Brian McNicoll

Brian McNicoll is a conservative columnist based out of Alexandria, Va. He is the former director of communications for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a former senior writer for the Heritage Foundation.

Minimum Wage Gimmicks Are Costing Governments Big Time


Local governments should beware that when they pass exorbitant minimum wage laws, they might be giving up a lot in tax revenue. Minimum wage laws have driven up costs for hotels and motels and thus driven away customers from those businesses to sharing economy outlets, such as Airbnb. That means a lot of customers who […]

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Trump Is Right: Make Sure ZTE Got a Fair Shake


President Trump’s decision to help Chinese telecom giant ZTE “get back into business” sent people on both sides of the aisle to their copies of “The Art of the Deal” to find the chapter on removing the trade death penalty from a company because, as the president tweeted, “Too many jobs in China lost.” But […]

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Puerto Rico’s Trash Removal: A Big Mess Growing Bigger


Puerto Rico was in the news constantly after being leveled by two hurricanes last fall. The response was slower than for other hurricanes. The Cajun Navy could not reach Puerto Rico. Contractors, like the now-notorious Whitefish, were hired for jobs for which they were unprepared or unqualified. Supplies have gone to rot in warehouses and […]

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White Space Is Your Friend, Rural Internet Users


White space is your friend, as page designers all know. Now, it could be the friend of rural internet users as well. Chairman Ajit Pai said at a House Communications Subcommittee meeting the FCC “will be aggressive about freeing up TV band white spaces for rural broadband,” according to If he follows through — […]

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NASA’s Contracting Swamp Needs Draining


President Trump could use the boost that would come with draining a prominent swamp, and there happens to be one now that could use it. Elon Musk, the owner of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX — among other government-sponsored businesses — has made a number of costly mistakes in the space industry… mistakes that taxpayers underwrite […]

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The Problem With Trump’s Drug Pricing Plan Isn’t 340B


David Hogberg was right to express alarm recently in The American Spectator about some of the Trump administration’s plans to reduce the cost of prescriptions drugs in the United States. Hogberg was especially concerned with President Trump’s past remarks in support of drug importation and in striking the law that forbids government from bidding on […]

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Congress Remains on Standby


Thank goodness we don’t have to write on paper anymore, or the forests of entire continents would have been wiped out explaining the Donald Trump phenomenon. One explanation that crops up consistently, though, is that voters elect Republicans to Congress, but then those Republicans don’t deliver the promised outcomes. Why not an outsider with little […]

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What Is a Fair Market Rate for Music Streaming on the Internet?


One of my friends jokes that when he goes for a job interview and they ask him what kind of salary he wants, he always says, “An enormous one.” Of course. But most of us settle for what we consider a fair market rate for our services. Lawyers don’t work for $8 an hour; burger […]

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The Hearing Sheldon Adelson Bought?


So what is the purpose of a congressional hearing? To increase understanding or buttress a political case the majority always intended to make? As always, it depends on who is paying. In the case of a hearing now tentatively set for March 25 before the House Crime Subcommittee on Judiciary, Sheldon Adelson is the payer, […]

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