Americans for Tax Reform
Norquist Statement in Response to President Obama's Call for Tax Increases
Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist released the following statement in response to President Obama’s request for higher taxes:
“Every time the issue of reducing federal spending comes up, Obama responds by asking for higher taxes instead.
In August of 2011, after a long national debate, President Obama agreed to trim $2.5 trillion from his projected $47 trillion in federal spending over the next decade. Now, he is saying he wasn’t telling the truth. He wants to raise taxes instead of reducing spending.
Instead of reducing spending, President Obama offers tax increases. Those tax increases come in the form of eliminating tax credits and deductions that will be needed help pay for fundamental tax reform that many Democrats in congress claim to support. How will America bring her 35 percent corporate income tax rate down to the European average of 25 percent if Obama has already ‘spent’ the tax deductions and credits that are expected to be the tradeoffs for tax reform? Eliminating deductions and credits outside of revenue neutral tax reform makes difficult or impossible future tax reform that most politicians in Washington say they support.
The President needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with real spending reductions equal to or greater than the sequester. He knows that anything else is just wasting the time of the American people. He should stop voting ‘present’ and actually start being part of the solution.”
IRS Tax Form for Obamacare Individual Mandate
As a service to the public, Americans for Tax Reform has released a projected tax form to help families and tax specialists prepare for the additional filing requirement of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate provision.
Starting in 2014, all Americans who file income tax returns must complete an additional IRS tax form. The new form requires disclosure of a taxpayer’s personal identifying health information in order to determine compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. As confirmed by IRS testimony to the tax-writing House Committee on Ways and Means, “taxpayers will file their tax returns reporting their health insurance coverage, and/or making a payment”.
You may download a PDF file of the form and instructions here or view it below.
Highlights from the Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax Compliance Form:
1. Determination of “qualifying” health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, most Americans must purchase health insurance deemed “qualified” by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) starting in 2014. Failure to comply with this mandate results in a tax penalty which must be paid to the IRS. The tax penalty ranges from $695 to $2085, or more, depending on the size of a family. The dollar amount grows over time and is tabulated on the form. Taxpayers must demonstrate that they obtained qualifying health insurance for each month of the year in order to avoid payment of this tax penalty. [See lines 12-13]
2. Disclosure of personal identifying health information. Every family that files a tax return (140 million households) will have to disclose whether or not they were covered by a qualifying plan, in which months they were covered, and what type of coverage they received. Tax filers must also divulge and disclose their personal health ID number, the nature of their health insurance, and other information from their health insurance card as further IRS regulations warrant. [See lines 3-4]
3. Exemptions from Individual Mandate: Prisoners, Undocumented Immigrants, Welfare Recipients. The form also determines which individuals are exempt from the Individual Mandate and non-compliance taxes. Classes of individuals who are exempt from the mandate include but are not limited to: those serving sentences in the federal penitentiary system; those persons not legally able to work in the U.S.; welfare recipients; and those qualifying for an HHS-granted religious exemption. [See lines 8-11]
4. IRS penalties and interest on unpaid mandate taxes. Because the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty is a tax, the IRS will be able to assess interest and non-criminal penalties on those families who will not or cannot pay the tax. The IRS will issue regular, periodic correspondence audits to these families to help them comply with their filing responsibilities.
How to Torpedo a State's Economy: The Jennifer Granholm Story
The following article by ATR's Patrick Gleason ran in yesterday's Daily Caller:
It was announced this week that former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will be writing a regular column for Politico. Those familiar with Granholm’s track record as governor are likely scratching their heads as to what expertise the former governor could offer that warrants a bi-weekly column. Her time as governor was marked by the imposition higher taxes, unsustainable spending and excessive regulations that resulted in a lost decade for the Great Lakes State.
In her maiden column this week — which is comprised of tired liberal platitudes, disingenuous DNC talking points and dumbed-down rhetoric reminiscent of blather straight out of a Daily Kos comments section — Granholm referred to Michigan as a laboratory of democracy, evoking former Supreme Court Justice Brandeis’s famous reference to the states’ utility as 50 guinea pigs for testing new policies. Yet, a look at Granholm’s record shows that on her watch Michigan was more like a lavatory of democracy.
