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April 22nd, 2019 at 1:09 pm
WSJ Urges Regulators to Approve T-Mobile/Sprint Merger
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We at CFIF have steadfastly highlighted the consumer benefits of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger, and cautioned the federal government against any pointless and destructive objection to the deal.  In today’s Wall Street Journal, its editorial board encourages the Department of Justice (DOJ) to move forward on the deal:

The Justice Department lost its lawsuit to block AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner.  Yet now the antitrust cops are holding up T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint even though it could give AT&T more competition in wireless.  What gives?

A year ago, T-Mobile announced plans to acquire Sprint for $26 billion in stock, yet the merger is still stuck in government antitrust purgatory.  The Federal Communications Commission keeps pausing its 180-day shot clock on the merger review to let staff and third parties dig through documents to trash the deal.”

The piece goes on to neatly summarize the benefits the merger would bring:

With more than 100 million customers, the new T-Mobile would be a stronger competitor to Verizon Wireless (118 million) and AT&T (94 million).  It would also offer a broader mix of spectrum that would improve service.  T-Mobile boasts low-band spectrum that increases coverage in rural areas.  Sprint is sitting on mid-band spectrum that can transmit more data at higher speeds in urban areas.”

Simply put, it’s time for regulators to approve the merger to release the fruits that it promises.

April 12th, 2019 at 1:39 pm
House Democrats Revive Obama FCC’s Ruinous Effort to Regulate Internet
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What’s old is somehow new again on the political left.

Desperate for what they perceive as street cred, leftists continue to repackage failed policies as somehow novel, in a destructive race to claim the most extreme realms of the political continuum.

Merely three decades after it was consigned to the dustbin of failed ideas, socialism actually maintains renewed popularity on the left.  According to Gallup, a majority of Democrats no longer view capitalism favorably, but almost 60% view socialism positively.

People like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D – New York) advocate a return to income tax rates not seen since President John F. Kennedy began cutting them.  Thirty-five years after Jeane Kirkpatrick delivered her famous 1984 Republican convention speech castigating those who “blame America first,” people like Representative Ilhan Omar (D – Minnesota) tweet, “We must confront that our nation was founded by genocide and we maintain global power through neocolonialism.”

Not to be outdone, Democrats in the House of Representatives have joined the fray by attempting to resuscitate one of the Obama Administration’s most foolish and demonstrably destructive agenda items – to begin regulating the internet as a public utility.

Think of it as socialism for the internet.  What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, it turns out.

From 1996 through 2015, the internet flourished like no other innovation in human history, precisely because the federal government from the Clinton Administration forward employed a “light-touch” regulatory approach.  Just ask yourself what was “broken” about the internet that somehow cried out for a federal bureaucratic “fix” during that two-decade stretch of unprecedented innovation and transformation of our lives.

But like so many other realms of American economic and civic life, the Obama Administration decided in 2015 that the internet merited its trademark brand of hyper-regulation.  Specifically, its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suddenly decided to regulate internet service as a “public utility” under statutes enacted in the 1930s for copper-wire telephone service.  In Orwellian fashion, the Obama Administration and its apologists throughout the media and entertainment industries labeled it “Net Neutrality,” when by definition federal commandeering of an entire industry and picking winners and losers via the business model it imposes is anything but “neutral.”

So how did the Obama FCC’s scheme work out?

Disastrously.  For the first time in history outside of a recession, private investment in network infrastructure by service providers actually declined.   By way of comparison, investment in wireless alone had increased almost 33% – from $25 billion to $33 billion – between 2010 and 2013, even amid the most sluggish cyclical economic “recovery” in history under the Obama Administration.  But in the first year alone following the Obama FCC’s bright idea to regulate the internet, investment declined by an astonishing $5.6 billion.

In other words, investment declined in just one year by almost the entire amount that wireless investment had increased from 2010 to 2013.

When the Trump Administration arrived, one of its first priorities under new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was to reverse that destructive Obama Administration boondoggle.

Latenight comedians and leftists in media and politics attempted to convince Americans that the sky was falling, and that this would “break the internet.”  But as noted above, it was the Obama Administration’s 2015 effort that was breaking the internet, while the Trump FCC under Ajit Pai was merely restoring the light-touch regulatory approach that had allowed the internet to evolve and flourish from 1996 to 2015.

