Archive

Author Archive
February 2nd, 2022 at 4:20 pm
Opposition to Biden FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn Reaches Critical Mass
Posted by Print

For months, CFIF has articulated why the U.S. Senate must reject the Biden Administration’s nomination of hyperpartisan Gigi Sohn to sit on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), including our expression of support for Senator Roger Wicker’s (R – Mississippi) demand for rehearing based upon potential ethical concerns regarding Ms. Sohn after reviewing the substance of a $32 million litigation settlement between television broadcasters and the defunct Locast streaming service following her nomination.  Sohn sat on the board of Sports Fan Coalition, a nonprofit organization that operated Locast:

As Senator Wicker rightfully notes, the FCC oversees and regulates companies that were party to the $32 million settlement in question. Accordingly, the possibility of Ms. Sohn’s future financial liability to companies over which she would wield power if confirmed to the FCC merit immediate and full investigation. In addition, the timing of the settlement following her nomination by the Biden Administration offers additional reason for full public hearing to resolve any ethical questions.”

Now, The Wall Street Journal joins the accumulating chorus of opposition, bluntly asking, “Does an independent agency nominee who has deceived Senators about her business conflicts deserve to be confirmed?”

After the hearing Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker followed up with a written question:  ‘Where did the money come from for the payment of the $32 million settlement in connection with the Locast case?’  If a company donated the funds, she might have to recuse herself from matters involving the donor.  She responded that the ‘settlement funds come from amounts collected to fund [Sports Fan Coalition NY] after SFCNY pays its vendors.’  SFCNY is the name of the nonprofit that operated Locast.  This was an odd answer because SFCNY’s IRS 990 form showed only $794,159 in assets and funds at the end of 2020.  Where did the other $31 million come from?

Ms. Sohn declined the Senate’s request for a copy of the settlement, and now we know why.  Bloomberg Law reported this week that the settlement was signed Oct. 27 — one day after President Biden nominated her.  Locast only agreed to pay $700,000.  We’ve independently reviewed a copy of the settlement, which has Ms. Sohn’s signature.  In other words, on the day after she was nominated to her powerful regulatory position, broadcasters agreed to a settlement that cut the liability of her nonprofit by 98%. Interesting timing.

Why didn’t Ms. Sohn correct Mr. Wicker about the ‘$32 million settlement’?  Even if there was nothing improper about the settlement agreement, her lack of candor is a problem.  The settlement also creates the appearance of a conflict given her pending power over broadcasters, which she must pledge to avoid in an FCC ethics agreement.”

Beyond her ethical failures as articulated by Senator Wicker and The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Sohn’s nomination gravely threatens America’s thriving internet sector.   Specifically, she seeks to more heavily regulate that sector in the image of European internet service, which performed poorly throughout the Covid pandemic compared to the United States.  Despite nationwide quarantines and surges in internet use, U.S. broadband speeds actually increased by 91% in 2020.  Europe, in contrast, suffered service bottlenecks and overload, prompting regulators to ask content providers to throttle back.  Ms. Sohn would undermine the private U.S. broadband sector and remake it in that demonstrably inferior European image.  She has signaled support for rate regulation of broadband and is a staunch advocate of government-owned broadband, which would undermine private investment and network expansion, as well as the jobs that investment and expansion create.

Sohn also favors radical reimposition of Title II so-called “Net Neutrality” regulations, which would regulate private internet service as a “public utility” under 1930s statutes aimed at copper-wire telephones.  After the Obama FCC first imposed those regulations in 2015, the negative effects were immediate:  For the very first time ever outside of an economic recession, private internet investment actually declined.  When the Trump Administration FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai subsequently reversed the Obama FCC’s Title II regulation, private investment rebounded and internet service speeds immediately increased.

Our internet service sector mustn’t be subjected to the sort of disruptive overregulation that Sohn would bring if confirmed to the FCC.  She’s also notoriously weak on U.S. intellectual property rights, and advocates imposition of consumer privacy laws in a crony capitalist manner.  She’s simply too radical to be confirmed to the FCC at a time when Americans rely more than ever on a thriving internet service sector, and Senator Wicker is to be applauded for his leadership on this issue.

