Is an Assault-Weapon Ban the Solution?
Louis Klarevas of the University of Massachusetts at Boston contends that an assault-weapon ban would result in “drastic reductions in what I call gun massacres,” meaning incidents in which six or more people are killed. His data indicate that fatalities ...
DHS Condemns Schumer-Rounds-Collins Immigration Bill
Update: Fred Bauer tweets that, per Susan Collins, the date discussed below will be changed back to January 1.
The agency’s statement asserts:
The Schumer-Rounds-Collins proposal destroys the ability of the men and women from the Department of Homeland Security (...
Poverty and Single Mothers in the New York Times
Over the weekend the New York Times published a piece arguing that “Single Mothers Are Not the Problem”: that is, “not the reason we have unusually high poverty in the United States, compared with other rich democracies.” The authors note, ...
Trump's Fascist Whitening of America, in One Chart
As Mark Krikorian noted last week, some on the left are very upset that under Trump’s plan to cut down on family-based visas, not only would total immigration fall, but the percentage of immigrants who are non-Hispanic whites would ...
Will Restaurants Steal Employees' Tips if the Feds Let Them?
Back in December, I wrote a piece making a few points about an initiative of Trump’s Labor Department:
The Trump administration is trying to loosen regulations on tipping, allowing businesses to require “tip pools” in which non-tipped employees such ...
Schumer Rejects Trump's Immigration Framework
Politico has the story:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer opposes the immigration framework released by the White House — a potentially fatal blow for the prospective legislation in the closely divided Senate.
The New York Democrat on Friday accused President Donald ...
Re: Illegal Immigration and Crime
I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic over the past week or so, between a new study of Arizona by John Lott and what Peter Kirsanow wrote here over the weekend. I find it to be an especially ...
A Pointless Investigation of Private Gun Sellers
A few days before Christmas, the Government Accountability Office publicly released the results of an audit it had conducted at the request of three congressional Democrats. The point, I imagine, was to show that the Internet makes it super-easy to ...
Some Basic Realities of the Tax Bill
Today brought analysis of the tax bill from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the Tax Foundation, the Tax Policy Center (TPC), and Penn Wharton. There’s nothing shocking here, but the new reports reinforce some basic facts about the ...
Re: Misplaced Trust in Antitrust
I appreciate Iain Murray’s response to my article about the tech monopolies. I don’t have a ton to add — the question of when a monopoly becomes a problem worthy of government action is highly subjective, so it’s ...
How Much Credit Should Alabama Republicans Get for Moore's Defeat?
I’m as relieved as anyone that Roy Moore will not be joining the Senate, and the conservatives who stayed home, wrote in a candidate, or voted for Doug Jones were a necessary ingredient in that outcome. But it’s ...
The Loopholes and Glitches of the Tax Bills
Some tax scholars have put together an important report detailing loopholes in the current tax bills that Congress should close, as well as numerous other issues. In general these problems will tend to cost the government more revenue than expected ...
Delaying the Corporate Rate Cut Won't Hurt the Economy
Betsy McCaughey (echoed by our own Deroy Murdock) suggests that Republicans should make it a priority to cut the corporate tax rate right away in 2018, instead of delaying the cut until 2019 as the Senate bill does, and pay for it ...
Will the ATF Pretend Bump Stocks Are Already Illegal?
That’s a big possibility raised by a new press release:
The Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced today that it has begun the process of promulgating a federal regulation interpreting the ...
Demise of the Deficit Hawks
Joe Lawler has the story:
On Thursday, the official congressional score of the bill found that it would add $1 trillion in new debt over 10 years, even accounting for the additional economic growth it would spur.
A drama then unfolded on ...
All Hell Breaks Loose on Capitol Hill
In recent days, Senate Republicans have been looking at a “revenue trigger” as a way to address some members’ concerns that the tax bill would blow up the deficit: If deficits got out of control, taxes would automatically rise. The ...
