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  • Texas City Considers Funneling Taxpayer Money into Broadband

    Johnny Kampis on November 20, 2018

    Image result for New Braunfels texas
    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. 
    » Read More
  • Postal Service Records $3.9 Billion Net Loss for Year

    Grace Morgan on November 14, 2018

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    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.

    » Read More
  • 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.

    » Read More
  • 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
  • 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.”

    » Read More
  • 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.

    » Read More
  • 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.

    » Read More
  • 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
  • Virginia County Residents Fret Over Massive Solar Farm

    Johnny Kampis on October 29, 2018


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

    Imagine a 6,350-acre parcel close to your home filled with rows and rows of 1.8 million solar panels and the largest solar power farm of its kind east of the Rocky Mountains. Imagine wondering what effect that massive farm would have not only on the local environment, but also the microclimate, because such a project in a populated area is unprecedented. If you lived in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, you wouldn’t have to imagine it because such a farm could be built there in the next few years. A large group of concerned citizens are now fighting the plan, raising concerns and hoping for a scaled-back project.

    » Read More
  • Fatally Flawed Montana Initiative 125 Would Fuel Illegal Trade

    Ross Marchand on October 26, 2018


    Special-interest groups (and allied politicians) have yet to learn that even the best-sounding initiatives can be unraveled by naïve assumptions and flawed incentives. In November, Montana voters will encounter a deeply flawed referendum sponsored by “public health” groups to hike tobacco taxes (from $1.70 to $3.70 per pack), with revenues slated toward making Medicaid expansion permanent. But proponents ignore illicit tobacco trade at their own peril. Tobacco tax increases have the nasty habit of fueling illegal enterprise while undermining revenue. And even if the funding were there, there are far more worthy public health ventures than the deeply flawed Medicaid program. Voters need to take a long-hard look at the unintended consequences and bogus claims propping up Initiative 185.

    » Read More
  • Mandated Listing of Pharmaceutical Prices Would Worsen American Healthcare Crisis

    Ross Marchand on October 25, 2018


    Congress has faced the same question about what can be done about high drug prices for decades. Recent policies, such as lowering regulatory barriers to drug approval, have already yielded results and begun to lower prices. Other ideas, such as expanding the use of tax-free savings accounts and reducing insurer mandates, hold additional promise for injecting market forces into the American healthcare system to bring down costs. 

    » Read More
  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Applauds FCC Vote to Expand Spectrum Available for 5G Deployment

    David Williams on October 23, 2018


    WASHINGTON, D.C. –
     Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance applauded the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to free up more spectrum for 5G deployment, a welcome step for fast broadband in urban and rural areas without taxpayer money.  The FCC has proposed a comprehensive framework that would increase licensing areas and expand licensing terms on the 3.5 GHz band, to be used for the development of fifth-generation mobile technologies (“5G”). » Read More
  • U.N. Report Shows Everything Wrong With Climate Alarmism

    Ross Marchand on October 22, 2018


    This article appeared in Inside Sources on October 16, 2018. 

    For those unable and unwilling to wait for Chicken Little’s coming sequel, the United Nations’ latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report provides a heavy helping of unnecessary alarmism and hysteria. The report’s authors warn that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are inevitable absent a radical, World War II-level effort to ratchet down fossil fuel usage to zero by 2050. At a U.S. taxpayer-funded level of $8 billion, the United Nations has an obligation to provide a levelheaded accounting of the facts, instead of jumping to fear mongering.

    » Read More
  • FDA Reform Needs to Look More Like Tax Reform

    Ross Marchand on October 18, 2018

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    This article originally appeared in the Regulatory Review on October 17, 2018.

    Before historic tax reform passed last December, the tax code had a reputation as an incomprehensible behemoth. Subtle details in thousands of pages of code meant endless compliance woes for companies—and even entire industries in some cases. Unfortunately, America’s tax code has a regulatory doppelganger: the medical device approval process of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). » Read More
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