Sunday, September 25, 2016

FW Newsletter: Checks and Balances on the Executive Branch


Checks and Balances on the Executive Require That the IRS Chief Be Impeached

- Adam Brandon via The Daily Caller

The Republican leadership in Congress, such as it is, appears to be more afraid of what the liberal Washington Post editorial and op-ed pages will say about them if they impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen than they are of allowing another of Congress’ constitutional prerogatives — in this case, checks and balances on executive-branch impropriety — to be emasculated.

What possible reason other than fear of being badmouthed by Post editorial writers — and perhaps being disinvited from the Georgetown cocktail-party circuit — can there be for their not pursuing articles of impeachment against Koskinen in connection with the IRS’ targeting for improper scrutiny of conservative groups seeking nonprofit tax-exempt status because of their political beliefs? Read more here...

Grinding Westerners Under the Federal Boot

- by Ken Cuccinelli via The Washington Times

The federal government owns an estimated one-third of all the land in the United States. But this is only a rough estimate, because even the federal government does not actually know how much land it controls.

For those living on the East Coast who rarely encounter federal land, this may not seem like an important issue, but in western states, the vast amounts of land owned or controlled by the federal government are among the most important issues that states must face.

And the Obama administration is using the power of that land ownership to grind westerners under the federal boot, a kind of neo-feudalism where an absentee landlord federal government keeps western states and the citizens who live there as vassals and serfs. Read more here...

FreedomWorks' Book Club Spotlight: "Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document"

In Our Lost Constitution, Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution’s most indispensable provisions. He shows their rise. He shows their fall. And he makes vividly clear how nearly every abuse of federal power today is rooted in neglect of this Lost Constitution. Get your copy here...

Conservative Groups Oppose Export-Import Bank Lifeline

- via The Hill

Three dozen conservative groups on Friday urged Republican leaders in Congress to reject efforts to restore the Export-Import Bank to full power using a stopgap spending bill.

“We have significant concerns on the procedure,” the groups said in the letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). 

"Attaching this quorum change to a continuing resolution is the latest in a line of efforts that subvert congressional processes,” the groups wrote. Read more here...

Cutting Taxes: Trump v. Clinton

- by Ted Abram

Recently, Larry Kudlow, news anchor and economic commentator, reminded us that in the 1960’s, then-President John F. Kennedy reduced taxes and our economy flourished. According to Kudlow, the economy increased by “roughly 5 percent yearly for nearly eight years.”

In 1978, Arthur Laffer, an economics professor at the University of Chicago at the time, reasoned that lower taxes would collect more revenue because of increased productivity benefiting everyone with more jobs, money as well as goods and services. Laffer explained that pro-growth incentives propel work and employment. Read more here...

The Secret Tool the FDA Uses to Control News Reports About Its Decisions

- via Reason

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), apparently not satisfied with exerting a considerable and often wildly inappropriate amount of control over what people can put in their bodies, has also taken extraordinary and secretive steps to control what sorts of information people can read about the agency's decisions.

To understand how the FDA controls news about its policies, you have to understand news embargoes, in which a source agrees to provide information if reporters agree to hold the news until a specific time. Read more here...

Lesson of the Week
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Steven Horwitz explains how political and legal institutions provide the framework within which all human behavior takes place. The way contracts are enforced, property is protected, and markets are regulated create incentives and channel action in different ways. In this way, institutions play a large role in determining a society’s success - or failure. Watch it here...

Stealth Regulation: Regulation by Any Other Name Is Just as Sour

- by Kenny Stein

When the media and the public think about the term “regulation” they tend to think about official rules issued by agencies after going through the standard multi-year regulatory process. This process, governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, is designed to be transparent and public, allowing potentially affected parties to engage in the development of the rule though comments, hearings, and other less formal discussions. But this formal, open process is not the only way the administrative state regulates. There are huge classes of administrative actions which together create a category of stealth regulation; regulation from the shadows that is difficult to challenge, difficult to keep track of, and often difficult to know how to even comply with.

Stealth regulation goes by many names: guidance, executive order, executive memorandum, consent decree, compliance policy guide, manual, notice of permit approval, dear colleague letter. And that’s just to name a few. Each of these documents is issued unilaterally by an executive branch entity and includes instructions, sometimes couched merely as suggestions, on how citizens should comply with will of regulators. For many of types of stealth regulation, regulated entities are not technically legally required to follow the guidelines they contain. However, each “suggestion” is backed by an implicit threat: failure to follow can be met with severe regulatory harassment. Read more here...

$3500 Lemonade Stand: How Government Regulation Stifles Entrepreneurialism

- via The Houstonian

It seems like a sweet, all-American story: A cute little girl starts a lemonade stand to earn money to buy a bike, or to take Dad to the waterpark for Father’s Day – and is shut down for lacking overpriced permits. There’s the little girl who tried to sell mistletoes a few years ago to help pay for her braces and was told no, that it was illegal, but she could beg for the money instead.

 These stories have been all over the news, and they outrage the public – as well they should, with that big, bad government picking on little girls selling lemonade. We are outraged because the idea is ridiculous when taken to this extreme. This situation and more is also taking place in the grown-up business world, too. Read more here...

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