The Senate Tax Reform Would Not Raise Taxes on the Poor
For more than a week now, some media outlets have been running wild with “distributional tables” from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office claiming that — as a CNN headline last night put it, though the story ...
Where Are the Recovery Babies?
It was no surprise when fertility dropped following the Great Recession. In the developed world, there’s a pretty consistent relationship between the economy and childbearing: The two rise and fall together.
Almost a decade later, though, with unemployment heading ...
Have Republicans Solved Their Tax Problem?
Republicans have been struggling to do a few things at once with their changes to the tax code: cut taxes for the middle class, knock the corporate rate down to 20 percent (from 35 percent), keep the revenue loss to $1.5 trillion over ...
American Kids Don't Care about Low-Stakes Tests
It’s a common complaint that American students do poorly on international tests. Many present this as evidence that our educational system is a failure. Or it may be that American students just don’t care about low-stakes international tests.
Why People Who Fail Gun Background Checks Usually Aren't Prosecuted
Yesterday on Fox News, Ted Cruz went after the Obama administration because “in 2010, 48,000 felons & fugitives lied and illegally tried to purchase guns, [the Obama administration] prosecuted only 44 of them.” He touted a 2013 bill he co-sponsored that, among many other gun-related ...
NYT Shows How Not to Analyze Mass-Shooting Data
Some colleagues sent me the New York Times article “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer” today. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw the chart that appears at the top of the ...
The Mortgage Deduction and the 'Middle Class'
The GOP’s new tax plan would limit the mortgage-interest deduction to the first half a million dollars in principal. The Washington Post has a piece saying this hurts the “middle class,” prominently quoting real-estate brokers with an obvious financial ...
Paul Manafort Spent $1 Million at a Rug Store (and Other Allegations)
Dan McLaughlin and Jonah Goldberg have both made important points about the Paul Manafort indictment, but I’m afraid both are missing the real scandal: This guy allegedly wired nearly a million bucks to an antique-rug store over a two-year ...
South Park, in Video-Game Form
There is perhaps no better antidote to the current resurgence of political correctness than South Park. Born amid the previous PC wave of the 1990s, the show has never relented, through 20 years of comedic ups and downs, in slaughtering every ...
Throw Another Gun Study on the Pile
The Washington Post writes up a new one from a group of researchers centered around Boston University. It finds that “shall-issue” concealed-carry laws, which allow all citizens to carry guns provided they don’t have significant criminal records and meet ...
The Real Problem with Trump's Ending of Insurer Subsidies
There’s been a lot of panic and confusion on the left since the announcement last night that Trump will end the federal government’s (illegal) payment of “cost-sharing reduction” (CSR) subsidies for insurers. But perhaps the panic should be ...
The Right Way to Regulate Bump Stocks
Over on the homepage, I have a piece arguing that we should treat “bump stocks,” which enable a common semiautomatic rifle to fire almost as quickly as a fully automatic weapon, the same way we treat full autos under federal ...
Let's Wait for the Facts, and Get Them Right
Regarding Las Vegas, we know very little about the shooter’s motivations, the gun he used in his massacre, and how he acquired said gun, but that hasn’t stopped Hillary Clinton from plowing forward with gun-control talking points. For ...
The GOP’s ‘Doubled Standard Deduction’
Over the last couple days, the liberal media ran wild with the idea that the GOP’s tax plan would raise rates for the poor while cutting them for the rich. Outlets such as the The Week and Vox blared ...
Susan Collins Will Vote No on Graham-Cassidy
This is hardly a surprise, but it means that for the bill to pass, Lisa Murkowski will have to vote yes and Rand Paul will have to change his mind. That’s not impossible, but it’s rather ...
A Graham-Cassidy News Roundup
A lot of stories have broken this weekend; here’s a quick overview of what’s going on. As you consider these tidbits, the key facts to remember are (a) the bill won’t pass if more than two Republican ...
