R.J. Lehmann

Negotiating Objectives Regarding Modernization of North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico

Main Hearing Room, USITC Building

The Federal Reserve’s Impact on Main Street, Retirees and Savings

House Financial Services Committee

Tom Russo

When MSCI and S&P rule the world

From BloombergView: At the time, I wrote a column defending Snap's right to behave so tyrannically. Legal scholar Bernard Sharfman of the R Street Institute, a conservative/libertarian think tank in Washington, mounted …

Shoshana Weissmann

101 Constitution Ave NW

Oops! Sorry We Were Wrong: How public health guidance often harms the American public health

Brexit after the United Kingdom election

Letter to House Financial Services Committee: Support National Flood Insurance Program reform legislation

Chairman Hensarling, Ranking Member Waters and members of the committee, We write to express our support for the package of bills set to come before the committee to reform …

Testimony on flood insurance reform: a taxpayers perspective

Chairman Hensarling, Ranking Member Waters and members of the committee, My name is R.J. Lehmann, and I am the editor-in-chief, co-founder and a senior fellow with the R Street …

Lauren Rollins

Casey Burgat

Caleb Watney

Coppage talks urbanism on the Matt Lewis Show

R Street Visiting Senior Fellow Jonathan Coppage was a recent guest on the Matt Lewis Show, where he made the case for the Federal Housing Administration to re-legalize Main Street. Full …

Eli Lehrer at the New American Jobs Summit

R Street President Eli Lehrer was featured on a recent panel at the New American Jobs Summit, joined by Micaela Fernandez Allen of Wal-Mart, Tom Kamber from Older Adults Technology Services …

What’s wrong with e-cigarettes?

R Street Policy Analyst Caroline Kitchens recorded this recent video for PragerU on e-cigarettes, a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes that could help millions of smokers to …

Cameron Smith talks Alabama’s backdoor booze tax.

R Street's Cameron Smith joined the Matt & Aunie Show on Birmingham's Talk 99.5 to discuss backdoor booze taxes in Alabama. Audio of the show is embedded below. …

Greenhut on ‘damning’ UC audit

R Street Western Region Director Steven Greenhut was a recent guest on the John and Ken Show on KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles to discuss his piece of …

Christina Delgado

Clark Packard

Tom Struble

Easton Randall

Carrie Wade

About

Caleb Watney talks self-driving cars on KVOI

In light of last month's high-speed crash in Tempe, Arizona, involving a self-driving Uber car (reports say the car had the right of way), R Street Tech Policy …

Kosar talks congressional reform on The Golden Mean

R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar recently joined host Michael Golden's podcast The Golden Mean to discuss the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group and the prospects for congressional reform. …

Holding the administrative state accountable

R Street Senior Fellow Kevin Kosar joined the Manhattan Institute's Oren Cass and Adam White of The Hoover Institution on the Federalist Society's podcast to discuss the Legislative …

Throwing cold water on the insurance industry’s dog bite numbers

Today is National Pet Day, a day to cherish the love, entertainment and fulfillment provided to us by our animal companions. Or, if you're in the insurance industry, …

Kevin Kosar at TPA postal reform panel

R Street Senior Fellow Kevin Kosar took part in a recent Capitol Hill briefing on U.S. Postal Service reform. The panel was hosted by Taxpayers Protection Alliance and …

Adams talks self-driving cars at Institute for Legal Reform

The threat of litigation could derail the promise of autonomous vehicles to lives. R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams recently joined a panel hosted by the U.S. Chamber …

Lauren Tucker

Vivek Murthy on vaping and public health

R Street Associate Fellow Damon L. Jacobs attended the recent National Council for Behavioral Health's NatCon conference in Seattle, where he got to ask Surgeon General Vivek Murthy …

Watney talks digital privacy with Chad Benson

R Street Research Assistant Caleb Watney was a guest recently on Radio America's "The Chad Benson Show" to discuss Congress' recent move to vacate Federal Communications Commission privacy …

Sanders talks Pence and masculinity on WMAL

R Street Senior Fellow Lori Sanders joined "The Larry O'Connor Show" on WMAL 105.9 FM in Washington to discuss her recent piece in The Federalist about Vice President …

Dieterle talks privatization of Michigan’s Soo Locks

R Street Governance Policy Fellow Jarrett Dieterle recently was a guest on Interlochen Public Radio in Northern Michigan to privatize Michigan's crumbling Soo Locks shipping channel, or have …

Rorke talks carbon tax on Infinite Earth podcast

R Street Senior Fellow Catrina Rorke spoke recently with Michael Green and Mike Hancox on the Infinite Earth podcast. The podcast focuses on the unlimited potential of human …

Dieterle talks Virginia distilling regs on Freedom and Prosperity Radio

R Street Governance Policy Fellow C. Jarrett Dieterle joined host Joe Thomas on Virginia's Freedom and Prosperity Radio -- sponsored by the Virginia Public Policy Institute -- to …

Pollock before Oversight Subcommittee

Here's more from R Street Distinguished Senior Fellow Alex Pollock's testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services on the arbitrary and inconsistent non-bank SIFI designation process. https://youtu.be/hi6TnZ1kviw …

Hobson talks autonomous vehicles and organ donation on Polish TV

R Street Tech Policy Fellow Anne Hobson offered an interview recently to TVN, a private broadcaster in Poland, television network TVN, to discuss the recent Slate piece she wrote …

Cameron Smith talks prison reform on Birmingham Talk 99.5

Filling in as host on the Andrea Lindenberg Show, R Street State Programs Director Cameron Smith discussed Rachel Maddow's "big reveal" on Donald Trump's taxes, as well as …

Garrett Watson

Insurance debate could doom border adjustment tax

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. President Donald Trump signaled during last week's address to a joint session of Congress that he is, in fact, …

What role should Congress play in regulation?

Historically, Congress has delegated great authority to the executive branch when it came to regulatory matters. For the most part, the executive branch has had a free hand, …

Dieterle talks distilling restrictions on ‘Free to Brew’ podcast

R Street Governance Project Fellow Jarrett Dieterle joined the Free to Brew podcast to discuss regulatory issues around alcohol distillers, particularly in Virginia, which has some of the …

Nitzkin talks THR on America Tonight

R Street Senior Fellow Joel Nitzkin joined host Kate Delaney recently to discuss tobacco harm reduction on her America Tonight radio show, which is heard nationally over 220 AM and …

CTA previews Innovation Policy Day at SXSW

The Consumer Technology Association welcomed R Street Tech Policy Fellow Anne Hobson to take part in a recent Facebook Live panel to preview the Innovation Policy Day programming …

Ian Adams on KVOI in Tucson

R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams and Mike Shaw of KVOI in Tucson, Arizona, to discuss the REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act) Act …

Neeley addresses press conference on ‘Conservative Texas Budget’

R Street Southwest Region Director Josiah Neeley joined with Texas state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, and other members of the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition at an Austin press …

Adams talks self-driving cars on Tech Policy Podcast

R Street Institute Senior Fellow Ian Adams recently joined TechDirt's Tech Policy Podcast for a discussion about the many implications of autonomous vehicles. Full audio of the show is …

SmarterSafer National Flood Insurance Program reform proposal

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides critical insurance coverage to those at risk, is up for reauthorization this year. The program must be reauthorized and reformed …

Hobson talks ‘Poképolicy’ on the Tech Policy Podcast

Last summer's megahit game Pokémon Go was many Americans' first introduction to the notion of "augmented reality," in which artificial visuals are superimposed onto the real world. R …

Reforming the administrative state—and reining it in

National Affairs released a special report earlier this month on comprehensive proposals to rein in the regulatory state. The report's three authors -- Hoover Institution Research Fellow Adam White, Manhattan …

C. Jarrett Dieterle

The Future of Work: Capturing the American Dream in an internet-enabled economy

As we race toward a technologically enhanced future, internet-enabled technologies continue to disrupt markets and industries at a breathtaking clip. Corporations see exponential increases in productivity from internet-enabled …

Andrew Heaton

Kosar talks Congressional Regulation Office on C-Span

R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar was on C-Span's Washington Journal program recently to discuss his recent piece in National Affairs proposing a Congressional Regulation Office and …

SmarterSafer comments on private flood insurance standards

SmarterSafer is pleased to submit this letter of comment on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s joint notice of proposed rulemaking on Loans in Areas Having …

Patricia Simon

2016 Insurance Regulation Report Card

Welcome to the fifth edition of the R Street Institute’s Insurance Regulation Report Card, our annual examination of which states do the best job of regulating the business …

CCIR letter to the presidential transition team

The attached letter was sent by the Coalition for Competitive Insurance Rates, of which R Street is a member, to the transition team of President-elect Donald Trump. A robust …

Agents for Change: Competitive reforms for producer licensing

More than a quarter of the U.S. workforce currently is subject to some form of state occupational licensing requirement, a figure that compares with just 5 percent in …

The Birth of a Nation: A qualified success from a problematic auteur

The Birth of a Nation has been one of the most buzzed-about films of 2016, for reasons both positive and negative. Written, produced and directed by star Nate …

Deepwater Horizon should make a deep impact

"Something that big should have been made by God." The new film Deepwater Horizon has a character deliver that dialogue from the cockpit of a helicopter en route to …

Jonathan Coppage

Damon L. Jacobs

Nathan Leamer on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann

R Street’s Electricity FAQ

Court ruling opens avenue for pension reform

From Public CEO: An Aug. 17 California appeals court ruling rejected a public employee union’s claim that its members had a right to “pension spiking,” which the court described …

David Bahr

Confab: The big Trump immigration extravaganza

From the Weekly Standard: In this episode of THE WEEKLY STANDARD Confab, Fred Barnes talks about The Donald's attention-grabbing immigration-policy show, and Kevin Kosar comes by to tell us …

Is ruling too late to fix California’s pension mess?

From Reason: An August 17 California appeals court ruling rejected a public employee union's claim that its members had a right to "pension spiking," which the court described as …

Why the Senate should proceed with sentencing and corrections reform

Public Citizen discussion on the presidential transition

National Press Club

Internet People

From Washington Internet Daily R Street Institute adds Anne Hobson, ex-Facebook, as technology policy fellow ... …

Despite faults, organized wholesale power markets are a success, report says

From SNL Energy: The rise of organized wholesale electricity markets in the 1990s generated "large economic efficiency gains" but improvements are still needed, free-market think tank R Street Institute …

From congressional bootleggers to Beltway booze bans

From American Spectator: Fans of the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire will no doubt recall the series’ many Prohibition-era scenes featuring high-level politicians rubbing elbows with bootleggers and openly imbibing …

Buying a house as an Airbnb investment strategy is a risky move

From MarketWatch: “There’s just this incredible patchwork that’s developing across these cities,” said Andrew Moylan, executive director of R Street Institute, a nonprofit public policy research organization. For example, New …

After years of debate, House committee chair seeks online sales tax compromise for states

From StateScoop: In a release, the free market think tank R Street Institute argued that Goodlatte’s proposals marks a welcome departure from “an unworkable ‘destination sourcing’ system” that would …

Anne Hobson

Banking and finance roundup

From Overlawyered: “White House climate disclosure plan is major executive overreach.” [Ray Lehmann, R Street Institute] …

What others are saying

From Chicago Tribune: For all its appeal across the political spectrum, the narrative of the gig economy has a major problem: There is very little broad statistical evidence that …

Bay Area politicians strangling the region’s key industry

From Reason: In most of the country, a region's "big" industry—think automotive companies in Michigan's heyday, the oil business in Houston and entertainment in Los Angeles—is treated with deference …

Goodlatte online sales tax bill introduction seen aimed at influencing debate this Congress

From Consumer Electronics Daily: It's "going to be so much better to have [OSSA] front and center" as a workable online sales tax compromise going into the fall, particularly …

The broad impact of closing nuke plants

From the Weymouth News: Mr. Dolan left an envelope for me with an article by Steven Mufson in The Washington Post:‘Exelon pulls New York nuclear plant from oblivion’ and …

R Street’s Electricity Glossary

Key House Republican to unveil sales tax plan for purchases across state lines

From the Wall Street Journal: Those efforts in the states have made the status quo shaky, said Andrew Moylan, executive director of the R Street Institute, a free-market think …

New DOJ views on private prisons, bail show reform trend

From BNA Criminal Law Reporter: “We're going to see a trend because there isn't a lot happening in Congress,” said Arthur Rizer, director of criminal justice policy at R Street …

FEMA proposes fed-funded projects be built on higher ground

From Construction Equipment: Some groups are coming out in favor of the new regulations. R.J. Lehmann, senior fellow at R Street Institute said, 'Disaster-related spending long has been a …

Down on the farm

From National Review: One particularly bad culprit is the harvest price option (HPO) crop-insurance policy. While traditional crop insurance protects farmers from catastrophic losses, those who can afford higher …

Arthur Rizer

Why some congressional Republicans oppose rules meant to protect federal properties from flooding

From Inside Sources: Yet R.J. Lehmann, editor-in-chief of the libertarian R Street Institute, told InsideSources he doesn’t understand Mayer’s concern. “If you’re on a hill at a higher elevation, you …

The White House is using the SEC to crack down on fossil fuels

With just months left in office, the Obama administration appear set to get done by executive action everything it couldn’t get Congress to do over the past eight …

A welcome victory in the fight against asset forfeiture

From Reason: The California Assembly on Monday approved one of the most significant civil-liberties reforms of the legislative session. Remarkably, the bill—to put limits on the controversial practice of …

Free-market think tank supports ‘fee’ for reducing pollution

From SNL Power Policy Weekly: Right-leaning policy research group the R Street Institute said a "simple and transparent fee" is the best way to reduce pollution that affects a …

White House overreaches with SEC climate disclosure plan

As has been expected for months, the Federal Emergency Management Agency this coming morning will publish in the Aug. 19 edition of the Federal Register its regulations implementing …

Civil libertarians and police embrace asset-forfeiture compromise

From Public CEO: The California Assembly on Monday approved one of the most significant civil-liberties reforms of the legislative session. Remarkably, the bill – to put limits on the …

Backlash against sharing economy worthy of the Luddite label

From Daily Caller: "A widely publicized report commissioned by the Freelancers Union in 2014 found what appears to be strong evidence of a growing gig economy: About a third …

R Street: Conservatives must develop alternatives to left-wing environmental policies

From GHG Daily Monitor: It is well past time for conservatives to meet liberal environmentalism with alternative policies based on their fundamental beliefs, according to a new paper from …

Are vaping taxes about revenue rather than health?

From ChurnMag.com: The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 is slated for the initiative ballot this November, but it’s already raising questions about vaping taxation. …

Climate change and Gisele, the law of the land

From Insurance Journal: Insurance subsidies exacerbate climate change risks. That comes from Washington, D.C.-based R Street, a typically conservative nonprofit public policy research organization that supports free markets, and a …

Todd Myers

Greenhut talks California initiatives on KQED

R Street Western Region Director Steve Greenhut joined KQED radio's "Forum" program recently for a discussion about ballot initiatives in California, including the whopping 17 initiatives that Golden State …

Melissa Dunlap

Can the European Project Survive?

Protecting the Financial System From Panics

Conferees agree to legalize ridesharing in Massachusetts

In a marathon negotiating session that wrapped up at the literal 11th hour, Massachusetts lawmakers have reached agreement on legislation that would formally legalize transportation network companies in …

Mike Godwin

Adams talks driverless cars on ABC 10 Sacramento

R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams joined ABC 10 in Sacramento, California, recently to talk about the future of driverless cars and what they could mean for auto …

New York homebuyers are overpaying on title insurance

Homebuyers in New York State overpaid on the cost of their title insurance to the tune of $155.3 million last year, according to a new report from OneTitle …

Internet governance and the free market

With the U.S. government set to relinquish its last vestiges of its control over the internet's functions through the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), R Street hosted a panel …

Pollock testifies on CHOICE Act before House Financial Services

R Street Distinguished Senior Fellow Alex J. Pollock testified July 12, 2016 before the House Financial Services Committee about the CHOICE Act, legislation that proposes to loosen regulatory …

Full committee hearing on ‘Making a Financial Choice: More Capital or More Government Control?’

IANA transition delay would increase ‘inherent distrust’ in multistakeholderism, NTIA official says

From Washington Internet Daily: NTIA Associate Administrator Fiona Alexander cautioned Friday against Congress using its legislative powers to delay the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority transition. Congressional intervention against the …

The Library of Congress needs a professional librarian, not a ‘scholar-in-chief’

From Bill of Rights Defense Committee: In the months following incumbent Librarian of Congress James Billington’s retirement, some conservatives have coalescedaround the idea that the next person to head the …

Officials ‘drone’ on about issues they don’t understand

From Reason: One of the most frustrating things about America circa 2016 is there is virtually nothing any of us can do—start a business, invent a technology, remodel our …

House websites knocked offline; provider suggests link to Dem protest

From SC Magazine: Data contained on the House network would be an attractive target to state actors or state-backed groups, Nathan Leamer, a policy analyst at Washington, D.C.-based think …

Massachusetts ridesharing bill moves into final stretch

Transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft would be legally sanctioned to operate in Massachusetts, governed by a set of mostly reasonable regulations, under legislation approved this week …

The U.S. Postal Service needs a ‘Brexit’ from government

From The Federalist: The postal service also lacks needed oversight due to a managerial crisis: what should be an 11-member board has been reduced to one postmaster general, one …

CEA plans to fix what isn’t broken

The California Earthquake Authority has had some great shopping luck this year. According to a report from Insurance Insider, the state-backed residual market pool was able to buy …

Hill salary increase proposal won’t amount to much

From Roll Call: Such expenses squeezed Nathan Leamer and his wife Amanda out of their congressional jobs when they found out they were expecting their second child in 2013, …

Reforming the U.S. Postal Service

R Street Senior Fellow Kevin Kosar recently joined James Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation and Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute in an expert panel moderated by Cato's …

History Revised: Meet the slave responsible for Jack Daniel’s whiskey

From Men's Journal: Kevin Kosar, senior fellow at the R Street Institute think tank and author of Whiskey: A Global History, says it’s a difficult task to accurately tell …

Report: Texas utility-scale solar to double this year

From SmartGridNews: In April, a report from non-profit The R Street Institute indicated that although Texas' solar-power potential outpaced that of nearly every other state, the state's potential remains …

Forum highlights how you can be both conservative and sustainable

From American Sustainable Business Council: The forum will feature panels on sustainability as a competitive advantage, enhancing national and environmental security, and building an ecosystem of sustainability entrepreneurs and …

Minority media should ‘get in the game’

From the Washington Informer: Government advertising can be controversial if it conflicts with citizens' views about the proper role of government, said Kevin Kosar, a senior fellow and governance …

Kelsey Smith’s parents watched with hope, but bill named for slain daughter was doomed in Congress

From Kansas City Star: Nathan Leamer, a senior policy analyst for the R Street Institute, a conservative research center in Washington, was driving home on Sunday, May 22, the …

June 22 roundup

From Overlawyered: Zach Graves, “Optometrists Push For State Laws Blocking Online Eye Exams” [TechDirt] …

Congress didn’t pass bill named for their slain daughter. Why not?

From San Luis Obispo Tribune: Nathan Leamer, a senior policy analyst for the R Street Institute, a conservative research center in Washington, was driving home on Sunday, May 22, …

Adding a teen driver to your auto policy? Colorado not as costly as other states

From the Denver Post: “Driving well takes practice, and since all teens are new drivers, they make all sorts of mistakes that more seasoned drivers can avoid,” said Eli …

Chicago’s spacesharing and ridesharing rules: Not as bad as they almost were!

Maybe it was the Summer Solstice, although more likely it was Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's playing a bit of hardball with dissenting aldermen. Whatever it was, the Chicago City Council …

Congress didn’t pass bill named for their slain daughter. Why not?

From McClatchyDC: Nathan Leamer, a senior policy analyst for the R Street Institute, a conservative research center in Washington, was driving home on Sunday, May 22, the night before …

We made the message loud and clear: Stop the Rule 41 updates

From Electronic Frontier Foundation: Today, the Internet has come out in full force. Dozens of websites are running the “Reject the Rule 41 Proposal” banner. Over 50 organizations and …

House staff numbers decline outside D.C.

From Roll Call: Data compiled by the R Street Institute show that Senate and House staffers in D.C. have hovered around 6,000 from 1987 to 2014. Over the same period, staff …

Godwin talks anti-SLAPP laws at CKI panel

R Street Innovation Policy Director Mike Godwin joined a number of other notable panelists to discuss strategic lawsuits against public participation ("SLAPPs") and what legal and legislative strategies are …

MAIL CALL! Green Scissors to Senate Finance leaders: No carbon capture, pls.

From Politico Morning Energy: Green Scissors, an advocacy coalition that brings together Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense and The R Street Institute, wants the Senate Finance Committee …

SLAPPing Back: Addressing the legal threats to online free speech

From Medium: “We have traditions of strong protections of anonymous speech, and the First Amendment provides enough freedom to allow for anonymity,” added Mike Godwin, the director of innovation …

As Congress weighs anti-SLAPP legislation, stories abound on chilled free speech

From Washington Internet Daily: Historically, free speech, libel and First Amendment laws have been about the institutional press, but now such laws apply to all people, said Mike Godwin, …

House kills zombie earmark (again)

From National Taxpayers Union: NTU was pleased this year’s vote of 268-153 garnered broad bipartisan support, growing by 16 new backers. In addition to NTU, this amendment was supported …

California lawmakers mobilize to weaken transparency initiative

From Reason: Almost everyone has some idea for fixing whatever is wrong in Sacramento, ranging from new campaign spending limits to a requirement that legislators wear NASCAR-style sponsor logos. …

Pennsylvania’s drinks reform changes too little

From American Spectator: The Keystone State’s Legislature could have gone big. Instead, it settled for a bill that is about as potent as near beer. Only the politicians are …

Want to add a teen driver to your auto policy? It’s going to cost you

From the Pasadena Star-News: Eli Lehrer, president of the nonprofit R Street Institute, agreed. “Driving well takes practice, and since all teens are new drivers they make all sorts of mistakes …

Worry about bad marijuana—not Big Marijuana

From Brookings Institution: The three-tier system aimed to deter the vertical integration of the tied-house days, but now is controversial with critics who argue that the distribution tier is …

Weiner: What makes Tony run?

Long before the name "Anthony Weiner" became synonymous with the seven-term congressman who accidentally tweeted a picture of his junk, it already was a punchline. Watching Weiner, the …

Here’s why the Boy Scouts of America received federal recognition 100 years ago

From Time: But few know that a century ago, then-President Woodrow Wilson signed a unanimously-approved Congressional charter that gave federal recognition to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), stating …

Here’s how Secretary King is living up to a 50-year-old promise

From Education Post: Kevin Kosar, a fellow at a conservative think tank, wrote a blog post for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute aimed at Education Secretary John King’s proposed …

Levity at the lake

From the Advocate: Adding their party presence were Dr. Margie Kahn and David Graham, the above Joyce and Sidney Pulitzer, Ana and Dr. Juan Gershanik, Sue and Jack Jernigan, …

Puerto Rico: The process works, so far

From the Library of Law & Liberty: Miraculously, the bill recites the constitutional authority on which it rests: not the Bankruptcy Clause of Article I, but the Territories Clause …

The Grand Oil Party: House Republicans denounce a carbon tax

From the Guardian: It’s odd that not a single House Republican voted against the Resolution, because as long as the revenue is returned to taxpayers (also known as “revenue …

Recommendation to: Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice

From the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice: Sources: “Raised on the Registry, The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the US,” Human Rights Watch, 2013; …

Amodei skewers Allard over land bill — McBee, Madison group join Gulen case — Rebecca Coffman to R Street

From Politico Influence: — Last night at R Street Institute's Alice-in-Wonderland themed party at Wonderbread Factory, as the libertarian think tank celebrated its 4th birthday — Rebecca Coffman and …

Conservative carbon tax backers see silver lining in house opposition

From InsideEPA.com: "We are having some traction, so that is why the politics are rearing their ugly head this week on the House floor condemning the carbon tax as a …

GOP to rule out carbon tax

From The Hill: Catrina Rorke, director of the energy program at R Street Institute — which supports a tax that would return revenues to taxpayers — said if Republicans …

House message: No carbon tax under Clinton

From Politico: Eli Lehrer, the president of the free-market think tank the R Street Institute, agreed. “In the long run, a carbon tax or something like it is probably …

WHY ELIZABETH WARREN won’t be HRC’s V.P. – BLEAK HOUSE: GOP bigwigs more bearish on Trump chances — HOW PEOPLE CHEAT in Fitbit challenges — B’DAYS: Joe Trippi, Jeff Zeleny

From Politico Playbook: --REBECCA COFFMAN is joining R Street Institute as media director. The RNC alum comes from Freedom Partners, where she was communications manager and was previously national press …

School funding is a civil right

From U.S. News: In two essays (available on Flypaper and his own blog), Kevin Kosar argues that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is an anti-poverty measure …

Pro-carbon tax conservatives make their case ahead of House vote

From ClimateWire: A carbon tax "uses small-government principles," said Catrina Rorke, director of energy policy and senior fellow with conservative think tank the R Street Institute, during a call …

Liberty extinguished

From Daily Journal: And that’s too bad, since as Steven Greenhut of the R Street Institute points out, a study from the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Physicians notes …

Debate Flares Up: Was the first federal education law a civil rights statute?

From Education Week: Kevin Kosar, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a Washington think tank that promotes free markets and limited government, says: No, it wasn't. On Monday, …

Civil rights data deluge

From Politico's Morning Education: Speaking of ESSA and civil rights: Kevin Kosar, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, made quite a splash Monday when he wrote [http://bit.ly/1UCZOCt ] in …

Should police know your cellphone location anytime they want?

From Alternative Daily: The Kelsey Smith Act would have allowed law enforcement to quickly access cell phone locations when a person is abducted or a life is in danger. …

DC takes aim at Airbnb, hits existing rental industry

From The Freeman: The DC-based R Street Institute, which has graded cities by their friendliness to short-term rentals in its Roomscore index, notes that as short-term rentals have spread across …

Status seen virtually unchanged in Congress’ online sales tax debate

From Washington Internet Daily: Parties in the online sales tax debate have largely been engaged in a "waiting game" in recent months, and particularly in the Senate, said R …

Coalition blasts DOE’s funding of Texas Clean Energy Project

From SNL Energy: Green Scissors, which includes Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense and The R Street Institute and which describes itself as a coalition of free-market, taxpayer …

More harassment of gun owners in California

From Reason: The latest round of gun-control bills speeding through the California legislature should offer a reality check to those of us who own firearms: Democratic leaders will never …

Can Puerto Rico be saved?

Iowa, Alabama pass ridesharing bills; could Pennsylvania be next?

It's been a busy week and a half on the ridesharing front, as legislation setting out statewide rules for transportation network companies moved forward in Iowa and Alabama, …

Captain America: Civil War – Bring the popcorn

At points over the past year, it looked like the worm was beginning to turn on the dominance of comic-book movies. Sure, Avengers: Age of Ultron finished as the …

Pollock talks Puerto Rico on CCTV

R Street Distinguished Senior Fellow Alex Pollock was interviewed in a recent segment by CCTV America on the Puerto Rican debt crisis and steps Congress should take to …

Lehrer at the Aleph Institute’s ASKS Summit

R Street President Eli Lehrer took part recently in the Alternative Sentencing Key Stakeholder (ASKS) Summit, hosted in Washington by the Aleph Institute. Eli moderated a panel March …

Nina: Not racist, just terrible

Among all the many problems that bedevil Nina, the Nina Simone biopic that finally comes to theatres this Friday nearly two years after making its debut at the …

When did the Imagineers lose their imagination?

In a recent storyline of FX's "The Americans," the show's protagonists – Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings, and their children Paige and Henry – were set to take a …

Mississippi and West Virginia governors both sign ridesharing laws

Mississippi and West Virginia have become the 30th and 31st states to pass legislation to create a statewide regulatory framework for ridesharing services offered by transportation network companies …

Moylan talks Roomscore on the Tech Policy Podcast

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan sat down recently with Evan Swarztrauber, the host of TechFreedom’s Tech Policy Podcast, to Roomscore, R Street's new report and website looking at …

Neeley talks net metering on Bloggingheads.tv

R Street Texas Director Josiah Neeley sat down recently with Kevin Glass of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity to chat at Bloggingheads.tv about net energy …

Ariel Cohen

Moylan talks Roomscore on the In the Tank podcast

R Street Institute Executive Director Andrew Moylan joined John Nothdurft and Donny Kendal of the Heartland Institute's In the Tank podcast to discuss Roomscore, R Street latest report …

South Dakota opens the door to ridesharing

South Dakota has become the 29th state to implement statewide rules governing the operation of transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, with news that Gov. Dennis Daugaard …

R Street comments to FEMA on proposed ‘disaster deductible’

The R Street Institute thanks the administration for the opportunity to comment on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's proposed reforms to the federal disaster-declaration process. We welcome the …

Lehrer talks free-market environmentalism with The Energy Gang

R Street President Eli Lehrer sat down recently with Greentech Media's The Energy Gang podcast to discuss the institute's work on carbon pricing, the ongoing market transition to distributed sources …

With Florida ridesharing reform going nowhere, Hillsborough is back to ticketing drivers

After a six-month reprieve, the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission – the agency that regulates taxicabs and limousines in Florida's fourth-largest county, which includes the City of Tampa …

Sean Speer

Zootopia: Adults will love it, but will kids?

"This isn't some insipid cartoon musical where you sing some stupid song and everything's going to be OK." That line is delivered in Zootopia, the 55th feature film from …

Caroline Kitchens

Steven Greenhut

Kosar talks CRS with Grover Norquist

R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar sat down with Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform to discuss the Congressional Research Service and why its taxpayer-funded reports should be …

Political realignment in black and white (and brown)

Throughout U.S. history, we have seen political realignments roughly every 30 or 40 years. The history books often will assign some precise date or event to mark these …

R Street to Congress: Support H.R. 2901, “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2015”

Feb. 24, 2016 Dear Member, We commend the House Financial Services Committee for taking up H.R.2901, Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2015, sponsored by Reps. Dennis Ross …

Ross Marchand

Lynne Kiesling

New Mexico lawmakers beat clock to pass ridesharing

The New Mexico Legislature closed out its 2016 session Feb. 18, but not before passing legislation to legalize and regulate ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Just hours after …

Mensah talks SLAPP on the Tech Policy Podcast

R Street policy intern Moriah Mensah sat down recently with Evan Swarztrauber, the host of TechFreedom’s Tech Policy Podcast, to discuss strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) and public …

Leamer talks FISA Section 702

R Street Outreach Manager Nathan Leamer sat down with Evan Swarztrauber, the host of TechFreedom's Tech Policy Podcast, to discuss Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, …

Video of panel ‘The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report: Five Years Later’

To mark the fifth anniversary of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission report, R Street hosted a Feb. 4 panel featuring commission members Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute …

Bill legalizing ridesharing moving through West Virginia House

What a difference a year makes in the world of ridesharing. Just 18 months ago, only one state (Colorado) had passed comprehensive legislation legalizing and regulating the emerging …

Cameron Smith talks New Hampshire Primary

R Street State Programs Director Cameron Smith appeared on the Feb. 4 edition of the Matt Murphy show on 1070 WAPI in Alabama to discuss the GOP Presidential …

Labor and Employment Issues: The sharing economy

From Opportunity America: Eli Lehrer president, R Street Institute 'What’s in it for the employer? We need to provide an incentive for employers to participate in a portable benefits system. …

American Action Forum

Video introduction to the Re:Create Coalition

The video below was filmed to introduce the world to the Re:Create Coalition, a broad collection of groups from across the ideological spectrum who agree on the need …

American Enterprise Institute

Jones’ coal divestment call is irresponsible, blatantly political

In the early 1990s, the insolvencies of three major life insurers – Executive Life, Mutual Benefit and Confederation Life – rocked the industry and threatened to bring about …

Devin Hartman

Alex J. Pollock

Daniel Semelsberger

SmarterSafer reform priorities for the National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is up for reauthorization in 2017, and the SmarterSafer coalition believes the program should be reauthorized and reformed to ensure it is …

American Action Forum

Austin Tech Republicans January Meeting – EPA vs the Cloud

Big Daddy’s Burgers & Bar

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report: Five Years Later

Metropolitan Club

Kasich signs Ohio TNC bill into law

Ohio has officially become the 28th state to pass legislation regulating transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, as Gov. John Kasich signed H.B. 237 into law Dec. …

Season’s greetings from R Street

All of us here at the R Street Institute would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas; Happy New Year; a Chag Chanukah Sameach; a Cheerful Maunajiyaras; a Joyous …

Politics of Star Wars panel

Back on Dec. 9, R Street hosted a panel on "The Politics of Star Wars." Among the topics: was Han Solo the first Uber driver? Was Tatooine a failed …

A small silver lining in Ex-Im renewal’s black cloud

As it had long been clear he would, President Barack Obama has signed H.R. 22, the five-year, $305 billion federal highway bill that also revives from the dead …

Did Chris Rock have the answer to gun violence?

