Clara Diaz

House Financial Services Republicans Oppose Financial Transaction Tax

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Friday, March 19th, 2021, 2:04 PM PERMALINK

Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee led by Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) recently released a resolution condemning efforts to impose a financial transactions tax. If enacted into law, this tax would harm investors and savers, restrict economic growth, and would serve as an unreliable source of revenue that may fail to what supporters claim.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), and others on the progressive left have called for this new tax, which would be imposed at a rate of 0.1 percent on any buying and selling of stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments. .

Though the 0.1 percent rate may seem like a small amount, it would be imposed on every single trade and would raise $1 trillion over the next decade.

While the Left claims this tax will make Wall Street pay “their fair share,” the FTT is really a tax on American savers and investors, including the 53 percent of American households that own stock and the 80 to 100 million Americans that have a 401(k). 

This tax would also harm public pension funds leading to fewer savings, less retirement income for retirees, and underfunded pensions. This will fall disproportionately hard on public sector pensions including those used by teachers, firefighters, and police officers.

The recent GameStop trading controversy and negative perceptions of the hedge fund industry are simply excuses used by Democrats to push an agenda they already had – trillions in new taxes on the American people.

The Left wrongly argues that an FTT is needed to curb short selling and market volatility. Short selling is simply a function of the free market and occurs when investors think a stock is overvalued. It helps promote efficiency and provide information to the markets.

Republicans on the Financial Services Committee including Ranking Member McHenry and Reps. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) should be applauded for standing against this new tax on American investors. 

Lawmakers on the committee also recently released The “Protecting Retirement Savers and Everyday Investors Act,” legislation that would block states from imposing FTTs on out-of-state investors.

There is also strong conservative opposition to this tax. In a letter signed by almost 30 groups and activists, ATR released a letter arguing that the FTT would“ be borne by the American people, not Wall Street. It would punish investment, leading to lower returns for American retirees and savers and increased market volatility.”

Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee should be applauded for their efforts to oppose an FTT. The push to impose this tax would not harm Wall Street as the far Left claims, but would harm investors, pension funds, and savers across the country.

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012


Norquist Fox Business Op-ed: Get ready, America, Democrats think tax hikes are the answer to everything

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Monday, March 15th, 2021, 12:54 PM PERMALINK

In an op-ed published in Fox Business last week, ATR President Grover Norquist warned how Democrats use every policy issue as an excuse to push for new and higher taxes on American businesses and families.

From raising the minimum wage, to healthcare, to infrastructure spending, and to the “climate crisis," every issue is an excuse to expand the size and scope of government and implement trillions in new taxes

For instance, key Biden officials, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, support a $2 trillion energy tax to address climate issues. If implemented, as Norquist warns, this carbon tax would increase the cost of electricity and consumer goods and services for Americans across the country. 

In addition, Democrats want to address healthcare costs by passing a massive 95 percent excise tax on medicines. This tax would kick in if pharmaceutical manufacturers fail to accept the prices demanded by federal health bureaucrats, as proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the “Lower Drug Costs Now Act.”

The Congressional Budget Office argues that the tax is so onerous that manufacturers would be forced to accept whatever price the federal government demands or stop selling the drug in the U.S. entirely. This plan would cost American patients $1 trillion a year for the next decade due to lack of access to lifesaving cures. According to the Council of Economic Advisors, it would prevent 100 lifesaving and life-preserving medicines from being created over the next decade.

The Left has seized Gamestop-Robinhood trading controversy as a reason to impose a $1 trillion financial transactions tax on trading stocks and bonds. However, as Norquist notes: 

“This tax (as well as corporate tax hikes and capital gains tax hikes) will reduce the life savings of the 80 to 100 million Americans that have a 401(k) and the 46.4 million households that have an individual retirement account. “ 

Raising taxes will not only harm American businesses and workers, but will also slow economic growth, something Democrats tend to forget to prioritize when proposing new taxes. Norquist points out: 

“Thinking of tax hikes all day evidently damages one’s ability to remember things. How quickly the Democrats forgot the Obama years when his high tax rates led to “inversions” -- American companies being bought by foreign companies because they were worth more headquartered in Canada or Ireland. When Republicans lowered the American corporate tax rate from 35% -- the highest in the world -- to 21% the Obama-era exodus of companies ended.” 