Tags: , ,
January 31st, 2022 at 5:17 pm
NM House Bill Targeting Consumer Lending Would Harm Vulnerable Consumers It Falsely Claims to Protect
Posted by Print

Whenever governments at any level artificially cap interest rates on consumer installment loans, they claim to be acting on behalf of vulnerable and lower-income Americans.

For straightforward reasons according to the laws of economics, however, such efforts only end up counterproductively harming the very people they allegedly help.

Sadly, we’re witnessing yet another effort tempting that destructive spiral in New Mexico, where the House of Representatives Consumer and Public Affairs Committee has approved by a narrow 3-2 margin H.B. 132, a proposal that would cap interest rates on consumer loans.

Making matters worse, the Committee even gutted funding for financial education in New Mexico, thereby evading reference to the House Appropriations Committee, in deceptive fashion to rush the bill through.

At a simplistic level, government laws regulating lending services and capping repayment rates may seem helpful to Americans struggling paycheck-to-paycheck.  But the real-world impact only eliminates a source of reliable, legal short-term loans to get them through temporary emergencies.

According to a 2018 Federal Reserve System Board of Governors study on the economic wellbeing of U.S. households, nearly 40% of American families don’t possess sufficient savings to cover even a $400 emergency expense.  Alarmingly, that same study noted that 51% of military service members live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Because of their credit profiles, credit cards aren’t always a viable option for such people, and traditional bank loans aren’t an option due to the small amounts at issue.  Whereas higher-income Americans with stronger credit history can borrow from banks, use assets they possess as leverage or access savings amounts, American consumers with lower credit scores and insufficient savings cannot.  In fact, according to the Fair Isaac Corporation, some 46% of consumers possess credit scores below 700, meaning that traditional bank loans aren’t possible for them.

That’s where consumer finance loans come in, providing a critical life preserver for lower-income Americans and New Mexicans.

In such circumstances, struggling Americans can access the money they need for short-term emergencies via consumer finance loans.  But under H.B. 132 as contemplated by the New Mexico House, consumer finance lending will only become economically unsustainable and therefore less available.

In turn, the unintended consequence will be more people seeking out illegal loansharks, suffering overdrafts, or simply being unable to cover their temporary costs.  As the World Bank aptly summarized, regulatory and legislative proposals like H.B. 132 lead to “increases in non-interest fees and commissions; reduced price transparency; lower number of institutions and reduced branch density; and adverse impacts on bank profitability, in addition to the lack of access for smaller and riskier borrowers.”

Obviously, that quickly ends up punishing the very people that legislation like H.B. 132 claims to protect.  It only threatens to make consumer finance lending more difficult, more expensive and less available.

 

January 24th, 2022 at 12:44 pm
Image of the Day: Americans Remain Highly Positive Toward Free Enterprise and Business Over Government
Posted by Print

In what sometimes seems like an era of constantly expanding government and demonization of free markets, a recent Gallup poll offers refreshing news – Americans overwhelmingly view free markets positively, especially relative to the federal government:

"Free

Political candidates would be wise to emphasize this in an election year 2022, and elected leaders would be wise to translate Americans’ preference into concrete action.

January 10th, 2022 at 10:11 am
Image of the Day: Biden, Pelosi and Schumer Faceplanted On Jobs in 2021
Posted by Print

On the heels of Friday’s unsettling jobs report from the Labor Department, we can now judge the performance and promises of Joe Biden and the Pelosi/Schumer Congress against actual reality.  They promised 10.3 million jobs would be created in 2021 if their massive spending and regulation blowout passed, versus 6.3 million jobs if their agenda wasn’t passed.  So how did it turn out?  Their agenda was passed, but only 6.1 million jobs were created as the U.S. economy slowed and struggled to recover from the Covid dip, as AEI’s Matt Weidinger highlights.  They apparently made things worse, not better, illustrating the sardonic adage, “Don’t just do something – stand there.”

Biden Jobs Performance: Worse Than Doing Nothing

Biden Jobs Performance: Worse Than Doing Nothing

 

January 3rd, 2022 at 9:01 am
Hypocrisy: Pay Attention to What Leftists Do, Not What They Preach
Posted by Print

By now you’ve probably seen the images exposing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D – New York) vacationing maskless in Florida despite constantly maligning the state as some sort of death-ravaged hellhole under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, and her even more hilarious rationalization when called out on her hypocrisy that it’s all because “Republicans are mad they can’t date me.”   Right.