What the CBO Might Have Said about Graham-Cassidy
Matthew Fiedler and Loren Adler of the Brookings Institution have a speculative but interesting analysis of the Graham-Cassidy bill; it’s their best guess as to what the Congressional Budget Office would say if it had time to fully score ...
Editor’s note: This piece appears in the October 2, 2017, print issue of National Review. We are posting it online immediately because the story is rapidly developing.
President Trump has announced the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a ...
What Would Happen to DREAMers without DACA?
There’s a lot of concern that if Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) ends, a lot of people are going to be sent “home” to countries they don’t really know. Some are worried that so-called DREAMers could be ...
Trump to End DACA — in Six Months
Former NROer Eliana Johnson reports at Politico that in his announcement tomorrow, Trump will vow to end DACA, the program granting work permits to illegal-immigrant “DREAMers” who arrived as children and teens — but six months from now, to give Congress ...
Think-Tank Group Axed after Criticizing Google
Kenneth P. Vogel has the story at the New York Times. It’s worth quoting at length (or better yet reading in full if you have the time):
The New America Foundation has received more than $21 million from Google; its ...
Sex and the City Turns 20
Sex and the City has been on my list of books to read for a long time.
Okay, maybe I should back up and explain, considering my wife gleefully informed me that I’d lost my “man card” when I ...
The Unintended Consequences of Ending Insurer ‘Bailouts’
Under Obamacare, insurers are required to provide “cost-sharing reduction” (CSR) — lower deductibles and so on — to lower-income enrollees who buy plans classified as “Silver” in quality. The government is supposed to reimburse the companies for the cost of doing this.
Do We Hate Sanctuary Cities More Than We Like Federalism?
A lot of conservatives have been supportive of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s attempt to strip certain federal funds from sanctuary cities, which Chicago has challenged in a lawsuit. I am no fan of sanctuary cities, but I am not ...
About That Allegedly Devastating Response to the Google Memo
A number of people have pointed me to this response to the memo I wrote about over the weekend. (The response is written by a former Google engineer, the original memo by a current one.) So let’s go through ...
A Google Employee’s Awesome ‘Anti-Diversity Screed’
An anonymous ten-page memo by a Google engineer has set the Internet aflame. The tech site Gizmodo published the full text of what it called the “Anti-Diversity Screed” today. Engadget used the same formulation.
But it’s not anti-diversity, and ...
The Cotton/Perdue Immigration Plan Is a Great Start
There are two major problems with our legal-immigration system: One, it focuses too little on skills, and two, the part of it that does focus on skills is poorly designed. A new proposal would address both issues. It’s an ...
The rules surrounding the “reconciliation” process have proven a key obstacle to Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. Bills advanced under reconciliation can’t be filibustered — which is key when there are only 52 Senate Republicans — but under the “Byrd ...
Turn Obamacare Over to the States
The Better Care Reconciliation Act failed to unite Senate Republicans and is suspended in limbo. There’s talk that Republicans might vote on a “pure repeal” bill that stands no chance whatsoever of passage and is a horrible policy idea ...
Do Poor States Need (More) Federal Welfare?
In the summer issue of National Affairs, Joshua T. McCabe notes that some states have higher “fiscal capacities” than others, meaning they have richer residents and better economies and can thus raise more money through taxes — even with the exact ...
Two Gun Cases the Supreme Court Won't Hear
There was a lot of action at the Supreme Court yesterday, hidden among which were decisions to take a pass on two Second Amendment cases.
One of them, Peruta v. California, involved that state’s strict standards when it comes ...
Where the Public Stands on Gun Issues
Pew has a big new report on that topic, with this summary of the results being a handy guide:
A few things pop out to me here. Like other surveys it shows broad support for background checks on private sales, ...
A New Study about Guns and ‘Children’
Pediatrics has published a new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control entitled “Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States.” It’s straightforward, but worth reading if you care about homicide, suicide, and accidental death in this country. ...
Are Millennials Following the ‘Success Sequence’?
