Our friends at the Institute for Justice just released a comprehensive report on the abuses that go on under the legal procedure known as "civil asset forfeiture." The report is called Policing for Profit (pdf). Here is a short video clip that IJ put together:
In a Thursday panel at Cato on conservatism and war, U.S. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and John Duncan (R-Tenn.) revealed that the vast majority of GOP members of Congress now think it was wrong for the U.S. to invade Iraq in 2003.
The discussion was moderated by Grover Norquist, who asked the congressmen how many of their colleagues now think the war was a mistake.
"I will say that the decision to go in, in retrospect, almost all of us think that was a horrible mistake. ...Now that we know that it cost a trillion dollars, and all of these years, and all of these lives, and all of this blood... all I can say is everyone I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now."
"I think everyone [in Congress] would agree that Iraq was a mistake."
Watch the clip:
- Alan Reynolds: The truth about health insurance premiums and profits.
- An overview of the many hurdles the health care bill still faces in the House.
- Study: Public schools dishonest about the true cost of education. This video explains it all in less than three minutes.
- Will conservatives ultimately oppose the war in Afghanistan? Join us for a lively discussion this Thursday at Cato featuring Joe Scarborough, Grover Norquist, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and more. Registration free. Will be broadcast online live Thursday at the link.
Although public schools are usually the biggest item in state and local budgets, spending figures provided by public school officials and reported in the media often leave out major costs of education, and understate what is actually spent.
In a new study, Cato's Adam B. Schaeffer reviews district budgets and state records for the nation's five largest metro areas and the District of Columbia. Schaeffer finds that, on average, per-pupil spending in these areas is 44 percent higher than officially reported.
In this new video, Schaeffer explains the whole thing in under three minutes:
So yes, enacting the Obama health plan would be an historic achievement. But its supporters don't know if it would be a good historic achievement or one of those bad historic achievements -- like slavery, unequal suffrage, Jim Crow, etc.
Oh, and they don't care.
Reckless spending increases under both Bush and Obama have resulted in unprecedented deficits. Congress will soon be forced to increase the nation's debt limit by an astounding $1.8 trillion. Government borrowing has become such a big issue that some politicians are proposing a deficit reduction commission, which may mean they are like alcoholics trying for a self-imposed intervention.
But all this fretting about deficits and debt is misplaced. Government borrowing is a bad thing, of course, but this video explains that the real problem is excessive government spending.
Fixating on the deficit allows politicians to pull a bait and switch, since they can raise taxes, claim they are solving the problem, when all they are doing is replacing debt-financed spending with tax-financed spending. At best, that's merely taking a different route to the wrong destination. The more likely result is that the tax increases will weaken the economy, further exacerbating America's fiscal position.
Climb aboard the TARDIS campers, we're going to take a magic YouTube voyage to a strange parallel universe, very much like ours, except Barack Obama sports a dashing goatee and... Sorry, what's that? Not a parallel universe, you say? August of 2007, you say?
Wait, that can't be right. Because right around 20 seconds in, Barack Obama says that under his administration, there would be “no more National Security Letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.” That's not who we are, he says! Not what's needed to fight terrorists, he says!
And yet his Justice Department has quietly but steadfastly fought any effort to limit the use of National Security Letters. When Democratic lawmakers attempted to require that these administrative subpoenas, issued by FBI agents without judicial supervision, be issued only to obtain the records of suspected terrorists or foreign agents or people they'd been in contact with—or if necessary to obtain records relevant to the activities of suspected terrorists in the interest of identifying specific individuals—the administration worked behind the scenes to rally Republicans and Blue Dogs against those changes.
You know, a few more years like this, I'm liable to run right out of Hope™.