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Tag Archives: federal government

David Davenport: Another Shot Fired in California’s Civil War


California is stepping closer to a civil war with the federal government over immigration. In the latest round, one day after President Trump visited the state to see prototypes of his border wall, the state senate appointed an illegal immigrant to serve on a state commission, a big step in California’s progressive history.

Lizbeth Mateo, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was appointed to the state’s Student Opportunity and Access Program Project Advisory Committee.  Perhaps, as a lawyer who advocates for immigration rights, she would have a perspective to share as a witness before a state commission, but as a member? There’s no legal basis for that and it is a further effort by California to tweak the Trump administration.

Unfortunately, the rule of law is rarely raised anymore in debates about immigration policy. Tweaking Trump is just a bad approach to public policy.

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David Davenport: The Lost Art of Political Compromise

Compromise

Among many lost arts in Washington the most problematic is the lost art of compromise.

The dictionary says compromise includes the root word “com” or together with the word promise:  We make promises by coming together.  America learned this early, with the Constitutional Convention full of compromises.

But now members of Congress vote not to find the best solution for the country but the best platform for their next election.   Democrats threatened to shut the entire government over dreamer immigrants, while Trump was willing to see a shutdown over his wall.  And so it goes, politicians standing firm on one issue or another which they believe will get them reelected, and the whole of the federal government is held hostage.

We need more politicians like Ronald Reagan, who told House Speaker Tip O’Neill, “I will take half a loaf today, but I will come back for the other half tomorrow.”

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David Davenport: Balancing Religious Rights With Health Care

Compromise

This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

Public policy is full of difficult dilemmas, tough cases where there are strong interests on both sides.  Such dilemmas are not usually solved as much as they are managed.

That’s why two federal departments recently expanded the rights of religious employers.  During the Obama years, the federal government had required religious employers to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans even when contrary to their religious beliefs.  And the government had limited the rights of religious employers to hire or favor people who shared their beliefs.

This action properly swings the pendulum back in favor of religious rights, which are protected by the First Amendment.  Civil rights are also constitutionally protected, which is what creates the tension.  In the end, both rights are powerful, but neither is absolute.

A liberal president pushes too far in one direction and a conservative administration appropriately pushes back.  Ultimately, the Supreme Court may well have to decide how to manage this difficult dilemma.

I’m David Davenport.

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Michael Medved: Public Opinion and Obamacare

Opioid

In 2010, the health insurance legislation known as “Obamacare” was overwhelmingly unpopular. But Democrats in the White House and Congress pushed it through anyway, and then paid a severe price in the next elections. Today, the health care package known as “Trumpcare” is similarly unpopular, but the Republicans seem determined to pass legislation this summer, even at the risk of serious losses of their own in 2018 Congressional elections.

Does this mean the electorate is confused?—hating Obamacare, and then hating the most serious attempt to repeal and replace it? Actually, public reactions are sensible and consistent—what Americans hate is the whole idea of the federal government making sweeping, bureaucratic decisions, on something as personal and important as medical insurance.

If the GOP made clear that their proposals provide individuals with more choices, and give the states more discretion to shape their own policies, their reforms would win much broader popular support.

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