Housing May be Soon out of Reach for Many

from IBD:

Housing Crisis May Be Inevitable, Thanks To Government Meddling

With home prices soaring in most markets, this is the best time to be a homeowner since 2005. But there’s a downside: Thanks to continued government meddling, the housing market has rarely been more fragile. Is another housing crunch brewing?

We’ve talked before about the strength of the U.S. economy, particularly after tax cuts kicked in. And that’s still true. Unfortunately, 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis, there’s one exception: The housing market, which, despite superficial signs of health, remains dysfunctional. read more

New Internet Taxes Will be a Killer

from IBD:

Supreme Court Opens The Door To Internet Taxes — What Comes Next Could Be A Lot Worse

Whatever you think about the issue of taxing internet sales, the simple fact is that the Supreme Court has just guaranteed that people across the country will now be paying more in state taxes. It’s hard for us to see how this is good news.

In its 5-4 decision on South Dakota v. Wayfair, the court overturned two previous rulings that prevented states from taxing sales of out-of-state companies. That meant a catalog company based in Maine didn’t have to navigate 45 state sales-tax laws to figure out how much each customer owed, and then remit that money to the right states. read more

Much of Your Recycling goes Direct to the Landfill

from IBD:

Some Inconvenient Truths About Recycling

It has become an article of faith in the U.S. that recycling is a good thing. But evidence is piling up that recycling is a waste of time and money, and a bit of a fraud.

The New York Times recently reported that, unknown to most families who spend hours separating garbage into little recycling bins, much of the stuff ends up in a landfill anyway.

One big reason: China has essentially shut the door to U.S. recyclables. read more

Should Government Break Up Tech Monopolies?

from IBD:

Calls To Break Up Tech Giants Ignore History

Calls to break up tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google have been increasing. But while the sentiment is understandable, the free market is far more likely to tame these giants without any government intervention.

We can remember when everyone was promising that the internet would unleash competition by lowering barriers to entry and often by cutting out the middle man. But in some ways the opposite has happened, as three companies wound up controlling the lion’s share of online advertising and commerce.

That, in turn, has generated growing interest in breaking these companies up, or heavily regulating them as monopolies. read more

Despite the Naysaying, States Benefit from Trump Tax Cuts

from IBD:

States Get A Windfall From GOP Tax Cuts, But Will They Return The Money To Taxpayers?

When Republicans were putting together their tax reform plan last year, a chorus of critics warned that it would devastate state budgets. Like so many other claims, this turned out to be false.

The New York Times reported in November, for example, that “state and local officials in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and California are warning the tax plan will strain state budgets.”

A “news analysis” in the Washington Post said the tax law would make “it harder for states and cities to pay their bills.” read more

Globe is Cooling – That’s Why We Call it Climate Change

from IBD:

Don’t Tell Anyone, But We Just Had Two Years Of Record-Breaking Global Cooling

NASA data show that global temperatures dropped sharply over the past two years. Not that you’d know it, since that wasn’t deemed news. Does that make NASA a global warming denier?

Writing in Real Clear Markets, Aaron Brown looked at the official NASA global temperature data and noticed something surprising. From February 2016 to February 2018, “global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius.” That, he notes, is the biggest two-year drop in the past century. read more

Dems Give no Credit to Trump for Tax Cuts

from IBD:

Tax Revenues Jump 13% To Record High In April — When Will Dems Admit They Were Wrong About Trump’s Tax Cuts?

The federal government collected far more taxes this April than it did a year ago, despite the “budget busting” Trump tax cuts. So, we’ll ask again: Are the tax cuts paying for themselves?

According to the latest monthly report from the Congressional Budget Office, revenues in April totaled $515 billion — a 13% increase over last April and an all-time high for the month. read more

A Poll Says Americans Love Guaranteed Jobs

from IBD:

Nearly Half Of Americans Embrace ‘Guaranteed Jobs’ — An Idea Straight Out Of The Soviet Union

“Guaranteed jobs” is fast becoming the latest rallying cry for Democrats. And a new poll finds that 46% of Americans approve of it. Don’t read too much into that poll result.

Last week, we noted that a liberal policy group urged Democrats at a leadership meeting to adopt “guaranteed jobs” as a pillar of their economic plan. In short order, Bernie Sanders said he would soon unveil his plan to achieve that. Under it, anyone who “wants or needs” a job but couldn’t find one on their own would be guaranteed a government job paying $15 an hour and generous benefits.

Other prominent Democrats have latched on to this plan, including those with presidential ambitions like Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker. read more

Public Sector Pensions are a Ticking Time Bomb

from IBD:

Bankrupt Public-Employee Pensions: The Next Big Financial Crisis?

As the media relentlessly focus on the federal government’s burgeoning debt, a new report says that states face their own ticking debt bomb: the exploding liabilities for lavish state and local public-employee pensions. Reform won’t be easy, but there is no choice.

A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the problem is getting out of hand. In 2016, the most recent full year for which data are available, states were more than $1.4 trillion in the red. Pension debt has increased for 15 straight years, and shows no signs of abating.

Indeed, as Reason blogger Eric Boehm notes, “The really scary part is that pension debt keeps increasing despite the fact that taxpayers’ contributions to state-level pension plans have doubled as a share of state revenue in the past decade.” read more

If You Want the Money, You’ll Have to Work for It

Our government places conditions on all the money and aid they dole out – education, healthcare, State aid, everything. Why not this?

from IBD:

Why Does The Left Oppose Work Requirements For Welfare?

Attacks on President Trump’s push for work requirements to get welfare benefits fall into two categories: Either the work rules are pointless, or they are inhumane. Neither is correct.

For some on the left, the only measure of whether a poverty program is working is the number of people enrolled. They considered ObamaCare a great success, for example, precisely because it added millions of able-bodied adults onto this welfare program. They cheered the sharp rise in food stamp enrollment under President Obama as an economic stimulus. read more