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Posts By Author » Phil Kerpen

Lois Lerner’s Illegal Instant Message Trick
  19 Jul 2014     12:03 am

It was so brazen. Right there, over email, Lois Lerner warned her colleagues “Congress has asked for emails… so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.” Then she asked whether the IRS’s instant messaging application was being archived, and was told that – contrary to law – archiving had been disabled. She responded: “Perfect.”
Specifically, IRS staffer Maria Hooke told Lerner “messages are not set to automatically save as the standard; however the functionality exists within the software.”I asked the leading force for government transparency in the …

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The Jailbird Architect Of Obama’s Global Warming Plan
  28 Jun 2014     12:03 am

When President Obama announced an unprecedented effort by the EPA to strong-arm states into adopting cap-and-trade, he made the announcement not by focusing on the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but rather on the so-called co-benefits that closing coal plants will have on particulate matter, which is already tightly regulated. These purported co-benefits are based on two secret studies that have never been publicly validated. Amazingly, the architect of this co-benefits strategy is a long-time EPA staffer named John Beale, now known as federal inmate number 33005-016 and locked …

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Senate Still Obsessed with Tax Hikes
  8 Jun 2014     12:03 am

President Obama campaigned in 2008 and again in 2012 on tax hikes for the rich. The rich, he told us constantly, weren’t paying their fair share. But to assure us he meant nothing radical, he also frequently clarified he favored “going back to the tax rates that existed under Bill Clinton.”
Yet less than two months after the president won reelection, the top marginal income tax rate (with the new Obamacare surtax) jumped from 35 percent to 40.5 percent and the capital gains tax rate jumped from 15 percent to 23.8 …

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Pollution and the English Language
  7 Jun 2014     12:03 am

You wouldn’t know it from all the perpetual doom and gloom in our media and culture, but we have nearly eradicated pollution in the United States. So much so that most Americans are blissfully unaware of how severely polluted the world was for all of human history up to the time of our grandparents. 
The great Julian Simon reminded us in his classic The Ultimate Resource that the greatest pollution killers have been all but forgotten:“A century ago, most people in the U.S. died of environmental pollution – that is, from …

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Obamacare’s Economically Destructive Welfare Expansion
  24 May 2014     12:03 am

The Supreme Court struck down Obamacare’s mandatory Medicaid expansion as an unconstitutional commandeering of the states, setting off bruising battles over the issue in state capitals. No place has been more brutal than Maine, where a liberal attack group actually sent out a mail piece criticizing Dale Crafts, a wheelchair-bound state legislator, because he “failed to stand up to Gov. LePaige.”
Crafts, in turn, provided a powerfully succinct argument against expansion:“I voted against Obamacare’s welfare expansion because I go to work every day in my wheelchair, and I don’t think I …

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Neutrality Nuts Won’t Be Happy Until Government Controls the Internet
  17 May 2014     12:03 am

Angry liberals are set to descend on the Federal Communications Commission to disgrace themselves by shouting down the proceedings. The lead group involved, Free Press, has sent out an invitation asking people to bring “pots, pans or whatever else you can bang on so the FCC hears our message loud and clear.” Banging on pots and pans as an exercise in clarity? It gets better: “Together we’ll dance, drum and shout that the agency must throw out its destructive plan and reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service. This is the …

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FCC Cronyism Stiffs Taxpayers and Destroys Jobs
  3 May 2014     12:03 am

While the national media is mostly focused on the Federal Communications Commission’s latest net neutrality follies (still a regulatory solution in search of a problem), the far bigger policy challenge the Commission faces is executing the most complex spectrum auction in the agency’s history. Unfortunately, the FCC seems more concerned with picking winners and losers than managing the auction effectively.
In this auction, the FCC will attempt to convince broadcasters to voluntarily relinquish their valuable spectrum in exchange for a portion of the auction proceeds paid by mobile wireless providers. And …

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Time to Get Tough on India Stealing Our Stuff
  26 Apr 2014     12:03 am

Quite simply, from pharmaceuticals to motion pictures to software, India is stealing our stuff. India ranks dead last among major economies in protection of intellectual property rights, according to a comprehensive analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And despite lots of talk and visits from Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden last year, India’s respect for property rights has only continued to deteriorate. It’s time for the administration to get tough and designate India as a Priority Foreign Country in its 2014 Special 301 Report, …

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Democratic Budget Exposes New Obamacare Lie
  12 Apr 2014     12:03 am

Democrats confronted by the massive problems caused by Obamacare – millions of plans canceled, spiking premiums, lost doctors – have retreated to a vague promise to fix the law. But how can the American people trust the very politicians who told the infamous “if you like your plan, you can keep it” lie to actually fix their own mess. What, specifically, do they want to fix? How?

Democracy Corps, the polling outfit led by James Carville and Stan Greenberg, is advising Democratic candidates to say: “We need to make it work …

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Attacking Cancer Patients Doesn’t Fix Obamacare
  5 Apr 2014     12:03 am

In a blockbuster Associated Press story your local paper may have skipped, Kelli Kennedy reports that patients with cancer and other serious diseases all over the country are being hammered by the same problem: the one-size-fits-all structure of Obamacare plans imposes outrageously high out-of-pocket costs for their specialty drugs.

