Hillary’s Real Gun Control Plan: A New 25% Sales Tax on Guns

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, October 5th, 2015, 10:14 AM PERMALINK

As Hillary Clinton rolls out her gun control plan today, taxpayers and gun owners should be reminded of her support for a new 25 percent national sales tax on guns.

While testifying before the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee on Sept. 30, 1993, Hillary Clinton was asked by Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) if she supported the imposition of a new, 25 percent national sales tax on guns. Clinton emphatically endorsed the tax, stating: "I am all for that."

As reported by the Associated Press 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.

After she publically endorsed the 25 percent gun tax in congressional testimony, she made sure that everyone understood how important this was to her, saying: "I am speaking personally, but I feel very strongly about that." 

Remarkably, although the hearing was broadcast on C-SPAN and Clinton's 25 percent gun tax endorsement was noted at the time by the AP, the Washington Post, the New York Times and others, a search of leading news databases reveals not a single media mention since 1993. Americans for Tax Reform is now highlighting the gun tax endorsement as the latest addition to its dossier of Clinton's tax positions, available at HighTaxHillary.com. 

 "Hillary’s 25 percent gun tax would discourage gun ownership and be a backdoor route to gun registration," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Hillary has a long history of attacking gun owners."

VIDEO: Watch Hillary endorse a new 25% national gun tax

On the day of the Finance Committee hearing, NBC Nightly News reported the 25 percent gun tax incident as follows:

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

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."

NBC: "Hillary Clinton added that's only her personal opinion."

The Bill Clinton White House made it clear that Hillary's 25 percent gun tax endorsement was all hers, 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."

Sen. Bradley was seeking early support for gun tax legislation which called for a new federal sales tax on handguns and semi-automatic rifles as well as steep increases in existing federal firearms and ammunition excise taxes and gun dealer licensing fees.

Hillary Clinton’s anti-gun crusade continues to this day. During a CNN town hall meeting in 2014, she called for a ban on “assault weapons” and declared, “we cannot let a minority of people – and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people – hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”

Clinton’s positions are consistent with longstanding progressive goals on gun taxation, gun registration, and other forms of gun control. On August 10, 2015 the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to impose a $25 per gun sales tax on all firearms. As a result, the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed a lawsuit challenging these taxes.

On Aug. 26, Clinton said she would push to “balance the legitimate Second Amendment rights with preventive measures and control measures.” The next day a Washington Post headline declared her “the new standard-bearer for gun control.”

"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 Norquist.

VIDEO: Watch Hillary endorse a new 25% national gun tax


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Penn State, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/

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Barriers to Prosperity

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Posted by Matthew Benzmiller on Monday, October 5th, 2015, 10:00 AM PERMALINK

The Center for Worker Freedom, a special project of Americans for Tax Reform, is proud to co-host an event called A Summit on Workers’ Empowerment with The Heritage Foundation, the Center for Union Facts, and the Center for Independent Employees

The event will take place Tuesday, October 6th from 8:30am-12:30pm in the Allison Auditorium at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, and will bring together workers from around the country representing multiple industries who all have one thing in common: They have struggled against state-enforced regulations and/or aggressive union organizing. 

CWF Executive Director Matt Patterson will be moderating one of the panels.

Come and support these workers and hear them tell their stories in a day celebrating worker empowerment. Panelists and speakers include:

Mike Burton – An autoworker from Chattanooga, Tennessee explaining why he and his co-workers did not find United Auto Workers representation attractive.

Isis Brantley – A hair braider from Dallas arrested because she braided hair without a cosmetology license.

Jesse Rojas – A spokesman for Silvia Lopez, a farm worker from California who has led the charge to decertify the United Farm Workers from her workplace.

Bill Main – A D.C. tour guide who fought the City for the right to give tours of America’s Capitol without a license.

Karen Cox – A lift-truck operator from Illinois whose workplace was unionized without a secret ballot election.

Megan Kelly – An Orlando-based flight attendant trying to decertify her union.

Event Schedule:

8:30 a.m.   Registration and Continental Breakfast

 9:00 a.m.   Introductory Speech: Economic Challenges Facing Today’s Workers

 9:30 a.m.   Panel I – Union Representation and the Modern Workforce

11:00 a.m. Panel II – Government Barriers to Work

12:00 p.m. Keynote Address

 12:30 p.m. Adjournment and Lunch


217 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Washington, DC 20002

For more details and the event page, click here, or contact Matt Patterson at mpatterson@atr.org.

