With a New EPA Administrator, Automakers Are Seeking a Rollback of CAFE Standards

 With the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as President Trump’s new EPA Administrator, automakers have been quick to pursue a relaxation of the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.  CAFE standards regulate that each manufacturer’s fleet of new vehicles has an average fuel economy above a certain level. These standards originated in 1975 as a […]

What Happened in Washington, D.C. This Week?

Congress went on recess this week, allowing Senators and Representatives to go home to their states and districts. Several town hall meetings featured some angry exchanges between the elected leaders and what seems to be a mixture of organized left-wing protesters and some sincere complaints against any apparent action to fix or repeal Obamacare. By […]

Bloomberg-Funded Soda Tax Study Does Not Answer the Relevant Questions

Yesterday, I received an email from Health Affairs linking to some new studies that will run in their upcoming print edition.  One of them, “In Mexico, Evidence Of Sustained Consumer Response Two Years After Implementing A Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax,” caught my eye for obvious reasons.  First, using soda taxes to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks, […]

Washington Update for the Week Ending February 17, 2017

Today marks four weeks since President Trump was sworn in. In that time he has signed 23 executive orders, signed five bills into law, seen 12 members of his cabinet confirmed, nominated one justice to the Supreme Court, fired one acting attorney general, asked for the resignation of his national security advisor, and sent 168 […]

Employers Beware, NLRB Shows Grit in Protecting Walkouts and Informal Strikes by Non-union Workers

Employers are finding themselves on thin ice in their response to employees’ walkouts, informal strikes and other activities that include demands for higher wages and improved working conditions. However, employees who participate in “general strikes” unrelated to work, such as the “general strike against Trump” planned for February 17, may not be protected by federal […]

Disability Program on GAO’s “High Risk” List

Every two years the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identifies and reports on government operations that are “high risk” – meaning vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement and inefficiency.  I know, I know…the entire government could be considered “high risk,” but for the sake of keeping this blog post short, let’s focus on one program identified in the GAO’s most recent […]

Things Are Happening Fast in Washington, Says NCPA Legislative Director

NCPA Legislative Director Brian Williams reports from D.C. Breaking news– Today, the Trump Administration announced that the economy created 227,000 jobs last month. Obama-era economists were only expecting 175,000 jobs.  The workforce participation rate is up 0.2% as well, which is another sign that folks are starting to go back to work. Breaking news– Today, […]

Are “Deficit Hawks” Prepared for Trump’s Proposed Spending Cuts?

It’s amazing how those who cared little for spending deficits during Obama’s presidency have suddenly become deficit hawks just hours before Trump’s inauguration.  (Paul Krugman, are you listening?) The national debt is now $20 trillion, double what it was eight years ago.  In all fairness President Obama was not responsible for all of this due to mandatory spending […]

Tax Extenders in 2017

In a rush to keep the government funded through April 2017, Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill last month that includes no mention of tax cut extensions that expired at the end of 2016.  But take heart, most of the tax breaks that folks have become accustomed to were made permanent at the end […]

On A Personal Note

Update:  I ran the following blog post last year in response to the ubiquitous inflatable yard creatures that are found in most neighborhoods.  While I thought they may be on the decline, this year there are more than ever…and not just around Christmas time either. First, let me start by saying I love the free market – whether […]