Americans for Tax Reform

Carly Fiorina Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American People

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, May 7th, 2015, 6:45 AM PERMALINK

Carly Fiorina, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. 

The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.” 

Previously, Fiorina signed the Pledge as a U.S. Senate candidate from California in 2010. “Carly has a long history of supporting and defending taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Among declared 2016 GOP presidential candidates, Fiorina joins Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz in signing the Pledge.

ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge.

In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

“By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Carly Fiorina continues to protect American taxpayers against higher taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Fiorina understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."

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Senator Marco Rubio Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American People

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, 6:00 AM PERMALINK

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a candidate for the presidency of the United States, has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. 

The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Senator Rubio signed and kept the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He is a Pledge signer in his current capacity as a U.S. Senator and has kept his promise to Floridians.

ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge.

In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

“Senator Rubio is a longtime leader in the taxpayer movement. He signed and kept the Pledge as a Florida state House representative and as a United States Senator. By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Senator Rubio continues to protect American taxpayers against higher taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Senator Rubio understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."

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Senator Ted Cruz Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American People

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, April 24th, 2015, 11:59 AM PERMALINK

Today, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a candidate for the presidency of the United States, signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. 

The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge.

In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Senator Cruz signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as a Senate candidate in the 2012 cycle and has kept his pledge to the people of Texas.

“By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Senator Cruz continues to protect American taxpayers against higher taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Senator Cruz understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."

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Senator Rand Paul Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American People

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, April 24th, 2015, 11:56 AM PERMALINK

Today, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a candidate for the presidency of the United States, signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. 

Senator Paul is the first candidate for the 2016 Republican nomination to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge.

In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Senator Paul signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as a Senate candidate in the 2010 cycle and has kept his pledge to the people of Kentucky.

“By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Senator Paul continues to protect American taxpayers against higher taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Senator Paul understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."

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Ten Outrageous Items the IRS Purchased With Taxpayer's Money

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015, 11:48 AM PERMALINK

Throughout the 2015 tax season the IRS has desperately tried to convince Americans that it needs more money. It is ridiculous that the agency is now pleading poverty, after years of outrageous spending habits. A Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report outlines the abuses in the IRS employee credit card program. Below are the top ten most ridiculous items purchased with IRS credit cards:

Item #1: Nerf Footballs
IRS employees used their credit card to purchase $119 worth of Nerf footballs that were intended to be used for a “team-building exercise.”  As if that wasn’t bad enough, they never used the balls, which are “currently stored in a filing cabinet” somewhere in the bowels of the IRS.

Item #2: “Related Alcohol Purchases”
At one luncheon, IRS credit cards were used for “related alcohol purchases” including 28 bottles of wine—for 41 guests.  As a bottle of wine contains about five servings, this equates to three and a half glasses of wine per person. 

Item #3: Thomas the Tank Engine Rubber Wristbands
For the child in all of us, the IRS purchased these for “managers’ meetings.”  These were part of the “almost $4,000 in improper decorative and give-away items” that TIGTA found in their review.

Item #4: "World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle"
Along with some jigsaw puzzles, the IRS purchased the “world’s largest crossword puzzle.”  These purchases cost $89 of taxpayer money.  Hopefully the IRS actually used these in their “team building” activities.

Item #5: “Plush Animals”
Even IRS agents need a little love sometimes, which may be why plush animals were purchased with IRS credit cards as give away prizes.  Who wouldn’t want to go home and squeeze their little teddy after a long day of harassing free-market grassroots groups?

Item #6: Bathtub Toy Boats
Another one of the “give-away items” at the IRS managers’ meetings were “bathtub toy boats”.  The IRS spent $418 to purchase these, along with some other “improper decorative and give-away items.”

Item #7: Stove Top Hats
Not many people can pull off the hat like Abe Lincoln did, but that didn’t stop IRS agents from trying to outdo our 16th President.  Stove top hats were purchased using an IRS credit card as yet another “give-away prize.”

Item #8: Kazoos
The IRS must enjoy the sound of Kazoos.  They used your tax money for “novelty decorations and give-away items, such as kazoos” which were awarded as prizes during their managers’ meetings. 

Item #9: “Dinner at an approximate cost of $140 per person.”
The report notes a “dinner at an approximate cost of $140 per person, four times the Federal Government per diem rate in Washington D.C.”  At the time of this conference the per diem rate was $36 for dinner.

