March 18, 2019
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This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on March 18, 2019.
Thanks to cutting-edge investments in life-saving medicines, American companies continue to find cures for rare, devastating diseases. But America’s continued leadership in medical innovation depends on the federal government keeping sound, pro-innovation policies in place. Unfortunately, a growing group of lawmakers see drug pricing as arbitrary whims of greedy businessmen, rather than the price we pay for revolutionary research. Price-fixing proposals by members of Congressand bureaucrats would greatly restrict access to medications that Americans rely on every day and the potential for new, life-changing discoveries, creating unnecessary suffering from preventable diseases. Controls may bring prices down, but at an unacceptable cost.
March 15, 2019
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This article was originally published in InsideSources on February 21, 2019.
Over the last several Congresses, many lawmakers have rightly pointed out the federal government’s addiction to wasteful programs and harebrained economic intervention schemes. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, for instance, recently awarded her monthly “squeal” award to the National Institutes of Health for supporting 10 cat studies — funded from grants totaling $1.3 million of taxpayer money — that concluded “classical music has an effect on cat behaviors.” When it comes to wasteful spending at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, however, it would seem that mum’s the word in Washington.
March 13, 2019
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Photo attribution: www.blacknote.com
This article was originally published in Townhall on March 12, 2019.
For the millions of Americans looking for safer, healthier alternatives to traditional cigarettes, government regulations are just another unnecessary barrier to quitting smoking. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certainly hasn’t been helping matters, with a recently-reported plan to all-but-ban e-cigarettes from stores. But even as FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb departs from the agency, smokers trying to quit just can’t catch a break. President Trump’s FY 2020 budget, released on Monday, “includes a new user fee on e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery system products and proposes new FDA authority to collect user fees…” Instead of looking for new ways to increase costs on reduced-risk products such as e-cigarettes, the post-Gottlieb FDA must fully commit to harm reduction and reject the proposed user fees, i.e. taxes.
March 12, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on March 11, 2019.
Grocery shelf placement of products is a deeply studied science. The competition for a front and eye level location on a shelf at a grocery store can be intense, as thousands of companies struggle to make their products visible and attractive to consumers. Another competitive advantage: labels attesting to product quality and healthiness. These are a dime a dozen, but they can make or break the profitability of a product. And shoppers reasonably expect these labels to have at least an iota of truth to them. » Read More
March 11, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 $4.7 trillion budget which guarantees trillion-dollar deficits through 2022. The budget, which totals more than $8.9 million in new spending per minute for the next year, would careen the national debt close to $30 trillion – enough dollar bills to go to Jupiter and back twiceoverif placed end to end - by the end of the next decade. Absent significant spending reform, every single American household will owe more than $230,000 as their share of the federal government’s debt. » Read More
March 8, 2019
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) sent a letter to the full House of Representatives urging lawmakers to vote NO on H.R. 1- the “For the People Act.” If enacted, this bill would line the pockets of politicians and campaign operatives with billions of dollars in hard-earned taxpayer cash, impose significant limits on the freedom of speech, violate the Constitution through centralizing state powers, and entrench the power of incumbents and special interest groups. » Read More
March 7, 2019
Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) along with fifteen additional free-market organizations sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar in support of transformative healthcare opportunities on the horizon, including cell and gene therapies. » Read More
March 5, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Washington Post reported that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is stepping down from his post (in about a month) after serving as agency head for almost two years. Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) president David Williams responded to the news, calling for President Trump to find bold new leadership to kickstart regulatory reform at the agency. » Read More
March 4, 2019
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This article originally appeared in the American Conservative on February 26, 2019.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) faces no shortage of issues, from billions of dollars in annual financial losses to declining consumer service marks. Fortunately, the beleaguered agency recently made a small change for the better, divorcing itselffrom a disastrous relationship with a prominent postage buyer and reseller—Stamps.com. USPS pulled the plug after years of Stamps.com selling postage to small companies and organizations at unsustainably low rates. The USPS’s nixing of its deeply flawed “exclusive partnership” is no panacea, and the agency still has a long way to go in shoring up its finances. But by saying “no” to a terrible, lopsided agreement, the Postal Service has set a welcome precedent that other agencies could stand to follow.
March 1, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a report highlighting the waste and rampant abuse of taxpayer dollars by the City of Philadelphia. TPA identified a total of $278.9 million that could be better spent by city leadership. These recommendations provide the city a way to restore its fiscal and ethical credibility. » Read More
February 27, 2019
This article originally appeared in Catalyst on February 25, 2019.
