John Kartch

Obama's Broken Promise: No Tax Hikes on Those Making Less Than $250,000

Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009, 4:34 PM PERMALINK

During his campaign, President Obama promised repeatedly that he would never raise taxes on Americans making less than $250,000 per year. A review of Obama’s first 100 days in office shows he has broken this promise on at least two occasions.

“I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes (September 12, 2008, Dover, NH)
"No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama's plan will see one single penny of their tax raised," Joe Biden said, "whether it's their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax."(Joe Biden, Oct. 3, 2008, Vice Presidential Debate, St. Louis, MO)
Feb. 4 -- just 16 days into his presidency, Obama signs into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco, a hike of 61 cents per pack, which took effect on April 1. 
The tax increase falls squarely on the shoulders of the middle and low-income Americans Obama said he would not raise taxes on: 55 percent of smokers are “working poor”, one in four smokers live below the poverty line, and on average, smokers, whose median income is a little more than $36,000 make about 30 percent less than non-smokers.
Feb. 26 -- Obama released his FY 2010 budget which imposes a range of tax hikes including a ''cap and trade'' tax of $646 billion. Every American family will pay this tax in the form of higher gasoline, heating and electric bills. By adding together the “cap and trade” tax increase along with other energy tax hikes in the Obama budget and dividing by the number of families, it's clear what this annual tax hike would be:  The average American family would pay, directly or indirectly, approximately $10,000 per year in new energy taxes.

Obama's $100 Million in Spending Cuts = Less Than One Day of Interest on the "Stimulus" Bill

Posted by John Kartch on Monday, April 20th, 2009, 3:41 PM PERMALINK

President Barack Obama today asked his Cabinet to find a mere $100 million to cut from the federal budget in the next ninety days. This hollow attempt to placate a concerned citizenry represented by at least 360,000 tax day tea party attendees is an insult to taxpayers and equals less than one day of interest on the $787 billion “Stimulus” bill.

Here’s the math:
--The “Stimulus” bill created $787 billion in new debt
--Assume an interest rate of 5 percent
--5 percent of $787 billion = $39.5 billion
--$39.5 billion divided by 365 days = $108.2 million per day in interest generated from the debt issued to finance the stimulus package
“This is a pathetic joke”, said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. This ‘cut’ is less than three thousandths of one percent of the federal budget. Penny wise, trillion dollar stupid.”

ATR Commends Sen. Specter for His Decision to Vote Against EFCA

Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 2:32 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform congratulates Sen. Specter for his decision to vote against cloture and final passage of the Employee Free Choice Act better known as Card Check. This is perhaps the most important issue facing Congress this year.

To see ATR’s full statement on Sen. Specter’s decision, click “read more.”
Specter to vote against Card Check
ATR commends Sen. Arlen Specter for his commitment to vote against both cloture and final passage of Employee Free Choice Act
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Americans for Tax Reform was able to confirm today that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) will announce his intent to vote against both cloture and final passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), also known as “Card Check.”
Senator Specter has come through in the clutch,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “This is almost certain to be the single most important vote of 2009. The Employee Free Choice Act has the potential to do tremendous damage to the economy at an extremely vulnerable time. Thank you Senator Specter for standing on the side of individual liberty for American workers.”
Among other anti-worker features such as binding arbitration, EFCA will eliminate a worker’s right to a federally-supervised private ballot election. Instead, private ballots will be replaced by a kind of open-air petition known as a “card check.” Under this system, workers would lose their right to privacy. Employers, union organizers, and co-workers would all know whether individual workers each vote for or against unionization.
Additionally, a recent study from The Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs estimates that the effects of the EFCA and card check will cost 600,000 American jobs in 2010 alone.


Geithner acknowledges tax hikes "hurt growth" while ducking questions on implementation

Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 1:16 PM PERMALINK

Treasury Secretary Geithner testified before the Senate Budget Committee today.  Under questioning from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Geithner admitted tax hikes "hurt growth" but ducked questions as to whether Obama's planned tax increases would still go into effect if the economy is not in recovery by 2011.

