Congress Acts Unanimously to Prevent IRS from Looting Innocent Taxpayers

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Posted by Krista Chavez on Monday, September 26th, 2016, 4:53 PM PERMALINK


On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass H.R. 5523, the Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers-RESPECT Act, to end the Internal Revenue Service’s abuse of asset forfeiture in structuring cases. Americans for Tax Reforms applauds Congress for acting efficiently against these violations.

Specifically, the bill prohibits the IRS from seizing funds from property owners who allegedly committed structuring violations unless the agency can prove that the money was used in criminal activity.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.) and Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) named the legislation for Andrew Clyde, Jeffery, Richard, and Mitch Hirsch, and Randy Sowers. These American small business owners were wrongfully persecuted by the IRS under the structuring rule.

In May 2016, Roskam held a hearing for Protecting Small Businesses from IRS Abuse, where a bipartisan coalition joined to denounce the IRS and the Justice Department’s actions that seized the property of law-abiding Americans. Facing serious backlash from Congress, the IRS agreed in June 2016 to give some or all of the money back to those who it had seized assets on structuring accusations.

“Structuring” refers to the phenomenon that allows the IRS to seize funds from bank accounts when authorities suspect that account deposits are designed to avoid reporting laws.

About the bill, Roskam noted,

“Today we took a big step toward delivering justice for victims of IRS abuse. It’s clear to everyone involved that the IRS and DOJ abused their authority and took money from people who did nothing wrong. With today’s legislation, we’re making sure they can never do it again. I want to thank the Clyde, Hirsch, Sowers, and Taylor families for their bravery and willingness to share their stories in the hopes of preventing future injustice. I appreciate the support of Ranking Member John Lewis and Congressman Joe Crowley on this bipartisan bill. I’m glad we can finally put this ugly chapter to rest.”

Americans for Tax Reform applauds Congress for taking unanimous action against the blatant violation of taxpayer rights by the IRS. 

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Rob Crawley

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Hillary's Death Tax Hypocrisy

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Monday, September 26th, 2016, 3:02 PM PERMALINK


Hillary has organized her own finances in a way to shield her estate from death taxes. 

Hillary Clinton has adopted the proposal of socialist Bernie Sanders to increase the top Death Tax rate to 65 percent.

 

Clinton previously called for a hike to the top Death Tax rate, from 40 to 45 percent, as part of a more than $1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) net tax increase on the American People over the next ten years. The true net tax hike figure is likely much higher because Clinton’s campaign has not released specific details for many proposals. To date, the campaign has proposed multiple capital gains tax hikes, an income tax increase, a business tax increase, a tax on stock trading, an "Exit Tax" and even a “fairness” tax.

Clinton’s tax plan offers no tax rate reduction for any individual or business.

And now, Hillary is proposing Death Tax brackets of 50 percent, 55 percent, and 65 percent.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal:

The left claims only the super-wealthy will pay high rates, but the Sanders plan that Mrs. Clinton is copying did not index exemption levels for inflation. One reason a bipartisan movement emerged to reform the death tax in the 1990s was because the then 55% rate engulfed ever more taxpayers over time. Mrs. Clinton would also end the “step-up in basis” on stock valuations for many filers, triggering big capital gains taxes for a much broader population.

She also knows most of her rich friends will set up foundations, as she and Bill Clinton have, to shelter most of their riches from the estate tax. As Americans have learned, these supposed charities can be terrific vehicles for employing political operatives while they wait for Chelsea to run for the Senate.

While Hillary continues to push for a steep Death Tax on the American people, when it comes to her own finances, it is a different story. Clinton’s newly released tax returns show she still uses tax avoidance strategies to shield her Death Tax liability.

According to a 2014 report by Bloomberg News, the Clintons created trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York home to it in 2011. In doing so, they will avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in future death taxes.

As Bloomberg reports:

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.

But Hillary Clinton’s official campaign website, in calling for a steep Death Tax hike, scolds:

She will also close complex loopholes, including methods that people can now use to make their estates appear to be worth less than they really are.

Oh! Let’s go back to the Bloomberg article:

Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.

“The goal is really be thoughtful and try to build up the nontaxable estate, and that’s really what this is,” Sloan said. “You’re creating things that are going to be on the nontaxable side of the balance sheet when they die.”

