Op-Eds

Franchise tax reform still a priority for Texas

Feb 20, 2017…Nobody likes paying taxes. But unlike the rest of us, once every two years, the Texas Legislature gets the chance to do something about it. In 2015, with the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/franchise-tax-reform-still-a-priority-for-texas/

Will Trump sign postal reform legislation?

Feb 17, 2017…The House of Representatives took up postal reform legislation this week, a decade after Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which was supposed to shore up …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-trump-sign-postal-reform-legislation/

America’s self-driving anxiety

Feb 16, 2017…  The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. Autonomous vehicles hold great promise to remake our society and economy, but not everyone is along for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/americas-self-driving-anxiety/

At UC Berkeley, it pays well to worry about inequality

…Former Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now a public-policy professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has warned that “we are heading back to levels of inequality …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/at-uc-berkeley-it-pays-well-to-worry-about-inequality/

Congress should take hands off the wheel of self-driving cars

…Manufacturers developing the self-driving cars of the future haven't had the straightest regulatory road. States across the country each have pursued unique legislative and regulatory paths—to date, at …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-should-take-hands-off-the-wheel-of-self-driving-cars/

Complicated models can’t alter the data – part 2: Youth smoking is way down

…As reported here last week, University of California-San Francisco researchers Lauren Dutra and Stanton Glantz tortured data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) to support a purported “lack of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/complicated-models-cant-alter-the-data-part-2-youth-smoking-is-way-down/

A conservative’s tips for liberals facing a Republican trifecta

Feb 15, 2017…I've been there—when your political party has told you that America will be lost if a certain presidential candidate doesn't win the election. Not only does that candidate …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-conservatives-tips-for-liberals-facing-a-republican-trifecta/

When it comes to Louisiana floods, how much does a foot really matter?

…The following op-ed was co-authored by William Booher, interim executive director of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy in New Orleans. One foot can make a lot of difference …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/when-it-comes-to-louisiana-floods-how-much-does-a-foot-really-matter/

Trump should force California to pay for its own earthquake risk

…The brewing conflict between President Trump and the state of California has captured headlines. The nation’s chief executive threatened to “defund”  the Golden State, while California politicos promise …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trump-should-force-california-to-pay-for-its-own-earthquake-risk/

With old warnings unheeded, Oroville Dam problems threaten valley

Feb 14, 2017…  A Sacramento Bee story published Monday succinctly described the disaster unfolding at the nation’s tallest dam, where flaws in the Oroville Dam’s concrete spillway are forcing water onto …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/with-old-warnings-unheeded-oroville-dam-problems-threaten-valley/

CBS show ‘Hunted’ spotlights our surveillance nation

…I'm no fan of reality TV, but I was sufficiently intrigued by the premise of CBS' "Hunted," which promises $250,000 to any of nine teams of contestants who …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cbs-show-hunted-spotlights-our-surveillance-nation/

Good Alco-News: America’s spirits business is booming

…The U.S. drinks business is booming, despite the finger-wagging by neo-prohibitionists. Last year’s liquor volume sales climbed 2.4 percent to 220 million cases, and revenues were up 4.5 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/good-alco-news-americas-spirits-business-is-booming/

Dues case spotlights unfairness of funding one’s foes

Feb 13, 2017…In an oft-quoted scene from “The Godfather,” Michael Corleone and family consigliere Tom Hagen discuss a planned hit on a competing mobster and dirty cop. Michael assures Tom, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dues-case-spotlights-unfairness-of-funding-ones-foes/

Trump spite leads to defense of idiocy

Feb 9, 2017…The leader of the California Senate recently used his closing remarks in a Senate hearing to downplay how concerning it is if illegal immigrants engage in identity theft, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trump-spite-leads-to-defense-of-idiocy/

New York is rightly moving to reduce barriers for companies such as Uber and Lyft

…With this week's passage of legislation in the New York Senate aimed at allowing ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate upstate—until now, state laws have limited …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-york-is-rightly-moving-to-reduce-barriers-for-companies-such-as-uber-and-lyft/

Needless obstacles in securing hail damage claims

…When you ignore a problem long enough, sometimes it just goes away. And sometimes, it gets even worse. Two years ago, the Texas Legislature heard testimony about a simmering …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/needless-obstacles-in-securing-hail-damage-claims/

Make Congress work (Saturdays) again

…Amid partisan battles over President Donald Trump's cabinet nominees, Republican congressional leaders are threatening to make members work weekends to get the president's confirmations finalized. While these threats …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/make-congress-work-saturdays-again/

Fixing the federal policy on e-cigs will save lives

Feb 8, 2017…Unless something changes soon, the doomsday clock will strike midnight on the e-cigarette industry. Thanks to regulations finalized in August 2016 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fixing-the-federal-policy-on-e-cigs-will-save-lives/

Republicans could have a regulatory ‘game changer’ on their hands

…Last week, the House and Senate voted to repeal one of the last regulations the Obama administration enacted on its way out the door. The regulation, known as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/republicans-could-have-a-regulatory-game-changer-on-their-hands/

If Democrats want a less-powerful Trump, there’s a REINS Act for that

…Congressional Democrats may not like President Donald Trump, but they’re not even remotely serious about limiting his policymaking power. They’d rather bring pictures of Trump’s tweets to the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/if-democrats-want-a-less-powerful-trump-theres-a-reins-act-for-that/

Self-driving cars should disengage from public reporting

Feb 7, 2017…New data released last week by the California Department of Motor Vehicles offered bright news for fans of autonomous vehicles. Based on so-called “disengagement reports” submitted by developers …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/self-driving-cars-should-disengage-from-public-reporting/

Is lack of competition leading to costly electricity glut?

…A top California utility official once quipped that he was one of the few executives in the country who earned a profit merely by remodeling his office. He …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-lack-of-competition-leading-to-costly-electricity-glut/

Increasing reinsurance taxes would be a manmade disaster

Feb 6, 2017…With the new Congress underway, tax reform is at the top of the agenda. Many of the ideas now being proposed, such as proposals to fix our punitive …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/increasing-reinsurance-taxes-would-be-a-manmade-disaster/

Latest DA scandal cries out for far-reaching reform

…The government’s foremost responsibility is to administer a system of justice. Without a just system — due process for the accused, trustworthy trials, fair-minded judges, police and prosecutors …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/latest-da-scandal-cries-out-for-far-reaching-reform/

Reagan’s ‘city on a hill’ meets Trump’s immigration order

…We have indeed arrived at another time for choosing. We must answer one question: Will we advance liberty or sound its retreat? The emotional response to President Donald Trump's executive …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reagans-city-on-a-hill-meets-trumps-immigration-order/

Trump should eliminate state lines for professional licensing

Feb 3, 2017…Perhaps not surprisingly, President Trump hasn't spent much time letting us know his thoughts on the ins and outs of insurance regulation. But to the extent he has …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trump-should-eliminate-state-lines-for-professional-licensing/

Some women simply don’t like Hillary Clinton’s politics

…We've all heard the claim that sexism holds women back. But what if there is a deeper, more insidious force preventing women from reaching high levels of office? …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/some-women-simply-dont-like-hillary-clintons-politics/

How onerous federal tobacco policy is endangering health

Feb 2, 2017…The anti-tobacco crusade—one of the left’s favorite holy wars—has hit a wall. Though great strides have been made in reducing the rate of cigarette smoking, about 15 percent …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-onerous-federal-tobacco-policy-is-endangering-health/

Should Congress have to approve every federal regulation? A debate.

…The following written debate between R Street Senior Fellow Kevin Kosar and Andrew Rudalevige, Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government at Bowdoin College, was published in the Washington Post's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/should-congress-have-to-approve-every-federal-regulation-a-debate/

Wackiness aside, unions still our biggest problem

…When non-Californians think about what’s wrong with our lovely but dysfunctional state, they tend to think of some of the wackier stuff that routinely makes headlines here. The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/wackiness-aside-unions-still-our-biggest-problem/

Experts to FDA: End the smokeless tobacco misinformation campaign

…Two internationally renowned tobacco policy experts are urging the Food and Drug Administration and "like campaigns and health information websites” to “follow established ethical principles and accepted communication …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/experts-to-fda-end-the-smokeless-tobacco-misinformation-campaign/

Whether the easy way or the hard way, GOP will confirm Gorsuch

…Tell me about the Democrats' right to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, and I'll point to roughly 60 million Americans who voted for President Donald Trump. They …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/whether-the-easy-way-or-the-hard-way-gop-will-confirm-gorsuch/

Trump’s patent policy should put America first, not the patent lobby

Feb 1, 2017…The following op-ed was co-authored by Charles Duan, director of the Patent Reform Project at Public Knowledge. President Donald Trump campaigned on a platform to put America first and protect American …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trumps-patent-policy-should-put-america-first-not-the-patent-lobby/

California high court gives insurance commissioner vast new powers

…President Donald Trump’s spate of executive orders has jump-started a national debate about the wisdom of executive edicts, especially those that stray into the area of lawmaking. While …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-high-court-gives-insurance-commissioner-vast-new-powers/

Politicians should stay out of cybersecurity market

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Tech Policy Fellow Anne Hobson. As online crime has come into its own, ransomware—a particularly insidious type of cyber attack—has emerged …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/politicians-should-stay-out-of-cybersecurity-market/

Five big questions about Trump’s executive order on regulation

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar. On Monday, the Trump administration made its first big move against overregulation, issuing an executive order requiring agencies …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/five-big-questions-about-trumps-executive-order-on-regulation/

Beer can battles in Texas

Jan 31, 2017…What’s the difference between a beer can and a mayonnaise jar? It sounds like the opening to a bad joke, but it’s also the basis for a legal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/beer-can-battles-in-texas/

Newport deal shows how pensions are rigged against taxpayers

Jan 30, 2017…  A former Newport Beach deputy police chief’s parting pension deal may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of his lifetime — and serves as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/newport-deal-shows-how-pensions-are-rigged-against-taxpayers/

Almost 50 years later, Allan Bloom’s Republic remains as vital as ever

…Next year, Allan Bloom’s translation of Plato’s Republic turns 50. Its mastery is such that, with the exception of Joe Sachs, no one else has even come close …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/almost-50-years-later-allan-blooms-republic-remains-as-vital-as-ever/

The Nebraska internet sales tax…comes for you!

Jan 27, 2017…P.J. O’Rourke once snarkily noted that the American tax code was clearly designed by “A” students, as “every April 15, we have to pay somebody who got an …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-nebraska-internet-sales-tax-comes-for-you/

Jerry Brown’s alternative state of the universe

Jan 26, 2017…By California’s low standards, Gov. Jerry Brown generally has been a voice of reason in the state Capitol, despite his occasionally unhinged rhetoric about the existential threat posed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/jerry-browns-alternative-state-of-the-universe/

Partisan echo chambers erode our check on political power

…According to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the Trump administration is "going to hold the press accountable" because "the American people deserve better." Some media outlets could …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/partisan-echo-chambers-erode-our-check-on-political-power/

Short-term rentals: Are they compatible with residential communities?

Jan 25, 2017…Internet-based short-term rental companies such as Airbnb have built a burgeoning industry connecting homeowners with vacationers, who rent out rooms or entire houses for short-term stays. It’s a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/short-term-rentals-are-they-compatible-with-residential-communities/

Strengthening Congress by shrinking the administrative state

…Regulatory reform appears to be gaining traction in Washington, D.C. The White House directed agencies to halt the issuance of new regulations. Congress also got in the act. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/strengthening-congress-by-shrinking-the-administrative-state/

GOP tax plan could boost prices for Californians’ insurance

…Donald Trump has only been president since Friday, so it’s too early to know what his “America first” policies will mean economically. But an ongoing debate from the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gop-tax-plan-could-boost-prices-for-californians-insurance/

Regulating ‘internet of things’ requires a better definition from lawmakers

…The National Telecommunications and Information Administration—the U.S. Department of Commerce agency that advises the White House on telecom policy—published a green paper outlining what it saw as the department’s role …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/regulating-internet-of-things-requires-a-better-definition-from-lawmakers/

Federal studies: ZERO mouth cancer deaths among men who dip or chew tobacco

…The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Jan. 23, 2017, published a proposed smokeless tobacco regulation that was based on erroneous calculations of smokeless tobacco risks. The agency's rules …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-studies-zero-mouth-cancer-deaths-among-men-who-dip-or-chew-tobacco/

Letter to Financial Times: Borrowers and speculators benefit at savers’ expense

Jan 24, 2017…As your report “Fed balance sheet moves up agenda” makes clear (Jan. 19), the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing experiment is still buying bonds and mortgage securities eight years …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-financial-times-borrowers-and-speculators-benefit-at-savers-expense/

Will Trump follow in the footsteps of other very wealthy presidents?

Jan 23, 2017…President Donald Trump has a big ego, to say the least. Before taking office, he loved nothing more than flying around in his private jetliner, talking about his …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-trump-follow-in-the-footsteps-of-other-very-wealthy-presidents/

Six ways Congress can curb a runaway president

…No bones about it, Donald Trump is a steamroller. He defeated 16 Republican candidates, despite being a political novice. Jeb Bush’s $150 million war chest couldn’t insulate him from Trump’s insults; …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/six-ways-congress-can-curb-a-runaway-president/

GOP tax plan would burden Wyoming’s businesses

…The following was co-authored by R Street Western Region Director Steven Greenhut. No state voted more lopsidedly for the 2016 Republican presidential candidate than Wyoming, where voters gave President …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gop-tax-plan-would-burden-wyomings-businesses/

The importance of the business judgment rule

…The business judgment rule, the most prominent and important standard of judicial review under corporate law, protects a decision of a corporate board of directors from a fairness …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-importance-of-the-business-judgment-rule/

What a relief: Rohrabacher can retreat to his ‘safe space’

…Conservatives love to mock liberal college students who clamor for “safe spaces,” where they can hide from ideas that run contrary to their politically correct sensibilities. Yes, these …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-a-relief-rohrabacher-can-retreat-to-his-safe-space/

Cybersecurity in the internet of things is a game of incentives

Jan 19, 2017…Cybersecurity was the virtual elephant in the showroom at this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Attendees of the annual tech trade show, organized by the Consumer …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cybersecurity-in-the-internet-of-things-is-a-game-of-incentives/

Trump was right: There is no drought

…Donald Trump might not have gotten all the details right when he declared in Fresno in May that California isn’t really suffering from drought, but his basic point …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trump-was-right-there-is-no-drought/

A new conservative approach to jail reform: police diversion

Jan 18, 2017…There's no shortage of innovative methods states have explored to divert offenders away from jail and toward treatment-based solutions, whether it be through deferred prosecution, veterans' courts or, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-new-conservative-approach-to-jail-reform-police-diversion/

The Twitter presidency

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Technology Policy Fellow Sasha Moss. Franklin D. Roosevelt was famous for his “fireside chats” — evening radio addresses that helped …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-twitter-presidency/

New report: Cal high-speed rail faces 50 percent cost overruns

Jan 17, 2017…California’s ongoing “high-speed rail” project connecting Los Angeles with San Francisco continues to run up against the same, recurring problem since voters gave the plan initial bond funding …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-report-cal-high-speed-rail-faces-50-percent-cost-overruns/

Letter to New York Times on opioid treatment

…The treatment proposed by Tim Lahey is part of a larger family of clinical approaches that could help reshape the landscape for many of our health care challenges. Harm …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-new-york-times-on-opioid-treatment/

Moorlach wants to take pension reform back to the future

…There isn’t anything fundamentally significant about 1990, from an ecological standpoint. Nonetheless, California officials long ago set that year as the benchmark against which greenhouse-gas-emissions reductions are judged …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/moorlach-wants-to-take-pension-reform-back-to-the-future/

State, city should be friendlier for e-cigarettes

Jan 16, 2017…Even though a half-million Americans die every year from smoking-related illness, roughly 17 percent of U.S. adults continue to smoke. It’s encouraging that new options have come to the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/state-city-should-be-friendlier-for-e-cigarettes/

Does Congress want to govern?

…The following op-ed was co-authored by Lee Drutman, a senior fellow in the political reform program at New America. Over the past year, leading members of Congress have delivered …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/does-congress-want-to-govern/

Stormy Weather: Brown’s budget holds infrastructure hostage

Jan 12, 2017…My neighbors and I just survived a week of flood dangers, as something called an “atmospheric river” led to massive rains throughout northern California. The warmth of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/stormy-weather-browns-budget-holds-infrastructure-hostage/

Meet the UA law professor who joined 1,423 colleagues opposing Jeff Sessions

…Nobody is surprised that more than 1,400 law professors from across the nation signed a letter opposing Sen. Jeff Sessions's nomination for attorney general. I'd frankly be more …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/meet-the-ua-law-professor-who-joined-1423-colleagues-opposing-jeff-sessions/

Artificial intelligence is set to remake event experiences

Jan 11, 2017…2016 was a big year for droids, as two different installments of the Star Wars series finished among the year's 10 highest-grossing films. But elsewhere in the universe, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/artificial-intelligence-is-set-to-remake-event-experiences/

Scientists rebuke Coastal Commission over desalination

Jan 10, 2017…The Coastal Commission’s stated concern that a proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant’s intake pipes pose a threat to small and microscopic plankton has been rebutted in a letter …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/scientists-rebuke-coastal-commission-over-desalination/

Can e-cigarettes be a harm reduction approach for HIV-positive smokers?

Jan 9, 2017…John is a 43-year-old gay-identified man who arrives coughing at my office for his weekly therapy appointment. "I've now been living with HIV for 15 years and undetectable …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/can-e-cigarettes-be-a-harm-reduction-approach-for-hiv-positive-smokers/

Warming winter whiskeys

…I am a seasonal drinker. What tastes best to me in the summer swelter is not what I hoist in the chillier months. Since the cold began its …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/warming-winter-whiskeys/

O.C. legislator overstates law, but his column goes viral

…California Republicans face a discouraging dilemma, as GOP numbers wither in the state Capitol. Democrats gained supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, which leaves the remaining Republicans …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/o-c-legislator-overstates-law-but-his-column-goes-viral/

Criminals in 2017 may have to commit crime like it’s 1999

Jan 6, 2017…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Criminal Justice Director Arthur Rizer.  Las Vegas will be inundated with 150,000 tech geeks this weekend flocking to the Consumer Electronics Expo, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/criminals-in-2017-may-have-to-commit-crime-like-its-1999/

The Democrats’ successor to Hillary

Jan 5, 2017…Republicans preparing to deal with a potentially rebuilt Democratic Party in 2020 ought to take solace in at least one of the names bandied about as an up-and-coming …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-democrats-successor-to-hillary/

Confirmed: Snus use protective for Parkinson’s disease

…Investigators in Sweden, Italy and the United States report that "non-smoking men who used snus had a substantially reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease." The research, published in the International Journal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/confirmed-snus-use-protective-for-parkinsons-disease/

Under President Trump, will Congress REIN in executive branch?

…When I was counsel to former Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., in the 112th Congress, a constituent named Lloyd Rogers asked why Congress wasn’t accountable for the cost of federal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/under-president-trump-will-congress-rein-in-executive-branch/

It’s time for SCOTUS to weigh in on digital fair use

Jan 4, 2017…The following op-ed was co-authored by Charles Duan, director of the Patent Reform Project at Public Knowledge. It's been almost 10 years since Stephanie Lenz was informed by Universal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/its-time-for-scotus-to-weigh-in-on-digital-fair-use/

California cities facing growing pension costs in new year

…After two years of minuscule investment returns, the nation’s largest state pension fund – the California Public Employees’ Retirement System – has once again lowered its expected rates …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-cities-facing-growing-pension-costs-in-new-year/

Big news from 2016 highlights rapidly changing county

Jan 3, 2017…My first encounter with an Orange County politician came in the mid-1990s, when I met then-U.S. Rep. Bob Dornan during his ill-fated 1996 presidential run. Dornan was speaking …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/big-news-from-2016-highlights-rapidly-changing-county/

Seven bold, probably unpopular, political predictions for 2017

Jan 2, 2017…At the end of 2016, social media buzzed with Americans intentionally sharing their unpopular opinions. While I wasn't aware that anyone on Twitter or Facebook ever held back …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/seven-bold-probably-unpopular-political-predictions-for-2017/

Self-driving cars will make organ shortages even worse

Dec 30, 2016… The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. Much has been said about the ways we expect our oncoming fleet of driverless cars to change …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/self-driving-cars-will-make-organ-shortages-even-worse/

Will Trump call California’s bluff?

…Believe it or not, but the incoming Trump administration is a godsend for California’s increasingly left-wing political leadership. Note how Democratic elected officials are tripping all over themselves, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-trump-call-californias-bluff/

Sacramento Bee errs twice with fake news on e-cigarettes

Dec 29, 2016…The Sacramento Bee on Jan. 21 published a column written by a hearing aids company executive.  Titled “E-cigarettes may also cause hearing loss," the piece asserted that “damage to inner …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sacramento-bee-errs-twice-with-fake-news-on-e-cigarettes/

Kraft case a reminder that Congress should enact patent system reform

…The U.S. Supreme Court announced earlier this month it will hear the appeal of a patent infringement case brought by Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC against zero-calorie sweetener …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/kraft-case-a-reminder-that-congress-should-enact-patent-system-reform/

Trump’s Great Negation of 2017

Dec 28, 2016…The Obama administration began amid the Great Recession. Donald Trump will take office in January 2017 and usher in the Great Negation. How long it will last depends …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trumps-great-negation-of-2017/

Why policy should recognize help of e-cigarettes

…In the late 1960s, I worked at Grant Hospital as an inhalation therapist, fascinated that some of those I treated for breathing ailments would stub out a cigarette …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-policy-should-recognize-help-of-e-cigarettes/

Raft of new state laws are going–or have gone–into effect

Dec 27, 2016…California Gov. Jerry Brown signed 898 bills into law last year. Most take effect Jan. 1, but others go into effect in coming years. The majority of new laws deal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/raft-of-new-state-laws-are-going-or-have-gone-into-effect/

Desalination foes putting tiny critters above people

Dec 26, 2016…It’s getting increasingly difficult to exaggerate the degree to which some environmental activists and bureaucrats have placed the needs of California’s critters above the needs of its growing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/desalination-foes-putting-tiny-critters-above-people/

Autonomous vehicles could change everything you know about traffic stops

Dec 22, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. A driver’s license is a rite of passage. Unfortunately for many drivers, so too is one’s first …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/autonomous-vehicles-could-change-everything-you-know-about-traffic-stops/

State Farm and the commissar

…Critics of California’s business climate routinely complain about the state’s high tax rates, its large and costly government, its coddled and overpaid class of government workers and its …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/state-farm-and-the-commissar/

For-profit policing undermines confidence in justice system

…The following op-ed was co-authored by Alyse Ullery, a criminal justice policy advisor based in Austin, Texas. Card-reading devices that allow law enforcement to both check and seize the balance …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/for-profit-policing-undermines-confidence-in-justice-system/

FDA rejects plea to correct smokeless tobacco warnings; a closer look at flawed interpretations

…After a two-and-a-half-year review, the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products rejected Swedish Match's request to eliminate or revise the 30-year-old, egregiously inaccurate warnings that are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-rejects-plea-to-correct-smokeless-tobacco-warnings-a-closer-look-at-flawed-interpretations/

In internet of things era, cybersecurity for autonomous vehicles will require restraint

Dec 21, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Darren Teshima, a litigation partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in San Francisco. Concerns about the vulnerability of America's physical infrastructure have long …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/in-internet-of-things-era-cybersecurity-for-autonomous-vehicles-will-require-restraint/

CalPERS considers – then rejects – efforts to end tobacco divestment

Dec 20, 2016…As the nation's largest state-based pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System is known for using its massive investment muscle to promote various social-investment causes. So-called ESGs …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/calpers-considers-then-rejects-efforts-to-end-tobacco-divestment/

A national law needed to protect online freedom of speech

…The following op-ed was co-authored by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, who represents Texas' 27th congressional district. Christmas is almost here. While Santa Claus knows who’s been naughty or nice, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-national-law-needed-to-protect-online-freedom-of-speech/

The Federal Reserve is the bank most in need of a stress test

…Do you know a bank that is leveraged at more than 100:1-to be exact, with assets of 111 times its equity? You do: it's the Federal Reserve. The consolidated …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-federal-reserve-is-the-bank-most-in-need-of-a-stress-test/

Anaheim’s election means victory over crony capitalism

Dec 19, 2016…While political observers wait to see whether President-elect Donald Trump will fulfill his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, Anaheim’s new council majority is ready to do …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/anaheims-election-means-victory-over-crony-capitalism/

Uber and California DMV fight over definition of self-driving cars

Dec 17, 2016…In highly regulated private industries, the law means what it says – right up until a regulator decides that it doesn't. For that reason, Uber, a company with …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/uber-and-california-dmv-fight-over-definition-of-self-driving-cars/

Information overload, fake news and infinite opinions

Dec 16, 2016…I remember when I didn't have opinions about everything. There were many, many events that happened in the world, and I was either blissfully unaware or simply an …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/information-overload-fake-news-and-infinite-opinions/

In California, an about-face on tobacco

Dec 15, 2016…The nation’s largest state-based pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), has long been known for using its investment muscle to push for “socially responsible” investments …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/in-california-an-about-face-on-tobacco/

How an idyllic Italian village was crippled by family-centrism

…More than 60 years ago, an American family arrived in a seemingly idyllic town in Southern Italy. Stone buildings resembled “a white beehive against the top of a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-an-idyllic-italian-village-was-crippled-by-family-centrism/

FBI fingerprinting for Uber and Lyft in Maryland would do more harm than good

…Maryland is precariously close to being Uber-less, thanks to a requirement that, as of Dec. 15, all drivers must submit to background checks that include FBI fingerprinting [“Uber …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fbi-fingerprinting-for-uber-and-lyft-in-maryland-would-do-more-harm-than-good/

Snapchat spectacles and the creep factor

Dec 14, 2016…We're all amateur documentarians now, which is why sunglasses equipped with Wi-Fi-enabled cameras are a natural next step in the world of wearables. Snap Inc.’s Spectacles allow users …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/snapchat-spectacles-and-the-creep-factor/

Court OKs constitutional challenge to new state law affecting farm industry

Dec 13, 2016…A federal appeals court last week took the highly unusual step of finding a U.S. constitutional cause of action in a challenge to a California state law – …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/court-oks-constitutional-challenge-to-new-state-law-affecting-farm-industry/

All the president’s propaganda

Dec 12, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by John Maxwell Hamilton, a professor in Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication and a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/all-the-presidents-propaganda/

Santa Ana’s sanctuary policies are just symbolism

…I took a photograph years ago of downtown Santa Ana for a magazine article I had written about the city. When I raised the camera to my eye, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/santa-anas-sanctuary-policies-are-just-symbolism/

Lots of smoke, no fire

Dec 9, 2016…Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy got it wrong. Contrary to the claims in this week’s highly publicized report, e-cigarettes and other vapor devices are not a threat to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lots-of-smoke-no-fire/

Whether thriving or failing, cities need investment

Dec 8, 2016…Seven years into the recovery from the Great Recession, unemployment is down, gross domestic product is up, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed recently at an all-time …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/whether-thriving-or-failing-cities-need-investment/

E-cigarettes help smokers quit, so why crack down on them?

… When it comes to battling teen pregnancy, our nation’s health officials have for two decades put aside moralism and focused on “harm reduction.” For example, instead of continuing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/e-cigarettes-help-smokers-quit-so-why-crack-down-on-them/

California Legislature’s gaseous impulses

…The California Legislature last week received a load of bad publicity because of a new law that attempts to reduce the methane output of dairy cows dramatically — …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-legislatures-gaseous-impulses/

Republicans should snuff out deadly tobacco rules

…Last month, Republican U.S. House leaders sent a pointed letter to federal agency heads warning them against finalizing “midnight regulations” — last-minute rules approved during a lame-duck session, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/republicans-should-snuff-out-deadly-tobacco-rules/

New legislative session puts bail-bonds industry under microscope

Dec 6, 2016…At a press conference in the Capitol Monday morning, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom explained that, although he has long championed various reforms to the state’s criminal-justice system, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-legislative-session-puts-bail-bonds-industry-under-microscope/

Vaping can help smokers

Dec 5, 2016…When it comes to smoking, there are two universal truths. First, smoking is really bad for you. And, second, it’s really hard to quit. America has been making progress. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/vaping-can-help-smokers/

Ruling casts doubt on fairness of OC ‘justice’ system

…The California Court of Appeal’s 53-page ruling late last month in the ongoing jailhouse “snitch” scandal was the latest court rebuke of the local “justice” system. The blowback …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ruling-casts-doubt-on-fairness-of-oc-justice-system/

Will the public housing smoking ban include electronic cigarettes?

Dec 1, 2016…On Wednesday, a different Castro was in the news: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro decreed that all 3,100 local Public Housing Agencies must …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-the-public-housing-smoking-ban-include-electronic-cigarettes/

California GOP’s final death throes

…The final vote tallies are in for a handful of tight legislative races. It’s now clear that California Democrats have gained supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-gops-final-death-throes/

Can the FTC write an Rx for the contact lens market, or is legislation an aye for an eye?

Nov 30, 2016…A patient walks into an optometrist’s office for an eye exam. He walks out an hour later with a box of contact lenses, conveniently purchased in-office with the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/can-the-ftc-write-an-rx-for-the-contact-lens-market-or-is-legislation-an-aye-for-an-eye/

Texas can’t afford a minimum wage hike

…After years on the back burner, the minimum wage is hot again. A national campaign to institute a $15 an hour minimum wage has picked up steam in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texas-cant-afford-a-minimum-wage-hike/

Reinsurance saved Florida from catastrophic losses

Nov 29, 2016…While this year’s storms Hermine and Matthew brought an end to the state’s decade-long hurricane drought, they easily could have been stronger or cut a more destructive path. Indeed, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reinsurance-saved-florida-from-catastrophic-losses/

Police-reform spotlight shines on the local level

…The presidential campaign focused some attention on the long-simmering debate over policing and the appropriate uses of force, but as is typical with national campaigns, the nuances got …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/police-reform-spotlight-shines-on-the-local-level/

The Fed should be accountable for its results

Nov 28, 2016…“Vote Brings Uncertainty for Fed” (U.S. News, Nov. 10) says that President-elect Donald Trump might work with Congress to rewrite the laws governing the Fed’s structure. Good idea. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-fed-should-be-accountable-for-its-results/

Lou Correa’s opportunity in Washington

Nov 27, 2016…In the 1939 movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” Jimmy Stewart portrays an idealistic man from a Western state who is appointed to fill a U.S. Senate seat. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lou-correas-opportunity-in-washington/

When lunatics run the asylum, you get Monty Python

Nov 25, 2016…California’s pension funds continue to face a fusillade of bad news, including new reports showing that retirement benefits consume 20 percent of Los Angeles’ general-fund budget. Put another …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/when-lunatics-run-the-asylum-you-get-monty-python/

Will the Trump administration revisit net neutrality and zero rating?

Nov 24, 2016…Network neutrality, the most significant piece of internet regulation championed by the Obama administration, might be yet another casualty of the coming Donald Trump presidency. That wouldn’t be …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-the-trump-administration-revisit-net-neutrality-and-zero-rating/

Regulators chase cat from bar and are shocked when mice appear

Nov 23, 2016…One of New York City’s oldest bars recently was shut down for a few days. McSorley’s Old Ale House has operated in the East Village for 162 years and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/regulators-chase-cat-from-bar-and-are-shocked-when-mice-appear/

CalPERS staff nudges board to consider lower return rates

Nov 22, 2016…There’s bad news coming down the pike for California municipalities following several days of board meetings for the nation’s largest state-based pension fund. Although no action has been …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/calpers-staff-nudges-board-to-consider-lower-return-rates/

Motorcycles aren’t cars and cigarettes aren’t smoke-free tobacco

…Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. We know this because a government agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, routinely provides data that confirms it. For example, NHTSA reports …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/motorcycles-arent-cars-and-cigarettes-arent-smoke-free-tobacco/

Dialing for dollars

Nov 21, 2016…I agree with the conventional wisdom that congressmen spend entirely too much of their time raising money. Like many viewers, I cringed at John Oliver’s dialing-for-dollars exposé featuring former Democratic …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dialing-for-dollars/

The case for criminal justice reform in lame duck

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Outreach Manager Nathan Leamer. With just a few weeks remaining in the 114th Congress, members are returning to Capitol Hill to take …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-case-for-criminal-justice-reform-in-lame-duck/

Charter ‘witch hunt’ does disservice to vulnerable kids

…Most of us know the legend: German-born physicist Albert Einstein struggled with the regimented curriculum in his elementary school, yet later proved to be one of the world’s …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/charter-witch-hunt-does-disservice-to-vulnerable-kids/

Four ways a President Trump could actually help the Climate

…President-elect Donald Trump obviously doesn’t have very many fans on the environmental left. And he has said things about climate change that don’t jibe with reality. There are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/four-ways-a-president-trump-could-actually-help-the-climate/

California the new redoubt of secessionism?

Nov 17, 2016…The most enjoyable part of the Trump victory has been watching people here in liberal northern California suddenly discover that some of the ideas libertarians and conservatives have …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-the-new-redoubt-of-secessionism/

Stopping Big Government: Why we need a Congressional Regulation Office

Nov 16, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Philip A. Wallach, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. This year, nearly 3,300 new federal regulations have been issued, and we still …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/stopping-big-government-why-we-need-a-congressional-regulation-office/

Cybercrime and the war on digital free speech

…The internet is increasingly a target for those who want to silence speech. An Oct. 21 cyberattack rendered social media sites like Twitter and Reddit and news sites like …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cybercrime-and-the-war-on-digital-free-speech/

Bail reform tops criminal-justice efforts in next legislative session

Nov 15, 2016…California has long been known as a law-and-order state, particularly following the crime spikes of the 1980s. The state passed the toughest “three strikes” law in the nation …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bail-reform-tops-criminal-justice-efforts-in-next-legislative-session/

Letter: No ‘copyright coup’ at all in Washington

Nov 14, 2016…Casting Dr. Carla Hayden as a puppet of the tech industry or the library-industrial complex diminishes the obvious accomplishments that led her to become the first African-American and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-no-copyright-coup-at-all-in-washington/

Barron’s Mailbag: Chapter 11 for Social Security?

…In their Other Voices essay, Dudley Kimball and Robert Morgan said that Social Security will be insolvent in 2034. In the sense of having liabilities vastly greater than assets, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/barrons-mailbag-chapter-11-for-social-security/

Corporate governance by the board, not the government

Nov 11, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Michael Wilt, a senior policy writer and editor with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Starbucks recently made a big change to its …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/corporate-governance-by-the-board-not-the-government/

Make Congress great (or at least relevant) again with criminal justice reform

…With a disapproval rating hovering around 80 percent, the 114th Congress is on track to be among the least productive in history. But with the end of a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/make-congress-great-or-at-least-relevant-again-with-criminal-justice-reform/

California voters defy trend – by voting as expected

Nov 10, 2016…Whereas the national election results shocked and surprised pollsters and many media observers, California’s results from Election Day conformed almost exactly to pre-election polls and predictions. Some of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-voters-defy-trend-by-voting-as-expected/

California misses another electoral wave

…It’s hard to overstate the significance of Donald Trump’s improbable presidential victory Tuesday, yet the GOP tide barely fazed the nation’s most populous state. Democrat Hillary Clinton won …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-misses-another-electoral-wave/

Angling for bass, salmon and drinks in Traverse City, Michigan

Nov 9, 2016…Let me state upfront: I caught no fish. This was not surprising, seeing as the weather was lousy for bass—cold (40s) and blustery—and I had no salmon lures. I …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/angling-for-bass-salmon-and-drinks-in-traverse-city-michigan/

Are robot scalpers ripping you off? Do we need government to stop it?

Nov 8, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Christopher Koopman, a senior research fellow with the Project for the Study of American Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/are-robot-scalpers-ripping-you-off-do-we-need-government-to-stop-it/

The burgeoning air-taxi industry

Nov 4, 2016…Having a private plane is one of the key perks of the rich. Donald Trump makes much of his personal 757, while Leonardo DiCaprio received well-deserved criticism for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-burgeoning-air-taxi-industry/

Volkswagen’s Clean Air Act violations need a RESTORE Act solution

…Volkswagen Automotive Group has admitted to installing software on several of its diesel vehicles effectively to defeat exhaust-emission testing and deceive customers who thought they were purchasing “clean …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/volkswagens-clean-air-act-violations-need-a-restore-act-solution/

Miscounting teen perceptions of e-cigarettes

…journal Pediatrics recently published a report based on the 2012 and 2014 National Youth Tobacco Surveys. Stephen Amrock and coauthors from the Oregon Health Sciences University found that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/miscounting-teen-perceptions-of-e-cigarettes/

‘Two Californias’ ruled by one distorted vision

Nov 3, 2016…Some pundits were aghast after a federal jury acquitted Ammon Bundy and several others for their roles in an armed standoff at a wildlife refuge in desolate eastern …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/two-californias-ruled-by-one-distorted-vision/

Pluto is out, Southern Ocean is in and science shouldn’t be political

Nov 2, 2016…My son came home from school the other day singing a jingle that included the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic oceans. Strangely, I also heard him sing about …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/pluto-is-out-southern-ocean-is-in-and-science-shouldnt-be-political/

Ballot measures would legalize pot, end death penalty, create single-payer health care

Nov 1, 2016…While this year’s explosive presidential politics have drowned out battles at the state level, voters across the country nevertheless face a daunting number of weighty ballot questions on Nov. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ballot-measures-would-legalize-pot-end-death-penalty-create-single-payer-health-care/

San Diego council chief trying to quickly push through Airbnb ‘ban’

…A common spectacle takes place at the state Capitol at the end of every session. Legislative leaders who have been unsuccessful advancing their bills through the usual system …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/san-diego-council-chief-trying-to-quickly-push-through-airbnb-ban/

Why current asset prices are dangerously exaggerated

…Over the long term, real per-capita household net worth in the United States has grown at about 2 percent a year. This is a wonderful achievement of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-current-asset-prices-are-dangerously-exaggerated/

What’s holding back solar in the Lone Star State?

