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  • Regulatory Reform- Comparing the Experiences of the US and Lebanon

    Ross Marchand on November 30, 2018


    Last month, TPA policy director Ross Marchand spoke at Balamand University and AZM University in Lebanon on the subject of regulatory reform, hosted by the Lebanese Institute for Market Studies. Below are his abridged remarks. 
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  • Congress Should Follow Senate’s Plan for Broadband in Farm Bill

    Johnny Kampis on November 28, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in The American Spectator on November 26, 2018. 


    As leaders in Congress hammer down the details of the Farm Bill, they should use the Senate’s plan for rural broadband deployment that provides better safeguards against taxpayer waste. Farm Futures reports that negotiators in the House and Senate hope to finalize a framework for the bill so Congress can take up the expired Farm Bill during the lame-duck session before the end of the year.

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  • Postal Service Exposes 60 Million Records

    David Williams on November 27, 2018

    Image result for people at post office
    Washington, D.C.
     - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for a privacy breach impacting millions of consumers.  Silicon Republic reported that, “according to KrebsOnSecurity, a broken API within USPS’s mail tracker service called Informed Delivery allowed any user to see another user’s details.”  This data breach comes less than two weeks after the USPS reported a $3.9 billion net loss for the year, an increase of $1.2 billion from the previous year. » Read More
  • Lame-duck Congress must avoid extending the electric vehicle tax credit

    Ross Marchand on November 26, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on November 26, 2018.


    The old Congress’ days are numbered, with only a few weeks’ worth of legislative meetings scheduled before the new Congress is sworn in in January. Yet, these few days must be productive enough to secure 2019 fiscal year appropriations and resolve deep-seated differences across the aisle. In the midst of bickering over border wall funding and the status of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reassuredthe press that “we just want to get it done” and keep the government from shutting down past the funding deadline of Dec. 7.  » Read More
  • Consumer Health Revolution is Coming, FDA Permitting

    Ross Marchand on November 23, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on November 9, 2018. 

    Most of healthcare spending is out of sight and out of mind, doled out by insurers and state and federal government. How much does a CAT scan or colonoscopy cost? The vast majority of people have no idea. While that is unlikely to change anytime soon, more and more products directly purchasable by consumers can tend to health and wellness. Just a few decades ago, few could predict that cholesterol tests would someday be able to be performed in the comfort of one’s home. And just a few years ago, few could predict that fitness trackers would be able to detect atrial fibrillation and other irregularities. » Read More
  • TPA's 2018 Taxpayer Turkeys

    David Williams and Ross Marchand on November 21, 2018


    Ah Thanksgiving, that magical holiday where you pile on the pounds while listening to Uncle Jebediah’s two-hour rant about tank production during the Second World War. While you mindlessly nibble on stuffing and DVR that Back to the Future marathon, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will be (doing the same thing) while holding politicians’ feet to the fire and ensuring that taxpayers aren’t having their hard-earned dollars gobbled up by reckless lawmakers. So, without further ado, we present our 2018 Taxpayer Turkeys! This Thanksgiving, we selected one Republican, one Democrat, and one agency that continue to show reckless disregard for taxpayers and consumers across the country. » Read More
  • Texas City Considers Funneling Taxpayer Money into Broadband

    Johnny Kampis on November 20, 2018

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    This article was originally appeared in the Daily Caller on November 15, 2018.

    Even though customers in New Braunfels, Texas, can already access lightning-fast broadband speeds exceeding one gigabit per second, the City Council there seems intent on building a fiber backbone that would connect businesses using taxpayer money. » Read More
  • TPA President David Williams Testimony Before the DC Committee on Transportation & the Environment

    David Williams on November 19, 2018


    TPA President David Williams testified in front of the DC Committee on Transportation & the Environment on November 19, 2018. His testimony related to 5G and potential technological developments for the DC area. » Read More
  • The F-35, the great white whale of defense waste

    Ross Marchand on November 16, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on November 14, 2018.

    Despite the pronouncements of the White House, wasteful government spending is endemic and shows no signs of abating anytime soon. The military, which accounts for half of all federal spending, is not immune. While the media like to remind people of the Pentagon spending $435 for a hammer or $640 for a toilet seat, accounts of true billion-dollar boondoggles often go virtually ignored. 
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  • Postal Service Records $3.9 Billion Net Loss for Year

    Grace Morgan on November 14, 2018

    Image result for usps headquarters
    Washington, D.C.
    - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for its $3.9 billion net loss for the year, an increase of $1.2 billion from the previous year.  Poor financial decisions drove $2 billion in controllable losses, complicating efforts to reduce the agency’s $13.2 billion in debt outstanding. » Read More
  • Arena yields increased taxes, less police protection for Nebraska city residents

    Johnny Kampis on November 13, 2018

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    An underutilized arena built with taxpayer money doesn’t get much. For example, in Ralston, Nebraska, it gets you higher taxes and less police protection. The Ralston City Council recently approved a budget that will increase the city’s share of residents’ property taxes by 10 cents, boosting Ralston’s levy to 71 cents per $100 in valuation. That means a person owning a $200,000 home will see their property taxes go up by $200.

