×
↓ Freedom Centers

Entrepreneurial & Regulatory Freedom

Biden Admin Claims More Red Tape Will Boost Efficiency

Regulations 'will help projects get built faster,' says head of environmental agency that can't finish its own projects on time

By Philip CaldwellThe Washington Free Beacon

Getty Images

The White House on Tuesday restored environmental regulations on infrastructure construction that the Trump administration struck down in the name of cutting bureaucratic red tape. The Biden administration said reimposing the stringent review process will speed up the construction of infrastructure projects.

The rule change will require federal agencies to assess the “direct,” “indirect,” and “cumulative” climate and environmental effects of infrastructure projects before approving the projects. Former president Donald Trump in 2020 made certain projects, such as pipelines and highways, exempt from those regulations in an effort to clear up “mountains and mountains of bureaucratic red tape in Washington, D.C.”

Chairwoman Brenda Mallory of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, which issued the rule change, said in a statement that the restoration of red tape will actually expedite the construction of infrastructure.

“Restoring these basic community safeguards will provide regulatory certainty, reduce conflict, and help ensure that projects get built right the first time,” Mallory said. “Patching these holes in the environmental review process will help projects get built faster, be more resilient, and provide greater benefits to people who live nearby.”

When the White House last year proposed reimposing the regulations, though, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposed it, saying the rule change would bog down infrastructure projects.

“By rolling back some of the most important updates to our antiquated permitting process, the Biden administration’s new proposed [National Environmental Policy Act] rule will only serve to slow down building the infrastructure of the future,” Chad Whiteman, the Chamber of Commerce’s vice president for environment and regulatory affairs, said in October. “Important projects … are languishing due to continued delays and that must change.”

On Monday, the day before the Council on Environmental Quality argued its policy changes would speed up the construction of federal projects, Politico subsidiary E&E News revealed that the agency has failed to complete its own projects on time. The agency was tasked with achieving a number of the Biden administration’s climate priorities, including tracking the White House’s “climate-related investments to disadvantaged communities” with a scorecard.

The Council on Environmental Quality “has already fallen behind on multiple key goals, including the scorecard, which was supposed to be released two months ago, and the climate and economic screening tool, which was released in February in draft form after a six-month delay,” E&E News reported.


Congress must protect IP from Big Tech and China

By George LandrithThe Desert Review

The U.S. economy runs on startups. For all of America’s mega-corporations, it’s young firms that create most of our new jobs during periods of economic growth. Those startups depend on America’s famously strong laws protecting their inventions and intellectual property. The only way someone with a big idea but minimal resources can out-compete established firms is through government protection of their innovations.

Today, we are failing in that responsibility. Our laxity is empowering predators foreign and domestic — endangering not only the next Apple, Microsoft, or Facebook, but our entire economy.

For years, the greatest threat to American intellectual property has been China. Chinese IP piracy became endemic — totaling an estimated $600 billion in costs to the U.S. per year. A CNBC survey of American corporations found that one-third had experienced IP theft by Chinese pirates. Testifying before Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies.”

More telling than Zuckerberg’s acknowledgment was the strange equivocation by other Big Tech executives at the hearing. The CEOs of Apple, Amazon, and Google — individuals famous for their breadth of knowledge and laser focus on their businesses — all shrugged and testified only that they hadn’t personally seen any Chinese IP piracy.

There is a reason those firms might not want to shine a light on IP theft: it’s a valuable part of their own business models.

In January, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a ruling finding that Google infringed on five patents belonging to Sonos, a company that makes smart speakers. The story is a worst-case scenario for a startup. Sonos developed one of the most advanced wireless audio systems in the market — a product so impressive that Google wanted to partner with the company. Sonos alleges that early in the partnership, Google lifted Sonos-patented technology for Google’s own audio equipment.

Sonos was no fluke. Google faced 48 patent infringement lawsuits in 2021. But Google is not the only perpetrator.

In 2020, a federal jury ordered Amazon to pay $5 million to Texas-based Vocalife for infringing on its patents. Apple was recently ordered to pay $300 million in damages to Optis Wireless Technology for infringement.

It’s no accident that the number of IP lawsuits rose in 2020 for the first time since 2015, and court awards rose to $4.67 billion from just $1.5 billion in 2019.

It makes holding China to account much harder. If the richest and most powerful businesses in America are ignoring our intellectual property laws — why shouldn’t our global adversaries?

The issue here isn’t complicated: When laws against theft aren’t enforced, thieves are going to steal. Slaps on the wrist aren’t going to deter pickpockets in Beijing, Silicon Valley, or anywhere else. Congress has to tighten up our IP laws and stiffen penalties, and the Justice Department needs to ramp up enforcement while there are still startups left to save.

One noteworthy aspect of the American Dream is that the most important businesses of 20 years from now are probably ones we haven’t heard of yet. In order for them to lead us into the future, the government must protect them from foreign adversaries and Big Tech.


Statement by Frontiers of Freedom on Senator Rand Paul’s plans to force a vote on travel mask mandates

Does Constitutional Government Still Matter? Or Can Unelected Bureaucrats Unilaterally Crown Themselves Our Healthcare Emperors and Demand that We, their Subjects, Obey their Decrees?

Americans from coast-to-coast are applauding U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) because he is going to force a vote on his resolution to repeal travel mask mandates on public transportation and airplanes. The science is clear, mask mandates have not saved lives and have not slowed the spread. Yet, despite the clear evidence from the last two years, many continue to insist on mask mandates. Curiously, these were some of the loudest and most shrill voices demanding that Americans follow the science — yet, they now clearly defy and ignore the science. 

Thankfully, Sen. Paul, also a medical doctor, is requiring government to be accountable and be reasonable. While many in government seek to use fear and demagoguery to keep Americans worked up and living in fear, it is clearly time to learn to live with COVID and mitigate its impact. But the insistence on perpetual COVID mandates and the fear mongering and threats of mandates do nothing to save lives or improve health. Senator Paul’s resolution to repeal travel mask mandates on public transportation and airplanes can be found HERE

If requiring people to perpetually wear masks is a good idea, why not follow the constitutional process of law-making? Why not ask Congress, the people’s representatives, to vote on it? It is stunning that for almost two years, Americans have been forced to follow the baseless edicts of bureaucrats and over-zealous executives. But not once have those supporting mandates followed the constitutional process of voting on proposed laws in the legislature and then asking the executive to sign the law into effect. And no one exercising (or actually abusing) these powers has bothered to explain where in the Constitution, the government has the power to issue all these so-called healthcare mandates. And they also don’t bother to explain why their mandates are needed or supported by the data.

It is time for this abuse of power to stop and for Congress to vote. While we do not believe that the Federal government has the legal authority to force Americans to wear masks, it is certainly well within Congress’ purview to put an end to abuses of federal power and usurpations of constitutional power. And we thank Sen. Rand Paul for seeing to it that Congress at least goes on record as whether constitutional government still matters or whether unelected bureaucrats can simply crown themselves healthcare emperors and hand out edicts that their subjects must follow.


Letter to Senator James Lankford on Postal Reform

February 22, 2022

The Honorable Senator James Lankford
316 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Lankford and Staff,

We write knowing full well that you and our organization are aligned in our commitments to promote the principles of individual freedom, limited government, free markets, and traditional American values. The purpose of our message today is to recognize your strong work and introspection into the problems that have plagued the deeply indebted and dysfunctional U.S. Postal Service. 

As you are aware, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, of which you are a key member, last held a hearing with USPS leadership to discuss its finances and operations on August 21, 2020 as part of the 116th Congress.1 At that time, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy outlined the case for legislative action to reposition the Medicare program as a defacto financial backstop for addressing the Postal Service’s “unaffordable retirement payments,” given that the USPS has been encumbered by its “management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues.”2 The Committee has not convened to consider postal legislation in 2022, nor in 2021. 

