Americans for Tax Reform

Norquist Statement Praising Senate Passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017, 1:52 AM PERMALINK

Following Senate passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ATR President Grover Norquist released the following statement:

“The swamp mocked the idea that Republicans could enact sweeping tax reform in the first 12 months of the Trump presidency.  It was too much. Too big a hill to climb. Everyone else had failed.  Couldn’t be done.

“But it is happening. Tax Reform has now passed the House and Senate and after conference will soon be signed by President Trump.

“This is big.  A bigger deal than Obamacare. Big job creation. Big middle class tax cuts. Big changes in an outdated tax code. 

“They said it couldn’t be done.  It is happening now. It will change the world.”
 

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Conservatives Slam Tax Hike Trigger


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, November 30th, 2017, 4:25 PM PERMALINK

(This list is being continuously updated)

Americans for Tax Reform: “A self-fulfilling threat to kill jobs.”

“The key to pro-growth tax reform is permanence and certainty. This encourages job-creating investment. No one invests in response to ‘maybe.’ A trigger that threatens tax hikes is a self-fulfilling threat to kill jobs.” –ATR president Grover Norquist

Americans for Prosperity: “Such a provision would add unnecessary complexity and uncertainty into the tax code, stifle the economy and generate less revenue.”

“It’s disappointing to see some in the Senate considering a provision that would automatically raise taxes as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Including a trigger mechanism in tax reform is antithetical to the principles of the unified tax framework. Such a provision would add unnecessary complexity and uncertainty into the tax code, stifle the economy and generate less revenue. Simplifying the tax code and keeping rates low, flat and fair is the best way to spur economic growth. Champions of pro-growth, comprehensive tax reform should oppose any attempt to include this harmful provision for the sake of the hardworking Americans depending on Congress to enact reforms that will deliver real tax relief and economic prosperity.” -- AFP Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner

Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity: “A nutty idea” with “devastating economic consequences.”

American Conservative Union Foundation: "Any autmotically-triggered tax increase is bad policy and bad for the economy"

"We are very disappointed about the potential of a 'trigger' being included in a final tax bill. Any automatically-triggered tax increase is bad policy and bad for the economy. Conservatives cannot support this tax increase. Even President Obama supported automatic spending cuts rather than triggering future tax increases. Future deficits should be resolved with spending cuts before tax increases are ever contemplated. 

The revenue trigger imposes tax increases that would go into effect if the bill's tax cuts result in raising the deficit. The ACUF has been consistent in our message that the key to strong tax reform lies in ensuring that American taxpayers are not burdened with higher tax rates and in legislation that helps stimulate and revitalize the economy. The provision would add a layer of complexity to the tax code that would effectively hinder job growth and undercut efforts to safeguard taxpayers across the country. We urge Congress to remain steadfast in their commitment to the best interests of American taxpayers, American businesses, and the American Dream.

National Taxpayers Union: “This is a seriously misguided approach that will ultimately undermine pro-growth tax reform legislation.”

“By injecting uncertainty into the tax code, a trigger mechanism would certainly stymie economic growth, thereby resulting in a likely tax increase. This is a seriously misguided approach that will ultimately undermine pro-growth tax reform legislation. We have worked alongside policymakers for decades to preserve the nation’s fiscal health, and applaud efforts to decrease deficits by controlling spending. But expanding economic opportunities is also key to addressing the programs driving those deficits, making a trigger a self-defeating strategy even for those concerned about budget shortfalls. The nation’s fiscal future will be uncertain as long as the economic barriers created by the current tax code remain; a trigger only makes those barriers more difficult to tear down, especially for Americans seeking to get ahead. We urge the Senate to reject a tax hike trigger as it works to refine the tax reform bill and enact it into law.” – NTU President Pete Sepp

FreedomWorks: “It's frustrating that some Republican senators, who pride themselves as so-called 'deficit hawks,' demanded tax increases if growth targets weren't met, rather than spending cuts.”

“Congress has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. It's frustrating that some Republican senators, who pride themselves as so-called 'deficit hawks,' demanded tax increases if growth targets weren't met, rather than spending cuts. These same senators regularly vote for more spending, making them part of the problem.

“If we can tie tax reform to spending cuts if we don’t meet revenue projections – fantastic. We should have spending cuts anyway. And the purpose of tax cuts is to create a more vibrant economy, not to take more dollars from American citizens.” -- FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye

Wall Street Journal editorial board: “A trigger is a bad idea on the policy merits.”

Club for Growth: “The idea of a ‘tax hike trigger’ should be rejected on its merits.”

