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Reason Foundation

Reason Alert: Obama, Paul, Brownback Sign Oath

August 24, 2007

Obama, Brownback and Paul Sign Oath Promising Google Government
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have signed oaths declaring that, should they win the presidency in 2008, they will issue an executive order during their first month in office instructing the entire executive branch to put into practice the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, a Google-like search tool will allow you to see how your tax dollars are being spent on federal contracts, grants and earmarks. All of the major presidential candidates have been invited to sign the "oath of presidential transparency" which is being promoted by a diverse coalition of 36 groups, led by Reason Foundation."The next president should be committed to transparency and accountability," said Adrian Moore, vice president of research at Reason Foundation. "Redesigning the federal government so that it is more accountable to taxpayers is a nonpartisan issue. Transparency will help produce a government focused on results instead of our current system, which is plagued by secrecy, wasteful spending and pork projects." To see the signed oaths, quotes from the candidates and other materials please click here.

States Ranked on Job Licensing
Do you want to be a fortune teller in Maryland? Your future better include a license from the state. How about being a hair braider in Mississippi? You'll need 300 to 1,500 hours of training and government permission. Want to sell flowers in Louisiana? Only licensed florists can do that. And almost every state requires certification if you want to move furniture and hang art while calling yourself an interior designer. In California, there are a total of 177 different jobs that require a special license or credential, the most in the country, according to a new Reason Foundation study examining occupational licensing trends. Northeastern states aren’t much better. Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire all require job seekers to obtain a license before performing more than 130 jobs. In stark contrast, you can do most of those very same jobs - without a license - in Missouri, where just 41 careers require certification.

Are Hurricanes Bigger and Stronger?
Reason magazine's Science correspondent Ronald Bailey examines hurricane trends and writes, "...it is interesting to note that despite the tremendous violence of hurricanes, they have killed only about 15,000 Americans since 1900 and 8,000 of those died in the great Galveston storm on September 8 of that year. After 1985, the number of Americans who died as a result of hurricanes averaged 16 per year (in comparison, about 67 people are killed by lightning and 65 by tornadoes each year). While hurricanes kill relatively few people (with the horrific recent exception of Katrina), the damage they do to property is escalating."

Reason in DC Event
Join Reason, MTV's Kurt Loder, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, Fox News Channel's Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins, Lynn Scarlett, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, and numerous others at "Reason in DC" at the Ritz Carlton, October 26th and 27th. The event will also feature a launch party for Reason.tv, Reason's new video journalism project featuring The Price Is Right and Power of 10 host Drew Carey. For registration details and more information, please click here.

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