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taxes, tax cut, Trump, gift, give away, rights, growth, economics

Death and . . .

It’s a sure thing — that most folks will like President Trump’s tax cuts. Though we don’t yet know all the details. When it comes to taxes, less is more.  That is, if you’re paying taxes. It is no great mystery that people like it when their own taxes are reduced.






UN, U.N., United Nations, Obamacare, socialism, socialists

UN-appealing

Like E.F. Hutton, when the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights “Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” talks, people listen. In disbelief, perhaps. Or amusement. But they listen. Well, at least Washington






Dan Balz, Term Limits, coffee, internet, media, web, trust

Less Innocent Times?

Many years ago, waiting for coffee at a vendor in front of the Washington Post building and across the street from my U.S. Term Limits office, I often exchanged friendly banter with the Post’s Dan Balz. Coffee in hand last Sunday, I read Balz’s column, “A scholar asks, ‘Can democracy






Maine, ranked choice voting, democracy, constitutionality, law,

Wag that Tail, Dog

Last November, Maine voters passed a ballot measure, Question 5, to begin electing their federal representatives to Congress, and their governor and state legislators, using Ranked Choice Voting. This selection mechanism allows voters to rank their choices, thereby removing the “spoiler effect” that often pushes citizens to support the lesser






Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho, asset forfeiture, licensing, veto

A Bad Haircut

Eric Boehm over at Reason excoriated Idaho Gov. Butch Otter for giving libertarians “the double bird salute.” Boehm wondered if the governor, in vetoing two bills earlier this month, had been merely “trying to make libertarians mad.” That’s not exactly fair. The two blocked bills, one reforming unjust civil asset






Paraguay, term limits, democracy, General Alfredo Stroessner, Cartes’s Colorado Party

Trouble Over Term Limits

Americans are hardly alone in strongly supporting term limits. All over the world, people who care about limited government also care about limited terms for officials wielding government power. Especially the people of Paraguay, who remember all too well the dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner. He seized power in 1954,






President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, election, democracy, authoritarianism, ,

Democracy More Dead

“Turkey’s democracy died today,” CNN headlined its report on yesterday’s national constitutional referendum. The measure contained 18 significant changes designed to further empower the country’s already seemingly all-powerful President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. CNN is behind the times. Turkey hasn’t been a real democracy for some time. Even before last summer’s






New York, Cuomo, college, tuition, Bernie Sanders,

Escape from New York

“New York City is a walled maximum security prison,” exclaimed posters for Escape from New York (1981, R). “Breaking out is impossible.” Now, as part of new legislation giving “free college” to New Yorkers, politicians take the same high concept from the film and extend it to the entire state.






Civil Asset Forfeiture, crime, drugs, marijuana, stealing, theft, police abuse

Good and Bad News

On the issue of “civil asset forfeiture” — police seizing property from folks merely on suspicion, without a criminal conviction — there is good news. In Idaho, House Bill 202a just passed both legislative chambers overwhelmingly. “Among other changes, HB 202a would no longer allow civil forfeiture of the vehicle






body camera, police, abuse, civil rights, obstruction, brutality

Public Record

Police departments nationwide have begun to outfit their on-duty officers with body cameras. These small recording devices make great sense, so we can better judge police encounters. And it turns out that not only do police behave better when wearing body cameras, so do the citizens with whom they interact.*






Venezuela, socialism, free markets, capitalism, poverty, celebrities, freedom, repression, starvation

Of Salt and Socialism

Nearly 75 percent of Venezuelans have lost 19 pounds or more in 2016. “People have become so desperate,” the Miami Herald reported recently, “that they are butchering and eating flamingos.” While acknowledging the problem, TeleSUR, a television network based in Venezuela and funded by governments including Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and






Netherlands, Dutch, election, Geert Wilders, counting coup, party, parties, political, Freedom Party

Dutch Election Oddities

There were many strange forces at play in the Netherlands’ elections on Wednesday. In my report, I concentrated on the biggest story, the possibility that Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party might take a huge number of parliamentary seats — though I quoted The Atlantic’s coverage predicting a narrow loss to Mark






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