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Grover Norquist Appears on Bloomberg TV's "Street Smart"

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 5:26 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist appeared on Bloomberg TV’s “Street Smart,” hosted by Matt Miller, where he discussed Americans renouncing their U.S. citizenships in response to a harsh new tax law. An excerpt of his comments is below:

Two things happened. One is we have the worldwide tax system, so that when an American works overseas, they pay over there and here. Second, we have higher rates than everybody else, on the corporate level, and even sometimes on the individual level. So, it wasn’t quite so bad when we had lower corporate taxes and lower personal taxes- 28%, under Reagan- but now it’s become a bigger problem. 

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Gage Skidmore

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Seven State Ballot Measures to Watch on Tuesday

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Posted by Will Upton on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 4:56 PM PERMALINK


There are seven major state ballot tax fights that will be decided next Tuesday. Americans for Tax Reform has highlighted each of these ballot measures individually, but below, you can find a brief summary of each of the seven as well as a link to a more in depth description.

Massachusetts – Question 1 “Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing”: An initiated state statute, Question 1 could repeal a law passed this past legislative session indexing the Massachusetts state gas tax to inflation – eliminating a vote-less backdoor tax hike on taxpayers. For more information, click here.  

Washington State – Advisory Question 8: A non-binding advisory question, the ballot measure deals with the state’s recently legalized marijuana industry, specifically, the state legislature’s decision to deem the industry non-agricultural – exposing consumers to a higher tax burden than they would have with other agricultural products. All-in-all, consumers will face a $24.9 million tax increase over the next decade. For more information, click here.

Tennessee – Amendment 3 “No State Income Tax Amendment”: Tennessee Amendment 3 is a legislatively referred ballot measure that would prohibit the state government and local governments from instituting a state or local income tax. The passage of Amendment 3 would enshrine Tennessee’s position as a no-income tax state in the state constitution and require a much greater threshold to enact a state income tax. For more information, click here.

Nevada – Question 3 “The Education Initiative”: Despite the innocuous sounding name, Nevada’s Question 3 would implement a new 2% "margin tax" on businesses operating in the state of Nevada. The revenue from the new tax would be granted to the state’s public school districts. The Question was placed on the ballot via indirect initiative, meaning that a public petition was circulated and then sent to the legislature for approval to be placed on the ballot. For more information, click here.

Wisconsin – Question 1 “Creation of a Transportation Fund”: This legislatively referred constitutional amendment would legally dedicate revenues generated by use of the state transportation system, namely the state gas tax, to be used only for funding Wisconsin’s transportation system. Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin’s legislature has raided the state’s transportation fund to the tune of $1.4 billion. For more information, click here.

Illinois – Advisory Question “Millionaire Tax Increase for Education Question”: In Illinois, Advisory Questions can be placed on the ballot to gauge public opinion on potential legislation – although the ballot result is non-binding. In this specific case, voters are being asked whether they would support the legislature enacting an additional three percent tax on income greater than $1 million for the purpose of granting school districts additional revenue. This past legislative session, a “Millionaire” Tax bill failed to gain the necessary votes in the Illinois legislature. For more information, click here.

Georgia – Amendment A “To prohibit an increase in the state income tax rate in effect January 1, 2015 (Senate Resolution 415)”: The ballot measure is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment that would cap the state income tax at the effective rate on January 1, 2015. This would mean that the state legislature would be constitutionally prohibited from increasing the state income tax rate any higher. For more information, click here.

Americans for Tax Reform’s President, Grover Norquist, and State Affairs Manager William Upton recently released a podcast discussing these ballot measures here.

 

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Clearly Contrasting Choices in Florida Governor’s Race: Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

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Posted by Paul Blair on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 1:50 PM PERMALINK


On Tuesday, November 4th, Florida will host what looks like a nail-biter of a gubernatorial election. Republican Governor Rick Scott is running for reelection against Democrat Charlie Crist. Nearly every available poll has this race tied and the results of the race may have a huge impact on Sunshine State taxpayers.