Well, she’s hardly alone in her hypocrisy.  Take a look at the updated state migration data from Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Americans and businesses ‘vote with their feet’ when they relocate from one state to another, and the evidence suggests that Americans are moving from blue states that are more economically stagnant, fiscally unhealthy states with higher tax burdens and unfriendly business climates with higher energy and housing costs and fewer economic and job opportunities, to fiscally sound red states that are more economically vibrant, dynamic and business-friendly, with lower tax and regulatory burdens, lower energy, and housing costs and more economic and job opportunities.”

 

What Leftists Do Versus What Leftists Preach

What Leftists Do Versus What Leftists Preach

 

Do as leftists say, not as they do, right?

 

December 27th, 2021 at 10:03 am
Image of the Day: Biden Economy Slowing, Not Accelerating
Posted by Print

So the latest talking point from the political left is that the Biden Economy is doing just great, and you rubes who believe otherwise just don’t get it that he’s somehow turbocharging it.  In other words, whom are you going to believe – Joe Biden and his apologists, or your lying eyes?  Biden himself even said that his policies have accelerated growth and unless his monstrous “Build Back Better” overcomes Senator Joe Manchin’s opposition and passes in the new year, our economy is “not going to grow.”  Yes, he literally said that.

Well, here’s more for those lying eyes of yours, from the federal government’s own official numbers.  The U.S. economy isn’t accelerating under Biden, it’s slowing in a disturbing way:

 

Biden Economy Slowing, Not Accelerating

Biden Economy Slowing, Not Accelerating

 

Something to keep handy as the Biden Administration and its cheerleaders feed falsity in pursuit of their agenda as the 2022 elections approach.

December 22nd, 2021 at 9:30 am
AEI’s Bret Swanson: “The Federal Aviation Administration’s Embarrassing Attempt to Put 5G Wireless on ‘Airplane Mode’”
Posted by Print

In recent months CFIF has highlighted the destructive way in which the aviation industry and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continue to unreasonably oppose deployment of super-fast 5G wireless in the U.S., placing us at an alarming technological and economic disadvantage globally.

Our friend Bret Swanson at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) just added his own expert perspective of the needless delay due to the FAA’s laughable suggestion that “planes might fall from the sky”:

Nearly 40 nations already have networks operating in the mobile C-band frequencies, and planes are doing just fine.  What’s more is that the US has an extra layer of protection in the form of a wider guard band — more than 200 MHz of empty space between the mobile radio and airplane frequencies.  This safety buffer is far more than most nations employ.  The US military also employs radar technologies close to the altimeter band that pump out radio waves at 10,000 times the power of the commercial mobile C-band radios.  Again, no problems.

The wireless and aviation industries — and their regulators — have discussed these technical matters for years, and the resolution enshrined in the FCC’s C-band auction rules was more than sensible.  The aviation industry has even been boasting about the possibilities 5G wireless will bring to flight operations.”

Swanson adds an interesting note on the potential cronyism and territorialism that may explain this stubborn opposition:

Many seasoned observers think the aviation industry is really looking for Washington (i.e., taxpayers) to buy them new altimeters to replace the old ones now operating in most of the fleet.  Delay 5G with scary ‘falling planes’ rhetoric, then back off when the new equipment is promised.”

He concludes by nicely summarizing what’s at stake here:

Delays aren’t free, however.  5G is now, with the internet, a fundamental platform for the entire economy.  Delays in the most important component of 5G — this huge addition of new spectrum and thus capacity and capability — would push back all kinds of economic activity in smartphones, transportation, smart infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and construction, and much more.  The FAA’s antics also threaten to upend well-functioning spectrum auctions and investment incentives…  The mobile internet has been the most powerful and successful facet of the US economy over the last decade.  Putting 5G on ‘airplane mode’ would be economically devastating.”

