Virginia Gov. McAuliffe Refuses to Recognize Ronald Reagan Day

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, February 5th, 2016, 9:52 PM PERMALINK

This year 34 states -- four with Democrat governors -- issued proclamations recognizing the late president on his birthday. A notable omission from this list is Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.). who has refused to issue a Ronald Reagan Proclamation.

The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project asks governors from all 50 states to proclaim February 6 as "Ronald Reagan Day" annually. This year 34 states -- four with Democrat governors -- issued proclamations recognizing the late president on his birthday.

The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project  was founded by Grover Norquist in 1997.  This project is committed to upholding the legacy of the 40th President throughout the United States and abroad. To recognize his legacy, the project encourages the naming of buildings, landmarks, roads, and schools after the late President. There are currently 150 domestic dedications in 32 states and the District of Columbia, and 17 international dedications in nine countries

When Reagan ran for President in 1980 and 1984 he won in Virginia. Despite his popularity in the state, Governor McAuliffe has refused to issue a proclamation honoring President Reagan’s accomplishments and legacy. 

“McAuliffe ran for governor of Virginia, not to help the state, but to play politics for Hillary in 2016. While other states proclaimed Reagan's birthday, February 6 as "Ronald Reagan Day" McAuliffe churlishly refuses. A politician who never learned how to be a governor,” said Norquist.


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35 Governors Declare Feb. 6 as “Ronald Reagan Day”

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, February 5th, 2016, 6:26 PM PERMALINK

Each year the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project sends requests to governors from all 50 states to issue a proclamation declaring February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day". This year, to celebrate Reagan's 105th birthday, 35 states -- four with Democrat governors -- signed official proclamations recognizing the late president.

Grover Norquist founded the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project  in 1997.  The project is committed to preserving the legacy of the 40th President of the United States throughout the nation and abroad, and also works to encourage the naming of buildings, roads, landmarks, and schools after the late President. There are currently 150 domestic dedications in 32 states and the District of Columbia, and 17 international dedications in nine countries. 


Norquist said: “Reagan reduced the size and scope of government, cut taxes for all Americans, and laid the foundation for economic prosperity. By the time he left office, America was freer, safer, and stronger in every way. And although he has been out of office for over a quarter of a century, he remains the leader his successors should emulate. “

The following 35 Governors have issued proclamations declaring today as Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alabama- Robert Bentley (R)

Arizona- Doug Ducey (R)

Arkansas- Asa Hutchinson (R)

California- Jerry Brown (D)

Colorado- John Hickenlooper (D)

Florida- Rick Scott (R)

Georgia-Nathan Deal (R)

Idaho- Butch Otter (R)

Illinois- Bruce Rauner (R)

Indiana- Mike Pence (R)

Iowa- Terry Branstad (R)

Kansas- Sam Brownback (R)

Kentucky- Matt Bevin (R)

Maine- Paul LePage (R)

Maryland- Larry Hogan (R)

Massachusetts- Charlie Baker (R)

Michigan- Rick Snyder (R)

Mississippi- Phil Byant (R)

Nebraska- Pete Ricketts (R)

Nevada- Brian Sandoval (R)

New Jersey- Chris Christie (R)

New Mexico- Susana Martinez (R)

North Carolina- Pat McCrory (R)

North Dakota- Jack Dalrymple (R)

Ohio- John Kasich (R)

Oklahoma- Mary Fallin (R)

South Carolina- Nikki Haley (R)

South Dakota- Dennis Daugaard (R)

Tennessee- Bill Haslam (R)

Texas- Greg Abbott (R)

Utah- Gary Herbert (R)

Vermont- Peter Shumlin (D)

West Virginia- Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Wisconsin- Scott Walker (R)

Wyoming- Matt Mead (R)

There are 15 governors who have not issued a proclamation declaring Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alaska- Bill Walker (I)

Connecticut- Dannel Malloy (D)

Delaware-Jack Markell (D)

Hawaii- David Ige (D)

Louisiana- John Bel Edwards (D)

Minnesota- Mark Dayton (D)

Missouri- Jay Nixon (D)

Montana- Steve Bullock (D)

New Hampshire- Maggie Hassan (D)*

New York- Andrew Cuomo (D)

Oregon- Kate Brown (D) 

Pennsylvania- Tom Wolf (D)

Rhode Island- Gina Raimondo (D)

Virginia- Terry McAuliffe (D)

Washington- Jay Inslee (D)


*Still awaiting a proclamation from the Governor.