The “success sequence” — the idea that the ticket out of poverty is to graduate high school, work full-time, and have kids only after reaching age 21 and getting married — has taken a beating from the left lately.
Some of the criticisms ...
Senate Immigration Bills Go Down in Flames
From The Hill:
The Senate rejected legislation based on President Trump’s framework for an immigration deal in a 39-60 vote on Thursday, leaving an uncertain path forward for Congress with nearly a million immigrants sheltered by an Obama-era program ...
I agree with everything my colleague David French wrote this morning about yesterday’s tragedy. We are facing a jarring rise of highly deadly mass shootings — even if such incidents remain a tiny share of our overall homicide problem — and ...
A Draft Regulation on Welfare-Dependent Immigrants
Trump plans to better enforce the federal law saying that immigrants can’t come — and can’t get permanent residency or a new visa status if they’re already here — if they’re likely to become a “public charge.” Vox ...
Rubio Takes Up Conservative Paid-Leave Plan
Last month, Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum wrote in this space about a new idea for providing paid family leave:
The challenge has always been how to create a program that doesn’t discourage employers from providing ...
What the Public Wants from Legal Immigration
A big stumbling block for Trump’s immigration framework is how it would treat legal immigration. As I’ve outlined previously, after a long delay to clear a backlog of applications, it would sharply curtail “chain migration,” ending family-based visas ...
I briefly published a post tonight (at this URL) based on an incomplete understanding of the Trump immigration proposal. While media reports didn’t mention it, it turns out the full one-pager from the White House has also been leaked ...
That’s the upshot of a chaotic day, per the AP:
A group of bipartisan senators has reached a deal on legislation to protect younger immigrants brought to the country illegally, two GOP senators said Thursday.
One of them, Sen. ...
How Bad Is the Tax Bill for the Deficit?
In the past few weeks I’ve seen a number of conservatives and libertarians argue — as a defense (or at least quasi-defense) of the GOP’s tax bill and its impact on the deficit — that the U.S. has a ...
It looks like the Republicans pulled it off: On Friday, a conference committee reached an agreement on tax reform. Both houses of Congress are expected to pass the final bill this week, and the president’s signature will make it ...
Today's Young Adults Are (Probably) Not Particularly Promiscuous
In his letter to the fictional protagonist of “Cat Person,” my colleague Kyle Smith writes:
Robert is your seventh sexual partner. You’re 20 years old. Margot, I don’t know what the right number is for you, but seven is ...
The Officer Shouting Instructions at Daniel Shaver Was Not the Officer Who Killed Him
I agree with David French: What happened to Daniel Shaver was nauseating. The police employed horrendous tactics and gave confusing instructions that made it difficult for Shaver to comply — and needlessly required him to make a series of movements that ...
Google, Facebook, Amazon: Our Digital Overlords
Editor’s note: This piece appears in the December 18, 2017, print issue of National Review.
The Left’s cause du jour is “monopolies.” Well, not monopolies, necessarily. The new line is that it’s inherently problematic when even as many as ...
The Trump administration is trying to loosen regulations on tipping, allowing businesses to require “tip pools” in which non-tipped employees such as cooks get some of the money. The proposal is 100 percent correct as a matter of law, and it’...
How the Sexual Revolution Unfolded
American families changed a lot starting in the 1960s and 1970s. Two years stand out in particular: 1960, when the birth-control pill entered the market, and 1973, when the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. A new study makes the provocative argument ...
Just How Much Economic Growth Will Tax Reform Give Us?
My late-night deficit-hawking has provoked some friendly pushback, so I wanted to briefly explain my thinking on the question of tax cuts and economic growth. I spelled out my approach more completely in a piece last month, in the context ...
Mike Lee, Marco Rubio Will Introduce Amendment to Expand the Child Tax Credit
The child tax credit is near and dear to the hearts of certain family-oriented conservatives (including yours truly). It compensates parents — okay, including yours truly — for the work they do raising the people who will fund Social Security and drive ...