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Study: 60% of NHL Players With No-Trade Clause Choose Teams with Lower Taxes

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Monday, October 5th, 2015, 8:30 AM PERMALINK

54 percent of the 116 Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) and 60 percent of players with no-trade clauses who changed teams picked teams with lower taxes according to a new report released jointly by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and compiled by CTF Research Director Jeff Bowes.

The study, entitled Major Penalty for High Taxes examines the interaction between low tax rates and player movement in the NHL by analyzing federal, provincial, state, and local income and payroll taxes of NHL players. The report also ranks teams on their “true cap” by comparing how tax rates of different teams interacts with the NHL salary cap.

“Successful hockey players can choose their team in free agency and thus, their hometown for tax purposes. So can millions of Americans and Canadians who move from high tax areas to low tax areas. Better than any poll, this tells us what taxpayers want: Lower taxes and less government,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Key findings include:

  • The American teams with no state income tax have the lowest tax rates in the NHL. In 2015 Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning are tied for first at 40.6%.


  • The Montreal Canadiens have the highest tax rate at 54.2%, beating out the California teams. The Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are tied for second-last at 53.1%.


  • Having a no-trade contract clause gives players the power to avoid being sent to high tax jurisdictions. Tyler Myers saved the most, at $474,146, by moving from Buffalo to Winnipeg.


  • Players without no-trade clauses could suffer a big take-home pay cut when traded to a high-tax jurisdiction. Sergei Gonchar’s move from Dallas to Montreal would have cost him an annualized $664,241 in taxes, although he won’t be playing there next year. Keith Yandle’s trade from Arizona to the Rangers will cost him an extra $364,964.


  • 60% of players with some kind of no-trade clause who changed teams picked teams with lower taxes.


  • Out of the 116 UFAs signing with a new team since July 1, 54% went to cities where they will pay less tax.  Players moving to lower-tax jurisdictions will save more than $4 million.


  • From 2012 to 2013, 16,207 people making more than $200,000 lowered their taxes by moving to Florida, and another 7,315 to Texas. High-tax jurisdictions are losing those high-income individuals, with New York losing 14,756 in one year.


  • In the last 10 years 266,520 people moved from the high-tax provinces east of Manitoba to live somewhere else in Canada, and a lot of them moved to low-tax Alberta, which had net interprovincial migration of 248,197.


"The numbers don’t lie; NHL players take a financial hit to play in certain jurisdictions,” said paper author and CTF Research Director Jeff Bowes. “Obviously, there are other factors at play besides taxes, but the fact remains that significant disparities in tax rates can penalize players when they move between teams.”

The full report can be accessed here. 


Photo Credit: 
clyde, https://www.flickr.com/photos/clydeorama/

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Top Thug: Teamsters Audition for Villain Role – Get Callback from Attorney General

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Posted by Hal Smith on Friday, October 2nd, 2015, 3:25 PM PERMALINK

Five Boston Teamsters from a local union, notorious for criminal activity, have now been indicted for extortion after terrorizing the cast and crew of the popular Bravo show, Top Chef, at a restaurant in Milton, Massachusetts last year. Arrested and charged by the U.S. Attorney’s office for violent and threatening behavior, they had attempted to shut down the set until the show used union drivers.  

Teamsters Local 25 is a Charleston-based union of 11,000 members that has been active for over a hundred years – and despite stating on its website that it consists of “all colors and creeds” which are “not looking for trouble”– members of the Teamsters had reportedly shouted racist, sexist, and homophobic threats at host, Padma Lakshmi, and her crew eventually becoming so disruptive that the crew not only had to call the police for protection, but the arriving officer was forced to call for additional backup.

 John King, Milton’s Deputy Police Chief said the Teamsters were “threatening, heckling and harassing,” while officers “repeatedly tried to de-escalate the situation.” A group of Teamsters even slashed the tires of 14 different cars owned by crew members while the police were preoccupied with others who had started harassing the crew in the show’s hospitality tent

In response to the violent threats, Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division was quoted in Deadline as saying:

“The strong-arm tactics the FBI has seen in this case are egregious and our investigation is far from over. Today’s arrests should send a message to those who think they can get away with manipulating the system that they better think twice.”