The records of the two candidates could not provide a more clear choice when it comes to taxes, unemployment, job growth, and the overall economy.

When Charlie Crist took office as governor in 2006, unemployment was at 3.5%, he had made a written commitment to oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes, and he was a Republican. When he left office, Florida had lost more than 830,000 jobs, unemployment had risen to 11.1%, he had signed more than $2 billion in higher taxes into law, he had embraced President Obama's Stimulus package, and he was no longer a Republican

When Rick Scott took office as governor in 2010, he inherited this mess.

He governed as he promised too, however, cutting taxes, reining in spending, and bringing Florida back from the brink of disaster. As a result, more than 600,000 jobs have been created and unemployment has fallen to 6.1%, the lowest it has been since June of 2008. Florida also had a $1.2 billion surplus this year and Scott has signed over $2 billion in tax cuts into law. This includes 24 individual tax and fees cuts up through 2014 and $400 million in cuts this year

Both Rick Scott and Charlie Crist signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Florida voters when they ran for governor in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Crist, however, broke his personal written commitment, by signing more than $2 billion in higher taxes and fees into law. 

When he couldn’t convince voters to nominate him as a Republican during the 2010 Senate primary, Crist solidified his evolution as Democrat by switching parties. If elected Governor this November, Crist has not ruled out raising taxes again. When asked, Crist said he would raise taxes, “if necessary.” Translation: “I will raise taxes as soon as I can, again.”

Governor Rick Scott, on the other hand, promises to continue his legacy of letting taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned money. If re-elected Scott has promised to cut taxes by another $1 billion by curbing property tax growth, eliminating the business income tax, and reducing communication services sales taxes.

The choices are clear. Rick Scott has a record of creating jobs, reforming government, and cutting taxes. Charlie Crist is an Obama Democrat who doesn’t understand that the Great Recovery in Florida wasn't a coincidence. Crist will raise taxes and can’t be trusted to manage what will soon become the third most-populous state in the country. 

Click here to read Governor Rick Scott's second term tax cut plan. 

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Chris

Just in the past 2 years, the republican party has lost 2% of their
voters and the democrat party has lost 4%, at the same time the
Libertarian party has gained an extra 12%. That's the national average,
here in Florida, the Libertarian party has grown by 19%. People are
waking up! It's about time.
.Vote for Adrian Wyllie.


Grover Norquist to Appear on Yahoo's Election Night Special

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 12:08 PM PERMALINK


As Dylan Byers wrote in Politico, Grover Norquist will appear on Yahoo’s special coverage of the midterm elections, hosted by David Gregory.

The midterm special will be a one-time appearance for Gregory, though he may be eyeing a longer-term deal with the digital news site. Gregory will appear will Yahoo’s Couric and Matt Bai, as well as POLITICO’s Mike Allen and Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist.

Americans for Tax Reform director of state affairs, Patrick Gleason, wrote an op-ed for Forbes with updates on campaign battles in Wisconsin and North Carolina.

Prior to passage of the historic tax reform act that Speaker Tillis shepherded through the state legislature last year, North Carolina had one of the worst business tax climates in the country, ranking 44th out of 50 on the Tax Foundation index. Thanks to the 2013 North Carolina tax reform- which took the top personal income tax rate from 7.75 percent to 5.8 percent and brought the corporate rate from 6.9 to 6.0 percent- North Carolina has rocketed from 44th to 16th best business tax climate.

Josh Peterson of Watchdog.com wrote an article regarding the political battle over rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.

Republican Party luminaries, such as anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, have wasted little time trying to use Uber’s local regulatory battles as an opportunitiy to reach younger and more tech-savvy voters.  

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Grover Norquist Show: Permanent Internet Tax Moratorium Strangled by Internet Sales Tax?

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Posted by Cassandra Carroll on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, 3:42 PM PERMALINK


Since 1998, the Internet Tax Freedom Act, called the Internet Tax Moratorium in law, has prevented states and localities from imposing taxes on Internet access that create barriers to Internet adoption and innovation.