As you are also aware, the House passed version of the Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 3076) was subject to a clerical error during transmittal to the Senate, prompting an objection by your colleague Sen. Rick Scott on February 14th.3 With this motion, Sen. Scott further communicated how this postal legislation “does nothing to secure the future of postal workers and Medicare recipients or make the Postal Service more efficient.” 

This should be of great concern to all legislators who espouse the values of responsible, accountable governance, and dedication to public service. 

To this end, Sen. Scott also sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office seeking clarity on the budgetary effects of H.R. 3076 in years ahead, along with requesting demonstration of fiscal impacts on the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, costs to the Medicare program, and effects on Medicare premiums.4. Such information was not sufficiently provided in the CBO’s recently released “Estimated Budgetary Effects” of H.R. 3076.5 The CBO’s initial findings were not subject to formal discussion in the House Ways & Means Committee, and the House bill was ushered to a full chamber vote three days later, on February 8, 2022. 

Given your strong judgment, Senator Lankford, and your unique position in membership of both Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and the Senate Committee on Finance, we respectfully call upon you to provide the requisite level of scrutiny that the current Postal Service Reform Act deserves. We urge you and your staff to exhaustively pursue all Committee measures that will allow for honest debate on a reformulated bill that is in the best interest of postal customers and American taxpayers. 

Earlier in February, your colleague and Senate Finance Ranking Member, Sen. Mike Crapo, discussed the depths of the Medicare program’s fiscal distress and what that could mean for beneficiaries. Sen. Crapo stated: “Moreover, with each passing year, we are steadily moving closer to the Medicare Trust Fund’s exhaustion date, at which time the program will no longer be able to pay full benefits for our nation’s seniors.  We must be thoughtful and cautious to avoid exacerbating the fiscal challenges we face.”6

In our evaluation, the Postal Service Reform Act will invoke significant harm on the Medicare program’s ability to rightfully fulfill its promises to Americans.

In closing, we have included with this letter our recent opinion piece published in The Oklahoman, “Does the Postal Service Reform Act address core problems?,”7 which highlights the lack of honest discussion around the bill. We recognize your unwavering service on behalf of Oklahomans and thank you for this opportunity to share our views.  

Sincerely,


George Landrith
President
Frontiers of Freedom



Letter to the Editor 

The Oklahoman

February 4, 2022

A recent opinion article relies on faulty logic and omission of facts about the USPS (“Postal Service steps up to the challenge, needs Congress to deliver reform,” Jan. 12). The USPS lost $87 billion in recent years and carries $188 billion in debts. 

The author omits his ideas for how USPS would address this problem. His preferred “Postal Service Reform Act” would set in motion the plan to slowdown mail delivery times for everyone and have the federal government conduct a $58 billion bailout. The proposed bill does nothing to fix the Post Office’s core problem: they ship packages for less than their true costs. 

Hopefully Sen. James Lankford and Sen. Jim Inhofe can see that the Postal Service Reform Act is simply a bad deal for Americans and has no plan to help the USPS achieve financial sustainability.

– George Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom, Virginia

Link:  https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-oklahoman/20220204/281728387922471 



FOOTNOTES:

1 – “Examining the Finances and Operations of the United States Postal Service During COVID-19 and Upcoming Elections,” hearing, HSGAC, August 21, 2020, https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/examining-the-finances-and-operations-of-the-united-states-postal-service-during-covid-19-and-upcoming-elections

2 –  “STATEMENT OF POSTMASTER GENERAL AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER LOUIS DEJOY before HSGAC,” testimony of Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, August 21, 2020, https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Testimony-DeJoy-2020-08-21.pdf 

3 –  “Sen. Rick Scott on Senate Floor: Postal Reform is Needed; But it Can’t Be at the Cost of Medicare Recipients, Postal Worker,” press release, Office of Sen. Rick Scott, February 14, 2022, https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/2022/2/sen-rick-scott-on-senate-floor-postal-reform-is-needed-but-it-can-t-be-at-the-cost-of-medicare-recipients-postal-workers 

4 –  Sen. Rick Scott letter to Director Phillip Swagel, Congressional Budget Office,” February 14, 2022, https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/services/files/5FD84464-1455-4E95-9E31-96143650F647 

5 –  “Estimated Budgetary Effects of Rules Committee Print 117-32 for H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022,” CBO, February 4, 2022, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/57821 

6 –  “Crapo Statement at Hearing on Youth Mental Health,” Sen. Mike Crapo, February 8, 2022, https://www.finance.senate.gov/ranking-members-news/crapo-statement-at-hearing-on-youth-mental-health 

7 –  “Does the Postal Service Reform Act address core problems?,” George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom, The Oklahoman, February 4, 2022, https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-oklahoman/20220204/281728387922471    


Public education needs the private sector

A significant portion of the $751.7 billion spent annually on K–12 education is used to purchase non-public goods and services.

By Aaron Garth SmithReason Foundation

Public education needs the private sector
93591959 © Konstantin Lobastov | Dreamstime.com

In a recent tweet, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the 1619 Project, recycled a common refrain against school-choice programs, noting that “they funnel public dollars into privately run institutions.” Similar talking points are being used in MichiganTexas, and other states to block policies that give families access to their students’ education dollars and more opportunities for their kids.

This argument is misguided and ignores the fact that public education wouldn’t exist without the private sector. The reality is that much of the $751.7 billion spent annually on K–12 education is used to purchase non-public goods and services.

The wheels of commerce are spinning well before the morning bell rings, with public schools spending over $27 billion annually on transportation services. Manufacturers such as Blue Bird — a publicly traded company that recorded $1.019 billion of sales in 2019 — supply the nation’s 480,000 yellow buses, and about one-third of school districts outsource bus services to private contractors, saving public schools millions of dollars each year.

Without these companies, millions of students would be stuck at home, but that’s only the start. School districts also partner with private entities to build the schools, playgrounds, and athletics facilities they rely on each day.

Nationwide, spending on capital consumes roughly 10 percent of all K–12 education dollars each year, totaling $76.3 billion in 2019 alone. Districts finance much of this spending by issuing municipal bonds, which require private-sector assistance from investment banks, attorneys, and ratings agencies and are purchased by investors such as money managers and insurance companies.

For their part, public-school advocates — including teachers’ unions and other school-choice opponents — almost always support bond referenda, despite the cadre of private actors that profit from them.

Once bonds are approved, school districts hire architecture, engineering, and construction companies to do the work. For example, construction giant Balfour Beatty contracts with districts across the country from Texas to California and has completed over $500 million in projects for the public schools in Wake County, N.C., alone.

Inside classrooms, a similar story unfolds. While nearly half of all education dollars are spent on employee salaries, benefit expenditures for things such as pensions and health insurance account for 21 percent of spending. This includes teacher retirement contributions that are made each year to massive pension funds that invest in equities, real estate, and other financial vehicles that help fund managers diversify risk and hit performance targets. Teachers have a vested interest in U.S. economic growth and benefit from the success of corporate giants such as ExxonMobil, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway.

Schools are also increasingly reliant on technology companies to supply computers, tablets, and software solutions that support instruction, and it’s estimated that $26 billion to $41 billion is spent each year on education tech. Similarly, states depend on private firms to administer statewide exams, such as the $388 million in contracts Texas awarded to Pearson and Cambium Assessment.

In some cases, school districts even pay private-school tuition for students they can’t serve. The National Association of State Directors of Special Education says that about 1.5 percent of public-school students with disabilities are placed by their districts into private schools. This practice helps families obtain specialized services and means that public-school districts are already doing exactly what school-choice opponents fight against — sending public dollars to private schools. The only difference is that district bureaucrats, not parents, are the ones calling the shots.

Of course, not all these examples of private-sector partnerships are wise investments or the best use of scarce resources. After all, K–12 transportation is in desperate need of reform, and construction projects can be wasteful. The real issue that opponents such as Hannah-Jones have with school choice isn’t with public dollars going to the private sector, but with competition for students and their per-pupil funding. The public-school monopoly gets weaker when parents can access their education dollars and use them for the private services that they choose, and that’s a good thing.


