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  • No, federally funded 'green' research does not spur innovation

    Ross Marchand on February 21, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on February 14, 2018

    To many on the environmental left, funding cuts to green energy amount to a war on “clean technology.” Revelations in December that President Trump was redirecting funding away from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program was met with dismay by steadfast backers of the program. » Read More
  • Harvard’s Inaccurate Picture of Municipal Broadband Pricing

    Johnny Kampis on February 16, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the American Spectator on February 16, 2018

    A recent study from a Harvard University group claims that government-owned broadband networks offer lower prices than the networks of private providers, but the argument quickly falls apart when you drill down into the data. The report from the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard claims that in 23 of 27 communities in which private providers’ prices could be compared to government networks, the government networks’ prices were lower over a four-year period.

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  • Tech experts hope for friendlier regulations for broadband deployment in 2018

    Johnny Kampis on February 16, 2018

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    This article originally appeared on on February 13, 2018

    Some tech policy experts anticipate changes at the federal and state levels this year to aid faster broadband deployment. In some cases, though, that likely will involve spending more taxpayer dollars. President Donald Trump has indicated he plans to move forward with increased infrastructure spending in 2018. An idea has been floated of a federal middle mile, essentially a build-out of fiber along the American interstate system. There were reports that the federal government considered getting involved in creating a national 5G wireless network, but the Trump administration said that wasn’t true.

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  • David Williams Testimony at Georgia General Assembly

    David Williams on February 14, 2018

    Today, TPA President David Williams had the opportunity to address members of the Georgia General Assembly to urge lawmakers to support HB 877, which would significantly lower taxes on modified risk tobacco products that are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). TPA believes that the Georgia General Assembly has an opportunity to encourage smokers to switch from traditional combustible cigarettes to less harmful alternatives such as snus and “heat not burn” by lowering taxes on these products. » Read More
  • A Tale of Two Budgets

    Ross Marchand on February 13, 2018

    Photo by Time

    Analyzing the President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget is a bit like reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. The best of proposals, which control spending by cutting down wasteful spending, are certainly in there. But then there’s also the worst, reflecting an “age of foolishness” marked by a never-ending naiveté about government spending and deficits.  Paired with much-needed cutbacks are budget busters that will put the deficit at nearly $1 trillion through the end of President Trump’s first term. The Administration and members of Congress would be well-served to veer off the path of trillion-dollar deficits and avoid reckless infrastructure and national defense spending. In this tale of two budgets, doubling down on the best proposals while ditching the worst can yield taxpayers more than $4 trillion in savings through 2028.  A better outcome would be a budget that balances. » Read More
  • Intellectual Property, the Unsung Hero of Innovation

    Ross Marchand on February 12, 2018

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    Too often, rhetoric about "innovation" is only used to drum up support for tax and regulatory reform. Seldom, though, do lawmakers recognize the importance for intellectual property (IP) protection in creating “the next big thing” to the benefit of customers and taxpayers. This oft-neglected issue is finally being ushered back into the limelight, thanks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 2018 International IP Index. » Read More
  • New $500 Million Loss by Postal Service Highlights Need for Real Reform

    David Williams on February 9, 2018

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted with concern about the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) latest loss of $540 million for the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.  Since the current Postal Service law, the Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act (PAEA), came into effect in December 2006, the USPS has accumulated $65.6 billion in total net losses. » Read More
  • Puerto Rico Plays A Dangerous Game of Cat and Mouse

    David Williams on February 9, 2018

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    This article originally appeared on on February 8, 2018

    Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló has long blamed his predecessors and those in Washington – namely Republicans including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) – for his woes. Rosselló has called the ground-breaking Tax Cuts and Jobs Act a setback for the island.  The governor has also criticized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, despite their efforts to rebuild the power utility long-neglected by a long line of Puerto Rico leaders. While many things about Puerto Rico’s governance remain opaque, one thing is quite clear: Gov. Rosselló will stop at nothing to blame everyone else for his own failings. By blaming others and feigning helplessness in the face of challenge after challenge, Gov. Rosselló hopes to secure a heavily subsidized or free loan via the Trump Administration. 

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  • Classic Hits Need IP Protections, Too

    Ross Marchand on February 8, 2018

    At Super Bowl LII, the highly acclaimed digital performance of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” opened the door to future stints by late performers. While most were arguing about the musical integrity of the performance, the virtual duet raised questions about the protection of intellectual property (IP) for artists living and dead. While the estates of deceased artists like Prince and Freddy Mercury will have the bulk of their work protected, they would not be so lucky if the artists hit their prime earlier. Thanks to holes and ambiguities in current federal copyright law, older musical holdings are not clearly protected from infringers.

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  • TPA Slams Congress for Busting Budget Caps

    David Williams on February 7, 2018

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    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.”
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  • TPA Joins Coalition Urging Congress to Stop CFPB Rule Curtailing Short-Term Consumer Loans

    Taxpayers Protection Alliance on February 7, 2018

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    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).

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  • Proposed Moon Misson Offers Little Value at Astronomical Cost

    Ross Marchand on February 5, 2018

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    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.

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  • The Super Bowl Is Sucking Up Taxpayer’s Money — Whether They Like It Or Not

    Johnny Kampis on February 2, 2018

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    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.  

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  • Protect Patents to Stay Ahead

    Ross Marchand on January 31, 2018

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    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
  • What the Faux 5G Fiasco can Teach About Taxpayer-Funded Infrastructure

    Ross Marchand on January 30, 2018

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    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).

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  • An issue for infrastructure reform: Too much road salt

    Ross Marchand on January 29, 2018

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    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.

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  • FDA should embrace innovative products to help reduce smoking

    Johnny Kampis on January 25, 2018

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    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:

    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
  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Statement on President Trump's Job Killing Tariffs

    David Williams on January 23, 2018

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    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
  • TPA Criticizes Lawmakers for Continued Budget Impasse

    David Williams on January 22, 2018

    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."

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  • No, Resurrecting Earmarks Won’t Make Congress Work Better

    Ross Marchand on January 18, 2018

    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. 

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