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In Action

Antitrust and the Movies
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Blog

Antitrust and the Movies

Mark Thorton over at the Mises Institute has a very interesting article up today on the role of anti-trust regulation in Hollywood.  Be sure to check it out.  He describes how movies were produced in the "golden age" and how Federal Trade Commission forced them to change it.

05/15/2009
No New Taxes for Louisiana
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Press Release

No New Taxes for Louisiana

During a recession, the last thing government should do is raise taxes on the middle class and poor. But that is exactly what some Louisiana legislators are trying to do. They have crafted a 50 cent per pack tax hike on smokers that they say will raise more money for the state. But instead of raising taxes, legislators in Baton Rouge should find ways to cut wasteful government spending.Regardless of whether you smoke or not, all of us can agree that increasing taxes on the middle class and making it tougher for small businesses during a recession is bad public policy. Plus, the revenue that the government wants to collect won’t be there anyway, as recent studies have shown.Take a minute and SEND A MESSAGE to the legislature, telling them to stand on the principles of lower taxes, less government and more freedom by opposing the tobacco tax.

05/15/2009
Help Us Defeat the National Soda Tax
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Press Release

Help Us Defeat the National Soda Tax

During the presidential campaign of 2008, Barack Obama pledged that those making below $250,000 would not see their taxes go up one dime. He promised to cut taxes for the middle class and poor people. But if his friends in Congress get their way, President Obama will have a tough decision to make – whether to break his campaign pledge again in the form of higher taxes on soda and “sugary drinks” like sports and energy drinks.

05/15/2009
Brian Wesbury on bad financial logic
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Blog

Brian Wesbury on bad financial logic

My friend Brian Wesbury had a particularly excellent comment on Monday: Bad Logic To view PDF of this article, Click Here Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist, First Trust Advisors Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist, First Trust Advisors Date: 5/11/2009

05/14/2009
A knife in the heart of the EPA's anti-free market agenda
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Blog

A knife in the heart of the EPA's anti-free market agenda

A recently released memo from the Office of Management and Budget commenting on the Environmental Protection Agency’s “proposed findings” is one of the most remarkable criticisms of a government agency that I’ve ever seen from another branch of government. Read an article about the memo here, and click on a link within the article to see the memo itself. The memo is only 9 pages, and it’s a must-read for anyone who wants intellectual ammunition against the takeover of our entire economy by the left.

05/13/2009
FreedomWorks Launches Campaign to Stop Obama IMF Bailout
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Launches Campaign to Stop Obama IMF Bailout

Washington, DC – In the wake of the White House’s announcement this week that it will seek to provide billions in new resources to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), FreedomWorks is mobilizing its more than 500,000 volunteers all over the country for an all-out grassroots effort in opposition.  The Obama IMF Bailout is the latest scheme put forward by the administration that threatens to waste billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

05/13/2009
Support Rep. Jeff Flake's Privileged Resolution on Earmark Reform
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Press Release

Support Rep. Jeff Flake's Privileged Resolution on Earmark Reform

May 12, 2009Honorable Nancy PelosiSpeakerHonorable John BoehnerMinority LeaderMembers of the 111th CongressU.S. House of RepresentativesWashington, D.C. 20515Dear Representative,Writing on behalf of over 500,000 FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge your support of Representative Jeff Flake’s (R-6th AZ) privileged resolution instructing the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct or a subcommittee to investigate the relationship between the source and timing of past campaign contributions to Members of the House and the earmark requests made by Members of the House in regards to the lobbying firm PMA Group, currently under investigation by the FBI.President Barack Obama promised at the beginning of his term to usher in a new era of transparency in governance.  Nowhere is this accountability more urgently needed than in the earmark process.It is long acknowledged that the earmark process is in desperate need of reform.  With little oversight, projects and their funds are judged less on their own merits than on favoritism and patronage.  Also, there have been many recent examples of earmarks going to those individuals or organizations that also donated funds to congressional campaigns.  These instances break down the public trust and give credence to “pay to play” perceptions.At a time when our nation is facing record deficits, skyrocketing spending, and economic turmoil at every level, it is essential that the use of taxpayer funds is examined under the microscope of transparency.  Each dollar the government spends is a dollar a taxpayer earned.  And it was bequeathed to the government with an expectation that it would be used well – not on favors to gain more personal power.  Such waste and lack of oversight shows a profound lack of regard toward the taxpayers of this country.Once again, I urge you to support Rep. Flake’s privileged resolution and bring about this much needed reform to the earmark process.Sincerely,Matt KibbePresident and CEOFreedomWorks

05/12/2009
Macon County, NC Holds Chapter Meeting
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Blog

Macon County, NC Holds Chapter Meeting

The Macon Chapter of FreedomWorks was treated to an update on the County delivered by County Manager Jack Horton on Saturday, May 9.  A record crowd heard Horton's assessment of County activities and finances, with special emphasis on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  Macon's strong financial condition will help the County to ride out the economic downturn with minimum effect on services. 