On the Grover Norquist Show, Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and Katie McAuliffe of Digital Liberty discussed the importance of permanently banning Internet access taxes rather than a neutered act with a torn ACL.

The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, PITFA, permanently bans Internet access taxes and removes the taxes on access that are already in place.

The lame bill is known as MITFA; a combination of Internet sales tax legislation, the Marketplace Fairness Act, and an Internet Tax Moratorium that is not permanent and allows taxes on access to continue.

Norquist and McAuliffe highlighted the December 11th expiration of the Internet Tax Moratorium and the devious, post-election MITFA lame duck scheme. 

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Philip Ingham

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Democrats Grow Tired of President Obama

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Monday, October 27th, 2014, 3:48 PM PERMALINK


A New York Times article today detailed a change of heart for the “hope and change” fanatics of 2008, specifically that liberals are finally beginning to tire of President Obama.

The article, written by Jonathan Martin and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, writes:

Bracing for a difficult election in just over a week, when they could lose control of the Senate, Democrats exasperated with the White House are already moving to pin blame on President Obama…

Who can blame them? In the easiest game ever of “pin the failure on the donkey,” there’s no shortage of fodder to exhaust Democrats with the President’s performance.

This past year alone, the country’s been victim to a mismanaged IRS targeting scandal, a crippling taxpayer burden in the form of Obamacare, empty threats to ISIS and now a poorly handled Ebola response.

The President seems desperate for the spotlight, as he’s said that while he may not be on the ballot (what a shame,) his policies are. This rhetoric doesn’t sit well with campaign operatives.

Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist, said he was puzzled over how a president who so appreciates the power of words could have been so careless.

“This is Politics 101: Always make it about the voters, not about yourself,” Mr. Begala said. “I don’t understand it. It was an unforced error at a time we can ill afford them.”

This sentiment isn’t restricted just to Democrats, however. Earlier this month, an ABC News/Washington Post poll pegged the President’s approval at the lowest point since he’s been in office.

As this plays out on the campaign trail, Democratic candidates are running away full speed from the outstretched arms of the White House, who appears to be more of a hindrance than help. In Maryland, exasperated voters got up and left the arena while the President spoke.

The Times article continues,

Yet at times, Mr. Obama’s actions and those of his political team have seemed off key to the point of damaging to fellow Democrats. Many of them cringed this month when the first lady, Michelle Obama, traveled to Iowa to campaign for Bruce Braley, a Democratic candidate for the Senate, in one of the nation’s closest races and referred to him repeatedly as “Bruce Bailey.” She returned to the state on Tuesday and joked about the mistake, but when the White House distributed the transcript of her remarks, it referred to Mr. Braley as a candidate for governor.

While supporting President Obama was once cool and trendy, the fad seems to have dissipated as voters, candidates and operatives alike now realize the bad bill of goods they were sold. As the President meets a dead end on the campaign trail, perhaps he can find his way back to the White House and work to repair some of the damage he’s caused.

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Steve Jurvetson

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Hungary Moves toward Internet Usage Tax

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Posted by Matthew Bruno on Monday, October 27th, 2014, 1:47 PM PERMALINK


The Hungarian government introduced a bill that would implement a tax upon Internet traffic. At a price of 150 forints/GB (60 US cents/GB), Hungary could become the first and only country in the world where basic web services such as YouTube or Skype are not free.

Hungary makes up for its low corporate tax rate (19%) with a combination of regressive consumption taxes and an extremely high value-added tax (VAT) of 27%. Seeking even more revenue to bolster the recovering economy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has turned his attention towards digital taxation. Taxing the Internet opens the door for higher taxes or further regulation of a fundamentally open means of communication.

Additionally, Hungary has run into problems with free media, raising taxes this summer on non-government owned press outlets. This sparked protests and accusations that the government was seeking to silence or dissuade public opinion. A tax on the Internet would further serve to limit free speech and mass communication by anti-government groups.

A 60 cents per GB tax on Internet traffic does not sound like much, but it is the inception of another crutch for the government. Once the government begins taxing the Internet, they will only seek to expand this tax. Limiting access to the Internet through taxation can only lead to lowered innovation and lessened creativity.

