April 27th, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Image of the Day: Americans Pay More On Taxes Than Food, Housing & Clothing Combined
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Today’s eye-opening Image of the Day, courtesy of the Tax Foundation:

Americans Tax Burden

Americans' Tax Burden


April 26th, 2017 at 10:20 am
Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day!
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Happy World Intellectual Property Day!

It’s no secret that private property rights constitute a natural human right, as well as the foundation for prosperity and innovation across time and geography.  And among the forms of private property, it’s important to recognize that intellectual property (IP) constitutes a core component.

For proof, look no further than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual International IP Index, which year after year confirms the cause-and-effect relationship between IP protections and prosperity:

The most up-to-date data on the benefits of IP protection reveals that IP is, in fact, a critical instrument for countries seeking to enhance access to innovation, grow domestic innovative output, and enjoy the dynamic growth benefits of an innovative economy.  Conversely, weak IP protection stymies long-term strategic aspirations for innovation and development.

Taken together, the 21 correlations included in this Index present a clear picture:  IP protection goes hand-in-hand with the aspirations topping government agendas around the world.  As Table 1 suggests, a robust national IP environment correlates strongly (having a strength of 0.6 or above) with a wide range of macroeconomic indicators that fall under the umbrella of innovation and creativity – the very same indicators that are found in national strategies for development of many economies today.  This message has only become stronger over the past 3 editions of the Index.  Adding several new variables each year and expanding the sample size by 50% (from 30 to 45 economies), the strength of the relationship between IP rights and crucial economic activities has grown.”

And nowhere is that relationship more obvious than in the United States.  Our Founding Fathers believed so strongly in IP rights as a natural right and a foundation for prosperity that they specifically protected them in the text of the Constitution.  And since that time, America’s world-leading tradition of IP protection has made us the most inventive, creative and prosperous nation in human history, without any proximate rival in that regard.

In an increasingly globalized economy, it’s important that we celebrate IP and ensure that more of the world protect it in the way that America has.  So join CFIF in celebrating World IP Day today!


April 26th, 2017 at 10:18 am
Nat’l Free-Market Orgs Urge Missouri Governor to Champion Public Sector Union Reforms
Posted by CFIF Staff Print
Today, a broad coalition made up of nearly two dozen of the nation’s largest and most influential free-market organizations, led by the Center for Individual Freedom (”CFIF”), sent a letter to Governor Eric Greitens congratulating him on Missouri becoming the 28th state to enact right-to-work legislation and urging him to go further by championing reforms to hold public sector unions accountable to their members and Missouri’s taxpayers at large.

The coalition of organizations pointed to the successful public sector union reforms championed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2011 and urged that, “Missouri has a real opportunity in 2017 to join Wisconsin in leading government union reform.”

Specifically, the organizations noted that “House Bill 251, a comprehensive government union reform package containing paycheck protection, regular recertification elections, union transparency requirements and prohibitions on union release time, is currently in the Senate and awaits final votes from both chambers” of the Missouri legislature.  The letter goes on to state, “As the legislative session quickly comes to a close, we urge you to help Missouri become the next state to see government union reform become a reality.”

“The reforms in House Bill 251 not only protect the rights of workers, but also bring immediate, demonstrable benefits to states enacting them, as Wisconsin’s recent example proves so vividly,” said Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs.

“With Governor Greitens’ leadership, House Bill 251 provides a real opportunity for Missouri to become a model for the rest of the nation in terms of holding government unions accountable to their members and taxpayers,” CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella said. “We urge Governor Greitens to lead the way on this important issue.”

In addition to CFIF, the organizations making up the coalition include: American City County Exchange, American Commitment, American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Action, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Center for Worker Freedom, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Frontiers of Freedom, Institute for Liberty, Institute for Policy Innovation, Jeffersonian Project, Less Government, Missouri Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union, 60 Plus Association, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Taxpayers Protection Alliance and The Market Institute.

