By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
The Democratic primary gets nastier, coronavirus panics the markets and Congress responds with partisan bickering…. Ho hum, another week of business as usual…except for free market policy people who are busy working on issues and ideas that affect America, and the world. Read on for this week’s news…
- Keep the Boom, Booming. Index Capital Gains to Inflation. While the markets are temporarily suffering from a case of Coronavirus, let’s take a realistic look at how to keep President Trump’s economy growing. Senator Ted Cruz and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform have authored a recommendation that will unleash untapped potential across the economy. See how the unfair “inflation tax” handicaps growth and the potential benefits of indexing capital gains to inflation here.
- More Good State Tax News. In a booming economy, taxpayer protections are paying off at the state level. In Massachusetts, Colorado and Oregon laws passed sometimes decades ago are preventing progressive led legislatures and governors from spending excess revenue and are automatically reducing income tax rates and forcing tax rebates. The result of laws that require voters to approve new taxes and expenditures, these restrictions are forcing some long desired fiscal restraint and responsibility on tax and spend Democrats. Read the story and celebrate here.
- Rational Regulation? Look to the Department of Transportation. The Trump Administration came in with a mandate to begin controlling the administrative state — eliminate two regulations for every new one. While several departments have clearly exceeded that, the Department of Transportation, under the leadership of Secretary Elaine Chao, has gone even further. The DOT is codifying a rule that rationalizes its regulatory powers and strengthens due process, raising the bar for new regulations and providing more transparency. In addition, the DOT reins in “guidance” memoranda, a device used by the Obama Administration to get around the rule making process. And the agency is also reforming its due process in administrative proceedings. Win/Win/Win for the rest of us. The details count. Get a look at the WSJ.
- This Would be Funny if it Weren’t Our Money — Cut Government Waste! President Trump’s 2021 Budget, as presented to Congress, begins to attack some of the Government’s waste of our hard earned tax dollars. Open the Books has compiled a list of just some of that waste and frankly it’s somewhere between hysterical…and scary. $1.4 million to fund sex education for California prostitutes? $4.6 million for lobster tails and snow crabs? $1 billion to people with death certificates on file? $10 billion in Social Security overpayments, including 6 million active social security numbers for people over the age of 112? $67 billion in Medicare and Medicaid overpayments? $1 million to prepare the nation’s religions for the discovery of extra-terrestrial life? If you want to be appalled, alarmed, outraged…or take action, learn more at www.OPENTHEBOOKS.COM.
- Brazil on the Move. After 13 years of economy killing socialism, President Jair Bolsonaro has Brazil on the move. In just one year he has passed major pension reform, begun de-regulating the government and is privatizing logistics networks from roads to airports. The changes have created almost one million new jobs and jump started the economy, boosted by a pending trade deal with the EU. Lorenzo Montanari takes a look at the gains so far, and the promise of a very bright future for the country at Forbes.
- Don’t Be Fooled — Republicans Oppose a Carbon Tax! There’s a claim of new momentum building on the political right for support of a carbon tax. A supposedly, self-proclaimed, “conservative” organization — the Climate Leadership Council — unveiled a new policy roadmap and projected a “jailbreak moment” of Republican support for carbon taxes. Mike Palicz, Federal Affairs Manager on Energy Policy at Americans for tax Reform, says it just ain’t so…and gives you the facts to back it up here.
- Breaking the ‘Fourth Branch’ of Government? SCOTUS vs CFPB. Legislative, Judicial, Executive…and Administrative? Federal agencies have gained more and more power, sometimes completely free from oversight or guidance from Congress, the President or even the courts. Our Founding Fathers never intended to create an American bureaucratic equivalent of the European Union. Now, in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the Supreme Court will take a look at reining in one of the worst of these Administrative excesses. The case could have far reaching consequences. Learn more at The Hill.
- INTERNATIONAL MEETING. Roundtable Discussion chaired by Dr. Alex Chafuen and Lorenzo Montanari. Wednesday, March 4, 12 PM – 1 PM. Lunch will be provided. Americans for Tax Reform 6th Floor Conference Room, 722 12th, NW. RSVP to email@example.com.
- ADVANCING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT. Panel featuring Manisha Singh, Asst Secretary of State for the Economics and Business Affairs Bureau. Tuesday, March 10th, 12 PM – 1:15 PM. The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE. RSVP: www/org/events
- PENNSYLVANIA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE. Congressman Jason Chaffetz. March 27-28. Radisson Penn Harris, Camp Hill, PA. Info and register at PALeadershipConference.org.
- INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE. The Heartland Institute. May 7-8. Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV. Info and register at heartland.org.
- ACTON UNIVERSITY. Four Day Conference. June 16 – 20, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Apply at university.acton.org.
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.