Passage of PROMESA Will Prevent Taxpayer Bailout of Puerto Rico


Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Thursday, May 19th, 2016, 2:00 PM PERMALINK


Puerto Rico recently defaulted on $400 million in debt and will soon default on another $2 billion. The island is $72 billion in the red, and has no realistic way to pay this back following a decade long recession and years of mismanagement.

This fiscal crisis will only get worse, and while this may seem like Puerto Rico’s problem alone, the island is a territory of the United States. That means that Congress has an obligation under Article IV, Section 3 of the constitution to act. Even absent this constitutional duty, the island’s 3.5 million residents are all U.S. citizens who can (and will) move to other parts of the country if the island's economy is left to collapse.

The way to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis is by passing the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). Yesterday, Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) introduced H.R. 5278, an updated version of the bill that ensures obligations under the Puerto Rican constitution are respected and makes certain that the oversight board has the authority necessary to enact comprehensive fiscal plans to address the years of mismanagement. Importantly, PROMESA addresses the fiscal crisis in a way that prevents a taxpayer bailout and does not retroactively grant the island super chapter 9 bankruptcy.

PROMESA creates an Oversight Board modeled off the success of the fiscal control board created for the District of Columbia in 1995. This independent board, of which a majority is appointed by Republican leaders in Congress, will make sure financial statements are produced, fiscal reforms are implemented, and budgets balanced to ensure Puerto Rico regains access to capital markets, and the island’s economy is stabilized for decades to come. 

PROMESA does not provide for a taxpayer-funded bailout. The legislation has ZERO budgetary impact. Even expenses associated with setting up and operating the Oversight Board are paid by Puerto Rico, not the federal government. If Congress fails to pass PROMESA they will be forced into a taxpayer funded bailout because the situation will become so unmanageable.

PROMESA does not grant Puerto Rico chapter 9 bankruptcy or “super-chapter 9.” The legislation does not amend federal bankruptcy law, and under this bill, it would not be possible for any state to claim this creates a precedent allowing a state to declare bankruptcy on their obligations.

Instead, PROMESA borrows several restructuring concepts from more than 100 years of bankruptcy precedent and law including an explicit “best interest of creditors” test that ensures private property rights are protected.

While this legislation addresses Puerto Rico’s immediate fiscal crisis in a responsible way, some have called for the need for pro-growth provisions to ensure strong, long-term economic growth. PROMESA contains some pro-growth provisions like minor minimum wage relief, more reforms in the future would be welcome to help encourage economic growth.

One impediment to economic growth is that Puerto Rico is treated as a foreign country for federal tax purposes. As a result, American companies face double taxation in Puerto Rico, yet foreign competitors operating in Puerto Rico do not. Allowing free flow of capital between Puerto Rico and the rest of the U.S. would spur investment, create more jobs, and increase wages for the territory. While the legislation does not directly address this, PROMESA does establish a Congressional growth task force that will recommend long-term, fiscal reforms.

The bottom line is that PROMESA addresses the Puerto Rico debt crisis in a responsible, pro-taxpayer way by avoiding a federal bailout, ensuring property rights are protected, and forcing San Juan to get its fiscal house back in order. Members of Congress should have no hesitation supporting this important legislation. 

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TKList

Let Puerto Rico file for bankruptcy and let Puerto Ricans live with the consequences of the decisions of the politicians that they elected over and over again.

Cancel_NPR

TKList ---- THAT is Exactly how it works in MY WORLD... You ( they ) don't get to fcku it up & then turn to someone else, hand them the paperwork, and tell THEM ( us ) to "fix" it...
SEND THE BILL TO PUERTO RICO'S MANAGING OFFICIALS WHO HAVE BEEN PRESIDING OVER THIS FCKU-UP...


ATR Congratulates Kentucky Primary Winners

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Posted by Alec DiFruscia on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, 2:36 PM PERMALINK


On behalf of Americans of Tax Reform, we would like to congratulate the following incumbents and candidates on their success in the Kentucky primary. Each has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to oppose higher taxes.

Incumbents

  •   Sen. Rand Paul
  •   Sen. Mitch McConnell*
  •   Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02)
  •   Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04)
  •   Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-05)
  •   Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06)
     

Candidates

  • James Comer (KY-01)


*Sen. McConnell was not up for reelection last night but has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge 

Photo Credit: 
hwicker

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Norquist Urges Tax Equity for Cannabis Dispensary Employers

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016, 12:47 PM PERMALINK


It's a basic principle of taxation that the code should not pick winners and losers or discriminate unfairly against certain classes of taxpayers. 

