Even though there wasn’t a Weekly Update last week, quite a bit happened. The big news coming out of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) was that Lindsey Stroud was promoted to the Director of TPA’s Consumer Center. Lindsey has been with us for just under six months but has shown an insane amount of knowledge and energy. We are excited to continue our expansion into more consumer issues and Lindsey will be leading the way. In totally related news, be sure to check our new Consumer Center ([link removed]) . Dan Savickas was promoted to Government Affairs Manager last week. Dan is a phenomenal writer with great policy instinct. If you do any work with us on Capitol Hill or as part of a coalition, you will surely see Dan’s name pop up quite a bit in the coming weeks and months. The new TPA team is set and we’re more ready than ever.
Profile in Courage – Rev. Al Hathaway
There was no Weekly Update last week so I wanted to make sure you saw TPA’s Profile in Courage for May – Rev. Al Hathaway. If you read the TPA media mentions you’ll see that I have done a lot of work in Baltimore. It’s a beautiful city that has a lot of problems. By all accounts, “Charm City” is going through a tough time. Baltimore has a well-known corruption problem and scandal-ridden public officials respond to criticism by attacking the media rather than apologizing or addressing the sources of scandal. Fortunately, a handful of prominent figures have been key to speaking out against the corruption plaguing Baltimore. In particular, Union Baptist Church senior pastor Dr. Al Hathaway has been a leader who hasn’t wavered in supporting Inspector General (IG) Isabel Cumming’s efforts to hold Baltimore’s powerful accountable for their crimes against public trust. And for standing resilient against the forces holding back his beloved city, Rev. Al Hathaway is absolutely a Profile in
Rev. Hathaway has seen Baltimore at its very best… and very worst. The preacher was born in Provident Hospital in 1951, just a stone’s throw away from the church that he would later serve so faithfully. Those were the days before the civil rights movement; Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech wouldn’t happen for another twelve years. Rev. Hathaway was born in a deeply segregated city where blacks and whites were treated at different hospitals, attended separate (and unequal) schools, and ate at different restaurants. This terrible environment seemed to create a deep yearning in Rev. Hathaway for justice and freedom, and the young man wasted little time being the change he wanted to see in the world. Rev. Hathaway recalls, “I was there [in Union Baptist Church] in 1963, giving blankets and food to the people sleeping before going to the March on Washington. I was there when they were strategizing around the election of Black candidates city wide in 1968 and for Congress
in 1970.” Even after the grandiose marches and rallies of the 1960s, Rev. Hathaway continued to be a force for good. His work to bridge critical gaps in health and education resulted in the pastor playing an active role in institutions such as the University of Maryland and the Family League of Baltimore. As Rev. Hathaway has learned in his decades-long engagement with the community, injustice takes on many forms. Baltimore has had a long struggle with corruption and has seen multiple mayors (most recently Catherine Pugh) indicted on corruption charges. Now, the city’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby is under fire for breaking the public’s trust and traveling extensively on taxpayers’ dime without prior approval. While Mosby’s office claims that no taxpayer dollars were spent on these lavish trips, organizations that funded the trips (e.g. Vera Institute of Justice) in turn have received taxpayer dollars. Mosby and her husband (City Council President Nick Mosby) are also engulfed in a battle
with the IRS over thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes and are the subjects of an FBI investigation.
