry; a proposal to tax charitable giving; military spending cuts while the rest of the federal budget swells, and a presidential speech about ridding the world of nuclear weapons while North Korea tests a rocket over Japan.

It’s been quite a busy time … especially when you factor in: killing school choice in Washington D.C.; an inaugural speech by the Secretary of the Treasury so bad that it dropped New York financial stocks by 5.75 percent in a single day; fiscal strategies so reckless that the Chinese government proposes dropping the dollar as an international reserve currency; an attempt to politicize the census by moving it out of the Commerce Department and into the White House; the firing of an inspector general for finding fault with a corrupt political supporter of the president’s; a proposal by the Secretary of Transportation to place devices in Americans’ cars that tax them based on the miles they drive; a presidential speech in Cairo that equates the mistreatment of women in the Islamic world with the difficulties faced by the fairer sex in the West, and a Homeland Security report warning that people who support states’ rights are more or less domestic terrorists.

Okay, we don’t mean to make you reach for your heart medicine, but there are still two big omissions from this list: a government takeover of health care and the massive energy tax known as cap and trade. They are the left’s twin terrors of the summer of 2009. Both plans are currently moving through Congress, both promise irreparable and expansive damage to America’s economy (at a time when it doesn’t need help imploding), and both would essentially have the federal government micro-managing basic human necessities. But a funny thing happened on the way to liberalism’s triumph – the American people started hitting the brakes.

When the public began learning that cap and trade would cost the average American family $3,000 a year, reduce GDP by nearly $400 billion annually and create over 2 million net job losses every year, enthusiasm for the green economy began to wane. When the bill came before the House of Representatives on June 26, it passed by a narrow margin of 219-212, with 44 Democrats joining nearly all Republicans in opposing the legislation. And current head counts show long odds for passage when the bill heads to a vote in the Senate in the fall.

Health care reform is similarly embattled. With five different congressional committees working on legislation that would fundamentally alter an industry that makes up more than 16 percent of the American economy, the results have been predictably scattershot and contradictory. Among the hottest points of contention are whether the reforms should include a “public option” for insurance that would compete with the private sector and whether health benefits provided through employers should be taxed. With ever-increasing numbers of Americans balking at both prospects, it’s beginning to look like Obama will either get a middling bill or no legislation at all.

Washington’s liberals are experiencing a law of political gravity: the bigger and more rushed your agenda, the quicker the backlash. And for all of their talk about a generational realignment, a recent Gallup Poll shows 39 percent of Americans saying that their views are becoming more conservative. The Obama Administration’s mishandling of the economy is already sinking his poll numbers on what is doubtlessly the country’s first concern. And with a consistently weak performance abroad, it’s likely that Democrats’ approval ratings on foreign policy will begin sinking in the not too distant future.

This is shaping up to be a long, hot summer for the left. But it just may end up being springtime for conservatism.

Notable Quote   
"The Biden administration recently issued yet another outlandish immigration action, but most Americans likely did not realize it. I'm talking about the Department of Homeland Security's decision to extend and 'redesignate' Temporary Protected Status for more than 700,000 illegal aliens from Venezuela that the Biden administration has already allowed into the U.S. For many Americans, this may sound…[more]
— Chad Wolf, Former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Executive Director of the Center for Homeland Security & Immigration at the America First Policy Institute
Liberty Poll   

Should any sitting president publicly pick either side in a private labor dispute?