10 Regulatory Recommendations for Trump Administration

IFL

Though discussed for many years, it is only in the last decade that regulatory impacts have been seen by the mainstream political establishment as a driving factor in the health of the US economy—impacting our jobs, our competitiveness, and a host of other societal concerns (including the vitality of the middle class).  10 Regulatory Recommendations for the Trump Admin are some of the Institute for Liberty’s recommendations on the issue, and we offer them with one important caveat: There are no silver bullets when it comes to reducing regulatory costs! Regulatory costs have grown steadily since 1970 (though those costs have accelerated since 2007), and while many focus on so-called “major rules” (costing the economy $100 million or more annually), the bulk of regulatory burdens come from the cumulative effect of much-smaller mandates. Evidence shows that by even making modest changes in regulatory costs, massive economic gains can be had. But regardless of whether these changes are minor or major, regulatory reform must be an essential element of the incoming administration’s economic policies if they want to jump-start the economy and put Americans back to work.

These recommendations cover a wide range of tools that the incoming administration can utilize to have a fundamental impact on the regulatory state.

Rethinking #NeverTrump?

The Constitution

Either major candidate, should he or she be elected, enters the presidency damaged, with massive amounts of distrust from their political opposition.  But whereas Sec. Clinton engenders, really, only the distrust of Republicans (and a handful of so-called progressives), Mr. Trump will enter the presidency with massive distrust from a much-wider cross-section of his colleagues in Congress (in both houses).

And therein lies the silver lining…  with Republicans, from leadership on downward, deeply concerned with the manner with which Donald Trump will execute his presidency, there is an opportunity for these Republicans to exert enormous pressure on the executive branch to rein in that branch’s power.  Moreover, with Democrats nearly-united in opposition to Trump, there is even more of an opportunity to achieve what those distrustful of the unitary executive and executive branch overreach have been trying to do for nearly two decades:  meaningful reform and reduction in the power of the President and his appointees—clear legislative language that prescribes precisely how laws are to be implemented, authoritative oversight of agency operations, and a real willingness to use budgetary tools to push back against executive branch mischief.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the interplay between Congress and a Clinton presidency.  Should Republicans maintain control of Congress and Sec. Clinton gets elected president, the GOP cannot count on Democrats to work to rein executive branch power.  And should the GOP lose control of Congress in 2016 or 2018, with a Clinton presidency we would see the same wholesale abrogation of responsibility that brought the American people massive expansions of executive branch power under Presidents George W. Bush (from 2001-2007) and Barack Obama (from 2009-2011).

It is a mind-boggling concept—the idea that choosing Donald Trump could lead to a fundamental return to the basic constitutional precepts upon which this nation was founded.  But one has to recognize that this would be done in spite of the president—most likely without his support (if not his downright opposition).  But that’s why the founders separated the powers of government, specifically to prevent one branch from getting too powerful, and, in doing so, to protect individual rights.

So yes… it is possible that a vote for Donald Trump could represent a vote for a return to the principles of individual liberty.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/07/rethinking-nevertrump-how-a-trump-presidency-could-result-in-limited-presidential-power/#ixzz4PRydm0gg

Philadelphia’s Regressive, Illegal Tax

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After winning the Democratic nomination in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, Philadelphia mayoral candidate Jim Kenney kept pressing and campaigning ahead of the November 2015 elections. After the primary, the campaign focused almost exclusively on reducing poverty and expanding opportunity.

Kenney pledged to help people succeed in every neighborhood of Philadelphia.

However, after being elected mayor, Jim Kenney’s first major action wasn’t to expand economic opportunity. No, on the contrary, the Mayor deliberately and deceivingly targeted his city’s poorest residents with a regressive—illegal—tax on virtually everything in the beverage aisle.

While Mayor Kenney pitched his grocery tax as needed to fund early childhood education, the truth is that nearly 20 percent of the tax revenue raised will go to other government programs and budget priorities.

David Oh, a Republican who opposed the grocery tax, described the funding arrangement as misleading, saying that “This is not the narrative that had been told to the public.” And, Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, a Democrat on the City Council who supported the measure, said she had no idea revenue from the tax was targeted for other purposes.

