The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

To get comprehensive tax reform, Sen. Wyden needs to abandon special interest tax extenders

Photo of
Jim Huffman
Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution
              FILE - In this June 6, 2013, file photo, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. For Wyden, the man in line to succeed ambassador-designate Max Baucus as chairman of the Senate's most powerful committee is a liberal Oregonian who has been an occasional thorn in the side of the intelligence community, the Obama administration and fellow Democrats.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Oregon’s senior senator Ron Wyden has a well-earned reputation for collaborating on bipartisan proposals dealing with a variety of subjects from health care (with republican Congressman Paul Ryan) to tax reform. Although Wyden has had few successes in actually seeing those proposals through to legislation, that could change now that he has become the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. (Full disclosure, I was Wyden’s Republican opponent in the 2010 election.)

Washington healthcare exchange puts on sweepstakes for Sasquatch music festival tickets

2:02 PM 02/18/2014

Washingtonians (the Pacific Northwest variety) have been receiving an unsolicited email message informing them that they can “snag free VIP tickets to the Sasquatch! Music Festival.” To have a chance at two grand prizes or to be among 100 first place winners, Washington residents need only visit the Facebook page of Washington Healthplanfinder and click on the “enter sweepstakes” button. No purchase is required.

Did the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times read the same CBO report on Obamacare?

10:56 AM 02/06/2014

“Health Law to Cut Into Labor Force” read the headline in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. “Health Care Law Projected to Cut the Labor Force” read the headline in yesterday’s New York Times. Sounds like both newspapers had a similar take on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) estimate that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the total number of hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs over the next decade. But not so on their editorial pages.

The State of the Union is a national embarrassment

10:18 AM 01/28/2014

Today is the day.  President Obama will deliver his fifth state of the union address to Congress, assembled dignitaries, a few carefully chosen guests, and the American people.  It should be, and could be, an occasion of civic pride for all Americans – an opportunity to remind ourselves and the world that the democratic republic we have sustained for two and a quarter centuries remains a model for freedom lovers everywhere.

Please, do not misgender your students

4:27 PM 01/24/2014

Last week I received a message (forwarded by the dean) from my school’s Queer Resource Center (QRC) explaining that many individuals in the LGBTQQAOPA community have been made to “feel uncomfortable and disrespected in their learning environments” as a result of being “misgendered by professors.” The QRC (a student organization) message advised that, to prevent such discomfort and wounded feelings, professors should make it known that they care “about respecting students’ gender pronouns.”

If the Senate won’t act on a nomination, the president should find a new one

5:29 PM 01/13/2014

The United States Constitution grants the president authority to appoint judges and other federal officers subject to the advice and consent of the senate. In anticipation of the need to fill vacancies in these offices when the senate is not in session, the framers allowed for the president to make appointments during senate recesses. To minimize the incentive for abuse, judges and officers appointed in this way would serve only until the end of the next session.

Insurance coverage of birth control still makes no sense

6:34 PM 01/07/2014

Justice Sotomayor’s order temporarily enjoining enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate was, no doubt, a disappointment to the man who appointed her to the high court, and to most Obamacare supporters. If the Supreme Court ultimately finds the mandate unconstitutional it will be a victory for religious freedom, but will leave barely a dent in the massive wealth redistribution scheme that is Obamacare.

Do chimpanzees have rights?

2:25 PM 12/27/2013

Earlier this month, the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a habeas corpus petition in New York’s Fulton County Court seeking the release of Tommy, a chimpanzee “held captive in a cage in a shed at a used trailer lot in Gloversville.” On Tuesday a similar petition was filed in Niagara Falls on behalf of Kiko, a deaf chimpanzee living in a private home. A third petition was filed Thursday seeking the release of chimpanzees Hercules and Leo who are in the possession of a research center at Stony Brook University.

