Americans for Tax Reform

NY Assembly Should Follow Senate's Lead, Make Property Tax Cap Permanent

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, June 18th, 2018, 5:28 PM PERMALINK

ATR has released a letter to the New York State Assembly in support of Senate Bill S1207. You can read the full letter here or below.

Dear Speaker Heastie and Members of the Assembly,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across New York, I urge you to take up and pass Senate Bill S1207, which would make the state’s property tax cap permanent.

New York’s property tax cap was first enacted in 2011. It was calculated in 2015 that residents would have paid an additional $7 billion in school taxes alone if not for the property tax cap. It has been one of the few protections New York taxpayers have enjoyed. It should be your priority to ensure it stays in place.

New Yorkers pay the highest combined tax burden in the nation, on average, 12.7 percent of their income, and they face some of the highest property taxes in the country.

Downstate property tax bills in Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau counties rank in the top 10 in the U.S. on average. Upstate is not saved from these burdens either. For example, Binghamton residents pay the highest property taxes as a percentage of home value in the nation.

The last thing individuals, families, and employers across New York can afford is for Albany to leave the door open for drastic property tax hikes.

Governor Cuomo and the Senate majority have led on this issue in a bi-partisan fashion and the Assembly has a great opportunity to join them in standing up for hard-working New Yorkers who want to build a future in the state, but can’t afford higher property taxes.

The legislature should send a clear message they won't risk massive property tax hikes on New Yorkers by sending SB 1207 to the Governor's desk. Moving forward, we urge you to lower those property tax burdens through unfunded mandate reform - something the Senate has taken steps on by passing legislation to stop future unfunded mandates.

ATR will be educating your constituents, and all New York taxpayers as to how lawmakers in Albany vote on important fiscal and economic matters throughout the legislative session and leading up to this November’s elections.

If you have any questions, please contact Doug Kellogg, State Projects Director, at (202) 785-0266 or DKellogg@atr.org.

Onward,

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

 

Photo Credit: UpstateNYer


Maine Holds Its Primary Elections Next Week, And One Candidate Has Promised To Not Raise Taxes If Elected Governor

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, June 7th, 2018, 9:28 AM PERMALINK

In her campaign to be the next governor of Maine, Mary Mayhew has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to Maine taxpayers to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Maine’s Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primary elections will be decided this coming Tuesday, June 12th. Mayhew is the first and only candidate in the race thus far to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and in doing so, promise to voters to reject all efforts to raise taxes on Mainers.

“I applaud Mary Mayhew for making this principled commitment to hardworking Maine families,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “By making this important pledge to Maine taxpayers, voters know they have a candidate for governor in Mary Mayhew who will not raid taxpayer bank accounts if elected. Rather than raise taxes, Mayhew has made clear she’ll instead pursue reforms that make state government more efficient and less costly to taxpayers."

Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office. In the 115th Congress, 46 U.S. Senators and 209 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are pledge signers. Pledge signers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady are also pledge signers. On the state level, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge has been signed by 11 incumbent governors including Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Gov. Rick Scott (Fla.), and Gov. Paul LePage (M.E.), and nearly 1,000 state legislators across the country.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


ATR Applauds NYC Proposal to Allow Restaurants to Show the Impact of Taxes on Prices

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018, 5:31 PM PERMALINK

In a letter today, ATR President Grover Norquist offered support for a proposal, Intro 0823-2018, from New York City Councilman Joseph Borelli which would allow restauraunts to make clear to patrons how much of the cost of their meal comes from city taxes.

To view a PDF of the letter Click Here, full text of the letter is below:

 

May 23, 2018

The Honorable Joseph Borelli

New York City Councilman, District 51

250 Broadway, 1551

New York, NY 10007

 

Dear Councilman Borelli,

I write on behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in strong support of your proposal, Intro 0823-2018, which would allow restaurants in New York City to reveal to their patrons the costs imposed on them by government through taxes.

This is a commonsense measure that allows businesses to clearly communicate what drives the prices they must charge consumers - rather than being forced to hide costs that are driven up by government in the prices of their products.

The result would be more informed consumers, and citizens, who will have a better understanding of where their hard-earned money is going when they go out to enjoy New York City’s vibrant restaurant scene.

Restaurants in New York City face some of the highest taxes in the nation, and now are being squeezed by a dangerous, experimental $15 minimum wage. Jobs are at risk. Media reports indicate restaurants are already being negatively impacted by the rising minimum wage, which still has yet to hit the final $15-per-hour mark. These city policies, and more, drive up the operating costs of restaurants and prices for consumers. Businesses should be empowered to share these facts with their customers.