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Obama Budget Contains $320 Billion Energy Tax Hike

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Friday, February 5th, 2016, 5:50 PM PERMALINK

President Obama’s soon to be released 2017 budget proposal contains a $320 billion tax hike over ten years to fund a new “clean transportation” plan. This massive new spending plan calls for a tax increase on the American people – a $10 tax per barrel of oil that will be passed onto drivers in the form of higher prices at the pump.

Obama’s budget will propose over $200 billion in new spending on “bullet trains” and other transit systems, $100 billion on a “climate smart fund,” and $20 billion research into clean transportation including self-driving cars.

The new $10 tax will be phased in over five years. The tax could increase the cost of gas by as much as 25 cents, according to Politico.

Obama’s new tax hike violates the spirit – if not the letter -- of Obama’s “firm pledge” against “any form of tax increase” on any American earning less than $250,000.

Obama has already broken his middle class tax pledge when he signed Obamacare into law, and when he vetoed legislation that repealed 16 Obamacare taxes, including seven that directly raise taxes on middle-income Americans.

This latest proposal continues in this direction and will leave middle class Americans again on the hook for a massive, wasteful new spending program. 

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Jeff Dangeau

Our domestic oil and gas industry has has been one of America's primary economic engines over the last decade, even through the Great Recession. It even brought us to the brink of energy independence before being hit hard by the change in OPEC policy. Now with the industry fighting for survival, the guys in the White House want to finish the shut down of U.S. Production that Saudi Arabia started by imposing a new tax equal to approximately 1/3 the current price of oil. If our domestic producers are crippled beyond the point where they can make a quick recovery, Saudi Arabia and Russia will have the ability to create a major oil price spike at will.

Jeff Dangeau

See the following excerpt from the American Petroleum Institute website below for more on the economic impact of our oil and gas industry.

When vast swaths of the U.S. economy were shedding jobs during the recession, employment growth in oil and natural gas industry professions was one of the bright spots in the economy. Why? Because of large innovations and larger investments in developing energy from shale. In the Marcellus Shale alone, between 2012 and 2013, there was a 40 percent increase in jobs in eight trades (union and non-union members included).

Business consulting firm IHS has taken an in-depth look at the economic impacts of U.S. unconventional oil and natural gas development and found that the development of energy from shale and other tight formations supported 2.1 million jobs in 2012.

With policy choices that support safe and responsible development the full unconventional value chain — the oil and natural gas industry’s upstream, midstream and downstream sectors and energy-related chemical industries — could support 3.3 million jobs by 2020 and nearly 3.9 million by 2025. With the right policies the U.S. is looking at significant job creation from energy developed with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. This includes the oil and natural gas industry itself, sectors that support the industry with materials, supplies and equipment and areas that benefit as workers and families in these groups pay for housing and buy food, clothing and consumer goods.

- See more at: http://www.americanenergyworks...


Politico is assuming every gallon of oil produces a gallon of gas.

Meanwhile, in the States...

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Posted by Emily Leayman on Friday, February 5th, 2016, 1:12 PM PERMALINK

Arkansas: Committee lobbies Little Rock voters on hotel tax for art center improvements. 

Arizona: Lawmakers advance tax vouchers for attending private schools. 

California: Davis City Council decides not to pursue soda tax.

Colorado:  Amazon sales tax collection begins in state.

Connecticut: Gov. Malloy (D) calls for 1,000 state job cuts, no tax increases. 

Florida: House committee passes tax cuts without Gov. Scott’s budget centerpiece. 

Illinois: Illinois comptroller says state would need to double the income tax rate to combat debt.

Indiana: Indiana House OKs cigarette, gas tax hikes to pay for roads. 

Kansas: Legislators offer proposals to close budget gap. 

Louisiana: State expects more money for road fund from low gas prices. 

Maryland: Gov. Hogan (R) touts good tax record in state of the state address. 

Missouri: Republicans push no-tax plan to fund road repairs.

New Jersey: Democrats push for $15 minimum wage. 

New Mexico: Bill seeks to unlock $ 1 billion in unspent money for infrastructure.  

Pennsylvania: Gov. Wolf (D) asks for $200 million increase for next budget. 

Utah: Lawmakers pressured to increase taxes for school funding.


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Top Five Pitfalls of a Carbon Tax

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Posted by James Morrone on Friday, February 5th, 2016, 9:24 AM PERMALINK

Every so often, the issue of a carbon tax is raised by misguided lawmakers and ideological extremists. The fact is a carbon tax will cause far more harm than good. A carbon tax would not only have a crippling impact on the affordability of energy in the U.S., but would further weaken a fragile economy and increase dependence on foreign goods and energy providers. This is not what we need right now. 

