December 13th, 2017 at 10:33 am
The Jerusalem Recognition: Before and After
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

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December 11th, 2017 at 4:42 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn Radio” Show Lineup
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: Glenn Lammi, Chief Counsel, Washington Legal Foundation Legal Studies Division: Food-Labeling Class Action Lawsuits and FDA’s Return to National Regulation of Consumer Products;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Peter Cove, Advocate for Private Solutions to Welfare Dependency and Author of “Poor No More”: Why Entitlement Programs Should Have a Work Component;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Representative Francis Rooney (R-FL): Offshore Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico Not a Fit for Florida;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Robert J. Smith, Distinguished Fellow, Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Federal Land Use and the Antiquities Act;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: James Phillips, Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at The Heritage Foundation: Trump’s Decision on Jerusalem;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Cleta Mitchell, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP: Donor Privacy from Government Abuse; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Sally Pipes, President and CEO, Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute: HHS Nominee Alex Azar.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


December 5th, 2017 at 12:26 pm
Image of the Day: Leftist Net Neutrality Illogic
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

This actually captures the illogic among those who advocate tighter federal government control over the internet fairly well:

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Net Neut Illogic

Net Neut Illogic

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November 27th, 2017 at 2:20 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
Posted by CFIF Staff Print
Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Spokesman for Right on Crime: Criminal Justice Reform;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Jessica Melugin, Adjunct Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Net Neutrality and the FCC;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Quin Hillyer, Contributing Editor of National Review Magazine, a Senior Editor for The American Spectator magazine and Author: “Mad Jones, Heretic”;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Andrew Moylan, Executive Vice President of National Taxpayers Union Foundation: Tax Reform;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment: Senator Bob Melendez Corruption Trial Update;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Travis Korson, Director of Communications at the Frontiers of Freedom: EPA Reforms; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs: Donor Privacy.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


November 16th, 2017 at 11:21 am
FCC Should Preempt Individual State Attempts to Regulate the Internet
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Among the many positive changes within the federal government since the end of the Obama Administration and the arrival of the Trump Administration, perhaps none surpass those brought by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under new Chairman Ajit Pai.

And the most welcome and beneficial change undertaken by the new FCC is its action to rescind Obama FCC decisions to begin regulating the internet as a “public utility” under statutes passed in the 1930s for old-fashioned, copper-wire telephone service.  The Obama FCC’s action instantly began to stifle new broadband investment, and was subject to legal reversal.  The internet thrived for two decades under both the Clinton and Bush administrations precisely due to the federal government’s “light touch” regulatory policy, and there was simply no rational justification for reversing twenty years of success in the name of even more federal government regulation and crony capitalism.

As the new FCC approaches completion on restoring regulatory sanity to internet service, it’s important that it include a preemption against future state efforts to regulate the internet in the same way that the Obama FCC hoped to make permanent.  We at CFIF take a backseat to no one in terms of valuing America’s federalist system, and the ability of individual states to serve as “laboratories of democracy.”  But there’s an important limit, one that is specifically included in the text of the Constitution.  Namely, matters of interstate commerce.  Our Founding Fathers recognized, based upon  economic warfare that they’d witnessed under the Articles of Confederation, that individual states cannot act in ways that disrupt truly interstate commerce in ways that contravene federal policy.  Accordingly, the Constitution specifically and rightfully empowers the federal government to protect interstate commerce against destructive state interference.

And there are few, if any, sectors of our economy more “interstate” than the internet.  Indeed, the internet is interstate by its very nature.  Doug Brake of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation summarized the logic well in a commentary this month:

National and regional networks should be subject to uniform rules to keep compliance costs low and reduce complexity.  To the extent the upcoming changes to net neutrality regulation see any changes in business practices, which would be more minor than many expect, a uniform policy that allows for broad scale would be an important benefit…   Network applications now depend on economies of scale independent of the individual state in which they are consumed.  Technological advances are simply erasing the importance of state and local boundaries.  It is in the national interest to give these technologies room to grow unimpeded by artificial borders.