Coalition Letter by 37 Groups Supporting the Right of Veterans to Choose Their Consultation and Representation as They Navigate a Confusing System

February 15, 2022

The Honorable Mark Takano
Chairman                                                                                
House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

The Honorable Jon Tester
Chairman
Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs

The Honorable Mike Bost
Ranking Member
House Veterans Affairs Committee

The Honorable Jerry Moran
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs


Dear Chairmen Takano and Tester, and Ranking Members Bost and Moran:

In 2021, Frontiers of Freedom launched the Veterans Choice Initiative, a grassroots effort committed to supporting disabled veterans by protecting their right to choose how to best navigate the bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration and secure the disability benefits they rightly deserve. 

Providing access to high quality disability benefits support is one of our most important obligations to the brave men and women who have served this country. Unfortunately, the current government-run and volunteer system is both confusing and under-resourced, leaving veterans at a disadvantage when seeking the benefits, they are ethically, medically, and legally entitled to. 

As you look to set the Committee’s priorities for the New Year, we ask that you not repeat the mistakes of the past. 

In 2021, Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act (S. 2141) was introduced in the Senate which in effect criminalized “unaccredited actors,” that wish to help veterans with their claims. This includes private consultants that provide necessary and life-changing assistance to millions of veterans around the country.  

These proposed changes will limit a veterans’ choice and leave the initiation phase of the claims solely on the backs of VSOs or veterans themselves. While VSOs are filled with well-meaning and sometimes qualified individuals and volunteers, most of the organizations do not have the manpower or expertise to handle the massive inflow that is expected over the next few years. 

This latest attempt built upon a 2019 bill that aimed to amend title 38 of the United States Code, to provide criminal penalties for individuals acting as agents or attorneys for the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of a claim. Thankfully, the initial bill was rightfully defeated. 

Our veterans have earned the right to choose their consultation and representation, regardless of Accreditation status, as they navigate a confusing system. 

As you consider reforms to the veterans’ benefits system in 2022, we ask that any legislation around this issue in Congress will ensure a veteran’s right to choose is not jeopardized.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

George Landrith, President
Frontiers of Freedom

Richard Manning, President
Americans for Limited Government

Charles Sauer, Founder & President
Market Institute

David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Seton Motley, Founder & President
Less Government

James L. Martin, Founder/Chairman
60 Plus Association

Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty 

Chuck Muth, President
Citizen Outreach

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President
60 Plus Association

David Wallace, Founder
Restore America’s Mission

Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation

Ryan Ellis, President
Center for a Free Economy

Governor Mike Huckabee
Former Governor of Arkansas

C. Preston Noell III, President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Gerard Scimeca, Chairman
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Nicholas Willis, President
Americans for Liberty & Security

Susan Taylor, President
Strengthening America for All 

John Cooper, President
Defending America Foundation 

Scott Vanandler, President
The Last Best Hope on Earth Institute

Mark Thomas, Founder
Freedom & Prosperity Caucus

U.S. Senator Larry E Craig (retired)
United States Senate Retired

Paul Caprio, Director
Patriotic Veterans

Steve Moore, Co-Founder
Committee to Unleash Prosperity

Horace Cooper, Director
Project 21 

Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment 

James Taylor, President
Heartland Institute

Morton Blackwell, President
The Leadership Institute

The Honorable George K Rasley Jr
Managing Editor, ConservativeHQ.com

Elaine Donnelly, President
Center for Military Readiness

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Martha Boneta, President
Vote America First

Becky Norton Dunlop, Director
Reagan Alumni Association

Bob Carlstrom, President
AMAC Action 

Ed Martin, President
Phyllis Schlafly Eagles 

Mario H. Lopez, President
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Bob McEwen
U.S. House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs 
Former Member, Ohio

Dee Stewart, President
Americans for a Balanced Budget


Fix US Intellectual Property Rights to Encourage Innovation

By George LandrithNewsmax

intellectual property word cloud
(ibreakstock/Dreamstime.com

One of the keys to America’s growth from 1776 to becoming the world’s strongest, most robust and innovative economy within a little more than 100 years is that our Constitution placed importance on both traditional land property rights and intellectual property rights.

Early in America’s history, land-oriented property rights caused our vast nation to be developed productively and efficiently. That fueled economic growth and helped “ordinary” Americas provide for themselves and accumulate some measure of wealth.

But as ideas, inventions and innovation became the primary engine to drive the economy, our nation’s focus on protecting intellectual property helped “ordinary” Americans not only provide for themselves, but also created a vibrant economy where “ordinary” Americans could aspire to and achieve the American dream.

Our Nation’s Founders were wise to include protecting intellectual property rights as one of Congress’ enumerated powers. And the First Congress was wise to create a system for copyright, patents, and the protection of intellectual property rights. That laid the groundwork for America to become the world’s greatest economic power.

The United States has been a leader in innovation since the early 19th century. This is because as a nation, we have respected intellectual property rights and thus incentivized and encouraged innovation. When there is economic and regulatory freedom and when property rights are respected, private enterprise will invest billions of dollars to innovate and create new technologies to solve real-world problems and provide valuable goods and services to the public.

But even something clearly good, useful, and productive can be misused and distorted and become a negative. Such is the case in the intellectual property rights arena. For example, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — combined with judicial activism — has created an untenable situation where design patents have morphed into a situation that does more to prevent innovation and stop competition than to protect or encourage real innovation.

Design patents have historically covered the design of an entire patented product. But now, unelected bureaucrats and some unelected judges have changed the concept of a design patent to mean that individualized parts of the larger patented product are also covered. One area where this causes consumers real problems and imposes real costs is with automobiles.

The morphing of the actual meaning of a design patent has allowed automobile design patents to mean that even parts like headlights, taillights, fenders and bumpers are covered by the patent. This means that consumers cannot buy alternative or competing parts. That means repairs cost more and consumers have fewer choices.

This problem was highlighted by the Consumer Federation of America’s Jack Gillis who testified before Congress:

“[C]ar companies are now using design patents, not for the important and legitimate protection of the overall design of their vehicles, but to prevent competition when it comes to getting the parts we need to repair our vehicles.”

Our patent system has traditionally served America well. In fact, it has served the entire world well. It fueled tremendous innovation and creativity and it provided tremendous competition which provided Americans with jobs, economic security, helpful products and medicines.

But the world has also benefited. The medical cures that were innovated in America under our system of intellectual property rights now cure diseases all over the globe.

But when unelected bureaucrats distort the law and the system and unelected judges stop adjudicating the law, but instead undertake to rewrite it, America’s system of constitutional government is subverted. Congress has the sole power to create our patent laws.

The Patent and Trademark Office has the power to implement those laws, but not to rewrite them. And judges have the power to apply the law and facts to disputes and to adjudicate them. But judges do not have the power to rewrite laws and essentially act as a super-Congress.

When the Patent and Trademark Office and judges act outside their authority, it is the American consumer who suffers. But those who have the resources to lobby bureaucrats and to fund endless litigation stand to benefit when our laws are bent and morphed to benefit them.

If your car needs a repair or if the hard drive on your computer needs to be replaced, the question is: Should the government be working to make it so that you cannot get the part you need except from one source? Being forced into one option means that option will be more costly and over time the quality will decline.

Competition forces all competitors to offer as much as they reasonably can for the best possible price. A lack of competition means that a single-source provider can provide whatever quality it likes and charge whatever it can get away with.

Unless Congress does something to stop the abuse of design patents and prevent partial-product or fragmented design patents from essentially eliminating aftermarket parts, consumers will face a shrinking set of options and costs will rise and even insurance premiums will rise. Congress needs to exercise its constitutional power to fix our patent laws.


