TOP POLICY STORIES
PLASTIC BAGS, John Monaghan, Chicago Tribune
The Illinois Retail Merchants Association’s decision to support greater state intervention in plastic-bag usage and distribution will only hurt the group’s represented interests in the long run. To avoid patchwork local regulations, the trade association is hoping to undercut local initiatives by crafting a preferable alternative regime at the state level.
Unfortunately, this maneuver also vests control for future statewide taxes and bans at the state level. I can easily imagine a scenario in the not-so-distant future in which the state, desperately in search of additional revenue, imposes a statewide tax on the product, at which point business interests will find themselves responsible for the very negative effects they had sought to avoid. (read full article)
Should Scientific Skepticism Be Kept Out of Public Schools?, James M. Taylor, The Heartland Institute
PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio aired a segment last night on how public school teachers are becoming frustrated about students being skeptical of alarmist global warming claims. The segment showed how government-funded programs are providing teachers with tools to fight scientific skepticism.
While expressing her exasperation at students being skeptical of alarmist global warming theory, a public high school science teacher in Colorado said that the definition of a “scientific theory” is that it is the best possible explanation for an event and that it has already withstood challenge after challenge.
So, should scientific skepticism be discouraged in high school science classes? You can watch the PBS NewsHour segment here and decide for yourself: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/climate-change/jan-june12/teachclimate_05-02.html
Illinois Judge Strikes Down State’s Internet Affiliate Tax Law, Peter White, Justice Liberty Center, Illinois Policy Institute
A Cook County Circuit Court judge has struck down Illinois’ Internet affiliate tax law, handing a victory to thousands of Internet entrepreneurs across the state.
The ultimate outcome is likely to rest with the Illinois Supreme Court, which hears cases in which a statute has been held invalid on direct appeal. For the time being, though, supporters of the challenge to the law view the ruling as an important step in thwarting a barrage of oppressive taxes that are driving jobs out of Illinois and diminishing the state’s revenue. (read more)
Wednesday’s School Reform News Roundup, Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
A Missouri judge blocked a new law that would have allowed kids in the unaccredited and long abysmal Kansas City and Saint Louis schools to transfer to nearby districts.
In the New York Times online, Mark Bittman decimates advocates of expanding government food programs for poor children. (read more)
Research & Commentary: Medicare Physician Reimbursement, Kendall Antekeier, The Heartland Institute
Physicians were given insight into their cost-effectiveness last month when the federal government sent reports detailing the cost and quality of their services. The reports begin implementation of a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to pay more to physicians who lower the cost of their services while maintaining quality of care, and lowering reimbursement for physicians producing high costs without improving results. (read more)
Could Pet Insurance Serve as a Model for Human Health Care?, Eli Lehrer, Weekly Standard
Pet insurance offers an important model for human health care reformers to learn from. And, where it falls down, it isn’t because markets are flawed, bad, or immoral, but rather because certain aspects of human health simply transcend the economic. (read more)
Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly: Body Politic, Maureen Martin, The Heartland Institute
It’s hard to feel sorry for former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards, now on trial on federal charges of illegally using his campaign funds to keep his adulterous affair secret. We can feel sorry for ourselves, however, for having to pay for the prosecution of this sleazy case with our tax dollars. (read more)
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