Well said, and hopefully the relevant authorities take heed of Swanson’s warning sooner rather than later…

 

December 10th, 2021 at 5:06 pm
Aviation Industry and FAA Continue to Needlessly Fight U.S. 5G Rollout
Posted by Print

We recently sounded the alarm on how the domestic aviation industry and overly-protective Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are unreasonably fighting deployment of super-fast 5G wireless service here in the U.S.:

The FAA’s immediate complaint centers on middle frequency C-Band spectrum, which is crucial to the full deployment of 5G in the U.S.   The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency with the actual expertise and experience necessary to decide spectrum issues such as this, has spent years studying the potential for 5G interference with aviation and has determined that establishing a 220 megahertz “guard band” around the portion of the C-Band aircraft use will more than protect them.  The FAA has nevertheless decided to intervene in an area outside of its expertise, and contests the FCC’s determination.”

We further emphasized how there’s zero experience or substantive evidence to suggest any interferrence threat they are claiming.  5G base stations are already in place in the U.S. and 40 other countries, with no incidents of interference.  Any threat would’ve become evident by now.

Nevertheless, wireless companies AT&T and Verizon offered compromises to resolve this needless standoff, limiting some of their 5G wireless services for 6 months to allow regulators to review the data that confirms no threat to aviation service.  The FCC itself called the carriers’ compromise “one of the most comprehensive efforts in the world to safeguard aviation technologies.”

But apparently even that’s not enough, as reported by Reuters:

The U.S. aviation industry said on Monday new precautionary measures offered by AT&T and Verizon Communications were insufficient to address air safety concerns raised by the planned use of C-Band spectrum for 5G wireless.  The Aerospace Industries Association said in a letter to Federal Communications Commission chair Jessica Rosenworcel that the telecom plans ‘are inadequate and far too narrow to ensure the safety and economic vitality of the aviation industry.'”

Apparently, when it comes to 5G deployment, nothing will satisfy the FAA, which continues to be more concerned with protecting its bureaucratic turf by erecting dubious hurdles than allowing the launch of critical U.S. 5G networks. 

Every additional delay of this sort places us at a greater and greater disadvantage versus China, which presses forward without this sort of bureaucratic turf warfare.  American consumers, elected leaders and government officials mustn’t tolerate this.

December 10th, 2021 at 12:39 pm
Image of the Day: “Build Back Better?” More Like Build Back Bigger Inflation
Posted by Print

As if enough reasons to oppose Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, from destructive drug price controls to higher taxes, didn’t already exist:

Build Back Bigger (Inflation)

Build Back Bigger (Inflation)

 

December 6th, 2021 at 12:19 pm
AEI’s Michael Rosen: “Omicron Variant Sows Chaos but Doesn’t Move Needle on Patent Waiver Debate”
Posted by Print

In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight an eye-opening new study confirming how drug price controls kill pharmaceutical investment and innovation at the worst possible time, when America and the entire world depend upon them more than ever.

In similar vein, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Adjunct Fellow and healthcare expert Michael Rosen nicely illustrates how the omicron variant of Covid has paused the destructive global effort to suspend enforcement of patent rights belonging to lifesaving vaccine developers:

But the new omicron variant of the virus has intervened, shelving the planned WTO meeting and throwing into continued contrast the supposed haves and have-nots of vaccine protection…  But the EU has held firm in resisting the vaccine waiver, and rightly so.”

Unfortunately, even the EU remains too accommodating of calls to kill the goose that lays the golden vaccine eggs, but hopefully this latest experience brings greater collective wisdom.  If we seek to maximize healthcare and pharmaceutical innovation, the solution isn’t any secret.  Get bureaucrats and suffocating price controls and patent threats out of the way.

December 1st, 2021 at 11:53 am
Former U.S. Attorney General Agrees: “Hyperpartisan Gigi Sohn Doesn’t Belong at the FCC”
Posted by Print

In our recent Liberty Update, CFIF sounded the alarm on Gigi Sohn, Joe Biden’s dangerously extremist nominee to the Federal Commission (FCC), noting that, “Ms. Sohn is simply too radical to be confirmed to the FCC at a time when Americans rely more than ever on a thriving internet service sector, and the Biden Administration has only itself to blame for its delay in nominating her.”

