President Obama: The Biggest Government Spender In World History , Peter Ferrara, The Heartland Institute
The U.S. has never before had a President who thinks so little of the American people that he imagines he can win re-election running on the opposite of reality. But that is the reality of President Obama today.
Waving a planted press commentary, Obama recently claimed on the campaign stump, “federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any President in almost 60 years.” Peggy Noonan aptly summarized in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal the take-away message:
“There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration. It became apparent some weeks ago when the President talked on the stump – where else? – about an essay by a fellow who said spending growth [under Obama] is actually lower than that of previous Presidents. This was startling to a lot of people, who looked into it and found the man had left out most spending from 2009, the first year of Mr. Obama’s Presidency. People sneered: The President was deliberately using a misleading argument to paint a false picture! But you know, why would he go out there waving an article that could immediately be debunked? Maybe because he thought it was true. That’s more alarming, isn’t it, the idea that he knows so little about the effects of his own economic program that he thinks he really is a low spender.” (read more)
California Health Care Providers Offer Discounts for Cash Payment, Kenneth Artz, The Heartland Institute
Many hospitals and doctors offer cash discounts for medical bills for their patients, regardless of income. But there’s a catch: The lowest price is usually available only if the patients don’t use their health insurance.
The savings are impressive in some states. A Long Beach hospital recently charged a patient $6,707 for a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis after colon surgery, as first reported by the Los Angeles Times. Because she had health insurance with Blue Shield of California, her share was much less: $2,336. But the patient found out about one of the little-known secrets of health care: If she hadn’t used her insurance, her bill would have been only $1,054. (read more)
Democrat Controlled Senate Votes to Keep Costly EPA Restrictions, James M. Taylor, The Heartland Institute
The U.S. Senate yesterday voted to keep costly EPA mercury restrictions on power plants. The Senate voted largely along party lines, with just a few Senators from each party bucking their party leadership.
The EPA restrictions are so severe as to effectively ban the future construction of coal-fired power plants. Coal powers nearly half the nation’s electricity and is substantially less expensive than alternative power sources, so the EPA restrictions will necessarily cause steep increases in energy prices that will act as a punitive economic tax without generating any tax revenues.
EPA announced its costly new restrictions despite the Agency’s own data showing a 67 percent decline in emissions of the six principal pollutants since 1980. (read more)
Small Town Gets Big-League Debt With Stadium Deal, Sean Parnell, Impact Policy Management
While large cities tend to receive attention for big-league deals giving tax money to build stadiums for pro sports teams, small towns have also been stepping up to the plate to lure minor-league or second-tier professional sports teams. Many of those small towns are losing big.
One is Bridgeview, Illinois, which is in dire financial straits because its taxpayer-owned soccer stadium has failed to generate the promised operational revenues and regional economic benefits that stadium backers had touted. The town built the stadium with $135 million in general-obligation bonds. (read more)
School Reform News Roundup June 18 to 22, Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
- New Hampshire’s governor has vetoed a new tax-credit scholarship program, but the statehouse likely has the votes to override his veto. (His comments here)
- South Carolina’s superintendent has requested a court stop a U.S. Department of Education action to remove $36 million in federal funds from the state.
- The New Jersey Senate takes up a bill that would tie teacher tenure to student test results.
The GAO report concluding charter schools serve fewer disabled students completely ignores how special-needs programs work in public schools, writes Mike Petrilli. (read more)
Fed Keeps Twisting to Lower Long-Term Interest Rates; Doubters Abound, Steve Stanek, The Heartland Institute
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday announced plans to expand “Operation Twist,” prompting some economists and financial experts to wonder why anyone would expect this move to succeed when similar ones have failed to achieve sustained economic improvement.
“Bernanke once again is going to the same well that he has visited for the past five years, and each time the positive returns grow smaller,” said William Anderson, associate professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.
“Each time he brings another bout of new money creation, be it QE1 or ‘Operation Twist,’ he further distorts the economy and makes recovery that much more difficult. While claiming to be digging the economy out of its depression hole, Bernanke actually is digging it deeper,” said Anderson. (read more)
Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly: Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow, Maureen Martin, The Heartland Institute
How much is an earlobe worth? Try $30 million.
That’s what the parents of a six-year-old child whose earlobe was bitten off by a dog at a Long Island elementary school playground claim. (read more)
Subscribe to iTunes to get the latest podcasts as soon as they are produced! Just search for “Heartland Institute” in the iTunes store. (listen here)
Your steadfast support of The Heartland Institute, its mission, and free-market ideas helps change public policy and America! We change public policy together.