Senator Marco Rubio Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American People

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Posted by ATR on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, 6:00 AM PERMALINK


Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a candidate for the presidency of the United States, has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. 

The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Senator Rubio signed and kept the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He is a Pledge signer in his current capacity as a U.S. Senator and has kept his promise to Floridians.

ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge.

In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

“Senator Rubio is a longtime leader in the taxpayer movement. He signed and kept the Pledge as a Florida state House representative and as a United States Senator. By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Senator Rubio continues to protect American taxpayers against higher taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Senator Rubio understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."

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Jamelle Bouie

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Hawaii Bans Smoking For Young Adults, Lets Kids Continue to Have Sex

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Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, April 27th, 2015, 4:15 PM PERMALINK


Hawaii is poised to become the first state in the nation to increase the legal smoking age to 21. In a move that indicates this has absolutely nothing to do with public health, the bill passed by the legislature on Friday also prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing tobacco-free electronic cigarettes.

While some localities, like New York City, have raised the legal smoking age to 21, if Gov. David Ige signs this law, Hawaii will become the first state to impose a statewide ban on young adult access to legal cigarettes. The law would go into effect January 1, 2016.

An example of an absurd claim regarding cigarette advertising came from Sen. Rosalyn Baker, who introduced the bill. “While the industry is not allowed to directly market to children, it is still developing packaging and advertising products in ways that appeal to children.”

No offense to the producers of Marlboro, but these are among the most boring and unappealing packaging designs imaginable:

Regarding e-cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently weighing a new set of deeming regulations regarding advertising and sales. Hawaii should defer to the FDA for guidance on this regulatory framework. 

At least one opponent of the legislation, Democratic Sen. Gil Riviere had some common sense insight: “You can sign contracts, you can get married, you can go to war and lose an arm or lose an eye… you come back and you’re 20 years old and you can’t have a s cigarette.”

The logic behind legislation saying “cigarettes are disgusting and should be banned” might as well apply to all adults, Riviere’s thinking goes (sarcastically).

The Nanny State is out of control.

Think about this. Beyond being able to serve in the military - putting your life at risk in many cases in the course of war for your country, in Hawaii, the legal age of consent is 16. There is a “close in age exception” that allows kids, yes children, who are 14 years old to also legally have sex with anyone who is less than 5 years older than they are. Hawaii has clearly concluded that middle schoolers have enough maturity and cognitive development to consent to sex with high school graduates, but not enough to think about the impact of cigarette use. 

Think what you will about age of consent laws but compare the double standard for permitting two different personal choices, both of which may have significant life-long consequences.

Hawaii’s rationale seems to be that what you do in your own bedroom is your call, unless it includes the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes. In the latter cases, the government must save you from yourself. 

Give me a break.

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Daniel Ramirez

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PGspeaks

This is ridiculous. I think the "old folks" (note, they are my age) in the legislature look at college-aged adults, military-aged adults, young-married-aged adults and think they look like just babies. But, they should stop and ponder what THEY were doing at this age and realize how truly preposterous it is to make an otherwise legal activity illegal for them. In the generation that passed this law, many were likely parents at this age, for Pete's sake! People of this age fought and died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. People of this age, most importantly, VOTE!


Michigan Voters Faced With $2 Billion Tax Hike on May 5 Ballot

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Posted by Will Upton on Friday, April 24th, 2015, 2:58 PM PERMALINK


In a few weeks Michigan voters will go to the polls to decide the fate of Proposal 1 – a $2 billion tax increase referred to the ballot by the state legislature. While most polls show this massive tax increase trailing, crony-spending interests are making a last ditch attempt to increase support for Proposal 1.

The ballot measure would amend the Michigan Constitution, increasing the sales and use tax rate to 7 percent. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy also notes:

These changes are “tie-barred” with eight legislative bills that will go into effect if voters approve of Proposal 1. These laws would hike the sales and use tax to 7 percent, create a new wholesale fuel tax of 41.7 cents per gallon and earmark this revenue for roads, increase the state’s earned income tax credit, boost spending on one public school program and create new rules pertaining to road construction projects for the Michigan Department of Transportation. 

A study on the impact Proposal 1 would have on taxpayers has revealed that the sales and use tax increase would amount to a $1.4 billion tax increase and the new, higher fuel tax would amount to a $463 million tax increase (also outpacing the rate of inflation).

