Scoop: Pros and Cons of Tort Reform Bills, Consumer Concerns, and Prospects for Tort Reform Passage Reviewed

Bulletin Board: Publications, press releases, publications and plans of the conservative community, plus information of interest to Scoop readers.
* House & Senate Press Conference on Tax Cut Plan Scheduled for March 16; Members Available for Interviews

House and Senate Republicans will hold a joint press conference on Thursday, March 16 at 11 AM at the House triangle in support of the $188 billion tax cut bill approved by the House Ways and Means Committee March 14. The plan calls for a $500 tax credit per child for families making $200,000 or less; non-deductible annual contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts of up to $2,000 ($4,000 for married couples) with provisions permitting use for first-time home purchases and educational and medical expenses; a 50% capital gains tax deduction for individuals with indexing for inflation; a tax credit for legal adoptions; a tax credit for the cost of caring for a disabled or mentally-impaired parent, grandparent or great-grandparent; greater deductions for home offices. There are more provisions. “The $500 per child tax credit within the Contract With America is the heart and soul of the Republican reform effort. If we do everything else from term limits to welfare reform and we don’t do this, we will have failed in our Contract With America,” said Rep. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) in a Scoop interview. Rep. Hutchinson will be joined at the press conference by several Members of the House and Senate, among them: Senate Majority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS), Senator Rod Grams (R-MN), Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Senator Spence Abraham (R-MI). House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer (R-TX) and House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) may also attend.

* Project 21 To Endorse Congressional Efforts to Reform Welfare at Press Conference March 16

The African-American leadership group Project 21 will endorse comprehensive welfare reform at a 10:30 AM March 16 press conference in Room HC4 of the U.S. Capitol. Project 21 Chairman Edmund Peterson and members Horace Cooper and Phyllis Berry Myers will be joined at the press conference by leaaders in the House welfare reform effort, Rep. Jim Talent (R-MO) and Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK). For more information contact Project 21 at (202) 507-6398, or contact Rep. Talent at 202/225-2561 and Rep. Watts at 202/225-6165.

* “The Fortune Spent On Welfare Has Actually Retarded Black Advancement,” Says Project 21 Analyst

Peter Kirsanow of Project 21 and author of Welfare Reform: An Emancipation Proclamation for the 20th Century (a 16,000-word analysis of welfare reform, including GOP and Clinton Administration proposals that appeared in Project 21’s Black America 1995: A New Beginning released in January 1995) has written a New Visions Commentary published by The National Center for Public Policy Research linking the black unemployment rate to the rise of the welfare state. Mr. Kirsanow, former labor counsel for the city of Cleveland, writes: “The most remarkable declines in the nation’s poverty rates actually occurred before the creation of the Great Society. Nearly 30% of Americans lived under the poverty line in 1950. During the next 14 years, the poverty rate fell by nearly 1% per year. Poverty rates for working-age blacks dropped from 58% in 1959 to approximately 40% in 1965, an amazing 18% points. But then the trend began to slow and sputter. By 1969, the remarkable progress had collapsed.” Mr. Kirsanow’s conclusion: “Considerable evidence is emerging that recent improvements in the condition of the Black community are the result of passage of equal employment opportunity laws, as well as advancements in science, medicine and technology, and that the fortune spent on welfare has actually retarded Black advancement by creating a persistent underclass — one both sustained and suppressed by the destructive incentives of the welfare state.” Contact Project 21 at (202) 507-6398.

* Center Proposes Solutions to Immigration Controversies; Opposes National Worker Registry

The Center for Equal Opportunity has called upon Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, to oppose establishment of a national worker registry as a tool to halt illegal immigration. “Only 1.5% of the U.S. population is not in the country legally. Yet a worker registry will involve the federal government in 100% of the hiring decisions that employers make, even those affecting citizens,” said Center President Linda Chavez in a letter to Smith. Chavez, former Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, also called a national worker registry a “Big Government solution,” and said “voters in November… indicated that they’ve had enough of bureaucracy. They don’t want to carry national ID cards.” The Center has available a two-page press release, a January 25 USA Today editorial by Chavez, a letter circulated by the Cato Institute containing the signatures of 43 conservatives opposed to a registry, and a March 1995 Commentary magazine article by Chavez entitled “What To Do About Immigration.” The Center also has available: 1) “Asian-Americans Head for Politics,” an article by Center Vice President John J. Miller analyzing voting patterns of Asian-Americans — a group, the article predicts, that will probably outnumber Blacks in America by 2020, and 2) a February USA Today article by Chavez “Let’s End Welfare to Corporations, Too.”

* Group Calls for “National Immigration Awareness Week,” Plans Pickets of White House & Ford Foundation

A group of citizens concerned about high levels of illegal immigration into the U.S. have formed a national committee to proclaim the week following May 7 as “National Immigration Awareness Week,” and to conduct peaceful protests, including a picket in front of the White House and visits to Capitol Hill, on the issue. The group is calling upon the President to sign tough immigration bills, for the resignation of the INS Commissioner, and will picket the Ford Foundation in New York..

* Doctor, Lawyer Analyze Medical Ethics of Prostaglandin Abortion Research

Ivar K. Rossavik, M.D., Ph. D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Oklahoma, and Stan Twardy, J.D., LL.M., an Oklahoma City attorney specializing in medical law have written in the March 2 Daily Oklahoman an op/ed examining the medical ethics and medical (including side effects) issues involved in prostaglandin abortion research such as that conducted by Surgeon General-nominee Dr. Henry Foster. Contact the Daily Oklahoman at 405/475-3466.

* Anti-BBA Senators Sought Seven Times the Federal Spending of Pro-BBA Senators

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation has released an analysis of the spending patterns of Senators and compared them, finding that Senators presently opposed to the Balanced Budget Amendment sponsored legislation that would have increased federal spending more than seven times what pro-BBA Senators supported.

Scoop is published by The National Center for Public Policy Research to provide information about the activities of the conservative movement. Coverage of a meeting or statement in Scoop does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. _ 1995 The National Center for Public Policy Research.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.