Chris Christie: “I will veto any more income tax increases that come before me.”

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Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, January 19th, 2015, 4:45 PM PERMALINK

In his 2015 State of State Address, Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) reiterated his strong opposition to tax hikes in New Jersey. Since taking office 5 years ago, Democrats have passed income and business tax hikes that Gov. Christie has vetoed five times. Despite the state’s massive overspending problem and bloated pension liabilities, Christie has remained steadfast in rejecting Democrat efforts to raise taxes as a Band-Aid for those issues.

In his Address before the legislature last week, Christie mentioned taxes 22 times. Here are a number of excerpts:

"Now, I know that many of you in this room believe that income tax increases are the way to go. So yes, sometimes we will simply have to disagree.

I have vetoed four income tax increases passed by this body. And make no mistake… I will veto any more income tax increases that come before me.”

He continued, “And I will do it for one simple reason — the higher our taxes are, the fewer people and businesses will come to New Jersey and the more who will consider leaving. Raising taxes is the old Trenton way, and it didn’t work.

…“We will not win the fight to keep and create good paying jobs for our middle class families in New Jersey unless we lower taxes.”

…“And we know that the policies of lower taxes and less intrusive government have created higher economic growth and better paying jobs for our middle class.

Governor Chris Christie’s rejection of tax increases forced the legislature to work with him to reform the government in a number of ways. In 2011, Christie signed bipartisan pension reform that reduced costs by more than $120 billion over the next thirty years. Unfortunately, New Jersey’s pension crisis is a long-term problem that is still underfunded by $90 billion. 94 percent of the year-over-year growth of the 2014-2015 budgets went to public employee pensions, health benefits, and debt service payments.

Christie made mention of pensions 10 times in his State of the State Address. 

"Now, of all the long-term challenges we face, one of the largest and most immediate is our obligation to provide pension and health benefits for state and local employees.

This is not just a New Jersey problem. This is a national problem.

States across the country are struggling to fund critical programs because pension and health costs are eating up taxpayer dollars.”

Governor Christie is absolutely right. The state’s largest two problems remain a bloated pension system and an uncompetitive tax code that is forcing thousands of families and businesses to flee to other states.  In calling on the legislature to work with him to address both, Governor Christie has demonstrated that he understands issues not only important to New Jersey, but to states and localities nationally. 

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Obama Calls for $320 Billion in New Taxes

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Posted by Ryan Ellis on Saturday, January 17th, 2015, 10:59 PM PERMALINK

On Saturday night the White House leaked the major tax hike details of the president's upcoming budget. The common theme is higher taxes on savings and investment, totaling $320 billion over the next ten years.

"Democrats are demanding, yet again, tax increases on America. This never ends. When it comes to tax hikes Democrats are like a teenage boy on a prom date: they keep asking the same question different ways but always to the same point," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Here are the major tax increases in the President's upcoming budget:

​1. Capital Gains Rate Hike: raises capital gains and dividends tax rate from 23.8% today (20% plus 3.8% Obamacare surtax) to 28% (including the Obamacare surtax).

The capital gains tax has not been that high since President Clinton signed a rate cut in 1997.  

It would represent a massive hike in the rate since Obama took office. When he was sworn in, the rate was 15%. He proposes to nearly double it to 28% in the twilight of his administration.

2. Stealth increase in the death tax rate from 40% to nearly 60%.

Under current law, when you inherit an asset your basis in the asset is the higher of the fair market value at the time of death or the decedent's original basis. Almost always, the fair market value is higher.

Under the Obama proposal, when you inherit an asset your basis will simply be the decedent's original basis.

Example: Dad buys a house for $10,000.  He dies and leaves it to you. The fair market value on the date of death is $100,000. You sell it for $120,000. Under current law, you have a capital gain of $20,000 (sales price of $120,000 less step up in basis of $100,000). Under the Obama plan, you have a capital gain of $110,000 (sales price of $120,000 less original basis of $10,000).

