“At the end of 2021, not quite a year into Joe Biden’s presidency, something unusual happened: Congress actually allowed a massive government program to expire. That program was the expanded child tax credit, which had been enacted as a temporary program under the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a roughly $2 trillion spending package passed exclusively with Democratic votes in March 2021.
A year after the expansion expired, however, Democrats began looking for ways to bring it back. The cost of doing that would be very high.
The ARP raised the maximum child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,600 per child for families making up to $150,000 a year. The one-year program made the credit fully refundable, meaning that people would qualify for it even if they owed no income taxes. That change expanded the benefit to millions of households that previously had earned too little to qualify.
The ARP also turned what had been an annual lump sum around tax season into a monthly payment that in many cases was directly deposited into parents’ bank accounts. In effect, the law set up a program of monthly checks, sent directly to the bank accounts of most families.
Although the program was initially designed as a one-year expansion, supporters hoped it would become permanent. As The New York Times reported in January 2022, the benefit “was never intended to be temporary,” and “many progressives hoped that the payments, once started, would prove too popular to stop.”
Yet at the end of the program’s first year, after paying out about $80 billion, Congress declined to extend the program. Even with Democrats in control of both the House and the Senate, there simply weren’t enough votes to keep it going. Sen. Joe Manchin, the moderate Democratic senator from West Virginia, was vocally opposed, citing cost concerns and warning that the expanded eligibility would subsidize unemployment. Progressive ambitions were foiled”
“Two-thirds of faculty over 55 years old said students shouting down a speaker is never acceptable. That number plummets to 37 percent for faculty 35 and under.
Shockingly, younger faculty report more acceptance of violence to combat speech. While 97 percent of older faculty say it’s never acceptable for students to use violence to stop a campus speech, only 79 percent of younger faculty agree. That one in five younger professors show any level of acceptance for violence to stop speech should alarm all of us.”
“Among liberal faculty 35 and under, only 23 percent indicated that students shouting down a speaker is never acceptable, compared with 88 percent of conservative faculty. Moderate faculty in this age group were also much more likely than their conservative colleagues to endorse the acceptability of these tactics.
Perhaps most alarming of all, only 64 percent of young and liberal faculty say it’s never acceptable for students to use violence to stop a campus speech.”
“More than half of faculty—52 percent—say they’re afraid they’ll lose their job or reputation over a misunderstanding of something they said or did, or because someone posted something from their past online. While almost three-quarters of conservative faculty expressed this year, 40 percent of even liberal faculty agree.”
“Summarizing the evidence in a 2016 National Affairs article, Eli Lehrer noted that “virtually no well-controlled study shows any quantifiable benefit from the practice of notifying communities of sex offenders living in their midst.”
To reinforce the logic of registries, Kennedy averred that “the risk of recidivism posed by sex offenders is ‘frightening and high.'” He was quoting his own opinion in an earlier case, which in turn relied on an unsubstantiated estimate from a source who has publicly and repeatedly disavowed it.”
“as Justice John Paul Stevens noted in his dissent, there was “significant evidence of onerous practical effects of being listed on a sex offender registry,” ranging from “public shunning, picketing, press vigils, ostracism, loss of employment, and eviction” to “threats of violence, physical attacks, and arson.”
Those predictable costs, combined with legal restrictions on where registrants may live and which locations they may visit, undermine rehabilitation and continue to punish registrants long after they have completed their sentences. That is why several state and federal courts have concluded, contrary to what the Supreme Court said in Smith, that registration schemes are punitive in effect.”
“”The misuse of forfeiture funds is shockingly common because civil forfeiture is inherently abusive and non-transparent,” said I.J. Senior Legislative Counsel Lee McGrath. “In just the past few years, we’ve seen a Pennsylvania deputy steal $200,000 from a safe, a Michigan prosecutor embezzle $600,000 in funds, and widespread problems with forfeiture reports in states like Kansas and Oklahoma.”
Notably, Cox’s personal redirection of forfeited assets was discovered in the course of a U.S. Justice Department audit of money acquired through civil asset forfeiture by the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and the Albany County District Attorney. That is, the feds suspected that the departments as a whole were misusing seized property and cash and accidentally discovered the business office manager’s personal pilfering in the process.”
“DeSantis argues that this is a pro-transparency change that will ensure Disney cannot do whatever it pleases without some semblance of state oversight. It could also be, as DeSantis critics like Jonathan Chait have argued, a move that will allow DeSantis to exert direct pressure over Disney’s content in the future. The board members won’t be able to write or reject plot arcs in future Disney films, of course, but an unhappy board could cause problems for the company’s development plans in and around its Florida theme parks.”
“In the old days, conservatives would have viewed unelected officials being appointed to oversee corporate decisions as a worrying intrusion of state power into private affairs. DeSantis has figured out how to get them to cheer for it.”
“While Mills’ claims and the video she recorded are chilling, she faces an uphill battle in receiving restitution due to the specter of qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that protects government officials from civil liability even when their actions are unconstitutional.”
“subsidized firms must provide “high-quality childcare for plant workers.” They can even divert some of the subsidies to build child care centers and hire providers—activities that do little to increase the supply of microchips. Companies will also be required to do all sorts of financial disclosures and share part of any unanticipated profits with the government. Preference for funding will be given to companies that promise not to buy back stock. The New York Times cleverly named this approach the “Chips and Strings.”
These strings will significantly undermine chip manufacturing by increasing production costs. For instance, when the administration says high-quality child care, it really means more expensive child care because of requirements that caregivers be college-educated and such. Building those child care and chip factories will be subjected to Buy American and environmental requirements, Davis-Bacon pay requirements, and minority and women material sourcing requirements, along with pressure to be more open to the demands of labor unions.”