Amir Iljazi

Americans for Tax Reform and the Anti-VAT Caucus


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Friday, April 30th, 2010, 11:20 AM PERMALINK


With talk becoming ever more increasing on the issue of a Value-Added Tax (aka, VAT); Americans for Tax Reform has joined with members of the House and Senate to revive the Anti-Vat Caucus, which is solely based on the goal of ensuring that American taxpayers are not burdened with yet another draconian measure to impose taxes. The implications for such a tax would be devastating to an economy that is struggling and to working families all across the country. The Anti-VAT Caucus will fight against any such form of taxation that would not only break the President's pledge made in New Hampshire that "No family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase,” but would further stifle the growth of the economy in a time where jobs, spending, and taxes are on the top of the voters’ lists.

There is so much information about the VAT to be considered, but here are some of the major points, courtesy ATR’s Tax Policy Analyst Ryan Ellis:

  • VATs  don’t displace other taxes.  In fact, the evidence from Europe shows that other taxes rise as VATs rise.  The reason is that more VAT revenue begets more government spending, which creates demand for yet more tax revenue.  According to Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute (who gets his data from the OECD), in 1967 the U.S. and Europe each collected about $0.27 in taxes for every $1.00 produced.  The U.S. is still collecting that much, but Europe’s tax burden has shot up from 27% to over 40%
  • Other taxes rose in Europe as the VAT grew.  Personal income taxes grew from 7 percent to 11 percent of Europe’s GDP.  Corporate income taxes grew from 2 percent to 3.5 percent of GDP.  Taxes on income and profits grew from 9 percent to 14 percent of Europe’s economy.  As the VAT grew, so did all the other taxes.
  • Americans for Tax Reform Foundation has estimated that if the United States adopted a European-style VAT tax base, every 1 percent point in VAT rate would yield the tax revenue equivalent of 0.4 percent of GDP (or about $50 billion per year).  Even a 1 percent VAT with a European base would be as big as the net tax hike under Obamacare.

ATR has now begun to ask candidates to join the Anti-Vat Caucus, if elected. The follow candidates have already made the promise to join:

In addition to these candidates, more than 60 federal elected officials have signed onto the Anti-VAT caucus, you can see the complete list here.

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Glen Urquhart Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge in Delaware Congressional Contest


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010, 5:24 PM PERMALINK


Delaware businessman Glen Urquhart recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in the contest for Delaware’s sole congressional district. 

Urquhart is running in the GOP primary for the chance at winning the open seat left by Congressman Michael Castle, who is running for the United States Senate. Cook Political Report ranks the district as a D+7 on the Partisan Voter Index (PVI), but Congressman Castle represented the district as a Republican for more than fifteen years, so the GOP Primary winner certainly will make the race an interesting one heading into the fall general election season.

ATR continues to reach out to candidates from every state urging them to follow suit and sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

The official statement from ATR on Glen Urquhart can be read below

Glen Urquhart (R-Del.) Signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge

Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Glen Urquhart, a Republican running in Delaware's At-Large Congressional District, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 173 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.

“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

“By signing the Pledge, Glen Urquhart demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers of Delaware’s 1st district.”

“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued.

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Stovall Witte Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge in SC-01 Congressional Contest


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Friday, April 23rd, 2010, 4:23 PM PERMALINK


South Carolina’s Stovall Witte recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his bid for the state's first Congressional district. Witte is running in a competitive GOP Primary with multiple pledge signers for what will be an open seat in the upcoming 2010 midterm elections.

Witte heads into the June GOP Primary for the chance to run for the open seat that will be vacated by retiring Congressman Henry Brown. A pledge signer, Rep. Brown has an ATR lifetime rating of 96%. The district has a Cook Political Report PVI of R+10, and the GOP candidate for President has won the district the last three consecutive general elections with more than 50% of the vote; so whomever emerges victorious after the primary should be in pretty good shape for the November election.

ATR continues to reach out to candidates from every state urging them to stand with the taxpayer and sign the pledge.

The official release from ATR can be read below:

Stovall Witte (R-S.C.) Signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stovall Witte, a Republican running in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional district, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 173 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.

“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

“By signing the Pledge, Stovall Witte demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional district.”

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Linda McMahon Signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in Connecticut Senate Contest


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Friday, April 23rd, 2010, 1:15 PM PERMALINK


State Board of Education member and ex-CEO Linda McMahon recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in the 2010 Connecticut Senate contest. McMahon now joins two other GOP candidates who have signed the pledge, while the lone Democrat in the race has not.

