John Kartch

Oversight Chairman Peter Roskam’s Remarks at ATR Press Conference: Stop IRS Abuse

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, April 16th, 2015, 1:45 PM PERMALINK


House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) addressed ATR’s annual tax day press conference in the U.S. Capitol. Chairman Roskam successfully shepherded a series of IRS reform bills through the full House, with overwhelming bipartisan support. As Roskam pointed out, the measures are common sense yet necessary to begin to rein in the out of control IRS. The full text of Roskam’s remarks are below:

"I'm really pleased -- there is a bipartisan consensus that's developed in the House of Representatives as a restraining influence for what we've seen from the Internal Revenue Service. We've seen the IRS over the past few years act with impunity, act with impunity as it relates to targeting people, act with impunity as it relates to squandering resources, making the false claim that they're not able to get their work done because they don't have enough money, all of which is nonsense.

And on a bipartisan basis, coming out of the Ways and Means Committee, we've marked up a series of bills and we expect to have a debate on them today and have a vote on them tomorrow. And if past is prelude, I think that these are all likely to get out of the House and over to the Senate.

Let me highlight a couple of them. Two of them I've sponsored. One forces the IRS to implement the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. What's important about this legislation is it makes it a distinct responsibility of the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service to make sure that the agency, in fact, fulfills these obligations under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Second is the Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act, which is HR 1104 which permanently ensures that the IRS cannot tax gifts to nonprofit organizations. Again, this is one of these things that goes beyond your sense of wonder, that the IRS would contemplate creating a gift tax liability when there shouldn't be one, and this clears that up.

Congressman [Kenny] Marchant has jumped in to all the IRS email drama, making sure that emails are only used through official accounts. Congressman Mike Kelly has the [Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations Act]. Congressman George Holding is sponsoring legislation that will allow social welfare groups to self-declare their tax-exempt status, not unlike other elements of the code in order to expedite the process. Congressman Pat Meehan heads legislation that would permit organizations to appeal denied requests for tax-exempt status to some entity that is new and fair and neutral so they'd get a fair hearing. And, finally, Congressman Jim Renacci has legislation that makes it a firing offense to target organizations -- target Americans for political purposes.

All of these things when you hear them are fairly intuitive. All of these things when you hear them seem very, very common sense and, yet, it's only in Washington, D.C., that this tends to be groundbreaking legislation. So I am really pleased that it seems like there is a bipartisan consensus that's developing about this and that, essentially, what is happening is the American public, through their elected representatives, are reclaiming delegated authority. It was delegation that was abused and now it's authority that's being reclaimed."

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Anna Sortino

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Norquist Praises Cruz Upon Campaign Launch

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, March 23rd, 2015, 12:18 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist today praised Sen. Ted Cruz upon his announcement as a candidate for President of the United States:

“The first announced Republican candidate for President has taken the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as a Senate candidate, kept that pledge as a Senator, and should be commended for his history of championing pro-growth, tax-reducing legislation."

As the campaign season unfolds, Americans for Tax Reform will release evaluations of tax plans and summaries of the tax voting record and pledge-taking status of all declared candidates.

As governors, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry have all signed — and kept — the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. As Senators, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio (and Ted Cruz, as noted above) have all signed — and kept — the pledge. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee did not sign the pledge while in the statehouse, but did sign the pledge as a presidential candidate in the 2008 and 2012 presidential races.

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Gage Skidmore

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Jeb Bush Still Refuses to Rule Out Tax Hikes

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, March 19th, 2015, 12:34 PM PERMALINK


Jeb Bush has enthusiastically endorsed a "grand bargain" tax increase with Democrats, says his father's 1990 "Read My Lips" tax increase "created the spending restraint of the 90's," (false -- see details below) and refuses to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people.

And today, as reported in a piece by The Daily Beast's Tim Mak, the Jeb Bush camp refuses to even answer the question of whether Jeb will make any general statement promising not to raise taxes:

Pressed regarding Jeb Bush’s positions on taxes, his aides did not directly respond to a question about whether Jeb Bush might make a general promise to voters more broadly not to raise taxes.

