Taxpayers Protection Alliance
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Category: Congress

  • GOP's Border Tax Will Kill Blue-Collar Jobs and Harm Consumers

    David Williams on March 14, 2017


    This article appeared in The Hill on March 8, 2017

    Some big multinational corporations, like GE and Boeing, are waging a dishonest campaign to pass the ill-conceived Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). One of their biggest falsehoods is that there is a “Made in America Tax” that discriminates against products built in domestic factories. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that imports face consumption taxes in the U.S. at the state and local level, and exports are taxed similarly in the overseas markets where they are sold. While there are many inequities in the existing tax code that impede businesses and job creation, the BAT won’t make the American economy more competitive, and it is likely to destroy manufacturing jobs, not create them.

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  • In Financing Space Exploration, Don’t Mix Planets and Politics

    Ross Marchand on March 13, 2017


    As a child of the nineties, nine planets in our solar system will forever be lassoed to my memory by a silly pneumonic device. But then came 2006, when a fateful decision by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) relegated Pluto to “dwarf planet” status and beefed up standards for planethood. After eleven years, Pluto-lovers may finally have their day in the sun, as a team of NASA scientists fights for an expanded definition of “planet.” But the scientists don’t want to stop at Pluto; their definition would include, “basically…anything that's big and round and isn't a star.” Popular Mechanics writer Andrew Moseman estimates that the expanded count would include a whopping 110 bodies, beyond the reach of any classroom acronym.  While this may seem like an academic feud worthy of The Big Bang Theory, taxpayers stand to lose from a “big tent” definition of planets.

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  • BREAKING: Taxpayers Protection Alliance Uncovers $14.5 Billion in Earmarks in Defense Spending Bill

    Michi Iljazi on March 6, 2017


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Defense Appropriations Act conference report, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has uncovered 406 earmarks totaling $14.5 billion (click here to see the full list) that were not requested by the Pentagon and inserted by members of Congress. That is an 11 percent increase in the number of projects and a one percent decrease in total dollars from FY 2016.  As some lawmakers push to return to officially bring back earmarks since they were banned in 2011, TPA continues to show that earmarks never died.  These earmarks are more alarming considering President Trump’s call for an increase Defense spending in FY 2018.

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  • Innovative Health Care Program Could Save Lives and Money

    Hrant Jamgochian, DPC on March 6, 2017


    Ever since November 8, 2016, the future of taxpayer-funded healthcare has been in the spotlight.  Taxpayers want the government to be compassionate and thrifty.  One issue where these two ideals intersect is end-stage renal disease (ESRD).  Like most chronic disease patients, people living with ESRD often find out that managing their care can be as difficult as managing their condition. The need for multiple doctors, specialists, prescriptions and facilities can often leave patients feeling confused about how to get the most effective care – which they often don’t. What’s more, poorly managed care compounds inefficiencies and increases costs across the health care system. The good news is that Medicare is experimenting with ways to produce better care for ESRD patients at lower costs. The largest such demonstration project created ESRD Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs), which currently exist in 37 locations across the country. Under this model, care managers assist patients with tasks such as making doctor appointments, getting answers from pharmacists and cutting through red tape with dentists or state assistance programs.

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  • TPA Leads Coalition Urging Senate Commerce to Allow Innovation to Thrive in Broadband Expansion

    Michi Iljazi on March 3, 2017


    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) continues to believe that the private sector has the tools to expand wireless deployment while also protecting taxpayers from potential risk. Innovation thrives when the government moves out of the way and that is a point that TPA made clear to the Senate Commerce Committee as they held a hearing on the challenges ahead for a potential infrastructure bill and how that legislation may encompass expansion of broadband. The coalition letter TPA sent (click here to read) reinforces the point that the private sector is best equipped to lead the way on expanding broadband infrastructure and that lawmakers in Congress should avoid the mistakes of the past that have contributed to the creation of many failing government owned networks (GONs) across the country.

    Click "Read Blog" below to see the full letter

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  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Reacts to President Trump’s Speech

    David Williams on February 28, 2017


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has a mixed evaluation of President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress and the American people. With a national debt nearing $20 trillion, spending is out of control. TPA is disappointed that President Trump has called for more Defense spending. TPA is also disheartened that he did not address Washington’s runaway spending. Taxpayers should be encouraged that the President is committed to comprehensive tax and regulatory reform.

    Click "Read Blog" to see TPA's full reaction to the Trump Address. 

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  • President Trump Must Address Taxes, Spending, and Regulatory Reform in Address to Congress

    Ross Marchand on February 28, 2017


    Tonight, President Trump will ascend to the lectern and articulate his policy vision to a joint session of Congress. Presidents have used past joint sessions to focus on a myriad of issues, from voting rights to foreign foes to economic policy. But as the new President makes his first address on Capitol Hill, the plight of the taxpayer could and should take the forefront.