McMahon is now competing in the Connecticut GOP Primary, being held August 10th, for the chance at winning the seat currently held by retiring Democratic Senator Chris Dodd. Having a pledge signing Senator in Connecticut would certainly be a welcome change for the taxpayers in the state. ATR’s lifetime rating for Dodd is just 5.7% over his decade-plus career in the Senate.

By signing the pledge, McMahon has made a commitment to the taxpayers in Connecticut that she will be on their side against tax increases. ATR continues to reach out to candidates all across the country urging them to join more than 300 federal candidates and sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

The official statement from ATR can be read below:

Linda McMahon (R-Conn.) signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge

Senatorial candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Linda McMahon, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 173 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.

“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,”said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

“By signing the Pledge, Linda McMahon demonstrates that she understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in Connecticut.”

“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued.

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Tennessee Congressional Candidate Diane Black Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, 4:43 PM PERMALINK


Tennessee State Senator Diane Black, who is running for congress in the “Volunteer” State’s 6th Congressional district, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. This makes TN-06 one of the many races where multiple pledge signers are competing in the Primary ballot this summer.

Black is vying in the August GOP Primary for the chance at an open-seat in the November midterms. Cook Political Report classifies the district as a R+13 on the PVI index. The incumbent is retiring Congressman Bart Gordon, who has served since 1985 when he replaced Senator-elect Al Gore. The district certainly bodes well for whoever emerges from the primary, and the taxpayers will now have the chance to elect someone who is more in tune with their priorities, as opposed to an out-of-touch Congress willing to shoulder more and more debt onto working families in Tennessee, and across America.
                                                         
As a pledge signer, Senator Black has made a commitment to the taxpayers in Tennessee that she will fight to ensure that their taxes are not increased. ATR encourages all candidates in TN-06, and every other state to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
 
The official release from ATR can be read below:
Diane Black (R-Tenn.) Signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Diane Black, a Republican running in Tennessee’s 6th Congressional district, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
 
ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.
 
“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.
 
“By signing the Pledge, Diane Black demonstrates that she understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in Tennessee’s 6th Congressional district.”
 
“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued

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John Dennis Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge in CA-08


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 4:12 PM PERMALINK


California businessman and congressional candidate John Dennis recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his bid for California’s 8th district. Dennis will be competing in the GOP Primary, being held on June 8th for the chance to take on Democratic Incumbent and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The winner of the primary has a unique opportunity to directly challenge the policies of the current majority, which have been deeply troublesome for taxpayers and their advocates. The Pelosi-Obama-Reid agenda has included the passage of a failed “stimulus”; a proposed “cap-and-trade” system which will kill jobs all across the country; and the recent (and strictly partisan) passage of a health care bill soaked with special deals and tax increases that will cost the taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. This race provides a venue to directly debate what policies are beneficial to taxpayers everywhere.
 
By signing the pledge, John Dennis joins hundreds of challengers in making clear to the taxpayers in the 8th district that he will be fighting for them if elected. ATR continues to reach out to candidates in California, and all other states to encourage those running to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and make that same promise.
  
The full statement from ATR on John Dennis can be read below
John Dennis (R-Calif.) Signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – John Dennis, a Republican running in California’s 8th Congressional district, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
 
ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.
 
“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.
 
“By signing the Pledge, John Dennis demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in California’s 8th Congressional district.”
 
“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued

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Justin Amash becomes First Pledge Signer in Michigan's 3rd District


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Monday, April 12th, 2010, 2:29 PM PERMALINK


State Representative and congressional candidate Justin Amash recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his bid for the Michigan’s 3rd district. Amash becomes the first pledge signer in what could be a very crowded race for an open seat this November.

Amash will be competing in the GOP Primary, being held in early August, for the opportunity to replace retiring Congressman Vern Ehlers. Cook Political Report classifies the seat as “Solid Republican” with a PVI of R + 6; so certainly the winner of the GOP Primary should be in good shape for the November general election. Amash has already distinguished himself in this race by signing the pledge, whereas the outgoing incumbent Vern Ehlers chose not to be a signer.
 
With his signing of the pledge, Justin Amash has made clear to the taxpayers in the 3rd district that he will be looking out for their best interests. Amash has made a commitment that, if elected, he will stand against tax hikes that have been a part of the Pelosi-Obama-Reid agenda over the past year. ATR continues to reach out to candidates in MI-03 and all across the country to encourage them to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. 
Justin Amash (R-Mich.) Signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Justin Amash, a Republican running in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional district, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
 
ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.
 
“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.
 
“By signing the Pledge, Justin Amash demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional district.”
 
