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Thursday, November 19, 2015

CFPB Gone Rogue

Posted by: Jerry Rogers on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

By Jerry Rogers, Vice President at the Institute for Liberty and Founder of Capitol Allies 

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) calls on his colleagues to reform the CFPB

Dodd-Frank effectively gave the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unlimited regulatory power with little congressional oversight. The bureau’s budget is not subject to congressional appropriations—no power of the purse—because the Federal Reserve, not Congress, funds the agency. Given its independence from congressional scrutiny, the CFPB’s power to regulate is essentially a government license to destroy.

Dodd-Frank, however, specifically exempts auto lenders from the grasp of the unaccountable CFPB, but bureaucrats are going around the law and using lenders as agents of government to regulate auto dealers.

It’s time for Congress to reign in this rogue agency.

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Global Economic Warfare at Center of Ag Committee Trade Hearing

Posted by: Andrew Langer on Monday, October 26, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Global Economic Warfare at Center of Ag Committee Trade Hearing

 

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on October 20th , the centerpoint of which was a discussion of the predatory cronyist practices of America’s global competitors.

In light of recent votes on Trade Promotion Authority, and the upcoming discussion of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Committee Chairman K. Michael Conway put together a program of representatives of a range of agricultural interests—with a very clear message:  nations around the world are actively subsidizing their farming sectors with the intention of subverting US firms, and while the TPP would help to open markets heretofore restricted to US goods, a central issue is this anti-competitive crony capitalism, which needs to be addressed by the World Trade Organization.

In his opening statement, Chairman Conway said, “in many cases what foreign countries are doing is patently illegal under their World Trade Organization commitments, while in other instances, foreign countries are extending support to their agricultural sectors in ways that fly below the radar of WTO discipline.  And still in other cases, we learned of countries getting a free pass to ignore WTO rules by declaring themselves “developing” despite these countries having very mature, strong, and in some cases globally dominant agricultural sectors.”

Unfortunately, free trade agreements are not the way to deal with these subsidies.  Jack Roney, Director of Economics and Policy Analysis with the American Sugar Alliance called this perhaps, ““the biggest flaw in the bilateral and regional approach.”

And concern was bi-partisan.  Ranking Democrat Collin Peterson said, “I don't think it's fair that developing countries, no matter how advanced, can designate themselves for special treatment…     I also think it's time for the United States to start challenging those countries that fail to meet their WTO commitments.”

All agreed, our competitors cannot flout the rules, and that cheating must be addressed.

Global Economic Warfare at Center of Ag Committee Trade Hearing

Posted by: Andrew Langer on Monday, October 26, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Global Economic Warfare at Center of Ag Committee Trade Hearing

 

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on October 20th , the centerpoint of which was a discussion of the predatory cronyist practices of America’s global competitors.

In light of recent votes on Trade Promotion Authority, and the upcoming discussion of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Committee Chairman K. Michael Conway put together a program of representatives of a range of agricultural interests—with a very clear message:  nations around the world are actively subsidizing their farming sectors with the intention of subverting US firms, and while the TPP would help to open markets heretofore restricted to US goods, a central issue is this anti-competitive crony capitalism, which needs to be addressed by the World Trade Organization.

In his opening statement, Chairman Conway said, “in many cases what foreign countries are doing is patently illegal under their World Trade Organization commitments, while in other instances, foreign countries are extending support to their agricultural sectors in ways that fly below the radar of WTO discipline.  And still in other cases, we learned of countries getting a free pass to ignore WTO rules by declaring themselves “developing” despite these countries having very mature, strong, and in some cases globally dominant agricultural sectors.”

Unfortunately, free trade agreements are not the way to deal with these subsidies.  Jack Roney, Director of Economics and Policy Analysis with the American Sugar Alliance called this perhaps, ““the biggest flaw in the bilateral and regional approach.”

And concern was bi-partisan.  Ranking Democrat Collin Peterson said, “I don't think it's fair that developing countries, no matter how advanced, can designate themselves for special treatment…     I also think it's time for the United States to start challenging those countries that fail to meet their WTO commitments.”