Inflation Harms Americans & Small Business

Fairfax, VA – Frontiers of Freedom released the following statement from President, George Landrith, about a Report published by U.S. Senator Rand Paul on the harmful impact inflation is having on American families and small businesses. The full report — “The Hidden Tax: Inflation’s Effect on American Families and Small Businesses” — can be found HERE

Frontiers of Freedom President, George Landrith, said: 

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has done Americans everywhere a real service by bringing into focus how the hidden tax of inflation hits hardworking middle income and lower income Americans the hardest and how this hidden tax burdens and weakens small businesses from coast to coast. If you’re a billionaire, you can afford to absorb this hidden tax, but if you’re a lower income American or even a middle income American, this hidden tax increase hits you hard and steals your hard-earned dollars — making it harder to feed and clothe your children, and provide for their future. And if you’re running a small business, this hidden tax makes it harder to grow the business, hire new people, and pay the ones you’ve already got. Simply stated, this hidden tax can be the difference between making it, and not making it. 

Many Americans know what its like to have too much month, at the end of the money. But the hidden tax of inflation means that more and more Americans will have more and more of the month still to go when the money runs out. 

Senator Paul correctly points out that one of the primary causes of this hidden tax is the almost $5 Trillion that was spent on COVID stimulus. Those who promoted this out of control spending argued it would benefit American families and small businesses. But as usual, it was America’s families and small businesses that are suffering as a result of this so-called COVID-stimulus. The primary beneficiary was government and allies of big government who grew at unprecedented rates. But American’s incomes and small businesses took unprecedented hits.  Americans have seen the power of their paychecks shrink and small businesses have been forced to close because they cannot bear the hidden tax burden that inflation has imposed upon them. 

The bad news is that so many in Congress see nothing wrong with out of control spending that caused this economic catastrophe. And the truth is it isn’t likely to get better nearly soon enough. For example, the Producer Price Index (PPI) reveals that prices for businesses have jumped by nearly 10 percent during 2021. That is the largest one year increase in prices in the history of the Labor Department tracking such information. And if businesses are seeing those kind of price increases, they will continue to fail and we will continue to see prices rise. This will severely limit the recovery and opportunity for Americans who desperately need a break from the bad news the last two years has brought. This is a 100% self imposed problem. We did this to ourselves. Or more precisely, the big-government apologists in government did this to us.

Frontiers of Freedom and the millions of Americans who support our work and our mission statement in all fifty states express our sincere thanks to Senator Paul for speaking out about inflation. More importantly, he has correctly identified why inflation is hitting us so hard. Getting government spending under control is necessary for at least two important reasons — first, we cannot saddle future generations with mountains of debt. But secondly, we don’t need to look to future generations to see how harmful out of control spending can be — here and now, we cannot continue to impose the hidden and heavy taxes of inflation on so many struggling Americans. 


Now Profits Are a Justification for Discrimination?

In what amounts to state-orchestrated discrimination, California is using bizarre grounds to mandate racial and gender diversity on corporate boards.

By Kenin M. SpivakNational Review

The trial commenced this week in Crest v. Padilla, a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch to enjoin California from requiring that publicly held corporations headquartered in California include at least one director who “self-identifies” as a woman. Pursuant to California’s SB 826, by the end of 2021, up to three self-identified women will be required, depending on the size of the board.

In September 2020, two years after enacting SB 826, California went even further, when Governor Newsom signed AB 979 into law. That law requires that California-headquartered public companies also include at least one director from an “underrepresented community,” and by the end of 2022, up to three such directors, depending on the size of the board. The statute defines a “director from an underrepresented community” to be an individual who “self‑identifies as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who self‑identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.” Arabs, Armenians, Persians, and Turks, who often are viewed as non-European whites, are excluded from the list of favored minority groups.

A small board could appoint a Rachel Dolezal who self-identifies as an African-American woman to satisfy both requirements. Or, if the board can find biological white males who identify as Alaskan Natives or use the pronoun “she,” they (meaning all of them, not “they” in the royal or gender fluid sense) could satisfy both statutes with a board consisting only of confused white males.

California’s corporations are rejecting this social engineering. In March 2021, the California secretary of state reported that of 647 companies to which SB 826 applies, only 311 reported compliance. At least 50 companies avoided compliance with both statutes by leaving the state or going private.*

Judicial Watch has also sued to enjoin AB 979. That action is in its discovery phase. Both Judicial Watch actions were filed in state court and assert that California laws pertaining to race, ethnicity, sexual preference, and transgender status are presumptively invalid, and taxpayer-funded resources may not be used to implement such laws absent a compelling government interest. Judicial Watch alleges that the California legislature knew these bills to be unlawful when enacted and that the laws cannot pass strict scrutiny.

Though a Judicial Watch victory on SB 826 likely would presage a victory in its similar action against AB 979, three federal lawsuits have potentially greater national implications. Merland v. Weber and Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment (AFBR) v. Weber allege that both statutes violate the 14th Amendment and federal civil-rights laws. The National Center for Public Policy Research last week filed a complaint with the novel premise that the California statutes violate shareholder rights to vote for board nominees based on merit, free of government-imposed race, sex, and sexual orientation quotas.

When it passed SB 826, California’s legislature did not claim that California companies discriminate against female candidates for director. Instead, the legislature cited reports that gender diversity may improve a corporation’s financial performance. For AB 979, the legislature cited reports suggesting that racial diversity among executives might enhance earnings. The legislature did not cite any evidence that racial diversity on corporate boards improves performance, and academic studies have failed to establish that link.All Our Opinion in Your Inbox

The AFBR lawsuit alleges that the reports supporting AB 826 were not peer reviewed, or the result of sound statistical analysis. By contrast, numerous peer-reviewed studies analyzed by Jonathan Klick of the American Enterprise Institute have found no effect, or even a negative effect, from increased board diversity. And a study published last week found “a robust and significantly negative stock market reaction” to California’s gender quota mandate.

Beyond the lack of factual evidence, it is remarkable that progressives now identify profit as a “compelling interest” that overrides the heavy burden of using race, ethnicity or gender as the basis for state-orchestrated discrimination. And, despite the legislature’s rationale for the benefits of diversity, both statutes permit a board to exclude all whites and men. The hypocrisy is stunning.

California is not alone. By 2020, a dozen states had enacted or were poised to enact requirements to enhance diversity on boards, though most of the proposals stop at disclosure. Superficially, that is the approach taken by Nasdaq, which recently received SEC approval to require companies trading on Nasdaq to publicly disclose board diversity statistics and explain any failure to have at least two “diverse” directors, including one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an “underrepresented minority” or LGTBQ+.

It has been axiomatic that the purpose of a board is to maximize shareholder value. Doing so requires experience and acumen. The Sarbanes–Oxley Act and the Dodd–Frank Act place onerous obligations on directors, particularly independent directors and members of the audit committee. The SEC has long required public companies to disclose biographical information about each director. In 2009, the SEC also required companies to explain “the specific experience, qualifications, attributes or skills that led to the conclusion that the person should serve as a director.”

Until fairly recently, a hugely disproportionate share of individuals with the necessary experience and skills to serve as directors were white men. But, by 2018, 25 percent of Fortune 100 board seats were held by women and 19.5 percent by minorities. Without government mandates, the boards of public companies have continued to become more diverse. The percentage of Fortune 500 boards with greater than 40 percent diversity has more than doubled in the last ten years.

Not only is this progress insufficient for progressives, but they reject the premise that corporations should maximize shareholder value, or that directors should be selected based on talent. Rather, their priority is “equity,” meaning that jobs are awarded to achieve parity with each group’s percentage in the population, regardless of qualifications.

It is difficult to see how the California laws comply with the Constitution, or federal law.

Racial balancing can never satisfy the compelling-interest requirement for racial and gender preferences. Chief Justice John Roberts succinctly reiterated this in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007):

Accepting racial balancing as a compelling state interest would justify the imposition of racial proportionality throughout American society, contrary to our repeated recognition that at the heart of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection lies the simple command that the Government must treat citizens as individuals, not as simply components of a racial, religious, sexual or national class.

The U.S. Supreme Court also has held that “racial classifications are antithetical to the Fourteenth Amendment, whose ‘central purpose’ was ‘to eliminate racial discrimination emanating from official sources in the States’” (Shaw v. Hunt [1996], quoting McLaughlin v. Florida [1964]). More than once the Court observed that “distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people” (e.g., Rice v. Cayetano [2000] and Hirabayashi v. United States [1943]).

