October 30, 2017
This article appeared in the Daily Caller on October 26, 2017.
Last week, the Department of Defense confirmed to Congress what all of Washington, DC already knew: the Pentagon is bloated. In particular, military bases have an astounding 19 percent “excess capacity.” This jives with previous yearly estimates. In fact, last years report pegged the figure at 22 percent. The Pentagon admitting that it maintains billions of dollars in wasteful structures should be a slam dunk for fiscally responsible lawmakers intent on downsizing government. But Congress on the whole rejected the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) request, even after Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) proposed a more “sensible” measure that would give Congress more control over the closure and realignment process. But counter to Congress’s posturing, the notion of taxpayers footing the bill for nearly abandoned installations is an unpopular one, and for good reason. A letter signed by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and 44 other groups across the political spectrum reinforced the bipartisan idea of closing more bases. » Read More
October 26, 2017
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the passage of the fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution in the House of Representatives. TPA President David Williams praised members of the House for, "demonstrating much-needed fiscal responsibility and continuing the path to tax reform. This budget resolution provides a strong foundation for comprehensive tax reform, paving the way for a reduction of $1.5 trillion in taxes over the next decade.”
October 24, 2017
This articled appeared in Inside Sources on October 17, 2017.
In a rare victory for consumers and taxpayers, Cook County, Illinois, lawmakers repealed a 2-month-old tax on sweet drinks this month. The cent-per-ounce tax, a lightning rod of controversy during its brief existence, has already found an army of supporters urging reimplementation. But, despite defenders’ claims that the law was a sound way of filling coffers and curbing obesity, such taxes do little for waistlines or public finances. » Read More
October 23, 2017
This article appeared in The Daily Caller on October 17, 2017.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria’s twin paths of destruction have knocked the wind out of Puerto Rico, sending the American territory into a tailspin. In the wake of the cataclysmic one-two punch, islanders are pressing Washington to ramp up recovery efforts and restore basic services. And, with billions of dollars in damages, Puerto Rico will undoubtedly be the beneficiary of a hefty federal aid package. » Read More
October 20, 2017
Earlier this month, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) applauded the Senate for reconfirming Chairman Ajit Pai to lead the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Their decision grants Pai the opportunity to continue running the agency with the practical, data-driven leadership taxpayers have benefited from since he became Chairman.» Read More
October 18, 2017
As the Senate gears up to vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution Thursday afternoon, billions of dollars in spending across the federal government lie on the line. The Senate’s budget resolution takes a $5.1 trillion bite at the federal budget over the next decade, with annual cuts exceeding $100 billion by 2027. Assuming that the economy chugs along at an average pace of 2.6 percent a year for the next decade, the submitted budget will balance over a ten-year timeframe.» Read More
October 17, 2017
This article appeared in The Hill on September 27, 2017.
America has an inequality problem, but not the one many people think. Every few years, statisticians armed with the latest income data from the U.S. Census Bureau claim to find ever-increasing evidence of a widening gap between the have and have-nots. Economists on the right side of the political aisle (and affiliated think tanks) quibble with the methodology used by these researchers, but the overall evidence seems to point to a large gap of some sort. Debating exactly how large this gap is, though, is not nearly as important as trying to make sense of it.» Read More
October 16, 2017
This article appeared in Inside Sources on October 11, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence was the latest official to become ensnared in the National Football League kneeling saga, after leaving the Indianapolis Colts-San Francisco 49ers football game in response to the “unpatriotic” gestures of players. As outraged sentiments fling back and forth, talking heads and elected officials continue to nitpick while ignoring far larger issues.» Read More
October 13, 2017
This is the second of a two-part series on public policy in the Republic of Georgia. On Friday, Taxpayers Protection Alliance policy analyst Ross Marchand addressed the International Black Sea University in Tbilisi on economic reform in Georgia and the United States. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia has transformed into an economic juggernaut hell-bent on reversing communist controls. Reform efforts reached a zenith in the early 2000s with passage of comprehensive deregulatory initiatives that made it easier for businesses to expand and hire in the Caucasus nation. For the first time, Georgian lawmakers allowed workers to work overtime hours, and permitted employees to negotiate the number of hours worked per week with their employers. Additionally, employers would be permitted to fire individuals without the stated permission of their trade union.» Read More
October 12, 2017
This is the first of a two-part series on public policy in the Republic of Georgia. On Friday, Taxpayers Protection Alliance policy analyst Ross Marchand will address the International Black Sea University in Tbilisi on economic reform in Georgia and the United States.
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When comparing the United States to the small Asian nation of Georgia, it's easy to dwell on the differences. At first glance, the former Soviet republic bears little in common with America, both in culture and politics. But Georgians' enthusiastic embrace of free-market principles and responsible governing offers many parallels and lessons for lawmakers in Washington, DC. While left-leaning politicians and talking heads lovingly long for the "Swedish model," taxpayers and consumers would be best served by the Georgian model.
October 11, 2017
This article appeared in The Hill on October 8, 2017.
