When the government tells us no

Sometimes the government tells us no. I’m not allowed to sit in the Oval Office and watch President Trump mull over Fox and Friends, ready to Tweet at a moment’s notice. I (begrudgingly) accept that. I also can’t read classified intelligence briefings or call a special session of the Alabama legislature. I could ask, but I’m quite sure I’d be told no. Even so, in the United States, especially when compared to other nations, the government tells us no relatively…

A Guide to Fake News

More than once every day. That’s how often President Trump publicly calls something “fake”—be it a story, poll, or news organization. Just this week, Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about, among other things, the proliferation of falsities on his social media platform, including in Alabama’s special election for U.S. Senate last year. We see the term everywhere, hear it lobbied daily on cable news, and use it ourselves (although perhaps often in jest). But what really is fake news and…

Taylor’s Top Eight: End-of-Session Edition

It’s been just over a week since the 2018 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature came to an end. After marinating on this year’s 26 legislative days, here are my takeaways in the final legislative review for 2018. There were a few pieces of legislation for which our legislators deserve a round of applause. 1. Ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, are now free to operate statewide, strengthening entrepreneurial capitalism for all Alabamians! The fact that Uber and Lyft now…

How Christ’s Resurrection Makes Politics Better

“He is not here; He has risen!” These are perhaps the most consequential words ever spoken. A man who three days earlier had been violently beaten, hung upon a cross, and buried lifeless in a tomb, is alive again! The reality behind these words—a risen Savior who had borne the sins of the world—prompted the disciples of Jesus to spend their lives spreading this news, Perpetua to die for her faith at the hand of the Romans and, more recently,…

Alabama’s unrestrained “permission slip to work” laws affect real Alabamians

Across the country, lawmakers are realizing the costs associated with the rampant overuse of occupational licensing laws. Alabama Policy Institute’s recent report shows that over 21% of Alabama workers are licensed. This means that more than one in five Alabamians need a government permission slip to work. Although the original impetus behind states’ licensing practices was the assurance of public safety, the current system of occupational licensing has become so burdensome that voices from left, right, and center have noticed.…

Taylor’s Top Four: Legislative Review for Week 11

The countdown is on! What's happening as the session winds down? Read below to find out! 1. Gun bills might be finished for this session . . .   With time quickly winding down in the legislative session, the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee had a meeting scheduled on Tuesday to consider several things: a bill that raises the age to by an AR-15 from 18 to 21, a bill that would allow judges to take firearms away…

The Shared Foundation of Liberals and Conservatives

Political discussion in the United States is often framed by party allegiance. When people are asked to explain the rationale behind their choice to identify with a specific party, however, they often cannot give an answer beyond listing particular positions that they support or oppose. While an understanding of specific policies is important, limiting debate to the realm of policy misses out on the deeper questions that lie at the heart of any political society. Ultimately, politics is more than…

Taylor’s Top Four: Legislative Session Review for Week 10

The session looks to be winding down, but we aren't going anywhere! Here's your recap of week 10 in the Alabama legislature. If you want to receive daily news from across the state and nation straight to your inbox each morning, click here to subscribe to API's Daily Clips. 1. General Fund budget has almost crossed its last hurdle.  On Tuesday, the house passed the 2019 General Fund budget, which passed the Senate in February. The Montgomery Advertiser reported that it was…

Licensing away economic prosperity

By Allen Mendenhall Do you want to alleviate poverty in Alabama? Do you want to curb the power of special interest groups over government agencies? Do you want more affordable goods and services in basic industries? Do you want to help disadvantaged groups find good jobs and become productive citizens? Do you want to reduce the population of our overcrowded prisons? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should read a new report published by the Alabama Policy…

Taylor’s Top Five: Legislative Session Review for Week 9 

We are back with your recap of another week in Montgomery! What happened this week in the legislature and beyond? Read below to find out! If you want to receive daily news from across the state and nation straight to your inbox each morning, click here to subscribe to API's Daily Clips. 1. Tax cuts might soon be in store for some Alabama families. On Thursday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a modest tax break bill that increases the standard deduction for an estimated…