Washington Beyond the Headlines: Time to Ditch Quarterly Reports?
By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
The Election and Halloween are over. Which was scarier? Now we are all drinking heavily in disgust or celebration…unless you’re a lawyer in which case you are in Lawyer Heaven litigating the results. For the rest of us, back to work. Just like the Free Market advocates and organizations who have never stopped doing the critical policy work that makes a real difference. Here’s this week’s news:
SEC Quarterly Reporting…Another Reg on the Ropes? One of the signal achievements (to date) of the Trump Administration has been an aggressive attack on over-regulation. Now, under President Trump’s direction, the Security and Exchange Commission is taking a look at rethinking quarterly reporting requirements and reducing them to tri-, or even bi-, annual reports. The change would help smaller businesses in particular while, potentially, doing no harm to investors. Americans for Tax Reform is leading the charge for re-regulation (or less regulation, actually) with a coalition letter. Read the details of the issue and see a copy of the letter here.
Federal Public Option Post Covid — Blue Sky, Meet Fiscal Reality. As we begin to struggle through the Wuhan Flu and face the future there is increasing talk of a Federal Public Healthcare Option. Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D., Tom Church, and Daniel L. Heil of the Hoover Institution have taken an extensive look at the budget and tax implications of a Federal Public Option and the results are sobering. The ideal? Lower premiums without increasing federal deficits, already ballooning under Covid stimulus relief. The reality? A number of significant tax hikes and, no, taxing the rich won’t do it.
A Better Retirement. Thanks to Congress? Seems they can do something right up on Capital Hill. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass) and Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX), have offered bi-partisan legislation to improve retirement security by strengthening 401k’s and IRA’s. The bill would expand the saver’s credit, increase incentives for small businesses to offer retirement plans, and give savers more flexibility. Oh, and some other good stuff. Alex Hendrie of Americans for Tax Reform has the full story here. Now let’s hope the rest of Congress don’t muck it up.
Federal Housing Programs are Bogged Down in the Swamp. Senate to the Rescue? You may have noticed a tendency in this column to regard our Federal Government as overly large, overly inefficient and overly bureaucratic. Well, meet Federal Housing Programs. There are over 160 Federal housing assistance programs spread around 20 different federal entities. Cost of this efficiency to the taxpayer (that’s you!)? $50 billion in housing and $2 trillion in guaranteed home loans just last year. And that does’t measure the administration costs or the enormous time and frustration expended by people seeking assistance. Fortunately, there may be help. The Senate Budget Committee has released a new majority staff report detailing the problems. See their findings and hope it creates speedy, intelligent action.
Conservative Latinos, Meet Your New Voice. Ronald Reagan said, “Latinos are conservative, they just don’t know it yet.” Well, Jorge Granier and Carlos Penzini know it, or at least believe it. They have launched El American, a news platform for conservative latinos. See their vision (and join in) here.
Spending? Taxes? Deficits? There’s a Chart for That. Brian Riedl, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has laid out over 30 years of government and money in a handy (and sometimes depressing) book of charts. It’s all there — in gory, actual fact. You can’t escape the truth of numbers.
Fighting Regulatory Overreach (Yay!) On Behalf of Landlords (Boo?) Okay, it’s easy to make landlords the bad guys, Simon Legree was probably one. But when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) hastened to enact a Covid driven national eviction ban it seriously overstepped its authority, exercising a right held by Congress and scapegoating a single class of people — landlords, many of whom depend on rent payments for their own survival. Congress did not authorize CDC to ban evictions and Government can’t foist the economic responsibilities of the pandemic on one group. The Pacific Legal Foundation knows this and has filed suit to bring reality to the situation and to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Read up on the one time landlords are the heroes…or at least the unfortunate victims.
The Future is Just Ahead. Don’t Miss the Train-ing. Apologies for the pun, but it really is time to get up to speed with your career. The Leadership Institute has been training leaders in politics, non-profit, communications, and business for decades and doing a darn good job. Check out their website and their wide variety of programs. Don’t miss the boat… er, train.
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.