Has your elected official signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge?

CLICK HERE TO SEE IF YOUR LEGISLATORS HAVE SIGNED!

Brian M. Johnson

Mileage-Based Tax Not the Answer to Our Nation's Infrastructure Needs


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 4:48 PM PERMALINK


Mileage-Based Tax Not the Answer to Our Nation’s Infrastructure Needs

Rather than taxing citizens in a recession we must repeal wasteful government programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) issued the following response to Rep. James Oberstar’s (D-Minn) call for a mileage-based tax to pay for highway programs.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman said, “Why do we need a pilot program? Why don't we just phase it in?” A mileage-based tax is extremely unpopular in the states with the burden placed on rural communities and agricultural drivers who haven’t seen the benefits of highway programs in years.

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said, “If Congress is serious about highway funding, it will repeal the Davis-Bacon Act which increases the cost of all federally funded projects rather than try and raise taxes during a recession. If we want people to use less of something, you tax it and regulate it. This is nothing more than a backdoor attempt to force Americans off of gas to further the Pelsoi-Reid-Obama union-backed green agenda!”

The Davis-Bacon Act, passed in the 1930s, is a survey largely filled out by labor unions which supposedly determines the “prevailing wage” for federally funded highway projects. Current Davis-Bacon wage surveys have a 100% error rate as identified by the Office of Inspector General which inflates wages on average by 22 percent nation-wide. This skewed wage inflates construction costs by $8.6 billion every single year.

“Before everyone drinks the Washington tax-hike kool-aid, the public should know that because of the Davis-Bacon Act, only three bridges as opposed to six can get fixed due to the inflated wages the unions demand,” warns Norquist. “Rather than raise taxes, if Congressman Oberstar is serious about infrastructure needs, your state with repeal bloated government policies – not raise taxes!”

National Press & Talk Radio Alert:
To schedule an interview with Grover Norquist
call 202-785-0266 or email jkartch@atr.org

For more information contact federal affairs manager Brian M. Johnson at bjohnson@atr.org

Click here for a PDF version of this document.
 

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


First 100 days: Obama Proposes $10,000 Tax Increase on Every American Family


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 12:41 PM PERMALINK


Obama Proposes $10,000 Tax Increase on Every American Family in First 100 Days

Energy Provisions Alone Amount to $10,000 tax increase per family per year

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) notes that within the first 100 days, Obama’s protectionist energy policies and anti-competitive tax programs will increase every American’s taxes.

Below are some examples of the type of “change” President Obama wants to bring to this nation’s energy policies:

Cap and trade will result in a tax increase of $646 billion dollars over 10 years.
Once phased in, this will be a $100 billion per year tax on American businesses.
Obama wants to tax 25 percent of total U.S. production of oil and 15 percent of total U.S. production of natural gas.
Taxing Gulf energy will increase the tax on energy production by $5.3 billion
The passive loss exception repeal costs businesses $49 billion – once phased in will increase taxes annually by $6 billion.

By adding together the tax increase costs of Obama’s energy policies, the average American family would pay, directly or indirectly, approximately $10,000 per year in new energy taxes.

If Obama would proceed with the offshore energy production plan, rather than repealing the ultra-deepwater oil and gas research and development projects and cutting tax incentives, the following positive things would happen:

Access to resources will create $8 trillion in additional economic output
$2.2 trillion in total tax receipts
1.2 million NEW well-paying jobs EVERY SINGLE YEAR
And $70 billion in additional wages driven into the economy each year

For more information, contact tax policy director Ryan Ellis at rellis@atr.org or federal affairs manager Brian Johnson at bjohnson@atr.org 
 

Click here for printable PDF of this document.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Some Earth Day...Obama Energy Plan Brings $10,000 per Year in Higher Energy Taxes for Every Family


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009, 4:16 PM PERMALINK


ATR Earth Day press release:

Some Earth Day…Obama Energy Plan Brings $10,000 per Year in Higher Energy Taxes for Every Family
ATR Projects Tax Burden per American Family Based on Obama’s Budget Numbers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) announces that based on their calculations of President Obama’s FY 2010 budget, the energy provisions combined could result in a possible $10,000 tax per year on every American family once fully phased in.