The results have been immediate and positive, as highlighted by a Recode piece entitled “U.S. Internet Speeds Rose Nearly 40 Percent This Year”:

The internet is getting faster, especially fixed broadband internet.  Broadband download speeds in the U.S. rose 35.8 percent and upload speeds are up 22 percent from last year, according to internet speed-test company Ookla in its latest U.S. broadband report.  The growth in speed is important as the internet undergirds more of our daily lives and the wider economy.  As internet service providers continue building out fiber networks around the country, expect speeds to increase…” 

 

But now, House Democrats have introduced legislation to return to the Obama Administration’s destructive internet regulation regime.  Perhaps airheaded latenight comedians like Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver find that prospect soothing, but nobody else should.

“The United States has turned the page on the failed broadband policies of the Obama Administration,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr announced this week.  “By getting government out of the way,” he added, “internet speeds are up 40%, the digital divide is closing across rural America, and the U.S. now has the world’s largest deployment of next-generation 5G networks.”  Carr continued, “There’s a lot of common ground on net neutrality, but this bill studiously avoids it.  It elevates the partisan politics of Title II over widely supported rules of the road, and would turn back the clock on the progress America is making,” he concluded.

Wise words.   We all want net neutrality, but heavy-handed federal regulation of internet service is precisely the opposite.   We’ve already witnessed the unwelcome consequences of that scheme, as well as the beneficial consequences of reversing it under the new FCC leadership.  House Democrats’ legislation must be swiftly rejected accordingly.

 

 

April 10th, 2019 at 2:27 pm
Image of the Day: Three Cheers for Capitalism
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Think a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to?  Think again.  Let’s hear it for capitalism and the underappreciated progress that it brings:

Three Cheers for Capitalism

Three Cheers for Capitalism

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April 5th, 2019 at 10:35 am
Image of the Day: U.S. Leads World In Carbon Reductions, No “Green New Deal” or “Green Real Deal” Necessary
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In this week’s Liberty Update, CFIF wonders what Congressman Matt Gaetz (R – Florida) was thinking in throwing Congressional climate alarmists and their “Green New Deal” a lifeline with his “Green Real Deal.”  We noted how the U.S. already led the world in carbon reductions, which they claim is their goal, even without either bill and the economically disruptive policies they’d impose, and after President Trump rightfully withdrew us from the indefensible Paris climate accord.  This helpful image from the American Enterprise Institute illustrates our leadership in that regard:

 

April 1st, 2019 at 2:09 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Lineup
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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/99.1FM 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 York, Ph.D., Policy Analyst, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics – Electoral College and Cyber Insecurities;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute – Why Does Community Matter?

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Ilya Shapiro, Director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute – Constitutional Issues of Interstate Trade Among Marijuana-Legal States, Cato’s Latest “Funny” Brief, and Student Speech in Rhode Island;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Nathan Lewis, Author of “The Magic Formula” – Making the Case for Lower Taxes and Stable Currency;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Craig Bannister, CNSNews.com – Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Investigation;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT:  Sally Pipes, Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy, President and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute – Why Medicare for All is Not the Answer; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs: In the News – The Green New Deal, College Admissions and International Drug Pricing.

Listen live on the Internet here Talkradio 99.1. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

March 29th, 2019 at 10:49 am
Want Green Power? Go Nuclear.
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In our Liberty Update this week, CFIF highlights how this week’s Senate vote on leftists’ “Green New Deal” once again exposed their hypocrisy.  We note how if climate alarmists really meant what they said, they’d support nuclear power, which offers carbon-free, reliable, safe power.  In a Wall Street Journal piece entitled “The Nuclear Option Is the Real Green Deal,” nuclear scientists John Rie and Alan Emery further detail nuclear power’s record of safety:

Is nuclear power dangerous?  The only major nuclear accident in the U.S. – Three Mile Island, in 1979 – caused neither death nor increase in cancer areawide.  The 2011 ‘disaster’ at the Fukushima plant in Japan also directly caused neither deaths nor disease from exposure to radiation.