Oct 31, 2016…Texas is known for being a sunny place - literally. El Paso County is in the top 1 percent of U.S. counties for the amount of sunshine received …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/whats-holding-back-solar-in-the-lone-star-state/

It’s rational to be ignorant about plethora of initiatives

…You’ve got to wonder whether voters, many of whom don’t know the names of their own legislators, should determine whether revenue bonds for major infrastructure projects should be …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/its-rational-to-be-ignorant-about-plethora-of-initiatives/

FDA tobacco director ignores 2.5 million ‘anecdotal reports’ about e-cigarettes

Oct 30, 2016…A feature of this month’s annual meeting of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) was a videotaped interview with Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-tobacco-director-ignores-2-5-million-anecdotal-reports-about-e-cigarettes/

War over contact lenses tricks consumers, treats optometrists

…It's Halloween season, which means it’s that time every year when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tries to spook consumers out of wearing costume or decorative contact lenses. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/war-over-contact-lenses-tricks-consumers-treats-optometrists/

Bureaucracy, funding no cure for homeless problem

Oct 29, 2016…My office is located in a part of downtown Sacramento that the Sacramento Bee recently referred to as a “blighted and foreboding stretch of K Street.” It’s not that the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bureaucracy-funding-no-cure-for-homeless-problem/

Chasing away scalpers only hurts consumers

Oct 28, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Christopher Koopman, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Earlier this year, the Kennedy Center announced that the award-winning musical "Hamilton" …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/chasing-away-scalpers-only-hurts-consumers/

A jack of all trades

Oct 27, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Aaron Perzanowski,  professor of law at Case Western Reserve University. When Google announced its new line of Pixel smartphones, it directed some not-so-subtle …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-jack-of-all-trades/

Election time in a one-party state

…After George W. Bush was declared winner of the 2000 presidential election, I headed from our newspaper offices to the Orange County Republican Party election event, where I …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/election-time-in-a-one-party-state/

Buying a car in Texas shouldn’t require a middleman

…Buying a car isn't easy, and the law in Texas doesn't make it any easier. Since time immemorial, new cars in the United States have been sold via franchised …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/buying-a-car-in-texas-shouldnt-require-a-middleman/

How Texas can protect the electric grid from attack

…A single nuclear device set off at a high altitude creates an electromagnetic pulse that knocks out electricity in a third of the United States. Key electrical infrastructure …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-texas-can-protect-the-electric-grid-from-attack/

Competing death-penalty measures revive old feud

Oct 26, 2016…Thirty years ago, California voters did something unprecedented (and not seen since): They bounced Chief Justice Rose Bird from the state Supreme Court. Two other state high-court justices …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/competing-death-penalty-measures-revive-old-feud/

A chance to fix civil asset forfeiture

…Law enforcement’s ability to seize money and property without evidence of a criminal act is known as civil asset forfeiture. This favored method of police across the nation …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-chance-to-fix-civil-asset-forfeiture/

The strongest branch of liberty

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Research Assistant Adam Chan. Which branch of government comes to mind when you think of your rights? Many, if not most, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-strongest-branch-of-liberty/

Cuba: Mi casa es su casa

…There is a truism, fashionable in American foreign policy circles, that the liberalization of trade will, over time, soften the contours of authoritarian regimes, as the oppressed become …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cuba-mi-casa-es-su-casa/

Bringing Government Secrets to Light

Oct 25, 2016…It was late February 1970, and the federal government was concerned that bad things were afoot in New York City. The past decade had been a series of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bringing-government-secrets-to-light/

The Postal Regulatory Commission’s $50 billion decision

…The Postal Regulatory Commission is a small agency, little known in Washington, DC, let alone the rest of America. Its 70 employees toil in rented office space on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-postal-regulatory-commissions-50-billion-decision/

The Puerto Rico Drama Has a Long Way to Run

Oct 24, 2016…On October 14, the outgoing Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, who is not running for re-election next month, addressed the Oversight Board which is charged by …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-puerto-rico-drama-has-a-long-way-to-run/

We Can Build Our Way Out of the Housing Crisis

Oct 21, 2016…In 1998, I left a small city in Ohio for Southern California, trading one of the nation's lowest-priced housing markets for one of its highest. The trade-off was …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/we-can-build-our-way-out-of-the-housing-crisis/

California Moves Against ‘Public Threat’ Of E-Cigarettes With A Tax

…Voters in California will decide on a contentious ballot initiative aimed at regulating the electronic cigarette industry and hiking tobacco taxes. Proposition 56 would raise the tax on tobacco …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-moves-against-public-threat-of-e-cigarettes-with-a-tax/

California Aborting Free Speech Rights

…In signing a bill that criminalizes the distribution of a “confidential” video of a “health-care provider,” Gov. Jerry Brown has at least dispensed with the notion that California’s …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-aborting-free-speech-rights/

Conservatives should seek to enable and fairly value solar power

…Competitive markets are at the heart of American economic prosperity and stability. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been true of the monopoly-led, scandal-prone Arizona electricity industry. Conservatives should welcome new technologies …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/conservatives-should-seek-to-enable-and-fairly-value-solar-power/

It’s Time To Make Taxpayer-Funded Congressional Reports Available To The Public

Oct 20, 2016…This piece was co-authored by Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist. American taxpayers support the $140 million a year expenditures of the Congressional Research Service, an independent and highly influential …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/its-time-to-make-taxpayer-funded-congressional-reports-available-to-the-public/

WikiLeaks affirms Alabama Democrats have a Joe Reed problem

…WikiLeaks continues to release hacked emails of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta, and Alabama Democrats aren't exempt from the damage. "I will NEVER support any candidate that supports …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/wikileaks-affirms-alabama-democrats-have-a-joe-reed-problem/

Memo to Feds: Tobacco ≠ Smoking

Oct 19, 2016…Government officials almost always use the word “tobacco” when they are actually discussing “cigarettes” or “smoking.” This practice is apparent in a 2015 progress report from the Centers for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/memo-to-feds-tobacco-%e2%89%a0-smoking/

Don’t over-regulate driverless technology

…Self-driving vehicles promise an exciting future, but whether the technology will see widespread adoption in the near term is anything but certain. Among the first hurdles to clear …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-over-regulate-driverless-technology-2/

Sex offender registries need reform

Oct 18, 2016…Twenty-five years ago, with activist Patty Wetterling by his side, Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson signed America's first law establishing a public registry system for sex offenders. The law, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sex-offender-registries-need-reform/

State watchdog agency pushes for occupational licensing reform

…One of the rare issues where politicians on the left and right increasingly agree involves occupational-licensing requirements – the oftentimes cumbersome government-approval processes that many workers must go …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/state-watchdog-agency-pushes-for-occupational-licensing-reform/

Congress should unveil American surveillance

…Revelations that Yahoo allegedly scanned hundreds of millions of user emails for the National Security Agency and the FBI underscores the pressing need for Congress to reevaluate federal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-should-unveil-american-surveillance/

We can build our way out of housing crisis

Oct 17, 2016…In 1998, I left a small city in Ohio for Southern California, trading one of the nation’s lowest-priced housing markets for one of its highest. The trade-off was …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/we-can-build-our-way-out-of-housing-crisis/

The new federal safety guidelines for self-driving cars are too vague… and states are already making them mandatory

Oct 14, 2016…The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earned plaudits from across the tech sphere for its recently released safety guidelines for self-driving cars. With the NHTSA looking to offer guidance …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-new-federal-safety-guidelines-for-self-driving-cars-are-too-vague-and-states-are-already-making-them-mandatory/

‘Demilitarize’ the police?

…Policing has always been a difficult job. It has recently become more so. On a daily basis, officers around the country find themselves yelled at, protested against, and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/demilitarize-the-police/

Don’t over-regulate driverless technology

…Self-driving vehicles promise an exciting future, but whether the technology will see widespread adoption in the near term is anything but certain. Among the first hurdles to clear …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-over-regulate-driverless-technology/

Subsidizing Disaster: As seas rise, why is government promoting coastal development?

Oct 13, 2016…Sometimes it seems like everything is underwater. In Galveston, Texas, sea levels have risen by more than a foot since 1983. So-called “superstorms” like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/subsidizing-disaster-as-seas-rise-why-is-government-promoting-coastal-development/

Teams kneel at the altar of tax subsidies

…The debate over standing for the national anthem is back on center stage this week, now that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been given the greenlight …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/teams-kneel-at-the-altar-of-tax-subsidies/

Union appeal focuses attention on pension precedent

Oct 12, 2016…A decision by four Marin County public-employee associations to appeal a pension-related case to the California Supreme Court could ultimately determine whether localities have the tools needed to rein …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/union-appeal-focuses-attention-on-pension-precedent/

It’s not about Tesla, it’s about Michigan’s future

Oct 11, 2016…Michigan has made great strides in its dramatic rebound from the economic doldrums of the Great Recession, helped by efforts to reduce unnecessary red tape and to create …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/its-not-about-tesla-its-about-michigans-future/

Private eye’s guilty plea offers hope for accountability

Oct 10, 2016…At first glance, high-profile police controversies each generally present themselves as isolated events. Various police shootings have been in the news, and have sparked angry protests. The Associated …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/private-eyes-guilty-plea-offers-hope-for-accountability/

Utility regulators must protect average electricity customers and competition

…The following op-ed was co-authored by Dick Munson, director of Midwest clean energy for the Environmental Defense Fund. Ohio's utility regulators may have been appointed by a conservative governor, who …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/utility-regulators-must-protect-average-electricity-customers-and-competition/

Harm-reduction initiatives violate Hippocratic Oath

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Western Region Director Steven Greenhut. Most of us have heard the dictum, "First, do no harm." It's often thought of as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/harm-reduction-initiatives-violate-hippocratic-oath/

Alabama’s ABC is little more than a Prohibition hangover

Oct 7, 2016…With all the focus on Alabama's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) cracking down on sidewalk alcohol sales, it might have been easy to miss its stern warning about following alcohol …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabamas-abc-is-little-more-than-a-prohibition-hangover/

Fed’s mandate is to ensure stable prices

…Sir, Michael Brownrigg (Letters, Oct. 4) makes a common, but fundamental, mistake in claiming that the Federal Reserve’s mandate includes “low inflation”. To the contrary, in the governing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/feds-mandate-is-to-ensure-stable-prices/

Getting juiced by the roadside

…Greenville, Alabama, is a small city of about 8,000 right off I-65, south of Montgomery. It’s best known for Bates House of Turkey, a popular lunch stop on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/getting-juiced-by-the-roadside/

The Truth about Traffic: Putting fatalities in context

…In my lectures, I often provide context about the risks associated with the use of tobacco products by comparing those behaviors with the use of automobiles.  Putting risk in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-truth-about-traffic-putting-fatalities-in-context/

Do Less Harm: The vapid opposition to vaping

… Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, hates e-cigarettes. The devices, he says, are little more than an evil plot, "the new frontier in tobacco companies' quest to get kids addicted …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/do-less-harm-the-vapid-opposition-to-vaping-2/

At what point is California a lost cause?

Oct 6, 2016…A pseudonymous writer named Decius sparked a debate throughout the conservative media with his argument that this presidential election echoes “Flight 93” — the aircraft that crashed in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/at-what-point-is-california-a-lost-cause/

Unusual drinks (part 1)

…There is something very satisfying about having a go-to drink. After a long day of work and kid care, a glass of whiskey is very welcome. The Kosar …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/unusual-drinks-part-1/

Congress may lower taxes on drinks

…The Beer Institute recently reported some happy news: 51 U.S. senators support a bill to lower federal drink taxes. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-may-lower-taxes-on-drinks/

Increasing tax on wind is a bad idea

… Addressing the nation’s entrepreneurs and small business owners from the Old Executive Office Building in August 1986, President Ronald Reagan lightheartedly observed that, under his predecessor Jimmy Carter, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/increasing-tax-on-wind-is-a-bad-idea/

These unneeded rules for freight railroads would cost consumers

Oct 5, 2016…By virtually any measure, America’s freight-rail system is one of the best in the world. In fact, rail transports a full 40 percent of freight moved in the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/these-unneeded-rules-for-freight-railroads-would-cost-consumers/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-birth-of-a-nation-a-qualified-success-from-a-problematic-auteur/

Lawsuit against Palantir shows the absurdity of discrimination law

…There’s a scene near the beginning of The Usual Suspects in which the police are interrogating a series of ne’er-do-wells about a recent robbery in Queens. To induce …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lawsuit-against-palantir-shows-the-absurdity-of-discrimination-law/

House launches a public-facing phone directory for all staff

…As promised at the 2016 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference, the House of Representatives has launched a public-facing phone directory for all its staff. This is a tremendously useful tool. It …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/house-launches-a-public-facing-phone-directory-for-all-staff/

Don’t adopt ‘overregulate ’em all’ strategy on game apps

…After 74 days on the market, Pokemon Go last week lost the top revenue spot in Apple's U.S. app store to Clash Royale, although it remains the highest-grossing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-adopt-overregulate-em-all-strategy-on-game-apps/

New rules for driverless cars aim to fix what ain’t broke

Oct 4, 2016…The folks at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) are a lot like other regulators: When they see that a given power exists, they covet it. Charged with …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-rules-for-driverless-cars-aim-to-fix-what-aint-broke/

Gov. Jerry Brown signs host of significant legislation

…The 2016 legislative season is officially over, with Gov. Jerry Brown having signed 900 bills while vetoing 159 byFriday’s deadline. Some of the recently signed bills are far-reaching and will …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gov-jerry-brown-signs-host-of-significant-legislation/

Crime is still at historic lows

…The following op-ed was co-authored by Jason Pye, director of communications for FreedomWorks. Some are playing up news stories or writing editorials with clickbait headlines featuring violent crime as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/crime-is-still-at-historic-lows/

To end the affordable housing crisis, Washington needs to legalize Main Street

…In a sign that market solutions for the United States’ growing housing affordability crisis are beginning to earn bipartisan support, the White House this week unveiled its “Housing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/to-end-the-affordable-housing-crisis-washington-needs-to-legalize-main-street/

Ignoring pension past, state risks future problems

Oct 3, 2016…It’s one of the oldest ploys. After officials at a government agency or business are caught in an embarrassing situation, it’s typical for them to deny there’s anything …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ignoring-pension-past-state-risks-future-problems/

Policing is a profession: You don’t get to pick and choose whom you serve and protect

…Since the National Football League's kneeling controversy started, several police organizations around the country have stated they would not protect individual players or whole teams until all the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/policing-is-a-profession-you-dont-get-to-pick-and-choose-whom-you-serve-and-protect/

Do Less Harm: The vapid opposition to vaping

Sep 30, 2016…Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, hates e-cigarettes. The devices, he says, "are little more than an evil plot, the new frontier in tobacco companies' quest to get kids addicted …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/do-less-harm-the-vapid-opposition-to-vaping/

Truth Initiative belies its name in new smokeless tobacco screed

…The Truth Initiative is a $1 billion foundation devoted to tobacco prohibition. Launched as the American Legacy Foundation with cash from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, the group …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/truth-initiative-belies-its-name-in-new-smokeless-tobacco-screed/

Where is Pokemon Go-ing?

Sep 29, 2016…After 74 days on the market, Pokemon Go this week lost the top revenue spot in Apple’s U.S. app store to Clash Royale, although it remains the highest-grossing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/where-is-pokemon-go-ing/

California’s moral superiority complex

…I was drinking a beer recently in a bar in a small northern California town when a woman came in and demanded to know if any of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/californias-moral-superiority-complex/

You wouldn’t pay taxes you don’t owe. Why should Lowe’s?

Sep 28, 2016…Taxes aren't a form of charity. Both businesses and individuals should pay the taxes they owe and not a penny more. They may be our obligation as part of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/you-wouldnt-pay-taxes-you-dont-owe-why-should-lowes/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/deepwater-horizon-should-make-a-deep-impact/

California’s roads improve, but still are troubled according to new study

Sep 27, 2016…Despite its well-documented inefficiencies and travails, California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has managed to improve the state’s system of roads, bridges and freeways incrementally in recent years, according …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/californias-roads-improve-but-still-are-troubled-according-to-new-study/

Negative rates aren’t working. Why do central banks persist?

Sep 26, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Paul Kupiec, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Monetary policies in Europe and Japan have produced trillions of dollars of bonds …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/negative-rates-arent-working-why-do-central-banks-persist/

Pension mess can’t go on; that’s no reason to ignore it

…President Richard Nixon’s economic adviser, the late Herbert Stein, still is known for his dictum: “If something cannot go on forever, it won’t.” It should be the rallying …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/pension-mess-cant-go-on-thats-no-reason-to-ignore-it/

‘ENDS’ don’t justify the means with e-cigarettes

Sep 23, 2016…E-cigarettes and vaping are transforming tobacco use in the United States and worldwide. These innovative products are being used almost exclusively by smokers looking for substitutes for more …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ends-dont-justify-the-means-with-e-cigarettes/

Waivers can fix out-of-date federal labor laws

…The following op-ed was co-authored by Andrew Stern, former president of Service Employees International Union and a senior fellow at Columbia University. Few relationships in America suffer as unnecessarily thanks …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/waivers-can-fix-out-of-date-federal-labor-laws/

The Credit Crunch of 1966: An instructive 50th anniversary

Sep 22, 2016…It’s the 50th anniversary of the Credit Crunch of 1966, which roiled financial markets in August and September of that year. Group financial memory fades, so if you …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-credit-crunch-of-1966-an-instructive-50th-anniversary/

Suddenly, a shifting pension paradigm?

…Last month, I wrote a dour column for the Spectator doubting that a significant new appeals court decision in a major pension case would ultimately change the financial …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/suddenly-a-shifting-pension-paradigm/

Stanford’s batty booze ban

…The mercury is trending downward, the leaves are turning red and orange and fresh faces flood campuses across our nation. Autumn is back. It’s a lovely annual recurrence. At …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/stanfords-batty-booze-ban/

Yet one more unimportant article about Colin Kaepernick

Sep 20, 2016…How many “real” news stories are transpiring as I write this, the umpteenth unnecessary opinion piece about Colin Kaepernick and his protest to kneel during the national anthem? …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/yet-one-more-unimportant-article-about-colin-kaepernick/

Gov. Brown mulls bills overseeing psychotropic drugs for foster kids

…California’s foster-care system has long been plagued with unaddressed problems, but a recent exposé about the system’s alleged over-prescription of psychotropic drugs has propelled the Legislature into action. Gov. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gov-brown-mulls-bills-overseeing-psychotropic-drugs-for-foster-kids/

Anaheim’s parks program raises surveillance debate

Sep 19, 2016…On Tuesday, Anaheim became the latest in a growing list of California cities to install police-monitored cameras in public places — in this case, three public parks. The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/anaheims-parks-program-raises-surveillance-debate/

Inventing America: The business of drafting a national blueprint

Sep 16, 2016…The men who drafted the U.S. Constitution rightly earned our eternal praise. In 1787, they met in Philadelphia, where they pondered, debated and haggled for four months. James …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/inventing-america-the-business-of-drafting-a-national-blueprint/

Criminal justice reform doesn’t have to mean ‘soft on crime’

…The phrase "criminal justice reform" is loaded with emotional impact. To some, the words translate to "soft on crime," which has been a political mantra and damning epithet …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/criminal-justice-reform-doesnt-have-to-mean-soft-on-crime/

Selling tobacco to kids: FDA inspection data from 2015 and 2016

…A Sept. 15 Food & Drug Administration press release notes the agency “has taken action against 55 tobacco retailers by issuing the first warning letters for selling newly …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/selling-tobacco-to-kids-fda-inspection-data-from-2015-and-2016/

They’ll never learn: Liberal policies boost poverty

Sep 15, 2016…I was perusing the real-estate listings for Palo Alto, California, and spotted a stylish, remodeled midcentury ranch house with a whopping 1,700 square feet on a postage-stamp lot …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/theyll-never-learn-liberal-policies-boost-poverty/

Americans don’t benefit from ‘safety nets’ for farmers

Sep 14, 2016…Libertarians and small-government conservatives have myriad gripes with U.S. agricultural policy, but many would agree that it’s appropriate to provide a “safety net” for farmers. Arguments for government …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/americans-dont-benefit-from-safety-nets-for-farmers/

Prop. 53 could have far-reaching consequences for state project financing – or not

Sep 13, 2016…Most California voters are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the municipal-bond process. Many are likewise unfamiliar with the differences between, say, “general obligation” bonds and “revenue” bonds. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/prop-53-could-have-far-reaching-consequences-for-state-project-financing-or-not/

Taking on Leviathan

…Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), the great philosopher of the authoritarian state, in a famous metaphor portrayed the government as a dominating giant or Leviathan, animated by absolute sovereignty, and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/taking-on-leviathan/

Congress’ new opportunity to protect free speech: Voting to pass SPEAK FREE

Sep 12, 2016…As a computer hobbyist 30 years ago, I already could see where this online chat thing was going. Long before the word "internet" became part of the universal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-new-opportunity-to-protect-free-speech-voting-to-pass-speak-free/

Coastal Commission abuse smacked down by OC court

…During a 1997 speech to the American Planning Association in Monterey, Peter Douglas, the longtime executive director of the California Coastal Commission and main author of the 1972 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/coastal-commission-abuse-smacked-down-by-oc-court/

Never forget 9/11, but start remembering our response

Sep 11, 2016…We'll never forget the events of Sept. 11, 2001, but we've clearly forgotten our response. I was sitting in the living room of the Phi Gamma Delta House at …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/never-forget-911-but-start-remembering-our-response/

American Cancer Society and CDC withheld evidence on safer smokeless products

Sep 8, 2016…The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society have a long history of suppressing information about the relative risks of smokeless tobacco (ST) products. CDC …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/american-cancer-society-and-cdc-withheld-evidence-on-safer-smokeless-products/

House Freedom Caucus should support justice reform this fall

…The following op-ed was co-authored by Jason Pye, director of communications for FreedomWorks. Recently, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gave a much-needed boost to efforts in the U.S. House to pass …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/house-freedom-caucus-should-support-justice-reform-this-fall/

The new century brings remarkable downshift in per-capita GDP growth

…For the half-century from 1950 to 2000, U.S. real gross domestic product per capita grew at an average rate of 2.22 percent per year. For the first 15 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-new-century-brings-remarkable-downshift-in-per-capita-gdp-growth/

PC segregation still on the rise

…It's the start of a new school year, so it’s time to hear bizarre stories from the nation’s universities — those politically correct hothouses where seemingly intelligent people …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/pc-segregation-still-on-the-rise/

Tobacco tax one of the most heated for November ballot

Sep 6, 2016…There’s broad agreement that the 17 initiatives on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot cover some of the most significant public-policy issues to come before voters in more than a decade. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tobacco-tax-one-of-the-most-heated-for-november-ballot/

What if you were mistakenly placed on a ‘watch’ list?

Sep 5, 2016…In the 1985 dystopian science fiction movie, “Brazil,” the plot centers on the authorities’ apprehension of an innocent man named Archibald Buttle. He was mistaken for the outlaw, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-if-you-were-mistakenly-placed-on-a-watch-list/

Carrie Nation, M.D.: The neo-prohibitionists are on the march

Sep 2, 2016… To a degree, the British government’s recent freak-out over alcohol is understandable. The nation's tabloids regularly carry stories featuring individuals getting falling-down drunk and doing stupid things. "Drunk …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/carrie-nation-m-d-the-neo-prohibitionists-are-on-the-march/

Musicians can’t always get what they want when politicians use their songs

…It’s campaign season, which means politicians are stumping all around the country trying to win your vote. Candidates do this through a number of methods – television commercials, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/musicians-cant-always-get-what-they-want-when-politicians-use-their-songs/

If you want to stop Zika, start promoting GMOs

Sep 1, 2016…The Zika virus is scary. Zika infections during pregnancy have been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly. Because it is spread via mosquitoes, it can be difficult to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/if-you-want-to-stop-zika-start-promoting-gmos/

Jerry Brown dirties the climate

…Gov. Jerry Brown received some media attention last week after he left an angry message on Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims’ voicemail. Angry that Mims had signed a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/jerry-brown-dirties-the-climate/

Court ruling opens avenue for pension reform

Aug 30, 2016…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 as “various …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/court-ruling-opens-avenue-for-pension-reform/

Great Park travails show the travesty of politics

Aug 29, 2016…One of the great fallacies of our modern world is the idea that development decisions should largely be made through politics and public input. That way all the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/great-park-travails-show-the-travesty-of-politics/

Police Violence: The symptoms of deeper societal issues?

Aug 25, 2016… The rash of police-on-civilian and civilian-on-police violence has once again brought to a boil the question of why a nation founded on the very idea of limited government …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/police-violence-the-symptoms-of-deeper-societal-issues/

Self-driving cars could cut parking revenues

…There were groans all across Sacramento when the City Council approved yet another expansion of parking zones around Golden 1 Center, the city’s new $507 million arena. The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/self-driving-cars-could-cut-parking-revenues/

Will appeals ruling sober up state’s pension abusers?

…California’s hardy band of pension reformers show many of the symptoms of “battered spouse syndrome.” No matter how often they are beaten and ridiculed, they cling to hope. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-appeals-ruling-sober-up-states-pension-abusers/

FDA Study: Cancer risks nearly nil for 1-2 cigars per day

Aug 24, 2016…The Food and Drug Administration, which now regulates cigars, has taken the position that "cigar smoking carries many of the same health risks as cigarette smoking."  The agency is …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-study-cancer-risks-nearly-nil-for-1-2-cigars-per-day/

Insurance rate rollback sets regulatory precedent

Aug 23, 2016…A spat between the California Department of Insurance and the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog over a recent news release left Sacramento insiders scrambling to understand the policy implications …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/insurance-rate-rollback-sets-regulatory-precedent/

Ed drama; the Ocean’s Hot Dog and Brookings teacher diversity study; fish porn; Kosar signs off

Aug 22, 2016…I am running low on laptop battery and conveniently left my charger in Washington, D.C. So I will keep this quick. Robert J. Bellafiore takes New York City Mayor Bill …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ed-drama-the-oceans-hot-dog-and-brookings-teacher-diversity-study-fish-porn-kosar-signs-off/

OC legislators help secure crucial ‘liberty’ reform

…Last September, the state’s most powerful law-enforcement unions and lobbyists descended on the Capitol and derailed a sensible reform measure that had been sailing through the Legislature with …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/oc-legislators-help-secure-crucial-liberty-reform/

Creating a foundation for a substantive debate on proxy-access proposals

…If shareholder proposals on proxy access—that is, the ability of certain large shareholders to have their own slates of nominees to corporate boards included in the proxy materials …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/creating-a-foundation-for-a-substantive-debate-on-proxy-access-proposals/

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

Aug 19, 2016…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-white-house-is-using-the-sec-to-crack-down-on-fossil-fuels/

More on school lunches; #PorgyPorn; DC teacher union heads denounce Wal-Mart for helping teachers; Feds expand educational quality through innovation partnerships

…On Tuesday, I wrote about the federal school lunch program. What I did not mention was the status of the program’s reform. Legislation has moved this year to amend the program. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/more-on-school-lunches-porgyporn-dc-teacher-union-heads-denounce-wal-mart-for-helping-teachers-feds-expand-educational-quality-through-innovation-partnerships/

Pueblo should consider nuclear power plant

Aug 18, 2016…Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission received an earful from Pueblo residents at this week’s public hearing over a proposed 4.8 percent rate hike by Black Hills Energy. While Pueblo’s local …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/pueblo-should-consider-nuclear-power-plant/

Shock: Legislature does right thing on a liberty issue!

…Our left-leaning Legislature isn’t exactly known for its commitment to protecting the constitutional liberties of the citizenry, which is an understatement of great magnitude. When I speak to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/shock-legislature-does-right-thing-on-a-liberty-issue/

Iron Chancellor was a good actuary too

…Sir, “Retirement age for young Germans will have to rise to 69, central bank warns” (Aug. 16). That is a quite reasonable, even generous, retirement age if you …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/iron-chancellor-was-a-good-actuary-too/

HEA rulemaking; Utah loosens teaching occupational licensure; ICYMI: China and ed reform

…Care about which institutions' students can get Higher Education Act grants? You know, ones like Pell grants, the Federal Pell Grant program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/hea-rulemaking-utah-loosens-teaching-occupational-licensure-icymi-china-and-ed-reform/

Low-tar cigarettes had merit, said American Cancer Society; So do e-cigarettes

…E-cigarette opponents routinely claim that e-cigarettes benefit from industry-promoted consumer health misconceptions, in the same manner that so-called "light" cigarettes soared in popularity years ago, when, it is …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/low-tar-cigarettes-had-merit-said-american-cancer-society-so-do-e-cigarettes/

The impact of silence: The incarceration of children who have committed no crime

Aug 17, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Marcy Mistrett, CEO of the Campaign for Youth Justice. Congress has recessed for the summer without passing any justice reform—not in the criminal nor juvenile-justice …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-impact-of-silence-the-incarceration-of-children-who-have-committed-no-crime/

Holt trolls Johnson on student loans; The Daily Caller trolls Michelle Obama and school lunches; Turtle porn

Aug 16, 2016…Maybe it's a sign the Gary Johnson-Bill Weld ticket is serious, or possibly a writer was looking for something to troll. Either way, Johnson gets assailed by Alexander …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/holt-trolls-johnson-on-student-loans-the-daily-caller-trolls-michelle-obama-and-school-lunches-turtle-porn/

Civil libertarians and police embrace asset-forfeiture compromise

…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/civil-libertarians-and-police-embrace-asset-forfeiture-compromise/

Three cheers for school advertising

…The recent State Impact piece on advertising by public schools was interesting on a couple of counts, but missed an opportunity: Schools will start soon, but where you live doesn’t necessarily …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/three-cheers-for-school-advertising/

Federal oversight of snitch scandal is long overdue

…The latest twist in the ongoing “snitch” scandal involving Orange County’s district attorney’s office and sheriff’s department further reinforces critics’ fears about problems in the nation’s criminal justice …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-oversight-of-snitch-scandal-is-long-overdue/

FDA’s e-cigarette rules are a public-health hazard

Aug 12, 2016…Since they first were introduced in the United States in 2006, electronic cigarettes have helped millions of U.S. smokers to cut down or quit and diverted teens from …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fdas-e-cigarette-rules-are-a-public-health-hazard/

A smokeless history lesson for vaping advocates

Aug 11, 2016…E-cigarettes are under siege by federal health authorities and NGOs, aided and abetted by countless university researchers funded generously by the National Institutes of Health. Many of their …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-smokeless-history-lesson-for-vaping-advocates/

New FDA vaping regulations will harm public health

Aug 10, 2016…Going back to the nation's founding, cigarette smoking has wreaked havoc on U.S. public health and contributed to an astronomical death toll. According to the Centers for Disease …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-fda-vaping-regulations-will-harm-public-health/

No, a new study does not say Uber has no effect on drunk driving

…The first rule of science journalism is to read the study before you write about it. Alas, that hasn't stopped media outlets from routinely misreporting, exaggerating or exercising …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/no-a-new-study-does-not-say-uber-has-no-effect-on-drunk-driving/

Bay Area making life difficult for tech firms

Aug 9, 2016…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bay-area-making-life-difficult-for-tech-firms/

Porn isn’t for kids, but we don’t seem to care

…America isn't doing enough to protect our children from the impacts of pornography. As the father of three young boys, I know my sons are going to encounter …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/porn-isnt-for-kids-but-we-dont-seem-to-care/

‘Commercial’ bank is misnomer. ‘Real estate’ bank is more apt

…Comparing banking in the 1950s to today, we find giant changes that surely would have astonished the bankers of that earlier time. What's the biggest and most important …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/commercial-bank-is-misnomer-real-estate-bank-is-more-apt/

Florida has been hurricane free, but still the insurance rates go up

Aug 8, 2016…Florida's property insurance market — long among the nation's biggest basket cases — has enjoyed an unprecedented streak of good fortune on two different fronts. The better known …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/florida-has-been-hurricane-free-but-still-the-insurance-rates-go-up/

The federal government’s $500 million subsidy to magazine publishers

…Few people love magazines more than I do. At last count, I have a half-dozen subscriptions, down from the baker’s dozen of a few years ago (with four …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-federal-governments-500-million-subsidy-to-magazine-publishers/

How far a ‘freedom’ city has strayed

…The presidential race has become an all-consuming affair on social media, as Americans debate which candidate will do less harm to the republic and our freedoms. I remain …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-far-a-freedom-city-has-strayed/

Marketplace for energy drives lower costs

Aug 4, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Rev. Mitch Hescox, the president and CEO of Evangelical Environmental Network. When it comes to energy generation, business as usual is hurting Missouri. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/marketplace-for-energy-drives-lower-costs/

Direct Democracy: California’s last hope?

…One of the most far-reaching ideas advanced by 20th century progressives was the reemergence of direct democracy. And no state has taken the idea further than California. In 1911, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/direct-democracy-californias-last-hope/

Unnatural Monopolies: Do power companies have to be crony capitalists?

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Electricity Policy Manager Devin Hartman. When Lord Acton warned about the corrupting tendency of power, he wasn’t thinking of electricity. The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/unnatural-monopolies-do-power-companies-have-to-be-crony-capitalists/

California push for coal divestment raises concerns

Aug 2, 2016…Unlike the sellers of most other products or services, insurance companies receive payments from their customers in exchange for future promises. If you wreck your car, they will pay …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-push-for-coal-divestment-raises-concerns/

The DOJ and the future of music

…Music fans might be understandably puzzled by how it is that new revenues from the online streaming services like Pandora and Spotify could top $2.4 billion last year, yet …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-doj-and-the-future-of-music/

Use e-cigarettes? Moffitt Cancer Center wants you to be ‘Forever Free’

Jul 28, 2016…The Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, is recruiting smokers who vape (i.e., dual users) for a clinical trial that, according to spokesman Vani Nath Simmons, aims to answer …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/use-e-cigarettes-moffitt-cancer-center-wants-you-to-be-forever-free/

Parks in Disarray: An allegory for California

…Many of us who stay in California do so, in part, because of its beauty. As friends and neighbors plot moves to lower-tax, lower-regulation and higher-sanity places, such as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/parks-in-disarray-an-allegory-for-california/

Who will pay for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s huge losses?

Jul 26, 2016…The government's pension insurance company, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), is broke. Because its creditors can't demand their money immediately, it won't have spent its last dollar for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/who-will-pay-for-the-pension-benefit-guaranty-corp-s-huge-losses/

Marking kids for life on sex offender registries

…The following op-ed was co-authored by Nicole Pittman, director of the Center on Youth Registration Reform, and Stacie Rumenap, president of Stop Child Predators. For decades, our country has been putting …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/marking-kids-for-life-on-sex-offender-registries/

Time to pass long-term ridesharing reforms in Pa.

Jul 25, 2016…"Never laugh at live dragons," warns the protagonist of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, a reminder to avoid premature celebrations before an adventure has truly ended. It's a timely …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/time-to-pass-long-term-ridesharing-reforms-in-pa/

Despite lack of hurricanes, claims abuse driving up Citizens insurance premiums in Florida

…Last year, Florida marked 10 years since it was last hit by a hurricane. This “drought,” coupled with responsible reforms enacted by lawmakers in recent years, has allowed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/despite-lack-of-hurricanes-claims-abuse-driving-up-citizens-insurance-premiums-in-florida/

CalPERS’ earnings flop means belt tightening

…Earlier this year, I watched in horror as my 401(k) earnings started a freefall right before I planned on shifting some assets into a lower-risk fund. Things corrected, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/calpers-earnings-flop-means-belt-tightening/

Generation Gap: The age of nuclear retirement

Jul 22, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Energy Policy Director Catrina Rorke.  At a meeting of the National Association of Science Writers in New York in 1954, the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/generation-gap-the-age-of-nuclear-retirement/

Food insecurity and national security

Jul 21, 2016…No one would deny that a vibrant and stable agriculture economy is important for national security. Across the globe, unstable food supplies are associated with turmoil, crime and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/food-insecurity-and-national-security/

Unions are root cause of policing problems

…Even before the chilling murders of police officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Kansas City, most conservatives had been rallying around the “boys in blue,” defending law enforcement …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/unions-are-root-cause-of-policing-problems/

Democrats’ climate agenda deserves a conservative response

Jul 20, 2016…As the Democratic Party looks to advance what has been characterized as the “most progressive platform in the party's history,” there's never been a more urgent time for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/democrats-climate-agenda-deserves-a-conservative-response/

Police debates need more focus on policy, not emotion

Jul 18, 2016…The latest debate over policing understandably has become an emotional one, following the horrific murder of five police officers in Dallas and the deeply disturbing videos of police …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/police-debates-need-more-focus-on-policy-not-emotion/

A guide to a fishing boat of one’s wishes

Jul 15, 2016…Recently, I have been stricken with a terrible affliction. I want a fishing boat. The sickness took hold of me a few months ago, and the longing hounds me …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-guide-to-a-fishing-boat-of-ones-wishes/

Will Congress claw back power from the regulatory state?

Jul 14, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Associate Fellow Sean Speer, who also serves as a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a Canadian think tank. One upside …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-congress-claw-back-power-from-the-regulatory-state/

Housing Finance: Two strikes, and now?

…Memories fade. So while trying to draw conclusions about going forward, we should also do our best to remember our past expensive lessons in politicized housing finance. It should …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/housing-finance-two-strikes-and-now/

Why does nuclear energy account for less than a fifth of our national energy mix?

Jul 13, 2016…Even though the United States has more nuclear-electricity generating units than any country in the world, nuclear power makes up less than 20 percent of our nation’s energy …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-does-nuclear-energy-account-for-less-than-a-fifth-of-our-national-energy-mix/

As my sons slept, was their country tearing itself apart?

Jul 12, 2016…That night, my three boys slept peacefully down the hall. I couldn’t. Sitting in a dark room, the television casting an eerie electric glow, I watched news coverage …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/as-my-sons-slept-was-their-country-tearing-itself-apart/

In tracking homeownership, marriage matters

Jul 11, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Jay Brinkmann, retired chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Homeownership long has been considered a key metric for economic well-being in the United …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/in-tracking-homeownership-marriage-matters/

Mismatch has led us into trouble many times before

…Financial events cycle and financial ideas cycle. Here the United Kingdom is again, with real estate generating financial stress. As Patrick Jenkins rightly points out (“Open-ended property funds …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mismatch-has-led-us-into-trouble-many-times-before-2/

What drives tobacco-control policy?

…This is a follow-up to the presentation by Dr. David Ashley of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) at the March 2016 meeting of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-drives-tobacco-control-policy/

San Fran threatens Airbnb

…It's ironic that San Francisco, the city so closely identified with the burgeoning sharing economy, would be defending an onerous law that undermines one of the tenets that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/san-fran-threatens-airbnb/

Under control, for now

Jul 8, 2016…Is crime spiraling out of control in America? Are we letting too many dangerous people out of prison and jail? Is the nation retreating from the policies that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/under-control-for-now/

CDC data show fewer vapers and smokers in 2015

…The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015 National Health Interview Survey – the source for national smoking estimates – reveals some surprising e-cigarette facts, summarized in this …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cdc-data-show-fewer-vapers-and-smokers-in-2015/

Eliminating federal waste means swimming upstream

Jul 7, 2016…Advocates for fiscal responsibility often find, when it comes to killing even the most wasteful and unnecessary programs, they must swim upstream. As a case in point, consider …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/eliminating-federal-waste-means-swimming-upstream/

Another revolting attack on our liberties

…During a recent stroll around the west steps of the state Capitol, I eyed a group of “Yes California Independence Campaign” handing out the state flag. The flag …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/another-revolting-attack-on-our-liberties/

The perfect antidote to Dodd-Frank

Jul 6, 2016…To overhaul the Dodd-Frank Act, here is a radical and really good idea from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. The Financial CHOICE Act, Hensarling's bill, says to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-perfect-antidote-to-dodd-frank/

Droning on about issues they don’t understand

Jul 4, 2016…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/droning-on-about-issues-they-dont-understand/

Should we build a wall or choose life along our Gulf Coast?

…The waves just keep coming. As I learned about "living shorelines" at an educational event in Fairhope, Alabama, I couldn't get past the fact that the waves never …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/should-we-build-a-wall-or-choose-life-along-our-gulf-coast/

Crumbling roads? Let’s build bike lanes!

