Keeping you up-to-date on the latest by Manhattan Institute scholars
May 24, 2013
Energy & the Environment
New Report Shows Washington How to Eliminate $750 Billion Annual Trade Deficit
More than two -thirds of our $750 billion annual trade deficit can be eliminated if the Obama administration and Congress follow three simple steps, a new Manhattan Institute report finds.
On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, the Manhattan Institute's Power and Growth Initiative released a new report, The Case for Exports: America's Hydrocarbon Industry Can Revive the Economy and Eliminate the Trade Deficit, by senior fellow Mark Mills. In this, the third in a series of papers for the Power and Growth Initiative, Mills outlines steps the Obama administration must take to foster hydrocarbon exports and keep the American energy renaissance from stumbling.
We Need a 21st Century Energy Policy
Mark Mills, RealClearEnergy, May 24, 2013
(Linked on RealClearPolitics, RealClearMarkets, and RealClearPolicy, 5-24-13)
The newly sworn-in Energy Secretary has taken a go-slow posture on natural gas exports. This, after the U.S. has just blown past Russia to become the world's largest producer. And America will shortly occupy the number one position in oil production as well. This nation is poised to become a major hydrocarbon exporter to an energy-hungry world. . .
WIBA 1310 AM's "The Vicki McKenna Show," 5-24-13
Salem Communications "The Bill Bennett Show," 5-22-13
Mark Mills discusses his new report, The Case for Exports: America's Hydrocarbon Industry Can revive the Economy and Eliminate the Trade Deficit.
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Last Wind Energy Outrage
Fox News's "America's News Headquarters" will interview Robert Bryce at 12 p.m. ET 5-26-13
Pipelines Are the Safest Way to Transport Energy
CHQR 770 AM's "Calgary Today with Angela Kokott" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 5-22-13
Regulating to Disaster
TRN's "Powertalk with Chris Versace" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 5-22-13
Employers Can Minimize Their Exposure To Obamacare's Penalties By Offering Low-Cost 'Skinny' Coverage
Avik Roy, Forbes.com's "The Apothecary," May 21, 2013
. . . In that piece, I highlighted the fact that the employer mandate gives employers "an incentive to offer coverage that is either 'unaffordable' according to Obamacare or that fails to meet the law's 'minimum essential requirements.'" Let's delve into that further, as this aspect of Obamacare is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the way that employers offer health coverage in the future. . .
Insuring The Routine
Yevgeniy Feyman, MedicalProgressToday.com, May 20, 2013
(Linked on RealClearPolicy.com, 5-21-13)
As I've written here and elsewhere, Obamacare furthers a public misconception of what "health insurance" is meant to be. The law requires plans that are sold on health insurance exchanges to cover a vast array of benefits ("Essential Required Benefits") that include basic, inexpensive preventive care with no cost-sharing. . .
Two Obamacare Mandates That Dramatically Expand The Internal Revenue Service's Power
Avik Roy, Forbes.com's "The Apothecary," May 17, 2013
Two provisions in particular will require thousands of new IRS agents, and billions in funding, to enforce: the law's individual mandate, forcing most Americans to buy government-approved health insurance; and its employer mandate, forcing most employers to take money out of workers' paychecks to purchase costly health insurance on their behalf. . .
SBN's "The Small Business Advocate with Jim Blasingame," 5-20-13
Health Costs For Family Of Four Higher Than Year Of Groceries
FBN's "The Willis Report with Gerri Willis" interviewed Paul Howard, 5-23-13
New Delhi TV interviewed Paul Howard, 5-21-13
New York City/State Policy
First Thoughts on "Tax-Free NY"
E.J. McMahon, NYTorch.com, May 22, 2013
The one promising new wrinkle in the upstate economic development plan unveiled today by Governor Andrew Cuomo is the offer of full (if impermanent) exemptions from state business and personal income taxes, as well as sales taxes, to firms that expand into designated Tax Free Zones at colleges, universities and "strategically located state-owned" properties. . .
Cuomo, cabinet pushing his tax-free NY proposal, WSJ.com, 5-23-13
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's SUNY tax-free zones blasted by Empire Center, CSEA, The Post Standard, 5-22-13
Cuomo calls for tax-free zones around SUNY campuses, Newsday, 5-22-13
Create tax-free zones around SUNY campuses, WSJ.com (from Associated Press), 5-22-13
The Cap-Buster Count, 2013 Edition
Tim Hoefer, NYTorch.com, May 22, 2013
Twenty-seven* school districts were seeking to override the state's property tax cap in yesterday's school budget votes. Twenty of these districts -- or 74 percent -- failed to collect the needed 60 percent supermajority to pass, according to news accounts. . .
NY Number-one in School Spending -- Again
E.J. McMahon, NYTorch.com, May 21, 2013
While voters across New York go to polls to determine the fate of proposed school district budgets, the Census Bureau has just released its annual breakdown of public school spending. As of 2010-11, New York once again topped all states in K-12 school spending as measured by the Census Bureau, at $19,076 per pupil -- a whopping 81 percent above the national average of $10,560 per pupil. . .
