In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Notable Quote: WSJ on H.R. 3, Biden & Pelosi's Dangerous Healthcare Bill

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…[more]

September 23, 2021 • 10:23 AM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Among the Trump Administration’s Best Appointments Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, December 03 2020
The federal government will be worse off for Chairman Pai’s departure, but Americans everywhere, whether they supported or mindlessly opposed him, are better off for his leadership.

If asked to identify President Trump’s finest and most effective appointments, most people would reflexively name Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and now Amy Coney Barrett.  

To be sure, that sterling trio is already delivering positive returns by minimizing the influence of the increasingly scornful and popularity-obsessed Chief Justice John Roberts.  For delightful illustration, look no further than last week’s 5-4 First Amendment religious freedom decision, which sent Roberts into a jurisprudential tantrum-throwing tailspin of dissent.  

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, however, rivals those justices in the pantheon of Trump Administration appointees.  

Chairman Pai, who announced his resignation effective January 20, 2021, constitutes an appointment whose leadership and fortitude amid unhinged public assault (including death threats and the full onslaught by the airheaded latenight comedian corps) may have delivered positive policy results to an even greater immediately tangible degree.  In contrast to the more indirect and long-term impact of judicial appointments, the fruits of Chairman Pai’s leadership have been more immediate and direct to a wider swath of Americans.  

And he accomplished it all through unwavering fidelity to deregulatory and free market principles.  

Most saliently, Chairman Pai disregarded the unhinged vitriol directed toward him by immediately unwinding the Obama Administration FCC’s disastrous two-year “Net Neutrality” experiment.  To recap, the Obama FCC under former Chairman Tom Wheeler got the bright idea that what the internet really needed after twenty years of flourishing like no innovation in human history was the heavy hand of federal bureaucratic regulation.  They literally redesignated internet service as a “public utility” under Depression-era laws.  Between 1996 and 2015, through presidents of both parties, the internet had grown under a “light touch” regulatory approach.  But the Obama FCC in its infinite wisdom decided to impose an illusory “solution” to a non-existent “problem.”  

The negative consequences were immediate and concrete.  For the first time in history outside of an economic recession, private broadband investment actually fell following the Obama FCC’s “Net Neutrality” debacle.  Even the name itself was farcical, as there’s nothing “neutral” about the federal government stepping in to regulate something that had been doing just fine.  

So upon taking office, Chairman Pai initiated his Restoring Internet Freedom proposal, and the positive results were just as immediate and palpable as the negative results of the Obama FCC’s debacle two years earlier had been.  Specifically, private broadband investment reascended, and U.S. internet download speeds rose nearly 40% in just the first year, while upload speeds increased by over 20%.  

Restoring internet freedom following the Obama FCC’s “Net Neutrality” catastrophe would’ve cemented Chairman Pai’s positive legacy standing alone.  But his achievements extended far beyond that.  

The FCC under Chairman Pai’s leadership significantly bridged the “digital divide” by directing billions of dollars toward broadband buildout, reduced bureaucratic roadblocks to innovation and investment, spurred tele-health initiatives and even cultivated innovations in precision agriculture.  

Additionally, amid the dawn of the 5G era, the FCC under Chairman Pai accelerated innovation and investment in 5G deployment, broadened protections for American consumers from illegal and unwanted robocalls and addressed public safety concerns by improving 911 connections and emergency alerts.  

Just as significantly, Chairman Pai moved the FCC toward freeing up unused spectrum, which is critical to extending broadband availability to rural areas, Indian reservations and other underserved areas.  Opening up unused spectrum also allows more Americans to connect to the internet via wifi and other devices, which we utilize on an increasing basis.  

Moreover, Chairman Pai’s initiatives prepared the U.S. for the unexpected coronavirus pandemic better than other advanced nations, allowing a smoother transition to telecommuting and remote schooling without the capacity breakdowns experienced in places like Europe.  

Beyond his substantive achievements, however, Chairman Pai served as a role model for political leaders and everyday Americans in an era of increasing partisan demonization and harassment.  He and his family persisted in their positive market-oriented, deregulatory agenda despite death threats, mass protests outside of his home, harassment from uninformed latenight comedians and antagonistic politicians and predictions of internet disaster.  

The federal government will be worse off for Chairman Pai’s departure, but Americans everywhere, whether they supported or mindlessly opposed him, are better off for his leadership.  

It’s now up to political leaders and the American electorate to recognize his achievements and preserve them moving forward against malign interests that will seek to reverse them to our collective detriment.  

Related Articles :
Quiz Question   
What is the single deadliest disease epidemic to the U.S. population in history?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"According to the left-of-center Tax Policy Center, Biden's tax plan will raise taxes on 75% of middle-class families next year and 95% of families over the long term. Biden's policies are already slowing the economy. In August, the U.S. added just 235,000 jobs, a far cry from estimates that 720,000 jobs would be created. The economy has over 600,000 fewer jobs than the Biden administration boasted…[more]
 
 
—Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform
— Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform
 
Liberty Poll   

Pres. Biden is seeking IRS authority to monitor every American financial transaction exceeding $600. Is there any legitimate government reason you can think of for such micro-monitoring of individual financial transactions?