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vernbuchananbarackobama

Even as the White House insists President Barack Obama is “very interested” in raising taxes via executive action, a congressman from Florida offered a constitutional law lesson on which branch of government has that power.[…]

Buchanan sent a letter to Obama on Thursday, reminding the president the Constitution gives Congress, not the executive branch, the power to tax.

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California Had A Record Year In Handgun Sales

by Rhonda Bauer on March 6, 2015

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UTI1794325_t540

Imagine that…
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Despite being a bastion of unrestrained progressivism, Californians bought a lot of handguns in 2014. It was a record year, smashing the previous one set in 1993 when the country was experiencing high rates of crime. Like the national data on the subject, firearm-related homicides has fallen to record lows in the Golden State (via Sacramento Bee):

Dealers sold more than 510,000 handguns in California during 2014, more than double the number sold four years prior, according to new figures from the state Department of Justice.

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toddler

Of course there is……
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Workplace inequality begins early and it begins at home, says Sheryl Sandberg, the woman who works as Facebook’s chief operating officer.

“There is a toddler wage gap in this country. Toddlers. Toddlers! In our homes, boys do fewer chores than girls and get paid more,” Sandberg told Fox News’s Megyn Kelly in an interview that aired on Thursday night.

“And for any woman who’s in the workforce, that feels pretty familiar. Our sons take out the trash, doesn’t take that long to take out the trash. Our daughters set the table, takes longer.”

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hillary

Just like Obama thinks she is above the law.
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Hillary Clinton’s State Department was cited nine times by its own inspector general for improperly using personal email accounts, storing records on personal email, or not properly archiving emails.

As Clinton comes under fire for her use of the personal email account HDR22@clintonemail.com during her tenure as secretary of state, records reveal that personal email storage was a department-wide problem, both at U.S. embassies and at top State Department bureaus.

Three more inspector general reports made reference to personal email use since 2013, after Clinton left the State Department.

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President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal includes a long list of changes to the United States’ current tax system. The plan could reduce Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2.4 percent and 3.0 percent, costing the workforce up to 809,000 jobs. The negative effects result from Obama’s plan to increase taxes on savings and investments.

Indeed, Obama’s budget proposal may also include tax credits and givebacks, but they do not effectively compensate for the added increased taxes. The president’s budget proposal includes the following consequences:

  • If the revenue available for business tax reform were used to lower the corporate tax rate, it would result in a 3 percentage point cut in the rate — far less than a cut to a 28 percent rate as hoped for by the president’s budget.
  • With the lower corporate tax rate, the plan would still shrink the economy by 2.4 percent, decrease investment by 6.2 percent, reduce wages by 1.8 percent, eliminate 679,000 jobs, and lose $4 billion in revenue over the long run.
  • The plan’s focus on redistribution instead of growth results in a reduction of growth that would hurt many people the plan is meant to help.

Congress could avoid damaging the economy by refusing to expand taxable income. They could also deny Obama’s plan to restrict deductions and increase taxes on estates and on capital gains at death.

Obama’s 2016 budget proposal ultimately hurts capital formation, productivity, wages and employment across the board, but especially in capital-intensive blue-collar industries.

Source: Stephen J. Entin, "A Dynamic Analysis of President Obama’s Tax Initiatives,"  Tax Foundation, March 3, 2015. 

For more on Tax and Spending Issues:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/?Article_Category=25

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Britain has long had an active cash market for medical care provided by private hospitals, which helps people get around the long waits in the National Health Service, and also serves people from abroad.

Nuffield Hospitals advertises firm, fixed, all-inclusive prices good for 60 days after an initial consultation. For more complex procedures, one pays for the initial consultation and the hospital develops the price from that. The Nuffield price generally includes post-operative care, rehab, and required readmissions.

Like Walmart, Nuffield will match competitor prices under reasonable conditions — "If you find an alternative private hospital in your local area offering a better price for the same surgical intervention, sold with the same service conditions, we’ll lower our price to equal it." The conditions require the other private hospital be within 15 miles of the Nuffield hospital, exclude NHS private patient prices and require a written quote.

The international healthcare group, Bupa, offers private insurance, elder care, and private hospitalization. Beneficiaries of its Health Cash Plan pay providers, send Bupa the bill and receive the Bupa contract amount in cash. Bupa advertises no pre-authorizations to see specialists and 24/7 phone consultation with nurses and GPs.

In the US, Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid set arbitrary prices. Medicare outlaws price negotiation, short-circuiting the pricing mechanism that transmits vital information about what customers want and what suppliers can provide. Without that information, even the most well intentioned regulators will fail in their quest for price transparency and efficient service bundles.

Source: Linda Gorman, "Guess Where Fair and Transparent Hospital Prices Exist?" National Center for Policy Analysis, March 2, 2015. 

