Rep. Ted Yoho Leaves the Door Open to Higher Taxes
Today, Americans for Tax Reform calls on Rep. Ted Yoho (FL-03) to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is a written commitment to his constituents to oppose higher taxes. It’s time for Yoho to prove his commitment to defending taxpayers and standing up to special-interests in Washington, D.C. A refusal to sign the Pledge would signify to voters Yoho’s willingness to leave the door open to higher taxes on Floridians and their families.
Politicians often run for office saying they won't raise taxes, but then quickly turn their backs on the taxpayer. The idea of the Pledge is simple enough: Make them put their no-new-taxes rhetoric in writing. With a less than conservative voting history and questionable remarks in his past, taxpayers deserve to know where Rep. Ted Yoho really stands on taxes.
Yoho defeated former Rep. Cliff Stearns in 2012 running as an outsider, yet his ratings with several prominent conservative groups leave much to be desired. In fact, Rep. Stearns has a better lifetime rating with Freedomworks (88%-81%) and the Club for Growth (87%-76%). So far, Yoho’s actions don’t match his rhetoric.
During an interview with the Florida Times Union, Yoho also went on record suggesting tax hikes may need to be part of a Social Security solution:
To answer your question: you increase the age, and they have been doing that. Ahhh…probably put people on a decreased benefit…um.. means testing, and some point, taxes, if we are going to stay on the current system, may have to go up on that. Um…there’s the cap on taxable income of about $119,000 ummm … I’m talking about me personally, if that went away, I wouldn’t mind paying that…
There is only one candidate in the race willing to make a firm, written commitment to oppose higher taxes; his name is Jake Rush.
Tom Steyer Cheated by His Consultants Who Sold Him a Plagiarized (and false) Attack Ad on Joni Ernst
Left wing San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has been ill-used by consultants getting rich off his $100 million in campaign spending. The consultants have simply recycled and plagiarized ads from 2010 campaigns that they didn’t tell Steyer had already been debunked. As shown by a newly launched false attack ad against Joni Ernst, Steyer is being cheated.
Ernst has made a written commitment to the people of Iowa to oppose tax hikes. The Pledge prevents politicians from raising taxes.
It seems Steyer’s consultants have stooped to rehashing provably false lines of attack against candidates who have sworn off higher taxes. Steyer’s ad makes a false claim that has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked by nonpartisan fact checking organizations:
Factcheck.org had this to say in 2010 about the same attack used against a candidate four years ago, in a previous election cycle:
But we find the ad to be false. The pledge only protects corporations from an increase in taxation overall. It explicitly allows elimination of any specific tax deduction or credit if matched dollar-for-dollar by an overall cut in rates. And it says nothing about jobs.
The fact check continues:
To characterize his opposition to raising taxes as protecting tax breaks that send jobs abroad is wrong. Any tax benefit can be eliminated and offset by a rate cut or by other benefits without raising taxes overall, and without violating the terms of that pledge. This attack ad is false.
But the fact that someone signed the pledge doesn’t necessarily mean they are opposed to closing loopholes for off-shore companies.
Our friends at FactCheck.org have been knocking down this claim since April, when the DCCC ran a TV ad against a Republican House candidate in Hawaii. They recently debunked the same claim in an ad in the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign.
Here’s the problem: The taxpayer pledge doesn’t prevent a signer from opposing any tax break as long as he or she finds a way to offset the resulting increase in taxes.
[The attack is] a huge leap of logic and it doesn’t prove Hurt supports the offshore loopholes. So we find the claim False.
“Tom Steyer needs to find honest and original consultants,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The plagiarized attack ads he’s running have already been proven false by several fact checkers four years ago, in 2010. Rather than attacking Joni Ernst, he should be praising her for her principled stand against higher taxes. Taxpayers in Iowa are looking for someone to stand up to the special interests in Washington and she is exactly the candidate to do that. Steyer deserves a refund from those who cheated him.”
Reason.tv and Remy Mock the IRS with a Love Song
A few weeks back, I highlighted how Rep. Paul Ryan ripped into IRS commissioner John Koskinen over the IRS scandal involving Lois Lerner and the targeting of free-market groups. The issue at the time came down to the failure of the IRS to produce emails related to the investigation and the inability of the commissioner to explain why the IRS couldn’t retrieve the missing data. The Daily Caller even reported that the failure to produce emails related to the investigation may have violated federal law.
Now, the IRS is singing a different tune. IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane, who oversees document production for the agency, says he’s unsure whether all the backups related to Lerner were recycled and destroyed. However, IT experts for the IRS recently declared under oath that Lerner’s hard drive had been recycled by an outside contractor.
So which is it? Can the IRS produce these missing emails or not? Sometimes the absurdity of it all requires you to step back and just laugh. For that reason, I suggest you check out Remy’s new song: What are the Chances? (An IRS Love Song)
Rep. Paul Ryan Tees off on IRS Commissioner Over Lerner’s Lost Emails
In a recent hearing on the IRS scandal involving the targeting of conservative and free-market groups, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) ripped into IRS commissioner John Koskinen after the agency admitted it lost 2 years’ worth of emails from Lois Lerner. The agency had previously agreed to turn over all emails related to the investigation.
Lerner’s computer conveniently crashed ten days after Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich) first requested information related to the scandal. Lerner reportedly asked the IT department to recover the data from her computer, but they were unable to do so.
