Taxpayers Protection Alliance
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Category: Congress

  • TPA Criticizes Lawmakers for Continued Budget Impasse

    David Williams on January 22, 2018

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) criticized Congress for shutting down the government by failing to pass spending bills on time. The resulting federal shutdown is entering its third day, with no resolution in sight. TPA President David Williams criticized the current impasse, noting that, “short-term financing resolutions makes for short-sighted maneuvering by members of Congress. Lawmakers should be held accountable for putting unrelated demands in funding bills without allowing enough time for debate and compromise."

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  • No, Resurrecting Earmarks Won’t Make Congress Work Better

    Ross Marchand on January 18, 2018

    This article originally appeared in The American Conservative on January 15, 2018

    Solutions to Congress’s unprecedented partisan gridlock are a dime a dozen these days. Recently, pundits have lined up to defend the idea, touted by the president and congressional leadership, of resurrecting earmarks as a way to foster legislative compromise. Prominent blogger and Bloomberg View columnist Tyler Cowen provides an interesting conservatarian take on why the earmark ban has harmed the functioning of government and the advancement of free-market policy. 

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  • SURVEY SAYS: Voters Support Repeal Of Obamacare ‘Death Panel’ And Other Provisions

    David Williams on January 17, 2018

    This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on January 17, 2018

    With tax reform in the rearview mirror, policymakers and voters are sizing up the next big policy battles. Chief among voter concerns is the unraveling healthcare system, which regularly sees double-digit premium increases and questionable results for taxpayer funding. Americans understand that failing to reform the health-care system via the rollback of Obamacare will continue to strain the system and result in lower-quality care at a high cost. » Read More
  • Earmarks are Extinct, and Now's Not the Time for Jurassic Park

    Ross Marchand on January 12, 2018

    This article appeared in the Washington Examiner on January 12, 2018. 

    To citizens across the country, hopes of “draining the swamp” were fulfilled with the passage of comprehensive tax reform at the end of last year. With one step forward, however, the administration and Congress may decide to take two steps back. Earlier this week, the president and congressional leaders announced their willingness to bring back the destructive process of earmarking in an attempt to smooth out disastrous budget negotiations. In a rush to ditch continuing resolutions in favor of an actual budget, key leaders would be making a deal with the devil in bringing back earmarks. While President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are simply trying to jump-start the budget process in good faith, allowing earmarks would once again consign taxpayer dollars to a black hole of aimless funding and failed expectations.

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  • TPA Urges Members of Congress to Vote Yes on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

    David Williams on December 19, 2017

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    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), representing millions of taxpayers across the country, urges the House of Representatives to vote YES for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. TPA is encouraged by the final tax reform package crafted by the conference committee.  This legislation will provide comprehensive tax relief for millions of Americans. » Read More
  • Congress Can Save Taxpayers Billions By Closing Unneeded Bases

    Ross Marchand on October 30, 2017

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    This article appeared in the Daily Caller on October 26, 2017.

    Last week, the Department of Defense confirmed to Congress what all of Washington, DC already knew: the Pentagon is bloated. In particular, military bases have an astounding 19 percent “excess capacity.” This jives with previous yearly estimates.  In fact, last years report pegged the figure at 22 percent. The Pentagon admitting that it maintains billions of dollars in wasteful structures should be a slam dunk for fiscally responsible lawmakers intent on downsizing government. But Congress on the whole rejected the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) request, even after Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) proposed a more “sensible” measure that would give Congress more control over the closure and realignment process.  But counter to Congress’s posturing, the notion of taxpayers footing the bill for nearly abandoned installations is an unpopular one, and for good reason. A letter signed by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and 44 other groups across the political spectrum reinforced the bipartisan idea of closing more bases. » Read More
  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Praises House for Passing FY 2018 Budget Resolution

    Grace Morgan on October 26, 2017

    . – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the passage of the fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution in the House of Representatives. TPA President David Williams praised members of the House for, "demonstrating much-needed fiscal responsibility and continuing the path to tax reform. This budget resolution provides a strong foundation for comprehensive tax reform, paving the way for a reduction of $1.5 trillion in taxes over the next decade.”