Democrats want to use taxes to punish those they dislike and use this to finance new spending for their own special interests.

Each of these taxes would cause immense harm to American families and businesses. The cost of energy taxes is most deeply felt by low- and middle-income Americans. The "Lower Drug Costs Now Act" would rob millions of Americans of lifesaving and life-preserving medicines. A financial transactions tax would reduce the life savings of nearly 150 million Americans. These are not solutions. Rather, they are tools to expand the size and scope of the federal government. 

To read the full op-ed, click here.  

Photo Credit: GotCredit


Lawmakers Should Support Rep. Jason Smith & Sen. Thune Death Tax Repeal Bill

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021, 1:20 PM PERMALINK

Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) are reintroducing the Death Tax Repeal Act  (S. 617 & H.R. 1712).

Repeal of the Death Tax would spur economic growth, create jobs, and increase wages. The Death Tax Repeal Act has the support of Congressional leaders, such as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and House Republican Ways and Means Leader Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

This legislation should be supported and co-sponsored by all members of Congress.

The Death Tax is fundamentally unfair and its bad tax policy. It is levied on assets that have been taxed previously through income taxes, capital gains taxes, and the corporate income tax. 

It disproportionately impacts family-owned businesses like farmers and ranchers especially that tend to be asset rich but cash poor. On the other hand, the wealthy often evade the tax through loopholes and armies of lawyers and accountants. 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made key progress toward repealing the Death Tax by doubling exemption from $5.5 million to $11 million. Unfortunately, because of arcane senate rules, this tax cut expires in 2025.

Moving forward, the Death Tax should be permanently repealed. While conservatives in Congress support repeal of the Death Tax, Democrats want to dramatically increase the size and scope of the Death Tax.

For instance, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has proposed nearly doubling the death tax to 77 percent in his new Estate Tax Plan, returning the death tax to levels unseen since the 1970s. President Joe Biden has expressed interest in reducing the current exemption for individual’s eligibility of transfer from $11.7 million to $3.5 million for estates.

Repealing the death tax would stimulate job creation and grow the economy. Numerous studies have found that repealing the death tax would grow the economy. For instance, a 2017 study by the Tax Foundation found that the US could create over 150,000 jobs by rolling back the estate tax.

Similarly, a 2012 study by the Joint Economic Committee found that the death tax has destroyed over $1.1 trillion of capital in the US economy, which results in fewer jobs and lower wages. Much of this economic damage hits small businesses, which are the core of America’s economy and have been disproportionately harmed by the Coronavirus pandemic. The economic growth created by repealing the Death Tax would produce $221 billion in federal revenue because of increased wages and more jobs.

The Death Tax is extremely unpopular. Numerous studies have found that majority of Americans oppose the Death Tax and support its repeal. For instance, a recent report by NPR found that 76 percent of Americans support full, permanent repeal of the Death Tax.  

Repeal of the Death Tax would spur economic growth, create jobs, and increase wages. It would end double taxation and help family-owned businesses across the country.

Senator Thune and Congressman Jason Smith should be applauded for their reintroduction of the Death Tax Repeal Act and this legislation should be supported by Members of Congress.

Photo Credit: Joe Zierer


ATR Releases Coalition Letter Opposed To Financial Transactions Tax

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021, 4:00 AM PERMALINK

A coalition of almost 30 groups and activists led by Americans for Tax Reform today released a letter in opposition to the implementation of a financial transactions tax (FTT) on American savers and investors.

The letter calls on all members of Congress to reject any proposal to implement a financial transaction tax. An FTT is the latest attempt by the Left to take advantage of a “crisis” to implement a massive new tax on the American people. Contrary to their rhetoric, this tax would be borne by the American people, not Wall Street. It would punish investment, leading to lower returns for American retirees and savers and increased market volatility.