World-wide, there have been fewer than 150 deaths from nuclear plants, mostly from the 1986 Chernobyl accident, in which bad design and a series of operator errors led to a significant release of radiation into the environment.  Thanks to the Soviet government’s attempt to keep it secret, lifesaving efforts such as the provision of iodine pills to local residents never happened.”

 

March 25th, 2019 at 10:48 am
Notable Quote: Why Americans Care About Israel
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As the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2019 Policy Conference continues in Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh carpet salesman Lou Weiss offers a cogent summary in The Wall Street Journal echoing CFIF’s recent commentary on why Americans care about, and should continue to care about, Israel:

AIPAC is driven by the Smiths, the Joneses and the Sanchezes, Americans who intuitively grasp the importance of support for the Jewish state.  Some admire Israel as a plucky democracy standing up for deeply American values of liberty and pluralism.  For others it’s Israel’s progressive treatment of women and gays.  Some see Israel on the front lines of the war on terror and want to help it fight back.  Others admire Israel because the Hebrew Bible states that those who bless Abraham and his great nation will themselves be blessed.  Is it purely a coincidence that America, the most successful country in history, treats its Jews better than any other nation ever has?”

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March 19th, 2019 at 12:57 pm
Image of the Day: American Exceptionalism
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Another nice illustration of American Exceptionalism.  We’re just 4% of the world’s population, but a quarter of its prosperity:

American Exceptionalism, Cont'd

American Exceptionalism, Cont’d

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March 18th, 2019 at 3:29 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Lineup
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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/99.1FM 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:  Hans von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Meese Center for Legal and Judicial

Studies – Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Possible Campaign Finance Violations;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Iain Murray, Vice President for Strategy and Senior Fellow – Elizabeth Warren’s Plan to Break Up Big Tech;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Quin Hillyer, Associate Editor of the Washington Examiner and Nationally Recognized Authority on the American Political

Process – Should DOJ Reopen Case Against Hillary Clinton?

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Heather Mac Donald, Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute – What the College Admissions Scandal Reveals about the Culture of Higher Education;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Marc Levin, Vice President of Criminal Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Right on Crime – Why Second Chances Matter;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT:  Andrew Moylan, Executive Vice President of National Taxpayers Union Foundation – Extending Tax Filing Deadlines; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler – 2020 Conventions and Democratic and Republican Presidential Candidates.

 

Listen live on the Internet here Talkradio 99.1. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

 

March 12th, 2019 at 3:35 pm
Image of the Day: Liberals’ Israel Problem
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Amid a troubling increase in anti-Semitic behavior from the left both in the U.S. and across the Pond, a Pew Research image illustrates an undeniable and disturbing turn against Israel by liberals:

Liberals' Israel Problem

Liberals’ Israel Problem

 

March 4th, 2019 at 4:13 pm
Image of the Day: Greenpeace Founder Takes Down Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)
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So “Green New Deal” fanatic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D – New York) apparently doesn’t practice what she preaches, as her extravagant personal carbon use doesn’t accord with what she advocates for everyone else.  Now, Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore just absolutely takes her apart on the matter:

AOC, the

AOC, the “Green” Hypocrite

 

That’s gonna leave a mark.

February 26th, 2019 at 3:13 pm
Want “Green Energy?” Go Nuclear
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Amid public ridicule of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” monstrosity, The Wall Street Journal includes a brilliant commentary in today’s edition addressing a truly beneficial way to advance safe, reliable, carbon-free energy – nuclear.   Importantly, authors John Rie and Alan Emery detail nuclear energy’s remarkable safety record through the decades:

Is nuclear power generation dangerous?  The only major nuclear accident in the U.S. — Three Mile Island, in 1979—caused neither death nor increase in cancer areawide.  The 2011 ‘disaster’ at the Fukushima plant in Japan also directly caused neither deaths nor disease from exposure to radiation.

World-wide, there have been fewer than 150 deaths from nuclear plants, mostly from the 1986 Chernobyl accident, in which bad design and a series of operator errors led to a significant release of radiation into the environment.  Thanks to the Soviet government’s attempt to keep it secret, lifesaving efforts such as the provision of iodine pills to local residents never happened.  For comparison, according to a 2012 World Health Organization report, urban outdoor air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass is estimated to cause three million deaths world-wide each year.”

It’s an excellent piece worth reading in full, not least for its corrective of the all-too-common myth that nuclear power somehow maintains a comparatively weak safety record.