The published indictment even reveals that the Top Chef show had initially moved their set out of Boston and into nearby Milton in response to an unnamed official from Mayor Walsh’s administration calling the two Boston venues and stating that if they hosted the show, the union would picket the sight. And even though the show was forced to relocate at the request of their hotel, which did not want to be associated with a picket, fifty members of Local 25 were additionally sent to Milton to continue this harassment. 

The indictment also concludes by stating that it was directly “part of the conspiracy” to use this show of force and violence in order to “obtain wages for such imposed, unwanted, and unnecessary and superfluous services for themselves and other third parties.” 

This is not the first time that Hollywood has been threatened by the Charlestown-based Teamsters Local 25 either. Following the 1978 filming in Boston of “The Brink’s Job,” two members of the Teamsters were charged on racketeering charges for forcing the movie company to put fictitious workers on their payrolls and mail the checks to a Teamsters Local 25 trustee and general organizer’s home

However, what Attorney General Carmen Ortiz had called “old school thug tactics,” has applied to other activities by Local 25, not just bullying film crews.

Last year two members of Boston-based Teamsters Local 82, which has since merged into Local 25, were also convicted of racketeering for rigging elections and intimidating business owners.

In 2013 Teamsters 25 donated $14,999 to Walsh’s mayoral campaign, $1,500 to former state representative Eugene O’Flaherty, a top advisor to Walsh at City Hall, and $1,500 to Felix G. Arroyo, Walsh’s chief of health and human services. Additionally, in the last year the union has given each of Boston’s 13 City Council members a $500 donation

Ten years earlier, the heralded and outspoken leader for reform in Local 25, George Cashman, was sentenced for 34 months in prison for extorting a $20,000 kickback from a health care company and falsifying work orders so that 19 ineligible truck drivers — including a Charlestown gangster — could collect union medical benefits.

Even the current president of Local 25, Sean M. O’Brien, acknowledge in a 2011 Globe interview that the union had a “sordid past.”

With such a checkered past in criminal behavior, it is surprising that members of Local 25 have decided to continue their trend of extortion. However, when given an opportunity to shake down Hollywood – it is apparent that these Boston-based thugs couldn’t resist the urge. 

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They local police never nab these guys because they are their union brothers. I've seen them in action. At a Scott Walker rally on Beacon Hill these thugs harassed and threatened a Tea Party group of retirees. All right in front of the police, who didn't raise a finger to help the old people. The Machine on Beacon Hill is unstoppable. The machine are the corrupt unions with their corrupt Democrat politicians.

Hillary’s Drug "Affordability" Plan Will Put Medical Innovation In a Tail Spin Toward Collapse

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Friday, October 2nd, 2015, 1:54 PM PERMALINK

On announcing her drug “affordability” plan last week, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled a series of recycled proposals that would make the problem worse. The plan imposes new price controls that would squeeze medical innovators while also imposing rigid mandates over R&D spending.

Clinton’s plan is clearly appealing to the outrage over Turing Pharmaceuticals -- which last week attempted to increase the cost of drug Daraprim 4,000 percent -- as proof that the industry does not work in the interests of the American people.

In fact, a five page document outlining the plan released by the Clinton campaign mentions Turing Pharmaceuticals 11 times, and its rogue CEO four times. Earlier this week, the Clinton campaign ran an ad entirely about the company and its CEO.

But this one rogue actor is not the norm – the company and its CEO has been denounced by the rest of the industry, who agree that the 4,000 percent price rise is excessive. In response to this outrageous story, Hillary has clearly responded by releasing an equally outrageous and unserious plan.

Evoking the negative connotations behind Turing, Hillary promises to force companies (like Turing) to “invest more of their revenues or pay rebates to support research rather than keep them as profits.”

Drug companies already reinvest in new innovations en masse, but are bound by prohibitively high R&D costs. On average it costs $2.6 billion to develop a new prescription drug. So for this new mandate to work, companies would need to start receiving far higher revenues.

