Billy Gribbin

Join the Rally for Jobs on "The Virtual National Mall"

Posted by Billy Gribbin on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010, 2:08 PM PERMALINK

Many political activists, regardless of their ideologies, aim for huge rallies in front of the Capitol building to draw attention to their cause.  The folks at Rally for, however, have found a way to let concerned citizens show their support for American workers without having to trek across the country to DC.  They’ve constructed a “virtual national mall,” a website which features a constantly changing sample of attendee’s avatars; speech bubbles pop-up at random, showing a variety of comments, thoughts, and slogans from the virtual marchers.

Lasting from September 20th to the 24th, the goal of the online rally is to decry the Obama administration’s demonization of America’s energy infrastructure and to protest any new taxes on the nation’s oil and gas companies.  As Americans for Tax Reform has previously noted, a National Energy Tax or “Cap and Trade” bill would cost the US hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost productivity.  Given these stark numbers, Americans across the country have been attending rallies in their home states, protesting such damaging legislation in an already fragile economy.  At this National Mall in cyberspace, however, they can join together for a good cause without even leaving the house.  So far, over 165,000 people have signed up.

Clicking on various attendees’ pictures, you quickly find out how many Americans consider this an important issue.  Here’s just a sample of the many comments:

“Americans want jobs not higher taxes. Are you listening Washington? Oh and PLEASE end the moratorium, it's a job killer!!”

“The American dream must be built with American resources!”

“There’s work left to do! Tell Congress American prosperity depends on American energy!”

Good stuff.  If you support our energy industry, low taxes, and want to fight unemployment, you’ll want to join in the march at  See you there!

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Alliance for Worker Freedom Condemns NMB Union Election Standards

Posted by Billy Gribbin on Friday, September 17th, 2010, 3:52 PM PERMALINK

Christoper Prandoni, Executive Director of the Alliance for Worker Freedom, has written a letter to U.S. Senators urging them to to support Senator Isakson’s SJ Res 30, which condemns the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) decision to ease unionization standards for airline and railway employees.

Overturning more than 75 years of precedent, the three person board unilaterally repealed the "Majority Rule" regulation for unions, whereby a majority of a whole body of workers must approve unionization.  Under NMB's new policy, a majority is needed only of the voting members themselves, skewing the process far in favor of the already powerful unions.

The Alliance for Worker Freedom stands firm with Sen. Isakson in opposition to a descision which puts union bosses ahead of workers who wish to remain independent.  Mr Prandoni had this to say:

Since the creation of the National Mediation Board in 1934, a majority of transport workers’ votes has been required to form a union. Last year, the AFL-CIO viewed this traditional voting practice as an impediment to their unionization efforts and lobbied the NMB to amend this practice. The NMB complied with the AFL-CIO’s request and in May ruled that union elections for workers subject to the Railway Labor Act should be decided by only a majority of workers who cast ballots, not total company workers. This move would make it substantially easier for unions to win elections and could encourage deceptive election practices.

Overturning seventy-five years of precedent and two Supreme Court rulings, the National Mediation Board has overstepped its understood authority. Although frequently challenged, numerous institutions, under both Democrat and Republican Administrations, upheld the “majority rule” practice. The Supreme Court twice ruled in favor of “majority rule” unionization election standards.

Click here to read the full letter.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Norquist Urges Congress to Prevent a Lame Duck Session

Posted by Billy Gribbin on Thursday, September 16th, 2010, 3:23 PM PERMALINK

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) has written an open letter to Leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) requesting that they refrain from pushing through controversial legislation in a lame duck session this fall.

There has been increasing speculation, fueled by Sen. Reid's own remarks, that such a tactic might be used in order to pass a National Energy Tax or a "Cap and Trade" bill before votes are lost to the incoming  congressional freshman class.

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist sent a letter to the Hill urging Members to support Rep. Lamborn in his opposition to a lame duck energy tax.
Here's why:

Artificially raising energy costs by implementing new taxes, mandates, and regulations, Cap-and-Trade legislation would put undo strain upon our already fragile economy.  If the Senate were to ratify the House-passed cap-and-trade bill, HR 2454, the nation can expect an increase of oil and gas prices of over 50 percent, thousands of dollars in additional taxes per-household, and the loss of trillions of dollars from America’s current GDP...

...As elected representatives, the members of the House and Senate have a responsibility to respect the preferences of their constituents. When the American people make their voices heard this November, they should not have to endure the same policies they have just repudiated, foisted upon them by politicians who are no longer accountable.

Click here to read the full letter.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

BULB Act Better for Economy and Environment

Posted by Billy Gribbin on Thursday, September 16th, 2010, 2:28 PM PERMALINK

Reps. Joe Barton, Marsha Blackburn and Michael Burgess have introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives entitled the “Better Use of Light Bulbs Act,” or BULB. It seeks to amend the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 so as to repeal the portion banning nearly all use of the incandescent light bulb by 2014.

The ban itself was intended to save on electricity costs and limit pollution one light fixture at a time, replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs). To this end, CFLs have failed in their original purpose: their much touted electricity sipping qualities have resulted in buyers leaving them turned on far longer, often draining more energy than they saved. Who would have ever thought that the federal government’s interference with an everyday household item could backfire?

As might be imagined when the federal government bans something as commonly used as a light bulb, there are also severe economic ramifications. With more and more manufacturing plants shut down due to the ban, many Americans have found themselves out of work.  As of this writing, the last major manufacturing plant for incandescent light bulbs in the U.S. is closing. Located in Winchester, Virginia, the GE plant provided jobs for hundreds, jobs that are being eliminated due to the ban.  Their work is now being shipped overseas to places like China, where production of CFLs is much cheaper.

The switch from incandescent bulbs to CFLs has been dogged by a variety of other problems, as well.  Consumers have noted the extensive time CFLs’ need to “warm up” with each use, and that they can’t be turned on and off with the same frequency before dying as their venerable predecessors.  In addition, CFLs contain dangerous levels of mercury, and thus need to be disposed of in a careful manner; if one of them breaks, the EPA recommends a thorough cleaning process, including the trashing of any fabrics to come in contact with the bulb’s contents.  Say what you will about Edison’s original brainchild, but at least it didn’t put a health hazard in every room of the house.

Fortunately, BULB could change all of this, if it gets the votes. Here’s hoping that congress knows how sick and tired Americans’ are of having their light fixtures dictated for them.  Otherwise, the lights will continue to dim for a once bright industry.

More from Americans for Tax Reform