It’s been a struggle to hold Mosby accountable, but Rev. Hathaway and his organization, Act Now Baltimore, have been instrumental in pushing back against the State Attorney’s actions. When Mosby responded to critical media coverage against her by complaining to the Federal Communications Commission and calling for censorship, Rev. Hathaway slammed her actions as “totally inappropriate” and “just not what should be done.” On April 28^th, The Baltimore Sun reported that, “A lawyer for Ms. Mosby accused Ms. Cumming of ‘ill intentions against Nick and Marilyn Mosby that appear to be personally, politically and even racially motivated.’” Act Now Baltimore loudly stood with Baltimore City IG Isabel Cumming in her attempts to investigate Mosby’s office and account for all the irregularities. That’s a bold gesture in a city where the powerful rule with impunity and speaking out against city leadership can have professional consequences. Nonetheless, Rev. Hathaway is committed to fighting inj
ustice whenever and wherever he sees it. Even though the senior pastor plans to step down from his role at the Union Baptist Church in August, Rev. Hathaway will continue his work with Act Now. To quote the faith leader: “I’m blessed that I’m still young enough to stay active and stay engaged.” We hope that Rev. Hathaway continues to hold Baltimore officials accountable and work toward a better city for many years to come.
And for constantly striving to improve life in “Charm City,” Rev. Hathaway is truly a Profile in Courage.
Biden’s Bogus Budget – An Opportunity for Republicans
Last week (1:30 pm on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend), President Biden released his presidential budget. The plan calls for $6 trillion in spending in just the next year. For perspective, the current federal budget for this fiscal year is roughly $4.8 trillion. The Biden plan is a staggering 20% increase. It also proposes spending an average of 24.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 10 years. The historic record for the U.S. is 24.4%, which was set in 2009, during a deep recession. The Biden administration would have the nation set profligate spending records consistently. Since World War II, federal tax receipts have only averaged 17.9% per year. This has remained fairly consistent despite greatly fluctuating tax rates. While Biden may claim that tax hikes will ameliorate the debt and deficit considerations of this budget, history says quite the opposite. Trillion-dollar deficits will be the new norm – with or without sweeping changes to the tax code. The Biden budget
includes ambitious policy proposals on infrastructure, family planning, jobs, and social welfare. Anywhere there has not been a role for the federal government, this budget imagines one. With this budget, Biden is declaring that the era of big government has only just begun. While members of the legislative branch may not take this budget proposal seriously, the American people owe it to themselves and to future generations to take it very seriously. This is the clearest glimpse into Biden’s vision for the proper role of government and spending desires. In due time, it will become the dominant vision within the Democratic Party.
This budget is a gift for congressional Republicans. This is a golden opportunity for Republicans to expose the dangers of Biden’s agenda. Both parties have generally accepted that running the debt to record levels is bad, but neither has had the will to contain that spending. This budget throws any caution to the wind. There has also been a common view that tax hikes do not spur economic growth – and even hinder it. Yet, the Biden plan introduces sweeping tax hikes coming out of a global pandemic that decimated the economy. It also ignores some of the austerity measures accepted by even the Obama administration. This is more radical than anything we’ve seen for quite some time. While this gift may be neatly wrapped and served up on a silver platter, it will require some work first. Republicans have to present a credible alternative. It is one thing to decry wasteful spending, and an entirely different thing to actually work out solutions to avoid it. This is especially true after so much
of the party remained quiet as Biden’s Republican predecessor, former President Donald Trump, paved the way for record deficits himself. This is a chance to regain needed credibility on spending. They have done it before. Congressional Republicans, once upon a time, worked with Democratic President Clinton to balance the budget. Under the Biden plan, debt would exceed GDP in the not-too-distant future. This would greatly heighten the risk of default and trigger economic panic not only at home, but across the globe. This is a national and global security risk. If the rhetoric on this is to be taken seriously, it needs to be backed up with the same sort of action we saw over two decades ago. Republicans can also stand on the successful record of tax cuts and de-regulation over the last four years to set a viable course counter to the Biden plan. Investment and wages rose in light of tax cuts and the rollback of burdensome regulations. Just prior to the onset of the pandemic, unemployment
numbers were amongst the lowest in years. This success from our recent past can easily be a part of the nation’s future again soon.
