Video: Biden Will Destroy Pennsylvania Energy Jobs

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, September 17th, 2020, 5:30 PM PERMALINK


Watch: Joe Biden vows to end fracking and fossil fuels:


How the Trump Republican Tax Cuts Are Helping Wisconsin

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, September 17th, 2020, 5:10 PM PERMALINK

Joe Biden has threatened numerous times to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on "Day One." But Wisconsin is benefiting greatly from the tax cuts enacted by congressional Republicans and President Trump:

Individual mandate tax relief: 82,060 Wisconsin households are no longer stuck paying the much-loathed individual mandate tax, thanks to the TCJA's elimination of this tax. 80% of Wisconsin households hit with this tax made less than $50,000 per year. Be warned, Joe Biden wants to bring this tax back from the dead, one of the many reasons Biden can't be trusted on taxes.

424,970 Wisconsin households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the child tax credit.

Every income group in every Wisconsin congressional district received a tax cut. Nationwide, a typical family of four received a $2,000 annual tax cut and a single parent with one child received a $1,300 annual tax cut.

1,954,190 Wisconsin households are benefiting from the TCJA’s doubling of the standard deduction. Thanks to the tax cuts, nine out of ten households take the standard deduction which provides tax relief and simplifies the tax filing process.

Lower utility bills: As a direct result of the TCJA’s corporate tax rate cut, Wisconsin residents are saving money on utility bills. Lower electric, water, and gas bills help households and small businesses operating on tight margins. For example, Madison Gas & Electric, Alliant Energy, Wisconsin, Superior Water, Light & Power, and We Energies (see below) all passed along tax cut savings to their customers. 

Thanks to the tax cuts, Wisconsin businesses of all sizes are hiring, expanding, raising pay and increasing employee benefits:

MusicNotes (Madison, Wisconsin) – Salary increases for employees:

The new year brings a new salary increase for all 55 employees at Musicnotes, Inc., the worldwide leader in digital sheet music based in Madison, Wisconsin. Effective January 1st, the 3% salary increase is tied specifically to corporate tax reform and is in addition to Musicnotes' existing annual raises to eligible employees. 

"We're genuinely appreciative of our loyal and gifted team at Musicnotes and we are thrilled to share the benefit of lower corporate taxes with them," said Executive Chairman, Tim Reiland. "It's the right thing to do and it's also smart business."

After a strong 2017 sales performance, Musicnotes was named to the Internet Retailer Top 1000 list for the 13th straight year in 2017 and garners over half of the worldwide digital sheet music market, according to traffic statistics from SimilarWeb. The company has sold products to over six million customers since 1998.

"Musicnotes has paid a full corporate tax rate over the past several years," indicated Reiland. "Beyond the Jan 1 salary increases, we will accelerate hiring plans and also have increased flexibility regarding technology projects and investment opportunities in 2018 and beyond." – Jan. 8, 2018 MusicNotes press release

Quad/Graphics (Sussex, Wisconsin) - Giving employees stock for their retirement accounts:

Quad/Graphics Inc., the international printing company based in Sussex, said this week that Instead of a one-time bonus, the company will transfer roughly $22 million in Quad/Graphics stock to its employees' retirement accounts.

In his fourth quarter 2017 earnings call with analysts this week, chairman, president and CEO Joel Quadracci said the stock gift was "made possible by tax reform legislation."

"We received a benefit from tax reform and decided it made sense to invest this back into our employee base who is helping drive our transformation as a company," said company spokeswoman Claire Ho.- February 23, 2018, Milwaukee Business Journal article excerpt

Trico (Pewaukee, Wisconsin) -- 401(k) expansions, bonuses, and creation of new jobs:

For example, as a direct result of the tax cuts, full-time employees at the Pewaukee-based Trico Corporation will receive $650 bonuses and increased contributions into their 401(k) accounts. The company will also hire more full-time workers to fill new positions. - April 17, 2018, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner article excerpt

Brian's Electric (Stratford, Wisconsin) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the company to increase wages:

Jacobs told Budget & Tax News he has passed the benefits of TCJA along to his employees,

“I gave out, when you add it all up, about $150 an hour worth of wage increases,” Jacobs said. “Depending on how they have their taxes taken out of their checks, the lowest was around $14 a week in net take home pay, all the way up to $65 in net take home pay.” – Sept. 12, 2018, Heartland Institute article.

The Platform (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) -- The company is building a co-working space and food hall which is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developers offered look Monday at the progress on a $16 million project to turn a cold storage building into a co-working space and food hall in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

The first floor-to-ceiling window has been installed in the nine-story building at 2937-67 E. Grand Blvd. It will be among dozens of windows that will pour light into the long-abandoned building known for its rainbow-colored mural.

"It is a relatively small project but because it is out of the norm, it attracts a great deal of interest," said Peter Cummings, executive The Platform, the Detroit-based development group undertaking the project.

For example, the Chroma project falls under Opportunity Zone rules that allow investors to reduce or avoid capital gains taxes by investing in designated areas. Ferrari will participate in a session Tuesday on the topic of successful opportunity zone investments. -- April 30, 2019 Detroit News article

Koehler Flooring, Inc. (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – This family carpet and flooring company gave $1,000 bonuses to seven full-time employees:

The tax reform bill is a huge win for the USA and will have positive effects on our floor covering business. Our customers have more capital to use for expansion and remodeling which is great news for all construction trades. There is more work to be done on the tax code but it's nice to see this recent reversal on punishing success. My crew was very happy to receive their tax reform good news.” -- David Koehler, President.

Americollect (Manitowoc, Wisconsin) $300 - $500 bonuses for 250 employees:

A Manitowoc-based company will give its roughly 250 employees a bonus following Congress's passage of the tax reform bill the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

In an email to employees Wednesday, Americollect President and CEO Kenlyn T. Gretz said: “Today, Congress passed the tax reform bill; our company will be taxed less because of it. Since we will now be taxed less, I wanted to take this opportunity and utilize this financial benefit to give back to each of you, our teammates, by directly impacting your paycheck in the form of a bonus!”

Gretz said: “We find great joy in being able to provide this bonus to the employees, who really are the heart and soul of what we do. Full-time employees can expect to see as much as a $500 bonus come 2019 and even part-time employees will be included.” -- Dec. 21, 2017 Manitowoc Herald Times article excerpt

Melron Corporation (Schofield, Wisconsin) -- The company was able to give employees a pay raise because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Thanks to the trump tax cuts, I've been able to raise my employees wages so they got a pay raise and the tax cuts. Even in the face of the pandemic the president doubled down on his support for business. -- Debbie Flood Speech at RNC, Aug. 27, 2020

American Family Insurance (Madison, Wisconsin): 11,000 workers will receive a $1,000 bonus:

“American Family Insurance said Friday it will give 11,000 workers a one-time bonus of $1,000, becoming the latest U.S. company to pass some of the savings from federal tax reform to employees.

The Madison-based insurer said the reduction in the corporate income tax rate also would help fuel permanent changes to its employee benefits program, such as expanded tuition reimbursement, help paying student loans and scholarships for workers who pursue a post-high school degree.

In addition, American Family said its family leave program now will provide employees with paid leave to care for an ill child of any age or for a spouse or domestic partner.

 “Our success rests with our people who are dedicated to helping our customers,” Bill Westrate, American Family Insurance president, said in a statement. “These changes demonstrate our commitment to our people, today and into the future, with expanded benefits and educational support, and to the communities where we do business.”