Listed below are the top five reasons why lawmakers should oppose a carbon tax in the United States. 

Impact to U.S. GDP. The projected impact of a carbon tax on U.S. GDP would be a massive loss of at least $146 billion by year 2030. The overall output of the American economy will be decreased; in both terms of investment and labor supply. 

Skyrocketing energy prices. Energy prices, both in gasoline and electricity, will increase by 20 to 30 percent respectively, under a carbon tax scheme.

Increased job loss. In a 3-year span alone, over 400,000 jobs would be lost due to the effects of the tax, with a projected loss of 1 million jobs by the year 2030.

Reduced purchasing power and wages. The tax would also effect wages; the resulting increase in the price of goods and services would lead to reduced purchasing power, thus real wages are affected negatively.

Regressive impact on nation's most vulnerable. Low income households will suffer more so than middle class households because of their reliance on cheap energy and products. Additionally, as mentioned, the costs of many consumer goods would be driven up, which combined with decreased purchasing power, would hit the nation’s most vulnerable populations the hardest.


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Anne Huberman

This article is full of misinformation. A revenue neutral carbon fee (gradually increasing) and dividend would improve the economy and return money to the people to ease the burden of increased fossil fuel prices. This would encourage conversion to renewable energy and that would stimulate the production of many more jobs. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to use a carbon tax as one method of mitigating climate change. See https://citizensclimatelobby.o...

Emily Church

Misguided ideological extremists like Greg Mankiw, John Cochrane, *The Economist*, Art Laffer, George Shultz, Gary Becker, Richard Revesz, Rex Tillerson, Ben van Beurden, The American Enterprise Institute, and Americans for Tax Reform Founder Grover Norquist?


These are the same misleading arguments being publicized by those who are affiliated with the oil, gas and coal industries.

The benefit to our economy from a fee on carbon would be to STIMULATE the move toward clean energy - creating jobs and investment in exciting, new technology.

If the collected tax on carbon is used to reduce taxes or is returned to the American people in the form of a dividend check which is used to offset the rising cost of energy.....then, citizens BENEFIT from this sort of policy.

Hillary’s “Free College” Plan May Increase Taxes On Over 21,000 New Hampshire Families

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Posted by Sarah Feldpausch on Friday, February 5th, 2016, 5:00 AM PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton’s proposed “New College Compact” is estimated by her campaign to cost $350 billion over ten years. Where will the money come from? According to the Clinton campaign, every cent of the $350 billion will come from tax increases on the American people. A review of the proposal by Americans for Tax Reform shows that as many as 21,330 New Hampshire households will be stuck with a higher tax bill.

The $350 billion tax hike over ten years comes in the form of a 28 percent cap on itemized deductions. The Clinton spending plan reduces the income tax deductibility of countless deductions including charitable donations, high medical bills, mortgage interest, and state and local taxes for Iowa families in the 33-percent, 35-percent, or 39.6 -percent brackets, limiting their value to just 28 percent.

According to IRS Statistics of Income Data for 2013 (the most recent year available), this Hillary tax hike will hit about 21,330 New Hampshire households, based on the number of families who earned over $200,000 and itemized their deductions.

The proposal in effect would create a new Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

"By capping itemized deductions -- which already phase out based on income -- Clinton will complicate the tax code and bring back the AMT for millions of families," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "The original AMT targeted 155 individuals but grew to target 40 million families. Hillary's new idea is the old AMT that starts as a $350 billion tax hike and will certainly grow.”

Clinton’s attempt at “free” college through increasing taxes aligns with her threat: “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” This remark was made during a speech to her financial backers and was overheard and reported by the Associated Press. Unaware there was a reporter present, then-Senator Clinton felt free to spell out her true tax worldview.

This is not the only tax hike Clinton has proposed. When the campaign launched, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon warned of upcoming “revenue enhancements” – and the campaign has not disappointed. With almost ten months till Election Day, Clinton has already proposed over $1 trillion in tax increases.


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Hillary's 25% Gun Tax Threatens New Hampshire Jobs

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 5:12 PM PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton has yet to face questioning about her strong, personal endorsement of a 25 percent national sales tax on guns, a position she staked out in passionate Senate testimony in 1993. Clinton frequently criticizes Bernie Sanders for his 1993 vote against the Brady Bill yet fails to mention her advocacy for a steep new gun tax, which would be of no help to New Hampshire’s 6,000 firearms and ammunition jobs.

