ATR Supports the Register of Copyrights Selection & Accountability Act

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Posted by Katie McAuliffe on Friday, March 24th, 2017, 2:39 PM PERMALINK

The bipartisan, bicameral Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act was introduced today By House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlate (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Americans for Tax Reform supports this legislation that makes the Register of Copyrights a Presidential appointment confirmed by the Senate.   

The following can be attributed to Americans for Tax Reform President, Grover Norquist:
 
"America’s copyrighted industries are the envy of the world and one of our greatest exports. Making the Register a Presidential appointment confirmed by the Senate is the first step in bringing the Office up-to-speed with the modern booming copyright industry. In America we protect people’s property and respect originality. We don’t praise plagiarism. We value the real McCoy."
 
The following can be attributed to Executive Director of Digital Liberty, Katie McAuliffe:
 
"By elevating the position, we raise the profile of the Copyright office within the United States government and around the world.  It shows that we recognize the importance of copyright to the United States’ and global economies. Countries that recognize and protect property rights, including copyright, have stronger economies that attract business investment, research and development. Its not a surprise that people and businesses prefer governments that don’t steal their stuff."

The Copyright Office needs autonomy to carry out its mission going forward. Designating the register of Copyrights as a Presidential appointment confirmed by the Senate is the first step in achieving that goal.

See ATR's comments on Copyright Office Modernization here.

Photo Credit: 
Motion Picture Association of America

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Americans for Tax Reform Will Rate the Vote on AHCA, HR 1628

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Posted by ATR on Friday, March 24th, 2017, 11:40 AM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform WILL RATE a vote for passage of the American Health Care Act as a pro-taxpayer vote
 
ATR urges a YES vote
 
“The American Health Care Act is -- to start -- a $1 trillion tax cut and a $1.15 trillion spending cut over the next decade. It's passage makes fundamental tax reform possible this year. The AHCA block grants Medicaid and expands Health Savings Accounts. It’s a giant step forward in lowering taxes and reforming our nation's health care system,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
 
The American Health Care Act (HR 1628) being voted on today abolishes the following taxes imposed by Obama and the Democrat party in 2010 as part of Obamacare:
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax which hits 8 million Americans each year.
 This is part of a $270 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax. This is part of a $270 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax which hits 20 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts and 30 million Americans with Flexible Spending Accounts. This is a $6 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Flexible Spending Account tax on 30 million Americans. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax on 10 million Americans with high out of pocket medical expenses. This is a $126 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s HSA withdrawal tax. This is a $100 million tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s 10% excise tax on small businesses with indoor tanning services. This is a $600 million tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare health insurance tax. This is a $145 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare 3.8% surtax on investment income. This is a $172 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare medical device tax. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on prescription medicine. This is a $28 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on retiree prescription drug coverage. This is a $2 billion tax cut.

The AHCA Also Has Big League Spending Cuts:
 
Under AHCA, by 2021 federal spending on healthcare as a percentage of GDP is reduced from 6.9% to 6.3%. As time goes by, the spending reduction gets larger. See the first chart, below.
 
Under AHCA, by 2027 total federal spending as a percentage of GDP is reduced from 23.4% to 22.4%. See the second chart, below.
 
“In addition to abolishing Obamacare’s taxes, the AHCA reduces the total size of government permanently,” said Norquist.
 

Chart by Strategas Research Partners using OMB and CBO data
 

Chart by Strategas Research Partners using CBO data

Norquist Statement in Support of Obamacare Repeal and Replace Bill


Posted on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 11:00 PM PERMALINK

 

Norquist: Passage of AHCA makes fundamental tax reform possible this year

ATR founder and president Grover Norquist's statement in support of the American Health Care Act:

“The American Health Care Act is -- to start -- a $1 trillion tax cut and $1.2 trillion spending cut over the next decade. It's passage makes fundamental tax reform possible this year. The AHCA block grants Medicaid and expands Health Savings Accounts. It’s a giant step forward in reforming our nation's health care system.”

 


Competition Reduces Costs, Price Controls Reduce Innovation

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Posted by Adam Radman on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 6:02 PM PERMALINK

Congress is considering health care reforms to lower costs, increase access, and empower doctors. As part of this legislative agenda, they may consider price controls. Price controls never work as advertised. They do not lower costs and do not increase access to new medicines. Instead, they allow the government to ration the supply and development of new life-saving medicines at the expense of consumers, patients, and doctors. To learn more about the negatives consequences of price controls, tune in to ATR President Grover Norquist's latest podcast below: 

Photo Credit: 
Gage Skidmore

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Public Safety Success: South Carolina Reduces Crime and Reduces Spending

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Posted by Jorge Marin on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 3:45 PM PERMALINK

Nearly six years after enacting a major sentencing and corrections reform package, South Carolina’s prison population has declined 14% while violent and property crime rates have both fallen by 16%.

In 2010, lawmakers enacted S.B. 1154, the Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act. The law made South Carolina a leader among the dozens of states employing research-driven criminal justice policies to produce a greater public safety return on corrections spending.