Interesting.

Clinton said that “the estate tax has been historically part of our very fundamental belief that we should have a meritocracy.”

The newly released Clinton tax return shows the continued use of an Article 4 Trust, as shown on Schedule E, page 2.


Hillary has a long history of opposing Death Tax relief:

- In 2001, Clinton voted no on H.R. 1836, “the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act,” which contained a series of tax cuts, one of which increased the Death Tax exemption level to $3.5 million.

- In 2005, Clinton voted no on H.R. 8, “the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005,” which fully repealed the Death Tax.

- In 2006, Clinton voted no on H.R. 5970, “the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act of 2006,” which increased the Death Tax exemption level to $5 million.

- In 2008, Clinton voted no on S.Amdt.4191, legislation to increase the Death Tax exemption level to $5 million.

To learn more about Hillary’s tax hike plan, visit ATR’s dedicated website,www.HighTaxHillary.com

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Hillary Endorsed a 25% Gun Tax

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, September 26th, 2016, 2:47 PM PERMALINK


In 1993 Senate testimony Hillary Clinton endorsed a new national 25% retail sales tax on guns. Newly released footage shows her nodding fiercely as gun owners and dealers are described as “purveyors of violence”

 

In passionate Senate testimony on Sept. 30, 1993, Hillary Clinton endorsed a new national 25% retail sales tax on guns. Video footage shows Clinton’s visceral facial expressions as she endorses the gun tax and as gun owners and dealers are described as “purveyors of violence.”

Clinton concluded her gun tax endorsement by saying, "I am speaking personally, but I feel very strongly about that."

The newly released footage is available here and at ATR’swww.HighTaxHillary.com

 

"Hillary has made it perfectly clear to the millions of gun owners in the United States: she doesn't like us, she doesn't trust us and she wants us to go away,"said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The Second Amendment makes it difficult to legally ban guns, but Hillary has led the way to explaining you can achieve the same thing with high taxes.”

In advance of Tuesday’s New York primary, Clinton is relentlessly attacking Bernie Sanders for his 1990s gun votes, bragging that she is to the left of Sanders on gun control. She has yet to face any recent media questioning of her gun tax endorsement, which was reported at the time by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, and NBC News.

As reported by the AP on Oct. 1, 1993:

Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., picked up Mrs. Clinton's support for his idea of slapping stiff taxes on ''purveyors of violence:'' a 25 percent sales tax on guns and $2,500 license fees for gun dealers.

''Speaking personally ... I'm all for that,'' said the first lady. But she stressed she was just speaking for herself.

''Well, let me say that there is no more important personal endorsement in the country today, and I thank you very much,'' said a pleased-as-punch Bradley.

Here’s the Washington Post on Oct. 1, 1993:

"I'm all for it," she declared in a response to a suggestion by Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) that the Congress should impose a 25 percent sales tax on handguns to "tax directly the purveyors of violence."

On Sept. 30, 1993, NBC Nightly News reported the incident as follows:

Others urge a hefty sales tax on guns, and much higher fees for gun dealers. Today, they got a powerful ally.

Ms. HILLARY CLINTON: I'm all for that. I just don't know what else we're going to do to try to figure out how to get some handle on this violence.

The Bill Clinton White House made it clear that Hillary's 25 percent gun tax endorsement was hers and hers alone, as shown by the Oct. 1, 1993 White House press briefing transcript:

Q: "Do you know if the President supports the First Lady's endorsement of an idea yesterday by Senator Bradley that there be a 25 percent tax on the sale of guns in America?"

WH Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers: "Well, as you know, she was expressing her opinion."

Clinton’s gun tax endorsement is an especially potent threat considering the recent imposition of gun taxes in Seattle and the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas Islands.

Seattle’s $25 per gun sales tax – as well as a two to five cent tax per round of ammunition -- went into effect on Jan. 1, 2016 and has already forced one gun dealer out of the city. This week, the Northern Marianas enacted a $1,000 per gun tax.

“Hillary and the Left are now seeking to tax guns out of existence,” said Norquist.