I love Chris Rock. Or I should probably say, I love Chris Rock, the standup comedian. The record of Chris Rock, the actor and filmmaker, is decidedly more mixed. …

Joi Washington

2015 Insurance Regulation Report Card

Welcome to the fourth edition of the R Street Institute’s Insurance Regulation Report Card, our annual examination of which states do the best job of regulating the business …

Letter to congressional leadership on federal flood standards

Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader Reid: SmarterSafer, a coalition of environmental organizations, taxpayer advocates, insurance representatives, housing organizations and mitigation experts that advocates for environmentally …

Ethan Bishop

Massachusetts lawmakers go home for holidays; no action on ridesharing

In the home of the Pilgrims, lawmakers have gone home ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Massachusetts Legislature has adjourned for 2015, having failed to move on any …

Gillibrand proposes reinsurance tax gimmick to fund 9/11 victims

In his seminal 1987 work Crisis and Leviathan, economic historian Robert Higgs traces the pattern of government growth as a response to catastrophic events. The federal government, in …

Leamer talks ISIS on The Big Picture

R Street Outreach Manager Nathan Leamer appeared on the Nov. 17 edition of RT's The Big Picture, to discuss the Paris attacks, ISIS, Syrian refugees, digital privacy and congressional …

Chicago still isn’t giving Uber a fair shake

Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services will be permitted to pick up passengers at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports under a plan approved by the City Council in …

The ninja are among us

Ninjas. Just the word can send a shiver down one's back. Originating in feudal Japan and reaching their peak during the Sengoku era that spanned the 16th and 17th …

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Ten Years Later

Liberal Arts North #142

Create. Innovate. Reform.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Adams talks SLAPPs in CEA hangout

R Street Western Region Director Ian Adams joined an online Google Hangouts panel put together by the Consumer Electronics Association to discuss SLAPPs -- that is, Strategic Lawsuits Against …

End of Doom: How Free Markets Are Canceling the Environmental Apocalypse

Austin Ale House

The Irish House

Whom does The New York Times consider a doctor?

According to a national poll released this morning from CBS News and The New York Times, Ben Carson has surged ahead to become the leading contender for the …

Shoring up Florida’s property insurance market

Hurricane Wilma’s Oct. 24, 2005, landfall in Collier County capped an historic two-year period during which Florida reeled under the unrelenting blitz of seven back-to-back major hurricanes. Six …

Marco Rubio’s ambition, and sharp elbows, fueled his rise in Tallahassee

From the New York Times: Don Brown, a Republican legislator who had been helping the man who was Mr. Rubio's biggest rival for speaker in Florida, Dennis A. Ross …

Kosar talks transparency in CRS reports

R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar joined a panel with former U.S. Chris Shays, R-Conn.; Prue Adler, associate executive director of the Association of Research Libraries; and Stan Brand, a …

Cameron Smith talks Ryan, Clinton on Matt Murphy Show

R Street State Programs Director Cameron Smith made another of his regular appearances this week on The Matt Murphy Show on 1070 WAPI-AM in Birmingham, Ala. to discuss Hillary …

How Johnnie Walker became India’s whisky of choice

From Eater: Frank Coleman, the senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a trade group, told Time, "Indians are preordained whisky drinkers. They’ve developed a …

How should libertarians think about intellectual property?

Watch R Street's Sasha Moss along with Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute, Wayne Brough of FreedomWorks and Eli Dourado of the Mercatus Center in a panel moderated by Reason's …

Benghazi and shopping for health care

From Bloomberg: Kevin Kosar and Anthony Madonna look at a Senate that is increasingly difficult to govern without sharp restrictions imposed by the majority leader -- measures that Republicans blamed …

Imbalanced ‘incentives’ hurt creativity more than they help

From TechDirt: Are lawyers the driving force behind artistic freedom? Astonishingly, that's the impression you get when you read the Copyright Alliance's account of a recent panel on music …

Surprise! The Trump campaign is broke

Reviewing the third quarter presidential campaign filings, one finds that Donald Trump runs his presidential campaign much like he ran his casinos – in the red. The Trump campaign …

What does Uber’s return to Broward mean for the future of TNCs in Florida?

Ridesharing giant Uber returns to Florida's second-largest county today after a two and one-half month hiatus. This development both appears to resolve the at-times nasty public battle over …

Democratic policies hurt working women, experts say

From the Washington Free Beacon: Lori Sanders, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute and herself a young mother, recalled working part-time at a children’s clothing store in …

Bringing Republicans to the climate change table

From the New York Times: Eli Lehrer, who runs the R Street Institute, a fairly conventional conservative research firm except that it supports a carbon tax to combat climate …

Jersey City brings legal spacesharing to New York area

With average hotel rates upward of $350 a night, Manhattan is perhaps the costliest tourist destination in the United States. Thankfully, much more affordable accommodations are available just a …

CFP 2015: Internet content blocking by the ITC

From Rebecca Tushnet's 43(B)log: Mike Godwin, General Counsel, R Street Institute: We are pushed to treat IP right violations as if they were subject to theft laws, or in …

‘Jersey Smart’ is better than ‘Jersey Strong’

Earlier this week, I covered South Carolina's "1,000-year storm," questioning whether we can actually say with any kind of certainty that such events are, in fact, all that …

Chaffetz as speaker could revive Internet tax

From the Washington Examiner: Andrew Moylan, executive director of the nonprofit R Street Institute, elaborated on that perspective to the Washington Examiner. "Chaffetz as speaker would likely mean an …

Legislation to #LiftTheBan passes House with bipartisan support

From Speaker John Boehner: WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement applauding House passage of H.R. 702, legislation to lift the 1975 ban on …

New report on Senate procedures show increased use, need for strategy

From Brookings: In a new paper, “Could the Modern Senate Manage an Open-Amendment Process?,” Kevin Kosar and Tony Madonna address this debate. Using an extensive new dataset from amendments …

Anthony J. Madonna

Insurance working group explores multistate solution

From Lagniappe Weekly: But Lars Powell, the Whitbeck-Beyer Chair of Insurance and Financial Services at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and CIWG member, warned the coastal band would create …

Sasha Moss

The Washington Daybook

From Federal News Service: October 13, 2015 The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing on "The Preparedness and Risk Management for Extreme Weather Patterns Assuring Resilience and …

Opportunity Denied: How overregulation harms minorities

From U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: These numerous examples are anything but isolated incidents and are the rule with respect to the paralysis in our regulatory system, not the exception. Studies …

A ‘1,000-year flood’ almost certainly isn’t

Over the weekend, the nation saw the horrific toll of massive flooding across South Carolina, which has left at least nine dead. The Charleston area got nearly a …

Of Trump and sausages: confessions of an ex-radical

My transformation into a political radical happened in what would probably seem, to many, a highly unlikely venue: working in the public relations department of that grandmamma of …

New e-cigarette study likely to prompt calls for more regs, despite lack of evidence

From Watchdog.org: No, says Joel Nitzkin, a policy analyst for R Street Solutions, a free market think tank based in Washington, D.C., who has followed the ongoing national e-cigarette …

SCOOP: Copyright Office shouldn’t be independent, Re:Create says

From Politico: On a related note, members of the newly formed Re:Create coalition are firing off a letter to the House Judiciary Committee outlining their desires for Copyright Office …

Tech groups question plans for independent copyright agency

From The Hill: The Re:Create coalition on Wednesday said no one has put forward a convincing explanation that the office’s current technological deficiencies would be corrected if it left …

Richard B. Belzer

Politico’s ‘The Agenda’ magazine offers wonky package on education

From Education Week: And in "Kill the Department of Ed.? It's been done.," Kevin Kosar, an education policy historian, recounts how Congress created a federal Education Department in 1867 …

The phantom numbers of Uber’s union critics

From American Spectator: And an exception he must be. As Ian Adams, Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute, told this writer, “While Mr. Gobena's situation is unfortunate, it …

Congress, not agencies, to blame for regulation delays

From The Hill: Just how bad is the current regulatory delay crisis? A new website from Public Citizen shows that proposed rules held up at the U.S. Office of …

The growing conservative case for strengthening Congress

From Vox: Now comes along another strong conservative case for congressional re-assertion from Kevin R. Kosar, a senior fellow at the free-market R Street Institute, whose new essay, "How …

4 reasons why it matters that a few House Republicans are calling for climate action

From The Grist: The GOP leadership has yet to show any signs of moderation on climate change, and they control the agenda. The threat to House Speaker John Boehner’s …

R Street Music Licensing and Copyright Glossary

R Street Music-Licensing Case Annex

Park Service takes heat for e-cig ban

From The Hill: The National Park Service is under pressure to reverse its decision to ban electronic cigarettes in all places where tobacco smoking is prohibited on federally supervised …

Shareholder democracy isn’t what it’s cracked up to be

A decade ago, when then-President George W. Bush proposed a partial privatization of Americans' Social Security accounts, public debate largely centered on whether the change actually would mitigate …

The infuriating reason that car repairs are so expensive

From the New Republic: “There’s a clear free market rationale for patent reform, and a consumer protection rationale,” said Ian Adams of the R Street Institute. “It’s a place …

The conservative case for patent reform

From National Review: There’s a myth going around Washington that “real” conservatives should oppose patent reform. But as R Street’s Zach Graves has noted, patent reform actually has a …

New York City, a climate change leader, challenges enlarged flood maps

From ClimateWire: In most places, that would be considered folly, said Eli Lehrer, an insurance expert and president of the conservative R Street Institute. Building expensive infrastructure to protect …

R Street Primer on Copyright Legislation

North Carolina boy charged with possessing indecent pictures of himself

A 17-year-old North Carolina quarterback is charged with possession of sexual images of a minor. The minor is himself. But he is being charged as an adult. So …

Should we make it easier for people with criminal records to find work?

From the Deseret News: While ban the box laws are designed to encourage employers to keep an open mind when evaluating people with criminal records, there is no evidence …

August: Season of rules

From Politico: Though 15 major rules in a month might seem like a lot, in fact the bigger problem with rulemaking right now is just how far behind regulators …

Former CRS researcher calls for public access

From the Project on Government Oversight: We reached out to Kevin Kosar, former CRS researcher of 11 years, to talk about the concerns we heard from Hill staffers regarding …

Should young drivers stay on their parents’ auto policy or get their own?

From Huffington Post: Intriguingly, gender doesn't appear to play a significant role in the study's findings. For instance, an 18-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man will both pay 18 …

Regulation deadlines created by Congress are meaningless, report says

From the Washington Post: A new study by R Street, a D.C.-based libertarian think tank, analyzed every regulatory deadline mandated in law by Congress in the last 20 years. …

Kosar talks Trump on Dubai’s Al Arabiya

R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar sat down with Dubai's Al Arabiya news network -- one of the largest news sources in the Arab-speaking world -- to …

Reducing prison time for violent offenders may significantly reduce mass incarceration

From UPI: Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank, cautions that policy changes directed at reducing prison time for violent offenders must be handled …

Thoughts on a klansman

Last month, as but one marker of the sudden and somewhat unexpected public outcry to remove from all manner of public life flags and memorials honoring the Confederacy, …

R Street Institute meets with NH GOP activists

From the AP Planner: President of R Street Institute Eli Lehrer meets with Republican activists to discuss an alternative solution to climate change: carbon pricing as part of broader …

Copy of Postal Service audit shows extent of mail surveillance

From the New York Times: Kevin R. Kosar, a former analyst at the Congressional Research Service who worked on postal issues, said he found it surprising that the Office …

Int’l Trade Commission decision threatens borderless Internet ecosystem

From Watchdog.org: A recent letter penned by the R Street Institute and Niskanen Center, and joined by FreedomWorks, criticized the ITC’s decision, arguing that “treating cross-border digital transmission as …

Bernard Sharfman

Ending the Uber wars: How to solve a special interest nightmare

From The Fiscal Times: Unfortunately, the United States is far from immune from this political favoritism, though thankfully the experience is not quite so extreme. The R Street Institute, …

Today: Court hears ‘zombie SOPA’ case

From Politico: But plenty in the tech world are challenging that notion. Public Knowledge has called the case “Zombie SOPA,” saying if the ITC is able to regulate data …

Appeals court to hear US agency’s decision to block digital imports

From IDG News: There is “absolutely no need to manufacture new agency powers over digital data,” free-market groups the Niskanen Center, the R Street Institute and FreedomWorks wrote in …

A Bush/Rubio ticket would be complicated, not impossible

They would, in some senses, appear to be the dream ticket. One is the more moderate elder statesman; one is the brash young firebrand. One is the darling …

Letter to the Editor: Carbon pricing’s time has come

From the New Haven Register: Just consider all the conservatives who have already called for carbon pricing: George Shultz, Greg Mankiw, Bob Inglis, Eli Lehrer and others at R …

Tech industry recommends FTC take laissez-faire approach to regulating sharing economy

From Communications Daily: R Street Institute Senior Fellow Ian Adams suggested in comments that "consumer-protection mechanisms must be narrowly tailored, both as to their depth and breadth." …

Study: Agencies miss rulemaking deadlines half the time

From The Hill: Federal Agencies have missed half of their Congressional deadlines in the last two decades, according to a new study released by the R Street Institute on …

The three dumbest “conservative” objections to patent reform

From Townhall: Zach Graves of the R Street Institute already eviscerated this argument at some length, and some of his choicer passages deserve to be repeated here: Patent reform enjoys …

EFF tells federal appeals court: Google subpoena threatens online speech and innovation

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Shortly thereafter, Google sought protection from a Mississippi federal court, asking the court to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the Attorney General from enforcing …

Another case for lowering the drinking age

From Overlawyered.com: Very few countries have a national age as high as 21, argues Jeffrey Tucker at Newsweek (originally FEE), and women of college age may be more vulnerable …

Google fights France on extending ‘right to be forgotten’

From USA Today: Mike Godwin, director of innovation policy and general council at the R Street Institute, a think-tank whose motto is "Free markets. Real Solutions," said the "right to be forgotten" …

Scott Atherley

City of Chicago hits taxpayers with new ‘Netflix Tax’

From the Heartland Institute: Steven Titch, a telecommunications policy analyst with the R Street Institute, says Chicago’s expansion of the tax is arbitrary and “an incredible overreach.” Undefined Terms “Chicago made …

Lowering the drinking age will have some bad effects. We should do it anyway.

For the first time in decades, the legal drinking age is back in the news, and nearly all the credit for that belongs to the Amethyst Initiative. Signed …

Patent reform is not a left wing thing

From the The Beacon: Over at R Street, Zach Graves has a good piece up looking at the American Conservative Union’s opposition to patent reform pending in the Congress. …

Leamer talks Trump on The Big Picture

R Street Outreach Manager Nathan Leamer participated -- along with  Neil Sroka of Democracy for America and Sean Noble of American Encore-- in The Big Picture host Thom …

Congress’ plan to pass energy bills: Make them boring. But will it work?

From the Washington Examiner: "We've been waiting for this legislative action to turn into something for a while. On the House side, it's not the sexiest bill they could …

Senate still debating transportation bill with last-minute record-secrecy provisions

From Marketwatch: In a rare Sunday session, the U.S. Senate considered amendments to a transportation bill, a must-do by Friday before funds run out, without deciding on others related …

Congressional Internet Caucus and ‘fractally complex’ music licensing

Speaking at a July 17 discussion hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus on music streaming and Congress' role in the world of music licensing, caucus Advisory Committee Executive …

A liberal nightmare: What if GMOs were the solution to climate change?

From the Daily Caller: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that GMOs are more environmentally friendly. Josiah Neeley, a senior fellow at R Street Institute, writes that “existing GMO crops …

6 charts to debunk fear-mongering about contractors and the Uber economy

From the Foundation for Economic Education The headlines are, by now, depressingly familiar: “more Americans are stuck in part-time work” or “part-time jobs put millions in poverty... …

And then there were three: Obamacare forces health insurer consolidation

In the latest in what has become a roller coaster of mergers and acquisitions in the health insurance sector this month, No. 2 insurer Anthem Inc. announced this …

Labor roundup

From Overlawyered.com: “6 charts that debunk the ‘gig’ economy” [R.J. Lehmann, R Street Institute] …

6 charts that debunk the ‘gig’ economy

The headlines are, by now, depressingly familiar: "more Americans are stuck in part-time work" or "part-time jobs put millions in poverty." Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently …

There’s no good reason to delay conservation compliance

Even as the U.S. Department of Agriculture was reporting a record 98.2 percent of farmers and ranchers have met new "conservation compliance" guidelines required to qualify for federally …

In the tanks

From National Journal: As the new director of energy policy at the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank, Catrina Rorke hopes to persuade fellow conservatives that a tax …

30 under 30

From Red Alert Politics: Lori Sanders is the outreach director and a senior fellow at the R Street Institute. In this role, she is responsible for R Street’s coalition …

Members of Congress warn against throwing patent system out of balance

From Watchdog.org: Citing the conservative Heritage Foundation, for example, the DC-based R Street Institute recently blogged that patent reform was “not just about the patent system.” “Patent-reform offers a case study for broader …

Support for the Innovation Act grows

From House Judiciary Committee: Below are excerpts from the letter sent by R Street Institute, Niskanen Center, Center for Individual Freedom, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Institute for Liberty, Small Business …

Proxy Access: Shareholder democracy or creeping mercantilism?

Following certain rule changes made by Congress and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the 2015 proxy season has seen a deluge of shareholder proposals at U.S. public …

Should Congressional Research Service reports be public?

From Roll Call: “Making them public would make them publicly available more equally, more equitably,” said former CRS analyst Kevin R. Kosar, who penned an essay on his decision …

Clinton raps ‘gig’ economy as GOP rivals hail Uber

From Investor's Business Daily: "There is a little more of a backlash among liberals," said Andrew Moylan, executive director of R Street Institute, a libertarian think tank. "It's not …

Neeley talks climate change at EarthDay Texas

R Street Texas Director Josiah Neeley sat down with Michael Quirke, executive director of the Climate Change National Forum, at the recent EarthDay Texas in Dallas to discuss …

The latest First Amendment fun

From Ann C. Logue: The power of California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which my lawyers used in my free speech defense against convicted felon Keith Gilabert’s suit. Full disclosure: I occasionally …

(Some) Republicans get religion on climate

From Bloomberg Politics: His timing may be good. Two-thirds of Americans say they think the world would benefit from reducing carbon emissions, according to a March poll by Yale …

15 sheep explain the Chinese stock market crash

In the Chinese lunar calendar, 2015 is the Year of the Sheep. Thus, what better animal to guide us through the market panic that has seen China's stock …

C.A. blasts lawyer over ‘Nazi’ references, overturns verdict

From the Metropolitan News-Enterprise: Bilotti not only violated the in limine orders, she also broke “Godwin’s Law,” the Internet adage invented by attorney and author Mike Godwin, Bedsworth went …

Vox Sentences: South Carolina waves the white flag

From Vox: Or you can have it explained to you with sheep GIFs. [R Street Institute / R. J. Lehmann] …

Feds spent $2 million to have wives nag men about chewing tobacco

From the Washington Times: “This is big government intervention for a small-risk lifestyle choice,” said Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville. Mr. Rodu, who has …

Can this businessman’s green turn GOP green?

From the Washington Examiner: Andrew Moylan, executive director of the free-market think tank R Street, also believes that money isn't the difference-maker many assume. "The impact of political donations tends …

For conservatives, it’s the ‘right time’ to discuss climate change

From ClimateWire: "Environmentalism is actually very fertile territory" for Republicans, Levin said at event co-hosted by his magazine and the R Street Institute. He said the way that conservatives …

How Jeb Bush handled risky business in a disaster-prone state

From ClimateWire: Eli Lehrer, president of the conservative R Street Institute and an insurance expert, described Bush's pursuit of a national backstop as the kind of populist promise made …

Sanders talks TPP on Thom Hartmann Show

R Street Outreach Director Lori Sanders appeared on the July 1, 2015 edition of the Thom Hartmann Show to discuss the role of intellectual property in the pending …

The Daily Dig for Saturday, July 4

From Bankless Times: Judge strikes down patent lawsuit against Kickstarter A small crowdfunding site claimed its idea of soliciting altruistic donations was covered by patent. Kickstarter disagreed and filed suit. …

The ‘cyberporn’ scare of 1995, and the early Web’s corrective power

From The 1995 Blog: One implacable critic of Rimm’s work was Mike Godwin, then staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who likened the study to surveying adult bookstores …

401(k) investments a potential alternative to small-business loans, study finds

From NerdWallet: A Washington, D.C.-based research group wants to make it possible for individuals to invest up to 10% of their 401(k) money in small businesses through intrastate crowdfunding websites. In …

SCOTUS sides against EPA and environmentalists

From Red Millennial: In 2012, there was a significant backlash from a group of Latino Democrats in the California Assembly, who were worried that California’s Cap-and-Trade law would hurt …

The inside of John Roberts’s head

From The Economist: R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at R Street, a free-market think tank, sees a big smaller-government upside to Mr Roberts' Obamacare ruling. "Roberts has just opened …

John Roberts and the long con

Conservatives and libertarians aren't very happy with John Roberts right now, and for good reason. For the second time, the Bush-appointed chief justice has handed down a decision …

Avoiding protectionist reinsurance tax key to ensuring low-cost insurance

As proposals are floated both in Congress and in the White House's budget plan to change the tax treatment of reinsurance purchased by U.S. insurers from offshore affiliates, …

Power plant bill clears House, Capito says uphill Senate fight ‘worth happening’

From Energy and Environment Daily: In a Washington Post op-ed yesterday, R Street Institute President Eli Lehrer wrote that while conservative criticism of the Clean Power Plan is warranted, …

How to fix the federal prison system

From the Washington Times: And grass-roots conservatives are enthusiastic about this movement, too. At this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference the session on state criminal justice reforms was packed. …

Internet consumers beware!

From FreedomWorks: Language in the bill also includes a provision that entangles all users of platforms such as Amazon or eBay. It specifies any use of an “electronic marketplace,” …

Internet tax battle revived in Congress

From Watchdog.org: A coalition of conservative groups including R Street Institute and Americans for Tax Reform, however, denounced the Chaffetz’s bill as “a massive expansion in state tax-collection authority and dismantling a …

Wharton study finds disaster aid displaces property insurance

Federal disaster aid granted to communities hit by natural catastrophes causes demand for property insurance to fall by six times as much, according to a new issue briefing …

Is the encyclical a measured document?

From National Review: Josiah Neeley has a very nice piece at First Things making the case that the Pope’s environmental encyclical is really “a more measured affair” than the …

GOP candidates bound to feel ‘climate shock’ on the campaign trail

From the Huffington Post: Though the connection between extreme weather and climate change is easy to hyperbolize (God's or Mother Nature's wake-up call?), the Weather Channel - owned by …

Copyright lobby seeks new hammer to pound free speech in Florida

From Clay Today: Anonymity and pseudonymity have been key threads in the fabric of American life since the Colonial era. From arts to politics, from the Revolutionary era-tracts known …

Obama’s $4bn clean-energy initiative: a big number hiding a bigger idea

From The Guardian: Granted, the Obama administration’s approach won’t make everyone happy. Eli Lehrer, founder of libertarian thinktank R Street, would prefer to see the government eliminate all energy …

California regulators say Uber drivers are employees. Here’s why that’s a big deal.

From Vox: Ian Adams, an analyst at the free-market R Street Institute, argues that the best solution would be to create a new legal category for people who work …

Rep. Chaffetz, how could you?

From the American Spectator: But critics think the measure may go the way of the failed Marketplace Fairness Act, considered a predecessor of this bill, as it would dismantle …

Oren Litwin

Congress introduces remote sales tax bill

From Accounting Today: However, a policy research group known as the R Street Institute expressed its opposition to the bill, claiming the RTPA would dismantle proper limits on state …

‘If we don’t act now, we’re all going to pay’: 5 arguments for climate action that even conservatives can’t ignore

From Salon: Name: Eli Lehrer Why conservatives might listen: The former vice president of the climate denying Heartland Institute, Lehrer left to co-found the R Street Institute, and is currently …

Jeb Bush, climate-change equivocator

From the New Republic: Long before he even launched his campaign, Bush managed to raise hopes that he will be one of the few reasonable Republican presidential aspirants on climate change. …

Insurers could underwrite more terrorism risk, CBO says

From SmartBrief: Surplus capital in the reinsurance market means insurers could take on more terrorism risk than they are, Ray Lehmann writes, arguing that reforms passed by Congress this …

Wendler: A ribbon for everyone

From The Southern Illinoisan: Now, you say, this language is too strong and clearly an overstatement. Not really. It is nearly impossible to fire a federal employee, according to …

Indoor ban on e-cigs imminent

From Delaware Public Media: Other detractors, like Joel Nitzkin, a doctor and lobbyist for the libertarian R Street Institute found those short-term studies questionable. Nitzkin also says the ban could have unintended …

Democrats seek GOP support for carbon tax bill, face questions about jailing skeptics

From ClimateWire: Andrew Moylan, executive director of the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank that supports revenue-neutral tax policies for carbon, asked how the senators could gain the …

CBO confirms private insurers could take on way more terrorism risk

I hate to say I told you so. Actually, scratch that. I love to say I told you so. I just wish it weren't necessary in this case. Back …

Senate extension of Internet Tax Freedom Act ‘virtually certain’

From Washington Internet Daily: It's "virtually certain" that the Senate will pass some sort of ITFA extension, but "whether that's [S-431] ... is another story," said R Street Institute …

Lehrer talks climate change and insurance on the Weather Channel

On the Weather Channel recently, R Street President Eli Lehrer explained the most straightforward reason why those who believe in a free market ought to accept the reality …

Passage of fast-track trade authority for president is critical for our nation and Texas

From the Waco Tribune: The U.S. House has indicated that it’s likely to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority in the coming weeks. Also known as “fast-track” trade authority, TPA makes …

No, the America Invents Act did not cost ‘the economy’ $1 trillion

Congress will once again take up significant patent reform this week, with the PATENT Act – a version of which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday – …

Time to raise the oil spill liability cap

From the Muscatine Journal: Santa Barbara County is the latest seaside community to watch its coastline dirtied by an all-too-recognizable black sludge. Early estimates project that more than 100,000 …

Republican pledges $175 million to push party on climate

From Politico: "What's important to remember is that [climate change] doesn't really register as an issue with many Republican primary voters," said Eli Lehrer, who helped form the free-market …

Can ‘The Rock’ rescue the CEA?

The California Earthquake Authority long has had trouble getting Golden Staters to buy protection for the most devastating natural disaster most of them face. Indeed, if anything, California's …

Raise oil-spill liability cap

From the Courier-Post: Santa Barbara County is the latest seaside community to watch its coastline dirtied by an all-too-recognizable black sludge. Early estimates project that more than 100,000 gallons …

Why you should care about the ‘third dimension’ of government information

From The Conversation: As one example, advertising contracts, estimated a Congressional Research Service report, totaled US$892.5 million in fiscal year 2013. These expenditures, said the author of the report, Kevin …

Leamer talks USA Freedom on Lars Larson Show

R Street Outreach Manager Nathan Leamer appeared on the Lars Larson Show June 2 to discuss the USA Freedom Act. Appearing just moments after the U.S. Senate passed …

Raleigh restauranteur pushes local government to regulate sidewalk seating

From Reason: Lawmakers (or in this case, a particularly well-situated business owner) frequently cite “safety” or “public good” when advocating restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol (or …

The debate over NSA spying is finished. Or is it?

From Advocates for Self Government: With the support of hawks in the Senate Republican Conference, McConnell proposed amendments that would have increased the transition period from three to six months, removed …

R Street commends Gov. Scott for signing coastal preservation bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 3, 2015) – The R Street Institute today congratulated Florida Gov. Rick Scott for signing H.B. 715, legislation that clarifies provisions of a key coastal preservation …

Daniel E. Innis and Eli Lehrer join Log Cabin Republicans national board of directors

From Log Cabin Republicans: Washington, D.C. — The Log Cabin Republicans National Board of Directors has announced two new prominent and historic additions to its growing roster: Daniel E. Innis …

D.C. Circuit strikes down ‘cascading’ retrocession excise taxes

The federal excise tax does not apply to reinsurance or retrocession transactions between foreign insurers, even if the transaction covers U.S. risks, according to a May 26 decision …

Will McConnell’s amendments gut surveillance reform?

From the Michigan Standard: There are two other amendments that alter and weaken a couple of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court transparency issues that are vital to surveillance reform, …

Ten years since its last hurricane, Florida more vulnerable to catastrophe than ever, experts say

From the Tampa Bay Times: Christian Cámara, director of the free market R Street Institute in Florida, said subsidized flood insurance has exacerbated the coastal population crunch, too. "When you …

Lessons from the Rock

From The Economist: Previous seismic models had drastically underestimated the risks of earthquake damage. The R Street Institute, a think-tank, notes that the insured losses from the Northridge earthquake …

Assurance contracts for indie films

From Marginal Revolution:  Most indie films and documentaries don’t get to most markets. It’s hard for a theatre to know which of the many indie films audiences really want …

Assurance contracts and the indie film market

In some ways, there has never been a better time for fans of independent film. The video on-demand revolution has led to thousands of titles becoming available for …

Oracle v. Google: Dropping the ball

From RealClearPolicy: You probably already know it's baseball season, but you may have missed some particularly interesting inside baseball going on in the world of copyright law and policy. The …

Biloxi’s crude deal: Oil spill reparations are funding a baseball stadium in Mississippi

From Vice: "For something that is a 'combination event' where there are environmental and economic impacts, you should be looking at projects that have environmental and economic benefits," says …

Oracle v. Google: We’re not screwed yet

From InfoWorld:  I think the Solicitor General's critique reflects the incorrect understanding of a non-programmer. An API is certainly written in code, but it's being used in a different …

There is no ‘conservative’ and no ‘liberal’ in wine politics

From Fermentation: The Daily Wine Blog: I was reminded of this upon reading, “Free America’s Beverage Markets” by Kevin Kosar, a senior fellow at the right-leaning R Street Institute. …

Tech groups seek targeted changes, if any, to PTO’s review process

From Politico: Four tech advocacy groups urged lawmakers Friday to avoid fundamental changes to the process for challenging patents at the USPTO — but they suggested a few ways …

Letter to New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

My name is R.J. Lehmann. I am editor-in-chief, a senior fellow and a co-founder of the R Street Institute, a nonprofit public-policy research organization headquartered in Washington. I …

Green power lines hogtie poorest Texans

From Watchdog.org: Josiah Neeley, Texas director of the market-oriented R Street Institute, acknowledges that even if SB 931 reins in the government-designated Competitive Renewable Energy Zones, Texans will be …

Shelby’s financial reforms could face problems on the floor

The Hill is reporting that the Senate Banking Committee's more moderate Democrats intend to vote against the financial services reform package put together by Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., …

Copyright lobby seeks new hammer to pound free speech in Florida

Anonymity and pseudonymity have been key threads in the fabric of American life since the Colonial era. From arts to politics, from the Revolutionary era-tracts known as Cato’s …

Jersey Strong…but not strong enough to pump gas

As a New Jersey native who has spent most of his adult life living elsewhere, I often find myself standing up to defend my much-maligned homeland against the …

Laffer: Keep protectionist reinsurance tax out of tax reform

A proposal to bar insurers from claiming a tax deduction for premiums ceded to offshore affiliates would cost the U.S. economy $1.35 billion in gross domestic product, with …

D.C. appeals court rules some iPhone trademarks invalid

A $930 million verdict against South Korean phone maker Samsung that claimed its Galaxy phone infringed patents held by Apple could be knocked down by as much as …

Congress continues to withhold Congressional Research Service documents from the public

From Techdirt: Like this request, which resulted in the CRS losing an analyst: Why is the US Postal Service "stockpiling ammunition"? That sort of question helped lead CRS analyst Kevin …

Ninth Circuit strikes down order that YouTube take down ‘Innocence of Muslims’

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned an order that YouTube take down the infamous video "Innocence of Muslims," rejecting an actress' claim that her brief …

It really is hard to fire a fed

From GovManagement Daily: A recent report from the Merit Systems Protection Board challenges the perception that it's impossible to fire a federal employee. But in 1978 a Democratic Congress and …

New study shows how Florida Citizens subsidizes the rich

The policy subsidies offered by Florida's state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. flow disproportionately to the wealthy and, in concert with similarly regressive subsidies from the National Flood Insurance …

House committee bars publication of reports by Congressional Research Service

From AllGov: “Even when we did find time and space to do serious research, lawmakers ignored our work or trashed us if our findings ran contrary to their beliefs,” …

Will self-driving cars need hacker insurance?