There are exemptions for most households, but this misses the larger point: the whole reason we have step up in basis is because we have a death tax. If you are going to hold an estate liable for tax, you can't then hold the estate liable for tax again when the inheritor sells it. This adds yet another redundant layer of tax on savings and investment. It's a huge tax hike on family farms and small businesses.  

It's like a second death tax (the first one has a top tax rate of 40% and a standard deduction of $5.3 million/$10.6 million for surviving spouses). Conceivably, an accumulated capital gain could face a 40% death tax levy and then a 28% capital gains tax on what is left. Do the math, and that's an integrated federal tax of just under 60% on inherited capital gains.

3. "Bank Tax"

A new 7 basis point (0.07%) tax on the liabilities (not assets) of the 100 or so U.S. firms with assets over $50 billion. This will obviously be passed along to these firms' customers and employees, since businesses don't pay taxes--people do.

4. Tax Increase on Families Saving for College

Under current law, 529 plans work like Roth IRAs: you put money in, and the money grows tax-free for college. Distributions are tax-free provided they are to pay for college.

Under the Obama plan, earnings growth in a 529 plan would no longer be tax-free. Instead, earnings would face taxation upon withdrawal, even if the withdrawal is to pay for college. This was the law prior to 2001.

5. Tax Increases in Retirement Plans and a New Employer Mandate

There would be a new cap in the amount one could accumulate in the aggregate in all IRA and 401(k) type accounts of $3.4 million. After that, you can't save any more new dollars. The idea is that this is enough to secure a $210,000 annual distribution in retirement, which the government apparently deems "enough" for a retiree.

In addition, all employers with more than 10 workers and who do not have a 401(k) type plan would be mandated to set up payroll deduction Traditional IRAs for their employees. Also, part-time workers would have to be covered under retirement plans if they have been working someplace long enough. These two things are a new kind of employer mandate from Obama.

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How else will we be able to feed, clothe, cure, house and educate the millions of illegals soon to arrive here in America? Those future democrat voters have to be cared for by someone and Obama's current supporters are already on welfare. We can't take anything away from them, can we?

Raymond A. Nelson Jr.

You're a special kind of stupid aren't you? Take your ass to Mexico, Guatemala, Yemen, Somalia, or Africa illegally and see if you receive a work permit, resident/work visa, SSnumber, welfare, drivers license, or a free birth certificate.

Daniel Zaborowski

I myself am a Polish immigrant who had no vote in the decision to come here and who benefited greatly from the Deferred Action Plan. I pay my taxes, I work a legal job, I take no welfare from anybody safe the deferred action (which, in turn, makes me a productive member of society). I go to school and pay from my own savings. Yet strangely, I can't help but agree with all the libertarian principles and would rather vote Republican than Democrat even though this can be detrimental to my status. I think Obama is a criminal who helped me only by acting unconstitutionally and would never want to see a president like him in the Oval Office. I don't want to be the guy who says "not all immigrants are bad" but I hope that I am but a tiny speck of a large ocean of immigrants that, given a chance, would NOT vote democrat because they understand the long-term repercussions of that decision.

The Environmental Lobby’s Ludicrous Polls

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Posted by Chris Prandoni on Friday, January 16th, 2015, 10:41 AM PERMALINK

Over the past week, the environmental lobby released two polls claiming widespread support for President Obama’s costly, job-killing and downright dangerous environmental agenda. The problem is: the polling data is flawed—a gross misrepresentation of voter opinions formed into a patchwork that supports environmentalists’ extremist narrative, yet fails on the facts.

New data from Yale University and a poll released today from the Center for American Progress made questionable claims that caught our eye; claims that stand in stark contrast to what we hear time and again from American consumers: regulations that drive up energy costs are bad policy.

Yale’s poll doesn’t include a single question that references the effects of the president’s regulations, like higher costs and weakened reliability. One can only imagine that polling results would have been quite different if participants had full disclosure about the impacts of the Obama climate plan.

