Patrick Gleason

ATR Applauds Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's Proposal to Repeal an Entire Tax

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Thursday, June 1st, 2017, 3:14 PM PERMALINK

Gov. Scott Walker has enacted $5 billion in tax relief since taking office in 2011. On top of that, Walker’s landmark Act 10 entitlement reforms have saved Wisconsin taxpayers $5 billion since it was signed into law six years ago. Now, Gov. Walker is calling for the elimination of an entire tax in 2017.

Most property taxes in Wisconsin are levied at the local level. However, there is a state property tax whose proceeds fund forestry programs. Gov. Walker’s 2017-2019 budget axes the state property tax, which will save taxpayers $180 million over the next two years, while maintaining forestry funding with general fund dollars.

“I think as Republicans our mission is to reform government, make it more efficient, more effective, more accountable and in turn lower, not raise the tax burden on the hardworking people of this state. So I do want to eliminate the revenue source,” Gov. Walker told Media Trackers, explaining the motivation for his push to eliminate the state portion of the property tax.

Christian Schneider, a columnist for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, explains how Gov. Walker’s property tax proposal will fix the currently flawed approach to funding forestry:

“When funded with the dedicated state property tax, the forestry fund was budgeted backwards; the state would calculate how much the tax brought in, then figure out how it was going to use the money.”

While Wisconsin’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee decided yesterday to push their vote on Walker’s property tax proposal to next week, Sen. Alberta Darling (River Hills) & Rep. John Nygren (Marinette), who chair the committee, announced they plan to approve and move forward with Walker’s proposal. After it is approved by JFC, Walker’s property tax proposal will then be sent to the Senate and Assembly for floor votes.

“After Act 10, Right to Work, Prevailing Wage repeal, and multiple rounds of tax cuts, it’s clear that Wisconsin has passed some of the nation’s most transformational, pro-taxpayer, pro-growth reforms in recent years,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said. “I applaud Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin legislators for continuing to look for ways to provide taxpayer relief and more efficiently spend taxpayer dollars. Gov. Walker’s leadership serves as an inspiration for governors and lawmakers in other states, as well as Congress.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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Ohio Lawmaker Introduces State Resolution in Support of Federal Tax Reform

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Monday, May 1st, 2017, 11:27 AM PERMALINK

Last week, the same week Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn unveiled the Trump administration’s tax plan, a resolution was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives calling on Congress to pass federal tax reform that fixes the major flaws in the current code.

The Ohio resolution, introduced by state Representative Niraj Antani (R-Ohio), calls on Congress to overhaul the federal tax code in a way that, as both President Trump and congressional Republicans have proposed, reduces rates for individuals, families, and businesses.

“Tax-and-spend, nanny-state big city mayors like New York City’s Bill de Blasio frequently urge federal officials to enact anti-growth, big government policies,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said. “As such, it’s imperative that federal lawmakers also hear from pro-growth, pro-free enterprise state lawmakers.”

If approved, Rep. Antani’s resolution would put the Ohio Legislature officially on the record calling upon the state’s congressional delegation to support and vote for rate-reducing federal tax reform of the sort that has been proposed by the White House and House Republicans.

"In Ohio we have cut taxes by $5 billion since Republicans regained control," Antani said. "However, our economic growth has now plateaued, and we need federal tax reform to take us to the next level." 

“I encourage Ohio legislators to support and vote for Rep. Antani’s pro-taxpayer resolution,” Norquist added. “By passing this resolution, Ohio lawmakers will send a strong message Congress that now is the time to fix our broken federal tax code and provide much needed relief to taxpayers.”

Photo Credit: Jim Bowen


ATR Urges Texas Lawmakers to Support Paycheck Protection Legislation

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Monday, April 24th, 2017, 11:16 AM PERMALINK

Texas is widely seen as a bastion of conservative and free market policies and governance. However, while Texas is a Right to Work state, it does not have a Paycheck Protection law on the books. As a result, state agencies and municipalities across the Lone Star State relieve government worker union bosses of dues collection responsibilities and take care of that for them using taxpayer resources. 

