Category Archives: Economic Growth

America First on 5G Technology

Dear Chairman Pai,

We, the undersigned organizations promoting free markets and conservative policy, applaud your efforts at making more mid-band spectrum available to keep the United States competitive with, and leading, China on 5G. The administration’s action and the recent FCC May open-meeting agenda demonstrate your keen understanding of this issue. The proper government/private-sector balance will allow competition, innovation, and continued economic prosperity.

No philosophy in human history has created more opportunity for more people than free enterprise. Therefore, we know that the federal government must not impede innovation but rather work quickly to roll out spectrum and technologies that will drive the U.S. ahead of China in 5G. The administration’s America First economic agenda has prioritized regulatory reform, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and competition with China – bringing more mid-band spectrum to market complements and expands the President’s policy agenda. More mid-band spectrum means more innovation, which means more growth and opportunity.

Our concern is simple – certain agencies may do the ‘bureaucratic slow-walk’ vis-à-vis pending license proceedings and may pursue other regulatory mischief to impede new uses of spectrum. Any bureaucratic or competitive interference that slows the introduction of more spectrum to the market will stifle innovation and hurt the economy.

We implore you – as you continue to drive America’s global leadership in 5G forward – to make as many decisions as you can as quickly as possible, according to the authority and statutes governing your office.

We support your leadership in facilitating America’s superiority in 5G Technology, including pushing more mid-band spectrum into the marketplace; updating infrastructure policy; and modernizing outdated regulations. 5G networking is the fifth generation of wireless technology. An efficient deployment of 5G will lead to greater faster data speeds of data, a more responsive networks, and the ability to connect more devices simultaneously.

We cannot allow China to race ahead in 5G. Reports indicate that the U.S. and China are now tied. Again, this progress is thanks to your leadership and the FCC’s 5G fast Plan, in this critical digital race. We urge you to move forward and approve new applications to keep pace with China’s superior speed of deployment.

American companies pushing for the release of mid-band spectrum are strengthening our economy by increasing U.S. competitiveness and enabling the American entrepreneurial spirit to be unleashed on the world economic stage.

We urge you to continue to make progress and not be slowed by other agencies or agendas on this matter.

SEE LETTER & COALITION MEMBERS HERE5G Coalition Letter to The Honorable Ajit Pai

Coalition Letter to Secretary Mnuchin

Secretary Mnuchin Insurance Tax-Haven Loophole Letter

Dear Secretary Mnuchin,

We, the undersigned organizations promoting free markets and conservative policy, urge you to keep your commitments of simplifying the tax code and providing relief to all individuals and businesses at the forefront of future tax reform discussions. This means guaranteeing that loopholes, particularly the insurance tax-haven loophole, are not resurrected at the expense of reduced income-tax rates.

As advocates for free enterprise, we work to ease the tax burden that stifles economic growth and harms the American people. We commend you for standing firm on the principle of lower taxes for all Americans during the formation and public discussion over the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The great success of tax reform is due, in part, to Congress and the administration nixing most tax exemptions for lower rates across the board. Thanks to your leadership, all Americans – from single, blue-collar mothers to America’s most successful entrepreneurs – have benefited from the most comprehensive tax relief package since 1986.

However, it has come to our attention that certain groups are now, whether intentionally or not, working to undermine your historic achievement. These groups are lobbying to bring back many of the special-interest loopholes the administration eliminated as a means of reducing individual and corporate income tax brackets. One of the most egregious examples is the mounting pressure from foreign-owned/foreign-based insurance companies to secure a competitive advantage over U.S. based companies. These foreign-based entities want to shift billions of dollars offshore without incurring U.S. tax.

These companies are advocating for the resurrection of the insurance tax-haven loophole–a provision that would weaken the American economy by reducing U.S. competitiveness and reinstituting a de facto regulatory scheme that hurts American businesses.

