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Category: Regulation

  • Make Sure Rules and Regulations Pass the Smell Test

    Ross Marchand on June 19, 2019

    This article was originally published in Catalyst on June 11, 2019. 

    It was the shot heard around the world… at least, the world of regulatory policy nerds. As the result of a stalemate between Idaho’s House and Senate, the legislature declined to re-authorize Idaho’s regulatory code for fiscal year 2020. As a result, the entire regulatory code for the state will be axed. Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Wayne Hoffman explains, “Gov. Brad Little’s administration will need to reinstate each regulation, one program at a time, hopefully leaving a lot on the cutting room floor.” Idaho’s bold, and maybe accidental, experiment with regulatory reform should inspire other states to not only follow the Gem State’s example, but also think critically about how regulations are proposed and considered. » Read More
  • USDA Needs to Dump Ridiculous Olive Oil ‘Inspection’ Program

    Ross Marchand on April 23, 2019

    olive oil
    This article originally appeared on on April 17, 2019. 

    In all likelihood, that pricey extra virgin olive oil in your cupboard is an imposter. And if that deception wasn’t troubling enough, it might even bear a quality seal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2012, the USDA under President Obama expanded its “Agricultural Marketing Services Quality Monitoring Program” to police the extra virgin oil market. On its face, the move seemed like good news for consumers. The past seven years have proven that shockingly, the government is hardly a trustworthy judge of quality. Instead, the program has spent years deceiving consumers, abusing taxpayers and brazenly distorting normal market functions.

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  • It's hard to find good olive oil, and the USDA is making it harder

    Ross Marchand on March 12, 2019

    Image result for olive oil
    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on March 11, 2019. 

    Grocery shelf placement of products is a deeply studied science. The competition for a front and eye level location on a shelf at a grocery store can be intense, as thousands of companies struggle to make their products visible and attractive to consumers. Another competitive advantage: labels attesting to product quality and healthiness. These are a dime a dozen, but they can make or break the profitability of a product. And shoppers reasonably expect these labels to have at least an iota of truth to them. » Read More
  • Section 230, Not Social Media Regulation, Key to Free Speech

    Ross Marchand on December 28, 2018

    This article appeared in Inside Sources on December 26, 2018. 

    If 2018 had an adage, it would go something like: one man’s cute cat video is another man’s Nazi propaganda video (minus the gender references, of course). Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been proactive in creating guidelines  that try to ensure  “over the top” content is banished from their sites, and unruly users expelled. But surprise — “over the top” is a hard concept to define, and overly broad content restrictions tend to hurt conservatives more than liberals. While it’s tempting to take route of social media bashing and call for more government “oversight,” fealty to a free society means allowing the Twitters and Facebooks of the world to moderate at their own promise or peril.

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  • How Trump can keep up the pace on his two-for-one deregulation plan

    Ross Marchand on November 8, 2018

    Image result for trump oval office
    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on October 31, 2018. 

    The verdict for 2018 is in, and President Trump’s “two-for-one” strategy of deregulation has proven a continued success, even better than advertised. Forbes reports that the ratio for “significant regulatory actions was four-to-one, with 14 significant new regulatory actions and 57 significant deregulatory ones.” But while positive, these figures pale in comparison to 2017, which saw 67 deregulatory actions being taken compared to four rule-making actions, resulting in an astounding 22-to-1 ratio.  » Read More
  • New Evidence Debunks Big Myth That Repealing Internet Rules Caused Throttling

    Ross Marchand on September 20, 2018

    This article appeared in The Federalist on September 19, 2018. 

    Since Title II internet regulations were repealed in December, supporters of the former rules for the internet have waxed apoplectic over fears about internet service providers (ISPs) and wireless carriers “throttling” (slowing down) speeds. The repealed rules were put in place to force ISPs to treat all internet data equally, which backers claimed prevented throttling and the prioritization of certain data sources. Claims that removing these “protections” would transform the internet into a tiered fiefdom ran rampant on social media and in the halls of Capitol Hill. New data, however, underscores the problems posed by strict internet regulations. 

