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  • 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…

  • Commentary posted March 9, 2015 by James L. Gattuso FCC imposes net neutrality, again

    It was Throwback Thursday at the FCC on Feb. 26, as the Federal Communications Commission voted to impose 1930s-era regulations on Internet providers. Under the agency's new rules, Internet service providers such as Verizon and Comcast are to be treated as "common carriers" under the 1934 Communications Act, subjecting them to detailed oversight of what they offer to…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer ICANN Reform: the Timings Off

    The dates don't work. The U.S.'s control over ICANN -- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit that manages Internet domain names -- will expire before the government can make an informed judgment about how ICANN should function in the future. Last March, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an executive…

  • Issue Brief posted February 3, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, Paul S. Rosenzweig, James L. Gattuso Time Is Running Out: The U.S. Must Be Prepared to Renew the ICANN Contract

    Last March, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an arm of the Commerce Department, announced that it intended to “transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community” when the current contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) expires on September 30, 2015.[1] In its…

  • Issue Brief posted January 30, 2015 by James L. Gattuso Net Neutrality: Internet Regulation Debate Far from Over

    The countdown has begun. On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to vote to place massive “net neutrality” restrictions on Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast and Verizon. The details are not yet known—the FCC does not release the text of its rules until they are adopted—but all signs point to a “reclassification” of the providers…

  • Commentary posted January 28, 2015 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso Growth of regs threatens liberty

    To say that Americans have a regulation problem is putting it lightly. For instance, the government is now setting the serving size of breath mints, and demanding 12-point type on clothing labels. It prohibits dog walkers from strolling with more than four pooches, and requires cat food manufacturers to list calories in “kilocalories per kilogram.” The feds also…

  • Commentary posted January 5, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Ten worst regulations of 2014

    As 2014 comes to a close, it is enveloped in red tape. From the breakfast table to the night light, government regulators invaded nearly every moment of our lives. Here's our take on the 10 worst examples of the past year: 10. Federal Censorship Commission. The FCC began considering a petition to revoke the broadcast license of a Washington, D.C., radio station for using…

  • Backgrounder posted December 17, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Michael Sargent Eight Myths About FCC Regulation of the Internet

    Few policy debates in Washington have generated as many myths and mischaracterizations as the ongoing battle over proposed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules for broadband Internet service. Popularly known as “net neutrality” rules, these Internet regulations would limit the ability of Internet service providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to…

  • Commentary posted November 25, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Obama and the FCC: Bully Pulpit, Bad Policy

    Like Theodore Roosevelt, Barack Obama knows that the presidency makes an effective bully pulpit — even when you have historically low approval ratings. He showed that earlier this month when — in an unusually deep wade into the decision-making process at the supposedly independent Federal Communications Commission — the president came out four-square in favor of imposing…

  • Backgrounder posted November 25, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Michael Sargent Beyond Hypothetical: How FCC Internet Regulation Would Hurt Consumers

    On November 10, President Barack Obama joined a long-simmering debate at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), urging the agency to adopt comprehensive government regulation of Internet service providers, such as Verizon and Comcast. These regulations would require companies that provide Internet access to end users (households and businesses) to process all…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso Obama's Final Two Years: A Sprint on Regulation?

    The election results were a crushing political blow for the Obama administration, giving Republicans firm control of both houses of Congress for the final two years of his term. But this in no way signals the end of the president's policy agenda. It simply shifts the action to regulatory agencies. In the days since the vote, this has already begun. Obama is moving…

  • Backgrounder posted October 31, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Regulation: Killing Opportunity

    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: “America does not stand still—and neither will I,” he said. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I am going to do.”[1] This provocative declaration was…

  • Commentary posted September 19, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Give Tesla a Truly Free Market by Ending Dealers' Monopoly

    Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk wants to sell you a car, but your state government might not let him. Why? He wants to deal directly with you, bypassing the independent dealerships that have acted as middlemen in the car industry for close to a century. In California's Silicon Valley, where Tesla is based, the disruption of existing practice is encouraged. It leads to…