Author Archives: Derek Monson

Am I the only one skeptical of projections for 36 years from now?

You may have seen recent news coverage about a report projecting that Utah’s population will double by the year 2050. On the heels of this reporting, some voices have been calling for “smart growth” policies to preserve quality of life … Continue reading

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Economic forecast: optimism or doom and gloom?

The federal Commerce Department announced recently that growth of the U.S. economy was “near zero,” as reported by some media outlets. Growth was estimated at 0.1 percent, a pitiful rate that comes after several years of sluggish economic recovery from … Continue reading

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Could blended learning fend off tuition increases?

A recent Deseret News story reported that the Utah Board of Regents approved a statewide college tuition hike of four percent for the 2014-2015 school year, with increases up to 5.5 or 6 percent at the University of Utah, Utah … Continue reading

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Dueling perspectives on the minimum legal drinking age

Here’s the opinion-based conjecture perspective (provided by Camille Paglia and Time): A drinking age of 21 is responsible for … Making the U.S. like Third World countries The global drug trade Cruelty to young people College binge drinking Date rape … Continue reading

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Where your tax dollars are going … and what you’re (not) getting in return

A reminder of where your federal income tax dollars are going … and what you’re (not) getting in return.  Happy tax day. Graph courtesy of this Cato Institute policy report.

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Filing taxes? Utah’s burden is 2nd highest among Mountain States

This time of year, most Utahns’ minds turn toward thoughts of … their state and federal income taxes. During the joyful process of filing a tax return, it is natural (and healthy for the sake of freedom) to be a … Continue reading

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Unnecessary licensing restrictions raise cost of health care

Why do we have licensing laws that restrict who can treat patients as a doctor and perform medical procedures? Ostensibly, it is for the health and safety of people who need to visit the doctor (i.e. everyone). We don’t want … Continue reading

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Utah through a taxpayer’s eyes

According to a recent Salt Lake Tribune article: Utah residents pay the 14th lowest taxes in the nation, or the 10th lowest if adjusted for cost of living The average Utah taxpayer pays $6,069 in taxes (state and local) The … Continue reading

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Arkansas’ new Medicaid expansion is already seeing cost overruns

According to a recent analysis from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), the “private option” Medicaid expansion plan in Arkansas (giving premium subsidies to mostly able-bodied, childless adults to help them purchase private health insurance) has begun seeing cost overruns … Continue reading

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Testimony on SB 251 (Amendments to Medicaid and Health Care)

Testimony presented by Derek Monson, director of public policy, Sutherland Institute, on Feb. 27 before the Utah Senate Health and Human Services Committee regarding SB 251 – Amendments to Medicaid and Health Care: Thank you Mr. Chair and members of … Continue reading

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Sutherland’s position statement on Medicaid expansion

Sutherland Institute understands the perspective of those calling for Utah to follow Obamacare’s vision of Medicaid expansion. The argument sounds reasonable: Since Utahns are paying tax dollars to Washington, D.C., under Obamacare, then why shouldn’t Utah take every Medicaid expansion … Continue reading

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Playing chicken with farmers’ livelihoods

The Salt Lake Tribune recently ran a story about how federal meat processing regulations recently stopped a local natural-chicken farming operation from processing the chickens of other small chicken farming operations, leaving no way for these latter farms to get … Continue reading

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Testimony on HB 338 (Alcohol Beverage License Amendments)

Testimony presented by Derek Monson, director of public policy, Sutherland Institute, on Feb. 14 before the House Revenue and Taxation Standing Committee of the Utah Legislature regarding HB 338 – Alcohol Beverage License Amendments: Thank you Mr. Chair and members … Continue reading

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Why would schools kick digital learners off campus?

A high school sophomore told the Senate Education Standing Committee recently that she was able to testify to them (in the middle of a school day) in support of requiring parental notification about the Statewide Online Education Program (SOEP) because … Continue reading

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Testimony regarding HB 311 (Budgeting Amendments) and HJR 11 (Budget Responsibilities)

Testimony presented by Derek Monson, director of policy, Sutherland Institute, before the House Revenue and Taxation Standing Committee regarding HB 311 – Budgeting Amendments and HJR 11 – Joint Rules Resolution on Executive Appropriations Committee Budget Responsibilities: Thank you, Mr. … Continue reading

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