February 8, 2019
As we approach the end of the week, here are the top stories that have captured our interest at the MacIver News Service. As usual, there’s an overarching theme – government officials trying to increase your cost of living and doing business.
Right here in Wisconsin, the DOT has partnered with dozens of special interest groups to brainstorm ways to squeeze you for more road funds. Meanwhile, scores of Socialist-Democrats in Washington unveiled a plan to ban air travel and condemn your home for not being environmentally friendly enough. That’s just a taste of what you’ll find in our weekly curated list of can’t-miss news.
The MacIver Institute reported on Transportation Secretary-Designee Craig Thompson’s Transportation Stakeholder Task Force meeting this past week. Secretary-Designee Thompson’s Task Force appears to be shaping up to be a “tax force”. The Task Force’s preferred approach to raising revenue appears to be a 5.5 cent increase on the gas tax. This would raise Wisconsin’s gas tax to 36.4 cents per gallon from an already-high 30.9 cents.
A new national poll released Wednesday found Americans’ support for a “Medicare-for-all” government takeover of health care ends when people find out the details.
The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation poll found 56 percent initially support the Bernie Sanders-inspired scheme, while 42 percent oppose. But support falls off sharply when people find out the details. When respondents were told a government healthcare system could result in long lines or higher taxes, support plunges to as low as 26 percent.
In fact, “Medicare-for-all” could double every American’s tax burden. The Mercatus Center last year estimated the plan would cost $32 trillion over ten years at the national level, and last year the MacIver Institute estimated a single-payer health care system would cost Wisconsin $30 billion in the first year alone – nearly doubling the size of the state budget. To those tempted to think such a plan is too radical to ever be proposed in Wisconsin, think again. We’re likely to have this debate here in the Badger State soon.
The MacIver Institute looked into the giving habits of the Wisconsin Partnership Program, the grant distribution arm of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The Public Health fund recently gave $1 million to the Neenah Community Development Corp, which comes in addition to a $1 million grant to Community Advocates Public Policy Institute from last October. As Wisconsin’s health rankings fall, it would appear this money could be spent on actual health care, and not social justice groups.
A study by the National Bureau Economic Business finds environmental regulations reduce domestic CO2 emissions, but increase emissions overseas. While there can be a net reduction overall, the largest polluters, such as electric and gas companies, do not reduce domestic emissions regardless of restrictions enforced.
A new study from pro-trade group Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC estimates a minimum net loss of 934,000 jobs if new tariffs on Chinese imports are enacted next month as President Trump has threatened. The group forecasts a net loss of jobs in every state, including 14,000 jobs lost in Wisconsin. For an average family of four, the new tariffs would cost an estimated $767 per year. In addition to a loss of jobs, the study estimates a GDP loss of 0.37 percent for at least the first three years of the tariffs.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) released her Green New Deal bill this week, and Americans for Tax Reform had a few thoughts on the massive government program. ATR President, Grover Norquist, noted especially that there is no cost estimate provided for this bill but that it will be high.