The Center for a Free Economy knows that good regulatory policy is the handmaid of good fiscal policy. Those who invest capital and create jobs need to know that they won’t be restrained by tangles of regulatory red tape.
Recent News about Regulatory Policy:
By Ryan Ellis Over the past week, conservatives and libertarians online have been fighting over whether it’s a good idea for the federal government to prosecute publishers of pornography. Elsewhere, conservatives such as Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri have called for greater federal regulation of online content providers such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has railed against big corporations buying back their own stock instead of investing in new plants and equipment (or wages). The Trump administration, for its part, continues to prosecute Obama-era “midnight lawsuit” labor cases against Big Tech and, in general, has no problem using the regulatory state against its political enemies. What is going on here? Why are conservatives suddenly so interested in using the power of the federal Leviathan to enforce our view of the common good? In one word, the answer is “frustration.” Conservatives have spent a lifetime [...]
By Grover Norquist It is wrong to tax inflation. Last week, President Trump agreed. He endorsed the idea of indexing capital gains so that no American would be taxed on the inflation gain on the sale of a house, land, a small business, stocks or assets of any kind. Trump said, “Many people like indexing, and it can be done very simply. It can be done directly by me.” One day later, Trump told a press gaggle that he’s “not looking to do indexing. . . . But if I wanted to do it, I believe I could.” The press gasped at the sudden shift from “I will” to “I won’t.” Greenland was ours for longer. But those who have worked to end the taxation of inflation in capital gains for almost 30 years noticed what did not change. The president stated and restated his view that his administration could define the [...]
By Ryan Ellis Earlier this week, I had the privilege of participating in a telephone town hall with Congressman Peter Roskam and callers from his Sixth Congressional District of Illinois. Most of the talk was about the recent tax cut, but one constituent stood out from the rest. The man owns a small electronics manufacturing company in Roskam’s district. While he was very happy with the tax relief and deregulation for businesses like his, it paled in comparison to his concerns over President Trump’s 25-percent tariffs on Chinese imports. Our caller cannot get the electronics parts he needs to assemble his goods for sale from anywhere else. The little electronic widgets, whatever they are, are only made in China. So he is going to have to pay 25 percent more than he did before and pass along that higher cost to his customers in the form of higher prices, to [...]
By Ryan Ellis During the first half of the first year of the Trump Administration, the signature achievement of the new government was clearly the unprecedented use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Only ever successfully used once before, the CRA repealed over a dozen late-filed regulations from the Obama era. Deregulation is not the sexiest aspect of pro-growth policy, but it is an essential one. As successful as the CRA is, there are some leftover pieces of regulatory activity that didn't make the cut. One big one directly affects the death tax, but that's not the only one. On August 4, 2016 the Treasury Department announced an intention to issue regulations affecting the way in which estates are valued. To oversimplify a very complex topic, there is often a dollar figure at which an estate can be valued in theory, and a lower dollar value at which an estate [...]
By Ryan Ellis This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5523, the "Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT (Restraining Excessive Seizure of Property through the Exploitation of Civil Asset Forfeiture Tools) Act,"sponsored by Congressman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) It enjoys the bipartisan co-sponsorship of twelve Members of Congress as ideologically diverse from Mr. Roskam as Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Danny Davis of Illinois, and Joe Crowley of New York--all Democrats. It was reported out of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee by voice vote and was discharged immediately from the Financial Services Committee. It is widely expected to pass by an overwhelming bipartisan margin on the House floor later this week via the non-controversial suspension calendar. This is a big win for taxpayers, a triumph for justice, and a fitting reward for the dogged work of Congressman Roskam and his staff, without whose insistent IRS oversight this bill would never have ripened [...]
By Ryan Ellis Today, the U.S. House will take up H.R. 5485, FY 2017 "Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act."Among other things, this is the appropriations bill which funds our friends at the IRS. From a limited government perspective, this bill is a big win for taxpayers. First and foremost, it cuts IRS spending down to $10.9 billion, $236 million below last year's approved level and $2.7 billion below the president's request. Basically, this backs out the one-time spending approved last year to fight identity theft and continues a hard budget freeze at the agency. Keeping spending at this level means that the IRS will have to prioritize their resources away from things like Obamacare implementation and harassing ordinary families and small businesses. The IRS will still have plenty of money to go after actual criminals and tax cheats, but hopefully not enough money for fishing expeditions elsewhere. There are [...]