James Hohman from the Mackinac Center has produced an excellent study detailing the flaws of Proposal 1, including serious concerns with how Michigan’s road funding works. Hohman notes:

Road construction in Michigan is primarily paid for with revenues from fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees. Since these taxes are paid by people driving vehicles on public roads, they function as a user fee.

Taxes motorists pay do not meet the strict definition of user fees, however. Vehicle registration taxes for passenger vehicles, for example, are based on their value rather than their estimated wear on the roads. Further, hybrid and electric cars tend to be heavier and thus cause more wear on the roads, but owners of these vehicles buy less fuel and pay less in fuel taxes. People purchasing fuel for use in lawnmowers, snowmobiles or other recreational vehicles also pay for road maintenance.

Despite these divergences, the bulk of taxed fuel in Michigan is purchased for use by vehicles operating on government-funded roads.* But these taxes also can be appropriated for other purposes, which reduces their functioning as user fees. For instance, 10 percent of fuel taxes go to transit operations.

Americans for Tax Reform urges Michigan voters to oppose Proposal 1 and tell the Michigan legislature to find cost effective and pro-growth ways to fund the state’s transportation needs without lining the pockets of crony-spending interests.

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bozolives

You all get things right about as often as a stopped clock. But in this one instance you are correct.


Senator Ted Cruz Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American People

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Posted by ATR on Friday, April 24th, 2015, 11:59 AM PERMALINK


Today, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a candidate for the presidency of the United States, signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. 

The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge.

In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Senator Cruz signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as a Senate candidate in the 2012 cycle and has kept his pledge to the people of Texas.

“By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Senator Cruz continues to protect American taxpayers against higher taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Senator Cruz understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."

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Ted Cruz

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ShawnNJ

Hey Hillary just called and ask for you. She said she needs her server back and her azz cleaned.

Cathy

Cruz 2016!

ShawnNJ

Cruz 2016!!


Senator Rand Paul Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American People

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Posted by ATR on Friday, April 24th, 2015, 11:56 AM PERMALINK


Today, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a candidate for the presidency of the United States, signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. 

Senator Paul is the first candidate for the 2016 Republican nomination to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge.

In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Senator Paul signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as a Senate candidate in the 2010 cycle and has kept his pledge to the people of Kentucky.

“By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Senator Paul continues to protect American taxpayers against higher taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Senator Paul understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."

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Gage Skidmore

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Shreknangst

The Tax Shelter Protection Pledge -- NO TAX SHELTER SHALL BE TERMINATED because it would raise taxes. "Death Over Life: Secret of Revelation: A Prophecy of America's Destruction"
[http://www.amazon.com/Death-Ov...]

Chris

Good stuff!


Advertising Deductions for Businesses Are Not Tax Loopholes

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Posted by Ryan Ellis on Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, 11:22 AM PERMALINK


Some ideas in Washington never seem to die, no matter the lack of merits. One of these ideas is to eliminate (or, more commonly, to limit) the deduction for advertising expenses for businesses.

In our tax system, we tax profits. A profit is the difference between revenue generated and costs incurred. This is common sense. Companies can't pay taxes on what they don't have. A "cash flow" profits tax system is the ideal model, and one which tax policy should be moving toward (most notably by moving from depreciation to full expensing on business fixed investment).

Advertising is just one of many costs of doing business that firms are properly allowed to deduct. Other costs might include wages and other forms of compensation, travel, rent, etc. None of this is particularly exotic.

Yet there is a continued push to see advertising deductions curtailed in some strange and arbitrary way. The latest and most concerning iteration we've seen of this is from H.R. 1, the "Tax Reform Act of 2014." It proposed "amortizing" (deducting over several years) advertising costs. This raised a whopping $169 billion in taxes over a decade.

This is simply bad tax policy. Why would a cost not be deducted the year it is incurred? Why not have similar treatments for wages paid, rents paid, or the costs of staples and paperclips? The reason is simple--those are current costs, and current costs are deducted against current revenues to arrive at taxable profits.

Neither the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) nor the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) consider the advertising deduction a loophole, or in their parlance a "tax expenditure." Nor should they--it would be absurd to do so.

Congressional tax policy makers would be well advised to steer clear of such gimmicky tax policy as they struggle to construct pro-growth and pro-family tax reform.

