Mia Raths

Daily Media Spotlight for August 2, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Friday, August 2nd, 2013, 11:54 AM PERMALINK

The Houston Chronicle published an Op-Ed written by ATR’s Executive Director of Digital Liberty, Katie McAuliffe, titled: “Patent trolls threaten business community”

“Of the 9,940 patent litigation cases filed in 2011, about 56 percent were filed by non-practicing companies, a k a trolls. In 2011, average total cost per case for patent litigation from discovery to trial was about $2.8 million. Because of the enormous costs associated with taking a case to court, roughly 90 percent of the cases filed are settled rather than going to trial.

[Senator] Cornyn's [Patent Abuse Reduction] PAR Act has three major features intended to deter.”


Senator Dick Durbin’s office released a statement about the Senator’s Smarter Sentencing Act of which Grover Norquist is a signatory:

“With federal prison populations skyrocketing and nearly half of the nation’s federal inmates serving sentences for drug offenses, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced the Smarter Sentencing Act, to modernize our drug sentencing polices by giving federal judges more discretion in sentencing those convicted of non-violent offenses. Making these incremental and targeted changes could save taxpayers billions in the first years of enactment.”


McKay Coppins from BuzzFeed included a statement from Grover Norquist about the need for the GOP to start focusing on the protection of Religious Liberty:

“Establishment Republicans see religious liberty as a way to speak to the issues that are important to their traditional grassroots base without coming off as prudish and Puritanical to the rest of the country. It’s also a message that aligns with the ascendant libertarian wing of the party — a sort of anti-regulatory Christian conservatism that Rand Paul and his acolytes can get behind.

Conservative activist Grover Norquist said the decision to start focusing on religious liberty represents ‘an incredible return to the successful 1980 model that was lost.’”


The Washington Times reporter, Jennifer Harper, picked up an item from ATR on the number of games that football players must play in order to pay their state taxes:  “Gridiron Tackled by Taxes”

“With training camp for each of the NFL’s franchises underway, rookies and veterans have signed sumptuous contracts with new or current teams around the league. But a little surprise awaits them, says Americans for Tax Reform, a nonpartisan interest group opposed to hefty tax increases.

‘While many first-year players join their new team expecting to make millions in their professional debuts, the truth of the matter is the part of their paycheck for their first game will go directly to the state tax collectors,’ spokesman John Kartch says.”

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for August 1, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Thursday, August 1st, 2013, 2:31 PM PERMALINK

Newsmax published an item from Americans for Tax Reform on the horrible consequences that would result with the passing of the Marketplace Fairness Act:

“The so-called ‘Marketplace Fairness Act,’ currently in the House Judiciary Committee, will impact all online retailers that make more than $1 million in remote sales annually.

 Not only this, but vendors, manufacturers, and distributors who sell to these online sellers will be impacted as well, regardless if they sell direct to consumers.”


The Daily Caller published an Op-Ed by Representative Tom Price explaining why we cannot allow the IRS to become an enforcer of Obamacare:

“In the meantime, the Obama Administration persists – hoping that their tactical moves of delay and distraction will convince the public to forget about how much and why they dislike this Washington takeover of health care. And to make matters worse, they are empowering the IRS – an agency that has undeniably forfeited its claim to fairness and impartiality – to enforce this law.

Health care is one of the most private and personal aspects of our lives. Patients should be able to make the kinds of decisions that work best for them under the direction of their physician. Washington, especially the IRS, should not be involved in that process.”

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for July 31, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013, 5:17 PM PERMALINK

Reuters published an Op-Ed written by Grover Norquist and Patrick Gleason titled,GOP shows conservation is a conservative cause”

“What’s clear is that, for at least the next two years, the White House, Washington Democrats and TV commentators will continue to portray Republicans as anti-environment. All while promoting policies that would cut gross domestic product and kill jobs. Yet Republicans at the state level are implementing innovative policies that reduce emissions, while saving taxpayer dollars.

Consider North Carolina…Last month, for example, the Republican Governor Pat McCrory announced that the University of North Carolina school system was going to make its campuses more energy efficient. The oldest public university system in the nation has contracted with private companies to retrofit all university buildings and facilities.”