Jun 30, 2016…In his State of the State address earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown pointed to California’s deferred infrastructure maintenance as “staggering” and put the price tag for repairs at …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/crumbling-roads-lets-build-bike-lanes/

State subsidies and competitive wholesale electricity markets

…On June 10, 2016, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman, sent a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/state-subsidies-and-competitive-wholesale-electricity-markets/

Lessons from the downfall of a $150M crowdfunded experiment in decentralized governance

Jun 29, 2016…Hype around blockchain has risen to an all-time high. A technology once perceived to be the realm of crypto-anarchists and drug dealers has gained increasing popular recognition for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lessons-from-the-downfall-of-a-150m-crowdfunded-experiment-in-decentralized-governance/

The ‘no fly, no buy’ gun control policy is actually modern day McCarthyism

Jun 27, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by Jason Pye, director of communications and the director of justice reform for FreedomWorks. Having watched their Senate counterparts try and fail to get …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-no-fly-no-buy-gun-control-policy-is-actually-modern-day-mccarthyism/

State officials addicted to nicotine taxes

…The last time I wrote about tobacco-related measures, I concluded that California legislators and health advocates have let a bit of Puritanism get the better of them. Why …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/state-officials-addicted-to-nicotine-taxes/

Federal law hurting growth of electric vehicle market

Jun 24, 2016…It’s summer and you’re on a family vacation cruising down the interstate listening to the Eagles. Your child interrupts that peaceful easy feeling by declaring an immediate and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-law-hurting-growth-of-electric-vehicle-market/

Be careful what you vote for

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Texas Director Josiah Neeley.  Rarely has a vote had such an immediate effect. On May 7, Austin residents elected not to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/be-careful-what-you-vote-for/

Paths not taken

…If angst, lovesickness, and ennui alone made for half-decent poetry, just about every moody high school student would be in the running for the Pulitzer Prize. Although strong …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/paths-not-taken/

First among equals

…To see it, you need to ascend to the second floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and wend your way to the northernmost corner. Here is the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/first-among-equals/

Key lessons from Austin’s ridesharing debacle

Jun 23, 2016…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Texas Director Josiah Neeley. Rarely has the effect of a vote been felt so quickly. Austin citizens voted May 7 not …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/key-lessons-from-austins-ridesharing-debacle/

Even booming Bay Area sees an exodus

…When asked whether he wanted to have dinner at a particular restaurant, Yogi Berra famously quipped, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” It’s easy to apply that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/even-booming-bay-area-sees-an-exodus/

Democrat sit-in protests Constitution’s due process on gun rights

…Congressional Republicans are arguing the merits of constitutional Due Process while Democrats are staging a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives to champion a Bush-era …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/democrat-sit-in-protests-constitutions-due-process-on-gun-rights/

Lavish pension hikes cause of O.C.’s exploding debt

Jun 20, 2016…The Orange County Grand Jury’s report on the state of the county’s pension plans painted a bleak but not unexpected snapshot of a challenging long-term fiscal situation. The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lavish-pension-hikes-cause-of-o-c-s-exploding-debt/

My Father’s Day drinks wish list

Jun 17, 2016…Man does not live by bread alone. And a father, well, he needs even more, what with the middle-of-the-night wake-ups, the tantrums and the exploded filthy diapers. I …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/my-fathers-day-drinks-wish-list/

The American Civil Liberties Union rightly rejects the No Fly List for gun control

…Even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) thinks there's a problem using the No Fly List to prohibit gun purchases. According to ACLU National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi, "The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-american-civil-liberties-union-rightly-rejects-the-no-fly-list-for-gun-control/

Will we ever really get flying cars?

…If you listen to some entrepreneurs and investors, the flying car – a longstanding staple of science fiction – is right around the corner. Working prototypes exist. At …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-we-ever-really-get-flying-cars/

Secrecy lobby runs amok at State Capitol

Jun 16, 2016…Last week, I reported on an ominous development in the California Capitol — an effort to criminalize a political point of view. Democratic leaders authored a bill that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/secrecy-lobby-runs-amok-at-state-capitol/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/weiner-what-makes-tony-run/

Lawmakers mobilize to thwart transparency initiative

Jun 13, 2016…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. Such …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lawmakers-mobilize-to-thwart-transparency-initiative/

How do you explain the Orlando massacre to your kids?

…"Daddy, why are all those police lights on TV?" My family and I were eating lunch in Birmingham, and my oldest noticed the CNN broadcast on one of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-do-you-explain-the-orlando-massacre-to-your-kids/

How Congress should proceed on the Kelsey Smith Act

Jun 10, 2016…In June 2007, 18-year-old Kelsey Smith was tragically abducted and murdered in Kansas. For various reasons, it took four days for law enforcement to access the location coordinates …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-congress-should-proceed-on-the-kelsey-smith-act/

Why Republicans should reconsider their blanket opposition to a carbon tax

…As House Republicans take up a resolution declaring they are against ever considering the possibility of a carbon tax, it bears noting that there are good reasons for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-republicans-should-reconsider-their-blanket-opposition-to-a-carbon-tax/

Power, independence and guessing

Jun 9, 2016…The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve is an informative and provocative history of the Fed and its remarkable evolution over a hundred years’ time: a complex …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/power-independence-and-guessing/

The end of the free speech consensus

…What happens when the consensus for free speech evaporates and those with political power become willing to use any means necessary to silence people who hold unpopular views? …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-end-of-the-free-speech-consensus/

The PBGC: A broke insurance company sponsored by your government

Jun 7, 2016…Imagine an insurance company with assets of $88 billion, but liabilities of $164 billion. It has a huge deficit: a net worth of a negative $76 billion, and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-pbgc-a-broke-insurance-company-sponsored-by-your-government/

The best solution for ‘wicked’ environmental problems

…Some environmentalists claim that more environmental protection always or almost always is a means to a stronger economy. That’s silly. Digging coal out of the ground, burning natural gas …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-best-solution-for-wicked-environmental-problems/

Secretary King is wrong: ESEA was not a civil-rights law

Jun 6, 2016…As Flypaper readers know all too well, newly arrived Education Secretary John B. King, Jr., is in hot water with Congress, state governors, and various school reformers. The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/secretary-king-is-wrong-esea-was-not-a-civil-rights-law/

Bourbon can be made anywhere — even Ohio

…Sitting on my desk is a tumbler of bourbon. Its deep amber color shines out through the dewy glass. Tom’s Foolery is its whimsical name. It is 90 proof (45 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bourbon-can-be-made-anywhere-even-ohio/

Ohio’s attempt at power-plant bailouts should alarm conservatives

Jun 3, 2016…This piece was co-authored by Dick Munson, Midwest clean energy director for the Environmental Defense Fund. In a recent victory for consumers, federal regulators blocked bailout plans by two of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ohios-attempt-at-power-plant-bailouts-should-alarm-conservatives/

How high are real house prices?

…“Home prices are back to near-record highs across the U.S.” declared the Wall Street Journal in a June 1 front-page story. They are, indeed, when measured in nominal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-high-are-real-house-prices/

Why deleting the FDA’s ban of e-cigarette flavors is good for public health

Jun 2, 2016…In what should be taken as a note of common sense amid the highly contentious debate surrounding the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of tobacco products, reports have …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-deleting-the-fdas-ban-of-e-cigarette-flavors-is-good-for-public-health/

Scandal dampens Sacramento’s world-class designs

…I have a simple observation after years of writing about local-development issues: Whenever civic boosters talk about creating a “world-class city,” their city is by definition not one …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/scandal-dampens-sacramentos-world-class-designs/

Top-two primary limits voters’ choices

May 31, 2016…If a California-style "top two" primary were in place for presidential races in 2008, the nation’s voters would have had to choose between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/top-two-primary-limits-voters-choices/

More harassment of gun owners by Sacramento

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

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/more-harassment-of-gun-owners-by-sacramento/

I created Godwin’s Law in 1990, but it wasn’t a prediction – it was a warning

…Earlier this month, my email and social media alerts starting going off when friends let me know a pseudonymous number-cruncher had "proved" Godwin's Law. This struck me as odd, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/i-created-godwins-law-in-1990-but-it-wasnt-a-prediction-it-was-a-warning/

Dorie Miller: The mess hall machine gunner of Pearl Harbor

May 30, 2016…When Lt. Cmdr. Shigeharu Murata launched the first of nine Japanese torpedoes to hit the U.S.S. West Virginia, Doris "Dorie" Miller had just finished breakfast mess duty and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dorie-miller-the-mess-hall-machine-gunner-of-pearl-harbor/

‘Ethics’ commissions about politics more than oversight

May 27, 2016…One of my proudest moments as a columnist came in 2008 when the Orange County Board of Supervisors launched the Office of Independent Review to monitor the Sheriff's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ethics-commissions-about-politics-more-than-oversight/

U.S. Senate fumbles with Facebook, fairness and free speech

May 26, 2016…Let's just assume that the rumors are true. Imagine a world in which Facebook actively promoted liberal stories and suppressed conservative ones. Let's go a step further and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/u-s-senate-fumbles-with-facebook-fairness-and-free-speech/

One senator’s war on innovation

…The California Legislature is well-known for its heavy-handed approach to business. The state recently scored dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s survey of CEOs, which isn’t even newsworthy, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/one-senators-war-on-innovation/

As rocket wars wage in DC, a cautious move towards competition makes sense

May 25, 2016…On the morning of Aug. 12, 1998, a Titan IV-A rocket exploded about 40 seconds after launch. The explosion – caused by a short circuit in the guidance …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/as-rocket-wars-wage-in-dc-a-cautious-move-towards-competition-makes-sense/

This crowd believes it can run your life

May 19, 2016…There’s only one time I recall California officials significantly reducing regulations on anything. That was in 2012, when legislators voted to let physician assistants, midwives, nurses and plumbers …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/this-crowd-believes-it-can-run-your-life/

The robust public-health case for tobacco harm reduction

May 18, 2016…Last year, Margarete Kulik and Stanton Glantz proclaimed in Tobacco Control that there is no public-health basis for telling smokers about smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes as safer cigarette …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-robust-public-health-case-for-tobacco-harm-reduction/

Growth is green

May 17, 2016…Global 2000, a report published by the Carter administration in 1980, offered a bleak forecast for the human race. It predicted “the world in 2000 will be more …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/growth-is-green/

California’s vaping law puts puritanism above health

May 16, 2016…I like to quote H.L. Mencken’s definition of Puritanism: “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” It often applies in the Capitol, with one of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/californias-vaping-law-puts-puritanism-above-health/

Puerto Rico: A big default—what next?

May 11, 2016…Rexford Tugwell, sometimes known as “Rex the Red” for his admiration of the 1930s Soviet Union and his fervent belief in central planning, was made governor of Puerto …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/puerto-rico-a-big-default-what-next/

FDA moves to kill e-cigarettes

May 9, 2016…If Congress has any self-respect or desire to preserve its own prerogatives, it needs to overturn the FDA's new proposed regulations on e-cigarettes. The regulations, announced last week, would …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-moves-to-kill-e-cigarettes/

Texas should step in to resolve cities’ ride-hailing disputes

…Austin voters this past weekend forced out two of the city’s most innovative and popular companies. On Saturday,Austinites rejected Proposition 1, a citizen-led ballot initiative that would’ve continued …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texas-should-step-in-to-resolve-cities-ride-hailing-disputes/

A bill Trump the developer would love

…I love when the powerless get fed up with a corrupt establishment, defy political correctness and fight back. It’s why I’ve admired Vera Coking, the feisty widow from …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-bill-trump-the-developer-would-love/

Texas cities shouldn’t block short-term rentals

May 6, 2016…The past few years have seen the rise of the “sharing” economy. First, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft allowed thousands of drivers to earn extra cash (and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texas-cities-shouldnt-block-short-term-rentals/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/captain-america-civil-war-bring-the-popcorn/

Cal Fire’s corruption of public service

May 5, 2016…When it comes to firefighters, most Americans are satisfied thinking of them as “heroes” who run into burning buildings and battle forest fires — and leaving it at …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cal-fires-corruption-of-public-service/

FDA wants more people to die of lung cancer, moves to stamp out vaping market

…If the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) statutory purpose is to protect public health, why is the agency using its regulatory power in a way that stands to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-wants-more-people-to-die-of-lung-cancer-moves-to-stamp-out-vaping-market/

Funding ideology, not research, at university labor institutes

May 4, 2016…One of the ongoing stains on the integrity of the University of California system is its publicly funded labor institutes. They are union-controlled “think tanks” that are about …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/funding-ideology-not-research-at-university-labor-institutes/

Floridians cannot afford to see their flood insurance wash away

…Nearly 2 million Floridians depend on the National Flood Insurance Program for their flood insurance coverage, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all policies issued by the federal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/floridians-cannot-afford-to-see-their-flood-insurance-wash-away/

Risk doesn’t stand still

May 3, 2016…Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe explores the movement and transformation of risks in adapting, self-referencing systems, of which financial systems are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/risk-doesnt-stand-still/

Historic tax credits: A 45% government subsidy wearing a mask

May 2, 2016…My apologies for interrupting the glowing love fest for Alabama's historic preservation tax credit that's set to expire next month, but there are a few things you should …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/historic-tax-credits-a-45-government-subsidy-wearing-a-mask/

Lessons from Prince’s legacy and struggle with digital music markets

Apr 29, 2016…Undeniably, Prince’s death last week marked the loss of a true musical genius and maverick. In his life, he was known for being a talented musical innovator with …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lessons-from-princes-legacy-and-struggle-with-digital-music-markets/

Is Jerry Brown California’s savior?

Apr 28, 2016…It may be news to many of us living here, but California — according to a recent Newsweek issue — apparently no longer faces intractable budgetary, debt, infrastructure, business, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-jerry-brown-californias-savior/

Environmentalists’ attack on free speech

…I'm a former employee of the Competitive Enterprise Institute who disagrees with the organization's take on the subject of climate change. I'm nonetheless outraged that CEI now faces …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/environmentalists-attack-on-free-speech/

Where is OCC in court battle over state usury limits?

…The following op-ed was co-authored by William M. Isaac, senior managing director and global head of financial institutions at FTI Consulting. A surprising decision of the Second Circuit Court of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/where-is-occ-in-court-battle-over-state-usury-limits/

The idea of a public good

Apr 25, 2016…One of the key concepts needed to better understand the economic argument for environmental protection is the idea of a public good. When economists talk about public goods, they …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-idea-of-a-public-good/

Build a way out of high housing prices

…If there were 30 loaves of bread and 50 people who wanted them, you can guess what would happen. Prices for those loaves would rise, from, maybe, $2, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/build-a-way-out-of-high-housing-prices/

Nina: Not racist, just terrible

Apr 22, 2016…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nina-not-racist-just-terrible/

Five climate lies the attorneys general aren’t investigating

Apr 21, 2016…The attorneys general of 20 states have launched an investigation into groups they suggest have misled the public on the dangerous reality of climate change. Caught up in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/five-climate-lies-the-attorneys-general-arent-investigating/

California’s Soviet-like kangaroo ‘courtroom’

…It’s hard to spend time on Facebook without finding examples of “Godwin’s Law”: The longer an online discussion goes on, the higher the likelihood someone will use a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/californias-soviet-like-kangaroo-courtroom/

Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill? Hell yeah

…Harriet Tubman is a good choice to replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. Jackson, the first Democratic president, is exactly the sort of overheated, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/harriet-tubman-on-the-20-bill-hell-yeah/

A deeply flawed CFA Institute report on shareholder empowerment

Apr 20, 2016…The following oped was coauthored by R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann. Over the past year and a half, the shareholder-empowerment movement has been deeply enamored with an August …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-deeply-flawed-cfa-institute-report-on-shareholder-empowerment/

Alabama Legislature could turn BP settlement into roadkill

…Rather than paying off money they've already spent, our politicians always seem to find one reason or another to spend on something else. Six years after the Deepwater …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabama-legislature-could-turn-bp-settlement-into-roadkill/

Optometrists push for state laws blocking online eye exams

…Billing itself as a sort of Uber-for-eye-exams, telemedicine startup Opternative recently came on the scene offering a quick, inexpensive alternative to traditional optical exams that uses your computer …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/optometrists-push-for-state-laws-blocking-online-eye-exams/

Punitive tobacco law

Apr 19, 2016…Sonoma County supervisors still can step back from their overly punitive anti-tobacco ordinance as it comes before the board for a second reading today. This ordinance is designed primarily …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/punitive-tobacco-law/

California’s pension hubris

…Instead of addressing the estimated $600 billion in unfunded liabilities in California’s beleaguered public-employee pension system, Democrats in Sacramento have instead decided to “solve” a growing pension crisis …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/californias-pension-hubris/

Some in GOP yield to Sacramento’s secrecy lobby

Apr 18, 2016…In one of my favorite “Far Side” comic strips, the first panel offers what people typically say to dogs: “OK Ginger I’ve had it. You stay out of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/some-in-gop-yield-to-sacramentos-secrecy-lobby/

Treat kids like kids until 18

…The following oped was coauthored by Marcy Mistrett, chief executive officer at the Campaign for Youth Justice. The state Senate should be ashamed of itself. For the second time in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/treat-kids-like-kids-until-18/

Orange County’s political divide has officials seeing red

Apr 16, 2016…The real division in the Golden State isn’t between Northern California and Southern California; it is between the coastal cities and the grittier inland. That’s true even at …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/orange-countys-political-divide-has-officials-seeing-red/

Stop trying Michigan 17-year-olds as adults

Apr 15, 2016…In states across the nation, some bold Republican lawmakers are putting aside party affiliations and joining with Democratic colleagues in a bipartisan effort to reconsider previously accepted “tough …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/stop-trying-michigan-17-year-olds-as-adults/

Dumping water in the middle of a drought recovery

Apr 14, 2016…What would happen if the communists took over the Sahara Desert?” William F. Buckley asked during a discussion in 1972. “Nothing for 50 years. Then there will be a shortage …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dumping-water-in-the-middle-of-a-drought-recovery/

Searching for loyalty and prudence

Apr 13, 2016…In his provocative and knowledgeable new book, Other People’s Money: The Real Business of Finance, John Kay considers the complex ways that financial systems operate in between the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/searching-for-loyalty-and-prudence/

Suggested guidelines for state and local regulation of e-cigarettes

…Tobacco cigarettes are by far the most addictive and hazardous nicotine-delivery products. The tar in cigarette smoke, not the nicotine, causes cancer and heart and lung disease. E-cigarettes …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/suggested-guidelines-for-state-and-local-regulation-of-e-cigarettes/

Al Gore’s climate gestapo seeks to punish political dissent

Apr 11, 2016…AG's United for Clean Power should embrace the more appropriate moniker, "Climate Gestapo." The coalition assembled by former Vice President Al Gore and 17 state attorneys general appears set to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/al-gores-climate-gestapo-seeks-to-punish-political-dissent/

Better ways to handle unwanted animals

…The last time I was in an animal shelter, I adopted a furry 8-year-old puss named Gus. The shelter was clean but depressing: It was filled with whelping …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/better-ways-to-handle-unwanted-animals/

Cyber Insurance: A functioning free market

…When a few high-profile hacking incidents hit household-name firms like Target and Home Depot in 2014 and 2015, some in the insurance industry – and more than a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cyber-insurance-a-functioning-free-market/

Court’s rebuke to FSOC was well-deserved

…Patrick Jenkins, in “MetLife ruling poses threat to drive towards global financial stability” (Inside Business, April 5), says that the court’s decision in the MetLife case is “a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/courts-rebuke-to-fsoc-was-well-deserved/

No adults left in the State Capitol

Apr 8, 2016…After his first incarnation as California governor in the 1970s and ’80s, Jerry Brown spent a few years in the 1990s as a radio talk-show host. His Oakland-based …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/no-adults-left-in-the-state-capitol/

Seven steps to housing finance reform

Apr 6, 2016…The giant American housing finance sector is as important politically as it is financially, which makes it hard to reform. From the 1980s on, it was unique in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/seven-steps-to-housing-finance-reform/

Why Congress mustn’t postpone vital flood insurance reforms

Apr 5, 2016…A new measure introduced by U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Gus Bilirakis, both R-Fla., that would postpone vital reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program, while well-intentioned, also would …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-congress-mustnt-postpone-vital-flood-insurance-reforms/

Your retirement dream may require working much longer

Apr 4, 2016…A recent Citigroup monograph, "The Coming Pensions Crisis," begins with some questions very much in the spirit of our time:  “What’s your dream for retirement?  Is it living …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/your-retirement-dream-may-require-working-much-longer/

Free trade makes dollars and sense

…Trade has become a huge issue on the campaign trail this year. The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald J. Trump, has made trade one of his …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/free-trade-makes-dollars-and-sense/

A defender of property rights now a foe of short-term rentals

…I first got to know Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait in the early 2000s, when we were battling a perverse city ordinance that forced low-income people – typically, folks …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-defender-of-property-rights-now-a-foe-of-short-term-rentals/

Lawsuits, legislation threaten the ‘sharing’ economy

Apr 1, 2016…As an occasional cab rider in Sacramento, I've noticed something that isn't always a given: fleets of newer cabs, polite drivers and the use of modern credit card …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lawsuits-legislation-threaten-the-sharing-economy/

New bill designed to stop egregious venue shopping by patent trolls

…This piece was co-authored by R Street Outreach Manager Nathan Leamer. Abusive patent litigation siphons tens of billions of dollars from the economy every year. In addition to burdening …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-bill-designed-to-stop-egregious-venue-shopping-by-patent-trolls/

A few crumbs for private workers

Mar 31, 2016…California’s Democratic leaders announced a “landmark deal” Monday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. Yet it may be overshadowed by another milestone from …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-few-crumbs-for-private-workers/

A maddening whiskey shortage

Mar 30, 2016…Tennessee is known for many things: country music, Elvis’s Graceland estate, beautiful mountains, and fine liquor. The state produces both moonshine (some of which is now being made …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-maddening-whiskey-shortage/

Lawsuits, legislation threaten ‘sharing’ economy

Mar 28, 2016…As an occasional cab rider in Sacramento, I’ve noticed something that isn’t always a given: fleets of newer cabs, polite drivers and the use of modern credit card …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lawsuits-legislation-threaten-sharing-economy/

Adjust the EITC for cost of living

Mar 25, 2016…This oped was co-authored by Zackary Hawley. With the presidential election season in full swing, lots of candidates are making lots of promises, many of them short on details …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/adjust-the-eitc-for-cost-of-living/

Legislators belatedly discover supply and demand

Mar 24, 2016…A former colleague who recently moved from California to Texas regularly posts photographs on Facebook showing what $300,000 buys over there, compared to here. One could buy a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/legislators-belatedly-discover-supply-and-demand/

Look to Canada for lessons on cutting red tape

Mar 23, 2016…House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is a border-state representative who has about an eight-hour drive to Canada. He has good personal relationships with Canadian conservatives and has spoken …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/look-to-canada-for-lessons-on-cutting-red-tape/

Beyond the box

…If you subscribe to pay TV, the odds are 99–1 you have what the TV industry calls a “set-top box.” Even greater are the odds that, if you …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/beyond-the-box/

Deepwater Horizon settlement money will go far in Texas

Mar 22, 2016…On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig set off one of the largest oil spills in human history. For 78 days, an uncontrolled …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/deepwater-horizon-settlement-money-will-go-far-in-texas/

Anti-party law turns innocent kids into criminals

Mar 21, 2016…Orange County Republican Party Chairman Fred Whitaker got into GOP politics because of his “belief in individual liberty, limited government and a free market,” according to the party’s …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/anti-party-law-turns-innocent-kids-into-criminals/

How regulators quietly drive up costs

Mar 18, 2016…California political observers are understandably fixated on the goings-on in the state legislature, which is the living embodiment of what New York Judge Gideon Tucker wrote in an 1866 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-regulators-quietly-drive-up-costs/

A column for the politically stranded conservative

…These days, I feel like a politically stranded conservative, and I know I'm not alone. I could blame it on one presidential candidate or another, but it's more …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-column-for-the-politically-stranded-conservative/

Fannie and Freddie and the 10% moment

Mar 17, 2016…The U.S. Treasury began rescuing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September 2008, ultimately pumping $187.5 billion into the two mortgage giants. In return, it received new issues …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fannie-and-freddie-and-the-10-moment/

California already is building a wall — of debt

…During a speech Monday to union organizers at a Sacramento dinner, California Gov. Jerry Brown made one of his characteristic off-the-cuff jokes. “If (Donald) Trump were ever elected, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-already-is-building-a-wall-of-debt/

Saloon Series: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day right with Irish drinks old and new

…Some years ago, I lived in New York and had two friends recently arrived from Ireland. Neither of them thought well of America’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Considering …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/saloon-series-celebrate-st-patricks-day-right-with-irish-drinks-old-and-new/

State quietly pushes cost-raising insurance regulations

Mar 16, 2016…California political observers are understandably fixated on the goings-on in the state Legislature, which is the living embodiment of what New York Judge Gideon Tucker wrote in an …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/state-quietly-pushes-cost-raising-insurance-regulations/

EU platform regulations may hurt consumers and European startups and lock in dominance of U.S. companies

Mar 15, 2016…In the response we at the R Street Institute provided to the European Commission’s survey on “Digital Single Market” regulation of what the commission calls “online platforms,” we …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/eu-platform-regulations-may-hurt-consumers-and-european-startups-and-lock-in-dominance-of-u-s-companies/

Former Speaker John Boehner mows his lawn, people lose their minds

Mar 14, 2016… // My first cut of the year. My grass is perfect!!! Posted by John Boehner on Saturday, March 12, 2016   John Boehner might be done as speaker, but seasonal work on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/former-speaker-john-boehner-mows-his-lawn-people-lose-their-minds/

Raise the smoking age to 21?

…To the Editor: The scientific evidence for the bill raising the legal smoking age to 21 in California is strong and is based on an Institute of Medicine …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/raise-the-smoking-age-to-21/

Barron’s Mailbag

Mar 12, 2016…The Feb. 27 Editorial Commentary (“Money Yields to Progress: Cash Is Obsolete”) mentioned that in 1950 a penny still had value—at least that of a penny candy. But …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/barrons-mailbag/

Desperate rail gambit

Mar 11, 2016…San Francisco’s colorful former mayor Willie Brown caused a stir three years ago by writing some disturbing truths about major government infrastructure projects. The city’s Transbay Terminal project—billed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/desperate-rail-gambit/

California proposal to let Uber drivers, other sharing economy workers, unionize

…California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez's latest high-profile legislative effort has been billed as a fairly modest measure to provide a "safety net" for workers in the growing sharing economy. "All …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/california-proposal-to-let-uber-drivers-other-sharing-economy-workers-unionize/

Saloon Series: Exploring the whiskey world at Whisky Live USA

Mar 10, 2016…Whisky Live USA, the fabulous salute to a marvelous drink, rolled into Washington this past week. A month previous, Whisky Live USA was in New York and come …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/saloon-series-exploring-the-whiskey-world-whiskey-live-usa/

As another company moves away

…After the 2013 death of the founder of Carl’s Jr. — the ubiquitous California fast-food restaurant chain — the Orange County Register published an obituary that captured the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/as-another-company-moves-away/

How to block a SLAPP

…"We're going to open up those libel laws so when The New York Times writes a hit piece we can sue them and win money," Donald Trump said …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-to-block-a-slapp/

Juveniles don’t belong on the sex-offender registry

Mar 9, 2016…At the age of 17, Mark O. of Grand Rapids, Mich., got his then 15-year old girlfriend pregnant. Taking responsibility for his actions and agreeing to provide support, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/juveniles-dont-belong-on-the-sex-offender-registry/

Thoughtless bureaucrats and driverless cars

Mar 7, 2016…California’s Legislature set out in 2012 “to encourage the current and future development, testing, and operation of autonomous vehicles on the public roads of the state”—but now, the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/thoughtless-bureaucrats-and-driverless-cars/

Zootopia: Adults will love it, but will kids?

Mar 4, 2016…"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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/zootopia-adults-will-love-it-but-will-kids/

Justice for Juniors: How should courts deal with kids and crime?

…How should we treat children who get into trouble with the law? For more than a century, American attitudes have shifted between sometimes-wild extremes. Between the 1970s and early …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/justice-for-juniors-how-should-courts-deal-with-kids-and-crime/

Democrats under the influence

Mar 3, 2016…In late August 2014, five California legislators were photographed having a fun-seeming time on the balcony outside of the legislative chambers. At the center of the scene was …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/democrats-under-the-influence/

The Oscars are a lesson in liberal compassion — or lack thereof

Mar 1, 2016…Sunday night, as per usual, I watched the Academy Awards so that you don’t have to — and I have to admit, as far as Oscar nights go, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-oscars-are-a-lesson-in-liberal-compassion-or-lack-thereof/

Dealing with children in trouble

Feb 26, 2016…This piece was co-authored by Marcy Mistrett, CEO of the Campaign for Youth Justice. Since officials in Cook County, Illinois established the nation’s first juvenile courts 117 years ago, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dealing-with-children-in-trouble/

Inappropriate Appropriations: How Congress spends without authorization

…Congress spent $310 billion last year on some 250 agencies and programs that were no longer — as required under the law and Congress's own rules — authorized …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/inappropriate-appropriations-how-congress-spends-without-authorization/

The Constitution that protects us from ourselves

…"If Barack Obama wins another term, we'll have passed the point of no return for America." I heard plenty of that in 2012. One presidential election meant the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-constitution-that-protects-us-from-ourselves/

The next crisis will come; Is your bank ready?

…Banks, and credit unions, too, are loudly objecting to the Financial Accounting Standards Board's attempts to increase loan loss reserves. They have "slammed the FASB," in The Wall …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-next-crisis-will-come-is-your-bank-ready/

Heroin in Ithaca

…Ithaca, New York—an Ivy League town that proudly styles itself America's "most enlightened city"—provides a home for plenty of unusual ideas from the political left. The most recent …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/heroin-in-ithaca/

Saloon Series: The government is crushing the wine industry, literally

…On Dec. 10, 2015 in Creedmoor, Texas, the U.S. government destroyed more than 500 bottles of wine. The image of a massive sledge falling upon bottles of wine, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/saloon-series-the-government-is-crushing-the-wine-industry-literally/

President Obama reportedly vetting Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval for SCOTUS

Feb 25, 2016…Brian Sandoval's office says it's the first he's heard of it, but sources "close to the Nevada governor's office" are saying that the Obama administration has begun the Supreme Court …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/president-obama-reportedly-vetting-republican-gov-brian-sandoval-for-scotus/

The courage to gamble

Feb 23, 2016…Ben Bernanke’s new book, The Courage to Act, demonstrates throughout its 579 pages the fundamental uncertainty faced by central bankers, Treasury officers, and everybody else when dealing with …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-courage-to-gamble/

Countries don’t go bankrupt? The 20th century proves otherwise

Feb 22, 2016…How risky is sovereign debt? One memorable answer, "Countries don't go bankrupt," is attributed to Walter Wriston, the most prominent banker of his day and the chairman of Citibank …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/countries-dont-go-bankrupt-the-20th-century-proves-otherwise/

A reversal of belief in central banks is healthy

…Sir, John Plender bemoans central banks’ waning credibility (Insight, Feb. 17). In fact, belief in central banks was foolish in the first place and its reversal is healthy. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-reversal-of-belief-in-central-banks-is-healthy/

Why scientists shouldn’t make laws

Feb 19, 2016…A century from now, the great evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and historian of science Stephen Jay Gould may be best-remembered for his 1997 essay “Nonoverlapping Magisteria.” In it, Gould argues …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-scientists-shouldnt-make-laws/

Saloon Series: The resurgence of Irish whiskey

…Midway through 2015, something remarkable happened in Dublin—a whiskey distillery opened. The city, which is world renowned for its bibacity, had been without an operating distillery since the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/saloon-series-the-resurgence-of-irish-whiskey/

With CPP on hold, what’s next?

Feb 18, 2016…A fortuitous 5-4 judgment by the Supreme Court puts on hold the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s greenhouse-gas-reduction program until the court has a chance to review the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/with-cpp-on-hold-whats-next/

SCOTUS relieves nation from an EPA power grab

Feb 17, 2016…Last week, while all attention was focused on the New Hampshire primary, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order that could have far-reaching consequences for the destiny of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/scotus-relieves-nation-from-an-epa-power-grab/

A revived Congress?

…Since arriving in the U.S. Senate in 2011, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has made many of his colleagues crazy. Unwilling to go along to get along, Lee has …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-revived-congress/

Replacing Scalia: What part of ‘advice and consent’ is confusing?

…With the passing of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, the political universe—which was already a dumpster fire—is ablaze with talk of the president's prospective nominee, who will almost certainly …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/replacing-scalia-what-part-of-advice-and-consent-is-confusing/

Cloudy crystal ball

Feb 16, 2016…The Federal Reserve, that alleged master of financial “systemic risk,” completely failed to forecast the biggest credit event of current times: the collapse in oil prices. Of course, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cloudy-crystal-ball/

Obama says no to recess appointment to SCOTUS

…Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has already said he is unlikely to approve any Supreme Court nominee before November, and it seems the White House would rather …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obama-says-no-to-recess-appointment-to-scotus/

You’ll never guess who’s targeting federal disaster spending

Feb 12, 2016…Politicians of both parties have learned in recent decades the perils of being seen handling a disaster poorly — as was the case with George W. Bush following …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/youll-never-guess-whos-targeting-federal-disaster-spending/

The e-cigarette barn door is open

Feb 10, 2016…The health of America's 42 million smokers, whose lives will be cut short an average of ten years by their continued use of combusted cigarettes, is being held …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-e-cigarette-barn-door-is-open/

A tale of two Internet tax bills

…Poll after poll demonstrates clearly that Americans oppose Internet taxes. Yet even as Congress is poised to act on a wildly popular bill to bar states from imposing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-tale-of-two-internet-tax-bills/

Alabama pays 14 workers more for mileage than cost of a car

…In Fiscal Year 2015, Alabama paid 14 individuals enough in-state mileage reimbursement to literally buy each of them a new car. Nobody pays much attention to the details of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabama-pays-14-workers-more-for-mileage-than-cost-of-a-car/

U.S. Supreme Court blocks implementation of Obama’s carbon rule

…In a 5-4 order, the conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of President Barack Obama's carbon rule while litigation is ongoing. The court issued the order …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/u-s-supreme-court-blocks-implementation-of-obamas-carbon-rule/

EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard deceit

…The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants Americans to pay more for their groceries. That's the only way to explain the agency's decision to mandate the use of corn-based …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/epas-renewable-fuel-standard-deceit/

David Bowie’s legacy on copyright and the future of music

Feb 5, 2016…The following was co-authored by R Street Innovation Policy Director Mike Godwin. Amid the steady stream of "hot takes" the past few weeks on the legacy of the late …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/david-bowies-legacy-on-copyright-and-the-future-of-music/

How Manhattan made a mockery of Prohibition

Feb 4, 2016…"It should not be forgotten," writes historian Ellen NicKenzie Lawson, "that one possible derivation of the word Manhattan is the Native-American word manahachtanienk, which translates as 'place of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-manhattan-made-a-mockery-of-prohibition/

Fueling the e-cigarette ‘gateway’ crusade with tax dollars

…In an extraordinary leap of logic, a report in Tobacco Control links "ever" use of e-cigarettes – even a single experimental puff – to subsequent "ever" use of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fueling-the-e-cigarette-gateway-crusade-with-tax-dollars/

Don’t blame business for government mandates

…People rightly rail against the evils of big government. But just as serious a problem is what might be called "hidden government," when regulation becomes so pervasive that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-blame-business-for-government-mandates/

A cost curve that bent way down

Jan 29, 2016…Warby Parker is the most celebrated of the online optical shops upending the traditional eyeglass business. In a market where the average price for a pair of prescription …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-cost-curve-that-bent-way-down/

Who’s responsible for the rise of the Trumpire?

Jan 28, 2016…I get it. You're a principled conservative, anti-abortion advocate, or evangelical Christian against Trump for any number of good reasons. Maybe you're a policy expert who cares deeply …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/whos-responsible-for-the-rise-of-the-trumpire/

Randomized trial of reduced-nicotine standards for cigarettes

…The article by Donny et al.[1] and the accompanying Perspective article by Fiore and Baker[2] have prompted considerable discussion. Until the results of this study are replicated in a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/randomized-trial-of-reduced-nicotine-standards-for-cigarettes/

Uber for welfare

Jan 27, 2016…This oped was co-authored by Cesar Conda, founding principal and policy adviser of Navigators Global. In this presidential cycle, the “gig economy” has been under attack, notably from Democrats like …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/uber-for-welfare/

Understanding the GOP’s civil war over off-the-grid energy

…If politics makes for strange bedfellows, few issues make for more peculiar sleeping arrangements than that of distributed energy. There aren’t many others that put former Republican congressman …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/understanding-the-gops-civil-war-over-off-the-grid-energy/

Puerto Rico needs a financial control board

…The government of Puerto Rico is broke. Having run a long series of constant budget deficits, financed by escalating borrowing, it has accumulated about $71 billion in debt …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/puerto-rico-needs-a-financial-control-board/

No, you decide

Jan 25, 2016…It's been half a decade since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which had been drilling the BP-owned Macondo Prospect, suffered a catastrophic blowout. Over 87 days between April …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/no-you-decide/

Clean Power Plan ruling puts states in a bind

Jan 22, 2016…The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday denied requests to delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. At least 27 states have challenged …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/clean-power-plan-ruling-puts-states-in-a-bind/

DC Circuit Court refuses to halt EPA’s carbon rule

…If you thought the courts were coming to the rescue to stop President Barack Obama's greenhouse gas restrictions, think again. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dc-circuit-court-refuses-to-halt-epas-carbon-rule/

No, the rest of the world doesn’t use ‘single payer’

Jan 21, 2016…There’s plenty of reason for free marketers to be skeptical of proposals, like the ones emanating from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and hinted at by Republican Donald …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/no-the-rest-of-the-world-doesnt-use-single-payer/

Oh, Sarah

Jan 20, 2016…It’s hard to believe the 2008 campaign was so long ago. But it’s easy to remember the unbridled excitement we all felt when that plane from Anchorage landed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/oh-sarah/

New and Improved: The late medieval epic gets an English update

Jan 15, 2016…To the medieval Europeans who built magnificent cathedrals and oversaw the greatest flowering of Western culture since Rome, few stories had more resonance than that of Troilus and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-and-improved-the-late-medieval-epic-gets-an-english-update/

How to fix Fannie and Freddie

…This op-ed was co-authored by James K. Glassman, a former under secretary of State and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In the midst of the financial panic …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-to-fix-fannie-and-freddie/

Obama’s disappointing regulatory reform record

Jan 14, 2016…In his final State of the Union, President Obama declared his belief that "a thriving private sector is the lifeblood of our economy," which he paired with the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obamas-disappointing-regulatory-reform-record/

Bootleggers, Baptists and e-cigarettes

…E-cigarette users should be concerned about proposed Food and Drug Administration regulations that may eliminate most brands of these potentially life-saving cigarette alternatives, leaving only those products marketed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bootleggers-baptists-and-e-cigarettes/

Five things you might have missed in President Obama’s State of the Union address

Jan 13, 2016…I have to be honest: I watched the State of Union on digital video recorder so that I could fast-forward through the clapping, and get straight to the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/five-things-you-might-have-missed-in-president-obamas-state-of-the-union-address/

Reform the sex-offender registry

Jan 8, 2016…In 1972, at the age of 21, Phillip Garrido had his first arrest. The charge: sexual assault of a minor. Four years later, he kidnapped and raped Katherine …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reform-the-sex-offender-registry/

The awkward truth about President Obama’s ‘tough’ actions on guns

…When President Barack Obama announced his intent to impose unilateral gun control measures through executive fiat, Republicans loaded for bear—or at least, aggressive overreach from a lame duck president. The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-awkward-truth-about-president-obamas-tough-actions-on-guns/

Congress could run out the clock on Obama’s regulatory reign

Jan 6, 2016…Welcome to 2016. By now, you should have noticed that it's a presidential election year. (Either that, or political punditry from average citizens of Iowa is at an all-time …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-could-run-out-the-clock-on-obamas-regulatory-reign/

Texas’ insurance rankings are cause for concern

Jan 4, 2016…They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Unfortunately, this is true of the monthly insurance bill. Premiums for homeowners’ insurance are the third highest in the nation, with premiums …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texas-insurance-rankings-are-cause-for-concern/

Attack on e-cigarettes as gateway products draws from same old playbook

…False claims that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking dissuade smokers from switching to safer smokeless products, leaving them at greater risk of fatal disease. The prohibitionists' playbook …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/attack-on-e-cigarettes-as-gateway-products-draws-from-same-old-playbook/

Reflections on a year gone by

Jan 1, 2016…It's dark and quiet at my house right now. Alabama just won the Cotton Bowl with a shutout. My wife and I watched the ball drop in New …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reflections-on-a-year-gone-by/

Gov. Bentley’s beach house blunders

Dec 23, 2015…The 2010 BP oil spill damaged plenty of things along Alabama's Gulf Coast. The governor's beach house wasn't one of them. But here we are, spending BP money to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gov-bentleys-beach-house-blunders/

DMV is off track on proposed rules for self-driving cars

Dec 22, 2015…The rise of self-driving vehicles is not the much-feared rise of the machines that some make it out to be. But try explaining that to the California Department …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dmv-is-off-track-on-proposed-rules-for-self-driving-cars/

Last GOP Debate of 2015 marks divide on civil liberties

Dec 18, 2015…If Republicans had any questions about which presidential candidates are willing to sacrifice individual liberty for a perceived increase in national security, the last Republican debate of 2015 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/last-gop-debate-of-2015-marks-divide-on-civil-liberties/

Effect of further cigarette tax increases on youth smoking appears minimal or nil

…Most states and many cities have in the last 20 years initiated or raised tobacco excise taxes.  The fact that both the amount and rate of tax increases differ widely across …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/effect-of-further-cigarette-tax-increases-on-youth-smoking-appears-minimal-or-nil/

The EPA’s illegal propaganda

Dec 16, 2015…The Environmental Protection Agency misused tax dollars in the service of public propaganda, according to a legal opinion just handed down by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-epas-illegal-propaganda/

Seattle picks a fight with Uber

Dec 15, 2015…Under federal labor law, drivers for transportation-network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft are currently considered contractors, not employees — and thus they don't have a right to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/seattle-picks-a-fight-with-uber/

Outsourcing oversight through open government data

…Congress has a big problem when it comes to oversight. The federal government has grown vastly larger over the past century, but Congress has done little to empower …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/outsourcing-oversight-through-open-government-data/

Sure, call Trump a Nazi. Just make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Dec 14, 2015…First, let me get this Donald Trump issue out of the way: If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sure-call-trump-a-nazi-just-make-sure-you-know-what-youre-talking-about/

Liberated women and contraband cocktails: Thanks, Prohibition!

