By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
Our Vice President deals with immigration by flying over the border…but she still hasn’t visited Europe. The Senate is at a standstill, gas prices are rising and inflation is starting to show its ugly head. Welcome to summer 2021. But have hope…free market thinkers and doers are working tirelessly on your behalf. Here’s this week’s (non-fake) news…
Hands Up Gun Owners…So We Can Pick Your Pocket. Elections have consequences and the Biden Administration doesn’t like guns. President Biden’s nominee for to run ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) wants a $200 tax on guns…and that’s not all. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has a look at what else threatens the 2nd Amendment here.
Speaking of Gun Laws – A Little Clarity. As Washington strives to pass new gun restrictions and states respond with more liberal right-to-carry laws it can all get a bit confusing. Professor Carl Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center helps you to better understand your rights here, and how those rights differ from state to state.
Voter Photo IDs: America Last? There’s a great divide between Democrats (against) and Republicans (for) over Voter ID in this country. Not so in Europe and large parts of the rest of the world, at least according to John Lott, Jr. He takes a look around the globe and finds wide spread use of photo IDs, especially in Europe and other developed countries. See his findings here, and you might begin to ask yourself, ‘what’s the problem’?
If You Like Your Drug Prices You Can Keep Your Drug Prices. Not! Washington is at it again. In a move to theoretically lower the cost of prescriptions drugs Congress is proposing H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Except ATR and 79 other organizations and activists say No! They’ve sent a coalition letter (here) showing why this bill would import foreign price controls, limit innovation, cost jobs and harm patients. Other than that? Sounds good.
Unify America through Technology? One America Works thinks we can. They see technology revitalizing the heartland and bringing us all together economically, socially, technologically. Watch their short video here, then check out their website here.
Arizona Leads the Nation — in Tax Reform. To Paraphrase Horace Greeley, “Look West, young man!” At least if you’re looking for dynamic economic ideas. It seems Arizona is taking the lead with a very aggressive approach to tax reform. Read the good news here. Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist explains why it’s a good idea here.
Uh Oh, Your Phone is Paying to Close the Digital Divide. And you probably didn’t even know. Every month your phone bill most likely includes a surcharge for the USF (Universal Service Fund)…a tax that has risen from 6.8% to 31.8%! The FCC uses the USF primarily to close the ‘digital divide’, to work to provide better broadband service to underserved areas. Who doesn’t pay into the USF? Giant tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google or Netflix. FCC Commissioner Brandon Carr has called for those companies to pay their fair share. Joel Thayer agrees and has some serious proposals on how right here.
Oklahomans on a Winning Streak. The people of Oklahoma are celebrating two wins over too much government. The Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down (here) a state run managed care program for the state’s Medicaid patients, a victory for taxpayers and government transparency. And in more good news, the Oklahoma City Mayor and Council got rid of 16 of the city’s 19 occupational licenses, calling them a form of government overreach. Read the story here and celebrate intelligent less government. A nice change from less intelligent government.
No New Taxes? Hey, Gimme a Break, it was only a Promise. By golly, we are astonished. It seems Joe Biden’s promise not to raise taxes on low and middle income families only lasted until he released his first budget. Peter Roff has the ugly truth here in black and white. Truth. Something I guess the President is a little lax on.
You Better Report on Time. The IRS, Not So Much. Oh sure, be delinquent in your taxes and they can be all over you like fleas on a big dog. But the IRS doesn’t seem to have quite the same attitude about their own required reporting. For example, they are 20 years — 20 years! — overdue on completing federally mandated complexity reports. Don’t laugh, these are reports on how to reduce corruption, inefficiency and your tax complexity. And this is the group Biden wants to give an additional $80 billion to. ATR has the dirty details here.
Andresen Blom is a Washington based policy and political analyst and author who has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Politico.