November 5, 2018
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This article originally appeared in InsideSources on November 2, 2018.
Eureka moments are as rewarding as they are rare, propelling innovation and entire industries forward and shaping countless lives. The U.S. patent system ensures that innovators with groundbreaking ideas are rewarded for their efforts and protects discoveries from copycats … most of the time. Since 2011, however, people who want to profit off others’ labor have made use of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) to render patents invalid in a “streamlined” process completely lacking in due process. Now, the federal government, via the U.S. Postal Service, is trying to push the PTAB’s limits even further, arguing that it should be allowed to have patents invalidated through PTAB without legal recourse. Normalizing this troubling practice would strike a devastating blow against intellectual property and innovators everywhere.
November 1, 2018
State governments often have little understanding of the fiscal or behavioral repercussions of the policy changes they’re trying to make when taxing and regulating products they don’t like. This is never more evident than in South Dakota where a tax increase initiative known as Measure 25 is on the November ballot. Should the initiative be approved, South Dakota would see an increase in the state cigarette excise tax by $1.00 per pack (to $2.53 per pack), and an increase in the state tax on other tobacco products from 35 percent of the wholesale purchase price to 55 percent of the wholesale purchase price. But in examining the impact of higher taxation on cigarette usage and prices, the South Dakota Legislative Research Council (SDLRC) misses the mark entirely. » Read More
October 30, 2018
It’s 4 PM right before Halloween night, and you traipse on over to the grocery store to get some Halloween candy before the kids come a-knocking, looking for their treats. Unfortunately, the scariest part of Halloween will prove not to be the too-retro Michael Myers costumes, but rather the price tag on those mini Hershey bars. Unbeknownst to the irksome ghouls and Kylo Rens knocking at your door later, those candies have become far more expensive thanks to tariffs, continued sugar protectionism, and miscellaneous regulations. But, regardless of how many treats you have to buy to placate the kids of the neighborhood, the fearful prospect of Uncle Sam stretching out his hand to trick taxpayers is ever-present. » Read More
October 29, 2018
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This article appeared in The American Spectator on October 26, 2018.
Imagine a 6,350-acre parcel close to your home filled with rows and rows of 1.8 million solar panels and the largest solar power farm of its kind east of the Rocky Mountains. Imagine wondering what effect that massive farm would have not only on the local environment, but also the microclimate, because such a project in a populated area is unprecedented. If you lived in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, you wouldn’t have to imagine it because such a farm could be built there in the next few years. A large group of concerned citizens are now fighting the plan, raising concerns and hoping for a scaled-back project.
October 26, 2018
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Special-interest groups (and allied politicians) have yet to learn that even the best-sounding initiatives can be unraveled by naïve assumptions and flawed incentives. In November, Montana voters will encounter a deeply flawed referendum sponsored by “public health” groups to hike tobacco taxes (from $1.70 to $3.70 per pack), with revenues slated toward making Medicaid expansion permanent. But proponents ignore illicit tobacco trade at their own peril. Tobacco tax increases have the nasty habit of fueling illegal enterprise while undermining revenue. And even if the funding were there, there are far more worthy public health ventures than the deeply flawed Medicaid program. Voters need to take a long-hard look at the unintended consequences and bogus claims propping up Initiative 185.
October 25, 2018
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Congress has faced the same question about what can be done about high drug prices for decades. Recent policies, such as lowering regulatory barriers to drug approval, have already yielded results and begun to lower prices. Other ideas, such as expanding the use of tax-free savings accounts and reducing insurer mandates, hold additional promise for injecting market forces into the American healthcare system to bring down costs.
October 23, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance applauded the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to free up more spectrum for 5G deployment, a welcome step for fast broadband in urban and rural areas without taxpayer money. The FCC has proposed a comprehensive framework that would increase licensing areas and expand licensing terms on the 3.5 GHz band, to be used for the development of fifth-generation mobile technologies (“5G”). » Read More
October 22, 2018
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This article appeared in Inside Sources on October 16, 2018.
For those unable and unwilling to wait for Chicken Little’s coming sequel, the United Nations’ latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report provides a heavy helping of unnecessary alarmism and hysteria. The report’s authors warn that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are inevitable absent a radical, World War II-level effort to ratchet down fossil fuel usage to zero by 2050. At a U.S. taxpayer-funded level of $8 billion, the United Nations has an obligation to provide a levelheaded accounting of the facts, instead of jumping to fear mongering.
October 18, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Regulatory Review on October 17, 2018.