When a patient finds themselves in the back of an ambulance, there’s little question of the final destination. While emergency rooms (ERs) are ideal for potentially-fatal ailments such as heart attacks and gunshot wounds, the over-reliance on ERs for more minor issues diverts key dollars and personnel away from where they are needed. According to an IBM Watson study, nearly a quarter of patients in the ER didn’t, in fact, require medical attention, and more than 40 percent required care that could have been carried out in a primary care setting. » Read More
February 25, 2019
This article originally appeared on Fox Business on February 21, 2019.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is struggling mightily to keep its head above water in the current tax season and recent developments have done little to increase trust with taxpayers. A scathing report by the National Taxpayer Advocate describes a backlog of 5 million unsorted mail pieces, as few were on call to sort mail received during the federal shutdown. Taxpayers will likely swarm the phone lines as April draws closer, since an astounding 93.3 percent of callers trying to pay over the phone during the shutdown were unable to contact a live agent. But there remains a bright spot throughout this entire frustrating process: e-filing.» Read More
February 22, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) praised the United States Postal Service (USPS) for reigning in the costly, misguided stamp reselling program. In TPA’s report last month calling for USPS reform, the watchdog group identified $3.3 billion in annual savings that Postal leadership could implement without Congress getting involved. » Read More
February 21, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on February 15, 2019.
“Preventative medicine” is a great idea, except for the small caveat that the concept has saved few lives at a substantial cost. For example, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Tufts–New England Medical Center, screening all 65-year-olds for diabetes (as opposed to screening only 65-year-olds with hypertension for diabetes) costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for each year of life saved. But what if a one-time shot early in life could prevent diseases such as diabetes altogether, saving countless lives and health care dollars? Fortunately, a new line of treatment—gene replacement therapy—offers the game-changing benefits to patients that doctors could only dream of a decade ago. And, this new technology could save taxpayers billions of dollars. » Read More
February 20, 2019
This article originally appeared in RealClearPolicy on February 14, 2019.
When the news reports on international organizations, big players such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization usually hog all of the headlines. But that may all change by the beginning of next year when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) — an organization most Americans have never heard of — implements revised fuel standards for ships. While this may sound far removed from Americans without direct ties from the maritime industry, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects ripple effects on oil prices writ large with significant negative consequences for all Americans. » Read More
February 19, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on February 11, 2019.
America has a pavement problem. In 2017, substandard conditions on America’s urban roads caused an average of nearly $600 in repair costs per vehicle. According to a 2016 study , U.S. drivers pay an additional $3 billion per year in maintenance calls due to pothole-related automobile damage. Meanwhile, America has a nearly $900 billionbacklog of highway and bridge capital needs, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, who gave American roads a D grade. This rising national repair bill has prompted the Trump administration and lawmakers to call for increased infrastructure investment, rallying most often around around increasing a federal gasoline tax that has remained unchanged since 1993.» Read More
February 15, 2019
Too often, lawmakers drum up discussion about "innovation" just to talk about their favorite pet projects to be paid for by taxpayers. Members of Congress seldom mention how important Intellectual Property (IP) rights are to fueling innovations that benefit customers and taxpayers. But thanks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 2019 International IP Index, IP is finally getting the credit it deserves for growth and prosperity. » Read More
February 14, 2019
This article originally appeared on Townhall.com on February 14, 2019.
Every year, the American public hears new proposals for a tax on carbon dioxide, peddled via fear-mongering and “Chicken Little” style climate predictions. With even some “conservative” and “free-market” groups arguing that a carbon tax is necessary, it is important to understand the devastating effects that these policies have had on taxpayers and consumers in countries that already have carbon taxes. » Read More
February 13, 2019
The Decorah Communications Utility Board (“CUB”) met on Monday, February 11, 2019, to discuss the preliminary results of the second and most recent feasibility study to create a government owned (taxpayer-funded) broadband network (GON). While the second formal, printed report was not yet completed by the consultant, the consultant’s conclusion that the proposed city-wide FTTH GON was not financially viable. » Read More
February 12, 2019
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This article originally appeared on RealClearPolicy on February 1, 2019.
When products have the potential to save millions of lives, it's helpful if people are told about those benefits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can do just that as it considers allowing manufacturers of non-combustible tobacco products to notify smokers that completely switching from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco products can save lives. To make smokers aware of the health benefits of quitting smoking by switching to lower-risk non-combustible products, Copenhagen Snuff manufacturer U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company is among a number of companies asking the FDA for permission to print the following label on their products: "IF YOU SMOKE CONSIDER THIS: Switching completely to this product from cigarettes reduces risk of lung cancer." The FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee will hold two days of hearings on the issue in February.