February 21, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on February 15, 2019.
“Preventative medicine” is a great idea, except for the small caveat that the concept has saved few lives at a substantial cost. For example, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Tufts–New England Medical Center, screening all 65-year-olds for diabetes (as opposed to screening only 65-year-olds with hypertension for diabetes) costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for each year of life saved. But what if a one-time shot early in life could prevent diseases such as diabetes altogether, saving countless lives and health care dollars? Fortunately, a new line of treatment—gene replacement therapy—offers the game-changing benefits to patients that doctors could only dream of a decade ago. And, this new technology could save taxpayers billions of dollars. » Read More
February 20, 2019
This article originally appeared in RealClearPolicy on February 14, 2019.
When the news reports on international organizations, big players such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization usually hog all of the headlines. But that may all change by the beginning of next year when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) — an organization most Americans have never heard of — implements revised fuel standards for ships. While this may sound far removed from Americans without direct ties from the maritime industry, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects ripple effects on oil prices writ large with significant negative consequences for all Americans. » Read More
February 19, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on February 11, 2019.
America has a pavement problem. In 2017, substandard conditions on America’s urban roads caused an average of nearly $600 in repair costs per vehicle. According to a 2016 study , U.S. drivers pay an additional $3 billion per year in maintenance calls due to pothole-related automobile damage. Meanwhile, America has a nearly $900 billionbacklog of highway and bridge capital needs, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, who gave American roads a D grade. This rising national repair bill has prompted the Trump administration and lawmakers to call for increased infrastructure investment, rallying most often around around increasing a federal gasoline tax that has remained unchanged since 1993.» Read More
February 15, 2019
Too often, lawmakers drum up discussion about "innovation" just to talk about their favorite pet projects to be paid for by taxpayers. Members of Congress seldom mention how important Intellectual Property (IP) rights are to fueling innovations that benefit customers and taxpayers. But thanks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 2019 International IP Index, IP is finally getting the credit it deserves for growth and prosperity. » Read More
February 14, 2019
This article originally appeared on Townhall.com on February 14, 2019.
Every year, the American public hears new proposals for a tax on carbon dioxide, peddled via fear-mongering and “Chicken Little” style climate predictions. With even some “conservative” and “free-market” groups arguing that a carbon tax is necessary, it is important to understand the devastating effects that these policies have had on taxpayers and consumers in countries that already have carbon taxes. » Read More
February 13, 2019
The Decorah Communications Utility Board (“CUB”) met on Monday, February 11, 2019, to discuss the preliminary results of the second and most recent feasibility study to create a government owned (taxpayer-funded) broadband network (GON). While the second formal, printed report was not yet completed by the consultant, the consultant’s conclusion that the proposed city-wide FTTH GON was not financially viable. » Read More
February 12, 2019
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This article originally appeared on RealClearPolicy on February 1, 2019.
When products have the potential to save millions of lives, it's helpful if people are told about those benefits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can do just that as it considers allowing manufacturers of non-combustible tobacco products to notify smokers that completely switching from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco products can save lives. To make smokers aware of the health benefits of quitting smoking by switching to lower-risk non-combustible products, Copenhagen Snuff manufacturer U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company is among a number of companies asking the FDA for permission to print the following label on their products: "IF YOU SMOKE CONSIDER THIS: Switching completely to this product from cigarettes reduces risk of lung cancer." The FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee will hold two days of hearings on the issue in February.
February 11, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) following its latest loss of $1.5 billion in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year. The agency had a controllable loss of $103 million, signifying that overall costs of services are continuing to outpace the revenues of its products. » Read More
February 8, 2019
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This article originally appeared on Townhall.com on January 30, 2019.
Now that the shutdown is over (for now), it’s time for Congress to get to governing. Unfortunately, lawmakers seem to prefer red herrings and faux populist outrage to tackling the most pressing issues of the day. Case in point: H.R. 1, otherwise known as “For The People Act.” Introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), this political “reform” legislation uses the boogeymen of “dark money” and foreign influence to curtail First Amendment protections and eviscerate donor privacy. Instead of misguided restrictions on cherished freedoms, Congress should move toward genuine campaign finance reforms that allow parties to hold interest groups in check.
February 7, 2019
This article originally appeared in Real Clear Policy on January 21, 2019.
