For the first time since 2013, on Saturday, January 20th, 2018, the U.S. government ran out of money when Congress failed to pass a spending bill to fund the federal government. Much of the federal government’s operations have ground to a halt due to the lack of funding. Because Congress is seemingly at an impasse over immigration policy, the shutdown may last several days, if not weeks. In light of Loyola’s upcoming symposium exploring what happens when regulation is not enforced, it is interesting to consider how, in a similar vein, the shutdown affects compliance.
It is commonly accepted that lowering tax rates increases tax compliance and high tax rates encourage tax evasion. The recent U.S. tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, was enacted partly due to assumptions that lowered tax rates would increase tax compliance and recover lost revenue. Here, I examine the theoretical basis for the claim that lowering income taxes increases compliance, as well as the external evidence regarding the extent of increased compliance due to lowering tax rates.
“What is the Role of a Regulation if it is Not Enforced?”
Friday, February 16
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Philip H. Corboy Law Center
25 E. Pearson Street
Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, 10th Floor
The symposium will explore questions of theory and practice related to an administrative state that has such a largesse of regulations (and quasi-regulations in the form of interpretative guidance) that administrative agencies cannot possibly audit or enforce all of their expectations for regulated actors. The size and decentralized control of the administrative state poses questions of legal theory on the role of regulations in society if the state has no intention or lacks resources for enforcing them and practical questions for the regulated actors in how or when to comply with the regulations. But it also sets up a minefield for the regulated actor if enforcement agencies can play “gotcha” on technical strict liability rules which may be buried amid manuals or have been previously enforced. Although focusing on law, the symposium is intended to be multi-disciplinary and seeks to bring together scholars from law, ethics, political science, business, economics, and philosophy.
A government agency created in response to the 2011 BP oil spill is proposing changes to its rules surrounding offshore drilling. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) was established to replace the former Minerals Management Service (MMS) agency in response to its perceived conflict of interest and poor regulatory oversight. Since 2011, the BSEE focused exclusively on safety. Now it seems its changing its tune to promote more offshore oil and gas drilling.
In November of 2016 voters in California passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act which legalized the sale and use of marijuana throughout the state, similarly to states such as Colorado and Washington. Starting January 1, 2018, it will be legal to go to a licensed dispensary and purchase marijuana for personal use, without needing a medical marijuana card. However, marijuana possession or use is still a federal offense; navigating the new law can be hazy.
The disclosures of major security breaches in 2017 such as Verizon, Equifax, Uber, the National Security Agency and the Transportation Safety Administration increased consumer concern about the safety of their personal and financial data. These disclosures also contributed to renewed Congressional analysis of data security standards in the financial services sector and review of current federal and state regulatory regimes. Insider cyber threats have become security remains a threat as well. In August 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced insider trading charges against seven individuals who gained access to confidential merger and acquisition data through a technology consultant’s misuse of an investment bank’s new computer system. State actions, governmental agencies and the financial services industry are actively combatting the growth of cyber-security threats.
NCAA regulation is highly restrictive of the compensation of amateur athletes. Recent class actions have challenged the equity of such policies in light of the high levels of revenue generated by the organization and schools. Challenges to NCAA regulation may provide student-athletes greater ability to negotiate their compensation and to make money independently.
On November 21, 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his intent to roll back utility-style regulations on internet service providers promulgated in 2015. This issue will be called for a vote on December 14 at the FCC’s open meeting. President Obama pressured the FCC to promulgate rules to regulate the internet as a public utility and preserve “net neutrality.” The FCC’s proposed repeal of these rules would restore internet service provider regulations to the framework established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This recent proposal has been divisive along party lines, and the FCC has reported receiving more than 22 million comments.