Americans for Tax Reform

Governors Who Have Left Higher Taxes on the Table By Not Signing the Pledge


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010, 9:30 AM PERMALINK


Alabama

Bob Riley

334-242-7100

 

Arizona

Jan Brewer

602-633-4526

 

ARKANSAS

Mike Beebe

501-682-2345

 

CALIFORNIA

ArnoldSchwarzenegger

916-445-2841

 

COLORADO

Bill Ritter

303-866-2471

 

CONNECTICUT

M. Jodi Rell

860-566-4840

 

GEORGIA

Sonny Perdue

404-656-1776

 

IDAHO

C.L. “Butch” Otter

208-424-8683

 

ILLINOIS

Pat Quinn

312-654-8888

 

IOWA

Chet Culver

515-244-5151

 

KANSAS

Mark Parkinson

785-296-3232

 

MAINE

John Baldacci

207-287-3531

 

MARYLAND

Martin O’Malley

410-468-2552

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Deval Patrick

617-367-2010

 

MICHIGAN

Jennifer Granholm

517-373-3400

 

NEBRASKA

Dave Heineman

402-474-3283

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

John Lynch

603-228-6000

 

NEW MEXICO

Bill Richardson

505-476-2200

 

NEW YORK

David Paterson

518-474-8390

 

OHIO

Ted Strickland

614-545-6840

 

OKLAHOMA

Brad Henry

405-521-2342

 

OREGON

Ted Kulongonski

503-378-4582

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Ed Rendell

717-787-2500

 

RHODEISLAND

Donald Carcieri

401-222-2080

 

SOUTH DAKOTA

Mike Rounds

605-773-3212

 

TENNESSEE

Phil Bredesen

615-741-2001

 

VERMONT

Jim Douglas

802-828-3333

 

WISCONSIN

Jim Doyle

608-266-1212

 

WYOMING

Dave Freudenthal

307-777-7434


What's the matter with Pennsylvania Republicans?


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, September 27th, 2010, 6:52 PM PERMALINK


In today's Daily Caller, Patrick Gleason, ATR's director of state affairs, highlights the current push by Republican Leadership in the Pennsylvania Senate to pass tax hikes and trial lawyer bonanzas just prior to a crucial election in which the GOP is looking to take back the State House and governor's mansion:

Republican candidates for federal and state office across the country are espousing low taxes, limited government and free-market principles as they seek to recapture the U.S. House of Representatives, flip more than a dozen state legislative chambers, and gain control of the majority of the nation’s governors’ mansions. Yet in the Pennsylvania Senate, the only state legislative chamber controlled by the GOP in the northeast, the Republican majority is busy mucking up the message that their partisan counterparts across the country are trying to send to voters heading into the home stretch of this crucial campaign season.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is one of the few state legislatures still in session at this point in the year. Lawmakers returned to the state capitol in Harrisburg this past week to pass a new tax on natural gas companies, the state’s most promising industry when it comes to job creation.

To read the full article, click here.

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Why Won't Sam Blakeslee Rule Out Higher Taxes in California


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, August 12th, 2010, 6:24 PM PERMALINK


With next Tuesday’s special election for the 15th district Senate seat just around the corner, Americans for Tax Reform continues to call on all candidates in the race to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Currently, Mark Hinkle is the only candidate in the race to have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and in doing so, is the only candidate to commit to opposing further tax increases on Golden State residents.

Most noticeably absent from the list of Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers is Sam Blakeslee. Currently, all Republicans in the state Senate have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Sam Blakeslee has been a Pledge signer during his tenure in the Assembly; however he has yet to commit to continuing the fight against higher taxes if elected to the Senate next Tuesday.

“It is quite odd that Sam Blakeslee refuses to take tax increases off the table in his bid to move to the state’s upper chamber. It’s one thing if you’re from a low-tax state like Texas or Wyoming, but if you can’t rule out higher taxes in a place like California – with a tax burden so high and tax climate so hostile that employers and families are fleeing the state in droves – where can you?” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.“You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Senate Republicans are currently standing strong in lockstep opposition to attempts to impose more job-killing tax increases on the California economy and are the only thing standing in the way of that happening. Having Blakeslee, who remains open to tax increases, join the caucus would add a dangerously weak link to the chain.

In addition to Meg Whitman and every Republican in the California Senate, nine sitting governors and nearly 1,100 state legislators across the country have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Additionally, 34 U.S. Senators and 174 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge.

“It’s no secret that Democrats in the California legislature want to continue to drive more businesses and taxpayers out of the state with further tax increases. The budget plan unveiled last week by Speaker John Perez and Senate President Darrell Steinberg entails billions of dollars in new taxes. In light of this, and the fact that Californians got hit with the largest state tax increase in U.S. history just last year, it’s troubling that only one candidate in the 15th district Senate race has committed to standing up for Golden State taxpayers and putting an end to business as usual in Sacramento,” added Norquist.“I applaud Mark Hinkle for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and urge all other candidates to join him in his commitment to restore fiscal sanity to California.”

