50 Cent Opposes Biden Tax Hike Plan

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021, 7:02 PM PERMALINK

As a guest tonight on MSNBC's The Beat with Ari Melber, 50 Cent stated his opposition to President Biden's tax increase plan and said Americans will move to low-tax areas of the country so they can "hold on to just what they are earning. Not to have it just taken from them by the government."

Regarding Biden's tax increase plan, 50 Cent said:

"His tax plan, I didn't realize I would be paying 62% of my income back to the IRS. So that does change a lot. New York City will change dramatically. Like they are going to end up moving to different territories. You look at Silicon Valley, it is now in Austin, Texas.

So you'll start to see people moving from these places to new places that make sense for them to hold on to just what they are earning. Not to have it just taken from them by the government."

50 Cent then hinted that he will move to Texas where the tax burden is lower:

"I'll move, Ari. I'm going to Texas. I've got my cowboy hat and everything. Everything is bigger in Texas, really beautiful people. Nice people in Texas."



Photo Credit: TigerDirect.com

5 Details on Dem Plan to Subsidize EVs for Wealthy

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Posted by Mike Palicz on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021, 6:01 PM PERMALINK

High-earners with an income of $800,000 could claim a $12,500 subsidy on their $74,000 luxury vehicle

Democrats on the House Ways and Means committee voted last week to advance their section of the $3.5 trillion blowout, including $42.5 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies for the electric vehicle industry.

Included in the plan is a massive expansion of the individual tax credit for electric vehicles (EVs) set to cost taxpayers nearly $17 billion while disproportionately benefiting wealthy individuals in blue states.

1) Taxpayers would pay up to $12,500 in subsidies for the cost of a new EV

Section 136401 of Subtitle F would create a refundable tax credit up $12,500 for the purchase of a new electric vehicle. Individuals with gross incomes up to $400,000 and joint filers up to $800,000 can claim the full credit. The credit phases out by $200 for each $1,000 exceeding these income levels. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this provision alone would cost more than $15.5 billion.

Democrats would allow the tax credit to apply to EVs with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price well within the range of luxury vehicles. The EV tax credit could be claimed on:

  • Sedans up to $55,000
  • Vans up to $64,000
  • SUV up to $69,000
  • Pick Up Trucks up to $74,000


2) Handout for Union Bosses

The full amount of the tax credit comes with a special handout for organized labor – $4,500 of the maximum $12,500 credit can only be claimed by individuals if the vehicle purchased is assembled in a U.S. facility operating under a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement. This is a naked handout to a Democrat preferred special interest

Here it is, straight from the bill’s text:

“In the case of a new qualified plug-in vehicle which satisfies the domestic assembly qualifications, the amount determined under this paragraph is $4,500.”

“The term ‘domestic assembly qualifications’ means, with respect to any new qualified plug-in electric vehicle, that the final assembly of such vehicle occurs at a plant, factory, or other place which is operating under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by an employee organization.”

3) Overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy in blue states

Data from JCT reveals EV subsidies overwhelmingly benefit the rich. More than 83 percent of current EV credits claimed go to tax filers with an annual income of $100,000 or more. Taxpayers with an annual income exceeding $1 million account for 8 percent of all credits claimed. This should come as no surprise given the sticker price of a new electric vehicle typically ranges from $40,000 - $80,000. Subsidizing luxury cars is targeted welfare for the wealthy.

Furthermore, EV subsidies primarily benefit Democrat-run states. Eight of the top ten states for EV sales are states represented by two Democrat Senators. Of the 250,000 all-electric vehicles  sold in the U.S.s in 2020, according to data from the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, Californians alone accounted for over 93,000 EVs purchases. For comparison, West Virginia had only 195 EVs registered in 2020. 

4) Lifts the 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer cap

The bill also does away with an important taxpayer protection in current law that phases out the current EV tax credit once a manufacturer sells 200,000 vehicles. This “cap” was put in place to ensure the tax credit supports an emerging technology rather than become a permanent subsidy. Democrats would now remove this safeguard, allowing individuals to claim the credit in perpetuity. 

5) New $2,500 subsidy for used EVs

The bill would also create a new tax credit capped at $2,500 for qualifying used EVs. This means taxpayers could be on the hook for up to $15,000 in payments on the same EV during the vehicle’s lifespan. The used EV tax credit is estimated to cost taxpayers an additional $1.3 billion.