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Urging Congress and President Trump to Protect Intellectual Property

    Michi Iljazi on February 24, 2017


    Intellectual Property (IP) remains critical to boosting economic growth, and with more than 40 million jobs in the United States directly and indirectly attributable to IP intensive industries, policymakers must take this issue seriously. Protecting IP rights is not only important here at home but also it is important all over the globe. The United States must continue to lead the way on strengthening IP rights and that is the Taxpayers Protection Alliance joined with the Digital Liberty and more than 60 other organizations signing this coalition letter addressed to the 115th Congress and President Trump. The letter lays out the case for protecting intellectual property rights and not just here in the United States, but around the entire world.

    Click "Read Blog" to see the full letter

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  • Beneficiaries of the Export-Import Bank Also Love the Border Adjustment Tax

    Michi Iljazi on February 21, 2017


    This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on Feb 15, 2017

    Comprehensive tax reform is one of the most important components to growing the economy. The tax code is outdated, too long, and harming small businesses and working families. Even though there is universal agreement about passing tax reform, and the president last week said to expect a “phenomenal” tax package to be unveiled in the coming weeks, a provision in the Republicans’ plan, the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), could throw cold water on the timing of tax reform. Supporters of the BAT claim they need this provision to pay for the tax cut, but the reality is that the BAT will result in a tax increase for consumers and benefit many firms who are already receiving corporate welfare through the Export-Import Bank.

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  • Time to Repeal Dick Durbin’s Corporate Giveaway

    David Williams on February 16, 2017


    This article originally appeared in The Hill on February 13, 2017

    President Trump has made his disdain for the Dodd-Frank Act clear as day. In his first weeks in office, he even signed an executive order that said his administration will roll back the most punitive parts of the law. This week, a coalition of conservative organizations ranging from the R Street Institute to the Taxpayers Protection Alliance dispatched a letter to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, urging repeal of the Durbin Amendment, a provision of the law that sets price controls on interchange fees for debit card purchases. If Congress wants to help “drain the swamp,” ending this corporate giveaway would be a great place to start.

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  • Reading in Between the Lines of the Solar Jobs Report

    Ross Marchand on February 13, 2017


    For pundits, lawmakers, and has-been presidential candidates, the phrase “green jobs” has long served as a magical mantra. Claims about the economic benefits of renewable subsidies are a dime-a-dozen, but do they hold up to scrutiny? The Solar Foundation’s 2016 Solar Jobs Census Report can shine some light on this question and help taxpayers see where all of their money is going. After combing through data collected by 91,000 energy establishments, the Foundation concludes that the number of solar jobs grew by 24.52 percent between 2015 and 2016. Absolute employment figures are low, however, meaning that some 50,000 new job positions will register as large percentage increases. Additionally, the concentration of job growth over the past year has more to do with congressional brinkmanship than actual market demand. Solar and wind companies feared throughout 2015 that the production and investment tax credit would expire at the end of the year, prompting a taxpayer-subsidized hiring and investment frenzy. As the result of a bipartisan agreement reached early last year, however, renewable tax subsidies will be phased out through the next decade. This extension will put a simmer on things for a while, but guarantees renewed market instability in a few years’ time. Even if private investment can partially fill the gap left by the phase-out, skills mismatches are bound to hold back the solar industry.

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  • President Trump Working With Congress to Ease the Burden of Massive Regulations

    Ross Marchand on February 10, 2017


    Over the past few decades, our nation’s gears of productivity have been clogged by an avalanche of rules and regulations created by meddling bureaucrats in Washington. This gusher of new, complex regulations has wreaked havoc on the economy by relegating companies across sectors to bureaucracy processing centers. Implementation of Dodd-Frank rules, for instance, has prompted large financial institutions to turn to cognitive systems like IBM’s Watson for help. With sufficient expertise and resources required to ride out the regulatory storm, larger corporations took advantage of low borrowing costs under the new government framework. So, it should come as no surprise that three of the “Big Four” banks - Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase - have gotten bigger since the end of the financial crisis. While large banks and investment firms celebrate government favors, community banks have largely been left to the wolves. There’s been a dearth of bank formation, as prospective institutions realize that healthy earnings will result in hefty mandates from the federal government. Mercatus Senior Fellow Hester Pierce surveyed small banks in 2014 and found that more than eighty percent of these institutions faced increased compliance costs. Additionally, a quarter of small operations were contemplating mergers as the result of regulatory overload.

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  • Border Tax Would Punish Consumers, Kill Jobs

    David Williams on February 9, 2017


    This article appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel February 6, 2017

    While there is broad consensus on the need to rein in the regulatory reach of the federal government, there is growing disagreement over tax reform.

    Since the election of President Donald Trump, the stock market has rallied to historic highs as investors have expressed their bullish confidence that the new Republican governing majority in Washington will usher in policies that create strong and sustained economic growth. This optimism is being fueled by the prospects for sweeping tax and regulatory reform. While there is broad consensus on the need to rein in the regulatory reach of the federal government, there is growing disagreement over tax reform. The stakes of this debate couldn’t be higher for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives. It has been more than 30 years since Ronald Reagan last reformed our tax code. In the three decades since, Washington special interests and lobbyists have littered the tax code with complicated deductions and loopholes that reward the biggest corporations at the expense of middle America. The existing tax code picks winners and losers, discourages growth and has punished working families who have seen their wages stagnate over the last decade, fueling the discontent in the electorate that resulted in Donald Trump’s victory.

