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Kurt Zellers: The Only Republican Gov Candidate in Minnesota Willing to Take Tax Hikes off Table


Posted by Paul Blair on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014, 4:00 PM PERMALINK


In the race to face off against Democrat Governor Mark Dayton in Minnesota, there is only one Republican candidate willing to take tax hikes off the table: former speaker of the Minnesota House Kurt Zellers. By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Zellers and his running mate Dean Simpson have made personal written commitments to Minnesota voters to oppose tax hikes. Their opponents have refused to make that same promise. 

Here is what the other Republicans in the race had to say: 

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, "I've never voted for a tax increase…As governor, my philosophy will not change."

If that's true, he should put it in writing. Obama made the same verbal commitment as a candidate in 2008, only to violate it a month after being inaugurated. Johnson's refusal to do so should leave voters asking, why not? A 2011 study by Stanford’s Michael Tomz and Berkeley’s Robert Van Houweling may provide the answer. They found that voters found people who broke the pledge to be “dishonest, immoral … spineless.” That is, even the putative Democrats in the survey saw breaking the pledge as a “character issue.” Might his openness to higher tax rates be the reason he won't sign the Pledge? 


Credit: How Money Walks 

Hennepin County, where Johnson is an elected Commissioner, has last more net annual adjusted gross income (AGI) than any other county in the state. Between 1992 and 2011, the county lost $5.82 billion in AGI. As a resident and an elected official from this part of the state, it's unfortunate that he isn't willing to take tax hikes off the table as a way to make it clear that Minnesota is open for business. 

Former state Representative Marty Seifert: "Voters tend to be cynical of pledges like this." That's ironic because when he ran for governor in 2010, Seifert signed the Pledge. Here's what his campaign had to say at the time:

"For too long, politicians from both parties have said one thing on the campaign trail and acted differently once in office. Republicans lost their way in Washington, DC, and joined the Democrats in out-of-control spending. Republicans then got their just reward: defeat at the polls. Democrats now control all levers of government in Washington and in both the House and Senate in Minnesota. 

Marty Seifert signed the pledge that he will not raise taxes as governor to send an unmistakable message: that the state government spending binge must end and we Republicans must not be accomplices to increasing the already-too-high tax burden on Minnesota families and employers."

I couldn't have said it better. And voters aren't cynical of a politician putting their opposition to higher taxes in writing. They're cynical of politicians who flip-flop, which is clearly what has happened in the case of Marty Seifert, who has raised taxes before. He supported the "health impact fee" which amounted to a massive $380 million cigarette tax increase back in 2005. 

Scott Honour's campaign: "Typical politicians need to sign pledges because the public has no faith in them." The public has no faith in politicians because they say one thing and do another. The Pledge is a powerful tool in preventing that from happening. 

The primary is August 12. Only one gubernatorial candidate has made a written commitment to oppose higher taxes, ensuring that there might be some check on the runaway spending that has taken root in Saint Paul. That candidate is Kurt Zellers. 

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Paul Davis Supports $341 Million Tax Increase


Posted by Alexander Bobroske on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014, 2:41 PM PERMALINK


Kansans are beginning to see much needed tax relief. Gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis (D), however, wants to freeze the current tax rates where they are at rather than letting them phase down further. This would slap a massive $341.4 million tax hike on hard working Kansans over the next five years, stopping the Kansas recovery in its tracks.

ATR has previously taken on erroneous claims by Davis and his allies, proving that the Brownback tax cuts 1) are working and 2) have not caused a state revenue shortfall.

Kansans have already seen their income tax brackets consolidated from three to two rates. Governor Brownback slashed rates from 6.45, 6.25, and 3.5 percent down to 4.9 and 3 percent. These rates will continue to drop down to 3.9 and 2.3 percent, letting the hard workers of Kansas keep more of what they earn.

If the Brownback tax rates continue to drop as scheduled, the average household, which makes about $65,000 a year, will save an additional $417 a year for a grand total of $752 saved a year. If Paul Davis doesn’t believe $417 can go a long way to help a household buy food, pay a mortgage, or send their kid to college then he certainly is out of touch with Kansas.