As such, beyond simply declaring broadband an information service, the FCC should make clear that broadband policy is made at the national, not state, level.  Former Chairman Kennard put it well in a 1999 speech titled ‘The Unregulation of the Internet:  Laying a Competitive Course for the Future.’   There he laid out why it was ‘in the national interest that we have a national broadband policy … a de-regulatory approach, an approach that will let this nascent industry flourish.’”

That’s exactly right, and it’s no less true today than it was in 1999.  The internet needed room to grow then, and it needs room and regulatory predictability to continue growing as it plays a progressively important role in  our lives and globally competitive economy.

We cannot allow a spaghetti bowl of individual state regulations to inhibit future internet expansion and innovation, and the FCC should act to preempt that destructive possibility.


November 13th, 2017 at 4:04 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show LineUp
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: John Berlau, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Mortgage Bailouts;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Edward Whalen, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center: The Constitution, The Courts and The Culture;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Emily Ekins, Research Fellow and Direct of Polling at the Cato Institute: Cato’s 2017 Free Speech & Tolerance Survey;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute: The American Family in the Age of Trump;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Quin Hillyer, Contributing Editor of National Review Magazine, a Senior Editor for The American Spectator magazine and Political Analyst: Fallout from Roy Moore Controversy;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Robert B. Bluey, Senior Vice President Communications and Editor in Chief, The Daily Signal at The Heritage Foundation: Government Regulation and Social Media; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler: Recent Elections and Implications for 2018 and 2020.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

November 8th, 2017 at 4:44 pm
The Highest State Income Tax In The Nation
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.


October 31st, 2017 at 6:15 pm
Concerns Over Air Traffic “Privatization” Continue to Accumulate
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Alongside numerous other conservative and libertarian organizations, CFIF has repeatedly voiced concerns regarding an effort underway in Congress to “privatize” our nation’s air traffic control system (H.R. 2997, the “21st Century AIRR Act”), which doesn’t appear to constitute true privatization at all.  In fact, it may actually make the situation worse.

Among other concerns, the proposed legislation would:

-  Increase the power air traffic controllers’ unions by not only maintaining current centralized monopoly power over air traffic control, but actually expanding their authority over such matters as personnel changes, salary caps and mandatory retirement age (currently 56, compared to 65 for pilots), thus explaining unions’ support for the bill;

-  Increase the federal budget deficit by $20 billion between now and 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO);

-  Upend U.S. Department of Defense practices.  According to the Defense Department, “The establishment of a new entity separate from the FA raises serious concerns regarding the disposition of certain unique National Defense procedures, programs and policy,” adding that, “it is significant to note that the DoD relies on FAA ‘command and control’ capabilities in the execution of the national defense mission”;

-  Create an air traffic control entity that would possess authority to impose new taxes and user fees without Congressional oversight, meaning higher costs for American consumers, which is far from the sort of market competition that true ‘privatization’ would offer.

And now, the concerns have grown.  As noted by The Hill, according to the Congressional Research Service, the proposal would trigger automatic cuts from other programs due to its impact in raising the deficit, including Medicare, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Fund and the Military Retirement Fund, among others:

A memo from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), released Monday by Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) and Rick Larsen (Wash.), found that legislation to hand over the country’s air navigation system to a private entity would trigger budget sequestration, which automatically cuts some mandatory spending programs if a piece of legislation exceeds certain budget caps.

In the case of the air traffic control (ATC) spinoff plan, it would result in across-the-board spending cuts of $49 billion over the next 10 years.  That would include cuts to Medicare, the Military Retirement Fund, the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Flood Insurance Fund and other critical programs, DeFazio and Larsen warned.”

As stated by our friends at the American Conservative Union Foundation, we “would gladly stand in support of true policy efforts to privatize our air traffic control system that better reflect the ideals of privatization – those that align with a more robust free market and exhibit a true transfer of power from public to private hands.”

Until all of these defects are resolved, however, Congress mustn’t act in a way that would make matters worse.


October 30th, 2017 at 11:52 am
Image of the Day: More Freedom, More Growth
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

We’ve often highlighted the direct statistical relationship between economic freedom and prosperity, but typically the comparison is between countries.  Courtesy of Adam Millsap of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, however, we can visualize the same freedom/prosperity relationship among individual U.S. states.

