Stories by Eli Lehrer

Eli Lehrer is Vice President of Washington D.C. operations for the Heartland Institute.

Real Policy isn’t Done Through Taxes

November 2nd, 2011 at 4:20 pm 27 Comments

David Frum is right to attack the growing Republican orthodoxy that “nothing is wrong with this country that cannot be solved by abolishing the capital gains tax.” He should take the argument a little further: a fixation on taxes above everything else–regulatory policy and excellence in provision of necessary government services in particular–has done enormous damage to the conservative cause.

(more…)

The Nominee Will Be Romney and the GOP Will Like Him

November 1st, 2011 at 10:02 am 26 Comments

Although I’m hardly optimistic that he’ll take the presidency, there’s every reason to think that Mitt Romney is going win the Republican nomination and attract the votes of his own party members.

Thus, while I would still bet on Obama to win reelection, I disagree with David Frum‘s contention that Romney’s current level of support in his own party ought to be a topic of concern.

(more…)

More Corporate Speech, Less Rancor

October 28th, 2011 at 3:36 pm 129 Comments

I couldn’t agree more with Joe Trotter’s points about corporate speech. (For a variety of other reasons, I think that we should not tax corporations either.) I’d actually go a step further: more corporate speech would be good for the political tone of the country.

(more…)

There is Nothing Simple About Perry’s Tax Plan

October 25th, 2011 at 3:04 pm 31 Comments

Rick Perry’s proposal to make his flat-rate tax plan optional seems like a political master-stroke: it lets him propose the type of flat-rate, broad-based tax plan that most economists like while simultaneously promising that nobody will need to pay more.

Nice as this sounds, however, it actually undermines the simplification that is supposed to come from a flat tax.

(more…)

We Can’t Bail Out College Students

October 24th, 2011 at 1:10 pm 112 Comments

The ‘Occupy’ movement protesters all over the country are angry above all else. Their demands remain unclear, but calls for total (or partial) forgiveness of student loans seem to be a constant among those waiving angry signs. As most Occupy prostesters are either students or recent college graduates, this demand isn’t surprising.

Whatever its merits (and I’d argue that the merits are slight) it’s interesting to look at the demand for what it is: a request for more corporate welfare.

(more…)

More Problems With Ron Paul’s Budget

October 21st, 2011 at 11:20 am 41 Comments

Kenneth Silber is right to criticize Ron Paul’s proposal to abolish five federal agencies. That said, the specific example he picks, weather satellites, is, to me, only modestly compelling. Private companies are already involved in both the satellite launch business and the weather prediction business. I have my doubts but maybe weather satellite privatization could work. The worst details of Paul’s plan are found elsewhere.

(more…)

The Rookie as the Nominee

October 17th, 2011 at 12:32 am 17 Comments

Consider this scenario: During midterm elections, voters deliver a stinging rebuke to a Democratic President whose plans to rescue a country from a serious downturn appear to have failed. This leads to record Republican pickups in the House of Representatives.

As an economy that once appeared to be on the mend enters a double-dip recession, a never-before-elected Republican businessman who first rose to prominence with harsh criticism of a Democratic President’s efforts to increase government control over a vital sector of the economy emerges as the winner in the debates and thus goes from fringe candidate to contender in a divided Republican Party’s nominating contest.

(more…)

‘Democracy Denied’ is the Guide to Fighting Over-Regulation

October 13th, 2011 at 12:50 am 63 Comments

Phil Kerpen’s Democracy Denied ($24.95 in hardcopy; $9.99 for Kindle) Is a none-too-long book that, if widely read (which it deserves to be) would provide something that’s absent from today’s politics: a coherent and useful agenda for the Tea Party and its fellow travelers. Kerpen’s manifesto-like book, more than anything else, aims to focus the Tea Party on the excesses of government regulation.

(more…)

Topics:  , ,

Why Food Stamps Don’t Pay for Healthy Meals

October 11th, 2011 at 12:03 am 44 Comments

I applaud Monica Marier’s commitment and the good intentions of Sesame Street’s producers in drawing trying to draw attention to child hunger in the United States. Certainly, far too many children grow up in bad circumstances in the United States and some of these circumstances relate to food.

(more…)

The Tea Party of the Left? Sort Of.

October 10th, 2011 at 1:00 pm 63 Comments

More than a few commentators and reporters have tried to brand the Occupy Movement as a Tea Party of the Left. On its surface, the analogy has some compelling aspects: both movement emphasize rage over a rational, forward-looking policy agenda. Both claim to speak for the “little guy” but are actually populated by people with above average levels of education and (at least in the case of the Tea Party–there are no surveys I know of that related to the Occupy Movement) income. Both are also, best as I can tell, authentic grass-roots movements without any sinister puppet-master behind them.

As opposing political forces, the two groups may well be a good pairing. But, already, some real differences are apparent. Three stand out:

(more…)