Taxpayers Protection Alliance
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Category: Regulation

  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Congratulates President-Elect Donald Trump

    David Williams on November 9, 2016

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) congratulates President-Elect Donald Trump for his victory last night. Without question, the country clearly spoke with a voice that wants change in Washington.  With a $19 trillion debt, an economy that continues to struggle, agency regulations running wild, and an antiquated tax system, there are plenty of problems to solve and no time to waste. From more than $136 billion in improper payments to a wasteful and unnecessary catfish program, spending has spiraled out of control. Spending reduction and waste elimination must be a top priority for the new administration. Congressional earmarks are still a problem, despite a ban.  Last year, TPA identified 365 earmarks worth $14.8 billion in the Defense spending bill.  President-elect Trump must veto any spending bill with earmarks. Instead of increasing the Pentagon’s budget, President-elect Trump must insist on an audit of the Pentagon immediately. Auditing the Pentagon enjoys bipartisan support and it is the law of the land that must finally be followed. It is important for national and fiscal security to audit the Pentagon.Comprehensive tax reform is an absolute must for the new administration and TPA is encouraged by some of the things that have been said during the campaign. 

    Click "read more" below for the full statement

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  • Taxpayer-Funded UN Anti-Tobacco Convention Closes Out the Press

    Kevin Mooney on November 7, 2016


    This article originally appeared in The Washington Examiner on November 1, 2016

    Calling all media with an interest in healthcare policy, international relations and government accountability: The taxpayer-funded World Health Organization is holding a meeting in New Delhi next week that could have significant public policy ramifications. But you're not invited. Neither are members of the public who foot the bill for WHO's activities and other critical stakeholders who provide critical insight into pressing questions on the intersection of healthcare and law enforcement. So, what gives? Why such secrecy?

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Urging Congress to Derail New Regulatory Efforts by the Department of Transportation

    Michi Iljazi on November 1, 2016


    Federal regulators have been among the most active bureaucrats in Washington under the Obama Administration. A recent report showed that regulations have cost nearly $2 trillion in economic activity. Now, some bureaucrats want to combine two of the worst practices in D.C.- regulation and cronyism. The Surface Transportation Board (STB), housed within the U.S. Department of Transportation, is looking to shift policy and alter regulations in order to impose new mandates and price controls on freight railroad carriers. After deregulation, the industry has proven to be a major asset to the U.S. economy and re-regulating would no doubt harm that impact. It would also be another example of the government picking winners and losers as the STB seeks to changing the rules so that rail carriers with largest revenue get to handle the cars of competing carriers at an artificially low rate. Last week Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) joined a coalition letter sent by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) urging Congress to take action and stop the STB from moving forward on their current track.  

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • When Citizens In The "Nanny State Capital Of The World" Question The World Health Organisation, You Have To Sit Up And Listen

    David Williams on October 14, 2016


    This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post (UK) on September 22, 2016

    Recently, Australia had the dubious honour of being labelled the ‘nanny state capital of the world.’ While places around the world are dealing with serious health epidemics like Ebola and Zika, politicians in Australia have been focused on intrusions into people’s personal lives in the name of public health. Sadly, Australia is not alone in its quest to become a global ‘nanny state’ superpower. The truth is that Australia will never be able to compete with the taxpayer-funded World Health Organisation (WHO) under the leadership of Margaret Chan. We live in a globalised world where pandemics like Ebola and Zika grip the attention of the global community. The reaction of the largest health organization, the WHO, is confusing and the WHO is distracted with social engineering.

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  • Coalition Continues to Fight Against New Regulation for Backdoor Student Loan Bailout

    Michi Iljazi on September 30, 2016


    Congress has recessed until after the November elections, but unfortunately federal agencies and the Obama Administration are still making sure to promulgate new rules and regulations aimed at to increasing the authority and scope of the executive branch. Taxpayers continue to pay the price from damaging regulations coming from agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Treasury Department. Recently, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) joined a coalition effort hoping to stop the “Defense to Repayment Regulations” rule coming from United States Department of Education (US ED). This new rule proclaims to “protect students,” but all it will do is cost taxpayers, as it is a bailout for student loans. The rule could cost anywhere from $2 billion to $43 billion according to the US ED’s own analysis and that is why TPA continues to oppose the rule and call for action to stop it. This week the coalition, led by American Commitment, sent a new coalition letter to Howard Shelanski, the Administrator at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) urging the agency to require a new analysis of the rule and its cost before moving forward.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • What TPA Wants to Hear in Tonight's First Trump-Clinton Debate