The national unemployment rate currently stands at 8.3%. In terms of economic contraction, it appears Michigan was way ahead of the curve under Gov. Granholm. Back in 2008, when the national unemployment rate stood at 5.8%, the unemployment rate in Granholm’s Michigan was already at 8.3%. Impressive.
Click here to read the full article.
ATR to California legislators: Keep taxpayers in mind in 2012
ATR sent the following letter to members of the Californai legislatue today:
Now that California’s state legislature has convened for the 2012 session, please keep taxpayers in mind as you take up important policy issues this year. Tax hikes, excessive regulation, and irresponsible spending will impede economic growth in your state and encourage businesses to flee for states with business-friendly policies. Just ask your counterparts in Illinois; they can vouch for this.
There is never a good time for a tax increase, but siphoning money from the private sector is the last thing lawmakers should be doing amid this tepid and uncertain economic recovery. Imposing higher state taxes is even more egregious and unadvisable when put into the context of what has happened and what is scheduled to happen with federal tax policy.
While the media in your state has likely not yet reported on it and your constituents may not yet realize it, the fact is that the largest federal tax increase in U.S. history will hit individuals, families, and employers in your state in less than twelve short months. These tax increases include: higher income tax rates, higher taxes on marriage and family, a middle class death tax, higher tax rates on savers and investors, employer tax hikes, and twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare.
These tax increases come on the heels of the hundreds of billions of tax hikes that were already enacted over the past three years. As such, I urge you to reject efforts to pile on with further job-killing tax increases at the state level during the 2012 legislative session.
To make matters worse, the White House has imposed $232 billion in new regulatory costs on employers in 2011 alone. Burdensome regulations hurt businesses and depress the economy. The adverse economic impact caused by these excessive regulations is felt by both businesses and individuals. In fact, residents in your state had to work 229 days last year just to pay for the combined federal and state regulatory and spending burden.
A move to priority-based budgeting, combined with a rejection of additional taxes and attempts to impose excessive regulation is a winning economic strategy that will make your state more prosperous and economically competitive in 2012. Additionally, 2012 is an important year on both the policy and electoral fronts. As such, ATR will be keeping your constituents and the media up-to-date on how members of the legislature vote on important tax issues, both throughout the legislative session and leading up to the November elections.
Lastly, please look to ATR as a resource on policy matters ranging from taxes, budgetary matters, energy, tech & telecom, labor policy, and more. If you have any questions, please contact ATR’s Patrick Gleason at 202-785-0266 or PGleason@ATR.org.
Grover G. Norquist
ATR Supports The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate
Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist issued the following statement this morning:
“Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate. It’s vital that conservatives have their own forum with the candidates, and I believe Newsmax and ION will provide this opportunity for us to properly vet the Republican candidates on the issues. I am assured that Donald Trump will be a fair-minded moderator and joined by serious journalists. This contrasts with several debates that have already occurred which have been moderated by hostile members of the left wing media. I strongly urge all GOP candidates to attend this debate.”
How Will Obama's "Jobs" Speech Compare to Other Joint Sessions of Congress?
Historically, Joint Sessions of Congress have been used by presidents to address profound political changes overseen by their administrations. With the exclusion of State of the Union Addresses, presidents have largely assembled both chambers to comment on foreign policy, or other remarkable domestic events. The static economy and dismal job growth that has endured throughout the Obama Administration provides little reason for the President to use a Joint Session of Congress as a façade for a campaign rally. The below list shows how past presidents have used Joint Sessions to address major American events.
