When President Obama signs the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Start-up Act) bill into law today it will reflect the first sign in a long time that some in Congress are waking up to reality: government regulations stifle business growth. The bill passed the House 390-23 in March and then passed the Senate 73-26 last week but not without much weeping and gnashing of teeth from regulationists decrying the bill’s alleged resurrection of “deregulation.”
Without a concrete plan for funding, proponents of a California high-speed rail project began pitching their plan this week to legislators and the general public. Updated from a previous proposal, the new plan narrows the scope of the project and intends to speed up construction to save money. However, despite the spending reductions, the rail still leans on shaky funding sources that might never materialize.
Because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia, the deadline for filing federal income-tax returns this year falls on April 17. Coincidentally, that is also Tax Freedom Day for 2012: the day on which the average American will have worked long enough to pay his share of all the taxes government will extract from the populace this year.
When the Justice Department announced in March that it intended to sue Apple and five book publishers for collusion over the pricing of eBooks, David Boaz of the Cato Institute could be heard to say “Here we go again.” Boaz wrote about Washington regulators and busybodies two years ago, calling them “parasites” and expressing the hope that Apple would avoid the absorption into the Washington “Borg” suffered first by Microsoft and then Google.
Solar Trust of America, an energy firm based in Oakland, California, declared bankruptcy on April 2, fewer than 10 months after breaking ground on a project near Blythe, California, that was to be the world’s largest solar power energy project built on public lands. In its bankruptcy filing, the company claims to have assets of up to $10 million. Those assets, however, are dubious, consisting primarily of the Blythe project and another project in Riverside County, California, neither of which has gotten off the ground. Meanwhile, its liabilities may run as high as $100 million.
Reaching into President Obama’s 14-page, 7,200 word luncheon speech to the Associated Press on Tuesday, some conservative observers took umbrage at a few of his choicest and more outrageous characterizations of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget bill, while leaving much behind.
In a just world, Charles Goyette would sit atop the radio broadcasting industry as one of our most preeminent political radio personalities, where Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Mark Levin would be fetching him coffee and the latest issue of The New American (TNA) magazine.
Following a scathing exposé that uncovered details on a lavish government conference in Las Vegas, the head of the General Services Administration (GSA) resigned, while two top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on administrative leave. GSA chief Martha Johnson admitted in her resignation letter to a "significant misstep" at the federal agency — which handles real estate for the government — and as a result, she acknowledged, "taxpayer dollars were squandered."
When Ann Johnston, Mayor of Stockton, California, informed the city council in March that Stockton was about to go bankrupt, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, it took her six hours to explain why. The primary reason was overborrowing, overspending, and thinking that the good times would go on forever. They didn’t.
A long-standing legal charade was played out again recently, when Federal Express paid $3 million to settle an employment discrimination case brought by the U.S. Department of Labor. Federal Express was accused of both racial discrimination and sex discrimination. FedEx denied it.