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  • Instead of subsidized transit, lawmakers should look to private rail

    Ross Marchand on May 31, 2018

    Image result for railroad train
    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on May 29, 2018.

    In December, an inaugural Amtrak trip from Seattle to Portland ended in disaster, as thirteen train cars derailed and caused a smoldering ruin over I-5. Amtrak is hardly the only passenger rail vessel to encounter safety issues; the Washington, D.C. metro system has had multiple fires and crashes costing many lives over the years. These events almost always lead to calls for more public funds, even when subsidized systems have a myriad of ways to access cash. For instance, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently benefited from private funds from Qatar to stay open after a sporting event in downtown Washington, D.C. But taxpayers would be wise to look to another model of doing things. 

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  • On Both Sides of the Pond, Secrecy Drives Internet Regulation

    Ross Marchand on May 15, 2018

    A macro shot of a Macbook Pro screen with a few dozen lines of code
    This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on May 11, 2018

    Taxpayers and consumers win when free markets, not unelected bureaucrats, drive decisions on the growth of the internet. Regulators ignore this and enact draconian rules and restrictions under a shroud of secrecy. Case in point: the attempt by American and European officials to shield Title II regulatory proceedings from the public view. Under the previous American Administration and the current European Union regulatory junket, strict “net neutrality” rules hampered innovative offerings by internet providers.
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  • TPA Criticizes Proposals for Heavy-Handed Drug Regulations

    David Williams on May 10, 2018

    Image result for drug prices
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) criticized proposals by leading Congressional Democrats to create a drug price “enforcer” ahead of the President’s speech on the issue Friday.  Party leaders such as House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- N.Y.) have sought to highlight rising pharmaceutical prices under the Trump Administration and propose heavy-handed alternatives to the status-quo. » Read More
  • Don't turn back the clock and re-regulate the Internet

    Jeff Mazzella on May 7, 2018

    Image result for internet speed
    This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on April 23, 2018. Jeff Mazzella 
    is president of the Center for Individual Freedom (

    The dizzying pace of digital innovation has created once-unthinkable economic possibilities for millions of Americans, and perhaps the only way that progress can be stopped is if government gets in the way. But that's exactly what will happen if Congress advances an ill-conceived legislative gimmick that would turn back the clock on Internet rules and slow the expansion of high-speed access to more Americans across the country.

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  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Supports Federal Communications Commission Vote to Rollback Onerous Regulations

    Grace Morgan on March 22, 2018

    Image result for federal communications commission net neutrality
    . – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to remove onerous regulations holding back the future deployment of 5G wireless technology.

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  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Issues Statement on President Trump's New Tariffs

    David Williams on March 5, 2018

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to President Trump’s planned  tariffs on aluminum and steel, which were announced on March 1, 2018. TPA President David Williams voiced his frustration with the new policy, stating that, “We are extremely disappointed with the announced tariffs on steel and aluminum.  These new taxes will mean price increases on everything from cars to baseball bats to even beer.” » Read More
  • Alabama taxpayers could save money and have faster internet based on technology being tested in Cullman

    Johnny Kampis on December 13, 2017

    Image result for cell towers
    This article originally appeared on Yellowhammer News on December 10, 2017

    Nestled between knee-high grass and mobile homes, a cell tower in this small community in Cullman County will soon demonstrate cutting-edge technology. It is here that AT&T will run fiber-optic cable and then beam internet signals to nearby homes with antennas installed on their rooftops, a service known as fixed wireless. This rural area in Alabama is one of the test cases for the new technology, which AT&T will use to deliver internet to areas where it’s not cost effective to build out fiber-optic infrastructure.

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  • America's Two-Tiered Economy Undermines Small Businesses

    Ross Marchand on October 17, 2017

    This article appeared in The Hill on September 27, 2017. 

    America has an inequality problem, but not the one many people think. Every few years, statisticians armed with the latest income data from the U.S. Census Bureau claim to find ever-increasing evidence of a widening gap between the have and have-nots. Economists on the right side of the political aisle (and affiliated think tanks) quibble with the methodology used by these researchers, but the overall evidence seems to point to a large gap of some sort. Debating exactly how large this gap is, though, is not nearly as important as trying to make sense of it.

