Americans for Tax Reform

ATR Urges Opposition to AB 155

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, August 29th, 2011, 10:19 AM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter this morning to all members of the California legislature, urging their opposition to AB 155, legislation which seeks to prevent California voters from having a say on the job-killing online sales tax signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in June:


Dear Members of the California Legislature,

I strongly urge you to oppose the re-enactment of a tax on Internet and remote sales with the sole purpose of circumventing Californians’ ability to vote this tax down at the ballot box.  Assembly Bill 155, under a recently outlined plan, would repeal and then re-enact recently passed legislation that dissolved the physical presence standard for tax collection, attempting to force out-of-state retailers to collect and remit sales tax.

For lawmakers who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a vote in favor of this plan is a violation of your commitment to constituents to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

By dramatically altering the tax code in order to raise revenue, these remote sales tax proposals do constitute a tax increase. While “use taxes” are owed by consumers, “sales taxes” are owed by companies that may legally pass the liability onto consumers. Forcing sales tax onto out-of-state businesses establishes a new form of taxation, while simultaneously dissolving the physical nexus standard and trampling on Commerce Clause jurisprudence. Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Quill v. North Dakota, a business must have a physical presence in order for the state to have the authority to require it to comply with tax laws.

To make matters worse, this attempt to re-establish a remote sales tax with minor tweaks is being undertaken almost entirely to prevent Californians from voting on the tax. It enshrines the new tax into law without the ability for voters to overturn it. This legislation represents an egregious end-run around the democratic process and demonstrates complete disdain for the will of Golden State voters, particularly in light of recent ballot measures that shot down other tax increases and enacted taxpayer protections against tax changes originating in Sacramento.

Already, the new law (enacted under ABX1 28 in June) has negatively impacted in-state businesses without leveling the playing field for tax collection. Almost immediately and predictably, it caused 25,000 online advertisers in California to lose some or all of their business. Moving forward, the law hands excessive and vague authority to the Board of Equalization, opening the door for regulatory actions ripe for legal challenge.

The recently unveiled plan to ensure the taxation of remote sales is not only a tax increase, but an affront to the democratic process and the U.S. Constitution. We urge you to reject AB 155 with proposed amendments or other related vehicles. Instead, the legislature should simply repeal ABX1 28 in its entirety. If you have any questions, please contact Kelly William Cobb or Patrick Gleason at (202) 785-0266.


Grover G. Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform

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From "Astro Turf" to "Terrorists"?

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011, 12:42 PM PERMALINK

WASHINGTON, D.C.— As reported by POLITICO on Monday, Vice-President Joe Biden behind closed doors described tea party Republicans as having acted like “terrorists.”  Biden later told CBS News, “I did not use the terrorism word.”

In any case, the Obama administration has held the tea party movement in utter contempt since its inception, as shown by this timeline of White House statements dating from mid-April 2009:

Apr. 14, 2009:  Asked about the Tax Day “tea parties” being held the following day (attended by hundreds of thousands of people across the country) White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: I don't know if the President is aware of the events.”

Apr. 19, 2009:  Asked about the April 15 tea parties on Face the Nation, Obama senior advisor David Axelrod said: “I think any time you have severe economic conditions there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy”

Apr. 29, 2009:  Speaking at a town hall meeting in St. Louis, Obama directly addressed tea party attendees"Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security…But let's not play games and pretend that the reason [for the deficit] is because of the Recovery Act."

