Americans for Tax Reform

Obama's Final Budget: Highest Cap Gains Tax Since 1997

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016, 11:32 AM PERMALINK

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."

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Pete Souza [Public domain],

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.


Photo Credit: 
Chuck Thompson

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.



Meanwhile, in the States...

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, January 8th, 2016, 4:26 PM PERMALINK

While there is gridlock on the tax front in Washington, there are many developments in state capitals across the country that affect taxpayers. 

Below is a roundup of state tax activity from this past week:

Florida: Lawmakers looking to make Gov. Rick Scott’s business tax cuts viable. Florida Chamber of Commerce demands an end to business rent tax.

Idaho: Lawmakers seek to avoid tax hike for infrastructure repairs.

Illinois: State budget impasse continues. Tax refunds will be delayed due to anti-fraud and identity theft efforts.

Indiana: Fantasy sports companies facing New York lawsuits invited to move headquarters to Indiana. 

Iowa: Gov. Terry Branstad proposes diverting sales tax revenue from schools to water quality projects.

Kansas: Education is likely to be at the center of state budget discussions. 

Kentucky: Gov. Matt Bevin cuts $112.5 million from transportation budget.

Maine: Residents are paying a lower income tax, higher sales tax in the new year. 

Maryland: Gov. Larry Hogan aims to allocate $700 million for demolishing, redeveloping vacant Baltimore structures.

Minnesota: Majority of cities propose property tax increases.

Mississippi: Lawmakers consider phasing out franchise tax while increasing other taxes. 

Missouri:  In light of flooding, state will prioritize a transportation bill, while considering a gas tax hike. 

Ohio: Judge dismisses state lawsuit over health care law tax. A tax agency lost tax return data for 50,000 Ohioans.

Oklahoma: Residents in 16 counties receive ‘accidental’ tax breaks. Debt rating service predicts poor outlook for the state.

Pennsylvania: An unpopular business tax has expired with the new year. Pennsylvania borrows $2 billion to pay bills amidst budget impasse.

Rhode Island: Truckers may avoid Rhode Island if it implements a new toll.

South Dakota: Voters overwhelmingly reject wheel tax. Legislature will consider a new method of assessing agricultural property for tax purposes. 

Tennessee: State seeks alternatives to gas tax increase.

Utah: Proposed bill would reward veterans with tax exemption. Residents in 13 school districts paid higher property taxes, schools have yet to receive the revenue.

Virginia: Gov.’s McAuliffe’s proposed budget would surpass record-breaking $100 billion. 

West Virginia: Numerous West Virginia cities are adding a municipal sales tax.

Wisconsin: County sales tax on transportation bill receives bipartisan support. 


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Ronald Reagan Dedications in the U.S. and Abroad

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015, 12:24 PM PERMALINK

The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, started in 1997 by Grover Norquist, is committed to preserving the legacy of one of America’s greatest presidents. Since its inception, this project has grown considerably through official proclamations, domestic dedications, and international tributes.

This year was an exceptional year for the number of Governors who proclaimed Reagan Day in their respective states. The number of Governors commemorating Reagan’s birthday (Feb. 6) by issuing official proclamations is now 35.

This past year the number of domestic dedications to Ronald Regan increased to 109 in over 30 states. The most dedications reside in Illinois: Reagan’s birthplace and childhood home, and California: where his auspicious acting and subsequent political career found its start.

Additionally, Ronald Reagan is celebrated around the world with 17 dedications in nine countries. Two nations that have shown considerable respect and honor to Reagan’s legacy are: Poland, with six dedications in several different cities, and Hungary which has a 7 foot bronze statue of the “Gipper” in downtown Budapest.

To see the full list of dedications: click here.

Photo Credit: 
US National Archives

Grover Norquist Endorses Susan Stimpson in Bid to Defeat Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, February 17th, 2015, 10:44 AM PERMALINK

Today, ATR president Grover Norquist released a statement endorsing Susan Stimpson in her bid to defeat Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell in House District 28.  