That principle is being violated today for a newly legalized industry--cannabis dispensaries.  Unlike any other business type in the country, these firms and these firms alone are not free to deduct "ordinary and necessary" business expenses like wages, equipment, and rent.

In an attempt to deny tax deductions connected to the illegal drug income of street dealers, Congress accidentally imposed a gross receipts tax on legal cannabis dispensaries a generation later.

At a press conference last week, ATR President Grover Norquist called for action to address this discrepancy. Norquist was joined by members of Congress including Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.)

This problem can be addressed by passing H.R. 1855 and S.987, the “Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2015,” sponsored by Congressman Blumenauer and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). ATR supports this legislation – it is good tax policy and should be cosponsored by all Members of Congress.

There is no reason why the tax code should deny business expenses to legitimate businesses established under state law. The result is an arbitrary and punitive situation where legal employers face very high average effective tax rates that Congress never sought to impose on businesses.

 

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malcolmkyle

Prohibition has finally run its course; the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, users and non-users worldwide, have been destroyed or severely disrupted; many countries that were once shining beacons of liberty and prosperity have, through scientific ignorance and blind political fanaticism, become repressive smoldering heaps of toxic hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency. It is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists should not be allowed to remain untainted or untouched by the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow human beings. They have provided us with neither safe communities nor safe streets. We should provide them with neither a safe haven to enjoy their ill-gotten gains nor the liberty to repeat such a similar atrocity.

familyguy

Well said!


ATR Supports Separation of Powers Restoration Act

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016, 9:00 AM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist today expressed support for H.R. 4768 and S. 2724, The Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA), legislation introduced by Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). 

This important legislation ends the needless deference to unelected bureaucrats established by the Supreme Court under the Chevron ruling and reasserts basic constitutional rights to separated powers and judicial review.

The full letter can be found below or by clicking here.

Dear Congressman Ratcliffe and Senator Hatch,

I write in support of H.R. 4768 and S. 2724, The Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA), legislation to rein in federal agencies and unelected bureaucrats.

As you know, when Congress writes vague or ambiguous laws, courts are required to defer to an executive branch’s interpretation of such law. This was established by the Supreme Court’s 1984 ruling in Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council.

Over time, this has allowed federal bureaucrats to interpret statutes with broad leeway. Because the courts generally defer to their interpretation, it essentially gives regulatory agencies legislative, executive, and judicial authority over laws at the expense of the American people and democratically elected members of Congress.

SOPRA addresses this issue by requiring courts to conduct a “de novo” review of all relevant questions of law, instead of leaving this interpretation up to federal bureaucrats.

For the past seven years, the Obama administration has run riot, ignoring Congress and the will of the people again and again. Bureaucrats have continually made up the rules as they go along when it comes to implementing and interpreting laws, with little or no consequence.

SOPRA will end this needless deference to federal regulators, reassert Congressional responsibility over federal law, and ensure Americans maintain their basic constitutional rights to separated powers and judicial review.

As such, all members of Congress should have no hesitation supporting and co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform

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Congress Should Block Obama's Last Minute Regulatory Flurry

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016, 8:00 AM PERMALINK


For the past seven years, the Obama administration has run riot, implementing countless regulations that cost taxpayers billions of dollars and created burdens for families, small business, and corporations alike. 

According to the American Action Forum, in the first half of this year the administration has proposed or finalized regulations totaling more than $85 billion in total costs, in addition to 44 million paperwork burden hours.

Given this flurry of regulatory activity, Congress should pass H.R. 4956, the End Executive Overreach Act, legislation introduced by Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.). to halt the implementation of countless regulations that the administration is trying to complete before leaving office. ATR President Grover Norquist recently sent a letter in support of Rep. Price's legislation.

Immediately after passage, the End Executive Overreach Act would defund new regulations by eliminating access to any federal funds, fees, or other resources used for implementation. The legislation would also prohibit the administration from proposing any new executive orders or agency rules until President Obama is out of office on January 21, 2017. As a result, passage of this legislation would stop many damaging regulations from being implemented including:

DoL Fiduciary Rule: In April, the Department of Labor released the final fiduciary rule, a regulation spanning more than a thousand pages that will curtail the ability of financial advisors to give advice to IRA and 401(k) holders. It is estimated that the rule will result in 7 million IRA holders being priced out of investment advice and between 300,000 and 400,000 fewer IRAs will be opened every year as a result of the rule. All told, this regulation could mean more than $80 billion in lost savings.

Treasury Debt-Equity Regulations: Proposed under section 385 of the tax code, the debt-equity regulation grants the administration the authority to reclassify debt as equity for federal tax purposes. This regulation will likely affect every American business operating overseas and may have a chilling effect on investment.  Implementing such a broadly encompassing regulation will cut off commonly used business management practices and make it even more difficult for American businesses to compete in the global economy.

EPA Ozone Rule: Last year the EPA lowered the compliant level of ozone under the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) from 75 to 70 parts per billion (ppb). The EPA’s own estimates show the tightened regulation would cost $1.4 billion annually with little projected environmental benefits. The lowered standard comes as states are still working to implement the EPA’s 2008 ozone standard of 75 ppb, which was just released in 2015, a delay of almost seven years. Once fully implemented, this new ozone standard will result in a significant economic burden to states and local communities and will see increased compliance issues and costs under the existing ozone regulation.  

It is time Congress reasserts its power as a co-equal branch of government. Passing the End Executive Overreach Act will block the implementation of many damaging Obama regulations and should be supported by all members of Congress. ​

 

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Tax Reform Should Promote Competition, Fairness, Equity, and Growth

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016, 7:00 AM PERMALINK


While there is consensus that the existing tax code is unacceptable, there remains disagreement about what the new product should look like. 

ATR today released its views on tax reform. Broadly, tax reform should promote three principles:

  • Make America Competitive Again
  • Promote fairness and simplicity
  • Promote economic growth

 

First, tax reform must ensure that businesses of all sizes can compete. As the rest of the world aggressively updates their tax codes to compete in the global economy, the U.S. code remains unchanged, forcing American businesses to invert or be acquired by foreign competitors. Tax reform must fix this competitiveness problem and stop needlessly punishing American business to the benefit of our foreign competitors.

Second, tax reform ought to create a code that is equitable and simple. In its current form, the tax code is too complex for families and small businesses and unfairly places burdensome compliance costs on those least equipped to deal with it.

Third, tax reform must promote economic growth and encourage innovation. The status quo of stagnant growth is unacceptable, and tax reform should ensure that anti-growth provisions are swept away and replaced with a system that drives job creation and higher wages.

Beyond these three principles, there are specific provisions in the code that tax reform should change or remove, and others that must not be added. Priorities should include:

  • Reduce business tax rates
  • Move to a territorial system of taxation
  • Tax all businesses equitably
  • No carbon tax
  • Full business expensing
  • Repeal or reduce the capital gains tax
  • Encourage tax-preferred savings accounts
  • Repeal the Death Tax
  • No government run tax preparation
  • Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax
  • No VAT
  • Repeal Obamacare Tax Hikes

 

To read more, click here. 

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Steve Godenich

Edgar Feige's Automatic Payment Transaction (APT) tax accomplishes the above and more. See 2012 FRBNY Intraday Liquidity Flows and usgovernmentspending.com for more recent data to verify that even lower tax rates are possible in 2016 from increased flows since 1996. Combine it with a wealth tax of 1% to discourage hording by the idle and further reduce the APT tax rate,... say .000625/counterparty on 2015 flows of $4300tn and 1% on 2009 assets of $188tn to meet 2016 government expenditures of $7.3tn. Adjust according to liquidity flows and asset valuations. I would add the stipulation of keeping debt/gdp < 50% unless Congress declared a full-fledged, all out war which nobody would like.

Sensible Centrist

Most of these recommendations for tax reform make good sense, but two are divorced from reality. First, a revenue-neutral carbon tax would be far more efficient at reducing emissions than regulation, thus saving consumers dollars. Second, if it is revenue neutral, it offers the revenue source to pay for tax reform. Third. it won't hurt the poor, as claimed, if a portion of it is redirected as a lump sum rebate. Indeed, the poor end up better off. And it would end up being pro-growth, because if designed to encourage and incentivize global adoption with a border adjustment, the US ends up winning as we have the lowest carbon energy sources. Plus, it removes the indirect subsidy on fossil fuels which currently don't pay for their external costs. As to the second, a VAT would make excellent sense if also revenue neutral or used to reduce taxes on income. It incentivizes exports as they are exempted. Without it our exporters are at a competitive disadvantage. And, contrary to what is stated, it typically does appear on consumer invoices, so consumers do know what they are paying. It has to because tourists get most of it refunded when they leave the country with goods purchased. Have you never been to Europe and gone shopping?


Hillary Clinton: At War with Affordable and Reliable Energy

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Posted by Bradley Wyatt on Monday, May 16th, 2016, 11:13 AM PERMALINK


The 2016 Presidential campaign is one unlike any before and we are certainly witnessing the change of the Democratic electorate. With presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) brining a new form of “outsider” energy to the DNC, Hillary Clinton is certainly facing much adversity on a large number of her stances from both Republican and Democrat voters. Clinton has yet to realize that some of her attacks, such as her recent attacks on hydraulic fracturing and coal miners, are not simply attacks on a small portion of voters, but affect a large number of the electorate.

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” has helped millions of Americans by bringing much need economic growth, lower energy prices for middle-class families, and jobs. Hillary Clinton, Obama and his army of EPA bureaucrats, have certainly made many attempts to over-regulate the production and distribution of affordable and reliable energy.

Fracking has increased economic opportunity for many people, especially those in key swing states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, where fracking supports well over 250,000 jobs. Clinton has neglected the interests of these states, recently stating that once she begins regulating, “I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue.” Her anti-energy policies are now showing through as she’s deadlocked with Donald Trump in both states.

Along with trashing the fracking, she has also put down the coal mining industry. Hillary Clinton is on the record “vowing to put coal miners...out of business.” Clinton is now illustrating that she has no regard for the middle-class with reckless statements such as this. With Obama and Clinton already teaming up on their infamous “carbon rule,” a Clinton White House would only be a continuation of Obama’s reckless, job-destroying, agenda.

With the continuation of attacks on affordable and reliable energy from Clinton, Obama, and unelected Bureaucrats, many may wonder how the electorate would respond.  According to NBC, Clinton received merely 86,354 votes on Tuesday’s loss to Senator Bernie Sanders in West Virginia. Based off records from the 2008 Clinton campaign, that is an outstanding 65% drop in support for Hillary Clinton. 

Voters are starting to realize that Clinton’s disrespect and total disregard for the energy will leave serious economic problems behind. For low to middle income families, Clinton’s outlandish proposals on energy would leave little to no disposable income with an increase of energy cost and the loss of thousands of jobs.

 

Photo credit: Marc Nozell

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ATR Recognizes Kentucky Pledge Signers Ahead of Tuesday's Congressional Primary

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Posted by Alec DiFruscia on Monday, May 16th, 2016, 10:58 AM PERMALINK


Today, Americans for Tax Reform recognizes the Kentucky incumbents and candidates who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people ahead of Tuesday’s primary. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents and the American public to oppose tax hikes.

Incumbents:

  •   Sen. Rand Paul
  •   Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02)
  •   Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04)
  •   Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-05)
  •   Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06)

 

Candidates: 

  •   Jamie Comer
  •   Jason Batts
  •   Mike Pape
Photo Credit: 
Brock Whittaker Photography

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Trump Takes a Stand Against a Carbon Tax

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Friday, May 13th, 2016, 5:17 PM PERMALINK


Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump today took to twitter to make it clear that under no circumstances would he support a carbon tax. Trump’s move to disavow a carbon tax comes as some clueless state and federal lawmakers and far left energy advocates have made the case for a carbon tax this year. 

Trump’s opposition to a carbon tax shows that he is well aware of just how economically disastrous such a tax would be for the country. The imposition of a carbon tax would not only impact the competitiveness of the U.S. economy, but also would drive up energy prices, inevitably leading to higher consumers costs and reduce the household income of millions of American families. 

For the U.S. economy as a whole, projections show a carbon tax would lead to a drop in U.S. GDP of at least $146 billion by the year 2030, impacting both investment and labor. It is projected that over a 3-year span after enactment, over 400,000 jobs would be lost, with losses reaching more than a million jobs by 2030. 

The impact of a carbon tax on energy costs would ripple throughout the economy, with energy prices estimated to see cost increases of 20 to 30 percent.

The resulting increase in energy costs would be wholly regressive, impacting the nation’s most vulnerable. Low to middle income families, who spend a larger portion of their income on energy, would be disproportionately impacted as more and more of their household budget is consumed by rising energy costs.

These same families would be doubly impacted by a carbon tax due to the fact that resulting increases in the costs of energy would also drive up the price of consumer goods, further depleting the disposable income of millions of Americans.

Clearly Trump has done his homework on the carbon tax, and realizes it would be a huuuuuge mistake and terrible deal for the American people.

 

Photo credit:  Ed Ouimette

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GoddessLilith

Thank you.... have been following for years this issue since it's original name Rio and not the new Parisagreement signed this past earthday.

