Posted by on October 2, 2019 8:33 pm
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And it will save American car buyers thousands of dollars…


Donald Trump’s move to revoke the waiver that allowed California to set its own vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions standards generated an entirely predictable wave of self-righteous indignation from the left, who portray it as an act of federal eco-tyranny, suddenly rediscovering their love of states’ rights… when they’re actually on the wrong side of that argument. Because here’s the thing: if you put aside the ritualistic sound and fury, the White House is actually correct on the legal, constitutional, and economic aspects of this controversial topic.


In effect, California was unilaterally setting vehicle fleet fuel efficiency standards for the entire country by threatening to shut out carmakers who didn’t comply, threatening them with the loss of access to the country’s biggest market. To meet standards dealing with average efficiency across the automotive companies’ entire vehicle fleets, carmakers are forced to build and sell more expensive “green” cars at unprofitable low prices, and pass the costs on to consumers buying regular cars in other states.


Of course, consumers in other states never had a say in setting California’s standards, making the states’ rights argument especially disingenuous. On that note, revoking the waiver will save American car buyers an average of $2,500 per vehicle. Mike Palicz of Americans for Tax Reform lays out the case for removing the waivers in a new piece for The Economic Standard.



Featured Opinions


Beware Chinese Bearing Wicked Fast Streaming 5G

— Dan McGroarty, TES GeoPolicy Editor


The EU’s Competition and Antitrust Tightrope

— Rebecca Christie and Mathew Heim, Bruegel Institute


America’s Patent Court Needs a Course Correction

— Nicholas A. Gravante Jr., Boies Schiller Flexner LLP


Trump tariffs are HURTING – not helping – U.S. steelmakers

— Eric Boehm, Reason


U.S.-Japan trade deal is a good start, at best

— Jeffrey Schott, Peterson Institute for International Economics


Women dying needlessly from heart attacks

— British Heart Foundation



Policy At Work…




By Andy Blom, TES Correspondent



“Impeach! Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!”… You’ve heard from the Democrats. “Hoax! Coup! Hoax! Coup!”…You’ve hear from the President. Now that you’ve heard everything our taxpayer funded elected officials have done this week, here’s what free market conservatives are doing to protect the Republic and advance ideas to move America forward…



  • Okay, Impeachment (You’re Going to Get Tired of This One)… If the Democrats in the House finally get around to impeaching President Donald Trump the mainstream media will make sure we hear of nothing else for months (don’t worry, we’ll keep you up to date on actual news). But the process will be complicated and politically explosive. To understand just what will happen, and what it means, Hans von Spakovsky has laid it all out. Read it now and know ahead of time so you can tune out the nonsense.



  • USMCA Trade Wars. Unlike Trump’s China Tariffs, the U.S./Mexico/Canada trade war isn’t with our neighboring countries…it’s with Congress. Introduced over a year ago, and by consensus a good thing for all three countries and a boon to the U.S. economy and American workers and consumers, the deal has languished in Congress for a year because (a) Russia and impeachment are more important and/or (b) Nancy and Chuck don’t want to give Trump a win. Now, two conservative organizations are weighing in with thoughts, concerns and ideas. Rachel Greszler and Tori K. Whiting of the Heritage Foundation have published an issue brief warning about possible deals (including a taxpayer bailout of private union pension plans) to get the trade agreement passed. Read their insights here. On a more positive note, the National Taxpayers Union’s Bryan Riley writes that much of USMCA could be implemented without Congressional action. Take a look.



  • It’s Not Just for the Rich —Trump’s Economy is Helping the Middle Class, Too. Apparently, things are getting better everywhere. At least that’s what a new study finds that shows middle class incomes are rising far faster than they did under either Obama or Bush. In July 2019 Dollars U.S. Median Household Income has risen $4,144 (6.8%) in just 12 months. This compares to a post recession $1,043 (1.7%) for eight Obama years and just $401 (0.7%) under Bush. Stephen Moore gives us fascinating figures and a chart here.



  • Consequences of Freedom: Janus. When the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME freed workers from compulsory union dues it began what may prove to be a seismic shift in the power, and political power, of unions. Fewer dues translates directly into less political clout. Case in point: The American Federation of Teachers dues revenue has fallen 10% since the Janus decision. Not exactly freefall, but seismic activity can take a while. How much is 10%? Almost $20,000,000. That’s a lot of political clout. Check the chart.



  • Keeping an Eye on the States. The American Legislative Exchange Council is keeping up with the good, and the bad, of just what is happening in each of the 50 “Laboratories of Democracy” that make up our nation. As many of our best ideas come out of state legislatures and governors, their latest look, their annual, State of the States: An Analysis of the 2019 Governors’ Addresses makes good and important reading. Who’s best? Worst? How does your state rank? Find out here. Oh, and look for a couple of neat charts on Governor’s Tax Proposals.



Upcoming events: Washington is getting busy, lots of interesting and important events. Don’t forget to RSVP now to secure your spot!



  • MISS VIRGINIA. A film premier telling the story of a single mother fighting for education justice. Free popcorn and soda,. DC Premiere Monday, October 7, 6 PM, Sidney Harman Hall. RSVP.



  • RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. Panel Discussion with key officials from DOJ, DOE and HHS. Tuesday, October 8, 12 PM – 1 PM, The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP.



  • INTERNATIONAL COALITION MEETING. Roundtable policy discussion chaired by Dr. Alex Chafuen and Lorenzo Montanari. Wednesday, October 9, 12 Pm – 1 PM. Americans for Tax Reform Conference Room, 6th Floor, 722 12th St., NW. RSVP by 6 PM, Tuesday Oct 8.



  • SUMMIT ON PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM SEXUALIZATION. Panels of Culture, Health and Education. Wednesday, October 9, 9 AM – 12 PM. The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP.



  • COSM, A National Technology Summit Presented by Discovery Institute. October 23-25, Seattle, WA. More info here.



  • DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION Annual Gala. Courage Under Fire Award: The Honorable Lindsey Graham. October 30, The Mayflower Hotel, Washington. Cocktails 6 PM, Dinner 7 PM, Dancing 8:30 PM. Info.



  • Austrian Economics Center, Hayek Institut, and Fundacion Internacional Bases, are hosting a conference with top tier intellectual contributors on the subject, Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century, November 13-14, Vienna, Austria. And, OH YES: The Economic Standard is an official media partner.



Short Takes…



  • Americans for Tax Reform is moving Coalition Letters supporting The Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act of 2019 and the ED ACCESS Act of 2019. And a new chart (we hope to have next week) shows the dramatic impact the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge has had on the control of Congress since it was introduced in 1994. In short, it has turned from mostly blue to mostly red.



  • The American Consumer Institute is weighing in on the vaping controversy with a coalition letter calling on the FDA to release the findings of the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey before moving any further with a proposed vaping ban.



  • Emmanuel Sessegnon of ATR has written in The Washington Times with a warning that Elizabeth Warren’s proposed Gun Tax will effectively disarm the poor.



  • Jennifer Huddleston of the Mercatus Center writes in The Hill that breaking up Big Tech may actually not do what its proponents intend.



  • Peter Roff, always worth reading, writes on Jamal Khashoggi and the future of U.S.-Saudi relations. Follow him on Twitter at @PeterRoff.


Andy Blom is a veteran political and public policy pro with decades of experience in Washington, D.C. circles.