Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Monday, April 21, 2014


Policy Snapshots - March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue ...
presents a new harvest to those who watch the change and can trace its consequences;
a harvest reared not by themselves but by the toils and cares of the great body
of their fellow citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth
that laws are made for the few not for the many."
- James Madison (1751-1836)

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Don’t forget to sign up for our Liberty Luncheon, which will be held April 5 at the Hilton Hotel on County Line Road in Jackson. Our special guest will be Lawrence W. Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education. Larry’s speech at an MCPP banquet several years ago was the inspiration for our Governing by Principle primer. He will be speaking on the right motivation for running for office, and what voters should look for in candidates.

For those who wish to stay with us following the luncheon, we will put more flesh on the bones of Larry’s message by presenting the principles from Governing by Principle, and we will outline the policy ideas we will be rolling out in more detail during this year’s legislative campaign. Then, the Leadership Institute will present an abbreviated campaign “school” for those who are running for office (or thinking about it) and those who would like to help in a campaign. All of these events are part of the launch of our Leading Toward Liberty campaign.

You can attend the luncheon and any of the other events, all for only $15.

Click here to sign up today! www.mspolicy.org



The U.S. economy will lose millions of jobs if Congress permits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue plans to greatly expand carbon dioxide emissions limits, says the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR). An estimated 2.5 million jobs will be lost by 2030 as a result of the greenhouse gas emissions rules, and that average household income will fall by $1,200 a year.

NCPPR’s Dana Joel Gattuso says the regulations will have a more severe impact on energy costs, U.S. jobs, household income, and economic growth than cap and trade legislation would have had. Furthermore, the EPA's regulations could reverse the economy's direction toward recovery and push the U.S. back into an economic slump.

African-Americans will be particularly hard-hit. Economist Dr. Roger Bezdek estimates that by 2020, African Americans stand to lose as many as 1.7 million jobs, increasing the number of African Americans in poverty by 20 percent.

Source: Dana Joel Gattuso, Upton-Inhofe Legislation Would Block the EPA's Harmful Climate Rules: U.S. Economy, Jobs, and Energy Costs at Stake, Analysis #622, March 2011, National Center for Public Policy Research.

Read the study



Education Department officials are threatening school principals with lawsuits if they fail to monitor and curb students’ lunchtime chat and evening Facebook time for expressing ideas and words that are deemed by Washington special-interest groups to be harassment of some students.

The letter to principals says federal officials have reinterpreted the civil-rights laws that require school principals to curb physical bullying, as well as racist and sexist speech, that take place within school boundaries. Under the new interpretation, principals and their schools are legally liable if they fail to curb “harassment” of students, even if it takes place outside the school, on Facebook, or in private conversation among a few youths.

According to the letter, “Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling; graphic and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet… it does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents [but] creates a hostile environment … [which can] limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school.”

Following the discovery of “harassment,” officials may have to require mandatory training of students and their families: “The school may need to provide training or other interventions not only for the perpetrators, but also for the larger school community, to ensure that all students, their families, and school staff can recognize harassment if it recurs and know how to respond… [and] provide additional services to the student who was harassed in order to address the effects of the harassment.”

Source: Neil Munro, Fed Instructs Teachers to Facebook Creep Students, The Daily Caller, March 16, 2011.

Read the article.



Source: Cato Institute




According to the results of the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, released in December 2010 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States performed only at the international average in reading, and trailed 18 other countries in science and 23 other countries in math. Students in China's Shanghai province outscored everyone, says Ludger Woessmann, a professor of economics at the University of Munich.

A little-used survey conducted by the OECD in 2005 makes it possible to identify the developed countries participating in PISA that appear to have some kind of performance pay plan. Linking that information to a country's test performance, one finds that students in countries with performance pay perform at higher levels in math, science and reading.

Specifically, students in countries that permit teacher salaries to be adjusted for outstanding performance score higher on the international math and reading tests, and about 15 percent higher on the science test, than students in countries without performance pay. These findings are obtained after adjustments for levels of economic development across countries, student background characteristics and features of national school systems.

Source: Ludger Woessmann, "Merit Pay International," Education Next, Spring 2011.

Read the article
Read the study



One year ago, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). One year later, public opinion has not warmed to the law because many of its “benefits” have been either underwhelming or detrimental. The most recent Rasmussen survey shows that 62 percent of likely voters want the law repealed.

Many of Obamacare’s key provisions do not take effect until 2014, such as costly subsidies to purchase coverage, the massive expansion of Medicaid, and the individual and employer mandates to obtain health insurance. However, several important provisions, including mandates for insurance companies to cover certain things, have already taken effect.

Obamacare has already added over 6,500 pages of regulations. The Obama Administration has struggled to implement many of these regulations, and the number of waivers that exempt entities from complying with the law has passed 1,000 and is growing by the day.

Obamacare has increased government control of Americans’ health care choices, raised the cost of insurance, forced insurers to stop offering child-only policies, broken the promise that an individual can keep his insurance unaltered, and bailed out underfunded union early-retiree health care plans. The early results suggest that Obamacare’s “benefits” are not worth their costs.

Source: Brian Blase, Obamacare: The One-Year Checkup, Backgrounder #2532, March 17, 2011, The Heritage Foundation.

Read the Backgrounder


Mississippi Center for Public Policy's mission is to advance the ideals of limited government, free markets, and strong traditional families by influencing public policy, informing the media, and equipping the public with information and perspective to help them understand and defend their liberty.

Mississippi Center for Public Policy's vision is for Mississippi to be a place where entrepreneurs are free to pursue their dreams, parents are free to direct the education and upbringing of their children, government functions according to the principles that enhance freedom, and all Mississippians are free from dependence on government for their daily needs.

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