Tom Hebert

ATR Supports the Compassionate Retirement Act

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, October 18th, 2019, 2:47 PM PERMALINK

Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) recently introduced S.2495, the Kathryn Manginelli Act (or the Compassionate Retirement Act), legislation that allows families battling devastating diseases to withdraw their retirement savings without incurring a penalty. ATR supports this legislation and urges its passage. 

Under current law, the disability exception allows the disabled to withdraw their retirement savings early without penalty if they are unable to work. 

However, the exception does not cover Americans diagnosed with degenerative illnesses that continue working in the months prior to becoming fully disabled. Many Americans diagnosed with terminal diseases choose to work as much as possible during this period in order to allay future medical bills. 

S.2495 expands the disability exception to cover American workers diagnosed with degenerative diseases. If implemented, terminally-ill workers would be allowed to withdraw their retirement savings without incurring a 10 percent penalty. 

This change would provide much-needed financial stability to families affected by these diagnoses without raising taxes. The government should not tax Americans diagnosed with degenerative diseases for using their retirement contributions to defray medical costs. 

S.2495 is a bipartisan piece of legislation that fixes this problem. Congress should pass it, and President Trump should sign it into law.

Photo Credit: Pug50 - Flickr


Trump's New Executive Orders Make Federal Agencies More Transparent

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, October 11th, 2019, 4:47 PM PERMALINK

President Donald Trump recently signed two executive orders (EO) that are an important step towards making government agencies transparent and accountable to the American taxpayer. 

Trump’s “Improved Agency Guidance Documents” EO requires agencies to put guidance documents on an easily searchable website. Trump’s “Transparency and Fairness” EO prohibits federal agencies from enforcing rules that have not been made public in advance. Taken together, these actions are imperative in protecting Americans from bureaucratic abuse.

The Obama Administration was a nightmare for taxpayers. This maxim is especially true on the regulatory front, where federal agencies imposed thousands of costly mandates on taxpayers through a flurry of blogs, letters, brochures, and the like. These “guidance” documents are a way for federal agencies to bypass normal regulatory process, including public comments and cost-benefit analysis. 

Bureaucratic abuse of American taxpayers via guidance documents was a commonplace activity in the Obama Administration. Here are four examples: 

  • In 2011, Obama’s Department of Interior refused to renew a permit for Drakes Bay Oyster Company, a family owned-and-operated oyster farm that had operated in California for over 5 decades. The DOI used doctored data to deny renewal, arguing that courts didn’t have the jurisdiction to even hear the case. After three years of costly litigation, Obama’s DOI was unfortunately successful in its quest to shutter another small business. 
  • In 2013, Wyoming taxpayer Andy Johnson built a bond for his daughters’ horses in his backyard, working with state engineers to ensure that the pond was environmentally friendly and ecologically beneficial. In 2014, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency bureaucrats swarmed the Johnson family and threatened to hit them with a $20 million fine if they didn’t destroy their pond. The EPA only backed down after the left-wing New York Times published a cover story on how abusively the agency was treating the Johnson family. 
  • In 2015, a Department of Labor blog post declared that many independent contractors should be classified as full-time employees. This new “guidance” blindsided thousands of small businesses all across the country, all of whom were denied the opportunity to offer any input on the guidance. 
  • Finally, the Army Corps of Engineers prevented the growth of a small business in Alaska by deeming that permafrost was a “navigable water of the United States.” Richard Schok, hoping to expand his small, family-owned pipe fabrication business, purchased a plot of land with traditional wetlands in Fairbanks. The Corps cited an illegal guidance document known as the “Alaska Supplement” to argue that the wetlands AND permafrost were subject to the agency’s Clean Water Act jurisdiction. The courts have repeatedly upheld the government’s decision. 

All three of these examples of regulatory abuse share a common thread — overzealous bureaucrats used off-the-books guidance documents to intimidate, threaten, and harass American small businesses. The American people should not be bound by murky “guidance documents” that they do not have the opportunity to influence via public comment, and agencies should not be allowed to use these documents to decimate American families and small businesses. Trump’s EO is an important step towards stopping the regulatory abuse of American taxpayers.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


President Trump's Medicare Executive Order Is A Win For Senior Citizens

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Thursday, October 10th, 2019, 10:51 AM PERMALINK

President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order (EO) to improve Medicare for senior citizens all across the nation. 

