TOP POLICY STORIES
No Need To Panic About Global Warming, Harrison H. Schmitt (coauthor), Wall Street Journal
A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree drastic actions on global warming are needed. (read more)
A $200,000 Prop, Buffett Secretary Qualifies For Tax Hike, Steve Stanek, New York Post
As stage props go, $200,000 is pretty pricey. But that’s the low end of how much Warren Buffett’s secretary earns in a year, based on IRS tax tables and the information she’s made public.
Still less than her billionaire boss, but still. Can anyone fail to see the irony of President Obama inviting Debbie Bosanek to sit by his wife for his State of the Union Address to use her as an example of tax unfairness, when the Buffett aide likely earns enough to put a bullseye on her back for the tax hikes Obama has long called for on higher earners? (read more)
Illinois’ Woes Show Why We Can’t Afford Public Unions, Steve Stanek, Chicago Sun-Times
To see the problem with government employee collective bargaining, look at Illinois. What’s happening here is happening to varying degrees in most states.
One year ago, Illinois lawmakers raised the state’s corporate tax an astonishing 46 percent and the personal income tax a more astonishing 67 percent.
The result? Earlier this month, the Moody’s rating agency downgraded the state’s credit rating, giving Illinois the lowest credit rating in the nation.
Two days before the Moody’s downgrade, state budget director David Vaught told the Associated Press, “Our revenue growth is not enough to keep up with pensions and Medicaid. It creates a squeeze for everything else.” (read more)
New York Considers Extending Fracking Moratorium, John Monaghan, The Heartlander
New York legislators are debating extending the state’s de facto moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for another year. The current moratorium on permits for new fracking projects, imposed in 2008, is set to expire on June 1, 2012. (read more)
Consumer Power Report: Obama Administration Tramples on Religious Freedom, Benjamin Domenech
Throughout the country on Sunday, January 29, Catholics were read letters by bishops and priests protesting the latest rule handed down from on high by the Obama administration – a rule that will unquestionably restrict their ability to continue to provide insurance coverage and health care to non-Catholics without running afoul of their religious beliefs. (read more)
Supremes Hear Arguments in FCC Obscenity Case, Tom Gantert, The Heartlander
In 2002 and 2003, celebrities uttered obscenities during live television broadcasts. The offensive words led to a battle over the Federal Communications Commission’s indecency standards, ultimately argued Jan. 10 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. (read more)
Michigan Pensions Cover Missed Bond Payment For Film Studio, Steve Stanek, The Heartlander
The $80 million Raleigh Michigan Studios in Pontiac, Mich., has missed a $630,000 bond payment that came due Feb. 1, forcing the Michigan Employees’ Retirement System to make the payment. (read more)
Climate Change Weekly: New Data Show Emissions Cuts Unnecessary, James M. Taylor
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions continue to track lower than year 2000 levels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on January 23, extending this century’s downward trend in U.S. emissions. The new data rebut assertions the United States needs to impose new restrictions on coal-fired power plants and other sources of carbon dioxide emissions. (read more)
Research & Commentary: Civics Education, Joy Pullmann
Often lost in the attention rightly paid to students’ poor achievement in math and reading is that civic knowledge and participation have been sliding for decades in the United States. That undermines representative government. (read more)
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