Demri Scott

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on the Grover Norquist Show: Repealing Title II Regulations

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Posted by Demri Scott on Monday, May 22nd, 2017, 11:44 AM PERMALINK

On May 18, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai kick started the regulatory process of repealing Title II regulations on Internet Service Providers. Despite decades of a bipartisan light touch regulatory approach, championed by the Clinton Administration, the FCC under the Obama Administration imposed Title II regulations in 2015 through a 1934 law intended to reign in the Ma Bell monopoly, “treating the internet like a utility.” As a result, Title II regulations have stifled growth and innovation from small and large providers within the market.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, recently interviewed Pai on his fight to repeal Title II regulations, his nomination process, the recent history of the FCC and the future of 5G.

“The biggest [decision under the Obama administration’s purview of the FCC] was net neutrality,” Pai explained. “The FCC was heading down one path, a more relatively free market path, and after [President Obama’s] instruction in 2014, the agency took a very different road and imposed utility style regulations on the internet which I’ve called ‘ a solution that wouldn’t work for a problem that really didn’t exist’”

Pai then goes on to explain the crippling effects of Title II regulations on the internet.

“If you want your internet to run as well as your water company or the DC metro, congratulations, [Title II is] a regulatory framework that does that. But if you want the internet to be free and open, if you want people to invest in building out networks further and increasing competition, you want the free market approach that started under President Clinton… that light touch regulatory approach was proven to succeed for the better part of two decades.”

The fight to repeal Title II regulations, led by Chairman Pai, has only just begun with the start of the public commenting period that will end on August 16. This will be followed by a decision by the FCC on whether to repeal Title II regulations on Internet Service Providers.

Listen to the rest of Chairman Pai’s interview here: 


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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Californians Now Regretting Gas Tax Hike

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Posted by Demri Scott on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017, 2:09 PM PERMALINK

It’s only one month after California state lawmakers passed the largest gas tax hike in state history, and Golden State taxpayers are already working to repeal it. A recall campaign against the gas tax is already underway. Led by state Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach, paperwork was recently filed to begin collecting signatures to place a recall measure on the 2018 ballot.  

Signed into law on April 6 by Governor Jerry Brown, California’s SB 1 represents a ten-year, $52.4 billion tax hike that raises the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon, along with a rate increase on diesel gasoline by 20 cents per gallon. The bill also instituted vehicle licensing fee hikes ranging from $25 to $175, depending on the car. Proponents of the bill marketed it as a source of revenue for repairing roads in the state but failed to mention the bill provides more funding for public transit and bike lanes.

“Jerry Brown’s decision to push through the largest gas tax increase in California’s history without the approval of voters demonstrated a complete disregard for ordinary Californians,” Allen said. “This ballot initiative will correct Brown’s failure and allow the people of California to decide for themselves if they want to raise their taxes.” The measure needs 365,880 signatures to go on the 2018 ballot.

While the effort to repeal California’s gas tax has months to go, one thing is clear: government overreach through excessive taxation will not go down without a fight.

Photo Credit: Jeena Paradies

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ATR Joins Coalition Urging Passage of the No Regulation without Representation Act

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Posted by Demri Scott on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017, 10:43 AM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) this week joined a coalition of free market organizations urging lawmakers to pass the No Regulation without Representation Act, a bill that codifies the requirement for businesses to be physically located in the state before they can be taxed or regulated.

The No Taxation without Representation Act follows decades of government overreach in taxing businesses physically outside the parameters of the state. These government regulations not only challenge state sovereignty, but make it more difficult for small businesses to grow in the market.

The coalition letter released this week and signed by ATR expresses the sentiment to lawmakers that:

“A number of worrisome legislative trends at the state level threaten to erode that foundation of federalism by empowering states to exercise power outside their borders. For example, bills that would dramatically expand authority to collect sales taxes, label restaurant menus, and even determine the appropriate size of chicken cages could impose undue economic burdens on citizens by government officials who are in no way accountable to them. If unchecked, such efforts could substantially harm interstate commerce”

The No Regulation without Representation Act will help ensure that states will have power to dictate their own policies without the backbreaking weight of regulations from other states. Doing so will help small businesses grow without overreach of the government. ATR supports this bill and urges all members of Congress to support and co-sponsor this important legislation. 

Full text of the letter can be found here.

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