In addition, the data used consists of information collected over a three-year period.  A great deal can change in terms of how people feel about issues during such a lengthy timeframe. In the case of EPA regulations, they have taken a turn for the worst under the Obama Administration during this period, and Yale’s modeling felt a bit like an apples-to-oranges exercise to merge polls together and distill support when it is very likely those numbers have fluctuated.

The poll conducted by CAP concluded that overall, voters prefer energy policy that invests in renewables, rather than multiple low-cost fuel sources. However, as we know, Americans are in favor of policies that will keep their energy costs from soaring—something sure to happen should we shift reliance on resources like wind and solar.

And did we also mention that one of the polling firm’s research associates, Matt Lee-Ashley, is a CAP senior fellow? Curious.

On the other hand, a variety of polls conducted by groups whose constituencies have real skin in the game had very different outcomes. A poll conducted by the 60 Plus Association in September found that a majority of senior voters are concerned about energy costs rising under EPA’s regulations. With many seniors plagued by hefty finances from medical bills and assisted-living, implications of rising utilities are especially worrisome.

Likewise, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and National Black Chamber of Commerce polled Hispanic and African-American voters before November’s midterm elections. Unsurprisingly, the data revealed that these groups, whose families often rely more on energy assistance programs, are most concerned about the potential economic impacts of EPA’s proposed guidelines.

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Norquist Letter to Congress: Don't Raise the Gas Tax, instead...

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Posted by Chris Prandoni on Friday, January 16th, 2015, 10:29 AM PERMALINK

January 15, 2015

Dear Representative:

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and millions of taxpayers nationwide, I urge you to oppose any increases to federal gasoline taxes. Before even considering asking drivers to increase the $35 billion they annually pay in gas taxes, Congress should ensure that Highway Trust Fund (HTF) outlays are actually spent on roads and are not diminished through Davis-Bacon wage requirements.  If these reforms are implemented and the federal government still needs more money to build and repair roads, bridges, and highways, I urge you to consider dedicating repatriation revenue to the HTF.

Since 2008, the HTF has spent $55 billion more than it garnered from gas taxes. The HTF is supposed to be a user fee where drivers’ gas taxes fund the HTF and that money is reinvested in bridges and roads. In reality, billions of gas tax dollars are syphoned off to fund mass transit projects in major cities, bike paths, and things like squirrel sanctuaries.

Additionally, Davis-Bacon wage requirements reduce the federal government’s bang for its buck. According to the Davis-Bacon Act, federal construction contracts worth more than $2,000 must pay wages using data collected by the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor. The Joint Economic Committee found that wages paid under Davis-Bacon rules were 22 percent above market wages. This makes sense since an inspector general report found errors in 100 percent of wage reports examined. It also reduces the number of roads and highways the government can build and repair.

After these reforms have been implemented and if the HTF is still in need of more revenue, Congress should allow American companies to bring back, and pay a reduced tax rate on, capital currently stuck abroad.

There is likely well over $1 trillion in after-tax earnings sitting overseas today. Companies don't bring this money back to the U.S. because they would have to pay taxes on the difference between the U.S. corporate income tax rate (over 39 percent when states are included), and whatever rate they already paid overseas (the OECD average is just under 25 percent).  Repatriated earnings from an average developed country thus faces a 14 percent surtax when brought home to the United States.

Allowing companies to bring back this money at a reduced, reasonable rate would be a huge boon to the American economy and could bolster the HTF. In 2005, companies were allowed to bring after-tax overseas earnings back to the United States and face an IRS double-tax no higher than 5.25 percent.  With this positive incentive, about $320 billion was brought back, resulting in a pro-growth cash windfall to the Treasury of about $17 billion. This money could be earmarked to the HTF. This is an example of raising revenue without raising taxes, unlike a gas tax hike.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has said that average U.S. households will save about $550 on gasoline costs this year. Washington should not be looking to raid this reprieve in gas prices but should ensure that gas tax revenue is spent on roads and that American companies are allowed to bring back earnings abroad.