American Family said Friday the company will contribute $10 million to its Dreams Foundation, which supports programs and provides grants to nonprofits. This year, American Family said, the foundation will provide a one-time, two-to-one match for employee and agent donations to qualifying charities, a boost from the one-to-one match in place since the Dreams Foundation was established in 2016. – Jan. 26 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Twisted Path (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the business is planning on hiring new employees:

With less than 20 days until the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act expires, local craft distillers are getting nervous. Brian Sammons, owner of Twisted Path Distillery in Milwaukee's Bay View area and president of the Wisconsin Distillers Guild, said the last few weeks have been scary for him and his small craft business.

"It's goofy to have this much business uncertainty just hanging in the balance," Sammons said.

…..

Sammons only has two full-time employees and four part-time. He is waiting to hire a full-time sales and marketing person because of the act's uncertain future.

Local distillers such as Sammons points to the political distractions in the House and Senate as a reason for the act's idleness. The act is bipartisan with 326 co-sponsors in the House and 73 co-sponsors in the Senate, more than three-quarters representation in each chamber. – Dec. 16, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal article.

Sprecher Brewing Company (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – The brewery used savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to reinvest in the company and create new jobs:

"Other breweries in this area are certainly doing the same thing with the savings they get as we are here," said Jeff Hamilton, president of Sprecher Brewing Company. "This act gave a bit of a tax break to all alcohol producers."

Right now, the team at Sprecher said the money saved from the tax breaks goes back into the business.

"Gives us additional funds that can be reinvested back into the company," Hamilton said. "Back into creating additional products, which on top of that creates new jobs."  Oct. 9, 2019, Fox 9 article.

RF Development (Menasha, Wisconsin) -- The company is redeveloping a building and creating commercial and residential space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Alderman Stan Sevenich said the proposed $10 million redevelopment of the former Brin Building property could be one of the best things to happen in Menasha in the past 100 years.

"I actually think that this is probably going to be the catalyst that will really turn Menasha into the gem of the Valley," Sevenich told The Post-Crescent.

RF Development of Menasha, the same group that owns the former City Hall at 140 Main St., intends to construct a three-building commercial and residential complex on the Brin site at the southeast corner Main and Tayco streets.

Sevenich and the rest of the Common Council reviewed the proposal Dec. 16 and unanimously directed city staff to negotiate a development agreement for the project.

The agreement could come back to the council for approval as soon as January. Sevenich said RF Development could begin construction by late spring.

"This is going to be somewhat on the fast track," Sevenich said.

The development has a tentative completion date of spring 2021.

According to plan, RF Development would purchase the Brin property from the city for $1 and then redevelop it as follows:

Building 1: A three-story mixed-use building at the corner would have 8,148 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 16 market-rate apartments on the upper floors.

Building 2: A four-story residential building along Tayco would have 30 market-rate apartments. The two apartment buildings would be connected by a skywalk.

Building 3: A 3,000-square-foot restaurant near the Fox River navigational canal.

Parking: The development would have 40 underground stalls and 55 surface stalls.

Mayor Don Merkes said the project would set the tone for future developments and would offer connections to the city's trails and waterfront.

"I think it really sends a good message as you're coming into town that this is the entry to our downtown and this is what you can expect to see when you're downtown," Merkes told The Post-Crescent.

Sam Schroeder, the city's director of community development, described the proposal as "an iconic and influential project that will lead a path of urban renewal and growth in our downtown."

Menasha officials had been marketing the site to potential developers to create a new anchor for the downtown. The site lies in an Opportunity Zone, which provides investors with certain federal tax advantages. -- December 25, 2019 The Post-Crescent article

White Lotus Group (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) -- The company announced that they will be building 100 affordable apartments located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The former Fletcher School property near Northridge Mall in Milwaukee could be sold to developer White Lotus Group for 100 new affordable apartments and community spaces for local social service groups including the YMCA.  White Lotus Group, based in Omaha, Nebraska, expects the project will cost $28 million, according to a city of Milwaukee report on the proposed property sale. The one-story school at 9500 W. Allyn St. has been vacant since 2009. The city would sell it for $500,000.  

White Lotus has a “special affinity” for rehabbing vacant former schools into housing, and is exploring multiple opportunities to do that in Milwaukee, said Scott Henry, executive vice president of development in the company’s Chicago office.  

  “The real estate tends to be good, the buildings tend to be built well and solidly and they are beloved properties in the community that people want to see saved,” he said.  White Lotus would build three vertical floors on top of the existing Fletcher school for a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The first floor would have about 70,000 square feet of community space dedicated for local social-service organizations. Those organizations could provide financial literacy training, or help people find jobs, for example, Henry said. 

 Potential partners for that space are the YMCA, Social Development Commission and CrossWay Church, according to the city report.  The apartments would be for people making 50% to 80% of the area’s median income level, Henry said. It would become a modern housing option for people in the local workforce, he said.  White Lotus must secure low-income housing tax credits to finance the development. It would apply in December to the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to compete for them. If White Lotus succeeds in winning the credits, it would buy Fletcher School in August 2020.   

 Evers reveals businesses allowed to operate under Safer at Home order  Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include banks and health care operations COMING EVENT Power Breakfast June 19   White Lotus plans to use other public financing mechanisms to pay for the project. Those include the federal Opportunity Zone program, Henry said. The federal Opportunity Zone program offers tax breaks to investors who put money received from capital gains into developments in low-income areas.  White Lotus usually works with larger corporations seeking to invest multimillion-dollar sums through the Opportunity Zone program. While that financing would be available for Fletcher School, Henry said there’s also room for local investors who may want to participate. -- November 11, 2019 Milwaukee Business Journal article

Madison Gas & Electric (Madison, Wisconsin) - The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

Madison Gas & Electric will return a one-time credit of $9.23 to its residential electric customers and $4.80 to natural gas customers by July 31. After that, electric bills will dip about $1.56 a month and gas bills by about $1 a month in 2018, MGE spokesman Steve Schultz said. That totals about $8 million worth of credits, according to PSC calculations.

The money represents excess taxes the companies have been collecting from ratepayers. Utility rates, set in advance, anticipated a 35 percent corporate tax rate. But Congress, in its tax reform package, lowered the rate to 21 percent. – May 26, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal article excerpt

Great Lakes Distillery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Used savings from the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act to add space and buy new equipment:

When the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was passed two years ago, Great Lakes Distillery founder and owner Guy Rehorst was able to make a lot of advances to his business with the added savings. He added space to his Walker's Point distillery at 616 W. Virginia St. in Milwaukee. He also added new equipment and new personnel and began producing more product for future sale. – Dec. 10, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal.

Stillmank Brewery (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – The owner of the brewery said that he was able to use savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to create new jobs and grow his company:

It did help us,” Brad Stillmank, Owner and Brewer at Stillmank Brewery in Green Bay said, “you know, accelerate our growth to where we are now.”

Stillmank added that his brewery currently produces between 1,500 and 2,000 barrels of beer annually, meaning that with the tax cuts, his business is saving almost $7,000 every year.

He explained that breweries are still taxed in other ways, despite the cut, “We’re still responsible for paying all the other taxes that any other business would have to, this is just a tax that’s above and beyond for our particular business segment.”

....

Stillmank says that over the past two years, he has been able to invest more in his business and the community, evening hiring extra personnel as a result of the tax breaks.

“For the last two years we’ve been doing our best to take advantage of the opportunity that we have had with that,” he explained, “and we have grown our company and we have added employees.”

Without the tax cuts, Scanzello told Local 5 he worries that that kind of growth will falter across the area, including in businesses that supply local breweries.

“Cleaning chemical companies, hop purveyors, or equipment manufacturers are all going to be impacted by anything that’s going to stunt the growth in the industry,” he said. – Dec. 11, 2019,  CBS Green Bay Article.