In today’s Wall Street Journal, former acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker brilliantly echoes the growing consensus that Ms. Sohn is simply too radical in a commentary entitled “Hyperpartisan Gigi Sohn Doesn’t Belong on the FCC”:

In addition to her hyperpartisan social-media presence, Ms. Sohn has dubbed Fox News ‘state-sponsored propaganda’ and has urged the FCC to look into whether Sinclair Broadcast Group is ‘qualified to be a broadcast licensee at all.’  Set aside that Ms. Sohn is wrong on the facts — Fox is privately owned, not state-owned, and Sinclair has long proved its ability to be a broadcaster.  What is breathtaking is her belief that the FCC’s powers ought to be used to crack down on conservative speech.   Were the tables turned — had then-President Trump nominated an FCC candidate who endorsed a close look at MSNBC — the Twitter verse would be horrified about the politicization of the FCC.”

It’s important to highlight that opposition to Ms. Sohn isn’t simple, reflexive partisanship, since the Biden Administration could’ve nominated any number of qualified people who don’t pose the same threat to America’s flourishing communications and internet sector:

Other possible Democratic FCC nominees haven’t insulted Republicans on Twitter, nor have they insinuated that the government should suppress right-leaning views.  In her no-holds-barred partisanship, Ms. Sohn is a uniquely dangerous and utterly unqualified FCC nominee.  Her nomination should concern the press, no matter their politics…  Republicans accommodated the Biden administration’s decision to make Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel the commission’s chair (she had been serving as acting chair).  Despite some disagreements with her policy positions from Republicans, Ms. Rosenworcel is seen as an honest broker.  Ms. Sohn is a different matter.  Ideologues aren’t a good fit in a job like this.”

As Mr. Whitaker wisely concludes, Senate Republicans and moderate Democrats must flatly reject Ms. Sohn’s nomination, forcing the Biden administration to nominate someone who doesn’t pose this clear and present threat to free speech and the U.S. communications sector.

 

November 22nd, 2021 at 8:10 am
Nebraska Just Posted the Lowest Unemployment Ever Recorded. Guess Why.
Posted by Print

In some impressive and instructive news, the state of Nebraska just claimed the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded.  The likely reason shouldn’t surprise anyone:

 

Nebraska’s jobless rate tends to run below the national rate. Economists cite a combination of factors that have kept joblessness in the state well below the U.S. average from the onset of the pandemic. Nebraska had fewer government-imposed restrictions on business, helping it avoid steep job losses some states experienced earlier in the pandemic.”

 

At some point, perhaps other more stubbornly leftist states will catch on before every one of their residents and businesses flees to more economically hospitable states with fewer regulations, lower taxes and less government generally.  But don’t hold your breath just yet.

November 15th, 2021 at 9:23 am
Voters’ Message: Biden “Build Back Better” Blowout Is a Loser
Posted by Print

In the wake of this month’s catastrophic election results for Joe Biden and his party, many leftists stubbornly rationalized that voters were upset that Biden hadn’t seen more of his agenda passed, and that the answer to Biden’s and Democrats’ ills was to step on the gas and pass more of that agenda.  Well, the new ABC News/Washington Post poll offers and instant rebuttal.  The survey is nothing short of catastrophic for Biden and Democrats as 2022 approaches, with Republicans scoring record preferences (see image below).  But note something else:  This poll was conducted November 7 – 10, AFTER Biden’s “infrastructure” spending bill was passed.

 

“Build Back Better” Is a Loser

 

We at CFIF have detailed the catastrophic potential effects of passing Biden’s even larger spending bill currently before Congress, including its potentially devastating consequences for American healthcare and pharmaceutical innovation:

 

Specifically, they’re attempting to cement agreement on provisions that would empower the federal government to begin “negotiating” drug prices with manufacturers and imposing draconian penalties upon providers that don’t play ball.

That constitutes a scheme to bring price controls to American healthcare, with catastrophic effects, according to analyses from both the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as well as the University of Chicago.”

 

This new ABC News/Washington Post poll should offer a cautionary tale for Senators Joe Manchin (D – West Virginia), Kirsten Sinema (D – Arizona) or anyone else even contemplating voting for it.

November 9th, 2021 at 3:52 pm
WSJ Agrees: Senate Must Reject Extremist Biden FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn
Posted by Print

In a recent Liberty Update we sounded the alarm on Joe Biden’s hasty nomination of extremist Gigi Sohn to sit on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), highlighting how she’s simply too radical to be confirmed to the FCC at a time when Americans rely more than ever on a thriving internet service sector that her agenda would undermine.

