February 1, 2019
Happy Friday, readers! It has been a busy week, making it easy to lose track of the news. Everything from criticism of the Green New Deal to projections of the effects of tariffs to strides made to reduce drug costs – a lot has happened to affect how much money stays in your wallet. In case you missed it, here are six important stories on the happenings in the economy.
Jonathan Lesser criticizes both states in the U.S. that have made environmental pledges to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 to 30 years and the Green New Deal, which seeks to have “100% green energy by 2030,” in a recent column. Lesser argues that these plans are not economically feasible, nor possible, stating that the policy measures required to pursue the plans would require astronomical spending and a strain on natural resources.
On January 30, MacIver Institute’s Matt Kittle was cited by Legal Insurrection in a report on the “John Doe” investigations waged against Wisconsin conservatives. The report emphasizes the abuses of power that enabled the illegal investigations to take place and asserts that they must be remembered going forward. It draws from Kittle’s early coverage of the investigations, as well as from his recent article for MacIver, which describes the quiet conclusion of Attorney General Schimmel’s probe into “John Doe.”
Starting in January, new policy now requires hospitals to post their price list online. Critics say lists are still complicated and difficult to understand due to their length and terminology. Supporters of this measure believe that this is a good first step that will begin to lower the prices of services by giving patients more information on the costs of procedures.
The Congressional Budget Office released its Budget and Economic Outlook for 2019 to 2029 this past week. They project the deficit will increase to $1 trillion beginning in 2022. The CBO also projects the changes to trade policy in 2018 will cost real GDP 0.1 percent by 2022, and tariffs alone will reduce the level of potential output by 0.1 percent by 2029.
On January 31, the Trump administration introduced a new proposal that seeks to eliminate rebates between drug manufacturers and insurers. The proposal attempts to get drug companies to lower the cost of drugs by passing the amount to the patients, which will lower the out-of-pocket costs for consumers.
A new report from MacIver Institute’s Bill Osmulski reveals the city of Milwaukee is paying businesses back what they collect in property taxes and then some through TIF programs. These programs allow business to not only avoid paying property taxes, but raise taxes on everyone else to fund these grants.