Dec 11, 2015…In case you missed it, the 82nd anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal (1920-1933) was Dec. 5. I myself celebrated with a glass of bourbon and a few microbrews at …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/liberated-women-and-contraband-cocktails-thanks-prohibition/

Privacy is not the problem

Dec 10, 2015…In the wake of last month’s monstrous terrorist attacks in Paris and the recent massacre in San Bernardino, national security hawks wasted no time in declaring their verdict …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/privacy-is-not-the-problem/

A conservative answer to climate change

…The Paris climate change negotiations won’t end until later this week, but we already know what will happen. The parties will reach a toothless agreement pledging to reduce emissions …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-conservative-answer-to-climate-change/

The pitfalls of just saying ‘no’ to EPA’s carbon rule

Dec 9, 2015…If states like Alabama don't submit a carbon-reduction plan or request an extension by Sept. 6, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will impose what amounts to a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-pitfalls-of-just-saying-no-to-epas-carbon-rule/

Gun violence, control and the left’s true intentions

Dec 6, 2015…For America's political left, the problem in San Bernardino, Calif., wasn't terrorism. It wasn't pure evil perpetrated by extremists. Many liberals see the fundamental cause of the murders …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gun-violence-control-and-the-lefts-true-intentions/

Onerous new FDA rules will increase smoking

Dec 3, 2015…This piece was co-authored by R Street State Programs Director Cameron Smith.   New rules from the Food and Drug Administration could wreck the consumer-driven market for a broad range …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/onerous-new-fda-rules-will-increase-smoking/

How states can use the Clean Power Plan to cut taxes

Nov 30, 2015…With the latest round of climate talking getting underway, all eyes are on Paris. Yet back in the United States, states are already considering how to reduce greenhouse …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-states-can-use-the-clean-power-plan-to-cut-taxes/

The real history and meaning behind ‘the State of Jefferson’

Nov 27, 2015…Green flags emblazoned with a yellow circle encompassing twin Xs are an increasingly common sight in the Gold Country. That standard belongs not to a county or a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-real-history-and-meaning-behind-the-state-of-jefferson/

Why wait until tomorrow? How to speed innovation

Nov 25, 2015…There was no such thing as a self-driving car in 2003. That's when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced its first Grand Challenge, with a $1 million …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-wait-until-tomorrow-how-to-speed-innovation/

Time for a progressive approach to insurance regulation

Nov 24, 2015…It’s time for a truly progressive approach to insurance regulation in California. Unfortunately, the state’s deeply Democratic blue politics conceal an unexpected pocket of regulatory conservatism. California adopted Proposition …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/time-for-a-progressive-approach-to-insurance-regulation/

Facing up to government sprawl

Nov 18, 2015…Reducing the size of the federal workforce has become a hot political issue this year. When the House and Senate drew up their budget plans this spring, both chambers …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/facing-up-to-government-sprawl/

An unrealistic smoking ban

…The regulations proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development described in the Nov. 13 Federal Eye column, “Plan to snuff smoking in public housing” [The Fed Page], …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/an-unrealistic-smoking-ban/

Public housing smoking bans won’t work

Nov 17, 2015…While the Sun is right to draw attention to the significant health dangers of cigarette smoking, your editorial's implication that the experience of existing public housing authorities in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/public-housing-smoking-bans-wont-work/

Will we carve ‘safe spaces’ out of free speech?

Nov 16, 2015…Public college campuses strive to have plenty of safe spaces for students. That's just a fact. If students aren't safe, schools won't be successful for very long. But recent …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-we-carve-safe-spaces-out-of-free-speech/

Should oil firms be held liable in earthquake lawsuits?

…Holding companies liable for damages caused by fracking-induced earthquakes is an unreliable way to manage this new risk. The courts simply aren’t equipped to handle this issue in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/should-oil-firms-be-held-liable-in-earthquake-lawsuits/

Feds to punish public-housing tenants for smoking in their own apartments

…Sometime in the next two years, if Obama administration bureaucrats get their way, public-housing tenants who smoke in their own apartments will face sanctions, fines and perhaps even …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/feds-to-punish-public-housing-tenants-for-smoking-in-their-own-apartments/

Paris Attacks: Do the bad guys win in the real world?

Nov 14, 2015…It was a long night in Paris, and they'll have many more. My wife and I stayed up watching the horrible events unfold. The chaos, confusion and pain were …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/paris-attacks-do-the-bad-guys-win-in-the-real-world/

Adventures in opaque polling

Nov 13, 2015…Poll after poll show that ordinary Americans simply don’t cotton to the idea of an Internet sales tax, such as those proposed by the so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act” …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/adventures-in-opaque-polling/

Embattled #Mizzou prof Melissa Click got grant to attend Twilight convention

…You are, no doubt, familiar with Melissa Click, the embattled University of Missouri professor who kind of resigned this week (from the journalism school, where she had a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/embattled-mizzou-prof-melissa-click-got-grant-to-attend-twilight-convention/

A new gin for a new century

Nov 12, 2015…Gin has had a weird and wild ride over the past 500 years. The Dutch were producing the piney drink in the 1500s, but adding herbs to liquor …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-new-gin-for-a-new-century/

How Texas can get more time on EPA rules

Nov 11, 2015…Last Friday, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency formally published its Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations requiring a 32 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from American …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-texas-can-get-more-time-on-epa-rules/

Houston’s public potty problems flush out a lack of pragmatism

…The smell is dissipating from what ultimately became a referendum on public potty policy in Houston, Texas, but this isn't the last we'll see of this type of issue. The ordinance …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/houstons-public-potty-problems-flush-out-a-lack-of-pragmatism/

The college Frankenstein

…Monday morning, embattled University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned, after pressure from student groups over a series of "racial incidents" that apparently marred the campus experience to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-college-frankenstein/

Red flag for vapers: avoid some flavoring agents

…As a health professional, I started telling smokers to switch to smokeless tobacco in 1994, based on decades of definitive epidemiological evidence for the relative safety of smokeless …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/red-flag-for-vapers-avoid-some-flavoring-agents/

Where taxpayers pay ($100 million a year) but interest groups benefit

Nov 10, 2015…It seemed like a silly question, but as the new guy, I was obliged to ask: “Can I e-mail a copy of my report to my mother?” Mom had …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/where-taxpayers-pay-100-million-a-year-but-interest-groups-benefit/

Companies are best equipped to regulate themselves

…The last thing that this nation needs is a more active regulatory state, but once again, an incalculably stupid firm – in this case, Volkswagen – has given …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/companies-are-best-equipped-to-regulate-themselves/

Chicago still isn’t giving Uber a fair shake

Nov 9, 2015… 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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/chicago-still-isnt-giving-uber-a-fair-shake/

Nevada power markets need more competition

…Nevada’s power markets need more competition. Plagued by continued reliance on the outdated regulated utility model, Nevadans pay more for electricity than all but four states west of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nevada-power-markets-need-more-competition/

Speak now or forever hold your peace on Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Nov 7, 2015…By now, it's no secret that many coastal residents aren't happy with the proposed settlement between BP, the federal government and the five Gulf Coast states. They have …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace-on-deepwater-horizon-oil-spill/

Obama’s disappointing keystone rejection

Nov 6, 2015…President Barack Obama's rejection of Keystone XL is far from surprising. That doesn't stop it from being extremely disappointing. Debate over the pipeline morphed over time into a completely …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obamas-disappointing-keystone-rejection/

DOD spent millions so sports teams would ‘support the troops’

…I have, at least as far as I can tell, never been paid to be patriotic. I mean, it's not as though I've wanted to be paid to hang …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dod-spent-millions-so-sports-teams-would-support-the-troops/

Youth e-cigarette bans increase youth cigarette smoking

…Smoking increased significantly among teens aged 12 to 17 in states that banned e-cigarette sales to minors compared with states that didn’t impose bans, according to a study …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/youth-e-cigarette-bans-increase-youth-cigarette-smoking/

The House Freedom Caucus wants looser party control on the floor. This is what would happen if they did.

Nov 5, 2015…The following piece was co-authored by R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar. Former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was often attacked by fellow Republicans for influencing House processes …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-house-freedom-caucus-wants-looser-party-control-on-the-floor-this-is-what-would-happen-if-they-did/

Bernie Sanders doesn’t like Uber; uses it literally all the time

…Bernie Sanders is the champion of the little guy, the downtrodden and the oppressed victims of (big "C") Capitalism who have found themselves trapped in the lower-middle class …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bernie-sanders-doesnt-like-uber-uses-it-literally-all-the-time/

Federal government should follow Florida’s lead on flood insurance crisis

Nov 4, 2015…Hurricane Wilma’s 10th anniversary on Oct. 24 came and went without much fanfare. But for Floridians, it’s a marker that divides two very different chapters in our state’s …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-government-should-follow-floridas-lead-on-flood-insurance-crisis/

Gin and regulation: a lesson in a bottle

Oct 29, 2015…There is a bottle that sits on my desk which serves as irrefutable proof that less regulation is better than more. Pull the stopper top and a remarkable aroma …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gin-and-regulation-a-lesson-in-a-bottle/

How many Americans smoke?

…In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, an annual report the CDC has used for half a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-many-americans-smoke/

Study: E-Cig bans on minors lead to higher smoking rates

Oct 27, 2015…As electronic cigarettes have proliferated and spawned a sub-culture of their own—vape shops, chai-latte-flavored vaping fluid and even the "sport" of cloud chasing—few policies have seemed as intuitive …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/study-e-cig-bans-on-minors-lead-to-higher-smoking-rates/

Right reform for the prison system

…As recently as 1990, America’s federal prison system contained too few inmates and sent many serious criminals away for sentences that were too short. In recent years, however, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/right-reform-for-the-prison-system/

The many, many, many flaws of CISA

…There are two basic problems with the so-called Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which is scheduled for possible amendment in the Senate on Tuesday. The first is everything the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-many-many-many-flaws-of-cisa/

The federal government’s information machine

Oct 26, 2015…The following piece was co-authored by John Maxwell Hamilton is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and on the faculty of the Manship School …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-federal-governments-information-machine/

An open debate about compulsory voter registration is critical

Oct 23, 2015…Assembly Bill 1462, signed earlier this month by Gov. Jerry Brown, will utterly transform California's electorate, adding 6 million new voters overnight. Whether this transformation will be for the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/an-open-debate-about-compulsory-voter-registration-is-critical/

On Back to the Future Day, eight bold predictions for 2045

Oct 21, 2015…Oct. 21, 2015 at 4:29 p.m. marks the date and time 30 years in the future that Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive in Stephen Spielberg's "Back To …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/on-back-to-the-future-day-eight-bold-predictions-for-2045/

So… this is Nixon’s fault?

…Anyone watching Congress trying to negotiate the U.S. budget might wonder who could possibly have designed such a process. Thanks to an endlessly complicated scheme of resolutions and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/so-this-is-nixons-fault/

The estranged legislative and executive branches

…Hugh Heclo’s A Government of Strangers, published 40 years ago, described the very different worlds of high-level federal appointees and the civil-servant worker bees they purportedly manage. Today …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-estranged-legislative-and-executive-branches/

Google Books is good for everybody

Oct 20, 2015…In 1990, Pierre N. Leval, then serving as a federal judge, ran across an unexpected stumbling block while crafting a Harvard Law Review article about the “fair use” doctrine …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/google-books-is-good-for-everybody/

Gridlock governing

Oct 16, 2015…The following piece was co-authored by R Street Governance Director Kevin Kosar. Autumn is shaping up to be a very trying time for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Highway …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gridlock-governing/

Surprising themes in my first grader’s public school reading

Oct 15, 2015…"They're using the standards to raise good little Soviets." It might be hyperbole, but that's the kind of thing that makes your ears perk up as a parent. Over …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/surprising-themes-in-my-first-graders-public-school-reading/

Keep kids off the sex-offender registry

Oct 9, 2015…It’s time to rethink the wisdom of including juveniles on sex-offender registries. There is abundant evidence—reviewed in a new paper from my organization—that the social costs far outweigh …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/keep-kids-off-the-sex-offender-registry/

Up in Vapor: The real story behind the formaldehyde-cancer link

Oct 7, 2015…Vapers, rest easy about e-cigarettes and formaldehyde. As a pathologist with 28 years' formaldehyde exposure via workplace inhalation, I have both a professional and a personal interest in whether …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/up-in-vapor-the-real-story-behind-the-formaldehyde-cancer-link/

Twitter lights up over mag declaring Kardashians the ‘first family’

…Cosmopolitan is not the world's foremost political magazine. Not by a long shot. Occasionally, yes, it tries to take itself more seriously than it has any right to do, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/twitter-lights-up-over-mag-feclaring-kardashians-the-first-family/

The Republican base would welcome the right messages on energy policy

Oct 6, 2015…Even as Democratic candidates for president prattle endlessly about energy issues – Hilary Clinton couldn’t resist a dig at the Keystone XL pipeline during her Saturday Night Live …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-republican-base-would-welcome-the-right-messages-on-energy-policy/

Poll: Clean-energy issues pretty popular among conservative base

Oct 2, 2015…Some new findings on how conservative voters think about energy issues from a bevvy of top-tier GOP pollsters ought to be required reading for the eventual Republican presidential …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/poll-clean-energy-issues-pretty-popular-among-conservative-base/

Facebook’s basic instincts

Sep 30, 2015… Facebook’s announcement last week that it is rebranding its Internet.org initiative—a bundle of free Internet services that has been rolled out, step by step, in developing countries over …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/facebooks-basic-instincts/

Emissions bill failed at capitol for a reason

Sep 28, 2015…For a Sacramento administration unaccustomed to failure, the end of the state’s legislative session had an air of unique disappointment. An effort backed by Governor Jerry Brown and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/emissions-bill-failed-at-capital-for-a-reason/

How the American government is trying to control what you think

Sep 24, 2015…NASA tweeting that Congress should give it more money so our astronauts won’t have to ride on Russian rockets. Recovery.gov reporting overly optimistic statistics on jobs saved and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-the-american-government-is-trying-to-control-what-you-think/

You can take America back, but I don’t want to go

Sep 23, 2015…In 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama expressed his desire to "reclaim the American dream." Right now, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump plans to "make America great again." For most of my …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/you-can-take-america-back-but-i-dont-want-to-go/

Kill the Department of Ed? It’s been done

…When Washington’s education bureaucracy comes under political attack, it’s common to pin responsibility for its existence on Jimmy Carter. He signed legislation to establish the Department of Education …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/kill-the-department-of-ed-its-been-done/

France’s privacy regulators want to dictate what you (Yes, you!) can find online

Sep 22, 2015… Whether you're an American sitting at laptop in Hawaii or a Japanese citizen using your smartphone in Kyoto, French privacy regulators believe they have the authority to block …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/frances-privacy-regulators-want-to-dictate-what-you-yes-you-can-find-online/

The legislative branch’s big oversight problem

Sep 16, 2015…The federal government has seen a century of growth. In 1915, the government had only a handful of departments, 400,000 employees (half of whom worked for the U.S. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-legislative-branchs-big-oversight-problem/

Texans shouldn’t need a license to earn a living

Sep 15, 2015… Earlier this summer, the Texas Supreme Court overturned state licensing requirements for threading, the hair removal process most commonly used on eyebrows. The court found that the requirements, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texans-shouldnt-need-a-license-to-earn-a-living/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/shareholder-democracy-isnt-what-its-cracked-up-to-be/

Our inboxes, ourselves

…An ancient email privacy law might finally be updated. Congress needs to get it right. A federal law protects some of your email from government snooping without a warrant. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/our-inboxes-ourselves/

Kim Davis highlights the left’s ‘rule of law’ hypocrisy

Sep 14, 2015…It's nice to see so many Democrats and liberals produce eloquent remarks and social-media posts about America being a nation of laws. I knew it was a matter of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/kim-davis-highlights-the-lefts-rule-of-law-hypocrisy/

Discouraging Marriage: The hidden cost of means-tested government ­benefits

Sep 11, 2015…The following piece was co-authored by R Street Associate Fellow Neil Gilbert.   Traditional marriage is in big trouble in the United States. Between 1960 and 2011, the share of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/discouraging-marriage-the-hidden-cost-of-means-tested-government-%c2%adbenefits/

Let’s reclaim the glory of being a ‘maker’

Sep 9, 2015…The following piece was co-authored by R Street State Projects Director Cameron Smith.   As summer draws to a close, millions of parents will drop their children off at schools …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lets-reclaim-the-glory-of-being-a-maker/

Breaking news from the CDC: smoking plummets in Q1 2015

Sep 2, 2015…According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 15.2 percent of American adults smoked during January to March of this year. This is not only the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/breaking-news-from-the-cdc-smoking-plummets-in-q1-2015/

GOP lawmakers and the ‘gig economy’

Sep 1, 2015…The partisan battle over the "gig economy" — epitomized by ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and space-sharing services like Airbnb — has crept into the early stages …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gop-lawmakers-and-the-gig-economy/

The EPA’s propaganda machine

Aug 28, 2015…A little over a century ago, U.S. Rep. Frederick Gillett, R-Mass., read something in The New York Times that vexed him. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bureau of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-epas-propaganda-machine/

Take kids off the sex-offender registries

…At age 10, Maya R. did something that would disturb just about anyone: “Me and my step-brothers, who were ages 8 and 5, ‘flashed’ each other and play-acted …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/take-kids-off-the-sex-offender-registries/

Need for dialogue on tobacco harm reduction

Aug 27, 2015…What is now needed, if we are to ever secure the personal and public health benefits that e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction can offer, is honest and sincere …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/need-for-dialogue-on-tobacco-harm-reduction/

Carly Fiorina celebrates ‘Women’s Equality Day’ by paying women as much as men

Aug 26, 2015…Feminists long have struggled with the concept of "equal pay." Although most social justice-y gender studies majors demand that "equal pay" mean "totally, statistically equal," that standard is …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/carly-fiorina-celebrates-womens-equality-day-by-paying-women-as-much-as-men/

British government backs e-cigarettes for smokers

Aug 25, 2015…Public Health England last week became the first national government agency to endorse e-cigarettes as safer options for current smokers. Its report also dispelled several bogus anti-tobacco claims. PHE …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/british-government-backs-e-cigarettes-for-smokers/

The elephant in the room: The GOP’s tech dilemma

…Fifteen months ahead of the presidential election, a number of the 17 Republicans vying for their party’s nomination have invested considerable energy courting Silicon Valley. These candidates are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-elephant-in-the-room-the-gops-tech-dilemma/

Higher ed/industry disconnect a workforce wakeup call for Alabama

Aug 24, 2015…"Workforce development" is such a widely used term that it's easy for most of us to ignore. Unfortunately, it might be one of the most critical challenges facing Alabama. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/higher-edindustry-disconnect-a-workforce-wakeup-call-for-alabama/

John Kasich wants to abolish teachers’ lounges instead of the DOE

Aug 21, 2015…John Kasich has had a difficult time differentiating himself from the Republican field. Not only are there other, more recognizable moderates, but John Kasich is basically the kind …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/john-kasich-wants-to-abolish-teachers-lounges-instead-of-the-doe/

Bridging the separation of powers

Aug 19, 2015…The separation of powers is a hallmark of democratic systems. Power is divided among different branches or units of government. The legislature legislates, the executive executes and the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bridging-the-separation-of-powers/

Split works debate raises thorny issues for music companies (and for the rest of us)

Aug 14, 2015…The following piece was co-authored by Google Policy Fellow Sasha Moss. Michael Corleone would understand. Just when music companies and their performance-rights organization (PROs) thought they were getting out …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/split-works-debate-raises-thorny-issues-for-music-companies-and-for-the-rest-of-us/

EPA causes environmental disaster in Colorado

Aug 12, 2015…The Environmental Protection Agency often justifies its own existence by noting that corporations – who see profit as their goal, rather than environmental protection – are ill-equipped (or …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/epa-causes-environmental-disaster-in-colorado/

Donald Trump isn’t challenging political correctness; he’s just rude

…And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it's fun, it's kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. Here's another idea, Mr. Trump—my six-year-old …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/donald-trump-isnt-challenging-political-correctness-hes-just-rude/

Hillary wants debt-free college (just like Bernie!)

Aug 10, 2015…Bernie Sanders is racking up rallies on the West Coast this week, kicking off his Pacific jaunt with a rally for 20,000 Bernie-maniacs in Portland. Even though Bernie's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/hillary-wants-debt-free-college-just-like-bernie/

Drought or no drought, Texas must prepare for water future

Aug 7, 2015…After years of enduring one of the fiercest droughts on record, Texas officially became completely drought free in July. Texas’ no drought status didn’t last long; on Aug. 3 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/drought-or-no-drought-texas-must-prepare-for-water-future/

Has the Clean Power Plan abandoned energy efficiency?

Aug 6, 2015…The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday released the final version of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which mandates a 32 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions from the U.S. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/has-the-clean-power-plan-abandoned-energy-efficiency/

Republican presidential candidates: Show us you can #FixGov

…Presidential debates inevitably send the Beltway a-dither. Who will win? Which aspirant will deliver the best zinger? Who will look like a lost puppy or have an ugly …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/republican-presidential-candidates-show-us-you-can-fixgov/

Finding a General Fund budget out of Alabama’s shell game

…If you're getting the feeling that Alabama's General Fund budget is more and more like a carnival shell game, you're not alone. Just keep your eye on the ball …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/finding-a-general-fund-budget-out-of-alabamas-shell-game/

Clean Power Plan begs for a better conservative response to pollution control

Aug 5, 2015…On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Designed to curb U.S. carbon emissions, conservatives predictably don’t like the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/clean-power-plan-begs-for-a-better-conservative-response-to-pollution-control/

Federal agencies missed 1,400 regulatory deadlines

…In the waning days of 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The statute made myriad changes to postal law and tasked the Postal Regulatory Commission …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-agencies-missed-1400-regulatory-deadlines/

How the Clean Power Plan is like the Death Star

… Trigger warning: Nerdy analogies; some discussion of taxes. On Monday, the Obama administration released the final version of its “Clean Power Plan,” which mandates a 32 percent reduction in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-the-clean-power-plan-is-like-the-death-star/

There’s a government form for your moon expenses

Aug 4, 2015…As far as government paperwork goes, this might just be the best ever filed. According to the federal government, employees embarking on government-sponsored missions for which there are billable …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/theres-a-government-form-for-your-moon-expenses/

The REINS Act: A constituent’s question receives a vote in Congress

…In Washington, it's not every day legislation actually begins with a constituent's idea. The REINS Act is one of those ideas. The House last week passed H.R. 427, also …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-reins-act-a-constituents-question-receives-a-vote-in-congress/

Alabama facing political gut check, not a budget shortfall

Aug 3, 2015…Listen to any Alabama politician discussing the General Fund budget. You'll undoubtedly hear the phrase, "budget shortfall." The use of those specific words is intentional. It creates the impression …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabama-facing-political-gut-check-not-a-budget-shortfall/

Clinton emails missing two months, but have plenty of classified information otherwise

Jul 31, 2015…The U.S. State Department has been busy releasing Hillary's emails, and while they contain a lot of notable insights into her personal development — including, but not limited …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/clinton-emails-missing-two-months-but-have-plenty-of-classified-information-otherwise/

Proposed changes to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

…Hard as it may be to believe, we’re beginning to hear rumblings of sensibility from California’s electricity markets. Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison both have …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/proposed-changes-to-californias-renewable-portfolio-standard/

Cities, states keep piling on the Internet taxes

Jul 28, 2015…The City of Chicago has the dubious distinction of becoming the first jurisdiction to apply a sweeping tax to "cloud-based" services, ranging from streaming video to tax preparation. Beginning …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cities-states-keep-piling-on-the-internet-taxes/

McConnell’s highway bill robbery

Jul 27, 2015…Before I start into the GOP-on-GOP war that took place last night while I was zoning out watching a David Crosby-lookalike save puppies on Animal Planet, I want …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mcconnells-highway-bill-highway-robbery/

In the Bible Belt, Alabama politicians look to tax “sin” and spend

…If you're a politician who promised not to raise taxes in Alabama, increasing the amount of "sin taxes" or creating new ones violates that pledge. We already have some …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/in-the-bible-belt-alabama-politicians-look-to-tax-sin-and-spend/

Solar bailout? Don’t bet on it

Jul 23, 2015…Is the U.S. solar energy market in a bubble? Analysis suggesting that the burgeoning industry is overvalued certainly aren't new, and the list of observers who have deigned …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/solar-bailout-dont-bet-on-it/

The dysfunctional federal workforce

…The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar.   The Survey on the Future of Government Service, released last week by Vanderbilt University's Center for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-dysfunctional-federal-workforce/

E-cigarettes used by 4.2% of men, 3.4% of women in 2014, as smoking declined

…Last week, I announced first-ever national estimates, generated from new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, of U.S. e-cigarette users in 2014, almost 2 million of whom …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/e-cigarettes-used-by-4-2-of-men-3-4-of-women-in-2014-as-smoking-declined/

Making oversight win-win

Jul 22, 2015…Mere mention of the word “oversight” can make a public administrator queasy. It’s not because bureaucracies inevitably have something tawdry or corrupt to hide. Indeed, government agencies often …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/making-oversight-win-win/

To capitalize small business, let’s free up 401(k)s

Jul 21, 2015…Something has gone wrong with small business in America. For the first time since statistics were kept, the rate of business failure now exceeds the rate of business …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/to-capitalize-small-business-lets-free-up-401ks/

There’s no good reason to delay conservation compliance

Jul 20, 2015…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/theres-no-good-reason-to-delay-conservation-compliance/

Tallahassee City Commission right on Uber vote

Jul 18, 2015…Last week, the Tallahassee City Commission showed that even a broken clock is right twice a day. I have oftentimes taken issue with its decisions over the years …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tallahassee-city-commission-right-on-uber-vote/

Dear Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville welcome Uber…why can’t we?

Jul 17, 2015…With a unanimous vote, Mobile's City Council affirmed amendments to the city's vehicle-for-hire ordinance, enabling app-based transportation companies like Uber to operate. Huntsville has also declared itself open for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dear-birmingham-mobile-and-huntsville-welcome-uber-why-cant-we/

Wisconsin Supreme Court slams vicious, partisan ‘John Doe’ probe

…For months, conservative donors, activists and groups in Wisconsin were terrorized by partisan district attorneys using loosely interpreted election law to comb through their finances, enter their homes …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/wisconsin-supreme-court-slams-vicious-partisan-john-doe-probe/

30 million U.S. adults have used e-cigarettes, unpublicized CDC data reveals

Jul 15, 2015…Analyzing fresh data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, which involved nearly 37,000 respondents, it can be estimated that 30 million American adults have used an e-cigarette …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/30-million-u-s-adults-have-used-e-cigarettes-unpublicized-cdc-data-reveals/

Texas Supreme Court strikes stupid licensing law

… Last month, the Texas Supreme Court struck a blow for liberty. Progressives are predictably upset about it. In Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, the court …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texas-supreme-court-strikes-stupid-licensing-law/

Hillary Clinton, old person, does not like this newfangled Uber app

Jul 13, 2015…A week or so ago, my friend Lisa De Pasquale penned an article over at Breitbart about how this election cycle is shaping up to be Gen-X versus …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/hillary-clinton-old-person-does-not-like-this-newfangled-uber-app/

Tax pollution, not profits: a reply to Rep. John Delaney

… The carbon tax is an elegant mechanism for imposing a price on carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector, especially when compared to the alternatives. The patchwork of federal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tax-pollution-not-profits-a-reply-to-rep-john-delaney/

A misguided FDA crusade

…From Brussels to Chicago to the headquarters of the Food and Drug Administration in White Oak, Md., public health officials, antismoking crusaders and mayors are waging a battle …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-misguided-fda-crusade/

Alabama Legislature to put Bentley’s special session on ice

Jul 10, 2015…An email sent to members of the Alabama House of Representatives from Speaker Mike Hubbard reveals plans to thwart Gov. Robert Bentley's abrupt call for a special session. The email shares plans …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabama-legislature-to-put-bentleys-special-session-on-ice/

Michigan v. EPA: Pyrrhic victory or a sign of more to come?

Jul 9, 2015…Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency hit a roadblock in its quest to enact new standards for mercury emissions from U.S. power plants. In Michigan v. EPA, the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/michigan-v-epa-pyrrhic-victory-or-a-sign-of-more-to-come/

Health-care premiums about to spike again

Jul 7, 2015… The Affordable Care Act is about to get a little less affordable. Again. Health insurers have petitioned for rate hikes of 20 percent or more, because all the people who've …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/health-care-premiums-about-to-spike-again/

Conservatives refusing to celebrate America should be ashamed

…On a planet filled with more than 7 billion people, less than 5 percent have the privilege of calling themselves Americans. Yeah, that's right. It's a privilege. Yet this past …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/conservatives-refusing-to-celebrate-america-should-be-ashamed/

Why did the pope condemn carbon credits?

Jul 3, 2015…Last month, Pope Francis released Laudato Si, a papal encyclical devoted to environmental issues. The document combines reflections on environmental ethics from a religious perspective with background descriptions …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-did-the-pope-condemn-carbon-credits/

Kaiser Permanente’s not-so-negative take on smokeless tobacco

Jul 2, 2015…Kaiser Permanente might better call itself "Kaiser In Transition." A week ago I noted that the company’s website provides smokers with three grossly incorrect reasons to avoid e-cigarettes.  As …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/kaiser-permanentes-not-so-negative-take-on-smokeless-tobacco/

Why can’t the federal government sell unneeded real property more quickly?

Jun 25, 2015…This piece was co-authored by R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar. Consider the hut. Its real name is unknown. For all anyone knows, it might have been used …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-cant-the-federal-government-sell-unneeded-real-property-more-quickly/

Honor our Southern heritage by leaving the Confederate flag behind

Jun 24, 2015…It's easy to condemn a mass murderer fueled by hate; it's much harder to root out symbols, conventions and comments masquerading as innocuous relics of a time gone …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/honor-our-southern-heritage-by-leaving-the-confederate-flag-behind/

The moral case for fossil fuel taxes

…One of the downsides of working in policy is that you end up hearing the same arguments over and over again. So I was excited to read Oren …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-moral-case-for-fossil-fuel-taxes/

The GOP needs its own plan for climate change

Jun 23, 2015…The Obama administration’s ongoing campaign to regulate climate-change causing pollutants under the Clean Air Act deserves all of the withering criticism it has gotten from the political right. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-gop-needs-its-own-plan-for-climate-change/

Supreme Court takes on raisins, Spider-Man and hotels, but not marriage and Obamacare…yet

Jun 22, 2015…There's only one more SCOTUS "Decision Day" left in June, and it's going to be a big one. On their second-to-last day before skipping town to enjoy their …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/supreme-court-takes-on-raisins-spider-man-and-hotels-but-not-marriage-and-obamacareyet/

Let’s listen to the pope on climate

Jun 18, 2015…The Syllabus of Errors, issued in 1864 under the auspices of Pope Pius IX, famously ends by condemning the proposition that: The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lets-listen-to-the-pope-on-climate/

Chaffetz swings and misses with Internet sales tax bill

Jun 17, 2015…Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is the latest to step up to the plate to solve the vexing question of how to apply sales taxes to purchases made online …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/chaffetz-swings-and-misses-with-internet-sales-tax-bill/

Donald Trump, stupid leaders and the Great Wall of Mexico

…We're all tired of presidential politics, and we haven't even made it to the election year. We've heard it all before...and before that. Then, on a hot hazy Tuesday …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/donald-trump-stupid-leaders-and-the-great-wall-of-mexico/

Obama administration ‘bans’ trans-fats

…Our obesity epidemic is over. Although the science of "trans-fats" being ultimately responsible for Americans' untimely deaths and need for double airplane seats is questionable at best, and banning …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obama-administration-bans-trans-fats/

Postal banking is an idea whose time has come—and gone

Jun 15, 2015…From 1911 through 1967, the old U.S. Post Office offered savings accounts. The enterprise started because private banks seldom insured deposits. The establishment of the Federal Deposit Insurance …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/postal-banking-is-an-idea-whose-time-has-come-and-gone/

Saving Atlantic City: A mayor who thinks small may be the answer

…Atlantic City, N.J. – Just about every morning when the weather is nice, Don Guardian rides his bike along the boardwalk and digs into the beach sand. "They're …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/saving-atlantic-city-a-mayor-who-thinks-small-may-be-the-answer/

USPS should sell its real estate

Jun 12, 2015…The U.S. Postal Service's latest financial results have been released. They are not good. The agency booked a loss of $2.1 billion in the first half of the fiscal year, which …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/usps-should-sell-its-real-estate/

Obama admin wants ‘economic diversity’ for wealthy neighborhoods

…The City of Chicago has an interesting Section 8 philosophy that mandates apartment buildings - even the really fancy ones - have a certain number of abodes set …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obama-admin-wants-economic-diversity-for-wealthy-neighborhoods/

Obama admin asks FISA Court to ignore ruling finding NSA actions illegal

…Just a few short weeks ago, our elected legislators were very, very concerned about the future of the National Security Agency's bulk data-collection programs. Some were absolutely convinced that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obama-admin-asks-fisa-court-to-ignore-ruling-finding-nsa-actions-illegal/

Ex-Im Bank backs Boeing, but plane nowhere to be found

Jun 10, 2015…Suffice it to say, when it comes to crony capitalism, the Export-Import Bank's customers are some of the worst offenders. We may talk about how the state siphons …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ex-im-bank-backs-boeing-but-plane-nowhere-to-be-found/

Trade authority is good for Texas

Jun 9, 2015…The U.S. House has indicated that it’s likely to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority, and that’s good for Texas. Also known as “fast-track” trade authority, TPA makes it easier for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trade-authority-is-good-for-texas/

How EPA’s ethanol cut could hurt taxpayers

Jun 8, 2015…Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed cutting the Renewable Fuel Standard's corn-ethanol mandate by 3.75 billion gallons from 2014 to 2016. This naturally prompted pushback from the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-epas-ethanol-cut-could-hurt-taxpayers/

Metric, schmetric

Jun 5, 2015…Presidential candidate and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has promised he will switch the United States to the metric system in the exceedingly unlikely event he ends up in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/metric-schmetric/

Bernie Sanders wants to spend $5B to employ 1 million young people

…There's something you have to admire about Sen. Bernie Sanders: when he commits to something, he commits all the way. While most of his ideas might be half-baked, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bernie-sanders-wants-to-spend-5b-to-employ-1-million-young-people/

It’s time to raise the oil spill liability cap

Jun 4, 2015…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 of oil …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/its-time-to-raise-the-oil-spill-liability-cap/

New Eurobarometer report supports the ‘Swedish Miracle’

…How can the European Union continue to deny Sweden's success in tobacco harm reduction?  I have documented how Swedish snus has contributed to that country's world-record-low rates of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-eurobarometer-report-supports-the-swedish-miracle/

On Alabama’s coast, preserve the environment or protect the economy?

Jun 3, 2015…Would you rather preserve the environment or protect the economy? What if I told you that, right here in Alabama, we're coming up with creative solutions that benefit both …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/on-alabamas-coast-preserve-the-environment-or-protect-the-economy/

A gambling ban’s federalism problem

…Even as the rise of the Internet has driven communications and economic growth to heights previously unimagined, some lawmakers are using that very explosion as pretext to expand …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-gambling-bans-federalism-problem/

More laws should have sunsets

…The past weekend's Senate debate over the PATRIOT Act reminds us of the value of placing sunsets in legislation. For years, the National Security Agency had operated far …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/more-laws-should-have-sunsets/

E-cigarettes ‘far, far safer’ than tobacco

Jun 2, 2015…The statements of Terry Towne in your recent article “Butt out: If you’ve got ’em, don’t light ’em,” (May 28) are wrong. Although Ms. Towne is to be …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/e-cigarettes-far-far-safer-than-tobacco/

DOJ collecting your ‘right-wing’ social media posts

… One of the primary contentions of establishment Republicans and Democrats in defense of the National Security Agency's massive data-collection program was that the program was not only free …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/doj-collecting-your-right-wing-social-media-posts/

Alabama’s budget breakdown

…Contrary to recent political fear mongering, Alabama has enough money to pay its bills. All the state needs is leaders willing to make tough choices. Projected at over $6.2 billion, the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabamas-budget-breakdown/

DOD spent millions on strippers and booze

Jun 1, 2015… The next time you ponder the defense budget, consider, beyond that they pay a ridiculous sum for things like toilet seats and hammers, that the people who get …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dod-spent-millions-on-strippers-and-booze/

Why AB 24 is a bad idea

May 29, 2015… Just as a cook’s creation is only as good as the ingredients she uses, so too is public policy only as good as the premises that undergird it. That’s …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-ab-24-is-a-bad-idea/

Is regulatory reform a hopeless cause?

May 28, 2015…In short, no, although the reader of Charles Murray’s new book might come away with that conclusion. In By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission (Crown Forum, 2015), …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-regulatory-reform-a-hopeless-cause/

The federal government is looking to control your puddles

…And lo, he of the name Obama shall have dominion over all of the birds of the air and the fish of the sea and the water that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-federal-government-is-looking-to-control-your-puddles/

Congress looks to reduce the regulatory behemoth

May 27, 2015…The Code of Federal Regulations is more than 170,000 pages long. How did it become such a behemoth? Simple: every year, about 4,000 new regulations are proposed, and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-looks-to-reduce-the-regulatory-behemoth/

Reagan thought taxing the poor was a bad idea; Alabama should too

May 26, 2015…Alabamians below the federal poverty line should not pay income taxes. In spite of the fact that almost 20 percent of Alabama's population falls below the poverty level, Alabama …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reagan-thought-taxing-the-poor-was-a-bad-idea-alabama-should-too/

The road less traveled: surveillance reform

May 22, 2015…Two years ago, major revelations about the National Security Agency’s massive intrusion into the lives of all Americans jumpstarted a renewed national debate about the right to privacy …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-road-less-traveled-surveillance-reform/

Remembering a victim of the War on Drugs

…President Barack Obama has wielded his executive authority to reduce the amount of military equipment flowing to local cops. His action comes in response to demonstrations of force …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/remembering-a-victim-of-the-war-on-drugs/

Federal storm policies put Florida in danger

May 21, 2015…The following piece was co-authored by Jay Liles, a policy consultant with the Florida Wildlife Federation, and Gary Appelson, policy coordinator of the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Andrew. Charley. Wilma. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-storm-policies-put-florida-in-danger/

Copyright lobby seeks new hammer to pound free speech in Florida

May 20, 2015…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/copyright-lobby-seeks-new-hammer-to-pound-free-speech-in-florida/

Tom Cotton blocks NSA reform measure

…Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., was instrumental in saving some of Iraq's most precious feline assets, but that's about the only nice thing I can say about Tom Cotton …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tom-cotton-blocks-nsa-reform-measure/

Alabama GOP supermajority, governor should hold their noses and pass budget

…Shameful. That's the word you're looking for. If Republican supermajorities in the Alabama House and the Senate can't pass a General Fund budget, put it on the Republican governor's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabama-gop-supermajority-governor-should-hold-their-noses-and-pass-budget/

Insurance bills could have a big impact on Texas

…Most people find insurance regulation boring, and maybe that’s understandable. But in a state with some of the highest home insurance rates in the nation, Texans have good …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/insurance-bills-could-have-a-big-impact-on-texas/

Marketing maternity: Are we valuing the message over the medicine?