From Hopes & Fears: R.J. Lehmann, Policy Expert in Insurance, Co-Founder of R Street Institute It’s obviously a very complicated issue. Before you even get to what do you …

‘Beach Plan’ insurance needs to do no further harm

When he was speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, now-U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis was fond of pointing to “the conservative revolution” that has taken hold in …

Odd couple asks EPA for carbon tax

From the Washington Examiner: That's what environmental group Friends of the Earth and the free-market R Street Institute advocated for in a Wednesday meeting with EPA officials. Neither organization would …

House renews ban on CRS publication of its reports

From Federation of American Scientists: Why is the US Postal Service “stockpiling ammunition”? That sort of question helped lead CRS analyst Kevin Kosar to leave his job, he explained …

Uber, but for GOP hypocrisy

From the Daily Beast: Andrew Moylan, the executive director of the R Street Institute—a conservative think tank that works extensively on issues involving transportation network companies like Uber and …

Audio from SxSW ‘Your Laws, Your Data’ panel

In the two decades that it has been managed by the Library of Congress, THOMAS -- the online record of Congress' activities, named for Thomas Jefferson -- has …

California: dry, earthquake zone, fire hazard

From the Washington Examiner: Ian Adams for the R Street Institute: California is a land of calamity. The ground shakes, it runs dry and, with underappreciated frequency, it catches …

IRS created tool to calculate Obamacare repayments, didn’t share with public

The Internal Revenue Service developed an online tool that would have helped Americans who received health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to better calculate their tax …

Washington Monthly was warning about domestic digital surveillance…40 years ago

Via Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog, we have a reminder of a December 1975 article in Washington Monthly that warned about the potential for government spooks to use the newfangled …

TNC bills could be on agenda for Florida’s special session

One of the consequences of the Florida House of Representatives' decision last week to commence an abrupt sine die adjournment, rather than play out an intractable battle with …

Uber’s not in Kansas anymore; will New Jersey be next?

The decision by the Kansas Legislature earlier this week to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of onerous ridesharing legislation already is yielding its inevitable consequence. Transportation network company …

Senate drops attempt to override Obama’s ‘double veto’

From USA Today: Kevin R. Kosar, a fellow at the conservative-leaning R Street Institute, said the Senate should make time to protect Congress against encroaching presidential power. The pocket-and-return …

Good news (sort of) out of Texas

From Somewhat Reasonable: As Josiah Neely, senior fellow and Texas director for the R Street Institute, points out in an article on the MasterResource Blog... ...Neely argues, “With Texas wind …

DMCA is turning ownership into ‘loanership’

From RealClearPolicy: During the Great Depression, farm-equipment giant John Deere Co. famously refused to repossess tractors it had sold to American farmers who were having difficulties keeping up with …

Detroit mayor’s insurance plan crashes head-on into reality

We have seen over and over the folly of government-run insurance schemes. Whether it's the National Flood Insurance Program, the Federal Crop Insurance Corp., the Texas Windstorm Insurance …

Diverse coalition to promote balanced copyright law

From Health & Beauty Close-Up: "The Internet has lowered the barriers for everyone. As technological innovation continues to advance at a rapid pace, copyright law must catch up. Overregulation …

Risk transfer success leads to ratings upgrades for Florida Citizens

It's an exceedingly rare thing that I'd ever point to anything my adoptive state of Florida does in the area of insurance markets as an example that others …

Growing doubts about surveillance shown in House GOP votes

Froom CQ: "There is a significant strain of Republicans in the House that have concerns about bulk collection of data," says Andrew Moylan, executive director of the R Street …

Catrina Rorke

10 groups launch copyright coalition

From Politico: CDT and R Street are among the 10 consumer and business tech groups standing up a new alliance on copyright policy today, pushing lawmakers to rethink their …

Libertarian groups press McConnell on surveillance reform

From The Hill: “Today’s domestic surveillance programs are just the tip of the iceberg compared to how the NSA could use its current authority to spy on Americans’ communications …

Libertarian groups urge McConnell to change course on surveillance

From Politico: TechFreedom, the R Street Institute and a coalition of other limited-government groups are today asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to drop his clean reauthorization of the …

A ‘believer’ takes over conservative carbon tax effort

From ClimateWire: The first time Catrina Rorke worked on a carbon tax, it got her boss fired. Now, she has another shot. The millennial 30-year-old, with bold-rimmed glasses and a …

Michigan House could vote this week on auto insurance reforms

For a brief moment early this year, social media made James Robertson an international celebrity. The story of the 56–year-old Detroit man whose commute involved both an arduous …

Tobacco control is getting it wrong

From CSPNet.com: Anti-tobacco campaigns are getting it wrong, Dr. Brad Rodu, professor of medicine and holder of the endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research at the University of …

SmarterSafer letter on federal flood standards

To Whom It May Concern: SmarterSafer, a coalition of environmental organizations, taxpayer advocates, insurance representatives, housing and mitigation groups is pleased to submit comments on the Federal Flood Risk …

Why disaster policy matters

A major plot point of the most recent season of Netflix's House of Cards saw fictional President Frank Underwood try to exploit the Stafford Act's vague definition of …

Bracing for the storm

The attached report was co-authored jointly by members of the SmarterSafer Coalition. Hurricanes, floods, fires, and heat waves resulting in millions of dollars of damage are no longer unusual …

Copyright could be stumbling block in trade bill

From The Hill: Woodworth's sentiment was echoed by advocacy groups including the Center for Democracy and Technology, R Street and the American Library Association. “Ensuring our Internet platforms are successful …

What’s really in the new Trade Promotion Authority bill?

From Cato at Liberty: On fair use, this statement from R Street on TPA’s IP objectives is informative: 'Although R Street supports TPA legislation in principle, we’re strongly concerned about …

The online sales tax cash grab

From Reason: "Finally, someone in Congress has drafted an approach to the Internet sales tax issue that doesn't empower bureaucrats to tax across state lines and saddle Web-based retailers …

The crackdown on naming post offices

From National Journal: "These bills are, on the one hand, pretty innocuous, but you've also got staff spending time on this. There's a lot of little scut work," says …

Groups push to end NSA spying before June

From Watchdog Wire: The coalition includes a range of organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Free Press Action Fund, DownsizeDC, TechFreedom, Fight for the …

PTO smacks down podcasting patent troll

Notorious patent troll Personal Audio LLC did not invent adding episodic content to a webpage, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled in an April 10 decision that's …

Key FDA panel votes down warning label change for snus

Swedish Match should not be allowed to alter the warning labels on its U.S. snus products to reflect evidence they are safer than cigarettes. That was the determination …

The ‘green’ tea party fights for a more environmentally friendly GOP

From Public Radio International: Summit panelists (from left): Former Texas Republican Senator and head of the Texas Clean Energy Coalition Kip Averitt, former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis, Eli …

This costs less for married couples than it does for single people

From Deseret News: "Marriage really does make people more careful and responsible it isn't at all surprising that this translates into better driving behavior,” Eli Lehrer, president of nonprofit …

Plan to regulate Airbnb might lead to total deregulation in Maine

A summer trip to Maine has it all: fresh air, ample boating, moose watching, covered bridges, picturesque lighthouses, lobster rolls, blueberry pie, perhaps a visit to downtown Portland's …

Congress revives plan to collect sales tax on Internet purchases

From the Heartland Institute: R Street Executive Director and Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan says MFA would make doing business more complex and expensive for small business owners and workers …

Diverse group of advocacy organizations, intellectual property experts come together in opposition to Florida digital goods bill

WASHINGTON – Today, a diverse group of advocacy organizations issued a joint public statement in opposition to the True Origin of Digital Goods Act being considered by the …

Does no one die rich in Atlanta?

Lifehacker calls attention to this two-year-old chart by Amanda Cox and Shan Carter of the New York Times graphics department, illustrating relative income mobility in various U.S. cities, …

CEA says it’s seen no fracking-related earthquake claims

The California Earthquake Authority, the state-run insurance pool that is the primary source of residential earthquake coverage in the Golden State, says it hasn't received any claims that …

Moylan testimony on the Restoration of America’s Wire Act

The video below features R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan in his testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations during their March …

NTU urges Washington legislators to oppose House Bill 2211

From National Taxpayers Union: Before implementing this 60 percent tax, lawmakers should consider the make-up of an e-cigarette. The main ingredients that produce the water vapor—propylene glycol and glycerin—are …

It’s time for open data in insurance

The National Association of Police Organizations is a non-profit group that represents and serves police officers, police unions and local police associations. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners …

What do conservative policy intellectuals think about climate change?

From the Grist: Eli Lehrer, president and cofounder of the R Street Institute Lehrer previously worked at the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute, then cofounded R Street as a …

Lehrer talks flood insurance on Morning Edition

R Street President Eli Lehrer joined reporter Charles Lane recently to discuss pending flood insurance rate increases on National Public Radio's Morning Edition program. The full audio of …

PPA cautiously optimistic after RAWA hearing

From Cards Chat News: That viewpoint was represented at the hearings by Andrew Moylan, executive director of the R Street Institute. Moylan provided a conservative voice on the panel …

Five thoughts: RAWA hearing, Global Poker Masters, Urbanovich and more

From Poker News: Parry Aftab, Executive Director of WiredSafety, and Andrew Moylan, Executive Director of the R Street Institute served as the voices of reason. Aftab actually acknowledged that …

Recap of RAWA House subcommittee hearing and what it means for igaming

From JD Supra: Some balance was introduced by Andrew Moylan, Executive Director of R Street, who strongly argued that RAWA would be dangerous precedent which substitutes the judgment of …

Biased witnesses give testimony at RAWA hearing

From Online Casino Reports: The other two witnesses were more subjective on the issue of RAWA. These were WiredSafety executive director Parry Aftab and R Street Institute executive director …

How age, gender and marital status affect your car insurance

From the Huffington Post: Eli Lehrer, president of the nonprofit research group The R Street Institute, says, "Marriage really does make people more careful and responsible... it isn't at …

RAWA gets a hearing but supporters’ testimonies failed to impress committee members

From OnlineCasino.org: Another testifier, Andrew Moylan, the Executive Director of R Street Institute, a free-market research, and consultancy firm, voiced his opinion that allowing the introduction of RAWA is …

Five best ideas of the day: March 30

From Time: 3. With an eye on the White House, politicians won’t admit it, but the ethanol mandate is terrible policy. By Josiah Neeley in the American Conservative …

Moylan on the Heartland Daily Podcast

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan recently joined Jesse Hathaway, managing editor of the Heartland Institute's Budget & Tax News, for a discussion of recently reintroduced proposals to …

Rise in government insurance rates to mirror rising waters, flood debt

From the Washington Post: “In general it’s a move in the right direction,” said Eli Lehrer, president the R Street Institute, a conservative Washington think tank, but doesn’t go …

RAWA hearing falls short on facts – leaves questions on state rights

From NJ Poker Online: The two witnesses that helped to actually put a negative spin on RAWA were Parry Aftab and Andrew Moylan. Aftab is an attorney that specializes …

Florida Cat Fund cleared to buy $2.2B of reinsurance

In what counts as excellent news both for Florida taxpayers and the private insurance market, Gov. Rick Scott and the State Board of Administration have approved a request …

Proponents of online gambling ban serve ‘demon rum’ at House hearing

From Casino City Times: Andrew Moylan, who runs the pro states' rights R Street Institute, and Aftab came to the hearing prepared with facts and arguments about why regulated …

Online gambling: Rolling the dice on Congress

From Barron's: The bill’s critics talk about the Constitution and benefits of state regulation. Andrew Moylan, executive director of the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, cautioned that …

Adelson-backed online gambling bill splits GOP At hearing

From the Huffington Post: As with many congressional hearings, the experts who testified at the RAWA session did little to sway the members who attended. They included three witnesses …

RAWA hearing sound and fury signifying nothing

From PokerFuse: A late addition to the witness list, Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow at R Street Institute, opposed the bill on the basis that it infringed …

Editorial: RAWA hearing short on facts, long on fear

From PokerNewsDaily: There were two witnesses that stood against RAWA. Andrew Moylan, the Executive Director at R Street (a libertarian and conservative think tank), evoked memories of the government’s …

RAWA subcommittee hearing full of dire warnings of evils of online gambling

From Cards Chat News: Perhaps the most interesting witness was the one that was added to the hearing between the originally scheduled date earlier this month and the actual …

RAWA hearing criticised by PPA, anti-igaming claims get airing

From iGaming Business: However Parry Aftab, executive director cyber safety advice group WiredSafety, recognised that regulation of online gambling would better protect American consumers, families and problem gamblers; while …

Fear-mongering testimony overshadows facts at Internet gambling ban hearing

From PokerNews: There were two reasonable witnesses in WiredSafety executive director Parry Aftab, who recognizes that regulation of online gambling in the U.S. will better protect American consumers, families …

RAWA rhetoric sweeps House subcommittee meeting in federal online gambling debate

From Casino.org: Next up was Andrew Moylan, executive director and senior fellow at R Street Institute, a conservative-libertarian think tank. Moylan was a late addition to the list of witnesses, …

Is Sheldon Adelson’s online gambling ban unconstitutional, or is it constitutionally required?

From Reason: Today a House subcommittee held a hearing on the Restoration of America's Wire Act, which would ban online gambling throughout the country, even in states that choose …

D-Day for RAWA as Poker Players Alliance fights back

From Cards Chat News: Andrew Moylan, executive director of libertarian think tank R Street, will now be joining the hearing and will be arguing for states’ rights. …

Kirk offers bill to lessen impacts on small business

From E&E News: "Congress' mostly hands-off approach to regulation has ceded a huge amount of its lawmaking authority to the executive branch, often with deleterious consequences," R Street senior …

Major insurers to strike deal to support compromise TNC language

For much of the past year, we at R Street have been active in trying to promote reasonable, effective compromise on ride-sharing regulations. The goal all along has …

Bill sets expiration date for federal rules

From The Hill: Market research and advocacy groups including the R Street Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Citizens Against Government Waste released an open letter Tuesday that called …

Fifth witness added to RAWA hearing

From Poker News Daily: The new panelist is Andrew Moylan, the Executive Director of the R Street Institute, which is, according to its website, a non-partisan think-tank whose mission …

Why Uber’s deal with big insurance companies matters

From Vox: The deal is supported by State Farm, Farmers, and USAA, as well as the American Insurance Association, according to Ray Lehmann of the R Street Institute. Lehmann …

Poker community strengthens defense during RAWA delay; hearing set for Wednesday

From PokerNews: However, the three week-delay for inclement weather did prove useful for the online poker community. Backlash to the original witness list helped get a fifth witness added …

PPA plans briefings to demonstrate safety of online poker for legislators

From Casino.org: In the newest list, an additional witness was added: Andrew Moylan, the Executive Director of R Street. It is expected that he will voice the states’ rights …

PPA to show RAWA flaws with Capitol Hill demonstrations

From PokerSites.com: Fortunately, the hearing will feature at least one poker-friendly witness. Thanks to pressure from the PPA, Andrew Moylan, the executive director and senior fellow at the R …

Surprise inclusion on the RAWA witness list

From RecentPoker.com: Political observers were this week speculating on the surprise inclusion of R-Street executive director Andrew Moylan on the official witness list for Wednesday’s hearing on the Restoration …

Witness list released for anti-online poker hearing

From Card Player: A list of witnesses was recently released. Scheduled to testify are John Kindt, professor at the University of Illinois’ School of Law, Les Bernal, National Director …

A new witness will highlight inherent hypocrisy of RAWA at upcoming House hearing

From USPoker.com: A new name now appears along with the four we originally learned of: Andrew Moylan, the Executive Director of R Street, who will ostensibly be playing the role …

Who owns the U.S. Post Office?

From Angry Bear: Initially the Act provided for some public support of the Postal Service through appropriations to support the universal service obligation and preferential rates for periodicals and …

Letter to Minnesota House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee

Rep. Joe Hoppe, Chair Rep. Tim O'Driscoll, Vice Chair Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL Lead Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee Minnesota House of Representatives 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN …

Hydrazine speculation can end: It’s not in snus, snuff or chewing tobacco

From Science 2.0: Because anything could be connected to tobacco without question, it has been unchallenged since 1974 but a new study actually decided to find out. Professor Brad …

Sens Lee, Durbin and Booker participate in colloquy on the Smarter Sentencing Act

From Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah: It is supported by advocacy groups across the political spectrum and has been endorsed by conservative leaders such as Grover Norquist and Americans for …

Hydrazine speculation can end: It’s not in snus, snuff or chewing tobacco

From Science 2.0: Because anything could be connected to tobacco without question, it has been unchallenged since 1974 but a new study actually decided to find out. Professor Brad …

Other policy interests today at SXSW

From Politico: House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz will talk about music licensing reform with lobbyists from Pandora, the Digital Music Association and TwinLogic Strategies. DHS Undersecretary for Science and …

Cancer-causing compound not prevalent in smokeless tobacco

From Z News: Scientists at British American Tobacco in collaboration with professor Brad Rodu of the University of Louisville, undertook a comprehensive survey of toxicants in STPs. …

Virginia legalizes ridesharing services

From the Heartlander: R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan says government regulators are struggling to adapt to new sharing-economy businesses like Lyft and Uber. “Uber and Lyft have been facing aggressive regulators …

RISK: N.C. lawmakers seek public money for megastorms as coastal population surges

From ClimateWire: "It definitely would increase the risk to North Carolina, to taxpayers who are ultimately the guarantors of all of this," said Ray Lehmann, a senior fellow with …

Marketplace Fairness Act foes hopeful House Judiciary develops ‘origin sourcing’ alternative

From Consumer Electronics Daily: Opponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act are hopeful that the House Judiciary Committee will introduce an alternative online sales tax bill would tax online retailers …

Justin Trudeau, Steven Blaney and Godwin’s law of Nazi analogies

From CBC Radio: Mike Godwin, creator of Godwin's Law, joined Day 6 to discuss when it's okay to make a Nazi comparison. Brent Bambury: We just heard two prominent Canadian politicians make …

Judges say labor laws outdated to deal with sharing economy firms

New laws might be needed to provide courts better guidance on how to classify the employment status of drivers for transportation network companies, and indeed, other services offered …

The Marketplace Fairness Act is back

From Somewhat Reasonable: Each version of the bill has also attracted a wide array of critics, who argued in a letter to Congress that the Act would override important …

Groups urge Judiciary to support Innovation Act

From Politico: Twelve free-market groups will send a letter today to the House Judiciary Committee in support of Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s Innovation Act. The groups, including R Street Institute, …

Property insurance: Lot of hot air, not much in solutions

From the Beaufort Observer: But we took note when we got a press release from the R Street Institute. Here's what they had to say about these new bills... ...Click …

How can federal workers protect secrets, while still staying transparent?

From Fox-UP TV-6: Technology Consultant Derek Khanna says that's just the beginning. "There are similar technologies that can be used for both lawyers and politicians that allow them to send …

Coastal protection plan supported by both parties is going nowhere

From ClimateWire: "My judgment is that this is one of the few pieces of major environmental legislation that would have a very good chance in a Republican Congress," said …

Capitol Hill

From Washington Internet Daily: The bill is "identical" to its 2013 counterpart, with the exception of an amendment that would require states to delay the enactment of MFA for …

Ray Lehmann on “Blurred Lines” case

From Overlawyered.com: While musical copying, and copying lawsuits, are nothing new, Ray Lehmann finds “different” and “potentially problematic” a jury’s $7.4 million verdict “against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, …

Progressive is rolling out TNC coverage in Pennsylvania

Slowly but surely, more of the major U.S. auto insurers are rolling out custom products designed to cover the unique risks presented by the emerging market of transportation …

‘Blurred Lines’ decision offers blurry conception of copyright

A federal jury seated in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has handed down a $7.4 million verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, asserting the pair's 2013 …

Capitol Hill

From Washington Internet Daily : "Attempts to expand copyright law and increase regulatory control stifle the new creative revolution fueled by the Internet and constant advances in consumer electronics," …

IP groups urge copyright, public domain protections

From Politico: Thirty-three advocacy groups with a wide range of perspectives on intellectual property are banding together to lay out a vision of copyright reform for lawmakers. In a …

The libertarian plan for saving the coastline

From National Journal: The program should now be expanded, argues a 2013 paper by Lori Sanders of the R Street Institute, a libertarian-conservative think tank. R Street proposes several …

Public policy groups urge U.S. SC to limit ‘needless’ patent infringement-inducement cases

From Legal Newsline: The R Street Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit public policy research organization that supports free markets and limited government, said in an amicus brief filed last …

Lawmakers try to weed out federal crop insurance

From the New American: Such subsidies, not surprisingly, overwhelmingly benefit Big Agriculture. Lori Sanders, an analyst at the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, wrote in the American …

Fighting crop insurance cronyism

From the American Conservative: "I don’t have super high hopes it’ll go anywhere,” says Lori Sanders, outreach director and senior fellow for The R Street Institute. She’s talking about the Harvest Price Subsidy …

Mother Teresa, Tiger Woods and the use of IP as censorship

Trumbull, Conn. is a town of 36,000 in suburban Fairfield County, perhaps best known for winning the 1989 Little League World Series and for being the hometown of …

Edward Anselm

Nuclear power is a ‘national asset’, says US think tank

From World Nuclear News: U.S. federal research policy should recognize the nuclear sector as a national asset and treat it equally with other non-greenhouse gas emitting energy sources, R …

R Street scholars on your podcast airwaves

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan sat down with the fine folks at the Through the Noise podcast to discuss, among other things, what a "think tank" is, …

Douglas J. Besharov

Neil Gilbert

The worst sort of crony capitalism

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch," the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein wrote in his 1966 libertarian classic The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But …

Is it unfair to compare ISIS to the Nazis?

From Newsweek: Is it time to repeal Godwin’s Law? The rise of ISIS–a fast-growing, fascistic, expansionist force that’s willing to murder any person who dares defying its strict tenets–gets …

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State insurance rule tweaks no threat to CUs

From Credit Union Times: An annual report card on state insurance regulation produced by the Washington-based public policy think tank R Street Institute and published in December ranked the …

New group brings together right and left, gays and straights, to fight marriage gap

From CNBC.com: Notable signatories from these groups include Blankenhorn and Rauch, as well as Joseph Bottum, June Carbone, Christopher DeMuth, Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, Rep. Richard L. Hanna …

Don’t ban e-cigarettes on airplanes

From CNN.com: There is simply no evidence that secondhand aerosols exhaled by e-cigarette users endanger non-users. As Dr. Joel Nitzkin, a former co-chair of the Tobacco Control Task Force …

R Street Institute welcomes repeal of Florida’s alcohol/grocery separation law

From Saint Petersblog: It’s not often you see the word “liberalize” coming from a conservative/libertarian advocacy group, but in the debate over Florida’s “Growler bill,” almost anything is possible. “R …

Bill to repeal state alcohol/grocery separation law passes Florida House committee

From St. Petersblog: Christian Camara, Florida Director of the libertarian think tank R Street Institute, said that although it is government’s responsibility to provide public safety, businesses that already …

Texas homeowners might get break on insurance premiums

From the San Antonio Express-News: But homeowners insurance companies are suffering further losses from high numbers of lawsuits for hail claims, according to R Street, a public policy research …

National disaster preparation and response plan gets bipartisan traction

From Business Insurance: Ray Lehmann, a senior fellow at the Washington-based R Street Institute, a free market-oriented public policy group, said “we're hopeful” that the private and public sector …

Florida insurance needs more than a one-hit wonder

From Daytona Beach News-Journal: A new research study from The James Madison Institute and R Street Institute provides a detailed roadmap for practical policy solutions in this arena. The …

Viguerie and 67 policy leaders urge comprehensive tax reform now

From ConservativeHQ: “America's tax code is an expensive, growth-sapping disaster,” said R Street Institute’s Executive Director Andrew Moylan, “As the National Taxpayers Union's research has shown, simply complying with …

Senators introduce bill to cut crop insurance

From AgWeek: The Harvest Price Subsidy Prohibition Act is also supported by a coalition of left- and right-wing groups, including Heritage Action, the R Street Institute, the American Enterprise …

Congressman reboots proposed ban on Internet access taxes

From Heartlander: R Street Executive Director and Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan agrees with Radia’s conclusions, calling the bill’s introduction “an important development.” “Getting rid of the grandfathering for the seven …

Black introduces legislation to promote energy security, expand states’ rights

From Rep. Diane Black: The Federal Land Freedom Act would not extend to federal Indian land, the National Park System, the National Wildlife Refuge System, or a congressionally designated …

Flake, Duncan, Shaheen move to eliminate subsidies to farm bill’s taxpayer-funded profit-guarantee program

From Sen. Jeff Flake: The Harvest Price Subsidy Prohibition Act is also supported by Heritage Action, the R Street Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, the National Taxpayers Union, …

Tallying up the high costs of extreme weather

From On Point with Tom Ashbrook: Epic snows in my backyard lately, in Boston.  Six feet-plus in a month, and it’s still coming.  The most ever recorded coming down …

Capitol Hill

From Washington Internet Daily: The bill is the same as HR-5586, which Farenthold introduced last year, a spokesman said. Farenthold "understands we expect the devices we buy to belong …

Bill addressing insurance company dust-up advancing

From Utah Political Capitol: Ian Adams, western region director at the R Street Institute, believes that the state is putting itself at an economic disadvantage by changing its interpretation …

Inhofe introduces the Federal Lands Freedom Act (FLFA) of 2015

From Sen. James Inhofe: The legislation has the support of Heritage Action, Western Energy Alliance, the R Street Institute, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). …

Conservative groups seek to kill harvest-price insurance subsidies

From Agri-Pulse: Representatives of Heritage Action and the American Enterprise Institute will appear at a news conference Thursday with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., to …

IWF joins coalition urging Congress to draft and pass comprehensive tax reform bill now

From Independent Women's Forum: Additional groups that signed the coalition letter include R Street Institute, 60 Plus Association, Americans for Tax Reform, Hoover Institute, American Commitment, and many other …

Think Tanks: Justice Dept. works to ‘see through walls’

From the Washington Examiner: Kevin Boyd for the R Street Institute: In a growing trend begun a few years ago without much public disclosure or debate, at least 50 …

San Antonio regulations driving Uber out of town

From Breitbart: Josiah Neeley, the Texas State Director for the R Street Institute, concurred with Uber’s assessment of the heavy impact of the ordinance. “When you look at the …

Heading a national ridesharing outline a political gain for Jones?

From Insurance Journal: Ian Adams, Western Region Director at R Street Institute, believes Jones is using his role on the commission as a podium to campaign for his next …

Geico goes end-to-end with Virginia ridesharing product

In a continuation of the encouraging trend of personal insurers embracing innovation as a way to deal with the increased popularity of "sharing economy" services, auto insurance giant …

War on hail declared in Texas as insurers take cover from storms

From Bloomberg News: In the Austin statehouse, the insurance industry wants to make it harder for trial lawyers to profit from catastrophic weather. In January, R Street Institute, a …

Sanders talks child care and Head Start on The Big Picture

R Street Outreach Director and Senior Fellow Lori Sanders joined host Thom Hartmann on his RT show The Big Picture to discuss President Barack Obama's new childcare proposal …

Protecting Communications Act Section 230 key for Google supporters against Mississippi AG

From Consumer Electronics Daily: Supporters of Google's case against Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood want to ensure the viability of Communications Act Section 230, they said in interviews and …

Industry groups join Google’s attack against Hood’s inquiry

From the Associated Press: "Simply put, requiring online service providers either to respond to subpoenas directed primarily at third-party conduct — or to engage in protracted and expensive litigation …

Battle over Google subpoena threatens critical online free speech protections

From Electronic Frontier Foundation: The Center for Democracy and Technology, the Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, and R Street Institute joined EFF in the brief. …

Florida report outlines lasting property insurance market reform recommendations

From the James Madison Institute: TALLAHASSEE – A hurricane has not made landfall in Florida for nine years; however, a new report from The James Madison Institute (JMI) warns …

Gov. Jay Inslee’s new tax hikes are the wrong direction for Washington state

From the NW Daily Marker: A second problematic component of Inslee’s tax plan is his proposal to jack up taxes on e-cigarettes. This, too, is ironic. Part of the logic …

Lasting reforms for Florida’s property insurance market

With the 2014 Hurricane Season having drawn to an unremarkable close, Florida has now gone nine years without a hurricane making landfall. This represents the longest such “drought” …

Green groups eyeing Republicans for climate support

From the Washington Examiner: "It puts a number of people on record and really gives the party a pretty safe way to take a position," Eli Lehrer, president of …

Keeping PACE in Texas: Revitalizing industry, saving water, guiding better policy

From Breaking Energy: This week, Environmental Defense Fund and R Street Institute, with support from Google, hosted a breakfast roundtable at the Texas Capitol to highlight one of those …

Ex-Wikimedia counsel takes libertarian think tank GC job

From Corporate Counsel: Mike Godwin, a former top lawyer for Wikipedia operator Wikimedia Foundation Inc., will serve as the first general counsel and innovation policy director for the libertarian …

Keystone XL Pipeline may force Republicans to embrace climate change

From Scientific American: Others say that Democrats could be making inroads with moderate Republicans who might be willing to support climate action, rather than offering "point-scoring" amendments. Andrew Moylan, executive …

Personal auto insurers wade cautiously into ridesharing waters

In recent months, controversy over the potential "uninsured" status of drivers for app-based transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft has finally started to settle down. Those two …

Scooplet: Mike Godwin to R Street

From Politico: SCOOPLET: MIKE GODWIN TO R STREET — Mike Godwin, the tech policy expert behind the Internet meme Godwin's Law, will be director of innovation policy and general …

Otter again calls for trimming income tax over time

From Idaho Business Review: A survey by the R Street Institute last year found that 52 percent of Idahoans opposed the Marketplace Fairness Act. National polls from the International …

The 11 worst states for insurance regulation: Report

From Insurance Business America: California and North Carolina are the worst states in the nation for free market-promoting insurance regulation. That’s the finding from the 2014 Insurance Regulation Report …

Senate renews terrorism insurance program

From USA Today: However, critics of the federal program say it does not go far enough in shifting the risk from taxpayers to the private sector. Losses should have to …

How states rate on insurance regulation, ‘A’ to ‘F’

From Insurance Journal: Vermont gets a grade of “A+” and California and North Carolina get grades of “F” in the annual report card on state insurance regulation issued by …

Coalition aims to depopulate state funded insurer

From First Coast News: "We feel that more needs to be done because the day that the wind does blow and a hurricane does hit Florida, Florida could potentially …

No panic over loss of terrorism insurance

From the Washington Examiner: R.J. Lehmann for the R Street Institute: The news that Congress would adjourn without extending the $100 billion federal backstop offered by the Terrorism Risk …

House passes 6-year TRIA reauthorization

From SNL Financial: Insurers so far have responded by rolling out new or modified products aimed at covering terror risks, prompting arguments from TRIA skeptics that the market can …

As Amazon grows, so does the number of states collecting taxes on online sales

From Business Finance: Conversely, a survey by the R Street Institute and the National Taxpayers Union (again, not unbiased groups), also conducted in July, found 57 percent of likely …

‘Ridescore’ study gives city C+ in friendliness to firms like Uber

From DNAinfo Chicago: Public policy institute R Street gave the city a C+ in a recent report, dubbed Ridescore, that graded cities on how friendly they are to transportation …

Why a second Progressive Era is emerging- and how not to blow it

From Washington Monthly: The first is that progressivism between 1890 and 1921 was bipartisan. Each party had its progressive wing, and each competed with the other in articulating a …

Cleaner air, but who gets credit?