Concealed-Carry Reciprocity Moves Forward
The House will mark up a bill on Wednesday that would make concealed-carry permits valid across state lines, even when someone travels from a state with lax permitting standards to one with strict standards; allow those who reside in “permitless ...
Susan Collins's Budget Math
Susan Collins has some issues with the Senate’s tax bill. She appears to be asking the impossible.
The key piece of background information here is that if Republicans want to avoid a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, they need ...
A Washington Post reporter tweets:
-Individual mandate repeal will be added to tax bill in SFC.
-They have 50 votes on the floor.
-Passing Alexander-Murray alongside (not within the tax bill) is part of the deal.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) ...
Cutting Taxes with Borrowed Money
Editor’s note: The day this piece was posted, the Tax Foundation announced it was correcting the report discussed. The bill’s boost to GDP is expected to fall from 3.9 percent to 3.6 percent in the corrected study.
The House GOP’...
'Sutherland Springs church shooter escaped mental health facility months after attack on wife, child'
That’s a headline from a local media outlet.
Read the whole thing, but here are the key details:
When they arrived, the two officers learned Kelley had escaped from Peak Behavioral Health Services in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. A ...
How the Texas Shooter Passed Background Checks
In 2012, the Texas shooter fractured his infant stepson’s skull and assaulted his wife as well. Then in the Air Force, he was court-martialed and sentenced to a year’s confinement.
This domestic-violence conviction disqualified him from legal gun ownership. ...
In 1960 came the Pill, which disconnected sex from childbearing. In the 1990s and 2000s came widespread Internet connections, which facilitated easy access to both pornography and dating sites. And in the 2010s came smartphone apps such as Tinder, which made ...
Why Trump Won't Declare Opioids a 'National Emergency'
The president won’t declare the opioid crisis a “national emergency” today, but he will ask the acting director of the Department of Health and Human Services to declare it a “public-health emergency,” according to assorted media reports.
The difference ...
Reducing Gun Violence: Suggestions That Do Not Involve Gun Control
The violence that besieged a Las Vegas concert earlier this month is almost incomprehensible. Almost 60 died, and hundreds more were injured, as a deranged gunman rained bullets down on them from 32 stories up and 400 yards away.
Following an incident such ...
The Washington Post’s Bizarre Opioid Story
For the past day I’ve been struggling to wrap my head around this lengthy exposé from the Washington Post. (For those who prefer TV, 60 Minutes has a broadcast version.) Pretty much everyone who reads the piece comes away outraged ...
Two Bad Ideas on Bump Stocks
Last week I argued that Congress should take careful action to regulate “bump stocks,” devices that make a common semiautomatic rifle fire almost as quickly as a machine gun. This week I’m reminded that this is Congress we’re ...
Treat ‘Bump Stocks’ Like Machine Guns
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has confirmed that the Las Vegas shooter possessed twelve “bump stocks.” This is a piece of technology that makes an easily available semiautomatic rifle fire almost as quickly as a fully automatic ...
The Supreme Court Will Probably Strike a Huge Blow to Public-Sector Unions
The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the case Janus v. AFSCME. It will likely prove to be one of the most consequential labor-law cases in U.S. history. At issue is whether public-sector workers can be forced ...
Graham-Cassidy Bites the Dust
The Senate GOP leadership has decided the votes simply aren’t there, and therefore will not even hold a vote.
There are some murmurs they might try again later, perhaps handling tax reform, health-care reform, and the 2018 budget simultaneously. The ...
How Graham-Cassidy Treats 'Blue' and 'Red' States
One of Rand Paul’s leading criticisms of Graham-Cassidy — echoing a line strongly promoted by liberal health-care analysts — is that the bill would take money from blue states and give it to red states. It is more accurate to say ...
John McCain Is a No on Graham-Cassidy
You can read his full statement here.
This is a serious blow to the bill’s chances; it can lose only one more Republican and still pass. Rand Paul, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski are all possible or likely no ...