Tax and energy analysts at Americans for Tax Reform have calculated the true size of the Pelosi-Obama-Reid energy tax hike on families.  By adding together the tax increase costs of the carbon tax, Sec. 199 repeal, and other energy tax hikes in the Obama budget and dividing by the number of families, it's clear what this annual tax hike would be.  The average American family would pay, directly or indirectly, approximately $10,000 per year in new energy taxes.

“When President Obama told the American people that he wasn’t going to raise taxes on over 90 percent of the population – he lied. Everyone flips on the light switch; not just rich people,” says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “If the President wants to eliminate an income tax cut for companies that create jobs here in America and call it a ‘loop-hole closer’ instead of a direct increase in income taxes that will be passed onto every American family and consumer – then he is insulting all of our intelligence.”

Norquist is referring to the elimination of Internal Revenue Code Section 199, which is a domestic manufacturer’s tax deduction that all companies receive for engaging in production within the U.S. However, the current Administration wishes to remove this – but only for energy companies.

“To tell the American taxpayers that he doesn’t want to raise their taxes is similar to convincing a math professor two plus two equals seven – it just doesn’t make sense!”

Using the Manhattan Institute of Technology’s (MIT) estimate from the same “cap and trade” legislation in the 110th Congress, ATR analysts note that this impact alone will result in over $3,000 in new taxes on each family. The additional $7,000, according to ATR, comes from adding the other tax-cut repeals, direct tax increases and revenue generators from energy provisions directly in the President’s budget. Visit www.atr.org for more information.

Click here for PDF document.
 

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Condemns Salazar/Obama Bans on Energy Production


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Tuesday, February 10th, 2009, 12:15 PM PERMALINK


Salazar Energy Plan Delays Job Creation and Will Raise the Cost of Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist sharply criticized U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s announcement to delay for at least 6 months the completion of a long term offshore oil and gas exploration plan.

“Democrats who continue to call for increased taxes and penalties on energy exploration and production during times of economic uncertainty are like the child who continues to put the paper-clip in the electrical socket – we are at that point where the learning curve has waived ‘good-bye’ to these people a long time ago and these stupid policies cannot be tolerated,” said Norquist.

As recently as July, 2008, the average price for a gallon of gasoline hit a record high at $4.11 per gallon. Democrats and some Republicans in the 110th Congress supported legislation that would make investing in the energy futures markets illegal, increase the price of energy by taxing its producers, and limit job creation by allowing some states access to energy while others were forbade. As a result, gasoline prices reached an all time high of $4.11 per gallon.

“Obama and Salazar have made a decision to delay 160,000 new American jobs and delay $1.7 trillion in federal revenue that would come from moving forward as planed. However, one thing is for certain, this decision was made in perfect consult with the unions, the trial lawyers, and the environmentalists who want to limit the number of people on earth because it’s ‘too pretty’ to ruin with silly things like human beings and economic growth.”

Americans for Tax Reform is supportive of legislation that allows all forms of energy to compete in an open market. You can find ATR’s Fiscally Responsible Energy Points for the 111th Congress at www.atr.org.

View the PDF version.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Explains Sec. 199 Repeal and the Pledge


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009, 12:15 PM PERMALINK


STAND-ALONE REPEAL OF SEC. 199 INCREASES INCOME TAXES; VIOLATES PLEDGE

Past legislation in the 110th Congress in both the U.S. House and Senate centered on repealing Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 199, the Domestic Production Activities Deduction, for U.S. energy manufacturers.

Prior to harmful energy legislation passed last Congress, businesses engaged in a qualifying production activity were eligible to take a tax deduction of 3% of the profits from this qualifying activity in tax years 2005 and 2006. The deduction increases to 6% in 2007, and 9% in 2010 and beyond.

However, the Pelosi-Reid energy agenda has implemented a Sec. 199 “freeze” at 6% - only for energy companies, thus further carving out their niche for forced “green” and union dominated jobs. There is still continued talk of a full repeal of Sec. 199.

According to Paul Schlather, a senior tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Every small business in the manufacturing industry should be looking at this as a tax deduction. While Section 199 comes with a very complex set of rules, chances are small businesses will qualify for the deduction much easier than the rules depict.”

34 Senators and 172 Congressmen have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. In so doing, they promised to their constituents and the American people that they would “oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions or credits…”

Repealing the Section 199 deduction IS A CORPORATE INCOME TAX INCREASE and is therefore a PLEDGE VIOLATION unless the increase is offset completely with other income tax cuts.

