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Natasha Montague

Daily Media Spotlight -- May 6


Posted by Natasha Montague on Friday, May 6th, 2011, 1:00 PM PERMALINK


“Expect Congress to reprimand the NLRB” writes ATR’s Chris Prandoni in The Washington Examiner. “With the Democrat dominated 111th Congress failing to enact legislation to stop Big Labor’s hemorrhaging membership numbers, the Obama administration enlisted obscure federal agencies to facilitate unionization and appease the Party’s biggest donors. While controversial considerations and rulemakings by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)…have gone relatively unnoticed, the Board’s recent Boeing decision has propelled the agency to the forefront of political discussions…   In a bold move, House Republicans included a provision in FAA reauthorization to overturn the NMB’s problematic ruling. Unsurprisingly, Democrats and union-owned Republicans offered amendments to strip this provision out of the FAA bill, but failed to do so. With FAA reauthorization now in conference, there remains a good chance that the NMB’s anti-worker ruling will be annulled.”

Jonathan Atler highlights the ongoing debate between Grover Norquist and Sen. Tom Coburn in Bloomberg. “Sponsored by Grover G. Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the famous anti-tax pledge requires Republicans to oppose not just garden variety tax increases but also the removal of any tax subsidy or loophole unaccompanied by reductions in marginal rates. ‘I wrote the pledge this way intentionally,’ Norquist says, ‘so there could be no net tax increases’ … It’s a commendable effort. But any Gang of Six agreement is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House. ‘Why would you cut a deal between now and 2012 when you’re going to get a Republican Senate?’ Norquist asks.”

From The American Spectator: “Rep. Todd Rokita, a freshman Republican representing Indiana's Fourth Congressional District, addressed a Newsmaker Breakfast sponsored by The American Spectator and Americans for Tax Reform. Acknowledging that he comes from a heavily Republican district, Rokita argued that the Democratic narrative about a huge townhall backlash against the 2012 GOP budget is false.”

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Daily Media Spotlight -- May 2


Posted by Natasha Montague on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011, 9:00 AM PERMALINK


From Forbes.com: “Four Arkansas lawmakers who signed a no-tax-increase pledge now are defending their votes on tax-related legislation that passed the state Legislature this year. According to Washington, D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform, 16 Arkansas state representatives and three state senators signed the group's pledge ‘to oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.’”

In an article by Russell Berman at The Hill, Grover Norquist calls to extend the debt limit every two months. “House Republicans are considering a plan to grant only incremental increases to the federal debt limit in a bid to extract more concessions on spending cuts and budgetary reform from the Obama administration. The idea has a champion in Grover Norquist....’My argument is, you give them two months at a time, because each time you could get something reasonable,’ Norquist told The Hill in an interview this week at his downtown offices… ‘If the Republicans say: Here are the 20 things we want … and we will trade them for every two months we give you of debt ceiling, I think the markets would look at those things and say: Every one of them makes for a stronger America,’ Norquist said.”

In a Newsweek article, ATR’s Ryan Ellis argues against the capital-gains tax. “Then there’s the perspective of conservatives such as Ryan Ellis, the director of tax policy at Americans for Tax Reform, who see the capital-gains tax as little more than a vehicle for double taxation. His argument goes that corporations have already paid a tax rate of 35 percent on their profits (at least theoretically), so why should an individual owning shares in that corporation pay additional taxes just because the stock price went up? … ‘Any of these guys who don’t feel their taxes are high enough, I want to point out that they can make a contribution to the Treasury Department right at the Treasury’s website,’ Ellis says. ‘They don’t have to advocate policies that would ruin the country’s economy just to assuage their guilt.’”

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Daily Media Spotlight -- April 29


Posted by Natasha Montague on Friday, April 29th, 2011, 3:00 PM PERMALINK


Grover Norquist wrote a letter to the editor in The New York Times: “In your April 22 editorial ‘Rethinking Their Pledge,’ you suggest that “a few Republicans” have changed their minds and now wish to raise taxes on Americans even though they signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge… Across the nation, governors who have signed the pledge are holding firm and reforming government to reduce spending. And Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, whom you cite, has signed in writing a pledge to the voters of Oklahoma — not to me or Americans for Tax Reform — that he will oppose any net tax increase… Where do you see a left-wing pro-tax-increase revolt in the G.O.P. caucus?”

“Big Oil's slick profit day?” in POLITICO’s Arena, Grover Norquist responds: “Obama’s policies have driven up gasoline prices…Now he has a great idea. Raise taxes on gasoline. Yeah, that will reduce prices.Run for your lives; our president knows nothing about supply and demand or costs and prices. This is truly scary. Please find us a president who understands that if you add a tax to something you get less of it and it costs more. I don’t care where he was born.”

