Monthly Archives: January 2009

2009 Budget Crisis

This week I want to address Utah’s budget crisis. At the Sutherland Institute we call the budget crisis “a glorious opportunity” – an opportunity to revisit the purpose of state government, an opportunity to rethink our values and our priorities as a people, and an opportunity to go on that much needed fiscal diet after years of getting fat and demanding.

Folks, this one is going to be painful. Utah’s State Legislature has insisted for months that cuts will be long and deep. Our very popular Governor – with Obama-like optimism – wants to preserve as much current spending as possible by raising taxes and bonding our futures. read more

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Myths of Health Care

This week I want to talk about American health care.  Another think-tank friend, Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute in California, has written a great book about popular myths of American health care.  She writes that, “on the simplest level, the question of how to reform the U.S. health care system boils down to this: How do we control costs without sacrificing quality?  And how can we reach coverage that is universal, or at least near universal?”

She goes on to say that, while there are many answers to these questions, “the vast majority of solutions proposed by today’s politicians fall into one of two ideological camps… read more

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Liquor Laws in Utah

This week I want to talk about Utah’s liquor laws – and, as usual, yours truly will cut to the quick.  I think Utah’s liquor laws are confusing and unnecessarily complicated.  I also believe that an unorchestrated convergence of the liquor lobby, confused Mormons, the “Utah nice” crowd, and Mormon-haters have made it that way.

As public policy, liquor laws aren’t that complicated to understand.  We begin with a premise – is drinking liquor something society wants to encourage or discourage? read more

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