We applaud Council Members Cumbo and Powers for co-sponsoring this legislation. We urge all council members to support the restaurants in their districts, their employees, and customers by backing this proposal.

If you have any questions, please contact ATR State Projects Director Doug Kellogg at dkellogg@atr.org.

Onward,

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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Left-Wing Billionaire Michael Bloomberg: Raising Taxes on Poor People Is a “good thing.”


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018, 3:40 PM PERMALINK

Bloomberg: “The question is do you want to pander to those people?”

Bloomberg: “Taxes or life? Which do you want to do? Take your poison.”

Nanny-state-imposing left-wing billionaire Michael Bloomberg is now on video admitting how much he likes to raise taxes on poor people, calling such tax hikes a “good thing.” For years, Bloomberg has personally funded and promoted all sorts of regressive taxes and regulations in an attempt to push people around. He uses the coercive power of the government to force people to live their lives as he sees fit.

So here is Bloomberg on stage with another global mandarin, Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund. He refers to low income individuals as “those people” and then takes a shot at coal miners and the U.S. military. He clearly reveals his arrogant, bullying worldview. The entire thing is bad, but we've bolded a few of the most obnoxious sentences [click here for video]:

Michael Bloomberg: “Some people say, well, taxes are regressive. But in this case, yes they are. That's the good thing about them because the problem is in people that don't have a lot of money. And so, higher taxes should have a bigger impact on their behavior and how they deal with themselves. So, I listen to people saying 'oh we don't want to tax the poor.’ Well, we want the poor to live longer so that they can get an education and enjoy life. And that's why you do want to do exactly what a lot of people say you don't want to do.

The question is do you want to pander to those people? Or do you want to get them to live longer? There's just no question. If you raise taxes on full sugary drinks, for example, they will drink less and there's just no question that full sugar drinks are one of the major contributors to obesity and obesity is one of the major contributors to heart disease and cancer and a variety of other things.

So, it's like saying, ‘I don't want to stop using coal because coal miners will go out of work, will lose their jobs.’ We have a lot of soldiers in the United States in the US Army, but we don't want to go start a war just to give them something to do and that's exactly what you're saying when you say 'well, let's keep coal killing people because we don't want coal miners to lose their jobs.' The truth of the matter is that there aren't very many coal miners left anyways and we can find other things for them to do. But the comparison is: a life or a job. Or, taxes or life? Which do you want to do? Take your poison.

Christine Lagarde: “So its regressive, it is good. There are lots of tax experts in the room. And fiscal experts, and I’m very pleased that they hear you say that. And they all say that two things in life which are absolutely certain. One is death, the other one is tax. So you use one to defer the other one.”

Bloomberg: “That’s correct. That is exactly right. Well said.” [Applause]

To get the full effect of his arrogance, watch the video. For years, billionaire Bloomberg has sat atop an Ivory Tower with a massive checkbook, judging the appropriateness of raising prices on low-income consumers. He has no concept for the difficult choices consumers make on a daily basis and despite claiming he cares about things like public health, he’s actually championed taxes and policies that harm it.

For one, he’s committed $20 million in the last year alone to demonizing people who decide to quit smoking cigarettes. Many are able to quit thanks to the help of tobacco-free alternatives like vapor products. But Bloomberg is a major funder of organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, an organization that pushes prohibition of vapor products for adults, despite the growing international consensus that they are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes. His money is being used to harm public health by reducing the choices consumers have who are trying to improve their personal health in switching to lower risk alternatives.

Bloomberg also bankrolls the effort to raise the cost of everyday groceries in places like Chicago, New Mexico, Philadelphia, and Washington through higher beverage taxes. Soda taxes don’t work; they are regressive, unpopular across the political spectrum, and they result in low income people having less income in their pockets. The outcome is lower economic mobility simply because billionaire Bloomberg has no fundamental understanding of what it means to live paycheck to paycheck. So while he entertains the world’s wealthiest, his money is being used to make it harder for Americans to afford energy bills, mortgages, and everyday products. 

Bloomberg's statements drip with contempt for those of lesser means than he and his fellow billionaires. Lagarde praising Bloomberg for championing a soda tax because it prevents poor and middle income households from being able to afford soda pop sounds like satire, but in this case it's all too real.

Bloomberg's policy agenda isn't just bad policy, it has also proven to be terrible politics. Take Santa Fe, which is a left-leaing city where more than 70% of voters cast their vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Last year voters there resoundingly rejected -- with nearly two-thirds of the vote -- the same type of soda tax that Bloomberg is pushing all over the country. It's worth noting that the Santa Fe soda tax ballot measure received its highest level of support in the most affluent areas of Santa Fe -- where people closer to Bloomberg's considerable means and sophisticated tastes live -- whereas voters living in lower-income and predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods overwhelmingly voted against this regressive tax.