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More Freedom, More Growth

More Freedom, More Growth

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To paraphrase Dr. John Lott, more freedom, more growth.


October 30th, 2017 at 11:24 am
Iran Nightstand
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.


October 23rd, 2017 at 4:48 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
Posted by CFIF Staff Print
Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: Michelle Minton, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute: Regulation of Sports Gambling;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Bradley Smith, Chairman and Founder of the Center for Competitive Politics and Former FEC Chairman: “Honest Ads Act”;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Rachel Greszler, Research Fellow in Economics, Budget and Entitlements: Tax Reform;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Tzvi Kahn, Senior Iran Analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: Iran’s Nuclear Program;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Lisa De Pasquale, Author, Columnist and Frequent Guest on Fox News and Fox Business: “The Social Justice Warrior Handbook: A Practical Survival Guide for Snowflakes, Millennials, and Generation Z”;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Sally Pipes, Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute: President Trump’s Changes to the ACA; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Tim Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs: The Sky is Not Falling: Citizens United and Net Neutrality.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


October 20th, 2017 at 11:57 am
Stat of the Day: Everywhere Guns Are Banned, Murder Rates Increase
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

John Lott, our favorite economist at least in the arena of criminology and Second Amendment scholarship, cogently summarizes the actual, real-world, data-based sociological effect of “gun control” laws:

While gun bans (either a ban on all guns or on all handguns) have been imposed in many places, every time guns have been banned, murder rates have gone up.

One would think that one time, just out of simple randomness, murder rates would have gone down or at least stayed the same.  Yet in every single case for which we have crime data both before and after the ban, murder rates have gone up, often by huge amounts.”

It’s almost as if more guns mean less crime.


October 18th, 2017 at 10:39 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Stand Up Comedy In Iran
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.


October 13th, 2017 at 11:43 am
Stat of the Day: Trump & McConnell Quickly Reshaping Judiciary
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Whatever one’s opinion of Donald Trump, his tweets or his legislative accomplishments to date, he has unmistakably achieved great progress on the issue perhaps foremost among his supporters’ minds.  Along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky), whose efforts began while Barack Obama was still president after Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing, Trump is already reshaping the nation’s judicial branch, as The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel details:

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Mr. Trump has now nominated nearly 60 judges, filling more vacancies than Barack Obama did in his entire first year.  There are another 160 court openings, allowing Mr. Trump to flip or further consolidate conservative majorities on the circuit courts that have the final say on 99% of federal legal disputes.  This project is the work of Mr. Trump, White House Counsel Don McGahn and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Every new president cares about the judiciary, but no administration in memory has approached appointments with more purpose than this team.”

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October 6th, 2017 at 11:58 am
Image of the Day: More Guns, Less Crime in the U.S.
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In this week’s Liberty Update, we shatter three noxious myths that underlie Second Amendment restrictionists’ agenda.  This helpful map illustrates one of them: their claim that the prevalence of firearms in the U.S. has resulted in a a high murder rate compared with the rest of the world.

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Gun Controllers Myth Shattered

Gun Controllers' Myth Shattered


October 2nd, 2017 at 12:10 pm
Image of the Day: Why High-Tax Blue State Liberals Hate Tax Reform
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Leftists constantly claim to support higher taxes, but then whine the loudest when they can put their money where their collective mouth is.

Under President Trump’s proposed framework, taxpayers in blue high-tax states would lose the writeoff for high state and local taxes that they currently enjoy.  No wonder Chuck Schumer hates the idea of tax reform so much:

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Blue State Tax Writeoffs

Blue State Tax Writeoffs

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September 27th, 2017 at 12:02 pm
Net Neutrality “Day of Advocacy” – A Reality Check
Posted by Jeff Mazzella Print

Today, activist organizations, including Free Press, Public Knowledge and Fight for the Future, plan to descend upon Capitol Hill offices to underscore their disapproval of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposed plan to repeal the Obama Administration’s 2015 “Open Internet Order” classifying Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as public utilities under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.

