ATR

GOP Has Full Control of 26 States


Posted by ATR 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 ATR 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 ATR 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.

Photo Credit: Photo in the Public Domain, link:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/United_States_Capitol#/media/File:US_Capitol_Building_at_night_Jan_2006.jpg

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Senate Health Bill Repeals Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax

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Posted by ATR 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.”

 

Photo credit: Karsun Designs

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More from Americans for Tax Reform


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

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Posted by ATR 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.

 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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More from Americans for Tax Reform


Norquist: Trump Plan Will Turbocharge the Economy

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Posted by ATR 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.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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104 Years of the Income Tax: Then and Now

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Posted by ATR on Thursday, April 13th, 2017, 11:40 AM PERMALINK

 

As Americans finish yet another tax filing season, let’s take a look at the 104-year history of the income tax:

  • In 1913 the top marginal income tax bracket was 7% -- today it is 39.6%.
     
  • In 1913 the marginal income tax bracket range was 1% - 7%. Today the range is 10% - 39.6%.
     
  • In 1913 there were 400 pages in the tax code. Today there are 74,608 pages in the code.
     
  • In 1913 the family standard deduction was $98,425.45 in today’s dollars. The family standard deduction now is just $12,600.
     
  • When the income tax started in 1913, only 358,000 Americans had to file a 1040. Today 148,606,578 Americans file 1040s.

 

 

"The American income tax is perhaps the most dramatic example of how government grows at the expense of liberty,"

said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Slowly. Constantly. Inexorably."

Photo Credit: Chris Potter

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More from Americans for Tax Reform


Las Vegas EPA Caught Using Taxpayer Funds for 24-Hour Gym Memberships

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Posted by ATR on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017, 12:02 PM PERMALINK

Documents show government credit card charge for $14,799 for "Super Sport" 24-hour gym memberships for Vegas EPA employees

Newly obtained documents show the EPA’s Las Vegas office used a government purchase card to charge nearly $15,000 for 24-hour gym memberships for employees. Courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.

The documents show the EPA office on the campus of UNLV charged U.S. taxpayers $14,799.63 on April 11, 2016 for 37 “1 Year Super Sport” packages at 24 Hour Fitness, which touts its facilities as “the ultimate daily retreat” complete with “thousands of square feet of spectacular workout space, complete with premium gym equipment, unmatched amenities and some of the best studio classes around.”

This basketball court is part of the "spectacular workout space" offered at the EPA's preferred gym.

The Las Vegas EPA office made the purchase even though employees have access to the nearby state of the art 165,465-square foot fitness center on the UNLV campus. Local lifestyle magazine Vegas Seven named the UNLV facility as “Best Fitness Center” in the city and noted that it is “available not only to UNLV students but also Clark County residents.” The magazine praised the “large cardio center facing multiple television screens, a lap pool and spa, all kinds of weight machines, a 200-meter indoor running track, a four-court gym, and a café and juice bar.”

But this was apparently not good enough for the EPA.

According to the EPA Inspector General, this and several other agency purchases failed to comply with internal controls and procedures, “enough to warrant an audit because of noncompliance with existing controls.” The failures are documented here.

The EPA's preferred gym encourages clients to see the club as the "ultimate daily retreat."

“The corruption and waste in the EPA ends now,” said Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist. “Those apologists who pretend that reducing waste and corruption in the EPA is an attack on Mother Earth stand exposed as the frauds they are. Ending corruption and self-enrichment is good for the environment and other living things.”

During his eight years in office President Barack Obama made the Environmental Protection Agency wholly unaccountable to American taxpayers. In doing so he fostered a culture of bureaucratic superiority within the agency such that EPA officials and employees were more concerned with reaping the newfound benefits of unchecked power and less about maintaining the integrity of their taxpayer funded activities, leading to historic levels of waste and abuse with taxpayers footing the bill.

The Las Vegas gym incident highlights the level of blatant disregard the EPA has for American taxpayers. It is representative of a culture of mismanagement from EPA officials in D.C. that has permeated federal and state operations.

The EPA’s actions in Nevada are only one example of myriad wasteful and improper employee actions that have been recorded ranging from drug use to timecard fraud. For instance, a senior EPA official was caught watching up to six hours of pornography on his government-issued computer during work hours, and had been doing so for almost four years during the Obama presidency. That official ironically received a number of performance awards during his time at the EPA.