To be eligible, vehicles must be purchased from a car dealership, cannot exceed a sales price of $25,000 and must be a model year at least 2 years earlier than the sale date. The credit is limited to individual buyers with an income up to $75,000 and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Photo Credit: Piqsels

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Scranton Times Goes All-In on Tax Hikes & Lies About Taxpayer Protection Pledge

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Posted by Doug Kellogg on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, 6:06 PM PERMALINK

Pennsylvania has the 15th-highest state and local tax burden in the country. The state took in $3.9 billion in May, a whopping $1.6 billion more than expected – and is forecasted to have a $3.16 billion revenue surplus this fiscal year.

There is no shortage of tax revenue for Harrisburg to spend, the state is taking a big cut of the earnings of Pennsylvanians. But the editorial board of the Scranton Times-Tribune thinks taxes on Pennsylvania families and businesses should be higher, not lower.

After Republican Gubernatorial candidate, and former Congressman, Lou Barletta committed to Pennsylvanians that he will not raise their taxes if elected, the Times-Tribune published an editorial misleading their  readers about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and clamoring for tax hikes.

The pledge is a written commitment made to voters that states a candidate or officeholder will oppose any net tax hike. Contrary to the paper’s claim that the pledge would limit Barletta’s ability to pursue tax reform, the pledge allows for any tax reform that is revenue-neutral. The pledge is a guardrail that allows lawmakers to pursue tax reform knowing a net tax increase is off the table. Anyone can read the pledge at ATR.org. The Scranton Times chose not to look up the facts.

The Scranton Times is not the first to make inaccurate claims that the pledge prevents tax reform compromises where a change increasing revenues is offset with a corresponding reduction in tax burden elsewhere.

These types of false charges have been disproved when examined by multiple fact checkers.  

Among numerous examples of revenue-neutral tax deals, just this past legislative session in Florida, the legislature approved a tax reform package that added an online sales tax collection requirement for businesses, which was fully offset by a reduction in the commercial rent tax. This compromise complied with the Taxpayer Protection Pledge commitment that was made by Governor DeSantis and dozens of  Pledge Signing state legislators.

On top of false claims about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, the paper sells out the taxpayers of their own state.

The editorial board claims local property tax hikes can only be mitigated by the state government paying off localities to limit the increases. Surely the local governments and citizens approving property tax increases have some say? Are Pennsylvania mayors unable to reform their governments to cost citizens less?

Furthermore, they ignore great reforms like Truth in Taxation, and strong caps on property tax increases, that have proven effective in limiting property tax growth in other states.

On top of whiffing on property taxes, the editorial board wants Harrisburg to raise Pennsylvania’s gas tax, again. The state gas tax is third-highest in the U.S. behind only California, and Illinois. Increasing this regressive tax on going to work, yet again, would be disastrous. The Times’ editorial board should question what has been happening with all that extra gas tax money if they truly believe roads are “stressed.”

With billions of dollars in excess revenue, and model legislation to follow from states across the U.S., any Pennsylvania elected official should be able sign the Taxpayer Protection and and also keep the roads together, and pursue property tax reform, without increasing the overall tax burden.

Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons

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New Federal Vape Tax Will Hurt Virginia Economy, Small Businesses

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Posted by Dennis Hull on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, 6:05 PM PERMALINK

In their hunt for new revenue to pay for a massive reconciliation package, congressional Democrats are proposing an array of new taxes on e-cigarettes. Raising the cost of synthetic nicotine threatens the appeal of e-cigarettes among former adult smokers and undermines the success of the Virginia economy.  

As they use far fewer chemicals than cigarettes, vapes are an effective and safe alternative to traditional tobacco products. The proliferation of these devices has been a major benefit for adult smokers looking to quit. Studies reveal that vaping is much more effective than other treatments for smoking cessation, such as nicotine patches. 

Yet the federal government is looking to disincentivize vaping for all Americans with a regressive 2,000% tax hike on e-cigarettes. That’s an extra $2.25 per pod of vaping fluid, far higher than the current tax of $1.01 per pack of cigarettes (and higher even than the proposed new cigarette tax of $2.01). For many smokers – nearly 75% of whom are from low-income communities – the new tax will make the switch to vaping far less appealing, potentially encouraging some to switch back to dangerous combustible cigarettes. Low-income individuals, who will overwhelmingly bear the brunt of the new tobacco tax, are also those who are least able to afford it. 