Alliant Energy, Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin) - The utility is passing along tax cut savings to customers:

Alliant said its retail electric costs will rise by a total of $194 million in 2019 and 2020 as it brings on the 700-megawatt, natural gas-fueled West Riverside power plant near Beloit in the second half of 2019.

Alliant’s natural gas expenses are projected to rise $24 million over that period.

But rather than raising customer rates, the utility said it will cut costs via fuel savings and income tax reductions. - May 26, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal article excerpt

Superior Water, Light & Power (Superior, Wisconsin) – the utility is passing along tax reform savings to customers:

Residential customers of Superior Water, Light & Power will receive a $31.80 lump-sum credit on July bills as a result of savings accrued from the tax law Congress passed last year, according to an order issued Thursday by the Public Service Commission.

Customers in all categories will receive lump-sum and ongoing credits for each provided service. The largest electrical customer will receive a $61,807 lump sum credit and other non-residential customers will receive lump-sum electric credits varying from $13.70 to $3,106 depending on customer classification, according to the PSC order.

SWL&P estimated its total customer credits this year at $1.322 million. – May 29, 2018, Superior Telegram article excerpt

We Energies (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – the utility is passing along tax reform savings to customers:

We Energies electric customers will receive a one-time credit in July and a slight decrease in electric rates in subsequent months from a portion of the savings from the company's lower federal corporate tax rate, state regulators decided on Thursday.

The Public Service Commission determined that 20 percent of the immediate savings from the lower tax rate should be passed on to customers.

The remaining 80 percent of the savings will go toward paying down deferred costs that stood at $424.5 million as of Dec. 31 but that are not included in current rates.

"It will be a win-win for our customers — providing an immediate bill credit while also helping to reduce future rate increases," Cathy Schulze, a We Energies spokeswoman, said in an email.   - April 26, 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Central Standard Distillery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the distillery to hire four new employees, invest in a new facility, and ordered a new bottling line:

Central Standard Distillery co-owner Evan Hughes said his business was able to grow faster than it normally would because of the act. He attributes four key growth areas to the success of the act, including: Central Standard hired four new employees, bringing staff totals to 22 people. The company invested in a 15,000-square-foot facility on Clybourn Street. In addition, Central Standard ordered a new bottling line for improved efficiency and offered health care to all of its employees.

"It gave us the courage to expand our business quicker than we normally would," Hughes said. – Dec. 10, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal.

Associated Bank (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – a base wage increase from $10 to $15 per hour and $500 bonuses:

Associated Bank today announced plans to raise its minimum hourly wage from $10 to $15 per hour and to distribute a one-time bonus of $500 for all hourly, non-commissioned employees once tax reform legislation is signed into law.

The pay increase and one-time bonus are expected to be distributed during the first pay cycle of 2018. This combined investment in the company's workforce will positively impact 55% of its employees.

"Every day our customers share stories of our colleagues delivering a positive customer experience," said Associated Bank President and CEO, Philip B. Flynn. "Our ability to recognize their work in this way is something we are proud to do."

Flynn said the new tax legislation, particularly the reduction in business tax rates, allowed the company to share some of the benefits with its employees. It also helps position the company to further enhance the customer experience and its community investments in the future. -- Dec. 21, 2017 Associated Bank press release

Blue Harbor Resort (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) -- $1,000 bonuses:

The Forsythe Family today dedicated a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 to each eligible Blue Harbor employee.

The Forsythe Family’s financial dedication to Blue Harbor employees is in direct response to President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017. – Jan. 25, 2018 MySheboygan.com article excerpt

Copperleaf Assisted Living (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) –  $200 - $600 bonuses for 175 employees:

An assisted-living business will give its 175 employees bonuses up to $600 as a result of the tax reform package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on Friday.

Krista Mendyke, who owns Copperleaf Assisted Living with her husband, Jim, said they will give away all of the company's estimated tax savings as a result of the legislation.

Copperleaf, which is based in Stevens Point, also has facilities in Schofield, Marathon City, Ripon and Adams.

"It's really to bring awareness to what's going on in our country and how it impacts them ... and that businesses and corporations do want to do the right thing," Mendyke said Friday.

Every employee will receive a bonus, which will start at $200 and be tiered based upon the worker's status of casual, part-time or full-time. About 60 full-time employees will receive the maximum bonus of $600, she said.

Mendyke said she and her husband will visit each facility on Tuesday to hand out the bonus checks.

In total, they are giving away $60,000 in bonuses, "our entire tax savings" estimated for 2018 based on changes to business income tax rates, she said.

"I called (our accountant) yesterday and I said, what does this mean for us, a company our size?" Mendyke said Friday. "They sent us a projection and we're going to go ahead and pass that on." Dec. 22, 2017 Stevens Point Journal article excerpt

CUNA Mutual Group (Madison, Wisconsin) – $20 million in charitable contributions:

"CUNA Mutual Group said Tuesday the company is making its largest contribution ever to its philanthropic foundation, a $20 million donation made possible in part by federal tax reform." -- Feb. 13 2018, Journal Sentinel article excerpt

BMO Harris Bank200 locations in Wisconsin -- base wage raised to $15 per hour; increased charitable donations:

“BMO Harris Bank has joined an increasing number of financial institutions in raising its minimum hourly wage to $15.

The bank cited the recent federal tax reform, which lowered the corporate income tax rate, in its decision to boost employee compensation.

The new rate is effective immediately, the company said Tuesday. BMO Harris, which is based in Chicago and owned by Toronto's BMO Financial Group, has more branches than any other bank in Wisconsin.

BMO Harris also said it will increase its level of philanthropic community giving by 10% in 2018.

“We’re pleased to share the benefits of the strong economic conditions, and the effects of the recent tax reform changes, with our employees and communities,” David Casper, president and chief executive of BMO Harris Bank, said in a statement. “Our success is tied directly to the communities we serve, and we’re proud of the exceptional job our employees do in providing a great customer experience.” – Jan. 31 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

Johnson Bank (Racine, Wisconsin) – base wage raised to $15 per hour.

North Shore Bank (Brookfield, Wisconsin) -- $500 bonuses.

Plexus Corp. (Neenah, Wisconsin) – cash bonuses for non-executive employees:

“In order to reward employees for their contributions towards Plexus’ success, Plexus will provide existing, full-time, non-executive employees a one-time cash bonus.  This bonus will be provided in the fiscal second quarter to nearly 16,000 employees, totaling approximately $13 million.” – Feb. 20 2018, Plexus press release excerpt

Robert W. Baird & Company (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Cash bonuses of up to $1,500; charitable contributions:

“Milwaukee's Robert W. Baird & Co. said it will pay cash bonuses of $500 to $1,500 to employees, joining the list of Wisconsin companies passing along some of the benefits of federal tax reform to their workers.

All full-time and part-time benefit-eligible employees of the financial services firm — except company leaders — will receive a $1,500 one-time cash bonus. Other part-time associates and long-term interns will receive a bonus of $500, Baird said.

Baird leaders will receive the benefit in the form of a $1,500 donation to the charity of their choice, which could amount to an additional $1.2 million being contributed to the community in 2018, the company said.

The one-time benefit will be awarded to Baird's more than 3,500 global employees and amounts to more than $5 million.” – March 2 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article excerpt

AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 2,684 Wisconsin employees; Nationwide, $1 billion increase in capital expenditures:

Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T* plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers. If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows. -- Dec. 20, 2017 AT&T Inc. press release

Home Depot -- 27 locations in Wisconsin, bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.

Lowe's -- 1,000 employees at 8 stores and one distribution center in Wisconsin. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.

