February 7, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed congressional leaders for agreeing to lift budget caps by $300 billion over the next two years. Politico reported that, “Congressional leaders have clinched a two-year deal to lift strict budget caps on defense and domestic spending, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday afternoon. The deal is expected to increase defense and domestic spending by roughly $300 billion over two years, according to administration and congressional sources.”
» Read More
February 7, 2018
» Read More
Today, TPA joined together with 22 free market groups led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) to send a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to stop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule against short-term “payday” loans. The rule also deprives citizens and lawmakers in every state from deciding for themselves how to regulate small dollar loans and fails to take into consideration the impact the rule will have on small businesses, the letter explains. Time is running out for Congress to disapprove the rule using the Congressional Review Act, with an estimated deadline of March 5. The letter asks Congress to vote now on House Joint Resolution 122, introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and co-sponsored by Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Tom Graves (R-GA).
February 5, 2018
» Read More
This article originally appeared in Wired on February 5, 2018
When it comes to space policy, reliving the glory days too often means pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into black holes. Preliminary budget plans suggest that the Trump Administration will provide funding for Space Policy Directive 1, which tasks NASA with getting humans back to the moon for the first time in over 45 years. NASA is already testing the feasibility of using the Orion space capsule to get humans to and from alien worlds. President Trump’s directive, hatched from a unanimous recommendation from the National Space Council in June, has the agency eager to prove that it can once again taxi humans into space.
February 2, 2018
» Read More
This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on February 1, 2018
When Super Bowl LII takes place in the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday, it will occur in the house that taxpayers built. In an ever-growing race to offer more and more subsidies to owners of professional sports franchises – with the National Football League being the king – Minnesota taxpayers forked over nearly $500 million of the $1.1 billion cost to build the replacement for the Metrodome. The amount of write-offs that are handed out to such teams are so outlandish that Minnesota has been eclipsed by three other NFL teams.
January 31, 2018
This article originally appeared on Economics21 on January 26, 2018
The Trump Administration once again has set its sights on China, signaling that tariffs alone won’t be enough to protect America. Even after levying onerous tariffs against Chinese-made solar panels, President Trump hopes to apply additional pressure to prevent Chinese companies from copying Americans’ work with impunity. An administration investigation in the works will likely corroborate reports that the Chinese government and state enterprises engage in cyber-theft against US businesses, and nudge American companies to give up their intellectual property (IP) in exchange for access to local markets. President Trump has threatened to slap an unspecified “large fine” in response to forthcoming recommendations by the United States Trade Representative. » Read More
January 30, 2018
» Read More
Sunday nights are prime time for television, not for breaking news about nationalizing wireless infrastructure. On the evening of January 28, Axios reported that the Trump Administration is considering the national build-out of a 5G mobile network instead of relying on private deployment. As to be expected, there was plenty of immediate and vocal opposition to the idea of the government (yes, that government) being in charge of something as vital as fifth generation broadband technology. Even when the federal government tries to take an indirect role in broadband deployment, waste piles up and results are meager. Chief amongst current public-sector efforts is the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Universal Service Fund (USF), which will funnel $2 billion through the Connect America Fund over the next decade to subsidize the activities of rural internet service providers (ISP)s. The USF has already spent more than $80 billion over the past twenty years, but studies show that the subsidies drive administrative bloat (i.e. personnel and governmental relations costs).
January 29, 2018
» Read More
This article originally appeared the Washington Examiner on January 29, 2018
Faced with budget shortfalls and a decreasing ability to raise revenue, state and local lawmakers are ever eager to divert “savings” to their favorite pet projects. But during cold and snowy snaps, officials have long realized that massive quantities of road salt can cut down on cleanup and emergency response costs. This cheap solution, however, comes with quite a few additional problems. Road salt is increasingly being recognized as a detriment to human health, the environment, and infrastructure, as reports from federal and state agencies shed light on the mineral’s unintended consequences. Absent long-overdue reforms, local, state, and federal incentives undergirding the salting system will continue to cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
January 25, 2018
This article originally appeared in The American Spectator on January 23, 2018. On January 25, 2018, TPA President David Williams will appear before the FDA to encourage them to embrace innovation with smoking cessation and other products. Image credit: http://vaping360.com/
Smoking is expensive for consumers and taxpayers, with health-care costs associated with smoking rising to nearly $170 billion per year. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the opportunity to embrace an innovative technology that will help smokers transition away from more harmful tobacco products while also aiding the continued prosperity of tobacco farmers. The FDA will continue its evaluation of the new technology with hearings on Jan. 24-25 examining the issue of heat-not-burn products. These products contain tobacco, but don’t burn them. Instead, they heat the tobacco to a high-enough temperature that they are able to provide smokers that nicotine high with a much lower level of harmful chemicals when compared to normal cigarettes. » Read More
January 23, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the United States Trade Representative’s decision to impose unnecessary tariffs on imported large residential washing machines and imported solar cells and modules. TPA President David Williams stated that, “this questionable decision to levy new taxes on the middle class and job creators will establish an awful precedent and harm other industries.” » Read More
January 22, 2018
» Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) criticized Congress for shutting down the government by failing to pass spending bills on time. The resulting federal shutdown is entering its third day, with no resolution in sight. TPA President David Williams criticized the current impasse, noting that, “short-term financing resolutions makes for short-sighted maneuvering by members of Congress. Lawmakers should be held accountable for putting unrelated demands in funding bills without allowing enough time for debate and compromise."
