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Obama's Treasury Pick, Waxman's Chairmanship and the Big Tobacco Deal

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Obama's Treasury Pick, Waxman's Chairmanship and the Big Tobacco Deal

President-Elect Obama prepares to nominate New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wins control of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee.  

Legal observers mark the 10th anniversary of the so-called “Master Settlement Agreement” between big tobacco companies and the states.

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.  

1. BUSINESS

President-Elect Obama prepares to nominate New York Federal Reserve Bank President

Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Berlau on what the nomination means for Obama’s promise of change:

“The Geithner nomination would be ‘more of the same’ in almost every respect — more bailouts, more lack of transparency in the bailouts, and more corporate welfare. Geithner was the architect of the Bear Stearns bailout and cohort of Treasury Secretary Paulson in American International Group and the TARP bailouts. In choosing Geithner, Obama might as well have nominated Hank Paulson to another term!”

 

2. TECHNOLOGY

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wins control of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee.  

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Information Policy Analyst Ryan Radia on the effects Waxman’s chairmanship could have on telecommunications policy:

“Waxman has embraced forced openness for privately-owned networks, even threatening to cut off Universal Service Fund (USF) funding for telecom companies unwilling to open up their networks for device roaming. Though the USF itself is unneeded, and in some cases even counter-productive; any government subsidies of rural telecommunications services should strive to minimize costs rather than reshape markets to suit political whims. Because mandatory access is often at odds with the bottom line, demanding that carriers grant access to any device often leads to a reduction in infrastructure investment. America’s rural areas would be better served by a competitive marketplace in which companies are free to experiment with all kinds of pricing plans and service offerings to suit evolving consumer demands.”

3. LEGAL

Legal observers mark the 10th anniversary of the so-called “Master Settlement Agreement” between big tobacco companies and the states.      

CEI Expert Available to Comment: General Counsel Sam Kazman of the legacy of the agreement:

“The tobacco Master Settlement Agreement is a corrupt, unconstitutional agreement between state attorneys general and Big Tobacco. It represents the highpoint of using lawsuits and settlement agreements to impose new taxes and regulations on citizens, and it should be halted by the courts.”

 

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