Americans for Tax Reform
Koskinen’s IRS: Meet the Shredder that Destroyed Lois Lerner’s Hard Drive
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will appear before the House Judiciary Committee to defend himself against impeachment charges following his role in the Lois Lerner targeting scandal.
Koskinen was appointed to lead the IRS after promising to bring transparency and openness to the embattled agency. He has failed.
Lois Lerner’s hard drive met its end in the amoral maw of an AMERI-SHRED AMS-750 HD shredder, according to testimony submitted last year by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
In 2011, after an IRS-contracted Hewlett Packard technician serviced Lerner's laptop and determined the hard drive "more than likely crashed due to an impact of some sort," and after a different technician in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division noted there was “some scoring on the top platter of the drive,” the hard drive made its way to a recycling facility in Florida operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The testimony states:
“We determined by obtaining the certificate of destruction dated April 16, 2012, interviews with the facility manager, and a search of the facility, that this shipment of hard drives was destroyed using an AMERI-SHRED AMS-750HD shredder. TIGTA agents observed the shredder in operation and noted that the shredder cut the inserted hard drives into quarter-sized pieces, and according to the facility manager, those pieces are then sold for scrap.”
Video footage of the 7.5 horsepower, 2,700-lb. shredder in action can be found here:
Democratic Platform Calls for Carbon Tax
The 2016 Democratic Party platform endorses a carbon tax on the American people. The carbon tax language, added at the last minute, states:
“Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean economy and help meet out climate goals.”
The move by Democrats to impose a carbon tax comes in clear contrast to the 2016 Republican Party platform opposition to any carbon tax:
“We oppose any carbon tax.”
Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, predicts the Democrat call for a carbon tax will have electoral consequences: “When counting to 270 – the number of electoral votes needed to win the presidency – the Republicans may have already won the election in five short words: ‘We oppose any carbon tax.’ Note the overlap between new fracking states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Colorado – and the swing states to reach 270 for any candidate.”
Photo credit: Jim Hutchison
1. You didn't address any of the points I made, so I'll take that as you stipulating their validity. Which makes your screen name (and by extension personal philosophy) invalid.
2. Having said screen name, means you're entire worldview is centered around animosity toward cyclists, whether based on fitness or some sort of I'll-informed sense of tax inequality.
3. Having those issues explained, a rational person might see the error in their thinking, adjust it, apologize and go forward with a renewed and enlightened philosophy and attitude, yet predictably, you choose to ignore the logic, facts and law, and remain steadfast in your hatred of all things cyclist friendly.
4. I didn't call anyone any names, but the fact that you immediately construed that meaning from my theory about non-cyclist motorist's animosity towards cyclists indicates that I must have stuck a nerve.
5. Motorists kill, maim, and permanently injure hundreds of cyclists every year, and threaten to do so with what I consider attempted vehicular homicide thousands of times more. The reverse is not true. Cyclists have killed zero motorists. Cyclists have killed zero cyclists. How's that going for motorists? Tens of thousands killed every year by other motorists. If there's a group needing to have their mode of travel confiscated by the state and put to better use for humanity, it's most certainly those motorists who are threatening, injuring and killing tens of thousands a year.
6. Your fascistic tendencies are showing. Again, predictably, it wouldn't be good enough to simply license cyclists, because thinking it through - since these cyclists are spending thousands on their bikes, hundreds if not thousands more on apparel, gear, additional bikes, travel to races, participation fees, charity rides, etc. few if any would be deterred from riding because of a license fee. But then, there goes your argument about why they shouldn't be there, (as if it had validity in the first place, which it doesn't), and your main concern would still remain: there are those darned cyclists hindering you from traveling uninterrupted on YOUR road.
7. My idea for having motorists lose their license for a year and be forced to cycle for transportation isn't too far fetched. There IS a three foot passing law stating that motorists must give cyclists 3 feet when passing, which means if cars are approaching from the opposite direction on a two lane road, there's not legally enough space to pass until the opposite lane is clear. But there is also a law called the Due Care law, which says that a motorist can be fined up to $1,000, lose their license for a year, AND spend 11 months and 29 days in jail. There is no such law for cyclists. Why? Because CYCLISTS DON'T KILL MOTORISTS!!!
8. How and why are so you far off base with your idea of confiscating the cyclists property and destroying it? Perhaps because you're dangerously uninformed about the law, which is sad for you and dangerous for cyclists. But I believe also because of a lack of experiential knowledge; almost all cyclists are also motorists. We know what it's like being in each position. Very few motorists are cyclists, considering the fact that few use a bike for personal transportation and not simply a leisurely ride in the park. Putting yourself in the position of riding for transportation creates a whole new paradigm and you would finally understand the issue from both perspectives.
9. No one has advocated the state confiscating your property and destroying it, just a temporary suspension in your right to use it.
10. Because of my experience on both sides of the issue, and my tens of thousands of miles of bicycle travel, and hundreds of negative experiences with motorists, and hundreds of potentially life threatening ones, including not only being honked at, cursed, purposefully intimidated, (verified when there is a straight road, miles of visibility, no approaching vehicles in the other lane, and while hugging the white line to the right of the lane and STILL get a honk, buzzed and cursed, you can be sure it's on purpose), but run over twice, I know vastly more about the issue than you do if you don't travel by bike.
