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WHY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILS

Most Americans think that the federal government is incompetent and wasteful. Their negative view is not surprising given the steady stream of scandals emanating from Washington. Scholarly studies support the idea that many federal activities are misguided and harmful. A recent book on federal performance by Yale University law professor Peter Schuck concluded that failure is “endemic.” What causes all the failures?

First, federal policies rely on top-down planning and coercion. That tends to create winners and losers, which is unlike the mutually beneficial relationships of markets. It also means that federal policies are based on guesswork because there is no price system to guide decision making. A further problem is that failed policies are not weeded out because they are funded by taxes, which are compulsory and not contingent on performance.

Second, the government lacks knowledge about our complex society. That ignorance is behind many unintended and harmful side effects of federal policies. While markets gather knowledge from the bottom up and are rooted in individual preferences, the government’s actions destroy knowledge and squelch diversity.

Third, legislators often act counter to the general public interest . . .

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NEW GENERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN

Catharine Baker, Assembly District 16, CaliforniaBaker Catharine

When I ran for State Assembly two years ago, I ran with a very specific mission: to tackle the major issues affecting our community and our state – education, our infrastructure (water and transportation), our state spending and debt – but to do so in a different way... a way that goes beyond partisan lines and special interest powers, that reaches across the aisle and listens to any good idea regardless of which political party came up with it. I’ve done just that from day one, and I’ve seen how effective it’s been.

Because I am in the State Assembly, the legislature chose to pay down unfunded retiree debt and transportation bond debt instead of raising taxes on health plans by $650 million. By breaking the 2/3rds supermajority with my election in 2014, I helped stop $29 billion in tax increases and put the focus back on restraining spending and paying down debts. But there is much more work to do. Below are additional issue areas on which I’ve worked and hope to continue to work with your support for my re-election. Check it out and let me know what you think!

FOR A LIST OF CATHARINE'S EFFECTIVE BI-PARTISAN BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW, READ MORE

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