May 18, 2015…Imagine you're a woman who just found out she is going to have a baby. You see a hospital advertisement for maternity care that includes words and phrases …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/marketing-maternity-are-we-valuing-the-message-over-the-medicine/

It really is nearly impossible to fire a federal employee

May 15, 2015…Some credulous Beltway media sure took the bait last week. Consider: “A lot of people still think it’s close to impossible to fire a federal employee, but that’s just …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/it-really-is-nearly-impossible-to-fire-a-federal-employee/

‘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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/beach-plan-insurance-needs-to-do-no-further-harm/

Yes, the U.S. Congress has a role in foreign affairs

May 14, 2015…As the U.S. Congress this week continues to debate legislation to address President Barack Obama's proposed nuclear deal with Iran, some critics howl that the bill would usurp …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/yes-the-u-s-congress-has-a-role-in-foreign-affairs/

Hollywood celebrities aren’t abiding California drought rules

May 13, 2015… The California drought, that exceptional byproduct of an exciting, unnatural approach to preserving the lives of millions of tiny, endangered fish for no discernable purpose except to prevent their …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/hollywood-celebrities-arent-abiding-california-drought-rules/

If payday loans are horrible, what about federal student loans?

May 12, 2015…When I was researching payday loans, I came across an interesting statistic: Within three years of entering into repayment, 13.7 percent of federal student loans wind up in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/if-payday-loans-are-horrible-what-about-federal-student-loans/

Should Alabama have a flat tax?

May 11, 2015…They'll probably label it a tax hike. That's what always happens anytime anyone attempts to reform Alabama's mangled tax code. Alabamians hate tax increases. Just ask Gov. Robert Bentley. If …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/should-alabama-have-a-flat-tax/

Smoke-free tobacco can save lives

…While our federal government dreams of a tobacco-free society, 42 million Americans continue to smoke cigarettes and nearly half a million die each year. That’s 1,300 smoker deaths …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/smoke-free-tobacco-can-save-lives/

E-cigarettes are a friend to public health

May 8, 2015…Delaware lawmakers are now considered H.B. 5, a bill that would ban e-cigarette use everywhere smoking is prohibited. Experience as a public health physician has taught me to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/e-cigarettes-are-a-friend-to-public-health/

House appropriators look at legislative branch transparency

…At last week’s full committee markup of the legislative branch appropriations bill, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., offered an amendment that set the stage for more transparency around Congressional …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/house-appropriators-look-at-legislative-branch-transparency/

Kamala Harris aide was running a secret police force

May 7, 2015… Sen. Barbara Boxer plans to vacate her U.S. Senate seat in the next few years, and the Democrats are looking for the Next Great Hope of the party …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/kamala-harris-aide-was-running-a-secret-police-force/

Meet the money behind the effort to keep Alabama in the liquor retail business

May 5, 2015…"If you thought this bill was not going anywhere; that it would die or get killed like it always has, you need to think again!" Bob Leavell is concerned …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/meet-the-money-behind-the-effort-to-keep-alabama-in-the-liquor-retail-business/

Leaked email: Mayor Walt Maddox and Councilor Kim Rafferty’s municipal cabal to keep ridesharing out of Alabama

May 1, 2015…"Clearly, controlling the narrative is in our best interests," writes Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. Birmingham City Councilor Kim Rafferty favors forming an ad hoc committee "to keep control of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/leaked-email-mayor-walt-maddox-and-councilor-kim-raffertys-municipal-cabal-to-keep-ridesharing-out-of-alabama/

We can’t stop the rain, but we can build smarter

…This piece was co-authored by Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. It’s troubling to see images of American families assessing the soggy aftermath of a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/we-cant-stop-the-rain-but-we-can-build-smarter/

Credit unions should focus on the middle class

Apr 30, 2015…As the 2016 presidential and congressional elections draw nearer, credit unions and their representatives undoubtedly will be meeting with any number of potential candidates for office. For those …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/credit-unions-should-focus-on-the-middle-class/

Texas moves to abolish renewable energy mandates (but much damage has been done)

Apr 29, 2015…Texas has always been big on energy. The state's long history of oil and gas production is well-known. And on the electric generation side, Texas ranks first in the nation in nuclear …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texas-moves-to-abolish-renewable-energy-mandates-but-much-damage-has-been-done/

Pointier Heads: Efficiency shrinks while government grows

Apr 27, 2015… I had my first reckoning with big government in a small town in New Jersey. The incident remains startlingly fresh in my mind, although it was years ago. A …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/pointier-heads-efficiency-shrinks-while-government-grows/

Legislative project ideas for coders and noncoders

…I thought it would be useful to identify legislative data projects in advance of the House's annual Legislative Data and Transparency Conference and #Hack4Congress, a congressional hackathon the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/legislative-project-ideas-for-coders-and-noncoders/

Disruption can be a good thing

Apr 24, 2015…The ideal of a staid, heavily regulated industry that offers blue-collar jobs with respectable wages, pensions and strong community ties—usually lamented as a thing of the past by …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/disruption-can-be-a-good-thing/

2016 presidential truck stop buffet: Plenty of options with reheated ideas

…Most of us don't talk about it, but we've been there. It's late at night, way past the time when we should be eating. Then you see it …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/2016-presidential-truck-stop-buffet-plenty-of-options-with-reheated-ideas/

Meet the NSA’s ridiculous recycling mascot, ‘Dunk’

Apr 23, 2015… The National Security Agency will likely get a gift from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week: a massive reauthorization of their metadata collection and surveillance program, codified …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/meet-the-nsas-ridiculous-recycling-mascot-dunk/

Is Alabama broke or just stupid?

Apr 22, 2015…This may be difficult, but let's start with the facts about Alabama's current budget crisis before we start talking about our feelings on things like taxes, gambling and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-alabama-broke-or-just-stupid/

The question of raising taxes

Apr 20, 2015…It was shrewd of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board to choose its words carefully when it called for tax reform (“There’s no time like April to talk about …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-question-of-raising-taxes/

Reality bites the dust in new smokeless tobacco study

Apr 17, 2015…It’s surprising what passes for “science” in some journals today. Chemical Research in Toxicology has published a study from the University of California’s Berkeley and San Francisco campuses …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reality-bites-the-dust-in-new-smokeless-tobacco-study/

Man lands gyrocopter on Capitol lawn, wants campaign finance reform

Apr 16, 2015…What do you get when you cross Citizens United, an unlawful single-pilot airborne vehicle, the Postal Service and Florida? Apparently, the dude who decided to land his "gyrocopter" on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/man-lands-gyrocopter-on-capitol-lawn-wants-campaign-finance-reform/

Pennsylvania’s energy economy is a model for the rest of the country

…President Barack Obama has been aggressively promoting the advantages of fast-track authority for his Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement by pushing a message of job creation, economic growth and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/pennsylvanias-energy-economy-is-a-model-for-the-rest-of-the-country/

More on hidden formaldehyde in e-cigarette aerosols

…This letter was co-authored by Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health and Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/more-on-hidden-formaldehyde-in-e-cigarette-aerosols/

The IRS spent lots of cash on office furniture and toys

Apr 15, 2015… According to a press release from Sen. Orrin Hatch's office, the IRS has spent a boatload of taxpayer money on lots of things it really doesn't need. Now, normally, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-irs-spent-lots-of-cash-on-office-furniture-and-toys/

Is it time to rethink the congressional budget resolution?

…April 15 has arrived and Congress once again has not adopted a budget resolution. It was not for lack of trying. The Senate voted for S.Con.Res.11 on March …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-it-time-to-rethink-the-congressional-budget-resolution/

The Kafkaesque horror Of Tax Day

…Congratulations! You get to pay taxes to the federal government. The upside is that you earned money. The downside is that you just realized how much of it …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-kafkaesque-horror-of-tax-day/

Gwyneth Paltrow takes SNAP challenge, fails miserably

Apr 14, 2015… Years ago, in need of some unintentional hilarity in my life, I signed up for Gwyneth Paltrow's "lifestyle email newsletter" called, somewhat unappetizingly, "GOOP." Since then, on a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gwyneth-paltrow-takes-snap-challenge-fails-miserably/

Congress should vote to override Obama’s latest veto

Apr 13, 2015… Congress returns from its two-week break on Monday. If it has any respect for itself, it will promptly schedule a vote on President Obama’s most recent veto. The nixed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-should-vote-to-override-obamas-latest-veto/

Fracking and quakes

Apr 10, 2015…Over the past decade, huge improvements in hydraulic fracturing techniques used to unlock natural gas deposits have lowered energy prices and boosted the economy. They’ve been great for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fracking-and-quakes/

Limited government? Four Republicans keep Alabama in state-run retail liquor business

…You'd expect it from Democrats in the Alabama Senate - they've never met a state-run operation they did not want to preserve. But Republicans in the Alabama Senate? Last …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/limited-government-four-republicans-keep-alabama-in-state-run-retail-liquor-business/

Moving toward real water prices

Apr 9, 2015…Gov. Jerry Brown has taken a dramatic, but dangerous, step by issuing an executive order to cut non-agricultural water usage by 25 percent. The unprecedented and problematic step …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/moving-toward-real-water-prices/

What the ‘zero rating’ debate reveals about net neutrality

Apr 8, 2015…February's vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose demanding net-neutrality rules on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) has now been followed by a 300-plus-page Report and Order. Add in more …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-the-zero-rating-debate-reveals-about-net-neutrality/

FDA must correct snus warnings

…An FDA advisory committee is meeting this week to discuss a landmark proposal to correct federal health warnings that have been misleading the public for almost 30 years. Swedish …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-must-correct-snus-warnings/

Do we still need the Post Office?

Apr 7, 2015…Do you like trees? I do. Who doesn’t? So why does our government encourage private companies to chop down millions of them each year and grind them into …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/do-we-still-need-the-post-office/

Don’t let local control undermine the Texas model

Apr 6, 2015…Texas has always been fiercely protective of its prerogatives as a state. From challenging federal regulatory overreach in court to maintaining our own electric grid, we are willing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-let-local-control-undermine-the-texas-model/

End life tenure for federal employees

Apr 3, 2015…J. David Cox traveled to Selma, Ala. at the invitation of. President Barack Obama to commemorate the hallowed civil rights march. It was an honor for the president …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/end-life-tenure-for-federal-employees/

British Medical Association misleads on e-cigarettes

Apr 2, 2015…Dr. George Rae, chairman of British Medical Association Northeast, made reckless comments about e-cigarettes in a March 31 BBC radio interview, available here. I highlight Rae’s most egregious …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/british-medical-association-misleads-on-e-cigarettes/

What if Congress won’t do its job?

…The U.S. Constitution is abundantly clear about which branch of the federal government creates our laws: "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-if-congress-wont-do-its-job/

NSA was totally going to stop spying until Edward Snowden showed up

Apr 1, 2015… Edward Snowden doesn't seem to be enjoying his Russian home - word has it that he's looking to barter a plea deal with the United States in order …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nsa-was-totally-going-to-stop-spying-until-edward-snowden-showed-up/

Single-device user Hillary Clinton actually used two devices at State

… Remember when Hillary Clinton stood in front of a press gaggle at the United Nations and claimed that she used her personal email in order to simplify her …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/single-device-user-hillary-clinton-actually-used-two-devices-at-state/

How Gov. Bentley stopped being a conservative on taxes

Mar 30, 2015…First came his signing of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in 2010, which reads: "I, Robert Bentley, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of Alabama, that I will …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-gov-bentley-stopped-being-a-conservative-on-taxes/

The U.S. Postal Service’s existential problem

…The U.S. Postal Service has an existential problem. For five years, the agency has flirted with insolvency. It has $15 billion in debt, its statutory maximum. According to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-u-s-postal-services-existential-problem/

Last call for Alabama’s state-run retail liquor operations

…In the 21st century, why does the State of Alabama need to be in the liquor business? Frankly, that is the question state legislators need to consider, and Sen. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/last-call-for-alabamas-state-run-retail-liquor-operations/

Resisting bureaucracy

Mar 27, 2015…The third time will apparently be the charm for the Federal Communications Commission’s “net neutrality” regulations. Having been shot down twice by the courts in earlier attempts to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/resisting-bureaucracy/

For Uber drivers, one license is good enough

…Michigan has experienced a dynamic economic reinvention over the past five years. Individuals young and old have turned their new ideas, artisanship and creativity into sustainable employment opportunities …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/for-uber-drivers-one-license-is-good-enough/

Transferring risk is good for Citizens

…Claiming that the purchase of private reinsurance is a “gift” to offshore reinsurers that somehow harms Florida consumers is wrong (“Foes see ‘gift’ to reinsurers in plan for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/transferring-risk-is-good-for-citizens/

Head of womens health conglomerate unsure how insurance works

Mar 26, 2015…This week marked the fifth anniversary of Obamacare, and while some of us celebrated by spending hours on the phone with an insurance company rectifying a double charge …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/head-of-womens-health-conglomerate-unsure-how-insurance-works/

BBC drops the ball on baseball and smokeless tobacco

…It’s almost baseball season, which means it’s time for anti-tobacco extremists to start grabbing easy headlines. One especially zealous state lawmaker wants to ban smokeless tobacco by players …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bbc-drops-the-ball-on-baseball-and-smokeless-tobacco/

Hillary now thinks this email thing is hilarious

…If you're keeping score, based on familiarity with the Clinton playbook, we have now delightfully exited the "pretend nothing is wrong" phase of Hillary Clinton's private email scandal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/hillary-now-thinks-this-email-thing-is-hilarious/

Congressional Data Coalition applauds House legislative data transparency efforts, asks for more

Mar 24, 2015… On March 6, the Congressional Data Coalition and allies submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Committee's Legislative Branch Subcommittee regarding its 2016 appropriation that applauded recent progress in making …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congressional-data-coalition-applauds-house-legislative-data-transparency-efforts-asks-for-more/

Why the ethanol mandate is terrible policy

Mar 23, 2015…You know the campaign season has started when people start talking about ethanol. Various GOP hopefuls have affirmed or reaffirmed their support for existing ethanol mandates, and while …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-the-ethanol-mandate-is-terrible-policy/

Lofgren and Issa take on patent law that inflates repair costs

Mar 21, 2015…In this era of hyper-partisanship, it's notable that a bipartisan pair of California members of Congress, Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Zoe Lofgren, are together proposing reforms to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lofgren-and-issa-take-on-patent-law-that-inflates-repair-costs/

Do e-cigarette ads promote vaping?

Mar 20, 2015…The National Cancer Institute is wasting taxpayer dollars on slanted e-cigarette research that didn’t ask or answer an obvious and important question. Consider the recent NCI-funded study by Drs. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/do-e-cigarette-ads-promote-vaping/

Obama champions mandatory voting

…Apparently, not enough people vote in this country for President Barack Obama's taste, and he knows just how to make voting both more palatable and more appealing to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obama-champions-mandatory-voting/

The EPA wants to watch you shower

Mar 19, 2015…If you're like me, a night away at a hotel means one thing: a long, hot shower. It's not that I want to deliberately drain a Holiday Inn's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-epa-wants-to-watch-you-shower/

Repeal law that forces expensive burdens on retailers selling adult beverages

Mar 18, 2015… In Florida, you can buy beer and wine at your local supermarket. Some even sell it straight out of the tap and allow you to taste it before …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/repeal-law-that-forces-expensive-burdens-on-retailers-selling-adult-beverages/

I love the 90s!

Mar 13, 2015…The Millennial Generation -- into which I have been unceremoniously lumped, care of a post-Reagan inauguration birthdate — has a thing for the ’90s. It’s no secret that anyone …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/i-love-the-90s/

A few weeks into the legislative session, here are the most important issues facing the Alabama Legislature

…With the Alabama Legislature in full swing, both the Senate and House have released their respective agendas. Those agendas usually reflect priorities that legislators are relatively confident they …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-few-weeks-into-the-legislative-session-here-are-the-most-important-issues-facing-the-alabama-legislature/

Sloan Kettering corrects e-cigarette study

…Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers, led by first-author Sarah Borderud, claimed on Sept. 22, 2014, that e-cigarettes did not help cancer patients quit smoking. They based that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sloan-kettering-corrects-e-cigarette-study/

AP sues State for Hillary’s emails

Mar 12, 2015…The State Department may have initiated the request for Hillary's emails, but it seems they weren't overly specific in terms of what they were looking for. Their oversight …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ap-sues-state-for-hillarys-emails/

Bring Texas liquor laws into the 21st century

Mar 9, 2015… It’s been more than 80 years since America ended its ill-fated experiment with prohibition. Yet the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code is still littered with provisions that serve little …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bring-texas-liquor-laws-into-the-21st-century/

Rahm Emanuel and the trials of progressive payback

…Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing something very uncharacteristic to save his flailing re-election campaign: He’s being nice. Mr. Emanuel, his acerbic personality muted by a pullover sweater, cut …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/rahm-emanuel-and-the-trials-of-progressive-payback/

Why gay marriage isn’t going to top the culture war agenda

…Conservative "founding mother" Phyllis Schlafly is dead wrong to predict a conservative backlash against LGBT rights. It's just not going to happen. While some people will remain opposed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-gay-marriage-isnt-going-to-top-the-culture-war-agenda/

House of Representatives places an order for legislative data transparency

Mar 8, 2015… When the House of Representatives adopted new rules for the 114th Congress, it took an unprecedented step forward. As part of the orders for the new Congress, the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/house-of-representatives-places-an-order-for-legislative-data-transparency/

Conflicts of interest exposed, FDA reorganizes tobacco advisory panel

Mar 6, 2015…A range of obvious conflicts of interest has led to the replacement of several FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee members. Federal judge Richard Leon ruled last July that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/conflicts-of-interest-exposed-fda-reorganizes-tobacco-advisory-panel/

Rand Paul on why Republicans should care about Selma

…U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was two years old when 500 marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Sunday, March 7, 1965, to promote voting rights for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/rand-paul-on-why-republicans-should-care-about-selma/

Cheap oil gets rid of subsidized oil in developing nations

…William Goldman is best known as the screenwriter behind the films the Princess Bride and Marathon Man. He is also the author of a profound quote about business: Nobody knows …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cheap-oil-gets-rid-of-subsidized-oil-in-developing-nations/

Time for full investigations of Hillary Clinton

Mar 5, 2015… Recent press revelations indicate that Hillary Rodham Clinton likely violated federal law by conducting State Department business via a personal email account. Both Congress and the State Department …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/time-for-full-investigations-of-hillary-clinton/

Smoking cessation: minimal impact on weight

Mar 4, 2015…The association of tobacco use and body weight has long been a matter of concern. In 2004, I collaborated with Swedish investigators to publish the first research on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/smoking-cessation-minimal-impact-on-weight/

The civil rights history I missed growing up in the South

Mar 3, 2015…I learned about Christopher Columbus's voyages on the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.  I could recount the tale of the mysterious lost colony at Roanoke. The battles of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-civil-rights-history-i-missed-growing-up-in-the-south/

DEA warns Utah of stoned rabbits

…I would certainly not have predicted Utah to be the next state to take up the mantle of marijuana legalization, but thankfully, they are. I say this not …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dea-warns-utah-of-stoned-rabbits/

Some DOE staff found new way to take advantage of students

…Student loans are a billion dollar industry for the government, which basically insures that the system, despite Elizabeth Warren's eternal pleadings, is unlikely to be reformed. But it …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/some-doe-staff-found-new-way-to-take-advantage-of-students/

Building houses on sandy ground

Mar 2, 2015…In the summer of 2004, I packed all of my worldly belongings into a small U-Haul trailer and made the trek from Central Texas to the Florida Panhandle. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/building-houses-on-sandy-ground/

Democrats take GOP to school on Homeland Security funding battle over immigration

Feb 27, 2015…Regrettably, shutdown politics has become the new norm in Washington. Whether EPA regulations, the Affordable Care Act or immigration, the art of the compromise has been almost completely …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/democrats-take-gop-to-school-on-homeland-security-funding-battle-over-immigration/

Geoengineering: The cold war on global warming

…A recent panel of the National Academy of Sciences called for increased research into geoengineering. The announcement drew a variety of reactions, ranging from “this is proof that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/geoengineering-the-cold-war-on-global-warming/

The TSA is very sad about this DHS thing

Feb 26, 2015…Guys, the Transportation Safety Administration is very sad. Really sad. Like, they might not even feel like rifling through your unmentionables tonight they're so dejected and depressed. Everything about …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-tsa-is-very-sad-about-this-dhs-thing/

Fargo forgoes facts

…Two public health officials in Fargo, N.D. this week were the source of grossly misleading claims about smokeless tobacco for a local media story. Fargo public health staffers Holly …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fargo-forgoes-facts/

The IRS was good to Lois Lerner

…It seems that whatever Lois Lerner was doing, she was doing something right by her bosses. Turns out, while was worming her way into the hearts and minds of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-irs-was-good-to-lois-lerner/

Trains are no substitute for Keystone

…In what was ultimately a surprise to no one, President Barack Obama yesterday vetoed the bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. This sets the stage …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trains-are-no-substitute-for-keystone/

The worst sort of crony capitalism

Feb 24, 2015…"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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-worst-sort-of-crony-capitalism/

DHS spent a lot of money on office furniture

…This week, Congress is readying for it's biggest battle yet, over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, in return for Barack Obama forgetting all about that little …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dhs-spent-a-lot-of-money-on-office-furniture/

Affordable Care Act’s tax traps may catch the middle class

Feb 23, 2015…Whoever decided that having the Internal Revenue Service enforce the penalties for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a good idea may have made a political mistake …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/affordable-care-acts-tax-traps-may-catch-the-middle-class/

RESTORE Act gives Alabama opportunity to lead on economy and environment

Feb 18, 2015… April marks five years since an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon sunk the mobile drilling rig and released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/restore-act-gives-alabama-opportunity-to-lead-on-economy-and-environment/

We need politicians like Cindy Crawford’s latest photograph: unretouched

…For many young men growing up in the 1980s and 90s, Cindy Crawford was hard to miss...not that many were trying to miss her. She reigned supreme as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/we-need-politicians-like-cindy-crawfords-latest-photograph-unretouched/

Federal court blocks executive amnesty, for now

…The Obama White House may be preoccupied with trying to figure out how best to water down Middle Eastern conflicts into mere questions of unemployment, and busy putting …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-court-blocks-executive-amnesty-for-now/

NIH funding stifles tobacco harm reduction research and support in academia

…As a pathologist working at two large medical centers, I have studied the effects of smoking on health for more than 20 years. I’ve published scores of papers …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nih-funding-stifles-tobacco-harm-reduction-research-and-support-in-academia/

How the U.S. Supreme Court biased its own decision on same-sex marriage

Feb 17, 2015…By permitting same-sex marriages to take place over state laws to the contrary, the U.S. Supreme Court has essentially biased the outcome of the four same-sex marriage cases …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-the-u-s-supreme-court-biased-its-own-decision-on-same-sex-marriage/

Move to ban e-cigs stifles innovation

Feb 16, 2015…California lawmakers aren’t afraid of innovation, or so they say. Members of the Legislature in Sacramento will have their commitment to innovation tested this session when an attempt …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/move-to-ban-e-cigs-stifles-innovation/

Restoring the Gulf Coast through local control

…For many on the Gulf Coast, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill seems like it was yesterday. Many might be surprised that almost five years have gone by since …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/restoring-the-gulf-coast-through-local-control/

Should we regulate leggings worn as pants?

Feb 13, 2015…This week, Montana seemed poised to become the first state in the nation to ban yoga pants. Because, apparently, Montana's male elected leaders were having a hard time …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/should-we-regulate-leggings-worn-as-pants/

Rocking homeowners

…“California Rocks.” That’s the clever slogan for a new advertising campaign by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), the state’s privately funded, publicly managed earthquake insurance fund. The message is …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/rocking-homeowners/

Don’t ignore RESTORE

Feb 12, 2015…Depending on the outcome of ongoing litigation, Texas soon may find itself the recipient of a sizable windfall. But the state shouldn’t fall victim to the temptation to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-ignore-restore/

Internet ain’t broke, don’t let AG try to fix it

Feb 11, 2015…For all that we complain about the Internet from time to time, the fact is, for the most part, we love the Internet. Yet not all of us …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/internet-aint-broke-dont-let-ag-try-to-fix-it/

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner brings mandatory union dues to an end

…Apparently, when it comes to the game of issuing executive orders, both parties can play. Monday night, just in time for the 6 o'clock news, newly minted Republican Illinois …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/illinois-gov-bruce-rauner-brings-mandatory-union-dues-to-an-end/

Memo to the CDC: Tell the WHOLE truth about e-cigarettes

…The contrast between the spin put on youth e-cigarette use data last fall and the story told by the actual data, released last month, is startling, but not …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/memo-to-the-cdc-tell-the-whole-truth-about-e-cigarettes/

The ‘sharing economy’ is under threat

Feb 10, 2015…This piece was co-authored by R Street Editor-in-Chief and Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann. One of the underappreciated problems of the growth of the regulatory state is that rather than …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-sharing-economy-is-under-threat/

Obama will veto Keystone XL behind closed doors

…President Barack Obama will veto a bill authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline this week, despite the bill's bipartisan support. But instead of making a big deal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obama-will-veto-keystone-xl-behind-closed-doors/

A guide to religious tolerance in the 21st century

Feb 9, 2015…In Alabama, faith remains a cornerstone of many communities. It is not a simple box to check or a title to wear. Rather, faith is the lens through …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-guide-to-religious-tolerance-in-the-21st-century/

Debbie and Sheila’s night out at the Grammys

…I'll be rounding up the highlights from last night's Grammy Awards a bit later, but suffice it to say, if you didn't watch it, you missed very little. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/debbie-and-sheilas-night-out-at-the-grammys/

Utah struggles to stay in tune

Feb 5, 2015…Legislators in Utah have responded quickly to concerns expressed by technology leaders that the state’s insurance department has struck a dissonant chord. Now they have an opportunity to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/utah-struggles-to-stay-in-tune/

The FAA will not regulate your moon base…yet

Feb 4, 2015…With all this talk of Mars exploration, the U.S. government clearly has space-faring commercialism on its mind. In clear pursuit of Newt Gingrich's sweeping vision, a company called Bigelow …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-faa-will-not-regulate-your-moon-baseyet/

Congress should pass the president’s ‘kill list’

Feb 2, 2015…President Barack Obama’s penultimate budget will be delivered to Congress today. Per the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the president’s budget will enumerate recommended spending levels for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-should-pass-the-presidents-kill-list/

Portland State e-cigarette claims debunked in the New York Times

Jan 27, 2015…New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera today knocks Portland State University researchers’ claims that e-cigarettes produce higher levels of formaldehyde than cigarettes – bogus findings that I …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/portland-state-e-cigarette-claims-debunked-in-the-new-york-times/

Obama takes on oil drilling from giant jet

…I don't remember the last time I heard the term "ANWR" - the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge - before this weekend. I think I recall some controversy over …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obama-takes-on-oil-drilling-from-giant-jet/

President Obama is more King John than Robin Hood

…In the State of the Union address, President Obama certainly left the impression that he would like to be considered a type of Robin Hood to the American …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/president-obama-is-more-king-john-than-robin-hood/

Lost a drone? The Secret Service might have it

Jan 26, 2015…If you were the lucky amateur pilot who landed a "Quadcopter" drone on the White House lawn late last night, the Secret Service has your unmanned robot aircraft …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lost-a-drone-the-secret-service-might-have-it/

Tools for transparency in copyright law

Jan 23, 2015…Over the span of one week in October 2014, Google received requests to remove more than 11 million URLs from its search engine due to copyright-infringement claims. Enshrined in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tools-for-transparency-in-copyright-law/

Six reasons Texas should kill the margin tax

…One of the most basic laws of economics is that if you tax something, you get less of it. So why is business-loving Texas one of the few states …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/six-reasons-texas-should-kill-the-margin-tax/

Bogus research on formaldehyde in e-cig vapor

…The New England Journal of Medicine this week published a letter claiming that vapor contains “hidden” formaldehyde at far higher levels than cigarettes, which made headlines worldwide. That …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bogus-research-on-formaldehyde-in-e-cig-vapor/

Before reacting to Obama’s State of the Union, try learning from Reagan’s

Jan 20, 2015… President Barack Obama's State of the Union address will carry about as much drama as listening to a reading of the dictionary on public radio. The speech will …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/before-reacting-to-obamas-state-of-the-union-try-learning-from-reagans/

US returns Magna Carta to England

…Today, America bids farewell to the Magna Carta. The 800-year old document returns home to Lincolnshire, England, after six months in America. It landed at Boston’s Museum of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/us-returns-magna-carta-to-england/

What D.C.’s food scene can teach us about copyright law

…As Congress prepares for another battle over copyright law, D.C. policy wonks seeking guidance need look no further than the way the local restaurant scene has developed. Though …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-d-c-s-food-scene-can-teach-us-about-copyright-law/

Do USB cables need regulation?

Jan 16, 2015…Frequent travelers know the pain of being out on the road without the correct charging plugs for their phones and other electronic devices, just as parents know the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/do-usb-cables-need-regulation/

Don’t forget Ex-Im

Jan 15, 2015…Republicans have an excellent opportunity this year to present a robust conservative agenda and establish their vision for policies that encourage economic opportunity. There are a host of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-forget-ex-im/

Five reasons why you can’t judge a Congress by counting laws

…For the past six weeks, the media has bid a raucous good riddance to the 113th Congress. They have trashed it for its hyper-partisanship, for shutting down the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/five-reasons-why-you-cant-judge-a-congress-by-counting-laws/

Politics, regulations are ruining state insurance market

Jan 14, 2015…Much has been made of the so-called California comeback, and it’s certainly true that the state’s economy is beginning to show signs of life. But in some ways, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/politics-regulations-are-ruining-state-insurance-market/

Formaldehype vs. fact: Levels are far lower in e-cigarettes than In cigarettes

Jan 13, 2015…Researcher Naoki Kunugita at Japan’s National Institute of Public Health recently fueled anti-e-cig hysteria with this unverifiable claim: In one brand of e-cigarette the team found more than 10 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/formaldehype-vs-fact-levels-are-far-lower-in-e-cigarettes-than-in-cigarettes/

Crafting a carbon tax Oregon conservatives can support

Jan 12, 2015…Three West Coast governors wrote recently of a regional model for addressing climate change. Each of their three states — California, Oregon and Washington — is taking a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/crafting-a-carbon-tax-oregon-conservatives-can-support-2/

If a rusty gravedigger dies in Alabama’s wetlands, should conservatives care?

Jan 11, 2015…We might not know it, but we are all environmentalists in Alabama...or at least, we should be. "Environmentalism" is not a dirty word or some practice reserved for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/if-a-rusty-gravedigger-dies-in-alabamas-wetlands-should-conservatives-care/

Don’t let the boogeyman of change stop charter schools in Alabama

Jan 7, 2015…What if we created public schools that essentially operated under contracts that spelled out a mission, an educational strategy and the results the school was expected to produce? I …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-let-the-boogeyman-of-change-stop-charter-schools-in-alabama/

Harvard professors shocked at Obamacare rate hike

Jan 6, 2015…While we wait for the results in the Great House Republican Insurgency of 2015 (John Boehner looks to have dialed up the orange in his spray tan just …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/harvard-professors-shocked-at-obamacare-rate-hike/

E-cigarette denial: It just doesn’t work anymore

…Recently, I attended a forum on e-cigarettes, sponsored by a political organization that wanted to educate its attendees about the devices. During the discussion, my opponent (from the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/e-cigarette-denial-it-just-doesnt-work-anymore/

For 2015, it’s a world on fire, and we’re living in it

Jan 2, 2015…In the words of the immortal bard, Billy Joel, "We didn't start the fire. It was always burning since the world's been turning." Over the last year or …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/for-2015-its-a-world-on-fire-and-were-living-in-it/

Obama admin publishes 1,200 new regs ahead of New Year

Dec 31, 2014…Happy New Year's Eve! Tonight, while you're too busy getting wasted on cheap champagne and arguing with your Uber driver over surge pricing to notice, the Obama administration will …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obama-admin-publishes-1200-new-regs-ahead-of-new-year/

Taxi deregulation happened where?

Dec 29, 2014…Mary Cheh, who represents a leafy, affluent, embassy-filled section of Washington, doesn’t fit anyone’s image of a free-market reformer. A member of the D.C. Council since 2007, the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/taxi-deregulation-happened-where/

A muddy, uncomfortable and imperfect Christmas nativity may be the most beautiful of all

Dec 25, 2014…During the Christmas season, we often see arrangements of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and maybe a few angels meticulously arranged around the baby Jesus, resting peacefully in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-muddy-uncomfortable-and-imperfect-christmas-nativity-may-be-the-most-beautiful-of-all/

The worst Christmas song ever

…I want to talk Christmas songs. Not the kind you sing in church, but the kind you've been hearing on that one radio station that flipped its programming …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-worst-christmas-song-ever/

Market fine after Congress fails to reauthorize fed-backed terrorism risk insurance

Dec 24, 2014…When Congress headed home for the year last week without renewing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) many in the real estate, tourism and insurance business predicted disaster. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/market-fine-after-congress-fails-to-reauthorize-fed-backed-terrorism-risk-insurance/

High school seniors post largest-ever single-year decline in smoking

…The Monitoring the Future survey shows that past 30-day cigarette use among 12th graders dropped from 16.3 percent in 2013 to 13.6 percent in 2014, the largest single-year …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/high-school-seniors-post-largest-ever-single-year-decline-in-smoking/

The Internet is out in North Korea

Dec 23, 2014…Apparently, they actually do have Internet. Or...erm...they did. According to the New York Times, North Korea is now suffering a complete Internet blackout. What appears to be a Denial of Service Attack (or …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-internet-is-out-in-north-korea/

Texas craft brewers sue for freedom from distributors

…During its last session nearly two years ago, the Texas Legislature passed groundbreaking reforms to allow the state’s craft breweries greater freedom to operate. But thanks to a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texas-craft-brewers-sue-for-freedom-from-distributors/

The rise of the populists: Could Warren, Cruz and Sessions change Washington?

Dec 22, 2014…For many conservatives, agreeing with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is a rare occurrence. Warren is a pure collectivist who views strong government control as a critical mechanism for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-rise-of-the-populists-could-warren-cruz-and-sessions-change-washington/

Sony hack reveals celebrity gossip, plot to undermine free and open Internet

Dec 18, 2014…Hollywood media have feasted this month on  thousands of emails and internal documents leaked as part of a massive breach of Sony Pictures by the hacker group “Guardians …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sony-hack-reveals-celebrity-gossip-plot-to-undermine-free-and-open-internet/

After CRomnibus, a conservative wish list for a Republican-controlled Congress

Dec 17, 2014…While enactment of the trillion dollar "CRomnibus" left some conservatives fuming over Republican leadership's unwillingness to fight a shutdown battle over immigration or the Affordable Care Act, here …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/after-cromnibus-a-conservative-wish-list-for-a-republican-controlled-congress/

Fed district court declares Obama’s executive amnesty unconstitutional

…It's only the first court of many that will review the order, so it's nothing to get horribly excited about, but one federal district court in Pennsylvania has …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fed-district-court-declares-obamas-executive-amnesty-unconstitutional/

Big CRomnibus winners: NSA, hungry kids, farting cows

Dec 16, 2014…If there was any good news to come out of this weekend's CRomnibus festivities, it was that you can now make any Democrat immediately cringe by implying that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/big-cromnibus-winners-nsa-hungry-kids-farting-cows/

Revealed: Little-known Mississippi attorney general go-to man for Hollywood

Dec 15, 2014…It’s easy to see how Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood—a Bible-reading, pro-gun, pro-life Democrat—has survived in statewide office even as his already conservative state has turned a deeper …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/revealed-little-known-mississippi-attorney-general-go-to-man-for-hollywood/

Poet of understatement: Mark Strand, 1934-2014

Dec 12, 2014…Before his death late last month at the age of 80, Mark Strand could claim one of the most varied careers of Americans active in the arts. Born …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/poet-of-understatement-mark-strand-1934-2014/

U.S. government wants to keep you out of comfortable boxers

…As I am a woman, I cannot effectively comment on the pros and cons of various forms of men's underwear and their comparative comfort levels. I understand that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/u-s-government-wants-to-keep-you-out-of-comfortable-boxers/

Taxi trouble in Texas

Dec 11, 2014…Texas has a well-deserved reputation for being a freedom-loving state. We like our regulations same as we like our steaks: rare. That, at any rate, is the stereotype, and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/taxi-trouble-in-texas/

All hail the CRomnibus

Dec 10, 2014…After much hemming, hawing and belt-tightening, Congress finally unveiled their "pared-down" yearly budget, this year lovingly titled the "CRomnibus" because it is the product of the unholy union …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/all-hail-the-cromnibus/

Congressional Data Coalition joins ‘Free Law Founders’

… The Congressional Data Coalition is pleased to join the Free Law Founders, a nationwide organization that shares resources and expertise around opening up laws, legislation and the lawmaking …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congressional-data-coalition-joins-free-law-founders/

More folly from the NY Times on snus

Dec 9, 2014…The New York Times has added more fuel to the anti-tobacco harm reduction fire with a Dec. 4 editorial rehashing the somewhat slanted reporting that appeared in the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/more-folly-from-the-ny-times-on-snus/

Dismantling government shutdown politics may improve GOP’s advantage responding to Obama’s immigration actions

Dec 8, 2014…In politics, seeing the bigger picture is more of a challenge than understanding the specifics of the moment. Funding the federal government past Dec. 11 in the middle …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dismantling-government-shutdown-politics-may-improve-gops-advantage-responding-to-obamas-immigration-actions/

How dangerous is Swedish snus? Don’t ask the New York Times

…The New York Times has published a reasonably accurate portrayal of the Swedish snus experience that I have chronicled for more than a decade. Reporters Matt Richtel and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-dangerous-is-swedish-snus-dont-ask-the-new-york-times/

Utah takes a rare insurance misstep

Dec 3, 2014…An administrative agency has again found itself at odds with free-market innovation. In this case, Utah’s Department of Insurance has demanded that a popular new web based human …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/utah-takes-a-rare-insurance-misstep/

Alabama’s state budget, math, politics, and other mysteries

Dec 2, 2014…Alabama finds itself in a budget crisis...again. The fundamentals of Alabama's budget woes are nothing new. Alabama has two major state budgets, the Education Trust Fund and the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabamas-state-budget-math-politics-and-other-mysteries/

Virginia vs. the EPA?

