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PolicySphere Morning Briefing – April 11, 2024

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ICYMI: Our exclusive interview with the American Economic Liberties Project’s Matt Stoller on why conservatives should care about fighting monopolies–and having a more effective government.

#Energy #GreenNewDeal – American Action Forum: “The Economics of Renewable Energy: An Offshore Wind Case Study” A bit of progressive irony: the left wants more renewable energy, but permitting rules beloved of the left are making it harder to build more offshore wind farms. Unlike most renewable energy, offshore wind can be cost-effective in some cases–though it is an eyesore, which is why rich progressive NIMBYs with houses on the coast tend to use their tremendous political power to oppose it. As we said, many rich layers of irony here.

#AmericanAttitudesRyan Girdusky’s indispensable National Populism Newsletter analyses a new Pew survey on Americans’ political attitudes. “Democrats on social media loved the poll and gladly chimed that Pew Research, which has a reputation of being relatively accurate and non-partisan, disproved the myth that there was a racial and age realignment in the upcoming election. That’s not exactly what the Pew Study says.”

#Budget – The federal budget deficit totaled $1.1 trillion in the first half of fiscal year 2024, CBO estimates. “And yet,” James Lavish points out, “the same CBO released their report projecting a $1.5T deficit for the entire year. At this rate, the deficit will be $2.2T, a 47% overshoot and even higher than the projected deficit in 2031.”

#Healthcare #Insurance – This is interesting. From National Review: “Like the phoenix, a key piece of the Affordable Care Act has risen from the ashes, resurrected, believe it or not, by the Republican Study Committee — a caucus of conservative House Republicans. The RSC proposed capping the tax exclusion for health benefits that is currently available for employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) and extending the same level of tax exclusion to all Americans regardless of where or how they obtain their coverage. The proposal echoes and improves upon the ACA “Cadillac tax” and deserves bipartisan consideration to combat inflation of health costs.” More

#GovernmentReform – Important essay from N.S. Lyons on Biden Administration’s new rules designed to “Trump-proof” the administrative state: “‘Democracy’ Means Never Having to Hear ‘You’re Fired!’

#Essay – It seems that half of the people we know tested us this series by Pioneer Works magazine on Adderall, titled Club Med: “America runs on Adderall. From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, through prep school and grad school, in ad agencies and magazines, many of our most powerful minds are flying on prescription-grade speed. And all these uppers do a lot more than increase productivity. They induce a particular set of behaviors—a passive-aggressive management style, a manic discourse, a sarcastic affect—that can fuse into a culture when the number of users reaches critical mass. This culture is only becoming more pervasive. The last few years have seen the biggest spike in ADHD prescriptions since Adderall first passed FDA approval in 1996. If Adderall were not considered a productivity drug—economically beneficial, on balance—we would almost certainly be talking about an amphetamine epidemic. And maybe we should be.”

#Healthcare – “Congress Likely to Kick the Can on Covid-Era Telehealth Policies

#Healthcare – Since Covid, conservatives, but not just conservatives, have taken an intense disliking to the World Health Organization, which did much to promote lockdown policies that were (to say the least) of dubious effectiveness and enormous economic and social costs. So they are alarmed by the new “pandemic treaty” that the WHO wants to promote. Here’s the Brownstone Institute’s rundown of the treaty, its upcoming passage, and what it could mean.

#Housing Cato has a post looking at all the harmful effects of rent control. This is all well and good, but as we have pointed out in our past coverage of housing, the fact that housing is unaffordable for the up-and-coming generation is a very serious socioeconomic problem, and a simple dusting of libertarian pixie dust is not a politically realistic fix.

#CivilLiberties – From EPPC’s Rachel N. Morrison: “The Biden Administration’s Dubious Record on Conscience Rights

#Education #Science – AEI’s Rick Hess asks a question which is surely rhetorical: “Is Education Research Too Political?

#VeteransIssues – From RAND: “How Working Conditions in Civilian Jobs Can Affect Veterans’ Health and Well-Being

Chart of the Day

Enlightening chart from the Tax Foundation’s look at 2024 tax data. Many more cool charts at the link.

Meme of the Day

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