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In Action

Cap and Trade, but Trade What?
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Blog

Cap and Trade, but Trade What?

According to some Republicans in Congress, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) who is heading the panel on environmental policy is trading certain allowances or exemptions to cap and trade legislation to members of Congress.  They claim that he's trading the allowances to get the votes he needs to pass environmental legislation.

04/24/2009
Fed Losing $9.6 Billion in AIG, Bear Stearns
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Blog

Fed Losing $9.6 Billion in AIG, Bear Stearns

As of Dec. 31, the Federal Reserve faces $9.6 billion in unrealized losses on $74 billion in assets from Bear Stearns and AIG.  An unrealized loss represents the current value of the asset versus its face value.  The central bank will realize the losses if the principle is not returned.  According to Bloomberg, "The central bank lent $2 trillion to financial institutions and has not disclosed information about most of the collateral backing those loans."  While it's unlikely that all $2 trillion of the collateral the central bank has accepted is as risky as the assets taken from Bear Stearns and AIG, the Fed may still face substantial risk.  

04/24/2009
Top 10 Reasons Why Hollywood's Attack on RealDVD Is Wrong
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Top Ten

Top 10 Reasons Why Hollywood's Attack on RealDVD Is Wrong

Click here to download the PDF version of this article

04/23/2009
Help Stop Tax Hikes in Hawaii
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Press Release

Help Stop Tax Hikes in Hawaii

Two bills aimed at dramatically hiking taxes on tobacco products are swiftly making their way through Hawaii’s legislature and Governor Lingle says she’ll sign the tax hikes!  Your elected officials need to hear from you right away to stop these proposals in their tracks.Take Action!H.B. 1175 would raise the cigarette tax by 40 cents/pack by July with even more scheduled increases still on the table.  That means by 2011, the state tax would be $3/pack.  Combine that with a new federal tax and that soon Hawaiians will have to pay over $4/pack in taxes alone!H.B. 895 is a similar scenario for smokeless tobacco products – the taxes just go up and up with no end in sight.That’s the troubling thing about these tax hikes – there’s no end.  Many states are facing budget gaps and deficits in these hard times.  But instead of trying to lighten the burden of hurting families and businesses the taxes are piling up.  Cigarette taxes are an unreliable source of revenue and when the funds don’t materialize the politicians in Honolulu are just going to come looking for higher taxes in more places.Hawaii has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.  And it’s going to get worse with this kind of tax hike.  Cigarette taxes unfairly single out a minority of taxpayers to dig Hawaii out if its budget hole. And in the meantime, it hurts small businesses who will see their revenue dwindle as people go to the Internet and black market to purchase cigarettes.The worst part is, Governor Lingle should know better.  She signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Governor Lingle has promised to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”  Signing this bill would break that pledge and certainly doesn’t protect taxpayers. Take Action and urge Governor Lingle to keep her promise – oppose and veto any an all efforts to increase taxes!

04/23/2009
Key Vote YES on Sen. DeMint's Budget Motion on Socialized Medicine
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Press Release

Key Vote YES on Sen. DeMint's Budget Motion on Socialized Medicine

Dear Senator,

04/23/2009
New Study Exposes Hollywood's Efforts to Throttle Technological Innovation
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Blog

New Study Exposes Hollywood's Efforts to Throttle Technological Innovation

FreedomWorks Foundation has just released a new Issue Analysis that looks at a lawsuit that the motion picture studios have filed to ban RealDVD.  They claim its all about piracy and protecting intellectual property, but what it really does is threaten technological innovation in the digital economy.Check it out:http://www.freedomworks.org/publications/issue-analysis-number-125-hollywood-vs-consumers

04/22/2009
New TARP Direction Puts Taxpayers at Risk
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Blog

New TARP Direction Puts Taxpayers at Risk

The Treasury recently announced that it may not need any more money to bail out banks aside from the $700 billion TARP money that it received already.  There is about $134 billion left of the original amount.  Instead of asking for more money, Treasury may convert the loans that it's made to large banks into common stock.  Common stock provide equity, which could help shore up bank balance sheets, but there are some problems.  

04/22/2009
Beware of Strange Bedfellows in Washington
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Blog

Beware of Strange Bedfellows in Washington

The consumer group Families USA and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) are teaming up in Washington to lobby to increase coverage for Medicaid.  Why would the medical companies support more government intervention in their industry?  Maybe because they did a cost-benefit analysis and concluded that they would make more money with more interventions.  According to Politico, "The upside is that it would help drug companies tap a new market by providing coverage to those who are too poor to buy drugs."  These groups worked together on S-CHIP as well, likely for the same reason.

04/21/2009
FreedomWorks Foundation Releases Study Analyzing Hollywood’s New Threats to Innovation in the Digital Economy
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Foundation Releases Study Analyzing Hollywood’s New Threats to Innovation in the Digital Economy

Today FreedomWorks Foundation released Issue Analysis Number 125, “Hollywood vs. Consumers: Does Tinseltown Hurt Itself with Consumers by Stifling 21st Century Innovation?” authored by Chief Economist Dr. Wayne T. Brough.  The study looks at new threats to innovation in the digital economy and specifically examines a recent lawsuit filed by the motion picture studios to ban RealDVD, a new software technology that allows consumers to back up copies of DVDs they have purchased legally to their computers’ hard drives.

04/21/2009
Hollywood vs. Consumers (Issue Analysis Number 125)
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Press Release

Hollywood vs. Consumers (Issue Analysis Number 125)

Download a .pdf version of the full study complete with footnotes by clicking here! Executive Summary

04/21/2009

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