Apple (Apple store locations in Glendale, Madison, and Wauwatosa) -- $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units; Nationwide, $30 billion in additional capital expenditures over five years; 20,000 new employees will be hired; increased support of coding education and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; increased support for U.S. manufacturing.

Walmart – 89 stores in Wisconsin; Bonuses of up to $1,000; base wage increase for all hourly employees to $11; expanded maternity and parental leave; $5,000 for adoption expenses.

Wells Fargo – 51 locations in Wisconsin; raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; Nationally, $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over the next three years.

Cintas Corporation (Multiple locations in Wisconsin) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Multiple locations in Wisconsin) – Bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,000; increased employee benefits; Nationally, $50 million investment in existing restaurants.

Comcast (Multiple locations in Wisconsin) -- $1,000 bonuses; Nationally, at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five year.

Ryder (Fourteen locations in Wisconsin) – Tax reform bonuses.

Starbucks Coffee Company (145 locations in Wisconsin) –$500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants. Nationally, 8,000 new retail jobs; an additional wage increase this year, totaling approximately $120 million in wage increases, increased sick time benefits and parental leave.

U-Haul (Multiple locations in Wisconsin) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.

McDonald’s (325+ locations in Wisconsin) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more:

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program. This investment will provide almost 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees with accessibility to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. Additionally, McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to restaurant employees’ family members. These enhancements underscore McDonald’s and its independent franchisees’ commitment to providing jobs that fit around the lives of restaurant employees so they may pursue their education and career ambitions.

The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible U.S. employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language.  

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law, McDonald’s increased investment in the Archways to Opportunity Program includes:

    • Increased Tuition Investment:
      • Crew: Eligible crew will have access to $2,500/year, up from $700/year.
      • Managers: Eligible Managers will have access to $3,000/year, up from $1,050.
      • Participants have a choice for how they apply this funding – whether it be to a community college, four year university or trade school. There is no lifetime cap on tuition assistance – restaurant employees will be able to pursue their education and career passions at their own pace. The new tuition assistance is effective May 1, 2018 and retroactive to January 1, 2018.
    • Lowered Eligibility Requirements: Increase access to the program by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment. In addition, dropping from 20 hours minimum to 15 hours minimum (roughly two full time shifts) per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on studies.
    • Extended Services to Families: Extension of Career Online High School and College Advisory services to restaurant employees’ family members through existing educational partners Cengage and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
    • Additional Resources: Career exploration resources for eligible restaurant employees to be available later this year.
    • Creation of an International Education Fund: Grants to provide local initiatives and incentives in global markets to further education advancement programs.
       

“Since its inception, Archways to Opportunity was meant to match the ambition and drive of restaurant crew with the means and network to help them find success on their own terms,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Chief People Officer. “By tripling tuition assistance, adding education benefits for family members and lowering eligibility requirements to the equivalent of a summer job, we are sending a signal that if you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

After launching in the U.S. in 2015, Archways to Opportunity has increased access to education for over 24,000 people and awarded over $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance. Graduates have received college degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources, Communications, Accounting, Microbiology and more. – March 29, 2018 McDonald’s Corporation press release excerpt 

Note: If you know of other Wisconsin examples, please email John Kartch at jkartch@atr.org

The running nationwide list of companies can be found at www.atr.org/list

 

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Drug Price Controls Could Cost Jobs in Key States

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Posted by Alex Hendrie on Thursday, September 17th, 2020, 12:58 PM PERMALINK

Price controls on prescription medicines proposed by President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could have a significant negative economic impact on key states including Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and North Carolina.

President Trump recently signed a “most favored nation” executive order that adopts foreign, socialist price controls by tying the prices we pay for medicines to the artificially low prices set by other countries. In addition, Speaker Pelosi has proposed H.R. 3, legislation that would force manufacturers to accept government set prices on hundreds of medicines or face a 95 percent excise tax.

Ahead of the 2020 election, lawmakers should consider the impact such proposals would have on jobs and the economy.

Nationwide, the pharmaceutical industry directly or indirectly accounts for over four million jobs across the U.S, according to research by TEconomy Partners, LLC. This includes 800,000 direct jobs, 1.4 million indirect jobs, and 1.8 million induced jobs, which include retail and service jobs that are supported by spending from pharmaceutical workers and suppliers.

The average annual wage of a pharmaceutical employee in 2017 was $126,587, which is more than double the average private sector wage of $60,000.

These jobs support $1.1 trillion in total output, a significant contributor to the overall economy considering U.S. GDP at the end of 2017 was $19.7 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In addition to threatening jobs and the economy, price controls could have significant political impacts. For instance, in Michigan and Pennsylvania, the number of pharmaceutical jobs exceed Trump’s margin of victory in 2016. In Florida and North Carolina, the total number of direct, indirect and induced jobs exceed Trump’s margin of victory.
 

State

2016 Trump margin of victory

Number of direct pharmaceutical jobs

Number of direct, indirect, and induced pharmaceutical jobs

Florida

112,911

25,757

130,903

Pennsylvania

44,292

46,830

253,876

Michigan

10,704

15,982

86,485

North Carolina

173,315

44,969

251,053

 

Economic and political impacts of price controls in Florida

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers directly employ 25,757 workers in Florida. When accounting for direct, indirect, and induced jobs, manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 130,903 jobs. These jobs contribute an estimated $29 billion in economic impact per year.
     
  • In the 2016 presidential election, Florida was decided by a margin of 112,911 votes. Donald Trump won the state by 48.6 of the vote, receiving 4,617,886 votes to Hilary Clintons 4,504,975 votes.  
     
  • If all 25,757 workers directly employed by the pharmaceutical industry in Florida voted as a bloc, they could have had a significant impact on the outcome. If all 130,903 workers whose jobs were directly or indirectly related to the pharmaceutical industry as a bloc, they could have decided who won the state.

 

Economic and political impacts of price controls in Pennsylvania

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers directly employ 46,830 workers in Pennsylvania. When accounting for direct, indirect, and induced jobs, manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 253,876 jobs. These jobs contribute an estimated $67 billion in economic impact per year.
     
  • In the 2016 presidential election, Pennsylvania was decided by a margin of 44,292 votes. Donald Trump won the state with 48.2 percent of the vote, receiving 2,970,733 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 2,926,441 votes. 
     
  • If all 46,830 workers directly employed by the pharmaceutical industry in Pennsylvania voted as a bloc, they could have decided who won the state.  If all 253,876 workers whose jobs were directly or indirectly tied to the pharmaceutical industry voted as a bloc, they would constitute a group five times the margin of victory. 

 

Economic and political impacts of price controls in Michigan

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers directly employ 15,982 workers in Michigan. When accounting for direct, indirect, and induced jobs, manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 86,485 jobs. These jobs contribute an estimated $22 billion in economic impact per year.
     
  • In the 2016 presidential election, Michigan was decided by a margin of 10,704 votes. Donald Trump won the state with a 47.3 percent of the vote, receiving 2,279,543 votes to Hilary Clinton’s 2,268,839 votes. 
     
  • If all 15,982 workers directly employed by the pharmaceutical industry in Michigan voted as a bloc, they could have had decided who won the state. If all 86,495 workers whose jobs were directly or indirectly related to the pharmaceutical industry voted as a bloc, they would constitute a group eight times the margin of victory.   

 

Economic and political impacts of price controls in North Carolina

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers directly employ 44,960 workers in North Carolina. When accounting for direct, indirect, and induced jobs, manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 251,053 jobs. These jobs contribute an estimated $74 billion in economic impact per year.
     