So, here are the facts on the Kenney tax:

  • The 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax goes into effect January 1, 2017.
  • The regressive, highly unpopular tax will add 18 cents to the cost of a can of soda, $1.08 for a six-pack or $1.02 for a two-liter bottle.
  • The new beverage tax will be added on top of the already excessive 8% sales tax that applies to beverages in Philadelphia.
  • Yes, the tax is unpopular – 58% of residents oppose the measure.
  • Yes, the tax will disproportionately harm poor residents – economic studies show that low-income Americans spend a larger portion of their income on consumer goods like soda.
  • No, the tax revenue—as the Mayor promised—is not being reserved exclusively for an expanded pre-K program or city parks and recreational facilities.
  • No, the tax is not legal – experts are calling the tax unconstitutional.

A coalition of consumers, businesses, and unions have filed a lawsuit to stop Philadelphia from collecting the tax, maintaining that it’s illegal under state law.

Mayor Jim Kenney might have persuaded the City Council to support a grocery tax with back-room deals and eleventh-hour concessions to individual council members. However, such sweet-deals and political horse-trading will be out-of-bounds in the judicial system. What will matter in the end is if the Mayor’s legal team can persuade the courts that the grocery tax is legal under Pennsylvania law.

Many legal experts, including Ronald Castille—former Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania high court—have concluded that the Philly tax is illegal:

  • The Philly tax is a de facto sales tax and preempted by state law.
  • The Philly tax violates Pennsylvania’s state Constitution’s Uniformity Clause.
  • The Philly tax conflicts with the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Capitol Allies and its partners will continue to offer analysis and commentary on the Philly tax so to better inform the public discussion as the anti-tax fight moves through the courts.

Free-Market Advocates Support Roberts-Stabenow Labeling Bill

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SupportRobertsStabenow(Click here for PDF)

July 13, 2016

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
H-232, United States Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker:

We, the following pro-growth, pro-innovation, free-market advocates, ask the House of Representatives to immediately take up and pass the common-sense biotech labeling bill that recently passed in the Senate by a 63-30 vote. This bipartisan agreement—Roberts-Stabenow—will establish a national labeling standard that will protect consumers, advance market-based principles, and support sound science.

We want to make it absolutely clear that this legislation will prevent the proliferation of costly, unconstitutional state-based labeling mandates. To date, more than 50 bills have been introduced in dozens of states to require the labeling of genetically modified foods, or GMOs. A Vermont law took effect on July 1. If Congress fails to act, Vermont and other states following suit will upend the nation’s entire market system for food, from farming to supply to retail.

GMOs are among the most analyzed subjects in science. With thousands of global studies affirming safety, the science over GM foods is unquestionably settled. The world’s most prestigious science, health, and academic institutions have confirmed and re-confirmed that GMO science does not pose a risk to our health, and GM foods are as safe and/or safer than conventional or organic foods.

Yet, activists—like those in Vermont—still sound the anti-GMO alarm, and their failure to consider the science when advocating policy betrays their true agenda. The activists’ ultimate goal is not “freedom of choice” or the “right-to-know” for consumers, as they claim, but to drive GM foods out of the market.

An economy based on free enterprise requires a consistent, national labeling solution to maximize the consumer’s right-to-know and allow for competition and innovation to thrive. The alternative of state-based mandates will undermine the market resulting in higher prices and fewer choices for all Americans. The House must act to pass this critical, market-based proposal to protect farmers, families, and businesses. If not, anti-GMO activists will continue to stigmatize biotech science through their organized, yet deceitful, campaign of state-based labeling mandates.

We urge the House of Representatives to approve the Roberts-Stabenow legislation this week before the August recess.

