Despite the uncertainty involved with future climate predictions, the federal government is now poised to pass a cap-and-trade program that will attempt to reduce human-emitted greenhouse gases. Because a cap-and-trade program is essentially an energy tax, the program would have an enormous effect on Americans by increasing the costs of almost everything that is needed or desired in our daily lives. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not have a clue about what a cap-and-trade program actually is and thus are unable to voice their possible concerns.
Study Finds that Driving has a Positive Effect on the EconomyEfforts to “Get People out of their Cars” Put Economy at Risk
For Immediate Release
Contact: John A. Charles, Jr., 503/242-0900
Randall Pozdena, 503/368-4604
October 28, 2009 – Cascade Policy Institute has released an empirical study examining the relationship between vehicle-miles-travelled (VMT) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The study finds that “VMT is a large and statistically significant driver of GDP” and cautions that artificial attempts to limit driving through taxation or regulation will cause a significant decrease in economic output.
Specifically, if the government reduces VMT through mandates, GDP will decline by almost the same percentage as the drop in VMT, over a two-year period. Over a longer period, GDP will drop by about 46% of the rate of VMT decline. (more…)
Driving the Economy: Automotive Travel, Economic Growth, and the Risks of Global Warming Regulations
Concerns about climate change necessarily have focused attention on the energy and carbon “footprint” of various sectors of the economy. Particular attention has been focused on the
transportation sector and private vehicle travel in particular. For example, the May 15, 2009 proposal by Senators Jay Rockefeller and Frank Lautenberg requires that the next federal transportation bill “reduce national per capita motor VMT on an annual basis.” With some state climate initiatives calling for reductions in carbon emissions of as much as 40 percent of today’s levels in a decade, further focus on the transportation system and private highway use is inevitable.
Click here to read the full report in PDF format
The state and federal courts are currently considering important gun control issues with practical implications for Oregonians’ Second Amendment rights.
In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies directly to an individual’s right to bear arms. However, the decision did not clarify whether states and other government entities can limit those rights. The Court will hear a case early next year that could determine what, if any, limits can be put on our Second Amendment rights. (more…)
Former governor and emergency room physician John Kitzhaber held a live Facebook conversation on health care reform last week. Wanting to be Governor again, he billed it as a way to collaborate with Oregonians to “create policies that work for Oregon.” (more…)
Do charter schools “cream” the best students from neighborhood public schools? According to a new study by Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby, the answer is “no.” Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that charges of charter schools “cherry-picking” the best students is inaccurate. (more…)
Summary:Medicare is a “pay-as-you-go” system in which today’s workers are taxed to pay for today’s spending. Unfortunately, demographics and economic reality make this model unsustainable. A pay-your-own-way system of individual accounts will ensure that today’s workers receive high quality medical care when they become tomorrow’s retirees. (more…)
The history of humanity is generally one of a handful of people trying to control the decisions of the many. From monarchies to communist governments, the tendency of government is clear because human nature is clear. It doesn’t take evil intentions to rob individuals of their freedoms; it simply takes arrogance. (more…)
By Dan Lucas
SummaryDan Lucas is an IT worker for a nonprofit health insurer. Tired of hearing highly inaccurate and politicized information, he takes on four of the myths most often cited in the national health care reform debate:
“Insurance companies care more about profits than people.”
“The excessive salaries & bonuses that are paid to health insurance CEOs are a major factor in the cost of health insurance.”
“This is a health insurance crisis.”
“A public option is needed to keep health insurance companies honest and because the government is more efficient than private insurers at administering health care.”
Not true! Click here to read why….
View a PDF Chart of executive pay for health insurers here.
By Todd Wynn and Steve Lafleur
Summary:The first alternative fuel vehicle to hit the market arrived without government subsidies. Within a decade, the gas-powered automobile dominated the market. While the emergence of automobiles took place more than a century ago, it is an excellent analogy to the current development of the electric car.
Click here to read the full report in PDF format