Dec 1, 2014… The Obama administration’s recently announced Clean Air Act power-plant rules, advertised as helping to control the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, have almost nothing to recommend them. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/virginia-vs-the-epa/

Six ways to spice up your Thanksgiving dinner…and conversation

Nov 27, 2014…For most Americans, Thanksgiving looks less like a Norman Rockwell painting and more like a cat rodeo. Embrace the strange and wonderful world of family, friends, and that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/six-ways-to-spice-up-your-thanksgiving-dinner-and-conversation/

Time to shuck the big corn giveaway

…By most reasonable measures, America’s corn farmers have had a fantastic year. Their 14-billion-bushel harvest represents the largest yearly haul of any crop by any single country in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/time-to-shuck-the-big-corn-giveaway/

Responding to Ferguson by building bridges across the racial divide

…As the dust, smoke and gunfire in Ferguson, Mo., subside, Americans are left with realities that many of us would rather not confront. The circumstances surrounding the shooting …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/responding-to-ferguson-by-building-bridges-across-the-racial-divide/

Britain: E-cigarettes almost exclusively used by smokers and ex-smokers

Nov 26, 2014…The British government has just released statistics on e-cigarette use. The Office for National Statistics reports that e-cigarettes were used by 12 percent of smokers and 5 percent …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/britain-e-cigarettes-almost-exclusively-used-by-smokers-and-ex-smokers/

When my son killed the TV, I understood its role in our home

…Last Friday, I received an ominous message from my wife during a meeting, asking me to call her quickly. Given the immediate nature of her request, I assumed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/when-my-son-killed-the-tv-i-understood-its-role-in-our-home/

The Uber fight comes to the South

Nov 25, 2014…You'd think the GOP would side with ride-sharing companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar over the taxi cartels and the local governments that are trying to protect …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-uber-fight-comes-to-the-south/

Don’t overregulate taxis, ride-sharing

Nov 21, 2014…The hallmark of downtown Sacramento’s renaissance has been the emergence of a high-quality restaurant and bar scene. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that Sacramento, geographically diffuse as it …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-overregulate-taxis-ride-sharing/

Obama’s immigration authority defense by Department of Justice is one big contradiction

…When the president announced his executive actions to address immigration issues, he undoubtedly knew that his decision to categorically suspend immigration law enforcement for millions of undocumented immigrants …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/comments-obamas-immigration-authority-defense-by-department-of-justice-is-one-big-contradiction/

Texas cities are losing control of fracking

…Overall, conservatives in Texas had a very good election night earlier this month. Republicans took all the statewide offices, as indeed they have in every election since 1994, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/texas-cities-are-losing-control-of-fracking/

Fresno hits right note on for-hire ride services

…When it comes to getting around town, Fresno has struck a good balance between regulation and innovation. A newly released study by my colleagues at the R Street Institute, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fresno-hits-right-note-on-for-hire-ride-services/

Surgeons general say the darndest things about tobacco

…Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak recently tweeted: .@OxfordWords #Vape may be #WOTY but the increase in never-smoking youth using e-cigs is a not a trivial story http://t.co/mqeuIvgQRX — U.S. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/surgeons-general-say-the-darndest-things-about-tobacco/

Mail surveillance: The time for secrecy has passed

Nov 20, 2014…Recent news that federal authorities approved 49,000 instances of mail surveillance in 2013 is disturbing. Not only was this a huge jump from the usual average number of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mail-surveillance-the-time-for-secrecy-has-passed/

The Keystone pipeline is not about oil—it’s about milk

…On Tuesday evening, the U.S. Senate finished the latest performance in one of its oldest pastimes: political theater. Facing a December runoff that she is widely predicted to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-keystone-pipeline-is-not-about-oil-its-about-milk-2/

Fix surveillance reform

Nov 18, 2014…If nothing else, the results of the midterm elections made clear that Americans are concerned about the role of government in their lives. And perhaps no issue better …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fix-surveillance-reform/

How can U.S. strike a blow against ISIS and Russia? Try moving ahead with fracking

Nov 17, 2014…Over the last several years, the Obama administration has routinely taken a hostile stance toward fossil fuels. From pushing carbon regulation by regulatory fiat to slow-walking the oil …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-can-u-s-strike-a-blow-against-isis-and-russia-try-moving-ahead-with-fracking/

D.C.’s new ridesharing law will give business a lift

Nov 14, 2014…Sometime this month, Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to sign legislation to formally legalize and regulate ridesharing in the District of Columbia. Dubbed the Vehicle-for-Hire Innovation Act, the law …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/d-c-s-new-ridesharing-law-will-give-business-a-lift/

Dependence level higher with cigarettes than with smokeless tobacco

…As noted previously, Drs. Karl Fagerström and Tom Eissenberg have described a continuum of dependence among tobacco and nicotine products. They concluded that cigarettes are the most dependence-producing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dependence-level-higher-with-cigarettes-than-with-smokeless-tobacco/

Why it matters that Jeff Sessions will be Senate Budget Committee chairman

Nov 11, 2014…With Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions will likely take over the Senate Budget Committee as chairman. If Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., becomes …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/60-comments-why-it-matters-that-jeff-sessions-will-be-senate-budget-committee-chairman/

The real reason why Alabama is the reddest of the red states

Nov 10, 2014…After the midterm elections, Alabama has emerged as the reddest of the red states. To be clear, Alabama is not simply Republican; it is undeniably conservative. Perhaps what "conservative" …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-real-reason-why-alabama-is-the-reddest-of-the-red-states/

Colorado smoking ban: no impact on heart attacks

Nov 6, 2014…As early as 2004, various medical journals published articles claiming that small-community smoking bans resulted in nearly immediate reductions in heart disease. For example, the high-profile BMJ reported …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/colorado-smoking-ban-no-impact-on-heart-attacks/

Postal Service mail-tracking: three big questions

Nov 4, 2014…Last week, the New York Times reported there were nearly 50,000 incidents of mail surveillance in 2013. Under the "mail cover" program, which has been around for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/postal-service-mail-tracking-three-big-questions/

A big conservative city is about to strangle its sharing economy

Nov 3, 2014…Onerous new regulations in Houston, Texas, set to go into force this Tuesday, may end up shutting down some ride-sharing operations in the country's fourth most populous city …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-big-conservative-city-is-about-to-strangle-its-sharing-economy/

Redefining ‘public interest’

…For decades, trial lawyers, the insurance industry, and health-care providers have battled over how to set insurance rates and adjudicate medical-liability claims. In California this year, two ballot …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/redefining-public-interest/

Transparency crucial with RESTORE money

…Florida's 23 Gulf Coast counties are about to enjoy a windfall, as the U.S. Treasury Department recently finalized rules allowing states impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/transparency-crucial-with-restore-money/

A carbon tax won’t happen without some give from the left

Oct 31, 2014…Despite growing support from some conservative policy wonks, the idea of taxing carbon dioxide emissions, even as an alternative to the sort of heavy-handed greenhouse regulations promulgated by …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-carbon-tax-wont-happen-without-some-give-from-the-left/

Gateway claims aimed at e-cigarettes: counterfeit, déjà vu

…In their war against e-cigarettes, government officials often claim that the devices are a gateway to smoking. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden recently asserted that "many kids are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gateway-claims-aimed-at-e-cigarettes-counterfeit-deja-vu/

ITC: The new digital cop?

Oct 28, 2014…Do you know where your e-mail account is located? No, "the Internet" is not a valid answer. More specifically, do you know on which of Google's many servers …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/itc-the-new-digital-cop/

What’s the key difference between Bush in 2006 and Obama in 2014?

…From the midterm elections in 2006 until well into President Barrack Obama's first term, the Democratic political message turned on one simple theme: "[T]he failed policies of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/whats-the-key-difference-between-bush-in-2006-and-obama-in-2014-2/

To save Louisiana’s coast, protect our Restore Act funds

Oct 27, 2014…Louisianans received good news this month, in the form of an announcement from the U.S. Department of Treasury that BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill fines will begin flowing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/to-save-louisianas-coast-protect-our-restore-act-funds/

Steer clear of pricing for private business

…The Orlando City Council's proposal to force Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies to charge more than their competitors as a condition to conduct business in Orlando is …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/steer-clear-of-pricing-for-private-business/

New York City’s hotel war heats up

Oct 24, 2014…As any visitor to New York City discovers, the Big Apple isn’t the best place to get a hotel room. Rates top $300 per night, the highest in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-york-citys-hotel-war-heats-up/

Bureaucracy’s latest challenge: listening to the public

Oct 23, 2014…The American public often rails about bureaucracy. It is not difficult to fathom why. Who among us has not fumed while standing in a long line at an …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bureaucracys-latest-challenge-listening-to-the-public/

Snus users’ hearts keep on ticking, not fluttering

…Swedish researchers from several institutions document that snus use is not associated with atrial fibrillation (commonly known as AFib), the most common heart arrhythmia (irregular timing of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/snus-users-hearts-keep-on-ticking-not-fluttering/

Deconstructing the liberal myth of government management as a better solution

…Too many Americans suffer from inadequate access to health care. The political left offers to construct government programs or expand the ones we already have. America's education system is …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/deconstructing-the-liberal-myth-of-government-management-as-a-better-solution/

Five potential consequences of Republicans winning the U.S. Senate in November

Oct 21, 2014…Here are five potential consequences of Republicans capturing the Senate majority in the upcoming elections: Democrats' only tool to stop GOP-crafted legislation from landing on President Obama's desk will …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/five-potential-consequences-of-republicans-winning-the-u-s-senate-in-november/

Network neutrality and a dubious leap of faith

…The latest wrinkle in the ongoing debate over network neutrality comes from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, who suggests …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/network-neutrality-and-a-dubious-leap-of-faith/

‘Waters of the United States’ could be most significant EPA rule you’ve never heard of

Oct 20, 2014…In 1972, Congress enacted the Clean Water Act to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's waters." The federal government's legal authority to regulate …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/waters-of-the-united-states-could-be-most-significant-epa-rule-youve-never-heard-of/

Federal survey data on tobacco: It’s not about the children

…I have documented for several years a continuous decline in smoking rates among American teens. Rates of smoking and use of other tobacco products among teens are so …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-survey-data-on-tobacco-its-not-about-the-children/

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

Oct 16, 2014…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-hasnt-the-market-for-ride-sharing-insurance-taken-off/

U.S. government celebrates half-trillion dollar deficit

…Yesterday’s presentation by the U.S. Treasury was a comical spectacle—at least for those of us with sardonic senses of humor. The good news? The deficit for FY2014 (which …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/u-s-government-celebrates-half-trillion-dollar-deficit/

Labor force participation rates paint a bleak economic picture

Oct 15, 2014…Most politicians know how to articulate their political goals. Whether it is low-cost energy, explosive job creation, less bureaucratic red tape, more personal freedom or high quality education, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/labor-force-participation-rates-paint-a-bleak-economic-picture/

‘War on Public Education’ focuses more on preserving public system than education

Oct 14, 2014…In case you missed it, the beleaguered Alabama Education Association does not like public school choice. The AEA has referred to the Alabama Accountability Act, which created a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/war-on-public-education-focuses-more-on-preserving-public-system-than-education/

Let’s help the strivers

Oct 10, 2014…In 2009, Bryce Harper—then a sophomore at Las Vegas High School and already the best high school baseball player in the nation—made the unusual and controversial decision to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lets-help-the-strivers/

More third-hand nicotine nonsense: From vapor?

Oct 9, 2014…Nicotine can be detected in a chamber after releasing vapor directly from an e-cigarette, according to a report in Nicotine and Tobacco Research by Roswell Park Cancer Institute …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/more-third-hand-nicotine-nonsense-from-vapor/

Law against porn-watching by fed workers?

Oct 8, 2014…Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., has introduced legislation to prohibit federal employees from accessing pornographic websites on their computers. As reported by The Washington Post, this legislation was prompted …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/law-against-porn-watching-by-fed-workers/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/five-ideas-to-put-taxis-limos-and-ride-sharing-companies-on-equal-footing/

Supreme Court’s action validating same-sex marriages in 11 states creates critical juncture for political reaction

Oct 7, 2014…Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of all seven petitions that resulted from opposition to state bans on same-sex marriage. The court's orders carried specific significance because …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/supreme-courts-action-validating-same-sex-marriages-in-11-states-creates-critical-juncture-for-political-reaction/

Why conservatives should support carbon taxation

Oct 6, 2014…Conservatives are conditioned to wince at the mention of the word "tax." Mention the term "carbon tax," and many will recoil altogether. Still, in the only place in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-conservatives-should-support-carbon-taxation/

What’s the matter with Paul Krugman?

…Rarely does a Nobel Prize-winning economist specifically inquire about the job performance of a state like Alabama. This week, Paul Krugman, a popular liberal commentary writer for the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/whats-the-matter-with-paul-krugman/

CDC sees e-cigarette use at marked increase and leveling off – tortured logic

Oct 1, 2014…The CDC has released another "more of the same" report on e-cigarette awareness and use. The lead author is Dr. Brian King; the report appears in Nicotine & …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cdc-sees-e-cigarette-use-at-marked-increase-and-leveling-off-tortured-logic/

Does simply calling for Judge Fuller to resign send the right message about domestic violence and the federal bench?

…In August, U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller was arrested for assaulting his wife and charged with misdemeanor battery. The Atlanta Police report noted that Fuller's wife "explained that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/does-simply-calling-for-judge-fuller-to-resign-send-the-right-message-about-domestic-violence-and-the-federal-bench/

Under carbon rule, the EPA will be either Alabama’s overlord or its puppet master

Sep 29, 2014…In June of 2014, the EPA proposed a draft rule to regulate carbon dioxide. The rule made headlines for weeks and then largely dropped from public conversation. While …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/under-carbon-rule-the-epa-will-be-either-alabamas-overlord-or-its-puppet-master/

RESTORE Act committee should get back to work

…The committee established by Monroe County to recommend how to spend nearly $1.2 million in BP Oil Spill money has an unprecedented and unique opportunity. (RE: "Back to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/restore-act-committee-should-get-back-to-work/

Dealing with Uber, Birmingham City Council must understand that common-sense regulation is not the same as deregulation

Sep 25, 2014…A few weeks ago, I wrote about Alabama's failure to create opportunity for Uber, a popular ride-sharing service, to operate. I was particularly hard on the Birmingham City …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dealing-with-uber-birmingham-city-council-must-understand-that-common-sense-regulation-is-not-the-same-as-deregulation/

The Swedish snus experience isn’t Finnished

…Despite the wealth of evidence demonstrating that snus has helped thousands of Swedish men and women avoid the ravages of smoking, the European Union continues to enforce an …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-swedish-snus-experience-isnt-finnished/

State-run lottery grows government at the expense of the poor and uneducated

Sep 24, 2014…With budgetary challenges again facing the State of Alabama, politicians are mulling the idea of a state-run lottery to provide an infusion of cash. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Parker …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/state-run-lottery-grows-government-at-the-expense-of-the-poor-and-uneducated/

America’s F-35: Coming in for a ‘crash landing’?

…The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is slated to enter service for the U.S. military next year, with the Marine Corps shooting to achieve initial operational capability …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/americas-f-35-coming-in-for-a-crash-landing/

YODA takes on the dark side of copyright enforcement

Sep 23, 2014…Imagine the following scenario: You buy a computer secondhand off eBay at a bargain price that would put most computer stores out of business. You then boot up …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/yoda-takes-on-the-dark-side-of-copyright-enforcement/

If we valued government like the iPhone, we would be lining up to pay taxes

…Last Friday, the line to purchase the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York extended more than 10 blocks. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/if-we-valued-government-like-the-iphone-we-would-be-lining-up-to-pay-taxes/

What the peanut salmonella case teaches us about overcriminalization

Sep 22, 2014…Brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell — the company owner and buyer at the center of the salmonella-tainted peanut scandal that killed nine people in 2008 and 2009 — …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-the-peanut-salmonella-case-teaches-us-about-overcriminalization/

Do these videos show VP Biden making mistakes or are they signs of a bigger problem?

Sep 19, 2014…In modern American politics, each and every slip, gaffe and poor choice of words is judged and scrutinized hundreds of times over. In some instances, honest mistakes are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/do-these-videos-show-vp-biden-making-mistakes-or-are-they-signs-of-a-bigger-problem/

Up in smoke

…Undoubtedly much to the chagrin of the former mayor, more New Yorkers are smoking these days. According to the latest data from the city’s Department of Health and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/up-in-smoke/

Islamic State responds to Obama’s measured approach with Flames of War video

…On Sept. 10, 2014, President Barack Obama stated that the United States will "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State. He outlined a four-part strategic plan to accomplish that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/islamic-state-responds-to-obamas-measured-approach-with-flames-of-war-video/

If Hillary does not run, Martin O’Malley will be the next Democratic nominee

Sep 18, 2014…Despite some wishful thinking ("she's sick/she doesn't want to run") from my fellow conservatives, every credible source indicates that Hillary Clinton will run for the presidency and, in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/if-hillary-does-not-run-martin-omalley-will-be-the-next-democratic-nominee-2/

Oral cancer scaremongering by public health officials

…A range of public health leaders, who should know better, have rushed to repeat (and, with their stature, endorse) the apparently unfounded claim by baseball great Curt Schilling …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/oral-cancer-scaremongering-by-public-health-officials/

Publish the Constitution Annotated as data

… Dear Library of Congress and Government Printing Office, For decades, you have jointly published a handy compendium that explains the U.S. Constitution as it has been interpreted by the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/publish-the-constitution-annotated-as-data/

Think back to 2004

Sep 17, 2014…A record four major hurricanes struck Florida in late 2004, meaning we are in the midst of commemorating the 10-year anniversaries of their landfalls. Former Gov. Jeb Bush …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/think-back-to-2004/

Airbnb helps, not hurts, SF housing shortage

…San Francisco is in the midst of a housing shortage, fueled by huge demand and exacerbated by decades of wrongheaded regulatory intervention and, more recently, by professional troglodytes. Firms …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/airbnb-helps-not-hurts-sf-housing-shortage/

Alabama’s leaders can reform prisons now or lose control waiting for political cover

…This past week, I had the privilege of serving on a panel discussing Alabama's prison woes at the Faulkner Law Review's Annual Symposium in Montgomery. The discussion highlighted …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabamas-leaders-can-reform-prisons-now-or-lose-control-waiting-for-political-cover/

Does America need Thomas Jefferson’s limited government progressivism?

Sep 16, 2014…In a letter to Samuel Kercheval dated July 12, 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions." Since …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/does-america-need-thomas-jeffersons-limited-government-progressivism/

Hiking the minimum wage won’t help the poor

Sep 15, 2014…The ground has been shifting in the battle over the minimum wage. With President Obama's proposal to hike the national minimum from $7.25 to $9 an hour …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/hiking-the-minimum-wage-wont-help-the-poor/

The Friday Five: Questions to get your conversations going this weekend

Sep 12, 2014… The Alabama Education Association (AEA) in crisis – This week, former AEA head Paul Hubbert penned a bombshell letter to members of the AEA board highlighting a crisis …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-friday-five-questions-to-get-your-conversations-going-this-weekend/

New England Journal of Medicine downplays its error in exaggerating youth e-cigarette data

…Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine inflated a study of mouse brain activity with nicotine into a gateway-to-cocaine claim. This week, I report that the journal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-england-journal-of-medicine-downplays-its-error-in-exaggerating-youth-e-cigarette-data/

From the world’s greatest leaders to an American leadership vacuum

…Take a minute to list the top three American leaders of the past half-century. It does not matter whether they are politicians, religious leaders, or social reformers. Focus …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/from-the-worlds-greatest-leaders-to-an-american-leadership-vacuum/

Reform and renew terrorism risk insurance

Sep 11, 2014…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reform-and-renew-terrorism-risk-insurance/

Ray Rice’s knockout punch is ample reason to teach boys never to strike a woman

Sep 9, 2014…This week, the Baltimore Ravens released Ray Rice, their star running back, after additional video emerged of him knocking out his future wife, Janay Palmer, in an elevator …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ray-rices-knockout-punch-is-ample-reason-to-teach-boys-never-to-strike-a-woman/

Alabama’s Uber failures showcase big brother bureaucracy over consumer opportunity

Sep 8, 2014…First it was Birmingham that refused to accommodate Uber, the popular app-driven transportation service, and then the Tuscaloosa Police Department began enforcing the city's transportation regulations against drivers …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabamas-uber-failures-showcase-big-brother-bureaucracy-over-consumer-opportunity/

It doesn’t take much to imagine that campaign cash is buying influence in the courtroom

Sep 4, 2014…Imagine for a minute that a corporation with an effective monopoly in the State of Alabama became the target of litigation initiated by a state prosecutor. Not only …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/it-doesnt-take-much-to-imagine-that-campaign-cash-is-buying-influence-in-the-courtroom/

NEJM irresponsibly damns e-cigarettes as gateway to cocaine, based on mouse nicotine studies

…The New England Journal of Medicine yesterday published an incendiary anti-e-cigarette article that tags nicotine as a gateway to cocaine use… in mice. It's another sad day for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nejm-irresponsibly-damns-e-cigarettes-as-gateway-to-cocaine-based-on-mouse-nicotine-studies/

Why does job-hungry Alabama tax businesses to open their doors?

Sep 3, 2014…In spite of what Alabama's lawmakers suggest on the campaign trail about the need to promote job creation, they have not bothered to examine a tax provision that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-does-job-hungry-alabama-tax-businesses-to-open-their-doors/

Losing better solutions in the cloud of media bias

Sep 2, 2014…This past Sunday, the Opelika-Auburn News ran a column by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard in which Hubbard argued that President Obama is politically targeting Alabama for taking jobs …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/comments-losing-better-solutions-in-the-cloud-of-media-bias/

Slowing the rise of the oceans

Aug 29, 2014…From Al Gore to the leadership of groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists, environmentalists long have warned that global disaster is certain unless we do something about …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/slowing-the-rise-of-the-oceans/

In the CDC-FDA e-cigarette study, ‘probably not’ is the new ‘yes’

Aug 28, 2014…Assume that you conducted a survey in which you posed two multiple-choice questions: "Do you think you will smoke a cigarette in the next year?" "If one of your best …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/in-the-cdc-fda-e-cigarette-study-probably-not-is-the-new-yes/

The Islamic State and the rebirth of a familiar fascist evil

Aug 27, 2014…"Bizarre," "hard-line" and even "barbaric" are words that often describe terrorists and their activities, but "evil" carries a stronger moral quality. "Evil" is a strong word, but in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-islamic-state-and-the-rebirth-of-a-familiar-fascist-evil/

Justice Department confirms Lois Lerner emails still exist, proving that IRS officials are a pack of liars

Aug 26, 2014…Well, look at that. The Justice Department has confirmed to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch that the emails of several IRS officials, including those of Lois Lerner, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/justice-department-confirms-lois-lerner-emails-still-exist-proving-that-irs-officials-are-a-pack-of-liars/

Mouth cancer facts

Aug 22, 2014…Baseball star Curt Schilling says he has mouth cancer that was caused by chewing tobacco. His announcement has generated considerable interest in mouth cancer, its frequency and causes. What …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mouth-cancer-facts/

On politics, prosecutions and public perspective

Aug 21, 2014…On Aug. 15, 2014, a grand jury in Travis County, Texas, indicted Governor Rick Perry for abusing his official capacity and for coercion of a public servant. The criminal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/on-politics-prosecutions-and-public-perspective/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/as-competition-between-lyft-and-uber-grows-questions-linger-about-disruption/

North Carolina physicians endorse e-cigarettes

Aug 14, 2014…A survey of North Carolina physicians documents that many understand the benefit of e-cigarettes and some actively recommend that their smoking patients switch. The results were published in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/north-carolina-physicians-endorse-e-cigarettes/

How ‘Dead Poets Society’ changed my life

Aug 13, 2014…The passing of a Hollywood star makes headlines one day, and most of us move along the next. After all, fame and life are equally fleeting. When I heard …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-dead-poets-society-changed-my-life/

How many Americans use smokeless tobacco?

Aug 8, 2014…I recently described how the federal government is all thumbs when it tries to count how many Americans smoke. Further evidence of the government's ineptitude is seen in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-many-americans-use-smokeless-tobacco/

Congress must stop allowing the president to unilaterally create laws

Aug 6, 2014…Over the last several months, President Obama's administration has seemingly created laws for the America people without any relevant input from the legislative branch. While many liberal legislators …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-must-stop-allowing-the-president-to-unilaterally-create-laws/

Paying for permissionless innovation

Aug 5, 2014…We're big fans of permissionless innovation—the concept and Adam Thierer's excellent book. The biggest, most consequential enemy of permissionless innovation in the United States is undoubtedly the Food …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/paying-for-permissionless-innovation/

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

Aug 4, 2014…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-sharing-economy-will-thrive-only-if-government-doesnt-strangle-it/

What Mississippi can learn from Louisiana

…Good planning efforts can ensure that the coming financial windfall is not wasted. One month into the 2014 hurricane season, Gulf Coast residents, businesses and governments once again have …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-mississippi-can-learn-from-louisiana/

Uber, Lyft and Houston’s policy leadership

Aug 1, 2014…Under the guise of needing to review a list of new amendments, the Houston City Council this week once again delayed a vote on granting legal status to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/uber-lyft-and-houstons-policy-leadership/

The tide is turning: More scientific support for e-cigarettes

…E-cigarettes get a positive health review in the new issue of the journal Addiction. Quoting from the abstract: [Electronic cigarettes, EC] aerosol can contain some of the toxicants present …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-tide-is-turning-more-scientific-support-for-e-cigarettes/

New York Times’ call for marijuana legalization advances harm reduction

Jul 31, 2014…A milestone in the fight for harm reduction was reached on July 28, when the New York Times formally endorsed the legalization of marijuana. A Times editorial, "Repeal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-york-times-call-for-marijuana-legalization-advances-harm-reduction/

The peculiar benefit calculation of EPA’s carbon rule

Jul 30, 2014…This week, the EPA held a field hearing in Atlanta regarding the Clean Power Plan proposed rule. Once final, the rule, by 2030, "would achieve CO2 emission reductions from the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-peculiar-benefit-calculation-of-epas-carbon-rule/

Ryan’s opening bid

Jul 25, 2014…Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled his draft "opportunity agenda" in a speech this morning at the American Enterprise Institute, offering a plan broad and bold enough to give …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ryans-opening-bid/

Address flood insurance and the environment with RESTORE Act funding

…Many Alabamians may find it hard to believe that July 15 of this year marked four years since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was capped in the Gulf …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/address-flood-insurance-and-the-environment-with-restore-act-funding/

Questioning lethal injection

Jul 24, 2014…What appears to be a rather horrifically botched execution in Arizona should give additional pause to those (me included) who continue to support the death penalty. This and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/questioning-lethal-injection/

Federal judge to FDA: Tobacco advisory panel tainted by conflicts of interest

Jul 23, 2014…"The presence of conflicted members on [the FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, TPSAC] irrevocably tainted its very composition and its work product" and "the committee's findings and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-judge-to-fda-tobacco-advisory-panel-tainted-by-conflicts-of-interest/

How many Americans smoke?

Jul 21, 2014…I answered that question on my blog a few years ago, saying it was: Either 45.3 million or 52.7 million in 2010, depending on which federal agency does the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/httprodutobaccotruth-blogspot-com201407how-many-americans-smoke-html/

Keeping the American Dream alive is your responsibility and mine

Jul 18, 2014…In our country, we have all heard about one particular dream. Our parents likely mentioned it. We might have heard about it from a teacher or pastor or …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/keeping-the-american-dream-alive-is-your-responsibility-and-mine/

New York threatens to fine car service $2,000 for giving free rides

Jul 11, 2014…UPDATE: New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is indeed now suing Lyft for daring to offer free rides. See the update here. As anyone who has visited …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-york-threatens-to-fine-car-service-2000-for-giving-free-rides/

Re: The gay war on smoking

…Spencer Case does good work in making the case that the LGBT community in America has to pay more attention to smoking than it does. That said, I'm …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/re-the-gay-war-on-smoking/

Dishonoring Tony Gwynn

Jul 10, 2014…The loss of American sports heroes is often accompanied by an outpouring of grief. But the death of San Diego Padre star Tony Gwynn from salivary gland cancer …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dishonoring-tony-gwynn/

Rand Paul and Cory Booker take a step in the right direction on criminal-justice reform

… Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., deserve a lot of credit for the REDEEM Act they're putting forward in the Senate. The proposed law, which would …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/rand-paul-and-cory-booker-take-a-step-in-the-right-direction-on-criminal-justice-reform/

It’s time for a conservative global-warming agenda

Jul 3, 2014…Conservatives should adopt a new strategy in the battle over global warming. Rather than falling back on the claim that global warming isn’t a problem, conservatives should take …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/its-time-for-a-conservative-global-warming-agenda/

Swedish study: After a heart attack, quitting tobacco better than no tobacco

Jul 2, 2014…A recent study by Gabriel Arefalk and colleagues at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, published in the American Heart Association flagship journal Circulation, was purported by the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/swedish-study-after-a-heart-attack-quitting-tobacco-better-than-no-tobacco/

The case for e-cigarettes

Jun 26, 2014…There are about 46 million smokers in the United States, and an estimated 480,000 deaths per year are attributed to cigarette smoking. Despite our best efforts, these numbers …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-case-for-e-cigarettes/

Snus nicotine lowers risk for multiple sclerosis, may be therapeutic for other nerve disorders

…New research published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal and authored by Anna Hedström of Stockholm's Karolinska Institute of Environmental Medicine confirms that snus users have a significantly lower risk …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/snus-nicotine-lowers-risk-for-multiple-sclerosis-may-be-therapeutic-for-other-nerve-disorders/

Despite setback in Senate, there’s no reason to give up on patent reform

Jun 19, 2014…The last few weeks have brought both good and bad news to supporters of patent reform looking to reduce system abuse. Hopes for legislative action were dashed when a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/despite-setback-in-senate-theres-no-reason-to-give-up-on-patent-reform/

Stroke risk same for menthol and nonmenthol smokers

Jun 18, 2014…Dr. Nicholas Vozoris in 2012 reported that "smokers of mentholated cigarettes, and in particular women and non–African Americans, have significantly increased odds of stroke compared with nonmentholated cigarette …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/stroke-risk-same-for-menthol-and-nonmenthol-smokers/

The dangerous proliferation of the ‘right to be forgotten’

…Following on last month's ruling by the European Court of Justice that search engines could be forced to take down links that individuals believe infringe their privacy rights, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-dangerous-proliferation-of-the-right-to-be-forgotten/

Service, restrictions force CU fans to abandon CU

Jun 16, 2014…This piece was co-written by R Street President Eli Lehrer. We both love credit unions. The free-market think tank we lead considers them a vital part of America's financial …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/service-restrictions-force-cu-fans-to-abandon-cu/

What Eric Cantor’s loss — and a quirky economist’s win — means for Republicans

Jun 12, 2014…On Tuesday, Republican primary voters asserted themselves in spectacular fashion by wresting the GOP nomination from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and giving it to quirky economist Dave …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-eric-cantors-loss-and-a-quirky-economists-win-means-for-republicans/

Student debt isn’t the problem. Colleges are.

…If you borrowed money from the federal government to finance your education and you're having an extremely hard time paying it back, I have good news for you. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/student-debt-isnt-the-problem-colleges-are/

Swedish Match files to change smokeless tobacco warnings

Jun 11, 2014…Swedish Match has filed a modified risk tobacco product application with the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. The landmark event was announced in an Associated Press story. The company …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/swedish-match-files-to-change-smokeless-tobacco-warnings/

Virginia’s war on Uber and Lyft

Jun 9, 2014…The hidebound arm of an administrative state once again has descended upon one of the nation's most visible, exciting and novel industries. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/virginias-war-on-uber-and-lyft/

De Blasio’s welfare mistake

Jun 5, 2014…If you care about fighting poverty, the best thing you can do is to simply give poor people money. That is the view of some of the smartest, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/de-blasios-welfare-mistake/

E-cigarette TV ads: adults’ exposure much higher than kids

…The June 2 edition of the journal Pediatrics features a study of e-cigarette advertising on television from 2011 to 2013. The research, led by Jennifer Duke of RTI …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/e-cigarette-tv-ads-adults-exposure-much-higher-than-kids/

Nicotine/tobacco research and policy experts endorse THR in letter to World Health Organization

May 30, 2014…Fifty-three tobacco research and policy experts from 15 countries today endorsed many of the tobacco harm reduction principles that I have advocated for 20 years. In a widely …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nicotinetobacco-research-and-policy-experts-endorse-thr-in-letter-to-world-health-organization/

N.C. auto insurance price controls stifle innovation

May 29, 2014…There has been a great deal of heated discussion in North Carolina regarding auto insurance reform during the past several years. The insurance industry is divided and parties …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/n-c-auto-insurance-price-controls-stifle-innovation/

New York Times prison problems

May 28, 2014…A new study from the National Academies strongly suggests that we should reduce the number of people in prison and jail and make it easier for them to re-enter …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-york-times-prison-problems/

Rate Bureau protects vested interests, not consumers

May 27, 2014… 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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/rate-bureau-protects-vested-interests-not-consumers/

School reformers should try to make public schools cheaper, not just better

May 22, 2014…Say you were given $26,000 to educate a young kid for a year. Do you think you could put that money to good use? I do. In most of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/school-reformers-should-try-to-make-public-schools-cheaper-not-just-better/

Privacy shouldn’t trump free speech

May 20, 2014…In a decision surprising to many close observers, Europe’s highest court ruled last week that Google must establish a process to receive and vet requests to take down embarrassing search results that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/privacy-shouldnt-trump-free-speech/

Patent reform will benefit Utah business

…Utah's technology-dependent economy makes current efforts in Washington to reform patent policies all the more important to the state's future, and our elected leaders are among the most …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/patent-reform-will-benefit-utah-business/

Listen to Madison on copyright

…More than 200 years ago, James Madison warned us that copyright and patents, being "monopolies," "must be guarded with strictness aga[inst] abuse." Today that abuse is manifest: copyright …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/listen-to-madison-on-copyright/

Mouse, rat & cell studies don’t make e-cigarettes carcinogenic

…In determining what causes cancer in humans, epidemiologic and public health research is far superior to lab studies based on cells, mice or rats. While the latter can …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mouse-rat-cell-studies-dont-make-e-cigarettes-carcinogenic/

Short men, unite

May 15, 2014…There are very few things that fill me with blind, foaming-at-the-mouth, let's-burn-some-cars, hey-did-you-bring-the-kerosene, no-I-left-it-in-my-other-pants rage. At the very top of this short list is the depressing and indeed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/short-men-unite/

Unconstitutionally long copyright terms stifle content creation, just ask Disney

May 7, 2014…The R Street Institute recently released a report on copyright duration titled: "Guarding Against Abuse -- Restoring Constitutional Copyright." The report examines how copyright terms today are completely …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/unconstitutionally-long-copyright-terms-stifle-content-creation-just-ask-disney/

The New York Times plays patsy for anti-tobacco voices

…In the tabloid tradition of "if it bleeds, it leads," he New York Times ignored the lack of peer review and wasted no space on critical analysis when …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-new-york-times-plays-patsy-for-anti-tobacco-voices/

Is the U.S. more like Sweden or Qatar?

…Yet again, House Speaker John Boehner is in trouble with conservative lawmakers. This time it's because he wisecracked at a Rotary Club luncheon about his fellow House Republicans' …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-the-u-s-more-like-sweden-or-qatar/

The campaign against (if you can believe it) third-hand smoke

May 2, 2014…Still fresh from victories over both cigarettes and the second-hand smoke they emit, many public health advocates have turned their attention to new supposed hazards: e-cigarette "vapor" and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-campaign-against-if-you-can-believe-it-third-hand-smoke/

We should keep the death penalty, but it’s time to rethink lethal injection

May 1, 2014… The botched execution in Oklahoma Tuesday night doesn't provide a good reason to get rid of the death penalty. But it should be a major point for reconsidering …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/we-should-keep-the-death-penalty-but-its-time-to-rethink-lethal-injection/

The conservative case for taking on the copyright lobby

Apr 30, 2014…Today, the R Street Institute released a report on copyright duration titled "Guarding against abuse: Restoring constitutional copyright." In recent decades, a number of special interests called the "copyright …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-conservative-case-for-taking-on-the-copyright-lobby/

FDA regulation: Defining e-cigarettes as tobacco products

…The FDA has released a proposed rule to regulate "products that meet the statutory definition of 'tobacco products'…such as certain dissolvables, gels, hookah tobacco, electronic cigarettes, cigars and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-regulation-defining-e-cigarettes-as-tobacco-products/

Height Act debacle shows politicians aren’t serious about D.C. autonomy

…The House of Representatives voted earlier this week to change the Height of Buildings Act of 1910, and it soon will be legal to build habitable spaces in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/height-act-debacle-shows-politicians-arent-serious-about-d-c-autonomy/

How the tea party movement can save itself and become a force for good

…The tea party is the most maligned major political movement of our time. But it has been maligned for all the wrong reasons. I am happy to report, though, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-the-tea-party-movement-can-save-itself-and-become-a-force-for-good/

Outbox vs. USPS: How the Post Office killed digital mail

Apr 29, 2014…Evan Baehr and Will Davis were summoned to Washington for a meeting with the postmaster general. Evan and Will wondered what it could be, "They must have seen …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/outbox-vs-usps-how-the-post-office-killed-digital-mail/

Facebook, McDonald’s and the divided American workforce

Apr 28, 2014…On Wednesday, Facebook released data on its performance in the first quarter of 2014, and the results were very impressive. The social network has succeeded in monetizing its …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/facebook-mcdonalds-and-the-divided-american-workforce/

Clemency for drug offenders?