Meanwhile, as governors, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry have all signed — and kept — the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.  As Senators, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio have all signed — and kept — the pledge.

As president, George W. Bush kept his tax promise to the American people.

George H.W. Bush, reflecting upon his "Read My Lips" tax hike, deemed it the greatest mistake of his presidency.

Regarding Jeb's claim that the 1990 Read My Lips tax hike created spending restraint, let's take a look at what actually happened:

The 1990 “Read My Lips” Budget Deal Scam

Starting in May of 1990, President George H.W. Bush huddled with Democrat House and Senate members at Andrews Air Force Base.

  • What was Promised: Congressional Democrats convinced a number of Republicans to join them in a bipartisan deal promising $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. President Bush signed the deal on November 5, 1990.
     
  • What Actually Happened:  Every penny of the tax increases ($137 billion from 1991-1995) went through. Not only did the Democrats break their promise to cut spending below the CBO baseline by $274 billion—they actually spent $23 billion above CBO’s pre-budget deal spending baseline. Thirty-four House Republicans broke their own Taxpayer Protection Pledges and went along with this one-sided “deal.” As a result, Republicans lost eight seats in the 1990 Congressional midterms, and President Bush only received 38% of the vote in the 1992 Presidential election.
     

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The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

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CSense

We pay enough taxes! Here's an idea - stop spending and shut down the damn government! No more Bushes, no more Clintons!

Earl P. Holt III

Just like his stupid and gullible father. (The Bushes have betrayed conservatives more times than Richard III betrayed England and the House of York...)

Guest

And NO MORE OBAMA!


Norquist on Obamacare Tax Debacle: “How many Obama appointees will get fired?”

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 20th, 2015, 11:50 AM PERMALINK


With the AP reporting the Obama administration sent 800,000 Healthcare.gov customers the wrong tax information, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist issued the following statement: 

"800,000 or more Americans are having their lives disrupted and damaged by the Obama administration’s incompetence and overreach. They said they could run our lives better than we can. They were wrong. They can’t even get this one piece right. How many Obama appointees will get fired? My guess: Zero."

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Gage Skidmore

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kimhil

"How many Obama appointees will get fired? My guess: Zero." - birds of a feather stick together - Even Ohio Governor John Kasich is better than a progressive - he supports some delusional progressive programs, but he is not a thief, spreading lies for personal wealth - he has a history of helping people. For God's sake, at least we can find what his history is, and decide what he values, without censorship.


Flashback: Navigators Warned Not to Leave Tax Returns on Fax Machines

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, February 20th, 2015, 11:08 AM PERMALINK


The Associated Press is reporting that "800,000 HealthCare.gov customers the wrong tax information, and officials are asking those consumers to delay filing their 2014 taxes.” 

The Obama administration says it is "still investigating the root cause of the problem.”

[Norquist on Obamacare Tax Debacle: "How many Obama appointees will get fired?"]

Taxpayers got an early warning that Obamacare’s interaction with the tax code was going to be a debacle. In 2013, the official Obamacare Navigator manual warned navigators not to leave Americans’ personal tax information laying around “on printers and fax machines”:

The Department of Health and Human Services has a helpful tip for the program's so-called Navigators: “Do not leave documents that contain PII [Personally Identifiable Information] or tax return information on printers and fax machines.”

The warning is contained in Section 2.4.3 of the 207-page Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator Standard Operating Procedures Manual.

The same section asks navigators to “double-check” the fax number before faxing Obamacare enrollee’s tax returns:

“When faxing PII or tax return information, double-check that the recipient’s fax number is correct and that someone is able to pick up the faxed information immediately.”