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  • TPA Submits Comments on Copyright Office Reform to House Judiciary Committee

    Michi Iljazi on February 6, 2017


    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), representing millions of taxpayers nationwide, is encouraged by the initial work being done by the Chairman and the rest of the members of the Judiciary Committee regarding Copyright Office modernization. TPA is also grateful that Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers are asking for input from the public and all stakeholders about the future of the U.S. Copyright Office. Currently there is broad agreement that the Copyright Office, which administers the U.S. copyright system and serves the over $1.1 trillion market for copyrighted works, needs to modernize. In March of 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released two reports concluding that the Library of Congress has been woefully mismanaged, and that the Copyright Office, which resides in the Library, needs better IT systems.  Taxpayers, and all citizens, should expect the government to utilize technology and common sense when modernizing all operations.

    Click 'Read Blog' below to see the full comment

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  • Super Bowl Highlights Need for PASPA Repeal

    Ross Marchand on February 3, 2017


    At approximately 6:30 PM this Sunday, millions of people from around the world will tune into watch the Super Bowl.  Some will be watching for the game and others will be watching for the commercials.  But, no matter who may be winning, a significant number of people will be glued to the television holding out hope that their wager on the end score is correct. These fans in search of a buck are also criminals, thanks to a twenty-year arcane law created by the federal government called The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PAPSA). With the exception of Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon, PAPSA prohibited states from allowing sports gambling. And despite decades of unintended consequences associated with prohibition, attempts by states to fight the outdated statue have resulted in failure.

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  • Protecting Email Privacy

    David Williams on January 30, 2017


    This article originally appeared in the Washington Times on Jabuary 24, 2017

    Last week, Reps. Kevin Yoder, Kansas Republican, and Jared Polis, Colorado Democrat, reintroduced the Email Privacy Act, a bill that will protect Americans’ privacy rights from bureaucratic overreach by updating the grossly outdated 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Last April, the Email Privacy Act passed the House with a stunning 419-0 vote in the House of Representatives. Shortly afterward, the Senate version of the bill was compromised with controversial amendments, causing it to never make it to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Now, however, all signs point to the clean version passing both houses of Congress this session. The ECPA allows law enforcement to gain possession of any emails or messages that are more than 180 days old. This is a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, making us less safe because it overwhelms our bureaucrats with excessive information.

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  • TPA Agrees With Steve Forbes: Congress Should Look at Spending Cuts Instead of Border Adjustment for Tax Reform

    Michi Iljazi on January 26, 2017


    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) today published an open letter to congressional Republicans authored by visionary conservative and publishing icon Steve Forbes. The letter, which appeared in today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, warns Republicans in Congress that their majority could be at stake if they continue to pursue a border adjustment tax to pay for corporate tax reform. Mr. Forbes argues that border adjustment is “a costly new national sales tax on imports, one that will dramatically raise prices of everyday goods and services,” and continues by saying “Congress would be wise to focus their attention on spending cuts.”

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  • TPA Releases Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity for 115th Congress

    Michi Iljazi on January 25, 2017


    This week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a series of issue briefs for the 115th Congress titled Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity.  The publication puts forward an aggressive reform agenda for Congress. The publication focuses on 14 different policy areas where reform is needed to help reduce the size of government, cut spending, enact tax reform, and help get the economy back on track.  Issues covered in the publication include Defense Spending, Earmarks, Energy, Health Care, Intellectual Property, Mergers, Regulatory Reform, Solar Subsidies, Tax Reform, Telecommunications Policy, Trade Policy, United Nations/World Health Organization and United States Postal Service Reform. TPA President David Williams said of the release, “The newly elected Congress has No More Excuses for not acting on real and meaningful reform when it comes to reducing spending and getting the debt under control. TPA’s Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity provides a path forward.”

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  • Time for the Email Privacy Act to be Signed Into Law

    Ross Marchand on January 18, 2017


    On January 9, 2017, Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) reintroduced The Email Privacy Act.  This legislation would upgrade America’s digital privacy laws by establishing protections against warrantless searches of private emails.  This legislation is needed because the Fourth Amendment’s protection of property against “unlawful searches and seizures” is constantly under siege from home intrusions to warrantless wiretapping. Lawmakers feared that similar abuses would arise in the digital domain, and passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) in 1986 to safeguard emails from wonton searches. The law, however, was written at a time when “clouds” referred only to liquid droplets and not storage for information. 

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  • To Protect Taxpayers, Block Unnecessary Rail Regulation

    David Williams on January 16, 2017

    This article orginally appeared in The Daily Caller on January 11, 2017

    Taxpayers are accustomed to paying for the country’s critical transportation infrastructure.  What many taxpayers may not know is that the commercial rail infrastructure is privately funded and it is working quite well.  In fact, the U.S. freight rail industry serves a critical role in the U.S. economy and benefits all American taxpayers and consumers. Yet a proposed rule by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) that would mark a significant change in direction from the industry-saving partial deregulation in 1980 could threaten this success by driving cargo from private railroads to taxpayer-funded roads. 

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