Thank you,
Jerry Rogers – President, Capitol Allies
Andrew Langer – President, Institute for Liberty
Pete Sepp – President, National Taxpayers Union
George Landrith – President, Frontiers of Freedom
Seton Motley – President, Less Government

Roberts-Stabenow: Sound Science/Free Enterprise

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Sound Science Free Enterprise Biotech Labeling Bill (Click here for PDF)

Washington, DC –  Capitol Allies (CapAllies) applauds the United States Senate for passing a common-sense Biotech Labeling bill that will protect consumers, advance market-based principle, and support sound science.

CapAllies urges the House of Representatives to approve the legislation next week before the August recess.

Jerry Rogers, president and founder of Capitol Allies, made the following statement supporting the Roberts-Stabenow labeling bill as it moves to the House:

“We want to make it absolutely clear that this legislation will prevent the proliferation of costly, unconstitutional state-based labeling mandates. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are among the most analyzed subjects in science. With over 2,000 global studies affirming safety, the science over GM foods is unquestionably settled. The world’s most prestigious science, health, and academic institutions have confirmed and re-confirmed over again that GMO science does not pose a risk to our health, and GM foods are as safe and/or safer than conventional or organic foods.”

“If over 100 of the world’s leading scientists and Nobel Laureates can take a stand against those who actively campaign against the use of GM  crops, it is our hope that the House of Representatives will do the same by voting ‘yea’ on Roberts-Stabenow as soon as next week.”

“A patchwork of state-based labeling regimes would create mass confusion among consumers and cause food prices to skyrocket. Such state mandates would cause an explosion of big-government cronyism.”   

Capitol Allies was established to turn policy into practice. Our work is to advance ideas and policies supportive of free enterprise, economic growth, and sound science.

# # #

Media Contact: Jerry Rogers 202.302.9783 / jerry@capallies.com

 Jerry Rogers is the founder of Capitol Allies, an independent, nonpartisan effort that promotes free enterprise, and he’s the co-host of  The LangerCast on the RELM Network.

Update: Roberts-Stabenow

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Click here and join us for a segment where Andrew and Jerry discuss GMO labeling on Episode #106 of the LangerCast:

LangerCast on the RELM network: Roberts-Stabenow

Jerry and Andrew discuss S-764, or the Roberts-Stabenow bill, creating a national labeling standard that will protect consumers, advance conservative principle, and support sound science.

The National Academies of Science, in a 400-page report on GMOs released in May 2016, concluded that there is “no substantiated evidence that foods from GE [genetically engineered] crops were less safe than foods from non-GE crops.”

To date, more than 50 bills have been introduced in dozens of states to require the labeling of genetically modified foods, or GMOs. Vermont’s law took effect on July 1. If Congress fails to act, Vermont and the myriad others following suit will upend the nation’s entire food system, from farming to supply to retail.

Academic and scientific studies over the past 30 years – by such groups as the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Academies of Science – have said, unequivocally, that GM foods are safe and healthy. Studies have concluded that GMOs are as safe as, or safer than, conventional or organic foods.

GMOs now make up a major part of the American diet: 60-70 percent of all food on supermarket shelves is GMO. So the issue of labeling needs to be addressed in a manner that defers to sound science. An alternative to the state-based food police is a national standard. If the Anti-GMO activists were truly interested in science and consumer safety, they would aggressively support this approach.

A patchwork of state labeling requirements would create mass confusion among consumers and cause food prices to skyrocket.  GMOs are among the most analyzed subjects in science. With over 2,000 global studies affirming safety, the science over GM foods is unquestionably settled. The world’s most prestigious science, health, and academic institutions have confirmed and re-confirmed over again that GMO science does not pose a risk to our health, and GM foods are as safe and/or safer than conventional or organic foods. In an overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research, scientists could not find a single instance where GMO food posed any harm to humans or animals. GMOs are safe and healthy, period.

Capitol Allies (CapAllies) applauds Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for the bipartisan agreement on a national GMO labeling standard. The Senate must still give final approval to the new agreement, and then it will need to be passed by the House of Representatives before going to the President.

The Senate could vote as early as this evening.