"In signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Susan Stimpson has demonstrated that she understands the problems of hardworking taxpayers in Virginia. Her written commitment to Virginia voters helps differentiate her candidacy from that of her opponent, Speaker Bill Howell."

Click here to view Susan Stimpson's Pledge to Virginia voters. 

"Speaker Howell is a serial tax-hiker. Ever since he took the helm as the top ranking Republican in Richmond in 2003, Howell has been a major force behind every major tax hike in Virginia.

Under Democrat Governor Mark Warner in 2004, Bill Howell could have prevented a $615 million tax hike. Instead, he convinced Republicans who opposed the tax to take a hike, allowing the vote to proceed and eventually be signed into law."

As PolitiFact Virginia noted, "The bill survived a hostile House committee because Howell persuaded four conservative allies to skip the vote. "

Norquist continued, "The Speaker was even more involved in tax hikes in 2007 under Democrat Governor Tim Kaine. Howell sponsored legislation that raised taxes and fees by $500 million and authorized regional tax hikes amounting to more than $600 million annually. The Supreme Court struck down the regional tax hikes as unconstitutional. 

Speaker Howell’s involvement in both of these tax hikes allowed Kaine and Warner to run for U.S. Senate campaigning as moderates who could work across the aisle with Republicans. Thanks largely to Bill Howell, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are now U.S. Senators.

Bill Howell wasn’t done. In 2013, Howell sponsored the largest tax hike in Virginia history. He raised the sales tax, property taxes, hotel taxes, hybrid vehicle taxes, and the gas tax all for special spending projects like light rail in Northern Virginia."

The 2013 vote on Speaker Howell's transportation tax hike, House Bill 2313, cost two powerful 20-year incumbents their seats that year. Americans for Tax Reform was proud to support Dave LaRock in particular, in his primary challenge to House Transportation Chair Joe May. 

Norquist concluded, "Howell embodies the type of politician who raises taxes instead of reforming government. For more than a decade, he has caved to special interests by raising taxes instead of using a Republican majority to benefit Virginia taxpayers and small businesses with a pro-growth and limited government agenda.

That is why I am proud to endorse Susan Stimpson in her bid to defeat Bill Howell in Virginia House District 28."

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ATR Does Not Support Murphy-Corker Gas Tax Plan

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, June 18th, 2014, 2:13 PM PERMALINK

ATR has not endorsed any legislation dealing with the present highway bill in the House or Senate.

ATR does not endorse the outline of a proposal by Senators Murphy and Corker today. 

The tax increases in that proposal are certain and permanent, and there is a vague and uncertain discussion of offsetting tax reductions.

ATR has been clear that the problem with the highway trust fund and the present gas tax is that the Davis-Bacon Act drives up the cost of construction by 25 percent or more and much of the gas tax money paid by drivers of cars and trucks is siphoned off to pay for mass transit.

The highway trust fund does not have an under-taxing problem.  It has an overspending problem. There is no good reason to raise the gas tax.

Photo Credit: 
Riza Nugraha

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Grover Norquist to Appear on Bloomberg's Political Capital

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, August 16th, 2013, 4:56 PM PERMALINK

This weekend, tune in to watch Grover Norquist’s interview with Al Hunt on Bloomberg’s Political Capital show.

Topics include Obamacare, the CR and debt-ceiling showdown, and the 2016 presidential race.

Bloomberg congressional correspondent Heidi Przybyla has a preview of the interview here. She writes:

“They’ve been delaying whole sections of it [Obamacare], again and again and again,” Norquist, president of Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform, said on Bloomberg Television’s ‘Political Capital with Al Hunt’ airing this weekend. “It’s going to be increasingly difficult for the White House’ not to delay the entire law.”


Air times:

Friday: 9:00 pm                        

Saturday: 12:00 am, 5:00 am, 8:00 am, 1:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 9:00 pm                   

Sun: 12:00 am, 5:00 am, 8:00 am, 1:30 pm, 5:30 pm        

All times Eastern.