Climate charge is more like it not change. They are using the basis of such not to fund back nature but to allocate funds to fund NWO. If you follow the money and leave the science out of it and read the parisagreement, specifically the goals 5.6 and 3.1, outlines many unconstitutional matters of our freedom. Limited by the people, but government control. Which will have clear means to take property, limit births and force in areas to live limited of freedom by law of climate. There are additional restrictions, cost of funds come from consumers at the end. The poor will hurt the worst, forcing as we see in areas. Harvard did a study back in 2008, over 2.00 more on a kilowatt and gas increase of .80 per gallon. That was 2008. Increase cost limits use and affordable mobility, it reduces middle class to poor, forcing most to Live in areas of Subsidized development buildings, losing homes, cannot afford a car, have to be forced into areas of public transportation. Many will die. 70 to 100,000 births is the goal to survival. 3.1 goal outlines. Rio Agenda21 hence Paris agreement was written as not a treaty since congress both sides would never approve it back in 2008 rio. New world order posses as this is for the climate change, but it is not. They have placed matters of beyond climate change in the agreement. . Nothing going back to the climate, trillion dollars agreed to united nations signed by Obama this past earth day, was and will be deemed unconstitutional, executive power. Trust that. It was rushed , and when did you ever see over 197 countries agree on anything. If you read the agreement and the agreements stated you will be furious that it is a manor to raise not only control but monies for government with allocation not back into nature at all, but funds from each country to increase spending. Our foods will be gmo modified for mass, and demands on vaccines increased each year, we the test rats, the nature will have less chemical but we will be losing so many since our immune systems each different will and have increased deaths, cancers,and beyond our children government owned until age 5 forced vaccines that have beyond shown to many again each different immune system, harm. I lost my son to food allergies 7 years old. I have beyond seek truth, into all areas to help the next. He was 7, now an angel, by food. It is what our immune system combined in mass can handle by vaccines and food gmo and environmental chemical spraying such as roundup, to be forced by government to for loss of life, is not an option. God bless all. I support no climate charge by the facts of human life. Nature has survived but what we have overlooked is nature regardless of our help will evolve, space air and our sun has been not growing, I watch and pay much attention to space weather activities the earth quacks being results. Our Corona hold is perfect, this is more than what is being said. Chemical spraying al gore admitten it, again more chemical are killing our bees amd many marine life, when men alters nature results are more harmful. Mother earth will be here, but our children deserve a life.


KY-01: Comer, Pape, and Batts Promise Never to Raise Taxes

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Posted by Adam Radman, Alec DiFruscia on Friday, May 13th, 2016, 3:21 PM PERMALINK


Three of the four candidates in Tuesday’s Republican primary in Kentucky’s First Congressional District have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Kentucky taxpayers. The Pledge is a written commitment to the constituents of the First Congressional district and to all Americans to oppose higher taxes. Former Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Congressional Aide Mike Pape, and Hickman County Attorney Jason Batts are all competing for the seat being vacated by the retiring Rep. Ed Whitfield.

The three gentlemen have all had distinguished careers in public service. James Cormer served twelve years as a state representative, safeguarding the taxpayers from greedy politicians in Frankfort. Mike Pape has worked in this congressional district for over twenty years and knows the needs and the challenges facing the constituents. Jason Batts serves as Hickman County Attorney, where he ensures the Constitution is upheld, in addition to his service as Judge Advocate in the Army Reserves.

“The American people are tired of the tax-and-spend policies coming from Washington and they are looking for solutions that create jobs, cut government spending, and get the economy going again. Signing the Pledge is the first step in that process.”

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge has been offered to every candidate for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 218 Congressmen and 48 Senators have signed the Pledge.

“We are ecstatic about Cormer’s, Pape’s, and Batts’ commitment to the taxpayers of Kentucky. I challenge all candidates to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” continued Norquist.

Cormer, Pape, and Batts will face off in the Kentucky Primary on Tuesday, May 17th. 

Photo Credit: 
Gage Skidmore, Mike Pape, Jason Batts

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Michael Adams

James Comer routinely broke his ATR No-Tax Pledge. He calls it "stepping up to the plate." What good is ATR's No-Tax Pledge if ATR ignores it when the person making the pledge breaks the pledge? http://goo.gl/JZk6a6

richardsloat

Does the Taxpayers protection pledge actually work in our real world? Where is the shrunken Government that could be drowned in a bathtub that Norquist promised us. Do we have smaller government or more debt? A no brainer, unless politicians are willing to cut government expenses, no new taxes forever may sound wonderful but only means more debt for us all and our children! That is our real world!

My political satire, entitled "Taking the Tea Party Republican Tax Pledge", is on YouTube. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...


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