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Blog

Coalition Letter: Senate Must Pass a Clean Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

FreedomWorks has signed onto the following coalition letter, drafted by Americans for Tax Reform, to urge the U.S. Senate to pass a permanent extension of the ban on internet access taxation. The House passed such a bill earlier this year. The federal ban on internet access taxation will expire on November 1st if Congress fails to act.

09/03/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Regulations Are Stifling Economic Growth

As the size and scope of government have expanded, regulators have come to play a much larger role in our day-to-day lives. The advent of the administrative state has created a web of regulations covering everything from design standards for electric appliances to new rules that require hotels and restaurants to accommodate miniature horses as service animals. All too often, common sense is being replaced with exacting statutes and regulations that dictate very specific forms of compliance.

09/03/2014
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Op-ed Placement

More Evidence That the Federal Reserve Is Superfluous

While the Federal Reserve is most notable for its role in monetary policy, the autonomous Fed plays an active role in regulating banking institutions. When not beefing up its balance sheet through quantitative easing, the Fed is quietly seeking to expand its scope of operations, especially in the area of electronic payments networks. Despite a vibrant and competitive private market, the Fed initiated efforts to increase its presence in the electronic payments sector with the publication of the "Payment System Improvement-Public Consultation Paper" in September 2013.

08/15/2014
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Op-ed Placement

The Danger of Deficits To Our Economy

Recently the White House Office of Management and Budget released its Midsession Review, an update and review of the budget that President Obama submitted to Congress. The document extols the virtues of the administration's economic policies, noting that a combination of economic growth, discretionary budget cuts and the reversal of the Bush tax cuts has halved the federal deficit. Moving forward, the administration hopes to further the economic recovery through additional budgetary savings from health-care reforms, closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and sensible immigration reform. What the Mid-Session Review does not discuss, however, is the mounting federal debt - and the dangers it poses to the economy.

07/29/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Renewable Fuel Standards Are a Pain In the Gas

Washington has a long-standing fascination with the nation's energy markets that generates an endless stream of legislation and regulation in pursuit of a wide range of policy objectives, from energy independence to climate change. For almost a decade, the government has been struggling to implement renewable fuel standards with the aim of increasing the role of ethanol and other biofuels. New mandates have been established, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that the law has created more questions than solutions. Problems first began to emerge when the economy collapsed, and with it, demand for fuel. What seemed like easily attainable targets in a rosy economy were now out of reach. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office released a study highlighting the ongoing problems with the renewable fuel standard program, raising serious concerns about the viability of the program.

07/11/2014
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Op-ed Placement

The IRS Has Unleashed a Massive New Regulation

As Americans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, the Internal Revenue Service has unleashed a massive new regulation under the guise of reducing tax evasion. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act - FATCA - took effect July 1, imposing substantial new compliance requirements and paperwork burdens on foreign financial institutions, which must now track the financial activity of U.S. citizens and report that information to the IRS. While there is scant evidence that this regulation will add significantly to federal revenues, there is more than a sinking feeling that the new law infringes upon the civil liberties of American citizens.

07/03/2014
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Op-ed Placement

A European Decision That Could Dismantle the Internet

In response to a recent legal decision in Europe, Google has released a new form for its European users that will allow them to request that links to certain articles about them be removed from the search engine. While European privacy advocates who have been pushing for a "right to be forgotten" may applaud this effort, the impact on the flow of information across the Internet is substantial. As Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard Law School puts it, "The most important harm of this decision is not to the search engine companies, but to the public at large, and its ability to find accurate public information." Rather than an open and public exchange of information, Europe's new law injects an online censor to govern the accessibility of freely available public information.

06/04/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Desperate To Be Relevant, the FCC Pounces On the Internet

Spurred on by advocates of net neutrality, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that has the potential to drastically reshape the Internet. While the possibility of a "fast lane" on the Internet has the proponents of net neutrality up in arms, the looming threat of regulation is far more troubling. The proposed rulemaking is exploring a number of options, including the possibility of reclassifying Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as a telecommunication service, which can then be regulated like the telephone system. Despite the lack of any evidence of market failure, Chairman Wheeler appears bent on expanding the FCC's regulatory reach on the Internet.

05/20/2014
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Op-ed Placement

The FCC's Mission Pivot Imperils the Internet

The Federal Communications Commission has sparked controversy with talk of new broadband policies that may have granted Internet service providers (ISPs) a degree of flexibility in pricing for purposes of traffic management. While the recognition of the economic realities of broadband management is significant, proponents of net neutrality have sounded the alarm bells, decrying the creation of a "fast lane" for those companies big enough to afford it. As a result, the FCC has been flexing its regulatory authority to appease its critics.

05/02/2014
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Op-ed Placement

It's Time to Rein In IRS and SEC Snooping

With each passing generation of technology, the online world and real world are becoming seamlessly integrated. Today's Internet and smartphones connect consumers and machines, and the world wide web has more than 2.4 billion users. So it's not surprising that a data breach like Heartbleed is setting off alarm bells. Millions of consumers are at risk of having sensitive data exposed to hackers, criminals and perhaps even the NSA. While businesses have rushed to implement fixes to this latest breach, there's still one privacy breach that remains impermeable: federal snooping on private citizens.

04/25/2014

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