Detroit and the problem of positive rights

4:58 PM 12/11/2013

Nearly a half century ago, the late Frank Michelman argued that the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution should be understood to guarantee some minimum welfare to all Americans. Over the intervening decades that theme has inspired many others, including our current president, to insist that Americans should have a right to minimum levels of housing, nutrition, education, health care, and so on. These generally well-intentioned advocates for the less well off would have the courts declare that our constitution protects individual welfare every bit as much as it guarantees free speech.

Waiting on Obama at the tarmac

5:22 PM 12/02/2013

Last Monday morning we awoke to news of a pending storm in the Northeast. We were scheduled to fly Tuesday from Portland, Oregon, to New York for Thanksgiving, arriving about the same time as the forecast storm. So my wife swung into action and miraculously got us rerouted on a flight leaving in less than four hours through San Francisco. We tossed our things into our bags, raced to the airport, and caught our flight to San Francisco.

Why kids, and politicians, should still memorize the Gettysburg Address

11:06 AM 11/19/2013

150 years ago today President Abraham Lincoln spoke 277 words that, for generations, were memorized by students in schools across this great nation. Some of those former students, now drawing social security, still remember those immortal words. But given that civics education has been largely abandoned in our schools and memorization is now disdained as an educational tool, the vast majority of Americans will never have read the Gettysburg Address, let alone committed it to memory. Our nation is worse off for our neglect of Lincoln’s simple but profound message.

The ignorant presidency

11:29 AM 11/18/2013

Is it the imperial presidency, the impudent presidency, or just the ignorant presidency? For some time I have thought it was the first, with a dose of the second. I figured President Obama for a man who thinks so well of himself and his notion of how the world should be that he believes he must do whatever it takes to transform his vision for America into reality.

When it comes to court packing, Obama is no FDR

5:32 PM 11/07/2013

Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee claim that President Obama is engaged in the nefarious business of “court packing.” They object that by nominating individuals to fill the three vacant positions on the federal circuit court for the District of Columbia, the president seeks to “pack” what is often called the second highest court in the land with judges favorable to his progressive agenda. It is a strange charge, if one understands “court packing” in the sense usually associated with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The costs of the shutdown are nothing next to the costs of regulation every year

12:23 PM 10/31/2013

Do we really lose when the regulators stay home?

Should states be responsible for beating back climate change?

4:09 PM 10/22/2013

As part of a nationwide strategy to get the state and federal courts to do what the elected representatives of the people and their executive agencies have declined to do on the subject of climate change, the Washington Environmental Council and the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club sued the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Northwest Clean Air Agency and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. The environmental groups claimed that in failing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from Washington’s five oil refineries, the three agencies are in violation of their legal responsibilities under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

Beer drinkers victimized by shutdown

10:48 AM 10/14/2013

While it is difficult to sympathize with most furloughed federal employees, who know full well that they will receive retroactive compensation and are thus enjoying a little paid time off -- never in past shutdowns have furloughed employees not been back-paid -- there is no doubt that many people are being inconvenienced by the shut down. And some, like those dependent on federal support programs in their day-to-day lives, are actually suffering real harm.

House Republicans have every right to use the tools at their disposal

11:05 AM 10/03/2013

On Monday, some clever folks at seemingly all of the television news networks came up with the idea of an onscreen clock counting down to the federal government shutdown. As the clocks clicked down to zero at 12:00 am east coast time, the tension among the various commentators was palpable. It was as if, at the stroke of midnight, millions of Americans would be destitute in the streets while the United States Capitol crumbled into dust.

‘I’ll Find a Way’: The new ‘We Shall Overcome’

11:04 AM 08/30/2013

While President Obama was delivering remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, I was driving to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with my teenage son and daughter to hear one of their favorite bands, Spirit Family Reunion. In their second set, the self-described “open door gospel” group from New York City sang a tune that invited reflection on Reverend King’s immortal words, particularly after reading news accounts of President Obama’s speech.

The equanimity of Justice Ginsburg

4:38 PM 08/27/2013

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg does not plan to retire from the Supreme Court so that President Obama will be able to nominate her replacement. “I love my job,” the justice is quoted as saying. She intends to stay on the court “as long as I can do the job full steam.”