Well, we’ve all been expecting some good news, but not this good. The United States economy added an astounding 2.5 million jobs in May, and the country’s unemployment rate fell from 14.7 percent (in April) to 13.3 percent. This latter figure certainly isn’t ideal, and businesses continue to struggle mightily to respond to the lasting impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders. But to say expectations were beaten is the understatement of the millennium. On the eve of these numbers being released, CNBC reported that, “the unemployment rate is expected to have hit nearly 20%, with 20.5 million jobs lost in April and millions more expected in May data.”
In a May segment, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver honed in on the United States Postal Service (USPS). While everyone can agree that America’s mail carrier is vital to our nation, a raft of misinformation continues to derail reform efforts. And with nearly $80 billion in losses from fiscal years 2007 through 2019, reform is sorely needed to get the USPS back on track and into the black. John Oliver is just the latest in a long line of celebrities to get key facts wrong regarding the financial troubles of the government agency. Below, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance sets the record straight:
As dozens of cities burn and countless stores are looted in response to the death of George Floyd, Americans across the country are trying to make sense of the festering problems that have led to this destruction. While police encounters going south are nothing new, the recent protests and violence speak to a need to understand – and prevent – hostile interactions between civilians and law enforcement officers. In the aftermath of terrible previous incidents such as Eric Garner’s 2014 death and Freddie Gray’s 2015 death, cities expedited body camera purchases and hoped that greater documentation would cause these issues to dissipate. But with the George Floyd case, all the cameras and witnesses in the world were not enough to stop this senseless killing. Cities and municipalities clearly need to try something else. Below, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance provides a few suggestions on how to try and keep the peace and help everyone feel safer in their own communities.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai has been a Profile in Courage during this pandemic, helping millions of Americans stay connected as the economy teetered on the brink of collapse. But his courageousness and service to the American people began when Corona was just a beer and not a deadly virus. In 2017, Chairman Pai led the charge to unshackle the internet from the chains of outdated, onerous Title II regulations. Pai stood firm against an onslaught of sustained attacks from vested special interest groups opposed to these changes, and even had to deal with protestors repeatedly stalking and threatening him and his family. But his steadfast commitment to ending burdensome regulations set the stage for entrepreneurs and private providers to seamlessly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. From loosening the regulatory restrictions on the digital domain to aggressively moving toward a 5G future by selling and repurposing wireless spectrum, Chairman Pai has made it possible for people to work from home and remain well fed and entertained. The FCC is now poised to aggressively close the digital divide while also protecting taxpayers.
There’s no shortage of quarantine — and mask — fatigue across the country. After two months of stay-at-home orders, folks are naturally weary of health and distancing rules, regardless of the rule makers. Recent media reports have focused on consumers angrily reacting to companies requiring face masks and sanctioning shoppers who fail to comply. In one viral video, a Costco consumer got his shopping cart taken away from him when he refused to wear a mask.
Over the past 40 years, Bill Gates has worn many different hats. He’s the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation and backer of countless philanthropic pursuits. Gates’ business acumen and unrivaled command of computer science have made him one of the world’s wealthiest people and he’s used that money to help out millions of people across the globe. Along the way he’s encountered plenty of challenges, including facing the wrath of Washington, D.C. regulators and bureaucrats when Microsoft was the target of antitrust action under former President Bill Clinton.
Every day, the federal debt grows to new heights previously thought unimaginable. In 2008, fiscal hawks such as the late, great Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) were apoplectic that the national debt was at $10 trillion. Just 12 short years later, taxpayers are being asked to foot an astounding $25 trillion bill for federal debt. And the spending palooza shows no signs of letting up as lawmakers and the Pentagon continue to double down on the unnecessary and bank-breaking F-35 program. Taxpayers are having enough trouble coping with their own bills; the last thing households need right now is to continue funding another costly, ineffective federal project. It is time to end the F-35 program and free the Pentagon to spend defense dollars more prudently.
Wireless spectrum is an important taxpayer asset and serves a pivotal role in closing the digital divide without spending taxpayer money. In particular, the L-Band spectrum will enable the deployment of a low-power terrestrial network for 5G and the Internet of Things. But over the past several weeks, there has been no shortage of debate over the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) recent unanimous (read: bipartisan) approval order for Ligado’s application to modify its spectrum license for 5G deployment. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been following the case closely because of the potential to save taxpayer dollars and encourage private innovation and investment to bridge the digital divide.
Picture credit: AP Last week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) highlighted Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) as a Profile in Courage for cautiously reopening his state against strong political headwinds. From the other side of the political aisle (and country), Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has had to deal with plenty of political opposition in his deeply blue state, including a state legislature intent on pushing wasteful spending and tax increases at the worst possible time. And, for putting up with Maryland’s shenanigans (while still managing a ~70 percent approval rating), Gov. Hogan is truly a Profile in Courage.
It took a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic to catapult the funding problems of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to national attention. And now, there will be a new postmaster general left to solve them. North Carolina businessman Louis DeJoy , who served as the chief executive of XPO Logistics’ supply chain business in the Americas, has been chosen to lead the beleaguered agency starting June 15. DeJoy’s ample supply chain experience and longstanding relationship with the USPS will serve him well, but the new leader must counter a slew of misinformation about the beleaguered agency’s problems and how to fix them. The reality is that the USPS’ $140 billion debt problem has been fueled by systematic mismanagement and flawed pricing policies. Backers of the status-quo continue to look past these problems, and scapegoat a (mostly) imaginary conspiracy to run the agency into the ground and sell it off to the highest bidder. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is here to set the record straight.