The Daily Caller reported that the inability of the IRS to produce Lerner's emails appears to violate federal laws, as they are required to keep records of all emails and print out hard copies as a backup. In fact, the U.S. Archivist admitted to Congress during a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing that the IRS “did not follow the law” when it failed to report the lost Lerner emails. However, he did not say they broke the law.
If you have a moment, it is definitely worth your time to watch Rep. Ryan's questioning of Commissioner Koskinen. As Rep. Ryan says:
You are the Internal Revenue Service. You can reach into the lives of hardworking taxpayers and with a phone call, email, or a letter; you can turn their lives upside down. You ask taxpayers to hang on to seven years of their personal tax information in case they are ever audited, and you can’t keep six months worth of employees’ emails?
What do you think? Is it too much to ask the IRS to hold on to their records for as long as taxpayers are required to keep theirs?
ATR Releases 2014 List of Federal Pledge Signers Ahead of Primaries in CO, MD, NY, and OK
With the primary elections of several states slated to take place Tuesday, Americans for Tax Reform has released an updated list of elected officials and challengers for congressional office who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge for the states of Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes. ATR strongly encourages taxpayers to consider those who have made this commitment when they vote on June 24. The list of incumbents and challengers who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and will be on the ballot Tuesday can be found in the following links:
ATR Releases 2014 List of Federal Pledge Signers in IA-03 Ahead of the June 21 GOP Convention
Americans for Tax Reform released an updated list of US Congressional candidates in IA-03 who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents to never raise their taxes. The list of candidates who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is as follows:
- Rob Cramer (IA-03)
- Matt Schultz (IA-03)*
- Monte Shaw (IA-03)
- David Young (IA-03)
- Brad Zaun (IA-03)
*Matt Schultz signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as Secretary of State
ATR Release 2014 List of Federal Pledge Signers Ahead of Primaries in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia
With the primary elections of several states slated to take place Tuesday, Americans for Tax Reform has released an updated list of incumbents and challengers for federal offices who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge for the states of Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes. ATR strongly encourages taxpayers to consider those who have made this commitment when they vote on June 10. The list of incumbents and challengers who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and will be on the ballot Tuesday can be found in the following links:
ATR Releases List of 2014 Federal Pledge Signers Ahead of Primaries in AL, CA, IA, MS, MT, NJ, NM, and SD
With the primary elections slated to take place in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota on Tuesday, Americans for Tax Reform has released an updated list of incumbents and challengers for congressional offices who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes. ATR strongly encourages taxpayers to consider those who have made this commitment when they vote on Tuesday, June 3. The list of incumbents and challengers who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and will be on the ballot Tuesday can be found in the following links:
- Alabama Pledge Signers
- California Pledge Signers
- Iowa Pledge Signers
- Mississippi Pledge Signers
- Montana Pledge Signers
- New Jersey Pledge Signers
- New Mexico Pledge Signers
- South Dakota Pledge Signers
ATR Releases 2014 List of Federal Pledge Signers in Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District
Americans for Tax Reform released an updated list of congressional candidates in Oklahoma’s fifth district who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents to never raise their taxes. The list of candidates who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is as follows:
Kevin Raye Uses DCCC Playbook to Mislead Voters on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
In the hotly contested GOP primary in ME-02, former State Sen. Kevin Raye is attempting to deflect attention away from his decision to leave the door open to higher taxes by lying about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
His arguments against the Pledge come straight out of the DCCC playbook. To claim the Pledge prevents tax reform or the elimination of any particular deduction and/or credit is simply false. ATR President Grover Norquist created the Pledge in 1985 to help pass the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the most comprehensive tax reform legislation to date.
The Pledge prevents politicians from raising taxes by eliminating this-or-that tax preference by itself. Rather, the Pledge tells politicians that such base broadening is acceptable only in the context of tax reform—broaden the base, lower the rates, and don’t raise the net tax burden in the aggregate on American families and employers. A tax preference eliminated today is a tax preference not available for tax reform tomorrow.
Claims similar to Raye’s have been debunked by Factcheck.org and Politifact in the past.
More important, it [Taxpayer Protection Pledge] does not rule out an overhaul of the tax code. Signers agree to oppose any "net" reduction of deductions or credits "unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."
Factcheck.org continued on with their examination of the Pledge by agreeing with ATR that any attempt to say the Pledge “protects” any deduction or credit is untrue:
That [Pledge] leaves ample room for elimination of any number of special tax breaks so long as the overall level of taxation is not increased. To claim that this "protects" any particular provision of the tax code is simply untrue.
Politifact also agreed with Factcheck.org saying:
The taxpayer pledge doesn’t prevent a signer from opposing any tax break as long as he or she finds a way to offset the resulting increase in taxes.
Any attempt by Raye to use Sen. Rand Paul against the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is disproved by a simple Google search. Politico highlighted a number of pro-Pledge comments made by Sen. Paul in 2012:
I’m a huge fan of the pledge. And I think it does hold people’s feet to the fire and they’ve essentially signed their signature and said they’re not going to raise taxes so if they go back on their word, I think they’ll suffer the repercussions in their next election.
In ME-02, Bruce Poliquin is the only candidate to make a written promise to Maine taxpayers to oppose higher taxes. Poliquin understands the solution to our current economic malaise is to hold the line on taxes, grow the economy, and cut government spending.