Because the key components of Obamacare are being enforced by the IRS, navigators will have access to highly sensitive identifying information. The Navigator manual describes Personally Identifiable Information as follows:

  • Identifying information such as consumers’ names, addresses, or SSNs
  • Information about consumers’ incomes, personal finances, debts, deductions and exemptions
  • Any action taken by the IRS against consumers, such as investigations or penalties
  • Any private written agreements (such as a pricing agreement) with the IRS and any background information about these agreements
  • Relevant information, even if not found on the return (e.g., expenses)


Additional excerpts from the Navigator Manual:

  • No fake smiles: "Do not pretend to smile, or produce a false smile; these are easy to spot and send the wrong messages." – Section 2.2.1
  • Listen: “By not listening you can become very frustrating to consumers.” – Section 2.2.3
  • Apologize: “Apologizing when things go wrong demonstrates that you care about consumers and their experiences.” – Section 2.2.4
  • "Be Memorable - For the Right Reasons." – Section 2.2.6


The Navigator manual can be found here.

Photo Credit: 
Abhisek Sarda

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Crossing the Delaware

The Obama administration says it is "still investigating the root cause of the problem.”

Obama called - he found the problem. Bush did it.

daveca

Well then lets get Bush back to FIX THIS DISASTER.

Other things Bush can fix are:

*Obama losing Iraq
* high priced Obama gas
* getting jobs back

PRESIDENT Reagans bones could do a better job than O'Muslim, at least his bones are more American!

Littleredtop

This ACA program, popularly known as Obamacare, is the biggest joke that has ever been perpetrated on the American people and we've had plenty of jokes perpetrated on us in recent years. I don't mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist or some other form of nut-job but there can be no question that this Obama administration has no purpose other than to destroy American and what she stands for. Obama himself is not smart enough to singularly pull that off or, for that matter, dream up the idea in the first place. Who then? George Soros of course and the really sad thing about it is that the vast majority of Americans have no idea who he is or have never even heard of him.


Obama Still Believes in Taxing College Savings Plans

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, January 28th, 2015, 2:42 PM PERMALINK


The White House today confirmed the Obama administration still believes in taxing college savings plans:

Question: "So you call this [taxing 529 college savings plans] a distraction. Do you still think this is a good policy? There was so much backlash particularly from middle class Americans who said - we really value these plans, so do you still stand by this as good policy?”

White House spokesman Eric Schultz: “Sure. We do.”The White House also confirmed that the tax hike on 529s will remain in the President’s official budget:

Schultz: "I do want to give you one heads up for your planning which is the 529 piece will still be in the written budget that will be released. The announcement yesterday was made after the book was in the shop to be produced so just for your planning.”
 

Timeline: Obama 529 Plan Hypocrisy

Obama's New State Of The Union Tax Hike On Middle Class 529 College Savers

Obama calls for $320 Billion in New Taxes

Obama's 529 College Savings Plan Tax Hike is an Assault on the American Dream

Obama Tax Hike on College Savings Plans Breaks Middle Class Tax Pledge

Obamas Make Jumbo 529 Contribution While Pushing Repeal for Everyone Else

Will Obama's 529 Tax Hike Also Hit Disabled Kids?

As Senator, Obama Voted to Make 529 College Savings Plans Permanent

Obama Praised 529 College Savings Plans in "The Audacity of Hope”

 

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US Embassy New Zealand

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Timeline: Obama Hypocrisy on 529 College Savings Plans

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015, 5:46 PM PERMALINK


August 3, 2006: As U.S. Senator, votes to make 529s permanent.

2006: Praises 529s in his book, The Audacity of Hope.

2007: Makes a $240,000 contribution to his own 529 accounts.

Sept. 9, 2009: White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families issues a detailed report on 529s. Top conclusion from the report: 

"529 plans are an attractive and convenient means of saving for college.”

The report makes several recommendations on how to further promote 529s.

Sept. 9, 2009: Vice President Biden, Treasury Secretary Geithner, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan share a stage at a Middle Class Task Force event at Syracuse University. Geithner strongly touts 529 plans:

"As the Vice President has said, we are also working to implement, expand or improve a wide array of other government programs that encourage education savings and increase college enrollment. Today I want to highlight one program in particular, Section 529 savings plans. 

These plans can be an immensely effective way for Americans to save for college. They are generally administered by the states, and they allow people to put aside money for college and enjoy investment earnings that are free of federal taxes and, in some cases, receive state tax benefits, as well. When state tax benefits are included, a typical middle class family can accumulate 25 percent more in 529 accounts than they can in a typical taxable savings account." 