In Virginia, new federal taxes on nicotine products will lead to disastrous economic consequences for retailers and family-owned tobacco shops. In addition to eliminating 372 jobs, the tax hike is projected to reduce wages by $17.6 million. Vape shops – deemed “essential businesses” during the pandemic – are often operated by diverse, first-generation owners and families. The hefty new tax will lower the demand for e-cigarettes and drive many smaller shops out of business. 

Meanwhile, sales revenue will drop by $20.7 million across nearly 6,500 tobacco retailers in the state, more than half of which are single-owner operations. Ironically, state and local governments will also experience reduced tax revenue, since nicotine purchases fuel more than a third of total sales at convenience stores across the state. 

If the vape tax is ultimately successful, businesses in Virginia and throughout the country will bear unacceptable financial consequences. Democrats should look to better solutions to pay for their spending bill that do not unfairly target law-abiding adult smokers and family-owned tobacco stores. 

Photo Credit: Sarah Johnson

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Rohit Chopra To Weaponize CFPB

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Posted by Bryan Bashur on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, 4:50 PM PERMALINK

In the next few days, the Senate will vote on confirmation of Rohit Chopra to serve as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Americans for Tax Reform opposes Chopra’s nomination and urges all senators to vote against Chopra’s final confirmation.

Chopra is a far-left acolyte of Elizabeth Warren who will expand the size, scope, and authority of the CFPB to the greatest extent possible.

Chopra currently serves as a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but he has previously held positions at the CFPB as an assistant director, student loan ombudsman, and policy advisor.

Chopra is no friend to private industry. Under Chopra’s leadership, the CFPB will strictly enforce rulemakings that impose burdensome reporting requirements on financial institutions. For example, Chopra will likely severely enforce the mandates in the CFPB’s rule to collect certain data from small businesses pursuant to section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Chopra is also likely to increase enforcement actions against financial technology companies and mortgage lenders, stifling innovation and expanding the federal government’s reach into private loan agreements.

Additionally, Chopra has been rightly scrutinized by Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) of the Banking Committee for failing to respond to inquiries about the Biden administration’s potentially unlawful removal of CFPB career staffers from their positions in favor of replacing them with Democratic loyalists.  

Chopra never responded to Senator Toomey’s inquiry about whether he was involved in the removal of high-level career staffers. Failure to respond during the nomination process is enough by itself to be disqualified. Moreover, Chopra’s unresponsiveness foreshadows he is likely to be unaccountable to Congress just as the agency has been since its inception.    

The CFPB is an independent agency created by the politically divisive Dodd-Frank. The agency is structurally different from other independent agencies because it has a sole director leading the agency unlike most independent agencies, which have multiple commissioners and a chair. The CFPB is also not funded via Congressional appropriations, but by the Federal Reserve.

On Tuesday night, the Senate moved forward with turning the CFPB into a weapon for far-left Democrats. Senators voted in favor of discharging Rohit Chopra’s nomination from the Senate Banking Committee by a vote of 49-48. Only Democrats voted in favor of considering his nomination for full confirmation.

In March, the Senate Banking Committee voted along party lines, ending up in a tie vote of 12-12. This tie vote in committee is why the Senate needed to vote on a motion to discharge to the full Senate.

Senate confirmation of Chopra will put a radical liberal at the helm of a redundant federal agency with no Congressional accountability.

Senators should vote NO on Chopra.


Photo Credit: "cfpb 36794" by Ted Eytan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Radical Academic David Weil Will Kill West Virginia Franchises and Jobs

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, 9:48 AM PERMALINK

Reports indicate that radical left-wing academic David Weil will soon receive a Senate vote on his nomination to serve as the Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Administrator. 

Weil, who previously held the post under President Barack Obama, does not deserve a second change to further his radical agenda. Weil is a staunch opponent of business models that allow tens of millions of Americans to put food on the table, including franchises, which Weil has called a "form of outsourcing." Franchises employ 7.6 million Americans across 733,000 establishments nationwide. 

Franchises in West Virginia, represented by Sens. Joe Manchin (D) and Shelly Moore Capito (R), would be hit particularly hard if Weil makes it over the finish line.

Franchises support nearly 45,000 West Virginia jobs, with over 4,800 establishments in the state. West Virginia franchises are responsible for $1.3 billion in payroll per year, $3.4 billion in economic output, and $1.9 billion in GDP. 

Ultimately, Weil did more than enough damage to American workers during his first tour of duty as Wage and Hour administrator. No Senator should feel the need to give Weil a second chance to test out his ivory tower theories on American workers. 

