This article orginally appeared in The Hill on August 16, 2016
The U.S. sugar lobby constantly reminds people that crony capitalism is alive and well in Washington, D.C., as they continue to protect their sweet deal of federal subsidies that come at the expense of American consumers and taxpayers. To make matters worse, the sugar lobby is promoting a plan (called “zero-for-zero”) to push all other countries to get rid of their sugar subsidies before we do anything about our own. If it sounds unreasonable, that is because it is. Not only is this so-called “zero-for-zero” proposal for sugar policy unreasonable, it is also highly unlikely that other nations will abandon their protectionist subsidies, especially when the country demanding this false reform has a sugar industry that is so highly subsidized. Clearly, the only real purpose of “zero-for-zero” is to give the U.S. sugar lobby an excuse for zero reform. As an organization committed to protecting taxpayers and holding government accountable, it is troubling that some members of Congress who bill themselves as conservatives are advocating this proposal on behalf of the sugar lobby. The fact is, to reform sugar subsidies, Congress needs to begin with our own subsidies. America should lead by example. The U.S. sugar program is in desperate need for reform. That is because there are few, if any, federal policies that mandate more government intrusion in the marketplace than the U.S. sugar program.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released results of a national phone survey along with a new analysis of twelve failing taxpayer-funded municipal broadband networks around the country. The phone survey showed that the vast majority of Americans are strongly opposed to government-owned internet networks. The new report titled, “THE DIRTY DOZEN: Examining the Failure of America’s Biggest & Most Infamous Taxpayer-Funded Broadband Networks” details 12 of the country’s failed Government-Owned Networks (GONs) and how taxpayers have been paying billions of dollars for the failures. Click here for poll results and here for the report.
EPA Adminstrator Gina McCarthy
This article appeared in on SouthCoast Today on July 24, 2016
The Environmental Protection Agency just rewrote history. Citing a "new-and-improved" methodology, the agency has revised its calculations of our country's total annual methane emissions for several previous years. Now, the official record shows emissions at distressingly high levels. Distressing, that is, if this revision were justified. But it's not. This new formula is driven by a political agenda, purposefully ignoring that methane levels are plummeting thanks largely to innovations in energy production.
The regulatory burdens that have been holding the economy back are a real problem, for businesses of all sizes. Another component of business that has been harmed by the increasing amount of regulations over the last several years is occupational licensing. Today the amount of jobs that require some form of occupational licensing has grown from five percent to twenty five percent. That kind of growth can be seen all over the country as millions of Americans are beginning to start small businesses, grow existing ones. The problem is the current laws for occupational licensing are costly both in terms of time and money. These laws are harming all Americans, especially women, young adults, and minorities. Right now there is legislation from Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) that would reform occupational licensing laws in Washington D.C. and the nation’s military bases. The bill is the Alternatives to Licensing that Lower Obstacles to Work (ALLOW) Act, and just last week Taxpayers Protection Alliance signed this letter with over 30 other groups, sent by Americans for Prosperity urging the Senate support the ALLOW Act. This bill should be the beginning of a new wave of reforms to current, and restrictive occupational licensing laws. The economy works better for all Americans when businesses are allowed to flourish without excessive regulations getting in the way of opportunity and growth.
Click 'read more' below to see the full letter
This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post on August 18, 2016
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just embarked up a year-long election to find a new Director-General to run the 8,000 person organisation. Arguably, the person who is eventually elected will not have an enviable job. WHO is mired in accusations of lack of transparency, corruption, and even stifling press freedom - in strict contravention to the UN Charter. Even its friends are scathing... “underlying WHO’s relationship with its member states is a lack of trust in the WHO Secretariat’s ability to deliver” laments Charles Clift, Senior Consulting Fellow at Chatham House. WHO matters to the world and, given that it receives 75% of its funding from the USA, the UK and the Bill Gates Foundation, we should all care that its functions properly. The specific accusations made against WHO are too numerous to list here, and I will outline only three. Firstly, there is proof of serious malpractice. The UN’s own Office of Internal Oversight recently conducted a damning audit of WHO stating that 2015 saw a 66% increase in the demands for investigation of wrongdoing. Incidents of reported fraud were up 20% over the previous period, and instances of fraud shot up 166% in 2015.
The Obama Administration has presided over the worst economic recovery in more than six decades, and the policies they have been implemented are directly responsible for that weak recovery. Over the last several years wages have been stagnant, regulations have been growing, and the government is continuing the terrible practice of cronyism that picks winners and losers harming the free market. These policies have to end if there will ever be a fast-paced recovery that sees better job growth and higher wages for working Americans. There is legislation in the House of Representatives sponsored by Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) that can fix some of the problems mentioned. The Financial CHOICE Act would help to halt cronyism and bring accountability to Washington by ending some of the worst practices that make bailouts and regulations a normal trend. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) recently signed a letter supporting the Financial CHOICE Act, sent by the Institute for Liberty urging Congress to adopt the bill.
Click 'read more' below to see the letter.
The Obama Administration has been one of the most aggressive regulatory administrations in history. In 2015, the annual cost of the regulatory regime hit a whopping $1.885 trillion, according to an analysis from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. President Obama and his administration have been responsible for issuing a record 600 new major regulations during his time in office so far, a record that has had an adverse effect on the economy. One of the more recent regulatory proposals that the administration, specifically the Treasury Department, has proposed is what is known as the “Debt-Equity Rule” or Section 385 of the Internal Revenue Service Code. The new rule was first made public in April of this year, and many taxpayer advocates as well as business groups and key players in the financial services sector have all expressed concerns about the potential impact of the new rule.
Growth of government continues to be a problem not just at the federal level but also in many states around the country. Some of the worst growth in government is usually paid for through excise taxes on products like soda, tobacco, and alcohol. These taxes are harmful to the middle class because they never raise the projected revenue. And, in the case of tobacco taxes, illicit activity increases when taxes are high. Proposition 56 (Prop 56), a $2 per pack cigarette tax increase in California, will be on the ballot and could be a fiscal and legal nightmare for the state. Proponents of Prop 56 claim the new tax will help public safety and raise revenues. In reality however, it is nothing more than a $1.4 billion tax increase meant to fund more government bureaucracy and provide a bailout to specific industries while subverting existing law in the state and neglecting the real problems that Californians face.
This article originally appeared in Independent Journal Review on August 2, 2016
At times, the government has an uncanny way of coming up with a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t make any sense, but it happens. When the federal government uses its power to micromanage a perceived problem, it hurts the very people it means to protect. The Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act (S.2777), put forth by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), purports to protect contact lens consumers from health problems associated with using lenses and not following accepted protocol when wearing them. The truth is that this legislation would have the opposite effect by limiting choice and increasing the cost of contact lenses.
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Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) recently released a report and survey results on government owned internet networks (GONs) showing the cost of these failed networks that taxpayers have been paying for, as well as attitudes towards the idea of government spending money on these vanity projects. The survey showed that a majority of respondents don’t want to go into debt for these boondoggles, and that the government can’t do a better job than the private sector of providing quality, affordable internet to consumers. Unfortunately, the trend of these GONs popping up in cities around the country is continuing and this week TPA sent a letter to the Decatur City Council in Illinois urging them against using taxpayer money to expand government broadband.
Click 'read more' below to the see the letter