Clinton and Sanders face off in a debate tonight hosted by CNN at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The state of New York is home to a proud history of gun manufacturing and according to a new report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms and ammunition industry employs 7,673 workers in the state.

via GIPHY

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List of Hillary Tax Hikes

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, September 26th, 2016, 2:11 PM PERMALINK


Trillion dollar tax hike – Hillary’s tax hike proposals will raise taxes on the American people by over $1,000,000,000,000 over the next ten years, based on her campaign’s own numbers.

Payroll Tax Hike – Hillary said she would not veto a payroll tax increase on all Americans should such a bill reach her desk. She said she would set her middle class tax pledge aside. This took place Jan. 12 in Iowa, and it’s on video:

Moderator: “Democrats have introduced a plan that Senator Sanders supports that you’ve come out against because it is funded by a payroll tax. If that were to reach your desk as President, would you veto it in order to make good on your tax pledge?”

            Hillary Clinton: “No. No.”

Soda Tax Hike – Hillary endorsed a steep new soda pop tax in Philadelphia. This will cost soda purchasers an extra $2.16 per 12-pack. Bernie Sanders called out Hillary’s violation of her middle class tax pledge:

"Frankly, I am very surprised that Secretary Clinton would support this regressive tax after pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000. This proposal clearly violates her pledge," he said.

Sanders also said: “The mechanism here is fairly regressive. And that is, it will be increasing taxes on low-income and working people.”

25% National Gun Tax – Hillary endorsed a new national 25% retail sales tax on guns. “I am all for that,” she told the Senate in 1993. On June 5, 2016 she was asked about her gun tax endorsement by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week. She acknowledged her gun tax endorsement and did not disavow it, saying she wanted the gun tax money to pay for Hillarycare. If you have any doubts about her strong desire to impose a new gun tax, watch her face in the video.

Doubling of federal excise tax on guns -- Hillary also endorsed a doubling of the existing federal excise tax on guns.

65% Death Tax – Hillary is now pushing a 65% Death Tax. And her own finances are arranged to shield herself from death taxes.

Capital Gains Tax Hike – Hillary has proposed the most complex and Byzantine capital gains tax regime in American history, with ten different rates. She raises the top capital gains tax rate from 23.8% to 43.4%.

No Corporate Income Tax Rate Relief for Anyone – Hillary offers no income tax rate reduction for any business. The USA has the highest corporate income tax in the world, which kills jobs and makes us less competitive. Even Bill Clinton understands the need to cut the corporate rate.

No Personal Income Tax Rate Relief for Anyone – Hillary offers no income tax rate reduction for any American.

Carbon Tax – Hillary’s campaign has opened the door to a carbon tax if she wins the White House. Democrat Senate Leader Chuck Schumer is also fantasizing about a carbon tax under Hillary, and a carbon tax is part of the official 2016 Democrat party platform.

To learn more about Hillary’s tax hike plan, visit ATR’s dedicated website, www.HighTaxHillary.com

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Free Trade Needs Intellectual Property Protection

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Posted by Anthony McAuliffe on Friday, September 23rd, 2016, 4:24 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform is proud to sign on to an open letter to Congress in support of free trade. Encouraging free trade is essential to the growth of the American economy and supporting American families. While there are many key components to free trade, one of the key elements that is often overlooked is the strong protection of intellectual property (IP).

Why does IP matter to free trade? By allowing for free trade, countries enable their businesses and citizens to more easily market and promote their ideas in other countries. However, once products and ideas enter a new country, they can easily be stolen or counterfeited if not adequately protected. Businesses and individuals wishing to market and sell products in other countries need IP protection to ensure their brands are protected from copyright or trademark infringement. Without this protection, nobody would enter into markets in other countries. For free trade to even be a possibility, protection of IP must be in place and mutually agreed upon by all countries involved.

Overall, free trade agreements in today’s global economy are very complex, yet there are basic and fundamental principles that each should address. By addressing these principles, such as strong protection of IP, the U.S. can create strong agreements that allow America to maintain its position as global leader in innovation, benefitting the American economy and American citizens.

To read the open letter to Congress, scroll down or click here.

Open Letter to Congress: Free Trade Is Essential to American Prosperity

September 22, 2016

Members of Congress:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our free-market organizations, we write to express our strong support for free trade. Though it has traditionally been a centerpiece of free-market economics and demonstrated vast benefits for American consumers and businesses, the value of trade has recently come under fire.