Between 2011 and 2014, the state averted over $141 million in operating costs that would have been required to house a projected inmate population of over 28,000 by 2014 and avoided the construction of a new prison space projected to cost $317 million. There have been an additional $33 million saved in operating costs through 2016.

After decades of rising prison populations, reforms in 33 states have helped cut the national incarceration rate by 13 percent since 2007. States are finding smart, new ways to get tough on crime and, in the process, changing how America views crime and punishment.

This podcast goes through the dramatic changes in South Carolina’s justice system. It features leaders in South Carolina who are implementing their innovative reforms – state Senator Gerald Malloy (D); Bryan Stirling, S.C. state corrections director; and Adam Gelb, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts public safety performance project.

Voters and legislators are looking more intently at improving the results of incarceration. “There really is a sea change in this attitude towards crime and punishment across the country over the past ten years” said Gelb. Little wonder that two thirds of states have moved in this direction.

Photo Credit: 
Ron Cogswell

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ATR Supports Better Sentencing in Nebraska

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Posted by Sarah Caplin on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 1:40 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform this week released a letter to Nebraska lawmakers urging support for State Senator Ernie Chamber’s LB 447.

Nonviolent drug offenses make up a significant proportion of mandatory minimums and result in arbitrary and severe sentencing outcomes that neither fit the crime nor the individual's unique circumstances. Nebraska prisons are now filled with low-level offenders, resulting in overcapacity prison populations and higher costs for taxpayers.

LB 447 is an important step toward comprehensive sentencing reform. This legislation would turn sentencing over to the judges who know the specifics of a crime and can properly determine what an appropriate sentence is. This avoids excessive incarceration and maintains families intact for longer. Children and spouses will not have to be deprived of breadwinners, reducing the negative effects on their own lives.

Below is the text of the letter, which can also be found here.

March 23, 2017

Dear members of the Nebraska legislature,

On Behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across Nebraska, I write today in strong support of LB 447. If passed, LB 447 would focus Nebraska’s overcrowded prisons on dangerous offenders and save the state several millions of dollars.

Nonviolent drug offenses, which make up a significant proportion of mandatory minimums, result in arbitrary and severe sentencing outcomes that neither fit the crime nor the individual's unique circumstances. Nebraska prisons are now filled with low-level offenders, resulting in overcapacity prison populations and higher costs for taxpayers. This is why over 30 states have reassessed mandatory minimum sentences in the last 15 years.

LB 447 is an important step toward comprehensive sentencing reform. Judges are denied the right to bring their experience, discretion, and sense of what is just into the sentencing procedure. This approach fills people who pose little risk to society, straining public resources without any gains in safety.

This legislation would turn sentencing over to the judges who know the specifics of a crime and can properly determine what an appropriate sentence is. This avoids excessive incarceration and maintains families intact for longer. Children and spouses will not have to be deprived of breadwinners, reducing the negative effects on their own lives.

In addition, LB 447 has the potential to save the state of Nebraska $3.5 million annually. The current results of a high rate of mandatory minimum offenders in prison are not cost-effective. As of 2013, Nebraska's correctional expenditures were nearly 193 million. Unless state policymakers act, they will likely need to spend another $100 million to build yet another prison.

Given the undeniable costs and dubious benefits of mass, long-term incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, the Nebraska legislature should take steps to give judges more flexibility in sentencing those offenders. The Cornhusker State has already passed legislation to improve public safety through smarter crime policies, this bill represents another step in the right direction.

I encourage you to extend your support for this important legislation. For more information, please contact Jorge Marin in my office at jmarin@atr.org         

Regards,

Grover G. Norquist                                                      
President                                                                     
Americans for Tax Reform                                                                                                                       

Photo Credit: 
Michael Sauers

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Grover Norquist supports Sen. Flake's CRA on FCC privacy rules

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Posted by Katie McAuliffe on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 10:34 AM PERMALINK

ATR President Grover Norquist welcomes Sen. Flake's (R-AZ) proposal for using the CRA to rescind the FCC's false broadband privacy rules. In a recent letter to Congress, Norquist outlines the costs of additional FCC rules and regulations for American taxpayers and consumers and explains why the FTC maintains the correct approach to privacy protection.

The letter in full is written below:

"Dear Senators:
 
I write urging you to use your Congressional Review Act authority to withdraw the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy rules and support the Federal Trade Commission framework for privacy protection.
 
We should always be wary of regulation for regulation’s sake. Duplicative rules at different agencies often create confusion and added costs without a significant benefit.
 
The Federal Trade Commission has been policing privacy for the last decade, and there has been no indication that other agencies are needed. The FCC is not needed here.
 
At a time when our goal is to pare down the cost of government and let taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, the FCC is no poster child for efficiency. 
 
FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly has pointed out that the FCC, through information gathering requests alone, requires 73 million hours and $800 million just to fill out requests. The Competitive Enterprise Institute found that in FY 2015 the FCC spent around $464 million in regulatory development and enforcement, and it accounts for more than $100 billion annually in regulatory and economic impact.
 
Please find enclosed a coalition letter from 21 organizations detailing why the FTC rules are the correct approach, and our opposition to the FCC rules. This letter requested that Congress use its Congressional Review Act authority to rescind the broadband privacy rules. It also details why we do not believe the rules will do as they claim.
 
Americans value their privacy.  That is why Americans for Tax Reform has been a vocal defender of privacy and the Fourth Amendment. However, the FCC rules use our highly valued privacy as a tool to empower agency regulatory expansion at the expense of consumers.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Katie McAuliffe by email, kmcauliffe@atr.org, or by phone, 202-785-0266."

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Oklahoma Lawmakers Advance Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Measures

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Posted by Sarah Caplin on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 10:34 AM PERMALINK

This week, a number of criminal justice reform bills are moving through the Oklahoma legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. These historic votes are a huge step towards a better criminal justice system that will improve public safety, reduce the prison population, and save taxpayers millions of dollars.
 
Eight bills have passed through the Senate, and three other pieces of legislation have passed through the House. These measures, based on recommendations from Gov. Mary Fallin’s Justice Reform Task Force, will continue Oklahoma’s effort to modify the state's criminal justice system. 
 
“Making smart, data-driven decisions on how to increase safety while decreasing our overcapacity prisons is key to pursuing smaller, more efficient, and more moral government.” said Gov. Fallin.
 
According to the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force, these vital changes will save the state $1.9 billion in the coming years. Oklahoma currently holds the second-highest imprisonment rate in the United States. These bills address the state’s prison population by providing individualized treatment for those in the justice system who need mental health or substance abuse services, reforming sentencing practices, and modifying penalties for non-violent crimes.
 
Americans for Tax reform applauds these positive steps and hopefully this is a prologue to more legislation to come.
 
Photo Credit: 
Jimmy Emerson

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AHCA Toolkit

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 1:12 PM PERMALINK

Grover Norquist Letter in Support of AHCA 

ATR Statement in Support of AHCA 

Full List of Obamacare Taxes Repealed

How the AHCA Shrinks Federal Spending 

Grover Norquist Washington Examiner op-ed in support of AHCA: A vote against the House Republican healthcare bill is a vote in favor of Obamacare

Norquist on Fox Business Network: AHCA is One of the Most Conservative Pieces of Legislation DC Has Ever Seen 

ATR: AHCA Abolishes Obamacare Chronic Care Tax on Middle Class

ATR: AHCA Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax

Photo Credit: Jocelyn Wallace 


ATR Supports Rep. McHenry’s "Supporting America’s Innovators Act” of 2017 (H.R. 1219)

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Posted by Daniel Uzi Frydman on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 12:10 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform this week released a letter to Congressional lawmakers urging support for Representative Patrick McHenry’s (R-N.C.) “Supporting America's Innovators Act of 2017”, H.R.1219.

H.R.1219 amends a specific exemption under the Investment Company Act of 1940 by increasing the investor limitation from 100 to 250 people for qualifying venture capital funds. The bill would benefit small businesses and startups by incentivizing venture capitalists to grow their investments in rural-state entrepreneurs. Local economies that host these small business and startups would benefit from H.R.1219 too, as the increased financial fluidity in their cities would only stimulate economic growth for all.

With bipartisan support in the House Financial Services Committee, H.R.1219 passed through the committee with a 54 to 2 vote. H.R. 1219's Senate companion legislation, S. 444, also passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and is now awaiting a full Senate vote.

Below is the text of the letter, which can also be found here.

March 22, 2017

Dear Members of Congress:

I write to express support for H.R. 1219, the Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2017. Introduced by Representative Patrick McHenry, H.R. 1219 would increase access to capital for America’s small businesses thus improving entrepreneur’s ability to grow their business and compete. I urge all members of Congress to support this important legislation.

In recent years it has been increasingly challenging for many small businesses to access the necessary financial capital to fund their operations. H.R. 1219 would allow certain entrepreneurs to receive funds from a larger number of investors in order to better fund new start up efforts or to expand their business operations. 

Currently, the Investment Company Act of 1940 limits the number of investors allowed in a “qualified venture capital fund” to 100 in order for the fund to be exempt from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). H.R. 1219 would amend the 100-invester cap currently in the Act to allow for up to 250 investors.

Legislation similar to H.R. 1219 passed the House in 2016 with a bipartisan vote of 388-9. H.R. 1219 passed out of the House Financial Services Committee on March 9 of this year with a vote of 54-2. Both votes evidence strong support in Congress. A companion bill has also been introduced in the Senate under the same title.

I urge all members of Congress to support H.R. 1219. Doing so will help to increase access to capital that is vital to America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses.   

Sincerely,                                

Grover G. Norquist                                                    
President                                                                    
Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Brookings Institution


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