Money the state automatically takes from worker paychecks and hands to union bosses is then used to support anti-business, anti-taxpayer policies and candidates. Today ATR president Grover Norquist sent the following letter to Texas state representatives, urging them to vote Yes on legislation already approved by the state senate that would put an end to this misuses of scarce taxpayer resources:

 

To: Members of the Texas House of Representatives

From: Americans for Tax Reform

Re: Paycheck Protection Legislation

Dear Representative,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our supporters across Texas, I urge you to support and vote Yes on Senate Bill 13, legislation approved by the Senate, and House Bill 510, legislation introduced by Rep. Sarah Davis. This pro-worker legislation, if enacted, would end automatic government deduction of union dues from public employee paychecks.

It is a completely inappropriate use of taxpayer resources to have state agencies and municipalities serving as the money bagmen for unions, but that is the current practice in the Lone Star State, a fact whose revelation surprises many who otherwise view Texas as a bastion of pro-business policies. The question comes down to whether lawmakers think the state should be in the business of using taxpayer resources to collect political money for government unions. Lawmakers who think that is an improper function of government and use of taxpayer resources can put a stop to it by voting Yes on SB 13/HB 510.

Despite what opponents of this legislation have incorrectly alleged, SB 13/HB 510 would not affect the right to organize and join a union; the legislation would simply require union bosses to collect their dues from workers voluntarily, as opposed to the current practice of having state agencies and municipalities collect it for them. If unions are providing a valuable service to workers, then they will have no problem convincing workers that they should join and pay dues voluntarily without automatic state confiscation. However, research indicates that without proper safeguards, many workers are forced to give up hard earned wages against their will.

A study by the Heritage Foundation found states that passed paycheck protection laws like SB 13 & HB 510 saw union spending on political campaigns and activities fall by an average by 50% after such laws were enacted. In Washington State, the Washington Education Association saw the number of members donating to the political activity fund drop from 82% to 11% following the implementation of Washington’s paycheck protection law in 1992. This underscores the fact that often the goals of the union leadership do not reflect the priorities of workers.

One of the more egregious aspects of automatic confiscation of union dues from government worker paychecks in Texas is fact that money the state collects for union bosses is in turn funneled to candidates and lobbyists who advance and advocate anti-business, anti-taxpayer policies. Enactment of SB 13 or HB 510 would put an end to this racket. As such, ATR urges you to vote Yes on SB 13 and HB 510. ATR will be educating your constituents and all Texas taxpayers as to how lawmakers in Austin vote on this and other important fiscal and economic matters throughout the legislative session.   

 

Sincerely,

Grover G. Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Stuart Seeger

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ATR Urges Colorado Lawmakers to Support Taxpayers' Right to Privacy

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Friday, April 7th, 2017, 12:16 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform sent a letter to Colorado lawmakers last week urging them to support SB 17-238, legislation that seeks to protect Colorodo taxpayers’ right to privacy and freedom of association by amending the state’s anticompetitive “Tattletale Law.”

SB 17-238, if enacted, would repeal the Orwellian requirement that out-of-state businesses collect and remit the purchase history of Colorado residents to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The bill passed out of the Senate Finance Committee last week, and now heads to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for further consideration.  

The letter ATR sent to Colorado legislators reads as follows:

March 31, 2017

To: Members of the Colorado Legislature

From: Americans for Tax Reform

RE: SB 17-238

Dear Members of the Colorado Legislature,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across Colorado, I write today urging you to support Senate Bill 17-238, which removes the requirement for businesses to tattle on the specifics of Coloradans purchases to state tax authorities.

Coloradans value their privacy, and the Colorado law requiring out-of-state retailers to report on Coloradans’ purchasing habits to the government is in gross violation of that privacy and our Freedom of Association.

The law, appropriately dubbed “the Tattletale Law,” forces businesses to turn over detailed information to state tax authorities relating to internet purchases, including: the retailer name, customer name, billing address, shipping address, and cost of purchase.

Privacy is key to our Freedom of Association.  By tracking an individuals associations with retailers and addresses, and having no confidentiality requirements relating to the information collected, the law infringes on an individual’s ability to express him or her self, particularly when it comes to political, religious, or social preferences.

