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  • Abolish the census

    Ross Marchand on August 15, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on August 13, 2018.

    In less than two years, the federal government will embark on a time-honored, decennial ritual: the U.S. census. One could be forgiven by thinking, that, 230 years and nearly two dozen censuses later, Washington, D.C. knows how to count people. Yet, despite a declining number of individuals per household and the rise in low-cost digital correspondence, the cost of the census is rising far above the rate of inflation. According to the Government Accountability Office, “the average cost for counting a housing unit increased from about $16 in 1970 to around $92 in 2010.” The report further notes that, over the past three years, the U.S. Census Bureau has underestimated how much it will cost to conduct the 2020 census. 
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  • Electric buses will only leave cities seeing red

    Ross Marchand on August 14, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on August 5, 2018.

    According to green energy advocates, U.S. cities are on the cusp of large-scale electric bus purchases, paving the way for a greener and zero-emissions future. This year, for instance, San Francisco committed to a fully-electric vehicle fleet by 2035, before testing electric buses on the hilly routes of the city. San Francisco is hardly alone; Seattle signed onto an international pledge to only use electric buses starting in 2025. Dallas unveiled their own electric fleet, introducingseven vehicles for downtown services with the help of more than $7 million from the Federal Transit Administration (aka federal taxpayers). 
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  • Congress Shouldn't Force Bigger Seats for Air Travelers

    Ross Marchand on August 13, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on August 3, 2018.


    It’s easy to groan about ever-shrinking airline seats that have little latitude for reclining. Some are taking it a step further, arguing that smaller seats 30,000 feet in the air actually harm passengers’ health and impede emergency evacuation efforts. With Congress considering reregulating airplane seat sizes via the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), consumers may soon see a change in width and legroom. This misguided crusade for “passengers’ rights,” however, ignores the right and ability of passengers to choose from a smorgasbord of seat size and pricing options. For the loyal consumers of low-cost carriers, the bargain fares made possible by bargain seating are preferable to more luxurious options. By keeping regulation off the table, Congress and the FAA can keep travel prices low for millions of Americans desperate for a summer vacation by not meddling in the size of seats.

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  • Summer Reading: Tax Reform 2.0

    Ross Marchand on August 10, 2018

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    Anyone who has been on the Eastern seaboard recently will notice that a torrential downpour can ruin even the best-laid beach plans. Should the unthinkable happen, tanners can at least retreat to their ocean chateaus and turn on a movie. Be careful when watching a movie sequel because the only movie sequel that even comes close to being as good as the first is Rocky II.  But, with Tax Reform 2.0 just around the corner, there could be another sequel where the underdog (taxpayers) win. » Read More
  • TPA Slams Postal Service for Third Quarter Loss

    David Williams on August 9, 2018

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed alarm over the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) $889 million in controllable losses this quarter, up from $587 million during the third quarter of last year. The total net loss of $1.5 billion for the quarter demonstrates the Postal Service's dire state of fiscal mismanagement.  » Read More
  • The Little Known Black Hole in the Pentagon Budget

    Ross Marchand on August 8, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the American Conservative on August 1, 2018.

    The Pentagon is often described as a black hole of government spending. Just how bad is it these days? The Defense Department spent $21 billion in taxpayer money over two years without telling anyone what services were rendered or which companies benefitted. Normally, watchdog groups can at least identify the agency’s frivolous spending and tease out who the major beneficiaries are. But under something called Other Transaction Authority (OTA), the Pentagon can award money without the usual disclosures or due diligence normally required of federal contracts. Voila! A black hole.

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  • Free Market and Taxpayer Groups Send Letter to House Republicans Urging Rejection of the Title II CRA

    David Williams on August 7, 2018

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    Washington, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), along with 33 conservative groups, sent a letter to House Republicans urging them to reject a pending Congressional Review Act (CRA) measure that seeks to re-implement overreaching, anti-consumer internet regulation from the Obama Administration known as “Title II.” » Read More
  • Accountability is Coming to 340B – Better Late Than Never

    Ross Marchand on August 7, 2018


    On August 1, the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to the CEOs of nine contract pharmacies that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The letters, which bring attention to the “diversion and duplicate discounts” and lack of oversight by covered entities, are a powerful reminder that the program is failing to live up to its promise. As the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has previously discussed in blog pieces, letters, statements, and social media, the 340B Program has morphed into a paradigm for government waste and is in desperate need of reform. » Read More
  • Summer Readings: Intellectual Property

    Ross Marchand on August 3, 2018


    For this edition of Summer Readings, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) suggests that lawmakers hone in on the issue that touches all other issues, intellectual property (IP). The right to ideas can encompass a variety of forms, from patents to trademarks to copyrights.  The Founding Fathers recognized the importance of protecting IP and we urge Congress to follow in their footsteps. IP remains critical to boosting economic growth, and with more than 40 million jobs in the United States directly and indirectly attributable to IP intensive industries, policymakers must take this issue seriously. The recent NAFTA discussions demonstrate that protecting IP is far more than just a domestic concern for Congress and the President. » Read More
  • Little-Known Loophole Lets Unions Skim from Taxpayers and Medicaid

    Ross Marchand on August 2, 2018


    As the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has documented, Medicaid fails patients at an astronomically high cost to taxpayers. Reasons abound for Medicaid’s failures; one commonly cited reason is the low reimbursement rates given to physicians. Though most of this issue is formulaic, a little-known loophole results in hundreds of millions of dollars being skimmed off the top of Medicaid reimbursement payments in eleven states. Generally, Medicaid payments are required by law to go directly to medical care professionals after being allocated to states. But, the previous administration allowed a nice little carve out for unions.