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  • To Alleviate Poverty, Congress Must Tackle Welfare Reform

    Ross Marchand on July 24, 2017

    Congress and the President are crafting the fiscal year 2018 budget, with promised cuts to gargantuan programs that have long out-lived their usefulness. Recently, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) signaled willingness to go beyond the standard conservative/libertarian formula of spending decreases and tax cuts. Speaker Ryan boldly suggests trying a second round of welfare reform, applying work requirements and wage incentives to programs with unchecked growth over the past few decades. Despite the high political price that lawmakers can pay for attempting to reform welfare, updating program rules and eligibility can improve living standards for the millions of Americans on the federal dole. As can be seen in the previous round of welfare reform, strengthening work incentives and allowing for state experimentation can make the very neediest better off while saving taxpayers billions. » Read More
  • TPA Warns that the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017” Weakens Federalism

    Ross Marchand on June 13, 2017

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    – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged lawmakers in the House of Representatives to oppose HR 1215, the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” which forces a one-size-fits-all system of tort liability on states. A number of conservative organizations have already expressed their opposition to the legislation in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). » Read More
  • With Privacy Legislation, Congress Can Safeguard the Digital Domain

    David Williams on June 6, 2017


    This article appeared in Inside Sources on May 17, 2017

    Seemingly overnight, sending an email has become fraught with peril. Every day, we hear reports about phishing scams and malevolent viruses designed by cybercriminals and belligerent governments alike. But, unknown to many surfers of the digital domain, our own government has exploited loopholes and ambiguities in current law to snag important user information without obtaining permission in a court of law. In contrast to clear-cut Fourth Amendment prohibitions on physical property services, the law has little to say about privacy rights in the virtual space. And, vagueness in legal restraints leaves the door open for large, open-ended government investigations that squander hard-earned taxpayer money.

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  • This Is One GAME Congress Should Play…And Pass

    Johnny Kampis on June 4, 2017


    This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on May 31, 2017.

    With Congress hurtling toward a debt ceiling increase this summer and another budget showdown in the Fall, their legislative agenda will be limited in 2017.  Despite the (now normal) chaos, the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement (GAME) Act should move forward.  The GAME Act puts the power of legalization and regulation of gambling in the hands of states where it belongs.  With such a dysfunctional Congress and President, every opportunity to give states more autonomy should be encouraged.
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  • Ajit Pai Undoes Excessive Control of the Internet

    Johnny Kampis on May 30, 2017

    This article originally appeared in RealClearFuture on May 21, 2017

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), led by Chairman Ajit Pai, voted 2-1 on May 18 to begin the process of reversing Obama administration policies that classified internet service providers as Title II public utilities and put them under the agency's thumb. Advocates of the change hope that removing the regulations will boost private-sector investment and reduce the call for taxpayer- and ratepayer-funded broadband networks.Title II classification gave the FCC more stringent oversight over those providers, allowing the agency to enforce ex-Chairman Tom Wheeler’s version of "net neutrality," purporting to prevent those companies from inhibiting or slowing down access to certain websites or web services.

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  • The Death Tax: Is It On It’s Way Out?

    Ross Marchand and Sarah Olsen on May 22, 2017


    With tax reform right around the corner, lawmakers must consider which onerous provisions to target first.  While there’s no shortage of taxes that unfairly gauge taxpayers, inheritance (death) taxes are in a class of their own.  Prevailing law requires that every deceased person’s estate worth at least $4,450,000 be subjected to a “death tax” of forty percent.  This, paired with the gift tax targeting gifts over $14,000, transfers nearly $25 billion per year from landowners to bureaucrats. After a failed attempt at repeal during the Obama administration, President Trump promised on the campaign trail to remove these onerous provisions from the tax code.  Next week, the House can fulfill this vision by passing H.R. 198, which plans to eliminate a host of inheritance taxes including estate, gift, and generation- skipping transfer levies.  Congress can finally axe a series of taxes that are immoral, unnecessary, and burdensome to business owners.  

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  • Online Gaming Decisions Should be Left To States, Not D.C. Bureaucrats

    David Williams on May 12, 2017


    This article appeared in The Daily Caller on May 9, 2017

    In a meeting last week, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to leave his state alone when it comes to regulating online gaming. We don’t know the entire contents of that meeting, but Gov. Sandoval likely pointed out that Nevada and several other states are already effectively regulating online gaming. They are doing so on issues ranging from prevention of play by minors to geolocation to ID verification. To use that old chestnut, this is a problem that ain’t broke, but the federal government is looking to fix it. Politicians, encouraged by deep-pocketed patrons such as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson who don’t appreciate the online competition, are pushing a deeply flawed, dishonest piece of legislation called the Restore America’s Wire Act (RAWA). The legislation is flawed because it would lead to a crackdown of online gambling by Sessions and other law enforcement for no good reason. Americans by and large are OK with legal gambling as long as it is reasonably regulated. Online gambling hosted in states that allow it is hardly the Wild West.