Liberal members of Congress and Democrats running for president have been obsessed with implementing a complete government takeover of the U.S. healthcare system, a plan they disingenuously call "Medicare for All." The Democrat party’s plan would lead to 22 million American seniors losing their Medicare Advantage coverage and would kick 180 million Americans off of their private coverage. The left’s radical plan would destroy Medicare and the American healthcare system as we know it. 

President Trump has rightly stood against socialized medicine during his time in office. The Trump administration has consistently focused on expanding choice and increasing access for American healthcare consumers. Most notably, Trump opened up new insurance options through association health plans, short-term plans, and health reimbursement arrangements, some of which save consumers up to 60 percent on their healthcare costs. Trump has also increased Medicare Advantage plan choices by nearly 1200 over the past two years. 

Trump’s new EO builds on this success in several crucial ways. The EO directs the Department of Health and Human Services to take actions that will shore up Medicare for generations to come. Specifically, the EO:

  • Provides patients with more choices by directing the HHS Secretary to propose new guidelines to revitalize the existing system. These guidelines would foster more innovative benefit structures and plan designs, develop a new Center for Medicare & Medicare Innovation payment model for additional supplemental benefits and savings, and protect Medicare Advantage plans. Expanding patient choice is critical in allowing healthcare consumers to choose the plan and benefits that best suit their personal situation. 

  • Directs the HHS Secretary to eliminate unnecessary burdens on healthcare providers, like excessive billing requirements, conditions of participation, and all licensure burdens that are more stringent than state law. This will allow medical providers to spend more time with patients and less time with frivolous paperwork and contending with unnecessary regulations. 

  • Encourages innovation by directing the HHS Secretary to streamline the approval process to bring innovative products to market faster. Any new products, including breakthrough medical devices and lifesaving technology, will be consistent with patient safety, market-driven principles, and value as determined by patients. 

  • Roots out waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare by directing the HHS Secretary to propose annual changes to the system. 

  • Maximizes freedom for Medicare patients and providers by allowing seniors who choose not to receive benefits under Medicare Part A to maintain their Social Security benefits. 

Instead of the anti-patient government takeover of healthcare that the radical left is pushing, President Trump is rightfully charting a path forward for Americans that expands healthcare access and promotes patient choice. Trump’s new EO is the latest addition in a long line of his administration’s pro-patient healthcare accomplishments.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


ATR Supports the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Monday, October 7th, 2019, 9:34 AM PERMALINK

Government shutdowns are a waste of taxpayer money and are bad for the country. They are frequently used by politicians as leverage during budget negotiations, and taxpayers are on the hook for these blatantly political tactics. 

In previous shutdowns, Congress has routinely given furloughed federal employees full pay for every day of work missed during the shutdown. Because backpay is de facto guaranteed, government shutdowns serve as a kind of paid vacation for federal employees. 

Thankfully for taxpayers, Congress is considering a commonsense, bipartisan solution to this problem. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) have introduced S. 589, the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act (PGSA), legislation that establishes an automatic continuing resolution (CR) to prevent government shutdowns. 

The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act has strong bipartisan support including Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). Chairman Johnson recently moved the legislation through his Committee where it passed with a bipartisan majority of 12-2 (the two no votes were Republicans with similar bills). 

If Congress fails to pass an appropriations bill funding a program or activity by October 1st of each fiscal year, the PGSA would trigger an automatic CR that funds the program at last year’s levels. This process would eliminate funding lapses that cause government shutdowns. 

However, Sen. Lankford’s bill would implement a number of new restrictions on lawmakers to ensure an expedited compromise on future funding levels. 

