Posts Tagged ‘Clinton Administration’

Mandates winning over marketplace

First in a three-part series. Cloaked as “reform,” the Democratic Congress and the Clinton administration are seeking to expand government control over four of America’s most successful and most globally competitive industries. The health care industry. In the old days, South American generalisimos nationalized an industry by deposing boards of directors and appointing their own.…

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Western issues loom over East

As the Clinton administration begins to focus on the domestic agenda, Western issues loom large — in part because the West is experiencing major changes. These changes include rapid urbanization (most of the states of the West are among the nation’s most urbanized, measured by the percentage of people living in communities over 15,000) and…

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President takes dangerous spin

Bill Clinton was at his presidential best in the hours immediately following the tragic bombing in Oklahoma City, as he expressed the sympathy of the nation and pledged to hunt down and bring to justice those who committed this brutal and cowardly act. But the president didn’t stay on the high road for long. By…

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Regulation isn’t way to reform

Third in a three-part series. Unless it is knocked off the agenda by the Haiti misadventure, Congress may try to pass a massive telecommunications “reform” package before the 103rd Congress adjourns this autumn. Passage of the “reform” bill could have massive unintended effects. Examples: It would actually delay construction of the information superhighway, especially to…

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Too much bad in telecom bills

Second in a three-part series. The Labor Day recess is over. Congress is facing a huge backlog of unfinished work. Many legislative initiatives — health care, the GATT trade agreement, interstate branch banking, campaign finance reform, Superfund, new hardrock mining taxes — will die on the vine if they are not passed in the six…

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Sparing the rod, reaping the pain

Michael Fay is learning that actions have consequences. Fay is the 18 year-old kid from Ohio who was sentenced to six whacks of a cane on his butt as punishment for defacing expensive cars in Singapore. I was reminded of this last week as I listened to a moving speech by Supreme Court Justice Clarence…

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Superhighway hits FCC detour

The much ballyhooed merger between Bell Atlantic and cable TV giant Tele-Communications, Inc. aborted last week. Primary reason: A decision by the Federal Communications Commission to roll back rates for basic services (a new 7% reduction on top of last year’s 10% cut) and impose new regulations on the cable industry. These new uncertainties made…

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Roadblocks loom on superhighway

Dallas–More than a thousand people–from engineers to policy wonks–are assembled here to participate in the Western Communications Forum, an annual event to assess technology and new applications in the communications industry. Speeches and panel discussions are alive with enthusiasm for the achievements and great potential of the convergence in communications technologies–CATV, telephony, computers, software and…

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Babbitt’s chance to mend his ways

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt will be in Colorado this week. His visit comes on the heels of a string of defeats for his controversial plans to rewrite the rules of the game for managing public lands in the West. Earlier this year, the White House left Secretary Babbitt at the altar when it deleted his…

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Grazing fees are federal smokescreen

The initiative to raise grazing fees on federal lands may be decided in Congress this week. Unfortunately, grazing fees are simply a smokescreen for three hidden agendas ruthlessly pursued by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt: First, Babbitt would eliminate marginal ranchers in favor of West coast developers. If marginal ranchers can be denied access to public…

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Rangeland Reforms Spawn Babbittowns

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt’s Aug. 9 announcement of his sweeping “reform” of grazing on public lands is pretty familiar stuff: a 130% tax increase to ranchers in the form of increased grazing fees; a federal takeover of many Western water rights; and establishment of new government bureaucracy to manage public lands, descriptions of which sound…

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Condo crowd set sights on western ranchers

Grazing fees are back on the front page. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt wants to raise them a whopping 130% — from $1.86 per animal unit month to $4.28. When you consider how the public questioned the recent 4.3 cent per gallon increase in the gasoline tax — less than five percent of the total cost…

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BTU tax kills jobs, slows growth

Imagine a headline proclaiming, “Clinton proposes 98% tax on computers made in the Silicon Valley.” The subhead reads: “Computers made in Indiana to be taxed 29%.” People would properly ask: Why does the administration pick on one industry to carry so much of the burden of its tax proposals? Why did the administration select a…

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Activist agenda cuts both ways

Watching journalists on the weekend news interview shows, I was startled by the confidence — no, the joy — they seem to have in activist government and their warm feelings for more taxes and spending. It’s understandable. Activist government provides one-stop shopping for journalists who have to write a story each day. It is much…

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Coal tax would burn business

After running on a platform to get the economy moving again, the Clinton administration came out of the gates with a social agenda (abortion and gay rights) and an agenda for new taxes. Unfortunately, these are not elements of an economic policy that will create jobs, promote economic growth and increase American competitiveness. But the…

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Seven lessons ’92 taught us

Expensive (more than $235 million spent by the major candidates alone). Disgusting (“knock” campaign advertising continues to dominate airwaves). Shameful (for the world’s oldest constitutional democracy that just won a protracted struggle with totalitarianism). Pick your own description of this year’s lamentable presidential campaign. The lackluster Bush campaign was dominated by mud-slinging. The roller-coaster Clinton…

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School reform is inevitable

High drama, comedy and dark humor seem to be driving public discussion of the public school amendments ‹ both the “tax now/reform later” proposal (Amendment 6) and the proposal to give school choice to everyone, not just the rich (Amendment 7). Somehow, in all this discussion of budgets, regulations and the public school “system,” there…

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Global issues? Not in this race

In this lamentable presidential campaign, there is scant attention to international issues. Yet for the U.S. – the world’s largest trading nation and the world’s only remaining superpower – momentous issues are in play. In Europe, the movement toward political and monetary unification, symbolized by the Maastricht Treaty, is unraveling. Slow growth and continued high…

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