Media Alert: Bipartisan Agreement on National GMO labeling Standard

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Roberts-Stabenow Labeling Agreement

Washington DC –  Capitol Allies (CapAllies) applauds Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for the bipartisan agreement on a national GMO labeling standard. The Senate voted 68-29 on a procedural move that will allow for a final vote on the Roberts-Stabenow agreement after July 5.  The Senate must still give final approval to the new agreement, and then it will need to be passed by the House of Representatives before going to the President.

The bi-partisan legislation will prevent states and municipalities from creating chaos with food labeling laws intended to stifle science and ban biotechnology.

“A patchwork of state labeling requirements would create mass confusion among consumers and cause food prices to skyrocket.  Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are among the most analyzed subjects in science. With over 2,000 global studies affirming safety, the science over GM foods is unquestionably settled. The world’s most prestigious science, health, and academic institutions have confirmed and re-confirmed over again that GMO science does not pose a risk to our health, and GM foods are as safe and/or safer than conventional or organic foods. In an overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research, scientists could not find a single instance where GMO food posed any harm to humans or animals. GMOs are safe and healthy, period,” says Jerry Rogers, president and founder of CapAllies.

The anti-GMO activists want a protracted “death-by-a-thousand-cuts” campaign to establish state-based labeling regimes. Joseph Mercola, an alternative-medicine advocate, has said, “GM foods must be banned entirely, but labeling is the most efficient way to achieve this.” Veteran activist and organizer Ronnie Cummins has called the EU’s labeling laws “the crucial blow to GMOs.” The activists are looking to ban science, not promote the “right-to-know.”

As a Vermont labeling law is set to take hold on July 1 (enforcement to start in January 2017), this new biotech food labeling legislation will allow a consistent, national labeling policy to govern our food chain. Such a national policy will inform consumers, protect sound science, and advance market principles.

Capitol Allies was established to turn policy into practice. Our work is to advance ideas and policies supportive of free enterprise, economic growth, sound science, and property rights.

# # #

Media Contact: Jerry Rogers 202.302.9783 / jerry@capallies.com

 Jerry Rogers is the founder of Capitol Allies, an independent, nonpartisan effort that promotes free enterprise, and he’s the co-host of  The LangerCast on the RELM Network.

Food Bans, the 1st Amendment, & much more

LangerCast

Click here and join us for Episode #105 of the LangerCast:

The LangerCast on the RELM network: Episode #105

Andrew and Jerry talk politics, policy, music, and culture  … this week, among other topics like the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, we break down the misguided proposal by Maine Governor Paul LePage to use the government to ban “unhealthy” foods and the First Liberty Institute’s Defense of Religious liberty.

A retired Air Force NCO is forcibly removed from another’s retirement ceremony. His crime? Daring to utter the word “God” during a flag-folding speech! We talk to Mike Berry from the First Liberty Institute about the case of Oscar Rodriguez, and the good work of First Liberty. We talk food policy, and Maine Governor Paul LePage, as well as more on the Philly Soda Tax!

Governor Paul LePage’s Food Police

Some in the political class believe that solving nutritional issues is the responsibility of the government. However, banning certain foods will not make people healthier; it will not save taxpayer money; and it will not reform entitlements. Instead, the food-police will disrupt the free market and create government food bureaucracies.

If the precedent is set that the government on the basis of public health has the authority to monitor the food choices of the poor, Governor LePage will set us down a slippery slope toward the food-police regulating and keeping watch over the diets of all Americans.

Oscar Rodriguez Assaulted and Dragged Out of Retirement Ceremony

From First Liberty, “Oscar Rodriguez, Jr. is a decorated Air Force veteran who has delivered a patriotic flag-folding speech over 100 times at civic and military events. In March 2016, a retiring service member asked Rodriguez to deliver the flag-folding speech at his retirement ceremony, to be held at Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento. Rodriguez agreed, but when he began the speech, uniformed Airmen assaulted him, physically dragged him out of the ceremony, and kicked him off the military base because the speech included the word “God.” First Liberty Institute sent a letter to the United States Air Force on June 20, 2016, demanding justice for Rodriguez, and for those responsible to be held accountable.”