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  • By Passing the Financial CHOICE Act, Congress Can Finally Put Regulators on a Tight Leash

    Ross Marchand on May 9, 2017


    Despite the deregulatory zeal shown by the Trump Administration and Congress, the vast majority of Obama-era rules remain in place. The cumulative effect of these interventions is large, with hundreds of billions of dollars being sucked out of the economy annually. Financial regulations, ushered in under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, had a particularly deleterious impact by targeting lending and borrowing activities. The wide-reaching legislation costs the economy as much as $36 billion a year, and imposes 73 million paperwork hours on American firms. But what can remedy this regulatory hangover? Later this month, Congress will contemplate passage of the Financial CHOICE Act. This legislation removes the onerous mandates of the Dodd-Frank Act, and places regulators on a tight leash. Independent rule-making bodies such as the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will now be required to comprehensively explain their cost-benefit logic to the American public. Congress already requires that new rules deemed to be economically “significant” be exhaustively evaluated in regulatory impact analyses, but financial regulations often slide under the radar. Given the ability of the Federal Reserve and the CFPB to usher in regulations affecting lending and borrowing for the entire economy, it’s only wise to require their methodologies to be scrutinized in the public eye.

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  • Congress should protect taxpayers from predatory PACE loans

    Michi Iljazi and Justin Sykes on May 8, 2017


    This article originally appeared in The Hill on May 4, 2017, it was co-authored with Justin Sykes of Americans for Tax Reform

    Washington seems to be getting in its own way on a number of potentially major reform initiatives in the first few months of 2017. But Congress is making progress on smaller pieces of legislation that promote better stewardship of taxpayer money and a more efficient and less intrusive bureaucracy. One area in need of heightened scrutiny and reform is the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program that was expanded under President Obama. PACE loans allow homeowners to finance solar panels (or other “energy efficient improvements”) through a lien that is then paid back with property tax payments. Homeowners should be able to improve their homes without government intervention. However, when homeowners are making a choice on whether to finance these new additions and are leveraging property tax do so, there has to be truth in advertising.

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  • TPA Reacts to Passage of CR and Passage of AHCA in the House

    Michi Iljazi on May 5, 2017


    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to Congressional action on two major fronts: government spending and healthcare. After a busy week in Washington. Congress was able to pass a spending bill that guranteed government funding through late September and prevented a shutdown. The House was able to pass the American Health Care Act after pulling the legislation from the floor a few months ago. TPA President David Williams reacted to both of these developments yeasterday as dual statements were released.

    Click "Read Blog" below to see the statements

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  • Another Tax Day Passes Without Tax Reform

    David Williams on May 2, 2017


    This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on April 19, 2017

    Tax Day 2017 is over, and for many Americans that’s a huge relief. Unfortunately, a greater relief for taxpayers would be for Washington to make comprehensive tax reform a priority and a reality. But that has yet to happen despite having the perfect conditions to get something done. And, as the Taxpayers Protection Alliance spoke to folks from around the country, the message was clear: People from all walks of life want tax reform now. The problem with the current tax code is crystal clear: It’s too complicated. The tax code currently has 10 million words, and growing. Every year, an estimated 100,000 words are added to the tax code. This growth causes a drain on time and money by taking away billions of hours and billions of dollars from hard-working families to comply with a code that is in real need of slimming down.

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  • TPA Leads Coalition Urging Elimination of Taxpayer-Funded SunShot Initiative

    Michi Iljazi on May 1, 2017


    The year is nearly halfway through, yet Congress still has plenty of work to get done in order to make 2017 a productive one. This week there is expected to be a vote on a spending bill that will miss the mark on any meaningful reductions in spending, but there also may be a vote on repeal and replace of Obamacare. The mixed bag from Congress and the White House so far is a bit disappointing but there are opportunities to cut wasteful programs and save taxpayers money. One such example is the SunShot Initiative.  Right now taxpayers, through the Department of Energy (DOE), are paying for the program that spends $270 million per year to “induce companies to lower production and installation costs associated with photovoltaic solar panel systems and reducing the price of solar power.” This is a terrible program and that’s why TPA organized this coalition letter urging House Appropriators to eliminate funding for SunShot.

    Click "Read Blog" below to see the full letter

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Calling for Free Market Oriented Farm Bill

    Michi Iljazi on April 24, 2017


    Congress returns tomorrow from a two-week vacation and they have a great deal of work to get done as a government shutdown is looming with only days of funding left, not to mention healthcare and tax reform are still big ticket items that must be addressed this year. However, there is another major piece of legislation that will soon be the focus of lawmakers on Capitol Hill: the Farm Bill. The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September in 2018, but right now the groundwork is already being done behind closed doors to get the ball rolling on the next Farm Bill. Agriculture policy is loaded with subsides, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance continues to take notice and speak out on behalf of taxpayers that want to see the giveaways just go away. Keeping that in mind, TPA signed a coalition letter recently sent to Congress urging a free-market approach to the Farm Bill and Ag policy. A country that is trillions of dollars in debt must begin to reduce spending and the multi-year, multi-billion dollar Farm Bill is prime for reform that could reduce the debt, save taxpayers money, and spur free-market growth in the Ag industry. 

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