During a period of lapsed appropriations, there will be: 

  • No taxpayer-funded travel allowances for White House OMB staff and leadership, members of Congress, committee and personal staff in the House and Senate, or official travel within D.C. 
  • No CODEL or STAFFDEL delegation travel, and no travel reimbursements of any type, including for state staff. 
  • No use of campaign funds by Congressional offices to pay for travel or other expenses.
  • No other votes made in the House and Senate unless they pertain to the passage of an appropriations bill. Members are also prohibited from making motions to adjourn or recess the House or Senate for longer than 23 hours. 
     

Members can waive these restrictions if they meet a two-thirds majority vote threshold in each chamber. After 7 days, the restrictions automatically snap back into place. 

The CBO has estimated that the PSGA will cost $12.6 trillion over the next decade. This is an incorrect assessment that ignores how the PGSA actually impacts the appropriations process. While a permanent auto-CR would add $12.6 trillion to the mandatory side of the budget, the auto-CR would reduce the size of the discretionary budget by $14.1 trillion over the next decade. The net impact would be $1.5 trillion in savings, not $12.6 trillion in costs. 

In reality, the auto-CRs would not take permanent effect, as they are simply a stopgap measure for when funding lapses. According to the Congressional Research Service, there have only been an average of 3 full days of funding lapses per year over the past three decades. Since the auto-CRs hold spending to last year’s levels, Congress would generally spend around the same levels they otherwise would have.  

The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act  is a commonsense piece of legislation that will benefit American taxpayers. The bill’s combination of restrictions and incentives would reduce the intensity surrounding the appropriations process and encourage lawmakers to hammer out a deal that averts a government shutdown. Avoiding government shutdowns is good for taxpayers, as they are no longer on the hook for federal services that furloughed employees do not do. Congress should pass this legislation, and President Trump should sign it into law.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


ATR Supports the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Monday, October 7th, 2019, 9:29 AM PERMALINK

Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) have introduced H.Con.Res. 68, the Fiscal State of the Nation, a bipartisan proposal that will better inform lawmakers with the most current data on the federal budget. ATR supports this legislation and urges its passage.

H.Con.Res. 68 requires the Comptroller General of the United States to hold a “Fiscal State of the Nation” before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Budget Committees. This hearing gives lawmakers an opportunity to learn about the budget from a nonpartisan, non-biased source.  These hearings would be open to the public, and all members of Congress are encouraged to attend. 

Financial statements for the United States are already compiled, but are buried in 300 page reports. As a result, important information on the federal government’s assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and sustainability of programs are often ignored or missed by Members of Congress, the media, and the public. The unfortunate consequence of this lack of transparency is that lawmakers legislate based on incomplete or inadequate information about the federal budget. 

This almost always results in Congress spending too much taxpayer money, expanding our deficits and driving our nation further and further into debt. The national debt has surpassed $22 trillion, and the long-term sustainability of important federal programs remains uncertain. At the same time, billions in taxpayer dollars are wasted on unnecessary or inefficient programs. By requiring an annual update on the long-term fiscal health of the country, H.Con.Res. 68 helps ensure our nation’s finances remains at the forefront of public discussion. 

As lawmakers look to make reforms to the federal budget, a Fiscal State of the Nation hearing can serve as a key way to give lawmakers the proper information to draft proposals. This resolution is a modest, but important step forward toward highlighting the nation’s long-term stability and should be supported by all lawmakers.

Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell


Sanders Wealth Tax Proposal: “Billionaires Should Not Exist”

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019, 1:30 PM PERMALINK

Avowed socialist and Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has released the latest radical tax proposal of the 2020 campaign cycle. The new Sanders proposal is a progressive annual wealth tax designed to completely eliminate wealthy Americans. 

The Sanders wealth tax plan contains a number of Orwellian provisions designed to discourage wealth creation and entrepreneurship, chief among them the creation of a “national wealth registry” that could remove all semblance of privacy for wealthy Americans. 

Sanders’ wealth tax kicks in at just $32 million in assets and has a top rate of 8%. This tax would be calculated to include the value of individuals’ 401ks, homes, savings, and other assets.