“The idea of a ‘tax hike trigger’ should be rejected on its merits,” stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh.

“Any senator who understands basic business principles and truly cares about the deficit should understand that this trigger is an automatic tax increase and will actually harm economic growth. It will have harmful impacts on American businesses and undermine any economic growth potential in this tax reform bill because businesses will not invest due to the possibility of a higher tax rate.  

“What Senators Lankford and Corker are saying here is that if the deficit gets too large, then they want to tax people more. Here’s an idea. How about cutting spending? Just yesterday Senator Lankford issued 100 wasteful examples of federal spending. But instead of cutting the programs, ironically, Senator Lankford would allow wasteful measures like them to continue to receive funding – through his automatic tax increases no less! 

“If they’re truly worried about the deficit and they want to establish a trigger, then they should limit the size of government. A spending cut trigger would be a far better idea.” – Club for Growth President David McIntosh

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Impractical, unreasonable, and unnecessary.”

“While one can appreciate the intentions, the fact remains a fiscal trigger is a terrible idea.

The flaws of the fiscal trigger, whereby taxes would rise if revenues disappointed are many, but let us focus on the biggest. The most obvious is, against what metric would a shortfall be counted? Are the trigger’s proponents willing to embrace a particular estimate for the additional growth and associated revenue gains? Without such a dynamic revenue estimate, the trigger is an illusion.” – J.D. Foster, Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council: Tax hike trigger is an “awful idea”

“Yes, it’s an impractical idea. It’s an awful idea.  A ‘trigger’ takes the growth out of pro-growth tax reform. Entrepreneurs want predictability along with reforms that promote investment and sustainable economic growth. The threat of a trigger will harm investment in small businesses and startups and reboot the uncertain economic and policy environment that we are working furiously to get out of.  A trigger undermines many of the reasons for doing tax reform in the first place, which is to make our tax system more competitive and spur strong investment and economic growth. Can we just move on with positive, pro-growth tax reform and ditch the trigger idea?” -- Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan

Campaign for Liberty: “The main problem with the trigger is a moral one. The idea that Congress can give and take away tax cuts is rooted in the idea that all property belongs to the state and so any money not taxed is a gift from government that government can take away at will.”

“Finally, one proposal on the table is to attach a ‘trigger’ to the tax that would automatically raise taxes if the bill’s tax cuts raised the deficit. Tax cuts that could be taken away at any time obviously hinders the incentive to invest in new businesses and thus limits the tax cuts pro-growth effects, making an increase in the deficit a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The prospect of automatic tax increases also removes any incentive for Congress to stop spending. However, the main problem with the trigger is a moral one. The idea that Congress can give and take away tax cuts is rooted in the idea that all property belongs to the state and so any money not taxed is a gift from government that government can take away at will. This is the exact opposite of the truth as stated in the Declaration of Independence.” – Norm Singleton, President of Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty

ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams: “The proposed federal tax increase triggers get the idea completely backwards.”

“The proposed federal tax increase triggers get the idea completely backwards. Tax triggers have been effectively used to bring additional tax relief for taxpayers after healthy revenue growth. The highly successful North Carolina tax reform provides great evidence showing how tax triggers should be used. It's disappointing to see so called fiscal conservatives advocate for tax triggers that would automatically raise tax rates if economic growth is not realized. Our tax code doesn't need any additional uncertainty. A much better approach would force government to re-prioritize spending decisions.” – Jonathan Williams, ALEC Chief Economist and Vice President, Center for State Fiscal Reform

Tax Foundation senior analyst Scott Greenberg: “The trigger would become a self-fulfilling prophesy.”

Heritage Foundation economist Romina Boccia: “Including a potential tax increase through a trigger or by any other means creates uncertainty, which will lower the overall economic growth we can expect to see from the tax plan.”

Heritage Foundation budget analyst Adam Michel: "Holding pro-growth tax reform hostage over the near-tern deficit impact is counterproductive and unwittingly undermines the very growth that tax reform promises."

Freedom Partners: “The very threat of looming tax hikes could be a drag on growth all by itself.”

“It’s hard to imagine a more counterproductive policy than imposing automatic tax hikes on an economy that isn’t growing as fast as expected. Furthermore, the very threat of looming tax hikes could be a drag on growth all by itself. If revenue is a concern, there is plenty of corporate welfare and wasteful spending left to cut. History has shown that tax cuts consistently lead to increases in federal revenue as a result of robust economic growth. We’re hopeful Congress won’t undermine the many positive reforms in the Senate bill with this self-destructive policy.” -- Freedom Partners Executive Vice President Nathan Nascimento

Steve Moore: “destructive and a threat to economic growth.”

