Schumer Readies Carbon Tax that Doubles Gas Tax, Violates Biden’s $400K Tax Pledge

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Posted by Mike Palicz on Friday, September 24th, 2021, 1:30 PM PERMALINK

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) confirmed today that the Senate majority leader asked him to craft carbon tax legislation to be included in Democrats' $3.5 trillion tax and spend blowout.

Upon the request of Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Wyden is drafting legislation that could create a carbon tax starting as high as $18 per ton and set to increase over time, according to reporting from the New York Times. For context, the Congressional Budget Office has previously estimated that a $20 per ton carbon tax would increase taxes by $1.2 trillion over a decade while the center-left Tax Policy Center found a $20 per ton carbon tax reduces the pre-tax income of households in the lowest income quintile by nearly one percent. 

A Clear Violation of Biden’s Tax Pledge

This tax increase would violate President Biden’s pledge not to raise any form of tax on anyone making less than $400,000 per year. A carbon tax would increase the price of gasoline, household energy bills and everyday consumer goods.

Last week, a leaked document from the Senate Finance Committee outlined plans for a similarly described carbon tax that would be paired with a carbon “border adjustment” – a proposal which the Whitehouse has already stated would “raise prices on a host of consumer goods, from cars to appliances, and conflict with Biden’s pledge not to tax any American earning less than $400,000 per year.” 

Gas Tax Hike on Steroids, Would Double the Gas Tax in Year One

A carbon tax of $18/ton would roughly translate to a gas tax increase of 18 cents per gallon in year one. A recent study from the Congressional Research Service found that every $1 per ton increase in a carbon tax roughly translates to a 1 cent per gallon increase in the price of gasoline. The current federal gas tax is 18.3 cents per gallon, meaning Wyden’s carbon tax would effectively double the gas tax in year one.

Biden’s own Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttiegieg, has previously acknowledged that increasing the federal gas tax would violate Biden’s pledge.

“The President’s made a commitment that this administration will not raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year,” Buttigieg told Bloomberg Radio’s “Sound On” show in February. “And so that rules out approaches like the old fashioned gas tax.”

Sen. Joe Manchin ruled out a carbon in February

In February, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) categorically ruled out a carbon tax while on video during a webinar:

"They want to talk about this as a penalty? Forget it. As long as I'm here and there's 50 votes and it takes 51 to pass it,” Manchin stated.

Democrats passing a carbon tax in the Senate would require a historical flip-flop from Sen. Manchin.

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Arizonans Will Face Higher Taxes Than Communist China if Dem Bill Passes

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, September 24th, 2021, 12:30 PM PERMALINK

If Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly votes for the Democrats' reconciliation bill, they will stick Arizona companies with a higher tax rate than communist China.

The Democrats' reconciliation bill would leave Arizona with a combined federal-state corporate tax rate of 30.1% vs. communist China's 25%.

The Democrat bill will also put Arizona companies at a competitive disadvantage vs. Europe: The European average corporate tax rate is 19%.

"As the country tries to recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic, Sinema and Kelly would have to explain why they want to stick Arizonans with higher taxes than China and Europe," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The Democrats' $3.5 trillion bill will impose the largest tax increase since 1968. It will raise individual income taxes, small business taxes, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes. If passed, the combined federal-state capital gains tax rate for Arizonans would be 35.17% vs. China's 20%.

The burden of the corporate tax rate hike will be borne by Arizona workers in the form of lower wages, and by households in the form of higher prices. Higher corporate tax rates will also raise utility bills.

The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation recently affirmed in congressional testimony that the corporate tax rate hike will fall on "labor, laborers."

Testifying before the House Ways & Means Committee, JCT Chief of Staff Thomas A. Barthold said:

"Literature suggests that 25% of the burden of the corporate tax may be borne by labor in terms of diminished wage growth."

WATCH:

Economists across the political spectrum agree that workers bear the brunt of corporate tax increases. And 25% is on the very low end.