Though the criteria for gender is somewhat more flexible, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in United States v. Virginia (1996), the “inherent differences between men and women” cannot justify the “denigration of the members of either sex,” support the imposition of “artificial constraints on an individual’s opportunity,” or permit government to “rely on overbroad generalizations about the different talents, capacities, or preferences of males and females.” Last year, in Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court extended the prohibition against sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status.

The Supreme Court has applied prohibitions on state action to a private company when the state requires the unlawful act. In California, the improper acts are specifically mandated by the state, at risk of escalating fines.

The destructive fixation on race and gender has had profoundly negative effects on education, the military, government, science, and other sectors. With the quality of corporate boards at America’s largest corporations now under siege, the outcome will not be any better.


Regulatory Barriers to 5G Threaten to Cede Critical Ground to China

By George LandrithNewsmax

To many Americans, the widespread deployment of 5G technology means faster download speeds on their mobile device.

While that is absolutely one of the real benefits of 5G technology, it is a great deal more than that. In fact, the U.S. maintaining its high tech advantage in the 5G arena has national security implications.It also has widespread economic importance. It is also critically important that 5G technology be American, and not Chinese technology — not for reasons of national pride, but because national security matters.

For this reason, we need U.S. policymakers to remove unnecessary impediments to American innovation and deployment in the 5G arena. The truth is that China is hoping that our regulatory regimes will slow and impede American innovation and the speed of implementation of this new technology so that we leave the window open for China to dominate the world in 5G technology.One of the current impediments to 5G progress is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which despite having no actual evidence for vaguely stated concerns, nonetheless alleges that maybe 5G technology will interfere with altimeters in older helicopters and older small private planes. Without providing any specifics or data, the FAA is throwing up roadblocks.

I am confident that we all agree that if expanding 5G technology were going to mean planes falling out of the skies, we would all want to put the breaks on. But the FAA hasn’t provided any real transparency to its vague concerns or any significant specifics and there is zero evidence that 5G technology interferes with altimeters.But it’s not just that the FAA hasn’t provided any factual support. The truth is this issue has been heavily studied by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which regulates the usage of wireless spectrum to be sure it doesn’t create conflicts. Roughly 40 other countries have also studied this issue and they all agree that there is no harmful interference with 5G and altimeters.Why didn’t the FAA raise any concerns over American planes already flying to these countries?

On a practical level, around the globe there are a number of 5G cell towers. Some of them are near airfields and there has been no observed interference with altimeters.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has concluded: “[E]ven though 5G has already been deployed in several States around the world, we are not aware of any reported occurrence that relates to possible interference originating from 5G base stations.”While China may be able to give American consumers a better internet connection (as American technology would also clearly do), the communist country will not promote economic growth around the globe and certainly not in America. Moreover, because 5G technology will be more than just faster connection speeds, but will also be the “internet of things” and allow for our devices to communicate with each other (to the extent we authorize that), 5G technology will open up thousands of new businesses just as smartphones did.

The sharing economy — exemplified by Uber and Lyft and Airbnb — was made possible by smartphone technology.

In the same way, but probably multiplied by a factor of one thousand, 5G technology will become the foundation of thousands of amazing ideas that will make the lives of consumers more convenient. It will create millions of new jobs and greater opportunity for more and more people.

But if we hamstring our own industries and entrepreneurs, the totalitarian regime in China will gladly fill the void. And if China deploys 5G technology, privacy and security will take a huge hit.The Chinese regime has been gathering online data on Americans for decades. Dominating and defining the technology that will be built into your phone and later into household appliances will give the totalitarian regime unprecedented access to all of our private information — perhaps even how much milk we have in the refrigerator.

But the other problem would be a very serious national security issue. Can you imagine having 5G chips in military hardware that could give the totalitarian regime access to intelligence and even the ability to turn off the hardware?

Imagine our missile defense being turned off because we ceded 5G technology to China.

Experts and policymakers from all sides of the political spectrum agree that 5G technology does not pose risks to altimeters. So if the FAA has some secret information that it has yet to reveal, it should provide transparency and reveal precisely what its concerns are as well as the scientific and data basis for such concerns.

Otherwise, the FAA needs to work in good faith and allow America to continue to be the world’s high tech leader and innovator. Our national economic wellbeing and our national security hang in the balance.


Plan Now To Use Technology To Prevent The Next Crisis

By Peter RoffThe Greeneville Sun

It’s time to be honest. Despite all the scientific chatter, nobody yet has a handle on the COVID-19 crisis. No one can pinpoint for certain where or how it started. No one knows when it will end.

The possibility COVID may be with us for some time (despite predictions by Dr. Anthony Fauci and others that we can expect positive news sometime in 2023) is real. By then, if Fauci and others are right, we’ll have learned to live with it, managing the inevitable outbreaks similar to how we handle the flu. That, however, will require planning, making changes to the health care device and pharmaceutical approval process, and a reliance on technology.

Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration’s initiative to cut federal red tape and get the pharmaceutical industry to work finding a coronavirus vaccine, was a game-changer. It gave every American hope that a solution was on the horizon. The vaccines it produced have largely been effective, however, there’s still uncertainty about their efficacy long-term.

The current thinking is that at least one booster shot will be needed. The emergence of the Delta variant has been a setback, triggering calls for mandates including masks, vaccines and special travel passports. Uncertainty lingers, making it incumbent on leaders in the political, scientific, and media arenas to stay focused on innovative ways to address Americans’ concerns.

The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization both say now that COVID is transmitted through tiny droplets and aerosols spread through indoor spaces. Fighting that means thinking differently. To accomplish this, we should rely on private industry initiatives to develop ways to eliminate airborne pathogens and limit the possibility of surface transmissions. When one comes along, we should talk about it and celebrate it because, like the vaccines produced through Operation Warp Speed, it provides hope as well as an added layer of protection.

One technology showing great promise is an air purification system known as ActivePure, originally developed by NASA. The technology seeks out pathogens through a process known as advanced photocatalysis, which sends out submicroscopic particles in real time to deactivate pathogens, including COVID-19 and other viruses.

ActivePure’s proactive air defense system is already being used in high-risk indoor environments including the Cleveland Clinic, The Texas State Capitol, and Philadelphia’s public schools. Additionally, groups like ThermoFisher Scientific are in the process of rolling out new aerosol sensor monitoring technology, potentially allowing hospitals, nursing homes, and schools to track for the presence of the virus, providing critical knowledge to inform mitigation strategies.

Innovators are hard at work creating solutions for retailers as well. Intel’s RealSense TCS is a touchless control software that converts kiosks into touchless interfaces without radically modifying the intuitive user experience. These changes are helping get brick and mortar establishments back in business safely.

No one can predict the future. America’s leadership in the health sciences is a vital part of the process of exploration that will produce novel approaches to block the spread of the pathogens leading to outbreaks of COVID-19 and other viruses.

The lockdowns throughout 2020 did not work as intended – and severely hurt a booming economy. A different strategy is required for the next outbreak. This will require the government to expedite the regulatory approval process in key areas, and partner with forward-thinking start-ups, while embracing new innovations to prepare for the next national health emergency.


The False Claims Amendments Act (S. 2428) Would Obliterate Due Process and Constitutional Standards

The following is a letter that Frontiers of Freedom President, George Landrith, sent to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 26, 2021, stating our opposition to the destruction of due process, the rule of law, and constitutional principles:

. . .

It is our understanding the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a markup to discuss S. 2428, the “False Claims Amendments Act of 2021.”  On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of Frontiers of Freedom, we ask that you oppose this counterproductive bill as it does great violence to the rule of law. This bill would actually weaken the False Claims Act (FCA) and it would undermine due process and foundational rule of law principles that have made our nation a shinning city on the hill. A vote in favor of this bill is a vote to send us into a lawless abyss where government power will be regularly abused by imposing criminal sanctions using ever lower standards of proof and eroding due process.  