The breakdown is below:

  • 1 percent for married couples with a net worth above $32 million.
  • 2 percent for Americans with a net worth between $50 and $250 million.
  • 3 percent for Americans with a net worth between $250 and $500 million.
  • 4 percent for Americans with a net worth between $500 million and $1 billion.
  • 5 percent for Americans with a net worth between $1 and $2.5 billion. 
  • 6 percent for Americans with a net worth between $2.5 and $5 billion. 
  • 7 percent for Americans with a net worth between $5 and $10 billion.
  • 8 percent for Americans with $10 billion or more in assets. 
     

Sanders would also punish Americans that leave the country to escape his extreme wealth tax. The Sanders plan slaps a 40 percent exit tax on Americans with assets under $1 billion, and 60 percent on Americans with assets over $1 billion. 

The Sanders tax gives Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents the power to audit 30 percent of wealth tax returns for the top 1 percent of Americans, as well as a 100 percent audit rate for all billionaires.  

Sanders projects that his wealth tax will raise $4.35 trillion over the next decade. This is an ambitious estimate that assumes that high-earners do not relocate their homes and wealth elsewhere immediately after Sanders is elected president. 

As mentioned before, the Sanders wealth tax is expressly designed to completely eliminate high-earning Americans. Sanders forecasts that his new wealth tax would take 15 years to cut the wealth of American billionaires in half. Assuming Sanders’ projections are correct, no American billionaires would exist in 30 years. 

A wealth tax has failed miserably everywhere it has been tried. In recent years, at least 10 OECD countries have repealed their wealth taxes, citing negative economic impacts and harm to entrepreneurship and risk-taking. For example, a wealth tax in France imposed on assets over 1.3 million euros led to an exodus of taxpayers from the country. In 2016 alone, 12,000 millionaires left France, the highest outflow in the world. The year prior, in 2015, 10,000 millionaires left France for other countries, according to a report by New World Wealth.

The Sanders wealth tax is also wildly out of touch with how Americans view the wealthy. A recent survey from the Cato Institute shows that 71 percent of Americans feel more “admiration” than “resentment” toward the rich, 69 percent agree that billionaires “earned their wealth by creating value for others,” and 75 percent disagree that “it’s immoral for society to allow people to become billionaires.” 

We don’t have to guess what Sanders hopes to accomplish with this insane plan. This morning, Sanders literally tweeted that billionaires “should not exist.” If implemented, Sanders’ radical wealth tax would harm economic growth, stifle entrepreneurship and risk-taking, and eventually eliminate all high-earning Americans.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Elizabeth Warren's New Tax Would Crush Millions of Americans and Small Businesses

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Thursday, September 12th, 2019, 4:43 PM PERMALINK

Massachusetts liberal and 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren today released yet another proposal that would raise taxes on millions of Americans and businesses. This proposal would disproportionately impact small businesses that operate on tight margins, and the plan’s multiple tax hikes will eventually hit every American. 

Warren’s plan, entitled “Expanding Social Security,” imposes a new 14.8 percent payroll, or “FICA,” tax on individuals making more than $250,000 a year. The Warren tax is evenly split between employers and employees at 7.4 percent each. This new tax is levied on top of the current 12.4 percent FICA tax, which is split evenly between employees and employers at 6.2 percent each. 

The plan also imposes a new 14.8 percent tax on investment income for individuals making over $250,000 a year and families making more than $400,000 a year. This new tax is modeled after Obamacare’s disastrous National Investment Income Tax (NIIT), a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income that ended up targeting retirees and the disabled.

The Warren plan levies these new taxes to fund an unsustainable benefit increase. Under her proposal, beneficiaries will receive an extra $200 a month or $2,400 a year. This benefit increase applies to all current and future beneficiaries. 

The Warren plan is nonsensical on its face. Instead of working sensibly to reform Social Security by raising the retirement age or means testing benefits, Warren doubles down on the existing failed structure.