As a result, we stand at a crossroads. The United States can continue its support of international engagement through open commerce, which has done so much to increase our standard of living, or it can ignore the lessons of history and economics by turning to protectionism. At this critical juncture, your support of free trade is needed more than ever.

Since the publication of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in 1776, support for free trade among economists of all ideological persuasions has been nearly unanimous. Tariffs – or taxes on trade – were once the major source of federal revenue, but this had disastrous economic consequences. After the failure of the Smoot-Hawley tariffs at the onset of the Great Depression, a bipartisan consensus developed among policymakers in the United States in support of free trade.

Our 70-year embrace of trade liberalization has paid enormous dividends for American families and businesses: incomes, productivity, and purchasing power have all increased. Likewise, markets once closed to American exports are now open. Overall, this has dramatically improved our standard of living. At the same time, America’s commitment to free trade has alleviated poverty for millions living abroad, which has improved our security. Simply put, free trade makes us wealthier and more secure.

Recent trade agreements have grown in scope and, as a result, become increasingly controversial. While no trade pact is perfect, they should primarily serve to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers to international commerce. Additionally, they can deliver benefits to American interests by establishing reasonable protections for intellectual property and reducing market distortions caused by foreign state-owned enterprises.

To some, the false promises of protectionism may be politically alluring; however, as history has demonstrated, increased economic isolation and protectionism would be disastrous for American businesses and consumers. That is why we strongly urge you, as elected representatives, to stand by our organizations in advocating for free trade.

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Hillary Calls for 65% Death Tax

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Friday, September 23rd, 2016, 10:46 AM PERMALINK


Hillary Clinton has adopted the proposal of socialist Bernie Sanders to increase the top Death Tax rate to 65 percent.

Clinton previously called for a hike to the top Death Tax rate, from 40 to 45 percent, as part of a more than $1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) net tax increase on the American People over the next ten years. The true net tax hike figure is likely much higher because Clinton’s campaign has not released specific details for many proposals. To date, the campaign has proposed multiple capital gains tax hikes, an income tax increase, a business tax increase, a tax on stock trading, an "Exit Tax" and even a “fairness” tax.

Clinton’s tax plan offers no tax rate reduction for any individual or business.

And now, Hillary is proposing Death Tax brackets of 50 percent, 55 percent, and 65 percent.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal:

The left claims only the super-wealthy will pay high rates, but the Sanders plan that Mrs. Clinton is copying did not index exemption levels for inflation. One reason a bipartisan movement emerged to reform the death tax in the 1990s was because the then 55% rate engulfed ever more taxpayers over time. Mrs. Clinton would also end the “step-up in basis” on stock valuations for many filers, triggering big capital gains taxes for a much broader population.

She also knows most of her rich friends will set up foundations, as she and Bill Clinton have, to shelter most of their riches from the estate tax. As Americans have learned, these supposed charities can be terrific vehicles for employing political operatives while they wait for Chelsea to run for the Senate.

While Hillary continues to push for a steep Death Tax on the American people, when it comes to her own finances, it is a different story. Clinton’s newly released tax returns show she still uses tax avoidance strategies to shield her Death Tax liability.

According to a 2014 report by Bloomberg News, the Clintons created trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York home to it in 2011. In doing so, they will avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in future death taxes.

As Bloomberg reports:

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.

But Hillary Clinton’s official campaign website, in calling for a steep Death Tax hike, scolds:

She will also close complex loopholes, including methods that people can now use to make their estates appear to be worth less than they really are.

Oh! Let’s go back to the Bloomberg article:

Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.

“The goal is really be thoughtful and try to build up the nontaxable estate, and that’s really what this is,” Sloan said. “You’re creating things that are going to be on the nontaxable side of the balance sheet when they die.”

Interesting.

Clinton said that “the estate tax has been historically part of our very fundamental belief that we should have a meritocracy.”

The newly released Clinton tax return shows the continued use of an Article 4 Trust, as shown on Schedule E, page 2.


Hillary has a long history of opposing Death Tax relief:

- In 2001, Clinton voted no on H.R. 1836, “the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act,” which contained a series of tax cuts, one of which increased the Death Tax exemption level to $3.5 million.

- In 2005, Clinton voted no on H.R. 8, “the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005,” which fully repealed the Death Tax.

