February 6, 2009
New Freedom-Related Bills
Posted by Daren Bakst at 2:52 PM
HB 85: The Raffle Bill
I think the first bill needs a bit of background.
As we all know, there are a lot of "criminal and other undesirable elements" in the dark world of Bingo. You can go to jail if you don't follow NC's well-thought out Bingo laws.
Then there is the evil that goes by the name of "raffles." Under current law, there are very specific limitations on raffles.
Under current law, the most that can be awarded in a raffle is
$50,000. This may be obvious, but "Raffles shall not be conducted
in conjunction with bingo." Imagine if you had both at the same
Rep. Burr and Rep. Sager have introduced a bill (HB 85)
that would increase the $50,000 limit to $125,000. They are
really pushing the envelope on this--we will see what happens.
For some reason, I feel like these existing laws to restrain "gambling" may be a little hypocritical.
SB 87: Taxpayers' Protection Act
Senator Tillman has introduced a constitutional amendment that would
limit "the annual growth of the State budget to a percentage equal to
the sum of annual inflation and the State's annual population growth
There are exceptions that exist, such as if the legislature votes "to
increase the fiscal year spending limit established under this section.
An increase in the fiscal year spending limit must be approved by a
three‑fifths majority of the members of each chamber of the General
The Baptist kicks the bootlegger
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:20 PM
That was the alternate headline that came to mind when I read this story detailing environmental groups' concerns about Duke Energy's influence on state policy debates.
If my headline makes no sense, perhaps a review of Bruce Yandle's "Baptists and bootleggers" theory would help.
It should be easy to identify environmentalists in this scenario as the Baptists fighting air pollution, global warming, and other ills. But how is Duke Energy the bootlegger?
Daren Bakst has detailed on several occasions Duke's willingness to accept new environmental regulations such as Senate Bill 3. While the regulations could prove costly to a company such as Duke Energy or Progress Energy, the real losers are consumers.
First, the new regulations lead to higher production costs, and consumers pay the price through higher electric bills. Second, the regulations create a high hurdle for any company that would like to compete with the big power boys. That means consumers are less likely to reap the benefits of a competitive marketplace.
Mike Munger on the "stimulus" bill
Posted by George Leef at 1:26 PM
Duke professor Mike Munger was among the hundreds of economists who signed the Cato ad back in January, pointing out that many disagree with his assertion that there is no disagreement about the need for the federal government to "stimulate" the economy. Recently, I interviewed him on this topic and you can read the piece here.
CBO: Stimulus bill would hurt the economy
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 12:56 AM
The Congressional Budget Office ran the numbers and found
Including the effects of both crowding out of private investment (which would reduce output in the long run) and possibly productive government investment (which could increase output), CBO estimates that by 2019 the Senate legislation would reduce GDP by 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent on net."
Find out more at ReadTheStimulus.org.
Op-ed on Annexation
Posted by Daren Bakst at 11:45 AM
Doug Aitken who was a member of the joint annexation commission and
is President of the Fair Annexation Coalition (FAC) has written a great
op-ed on forced annexation. It recently was published in the Fayetteville Observer. I highly recommend it.
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 11:14 AM
Charles Krauthammer adds his voice here to those on the right who point out that Obama's presidential honeymoon is, perhaps, the shortest in history. Caving in to his Democratic "friends" in the House was his first mistake. The old saw "With friends like these....." is quite appropriate.
Obama should have learned about building bi-partisan support from Reagan and his passage of the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cut bill.
And yet more damaging to Obama's image than all the hypocrisies in the
appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He
inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of
the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama's name, was not
just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.
The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of
old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington. By the time
the stimulus bill reached the Senate, reports The Wall Street Journal,
pharmaceutical and high-tech companies were lobbying furiously for a
new plan to repatriate overseas profits that would yield major tax
savings. California wine growers and Florida citrus producers were
fighting to change a single phrase in one provision. Substituting
"planted" for "ready to market" would mean a windfall garnered from a
new "bonus depreciation" incentive.
After Obama's miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear
that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The
nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The
hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great
ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all
presidents tell -- and that this president told better than anyone.
I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.
Life [couldn't get worse if it] imitate[d] The Simpsons
Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:20 AMLife: "President Barack Obama is bringing in a team of outside advisers to help steer the economy out of a tailspin," despite frenetically pushing economic policies destined to steer the economy into a tree.
The Simpsons: "I give you the Jury of the Damned! Benedict Arnold, Lizzie Borden, Richard Nixon, John Wilkes Booth, Blackbeard the Pirate, John Dillinger, and the starting line of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers!"
Paul Chesser is out in the cold
Posted by David N. Bass at 09:38 AM
Paul Chesser of Climate Strategies Watch is in Alaska presenting his findings on the state's relationship with The Center for Climate Strategies. Click here to view a local report on his visit.
Broken window fallacy?
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:03 AM
The LA Times had this small story Wednesday.
Times were so tough for window repairman Timothy Carl Klenke, police say, that he decided to take proactive measures: He armed himself with a slingshot and began cruising around the city, shattering at least five windows and car windshields as he went....
Seems Mr. Klenke is familiar with his Bastiat.
Re: The N&O says busing is good from a "countywide perspective"
Posted by David N. Bass at 08:59 AM
I wonder if this falls under the "quality of life and opportunity" category: a 2007 DPI report identified 5:07 a.m. as the earliest pick-up time for school bus rides in Wake County. Isn't that before the birds start singing?
The N&O says busing is good from a "countywide perspective"
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 07:57 AM
Ok, it is no surprise that the editors at the News & Observer dig the Wake County social engineering program.
Here is my favorite line:
A district centered on Cary and Apex is the dream of some families who think their interests would be better served. But a countywide perspective on student assignments is essential to the quality of life and opportunity that Wake residents should expect. It is funny how the "countywide perspective" is actually the perspective of a handful of WCPSS administrators and school board members hell-bent on imposing their will on the citizens of Wake County.
Making fun of the "stimulus" bill
Posted by George Leef at 07:25 AM
Much as I love the Austrian arguments against the stupidity of thinking that more government spending can possibly lead to GDP growth, ridicule might be more effective. Here Reason.tv makes fun of the idea.
Hat tip: Don Boudreaux
In case you missed him
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:06 AM
You might have noticed that Raleigh is hosting auto shows in back-to-back weekends. Those who watched WTVD's 6 o'clock news last night learned that the city's taxpayer-financed convention center set up this weekend's show in competition with a pre-existing show at the State Fairgrounds.
Click play below to hear Michael Sanera's thoughts on the topic, as included in Gerrick Brenner's report.
Click here for Michael's recent analysis of the convention center.
This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:58 AMSome state lawmakers want to add a new sales tax when you download a song, ringtone, or movie. You’ll learn why during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio. You’ll also hear reaction from Joe Coletti.
North Carolina’s public school establishment faces a leadership shake-up, courtesy of Gov. Beverly Perdue. You’ll hear her plans, along with a critique from Terry Stoops. Terry will also discuss plans to raise the state’s high school graduation rate.
Becki Gray will also join us to discuss the John Locke Foundation’s new regional Freedom Clubs.
Today's Carolina Journal Online features
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:55 AM
This week's Carolina Journal Online Friday interview features a conversation with Duke political scientist Michael Munger about his 2008 run for the governor's office on the Libertarian ticket.
Chad Adams' guest Daily Journal discusses the potential harmful statewide impact of development restrictions tied to Jordan Lake.
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