Therefore I know for a fact that it's NOT simply running a light, not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, or riding two abreast (perfectly legal, for your information), that gets motorists angry, but that fact that we are there at all.
If the argument is that "some cyclists do those things", or "I saw a cyclist do that the other day", that is also not a logical or valid argument. I saw a whole bunch of drivers doing stupid things just yesterday, so does that give me the right to run them off the road? I saw a little old lady whose head barely stuck above the seat going 10 mph, (much harder to pass than a cyclist, incidentally), so does that mean that every time I see a little old lady driving I should scream at her, blow my horn impatiently and try to run her in the ditch? (The answer is no).
Which leads me into:
11. The reason many cyclists have an angry attitude toward inconsiderate motorists, or those with animosity toward cyclists, is because those of us who have put in enough miles, have been either hit by a car, almost hit by a car, purposefully almost hit by a car, cursed at, honked at and lost friends who were killed by other ignorant, uninformed, murdering motorists with similar attitudes.
12. No matter your attitude about sharing the road with cyclists, it's a fact that cyclists are helping keep the air cleaner, the roads less congested, open up parking spaces, doing less damage to the infrastructure, helping to lower health insurance rates, decrease our dependence on foreign fuel, and other benefits to society as a whole.
13. I couldn't help but notice you hiding behind a fake name (based on cyclist animosity, whether fitness based animosity, or some other), and behind your wheel.
I suggest you get out from behind that wheel, get on a bike, get a some exercise and fresh air! It will improve your health, circulation, endurance, capacity for work, critical thinking, (it improves the blood flow to the brain, and is scientifically proven to increase test scores), empathy for and understanding of a cyclists perspective, and attitude!!
Please ride a few miles by bike, (preferably replacing a trip you'd normally take by car, believe me it will open your eyes!!), and then get back with me. Otherwise, you just seem like a hater, and we all want to be tolerant, right?
How do we explain Obama having this type of security clearance? He is obviously a subversive and has been destroying America for the last seven years.
ATR Statement on New Jersey Assembly-Passed Tax Reform Plan
Americans for Tax reform is pleased to endorse the tax reform package, A 12, passed by the New Jersey State Assembly on Tuesday.
The reform package is consistent with the Taxpayer Protection Pledge signed by pro-taxpayer legislators.
The tax reform package is not a tax hike; the increase in the gasoline tax of a maximum of 23 cents per gallon is combined with a rollback of the previous one percent sales tax hike such that the sales tax now at 7 percent would be reduced to 6.5 percent on January 1, 2017 and 6 percent on January 1, 2018.
The package also removes the state income tax on pension income over a four-year period for all income below $100,000. That phase in takes place in equal parts over four years.
Taxpayers would have been well served if the gas tax hike was also matched with reforms in the state's prevailing wage law.
The November ballot measure that would require that all gas tax revenue go only to transportation will further protect NJ taxpayers.
The statement can also be read here.
Norquist: “Hillary is on the Wrong Side of History on the Gig Economy”
ATR President Grover Norquist was a guest on CNBC’s Squawk Box today. He pointed out Hillary Clinton’s threat to “crack down” – her words -- on independent contractors in the sharing economy.
“Hillary is on the wrong side of history on the gig economy, the sharing economy. She wants everyone in America to have a boss. And what Trump and the others who are advocating for the sharing economy and for Uber drivers and Lyft drivers and Airbnb and TaskRabbit -- all the various ways that people are choosing to organize their lives. It gives them more flexibility so they can work when they want to. Not everybody punches in 8:00 – 5:00. Not everybody wants to spend $1,000 of their income every year paying union dues to some guy who is supposed to be smarter and better than they are. They want to run their own lives and make their own deals. And that’s what Uber and companies like Uber have given to people.
And what Hillary has announced, she wants to take away with her ‘cracking down’ on independent contractors which makes Uber illegal. As they just tried to do in Austin. Watch Austin, that’s the opening shot by the Left against the sharing economy.”
Missouri HB 2203 Infringes on Free Speech Rights
Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter to Missouri legislators regarding HB 2203:
"On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across Missouri, I write today to urge you to reject HB 2203. As amended by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, this legislation will have a chilling effect on free speech by restricting the ability of charitable organizations, social welfare organizations, and individuals to engage in advocacy issues within and outside of the Show-Me State.
Under Sen. Schaefer’s bill, all 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) groups that are run by a candidate, a candidate’s spouse, or those who are employed by or have a contract with the candidate must disclose their donors even if they do not operate within the state. Campaign finance 'reformers,' like Sen. Schaefer, hide behind the notion that mandatory disclosure of donors to political causes is vital to transparency in the election process. While they may value transparency, they are undermining political plurality.
These same laws are used to intimidate and harass individuals for their political views. As a result, the amount of people choosing to exercise their rights in the name of political speech are bound to diminish, as businesspeople will have to choose between their wellbeing and their right to express themselves.
