Todd Hollenbeck

How Cap and Tax Will Hurt Alaska


Posted by Todd Hollenbeck on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009, 9:31 AM PERMALINK


We continue our daily, state by state, look at the financial impact of the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Tax Bill. Everyday we will show you the projected losses in Gross State Product, Personal Income, and Non- Farm Jobs in a different state.
 
Detailed information on this and other energy taxes can be found in the Americans for Tax Reform Energy Tax Analysis, May 2009.
 
Alaska:
 
According to a study by Karen Campbell, Ph.D. and David Kreutzer, Ph.D. at the Heritage Foundation, Alaska will suffer the following losses in 2012 as a result of Cap and Tax:
  •  A decline in Gross State Product of –$511,600,000.
  • Total Personal Income Loss of -$513,020,000.
  • Non-Farm Job losses of 3,610.
Contact your Senators today and tell them to VOTE NO on the Waxman-Markey Energy Tax.
Senator Mark Begich: (202) 224-3004
Senator Lisa Murkowski: (202) 224-6665
 

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How Cap and Tax will Hurt Alabama


Posted by Todd Hollenbeck on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009, 12:09 PM PERMALINK


 Today begins a daily, state by state, look at the financial impact of the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Tax Bill. Everyday we will show you the projected losses in Gross State Product, Personal Income, and Non- Farm Jobs in a different state.

Detailed information on this and other energy taxes can be found in the Americans for Tax Reform Energy Tax Analysis, May 2009.

Alabama:
 
According to a study by Karen Campbell, Ph.D. and David Kreutzer, Ph.D. at the Heritage Foundation, Alabama will suffer the following losses in 2012 as a result of Cap and Tax:
  • A decline in Gross State Product of -$1,905,440,000.
  • Total Personal Income Loss of -$2,667,830,000.
  • Non-Farm Job losses of 23,910.
Contact your Senators today and tell them to VOTE NO on the Waxman-Markey Energy Tax.
Senator Jeff Sessions: (202) 224-4124
Senator Richard C. Shelby: (202) 224-5744

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Don't Read the Bills...Just Vote No


Posted by Todd Hollenbeck on Monday, August 10th, 2009, 4:17 PM PERMALINK


There has been a lot of heated debate about whether Senators and Congressmen should read the 1000+ page bills that are being proposed, most notably the health care and Cap and Trade bills. Protesters at town hall meetings are demanding their representatives read every page of the bill before voting for it.
 
This seems like a reasonable request, though many senators and congressmen have taken offense to the idea that they read these bills. Representative John Conyers didn’t know what the point was in reading it because he wouldn’t understand it anyway. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer laughed at the idea of reading the health-care bill saying, “If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes.” Representative Henry Waxman admitted he didn’t know the details of his own Cap and Trade bill. And Senator Arlen Specter said they couldn’t read the whole bill, because they have to “make adjustments very fast.” There is a simple solution to this issue, Senators and Congressmen don’t have to read the bill, just vote no.
 
It is a waste of everyone’s time to try to read 1000+ pages of a bill just to find out it is a bad bill. There is a handy, “cheat sheet” if you will, for every member of Congress to tell them whether or not they need to read any piece of legislation. It is called the U.S. Constitution. “What’s this U.S. Constitution you speak of?” A Senator or Congressman might ask. I’m glad you asked. It is a clever document written by some wise men in the late 1700s that tells the federal government exactly what they can and can’t do; some might even go as far as to say it is the “highest law in the land.”
 
My copy of the U.S. Constitution, which I got for free from the Cato Institute, is about 4 inches high by 3 inches wide, and including a Preface, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution with all Amendments, is 58 pages.
 
Article I of the U.S. Constitution lists the powers of the Legislative Branch and Amendment X of the Bill of Rights states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Basically, if it doesn’t explicitly say the federal government CAN do something that means it CAN’T.
 
Let’s practice. We will start with the Cap and Trade energy tax bill which was passed by the House a few weeks ago. No one could have possibly read this bill before it was passed, because an official copy didn’t even exists. No problem though, all they had to do was look in their trusty Constitution and see what it has to say. It does not have a section granting the United States the authority to regulate invisible gases. Ok, so now we look at the Amendments section…not there either. It’s not in the Constitution, therefore Congress can’t do it, so vote no.
 
On to Health care. This is a heated debate, so let’s consult the Constitution. Again, nothing in there about the government providing health care, health insurance, or anything else having to do with doctors or medicine. It’s not in there, so you don’t have to read the bill, just vote no.
 
This works with other bills as well. The Employee Free Forced Choice Act (EFCA) would allow the government to step into negotiations between Unions and Employers and arbitrate their contracts. The Constitution says nothing about the Federal Government arbitrating contracts between two private organizations. Vote no.
 
It is unfortunate that no one in the government had found their handy Constitution sooner. Does it allow them to use tax money to bailout banks? No. Does it allow them to use taxpayer money to buy auto companies? No. Does it allow them to “Stimulate” the economy by printing paper money out of thin air? No. It does allow them to borrow money, but it also says, “No state shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”
 
If reading the Constitution is still too much for the average Senator or Congressman, there is an even easier way to decide how to vote. All they have to do is consult one part of the Declaration of Independence, “[T]hat they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their Powers from the Consent of the Governed”(Emphasis mine).
 