Read the letter here.


April 24th, 2017 at 1:38 pm
Tax Reform: Allow Choice Between Immediate Expensing and Interest Deductibility
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Last November, Americans delivered a clear and important message to Washington, D.C.:  Create more American jobs and increase investment in America’s aging infrastructure.

While roads, bridges and other public works projects are obviously important, President Trump has wisely recognized that a successful infrastructure policy must also include steps to stimulate private-sector infrastructure investment and job creation.  Accordingly, as President Trump and Congress take steps to modify and reform the tax code, it is important that any changes being considered not undermine these private infrastructure initiatives.

Specifically, many American businesses currently rely on debt to fund infrastructure investments and create new jobs.  Companies of all sizes in a variety of industries, including energy, internet broadband, telecommunications, manufacturing, transportation, retail and agriculture, routinely use debt to fund new technologies, build out and maintain infrastructure and hire and train American workers.  Like other business expenses, interest paid on debt is an ordinary and necessary cost of doing business and has been tax deductible for over 100 years.

Unfortunately, some tax reform proposals seek to eliminate interest deductibility for businesses in favor of 100 percent expensing — allowing businesses to deduct the full value of capital expenditures in one year rather then spread out over many years.

Eliminating interest deductibility could immediately hinder many businesses’ ability to borrow, thereby impeding infrastructure improvement and expansion, as well as job growth.  Small businesses, which create two out of three American private sector jobs and rely on debt financing, would be particularly hurt by any tax plan that eliminates interest deductibility, because they possess limited or no access to equity capital.  Similarly, large businesses would need to delay investment to account for a larger tax liability over time.

While 100 percent expensing is a good idea that would help spark economic growth, one idea doesn’t need to be sacrificed in favor of the other.  President Trump’s campaign tax proposal offered a wise compromise alternative.

Under his plan, businesses could chose either immediate expensing or interest deductibility, depending upon their particular needs.  That would support economic investment and job growth by giving companies at least the choice between interest deductibility and 100 percent expensing.  The Tax Foundation has determined that allowing companies to choose between the two options would contribute approximately $120 billion to our economy over ten years.

Going back to the infrastructure issue referenced above, electability between the two options also supports the President’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which relies on public-private partnerships, and Congressional leaders’ similar proposals, which include anticipated leverage ratios of up to five-to-one.  Limiting interest deductibility could undermine those plans.

Perhaps most importantly, allowing companies themselves to choose between the two options facilitates passage of tax reform because proponents of either option need not be foes in the process.


April 24th, 2017 at 12:12 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:  Bradley Smith, Chairman and Founder of Center for Competitive Politics – Victories for Free Speech Rights;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Frederick M. Hess, Education Policy Analyst and Author – “Letters to a Young Education Reformer”;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Catherine Engelbrecht, Founder of True the Vote;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Trey Kovacs, Policy Analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute – Taxpayer Subsidies to Government Unions;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Sally Pipes, President, CEO and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute – ObamaCare and Scrapping the Subsidies; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  Christina Doss, Managing Director, Saltmarsh Financial Advisors, LLC – Women and Investing – Closing the Gender Gap.

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


April 21st, 2017 at 1:23 pm
Podcast: Will Congress Roll the Dice to Prohibit Internet Gambling?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President for Legal and Public Affairs, discusses the 1951 federal Wire Act, internet sports betting and the history of state regulation of gambling across the country.

Listen to the interview here.


April 17th, 2017 at 1:37 pm
Image of the Day: How Your Federal Tax Dollars Are Now Spent
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Today’s image of the day, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, how $100 of your federal taxes are now allocated by the government:

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Federal Spending Allocation

Federal Spending Allocation

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For perspective (see image below), that means that military spending has declined an alarming 22.3% since just 2011.  In contrast, since 2011 Social Security spending is up 17%, Medicare is up 15.1%, Medicaid is up 25.4%, civilian federal retirement is up 11.3%, education is up 5.3% and interest payments are up 1.8%.  Something to consider as important budget and spending battles heat up…

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2011 Comparison

2011 Comparison


April 13th, 2017 at 2:21 pm
So Google Favors Intellectual Property After All… Its Own, Anyway
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

So it appears that Google isn’t so opposed to intellectual property (IP) rights after all.  As long as it comes to its own, that is.

