This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: General Assembly Returns


Radio Program Schedule for the week of September 13, 2014 – September 19, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from paindependent.com
  • Matthew Brouillette and Katrina Anderson of the Commonwealth Foundation have a Capitol Watch look at the General Assembly returning to unfinished business
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on why government regulators should stay out of the way of new ride sharing companies

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Veronique de Rugy from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University about the impact of the growing federal debt on the economy
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on the increasing chance of the GOP reclaiming control of the U.S. Senate
  • Eric Boehm and Ken Ward have a Watchdog Radio Report on foreign nationals over staying their student visas
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on the passing of Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Need A Lyft?


uber phone appI stood in the doorway of the Ebenezer Coffee House watching a mid-summer thunderstorm dump water on Washington, D.C.  Although Union Station, and the taxi cab I needed, was little over a block away, getting there in the downpour would result in my getting soaked.  With appointments still to keep that was not an attractive option.

Fortunately, I had downloaded an app on my smart phone that allowed me to summon an Uber car.  Uber is one of the new ride-sharing companies that have revolutionized the transportation industry using the latest technology.

With the touch of a finger the app assigned a car to pick me up.  A photo of the driver appeared on my screen along with her name, a description of the car she was driving and an estimate of time, in this case less than five minutes, before the car would arrive.  I was able to watch the car’s progress on a map as it neared my location.  Not only did the Uber car pull up right in front of my door, but I didn’t even need to have cash on me to pay for the ride since I had previously established an account.

In addition to the creative use of technology and ease of use, I found other interesting aspects to Uber.  The woman who gave me a ride that day was a single mother in her late 20’s.  She has two small children and driving for Uber allows her to get her children off to school in the morning, work the hours they were gone and then be free to pick them up again in the afternoon.  Weekends when her children are visiting their father, she earns extra money driving again for Uber.

As with any major advancement in a business model, ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have arrived in a blaze of controversy.  Public transportation, especially the taxi cab business, is highly regulated.   They also tend to be controlled by influential interests who jealously and zealously guard their turf.

The problem for the taxi companies is that they are moribund, having evolved little since switching from horse drawn carriages to motor cars. Getting a cab still usually involves standing on a street corner waving your arms, or placing a telephone call and enduring a long wait.  Neither exactly suits a highly technology-driven society that demands instant gratification from nearly every service imaginable.

Essentially taxi cab companies are rotary telephones operating in a smart phone world.  While some have evolved web sites and downloadable apps, few can approach the sophistication level of Uber and Lyft.  Technology aside, traditional cab companies operate on a centralized business model, while the new companies harness individual entrepreneurs.  People always work harder for themselves than they do for someone else giving the ride sharing drivers extra incentive.

The advent of this new model of public transportation has also caught regulatory agencies off guard.  Ride sharing companies don’t fit into any existing regulatory category.  This has created problems in that regulators first instinct is to say “no,” you can’t run your business that way.  But Uber and Lyft have persisted often to the point of defying cease and desist orders.

But the ride sharing companies have forced government regulators to find ways to accommodate them.  The danger though is that over-zealous bureaucrats pile excessive regulations on the companies. Regulators like to regulate, and with the taxi cab companies pressuring them to reign in the new kids on the block, the danger exists that government does what it usually does and over-regulate the new industry.

While regulators have a legitimate responsibility to ensure public safety they must carefully consider the impact of any new regulation.  Certainly cars must be inspected and insured, but regulators cannot institute rules simply aimed at making the ride sharing companies less competitive.  If they do the legislature will have to step in.

In the meantime, competition is good.  Uber and Lyft offer customers a convenient new option. And, perhaps the taxi cab companies will respond by coming up with an even better idea. The free enterprise system is operating as it should, rewarding those who innovate and pressuring those who don’t to do better.  In the end, we the consumer are the winners.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on American Radio Journal: Congressman Paul Ryan Talks Renewing America


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 30, 2014 – September 5, 2014

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Jim Phillips of the Heritage Foundation about the origin and goals of the terrorist group ISIS
  • Barney Keller of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on the strange alliance of big business and Left-wing Democrats in support of the Export-Import Bank
  • Eric Boehm and Benjamin Yount have a Watchdog Radio Report interview with Congressman Paul Ryan about his new book The Way Forward: Renewing the American Ideal
  • Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (Ret.) has an American Radio Journal commentary on a possible major correction in the stock markets
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Don’t miss our Watchdog Radio Report with Congressman Paul Ryan!