Another expensive boondoggle by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows that the government needs to reevaluate its celestial spending. The latest gaffe is that NASA was forced to delay the launch of the $8 billion James Webb Space Telescope another year, just the latest in a decadal saga of overruns and “restructuring.” Despite an inappropriately quiet announcement of the delay, Congressional rumblings have been kept to a minimum. » Read More
October 10, 2017
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The Taxpayers Protection Alliance, along with seven other groups, have written in support of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving the Modified Risk Tobacco Product Application (Docket FDA-2017-D-3001), published on June 15, 2017. By approving the sale of reduced-risk tobacco products, the FDA would signal that it values cutting edge, harm-reducing technologies that will undoubtedly offer health benefits for individual consumers and the nation at-large. As a taxpayer-funded agency, the FDA must work in the interest of consumers and taxpayers.
October 6, 2017
This article appeared in The Daily Caller on September 29, 2017
Congress sits on the verge of comprehensive tax reform for the first time since 1986. Individuals and businesses of all sizes will likely find plenty to like in the bracket consolidations and rate reductions in forthcoming legislation. Absent all of the excited chatter about full expensing and low pass-through rates is a sober discussion of the problems facing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Taxpayers and policy wonks can’t be blamed for ignoring one of the least-popular federal agencies in the United States. But given the vital role that the IRS plays in realizing any changes to the tax law, lawmakers must ensure that the agency is well equipped to deal with a completely reformatted code.» Read More
October 5, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the International Trade Commission (ITC) determination that Whirlpool suffered injury from increased imports of LG and Samsung residential washing machines.
TPA President David Williams took issue with the ITC’s, “highly irregular decision awarding Whirlpool a taxpayer-funded corporate bailout that will almost certainly harm other industries."» Read More
October 4, 2017
From the files of “we told you so,” recent reports on KentuckyWired show that the border-to-border, state-initiated broadband network has been a big bust. Which isn’t a surprise considering the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been warning citizens and lawmakers about the project’s potential pitfalls.
These warnings have gone unheeded for at least two years. An October 28, 2015 article in Spectrum News noted that, “In September, David Williams with the Taxpayers Protection Alliance…said his organization has major concerns with taxpayer dollars being spent on the initiative. ‘Let’s just pump the brakes a little bit here and make sure there aren’t any kind of weird things in this contract that would really expose taxpayers to more handouts,’ Williams said…Williams said his group is trying to raise multiple ‘red flags’ about the project from privacy to potential duplication…” » Read More
October 3, 2017
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) congratulated Ajit Pai on being reconfirmed as Federal Communications Communications (FCC) Chairman. TPA President David Williams released the following statement today in reaction to news of the reconfirmation:
“TPA is pleased to hear that Ajit Pai has officially been reconfirmed by the Senate to continue to lead the FCC. Chairman Pai has been an aggressive advocate for a truly open internet, having fought against Title II Net Neutrality rules. Title II would harm consumers and open the floodgate for taxpayer subsidies to wasteful and unneeded municipal broadband systems."
October 2, 2017
This article appeared in The Daily Caller on September 29, 2017.
Appliance kingpin Whirlpool wants the federal government to step in and give it a competitive advantage over rival washing machine manufacturers. If the Trump administration is serious about ending taxpayer-funded corporate bailouts and draining the swamp, telling Whirlpool to fight its own marketplace battles, as other companies have to do, would be a great place to start. This is the latest skirmish in an ongoing dispute between Whirlpool and its South Korean competitors. They allege Samsung and LG have illegally evaded trade laws and are “dumping” washing machines on the American market at prices below the cost of production.» Read More
September 28, 2017
September 26 through October 1 is Tax Reform Week for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA). Leading up to, and after our press conference with the National Taxpayers Union this morning at 10:15 am at the House Triangle (media advisory here), TPA will be highlighting the need for comprehensive tax reform. Our third and final installment outlines the importance of comprehensive tax reform.
The tax code is a complete and utter mess. Individual tax reform is an absolute necessity. The tax code is more than 4 million words, hopelessly stacking the deck against individuals trying to comply with the code. The Taxpayer Advocate Service estimates that taxpayers spend more than 6 billion hours complying with the Tax Code. In estimating the value of that time, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) calculates that an astounding $262 billion is lost to tax compliance each year. In the absence of comprehensive tax reform, that figure will only increase year after year.» Read More
September 27, 2017
September 26 through October 1 is Tax Reform Week for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA). Leading up to, and after our press conference with the National Taxpayers Union on Thursday, September 28 at 10:15 am at the House Triangle (media advisory here), TPA will be highlighting the need for comprehensive tax reform. Our second installment outlines the importance of corporate tax reform.
Corporate tax reform is finally on the table, as the “Big Six” promises the biggest changes to the code in decades. Lawmakers are expected to propose lowering the rate, now the highest in the developed world, from 35 percent to 20 percent. Deductions will also be limited, with resulting savings paying for the overall rate reduction.» Read More
September 26, 2017
September 26 through October 1 is Tax Reform Week for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA). Leading up to, and after our press conference with the National Taxpayers Union on Thursday, September 28 at 10:15 am at the House Triangle (media advisory here), TPA will be highlighting the need for comprehensive tax reform. Our first installment outlines the importance of individual tax reform. » Read More