Having previously opposed tax reform in Kansas, Davis now proposes to freeze the current rates, while remaining conveniently silent on whether he is open to returning to the old, higher tax rates . Davis has a fairly consistent record of defending the status quo income tax rate, whatever it happens to be at the time. So what tax rate does Davis actually want?

Governor Sam Brownback has laid out a clear vision for economic prosperity. With an unemployment rate down to 4.9 percent, Kansas is besting its neighbors of Colorado and Missouri and quickly closing the gap with Oklahoma. Additionally, Kansans have seen their disposable personal income increase over 10.8% per capita since 2010.

Call Paul Davis at 785-296-7630 and tell him you don't want your taxes increased.

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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U.S. Tax Code Causes Businesses to Flee Overseas


Posted by Peter Fricke on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014, 2:23 PM PERMALINK


Free-market advocates say Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wants to treat the symptoms rather than the cause of U.S. businesses seeking lower taxes overseas.

Lew is the latest Obama official to make the case for restricting the ability of U.S. companies to merge with foreign companies in order to relocate to lower-tax countries.

The controversial process is known as corporate inversion.

Lew acknowledged in the Washington Post Sunday that “there is nothing wrong with cross-border merger activity,” provided it be “based on economic efficiency, not tax savings.” However, he wrote the trend toward inversion has accelerated in recent months, and many of the companies that have sought tax savings through this strategy “are for all intents and purposes still based in the United States.”(RELATED: Dem Senator Says CEO Daughter’s Business Move Should be Illegal)

In the long term, Lew argued, “enacting comprehensive business tax reform is clearly the best way to address the problems in our tax code that trigger inversions.” Given the difficulty of achieving bipartisan consensus in Congress on such a politically fraught issue, though, he claims legislation restricting corporate inversion must be enacted in the meantime, “before our tax base is so eroded as to damage the prospects of comprehensive reform.” (RELATED: Union Boss Demands Companies Show Patriotism, Pay More Taxes)

While agreeing on the need for comprehensive business tax reform, many conservatives and other free-market advocates dispute Lew’s assessment that inversion is just a cynical ploy to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Curtis Dubay, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, points out in a recent column for the Daily Signal that “any business, no matter where headquartered, pays the 35 percent U.S. corporate tax rate on income earned within our borders.”

The real motivation behind inversion, he says, is the “worldwide tax system”, whereby U.S. businesses are taxed on their foreign earnings. The U.S. is the only industrialized country in the world with such a system, putting domestic companies at a disadvantage relative to foreign competitors who are “free to make investments that the U.S. worldwide tax system makes unprofitable for U.S. businesses.”

Jason Fichtner of the nonpartisan Mercatus Institute, a free-market think tank, believes anti-inversion legislation serves mainly to deflect attention from the real issue of U.S. competitiveness. “Legislative proposals that attempt to treat the symptoms of the corporate tax code’s problems—rather than issues causing them—are doomed to fail,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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Proposed EPA Rules Promise Devastating Losses, Negligible Benefits


Posted by Cassandra Carroll on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014, 10:18 AM PERMALINK


The EPA is holding public hearings on their new proposed Clean Power Plan in Atlanta, GA, Denver, CO, Pittsburgh, PA, and Washington, DC this week so that people who are concerned or interested can present comments, data and arguments about the plan. (Note that even though an event near you might be fully booked, you can still post, email, mail, or fax your comments.) If you’d like to attend and have your voice heard, you can register and find more information here.

The Clean Power Plan is a disastrous and unprecedented new set of rules that the EPA has billed as a way to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by a total of 30% (The actual goal is 30% less carbon than 2005 levels, a detail the EPA has mostly downplayed when selling this plan to the public.) over the next two decades. On the surface, this might sound like a great idea, but it starts to fall apart as soon as you begin to examine the methods and costs that would go into complying with the rules. 