Sept. 9, 2009: Official White House statement praises 529s:

"A 529 plan, offered by states, provides a convenient, tax-preferred way for families to save for college, and works much like ROTH IRAs, wherein contributions are made with after-tax income, returns accumulate tax free and distributions can be for qualified educational expenses without taxes." 

July 23, 2010: President Obama sits for a lengthy interview on ABC’s Good Morning America. He was asked, “can you feel the pain directly that other Americans are feeling?” Obama answers by citing his 529s as a example of how he can identify with the middle class: 

"Well, part of it has, that part that is devoted to Malia and Sasha's college fund was in a 529, you know, that had been set up when I was still a state senator. And, obviously, that goes up and down with the stock market and so it's lost value like everybody else."

Jan. 17, 2015: On a Saturday evening, the White House shares with reporters an outline of President Obama’s tax plan. The ten-page, single-spaced document describes 529s as “upside-down. 

Jan. 23, 2015: White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman, in an interview with BloombergBusinessweek, deems 529s “ineffective” and “tilted towards the upper end."

Jan. 23, 2015: White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismisses a reporter question on 529s:

"My guess is those who are saying that are critics of the president. And that’s fine. The—I think the facts about the president’s proposal speak for themselves."

Jan. 27, 2015: Anonymous Obama administration official announces that the White House is abandoning its plans to tax 529s.

See also:

Obama's New State Of The Union Tax Hike On Middle Class 529 College Savers

Obama calls for $320 Billion in New Taxes

Obama's 529 College Savings Plan Tax Hike is an Assault on the American Dream

Obama Tax Hike on College Savings Plans Breaks Middle Class Tax Pledge

Obamas Make Jumbo 529 Contribution While Pushing Repeal for Everyone Else

Will Obama's 529 Tax Hike Also Hit Disabled Kids?

As Senator, Obama Voted to Make 529 College Savings Plans Permanent

Obama Praised 529 College Savings Plans in "The Audacity of Hope"

 

Photo Credit: 
Mehlam786

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Obama Praised 529 College Savings Plans in “The Audacity of Hope”

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Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015, 8:15 AM PERMALINK


In his 2006 bestseller, The Audacity of Hope, then-Senator Barack Obama praised the tax-free college savings accounts he now seeks to scuttle.

On page 165 — within a chapter titled “Opportunity” — Obama writes:

But no matter how well we do in controlling the spiraling cost of education, we will still need to provide many students and parents with more direct help in meeting college expenses, whether through grants, low-interest loans, tax-free educational savings accounts, or full deductibility of tuition and fees.

One year later, in 2007, Obama took advantage of the opportunity afforded by 529 college savings plans. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Obama made a jumbo $240,000 contribution to his own family 529 plans. (View the actual tax form here).

Also in 2006, then-Senator Obama voted to make the current tax treatment of 529 plans permanent.

Fast forward to 2015. On Jan. 17, late on a Saturday night, the Obama administration proposed raising taxes on 529 accounts, criticizing the plans as “upside down.”

Then on Jan. 23, White House Council of Economic Advisors chairman Jason Furman told BloombergBusinessweek that 529 plans are “ineffective” and "tilted towards the upper end."

The Obama 529 tax hike plan, and arrogant comments to the media -- often from anonymous administration officials -- have since caused a nationwide uproar. And according to the College Savings Foundation:

-"Over a million middle class students are currently enrolled in college and benefiting from 529s."

-"Almost 95 percent of 529 accounts are in households with income below $250,000."

The $250,000 statistic is significant in rebutting Obama administration claims: It is the number President Obama has used repeatedly since 2008 to define "middle class."

See also:

Obama's New State Of The Union Tax Hike On Middle Class 529 College Savers

Obama calls for $320 Billion in New Taxes

Obama Tax Hike on College Savings Plans Breaks Middle Class Tax Pledge

Obama's 529 College Savings Plan Tax Hike is an Assault on the American Dream

Obamas Make Jumbo 529 Contribution While Pushing Repeal for Everyone Else

Will Obama's 529 Tax Hike Also Hit Disabled Kids?