Bloomberg's soda tax on Chicago residents was so reviled that it was overwhelmingly repealed.

Bloomberg's remarks were made on April 19, 2018 at the IMF’s Spring Meeting.

[See also: List of Tax Reform Good News]

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Americans for Tax Reform Urges North Carolina Lawmakers Not To Rest On Their Yannys In 2018

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Friday, May 18th, 2018, 5:27 PM PERMALINK

North Carolina has been a bastion of good governance in recent years, enacting pro-growth tax reform that has returned billions of hard-earned dollars to Tar Heel State taxpayers. In addition to approving tax reform that makes North Carolina more attractive to investment and conducive to economic growth, state lawmakers have also instituted regulatory reform that has increased the job-creating capacity of employers, and empowered thousands of parents and children across the state with expanded school choice.

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist sent a letter today to state legislators in North Carolina, where they convened their short 2018 legislative session this week. In light of recent success, ATR is urging North Carolina lawmakers to not rest on their laurels this short legislative session and to instead take action to protect taxpayers for years and decades to come.

Below is the letter ATR sent to lawmakers. For a copy of the PDF, click here.

 

May 18, 2018

To: Members of the North Carolina General Assembly

From: Americans for Tax Reform

Re: 2018 Short Session

Dear Senator,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our supporters across North Carolina, I urge you to utilize the recently convened 2018 short session to build upon the General Assembly’s impressive record of reform on tax, regulatory, education, and other policy matters.

By building up the largest rainy day fund in state history and keeping the trajectory of spending below the rate of population growth and inflation – all while enacting tax reform that has allowed individuals, families, and employers across the state to keep billions of dollars in hard-earned income that would have gone to state coffers under the old state tax code – North Carolina has become a national model in recent years for good governance and pro-growth tax reform.

However, I urge lawmakers to not rest on their laurels. Instead, I implore lawmakers in Raleigh to utilize the recently convened short session to enact constitutional and statutory safeguards that will protect North Carolina taxpayers well into the future, long after you and your colleagues have retired.

The best way to do this is to refer two constitutional amendments to the November ballot for voters to decide: one that would cap state spending at the rate of population growth and inflation, the other that would require a two-thirds supermajority vote by the General Assembly in order to enact a tax hike.

Gov. Roy Cooper is already proposing to undo some of the pro-growth tax relief you and your colleagues have worked so hard to enact. Fortunately, Gov. Cooper does not have a legislative majority that will permit him to sign the tax hike he desires into law, but that might not always be the case. As such, it’s imperative that you and your colleagues take action now to protect North Carolina taxpayers from Gov. Cooper’s high tax, high spending plans, as well as those of younger tax hiking politicians who will take office in North Carolina some day in the future.

When it comes to innovative, pro-taxpayer policy reforms, not one of the other 49 states can hold a candle to what you and your colleagues have accomplished in North Carolina in recent years. 2018 is about locking in those policy victories and ensuring that this progress can not be clawed back by future, less taxpayer friendly legislatures and governors.

I thank you for your public service and your leadership. If you have any questions or if ATR can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me or Patrick Gleason, ATR’s vice president of state affairs, at pgleason@atr.org or 202-785-0266.

 

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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Taxes Become Topic of Discussion in South Carolina Gubernatorial Race

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, February 15th, 2018, 4:48 PM PERMALINK

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) recently came under attack from Catherine Templeton, McMaster’s opponent who is challenging the incumbent governor in the upcoming June primary to be the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate this November.

Templeton – who has served as Director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control and is also former Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – claimed at a recent Republican luncheon that Gov. McMaster signed into law “"the largest tax increase in modern history.”

Templeton’s claim here is false, and has been correctly ruled as inaccurate in fact checks conducted by both the Charleston Post & Courier and the Columbia, SC-based The State newspaper. As the Post & Courier fact check points out, the pension bill signed by McMaster that Templeton claims was a tax hike is a piece of legislation that, in fact, “did not include any new taxes.” Rather, that bill increased employer and employee contributions to the state pension system.

Templeton’s attack on Gov. McMaster here false and misleading. As it would happen, not only has he not raised taxes, but Gov. McMaster is one of 12 governors nationwide to have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to voters to oppose and veto any and all efforts to raise taxes. Gov. McMaster kept his commitment to South Carolina voters by vetoing a regressive gas tax increase last year that was ultimately enacted when the legislature overrode his veto. Nikki Haley was a Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer during her time as governor. Catherine Templeton has also signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in her bid for office.

