June 13, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) announced the World Cup Watchdog project to monitor taxpayer subsidies and privileges directed toward the World Cup. The move comes as the 2026 World Cup was awarded to the United States, Canada, and Mexico this morning, setting the stage for billions of taxpayer dollars to be directed toward the major sporting event. » Read More
June 11, 2018
In 1897, after Mark Twain’s mistaken obituary was published, it was widely reported that Twain quipped to a reporter, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” The poor, mistaken obituary writer hasn’t been the only one to make this sort of mistake. For months, supporters of Title II regulation of the internet have declared the untimely demise of the internet, with all fervor and no evidence. Now that Title II has officially been repealed (12:01 am on June 11, 2018), its time to set the record straight. The Twainian truth is that Title II has all but been in the ash heap for seven months after the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) December 2017 ruling to rollback internet regulations. From the December 14 repeal date, internet service providers (ISPs) knew that, if they wanted to, they could favor and throttle data without fear of punishment from the FCC. » Read More
June 8, 2018
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This article originally appeared in Economics21 on June 7, 2018.
For more than a decade, Starbucks has branded itself as a liberal company that MSNBC viewers can support. This careful posturing, though, was not enough to shield the company against accusations of racism after staff called the police on two African-American men sitting at a table without making a purchase. Since then, Starbucks announced that all were welcome to make use of company facilities such as bathrooms and Wi-Fi, even if no purchases are made. But what if, instead of a panicked PR response, Starbucks’ open-access policy is an opportunistic ploy to put itself in a league of its own and receive more taxpayer subsidies?
June 7, 2018
On June 7, 2018, TPA President David Williams wrote to Congress urging the passage of the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, H.R. 3. This would remove $15.4 billion in unnecessary funding to programs that, in previous years, have remained dormant in the budgeting process. You can find the full letter here. » Read More
June 6, 2018
The AIRWAVES Act would create a pipeline of spectrum auctions for commercial use and help the U.S. lead the world in 5G development. But, like any legislation, it should be done the right way to ensure that the sale of spectrum doesn't play favorites and that decisions on the use of spectrum be technology neutral.This legislation, from a bipartisan group of senators and congresspersons, intends to reallocate spectrum and encourage wireless deployment to underserved rural areas with its plan for a series of spectrum auctions beginning later this year. » Read More
June 5, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on May 31, 2018
America’s highway infrastructure is in big trouble, with trillions of dollars in needed repairs across the nation’s roadways and thoroughfares. Elected officials at all levels of government have talked a big talk about this problem, with successive administrations and Congresses proposing grand plans to shore up crumbling roads and bridges. Unfortunately, when it comes to government, one hand often does not know what the other is doing.
June 4, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Morning Consult on May 31, 2018.
Few federal agencies attract more of a media and policy circus than the United States Postal Service. After months of heaping Twitter “shade” on the USPS, President Donald Trump pushed Postmaster General Megan Brennan to raise Amazon’s shipping rates — to no avail. This pressure is the culmination of the president’s correct accusation that Amazon receives a hefty government subsidy due to USPS policy and lax congressional oversight. While the president’s claims are true, there exist far more effective measures to level the playing field for e-commerce players: By adapting simple, commonsense reforms, taxpayers and consumers can look forward to less red ink from flawed postal policy. And, maybe, a fiscally stable USPS. » Read More
Taxpayers Protection Alliance Criticizes President Trump’s Imposition of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum ImportsRoss Marchand on
June 1, 2018
Today, David Williams, President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), slammed President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States. Williams argued that, “if the US government hides behind trade barriers and quotas in a global marketplace, it will start a trade war where allies will treat U.S. products in the same manner. Already, Canada, Mexico, and various European countries have announced retaliatory tariffs that will harm US producers." » Read More
May 31, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on May 29, 2018.
In December, an inaugural Amtrak trip from Seattle to Portland ended in disaster, as thirteen train cars derailed and caused a smoldering ruin over I-5. Amtrak is hardly the only passenger rail vessel to encounter safety issues; the Washington, D.C. metro system has had multiple fires and crashes costing many lives over the years. These events almost always lead to calls for more public funds, even when subsidized systems have a myriad of ways to access cash. For instance, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently benefited from private funds from Qatar to stay open after a sporting event in downtown Washington, D.C. But taxpayers would be wise to look to another model of doing things.
