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Category: Regulation



  • New LEED Regulations Will Stifle Job Creation and Hurt Taxpayers

    David Williams on July 19, 2012

    Today the House of Representative’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing entitled, “Continuing Oversight of Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation and Job Creators Still Buried by Red Tape.” Given our nation’s current economic plight, job creation should remain at the forefront of every policy makers’ considerations.  In order for companies and small businesses to be able to hire more employees, a hospitable environment must exist that will encourage businesses to invest in new endeavors.  On the other hand, what businesses need least when it comes to prompting job creation is another unnecessary, ineffective government regulation.  More often than not, additional government regulations not only dissuade companies from expanding, the new requirement actually will create an environment where it is cost prohibitive for the company to remain in business.  Today’s hearing examined potential changes to the government’s flavor-of-the-day regulation, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, which the Government Services Administration (GSA) uses as its only green building rating system.  If these new LEED standards are adopted, another blow to job creation will likely result.  » Read More
  • The United Nations Should Stay Away From the Internet

    David Williams on June 29, 2012

    Last week the internet was abuzz with the idea that some countries were proposing that the U.N. should take over management of the Internet.   Later this year in Dubai, at a meeting of the International Telecommunications Union, the technology arm of the U.N., a plan will be debated that would allow this  international body to take over some control of the Internet.   According to the Associated Press on June 23, 2102, “Secret negotiations among dozens of countries preparing for a United Nations summit could lead to changes in a global treaty that would diminish the Internet's role in economic growth and restrict the free flow of information.”  Allowing the U.N. or some member countries to manage the Internet could result in a myriad of problems.   As people often quip, if something is not broken, there is no need to fix it.  As Ariel Rabkin told The Weekly Standard in 2009, “The management of the Domain Name System has been largely apolitical, and most of the disputes that have arisen have been of interest only to insiders and the technology industry.   IANA [Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, operated on behalf of the Commerce Department] has concerned itself with fairly narrow questions like ‘Should we allow names ending in .info?"’ Commercial questions about ownership of names, like other property disputes, are settled in national courts.’”   Rabkin as noted that allowing international government bodies to manage the internet could result in more problems like such as “Domain names presenting political questions.   Which side in a civil war should control Pakistan's Internet domain. . . ” and the “Control of Internet names could become a lever to impose restrictions on Internet content.” » Read More
  • Time for Taxpayers to Walk the Other Way

    David Williams on June 12, 2012

    There are plenty of examples where government programs come up short, but one area where we usually can count on the government to come through is in its creation and implementation of nanny-state regulations.  As recent examples make clear, there’s certainly no shortage of government dictates that walk us closer and closer down the path toward a nanny state.  From what size soda you’re able to purchase to how you can transport your pet, each example seems more egregious than the next.  And just when you think you’ve heard the worst of them, a new one comes along to rear its ugly head: the “Safe Routes to School” program.  Like most government programs, the title of this program is at best innocuous and vague. And even after examining its stated purpose: “to reduce vehicle usage, increase foot traffic, and consequently create healthier children and a cleaner environment,” a lot of questions remain unanswered. For example, a lot of ambiguity surrounds what constitutes a safe route and who determines what a safe route is. Perhaps still the most confounding element of this program is demonstrated by the amount of money the government has spent on it since 2005 – a whopping $1 billion!

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  • Taxpayers on the Hook with New Catfish Regulation

    David Williams on May 2, 2012


    Catfish

    Hillbilly Handfishin’
    and River Monsters are two television reality programs that show the struggle of catching catfish.  At the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and in the halls of Congress there is another catfish struggle.  This one is between those that want to save an unnecessary bureaucracy and those that want to downsize government and save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.  According to an April 29, 2012 article in The Hill, “As the 2012 farm bill moves to the Senate floor, a scuffle has intensified over the inspection of catfish.  The battle pits the southern catfish industry and its supporters against a wider coalition of agriculture groups and fiscal conservatives.’  Last year Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) led the fight against the new regulation.  This year, they continue the battle joined by a group of 17 senators from both sides of the political aisle.  Even though seafood is inspected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is a move to have foreign catfish put under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) inspection regime.  While this may sound benign, it is a move that could drive up prices, add layers of bureaucracy to an industry that doesn’t need it and burden taxpayers with yet another expensive bureaucracy which could cost up to $30 million. 

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  • The REINS Act is a Common Sense Step Forward in Regulation Reform

    David Williams on December 5, 2011

    Regulations are crippling American businesses and burdening taxpayers with a bloated bureaucracy to enforce the regulations.  While some regulations are important, it is also critical to make sure that there is a system of checks and balances in the system.  The Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would be that safeguard.  The REINS Act may not be as sexy as Bridge to Nowhere or the Solyndra loan scandal, but it is an important piece of legislation that is needed to put the brakes on unnecessary and burdensome regulations.   Before any regulation is imposed on the American people, the REINS Act would require Congress to take an up-or-down vote to approve regulations that have an economic impact of $100 million or more.  The birth of the REINS Act actually goes back to 2009 when Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) offered the legislation after talking to a constituent about excessive regulations.  This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is urging every member of the House to vote for the legislation (read the TPAPB here).  And, TPA urges everybody to call their member of Congress to tell them to vote for the legislation.  You can find your member here or call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121.

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  • Trick or Treat! Healthcare and the Food and Drug Administration

    on October 28, 2011


    This Trick or Treat highlights Healthcare and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Without a doubt, the biggest trick played on taxpayers was the passage of Obamacare.  As part of Obamacare, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel of 15 “experts” to slow the growth of Medicare, was passed.  IPAB will be a board of 15 unelected members who, according to the American Medical Association, would “extend Medicare solvency and reduce spending growth through the use of a spending target system and fast-track legislative approval process.”  In reality, IPAB will be nothing more than a way to ration health care for seniors.  Even though the FDA is “responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation,’ the FDA is quickly becoming the silent killer of the economy and the free market. WARNING!! We repeat, we advise strong parental guidance because some material may not be suitable for children since they are the ones that will ultimately be paying for these tricks.

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  • FCC Should Rethink Cross Ownership Ban

    on August 16, 2011

    Today (August 16) the Taxpayers Protection Alliance filed official comments with the Federal Communications Commission urging them to recognize that the Section 652 cross-ownership ban should not apply to cable operators and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECS).  As part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 652 was intended to prevent incumbent LECs, which owned the telephone lines, and traditional cable operators, which owned the cable lines—from merging and thereby controlling the only two wires to a customer’s premises.  There is no indication that Congress intended to restrict transactions between cable operators and the CLECS, especially when the CLEC does not own residential last-mile facilities.  Stronger competition among providers of telephone services will lead to lower prices, better service quality, and increased innovation » Read More
  • TRANSPARENCY ALERT!! Department of Education Shuns Transparency in Favor of New Unnecessary Regulation

    on May 4, 2011

    A critical element in bringing back fiscal responsibility and government accountability is transparency.  When President Obama took office in 2009 he pledged to have “an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”   That is why the Taxpayers Protection Alliance was so dismayed when it found out that the Department of Education (DOEd) may be side-stepping transparency in its recent regulatory actions on gainful employment rules.  DOEd  proposed  “gainful employment” rules which require for-profit schools to prove their graduates are either paying back loans or are capable of doing so.  If not, the schools will lose access to federal student aid.  The process has been a mess, to say the least.  DOEd was supposed to release the regulations in September 2010 but delayed the release because of an overwhelming number of petitions that were opposed to the regulation.

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