An MTA Fiscal Flood
Nicole Gelinas, New York Post, May 20, 2013
In his budget speech back in January, Gov. Cuomo announced a grand plan to spend $6 billion in federal funding to waterproof New York's transit system. Four months later, it's obvious that the MTA has no clue how to spend $6 billion to keep our antique subway system dry. But you can bet the MTA honchos will try anyway -- since Cuomo doesn't want to leave a dime of "free" federal money on the table. . .
Bike Share Debate
Gore de France
Nicole Gelinas, New York Post, May 19, 2013
As City Hall prepares to roll out bike share, New Yorkers are bickering over dock placement. There's a more pressing topic: saving lives. Three people died in Paris' first year of bike share. New York should heed Paris' lesson. Bike share will be a big deal. . .
Gelinas Responds to Komanoff
Nicole Gelinas, Streetsblog.org, May 21, 2013
Charles Komanoff, in his Streetsblog post, called my weekend Post piece on bike-share "intellectually muddled." In the piece, he offers no evidence for any intellectual muck on my part. Instead, he uses mirage to distract from a very real safety challenge. . .
VIDEO: Nicole Gelinas discusses Citi Bike
One Tough Nutter
Ethan Epstein, City Journal, Spring 2013
(Linked on RealClearPolicy.com, 5-21-13)
Philadelphia's Democratic mayor has cracked down on crime, reformed the city's finances, and spoken frankly about black family breakdown. . .
Is Mayor Nutter a Conservative in Disguise?, Philly Magazine, 5-20-13
How Dallas' Super-rich Donors Are Transforming The City
Guy Sorman, Dallas Morning News, May 19, 2013
Adapted from City Journal, Spring 2013
One mild evening six months ago, under a bright full moon, Dallas celebrated the fact that, for the first time, it had a real city center -- a beautiful 5.2-acre space called Klyde Warren Park. Before the park was built, a highway had sliced through the city's heart, dividing Uptown from downtown and making it hard to travel between the two. Many locals had felt, moreover, that the absence of an urban center -- preferably, one with a big public park, as in Manhattan or Chicago -- detracted from the quality of life in Texas' third-largest city. . .
Death by Media
Clark Whelton, City Journal Online, May 21, 2013
(Linked on RealClearPolitics.com, 5-22-13)
Revelations concerning Benghazi, the IRS, and government probing of the Associated Press make it increasingly clear that Barack Obama was led astray by his friends in the media. They intended no harm to the president, needless to say. . .
WBAL AM's "The C4 Show with Clarence Mitchell," 5-23-13.
Lloyd Billingsley, City Journal California, May 23, 2013
A new biography overlooks key episodes in the California governor's career.
California governor Jerry Brown has been in the public eye for more than four decades, shifting with the tides of public opinion, beguiling his friends and outsmarting his foes at almost every turn. For many Americans, he'll always be "Moonbeam.". . .
Smile and Be a Villain
Ben Boychuk, City Journal, Spring 2013
Give it back!" I yelled uselessly. Pathetically. Sure, I had my hands on the getaway driver through the open car window, but there was little I could do. Later, I thought of a million different things I wanted to do. He looked at me, smiled a big toothy smile, and stepped on the gas. I briefly gave chase on foot. . .
The Resurrection of California Governor Jerry Brown
Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech interviewed Ben Boychuk, 5-24-13
Not A Crook--Yet
The following shows interviewed Harry Stein:
GC's "The Jason Lewis Show," 5-21-13
TRN's "The Andrea Tantaros Show," 5-20-13
NYC MAYORAL RACE
NEW MI/Zogby Analytics Poll: Warning to Next Mayor - NYC Growing Too Expensive & Reform Needed Now
"Roughly two-thirds of New Yorkers agree the city isn't doing enough to encourage job creation by businesses large or small. If the city is to compete effectively for the jobs and investments of the future, the next mayor needs to identify tax reduction as an ongoing strategic priority."--E. J. McMahon, senior fellow
VIEW POLL RESULTS: NYC Voter Sentiments on Education, Policing, Economy, and More
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New Manhattan Institute/Zogby Analytics Poll on NYC, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, 5-17-13
Legacy Cost Shadows Lurk over N.Y. City, The Bond Buyer, May 20, 2013
MI President Releases New Poll on NYC Mayoral Race on NY1's The Race for City Hall. Watch the interview.
Indian Generic Drug Industry On Trial?
Paul Howard, MedicalProgressToday.com, May 22, 2013
Linked on RealClearPolicy.com, 5-23-13
If you haven't read Katherine Eban's gripping (and somewhat terrifying) exposé of gross fraud and deception at the Indian generics multinational Ranbaxy, you don't know what you're missing. Or more accurately, what might have been hiding in your medicine cabinet for the better part of a decade. . .
New York's Public School Paradox
Marcus A. Winters, City Journal Online, May 22, 2013
Support runs high for education reforms--but also for the teachers who block them.
