ATR sent the following letter to the Senate; click here for a PDF file of the document:

26 March 2012

Dear Senator:

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has a truly awful piece of legislation: S. 2204.  It will increase taxes on Americans. It will increase the price of gasoline at the pump and the cost of heating your home. It increases total taxation of Americans by more than $12 billion over the next decade in addition to Obama’s looming tax hikes.

This legislation is so bad it deserves to be debated before the entire nation on CSPAN.

Americans for Tax Reform urges all pro-taxpayer Senators to vote to proceed to consider S.2204 which will trigger a 30 hour period of debate on Menendez’s efforts to raise taxes and increase gasoline prices.

ATR then urges all pro-taxpayer Senators to vote “no” on any motion to cut off debate and proceed to a vote.   Those Senators who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge will clearly keep their written commitment to taxpayers if they vote to allow debate and then vote no on efforts to actually enact Menendez’s gas price increasing tax hikes.
Fewer jobs, less energy
Unable to adequately recover their investment costs, oil and natural gas producers will be forced to scrap or delay future projects. S. 2204 will cause layoffs, reduce domestic oil production, and cripple American companies abroad. With the global supply of oil tightening, Congress should be encouraging American oil production, not crippling the industry through tax increases.

Time and time again, Democrats argue that oil and natural gas companies are the recipients of numerous “subsidies.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth—oil and natural gas companies don’t receive a single cent from the American government to produce oil and gas.

Tax hypocrisy
President Obama and his Party have regularly asked Congress to “close tax loopholes,” and yet S. 2204 further muddles our tax code by reauthorizing a slew of tax credits for Democrat-favored industries. S. 2204 is proof that Democrats are not committed to tax reform, nor do they have a consistent idea of what tax reform even is. Unlike, Democrats’ distortive policies, 26 Republican Senators expressed their commitment to true tax reform by voting for Sen. DeMint’s amendment to repeal energy tax credits and lower the corporate tax rate by an identical amount.      

Democrats’ antagonistic stance towards oil and natural gas companies is antithetical to tax policies they advocated for just last year. Arguing that full business expensing creates jobs by lowering companies’ investment costs, Obama championed this policy for small businesses. Attempting to score political points, Democrats are uniformly fixated on repealing these tax policies for oil and natural gas producers. The benefits of faster cost recovery are never more evident than in the capital intensive oil and natural gas industry.

Washington’s overspending problem
As many Americans now understand, this country doesn’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Showing no interest in seriously reducing spending, Democrats are asking for America’s job creators to prop up a bloated federal government.  

It is for these reasons that I urge you encourage debate and then to oppose passage of S. 2204.

Grover G. Norquist