Grover Norquist


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Gavin St. Ours

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IRS Breaks Law, Refuses to Produce Tax Complexity Reports

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Thursday, January 15th, 2015, 2:10 PM PERMALINK

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In defiance of federal law, the Internal Revenue Service has failed to produce annual reports on ways to reduce tax complexity, the National Taxpayer Advocate said in its Annual Report to Congress released this week.

Under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, the agency is required to provide annual recommendations “for reducing the complexity of the administration of Federal tax laws; and for repeal or modification of any provision the Commissioner believes adds undue and unnecessary complexity to the administration of the Federal tax laws.”

But as noted by the National Taxpayer Advocate, the agency has not bothered to produce such a report since 2002. Only two such reports have ever been issued, in 2000 and 2002.

"The IRS has enough time to harass taxpayer groups and bully churches but not enough staff to produce the legally mandated annual report on how to improve their own performance,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "An unexamined life is a waste. An unexamined bureaucracy is a threat to taxpayers and all living things."

Each year, Americans spend six billion hours complying with the four million word Internal Revenue Code. As the NTA report states, “As the tax administrator, only the IRS has certain data about complexity, and its short reports [in 2000 and 2002] probably helped both the IRS and Congress to identify and address key problem areas."

But the IRS apparently can’t be bothered to compile the report. When asked by the NTA to explain themselves, the IRS said it would require “about two full time employees working for about a year” to produce the report. 

It is difficult to believe that the IRS, with 82,982 employees, cannot find two employees to carry out such important work. 

As the NTA points out, the IRS’s refusal to compile these reports is actually making their jobs harder:

“While the IRS would need to spend some resources to produce the complexity report, these costs pale in comparison to the costs of complexity. Moreover, if they prompt a reduction in tax complexity, the reports might ultimately help the IRS do its job and reduce the cost of administering the tax code.”

Perhaps if the agency wasn’t filling its days harassing tea party groups, taking junkets, making Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island parody videos, and charging Nerf footballs, kazoos, and $140 meals on agency credit cards, they could find the time to follow the law and make life easier for the American taxpayer.

The full NTA report may be accessed here.

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Eric Johnson

Increasing complexity is a good reason to increase the bureaucracy which means more supervisor and manager positions at higher pay levels. This report is threat to that bureaucratic delight.

Linus Upanother

The Obama regime is a criminal regime.

william russell

Hey all the irs has to do is get the 4.2 million in back taxes owed by sharpton, 10 million owe by buffett and collect back taxes of 4.3 billion owed by 328,000 federal employees working in back taxes. They would have enough in these three cases to hire a thousand employees. I would like to a congressional hearing and a list of all people who owe back taxes, how much for how long and what is being done in each case to collect.

IRS Watchdog: Elderly and Disabled Taxpayers Not Allowed to Leave Messages

Posted by ATR on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 4:42 PM PERMALINK

In its annual Report to Congress today, the office of the National Taxpayer Advocate outlined a series of Internal Revenue Service failures. In the “Access to the IRS” section, the report details the trouble taxpayers face reaching the right person in order to meet their tax obligations:

"The IRS does not answer the phone at local offices and has even removed the option it once provided for taxpayers, including the elderly and disabled, to leave a message.

Until 2013, taxpayers — including the elderly and disabled — were allowed to leave a voicemail requesting an in-person appointment. But now, elderly and disabled taxpayers attempting to navigate the automated helpline maze are asked to email the IRS to set up an appointment. The automated message instructs as follows:

“If you are disabled or elderly and require special accommodations for service, please email us at…"

But this leaves many taxpayers in the dark. As the report states:

"Demographic research data show only 57 percent of adults over age 65 use the Internet compared with 87 percent of all adults. According to 2010 Census data, only 41 percent of those with a non-severe disability use the Internet and only 22 percent of those with a severe disability age 65 and older use the Internet. For those without Internet access, the only viable ways to reach the IRS are by phone, or in person."

On its helplines, the IRS is required to provide taxpayers the option to speak with a live person. But as the report states, the IRS won’t even answer questions about what lines are considered helplines:

"TAS [Taxpayer Advocate Service] twice inquired of the IRS in a formal information request whether it considers the 3709 lines to be ‘helplines' for the purpose of § 3705(d) of RRA 98, which would require them to have an option to speak with a live person. TAS also asked what lines the IRS does consider to be helplines. Twice, the IRS declined to answer these questions."

