Week in Review
In the run-up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, then-House speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Congress did, of course, pass the bill. President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010. And, as Pelosi promised, we are indeed finding out what’s in it.
Then again, even before the bill was passed, “what’s in it” — or at least, the most important elements of “what’s in it” — was already painfully obvious to those who opposed the bill or warned that it constituted disastrous health-care policy. While many of the dirty details had not yet come to light, it was clear that the bill increased intrusion by the federal government into the health-care market, with the predictable consequences including new taxes on businesses, higher premiums for individuals and further strains on federal and state budgets.
As followers of NPRI’s work know, we’ve devoted considerable effort in recent weeks to publicizing the fact that Nevada teachers have the option to leave their union if they wish to do so.
Regrettably, their chance to do so is limited. The timeframe and requirements for leaving the union vary slightly by county, but in just about all cases, this year’s window closes this coming Monday, July 15.
There are those moments in life that put everything into perspective. It can be a wedding, the death of a loved one, or even a good friend moving away. These moments serve as reminders of what’s really important. And for me, they are reminders of why I do what I do.
Do you have any friends in Nevada who are teachers? What are they doing right now?
Well, if they’re like most teachers, they’re resting and recovering from a long school year, with work-related thoughts far from their minds.
And that’s exactly what the teachers union is counting on. That’s because Nevada teachers are able to opt out of union membership — but only by submitting written notice between July 1 and 15. Union officials know that many teachers aren’t interested in spending between $600 and $773 a year to subsidize a union boss taking home over $625,000 a year or seeing the union spend their money on million-dollar political donations.
With the legislative session behind us, we political and news junkies are feeling a bit of a void in our lives. (And if you think like I do, you’re probably also feeling a little nauseous over the results.)
But fear not, for I have the perfect solution: Find a good book. Books are engaging, they’re easily portable and, unlike the stuff you peruse online, the government hasn’t yet figured out how to spy on you while you read them … I don’t think.
Now, my suggestion would be that you pick up something on the lighter side — a good action thriller, perhaps — and take a break from the political and policy debates that so often consume your mind. But if you find yourself still needing that political/policy fix, there’s no shortage of superb choices for you to turn to this summer.
With that, here are my top five summer-reading recommendations for bookworms of a conservative/libertarian persuasion.
It had barely begun, and already the 27th Special Session of the Nevada Legislature was over. And just like the regular session that had unfolded over the previous 120 days, this week’s brief special session provided no reason to believe Nevada’s woes are going away anytime soon.
The most notable outcome of the special session was legislative authorization for a constitutionally dubious sales-tax increase in Clark County, which will take effect if and when the county commission passes it, with the additional revenues targeted for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s coffers.
I like entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are, more than anything, what make our economy work. They build businesses, create jobs and can accumulate wealth for themselves by improving the lives of countless people they’ll never even meet.
But entrepreneurship requires more than just a businessman or woman investing in a company. True entrepreneurship only exists when businesses compete for customers. Consumers then have the power to choose the winners and losers in the market place. That system is what we call free-market capitalism.
Will spending more increase student achievement in Nevada?
That’s the working assumption of many Nevada legislators. For instance, after Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis dropped his attempt to raise Nevada’s job-killing payroll tax on Tuesday, Senate Democrats took to the floor to complain that Nevada doesn’t spend enough on education and hence legislators are “kicking the can down the road again.”
Questions surrounding the spate of scandals now enveloping the White House have largely focused on what they tell us about the nature of the Obama administration. That is, is the administration guilty of mere incompetence or out-and-out corruption?
It’s a fine and appropriate question to ask. But to focus on it and it alone runs the risk of missing the most important lesson from these episodes.