September 9, 1971: Promise to present budget plans later*
June 1, 1972: European trip report
October 8, 1974: Inflation and the Economy
April 10, 1975: State of the World
April 20, 1977: Energy crisis and OPEC
September 18, 1978: Announcing the Camp David Accords
June 18, 1979: SALT II
April 28, 1981: Post-Assassination Attempt Address
April 27, 1983: Establishing the Reagan doctrine on Central American communism
November 21, 1985: Reporting after the Geneva summit with the Soviet Union
President George Herbert Walker Bush
September 11, 1990: Discussion of the Gulf War and Invasion of Kuwait
March 6, 1991: Announcing the end of the Gulf War
September 22, 1993: Unveiling of Hillarycare
President George W. Bush
September 20, 2001: September 11th, Announcing the War on Terrorism
September 9, 2009: Obamacare
*Nixon’s first joint session speech is the notable exception that proves the rule. This address was composed of broad platitudes about forthcoming economic proposals; a rhetorical dodging of responsibility we have seen President Obama employ many times before.
Time to play Big Speech BINGO!
Back by popular demand…to help you get through the “Jobs Speech” on Thursday night (7:00 p.m. Eastern), Americans for Tax Reform once again presents Obama BINGO! Use the cards to check off terms and phrases likely to be used by President Obama.
We've prepared five different cards so that you may compete with your friends and family:
How to win: Horizontally, vertically, diagonally, or four corners.
Hash tag: #ObamaBingo
Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
(Or for those of you in Louisiana, let us know how it "geauxs")
California Democrats Move to Extend "Temporary" Utility Tax
Apparently the sixth highest state & local tax burden, 3rd highest state marginal income tax rate, highest sales tax in the nation, highest corporate tax rate in the west, second to worst business tax climate, and a structural government overspending problem isn't enough for California lawmakers, who, in the last week of the legislative session, are scurrying to round up the votes to extend a tax on every Californian's utility bill that is slated to expire at the end of this year.
AB 724 and SBx1 28, which would extend the "temporary" utility tax enacted in 1996 and known as the Public Goods Charge, amounts to a $3 billion plus tax increase on Golden State families and businesses over the next decade. Sacramento politicians think taxpayers should be willing to pay articificially increased utility bills, despite the fact that Californians already foot the bill for one of the most bloated state governments in the country and have electricity costs that are 50% higher than the national average. Worse, the money from this tax goes into a slush fund that is doled out to politically connected green boondoggles like Solyndra.
AB 724 and SBx1 28 require at 2/3rds majority vote to pass, so two Republican votes in each chamber will be required to enact this $400 million per year tax hike. Below is the letter that ATR president Grover Norquist sent to all members of the California legislature this morning:
Dear Members of the California Legislature,
I strongly urge you to oppose and vote against AB 724 and SBx1 28, which authorize the extension of a “temporary” utility tax that pilfers approximately $400 million from Golden State households every year. The extension of the public goods charge (PGC) program would impose an extra and unnecessary burden on California taxpayers struggling to get by in this tough economy.
One fact about the public goods charge is undeniable; voting to extend it is a vote for higher taxes. For lawmakers who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a vote in favor of AB 724 and SBx1 28 is a violation of your commitment to constituents to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
Just last week the grim news was received that there was no monthly net increase in American jobs for the first time since the 1940s. Yet in California, the reality is even gloomier when it comes to jobs, with unemployment hovering at 12%, over 1/3rd higher than the national average. Gov. Jerry Brown gave a speech on the need for job creation two weeks ago. One easy way for lawmakers to incentivize job creation would be to allow the PGC to expire, reducing the cost of living and doing business, thereby increasing job-creating capacity for employers, especially those in energy intensive industries.
The public goods charge was first put into place in 1996 in order to stimulate the production of energy from renewable (read: expensive) sources. Yet many additional renewable energy mandates, regulations, and programs have been implemented since the PGC program was first enacted. Simply put, the PGC program has become superfluous, redundant, and unneeded.
Californians worked from January 1st until August 18th this year just to pay for the cost of government. At 230 days, that’s well over half the year and far too heavy a burden. Voting against AB 724 and SBx1 28 will provide needed relief to overly-burdened Golden State taxpayers. On behalf of our California members, Americans for Tax Reform urges you to reject AB 724 and SBx1 28 in its entirety. The outdated utility tax should be left to expire, granting Californians relief that they direly need.
Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform