Obamacare continues to cause problems for working families and the economy, as premiums continue to rise and consumers continue to find themselves with decreasing options. It is a law that was sold on a bill of goods that has turned out to be the opposite in every way, and things are likely to get worse with more rate increases on the horizon. Enrollment numbers are getting worse and it seems like each month we see another state-based exchange go under. There are so many problems with Obamacare that it is surprising to think it is still standing. One of the components of the President’s health care law is what is known as the Risk Corridor program. The Risk Corridor Program allows insurance companies to underwrite risky policies wouldn’t be covered otherwise, in turn making taxpayers responsible for risky policies. Due to massive losses, insurance companies want a bailout using the Risk Corridor program and while the law prohibits the use of money appropriated for the Fiscal Year 2016 to pay for the Risk Corridor program, that hasn’t stopped the Obama Administration from looking for alternative ways to get taxpayer money. This week, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) joined a coalition effort of more than 50 groups led by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce sending this letter urging Congress to protect taxpayers against any insurance company bailout through the Obamacare Risk Corridor program.
Click 'read more' below to see the full letter
The concerns over New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) $8 billion bailout of nuclear power plants in upstate New York grow as more stakeholders begin to weigh in on the problems that the plan would cause to the state. That criticism has even extended to include members on both sides of the political aisle in the state capital. The plan requires half of New York State’s energy to come from carbon-neutral (renewable) sources by 2030. Renewables currently make up only 23 percent of the Empire State’s energy supply, making the goal of achieving the 50 percent threshold essentially impossible without some kind of government intervention. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been a vocal critic of Governor Cuomo’s plan, specifically the cost of the plan to taxpayers and electricity ratepayers and the subversive way the plan was approved. A new report from the New York-based Empire Center for Public Policy, Green Overload: New York State’s Ratepayer-Zapping Renewable Energy Mandate, reinforces the problems that critics of Gov. Cuomo’s proposal have been warning about. The report details the cost implications for the plan, as well as other issues that TPA and others have been citing when criticizing the plan.
Congress has recessed until after the November elections, but unfortunately federal agencies and the Obama Administration are still making sure to promulgate new rules and regulations aimed at to increasing the authority and scope of the executive branch. Taxpayers continue to pay the price from damaging regulations coming from agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Treasury Department. Recently, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) joined a coalition effort hoping to stop the “Defense to Repayment Regulations” rule coming from United States Department of Education (US ED). This new rule proclaims to “protect students,” but all it will do is cost taxpayers, as it is a bailout for student loans. The rule could cost anywhere from $2 billion to $43 billion according to the US ED’s own analysis and that is why TPA continues to oppose the rule and call for action to stop it. This week the coalition, led by American Commitment, sent a new coalition letter to Howard Shelanski, the Administrator at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) urging the agency to require a new analysis of the rule and its cost before moving forward.
Click 'read more' below to see the full letter
This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on September 21, 2016
In recent weeks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tirelessly defended his Clean Energy Standard plan that forces taxpayers and electric customers to bail out the state’s failing nuclear energy industry. The governor should save his breath. The controversial scheme, which Cuomo and state regulators approved in August without the consent of state lawmakers, has been hailed as a model for other states to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But critics rightly view the Clean Energy Standard (CES) a raw deal for electric ratepayers and taxpayers that amounts to little more than an indefensible corporate welfare racket.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.)
When the political class sets lofty, but unrealistic goals it’s time to hold onto your wallet. That’s sound advice for New York energy consumers who must now foot the bill for a renewable energy scheme that will cost $1 billion in it’s first two years alone and go into effect beginning in April 2017. That’s when all of the state’s utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to cover the cost of carbon-free emissions from nuclear power plants by purchasing Zero-Emission Credits also known as ZECs.
