If money is the mother's milk of politics, then organized labor has been the udder for the Democratic Party. In 1995-96 unions spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to defeat Republicans in hopes of recapturing the House of Representatives for the Democrats. It was for them a Gettysburg. A victory could turn the war in their favor. A defeat would likely mean a continuing decline into oblivion, including congressional investigations into labor's financial dealings, campaign contributions and even its own internal elections. Most of all, a Democratic defeat would mean continuing scrutiny into labor's secret accounting practices.
Job losses are less harmful than they are often thought to be. To the contrary, the upside of downsizing lies in a reinvigorated economy. Indeed, the layoffs of the early 1990s can teach important lessons about how the economy operates to turn the bad news of lost jobs into the good news of higher living standards.
Maybe the Third Big Lie, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you," should be amended to "I'm from the government and I'm here to help the children."
President Clinton wants to use any possible budget surplus to save Social Security. Republican leaders in Congress want to use any money from a possible tobacco settlement to save Medicare. But neither approach will work unless we replace our chain-letter approach to elderly entitlements with fully funded systems, under which each generation finances its own retirement and health care expenses.
Under a new law passed by Congress, seniors on Medicare who want to "privately contract" with a physician – that is, pay out of pocket for some service that Medicare pays for – must find a doctor who is willing to forgo all Medicare reimbursements from any patient for two years. That's no easy task considering 96 percent of all physicians take some form of Medicare reimbursement.
A marriage penalty results when a married couple pay more taxes by filing jointly than they would pay if each spouse could file as a single person. A couple face the marriage penalty only when both spouses have earned income.
Was it only a little over a year ago, during the 1996 presidential election, that conservatives were accusing President Clinton of co-opting the Republican agenda, of stealing Republican ideas and claiming them as his own?
Downsizing the federal government appears to be an oxymoron when one looks at the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 is important more as a political statement than for its economic impact. As the first major tax cut since 1981, it marks the end of the paralysis in fiscal policy that resulted from the rise of large and persistent budget deficits in the 1980s.
Dr. Morgan Reynolds, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, advised a House Appropriations subcommittee today to close down the Labor Department, therefore saving its $34 billion a year budget.
Dr. Merrill Matthews, Vice President – Domestic Policy for the National Center for Policy Analysis will testify on ways to downsize the government at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.
Dr. Morgan Reynolds, a senior fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis, will testify on ways to downsize federal government at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.