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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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Politico: Jeb Bush's Tax Problem

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, 2:40 PM PERMALINK


An article written by Brian Faler of Politico detailed criticism of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s admission that he would be willing to support tax increases.

Faler writes,

Bush’s views are already pitting him against one of his party’s most influential activists, Grover Norquist, the high priest of anti-tax orthodoxy who’s convinced nearly ever elected Republican to sign a pledge not to raise taxes.

As the article highlights, a broken no-tax pledge led to his former President George H.W. Bush’s 1992 reelection loss.

“If my father had thrown away a perfectly good presidency by raising taxes, I think one of the things in life that I would learn is, ‘Don’t do that,’” Norquist said. “But here you have Jeb Bush going, ‘I learned nothing from my father’s self-immolation.”

Bush’s statement is especially poignant given his name has been brought up as a potential contender in 2016.

But Republican strategists say the primary will again surely be stocked with tax increase hardliners who, if anything, will be promising tax cuts.

“I don’t even know if you’ll get out of the starting gate with that kind of message,” said Greg Mueller, a conservative strategist. “That’s a deal breaker for a lot of voters.”

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Rollins College

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ATR's Grover Norquist Appears on Mike Essen Show

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, 2:31 PM PERMALINK


Recently, ATR president Grover Norquist was a guest on the Florida-based Mike Essen Show. Grover and Mike discussed tax reform and ways to improve the economy.

Listen to the interview here: http://mikeessen.com/podcasts/politics/mike-interviews-grover-norquist.html

Matt Patterson, executive director of the Center for Worker Freedom, wrote an op-ed for Forbes detailing hypocrisy in liberal support for oppressive labor unions.

And where are the Democrats? Where are the liberals fighting for Silvia’s “right to choose?” Nowhere to be found, of course: Organized labor has become little more than a slush fund for the Democratic Party, funneling billions in dues (often plucked from members’ pockets without their consent) to left-wing politicians, who then bray on about being “pro-choice.”

Patterson also wrote an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee regarding the fight between Gerawan Farming employees and the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board who refuse to count employee votes in an election to decertify the United Farm Workers.

The labor board is engaging in active, state-sponsored voter suppression in its attempt to help the UFW. The board has sequestered the ballots from the decertification election and refuses to count them in direct violation of Gerawan workers’ First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly.

And by forcing the workers into a contract (against their will) that will siphon 3 percent of their pay to union bosses, the board is effectively confiscating property in direct violation of the 14th Amendment.

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Gage Skidmore

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New Report Finds IRS Failing to Protect Confidential Tax Information

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, 2:30 PM PERMALINK


A new report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released yesterday found that the IRS has been failing to safeguard federal tax information, drawn mostly from the tax returns of Americans everywhere.

The IRS provides confidential information to over 280 federal, state and local agencies and has responsibility for oversight over the safe use of the information. But according to the report “The IRS’s Internal Revenue Manual does not require the performance of on-site validation of an agency’s ability to protect (federal tax information) prior to its release to the agency”. Instead, the IRS will examine the ability to protect federal tax information after it has given away confidential information.
 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the IRS does not set any guidelines for an agency’s background investigation policy as a requirement of accessing information.
 

Federal tax information provided to other agencies must remain confidential by federal law. But apparently it doesn’t matter to the IRS if another agency has a sufficient background investigative policy or even if any investigations occur.

Of 15 agencies surveyed that receive federal tax information, the report found that none of them conducted sufficient background checks on employees handling the data. Just one agency conducted national background investigations, four fingerprint employees and only one checks the sex offender registry, while almost half of the agencies hire convicted criminals.
           

The IRS has said it will now develop appropriate background checks and will use a risk-based assessment before approving the release of federal tax information to other agencies. But given this is not the first time that the IRS has failed to provide adequate protection to sensitive information, taxpayers should continue to be concerned about the security of their personal information.

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John Morgan

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Marketplace Fairness Act Would Cripple Small Businesses

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Posted by Cassandra Carroll on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, 9:30 AM PERMALINK


The Marketplace Fairness Act is being billed by its supporters as a common-sense proposal that would level the playing field between online and brick-and-mortar retailers by taking away online retailers’ exemption from sales tax. Currently, sales tax is only applied to online purchases when a customer buys something from a business that has a location within the customer’s state. What sounds noble, or at least harmless, at first glance begins to sound more like foxes volunteering to guard the hen house when you look at how the MFA would play out in practice, and when you examine who’s supporting it and who isn’t.

