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


October 6th, 2021 at 10:43 am
Senate Cosponsors of Save Local Business Act Increases Following CFIF-Led Coalition Letter
Posted by Print

In a letter sent at the end of August, a coalition of more than two dozen prominent free-market organizations and individuals, led by the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF), urged Congress to pass the Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3185/S. 1636).

The Save Local Business Act, which is sponsored by Representative James Comer (R-KY) in the U.S. House and Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) in the U.S. Senate, would restore decades of commonsense labor law norms and protect our nation’s employers against a radical redefinition of the nature of employment that creates uncertainty for struggling businesses across the nation and subjects them to unfair and unreasonable legal liability.

Specifically, the legislation would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to restore the definition of “Joint Employer” to businesses that “directly, actually, and immediately exercise significant control over the essential terms and conditions of employment.”

Good news! Since the coalition letter was sent, the number of U.S. Senate cosponsors of the Save Local Business Act has increased by eight — bringing the total number of cosponsors to 13.  They include:

Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC]* 05/13/2021
Sen. Inhofe, James M. [R-OK]* 05/13/2021
Sen. Burr, Richard [R-NC]* 05/13/2021
Sen. Cassidy, Bill [R-LA]* 05/13/2021
Sen. Braun, Mike [R-IN]* 05/13/2021
Sen. Ernst, Joni [R-IA] 09/13/2021
Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL] 09/13/2021
Sen. Blackburn, Marsha [R-TN] 09/14/2021
Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX] 09/20/2021
Sen. Wicker, Roger [R-MS] 09/20/2021
Sen. Lummis, Cynthia [R-WY] 09/23/2021
Sen. Hagerty, Bill [R-TN] 09/30/2021
Sen. Barrasso, John [R-WY] 10/04/2021

If your Senators are no included in the cosponsor list above, please call them today and urge them to cosponsor this important legislation.

Find  the contact information for your Senators here.

Or, call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with your Senators’ offices.


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.


September 2nd, 2021 at 5:31 pm
Image of the Day: Targeting Florida Gov. DeSantis Doesn’t Make Sense
Posted by Print

It’s unsurprising that leftists and the Biden Administration desperately seek to shift the topic from their disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, which has Biden’s approval/disapproval underwater and sinking further.  But targeting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott seems strange, especially when one of the worst examples of Covid mismanagement remains their erstwhile hero and Emmy recipient Andrew Cuomo:

 

 

 

 

 


August 24th, 2021 at 4:51 pm
Image of the Day: Meanwhile, the Biden Inflation Boom Continues…
Posted by Print

The Biden Administration’s failures aren’t exclusively overseas in nature.  For seven consecutive months now, average U.S. hourly wages have declined when adjusted for inflation.

 

The BIden Inflation Boom

The Biden Inflation Boom

 

 


August 13th, 2021 at 1:11 pm
Image of the Day: The Biden Inflation Surge
Posted by Print

From RealClearPolitics, a comparison of wage gains (blue line) versus inflation (red line) under President Trump and now Joe Biden.  But don’t sweat it, Joe – nothing that another creepy photo-op to an ice cream shop for fawning reporters won’t cure.

Biden's Inflation Boom

Biden’s Inflation Boom

 


August 11th, 2021 at 11:22 am
Webinar: Debunking Patent & Antitrust Myths — Watch Now
Posted by Print

On August 5, CFIF teamed up with IPWatchdog, Inc. to offer a free webinar conversation to debunk several myths associated with patent thickets and pejorative terms used to denigrate innovators and patent owners.

Watch the full video of the event below.


August 3rd, 2021 at 10:07 am
Free Webinar: Debunking Patent & Antitrust Myths — Register Now
Posted by Print

Throughout its history, the United States has led the world in protecting intellectual property (IP) rights. On that foundation, we’ve also led the world in artistic, commercial and scientific innovation, particularly with lifesaving medicines and vaccines.

Yet patent rights are under increasing assault, with anti-patent activists charging pharmaceutical makers with “antitrust” violations for utilizing and building upon their patents for the greater good. Their rhetoric and false critiques under the guise of “antitrust” typically rely upon an array of misleading and pejorative labels, to the point where they take on a meaning that bears no resemblance to reality.

The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) and IPWatchdog, Inc., have partnered up to offer a free webinar conversation that will debunk the myths associated with patent thickets and pejorative terms used to denigrate innovators and patent owners.

Join us on Thursday, August 5 at 12pm ET.  Register now by clicking here

Gene Quinn, President and CEO of IPWatchdog, Inc., will be moderating the discussion. Joining Gene will be…

  • Timothy Lee, SVP of Legal and Public Affairs, Center for Individual Freedom
  • Chris Israel, Executive Director, The Alliance of U.S. Startups for Inventors and Jobs
  • Andrew Spiegel, Executive Director, Global Colon Cancer Association
  • Adam Mossoff, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University and Senior Fellow and Chair of the Forum for IP, Hudson Institute

During the webinar the panel will discuss:

  • The important role innovators play in the technology economy;
  • Why so-called “patent thickets” actually increase innovation;
  • Why claims of “product hopping” are not about pharmaceutical coercion but instead are about preventing follow-on pharmaceutical innovation so generics can compete with the drug being sold by brand name pharma companies;
  • Why courts have ruled “pay-for-delay settlements” are a valid by-product of a patent holder’s exclusionary rights.

Register here!

 


July 29th, 2021 at 10:02 am
Ramirez Cartoon: China IP Theft
Posted by Print

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


July 6th, 2021 at 11:30 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Turning Your Back to Make a Point
Posted by Print

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


June 18th, 2021 at 4:38 pm
ProPublica/IRS Leak: There’s No Underlying “There” There
Posted by Print

In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxpayer returns spanning over 15 years, confirming that the partisan and power-hungry IRS simply cannot be trusted to safeguard our sensitive records, let alone to begin collecting sensitive private information from nonprofit organizations on donors who contribute to them in violation of the First Amendment.

Getting to the substance of the ProPublica/IRS leaked documents themselves, former Senator Phil Gramm and U.S. Policy Metrics partner Mike Solon explain in The Wall Street Journal how there’s nothing scandalous in the least in what they reveal:

ProPublica’s ‘blockbuster’ story showing that the wealthy ‘pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year, looks at first like a stunning revelation.  But the whole tempest plops into a teapot once you ask yourself:  How much of the total growth in the value of my home, retirement funds and business did I pay federal income taxes on last year?  The answer is none.  Nobody pays federal wealth taxes in America, but ProPublica and its Democratic allies are using stolen tax returns to try to change that.”

As they correctly conclude, suddenly imposing a nonsensical “wealth tax” would not only be unfair, but destructive:

Proponents of a federal property tax on wealth offer guarantees and protections that they will only tax the superrich like Mr. Buffett, promising not to touch your retirement plan, home, farm or business.  But the federal income tax started out only taxing the superrich like John D. Rockefeller.  The same politicians who promise to protect you from the federal wealth tax voted to impose income taxes on ‘wealthy’ Social Security retirees with an annual incomes above $25,000.  And these are the same politicians who are proposing to tax your businesses and farms at 43.4% when you die, before they take another 40% in death taxes.  In taxing wealth we eat the nation’s seed corn.  That may be worth it to politicians who want power, but for most Americans a wealth tax, whether they have wealth or not, would mean fewer jobs, lower wages and less opportunity for human flourishing.”

Well said.