July 15th, 2019 at 12:46 pm
CFIF Applauds the FCC for Acting to Stop the Local Internet Power Grab
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More than thirty years ago, Congress gave local governments the power to impose “franchise fees” and other regulations on cable television service. It was part of a broad framework for shared national and local authority over cable television in the 1984 “Cable Act,” which laid the foundation for the cable (and eventually satellite) TV boom of the 1980s and beyond.

By contrast, local governments have very limited power to tax or regulate the internet. Unlike television, which has a long tradition of serving independent local markets with discrete programming, options and infrastructure, from the beginning it’s been clear that the internet is inherently national and interstate and can only be effectively regulated at the federal level. That has been core federal policy for decades, as most recently expressed in the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which concluded that, “regulation of broadband Internet access service should be governed principally by a uniform set of federal regulations, rather than by a patchwork that includes separate state and local requirements.”

Recently, however, a number of local franchising authorities have tried to upend that federal policy and claim the right to impose local taxes and regulations on the internet by seizing on the fact that some broadband providers also offer cable television services. Now, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is rightly working to put a stop to this local government internet power grab – moving to make clear that the Cable Act only allows local franchising boards to tax and regulate cable companies based on their cable television operations.

If every local franchising board in the country can impose its own rules and fees on internet providers, the freewheeling and open internet we all enjoy today will slowly grind to a halt. The resulting cacophony of regulation will overwhelm operators, slowing down cyberspace and making it less reliable and less secure. It will drive away new investment needed to continue to achieve ever-increasing speeds users have come to take for granted. And it will confuse consumers who expect the internet to be a consistent experience everywhere they go.

This is the exact harm federal policy strives to avoid. As the FCC explained, “allowing state or local regulation of broadband internet access service could impair the provision of such service by requiring each ISP to comply with a patchwork of separate and potentially conflicting requirements across all of the different jurisdictions in which it operates.”

For that reason, CFIF encourages the FCC to vote to shut down the local power grab by making clear that neither the Cable Act nor any other source of local regulatory power authorizes franchise boards to tax or regulate the internet or any other non-cable-television businesses.

The future of the internet and our unfettered access depend on it.

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July 15th, 2019 at 12:18 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. 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: Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment: Obamacare, Government Run Healthcare and Health Care Choices;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Ilya Shapiro, Director, Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute: SCOTUS Wrap-Up;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Beth Akers, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute: June 2019 Jobs Report and Student Debt;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Rachel Greszler, Research Fellow in Economics, Budge and Entitlements at The Heritage Foundation: $15 Federal Minimum Wage and Salary Gaps in Soccer;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: John Strand, CEO of Strand Consult and Co-Creator of ChinaTechThreat.com: Trade Deal with China;

5:15 CDT/6:25 pm EDT: Lance Izumi, Senior Director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute: Breaking the Liberal Monopoly on College Faculties; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: William J. Conti, Attorney at Baker & Hostetler in Washington, DC: Politics Today.

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

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July 9th, 2019 at 5:48 pm
Patent Protection at a Critical Juncture
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At CFIF, we’ve consistently and unapologetically celebrated the central role of intellectual property (IP) rights – patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets – in making America the most innovative, prosperous and powerful nation in human history.

Recent legal developments domestically, as well as growing focus upon Chinese IP malfeasance internationally, provide new emphasis on the importance of strong U.S. patent protections for American inventors, and highlight some increasingly obvious concerns regarding patent infringers exploiting the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) for nefarious and selfish purposes.

A couple of weeks ago, patent holder plaintiff TQ Delta won on all eight counts in its first case in a series against 2Wire, Inc. over digital communication technology patents.  The win thereby sets a strong precedent of IP enforcement in what will be the first trial over its DSL patent porfolio.

In another recent example that will instantly resonate with parents as their children splash amid water balloons in their backyards this summer, a federal judge in Texas went to the rare extreme of actually doubling a multimillion-dollar jury award in favor of toy company Tinnus Enterprises, maker of “Bunch O Balloons” water balloon devices, in its patent infringement case against Telebrands.  More often, judges reduce jury awards that they consider excessive.  In this case, however, U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III held that the “serial infringement” of Tinnus’s patents and “flagrant” litigation misconduct merited more than doubling the original damages assessment.

The ongoing case of EagleView v. Verisk offers another salient example, a proverbial David innovator versus a Goliath infringer.  It also presents a perfect opportunity to correct a patent infringement injustice and offer a deterrent lesson to other potential patent violators of the consequences they will face.  In a nutshell, the plaintiff EagleView develops products that create 3-D models from aerial images of rooftops, from which insurers and construction companies can more accurately reach repair cost estimates.  After defendant Verisk unsuccessfully attempted to purchase EagleView in 2014, it allegedly shifted to using its subsidiary Xactware Solutions to infringing EagleView’s patented technology, triggering EagleView’s lawsuit for willful patent infringement.