ATR issued the following in response:

Testifying before the Senate Budget Committee this morning, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner acknowledged tax increases “hurt growth” yet repeatedly ducked questions on whether President Obama’s planned tax hikes would go into effect in 2011 regardless of the condition of the economy:

SEN. MIKE CRAPO, R-Idaho:  “You say that the tax increases will only happen when the economy has recovered. I understand that a lot of economists are saying we are going to be recovered by 2011.   Frankly I think there are economists who are saying maybe our recovery will not be so strong by then.  My question to you is, are these tax increases contingent on a recovery or are they going to happen regardless of what happens in 2011?”
SEC. GEITHNER: “Senator, I think it is a very important question. I think, again, we need to lay out an ambitious path for bringing those deficits down, commit to achieving that with a mix of measures on the resource side and the spending side to do the best possible job of leaving our economy stronger, and that’s what the President’s budget tries to do. Now of course we are going to have to watch how the economy evolves and I want to underscore that one of the mistakes governments have made over time in dealing with economic crises is putting the brakes on too quickly or in ways that hurt growth just as it’s starting to take hold. We just want to be careful not to do that.”
SEN. CRAPO: “So are you saying if we don’t see the more rosy picture in 2011 that we may not see the Administration suggest that we move to enact tax increases?”
SEC. GEITHNER: “I’m just saying that recovery requires that we keep stimulus sustained until growth is in place but we have to do it in a fiscally responsible way.”
“Obama and Geithner are putting the brakes on the economy NOW. Unlike Secretaries of the Treasury, small businessmen and women plan their investment and hiring decisions based on the tax burden years in advance,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Telling someone you are going to dramatically raise their taxes later is a disincentive now, not just in a matter of 22 months into the future.   That is, unless you are one of Obama’s cronies and you don’t pay your taxes anyway.”

Click here for a printable PDF of this document

Obama breaks three promises with signing of Omnibus spending bill

Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, March 11th, 2009, 3:44 PM PERMALINK

After President Obama signed the Omnibus spending bill today, Americans for Tax Reform released the following:

President Barack Obama today signed HR 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, a $410 billion piece of legislation containing over 9,000 earmarks. By signing the bill, Obama breaks at least three of his most important campaign promises:
1)      Transparency -- Obama promised to post passed legislation online for five full days before signing it. Obama signed the Omnibus spending bill less than a day after he received it from Congress.
“When there is a bill that ends up on my desk as President, you, the American voter, will have five days to look online and find out what it is before I sign it.
(June 22, 2007.  Manchester, New Hampshire. Video clip at 20m 10s:
2)    Overall spending – Obama promised to enact net spending cuts as President. The Omnibus bill is more than 8 percent higher than 2008 spending levels.
“So we’re going to have to make some investments but we’ve also got to make spending cuts, and what I’ve proposed -- you’ll hear Senator McCain say ‘he’s proposing a whole bunch of new spending’ --but, actually, I’m cutting more than I’m spending.  So that it will be a net spending cut.” 
(Oct. 7, 2008.  Second Presidential Debate -
3)     Wasteful spending – Obama promised to “go line by line” to make sure taxpayer money was not wasted. Among the questionable spending in the Omnibus bill is an earmark which sticks taxpayers with a $200,000 tab for a tattoo removal program in California.
“And, absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”
(Sept.  26, 2008.  First Presidential Debate --

Click here for a printable PDF of this document.

Top Five False Claims from Obama's Address to Congress

Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, 4:01 PM PERMALINK

ATR has put together a press releases debunking the top five false claims made in Obama's address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night.

Here is an example of just one of the claims:

CLAIM #1: "...not because I believe in bigger government – I don’t."
FACT:   When Obama took the oath of office, federal spending for 2009 was on track to be about 22 percent of GDP, according to the CBO. Now with the passage of the trillion dollar Pelosi-Reid-Obama spending and debt plan, spending could hit 30 percent of GDP this year. That would be the highest level since World War II, and the biggest one year jump since Pearl Harbor. If that's not a belief in bigger government, then what is?

To see the full list, click "Read More"

