In case you missed it...

Regulatory overreach

Near the end of the Obama administration, its Labor Department attempted to unilaterally impose harsh and oppressive overtime rules upon private- and public-sector employers all across America. Not only would the rules have drastically increased the cost of labor, but it also would have created a major dilemma for local governments limited by balanced budget requirements: Hike taxes, or cut services? As Attorney General Adam Laxalt notes, “It was especially insulting when the Obama administration, which had nearly doubled the federal deficit, had the audacity to decide — by executive fiat, without Congress — that state and local governments across the nation needed to pay some state employees more.” Luckily for taxpayers and small business owners alike, a federal judge recently killed the ill-advised order. (Read more)

 

Public sector unions

Unions in America are changing. In 2009, for the first time, a majority of union members were not workers in private industry, but in government. This shift has a pronounced impact on government budgets, tax burdens and the overall size and scope of local governments. Just as importantly, it demonstrates the way in which unions plan to survive as private sector workers increasingly reject the practice of collective bargaining: by essentially becoming part of government. (Read more)

 

Transparency

It’s not just public-record emails that Incline Village General Improvement District management is fighting to keep from the public. Top IVGID administrators have also been stonewalling efforts by two trustees — including the IVGID treasurer — to see basic district financial records. When Trustee Tim Callicrate pointed out that, as a trustee, he ought to have access to such records, Chair Kendra Wong’s response was stunning. “But if [the records] get shared with us, it becomes a public document. That’s why it is not being shared with us.” [Emphasis added.] Wong’s  reasoning is not only an insult to the idea of government transparency, it’s also incorrect. (Read more)

 

Federal lands

The government agency best known in the West for federal overreach is, by far, the Bureau of Land Management. That’s why the Nevada Policy Research Institute and the Idaho Freedom Foundation recently signed a letter, asking the Department of the Interior to rethink its approach to lands in the West. “The new administration in Washington, D.C. offers westerners and all Americans the hope that the contentious land management policies of President Barack Obama are a thing of the past,” explains the letter. (Read more)

 

Loss and life

This last story is not related to any public policy issue, or modern political bickering. Instead, it is simply a well-written article by a great friend of our movement. Some time ago, this gifted voice for individual freedom suffered a great loss — and her article at the Federalist this week touched on something much bigger than our day-to-day focus on politics and policy. It’s about life, and loss. It’s about understanding what we have in our own families, and how to cope with it when it has gone. (Read more)

 

 


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