From the Texas Tribune: Even the unsuccessful lawsuits weren’t a total loss, because they asserted Texas’ independence and at times forced the EPA to revise its rules, said Josiah …

Happy holidays from the R Street Institute!

We here at R Street are a culturally and religiously diverse bunch. For instance, our president, Eli Lehrer, is Jewish, while Office Manager Khanh Nguyen is Buddhist. We …

Charlottesville gets the gift of high-speed broadband

Toronto-based Tucows Inc. – best known for the domain registrar Hover and the wireless service provider Ting – will be jumping in to the ultra-high-speed broadband market pioneered …

U.S.-China nuclear accord to be sent to Congress in early 2015

From Platts Nuclear Fuel: George Banks, a senior fellow with the R Street Institute, a self-described free-market think tank, called China’s ENR activities "a non-starter issue" in the US …

You say ‘po-tay-toh,’ I say massive spud fraud

A pair of Cooperstown, N.D. brothers have been convicted in a $2 million scheme to defraud the federal crop insurance program with false claims of loss on their …

Play EFF’s fantastic copyright crossword

This holiday season, our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have put together this fantastic crossword puzzle (also available in electronic and printable formats), comprised of clues relating …

What if they threw a market panic and nobody came?

The news last week that Congress would adjourn without extending the $100 billion federal backstop offered by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act was greeted with howls of shock …

Big SIFI news: MetLife is designated, Obama signs insurance capital standards bill

This week brought big news on two fronts in the world of allegedly "too big to fail" insurers. By a nine to one vote, with former Kentucky Insurance Commissioner …

Groups demand Congress really oversee intelligence agencies

From the Daily Caller: Nathan Leamer from the R Street Institute, a group that signed the letter, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that intelligence information gets bottled up …

2014 Insurance Regulation Report Card

Since it opened its doors two years ago, R Street has issued an annual Insurance Regulation Report Card. This is the third edition of our annual examination of …

Did Tom Coburn just cancel the Super Bowl?

No, is the short answer. The longer answer is more complicated. As has now been widely reported, it appears the U.S. Senate will not, after all, pass legislation extending …

RISK: U.S. could raise up to $25B by eliminating flood insurance subsidies — GAO

From ClimateWire: Another way to look at foregone premiums might be to consider it as spending in annual federal budgets, said R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow and co-founder of …

Patents as weapons of self defense

The Center for Economic and Policy Research's Dean Baker notices something strange in the New York Times' profile of four-year-old Chinese cell phone manufacturer Xiaomi, an emerging player …

San Antonio votes to crush ride-sharing companies like Uber

From Breitbart: San Antonio already had the most restrictive regulations for TNCs, according to a study by the free market think tank R Street Institute, as Breitbart Texas reported …

Senator to EPA: Help states tax carbon

From National Journal: Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse wants EPA, as it crafts a major rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants, to explore how it could help states …

Underwater

From Earth Island Journal: To this day, there is debate within the SmarterSafer coalition regarding whether the backlash against Biggert-Waters was a grassroots uprising or the result of a …

Can a state fill a budget gap with a price on carbon? Wash. may soon know

From E&E News: "As much as I wish the EPA rule would be done away with ... this is really the best way for states to deal with it," …

The complicated politics of Uber

From MSNBC “I don’t think there are any clear partisan lines yet,” said Andrew Moylan, executive director and senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a libertarian-leaning think tank …

Hill funding compromise leaves FCC short on desired cash

From Washington Internet Daily: The funding bill's Internet Tax Freedom Act extension through Oct. 1 is clear indication that a "battle" is coming over the Marketplace Fairness Act (HR-684) …

Why regulating Uber and Lyft is such a big deal

From the Rivard Report: Members of Council have heard a lot about a “level playing field” with legacy cab regulations. But rather than regulate up to the monopoly cab …

San Antonio regulations could run Uber out of town

From Breitbart: The R Street Institute, a free market think tank, recently published a study on how America's fifty largest cities are approaching the challenge of regulating TNCs. As Breitbart Texas …

San Antonio passes anti-Uber regulations

From the Daily Caller: Josiah Neeley, senior fellow and Texas director for the R Street Institute, said that these regulations are supported by established taxi companies to prevent competition. …

Uber sued by San Francisco, Los Angeles for misleading riders

From the San Jose Mercury-News: The DA's actions are the latest in a long line of controversies and kerfuffles swirling around the ride-sharing world, particularly in the intense rivalry …

EPA’s uncertain FIP power drives competing lobbying on state ESPS plans

From InsideEPA: Also, the free-market R Street Institute says in a Nov. 24 paper that the ESPS will fail due to state resistance. Concerns about EPA's overreach "have resulted in …

House bill would let states choose tax to comply with power plant rule

From Energy & Environment News: The idea of allowing states to use a levy has gained some traction among a small group of economists and policy experts, including Washington, …

Correction, please!

From the New American: In attempting to back up that assertion, he had to go to the wrong side of the facts. Though it doesn't fit with the White …

How to talk about climate change at Thanksgiving: Recipes for good conversations

From The Equation: If someone’s objections are rooted in conservative politics, it’s worth learning about Bob Inglis and the R Street Institute. They have sensible ideas for addressing climate change based …

Ride-sharing revolution receives lukewarm welcome in Ohio

From Watchdog Wire: Though no Ohio cities have issued “cease and desists” to newcomers Uber and Lyft, they recently scored unimpressively on R Street Institute’s Ridescore Report Card. R Street …

Texas cities get mediocre grades for ride-sharing regulations

From Breitbart: In recent years, ride-sharing companies have exploded in popularity, rapidly spreading across the country. Pairing smartphone applications powered by GPS technology and independent drivers driving their own …

Where is U.S. energy policy heading over the next two years?

From the Wall Street Journal: To get a sense of where energy and environmental policy might be headed in the next Congress, The Wall Street Journal reached out to …

The Great American Smokeout: Easier said than done for long-time smokers

From KNAU: E-Cigarettes are battery powered devices that look a lot like the real thing. But instead of delivering nicotine to the body through tobacco combustion - the most …

Rep. Gosar speaks out against online sales tax legislation

From Rep. Paul Gosar: Other speakers at the press conference included representatives from the Free Congress Foundation, WE R HERE Coalition, National Taxpayers Union, Heritage Action for America, Americans …

Greater foreign ownership of US nukes possible as NRC reconsiders its rules

From SNL Financial: But in the long run, foreign dollars could play a greater role in supplying much-needed capital to prevent the U.S. reactor fleet from waning as plants …

Why one Democrat is so over Obama’s climate regulations

From National Journal : In the conservative Weekly Standard last week, R Street Institute President Eli Lehrer reiterated his support for the carbon fee as "better than regulation," and said …

Republican Senate a boon to carbon bill — Whitehouse

From E&E News: Meanwhile, Lori Sanders of the conservative R Street Institute said the liberal Whitehouse "is just probably the wrong messenger" to engage Republicans on a revenue-neutral carbon …

Online sales tax measure may snag in House

From Roll Call: Tax policy analyst Andrew Moylan, who spoke with the members of House Judiciary about the online sales tax issue in March, said one of the alternatives …

Las Vegas rated worst city in U.S. for transportation friendliness

From Watchdog Wire: The free-market R Street Institute performed the study (Ridescore 2014; Hired Driver Rules in U.S. Cities) as new innovations in ride-sharing services around the world are …

10 things Washington, DC is better at than the rest of the U.S.

From In the Capital: Apparently D.C. isn't just a great city for ridesharing when it comes to boats. The R Street Institute recently ranked the District's regulatory environment above …

Ending the Uber wars

From the Philadelphia Inquirer: Philadelphia isn't alone in grappling with this issue, which has confronted cities across and beyond the country. But it is among the most hostile to …

Regulating the new economy

From Moody's: The R-Street Institute recently completed a study of how the nation’s 50 biggest cities are regulating ride-sharing services. Policies vary significantly, but the study found that most …

Coming up this week: Airbags, California’s electric vehicle future, freight wish list

From Roll Call: The R Street Institute, a Washington think tank whose mission is to “promote free markets and limited, effective government,” hosts a panel on how cities, including …

Another data point on Uber and Republicans

From Off the Kuff: See here and here for previous musings on the subject of Uber and partisanship, and see here for the report. Note how California cities scored …

Study praises District’s taxi, Uber regulations

From CQ Roll Call: Washington, D.C., has the country's best regulatory environment for taxis and rideshare services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, according to a report by the …

Which city has the freest transportation market? This map ranks the best and worst

From the Daily Signal: A new interactive scorecard, created by the R Street Institute, grades 50 cities on their regulatory openness toward car services. The report seeks to identify whether cities …

How Uber-friendly is your city?

From United Liberty: The R Street Institute, a think tank that seeke to “engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government” launched Ridescore, an …

​Sacramento gets B grade in for-hire transportation ranking

From Sacramento Business Journal: Sacramento prevailed over San Francisco and San Diego in a ranking of transportation friendliness for smartphone-app ridesharing plus taxis and limousines. Remarkably, the city of …

Taxi!

From Curbed DC: Regardless of which side you take on the taxicabs versus Uber brawl, you can rest assured that you're in the best city in the nation for …

Obama faces obstacles to emissions deal with China

From the Wall Street Journal: “The GOP Senate can’t do it by themselves, but if they throw the gauntlet down and make enough noise about it and help educate …

Free market advocates say D.C. is the Uber-friendliest city in the nation

From the Washington Post: So here is a scorecard, courtesy of the free-market think tank R Street, which has graded the 50 largest cities in the country on how …

D.C. most Uber friendly city in America

From DCist: D.C. is the most Uber friendly big city in America, according to a think tank that "promotes free markets and limited, effective government." R Street ranked the 50 …

D.C. ranked as best U.S. city for taxicabs and Uber

From WAMU: That's the conclusion of a new report from the R Street Institute, in which the Libertarian group graded 50 U.S. cities on their regulations governing taxicabs, limos, …

With ‘net neutrality,’ Obama stumbles by trusting bureaucrats and regulators over markets

From AEIdeas: Keep in mind that the Obama plan would give the FCC, according to R Street’s Steven Titich, “the widest range of alternatives for economic and technological regulation of …

TCC Director Rob Johnson to run for City Council

From SeattleMet: Speaking of Seattle's urbanist agenda, D.C. free market think tank R Street released a study this morning grading America's largest 50 cities when it comes to regulations …

Uber and taxi regulations are often pro-business, and that’s the problem

From the Washington Examiner This is the scorecard of major U.S. cities, and their regulatory frameworks regarding taxi cabs and ridesharing programs. R Street, the free-market-favoring nonprofit in D.C., …

D.C. offers nation’s freest transportation market, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON, (Nov. 12, 2014) – Washington leads the nation in terms of friendliness to vehicle-for-hire transportation, according to a study released today jointly by the R Street Institute …

Of course the Republicans are not unthinkingly pro-competition, as Uber shows

From Forbes: Josh Barro then goes on to point out that while the national Republican party might be saying such fine words when we get down to the people …

Uber and Lyft battle it out on roads, in court

From the San Jose Mercury-News: "What we're seeing are the whirlwind forces of creative destruction," says Andrew Moylan, executive director of the The R Street Institute, a free-market think …

Republicans are only sometimes the party of Uber

From the New York Times; Andrew Moylan, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute think tank, has examined ride-sharing regulations around the country and doesn’t see a clear …

Josiah Neeley

Heartland Institute experts react to the 2014 midterm elections

From the Heartland Institute: “The shift in Senate leadership could lead to significant progress in technology policy. For one, we could at last see movement on patent reform, an …

The new tobacco war

From The Bulletin: “We now have established a pretty good body of literature showing that e-cigarettes do not attract non-smokers. They simply don’t. Virtually every e-cigarette user is a …

Tea partiers: Don’t compare us to Gamergate

From Slate: And Mytheos Holt, an associate policy analyst at the R Street Institute and video game reviewer for Gamesided who described himself as “a sympathetic bystander” to Gamergate, …

Three things conservatives wrote this week that everyone should read

From ThinkProgress: Eli Lehrer argued in The Weekly Standard this week that a carbon tax could ostensibly break this gridlock. Because it reduces carbon emissions in a particularly efficient …

It’s time for Georgia lawmakers to end the auto dealership monopoly

From Peach Pundit: Andrew Moylan of the R Street Institute and Peter Van Doren of the Cato Institute spoke at length about the regulatory issues Tesla and other …

Moylan on state franchise dealership laws

Earlier this week, R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan joined a Cato Institute-hosted "hangout" to discuss state regulations that restrict how auto-makers can sell their cars, which in …

This tax proposal could be the largest obstacle to growing small businesses online

From American Legislator: Because of these numerous problems with the Marketplace Fairness Act it is no surprise that most Americans do not like the idea. A multi-state poll conducted …

Free-market think tank ramps up Texas efforts

From Breitbart: The R Street Institute, a non-profit, free market think tank with offices in Washington, D.C., Florida, California, Ohio, and Texas, is ramping up its efforts in the …

Why hasn’t the market for ride-sharing insurance taken off?

As ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft continue to expand in cities around the country, the services have been dogged by questions about whether their drivers are fully …

State lawmakers, doctors debate e-cigarette merits and vices

From KOB-4: "We have a substantial understanding of how and why e-cigarettes can help smokers switch to a far lower-risk product," said Dr. Joel Nitzkin, who testifies around the …

Washington-area appointments and promotions for Oct. 13

From the Washington Post: The R Street Institute of the District appointed Kevin Kosar senior fellow and governance project director. …

Five ideas to put taxis, limos and ride-sharing companies on equal footing

Recent polling by the University of Chicago’s Initiative on Global Markets find that economists overwhelmingly agree that the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft is good …

Conservatives ask: What would Milton Friedman do about warming?

From E&E News: A handful of center-right think tanks have also joined the fray, including the R Street Institute. In an op-ed in The Oregonian over the weekend, the group's …

Blurred Lines: Insurance challenges in the ride-sharing market

The world of property/casualty insurance long has been divided into two separate and entirely circumscribed hemispheres: the personal and the commercial. Personal lines policies – primarily home and …

One Republican’s carbon-tax campaign faces an uphill battle

From the Seattle Times: "The people on the political left have worked very hard to associate this with an agenda of the things they want to do, and that …

Insurers worry about House GOP delaying extension of terrorism program

From the Washington Examiner: It "is entirely possible ... that the House will demand a six-month extension so that a Republican Senate next year is a better negotiation partner …

Here’s how NYC’s new on-demand shipping app could actually survive

From CityLab: Special thanks to Kevin Kosar, senior fellow at the R Street Institute, for his insight into the Postal Service. …

Survey: Louisiana voters opposed to change in Internet sales tax

From The Advocate: The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted June 4-5 on behalf of the National Taxpayers Union, which lobbies for lower taxes, and the R Street …

How Google Fiber is spurring more internet competition

From AEI Ideas: As R.J. Lehmann of the R Street Institute points out, “it’s useful to remember that Eugenio Barsanti and Felixce Matteucci invented the free-piston, four-cycle internal combustion …

Creating a national dialogue about sustainable greenhouse gas reduction

From Policy Interns: As Doug Holtz-Eakin, the President of American Action Forum, stated earlier this month during a panel discussion co-hosted by R Street and the American Action …

Conservatives cultivate taste for a green tea party

From Texas Observer: Among the panelists: former Texas Republican state Sen. Kip Averitt, now head of the Texas Clean Energy Coalition; Debbie Dooley, founder of the Green Tea Coalition …

Tax-free internet purchases could be coming to an end in Florida

From ABC Action News: "A majority of those surveyed here in Florida are against an internet sales tax," said Christian Camara of the Washington D.C. based think tank R …

D.C. cabs companies blame ride-sharing for loss of revenue

From HotAir: Eli Lehrer and Andrew Moylan have more in a policy paper for National Affairs. It’s called “Embracing the Peer Production Economy” and calls such shifts a “godsend …

Rob Schneider: Makin’ enemies

In a decision that had to be as awkward as it was necessary, State Farm has cut ties with pitchman Rob Schneider, following a social media campaign to …

Study shows Florida voters rejecting federal internet sales tax push

From SaintPetersblog: A study released Monday by the National Taxpayers Union and the R-Street Institute shows that Florida voters polled oppose a federal bill that would force online retailers …

Sanders on EPA carbon rules

R Street's Lori Sanders joined the American Action Forum's Douglas Holtz-Eakin and the Brookings Institution's Adele Morris in a panel discussion examined flaws in the structure of forthcoming …

Benton woman dropped from insurance because of old, vacant home

From ArkansasMatters: According to  Lars Powell, UALR Professor of Insurance, this isn't common, but it can happen depending on the insurance company's policy. Powell said living next to an abandoned …

Fraud costs Michigan drivers $220M a year

Auto insurance fraud costs Michigan drivers more than $220 million a year, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced while unveiling a set of 17 legislative and regulatory anti-fraud …

Alabama slightly above national average for annual car insurance premiums

From the Birmingham Business Journal: “There is definitely correlation between population density -- and thus traffic density -- and insurance rates," said Eli Lehrer, president of the nonprofit research …

Are Google Fiber speeds ‘too fast’?

Our recent policy study by Associate Fellow Steven Titch -- "Alternatives to government broadband" -- looks to recent efforts some municipalities have made to attract Google Fiber's super-high-speed …

Auto insurance is cheaper in St. Louis

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "There is definitely correlation between population density -- and thus traffic density -- and insurance rates," said Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute, …

What’s new with TRIA? Nothing at all

From PropertyCasualty360: R.J. Lehmann, editor-in-chief and a senior fellow of the R Street Institute, a conservative Washington think-tank, said House Republicans appear to have been unable to secure enough …

Reform and renew terrorism risk insurance

With Congress returning from its August recess this week for an abbreviated two-week session, one of the lingering bits of unresolved business is the fate of the 12-year-old …

Lehmann: It’s time to both renew and reform terrorism risk insurance

From PropertyCasualty360: R.J. Lehmann, the editor-in-chief and a senior fellow with th R Street Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC, writes in Thursday's edition of The Hill, …

Metro Denver has sixth-least expensive car insurance in the nation

From the Denver Post: Eli Lehrer, president of the nonprofit research group The R Street Institute, said there is a correlation between insurance rates and population density — and …

Survey: Ky. against Internet tax

From the Bowling Green Daily News: States rely on taxpayers to report their online purchases and remit the taxes that are due, but few do. Online retailers that have …

Letter to Senate on USA FREEDOM Act

    Majority Leader Harry Reid Minority Leader Mitch McConnell U.S. Senate Chairman Patrick J. Leahy Ranking Member Charles E. Grassley U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Dianne Feinstein Vice Chairman …

Poll: Kentucky voters reject Internet sales tax law

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2014) -- When it comes to a federal law allowing out-of-state tax collectors to reach into the pockets of Kentucky’s online merchants, by a …

Kevin Kosar

R Street is looking for a Texas director

The R Street Institute, a free-market think tank based in Washington, is looking for a dynamic, super-smart, energetic person to serve as the director of its Texas office.  …

Congress could delay passage of TRIA renewal bill past November elections

From Business Insurance: R.J. Lehmann, senior fellow at the free market-oriented R Street Institute in Washington, which wants more terrorism risk shifted to the private market, said that a …

Three things conservatives wrote this week that everyone should read

From ThinkProgress.org: One theme that has been rising to the surface more and more in conservative arguments is the potential threat state occupational licensing and regulations pose to innovation …

Ian Adams

Virginia lawmaker takes on patent trolls

From the Daily Caller: Zach Graves, policy analyst at the R Street Institute, is more concerned about the need for promising developments on the state level to be followed …

Odds of municipal pension reform grow slimmer

From Sun-Sentinel: The eight-member coalition includes business interest groups – the Florida Chamber Foundation, Associated Industries of Florida and the National Foundation of Independent Business – as well as …

Letter to FCC on Comcast-Time Warner merger

    Federal Communications Commission 445 12th Street SW Washington, DC 20554 VIA ELECTRONIC COMMENT FILING SYSTEM Re: Comcast - Time Warner Cable, MB Docket 14-57 Aug. 21, 2014 Dear Commission Members: On behalf of the …

As competition between Lyft and Uber grows, questions linger about disruption

As Americans become more familiar with the concept of “ridesharing,” things are heating up in what the Wall Street Journal last week dubbed the “fiercest battle in the …

Florida opens, closes surplus lines opportunities

From Insurance Journal: Don Brown, a senior fellow at the free-market think tank R Street Institute, said that the new legislation has provisions that could lead to more involvement …

Why global efforts to combat cybercrime are so difficult

From Tech Page One: “A district attorney would rather spend time prosecuting local crime and criminals so he has something to show for it than spending a lot of …

Is American entrepreneurship declining or simply changing?

From Reason: Whatever you call it, an under-appreciated aspect of this economy is how it puts self-employment, of sorts, in many more people's reach. Sure, companies like Uber, Lyft, …

Republicans’ lukewarm climate warrior

From Bloomberg View: Across the street from the Washington Convention Center, through a narrow door tucked between a bar and what used to be a furniture rental store, up …

Wikipedia, cybersecurity and Aspen Forum this week

From Roll Call: On Thursday, the R Street Institute hosts a panel event Thursday on startups and regulation.   …

Climate change and the intellectual decline of the right

From Inside Story: The billboard fiasco led to the departure from Heartland of Eli Lehrer’s insurance policy group, one of the few areas in which Heartland research had any …

Sanders on Paul Ryan’s poverty plan

R Street Senior Fellow Lori Sanders joined Lowman Henry of American Radio Journal to discuss the anti-poverty agenda put forth recently by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, …

Poll finds bipartisan opposition in Tennessee to online sales taxes

From Nashville Business Journal: Those are the findings from the survey conducted by National Taxpayers Union, a conservative tax advocacy organization, and R Street Institute, a nonprofit, free-market think …

Poll finds Georgians against online sales tax bill

From the Atlanta Business Chronicle: The R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, worked with the National Taxpayers Union on the poll. Christian Camara, the institute’s state affairs director, said …

Nathan Deal: Talk of gas tax hike is ‘premature’

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A statewide poll by the National Taxpayers Union and the conservative R Street Institute found that 57 percent of likely Georgia voters are opposed to …

Groups form coalition, want local pension reform revisited in 2015

From WFSU: According to the coalition—which includes the Florida League of Cities and Associated Industries of Florida—the Florida Legislature in the late 1990s imposed mandates on local governments that …

A decade after Charley, Florida’s still paying the bill

Tomorrow, Aug. 9, marks the ten-year anniversary of the formation of Hurricane Charley. The third named storm of the 2004 hurricane season, Charley did $13 billion of damage, …

The sharing economy will thrive only if government doesn’t strangle it

The so-called sharing economy is many things to many people. To Wall Street and Silicon Valley, firms like Uber and Airbnb offer tantalizing market capitalizations, the …

Surveillance Costs: The NSA’s impact on the economy, Internet freedom & cybersecurity

From the Open Technology Institute: R Street Institute's January 2014 policy study concluded that in the next few years, new products and services that rely on cloud computing will …

Today in Liberty: Treasury Department halts Ex-Im deals with Russia, federal court grants D.C. a stay on gun rights ruling

From UnitedLiberty: “Peer production” could be huge for the economy if left alone by bureaucrats: A new study from the R Street Institute explains that the emerging “peer production” …

The left’s case against Ex-Im

Efforts to finally kill the $140 billion federal boondoggle that is the Export-Import Bank -- led by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas -- are getting …

Five principles for regulating the peer production economy

The attached paper was co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan. Economic history over the last 200 years is largely the story of the industrial move from small-scale …

Detroit: A city in transition

From Watchdog Wire: Starting a business in Detroit is still difficult – Real estate costs may be low but apparently the red tape is still very thick. I attended a …

Anti-tax groups take online sales tax campaign to Idaho

From the Times-News: The National Taxpayers Union and R Street say their poll of 400 Idahoans showed from 52 to 68 percent opposed to the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” depending …

Poll: Idahoans don’t want taxes collected from online shopping

From Idaho Business Review: Most Idaho voters, whatever their political stripes, don't want a sales tax on online purchases. That's the finding of a new poll commissioned by free …

Taxpayers Union releases poll on online taxes, Idaho retailers, lawmaker dispute results

From the Spokesman-Review: That’s the legislation the National Taxpayers Union opposes. In announcing its poll today, which the group said was conducted June 3-4, included 400 likely Idaho voters …

Survey: Coloradans oppose efforts to tax sales by out-of-state Internet retailers

From Denver Business Journal: The survey, conducted by the National Taxpayers Union and the R Street Institute, asks specifically about the Marketplace Fairness Act that passed the U.S. Senate …

Building again in Natomas is too risky

From the Sacramento Bee: This is misguided enthusiasm, said Ian Adams, a policy analyst specializing in insurance markets for R Street Institute, a libertarian think tank. "Overhauling the levees …

Market freedom paying off in South Carolina

Maintaining pricing freedom and a light regulatory touch is paying major dividends in South Carolina's property insurance market, where the state is reaping the benefits of the ongoing …

Think tank survey shows significant opposition to federal Internet tax

From 90.5 WCBE: The D.C.-based think tank R Street says more than 56% of Ohioans polled are against out-of-state taxation on e-commerce.     Executive Director Andrew Moylan says the federal …

Survey says most Ohioans oppose a federal Internet sales tax

From 89.7 WKSU: The D.C.-based think tank R Street says more than 56 percent of Ohioans polled are against out-of-state taxation on e-commerce. Executive Director Andrew Moylan says the federal …

Jerry Brown provides a powerful argument for California separation

From RealClearPolicy: Gov. Jerry Brown's spokesman has raised questions about the feasibility of the Six States proposal, arguing that "the proposal has serious practical challenges." But does this position …

Slenderman and the ‘mythos’ of modernism

From the American Conservative: Vice chalks the violence up to poorly-managed hormones and small-town boredom. And Mytheos Holt at R Street asks whether their violence could have been prevented by addressing mental …

Three things conservatives wrote this week that everyone should read

From ThinkProgress: So the conservative think tank R Street and author Ian Adams came to the plan’s defense this week, pointing to California’s socioeconomic diversity and some conceptual arguments …

Anti-tax groups say Iowans oppose online tax collectors

From the Des Moines Register: The National Taxpayers Union and the R Street Institute this week released a poll of 400 likely Iowa voters who were surveyed in May. …

Conservative group releases poll on online sales tax collections in Ohio

From the Aurora Advocate: The R Street Institute and the National Taxpayers Union say the results should prompt Ohio’s congressional delegation to think twice before backing federal legislation on …

New poll says Internet sales tax unpopular idea in Ohio

From 1370 WSPD: "Ohioans of all political stripes, majorities, count themselves in opposition to this," said Andrew Moylan, executive director of the R Street Institute, a Washington D.C. think …

2/3 of Iowans oppose Internet sales tax, poll shows

From the Iowa Republican: National Taxpayers Union visited Iowa Wednesday to reveal the results of a poll that shows Iowans overwhelmingly oppose a sales tax on internet purchases. …

Moylan talks Internet sales tax on Radio Iowa

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan and Pete Sepp from the National Taxpayers Union joined host host Kay Henderson of the Learfield Radio Network's Radio Iowa to discuss …

Survey finds 67 percent of Iowans oppose paying sales tax on internet purchases

From RadioIowa: The National Taxpayers Union and a D.C.-based think-tank are touting a new survey which finds a majority of Iowans are opposed to paying sales taxes on internet …

Internet sales tax opposed by voters in 6 states, poll finds

From Law360: Polling released Friday by free-market think tank R Street Institute and conservative lobbying group National Taxpayers Union indicates that a majority of residents in six states including …

Virginia residents, businesses split over Internet sales tax

From WVTF Public Radio: Both sides of the issue want to sway Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, to their side. The R Street Institute’s …

Lyft’s insurance move a first step toward regular TNC coverage

Even as it faces new regulatory headaches in New York, transportation network company Lyft is making news this week with a major announcement today that should quiet at …

Democrat finds GOP help in addressing extreme weather

From ClimateWire: Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank that specializes in insurance issues, applauded Cartwright for finding common ground between Democrats and Republicans …

R Street/NTU poll: Majority oppose Internet sales tax

From PoliticsPA: A new poll conducted by the conservative R Street Institute and the anti-tax National Taxpayers Union has found that Pennsylvanians oppose the regulations proposed in the Marketplace …

Moylan talks Internet sales tax on the Bill LuMaye Show

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan was a guest on the Bill LuMaye Show on Raleigh, N.C.'s WPTF (NewsRadio 680/TalkRadio 850) to discuss federal proposals to allow states …

R Street’s Adams on flood insurance in Sacramento

R Street Associate Policy Analyst Ian Adams joined host Bruce Maiman yesterday on KFBK radio in  Sacramento, Calif. to discuss the National Flood Insurance Program. In particular, Ian …

The gap in conservative climate policy

From Bloomberg View: There's a lot to like about Eli Lehrer's argument for National Review that conservatives should stop downplaying global warming and instead try to take advantage of …

The European right to be forgotten might be a Pandora’s box

From Intellectual Property Watch: "While the Canadian case [deals] with the sale of counterfeit products, rather than privacy, it embraces on the same logic to make its sweeping censorship …

Public voices opposition to Internet sales taxes

From Somewhat Reasonable: This week, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and the R Street Institute launched a 20-state tour to announce new poll results that demonstrate the publics near …

News from the front desk: Issue No 198

From The Fifth Estate: The thinking echoed what the conservative think tank the R Street Institute said last year after it broke away from the Heartland Institute that has …

Got Obamacare tax questions? You might be out of luck — FATCA’s here — Koskinen gets the Times treatment

From Politico: NORTH CAROLINA VOTERS NOT FANS OF MFA. WRAL reports, “Most North Carolina voters oppose a federal bill that would allow online retailers to collect out-of-state sales tax, …

Arthur could strike around the Fourth in Morehead City

Ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend, the U.S. East Coast is preparing for Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the 2014 season. Formed yesterday off the …

Poll: Few like sales tax on online purchases

From WRAL-5: Most North Carolina voters oppose a federal bill that would allow online retailers to collect out-of-state sales tax, according to a poll released Tuesday by the National …

Poll: South Carolinians reject Internet taxes

From FitsNews: The data – released this week by the National Taxpayers Union and R Street Institute – underscores the extent to which the state wants the federal government …

Reinsurers starting to drop their terrorism exclusions

As property insurers lock up their July 1 reinsurance renewals, many are finding a bonus surprise above and beyond the soft pricing environment – the terrorism exclusions that …

New poll shows N.C. residents oppose federal bill targeting sales tax for online purchases

From the Locker Room: Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, joined R Street executive director Andrew Moylan and NTU executive vice president Pete Sepp today in presenting the poll results …

Internet Sales Tax Polls

About that creepy biometric database, FBI, we’d like to know a bit more

From Reason: Yesterday, 32 organizations from across the political spectrum, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and R Street Institute, asked Attorney General …

The risks of allowing Internet censorship

From NCPA: The Supreme Court of British Columbia has ordered Google to remove information from the internet, reports Zach Graves for R Street. The Canadian case involves the sale of …

Four other ethnic groups who could challenge pro team trademarks

Today's decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to vacate six of the Washington Redskins' trademarks on grounds that they are "disparaging …

Big Ideas: On superheroes, inequality and Hollywood

From the Washington Examiner: Mytheos Holt for the R Street Institute: In what is likely the most bizarre story you will read all week, Seattle resident, trained fighter and …

Should taxpayers insure office buildings and sports stadiums against terrorist attacks?