Aug. 4, 2009:  Asked by reporters about the growing concern expressed by town hall attendees, Gibbs said: I hope people will take a jaundiced eye to what is clearly the Astro Turf nature of so-called grassroots lobbying”.  Questioned further, Gibbs said:  “This is manufactured anger”

Sept. 13, 2009:  During an interview on Face the Nation, when asked what his message was to those at the previous day’s rallies, Axelrod said:  “My message to them is they’re wrong”

Americans for Tax Reform is a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases.  For more information or to arrange an interview please contact John Kartch at (202) 785-0266 or by email at


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ATR Statement on Washington Post Editorial

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, July 21st, 2011, 11:40 AM PERMALINK

To clarify concerns that may be raised by the Washington Post editorial today, Americans for Tax Reform issued the following statement:

ATR opposes all tax increases on the American people.  Any failure to extend or make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, in whole or in part, would clearly increase taxes on the American people.  In addition, the failure to extend the AMT patch would increase taxes.  The outlines of the plans are deliberately hazy, but it appears that both Obama’s Simpson-Bowles commission proposal and the Gang-of-Six proposal dramatically increase taxes on the American people.

It is a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to trade temporary tax reductions for permanent tax hikes. 

The present conversations in Washington should focus totally and exclusively on reducing government overspending.  President Barack Obama has increased the annual federal budget by almost $1 trillion dollars.  ATR has not altered either its policy positions or opposition to all tax increases whatsoever in any debt negotiations.

Tax reform that reduces tax rates and broadens the tax base on a revenue neutral basis should be done separately and not in a rush under duress from parties hostile to the interests of taxpayers. 

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What should taxpayers think about the "Gang of Six" announcement today?

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011, 5:32 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform today released the following statement from Grover Norquist, president of the group:

“What should taxpayers think about the 'Gang of Six' announcement today?

The Gang of Six ‘plan’ is not written in legislative language.  It is an outline.  It punts many decisions to the Senate Finance Committee.  It deals in ranges rather than specifics.  When it is eventually written down in legislative language and every American can read it, taxpayers will then learn whether the ‘plan’ raises taxes or cuts taxes and seriously reduces spending or fails to mandate spending reductions.  It is a mistake to invest one’s hopes or fears while the ‘plan’ remains unclear and subject to change by a Senate Finance Committee selected by Democratic leader Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

One is reminded of the dangers of pronouncing oneself satisfied with a product before it comes clearly into focus.  Henry VIII was assured by French ambassador Charles de Marillac that Anne of Cleves was tall and slim, ‘of middling beauty, and of very assured and resolute countenance’. 

Best to wait until we can see up close what really is and isn’t there.

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Tell Legislators to Support Gov. Corbett's Effort to Balance the State Budget Without Tax Hikes

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, June 20th, 2011, 1:31 PM PERMALINK

With state budgets across the country swimming in red ink, Pennsylvania is poised to provide leadership by showing the rest of the country how to balance a budget without raising taxes.

Governor Tom Corbett has proposed a budget that ensures the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will do what families and employers across the Keystone State must do every day: live within its means.

Urge your representatives in Harrisburg to stand with Governor Corbett in his fight for fiscal responsibility and sanity by simply filling out the form below:

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Obama and Perdue: Tax-and-spenders of a feather flock together

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011, 4:11 PM PERMALINK

In today's Daily Caller, ATR's Patrick Gleason explains how President Obama's proposals hurt North Carolina businesses, and how NC Gov. Beverly Perdue has doubled down on the President's economically destructive policies at the state level:

On Monday, President Barack Obama went to Durham, North Carolina-based Cree, Inc., to do what he does best — give a speech. The president began his remarks, which focused on the importance of job creation and economic growth, by touting the fact that his host was a “small business that a group of N.C. State engineering students founded almost 25 years ago” and “is now a global company.”

Indeed, small businesses are the engine of economic growth, creating 64% of American jobs. Yet, the president’s rhetoric doesn’t match his policy proposals.

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Top Ten Things Obama Never Told You About Obamacare

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, 9:26 AM PERMALINK

1. Did you know that . . . since Jan. 1 of this year (2011), you cannot use your flex-account at work (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to purchase over-the-counter medicines?

2. Did you know that . . . since July 1 of last year (2010), Americans have been paying a 10 percent excise tax on all indoor tanning services?