Note: Budget neutrality (which is concerned with deficits) has no role in determining applicability of the Pledge. Rather, tax revenue neutrality (as scored by the JCT) is the only relevant metric for the purposes of the Pledge.

For more information, contact tax policy director Ryan Ellis at rellis@atr.org or federal energy policy analyst Brian Johnson at bjohnson@atr.org

View the PDF version.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Explains Ethanol Credits & Their Tax Effects


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009, 12:15 PM PERMALINK


THE TAX TRUTH BEHIND REPEALING ETHANOL CREDITS

In an effort to create an “all of the above” approach to energy solutions, some organizations (in an earnest attempt to try to be helpful) have recently proposed legislation that centers on repealing Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 40(h), the Reduced Credit for Ethanol Blenders, for U.S. energy manufacturers.

Unfortunately, this corporate tax credit has been labeled as a “subsidy”, which confuses an income tax credit with spending. The “tax subsidy” concept is an invention of the Left. It is meant to distort an otherwise clear distinction between taxes and spending. Regardless of its effects on energy policy, this remains a corporate income tax credit.

Current law provides an income tax credit for the production of blended ethanol fuel. This credit is scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. All ethanol reform proposals include reducing or eliminating this income tax credit. This may have implications for the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

34 Senators and 172 Congressmen have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. In so doing, they promised to their constituents and the American people that they would “oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions or credits…”

Repealing the ethanol credit IS A CORPORATE INCOME TAX INCREASE and is therefore a PLEDGE VIOLATION unless the increase is offset completely with other income tax cuts.

ATR continues to oppose the current federally mandated use of expensive, inefficient domestic corn ethanol while taxing more efficient, imported ethanol made from sugar cane. This harms both the consumer seeking to purchase ethanol and consequently increases the price of food. However, any attempt to remove this income tax credit must be addressed while remaining tax revenue neutral.

Note: Budget neutrality (which is concerned with deficits) has no role in determining applicability of the Pledge. Rather, tax revenue neutrality (as scored by the JCT) is the only relevant metric for the purposes of the Pledge.

For more information, contact tax policy director Ryan Ellis at rellis@atr.org or federal energy analyst Brian Johnson at bjohnson@atr.org

View the PDF version.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Urges President Obama to Keep Energy Production Open


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Friday, January 23rd, 2009, 12:15 PM PERMALINK


Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Dear President Obama & Secretary Salazar:

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and millions of taxpaying energy consumers, I am writing to encourage you to preserve and honor American Energy Freedom Day, celebrated on October 1st, 2008 by not reinstating the bans on OCS and offshore drilling.

According to AAA, as of this writing, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline nation-wide is $1.85 per gallon.

On July 14, 2008, the day President Bush lifted the ban on OCS and oil shale drilling, the national average rested at $4.11 per gallon. Clearly the market response to the lifting of these bans has been positive for all energy consumers.

The tremendous downward slide in gas prices throughout our country has been a boon to American taxpayers, especially working families. When the ban was lifted last year, the American people clearly expressed their bipartisan support. Americans are still against a ban on offshore drilling.

You can do much to alleviate the concerns of Americans who are worried about rising energy costs. By supporting domestic energy production, you can send a clear message to Congress and the American people that you are committed to providing jobs that will continue to alleviate our dependence on foreign energy. Currently, 58% of the oil used by Americans comes from foreign countries. It is time to bring those jobs and resources back to American soil.

For your convenience, I have attached ATR’s fiscally responsible energy points we sent to every member of the 111th Congress. If the United States is serious about lowering energy prices and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, we must look domestically. These principles should serve as a guide for fiscally sound energy solutions.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist
GGN/bmj

Enclosures

cc: All Members of US Congress

For more information, contact Federal Affairs Manager Brian M. Johnson at bjohnson@atr.org

View the PDF version.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Congratulates Rep. Scalise on Energy Committee Appointment


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Friday, January 16th, 2009, 12:15 PM PERMALINK


The Honorable Steve Scalise
429 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Scalise:

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), I want to send my congratulations in light of your recent appointment to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This is a day on which Americans can take heart in seeing a real leader in the “All of the Above” energy solutions movement being enabled to accomplish important work in their interest.