When the tax-haven loophole existed, foreign companies were not only permitted but incentivized to transfer their assets overseas to clear themselves of U.S. tax liabilities. The loophole created a crony mechanism that granted these companies a government-protected advantage over their American competitors. Several dozen U.S. companies moved overseas, in large part, because of the preferential treatment this provision gave their foreign competitors. Its elimination has already succeeded in bringing some of these companies back home.

Working families, startups, and other corporations were willing to abandon narrow loopholes for broader reform of lower rates and a simplified tax code. And it worked. The American economy is growing again.

We urge you to remain vigilant in opposing corporate cronyism.

Respectfully,

Andrew Langer, Institute for Liberty

George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom

Kevin Kearns, U.S. Business and Industry Council

Jerry Rogers, Capitol Allies

Judson Phillips, Tea Party Nation

Tom Zawistowski, We the People Convention

Seton Motley, Less Government

Chuck Muth, Citizen Outreach

Peter Ferrara, National Tax-Limitation Committee

Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government

Ed Martin, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles

Letter Text here: Secretary Mnuchin Insurance Tax-Haven Loophole Letter

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) brings U.S. trade policy into the 21st Century

Coalition Letter to the President on the USMCA Trade Agreement

Dear Mr. President:

The recent signing of a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is a significant breakthrough for free trade and American prosperity. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) brings U.S. trade policy into the 21st Century by modernizing trade rules in effect since 1994, and the USMCA is an important win for American workers.

With the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement now finalized, Congress has the opportunity to further protect American workers and advance free trade – not just here in the United States but around the globe as well.

We, the undersigned organizations promoting free markets and conservative policy, support exempting Canada and Mexico – two countries that now have a proven track record of cooperating with the new administration – from steel and aluminum tariffs. Such policy will incentivize these entities to continue working with the White House on its America First agenda, all while relieving financial pressure on American manufacturers who depend on these critical materials. More, these exemptions will provide relief for other industries ‘whacked’ by retaliatory tariffs. From automobile manufacturers to beermakers, millions of workers will benefit while the American economy continues to expand.

Absolutely, and perhaps most significantly, our military depends on aluminum and steel to defend the nation. Since World War II – for more than seventy years – American tanks, planes, and ships have been built with aluminum produced by our allies like Canada. Tariffs and trade barriers hurt the American economy, stifle opportunities for workers, and threaten U.S. Military Readiness. Exempting Canada and Mexico from these tariffs is good policy, and necessary for a wholly successful agreement.

In the case of the new trade pact, your Administration has been successful in forging a fairer and better alliance between Canada and Mexico. Congress now has the ability to turbo-charge the agreement, and in so doing helping the American economy, future diplomacy, hardworking taxpayers and workers, and our Armed Forces – a ‘free trade trifecta’.

We urge Congress to take the right steps to lift these tariffs. The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement marks an important step forward for North American trade relations. Once it’s done, America and her allies will be able to focus attention on the principal threats to free trade.

We urge such action immediately.

 

Most respectfully,

 

Andrew Langer – President, Institute for Liberty (IFL)

Matthew Kandrach – President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE)

Lew Uhler – President, The National Tax Limitation Committee (NTLC)

Jerry Rogers – President, Capitol Allies (CapAllies)

Chuck Muth – President, Citizen Outreach

 

COALITION Seeks to Reform the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

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Washington, D.C. – A broad coalition of free-market and center-right organizations are respectfully requesting that Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate. 

The previous Administration’s corporatist policies ushered in an unprecedented age of hyper-lobbying that promoted partial and partisan interests—saving Wall Street bankers, a failed stimulus package, an auto bailout for union control, the Obamacare fiasco, green energy boondoggles. President Trump promised to grow the economy by doing away with Obama-era cronyism.

Reforming the badly broken RFS system and will show that the President is serious about putting America back to work.

Read the Coalition letter here: COALITION Seeks to Reform the federal Renewable Fuel Standard

10 Regulatory Recommendations for Trump Administration

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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.