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Daily Media Spotlight -- April 28


Posted by Natasha Montague on Thursday, April 28th, 2011, 2:00 PM PERMALINK


From ATR’s Chris Prandoni on Townhall.com: “Unwilling to reign in Washington’s overspending problem, Democrats and their allies on the Left are stuck championing tax increases. Raising the corporate income tax rate—already the highest in the world—or increasing the personal income rate is untenable, leaving Democrats no choice except to try and repeal tax credits and deductions… Unlike renewable sources of energy which received $60 billion in taxpayer dollars since 2008, the American government doesn’t give oil and natural gas companies a cent to produce oil... A subsidy is when the government takes money from you and gives it to someone else, like a solar company. Allowing a company to keep more of its earned money by employing a tax credit is anything but a subsidy.”

“Will Coburn Cave On Tax Hikes or Keep His Promise to the People of Oklahoma?” poses Grover Norquist on foxnews.com. “Obama's 2012 budget continues and increases this spending. (His first two years have been one long "Seinfeld" episode--no learning has taken place.) The president's budget raises taxes by $1.5 trillion in higher income taxes over the next decade… Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, now passed by the Republican Congress drops Obama's spending by $6 trillion dollars. He stops the government take over of health care. He ends the bailouts. The Democrats' tax hike plans are stopped… Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, previously known as an opponent of earmarks, was on the Obama commission and voted for the massive tax increase proposal. He has joined the "Gang of Six" led by Obama's best friend in the Senate, Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois…Coburn's tax hikes would never pass the Republican House of Representatives.”

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Daily Media Spotlight -- April 27


Posted by Natasha Montague on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, 9:00 AM PERMALINK


Grover Norquist was interviewed by Peter Suderman at Reason. “Norquist: The way we could screw up the pending Republican—solidifying a Reagan Republican House and electing a Republican Senate, meaning a majority Senate in 2012—the way to screw that up is to lose focus on spending and get distracted on chasing the deficit. Because then Democrats have an equally valid solution, which is to raise taxes. Whereas if the focus is spending, there are only two ways to fix that: spend less, or have pro-growth policies. Democrats don’t want to spend less. Democrats have no pro-growth policies. Republicans have a whole bunch of things that would be good for the economy: Take the trial lawyers and drop them in the ocean. Have less regulation. Spend less. Cut corporate rates. All sorts of things. So that the same size government is less oppressive and less expensive. And Republicans have $6 trillion worth of spending restraint that they’re willing to put forward in the House.But if you focus on the deficit, then tax increases are on the table. And then all of a sudden, you get into class warfare.”

The ongoing quarrel between Grover Norquist and Sen. Tom Coburn was highlighted on NPR’s All Things Considered. “The fight between the feisty Coburn and the pugnacious Norquist got going last month. Initially, it was over Coburn's drive to end $5 billion a year in tax breaks for companies that blend ethanol with gasoline. Norquist agreed with Coburn that the subsidy was wasteful. But he said Coburn should also cut $5 billion in taxes elsewhere so that money would not go to the Treasury.”

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Daily Media Spotlight -- April 26


Posted by Natasha Montague on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, 2:14 PM PERMALINK


“Ron Paul's moment?” in POLITICO’s Arena, Grover Norquist responds: “Ron Paul brings energy and a great number of young activists into the Republican Party and the broader conservative movement. Some conservatives whined that 10 percent of the 11,000 attendees at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference were Ron Paul enthusiasts… Political leaders who bring new activists into the party are a great asset”

Steven Gray interviewed Grover Norquist today in TIME.  “Since founding Americans for Tax Reform in the 1980s, Grover Norquist has become one of the conservative movement’s most influential figures… When Norquist speaks, Republicans listen. That’s why an astonishing array of mostly conservative politicians — nearly 280 members of Congress, 13 governors and 1,250 state legislators – have signed ATR’s pledge to oppose any new taxes… In an interview with TIME, Grover Norquist talked about how he sees the budget debate, why he’s at war with Tom Coburn, and the costs of breaking his organization’s pledge.”

From ATR’s Ryan Ellis and John Kartch on Forbes.com: “President Obama [recently] signed into law the first repeal of an ObamaCare tax hike: the 1099 small business paperwork tax. This ObamaCare tax would have required every business in America to issue a "1099" tax form to every office supply store, gas station, restaurant, etc. from which they bought at least $600 in goods and services throughout the year.The President's signature on 1099 repeal means that there are now 20 new or higher taxes left in the ObamaCare law, down from the original 21 tax hikes. Taken together, these constitute one of the largest tax increases in American history.”