February 22nd, 2019 at 6:21 pm
Time to End the Federal Government’s Wasteful Electric Car Tax Subsidy Program
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Whatever one’s opinion of electric automobiles, all reasonable people can agree that the federal government shouldn’t be wasting billions of dollars to pick winners and losers in a functioning market.

That’s especially true when nearly 80% of the federal subsidies go to households earning over six figures, making it essentially a regressive tax in addition to wasteful spending and a market distortion.

But that’s precisely what the existing federal electric vehicle tax credit does.  In 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law a bill passed by the Nancy Pelosi/Chuck Schumer Congress to provide $7,500 tax credits for the purchase of electric cars.  Shortly thereafter, Barack Obama extended that credit to cover the first 200,000 electric autos sold by any and all car manufacturers in the United States.  By 2017, the total cost exceeded $2 billion.

And here’s the real kicker, as captured by Congressman Jason Smith (R – Missouri):

Currently, the electric vehicle tax credit rewards buyers of electric vehicles with up to $7,500 in taxpayer-funded subsidies.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of the credits have been rewarded to people who don’t need government assistance to purchase vehicles, as 80 percent of the subsidies are given to people making more than $100,000 per year.”

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But believe it or not, some in Congress actually seek to expand this indefensible program.  Under their plan, all existing caps would be removed, which the Institute for Energy Research estimates would cost an astonishing $95 billion between 2020 and 2035, and costing every American household up to $70 per year over that 15-year stretch.

But Congressman Smith and Senator John Barrasso (R – Wyoming) offer different and better legislation.  Their Fairness for Every Driver Act would eliminate the tax credit scheme for high-cost electric cars and save billions of taxpayers dollars:

The legislation would help fund new infrastructure projects by requiring users of alternative fuel vehicles to contribute to improving the nation’s roads and bridges…  Eliminating the electric vehicle tax credit is estimated to save taxpayers $20 billion over the next ten years.”

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“Gas, electric and alternative fuel vehicles all use the same roads and put the same amount of wear and tear on those roads,” Senator Barrasso notes, and “every driver should contribute to maintain America’s highways.”

He’s right, and it’s time to put an end to this wasteful, market-distorting subsidy to wealthy car buyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 14th, 2019 at 5:08 pm
Want to Address Drug Costs? Avoid Price Controls, Eliminate PBMs and Don’t Weaken Patents
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In an excellent piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, Scott Atlas of Stanford University highlights how Americans enjoy far greater access to new lifesaving drugs than patients in Europe and elsewhere, and how the movement to impose government price controls would only restrict access to new drugs and degrade Americans’ health outcomes, as we at CFIF have been emphasizing:

America has superior treatment results for virtually all serious diseases reliant on drug treatment, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes.  Price controls would jeopardize that advantage…

Pegging drug prices to those of foreign countries, as both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have proposed, would ultimately lead to the same consequences Europeans endure – reduced access to critical drugs and worse outcomes, including more deaths from disease.”

Mr. Atlas also notes how the Trump Administration has taken positive steps toward actually reducing drug prices, by targeting rebates received by pharmacy-benefit managers (PBMs) from drug manufacturers:

The Trump Administration has announced a proposal to do away with rebates paid by drug manufacturers to pharmacy-benefit managers, replacing them with discounts to beneficiaries at the point of sale.  PBMs are middlemen that control ‘formularies,’ the lists of drugs covered by a plan.  Rebates from drug companies to PBMs are payments for influence – either to position a drug on the formulary as ‘exclusive’ or to give it preferred status over competitors.

PBMs act counter to patient interest while aggravating the lack of price transparency.   These complex behind-the-scenes payments – $179 billion in 2016 – reward inflated list prices, on which patient premiums are often based.  This prevents patients from taking account of price…  Go-betweens like PBMs should be eliminated.”

Finally, and just as critically, Mr. Atlas adds that weakening patent and intellectual property (IP) rights would constitute a particularly destructive course:

Drugs are the most significant reason for the past half-century’s unprecedented gains against deadly disease.  But policies that aim to reduce drug prices – price regulation and weaker patent protection – are also associated with delayed availability, less innovation, and limited access.”