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Obama's Tax Pledge -- Documentation


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010, 4:22 PM PERMALINK


“I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

--Candidate Barack Obama, Sept. 12, 2008

“No family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.”  

--http://change.gov/agenda/taxes_agenda/

“If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime.  I repeat: not one single dime.”

--President Barack Obama, Feb. 24, 2009

“The statement didn’t come with caveats.” 

--Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, April 15, 2009, when asked if the pledge applies to healthcare

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California Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Bag Ban Legislation


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, August 2nd, 2010, 12:08 PM PERMALINK


The following piece was originally published by the Flash Report, the preeminent source for the most significant political news in California:

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE PLASTIC BAGS

Patrick Gleason, Americans for Tax Reform

August 2, 2010

The California Senate Appropriations Committee is set to hold a hearing today on Assembly Bill 1998, legislation that would ban all plastic and paper shopping bags statewide. Never mind the 880 pound gorilla in the room that is the state’s $20 billion dollar overspending problem – lawmakers in Sacramento prefer to spend time ramming through an ill-advised bag prohibition. 

If passed, plastic and paper bags would be prohibited at all grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retailers statewide. AB 1998 effectively levies a new tax that Golden State residents must pay on every trip to their neighborhood grocer. Californians who are not able to or forget to bring their own bags to the store would be required to purchase either a reusable bag at checkout or pay no less than a nickel for a recycled paper bag.

To continue reading, CLICK HERE

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The Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, June 28th, 2010, 2:11 AM PERMALINK


“This card is a tangible reminder that Obama has deliberately broken his central campaign promise not to raise any form of taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000. The last President to break his tax pledge – Bush 41 – served only one term.” – Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform

Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card

Back of the Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card

Please use the form below to get your Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card

You may have noticed that President Obama has broken his central campaign promise – a “firm pledge” that Americans making less than $250,000 would not see “any form of tax increase.” He first broke this pledge sixteen days into his presidency when he signed a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco. And Obamacare contains 21 tax increases – several of which violate his “firm pledge”.

To protect you from these tax hikes, Americans for Tax Reform presents the “Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card”. The card fits neatly in your wallet and contains a list of the tax hikes signed into law by President Obama that violate his tax pledge, as well as a few other taxes that have been threatened: a European-style Value-Added Tax, Cap and Trade taxes, and even a federal soda tax.

Fill out the form below to get your Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card. If you're interested in sending us a video on how you used the card, please click here.

How to use the card:

Step 1: Present the card to merchants, employers, and tax authorities.

Step 2: If challenged, pleasantly ask: “Are you calling President Obama a liar?”

Click here to find out of your member of Congress voted for these taxes

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

--Candidate Barack Obama, Sept. 12, 2008

“If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.”

--President Barack Obama, Feb. 24, 2009

“The statement didn’t come with caveats.”

--Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, April 15, 2009, when asked if the pledge applies to healthcare 

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Use Your Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card for these Taxes


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, June 28th, 2010, 2:00 AM PERMALINK


[PDF Version]

TheTax on Indoor Tanning Services takes effect July 1, 2010:  This provision of Obamacare imposes a new 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons.  The tax was tucked into the bill behind closed doors at the last minute, replacing the previous “Bo-Tax” – a proposed tax on plastic surgery.  The 30 million Americans who visit tanning facilities are getting a lesson in the petty, nanny-state nature of Obamacare – every time they walk through the door.  Not to mention the business owners and employees who are threatened by the tax.  (Page 373 of Manager’s amendment/$2.7 billion)

The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” takes effect Jan. 1, 2011: Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).  (Page 1997/Sec. 9003/$5 billion)

TheSpecial Needs Kids Tax” takes effect Jan. 1, 2011:  This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit).  There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.  Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.  (Page 1999/Sec. 9005/$14 billion)

The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike takes effect Jan. 1, 2011: This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.  (Page 1998/Sec. 9004/$1.3 billion)

TheMedical Itemized Deductions Cap takes effect Jan. 1, 2013:  Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction if the total cost if the expenses reduces the filer’s income by 7.5%.  This provision of Obamacare imposes a threshold of 10%.  This new tax will most adversely affect early retirees and the catastrophically ill.  (Page 2034/Sec. 9013/$15.2 billion)

The Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax takes effect Jan. 1, 2014: Anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following (page 71 of manager’s amendment updates Reid bill): (Page 324/Sec. 1501)

 

Single

2 People

3+ People

2014

$95/1.0% AGI

$190/1.0% AGI

$285/1.0% AGI

2015

$325/2.0% AGI

$650/2.0% AGI

$975/2.0% AGI

2016+

$695/2.5% AGI

$1390/2.0% AGI

$2085/2.5%/AGI

 

The Obamacare Medical Prosthetics and Devices Tax took effect in January of 2010:

This Obamacare tax raises the price of all medical prosthetic devices, such as pacemakers and artificial limbs. Consumers of these devices will end up paying more for these life-saving items.  ($20 billion)

The Obama Tobacco Tax Hike took effect April 1, 2009

Obama first broke his tax pledge sixteen days into his presidency when he signed into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco.  At that time, Obama was rightly called out by Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press in a piece titled “Promises, Promises: Obama Tax Pledge Up in Smoke”  Use your Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card – or else be prepared to pony up an extra 62 cents per pack of cigarettes.

