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Will Upton

Daily Media Spotlight September 20, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Monday, September 20th, 2010, 4:00 PM PERMALINK

The National Journal asks “How To Put Businesses' Cash Reserves In Play? The Federal Reserve confirmed on Friday that corporate America is still quietly sitting on $1.8 trillion in unspent cash and assets.”  Grover Norquist responds: “Is this a trick question? Why would someone with $1.8 trillion or $1800 not want to invest in today’s economy? Several reasons: Barack Obama. Harry Reid. Nancy Pelosi. Barney Frank.”

ATR’s Chris Prandoni appears in The Daily Caller and offers us a great breakdown of the partisan proxy battle waged between Republicans and Democrats over the 1099 report requirements for small businesses and how that reflects the greater ideologies of both parties when it comes to taxes and the American economy. highlights Grover Norquist’s response to President Obama’s recent speech on the economy in Cleveland,Ohio: “After battering the American economy with overspending for almost two years, Obama has decided to fix everything –with more spending… In year one Obama, Reid and Pelsosi wasted trillions of taxpayers’ money and the economy lost jobs.  In year two, Obama, Reid and Pelosi have a new strategy … same as the old failed one … spend more of other people’s money.” Check out Grover’s full response and others here

From, the financial blogger The Mogambo Guru highlights “Cost of Government Day” adding that, “ ‘Just two years ago, Cost of Government Day fell an astonishing 34 days earlier,’ which is a tax increase of 17.3% in two years! …A lot of this is due to, as USA Today reported Aug. 10 and The Washington Times reminds us, that ‘federal pay and benefits per employee now average more than twice that of private workers: $123,049 compared to $61,051.’ …An interesting sidebar is that ‘Federal salaries outpaced inflation in the past decade by 33 percent.’ ”

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Daily Media Spotlight September 17, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Friday, September 17th, 2010, 1:39 PM PERMALINK

The Hill has the scoop on the new “Contract with America.”  When will the American people get to see it?  When the Democrats can’t keep them from seeing it, as Grover Norquist notes: “ ‘You don't want to do it too soon. If they are still in session, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid [D-Nev.] and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] can hold a vote the moment you are holding a press conference. This is one of those moments where if they do it past the session, then the Democrats can have no response…’ ”

Who wants to be on the House Appropriations Committee?  According to Jackie Kucinich writing in Roll Call: apparently no one.  Grover Norquist gives the reason why: “ ‘The fight next year is not going to be liberals versus conservatives, it’s going to be everybody versus the appropriators,’… Norquist said ATR will push the newly elected members of the 112th Congress to form a counter-appropriations panel and advocate for term limits on appropriators to prevent them from amassing too much power.”

More Democrat shenanigans: Quad-Cities Online points out to Congressman Phil Hare that recently called his and other Democrats’ attacks on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge “false,” noting that this could be, “…a prototype of future attack ads against any number of other Republican House members and candidates, most of whom have signed the anti-tax pledge in question.”  ATR has recently released an ad in Nevada exposing Congresswoman Dina Titus for making the same false attack as Congressman Hare.  Check it out here

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Daily Media Spotlight September 16, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Thursday, September 16th, 2010, 11:33 AM PERMALINK

Today in Politico, Americans for Tax Reform’s president Grover Norquist and director for state affairs Patrick Gleason argue that there is a coming energy tax debate on Capitol Hill, despite what some Democrats may say.  The bellwether of this debate is the Marcellus shale natural gas deposits in Pennsylvania.  Norquist and Gleason note:  “Keep an eye on the Pennsylvania Legislature in coming weeks. What happens there not only is likely to affect the midterm elections in this bellwether state but could provide clues to the coming energy debate on Capitol Hill.”

Grover Norquist appears in Newsmax and brings light to the problem of Obamacare and 1099 reporting.  The apparent fix to 1099 reporting proposed by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fl) in reality is no fix at all.  Nelson’s fix would repeal job creations measures for the nation’s leading oil companies.  Norquist concluded, “Repealing this job creating tax rule is an effective tax increase on an industry that indirectly or directly employs over 9 million workers and adds over a trillion dollars to the American economy.”

From the Business and Media Institute: “With Tax Hikes Soon, Cable News Uses 'Tax Cut' Phrasing 13 Times as Much.”  Despite a looming tax hike on January 1, 2011, the mainstream media continues to push the story as though the debate surrounds tax cuts. The article notes, “Primetime cable shows on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel have focused on the fight over “tax cuts” more than 13 times as often as they discussed it in terms of tax hikes.”