Using a series of ridiculously complicated and arguably arbitrary formulas, the EPA has come up with a goal for each individual state to reduce its carbon emissions by, claiming to have based these goals on each state’s ability to reduce emissions. The agency intends to leave it up to the states themselves to come up with and implement plans to meet the goals they were assigned, offering only four “building blocks” (heat rate improvements, lower-emitting power plants, end-user energy efficiency, and zero-carbon generation) as suggestions.

Not only are the rules and deadlines unfair, unequal, and potentially problematic to varying degrees for different states, the EPA bypassed congress completely in implementing them, using their dubious power under the Clean Air Act to circumvent the normal process that would be involved in making such rules. The agency has never done this before, and it is already questionably legal, as the Clean Air Act states that the EPA may require states to adopt new standards, and to guide states in how to do so, but that the ultimate power of deciding what the standards would be lies with states. The EPA adds insult to injury by calling this a “federal-state partnership”, using a broad definition of the word “partnership” that eschews the popular idea that partnerships are typically voluntary. 

Along with being a massive overreach of authority, the new rules stand to destroy jobs and sharply drive up electricity prices, all while putting a negligible dent in our country’s overall carbon emissions. Even if, by some miracle, these rules didn’t cause widespread economic trouble, allowing the EPA to implement them will set a new precedent for them to unilaterally impose even more demands on individuals and industries later, without Congress stepping in to help ensure new rules are sensible, fair, and not outside the bounds of the EPA’s authority. 

Industries are still considering what all of this will mean for them, but from what we can see already, it doesn’t look promising.

Photo Credit: 
Alison Christine

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Individual Mandate Penalty Amounts to a Tax (and more...)


Posted by Zoe Crain on Monday, July 28th, 2014, 2:07 PM PERMALINK


Chris Conover wrote an article for Forbes, detailing recent IRS releases which demonstrated that the Obamacare individual mandate non-compliance penalty amounts to a tax.

We’ve actually known for some time that the individual mandate is a tax, for reasons laid out by Americans for Tax Reform:

The individual mandate surtax was written into tax law itself by the Obamacare structure.

The surtax is collected by, and enforced by, the IRS.

Revenues derived from the individual mandate surtax have always been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as tax revenue.

Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out that the individual mandate surtax is in fact a tax.

MoneyNews’s Dan Weil wrote an article regarding the necessity of corporate tax reform.

Obama has received some fierce criticism for mounting a charge against tax inversions rather than fighting for corporate tax reform.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, strongly disagrees with Obama’s strategy. “It’s the president’s fault that he has done nothing in five years to reduce corporate rates, which he said he was going to do,” Norquist tells CNBC. 

Photo Credit: 
Alan Cleaver

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New IRS Form Proves Obama Lied About Individual Mandate Tax


Posted by John Kartch and Ryan Ellis on Friday, July 25th, 2014, 10:59 AM PERMALINK


On Thursday the IRS released a slew of draft 2014 tax forms. The new draft Form 1040 shows a new surtax line has been created for the payment of the individual mandate surtax – see line 61 of the 1040:


President Obama has repeatedly denied that the surtax is in fact actually a tax. The most prominent example was a heated exchange on ABC’s This Week in Sept. 2009, when George Stephanopoulos confronted Obama with a dictionary:

STEPHANOPOULOS: I -- I don't think I'm making it up. Merriam Webster's Dictionary: Tax -- "a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes."

OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam's Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you're stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn't have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no, but...

OBAMA: ...what you're saying is...

STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say it is a tax increase.

OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I'm taking over every sector of the economy. You know that.

Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we're going to have an individual mandate or not, but...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it's a tax increase?

OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion. [Transcript]

 

 

It was always obvious that the penalty for not complying with Obamacare’s individual mandate was just another surtax:

  • The surtax is collected by, and enforced by, the IRS.
  • As shown by the newly released draft Form 1040, the surtax is paid as part of normal income tax filing by taxpayers.
  • The individual mandate surtax was written into tax law itself by the Obamacare statute.
  • Revenues derived from the individual mandate surtax have always been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as tax revenue.