Here’s How Much Cassidy-Graham Shrinks the Federal Government
When I wrote up the new health-care bill last week, I noted that there would be some back-and-forth about the extent of the cuts it makes to federal spending. Today we have a new report from the respected consulting firm ...
A Last-Ditch Assault on Obamacare
The final push has begun. Today, Republican senators Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Dean Heller (Nev.), and Ron Johnson (Wis.) formally announced a new health-care plan; at the end of the month, Congress’s current budget resolution, and ...
First: I’m seeing a lot of liberals gloating about the great poll numbers the program has. I wouldn’t put too much stock in this; especially on immigration issues, the survey data are all over the map because most ...
Why Aren’t Wages Growing?
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the July 31, 2017, issue of National Review magazine.
After adjusting for inflation, hourly wages in the private sector grew 0.4 percent between April of last year and April of this year. The four-fifths of ...
From Black Annie to White Daimio
So do fictional characters have races, or not? I hope we settle that question soon, because I’m getting sick of hearing about it every year or two.
The current controversy centers on the forthcoming Hellboy movie, and specifically on ...
What Do Confederate Statues Say?
Like a lot of people I struggle somewhat with the issue of Confederate monuments. I understand why a devastated region would want to memorialize its war dead, and why we wouldn’t want to tear such memorials down years later; ...
Why White-on-Black Homicides Are More Likely to Be Ruled Justifiable
The New York Times and the Marshall Project report that homicides are much more likely to be ruled justifiable when a black man is killed by a white person. Racial disparities in self-defense is a topic I’ve spent a ...
Google Cans Employee Who Wrote Diversity Memo
Bloomberg has the story:
James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” A Google representative didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Life after Welfare in Kansas
The Foundation for Government Accountability (whose staff contribute to NRO on occasion) has an interesting new report on what happened to the families Kansas removed from the welfare rolls via stronger work requirements. Able-bodied-adult enrollment in the state’s cash-welfare ...
Re: Immigrant Skills vs. Numbers
I appreciate Mark’s thoughts on my article from yesterday about the new RAISE Act.
I won’t go into a ton of detail about why I support high-skill immigration, because I did that earlier this year in a piece ...
Maybe Health Care Was Impossible
On Obamacare repeal, the voting is over (for now) and the finger-pointing has begun. And boy, are there a lot of Republicans worth blaming over this one.
Yet here’s an idea worth considering: Maybe the GOP just faced insurmountable ...
The Indefensible, Ineffective Mortgage Deduction
The mortgage-interest deduction is just one of those things: Just about everyone who’s studied it thinks it’s a horrible policy, but it’s probably not going anywhere because so many upper-middle-class families benefit from it.
Why is it ...
The CBO Scores Trump’s Budget
You can read the score here. The bottom line is that Trump’s budget would slash spending more than it cut revenues, reducing the deficit by about a third relative to current law during the 2018–2027 window.
That’s great, but ...
Why I Write about Race and IQ
In the latest issue of National Review, John McWhorter has a challenging and thought-provoking essay about the topic of race and IQ — specifically, about whether that topic should even be up for discussion in liberal-arts classrooms and in the media, ...
A Groundbreaking Minimum-Wage Study
Basic economics holds that when you mandate a higher price for something, you get less of it. But reality is a bit messier than that, and there’s a robust debate over the effect that the minimum wage has on ...
Philando Castile Dash-Cam Footage Released
Over the weekend I noted that the Philando Castile dash-cam video had not yet been made public. Now it has been (this is obviously disturbing):
As I wrote previously: Body-camera footage would have been far better than a dash-cam video ...
A Tragedy and an Acquittal
Like my colleague David French, today I’ve been thinking a lot about the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony, Minn., police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile, a black man with a concealed-carry permit, in July of ...
Are Cops Less Respectful toward Blacks?
A new study, given a fawning writeup in the New York Times, claims that police officers in Oakland, Calif., are less respectful toward black civilians than toward white civilians.
In some ways the study is impressive. Using written transcripts of ...