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September Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies

As we have previously highlighted, the federal government’s forty independent federal agencies receive too little attention relative to their importance to our collective safety and prosperity. The Revolving Door Project has worked through multiple channels to shed light on these overlooked agencies and the threats that they face. We hope public education will generate pressure to safeguard the independence of these agencies and ensure that they are staffed with advocates for the public...

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With Impeachment (Slowly) Underway, Other Oversight is Still Needed

Impeachment proceedings are officially underway, meaning that the tedious debate over whether or not to open an inquiry is (at least, hypothetically) behind us. Following revelations last week that President Trump has taken Congress’ refusal to impeach as a blank check, it is even becoming plausible that the days of Nancy Pelosi’s ridiculous ongoing opposition to impeachment are numbered. This is not to say that the impeachment fight is over; questions about the substance and style of the...

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Key House Democrats Are Giving Betsy DeVos A Free Ride

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testified before the House Education and Labor Committee five months ago. She sat down, cleared her throat, and proceded to dodge basic yes-or-no questions about everything from transgender rights to literacy programs to arming teachers for several hours. Through her evasiveness, and the many issues Democrats wanted to bring up, there was barely any discussion of the trillion dollar student loan crisis, a calamity chaining down a whole generation’s opportunity,...

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Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection

Washington is awash with proposals for a new regulatory agency centered on Silicon Valley. Often lost in that important conversation is the fact that the executive branch already has some positions with a direct focus on the technology sector, though they are limited in scope and scattered across the alphabet-soup of agencies. Perhaps no tech-focused bureaucrat has the president’s ear quite like the Chief Technology Officer. The CTO is the White House’s top advisor on anything to do with...

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Google’s Settlement With The FTC Shows A Culture Of Corruption Thriving

The FTC’s pittance of a settlement with Google over serious violations of children’s privacy laws came and went through the news cycle with little more than a shrug from the public last month. That’s understandable; folks following Silicon Valley’s relationship with Washington right now are singularly focused on the concurrent state and federal-level antitrust inquiries into the biggest four tech companies, Google included. Moreover, as I wrote in the American Prospect yesterday, Google...

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The Official Poverty Measure Has Defined Deprivation Down

Based on the decline in the unemployment rate and other recent trends, it is likely that the official poverty rate will fall from 12.3 percent in 2017 to around 12 percent in 2018. The Census Bureau will release those poverty estimates tomorrow, Tuesday, September 10. Regardless of where the 2018 rate ends up, it will vastly understate the extent of economic and social deprivation in the United States. But, with a better measure of poverty, one more consistent with most Americans’...

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Facebook Dodges Regulation With Wall Street’s Tactics — Confuse And Blame The Public

Facebook fulfilled an old promise last month in the most Facebook way possible: by sounding nice on paper and glossing over the details. Their new privacy tools are a laughably inefficient and insufficient set of measures, because fundamentally, they’re not trying to actually solve the stated problem: Facebook’s surveillance-based business model. It’s more proof that forcing individuals to protect themselves from the abuses of giant corporations is a cruel fantasy. This collective problem...

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August Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies

As we have previously highlighted, the federal government’s forty independent federal agencies receive too little attention relative to their importance to our collective safety and prosperity. The Revolving Door Project has worked through multiple channels to shed light on these overlooked agencies and the threats that they face. We hope public education will generate pressure to safeguard the independence of these agencies and ensure that they are staffed with advocates for the public...

Read More »

SEC Chief Accountant’s Trip(s) through the Revolving Door are Emblematic of a Broader Problem

In May, Wesley Bricker, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Chief Accountant, announced that he was stepping down. Early last month, we learned where he had landed: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the “Big Four” auditors, as Vice Chair and Assurance Leader for the US and Mexico. With this move, Bricker has completed his fourth turn through the revolving door between PwC and the SEC. Although seemingly remarkable, his career trajectory is emblematic of the nearly...

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Trump’s Contempt for Working-Class Expressed in New Expanded Public Charge Rule

  This week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially published regulations that radically expand the definition of an archaic immigration law term, public charge, to include various non-cash benefits that supplement earnings and other income, but are impossible to live on in the absence of other income. The people most impacted include millions of working-class and middle-class US citizens who plan to marry or are married to foreign nationals.Read More ...

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