It is worth remembering that on June 16, 2016 the US Supreme Court unanmously held in Universal Health Services v. United States, ex rel. Escobar, that the materiality element is “demanding” and “rigorous” and the FCA “is not ‘an all-purpose antifraud statute’ or a vehicle for punishing garden-variety breaches of contract or regulatory violations.”  S. 2428 would undermine several important elements of our nation’s long standing legal foundations by lowering the burden of proof for the government and the evidentiary standards for materiality to the point where a defendant could be considered guilty until proven innocent and where a defendant could be convicted of criminal voilations of the law based not on a beyond a reasonable doubt standard, but on a perpondernace of the evience standard. Additionally, this legislation would apply retroactively — violating yet another important constitutional standard.

We ask you to vigorouly oppose S. 2428, the False Claims Amendments Act of 2021, during committee consideration.  Given the rather grotesque constitutional violations contained in this bill, it should die in committee.  However, if the committee reports the bill to the full Senate, we also strongly urge you to continue to oppose this bill. We will be scoring any vote on bill, including procedural votes, because it is too important to ignore. Our millions of members and supporters all across the nation will want to know who voted to support the rule of law and who voted to turn the Constitution on its head.

It is also worth noting that we support Sen. Cotton’s proposed amendment to remove all language from S.2428 except the Sec. 6 portion that provides for a GAO study of the benefits and challenges of the FCA and the effectiveness of the FCA.

Sincerely,

George Landrith
President
Frontiers of Freedom


Frontiers of Freedom Makes Major TV Buy in DC-Northern Virginia Market with 2-Minute Spot Saying Candidate McAuliffe Made “Corrupt Political Bargain” with Extreme Left and Asking that He Disavow Radical Agenda — Especially His Plan To Destroy Single-Family Neighborhoods and Suburbs

Terry McCauliffe’s Horrible Vision for Virginia

Long format, story-telling TV SPOT IN  DC-Northern Virginia market SAYMCAULIFFE IS CHOSEN CANDIDATE OF MEDIA AND TECH GIANTS WHO ARE PROTECTING HIM. SO VIRGINIANS MUST QUESTION MCAULIFFE ABOUT:

“CORRUPT POLITICAL BARGAIN” WITH LEFT WING OF HIS PARTY TO DESTROY SINGLE FAMILY NEIGHBORHOODS

MCAULIFFE PLAN WOULD END SINGLE-FAMILY NEIGHBORHOODS AND CRAM HIGH DENSITY HOUSING INTO SUBURBS

Ties McAuliffe to liberal extremists and says he would also support:

    •  Critical Race theory teaching ugly Anti-American falsehoods to school children

    •  Defund the Police

    •  Continuing illegal immigration crisis ….influx of MS-13 gangs in Northern Virginia

    •  Persecution of Catholic religious orders

    •  ACLU anti-religious extremism and attacks on Church tax-deductions

CONSERVATIVE GROUP ASKS WHY MCAULIFFE WON’T DISAVOW HIS EXTREMIST ALLIES – THE RADICAL LIBERALS AND THEIR BIG BUSINESS ALLIES AND THE WALL ST. BARONS

The people of Virginia won’t stand for it..”

Ask Terry McAuliffe and the liberal extremists and their billionaire allies why they don’t know  …. THEY CAN’T HAVE AMERICA.  THEY CAN’T HAVE VIRGINIA.”

….

****                                               ***                                       ****

………

STATEMENT GEORGE LANDRITH, PRESIDENT, FRONTIERS OF FREEDOM FOUNDATION

………

For further information — George Landrith at 703-246-0110, ext. 1302 

………

Washington D.C.  —  George Landrith, President of  the Frontiers of Freedom Foundation, announced today his group is running long format, 120 second (2 minute) spots on TV news shows in the DC Northern Virginia media market to “make Terry McAuliffe come out from cover and face the crucial questions the media is protecting him from having him to answer.”

The tv spot was shown for the first time Sunday night on Fox affiliate  WTTG’shighly-rated 10 pm news and will run through the week on that channel and other local DC-Northern Virginia channels. 

DESTROYING THE SUBURBS — The spot’s major focus is on McAuliffe’s plan to destroy single family zoning by empowering the federal government to dictate local zoning decisions.

In showing  pictures of Black and Hispanic families well as young people seeking a first home, the spot says such a plan would destroy the aspirations of many Americans who now have a chance to live in safe, family-friendly neighborhoods. 

WALL ST.  GREED  — We also highlight the fact that ‘the woke’ management of Wall St firms are buying suburban properties because they think they can make money eventually off this Washington land-grab.”

MCAULIFFE CORRUPT POLITICAL BARGAIN — Terry McAuliffe got the Democratic nomination for governor by pushing aside promising young leadership in his own party and making a corrupt political bargain with the Left wing extremists to support their radical agenda.”

THE REST OF THE EXTREME LEFT AGENDA — “Terry McAuliffe needs to be asked if he will disavow the support of his other liberal allies who support a radical agenda.”

Our spot shows these issues and provides back up about them including Critical Race theory teaching ugly Anti-American falsehoods to school children, defund the police, continue the illegal immigration crisis and influx of MS-13 gangs in Northern Virginia, the persecution of Catholic religious orders, and ACLU anti-religious extremism and attacks on Church tax-deductions. 

NOT ATTACK ADS — “These are not 30 second attack ads that try to manipulate people, but heavily informative narrative ads that tell the story of Terry McAuliffe’s extremist views and plans.” Landrith said. 

Landrith notes his group’s TV spot asserts that McAuliffe is “the chosen candidate of the media and tech giants” and that Virginians must ask him the questions the liberal media will not.

BACKUP TO ALL ALLEGATIONS —  The spots shows newspaper articles about the controversy and argues that McAuliffe’s plan is essential that of President Biden and features a large picture of former HUD Secretary Ben Carson who wrote a Wall St op-ed saying the Biden plan would destroy suburban neighborhoods.

Virginians need to ask McAuliffe why he endorses the Biden-Schumer – Pelosi plan that has already been enacted in some places like California and Minnesota that would permit federal bureaucrats to dictate to local towns and cities and destroy the American dream of single-family neighborhoods.”

WHAT ASKING MCAULIFFE THE TOUGH QUESTIONS WILL DO — “By making McAuliffe answer these questions, Virginians will be sending a strong message.  They will be telling the radical liberals and their big business allies, and the Wall St. barons that the people of Virginia won’t stand for it.  And Terry McAuliffe and the liberal extremists and their billionaire allies will discover theycan’t have America. They can’t have Virginia.”

HERE IS THE SCRIPT OF THE TWO-MINUTE TV SPOT

Terry McAuliffe… chosen candidate of the media and tech giants…helping him hide from the people of Virginia

McAuliffe’s plan? override local zoning and force the construction of high-density, low income housing projects in residential neighborhoods.

Under the McAuliffe plan, federal bureaucrats would dictate to local towns and cities…cramming apartment complexes into single- family neighborhoods. 

This plan is opposed by:

— The majority of Blacks and Hispanics — once shut out of single family neighborhoods – who now want the right to live in one.

— Young Americans who aspire to the American dream of a single-family home in a family-friendly neighborhood.

— People now fleeing the crime and disorder of Democrat run cities.

Terry McAuliffe’s threat to the suburbs is no exaggeration.  

The Biden-Pelosi-Schumer-McAuliffe plan is already underway. Newsom in California recently moved to abolish zoning.

Former HUD Secretary Ben Carson warned against this ugly liberal power-grab.  

A Clinton-era grifter…Wall St money mover… pushing aside young leadership in his own party to help extremist climate liberals who hate the suburbs 

the McAuliffe plan helps Wall St barons gobble up suburban property and profit off of high-density housing    

Terry McAuliffe made a corrupt political bargain with the extremist left wing of the Democratic Party giving him the party nomination

He has allied himself with those who support:

Destroying Virginia’s suburbs…

Critical Race theory – teaching ugly Anti-American falsehoods to school children

Defund the Police

Continuing the illegal immigration crisis and influx of MS-13 gangs in Northern Virginia

The persecution of Catholic religious orders

ACLU anti-religious extremism and attacks on Church tax-deductions

Terry McAuliffe will never face these questions from the media who favor him

So ask Terry McAuliffe why he wants to use Virginia to pay off his extremist allies… destroy suburban neighborhoods…and Destroy the American dream of a single family home.