Not only would the complexity of complying with the MFA be a massive burden on businesses (the tax would be based on where the customer lives, so a popular online retailer could realistically find themselves paying sales tax to all 50 states, navigating all the unique tax jurisdictions with unique rules of each state.). The cost of compliance would cripple a startup or small niche business. According to Freedomworks Policy Analyst Julie Borowski’s article on Rare; “It would be overly complicated for online businesses to pay sales taxes on goods shipped across state lines. There are nearly 10,000 different sales tax jurisdictions in the United States. The number of tax jurisdictions varies widely by state—New Jersey has only two while Texas has over 1,500 different sales tax jurisdictions.

To add extra confusion, some jurisdictions charge different rates based on the type of item being sold. For example, eight states fully or partially exempt clothing from sales taxes. Some exceptions do apply. In Pennsylvania, there are no sales taxes on clothes except for formal wear, bathing suits, fur coats, and accessories such as jewelry or purses.”

The True Simplification of Taxation (TruST) coalition finds in their recent study; “Mid-market online and catalog retailers ($5-50 million in annual sales) will spend $80,000 to $290,000 in setup and integration costs for the so-called “free software” promised by advocates of the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). And every year, these retailers will also spend $57,000-$260,000 on maintenance, updates, audits and service fees charged by software providers.”

When you look at the hundreds of thousands of dollars annual compliance would cost, it’s easy to see why online-only giants like Amazon, and other big businesses like Best Buy and Home Depot, who do a significant amount of online business would support the MFA despite the burden it stands to be. These businesses can afford to comply with the MFA, and would even get the extra benefit of seeing their smaller competitors hurt or driven out of business by the immense cost of this tax.

On top of the unfair cost and complexity of the Marketplace Fairness Act is the issue it raises about tax jurisdiction. Why should any state be allowed to collect taxes from businesses in other states? What right does the government of New York have to take money from an Arizona business? As ATR’s Katie McAuliffe explains, the MFA sets a disturbing precedent for states to tax people who aren’t even their constituents;

“Their ultimate goal is to export their tax and regulatory burden to Americans who have no recourse at the ballot box. A politician’s dream come true.”

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Adam Fagen

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Georgia Voters To Decide Whether to Cap State Income Tax Rates

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Posted by Will Upton on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, 5:00 AM PERMALINK


On November 4, Georgia voters will decide whether to adopt 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. The measure reads: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to prohibit the General Assembly from increasing the maximum state income tax rate?” 

If passed, the Constitution of Georgia would be amended with the addition of Paragraph IV in Section 3 of Article VII reading: “Paragraph IV. Increase in state income tax rate prohibited. The General Assembly shall not increase the maximum marginal rate of the state income tax above that in effect on January 1, 2015.” This would have the effect of enacting a supermajority requirement to increase income taxes in Georgia as the state constitution would need to be again amended to do so.

David Shafer, the President Pro Tem of the Georgia State Senate and sponsor of the referendum, said of the effort to cap the state income tax: “It makes it clear that our income tax rate is not going up. It helps increase our competitiveness by pointing out to businesses making expansion decisions that while other states could increase their rates tomorrow our rates are constitutionally capped.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution quoted Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Georgia, in support of Amendment A: “It’s the credibility thing: If businesses feel like they can trust you, then they’re more likely to create jobs in your community. So this cap signals to businesses, we promise we’re not going to become New York or California or Illinois. We’re going to stay a good place to do business.”

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Simon Cunningham/LendingMemo

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More Evidence that EPA’s Clean Power Plan is Economically Irresponsible

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Posted by Cassandra Carroll on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 5:17 PM PERMALINK


NERA Economic consulting released a report yesterday expounding on what we already knew would be the devastating effects of the Clean Power Plan on both industry and individuals nationwide. The report highlights a number of reasons why the harm caused by the EPA’s proposed regulation would far outweigh the benefits.

While reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere by less than .5%, reducing sea level rise by the thickness of a few sheets of paper, and reducing the global average temperature by about 2/100ths of one degree, NERA expects the Clean Power Plan to increase electricity prices in 43 states by double digit percentages (some up to 20%), alongside the $41 billion per year the regulation will already cost both consumers and businesses. The proposal will lose us an estimated 45,000 megawatts of coal-based energy and stands to close down several coal plants, directly costing the livelihoods of their employees.