As it stands right now, the Social Security Trust Fund is heading towards complete collapse. A recent report from the nonpartisan Social Security Trustees forecasts that the fund will be totally depleted by 2035. This insolvency will automatically trigger 20 percent across-the-board benefit cuts for retirees. As of 2018, Social Security provides income to approximately 67 million Americans

While Warren claims that her plan targets the rich to “fix” Social Security, her misguided tax hikes would eventually ensnare every taxpayer. As mentioned before, the annual salary cap for FICA increases year over year. Eventually, the 12.4 percent payroll tax cap will reach $250,000. This will lead to Americans making between $0 and $250,000 in wages paying a 6.2 percent tax every dollar they earn, and Americans making more than $250,000 paying an additional 7.4 percent tax on every dollar they earn in perpetuity. This assumes that Warren does not immediately raise the wage cap to $250,000 (she is unclear about this in her proposal) or does not raise the FICA payroll tax. 

This plan is simply one amongst many tax hikes that Warren has proposed. Since launching her campaign, Warren has proposed a wealth tax, a gun tax, a $1 trillion business tax hike, a carbon tax, and full repeal of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Warren has also endorsed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All proposal and far-left Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) Green New Deal, plans that would raise taxes on millions of Americans. 

The Warren plan for Social Security is simply another tax hike on American individuals and businesses alike. While Warren frames her proposal as raising taxes on the wealthy, the reality is that it would eventually ensnare all Americans and small businesses in a massive tax hike trap. 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Trump Economy Adds 130,000 Jobs in August

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, September 6th, 2019, 10:55 AM PERMALINK

Despite the liberal media’s predictions, two new reports show that President Trump’s economy is still as strong. The U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs in August, defying Democrats who said that tax cuts and deregulation were no longer working. The economy has added over 6 million jobs since President Trump took office. 

This morning’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7 percent. In 30 of the 33 months since President Trump took office, job gains have surpassed 100,000. The unemployment rate for African Americans hit a record low at 5.5 percent, and the Hispanic unemployment rate matched previous record lows at 4.2 percent. 

Labor force participation increased to 63.2 percent in August, a stark contrast to the 40-year lows that metric hit under the Obama Administration. 

The civilian labor force increased by 571,000 according to the BLS household data, the largest such gain since October 2018 and the fourth consecutive month of labor force growth. 

Wages are also continuing to grow. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent. Nominal average hourly wage gains have not reached 3 percent since April 2009. 

The healthcare industry added 24,000 jobs in August, and added 392,000 over the past year. Professional and business services added 37,000 jobs in August, and financial activities employment rose by 15,000. 

This positive economic news echoes a report released Thursday from the ADP Research Institute which shows that business payrolls increased by 195,000 in August. The report also shows that small businesses added 66,000 jobs in August, a four-month high, while mid-sized companies added 77,000 jobs and large corporations added 52,000 jobs. 

These strong jobs reports and the positive underlying economic indicators show that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is continuing to work for American workers. 

Businesses have responded to the tax cuts by giving employees higher wages and creating new employee benefit programs, while utility companies are passing tax savings onto consumers in the form of lower rates.

Families are also seeing direct tax reduction – a family of four with annual income of $73,000 (median family income) will see a tax cut of more than $2,058, a 58 percent reduction in federal taxes. In net, households are paying an average of 24.9 percent in lower taxes according to a report released by H&R Block based on their clients’ tax returns. 

Tax cuts and deregulation championed by the Trump Administration is continuing to deliver a prosperous economy for all Americans. 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Ending the Inflation Tax on Capital Gains Will Help Millions of Middle Class Households

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Saturday, August 31st, 2019, 11:00 AM PERMALINK

Indexing capital gains taxes to inflation would benefit millions of middle income households. 

ATR looked at Internal Revenue Service data from 2016 (the most recent available data) to determine what percentage of middle class households had a capital gains filing:

24,139,920 households had a capital gains filing.

56% (13,487,170) of capital gains households made less than $100,000.

82% (19,695,490) of capital gains households made less than $200,000.

In Pennsylvania, more than one million households had a capital gains filing in 2016. 60 percent of these households made less than $100,000, and 84 percent of households made less than $200,000. 

These results are just from one year. Imagine how many middle income households would be helped over the course of a decade by ending the inflation tax.

The breakdown for all 50 states is below. 