Item #10: A $100 Per Person Lunch
The IRS spent five times the Federal Government per diem rate of $18 when they bought lunch at $100 per guest.  And they say there is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Norquist Congratulates Rand Paul on Campaign Launch

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015, 11:56 AM PERMALINK

ATR president Grover Norquist today issued the following statement praising Senator Rand Paul:

"Senator Rand Paul has been a strong and consistent friend of taxpayers. I have known Rand Paul since we worked together in the taxpayer movement in the early 1990s. As a Senator he signed and kept the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. If elected president he would be the first taxpayer activist to become president. A healthy precedent."

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35 Governors Declare February 6 as "Ronald Reagan Day"

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, February 6th, 2015, 2:37 PM PERMALINK

Happy Birthday Mr. President. 

The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project sends requests to governors from all 50 states to issue a proclamation declaring February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day" annually. On Reagan's 104th birthday, 35 states -- five with Democrat governors -- signed official proclamations recognizing the late president.

Grover Norquist founded the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project  in 1997.  The project is committed to preserving the legacy of the 40th President of the United States throughout the nation and abroad, and also works to encourage the naming of buildings, roads, landmarks, and schools after the late President. There are currently 108 domestic dedications in 28 states, and 14 international dedications in seven countries

Grover Norquist, founder and chairman of the RRLP, had this to say about President Reagan: “Even though it’s been more than 25 years since he left office, Ronald Reagan remains the leader his successors should emulate. His steadfast leadership revived a lagging U.S. economy, created a period of prosperity that lasted nearly 20 years, and restored America to its position as leader of the free world. His accomplishments outweigh those of all his successors combined. He represents the gold standard for leadership.”

The following 35 Governors have issued proclamations declaring today as Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alabama- Robert Bentley (R)

Arizona- Doug Ducey (R)

Arkansas- Asa Hutchinson (R)

Colorado- John Hickenlooper (D)

Delaware-Jack Markell (D)

Florida- Rick Scott (R)

Georgia-Nathan Deal (R)

Idaho- Butch Otter (R)

Illinois- Bruce Rauner (R)

Indiana- Mike Pence (R)

Iowa- Terry Branstad (R)

Kansas- Sam Brownback (R)

Louisiana- Bobby Jindal (R)

Maine- Paul LePage (R)

Maryland- Larry Hogan (R)

Massachusetts- Charlie Baker (R)

Michigan- Rick Snyder (R)

Mississippi- Phil Byant (R)

Nebraska- Pete Ricketts (R)

Nevada- Brian Sandoval (R)

New Hampshire- Maggie Hassan (D)

New Jersey- Chris Christie (R)

New Mexico- Susana Martinez (R)

North Carolina- Pat McCrory (R)

North Dakota- Jack Dalrymple (R)

Ohio- John Kasich (R)

Oklahoma- Mary Fallin (R)

South Carolina- Nikki Haley (R)

South Dakota- Dennis Daugaard (R)

Tennessee- Bill Haslam (R)

Texas- Greg Abbott (R)

Vermont- Peter Shumlin (D)

West Virginia- Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Wisconsin- Scott Walker (R)

Wyoming- Matt Mead (R)

 

There are 15 governors who have not issued a proclamation declaring Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alaska- Bill Walker (I)

California- Jerry Brown (D)

Connecticut- Dan Malloy (D)

Hawaii- David Ige (D)

Kentucky- Steve Beshear (D)

Minnesota- Mark Dayton (D)

Missouri- Jay Nixon (D)

Montana- Steve Bullock (D)

New York- Andrew Cuomo (D)

Oregon- John Kitzhaber (D) 

Pennsylvania- Tom Wolf (D)

Rhode Island- Gina Raimondo (D)

Utah- Gary Herbert (R)

Virginia- Terry McAuliffe (D)

Washington- Jay Inslee (D)

 

 


 

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ATR Presents 2015 State of the Union Bingo


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, January 19th, 2015, 5:46 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform once again presents a series of handy Bingo cards you may use to check off terms and phrases likely to be used during President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.  

Print out all versions of the card and watch the speech with your friends, family, or book club: [BINGO Card I]  [BINGO Card II]  [BINGO Card III]

Official Terms and Definitions:

 

“Work together” = I will work together with my pen and phone.

