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Op-ed Placement

Regulations Rob the Internet of Its Dynamic Evolution

President Obama recently weighed in on the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net neutrality proceedings, basically endorsing a government takeover of the internet. Given the president's predilections for executive orders, the decision is not surprising. Imposing sweeping new regulations on the internet would continue the expansion of the administrative state that the president favors. But new regulations come at the price of reduced innovation and lower levels of capital investment, which is unfortunate, because neither the administration nor the FCC have yet to make the case that current internet policies have been problematic.

2 days ago
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Op-ed Placement

Will a New Congress Take the Economy Seriously?

In Tuesday's historic elections many based their decisions in the voting booth on the economic performance of Obama and the Democrat controlled Senate. Unfortunately for the president, the record has been bleak, and the long term U.S. economic outlook remains problematic. While some have touted the fact that deficits have shrunk, the real problem is the mounting long term debt, which continues to be worrisome, as does the anemic economic recovery and lingering unemployment. While the new Congress offers an opportunity for fresh thinking on economic problems, implementing solutions may be challenging, given a recalcitrant Obama administration and the temptations of short-run political expediency versus long run reforms.

11/06/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Political Entrepreneurs Are Crowding Out the Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs launching "disruptive technologies" are reshaping markets across the U.S. economy, often by disintermediation and innovation. While these new products and services provide consumers more choices and better value, regulators have place increased attention on these activities, from car services such as Uber and Lyft, to those offering accommodations like Airbnb, to pop up restaurants running afoul of local health codes. In many instances, these new products emerged because innovators were one step ahead of the regulators. But as the regulatory state grows, these innovators will face new challenges from regulators.

10/24/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Technology Is Thriving, So Why Are the Feds Strangling It?

A growing number of economists are describing the current slump as a form of secular stagnation, where diminishing outlets for capital investment have slowed economic growth, reduced the demand for labor and stalled the economic recovery. While the technology sector remains one of the few areas of the economy where innovation and growth continue at a rapid pace, the Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with a series of new rules that may shackle this important part of the economy. From new mandates for municipal broadband to redefining what broadband means, to proposals to turn the Internet into a common carrier, the FCC is working to reshape how Americans connect to the Internet.

10/01/2014
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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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