Mr. Atlas delves into statistics showing the enormous advantage that Americans enjoy in terms of new drugs and health outcomes, and his piece is well worth the full read.  Hopefully policymakers at all levels of government are listening.

February 12th, 2019 at 7:06 pm
Image of the Day: Bad News, Socialized Medicine Advocates
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Bad news, socialized medicine advocates.  The latest Gallup survey on the issue shows that Americans still overwhelmingly rate their healthcare as positive.

Notably, ratings have improved since Donald Trump replaced Barack Obama, and began chipping away at ObamaCare.

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Bad News, Socialists

Bad News, Socialists

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Socialized medicine advocates thus have their work cut out for them in selling their program to the American electorate.

 

 

February 8th, 2019 at 10:10 am
New York Agrees That a T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Would Serve the Public Interest
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Well, that didn’t take long.

Yesterday, the New York State Public Service Commission approved the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger as “in the public interest” after considering all of the relevant facts and competing arguments.

As CFIF and others have emphasized since the proposed merger’s announcement, the transaction would provide an enormous net benefit to the American economy and consumers, and there’s simply no reason for needless delay or misplaced opposition from federal, state or local governments.  In terms of faster 5G transition in the U.S., more jobs, more private telecommunications investment, greater market competition, broader nationwide coverage for consumers, capacity improvements, performance improvements and lower prices (as we highlighted just yesterday), this merger is a no-brainer.

Importantly, among other benefits to the public that we’ve emphasized, the New York Commission yesterday noted how the merger would result in a new entity whose whole would be greater than the sum of its current parts:

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[T]he Petitioners have addressed concerns related to the broader issues raised by others in this case…  In response to claims that T-Mobile and Sprint would have built 5G networks in any case, the Petitioners assert that the new T-Mobile will be able to build a larger, more robust network in a more timely fashion, than either of the two companies on their own.”

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We at CFIF applaud the Commission’s common-sense finding, and hope that other authorities will demonstrate similar rationality.  In particular, next week the House Judiciary and Energy & Commerce Committees will hold a joint hearing on the proposed merger.  As Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D – New Jersey), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D – New York), Communications & Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D – Pennsylvania) and Antitrust, Commercial & Administrative Law Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D – Rhode Island) explicitly stated in their joint announcement, “We look forward to examining this merger from the perspective of what is in the best interest of consumers and hardworking people.”

Well, New York authorities examined that same question yesterday, and the answer was obvious in the affirmative.

 

February 7th, 2019 at 7:20 am
Proposed T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Already Bearing Fruit
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For months since its announcement, CFIF has enthusiastically supported the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger, based upon the myriad benefits that it offers the American economy and consumers.

Among those benefits, lower consumer prices stand among the most prominent.  Well, that prospective benefit is already coming to fruition.

Specifically, in a letter this week to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere committed to maintaining “the same or better rate plans” for the next three years as the merger occurs:

Critics of our merger … have principally argued that we are going to raise rates right after the merger closes.  I want to reiterate, unequivocally, that New T-Mobile rates are NOT going to go up.  Rather, our merger will ensure that American consumers will pay less and get more…                   

If we broke faith by raising rates and cutting back benefits, we would lose our loyal customers and destroy the future of our brand.  I want to assure you that we would never do this.  My management team and I can make this personal commitment because we believe in delivering on our promises, and we k now if we do not, we will lose credibility and the trust of our customers.  Our business plan and our future success are centered around building a world class 5G network for everyone and delivering more to consumers for less.                     

To remove any remaining doubt or concerns about New T-Mobile’s prices while we are combining our networks over the next three years, T-Mobile today is submitting to the Commission a commitment that I stand behind – a commitment that New T-Mobile will make available the same or better rate plans for our services as those offered today by T-Mobile or Sprint.  We believe this merger makes consumers better off, and we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is.  Period.

Of course, that’s not the only benefit to the American economy and consumer marketplace, as we’ve detailed.

Among other important improvements, the T-Mobile/Sprint merger would add another major competitor to the existing marketplace, and combine their current differing but complimentary assets.  The result will be more jobs, faster wireless, quicker transition to 5G technology in America, more choices for consumers, greater private telecommunications investment and all of the consequent innovation that market competition entails.

