EPA’s Analytical Jujitsu

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article. By Sam Batkins and Ike Brannon In these pages four years ago (“Obfuscation at the EPA,” Summer 2011) we announced our discovery of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new methodology for ascribing job gains to costly new regulations: a sleight-of-hand whereby it […]

An Epic Fail from the New York Times

 This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full story. By Ike Brannon New York governor Andrew Cuomo, not content with President Obama’s proposal to make junior colleges free, recently introduced his own plan for New York to essentially waive the first two years of student debt payments for college[…..]

Obama’s Latest Giveaway . . . But there’s no such thing as free tuition.

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Last week the president feigned striking a blow for lower college costs with his proposal to make junior colleges free for all attendees meeting minimal academic standards. True to form, the president has taken on something not[…..]

Conservatives Should Buy Obama’s Tax Increase- If He Makes it Bigger

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full story. By Ike Brannon Republicans have been tripping over one another to slag President Obama’s tax proposal, made in his State of the Union address, to repeal the step-up in basis on inherited wealth and use the revenue it would generate[…..]

Federal Regs Making it Difficult for Members of Military to Borrow Money

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full story. By Ike Brannon Ever since the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, proponents of robust economic growth and sensible regulation have been trying to rein it in. The legislation that created the Bureau – which was a[…..]

Get Biosimilars to the Market Place

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full story. By Ike Brannon Even in the giddy afterglow of the new Congress, when all things seem possible, few Republicans seriously think that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed in 2015.  More realistically, various politicians have averred that a Republican[…..]

Congress Should Help Small Communities by Amending the Dodd-Frank Act

This article originally appeared in The American. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon What will Republicans do with both houses of Congress in 2015? Republicans — and a few Democrats — have expressed interest in taking a new look at the Dodd-Frank Act, the landmark 2010 legislation that completely altered the[…..]

A Year Later, the Exchanges Still Stink

This article originally appeared in The Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon One day soon I will presumably receive a notice from the D.C. health exchange informing me how much my family’s health insurance will cost for 2015. That I’ve not yet been made privy to this salient bit[…..]

Building Better Infrastructure

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon A few years ago, I returned to my Central Illinois hometown to join in a homecoming party for a family friend who had been away for 30 years. As we men stood watch on the grill at[…..]

Subsidizing Rich and Poor

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Standard.Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon There is a vintage Corvette parked on the street nearby, a 1977 canary yellow model in perfect condition. The NADA Blue Book says it’s worth around $15,000. The car is someone’s toy: I know that because it hasn’t[…..]

Explaining Delays in Regulatory Publication

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article By Ike Brannon and Sam Batkins After a proposed new regulation finishes winding its way through the procedural morass that is required before it can take effect, it does not immediately have the force of law. The federal government has to formally[…..]

Economic Evidence is Tipping the Scales in the Debate over Oil Exports

This article originally appeared at the Daily Caller. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon The North American countries may not have any tariff barriers between them but we are far from having a fully integrated North American economy. That’s a pity, because there are major gains to be had from doing[…..]

How to Make the Inversion Problem Even Worse

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Amidst the clichéd rhetoric decrying “unpatriotic” companies that accompanied the Obama administration’s recent move to address corporate inversions, it was easy to miss the fact that there is relatively little of substance that can be remedied via[…..]

Regulating the Mobile App Market

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the rest of the article. By Logan Albright The market for mobile apps on smartphones and other mobile devices has grown tremendously over the last few years. Indeed, it would be hard to find another sector that enjoys a similar level of creativity and innovation.[…..]

The Highs and Lows in OIRA’s Report to Congress

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon and Sam Batkins As part of a Friday evening “document dump” last May, the Obama administration’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) released its annual report on the “Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulation.” It confirmed that Fiscal[…..]

The IRS’s War on Locum Tenens

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon The most life-changing innovation to come along since my family moved to our urban neighborhood in Washington, D.C., a decade ago has been the appearance of Uber, the app that allows someone to easily hail a ride using a[…..]