The Tattletale Law is Colorado’s attempt to get around the Supreme Court’s 1992 Quill v. North Dakota decision that prevents states from reaching across their own borders to regulate and tax other citizens.

SB 17-238 does not solve all the ills of the Tattletale Law.  It still gives Colorado the opportunity to regulate business in other states, track consumers’ purchases and send consumers a report on their likely sales and use tax owed from transactions with that business.  However, removing the requirement for out of state businesses to tattle to state tax authorities is a significant improvement on the intrusive law.  As such, Americans for Tax Reform urges you to support SB 17-238.

If you have any questions, or if ATR can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Patrick Gleason, State Affairs Director, or Katie McAuliffe, Federal Affairs Manager, at kmcauliffe@atr.org, and 202-785-0266.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist

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ATR Urges Colorado Lawmakers to Reject Proposed Sales Tax Hike

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Monday, March 13th, 2017, 10:16 AM PERMALINK

 

Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran (D) and Senate President Kevin Grantham (R) recently unveiled House Bill 1242, their proposal to put a sale tax increase on the November ballot in order to generate $3.5 billion for transportation. The proposal has been met with swift opposition by Republican legislators in both chambers of the state legislature, as well as conservative and free market organizations like the Independence Institute, a free market think tank based in Denver, and Americans for Prosperity.

Reporters and HB 1242 proponents describe the proposed sale tax hike as “less than a penny,” which is a great way to mislead folks into thinking this proposal entails a small tax hike. Point of fact, HB 1242, if approved, would advance a sales tax hike that represents a more than 21% increase from the current rate. Anyone who describes this as “less than a penny” is trying to distract from what would be a massive rate hike.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, sent a letter to Colorado legislators today, urging them to oppose HB 1242. In the letter, Norquist explains how those who claim a tax hike is needed for transportation are actually admitting transportation is their lowest priority:

“Some lawmakers contend this regressive tax hike is needed because transportation is a priority,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Yet lawmakers calling for a tax hike to fund transportation are actually admitting that transportation is their lowest priority. Were that not the case, they would not have funded everything else in the budget first.”

The Independence Institute has filed what would be a competing measure on the November ballot.  Titled “Fix Our Damn Roads,” that measure, which will require requisite citizen signatures to make it to the ballot, would ask voters to approve a $2.5 billion transportation bond, to be paid for with existing revenues and not tax hikes.

“Let’s be clear, this is not a tax increase or a budget cut, it’s a re-allocation of existing state spending to roads,” said Jon Caldara, Independence Institute president. “If lawmakers aren’t willing to do their jobs, then we’ll ask the voters to do it for them.”

Colorado has divided state government, with Democrats holding the state house and governor’s mansion, while Republicans control the state senate. Expect this to be one of the most contentious tax battles of 2017. A copy of the letter that ATR sent to Colorado lawmakers is as follows: 

March 13, 2017

To: Members of the Colorado House of Representatives

From: Americans for Tax Reform

Re: House Bill 1242/Proposed Sales Tax Hike

Dear Members of the Colorado House,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our supporters across Colorado, I urge you to reject House Bill 1242, the recently unveiled proposal to refer a sales tax increase the ballot. Your constituents have been hit with 20 Obamacare tax increases and an onslaught of onerous federal regulations over the last eight years. The last thing individuals, families, and employers across Colorado need is to have lawmakers in Denver pile on with further tax hikes at the state level, but that is the goal of HB 1242.

The sales tax increase that HB 1242 seeks to advance has been described as “less than a penny on the dollar,” yet such description is intended to mislead. In fact, the sales tax hike entailed in HB 1242 represents a whopping 21% hike in the current rate. Some lawmakers contend this regressive tax hike is needed because transportation is a priority. Yet lawmakers calling for a tax hike to fund transportation are actually admitting that transportation is their lowest priority. Were that not the case, they would not have funded everything else in the budget first. 

There is ample evidence that higher taxes make states less competitive, and harm economic growth. John Hood, chairman of the John Locke Foundation, a non-partisan think tank, analyzed 681 peer-reviewed academic journal articles dating back to 1990. Most of the studies found that lower levels of taxation and spending correlate with stronger economic performance. When Tax Foundation chief economist William McBride reviewed academic literature going back three decades, he found “the results consistently point to significant negative effects of taxes on economic growth, even after controlling for various other factors such as government spending, business cycle conditions and monetary policy.”