“So-called ‘triggers’ for future tax HIKES are destructive & a threat to economic growth. #TaxBill should reject. We need competetive rates & predictability.” – Steve Moore, Heritage Foundation Economist, FreedomWorks Senior Economic Contributor

Sen. Pat Toomey: Tax hike trigger could “have a self-fulfilling effect”

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas): “I can’t think of a worse way to tank the economy than to raise taxes.”

Sen. Rand Paul: "I'm not very excited about having any automatic raises in taxes.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.): Tax hike trigger is “a special level of insanity”​

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.): “I do not support triggers.”

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.): “If businesses or individuals have no ability to plan on a rate, it makes an investment decision, for instance, very, very difficult.”​

Dan Mitchell: "Tax hike triggers are bad for growth."

Cato Institute’s Ryan Bourne: A tax hike trigger “dampens the pro-growth effects of the tax plan, and risks lower-than-expected revenues becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.” 

Deroy Murdock: "Disarming this absurd, self-defeating tax-hike trigger is the only form of gun control that Republicans should support."

"Why on Earth are some Republicans crafting a tax hike trigger? God created Democrats, not Republicans, to hike taxes. The GOP Congress seems determined to turn President Trump's simple tax cut and simplification proposal into something as twisted and tangled as an osprey nest. Republicans should have faith in what John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan understood: lower, simpler, flatter taxes trigger economic growth, which raises federal revenues. Spending restraint, not tax-hike threats,will help curb deficits. Disarming this absurd, self-defeating tax-hike trigger is the only form of gun control that Republicans should support" -- Deroy Murdock, Fox News contributor and co-founder KeepCalmAndCutTaxes.com

Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Veronique de Rugy: "There is so much wrong with this proposal that it is hard to know where to start." 

Taxpayers Protection Alliance president David Williams: “We believe a tax hike trigger hinders the economy’s growth. Spending cuts must go hand-in-hand with tax cuts, as to not overthrow the deficit.”

Mattie Duppler Springer, senior fellow for fiscal policy at National Taxpayers Union: “The uncertainty this would interject into the economy would diminish the growth impact of the corporate income tax cut and deprive workers of the wage growth they so sorely need.”

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), chairman of the House Budget Committee: “I’m not as exactly on board as what the Senate might be on that. I actually believe the better trigger mechanism here is to cut spending.”

Deneen Borelli at Conservative Review: “Bad idea.”

WSJ editorial page assistant editor James Freeman: “Finally we have a consensus in the economic community on the right and the left, everyone agrees its asinine to put in automatic tax hikes.”

Economists are also strongly opposed to the tax-hike trigger:

Dan Clifton:  "Our read of the overall goal is that the ‘trigger’ will essentially cut the tax cut in half by imposing tax increases five years into the tax cut."

Deloitte Tax director Jane Rohrs: "It infuses uncertainty into the whole decision-making process and makes it hard for companies plan their investment decisions."

Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi: “It’s a bad idea. This reduces the economic benefit of the tax cut.”

Michael Materasso: “I don’t think the market would like a trigger like that. I don’t think business would like a trigger like that.”

PNC Financial Services Group chief economist Gus Faucher: “I’m concerned that if we hit a downturn, then we could have these automatic tax increases, and that would actually make the recession worse.”

William Gale, senior economics fellow at the Brookings Institution: "These triggers are not innocuous. They are dangerous."

Ernie Tedeschi, economist at Evercore ISI: A tax-hike trigger would act as “a further drag on GDP growth just as the economy is going south”

Alan Auerbach, a professor of economics and law at the University of California at Berkeley: “Talking about a trigger as if it could really provide an effective protection for the revenue loss, it’s not an effective policy. It’s bad economic policy.”

Alan Ruskin, Global Head of G10 FX Strategy and Macro Strategist at Deutsche Bank: "There is every risk that prescribed tightening in fiscal policy based on a future deficit number is highly pro-cyclical, reinforcing a growth slowdown. This seems like the worst of all worlds, a possible stimulus at a point when the economy does not need it, and if it does not support growth sufficiently, triggers a fiscal contraction when it is least needed!" 

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Friday the 13th Could be the Scariest Day of the Year for Connecticut Taxpayers

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, October 12th, 2017, 3:26 PM PERMALINK

After being hit with the two largest tax increases in state history, this pre-Halloween Friday the 13th could bring even more bad luck and horrific tax hikes for Nutmeg State taxpayers.