 

Famously, Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out that the individual mandate surtax is in fact a tax. However, that does not compel conservatives to agree that Obamacare’s individual mandate is Constitutional. The same decision declared the individual mandate unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. Conservatives can accept that this surtax is a tax increase without accepting the constitutionality of the individual mandate.

The Obamacare individual mandate non-compliance surtax is one of at least seven Obamacare taxes that violate the President’s “firm pledge” not to raise any tax on any American making less than $250,000 per year. Thorough documentation of Obama’s promise can be found here.

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lysosome

The Supreme Court ruled that it's a tax.

And no - George was not checking the definition, he was showing you so that you could explain to America why the dictionary definition of a tax is different from your own.

It's a tax, it always has been and Obama has always been a liar.

Ron Perez

The definition of "crook" has Barrack Hussein Obama's photograph sitting right next to it.

Sincerely,
Richard M. Nixon

mesmereyesed

.
Look into the ~O~...
Look into the ~O~...
Look into the ~O~...

You are getting sleepy;
You are no longer in control of your life or your money;
You no longer desire a higher salary or upward mobility.

There is nothing to this TAX business.

Jonathan "Hans" Gruber and Obama did NOT Lie about the Obamacare TAX and the Federal Subsidies to States without health care exchanges (where you WILL exchange your health for sickness and disease and you WILL like it).

When I wave my Pen in the air you will wake up feeling miserable, as you should in the "New Normal" world.

You are awake. You are an Obama Zombie
.


ATR and COGC Urge Senators to Vote YES on Senator Mike Lee's Amendment to H.R. 5021


Posted by Emma Raymond; Mattie Duppler on Friday, July 25th, 2014, 10:34 AM PERMALINK


Senator Mike Lee has proposed an amendment to H.R.5021, The Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, that is expected to come to a vote next week. Americans for Tax Reform and the Cost of Government Center urge the Senate to support this amendment:

Senator Lee’s amendment, the Transportation Empowerment Act, provides a long term solution to the struggling Highway Trust Fund by returning the fiscal responsibility and authority for transportation spending back to the state level. The amendment involves reducing the federal gas tax and allowing states to keep the revenue that would normally be funneled into the federal Highway Trust Fund to use on projects that these individual state governments deem necessary.

The current system allows taxpayer dollars to be wasted as funds that run through Washington are ultimately diverted to the pet projects and special interests of politicians. The extra layer of bureaucracy that comes from putting Washington in control siphons off resources that should be used for infrastructure. By giving more authority back to the states, the money can be better spent on pertinent transportation needs.

Senator Lee’s amendment would empower states to be stewards of their own highway dollars and allow them to prioritize and authorize projects that will most benefit their citizens. We urge all members of the United States Senate to vote YES on the Lee Amendment to the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014.

To read the full alert, click HERE

Photo Credit: 
Mark Hamilton

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linkeditin

Utah group files federal election complaint against Senator Lee

Part of it stems from indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson telling
investigators he laundered $50,000 in campaign contributions — at the
request of former Attorney General John Swallow, who later resigned amid a scandal — to Lee’s successful 2010 campaign.

The other part comes from Lee’s "short sale" of his home in Alpine at a
voluntary loss of $400,000 to mortgage-holder J.P. Morgan Chase, and
then renting another home from the same campaign donor, a J.P. Morgan
Chase executive, who had bought his house.

linkeditin

Lee also wants to repeal Bacon Davis wages.

Utah group files federal election complaint against Senator Lee

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/p...


ATR on PBS: Unchecked Spending Draining Highway Trust Fund


Posted by Cassandra Carroll on Thursday, July 24th, 2014, 12:55 PM PERMALINK


The Federal Highway Trust Fund, which provides the funds used to build and maintain many highways and bridges in the US, is projected to run dry in August, causing politicians in Washington to rush to find a way to keep the fund afloat before leaving for their August recess.