From the Washington Examiner: As both Lawler and insurance expert Ray Lehmann of the R Street Institute point out, this is yet another fight pitting big business (the insurers …

In memoriam, Sean Carr

Sean P. Carr, one of the best reporters covering the insurance industry here in the nation's capital, died suddenly last night from complications during emergency surgery, just a …

Join R Street’s Christian Camara in Pembroke Pines

R Street State Affairs Director Christian Camara will take part this Thursday in a forum sponsored by Florida International University's Metropolitan Center on “The Hurricane Threat: Issues in …

Moylan on Virginia’s TNC ban

R Street's Andrew Moylan joined Afternoon Constitutional host Joe Thomas of WCHV-FM, 107.5 in Charlottesville, Va., to discuss Virginia's recent cease and desist letter to transportation network companies …

Terrorism insurance pits NFL and NHL against tea party

From the Washington Examiner: R.J. Lehmann, an insurance analyst and co-founder of the free-market R Street Institute, favors a slimmed-down TRIA program, rather than complete termination, acknowledging that “terrorism …

Why liberals should stop predicting the death of conservatism

From the Huffington Post: This became evident at a recent panel held at Columbia University by The Current, a journal of culture, politics and Jewish affairs. The event featured …

Pioneering innovative new approaches to rectangles

Microsoft, one of the largest corporate holders of patents in the United States, received another major bundle of approvals this week from the USPTO. In addition to some …

Embracing safer tobacco products

From Convenience Store Decisions: "I’m a scientist, and I’ve tried to take a very scientific approach to this," Dr. Brad Rodu, professor of medicine and the endowed chairman of …

Delays on climate action could hurt the economy

From ClimateWire: Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute, another panelist at the Brookings announcement, said Republicans will probably spend a year attacking President Obama and the new …

Court rules no legal fees in ‘pocket bra’ patent troll case

Back in 2012, Kyle Bartlow and Mariah Gentry were juniors at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, looking to live out the American dream of entrepreneurship. …

Moylan on hurricane season

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan joined David Williams of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance on TPA's "Taxpayer Watch Podcast" to discuss the June 1 start of the Atlantic …

Will carbon rule prod gridlocked Congress to act on climate change?

From ClimateWire: "Congress could have legislated this problem away many times ... but obviously that hasn't happened," said Andrew Moylan, executive director of the R Street Institute, a conservative …

Taxes on Internet access likely unless Congress acts

From NewsMax: Andrew Moylan of the R Street Institute, an independent think tank, said that contrary to supporters' assertions, the MFA does not "level the playing field." Moylan said …

History in the making: Seattle is raising its minimum wage to $15

From Slate: But, as Reihan Salam has written, the effects may also be more subtly damaging. As wages rise, businesses could simply seek to hire better educated and skilled …

R Street disappointed by EPA greenhouse gas rules

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2014) – New carbon emissions regulations proposed today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are likely to prove expensive and damaging to a still-fragile economic …

That’s how the cupcake patent crumbles

Perhaps the surest sign that the decade-long cupcake fad is really and truly over is that even cupcake-related lawsuits are wrapping up tidily. Most recently, news has come down …

Big Ideas: Erasing the past, foreign policy and tax cuts

From the Washington Examiner: Steven Titch for R Street: The European Union’s highest court has ruled that Internet search engines must give serious consideration to users who request they …

Will the NFIP survive this year’s hurricane season?

This Sunday, June 1, marks the start of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. And though experts are predicting a relatively quiet one this year, our dutiful representatives in …

Here’s why an Obama plan to regulate carbon could work

From Wired: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a corporate advocacy group, has charged that regulations would cost $51 billion and 224,000 jobs. The National Mining Association ran advertisements predicting …

Forget everything you know about six-pack organizers

Picture a six-pack of bottles or cans. Now, imagine you want to transport or organize those bottles and/or cans. How are you going to do it? Perhaps you might …

Meet the men fighting to keep minor drug criminals in jail

From BuzzFeed: "The American system is built to be deliberative," said Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute, a libertarian-skewing think tank that supports a reexamination of the …

Rate Bureau protects vested interests, not consumers

A recent Star News editorial on auto insurance reform in North Carolina ("Don't let companies wreck state's auto insurance system," May 24) argues that allowing companies to opt …

Africa can tap global reinsurance markets; why not Florida?

In what can only be taken as an exceedingly encouraging sign for emerging markets around the world, an African Union-created agency has established the continent's first-ever catastrophe insurance …

Patent trolls rejoice! Reform bill likely dead as sponsoring Sen. Patrick Leahy takes it off agenda

From Reason: "Very disappointing that patent reform efforts came to a halt with @SenatorLeahy's decision today," the R Street Institute, a D.C.-based think tank that has been following patent …

Florida’s Citizens readies $1.5 billion catastrophe bond deal

From Insurance Journal: Members of the Safe Florida Coalition, which includes Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Wildlife Federation and the R Street Institute, expressed their support for Citizens plans. “The …

Showtime series highlights R Street carbon tax debate

The makers of the Showtime series Years of Living Dangerously shot some footage of the carbon tax debate we hosted last June, pitting R Street Executive Director Andrew …

House Republicans offer road map for the future of terrorism insurance

Having previously played (and arguably, lost) two prior rounds of legislative "chicken" with the insurance industry, congressional conservatives are making it known that, this time around, they're quite …

How Google money is helping turn the political right against strong copyrights

From Vox: But two new publications suggest that that dynamic is changing, with conservative and libertarian thinkers increasingly skeptical about strong copyrights. The R Street Institute has published a new …

Should artists be different from inventors when it comes to intellectual property?

From PetaPixel: Back in 2012, the Republican Study Committee caused widespread debate over intellectual property law after publishing and then pulling a paper on copyright reform. Derek Khanna, the …

FTC directors say states should scrap dealership laws

In what has to be taken as a surprisingly encouraging piece of pro-market sentiment coming from a trio of federal regulators, three high-level Federal Trade Commission staffers are …

R Street welcomes federal bill to encourage private flood insurance

WASHINGTON (May 5, 2014) -- The R Street Institute today welcomed introduction of legislation streamlining the process for private companies to begin offering, and states to begin regulating, …

The business/markets case for limits to copyright

From Boing Boing: You'll remember Derek Khanna as the Republican House staffer who got fired for writing a paper that used careful objective research to argue for scaling back …

5 years later, Aflac’s Midlands presence has ballooned

From The State: "Moving the product into the workplace … gives them a new niche," said Ernie Csiszar, an insurance professor at the University of South Carolina's Moore School …

Congressional Data Coalition asks Senate to publish legislative info in digital formats

Earlier today, the Congressional Data Coalition submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee on improving public access to legislative information. The coalition made two requests. First, we asked the …

How red (state) Is Marx?

From the American Conservative: It’s highly doubtful that an 80 percent global tax on the richest people, as proposed by Picketty, would much help these people. But efforts to …

4 ways to stop the U.S. from becoming a Piketty-style oligarchy

From the Washington Post: The other way to add people, of course, is to try to make life easier for parents, so they can work more and have more …

New paper says it’s time to reasonably decrease copyright term and rethink putting copyright in treaties

From TechDirt: Since then, Khanna has been working on a number of policy and advocacy campaigns and, working as an R Street Associate Fellow, he's put together a fantastic …

Conservatives coalescing against TRIA, Ex-Im

It has been the general Washington consensus of recent years – voiced, most recently, by my colleague Reihan Salam – that the conservative movement is inalterably riven between …

How the US Post Office killed innovative digital mail because it disrupted junk mailers

From TechDirt: Derek Khanna has yet another story of how politicians and incumbents have killed off an innovative service. Though, amazingly, unlike in other cases where the killing is …

The conservative case against today’s copyright law

From the Washington Post: Despite these features, only a handful of conservatives seem ready to rethink intellectual property law.  One young conservative in that camp is Derek Khanna, whose …

R Street welcomes passage of private flood insurance bill in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 1, 2014) – The R Street Institute today welcomed the vote by the Florida Legislature to approve rules guiding the Sunshine State's emerging private flood …

D.C. wants to lock up street vendors for code violations

From Reason: With the fourth-highest incarceration rate in the nation, Washington, D.C., seems like a place that needs more reasons to lock people up, right? Well, District Council members here seem to …

DC wants to lock up street vendors

The District of Columbia's food trucks, farmers markets, mobile boutiques and ticket resellers all potentially face harsh new criminal penalties under amendments to the district's vending regulations that …

On the historically racist motivations behind minimum wage

From Forbes: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently reported that artificially inflating wages to this extent would cut about half a million jobs in the short run (though CBO …

Competition for cheaper flood insurance heating up in Florida

From the Bradenton Herald: Also, Lloyd's is more like a stock exchange than an actual private insurer, said R.J. Lehmann, senior fellow at the R Street Institute in Washington, …

Where neoconservatism went wrong

From The Week: Lost in all the recriminations surrounding Reihan Salam's recent blockbuster column about why he still considers himself a neocon is any sense of the distinctive strengths …

Letter to USPTO on crowdsourcing design patents

April 24, 2014 Nicole Dretar Haines Senior Legal Advisor Office of Patent Legal Administration U.S. Patent and Trademark Office P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450 Re: Docket No. PTO-P-2014-0013 The R Street Institute – a non-profit, …

USPTO strikes down sippy cup design patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has, for the first time, invalidated a design patent under a post-grant review process created by the America Invents Act. The patent in …

Pritzker’s pro-patent reform push should include designs

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker believes reforms are needed to rein in costly litigation in the U.S. patent system, adding in recent public remarks that "the president gets it," …

Poor little rich man

From the Wall Street Journal: Krugman himself, in an email to Chase Robinson, interim president of the Graduate Center, acknowledges that the offer is "remarkably generous." But not everybody …

Kochs’ flood insurance opposition becomes campaign issue

From Bloomberg: The R Street Institute, a Washington-based group that supports limited government, also opposed the bill. Andrew Moylan, a senior fellow, said the new law “re-breaks the flood …

Congress should help, not hinder, private terror insurance markets

Earlier this week, I took part in what I found to be a lively and enlightening panel discussion on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, the now-12-year-old federal program …

Improve business tax climate

From the Asbury Park Press: Not only that, but recent research from the R Street Institute’s Joel Nitzkin found that e-cigarettes can actually reduce the risk of tobacco-related death …

The sharing economy’s undead capital, and its discontents

From the American Conservative: Last week, R Street’s Daniel Rothschild described these services as bringing to life massive stores of previously “dead capital,” allowing a tremendous democratization of commercial …

Legislators to consider state-wide public smoking ban, includes e-cig

From NBC News: Dr. Joel Nitzkin is inclined to agree. As the past co-chair for the Tobacco Control Task Force, Dr. Nitzkin brought his own findings before the California …

Expert FAQ: How will depopulating Citizens Insurance affect Florida?

From NerdWallet: According to the R Street Institute’s Florida director, Christian Cámara, “If the claims arising from a storm (or series of storms) taps all of Citizens resources, the …

How to fairly tax families

From The American: In his 2015 budget proposal, President Obama called for expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children. Currently, that program heavily favors parents …

Happy Tax Day!

From the Washington Post: SALAM: How poor are America's poor? "(a) It is useful to think about absolute household incomes as well as household incomes in relative terms; (b) …

A primer on patents: who’s getting them, where and how long it’s taking

From Entrepreneur: Legislation to limit the ability of "patent trolls" – individuals or companies who own patents they don't use and sue inventors for infringing upon them – is …

A way out of Detroit’s desperate times: Sell the family heirloom?

From The Canal: It hasn’t always been this way. Andrew Moylan and Alan Smith of the R Street Institute describe Detroit as something of a “predecessor to today’s Silicon …

The politics around welfare show why the poor need a real break, not just a tax break

From The Nation: Some conservatives do wish to expand low-income tax credits, but with certain revealing political caveats. For instance, one idea circulating on the right is to boost …

Should people without kids pay higher taxes?

From CNN Money: The chat-o-sphere has been abuzz lately about a proposal by Slate columnist Reihan Salam: The childless should pay higher taxes so that lower- and middle-income parents …

Democrats shift from climate ‘change’ to ‘adaptation’ to woo Republicans

From the Washington Examiner: "The best adaptation strategies are very good policy in any case," said Eli Lehrer, president of the conservative R Street Institute. "And whether intentionally or …

Housing tax benefits do not increase homeownership

From National Center for Policy Analysis: The tax code contains numerous benefits for homeowners. The largest is the mortgage-interest deduction (allowing homeowners to deduct interest paid on their mortgages …

Why right-wing isolationists are losing

From Washington Post: There is a growing recognition that one can be a critic of the Iraq War and yet not throw caution to the wind and join the …

Why I’m not a neocon

From The Federalist: Over at Slate, the always smart Reihan Salam has written piece with the self-explanatory headline “Why I Am Still a Neocon.”  It has, not surprisingly, attracted …

Mortgage breaks fail to boost home ownership

From prweb: The study, conducted by economists at R Street Institute and published on March 24, 2014, analyzed IRS data on a zip code basis to assess the distribution …

FSU center to benefit as effort to downsize Cat Fund ends

From the Tallahassee Democrat: Hays had also been pushing to reduce the size of the Cat Fund. As in past years, the effort faced bipartisan opposition because of concerns …

The Jeb Bush and tea party divide

From Wall Street Journal: At the other end of the generational spectrum, elderly Americans are trending Republican but do not favor the cuts in Social Security and Medicare that …

Business calls for US to renew terrorism backstop

From the Royal Gazette: Ray Lehmann, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the R Street Institute, a think tank which promotes free markets and limited government, said the fact the letter …

Tax policy can create level playing field

From REVE: In its Green Scissors report, the free market think tank R Street Institute found even with the comparably small amount of federal support that renewable energy receives, …

Bias Report: Andrew Tyndall calls MSNBC ‘Wonkish,’ dismisses Fox as ‘ideological’

From Mediaite: But it is not a fair critique of conservative media to suggest that they lack "political wonkishness," as Tyndall put it. Policy mavens like The Washington Examiner’s …

HOT & bothered

From the Weekly Standard: And it’s not as if we don’t need more highways. As Reihan Salam noted in a 2013 paper for the libertarian think tank R Street, …

Columnist: Childless Americans should pay higher taxes

From Fox News: A Slate.com columnist says that childless Americans should pay higher taxes. “Who should pay more? Nonparents who earn more than the median household income, just a shade …

R Street’s Salam with FBI vet Michael German

Over at the Vice Podcast, R Street's Reihan Salam discusses how the FBI has changed since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with Michael German, a 16-year FBI …

Coalition urges Congress to pass meaningful NSA reform

From United Liberty: A coalition compromised of nearly 40 groups expressed support for ending the federal government’s bulk data collection program in a letter to President Barack Obama, Attorney …

CDC report highlights poisoning risk from liquid nicotine in e-cigs

From the Winston-Salem Journal: Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville and a smokeless-tobacco advocate, said he views the CDC report as “another example of …

Multiplication nation

From Reuters: Reihan Salam and Matthew Klein don’t want to legislate for demographics, but they do want to tax incentivize for them. Here’s Salam’s solution …

Tax the childless to help parents?

From the New York Times: "The willingness of parents to bear and nurture children saves us from becoming an economically moribund nation of hateful curmudgeons," Reihan Salam wrote recently …

Sanders talks robopocalypse on FBC’s ‘The Independents’

R Street Outreach Director Lori Sanders joined hosts Kennedy, Kmele Foster and Matt Welch (editor of Reason magazine) on Fox Business Channel's "The Independents" to discuss whether the …

Give larger tax breaks for raising kids, childless columnist argues

From Deseret News: Although he is in his 30s without any kids, Slate columnist Reihan Salam argues that parents deserve better tax treatment, even if that means hiking taxes …

Should childless people be taxed to help families?

From news.com.au: It is a controversial proposal, floated today in the US by one childless columnist who was raised by two extremely hardworking middle class parents who battled—as many …

Childless should pay more tax

From the Times Union: Parents help the economy grow by producing tomorrow's workers, Reihan Salam says in Slate. To better compensate them for the cost and labor of raising …

Should childless Americans pay more taxes?

From Hot Air: I’m surprised by some of the upset in Headlines to Reihan Salam's proposal. Granted, the phrase "more taxes" rarely induces happy thoughts among conservatives, but I …

Upside-down on mortgage interest deduction policies

From the Denver Post: In metro Denver, for example, the average tax saving from the mortgage deduction for households earning more than $100,o00 (in adjusted gross income) is $5,183, …

Give parents free money

From Demos: Reihan Salam has a piece at Slate in which he advocates creating a tax system in which people with children pay lower rates than people without children. This would …

Housing tax breaks create inequality, benefit Democrats

From National Center for Policy Analysis: Are the tax breaks actually increasing home ownership? According to a study from the R Street Institute, no. Rather, the provisions are helping …

Who cares about the value of work?

From the Washington Post: Two other conservative thinkers, Reihan Salam and Rich Lowry, say the antidote is for Republicans to become "the party of work." As they see it, …

Tax breaks impact home size

From Green Blizzard: Studies by economist at Marquette University have shown that because of this residential real estate t:ax incentive, people are buying a BIGGER residences – probably more …

Time to scrap the mortgage interest deduction

From the Washington Examiner: But even if one were to accept that boosting home ownership is a worthy goal for government, the interest deduction and accompanying tax benefits for …

Divorce is actually on the rise, and it’s the baby boomers’ fault

From the Washington Post: As an assessment of the health of American marriages, these findings cut two ways. On one hand, a divorce is a far more disruptive and …

Why it’s OK that startups prefer to hire younger workers

From Quartz: And as National Review columnist Reihan Salam points out, if low barriers to entry mean that lots of young people get a chance they otherwise might not, that’s probably …

Three things conservatives wrote this week that made us think

From ThinkProgress: By my lights, Reihan Salam is the conservative at National Review most worthy of liberals’ attention. He combines an almost super-human capacity for consuming oddball studies and …

Targeted taxes will spur economic growth

From MoneyNews.com: A recent study by the R Street Institute suggests this tax preference doesn't benefit the broad society. The data indicate this policy doesn't generally incent home ownership, …

Tonight on the Independents: Rise of the machines!

From Reason: Kicking things off on a fearful note is James Barrat, author of new book Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era, …

Why are rich people’s houses so big? Because Uncle Sam pays for extra rooms

From the Washington Post These data are from the National Association of Home Builders and research by economists Andrew Hanson, Ike Brannon and Zackary Hawley. Helping the wealthy live in …

Fixing one driver of inequality may hit close to home for some progressives

From the Washington Post: Instead, the tax code’s main effect is to help people who already could afford a home buy a bigger one, as a team of economists …

Home mortgage interest deduction helps the rich, study says

From the Deseret News: It's the tax deduction that economists love to hate but has huge support among Americans. The mortgage interest tax deduction has long been defended on …

Mortgage interest mansions?

From the Patriot Post: Every tax deduction or credit has its lobbying constituency, and the mortgage interest deduction is no different. The deduction ostensibly supports the American dream of …

Million-dollar homes, but at what price?

From NBC News: "We estimate that houses today, depending on the metropolitan area in question, are from 250 to 1,000 square feet larger than they otherwise would be," a …

America’s $100 billion tax break helps the rich buy bigger homes

From ThinkProgress: But instead of helping poorer people become homeowners, the tax break helps rich people buy bigger houses, economists at R Street Institute say. "The study estimates that …

Popular tax break just helps wealthy people buy bigger houses

From Gawker: Today in Ways the United States Tax Code Benefits the Rich: a new study indicates that the politically popular mortgage-interest deduction is useful mostly for helping affluent …

Report: Key mortgage tax break just helps the wealthy

From Newser: The tax code is rife with home ownership incentives that are both popular with voters and staunchly defended by lawmakers. But it turns out the breaks mostly …

Mortgage tax breaks trickle up, new study shows

From the Wall Street Journal: Federal tax benefits for homeowners primarily help wealthier people borrow more money to buy larger houses rather than boost homeownership, according to a new …

Study: Upper class entitlement helps upper class most

From Reason: The Wall Street Journal has a write-up of a new study by the R Street Institute that looks at how the mortgage-interest deduction is taken zip …

Ticket-selling giants push for Florida legislation to help squash industry competition

From BizPac Review: Raulerson argues that proponents don't want to disrupt the free market. But that’s exactly what the bill does, according to Christian Camara, Florida director for R …

Fla Cat Fund missing out on best reinsurance market ever

Coming into 2014, we had modest expectations of the potential for significant property insurance reform in Florida. Given that it is an election year – and one featuring …

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac: 30-year fixed rate mortgages a sticky wicket

From Value Walk: "Stripping away the façade of private banks and mortgage brokers who originate the loans, the U.S. mortgage market works almost entirely because the government transfers risk …

R Street looking for a California director

The R Street Institute, a free-market think tank based in Washington, is looking for a dynamic, energetic person to serve as the first employee and director of a …

Sea level rise predictions have little effect on Florida real estate

From National Public Radio: RUNDLET: Whether or not your property will be here 30 years from now, Johnson says it may be the insurance issue that determines real estate …

Congress just undid the one good thing it’s done on climate change

From the Huffington Post: R Street, a right-leaning think tank, criticized the Democratic senators who took part in the climate talkathon and then voted for the repeal as "hypocritical." "Any …

7 reasons we’ll never solve the software patent wars

From NetworkWorld: As I've noted in other posts, the SXSW conference is generally an optimistic event, so it was no surprise to see a panel called How to Fix …

Good News: The government will no longer make you put your house on stilts

From Businessweek: Praise didn’t come from all quarters. Andrew Moylan, a senior fellow at R Street Institute, a Washington think tank that was involved in drafting the 2012 overhaul, …

Phila. lawmakers move toward ban of e-cigarettes in public places

From CBS Philly: But many speakers spoke in opposition. Among them was Dr. Joel Nitzkin, speaking for what he described as a libertarian think tank called the  R Street …

Judiciary Committee hears Internet sales tax testimony

From Heartlander: Andrew Moylan of the R Street Institute. His testimony favored origin-sourcing, the concept of taxing sales based on where the seller is located rather than where the customer is …

House looks for best way to ‘level the playing field’ with online sales taxes

From National Journal: "Simply treating remote sales in the same way that we already treat brick-and-mortar sales would level the playing field in an honest way," said the R …

US House considers alternatives to Internet sales tax bill

From PC World: An online sales tax based on the seller's location would work much like brick-and-mortar sales taxes do today, added Andrew Moylan, outreach director at the R …

Origin sourcing takes a beating at congressional hearing

From Digital Marketing News: Another proponent of origin sourcing, Andrew Moylan, senior fellow of R Street, argued that MFA would hinder economic growth by penalizing the rampant growth of …

Free-marketeers, tree huggers join in opposition to dredging at Port of Palm Beach

From Palm Beach Post: The group, calling itself the Green Scissors Coalition, wrote a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposing the project. The Green Scissors Coalition …

Sea level rise predictions have little effect on Florida real estate

From WBUR Radio: RUNDLET: Whether or not your property will be here 30 years from now, Johnson says it may be the insurance issue that determines real estate prices. …

Bipartisan agreement to keep subsidizing seaside homes

From the Washington Examiner: R Street, a free-market insurance think tank, blasted the House vote. Taxpayers for Common Sense also inveighed against it. …

Venice Beach to get millions for renourishment

From the Herald-Tribune: The R Street Institute, a nonpartisan organization in Washington, D.C., is an especially vocal critic of federally funded beach renourishment. “Beach renourishment is an enormous waste of …

House votes to reinstate flood insurance subsidies, limit premiums

From SNL Financial The next phase of the flood battle will be to see if the Senate goes along with the offset to cover "their foolish choice to dismantle …

SXSW: How to reform the nation’s patent laws for entrepreneurs and small businesses

From the Washington Post: Companies that purchase patents are increasingly targeting independent inventors and small businesses, drawing calls for Congress to act more quickly in reforming the nation’s patent …

This Week in Tech: House panel eyes online sales tax

From The Hill: Witnesses for Wednesday’s hearing include Chris Cox, counsel at NetChoice, which represents companies such as eBay; Joe Crosby, principal at MultiState Associates; and Andrew Moylan, senior …

A carbon tax to rule them all

From Triple Pundit Finally, not many people would expect the Heartland Institute—long derided by climate advocates as the quintessential “climate denier”—to put its name anywhere near a carbon tax …

Flood insurance a key issue in Louisiana Senate race

From The Advertiser: “Amusingly to me, both Bill Cassidy in the House and Mary Landrieu in the Senate expressed annoyance when we pointed out the inconvenient truth that Louisiana …

House passes flood insurance bill

From the Greenville News: "Everybody we talked to, virtually without fail, recognize that these delay and repeal efforts are damaging and counterproductive,'' said Andrew Moylan, a senior fellow at …

House votes to curtail flood insurance rate hikes

From the Miami Herald: Andrew Moylan, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a libertarian group, said his group’s goal was to move from a government-run flood insurance …

Sen. Mary Landrieu endorses House flood insurance bill after ‘affordability’ provisions added

From the Times-Picayune: Landrieu lashed out at a statement last week by a leader of the conservative R Street Institute, that congressional leaders are moving away from the Biggert-Waters …

‘Innocence of Muslims’ ruling raises host of questions

From Politix: Remember the video that President Barack Obama cited as the reason behind the attacks in Benghazi? The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has voted 2-1 to order …

Republican congressman to oil and gas industry: ‘No more subsidies’

From Greentech Media: Some recent history: in 2011, the environmental advocacy groups Friends of the Earth and Public Citizen partnered with climate deniers at the Heartland Institute (which …

Condo complexes reap huge savings by challenging federal flood maps

From the Tampa Bay Times: "We're taking away the people's hard-earned money,'' said Christian Camara, Florida director of the R Street Institute, an ardent supporter of Biggert-Waters. …

House GOP in a fix over fixing flood insurance

From National Journal: "This bill represents a fundamental betrayal of the free-market principles and fiscal responsibility the House leadership claims to embrace," said R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at …

Don’t wipe out flood insurance reform

From Roll Call: And those who benefit most from the continued subsidy are likely those who need help the least. Two-thirds of subsidized policies are for properties in counties …

With ‘no direct financial incentive,’ can Burlington get telecom back on track?

From Watchdog.org: "A lot of them aren’t business people by and large," said Andrew Moylan. Moylan is a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based free-market think tank who spoke with Vermont …

Daines, Fox brief Congress on dangers of Internet sales tax bill

From National Journal: At this morning's briefing, Congressman Daines and Attorney General Fox were joined by Phil Bond, executive director of We R Here, a nationwide coalition of small …

Opponent of flood insurance bill says Congress motivated by raw politics, not sound policy

From the Times-Picayune: Andrew Moylan, senior fellow at the R-Street Institute, a conservative advocacy group, said both Republicans and Democrats feel pressured to act to protect their candidates running …

Back to work

From the Weekly Standard: Of course, raising the minimum wage is not the only, and certainly not the most efficient way to increase the value of work. There is …

A federal clean energy program with GOP fans

From the Washington Examiner: That will be a constant threat, especially in an era of fiscal tightening, for the relatively young program, said Eli Lehrer, president of the conservative …

House postpones vote on flood insurance bill

From the St. Petersburg Tribune: Influential conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity and the R Street Institute have written editorials and lobbied members of Congress …

Private insurers start to offer flood coverage

From the Wall Street Journal: An unlikely coalition of conservatives, environmental groups and the insurance industry has opposed the latest legislative proposals to blunt the premium increases. The House bill …

Governor Scott pushes President on flood insurance hikes

From Bay News 9: Opponents like R Street Institute said, "less than two years after passing landmark reforms to fix the National Flood Insurance Program, which remains $25 billion …

Gov. Scott pushes flood fix in D.C. as new House plan emerges

From the Palm Beach Post: "This bill represents a fundamental betrayal of the free-market principles and fiscal responsibility the House leadership claims to embrace," said R.J. Lehmann, a senior …

In D.C. meeting with Obama, Gov. Rick Scott calls for flood insurance solution

From Miami Herald: "Less than two years after passing landmark reforms to fix the NFIP, which remains $25 billion in debt to American taxpayers, lawmakers appear poised to gut …

House introduces NFIP rate-hike delay that is gaining bipartisan support

From PropertyCasualty360: It would also repeal would repeal entirely the section of the flood insurance reform law that calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update its maps, …

Budget reform in reverse: Congress prepares to hike flood insurance subsidies

From Forbes: Over time, observed Eli Lehrer...there was "continued erosion of premiums intended to get more people into the program coupled with the program’s long term financial deterioration."  Congress …

Government should butt out on e-cigarettes

From the Chronicle Herald: Dr. Joel Nitzkin, Chair of the Tobacco Control Task Force for the American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP), also argues that their vapours pose …

Flood insurance bill heads to House

Fromm the St. Petersburg Tribune: Analysts with the R Street Institute think tank, which has offices in Washington, D.C., and Tallahassee, said the House bill would undermine the government …

Flood insurance fight intensifies

From the Jackson Clarion Ledger: “We would oppose such a scheme strongly,” said Andrew Moylan, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, which describes itself as a libertarian …

House to consider flood insurance rates

From the News & Observer: Andrew Moylan with R Street Institute, a libertarian think tank, said his organization would support a plan that slowed down rate increases for remapped …

R Street’s Sanders on the Thom Hartmann Show

R Street's Lori Sanders took part in an hour-long panel with progressive commentator Nate Sweet and Project 21/MoveOnUp.org's Hughey Newsome on RT's Thom Hartmann Show. Topics covered include …

Salam on whether racist incidents are on the rise

Over at CNN's OutFront with Erin Burnett, R Street's Reihan Salam joined Mark Potok, senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to discuss a recent incident in …

Join AFF and R Street’s Lori Sanders for a panel on the right’s response to poverty

Yesterday, the Washington Post published a damning chart examining the War on Poverty. The chart showed the poverty rate's fluctuations over the last 50 years, once taxes and …

Burlington boondoggle: How the telecom scandal is still costing taxpayers millions

From VermontWatchdog.org: "I think the evidence speaks for itself," Andrew Moylan, senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, told Vermont Watchdog. "Funneling millions …

How e-cigarettes could save lives

From the Washington Post: Yes, we still need research on the long-term health and behavioral impacts of e-cigarettes. Brad Rodu, a pathologist at the University of Louisville, offers an …

Salam on Chris Christie’s political career and prospects

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam joined CNN OutFront host Erin Burnett and New Republic Senior Editor Alec MacGillis to discuss MacGillis' cover story in the latest issue …

Crony Agriculture: Failing to reform the farm bill left taxpayers out in the cold

From the American Conservative: Shortly after Congress passed the farm bill late last month, the Atlantic published a piece touting this example of Washington “getting better.” According to Molly …

U.S. House leaders stiff 231 sponsors for flood fix, propose modified plan later

From the Palm Beach Post: Conservative groups say premium increases are needed to help the National Flood Insurance Program get out of $24 billion in debt and discourage building …

Congress to vote on phone unlocking

From Forbes: Alternative legislation has been introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Thomas Massie (R-KY), (H.R. 1892), which would legalize technologies like …

U.S. House majority co-sponsors stalled flood insurance bill, supporters say

From the Palm Beach Post: Boehner has said he does not foresee taking up a four-year delay but might consider more modest measures. Conservative groups have argued premium increases …

R Street responds to planned House flood insurance vote

  WASHINGTON (Feb. 13, 2014) – With U.S. House leadership announcing it will take up consideration of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, the R Street Institute expressed optimism …

The role of intellectual property in fashion

From Innovation Asset Group: Fashion designers are urging Congress to extend intellectual property protection to fashion design, a move R Street calls unprecedented. In the current fashion market, discount …

This is the GOP’s big chance to stop American exceptionalism from destroying itself

From Forbes: Reihan Salam makes a typically suave and commonsensical argument in favor of a much larger American diaspora, insisting that emigration deserves our attention as much as immigration. …

The Washington Report: Industry support for FIO; farm bill a plus for insurers; flood update

From PropertyCasualty360: R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, said the SCO covers up to 90% of a farmer’s crop revenue when elected in combination with …

Federal lands should be opened to more local knowledge

WASHINGTON (Feb. 10, 2014) -- As a growing chorus of states in the American West stand up to claim shared or sole sovereignty over federal lands within their …

Our Opinion: The true cost

From the Tallahassee Democrat: Don Brown, a former legislator, an expert on insurance and now a senior fellow with R Street’s Florida project, tells of a trick he sometimes …

$1 trillion ag bill full of subsidies, special favors

From the Mackinac Center While the Congressional Budget Office says the bill will reduce federal spending by $16.6 billion, the R Street Institute notes that only $8.6 billion of …

CVS to end sale of tobacco products by Oct. 1

From the Winston-Salem Journal: Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville and a smokeless-tobacco advocate, said CVS' decision "is not simply about health or profits, …

E-cigarettes: a $1.5 billion industry braces for FDA regulation

From Bloomberg BusinessWeek: As nothing but a replacement product for existing smokers, e-cigarettes seem like a public-health win. Widespread adoption by current smokers “could potentially reduce smoking deaths by …

Lawmakers study e-cigarettes

From the Register-Guard: "E-cigarette vapor as exhaled by the user does not contain any toxic chemicals that are detectable above background levels in indoor environments," said Dr. Joel Nitzkin, …

Salam discuses student debt with Anya Kamenetz

Over at the Vice Podcast, R Street's Reihan Salam interviews Anya Kamenetz, staff writer for Fast Company and a columnist for Tribune Media, about the state of higher …

Has NSA spying poisoned the growing cloud computing industry?