3. Did you know that . . . starting in 2018, if your health insurance is “too good” or considered a “Cadillac” plan, then you will incur a new 40 percent tax on your health plan?

4. Did you know that . . . Obamacare has 21 new or higher taxes in it, totaling over $500 billion in increased taxes going to the government over 10 years?

5. Did you know that . . . beginning in 2014, individuals and families that do not purchase “qualifying”  -- as defined by federal bureaucrats -- health insurance will be forced to pay a yearly tax penalty?

6. Did you know that . . . 7 tax hikes in Obamacare directly break President Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise any form of taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 per year and families making less than $250,000 per year?

7. Did you know that . . . the capital gains tax rate under Obamacare will rise to 23.8 percent starting in 2012? That is a 59 percent increase from its current rate.

8. Did you know that . . . in 2013, those Americans facing the highest medical bills and the least ability to pay for them will find their ability to deduct medical expenses is further limited (medical expenses must be reduced by 10 percent of income under Obamacare, rather than current law’s 7.5 percent)

9. Did you know that . . . beginning in 2014, businesses with over 50 employees will be forced to offer health coverage for everyone, or pay a hefty tax for each employee?

10. Did you know that . . . in 2013, Obamacare caps the amount individuals and families can put in their flexible savings accounts at $2500? Currently there is no cap and these accounts are used for a myriad of health expenses including paying upwards of $14,000 in tuition to special needs schools for some parents?


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Obamacare Uses the Term "Tax" 255 Times

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, 9:08 AM PERMALINK

A word search of the 2,409-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) and the 150-page Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) reveals that the term “tax” is used 255 times, “taxable” is used 208 times, and “excise tax” is used 17 times.

Other terms of interest are as follows:


Healthcare Bill


Number of uses


255 times


208 times

“Excise tax”

17 times


 28 times


 183 times


132 times


208 times


51 times


4,384 times



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Coalition of Economic Groups Demand Spending Cuts

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, March 21st, 2011, 4:55 PM PERMALINK

Today, Americans for Tax Reform, joined by twenty-eight fiscally conservative groups, released a letter urging lawmakers to defund Planned Parenthood. After years of explosive spending growth, Congress should immediately eliminate funneling wasteful and unnecessary subsidies to controversial enterprises. Planned Parenthood, which took in over $388 million in profits from 2002 to 2007, should not be allowed to continue to reap the munificence of the public coffers. Like other services best undertaken by the private sector, Planned Parenthood should be required to withstand fair market competition, instead of subsisting on unnecessary taxpayer support. From the letter:

“When the House of Representatives voted two weeks ago to end federal grants and contracts for Planned Parenthood, it did so alongside eliminations for other pet projects, such as military contracts, signaling the sanctimony preserved for institutions revered on both sides of the aisle is coming to a close. It was decided that American taxpayers should not be on the hook for unnecessary and controversial funding at a time when they simply cannot live with any more spending.

The federal budget is out of control, and if we cannot at least eliminate funding for an enormously wealthy, controversial nonprofit like Planned Parenthood, our movement to significantly cut the federal budget to sustainable levels with be dead in the water.

American Taxpayers cannot afford to be unwitting benefactors of endless bailouts, and the Pence Amendment is not just another social-issue skirmish. It is a test of economic and budgetary seriousness. Planned Parenthood must be privatized.”

Signatories to the letter include: Americans for Tax Reform, the Independence Institute, American Civil Rights Union, the Center for Fiscal Accountability, Americans for Prosperity, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, American Shareholders Association, Generation Joshua, Ocean State Policy Research Institution, Young Americans for Liberty,, Young Americans for Freedom, GOProud, Frontiers of Freedom, the Hispanic Leadership Fund, the Civitas Institute, Tea Party Washington, DC, Less Government, Citizen Outreach, the National Center for Public Policy Research, Capital Research Center, American Council for Health Care Reform, RenewAmerica, the Indian American Conservative Council, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the Florida Center-Right Meeting, ReAL Action,

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