Ask him about his ties to THE EXTREMIST LIBERALS, HIS BIG BUSINESS ALLIES AND WALL ST. BARONS

Ask Terry McAuliffe if he understands the people of Virginia won’t stand for it

That the extremists and their billionaire allies

… CAN’T HAVE AMERICA

 THEY CAN’T HAVE VIRGINIA.

……..

……..


Postal Bill Puts Big Government, Special Interests at Front of the Line

By George LandrithNewsmax

united states postal service emblem and logo
(Debra Millet/Dreamstime.com)

Possible changes to the U.S. Postal Service are gaining significant momentum as Congress continues its legislative deliberations this summer. The proposal vehicle in question, known as the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA), received positive reviews in the House of Representatives, and a Senate version was also recently released.

Despite accumulating 63 pages of legislative text, the bill emphasizes fiscal sleight of hand to achieve short-term stabilization, while leaving a massive amount of the Postal Service’s future in doubt.

The hallmark of the package is a $46 billion bailout of healthcare benefit provisions. These unfunded liabilities have added up since the USPS began defaulting on payments for retiree benefits in 2012.

The depths of such blanket debt forgiveness should be enough to make fiscal conservatives cringe at the sight of more government intervention — especially when the federal government is more rightly looking to support key U.S. industries, small businesses and job creators who were badly affected over the past year due to no fault of their own.

Another cringe-worthy issue with the proposal is a bizarre element that would further reduce the Postal Service’s monitoring of its own costs and revenue inflows. As the agency’s multi-billion-dollar losses persist year after year, it hardly makes sense to dial back transparency and leave accounting managers off the hook.

The provision in question involves a statute that calls for the Postal Service to ”maintain an integrated network for the delivery of market-dominant and competitive products.” To be sure, it is sensible that the Postal Service carries both letter mail and packages together for the sake of delivery efficiency from one address to the next. In this sense the USPS already has an ”integrated network.” However, as a government-chartered operation, the Postal Service must be compelled to fully articulate the financial differences between its essential public service, and its products that are subject to the risks of the competitive market.

With this glaring understanding, lawmakers should be outraged by this ”integrated network” item that blurs the lines of the Postal Service’s finances. The chaotic nature of USPS fiscal management truly demands that we don’t throw away essential precautions. Instead, more analytical tools must be used to reinforce transparency about the separate impacts of every service — mail, packages and everything else.

With the PSRA, the Postal Service would benefit from major fiscal flexibilities, while it would also enjoy diminished responsibilities when it comes to delivery performance goals. This prospect of even more delayed mail delivery, coupled with all the irresponsibility of reform should be especially concerning to key Senate leaders.

Policymakers including Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Sen. Mitt Romney R-Utah, must be especially concerned about the nature of deeply consequential bailouts and leaving millions of constituents who rely on the mail hanging out to dry.

Forcing American customers, especially those in harder to reach rural areas, to deal with more frequent mail slowdowns and higher stamps prices simply only adds insult to injury.

In parallel with the PSRA, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has proposed a 10-year business plan for the Postal Service, which assumes that Congress will agree to the $46 billion liability bailout in order to kick-start systemic changes that would rebalance costs and revenues. However, these important plans may never see the light of day. Democrat leaders in Congress have spent JanuaryMarch, and June organizing campaigns to ensure that Postmaster General DeJoy is soon fired from his role.

Senate leaders must be wise to see how the grand Postal Service bargain is destined to burst at the seams and there is simply no reason to swallow this bitter legislative pill. The political ramifications of Postal Service reform demands all-inclusive measures, and it is entirely clear that the Postal Service Reform Act is incomplete and would be detrimental for Americans.


Worldwide Taxation of U.S. Companies Puts The U.S. Economy at Risk

By J.P. Lucier

In the years after World War II, the United States dominated the world economy–so much so that no other nation came close to the U.S. in its global influence and economic might. 

But this dominance meant that the United States had no concerns about competing powers or threats to U.S. prosperity. Other countries did have to worry, so they constantly worked to make their tax and regulatory system more competitive. Over time, other countries surpassed the U.S. in various ways. 

A Modern Tax Code

One of the most important ways that other countries surpassed the U.S. was in modernizing their tax codes. A modern tax system avoids double taxation of capital income and has the lowest possible corporate tax rate. A modern tax system also recognized the global economy. To be strong at home, and to serve foreign markets, companies usually need to produce and build factories in the markets they serve. This does not mean moving jobs overseas. It means keeping headquarters jobs in the home country. The headquarters jobs are associated with management and R&D. Headquarters jobs produce a disproportionate share of income and represent the highest salaries and benefits. The more operations overseas, the stronger the headquarters is at home. The point of having a global operation is to support the home base. 

Therefore, beginning especially in the 1970s and 1980s, countries began to adopt tax systems that encouraged their home companies to go global and earn foreign profits that could make the home companies stronger, resulting in better jobs and more R&D in the home market. The new model of taxation was territorial. Home companies paid taxes at home, and they paid taxes on their foreign operations in foreign countries. There was no barrier to bringing profits home. Also, importantly, business decisions in one country had no bearing on business decisions in another country, at least for tax purposes. Under a territorial principle, every country was independent, and so there was no need to worry that tax policy in one country would interact with another. Also, a business decision in one country would have no adverse tax consequences in another. The territorial principle is all about simplicity on one level. But it is also about growing a global network that supports the home office. 

The U.S. Lags Behind 

Ironically, the United States was the victor in World War II, but it saw no reason to update its pre-World War II tax system. Before World War II, the model for international business was export trade. Companies made widgets in their home countries, and they exported them overseas. For a long time, the United States was the best place and most competitive place to make widgets, so the U.S. tax system relied on taxing overseas sales. The U.S. tax system worked on what is called a worldwide principle since U.S. companies paid taxes in the U.S. on their worldwide income. This made sense when international trade was mostly about trade involving exported goods, and the U.S. was far and away the best place for manufacturing, farming, mining, and many types of business. But over time, the nature of trade changed. Trade became more about intellectual property, and international investment, to build a global network production that supported the home base, or the headquarters operation, by sending profits home. But while most other countries in the OECD adopted the territorial principle, the U.S. stubbornly insisted that U.S. companies should be taxed worldwide. One result of this was that any business decision overseas had both foreign and U.S. tax consequences, which made business planning complicated. 

Then another thing happened. It was President Ronald Reagan’s Tax Reform Act of 1986. Reagan cut the corporate tax rate from 50 percent to 35 percent. At the time, this was one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world. Suddenly other countries began to cut their corporate tax rates too and kept cutting them, to be more attractive as company headquarters. By 2017, other countries had cut their tax rates so much that the United States had the highest corporate tax rate in the OECD—and the other countries, the United States applied its corporate tax rate of 35 percent on a worldwide basis. This meant that if U.S. companies made money overseas, they had to pay U.S. tax on any profits they brought home. Since the U.S. tax rate was higher than all foreign tax rates, and sometimes much higher, this meant that companies avoided bringing profits home for reinvestment in the U.S. Instead, they declared they declared their foreign profits to be permanently reinvested overseas as a way of avoiding U.S. tax on repatriated earnings.  This defeated the purpose of a tax policy to support global trade. Instead of allowing money to flow home, U.S. tax policy pushed investment dollars overseas. The U.S. had adopted a “Do Not Invest in America” policy.

Headquarters Move Overseas

There was something even worse that happened. Headquarters offices with headquarters jobs started moving overseas. This is because foreign companies were able to buy U.S. companies on a scale that had never been possible before. Foreign companies could buy U.S. companies because they could afford to pay a higher price for U.S. companies than U.S. companies or investors could.  Indeed, foreign companies could pay more than U.S. companies for acquisitions outside the United States as well. 