  • In the 2016 presidential election, North Carolina was decided by a margin of 173,315 votes. Donald Trump won the state with 49.8 percent of the vote, receiving 2,362,631 votes to Hilary Clinton’s 2,189,316 votes. 
     
  • If all 44,969 workers directly employed by the pharmaceutical industry in North Carolina voted as a bloc, they could have had a significant impact on the outcome. If all 251,053 workers whose jobs were directly or indirectly related to pharmaceutical industry as a bloc, they would make up a group about one and a half times the margin of victory.  

Photo Credit: Chris Potter


Tucker Carlson is Right, Trump’s Pro-Mining Agenda is Winning Support in Minnesota

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Posted by Mike Palicz, Alex Fried on Thursday, September 17th, 2020, 12:33 PM PERMALINK

In an interview earlier this month on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Mayor Andrea Zupancich, one of six Democrat mayors from Minnesota who have endorsed President Donald Trump for reelection, explained that her support is tied to the Trump administration’s pro-mining agenda. 

In the backdrop of the interview is a major decision awaiting the Trump administration as it's poised to make a permitting decision on Pebble Mine, the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold mine. 

Mayor Zupancich stated her endorsement is due to President Trump’s strong support for mining rights and the hard-working individuals of mining communities. Zupancich also criticized the Democrat Party for failing to represent her community and for ignoring the importance of copper and other precious metals critical for developing cleaner energy. 

“We are sitting on billions of tons of copper, nickel, and precious metals. Everything that supports the green deal energy that everyone wants right now, and we are just not seeing the support on the other side,” Zupancich explained.

“You can’t have energy of any kind without copper,” host Tucker Carlson agreed. “And you supply it. That’s not a negotiable. You have to have it,” he continued.

Mayor Zupancich is not the only Minnesota politician touting the importance of the Trump administration’s pro-mining agenda. Congressman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) recently stressed the importance of Polymet Mine, a proposed copper and nickel mine in Minnesota awaiting permitting approval from the Trump administration and estimated to generate more than $500 million in annual economic activity. Rep. Stauber told Forbes that opening the mine would be akin to “bringing the Super Bowl up to northeastern Minnesota every year.”

Rep. Stauber also urged the Trump administration to stay the course on permitting for critical mining projects such as Pebble Mine, explaining that Minnesotans are now watching what the Trump administration is doing on Pebble Mine and hoping that the President will reject pressure from the environmental left. 

Stauber noted that “to see the administration allow outside influences change the course of this potential project without going through the normal regulatory process, without allowing science, facts and the truth to dictate” would be cause for great concern in his state. Stauber also echoed Mayor Zupancich’s criticism of Democrats for not backing American mining. “Projects in Minnesota continue to be delayed by outside, well-funded political machines and it was a hallmark of the Obama-Biden administration,” exclaimed Stauber.

Minnesota, like many other states, has a strong mining community made up of small towns that provides copper and critical minerals for our entire nation’s energy grid. The elected leaders of these communities, regardless of their political party, are beginning to make it clear that they stand with the Trump administration’s pro-mining agenda.

The exchange between Tucker Carlson and Mayor Zupancich is below:

DEMOCRAT MAYOR ANDREA ZUPANCICH – BABBITT, MINNESOTA: “It’s not a matter of who we are supporting. It is a matter of what the Democratic party is representing right now. President Trump is actually supporting our mining ways, our rights, and everything else we stand for up here. We are hard-working individuals. We’ve got an amazing workforce up here. And we just don’t see the backing with the minerals that we have up here. We are sitting on billions of tons of copper, nickel, and precious metals. Everything that supports the green deal energy that everyone wants right now, and we are just not seeing the support on the other side.”

TUCKER: “Right. You made two good points. You can’t have energy of any kind without copper. And you supply it. That’s not a negotiable. You have to have it.”

MAYOR: “We don’t want to be getting our minerals from somewhere where they have child labor working and no safety standards. When we have it all right here. We have the strictest environmental standards and everything else going on. I would much rather drink the water out of my tap than down in other metro areas.”

TUCKER: “For 100 years the Democratic party was the party that represented people in your town who worked in the Iron Range. People who worked. Now they [Democrats] are not [representing the area]. What happened?”

 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Trump's FCC: Promises Kept

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Posted by Katie McAuliffe on Thursday, September 17th, 2020, 10:20 AM PERMALINK

In a House hearing with the title “Trump FCC: Four Years of Lost Opportunities,” we all know this is a set up for political grandstanding.

The title is bogus. Completely false.

Americans for Tax Reform joined a coalition letter sent to the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman, Congressman Mike Doyle, and Ranking Member, Bob Latta, describing the long list of accomplishments from this FCC’s commissioners and staff.

These are hardly lost years.

Read the letter below.

 

September 17, 2020

Dear Chairman Doyle and Ranking Member Latta:

As the American economy continually demands more and faster internet connectivity, the Federal Communications Commission under Chairman Ajit Pai took that demand seriously even before the global pandemic struck. This is why the title of this hearing “Trump FCC; Four Years of Lost Opportunities” is a serious disappointment. We understand this is an election year, but there is no reason to politicize telecommunications and technology issues in an attempt to deny the Federal Communications Commission staff and all five commissioners rightful acknowledgement of their significant accomplishments.

Chairman Pai instituted unprecedented transparency by releasing orders three weeks ahead of open meetings. Prior to this FCC, the regular practice was for commissioners to vote on items, but the public had to wait until publication in the Federal Register before seeing the final text – text, which previously was often leaked to key lobbyists and friends of commissioners who could then lobby for changes while the rest of the public was left out of the loop. The launch of the transparency dashboard provides the public a better understanding of the interworking of the FCC and its process, limiting the power of insiders and democratizing the system.  Other process reforms included the creation of the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment and creation of Office of Analytics and Economics.


At a time when America is rethinking the role of law enforcement, this FCC was already making tangible steps for change. They instituted 988 as the national suicide hotline, which will be staffed by mental health professionals. Of utmost importance, this FCC legally limited the rates that federal prisons can charge inmates for calling services, dropping the per minute rate from $0.21 to $0.14 for debit, prepaid, and collect calls, capped for international call rates, and disallowed most ancillary charges, while imploring state authorities to do the same for intrastate rates in their prisons and jails.


During the pandemic, internet access is more important than ever. The FCC worked with providers to Keep Americans Connected, a hugely successful public-private partnership that enabled struggling Americans to remain online, even if they are unable to pay their bills. They opened up emergency use of spectrum to carriers and tribal nations on an unprecedented timeline and moved at an equal pace to make telehealth more widely available and transition to the connected care future.


Because of policies instituted prior to the pandemic by the FCC, American networks proved resilient, despite unexpected increases in internet traffic. While the Title II version of “net neutrality” has been a pet project of activists on the Left, time and data demonstrated that these policies would have harmed U.S. networks. In 2018, after the repeal of the very short-lived Title II regulations, investment in broadband networks shot up to $80 billion. New research released by US Telecom shows that the “most popular tier of broadband service costs 20.2 percent less and is 15.7 percent faster in 2020 when compared to 2015.” The U.S. jumped from 12th place globally to 7th in terms of internet speed after the implementation of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. Further evidence of the success of this FCC’s approach to broadband is clear when examining the performance of US networks in contrast to the slower speeds and congestion Europe’s heavily regulated networks are currently experiencing during the pandemic.


Today, 94 percent of Americans have access to high speed internet. The goal of this FCC is 100 percent, but that is not a license for waste or political favoritism. Recent reforms targeting waste fraud and abuse have flushed out companies with no intent of providing service, and streamlining the permitting process allows both wireline and wireless to deploy more efficiently. Updating the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund with a reverse auction will increase the usefulness and availability of broadband subsidies, resulting in more Americans connected without budget increases.