That’s the upshot of a high-profile federal lawsuit in which Google subsidiary Waymo accuses Uber of stealing its patents and trade secrets:

Waymo LLC, the self-driving car unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc., asked a federal court on Friday to halt Uber Technologies Inc.’s efforts to develop autonomous vehicles allegedly based on stolen design secrets.  The request was made to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, following a suit filed last month accusing Anthony Levandowski, a former key manager in the Google self-driving car project, of taking 14,000 files before quitting last year to create a self-driving truck maker.  That startup, called Otto, was quickly acquired by Uber last year…

Waymo also filed an expert witness statement to the court from a laser-optics physicist who said he believes Uber’s laser-sensor technology uses Waymo’s trade secrets and infringes on its patents.  Waymo also added a fourth patent to its infringement claims in an amended suit on Friday.”

We take no position on the merits of the case, and maintain no particular grudge against Google as a company.  But its leading role in undermining IP rights in the United States, which made us the most inventive, artistically innovative and prosperous nation in human history, makes its current pleas a bit ironic, to put it mildly.

For years, we’ve been alerting readers to the endless, destructive litany of ways in which Google has undermined IP and public policy for its own benefit:

Here’s the irony.  Google somehow manages to arouse righteous legions of supposed anti-corporatist activists on its behalf (think sunshine anarchists and libertarians of convenience).  Yet Google itself exercises more self-serving, crony capitalist throw weight than any counterpart entity.

For example, consider so-called ‘Net Neutrality,’ with which conservatives and true libertarians are now familiar, that would suddenly empower the federal government to micromanage Internet service.  Google stands to gain enormous free-rider benefits, which explains why it is the chief corporate proponent of that proposed regulatory expansion.

Or think of Google Books, which posts the text of books that Google has gone ahead and scanned for viewing on its site.  Who cares if Google hasn’t first obtained permission from the actual authors and creators, right?  Google counts on the sheer cost and hassle of litigation to discourage individual creators against putting up a legal fight to protect their rights.

How does that square with ‘Don’t Be Evil?’

Or how about this?  Last August, Google voluntarily agreed to a $500 million fine for assisting Canadian online pharmaceutical sellers in accessing American consumers.  That amount is an entire Solyndra, and one of the largest forfeiture penalties in U.S. history.  Google fully admitted that it, ‘improperly assisted Canadian online pharmacy advertisers to run advertisements that targeted the United States,’ and prosecutors added that Google, ‘was fully aware as early as 2003 that generally it was illegal for pharmacies to ship controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the United States from Canada.’

But once again, it’s not Google’s health or property at stake, so who cares?”

More recently, Google has used its enormous influence within the Obama Administration to push the Obama Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) destructive cable set-top box proposal, which would have compromised consumer privacy, as well as the Obama FCC’s “privacy” regulation of 2016, which Congress just rightfully rescinded.

Intellectual property rights were so important to our Founding Fathers that they specifically safeguarded them in the text of the Constitution.  Since that time, IP rights have provided the “secret sauce” by which we’ve achieved such incomparable technological, artistic and influential supremacy.

Regardless of the merits of the Google’s litigation against Uber, it has every right to safeguard its own IP rights.  It would be nice if it finally dawned on them that they don’t wear hypocrisy well, however, and that they should stop undermining the same protections for others.


