1. IRS Subjects Tea Party Groups to New Round of Scrutiny, Publicizes Tax Return Data - via The Washington Times
The IRS‘ battle against holdout tea party groups is heating up
again, after the tax agency promised it would begin processing their
long-delayed applications, but sent a new round of prodding questions
demanding still more information.
More jarringly, the IRS then publicly released one of the sets of
questions it sent to the Texas Patriots Tea Party — a move the group’s
lawyer says puts secret taxpayer return information, supposed to be
protected, out in the public.
Tax experts say the IRS may be on safe legal ground, since the
filing was made as part of a court case, and that’s one of the few
narrow exceptions to strict IRS privacy laws.
Still, the move to release the information has inflamed an already
tense class action legal battle between the IRS and tea party groups who
feel the agency is still targeting them more than three years after it
promised to cease. Read more here...
2. ObamaCare is Failing-And Hillary Clinton Doesn't Want to Talk About It - via Reason
Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman became the second state
insurance regulator in recent weeks to warn that their state's
individual insurance market—which includes its health insurance
exchange—is on the brink of collapse. In a press release, officials said
that rates for the seven insurers operating in the state's individual
insurance market would increase by between 50 and 67 percent. Those
hikes were necessary to prevent a full-blown failure. "It's in an
emergency situation—we worked hard and avoided a collapse," Rothman told
Just a few weeks earlier, Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie
McPeak declared that the state's Obamacare exchange was "very near
collapse." The state allowed two insurers to re-file requests for rate
increases, eventually approving hikes of more than 40 percent, which
McPeak said was necessary in order to stave off a meltdown. Read more here...
3. Export-Import Bank Supporters Dealt Setback in Congress - via Competitive Enterprise Institute
The Export-Import Bank’s supporters and beneficiaries very nearly
scored a major victory last week. Ex-Im, as it’s called for short, was
shut down for about six months in 2014, is back up and running, but not
at full strength. For those unfamiliar, Ex-Im gives loans and loan
guarantees to foreign buyers of U.S.-made goods. Free-market types
generally oppose the bank on grounds of corruption and cronyism; see my
paper for more.
Any transaction greater than $10 million must be approved by at
least three Ex-Im board members. The trouble is Ex-Im only has two board
members right now. As board members’ terms have expired, the Senate has
refused to confirm new members, and likely won’t for some time. Since
much of Ex-Im’s business goes to big-ticket items such as airplanes and
satellites—Boeing alone usually claims 40 percent of Ex-Im’s
largesse—the current situation has put quite a damper on Ex-Im’s
activities. Read more here...
4. FreedomWorks' Congressman of the Month: Rep. Warren Davidson - by Emily Moore
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) is FreedomWorks’ Congressman of the
Month for October 2016 for his continued work on behalf of taxpayers and
Rep. Davidson demonstrated his dedication to the United States
first by serving his country in uniform and now continuing his
commitment to public service by representing his constituents in the
halls of Congress. He has earned a FreedomWorks lifetime scorecard
rating of 100 percent, as well as the trust and admiration of
After winning the House seat held by former Speaker John Boehner,
Rep. Davidson set out to work for limited government, better health care
for veterans, and a balanced budget. He recently introduced H.R. 6005,
the Lead by Example Act. This legislation would require that Members of
Congress and congressional staff receive the same health care that
veterans are provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA),
instead of care under the Federal Health Benefits Program or health care
exchanges. Read more here...
5. Crime Is Still at Historic Lows - by Jason Pye & Nathan Leamer via The American Spectator
Some are playing up news stories or writing editorials with
clickbait headlines featuring violent crimes as a way to stoke fear in
the minds of Americans to achieve political goals, but the fact is that
you’re safer walking down the street today than the early 1970s.
Last week the Federal Bureau of Investigation released its annual
Uniform Crime Report, which offered a look at crime in the United States
in 2015. The data were gathered from state and local law enforcement
agencies across the country. While the 2013 and 2014 reports showed that
violent crime declined almost across the board, this year’s report
shows that violent crime rates, including homicides, increased.
It won’t be long before the report is already being used as an
excuse for why Congress should not pursue criminal justice reform this
year, but this logic is incredibly short-sighted and looks past the
bigger picture of what we know about crime in the United States. Read more here...
Communications Director, FreedomWorks