Forbes published an Op-Ed by Chris Prandoni, ATR’s Federal Affairs Manager, about the need for building the XL Pipeline: “Even Obama's State Department Knows Keystone XL Is Not An Environmental Hazard”

“It is telling that President Obama goes out of his way to ignore his own State Department’s job creation estimates, presumably because they further justify construction of the project. In the fourth, and hopefully final, Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the State Department writes:

Including direct, indirect, and induced effects, the proposed Project would potentially support approximately 42,100 average annual jobs across the United States over a 1-to 2-year construction period.

42,000 jobs is not a number to chuckle about, as President Obama does in his interview with the Times. The American construction industry has been hit hard during this economic downturn, especially in the Midwest. With the unemployment rate hovering around 7.5 percent, the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs should be cheered, not belittled.”


An item by ATR’s State Affairs Associate, Matt Blumenfeld, was spotlighted in California’s FlashReport: “California Government Worker Pensions Need a Dose of Transparency”

“Despite Gov. Brown’s bold claims about a balanced budget, California still has yet to address the questions surrounding the state’s unfunded pension liabilities. As of the end of 2010, California’s state and local pension obligations in the Golden State were estimated at a soul-crushing half-trillion dollars and steadily increasing each day. However, despite the best attempts of Sacramento lawmakers to avoid dealing with the state’s enormous unfunded pension liability, the public is about to get a better sense of just how dire the situation really is thanks to increased transparency. At the end of the month, California will see its pension liability nearly double on paper from its current official estimate of $128.3 billion to $328.6 billion thanks to new rules being put in place by Moody’s.”

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for July 30, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013, 10:40 AM PERMALINK

The Washington Times published the following Op-Ed, written by Grover Norquist, on the reforming of a bill which allows the Securities and Exchange Commission to subpoena American’s personal information stored online: “Saying no to spooks at the SEC”

“In short, just about everyone agrees that the reforms proposed by Mr. Leahy and Mr. Lee are long overdue, but the subpoenaing extraordinary power grab is not only indiscriminate, it’s entirely unnecessary. The SEC has had the authority to enforce subpoenas against the targets of its investigations long before Google or Facebook existed. It can freeze a person’s account to ensure nothing is deleted while its subpoena is enforced. It can subpoena transactional data about an account — when it was started, how often it’s used, how much content is stored in it — so the target of an investigation cannot falsely claim he doesn’t have an account or never used the account. Nothing in the Leahy-Lee legislation would change the authorities the commission already possesses.”


Freedom Works published a coalition letter, created by Heritage Action for America, of which Grover Norquist is a co-signer: “Coalition Letter: Defund ObamaCare to Fund the Government”

“Despite these setbacks, the ultimate ‘power of the purse’ still resides in the House, and the House will soon act to fund the government. In doing so, the House should include language ensuring that no more taxpayer dollars can be used to implement Obamacare. This funding prohibition should include all Obamacare funding streams, both discretionary and mandatory, and it should eliminate funding for Obamacare’s new entitlements. This will effectively halt implementation and enforcement of the law in its entirety, and will give the President and Senate Democrats a choice: Continue funding the government, or shut down the government on behalf of an unpopular law that they have admitted will not work and cannot be enforced as written.”


The Illinois Review announced that the GOP candidate for the 11th District, Ian Bayne, proudly signed ATR’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge:

“Yesterday 11th CD GOP candidate Ian Bayne signed the American for Tax Reform (ATR) pledge not to raise taxes if elected to Congress.

“‘Today I signed Grover Norquist's taxpayer protection pledge,’ Bayne said. ‘I'd rather be signing a pledge to cut taxes because that's what needs to be done.’"

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for July 29, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Monday, July 29th, 2013, 11:40 AM PERMALINK

KOCO out of Oklahoma City picked up an item by Americans for Tax Reform on the tax cost to NBA players in terms of how many games they must play in order to begin making money for themselves:

“Americans for Tax Reform has released a study about the tax burden each athlete faces.

The study found athletes in Oklahoma City have to play 2.2 games just to pay their taxes. That number is lower for athletes playing for 10 other teams, including the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls.

California takes the most from its athletes. They must play 5.5 games just to pay their taxes.”


Matt Welch and Tracy Oppenheimer from Reason Magazine interviewed Grover Norquist about his opinions on the Immigration Bill waiting for a House vote: “Grover Norquist on Open Borders and Historically Racist Immigration Policy”

"[The] people who think that building higher walls or deeper walls or moats and alligators and stuff," Norquist says, "they're chasing problems that can be fixed more easily by expanding liberty rather than contracting it."