The Clinton plan would result in the opposite happening. At the same time as Hillary is forcing companies to invest more, the Clinton plan squeezes drug companies by implementing price controls and allowing the importation of drugs from other countries.

While this second proposal may sound pro-free market, it would only squeeze American innovators further. Many countries utilize a price control that in the short term results in lower costs for consumers, but also prevents new research for the next miracle cure. While allowing cheaper drugs would lower costs on the surface, it creates a hidden cost that prevents companies from reinvesting in new medicines.

The plan also contains a number of other proposals designed to punish the pharmaceutical industry, like preventing drug companies from treating advertising as a business expense, and shortening the patent life on medicines – meaning companies have an even narrower window to recoup costs from their innovation.

In all, Clinton’s proposal seems more motivated out of spite toward drug companies and faux outrage than a desire for serious reform. Underscoring this, her campaign website vows to “demand lower drug costs.”

Hillary’s plan sets a dangerous “government knows best” precedent. It would prevent medical innovators from recouping the necessary profits to re-invest in new medicines, would force them to do so anyway.  This plan would put innovators between a rock and a hard place, and would almost certainly put the industry in a tail spin toward collapse.


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Karen Murphy, https://www.flickr.com/photos/14372925@N02/

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The Grover Norquist Show: Pope Francis, The Media, and Free Market Economics

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Posted by Edwin Portugal on Thursday, October 1st, 2015, 2:36 PM PERMALINK

In episode 36 of the Grover Norquist Show, ATR president Grover Norquist discusses Pope Francis's visit to America with Catholic activist Deal Hudson. Grover and Deal discuss how the media has distorted the economic message of Pope Francis to fit their political agenda. The media put a spin on Pope Francis' message to make him seem like an anti-capitalist crusader. This could not be farther from the truth; the Catholic Church strongly supports the benefits of the free market. This stance is laid out Pope John Paul II's 1994 encyclical, Centesimus annus. In essence, free market capitalism greatly serves the common good when pursued with virtue. While the Pope's words are his own interpretation of the Bible's teachings, it is important to defer to official Church doctrine.

To read more about the Catholic Church's stance on the free market, click here

To listen to the podcast, click here or listen below.

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Speaker John Boehner

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Judiciary Committee Reaches Agreement on Prison Reform

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Posted by Jorge Marin on Thursday, October 1st, 2015, 1:32 PM PERMALINK

Flanked by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced sweeping new legislation to reform the nation’s criminal justice system. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act would address America’s unsustainable prison population and the harm caused by an ineffective correctional system—though the changes in question come short of a final fix, they are an important step towards a justice system that saves taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe.

The proposed legislation is the result of months of negotiation between the members of the judiciary committee. Many of the provisions, such as recidivism reduction and rehabilitation, have been successfully applied in conservative states like Texas and Georgia. Congressional lawmakers should be applauded for their efforts to replicate proven success at the federal level.

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Lifting Crude Export Ban would reduce Deficit over a Billion

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Posted by Edwin Portugal on Thursday, October 1st, 2015, 1:09 PM PERMALINK

Momentum has been building over the last month in Congress to overturn the outdated crude oil export ban. The house is now poised to vote on overturning the ban soon - as early as next week - and a new government report released this week confirms that doing so would not just be a boon for the U.S. economy but would reduce the national deficit by over a billion.

The crude oil ban is a measure from the 1970s that was originally intended to protect U.S. oil supplies during a time of scarcity after the 1973 OPEC oil embargo. However, the U.S. is no longer a nation of energy scarcity; rather, the U.S. is now enjoying an energy renaissance. It is increasingly evident the ban is no longer justified and is a burden to the nation’s economic prosperity. 

According to a cost estimate released this week from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), overturning the ban would reduce the deficit by more than $1.4 billion over 10 years. The CBO projects that lifting the ban would in turn increase production under federal leases.

These funds would come from expanded royalties derived from leases granted to companies to explore for oil on federal land. This figure only accounts for federal revenues; the federal government only receives half of the receipts from these royalties. The other half of the royalties go to state governments, accounting for another 1.4 billion in revenue for states, like Texas, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.

In addition to the CBO report, on September 25th Congressman Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, submitted a report on H.R. 702 to the House floor. This report highlighted some of the benefits that overturning the ban would have on the deficit and national economy.  