You can read the full letter here or below:

Dear Member of Congress,

On behalf of millions of taxpayers and investors across the country, we urge you to reject any proposal to implement a financial transactions tax (FTT) on American savers and investors.

The Left has seized on the recent GameStop trading controversy to call for a “small” FTT that could purportedly increase federal revenues by $1 trillion over the next decade. This would impose a 0.1 percent tax rate on all buying and selling of stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

While progressives such as Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) argue that an FTT is needed to reduce market volatility and make Wall Street pay “their fair share,” this tax will actually harm millions of Americans that invest their lifesavings in the stock market and own 401(k)s, pensions, and index funds.

An FTT is a tax on American savers and investors. It will harm Americans across the country including the 53 percent of American households that own stock and the 80 to 100 million Americans that have a 401(k). This tax will fall especially hard on public sector pensions including those used by teachers, firefighters, and police officers.

In fact, an FTT would cost pension funds billions of dollars every year, leading to fewer savings, less retirement income for retirees, and underfunded pensions. According to a 2021 study conducted by the Modern Markets Initiative, an FTT could cost a 401(k) owner $45,000 to $65,000 in savings over the lifetime of the account.

An FTT might not raise the revenue supporters claim it does. The Congressional Budget Office found that imposing an FTT in the U.S. would “decrease the volume of transactions” and “probably reduce output and employment.” Some have predicted that a financial transactions tax would raise little net revenue because of these negative impacts.

FTTs also cause capital to flee to jurisdictions that do not tax transactions, further reducing revenues. When Italy and France imposed FTTs in 2012, both countries raised less than a quarter of expected revenues.

FTTs have a history of failure. When Sweden imposed a financial transaction tax, it lasted just six years as trading migrated to London to avoid the tax. Not only did this mean the FTT raised little revenue, capital gains tax revenue also dropped because of a reduction in sales. When it was abolished in 1990, investment began to return to Sweden.

Sweden is not an isolated case. According to the Center for Capital Markets, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Japan, Austria, and France have all tried an FTT in past decades. In each case, the tax failed to raise revenue, reduced trades, and has since been repealed.

Advocates of an FTT falsely argue it is needed to curb short selling and market volatility. There is no evidence that short-selling would shrink relative to overall trading under an FTT, but even if it did, short selling is not responsible for market crashes and economic downturns. Instead, it is a function of the free market.

Some investors will short a stock when they think it is overvalued. Other investors, as shown as the recent rallies in GameStop and other companies, will buy a stock they think is too heavily shorted. Both practices help promote efficient investing and provide information to markets, ultimately softening the blow of a downturn.

For example, the 2008 market crash could have been far more widespread if short sellers hadn’t recognized the housing market was overvalued.

Arbitrarily restricting this trading will likely lead to severe pain if the country experiences another crash. Rather than improving market volatility, an FTT could make this problem worse as there would be fewer buyers and sellers and therefore more price jumps.

Congress should reject any proposal to implement a financial transaction tax. An FTT is the latest attempt by the Left to take advantage of a “crisis” to implement a massive new tax on the American people. Contrary to their rhetoric, this tax would be borne by the American people, not Wall Street. It would punish investment, leading to lower returns for American retirees and savers and increased market volatility. It fails to raise as much revenue as supporters claim and has failed everywhere it has been tried in past decades.

