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John Kartch

Does Martha Coakley Care About<br> Obama's Tax Promise to Working Families?


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010, 12:19 PM PERMALINK


Does Senate candidate Martha Coakley care about Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year?  It is a fair question to ask as Coakley recently stated: “we need to get taxes up”.

Coakley has endorsed the Senate bill, which contains seven tax hikes on these families. Obama’s promise remains for all to see at the Change.gov website: “no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has confirmed that there are “no caveats” to Obama’s promise.
 
Listed below are the seven Obama-pledge-breaking tax hikes (Page numbers reference original Reid-Obama bill unless noted):
 
Individual Mandate Tax (Page 324/Sec. 1501/$15 bil/Jan 2014): Starting in 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):
 
 
Single
2 Persons
3+ Persons
2014
$495/0.5% AGI
$990/0.5% AGI
$1485/0.5%/AGI
2015
$495/1.0% AGI
$990/1.0% AGI
$1485/1.0%/AGI
2016
$495/2.0% AGI
$990/2.0% AGI
$1485/2.0%/AGI
 
Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS).
 
Employer Mandate Tax (Page 348/Sec. 1513/$28 bil): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $750 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.
 
If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).
 
Small business owners pay their taxes on their owners’ personal tax returns. Since this provision does not exempt business owners making less than $250,000 per year, this employer mandate tax will violate President Obama’s promise in some cases.
 
Tax Hikes on Healthcare Spending Accounts
           
Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 1997/Sec. 9003/$5 bil): No longer allowable 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)
 
HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Page 1998/Sec. 9004/$1.3 bil): Increases 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.
 
FSA Cap (Page 1999/Sec. 9005/$14.6 bil): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited). Indexed to inflation after 2011 (added on page 363 of manager’s amendment).
     
Tax Hikes on Medical Spending for Those Making Less Than $250,000
 
Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI (Page 2034/Sec. 9013/$15.2 bil): Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only
 
Tax on Indoor Tanning Services (Page 373 of Manager’s amendment/$2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons

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Norquist to Address First Annual NYC Conservative Leadership Conference


Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, December 27th, 2009, 10:38 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist will be among a broad range of conservative leaders to give remarks at the First Annual Conservative Leadership Conference, taking place at the Union League Club in New York City on Jan. 21-22.

The NYC Conservative Leadership Conference will feature leading voices in the conservative movement, book signings by the nation’s leading conservative authors, and hands-on training sessions from grassroots activism to media strategy.
 
“As the threats to our liberty are mounting by the day, this will be an exciting and important conference and I encourage all conservatives in the New York area to register and attend,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a co-sponsor of the conference.
 
To register for the conference or to learn more, visit www.TheHarbourLeague.org or call 410-753-4560.
 
WHO: Rich Lowry, Editor of the National Review; Kate O'Beirne, President of National Review Institute; Herb London, President of the Hudson Institute; Andrew McCarthy, Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform; Eli Gold, President of the Harbour League; John Fund of the Wall Street Journal; Roger Kimball, Publisher of Encounter Books; Matthew Mark Horn, Co-Chair, Harbour League’s National Security Working Group and Executive Director, AJCongress; Mike Long, Chairman, NY Conservative Party; Colleen Holmes, Executive Director, Eagle Forum; Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute; Fred Siegel, City Journal's Contributing Editor; Honorable Rafael L. Bardaji (National Security Advisor to Jose Maria Aznar, Fmr PM of Spain), and many more.
 
WHAT:      NYC Conservative Leadership Conference
 
WHEN:     January 21 - 22, 2010
 
WHERE:   The Union League -- 38 East 37th Street (at Park Avenue); New York, NY 10016
 
RSVP:        Visit www.TheHarbourLeague.org or call 410-753-4560.
 
CO-SPONSORS: Americans for Tax Reform, National Review Institute, Manhattan Institute, Eagle Forum, Institute for Liberty, Conservative Economist, Focus on the Family and the Indian American Republican Council.

Click here for a printable PDF

 

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Sen. Ben Nelson Will Violate His Tax Pledge if He Votes for Senate Health Bill


Posted by John Kartch on Sunday, December 20th, 2009, 12:49 PM PERMALINK


If Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) votes for cloture on the Manager’s Amendment or on final passage of the Senate healthcare bill, he will violate his Taxpayer Protection Pledge – a written commitment Nelson made to Nebraskans and the American people.

“Senator Nelson promised the people of Nebraska that he would vote against any tax increases,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The Democrat bosses claim Senator Nelson has promised to vote for a bill to give the government more control over health care.  That bill includes 18 different tax increases.”
 