In anticipation of their effort, the Center for Individual Freedom teamed up with the Taxpayers Protection Alliance to provide Congress with a “Reality Check” of key messaging and themes to expect from those groups as they visit with lawmakers.

Read the document here.


September 26th, 2017 at 1:12 pm
A Sanctuary State
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.


September 25th, 2017 at 2:46 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Lineup
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT:  Craig Shirley, Bestselling Author and Presidential Historian – “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative”;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Glenn Spencer, Vice President, Workforce Freedom Initiative, a campaign of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey – Ranking the States;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Bob Dorigo-Jones, Senior Fellow for the Center for America – How U.S. Labor Rules Negatively Impact Jobs;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment: —Why the new Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Senate Health Care bill should be passed by Congress immediately;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT:  Steve Bucci, Visiting Fellow, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at The Heritage Foundation – Nuclear Problems with Iran and North Korea; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs – Donor Privacy, Ending IRS Abuse, College Faculties, Air Traffic Control, and Internet Sales Tax.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


September 22nd, 2017 at 1:55 pm
Air Traffic Control Proposal: Making Airlines Tax Collectors?
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Beware policy proposals waving the “privatization” banner that don’t constitute true privatization at all, and threaten to actually worsen the situation.

The latest example:  Efforts to restructure the U.S. air traffic control system, which would likely repeat the mistakes of such federal boondoggles as Amtrak and the U.S. Post Office.

Alongside numerous other conservative and libertarian organizations, CFIF has maintained serious concerns over H.R. 2997, the “21st Century AIRR Act.”  Those concerns include, among other flaws:

  • Greater empowerment of air traffic controller unions, by maintaining centralized monopoly power over air traffic control while expanding their authority over such matters as personnel changes, salary caps and mandatory retirement age (currently at age 56, compared to 65 for pilots), which explains why the unions favor the proposal;
  • It would increase the U.S. budget deficit by $20 billion between 2017 and 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) itself;
  • The U.S. Department of Defense recently weighed in to say, “The establishment of a new entity separate from the FAA raises serious concerns regarding the disposition of certain unique National Defense procedures, programs and policy,” adding that, “it is significant to note that the DoD relies on FAA ‘command and control’ capabilities in the execution of the national defense mission”;
  • The proposed replacement air traffic control entity would possess authority to impose new taxes and user fees without Congressional oversight, meaning higher costs for American consumers, which is far from the sort of market competition that true “privatization” would offer.

On that latter point, Andrew Langer of the Institute for Liberty raises an ominous concern in his recent commentary in The Washington Times:

[W]e’ve been told that the new entity will be self-funded, in this case by a user fee.  As always, I’m skeptical taxpayers won’t ultimately have to bail out a GSE, but with the ATC proposal, it’s really about control.  Proponents have made clear that their real motivation is to shift the tax burden to other segments of the industry.  Ian Adams, a proponent of separating ATC, recently argued that it would reallocate the tax burden among the ‘fees its users pay,’ including general aviation.

The only privatization will be that the authorization and taxing authority of Congress will be supplanted by authority of one segment of an industry to tax another with no oversight.  If the airlines were granted more monopoly power and gained taxing authority from Congress, they have shown time and again that they would abuse that power.  They have increased their fees on passengers by over $7 billion.  Now they want to phase out their fuel and excise tax for a flat user-fee tax that would get levied disproportionately at economy class passengers.  I’m always in favor of getting rid of taxes, but this is a tax by another name, without the political accountability to keep it from rising in perpetuity.

And, since there would be no accountability from anyone to stop it or make sure this entity is being managed properly, it’s a safe bet that ultimately all taxpayers will pay more in the form of a bailout.”

That is among the reasons the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) last week announced its opposition to the proposed restructuring, saying that it, “would gladly stand in support of true policy efforts to privatize our air traffic control system that better reflect the ideals of privatization – those that align with a more robust free market and exhibit a true transfer of power from public to private hands.”

Well said.  At this point, the proposal simply doesn’t amount to the type of true privatization that merits support from conservatives and libertarians across America.