Photo Credit: International Labour Organization

ATR, Partners Urge Biden Administration to Prioritize Free Trade Agreements

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Posted by Rowan Saydlowski on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021, 4:51 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform on Monday released a new coalition letter signed by 11 free-market organizations calling on the Biden administration to pursue free trade agreements with more countries.

The letter requested that President Biden prioritize free trade agreements with the United Kingdom and Taiwan, as well as pursue accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The letter highlights benefits of free trade agreements, such as the fact that “trade agreements increased GDP by $88 billion, increased trade by $1.3 trillion, and helped create 485,000 jobs.” It further explains that trade agreements which promote free-market rules ensure “American innovators, exporters, and workers are treated fairly abroad.”

For example, the Reagan administration pushed for a global minimum standard of intellectual property protection; ultimately the world agreed and signed the TRIPS agreement. Without such protections, the R&D and licensing agreements between innovators and manufacturers of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines may not have been possible.

Yet, the letter argues, more needs to be done to protect IP. Coerced transfers and other violations of American intellectual property rights continue to proliferate globally. Trade agreements are the proper venue to advance enforceable protections.

The letter underscores that free trade agreements are a highly bipartisan issue in the United States. It states, “The Uruguay Round negotiations and NAFTA negotiations both started under Republican Administrations but were completed by a Democratic Administration.”

The letter calls on the Biden administration to “engage boldly with our trading partners to extend the benefits of free trade: defend the free-flow of data, remove burdensome tariff and non-tariff barriers, secure the next-generation IP protections, and address how state-owned enterprises and trade-distorting subsidies adversely affect open-market economies.”

Finally, the letter concludes, “Trade agreements are mutually beneficial exchanges that create win-win transactions for all countries involved. There are no losers, only winners. Trade helps strengthen the free world.”

Click here to read the full letter. 

Photo Credit: Rafael de Campos from Pexels

Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Blowout Will Increase the Death Tax for Many Families

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Posted by Isabelle Morales on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021, 4:35 PM PERMALINK

As part of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, Democrats have included several provisions that would increase the Death Tax. The Death Tax is fundamentally unfair, hurts job creation and economic growth, and is devastating to family-owned businesses and farms across the country. This tax should not be expanded – it should be repealed. 

Specifically, the package includes three problematic changes to the death tax resulting in a $77 billion tax increase: 

1. Changing the death tax valuation rules. 

Families hit with the Death Tax are allowed two discounts when determining the value of their estate: a lack of control discount and a lack of marketability discount. A lack of control discount can be claimed when a family holds a minority ownership stake in an asset, resulting in the asset holding less value on the open market. A lack of marketability discount applies when an asset held by the family cannot easily be liquidated because of market barriers. Without these discounts, families will be forced to pay taxes on an over-valued asset.  

While this change applies to passive income, many families hold this income as part of their estate plan. Therefore, many family businesses and farms will pay a higher tax under this rule change. 

2. Repealing the TCJA Death Tax reduction.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the Death Tax exemption to $11.18 million for single filers and $22.36 million for married filers. For family businesses, repealing this reduction would be a major tax hike: by the end of the year, the amount of money they can protect from the estate and gift taxes would be cut in half.  

Nearly 70 percent of small business owners consider the TCJA exemption parameters important. 

3. Changing the Grantor Trust rules.  

As Family Enterprise USA explains, this provision would pull “grantor trusts into a decedent’s taxable estate when the decedent is the deemed owner of the trusts. Prior to this provision, taxpayers were able to use grantor trusts to push assets out of their estate while controlling the trust closely.” This provision would also tax a sale from a grantor trust to its owner.  

Because so many family farms and businesses use Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATS) and other estate planning tools, this change would upend many of these taxpayers’ estate plans, forcing family businesses, farms, and ranches to hire expensive lawyers and accountants to rework their plans.  

The death tax is already a fundamentally unfair and bad tax policy. It is levied on assets that have been taxed previously through income taxes, capital gains taxes, and the corporate income tax. It disproportionately impacts family-owned businesses like farmers and ranchers especially that tend to be asset rich but cash poor. On the other hand, the wealthy often evade the tax. While the mega-wealthy and family farms technically face the same death tax, small business owners cannot afford to hire a small army of lawyers and accountants to exempt large portions of their estates from the tax. Many countries recognize that a high Death Tax is bad tax policy. Currently, the United States has the 4th highest estate and inheritance tax among developed countries, just behind France.  