The FCC has also considered novel approaches to provision broadband service that may be better suited than traditional means for connecting the unconnected in rural regions. Some of these methods include opening up TV whitespaces and licensing new satellite networks.


Finally, and most impressive of all, is the progress made on the 5G FAST plan. In the last four years available spectrum has entered the pipeline at an extraordinary rate, including the largest swath of unlicensed spectrum, 1200 MHz, released in 20 years. There is a bipartisan consensus that American leadership in the 5G arena both in standards setting and deployment, will significantly grow our economy. The mix of mid and high-band spectrum will be crucial for American innovation in the 5G space. The FCC’s 5G FAST Plan is a forward-thinking roadmap for the US to fully realize the promise of the 5G future.


While there are many more accomplishments we could list, we will stop here and urge you to thank all five FCC Commissioners, Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioner Mike O’Rielly, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner Brendan Carr, and Commissioner Geoffery Starks, and the entire FCC staff for their valuable work that should not be dismissed as “lost opportunities.”


Respectfully,

Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform

Doug Holtz-Eakin, PresidentAmerican, Action Forum*

Jennifer Huddleston, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum*

Steve Pociask, President / CEO, American Consumer Institute

Krisztina Pusok, Director of Policy and Research, American Consumer Institute

Brent Wm. Gardner, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Andrew F. Quinlan, President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Thomas Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy, The Committee for Justice

Jessica Melugin, Associate Director, Center for Technology & Innovation, Competitive Enterprise Institute

James Edwards, Executive Director, Conservatives for Property Rights

Matthew Kandrach, President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director, Digital Liberty

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom

Mario H. Lopez, President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

Carrie Lukas, President, Independent Women’s Forum

Heather R. Higgins, CEO, Independent Women’s Voice

Tom Giovanetti, President, Institute for Policy Innovation

Seton Motley, President, Less Government

Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

Lorenzo Montanari, Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance

James L. Martin, Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President, 60 Plus Association

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams, PresidentTaxpayer, Protection Alliance

James Dunstan,General Counsel,TechFreedom

*Individual signatory. Organization listed for identification purposes only.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Meet the "Harris-Biden" Administration

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, September 16th, 2020, 2:49 PM PERMALINK

 

Click here or below to view:


High Tax Joe 2020


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, September 16th, 2020, 12:35 PM PERMALINK

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will raise your taxes. They will impose income tax hikes, small business tax hikes, capital gains tax hikes, corporate tax hikes, a carbon tax, and will even bring back the much-hated Obamacare individual mandate tax.

September 16, 2020: Video: Meet the "Harris-Biden" Administration

September 15, 2020: Biden's Corporate Tax Rate Hike Will Hurt Small and Midsize Local Businesses

September 14, 2020: Biden Vows to Raise Taxes on "Day One"

September 9, 2020: Biden's Like-Kind Exchange Tax Hike Will Harm Jobs and Growth

September 9, 2020: Biden's Plan to End Pass-Through Deduction Will Raise Taxes on Small Businesses

September 8, 2020: Biden Cannot Be Trusted on Taxes -- His $400,000 Pledge is Bogus

September 1, 2020: Biden vs. JFK on Taxes: Video Shows Democrats Have Veered Hard Left on Taxes

September 1, 2020: Yes, Biden and Harris Will Ban Fracking

August 28, 2020: Video: Biden Will Raise Your Taxes, Trump Will Cut Your Taxes

August 26, 2020: Kamala Harris Campaign Headquarters Located in Opportunity Zone Created by Trump Tax Cuts -- Which Biden and Harris Want to Repeal

August 20, 2020: Biden and Harris Threaten Millions of Uber Drivers and Riders

August 19, 2020: Video: Nine Crazy Kamala Harris Quotes in 45 Seconds

August 19, 2020: Kamala Harris on Trump Tax Cuts: "Get Rid of the Whole Thing"

August 19, 2020: Kamala Harris Admits She Will Strip Everyone's Private Health Insurance

August 14, 2020: HYPOCRITES: Biden and Harris Slam Uber and Lyft But Have Used Them Over 1,400 Times

August 13, 2020: Kamala Harris and Joe Biden Vow to Abolish Your Right to Work

August 12, 2020: Video: Kamala and Joe Vow to Raise Your Taxes

August 11, 2020: Kamala Harris: "Get rid of the filibuster to pass a Green New Deal."

August 4, 2020: Video: Biden Vows to Raise Taxes Despite Obama Warning

July 28, 2020: Biden Threatens Freelancers and Independent Contractors Nationwide

July 27, 2020: Video: Biden Vows to Sacrifice "Hundreds of Thousands" of Jobs in Order to Impose Green New Deal

July 15, 2020: Biden Will Impose Highest Capital Gains Tax Rate Since Jimmy Carter in 1977

July 13, 2020: Biden Broke His Middle Class Tax Pledge

July 9, 2020: Even in a pandemic, Biden vows to impose higher corporate tax rate than communist China

May 27, 2020: Biden Vows to Bring Back the Individual Mandate Tax, A Violation of His Middle Class Tax Pledge

May 22, 2020: Joe Biden said: "Let's repeal the Trump tax cut."

May 22, 2020: Joe Biden said he wants to raise the corporate tax rate.

May 8, 2020: Joe Biden lies about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

April 5, 2020: Biden Endorses Another Tax Hike on Middle Class

March 11, 2020: Video compilation: How High Will Biden Raise Your Capital Gains Taxes?

March 6, 2020: Video Compilation: Joe Biden is Not a Moderate

Feb. 24, 2020: Video Compilation: Biden Will Raise Your Taxes By Eliminating Your Tax Cut

Feb. 7, 2020: Joe Biden said: "I'm going to raise the capital gains rate so that you pay capital gains at what your tax rate is."

Jan. 22, 2020: Joe Biden lied about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, claims it only benefited "top 2% of nation"

Jan. 9, 2020: Joe Biden lied about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Jan. 7, 2020: Joe Biden lied about his healthcare plan, says "no middle class tax" will occur.

Jan. 7, 2020: Joe Biden said: “Get rid of the Trump tax cut. No, not joking.

Dec. 6, 2019: Joe Biden said: "We should charge people the same tax for their capital gains as their tax rate is. And I think we should raise the tax rate back to, for example, I take it back to where it was before it was reduced. It could go higher, but at 39.5%, 40% basically if you have that as the capital gains, that raises, I brought along, I’m not going to bore you with it, but you’ve seen it, I brought along a graph is how much money each of these things raise."

Dec. 9, 2019: Joe Biden said the capital gains tax rate "could go higher" than 40%

Oct. 28, 2019: Joe Biden said Trump’s $2,000 middle class tax cut is “negligible”

October 24, 2019: Joe Biden said: "So reduce the corporate tax cut, the tax payment to 20%? It needed to be reduced, but if we raise it back up to 28%, it was 39%, we can raise hundreds of billions of dollars."

October 23, 2019: Joe Biden said“[Corporations] don’t need their tax cut reduced to 20 percent, it should be raised back to 28 percent."

October 23, 2019: Joe Biden said: “So every single solitary person, their capital gains are going to be treated like real income and they are going to pay 40 percent on their capital gains tax."

Oct. 15, 2020: Joe Biden said"I would raise the capital gains tax to the highest rate of 39.5 percent, I would double it."

September 27, 2019: Joe Biden said: “I’m gonna double the capital gains rate to 40 percent."

September 20, 2019: Joe Biden said“What I’d be focusing on is eliminating the $1.9 trillion tax cut that [Trump] passed."