As such, I urge you to reject efforts to raise the sales tax, which would disproportionately harm low and middle-income Colorado households. ATR will be educating your constituents and all Colorado taxpayers as to how lawmakers in Denver vote on HB 1242, and other important fiscal and economic matters throughout the legislative session. Please look to ATR to as a resource on tax, budget, and other policy matters pending before you. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Gleason, ATR’s director of state affairs, at (202) 785-0266 or pgleason@atr.org.

 

Sincerely,

 

Grover G. Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

 

Photo Credit: Frank Reese


San Diego Rejects NFL Stadium Tax Hike

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016, 3:06 PM PERMALINK

On the same night that Californians approved tax hikes on income, tobacco, and soda, voters in San Diego rejected two proposed hotel tax hikes - Measures C & D - which proposed a massive hotel tax increase to fund a new football stadium for the San Diego Chargers.

Measure C was rejected by 58% of voters, while 60% voted NO on Measure D. The rejection of these hotel tax hikes is even more impressive when considering that the rate increases were falsely advertised to voters as much lower than they really were.

Approval of Measure C would’ve imposed not a six percent tax increase, as it was described in the official ballot language, but a six percentage point increase, taking the rate from 10.5 to 16.5%. This is a distinction with a major difference. Instead of a 6% hike, Measure C represented a nearly 60% increase in San Diego’s hotel tax rate. Measure D was deceptively worded in a similar fashion on the official ballot language. San Diego voters were smart to reject such a massive increase in the city’s hotel tax bite. 

Photo Credit: janie hernandez, http://bit.ly/2fDghZM


Runaway Spending: A Bipartisan Problem

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Posted by Patrick Gleason, Nathaniel Rome on Friday, June 26th, 2015, 9:44 AM PERMALINK

In a time when it seems like Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on anything, there is something that appears to have bipartisan agreement: overspending. In an analysis of state government spending in all 50 states, it is clear that all state governments are growing at an unsustainable rate, some more so than others.  

A reasonable baseline is for a state to adjust spending in line with inflation and population changes. Americans for Tax Reform used the Tax Foundation’s handy state spending calendar to find out how state spending over the last decade compared to inflation and population growth. The chart below shows how cumulative state spending in all 50 states has increased at a much faster rate than population growth and inflation. The orange line below shows change in population and inflation from 1999 to 2009. The blue line represents growth in total state government spending during that period.

First, here is the national trend, looking at all 50 states:


(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Tax Foundation)

This information is more useful if we break it down state-by-state to see who the worst offenders of overspending are. Below is a table of each state and the percent that they overspent beyond the rate of growth the population and inflation over the 10 year period from 1999 to 2009:

State

Overspending  Percent

California

36%

Wyoming

33%

Oklahoma

31%

Mississippi

31%

Kansas

31%

Wisconsin

31%

South Carolina

27%

Rhode Island

27%

Florida

27%

Maine

26%

New Mexico

25%

Indiana

25%

Colorado

24%

Nebraska

24%

Vermont

24%

Pennsylvania

24%

Kentucky

23%

Illinois

23%

Louisiana

23%

Ohio

23%

Maryland

23%

Arkansas

23%

Minnesota

22%

New Jersey

22%

Missouri

22%

Arizona

22%

Delaware

22%

North Carolina

22%

Iowa

21%

Alabama

21%

Idaho

20%

Texas

20%

Tennessee

20%

Michigan

19%

Montana

19%

New York

18%

Alaska

18%

Virginia

16%

Washington

16%

Georgia

16%

North Dakota

16%

Massachusetts

16%

South Dakota

16%

Hawaii

15%

West Virginia

14%

Oregon

14%

Connecticut

14%

Utah

12%

New Hampshire

9%

Nevada

8%

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Tax Foundation)

The biggest overspender is (unsurprisingly) California. California alone overspent by nearly $347 billion – more than the GDP of Denmark – over the decade from 1999 to 2009. But what is surprising is that each and every state overspent by billions of dollars. 33 states overspent by more than 20 percent beyond the rate of growth in population and inflation, and all but two states overspent by at least 10 percent.

