Tennessee Looks to Rein In Costly Regulations

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Posted by ATR on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018, 5:47 PM PERMALINK

If you talk to business owners today, many will tell you that costly and complex regulations are just as much of a problem for them, if not more so, than high taxes. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has released a report documenting how the federal regulatory costs are now greater than federal personal and corporate income tax collections combined. Burdensome state regulations are also a major problem. Some smart, forward thinking state legislators are looking for ways to address the problem.

Tennessee are currently looking to implement an important safeguard against rising regulatory costs. House Bill 1739, a bill introduced by Tennessee Rep. Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville), would dramatically reduce the ability of unelected state bureaucrats to enact costly new regulations that harm consumers and businesses in the Volunteer State. If enacted, HB 1739 would require that any proposed regulation with an economic impact of more than one million dollars over three years would need legislative approval in order to take effect.

Rep. Daniel’s bill is sponsored by 48 of the 98 members of the Tennessee House of Representatives. If HB 1739 if approved, Tennessee would be only the second state in the country to pass such a law at the state level, following Wisconsin, which passed a similar law last year. Like Rep. Daniel’s bill now pending in Tennessee, that Wisconsin bill, which was introduced by Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and Representative Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee), takes the same approach to tackling regulatory overreach as the federal REINS Act (which has passed the House but stalled in the Senate, since Republicans don’t have the 60 votes necessary for passage in that chamber). Rep. Daniel’s bill, however, institutes a lower economic impact threshold beyond which legislative approval is needed. The recently-enacted Wisconsin REINS Act requires legislative approval regulations with an economic impact greater than $10 million, which is ten times the threshold set by Rep. Daniel’s bill.

Americans for Tax Reform will continue to urge Tennessee lawmakers to support and pass HB 1739. If lawmakers in other states are looking for a ways to protect their constituents from costly, growth-reducing regulations, the state-level versions of the REINS Act that passed in Wisconsin and is now pending in Tennessee is a great model to adopt.

Photo Credit: Ensign Beedrill

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Think Progress Hates On Twinkie Maker Hostess, Declares $1,250 Tax Reform Bonuses "phony"

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Posted by ATR on Thursday, February 1st, 2018, 5:00 PM PERMALINK

Over 300 companies have already announced tax reform bonuses, pay raises, and 401(k) hikes. Kansas City-based Hostess Brands, Inc. is one of them. They make Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, Zingers, Donettes, Sno Balls, and other delicious items.

Thanks to tax reform, employees will receive a $750 cash bonus, plus $500 in 401(k) contributions, plus free snacks for a year.

As reported by Bloomberg:

A representative from each of Hostess's bakeries will choose a product each week, and the employees will be able to take home a multipack of that item.

Sounds awesome, right? Sign me up.

But the elitist lefties over at Think Progress have been desperately attempting to dismiss all of the good news stemming from tax reform and the Hostess bonuses really sent them over the edge. They declared the Hostess bonuses to be "phony."

In a Think Progress post today titled "Hostess hands out phony tax bill bonuses with a twist" they write:

The company, which makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, announced on Thursday that it is giving employees a one-time bonus of $1,250, with $750 of that in cash and $500 in the form of a 401(k) contribution. In a borderline on-the-nose move, Hostess is also giving employees one free multibox of snacks per week in addition to the small bonus. (Let them eat cake, right?)

Yet another sign the Left is out of touch.

Democrats and most media outlets continue to dismiss or altogether ignore the good news about tax reform. American workers do not agree with the “crumbs” comments of Democrat Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

In their own words, here’s what Americans have to say about their tax reform bonuses and pay raises:

“I’ve got a vehicle I’m trying to get ready for my daughter. She needs transportation, so it [bonus] will help me out in that instance very much.” [Link]

"I’ve never really had anything like this happen before," said 24-year-old Brian Robertson, a mover with Broadway Express. "It’s the first job I’ve ever had to get any kind of bonus or anything." [Link]

“Anytime your paycheck increases, it’s definitely a good thing for your family," said Kristi Stoddard. "It’s nice to see they’re putting money back into the middle class." [Link]

"We’ll be able to pay more bills," said Rich Stoddard. "We might be able to go out for dinner. Do the little things we might not be able to do until this kicks in. Honestly, your paycheck, you know where it’s going even before you get it. Now we have a little extra." [Link]

“I’m very grateful for the bonus and raise I received,” said Shawn Joy, who has worked as an applicator/operator at the business for about five years. [Link]

Hair stylist Breitanya Williams spent part of her bonus fixing the taillights on her Buick Rendezvous — the only vehicle she and her husband own that will fit all four of their young children. Another portion of Williams’ extra money went toward subscribing to a workout program. “That’s like my life-changing part,” said Williams, 25. “I just had my fourth child in five years … (and I’m) trying to make my family and myself healthier.” [Link]

Williams’ colleague Laura Naven also put her bonus toward her family. She paid down hospital bills left over from when she gave birth to her 4-month-old and put some money into savings. “I have two kids, so building up the savings is key right now,” said Naven, 33, general manager at Five Senses. [Link]

“The tax reform package is becoming increasingly popular with every headline,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “All this before Americans see higher take-home pay and lower tax withholding this month when 90% of Americans will first see their gains in their paycheck. Every two weeks from February to November Americans will be reminded that one party cut their taxes and raised their pay. And the other tried to stop it.”