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from www.paindependent.com
  • David Taylor of the PA Manufacturers Association along with Kevin Shivers and Neal Lesher from the PA Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business have a Capitol Watch look at the Tom Wolf tax plan
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on why a third Mitt Romney presidential run would be bad for the GOP

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Romney Redux Wrong


mitt romneyMitt Romney is back.  After losing the 2012 presidential race to Barack Obama the defeated Republican nominee stepped out of the spotlight and into what many thought would be a long, quiet retirement from political life.  In recent weeks, as the Obama Administration has descended into chaos and near irrelevancy, Mitt Romney has re-emerged singing the sweetest refrain in politics: “I told you so.”

The former Massachusetts governor and his erstwhile running mate Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin were reunited recently and the gathering ended with Ryan – himself considered to be a 2016 presidential contender – wishing for another Romney run. Speculation about a possible third Romney presidential bid has grown as buyers’ remorse over an increasingly distant and detached Barack Obama grows and no clear front-runner has emerged from the current crop of potential GOP presidential candidates.

But Ryan’s wishful thinking might be a disaster in the making for the GOP. There are reasons why Romney lost in 2012 despite the unpopularity of Obamacare and the lingering Great Recession. Romney would not only be fighting past demons, he would also be trying to accomplish something very rare in presidential politics: being nominated for a second time and winning after having lost.

Since the advent of the current two-party system in the mid-1800s no nominee has lost a presidential election and come back four years later to claim the White House.  The only successful two time nominee was Richard M. Nixon, who lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960, but then sat out the 1964 election before running and winning in 1968.   Three others have been nominated by their party in consecutive elections, and all lost.

William Jennings Bryan was nominated by the Democrats in 1896 and 1900 losing to Republican William McKinley. Bryan was nominated again in 1908, losing that election to William Howard Taft.  Thomas Dewey received back-to-back Republican nominations in 1944 and 1948, losing to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.  The Democrats tried sticking with the same horse in 1952 and 1956, but Adlai Stevenson lost to Dwight Eisenhower both times.

In an historic anomaly, incumbent Grover Cleveland lost the 1888 presidential election to Benjamin Harrison, but was renominated by the Democrats in 1892 and became the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.

Setting the unique circumstance of Grover Cleveland aside, you have to go all the way back to the election of 1840 to find the last time a presidential candidate received consecutive party nominations and won after having lost.  In 1836 William Henry Harrison lost to Martin Van Buren, but was renominated by the Whigs and ousted Van Buren in 1840.  Even that didn’t end well as Harrison became the first U.S. president to die in office just one month after taking the oath.

Romney’s difficulty in mounting yet another presidential bid is more than just historic.  Recall that during the 2012 nomination contest GOP voters turned to a number of other suitors before Romney prevailed.  At various times Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and finally Rick Santorum surged ahead of Romney who prevailed only by capitalizing on the mistakes of the other candidates and incinerating them with negative television ads.

It was clear Republican primary voters were desperately seeking an alternative to Romney.  Despite a high level of GOP antipathy toward Barack Obama, a predicted Republican edge in voter turn-out failed to materialize in November of 2012.  That was due partly to the Romney campaign’s ineptitude at running a get-out-the-vote effort, but also reflected a general lack of enthusiasm for the candidate, especially among the conservative grassroots.

As the Republican Party begins the process of selecting its next nominee it should remember that presidential campaigns are about the future, not the past.  It is the candidate who offers the best hope for the future who wins. Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, although polar opposites, each appealed to America’s hopes and dreams for the future.

