Heartland Weekly: Why Chicago Is Sinking Fast

Published May 30, 2017

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Will Public Schools Survive if Blaine Amendments Don’t?
Teresa Mull, Breitbart
Blaine amendments, borne out of 19th-century anti-Catholic bigotry, have been the constant bane of the modern education-choice movement. The amendments, currently found in the constitutions of 37 states, prohibit public funds from supporting sectarian schools. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling finally to dismiss Blaine amendments would be a win for the whole country. We could at last do away with this bigoted measure, which has marred the constitutions of many states for decades while opening the door for the type of educational alternatives children and their families have been yearning for. READ MORE

The Carbon Tax Rebate Scam
H. Sterling Burnett, American Thinker
A group of old-guard, “swamp” Republicans calling themselves the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) has joined climate alarmists, including failed Democratic Party presidential candidate Al Gore, in calling for a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions. CLC’s plan would begin with a carbon tax rate of $40 per ton, and promises a “rebate” of up to $2,000 for 70 percent of American families. That’s great – unless you are among the 30 percent who would pay more for energy under this scam. CLC is extremely pleased with this soak-the-rich, subsidize-the-poor scheme, but since when did Republicans become the party of class warfare? READ MORE

Why Chicago Is Sinking Fast
Joe Bast, American Greatness
Last week, Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast was one of a dozen panelists brought together in Chicago to answer the question, “What should we expect from public education and what can families do to help their local schools achieve that promise?” Instead of a lively and balanced discussion about the goals of public education and how to motivate parents, the event – dominated by hard leftists – was dominated by rants against “capitalism,” allowing parents to choose the schools their children attend, and laments about how taxpayers refuse to provide adequate funding to the city’s failing public schools. There was no dialogue, only blame, and that is why Chicago as a city is sinking fast. READ MORE

Featured Podcast: Joe Milligan, Fundación Libertad: Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Crisis
Heartland Institute research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Joe Milligan, executive vice president of Fundación Libertad, a Puerto Rican nonpartisan think tank dedicated to protecting the economic and personal freedoms of territory residents. They discussed Puerto Rico’s $70 billion bankruptcy filing – which is five times the size of Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy – and how the U.S. territory’s lawmakers can help pull the Island of Enchantment out of its financial death spiral. LISTEN TO MORE

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Health Departments Lobbying Against E-Cigs Are Robbing Taxpayers, Harming Public Health
Lindsey Stroud, InsideSources
As if the Food and Drug Administration’s deeming regulations weren’t enough to stall the future of the vaping industry, numerous county health departments have decided to lodge themselves in the war against electronic cigarettes, increasingly spreading misinformation and exaggerated claims through targeted ad campaigns. These efforts, conducted by multiple county health boards across the country, further show how unelected and unaccountable officials are working to demonize devices that can help improve public health. READ MORE

Betsy DeVos: Education Is a States’ Rights Issue
Teresa Mull, School Choice Weekly
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, delivering the keynote address at the American Federation for Children summit on Monday, declared education is ultimately a matter best left to the states. If the Trump administration’s budget is any indicator, then it looks to back up DeVos’s statements. The proposed education budget, released earlier this week, allocates hundreds of millions of dollars for school choice, encouraging programs across the country. READ MORE

Sugar Tax Drives Consumers to Drink More Calories, Hop Border
Michael Hamilton, Consumer Power Report
The tax man cometh for purveyors of sugary drinks – and for the consumers forced to absorb a slew of new, not-so-sweet excise taxes. Cities are taxing retailers 1 to 2 cents per ounce with the idea citizens will make healthier choices and avoid buying soda and other sweetened drinks. But market principles reign. Taxing sugary drinks drive some consumers to purchase substitute products that pose equal or greater health risks. The taxes also drive other consumers to buy equal or greater quantities of sweetened beverages outside city limits. READ MORE

Direct Action Better Response To Climate-Related Problems Than Carbon Restrictions
H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly
Bruce Bartlett, an old policy wonk at the National Center for Policy Analysis, recently penned a commentary concerning how policy makers should respond to climate change. He gets wrong both the little science he indulges in and the economics of climate policy. Contrary to Bartlett’s claim, evidence indicates neither the rate of sea level rise nor storm frequency or intensity have increased during the current warming period – despite repeated claims they should and would. READ MORE

Bonus Podcast: Dr. Deane Waldman: Jimmy Kimmel, Maintenance of Certification, and Mandates
Should states, insurers, and hospitals require doctors to undergo repeat testing that has no demonstrated positive effect on patient outcomes? Should they then charge doctors for the pleasure of taking such tests? Dr. Deane Waldman, director of the Center for Health Care Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, says absolutely not in this episode of the Health Care News Podcast. Host Michael Hamilton Hamilton and Waldman then shift gears to fact-check an emotional appeal to save Obamacare by comic television show host Jimmy Kimmel, which went viral on the internet days before the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act. LISTEN TO MORE

Ben Carson Can Start Fixing HUD today. Will He?
William J. Murphy, American Thinker
Yet another deadline in a congressional investigation into wrongdoing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has passed without movement. HUD’s failure to provide all documents requested by Congress is disappointing because it stalls an ongoing investigation of improper salary payments to HUD officials who obstructed an inquiry into improprieties in the agency’s handling of housing fraud lawsuits against the city of St. Paul, Minnesota. Action on the part of HUD Secretary Ben Carson on this front is a key test of President Trump’s promise to restore good government. READ MORE

Another Day, Another DC Crony Lobbying For Continued Protectionism
Seton Motley, RedState
Today is a day with a “Y” in it, which means in many places throughout $4-trillion-per-year Washington, D.C., there are recipients of massive cronyism looking to keep their gravy trains a-rolling. They’d ordinarily take for granted that the cronyism would continue – and be looking to accelerate their respective locomotives. But the election of President Donald Trump offers We the Victims the first glimmer of hope in decades that a diminishment of this business-as-usual may finally be in the offing. READ MORE