Yesterday saw big news on the Obamacare front.
The news yesterday was that Barney Frank would return to Congress to defend the law that bears his name. Meanwhile, on the anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, Senator David Vitter took it to task for failing to solve the problem of too-big-to-fail (TBTF) banks. It is important to put the whole issue of TBTF in perspective.
The “net neutrality” debate rages on. Unfortunately, it has from the beginning been a triumph of good intentions over sound thinking. Certainly, one would not want a legal framework that allowed companies to discriminate at the expense of consumers. Mind you, that does not mean that companies will not in the end discriminate.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew waded into the “policy” discussion on inversions with a letter to Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (and other tax-writing leadership on the Hill). I found it to be full of misleading statements and mistakes, probably because the staff inadvertently sent an early draft. As a favor, I edited it for clarity of facts and intent.
Monday, July 21 marks the 4th anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). As AAF points out, it has some serious drawbacks, both from the perspective of what it did and what it did not do.
Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook, which unexpectedly coincided with the 40th anniversary of the 1974 budget act that created the congressional budgeting process and the CBO itself. Was this an occasion for celebration and merriment? Not exactly.
House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers made news when he deemed the president’s emergency funding request for the border crisis to be “too high.” As a policy analyst — and as readers of policy analysis — it is frustratingly difficult to understand whatwould be the right policy. After all, as Senator Tom Coburn pointed out $3.7 billion is more than enough to put the estimated number of illegal border crossers in first-class seats back to Central America!
The federal debt and deficits have disappeared from the public and political discourse. For this reason, it was surprising that the administration chose to release its Mid-Session Review of the Budget (MSR) — officially due by July 15 — this past Friday afternoon. Normally the White House reserves its attention-avoidance playbook for higher-profile issues.
For the ___th (insert your favorite integer bigger than 20) time the president has pivoted back to the economy in an attempt to change the subject from things that are going even worse — Libya, Syria, Iran, Ukraine, IRS, Supreme Court rulings, ObamaCare, VA….. In Austin yesterday he spiked the football.
"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” In this spirit, let me report that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asserted its right to garnish the wages of Americans. That is right.