Apr 25, 2014…President Obama deserves some real credit for his intention to offer clemency to a number of drug offenders. Executive clemency powers have been greatly underused in recent years. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/clemency-for-drug-offenders/

Internships are an important rung on the ladder of opportunity

Apr 24, 2014…Prohibiting unpaid internships is an effective way to withhold economic opportunity from young and ambitious men and women, particularly those from modest backgrounds. That, of course, is not the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/internships-are-an-important-rung-on-the-ladder-of-opportunity/

Federal e-cigarette data AWOL

…Americans are familiar with the census, taken every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau, but few are aware the bureau regularly collects information on a range of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-e-cigarette-data-awol/

The Supreme Court case that will decide the future of television

Apr 22, 2014…In the past decade, home-media consumption of television content has changed significantly. Millions of people, particularly among younger generations, are becoming cord-cutters and converting to Netflix or Hulu. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-supreme-court-case-that-will-decide-the-future-of-television/

Florida’s RESTORE Act funding decisions requires transparency

…The following op-ed was co-authored by Jay Liles, policy consultant for the Florida Wildlife Federation. Later this month, Florida and the rest of the Gulf Coast will mark the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/floridas-restore-act-funding-decisions-requires-transparency/

The Cliven Bundy in all of us

Apr 18, 2014…At first glance, Cliven Bundy, the Nevada cattle-rancher who has been fighting the Bureau of Land Management tooth and nail for more than 20 years, might strike you …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-cliven-blundy-in-all-of-us/

UCSF redefines youth smoking; Journal’s peer-review fails

…The National Youth Tobacco Survey has been abused on an unprecedented scale by anti-tobacco forces.  First, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released cherry-picked data, fabricating an …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ucsf-redefines-youth-smoking-journals-peer-review-fails/

Public access vs. open access

Apr 17, 2014…“Doesn't Congress already make its information publicly accessible?” That's the question I hear most frequently when I tell people about the Congressional Data Coalition's mission to get Congress to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/public-access-vs-open-access/

Paul Krugman isn’t a hypocrite

… Paul Krugman may be America's foremost public intellectual. He's certainly a contender for the title. He has done more than any other thinker to sound the alarm about …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/paul-krugman-isnt-a-hypocrite/

How to tax sharing

Apr 16, 2014…Across the nation, so-called "peer production businesses" have become a common feature of the urban landscape, and cities are scrambling to figure out how to tax and regulate …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-to-tax-sharing/

Renters and rent-seeking in San Francisco

Apr 15, 2014…As anyone who’s lived in a major coastal American city knows, apartment renting is about as far from an unregulated free market as you can get. Legal and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/renters-and-rent-seeking-in-san-francisco/

Swedish tax proposal threatens successful tobacco harm reduction

Apr 14, 2014…Sweden, which represents the world's best example of the population effect of tobacco harm reduction, is considering increasing its snus tax by 22%, according to the Swedish national …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/swedish-tax-proposal-threatens-successful-tobacco-harm-reduction/

Why Congress must rethink sanctions on Cuba

…Alan Gross, the 64-year-old American who has been imprisoned by Cuban authorities since 2009, is an unremarkable man on the surface. He could be a friend or colleague, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-congress-must-rethink-sanctions-on-cuba/

U.S. Statutes-at-Large: Essential to understanding our laws and legislative history

Apr 10, 2014…One of the benefits of the Congressional Data Coalition has been our ability to collaborate on mutual projects of interest. CDC members recognize that reusable, cleaned-up legislative information, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/u-s-statutes-at-large-essential-to-understanding-our-laws-and-legislative-history/

NEJM fails to correct data on children’s e-cigarette use

…The New England Journal of Medicine and authors of a commentary on e-cigarette use have ignored our call for correction of a substantial error regarding e-cigarette use among …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nejm-fails-to-correct-data-on-childrens-e-cigarette-use/

How Uber and Airbnb resurrect ‘dead capital’

…Arguably the two biggest economic stories of the last decade are the Great Recession and the rise of a category of new businesses that turn noncommercial capital and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-uber-and-airbnb-resurrect-dead-capital/

Why I am still a neocon

Apr 8, 2014…We neocons have fallen out of favor, not just on the left, where "neocon" is routinely used as a term of abuse, but also on the right, where …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-i-am-still-a-neocon/

A more affordable D.C. starts with easing land rules

Apr 7, 2014…In her April 4 Metro column, "A plan to fix D.C.'s housing crisis can’t wait till Nov.," Petula Dvorak rightly lamented the district's high housing costs, but her …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-more-affordable-d-c-starts-with-easing-land-rules/

Virginia takes lead in patent reform

…As awareness builds about the cost in dollars and innovation that patent trolling extracts from the economy, Virginia has been among the states that have responded with legislation …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/virginia-takes-lead-in-patent-reform/

How to get Americans back to work

…Friday's Labor Department data shows an uptick in jobs, but an unemployment rate that remained steady from February to March. While the size of the labor force is …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-to-get-americans-back-to-work/

Patent reform efforts shouldn’t overlook patent quality

…With the Senate Judiciary Committee set to take up legislation in the next several days that looks to combat so-called "patent trolls," it's imperative that lawmakers address the real underlying …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/patent-reform-efforts-shouldnt-overlook-patent-quality/

To make Congress more accountable, make it more open

Apr 4, 2014…This piece was co-authored by Daniel Schuman is policy director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Nearly two decades ago, Congress began publishing some of its …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/to-make-congress-more-accountable-make-it-more-open/

Takoma NIMBYs go BANANAs

…WMATA might finally be able to build something on its extremely valuable land surrounding the Takoma Metro Station, after 14 years of effort. Starting in 2000, it worked with …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/takoma-nimbys-go-bananas/

Florida pivotal in Internet tax battle

Apr 2, 2014…This piece was co-authored by R Street Florida Director Christian Camara. A misleading piece of federal legislation, called the "Marketplace Fairness Act," passed the U.S. Senate last year. Contrary …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/florida-pivotal-in-internet-tax-battle/

No stroke risk with snus

Apr 1, 2014…Swedish researchers who two years ago reported no association of heart attacks with snus use (abstract here, my blog entry here) now conclude there is no association with …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/no-stroke-risk-with-snus/

Tax credits and children: Parents should pay lower taxes, and childless people should pay higher taxes

…When my mother was my age, she was working full time while raising three small children, and she spent every spare moment studying to finish a graduate degree. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tax-credits-and-children-parents-should-pay-lower-taxes-and-childless-people-should-pay-higher-taxes/

Tax smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes at lower rates

Mar 31, 2014…Gov. John Kasich's plan to increase taxes on all tobacco products is bad tax policy, built on an unscientific, unsuccessful anti-smoker strategy: wuit or die. Only one component of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tax-smokeless-tobacco-e-cigarettes-at-lower-rates/

Congress must put a clamp on the ‘patent trolls’

…The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to vote on a bill soon aimed at addressing patent demand letters from entities frequently referred to as "patent trolls." Clearly, the momentum …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-must-put-a-clamp-on-the-patent-trolls/

Can Bitcoin outrun the regulators?

Mar 28, 2014…Bitcoin is at the cutting edge of innovation. And like most new, potentially transformative ideas, most future job creators, and most disruptive innovations, Bitcoin does not have lobbyists, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/can-bitcoin-outrun-the-regulators/

Deepwater Horizon restoration funding must be transparent and avoid cronyism

Mar 26, 2014…Next month will mark four years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded fifty miles off the Louisiana coast, killing eleven men and spilling over four million barrels …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/deepwater-horizon-restoration-funding-must-be-transparent-and-avoid-cronyism/

What the GOP can learn from the Koch brothers

Mar 25, 2014…Republicans are very enthusiastic about this year's midterm congressional elections, and it is easy to see why. Obamacare, the president's signature domestic policy legislation, remains unpopular. Turnout during …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-the-gop-can-learn-from-the-koch-brothers/

Art sale could benefit retirees

Mar 24, 2014…The following piece was co-written by R Street Midwest Director Alan Smith. Next month, Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr will release the latest iteration of a plan to restructure …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/art-sale-could-benefit-retirees/

Mehrens confused about impact of Internet sales tax initiative

…Nathan Mehrens is confused about the Internet sales tax issue and the so-called "Marketplace Fairness Act," which he praises as addressing a "competitive advantage" enjoyed by online retailers …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mehrens-confused-about-impact-of-internet-sales-tax-initiative/

Republicans should back Tesla, creative destruction at its best

Mar 18, 2014…Gov. Chris Christie's administration just effectively banned Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to consumers in New Jersey. Here's why his move is a quintessential example of how …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/republicans-should-back-tesla-creative-destruction-at-its-best/

How to fix higher education

…America's elite higher education institutions are the envy of the world. Foreign students flock to the oldest and wealthiest U.S. research universities to take advantage of resources that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-to-fix-higher-education/

Rand Paul: Yes, he’s really the frontrunner

Mar 17, 2014…Sen. Rand Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky, surprised more than a few pundits when he topped one of the first major polls surveying voters' feelings on the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/rand-paul-yes-hes-really-the-frontrunner/

People who can’t afford cars don’t need their own parking spaces

…Imagine a world in which every apartment is required by law to include accommodation for around-the-clock butler services. In this world, developers would have to add an additional …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/people-who-cant-afford-cars-dont-need-their-own-parking-spaces/

Criminal-justice reform and federal funding

Mar 13, 2014… If you need evidence of how much conservative thinking about crime has changed over the past few decades, look no further than the crowd gathered for last week's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/criminal-justice-reform-and-federal-funding/

In search of ‘Mr. Republican’

Mar 11, 2014…Who will be the next "Mr. Republican"? While the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination gets underway, there is another, more informal race going on as well. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/in-search-of-mr-republican/

Congress shouldn’t overlook design patents in its push for reform

Mar 5, 2014…With legislation passed in the House, the U.S. Senate is set to move forward on multiple bills to combat the costly problem of patent trolls. While current proposals …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/congress-shouldnt-overlook-design-patents-in-its-push-for-reform/

The one budget proposal worth seizing

…President Obama’s new budget for fiscal year 2015 is almost entirely free of surprises. The Obama administration supports a number of large tax increases, most but not all …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-one-budget-proposal-worth-seizing/

The limits of consumer choice

Mar 3, 2014…Most conservatives, and even some liberals of the dwindling "New Democrat" variety, put near-religious faith in the maxim that greater consumer choice would improve nearly every heavily regulated …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-limits-of-consumer-choice/

The grand compromise that wasn’t

Feb 25, 2014…One of President Obama's defining convictions is that he is the most reasonable man in our nation's capitol. He seems to view opposition to his agenda as a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-grand-compromise-that-wasnt/

The Netflix effect

Feb 24, 2014…Last fall, during an earnings conference call, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made an announcement that landed him on the front page of every newspaper business section: His company …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-netflix-effect/

Budget gimmickry on the Bayou

Feb 20, 2014…Sometimes a trust fund isn't a trust fund and sometimes an appropriation isn't an appropriation. The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana has done some important work over the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/budget-gimmickry-on-the-bayou/

GOP: Beyond repealing to reforming

Feb 18, 2014…The last time the federal government approached its statutory debt limit, Republicans in the House of Representatives fought tooth and nail to attach tough conditions to any increase. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gop-beyond-repealing-to-reforming/

Local control is better management for federal lands

Feb 12, 2014…In his recent State of the Union speech, President Obama promised to use presidential authority to "protect more of our pristine federal lands." Similar to most political statements, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/local-control-is-better-management-for-federal-lands/

More Americans should work abroad

Feb 7, 2014…On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner told members of the press that though immigration is "an important issue in our country" (thanks for that, John), it will be …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/more-americans-should-work-abroad/

5 reasons Ronald Reagan’s secret identity was Captain Planet

Feb 5, 2014…If we've learned any lessons during the past few decades, perhaps the most important is that preservation of our environment is not a partisan challenge; it’s common sense. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/5-reasons-ronald-reagans-secret-identity-was-captain-planet/

Don’t encourage risky development

…The Jan. 30 editorial, Mapping our future, is right to commend South Florida’s governments for doing more to “tackle the threat of climate change” and rising sea levels. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-encourage-risky-development/

Hurricane mitigation sales tax holiday would be nice

Feb 3, 2014…Gov. Rick Scott's announcement that he will pursue legislative action to grant a 15-day sales-tax holiday for hurricane preparedness is a big win for Florida. The tax incentive …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/hurricane-mitigation-sales-tax-holiday-would-be-nice/

To win votes, the GOP should focus on jobs, not immigration

Jan 31, 2014…One of the most curious political developments in recent memory is House Speaker John Boehner's decision to press for a new Republican immigration bill before addressing America's bona …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/to-win-votes-the-gop-should-focus-on-jobs-not-immigration/

Let’s Move: A better approach to poverty

…The following piece was co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer. President Obama's State of the Union speech brimmed with ideas to increase upward mobility and spur job creation—most …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/lets-move-a-better-approach-to-poverty/

SOTU: Obama defines the challenge, but misses the solution

Jan 30, 2014…For those who care about wage stagnation, alleviating poverty and increasing income mobility, the president's speech Tuesday night was a mixed bag. Granted, it's difficult to delve deep …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sotu-obama-defines-the-challenge-but-misses-the-solution/

Geographic mobility as a cure for income mobility

Jan 28, 2014…Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson launched the "War on Poverty" during his first State of the Union address, President Barack Obama is widely expected to revisit that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/geographic-mobility-as-a-cure-for-income-mobility/

It’s time to protect data in the cloud

Jan 27, 2014…Tuesday’s State of the Union address affords President Barack Obama another opportunity to address the government’s massive overreach in collecting data about ordinary Americans in the name of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/its-time-to-protect-data-in-the-cloud/

Flood-bill vote could put lives, careers at risk

…If a plan to delay the phase-out of some federal flood insurance subsidies is successful, Congress could be setting itself up for a nasty pre-election “October surprise.” Should …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/flood-bill-vote-could-put-lives-careers-at-risk/

Learning to love the Brooklyn Nets

Jan 25, 2014…Before the Nets moved to Brooklyn, I knew almost nothing about professional basketball, or basketball in any incarnation. I understood that it was a sport in which tall …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/learning-to-love-the-brooklyn-nets/

Chris Christie and the ‘failed war on drugs’

…What would you do if you were a high-profile governor caught in the midst of a pseudo-scandal, with the national news media hanging on your every word? Here’s …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/chris-christie-and-the-failed-war-on-drugs/

Smokers can turn to safer smoke-free tobacco products

Jan 20, 2014…Kentucky State Police report that traffic fatalities in 2013 fell to 635 — down 15 percent from the year before and the lowest count since 1947. Lower traffic …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/smokers-can-turn-to-safer-smoke-free-tobacco-products/

Where is the GOP heading on immigration reform?

Jan 17, 2014…After falling off the radar for months, immigration reform is back. Late last year, Speaker John Boehner hired Rebecca Tallent — a veteran of Arizona Sen. John McCain's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/where-is-the-gop-heading-on-immigration-reform/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fannie-freddie-and-the-big-one/

Mike Rogers’ one-half percent

Jan 16, 2014…As negotiations in Congress over the so-called "farm bill" continue, Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican representing Alabama's Third District, is seen as a key vote on the small …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mike-rogers-one-half-percent/

The case for treating windfalls like bonds

Jan 15, 2014… Windfalls are, by definition, irregular occurrences that disrupt state and local governments' regular flow of finance. And because each windfall is, at least to some degree, sui generis, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-case-for-treating-windfalls-like-bonds/

Saving the bayou

Jan 13, 2014…Morgan City, La. — Last Friday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reined in BP's efforts to curb payouts for what the oil company called "absurd" and "fictitious" claims …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/saving-the-bayou/

Handouts aren’t enough

Jan 12, 2014…Conservatives, for the first time in quite a while, are beginning to take the issue of poverty seriously. Tea party figures like Marco Rubio and Mike Lee have …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/handouts-arent-enough/

From Marco Rubio, a new approach to ending poverty

Jan 10, 2014…I realize that I ought to be writing about Chris Christie, the recently re-elected Republican governor of New Jersey, who has just had a brush with political death. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/from-marco-rubio-a-new-approach-to-ending-poverty/

High school seniors’ tobacco use: another year in decline

…Smoking by teens has declined to record-low levels, according to the latest University of Michigan annual Monitoring the Future Study, which examines youth tobacco, alcohol and drug use …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/high-school-seniors-tobacco-use-another-year-in-decline/

Universal preschool may help parents more than children — and that’s okay

Jan 3, 2014…As a small child, I vaguely recall having attended a Montessori preschool in Brooklyn, which was loud, lively and colorful. One day, a classmate made a reference to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/universal-preschool-may-help-parents-more-than-children-and-thats-okay/

How to spend oil spill fines wisely

…A federal judge in New Orleans will soon decide how much oil company BP has to pay in Clean Water Act fines for its role in the 2010 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-to-spend-oil-spill-fines-wisely/

‘Ban the Box’ goes too far…and not far enough

Dec 30, 2013…All over the country, towns, cities and even states have begun a move towards policies that "ban the box" and forbid employers from asking individuals about previous criminal …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ban-the-box-goes-too-far-and-not-far-enough/

Why I signed up for Obamacare

Dec 26, 2013…The deadline for enrolling in the Obamacare insurance exchanges for those who want coverage that starts on Jan. 1 is about to pass. Late last week, I became one …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-i-signed-up-for-obamacare/

RESTORE Act is key to flood insurance affordability

Dec 24, 2013…The following was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, passed as part of 2012's transportation bill, is an important step forward …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/restore-act-is-key-to-flood-insurance-affordability/

Letter to the Tampa Bay Times: Sifting flood program data

Dec 23, 2013…"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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-the-tampa-bay-times-sifting-flood-program-data/

The death of the Obamacare individual mandate

Dec 20, 2013…Obamacare is best understood as a collection of carrots and sticks designed to expand access to insurance coverage. But what happens to Obamacare if we get rid of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-death-of-the-obamacare-individual-mandate/

Jackson must seize opportunity to invest in restoring the Gulf

…A federal judge in New Orleans will soon rule on how much oil company BP must pay in Clean Water Act fines for its role in the 2010 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/jackson-must-seize-opportunity-to-invest-in-restoring-the-gulf/

Alabama’s coast needs wise RESTORE Act investments

Dec 19, 2013…Early next year, a federal judge will decide how large a fine BP must pay for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. No matter what …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alabamas-coast-needs-wise-restore-act-investments/

The public policy lessons of ‘Doom’

Dec 17, 2013…Last week saw the 20th anniversary of the release of Doom, almost certainly the greatest first-person shooter game of all time, if not the greatest electronic game of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-public-policy-lessons-of-doom/

The problem is NSA overreach, not the technology we use

…Blaming big tech companies for enabling our runaway surveillance state is like blaming Toyota or Ford for drunk drivers. It's a dangerous distraction, and it's the wrong strategy …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-problem-is-nsa-overreach-not-the-technology-we-use/

Bernard Mandeville and consumerism’s buzz

Dec 16, 2013…When addressing the right’s awkwardness surrounding issues of extreme economic inequality, it's lately become almost de rigeur among conservative reformers to cite Adam Smith as a polestar that conservatives ought …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bernard-mandeville-and-consumerisms-buzz/

The budget deal’s central achievement: protecting America’s military strength

…Remember 1986? Ronald Reagan was in the White House, Dionne Warwick was topping the charts, and movie audiences swooned as Tom Cruise romanced Kelly McGillis in Top Gun. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-budget-deals-central-achievement-protecting-americas-military-strength/

Tech companies revolt as government spying threatens to wreak havok on U.S. business interests

Dec 13, 2013…When tech companies AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo wanted to voice their concerns about government surveillance, they took to a very traditional medium: full …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tech-companies-revolt-as-government-spying-threatens-to-wreak-havok-on-u-s-business-interests/

Driving a Motor City revival

…In the wake of officially receiving approval for bankruptcy protection, Detroit's story has become a familiar one. Once the poster child of America's industrial might and middle-class prosperity, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/driving-a-motor-city-revival/

Letters to the Tampa Tribune: Great promise

Dec 10, 2013…Regarding your editorial "Coming to the aid of the Gulf of Mexico" (Our Views, Dec. 5), you are absolutely correct that the RESTORE Act presents an exceptional opportunity …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letters-to-the-tampa-tribune-great-promise/

A new red state slush fund?

Dec 9, 2013… The Gulf Coast states — Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas — are all governed by Republican governors and have Republican majorities in both legislative chambers. With the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-new-red-state-slush-fund/

Mandela’s heirs face a rocky economic future

Dec 6, 2013…The death of Nelson Mandela is being mourned across the world, and for good reason. As the first president of post-apartheid South Africa, he served as a symbol …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mandelas-heirs-face-a-rocky-economic-future/

Taxpayers still face storm threats

…Last Saturday, the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season came to a close, not with a bang but with a whimper. While in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan was responsible for …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/taxpayers-still-face-storm-threats/

Doing the wrong thing

…After a decade-long run of bad weather that included Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Ike, and a host of other river valley and storm-surge floods, the 45-year-old National Flood …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/doing-the-wrong-thing/

The conservative case for patent reform

Dec 5, 2013…What would you think if someone knocked on your door one day and threatened to sue you for everything you're worth unless you paid a settlement fee to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-conservative-case-for-patent-reform/

When progress trumps privacy

Dec 2, 2013…In 1890, two of America’s leading legal minds, Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren, published an article called "The Right to Privacy" in the Harvard Law Review. Scandalized by …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/when-progress-trumps-privacy/

The oil spill windfall: A test for Republicans

Nov 29, 2013…A federal court in Louisiana will decide in the next few months how much oil company BP must pay in Clean Water Act penalties as a result of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-oil-spill-windfall-a-test-for-republicans/

They left their hearts in San Francisco

Nov 25, 2013…To the Editor: You write that because of the influx of wealthy tech employees and a shortage of affordable housing, San Francisco "city officials must grapple with the arithmetic …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/they-left-their-hearts-in-san-francisco/

What the filibuster’s demise means for the Supreme Court

…Now that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has ended the filibuster for district and appeals court nominees and executive branch appointments, it's only a matter of time before …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-the-filibusters-demise-means-for-the-supreme-court/

Finding new ways to make work pay

Nov 15, 2013…One of the scariest notions about America's sluggish labor market recovery is that it doesn’t represent an aberration, but rather a new reality in which good jobs are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/finding-new-ways-to-make-work-pay/

A stronger environment, a freer economy

Nov 14, 2013…It is almost taken for granted in America that, when it comes to the environment, you have two choices: either the environment is protected and the economy suffers, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-stronger-environment-a-freer-economy/

Obama’s apology (of sorts) for his ‘keep your plan’ promise

Nov 8, 2013…This week, President Barack Obama offered an apology (of sorts) to Americans who believed him when he repeatedly assured the public that anyone who liked their current health …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obamas-apology-of-sorts-for-his-keep-your-plan-promise/

Where does Obamacare leave millennials?

Nov 7, 2013…The Obamacare rollout has been a disaster. In sharp contrast to the devastating technological effectiveness of President Obama's 2012 campaign, HealthCare.gov has become the butt of jokes not …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/where-does-obamacare-leave-millennials/

Vincent Orange’s ‘Superdome’ would compound previous land-use blunders

Nov 6, 2013…In case you missed it, Vincent Orange and other District Council members want to commission a study to look into building an enormous, 100,000-seat stadium and recreational complex on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/vincent-oranges-superdome-would-compound-previous-land-use-blunders/

Why New Jersey and Virginia matter to the GOP — and its future with black voters

Nov 4, 2013…This week’s election will be an important one for the future of the GOP. In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie is up for re-election, and by all …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-new-jersey-and-virginia-matter-to-the-gop-and-its-future-with-black-voters/

The GOP’s insurance hypocrisy

…For most of last month, a group of committed tea party Republicans helped shut down the government to hold back a wave of subsidies and regulations set to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-gops-insurance-hypocrisy/

Restore Gulf treasure

…Regarding "Maintaining a healthy Gulf Coast is key to local economy" (Page B7, Wednesday), Sinclair Oubre is absolutely correct when he argues that the RESTORE Act presents an …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/restore-gulf-treasure/

Geo-engineering a solution to climate change

Oct 31, 2013…A new article in the Yale Forum by freelance writer David Appell discusses the way climate change "deniers" also tend to favor geo-engineering.  Although I'm quoted (correctly) in the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/geo-engineering-a-solution-to-climate-change/

The right needs to take the reins in Gulf Coast restoration – before the left does

Oct 30, 2013…It has now been more than three years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, killing eleven men and spilling millions of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-right-needs-to-take-the-reigns-in-gulf-coast-restoration-before-the-left-does-2/

Gay marriage: good, polyamory: bad

Oct 28, 2013…Walter Olson has a top-notch blog post over at Independent Gay Forum that describes why increased acceptance of same-sex marriage isn't going to lead to acceptance of polyamory. I …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gay-marriage-good-polyamory-bad/

Changes to property insurance are welcome

Oct 24, 2013…While politicians have repeatedly tinkered around the edges of true Citizens Property Insurance Corp. reform, this session, legislators are looking to place substantial focus on the property insurance …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/changes-to-property-insurance-are-welcome/

Why Ken Cuccinelli will lose in Virginia and what it means for the GOP

Oct 21, 2013…Ken Cuccinelli, currently behind in the polls by more than seven points, will not win the November election to become Virginia's next governor. This spells very serious problems …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-ken-cuccinelli-will-lose-in-virginia-and-what-it-means-for-the-gop/

Instead of a divorce, the GOP needs primary reform

…A few days ago, an older and wiser friend of mine and I had a lengthy conversation about divorce, that most cheerful of subjects. He noted that one …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/analysis-opinion-home-opinion-reihan-salam-follow-reihan-salam-instead-of-a-divorce-the-gop-needs-primary-reform/

Don’t subsidize Citizens’ out-of-state policyholders

Oct 18, 2013…While politicians repeatedly have tinkered around the edges of true Citizens Property Insurance Corp. reform, this session, state legislators are looking to place substantial focus on the property …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-subsidize-citizens-out-of-state-policyholders/

A vindication of Juggalo society: Why America is increasingly down with the clown, and that’s ok

Oct 16, 2013…In February 2012, Cato Institute Vice President Gene Healy tweeted what may be the funniest think tank tweet to date: "Someday, the 'Think Tank Network' (TTN) will sponsor …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-vindication-of-juggalo-society-why-america-is-increasingly-down-with-the-clown-and-thats-ok/

Government shutdown is already doing severe damage

Oct 14, 2013… With the political battle over the government shutdown still raging in Washington, it's worth noting the shutdown is already having a serious adverse impact on hundreds of small communities across …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/government-shutdown-is-already-doing-severe-damage/

Charge out-of-state residents more

Oct 8, 2013…While politicians have repeatedly tinkered around the edges of true Citizens Property Insurance Corp. reform, this session legislators are looking to place substantial focus on the property insurance …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/charge-out-of-state-residents-more/

New proposal to slay patent trolls would be a boon to the digital economy

Oct 7, 2013…Following a slew of other bills introduced earlier this year to address America's broken patent system, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., recently released a second draft of a proposal to extend …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-proposal-to-slay-patent-trolls-would-be-a-boon-to-the-digital-economy/

Keep act on course

Oct 6, 2013…Tribune columnist Joe Henderson is wrong to call for delays in changes to the National Flood Insurance Program ("Fair play needed in flood insurance debate," Oct. 1). Although …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/keep-act-on-course/

How to fix the GOP’s discipline problem

Oct 4, 2013…As the government shutdown grinds on, the Republican leadership in the House is struggling to unite GOP lawmakers around a fiscal deal that Senate Democrats and the Obama …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-to-fix-the-gops-discipline-problem/

The Republicans have a tea party problem

Oct 3, 2013…One year ago this week, Mitt Romney, then the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, scored a surprising victory in his first debate with President Barack Obama. Having endured withering …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-republicans-have-a-tea-party-problem/

What the shutdown says about D.C.’s cultural scene

…Since America's founders picked a site near their own landholdings to serve as the nation's seat of government, Washington, D.C., has remained a government town. In the city's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-the-shutdown-says-about-d-c-s-cultural-scene/

Obamacare’s threat to health-care innovation

Sep 27, 2013…Next week, the new state-based health insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, will be open for business. Or rather — some of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obamacares-threat-to-health-care-innovation/

Politicians who support the Internet sales tax face a rude ballot-box awakening

…This piece was co-authored by Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union. According to conventional political wisdom, selling a bad tax idea to voters is simple …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/politicians-who-support-the-internet-sales-tax-face-a-rude-ballot-box-awakening/

How Republicans can win the shutdown showdown

Sep 26, 2013…When it comes to most issues coming before Congress, my personal sympathies lie very much with the Republican Party. I'd be delighted to see Obamacare repealed (or at …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-republicans-can-win-the-shutdown-showdown/

The farm bill: best if used by Sept. 30

…Lost in the noise regarding the impending government shutdown is a separate deadline Congress faces on Sept. 30 – the expiration of the farm bill. While there’s been …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-farm-bill-best-if-used-by-sept-30/

Needed insurance reform

Sep 23, 2013…The following letter to the Tampa Bay Times was written in response to the editorial "Slow down flood insurance rate hikes" that appeared in the Sept. 17 edition. The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/needed-insurance-reform/

Sen. Mike Lee’s plan to bolster middle-class parents

Sep 18, 2013…On Tuesday afternoon, a small but influential slice of the inside-the-Beltway conservative intelligentsia gathered at the American Enterprise Institute, a D.C.-based conservative think tank, to hear Utah Sen. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sen-mike-lees-plan-to-bolster-middle-class-parents/

What the Australian elections mean (and don’t mean) for climate policy and the left

Sep 16, 2013…As a right-wing Republican, I consider newly elected Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott a man after my own heart. He wants to deregulate his country's economy, protect the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-the-australian-elections-mean-and-dont-mean-for-climate-policy-and-the-left/

Americans have a right to know details of government data requests

Sep 12, 2013…Abusive government surveillance practices have violated the privacy and trust of the American people. But they’ve also left many companies who do business online in a lurch about …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/americans-have-a-right-to-know-details-of-government-data-requests/

With a grain of salt

Sep 11, 2013…The show’s hero has huge muscles, wisecracking sidekicks, and a mysterious origin. In each episode, he performs feats beyond the abilities of mere mortals. He fights for values …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/with-a-grain-of-salt/

Will Obama silence critics of his Syria policy?

Sep 10, 2013…Skepticism regarding the wisdom of President Obama's call for a U.S.-led military strike against the Assad regime comes from several different directions, and so the president will have …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/will-obama-silence-critics-of-his-syria-policy/

The NSA’s war against encryption

…New revelations about National Security Agency abuses, which now include everything from industrial espionage to reports that the agency can access most data on our smartphones, seem to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-nsas-war-against-encryption/

Why Robert Smith is wrong about Ronald Reagan’s environmental record

… Last week in The American Spectator, CEI’s Robert Smith criticized the organization I head, the R Street Institute, for celebrating the anniversary of Ronald Reagan's dedication of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-robert-smith-is-wrong-about-ronald-reagans-environmental-record/

The case for boycotting the Sochi Olympics..and the Rio ones too

Sep 9, 2013…The United States should boycott the Olympics. Not just the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and not even the planned 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-case-for-boycotting-the-sochi-olympics-and-the-rio-ones-too/

How Larry Summers could fix his reputation – and help millions of Americans

Sep 6, 2013…Right now, it looks as though Larry Summers has the inside track to be named the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. This is despite the fact that …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-larry-summers-could-fix-his-reputation-and-help-millions-of-americans/

A just law

Sep 4, 2013… Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), one of the most overdue and sorely needed human rights laws in recent …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-just-law/

What Syria’s fall means for Turkey’s rise

Aug 30, 2013…It's rare that I enjoy being stuck in traffic, but the slow ride from Istanbul's main international airport to its central business district is a feast for the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-syrias-fall-means-for-turkeys-rise/

Mount St. Helens blew apart southwest Washington, but now it’s a mighty economic engine

Aug 27, 2013…The eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980 was colossal. The explosion blew 1,300 feet off the mountain's summit, ejecting more than a cubic mile of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/mount-st-helens-blew-apart-southwest-washington-but-now-its-a-mighty-economic-engine/

The Republicans are reaching a crucial crossroads

Aug 26, 2013…These should be good times to be a Republican. The president and his Democratic allies have had a cruel summer as a tepid recovery and a steady drip …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-republicans-are-reaching-a-crucial-crossroads/

In New York, the rent doesn’t have to be ‘too damn high’

Aug 23, 2013…The house in which I grew up was built in 1913. It was part of a building boom in New York City's outer boroughs fueled by the rising …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/in-new-york-the-rent-doesnt-have-to-be-too-damn-high/

Flood insurance cost starts to reflect risks

Aug 21, 2013…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/flood-insurance-cost-starts-to-reflect-risks/

The sober way to legalize marijuana

Aug 16, 2013…As a general rule, Americans don't give much thought to Uruguay, a small South American republic with a population of 3.3 million. But Uruguay has embarked on a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-sober-way-to-legalize-marijuana/

Don’t forget the poor

…The following piece was co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer. After five decades of liberal antipoverty programs that have produced only failure and futility, it is more than …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-forget-the-poor/

I benefit from Obamacare…and that’s a problem

Aug 14, 2013…I'm a conservative and would have voted against Obamacare if I were a member of Congress. I think many of its provisions are silly and have criticized some …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/i-benefit-from-obamacare-and-thats-a-problem/

Eric Holder’s ‘new’ approach to prison and the war on drugs

Aug 13, 2013…Attorney General Eric Holder's speech offered more symbolism than substance. Many of the reforms Mr. Holder announced actually have limited impact. The changes in policies relating to mandatory minimum …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/eric-holders-new-approach-to-prison-and-the-war-on-drugs/

Immigration opponents: Ignore them (even if they scream a lot)

Aug 8, 2013…In any democracy, public officials and the law itself must take special care to protect the rights of minority groups. In many cases, this makes sense. But in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/immigration-opponents-ignore-them-even-if-they-scream-a-lot/

Sen. Landrieu’s plan: Handouts for vacation homes

Aug 2, 2013…No matter their stated ideologies, overwhelming majorities of Americans would agree in principle that the government should try to help the vulnerable and poor before it lifts a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/outrageous-proposal-brings-huge-subsidies-to-luxury-beach-houses/

The geography of opportunity

…Something extraordinary is happening in Salt Lake City, Seattle and Pittsburgh and in the suburbs surrounding them, and if we’re going to overcome entrenched poverty in America as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-geography-of-opportunity/

Getting rid of the dollar bill is a bad idea

Jul 30, 2013…Members of Congress, government waste watchdogs and a lot of others I admire have called on the United States to replace its dollar bill with a dollar coin. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/getting-rid-of-the-dollar-bill-is-a-bad-idea/

Online education can be good or cheap, but not both

Jul 26, 2013…During his recent economic address at Knox College, President Barack Obama briefly referenced the promise of online learning. Specifically, he celebrated the fact that some colleges are “blending …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/online-education-can-be-good-or-cheap-but-not-both/

Obamacare fee – $3; Cost of paying – $100

…Like a lot of conservatives, I have plenty of doubts about the president's massive health care overhaul that's going to change the way Americans get health coverage come …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/even-liberals-should-hate-this-part-of-obamacare/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bill-would-raise-flood-insurance-for-some-and-subsidize-others/

It isn’t the McDonald’s budget that’s out of touch; it’s the media

Jul 22, 2013…Last week, the Northeast-corridor media ran wild with pithy derision over an effort led by McDonald's and Visa to provide McDonald's employees with financial planning tools and advice. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/it-isnt-the-mcdonalds-budget-thats-out-of-touch-its-the-media/

How computerized work affects immigration

Jul 19, 2013…In 1900, 41 percent of the U.S. workforce was employed in agriculture. One hundred years later, that share had declined to 1.9 percent. Over that interval, the jobs …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-computerized-work-affects-immigration/

Farm Bill fiasco: Big Ag’s big subsidies

…With this month’s passage of a farm bill that doles out tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to agribusiness interests, the Republican-controlled House has signaled that the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/farm-bill-fiasco-big-ags-big-subsidies/

Of bunny rabbits and stupid regulations

Jul 17, 2013…The U.S. Department of Agriculture's efforts to require birthday party entertainer Marty the Magician to develop a written "disaster plan" for taking care of his rabbit is a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/of-bunny-rabbits-and-stupid-regulations/

Internet access for prisoners?

Jul 16, 2013…It will draw howls of protest from politicians and the punditocracy, but the time has come to allow Internet access in jails and prisons. It would open a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/internet-access-for-prisoners/

Farm Bill folly: The real way the bill harms the poor

Jul 12, 2013…A long line of representatives from the Congressional Black Caucus came to the floor July 11 to stand in opposition to the House's agriculture-only Farm Bill, which passed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/farm-bill-folly-the-real-way-the-bill-harms-the-poor/

Republicans back agribusiness with the farm bill

…This week, House Republicans passed a farm bill that reauthorizes and expands a wide range of federal subsidies for the agricultural sector. The bill, which is expected to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/republicans-back-agribusiness-with-the-farm-bill/

George W. Bush and the verdict of history

Jul 8, 2013…For the first time since 2005, most Americans think well of George W. Bush. As the Associated Press reports, the once widely mocked commander-in-chief seems to be emerging …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/george-w-bush-and-the-verdict-of-history/

California’s sterilization of female prisoners

…Conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, already play a leading role in efforts to reform America’s prisons. Some stomach-churning revelations out of California should give many of these same conservatives …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/californias-sterilization-of-female-prisoners/

Obamacare’s sliding scales and slippery slopes

…Last week, as Americans celebrated Independence Day, the Obama administration made a pair of big announcements about the Affordable Care Act, the crown jewel of the president’s domestic …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/obamacares-sliding-scales-and-slippery-slopes/

Fourth of July: A time to remember and recount lessons learned by a great county

Jul 3, 2013…Ronald Reagan, ever the wit, did a good job summing up the difference between Republicans and Democrats when he observed: “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fourth-of-july-a-time-to-remember-and-recount-lessons-learned-by-a-great-county/

Republicans need a new game plan on climate change

Jul 1, 2013… There’s no reason for conservatives and libertarians to celebrate President Barack Obama’s recently announced climate change plan. While Obama does seek to confront a real problem, his plan …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/republicans-need-a-new-game-plan-on-climate-change/

The coming gay Republican wave

Jun 28, 2013…As counterintuitive as it may sound, it seems safe to predict that this week's Supreme Court rulings that overturn key sections of the terribly misnamed Defense of Marriage …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-coming-gay-republican-wave/

Climate change for the GOP

…It’s time for a conservative alternative to liberal alarmism. President Barack Obama’s climate agenda announced last week represents the latest of many Democratic party efforts to address climate change. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/climate-change-for-the-gop/

To pass farm bill, GOP leadership needs to allow serious cuts to farm programs

Jun 25, 2013…Hands are wringing all over Capitol Hill now that the House farm bill failed to pass. Much ink will be spilled trying to figure out how and why …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/to-pass-farm-bill-gop-leadership-needs-to-allow-serious-cuts-to-farm-programs/

Climate change, Chris Christie and the truth

Jun 21, 2013…To hear some on the political left describe it, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided to ignore what he knows is true -- that the climate is …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/climate-change-chris-christie-and-the-truth/

Climate change: Conservatives make the argument for a carbon tax

…The following piece was co-authored with Bob Inglis, the founder and executive director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative. If conservatives don't begin to engage on the important issue …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/climate-change-conservatives-make-the-argument-for-a-carbon-tax/

The electronic future of cigarettes

Jun 20, 2013…We are on the cusp of a radical transformation in the way our society uses tobacco. Cigarette consumption is in substantial, protracted decline as tobacco consumers switch to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-electronic-future-of-cigarettes/

Washington, DC: It’s a small town for dating

Jun 17, 2013…Rachel Ryan is absolutely right to say that D.C.'s dating scene is full of people who have exceptional resumes. And she's also right that this doesn't always lead …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/washington-d-c-its-a-small-town-for-dating/

Reagan’s free-market environmentalism

Jun 12, 2013…Nearly a quarter century after he left the White House, President Ronald Reagan’s legacy still looms large in many areas. His successful effort to win the Cold War …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reagans-free-market-environmentalism/

Reagan, the environmentalist

Jun 7, 2013… Mention Ronald Reagan to an avowed environmentalist, and you’ll generally elicit a groan. In the conventional telling, the Gipper appointed right-wing extremists to key environmental positions and proceeded …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/reagan-the-environmentalist/

A DC neighborhood’s ills: Bad policy knows no party

…For the first time in the 15 years since I graduated from college and moved to the Washington, D.C. area, I feel like I'm working in a real …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-d-c-neighborhoods-ills-bad-policy-knows-no-party/

The disastrous failure of smoking cessation medicines

…The 20-year-old Cochrane Collaboration is widely recognized for compiling and analyzing thousands of clinical trials,  providing health professionals with useful information, in the form of authoritative analyses and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-disastrous-failure-of-smoking-cessation-medicines/

Is there a future for driverless cars?