 

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

 

James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

 

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
President, 60 Plus Association

 

Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment

 

Lisa B. Nelson
CEO, ALEC Action

 

Brent Wm. Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

 

John Toedtman
Executive Director, Caesar Rodney Institute

 

Ryan Ellis
President, Center for a Free Economy

 

Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

 

Jeffrey Mazzella
President, Center for Individual Freedom

 

Thomas A. Schatz
President, Citizens Against Government Waste

 

David McIntosh
President, Club for Growth

 

John Berlau
Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

 

Adam Brandon
President, FreedomWorks

 

George Landrith,
President, Frontiers of Freedom

 

Jessica Anderson
Executive Director, Heritage Action for America

 

Mario H. Lopez
President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

 

Andrew Langer
President, Institute for Liberty

 

Sal Nuzzo
Vice President of Policy, The James Madison Institute

 

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

 

Tim Jones
Fmr. Speaker, Missouri House of Representatives
Chair, Missouri Center-Right Coalition

 

Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union

 

Doug Kellogg
Executive Director, Ohioans for Tax Reform

 

Paul Gessing
President, Rio Grande Foundation

 

James L. Setterlund
Executive Director, Shareholder Advocacy Forum

 

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

 

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Photo Credit: Paulo O


Lawmakers Should Support Rep. Jason Smith’s Pro Taxpayer Legislation

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Friday, March 5th, 2021, 1:19 PM PERMALINK

Congressman Jason Smith (R-Missouri) should be applauded for his recent pro-taxpayer legislation, HR 1380, the Permanent Tax Relief for Working Families Act. This legislation would make permanent the doubled Child Tax Credit of $2,000 per child and the $500 dependent credit established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

American families have seen significant tax reductions due to the Trump-Republican expansion of the child tax credit as noted in IRS 2018 Statistics of Income (SOI) data:

  •  In 2017, 22 million households earning $200,000 or less took the child tax credit. These households received an average tax credit of $1,213.
     
  • In 2018, 36 million households earning $200,000 or less took the child and other dependent tax credit. These households received an average credit of $2,002.

 

  • In 2017, 16.6 million households earning between $25,000 and $100,000 took the child tax credit. These households received an average tax credit of $1,271.

 

  • In 2018, 23.3 million households earning between $25,000 and $100,000 took the child and other dependent tax credit. These households received an average tax credit of $1,912.
     

Middle class American families saw the biggest tax cut from the TCJA. 

Americans with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 saw their tax liability drop by an average of 13 percent, twice as much as Americans with income above $1 million, who saw their tax liability drop by an average of 5.8 percent. 

In Rep. Smith’s 8th District of Missouri, his constituents benefited from the expanded Child Tax Credit.

  • In 2017, 48,490 households in the 8th District of Missouri earning $200,000 or less took the child tax credit. These households received and average tax credit of $1,244.

 

  • In 2018, 72,170 households in the 8th District of Missouri earning $200,000 or less took the child tax credit. These households received and average tax credit of $1,996.

 

  • In 2017, 38,730 households in the 8th District of Missouri earning between $25,000 and $100,000 took the child tax credit. These households received an average tax credit of $1,309.

 

  • In 2018, 51, 260 households in the 8th District of Missouri earning between $25,000 and $100,000 took the child tax credit. These households received an average tax credit of $1,989.

 

Without any action from Congress, the Child Tax Credit will decrease from $2,000 to $1,000 after 2025. If Members of Congress are serious about providing relief for working parents, they should support the Permanent Tax Relief for Working Families Act.

Photo Credit: Supermac1961


Lawmakers Should Reject Any Efforts to Undermine FTC Contact Lens Rule

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021, 8:00 AM PERMALINK

ATR today released a letter urging members of the House of Representative and Senate to reject any efforts to undermine the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Contact Lens Rule. The rule was issued on a unanimous, bipartisan basis to ensure that consumers have the freedom to purchase contact lenses from wherever they want whether that is from their optometrists or from a third party.  

Blocking the FTC’s Contact Lens Rule would undermine patient freedom for the 45 million contact lens users across the country. Passing legislation now, during a pandemic, also threatens to increase costs and reduce healthcare choice and access. 

In 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA), which was enacted to ensure consumers had the freedom to purchase contact lenses from wherever they choose without interference. The new FTC rule builds on the FCLCA by requiring optometrists to obtain signed acknowledgement from patients that they have received a copy of their prescription. The FTC rule also continues to allow automated phone prescription verification, which is one of the most effective ways to preserve competition and consumer freedom. Rather than forcing a third-party retailer to wait indefinitely for a prescriber to verify the prescription, this requires the retailer to wait a full business day (eight hours) before fulfilling a consumer’s order.  