From United Liberty: Such is life when our economy is as corporatist as it is. Things will only change if the big corporations that stand to make a ton …

AGA calls on Congress to stop patent trolls

From the American Gaming Association: Washington – American Gaming Association (AGA) and Credit Union National Association on behalf of the Main Street Patent Coalition, called on Congress today to pass comprehensive patent reform. Speaking at a forum hosted …

The D.C.’s Roeberg lands at R Street

From Media Bistro: Last week, we reported that The Daily Caller had shaken up their editorial and business teams with some internal hires. McKenzie Vaughn  is the new Director of Operations …

Doctor to OR lawmakers: Ban e-cigs for minors, but don’t restrict adult use

From Watchdog.org: Joel Nitzkin, a physician who owns a private consulting firm, will testify before the Oregon House Committee on Human Services and Housing at 3 p.m. Wednesday in favor …

R Street welcomes vote to right-size Fla Cat Fund

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2014) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's unanimous vote by the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee approving S.B. 482, a measure to scale …

Congress’ farm bill falls $29 billion short of Obama’s proposed cuts

WASHINGTON (Feb. 4, 2014) – The R Street Institute today called on President Barack Obama to use his veto pen to reject the five-year farm bill approved by …

R Street names Nicole Roeberg director of communications

WASHINGTON (Feb. 4, 2014) – The R Street Institute is pleased to announce it has hired Nicole Roeberg to serve as director of communications, effective Feb. 10. She …

The farm bill: Left and right on one side; special interests and the mainstream media on the other

From the Washington Examiner: The free-market-favoring R Street Group is "deeply disappointed by $1 trillion farm bill." At US News, you see experts from the National Taxpayers Union and …

The farm bill is up for a final vote soon. Here’s why so many people hate it.

From the Washington Post: In theory, the extra subsidies for crop insurance are supposed to cost less than the old direct payments did. But, again, it depends. More droughts …

FISA requests way more interested in email content than ‘metadata’

In a major step forward for transparency, Google today offered the first batch of disclosures made pursuant to new U.S. Department of Justice rules allowing companies to publish …

New $1 trillion farm bill 50% bigger than last farm bill

From Heartland.org: “Given the Congressional Budget Office’s history of underestimating the cost of prior farm bills, we take it as given that much, if not all, of the $23 …

Congress tried to cut subsidies for homes in flood zones. It was harder than they thought.

From the Washington Post: Some context here: Critics of the flood-insurance subsidies have pointed out that they disproportionately benefit wealthier homeowners. The libertarian R Street Institute, drawing on data …

Watching gas prices? Insurance rates are even wilder

From CNBC: Combating the wide range of rates to ensure the best pricing can be tough, and it requires consumers to be extremely savvy about insurance trends, said Eli …

Tomorrow: Event on Patent Reform

From Technology Liberation Front: I am speaking on a panel tomorrow at the Dirksen Senate Office Building at an R Street Institute event on patent reform. Here’s R Street’s …

Flood insurance and the phantom real estate crash

To hear proponents tell the tale, the reason the U.S. Senate voted yesterday to gut reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program that it had approved overwhelmingly just …

Senate votes to delay flood-rate hikes for four years

From PropertyCasualty360: Ray Lehmann, a fellow at the R Street Institute in Washington doubted that the Senate bill will even get a vote in the House, even though it …

Senate votes to delay flood insurance hikes

From the Boston Globe: R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, said the Toomey amendment aligns more with the position of the …

R Street optimistic House will preserve responsible NFIP reform

WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2014) – The R Street Institute is disappointed by today's U.S. Senate vote gutting reforms of the National Flood Insurance Program, but expressed optimism that …

R Street praises progress toward ticket freedom in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 30, 2014) – The R Street Institute welcomed yesterday's vote by the state House Criminal Justice Committee approving legislation to repeal Michigan's archaic 83-year-old law …

Free-market groups call on Gulf Coast governors to use RESTORE Act wisely

WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2014) -- Governors of the five Gulf Coast states – all Republicans – have a unique opportunity to ensure the windfalls those states are set …

Today in Liberty: Audit the Fed, NSA spying hurts tech firms, earmarks make a comeback

From UnitedLiberty: NSA endangers multi-billion dollar tech industry: A new policy study from the R Street Institute takes a look at how the NSA’s domestic surveillance apparatus could hit …

R Street welcomes Florida sales tax holiday on storm supplies

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2014) – The R Street Institute welcomed this week's proposal by Florida Gov. Rick Scott that the state enact a 15-day sales tax holiday …

Intellectual property roundup

From Overlawyered: "The patent had an interesting enforcement clause: that anyone who copied [ship designer] Brunelleschi’s work would have their own designs set on fire" [Jeremy Kolassa, R Street] …

The Republican Party has taken a big step forward

From Business Insider: "One theory is that President Obama's been in office a long time," said Reihan Salam, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute and a contributing …

Obama ready to sidestep Congress in today’s State of the Union

From Newsweek: "There are real things he needs to work on that can't be done by executive order," said Lori Sanders, a policy analyst at the libertarian R Street …

Toomey flood insurance amendment would protect taxpayers

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2014) – As the Senate prepares to vote on a measure that would gut reforms of the deeply indebted National Flood Insurance Program, the R …

R Street deeply disappointed by $1 trillion farm bill

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2014) – The R Street Institute expressed deep disappointment at the five-year conference committee farm bill that cuts just 0.11 percent in projected federal spending …

RFS opponents seek legislative reform

From Agri-Pulse The organizations, including Action Aid USA, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Turkey Federation and R Street Institute, called on Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Henry Waxman, …

Conservatives rethinking mass imprisonment and the War on Drugs

From the Washington Post: Conservative policy analyst Reihan Salam has an interesting column on on conservatives who are reconsidering their movement’s traditional support for mass incarceration and the War …

Obama’s SOTU should address NSA damage to tech sector

WASHINGTON (Jan. 27, 2014) – As the nation awaits President Barack Obama's State of the Union address tomorrow evening, a new paper from the R Street Institute makes …

Senate adds NARAB registry to bill halting flood insurance premium hikes

From SNL Financial: A NFIP-as-reinsurer plan seems unnecessary, as reinsurers are already one side of the industry most interested in taking on flood risks, R Street Institute Senior Fellow …

A call for fair rates of flood insurance

From the Miami Herald: Critics grumbled that the program amounted to a hand-out to the well-heeled, who prefer living near the water while forcing folks in the hinterlands to …

E-cigarettes prompt debate at Oklahoma Capitol

From the Daily Oklahoman: Dr. Joel Nitzkin, a public health physician and senior fellow in tobacco policy for the R Street Institute, argued that getting people to switch from …

One anti-poverty initiative both sides can agree on

From the Huffington Post: "Don't forget the poor," Lori Sanders and Eli Lehrer of the R Street Institute (a conservative think tank), urged Weekly Standard readers, explaining that "Properly …

‘Isn’t the president above that?’ CNN’s Don Lemon confused by Obama’s Fox News attack

From the Daily Caller: Lemon spoke with liberal commentator Hilary Rosen and conservative columnist Reihan Salam about the president’s comments in an interview with The New Yorker published this …

Should Snowden get clemency?

Over at the VICE podcast, R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam hosts a debate between Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy & Technology …

SmarterSafer letter to Speaker Boehner on flood insurance reform

The Honorable John Boehner Speaker U.S. House of Representatives H-232 The Capitol Washington, DC 20515 January 23, 2014 Dear Speaker Boehner, In light of your comments last week about the need to modify the Biggert-Waters …

Game over for video game violence alarmism

From The Blaze: In 1999′s comedic classic, “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut,” a mob of angry parents, searching for an explanation for their children’s increasingly profane language, point …

Are Hollywood starlets glamorizing smoking by using e-cigarettes?

From Forbes: Based on these data, Brad Rodu, Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville, concludes that worries about e-cigarette use as a stepping stone to smoking is …

GAO finds delaying Biggert-Waters would discourage private flood insurance

WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2014) – Delaying the phase-out of federal subsidies for flood insurance would discourage private insurers from writing the coverage and moving more risk from the …

Nitzkin on the benefits of e-cigarettes

Oklahoma City's KFOR NewsChannel 4 carried this report on the Jan. 21 joint hearing of the Oklahoma Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and the Oklahoma House …

Joint hearing on electronic cigarettes

From the Shawnee News-Star: Dr. Joel Nitzkin, a physician and a former Louisiana State Health Director, is scheduled to make a presentation as part of the hearing. "Tobacco control policy …

Rothschild on how Florida should use RESTORE Act funds

Florida lawmakers should ensure the windfall that will soon come to the state's counties under the federal RESTORE Act are used as intended for environmental and economic reparations …

R Street encourages Oklahoma to explore tobacco harm reduction

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 22, 2014) – Lawmakers should avoid public health policies that perpetuate the myth that that all tobacco and nictotine products present a similar risk of …

At Last, Conservative Reform

From the New York Times The conservative policy larder was genuinely bare by the end of the Bush presidency. But that changed, reasonably swiftly, across President Obama’s first term. …

The National Review diaspora

From FirstThings.com: Over the last eight or so years, a group of conservative writers (Ross Douthat, Yuval Levin, Reihan Salam, Ramesh Ponnuru and many—though not enough—others) have tried to …

After Sandy: Use of disaster funds questioned

From Newsday: "Ultimately, states and municipalities don't know what FEMA is going to reimburse them for and what FEMA is not going to reimburse them for," said Daniel Rothschild, …

Congress scrambles as coastal residents rail at insurance rates

From the Boston Globe: Fiscally conservative groups cite a Congressional Budget Office analysis that projects delaying the rate hikes would cost $900 million over five years and cause the …

U.S. privacy law requires operating system upgrade

From Politix: This may not be obvious but, as a short trip through some of Buzzfeed's less serious listicles will quickly reveal, the world has changed since 1986... …

Deregulation may not eliminate poverty, but it can help

From Forbes: The always thoughtful Reihan Salam has a post about whether regulations entrepreneurship stifling can really do much to help poor people. Here is how he puts it... ...To …

R Street welcomes privacy reforms, asks they go further

WASHINGTON (Jan. 17, 2014) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's speech by President Barack Obama as a significant step forward on electronic privacy, but expressed disappointment that …

Fannie, Freddie and the big one

Twenty years ago today, the 6.7-magnitude Northridge Earthquake struck the San Fernando Valley 20 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, killing 60, injuring 7,000, and damaging more than …

R Street welcomes private reinsurance plan for Florida Cat Fund

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed news that the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is working on a plan to buy private reinsurance, reducing …

Open SUNY fraught with uncertainty

From the Daily Gazette: In a piece titled, “Online Education Can Be Good or Cheap, But Not Both,” writer Reihan Salam cautioned against expecting miracles from online education. “Somehow we …

When low unemployment is bad news

From Bloomberg: But don’t let Congress’s dysfunction convince you that extending benefits is at all controversial. It would be one thing if Jason Furman and Gene Sperling, two of …

R Street disappointed by delay language in omnibus appropriations bill

WASHINGTON (Jan. 14, 2014) – The R Street Institute expressed disappointment today at language included in the omnibus appropriations bill that would delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood …

A sad day at National Underwriter

Before jumping into think tank life in late 2011 (technically speaking, jumping back into think tank life, as I did have a brief spell with the Independent Institute …

Our Views: Not mansions, our homes

From The Advocate: One of the major advocates for Biggert-Waters is R Street, a conservative Washington think tank. “While it is reasonable for Congress to address hardships that could …

David Brooks’s nostalgia

From National Review: David Brooks’s column yesterday highlights the excellent content of the latest issue of National Affairs: Michael Strain of AEI’s jobs agenda for the Right, Eli Lehrer …

Fla bill would encourage private alternatives to NFIP

From PropertyCasualty360: The Florida bill, introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, authorizes insurers to write policies, contracts and endorsements for flood insurance coverage with …

Manchin OK with premium delay

From Weirton Daily Times: R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, which describes itself as a "free market think tank," believes the impact of higher premiums …

Lehrer talks ‘ban the box’ on WBAL

R Street President Eli Lehrer was on WBAL Radio in Baltimore, Md., to discuss his recent Huffington Post piece on proposals to "ban the box" -- that is …

Movement on the right

From the New York Times: This conservatism knows that central decision-makers, even conservative ones, are no match for complex reality. Therefore, they favor market mechanisms, which take advantage of …

Towards a conservative jobs agenda

From the Washington Post: Conservatives could even stick a lot of work requirements or other beloved supply-side reforms in there. Eli Lehrer and Lori Sanders have a sample agenda outlined …

Groups urge Congress to target flood insurance fix to help needy, not wealthy

From Insurance Journal: Ray Lehmann, of the free market think tank R Street Institute, another SmarterSafer.org member, agreed. “No one should be thrown out of their homes because they …

R Street says Obama’s ‘Promise Zones’ continue failed place-based relief

WASHINGTON (Jan. 9, 2013) – A new White House initiative to ladle federal funding on socially and economically challenged communities continues a policy of "place-based relief" that has …

SAVE THE DATE: Florida Chamber’s 7th Annual Insurance Summit

Those interested in the future of insurance in the Sunshine State should register for the Florida Chamber of Commerce's Seventh Annual Insurance Summit, set for Jan. 15-17 at …

Flood insurance rate delays opposed

From the Bradenton Herald: R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at free markets think tank R Street Institute, said the proposed legislation to delay insurance increases would subsidize wealthy homeowners …

The left’s half-baked critique of gamer culture

From Politix: With the advent of video gaming as an art form, it is both natural and appropriate that criticism of its "canon" should arise. Just as scholars puzzle …

CBO: Bill to delay flood-rate hikes would add $2.2B to NFIP debt over 10 years

From PropertyCasualty360: The CBO “scored” the legislation as costing $900 million over five years, according to R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann. Lehmann says he did not know about …

State leaders push for flood insurance overhaul

From The Advocate: The libertarian R Street Institute in Washington also opposes the bill. “While it is reasonable for Congress to address hardships that could make flood insurance unaffordable …

Let flood insurance rates increase, group says

From USA Today: R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, said only 9% of homes with subsidized flood insurance rates are owned by people in the …

Florida moves forward on private flood insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's unanimous vote by the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee of legislation clarifying the regulatory treatment …

Bankers and realtors split from insurers as Senate prepares vote on flood bill

From SNL Financial: With the NFIP currently looking at a 2017 sunset, delay would wreck that hard-won progress, R Street Institute Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann said in a statement. …

Senators renew push to delay flood insurance increases

From the Palm Beach Post: R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann said urged senators not to “gut” the Biggert-Waters Act, which was designed to get the program out of …

The contradictions of liberal populism

From the New York Times: But I suspect that Reihan Salam is right about De Blasio when he describes the new mayor’s likely agenda as basically “Bloombergism with a …

New farm bill would bring more insurable risks, premiums to crop insurers

From PropertyCasualty360: The Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) would be available for as an additional policy to cover part of the deductible under the crop producer’s underlying policy. R.J. Lehmann, a …

Proposed program can help property insurance

From the Sun-Sentinel: The James Madison Institute and R Street Institute of Washington, D.C. recently released a backgrounder titled "Ten Reforms to Fix Florida's Property Insurance Marketplace – Without …

Five conservative reforms millennials should be fighting for

From the Washington Post: So an even better idea would be to make the government a large institutional investor — basically, to create a government hedge fund, or "sovereign …

R Street urges Senate not to gut flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (Jan. 7, 2013) – As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider changes to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, the R Street Institute urges an open process …

10-step plan could end property insurance blues

From the News-Press: Coming right on cue, there is a new study from The James Madison Institute that says it all in its title: "Ten Reforms to Fix Florida’s …

BP spill windfall will test Texas conservatives

From WOAI Radio: But Daniel Rothschild, a senior fellow at the free market R Street Institute, says huge sums of money in the hands of greedy and irresponsible politicians …

R Street scholars argue relocation is key to fighting poverty

WASHINGTON (Jan. 2, 2014) – Decades of declining geographic mobility have been a key contributor to stagnating incomes and, more recently, persistently high unemployment rates, R Street President …

The new year will get off to an awful start

From Slate: One way we know they won't is from the experience of North Carolina, which for reasons of state politics did a UI cutoff for the long-term unemployed …

Flood insurance hikes loom for La. homeowners

From The Advocate The free market-supporting, nonprofit R Street Institute in Washington also has helped lead the effort to prevent undoing the NFIP “reforms” of 2012. “(The) bill proposes an …

Letter to the Tampa Bay Times: Sifting flood program data

"Flood insurance rhetoric ignores reality," Dec. 15 This column on the National Flood Insurance Program's subsidized properties takes my organization, the R Street Institute, to task for asserting that …

More than environmentalism; protecting a valuable driver of our recreation economy

From the Durango Herald: I recently participated in a review of a new report’s release, “The Economic Benefits of Protected Public Lands,” by R Street Institute, a self-described, free-market …

Missing the point on ‘Pajama Boy’

From Politix: Like every conservative, when I saw the recent Obamacare ads featuring the by-this-point infamous "Pajama Boy," my first reaction was near-instant derision, and not just because of …

Why Christians (and Americans) should support A&E’s Duck Dynasty decision

From Politix: The past 48 hours have seen lots of hand-wringing over cable channel A&E's decision to suspend Phil Robertson, the patriarch in the hit show "Duck Dynasty," for …

Rothschild talks RESTORE Act on New Orleans’ WWL

R Street State Projects Director and Senior Fellow Daniel M. Rothschild joined host Garland Robinette on New Orleans WWL Radio, AM 870/FM 105.3, to discuss how Louisiana will …

R Street disappointed by NYC e-cigarette ban

NEW YORK (Dec. 19, 2013) – The R Street Institute expressed disappointment with today's vote by the New York City Council to ban the use of electronic cigarettes …

Shining a light on federal advertising

From Politix.com: News broke this week that insurers plan to spend more than $500 million in coming months to market the health care plans available on the Obamacare exchanges. …

Why A&E’s suspension of Phil Robertson is something Christians (and all Americans) should support

From the Huffington Post: Lots of handwringing has gone on in the last 24 hours since A&E made the decision to suspend Phil Robertson, the patriarch in the hit …

Sanders on the farm bill

R Street Senior Fellow Lori Sanders discusses the farm bill on 1070 AM WINA in Charlottesville, Va. Click here to download the podcast. …

Virginia ranks first, New York last, in R Street’s 2013 Insurance Regulation Report Card

WASHINGTON (Dec. 18, 2013) -- Virginia and Vermont had the best insurance regulatory environments in the United States this year, while New York had the worst, according to …

2013 Insurance Regulation Report Card

Welcome to the R Street Institute's 2013 Insurance Regulation Report Card, our annual examination of which states are doing the best job of regulating the business of insurance. …

E-cigarette etiquette creates new questions for would-be smokers

From Huffington Post: But still, the jury is still out on whether the gadgets are safe or not. "Without question, e-cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes," Joel Nitzkin, …

Bill filed Tuesday designed to reform flood insurance

From the Gainesville Sun: The legislation drew praise from the R Street Institute Florida, a group that advocates for free-market principles. "This bill responds to clear market demand to create …

R Street welcomes Florida bill to authorize private flood insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's introduction of legislation creating a statutory definition of private flood insurance that may be written by …

R Street applauds Florida for fast-tracking private flood insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2013) – The R Street Institute applauded the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation's timely approval of a request by Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty …

House, Senate reject efforts to delay NFIP rate increases

From PropertyCasualty360: R.J. Lehmann, senior fellow at conservative think tank R Street Institute, said the “unstated, but quite clear, goal of this convoluted process is simply to gut any …

Big insurers are brought into discussions on how to protect NYC against future storms

From ClimateWire: Still, some insurance experts question one of the group's main assertions -- that a barrier system would dramatically reduce disaster claims. In an industry filled with number-crunchers, …

Bill takes wrong approach on earthquake insurance

WASHINGTON (Dec. 13, 2013) – Research from the R Street Institute suggests new legislation introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both D-Calif., offers the wrong approach …

Week In Politics: A budget, Republican infighting, Obama’s agenda

From National Public Radio: CORNISH: And sitting in this week, Reihan Salam a columnist for The National Review and Reuters and a fellow at the R Street Institute. Hi …

R Street paper makes the case for road pricing

WASHINGTON (Dec. 12, 2013) --Road-pricing advocates need to link their proposals to tangible benefits like increased capacity, reduced congestion and improved transit service if they are to overcome …

Effort to gut flood insurance reform fails in Senate

WASHINGTON (Dec. 11, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's news that an effort to gut vital flood insurance reforms has failed in the U.S. Senate. S. 1610, …

R Street applauds successful efforts to shrink Fla Citizens

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 10, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's news that Florida's state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has seen its policy count fall to just …

The Montreal Protocol, a little treaty that could

From the New York Times: Why? One idea is that Mr. Reagan himself had had skin cancer, and allowed a concern for public health to triumph over ideology. Eli …

R Street applauds creation of coalition to reform government surveillance

WASHINGTON (Dec. 9, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's news that leading private sector technology firms have formed a coalition seeking reform of government surveillance laws …

E-cigarettes reduce harm from tobacco

From NCPA: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should highlight e-cigarettes as a way to reduce tobacco harms, says Dr. Joel Nitzkin, a senior fellow in tobacco policy for …

Flawed govt study minimizes Internet tax effects

From NewsMax: The trouble is it paid $80,000 to two longtime advocates for letting states levy sales taxes on remote online sellers to do so. ("Hat tip," or credit, …

Patent trolls receive first blow

From Rare.com “The Innovation Act isn’t a panacea for the problem of so-called ‘patent trolls,’ and in some ways doesn’t go as far as we’d like,” R Street Institute …

Companies and conservatives prepare for oncoming carbon taxes

From the American Conservative: In the September/October issue of The American Conservative, R Street’s Andrew Moylan laid out the conservative case for a carbon tax. He looked at the manner …

Lehrer: Flood reform debate a test of Congress’ ability to fix larger fiscal ills

From PropertyCasualty360: The president of a conservative think tank is highly critical of the current effort to roll back flood insurance rate increases imposed through a 2012 law, saying …

R Street applauds House passage of the Innovation Act

WASHINGTON (Dec. 5, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's 325-91 vote by the U.S. House to approve H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act. Sponsored by House Judiciary Committee …

House passes anti-patent troll bill, sends to Senate

From Reuters: One Washington D.C.-based business group gave the House vote a half a thumbs up, encouraging the movement of lawmakers to address the problem even as it acknowledged …

House passes anti-patent troll bill, sends to Senate

From Entrepreneur: One Washington D.C.-based business group gave the House vote a half a thumbs up, encouraging the movement of lawmakers to address the problem even as it acknowledged …

Free-market groups support Goodlatte’s Innovation Act

WASHINGTON (Dec. 4, 2013) – Legislation set to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would crack down on frivolous patent lawsuits that are "imposing a significant …

R Street warns NYC e-cigarette ban would be harmful to public health

NEW YORK (Dec. 4, 2013) – The New York City Council should consider the potential adverse effects on public health should it move forward with a proposal to …

Small Business Saturday supports local employers and national parks

From The Hill: Or, as the free-market R Street Institute says: "It would be preposterous to ignore the recreation economy’s potential…. As the United States adjusts to an economy …

Government sources of systemic insurable risk

In mid-2013, three years after the Dodd-Frank Act's passage, American International Group Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc. became the first insurance companies to be designated by the Financial …

R Street paper looks at government sources of systemic insurable risk

WASHINGTON (Dec. 3, 2013) – Natural disasters pose significant threats to taxpayers and the economy at-large, thanks to trillions of dollars of insurable risk concentrated on the balance …

No deniers in the foxholes: Insurance industry copes with climate reality

From Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Worth considering in this discussion: Eli Lehrer, founder of the conservative R Street Institute, and formerly of the climate denialist Heartland Institute, …

Surplus flood insurers need path to market, regulators told

From Law360: Free-market groups on Monday urged banking regulators to create a path for surplus lines insurers to provide flood coverage on mortgaged property and to set up protections …

Free-market groups urge banking regulators to accept private flood insurance

WASHINGTON (Dec. 2, 2013) -- Federal rules requiring flood insurance coverage to secure certain mortgaged loans should include a safe harbor for equivalent coverage offered by private excess …

Floridians frustrated by flood-insurance hike

From the Sun-Sentinel: They are backed by some insurance and environmental interests that want to press ahead with the new law to gradually phase out subsidized premiums and set …

Salam on the Obamacare delay for small business

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam joined CNN's Erin Burnett and Democratic Strategist Chris Kofinis to discuss the latest announced Obamacare delay, as the portion of the federal …

Few ports in a storm without Cat Fund reform

From Miami Herald: The James Madison Institute and the R Street Institute, members of the Stronger Safer Florida coalition, to which the Florida Consumer Action Network (FCAN) belongs, recently …

Calm hurricane season over, but rocky waters ahead for Florida insurance scene

From the Florida Current: "Now that the Cat Fund is at its healthiest, the time is right to shift some of that risk to the private market, so the …

Where the buffalo, jackalopes and presidents roam

From the Huffington Post: A recent report, "Protected Lands: A Government-lite Approach," is trying to reframe the issue and its economics. The policy's premise is that keeping American's public …

New study counters health arguments against e-cigarettes

From Watchdog.org: A new paper from the R Street Institute, a national research group, aggressively defends e-cigarettes. Dr. Joel Nitzkin’s analysis broadly counters attacks on e-cigarettes, which have mounted in …

Turning the tables: report finds prohibitionists prone to exaggeration

From Steve K's Vaping World: The same independent Oklahoma news site that found Oklahoma cities might be banning e-cigarettes for the benjamins, reports that some anti-smoking advocates are full …

Taxpayers foot the bill for study supporting new Internet sales taxes

From Somewhat Reasonable: Critics of the Marketplace Fairness Act immediately called foul on the study. Andrew Moylan of the R Street Institute quickly pointed out in an article responding …

R Street applauds committee vote on Innovation Act

WASHINGTON (Nov. 21, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomes the House Judiciary Committee's overwhelming vote to approve the Innovation Act, legislation to encourage innovation by cracking down …

R Street paper looks into the promise of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction

WASHINGTON (Nov. 21, 2013) -- The Food and Drug Administration and other public health authorities should look to the promise of e-cigarettes as a vehicle for tobacco harm …

Congress blames lack of affordability study for high flood insurance rate increases

From the Houston Chronicle: Andrew Moylan, outreach director and senior fellow at R Street Institute, a think tank in Washington, said, “We should be having a completely different conversation, …

Government “study” on Internet tax hides harmful small business effects

From OpenMarket.org: The trouble is it paid $80,000 to two longtime advocates for letting states levy sales taxes on remote online sellers to do so. (Hat tip to Andrew …

Senate discussion draft contains reinsurance tax provision

From Business Insurance: The insurance industry itself is divided on the issue.The discussion draft, which includes the reinsurance proposal among other tax changes, drew immediate fire from free-market groups …

R Street concerned by protectionist reinsurance tax proposal

WASHINGTON (Nov. 19, 2013) – A new proposal from the Senate Finance Committee would raise catastrophe insurance rates by limiting the ability of foreign-based insurers and reinsurers to …

Joint R Street-Pelican Institute report calls for careful oversight of RESTORE ACT

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 19, 2013) – Nearly four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it is crucial that conservatives engage as local authorities implement federal law passed …

Report: Public land a ‘financial asset’ on US balance sheet

From Public News Service: CORTEZ, Colo. - In states like Colorado, it doesn't always have to be "the economy versus the environment," according to a new report that suggests …

Obama’s secret attempt to ban cellphone unlocking, while claiming to support it

From Slate: The FCC came out in favor of our petition, as did numerous outside groups such as Freedomworks, Public Knowledge, R Street and the editorial boards of the …

Bill Maher slams ’60 Minutes’ story

From Politico: However, the National Review's Reihan Salam acknowledged that "There are Republicans who really regret how the Benghazi story has unfolded," adding it was a foreign policy failure. "The …

Hot new national security priority: taxing Internet sales

From Politix: Wait, what? Yes, according to rumblings on Capitol Hill, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), will once again attempt to attach the Reid-Durbin-Obama Internet sales tax bill known as …

All testifying members at congressional hearing support TRIA renewal

From Insurance Network News Ernest Csiszar, former director of insurance in South Carolina and former president of the NAIC, was most open to such changes being made in the …

Reinsurer exec says industry can take on terrorism risks

From Law360: Ernest Csiszar, an associate fellow at free-market think tank R Street Institute, testified that the program's trigger should be raised significantly, to as much as $20 billion …

TRIA issue could wait until spring; backstop could look different

From PropertyCasualty360: In testimony that also likely represents the views of committee Republicans, former NAIC president Ernest Csiszar testified that the program's $100 million loss trigger should be raised …

R Street’s Csiszar recommends shifting more terrorism risk onto private market

WASHINGTON (Nov. 13, 2013) – Congress should extend the $100 billion federal terrorism risk reinsurance backstop, but only after moving much more risk off the backs of taxpayers …

R Street paper argues for ‘government-lite’ approach to conservation

WASHINGTON (Nov. 12, 2013) – A new paper from the R Street Institute argues that taking a middle-ground "government-lite" approach to conservation on federal lands would better serve …

Salam talks ‘sketching rebellion’ with artist Molly Crabapple

Over at the VICE Podcast, R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam sits down with artist Molly Crabapple to discuss her work, much of which deals with subcultures and …

Actions, not Obama rhetoric, will lure FDI back to the United States

From RealClearMarkets: At least when it suits him, President Barack Obama proves himself more than willing to welcome international business to the United States. In late October, for example, …

SAVE THE DATE: IMBYdc launch party and panel discussion

WASHINGTON (Nov. 11, 2013) -- Is the District of Columbia emerging as a "second Brooklyn"? Commentators like Andrew Sullivan think so. But are current land-use and development regulations …

Free-market groups urge Congress not to delay flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (Nov. 8, 2013) – Efforts to delay reform of the National Flood Insurance Program must be resisted to protect taxpayers, the R Street Institute and 15 other …

Join the R Street Institute for a discussion of ‘government-lite’ conservation

WASHINGTON (Nov. 7, 2013) -– In light of recent attention over the closure of the National Parks System during October's federal government shutdown, a new paper from the …

JMI and the R Street Institute recommend ten reforms to fix Florida’s property insurance marketplace without raising rates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Nov. 7, 2013) – On the heels of certain reforms in Florida's 2013 Legislative Session, the James Madison Institute and the R Street Institute today released …

Ten reforms to fix Florida’s property insurance marketplace — without raising rates

Florida's property insurance system remains broken and need of significant changes. Past studies from the James Madison Institute have demonstrated the challenges that Florida's unstable property insurance market …

Could the EPA endorse a carbon tax?

From the Daily Caller: The idea of implementing a carbon tax in lieu of EPA regulations is also being pushed on the federal level by the R Street Institute …

10 reforms to fix Florida’s property insurance market without raising rates

From PropertyCasualty360: On the heels of certain reforms in Florida's 2013 Legislative Session, the James Madison Institute and the R Street Institute released a policy study that outlines pragmatic reforms …

102 conservative groups target wind power subsidies

From the Daily Caller "The wind industry has very little to show after 20 years of preferential tax treatment; it remains woefully dependent on this federal support," wrote conservative …

Florida should encourage private flood insurance market

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Nov. 5, 2013) -– As Florida lawmakers ponder potential legislative responses to rising flood insurance rates, it is crucial no additional catastrophe risk burdens be placed …

Salam with Kleiman on crime and punishment

Over at the VICE Podcast, R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam interviews Mark Kleiman of the University of California-Los Angeles, author of the book When Brute Force Fails. …

Noonan: Insurers can cover terrorism privately

A poll released last week by the Risk and Insurance Management Society -- the trade association for risk managers of corporations, non-profits and local government agencies, who together …

About those ‘huge’ flood insurance rate increases

Recent news reports on the roll-out of reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program have focused on astronomical increases in rates faced by some home and business owners. …

Conservatives demand free market after Librarian of Congress bans phone unlocking

From Breitbart.com: This action cascaded into support across the right from Freedomworks, R Street, Tea Party Nation, Young Americans for Liberty, National College Republicans, Consumers Advocacy, the Competitive Carriers …

Climate change inaction costs taxpayers billions

From Triple Pundit: "The report shows that dealing with climate change doesn’t require large-scale schemes or a total restructuring of our global economy," said Eli Lehrer, president of the …

Mike Lee wants conservatives to stop calling poor people moochers

From Slate: That's not all he said, but the Utah senator's speech at the Heritage Foundation has been heralded by many on the right and hardly noticed on the …

Insurance, tax, climate groups hit possible delay in flood insurance changes

From Insurance Journal: Today only about 50 percent of the damages in the U.S. caused by extreme weather events are privately insured, according to Ceres. "The report shows that dealing …

GOP primary fights cloud online sales tax bill

From the Wall Street Journal: On the other hand, a recently released poll by two conservative advocacy groups, National Taxpayers Union and R Street, shows that voters nationally oppose …

Strange bedfellows? Climate change denial and support for geoengineering

From Yale Climate Forum Of course, not everyone sees a problem with favoring a certain solution because it aligns with their cultural values. "I think it's laudably honest," says …

Strange bedfellows? Climate change denial and support for geoengineering

From Yale Climate Connections: Of course, not everyone sees a problem with favoring a certain solution because it aligns with their cultural values. “I think it’s laudably honest,” says …

The 1 percent’s flood insurance scam

From Salon: The law represented an alliance between fiscal conservatives interested in bringing the NFIP back into balance, and some environmental groups, who believed that subsidizing homeowners with low …

Congress tried to cut subsidies for homes in flood zones. It was harder than they thought.

