Author Archive | Eric Boehm

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Welcome to the 2018 Government Shutdown!

LEIGH VOGEL/UPI/NewscomThe federal government is on track to shut down for the first time since 2013 after the Senate failed to pass a 30-day continuing resolution (CR) late Friday. On the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump taking the oath of office, Washington produced a result that the president and leaders from both major political parties […]

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U.S. Marshals Will Auction $52 Million of Bitcoin Seized Through Asset Forfeiture

More than 3,800 Bitcoin will be auctioned on January 22, including those taken from vendors on cryptomarkets like SilkRoad and AlphaBay. Eric Boehm|Jan. 11, 2018 3:31 pm MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/NewscomThe U.S. Marshals will auction off more than 3,800 bitcoins seized with criminal and civil asset forfeiture in connection to a variety of investigations by […]

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As Sessions Moves Against State-Legal Weed, Vermont Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Bill

Pew Research Center, 1/5/2018Just hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled a shift in how the federal government would view state-level laws legalizing the production, sale, and possession of marijuana, Vermont took a step toward becoming the ninth state to legalize weed for recreational purposes. The Vermont House voted 83–61 last night to approve a […]

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The Incredible Shrinking Trump Administration

Ingram Publishing/NewscomAcross nearly every federal department and agency, staffing levels fell during the first year of the Trump administration as empty positions went unfilled, budgets were cut, and de facto hiring freezes were implemented. All told, the government shed about 16,000 jobs between January and September, according to an analysis by The Washington Post, citing […]

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The Five Most Outrageous Licensing Stories of 2017

Image courtesy Institute for JusticeIn some ways, 2017 felt like a breakthrough year for reforming state licensing laws. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta issued a call for state lawmakers to evaluate licensing laws and fix those that restricted employment without doing much to benefit public health and safety. Maureen Ohlhausen, acting chairman of the Federal […]

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Why Does Blow-Drying Hair in Arizona Require 1,000 Hours of Training?

Barbara Haddock Taylor/MCT/NewscomUsing a blow-dryer is not particularly difficult or dangerous. Millions of Americans dry their own hair every morning without widespread reports of singed scalps or accidental electrocutions. Children use them without incident. But picking up a hair dryer in the state of Arizona and using it to dry someone else’s hair, for money, […]

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Another Winner From Tax Reform: State Governments

John Greim John Greim Photography/NewscomDuring a dinner in December 1974 at the Washington Hotel, so the story goes, Author Laffer sketched a curved line on a cocktail napkin to demonstrate to Donald Rumsfeld how cutting tax rates could actually increase tax revenue. The basic idea imparted to Rumsfeld, chief of staff for then-President Gerald Ford, […]

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The TSA Is Still Really Bad at Evaluating Risk

As millions of Americans get a friendly holiday pat-down on their way to Grandma’s house, here’s a not-so-comforting reminder: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is still really bad at the one thing it’s supposed to do. A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concludes, yet again, that the TSA does a poor job of assessing […]

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