State budgets have been a mixed bag this year, with some states confronting shortfalls and some who have surpluses. For state lawmakers still grappling with how to balance a budget – either through cutting spending, raising taxes, or a combination of the two – the numbers demonstrate that the problem is on the spending side of the ledger.

 

 

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012, https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/


Louisiana Budget Standoff: It’s the Spending, Stupid

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Thursday, June 11th, 2015, 2:58 PM PERMALINK

Louisiana's legislative session ends at 6 pm this evening and legislators have yet to come to an agreement on to how to balance the budget. The Baton Rouge Advocate referred to the current situation as “Louisiana’s worst budget crisis since the late 1980s.”

Some Louisiana legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, want the budget to be balanced with higher taxes. Already a number of Republican members of the House are on the record voting for over $600 million in higher taxes. Others argue that the current tax code, while in need of reform, brings in sufficient revenue and that the state should put spending in line with available funds.

Looking at historical data, it’s clear the problem with the Louisiana budget is on the spending, not tax, side of the ledger. The chart below shows that Louisiana government spending during last decade grew much faster than the rate of population growth and inflation. The orange line below shows change in population and inflation in Louisiana from 1999 to 2009. The blue line represents growth in Louisiana government spending during that period.

Government Spending in Louisiana (1999-2009):

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Tax Foundation)

Had Louisiana politicians kept spending in line with population growth and inflation – a reasonable metric for sustainable budgeting – Louisiana would’ve spent $34.9 billion less in taxpayer dollars than it did during the previous decade. After being hit with the more than 20 federal tax increases signed into law by President Obama in recent years, the last thing Louisiana residents need are higher state taxes.

When it comes to the question of whether Louisiana has a spending or revenue problem – to modify a saying popularized by a famous Louisianan – it’s the spending, stupid. 

Photo Credit: Sean Marshall, https://www.flickr.com/photos/7119320@N05/


ATR Response To Louisiana Lawmakers

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Posted by John Beattie McEwan, Patrick Gleason on Monday, June 8th, 2015, 2:55 PM PERMALINK

On Sunday night, Americans for Tax Reform received a letter from a handful of Louisiana legislators with questions about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment that candidates make to their constituents (not ATR) to oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes. Below is the response ATR President Grover Norquist sent back to Louisiana legislators today:

June 8, 2015

Dear Representative Robideaux,

Thank you for the letter you sent Sunday night by fax to Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). You suggest that politicians should take credit for tax cuts passed by previous legislatures. That would allow tax and spending politicians to hike taxes every time they come into office following a tax cut or series of tax cuts. Under that logic, President Obama could argue he didn’t raise taxes.

As I noted in a letter sent to you and your colleagues at the beginning of session, your constituents have already been hit with more than 20 federal tax increases signed into law by President Obama in recent years. Piling on with a net tax increase at the state level will only do more damage to hardworking Louisiana taxpayers.

As you know, Louisiana is not undertaxed. The problem is that some want to spend more than the current tax code collects. You ask about the SAVE Act. ATR does not support or oppose the SAVE Act. While the SAVE Act does include a credit that can be used to offset other tax increases, there are other ways to achieve revenue neutrality, such as by repealing the corporate franchise tax and/or cutting the state income tax. If you don’t like the SAVE Act, why not find other offsetting tax cuts that are more to your liking? ATR is agnostic as to whether a credit or deduction is good policy. We merely call balls and strikes regarding whether a change in tax law results in a net tax increase.

Any change in the tax code that increases the net tax burden is a tax hike. Raising the income tax or sales tax rate, and making no other changes, is a tax hike. Eliminating tax credits or deductions without an offsetting overall rate reduction or tax relief elsewhere is a net tax increase. The Obama administration has argued that removing tax provisions that reduce the tax burden for energy industry employers is not a tax increase. It clearly is. However, removing tax credits or deductions while reducing the tax rate so that the total bill is revenue neutral is not a tax hike.