A huge segment of our population is elderly, and of that segment, a staggering percentage lives on less than $30,000 annually. Young adults are moving in with their parents at an alarming rate due to financial difficulties, and untold numbers of young families already have to choose between paying the light bill or eating. Americans can’t afford to let the EPA play at reducing emissions at the cost of further crippling our economy and putting such a heavy burden on the many among us who already struggle to afford the energy they need to live.

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Dan Lurle

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Corporate Inversion Regs: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?

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Posted by Ryan Ellis on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 3:04 PM PERMALINK


Fallout continues to happen from the Treasury Department's September regulation announcement on corporate inversions.  It's now becoming increasingly clear that this regulation can be added to the list of jobs-killing initiatives from the Obama Administration.  It joins a Hall of Shame which includes Obamacare, EPA regulations, Dodd-Frank, and many others.

Financial experts at the time were shocked at the size and scope of the regulations.  Reuters went so far as to report that $12.3 billion in shareholder wealth was wiped out by the announcement of the regulations alone.  How much more will each of us lose from our 401(k) plans and IRAs once this regulation actually goes into effect?

The surprise was warranted, since up until that point the Obama Administration and Treasury had been downplaying what could be done in this area absent Congressional action.  Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that Treasury "did not have the authority."  President Obama remarked that "we can't solve the entire problem administratively."  Most definitively, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said "we've done, I think, all we can within the statute."

This reckless and extreme regulation has had serious consequences for U.S. companies and jobs. Since the announcement, a half-dozen international business deals have been scuttled.  What does that mean?  It means that the international profits of these companies--which have already faced taxation abroad--will continue to encounter double taxation from the IRS should the companies dare to bring that money back to the United States.

That's untenable.  Predictably, action has shifted from corporate inversions to outright foreign takeovers of American companies.  Even former Bill Clinton economic advisor Laura Tyson has said of this phenomenon, "the proposed anti-inversion measures would also make it more likely that U.S. companies are the target, rather than the acquirer, in cross-border M&A deals."

So great.  Rather than letting U.S. companies simply pay tax on their foreign earnings once and only once, the Obama Administration would rather these companies be gobbled up entirely by their foreign competitors.  What's going to happen to all the jobs at those companies then?  They will quite literally be shipped overseas.

The real solution here is to simply end the double taxation of overseas corporate earnings.  Let companies pay taxes over there, and then be done with it.  That would make them more likely to bring earnings back to the United States, since they won't face a double taxation situation.

Until we solve our broken tax system, especially with regard to large multinational U.S. companies, the type of clown show we're seeing on corporate inversions is doomed to continue.

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WhoBeen

Informative to say the least but only to people like me... I'm willing to bet that over 98% of the voting public have no idea what this article says or that it even exists!


Illinois Democrats Continue Push for "Millionaire" Tax on November Ballot

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Posted by Will Upton on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 5:00 AM PERMALINK


Mike Madigan, the Democrat Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, and Governor Pat Quinn continue their push for higher taxes via the 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.

The ballot question reads, “Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income greater than one million dollars?”

The Advisory Question comes on the heels of a hotly contested legislative session where a similar legislative measure was narrowly defeated – two other massive tax increases were also defeated. State spending interests are pushing the Question as a means of putting increased pressure on the legislature to enact the constitutional amendment during the 2015 legislative session.

When Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan pushed the ballot measure back in May, the Illinois Policy Institute noted: “Illinois’ message to job-creators is increasingly clear: the state’s political leadership wants to punish you for achieving success. At a time when Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas are welcoming new entrants from over-taxed states with open arms, Madigan is doubling down on economic failure and destruction to feed Springfield’s insatiable appetite for a larger share of your wealth and capital.”

“After years of having a stranglehold on Illinois politics, Speaker Mike Madigan is looking desperate as he tries again to push his failing tax and spend agenda,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “After failing to garner the votes for a Millionaire Tax, a Progressive Income Tax, and an extension of the 2011 income tax hike during the legislative session, Illinois Democrats have thrown up this last ditch effort to continue pushing Illinois down the road to serfdom.”

 

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Rednecksrule

Yes you care about millionaire taxes Norquist-- BUT let's have a tens of millions of illegals amnesty. Middle class tax payers have to pay for illegals you slimy toad. I dont' hear a word out of you concerning the most recent surges of poverty to the US that MIDDLE CLASS taxpayers already are carrying. You know you jagoff.. to pay for schools. Come to Fairfax county, home to tens of thousands of the recent surge and look at the cost of schooling. So I am not going to cry for millionaires to pay taxes when you want to foist millions of illegals onto me..


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