From the Washington Post: Critics of the flood-insurance subsidies tend to point out that they disproportionately benefit wealthier homeowners. The libertarian R Street Institute, drawing on data from the …

To industry’s chagrin, Congress intros bills to delay flood rate increases

From PropertyCasualty360: The R Street Institute, a conservative think tank, said the Government Accountability Office has determined that 78.8 percent of subsidized policies are in counties that rank in the …

Sandy struck a year ago, but some federal moves could make climate risks worse

From ClimateWire For Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute, that begins with overhauling flood insurance. "For more than 40 years, we've subsidized huge numbers of people to live …

R Street welcomes bill to overturn Michigan anti-scalping law

LANSING, Mich. (Oct. 29, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomes today's introduction of H.B. 5108, legislation that would repeal Michigan's outdated anti-"scalping" law. Under the terms of a …

Salam on whether unpaid internships should be legal

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam recently joined political commentator Stephanie Miller and Mediaite's Joe Concha to discuss unpaid White House internships on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront. …

R Street warns Congress not to gut crucial flood insurance reforms

WASHINGTON (Oct. 28, 2013) -- Legislation set to be introduced by House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., would gut crucial reforms passed by Congress last …

Congressional accord reached on flood insurance rate delay

From the Miami Herald: But the conservative R Street Institute, a free-market research group, condemned the proposed rate hike delay on Monday, calling it a give away. "Delaying the scheduled …

Ceres report highlights rising taxes due to climate change

From Claims Journal: "The report shows that dealing with climate change doesn't require large-scale schemes or a total restructuring of our global economy," said Eli Lehrer, president of the …

Bipartisan deal in Congress to delay flood insurance hike: sources

From Reuters: Critics of subsidized federal flood insurance say the benefits disproportionately favor high-risk and wealthy properties. "Delaying the scheduled phase-out of flood insurance premium subsidies amounts to a gift …

Making the conservative case for sustainability

From U.S. News: In Washington D.C. this week, business leaders in the sustainability movement opened up a new dialog with conservatives. Four conservative thinkers from R Street, the Future …

The future of conservatism—a few remarks

From the American Conservative: Also worth watching is the subsequent panel, which illustrates some of the gender and generation gaps on the right, with panelists including Norm Singleton from …

Flood insurance jumping sevenfold depresses U.S. home values

From Bloomberg Research groups that advocate market-based policies, such as Heritage Action for America and the R Street Institute, have urged members of Congress to leave the measure in …

R Street welcomes bill to crack down on patent trolls

WASHINGTON (Oct. 1, 2013) -- The R Street Institute welcomed today's introduction by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., of legislation to tackle the $29 billion problem …

U.S. seeks ways to privatize insurance for flood risks

From Business Insurance: R.J. Lehmann, senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a Washington-based free-market oriented think tank, said that expanding private reinsurance's role in public risk pools is …

R Street welcomes introduction of disaster savings accounts bill

WASHINGTON (Oct. 17, 2013) – The R Street Institute today welcomed introduction of the Disaster Savings Accounts Act of 2013, legislation that will help Americans to better save …

Shutdown highlights role of conservation in local economies

WASHINGTON (Oct. 15, 2013) – The Obama administration's decision to shutter the U.S. National Park System during the ongoing government shutdown has already cost local tourism economies billions …

Report shows bad hurricane season could knock Florida Cat Fund for a loop

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Oct. 15, 2013) -- One bad hurricane season would leave the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund in precarious financial condition, raising the specter of huge hurricane taxes …

Debt ceiling breach could leave markets not enough debt to go around

From Politix: In recent weeks, public discourse here inside the Beltway (and on Wall Street, and within various other corridors of power near and far) has focused on the …

Debt ceiling breach could leave markets not enough debt to go around

In recent weeks, public discourse here inside the Beltway (and on Wall Street, and within various other corridors of power near and far) has focused on the need …

Sanders on the future of conservatism

R Street Outreach Director and Policy Analyst Lori Sanders took part last month in a panel sponsored by the Future 500 on the future of conservatism. Moderated by …

Salam talks with director of Let the Fire Burn

Over at the Vice Podcast, R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam chats this week with Jason Osder, director of the new documentary Let the Fire Burn. Comprised of …

A reminder: credit unions didn’t cause the financial crisis

The past several weeks have seen the fifth anniversaries of several of the epic failures of the 2008 financial crisis. There was the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and …

Massachusetts’ e-cigarette ban would not improve public health

BOSTON, Mass. (Oct. 1, 2013) – A statewide ban on the indoor use of electronic cigarettes could actually do more harm than good for the commonwealth's public health, …

Groups oppose delaying flood reforms for commercial properties, real estate sales

WASHINGTON (Sept. 26, 2013) -- A proposal forwarded by the Massachusetts congressional delegation to delay phasing out federal flood insurance subsidies for commercial properties and properties that are …

Poll shows Florida voters oppose subsidizing out-of-state Citizens policyholders

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Sept. 25, 2013) – A new poll released today by the Stronger Safer Florida coalition concluded that 77 percent of Floridians oppose paying taxes to subsidize …

Conservative groups urge Congress to resist gutting flood reforms

WASHINGTON (Sept. 18, 2013) -- In a open letter to Congress, the R Street Institute and a coalition of conservative, libertarian, free-market and taxpayers groups urge members to …

R Street names Daniel Rothschild senior fellow and state projects director

WASHINGTON (Sept. 17, 2013) – The R Street Institute today proudly announced it has hired Daniel Rothschild to serve as senior fellow and director of state projects, effective …

The value of conservation compliance to hunters and anglers

In recent years, free-market groups and environmental activists have demonstrated they can work together effectively to root out wasteful federal subsidies that benefit environmentally destructive development. As such …

R Street brief notes farm bill could spell big trouble for hunters

WASHINGTON (Sept. 16, 2014) – Failure by Congress to attach key accountability provisions to federal crop insurance subsidies would have devastating results for hunters and anglers, according to …

R Street Institute promotes quirky ‘conservative conservationism’

From the Washington Examiner: Washington’s R Street Institute was formed last year in a split from Chicago’s Heartland Institute when the well-known midwestern conservative think tank ran a provocative …

Cutting through the arguments to extend or dissolve TRIA

From PropertyCasualty360: Just in time for the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, our friends at the Cato Institute have published an interesting new report that calls …

New poll shows bipartisan, across-the-board, dislike of Internet sales tax

WASHINGTON (Sept. 12, 2013) -- A new national comprehensive survey commissioned by National Taxpayers Union and the R Street Institute finds that Americans overwhelmingly oppose new legislation, like the …

TRIA: To extend or not to extend

Just in time for the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, our friends at the Cato Institute have published an interesting new report that calls for …

Join R Street’s Lori Sanders for a panel on the government’s role in social norms

What should be the role of government in creating and influencing social norms? In recent years, the movement for so-called "libertarian paternalism" has taken off to incorporate social …

Press conference on ending corporate welfare in the Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2013) -- U.S. Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Tom Petri, R-Wis., will join representatives from R Street and groups from across the ideological divide for …

‘Don’t Tax Tuesday’ highlights social value of credit unions

WASHINGTON (Sept. 10, 2013) -- With Congress returning to session this week, the R Street Institute supports the goals of "Don't Tax Tuesday," today's online and social media …

R Street disappointed by Duluth e-cigarette ban

DULUTH, Minn. (Sept. 10, 2013) – An e-cigarrette ban approved yesterday by the Duluth City Council will have the practical effect of reinforcing tobacco cigarettes as the dominant …

Join Reihan Salam at the Eagleton Institute

R Street Institute Senior Fellow Reihan Salam will be on hand Wednesday, Nov. 13 to offer a lecture and discussion on American conservatism at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute …

R Street paper looks at barring federal subsidies to development

WASHINGTON (Sept. 6, 2013) – Expanding and strengthening the Coastal Barrier Resources System would offer a unique opportunity to protect both taxpayers and the environment in a way …

Join R Street’s Lori Sanders for a panel on the future of conservatism

WASHINGTON (Sept. 6, 2013) -- Join R Street Policy Analyst Lori Sanders and other prominent panelists Sept. 24 for a roundtable discussion of "The Future of Conservatism," hosted …

CDC survey on e-cigarettes asks the wrong questions

WASHINGTON (Sept. 5, 2013) -- New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing an uptick in the number of teens who have used electronic cigarettes …

Duluth e-cigarette ban would be damaging to public health

DULUTH, Minn. (Sept. 4, 2013) – Exhaled e-cigarette vapor presents no threat to non-users that would justify banning their use in indoor or outdoor spaces, R Street Senior …

Should ‘under God’ be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance?

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam joins Dean Obeidallah and CNN's Erin Burnett to discuss the latest court challenge. …

R Street’s Andrew Moylan on the Gary Nolan Show

Talk show host and erstwhile candidate for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination Gary Nolan -- syndicated by 93.9 The Eagle in Columbia, Mo. -- caught up with our …

Twitter town hall on Pentagon #spendingreform

A transcript of our recent Twitter town hall on reforms to Pentagon spending: @gabriellahopem Join us for a Twitter town hall on reforming Pentagon spending today at 12:00 ET. …

Mount St. Helens anniversary highlights conservative conservationism

WASHINGTON (Aug. 27, 2013) – Today's anniversary marking the establishment by President Ronald Reagan of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument should underscore to elected leaders the …

North Carolina policyholders confronted with ‘Consent to Rate’

From Heartlander: WFMY-TV in Greensboro, N.C. reports on a common problem facing North Carolina consumers: the arrival of letters from one’s home insurer or auto insurer requesting to raise …

North Carolina consumers confronted with ‘Consent to Rate’

WFMY-TV in Greensboro, N.C. reports on a common problem facing North Carolina consumers: the arrival of letters from one's home or auto insurer requesting to raise rates above …

Join R Street’s Andrew Moylan Aug. 28 for a Twitter ‘town hall’ on defense spending

Right on Defense will host a Twitter town hall on wasteful spending in the bloated $600 billion Pentagon budget, featuring Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense and …

Flood risks are rising globally, but climate change isn’t the culprit

From Politix: Draft versions of a forthcoming working group report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - set to be formally released Sept. 27 - have …

Population, climate and flood risks

From RealClearPolicy: Draft versions of a forthcoming working group report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- set to be formally released September 27 -- have …

When it comes to flood risks, population shifts trump climate change

From Insurance Journal: Draft versions of a forthcoming working group report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — set to be formally released Sept. 27 — …

Flood insurance cost starts to reflect risks

Flood-insurance rates are indeed rising for some ("Flood Insurance Prices Surge," U.S. News, Aug. 13), but only because rates are finally reflecting risks that the rest of the …

When it comes to flood risks, population shifts trump climate change

Draft versions of a forthcoming working group report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- set to be formally released Sept. 27 -- have already …

Pociask on Florida’s missed opportunity

Writing at the Sun-Sentinel, our friend Steve Pociask of the American Consumer Institute reminds Florida lawmakers of the opportunity they missed out on during this past legislative session …

DCTC decision shuts down competition in taxi service

WASHINGTON (Aug. 20, 2013) – The R Street Institute is concerned that the decision by the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission expanding sedan regulations to bar mid-sized, fuel-efficient …

Sanders on the conservative case to tackle poverty

R Street Outreach Manager Lori Sanders joins Michael Graham, host of the The Weekly Standard's podcast, to discuss her recent piece on why Republicans need to take poverty …

Salam interviews Jeremy Scahill of ‘Dirty Wars’

Over at Vice, R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam interviews Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for The Nation, about his coverage special forces operations in the Middle East, …

R Street launches urban project with ‘In My Backyard – DC’

WASHINGTON (Aug. 15, 2013) – The R Street Institute today announced the launch of a major new research and outreach project centered on urban affairs, with particular focus …

Sign up for In My Backyard – D.C.

E-cigs a booming business in Tulsa and across the nation

From KRMG: Dr. Joel Nitzkin, M.D., a nationally known health expert, is quoted one on of the walls of the E-Smoke Boutique. He wrote "If we get all the tobacco …

Don’t tax credit unions…or community banks, either

With the suggestion box now clamped shut for the Senate Finance Committee's tax reform project, it bears pondering what the process is likely to mean for the future …

Stem the wealthy’s sweet flood-insurance deal

From the Charleston Post and Courier: Tucked into the Department of Homeland Security spending bill the Senate Appropriations Committee approved recently is a nefarious provision that will raise flood …

Bill would raise flood insurance for some and subsidize others

This piece was co-authored by Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. Tucked into the Department of Homeland Security spending bill the Senate Appropriations Committee approved this …

Coalition supports amendment to defund illegal surveillance

Dear Member of the U.S. House of Representatives: We write to urge you to vote yes on the bipartisan Amash-Conyers amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of …

Gov. Scott asks congressman to oppose protectionist reinsurance tax

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is taking a firm stance against proposals floated in Congress and by the White House that would raise catastrophe insurance rates by limiting the …

R Street welcomes legislation to curb abusive patent lawsuits

WASHINGTON (July 22, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's introduction of legislation to provide a streamlined process to resolve patent infringement disputes and crack down on …

What’s really going on with flood rates?

From Townhall.com: In recent months, a group of lawmakers from the Gulf Coast — led by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. — in concert with some of their colleagues from …

What’s really going on with flood rates? FEMA provides some clarity

In recent months, a group of lawmakers from the Gulf Coast -- led by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. -- in concert with some of their colleagues from Sandy-hit …

Digital Due Process Coalition letter on civil investigations

We write to express our concerns about a proposal that would grant federal regulatory agencies authority to require web-based email service providers, cloud service providers and other Internet …

Can the Republican Party be saved?

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam discusses options to grow and reform the Republican Party, and whether such efforts have any hopes of succeeding. …

Salam on treatment of Zimmerman witnesses

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam discusses the treatment of witnesses in the George Zimmerman case on CNN. …

Salam talking carbon taxes on Business Insider

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam discusses the potential for a carbon tax with Josh Barro of Business Insider, as well as the prospects that Republicans would ever …

Reihan Salam on Eliot Spitzer

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam joins Dean Obeidallah, Stephanie Miller and CNN's Erin Burnett to discuss Eliot Spitzer's return to politics. …

Reihan Salam on why single-payer wouldn’t work here

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam discusses single-payer health care systems, and why the United States may not be ideally suited for one. …

Salam on the employer mandate delay

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam discusses the Treasury Department's decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate with Josh Barro of Business Insider. …

The Obamacare Employer Mandate Should be Delayed…Forever

From Townhall.com: The big news this morning is the Treasury Department’s announcement that it will delay for one year provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require employers with …

The Obamacare employer mandate should be delayed…forever

The big news this morning is the Treasury Department’s announcement that it will delay for one year provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require employers with more …

Reihan Salam joins R Street Institute as senior fellow

WASHINGTON (July 2, 2013) — The R Street Institute today announced that author, columnist and policy expert Reihan Salam has joined its team as a senior fellow. In his …

Comments to Federal Insurance Office on natural catastrophes

June 21, 2013 Director McRaith, The R Street Institute welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Federal Insurance Office’s study of natural catastrophes and insurance. R Street is a non-partisan, …

North Carolina amendment would allow auto insurers to compete

RALEIGH, N.C. (June 20, 2013) – An amendment proposed to a North Carolina auto insurance modernization bill would introduce a modicum of competition to the market and begin …

R Street urges House consider improvements after failed Farm Bill vote

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2013) –- The R Street Institute welcomed today's 195 to 234 U.S. House vote defeating a proposed $940 billion Farm Bill, and encouraged lawmakers to …

R Street urges House consider improvements after failed Farm Bill vote

For Immediate Release Contact Information: R.J. Lehmann, Public Affairs Director Office: 202.525.5717 Email: rlehmann@rstreet.org WASHINGTON (June 20, 2013) –- The R Street Institute welcomed today’s 195 to 234 U.S. House vote defeating a …

Eli Lehrer on R Street, conservatism and the environment

Peter Sinclair's two-part YouTube interview with Eli Lehrer on R Street, conservatism and the environment. …

R Street urges fiscal responsibility in House Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (June 19, 2013) – As the U.S. House begins deliberations today on H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, the R Street Institute encourages …

FEMA report highlights need for flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (June 14, 2013) – New projections from the Federal Emergency Management Agency showing a long-term increase in flood risks across the country underscore that Congress must not …

Eli Lehrer discussing conservatism and the environment at Duke University

Eli Lehrer of R-Street at Duke University from Energy & Enterprise Initiative on Vimeo. …

Whom does the beach house bailout benefit? Hedge funds, Venezuelan expats, Russian oligarchs

With Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., expected any day now to reintroduce his proposal to have federal taxpayers backstop the risk of state catastrophe funds, it bears examining just …

The myopia of insurance regulation

Mary Williams Walsh of The New York Times’ DealBook blog has an interesting post today on New York regulators’ expansive investigation of captive reinsurance transactions by life insurers, …

R Street joins coalition to oppose unconstitutional domestic spying

WASHINGTON (June 11, 2013) -– The R Street Institute today joined a coalition of nearly 100 technology firms and civil liberties organizations who are calling on Congress to …

NextNewsNetwork report on ‘Defending America, Defending Taxpayers’

NextNewsNetwork offers this video briefing "Defending America, Defending Taxpayers," a recent report by R Street Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan and Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union. …

SAVE THE DATE: Bipartisan staff briefing to discuss NDAA amendments

WASHINGTON (June 7, 2013) -- The 2014 National Defense Authorization bill authorizes $552 billion for the base defense budget, $54 billion above what the current Budget Control Act …

R Street welcomes House crop insurance accountability bill

WASHINGTON (June 5, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today lauded introduction of H.R. 2260, the Crop Insurance Accountability Act of 2013, which would require farmers who receive …

Florida senator announces plans to reintroduce ‘beach house bailout’ bill

WASHINGTON (June 3, 2013) – The R Street Institute today warned that legislation set to be reintroduced by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.,  would encourage development in risky and …

Credit Unions Fight Back Against Big Bank Lobbyists

From The Blaze: R.J. Lehmann is senior fellow, public affairs director and co-founder of R Street. …

Credit Unions Can’t Be Taxed If They Don’t Exist

From Policy Mic: Ray Lehmann is Senior Fellow and Public Affairs Director at the R Street Institute …

Credit Unions Fight Back against Big Banks

From United Liberty: Written by R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow with the R Street Institute. Posted with permission from the R Street Institute. …

You can’t tax credit unions if they don’t exist

After enduring months of salvos from the banking industry, credit unions are fighting back. The above video from the Credit Union National Association, one of the industry’s two major …

Spotlight on NC’s auto insurance system: Seven things to understand

Authored by R Street Senior Fellows R.J. Lehmann and Alan Smith, this paper outlines how the North Carolina Rate Bureau works and how it stifles competition and innovation. …

R Street welcomes appointment of Texas insurance commissioner

AUSTIN, Texas (May 28, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today welcomed Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s appointment of Julia Rathgeber as commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance. Rathgeber …

Landrieu bill would delay, undo vital flood insurance reforms

WASHINGTON (May 22, 2013) – New legislation introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., would delay indefinitely vital reforms to the deeply insolvent National Flood Insurance Program that were …

Neal/Menendez reinsurance tax would cost U.S. consumers billions

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2013) – The R Street Institute today warned that new legislation introduced by Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., would do serious …

SAVE THE DATE: May 30 panel on the 2013 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (May 20, 2013) -– R Street Institute Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan will join representatives of the Cato Institute, Environmental Working Group and Taxpayers for Common Sense for …

R Street welcomes bill to loosen small business lending rules

WASHINGTON (May 16, 2013) – The R Street Institute applauds today’s reintroduction by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., of legislation that would make it easier for small businesses to …

The Florida Cat Fund’s low bar for fiscal ‘health’

The headlines blaring from the Sunshine State today are unambiguous. The state-run Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is “in good shape”  Indeed, its latest report card shows it is …

Watch the Heritage bloggers’ briefing on the Farm Bill nightmare

Watch live streaming video from heritagefoundation at livestream.com Watch R Street Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan with Heritage's own Daren Bakst on the $1 trillion abomination that is the Farm …

Despite SNAP cuts, House Farm Bill is not a ‘fiscally responsible’ option

WASHINGTON (May 14, 2013) – The U.S. House version of the 2013 Farm Bill, which the Agriculture Committee will begin marking up tomorrow, includes increases in taxpayer-financed crop …

Senate Farm Bill draft fails to move toward real reform

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2013) – The R Street Institute today noted the draft Farm Bill the Senate Agriculture Committee will begin marking up tomorrow once again fails to …

Budget watchdogs lay out principles for crop insurance reform

WASHINGTON (May 9, 2013) – As both the House and Senate agriculture panels prepare to mark-up their respective versions of a five-year Farm Bill next week, the R …

R Street concerned by proposal to delay flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (May 8, 2013) – The R Street Institute today expressed concern about a proposed amendment to the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 that would delay important …

In N.C., chairman’s auto insurance bills don’t even meet his own standards

As the push for modernization and consumer choice in North Carolina's auto insurance system moves from the state Senate to the House, it's worth going back to examine …

R Street welcomes committee vote on Michigan auto insurance reform

LANSING, Mich.  (May 3, 2013) – Legislation approved last night by the Michigan House Insurance Committee will help tame out-of-control claims costs that have led the state's drivers …

R Street hires Zach Graves to serve as digital marketing director

WASHINGTON (May 1, 2013) – The R Street Institute today announced the hiring of Zach Graves to the new position of director of digital marketing. Based in R Street’s …

R Street commends Florida House for passing Citizens reform

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 30, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomes today’s vote by the Florida House of Representatives approving legislation to reform Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the …

Florida Senate passes needed reforms to Citizens Property Insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 25, 2013) – The R Street Institute today commended the Florida Senate for passing by a 24-15 margin legislation to promote depopulation of the state-run …

R Street commends committee passage of electronic privacy bill

WASHINGTON (April 25, 2013) – The R Street Institute today commended the Senate Judiciary Committee for reporting out the most significant update to U.S. electronic privacy law in …

Fraud is Michigan’s ‘other’ auto insurance problem

As legislative work picks up in earnest on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to reform the state’s woeful no-fault auto insurance system, we wanted to call attention to …

R Street says ‘revenue neutrality’ shouldn’t be sticking point in corporate tax reform

WASHINGTON (April 19, 2013) – As Congress weighs whether to embark on significant tax reform in this session, lawmakers should take a page from other developed countries and …

R Street welcomes Michigan governor’s no-fault reform plan

LANSING, Mich. (April 18, 2013 — The R Street Institute welcomed today’s announcement by Gov. Rick Snyder that he will seek legislation to end the state’s unique requirement …

North Carolina’s auto insurance system badly needs an upgrade

It’s easy to understand why many North Carolinians are skeptical of proposals to change how the state regulates auto insurance. In a state where homeowners insurance rates are …

Obama proposes government-run workers’ comp insurer

WASHINGTON (April 12, 2013) --  The R Street Institute today asked that the White House come forward with more details about a legislative proposal it floated this week …

R Street names Lori Sanders outreach manager

WASHINGTON (April 11, 2013) –- The R Street Institute today announced it has named Lori Sanders to the new position of outreach manager, working out of the institute's …

Obama budget would raise insurance costs, violate trade agreements

WASHINGTON (April 10, 2013) – A provision in the White House’s newly released Fiscal Year 2014 budget would drive up the cost of property insurance across the country, …

R Street urges Texas to adopt tough conflict of interest standards

AUSTIN, Texas (April 2, 2013) –- Financial advisers that work with Texas state agencies to place bonds should be held to the same conflict of interest standards that …

R Street proposes ‘cat-and-trade’ offset system for wind power

WASHINGTON (April 1, 2013) -- Researchers at the R Street Institute today unveiled a new major public policy initiative that aims to simultaneously preserve wildlife and encourage wider …

Right Ideas

R Street fellows offer primer on N.C. auto insurance reform

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 28, 2013) -- North Carolina’s outdated “rate bureau” auto insurance system imposes hidden taxes to subsidize the coverage of risky drivers, while making it difficult …

North Carolina’s ‘other’ auto insurance market

I've already covered in these pages some of the things the editorial pages of North Carolina's leading newspapers are getting wrong about S.B. 154, legislation to modernize the …

Jersey pols shill for the NFIP’s three-card monte

My home state of New Jersey has been the scene of a number of historic events over the years, both famous and infamous: the invention of the incandescent …

R Street paper urges states to explore new approaches to tobacco control

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14, 2013) --As state lawmakers continue to weigh policies intended to encourage smokers to quit and discourage teens from picking up the habit, more attention …

R Street urges Congress not to support ‘beach house bailout’

WASHINGTON (March 12, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today expressed concerns about the reintroduction by Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., of legislation establishing a pre-packaged federal bailout system …

Breaking up North Carolina’s auto insurance cartel

Legislation to break up North Carolina’s rate bureau cartel and bring the state’s auto insurance market into the 21st Century has now been introduced in both houses of …

Moylan on Internet sales tax fight

Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan appeared on the Huffington Post's HuffPost Live program to discuss Internet sales taxes as part of a "Google Hangout" panel that also included Huffington …

Should the National Flood Insurance Program be privatized?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), in a sense, is responsible for the modern American suburb. Construction of the Interstate Highway System, easy mortgage insurance from the Veterans …

R Street welcomes bill to reform Michigan no-fault auto insurance

LANSING, Mich. (March 7, 2013) – The R Street Institute today welcomed the introduction of bipartisan legislation to cap Michigan’s system of unlimited personal injury protection benefits, a …

R Street welcomes introduction of Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act

WASHINGTON (March 5, 2013) -- New legislation introduced today in both chambers of Congress would scale back massive federal subsidies for crop insurance, representing a major victory for …

R Street paper shows South Carolina at low risk of post-storm ‘hurricane taxes’

COLUMBIA, S.C. (March 5, 2013) -- While a state Senate subcommittee has been appointed to study home insurance rates in South Carolina, new research from the R Street …

R Street welcomes efforts to modernize N.C. auto insurance

RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 28, 2013) –- The R Street Institute today welcomed new legislation that would reform North Carolina’s outdated and inefficient price controls for auto insurance. Under the …

More good news/bad news for Florida insurance market

Floridians would face about $7.19 billion in post-hurricane taxes to make up the funding shortfalls of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund should …

Good news now, question marks later, for Fla. Citizens

Coming on the heels of a major deal that transferred 31,000 coastal policies and $30 billion in gross exposure to private start-up Weston Insurance Co., Florida’s state-run Citizens …

Bipartisan bill tackles federal subsidies that destroy America’s prairies

WASHINGTON (Feb. 15, 2013) -- Bipartisan legislation introduced this week would cut $200 million in wasteful federal subsidies that currently encourage farmers to cultivate that native sod and …

R Street applauds reintroduction of small business lending bill

WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2013) -– The R Street Institute welcomed today’s introduction of federal legislation making it easier for small businesses to gain access to credit through the …

Chamber poll suggests Floridians want their state out of the insurance business

Floridians believe their state should stay out of the insurance business, rather than supporting a state-run insurance company, according to a recent poll sponsored by the Florida Chamber …

R Street urges Congress to explore alternatives to TRIA

WASHINGTON (Feb. 5, 2013) -- As Congress prepares to consider the fate of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program – the $100 billion federal reinsurance backstop set to expire …

Federal bailout of Florida is far from a sure thing

As Florida’s 2013 legislative session draws near, state lawmakers once again are preparing to examine reforms to the Sunshine State’s property insurance system. Most notable, of course, are …

SmarterSafer.org unveils new Disaster Assistance Framework to protect American families, taxpayers and the environment

WASHINGTON (Jan. 31, 2012) -- SmarterSafer.org today introduced its new Disaster Assistance Framework and urged Congress to pursue a holistic approach to federal disaster response so the government …

SmarterSafer.org to unveil new disaster assistance framework to protect American families, taxpayers and the environment

WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2013) --  SmarterSafer.org will host an 11 a.m. conference call on Thursday, Jan. 31 to introduce its new Disaster Assistance Framework and discuss how Congress …

Consumer choice key to Mich. auto insurance reform, R Street finds

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 22, 2013) -- With no-fault auto insurance premiums that are among the highest in the nation, Michigan lawmakers should act to grant consumers more choice …

Reforming Michigan’s auto insurance market

PDF Download Text Michigan’s unaffordably high auto insurance premiums result in large part from its unique requirement granting all policyholders unlimited lifetime medical benefits. Higher rates of medical …

R Street welcomes Gov. Snyder’s call for no-fault reform

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 17, 2013) – The R Street Institute today welcomed Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s call in his State of the State address for reforms to the …

Florida members introduce two bills seeking ‘beach house bailout

WASHINGTON (Jan. 15, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today expressed strong opposition to the recent introduction of H.R. 240, the Homeowners' Insurance Protection Act, and the pending …

Beware of storm signals by insurers

In arguing that he and his cohorts are being overcharged on homeowners insurance for their coastal South Carolina properties, Daryl Ferguson notes the southernmost part of his state …

Fla. state Rep. Wood: Fix Citizens now!

Florida state Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven, notes in today's edition of the Sun-Sentinel that the feds aren't the only ones dealing with a "fiscal cliff." So long …

Panel offers plan for New York to prepare for catastrophes

New York State's NYS 2100 Commission, created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to offer recommendations on ways to better prepare for natural disasters, …

Letter to the Helena (Mont.) Independent Record

In their joint op-ed ("Rate review important for cost control," Jan. 8) Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen and state Rep. Jeffrey Welborn, R-Dillon, argue that the state's health …

R Street welcomes Chairman Hensarling’s call for NFIP privatization

WASHINGTON (Jan. 4, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today welcomed the commitment by incoming House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, to craft legislation during the …

Letter to the Los Angeles Times

In its editorial urging greater federal preparedness for natural disasters ("Washington should prepare for disasters, not just react," Jan. 4) the Times offers support for "the California Earthquake …

Letter to the Wall Street Journal

In response to "Coastal Residents Knock Insurers" by Valerie Bauerlein and Leslie Scism (A3, Jan. 4): In arguing that he and his cohorts are being overcharged on homeowners insurance …

Fiscal Cliff deal extends current Farm Bill, keeps wasteful direct payments

WASHINGTON (Jan. 2, 2013) – As part of the U.S. House’s 257-167 vote to approve legislation averting the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Congress has extended for nine months statutory …

Happy Holidays from the R Street Institute!

While we at R Street continue to have our eyes and ears open for significant developments at both the state and federal level in this final week of …

R Street proposes international monitoring of state-controlled insurers

WASHINGTON (Dec. 17, 2012) -- State-controlled insurers and reinsurers represent potentially significant sources of systemic risk and should be monitored as such, R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann …

TAG…you’re out!