Today, The Wall Street Journal echoed that alarm and explained the myriad ways in which she would threaten one of the few sectors that has continued to flourish throughout the Covid pandemic:

 

She was a counselor to Obama FCC Chair Tom Wheeler and was a driving force behind the ‘net neutrality’ regulation that classified broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934…  The enormous regulatory uncertainty caused broadband investment to decline, though it picked up after the Trump FCC scrapped the rule.  Ms. Sohn supports making the Wheeler rule even more burdensome…

The FCC is currently split 2-2, and if Ms. Sohn is confirmed, Democrats will move quickly on the progressive agenda.  Mr. Biden has also renominated Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to another term as agency Chair.  A source says Biden Administration officials wanted to name Ms. Sohn as Chair but worried that moderate Democratic Senators would then reject her nomination.

Ms. Sohn’s strident partisanship should disqualify her from serving as an officer of an independent agency with so much power to control the public airwaves.  There’s also a risk that the President could designate her as Chair after she’s confirmed, as he did with the radical Lina Khan on the Federal Trade Commission.”

 

Ms. Sohn is simply too radical to be confirmed to the FCC at a time when Americans rely more than ever on a thriving internet service sector.  The Biden Administration has only itself to blame for its delay in nominating Ms. Sohn, and The Wall Street Journal confirms the growing consensus that the U.S. Senate should reject her nomination and spare us the enormous risk she presents.

November 1st, 2021 at 9:20 am
WSJ’s Holman Jenkins on Congressional Climate Extremist Emperors’ Lack of Intellectual Clothing
Posted by Print

Late last week we highlighted how some far-left climate radicals in Congress mindlessly, obsessively and ostentatiously continue to demonize domestic energy producers – who achieved what was once considered fantasy by securing U.S. energy independence and lowering energy costs for American consumers – even while they and the Biden Administration beg OPEC and Russia to increase petroleum production.  The Wall Street Journal’s always-insightful Holman Jenkins brilliantly notes the proverbial emperor’s lack of clothing on that same Congressional obsession:

 

As it cyclically does, the hypocrisy show returned this week to ‘Big Oil.’  To cover up the political class’s, and particularly Joe Biden’s, inability to do anything meaningful about climate change, a House hearing on Thursday accused industry CEOs of blocking action as if somehow the pennies they spent on advocacy could haven countered the 30-year torrent of climate-change propaganda coming from governments, universities, green lobbyists and scientific organizations.  ‘They are obviously lying like the tobacco executives were,’ intoned Rep. Carolyn Maloney, in windup-toy fashion.  This line she was guaranteed to utter no matter what was said at the hearing (in fact, executives repeated what their companies had long said about the risks of climate change and the lack of alternatives to fossil fuels).

Most of us would be repulsed to behave the way politicians routinely do, which brings us to an unexpected counterpoint.  For want of something shiny to wave at next week’s global climate summit, and not too discerning about what it was, President Biden caused the U.S. intelligence services to gin up a new climate assessment.  Lo, the result is notable mainly for its skepticism about the kind of summits Mr. Biden will be attending…

At least one establishment institution has stopped paying lip service to the pipe dream that the world will give up fossil fuels on a timespan relevant to our climate risks.”

 

 

October 22nd, 2021 at 12:34 pm
Image of the Day: Good News – As Inflation Accelerates Elsewhere, Internet Service Costs Actually Decline
Posted by Print

In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the Biden Administration’s role in rising inflation, some of its under-discussed negative consequences and its shockingly tone-deaf responses and rationalizations.  In  positive news from NCTA, The Internet & Television Association, however, internet service provider costs are actually declining:

Good News: Internet Service Costs Decline

Good News: Internet Service Costs Decline

 

October 18th, 2021 at 1:36 pm
Elizabeth Warren Prepares to Punish the U.S. Economy and Investors with Her Misnamed “Stop Wall Street Looting Act”
Posted by Print

As the U.S. economy shows sudden weakness, American consumers understandably express increasing anxiety.  A troubling new Gallup survey reports that economic confidence has now declined to lows unsurpassed since the early days of the Covid pandemic in 2020.

Undeterred by that accumulating weakness and alarm, however, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D – Massachusetts) appears restless to strike yet another dangerous hammer blow by re-introducing her misnamed “Stop Wall Street Looting Act.”