Alabama
226,500 households had a capital gains filing.
132,140 (58%) made less than $100k
191,350 (85%) made less than $200k

Alaska
50,380 households had a capital gains filing. 
26,830 (53%) made less than $100k
42,000 (83%) made less than $200k

Arizona
468,470 households had a capital gains filing. 
280,680 (60%) made less than $100k
398,060 (85%) made less than $200k

Arkansas
149,030 households had a capital gains filing. 
93,700 (63%) made less than $100k
128,600 (86%) made less than $200k

California
3,036,260 households had a capital gains filing.
1,489,030 (49%) made less than $100k
2,297,060 (76%) made less than $200k

Colorado
528,160 households had a capital gains filing.
287,880 (55%) made less than $100k
431,940 (82%) made less than $200k

Connecticut
370,530 households had a capital gains filing. 
185,720 (50%) made less than $100k
283,540 (77%) made less than $200k

Delaware
74,220 households had a capital gains filing. 
41,910 (57%) made less than $100k
62,780 (85%) made less than $200k

Florida
1,481,850 households had a capital gains filing.
896,240 (61%) made less than $100k
1,240,750 (84%) made less than $200k

Georgia
565,790 households had a capital gains filing. 
299,930 (53%) made less than $100k
452,150 (80%) made less than $200k

Hawaii 
Note: 2015 data presented. 2016 data unavailable. 
115,420 households had a capital gains filing.
69,370 made less than $100k
100,680 made less than $200k

Idaho
121,910 households had a capital gains filing.
80,600 (66%) made less than $100k
108,130 (89%) made less than $200k

Illinois
1,080,400 households had a capital gains filing. 
589,230 (55%) made less than $100k
877,810 (81%) made less than $200k

Indiana
426,670 households had a capital gains filing. 
270,410 (63%) made less than $100k
371,080 (87%) made less than $200k

Iowa
266,630 households had a capital gains filing.
170,630 (64%) made less than $100k
236,240 (89%) made less than $200k

Kansas
236,020 households had a capital gains filing.
146,750 (62%) made less than $100k
204,140 (87%) made less than $200k

Kentucky
231,590 households had a capital gains filing.
145,380 (63%) made less than $100k
200,410 (87%) made less than $200k

Louisiana
238,420 households had a capital gains filing. 
138,840 (58%) made less than $100k
198,750 (83%) made less than $200k

Maine
103,550 households had a capital gains filing. 
68,010 (66%) made less than $100k
91,300 (88%) made less than $200k

Maryland
485,940 households had a capital gains filing. 
228,570 (47%) made less than $100k
378,940 (78%) made less than $200k

Massachusetts
682,790 households had a capital gains filing.
329,540 (48%) made less than $100k
515,440 (75%) made less than $200k

Michigan
757,870 households had a capital gains filing.
473,780 (63%) made less than $100k
654,980 (86%) made less than $200k

Minnesota
534,310 households had a capital gains filing.
278,180 (52%) made less than $100k
418,190 (78%) made less than $200k

Mississippi
111,550 households had a capital gains filing
68,480 (61%) made less than $100k
96,130 (86%) made less than $200k

Missouri
453,470 households had a capital gains filing.
288,740 (64%) made less than $100k
394,870 (87%) made less than $200k

Montana
99,880 households had a capital gains filing.
69,030 (69%) made less than $100k
89,680 (90%) made less than $200k

Nebraska
172,900 households had a capital gains filing. 
110,470 (64%) made less than $100k
152,840 (88%) made less than $200k

Nevada
176,340 households had a capital gains filing. 
106,420 (60%) made less than $100k
148,570 (84%) made less than $200k

New Hampshire
130,390 households had a capital gains filing.
71,210 (55%) made less than $100k
107,560 (83%) made less than $200k

New Jersey
889,750 households had a capital gains filing. 
436,310 (49%) made less than $100k
678,400 (76%) made less than $200k

New Mexico
114,520 households had a capital gains filing. 
71,420 (62%) made less than $100k
100,160 (88%) made less than $200k

New York
1,667,340 households had a capital gains filing.
907,220 (54%) made less than $100k
1,321,100 (79%) made less than $200k

North Carolina
670,350 households had a capital gains filing.
383,900 (57%) made less than $100k
557,750 (83%) made less than $200k