Since that date, Verisk has employed an array of tactics to prevent EagleView’s lawsuit from reaching a jury, such as filing multiple petitions at the PTAB to invalidate EagleView’s underlying patents, which a federal Court of Appeals found “unpersuasive.”  Verisk has also petitioned the District Court multiple times to invalidate EagleView’s underlying patents, which the Court rejected similarly.  Now, Verisk has even resorted to joining the LOT Network, an openly anti-IP group that includes Google and other titans.  Hopefully, those tactics will be put to an end at long last.

All of this serves to highlight once again the need to protect IP, and patent rights specifically, at the legislative, executive and judicial levels.  At the Congressional and executive levels, legislation to address patent eligibility and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) reform are critical, as CFIF has previously emphasized.  Additionally, abuse at the PTAB level must not be tolerated.  And at the judicial level, courts must hold patent infringers accountable, and grant injunctive relief to patent holders to halt violations.  By holding violators accountable, we can not only deter other potential violators, but also provide the incentive to innovators by creating greater assurance that their work will be rewarded and protected.

America’s tradition of leading the world in innovation and IP protection is ultimately at stake.


July 1st, 2019 at 12:13 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:  Lee Casey, Partner at Baker & Hostetler – Return to the Constitution’s Original Meaning;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Ilya Shapiro, Director, Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute – SCOTUS Wrap-Up;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Tzvi Kahn, Senior Iran Analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies – Iran;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Justin Bogie, Senior Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation – Withhold Congress’ Pay;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Sally Pipes, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Research Foundation and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy – Medicare-for-All;and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs – The Latest News from Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court.

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

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June 28th, 2019 at 10:10 am
Image of the Day: Disposable Income in U.S. Versus Elsewhere
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We’ve regularly highlighted the folly of leftist American politicians suggesting that Europeans somehow enjoy higher living standards than supposedly backward Americans.  This OECD data punctures that myth nicely:

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Disposable Income Comparison

Disposable Income Comparison

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June 24th, 2019 at 1:32 pm
Notable Quote: Trump Beats the “Experts” Again
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Today’s Wall Street Journal commentary “Take the Palestinians’ ‘No’ for an Answer” offers the choice quote of the day today, highlighting the way in which President Trump’s decision to finally (and rightfully) relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has once again proved him more prescient than the foreign policy “experts” who predicted dire consequences:

This week’s U.S.-led Peace to Prosperity conference in Bahrain on the Palestinian economy will likely be attended by seven Arab states – a clear rebuke to foreign-policy experts who said that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights as Israeli territory would alienate the Arab world.”

The piece also highlights how the Palestinians stand alone among nations who somehow claim entitlement to 100% satisfaction of their demands before accepting a generous offer of independence.  Pakistan, Ireland, India and even Israel never made such demands in their independence movements, yet somehow Israel is a malign force for not granting Palestinians every one of their demands?  The double-standard as applied to Israel is obvious.


June 24th, 2019 at 10:39 am
Speaking of Drones…
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez…


June 17th, 2019 at 12:45 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Linup
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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: Kay S. Hymowitz, William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute: An Epidemic of Loneliness;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Ross Marchand, Director of Policy for Taxpayers Protection Alliance: Unwarranted Carcinogenic Classifications and How the US Government is About to Drive Up the Cost of Videogames;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste: 2019 Congressional Pig Book;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Marlo Lewis, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Alarmists’ Agenda on Climate Change;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: James S. Burling, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Pacific Legal Foundation: End of Current SCOTUS Term;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Rachel Greszler, Research Fellow in Economics, Budget and Entitlements at The Heritage Foundation: Unions and VW; and

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

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

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June 14th, 2019 at 2:30 pm
Image of the Day: Gallup Poll on Americans’ View of Job Market Hits All-Time Record
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In our Liberty Update commentary entitled “No, Scandinavia Doesn’t Vindicate Socialism” this week, we rightly ridicule admitted socialist Bernie Sanders, including his odd claim that “we now have an economy that is fundamentally broke and grotesquely unfair.”  Well, as this Gallup survey illustrates, he’s swimming upstream against American public opinion.  Specifically, in a survey that Gallup has conducted periodically since 2001, the public’s view of the job market has now hit an all-time record high:

Sorry, Socialists

Sorry, Socialists

 

Perhaps this helps explain why Sanders has suddenly plummeted in 2020 Democratic candidate surveys, although one wonders how long people like Elizabeth Warren can avoid the same fate.


June 6th, 2019 at 3:56 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Voting by Phone
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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.