In what proved to be a bit of a surprise to veteran Capitol Hill watchers -- a pleasant one, from our perspective -- a planned U.S. Senate vote …

Dec. 13 press conference on ending the Wind Production Tax Credit

WASHINGTON (Dec. 12, 2012) – R Street President Eli Lehrer will join other representatives from a coalition of conservative and free-market groups in a Dec. 13 press conference …

White House seeks $10 billion NFIP bailout

WASHINGTON (Dec. 10, 2012) -- As Congress considers a White House request to raise the National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority to $30.4 billion, the R Street Institute …

R Street finds Wisconsin workers’ comp system fails to control costs

WASHINGTON (Dec. 10, 2012) -- Wisconsin’s 20-year-old certified database system has failed to control costs in the state's workers' compensation market and should be replaced with more aggressive …

Medical cost containment in the Wisconsin workers’ compensation market

Wisconsin’s 20-year-old certified database system, used to resolve disputes about the reasonableness of medical reimbursements paid by workers’ compensation carriers, has failed to control costs and should be …

Conservative coalition urges killing ‘TAG’ bank bailout

WASHINGTON (Dec. 10, 2012) – In a letter to Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., representatives of 14 conservative, libertarian and free-market groups call on the …

Taxpayers won’t harvest farm bill savings

December 7, 2012 Dear Member of Congress, It is the height of fiscal irresponsibility to include a five-year reauthorization of agricultural programs as part of a deficit reduction package to …

R Street welcomes new Heritage President Jim DeMint

WASHINGTON (Dec. 6, 2012) –- R Street Institute President Eli Lehrer today praised the Heritage Foundation for choosing U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., to serve as the foundation’s …

R Street urges Senate to consider expanding small business credit

WASHINGTON (Dec. 5, 2012) -- Legislation to expand credit union member business lending should not be tied to a proposed extension of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Transaction …

R Street offers ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for lame duck Congress

WASHINGTON (Dec. 3, 2012) –-There’s any number of legislative avenues down which the ongoing negotiations in Congress to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” could ultimately proceed, but some …

Nov. 29 SmarterSafer letter on flood insurance

SmarterSafer.org -- a coalition that includes R Street as well as industry, environmental and taxpayer groups that favor fiscally and environmentally responsible public policy solutions to the problems …

R Street offers ‘Tax Hit List’ for 113th Congress

WASHINGTON (Nov. 28, 2012) -- While Congress continues to debate the contours of a deal to avoid enormous tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at …

Heartland’s Stanek on the ‘Beach House Bailout’

Our old colleague at the Heartland Institute, Steve Stanek, has a great piece this week in The Washington Times on the laughably named "Taxpayer Protection Act," the latest …

R Street seeks to dispel credit union business lending myths

WASHINGTON (Nov. 26, 2012) -- As Congress prepares to vote on S. 2231, a measure that would liberalize member business lending rules for credit unions, R Street Institute …

R Street names Ike Brannon senior fellow and research director

WASHINGTON (Nov. 26, 2012) -- The R Street Institute today announced that economist and veteran Washington policy expert Ike Brannon will be joining its team as senior fellow …

Eli Lehrer featured on the Insurance Journal podcast

R Street President Eli Lehrer was interviewed by Andy Simpson of Insurance Journal for IJ's podcast about the results of the 2012 elections and how they bode for …

David Frum’s Why Romney Lost

Today is Thanksgiving, which usually marks the beginning of the Christmas season. As merry shoppers prepare to brave the fulsome crowds to take advantage of Black Friday deals, …

For NFIP, when is a loan not a loan?

The White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are expected to come forward in the coming days or weeks with a request to raise the National Flood …

Response to The Nation’s Naomi Klein

This letter to The Nation magazine was submitted in response to the Nov. 5 article "Superstorm Sandy—a People's Shock?" by Naomi Klein. Naomi Klein describes me as a …

Free-market groups oppose lame duck consideration of $1 trillion Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (Nov. 13, 2012) -– As federal lawmakers prepare for a seven-week lame duck session of Congress, the R Street Institute and a coalition of 13 other conservative, …

R Street hosts Nov. 9 presentation on conservation compliance in the Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2012) – With the U.S. House potentially set to take up the Farm Bill in the “lame duck” session that will follow the Nov. 6 …

Slate takes note of conservation compliance

Slate's Daniel Imhoff has taken a look at the 700-page monstrosity that is the Farm Bill and noticed some of the same things we have -- notably it's …

Moylan on the ‘Beach House Bailout’

R Street Outreach Director and Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan recently sat down with the Heartland Institute's Steve Stanek to record a podcast on the ironically titled "Taxpayer Protection …

‘Super Storm’ underscores danger of encouraging people to live in harm’s way

WASHINGTON (Oct. 30, 2012) –- As much of the eastern United States begins the work of assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy –- even as its remnants …

Farm Bill needs stronger protections for taxpayers and the environment

WASHINGTON (Oct. 29, 2012) -- As U.S. lawmakers prepare to complete work on the 2012 Farm Bill following the Nov. 6 election, a new paper from the R …

NAIC will no longer charge public for access to model laws and regulations

WASHINGTON (Oct. 25, 2012) -- The R Street Institute today commended the National Association of Insurance Commissioners – the trade association and educational foundation comprised of the nation’s …

Eli Lehrer on the Farm Bill at HuffPost Live

R Street President Eli Lehrer takes part in a panel discussion at HuffPost Live on the 2012 Farm Bill, which Congress failed to pass before the existing bill's …

R Street marks 30th anniversary of landmark Coastal Barrier Resources Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 18, 2012) –- The R Street Institute today commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, a landmark piece of legislation that continues …

SmarterSafer.org letter on the Taxpayer Protection Act

A coalition of leading taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurers, reinsurers and others -- including R Street -- submitted the attached letter to every member of Congress, urging them …

Andrew Moylan on wasteful spending at the Pentagon and the free market

R Street Outreach Director Andrew Moylan joins Michael Ostrolenk in a discussion on the misallocation of resources at the Pentagon and how free-market supporters need to support cuts. …

Fla. Citizens’ surplus note depopulation draws broad coalition support

A coalition of business and consumer interests are pushing for rapid approval of a plan floated by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to speed its depopulation efforts by offering …

Rate hikes approved for Florida Citizens

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has approved rate increases for Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s homeowners policies just slightly below the rates the state-sponsored insurer was seeking. The new …

R Street’s Peter Cramton on Medicare’s bizarre auction process

The above video includes R Street Associate Fellow Peter  Cramton, professor of economics at the University of Maryland and one of the nation's foremost experts in auction theory, …

Access to Capital for Small Business – The Hill’s Video

The video features the Sept. 12 seminar on small business access to capital hosted by The Hill, and featuring talks by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Rep. Ed …

R Street names Andrew Moylan director of outreach

WASHINGTON (Sept. 13, 2012) -- The R Street Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Moylan as director of outreach and senior fellow, effective Sept. 24. In …

Report outlines small businesses’ credit woes and possible solutions

WASHINGTON (Sept. 12, 2012) -- Small business owners create the majority of new jobs in this country, but are still struggling to play their role as our primary …

Our live-tweeting of today’s hearing on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

For those of you who don't yet follow us on Twitter, here is a read-out of our live-feed of today's House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and …

R Street welcomes hearing on private options for terrorism insurance

WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2012) -- As Americans today mark the 11th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the R Street Institute commends the House …

Florida state audit confirms Citizens’ rates are too low

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Sept. 6, 2012) -- A new report from Florida Auditor General David Martin confirms that the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s rates are too low to …

Let the Wind Production Tax Credit expire!

The following letter was submitted Sept. 6 by R Street and 63 other allied organizations to every member of Congress. September 6, 2012 Dear United States Senators and Representatives: The principal …

Donelon: La. Citizens’ Isaac claims less than $75M

It appears that Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. may not have to draw on its Pelican Re catastrophe bond, after all. In an interview with The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, …

Democrats’ platform drops support for ‘beach house bailout’

WASHINGTON (Sept. 4, 2012) -- The R Street Institute today noted the Democratic Party has dropped from its 2012 platform language that advocated a federal reinsurance mechanism to …

Texas state senator asks governor to sack insurance commish

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, is calling on Gov. Rick Perry to replace Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman, charging that in the year since she was appointed …

Isaac could be first storm to trigger a state-run insurer’s cat bond

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 29, 2012) -- Hurricane Isaac, which made landfall as a Category 1 storm in Southeastern Louisiana late Aug. 28 and is expected to weaken as …

Wind-water dispute reform arrives too late for Isaac claims

As the Gulf Coast braces for Hurricane Isaac, one hopes the region will avoid not only the massive destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina eight years ago, but also …

Fla. Citizens dodges Isaac; La. Citizens may not be so lucky

Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. can now breath a major sigh of relief, as Tropical Storm Isaac delivered just a glancing blow to South Florida and the Keys …

R Street warns FIO against government-run reinsurers

WASHINGTON (Aug. 24, 2012) -- Governments are intrinsically ill-suited to providing property reinsurance, suggesting  that legislative proposals for a federal backstop to state insurance programs should be rejected, …

Penny-wise and billion-pound-foolish in Florida

According to its official tourism marketing corporation, the State of Florida welcomed 87.3 million visitors in 2011, whose $67.2 billion of spending generated nearly a quarter of …

On eve of Andrew anniversary, Florida turns eyes to Isaac

This week marks the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, which made landfall Aug. 24 as a Category 5 storm in Elliott Key and Homestead, Fla. At $15.5 billion in …

FLOIR report shows PIP reform will benefit Florida drivers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Aug. 21, 2012) – Analysis released today by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation demonstrates that the recently passed H.B. 119 should help control runaway personal …

R Street urges Florida Citizens to remain vigilant on mitigation credits

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Aug. 17, 2012) -- The R Street Institute today encouraged Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to maintain vigilance in its efforts to ensure that policyholder mitigation …

‘Everyone in here is a millionaire’

That headline comes us by way of “Grandpa” Straub, a farmer from Fairbury, Ill. who also serves as the star of the latest edition of National Public Radio’s …

Will the NAIC’s CIPR survive Terri Vaughan’s departure?

I’ve just returned from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ summer meetings in Atlanta, where the big news was the announcement of NAIC CEO Terri Vaughan’s pending …

Texas commish fires back

Deluged by a mass-email campaign initiated by consumer group Texas Watch, state Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman responded this week with a thorough fisking of the commenters' questions, demands …

Miami-Dade could repeal 23-year-old pit bull ban

Miami-Dade County voters will go to the polls Aug. 14 to determine the fate of a 23-year-old ban on so-called “pit bull-type” dogs, which could make it the …

State Offices

Texas wind pool should solve funding problems before making them worse

AUSTIN, Texas (Aug. 8, 2012) -- A decision by the board of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association to raise the policy limits on both residential and commercial policies …

R Street finds backstop would have little effect on cost, take-up of earthquake insurance

WASHINGTON (Aug. 6, 2012) -- Legislation that proposes federal debt guarantees for state earthquake insurance facilities like the California Earthquake Authority would not drive down premiums or increase …

CEA offering shows enormous private sector interest in earthquake insurance

The California Earthquake Authority, which has been lobbying Congress to establish a federal backstop to its debt financing, is proving once again that it can do plenty fine …

Trailer for fascinating North Korea doc, Juche Strong

Juche has been described as the state religion of North Korea. Attributed to the late dictator Kim Il-sung, the Juche philosophy interpolates Marxist concepts of the deconstructed self …

North Carolina’s antiquated rate bureau system

There was a time, not so far in the distant past, when virtually all property and casualty insurance rates were calculated by industry-owned rate bureaus. It wasn’t necessarily a …

Brad Rodu on the ‘third way’ for America’s smokers

Click the video above to listen to the full audio of R Street Institute Associate Fellow Brad Rodu discussing tobacco harm reduction earlier this year on WKU, a …

Hoeven’s flood bill derailed in U.S. House

In what turned out to be very good news for taxpayers, the environment and anyone concerned about risk mitigation, the speeding legislative train that was Sen. John Hoeven's S. …

Hoeven flood bill would set terrible precedent

WASHINGTON (July 23, 2012) -– One week after it was pulled from the calendar due to protests from taxpayer and environmental groups, U.S. House leaders have once again …

R Street hosts Aug. 3 presentation on cost of a federal earthquake fund

WASHINGTON (July 18, 2012) -- Legislation introduced in the 112th Congress by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., proposes to create a …

House pushes off North Dakota flood properties vote

S. 2039, Sen. John Hoeven's bill to exempt flooded North Dakota properties purchased with federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds from the open space requirements of the Stafford …

Carve-outs for North Dakota flood properties bad for taxpayers and the environmen​t

WASHINGTON (July 17, 2012) -- Legislation set to be taken up today by the U.S. House would gut taxpayer protections and key environmental restrictions for flood-damaged properties in …

Rep. Royce takes his NAIC questions to Treasury

Dissatisfied with the answers he’s received from the group itself, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., is turning to Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith with a request that …

Rep. Peterson: Millionaires need safety nets, too

In what was not at all a surprise, the House Agriculture Committee passed by a 35-11 margin its mammoth $957 billion Farm Bill early this morning, without any serious consideration given …

R Street-Heartland paper looks at how insurers treat tobacco

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2012) -- As a growing number of former smokers turn to nicotine replacement therapies, e-cigarettes and certain other forms of smokeless tobacco, state and …

R Street, taxpayer groups seek real reform in $1 trillion Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (July 11, 2012) -- Ahead of today’s House Agriculture Committee mark-up of the $957 billion Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, the R Street Institute has …

R Street welcomes launch of Energy and Enterprise Initiative

WASHINGTON (July 10, 2012) -- The R Street Institute welcomes today’s launch of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, a new campaign launched by former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, …

Texas should look to building codes, competition to ease property rates

AUSTIN, Texas (July 10, 2012) -- Texas will always face an unusually high concentration of natural catastrophe risks, but there are steps that lawmakers could take to make property insurance …

House GOP freshmen failing the Farm Bill test

They took office 18 months ago full of piss and vinegar, the 84 freshmen Republicans who rode a wave of tea party invective about out-of-control government spending into …

House Farm Bill cuts don’t go nearly far enough

WASHINGTON (July 6, 2012) -- Much of the $35 billion in federal savings proposed in draft Farm Bill legislation unveiled this week by the House Agriculture Committee could …

Michigan’s credit-scoring law moves closer to the mainstream

The State of Michigan, whose Supreme Court struck down an absolute ban on the use of credit information in insurance underwriting and rate-making decisions, has moved to slightly …

R Street welcomes congressional agreement on National Flood Insurance Program reforms

WASHINGTON (June 29, 2012) -- After nearly eight years of debate, Congress is finally set to bring a measure of fiscal sanity and sound insurance principles to the …

BREAKING: Senate leaders strike deal on flood insurance reform

(See UPDATE below) In a briefing today with interested parties, the Senate Banking Committee’s chairman and ranking member confirmed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader …

R Street comments on Supreme Court’s health care decision

WASHINGTON (June 28, 2012) -- The R Street Institute, a free market think tank that specializes in insurance issues, welcomed today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on …

Rep. Cummings wants federal workers comp insurer for overseas contractors

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. – the former chairman and current ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee – has some issues with American International …

Green Scissors 2012 finds ending environmentally destructive federal programs would save nearly $700 billion

Left-Right coalition identifies practical steps Congress could take to slash deficits, save natural resources WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 26, 2012 — Congress could move a long way toward solving …

U.S. Senate misses chance to help taxpayers, environment with Farm Bill vote

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) - The R Street Institute today expressed its disappointment that the U.S. Senate has voted to approve S. 3240, a $969 billion boondoggle commonly …

TWIA solvency concerns finally on Texas lawmakers’ radar

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association has only about $3.6 billion in claims-paying resources “under a best case scenario,” even though it could face losses of $14.2 billion from …

R Street, Taxpayers for Common Sense urge Senate to learn lessons from Katrina

WASHINGTON (June 18, 2012) -- In a joint letter, the R Street Institute and Taxpayers for Common Sense are warning members of the U.S. Senate not to gut …

Connecticut reforms reinsurance collateral, California could be next

Connecticut is the latest state to liberalize collateral requirements for foreign-based reinsurers, and California could be next on the list, after a similar bill passed that state’s Senate. Connecticut …

Fla Citizens taps Zurich vet as new president

The board of governors of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. pulled off not one, but two shockers in the past 24 hours with respect to its choice of …

R Street welcomes amendments to pare down $1 trillion Farm Bill

The R Street Institute this week urged U.S. Senate members to pay heed to the destructive fiscal and environmental impacts that would flow from S. 3240, the Agriculture …

Free-market and conservative coalition urges ‘yes’ on S.J. Res. 37, the Inhofe resolution to stop Utility MACT

Dear Senator: On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our organizations, we urge you to VOTE YES on the Inhofe Resolution, S.J. Res. 37, to overturn …

Dear conservatives: A rejoinder to Lehrer

One of the goals we set in launching the Word on the Street blog is that it would promote dialogue on a broad range of issues – from …

Florida can and should fix its own insurance problems

You have to hand it to the Palm Beach Post. First, the paper sends out a reporter to a press conference with Gov. Rick Scott to ask his …

Arrrrrr Street

Florida insurance reform push draws strange bedfellows

Tom Grady, interim chief of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp., has been on a tour of the Sunshine State, trying to defend he and his board’s efforts to …

La. Legislature takes wrong turn on rates

The Louisiana Legislature wrapped up their 2012 session late June 4 by passing S.B. 204 , a bill that would reinstate a partial suspension of the requirement that …

R Street Institute commends Florida lawmakers for standing up for solvency

WASHINGTON (June 5, 2012) – The R Street Institute today welcomed a letter from three Florida state senators and 22 state representatives supporting Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Interim …

Does Rick Scott support the ‘Beach House Bailout?’

Much of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's tenure in office has been consumed with confronting the mistakes his predecessor made in the property insurance market. Charlie Crist left office …

R Street report card ranks Vermont best, Florida worst regulatory environments for insurance

The R Street Institute published its first research project as an independent institution today, a report card of the insurance regulatory environments in each of the 50 states. …

R Street Institute publishes 2012 Insurance Regulation Report Card

WASHINGTON (June 4, 2012) – The R Street Institute, a new national non-profit public policy think tank dedicated to free markets and real solutions, today released its first …

2012 Insurance Regulation Report Card

PDF Download Text A state-by-state study of the U.S. insurance regulatory system, examining which states are doing the best job of regulating insurance through limited, effective and efficient …

Welcome Out of the Storm News readers!

Regular readers of OutOfTheStormNews.com, the flagship publication of the former Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, may have noticed some changes around these parts. Now that we …

Federal flood program gets 60-day extension

The National Flood Insurance Program will be extended an additional 60 days beyond its scheduled May 31 expiration, after the U.S. House late May 30 approved by voice …

Letter to the Miami Herald

In his letter about Citizens Property Insurance Corp.'s $750 million Everglades Re bond issuance, (May 30, "The next Greece" ) John Dasburg misunderstands a key feature of how …

Heartland Institute announces plan to spin off insurance project

The Heartland Institute has decided to spin off its insurance research project effective May 31. According to Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, “We’re convinced this will be …

May 9, 2012 testimony to Senate Banking Committee

This written testimony from R Street Public Affairs Director R.J. Lehmann was submitted on behalf of the Heartland Institute to the Senate Banking Committee's Subcommittee on Economic Policy …

Congresswoman presses Geithner on delayed insurance report

Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., wants to know why the Federal Insurance Office still hasn’t issued its much-awaited report on insurance regulatory modernization. Biggert, who serves as chairwoman of the …

The Royce-NAIC spat heats up

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is neither a regulator nor a trade association, but an “association of elected and appointed state regulatory officials charged with regulating the …

La. Citizens latest state insurer to tap cat bond market

The Louisiana Citizens  Property Insurance Corp. has become the third state-run residual market wind pool to turn to the private insurance-linked securities market, issuing $100 million of catastrophe …

Oklahoma commish draws line in sand on ‘states rights’

He was elected back in 2010, but the just-completed National Association of Insurance Commissioners spring meetings in New Orleans may well prove to have been Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner …

BREAKING: Treasury sells off 14% of its AIG stake

Perhaps taking a tip from us, the U.S. Treasury Department has restarted its stalled effort to sell off its 77% stake in bailed-out insurance giant American International Group. Treasury …

Proposal for surplus lines take-outs from Fla. Citizens appears DOA

A proposal that would allow surplus lines insurers to take-out blocks of policies from the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. appears to be dead, after the Senate voted …

Letter from Washington: Good news, bad news at AIG

The glacial pace of unwinding American International Group’s mammoth $182 billion federal bailout inched along ever-so-slightly faster this past month. While this is good news, there remain some …

FIRE Podcast- J. Robert Hunter: Insurers’ disappearing cat risk

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/fire022912.mp3[/podcast] It isn’t often that we find ourselves in agreement with J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America. The former Texas insurance commissioner and …

P&C trades argue states destroying ‘interstate comity’ with climate survey

A trio of large states that recently banded together to require insurers comply with a climate risk survey process originally developed – but later withdrawn – by the …

Congressman asks: ‘what exactly IS the NAIC?’

It’s a fair question, and one I’ve asked myself on a number of occasions. The question keeps coming up, in part, because the NAIC keeps changing its answer. The …

Citizens reform advances, despite Hurricane Hukill headwinds

The Florida House of Representatives has passed legislation by an 89-25 margin that would limit Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s ability to assess private insurers’ policyholders to make up …

Telematics are the future of auto insurance

Writing at National Underwriter’s PropertyCasualty360 site, Robert Regis Hyle, editor-in-chief of Tech Decisions magazine, sees the future of auto insurance dominated by “telematics,” those advanced modeling systems that …

Texas commissioner calls TWIA ‘unsustainable’

Calling the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association’s present structure “unsustainable,” Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman has put forth a proposal to hire consultants to reduce the state-backed insurer’s exposure …

FIRE Podcast- CPAC Panel: Too many crimes, too many criminals

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/cpac_2012_eli_lehrer.mp3[/podcast] In a special dispatch from the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference – held Feb. 9 to 11 in Washington D.C. – this week’s episode of the FIRE Podcast …

Obama budget would hurt U.S. policyholders

Hidden in President Barack Obama’s newly released $3.8 trillion Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Proposal is a provision that would do serious damage to U.S. property and casualty insurance …

FIRE Podcast- Sean Carr: HUD discrimination rule could hit homeowners insurance

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/fire020912.mp3[/podcast] Homeowners insurers are concerned that a new proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development could subject long-standing rating and underwriting practices to scrutiny under …

‘Beach House Bailout’ author gets new life as Obama fundraiser/lobbyist

The assertion from President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign that it won’t  “take a dime from D.C. lobbyists or special-interest PACs”  has come into question in light of a …

Telemetry-based auto insurance comes to U.K.

Telemetry-based auto insurance is making its way across the pond, as GPS specialist TomTom announced it has signed a deal with Welsh insurance broker Motaquote to begin offering …

Waiting game continues for FIO report

Those awaiting delivery of the Federal Insurance Office’s first major report on ways to improve and modernize U.S. insurance regulation will have to wait a bit longer, Insurance …

Beachhouse Bailout backers make pitch to the heartland

The Beachhouse Bailout is back. And this time, its authors are making a desperate pitch to appeal to the Heartland. (The region, not the Institute; Even they aren’t …

FIRE Podcast-Jack Nicholson: Fla. insurers need ‘skin in the game’

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/fire020212.mp3[/podcast] As Florida lawmakers’ 60-day legislative session continues to move forward, there are some unsettling signs that efforts to reform the state’s Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund may be stalled …

Treasury’s AIG pump and dump

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released new projections that the Troubled Asset Relief Program will cost the federal government $23 billion in 2012, $20 billion more than …

Former realtors’ lobbyist calls flood program a ‘boondoggle’

The National Association of Realtors, the largest U.S. trade association and one of its most powerful, has historically played a key role in blocking efforts to bring about …

FIRE Podcast-Ian Bremmer: The rising threat of state capitalism

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/yingma-1.mp3[/podcast] The emergence of China as a global economic power has generally been cheered by free-market advocates as the end result of a 30-year process of economic liberalization that …

Florida leaders rally for PIP reform

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, among other leaders, held a Jan. 25 rally at the State Capitol in Tallahassee …

New Jersey insurance chief reportedly stepping down

New Jersey Banking and Insurance Commissioner Tom Considine is set to step down next month to return to the private sector, Newark’s Star-Ledger newspaper is reporting. If true, it …

FIRE Podcast-Robert Detlefsen: Litigation finance could impact insurance claims

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/fire011912.mp3[/podcast] Third-party litigation funding, already a regular practice in countries like Australia and the United Kingdom, has seen growing interest in the United States in recent years. Buoyed by …

Econ lesson for PIPA author

I don’t always find myself in agreement with Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research. But over at his Beat the Press blog, …

Workable solutions for Florida’s challenging insurance problems

PDF Download Text This paper, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer and Public Affairs Director R.J. Lehmann, was published in January 2012 by the James Madison Institute. …

Florida bill orders accident victims report to the emergency room

In an effort to crack down on the potential for auto insurance claims fraud perpetrated by so-called “pain clinics,” a subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives has …

FIRE Podcast- J.P. Freire: Cordray appointment is White House power grab

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/fire011012_0.mp3[/podcast] In a move that cheered some liberals and infuriated many conservatives, President Barack Obama moved Jan. 4 to name former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as head of …

Frequency of auto injury claims ticking up

After years of decline, the frequency of auto injury claims appears to be on the rise again, a troubling development given the recent steady increase in average costs …

Good news for online poker?

A recent memo drafted by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel on whether proposals by New York and Illinois to use out-of-state transaction processors, and the …

‘Poetic Justice’ takes on insurance fraud

Justice J. Michael Eakin, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s notorious “rhyming judge,” has struck again, this time in a majority ruling vacating an insurance fraud conviction. Eakin, who has rankled …

S.C. insurance director resigns

David Black has resigned as director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance, effective Dec. 28, the department announced in a media advisory. No reason was given for Black’s …

FIRE Podcast- Robert Hartwig: Insurers and the Eurozone crisis

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE121511.mp3[/podcast] Economic problems in Europe, and particularly the sovereign debt problems faced by several members of the Eurozone, pose a serious risk for the U.S. economic outlook, Deputy Assistant …

House passes tax bill that includes flood insurance reforms

With just two more days before the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire, the U.S. House voted to reform and extend the program for five years …

FIRE Podcast- Alex Tabarrok: Launching the innovation renaissance

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE120611.mp3[/podcast] Stagnant economic growth in the United States isn’t merely a function of the recession that kicked off four years ago. Its roots can be traced back decades, a …

The Insurance Data Protection Act’s hidden sop to the NAIC

I’ve been publicly critical of the Insurance Data Protection Act, which was endorsed yesterday by a 7-5 tally of the House Financial Services Committee’s insurance subcommittee. It’s been interesting …

Senate bill looks to ease burden of SOX 404

Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., have introduced legislation that would exempt some smaller companies from the regulatory burden of complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s Section …

Senate flood bill filed; still no floor vote in sight

After months of backroom negotiations, the Senate Banking Committee has at last filed its conference report for the flood insurance reform bill it passed back in September. The …

A.M. Best: U.S. P&C insurers have $38.6B in cat losses through Q3

The U.S. property and casualty industry incurred $38.6 billion of pre-tax catastrophe losses through the first nine months of 2011, nearly doubling the full-year total of $19.6 billion …

Tackle high insurance costs

Motown's home state is rocketing up the wrong sorts of charts these days. A recent survey from Insure.com shows Michigan jumped over Louisiana in 2011 to take first …

FIRE Podcast- Ted Frank: Fighting abusive class action settlements

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE113011.mp3[/podcast] Since its founding two years ago, the non-profit Center for Class Action Fairness LLC has stepped in to object to 30 class action settlements on behalf of consumers …

November 2011 comments to Federal Insurance Office

These comments were submitted in November 2011 by R Street President Eli Lehrer and Public Affairs Director R.J. Lehmann to the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Insurance Office in response …

FIRE Podcast- Daniel Schwarcz: Insurers should publish their policies on-line

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE112111.mp3[/podcast] Electronic commerce presents consumers with choices never before imagined. But in the world of insurance, despite an expanding array of coverage options, few consumers are able to take …

FIRE Podcast- R.J. Lehmann: Capitol Hill update

[podcast]/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE111711.mp3[/podcast] In this week’s edition of the FIRE Podcast, I offer updates on major insurance issues brewing on Capitol Hill, including delays in getting a Senate floor vote on …

FIRE Podcast- Robert Gordon: Insurers aren’t ‘too big to fail’

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE111011.mp3[/podcast] The Financial Stability Oversight Council – the college of regulators established by the Dodd-Frank Act as the ultimate overseers of systemic financial risk – last month reissued proposed …

Bank Transfer Day haul: 40,000 members, $80M in deposits

Though final numbers likely won’t be available until the National Credit Union Administration releases call report data for the fourth quarter,  an initial survey by the Credit Union …

AIG, Met and Pru all could be ‘too big to fail’

MetLife Inc., American International Group, Prudential Financial and possibly Berkshire Hathaway all could be designated as systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, according …

Reinsurance collateral and the ‘giant sucking sound’

At their national meeting this past weekend, the full National Association of Insurance Commissioners formally adopted a long-awaited (and much needed) overhaul of the group’s model law and …

Bloomberg: Financial sector also must give up its tax breaks

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a D.C. audience that in addition to ending huge tax breaks and subsidies for the agricultural and energy industries, fiscal responsibility …

FIRE Podcast- Tim Carney: Left and right should agree on ending ‘too big to fail’

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE110111.mp3[/podcast] As the Occupy Wall Street protests continue on, some observers have started to wonder about the potential for convergence among left-wing and right-wing populists. Jim Harper of the …

Agri-business backs making crop insurance boondoggle even bigger

Even as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – the so-called “Super Committee” – moves toward its Nov. 23 deadline to come up with at least $1.5 …

Will Bank Transfer Day matter?

In what might well prove to be one of the most significant real world consequences of the Occupy Wall Street movement, tens of thousands of Facebook members have …

FIRE Podcast- Joseph Annotti: Fraternal insurers could see new ‘renaissance’

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE102511a.mp3[/podcast] Alexis de Tocqueville, in his masterpiece Democracy in America, marveled at how the American people of the 1830s were the most fraternal he had ever encountered. In addition …

FIO, FOIA and a free market in insurance data

In the United States, publicly traded companies must file quarterly financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which the SEC makes available to the public through their …

A SIFI warning shot from Snoopy?

The announcement by MetLife Inc., the only major U.S. insurance group currently organized as a bank holding company, that it has been ordered by the Federal Reserve to …

Michigan PIP reform faces pushback

Efforts to reform Michigan’s unique auto insurance law, which ensures costly coverage by requiring essentially uncapped medical benefits, are facing some resistance in the state’s House of Representatives. A …

Homeowners rates won’t cover insurers’ capital costs

Homeowners insurance rates nationwide are projected to produce after-tax returns on equity of just 4.8% over the next year, which may not be enough to cover the industry’s …

McRaith to tell House panel his plans for Federal Insurance Office

Former Illinois Insurance Director Michael McRaith will appear before Congress for the first time since stepping into his new role as the first-ever director of the Federal Insurance …

Crist’s legacy: Fla. Cat Fund faces $3.2B shortfall

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, the state-run reinsurance facility from which all property insurers in the state are required to purchase coverage, would not be able to borrow …

NFIP reform floated to ‘Super Committee’

Sean Carr of rating agency A.M. Best’s BestWeek and BestWire publications is reporting (subscription required for the link) that both Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Financial …

When the levee breaks…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has yet to schedule floor time for consideration of the National Flood Insurance Program reform bill the Senate Banking Committee passed unanimously …

Lawmakers reintroduce protectionist offshore reinsurance bill

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., have reintroduced protectionist legislation that would raise costs for U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-based insurers and reinsurers, costs that ultimately …

‘If we had it to do over again, we would have barred Genentech’

Genentech Inc., now a subsidiary of Swiss drug-maker Hoffmann-La Roche, is widely viewed as the founder of the biotech industry. Among the company’s notable achievements over the past …

Campbell earthquake plan no better than Feinstein’s

Perhaps this is what had California Earthquake Authority CEO Glenn Pomeroy so optimistic last week. News came down today that Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., has introduced the Earthquake …

Norton bill would make D.C. catastrophe insurance capital

“Taxation without representation” reads the District of Columbia’s official license plate design, a slogan aimed at raising awareness of district residents’ lack of voting representation in Congress. But new …

Shaking up the earthquake insurance market

Does Glenn Pomeroy know something the rest of us don’t? Pomeroy, a former North Dakota insurance commissioner and brother to former U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, currently serves as CEO …

NFIP Direct dispute dogs flood insurance reform

The Hill is reporting that a dispute between State Farm and other P&C insurers over the fate of some 800,000 former State Farm flood insurance policies threatens to …

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