For more on Health Issues:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/?Article_Category=16

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Rubio-Lee Tax Reform Plan: Good but could be Better

by Daily Policy Digest on March 6, 2015

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Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) recently introduced the Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Reform Plan in an effort to incrementally reform the U.S. tax system. The plan is not without its problems.

To begin with, the top tax rate will be 35 percent, down only from 39.6 percent. Even worse, the 35 percent tax rate will be levied against any taxable income above $75,000 for single tax payers and $150,000 for married taxpayers. As a result, a significant number of taxpayers will face higher marginal tax rates.

On the bright side, Rubio and Lee’s proposal does include attractive pro growth features. They include:

  • The corporate tax rate will be reduced from 35 percent (The second highest rate in the world) to 25 percent;
  • Elimination of the capital gains tax, the double tax on dividends and the second layer of tax on interest;
  • Elimination of punitive deprecation rules that force businesses to overstate their income in ways that discourage new business investment;
  • Elimination of the death tax;

Under the Rubio-Lee plan, the economy could grow faster, more jobs will be created and workers could enjoy higher wages.

Source: Daniel J. Mitchell, "Grading the Rubio-Lee Tax Reform Plan," Cato Institute, March 4, 2015. 

For more on Tax and Spending Issues:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/?Article_Category=25

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Ignoring the tradition of non-intervention in licensing negotiations undermines support for strong patents, which are critical to economic growth and innovation. So when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) formally accepted new policies that reduce the value of standard essential patents (SEP), they discouraged involvement by innovative companies in IEEE standard setting.

The new policy greatly undermines incentives to make patents available for use in IEEE standards. Several of the new IEEE patent policy’s key features include:

  • In order to have its patents included in an IEEE standard, a patent holder will have to provide the IEEE with a letter of assurance waiving its right to seek an injunction against an infringer. This eliminates a great deal of leverage that SEP holders have to get infringers to the negotiating table quickly.
  • An analysis of comparable licenses for purposes of determining a F/RAND royalty can consider only licenses for which the SEP holder relinquished the right to seek and enforce an injunction against an unlicensed implementer.
  • An SEP holder cannot condition granting a license on receiving reasonable reciprocal access to non-SEP patents held by the other negotiating party. As a result, businesses might shy away from developing patents that could be used to improve the quality of standard setting.
  • Royalty negotiations involving an SEP holder must be based on the value of the "relevant functionality of the smallest saleable compliant implementation that practices the essential patent claim." This provision would create an artificially low upper limit on potential SEP royalties and prevent SEP owners when they engage in negotiations.

Because the new IEEE policy essentially micromanages contractual negotiations among large numbers of firms that often compete among themselves, it may raise questions under U.S. antitrust law, which prohibits contracts that unreasonably restrain trade.

Source: Alden Abbott, "Patent Policy Change would Undermine Property Rights and Innovation," Heritage Foundation, March 4, 2015. 

For more on Economic Issues:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/?Article_Category=17

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In 2011, Mitt Romney suggested that veterans’ health care should be privatized. He was criticized by the usual suspects on the left and by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Then, last year’s Veterans Administration (VA) scandal compelled the nation to notice the VA’s brand of government-run medicine was far worse than previously imagined.

For all the claims that veterans do not want privatized health care, Concerned Veterans for America and the Tarrance Group conducted a nationwide survey of over 1,000 veterans that suggested otherwise. The results show:

  • 88 percent of respondents agreed that eligible veterans should be given the choice to receive medical care from any source of their choice.
  • 95 percent said it was "extremely" or "very important" to have the option to seek the best possible care, even if that means receiving treatment outside of a VA facility.
  • 77 percent of veterans thought it was "extremely" or "very important" to give veterans more choices in their insurance products, even if those alternatives involved higher out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles.

Today, Concerned Veterans for America is publishing the most comprehensive reform proposal in decades, and ensures veterans gain access to the same high-quality health care available to most Americans.

The Veterans Independence Act seeks to address the same basic problems lawmakers faced when they tried to reform the VA in prior years. It strives to achieve deficit neutrality by including some co-pays and deductibles in the private coverage options and restructuring the VA hospital and clinical facilities.

Source: Avik Roy, "The Veterans Independence Act: Giving Vets A Way Out Of Socialized Medicine," Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, February 26, 2015.

For more on Health Issues:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/?Article_Category=16

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Likely 2016 GOP hopefuls recast immigration views

by Rhonda Bauer on March 5, 2015

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gop

Probably…..
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Prospective Republican presidential hopefuls are going to great lengths to recast their immigration pasts.

Many, like Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, are fully repenting on their past support for plans to grant legal status to illegal immigrants.

Congressional Republicans’ failed battle to overturn President Obama’s executive orders sparing millions from deportation has only heightened urgency among the likely GOP field.

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