When he came into the mayor's office in 2002, Michael Bloomberg made reforming New York City's schools one of his principal goals. The new mayor gained control over school policymaking in his first year and, with the help of schools chancellor Joel Klein, helped make New York one of the nation's education-reform leaders. . .
Conservatives and the Common Core
KOA 850 AM's "The Mike Rosen Show" interviewed Sol Stern, 5-20-13
Economy & Finance
Apple, IRS Highlight The Need For Tax Reform
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, WSJ's Marketwatch.com, May 24, 2013
What do Apple CEO Tim Cook and countless Tea Party followers have in common? All have been the subject of congressional hearings this week about the frailties of our current tax system. . .
WBAL 1090 AM's "News Now w/Mary Beth Marsden," 5-24-13
House Panel Approves Needed Food Stamp Reforms
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Washington Examiner, May 21, 2013
With the House Agriculture Committee voting to trim the $80 billion food stamp program by $3 billion a year, or 2.5 percent, the New York Times is predictably outraged. "If anything, Washington should be allocating more money to address tremendous unmet needs," the paper's Tuesday editorial trumpeted. . .
The Real Washington 'Scandal'? The War On Youth
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, RealClearMarkets.com, May 21, 2013
The media are consumed with multiple Washington scandals: the IRS, Benghazi, the Justice Department wiretapping. But what about the tragedy of the dim prospects for this month's college graduates? . . .
Newsmax TV's John Bachman, 5-24-13
State and Local Budgets
Benefit Costs Gobble Up More Of School Budgets
Steven Malanga, PublicSectorInc.org, May 22, 2013
America's public schools spent slightly less in 2011 than they did in 2010, according to a new Census report, but the cost of employee benefits continued to grow, reflecting a 20-year trend in which benefit costs have risen much more rapidly than other spending, and consequently squeezed budgets. . .
More Red State Pension Follies
Stephen Eide, PublicSectorInc.org, May 20, 2013
(Linked on PensionTsunami.com, 5-20-13)
Kansas' pension system (KPERS) has been abysmally mismanaged. Measured against all other major public pension systems, KPERS ranks among the worst in terms of per capita pension debt ($3,606) and funded ratio (46% using the now industry-standard "blended" discount rate). A new Kansas Policy Institute report characterizes the causes for these problems as structural. . .
Jerry Brown: Tax increases hurt
Steven Malanga, PublicSectorInc.org, May 17, 2013
California Gov. Jerry Brown championed a $7 billion tax increase last November as the fiscal medicine for California's future. After his Proposition 30 passed, Brown was exultant. At a budget presentation in early January he projected a $4.5 billion surplus and declared California was back. Not quite so much, now, however. . .
LaGarde v. Support.com: $31,475 For The Class, $700,000 For The Attorneys
Ted Frank, PointOfLaw.com, May 24, 2013
Support.com offered a free "checkup" of computer safety; according to plaintiffs who sued, this was a scam that overstated the dangers and computer errors in a system to induce people to buy $29 software or a $4.99/month subscription service. LaGarde v. Support.com quickly settled for $10 a class member. . .
In re HP Inkjet Litigation (9th Cir. 2013)
Ted Frank, PointOfLaw.com, May 21, 2013
One of the targets of the Class Action Fairness Act was coupon settlements, the problematic class-action settlement device where the attorneys would receive millions, and the class members would receive coupons of little or no value that were often indistinguishable from what the defendant would use to market itself to non-class members anyway. . .
Defining 'responsible': If President Obama were a CEO?
Isaac Gorodetski, PointOfLaw.com, May 20, 2013
In a blog entry published on the Heritage Foundation's The Foundry, Daniel Dew cleverly uses the example of the recent scandals plaguing the Obama administration to point out the vast scope and inherent unfairness of the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine. . .
How Elite Colleges Drive Income Inequality
David Wilezol, MindingTheCampus.com, May 23, 2013
In the last few months, there's been a flurry of articles in the mainstream press acknowledging the same problem: a paucity of high-achieving, low-income students at elite colleges. "Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor," says the New York Times. . .
Why So Much Lying on Campus?
Richard Vedder, MindingTheCampus.com, May 21, 2013
One of the things that strikes me about modern universities is the inordinate amount of lying that goes on -both by institutions and members of the university communities- and how little is done about it. As respect for moral absolutes is replaced with a mushy moral relativism, perhaps a decline in honesty is to be expected. But for people who regard universities as bastions of truth and integrity, this is rather disappointing. . .
President Obama and the Proud Men of Morehouse
Peter Augustine Lawler, MindingTheCampus.com, May 20, 2013
It's hard to find a "serious" commencement speech that isn't about remembering that there's more to life than power and money. And that the secrets of a successful life include following your passion and finding purpose, not to mention giving back to your community. The president's speech at Morehouse had a few of these insipid moments, to be sure. . .
Securing the Border is No Easy Feat
GC's "The Jason Lewis Show" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 5-23-13
Benghazi and the IRS Probes into the AP
The following shows interviewed Judith Miller:
Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show," 5-20-13
Sirius XM's "The David Webb Show," 5-20-13