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  • Sen. McCaskill is out of Touch With Missourians

    Gregg Keller on July 31, 2018

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    According to Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) campaign website, she’s just a small-town Missourian who “understands what matters most” to the people of the Show-Me state. She’s a “fighter Missourians can count on” and lists “cutting waste, fraud, and abuse” as one of her priorities. Recent news reports, however, tell a different story. Since she’s been a U.S. Senator, businesses affiliated with McCaskill’s developer husband, Joseph Shepard, have received more than $131 million in federal subsidies.

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  • Instead of Carbon Taxes, Lawmakers Should Lessen Federal Footprint

    Ross Marchand on July 30, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in Economics21 on July 27, 2018.

    In the days since Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) introduced new carbon tax legislation, limited government advocates have set about criticizing what they see as a misguided scheme. Many have decried the carbon tax as an ineffective environmental policy that would come at a gargantuan cost to low-income Americans, while others fault it for creating more federal bureaucracy and producing thinly-veiled wealth redistribution. » Read More
  • Mandating List Prices on Advertisements Won’t Bring Down Drug Prices

    Ross Marchand on July 27, 2018


    President Trump has made his campaign promise to lower the cost of healthcare and drug prices a high priority for his administration. His proposal and his policies have already yielded results.  And, the implementation of many of his other ideas hold promise in injecting market forces into the American healthcare system to bring down costs. Not all administration proposals are created equally, though; one proposal in particular would prove counterproductive in bringing down prices despite hype by some “reform” advocates. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) has introduced an amendment into an appropriations bill that would force drug manufacturers to include the list price of a drug in any advertisement.

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  • Summer Readings: the Environment and the Economy

    Ross Marchand on July 27, 2018


    Summer time is for going outside, soaking up some sun, and, if you’ve been in Washington, DC for the past week, avoiding unpleasant, persistent lukewarm rain. But some lawmakers and policy gurus have been cooped up inside, busy scheming and counter-scheming onerous taxes and mandates to “save the environment.” Yes, we are referring to the brouhaha created by Rep. Curbelo’s (R-Fl.) scheme to heavily tax energy and electricity, raising prices for hundreds of millions of hard-working Americans. Shortly after the bill’s introduction, the Taxpayer’s Protection Alliance (TPA) and like-minded groups quickly got to work criticizing the scheme as costly and unworkable. » Read More
  • TPA Slams President Trump’s Aid Offer to Farmers Impacted by Unnecessary US Tariffs

    David Williams on July 24, 2018


    Washington, D.C.- Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), representing millions of taxpayers and consumers across the country, slammed President Trump’s proposed $12 billion in aid to farmers impacted by foreign tariffs. The President’s announcement comes after the European Union, China, and other countries impacted by US tariffs announced billions of dollars in tariffs targeting a variety of American products, with the heaviest tariffs hitting US farmers. 

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  • By Fixing 340B, Congress can Prove that its Serious About Healthcare Reform

    Ross Marchand on July 23, 2018

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    Since his inauguration, President Trump has pushed for significant healthcare reforms, repeatedly emphasizing the importance of bringing down pharmaceutical prices. In May, the Administration released a 44-page plan to keep costs at bay, ranging from innovative pilot programs to greater price transparency. As more voices weigh in, policymakers have an ever-expanding array of options to make pharmaceuticals affordable for millions of Americans. In particular, scaling back large government initiatives that rely heavily on third-party payer systems can expose products to market pressures and save taxpayers billions of dollars. Last week, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health regarding yet another government initiative eating up taxpayer dollars – the 340B program.

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  • Taxpayer Group Urges Support For Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

    David Williams on July 23, 2018

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed its support for H. Con. Res. 119, which states that, a carbon tax would be detrimental to American families and businesses,…and is not in the best interest of the United States.”  Introduced by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), the resolution was scheduled for a vote for Thursday July 19. » Read More
  • Summer Reading: Postal Service

    Ross Marchand on July 20, 2018


    For this week’s Summer Reading, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is going to assign a subject near and dear to the organization for years: United States Postal Service (USPS) reform. Many lawmakers have sounded off this issue without first doing their homework. For years, billshave been introduced premised on the idea that the “prefunding mandate” (enacted by Congress in 2006) is the primary reason for the USPS being in the red. But the funding of future retirement benefits is a reasonable safeguard against future financial uncertainties, one that is reflected in valuations of many businesses.  From good old-fashioned mismanagement to corporate welfare and questionable vehicles purchases, the USPS is a mess. » Read More
  • Postal Service Can Avoid Potholes with Sensible Vehicle Purchases

    Ross Marchand on July 18, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in Economics21 on July 16, 2018.

    At 47 years old, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is showing its age. The independent agency has not replaced most of its fleet in decades. More than half of all trucks are more than 20 years old. The Postal Service needs more trucks, but wasting money on a substandard fleet would mean further taxpayer bailouts and an unacceptable experience for customers. » Read More
  • Green Climate Fund Needs to Keep its Money Clean

    Ross Marchand on July 17, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on July 11, 2018.


    Amid the prudent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Accords last year, tempers flared and administration officials were harshly criticized by “green” advocates. The “ignorant” and “uncaring” decision by the administration, though, proved a reasonable response to a flawed process that dealt inadequately with climate change issues. Recent developments within the U.N.’s energy policy apparatus have affirmed that U.S. disengagement was the proper approach. Operational difficulties (including funding disputes amongst nations), red tape and poor project targeting have led to the resignation of Green Climate Fund (GCF) director Howard Bamsey.

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