“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued

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Gloria Carlineo Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge in Keystone State's 8th District


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Tuesday, April 6th, 2010, 10:38 AM PERMALINK


Gloria Carlineo, a congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in her race for the 8th district. This key Pennsylvania district is one of the more competitive races for this November’s midterm elections.
 
Carlineo, an attorney and GOP activist, is competing in next month’s GOP Primary to be the congressional nominee to go up against 2-term Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy. Murphy was elected in 2006 just narrowly defeating Mike Fitzpatrick by a margin of less than 1% of the total vote. Though Murphy was reelected in 2008, the 8th district had been held by a Republican since the early 1990’s before shifting in 2006. This year, Murphy will have to defend an unfriendly record to the taxpayers in the 8th district that includes a “yes” vote on a pork-laden “stimulus”; a job-killing cap-and-trade bill; and a tax hiking health care bill that narrowly passed congress.
 
ATR strongly urges all candidates running in PA-08, and across the nation to stand against outrageous tax and spend policies and sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
 
 
The official statement on Gloria Carlineo can be read below:
 
Gloria Carlineo (R-Penn.) Signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gloria Carlineo, a Republican running in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional district, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
 
ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.
 
“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.
 
“By signing the Pledge, Gloria Carlineo demonstrates that she understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional district.”
 
“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued.

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Michel Faulkner is First Pledge Signer in NY-15


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Monday, April 5th, 2010, 4:25 PM PERMALINK


Michel Faulkner, a congressional candidate in the state of New York, has recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Faulkner is running in New York’s 15th district, which is represented by long-serving and recently ethically challenged Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel. Faulkner becomes the first candidate in the district to sign the pledge, joining candidates all over the Empire State this election cycle who have promised taxpayers they will be working to make sure their best interests are served on a daily basis.

Faulkner, founder of the non-profit group Institute for Leadership, is competing in the September GOP Primary to be the congressional nominee that will take on New York’s longest serving Congressman, and former Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Charlie Rangel. This will certainly be one of the more closely watched races in the November midterms as Congressman Rangel has made headlines with multiple investigations from the House Ethics Committee, and most recently being admonished for trips he took to the Caribbean. Rangel has since temporarily given up his title as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee until the Ethics Committee completes it’s investigation against him, including his delinquency on tax payments for multiple properties New Jersey.
 
Faulkner is the only candidate in the 15th district to sign the pledge, but ATR strongly urges all candidates in the district, state of New York, and all across the country to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
 
The full statement from ATR on Michel Faulkner can be read below:
Michel Faulkner (R-N.Y.) Signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Michel Faulkner, a Republican running in New York’s 15th Congressional district, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
 
ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.
 
“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.
 
“By signing the Pledge, Michel Faulkner demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in New York’s 15th Congressional district.”
 
“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued.

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Sunshine State's 11th Congressional District Gets Two Pledge Signers


Posted by Amir Iljazi on Thursday, April 1st, 2010, 12:16 PM PERMALINK


As the November midterm elections draw ever nearer each day, candidates from all across the nation continue to put their names on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in nearly every state and in hundreds of districts from the Atlantic Northeast in Bangor, to the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu. In Florida’s Tampa Bay Area, two congressional candidates, Mike Prendergast and Tony Buntyn, joined hundreds of others and recently put their signatures on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Buntyn, a consultant and Prendergast, a former congressional aide are competing in Florida’s August GOP Primary for the chance to run against Democratic incumbent Kathy Castor. Castor is a two-term incumbent who has been one of a great number of members in this congress who have been all too supportive of the tax and spend practices of the Pelosi-Obama-Reid agenda. Castor voted for the $787 billion stimulus, which according to a recent poll most Florida voters say “will not create or save a significant number of jobs.” Castor also voted for the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade bill that would impose increased energy costs on working families in every district, including Florida’s 11th. Most recently, Rep. Castor showed exactly whose side she was on when she voted not once, but twice for Health Care proposals that will burden the taxpayers in the 11th district with increased taxes and greater debt. The Cook Political Report rates the PVI at D+11, but with more than half a year until the November midterms, a week in politics is a lifetime so certainly a great deal can change over the course of the next few months.
 
Prendergast and Buntyn, with their signing of the pledge, have put Rep. Castor on notice in terms of who they stand with in a time of rising debt and higher taxes being shouldered upon the working families in the 11th district. ATR continues to reach out to candidates all across the country urging them to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge so taxpayers find out exactly who they will stand with when after they are sent to Washington D.C. to represent the people.

ATR official release for Mike Prendergast

ATR official release for Tony Buntyn

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