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Conservative Groups Support Passage of Trade Promotion Authority

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 5:11 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform today joined with 25 other free market, taxpayer advocacy, and limited government grassroots and public policy organizations to urge Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). As the letter states, TPA is an important step to promoting free trade, a key conservative public policy goal. See the full letter below. For a pdf version of the letter click here.
 

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell:

On behalf of the free market, taxpayer advocacy, and limited government grassroots and public policy organizations listed below, we urge you to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as soon as possible.

TPA is a necessary step to get Congress moving on a long-stalled trade agenda. Without it, there is little hope that this Congress will make any progress on advancing free trade, a conservative public policy goal which all our organizations support.

TPA gives the executive branch the authority needed to finalize trade agreements, while Congress retains a robust amount of control, oversight, and transparency; ultimately Congress has an up-or-down vote on every specific trade agreement.

By definition, the term of this TPA will extend beyond the current administration and into the next one—the goal here is to advance America’s free trade agenda this century, and not to be mired in the stalled trade failures of the recent past.

We believe that tariffs are taxes on trade, and ultimately would like to see a world free of government interference in international commerce. Passing TPA is a necessary step toward getting the ball rolling on that long term policy goal, and we therefore urge you to pass Trade Promotion Authority.


Sincerely,
Amy Noone Frederick - 60 Plus Association
Dick Patten - American Business Defense Council​
Phil Kerpen - American Commitment
Dan Schneider - American Conservative Union
Stephen DeMaura - Americans for Job Security
Grover Norquist - Americans for Tax Reform
Kevin Waterman - Annapolis Center-Right Coalition​
Jeffrey L. Mazzella - Center for Individual Freedom
Chip Faulkner - Citizens for Limited Taxation
Iain Murray - Competitive Enterprise Institute
April Ponnuru - Conservative Reform Network
Thomas A. Schatz - Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Steven J. Duffield - Crossroads GPS
Katie McAuliffe - Digital Liberty
Brian Baker - Ending Spending
George Landrith - Frontiers of Freedom
Louie Hunter - Georgia Center Right Coalition
Andrew Langer - Institute for Liberty
Tom Giovanetti - Institute for Policy Innovation​
Brian McClung - Minnesota Center-Right Coalition
Brandon Arnold - National Taxpayers Union
Lorenzo Montanari - 
Property Rights Alliance​
Lori Sanders - R Street
Paul Gessing - Rio Grande Foundation
David Williams - Taxpayers Protection Alliance 
Mike Thompson - Thomas Jefferson Institute For Public Policy​

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John Lord

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ATR Tackles Telecom Taxes in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire

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Posted by Dorothy Jetter on Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 2:44 PM PERMALINK


Telecom Taxes are on the forefront in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.   Both states' legislatures are looking at bills would affect citizens in a immense way.  

The Pennsylvania State Legislature is considering a bill that would impose a 65% fee increase on wireless and VoIP customers. 

Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform, wrote a letter urging Pennsylvania lawmakers to oppose House Bill 911.  Norquist explains:

"The 911-fee increase from $1.00 to a $1.65 will raise $114 million across all phone services, resulting in a $78 million increase on wireless customers alone. These taxes are not only disproportionate in relation to other taxes, but also in relation to Pennsylvania’s population."

Americans for Tax Reform opposes House Bill 911.

Conversely, New Hampshire House Bill 391, which implements a point of sale collection mechanism for New Hampshire's 911 fee on prepaid wireless customers has already passed the House.  The Senate will begin consider of the bill on Wednesday, April 22nd.  In a letter to New Hampshire State Senators, Americans for Tax Reform President, Grover Norquist, expressed support for this legislation:

" Point--of--sale tax collection for 9-1-1 taxes owed on prepaid wireless services is the most equitable way to collect these taxes.  Legislation that affects this type of assessment creates a new method of collection, but in our view does not raise taxes on the citizens of New Hampshire."

You can read Mr. Norquist's letter to the members of the Pennsylvania House here

You can read Mr. Norquist's letter to members of the New Hampshire State Senate here.  

 

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ATR Supports Health Insurance Freedom Act


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Monday, April 20th, 2015, 3:32 PM PERMALINK


Congressman John Culberson (R-Texas) recently introduced H.R. 1664, the “Health Insurance Freedom Act of 2015.” This legislation authorizes state insurance commissioners to give their residents the option of enrolling in group and individual health insurance plans that existed prior to the implementation of Obamacare. ATR endorses this legislation and urges all members of Congress to vote for and otherwise support this bill.