In the energy challenges to come, America will have to develop all its natural resources in a comprehensive approach to providing ordinary individuals and working families with the fuel they need. That is precisely why I am so encouraged by your appointment.

Environmental extremists have long insisted and will continue to insist that developing resources such as oil (on and offshore), oil shale, and coal will bring untold harm upon surrounding ecosystems. Contrary to their pro-union green agenda, our great nation has developed environmentally-safe and unobtrusive ways of obtaining resources such as offshore oil, and methods of sequestering carbon emissions are currently under study.

Of course other natural resources including wind and solar should not be overlooked, and we appreciate your desire for our country to have all these energy sources at its disposal. As you pointed out during the Energy Speak-In, in the House Chamber above the Speaker’s rostrum is displayed a prominent quote from Daniel Webster: “Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests and see whether we also in our day and generation may not perform something worthy to be remembered.”

Working together and following the sound advice Mr. Webster gracefully furnished us with so many years ago, our nation’s future looks bright and bountiful indeed.

With this in mind, we have developed the “Fiscally Responsible Energy Points for the 111th Congress”. We hope that Congress will use these points as a guide to enact energy legislation that will increase American energy independence while not raising taxes.

If you or your staff would like additional information on ATR’s energy policy work, please contact our federal energy analyst Brian Johnson at bjohnson@atr.org or 202-785-0266.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist

View the PDF version.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Calls on Congress to Not Interfere with a Working Free Market


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009, 12:14 PM PERMALINK


Congressional Action Raises Price of Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) called on Congress to not interfere with energy production by releasing a chart illustrating the correlation between Congressional action and high energy costs.

ATR President Grover Norquist said, “This isn’t rocket science. When Congress meddles in the free market, the consumers lose every time. When they tried to limit energy investments and tax energy, prices increased. When they did nothing and allowed the bans on drilling to expire and didn’t raise taxes on energy, a shocking thing happened, prices dropped.”

ATR is urging all Senators to oppose Sen. Reid’s $10 billion Omnibus Lands Bill as it makes 300 million barrels of oil and 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas unavailable.

The below graph can be found at http://www.atr.org/content/pdf/2008/nov/110508ot-congress_energycosts.pdf.

View the PDF version.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Opposes Auto Bailout


Posted by Brian M. Johnson on Monday, November 17th, 2008, 1:30 AM PERMALINK


Click here to view PDF

November 17, 2008
To: Members of the U.S. Congress
Re: Opposition to Automobile Bailout

Dear Member of Congress:

I write to urge you to reject any legislative proposal that would use taxpayer dollars to prop up Detroit automobile manufacturers. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, have long operated under an unsustainable business model, and are in dire need of restructuring to stand a chance of becoming profitable again.

Just like the $25 billion bailout package in the form of loans passed earlier this summer, an additional bailout package for these companies does nothing to address the underlying problems they are facing.

Years of poor management decisions have left the former “Big Three” handcuffed by imprudent deals with the UAW, resulting in exorbitantly high legacy labor costs requiring them to pay roughly $20 to $30 more per hour on labor than their competitors. This burden is compounded by unaffordable employee pension and health-benefits plans.

Failure to make structural changes and adapt to market realities over the last few decades have only compounded the problem, and high fuel prices and the economic slowdown this year were merely the final nail into the coffin.

At a time when taxpayers are already on the hook for a series of government bailouts, Congress must not allow the perpetuation of “moral hazard.” The recent string of interventions into the free market system has already set our country on a dangerous and treacherous path.

The idea that a government bailout can increase wealth is equivalent to the idea that you can take a bucket of water out of one side of a lake, walk to the other side of the lake and call a press conference to watch you pour the water back into the lake and announce your successful project to raise the water level of the lake. A taxpayer-funded bailout for Detroit automakers will only serve to maintain the untenable status quo, and delay the inevitable.

Rather than bailing out Detroit automakers with more taxpayer dollars, Congress should give these companies the opportunity to restructure under Chapter 11 by denying their request for a federal handout. This would allow them to free themselves from the grip of the labor unions and allow them to make the long overdue structural changes.
I urge you to oppose and vote against a bailout of the unionized automobile industry on the backs of American taxpayers.

Onward,

Grover Norquist

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Pages

hidden