Top Five False Claims from Obama’s Address to Congress
 Not including the assertion that the “stimulus” bill was free of earmarks
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Americans for Tax Reform today released the following list of false claims made by President Barack Obama during his first address to a joint session of Congress:
CLAIM #1: "...not because I believe in bigger government – I don’t."
FACT:   When Obama took the oath of office, federal spending for 2009 was on track to be about 22 percent of GDP, according to the CBO. Now with the passage of the trillion dollar Pelosi-Reid-Obama spending and debt plan, spending could hit 30 percent of GDP this year. That would be the highest level since World War II, and the biggest one year jump since Pearl Harbor. If that's not a belief in bigger government, then what is?
CLAIM #2: "A failure to act would have worsened our long-term deficit by assuring weak economic growth for years."
FACT:  When the government spends more money, it crowds out the private sector. 30 percent of GDP being spent by the government leaves only 70 percent for the private sector. Over time, it's the private sector--not government--which grows the economy. When the private sector gets crowded out, economic growth gets choked off.
CLAIM #3: “Because of this plan, 95 percent of the working households in America will receive a tax cut – a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks beginning on April 1st.”
FACT:  This is a mathematical impossibility. According to the IRS, there were over 138 million families filing income tax returns in 2006. Only 93 million returns paid income tax. That means that one-third of households had no income tax liability in 2006 (and this doesn't even account for those households that don't have to file tax returns, like most seniors). You can't cut taxes on 95% of families when one-third of them don't pay income taxes.
According to the Joint Tax Committee, 15 percent of families have neither an income tax nor a payroll tax liability.
No matter which way you slice it, you can't cut taxes for 95 percent of families. It's impossible. All you have left for the low end of the income spectrum is spending money, using the tax code as the distributor.
CLAIM #4: “We will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.”
FACT: The U.S. is one of the only countries left in the developed world that double-taxes the international income of our companies. In order to ameliorate this double-taxation, a host of credits, deductions, and deferrals have been put into the tax code.
It would be far easier to simply conform to Japan, the U.K., Canada, and the rest of our trading partners by taxing only income earned in the United States. But making the double taxation problem worse by "closing loopholes" is a clear path toward outsourcing jobs and companies to friendlier nations.
CLAIM #5: “In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. But let me perfectly clear, because I know you’ll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.
FACT: To be clear, the top 2 percent is a lot closer than you might think. According to the IRS, a family is in the top 2 percent of income if it makes about $300,000 per year. That's a comfortable family, to be sure, but not exactly the image of the Monopoly man that Obama would seem to imply.
Let's take a look at the top 1 percent, the truly "evil" in the Obama-Pelosi-Reid worldview. According to the IRS, they earn about 20 percent of the income in America, but pay 40 percent of the income tax. The top 5 percent pay 60 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of the income tax.
Does the term "blood from a rock" mean anything to President Obama?
Furthermore, most of the small business profits are earned in these top-two percent households. 40 percent of the sole proprietor profits are earned there. Almost 90 percent of business partnership and Subchapter-S corporation income is earned there. All told, more than $2 out of every $3 in small business profit is earned by families that Obama said he was going to raise taxes on last night. Since small businesses pay their business taxes on their owners' 1040s, to raise their taxes is to raise the tax rate on the lion's share of small business profits in America. 

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Join Us Tuesday Night for O-BINGO!

Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009, 10:35 AM PERMALINK

On Tuesday at 9:00 PM Eastern, President Obama will address a joint session of Congress.  To help get you through the 50-minute speech, use our handy Bingo card  to check off terms and phrases likely to be used. As a bonus, print out the different versions of the card and watch the speech with your friends or family.


“Since the Great Depression”The economic one, not the feeling you’ve had since he signed the “stimulus” bill.
“Save or create” jobs Obama’s new metric whereby he can claim credit for the outcome no matter what happens (how exactly does one determine the number of "saved" jobs?)
“Crisis” - Excuse to hike taxes and grow the government per Rahm Emanuel’s theory: “Never let a crisis go to waste."
“Stimulus” – The 1,000 page Pelosi-Reid-Obama pork bill rushed through in the dead of night with no transparency and that not a single member of Congress who voted for it actually read.
 “Hope” – The optimistic expectation, against all evidence that this government will be the first in the history of time to succeed in spending its way out of economic problems.
“Change” – Take-home pay of future generations due to massive spending increases and government expansion.
 “Bipartisan” – "Pelosi and Reid get to decide what we'll do, but I'll have you over for tea first."
“Children and grandchildren” – The people picking up the tab.
“Shovel-ready” – Vital projects that somehow are not important enough to receive funding through the regular appropriations process at the local, state, or federal level.
“Toxic assets”-  Now the responsibility of those who followed the rules and made wise decisions.
“Failed policies of the past”An overspending problem by George W. Bush to be expanded by Obama
“Investment”Government spending.
“Sacrifice” – Tax hikes.
“As I’ve said before”Prepare for a poll tested line from stump speeches.
“Make work pay” – Writing welfare checks through the tax code (and then calling it a tax cut).
“Climate change” – (Formerly known as Global Warming) The natural cycles of the sun and the four seasons.
 “FDR” – The last President to attempt and fail to spend the country’s way out of a hole.
“Let me be clear”Warning to “have your shovel ready.”
“Executive pay – A serious problem because large cash awards are only appropriate when politicians dole out taxpayer money to the pet projects of their sons, brothers, wives, or campaign contributors.
“Protecting responsible homeowners” – Forcing you to pay your neighbor’s mortgage. 
“Trillion-dollar deficit that we've inherited” – Bush overspending – which Obama just doubled.
 “Essential services” – Government programs that employ unionized bureaucrats.
“Vulnerable Americans – People that Obama wants to make dependent on the government.  
“Tax cuts to 95 percent of working families” – See “Make Work Pay”
“Alternative energy”– Energy that is either too expensive or hasn't succeeded in the free market on its own (if it worked, it would just be called “energy”)



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