May 30, 2018
When paying for healthcare, American seniors often have a difficult time navigating through the benefit structures and limitations of Medicare. While Medicare Part D registers astronomical approval ratings from seniors, there is a large cost problem. Drugs accessible to seniors face rampant cost escalation, forcing individuals on a fixed income to make difficult choices in financing their medical needs. And, taxpayers pay the increased costs through public health plans. Attempted reforms to save seniors and taxpayers from unintended costs have proven futile and must be reversed to bring sanity back to the system. » Read More
May 29, 2018
This article originally appeared in Economics21 on May 23, 2018
The North American Free Trade Agreement may soon be in for an update, as the United States, Mexico, and Canada seek to revise the treaty. One important area needing more attention from negotiators is intellectual property (IP) protection for companies doing business up and down the continent.
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May 25, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on May 23, 2018.
Over the past decade, regulators and politicians have played a Jekyll and Hyde game with regulating the internet. Under the Obama Administration, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler shadily imposedstringent regulations on the internet. Internet service providers (ISPs), for instance, were barred from offering customers “zero-rated” (free data) plans that exempted certain applications from data caps under Wheeler. But, the interwebs breathed a sigh of relief last December when new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai unshackled the internet from unnecessary rules. » Read More
May 23, 2018
President Trump’s focus on drug prices is already paying off. Almost immediately following the President’s speech on drug pricing, pharmaceutical manufacturer Amgen announced that their new treatment for migraines will cost 30 percent less than analysts anticipated. This is good news for patients and taxpayers who foot the bill for these medications via government healthcare plans. » Read More
May 22, 2018
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This article originally appeared in the American Conservative on May 17, 2018.
Whenever the U.S. deploys soldiers to global hotspots such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the circumstances are hardly ideal. Complex counterinsurgency tactics cost substantial blood and treasure, and temporary gains rarely translate to long-term stability. But at least the deployments are public knowledge, and a code of conduct is in place to address civilian safety. Unfortunately, not all Pentagon (i.e. taxpayer-funded) missions are held to the same standards of warfare. The Department of Defense foots the bill for more than a quarter of the United Nations’ $7 billion annual “peacekeeping” budget. But the UN’s sloppily conceived missions fail to live up to their namesake, exacerbating global issues and resulting in human rights abuses. While U.S. leaders have been moving to curtail these annual contributions, they haven’t moved quickly enough. Taxpayers cannot afford to shovel billions of dollars a year to such an unaccountable organization mired in failure.
May 21, 2018
This article originally appeared in the American Spectator on May 17, 2018 and was written by Johnny Kampis, TPAF Investigative Reporter.
The Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) ruling this week that paves the way for states other than Nevada to legalize sports betting is a victory for states’ rights and should put another nail in the coffin for those attempting to ban all forms of online gaming. SCOTUS voted 6-3 in favor of New Jersey and nearly 20 other states to strike down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which made it illegal for a state other than Nevada, which was exempted, to sponsor sports wagering.
May 18, 2018
TPA submitted official comments to the World Health Organization regarding the First Draft Report of Independent High-Level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD). This report begins an international dialogue for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. » Read More
May 16, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged all members of Congress to vote for the Sugar Policy Modernization Act as an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill. The Sugar Program was established more than 80 years ago and keeps the cost of sugar high with import quotas and tariffs. » Read More
May 15, 2018
This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on May 11, 2018
Taxpayers and consumers win when free markets, not unelected bureaucrats, drive decisions on the growth of the internet. Regulators ignore this and enact draconian rules and restrictions under a shroud of secrecy. Case in point: the attempt by American and European officials to shield Title II regulatory proceedings from the public view. Under the previous American Administration and the current European Union regulatory junket, strict “net neutrality” rules hampered innovative offerings by internet providers.
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May 14, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on May 11, 2018
The prospect of a bold new farm bill this year has Congress in a lurch, with endless debates over which amendments to include and discard. As lawmakers embrace sensible reforms such as work requirements for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, leading policymakers have expressed reluctance to include an amendment to modernize the 80 year-old US Sugar Program. Not including the modernization of the outdated program would keep high costs in place for consumers and taxpayers, ensuring backlash from voters wanting to “drain the swamp.” » Read More
May 11, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed continued alarm over the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) latest $656 million quarterly loss. This brings the total loss to $1.3 billion for the first half of the 2018 fiscal year. TPA has had an active role in analyzing USPS’s challenges, which includes advancing key concepts and principles for the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to incorporate in its work. While the PRC continues to apply its guidance and oversight, many of the substantive changes that the USPS requires must become top priority for lawmakers, Postmaster General Megan Brennan, and the future USPS Board of Governors.