According to the report, overturning the ban would spur economic investment and increase GDP by billions of dollars. In addition, it would create thousands of new jobs, galvanizing hundreds of communities across the country. It would also lower gasoline prices for the American consumer. Lowered fuel prices will save families thousands of dollars per year, effectively raising household incomes.

Overturning the ban would also strengthen national security. Exporting crude oil will move the U.S. closer towards energy independence. The U.S. will become less reliant on oil from foreign sources, and exports would also allow U.S. allies in Europe and Asia to diversify their crude oil supply. Allowing U.S. oil exports also would strengthen America’s economic power, furthering our role as an energy power house.

Lifting the crude oil export ban is a much-needed measure to modernize the nation's outdated, draconian energy policies and institute policy that reflects the nation's economic realities. It is imperative that Congress moves further towards taking action.  Overturning the crude oil export ban will usher the U.S. into further economic prosperity and energy security.


Photo credit: Ken Hodge

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James Richard Spriggs

If American oil & gas producers can sell their product abroad when demand in America is low, then they will be able to maintain more capacity which can provide for Americans when demand here is high. But the main reason for allowing exports is that every American has the right to earn a living by selling his product or service to anyone who is willing to buy it, including foreigners.


There is no need to lift the crude oil export ban, because the global oil market is over supplied.

John Wolsky

Please explain how "The U.S. will become less reliant on oil from foreign sources,"

Rep. Tim Murphy Leads Charge Investigating $5.5 Billion in Obamacare Waste

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015, 3:08 PM PERMALINK

Earlier today, Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing examining Obamacare state exchanges. An investigation into this issue is long overdue, and Chairman Murphy and the Oversight Subcommittee should be applauded for their leadership on this issue.

According to GAO, $5.51 billion in federal funds have been spent on the planning and construction of these exchanges, yet very little oversight has been conducted over the use of these funds. Unsurprisingly, it appears that a large percentage of these funds were wasted. In addition, exchanges across the country have encountered numerous operational difficulties since launch including poor user functionality and lack of scale.

Witnesses from six states - California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Oregon – attended the hearing. Combined, these states received over $2 billion in funds.

Illustrating the near-limitless freedom that states received and the absence of federal oversight, only one of the six witnesses could say how much was spent on construction per enrollee. That state, Hawaii spent close to $50,000 according to the witness.

Even though this hearing is a good first step, questions remain regarding the federal government's oversight over state exchanges, particularly now that many exchanges are beginning to encounter fatal operational problems and may soon abandon ship to join the federal exchange.

Chairman Murphy best summed up the situation when he concluded “it was not rainbows and unicorns. It was a mess.”

As has been well documented, many of the exchanges that were called to testify have mismanaged the hundreds of millions of dollars they received:

  • Oregon received $305 million in grants but could not produce a workable website months after launch forcing customers to fax a 20 page document to enroll. Since then, the state has come under investigation over allegations the exchange was run by the Governor’s reelection campaign and decisions were made based on political calculations.


  • Massachusetts was required to upgrade their working exchange due to new Obamacare regulations. But $233 million later, the state broke its system, displacing 300,000 individuals on Medicaid and leaving the state with over $1 billion in costs.


  • California was awarded $1.1 billion in grants, but now faces an $80 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2015-2016. Despite often being referenced as a “successful” exchange, the system has been plagued with enrollment and tax-related errors. In some cases, this has prevented consumers from receiving healthcare for months.


  • Hawaii received $205 million and constructed a workable exchange only for state officials to realize they had no way to pay for day-to-day costs. The exchange is now transitioning to the federal system.

Watch the full hearing below:


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Grover Norquist Statement on Carried Interest

Posted by ATR on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015, 11:34 AM PERMALINK

I oppose higher taxes on carried interest capital gains. On principle, capital gains should be taxed as capital gains not at artificially higher rates. In a conversation with a reporter about a world with drastically lower tax rates across the board, my position on carried interest capital gains was taken radically out of context. My point was and is that increasing taxes on carried interest capital gains is a shiny bauble conceived in left-wing academia, is not serious tax policy and is not part of a grown up conversation on tax reform.

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They should be taxed as
ordinary income....it's not like the rich you advocate for actually worked for