January 18, 2018
» Read More
This article originally appeared in The American Conservative on January 15, 2018
Solutions to Congress’s unprecedented partisan gridlock are a dime a dozen these days. Recently, pundits have lined up to defend the idea, touted by the president and congressional leadership, of resurrecting earmarks as a way to foster legislative compromise. Prominent blogger and Bloomberg View columnist Tyler Cowen provides an interesting conservatarian take on why the earmark ban has harmed the functioning of government and the advancement of free-market policy.
January 17, 2018
This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on January 17, 2018
With tax reform in the rearview mirror, policymakers and voters are sizing up the next big policy battles. Chief among voter concerns is the unraveling healthcare system, which regularly sees double-digit premium increases and questionable results for taxpayer funding. Americans understand that failing to reform the health-care system via the rollback of Obamacare will continue to strain the system and result in lower-quality care at a high cost. » Read More
January 16, 2018
This article originally appeared in The Federalist on January 8, 2018
To listen to a growing, ever-more-vocal crowd, driverless cars are in America’s very near future. Commentators have taken the media to task for giving short shrift to the new technology, with some going as far as to declare 2017 “the year of the driverless car” (Or was that 2016? 2015?). Ars Technica senior reporter Timothy Lee is confident that “driverless car adoption will only accelerate in 2018,” pointing to tests in Phoenix thanks to “permissive” regulations.» Read More
January 12, 2018
This article appeared in the Washington Examiner on January 12, 2018.
To citizens across the country, hopes of “draining the swamp” were fulfilled with the passage of comprehensive tax reform at the end of last year. With one step forward, however, the administration and Congress may decide to take two steps back. Earlier this week, the president and congressional leaders announced their willingness to bring back the destructive process of earmarking in an attempt to smooth out disastrous budget negotiations. In a rush to ditch continuing resolutions in favor of an actual budget, key leaders would be making a deal with the devil in bringing back earmarks. While President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are simply trying to jump-start the budget process in good faith, allowing earmarks would once again consign taxpayer dollars to a black hole of aimless funding and failed expectations.» Read More
Taxpayers Protection Alliance Releases National Survey: Republicans View Revoking IPAB as Critical Step Toward Repealing ObamacareGrace Morgan on
January 10, 2018
» Read More
Despite widespread disagreement over the best way to reform the American health care system, a new poll commissioned by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) found a clear consensus among Republican voters for repealing the Affordable Care Act (known as “Obamacare”) and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) provision of that law. “With last year’s repeal of the individual mandate, Republicans in Congress have the momentum to further undo the damage Obamacare has inflicted on the healthcare system,” said TPA President David Williams. “Next on the list should be repealing IPAB, one of the worst parts of Obamacare. IPAB allows unelected bureaucrats to cut Medicare without Congressional approval and inserts government between Americans and their doctors.”
January 9, 2018
Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed President Trump and members of Congress who suggested bringing back legislative earmarks. Congress banned earmarks in 2011 after Republicans gained control of the House. Seven years later, with full control of the Legislative and Executive Branches the prospect of earmarks shouldn’t be an issue. Instead, the Administration and Congress are close to re-implementing a destructive policy that would proliferate waste in Washington. TPA President David Williams noted that, “Earmarking is an irresponsible way to allocate funds. In addition to the chaos it causes during the appropriations process, earmarks are behind some of the most wasteful programs and projects taxpayers have been bilked for over the years. Earmarks have served as the bribery currency of Congress for many years, as both parties used them to buy votes." » Read More
January 8, 2018
» Read More
There is no disputing that closing the rural broadband gap is imperative. The disagreement occurs in deciding whether taxpayers or the private sector should foot the bill. Taxpayer-funded broadband systems have failed as evidenced by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation’s interactive map of failed government owned networks. But, AT&T and Verizon are moving quickly to deploy 5G mobile internet. Business Insider calls it “the upcoming evolution of wireless 4G LTE, which is mostly used today for wireless mobile networks. It offers incredibly fast wireless communication that can be used to transmit all sorts of data.”
January 4, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance announced the addition of Tim Andrews to TPA’s team of tax and spending warriors. Tim will start his tenure with TPA as the new Senior International Fellow. TPA President David Williams noted that, “Tim has fought tirelessly for lower taxes, balanced budgets, and expanded personal freedom as the Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) over the past five years. His work has been a shining example of how taxpayers around the world are demanding responsible fiscal policies and greater government transparency.” » Read More
January 3, 2018
This article originally appeared in The Hill on January 2, 2018
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is as determined as ever to make customers pay more as they defend ludicrous schemes keeping the agency deep in debt. The cost of First-Class postage is slated to increase from 49 to 50 cents on Jan. 21 as part of a desperate move by postal officials to stem the financial bleeding. As the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has previously documented, increases in postage rates promote risky behaviors with non-postal business ventures and shore up liabilities in a massively-underfunded pension system buoyed by unrealistic promises. But, the biggest and ugliest secret lies below the surface in the rampant postal cronyism that disproportionately benefits e-commerce giants such as Amazon. In April, a Citigroup analysis found that Amazon gets roughly$1.50 in shipping subsidies from every package delivered via the Postal Service. » Read More
December 29, 2017
With binge eating, gift giving, and frenzied traveling out of the way, it’s finally time to make way for the New Year. When it comes to embracing 2018, there’s bound to be no shortage of (ill-fated) resolutions, ranging from cutting down on snacks to taking up mountain climbing. Now that taxpayers have received the gift of tax reform, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is urging Congress to get in on the fun, and resolve to get their fiscal house in order. We’re aware that our previous resolutions for Congress didn’t go exactly to plan, but there’s always hope that lawmakers can be like these people and turn things around. The first resolution should be obvious: get rid of the deficit and begin to pay down the debt. » Read More