AT&T-Verizon web portal, email team-up raises antitrust concerns

July 19, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting reports that AT&T is partnering with Verizon on its web portal and email services:

“The AT&T-Time Warner merger raised significant red flags for many Americans, including Americans for Limited Government, as it signaled a dangerous vertical integration of communications resources within one massive company.

“Incredibly, hot on the heels of this dubious merger, AT&T has announced that they are hiring Verizon, the nation’s second largest telecom company and largest wireless provider, to run both its web portal and email services. Apparently, no matter how large companyies get or how much time passes from the break-up of Ma Bell, the AT&T mothership continues to try to reunite with one of its massive baby bells.

“Beyond the obvious fact that AT&T could and should have chosen any one of a number of vendors to provide this service rather than Verizon, which is purported to be its biggest competitor in this space.  This decision to turn over AT&T’s customer data to Verizon to manage raises significant questions about the future independence of the two giants, and AT&T has a responsibility to provide answers before the stench of monopoly and collusion overwhelms these two erstwhile ‘competitors.'”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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ALG urges Congress to zero-fund the East-West Center

July 19, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to provide zero dollars to the East-West Center:

“Senator Everett Dirksen famously said, ‘a million here, a million there, eventually it adds up to real money.’ With Senator Dirksen’s admonition in mind, Americans for Limited Government is releasing a series of spending cuts which could be made immediately and easily if Congress were serious about slowing the growth of our annual budget deficit.

“Today’s example of spending that should be eliminated are the federal funds appropriated for the East-West Center (EWC). The EWC is a think tank based in Hawaii which focuses on issues affecting the US, Asia, and the Pacific. A legacy of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, the EWC think tank has been receiving federal taxpayer dollars for almost six decades – more than $160 million over the past two decades alone.

“It is time for this Vietnam War era project to be set free from the shackles of federal support ($16.7 million projected this year) and fully enter the competitive world of private donor fundraising.  This would not be a death knell for this group as the East-West Center currently raises millions of dollars from private sources each year to achieve its Cold War mission.

“Taxpayers launched the East-West Center, but it is time for them to launch into adulthood before they become eligible for Medicare.”

Background:

With the national debt now over $22 billion, Congress simply must find places in the budget to cut. Some necessary cuts are tough; others are easy. Defunding the East-West Center (EWC), a think tank in Honolulu, Hawaii focused on relations between the US, Asia, and the Pacific, is an easy cut. Currently, the EWC receives $16.7 million a year from federal taxpayers.

The EWC is just another of Lyndon Johnson’s wasteful Big Government programs. During his tenure as Senate Majority Leader, Johnson sponsored legislation to establish the EWC; Congress passed the bill without even holding any hearings. Interestingly, the State Department opposed the EWC’s creation. For decades afterward, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) managed to keep federal support for the think tank in place. With Inouye gone, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) now fights to keep the federal tax dollars flowing to the EWC.

Three decades after the founding of the EWC, another powerful legislator, Rep. Dante Fascell (D-FL), procured funding for the North-South Center, which was a think tank in Miami, Florida focused on relations between North and South America and the Caribbean. After Fascell left Congress, financial support for the North-South Center dwindled until all federal support was removed. The think tank closed shortly thereafter. Of course, there has been no discernable difference in North-South relations as a result of the think tank’s closure.

Not only is the EWC a needless expense for taxpayers, but it also pushes the liberal agenda. Like so many left-wing organizations, the EWC is obsessed with global warming. There is no reason that taxpayers should be subsidizing climate alarmism, which often leads to proposals for higher taxes and costly regulations as well as expensive energy projects that drive up costs for consumers. If the EWC wants to continue to scaremonger over global warming, then climate alarmists, such as billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer, should make the EWC a pet project.

Looking for fat in the budget to trim, the Trump Administration has proposed zeroing out funding for the think tank. Nor is this administration the first to suggest the EWC should receive fewer federal tax dollars. Even the Obama Administration proposed cutting the think tank’s budget by $9 million — even though Obama’s mother had once studied at the EWC. (Subsequently, the EWC hired President Obama’s half-sister.) While saving $16.7 million might not sound like much, the appropriations for the think tank do add up.  Since FY 1997, over $160 million has been appropriated for the EWC.