05/12/2009
Higher Deficits Announced
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Blog

Higher Deficits Announced

Today the White House raised its budget deficit forecast for this fiscal year ending Sept. 30 by $89 billion and forecasts an additional $87 billion deficit in 2010 over previous estimates.  The new 2009 deficit number weighs in at $1.84 trillion--the largest in American history.  The deficit alone amounts to about 12.9 percent of our economic output this year.

05/11/2009
In “Bizarro” Congress Barney Frank is Helping Keep the Internet Free
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Press Release

In “Bizarro” Congress Barney Frank is Helping Keep the Internet Free

If you are a fan of the Superman comic book series, or if you were a regular Seinfeld watcher, you would be familiar with the backwards “bizarro” world where down is up, day is night, you say goodbye when you mean hello and so on.  In other words, expect the opposite of what you would normally expect. Well when it comes to keeping the internet free from excessive government regulation, it would seem there’s a bit of a bizarro streak running through Congress right now.  That is because efforts to repeal unnecessary government regulation and oversight that limit innovation and growth on the internet are being led by, of all lawmakers, Representative Barney Frank (D, MA-4); outspoken liberal and regular ally to big government causes one would normally associate nanny-state internet regulation with.  Nevertheless, Frank has been leading the charge on Capitol Hill against the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), first offering legislation to repeal it last year and just this week reintroducing the bill in the 111th Congress.UIGEA was pushed through by the Bush Administration (which free-market limited government conservatives came to expect bizarre-like action from) in its final days with the stated purpose to stop unlawful online gambling.  However, because the act never actually spelled out what that meant, UIGEA in broad terms put the government in the role of “Big Brother” on the internet.  In particular, the act has had the effect of turning online payment transaction companies into informants and enforcers for the federal government, raising privacy concerns as well as significant costs to consumers. True, Frank’s real reason for his new found deregulatory stance on online gaming is filling government coffers.  UIGEA’s heavy government hand has forced consumers to foreign companies with offshore websites which Frank and others on the Left have argued leaves the U.S. taxman out in the cold.  Of course it also hurts U.S. based businesses that otherwise could compete in a more open marketplace. But motives aside, deregulatory policy is deregulatory policy.  Traditional allies to the limited government conservative movement should be mindful of this and resist the bizarro knee-jerk against UIGEA repeal simply because Barney Frank is championing it. Unfortunately, many on the Right have allowed social arguments concerning the “evils of gambling” to cloud their judgment and force them from their free-market moorings.  In this sense, turning online gambling into the bad guy may indeed cater to certain constituencies.  It does not however excuse the larger consequences of restricting the free and open internet for conservatives who claim to support free markets.   This includes prominent Republicans like Senate Minority Whip John Kyl (R-AZ) who are trying to help reshape the party and return it to its rightful limited government roots.  Kyl is usually a reliable champion on core limited government issues, but has missed the mark on UIGEA as he was one of the act’s original proponents and remains a staunch advocate in the face of repeal efforts in this Congress.  Other Republicans have followed suit with much hand-wringing over gambling in general and protecting people from themselves, again ignoring the big government elephant in the corner.If the political calculus is that meaningless overtures to social conservatives at the expense of core limited government principle is a winning strategy, conservatives need to remember 2006.  After demagoguery-fueled battles that stroked the party’s social wing at the expense of those who wanted to see smaller, more restrained government, most notably the Terri Schiavo sham and the gay marriage Constitutional Amendment side-show,  a disenfranchised conservative base stayed home on Election Day and Democrats seized control of Congress.  Limited government voters were rightly upset that Bush and Delay were driving the out-of-control spending train off the proverbial cliff while Democrats in many respects seized the mantle of fiscal responsibility and successfully convinced the American people they were the better stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars.This is not to overstate the importance of UIGEA repeal and certainly not to suggest it as the means by which Republicans could find their way back into the majority.  Rather it should suffice to say that this is a good, albeit small step and conservatives would greatly help their cause if they would recognize good policy when they see it and no matter who supports it.  Even if in today’s bizarro world in Congress that means standing with Barney Frank, Republicans who espouse to be on the side of the free market, limited government movement should do it on UIGEA repeal. If they do it will help us wave goodbye to burdensome internet regulation (or perhaps I should have said “hello”).

05/08/2009

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