April 18, 2019
In light of the release of the Mueller report yesterday, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) team set aside a little bit of time and parsed through the long, tortuous passages of the over-400 page document. We didn’t find anything so far that will “lock him up,” but we did notice something….both the report and audit reports by the United States Postal Service (USPS) Inspector General (IG) have the same heavy reliance on black highlighter. We’ve put some Mueller report passages alongside USPS IG passages, to see if you can tell which is which. » Read More
April 18, 2019
This article originally appeared on Townhall.com on April 18, 2019.
When then-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced he was stepping down from the helm of the agency last month, taxpayers and harm reduction advocates cheered. The former FDA head engrossed himself into a destructive crusade against e-cigarette products, which give smokers an “exit ramp” off of cigarette use. Despite overwhelming evidence of the safety and efficacy of vaping products in getting smokers to quit, Gottlieb sought to deny the science and pull e-cigarettes from the shelves almost entirely. » Read More
April 17, 2019
This article was originally published on Townhall.com on April 11, 2019.
Recently, a “scandalous” news story broke that threatens to upend the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). No, this is not a sex scandal or a pay-to-play scheme. For members of the left, it’s even worse: According to Sen. Sanders himself, the political iconoclast is a … millionaire. This revelation dropped ahead of the Senator’s decision to release his tax returns, which likely show handsome profits earned from his widely-sold books. After prodding by a New York Times reporter, Sen. Sanders angrily defended his millionaire status: "I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too." » Read More
April 16, 2019
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Excise taxes, or sin taxes, are bad ideas for many reasons. We never support them, no matter how “bad” the “sin” legislators seek to tax. Sin taxes are meant not only to raise money — usually for some seemingly “un-opposable” cause — but to influence consumer behavior. They are designed to artificially increase what consumers pay, with the goal of reducing (legal) sales of the disfavored products. But unintended consequences lurk. Consider New York State’s proposed $600 million opioid taxearmarked for an “Opioid Stewardship Fund.” Who could be against that? Well, patients in severe pain who legitimately need the medicine aren’t too thrilled with the idea.
April 15, 2019
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This article originally appeared in Real Clear Policy on April 15, 2019.
This Tax Day, individuals, families, and businesses will finally get to keep more of their own money thanks to the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into lawin 2017. Millions of people have received bonuses and small businesses have more cash to invest, but the estate tax remains in place and is still a major hurdle in keeping small businesses going. Small businesses aren’t the only ones impacted by the estate tax. Thousands of private forest owners across America own around 300 million acres of forest in the United States, and they’re often forced to sell their land to developers in order to foot estate tax bills. Nixing the death tax would preserve these woodlands, allowing owners to continue supporting more than two million jobs.
April 12, 2019
Tax Day is upon us once again. It’s a painful and dreaded day for hundreds of millions of individuals, families, and businesses. Americans spend around 9 billion hours complying with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) complex and often incomprehensible regulations. And, including businesses, just filing and reviewing costs the US economy more than $400 billion per year – or over $3,000 for every American household. Tax reform, passed in December 2017, makes Tax Day a little better with 90 percent of middle-income households benefiting from across-the-board rate cuts and a simpler, easier to file tax system. But, tax bills from the federal government are still too high and compliance costs are too onerous for taxpayers across the country. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance suggests three steps that Congress should take to expand the reach of tax reform. » Read More
April 11, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on April 2, 2019.
For nearly a decade, the American public, insurers, and taxpayers have gotten used to hearing bad news about the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) and have personally felt its effects. Premiums were rising, networks were narrowing, plans were being cancelled, and insurers were dropping out as then-President Obama assured the public that more Americans would soon be insured. But now, thanks in large part to Trump administration reforms, there’s finally a stable marketplace with falling prices. And now that the Department of Justice has announced it will no longer defend the law’s constitutionality, Obamacare’s final demise may not be far off. The administration and Congress have a historic opportunity to enact more market-oriented reforms that can cover more people at a lower cost to taxpayers and consumers. » Read More
April 10, 2019
Taxpayers Protection Alliance partnered with thirteen additional free-market groups to send a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding their efforts to free up the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band (mid-band, or “C-band”) for internet services. Repurposing C-band spectrum for mobile broadband deployment will help America win the race to 5G, as other countries study repurposing their own mid-band spectrum for internet use. A number of groups, including the C-band Alliance (CBA), claim that the FCC should allow for a “private-sale” of this critical segment of spectrum, instead of having the FCC repurpose the spectrum to help close the digital divide. » Read More
April 8, 2019
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This article was originally published in Townhall on April 8, 2019.