April 11th, 2017 at 8:06 pm
BOOM: U.S. Job Creation Index Notches Third Consecutive Record
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

So while Donald Trump enforced Barack Obama’s chemical weapon “red line” abroad, Gallup brings news today that things continue to hum with the Trump employment bump here at home:

The Gallup Job Creation Index rose to +37 in March from +35 in February.  This is the third month in a row the index has hit a new record high after remaining relatively flat for much of 2016.  Since the start of the year, the index has already increased by four points — the same increase seen throughout all of 2016.”

Obama blamestormed Bush for eight years while the U.S. economy and employment conditions stagnated, but as Syrian dictator Bashad al-Assad learned this week, there’s a new sheriff in town and he appears to be achieving quick results.

Trump Job Creation Boom

Trump Job Creation Boom


April 10th, 2017 at 12:32 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio 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: Megan Brown, Partner at Wiley Rein, LLP: Associate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and His Confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Tzvi Kahn: Senior Iran Analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: Increased Sanctions on Iran and Foreign Policy;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Senator Doug Broxson, Florida Senate: 2017 Legislative Session;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Bruce Klingner, Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation: North Korea and Trump-Xi Summit;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler: Syria, President Trump’s Approval Ratings, and Politics and Music; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs: Internet Gambling and On-Line Privacy Laws.

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


April 6th, 2017 at 10:21 am
Ramirez Cartoon: A Message from James Madison to Senate Democrats
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.


March 31st, 2017 at 9:55 am
The Judicial Confirmation Circus
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director of the Judicial Crisis Network, discusses what may happen next with respect to Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court and the predictable political posturing of Senate Democrats.

Listen to the interview here.


March 30th, 2017 at 2:31 pm
Union Activists Continue to Push Air Traffic Control “Privatization” Proposal
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

This afternoon, proponents of a proposal claiming to privatize air traffic control (ATC) are joining with labor activists to continue pushing what amounts to a labor union giveaway.  Alongside a number of conservative groups, CFIF remains concerned about the proposal, which upon closer scrutiny doesn’t constitute true privatization at all, because it would maintain monopoly power over ATC without sufficient accountability to taxpayers, as well as expanded gold-plated compensation and benefit guarantees to the National Air Traffic Controller’s union.

Instead of real privatization through open competition, pricing transparency and increased efficiency, the union-supported proposal would create a federally-chartered nonprofit corporation similar to current inefficient and bloated public/private entities like Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service, which have long required massive subsidies and bailouts from taxpayers while struggling to manage legacy union contracts.  Under the proposal, air traffic controllers would receive additional taxpayer- and passenger-funded guarantees with diminished legal consequences for labor pressure tactics.  It’s therefore little wonder that the union’s bosses push the proposal so aggressively.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined last year that creation of a nonprofit ATC corporation would widen the federal budget deficit by $20 billion between 2017 and 2026.

This type of proposal could lead to a vicious cycle of increased user fees, more aggressive union contract demands and potential taxpayer bailouts.


March 27th, 2017 at 3:39 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:  Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director at the Judicial Crisis Network – Judge Gorsuch Hearings;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Evan Moore, Policy Fellow at the Foreign Policy Initiative -Foreign Policy, Syria, Russia and Terrorism;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment – ObamaCare and Congress;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Pat Nolan, Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform – Practice of “Civil Asset Forfeiture”;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs – Tax Policy and the Border Adjustment Tax; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  Peter Rubardt, Conductor and Music Director at Pensacola Symphony Orchestra – Upcoming Performances and Music in Education.

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


March 24th, 2017 at 11:48 am
Congress Introduces Much-Needed Copyright Office Reform Legislation
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

This week, the Chairmen and Ranking Members of both the Senate and House Judiciary committees introduced important legislation - the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act – which makes the U.S. Register of Copyrights a position appointed by the president subject to Senate confirmation.

CFIF applauds this much-needed proposal to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office in order to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.