Sen. Schaefer’s effort to remove existing free speech protections by requiring all non-profits to disclose donors even if they do not operate within the state would erode the rights of your constituents and those that reside outside your state as well. The First Amendment is a sacred pillar of American exceptionalism that has only been curtailed in extreme circumstances. Even the United States Supreme Court has shown deference to this fundamental right. For example, in the 1958 Supreme Court case of NAACP v. Alabama the court put a stop to this type of arduous statutory restriction on free speech and free association. At the time, the Court’s decision to provide for 'immunity from state scrutiny' for organizations like the NAACP safeguarded an important protection on First Amendment rights by protecting members of organizations from intimidation and harassment. In the 2010 case, Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court further restored free-speech rights for non-profit organizations as well.
If enacted, this legislation will fly in the face of the Supreme Court precedent and erode centuries old constitutional rights. I urge you to stand up for the rights of your constituents and all Americans by voting no on this onerous legislation."
ATR Releases List of 2016 Ohio State Pledge Signers
As today is the primary election in Ohio, Americans for Tax Reform has released an updated list of incumbents and challengers for the Ohio state legislative office 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 urges taxpayers to consider those who have made this commitment, as they vote today. Below is the list of incumbents and challengers who have signed the Pledge:
- David Yost (State Auditor)
- Shannon Jones (S-7)
- Bob Peterson (S-17)
- Andrew Brenner (H-67)
- Thomas Brinkman Jr (H-27)
- Mike Dovilla (H-7)
- Anne Gonzales (H-19)
- Cheryl Grossman (H-23)
- David Hall (H-70)
- Bill Hayes (H-72)
- Ron Hood (H-78)
- Ron Maag (H-62)
- Jeff McClain (H-87)
- Kristina Roegner (H-37)
- Clifford Rosenberger (H-91)
- Marilyn Slaby (H-38)
- Andy Thompson (H-95)
- Ron Young (H-63)
- John Adams (S-12)
- Joseph Ebbing (S-4)
- Eric Gurr (S-4)
- Matt Huffman (S-12)
- Jeremiah York (S-4)
- Bill Dean (H-74)
- Ron Ferguson (H-96)
- Patricia Gacoyne-Telischak (H-15)
- Wesley Goodman (H-87)
- Candice Keller (H-53)
- Matt Lynch (H-76)
- Kevin Rettig (H-83)
Norquist: Hillary’s Attack on Guns and Fracking Will Cost Her the Election
In an interview on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street today, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist made the case that Hillary Clinton’s attacks on guns and fracking will cause her to lose the general election.
“Whoever is the Republican nominee is up against Hillary Clinton who I think lost the election in the debate last night with two simple sentences:
The first was that under her new rules, fracking would exist almost nowhere because of the rules she wants to put in. Democrats used to be able to insult the energy industry because they lived in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alaska – they don’t vote Democrat. But she declared war on Pennsylvania and Ohio with that statement. That’s not the way to win the election- that’s how you lose it.”
Norquist was referring to Clinton’s comment in Sunday’s Democrat debate where she said, "So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place."
“The other was her comment on guns. Hillary Clinton is old enough that she doesn’t know that since she got involved in politics, 13 million Americans now have active concealed carry permits -- five and a half percent of the adult population. She announced it was her idea to reduce the number of people who have gun. Not ‘bad people,’ she said last night ‘PEOPLE’ who have guns. There is a voting block of five percent of the electorate this did not exist 20 years ago.”
While Clinton has always been terrible on the gun issue, her anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment statement in Sunday’s debate was broad and sweeping: “I think we have to try everything that works to try to limit the numbers of people and the kinds of people who are given access to firearms.”
Americans for Tax Reform has pointed out Hillary’s support of a new national 25% sales tax on guns.
“The reason they’re important is that Hillary doesn’t understand that attacking the energy industry is no longer attacking a handful of Republican states. They’ve already lost West Virginia because of this and now they’re going to lose Pennsylvania and Ohio. You can’t win the presidency without Pennsylvania and Ohio and those states die if you take away fracking as she announced last night she was going to. You can’t declare war on five and a half percent of Americans who have concealed carry permits and expect to win an election. That’s a new voting group.”
Obama's Final Budget: Highest Cap Gains Tax Since 1997
President Obama's final budget calls for a hike in the capital gains and dividends tax rate from 23.8% today (20% plus 3.8% Obamacare surtax) to 28% (including the Obamacare surtax).
The capital gains tax has not been that high since President Clinton signed a rate cut in 1997.
It would represent a massive hike in the rate since Obama took office. When he was sworn in, the rate was 15%. He proposes to nearly double it to 28% in the twilight of his administration.
"Bill Clinton signed Republican legislation reducing the capital gains tax from 28% to 20%. The economy strengthened," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "During his presidency Barack Obama has increased the capital gains tax from 15% to 20%, then from 20% to 23.8% and now he wants to increase it again to 28%. As a result Obama's 'recovery' has been the weakest since 1960. Obama has a sluggish economy and a very slow learning curve."
Virginia Gov. McAuliffe Refuses to Recognize Ronald Reagan Day
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.
35 Governors Declare Feb. 6 as “Ronald Reagan Day”
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.