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Tom Coburn's tax pledge to Oklahomans


Posted by Natasha Montague on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, 10:40 AM PERMALINK


Yesterday Ryan Ellis wrote in The Daily Caller: “On ‘Meet the Press’ this Sunday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was asked why he was seemingly prepared to support and vote for a net income tax increase despite being a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. His answer is as revealing as it is incorrect: “Which pledge is most important … the pledge to uphold your oath to the Constitution of the United States, or a pledge from a special interest group? The fact is, Senator Coburn has not made any pledge to Americans for Tax Reform (the “special interest group” he is referring to). He has, however, made a written pledge to the people of Oklahoma. It’s written down for anyone to see on ATR’s website…He would like to repeal or restrict hundreds of billions of dollars in tax deductions and credits. But rather than plowing all that money into lower tax rates (as he promised the people of his state that he would before they elected him), the plan will reportedly raise net taxes by $1 trillion or more over the next decade (which would amount to one of the largest net tax hikes in history).”

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Gang of Six Tax Hikers


Posted by Natasha Montague on Monday, April 25th, 2011, 2:33 PM PERMALINK


The opinionjournal.com columnist, John Fund is interviewed regarding the Gang of Six on Opinion Journal Live. According to Fund, “The problem [with the Gang of Six] is a majority of Republicans in both the House and Senate have signed an anti-tax pledge put out by Grover Norquist at Americans for Tax Reform.  And it’s very clear you can have tax reform, but if you’re going to get rid of tax credits or tax deductions, you have to balance it with tax cuts on something else so you don’t have a net tax increase. And of course in a weak economy as we have now, I think a net tax increase would be a real mistake; and it would be a clear violation of the pledge for any Republican that signed it.”

Watch the full interview below:

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Daily Media Spotlight -- April 25


Posted by Natasha Montague on Monday, April 25th, 2011, 2:27 PM PERMALINK


From Grover Norquist on Newsmax.com: The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would repeal a 2004 law requiring cities with more than 35,000 people to grant collective bargaining rights to non-uniformed city employees… Sen. Cliff Aldridge, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said he thinks it's unfair to force cities to participate in collective bargaining and that cities still will have option to choose to collectively bargain if they wish… The repeal of the law will allow for more local decisions concerning collective bargaining agreements.”

“Tax Increases Are Political Poison for the GOP” posted by Dan Mitchell on International Liberty. “First, some background. One side of this battle is led by Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, who is the organizer of the no-tax-increase pledge. Grover argues that America’s fiscal problem is too much spending and that higher taxes are economically and politically foolish.The other side of the conflict is led by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who argues that America’s fiscal problem is too much red ink and that higher taxes are a necessary price to strike a deal with Democrats that supposedly will reduce budget deficits… If the ethanol credit is worth about $6 billion per year, as Senator Coburn’s office states, then find a tax cut of similar size, pair it with the ethanol credit, and kill two birds with one stone. Seems like the best of all possible outcomes, which is why Grover is correct from a policy perspective.”

“Norquist to Coburn: Drop Out” by Robert Costa at National Review Online. “Norquist, in an interview with NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE this afternoon, called on Coburn to drop out of the ‘Gang of Six,’ a bipartisan group of senators working on deficit reduction. ‘Coburn is negotiating with President Obama’s best friend in the Senate, Dick Durbin,’ he said. ‘They are playing Coburn like a Stradivarius. Durbin is walking him down into an alley where he is going to get mugged…He should walk away as soon as possible,’ Norquist said. ‘He should say that all the Democrats want to do is raise taxes, and we’ve got the Ryan plan, so let’s fight this out in 2012. Otherwise he is going to cost us Senate seats right across the board.’”

Grover Norquist’s response to Sen. Tom Coburn’s accusations is highlighted in POLITICO:  “Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, just emailed a response to Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn's claim that his group is a narrow ‘special interest’ that doesn't represent American conservatives. And it's memorable… ‘The pledge that Tom Coburn signed was to the citizens of Oklahoma…Sen. Coburn knows perfectly well that the pledge is not to any organization but to the citizens of his state. He lied to them, not to Americans for Tax Reform. Before this recent television comment, Coburn told me personally in a phone call that he would not vote for a tax increase and repeated his commitment in writing in a public letter to me.’”

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Daily Media Spotlight -- April 21


Posted by Natasha Montague on Thursday, April 21st, 2011, 12:25 PM PERMALINK


“Democrats’ ‘tax now, ask voters later’ plan” from the OC Register: Two years ago the Legislature raised taxes with the barest approval. Just enough Republicans deserted their party's no-tax pledge and joined Democrats to form the minimal constitutional two-thirds majority required. Simultaneously, legislators put on the ballot a two-year extension of sales, income and vehicle tax increases. Voters rejected it 2-1. Clearly, California voters didn't want what the Legislature wanted... If Republicans cave in, and tax increases are approved with two-thirds vote, it would test Brown's campaign pledge to oppose increases absent a statewide vote.”

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