Recent News

We Need A Tax Code That Makes Sense

Mitt Romney’s tax rate continues to be the topic of much debate over whether or not he paid his “fair share”, but the fact is that this debate is backward. The debate should not be about if what someone is paying is fair, it should be about if the tax code itself is fair. To that end, the whole country should be in agreement that it is NOT fair.

In 1895 the Supreme Court of the United States declared the income tax unconstitutional. Since then, the Congress has overruled the court and consequently the tax code is currently 2,500 pages long; nearly 7 times the length of the bible. Not only is this insane, but it is truly unfair!

The tax code is full of holes, punishes success and even punishes inheritance after a family member’s death! It needs to go. The Contract From America seeks to change this. We want to enact real tax reform, and make the code flatter and fairer. Less people would point fingers about others’ tax rates if they fully understood the tax code and felt that everyone was treated fairly, something which currently can’t be said.

Following Europe Will Lead To Collapse

In the Eurozone Spain is bracing for yet another round of painful austerity as a result of its unsustainable debt. These cuts will cripple entitlement programs that people built lives around, they will cause a spike in unemployment, and put the national security of its people at risk. This is the path big government takes you down; ballooning debt, then a crash where the bottom is not discernable.

Then why does this administration feel that the best way to fix our problems at home is to follow the same path that Europe has? Our budget deficit continues to balloon with no signs of stopping or slowing down. Historically when a nation’s debt reaches 90% as a share of GDP, economies will stagnate. Currently we are at 70% and will hit 90% in under 10 years.

This is unacceptable and can be avoided by adopting the Contract for America’s terms to pass a balanced budget amendment. This amendment will ensure spending does not accelerate at the rate it currently is and spending growth will be capped as a percentage of GDP.

Until this amendment is passed, politicians will continue to tax and spend faster and faster. When money is not coming physically out of their pockets they see no reason they can’t spend it. American government deficit spending needs to stop immediately.

$1,200 Per Family In New Taxes

On Wednesday the Associated Press reported that over 6 million uninsured people will get hit by a tax penalty as a result of Obamacare. This tax penalty works out to about an average of about $1,200 per family in 2016. Even more concerning is that this tax will hit mostly middle class households.

Obamacare is flawed legislation based on a flawed premise. Although it was well documented that the main complaint about health care was the cost and addressing the problem, the government instead got involved and created a massive federal entitlement program that is hurting those it should be helping.

Citizens all over the country have spoken out for the repeal of Obamacare by voting to include it as a main pillar of the Contract From America. Wednesday’s findings simply add more evidence to the core argument that Obamacare is financially unsustainable, does not address the main problem of private healthcare, and makes more people dependent of the government.

If we want to return to fiscal responsible governing we must repeal Obamacare and replace it with a plan that works and we can afford so our children don’t spend their whole lives paying for it.

POLITICO: Debt Ceiling Talks have Tea Party Ready for Disappointment – and Retribution

By Kenneth P. Vogel and Marin Cogan

Tea party activists braced for disappointment as negotiations on the debt ceiling finally resulted in a deal Sunday, but sent a clear signal to congressional Republicans that they are in no mood to tolerate compromise and will seek retribution against anyone who has not fully supported their agenda.

They are focused in particular on the fate of the concession they extracted from House Speaker John Boehner in order to get his debt ceiling bill through the House last week – a provision making a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution a prerequisite for raising the debt ceiling again that they regarded as a huge victory.

“If the final bill is passed by establishment Republicans and House Democrats and does not include a balanced budget amendment as a requirement, it will be completely unacceptable and will be seen as a violation of the mandate that the tea party and like-minded people gave Republicans in 2010,” said Ryan Hecker, the leader of a crowd-sourced tea party effort called the Contract from America.

“The tea party didn’t help elect Republicans because they liked Republicans. They elected Republicans to give them a second chance. And if they go moderate on this, then they have ruined their second chance, and there will be a real effort to replace them with those who will stand up for economic conservative values,” said Hecker, who helped conservative House Republicans rally support for the amendment.

Continue reading at Politico.com

NYT: The Tea Party Plans Its Own Debt Panel

By Kate Zernike

While the Tea Party movement has led the charge for cutting the national debt, its supporters have often struggled to explain how, exactly, they would do so.

Now some are out to change that, joining a Tea Party Debt Commission that plans to hold hearings over the summer, in the hopes of delivering recommendations to lawmakers by January.

The commission is being organized by FreedomWorks, the libertarian advocacy group that helped grow the Tea Party movement and mobilize it for the midterm elections. And its recommendations are likely to line up with the goals of that group, which in turn tend to reflect those of libertarian organizations like the Cato Institute. (FreedomWorks’ motto is Lower Taxes, Less Government, More Freedom, and it has worked against environmental regulations and for increased privatization of health care.)

“If you look if you look at the landscape in Washington, D.C., there’s a lot of Democrats who control two-thirds of the process who are now sitting on their hands, waiting to point fingers at Republicans who propose something, and there’s too many Republicans who are afraid that the public won’t understand a serious proposal to solve the budget deficit,” said Matt Kibbe, the group’s president.

“We think, like with the first days of the Tea Party movement, that the only way we will ever reduce the debt and balance the budget is if America beats Washington and Tea Party activists take over this process, take over the public debate and engage the American people in the hard work of making tough choices.”

FreedomWorks held training for about 150 activists from 30 states at its headquarters in Washington over the weekend, with sessions dedicated to educating them about the budget proposals by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, both Republicans who strongly embrace libertarian economic principles.