We cannot go “back to the future” in 2016.  The time has come to move past the Romneys, Bushes and Clintons and, as John F. Kennedy once observed, pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.  The party that does that best will be the one which next occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

 

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Take an Uber Ride


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 23, 2014 – August 29, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from www.paindependent.com
  • Lowman Henry talks with Taylor Bennett of Uber about the ride share company’s expansion into Pennsylvania
  • Frank Gamrat and Eric Montarti explore land banks on the Allegheny Institute Report
  • Beth Ann Mumford of Americans for Prosperity/PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on preserving freedom

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This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Jonathan Williams of the American Legislative Exchange Council about the 2014 Rich States/Poor States report on economic competitiveness
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on Republican chances of winning control of the U.S. Senate in November
  • Eric Boehm and Benjamin Yount have a Watchdog Radio Report on the militarization of local police forces
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on the American Federation of Teachers’ left-wing agenda

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Governor’s Jobs Summit


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 16, 2014 – August 22, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from www.paindependent.com
  • David Taylor from the PA Manufacturers Association has a Capitol Watch interview with Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway on the upcoming Governor’s Jobs Summit
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on tough love for Philadelphia city schools

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Lori Sanders of the R Street Institute about Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul the nation’s anti-poverty programs
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on who won the intramural GOP battle between the establishment and the TEA party
  • Eric Boehm and Matt Kittle have a Watchdog Radio Report on the EPA and Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine
  • Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, USA has an American Radio Journal commentary on dirty tricks in the Mississippi GOP run-off election for U.S. Senator

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Tough Love


Would you invest in a business whose product failed 80% of the time?  If so, you might want to contribute money to the City of Philadelphia School District where, according to the Commonwealth Foundation, studies show that percentage of students cannot read or do math at grade level.

In what has become an annual tradition fiscal hysteria is radiating out from the City of Brotherly Love with predictions of dire consequences for the local populace if Harrisburg does not pony up more dollars. The annual crisis seems to swing back and forth between trains and subways will stop running if more money isn’t allocated to mass transit, or schools won’t open without additional funding.

This is the year for schools.

Once again the mismanagement which runs rampant throughout the Philadelphia city school system has resulted in a beginning of the school year budget crunch that has administrators claiming hundreds of teachers will be laid off if the state legislature does not approve a new revenue stream.  Bureaucracies looking for more money always cut first that which will inflict the most pain to gin up a public outcry. That is why teachers, not administrators and support staff, are on the chopping block.

The imminent start of the school year comes as no surprise to anyone, it is as predictable as Philadelphia funding crises, yet the highly paid administration of the school system failed to make the tough budget decisions necessary to begin the new term on time and on financially solid footing.  Instead, they assumed Harrisburg would once again – as it always does – come up with the money for them.

This year’s scheme to fund the failing schools involved levying an additional $2.00 per pack tax on cigarettes sold in the city.  Philadelphia lawmakers dutifully spun a tale of dire consequences without the new funding and almost managed to get it enacted.  But, the bill hit a bump in the road and the legislature left town for a summer vacation that will last until well after the new school year begins.

After a planned rare August session of the state house fell through, Philadelphia’s city schools were left hanging.  And so the cries of woe rang out from the banks of the Delaware River.  Governor Tom Corbett, facing an uphill re-election battle, rode to the rescue by delivering budgeted state dollars early, thus allowing schools to open on time.

But should the governor have done that?  And should the general assembly approve the cigarette tax?  The other 499 school districts in Pennsylvania all will start the school year on time. They too have faced budget challenges and managed to get the job done without running to Harrisburg for special taxes.  Like a spoiled teenager who constantly wrecks the family car, perhaps the time has come to take the keys away from Philadelphia city schools.

The bottom line is Philadelphia’s city school system does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.  The Commonwealth Foundation reports that revenue in the school district has increased by more than $1 billion since the 2002-2003 school year.  Per pupil spending has jumped 21% in inflation-adjusted dollars during that time frame.  And here is the kicker: enrollment has dropped by 25% while the teaching staff has increased 6%.

Not only has the school district continued its profligate spending, but like most school districts it has resisted the types of structural change needed to bring both fiscal stability and academic success to public education.  Philadelphia’s lawmakers, while extending their hands for more tax dollars universally refuse to back pension reform so the single biggest cost driver can be brought under control.  The city is hostile to charter and cyber charter schools which would provide a pathway out of a failed public school system for many students.

It is now time for some tough love.  So long as Harrisburg is willing to bail them out, Philadelphia city schools will constantly be asking for more money.  The governor and the general assembly should require them to make needed structural reforms before giving them another cent in revenue.  Otherwise, the summertime saga of more money for Philadelphia will continue to be an annual rite.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.) 

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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