Tom Hebert

Democrats Expose Their Hypocrisy with SALT CRA Vote

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019, 5:13 PM PERMALINK

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) forced a floor vote today on a resolution that will repeal the Trump tax law’s cap on state and local tax deductions. While Democrats campaign on raising taxes on the wealthy, 42 Democrat senators proved their hypocrisy by voting for this massive tax break for their richest constituents. 

The Republican-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) implemented a $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The wealthy mainly took advantage of the unlimited SALT deduction. A recent report from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation shows that repealing the SALT cap would cut $40 billion in taxes for millionaires. In total, 94 percent of the tax breaks generated from ending the cap would be enjoyed by taxpayers making more than $200,000 a year. 

Functionally, the unlimited SALT deduction created two different federal tax rates: one for the wealthy in blue states, and one for the middle class in red states. Technically, a New Yorker with a $20,000 state tax bill had access to the same SALT deduction as a Nebraskan with a $5,000 state tax bill. In a pre-TCJA world, the Nebraskan would take the standard deduction instead of the SALT deduction, while the New Yorker would itemize and take the full SALT deduction. This creates a de facto subsidy for blue states. 

During the TCJA’s passage, Schumer said that eliminating the deduction “socks it to the middle class,” and called on fellow Democrats to “not go along with a tax plan that includes a tax cut for the folks who need it least.”

Hypocritically, Schumer is now pushing a tax scheme that helps those who need it least. 42 Democrats voted for the Schumer scheme to give the wealthiest blue state taxpayers a massive federal tax break:

  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)

  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)

  • Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

  • Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.)

  • Sen. Benjamin Cardin (Md.)

  • Sen. Tom Carper (Del.)

  • Sen. Bob Casey (Penn.)

  • Sen. Chris Coons (Del.)

  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.)

  • Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.)

  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.)

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)

  • Sen. Maggie Hassan (N.H.)

  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)

  • Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.)

  • Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)

  • Sen. Angus King (Maine)

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)

  • Sen. Joe Manchin (W.V.)

  • Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.)

  • Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.)

  • Sen. Jeff Merkeley (Ore.)

  • Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)

  • Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)

  • Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.)

  • Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.)

  • Sen. Jacky Rosen (Nev.)

  • Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.)

  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.)

  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)

  • Sen. Tina Smith (Minn.)

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

  • Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.)

  • Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.)

  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.)

  • Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) 

  • Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) 

Schumer’s skin in the game is clear: in 2015, before the SALT cap, Schumer wrote off $58,000 in state and local taxes. 

Since President Trump signed the TCJA into law, blue-state Democrats have worked overtime to find ways for their wealthiest residents to avoid the SALT cap. Governor Andrew Cuomo attempted an end-run around the cap by allowing New Yorkers to pay their local property taxes into a state-run charitable fund. 

The IRS recently issued new rules and guidance to stop these blue-state schemes. By voting to nullify the IRS guidance, Schumer and 41 other Democrats are aiding and abetting blue-state taxpayers that commit federal tax arbitrage by circumventing the SALT cap. 

Photo Credit: Senate Democrats - Flickr

Congress Should Reject the "SHIELD Act"

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019, 2:57 PM PERMALINK

The House of Representatives is voting today on H.R. 4617, the “SHIELD Act,” legislation sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) that would erode freedom of speech and federalize state and local elections. The House should reject this misguided bill. 

Election security is a serious issue. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security notified 21 states that hackers had targeted their election systems in 2016. A majority of states are using election infrastructure that is outdated and ripe for cyberattack from foreign adversaries. While there is no evidence that Russia hacked our vote totals in 2016, it is clear that hackers are testing the waters. 

Unfortunately, some Democrats are more interested in clamping down on freedom of expression for Americans than securing our elections.  

Democrats have pushed to have government take over political speech in the past. House Democrats tried introducing a number of the SHIELD Act’s provisions earlier this year in H.R. 1, the misleadingly-named “For the People Act of 2019.”  

The SHIELD Act is a wishlist of Democrat priorities that focuses on restricting the political speech of Americans instead of targeting foreign meddlers abroad.

Strangely enough, the bill does nothing to prevent troll farms, which was the primary means Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election. Additionally, nothing in the SHIELD Act would give law enforcement the resources necessary to counter foreign actors that attempt to influence our elections.  

If enacted, the SHIELD Act would: 

  • Give the federal government the responsibility of determining what qualifies as “legitimate” press/news. This is a blatant infringement on freedom of the press, and a provision ripe for abuse by left-wing bureaucrats. 
  • Allow the U.S. Attorney General to interfere in state elections, a blatant violation of the constitutional principle that states and localities have primary administration of elections. 

  • Apply television disclaimers to internet ads. A four second disclaimer (the standard on television ads) would take up half of most internet ads. 

  • Expand the definition of “electioneering communication” to include “issues of national importance,” a broad term not defined in law or regulation. In effect, this would take ads that are not political in nature and classify them as such, which would have a chilling effect on free speech. 

Thankfully, Republicans have an alternative. House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) has introduced H.R. 4736, the Honest Elections Act. Instead of federalizing state and local elections, the Honest Elections Act empowers states and localities to secure their elections while upholding constitutional principles.

In reality, the SHIELD Act would do next to nothing to secure our elections while trampling all over the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.

The House should reject the Democrat-led SHIELD Act and pass legislation that would actually secure our election in 2020 and beyond. 

Photo Credit: KidTruant - Flickr

ATR Supports the Compassionate Retirement Act

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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”

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

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