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Daily Media Spotlight September 15, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010, 4:39 PM PERMALINK

Grover Norquist appears in The Hill and answers the big question, “Should the GOP back middle-class tax cuts?”  He responds: “The Democrats are looking for an excuse, any excuse to avoid keeping their promise to keep the Obama tax hikes in January 2011 from hitting anyone who earns less than $250,000… Republicans should not give them any excuse to postpone—and never do—what they have refused to do every day of the year for three to four years now.”

Americans for Tax Reform’s own Mattie Corrao writes in The Daily Caller, “Feds’ next target: your cold medicine… Requiring a prescription for commonly-used cold medicines punishes cough sufferers for the illicit behavior of a few. With consumers already starting to feel the squeeze of increased costs under Obamacare, the FDA should be concerned with the impact of adding even more too health care costs.”

ATR blasts back at Nevada Democrat Dina Titus for running ads distorting the Taxpayer Protection pledge.  The Wall Street Journal notes: “Democrats say the attack is fair, since ending the tax break would be tantamount to raising taxes. But ATR officials say the charge is false, since the pledge states that ending tax credits is OK as long as the changes are balanced out with additional tax cuts to make the effect neutral.”

Ryan Ellis, director of tax policy at Americans for Tax Reform, appeared on CNBC to debate Capital Gains tax cuts with Michael Lind of the New America Foundation.  The video of their exchange can be found here.

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Daily Media Spotlight September 10, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Friday, September 10th, 2010, 3:07 PM PERMALINK

Limited Government goes global! Grover Norquist writes in the UK’s Guardian: “The Tea Party leadership are new faces. They are still learning how to channel their concerns into political victories… But for three days in London the secrets of the great US tax rebellion are being shared with activists from China and Britain, Korea and Canada – and enough dropped matches just might start something interesting.”

Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) still won’t back down from her distortions and blatantly false claims against her opponent, Republican Joe Heck. As Benjamin Spillman in The Las Vegas Review-Journal notes: “FactCheck[.org] also criticized as false a claim [by the Titus campaign] that signers of an anti-tax pledge from Americans for Tax Reform agreed to ‘tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.’ The pledge, signed by Heck, is a broad promise to keep taxes at or lower than current levels, and doesn't mention specific tax breaks, credits, incentives or jobs.”

Ed Driscoll, of Ed, appears in Pajamas Media and has some fun at the expense of California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown: “Jerry Brown promises to finally get California out of Vietnam War”.  As Driscoll notes, Brown recently told a crowd of California business leaders regarding the states fiscal quagmire: “I have a plan; I’ll tell you after the election.”

Democrats continue to smear the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and their Republican challengers.  The blog A Charging Elephant notes: “The Rick Larsen Campaign recently launched a new line of attack on John Koster by attempting to mislead voters about the actual meaning of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. This is not the first time Democrats have tried to misrepresent the meaning of the Pledge. During the special election in HI-01, the DCCC ran misleading attack ads against the Pledge. … responded by condemning the DCCC and agreeing that the ads were ‘blatantly false.’

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Daily Media Spotlight September 8, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010, 4:38 PM PERMALINK

In Politico’s “Arena”, Grover Norquist calls out President Obama on his failure to keep his tax pledge: “Barack Obama ran for president in 2008 with two key promises. He would never allow any tax hike on anyone earning less than $250,000 a year. And he would never spend an additional federal tax dollar without eliminating a dollar from existing spending… Needless to say, both promises were broken and broken hard. And repeatedly.”

Time runs with the story, “Net Neutrality: A New Flash Point for Foes of Big Government.”   Americans for Tax Reform’s own Kelly Cobb notes: “Managing traffic online, which is what Net neutrality would eliminate, is actually a very good thing. It equalizes everybody’s access to the Internet by ensuring the on ramp isn’t congested.”

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Daily Media Spotlight September 7, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010, 4:21 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform’s own Mattie Corrao appears in the opinion pages in The Washington Times with “Getting the drop on cough medicine.”  She notes: “The FDA has announced it will hold a hearing in September to discuss the safety of dextromethorphan, an ingredient in more than 100 common cough and cold medications. Absent any compelling evidence that abuse of the drug is widespread or growing, the FDA has decided what recreational use of cough medicines does exist is egregious enough to require redress.”

Chris Prandoni appears in The Daily Caller with a great piece on how Big Labor is lining up to support Barack Obama and the Democrats’ Big Government policies this election cycle: “Democratic members facing tough races will likely enlist Big Labor to drum up support and money for their campaigns...  Unions know their only chance to get theirs is during a lame duck session, when soon-to-be unemployed members of Congress must expiate for prior support.”