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  • To Benefit from Regulatory Reform, Georgia Must Revamp Judiciary

    Ross Marchand on October 13, 2017

    This is the second of a two-part series on public policy in the Republic of Georgia. On Friday, Taxpayers Protection Alliance policy analyst Ross Marchand  addressed the International Black Sea University in Tbilisi on economic reform in Georgia and the United States. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia has transformed into an economic juggernaut hell-bent on reversing communist controls. Reform efforts reached a zenith in the early 2000s with passage of comprehensive deregulatory initiatives that made it easier for businesses to expand and hire in the Caucasus nation. For the first time, Georgian lawmakers allowed workers to work overtime hours, and permitted employees to negotiate the number of hours worked per week with their employers. Additionally, employers would be permitted to fire individuals without the stated permission of their trade union.

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  • TPA Applauds Decision by President Trump to Withdrawal from Paris Climate Deal

    Michi Iljazi on June 2, 2017


    Washington, D.C.- Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the news that President Trump would proceed with withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement entered into by the Obama Administration in 2015. After heavy public, and private, debate with stakeholders and administration officials, the White House announced today that the U.S. would no longer be a part of the regulatory framework. 

    Click "Read Blog" below to see the full statement

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  • TPA and TechFreedom Lead Coalition Urging FDA to Embrace Innovation

    Michi Iljazi on June 1, 2017


    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been operating inefficiently for many years, stifling innovation and making questionable decisions on agency process as it relates to the core functions of the FDA. A change in leadership is exactly what is needed, and newly confirmed FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb could have a strong impact on making the positive changes needed in order to foster innovation and progress in many sectors where the FDA plays a meaningful role. That is why TPA joined with TechFreedom to send this coalition letter to the FDA, Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the White House calling on Dr. Gottlieb to bring the focus of the agency back to innovation and technology when evaluating solutions and processes at the FDA.

    Click "Read Blog" below to see the full letter.

    » Read More
  • TPA Call to Action in Support of Repealing Title II Internet Regulations

    David Williams on May 24, 2017


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, May 18 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai took a very important step to undo the regulatory damage left behind by President Obama and former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. The Title II rules implemented by Obama and Wheeler gave control of the Internet to unaccountable government bureaucrats, and threatened to increase taxes and slow investment and growth in this important industry. It is clear that Chairman Pai is serious about getting tech policy accomplished in a way that works best for taxpayers and all Americans. A free and open Internet will foster continued investment in broadband infrastructure, greater consumer choice, and an open marketplace without putting taxpayers at risk. These rules have cost taxpayers, slowed down broadband infrastructure investment, and hindered competition and choice for Americans. The time to remove the regulatory stranglehold on the internet is NOW. TPA is encouraging all of our members to submit a comment TODAY (click here), and tell Chaiman Pai that you support a free and open Internet.

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  • TPA Thanks FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s for Thursday’s Crucial Vote on Title II

    Michi Iljazi on May 18, 2017


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) applauded Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai for taking very important steps to undo the regulatory damage done by ex-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.  The vote today to do away with Wheeler’s disastrous Title II regulations imposed on the internet show that the agency, under the new leadership of Chairman Pai, is serious about getting tech policy accomplished in a way that works best for all Americans. TPA President David Williams released the following statement about today’s open meeting.

    Click "Read Blog" below to see the full statement

    » Read More
  • Bill Nye's Selective 'Scientific' Worldview is a Hot Mess

    Ross Marchand on May 15, 2017


    This article originally appeared in The Washington Examiner on May 9, 2017

    Bill Nye's new show on Netflix allows viewers to bask in all of the self-righteousness and goofy shouting that we missed from the 1990s. "Does the guy always shout this much?" asked an incredulous Redditor after seeing the Science Guy's show for the first time. Such questions, which have proliferated around the Web in recent days, show a fundamental disconnect between the "I love science" crowd and the rest of us. It's not that I'm trying to be "anti-intellectual"; I find the scientific method useful in tackling life's most pressing questions. But when propagandists such as Nye invoke "science" to the limited end of promoting dubious public policy, it's important that taxpayers know the truth.

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