Strong copyright protection constitutes a core component of our domestic economy, and our world-leading creative community in particular.  As we at CFIF have often emphasized, it is not by coincidence that the U.S. stands unrivaled as the most creative, innovative, prosperous and powerful nation in human history while consistently maintaining the world’s strongest copyright and other intellectual property (IP) protections.  That relationship is direct and causal.  Our Founding Fathers specifically protected copyright as a fundamental, natural property right in the text of the Constitution.  As a result, American copyright-related industries dominate the globe, from film to television to music to publications, and today those industries contribute over $1 trillion to the American economy, as well as accounting for 5.5 million jobs.  And in an era of increasing global competition, copyright-related industries remain a significant export sector that only keeps growing.

Here’s why the Copyright Office is so crucial in that realm.  It facilitates the thriving U.S. market by administering the registration and recordation systems, as well as advising Congress, our judicial system and other pivotal parties on both domestic and international copyright matters.  Unfortunately, under the current system created over 120 years ago, the Office is currently housed within the Library of Congress, which faces its own challenges and responsibilities.  Consequently, the Copyright Office has struggled to keep pace in the increasingly digital economy despite repeated calls urging modernization.

Accordingly, given the enormous and growing importance of copyright industries to the U.S. economy and exports, we applaud the long-needed legislative effort to modernize the Copyright Office in this way.  Although only a first step in broader Copyright Office reform, it is an important one.  It also offers a rare bipartisan opportunity for Congress in addition to how it helps American consumers and our creative and innovative community.  Every living former Register of Copyrights has urged Copyright Office restructuring, and CFIF agrees wholeheartedly with that broad consensus.  American consumers, our economy and export industries stand to benefit immensely from this important step.


March 22nd, 2017 at 5:48 pm
Congress Making Good On Rescinding Rogue “Privacy” Regulations Rammed Through by Obama’s FCC
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Among the myriad missteps and abuses of the Obama Administration, its habit of rogue lawmaking through unelected administrative agencies rather than the deliberative democratic process was perhaps the worst.  Even the most liberal Supreme Court justices on several occasions agreed, striking down Obama Administration regulatory impositions by unanimous votes.

And perhaps no federal agency represented that lawlessness and impropriety better than the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Last year as the clock began to expire on the Obama era, the FCC moved to impose new “privacy” regulations upon private Internet Service Providers (ISPs), upon which Americans rely to access the internet.  Those regulations actually did nothing on behalf of consumer privacy, or to prevent online data collection practices used profusely by other entities throughout the Internet economy that the Obama Administration favored.  Instead, the regulations served to constrict development of new business practices and distort the robust digital marketplace, while picking winners and losers.

Additionally, those FCC regulations circumvented the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) superior expertise in this field by encroaching upon its existing regulations upon which the Internet economy had relied for years.  The FTC’s proven framework protected consumers for decades, while obviously allowing the Internet to flourish as it did.  But the FCC went rogue, insisting on inserting itself into more areas of American consumers’ daily lives, and disrupting a robust marketplace with a “solution” where no problem existed.

Fortunately, Congress is set to act by rescinding the Obama FCC’s ill-advised regulation.  The Congressional Review Act (CRA), which was enacted as part of the Contract with America reforms, allows Congress to rein in rogue administrative agency regulations and prevent future agencies from reimposing them in the future.  It remained an ineffective tool when the threat of an Obama veto loomed, but with Donald Trump now in the White House, Congress has begun using the CRA to rescind costly and improper regulations.

Now, the Senate stands ready to eliminate the Obama FCC’s destructive last-hour “privacy” regulation this week.

And they can use your help.

Contact your Senators and tell them to put the CRA to use and rescind the FCC’s rule.  The best way to protect privacy and strengthen the internet economy is to build from the successful and established framework established by the FTC, not the Obama FCC’s scheme.

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March 21st, 2017 at 7:21 pm
New Report: We Need More Capitalism in Space
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Quick:  Name all of the areas where government outperforms the private sector where both options exist.