Taxpayers have funded the EWC for well over 50 years, and it is long past time to cut off the welfare checks. The EWC already generates significant non-federal revenues; in fact, the EWC brought in over $9 million in donations and non-federal grants and contracts last year according to its financial summary. There are dozens of foreign policy think tanks in this country, and it is doubtful that many people would notice if the EWC were unable to replace the federal funds and were forced to scale back its budget. Finally, the US had diplomatic and trade relations with Asia long before the EWC, and those relationships would continue even if the think tank were to close.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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DOJ defends national security against Chinese takeover in Qualcomm case

July 17, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising the U.S. Department of Justice for siding with Qualcomm in its intellectual property case against the Federal Trade Commission:

“Americans for Limited Government has been clear that the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against Qualcomm is both wrong and dangerous. The lawsuit, which is a legacy of the Obama administration, harms a private company’s business model by denying them lawfully negotiated licensing fees for their products and threatens national security. The federal court decision by Judge Judy Koh sided with Chinese IT giant Huawei even though Huawei has a direct financial interest in destroying their only competitor in the 5G chip space.

“The U.S. Department of Justice wisely and boldly has urged the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the ruling by Judge Koh citing national security concerns. This highly unusual but important intervention by the Justice Department against a federal agency was prompted by concerns voiced by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy about the disastrous impact of Koh’s ruling.

“As the Justice Department argues in its amicus brief, Judge Koh’s ruling is ‘undermining U.S. leadership in 5G technology and standard-setting, which is vital to military readiness and other critical national interests.’ To protect national security, the Ninth Circuit needs to stay and then overturn Koh’s erroneous and dangerous decision. This case is just one example where a single Obama appointed judge seeks to impose their worldview over national interests and it is up to the Ninth Circuit or if necessary the Supreme Court of the United States to reinstate sanity into our legal system.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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President Trump right to elevate Pizzella to Acting Labor Secretary role

July 12, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government, and former member of President Trump’s transition team for the Department of Labor reacts to announcement that Pat Pizzella has been named the Acting Secretary of Labor.

“Pat Pizzella will do a great job moving the President’s agenda forward in his new role as Acting Secretary of Labor.  Pat has a long, distinguished career in the Labor Department and elsewhere in government, and his expertise in maximizing the output from federal bureaucracies will serve the President well as he moves forward with his focus on reskilling employees through cutting-edge apprenticeship programs.  President Trump made the right choice in putting Pizzella’s steady, experienced hand at the helm of the Labor Department to achieve the administration’s goal of preparing our nation’s workforce for the economy of the future.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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Trump economy keeps chugging along with 224,000 jobs created as manufacturing spikes

July 5, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the latest jobs numbers:

“The Trump job growth economy keeps chugging along with 224,000 jobs created, 191,000 of those in the all-important private sector.  Most notably, the manufacturing sector added 18,000 new jobs last month after four months of little growth.

“Not only are more Americans working today than a year ago, but a higher percentage of people are working today than last year with the unemployment rate lower over the year for African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Whites demonstrating that the President’s policies have worked for all Americans. Wages continue to be on the rise with an average twelve month increase of 3.1 percent, meaning not only are more people working, but they are earning more for their efforts.

“On this day after our national celebration of our independence, it is clear why people were in the mood to celebrate – they are working and making more money in the process.  Not shockingly, cutting taxes and federal government regulations benefit people across all economic strata by unleashing the power of the free market economy.  This is the magic wand that President Trump has waved, and the June employment report confirms once again, that it is working.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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Trump deregulatory actions set the economy free

June 28, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the Council of Economic Advisors report on deregulation:

“The tepid and what some would say was a non-existent economic recovery after the financial crisis during the Obama administration was largely due to the regulatory strangling of economic growth. President Trump promised to cut the red tape and unleash our nation’s economy and unlike many of his predecessors, he has kept that promise. A report from the Council of Economic Advisors estimates that the regulatory cuts made by the Trump administration will result in $3,100 savings per year per household savings and a net $220 billion a year savings to the economy.

“It cannot be underestimated how important it has been to break the administrative state notion that regulations are without cost to the American public. Currently, American wages are increasing by 3.1 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and more Americans are employed today than ever before. The President’s deregulatory agenda has played a real role in creating an economic environment where almost 500,000 new manufacturing jobs could be profitably created. The regulatory changes have decreased the costs of prescription drugs due to the expansion of generic drug competition, and America is moving towards energy dominance and is rapidly becoming the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.