As Senator, Obama Voted to Make 529 College Savings Plans Permanent

Photo Credit: 
Peter Howe

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Steven Colantuoni

Save for almost for almost twenty years under the 529 as a consequence of how the accounts were set up to function. Now they want to ding those of us who saved for a decade or two to fund "free" education.


As Senator, Obama Voted to Make 529 College Savings Plans Permanent

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Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Monday, January 26th, 2015, 10:21 AM PERMALINK


On August 3, 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama voted to make the current tax treatment of 529 college savings plans permanent.

President Obama’s recently proposed tax plan, however, reverses this vote on 529 plans.

The vote on H.R. 4 — the Pension Protection Act of 2006 — took place in the second session of the 109th Congress, vote #230.

H.R. 4 made permanent the 529 plan expansion in the otherwise temporary 2001 Bush tax cut package (the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 — EGTRRA). The vote for H.R. 4 enshrined into permanent law the current tax-free growth of these college savings plans if used for tuition and fees. The 529 provision was in Section 1304 of the legislation.

The Obama administration has now proposed raising taxes on 529 plans, reversing the vote Senator Obama took in 2006. The administration now criticizes 529 plans as “upside down,” and “ineffective."

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Steve Jurvetson

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guy

no i hope i am emboldening the p o s potus enemies

government watchdog

they were good for all of the people and they were promised by the government. Only Obama ignores former promises. He is a liar and a racist.

John

"POS POTUS," isn't it un-American and
anti-American to talk that way about the sitting US Commander-In-Chief? Aren't you "emboldening our enemies" and committing treason like Dick Cheney used to claim? Hanoi Jane, is that you? Or is this Kim Jong Un? Fidel Castro?


Obama Tax Hike on College Savings Plans Breaks Middle Class Tax Pledge

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Posted by Ryan Ellis, John Kartch on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015, 11:56 AM PERMALINK


Tonight, in his State of the Union address, President Obama will propose a series of tax increases on the American people. One of these tax increases is indisputably an income tax hike on middle class families with children. 

Under Obama’s plan, earnings in “Section 529” (named for its location in the Internal Revenue Code) college savings plans will face full income taxation upon withdrawal.

Under current law, earnings growth in 529 plans is tax-free if account distributions are used to pay for college tuition and fees. The Obama plan will tax earnings in these accounts even if they are used to pay for college tuition and fees.

These accounts are commonly used by middle class families. There are about 12 million 529 accounts open today, and they have an average account balance of approximately $21,000. Most 529 plans permit monthly contributions as low as $25 per month.

This middle class income tax increase is a clear violation of President Obama's “firm pledge” against “any form of tax increase” on any family making less than $250,000. This promise to the American people is documented below:

Speaking in Dover, New Hampshire on Sept. 12, 2008, candidate Obama said:

“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.” [Video]

During a nationally televised Vice-Presidential debate in St. Louis on Oct. 3, 2008, candidate Joe Biden said:

“No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama’s plan will see one single penny of their tax raised whether it’s their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax.” [Transcript]

In an address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, President Obama restated the promise in forceful terms:

“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.” [Transcript] [Video]

"Rather than raise taxes on middle class families trying to save for their children’s education, Obama should abolish the seven tax increases in Obamacare that directly hit middle-income Americans,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

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U.S. Embassy, Jakarta

Top Comments

dj

Makes ya want to puke, doesn't it?

eternalboomer

Isn't it nice to know that if Shrillery did become the Prez, we'll have to pay her and her creepy husband nearly $1mill per year for the rest of their miserable lives. If only the comatose citizens of this country realized how lucrative politics is while in and out of office.

We will do nothing. Half the population is asleep.

Kevin Kent

Of course they can retroactively change tax laws. Congress has the absolute authority to make tax laws. There are many, many examples of retroactive tax increases (1993, 1986 where the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a retroactive tax increase).


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