December 13, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on November 28, 2018.
When mailing letters and packages to loved ones this holiday season, consumers have to place an awful lot of trust in their mailers. This trust isn’t just about the safety of the paper-clipped check or expensive new gadget that passes through the hands of U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees. Often, consumers give phone-numbers, e-mail addresses, and multiple addresses to the Postal Service with the understanding that their information will be protected.» Read More
December 11, 2018
This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on November 26, 2018.
Over the last few months, lawmakers, regulators and consumer advocates have been fighting the good fight against forced, expensive solar energy. Advocates of “net metering,” or the cross-subsidization of residential solar power at the expense of the poor, have had a tough time persuading lawmakers to back their flawed policies. In New Hampshire, a bill expanding net metering was vetoed by Governor Chris Sununu, who called the policy a “handout” to developers. Meanwhile, Arizona’s Arizona Corporation Commission nixed net metering all together in September as the state implements its “Value of Solar” decision issued two years ago.
» Read More
December 10, 2018
This morning, TPA sent a letter to Members of Congress regarding an issue with the upcoming spending bill. According to an article in The Washington Post on December 7, 2018, “Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is getting help from District officials, congressional Republicans and the Trump administration as he tries to clear a major roadblock to building a new, 60,000-seat stadium on the site of RFK Stadium.” TPA urges every Member to vote against a spending bill that contains this provision. » Read More
December 6, 2018
This article originally appeared in the American Spectator on December 4, 2018.
For companies trying to bring potential life-saving products to the market, the least they can ask for is a responsive, timely bureaucracy. Unfortunately, approving reduced harm technologies in a prompt manner seems to be beyond the ability of American regulatory agencies, with product evaluations often blowing past statutory deadlines and reasonable expectations of timeliness. Case in point: the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) tedious review of the pre-market tobacco product (PMTA) and modified risk tobacco product (MRTP) authorizations for IQOS, a heat-not-burn product that provides the sensation of smoking without many of the health pitfalls. » Read More
December 5, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) praised the recommendations of the Task Force on the United States Postal System (USPS). The report, which was released yesterday afternoon, covered an array of topics ranging from postal pricing models to retiree benefits. The findings come shortly after an abysmal fiscal year 2018 financial statement in which the USPS reported a net loss of $3.9 billion. » Read More
December 4, 2018
TPA spearheaded a coalition of twelve free-market groups, sending a letter to Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) advocating for the availability of adequate spectrum as soon as possible for white space broadband use. Television White Space (TVWS) technology can help bring broadband access to underserved rural areas, helping to give substantially more Americans access to the internet. » Read More
December 3, 2018
» Read More
This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on November 15, 2018.
When asked to fund “global health” efforts, money should gravitate toward disease eradication, water provision/purification, and pollution abatement. But when donors (read: taxpayers) don’t get the choice on where their money is spent, bureaucrats at the helm of international organizations lose all sense of priority. Case in point: the World Health Organization’s effort against conditions not caused by infectious agents, i.e. non-communicable diseases. On its website, the WHO lists “tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets,” brought on “rapid unplanned urbanization, globalization of unhealthy lifestyles and population aging.”
November 30, 2018
Last month, TPA policy director Ross Marchand spoke at Balamand University and AZM University in Lebanon on the subject of regulatory reform, hosted by the Lebanese Institute for Market Studies. Below are his abridged remarks. » Read More
November 28, 2018
» Read More
This article originally appeared in The American Spectator on November 26, 2018.
As leaders in Congress hammer down the details of the Farm Bill, they should use the Senate’s plan for rural broadband deployment that provides better safeguards against taxpayer waste. Farm Futures reports that negotiators in the House and Senate hope to finalize a framework for the bill so Congress can take up the expired Farm Bill during the lame-duck session before the end of the year.
November 27, 2018
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for a privacy breach impacting millions of consumers. Silicon Republic reported that, “according to KrebsOnSecurity, a broken API within USPS’s mail tracker service called Informed Delivery allowed any user to see another user’s details.” This data breach comes less than two weeks after the USPS reported a $3.9 billion net loss for the year, an increase of $1.2 billion from the previous year. » Read More
November 26, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on November 26, 2018.
The old Congress’ days are numbered, with only a few weeks’ worth of legislative meetings scheduled before the new Congress is sworn in in January. Yet, these few days must be productive enough to secure 2019 fiscal year appropriations and resolve deep-seated differences across the aisle. In the midst of bickering over border wall funding and the status of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reassuredthe press that “we just want to get it done” and keep the government from shutting down past the funding deadline of Dec. 7. » Read More
November 23, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on November 9, 2018.
Most of healthcare spending is out of sight and out of mind, doled out by insurers and state and federal government. How much does a CAT scan or colonoscopy cost? The vast majority of people have no idea. While that is unlikely to change anytime soon, more and more products directly purchasable by consumers can tend to health and wellness. Just a few decades ago, few could predict that cholesterol tests would someday be able to be performed in the comfort of one’s home. And just a few years ago, few could predict that fitness trackers would be able to detect atrial fibrillation and other irregularities. » Read More
November 21, 2018
Ah Thanksgiving, that magical holiday where you pile on the pounds while listening to Uncle Jebediah’s two-hour rant about tank production during the Second World War. While you mindlessly nibble on stuffing and DVR that Back to the Future marathon, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will be (doing the same thing) while holding politicians’ feet to the fire and ensuring that taxpayers aren’t having their hard-earned dollars gobbled up by reckless lawmakers. So, without further ado, we present our 2018 Taxpayer Turkeys! This Thanksgiving, we selected one Republican, one Democrat, and one agency that continue to show reckless disregard for taxpayers and consumers across the country. » Read More
November 20, 2018
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
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
November 16, 2018
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
November 14, 2018
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
November 13, 2018
» Read More
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.
November 13, 2018
» Read More
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.
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