No Philly Grocery Tax

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ProGrowthCoalition_NoPhillyTax

More than a dozen national pro-growth, pro-job, free-market advocates have released a coalition letter asking the Philadelphia City Council to oppose Mayor Jim Kenney’s plan to impose a 3 cents-per-ounce tax on more than 1,000 beverages—the Philly Grocery Tax. The proposed Philadelphia-only tax will—as former Governor Ed Rendell made clear—unfairly hurt the city’s poorest residents while its wealthiest citizens will be able to avoid the tax altogether.

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.

 

Puerto Rico Wants a Great Big Fat… Bailout

By Jerry Rogers

for TownHall

Puerto Rico’s massive welfare state and excessive spending has put it in an economic state worse than Greece. This small island has an enormous problem—$72 billion in bond debt and more than $50 billion in retiree obligations. What’s worse is that the Puerto Rican government doesn’t seem to be serious about reform. Pedro Pierluisi, the island’s nonvoting member of Congress, has sponsored legislation—H.R. 870—to extend Puerto Rico Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

The Associated Press reported that “the White House threw cold water Monday on the notion of bailing out Puerto Rico from its financial crisis, instead urging Congress to consider changing the law so the island can declare bankruptcy.” Of course, this is typical Washington doublespeak because bankruptcy protection—H.R. 870—would be a federal bailout by other means.

Puerto Rico, as a commonwealth, does not have the legal authority to file for bankruptcy. Some in Congress—mostly Democrats, but some Republicans, too—are seriously considering H.R. 870 as a backdoor bailout.

What happens when you run out of other people’s money? Well, if you’re the Democratic Governor of Puerto Rico, you demand a bailout, and for others to “share the sacrifice.” Governor Alejandro García Padilla told the New York Times earlier this week that Puerto Rico’s debt “is not payable. There is no other option.” Padilla would love to find “an easier option,” as he swears, “this is not politics, this is math.”

Not politics? Padilla is engaging in the worst kind of politics in which political elites insist that taxpayers pay for their failure. Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is the result of years of big government run amok. Over the past decade, liberal politicians in San Juan engaged in profligate spending and borrowing to cover the costs of everything from welfare to pensions to government services. Progressive policies that saw the public-sector debt grow as the economy shrank. Not politics, but math? Then why are public-sector salaries more than 90 percent higher than salaries in the private sector? Why not cut spending to pay your bills? Because Padilla has promised not to lay off government workers—two-thirds of Puerto Rico’s budget is payroll, and it’s off the table.

Puerto Rico’s political elites refuse to do what is necessary to create economic growth. Changing the nation’s bankruptcy laws to give them a special exemption is wrong. It’s a form of cronyism—politicians in Washington doing favors for politicians in San Juan. It’s letting them off the hook; absolving them of their responsibilities. The political elites in Puerto Rico have implemented anti-growth excise taxes on job creators while crippling the island’s economy with chronic spending on welfare subsidies and an ever-expanding public sector. The government employs more than a quarter of the island’s workforce, and its labor force participation rate—40.6 percent— is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. More than half the population is not working. Why work if welfare pays more than a job?

So Padilla, Pierluisi, and the island’s political establishment are asking their friends in Washington for a favor. Their plea for Chapter 9 bankruptcy is gaining momentum as the political class looks to protect itself.

The bailout bill—H.R. 870—does not require any meaningful, market-based reforms. It’s a “get out of jail free” card for Puerto Rico’s political elites and their failed statist policies. Chapter 9 is not a solution, but rather, at best, a temporary fix. And, Chapter 9 might not be a fix at all. Bankruptcy procedures can take months or years to work through the system. H.R. 870 is a bad bill. What’s needed is a radical change of less spending, regulating, and taxing.

Americans are tired of bailouts and boondoggles—TARP, Solyndra, General Motors, the ObamaCare rollout. Let’s not add failed governments and political elites to the list. Americans don’t want a “Great Big Fat” bailout for Puerto Rico. We don’t want our very own Greek island.