Taxpayers also stand to be big losers if the FCC rigs the auction. An economic analysis conducted by former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and former CBO principal analyst Coleman Bazelon for the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy found that excluding AT&T and Verizon from the auctions would reduce proceeds by up to 40 percent, or about $12 billion, jeopardizing funding for a new national public safety network and increasing the federal deficit.
A second chapter of the report, from a former top adviser to President Clinton, Robert J. Shapiro, found that, denied needed spectrum, AT&T and Verizon would be forced to manage capacity in less-effective, more expensive ways that would destroy more than 118,000 jobs by 2017.
If nominee Tom Wheeler is confirmed as FCC chairman, his most important job will be conducting these auctions. It’s therefore critical that the Senate Commerce Committee get a clear commitment from him that he will not rig the auctions in a way that would harm consumers and taxpayers by excluding legitimate bidders.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of the 2011 book Democracy Denied.
American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting America’s core commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom.
Washingtonian magazine named Mr. Kerpen to their "Guest List" in 2008 and The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a "Top Grassroots Lobbyist" in 2011.
Mr. Kerpen's op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.
Prior to joining American Commitment, Mr. Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Kerpen has also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Kerpen currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Joanna and their daughter Lilly.