The American Spectator debunks the argument that the Tea Party exposes the strains in the GOP’s “Big Tent.”  As Grover Norquist puts it, “The pro-family, traditional-values conservatives are an important part of the "Leave Us Alone" coalition… The development of a national grassroots conservative activism grew out of a self-defensive response to threats from the Carter Administration to regulate Christian radio stations and remove the tax-exempt status of Christian private schools.”

The blog has some sharp commentary on the recent article “120 Days to Go Until the Largest Tax Hikes in History” by Americans for Tax Reform’s tax policy director Ryan Ellis.  The blog notes that not only have congressional Democrats punted on producing a budget this year, they still show no signs of trying to stop the January 1, 2011 tax increases. 

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Daily Media Spotlight September 3, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 3:56 PM PERMALINK

“How Do You Stop an Elephant Charging?” That’s the question asked by Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal.  According to Grover Norquist, the charging elephant seems like it will be pretty hard to stop as long as it stays on point, “The big issue, and people know this, is the explosion of federal spending that is damaging our economy and threatening our future.”

National Review Online has picked up the brewing tax battle raging in Pennslyvania’s gubernatorial race between Republican Tom Corbett and Democrat Dan Onorato.  “ ‘These candidates understand that tax hikes right now are lethal,’ said Madonna. ‘Onorato’s problem is that he wants to replace a Democrat [in Rendell] who’s job performance has plummeted and who has, almost weekly, called for tax hikes.’ ” brings us further coverage of the false attacks by Dina Titus on Joe Heck and the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.  It seems Titus has found a new “union” ally in smearing Heck, The American Federation of State, Federal and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), who release their own false attack ad costing nearly three-quarters of a million dollars – most likely paid for with union member dues – to run.

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Why was the Volcker Commission Constrained by Obama's Tax Pledge, but not the Simpson-Bowles?

Posted by Will Upton on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 1:41 PM PERMALINK

During his campaign, President Obama made a “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year.  White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said the pledge “didn’t come with caveats.”  

On March 25, 2009, Peter Orszag, the director of The Office of Management and Budget stated that the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, would be limited in their recommendations by President Obama’s “firm pledge”: 

DIRECTOR ORSZAG:With regard to the task force, the only constraints on its activities are that there will be no tax increases during 2009 or 2010, and the proposals should not raise taxes on American families making less than $250,000.

Despite saying new taxes were off the table with Paul Volker and the president’s Economic Recover Advisory Board, the White House has not held the Simpson-Bowles Debt Commission to the same standard. In an interview on Fox News Sunday, debt commission co-chairman Erskine Bowles had the following exchange with host Chris Wallace:

CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR:  Mr. Bowles, Barack Obama — I don't have to tell you — campaigned in 2008 for president on a flat pledge that he would not raise any taxes — not income taxes, not any taxes — on people making less than $250,000 a year. Do you feel bound by the president's pledge?

ERSKINE BOWLES, DEBT COMMISSION CO-CHAIRMAN:What I feel bound by is the president looked Senator Simpson and me in the eye and he said, everything is on the table.

Obama was first walking, and is now running away from his most famous pledge to taxpayers.  We’ve been discovering a no tax promise with a loophole becoming bigger than the promise.  Said Grover Norquiest.

Bowles also refused to rule out a Value-Added Tax. 

Did President Obama simply forget his tax pledge to the American people or is he making a play for political cover?  He seemed to remember it when instructing Paul Volcker and the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.  Maybe if the debt commission recommends a tax increase, he thinks he will not have to be accountable to his pledge not to raise taxes anymore.  

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Daily Media Spotlight September 2, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 1:01 PM PERMALINK

From Nevada News and Views: "ATR Comes Back Swinging at Dina ' Tax-Us'."  Democrats seem to be truly committed this election cycle to misleading the American people about what the Taxpayer Protection Pledge means.  Besides Dina Titus, Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.) and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin have made similar blatantly false attacks.  

Is Pennsylvania’s Democrat gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato suffering from short term memory loss?  According to WITF: “For months, Onorato has decried Republican Tom Corbett’s pledge not to raise taxes as a “gimmick” and a stunt. But starting last week, Onorato began flat-out promising not to raise revenues, if he becomes governor next year. During a Capitol press conference today, Onorato was blunt. ‘I don’t plan on raising taxes,’ he said.” highlights a recent International Policy Network study showing that the political talking point saying we should invest in “green jobs” is bunk.  Investing in “green jobs” is actually a terrible investment. The article notes: “ATR [Americans for Tax Reform] previously stated that ‘it is estimated that for every government mandated ‘green energy job' created, 2.2 jobs in the private sector were prevented from being created’.”

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