Clinton says there is a “big difference” between her and Sanders on the gun issue.

The background:

Clinton was asked by then-Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) if she supported the imposition of a new, 25 percent national sales tax on guns. Clinton emphatically endorsed the tax, stating: "I am all for that."

As reported by the Associated Press on Oct. 1, 1993:

Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., picked up Mrs. Clinton's support for his idea of slapping stiff taxes on ''purveyors of violence:'' a 25 percent sales tax on guns and $2,500 license fees for gun dealers.

''Speaking personally ... I'm all for that,'' said the first lady. But she stressed she was just speaking for herself.

''Well, let me say that there is no more important personal endorsement in the country today, and I thank you very much,'' said a pleased-as-punch Bradley.

After she publicly endorsed the 25 percent gun tax in congressional testimony, she made sure that everyone understood how important this was to her, saying: "I am speaking personally, but I feel very strongly about that." 

Remarkably, although the hearing was broadcast on C-SPAN and Clinton's 25 percent gun tax endorsement was noted at the time by the AP, the Washington Post, the New York Times and others, a search of leading news databases reveals not a single media mention since 1993. 

On the day of the Finance Committee hearing, NBC Nightly News reported the 25 percent gun tax incident as follows:

NBC: "Others urge a hefty sales tax on guns, and much higher fees for gun dealers. Today, they got a powerful ally."

Clinton: "I'm all for that. I just don't know what else we're going to do to try to figure out how to get some handle on this violence."

NBC: "Hillary Clinton added that's only her personal opinion."

The Bill Clinton White House made it clear that Hillary's 25 percent gun tax endorsement was all hers, as shown by the Oct. 1, 1993 White House press briefing transcript:

Q: "Do you know if the President supports the First Lady's endorsement of an idea yesterday by Senator Bradley that there be a 25 percent tax on the sale of guns in America?"

WH Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers: "Well, as you know, she was expressing her opinion."

Hillary Clinton needs to be called out for her support of the tax and what it might mean to New Hampshire’s vital firearms and ammunition industry. As reported by New Hampshire Public Radio in 2013:

According to an industry-funded report, around 2,100 Granite Staters work in jobs directly related to firearms and ammunition. But when you add in suppliers and other jobs on the periphery, that number shoots up to about 6,000.

As New Hampshire Public Radio notes, these are well-paying jobs:

The wages for floor workers here can go up to about $25 an hour. In Sullivan County, where the median wage is about $13,000 dollars lower than the state as a whole, it’s hard to overestimate how important Sturm, Ruger is to the area. 

So let’s hear it, Hillary, how will your gun tax help New Hampshire’s economy?

VIDEO: Watch Hillary endorse a new 25% national gun tax



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These are the same people who once had poll taxes.

Bernie's Tax Plan Will Eliminate 6 Million Jobs

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Posted by James Morrone on Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 1:59 PM PERMALINK

As if anyone expected something different, the millenial backed Sanders’ tax plan will cost the economy at least 6 million jobs.  The increase in taxes, which would slam over 74 percent of the population, will slash economic growth and production in the hopes of financing his single-payer healthcare system.  The ideological attack on business through taxes will do nothing but harm the nation, in both the short and long run. 

When his tax plan was originally released, it was clear it was going to be bad for the economy, but the losses will truly make us all “Feel the Bern”.  The first big hit would be on GDP growth, which is an integral part to American job creation and income growth.  The figures, according to Investors Business Daily, show that GDP growth will be cut by 9.5 percent, shrinking the amount of available jobs for American workers.  The plan will also have a negative effect on stocks as well.  Capital stocks will be reduced by 18.6 percent, allowing for less capital investment in companies, which means less growth.

It was always assumed that the burden of the 6.2 percent payroll tax would be put onto the employee, but the impact the figures from The Tax Foundation  show is far worse than anticipated.  We currently live in a time of stagnant wages and a lack of availability of full-time work, there is no reason to amplify this even more.   To have the wage rate decrease 4.3 percent over ten years is simply unbearable and irresponsible for any leader trying to revive a great nation.

It is absurd to think that anyone would fall for such a blatant attempt to hurt the free market and increase dependence on the government.  Whether it is caused by the allure of “free” services or a sense of entitlement that some may hold, forsaking the ideals of the nation will only hurt us.  The loss of so many jobs and decrease in the economic growth will only hurt these ideals, and force many to turn to the ever growing government to provide.  The founders must be rolling in their graves.