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for July 26, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Friday, July 26th, 2013, 1:35 PM PERMALINK

4 Traders published a recent item posted on Americans for Tax Reform’s official website: House Passes Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act

“This new legislation empowers state authorities instead of handing more power to an already out of control EPA. States will be given the authority to craft permitting programs and regulating coal ash. Also, the bill makes it explicitly clear that the EPA will not be given any new rulemaking authority when it comes to coal ash standards.  Using parts of Senator Hoeven's bill, H.R. 2218 improves safety standards, requires permitting for coal ash and disposal facilities, expands the public notice and comment requirements, and creates greater transparency and access to data for groundwater data and permitting documents.”

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for July 25, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Thursday, July 25th, 2013, 5:00 PM PERMALINK

A recent press release from the office of Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) acknowledges Americans for Tax Reform as a supporter of the Small Business Investment Promotion Act the Senator introduced on Wednesday:

“The Small Business Investment Promotion Act (S. 1342), which would make permanent Section 179 of the tax code at levels that will encourage job creation and economic growth. Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and James Inhofe (R-OK) are original co-sponsors of the bill.

Section 179 allows businesses to deduct from their gross income – up to a set limit – the purchase price of qualified machinery, software and real property, among other investments, that they buy and place in service in a given tax year if the sum of those purchases does not exceed a specific amount set by law.”


Newsmax published an item from Americans for Tax Reform’s website on the high taxes that golfer Phil Mickelson will have to pay on winnings from the British Open:

 "Without considering expenses, Mickelson will pay 61.12 percent taxes on his winnings, bringing his net take-home winnings to about $842,700. When expenses are considered (10 percent to caddy Jim "Bones" Mackay, airfare, hotel, meals, agent fees on endorsement income/bonuses — all tax deductible here and in the U.K.), his take-home will fall closer to 30 percent."


Bloomberg published a terrific article by Michael Tanner that brings light to the fact that it was liberal, big government that caused the destruction of Detroit: “Government, Not Globalization, Destroyed Detroit”

“In many ways, Detroit is a model of tax-and-spend liberalism. The city’s per-capita tax burden is the highest in Michigan. Detroit has the country’s highest property taxes on homes, the top commercial property tax and the second-highest industrial property tax.

The city’s income tax -- 2.4 percent for residents, 1.2 percent for nonresidents and 2 percent for businesses -- is the highest in Michigan. The income tax burden on residents is significantly higher than that for those who live in the surrounding area, which helps drive more affluent and successful residents out of the city. And Detroit is the only city in Michigan that has an excise tax on utility users.”

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for July 24, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013, 3:26 PM PERMALINK

Travis Waldron from Think Progress picked up Americans for Tax Reform’s item on the 61% combined tax that will be placed on Phil Mickelson’s winning from the British Open: “Grover Norquist’s Group Suggests Phil Mickelson Will Stop Playing Major Championships Because Of Taxes”

 “Phil Mickelson’s British Open win earned him a cool $2.1 million paycheck, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get to take it all home. In fact, according to tax accountant K. Sean Packard, Mickelson will pay roughly 61 percent of his winnings in taxes in Scotland and the United States before all is said and done.

Mickelson has complained about taxes before, but this time he doesn’t have to, since Americans for Tax Reform is doing it for him. ATR, the anti-tax organization headed by Grover Norquist, is always quick to try its hand at using sports to bolster its arguments against every form of taxation…”


Chris Casteel, from NewsOK, published an item from Americans for Tax Reform which calculates how many home games each NBA team must play in order to pay their taxes:

“Oklahoma City Thunder players must devote a little more than two of their home-game paychecks to their state income tax bills, according to a Washington-based tax reform group.
Americans for Tax Reform compiled a chart of all the NBA teams showing combined local and state income tax rates and how many home game paychecks go to paying the income tax liabilities.
For the Thunder, the state income tax rate is 5.25 percent and players must devote 2.2 home game checks to pay the bill. California players had the biggest liabilities, while those in Texas, Florida and Tennessee _ which don’t have state income taxes _ have no liabilities.”