For all this to come to fruition, it will require more than gripes aired on cable news. Republican lawmakers need to be willing to work with their counterparts across the aisle to constructively make this case, rather than mindlessly tearing down what’s already been put forth – as bad as it may be. The country is at a crossroads. It’s vital for the nation going forward that we pick the path of fiscal responsibility instead of that of profligacy. The vision for the latter has just been set forth. It’s now time to present one for the former.
Monday: Time Is Overdue to Rename World No Tobacco Day to World No Cigarette Day ([link removed])
Tuesday: How The Postal Service Became Addicted To Secrecy ([link removed])
Wednesday: A Global Corporate Tax Rate Would Weaken the Global Economy ([link removed])
Friday: Biden’s Outrageous Budget a Chance for GOP to Regain Spending Credibility ([link removed])
May 21, 2021: KGAN CBS2 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) quoted TPA “Bipartisan deal on USPS reform could ease pressure for more drastic changes.”
May 21, 2021: The Waco Tribune- Herald (Waco, Texas) “Biden’s $100 billion push for broadband equity Is no panacea.”
May 21, 2021: WBFF Fox45 quoted TPA in their story, “Proposed trail network connecting neighborhoods across Baltimore City.”
May 21, 2021: The Daily Mail quoted TPA in their story, “Trump has charged the Secret Service $40,000 to use ONE hotel room at Mar-a-Lago since leaving office.”
May 21, 2021: The GazetteXtra (Janesville, Wisc.) ran TPA’s op-ed, “Prohibitions not the way to curb youth vaping.”
May 22, 2021: The Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, Minn.) mentioned TPA “Biden's big-time spending isn't what will close the digital divide.”
May 22, 2021: The Winona Daily News (Winona, Minn.) mentioned TPA in an op-ed titled “Biden’s $100 billion push for broadband equity is no panacea.”
May 24, 2021: WBFF Fox45 (Baltimore, Md.) interviewed me about carbon tax.
May 24, 2021: I appeared on Rush to Reason on KLZ 560AM (Denver, Col.) to talk about H.R. 1 and taxpayer-funded campaigns.
May 24, 2021: WFTV 9 (Orlando, Fla.) “DeSantis targets big tech, but does the new law go too far?”
May 27, 2021: I appeared on WBOB 600 AM (Jacksonville, Fla.) to talk about electric vehicles.
May 27, 2021: WBFF Fox45 (Baltimore, Md.) interviewed me about replacing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
May 27, 2021: The Washington Examiner (Washington, D.C.) ran TPA’s op-ed, “A global corporate tax rate would weaken the global economy
May 27, 2021: The American Conservative ran TPA’s op-ed, “How The Postal Service Became Addicted To Secrecy.”
May 27, 2021: Colorado Newsline mentioned TPA in their story, “Colorado Option health care bill limps closer to finish line, with one House vote to go.”
June 2, 2021: The Center Square ran TPA’s op-ed, “Biden’s outrageous budget a chance for GOP to regain spending credibility.”
June 2, 2021: The Daily Mail quoted TPA in their article, “Spending more than a penny! Secret Service splash out $35,000 renting portable toilets at Donald Trump's Bedminster golf club where the former president is staying this summer.”
June 2, 2021: Maryland Matters ran TPA’s op-ed, “With the Right Reforms, Baltimore Can Break With Its Troubled Past.”
June 2, 2021: WBFF Fox45 (Baltimore, Md.) quoted TPA in their story, “How will Baltimore City Spend $640 million in pandemic relief funds?”
June 2, 2021: The Detroit News (Detroit, Mich.) mentioned TPA in an op-ed titled, “Biden's broadband plan may hurt providers, consumers.”
June 3, 2021: I appeared on WBOB 600 AM (Jacksonville, Fla.) to talk about tax increases and the infrastructure bill.
June 3, 2021: WBFF Fox45 (Baltimore, Md.) interviewed me about May unemployment numbers.
June 3, 2021: Politico mentioned TPA in their article, “Not-so-remote areas with internet ‘black holes’ renew fight for broadband.
Have a great weekend!
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