A Free Market State Legislative Agenda for 2015
President Obama will lay out his plan for the nation during the State of the Union tonight, but state legislatures convening across the country in January should not wait for him to act. Legislators are already meeting to discuss fresh ideas and create plans of action to address the many issues facing their states. A 2015 legislative agenda for the states should break out of | Read More »
EPA Proposes Its Most Expensive Regulation to Date
The strategy of publicly releasing bad news late on a Friday afternoon in order to avoid significant media scrutiny is well established and commonly employed by a variety of institutions. For example, corporations may elect to bury a bad earnings report or government bodies may release unflattering documents just before the weekend when people are paying the least amount of attention. The popular television show The | Read More »
Gubernatorial Elections and the Message on Taxes
While there is plenty to analyze from the elections as a whole, one of the most important lessons that we can glean from the 2014 mid-terms is on taxes. The message sent this election cycle to the nation’s governors is unmistakable. Governors who enacted bold tax reforms were reelected, even when facing daunting odds. Many governors who raised taxes, or even showed support for increased | Read More »
Maryland Seeks Power to Double Tax Income
While it may seem unfair to pay income taxes twice, Maryland residents have been doing so for years. That’s because unlike most other states, Maryland’s tax code does not provide a full tax credit for taxes paid to other states. This means anyone in Maryland who earns money in another state will pay that state’s income taxes, only to have Maryland levee county-level income taxes, | Read More »
Educational Choice is Good Policy
Teachers unions campaign for local taxes because they believe higher taxes help students, even though research has shown very little correlation between per pupil spending and student achievement. Teachers even threaten to strike for smaller classes or fewer school days because, you guessed it, it’s for the children. For decades, however, these same teachers unions have attempted to block the very policy that is first | Read More »
EPA Proposed Regulation Would Significantly Hurt Access to Electricity
When talking about energy and environmental policy, it is a bit troublesome to watch just how recklessly big-government environmentalists unfairly and erroneously accuse individuals and organizations of the pro-free market persuasion of being “climate deniers.” Instead of engaging in thoughtful, substantive discussion, many of these environmental activists oftentimes resort to this tactic of public shaming in order to eliminate debate and to bully individuals and | Read More »
The Blue States’ Economic Paradox
Blue states have a problem. Although there are some recently notable exceptions, most vehemently oppose cutting taxes, favoring instead a tax-and-spend or top-down redistribution approach. They require high taxes to finance the pet projects they believe the market is too short-sighted to support, like Solyndra. At the same time, however, these big government states try to pursue goals of economic growth, even if they believe | Read More »
[MAP] States Update Laws, Protect Electronic Data from Government
*Promoted from the diaries. – Aaron* In January, we wrote how police agencies in 33 states are using different methods to obtain private citizens’ cellphone location information in massive quantities. Recall that: The main problem is that there are few restrictions or reporting requirements on government efforts to obtain access to cell phone and electronic data. In most states, law enforcement agencies can obtain cell | Read More »
Keep the Web Free of New Taxes and Regulations
Today marks the 25th birthday of the World Wide Web. In order to be sure we have something to celebrate on the Web’s 50th birthday, it is essential we keep the Web free from new regulations. On March 12, 1989, British researcher Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed a concept for an “information management” system. The system would use the global network architecture underlying the then-burgeoning Internet | Read More »
Just in Time for Tax Season, Alternatives to an Online Sales Tax
As state and federal capitals prepare for tax time, policymakers have the opportunity to investigate ways they can avoid adding to the tax burden of consumers who shop online. Tomorrow at 10:00 A.M. ET, the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing titled, “Exploring Alternatives to the Online Sales Tax Issue.” This is an informational hearing featuring presentations from a panel of | Read More »
Federalism Prohibits Preemption of States on Broadband Safeguards
Federal regulation of the Internet is a bad idea. So is federal regulation of states that would rather keep their local governments out of the Internet business. Following a recent federal court ruling about the power of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet, supporters of government-run broadband Internet service have urged the FCC to preempt state restrictions on local government efforts to | Read More »
President Obama Doesn’t Know How to Create Jobs, and a Minimum Wage Increase Won’t Help
The policies coming from the White House all seem to say the same thing: President Obama does not know how to allow the private sector to create jobs.
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Missouri Tax Hypocrisy
Just a few months after Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a small but beneficial income tax cut, totaling $700 million over 10 years (barely larger than the one-year value of recent cuts in North Carolina), the Governor convened a special session to provide tax carve-outs for aircraft manufacturer, Boeing.
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Data Spying in the States: Public Safety or Invasion of Privacy?
While the public has been focused on disclosures by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden about his former employer’s powerful spying capabilities, it is worth paying attention to recent reports of sophisticated data spying by state and local police agencies.
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Update on Internet Sales Taxes
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Amazon.com/Overstock.com’s challenge to the NY affiliate nexus law, also known as the Amazon tax. On September 19, the American Legislative Exchange Council filed an amicus curiae brief with the Court based on our long-standing policy of supporting the physical presence rule. Ironically, the Court announced its decision on Cyber Monday. This is disappointing because it leaves unsettled | Read More »