USA Today seems surprised at the number of ethics cases making headlines recently, referring to the trials being faced by Representatives Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), noting that the number of such cases “has jumped dramatically in the past year.” In the first six months of 2010, “an independent congressional watchdog began 44 ethics investigations,” while the Office of Congressional Ethics has recommended that the House ethics committee “take action against 13 lawmakers.”
There are many positive features about shopping online, including convenience, selection, and speed. There is also the fact that a customer doesn’t have to pay sales tax on items purchased from retailers who don’t have a presence in the customer’s state — a significant savings on big-ticket items. Technically, the customer is still required to pay the tax come next April 15, but in practice hardly anyone does.
When the House passed the 2,319-page Dodd-Frank financial reform bill by a vote of 237-192, all it did was confirm for many the extraordinary hubris of legislators believing they could in fact “fix” the problems they themselves created which resulted in the Great Recession of 2008.
The just-published (July 5) issue of The New American includes our third congressional scorecard (pdf) on the 111th Congress. The scorecard, entitled “The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution,” rates Congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is drowning in red ink — $19 billion in red ink, to be exact, according to Fox News. The reason is simple: The federal government charges below-market premiums to people who choose to live in flood-prone areas. This encourages people to build in such areas; and the more people who live there, the greater the liability for taxpayers. When a major disaster occurs, as in 2005 with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the outlays far outstrip the premiums, and the program goes into debt.
The Internet is a wonderful invention that has allowed for the dissemination of a wide variety of ideas. Not surprisingly, politicians, never ones to brook dissent cheerfully, are not terribly fond of it. In 1998, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton said, “We’re all going to have to rethink how we deal with the Internet. As exciting as these new developments are, there are a number of serious issues without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function.”
It seems that every day we learn of some new horror in the financial reform bill currently before Congress. This is not surprising given that the Senate version of the bill, for example, is 1,566 pages long. Those who voted on it probably have no clue as to most of its contents, as was the case with such monstrosities as ObamaCare and the Patriot Act.
“Millions of Americans arrested for but not convicted of crimes will likely have their DNA forcibly extracted and added to a national database, according to a bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday,” reports CNET.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) addressed his colleagues from the floor of the House on May 11, expressing his displeasure with the cave-in by Senator Bernie Sanders and other Senators over the proposal to audit the Federal Reserve, an issue that Rep. Paul has been championing for decades. On May 6, Sen. Sanders flip-flopped on his earlier commitment to sponsor an audit amendment identical to the one by Rep. Paul, which had passed in the House with broad, bipartisan support and 319 co-sponsors.
One aspect of the behemoth finance reform bill now being debated in the Senate that has not attracted any mainstream media attention is its limitations on congressional power over the Federal Reserve. In particular, the bill in its current form would overturn legislation, passed by the House late last year, that would give Congress the power and, indeed, the legal obligation, to audit the Fed.
When the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced the conclusions of its annual “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State” earlier this week, it came as no surprise to learn that the rules and regulations placed on the economy by illicit agencies of the "fourth branch of government" constitute an enormous burden that is largely uncounted.