Over 100 days into the new fiscal year, Gov. Malloy and state legislators are still struggling to reach a budget agreement. The sticking point is whether the new budget will be balanced on the backs of Connecticut taxpayers once again. Even after admitting earlier this year that his previous tax increases have not worked, Malloy continues to insist that further tax hikes be included in the new budget. 

Last month, lawmakers in Hartford passed a bipartisan budget proposal that did not include higher taxes and sent it to Gov. Malloy’s desk, where it was met with a veto. Unfortunately for Connecticut taxpayers, who already face the second highest state and local tax burden in the nation, Malloy is insisting on a new spending plan that raises taxes, even though legislators from both parties have shown the budget can be balanced without another round of job-killing tax hikes.

Connecticut lawmakers are now back at the negotiating table, working on a new budget deal that they hope to have ready by Friday, October 13th. As negotiations continue this week, the new version of the bipartisan budget could potentially include some of the tax hikes that Gov. Malloy has been pushing for all year, the most notable of which include higher taxes on prescription drugs, cellphone bills, hospitals, hotel rooms, vacation homes, and tobacco. Malloy has also proposed raising the state sales tax to 6.5% from 6.35% and the tax on restaurant meals to 7%.  

In addition to the two largest tax hikes in state history, Connecticut residents have also been hit with 20 federal Obamacare tax increases in recent years. The last thing they need is to have lawmakers in Hartford pile on with another round of job-crushing tax increases. Connecticut already has a tax climate that is hostile to business and the tax increases being pushed by Malloy will only make matters worse, likely exacerbating the exodus of individuals, families, and employers out of state. Americans for Tax Reform urges Connecticut legislators to stand up to Gov. Malloy (D) and thwart his incessant pursuit of more economy-depressing tax hikes.  

Photo Credit: CT Senate Democrats


Norquist: GOP Tax Reform Will Boost American Job Growth

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, September 28th, 2017, 1:23 PM PERMALINK

Appearing on Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends, president of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist stated that upcoming GOP tax reform is "best for the person who for the last eight years didn't have a job."

According to Norquist tax reform is going to help millions of Americans find jobs by bringing "trillions of dollars back from overseas to the united States."

 

 

 

 

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GOP Has Full Control of 26 States


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, August 3rd, 2017, 10:15 AM PERMALINK

West Virginia governor’s switch from D to R means GOP has full control of legislative and executive branch in 26 states; Dems have full control in just 6 states

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (D) announced his intention to join the Republican Party, switching the state to full Republican control. The GOP now has full control of the legislative and executive branch in 26 states.

Democrats only have full control of the legislative and executive branch in six states.

Population of GOP-controlled states: 164,139,104

Population of Dem-controlled states: 50,190,213

Click here for a full size version of the map below.

 

 

 

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What The Mainstream Media Won't Tell You About The Senate's Health Care Bill

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, June 30th, 2017, 10:39 AM PERMALINK

Writing in FoxNews.com, ATR president Grover Norquist highlighted the numerous conservative changes present in the Senate’s Healthcare bill.

Norquist noted the establishment media’s failure to mention the tax cuts to middle-class Americans that would come from passage of the Senate’s healthcare reform bill. Norquist also stated that the bill will stimulate competition and enact drastic entitlement reform:

First, the bill repeals a total of $700 billion dollars in ObamaCare taxes that raise the cost of care, restrict choice, and hurt economic growth.

Second, the BCRA strengthens tax-preferred Health Savings Accounts, so that families are better able to save for health care expenses.

Third, the bill allows states to implement health care systems that work for families in the real world. No longer will we have a one size fits all system dreamed up by bureaucrats in Washington and policed by the IRS.

Fourth, the BCRA enacts long overdue entitlement reform that reins in out of control spending while ensuring the truly needy are protected.

Read the full piece here.

Photo Credit: Photo in the Public Domain, link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Speaker_Ryan_with_Trump_and_Pence.jpg

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Senate Heath Care Bill is a Win for Middle Class

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, June 30th, 2017, 10:28 AM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform wrote an Op-Ed in The Hill on the many middle class tax cuts in the Senate’s Healthcare Reform Bill.

The article points out numerous examples of the Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act” (BCRA) undoing Obamacare taxes that are directed at the middle-class. A few notable taxes repealed include:

·         Rolling back the individual mandate tax penalty which hits 8 million American families of four with a tax increase amounting to$2,000

·         The repeal of heavy taxes on medical device and prescription drug manufacturers

·         Repealing tax increases on families with high medical bills

·         Increasing the ability for families to save for healthcare costs in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

·         Eliminating the tax on health insurance, which affects 11 million households that purchase care through the individual insurance market and 23 million households covered through their jobs

·         Eliminating the tax on net investment income that hinders small businesses

In total, the BCRA will reduce taxes by $701 billion over the next decade. This is a huge win for taxpayers, especially middle class American families. Read the full piece here.

