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  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2016 by Daren Bakst, James L. Gattuso Stars Align for the Congressional Review Act

    Enacted over 20 years ago as part the “Contract with America” package of reforms, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has sat largely unused in the congressional toolbox. This law sought to make it easier for Congress to repeal regulations, but only once has it been successfully used to do so. That is about to change. During the next few months, the CRA could become one of…

  • Backgrounder posted December 14, 2016 by James L. Gattuso Regulatory Budgeting: Not Ready for Prime Time

    The burden of federal regulation on the U.S. economy has often been compared to a tax.[1] From environmental mandates that impose costs on energy production, to Internet restrictions that discourage innovation and investment on the Web, to pharmaceutical controls that slow the introduction of new medicines and increase their prices, the regulatory “tax” impacts nearly…

  • Commentary posted November 3, 2016 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape on the Upswing

    How much do federal regulations cost? That question has been debated for decades. The truth is that nobody knows for sure. But we do know the cost is very high—and new rules are being added to the pile at a disturbing rate. According to figures we have compiled, 43 major regulations—imposing more than $100 billion in new, annually recurring regulatory costs—were adopted…

  • Backgrounder posted May 23, 2016 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising 2016: Obama Regs Top $100 Billion Annually

    The number and cost of federal regulations increased substantially in 2015, as regulators continued to tighten restrictions on American businesses and individuals. The addition of 43 new major rules last year increased annual regulatory costs by more than $22 billion, bringing the total annual costs of Obama Administration rules to an astonishing $100 billon-plus in just…

  • Issue Brief posted January 27, 2016 by James L. Gattuso Binge of Regulation: Wireless Pricing and the FCC

    Wireless data caps, the annoying limits on how much data you can use from your phone, have been a fact of mobile life for several years. Now, a new pricing concept in the wireless marketplace, known as “zero-rating,” promises to relieve consumers of the fear that streaming one too many videos will trigger extra charges. But, instead of receiving plaudits, zero-rating has…

  • Commentary posted January 6, 2016 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz 10 Worst Regulations of 2015

    Like streamers raining down upon New Year’s revelers in Times Square, a torrent of red tape was unleashed on the nation in 2015. Literally thousands of new regulations combined with existing ones to infringe on every aspect of daily life. Justified or not, each one imposes an economic burden and chips away at individual freedom. Which regulations were the worst? Here is…

  • Commentary posted November 24, 2015 by James L. Gattuso Thriving over-the-top video marketplace escapes over-the-top FCC regulations — for now

    Television has come a long way since it was dubbed a "vast wasteland" more than a half-century ago. Once limited to a meager handful of government-approved stations, each with cookie-cutter fare, consumers today can choose from hundreds of diverse channels, each competing for their attention. Now, a wave of change is engulfing the market: Internet-based TV. Often called…

  • Backgrounder posted November 17, 2015 by James L. Gattuso FCC: Over the Top on Internet TV

    Many television critics say that America is experiencing a new “Golden Age of Television,” citing an abundance of high-quality programming available today. That judgment is of course a matter of opinion. What is certain, however, is that today’s TV marketplace offers consumers more choices, more competition, and more innovation that ever before. From a service providing…

  • Issue Brief posted October 28, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Justin T. Johnson, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, James L. Gattuso, Jason Snead, Rachel Greszler, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., David R. Burton, Curtis S. Dubay Analysis of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

    The federal budget is on a dangerous trajectory and immediate corrective action is required. The U.S. national debt is at $18.1 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if the government remains on its currently planned course, it will spend $7 trillion more over the next 10 years than it will receive in taxes, piling on even more debt. Heritage…

  • Issue Brief posted August 19, 2015 by James L. Gattuso Europe’s Latest Export to America: Internet Censorship

    American Web users’ access to Internet content may soon be limited, thanks to a recent decision by French regulators. France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberties (known by its French acronym CNIL) ordered Google to apply the European Union’s bizarre “right-to-be-forgotten” rules on a global basis in a June ruling. The search engine announced at the end of…

  • Commentary posted July 27, 2015 by James L. Gattuso Amazon and antitrust: Should Washington sue to make books more expensive?

    As Americans set out to the beach this summer with their favorite novels in hand, federal officials are being asked to sue the nation's largest bookseller, Amazon.com. Why? For not having higher prices. A group of authors and competing booksellers recently petitioned the Department of Justice to open an antitrust investigation into the activities of the online retailer.…

  • Special Report posted June 3, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Alden Abbott, Curtis S. Dubay, David Inserra, Paul Rosenzweig, Michael Sargent, Brett D. Schaefer Saving Internet Freedom

    Table of Contents Net Neutrality: Reining in Innovation Internet Governance: Past, Present, and Future Regulatory Barriers to Online Commerce Protecting Internet Commerce from Undue Tax Burdens Copyright and the Internet: Getting the Balance Right The Intersection of Internet Freedom and Cybersecurity E-mail Digital Privacy In the space…

  • Commentary posted May 15, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Regulating escalators and escalating regulation

    What do restaurant menus, refrigerators, community banks and escalators have in common? All were subjected to yet more federal regulation last year. No fewer than 184 "major" new rules have been imposed since the start of the Obama administration, costing Americans about $80 billion per year in additional regulatory costs. And many more regulations are on the way.…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising: Six Years of Escalating Regulation Under Obama

    The number and cost of government regulations continued to climb in 2014, intensifying Washington’s control over the economy and Americans’ lives. The addition of 27 new major rules[1] last year pushed the tally for the Obama Administration’s first six years to 184, with scores of other rules in the pipeline. The cost of just these 184 rules is estimated by regulators to…

  • Commentary posted April 22, 2015 by James L. Gattuso What’s next under the net neutrality big top?

    Telecommunications policymaking has long been compared to a three-ring circus consisting of the Federal Communications Commission, the courts and Congress. Nowhere has that been truer than in the long-running debate over net neutrality regulation. For the past year or so, all attention has been on the FCC, led by Chairman Tom Wheeler, as it drafted its plan to impose…