The full report may be accessed here.

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If the government was put in charge of a desert, they'd manage to run out of sand.


The government is already in charge of the desert.

Problem is, the desert is now only open to illegal invaders crossing over the border into Kalifornia, Arabzona, New?Mexico and Tejas.


Welcome to the Hope and Change Progressive Plantation, Phucking the American people since January 2009.

The IRS' Bogus "Washington Monument Strategy"

Posted by ATR on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 12:49 PM PERMALINK

The IRS is employing scare tactics in their latest gambit to increase its taxpayer-funded budget. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has threatened delayed refunds, long call wait times, the specter of identity theft, and now, no-show days for IRS employees.

This is an old beltway bureaucrat trick. Popularly known as the “Washington Monument Strategy”, it involves bureaucracies weathering budget cuts by making changes in the most painful and transparent way. It harkens back to an old story about the National Park Service complying with a small budget cut by shutting down public tours of the Washington Monument.

“Koskinen is telling the world that he’s not competent and capable enough to manage the IRS with the budget that Congress gave him,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "He should apologize for taking a job he’s not ready for and step down and be replaced by somebody capable. 

The IRS itself was caught wasting time and effort running political interference for President Obama’s re-election campaign by attacking tea party organizations and others who disagreed with the President.  They were doing that rather than managing the IRS. There’s a long list of people who should have been fired for playing politics at the IRS. That will provide some of the savings right there.”

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Ivan Stroganov

This is exactly how the left thinks, artificially make it as painful as possible for the public to further your goals of increasing you budget. These are the people WE PAY for services. These are your public servants, but they sure as he!! don't act like it. Do you remember the signs closing the Vietnam Memorial, and the Park Service refusing access to the very people the Wall honors for their service to their country?

Retired vet

Frankly, Koskinen should be in a federal prison for obstruction and lying to Congress....


They should shuit down the IRS right during tax season when people need them the most. You people are losers thinking budget cuts do not cause cuts in service. Go back to mommie's basment losers.

No Need To Raise The Gas Tax

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Posted by Chris Prandoni on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, 5:22 PM PERMALINK

Since 2008, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) has spent $55 billion more than it takes in. This persistent overspending has caused some politicians to call for an increase in the gas tax. Before even considering increasing the gas tax, politicians should implement reforms to ensure that current gas tax revenue is spent efficiently. With hundreds of thousands of dollars of HTF outlays recently going to projects like squirrel sanctuaries and driving simulators, there is much work to be done.

2015 Projection of the Highway Trust Fund & Transit Accounts
Start-of-year balance: $3 billion
Revenue and interest: $39 billion
Outlays: $53 billion
Cumulative shortfall: -$10 billion
Spend gas tax revenue efficiently
Before the federal government asks drivers to hand over billions more in the form of a federal gas tax increase, elected officials should ensure that current HTF outlays are spent efficiently.
Trust fund revenues should be spent on roads, not bike paths or subways. In 2010, nearly 17 percent of all HTF outlays went to transit programs in six major cities:  Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Boston, D.C., and Philadelphia
Repeal the Davis-Bacon union handout: Due to the arcane Davis-Bacon law, federal construction contracts require the government to pay workers 22 percent above market wages
Other ways to fund the Highway Trust Fund
Dedicate revenue from new oil and gas development to the HTF: In 2011, Speaker Boehner proposed a plan that would authorize expanded oil and gas production, and used the revenue to supplement the gas tax in paying for infrastructure projects. Studies show that full development of America’s OCS could lead to $200 billion in government revenue that could be used to finance the HTF.
Devolve the trust fund to the states: The federal government should not in the business of building roads. States already collect gas taxes and should be responsible for maintain their infrastructure. Senators Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Graves (R-Ga.) in the House have introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act that almost entirely returns infrastructure maintenance to the states within five years. 
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Van Hollen's Liberal 'Action Plan' Is Nothing but Old Ideas and Failed Policies

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Monday, January 12th, 2015, 5:27 PM PERMALINK

Earlier today Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) outlined the latest House Democrat economic plan, which like previous proposals centers around a “massive transfer of wealth.” 