These reasonable requirements were adopted because of cases where bad actors attempted to infringe on the freedom of consumers to fill their prescription wherever they choose to, whether that be through the optometrist directly or through a third party.  

While lawmakers should support proposals that lower the regulatory burden and reduce red tape, there should not be concerns that the FTC rule adds to an optometrist’s regulatory burden.  

Moving forward, Members of Congress should ensure the free market is protected and that consumers have the freedom to purchase contact lenses from optometrists or from a third party.

Blocking the rule will only make it more difficult and more costly for Americans to fill their prescriptions, creating unnecessary financial and healthcare burdens on the American people during the pandemic. Any efforts to undermine or delay the FTC Contact Lens Rule should be rejected.  

Photo Credit: Güldem Üstün


Biden HHS Pick Xavier Becerra Supports Socialized Healthcare & Middle Class Tax Hikes

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Friday, February 19th, 2021, 1:11 PM PERMALINK

Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California and President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, is an advocate for socialist healthcare and Medicare for All.

Confirming Becerra would be a step toward radical, government-controlled healthcare. These policies would end current health care plans for 180 million Americans, result in tax hikes for every American, and restrict access to quality care. 

Biden campaigned as a moderate who opposed Medicare for All, yet his pick to lead the administration on healthcare policies is a self-described single-payer advocate. “For me, health care is a right,” Becerra told Kaiser Health News in February 2019. “I’ve been a single-payer advocate all my life.” 

Medicare for All would result in trillions of dollars in tax increases. A study by the Urban Institute and the Commonwealth Fund Medicare estimated that Medicare for All will require between $29 trillion and $35 trillion in higher taxes.

While some on the left claim that middle class families will be better off under this plan, the reality is that they will pay significantly higher taxes. Taxes which target the "rich" like a wealth tax, a financial transactions tax, a 10 percent surtax on “the wealthy,” a 70 percent top income tax rate, and doubling the tax rate on capital gains would only pay for about 20 percent of the cost of Medicare for All, according to the best-case scenario estimates by the left. Clearly, taxing “the rich” will not come close to paying the full cost of Medicare for All.

The existing Medicare for All proposal released by socialist Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) already calls for trillions of dollars in higher taxes on the middle class, including a $3.9 trillion 4 percent payroll tax on workers. This proposal  raises less than half of the full $32 to $36 trillion cost of socialized healthcare, so additional taxes on middle class American families will, inevitably, be needed.  

Even Joe Biden has admitted government healthcare will require significant tax increases on the middle class. As he tweeted:

“Let’s put this in perspective: if you eliminate every single solitary soldier, tank, satellite, nuclear weapon, eliminate the Pentagon and it would only pay for 4 months of Medicare for All. 4 months.

Where do the other 8 months come from? Your paycheck.”

Needless to say, this plan would also violate Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000.

In addition to harming American families through higher taxes, socialized healthcare would also lead to a rationing of care through a combination of price controls and a reduction of payments for doctors and hospitals.  This rationing of care exists in countries that already utilize government healthcare. For instance, in Canada, patients reportedly wait over 20 weeks on average to receive treatment from a specialist. At any one time, over one million Canadians are waiting for a procedure. It is even worse in the United Kingdom where patients often wait over six months to receive treatment.   

A single payer healthcare system would end private, quality health insurance for 180 million American families. Most Americans are satisfied with their health insurance plans and wish to keep them.  According to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates, 81 percent of Americans were satisfied with their employer provided care including 51 percent of Americans “very or extremely satisfied” and 30 percent “somewhat satisfied.”  

President Biden’s pick of Becerra is more proof that Biden will push progressive policies. If confirmed to lead HHS, Becerra will be an advocate for socialized healthcare which will end private health insurance for Americans across the country, force rationing of care, and increase taxes on the middle class. 

