December 5, 2018

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Student Loans, Coal Cronyism, and Speech-Silencing Lobbyists

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring the work of the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. For more information on how the program can help launch your career in writing, see here. Applications for the spring are now open until December 18!

The Right Way to Cut College Costs by Brad Polumbo (Summer 2018) in National Review
Total student debt hit an astronomical $1.48 trillion this year. The average graduate now leaves school with $40,000 in loans hanging over his head. So is it really a surprise that Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) won over millions of young people in 2016? After all, he campaigned on student-loan bailouts and “free college.” Many students desperate for an answer now support this agenda — in the hope of escaping crushing amounts in debt…

Why the Trump Administration Should Stop Propping Up Coal by Josh T. Smith (Summer 2015) in The Fiscal Times
On October 25, President Trump advanced Neil Chatterjee as the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) after Kevin McIntyre, the current chairman, stepped down due to health issues. Chatterjee served as FERC’s acting chairman before McIntyre was named and has extensive experience in energy issues, but this change comes only 10 days after news emerged that the president’s plans to bail out struggling coal and nuclear plants has moved to the backburner…

America Sanctioned the Saudis for Khashoggi’s Death. Washington Can Afford to Do More by Jerrod Laber (Fall 2017) in The National Interest
The Treasury Department announced on November 15 that sanctions were applied against seventeen individuals from Saudi Arabia due to their involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was killed last month at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The Saudi government attempted to cover up his death, insisting it was simply a fistfight gone horribly awry. But the Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was in on the whole thing…

Missouri Lobbyists Don’t Want Citizens Talking to Legislators, US Court of Appeals Agrees by Philip Wegmann (Spring 2016) in The Washington Examiner
It turns out that the Constitution is bad for the lobbying business. Ron Calzone was exercising his right to petition the government when he ran afoul of the Missouri Society of Government Consultants, the professional association of lobbyists who serve special interests in the hallways of the state legislature…