April 26, 2018
This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on April 25, 2018.
April 26 marks World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, but not too many right-of-center groups will be celebrating. Too many libertarians and conservatives, having the federal government enforce claims against college students for illegally downloading music, is akin to punishing low-level drug users for victimless crimes. The (now-defunct) copyright for the “Happy Birthday” song has served to further highlight the alleged ridiculousness of robust IP protection. And, purported free-market solutions to the healthcare affordability crisis commonly include the relaxation of patent protection for pharmaceuticals. These examples miss the point and importance of protecting IP. » Read More
April 24, 2018
This article originally appeared on Inside Sources on April 18, 2018.
Deep in the thankless swamp of Washington, D.C., free-market think tanks and advocacy groups fight against overspending and taxation every day. As the ground zero of government malfeasance, limited-government organizations focus their attention on the nation’s capital. And while these groups are right to zero in on Congress and the administration, there exists harmful taxpayer-funded bureaucracies at an even higher level than the U.S. federal government. Enter International Governmental Organizations (IGOs), which comprise of organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank. » Read More
TPA Renews Call for Congressional Investigation into Ana Matosantos After Adoption by Oversight Board of PREPA Fiscal PlanGrace Morgan on
April 23, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) called on the Puerto Rico Oversight Board to postpone the vote on the Puerto Rico Energy and Power Authority (PREPA) revised Fiscal Plan given recent revelations of Board Member Ana Matosantos’s significant conflicts of interest and efforts to hide implicating evidence. » Read More
April 20, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on April 17, 2018.
When it comes to broadband boondoggles, localities never seem to learn their lesson. Even after multiple Colorado municipal broadband projects ended in fiscal ruin, Fort Collins recently voted for nearly $150 million worth of bonds for “public Internet.” Towns such as Firestone and Frisco are following suit, with little attempt to warn taxpayers about the potential fiscal fallout. Given the continued failures of taxpayer-funded networks, state legislators should stay away from spending any tax dollars on these boondoggles.
April 19, 2018
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This article originally appeared in National Review on April 18, 2018.
Millions of Americans are beginning to see the fruits of the federal tax overhaul passed in December, with higher take-home pay, bonuses, and a stronger job market. However, these good times could soon end in some left-leaning states that are considering raising their income taxes. New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maine may soon place surtaxes on “millionaires,” via legislation in the Garden State and ballot measures in the others. To proponents of larger government and greater state-level redistribution, raising rates on “fat cats” is a perfect way to fund more Medicaid and anti-poverty spending, which is perceived to be under threat at the federal level.
April 17, 2018
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This article originally appeared in RealClearMarkets on April 16, 2018.
The month of April brings about two things Americans love: baseball and warmer weather. It also features our least favorite day of the year—Tax Day. And the fact that we get an extra few days (April 17) to file doesn’t take the sting out of filling out those tax forms and lining up at the Post Office. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed last year may do the trick, leaving wallets a little heavier at the end of the day.
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.