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Cloward Piven Democrat

Good article. Bernie Sanders is a well-meaning crackpot backed by globalist billionaires and an army of disenfranchised young people who cannot find jobs and don't realize how socialist destroys opportunity and freedom. If they think they're poor now, wait until Bernie and the Marxist-progressive wing of the Democratic Party have the whole country on food stamps due to another poorly thought out program like the Unaffordable Care Act.

Millennials: A Generation in Financial Chaos

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Posted by Michael Eyerman on Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 12:02 PM PERMALINK

Millennials are set to become one of the most important constituencies in the 2016 election cycle. This generation faces many diverse issues as they enter the workforce and move out from under the umbrella of their parents. Generation Opportunity, a grassroots organization that represents the interests of Millennials, put out the 2016 State of the Millennial Report, which highlights many of the issues that Millennials are facing today and in the future.

Here are three of their main findings:

  • Millennials face stagnant economic opportunities. As an increasing amount of younger Americans join the workforce the unemployment rate for millennials soars above other generations. Currently, unemployment for 18-29 year olds is around 8%; much higher than the 3.7% for those over the age of 29. Also, many millennials have given up looking for a job all together after a search that has left them unemployed and frustrated with the country’s current economic state.
  • Expanding higher education costs and low wages have put many millennials in a dire financial mess. As young Americans are attending colleges and universities around the country and with tuition rising at rapid rates, millions of young Americans find themselves with mountains of debt. In addition the report states, millennials face “lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations.” With higher unemployment and underemployment rates, this all makes for Millennials to be the first generation that is worse off than the previous one. 
  • Government debt has become an uncontrollable monster that Millennials will be forced to pay. The US national debt is almost $19 trillion and continues to grow every day. Millennials are going to be forced to pay the bill. Elected officials continue to spend an excessive amount of taxpayer money and ignore the snowballing national debt. One particular program that will cause millennials many sleepless nights is Social Security, which is set to go bankrupt in 2034 almost a decade before the first millennials are set to receive their benefits.


With the 2016 election cycle underway, it is time for millennials to vote for candidates who stand to do something about these issues and protect future generations. 

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Cool Slim

DAVID GREGORY: Are US Treasury Bonds still safe to invest in?

PAUL GREENSPAN: Very much so. This is not an issue of credit rating. The United States can pay any debt it has, because we can always print money to do so. There is zero probability of default.

Paul Greenspan said in plain English that we don't have to worry about the national debt.

This Is How the Pentagon Wasted $17 Billion in Afghanistan

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Posted by Emily Leayman on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 4:55 PM PERMALINK

We all know the Department of Defense receives one of the larger allocations from the federal budget, but is that money always spent wisely?

Looking at the Afghanistan War alone, that answer is no.

ProPublica compiled a seemingly endless list of $17 billion in wasteful spending, but here are a few of the big zingers:

-$8 billion for a failed drug war: Despite a 14-year effort, Afghanistan now leads the world in heroin production.

-$2 billion for roads Afghanistan cannot afford to maintain.

-$936 million for underused aircraft: Afghanistan does not have enough trained people to use them for counterterrorism missions.

-$486 million for useless aircraft: Speaking of planes, 20 planes could not be flown, and most were sold for scraps.

-$43 million for one gas station: Wait, aren’t gas stations private businesses? A DoD task force developed one anyway. Even further, it was an alternative natural gas station, and most cars were equipped for, well, regular gas.

To paint a picture of how much money the DoD wasted, ProPublica created an info graphic where you can choose one instance of waste and see what it could have funded.

For instance, just the $1.4 billion from underused and useless aircraft could have translated into clinics and community centers for veterans, and job training for 1.4 million veterans, youth and other workers. Moreover, wasteful defense spending translates into a weaker national defense in a time of rising global uncertainty.

Legislators like Sens. John McCain and James Lankford are fed up with the lack of accountability in spending. McCain’s “America’s Most Wasted” report and Lankford’s “Federal Fumbles” report continue the legacy of Sen. Tom Coburn’s celebrated “Wastebook,” which revealed billions of wasteful spending.

In 2015, Lankford also introduced the Taxpayer’s Right to Know Act, which would create a database of federal agencies’ spending.

Lucky for taxpayers that want to know where their money is going, the twin House bill passed, and the Senate added it to the floor schedule.

$17 billion may not even be the full extent of the Pentagon’s wasteful spending in Afghanistan. Last week, ATR reported on a failed $800 million Pentagon budget meant to produce growth and stabilization in the Middle Eastern country. This is why an audit of their books is more important than ever. Until the Pentagon and other agencies become transparent with their spending, the taxpayers will never know. 


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