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Economic Freedom

CBO: Repealing Obamacare’s Individual Mandate Would Reduce Deficit By $338 Billion

By Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

Repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate would reduce the federal deficit by $338 billion in the next decade, according to a projection from the Congressional Budget Office.

The individual mandate requires that Americans purchase health insurance or pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service for not having coverage. A recent Taxpayer Advocate Service report found that roughly 4 million Americans paid an average penalty of about $708 this year for a total of $2.8 billion.

The budget office predicts that eliminating the mandate would reduce the deficit by $338 billion from 2018 to 2027 and would decrease the number of those with health insurance by 4 million in 2019 and by 13 million in 2027. Even with this loss, the report says that markets would remain stable in almost all areas of the United States over the next decade. Continue reading


Why Socialism Doesn’t Work, as Learned by a Waiter

By Rob Knowles • The Association of Mature American Citizens

“In practice, socialism didn’t work. But socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy.” – David Horowitz

I had a topic in mind for today’s piece, and was set on writing about it when my roommate came home from his new job as a server. Our subsequent conversation blew me away because despite my roommate’s ardent support of Democrats, and Bernie Sanders specifically, he made an inadvertent argument against socialism.

I sat on our big red couch in awe as he said the following (not exact wording):

The job is really nice. The only annoying thing about it is that our tips are pooled. It kind of makes you wanna work less hard because you’re not getting your tips directly.” Continue reading


Report: GOP Tax Framework Could Raise GDP By 5%, Wages By 7%

By Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

President Donald Trump’s tax reform framework could raise GDP by as much as 5 percent and wages by as much as 7 percent, according to a new study from Boston University economists.

“We find that, depending on the year considered, the new Republican tax plan raises GDP by between 3 and 5 percent and real wages by between 4 and 7 percent,” the economists explain. “This translates into roughly $3,500 annually more annual real take-home pay for the average American household.”

Economists believe this growth can happen due to the plan’s aim to reduce the marginal effective corporate tax rate from 34.6 percent to 18.6 percent, which they believe will grow the capital stock by 12 to 20 percent. Continue reading


Analysis: Obamacare premiums to rise by average of 34 percent in 2018

by Kimberly Leonard • Washington Examiner

The price of premiums for Obamacare’s mid-level plans are set to rise by an average of 34 percent next year, according to an analysis by the consulting firm Avalere Health.

These mid-level, or silver, plans are considered to be benchmark plans for people who sign up for Obamacare’s health insurance. Premiums for bronze, gold, and platinum plans will rise by an average of 18 percent, 16 percent, and 24 percent, respectively, compared to last year.

Average premium increases varied by state, the analysis found. Iowa will have the highest jump in average silver premium, of 69 percent, while Alaska will have a decrease in premiums of 22 percent. Alaska’s plan was lower this year because the state set up a reinsurance program in which state and federal funds paid for the medical claims of high-cost enrollees. Continue reading


Unless Congress Acts, Delayed Obamacare Tax On Health Insurance Takes Effect Next Year

By John Daniel Davidson • The Federalist

At the risk of interrupting our endless culture wars with some boring policy health policy news, congressional Republicans are on track to allow a brand new Obamacare tax to take effect next year, making health insurance even more expensive for millions of Americans. Beginning in January 2018, an Obamacare tax on health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses will go into effect—unless the GOP-controlled Congress delays it.

They’ve delayed it before. The tax was in place from 2014 to 2016, but in December 2015, Congress placed a one-year moratorium on collecting the tax for all of 2017, an estimated $13.9 billion. If the tax is allowed to go back into effect next year, it’ll be at a higher level, hauling in an estimated $14.3 billion and affecting more than 11 million households buying insurance on the individual market and 23 million households who are insured through small employers. Continue reading


Frontiers of Freedom to host conference — Saudi Arabia: Friend or Foe? Buttressing or Undermining American Interests & Values?

Frontiers of Freedom will Host a Conference on Monday, October 2, 2017 from 12 noon until 4 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, DC (529 14th St NW) in the Press Club’s First Amendment Lounge.

Frontiers of Freedom invites the public, the media, policy makers, and opinion leaders to attend this important conference and briefing.

