July 16, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on July 12, 2018.
Taxpayers are accustomed to seeing state and local governments draw up sweetheart deals with big businesses and sports teams at a gargantuan cost. Defenders of crony capitalism say opponents of such favoritism are shortsighted. Bribing corporations to move to their state, they say, ultimately benefits everyone by contributing to economic growth and growing tax revenues. In trying to lure Amazon to Maryland with a multibillion-dollar package of subsidies and targeted tax breaks, Gov. Larry Hogan called Amazon’s proposed new headquarters the “single greatest economic development opportunity in a generation … that makes Maryland competitive with any state or city in the country — we’re playing to win.”
June 28, 2018
Big Labor is in all-out Armageddon mode, following a June 27 Supreme Court ruling (Janus v. AFSCME) allowing non-union public workers to opt out of union “fair-share” fees. In a 5-4 decision, the Court overturned the status quo, preventing “unconstitutional exactions [that result in] billions of dollars…taken from nonmembers and transferred to public-sector unions in violation of the First Amendment” in the words of Justice Alito. Proponents of “fair share” fees, however, worry that the ruling will open up a Pandora’s Box of freeriding and union-busting across the country. These fears fail to consider the wider impact of transitioning unions to a more robust “members-only” model instead of the current one-size-fits-all representation. Making public sector unions smaller and more responsive to the needs of members will lead to better representation for employees and lower costs for taxpayers.» Read More
June 26, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Morning Consult on June 20, 2018.
In the wake of historic tax reform delivered by President Donald Trump and Congress, the American economy is showing strong signs of life. Just days ago, it was reported that the United States added around 223,000 net new jobs in May, helping the economy reach an 18-year low jobless rate of just 3.8 percent. And with new tax reform in hand, taxpayers can expect to keep more of their hard-earned dollars in their pockets. » Read More
June 25, 2018
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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on June 22, 2018.
As Houston officials mull the possible flow of tax dollars into their city if they win a bid to host some games in the 2026 World Cup, they’re talking up that dreaded “L” word — light rail. Houston is part of a 32-city bid to host some of the soccer matches that will be spread across North America. While the city won’t know if it is selected to host any games until 2020 or 2021, that hasn’t stopped local officials from excitedly talking up possible taxpayer-funded infrastructure and beautification projects that could result from a successful bid.
June 21, 2018
Today, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams expressed disappointment at the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that allows states to require all internet retailers to collect sales taxes. “The 5-4 decision breaks with 50 years of precedent that kept states from mandating that out-of-state retailers collect sales taxes from their customers,” Williams said. “This ruling opens the door for any state to tax any business that simply wants to use the internet to gain a foothold in the national market.” » Read More
June 8, 2018
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This article originally appeared in Economics21 on June 7, 2018.
For more than a decade, Starbucks has branded itself as a liberal company that MSNBC viewers can support. This careful posturing, though, was not enough to shield the company against accusations of racism after staff called the police on two African-American men sitting at a table without making a purchase. Since then, Starbucks announced that all were welcome to make use of company facilities such as bathrooms and Wi-Fi, even if no purchases are made. But what if, instead of a panicked PR response, Starbucks’ open-access policy is an opportunistic ploy to put itself in a league of its own and receive more taxpayer subsidies?
Taxpayers Protection Alliance Criticizes President Trump’s Imposition of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum ImportsRoss Marchand on
June 1, 2018
Today, David Williams, President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), slammed President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States. Williams argued that, “if the US government hides behind trade barriers and quotas in a global marketplace, it will start a trade war where allies will treat U.S. products in the same manner. Already, Canada, Mexico, and various European countries have announced retaliatory tariffs that will harm US producers." » Read More
May 31, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on May 29, 2018.
In December, an inaugural Amtrak trip from Seattle to Portland ended in disaster, as thirteen train cars derailed and caused a smoldering ruin over I-5. Amtrak is hardly the only passenger rail vessel to encounter safety issues; the Washington, D.C. metro system has had multiple fires and crashes costing many lives over the years. These events almost always lead to calls for more public funds, even when subsidized systems have a myriad of ways to access cash. For instance, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently benefited from private funds from Qatar to stay open after a sporting event in downtown Washington, D.C. But taxpayers would be wise to look to another model of doing things.
May 16, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged all members of Congress to vote for the Sugar Policy Modernization Act as an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill. The Sugar Program was established more than 80 years ago and keeps the cost of sugar high with import quotas and tariffs. » Read More
May 14, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on May 11, 2018
The prospect of a bold new farm bill this year has Congress in a lurch, with endless debates over which amendments to include and discard. As lawmakers embrace sensible reforms such as work requirements for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, leading policymakers have expressed reluctance to include an amendment to modernize the 80 year-old US Sugar Program. Not including the modernization of the outdated program would keep high costs in place for consumers and taxpayers, ensuring backlash from voters wanting to “drain the swamp.” » Read More
May 1, 2018
TPA joined together with free-market groups to explain why the outdated sugar program hurts taxpayers and consumers. » Read More
April 30, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on April 25, 2018. Paul Blair is strategic initiatives director at Americans for Tax Reform. Image credit: http://vaping360.com/
This week, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was cracking down on the illegal sale of electronic cigarettes, namely JUUL, to minors across the country. Honest observers of this most recent move by the agency applauded the acknowledgment that the enforcement of current laws is the best way to promote public health. A contingent of Democrats and deranged activists, however, would like this to be the beginning of the end for an industry struggling to tell its side of the story. » Read More
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 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 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 20, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on March 19, 2018
There is no telling how many more “G”s will there be. Amid repeated upgrades to broadband, technology experts and pundits have asked time and time again whether technological improvements will continue to inch along. Whether 5G deployment (the latest and greatest “G”) is a walk in the park or a protracted nightmare depends largely on federal policy-making, with pivotal players at the Federal Communications Commission and Congress holding all the cards.