High County Press was one other publication that published an item from Americans for Tax Reform: “Americans for Tax Reform: Gov. McCrory Signs Historic Law, 25 Percent Reduction in State Income Tax”

“While the chattering classes discuss whether tax reform can happen in Washington, legislators in the Tar Heel State are showing lawmakers on Capitol Hill how it’s done. Yesterday afternoon, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a historic overhaul of the North Carolina tax code.

The final deal moves the state from a tiered personal income tax with a top rate of 7.75 percent, the highest in the South, to a flat 5.75 percent over two years. The plan also reduces the corporate tax from 6.9 percent to 5 percent over two years. If certain revenue targets are met, the corporate rate will fall to as low as three percent by 2017.”

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for July 23, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013, 1:13 PM PERMALINK

An article by Jeremy Herb from The Hill mentioned a letter, of which Americans for Tax Reform was one of the cosigners.  It was written to Speaker Boehner asking to keep the Defense Appropriations bill open for amendments:  “Conservative groups push Republican leaders to open up Defense bill”

“The fiscal conservative groups wrote a letter to Boehner Monday urging him to allow an open bill on the floor, as House Republican leaders are weighing limiting amendments to the Pentagon spending bill.

The groups said that restricting amendments would break with Boehner’s pledge to follow regular order and allow open debate.


Logan Pike from The Heartland Institute wrote an article which discussed the opposing views on the Marketplace Fairness Act between economist Art Laffer and Katie McAuliffe, spokeswoman for Americans for Tax Reform:

“Marketplace Fairness Act supporters have predicted an additional $23 billion annually would be collected if the bill becomes law. But McAuliffe said she expects revenue would fall well below the estimate, because with more money taken from them for taxes, shoppers would have less money to spend, which would result in fewer sales being made.

The MFA ‘is not going to be much of a revenue source for states. It’s not federalism. And it’s not sustainable,’ McAuliffe said.”

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Daily Media Spotlight for July 22, 2013

Posted by Mia Raths on Monday, July 22nd, 2013, 4:46 PM PERMALINK

In a press release, Representative Todd Rokita (Ind.-04) listed Americans for Tax Reform as a supporter of his bill, The Student Success Act (SSA):

 “‘No Washington bureaucrat cares more about a child than a parent does.  And no one in Washington knows what is better for an Indiana school than Indiana families do.  That is why the Student Success Act (SSA) puts an end to the administration’s National School Board by putting state and local school districts back in charge of their own schools. 

‘Many Hoosiers will also be pleased to know that the Student Success Act prohibits the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core, again returning accountability and standards to state and local school districts, where it belongs,’ said Rokita.”


The Tribune Papers published the following article by Kevin King which included Grover Norquist’s personal praise of the job that Governor Scott Walker has done in Wisconsin:

“He continues, ‘Since Walker signed these reforms, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped from 7.6 percent to 7 percent — below the national average. Walker has taken the $3.6 billion deficit that his Democratic predecessor left him and turned it into a $419 million surplus…Two years later, it is clear that not only were Walker’s reforms good policy, they were good politics.’ To which he cites a large increase in Walker’s approval rating.”


News Buster’s reporter Noel Sheppard wrote an article about Grover Norquist’s sly remarks while on Real Time with Bill Maher: “Norquist Demolishes Maher: ‘He Doesn’t Understand the Difference Between Reagan and Dole’”

"‘Bob Dole does not exactly qualify as a Ronald Reagan, limited government Republican. I'm sorry,’ countered Norquist.

With a shocked look on his face, Maher replied, ‘What? Wow, you're bar is pretty high.’

‘Can you make distinctions on the left for crying out loud?’ marvelously responded Norquist who then leaned to Mack sitting next to him and said, ‘He doesn't understand the difference between Reagan and Dole.’"


ATR's Mattie Duppler Discusses the 2016 Presidential Election and Detroit's Bankruptcy

On MSNBC's The Daily Rundown gaggle, ATR's Director of Budget and Regulatory Policy Mattie Duppler discusses potential 2016 presidential election candidates and the implications of Detroit's recent bankruptcy.

View video here


Grover Norquist Compares U.S. and Roman Tax Rates

Live from Freedomfest, ATR President Grover Norquist discusses similarities between tax policies in the modern United States and Ancient Rome on Fox Business Network's Stossel Show.

View video here

More from Americans for Tax Reform