“After being hit with 20 federal Obamacare tax increases over the last eight years and a state gas tax hike last year, the last thing Palmetto State taxpayers need is to be hit with further tax hikes at the state level,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said. “As such, I applaud both Gov. Henry McMaster and Catherine Templeton for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and in doing so, making the principled commitment to defend South Carolina voters from any and all efforts to raises their taxes.”

Photo Credit: Jimmy Emmerson


Clarification on Taxpayer Protection Pledge Violations in AZ-08 Special Election


Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018, 2:48 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform was asked to clarify whether congressional candidates Debbie Lesko and Steve Montenegro violated their Taxpayer Protection Pledges to Arizona voters while in the state legislature.

The simple answer is yes.

When candidates or elected officials sign the state Taxpayer Protection Pledge to their constituents, they're promising to oppose and vote against ANY and ALL efforts to increase taxes.

Debbie Lesko violated her promise to voters to oppose any efforts to increase taxes when she voted in 2010 to refer a $3 billion tax increase to the ballot. While she didn't vote to raise taxes herself, she didn't oppose that clear effort to raise taxes either.

Steve Montenegro's case is similar in that he voted to create a mechanism through which El Mirage could levy an additional property tax. While the city never instituted the tax, Montenegro still failed to vote against that unsuccessful effort to raise taxes.

It is unusual for ATR to make an endorsement in a race, and we have not done so to date in the AZ-08 primary.  While the difference in magnitude between the two measures above is worth noting,  the Pledge is binary and for both of these two candidates the answer is yes.  It is up to the candidates themselves to make the subsequent case about their own records to taxpayers.  The voters will decide the degree to which a vote in violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, whether big or small (and whether ultimately resulting in a tax increase or not), affects their nomination choice.

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36 Governors Proclaim ‘Ronald Reagan Day’ in their State

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018, 1:28 PM PERMALINK

Ronald Reagan Legacy Project honors the legacy of the 40th President

Each year the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project sends requests to governors from all 50 states to issue a proclamation declaring February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day." This year, to celebrate Reagan's birthday, 36 states -- three with Democrat governors -- signed official proclamations recognizing Ronald Reagan Day in their state.

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 151 domestic dedications in 33 states and the District of Columbia, and 17 international dedications in nine countries.

Norquist said: “Reagan reduced the size and scope of government, cut taxes for all Americans, and laid the foundation for economic prosperity. By the time he left office, America was freer, safer, and stronger in every way. Reagan’s leadership had a resounding impact on the lives of citizens here at home and individuals worldwide.”

The following 36 Governors have issued proclamations declaring today as Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alabama- Kay Ivey (R)

Arizona- Doug Ducey (R)

Arkansas- Asa Hutchinson (R)

California- Jerry Brown (D)

Colorado- John Hickenlooper (D)

Florida- Rick Scott (R)

Georgia-Nathan Deal (R)

Idaho- Butch Otter (R)

Illinois- Bruce Rauner (R)

Indiana- Eric Holcomb (R)

Iowa- Kim Reynolds (R)

Kansas- Jeff Colyer (R)

Kentucky- Matt Bevin (R)

Maine- Paul LePage (R)

Maryland- Larry Hogan (R)

Massachusetts- Charlie Baker (R)

Michigan- Rick Snyder (R)

Mississippi- Phil Bryant (R)

Missouri- Eric Greitens (R)

Nebraska- Pete Ricketts (R)

Nevada- Brian Sandoval (R)

New Hampshire- Chris Sununu (R)

New Jersey- Phil Murphy (D)

New Mexico- Susana Martinez (R)

North Dakota- Doug Burgum (R)

Ohio- John Kasich (R)

Oklahoma- Mary Fallin (R)

South Carolina- Henry McMaster (R)

South Dakota- Dennis Daugaard (R)

Tennessee- Bill Haslam (R)

Texas- Greg Abbott (R)

Utah- Gary Herbert (R)

Vermont- Phil Scott (R)

West Virginia- Jim Justice (R)

Wisconsin- Scott Walker (R)

Wyoming- Matt Mead (R)

There are 14 governors who have not issued a proclamation declaring Ronald Reagan Day in their states:

Alaska- Bill Walker (I)

Connecticut- Dannel Malloy (D)

Delaware-John Carney (D)

Hawaii- David Ige (D)

Louisiana- John Bel Edwards (D)

Minnesota- Mark Dayton (D)

Montana- Steve Bullock (D)

New York- Andrew Cuomo (D)

North Carolina- Roy Cooper (D)

Oregon- Kate Brown (D) 

Pennsylvania- Tom Wolf (D)

Rhode Island- Gina Raimondo (D)

Virginia- Ralph Northam (D)

Washington- Jay Inslee (D)

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

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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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