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Senate Health Bill Repeals Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017, 5:07 PM PERMALINK

The Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act provides middle class tax relief for the 30 – 35 million Americans with a Flexible Spending Account and the 20 million Americans with a Health Savings Account.

The Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax violated Obama’s middle class tax pledge. Obamacare imposed a $1 trillion tax hike on the American people, and violated President Obama’s own “firm pledge” not to raise any form of tax on any middle class American. One of the most widespread Obamacare taxes is the Medicine Cabinet Tax.

The Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax hits tens of millions of Americans. The Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax hits the 20 million Americans with a Health Savings Account and the 30 – 35 million Americans with a Flexible Spending Account.

Under Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax, Americans are forbidden from using HSA and FSA funds to buy over the counter medicines. Examples include:

  • cold, cough, and flu medicines
  • children’s fever relievers
  • chest rubs
  • aspirin and baby aspirin
  • allergy medicines
  • menstrual cramp relief medication
  • feminine personal care treatments
  • hundreds of other common medicine cabinet necessities
     

The Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax is a $5.6 Billion Tax Hike. By forcing Americans with FSAs and HSAs to use post-tax dollars to purchase these necessary items, Obamacare raised taxes on these households by $5.6 billion over a ten year period.

The Repeal Bill Abolishes the Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax, providing significant tax relief for middle class households. The repeal bill gives HSA and FSA holders the freedom to use pre-tax dollars to purchase over the counter medicines for their household -- cold, cough, and flu medicines, children’s fever relievers, chest rubs, aspirin and baby aspirin, allergy medicines, menstrual cramp relief medication, feminine personal care treatments, hemorrhoid cream, and hundreds of other common medicine cabinet necessities.

The Senate health bill doubles the dollar amount families can put into HSAs. Families with high medical expenses will be able to purchase more of their essential health items using pre-tax funds. This change makes HSAs even more useful to household budgets.

“The Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax raised the cost of health care and made middle income Americans worse off,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The bill repeals Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax once and for all.”

 

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Senate Bill Repeals Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax on Middle Class

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017, 6:00 AM PERMALINK

Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax is an income tax hike that hits 10 million households that happen to have high out of pocket medical expenses in a given year – the average income of households paying this Obamacare tax is $53,000

Though rarely if ever mentioned by the mainstream media, Obamacare is loaded with tax hikes on the middle class. Today we look at just one of these taxes, the Obamacare Chronic Care Tax:

The Obamacare Chronic Care Tax violated Obama’s middle class tax pledge. Obamacare imposed a $1 trillion tax hike on the American people, and violated President Obama’s own “firm pledge” not to raise any form of tax on any middle class American. One of the most widespread Obamacare tax hikes is the Chronic Care Tax.

The Obamacare Chronic Care tax is an income tax hike. Before Obamacare, Americans facing high out of pocket medical expenses were allowed an income tax deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). Obamacare now imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this income tax deduction, it widens the net of taxable income.

The Obamacare Chronic Care Tax hits at least 10 million American households each year. According to IRS data, each year approximately 10 million households are hit with the Obamacare Chronic Care Tax, and nearly all were middle class. The average household income of those hit with this Obamacare tax: $53,000.

The Obamacare Chronic Care Tax is a $36 Billion Tax Hike over 10 years. By raising the threshold that Americans can claim the chronic care tax deduction to 10 percent, ATR estimates that the income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax deduction is $200 - $400 per year. The latest CBO score shows that the Obamacare Chronic Care tax hits these families with $36 billion in higher taxes over ten years.

The Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act abolishes the Chronic Care Tax, providing significant tax relief for low and middle income households. The Senate healthcare bill restores the pre-Obamacare 7.5 percent threshold, providing significant middle class income tax relief.

 

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Norquist: Trump Plan Will Turbocharge the Economy

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017, 3:17 PM PERMALINK

Today ATR President Grover Norquist issued the following statement in praise of President Trump’s tax reform announcement:

“President Trump has re-energized the drive for fundamental tax reform that creates growth and jobs. The plan cuts taxes for businesses and individuals and simplifies the code so Americans can file on a postcard. Reducing taxes on all businesses down to 15% will turbocharge the economy.

The Trump administration has made it clear that spending on infrastructure will be kept separate from tax reform. This will allow tax reform to lower tax rates, abolish the Death Tax, and move to a territorial tax system that will allow us to compete internationally.”

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