She may think that title can conceal the bill’s danger, but Americans and elected officials mustn’t be fooled or invite the potentially catastrophic economic peril.

Senator Warren’s bill includes significant tax increases, as well as new legal liabilities and bureaucratic regulations on U.S. investment, and it seeks to reshape the entire American bankruptcy code in an environment already suffering excessive anxiety.  The legislation would also begin taxing private equity as ordinary income, which makes no sense because private equity investments come with an inherent risk of loss, unlike ordinary wages.  It would thereby eviscerate investors’ incentive to risk capital because any future earnings would be taxed in the same as ordinary wages that carry no similar risk of loss.  When investments fail, the risk of loss is carried by the investors.  That means lots of downside, but significantly less upside.

And as studies confirm, the economic impact of Senator Warren’s bill would be devastating.

Specifically, it would kill off between 6.9 million and 26.3 million jobs across the U.S., while actually reducing incoming federal, state and local tax revenues between a whopping $109 billion and $475 billion each year.  It would also wipe out between $671 million and $3.36 billion in investments per year (with pension fund retirees accounting for many of those investors), and would drive many private equity firms out of business due to the bill’s elevated risks and regulations.

The good news is that even moderate Democrats express objection to Senator Warren’s idea.  Politico reports that, “It’s setting up a clash with moderate Democrats who say private equity is a crucial tool to keep capital flowing to businesses and propel economic growth.”

American workers, retirees, investors, public pension beneficiaries and employers shouldn’t be forced to pay the price for Senator Warren’s pet ideological agenda, and Congress must unequivocally reject her proposed bill.

October 15th, 2021 at 12:30 pm
Statistic of the Day: Going Carbon-Free Would Cost Every American $11,300 PER YEAR
Posted by Print

From realistic climatologist Bjorn Lomborg, writing in The Wall Street Journal this week, a jarring analysis of the cost of imposing the Biden/Pelosi/Schumer/AOC carbon-free “Green New Deal” agenda for every American annually:

A new study in Nature finds that a 95% reduction in American carbon emissions by 2050 will annually cost 11.9% of U.S. gross domestic product. To put that in perspective: Total expenditure on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid came to 11.6% of GDP in 2019. The annual cost of trying to hit Mr. Biden’s target will rise to $4.4 trillion by 2050. That’s more than everything the federal government is projected to take in this year in tax revenue. It breaks down to $11,300 per person per year, or almost 500 times more than what a majority of Americans is willing to pay.

But don’t you dare ask any questions.  Just do what they say (not what they necessarily do, of course).

October 12th, 2021 at 8:59 am
Image of the Day: Biden’s Unwelcome Gift of Inflation to America in One Chart
Posted by Print

From Andy Puzder, a snapshot of how inflation dreadfully continues to outpace American workers’ paycheck gains:

Biden's Inflationary Gift

Biden’s Inflationary Gift

September 17th, 2021 at 12:54 pm
Notable Quote: WSJ on H.R. 3, Biden & Pelosi’s Dangerous Healthcare Bill
Posted by Print

In this week’s Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare and drug price control bill that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are attempting to rush through Congress.  The Wall Street Journal helpfully offers further insight this morning on how H.R. 3 would threaten lifesaving U.S. pharmaceutical innovation and leadership, including on things like the Covid vaccines:

Companies that refuse the government’s price must pay a 95% excise tax on all revenue they generate from that drug in the U.S.  They’d also have to offer the government price to private insurers.  There’s no “negotiation” when a gun is pointed at your head.  A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that drug spending in the U.S. would have been 52%, or about $83.5 billion, lower in 2020 based on the bill’s formula.  The research outfit Vital Transformation estimates the bill would reduce bio-pharmaceutical earnings by $102 billion a year…

The hugely successful mRNA Covid vaccines are the result of years and billions of dollars in research.  BioNTech initially set out to create cancer vaccines and linked up with Pfizer in 2018 to work on a more effective flu vaccine.  Biotech firms are trying to use mRNA technology for personalized cancer vaccines, autoimmune treatments and gene therapies.”

Americans cannot allow Biden, Pelosi and Schumer to jeopardize our future health on behalf of their hyper-partisan agenda.