While some lawmakers have suggested plowing new and higher taxes into the trust fund to make it whole, ATR's Mattie Duppler sat down with PBS Newshour to discuss why more revenue can't keep the fund from going bankrupt. She highlighted the importance of not just spending money on infrastructure, but spending it wisely.  And she’s right: For example, according to Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute, inflation and improved fuel efficiency aren’t the culprits that have reduced the HTF to nearly nothing. To see what really ran the fund dry, you need only look at federal highway and transit spending in the last approximately four decades. Highway spending has doubled in the last twenty years, and an increasing number of non-highway projects – such as mass transit, bike paths and landscaping efforts – have been getting a bigger part of the pie.  You can read more of ATR's thoughts on this looming catastrophe here. 

 

Photo Credit: 
Antti

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ATR Supports Bill Ending Marriage Penalty in Child Tax Credit


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014, 2:20 PM PERMALINK


The U.S. House of Representatives this week will consider H.R. 4935, the "Child Tax Credit Improvement Act," sponsored by Congressman Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.)  This bill is a common sense update of the income tax's child tax credit provision, and we urge all Members to vote for it.

Under the tax code, filers with dependent children living with them receive a credit against tax of $1000 for each dependent child under the age of 17.  This credit begins to phase out when adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $75,000 ($110,000 in the case of a married filing jointly couple).

There are two issues with the child tax credit which H.R. 4935 addresses:

The credit amount was never indexed to inflation.  The child tax credit was first passed in 1997, and expanded in 2001 and 2003.  Since that time, it has been set at $1000 and never indexed to inflation.  H.R. 4935 corrects that beginning in 2015.

The phaseout limit was never indexed to inflation, and contains a marriage penalty.  The phaseout limits ($110,000 for married couples, $75,000 for most others) were also never indexed to inflation.  In addition, there is a marriage penalty in that the phaseout range for married couples begins at less than double the level for other taxpayers.  The current credit phaseout range creates an incentive for parents to cohabitate rather than get married, even though the tax code should be neutral on such decisions.

H.R. 4935 corrects both problems.  The married phaseout level is set to double the "other" phaseout level ($150,000 vs. $75,000).  In addition, these phaseout rates are indexed for inflation starting in 2015.

 

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Rednecksrule

Yes Grover this will help out all those illegal aliens and trillions of new immigrants you favor. They have tons of children... wait they don't pay much in the way of taxes due to their poverty...and they need entitlements! Fairfax County, a hugely rich bloated area due to the federal government has a ton of Grover's new immigrants on free lunch... So Grover let's sign that NO TAX Pledge... uh what are we going to do about the immigrants burgeoning in our communities?


Kurt Zellers and Dean Simpson Sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge


Posted by Paul Blair on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014, 12:30 PM PERMALINK


Former speaker of the Minnesota House Kurt Zellers has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his bid for the Republican nomination as Governor of Minnesota. His running mate, former state Representative Dean Simpson, has also signed the Pledge. The Pledge, sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, commits signers to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes.

Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office. Fourteen governors and over 1,000 state legislators have signed the Pledge. The Zellers/Simpson ticket is the first to sign the Pledge in their bid to secure the Republican nomination and defeat incumbent Governor Mark Dayton.

The Zellers campaign just released an ad highlighting his record of fighting against higher taxes and his personal written commitment to continue to do it as governor. 

 

“I want to congratulate Kurt Zellers and Dean Simpson for taking the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Minnesotans deserve better than tax-and-spend policies that fall hard on the backs of hardworking families and small businesses. They want real solutions that create jobs, cut government spending, and incentivize more economic growth,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

“By signing the Pledge, Zellers and Simpson have demonstrated that they understand the problems of hard-working taxpayers in Minnesota.”

“Democrat Mark Dayton raised taxes by more than $2 billion just one year ago. Two years before that he shut the government down over his demand that the legislature raise taxes.  With Speaker Zellers presiding over the House during that time, he stopped Dayton from getting his way.”

"I challenge all candidates and their running mates in the Minnesota gubernatorial race to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued. 

To view a PDF copy of the press release, click here. 

Photo Credit: 
Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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