The Chinese currency issue has roared back to life with a vengeance and once again threatens U.S.-China relations and the global trading system. In a new paper, Cato scholar Daniel J. Ikenson argues that the administration and Congress should take deep breaths and consider whether RMB appreciation would even lead to the outcomes they desire -- namely, more balanced trade. "Compelling China to revalue under threat of sanction," says Ikenson, "could produce adverse consequences -- including reductions in Americans' real incomes and damaged relations with China -- without even achieving the underlying, but misguided, policy objectives." - Appreciate This: Chinese Currency Rise Will Have a Negligible Effect on the Trade Deficit, by Daniel J. Ikenson
In a chapter devoted to advising members of Congress about their responsibilities under the Constitution, one hardly knows where to begin -- so far has Congress taken us from constitutional government. James Madison, the principal author of the Constitution, assured us in Federalist No. 45 that the powers of the federal government under that document were "few and defined." No one believes that describes Washington's powers today. In the Congress, the Courts, and the Constitution chapter of the Cato Handbook for Policymakers, Roger Pilon explains why Congress should: - Encourage constitutional debate in the nation by engaging in constitutional debate in Congress, as was urged by the House Constitutional Caucus during the 104th Congress; - Enact nothing without first consulting the Constitution for proper authority and then debating that question on the floors of the House and Senate; - Move toward restoring constitutional government by carefully returning power wrongly taken over the years from the states and the people; and - Reject the nomination of judicial candidates who do not appreciate that the Constitution is a document of delegated, enumerated, and thus limited powers.
NEW! Concealed Handguns Won't Make Bars Shooting Galleries, by David Rittgers. Virginia Beach Police Chief Jake Jacocks Jr. recently asked Gov. Bob McDonnell to veto the "concealed handguns in bars" bills that have passed both houses of the General Assembly. Chief Jacocks says that the carrying of handguns will endanger the public, that guns and alcohol don't mix, and that only law enforcement officers can handle that awesome responsibility of carrying a concealed handgun in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Unfortunately, Jacocks seems unaware that handguns are already allowed in alcohol-serving establishments.
NEW! Demography Determining GOP's Destiny, by Gene Healy. Last week was a lousy one to be a Republican. The way things are shaping up, it may end up being a bad century for the GOP as well. That's because most demographic trends show Democratic constituencies growing and traditional Republican ones shrinking. After George W. Bush won re-election in 2004, GOP guru Grover Norquist predicted: "The Democrats are likely to be the minority party for as long as a generation." That doesn't look too prescient today.
NEW! On Cato's daily blog Cato@Liberty, Tad DeHaven writes: "The USPS has taken the first step toward reducing mail delivery to five days a week by sending a request to the Postal Regulatory Commission. However, it will be ultimately up to Congress whether or not Saturday delivery is eliminated. The USPS, which is in a death spiral, views the elimination of Saturday mail delivery service as a step toward regaining its financial footing. Not surprisingly, the decision is proving controversial among some members of Congress. Supporters of the government mail monopoly regularly cite their amazement that they can drop a letter in a mailbox and it will arrive unharmed in another mailbox clear across the country. As a $70 billion operation with the largest workforce in the country, I would hope the USPS can pull off such a feat." To read more, check out DeHaven's full post.
TOMORROW!March 31, 2010 Are Unions Good for America? Noon Capitol Hill Briefing B-339 Rayburn House Office Building Featuring Armand Thieblot, Author, Union Violence: The Record and the Response by Courts, Legislatures, and the NLRB; Daniel Griswold, Director, Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
April 8, 2010 Putting Politics above Markets: A Greek Tragedy Noon Policy Forum Featuring Takis Michas, staff writer for the Greek national daily, Eleftherotypia; with comments by Patrick Welter, Economics Correspondent, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Moderated by Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
April 9, 2010 When Does Rail Transit Make Sense? Noon Capitol Hill Briefing B-339 Rayburn House Office Building Featuring Randal O'Toole, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute, and author, Gridlock: Why We're Stuck in Traffic and What to Do about It; and Ronald Utt, Herbert and Joyce Morgan Senior Research Fellow, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, Heritage Foundation.
April 16, 2010 National Curriculum Standards or Local Control: The Arguments and the Evidence 1:00 PM Capitol Hill Briefing B-340 Rayburn House Office Building Featuring Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman, Congressional Western Caucus, and former high school teacher; and Neal McCluskey, Associate Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute, and author, Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education.
NEW!April 23, 2010 Should Immigration Reform Include a National ID? Noon Capitol Hill Briefing B-340 Rayburn House Office Building Featuring Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and Christopher Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union.