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on September 26, 2016


    With just more than six weeks until the 2016 Presidential election, tonight will mark the first of three debates between Republican candidate Donald Trump and the Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. The event is expected to shatter ratings records because the race is tightening up and voters want to see the first one on one debate between the two candidates.  There has been way too much rhetoric and not enough substance so far in the campaign.   Voters want to hear about the issues, not personal attacks.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has a long list of issues to address, but there are four areas in particular that taxpayers want to hear about from the candidates.

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  • Taxi Drivers Getting A Free Ride With New Massachusetts Law

    Michi Iljazi on September 13, 2016


    The drive for competition is one of the greatest motivators in the marketplace.  In many cases, innovative ideas, spurned by competition, can change an industry and the way people think about a product or service. This has never been more evident than with ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. While the companies continue to thrive, and the industry sees growth with new players in new markets all across the country, the threat of big government and cronyism still pose a very real problem. Recently, ridesharing has come under attack in cities across the country with growing calls for more taxes and regulations on the industry. The leading opponent of these innovative services has been the antiquated taxicab industry, which simply cannot and will not update their services or business model to adapt to the changing needs of consumers.

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  • New Treasury Rules Could Mean Windfall for Big Banks

    David Williams on September 12, 2016

    United States Treasury Department (Washington, D.C.)

    With only a few weeks left until Congress once again goes on hiatus, there is quite a laundry list of items members must tackle before September 30th. However, there is one item in the pipeline that may seem like “inside baseball” to the average taxpayer but should become a top priority for lawmakers this month, as it could have serious consequences for the U.S. economy and taxpayers Late last week, InsideSources highlighted the unintended consequences of the Treasury Department’s new proposed rules aimed at industrial corporations as part of an aggressive effort by the Obama Administration to fight international tax avoidance. While the new rules have been a point of contention for quite some time, the article published by the investigative news source actually introduces the argument that this rule could not only hurt American business, but “end up benefiting large banks on Wall Street and elsewhere in the world.”

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  • The EPA's Bogus Attempt to Stop America's Energy Revolution

    Drew Johnson on August 24, 2016

    EPA Adminstrator Gina McCarthy 

    This article appeared in on SouthCoast Today on July 24, 2016

    The Environmental Protection Agency just rewrote history. Citing a "new-and-improved" methodology, the agency has revised its calculations of our country's total annual methane emissions for several previous years. Now, the official record shows emissions at distressingly high levels. Distressing, that is, if this revision were justified. But it's not. This new formula is driven by a political agenda, purposefully ignoring that methane levels are plummeting thanks largely to innovations in energy production.

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  • TPA Joins Over 30 Organizations to Support Occupational Licensing Reform

    Michi Iljazi on August 23, 2016


    The regulatory burdens that have been holding the economy back are a real problem, for businesses of all sizes. Another component of business that has been harmed by the increasing amount of regulations over the last several years is occupational licensing. Today the amount of jobs that require some form of occupational licensing has grown from five percent to twenty five percent. That kind of growth can be seen all over the country as millions of Americans are beginning to start small businesses, grow existing ones. The problem is the current laws for occupational licensing are costly both in terms of time and money. These laws are harming all Americans, especially women, young adults, and minorities. Right now there is legislation from Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) that would reform occupational licensing laws in Washington D.C. and the nation’s military bases. The bill is the Alternatives to Licensing that Lower Obstacles to Work (ALLOW) Act, and just last week Taxpayers Protection Alliance signed this letter with over 30 other groups, sent by Americans for Prosperity urging the Senate support the ALLOW Act. This bill should be the beginning of a new wave of reforms to current, and restrictive occupational licensing laws. The economy works better for all Americans when businesses are allowed to flourish without excessive regulations getting in the way of opportunity and growth.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • The World Health Organisation Is In Crisis - And At A Crossroads