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  • House Democrats Need to Conduct Hearings... on Government Waste

    Ross Marchand on November 13, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on November 12, 2018.

    Now that midterms are over, rhetorical bomb-throwing and campaign clichés must give way to governing for the good of the country. After recapturing the House, Democrats have pledged to investigate President Trump’s administration, along with alleged shenanigans committed by their Republican foes in other branches of power. While it is important to investigate the activities of government officials and hold their feet to the fire, a coherent, well-executed strategy is needed to move these hearings beyond empty grandstanding and into ones which will genuinely hold the government and government officials accountable.

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  • Why are CAT Scans Cheaper for Cats than Humans?

    Ross Marchand on November 9, 2018


    This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on October 29, 2018.

    Pictured above is my adorable three-legged cat Hopper. In his short year and a half of life, he’s been through quite a few surgeries and even a CAT scan. When pets need medical attention, they often benefit from the same tools, machines, and expertise that humans use at the doctor’s office or hospital. The difference, though, is cost. While humans haven’t managed to bend the “cost curve” down in medicine, veterinary medicine becomes cheaper and cheaper with the passage of time. Humans and pets may use similar types of medical resources, but there’s one key difference in the care they receive: the source of payment. Regardless of country, human healthcare is almost always predominantly paid for by someone besides the patient or patient’s family. Yet in veterinary care, things could not be more different; comprehensive insurance and government subsidization are rare.
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  • Why are CAT Scans Cheaper for Cats than Humans?

    Ross Marchand on November 9, 2018


    This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on October 29, 2018.

    Pictured above is my adorable three-legged cat Hopper. In his short year and a half of life, he’s been through quite a few surgeries and even a CAT scan. When pets need medical attention, they often benefit from the same tools, machines, and expertise that humans use at the doctor’s office or hospital. The difference, though, is cost. While humans haven’t managed to bend the “cost curve” down in medicine, veterinary medicine becomes cheaper and cheaper with the passage of time. Humans and pets may use similar types of medical resources, but there’s one key difference in the care they receive: the source of payment. Regardless of country, human healthcare is almost always predominantly paid for by someone besides the patient or patient’s family. Yet in veterinary care, things could not be more different; comprehensive insurance and government subsidization are rare.
    » Read More
  • How Trump can keep up the pace on his two-for-one deregulation plan

    Ross Marchand on November 8, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on October 31, 2018. 

    The verdict for 2018 is in, and President Trump’s “two-for-one” strategy of deregulation has proven a continued success, even better than advertised. Forbes reports that the ratio for “significant regulatory actions was four-to-one, with 14 significant new regulatory actions and 57 significant deregulatory ones.” But while positive, these figures pale in comparison to 2017, which saw 67 deregulatory actions being taken compared to four rule-making actions, resulting in an astounding 22-to-1 ratio.  » Read More
  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Welcomes New Congress and Warns Old Congress About Lame Duck Session

    David Williams on November 7, 2018

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams made the following statement in response to last night’s election outcomes: “TPA congratulates all new members of Congress and lawmakers who were re-elected.  The American public has spoken and now it’s time for Congress to listen.”

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  • California Just Admitted the Internet Isn’t in Jeopardy

    Johnny Kampis on November 6, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the American Spectator on October 31, 2018.

    It would seem California doesn’t think the internet is quite as in jeopardy as it would have had us previously believe. The state agreed not to enforce its new “net neutrality” law pending the resolution of appeals of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which passed last December. That federal order removed the Title II regulations the FCC placed on internet service providers (ISPs) under former Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Wheeler’s order brought uncertainty to broadband investment and was a blow to nationwide rural broadband deployment.

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  • Postal Service, Other Agencies Must be Held Accountable for IP Violations

    Ross Marchand on 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.

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  • South Dakota Misses the Mark in Analysis of Tobacco Tax

    Ross Marchand on November 1, 2018

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    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
  • TPA’s Tricks and Treats for 2018

    Ross Marchand on 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
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