- In 2006, Clinton voted no on H.R. 5970, “the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act of 2006,” which increased the Death Tax exemption level to $5 million.

- In 2008, Clinton voted no on S.Amdt.4191, legislation to increase the Death Tax exemption level to $5 million.

To learn more about Hillary’s tax hike plan, visit ATR’s dedicated website, www.HighTaxHillary.com

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https://imgflip.com/memegenerator/63852085/Hillary-Clinton-Grim-Reaper

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Roger Reid

Rich Democrats pay the same tax as rich Republicans. The difference is rich Democrats lie about what they are doing and pass tax laws that don't directly apply to them and eventually trickle down to the middle class. A family farm or small business, for instance, can be worth millions on paper but be very cash poor. Inheritors are on the hook for the death tax based on value.


Hillary Calls for Another Capital Gains Tax Increase

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Friday, September 23rd, 2016, 9:42 AM PERMALINK


Hillary Clinton this week called for another increase in the capital gains tax. Clinton proposed limiting the use of “like-kind exchanges,” a provision allowing investors to pay taxes on certain types of capital gains only when they cash out — not if they choose to reinvest earnings into another asset.

The capital gains tax hits income that has already been subjected to income taxes and has been reinvested to help create jobs, grow wages, and increase economic growth. This income should not be taxed and studies have shown that even supposedly modest increases would have strong adverse economic effects.

For instance, repeal of like-kind exchanges would cost the U.S. economy as much as $13.1 billion in lost GDP in the long term, according to a study by Ernst and Young.

The left always derides the capital gains tax as a “loophole” by big government that ought to be repealed. Going after provisions such as like-kind exchanges is another step toward the long term goal of taxing all capital gains as ordinary income.

Hillary has already called for several capital gains tax increases. First, she would create the most byzantine capital gains tax with six brackets for those whose total taxable income puts them in the 39.6 percent bracket. This proposal is supposed to fix the problem of short-term investment, even though investors make decisions based on value, not length of time. Her campaign has not said how much this will increase taxes.

Clinton has also proposed raising taxes on “carried interest” capital gains earned by investment partnerships. Carried interest capital gains are indistinguishable from any other type of capital gain because individuals that derive income from carried interest pay the same capital gains taxes rates as everyone else, as they should. It is not a loophole in any way.

In all, Hillary has proposed at least $1 trillion in new taxes based on the campaign’s own figures. The true Clinton net tax hike figure is likely much higher because her campaign has failed to release specific details for many of her proposals.

She has called for an income tax increase, a business tax increase, a death tax increase, a tax on stock trading, an "Exit Tax" and even a “fairness” tax. In addition, she has refused to rule out a carbon tax and a top advisor has suggested there is no need to lower the corporate rate, even though the U.S. has the highest rate in the developed world.

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West_Coast

F uck Hillary.


Obama Administration Pushing Unilateral Death Tax Increase

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Friday, September 23rd, 2016, 9:00 AM PERMALINK


In his final months of office, President Obama is set to unilaterally increase the scope of the Death Tax. Rather than make this tax more burdensome and confusing, the administration should work with Congress to repeal the unpopular tax.

Earlier this month, the Treasury Department announced a new rule affecting section 2704 of the tax code. The rule limits the use of two valuation discounts that families can take when assessing their Death Tax liability – a lack of control discount and a lack of marketability discount.

A lack of control discount can be claimed when a family holds a minority ownership stake in an asset, resulting in the asset holding less value on the open market.  A lack of marketability discount applies when an asset held by the family cannot easily be liquidated because of market barriers.

The proposed Treasury rules make it much more difficult for families to claim these two provisions. As a result, the rule would increase the Death Tax for many families.

The rule has drawn opposition from lawmakers, led by Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) who recently introduced the “Protect Family Farms and Businesses Act.” This legislation, which would block the unilateral stealth Death Tax increase is a good, conservative bill and should be supported and co-sponsored by all Members of Congress. 

The rule has also drawn opposition from a broad coalition of 119 business and free market groups including ATR that yesterday sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in opposition to the proposed rule.

At a basic level, Americans know that the Death Tax is not fair. It is a tax you pay on savings you have already paid taxes on at least once, and potentially more than once. Those who are hit hardest generally are first and second generation small business owners, because the truly wealthy can avoid the tax through an army of accountants, attorneys, and charitable planners.  

