At some point, the U.S. will go into a doom loop: to pay for interest on the debt, the government will have to issue more debt; this will fuel inflation, and interest rates are likely to rise; this will force interest payments even higher.
The 1934 Securities Exchange Act allows the SEC to mandate disclosures that are “necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors.” But even the Obama SEC in 2016 conceded that “a specific congressional mandate” would be necessary before adopting a climate disclosure rule. How does it benefit the public and investors to require, say, Walmart to calculate its greenhouse-gas emissions? The mandate will merely increase business costs, which will be passed on to customers.
There is reason to cheer the Fifth Circuit decision (“A Rebuke to Biden-Tech Censorship,” Review & Outlook, Sept. 12), but like many silver linings, it may carry a storm cloud. A bedrock principle of constitutional law is that the First Amendment binds only state actors. This decision turned in part on the court’s conclusion that the private companies’ censorship was “significantly encouraged” by the government—a rationale that arguably blurs the distinction between the state and private actors. It could be cited in the future to sweep within the prohibitions of the First Amendment actions of private parties that those concerned about individual liberty would prefer to see unregulated.
Kenneth A. Margolis
During COVID, I got so many letters from anonymous medical students like this. They disagreed with the unscientific, unjustified, and unethical policies at their university. Yet, they were not comfortable speaking out.
Universities should be ashamed 4 not fostering debate