Nevertheless, the fact that the benefits to American consumers in terms of pricing are already arriving confirms the soundness of this proposed merger.

It’s certainly something for the House Judiciary and Energy & Commerce Committees must acknowledge at their joint hearing next week.  The alternative to a T-Mobile/Sprint merger is less investment, fewer jobs, less market competition, more harmful government intervention into the economy, slower 5G deployment and one fewer competitive market participant.

That’s simply an unacceptable and indefensible alternative.

February 4th, 2019 at 2:31 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CST to 6:00 p.m. CST (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM/99.1FM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CST/5:00 pm EST: Dr. Robert McNab, Professor at Old Dominion University – Improving Rural Broadband Access;

4:15 CST/5:15 pm EST: Devin Watkins, Attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute – California’s Soda Labeling Ban;

4:30 CST/5:30 pm EST: Nicole Kaeding, Director of Federal Projects at the Tax Foundation – Senator Warren’s Wealth Tax;

4:45 CST/5:45 pm EST: Riley Walters, Policy Analyst, Asia Economy and Technology at The Heritage Foundation – Trade Deal with China;

5:00 CST/6:00 pm EST: Max Eden, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute – School Safety, Leniency Programs, and Governor Ron DeSantis’ Plans for “Guardian” Money;

5:15 CST/6:15 pm EST: Greg Brown, Santa Rosa County Property Tax Appraiser – Latest News and Updates; and

5:30 CST/6:30 pm EST: Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs – Free Speech and Economic Freedom.

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

February 1st, 2019 at 3:21 pm
Proposed T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Would Be a Win for American Consumers
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On February 13, the House Judiciary and Energy & Commerce Committees will hold an important joint hearing on the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger that promises greater innovation, more jobs, more private telecommunications investment, increased market competition, faster wireless and greater choice for consumers as America proceeds toward our much-anticipated 5G technological rollout.

Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D – New Jersey), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D – New York), Communications & Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D – Pennsylvania) and Antitrust, Commercial & Administrative Law Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D – Rhode Island) state in their joint announcement that, “We look forward to examining this merger from the perspective of what is in the best interest of consumers and hardworking people.”

Well, the answer to that question is clear.

Compared to the current telecommunications marketplace, the T-Mobile/Sprint merger will mean an enhanced array of consumer services.  Sprint and T-Mobile currently possess differing but symbiotic assets, rather than overlapping ones that might otherwise simply mean a bigger company instead of two smaller (and less competitive) ones.  As a result, the new entity would create a new network with broader nationwide coverage, capacity improvements and improved wireless performance for customers compared to what American consumers currently enjoy.  As has been exhaustively demonstrated by CFIF and others, the proposed merger also promises lower costs for consumers, new jobs and necessary network upgrades.

In particular, the proposed merger offers significant potential benefits through deployment of the first 5G wireless network in the U.S., as CFIF has noted:

With an anticipated $40 billion investment in 5G, consumers will enjoy data delivery at a lower cost, and the incentive for competitors to similarly lower prices to consumers.  That will also prompt market competition to expand spectrum in rural areas in addition to urban centers, as well as capacity improvements for consumers.           

That’s how market competition works.  A T-Mobile/Sprint merger and its 5G deployment would also mean billions in new private infrastructure investment and countless new jobs.  In contrast, the absence of a T-Mobile/Sprint merger would mean slower deployment of a 5G nationwide network, and the absence of a market competitor of greater scale.  Ultimately that means consumers would lose.

There is simply no point in needless delay or contentiousness when the House Judiciary and Energy & Commerce Committees convene on February 13.  The proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger offers only benefits to American consumers compared to the existing status quo.  The Committees must recognize that reality, lest we pay an unnecessary price in terms of slower 5G, fewer consumer choices, fewer jobs, less investment and less market competition.

 

January 28th, 2019 at 3:06 pm
Image of the Day: New Jobless Claims Plummeting
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Last week, new jobless claims fell below the milestone 200,000 level, and to the lowest point since the 1960s (when the labor force was significantly smaller).   In this chart, note also the steep drop starting in 2017 with the tax-cutting and deregulatory agenda that arrived with the Trump Administration, after the number of new claims had plateaued toward the end of the Obama Administration:

Jobless Claims Plummet

Jobless Claims Plummet