“In order to assure that future regulations and even those that have been promulgated in the past are based upon sound science, it is incumbent upon this administration to require that the scientific research underlying all new regulations be both transparent and reproducible. While transparency and reproducibility mirror the scientific method that every school child is taught, it is shocking that regulations costing our economy trillions of dollars are not subject to these basic criteria.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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Commerce Department should delay printing of Census forms in light of Supreme Court ruling

June 27, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting the Supreme Court ruling blocking a citizenship question on the Census:

“In light of the Roberts decision to inject the Supreme Court into any changes to questions on Census forms, which are routine, it is incumbent upon the Department of Commerce to delay printing of those forms. In the meantime, let Roberts spends July vacation determining what a proper rationale for an additional question on citizenship is, which has been used in 12 out of 15 Censuses since 1870. Perhaps Roberts would consider this fact: Federal spending to the states is largely based on population, and federal law prohibits people who are not in the U.S. legally from obtaining welfare. We were also assured by President Obama that Obamacare would not apply to those here illegally. The federal government knows how many people are in the U.S. legally through the normal immigration naturalization process.

“Should the federal government know how many citizens are in a state, it is simple math to restrict funding in those areas that like welfare and health care Congress has determined are for citizens and legal residents only. This is just one compelling interest for having a citizenship question, so that the executive branch can enforce the laws that Congress has passed on eligibility for federal benefits. It is not John Roberts’ role to write Census questions, and his precedent equating each Census question to a regulatory change under the Administrative Procedures Act is disastrous across the federal government, as any changes to any form no matter how innocuous may now be subject to judicial review.

“If John Roberts wanted to be an administrative law judge, that’s the job he should have applied for, but injecting the Supreme Court as the judge of any changes made to any form in the federal government is an absurd abuse of power.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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The FTC should immediately look into Reddit banning The_Donald subreddit

June 26, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting Reddit for quarantining The_Donald subreddit that has more than 750,000 followers:

“The social media platform Reddit has quarantined a pro-Trump group, which is one of the largest subreddits with over 750,000 followers, and the Federal Trade Commission needs to open an investigation into anticompetitive actions by social media platforms. Given the appearance that the activities of various social media platforms are colluding against Republicans, conservatives and Trump supporters for political purposes along with the threat of deplatforming, this significantly harms conservative groups’ ability to monetize their organizations and to communicate with their voluntary followers. These platforms set themselves up as neutral arbiters designed to allow organizations to access to their followings they invested resources to develop. The arbitrary denial of service is a violation of the rights and underlying contract when users chose to invest resources into developing followers on these platforms.”

Attachments:

“Big Tech’s bid for one-party rule could result in it getting regulated to death,” By Robert Romano, June 26, 2019 at http://dailytorch.com/2019/06/big-techs-bid-for-one-party-rule-could-result-in-it-getting-regulated-to-death/

“John Stuart Mill warned of the coming ‘social tyranny’ that is taking root on social media,” By Robert Romano, June 26, 2019 at http://dailytorch.com/2019/05/john-stuart-mill-warned-of-the-coming-social-tyranny-that-is-taking-root-on-social-media/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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DOJ, FCC, FTC should focus on threat of Big Tech media consolidation

June 26, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the federal government to address the threat of Big Tech media consolidation:

“Project Veritas’ Google video which shows that the Internet monopoly is engaged in a concerted effort to use their market dominance to influence the 2020 presidential election against President Trump is just one more example of the danger presented by media consolidation and big tech as a whole.  While it is uncertain whether Google could in fact sway an election simply by manipulating people’s opinions based upon search results and other machine learning algorithms, the fact that they are actively seeking to do so using AI-driven predictive learning is a breach of the public trust.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there is momentum building for the U.S. government to subject Google to full scrutiny to determine if they are a monopoly which should be broken up using our nation’s anti-trust laws.  Given the Silicon Valley giant’s stated work to politically weaponize their purportedly neutral search algorithms to fight for social justice, the U.S. government cannot move too quickly to provide that scrutiny.

“Additionally, with the exception of the Sprint-T-Mobile merger which is strictly about increasing spectrum to create a viable third 5G competitor, all proposals that would allow greater consolidation of media under consideration by DOJ, FCC and FTC should be put on hold to ensure that the bigger, more powerful media empires that emerge are in the nation’s interest in this new era of information consolidation and manipulation.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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ALG urges Congress to drain the swamp and pass the MERIT Act

June 21, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to adopt the MERIT Act by U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) to expedite the firing of bad federal employees:

“The MERIT Act is based upon language that has allowed the Veterans Affairs Secretary to fire non-performing and bad public employees on an expedited basis. Federal employees work for taxpayers and the heads of every department and agency should have the capacity to fire those who refuse or are unable to do their jobs through a fair but expedited process. Under current law, it can take years to remove a federal bureaucrat, and with the types of abuses we are witnessing every day by recalcitrant federal employees, the time has come for Congress to act to drain the swamp. Every member of Congress should cosponsor this legislation and send a clear message that the American people are the ones in charge of the government and not federal lifetime career bureaucrats.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org

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