With Tax Day quickly approaching, taxpayers can find a long and growing list of how Uncle Sam is spending/wasting their hard-earned money. The United States Postal Service (USPS) claims to not be on that list, despite a recent watchdog report showing that the agency reaps more than $3.6 billion each year in indirect taxpayer subsidies. According to a recent report by the inspector general (IG), transportation costs have risen by 18 percent over the past ten years, despite mail volume declining 26 percent and service standards being relaxed. Unless the USPS can get a grip on cost drivers (pun intended) and enact fundamental reforms, taxpayers across the country will have to pay more for the agency’s shortcomings.
April 4, 2019
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This article was originally published in the American Conservative on March 28, 2019.
Thanks to the direction of Chinese President Xi Jinping, new and powerful 5G wireless technology, which will bring internet speeds of more than 20 times the status quo, is proceeding apace. That’s if you take China Telecom’s latest financial report at face value. Yet most in the developed world know the truth: nationalization is no way to run an economy. President Donald Trump’s vow that “America will never be a socialist country” is reassuring, save for one major asterisk: he wants to roll out 5G wireless first. A plan released by the administration would put the government in charge of5G airwaves in the U.S., which it would then “share” with wireless providers in order to develop a nationwide network—before China does.
April 3, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.– On April 1, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai appointed Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation (TPAF) investigative reporter Johnny Kampis to a two-year term on the agency’s Consumer Advisory Committee. He will join about two dozen others from across the country for three annual meetings at FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues related to the commission’s work. » Read More
April 2, 2019
Source: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
This article was originally published in Townhall on March 27, 2019.
According to Alcoholics Anonymous, admitting you have a problem is the first step toward change. Political leaders at both the federal and state level can stand to learn from this philosophy, given their refusal to acknowledge massive boondoggles bilking taxpayers for billions of dollars. California, and the proposed Texas Central high speed train, show why state and federal officials need to be more vigilant and cautious when spending taxpayer money on these projects. » Read More
April 1, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted favorably to federal and state officials’ latest plan to build a national streetcar network from Washington, DC to New York City. The network’s recently-appointed management promised yesterday that the DC-NY streetcar will have the efficiency of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the fiscal discipline of the California bullet train. Streetcars are expected to reach top speeds of more than 3 miles per hour, far surpassing current Amtrak speeds. » Read More
April 1, 2019
This article was originally published in RealClearPolicy on April 1, 2019.
With enough research, development, and vision, a speculative “dream cure” for a terrible disease can turn into an obtainable reality for millions of patients. But unfortunately, sometimes government policy gets in the way of promising cures. In October 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a devastating rule that would tether Medicare Part B drugs to a rigid pricing structure modeled after European single-payer healthcare systems. » Read More
March 28, 2019
TPA joined together with free-market groups to explain why the proposed International Pricing Index (IPI) for Medicare Part B drugs will harm taxpayers and chill innovation. » Read More
March 27, 2019
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This article was originally posted in Inside Sources on March 26, 2019.
“The end of the Mafia as we know it?” Fuggedaboutit. The recent murder of Gambino Family crime boss Frank Cali in front of his Staten Island home shows that “La Cosa Nostra” is still alive and kicking, even if authorities aren’t exactly sure of the motivations behind the killing. On a day-to-day basis, the Mafia operates more like a stealth, corrupt government than a viper assassination squad. Construction, shipping and loansharking businesses fall under the sway of crime families, who infiltrate companies and unions to create fake jobs and siphon dollars off of bloated contracts.
March 26, 2019
This article was originally published in the Catalyst on March 23, 2019.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared war on an unconventional foe: cancer. Like the other war that was being waged at the time, policymakers had both some good but also many flawed ideas about how to beat the enemy. Thankfully, with the war on cancer, many of the good ideas won out and significant progress has been achieved in these past 48 years—owing primarily to the unleashing of market forces in developing game-changing cures. Now, as President Trump pledges to double down on cancer research funding, the chief executive, his administration, and Congress could stand to learn a thing or two about what has gone right—and wrong—during our nearly-fifty year tussle with this bitter and relentless foe. » Read More
March 25, 2019
This article was originally posted in the Journal Inquirer on March 22, 2019.
In the pursuit of a better world, politicians often let hysterics get in the way of sound policy. On March 11, the General Assembly environment committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 999, which would require the licensing of cats and establish a $15 licensing fee. In addition to the fee, municipalities would be allowed to charge prospective cat parents up-to-$150 for spray, neuter, and vaccination costs. » Read More
March 21, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) praised the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to allow White Spaces between unused TV channels to be used for internet deployment. In November, TPA called for the Commission “to adopt the right technical rules and make adequate spectrum available as soon as possible for white space broadband use.” » Read More
March 19, 2019
TPA President David Williams testified on March 19, 2019 in front of the Texas State Senate Committee on Business and Commerce. His testimony was in support SB 1152, which would end double taxation of telecommunications and keep Texas competitive and allow job creators to keep doing what they do best...create jobs. » Read More