The price one pays for a company is a multiple of the after-tax income it produces. If a company produces $1 million in earnings per year, and the valuation multiple for that industry is ten times, then a foreign investor that pays no foreign taxes on its U.S. income can buy the company in the U.S. for $10 million. This is called an inbound acquisition. However, if a U.S. company wanted to buy a foreign country overseas, in an outbound acquisition, it would have to account for the difference between foreign taxes and U.S. taxes.  If the tax rate in the foreign country was 20 percent, about the OECD, average, then the U.S. company would have to account for a 15 percent difference between the foreign taxes and the U.S. taxes. The U.S. company buying a foreign company would effectively pay a 15 percent tax on its purchase, whereas the foreign company buying a U.S. company would pay no additional tax at home. 

By the early 2000s, foreign companies were buying U.S. companies at an impressive rate. To some extent, this reflected the globalization of the economy and increased prosperity worldwide since World War II, which is a good thing. But because of the tax differential, the number of inbound acquisitions of foreign companies buying U.S. companies far exceeded the number of comparable outbound acquisitions in which U.S. companies bought foreign companies. This had two results. One was that iconic U.S. brand names and companies started moving overseas, and the corporate headquarters jobs that had been in the U.S. moved overseas as well. Famous American companies with foreign owners now include Chrysler (French), Budweiser (Belgian), Ben & Jerry’s (Dutch), Good Humor (Dutch), Burger King (Brazilian), and even Kraft Heinz (also Brazilian). But the real impact came in pharmaceuticals, where Europeans were not far behind the U.S. and competitive to begin with. The greatest U.S. pharma companies started moving steadily to Europe. The crown jewel of America’s industrial R&D, Bell Labs, similarly became a French company with its parent, Lucent Technologies, was acquired by Alcatel in 2007.  As a result, at least in part, the U.S. has no manufacturer of 5G telecom equipment. 

The other impact had to do with startup companies, which are often a source of innovation, growth, and intellectual property. When a U.S. company competed with a foreign company to buy a startup, the foreign company often won because it could pay a higher price. The U.S. company could not pay as much, because it had to factor the OECD’s highest corporate tax rate into what it could afford to pay. 

More recently still, China has entered the scene. Chinese companies are subsidized at home, and they pay no Chinese taxes on their foreign earnings. Chinese companies have been aggressively buying startup and mature companies alike in the U.S. and Europe. 

Where has this led us? Chinese companies are buying top startups and smaller firms with attractive technology portfolios.  U.S. companies have been reliant on Chinese suppliers since the U.S. tax code makes it cheaper to buy from Chinese suppliers than to build factories and facilities in the U.S., or to produce in China from U.S.-owned facilities. In the time of the covid pandemic, the U.S. is dependent on China for most of its basic medical supplies. In a world where 5G will soon dominate the airwaves, and become the basis for the Internet of Things, the U.S. has no company that produces 5G telecom equipment. It’s a tax-induced disaster, made all the more dangerous by China’s aggressive intentions to dominate the world and impose its authoritarian style of government elsewhere. 

Fixing the Problem 

President Donald Trump recognized the problem. President Trump’s tax reform did two things right away. First, it lowed the corporate tax to 21 percent, which is about the middle of the pack in the OECD–not the highest, not the lowest, but close to the average and competitive. Then, it adopted the same territorial principle that nearly all of the major trading partners of the U.S. in the OECD use, so the United States was suddenly more competitive that way too. In a big change from its post-war arrogance, the U.S. studied the lessons of foreign countries. It may come to the surprise of many, but Trump’s all-American, America-first tax reform was designed to make the U.S. tax code look like the tax codes of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, which long before the United States ever existed were already among the most successful trading nations of all time, and whose Anglo-Dutch model of shareholder capitalism was the foundation of the U.S. economy as well. 

But to address three uniquely American problems, President Trump built three features into his tax system. One feature was designed to make sure that income earned in the United States was actually taxed in the United States, and not exported to lower-tax countries through leaks in the nominally worldwide but also obsolete and antiquated tax code of the U.S.  This was called the Base Erosion and Anti-abuse Tax (BEAT). Another feature was designed to deal with the problem of U.S. industries that were based primarily on intellectual property, such as tech and pharma, earning profits overseas but never sending these profits back to the U.S. because of U.S. tax. This was a tax on a category of income called Global Intangible Low Taxed-Income (GILTI). For example, before BEAT, the world’s most valuable company, Apple, shifted many of its U.S. profits into low-tax Ireland. Also, before GILTI, Apple made profits worldwide and moved these profits to Ireland as well, never paying U.S. tax or moving the profits back to the U.S. GILTI respects the territorial principle, and it does not tax U.S. companies making normal profits in a foreign country. However, the tax applies a test for supernormal profits, and if a company is making more than a 10 percent return in any country, GILTI assumes that some of the unusually high profits in the foreign country result from shifting profits out of the United States, and therefore it applies a certain level of U.S. tax to them. Then there is the tax on Foreign Derived Intangible Income (FDII). This is a tax on income that results from unusually high profits on export sales of goods made in the U.S. FDII assumes that some of these supernormal profits result from headquarters activity, R&D, or patents and intellectual property held in the United States, so in this case, it applies a level of U.S. tax as well. 

GILTI and FDII are designed to work in complement to one another. To discourage companies from moving their patent portfolios or research operations to foreign countries, GILTI and FDII have incentives and penalties to make sure that no country in the world offers better tax treatment of intellectual property for U.S. companies, but also that the U.S. tax treatment of U.S. intellectual property is the most favorable in the world. Together, GILTI and FDII mimic something called a “patent box,” which is used in the UK and European countries to ensure that intellectual property gets a preferential rate in those countries, as long as the R&D was performed there and the resulting patents are housed there as well. 

Don’t Turn Back the Clock 

For a long time, the United States pursued unilateral disarmament with regard to tax policy while other countries engaged in an arms race to make their tax systems more competitive. We see the result in the loss of U.S. headquarters companies from the U.S. and the dangerous ascendancy of China, which seeks to dominate and monopolize the technologies of the future while putting them at the service of its totalitarian system. President Trump put the U.S. back on the offensive and at the top of its game. 

But President Joe Biden comes to office with a different set of values, in which government supposedly drives economic growth, and the government imposes high corporate taxes to support the welfare state, redistribute income, and reward its favored constitutions such as big labor. The major reason the United States took decades to overhaul its tax system while other countries made rapid progress is that labor unions fought to keep the U.S. on a worldwide tax basis. They argued the only possible reason for a U.S. company to locate overseas was to avoid U.S. labor costs, and for that matter, U.S. labor unions. But in fact, this is a view of global business that is decades behind the times. The primary model for global business today is not the export of commodities and manufactured from products from the U.S. That is important but is even more important for U.S. industries based on intellectual property to be able to operate anywhere, and for companies that serve foreign markets to support their U.S. headquarters by building factories and facilities around the world that still get their competitive edge from the U.S. knowledge economy.  Big Labor wants to turn back the clock, and retreat to an outdated economic model, while China, with a more modern tax system, threatens both U.S. prosperity and national security, and even friendly trading partners have been acquiring many of our best and brightest companies and moving their headquarters overseas in a lopsided, one-way flow of mergers and acquisitions.

The Trump tax reform is a territorial system that makes the U.S. competitive with its top trading partners. The Trump tax reform incorporates GILTI, FDII, BEAT, to make sure that the U.S. benefits from U.S. intellectual property while also enjoying the financial benefits and good jobs that come to headquarters companies at the center of a global network. But Biden’s view is different. He wants to go back to a worldwide system, where U.S. companies have the highest tax rate in the OECD at home and must pay a global minimum on their overseas earrings as well. The problem is that China has no global minimum tax, and China is the biggest threat today.

———————————————————————————————————————-

J.P. Lucier is a tax policy analyst.


WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com