When Sen. Nelson ran for the U.S. Senate, he made a written Pledge to his constituents to oppose any net income tax hikes.  He is bound by that Pledge for the duration of his career as a senator.  The Senate healthcare bill contains nearly $500 billion in new tax hikes over the next decade, including billions in income tax hikes. 
 
Sen. Nelson’s signed Taxpayer Protection Pledge may be viewed here.
 

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Reid's Manager's Amendment Employs the Terms "Tax", "Taxable", and "Fee" 68 Times


Posted by John Kartch on Saturday, December 19th, 2009, 5:42 PM PERMALINK


A word search of Sen. Harry Reid’s 383-page Manager’s Amendment reveals that the terms “tax”, “taxable” and "fee" are employed a total of 68 times.

Word counts of key terms are as follows:

Tax: 
21 times

Taxable: 
30 times

Fee: 
17 times

Require: 
28

Shall: 
617

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Senate Health Bill Now Contains Seven Tax Hikes on Families Making Less than $250,000


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Saturday, December 19th, 2009, 3:30 PM PERMALINK


With the release of Sen. Harry Reid’s Manager’s Amendment, the Senate healthcare bill now contains seven tax hikes on families making less than $250,000 per year. 

Each of the seven tax hikes are in violation of President Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on these families. Obama’s promise remains for all to see at the Change.gov website: “no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has confirmed that there are “no caveats” to Obama’s promise.
 
Listed below are the seven Obama-pledge-breaking tax hikes (Page numbers reference original Reid-Obama bill unless noted):
 
Individual Mandate Tax (Page 324/Sec. 1501/$15 bil/Jan 2014): Starting in 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):
 
 
Single
2 Persons
3+ Persons
2014
$495/0.5% AGI
$990/0.5% AGI
$1485/0.5%/AGI
2015
$495/1.0% AGI
$990/1.0% AGI
$1485/1.0%/AGI
2016
$495/2.0% AGI
$990/2.0% AGI
$1485/2.0%/AGI
 
Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS).
 
Employer Mandate Tax (Page 348/Sec. 1513/$28 bil): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $750 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.
 
If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).
 
Small business owners pay their taxes on their owners’ personal tax returns. Since this provision does not exempt business owners making less than $250,000 per year, this employer mandate tax will violate President Obama’s promise in some cases.
 
Tax Hikes on Healthcare Spending Accounts
           
Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 1997/Sec. 9003/$5 bil): No longer allowable 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)
 
HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Page 1998/Sec. 9004/$1.3 bil): Increases 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.
 
FSA Cap (Page 1999/Sec. 9005/$14.6 bil): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited). Indexed to inflation after 2011 (added on page 363 of manager’s amendment).
     
Tax Hikes on Medical Spending for Those Making Less Than $250,000
 
Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI (Page 2034/Sec. 9013/$15.2 bil): Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only
 
Tax on Indoor Tanning Services (Page 373 of Manager’s amendment/$2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons

Click here for a printable PDF of this document
 

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Senate Dems Reminded of Obama's "firm pledge" on Taxes


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009, 1:58 PM PERMALINK


The Senate healthcare bill contains at least six tax increases on Americans making less than $250,000 per year, putting the bill in direct violation of President Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on these families. 

As the Senate approaches a vote today on an amendment offered by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to send the healthcare bill to the Finance Committee to strip out these tax hikes, Americans for Tax Reform reminds Senators of Obama’s repeated promise:

Sept. 12, 2008: Candidate Obama said the following:
 
“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.” (Dover, NH) [Transcript] [Video clip]
 
Oct. 3, 2008: Vice-Presidential candidate Joe Biden said the following:
 
"No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama's plan will see one single penny of their tax raised,"  Biden said, "whether it's their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax."
 
Feb. 4, 2009:  Speaking before a joint session of Congress, Obama said:
 
“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]
 
April 15, 2009: When asked if Obama’s tax pledge applies “to the health care bill”, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs replied:
 
“The statement didn’t come with caveats.”  (White House Briefing) [Transcript]
 
August 3, 2009: Gibbs reiterates Obama’s tax pledge:
 
“I am reiterating the President's clear commitment in the clearest terms possible, that he's not raising taxes on those who make less than $250,000 a year.”[ Transcript]
 
December 15, 2009:   Obama’s promise remains for all to see at the Change.gov website
 
no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.” 

Click here for a printable PDF of this document
 

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Senate Democrats Face Moment of Truth on Obama Tax Pledge


Posted by John Kartch on Monday, December 14th, 2009, 7:00 PM PERMALINK


The Senate will vote Tuesday on an amendment which would send the healthcare bill back to the Finance Committee to strip out its numerous tax hikes on families making less than $250,000 per year. The vote sets up a showdown for Senate Democrats as President Barack Obama has made a “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on these families. The amendment was offered by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

“A vote in favor of this amendment would allow Obama to keep his tax pledge. Any Senator who votes against this amendment believes that Obama knowingly lied his way into office,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).
 