September 4, 2019: Joe Biden endorses a carbon tax.

August 21, 2019: Joe Biden said“I believe we should, in fact, the capital gains tax should be at what the highest minimum tax should be, we should raise the tax back to 39.6 percent instead of 20 percent."

August 9, 2019: Joe Biden said: “By eliminating just a few of the tax cuts,” Biden said, then added, “I’m going to eliminate most all of them. No, you think I'm joking? I'm not."

July 30, 2019: VIDEO: 2020 Democrats Will Raise Your Taxes

July 16, 2019: Joe Biden said: “I would raise the corporate tax. I think we should have lowered it from 36 to 28 percent, but it got lowered to 20 percent. If we just raised it back to 28 percent, we would raise about 600 billion dollars a year. Look at all of the needs we have and the opportunities we have. Ladies and gentlemen, it begins by reversing those cuts.”

July 5, 2020, Joe Biden said: "Yes. Yes, I'd bring back the individual mandate."

July 5, 2019: Joe Biden said: "Well, three things. One, I do raise the tax rate to 39.5 percent. I do, in fact, eliminate the ability for them to write off capital gains the way they do now. I would raise the -- and raise billions of dollars -- raise the corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 28 percent.

July 3, 2019: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris agree on one thing: Raising taxes

July 2, 2019: Joe Biden is running ads to "Repeal Trump's Tax Cuts."

June 22, 2019: Joe Biden said"And folks, on day one, I will move to eliminate Trump's tax cuts."

June 17, 2019: Joe Biden said“First thing I would do as president is eliminate the president’s tax cut."

June 4, 2019: Joe Biden said: “You go out and you make a capital gain you make a little bit of money on an investment you made and you're about to go and cash it in.  You cash it in, you pay - now it's down to 20% is too low - but you pay you used to pay them 28%,"

June 3, 2019: Joe Biden said: “If you make a gain, you buy something, you buy stock or anything else and that increases from $1 to $2 or $1 - $2 million, and you want to cash it in, get the cash, you got to pay a capital gains tax much lower than what you’d pay in your regular taxes. It’s much too low now in my view, but that’s a different issue.”

May 28, 2019: Joe Biden said: “You buy something, you buy stock at a dollar it goes to two dollars. You buy a Million, it goes to a million five. When you cash that in to make the gain you made, you have to pay a capital gains tax, which I believe is much too low.”

May 13, 2019: Joe Biden said“When I’m president, if God Willing I am, we’re going to reverse those Trump tax cuts.”

May 4, 2019: Joe Biden said“First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts."


Census Data: Wages Grew by $4,400 Last Year, a 6.8 Percent Increase

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Posted by Alex Hendrie on Wednesday, September 16th, 2020, 8:30 AM PERMALINK

Median household income increased by $4,440 or 6.8 percent in 2019 – the largest one-year wage growth in history.

In addition, the poverty rate declined from 11.8 percent to 10.5 percent, hitting a 50-year low, according to recently released Census Bureau data.

The 6.8 percent wage growth in 2019 exceeds the wage growth experienced during the entire Obama Administration. In 2008, median income was $59,877. By 2016, it had grown to just $62,898 – an increase of just $3,021 or just 5 percent. 

Since 2016, real median household income has increased by almost 10 percent and was $68,703 in 2019. While this is benefiting Americans at every income level, lower wage workers are seeing their incomes grow faster than higher wage workers according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. 

According to the Census data, real median income increased at record levels in key demographics. African-Americans saw 7.9 percent wage growth, Hispanic Americans saw 7.1 percent wage growth, and Asian Americans saw 10.6 percent wage growth.

This strong wage growth lifted 4 million Americans out of poverty in 2018 and 2019.

This good news again demonstrates that the Trump-GOP policies of tax cuts and deregulation work.

While the Coronavirus pandemic interrupted the strong American economy, there are already signs that we are recovering quickly.

Over 10 million jobs were created in the last four months and analysts are predicting third quarter annualized GDP growth of 30 to 35 percent.

Moving forward, we need to ensure that pro-growth policies remain in law so that workers and businesses can continue recovering and thriving. While President Trump and Republicans are promising to push policies that allow the economy to regrow and have pledged to create another 10 million jobs, Democrats and Joe Biden are pushing for at least $4 trillion in tax increases. 

Biden has repeatedly promised to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which would raise taxes on businesses and Americans at every income level.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Biden's Corporate Tax Rate Hike Will Hurt Small and Midsize Local Businesses

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Posted by Isabelle Morales on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020, 4:10 PM PERMALINK

Presidential candidate Joe Biden has proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. This would impose on Americans one of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world, even higher than Communist China's 25 percent. 

Biden doesn't want voters to know that the vast majority of corporations are local and regional small and mid-sized businesses vital to communities.

According to the Congressional Research Service, "The majority of both corporations and pass-throughs in 2011 had fewer than five employees (55% of C corporations and 64% of pass-throughs). Nearly 99% of both corporations and pass-throughs had fewer than 500 employees, the most common employment-based threshold used by the Small Business Administration (SBA)." For reference, Amazon has one million employees and Walmart has 2.2 million employees.

The most dire effects of a corporate tax hike would be felt by smaller businesses that Biden has claimed to be a champion for. It would also have severe consequences on workers' wages and the economy as a whole. 

Kevin A. Hassett and Aparna Mathur released a study on the corporate tax rate in 2015. The study, "A spatial model of corporate tax incidence," was published in Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals. Here are some of their findings on the impact of a corporate tax rate raise:

  • A 1% increase in corporate tax rates leads to a 0.5% decrease in wage rates. 
  • Both domestic and neighbor country tax rates are important in explaining the formation of domestic capital-labor ratios. Higher tax rates in neighboring countries have a positive and significant effect on capital formation in the domestic country. When the corporate tax rate is increased, businesses move operations out of the country. 
  • All measures of corporate taxation, such as the top national corporate tax rate, the effective average and the effective marginal tax rate negatively affect capital formation. Higher top rates discourage capital formation and capital expenditure. 
     

In other words, a Biden corporate tax increase would lead to a decrease in wage rates, businesses moving operations out of the United States, an overall decrease in capital expenditure and capital formation (leading to less investment in things like machines, tools, factories, transport equipment, materials, electricity, etc.), a GDP reduction, and hundreds of thousands of job losses. The effects could be especially severe due to the vulnerable state the pandemic has put the country in.

Given the disproportionate amount of corporations that are relatively small, this could end up hurting key local employers. 

Americans for Tax Reform has collected several testimonials from small and mid-sized corporations who benefited greatly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

For example, Conger Construction Group based in Lebanon, Ohio was able to double the amount of employees, offer bigger bonuses, give more paid time off, and provide additional healthcare benefits to workers:

“Justin Conger, owner and president of Conger Construction Group in Lebanon, Ohio, a C corporation, attributes the explosion of his business to the TCJA’s flat corporate tax rate of 21 percent, and he thinks his company’s success indicates the health of the overall economy.

“Construction is a lagging indicator of the economy,” he told members of the House Committee on Small Business on Wednesday. “If our clients or other businesses are not growing, expanding, or re-investing in their facilities, there is no need for commercial construction services. There is a lot of work to be completed before a project can start; from an owner obtaining financing, to architectural drawings being completed, to regulatory approval from local jurisdictions. Businesses all over Ohio are growing and expanding by utilizing the benefits of the TCJA and reinvesting additional generated capital into their businesses. In talking with past, future, and current clients, over 80 percent indicate the reason for their investment in construction services is due to the economy and current tax structure.”

