Vol. 50, No. 5

In this edition

by LOU ZICKAR In this edition, we look at another key plank in the Better Way agenda – tax reform, and the blueprint crafted by Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady to rewrite the tax code and replace it with a system that is not only easier to understand, but one that also unleashes […]

Climate Change is Occurring — It’s Time for Conservatives to Act

Conservatives are rightly known for trying to solve problems before they become catastrophes. When it comes to protecting our planet, it makes sense for conservatives to take the lead in addressing climate change.

Climate Change is not Generating Extreme Weather

Fossil fuel use is not causing weather extremes, but federal policies, including subsidized flood and hurricane insurance, have contributed to rising disaster costs.

The Forgotten Issue of the 2016 Campaign

The presidential campaign is coming to a close without the candidates laying out a plan to reduce our national debt.

For Party & Country, GOP Leaders Must Deliver the TPP

Although not a perfect agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a good deal for American consumers, workers, and businesses.

A Better Way for America’s Taxpayers

With Americans fed up with the broken tax code, the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee discusses a reform blueprint that will propel America into a new economic era.

Families as the Sine Qua Non of Tax Reform

A tax code that recognizes the outsized expense and value of families is one which is more likely to have a correlative benefit of reducing the unfunded liabilities of the entitlement state.

Reform U.S. Taxes to Boost Investment & Innovation

Over the last 10 years, other nations have dropped their corporate tax rates and improved their tax systems. It’s time for the U.S. to do the same and level the global playing field.

Fearing the IRS: History need not keep repeating itself

With stories of overreach by the Internal Revenue Service being heard all around the nation, it is time to curb the agency’s authority and restore some common Sense to the law.

A Tale of Three Tax Plans

Neither of the two major presidential candidates has proposed a plan that moves the country toward tax reform. Fortunately, a blueprint to do just that has been introduced on Capitol Hill.

The Pence Record on Tax Relief & Tax Reform

An analysis of Governor Mike Pence’s efforts to Ease the tax burden and reform the tax system in Indiana, and the impact these efforts have had on the Hoosier State.

Ripon Profile of Mimi Walters

The Congresswoman from California’s 45th District shares her thoughts on the need to curb reckless spending and why passing the Better Way agenda must be a priority next year.

Climate Change is not Generating Extreme Weather


Following Hurricane Matthew and the recent flooding in Louisiana, the mainstream media parroted talking points of radical environmentalists claiming these events prove that human-caused climate change is causing extreme weather. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In multiple reports, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said rising carbon-dioxide levels will cause an increase in the strength and longevity of hurricanes, which are ranked in five categories based on wind speed, with Category 5 – sustained winds of more than 156 miles per hour – being the strongest.

While carbon-dioxide levels have risen over the past decade, Matthew was the first Category 5 hurricane to form in the Atlantic Basin since 2007, marking the second-longest period between the formations of Category 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin. It is notable that Hurricane Matthew only topped Category 5 wind speeds for six hours, tying it for the shortest-lived Category 5 hurricane on record. The record for the longest sustained Category 5 hurricane came in 1932 when for 78 hours Hurricane Cuba wreaked havoc on the region, long before concerns about human-caused climate change arose.

Matthew was only a Category 1 hurricane when it reached the mainland United States. Thus, it has been 4,019 days since the last Category 3 or above hurricane made landfall in the United States – an ever-increasing record for the number of consecutive days between major hurricanes striking the U.S. mainland.

Concerning rainfall, multiple studies in 2016 find no evidence rainfall amounts or severity have increased in recent years. For instance, a recent American Meteorological Society report examining rain data found “no evidence … for changes in extreme precipitation attributable to climate change in the available observed record.”

Multiple studies in 2016 find no evidence rainfall amounts or severity have increased in recent years.

Authors of a paper in the August 2016 edition of the journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology found “stronger storms are not getting stronger.” The authors also found any changes in the strength, seasonality, and even the increase in the number of heavy rainfall events could be explained by natural variability of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Concerning drought, researchers have found no increase in the frequency or severity of droughts in the United States since 1900. Indeed, proxy data indicate mega-droughts, which can last 200 or even more than 1,000 years, have occurred throughout history across the Western United States. The United States has yet to experience anything remotely close to such events for centuries. Even the highly destructive dust bowl of the 1930s lasted only eight years.

The Obama administration has proposed a number of initiatives to fight climate change, which it says it can accomplish by slashing greenhouse-gas emissions by curbing fossil-fuel use.

The administration’s biggest climate push is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP), which mandates a 32 percent reduction in emissions from new and existing coal-fired power plants below 2005 levels by 2030. The Energy Information Administration estimated a draft version of CPP, which only requires a 28 percent reduction in emissions, would result in up to $1.23 trillion in lost GDP (in 2014 dollars) by 2030, with an average annual GDP loss of $112 billion. An analysis by NERA Economic Consulting of the final plan estimates consumers in 40 states could see double-digit electricity price increases due to CPP. In 28 of 40 of those states, consumers will face electricity price spikes greater than 20 percent.

All this harm does not help the environment since EPA has testified CPP will reduce global temperature by less than one one-hundredth of 1 degree Celsius by the year 2100.

Fossil fuel use is not causing weather extremes, but federal policies, including subsidized flood and hurricane insurance, have contributed to rising disaster costs.

Fossil fuel use is not causing weather extremes, but federal policies, including subsidized flood and hurricane insurance, have contributed to rising disaster costs.

Government-subsidized disaster insurance encourages people to build homes where they otherwise would not. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) does not require homeowners whose homes are damaged or destroyed by floods, even repeatedly, to relocate. Since 1984, NFIP has paid out more than $1 billion for least 10,000 properties experiencing two or more losses.

Despite the National Climactic Data Center saying increased population and development of coastal areas is responsible for the higher losses from hurricanes and flooding, NFIP encourages people to relocate to the coasts. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, half of Americans live within 50 miles of a coast, and by 2025, it estimates 75 percent will. This is especially important because according to the Heinz Center, absent government subsidized flood and hurricane insurance, development in areas that have a high risk of flooding would be about 25 percent less than in low-risk areas.

Ending government insurance programs that perversely encourage people to build homes, hotels, and luxury resorts in disaster-prone areas will do far more to prevent harm from natural disasters than the Obama administration’s efforts to end the use of coal, natural gas, and oil.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. (hburnett@heartland.org) is a research fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.