Food Fight in Maine

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage is challenging the federal government over how to administer the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. Under the guise of reforming SNAP, Maine’s Republican governor wants to monitor what poor people eat and drink. The governor wants to create a state-based “food-police” to control what Maine’s poorest citizens put in their grocery bags.

Why should we trust that food bans in Maine won’t spread to other states or to the feds? If your poor food choices impact the cost of my insurance premium, why shouldn’t there be a national food-police restricting the diets of all Americans? If consuming less of an unhealthy food is good for poor people, consuming less of an unhealthy food is good for all people. Public health advocates will look at food bans in SNAP as a model for national efforts to restrict the food choices of all Americans.

Some in the political class believe that solving nutritional issues is the responsibility of the government. However, banning certain foods will not make people healthier; it will not save taxpayer money; and it will not reform entitlements. Instead, the food-police will disrupt the free market and create government food bureaucracies

Public health advocates believe that Americans are unable to make responsible decisions about the food and beverages we consume. Conservative advocates and elected officials should stand against paternalistic policies aimed at our diets, and trust the American people to decide for ourselves what is healthy or unhealthy. Food monitoring and restrictions violate individual liberty, and create a gateway for more government intrusion into our lives. Food surveillance is not entitlement reform, and it is not going to make Americans any healthier – as if that’s the government’s business anyway.

Conservatives should reject proposals to leverage government agencies (like the USDA) to interfere so deeply in the personal choices of Americans. Monitoring what some Americans put in their grocery carts is decidedly bad policy and anathema to conservative values.

Whether it’s under the guise of entitlement reform or public health, some politicians may favor food monitoring and restrictions because it’s an easy way to mislead voters to think they’re being good stewards of taxpayer money. But, food restrictions in SNAP will create a food bureaucracy mimicking the complexity of other regulatory boondoggles. Bureaucrats will have to analyze and categorize the 300,000 food and beverage products on the market now and the additional 15,000 food items introduced every year.

If the precedent is set that the government on the basis of public health has the authority to monitor the food choices of the poor, Governor LePage will set us down a slippery slope toward the food-police regulating and keeping watch over the diets of all Americans.

Media Alert: Food Labeling

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National GMO Labeling Standard

Washington, D.C. — Capitol Allies (CapAllies), an independent, nonpartisan effort that promotes free enterprise, and its partners urge Congress to reach a bipartisan agreement on a national GMO labeling standard before Vermont’s GMO labeling mandate takes effect on July 1.

Time is running out. After the Senate approves a bill, the House of Representatives must also pass the Senate legislation in quick time. The House is out of session the last week of June leaving only five legislative days remaining.

CapAllies agrees with the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food: “We need a uniform national solution to eliminate the potential confusion and costly red tape associated with the growing, 50-state patchwork of mandatory state labeling laws that could raise the cost of food for families by up to $1,050 per year.”

“To date, more than 50 bills have been introduced in dozens of states to require the labeling of genetically modified foods, or GMOs. Vermont’s law takes effect on July 1. If Congress fails to act, Vermont and the myriad others following suit will upend the nation’s entire food system, from farming to supply to retail,” said Jerry Rogers, CapAllies president, in a segment on the LangerCast on the RELM Network.

Academic and scientific studies over the past 30 years – by such groups as the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Academies of Science – have said, unequivocally, that GM foods are safe and healthy.  Studies have concluded that GMOs are as safe as, or safer than, conventional or organic foods.

GMOs now make up a major part of the American diet: 60-70 percent of all food on supermarket shelves is GMO. So the issue of labeling needs to be addressed in a manner that defers to sound science. An alternative to the state-based food police is a national standard. If the Anti-GMO activists were truly interested in science and consumer safety, they would aggressively support this approach.

CapAllies commends Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) on their efforts to draft compromise legislation that will offer a common sense, national food labeling solution.

# # #

Media Contact: Jerry Rogers 202.302.9783 / jerry@capallies.com

Jerry Rogers is the founder of Capitol Allies, an independent, nonpartisan effort that promotes free enterprise, and he’s the co-host of  The LangerCast on the RELM Network.