Pretty difficult, isn’t it?  From schools to overnight delivery to cheese, the overwhelming and perhaps even categorical rule is that the private sector performs more effectively and efficiently wherever it competes with government.

Aerospace is no exception, as detailed by an impressive new report from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) entitled “Capitalism in Space:  Private Enterprise and Competition Reshape the Global Aerospace Launch Industry.”

The report first notes how increasingly critical a flourishing aerospace industry is for any nation hoping to prosper in today’s competitive global marketplace.  That includes national defense, natural resource exploration, economic growth, experimentation and national prestige.  Unfortunately, the report also highlights how U.S. government performance in this realm has declined:

All of these goals require a prosperous U.S. aerospace industry, which in turn requires above all a viable space-launch industry, capable of placing payloads, both unmanned and manned, into orbit cheaply and efficiently.  Unfortunately, since the beginning of the 21st century the U.S. government has struggled to create and maintain a viable launch industry.  Even as the government terminated the Space Shuttle program, with its ability to place and return humans and large cargoes to and from orbit, NASA’s many repeated efforts since the mid-1980s to generate a replacement have come up  empty.

In addition, in the 1990s the Department of Defense instituted a new program, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), to guarantee itself launch services that – though successful in procuring those services – have done so at a very high cost, so high, in fact, that the expense  now significantly limits the military’s future options for maintaining its access to, and assets in, space.”

But there’s positive news, according to the report.  Private aerospace players like today’s SpaceX have succeeded at far less cost than the government spends:

Even as the federal government struggled with this problem, a fledgling crop of new American private launch companies have emerged in the past decade, funded initially by the vast profits produced by the newly born internet industry.  These new companies have not been motivated by national prestige, military strength, or any of the traditional national political goals of the federal government.  Instead, these private entities have been driven by profit, competition, and in some cases the ideas of the visionary individuals running the companies, resulting in some remarkable success, achieved with relatively little money and in an astonishingly short period of time.

Because of these differing approaches – the government on one hand and the private sector on the other – policymakers have an opportunity to compare both and use that knowledge to create the most successful American space effort possible.”

As just one example, the report notes the “significant cost discrepancy between the government-developed SLS/Orion system and commercially-developed systems, without any significant difference in capability.”  The SLS/Orion is projected to cost $43 billion for two rockets, three test spacecraft, and three flight spacecraft over 15 years.  By comparison, SpaceX development and operational contracts combined totaled less than $2 billion to achieve 13 launches to and from the International Space Station, as well as an orbital demonstration.

By leveraging the private sector and maintaining competition, the report concludes, America’s aerospace industry can continue to lead through the end of this century.  That won’t surprise anyone familiar with the performance disparity between the private sector and government generally, but it’s an important new confirmation in this vital sphere that will only play an increasingly important role in our lives.


March 15th, 2017 at 11:18 am
“The Muslim Travel Ban”
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.


March 13th, 2017 at 1:30 pm
Image of the Day: Does This Dress Make Obama’s Deficits Look Fat?
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Another reason why Barack Obama must enter discussion of the worst presidents in U.S. history, not the best as his stubborn apologists pretend:

Obama Deficit Record

Obama Deficit Record

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March 13th, 2017 at 1:12 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:  David Schoenbrod, Author and Renowned Policy Expert – “DC Confidential: Inside the Five Tricks of Washington”;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Karlyn Bowman, Public Opinion Expert and Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute – Public Perceptions of President Trump and America’s Foreign Policy;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  David Keating, President of Center for Competitive Politics – A Sad Day for Free Speech;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Tred Barta, Author, Hunter, Fisherman, and Outdoorsman – Co-existence of Conservation and Commercial Fishing;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Sally Pipes, President, CEO and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute – Republicans’ Health Care Bill; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  Quin Hillyer, Contributing Editor of National Review Magazine, a Senior Editor for The American Spectator Magazine – Angry Americans, Investigative Journalism, and Trump’s Budget.

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