ACCF 2015 Annual Report

A Tale of Two Cities: Notable Wins in 2015, But Challenges Ahead for Pro-Growth Advocates

2015 marked a tale of two cities. Despite the continued gridlock of a divided government, there were notable victories in Washington policymaking that will have positive benefits on investment, the economy and jobs.

With four decades of recognized leadership and influence in U.S. economic policy, the ACCF continues to make a difference because of (1) our bipartisan credibility with Members of Congress, from Progressive Democrats to Tea Party Republicans and all in between (illustrated by their participation in our monthly economic policy “salons”); (2) our highly regarded research and policy analysis and a board of scholars including two Nobel prize winners and six former chairmen of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; and (3) earned respect in the media with editorialists, pundits, columnists, and beat reporters, including editorial briefings this year with The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News.

The ACCF was on the front lines of several key battles in energy policy. The biggest policy win was the termination of the decades old ban on crude oil exports. The ACCF was credited for being a leading player in this effort because of our unique ability to interact with both sides of the aisle. The ACCF, in coordination with the Smarter Fuel Future coalition, also waged a national campaign to highlight the federal government’s awed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). We were also instrumental in forming the first bipartisan Senate Regulations Caucus, which will help set the stage for a comprehensive regulatory reform campaign in the coming year. The ACCF also continued its four-decade effort to put true tax reform on the table through a bold shift from taxing income and savings to consumption.

We are optimists by nature, but realistic about opportunities to change economic policies. We congratulate Paul Ryan on becoming Speaker of the House. We have hosted House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and found common ground on free trade. We have worked closely on tax reform with Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden of the Senate Finance Committee, Ways and Means Chairman Brady and Senator Ben Cardin. We have forged relationships with Tea Party members, the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus. Our mission remains the same despite changes in leadership and parties.

Now, the 2016 election is upon us and there has never been a greater set of challenges that face the investor, the business community and the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit. Policies to promote capital formation are needed today more than ever before. The ACCF sees three big obstacles to a growing economy: an out of control regulatory morass, a tax code that stifles economic growth and the threat of populist rhetoric influencing economic policy.

To meet these challenges head on, we are growing in size and scope. Our game plan, which we succinctly call “100/45/115,” is to help develop policies that can tackle these challenges in the first 100 days of the 45th President and the 115th Congress. We will work with economic advisors, scholars and presidential campaigns. Our initiative is headed by three former Democrats and GOP members of Congress.

We offer our 2015 annual report as a chronicle of the unique niche the ACCF occupies in helping shape U.S. economic policy to create a higher standard of living, growth and competitiveness in the global economy.

Mark A. Bloomfield
President & Chief Executive Officer
December 31, 2015