Pass the Twinkies.



Photo Credit: Vicky

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Enviros Push Meat Tax

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Posted by ATR on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018, 5:13 PM PERMALINK

[See Also: List of Companies Giving Tax Reform Bonuses and Raises]

Environmentalists are targeting your hamburgers and buffalo wings with a “Meat Tax.” And they claim they have “never been closer to a meat tax.”
As reported by Bloomberg Law: 

Hamburger addicts, barbecue junkies, and fried chicken fanatics may soon be asked to pay a surcharge for their obsessions with meat.

Excise taxes on beef, pork, and chicken could be the next big thing in a state and local tax environment that’s already comfortable with “sin tax” regimes aimed at cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and gambling and is adapting quickly to special levies on sugar-sweetened beverages, greenhouse gases, and marijuana.

While there are no current legislative proposals imposing state or local surcharges on meat, a growing number of public health, environmental, and animal rights advocates are bullish on tax schemes addressing the mounting social costs of meat production and consumption.

“We have never been closer to a meat tax,” said Ashley Byrne, associate director of campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). “We have seen people—including meat eaters—realizing that meat is bad for their health and meat is taking this incredible toll on the environment. People seem more open than ever to an excise tax on meat. If we are going to tax tobacco, if we are going to tax soda, it absolutely makes sense to have a similar tax on meat.

Americans for Tax Reform opposes a meat tax. “Americans hate new taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “New taxes on a basic consumer product like meat is doubly unpopular and will end more political careers than your usual dumb tax idea."

[See Also: List of Companies Giving Tax Reform Bonuses and Raises]

Photo Credit: Lana Dandan

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Breaking: Capital One Will Raise Base Wage for U.S. Employees to $15 per Hour

Posted by ATR on Thursday, January 11th, 2018, 2:00 PM PERMALINK

Capital One is raising its base wage to $15 per hour for U.S. employees.

The news was announced to associates on Tuesday January 9, 2018.

Capital One has been added to list of tax reform good news, located at

Thanks to tax reform, Bank of America gives $1,000 bonuses to 145,000 U.S. employees

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Posted by ATR on Saturday, December 23rd, 2017, 12:00 AM PERMALINK

Due to the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 145,000 U.S. employees of Bank of America will receive special $1,000 bonuses.

As reported by CNBC, quoting an internal Bank of America memo from CEO Brian Moynihan:

“Beginning in 2018, we will see benefits from the tax reform, too, in the form of lower corporate tax rates.

In the spirit of shared success, we intend to pass some of those benefits along immediately. U.S. employees making up to $150,000 per year in total compensation – about 145,000 teammates – will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 by year-end.” – CEO Brian Moynihan

ATR's Naughty and Nice List for 2017

Posted by ATR on Monday, December 18th, 2017, 12:51 PM PERMALINK

(This list is being continuously updated through Christmas Eve. Have a recommendation? Send it to


Frank Giacco
The 11-year old entrepreneur who mowed the White House lawn

Former New York Times Labor Reporter Steven Greenhouse
For complaining that letting Frank Giacco mow the White House lawn sent a bad message about labor laws


President Donald J. Trump
“With Trump as your President, we are going to be celebrating Merry Christmas again, with a big, beautiful tax cut!”


Bill Rogers
For riding out Hurricane Harvey with his wife and four dogs in a truck and saying, "Death? I ain't afraid of death. What I'm afraid of is the IRS."


Sen. Ted Cruz
For his leadership in expanding 529 college savings plans. Thanks to his amendment, families can use 529s for K-12 education and homeschooling expenses


Vice President Mike Pence
For providing the tie-breaking vote for the Cruz 529 amendment


Harry Reid
For his farsighted decision to eliminate the filibuster for nominations to the judiciary and executive branch positions


Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma
​For spearheading a gas tax increase


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
For enacting a new budget that provided further tax relief to Wisconsin taxpayers, including the repeal of the statewide property tax, state AMT, and state soda tax.


California Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes
​For voting to extend Democrat Governor Jerry Brown's cap and trade scheme through 2030


North Carolina Senate President Phil Berger, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, and other Republican legislators
For enacting another round of personal and corporate income tax rate cuts


FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb
​For significant delaying the Obama administration's pending prohibition of life-saving electronic cigarettes, while more reasonable regulations are created


Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature
​For passing "Right to Earn a Living" legislation that puts the burden on government to prove why occupational licenses are necessary to protect the public


FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
​For restoring internet freedom


Internet Trolls
For harassing Ajit Pai, hi wife and children at home, at work, and in school with racial slurs and threats of violence