Potential Obama Tax Hike to Watch Out For:  A Federal Soda Tax

In an interview with Men's Health published in September of 2009, President Obama said that a tax on soda and sugar-laden beverages was "an idea that we should be exploring."  So, keep your Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card handy at all times!  With this President, you never know when the other shoe will drop!

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Cut the cigarette tax for the children


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, March 22nd, 2010, 9:49 AM PERMALINK


In the following Op-Ed published in yesterday's Washington Examiner, ATR director of state affairs Patrick Gleason explains why the DC City Council needs to cut the cigarette tax if it is serious about improving the health of children in DC public schools:  

When the D.C. City Council raised the cigarette tax by 50 cents, city officials claimed it would generate a windfall of additional tax revenue for government coffers. However, in a letter to Mayor Adrian Fenty last month, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi informed him that the council's calculations were $15 million off.
 
New revenue projections released in February show cigarette tax revenue coming in below initial projections by more than 30 percent. Not only did the tax increase miss the projected revenue mark, it turns out the increase actually resulted in a loss of revenue for the District, coming in at approximately $7 million below pre-increase levels.
 
While the decline in revenue came much to the shock and chagrin of D.C. Council members, it comes as no surprise to those familiar with tobacco tax increases and their implications. The same thing happened when New Jersey raised its cigarette tax by 17.5 cents in 2007. That tax increase brought in $52 million less than Garden State lawmakers expected and $22 million less than was generated by the pre-increase rate.
 
Click Here for the full article.

 

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Study: Health Care Legislation Will Cost up to 700,000 Jobs by 2019


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010, 10:21 AM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform Foundation today released a study conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute on the job losses that will result from the passage of President Obama’s healthcare plan. 

The study uses standard practices to evaluate the job loss, but assumes more realistic policy outcomes (for example, the Medicare “doc fix” is assumed to be re-enacted by Congress every year).
 
From the Executive Summary:
 
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has urged passage of the massive health reform plan moving through Congress as a way to create up to 400,000 jobs. Speaker Pelosi bases her claim on a report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) in which the Center estimates that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) would create 250,000 to 400,000 jobs per year over 10 years. 
 
This estimate by CAP amounts to a hurried effort to add academic heft to the claim that national health care reform offers a collateral benefit in the form of an economic “stimulus.” It turns out, however, that its methodology, stripped of unsupportable claims about savings in health care costs, shows just the opposite of what CAP intended. PPACA is a job killer, not a job creator.
 
The result is a loss of between 119,000 and 698,000 jobs between enactment of the bill this year and 2019. A breakdown is below:
 
Sector
ESI
Jobs
 
%
Low
High
Agriculture, mining and construction
 
 
 
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
20
-923
-5,441
Mining
68
-939
-5,478
Construction
37
-7,374
-43,316
Manufacturing
65
-18,022
-105,229
Trade
 
 
 
Wholesale trade
57
-8,149
-47,663
Retail trade
39
-14,364
-84,339
Transportation and communication
 
 
 
Transportation and warehousing
55
-6,290
-36,806
Utilities
80
-906
-5,271
Services
 
 
 
Information
63
-4,510
-26,342
Financial Activities
66
-13,236
-77,269
Professional and business services
44
-22,606
-132,596
Educational services
61
-5,493
-32,102
Leisure and hospitality
25
-8,436
-49,682
Other services
48
-7,946
-46,564
Totals
 
-119,194
-698,098


Click here for a PDF of this press release


Click here for a printable PDF of the full study

 

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ATR Staffer Testifies Before U.S. House Energy & Commerce Select Committee


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010, 9:15 AM PERMALINK


Today, at 9:30amEST, ATR Federal Affairs Manager handing energy and environmental tax and regulatory policy will be testifying as the only minority witness before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Special Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

The witness list is as follows:

Lisa Patt-McDaniel, Director, Ohio Department of Development
Bryan Ashley, Chief Marketing Officer, Suniva Inc.
Paul Gaynor, Chief Executive Officer, First Wind Holdings LLC
Mary Ann Wright, Vice President and Managing Director, Business Accelerator Project, Johnson Controls, Inc.
Brian M. Johnson, Federal Affairs Manager, Americans for Tax Reform & Executive Director, Alliance for Worker Freedom

Click here for more information and to watch the hearing live.

Also, view Brian's full submitted testimony here.

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