Photo Credit: Knight Foundation


Blue State Dems Call for Repeal of SALT Cap in Next COVID Bill

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Friday, January 29th, 2021, 4:03 PM PERMALINK

group of New Jersey and New York Members of Congress are again trying to rollback the cap on state and local tax deductions as part of President Joe Biden’s Coronavirus relief proposal. This proposal has nothing to do with the pandemic, will subsidize high-tax blue states, and will do little or nothing to help the middle class.  

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in 2017 imposed a $10,000 limitation on state and local tax deductions (SALT). This provision was one of several base broadeners that helped facilitate tax reductions for middle class American families.

The hypocrisy of Democrats is clear. On one hand, they are falsely arguing that repealing the SALT cap helps the middle class. On the other hand, they are calling for repeal of the TCJA, arguing it did nothing to help American families.

The fact is, SALT almost exclusively benefits wealthy blue states – 94 percent of the benefits from repealing the SALT cap would go to taxpayers making more than $200,000 a year. While some Democrats, such as Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), claim that the SALT deduction cap amounts to “double taxation,” they ignore the fact that the underlying problem is that New York and other states impose excessively high state and local taxes. In addition, most Americans never had a chance to mitigate this supposed double taxation because they do not claim the state and local tax deduction and instead take the standard deduction. 

While SALT does little for middle income Americans, the TCJA – the tax cut that Dems repeatedly promise to repeal – significantly reduced taxes for families across the country.

Prior the TCJA, taxpayers could deduct an unlimited amount of state and local taxes from their federal tax returns. This created a two-tiered system that overwhelmingly benefited high-tax blue states. Many Americans claimed $0 in state and local taxes because they took the standard deduction instead. The law cut tax rates, doubled the standard deduction, and doubled of the child tax credit. Thanks to these provisions, a typical family of four with median annual income of $73,000 has seen a tax cut of more than $2,058, a roughly 60 percent reduction in federal income taxes. 

Furthermore, IRS data compiled by Americans for Tax Reform shows that middle income American families saw the biggest tax cut – measured as the percentage decrease in "total tax liability" between 2017 and 2018 – from the Trump-Republican TCJA. Americans with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $50,000 to $74,999 saw a 13.2 percent reduction in average tax liabilities between 2017 and 2018. While Americans with AGI of $1 million or above saw a 5.8 percent reduction in average federal tax liability between 2017 and 2018. This is less than half the tax cut seen by Americans with AGI between $50,000 and $100,000.  

It is completely unclear whether we even need another COVID relief bill at this time. The US has already spent nearly $5 trillion in COVID relief packages, including $900 billion one month ago.

However, if another package is deemed necessary, repeal of the SALT cap should not be included. Rolling back the SALT cap does nothing to help fight the Coronavirus, nor would it do anything to help the middle class.  

The proposal to repeal the SALT cap is a clear example of using the pandemic to push unrelated policy priorities. If Democrats actually want to help the middle class, they should focus their efforts on extending the TCJA, not fighting solely for their wealthy constituents.  

Photo Credit: Jiuguang Wang


ATR Supports Rep. Budd's Pandemic Healthcare Access Act

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Monday, January 25th, 2021, 2:25 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist today released a letter of support for H.R. 295, the “Pandemic Healthcare Access Act,” introduced by  Representative Ted Budd (R-NC). This legislation expands Health Savings Accounts (HSA) so that all Americans can pay for their healthcare tax free for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic. This legislation will also increase access to healthcare and cut taxes for millions of Americans.  

Because of the government mandate that says HSAs are only available when paired with a high deductible health plan (HDHP), hundreds of millions of Americans do not have access to an HSA. The Pandemic Healthcare Access Act suspends this requirement for as long as the coronavirus emergency declaration is in effect, which will allow Americans on Medicare, Medicaid, those that receive care through the VA, Indian health plans, Obamacare, and any employer plan to have an HSA. 

The Pandemic Healthcare Access Act increases healthcare access choice and cuts taxes for American families. HSAs offer triple tax benefits to users – contributions made are tax free, interest and investment are earned tax free, and payments made to qualifying health expenses are tax free.

Not only will this bill cut taxes, it will also promote strong savings for American middle class families. For example, an HSA user can accumulate as much as $360,000 after contributing to an account for 40 years assuming a rate of return of just 2.5 percent, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. With a rate of return of 5 percent, an HSA user can accumulate $600,000 over 40 years.  

ATR applauds Representative Budd’s efforts to expand HSAs so that Americans can save, invest, and spend healthcare dollars tax free. The Pandemic Healthcare Access Act should be supported by all members of Congress.   

Photo Credit: Images Money


ATR Releases Coalition Letter Opposed to Most Favored Nation Drug Pricing Final Rule

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Monday, January 25th, 2021, 4:00 AM PERMALINK

75 free market, conservative, and libertarian organizations and activists today released a letter in opposition to the interim final rule to implement the Most Favored Nation (MFN) drug pricing proposal. The signatories urge this proposal to be withdrawn.

The proposal imports foreign price controls into America’s healthcare system, which will harm medical innovation and the development of new medicines. It will threaten high-paying American manufacturing jobs and do nothing to stop foreign freeloading. Instead, it will shift the U.S. closer to a system of socialized healthcare.

The need for free market policies that promote American medical innovation is clear. Manufacturers have developed several highly effective COVID-19 vaccines at the fastest rate ever. This good news is only possible because the U.S. leads the world when it comes to developing innovative, lifesaving and life enhancing medicines.

The full letter can be found here and a summary of points is below.

The MFN would do nothing to stop foreign freeloading

Though one of the goals of the MFN is to end foreign freeloading, the proposal would instead surrender to foreign freeloading by basing U.S. prices on the prices of countries with socialist policies.

Foreign countries pay less for medicines because they utilize price controls. There is little or no negotiation between foreign government and manufacturers which often forces innovators to accept lower prices in a “take-it-or-leave it” proposition.

The MFN would reduce access to new cures

Foreign price controls will cause less medical innovation and result in fewer new treatments and cures. If the U.S. had the same price controls utilized by foreign countries, we would have many fewer innovative cures available to patients today. As the letter notes:

“According to a study by the Galen Institute, patients in the U.S. had access to nearly 90 percent of new medical substances launched between 2011 and 2018. By contrast, other developed countries had a fraction of these new cures. Patients in the United Kingdom had 60 percent of new substances, Japan had 50 percent, Canada had 44 percent, and Spain had 14 percent.”

The MFN will threaten millions of high-paying jobs

America is a leader of high-paying pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs and medical innovation is a key driver of job creation. This innovation accounts for 800,000 direct jobs and over 4 million jobs when indirect and economically induced jobs are taking into account.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle routinely call for the creation of more high-paying manufacturing jobs. We should be pursuing policies that help create more of these jobs, rather than policies that threaten existing jobs. 

The MFN will move America one step closer to a government run healthcare system

The MFN would put the U.S. on the path towards socialized medicine by placing price controls on Medicare Part B.  This would eventually lead to significant tax and spending increases and the loss of existing coverage for millions and millions of Americans.

It would also lead to health care rationing, which occurs in other nations that have socialized health care, such as Canada and the United Kingdom. In the UK for instance, there was a shortage of 10,000 doctors and 43,000 nurses in 2019, with 9 in 10 managers in the National Health Service saying that having too few doctors and nurses presents a danger to patients. At any one time, 4.5 million patients were waiting for hospital care.

The MFN Utilizes Obamacare to Circumvent Article I of the Constitution

The MFN is being proposed through CMMI, an agency created by Obamacare. The MFN demonstration is mandatory and being conducted nationwide as a major policy change that circumvents Congress. As the letter notes:

“CMMI and the MFN violate Article I of the Constitution, which gives Congress, not the executive branch the authority to make law. CMMI is not under the normal appropriations process and automatically receives $10 billion every decade in perpetuity. As a result, Congress is limited in its ability to conduct routine, necessary oversight.”

Photo Credit: Chris Potter


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