Conservatives should fight to repeal, not streamline, the bloated welfare state DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE Conservatives should fight to repeal, not streamline, the bloated welfare state The United States is effectively bankrupt. Economist Laurence Kotlikoff figures the government faces unfunded liabilities in excess of $200 trillion. Making the programs run more efficiently...
Conservatives should fight to repeal, not streamline, the bloated welfare state DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE Conservatives should fight to repeal, not streamline, the bloated welfare state The United States is effectively bankrupt. Economist Laurence Kotlikoff figures the government faces unfunded liabilities in excess of $200 trillion. Making the programs run more efficiently...
DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE Washington’s actions abroad affect the size and power of Washington at home. “War is the health of the state,” declared social critic Randolph Bourne. The more active America’s foreign policy, the more the United States has to spend on the military: the “defense” budget is the price...
DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE American foreign policy is a bipartisan failure. The U.S. must intervene everywhere all the time, irrespective of consequences? No matter how disastrous the outcome, promiscuous interventionists insist that the idea was sound. Any problems obviously result from execution, a matter of doing too little:  too few troops...
DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE The U.S. government has failed to stop the drug trade at home. Washington also has not created a competent, effective, and honest central government in Afghanistan. How effective will Kabul be in limiting opium production when American troops go home? Not much. A new report from the Office...
DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE Medical care for veterans has become Washington’s latest scandal du jour.  Those injured while serving their country deserve prompt, quality medical attention. Everyone agrees that forcing veterans to wait, and possibly die waiting, for medical care is outrageous.  But what to do? Caring for veterans isn’t cheap.  Promiscuous...
Backed by the envious, used by the greedy DOUG BANDOW, THE FREEMAN Most Americans dislike the income tax, now more than a century old. The rates are too high. The provisions are unfair. The recordkeeping is onerous. The revenues are wasted. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? But there are...
DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE Congress passed the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act four years ago.  It was a signal political achievement.  Alas, ObamaCare is proving to be a policy bust as Kathleen Sebelius leaves her job as Secretary of Health and Human Services. For instance, health insurance premiums...
DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE Russia’s brazen annexation of Crimea has generated a flood of proposals to reinvigorate NATO. Doing so would make America less secure. For most of its history, the United States avoided what George Washington termed “entangling alliances.”  In World War II and the Cold War, the United...
A visit to a West African nations reveals tragic failure, yet great potential. DOUG BANDOW, THE FREEMAN ABUJA, NIGERIA—Arriving in Abuja, Nigeria results in an almost simultaneous impression of poverty and potential. After decades of economic disappointment, even collapse, much of Africa is growing. Yet even its leading states—such as Nigeria—remain...
A visit to a West African nations reveals tragic failure, yet great potential. DOUG BANDOW, THE FREEMAN ABUJA, NIGERIA—Arriving in Abuja, Nigeria results in an almost simultaneous impression of poverty and potential. After decades of economic disappointment, even collapse, much of Africa is growing. Yet even its leading states—such as Nigeria—remain...
DOUG BANDOW, CATO INSTITUTE Individual liberty took another hit with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of legislation enhancing protection for people’s religious principles while doing business. Gov. Brewer suggests that if you hang out a shingle you should leave your deepest beliefs at home. The issue in Arizona was not...
BY DOUG BANDOW, THE FREEMAN For many people free markets seem cold and calculating. Maybe it’s the best way to sell, say, automobiles and soap. But we shouldn’t like the process. And we certainly shouldn’t base our behavior on markets when basic concepts of right and wrong are at stake. Of...
BY DOUG BANDOW, THE FREEMAN If logic decided policy in Washington, federal spending would be low, the budget would be balanced, the benefits of regulations would exceed the costs, and policymakers would guard against unintended consequences. Unfortunately, the nation’s capital is largely impervious to logic, and the tragic results are...
DOUG BANDOW, THE FREEMAN In January, California Democrat Pete Stark finished 40 years in Congress. The 81-year-old proclaimed himself pleased with the half of his life spent in “public service” (read: on Capitol Hill). Yet the public has suffered disastrously from his efforts (allegedly) on its behalf. ...
DOUG BANDOW, THE FREEMAN Almost everyone is for freedom. At least they say they’re for freedom. Politicians wax eloquent when talking about America’s liberties in general. Advocates for free speech and civil liberties aren’t hard to find. Champions quickly rise up to battle threats against privacy. And most people intuitively...