April 9, 2016 The Heritage Insider: ObamaCare’s failings, R.I.P. John Taylor, criminalizing dissent, Panama Papers, crony capitalism feeds social liberalism, and where did the respect for free speech go?
We’re now six years into ObamaCare and there is plenty of evidence that the law is failing. R.I.P. John Taylor, whose steadfast and principled leadership of the Virginia Policy Institute made him a force for liberty. With every passing day, it seems dissenting from liberal-Left orthodoxy is more likely to be a crime. Investigative journalists are in a feeding frenzy over the Panama Papers, but it’s really a story about why tax competition is so necessary. What’s the connection between crony capitalism and the culture wars? Why do students care so little for freedom of speech today and what can be done about it? Plus, over 50 new studies, articles, speeches, videos, and events at The Insider this week. Visit to see what the conservative movement has been thinking, writing, saying, and doing to win battles for liberty.
ObamaCare is 6-years-old this month and it is failing. From Bob Moffit, here are a few assorted facts about the program: Only 13 states are running their own exchanges, an accomplishment that has cost taxpayers over $5 billion. The eligibility rules for exchange subsidies are so complex that 50 percent of recipients end up owing money back to the government. An estimated $750 million in exchange subsidies has been given to illegal aliens. The number of insurers offering individual plans has dropped by over one-fourth since ObamaCare become law. The cost curve is bending upward: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says total spending on health insurance will rise by nearly 50 percent in the next eight years. For 10 reasons why ObamaCare is failing, see Moffit’s paper “Year Six of the Affordable Care Act: ObamaCare’s Mounting Problems.” [The Heritage Foundation]
R.I.P. John Taylor of the Virginia Policy Institute. Tim Donner writes: “Rare is the man whose devotion to liberty is such that he will never sacrifice his principles for personal gain. Equally rare is the man who will fight righteous battles to the end at the cost of making enemies all along the way. Rarer still is the man who can do both with a combination of intellectual heft and sheer force of personality. John Taylor, who left us on April 6, was one of those rare people.” [Bearing Drift]
The effort to make it illegal to dissent from Left-liberal orthodoxy continues this week. The Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands issued the Competitive Enterprise Institute a subpoena to hand over communications and donor information related to its work on climate change from the period 1997 to 2007 and to do so by the end of April. CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman stated: “CEI will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena. It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association […] [.] If [Attorney General Claude] Walker and his allies succeed, the real victims will be all Americans, whose access to affordable energy will be hit by one costly regulation after another, while scientific and policy debates are wiped out one subpoena at a time.” [Competitive Enterprise Institute] Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate companies who have claimed that the Department of Labor’s “fiduciary rule” would be bad for their business. As Walter Olson points out, there is nearly a zero percent chance that Warren is actually concerned about protecting investors rather than handicapping political opponents. [Cato Institute]
What is this Panama Papers scandal about? It’s about attacking tax competition, explains Dan Mitchell: “Firms like Mossack Fonseca are merely just the latest stand-ins and proxies for a much wider campaign being waged by left-wing governments and their various allies and interest groups. This campaign is built around aggressive attacks on anyone who, for any reason, seeks to legally protect their hard-earned assets from confiscatory tax policies.” [Caribbean News Now]
“Crony capitalism is fueling sexual liberalism” (and threatening religious freedom). Explains Maggie Gallagher: “Why are corporations, historically averse to public controversy, wading directly into the culture wars? Part of the reason is that by engaging on this issue, they can cheaply please the regulators in Washington (and the Obama administration). The massive expansion of vague regulations under the Obama administration means that virtually every major corporation in America has some interest in keeping Washington off of their backs: Trouncing gay-marriage dissenters is a cheap strategy to curry favor.” [National Review]
Why has this been one of the most depressing years for free speech on campus? Probably because we have failed students to teach why free speech is important, says Greg Lukianoff, who talks to Nick Gillespie about about the new documentary, Can We Take a Joke? [Reason]
To Do: Send in your nominations for the Paolucci Book Award, which honors the best book published in 2015 that advances conservative principles. And make sure you register for Resource Bank 2016 (April 20-22 in Philadelphia), which will feature sessions on religious liberty, educational freedom, protecting donor privacy, welfare reform 2.0, and many other topics. Check out the agenda.
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