According to the Stephen Entin of the Tax Foundation, labor (or workers) bear an estimated 70 percent of the corporate income tax:

"Over the last few decades, economists have used empirical studies to estimate the degree to which the corporate tax falls on labor and capital, in part by noting an inverse correlation between corporate taxes and wages and employment. These studies appear to show that labor bears between 50 percent and 100 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax, with 70 percent or higher the most likely outcome."

A 2012 paper at the University of Warwick and University of Oxford found that a $1 increase in the corporate tax reduces wages by 92 cents in the long term. This study was conducted by Wiji Arulampalam, Michael P. Devereux, and Giorgia Maffini and studied over 55,000 businesses located in nine European countries over the period 1996-2003:

"We identify this direct shifting through cross-company variation in tax liabilities, conditional on value added per employee. Our central estimate is that $1 of additional tax reduces wages by 92 cents in the long run. The incidence of a $1 fall in value added is smaller, consistent with our wage bargaining model."

A 2015 study by Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur found that a 1 percent increase in corporate tax rates leads to a 0.5 percent decrease in wage rates. The study analyses 66 countries over 25 years and concludes that workers could see a greater reduction in wages than the federal government raises in new revenue from a corporate income tax increase:

"We find, controlling for other macroeconomic variables, that wages are significantly responsive to corporate taxation. Higher corporate tax rates depress wages. Using spatial modelling techniques, we also find that tax characteristics of neighbouring countries, whether geographic or economic, have a significant effect on domestic wages."

A 2006 study by William Randolph of the Congressional Budget Office found that 74% of the corporate tax is borne by domestic labor:

"Burdens are measured in a numerical example by substituting factor shares and output shares that are reasonable for the U.S. economy. Given those values, domestic labor bears slightly more than 70 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax."

A 2007 study by Alison Felix estimated that a 1 percentage point increase in the marginal corporate tax rate decreases annual wages by 0.7 percent. She concluded that the wage reductions are over four times the amount of collected corporate tax revenue:

"The empirical results presented here suggest that the incidence of corporate taxation is more than fully borne by labor. I estimate that a one percentage point increase in the marginal corporate tax rate decreases annual wages by 0.7 percent. The magnitude of the results predicts that the decrease in wages is more than four times the amount of the corporate tax revenue collected."

A 2012 Harvard Business Review piece by Mihir A. Desai notes that raising the corporate tax lands “straight on the back” of the American worker and will see a decline in real wages:

"Because capital is mobile, high tax rates divert investment away from the U.S. corporate sector and toward housing, noncorporate business sectors, and foreign countries. American workers need that capital to become more productive. When it’s invested elsewhere, real wages decline, and if product prices are set globally, there is no place for the corporate tax to land but straight on the back of the least-mobile factor in this setting: the American worker."

Even the left-of-center Tax Policy Center estimates that 20 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax is borne by labor:

"In calculating distributional effects, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) assumes investment returns (dividends, interest, capital gains, etc.) bear 80 percent of the burden, with wages and other labor income carrying the remaining 20 percent."

"Sinema would be wise to oppose any tax increase," said Norquist.

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Georgians Will Face Higher Taxes Than Communist China if Dem Bill Passes

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, September 24th, 2021, 11:46 AM PERMALINK

If Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff vote for the Democrats' reconciliation bill, they will stick Georgia companies with a higher tax rate than communist China.

The Democrats' reconciliation bill would leave Georgia with a combined federal-state corporate tax rate of 30.7% vs. communist China's 25%.

The Democrat bill will also put Georgia companies at a competitive disadvantage vs. Europe: The European average corporate tax rate is 19%.

"As the country tries to recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic, Warnock and Ossoff must explain why they want to stick Georgians with higher taxes than China and Europe," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The Democrats' $3.5 trillion bill will impose the largest tax increase since 1968.  It will raise individual income taxes, small business taxes, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes. If passed, the combined federal-state capital gains tax rate for Georgians would be 37.55% vs. China's 20%.