The tax also hurts jobs and economic growth. Family-owned businesses across the country employ 59 percent of the workforce. Family-owned businesses also generate 54 percent of the U.S. GDP. Importantly, a 2017 study by the Tax Foundation found that the US could create over 150,000 jobs by rolling back the estate tax. Similarly, a 2012 study by the Joint Economic Committee found that the death tax has destroyed over $1.1 trillion of capital in the US economy, which results in fewer jobs and lower wages.  

Finally, the death tax is radically unpopular. A report by NPR found that 76 percent of Americans support full, permanent repeal of the Death Tax. A similar 78 percent, and 67 percent of Democrats, believe “death itself should not be a taxable event. Families should not have to pay taxes just because a family member with some wealth died.” Further, 80 percent of voters, and 73 percent of Democrats, believe “death should not result in the highest tax rates of the entire US tax code…taking more than 40% of someone’s wealth just because they died isn’t fair.” 

By expanding this tax, Democrats will impose new, damaging costs on families, family-owned businesses, farms, ranches, and more. 

Photo Credit: "Family Farm Day" by Lauren G. is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

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Norquist Warns of Dem Drug Price Controls, New IRS Reporting Regime

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Posted by Isabelle Morales on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021, 3:45 PM PERMALINK

In an interview on Fox Business Network’s ‘Fox Business Tonight,’ ATR President Grover Norquist highlighted several troubling aspects of Democrats' $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. Specifically, he warned of Democrats’ plans to impose drug price controls based on international prices, creating a 95 percent excise tax on manufacturers that do not sell drugs at the government-set price. Additionally, he warned of Democrats' plan to give the IRS access to the inflows and outflows of virtually every American’s financial accounts.  

Norquist also references back to 1966 and other moments in history, when Democrats’ tax-and-spend sprees resulted in major political losses. 

Click here to watch the entire interview. 

Norquist explains how the proposal to impose a 95 percent excise tax and international reference pricing scheme on American drug manufacturers will ship medical innovation and discovery overseas:

Sinema, the Senator from Arizona, has said that we just can’t do this massive power grab that the Democrats want on pharmaceuticals. This basically would end American leadership on drugs because we’d tax it so heavily that people who’d want to come up with new drugs for cancer would do it in Switzerland, not in the United States.” 

Norquist on the creation of a new financial account reporting regime which would force the disclosure of any business or personal account that exceeds $600, including bank accounts, loan accounts, investment accounts, and third-party payment providers like Venmo and CashApp:

You will lose your financial privacy, your personal privacy. They want to know what your Venmo is doing, what your PayPal is doing, what your CashApp is doing. They used to say, “We want to know if you’re moving $10,000 or more in cash around.” Then, it turns out they’re really abusing that, even though it sounds sort of reasonable – how many people move around $10,000 in cash? Well, a lot of small businesses do at the end of a week. [The IRS] would just go through people’s lives; they would hold onto their money even if nothing had gone wrong… They’re now talking about, not $10,000, but $600… If you have $600 in your account, they want to know everything there is to know about that account. And they don’t keep secrets very well at the IRS.” 

Norquist on the failure of the Great Society and its political ramifications, and how this signals major losses for Democrats across the country if they move forward with their $3.5 trillion blowout: 

They’re looking at 1966, after the Great New Deal was passed – all these ‘wonderful spending programs’ with all the same promises that we’re told now: the government is going to do everything for you. We spent $27 trillion and I’m not sure you can show very much that we accomplished because of the Great Society. But one thing that happened is the Democrats lost dozens and dozens of House members… When the Democrats have overreached on taxes and spending, in 1966 they got slapped heavily, and then Nixon got elected in 1968, same thing happened in 1994, and same thing happened in 2010. There are a lot of Democrats out there who realize they’re being pushed into traffic.

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ANALYSIS: ABC Test Breaks Biden's $400,000 Tax Pledge

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Posted by Tom Hebert, Alex Hendrie on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021, 3:30 PM PERMALINK

Democrats are attempting to backdoor parts of the PRO Act in their $3.5 trillion reconciliation spending blowout. 

As part of this effort, Democrats are attempting to include Sen. Ron Wyden's "Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act," in the reconciliation package. This legislation contains a California-style "ABC" test that would lead to the forced reclassification of independent contractors to employees, affecting the 59 million Americans that engage in some form of freelance work. 

According to ATR analysis, this is a violation of President Joe Biden's pledge to not raise taxes on any American making less than $400k.

Click here to view our full memo. 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore