April 16, 2018
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As America approaches Tax Day 2018, it’s tempting to declare victory in the battle for tax reform. In December of 2017, after all, Congress passed the most significant reform of the American tax system in three decades. In addition to sizeable across-the-board reductions in individual tax rates, tax cuts for businesses large and small were enshrined into law. But unfortunately, taxes come in more than one form. Taxpayers and consumers found this out the hard way during the first few months in 2018 when the Trump Administration announced an array of new trade tariffs on products produced in foreign countries.
April 13, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams applauded President Trump’s Task Force on the United States Postal Service (USPS). In the announcement, the President stated that the Postal Service’s operations and finances will be evaluated, including, but not limited to: “The expansion and pricing of the package delivery and USPS’s role in competitive markets,” and “The decline in mail volume and its implications for USPS’s self-financing and monopoly over letter delivery and mailboxes.” » Read More
April 11, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams welcomed the news that the House Ways and Means Committee will be moving forward with the second wave of tax reform. In the aftermath of historic tax cuts, the Committee will push for legislation improving the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas), and Ranking Member John Lewis (D-Ga.) released the package on April 10. » Read More
April 10, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on April 7, 2018
In this booming economy, Americans looking for work in a variety of industries have seen prospects improve and wages increase. To some pundits and lawmakers, however, certain sectors are far more important than others and should be bolstered even at the cost of other jobs. In response to research that finds multiple jobs lost for every “green” job created, studies claiming economic benefits from renewable subsidies receive quite a bit of media attention. In light of competing claims, what are consumers and taxpayers to make of the government-supported renewables sector? » Read More
April 9, 2018
This article originally appeared in RealClearScience on April 3, 2018
During the federal budgeting process, it’s all too easy for taxpayer dollars to be sucked into a black hole of wasteful space spending. After signaling intent to cut back on America’s space flight and exploration programs and transition responsibilities to the private sector, President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill that increased funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) by more than $1 billion. The fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding level, set at $20.7 billion, more than a billion-dollar increase than FY 2017. And disappointingly, appropriators successfully gave the agency $1.6 billion more than they requested. » Read More
April 5, 2018
This article originally appeared in The American Conservative on April 5, 2018
The United States Postal Service is deep in the red, with a dwindling list of options available to stop the bleeding. USPS officials and Congress have continually neglected to employ sound financial management, which has resulted in $15 billion in debt and more than $100 billion in unfunded liabilities for the Postal Service. Despite inept leadership, anyone bringing attention to these issues is bound to be repeatedly attacked as a corporate shill trying to harm the USPS. » Read More
April 4, 2018
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This article originally appeared in Economics21 on April 3, 2018
When awarding multi-billion dollar contracts, Uncle Sam expects taxpayers to trust the competitive bidding process. Unfortunately, increasingly fewer contracts are awarded by competitive bid, raising costs for taxpayers. Consider the Pentagon, where the share of contract spending awarded competitively has declined over the past decade, driven by no-bid deals in Human Resources and Special Operations Command. In fiscal year 2017, more than half of Defense Department procurement spending — totaling more than $100 billion — was on noncompetitive contracts. While the public interest can at times merit no-bid contracting, its increasing share is cause for concern. In an environment devoid of transparency and competition, quality suffers and prices rise.
April 3, 2018
This article originally appeared in Economics21 on March 29, 2018
Americans face a daily barrage of news of the latest casualties in the deadly scourge of opioid addiction. The estimated 115 opioid overdose deaths that happen in the United States every day cut across demographic and class lines, affecting communities across the country. More than two million Americans are caught in the grips of a dependency on prescription painkillers and street pills, with little sign of decline in most states. » Read More
March 29, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on March 29, 2018
With Easter right around the corner, customers are lining up for Peeps, jelly beans and supersized chocolate bunnies. Many people will not realize, however, that they’re paying a secret tax for these products due to archaic sugar policies rigged against consumers. A consortium of domestic producers use quotas and byzantine pricing systems to their advantage, ensuring grossly overpriced products for all Americans. » Read More
March 27, 2018
American consumers and taxpayers are spending more on healthcare than they ever have been before. And, if nothing changes, costs will continue to eat into earnings and tax bills. Spending on healthcare is projected to increase by more than five percent every year until 2026, according to the federal government. Premiums and out-of-pocket spending will rise faster than inflation, wages, and economic growth. Rising premiums will inevitably cut into wages, as employers respond to increasing rates by garnishing paychecks. Taxpayers across the country will also pay dearly for the continued rise in costs, as 47 percent of all health care expenses will be borne by Uncle Sam by 2026. » Read More
March 27, 2018
This article originally appeared in RealClearPolicy on March 21, 2018
On March 18, in Tempe, Arizona, one of Uber’s self-driving cars struck and killed a pedestrian. In response, the company announced it was suspending all testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads pending an investigation. Toyota has followed suit. Motorists, pedestrians, and taxpayers footing the bill for infrastructure cannot afford a “full-speed-ahead” approach to autonomous vehicles that ignores safety evidence. » Read More
March 26, 2018
This article originally appeared in Economics21 on March 20, 2018
From bloated overhead to cost overruns, the bar for excellence is set extraordinarily low in Washington, D.C. As can be seen from deliberations over the $1.2 trillion omnibus bill, lawmakers from both parties have little discipline in reining in spending. Traditional cost estimates of federal undertakings, however, often fail to take into account the woeful state of cybersecurity. Compounding this problem is the scourge of no-bid contracts and their propensity to bilk taxpayers and leave federal agencies vulnerable. » Read More
March 23, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the President signs the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Defense Appropriations Act conference report, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has uncovered 642 earmarks totaling $29.8 billion (click here to see the full list) that were not requested by the Pentagon and inserted by members of Congress. That is a 58 percent increase in the 406 projects requested in FY 2017 and a 105 percent increase in total dollars from FY 2017.
Taxpayers Protection Alliance Supports Federal Communications Commission Vote to Rollback Onerous RegulationsGrace Morgan on
March 22, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to remove onerous regulations holding back the future deployment of 5G wireless technology.
March 21, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed congressional leaders in the House and Senate for offering a $1.3 trillion Omnibus spending bill, setting the stage for a trillion-dollar deficit this year. TPA President David Williams sounded off on the details of the legislation released this evening.
March 20, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on March 19, 2018
There is no telling how many more “G”s will there be. Amid repeated upgrades to broadband, technology experts and pundits have asked time and time again whether technological improvements will continue to inch along. Whether 5G deployment (the latest and greatest “G”) is a walk in the park or a protracted nightmare depends largely on federal policy-making, with pivotal players at the Federal Communications Commission and Congress holding all the cards.
March 19, 2018
This article originally appeared in Economics21 on March 7, 2018
To listen to some environmental advocates, electric vehicles (EVs) are a panacea for America’s outdated, “dirty” transportation sector. After a decade of sluggish uptake by U.S. customers, a variety of organizations and businesses are making bold predictions about the future of EVs. Edison Electric Institute projects that U.S. EV penetration will reach 7 percent by 2025 and grow by leaps and bounds thereafter. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report released last year finds that electric vehicles will comprise 15 percent of American cars by 2035. » Read More
March 16, 2018
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This article originally appeared in The American Conservative on March 14, 2018
As the recent spending debate in Congress made clear, the Pentagon isn’t exactly starved for cash. The latest budget agreement, reached by lawmakers back in February, blew the lid off of Budget Control Act spending caps, increasing funds to the Pentagon by 15 percent over the next two years. Of the requested $686 billion for the Department of Defense, $194 billion is slated for the Department of the Navy. In fact, the 2019 Navy budget is an astounding 18 percent higher than the 2017 levels, despite diminishing conflicts around the globe. Why a peacetime Navy demands a budget fit for the Cold War and Iraq War is a mystery. Even reliable defense hawks have begun questioning Navy spending in recent years.
March 14, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) praised President Trump for announcing his intention to appoint Larry Kudlow as the new head of the White House National Economic Council. TPA President David Williams commended the decision, stating that, “Larry Kudlow has long championed free enterprise and has consistently supported spending reform to shield taxpayers from government waste. Kudlow has tirelessly argued through his print, radio, and television commentary over the years that government intervention in the economy through high taxation and tariffs harms customers and taxpayers.”
March 14, 2018
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Taxpayers deserve accountability in the government programs they fund. Despite the good intentions of lawmakers creating “simple, effective” programs, government schemes often become befuddling boondoggles free of any oversight. In the realm of health-care policy, the 340B program is perhaps the best example of these noble intentions gone awry. Program goals to provide low-income patients with affordable medications have been compromised by burgeoning costs, mission creep, and little reporting by program participants. Fortunately, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently introduced legislation that provides greater accountability in the rapidly expanding 340B drug discount program. Another encouraging sign of progress is that the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is holding a hearing this week on the drug discount program.