The burden of the corporate tax rate hike will be borne by workers in the form of lower wages, and by households in the form of higher prices. Higher corporate tax rates will also raise utility bills.

The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation recently affirmed in congressional testimony that the corporate tax rate hike will fall on "labor, laborers."

Testifying before the House Ways & Means Committee, JCT Chief of Staff Thomas A. Barthold said:

"Literature suggests that 25% of the burden of the corporate tax may be borne by labor in terms of diminished wage growth."

WATCH:

Economists across the political spectrum agree that workers bear the brunt of corporate tax increases. And 25% is on the very low end.

According to the Stephen Entin of the Tax Foundation, labor (or workers) bear an estimated 70 percent of the corporate income tax:

"Over the last few decades, economists have used empirical studies to estimate the degree to which the corporate tax falls on labor and capital, in part by noting an inverse correlation between corporate taxes and wages and employment. These studies appear to show that labor bears between 50 percent and 100 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax, with 70 percent or higher the most likely outcome."

A 2012 paper at the University of Warwick and University of Oxford found that a $1 increase in the corporate tax reduces wages by 92 cents in the long term. This study was conducted by Wiji Arulampalam, Michael P. Devereux, and Giorgia Maffini and studied over 55,000 businesses located in nine European countries over the period 1996-2003:

"We identify this direct shifting through cross-company variation in tax liabilities, conditional on value added per employee. Our central estimate is that $1 of additional tax reduces wages by 92 cents in the long run. The incidence of a $1 fall in value added is smaller, consistent with our wage bargaining model."

A 2015 study by Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur found that a 1 percent increase in corporate tax rates leads to a 0.5 percent decrease in wage rates. The study analyses 66 countries over 25 years and concludes that workers could see a greater reduction in wages than the federal government raises in new revenue from a corporate income tax increase:

"We find, controlling for other macroeconomic variables, that wages are significantly responsive to corporate taxation. Higher corporate tax rates depress wages. Using spatial modelling techniques, we also find that tax characteristics of neighbouring countries, whether geographic or economic, have a significant effect on domestic wages."

A 2006 study by William Randolph of the Congressional Budget Office found that 74% of the corporate tax is borne by domestic labor:

"Burdens are measured in a numerical example by substituting factor shares and output shares that are reasonable for the U.S. economy. Given those values, domestic labor bears slightly more than 70 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax."

A 2007 study by Alison Felix estimated that a 1 percentage point increase in the marginal corporate tax rate decreases annual wages by 0.7 percent. She concluded that the wage reductions are over four times the amount of collected corporate tax revenue:

"The empirical results presented here suggest that the incidence of corporate taxation is more than fully borne by labor. I estimate that a one percentage point increase in the marginal corporate tax rate decreases annual wages by 0.7 percent. The magnitude of the results predicts that the decrease in wages is more than four times the amount of the corporate tax revenue collected."

A 2012 Harvard Business Review piece by Mihir A. Desai notes that raising the corporate tax lands “straight on the back” of the American worker and will see a decline in real wages:

"Because capital is mobile, high tax rates divert investment away from the U.S. corporate sector and toward housing, noncorporate business sectors, and foreign countries. American workers need that capital to become more productive. When it’s invested elsewhere, real wages decline, and if product prices are set globally, there is no place for the corporate tax to land but straight on the back of the least-mobile factor in this setting: the American worker."

Even the left-of-center Tax Policy Center estimates that 20 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax is borne by labor:

"In calculating distributional effects, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) assumes investment returns (dividends, interest, capital gains, etc.) bear 80 percent of the burden, with wages and other labor income carrying the remaining 20 percent."

"Warnock and Ossoff would be wise to oppose any tax increase," said Norquist.

 

Photo Credit: By Chris Rank licensed under CC BY 2.0

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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."

WATCH:

 

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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.

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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


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