Obama’s promise remains for all to see at the Change.gov website: “no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.” 
 
But the Senate healthcare bill is loaded with taxes that would break Obama’s pledge if signed into law:
 
Health Insurance Mandate Taxes on Working Families
 
Individual Mandate Tax (Page 324/Sec. 1501/$8 bil): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the following schedule (capped at 8 percent of income):
 
 
Single
Single +1
Single +2<
2014
$95
$190
$285
2015
$350
$700
$1050
2016 etc.
$750
$1500
$2250
 
Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS).
 
Employer Mandate Tax (Page 348/Sec. 1513/$28 bil): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $750 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.
 
If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).
 
Small business owners pay their taxes on their owners’ personal tax returns. Since this provision does not exempt business owners making less than $250,000 per year, this employer mandate tax will violate President Obama’s promise in some cases.
 
Tax Hikes on Healthcare Spending Accounts
           
Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 1997/Sec. 9003/$5 bil): No longer allowable 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)
 
HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Page 1998/Sec. 9004/$1.3 bil): Increases 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.
 
FSA Cap (Page 1999/Sec. 9005/$14.6 bil): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).
     
Tax Hikes on Medical Spending for Those Making Less Than $250,000
 
Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI (Page 2034/Sec. 9013/$15.2 bil): Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only
 
Tax on Cosmetic Medical Procedures (Page 2045/Sec. 9017/$5.8 bil): New 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic surgery to be paid by the surgery patient
 
**ATR will key vote in favor of cloture on the Crapo Amendment**
 
 

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Do Senate Democrats Not Care About Obama's Tax Pledge?


Posted by John Kartch on Monday, November 30th, 2009, 3:32 PM PERMALINK


As the Senate begins debate today on its healthcare bill, it is worth asking the following question: 

Do Senate Democrats care about Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year? 

Obama’s promise remains for all to see at the Change.gov websiteno family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.” 
 
But the Senate healthcare bill is loaded with taxes that would break Obama’s pledge if signed into law:
 
Health Insurance Mandate Taxes on Working Families
 
Individual Mandate Tax (Page 324/Sec. 1501/$8 bil): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the following schedule (capped at 8 percent of income):
 
 
Single
Single +1
Single +2<
2014
$95
$190
$285
2015
$350
$700
$1050
2016 etc.
$750
$1500
$2250
 
Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS).
 
Employer Mandate Tax (Page 348/Sec. 1513/$28 bil): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $750 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.
 
If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).
 
Small business owners pay their taxes on their owners’ personal tax returns. Since this provision does not exempt business owners making less than $250,000 per year, this employer mandate tax will violate President Obama’s promise in some cases.
 
Tax Hikes on Healthcare Spending Accounts
           
Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 1997/Sec. 9003/$5 bil): No longer allowable 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)
 
HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Page 1998/Sec. 9004/$1.3 bil): Increases 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.
 
FSA Cap (Page 1999/Sec. 9005/$14.6 bil): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).
     
Tax Hikes on Medical Spending for Those Making Less Than $250,000
 
Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI (Page 2034/Sec. 9013/$15.2 bil): Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only
 
Tax on Cosmetic Medical Procedures (Page 2045/Sec. 9017/$5.8 bil): New 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic surgery to be paid by the surgery patient

Click here for a printable PDF of this document

 

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ATR Breakdown of Senate Health Bill


Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 11:40 AM PERMALINK


Full List of Tax Hikes in Senate Democrat Health Bill: H.R. 3590 

[Permalink]   [PDF]
 
Senate Healthcare Bill Breaks Obama’s $250,000 Tax Promise
 
[Permalink]   [PDF]
 
Senate Healthcare Bill Uses the Term “Tax” 183 Times
 
[Permalink]   [PDF]
 
 

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Senate Healthcare Bill Uses the Term "Tax" 183 Times


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 9:17 PM PERMALINK


A word search of Sen. Harry Reid’s 2,074-page Senate healthcare bill (H.R. 3590) reveals that the term “tax” is used 183 times, “taxable” is used 164 times, and “excise tax” is used 8 times.

Other terms of interest are as follows:
 
 
Senate Healthcare Bill (H.R. 3590)
Term
Number of uses
“Tax”
183 times
“Taxable”
164 times
“Excise tax”
8 times
“Taxes”
17 times
“Fee”
152 times
“Penalty”
115 times
“Require”
166 times
“Must” 
45 times
“Shall” 
3,607 times
 

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