May 11, 2017

President Trump Fires FBI Director Comey

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Earlier this week, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. “Although the manner in which this was handled was ham-fisted, this might well be seen, at least in retrospect, as a wise move,” writes Tim Lynch, Director of Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice.”We can do much better than James Comey,” says Lynch. If Trump can repeat the careful process by which he selected Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court and secure a fairly swift confirmation vote, this matter could soon be forgotten. However, if the selection process is mishandled, the political storm clouds will hang over the White House for quite some time.”

But, notes Cato senior fellow Julian Sanchez, “the reasons offered by the White House for removing James Comey from his perch at the FBI seem remarkably weak.” Unfortunately, the matter could indeed be a very heavy cloud, if not a storm, in Washington for some time to come.

State-Sponsored Visas: New Bill Lets States Invite Foreign Workers, Entrepreneurs, and Investors

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Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) recently introduced the State-Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act (S. 1040) to federalize a portion of America’s migration system. Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) has announced plans to introduce a companion bill in the House.

In a new study, Cato scholar David Bier looks at the proposed plan and concludes that this type of program would add flexibility to a sclerotic immigration system because states are better able to design visas for changing and varied local conditions, creating positive economic and fiscal benefits for the entire country.

Reforming Occupational Licensing in Wisconsin?

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The typical state licenses hundreds of professions. Some of those are unobjectionable—most people want doctors and anesthetists to undergo a licensing regime before assuming their professions, for instance. But other licenses are problematic. For instance, many states require interior designers and florists to be licensed. Do we really need to be protected from a rogue designer who might do damage to the color scheme of our homes? The same question can also be asked of manicurists, barbers, aestheticians, and other professions that have little to do with health or safety.

Governor Walker and the Wisconsin state legislature have both announced they will be examining the state’s current licensing regime. In an economy where states have been ratcheting up their efforts to attract jobs and boost economic growth, it is time for Wisconsin to think cogently about which tasks merit licensing and which can do without.

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