A recent report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) shows that the removal of Title II regulations — or net neutrality — in 2017 helped boost the growth of broadband and close the digital divide. In what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called "a stunning drop," the number of Americans lacking access to fixed terrestrial broadband service of 100 megabits per second download and 10 Mbps upload plummeted 56 percent — from 78.9 million to 34.8 million. » Read More
February 5, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tonight, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to President Trump’s second State of the Union address, grading the executive on a number of key issues discussed. TPA President David Williams noted that, “it was unfortunate that President Trump failed to mention the $1 trillion deficit or the $22 trillion debt, or possible ways to cut spending.” » Read More
February 5, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on January 31, 2019.
Anyone who has had a bacterial infection can attest to the misery of being bedridden and the frustration of taking medications that sometimes do not work. Why some drugs work and some don’t has been a mystery since the advent of modern medicine a century ago, but new advances in medical research show strong links between genetic variation and drug responses. » Read More
February 4, 2019
This article originally appeared in Townhall on January 31, 2019.
On January 27, the United States Postal Service (USPS) hiked up the price of First-Class Forever stamps from 50 to 55 cents, the largest percentage increase in stamp prices since the Civil War. Postal leadership hopes that these increases will help mask historic net losses - most recently, $3.9 billion in fiscal year 2018. The USPS insists that their gargantuan financial issues were caused by Congress, specifically a mandate passed in 2006 that required the agency to set aside money ahead of time for workers’ retirement obligations. » Read More
February 1, 2019
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This article originally appeared in the American Spectator on January 30, 2019.
When Super Bowl LIII takes places in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday it will occur — stop us if you’ve heard this one before — in the house that taxpayers built. In an ever-growing race to offer bigger subsidies to owners of professional sports franchises, Georgia taxpayers forked over nearly $700 million of the $1.5 billion it cost to build the replacement for the “ancient” two-decade-old Georgia Dome. The amount of money that is handed out to National Football League (NFL) teams is so large that Atlanta isn’t even the biggest beneficiary of taxpayer handouts. That mantle belongs to the Raiders, to whom Las Vegas and Clark County are guaranteeing $750 million in taxpayer money for the $1.9 billion Las Vegas Stadium, the most expensive of its kind. It’s scheduled to open in 2020.
January 31, 2019
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a report calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the United States Postal Service (USPS). In the report, TPA identifies more than $3.3 billion in common sense savings that the agency can achieve without relying on Congressional reforms and/or taxpayer-funded bailouts. The report’s release comes shortly after the USPS raised the price of First Class stamps from 50 cents to 55 cents, the largest percentage increase since the Civil War.
January 30, 2019
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This article originally appeared in RealClearPolicy on January 22, 2019.
It's tough to decide which is worse: a subsidized company that can't survive without government largesse or a well-off successful business that doesn’t need taxpayers' help but gets it anyway. Tesla will soon find out, as their electric vehicle (EV) tax credit from Uncle Sam phases out. Current law stipulates that, once an auto manufacturer produces more than 200,000 of a qualified electric vehicle, the tax credit (up to $7,500 for buyers) halves. Tesla officially reached that point in 2018, with the maximum credit slashed from $7,500 to $3,750 this month.
January 28, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Des Moines Register on January 25, 2019.
Access to high-speed internet service is the focus of much governmental attention in today’s world. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds affirmed her priority of expanding access to high-speed internet service throughout Iowa in her 2019 Condition of the State address, requesting $20 million in state funding for broadband infrastructure for a program that will also facilitate an additional $120 million in private investment.
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January 23, 2019
This article originally appeared in Townhall on January 23, 2019.
Now approaching two years old, the epic legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm has morphed into a 21st century Hatfield-McCoy feud for tech observers. Apple accuses Qualcomm of enforcing an all-encompassing, onerous licensing system outside the confines of normal patent law. Qualcomm accuses Apple of refusing to pay for intellectual property (IP) and illegally sharing proprietary data with competitors such as Intel. » Read More
January 22, 2019
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This article originally appeared in the American Spectator on January 21, 2019.
Even though it’s jam-packed with internet options, Traverse City, Michigan, wants to use millions in taxpayer money to build its own broadband network. It’s a foolish plan for a number of reasons, from the plethora of existing competition to the evolution in which internet will be delivered in the future. Traverse City Light & Power, the city’s public utility, is moving forward with a plan to connect all residents and businesses in the city limits with high-speed internet at an estimated cost of $16.3 million. It has picked Fujitsu and Allo as the two finalists to build and run the fiber-optic network. The utility’s board of directors is likely to choose a company at its next meeting on Jan. 22.
January 18, 2019
Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a series of issue briefs for the 116th Congress titled Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity. The publication offers a comprehensive blueprint of common sense reforms that would reign in the debt and unleash market forces throughout the economy. » Read More