The government of Louisiana has been overspending for decades and has grown much faster than the rate of inflation and population growth. Fixing that is key to right-sizing state government. While much progress has been made in recent years, it’s clear there is much work left to do. Members of the Louisiana House of Representatives couldn’t even find the political will this year to pass legislation that would end the use of taxpayer resources for the collection of government union dues. The fact that such a commonsense reform couldn’t get done is disconcerting.

As occurs in states across the country, ATR is more than willing to work with lawmakers in Louisiana to help find ways to reform government so that spending is at a sustainable level and tax increases can be avoided.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Richard Rutter


Large Share of Jobs Tied to Trade in all 50 States

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Monday, June 8th, 2015, 8:30 AM PERMALINK

Today, ATR takes a look at the number of jobs in every state tied to trade and the share of the workforce that trade-related jobs account for. These numbers underscore the importance of international trade when it comes to job creation and the livelihoods of individuals and families across the country. 

Percentage/Number of State Jobs Tied to Trade (2013)

1.

Hawaii

32.29% (201,322)

2.

Florida

31.25% (2,400,000)

3.

Vermont

31.18% (95,502)

4.

Idaho

30.95% (197,537)

5.

California

30.67% (4,700,000)

6.

Montana

30.54% (137,632)

7.

New Jersey

30.54% (1,200,00)

8.

Connecticut

30.49% (507,118)

9.

Washington

30.39% (915,225)

10.

Maryland

30.31% (790,950)

11.

Mississippi

29.91% (335,058)

12.

Tennessee

29.90% (829,452)

13.

South Dakota

29.70% (124,179)

14.

Missouri

29.65% (815,374)

15.

Colorado

29.52% (709,826)

16.

Georgia

29.47% (709,826)

17.

Arizona

29.42% (747,837)

18.

Maine

29.39% (177,519)

19.

Nevada

29.37% (350,466)

20.

North Carolina

29.24% (1,200,000)

21.

Virginia

29.19% (1,100,000)

22.

Illinois

29.17% (1,700,000)

23.

Alabama

29.13% (558,334)

24.

South Carolina

29.11% (559,329)

25.

Michigan

29.08% (1,200,000)

26.

Iowa

29.04% (448,445)

27.

New York

29.00% (2,600,000)

28.

Nebraska

28.92% (284,114)

29.

Arkansas

28.89% (342,335)

30.

Utah

28.76% (374,963)

31.

Kentucky

28.67% (529,278)

32.

Oregon

28.52% (484,067)

33.

Delaware

28.49% (123,312)

34.

Ohio

28.47% (1,500,00)

35.

Kansas

28.39% (392,522)

36.

Massachusetts

28.21% (955,486)

37.

Rhode Island

28.10% (132,416)

38.

New Hampshire

27.88% (179,655)

39.

Pennsylvania

27.79% (1,600,000)

40.

Wisconsin

27.56% (785,186)

41.

Minnesota

27.55% (774,730)

42.

Louisiana

27.46% (539,002)

43.

Indiana

26.87% (796,619)

44.

New Mexico

26.78% (217,198)

45.

Alaska

26.73% (90,572)

46.

Texas

26.49% (3,000,000)

47.

West Virginia

24.44% (186,939)

48.

Oklahoma

24.23% (398,589)

49.

North Dakota

23.98% (108,340)

50.

Wyoming

23.36% (68,436)

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistic, TradeBenefitsAmerica.org)

Congress is now considering whether to grant the White House trade promotion authority (TPA), under which negotiated trade deals are sent to Congress for an up or down vote, but are not subject to amendments. Approval of TPA is critical to the completion of two pending trade deals with European and Asian countries. As Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist pointed out in a recent op-ed for Reuters, “granting the President trade promotion authority is the only way to get prospective trading partners to sit down for time-consuming and complicated negotiations required to reach an agreement.” 

Earlier this week, Americans for Tax Reform released data on the percentage of each state’s GDP that is tied to international trade. Click here to read Grover’s Reuters column explaining how expansion of free trade benefits the U.S. economy and why approval of TPA can’t wait.  

Photo Credit: Ingo Vogelmann

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