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Jonathan Decker on February 21, 2019 | End Regulatory Tyranny
Washington, D.C.—American Commitment and the HSA Coalition are leading a coalition of nearly 20 national organizations, representing millions of members and supporters, in requesting that Senator Mike Enzi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget, enact wide-ranging reform of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) while selecting a new kind of director for the vital organization.  CBO is under intense criticism for providing inaccurate projections in its analysis of legislation (such as Obamacare exchange enrollment projections), seriously undermining Congress’s ability to accomplish its policy objectives.
 
In a letter sent to Chairman Mike Enzi, the coalition states: “There is a crying need for reform and modernization of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).   We are writing you with specific reform suggestions, as well as to urge you to select a completely different type of Director than has been selected in the past, one who has a track record of successfully reforming institutions and who will impose significant and greatly needed reforms on CBO.”
 
The coalition contends that CBO requires a new kind of director and lays out a series of specific recommendations including:
 
  • A Commitment to and a History of Accurate Financial Projections
  • Retroactive Scoring
  • Alternate Scores
  • Bring in Artificial Intelligence
  • Make the ‘Black Box’ Transparent
  • Use Scores Other than from CBO
  • Do Not Pick an Academic to be CBO Director
  • Create a Timely Scoring Process
 
The letter concludes: “We, the undersigned, urge you, Mr. Chairman, to consider these criteria for selecting the next CBO Director because a business-as-usual approach to filling this crucial position will result in business-as-usual at the CBO—and we must do better”
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Jonathan Decker on February 20, 2019 | End Regulatory Tyranny
Jonathan Decker on February 20, 2019 | Restore Fiscal Sanity

 

Yesterday Trump's Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced that California will be required to pay back the federal taxpayer dollars it received for its spectacularly failed high speed rail project.

 

Click here to thank President Trump and Secretary Elaine Chao for forcing California to pay us back for its high-speed rail boondoggle!

 

California was granted over $3 billion in federal funds under Obama's 2009 stimulus package. Nearly a decade later, California still has zero operating high speed rail lines from Obama's "shovel ready jobs bill."

 

And Governor Gavin Newsom admitted the project is a failure in his State of the State speech, saying: "The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long... there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A. I wish there were.”

 

Ridiculously, Newsom then went on to say he would upgrade the existing Amtrak line between Merced and Bakersfield – in order to avoid returning the federal grant money.

 

...

By Phil Kerpen

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao did the right thing when she put the brakes on the Obama administration's regulatory mandate that would have forced an expensive technology called dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) in all new cars and trucks sold in America.  The Obama rule would have imposed total costs of $108 billion and raised the price of every new car about $300 – for a technology that is already obsolete.

Now comes the related policy question of what to do with the big chunk of prime spectrum that would have been used for the Obama plan – will it be opened up for unlicensed use, enabling gigabit WiFi to make the Internet work better on all of our devices?  Or will it continue to sit fallow on the prospects of potential future automotive use?

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has zealously guarded the 5.9GHz band since it was set aside by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1999.  Twenty years later, DOT's longtime preferred DSRC technology remains nearly undeployed – the technology is in just 18,000 of the 270 million some passenger vehicles in the country.  And the Obama DOT's own testing found that "every DSRC device deployed had to be recalled at least once... to identify and correct issues" and "there were more false alerts generated by the systems than anticipated."

Meanwhile, radar, lidar, camera-based, and cellular 4G technologies have been developed and enable a wide-array of driver-assist features.  As 5G is deployed it will bring even greater capabilities.

Yet DOT and automakers insist on a slow, three-phase series of tests to see whether WiFi can share spectrum with DSRC before making any changes.                            

The first phase was completed successfully in October, but as FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly observed: "The reality is that the entire debate has gravitated away from the type of sharing regime envisioned in the testing.  Instead, the Commission should move past this and initiate a rulemaking to reallocate at least 45 megahertz of the band, which is completely unused today for automobile safety."

He's right, and it's an issue with bipartisan agreement at the FCC.

Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel joined O'Rielly in a 2016 joint statement, saying: "We believe this slice of spectrum provides the best near-term opportunity for promoting innovation and expanding current offerings, such as Wi-Fi. That’s because combining the airwaves in this band with those already available for unlicensed use nearby could mean increased capacity, reduced congestion, and higher speeds."

The Trump DOT has stopped the Obama DSRC mandate but so far held on to the spectrum.  They have also, however, signaled a welcome shift to a technology-neutral approach, and are presently taking public comments on where vehicle communications technology is going.

Given the rapid development of mobile technology and the even greater capabilities coming with 5G – as well as sensor-based technologies being rapidly developed for driver-assist features and autonomous vehicles– it is possible...

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