North Dakota
66,670 households had a capital gains filing
40,660 (61%) made less than $100k
57,970 (87%) made less than $200k

Ohio
832,260 households had a capital gains filing.
522,480 (63%) made less than $100k
718,890 (86%) made less than $200k

Oklahoma
204,400 households had a capital gains filing.
125,070 (61%) made less than $100k
174,380 (85%) made less than $200k

Oregon
356,920 households had a capital gains filing. 
211,730 (59%) made less than $100k
303,800 (85%) made less than $200k

Pennsylvania
1,082,680 households had a capital gains filing.
647,490 (60%) made less than $100k
911,900 (84%) made less than $200k

Rhode Island
81,930 households had a capital gains filing. 
46,140 (56%) made less than $100k
68,630 (84%) made less than $200k

South Carolina
303,650 households had a capital gains filing. 
180,170 (59%) made less than $100k
258,450 (85%) made less than $200k

South Dakota
81,840 households had a capital gains filing. 
53,760 (66%) made less than $100k
72,290 (88%) made less than $200k

Tennessee
361,910 households had a capital gains filing.
213,120 (59%) made less than $100k
301,140 (83%) made less than $200k 

Texas
1,510,740 households had a capital gains filing.
765,970 (51%) made less than $100k
1,179,050 (78%) made less than $200k

Utah
181,300 households had a capital gains filing. 
103,490 (57%) made less than $100k
152,350 (84%) made less than $200k

Vermont
63,770 households had a capital gains filing.
41,650 (65%) made less than $100k
56,380 (88%) made less than $200k

Virginia
700,430 households had a capital gains filing. 
334,720 (48%) made less than $100k
550,050 (79%) made less than $200k

Washington
675,760 households had a capital gains filing.
347,390 (52%) made less than $100k
538,630 (80%) made less than $200k

West Virginia
79,490 households had a capital gains filing. 
52,840 (67%) made less than $100k
70,800 (89%) made less than $200k

Wisconsin
541,240 households had a capital gains filing.
353,220 (65%) made less than $100k
479,990 (89%) made less than $200k

Wyoming
49,480 households had a capital gains filing. 
31,010 (63%) made less than $100k
43,280 (87%) made less than $200k

Photo Credit: SalFalko


ATR Supports the Government Bailout Prevention Act

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Thursday, August 8th, 2019, 2:30 PM PERMALINK

Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) have introduced S. 2120, the “Government Bailout Prevention Act,” legislation that takes federal taxpayers off the hook for the fiscal mismanagement of state and local governments. Americans for Tax Reform supports this legislation and urges its passage. 

S. 2120 prevents federal dollars from going towards bailouts of state and local governments that declare bankruptcy. This bill prohibits any arm of the government, including the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve, from guaranteeing state and local government obligations. This bill does not impact federal assistance in the event of a natural disaster. 

Runaway state spending is a serious, bipartisan problem. In Fiscal Year 2017, forty states did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. According to the nonpartisan fiscal watchdog Truth in Accounting, the total unfunded debt among the 50 states is more than $1.5 trillion. State taxpayers will bear the burden of government largesse for generations to come. 

The federal government certainly doesn’t have the money to bail out insolvent state governments. The national debt is $22 trillion and counting. By 2027, interest payments on the debt will eclipse military spending. By 2048, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that federal spending will consume 30 percent of GDP, exceeding projected federal revenues by 10 percent. 

D.C. lawmakers have shown no appetite to curb spending, as they have routinely disregarded spending caps and refuse to take up entitlement reform. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid comprise well over half of federal spending. Starting next year, the Social Security Administration will start paying out more in benefits than it takes in, and the program will be completely bankrupt by 2034. Medicare will be out of money in 2026. 

The Government Bailout Prevention Act prevents Washington politicians from using money they doesn’t have to pay off debt that state governments shouldn’t have accumulated. The bill is an important first step towards bringing fiscal responsibility back to the states. Congress should pass S. 2120 and President Trump should sign it into law.

Photo Credit: Ken Teegarden - Flickr


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