The Death Tax is also bad for jobs and the economy. According to the Tax Foundation, repealing the Death Tax would create 159,000 jobs and significantly increase wages, GDP, and capital investment.

The intense opposition to the Death Tax is unquestionable. In poll after, the Death Tax has consistently been opposed by nearly 70 percent of adults, registered voters, and likely voters. The House of Representatives even voted to repeal the Death Tax last year with a bipartisan vote of 240-179.

Rather than listen to the will of the people and support Death Tax repeal, the Obama Administration wants to make the Death Tax more complex and burdensome on American families.

 

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Koskinen's Corrupt IRS Scandal Far From Over

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Posted by Laurens ten Cate on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016, 3:44 PM PERMALINK


This week John Koskinen appeared before the House Judiciary Committee regarding IRS handling of Lois Lerner emails. The hearing was four hours of Koskinen shifting the blame to everyone but himself. 

The continued denial of any wrongdoing from the IRS in this case by the Obama administration has by now been thoroughly debunked. Watch the video compilation below of statements of Obama, Koskinen and Lerner to once again be amazed by the gross abuse of power by the Obama administration. Credits to 1791L (by Jesua Flores) for the video.

 

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Rep. Hensarling’s Mission to Save the U.S. Economy

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Posted by Johnathan Sargent on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016, 10:02 AM PERMALINK


Last week the House Financial Services Committee approved H.R. 5983, the Financial Choice Act, to be considered by the House of Representatives. This sorely needed piece of legislation, introduced by the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), is the solution to the stagnant economic growth that the United States has experienced over the past several years. By undoing key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, also known as Dodd-Frank, the Financial Choice Act will add much needed stability to our financial system.

Passed in 2010 by a Democrat controlled Congress, Dodd-Frank was supposed to promote financial stability and end “too big to fail”. This year, its 6 year anniversary, Dodd-Frank has failed to achieve its objectives, it has provided no stability and has done little to promote American consumers.

As Chairman Hensarling so eloquently put it: “we are stuck in the slowest, weakest, most tepid recovery in the history of the Republic. The economy does not work for working people.” In addition to the staggering $36 billion in regulatory costs and millions of hours in paperwork, the end result of Dodd-Frank is an added cost of $112 to every American.

What the Financial Choice Act does that Dodd-Frank has not is increasing the market’s transparency and accountability to the American people and reigning in to “too big to fail”. It amends the Bankruptcy code to accommodate the failure of large, complex financial institutions and prohibits the use of the Exchange Stabilization Fund, a reserve intended to be used in the most severe of situations, to be used for the bailout of banks and other financial institutions.

The most senior Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called the act a “highly partisan, damaging piece of legislation”. A piece of legislation that she noted would “kill Dodd-Frank and harm consumers”. However, Representative Waters conveniently overlooked the harm that Dodd-Frank has done to consumers. As Representative Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) articulated, “regulations intended for Wall Street have hurt Main Street” and that “since the financial crisis we have lost one community financial institution per day”.

Representative Sean Duffy noted that in the midst of the financial crisis Rahm Emmanuel, then-current Chief of Staff for the President and presently the Mayor of Chicago, stated “never let a good crisis go to waste”. Democrats took full advantage of the financial crisis to push their agenda.

Representative Waters criticizes the Financial Choice Act as a “highly partisan” piece of legislation, but the reason that the American economy has not recovered is the partisan piece of legislation that the Democrats pushed through 6 years ago, Dodd-Frank. That massive piece of legislation, which is 848 pages long, was passed through a Democrat controlled Congress without one vote from a House Republican filled with job killing rules and regulations that have not benefited the American people.

It’s safe to say that Representative Waters’ remarks concerning the Financial Choice Act were better suited for Dodd-Frank. Americans have had to endure six years of Dodd-Frank and the stagnant growth, increased costs, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent on saving large financial institution that came with it. Chairman Hensarling said it best: “there is a better way forward and it’s called the Financial Choice Act.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

To watch the hearing in its entirety click here

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Steve Godenich

Consider modifying bank charters to provide customers with the option of secure, segregated accounts for savings and retirement accounts and then abolishing the FDIC, as well as auditing the ESF.


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