Before historic tax reform passed last December, the tax code had a reputation as an incomprehensible behemoth. Subtle details in thousands of pages of code meant endless compliance woes for companies—and even entire industries in some cases. Unfortunately, America’s tax code has a regulatory doppelganger: the medical device approval process of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). » Read More
October 16, 2018
Washington, D.C.– The Taxpayers Protection Alliance will be joined by Americans for Tax Reform, the Consumer Choice Center, and the R Street Institute on Thursday, October 18, 2018 to discuss reform at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Titled, “Fall Into FDA Reform,” the panel will discuss the FDA’s role in approving new consumer products that improve countless lives, ranging from safer smoking alternatives to fitness trackers. » Read More
October 15, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on October 5, 2018.
The #MeToo movement has affected the lives of millions of women across the country, giving them a voice that is finally being heard. Movies, actors and products are being boycotted. But it appears the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) never got the memo, considering that they just awarded a $20 million grant to a research center headed by Dr. Stanton A. Glantz, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who’s been accused of sexually harassing multiple employees.
October 11, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the American Conservative on October 9, 2018.
Over the past decade, massive cybersecurity hacks have become yet another thing for America to worry about, especially if the IRS has information on you (read: everyone) or if you have a Social Security number (again read: everyone). Now we’ve learned that the problem starts right at the top. The Department of Defense (DoD) reportedly relied on compromised technology to undergird data centers and relay drone information—and Americans don’t even know how much of their data was exposed.
October 10, 2018
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), representing millions of taxpayers and consumers across the country, sent a letter to Senator Barrasso in support of the “The Fairness for Every Driver Act,” which would repeal the federal electric vehicle tax credit. Republicans and Democrats should agree that eliminating subsidies for higher income folks and strengthening the Highway Trust Fund are top priorities. » Read More
October 4, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on October 1, 2018.
The federal government can’t help but get wrapped up in the tech sector, placing ludicrously large bets on boondoggles that benefit few at the expense of many. Take, for example, electric vehicles and their associated tax credits. In 2008, then-President George W. Bush signed into law an up-to $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of the first 250,000 vehicles on the market. As a part of his massive, ill-advised stimulus package, then-President Barack Obama expanded this credit to include the first 200,000 vehicles sold by each manufacturer in the United States. » Read More
October 3, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation (TPAF) announced a new project exposing corporate welfare/crony capitalism at all levels of government in the United States. Whether through direct handouts to companies through grants and earmarks or the lavishing of incentives to lure jobs from other cities and states, TPA will expose favoritism through investigative pieces and social media.
October 2, 2018
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As the Atlanta Braves prepare for the playoffs, for the first time since 2013, they’ll host playoff games in the house that taxpayers built. SunTrust Park, which opened last year – just 20 years after the Braves got a new stadium in Turner Field after that facility hosted much of the 1996 Summer Olympics – cost $622 million to build. The biggest losers are taxpayers, who are footing $400 million, the lion’s share of the new stadium’s cost.
October 1, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) criticized California Governor Jerry Brown, in addition to California lawmakers, for their role in passing SB 822, the California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018. The bill restores anti-”throttling” guidelines and prohibits free data offers for consumers, ensuring less options for internet users, worse network management, and lower broadband investment. » Read More
September 28, 2018
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This article originally appeared on Watchdog.org on September 26, 2018.
A possible vote to greatly expand a municipal broadband network in Hudson, Ohio, has been delayed, but city residents may still be asked to tax themselves to pay for the proposal next year. The Hudson City Council originally considered asking voters to say "yea" or "nay" on a 2.7-mill, 10-year property tax on the November ballot, but council members decided to delay the action of establishing that referendum in a recent meeting. Instead, they won’t vote whether to put the tax increase on the ballot until the council’s Nov. 13 meeting, pushing the possible referendum back to next year.
September 27, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the American Conservative on September 26, 2018.
Well into the second year of the Trump administration, “draining the swamp” is more of a hapless zigzag than a charge against Washington’s sacred cows. Case in point: the earmarking process. Despite a 2011 ban on congressional earmarking, lawmakers have found ways to bake “inducements” into massive defense and infrastructure bills. Tallying and tabulating the earmarks found in the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) found 679 earmarks totaling $19.3 billion. These earmarks fuel unnecessary and unaccountable programs that harm taxpayers and service members alike.
Taxpayers Protection Alliance to FCC: Cutting Red Tape to Deploy 5G Will Help Close Digital Divide Without Taxpayer DollarsGrace Morgan on
September 26, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) votes today on rules to help pave the way for 5G growth across the country, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance applauds their actions to bring fast broadband to urban and rural areas. The FCC will establish a fee guidance schedule that the Commission has determined would be palatable to courts and carriers to help localities recoup costs while also not gouging providers. » Read More