President Obama famously misled the American people with his comment, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”. The Health Insurance Freedom Act will hold the President to his word and restore the rights of states to regulate their health insurance marketplace.

Specifically, H.R. 1664 allows health insurers to continue offering plans that were in effect in a group or individual market during 2013. These plans would be treated as grandfathered health plans for purposes of an individual meeting the requirement to maintain minimum essential health coverage, and would be offered outside of Obamacare exchanges.

Five years into Obamacare, Americans have been burdened by rising premiums, cancelled plans, and failed exchange websites. This legislation will help undo the damage caused by Obamacare and provide Americans with greater healthcare choice. ATR urges members of Congress to fully support this legislation. 

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JD

H.R. 1664 allows health insurers to continue to fleece Americans....LOL typical Grover B.S.


ATR to Louisiana Lawmakers: Repeal the Inventory Tax

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Posted by John Beattie McEwan, Patrick Gleason on Monday, April 20th, 2015, 3:08 PM PERMALINK


The Louisiana legislature convened its 2015 session last week. Balancing the state’s budget, which faces a projected $1.6 billion deficit, is the top item on the docket this session. Aside from balancing the budget without raising taxes, Louisiana lawmakers could make their state more economically competitive this year by repealing local inventory taxes, which put the state at a tremendous disadvantage.

Recognizing this, Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter to members of the Louisiana Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee encouraging them to repeal the highly debilitating local inventory tax:

April 17, 2015

To: Members of the Louisiana Legislature

From: Americans for Tax Reform

Dear Members of the Louisiana Legislature,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across Louisiana, I encourage you to keep taxpayers in mind as you work to balance the budget during the 2015 session. Aside from balancing the budget without raising taxes, one of the best things you can do for the state economy during the 2015 session is repeal the local inventory tax, which is one of the most distortive and anti-growth taxes a government can have on the books.

Inventory taxes are one of the most unsound and economically-damaging forms of taxation, which is why just over a dozen states have them and many states have repealed them in recent years. Rather than focus on maximizing commerce, inventory taxes force employers to instead make decisions based on minimizing their tax burden. Inventory taxes put some businesses at a disadvantage relative to others. They are particularly harmful to large retailers and any other Louisiana businesses that store large quantities of merchandise. Because of the inventory tax, businesses have a great incentive to shift inventory to shipping and storage facilities in other states.

As you know, to make up for the damage done by the local inventory tax, the state provides a state tax credit to businesses that pay it. Rather than have the state try to make up for bad tax policy at the local level, Louisiana legislators would better serve the state by repealing local inventory taxing authority, thereby eliminating the need for a state credit. Allowing local officials to make up the revenue through a less harmful form of taxation, spending restraint, or a combination of the two, would make Louisiana a more attractive place to locate a business, invest, and create jobs.

There will be many calls for higher taxes in the coming weeks. Avoiding tax increases isn’t just good politics, it’s good policy. Tax Foundation economist William McBride reviewed academic literature going back three decades and found that “while there are a variety of methods and data sources, the results consistently point to significant negative effects of taxes on economic growth even after controlling for various other factors such as government spending, business cycle conditions and monetary policy."

In McBride's survey of 26 studies dating to 1983, he found "all but three of those studies, and every study in the last 15 years, find a negative effect of taxes on growth." John Hood, chairman of the John Locke Foundation, analyzed 681 peer-reviewed academic journal articles going back to 1990 and concluded that keeping state and local tax and regulatory burdens as low as possible promotes economic growth. "Most studies find," Hood discovered, "that lower levels of taxes and spending, less-intrusive regulation correlate with stronger economic performance."

Your constituents have already been hit with the more than 20 federal tax increases signed into law by President Obama in recent years. Piling on with further tax increases at the state level will hinder economic growth and add insult to injury. I urge you to make the most of this session by eliminating the inventory tax and balancing the budget without raising taxes, both of which would greatly benefit individuals, families, and employers across Louisiana. Americans for Tax Reform will continue to follow these issues closely throughout the session and will be educating your constituents as to how you vote on this important matter. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Gleason, ATR’s director of state affairs, at (202) 785-0266 or pgleason@atr.org.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform 

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