The Entitlement ‘Crisitunity’

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the rest of the article. By Ike Brannon Writing about our nation’s entitlement problem can be a bore.  Anyone who is paying attention and not wearing political  blinders is already aware of the problem, and there is no  shortage of economists, former politicians, and other[…..]

Why the Government Won’t Let Colleges Reduce Tuition

This article originally appeared in The American. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Most people think that college tuition is too high, and many presidents of private colleges agree with that sentiment and would like to cut their tuition. However, they cannot legally do so, at least not in a way[…..]

The Minimum Wage Can Never Be High Enough

This article originally appeared in The American. Click here to read the full story. By Ike Brannon While waiting in line at my local grocery store in Washington, D.C., the other night, I eavesdropped on two thirty-something store employees discussing the $15 minimum wage that recently took effect in Seattle. “It’s a start, but it[…..]

The Costs of a Miscarriage of Justice

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon and Joshua Wolson When a class action lawsuit gets settled, the deal has to prescribe how the defendant will pay the members of the injured class and who can be part of that class. BP, the global[…..]

The Biotech Lobby Fights To Undermine Less-Costly Biosimilar Drugs

This article originally appeared at Forbes. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon I am a child of the war against margarine. When the spread was introduced in the 1800s, dairy farmers bitterly fought the product, especially in Wisconsin, the dairy capital of the world and whence my family hailed. The state–at[…..]

Paying for Paving

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Everyone involved in the Kabuki theater surrounding the nine-month extension of revenue for the highway trust fund has so far played their parts perfectly. The secretary of transportation told the media that he would be forced to[…..]

A Federal Minimum Wage and the States

By Logan Albright and Ike Brannon The White House has been spending an inordinate amount of time and energy this year advocating that Congress increase the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10. No doubt, some Democratic Party supporters of the proposal believe it would help low-income workers; however, their Republican[…..]

How to Stop Corporate Inversions and Make U.S. Businesses more Competitive

This article originally appeared at Economics21. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon The food fight over corporate inversions – whereby a U.S. company moves its domicile overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes on future income earned abroad – shows no sign of diminishing in the near future. For good reason. Democrats[…..]

The Administration’s Cynical Fight Against Corporate Inversions

This article originally appeared at the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon A wizened soul who worked in the bowels of the United States Treasury in the Eisenhower administration once explained to me all that is wrong with the U.S. tax code. He opined that every so often politicians[…..]

No, Corporate Tax Inversions Are Not An Unpatriotic Economic Crisis

This article originally appeared at The Federalist. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Nothing attests to the desperation the Obama administration faces in finding an economic meme to their liking than their claim that the recent uptick in corporate inversions represents a crisis. Exhibit One in this manufactured crisis is Treasury[…..]

Can Macroeconomics Be Saved — or Understood?

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full story. By Ike Brannon Macroeconomics is currently is crisis, and not for the first time. And Bill Phillips is largely to blame. Phillips life story—and his contributions to macroeconomics—are front and center in Tim Harford’s excellent new book, and for good reason. Besides[…..]

The Obamacare Regulatory Rush

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon and Sam Batkins There is plenty of evidence that rushing through the rulemaking process results in poor analysis and shoddy policy outcomes. Nowhere is that more clearly manifested than in the Patient and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, also known[…..]

‘Student Loan Relief Now’

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon My father is one of the reasons that student loans cannot normally be discharged via bankruptcy. Such an outcome was never his goal: quite the opposite, in fact, because exempting student debt from bankruptcy relief makes little[…..]

New Flight Rules Are a Heavy Load

This article originally appeared in The American. Click here to read the full article By Ike Brannon Rarely does Congress pass legislation so irredeemably flawed that it simultaneously hurts producers and consumers while decreasing safety, but the FAA’s recent implementation of legislation requiring that all pilots have at least 1,500 hours of flight time before sitting in[…..]