While Congress is home for their annual summer recess, federal agencies and the Obama Administration continue their output of new rules and regulations meant to give the executive branch greater authority, putting taxpayers at risk. The latest rule is the “Defense to Repayment Regulations” rule and comes from United States Department of Education (US ED). The new rule is said to protect students, but in reality it will cost taxpayers and is merely a bailout for student loans. The rule would “prohibit pre-dispute arbitration agreements and class action waivers and create a stampede to file claims for loan forgiveness based on a newly broadened, vague standard.” This is unacceptable and TPA believes Congress should be the authority on any commitment of taxpayer dollars for repayment of student loans. This new rule would cost anywhere from $2 billion to $43 billion according to the US ED’s own analysis, rule-making of that scale must not be done through agency declaration. Keeping that in mind, TPA joined a coalition led by American Commitment signing this letter sent to US Ed Secretary John King opposing the rule and calling on Congress to make any decision regarding student repayment.
You can read the full letter below:
This article originally appeared in Townhall.com
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on April 15th to address yet another failure of Obamacare: the bailing out of insurance companies through the reinsurance program. Created to financially protect insurers during the early years of the implementation of the legislation, the Transitional Reinsurance Program established by the Affordable Care Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to deposit a certain portion of fees, $5 billion to be exact. The fee was to be collected by the Treasury for deficit reduction, but for the past two years, much of that has been illegally paid out to health insurers instead. It’s no surprise that Obamacare has been riddled with setbacks and broken promises. When the law was enacted, the President assured Americans that patients would come first and health insurers would be held accountable for providing affordable coverage, but the reality is quite the opposite. Patients don’t come first when it comes to Obamacare, insurance companies do.
This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on September 22, 2015
As if Solyndra’s monumental failure was not enough of a blow to taxpayers, a new report from the Department of Energy inspector general four years in the making finds the infamous solar company deliberately deceived Energy to secure millions of dollars from the federal government (read: taxpayers). What’s more, it appears the Obama administration was at the helm of the scandal. There’s no surprise that the administration refuses to see the truth about solar power considering that the vice president pledged an additional $102 million grant program for companies, universities and research laboratories to further expand solar power use. It is clear that the administration is ignoring all warning signs and doing whatever it can to shovel more tax money to an unproven and financially risky power source. Solyndra quickly became synonymous with wasteful spending and government absurdity after it received $535 million from taxpayers then went bankrupt. And, when news broke in 2011 that Solyndra was laying off 1,100 employees, just two years after receiving the loan guarantees, much of the American public was outraged.
In July 2008, as the Financial Crisis was reaching a peak point, the United States Government began to consider a federal takeover of Fannie Mae should the housing market further deteriorate. In September of 2008, that’s exactly what happened and in "one of the most sweeping government interventions in private financial markets in decades," the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) would be placed into conservatorship. Shortly after, the mortgage giant received a taxpayer-funded bailout to the tune of $116 billion. With that in mind, TPA joined National Taxpayers Union, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 60 Plus Association, Campaign for Liberty, Campaign to Free America, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, ConservativeHQ.com, Council for Citizens against Government Waste, Less Government, R Street Institute, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Tea Party Nation, and Able Americans signing this coalition letter urging the passage of H.R. 1673, the Enterprise Secondary Reserve Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn). This legislation would would prevent another taxpayer bailout of Fannie/Freddie.
Click 'read more' below to read the full letter
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Every Tax Day is a painful reminder of how all levels of government waste taxpayer dollars. News coverage of an April 15th press event with new General Motors CEO Mary Barra (read here and watch here) is a harsh reminder of the $10 billion taxpayers lost in the federal government bailout of “Government Motors.” And now, the ongoing troubles with their safety recall of 1.6 millions vehicles and the lack of answers made available at a series of Congressional hearings only add insult to injury. There was much debate when the government bailed out GM back in 2009 and taxpayers were promised a return on the nearly $50 billion investment. However, in late December 2013 the U.S. Treasury Department announced it had sold back its remaining shares of GM stock - at a loss of $10 billion. As reported by USA Today, the now-departed CEO Dan Akerson said at the time that he did not think the automaker should repay the $10 billion. So $10 billion later, taxpayers also started the New Year to news that GM was recalling 1.6 million vehicles due to a safety issue that is connected to 13 deaths and another 31 injuries. We then learn that the company knew about the safety default and sat on it for nearly a decade.