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  • Commentary posted April 3, 2014 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso Red tape rising: Five years of regulatory expansion

    In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda: "America does not stand still - and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation ... that's what I am going to do." This provocative declaration was startling in its…

  • Backgrounder posted March 26, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising: Five Years of Regulatory Expansion

    In his January 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda, stating: “America does not stand still—and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I am going to do.”[1] This provocative declaration was…

  • Issue Brief posted March 21, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso, Paul Rosenzweig, David Inserra Important Work to Be Done Before the U.S. Relinquishes Stewardship of ICANN

    The Department of Commerce announced on March 14 that it will give up its last bit of control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 2015. As is often the case with government decisions announced late on a Friday, this decision is controversial. The U.S. has exercised light oversight of ICANN since it established the organization and…

  • Backgrounder posted February 12, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Net Neutrality Rules: Still a Threat to Internet Freedom

    In a significant victory for American consumers, a federal appeals court struck down Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules regulating broadband Internet service on January 14. The much-anticipated decision clears the way for more investment, more innovation, and lower costs for Internet users. But the political battle over these “network neutrality” rules—which…

  • Issue Brief posted December 31, 2013 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz The 10 Worst Regulations of 2013

    The year 2013 will be remembered for many things, not least the miles of red tape that were imposed on Americans. It has been a very busy year for regulators, who imposed new dictates on everything from the food people eat to the loans they obtain and the health insurance they buy (or lose). Which are the worst new rules? There are so many choices, and there is no…

  • Commentary posted December 23, 2013 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz The 10 worst regulations of 2013

    There are many things 2013 will be remembered for, not least the miles of red tape that were imposed on Americans. It has been a very busy year indeed for regulators, who imposed new dictates on everything from the food we eat to the loans we obtain and the health insurance we buy. Which are the worst? There are no objective standards to measure such things, but here is…

  • Commentary posted November 8, 2013 by James L. Gattuso, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Give markets a try

    Five years ago, financial markets were rocked by news that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – two privately-owned but government-sponsored firms considered mainstays of the U.S. housing finance system – had been placed into conservatorship by federal officials. Their collapse was quickly followed by the near-collapse of other financial giants invested in housing related…

  • Commentary posted October 23, 2013 by James L. Gattuso Congressional checks and balances aren’t in the mail

    Spare change is hard to find at the U.S. Postal Service nowadays. The nation's mail service started October by defaulting on a payment due to the U.S. Treasury and is down to less than 10 days of cash on hand. The USPS is expected to muddle through the crunch, but its financial problems won’t go away. The mail delivery business is in long-term decline. Without…

  • Backgrounder posted October 10, 2013 by James L. Gattuso Can the Postal Service Have a Future?

    Americans love to complain about the post office. Enjoying one of the few government-enforced monopolies in the U.S., it has long been a model of bureaucratic inefficiency. In popular culture, it has been portrayed by TV sitcom characters such as Seinfeld’s Newman and Cheers’s Cliff Clavin as bumbling and dysfunctional. But Americans may not have the United States Postal…

  • Commentary posted July 22, 2013 by James L. Gattuso Airline Safety Soars to New Heights

    The July 6 crash landing of an Asiana jetliner in San Francisco that killed three passengers and injured dozens more was a tragedy. Federal safety officials and aviation industry experts are investigating it thoroughly to determine how it happened and prevent it from happening again. Hidden between the lines in the news coverage of the event, though, is a remarkable…

  • Commentary posted July 19, 2013 by James L. Gattuso Consumers Lose If Banks Are Broken Up

    The idea of breaking up America's biggest banks into small, bite-sized units is being billed as an antidote to "too-big-to-fail," the notion that the biggest banks must never be allowed to fail because of the damage a collapse would have on the economy. Cutting the large banks down to a more digestible size neatly solves the problem, supporters say. The argument is…

  • Issue Brief posted July 16, 2013 by James L. Gattuso Airline Safety: The Good News

    The July 6 crash landing of an Asiana jetliner that killed three passengers and injured dozens more was a tragedy. The accident is rightly being thoroughly investigated by federal safety officials as well as aviation industry experts to determine how it happened and prevent such a tragic accident from happening again. But hidden between the lines in the news coverage of…

  • Play Movie Gov't Transparency After the Scandals: Gattuso on 'Special Report' Video Recorded on July 8, 2013 Gov't Transparency After the Scandals: Gattuso on 'Special Report'

    Senior Research Fellow James Gattuso discusses government transparency after the Obama administration's multiple scandals on Fox News' 'Special Report'.…

  • Backgrounder posted June 19, 2013 by James L. Gattuso Taxing Online Sales: Should the Taxman’s Grasp Exceed His Reach?

    As a general rule, whenever Congress starts talking about “fairness,” Americans should hold on tight to their wallets. The Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 743, H.R. 684) is no exception. The bill, which would allow a state to force retailers located in other states to collect its sales taxes, is meant to equalize the tax burdens between so-called brick-and-mortar retailers…

  • Backgrounder posted May 1, 2013 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising: Regulation in Obama’s First Term

    Congress and the White House have been focused for months on the federal budget—rightfully so, given perennial deficits and unsustainable levels of U.S. debt. However, federal spending accounts for only a portion of the burden placed on Americans by the government. Regulations impose huge additional costs, hindering job creation and innovation, while undermining…