The Corner

Praise The Lord & Pass The Ammunition

Here’s a recent sampling of the intellectual ammunition available from the nation’s leading think tanks:

• The Little Three automakers and their enablers in Congress have been pointing to a study warning of dire economic consequences for Americans if the insolvent firms are allowed to go into bankruptcy to reorganize and restructure their liabilities and contracts. But the Heritage Foundation’s Karen Campbell and Paul Winfee show that the projected 3.3 million job loss is wildly inflated. The model is unrealistic, failing to account for how producers and consumers would react and assuming that bankrupcy would mean a total and immediate failure — that all cars sold in the U.S. in 2009 would be imports. Huh?

• In a new AEI paper, Michael Austin and Christopher Griffin write about the bedrock of security in East Asia and the Pacific: the U.S.-Japan relationship. The authors would like to see Japan tear down additional barriers to effective military participation in the alliance, which is the pivot point for relations with Korea, Australia, and other key powers in the region.

• From her post at the Independence Institute in Colorado, Linda Gorman studies state-level reforms in health care. She recently looked at state-by-state differences in monthly health-insurance premiums for a sample family of two 35-year-old parents and two children. Regulation makes a big difference. In states with heavier regulation, including a “guaranteed issue” rule that compels insurers to take all comers, the monthly cost averages in the thousands. In states with lighter regulation, the cost averages in the hundreds

• The Pacific Research Institute’s Adam Frey examines Medicaid reforms in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana. Remember that Jindal first rose to statewide prominence there as a youthful Cabinet secretary overseeing state health programs and hospitals.

• Think a major new federal investment in alternative energy makes sense? Then you haven’t yet read about the billions of dollars invested in new windmill complexes in Texas and what the likely effect will be on consumers in electrical cost and reliability. The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Drew Thornley has the skinny — or, perhaps I should say, the fat.

John Hood is a syndicated columnist and the president of the John William Pope Foundation, a North Carolina–based grantmaker.

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