    David Williams on August 22, 2016


    This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post on August 18, 2016

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just embarked up a year-long election to find a new Director-General to run the 8,000 person organisation. Arguably, the person who is eventually elected will not have an enviable job. WHO is mired in accusations of lack of transparency, corruption, and even stifling press freedom - in strict contravention to the UN Charter. Even its friends are scathing... “underlying WHO’s relationship with its member states is a lack of trust in the WHO Secretariat’s ability to deliver” laments Charles Clift, Senior Consulting Fellow at Chatham House. WHO matters to the world and, given that it receives 75% of its funding from the USA, the UK and the Bill Gates Foundation, we should all care that its functions properly. The specific accusations made against WHO are too numerous to list here, and I will outline only three. Firstly, there is proof of serious malpractice. The UN’s own Office of Internal Oversight recently conducted a damning audit of WHO stating that 2015 saw a 66% increase in the demands for investigation of wrongdoing. Incidents of reported fraud were up 20% over the previous period, and instances of fraud shot up 166% in 2015.

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  • TPA Signs Coalition Letter Supporting the Final CHOICE ACT

    Michi Iljazi on August 19, 2016


    The Obama Administration has presided over the worst economic recovery in more than six decades, and the policies they have been implemented are directly responsible for that weak recovery. Over the last several years wages have been stagnant, regulations have been growing, and the government is continuing the terrible practice of cronyism that picks winners and losers harming the free market. These policies have to end if there will ever be a fast-paced recovery that sees better job growth and higher wages for working Americans. There is legislation in the House of Representatives sponsored by Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) that can fix some of the problems mentioned. The Financial CHOICE Act would help to halt cronyism and bring accountability to Washington by ending some of the worst practices that make bailouts and regulations a normal trend. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) recently signed a letter supporting the Financial CHOICE Act, sent by the Institute for Liberty urging Congress to adopt the bill.

    Click 'read more' below to see the letter.

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  • Contact Lenses are About to Get More Expensive if this Legislation Passes

    David Williams on August 15, 2016


    This article originally appeared in Independent Journal Review on August 2, 2016

    At times, the government has an uncanny way of coming up with a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t make any sense, but it happens. When the federal government uses its power to micromanage a perceived problem, it hurts the very people it means to protect. The Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act (S.2777), put forth by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), purports to protect contact lens consumers from health problems associated with using lenses and not following accepted protocol when wearing them. The truth is that this legislation would have the opposite effect by limiting choice and increasing the cost of contact lenses.

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  • TPA Signs Coalition Letter Supporting Home-Sharing Competition in Los Angeles

    Michi Iljazi on August 9, 2016


    The sharing economy is a source of innovation that has been responsible for providing an economic boost to many major cities. Companies like Uber, Lyft, and others have revolutionized transportation with business models that are disrupting the old guard of a monopolistic taxi system and providing real competition; and that’s a great thing. Airbnb is another company that has been a key player in the sharing economy, and their business model has been popping up in city after city. Unfortunately whenever something new comes along, the usual reaction from government is to tax it, regulate it, or just kill it. TPA believes that consumers and businesses should not be regulated to the point where competition is impossible. Right now we’re seeing another instance of a city getting ready to make a play at restricting Airbnb, this time it’s Los Angeles, CA. TPA signed a letter last week sent by TechFreedom urging city officials to reach an agreement that will allow full and fair competition for home-sharing in the city.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • House Lawmakers Fish for Relief from Catfish Regulations

    Elizabeth BeShears on August 5, 2016


    Elizabeth BeShears writes for The Heartland Institute, this article originally appeared on the Heartland Institute's website on July 29, 2016

    In the wake of the U.S. Senate voting to lower trade barriers on catfish meat imported from other countries, a group of U.S. House lawmakers are blocking a vote on repealing food inspection rules currently in effect. The House’s inaction leaves in place an Obama administration decision effectively protecting American agricultural businesses against competitors in other countries by increasing the costs of complying with trade regulations. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a rule on imported catfish meat that requires it to be tested for quality by USDA instead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—a federal agency whose mission statement includes the goal of “ensuring the security of the food supply”—before allowing the fish to be sold in the United States. FDA already inspects imported seafood. USDA’s regulations on catfish imports are more stringent than FDA’s import regulations, and they are much costlier. FDA’s catfish inspection program costs taxpayers $700,000 per year, but the USDA regulations will cost taxpayers $14 million annually, plus an additional $20 million in one-time costs.