Saudi Arabia:  Friend or Foe?

Buttressing or Undermining American Interests & Values? 

Speakers include:

Doug Bandow – Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom

Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi – Vice President, Frontiers of Freedom 

Peter Roff, Contributing Editor for Opinion, US News & World Report 

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, Vice Pres, London Center for Policy Research

 

Lunch is provided.  There is no cost to attend or for lunch.  However, to attend, you must reserve your seat and lunch and RSVP by providing us with your name, firm or affiliation, and email address.  Guests are also welcome, but they too much RSVP.

— This is a “widely attended event” — 

“We feel the time has come to examine America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. They say they are our allies. But do their actions back up their words?” said George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom Institute president. “For far too long their contribution to the world’s problems has gone unexamined. We propose to take a look and see what’s really there.”


The Spectacular Rise and the Meteoric Fall from Grace of a European Banker: The Tzvetan Vassilev Phenomenon

By Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi 

 

Without exception, the history of the last quarter century of Central and Eastern Europe has again furnished the clearest and most convincing proof of the well established view that revolutions almost always have been followed by restorations rooted in deep seated past mentalities and practices. Having been first brutalized by the Stalinist regimes of the 1950s and 1960s, and later completely disillusioned by the faithless crypto communist hypocrites of hopeless stagnation, the peoples of the former Soviet empire plunged into the ethical equivalent of base immorality. Adding insult to injury, loyalty to the dictators and the authorities was measured not by honesty and professionalism but by total devotion to the cause without any scruples or consciences objections. Indeed, the glue that kept the Soviet Union and its so-called empire together was the Faustian bargain between the rulers and the ruled. Accordingly, a scoundrel was far less dangerous than a dissatisfied honest individual.

Continue reading


Obamacare’s Out-of-Pocket Costs for Specialty Drugs Increases 16% in One Year

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

Out-of-pocket costs for specialty drugs under the Affordable Care Act increased 16 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to a report from HealthPocket.

While prescription drug coverage comes standard with Obamacare plans, not all medications prescribed to individuals will be paid for.

“For a plan to help pay for a drug, the drug must first be included on the health plan’s formulary,” the report states. “Drugs that are off-formulary are not only paid for completely out-of-pocket by the enrollee but those expenses do not count towards the annual cap on out-of-pocket spending.” Continue reading


The Public Preference for Single-Payer Is Oh So Fragile

By Jim Geraghty • National Review

I’m headed up to New York City today, appearing on CNN to discuss Senator Bernie Sanders’ latest proposal for “single-payer” health care and on CNN International to discuss – well, something, possibly the Sanders proposal, perhaps something else.

The coverage of health care rarely suggests that public support for single payer is a mile wide but an inch deep. But this Kaiser poll from July is usefully illustrative. It found that a majority (55 percent) supports “single-payer,” but when respondents hear the argument that it would give the government “too much control,” then 61 percent oppose it.

When you mention the tax increases, 60 percent oppose single-payer. This concept does not enjoy ironclad support from the masses. Continue reading


Frontiers of Freedom at the Conservative Leadership Conference

Frontiers of Freedom will be at the 2017 Conservative Leadership Conference in Las Vegas on Saturday, September 16th.

At the Conservative Leadership Conference, we will be presenting a panel discussion on emerging issues with:

George Landrith

John Fund

Travis Korson

We will be discussing at least three important, emerging issues:

Freedom through Commerce

EPA & Superfund Reform

High Speed Rail Boondoggles

Hope you will join us in at the Conservative Leadership Conference. Click HERE for more details.


Can we wean Elon Musk off government support already?

By Jenny Beth Martin • The Hill

Tesla’s new Model 3 has finally arrived, and not a moment too soon. The critics seem to love it, and Tesla management says it’s already received deposits for 500,000 of the vehicles. Perhaps now Elon Musk can finally get his hand out of U.S. taxpayers’ wallets?

Musk is, to be sure, an ideas man. Private, commercial space travel? Check. Washington to New York in less than half an hour in what he calls a “hyperloop” train that will travel at 800 miles per hour? Check. A new kind of tunneling engineering? Check. Solar energy? Check. Electric cars? Check, check.