… My first job out of school was in a picturesque city named Oshkosh, Wis., a compact town of 75,000 tucked neatly against the picturesque Lake Winnebago, and I …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-there-a-future-for-driverless-cars/

Disney’s America

Jun 6, 2013…The Walt Disney World Resort, located outside of Orlando, has more than twice Manhattan’s land area and about the same number of hotel rooms as Philadelphia. It’s America’s …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/disneys-america/

What the race for Virginia governor does (and doesn’t) mean

May 31, 2013…Ken Cuccinelli, the person I'm supporting for governor of Virginia -- my home state and locus of what's likely to be the most watched political race of 2013 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-the-race-for-virginia-governor-does-and-doesnt-mean/

Toward a new and improved regulatory apparatus

…The following was co-authored by Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum. No one in Washington, D.C. is particularly happy with the nation’s current regulatory …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/toward-a-new-and-improved-regulatory-apparatus/

Alcohol vs. tobacco: State penalties for underage possession diverge

…In their efforts to prevent teen smoking, tobacco control advocates focus almost exclusively on tobacco manufacturers. For example, a CDC press release for World No Tobacco Day (today, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/alcohol-vs-tobacco-state-penalties-for-underage-possession-diverge/

Changing how we pay teachers

May 24, 2013… We do a lousy job of compensating teachers. It’s not that we pay them too little, but the way we compensate them makes little sense in today’s world. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/changing-how-we-pay-teachers/

Trace metals in e-cigarettes: No cause for concern

…I have discussed a study reporting that smokeless tobacco contains trace levels of several metals, including cadmium, arsenic, nickel, chromium and lead.  Now, researchers at the University of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/trace-metals-in-e-cigarettes-no-cause-for-concern/

A glimmer of hope for the Illinois GOP

May 23, 2013… After a decade of the Democratic Party dominating all levers in government, the state of Illinois is a mess. Its government pension debt is far and away the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-glimmer-of-hope-for-the-illinois-gop/

Sorry, D.C. just isn’t Paris

May 21, 2013…Rachel Ryan is a good blogger; I respect her opinions. But, well, D.C. just isn't Paris. Sorry. I've lived in the D.C. metro area continuously since I graduated …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sorry-d-c-just-isnt-paris/

End IRS scandals: Abolish the corporate income tax

May 20, 2013…With good reason, the Obama administration's Internal Revenue Service has come under fire for targeting conservative and tea party groups. As Kimberly Strassel demonstrates in The Wall Street …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/end-irs-scandals-abolish-the-corporate-income-tax/

When insurance, politics collide

…When government and commerce collide, it can leave behind sticky residue that economists call inefficiency. Decades of academic studies pose theories and parse terabytes of data to determine …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/when-insurance-politics-collide/

Regulating, taxing e-cigarettes

…As previously noted here, e-cigarettes are winning over American smokers.  E-cigs' vapor of nicotine, water and propylene glycol is vastly safer than smoke, and these products satisfy smokers' …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/regulating-taxing-e-cigarettes/

How a fight with Rick Santorum made an IRS commissioner

May 17, 2013…While President Obama fired IRS commissioner Steven Miller this week for failing to stop the enhanced scrutiny the IRS gave 501c4 applications with conservative missions, most of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-a-fight-with-rick-santorum-made-an-irs-commissioner/

Our massive sugar subsidy is not so sweet for consumers or most farmers

…Imagine a market where the government controls both the price of goods and how much producers can sell, and where excess goods are bought up by the government …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/our-massive-sugar-subsidy-is-not-so-sweet-for-consumers-or-most-farmers/

Yes, the Marketplace Fairness Act does authorize a sales tax audit bonanza

May 15, 2013…The so-called “Marketplace Fairness Coalition,” one of a half-dozen groups using big-box retailer cash to organize support of Internet sales tax legislation, sent a very interesting letter last …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/yes-the-marketplace-fairness-act-does-authorize-a-sales-tax-audit-bonanza/

Why you just may come to like a carbon tax

May 14, 2013…Tax reform may involve simplifying the tax code, but actually achieving such a thing promises to be a terrifyingly complicated process. The battle over how (and by how …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-you-just-may-come-to-like-a-carbon-tax/

Taxes hurt competitiveness abroad

May 13, 2013… Public Radio’s Marketplace This Morning recently ran a piece featuring an in-depth investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting that highlighted the ability of U.S.-based companies to legally …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/taxes-hurt-competitiveness-abroad/

New York City: Prohibition prison

May 10, 2013…New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2003 prison smoking ban produced a pervasive black market, where single cigarettes cost inmates $30, and a pack runs as high as $200, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/new-york-city-prohibition-prison/

‘Shallow Loss’ is a loser of a program

May 9, 2013…Buried deep inside the $950 billion farm bill soon to come before the House and Senate agriculture committees is a policy proposal that easily ranks among the most …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/shallow-loss-is-a-loser-of-a-program/

Risky business

May 3, 2013…Buried deep in the recesses of President Obama’s budget are two items that could have vast and potentially devastating consequences for millions of Americans involved with dozens of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/risky-business/

Going green, shrinking the state: Florida leads the way

…With the stroke of his pen on a piece of insurance reform legislation, Florida Gov. Rick Scott will soon have the opportunity to begin writing another chapter to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/going-green-shrinking-the-state-florida-leads-the-way/

Snus and moist snuff may be protective against dental cavities

May 2, 2013…One of the longstanding federal warnings on smokeless tobacco is: "This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss."  This warning has no scientific basis. I previously discussed a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/snus-and-moist-snuff-may-be-protective-against-dental-cavities/

What’s the takeaway from snus?

Apr 29, 2013…A new study from British American Tobacco scientists answers that fascinating question, providing valuable information for consumers and regulators. Snus contains nicotine and other constituents that make tobacco satisfying, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/whats-the-takeaway-from-snus/

The Sequester: A policy triumph

Apr 26, 2013…There's no shortage of pundits, left and right, who cite the $85 billion sequester as evidence that Washington just doesn't work. And at first blush, the facts appear …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-sequester-a-policy-triumph/

Grow your pie and eat it too

…The Politics of Abundance: How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream, and Establish Obama’s Legacy By Reed Hundt and Blair Levin 101 pages; Odyssey Editions, 2012 A …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/grow-your-pie-and-eat-it-too/

No ‘midnight’ after this election

Apr 24, 2013…The following was co-authored with Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum. It is not uncommon for presidential administrations to issue a large number of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/no-midnight-after-this-election/

Spending without stimulus

Apr 23, 2013… Growing up I attended a religious high school, which I found as enjoyable as a daily visit to the dentist. Nevertheless my parents sent me there because the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/spending-without-stimulus/

Time for a carbon tax?

…The New York Times reports that the EU Parliament has elected to not remove carbon tax credits from the market, despite the price plunging from a peak of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/time-for-a-carbon-tax/

Farmers with benefits

Apr 22, 2013… American farmers did well in 2012, to say the least. They benefited from record-high commodity prices, burgeoning organic produce markets and high sale prices for farmland. As they …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/farmers-with-benefits/

The American Cancer Society’s anti-tobacco campaign ignores its own research

Apr 18, 2013…The American Cancer Society continues to misinform smokers about vastly safer options.  With chapters in nearly every county across the nation, the ACS is a powerful tobacco harm …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-american-cancer-societys-anti-tobacco-campaign-ignores-its-own-research/

An agenda for regulatory reform: Think big (and small)

Apr 17, 2013…If they want to get serious about doing away with job-killing government regulations, congressional Republicans need to get practical about the battles they choose. Last session, Congress' deregulatory …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/an-agenda-for-regulatory-reform-think-big-and-small/

What Republican war on sex?

Apr 16, 2013…I'm a conservative Republican, a married father, and a strong supporter of everyone's freedom to marry. And it strikes me that the Huffington Post is being hugely unfair …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-republican-war-on-sex/

Waiting for Obama

Apr 15, 2013…The Obama administration recently signaled to the business community that it could countenance some version of a territorial tax system for income earned abroad by U.S. businesses. Tax …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/waiting-for-obama/

ERM offers something for everyone

…Enterprise risk management has been steadily evolving since James Lam coined the term circa 1993. At first, ERM was hard to define, even by high-level practitioners. At a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/erm-offers-something-for-everyone/

Dual use, double standard

Apr 12, 2013…Tobacco harm reduction opponents have myriad rationales for withholding from smokers vital information about safer products.  One common objection is that smokers will become dual users (of both …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dual-use-double-standard/

Why don’t we eliminate farm subsidies?

…The 2014 White House budget includes some real cuts in farm subsidies, including to the absolutely absurd Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program. As Justin Green points out, this …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-dont-we-eliminate-farm-subsidies/

Time to open fire on farm subsidies

Apr 8, 2013…President Barack Obama, quite rightly, has been derided as the "food stamp president." While serving in office, the 44th president has presided over continued, massive expansions of the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/time-to-open-fire-on-farm-subsidies/

Solving the parking problem in Dupont Circle

…One of our neighbors bought a genuine London cab a couple of years ago. Importing such a vehicle is very challenging: the new cabs off the assembly line …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/solving-the-parking-problem-in-dupont-circle/

Misperceiving nicotine health risks

Apr 5, 2013…My research group published survey data in 2010 documenting that a highly educated population (faculty at the University of Louisville) misperceived the health risks of smokeless tobacco use …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/misperceiving-nicotine-health-risks/

Witt and Loy are dead wrong

Apr 4, 2013…James Lee Witt and James Loy are dead wrong to pretend that a national catastrophe fund would be anything other than a bailout for wealthy beach homeowners. Although they …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/witt-and-loy-are-dead-wrong/

Haircuts for the wrong heads

…I was taken aback when the European Union first suggested that the Cyprus government should impose a haircut on all deposits in the country's banks, even those below …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/haircuts-for-the-wrong-heads/

Bob McDonnell: Yes, he has a future

Mar 29, 2013…Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is exactly the sort of candidate -- an appealing, conservative pragmatist who knows how to govern -- that the Republican Party needs if it …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/bob-mcdonnell-yes-he-has-a-future/

Tobacco harm reduction: A (state) capital idea

Mar 28, 2013…When I published my book on tobacco harm reduction in 1995, Dr. Dean Edell described my strategy as "credible, logical and eminently do-able." Risk expert W. Kip Viscusi …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tobacco-harm-reduction-a-state-capital-idea/

The best choice for your state’s lieutenant governor: Nobody

Mar 25, 2013…When Jennifer Carroll resigned as Florida's lieutenant governor earlier this month amidst reports that she was linked to legally shady Internet cafes, it became front page news in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-best-choice-for-your-states-lieutenant-governor-nobody/

It’s time to ask Cyprus for a real concession

Mar 22, 2013…As expected, the government of Cyprus rejected the bank tax on deposits and now the government will return to the negotiating table with the EU. Christine Lagarde, president of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/its-time-to-ask-cyprus-for-a-real-concession/

Nicotine increases exercise endurance

Mar 21, 2013…In my lectures on tobacco harm reduction, I compare the properties of nicotine with those of caffeine (see slides at left).  Despite some obvious differences, the drugs have …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nicotine-increases-exercise-endurance/

Don’t tax the Internet

Mar 19, 2013… Senate Republicans will face a fork in the road this week when Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., forces a vote on a measure paving the way for expanded state …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-tax-the-internet/

Meredith’s insurance proposal has merit

…The Citizen-Times is wrong to dismiss Sen. Wesley Meredith’s automobile insurance reform proposals out of hand (“Apodaca has a better idea on auto insurance,” March 8). Fundamentally the bill …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/merediths-insurance-proposal-has-merit/

How Republicans really view Social Security

Mar 18, 2013…Democrats surprised or angered by President Obama’s apparent willingness to reduce Social Security benefits may wonder why his entreaty has elicited mostly a snooze from Republicans, who speak …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-republicans-really-view-social-security/

Extremism is OK, thoughtlessness isn’t

Mar 15, 2013…Even in their "best" years -- the times when they manage to convince their colleagues to support measures that benefit their districts, themselves, and their values -- members …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/extremism-is-okay-thoughtlessness-isnt/

American Dental Association improves mouth cancer and smokeless tobacco brochures

Mar 13, 2013…I have been critical of the American Dental Association’s distribution of misinformation about smokeless tobacco and tobacco harm reduction (discussed here and here).  New ADA brochures on mouth …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/american-dental-association-improves-mouth-cancer-and-smokeless-tobacco-brochures/

The party of prison reform

Mar 12, 2013…Michael Hough​—​a second-term Republican state legislator from Frederick County, Md.​—​is about as conservative as blue-state legislators come. He played a prominent role in opposing the state’s new gay …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-party-of-prison-reform/

Snowquester and climate change: The boring truth

Mar 11, 2013…Like the budget sequester -- a miniscule, almost unnoticeable cut in a vastly overstretched federal budget -- the expected blizzard nicknamed "snowquester" that hit Washington this past week …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/snowquester-and-climate-change-the-boring-truth/

Should the National Flood Insurance Program be privatized?

Mar 8, 2013…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/should-the-national-flood-insurance-program-be-privatized/

Truthful ‘action’ on e-cigarettes in the United Kingdom

…Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a British "campaigning public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco," has published a landmark report on e-cigarettes …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/truthful-action-on-e-cigarettes-in-the-united-kingdom/

Disaster aid: Federal proposal might help Florida but not California

Mar 1, 2013…U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., recently introduced the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2013, which would create a semi-private federal pooling mechanism to help states deal with large-scale natural …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/disaster-aid-federal-proposal-might-help-florida-but-not-california/

Saving the earth, saving tax dollars: The case for conservation compliance

…This piece was co-authored by Larry Schweiger, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. Whether they've inherited historic family farms, are setting out to grow crops …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/saving-the-earth-saving-tax-dollars-the-case-for-conservation-compliance/

Imagining tobacco without nicotine, chapter 2

Feb 28, 2013…A Feb. 23 Winston-Salem Journal article about Mitch Zeller, the new director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, reported that “Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/imagining-tobacco-without-nicotine-chapter-2/

Sequester: In search of leadership

Feb 27, 2013…It’s beginning to look like the sequester set forth after the collapse of the "Supercommittee" may actually become law on March 1, and quite a few people are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sequester-in-search-of-leadership/

Smoking, but not smokeless tobacco, associated with past-year psychiatric disorders

Feb 21, 2013…Compared with the general population, smokers have elevated rates of psychiatric problems, and affected smokers tend to consume more cigarettes, inhale more deeply and quit less often (evidence …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/smoking-but-not-smokeless-tobacco-associated-with-past-year-psychiatric-disorders/

House of Cards: good television, questionable research

Feb 20, 2013…Although its producers at Netflix won't release the viewership numbers for their district-set, Baltimore-filmed TV series House of Cards, a visit to any water cooler in the D.C. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/house-of-cards-good-television-questionable-research/

Smokers are routinely misinformed

Feb 18, 2013…Kevin Nelson’s criticism of Utah politicians and the American Legislative Exchange Council included egregious distortions and demonstrably false statements ("Utah’s Children are not up for sale" Feb. 5). The …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/smokers-are-routinely-misinformed/

Making the European case for snus

Feb 13, 2013…The Parliament magazine, which covers European Union news, politics and public policy, just published a special supplement on snus. The supplement, underwritten by the Swedish Food Federation and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/making-the-european-case-for-snus/

A modest (retirement) proposal

Feb 11, 2013…I just attended a retirement party for a friend of mine. The party had the usual accoutrements — sheet cake, punch, a few photos of the retiree from …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-modest-retirement-proposal/

The big social changes are the ones we ignore

Feb 8, 2013…When, in the late 1970s, the momentum behind the proposed Equal Rights Amendment seemed unstoppable, a group of "new right" activists led by conservative populist Phyllis Schlafly offered …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-big-social-changes-are-the-ones-we-ignore/

FDA: Adverse events related to e-cigarettes are almost nonexistent

…The FDA Center for Tobacco Products’s Dr. Ii-Lun Chen describes in Nicotine and Tobacco Research adverse events related to e-cigarettes reported to the agency from 2008 to the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-adverse-events-related-to-e-cigarettes-are-almost-nonexistent/

How smokers will tell us if Obamacare is working

Feb 5, 2013…Cigarette smoking, to say the least, poses serious and well-known health risks. Stern public health warnings about the dangers of tobacco have been issued just about everywhere since …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-smokers-will-tell-us-if-obamacare-is-working/

Crist has change of heart

…Former Gov. Charlie Crist offers sound advice to lawmakers in his Jan. 28 op-ed, "In Florida and Washington, put people over politics." However, Crist's words today seem to be …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/crist-has-change-of-heart/

No canary in the coal mine…yet

Feb 1, 2013…The unexpected slight decline in fourth quarter gross domestic product, or GDP, did not produce a media meltdown, stock market plunge or a flurry of calls from my …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/no-canary-in-the-coal-mine-yet/

Anatomy of a failed ‘auction’ for Medicare supplies

Jan 30, 2013… Today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) set arbitrary prices for Medicare Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supplies based on CMS’ flawed bidding process. It was not …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/anatomy-of-a-failed-auction-for-medicare-supplies/

A call to action

Jan 29, 2013…I am not inclined toward political action, but I am inspired by Clive Bates’s call to action against the European Union’s appalling new tobacco directive.  Americans should take …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-call-to-action/

The right way to eliminate state income taxes

Jan 25, 2013…Even as the newly reelected president calls for ever-bigger government, a tax-slashing season has started in some Republican-leaning states. Efforts to eliminate or significantly cut state income taxes …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-right-way-to-eliminate-state-income-taxes/

A ‘news’ study on smokeless tobacco

Jan 23, 2013…A study published this month in Nicotine and Tobacco Research provides evidence that coverage of smokeless tobacco (ST) in the context of tobacco harm reduction was infrequent and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-news-study-on-smokeless-tobacco/

Dead in the water

Jan 21, 2013… Of course, the same can be said for dozens of other federal efforts. What sets the NFIP apart is that, in looking to address what was at the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dead-in-the-water/

Rep. Wilson’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea

…Rep. Frederica Wilson's recent comments about disaster recovery rank among the most wrong-headed and poorly thought-out pieces of commentary ever to come from a sitting member of Congress. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/rep-wilsons-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-idea/

Saving on snacks, the Washington way

Jan 17, 2013… I just saved $500 last night and I’m feeling quite proud of myself. It didn’t take much effort: I simply discovered that my local drug store sells my …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/saving-on-snacks-the-washington-way/

Finally, U.S. official admits that smoking deaths are declining

…Dr. Phil Cole and I asserted in 2008 that smoking-related deaths in the United States were on the decline. Finally, this month, a Food and Drug Administration official …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/finally-u-s-official-admits-that-smoking-deaths-are-declining/

Durbin wrong on tax ‘loopholes’

Jan 16, 2013…Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois recently appeared on CNN to voice his support for increasing government revenue by getting rid of various loopholes that allow individuals and companies …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/durbin-wrong-on-tax-loopholes/

Beware of storm signals by insurers

Jan 14, 2013…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/beware-of-storm-signals-by-insurers/

Something for everybody (to hate): Rep. Wilson’s beach house bailout

…If nothing else, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., has learned how to bring people together: by proposing to resuscitate a zombie-like bill called the Homeowners Defense Act, the U.S. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/something-for-everybody-to-hate-rep-wilsons-beach-house-bailout/

Tax cuts require entitlement reform

Jan 13, 2013…Republicans “lost” the negotiations over the fiscal cliff, in the minds of some, when they acceded to higher tax rates on income over $450,000, as well as on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tax-cuts-require-entitlement-reform/

Rebels with cause

Jan 11, 2013… NBC’s Revolution (Mondays, 10 p.m. ET/PT) features swordfights, gun-fights, and crossbow fights, chases on horseback, chases on trains, and chases on foot. It is gripping, loud, and entertaining. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/rebels-with-cause/

Overweight and low mortality

Jan 10, 2013…Last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a meta-analysis documenting that being "overweight was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality.” The study was authored by …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/overweight-and-low-mortality/

Letter to the Helena (Mont.) Independent Record

Jan 8, 2013…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-the-helena-mont-independent-record/

Letter to the Los Angeles Times

Jan 4, 2013…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-the-los-angeles-times/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-the-wall-street-journal/

Is it time for the X-Tax?

Jan 3, 2013…Progressive Consumption Taxation: The X-Tax Revisited By Robert Carroll and Alan D. Viard 222 pages; AEI Press, June 2012 What would a tax reform look like that would be acceptable to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-it-time-for-the-x-tax/

High school seniors’ tobacco use pales in comparison to alcohol

…Smoking by teens has declined to record-low levels, according to the latest University of Michigan annual Monitoring the Future Study, which examines youth tobacco, alcohol and drug use …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/high-school-seniors-tobacco-use-pales-in-comparison-to-alcohol/

Talking it out: It will solve (some) problems in Congress

…It's a new year. More than 100 new members of Congress were sworn in Wednesday and a majority of President Barack Obama's first-term cabinet members will likely depart …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/talking-it-out-it-will-solve-some-problems-in-congress/

The pitfalls of reforming a broken system

…Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage By Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell 440 pages; Yale University Press, 2012 The phrase “industrial policy” comes with a lot of baggage, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-pitfalls-of-reforming-a-broken-system/

Examining the U.S. regulatory ‘budget’

…The nation’s federal budget deficit gets a lot of attention from policy wonks and political commentators, and for good reason. Most people agree that the rapid rise in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/examining-the-u-s-regulatory-budget/

The true cost of the fiscal cliff deal

…In their negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff," the Democrats threw away a chance to get more revenue from the wealthy and to introduce modest changes to entitlement …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-true-cost-of-the-fiscal-cliff-deal/

The ‘open for business’ tax plan

Dec 31, 2012… It’s not hard to find people in Washington who say they favor something called “fundamental tax reform.” President Barack Obama, for example, loves talking about the idea. In …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-open-for-business-tax-plan/

Once again, there’s no free lunch

Dec 29, 2012…The president seems to be holding most of the cards in the negotiation to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff". If no deal is reached by Jan. 1 (as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/once-again-theres-no-free-lunch/

FDA inaction strengthens cigarette market supremacy

Dec 27, 2012…Two weeks ago, Michael Felberbaum of the Associated Press published an interesting story, "FDA review of tobacco products grinds to a halt," about how the Food and Drug …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-inaction-strengthens-cigarette-market-supremacy/

Cat fund disaster

Dec 26, 2012…Advocates of expanding or retaining the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund at its current level are either misguided or knowingly peddling false coverage. Allstate's Florida unit, Castle Key Insurance, serves …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cat-fund-disaster/

Guns are good, cops are good, the NRA’s proposal isn’t

Dec 24, 2012…Like a lot of other gun rights supporters, I awaited the National Rifle Association's Friday press conference eagerly. And, like many others on both sides of the gun …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/guns-are-good-cops-are-good-the-nras-proposal-isnt/

The e-cigarette revolution

Dec 20, 2012…Richard Craver, a writer for the Winston-Salem Journal, recently described the growing popularity of e-cigarettes.  Bonnie Herzog, a Wells Fargo security analyst who has followed the tobacco industry …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-e-cigarette-revolution/

Newtown, gun control, and accepting America as it is

Dec 18, 2012…In the last few days, more than a few voices, almost all on the political left, have decided to use the Newtown, Conn. school shootings as an occasion …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/newtown-gun-control-and-accepting-america-as-it-is/

Resisting automatic savings

Dec 14, 2012…The automatic enrollment of new employees into a company’s 401k pension plan has gone from a niche policy to the mainstream in just a few years. Today, a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/resisting-automatic-savings/

In its unreformed state, Cat Fund bad for stability of Florida economy

…Advocates of expanding or retaining the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund at its current level are either misguided or knowingly peddling false coverage. Allstate’s Florida unit, Castle Key Insurance, serves …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/in-its-unreformed-state-cat-fund-bad-for-stability-of-florida-economy/

Snus is the leading smoking cessation aid for Swedish men and women

Dec 13, 2012…A Swedish population-based survey documents that "snus continues to be the most frequently reported cessation aid among male smokers” and “[u]se of snus at the latest quit attempt …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/snus-is-the-leading-smoking-cessation-aid-for-swedish-men-and-women/

The green(ish) case against wind power subsidies

Dec 12, 2012…As an energy source, wind power looks just about perfect: it creates no greenhouse gases, requires pulling nothing out of the earth, and relies on an inexhaustible resource. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-greenish-case-against-wind-power-subsidies/

Big Tobacco advertising and promotion do not drive consumption

Dec 6, 2012…One of the longstanding fallacies promoted by the anti-tobacco movement is that tobacco use is solely driven by advertising and marketing by large multinational companies, also known as …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/big-tobacco-advertising-and-promotion-do-not-drive-consumption/

Don’t let states tax beyond their borders

Dec 5, 2012…Current federal legislation, called the Marketplace Fairness Act in the Senate and the Marketplace Equity Act in the House, would undermine basic taxpayer protections, create an unleveled playing …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dont-let-states-tax-beyond-their-borders/

Backing away from the cliff

Dec 4, 2012…The broader long-term implications of the election should be apparent after the fiscal cliff is resolved. Whatever the outcome, it will not be the most important piece of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/backing-away-from-the-cliff/

A tax we could learn to love

Dec 3, 2012…Global emissions of carbon dioxide hit a record high in 2011, scientists from the Global Carbon Project reported last week. Another record is expected in 2012. The earth continues to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-tax-we-could-learn-to-love/

The case for ending Powerball

Nov 30, 2012…The chance to win over a half billion dollars in this week's Powerball drawing brought millions of Americans out to buy lottery tickets. (I was one of them.) …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-case-for-ending-powerball/

Credit union lending bill would help small firms

Nov 29, 2012…(This piece was co-authored with John Arensmeyer, chief executive officer of the Small Business Majority.) A look at the numbers makes it clear that America's economy relies on small …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/credit-union-lending-bill-would-help-small-firms/

Secondhand smoke and mirrors

…As I discussed over a year ago, claims that smoking bans result in enormous declines in hospitalizations for heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction, AMI) are largely based on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/secondhand-smoke-and-mirrors/

By the rivers of .  .  . Quebec?

Nov 26, 2012…Jake Irving looks excited. Sitting at a table in a noisy Washington, D.C., bistro, he pulls a chart out of a briefcase with a flourish. The numbers are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/by-the-rivers-of-%e2%80%89%e2%80%89-%e2%80%89%e2%80%89-quebec/

The postal service should go…now

Nov 25, 2012…Finding true "fat" in the government budget proves harder than it appears at first blush. Many commonly cited sources of "waste" like the National Endowment for the Arts, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-postal-service-should-go-now/

Jane Brody and the New York Times: Counting smokers badly

Nov 20, 2012…Jane Brody falsely reported in her Nov. 12 New York Times “Personal Health” column that, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the smoking …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/jane-brody-and-the-new-york-times-counting-smokers-badly/

Why the GOP has every reason to look forward to 2013

Nov 15, 2012…The Washington Redskins lost their last home game before the 2012 election; President Barack Obama still won the presidency. As a result, the already battered Redskins rule -- …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-the-gop-has-every-reason-to-look-forward-to-2013/

Tobacco trick or treat by Florida’s surgeon general

Nov 14, 2012…On Halloween, Dr. John Armstrong, Florida surgeon general and secretary of health, launched an attack on flavored tobacco, ostensibly to protect children (I expressed concern three years ago …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tobacco-trick-or-treat-by-floridas-surgeon-general/

Response to The Nation’s Naomi Klein

Nov 13, 2012…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/response-to-the-nations-naomi-klein/

Nicotine levels in American smokeless tobacco products

Nov 7, 2012…Nicotine levels in smokeless tobacco products available in the U.S. in 2006 and 2007 were analyzed by scientists at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co.  I previously discussed other analyses …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nicotine-levels-in-american-smokeless-tobacco-products/

Why Romney lost: It’s governance, stupid

…Every faction of the Republican Party will use the 2012 presidential campaign to draw conclusions that pander to their ideological biases. Arch Tea Partiers will argue that the "moderate …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/why-romney-lost-its-governance-stupid/

Catastrophe fund risky

Nov 5, 2012…Your suggestion that Hurricane Sandy should force lawmakers to reconsider enacting a national catastrophe fund actually helps make the point against one ("Time for national catastrophe fund," Nov. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/catastrophe-fund-risky/

Gas lines in Jersey and the quirks of democracy

Nov 2, 2012…For the first time since Hurricane Katrina temporarily crimped oil supplies, gas lines have appeared in a significant part of the United States. This time, they're in New …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/gas-lines-in-jersey-and-the-quirks-of-democracy/

When does mitigation make sense?

Nov 1, 2012…There is little doubt that free, sensibly regulated insurance markets provide the best incentives to encourage people to prepare their properties against nature’s worst. Given limitless resources to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/when-does-mitigation-make-sense/

‘Climate silence’: It’s just common sense

Oct 31, 2012…As any number of activists and journalists -- nearly all of them on the left -- have noted, the two major party presidential candidates aren't talking much about …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/climate-silence-its-just-common-sense/

E-cigarettes prove effective for smoking cessation

…The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction is well established.  My comprehensive reviews of the evidence in 2006 and 2011 were based on 279 articles published primarily in …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/e-cigarettes-prove-effective-for-smoking-cessation/

Low trace metal levels in American smokeless tobacco products mean no significant health risk

Oct 24, 2012…I previously discussed a comprehensive chemical analysis of smokeless tobacco products conducted by M.F. Borgerding and colleagues at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and published in Regulatory Toxicology and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/low-trace-metal-levels-in-american-smokeless-tobacco-products-mean-no-significant-health-risk/

Energy policy akin to a Cheesecake Factory menu: Is it needed?

Oct 22, 2012…If nothing else, the Cheesecake Factory, a mall favorite sit-down restaurant with Gaudi-esque décor, offers an all-of-the-above menu. Want Asian? There's pad thai and orange chicken. Americanized Italian? …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/energy-policy-akin-to-a-cheesecake-factory-menu-is-it-needed/

Pay Per Venue: A new attraction for the movie palaces of old

…As multi-screen stadium-seating theaters with huge parking lots, endless rows of seats, anonymous lobbies, $12 popcorn, and annoying pre-movie ads have sprouted throughout the country, the act of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/pay-per-venue-a-new-attraction-for-the-movie-palaces-of-old/

Welcoming (some) New England liberals back into the GOP

Oct 15, 2012…Given his overwhelming lead in the polls, Maine independent candidate and former Gov. Angus King seems almost certain to serve as the Pine Tree State's next U.S. senator. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/welcoming-some-new-england-liberals-back-into-the-gop/

The fringe candidate who could cost Mitt Romney the presidency

Oct 8, 2012…If he cares at all about the future of his own country, Virgil Goode, the fringe Constitution Party nominee for president, needs to drop out of the race …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-fringe-candidate-who-could-cost-mitt-romney-the-presidency/

Sorry conservatives, the polls are (probably) right

Oct 1, 2012…My Facebook feed, email inbox, and the chatter I hear in conservative meetings are all telling me the same thing: the polls -- all of them -- are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/sorry-conservatives-the-polls-are-probably-right/

Louisville professor: Smoke-free option is one Oklahoma should consider to reduce tobacco harm

Sep 30, 2012…A quit-smoking strategy with “the potential to save millions of lives” will be the subject of an Oklahoma legislative hearing Wednesday. At issue will be tobacco harm reduction, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/louisville-professor-smoke-free-option-is-one-oklahoma-should-consider-to-reduce-tobacco-harm/

Dual use and smoking suppression

Sep 27, 2012…Norway has proven that the Swedish tobacco experience can be duplicated in other countries where smokeless tobacco is used (discussed earlier here and here).  Karl Erik Lund, from …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dual-use-and-smoking-suppression/

Memo to GOP Senate candidates: Be independent

Sep 24, 2012…Just about a year ago, 2012's Senate offered a source of great happiness to just about every Republican in the country. The math, it seemed, was simple: Democrats were …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/memo-to-gop-senate-candidates-be-independent/

An absorbing nicotine lesson

Sep 21, 2012…Nicotine uptake from snus, cigarettes and medicinal gum varies significantly, new research shows.   Helena Digard of British American Tobacco is lead author on the work, joined by colleagues from …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/an-absorbing-nicotine-lesson/

Nixon’s lesson for Romney

Sep 20, 2012…If President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden win in Massachusetts (certain) and Wisconsin (very likely), the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket could become the first major party …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/nixons-lesson-for-romney/

Snus prohibition in the EU

Sep 13, 2012…Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that the European Commission’s health directorate has proposed a ban on the export of Swedish snus. Sweden’s government has been quietly urging the European …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/snus-prohibition-in-the-eu/

Charlie Crist: A sorry legacy

Sep 10, 2012…As a piece of political oratory, the short, upbeat speech that ex-Republican former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist delivered at the Democratic Convention Thursday worked pretty well. The perpetually …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/charlie-crist-a-sorry-legacy/

What a difference the truth makes: Researchers say government needs to get smokers facts about smokeless tobacco

Sep 6, 2012…A new study reveals that telling smokers the truth about smokeless tobacco corrects their misperceptions and increases the likelihood of their trying smokeless products to quit smoking.   Lead author …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/what-a-difference-the-truth-makes-researchers-say-government-needs-to-get-smokers-facts-about-smokeless-tobacco/

Pipe smoking and health

Aug 30, 2012…Health risks associated with cigar smoking are lower than those for cigarette smoking, reflecting a lower exposure to smoke toxicants (see my earlier post here).  The same holds …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/pipe-smoking-and-health/

Welfare scheme (Letter to the Tampa Tribune)

Aug 26, 2012…Proposals to decrease the size of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. by transferring some of its surplus funds to private insurers in exchange for assuming policies may seem like …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/welfare-scheme-letter-to-the-tampa-tribune/

Let market determine our insurance rates

Aug 24, 2012…Twenty years ago today, Hurricane Andrew — at the time, the costliest storm in U.S. history — made landfall near Homestead. Andrew ended a 20-year period of modest Atlantic …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/let-market-determine-our-insurance-rates/

Yes, Akin’s gaffe is bigger news than Biden’s

Aug 23, 2012…Missouri U.S. Senate nominee Todd Akin has headlined most newspapers and websites over the past 72 hours because of his absurd claim that women who were subject to …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/yes-akins-gaffe-is-bigger-news-than-bidens/

E-cigarette awareness and use

Aug 22, 2012…American Legacy Foundation staff, led by Dr. Jennifer Pearson, reported two surveys gauging awareness, use and perceptions of e-cigarettes.  The research was published in the American Journal of …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/e-cigarettes-awareness-and-use/

Federal warnings undermine smokeless tobacco harm reduction messages

Aug 15, 2012…I recently discussed research showing that warnings on smokeless tobacco (ST or SLT) products discourage smokers from switching, while messages describing risk differentials between ST products and cigarettes …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/federal-warnings-undermine-smokeless-tobacco-harm-reduction-messages/

The GOP’s dismal electoral math

Aug 13, 2012…Mitt Romney, the man I will vote for in November, has not had much good news lately. President Obama's persistently negative campaign, the natural advantages of the incumbency …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-gops-dismal-electoral-math/

The surprising economic effects of smoking and quitting

Aug 8, 2012…Anti-tobacco forces often argue that smokers are a burden on the American economy.  When Congress debated FDA tobacco regulation in 2009, the White House advised that tobacco use …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-surprising-economic-effects-of-smoking-quitting/

Kill the farm bill

Aug 7, 2012…The Farm Bill is now stalled in the U.S. House as members head back to their districts for their traditional break. This is a good thing. The measure, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/kill-the-farm-bill/

A democracy, not a technocracy

Aug 6, 2012…Groups on the political fringes like to quarrel with science. Some of my fellow travelers on the political right regularly reject evolution and certain findings of climate science. …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-democracy-not-a-technocracy/

The health risks of cigar smoking

Aug 1, 2012…Cigarette smoking risks are well known, but cigars are also combustible tobacco products.  Do cigars present the same health risks as cigarettes?   Researchers from the Kaiser Medical Care Program, …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-health-risks-of-cigar-smoking/

Save the earth! Shrink the state!

Jul 30, 2012…America has some good things to show for its more than 40 years of intense environmental activism: the air and water are cleaner than they were and the …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/save-the-earth-shrink-the-state/

Not so easy

Jul 26, 2012…The proposal by Republican candidate for Florida House of Representatives District 106, David Bolduc, to establish a state bank to address the state's property insurance crisis, is interesting. But …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/not-so-easy/

The Great Unmentionable: The role of high salaries and wages in health care inflation

Jul 23, 2012…In discussions of America’s high health care costs, surprisingly little attention is paid to salaries and wages. Yet the fact that medical jobs simply pay more than those …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-great-unmentionable-the-role-of-high-salaries-and-wages-in-health-care-inflation/

Farmers, farms and the GOP’s brand of client politics

…I'm a Republican, but on a handful of issues -- gay marriage, the earned income tax credit and some types of environmental laws -- my own views are …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/farmers-farms-and-the-gops-brand-of-client-politics/

Cut Medicare and Social Security now

Jul 16, 2012…Everyone has a different way of defining the "fat" in the federal budget. Liberals like to point to waste at the Pentagon and certain types of "corporate welfare" …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/cut-medicare-and-social-security-now-2/

Is the real unemployment rate 40%?

Jul 6, 2012…It all depends on who is in office. When George W. Bush oversaw an economic recovery as president, liberals pointed to alternative unemployment numbers to cast doubt on …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/is-the-real-unemployment-rate-40/

A conservative defense of the Obamacare ruling and what’s next

Jun 29, 2012…Walking near the Supreme Court just a few minutes after it handed down its ruling on Obamacare, I overheard part of a Tea Party rally. "Are we going …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-conservative-defense-of-the-obamacare-ruling-and-whats-next/

Letter to Sunshine State News, June 27, 2012

Jun 27, 2012…Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s new Chief Executive Officer Barry Gilway deserves credit for his honesty in highlighting the need for higher rates. (“New Citizens Leader Suggests Breaking 10 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-sunshine-state-news-june-27-2012/

Dear historic preservationists: Please leave us alone

Jun 25, 2012…As it has every summer since 1988, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a private group with an official-sounding name, has released a list of America's most endangered …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dear-historic-preservationists-please-leave-us-alone/

Ron Paul’s plan to win the leprechaun vote

Jun 18, 2012…If you're a shoe-making elf who jealously guards his gold coins -- a Leprechaun -- you don't have many friends in American politics these days. President Obama, gold-bug …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ron-pauls-plan-to-win-the-leprechaun-vote/

Letter to Sen. Tim Johnson and Sen. Richard Shelby on Hagan amendment

Jun 15, 2012…Dear Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Shelby: Thank you for your continued efforts to pass S. 1940, the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2012. As this important …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-sen-tim-johnson-and-sen-richard-shelby-on-hagan-amendment/

Blame your Florida legislators; don’t expect to get paid if there’s a really bad hurricane season

Jun 14, 2012…Don't expect to get paid if there's a really bad hurricane season Mother Nature didn't get the memo about the official start of hurricane season. Tropical storms Alberto and …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/blame-your-florida-legislators-dont-expect-to-get-paid-if-theres-a-really-bad-hurricane-season/

A civic sitcom

Jun 13, 2012…"Parks and Recreation" (NBC, Thursdays, 8:30 ET) offers every ingredient of a good television sitcom: It’s smart, laugh-out-loud funny, well-acted and nicely photographed. Despite good reviews, and a …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/a-civic-sitcom/

Free-market and conservative coalition urges ‘yes’ on S.J. Res. 37, the Inhofe resolution to stop Utility MACT

Jun 11, 2012…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/free-market-and-conservative-coalition-urges-yes-on-s-j-res-37-the-inhofe-resolution-to-stop-utility-mact/

How Mitt Romney can win the environmental vote

…Mitt Romney just had an awesome week but, unless he attracts new groups to the Republican coalition, it still seems he won't win the November election. If he …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/how-mitt-romney-can-win-the-environmental-vote/

Dear Libertarians: Stop being nuts

Jun 4, 2012…If nothing else, Mark Hemingway's terrific reporting from the Libertarian National Convention will leave readers informed and amused. As Hemingway's largely sympathetic article for The Weekly Standard makes …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/dear-libertarians-stop-being-nuts/

Eli Lehrer: Florida’s lawmakers ignore storm warnings

May 31, 2012…The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is always June 1, but Mother Nature apparently didn't get the memo this year. Tropical storms Alberto and Beryl crashed …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/eli-lehrer-floridas-lawmakers-ignore-storm-warnings/

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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/letter-to-the-miami-herald/

Ron Paul should drop out now

May 29, 2012…In recent weeks, Ron Paul has emerged as the greatest threat to the Republican Party's future. If the Texas Congressman and one-time Libertarian Party presidential nominee actually wants …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/ron-paul-should-drop-out-now/

Prison rape standards: A start, but only a start

May 21, 2012…Almost a decade after the law requiring them passed Congress and two years after the original deadline for announcing them, the Department of Justice has, at last, come …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/prison-rape-standards-a-start-but-only-a-start/

The best flip-flop he could make: Romney should support gay marriage

May 15, 2012…If Mitt Romney wants to win the election and become president, he should come out and support gay marriage. Doing so will work not so much because it's …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/the-best-flip-flop-he-could-make-romney-should-support-gay-marriage/

Romneycare: A road not taken

Jan 26, 2012…It's quite clear to me that President Mitt Romney's healthcare plan has been and will continue to be a disaster for the country. Like all other progressives, I'm …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/romneycare-a-road-not-taken/

Tackle high insurance costs

Dec 5, 2011…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 …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/tackle-high-insurance-costs/

We can’t bail out college students

Oct 24, 2011…The ‘Occupy’ movement protesters all over the country are angry above all else. Their demands remain unclear, but calls for total (or partial) forgiveness of student loans seem …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/we-cant-bail-out-college-students/

The long arm of the law

Mar 1, 1995…Emotionally, it's hard for me to defend Jake Baker. At best, the University of Michigan undergraduate is an amateur writer with a repellently misogynistic imagination. At worst, Baker …

http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/baker-column/

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