Eric Felten Articles


Unchecked Power

The regulatory tax problem
Jan 25, 2016

The Washington Post editorialized in November that it was time to regulate how much sugar Americans consume. Sugar causes obesity, which leads to heart disease and diabetes. Government has to pick up much of the tab for treatment, which justifies the feds putting themselves between consumers and the sugar bowl.

But how to actually regulate sugar? Try to fix some limit on serving sizes? Require soda-makers to de-sweeten pop? Such command and control options would no doubt be hamfisted. And so the Post suggested the all-purpose solution: new taxes. (Never mind that Washington already dramatically inflates sugar costs through a tangled program of price supports and import controls.

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It's Over for Jeb, Kasich, and Carson

10:17 PM, Jan 14, 2016
Their playoff dreams are done. Read more

The Hard Sell

No amount of advertising will make Obamacare attractive to the young.
Mar 31, 2014

Add LeBron James to the ranks of Obamacare pitchmen: The basketball star is featured in new ads urging his fans to sign up at HealthCare.gov. “You can go there to find an affordable health plan that’s part of the health care law.”

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The Lawlessness of Obama­care

King Rex meets King Barack.
Nov 18, 2013

It may have been the worst moment for Jay Carney in what was a very bad press briefing. The president’s spokesman was fumbling his way through the administration’s justifications for the catastrophic Obamacare rollout when ABC’s Jonathan Karl pressed him about the fines the law imposes on the uninsured. People can’t currently enroll and, Karl said with some disbelief, “You are going to charge people a fine for not enrolling.”

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