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 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 Only ever successfully used once before, the CRA repealed over a dozen late-filed regulations from the Obama era.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 [...]
By Ryan Ellis The U.S. House of Representatives today will consider H.R. 5053, the "Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act." It is an absolutely essential check on IRS politicization and targeting of conservative non-profits. H.R. 5053 would prevent the IRS from collecting the names of donors to non-profit organizations. Under current law, 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) non-profits are required to furnish this information to the IRS on Schedule B of their annual Form 990 reporting statement. The IRS does not make Schedule B available to the public, and has even indicated that they no longer see the value of collecting it. Nevertheless, this information is floating around at the IRS. As we learned from the Lois Lerner affair, employees at the IRS do not always feel bound by the rules and ethics expected of them by the service. It's only a matter of time until some unscrupulous employee is going to leak [...]