Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress for the first time in a decade. That might not be true for long, however, if they give into the voices within the party and other special interests now calling for a carbon tax. Americans elected Republicans to cut taxes, not to raise them.
Andrew F. Quinlan | All Articles
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Andrew F. Quinlan
Andrew F. Quinlan is co-founder and president of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.
Liberal New Yorker and new Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to work with President-elect Trump on certain issues, according to a recent speech. The two go way back, which is cause for concern. One of the issues he singled out as potential common ground is "closing" the so-called "carried interest loophole."
Candidate Donald Trump promised he would "drain the swamp" if elected. Now that's he's officially president-elect, Trump should be careful he doesn't surround himself with self-interested cronies.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is on the warpath against alleged foreign interference in America’s presidential election, but that hasn’t stopped the South Carolina senator from allowing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to get away with killing thousands of Americans on September 11th, 2001.
Media and political pundits are understandably focused on battles over who President-elect Trump will appoint to serve in high-profile Cabinet positions such as Secretary of State. Yet one of the most critical appointments he will have to make will be his selection to head the less glamorous Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The list of people who cowardly accommodated Obama at the height of his power is long. But among crony capitalist “liberal profiteers” of the Obama era, the hospital industry truly stands alone.
Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, combined with a very good election for House and Senate Republicans, has dramatically improved the odds of meaningful tax reform. And there already are serious proposals on the table. Trump issued a plan as part of his campaign, so that presumably will be seen as a starting point. But legislators are also likely to draw heavily on the plan put forward earlier this year from House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady as they work out the legislative details for a tax overhaul.
In addition to choosing between presidential candidates, voters in the state of Washington will be asked on November 8th to decide whether to enact a one-of-a-kind ballot proposal to impose a tax on carbon emissions. How they decide could influence similar attempts across the nation. Those concerned about the environment probably look favorably upon the initiative, but closer scrutiny suggests it should be rejected.
State attorneys generals serve as the chief legal advisers for their respective governments, but over the last two decades have increasingly inserted themselves into national policymaking. In the most recent example, eight AGs signed a letter calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to go even further with its already onerous proposed Small-Dollar Lending Rule. CFPB should ignore their advice and instead scrap the paternalistic regulations altogether.
Contact lenses are big business. A $4 billion industry, in fact. That's not much of a surprise when you consider that an estimated 40 million Americans wear contacts. Also not a surprise: the fact that the industry's biggest players are fighting to use government to limit choice and line their pockets at the expense of consumers.
It was announced this week that one of Elon Musk's companies, Tesla Motors, will buy one of his other companies, SolarCity, for an all-stock deal worth $2.6 billion. The merger was first proposed in June, and now that it has been accepted, is subject to SEC review and majority approval from the independent shareholders of both companies. With the amount of taxpayer support both companies have received, perhaps the rest of us should get a vote, too.
Shortly before the massive 2010 Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, Congress approved an amendment to the bill from Sen. Dick Durbin that had nothing to do with financial reform. It instead decreed that the Federal Reserve enact price controls on the amount that debit card processors can charge retailers for using their services. Today's Congress should be more responsible and undo this costly and unnecessary market intervention.
The nation is enthralled by an unusual presidential campaign season that has pretty much seen it all. One important thing that has thus far been lacking is a serious legislative agenda to get the economy moving again. For that we now have House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling's sweeping reform of Dodd-Frank, a major roadblock to economic growth. Congress should make enacting his recently announced agenda a priority and force the issue onto the national campaign.
The updated "Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act" (PROMESA), H.R. 5278, reintroduced last week by Representatives Sean Duffy, Rob Bishop, and Jim Sensenbrenner offers a bipartisan opportunity to prevent a Puerto Rican bailout. The bill provides a path out of Puerto Rico's debt crisis without setting the dangerous precedent that a federal bailout would entail. Congress must now pass PROMESA so that Puerto Rico can begin the process of recovery from its irresponsible spending binge.
Google's famous motto, "Don't Be Evil," was dropped last year from the employee code of conduct under new parent company Alphabet. In light of Google's recent announcement that it will ban advertisements of small-dollar, or so-called "payday," loans from its ad network, perhaps the motto instead needs to be updated with a reminder not to be elitist.
Earlier this week, Puerto Rico’s Governor Garcia Padilla (D) announced the island would default on a $422 million debt payment. Padilla’s move is in part an effort to get Congress to pass a rescue package by feigning helplessness. He and his allies want a bailout, or at the very least, the ability to declare bankruptcy and walk away from the mess they created instead of trimming Puerto Rico's absurdly bloated government. Allowing the island to declare bankruptcy would be a dangerous precedent and a move Congress should reject outright.
Recently it was reported that streaming music is now the biggest money maker for the music industry, bypassing music downloading for the first time. This has not translated into profits for the streaming companies, because in part, high royalty rates have driven their costs sky high. It does show the promise of music streaming as a profit center both for companies that stream the music and the artists.
For more than 70 years, the music industry's Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) have operated under Department of Justice (DoJ) antitrust consent decrees, allowing the PROs to maintain their monopoly power in exchange for anticompetitive restraints. This formula has worked reasonably well for decades, giving music licensees – from restaurants to retail stores to radio stations – the ability to license music efficiently and without price manipulation through anticompetitive abuses.
President Obama has proven time and again his willingness to abuse executive power to sidestep Congress and avoid Constitutional checks and balances. Of all his abuses, perhaps none has been more outrageous than politically motivated, targeted harassment of businesses by "Operation Choke Point." It surely counts, along with "Operation Fast and Furious," which allowed Mexican drug lords to purchase firearms, as one of the most harebrained schemes of the Obama White House. The good news is that Congress might finally put a stop to the abuse and rein in the operation.