All agreed, our competitors cannot flout the rules, and that cheating must be addressed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why American Exceptionalism Matters When It Comes To The Internet

Posted by: Andrew Langer on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Why American Exceptionalism Matters When It Comes To the Internet

I’m not sure if it’s ever been said, but the Internet could not have come into existence without America.  I’m not just talking about DARPANet, and the investment of the American people (and the American government) over the course of many years in the development of the ‘net itself—but the very concept, a system where the open exchange of ideas and information can move at the speed of light (literally) is one that could only be born in an environment where such an open exchange of ideas is an essential element of the society.

Only America has that combination of open dialogue, entrepreneurship and perseverance that could make an invention like the internet happen—other nations may have elements, but not all of them or to the same degree.  The ‘net could not have come out of any nation in Europe—and certainly not out of China or Japan.

Which is why the move to turn over one of the internet’s core functions, domain name functions, to some sort of international body, is so distressing.  Don’t get me wrong—there are times and places for international cooperation (even control) of a variety of trans-border policy issues, but the move by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to try and relinquish oversight of a “national IT asset” like the “root zone file” (funded by the American taxpayer and created by the US Department of Defense) is a fundamentally bad idea.

There’s a letter from Senators Grassley and Cruz, and US Representatives Goodlatte and Issa HERE, but the thing to keep in mind is why this is important over the long term.

No other nation, not a single one, has the respect for the transfer of information that we do.  Even the most classically liberal nations, the ones from which we derive our concepts of American civil liberties, do not have the respect for both the protection of speech, while at the same time the respect for the entrepreneurial spirit that drives online innovation. 

And these are the nations that stand on the side of freedom—once the US relinquishes control, nations that have little or no respect for these principles now also have a say in management of the internet.  This can only create massive problems down the road.

Control of the Internet’s core functions should (and must) remain in and with the United States.  Our exceptional nature has made our control both judicious and innovative, and there is no reason to change that anytime soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Campaign Fighting Connecticut's War on Indian Country

Posted by: IFL on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 9:30:00 am Comments (1)

 

Hartford, Connecticut — April 1, 2015 – Today, the Institute for Liberty (IFL) has initiated a campaign in the State of Connecticut to bring attention to the actions of the State of Connecticut against the sovereignty of Native American tribes throughout the country. This multi-faceted campaign is meant to educate the people of Connecticut through billboards, mail and grassroots activities about the actions of their government officials and the effect those actions have on our nation’s native people.

Over the last six months, the State of Connecticut’s Department of Banking, under the leadership of former Commissioner Howard Pitkin and General Counsel Bruce Adams, has tested the bounds of its legal authority by attacking the tribal sovereignty of a Northern Oklahoma tribe, by preventing them from offering online financial services to Connecticut residents. The Institute for Liberty is dedicated to preserving liberty for all, and that includes living up to our nation’s century’s-old commitments to Native American tribes.  

“This attack doesn’t just threaten this one tribe.  It threatens all of them.  What Connecticut is trying to do is to ignore hundreds of years of legal precedent and threatening the basic human rights of tribal people—rights guaranteed by our Constitution,” said Andrew Langer, President of the Institute for Liberty. “This is racial discrimination plain and simple against a people who have been attacked repeatedly as they have tried to provide for the needs of their own people through a range of innovative financial products and services. It is emblematic of the historic treatment of Native American tribes by the federal government.  Telling them they cannot work to provide for themselves, to make their lives better, is an illegal act against these tribes and state regulators must stop this attack on Indian country.”

The campaign will charge that Governor Malloy’s administration is blindly advancing President Obama’s controversial attack on short-term lenders across the country.  A prominent Indian tribal leader has already filed a personal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Connecticut and tribal entities have filed an appeal against the Banking Department’s determination.

 

IFL is an aggressive defender of the rights of individuals to pursue the American dream.  They inject the perspective of small businesses, and the working families that depend on them, into the public policy debate.  IFL’s President, Andrew Langer, has been a vocal critic of the federal government’s dishonest and unethical dealings with Native American tribes for many years.

For more, please visit: NativeKidsFirst.com

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