The explosive growth of the Internet in recent years has transformed the lives of millions of people at home and work in ways that were unimaginable a generation ago. The benefits to society have been enormous. The proliferation of e-mail addresses, personalized Web pages, and e-commerce are now integral parts of our burgeoning “cyber-culture.” Always eager to crash the party, governments and their special-interest allies are looking for excuses to tax, regulate, censor, and otherwise spoil the fun.
Last fall's standoff over the budget between the Republican Congress and Democratic President generated a curious by-product: more money to reduce the national debt. Some analysts want to devote future surpluses to the same purpose, perhaps eventually paying off the entire $5.6 trillion national debt.
In my last column I discussed the bias toward excessive government caused by the dead-weight costs of taxation. Because these costs go unseen, while the benefits from government spending are readily apparent, government expands beyond reasonable limits.
Smoking has been one of the hot controversies of our time. Many people find tobacco smoke annoying, smelly, and just plain dirty and unpleasant. Some smokers themselves agree. ut today's smoking restrictions, not to mention the attack on smokers and extortion of tobacco companies, could not have been engineered simply on the grounds that tobacco smoke is unpleasant.
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April 16, 2040, 11:00 AMREGISTER