Speaker Paul Ryan
​For his decades of work to make tax reform possible


12 Michigan GOP legislators
For voting against an income tax rate cut: Jason Sheppard (Temperance), Chris Afendoulis (Grand Rapids Township), Julie Calley (Portland), Kathy Crawford (Novi), Daniela Garcia (Holland), Larry Inman (Williamsburg), Jim Lilly (Park Township), Dave Maturen (Vicksburg), Michael McCready (Bloomfield Hills), Brett Roberts (Eaton Township), Dave Pagel (Berrien Springs), and Scott VanSingel (Grant)


New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R)
​For vetoing the millions of dollars of tax increases that the Democratic-controlled legislature tried to impose on the hard working people of New Mexico



Alaska Governor Bill Walker (D)
For his efforts to impose an income tax on Alaskans


Alaska Senate President Pete Kelly and Senate Republicans
​For blocking Governor Bill Walker and House Democrats' efforts to impose an income tax on Alaskans


Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D)
For his proposal to impose a Commercial Activity Tax (gross receipts tax) on Louisianans less than a year after he signed the largest tax increase in the history of the Pelican State into law


Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (R)
​For opening up ANWR


Florida Governor Rick Scott (R)
​For enacting his seventh tax cut in seven years


All Democrats in the Senate and House
For voting against tax cuts for the Middle Class


Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD)
​For getting Death Tax repeal through the U.S. House


Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
​For being the cheerful warrior for tax reform


Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO)
​For fighting to protect small businesses, families and seniors against Obamacare's health insurance tax


Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)
​For fighting to prevent a tax hike trigger from being included in the tax reform bill


Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
​For guiding the tax reform bill through the Senate with a narrow majority


Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
​For setting the record straight with Democrats. The tax reform bill is a win for the Middle Class.


Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin
​For spearheading President Trump's effort to pass tax reform in 2017

(This list is being continuously updated through Christmas Eve. Have a recommendation? Send it to

Norquist Statement on Conference Report for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Posted by ATR on Friday, December 15th, 2017, 6:06 PM PERMALINK

“A floor wax AND a delicious dessert topping that will create millions of American jobs and simplify and lower taxes on Americans”

ATR president Grover Norquist praised the Conference Report for Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as follows:

“In December 1975 Saturday Night Live unveiled “Shimmer” which was a floor wax AND a dessert topping. [See the video here]

“Today in December 2017 Republicans will enact the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill is a floor wax and a delicious dessert topping: it will create millions of American jobs AND simplify and lower taxes on Americans.

“It reduces taxes on American corporations AND small businesses.

“It simplifies the tax code so most Americans can file on a postcard AND offers tax relief for Americans at every income level.

“It will increase take-home pay AND grow the economy.

“It will end the Obamacare mandate tax paid by millions of Americans -- 80% of whom earn less than $50,000 -- AND it will free up oil in Alaska.”


Conservatives Support a 20% Corporate Rate

Posted by ATR on Friday, December 8th, 2017, 12:06 PM PERMALINK

In an open letter, 26 conservative groups urged the conference committee to support a tax cut bill with a 20% corporate rate. As the letter notes, a 20% corporate tax rate will spur American competitiveness, increase wages and deliver the relief middle-class taxpayers deserve.

The full text of the letter can be found here and is below: 


Conservative Groups to Conferees on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Reduce Corporate Income Tax Rate to 20 Percent

December 8, 2017

Dear Conferee,

The central pro-growth provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is reducing the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. It is a primary reason for our enthusiastic support of tax reform. The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world - dropping that rate to 20 percent will spur American competitiveness, increase wages and deliver the relief middle-class taxpayers deserve.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut. The U.S. Senate passed a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut. We strongly urge the conference committee to report a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut. We are confident that it will, and we write to encourage you in your good work.


National Taxpayers Union

Americans for Tax Reform


Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Consumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE)

Center for Individual Freedom

Americans for Prosperity

Freedom Partners

Generation Opportunity

The LIBRE Initiative

60 Plus Association

American Commitment

Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Independent Women’s Voice

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund

Center for Worker Freedom

Digital Liberty

Property Rights Alliance

American Conservative Union

American Conservative Union Foundation

Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)

Club for Growth

ALEC Action


Unified Statement on Tax Reform from Conservative Leaders: the Time is Now

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Posted by ATR on Tuesday, November 28th, 2017, 10:15 AM PERMALINK

We stand at a pivotal moment in American history, awaiting Congress to take action to reform our broken tax code. Collectively, we have worked alongside policymakers for decades to identify pro-growth reforms the country desperately needs; Members of Congress can no longer hesitate to enact bold changes to our tax code. 
The current tax code harms employers of all sizes, while depriving Americans of opportunity for better jobs and higher wages. Any Senator serious about delivering tax relief for American families and all American businesses cannot in good conscience delay action on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. There are millions of Americans represented by our organizations who are counting on Congress to deliver tax reform and we urge Members of the United States Senate to act swiftly to accomplish that goal.

Pete Sepp, President
National Taxpayers Union

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Tim Phillips, President
Americans for Prosperity

Michael Needham, Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America

Adam Brandon, President

​David McIntosh, President
Club for Growth

James Davis, President
Freedom Partners

Jenny Beth Martin, Chairman
Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund

Corry Bliss, Executive Director
American Action Network

David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment

Lisa B. Nelson,
ALEC Action