105th Congress

Host intro: Before he was a governor and presidential candidate, commentator Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, he has some suggestions for the new 105th Congress.

Black English

Host intro: The Oakland, California, School Board has decided to treat Ebonics, or black English as a second language that teachers would have to recognize in their overall English curriculum. Commentator Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis is speechless in any language.


Version #1

Host intro: House speaker Newt Gingrich has been re-elected to his post by the 105th Congress. That suits commentator Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis just fine.

Version #2

Host intro: By all accounts, Newt Gingrich will retain his post as House Speaker in the 105th Congress. That suits commentator Pete du Pont just fine.

The Line Item Veto: A Good Idea

During the 1980s, Ronald Reagan constantly complained about being presented with vast catch-all spending bills. These bills would often contain mountains of pork-barrel spending on dams, roads, and other projects of dubious value. But Reagan only had the option of either signing the bill ­ including the pork ­ or vetoing the whole thing. He did not have the power, that as Governor of California he had used often, of vetoing only specific portions of a spending bill. Although Reagan repeatedly asked for legislation to give him such line-item veto authority, the Democrats in Congress refused in order to keep the pork-barrel express going.

Women and Taxes

Host intro: Much was made of the gender gap during the elections. But Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis says a new study from the American Enterprise Institute shows there's another gender gap to take note of.


Host intro: The 105th Congress will be sworn in tomorrow. Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis has been looking at a scorecard on the last Congress. He says the incoming group has a hard act to follow.

Public Schools

Host intro: A just-released survey reports that American students rank 28th out of 41 nations in math skills and 17th in science. The results are consistent with other major studies. Pete du Pont f the National Center for Policy Analysis fingers the culprits.

Crime Still Matters Most

A recent Wall Street Journal opinion poll finds that 57 percent of the public ranks crime and education as the top policy concerns. Education is a newcomer to the top ranking, reflecting growing concern over the dumbing down of America, but the durability of crime's top billing continues to amaze the intelligentsia.

Keep Government Out

Only a few years ago, the Clinton Administration was touting the joys of managed care. That sentiment was echoed by big business, big insurance and on Capitol Hill by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Had the Clinton health plan become law, we all would be enrolled in HMOs by now.

Health Insurance for Everyone

The number of Americans without health insurance at any one time has risen steadily over the past decade and now totals more than 40 million, nearly 10 million of them children. Unwise federal policies contribute to this trend.

Health Insurance Reform Pitfalls

Ron Anderson normally has sensible views on most topics, especially issues involving health care. But his recent endorsement of the Kassebaum-Kennedy bill currently pending before the U.S. Senate is way off base.

Wrong Rx For Kidcare

As part of the recent budget agreement, President Clinton and Congressional leaders agreed to spend $16 billion over the next five years on health insurance for children. What's the best way to spend the money?

New Environmentalism

This paper presents a commonsense approach to public policy toward the environment. Instead of focusing on what decisions should be made, it focuses on how they should be made and by whom. Specifically, the paper proposes a methodology for making decisions based on a covenant between citizens and their government. The covenant is an agreement about principles that will be used in making public policy decisions and about filters that will be relied on to determine the appropriate context for those decisions.

Making Drugs Safe and Available without the FDA

There is widespread agreement that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs reforming. The drug approval process in the United States is too slow, too expensive and too restrictive. The FDA delays the introduction of new drugs for up to 12 years and does not publish standards of safety or effectiveness that any drug can meet to ensure its approval.


Host intro: Last summer's outcry over high gas prices led briefly to calls for repealing a 4.3 percent gasoline tax. But Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis says few people discussed reforming a government policy that could save up to 40 percent on gas costs.