“Conger said the number of employees at his company doubled in the last year and a half, and he’s been offering bigger bonuses, more paid time off and better healthcare benefits to workers because business has been so good. Conger said they’re also expanding office space due to the increased number of employees.”

It's important to remember that when leftists cite "evil corporations that must be held accountable," they prefer to create the illusion that their policy preferences would only hit large multinational corporations. In reality, they leave out the small and mid-sized businesses that happen to be classified as corporations, the employees of these corporations, and those corporations' consumers--all of which will be expected to foot the bill for leftist policies. 

 

 

Photo Credit: Bill Smith


ATR Supports Sen. Cruz's "RECOVERY Act"

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020, 10:15 AM PERMALINK

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has introduced “The Reinvigorating the Economy, Creating Opportunity for Every Vocation, Employer, Retiree, and Youth (RECOVERY) Act,” legislation designed to help the American economy continue recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Here are several provisions that will help the economy recover and get Americans safely back to work. 

Tax credits for employee testing and personal protective equipment

The RECOVERY Act provides a $150 tax credit to businesses that test their employees for Coronavirus on a biweekly basis for the remainder of 2020. This tax credit provides a direct incentive for employers to implement robust testing programs that keep their employees safe. 

In addition, the Cruz bill establishes several tax credits designed to foster the conditions for businesses to safely reopen and operate. Employers can claim 50 percent of the cost of qualified expenses as a credit against applicable employment taxes on a quarterly basis.

Employers can claim a credit between $500 to $1,000 per employee depending on the size of their business. Qualified expenses include providing personal protective equipment for employees as well as reconfiguring and retrofitting workspaces. 

Right to Test Act and FDA reciprocity 

The RECOVERY Act includes the “Right to Test Act,” legislation that would allow states to approve and distribute Coronavirus tests as long as the state or federal government has declared a public health emergency. This would empower states to bypass FDA approval and drastically ramp up our testing capacity.

We already know what happens when Washington bureaucrats are in charge of developing and producing Coronavirus testing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) took weeks to develop a Coronavirus test after the pandemic reached our borders, only to contaminate the first round of testing kits and completely botch the rollout. 

The RECOVERY Act also establishes a reciprocal marketing approval process for COVID-19 drugs, biological products, and medical devices. This bill allows the sale of COVID-19 treatments or cures in the United States that have not yet been approved by the FDA if the product has already been approved in other countries.

Product sponsors must meet several criteria in order to sell in the U.S. 

The FDA is notoriously slow at approving new drugs. On average, it takes 90.3 months for pharmaceuticals to go through the development and approval process, imposing immense R&D costs on manufacturers. In the middle of a global pandemic, we simply can’t afford to have the government slow things down more than they already do.

Liability protection for businesses 

The RECOVERY Act establishes a liability shield for businesses operating during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

This provision prevents businesses and/or individuals from being held liable in any Coronavirus exposure action unless the plaintiff can conclusively prove that: 

  • The businesses or individual were not making “reasonable efforts in light of all the circumstances” to comply with all applicable government standards at the time of the alleged exposure. 
  • The business or individual engaged in “gross negligence or willful misconduct” that caused the accidental exposure to COVID-19. 
  • The accidental exposure caused the plaintiff personal injury. 
     

As our economy begins to turn the corner on COVID-19, a liability protection for businesses that have acted in good faith to keep their customers and employees safe is absolutely crucial to getting Americans safely back to work. This provision prevents trial lawyers from cashing in on the crisis with predatory and abusive legislation. 

Payroll tax holiday for employers and employees

The RECOVERY Act temporarily suspends the payroll tax for employers and employees from the date of enactment through the end of 2020. This payroll tax holiday will lower the cost to businesses for hiring new employees, accelerating the reopening process and continuing to get Americans safely back to work.

This legislation builds on President Trump’s payroll tax executive order which deferred Social Security payroll taxes from September 1 to December 31, 2020.  This proposal makes the moratorium permanent so that taxpayers do not have to pay back payroll tax relief next year.

Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-Texas) has introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives. 

Indexing capital gains to inflation 

The RECOVERY Act ends the taxation of inflationary gains by indexing the calculation of capital gains taxes to inflation. Under current law, the capital gains tax fails to account for gains that are based on inflation. This unfairly exposes taxpayers to additional taxation. 

For example, an investor makes a capital investment of $1,000 in 2000 and sells that investment for $2,000 in 2017 will be taxed for a $1,000 gain at a top capital gains tax rate of 23.8 percent. After adjusting for inflation, the “true gain” is much lower – just $579. (1,000 in 2000 - $1,421 in 2017).

Ending the inflation tax would also benefit millions of middle class households. ATR looked at Internal Revenue Service data from 2017 (the most recent available data) to determine what percentage of middle class households had a capital gains filing:

  • 25,494,330 American households had a capital gains filing 
  • 13,730,710 (53%) made less than $100k 
  • 20,466,770 (80%) made less than $200k 
     

The breakdown for all 50 states is here

Full business expensing 

The RECOVERY Act would implement permanent full business expensing for qualified property. This would allow businesses to deduct the cost of new investments (machinery, equipment, etc.) in the year they are made. 

There are several benefits to this policy. First, it incentivizes new investment, leading to greater economic productivity, job growth and higher wages. Second, it simplifies the tax code by equalizing the tax treatment of new investments with other business expenses such as wages, rent, and healthcare costs.

In a post COVID-19 world, full expensing will help businesses make vital investments in the coming months and years as they seek to bring workers back, onshore manufacturing capabilities, and ramp up production.

Deregulation 

The RECOVERY Act would enact the “REINS Act,” legislation that overhauls the regulatory process and strengthen Congressional oversight of agency rulemaking. 

The legislation also includes a provision that permanently repeals regulations that have been waived or suspended during the Coronavirus pandemic and creates a regulatory review commission for Congress to reinstate rules if they are truly needed. If for some reason the regulation is truly needed in order for agencies to function properly, Congress can reinstate the rule after recommendation from the commissions.

Instead of using the crisis to consolidate more power in the federal government’s hands, President Trump and his administration have made deregulation a central part of the Coronavirus response. State and local governments have followed suit, leading to the suspension of over 800 rules and regulations nationwide.

ATR has kept a running list of these waived regulations, which you can view here.

529 expansion 

The RECOVERY Act allows Americans to use 529s for K-12 expenses for students engaged in home learning including students enrolled in public, private, or religious school and students that are homeschooled through the end of 2022. 

529s are tax advantaged savings accounts that allow parents to save and invest after-tax income for education costs. Any money earned through 529 investment is tax-free, making these plans a popular choice for parents looking to save for future education expenses. 

Qualified expenses include curriculum materials, books, online educational materials, tutoring costs, fees for standardized testing, and expenses for students with disabilities.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in additional costs for American families stemming from the need to ensure schools openly safely and the implementation of online and distance learning. These new costs are exacerbated by the financial hardships that Americans are experiencing across the country due to a lost job, or reduction in work hours.

Expanding HSAs by enacting the Pandemic Healthcare Access Act 

The RECOVERY Act also includes Senator Cruz’s “Pandemic Healthcare Access Act,” legislation that would allow all healthcare plans to use Health Savings Accounts throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Currently, there is a mandate that any American wanting to open or contribute to an HSA must be on a high-deductible health plan.

Senator Cruz’s legislation would pause this mandate in order to help mitigate the pandemic by Americans in Medicare, Affordable Care Act health plans, TRICARE, the VA, Indian Health Service and any employer plan to use HSAs. It will also help individuals pay for their deductible or any increased health care costs, allow HSA funds to pay for direct primary care, and allow telemedicine below the deductible.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


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