Kennedy tells us about breast cancer survivor Ginny Mason, who could no longer afford her arthritis medication under Obamacare because of the out-of-pocket costs. To stay on Celebrex Mason would have had to pay $648 a month up to a $1500 deductible, …

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Don’t Wreck Medicare Part D
  15 Mar 2014     12:03 am

In 2003, I opposed the Medicare prescription drug bill, in large part because I expected that – like all other government entitlement programs – it would end up costing far more than initially projected. I was wrong.

The program’s structure, based on competing private plans, made Part D unlike all entitlements that had come before. Indeed, it is a model for reforming the rest of Medicare. The plans compete intensely to sign up seniors. The incentives are aligned to avoid administrative waste and keep costs down, including negotiating for the best …

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Telecom Act Is Overdue for Rewrite
  1 Mar 2014     12:03 am

Eighteen years ago, the Internet was a pretty different place. AltaVista had just launched in 1995 and was rapidly becoming the dominant search engine. The 56K modem was invented that year, but wouldn’t be commercially available until 1997. And Congress passed the 1996 Telecom Act, with the rare foresight to largely insulate the Internet from government interference. The result has been the remarkable engine of innovation, growth, and expression that most Americans now rely on every day.

Unfortunately the law, now 18 years old, is showing its age. There are no …

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Will Democrats Let the IRS Silence Liberal Groups?
  22 Feb 2014     12:03 am

The House will soon consider H.R. 3865, which would prohibit the IRS from rushing a final rule regulating 501(c)(4) organizations in the middle of the current tax year. If the floor debate looks like the bill’s markup in the Ways and Means Committee, it will be split right down party lines.

Republicans will condemn the IRS 501(c)(4) muzzle rule as a violation of free speech rights and an extension of the IRS targeting scandal by official means. Democrats will complain that the IRS targeting scandal has been exaggerated and insist the …

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Fight Global Warming: Approve the Pipeline!
  8 Feb 2014     12:03 am

President Obama laid out his personal standard for approving the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in his global warming speech at Georgetown University on June 25, 2013. If the project increases global warming, he’ll veto it. Based on that standard, he should now approve the project – immediately.

 
“Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest,” Obama said. “And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution,” …

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Correct Spelling, Canceled
  1 Feb 2014     12:03 am

As an American, I laugh at those archaic British spellings. Colour? Honour? Their inferiourity, if you will, is obvious. Centre? Theatre? Ridiculous. Most of these barbaric forms were corrected in America hundreds of years ago. Yet one galling Britishism is appearing on my computer screen all too frequently of late: “cancelled,” with a gratuitous extra l.

Does something about Obamacare drive otherwise reasonable people to write about health plans being “cancelled” instead of “canceled”? Does the prospect of intrusive government involvement in health care cause us to regress? Is it subconscious …

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Equating Right-To-Work To Slavery Insults Black Americans
  25 Jan 2014     12:03 am

Last year, officials of a local Teamster union alleged in a state court lawsuit that Michigan’s new right-to-work law violates the state constitution’s prohibition on slavery.

Teamsters Local 214 union lawyers claimed that nonmember workers who want to file a grievance with the company must pay a $150 fee because, even though they have chosen not to join or pay dues, they must still file grievances through the union.
Lawyers for the Dearborn-based local claimed that if the law requires the union to provide grievance representation to the workers without compensation, then …

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Don’t let insurers shift risk to taxpayers
  25 Jan 2014     12:03 am

The big health insurance companies played a high-stakes double game throughout the 2009 health care fight, funding attacks on the so-called public option – an explicitly government-run competitor – while otherwise supporting the central elements of the bill that ultimately passed: vast taxpayer-funded subsidies flowing to their potential customers and a mandate requiring every American to buy their products. Yet the law is becoming such a disaster that the insurers stand to take losses in the new exchanges – losses that will largely be passed on to taxpayers under a …

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Clinton-Appointed Judges Strike Down Illegal Obama Net Neutrality Order
  18 Jan 2014     12:03 am

All three judges in Verizon v. FCC agreed that the net neutrality order regulating the Internet was, as I’ve said all along, illegal. The heart of the rule, a requirement (contrary to the history and structure of the Internet) that all bits be treated equally, was a bar on diverse business models and a de facto subsidy to big content companies that wanted regulators to guarantee the full costs of broadband deployment would fall on consumers and taxpayers – not on them.

Politically, this is a huge setback for the Obama …

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Make Obamacare Voluntary
  4 Jan 2014     12:03 am

Just before Christmas, the Obama administration issued a blanket waiver for millions of Americans from the individual mandate requiring purchase of government-approved health insurance. The waiver, whose announcement was choreographed to give political credit to Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, was limited to individuals and families whose health plans were canceled by Obamacare. As Washington Post liberal blogger Ezra Klein put it: “Obamacare itself is the hardship” that qualifies cancelees for a hardship exemption.

So far so good. Among Obamacare’s many moral outrages, punishing people with a penalty tax for …

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Minimum Wage Hammers Youth
  21 Dec 2013     12:03 am

With Democrats cratering in the polls over their collapsing health care law, they are trying to pivot to the only part of their policy agenda that still enjoys broad public support: the minimum wage. But their advocacy and its popularity rest on the incorrect belief that a significant number of families live on the minimum wage. Instead, the primary impact would be to exacerbate a crisis of youth unemployment spurred largely by the last minimum wage increase.

A recent analysis by Ben Gitis of the American Action Forum found that just …

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