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"Free speech isn't always free.It gets downright cumbersome when Durbin has you on his enemies list"

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, August 16th, 2013, 10:56 AM PERMALINK

"If only thinly coded letters from senators with as much clout as Durbin were that benign. Because it would be more than wrong for a U.S. senator to use the power of his high federal office as a cudgel against his enemies." -- Chicago Tribune editorial: "Durbin's Enemies List"

To learn more click here.

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Repeal Coalition: Delay 2014 Obamacare Provisions

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, August 12th, 2013, 4:23 PM PERMALINK

On August 7, members of the Obamacare Repeal Coalition sent the below letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. It started out with 19 signatures and now is up to 39 signers. Below is the full text of the letter followed by the updated list of signatories:

With the clock ticking to open enrollment on October 1, it is abundantly clear to members of the Repeal Coalition that the structure at the heart of PPACA is simply not ready. To help the American people avoid getting hit by what Senator Max Baucus memorably referred to as “a huge train wreck coming down,” we the undersigned urge you to insist on, at minimum as part of any final deal, a one-year delay of all 2014 provisions (including mandates, subsidies, and taxes) in the upcoming CR and in fiscal negotiations with the White House.

1. Mandates. The president has already delayed the mandate for the biggest corporations unilaterally, although his legal authority to do so is questionable. Congress should lift the legal cloud on that delay and extend the same relief to individuals and small businesses by delaying the individual mandate. It is wrong to force people to participate in a system that is simply not ready.

2. Subsidies. Without a complete, workable verification system to protect taxpayers it would be reckless to allow tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to flow in subsidies. And there is a real risk that navigators, in their zeal to enroll people, will accidentally or even intentionally induce people to accept subsidies for which they do not qualify, risking steep IRS fines and audits. The money should not flow when the law’s verification provisions are not ready to be enforced.

3. Taxes. The American people should not be forced to pay higher taxes for a system that isn’t ready.

Kevin Counihan, chief executive of Connecticut’s state exchange, has repeatedly said: “I wish we had one more year.” With the train wreck coming, millions of Americans feel the same way. We therefore urge you to insist on a one-year delay and we will strongly support all efforts to include one on any long-term continuing resolution, extenders package, or other negotiated budget deal this fall.


Grover Norquist -- Americans for Tax Reform
Phil Kerpen -- American Commitment
Heather Higgins -- Independent Women’s Voice
James Capretta -- Ethics and Public Policy Center
Grace Marie Turner -- Galen Institute
Brandon Arnold -- National Taxpayers Union
Tom Schatz -- Citizens Against Government Waste
Jim Martin -- 60 Plus Association
Avik Roy -- National Review
Colin Hanna -- Let Freedom Ring
Gregory T. Angelo -- Log Cabin Republicans
Ken Hoagland -- Restore America’s Voice
Penny Nance -- Concerned Women for America
David Wallace -- Restore America’s Mission
Andrew Langer -- Institute for Liberty
Betsy McCaughey -- author, Beating Obamacare
David Williams -- Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Lanhee Chen -- Hoover Institution
Peter Ferrara -- National Center for Policy Analysis
Chuck Muth -- Citizen Outreach
Brian Baker -- Ending Spending
Mario H. Lopez -- Hispanic Leadership Fund
George Landrith -- Frontiers of Freedom
Peter J. Thomas -- The Conservative Caucus
David Wallace -- Restore America’s Mission
Eric Novack -- Health Freedom Coalition
Amy Kremer -- Tea Party Express
Krista Kafer -- Colorado's Future Project
Kerri Toloczko -- Beyon Repeal
Alabama State Representative Jack William
Patrick Randy -- Alabama Christian Coalition
Marty Connors -- Alabama Center-Right Coalition
Ron Nehring -- San Diego Center-Right Coalition
Tina Pisenti -- Cascade Policy Institute (Oregon)
Jon Nigbor -- Consumer Care Corporation
Jack Boyle -- Ohio Prosperity Initiative
Darcie Johnston -- Vermonters for Healthcare Freedom
Rick Watson -- Florida Center-Right Coalition
Charlie Gerow -- Pennsylvania Center-Right Coalition

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