The former Director of the EPA’s Office of Administration under Obama was caught selling jewelry and weight loss pills out of her office using her government e-mail account. That same employee hired 17 of her family members as paid interns, and paid her daughter, also an EPA employee, directly from her agency’s budget account. She was somehow given the Presidential Rank Award in 2010 under Obama for which she also awarded $35,000.

Spacious locker-rooms are just one of many "unmatched amenities" for EPA employees courtesy of their taxpayer funded "Super Sport" gym memberships.

The culture of mismanagement and unaccountability at the EPA, and resulting waste of taxpayer funds, was promulgated under Obama and allowed to fester throughout his tenure.

Since taking office President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have vowed to get the EPA back to its core mission, and rein in government overreach and wasteful spending.

Photo Credit: 24 Hour Fitness, Texas GOP Vote

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Americans for Tax Reform Will Rate the Vote on AHCA, HR 1628

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Posted by ATR on Friday, March 24th, 2017, 11:40 AM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform WILL RATE a vote for passage of the American Health Care Act as a pro-taxpayer vote
 
ATR urges a YES vote
 
“The American Health Care Act is -- to start -- a $1 trillion tax cut and a $1.15 trillion spending cut over the next decade. It's passage makes fundamental tax reform possible this year. The AHCA block grants Medicaid and expands Health Savings Accounts. It’s a giant step forward in lowering taxes and reforming our nation's health care system,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
 
The American Health Care Act (HR 1628) being voted on today abolishes the following taxes imposed by Obama and the Democrat party in 2010 as part of Obamacare:
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax which hits 8 million Americans each year.
 This is part of a $270 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax. This is part of a $270 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax which hits 20 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts and 30 million Americans with Flexible Spending Accounts. This is a $6 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Flexible Spending Account tax on 30 million Americans. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax on 10 million Americans with high out of pocket medical expenses. This is a $126 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s HSA withdrawal tax. This is a $100 million tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s 10% excise tax on small businesses with indoor tanning services. This is a $600 million tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare health insurance tax. This is a $145 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare 3.8% surtax on investment income. This is a $172 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare medical device tax. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on prescription medicine. This is a $28 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on retiree prescription drug coverage. This is a $2 billion tax cut.

The AHCA Also Has Big League Spending Cuts:
 
Under AHCA, by 2021 federal spending on healthcare as a percentage of GDP is reduced from 6.9% to 6.3%. As time goes by, the spending reduction gets larger. See the first chart, below.
 
Under AHCA, by 2027 total federal spending as a percentage of GDP is reduced from 23.4% to 22.4%. See the second chart, below.
 
“In addition to abolishing Obamacare’s taxes, the AHCA reduces the total size of government permanently,” said Norquist.
 

Chart by Strategas Research Partners using OMB and CBO data
 

Chart by Strategas Research Partners using CBO data

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Governors Declare February 6th Ronald Reagan Day

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Posted by ATR on Monday, February 6th, 2017, 9:50 AM PERMALINK

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 106th birthday, 32 states -- three 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 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. And although he has been out of office for over a quarter of a century, he remains the leader his successors should emulate.”

The following 32 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)
  • 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- Terry Branstad (R)
  • Kansas- Sam Brownback (R)
  • Kentucky- Matt Bevin (R)
  • Maine- Paul LePage (R)
  • Maryland- Larry Hogan (R)
  • Massachusetts- Charlie Baker (R)
  • Michigan- Rick Snyder (R)
  • Mississippi- Phil Byant (R)
  • Nevada- Brian Sandoval (R)
  • New Hampshire- Chris Sununu (R)
  • New Jersey- Chris Christie (R)
  • New Mexico- Susana Martinez (R)
  • North Dakota- Jack Dalrymple (R)
  • Ohio- John Kasich (R)
  • Oklahoma- Mary Fallin (R)
  • South Dakota- Dennis Daugaard (R)
  • Tennessee- Bill Haslam (R)
  • Texas- Greg Abbott (R)
  • Vermont- Phil Scott (R)
  • West Virginia- Jim Justice (D)
  • Wisconsin- Scott Walker (R)
  • Wyoming- Matt Mead (R)

Photo Credit: Marion Doss https://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/


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