Before voting for a bill they only need to ask two questions. First, will this bill deny anyone of their Life, Liberty, or Pursuit of Happiness? For example, if one person is forced to pay for the health insurance of another that is denying him of his Liberty to spend his money in the manner he chooses without coercion. Second, because the rights of government are derived from the rights of the governed, does the average citizen have a right to do what is proposed in the bill? For example, can Joe Sixpack down the street, go to his local factory and force them to reduce their carbon emissions? If he doesn’t have the right, how did the government derive their right from him?
 
This should help to simplify things and allow members of Congress more time to raise money for reelection campaigns, go to luaus at the White House, and enjoy all of the other perks of being in Congress.
 
Photo Credit: Mark via Picasa Web Albums

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Some Are More Equal Than Others


Posted by Todd Hollenbeck on Friday, August 7th, 2009, 3:21 PM PERMALINK


A new ad campaign is under way in the DC Metro system with posters featuring an 8 year old Florida girl asking “President Obama’s daughters get healthy school lunches. Why don’t I?” The easy answer is because Obama’s daughters go to a prestigious private school rather than a government-run public school.
 
The real question that should be asked is, “Why are government schools good enough for other people’s kids, but not his?” Earlier this year he and the Senatorial Democrats had a chance to help low income students escape failing DC public school, and they did not.
 
Back in March 2009, the Senate Republicans proposed an amendment to the $410 billion omnibus spending bill that would continue and expand the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. This Amendment was killed by the Democrats, ending the program.
 
In May 2009, President Obama set aside enough money in the budget to let the students currently enrolled in the program finish. How generous of him to not pull the rug out from under these kids, while his daughters attend private school. The compromise by Obama, however, does not allow any new students to enroll in the program and escape their failing public schools. This video from Reason.TV shows some of the people who are hurt by the actions the President and Senate.
 
These actions are typical of progressives like Obama and Senate Democrats. Costly and ineffective government programs are good enough for the common people, but not for the political elites. They are trying to force a health care plan on us in which they will not participate and they do not send their kids to the schools they claim are good enough for the rest of us. They have one standard for themselves and another standard for us. 
 

 

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Union Chief Facing Corruption Charges


Posted by Todd Hollenbeck on Thursday, August 6th, 2009, 9:45 AM PERMALINK


Just when you thought Unions (the people who brought you bankrupt auto industries, failing pensions, and organized crime) were starting to clean up their act, the Union Chief of the New York District Council of Carpenters and Joiners of America and nine others are facing corruption charges.
 
The 29 charges include “racketeering, bribery, fraud and perjury.” Bribes of about $1 million were paid to the men by contractors so they could pay workers below union scale, hire illegal immigrants and non-union workers, and skip contributions to the union’s benefit fund.
 
This is not the Union’s first brush with these types of accusations. In 1990, Manhattan prosecutors brought up similar charges in a civil racketeering lawsuit. The lawsuit led to a court appointed “corruption monitor,” which is still in place and as effective as most government appointed regulators.
 
 The Union’s “history of mob influence, labor racketeering and bribery” has not caused politicians to distant themselves. Just six weeks ago, Mayor Bloomberg released a press release that the union had endorsed him for a third term. At a recent Union event, Michael J. Forde, one of the men facing indictment, introduced the Mayor as their “endorsed candidate” and gave him a hug.
 
Another man included in the indictment is Association of Wall, Ceiling and Carpentry Industries of New York executive director Joseph Olivieri. Olivieri has strong ties to the Genovese crime family, according to the FBI and law enforcement officials. The indictment does make reference to the Genovense family, but as of now, they are not included in the indictment.  The investigation is ongoing.
 
Lev. L. Dassin, the acting United States attorney who announced the charges, said, “Instead of protecting the financial interests of union members and their families, corrupt union officials and the contractors who bribed them are charged with betraying the carpenters’ union and its benefit funds to enrich themselves.”
 
For more information, visit the AWF Union Transparency Page.
 
Photo Credit: Eugene Pivovarov

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Obama Care In About a Minute


Posted by Todd Hollenbeck on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009, 4:48 PM PERMALINK



ATR Urges Pressure on Likely Senate Cap-and-Trade Votes


Posted by Todd Hollenbeck on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009, 5:03 PM PERMALINK


A recent report from FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right details how the Senate is likely to vote on the Cap and Trade Climate Bill, aka “Cap and Tax” or “The National Energy Tax Bill.”  This bill will cost billions of dollars, destroy productivity, and cause many jobs to be lost or sent overseas.

 

The following are the Senators who are “Nearly Certain,” Extremely Likely,” “Highly Likely,” Likely,” and “Possibly Maybe” to Yes votes.

We need you to call the Senate Switchboard (202) 224-3121 and tell these Senators to Vote No on Cap and Trade.

More information on the devastating effects of Cap and Trade can be found here, here, here, and here.

 

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