Meet one of the “rich” who may be driven out of RI

Meet Jennifer Hushion. She’s one of the “rich” that some say we need to tax more. In our Center’s analysis of the ill-conceived “Tax The Rich” bill, we warned that not only would this tax harm our state’s fragile economy, but would also drive people, like Jennifer and her family, out of the Ocean State.

Read Jennifer’s story here …

Read our Center’s tax analysis here …

When your government taxes people to the point where they are forced to emigrate to other state, our economic liberties are encroached.

Bank of America Debit Card Tax: a Result of Bad Legislation?

In mis-understanding their role to ‘regulate’ commerce, federal officials have once again taken a bite out of the pockets and liberties of US consumers and businesses.

The consequences are apparently over-whelmingly negative for Bank of America after they announced a new $5 debit card monthly usage fee.  In trying to login to their website, it was down, citing slower than usual operations. Whether this is because the Bank is trying to stop protesting customers from withdrawing their funds online … or whether it’s the work of angry hackers … the real question is:

Should Bank of America take all the blame for this highly unpopular, anti-consumer new fee?

The Heritage Foundation says “No”. That this is is simply another example of federal government regulations interfering with (as opposed to regulating) normal free-market activity.

It is a gross mis-understanding of our US Constitution for the federal government to believe it has the duty to intervene in commerce via the levy of unnecessary restrictions and costly regulations.

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate commerce, so as to ensure that commerce among the states would take place under clear and predictable rules. According to Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett, our framers granted Congress the power to regulate domestic commerce in order “to make commerce regular.” Today, far too many public officials mistake the term “regulate”  to mean “intervene”.  And the results are predicatably bad for consumer freedom.

In the Bank of America debit card case, the Bank is imposing the new fee in anticipation of a $2 billion annual loss brought about by the “Durbin Amendment” — a provision of last year’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street financial reform bill. The measure was intended to protect America from another financial meltdown, but in reality it placed a boatload of new burdens on financial institutions and their customers. The results? Increased risks to the financial system, increased regulations, and in this case, increased costs to anyone who uses a debit card.

This fee would not likely have occured if Congress had not interevned where it does not belong.

Read the full Heritage post here …


The Rich are NOT taxed less than Secretaries (AP)

When the government mis-states facts in order to push a political agenda, this is another example of big government threatening the liberties of we, the citizens. Read the Associated Press article here on Yahoo News …

Feds Pick A Loser in Solyndra

We talk often about how it is an infringement on our liberties when government gets in the business of picking “winners”, in other words, spending our tax dollars to assist specific businesses or industries that are friendly to the politicians doling out the money. We call this “crony capitalism” … government helping their corporate friends, at the expense of taxpayers and upsetting the natural competitiveness of the free-market landscape.

In the case of Solyndra, a solar panel maker, which was billed by the President as the shining example of the great potential of the “green” industry, and which was picked to receive $527 MILLION in federal stimulus loans, it appears the government picked a LOSER to be one of its winners. Like many government intiatives … it failed, and is further proof of the failure of the concept of government spending as a potential cure for a struggling economy.

Solyndra has since filed for bankruptcy, shut down its plant, and has laid off 1100 workers. Worse, the FBI has initiated an investigation:

“The FBI raid further underscores that Solyndra was a bad bet from the beginning and put taxpayers at unnecessary risk,” said Reps. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) and Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.) of the House Energy and Commerce Commitee.

Government should not pick winners and losers because the whole practice is a losing proposition and antithetical to free-market principles. When politics interferes with the free-enterprise system, as it did with the mortgage bubble catastrophe, not only our tax-dollars, but our liberties are put at risk.

See Wall Street Journal article …


A Tale of Two Shale States

A case study of one state – PA – embracing economic opportunity and providing economic opportunity for its citizens;, while another state – NY – has let environmental politics trump development and job growth, thus taking another byte out of economic liberties for its citizens.

Read the Wall Street Journal article here …

Welfare Calling now FREE in Rhode Island

Welfare or food-stamp recipients in over 20 US states – INCLUDING RHODE ISLAND – are now eligible to receive a FREE cell phone with FREE minutes. Yet another example of the ever-expanding entitlement state mentality, programs like these take a byte of our your economic liberty (by taxing service providers who pass the cost on to you) and takes a byte out of the dignity and independence of the recipients.

If you we really believe that “cell phone ownership is a right”, what comes next? Read the Heritage blog here …

Evergreen turns red!

More proof that government intervention in the economy – especially when advancing a politcal agenda – simply does not work. This bad deal cost our taxpaying neighbors in Massachusetts over $58 MILLION! Another byte out their economic liberties. Click here for the Boston Herald story …