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Watchdog Podcasts. Taking you behind the headlines and inside the stories. We examine the news that matters to you - from the school board to the state Capitol and Washington DC - because we know that someone has to keep an eye on how government is spending your money. Education, health care, budgets and more; our reporters have the inside story that you need to know - and a free market perspective that you won't find anywhere else.
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Now displaying: August, 2015
Aug 28, 2015

Donald Trump has made immigration the popular - and populist - issue in the Republican presidential primary race, and other Republicans are following his lead.

On this edition of the Watchdog Podcast, hosts Eric Boehm and Will Swaim take a look at some recent comments made by Republican governors about one key aspect of the immigration debate: what to do about sanctuary cities.

Sanctuary cities generally include the largest cities in America, as you'd expect -- LA, New York, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, as well as a couple of hundred smaller towns and cities.  They typically bar local employees (including law enforcement) from cooperating with federal officials to deport illegal immigrants.

They boomed in the 1980s as wars in Central America sent tens of thousands into the U.S. NAFTA produced a second boom, this time many Mexicans, in the 1990s. And Mexico's drug war generated yet another boom in migration into the 2000s.

But after an illegal immigrant killed a young woman in San Francisco earlier this year, there have been calls from Republicans for a federal crackdown against these cities that are seemingly ignoring federal immigration laws.

Some Republican presidential candidates say they would cut-off federal funding from sanctuary cities, while others say they would use federal law enforcement to arrest local officials for aiding and abetting illegal immigrants.

But is the use of federal power the best way to solve this problem?

Also on this week's show: Andy Johnson, a Wyoming rancher, is taking the Environmental Protection Agency to federal court, asking a judge to stop the agency from fining him more than $16 million because he built a small pond on his property.

Jonathan Wood, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, joins us to talk about the EPA's overreach and why his organization is helping Johnson take on the federal government.

Aug 21, 2015

In the aftermath of the EPA-caused catastrophe in Colorado, the Environmental Protection Agency's top officials said they took "full responsibility" for the spill.

On this edition of the the Watchdog Podcast, hosts Eric Boehm and Steve Greenhut ask an obvious question: what does that mean?

When private sector companies mess up and harm the environment, the government swoops in to issue fines and mandate apologies. But when the government messes up, who is being held to account? In this case, it seems like no one.

Then, Moriah Costa sits down with Neal McCluskey, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, to discuss the results of a new poll that shows where Americans stand on major issues in public education and school choice.

Our Big Dog interview of the week is with Jason Hart, who takes a look at the spiraling debt at the U.S. Postal Service and what can be done about it. Do we even need the USPS in a world where Amazon will soon be making deliveries by drone?

All that, plus a look at Gov. Chris Christie's credit card bills and our Nanny State of the Week on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.

Aug 14, 2015

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog Radio

On this edition of the Watchdog Podcast, Eric Boehm and Steve Greenhut play a little game called "Who Said It?" featuring comments from Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont.

You might think the two presidential candidates are complete opposites, but can you tell them apart based on their positions on illegal immigration or single-payer health care?

Then, Hilary Clinton wants to talk about student loan debt. But is she being serious or is she just pandering to millenials who are saddled with more than $1 trillion in debt for their degrees. Moriah Costa joins the program to explain why colleges are salivating at the idea of more federal aid for students - which doesn't really help students, of course, but only pads the schools' bottom lines.

All that, plus a look at the top Watchdog stories in our Picks of the Liter and our Nanny State of the Week, on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.

Aug 7, 2015

The first Republican primary debate is in the books — or, perhaps, we should call it the first episode of the Republican presidential reality show?

Will Swaim and Eric Boehm try to make some sense of Thursday's debate on this week's edition of the Watchdog Podcast. Did Trump show that he deserves to be the frontrunner?  Can any of these candidates really deliver on the promise of smaller government and controlled spending in Washington?

Later, Boehm sits down with Maurice McTigue of the Mercatus Center to discuss a major bit of news that was lost in the media's frothing over the presidential debate: the debt crisis in Puerto Rico.

The American territory defaulted on a debt payment this week, but McTigue explains that the situation has been brewing for a long time — the result of poor choices made by politicians more interested in getting elected than actually dealing with the island's unsustainable levels of debt (sound familiar?)

Bankruptcy could be part of the solution for Puerto Rico, but it's not allowed to pursue bankruptcy unless Congress allows it to do so. McTigue says lawmakers in Washington should get on that, but bankruptcy won't solve anything unless politicians in Puerto Rico are committed to cutting red tape and making the island more attractive to business.

In other news this week: Pennsylvania's top prosecutor is now a defendant, and environmentalists are rebelling against green energy mandates in Vermont.

All that, plus our Nanny State of the Week, on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.