 

“Infrastructure" or "Roads and Bridges” = Bullet trains to nowhere.


“Internet” = A dangerously under-regulated segment of the economy the FCC should start micromanaging.

 

"Investment” = Tax hikes.

 

“Balanced” = Tax hikes.

 

“Fair share” = Tax hikes.

 

"Inequality” = Tax hikes.


"1%” = How kids feel after a Michelle Obama school lunch.

 

"Children and Grandchildren” = The people picking up the tab.


“Energy” = What my administration expends to ensure the Keystone XL Pipeline is never built.

 

"I or Me” = Center of the known universe.

 

“Education” = Teachers union payoff.

 

“Regulation” = Thank you for not asking about the 300 coal plants that are doomed due to my EPA regs.

 

“Affordable” = Affordable only after a taxpayer-funded subsidy. But not really.

 

"Middle Class” =  Those who are the target of seven tax hikes in Obamacare.

 

"Recovery”  =  The weakest post-1960 recovery on record.

 

“Deficit” = The product of an overspending problem which I want to “fix” with tax hikes.

 

“Compromise” = You pay. I spend.

 

“Responsibility” = Don’t forget to send in your Obamacare 'Shared Responsibility Payment' to the IRS.

 

"Health Insurance” = If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Oh, wait.

 

“Access” = Government mandates + more tax dollars.

 

"Special Interests” = Taxpayers.

 

“Jobs” = Where young adults used to spend their time instead of Mom and Dad’s basement.

 

“God bless America” =  Good luck filling out your Obamacare tax forms. 

 

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IRS Watchdog: Elderly and Disabled Taxpayers Not Allowed to Leave Messages


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 4:42 PM PERMALINK

In its annual Report to Congress today, the office of the National Taxpayer Advocate outlined a series of Internal Revenue Service failures. In the “Access to the IRS” section, the report details the trouble taxpayers face reaching the right person in order to meet their tax obligations:

"The IRS does not answer the phone at local offices and has even removed the option it once provided for taxpayers, including the elderly and disabled, to leave a message.

Until 2013, taxpayers — including the elderly and disabled — were allowed to leave a voicemail requesting an in-person appointment. But now, elderly and disabled taxpayers attempting to navigate the automated helpline maze are asked to email the IRS to set up an appointment. The automated message instructs as follows:

“If you are disabled or elderly and require special accommodations for service, please email us at…"

But this leaves many taxpayers in the dark. As the report states:

"Demographic research data show only 57 percent of adults over age 65 use the Internet compared with 87 percent of all adults. According to 2010 Census data, only 41 percent of those with a non-severe disability use the Internet and only 22 percent of those with a severe disability age 65 and older use the Internet. For those without Internet access, the only viable ways to reach the IRS are by phone, or in person."

On its helplines, the IRS is required to provide taxpayers the option to speak with a live person. But as the report states, the IRS won’t even answer questions about what lines are considered helplines:

"TAS [Taxpayer Advocate Service] twice inquired of the IRS in a formal information request whether it considers the 3709 lines to be ‘helplines' for the purpose of § 3705(d) of RRA 98, which would require them to have an option to speak with a live person. TAS also asked what lines the IRS does consider to be helplines. Twice, the IRS declined to answer these questions."

The full report may be accessed here.

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The IRS' Bogus "Washington Monument Strategy"


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 12:49 PM PERMALINK

The IRS is employing scare tactics in their latest gambit to increase its taxpayer-funded budget. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has threatened delayed refunds, long call wait times, the specter of identity theft, and now, no-show days for IRS employees.

This is an old beltway bureaucrat trick. Popularly known as the “Washington Monument Strategy”, it involves bureaucracies weathering budget cuts by making changes in the most painful and transparent way. It harkens back to an old story about the National Park Service complying with a small budget cut by shutting down public tours of the Washington Monument.

“Koskinen is telling the world that he’s not competent and capable enough to manage the IRS with the budget that Congress gave him,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "He should apologize for taking a job he’s not ready for and step down and be replaced by somebody capable. 

The IRS itself was caught wasting time and effort running political interference for President Obama’s re-election campaign by attacking tea party organizations and others who disagreed with the President.  They were doing that rather than managing the IRS. There’s a long list of people who should have been fired for playing politics at the IRS. That will provide some of the savings right there.”

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