June 3rd, 2019 at 12:57 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. 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: Grant Duwe, Academic Adviser on Criminal Justice Reform at the American Enterprise Institute and Research Director of the Minnesota Department of Corrections: More Effective Prison Programs;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Adam Michel, Senior Policy analyst, Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget: A Call for More Flexible Education Savings Accounts;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment: CFPB and Small Dollar Loans;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Matthew Daniels, JD, PhD, Author and Founder of the Center for Law and Digital Culture: “Human Liberty 2.0”;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Timpthy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs: British Prime Minister Theresa May;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep: College Board’s New Sociological Data Input; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Devin Watkins, Attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Waters of the United States Rule.

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

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May 21st, 2019 at 11:29 am
WSJ Applauds FCC Chairman Pai, Commissioner Carr in Support of T-Mobile/Sprint Merger
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Echoing CFIF, today’s Wall Street Journal board editorial applauds Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s and Commissioner Brendan Carr’s expressions of support for the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger:

By joining forces, T-Mobile and Sprint will be better positioned to compete against wireless leaders Verizon and AT&T in the 5G era.   Sprint is sitting on loads of mid-band spectrum that boosts wireless speeds while T-Mobile boasts ample low-band spectrum that provides coverage.  The combination is likely to provide a faster, denser network.”

As they rightly conclude, “government penalties pale next to the powerful market incentives that already exist for Sprint and T-Mobile to rapidly build out their networks lest they lose market share to Verizon, AT&T, cable companies and even satellite startups being launched by Amazon and SpaceX.”  Well put.


May 20th, 2019 at 4:55 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. 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: Mary clare Amselem, Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation: SAT Adversity Score;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Aparna Mathur, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute: Mother’s Choice to Work;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Clark Packard, Trade Policy Council Team at R Street: China and Trade;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: David Keating, President at Institute for Free Speech: South Dakota and First Amendment Law;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Tzvi Kahn, Senior Iran Analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: Iran;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Timothy Snowball, Attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation: Socialism; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Bill Conti, Attorney at Baker & Hostetler: Presidential 2020.

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

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May 13th, 2019 at 12:20 pm
Image of the Day: Anyone Thinking We’re Undertaxed?
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From the mild-mannered yet oft-censored Dennis Prager, for anyone feeling undertaxed or who advocates even higher taxes:

Anyone Feeling Undertaxed?

Anyone Feeling Undertaxed?

 

 

 

 

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May 6th, 2019 at 2:08 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: Ryan Berg, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute – Venezuela;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Kenny Stein, Director of Policy and Federal Affairs at the American Energy Alliance – Electric Vehicle Tax Credits;

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

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Myron Magnet, Renowned Author and City Journal Editor-At-Large – “Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Andrew Och, Award-Winning Television Producer and Author of “Unusual for Their Time: On The Road with America’s First Ladies” – First Ladies as Mothers in the White House; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs – The Economy, World IP Day and NRA/NYAG.

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


May 6th, 2019 at 10:37 am
Image of the Day: Worker Productivity Finally Surges, and Why That’s Important
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After years of Obama economic malaise, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) highlights how worker productivity is finally surging following the election of Donald Trump and implementation of his deregulatory and tax-cutting agenda:

Worker Productivity Finally Surging

Worker Productivity Finally Surging

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Here’s why that’s important, as AEI’s James Pethokoukis notes:

[P]roductivity increased at a rapid 3.6% annualized rate during the first three months of this year.  On a year-ago basis, this puts productivity growth at 2.4%, the fastest pace since early 2010 and far better than the 1% pace that has typified the post-financial crisis expansion.  As Barclays economist Blerina Uruci told The Wall Street Journal, ‘That means we can grow at a faster pace on a more sustained basis.  It also means the economy can run hotter for longer without causing inflationary pressure.’  Moreover, consistent 2%-plus productivity growth makes a 3% real GDP economy less of a stretch.”


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 22nd, 2019 at 12:49 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. 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: Jonathan Wood, Senior Attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation: Earth Day and Environmental Progress;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Charles “Cully” Stimson, Senior Legal Fellow and Manager, National Security Law Program at The Heritage Foundation: Julian Assange and the Legal Case Against Him;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Jonathan Williams, Chief Economist and Vice President for the Center for state Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council: Rich States, Poor States Report;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Lawrence Mead, NYU Professor and Book Author: “Burdens of Freedom: Cultural Difference and American Power”;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Demian Brady, Director of Research for the National Taxpayers Union Foundation: How the Trump Tax Cuts Lowered the Compliance Burden;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment: Rising Prescription Drug Costs; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler: The Mueller Report and the Latest 2020 Presidential Candidates.

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


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
Posted by Print

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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