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Opposing New Regulation for Backdoor Student Loan Bailout

    Michi Iljazi on July 26, 2016


    While Congress is home for their annual summer recess, federal agencies and the Obama Administration continue their output of new rules and regulations meant to give the executive branch greater authority, putting taxpayers at risk. The latest rule is the “Defense to Repayment Regulations” rule and comes from United States Department of Education (US ED). The new rule is said to protect students, but in reality it will cost taxpayers and is merely a bailout for student loans. The rule would “prohibit pre-dispute arbitration agreements and class action waivers and create a stampede to file claims for loan forgiveness based on a newly broadened, vague standard.” This is unacceptable and TPA believes Congress should be the authority on any commitment of taxpayer dollars for repayment of student loans. This new rule would cost anywhere from $2 billion to $43 billion according to the US ED’s own analysis, rule-making of that scale must not be done through agency declaration. Keeping that in mind, TPA joined a coalition led by American Commitment signing this letter sent to US Ed Secretary John King opposing the rule and calling on Congress to make any decision regarding student repayment.

    You can read the full letter below:

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Opposing New MMA Regulatory Bill

    Michi Iljazi on July 21, 2016


    Government overreach and increasing regulation has been a hallmark of the last several years. Right now regulations are costing the economy trillions of dollars annually and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. The latest example of regulatory overreach by the government is new legislation to interfere with a new, growing, and increasingly popular sport. H.R. 5365, the “Muhammad Ali Expansion Act,” would regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) and it would put government bureaucrats in charge of ranking fighters and matchmaking. There is no need for this bill when the private sector is doing just fine, all one needs to look at is the continuing growth in popularity and prosperity of MMA in the United States. With that in mind, TPA signed onto a coalition effort led by Frontiers of Freedom sending this letter to Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce opposing the MMA regulation legislation. This is a bad solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist, and TPA strongly urges Congress to kockout H.R. 5365.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • Taxpayer-Funded World Health Organization Pushing Plain Packaging in Syria

    Michi Iljazi on July 13, 2016


    The United States (US) government spends a great deal of taxpayer money on things that the public doesn’t want or need. There are also examples of taxpayer money being wasted on things that go beyond our borders, like funding the United Nations (UN).  The UN receives approximately $8 billion every year from US taxpayers with $3 billion of that used for peacekeeping efforts, which is the main function of the United Nations. The other $5 billion goes to fund other various activities including the World Health Organization (WHO), an organization lacking in transparency and common sense. The latest mind-numbing misadventure that the WHO is pursuing is their current effort to get people to stop smoking in Syria.  As Syrian rebels try to overthrow a dictatorial regime that is committing war atrocities, the WHO is focusing their efforts in Syria to push plain packaging on tobacco.

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  • How Government Cronies Redefined the Catfish

    Veronique de Rugy on July 1, 2016


    Veronique de Rugy, Ph.D., is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a monthly columnist for the print edition of Reason. This article originally appeared in Reason on June 30, 2016

    Cronyism is the ugly marriage between special interest groups and politicians, which results in an abuse of the government's power to grant special privileges to a few winners—for example, unfairly preventing competition or doling out subsidies and bailouts at the expense of taxpayers. Though cronyism is always outrageous, the way cronies go about achieving their goals is sometimes oddly funny. Case in point: the government's changing the definition of catfish to classify the fish as—wait for it—meat, not seafood.

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  • NLRB Joint-Employer Ruling Highlights How Regulations Harm Economic Growth

    Michi Iljazi on June 22, 2016


    The power of federal agencies continues to expand every day with more and more regulations being passed and implemented.  With regulations flowing out of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one federal agency that hasn’t been spotlighted as much is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  But, don’t let their lack of publicity be misleading because the NLRB is currently waging a war against businesses.  Now, the courts must decide on a costly regulation that could change the definition of the term “employee” forever. In August of 2015, by a vote of 3-2, the NLRB moved to hold the Houston-based waste management firm Browning-Ferris responsible for the treatment of contractors that were hired out of California through a staffing agency. The ruling declared Browning-Ferris should be considered a "joint employer" with Leadpoint Business Services, a Phoenix-based staffing agency. This decision ran contrary to decades-old precedent on what the traditional definition is for an employee.  Many have warned that it could (and would) have implications for small and large businesses in the future.

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