Commentary by Riley Walters.
The Department of Justice announced the shutdown of “the largest criminal marketplace on the internet.”
The site, AlphaBay, was launched in 2013 after authorities shut down a similar dark web marketplace known as the “Silk Road.” According to the Justice Department, AlphaBay has been hosting over 200,000 users and at least 40,000 illicit vendors.
While these efforts may only slow the selling of illegal drugs, weapons, and other “dark” material, the announcement shows a continued effort by U.S. and international law enforcement to crack down on criminals.
On July 5, the creator of AlphaBay, Alexandre Cazes, was arrested in Thailand. The United States and Thailand were not alone in the investigation. …
Commentary by Edwin J. Feulner Ph.D.
“Drain the swamp!” It was the battle cry of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Many Republican members of Congress echoed that call as well, riding it to victory — and control of both legislative chambers.
The American people rallied around the cry because it reinforced their impression of what Washington had become: a swamp infested with special-interest groups and power-hungry bureaucrats.
They rallied, too, because it held the promise of getting our country back on track — by reforming the tax code, repealing Obamacare, cutting spending, and eliminating the needless red tape that stifles entrepreneurship and innovation. …
Commentary or Report by John L. Ligon, Senior Policy Analyst and Nobert J. Michael, Ph.D., Director, Center for Data Analysis.
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing last week to lay out guiding principles for housing finance reform legislation.
While it is a positive development that the Senate is getting to work on housing finance, conservatives should be wary of the way things are starting out.
First, here are some basic facts.
The federal government has been getting more and more involved in housing finance since it created the Federal Farm Land Bank system during the Woodrow Wilson administration in 1916. …
Commentary by Mike Gonzalez
The letter sent by Cuba’s main dissident group to President Donald Trump thanking him for his decision to prohibit U.S. trade with the military, security and intelligence services on the island — their tormentors — serves as a timely rebuke of President Barack Obama’s warm embrace of the Castro regime and those still defending it.
The letter was sent by Berta Soler on behalf of the group she leads, The Ladies in White. …
Commentary by Stephen Moore
Every day, legions of economists dismiss Donald Trump’s economic agenda and forecast of 3% growth as a wild-eyed fantasy. The consensus is that the economy “can’t possibly grow at 3%,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “Slow growth is the new norm, so get used to it,” wrote Rucir Sharma, chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley, in Foreign Affairs magazine this month.
Question: Why does anyone bother to listen to economists anymore? …
Commentary by Adam Michel, Policy Analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute and Justin Bogie, Senior Policy Analyst in Fiscal Affairs
When Americans file their taxes, it’s natural to wonder, “Where do my tax dollars go? What do they fund? And what don’t they fund?”
According to the latest Congressional Budget Office report on the distribution of federal taxes, Washington collects about $20,000 from the average household. Yet the 2016 deficit was a whopping $587 billion. The almost $3.3 trillion in money that the federal government taxes out of the economy each year isn’t enough to satiate its profligate spending.
So where do our tax dollars go? Some believe most of it goes to welfare and foreign aid. Others believe defense and corporate welfare dominate the budget. In reality, health entitlements — Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare — and Social Security are the largest programs. …
Commentary by James Carafano, Ph.D., Vice President, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute
Why did America just drop the mother of all bombs?
There is the glib answer: Because we can. Then there is the technical answer: Because it was right for the job.
The U.S. military on Thursday dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, on an ISIS target in eastern Afghanistan. The bomb, which weighs 21,600 lbs and extends 30 feet long, had never before been used in combat.
In military operations, one of the considerations is to be proportional — use coercive force commensurate with the task, while taking due diligence to protect innocents. …
Commentary by Ed Haislmaier, Senior Research Fellow
The key problem with the draft House health care bill is that it fails to correct the features of Obamacare that drove up health insurance costs. Instead, it mainly tweaks Obamacare’s financing and subsidy structure.
Basically, the bill focuses on protecting those who gained subsidized coverage through the law’s exchange subsidies and Medicaid expansion, while failing to correct Obamacare’s misguided insurance regulations that drove up premiums for Americans buying coverage without government subsidies.
That is both a policy problem and a political problem.
About 22 million individuals currently receive subsidized health coverage through the exchanges (8 million) and the Medicaid expansion (14 million). For them, Obamacare’s higher insurance costs are offset by the law’s subsidies. …
Commentary by John Cooper, Senior Communications Manager
In 1990, with the fall of the Soviet Union and following eight years of military buildup under President Ronald Reagan, the American people seemed to agree: The United States was spending enough on the military.
Fast forward to 2017, and it’s obvious that sentiment has gone the way of the dinosaurs.
A Gallup poll released Thursday found that 37 percent of Americans believe the United States is not spending enough on the military, with 28 percent saying defense spending levels are “about right” and 31 percent saying spending is too high.
Nearly half of those polled (45 percent) also said they believed the U.S. military is “not strong enough,” compared to 11 percent who said the military is “stronger than it needs to be.” This result tracks closely with a Gallup poll from February 2016 in which only 49 percent of those surveyed thought the U.S. military was the most powerful worldwide. …
Commentary by Anthony Kim, Research Manager, Index of Economic Freedom
It’s already been eight years since the Great Recession, yet the U.S. economy has been just inching along, with its productivity flagging and millions being locked out of the labor market.
One critical underlying factor for this lack of economic dynamism has been the startling decline of America’s economic freedom, an unfortunate legacy of Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency.
The Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom — an annual global study that compares countries’ entrepreneurial environments — highlights the urgent need for the U.S. to change course. …