As wide-ranging as these various entrepreneurial ventures may be, they all have one thing in common – not a single one of them would get funding in a competitive private capital market if it weren’t for massive (and I do mean massive) taxpayer-funded government subsidies. Continue reading


Obamacare lies resurfacing

By Stephen Moore • Washington Post

The danger of a Republican bailout of Obamacare is mounting with every passing day. A group of “moderate” Republicans calling themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus is quietly negotiating with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to throw a multi-billion dollar life line to the Obamacare insurance exchanges.

This bailout, of course, would be an epic betrayal by a Republican Party which has promised to repeal and replace the financially crumbling Obama health law.

Republicans who are “negotiating” this bipartisan deal, such as Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, object to the term “bailout” for this rescue package. The left prefers the euphemism “stabilizing the insurance market.” Continue reading


Frontiers of Freedom statement on U.S. Postal Service’s massive third quarter loss

By Frontiers of Freedom

Frontiers of Freedom reacted with continued frustration today in response to the U.S. Postal Service’s latest financial statement detailing a loss of $2.1 billion in the third quarter of the 2017 fiscal year.

“The latest poor financial results from the U.S. Postal Service this week only reinforces the fact that without changes, the USPS’ debt just continues to grow,” said Frontiers of Freedom President, George Landrith. “Losing billions of dollars each year is simply inexcusable and leaders of the U.S. Postal Service should be making dramatic improvements to ensure the agency’s financial sustainability.”

The latest losses this week ominously point to a high probability of the USPS ending the year in the red, which will mark the 11th consecutive year with a multi-billion loss. Year after year, data provided by the USPS details the financial strength of letter mail products, which often earn twice as much revenue compared to their costs. However, the Postal Service is lobbying its regulator, the PRC, to soon grant extensive authority to raise letter mail prices as part of its 10-year review that is due next month.

A wiser course for the PRC would involve closer scrutiny of competitive products and new ill-advised ventures, like grocery delivery, same-day services, and expanded parcels products – all items that USPS fails to fully detail the associated costs and evades proper analyses regarding their long-term financial viability.

By making sound management decisions and focusing on its core mail products, the U.S. Postal Service can best serve its largest base of customers and limit its potential exposure to taxpayers.


Why Single-Payer Will Only Make Health Care More Expensive

by Scott Erhlich • The Federalist

Why do single-payer health care supporters treat it like an unassailable good? Even if you can point to a place like Denmark, with 5 million people and little ethnic diversity, why do people think we can transport that into a country of 330 million ethnically diverse individuals with the same results? After all, we couldn’t even get Americans to buy into the infinitely easier metric system, but they are going to enjoy higher taxes to pay for rationed health care?

I’m not here to bash single-payer because it’s European. I’m also not a fan of socialism in principle, but if there is a way to provide better care at a cheaper price, then I’d be all for it, even if that would make me an awful libertarian. But the arguments I hear for single-payer nationwide are full of ridiculous extrapolations, economically illiterate assumptions, and pie in the sky dreams of willing, abundant, qualified providers to treat these hundreds of millions of patients. I’m willing to listen, but the arguments need to be better.

I recently debated a very accomplished doctor and single-payer supporter. Single-payer is more efficient because it doesn’t have to take into account profits, she said. It reduces administrative costs, there’s less waste, fraud, and abuse, and therefore even conservatives would be stupid not to jump on this opportunity. Continue reading


A Tax Cut Victory Before Labor Day

by Lawrence Kudlow, Stephen Moore, Arthur B Laffer, and Steve Forbes • Investor’s Business Daily

President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress must act with much more urgency and decisiveness on tax cuts.

In recent weeks the tax cut agenda seems stalled out and the delays and indecision are negatively affecting growth and the stock market. We hear that a tax plan from the White House may not come until the fall and may not even pass Congress until 2018 – if at all.

Is it any wonder that investors are getting jittery? The stock market had priced in much of the anticipated benefits to business, wages and profits, which accounts in no small part for the $3 trillion rise in equity values and the surge in business and consumer confidence after the election. Now the confidence is waning. Continue reading