American lawmakers should be concerned that an Internet access tax, like so many other European exports (welfare state, publicly funded health care), could find its way to the United States. America’s digital liberty has allowed it to become an e-commerce leader. Threats such as this proposed tax in Hungary harm freedom and an open Internet throughout the world.

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Stunning New Report Finds Obamacare Adds $131 billion to Deficit

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Posted by Loren Long on Friday, October 24th, 2014, 4:08 PM PERMALINK


In a report released this month, the Senate Budget Committee has found that the Affordable Care Act will add $131 billion to the federal deficit over the next ten years. Even more striking is the fact that this $131 billion will not, in fact, expand growth in the healthcare system.

The most recent example of increased spending without result within the realm of Obamacare is the Accountable Care Organization, or ACO. ACO was enacted to join hospitals, primary care physicians, and specialists into teams in order to produce more efficient patient treatment. Health and Human Services released this new federal regulation with the intent to reduce spending.  However, over the first two years of this experiment, spending increased at over half of the 32 HHS hand-selected sites that were used for the test model.

This is only one example of the ACA’s failed attempt to increase services and efficiency while decreasing spending. While the intentions of the Affordable Care Act are to make healthcare more affordable to Americans, the next decade will prove the opposite as Americans are faced with an increasing debt and a heavier tax burden that comes with a less-than-efficient national healthcare system.

When he first began to roll out his suffocating national healthcare program, President Obama and his fellow Democrats touted that Obamacare would give the American economy the boost it so desperately needed. While it is widely known that Obamacare has obliterated consumer choice, which is the driving force behind America’s free-market system, recent data shows that President Obama’s so-called boost to the economy has in fact produced the opposite effect.

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TxPharm

The author thinks it's "stunning" that Obamacare will add to the deficit?

Lol.


Grover Norquist and Will Upton Discuss The Most Important Election This November

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Posted by Damien Salamacha on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 12:20 PM PERMALINK


ATR President Grover Norquist sat down with Will Upton as part of ATR’s podcast series to discuss the gubernatorial race in Kansas. Grover has taken to calling Kansas’ gubernatorial election “the most important race in the 2014 cycle”. According to Grover, “Should Gov. Brownback get re-elected, this will send a signal to the 24 Republican governors that anyone of them could pass a similar law that gradually phases out the income tax.” 

Listen to the podcast to get a full in-depth analysis.

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Amy Phillips

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Grover Norquist Named Among The Hill's "Top Grassroots Lobbyists of 2014" (and more...)

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 12:18 PM PERMALINK


The Hill named Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist as one of their “Top Grassroots Lobbyists of 2014.”

They say nothing is certain but death and taxes. In Washington, the third certainty is Norquist trying to kill the second.

Jennifer Hickey of Newsmax wrote a piece regarding former Gov. Jeb Bush admitted that he would be willing to raise taxes.

“If my father had thrown away a perfectly good presidency by raising taxes, I think one of the things in life I would learn is, ‘Don’t do that,’” Norquist said, referring to President George H.W. Bush’s broken “no new taxes” pledge.

Reason’s Zach Weissmueller wrote about the abuse visited upon Gerawan Farm employees by the United Farm Workers:

A group of Gerawan employees, less than eager to relinquish 3 percent of wages to an absent union, began petitioning for an election to decertify the union. The Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) eventually administered an election but never counted the votes, alleging unfair labor practices, such as encouraging anti-union behavior, on behalf of the company.

Brian Lowry of The Boston Herald’s The Edge wrote about the T.V. show “Alpha House,” in which Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist makes an appearance.

Appropriately returning just in time for the midterm elections, the second season finds the show loading up on star cameos from Hollywood (Bill Murray), media (Matt Lauer, Trudeau’s wife Jane Pauley, John King) and the world of political wonks (Grover Norquist, David Axelrod). Still, the formula and situations remain largely the same, with each of the solons grappling with various challenges and indignities.

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Gage Skidmore

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