In recent days, we at CFIF have marked the ignominious one-year anniversary of the Biden Administration…
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Drug Price Controls: On 9/13, Let's End the Indefensible 9-13 Small Molecule/Large Molecule Protection Disparity

In recent days, we at CFIF have marked the ignominious one-year anniversary of the Biden Administration's misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act" (IRA) by noting its particularly negative impact on pharmaceutical innovation and, in turn, the nation's health and wellbeing.

As acknowledged by the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security  as well as groups like the American Cancer Society, Americans are already confronting alarming and unprecedented drug shortages in the wake of the IRA.

To mark today's date of September 13 - or 9/13 - it's appropriate to note a different but significant 9-13:  That refers to the indefensible distinction that the IRA makes between what are known as "small-molecule" and "large-molecule" drugs.

Specifically, the IRA imposes destructive price controls…[more]

September 13, 2023 • 03:24 PM

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10 Things to Hate About the State of the Union Print
By Troy Senik
Friday, January 29 2010
With Representative Joe Wilson likely bound and gagged in a Capitol Hill janitorial closet during this year’s [State of the Union] remarks, no such luck. Herewith, then, are the 10 quotes from this year’s State of the Union that deserved a shout from the gallery...

If there is a more painful exercise in American political life than the State of the Union address, it’s a well-kept secret.  Every year, millions of Americans tune in to the President’s annual remarks to a joint session of Congress either out of an obstinate sense of civic obligation or a perilous shortage of Ambien.  And every year, regardless of party, the President delivers the executive branch’s wish list in dutiful, if listless, prose while his congressional partisans see how quickly they can render the standing ovation meaningless.
To break up the monotony, there are always moments of grandstanding – policy promises too utopian to be kept, schoolmarmish knuckle-rapping for the opposition party, the President’s attempt to transfer the totemic appeal of some working-class hero to himself by placing him or her in the House gallery.  It is perhaps the most aristocratic callisthenic of the republic, achingly in need of the irreverence of the British Prime Minister’s question time. With Representative Joe Wilson likely bound and gagged in a Capitol Hill janitorial closet during this year’s remarks, no such luck.  Herewith, then, are the 10 quotes from this year’s State of the Union that deserved a shout from the gallery:
1. “To recover the rest [of the TARP money], I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks. I know Wall Street isn't keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.” – Actually, with the exception of Citigroup, these banks have already paid back their emergency borrowing from the federal government with interest. The holes in the TARP fund that the “fee” is supposed to cover stem from the automobile and housing industries, which (get your inhaler ready), somehow managed to escape the President’s wrath in this new round of financial flagellation.   
2.  “… We need to export more of our goods. … So tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support 2 million jobs in America.” – A classic case of damn the torpedoes and pick a number out of a hat speechwriting.  The President may as well predict how many blades of grass will be on the South Lawn in 2015.  Leaving aside the Russian grain quota statistical predictions, there’s also subtle rhetorical mercantilism at work here (notice Obama’s silence on import levels).  Increasing exports isn’t necessarily an unalloyed good. After all, you could wipe out trade deficits rather quickly by weakening the dollar.  
3.  “ … In this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. … [Let’s] give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let's tell another 1 million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years -- and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service.” – Welcome to the education bubble.  The government’s logic is as follows: College is good. Let’s subsidize college. The result? More people go to college and the college degree loses its value (thus is born the educational inflation that makes the high school diploma of lesser value every decade).  Also, the increase in demand leads to an increase in price, which in turn leads to a further increase in subsidies.  Now, to add insult to injury, we’re making the deal even sweeter for people who choose careers in the least productive sector of the economy: government. 
4. “And by the way, I want to acknowledge our first lady, Michelle Obama, who this year is creating a national movement to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity and make our kids healthier.” – Has anyone ever made a better case for permanently cutting off public funding for the First Lady’s office?
5. “Now if we had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficit. But we took office amid a crisis, and our efforts to prevent a second depression have added another $1 trillion to our national debt. I am absolutely convinced that was the right thing to do. But families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the $1 trillion that it took to rescue the economy last year.” – For those of you playing the home game, this means that government spending is a necessary response to an economic downturn,  But now that we’ve thrown a trillion dollars at the problem and are still in the doldrums, we’re going to cut government spending. Got that? Dr. Keynes, call your office.
6. “But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for oil companies, investment fund managers and those making over $250,000 a year. We just can't afford it.” – a clear enough statement, to its credit. Only problem? It comes a few paragraphs after Obama boasted, “We haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person.  Not a single dime.” Sounds like we better start rolling those ten-cent pieces for the year ahead.
7. In response to the Supreme Court’s recent campaign finance ruling: “I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people …” – an artless sleight of hand. Notice the change in verbs between sentences from “bankrolled” to “decided”.  Despite Obama’s anxieties, every American gets only one vote, regardless of how much cash they dump into a candidate’s coffers. Money only buys the opportunity to persuade, not the guarantee of doing so successfully.
8. “Even as we prosecute two wars, we are also confronting perhaps the greatest danger to the American people -- the threat of nuclear weapons. I have embraced the vision of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan through a strategy that reverses the spread of these weapons and seeks a world without them.” – Kennedy and Reagan, while both far superior to Obama as foreign policy presidents, were also both delusional on the nuclear issue. So is the 44th president.  The only way to permanently eliminate nuclear weapons is to permanently eliminate the knowledge necessary to construct them – essentially to usher in a new Dark Age where humanity’s store of knowledge contracts.  In the meantime, any disarmament by civilized powers will only increase the relative benefit to be gained by rogue states that develop nuclear weapons.
9. “… The international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated. And as Iran's leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: They, too, will face growing consequences.” – Perhaps Iran would take America’s resolve more seriously if the “consequences” were something more than speeches occasionally reminding them that there will be consequences.
10. “Our destiny is connected to those beyond our shores. … That is why we stand with the girl who yearns to go to school in Afghanistan, we support the human rights of the women marching through the streets of Iran, and we advocate for the young man denied a job by corruption in Guinea.” – We stand with the girl in Afghanistan until July 2011, when U.S. forces in that country begin drawing down.  We watched one of the above-referenced women in Iran be gunned down in the streets of Tehran, and the President did little more than tut-tut at the White House television that he had tuned to MSNBC.  And the case of Guinea had its first and last exposure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with the group of speechwriters looking for an obscure way to end this particular rolling triad. 
America has a president who learned during the last campaign that he could bend the public to his will through rhetoric.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t yet learned that reality isn’t nearly as pliable.

Notable Quote   
"The 2024 presidential election is over a year away, but the left's legal assault on common-sense election integrity measures has already begun.Last month, a district court in San Antonio ruled that Texas cannot enforce the provision of Senate Bill 1 which established a voter identification requirement for mail in voting in Texas. The next day, a district court in Atlanta ruled against Georgia Senate…[more]
— Chad Ennis, Vice President of Honest Elections Project
Liberty Poll   

In your opinion, how likely is a federal government shutdown at the end of September, based on budgetary and other disagreements in the fractured House of Representatives?