In fact, the supposed “stark shift in messaging” is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to promote the same economic policies that the left have continually pushed down the throats of American taxpayers.

The left needs to realize that it doesn’t matter how they say it - income redistribution and higher taxes are not new ideas. They have failed in the past and they will not help hardworking Americans reach their potential.

Just as President Obama said last October, policies of income redistribution were on the ballot in November and were soundly rejected by the American people.  Now, a recent poll found that voters want the Republican led Congress to set the national agenda, not the President.  This latest proposal proves that liberals are out of ideas and have resorted to recycling rejected policies. 

In contrast, conservatives have floated genuinely innovative ideas that would create more opportunity for the American people. One plan, proposed by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) would implement reforms to simplify the inefficient tax code by removing a range of outdated provisions to provide much needed relief to middle class families. Specifically, the plan would consolidate income tax rates into two brackets (15% and 35%) and eliminate many overly complex deductions. It would also encourage corporations to keep jobs in America by lowering the corporate tax rate to a more globally competitive rate.

If liberals are serious about helping the middle class they should follow the lead of reform conservatives and put forward their own new, innovative, pro-growth ideas instead of reusing failed policies that pick winners and losers. 

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If real tax reform were the goal, they should adopt the Fair Tax bill that is STILL sitting in Congress, or at least go with a flat tax. Fair Tax would eliminate the IRS and reduce the tax code to a few pages, as well as eliminating the need to file income tax returns. Who wouldn't want THAT!!

Peeping Obot

Forget it. You will never get these knuckleheads to give the taxpayer any kind of tax relief. It's to profitable for them

Most Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck During Obama Recovery

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Posted by Damien Salamacha on Friday, January 9th, 2015, 1:49 PM PERMALINK

While President Obama tries to convince the American people that the economy is back on track a new report indicates that a majority of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.  In Obama’s post-recession recovery, nearly 62% of Americans do not have emergency savings to cover unexpected expenses.  Faced with an emergency, Americans say they would raise the money by reducing spending elsewhere (26%), borrowing from family and/or friends (16%) or using credit cards (12%).

Additionally, homeowners and renters are finding it difficult to meet rising rents and mortgage payments.  Over half of Americans have had to make at least one major sacrifice to cover the cost of their rent or mortgage over the last three years.  Sacrifices that include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on medical care, going further into debt, or choosing to move to a cheaper, but less safe neighborhood.  

Oblivious to the circumstances of most Americans, President Obama speaking Wednesday in Detroit said, “As a country, we have every right to be proud of what we have got to show for that hard work,” Mr. Obama said. “America’s resurgence is real. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.” He later followed up by saying, “One of my new year’s resolutions is to make sure more Americans…feels like they’re coming back. And there is no doubt…that America is coming back.”

An immediate step the President can take to improve the economy and strengthen the middle-class is to sign legislation authorizing the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Unfortunately, President Obama has already threatened to veto such legislation.   Even President Obama’s State Department has concluded that “during construction, proposed Project spending would support approximately 42,100 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced), and approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States.”

Unfortunately, the President is too ideologically driven and disconnected from the middle-class to adopt policies such as Keystone which would have an immediate positive impact on the economy.  The House and Senate Republicans will send the Keystone legislation to the President, along with other measures to strengthen the middle-class and create jobs.  It is now up to the President whether he can work with Congress to strengthen the American economy.  

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Hey Grover, How come your not complaining about what's happening in Michigan, The republican tri fecta here wants to raise the sales tax 1%...I guess your biased....but then again they did lower the business tax 1.2 billion....guess how much they plan on raising with the sales tax increase....1.2 billion


People have been living paycheck to paycheck since the 80's.


Easier said than done!