The activists, along with FreedomWorks staff, came up with parameters for their budget proposals, declaring that they would have to balance the federal budget within 10 years, reduce federal spending to 18 percent of the gross domestic product, reduce the national debt to no more than 66 percent of the G.D.P., assume that revenue accounts for no more than 19 percent of the G.D.P., reduce federal spending by at least $300 billion in the first year and reduce federal spending by at least $9 trillion over 10 years.

All this is a tall order; for example, the debt now equals nearly 100 percent of the gross domestic product. And with its limits on revenue — and the politics behind those limits — it is unlikely that the Tea Party commission will allow anything that looks like a tax increase.

The commission, to be formally announced Monday, is intended as a rebuke to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that President Obama named, which delivered its recommendations last year. Those recommendations were met with generally negative reviews from both parties, who were unwilling to make the sacrifices that were called for. But the Tea Party commission is modeled after President Obama’s, in one way — it, too, will have 18 members (though this one is unlikely to be bipartisan, as the president’s was).

The members will be chosen from 18 swing states, and will hold hearings in those states over the summer, Mr. Kibbe said.

Continue reading at the New York Times

U.S. Senate Candidate, George Allen (R-VA), Signs Contract from America

The Contract from America Foundation announced today that U.S. Senate candidate George Allen (R-VA) has joined over 70 currently elected Senators and Congressmen nationwide by listening to the wishes of his constituents and signing the “Contract from America,” a Main Street, tea party-driven legislative blueprint for 2011 and beyond. He is the first to do so in Virginia for the 2012 election cycle.

Ryan Hecker, one of the organizers of the Contract from America, elaborated: “George Allen, by signing the Contract from America, has shown himself to be a true champion of Main Street and tea party values. He has illustrated that, if elected, he will listen to his constituents and be a true grassroots conservative leader in the Senate. We are especially glad that George is the first candidate in Virginia to sign the Contract in the 2012 cycle.”

In signing this bottom-up call for economic conservative and good governance reform, George Allen stated:

“Virginians are anxious about the struggling economy, out-of-control spending, and growing debt that is threatening to rob our children of the opportunities we had. Rather than the dictates, mandates and tax hikes coming out of Washington we need a pro-growth agenda based on our foundational principles of freedom, personal responsibility and opportunity for all. In the U.S. Senate I pledge to protect and build upon the basic principles of the Contract from America – individual liberty, limited government and economic freedom.”

Visit Mr. Allen’s campaign website: www.georgeallen.com

HUMAN EVENTS: Adam Hasner Signs the Contract From America

By John Hayward

Adam Hasner, one of the candidates striving to join Marco Rubio as a United States senator from Florida, signed the “Contract From America” today. This is a sequel of sorts to the “Contract With America,” a package of policies and principles that helped Republicans nationalize congressional elections back in 1994. Hasner is the first of the Florida Senate candidates to sign it.

“I’m proud to sign the Contract from America without hesitation,” said Hasner in a press release. “The foundational values represented in the Contract are the same pillars of liberty, economic freedom, and limited government that are the foundation of our campaign in Florida. With America facing generational challenges on spending, the debt, and entitlement reforms, values like the ones contained within the Contract are needed now more than ever.”

The importance of a document like the Contract From America extends beyond elevating a House or Senate race into a part of the national narrative. It is a sign of big-picture thinking, attractive to voters who want some idea of a candidate’s core principles, and his grand strategy for addressing the challenges facing the nation. Detailed policy should flow from big ideas.

“The purpose of our government,” the Contract declares, “is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.”

Continue reading at Human Events

Race Heats up for 26th Congressional District Seat

By Erinn Cain, Penfield Post Staff Writer

As the election nears on May 24, the race is heating up to fill the 26th Congressional District seat vacated by Republican Chris Lee.

Here is the latest in the race:

Tea Party Express came to the Rotary Lodge Greece Canal Park today to endorse candidate Jane Corwin. According to the group, candidate Jack Davis is listed under “Tea Party” on the ballot, but “his political past reveals him as a liberal Democrat with a history of supporting higher taxes, ObamaCare, cap and trade legislation, contributing many thousands of dollars to far-left Democrat candidates, as well as endorsing Barack Obama for president.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer has endorsed candidate Kathy Hochul. Schumer said he accredited the endorsement to Hochul’s strong ties to Western New York, her plan to help small businesses create jobs and her fight to protect Medicare.

Corwin has recently joined over 70 currently-elected Senators and Congressmen nationwide to sign the “Contract from America,” a Main Street, Tea Party-driven legislative blueprint for 2011 and beyond.

“For too long, Washington politicians have failed to take the lead on cutting spending and reforming our tax system,” said Corwin. “As someone who has helped run a small family business, I will fight to cut spending and reduce taxes so we can strengthen our economy and create good-paying jobs.”

Continue reading at the PendfieldPost.com

Trade Deals Unite Left and Right in Opposition

By Ambreen Ali, Roll Call Staff

Some tea party organizations have been quietly trading notes with left-leaning advocacy groups as both sides work to derail a series of upcoming free-trade agreements.

Together, they hope to deliver what one opponent of the deals described as a “one-two punch” to proposed trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. As liberal groups and labor unions lobby Democrats, tea party members have been calling the Republican freshmen they helped elect.

Some tea party groups have a protectionist slant, opposing pacts that might increase competition faced by U.S. producers, but other groups oppose trade deals because they oppose “big government.” For this faction, free trade should simply be freedom to trade with anyone, instead of a detailed treaty written by governments.

Those concerns differ from labor rights issues and offshoring concerns raised by labor unions and liberals, but Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach said many of the arguments are “different sides of the same issue.”

“I’ve certainly talked to them. We’re not working with them, but I have called them at different times to ask how it’s going,” said Wallach, who is director of the left-leaning group’s Global Trade Watch.

The alliance is less surprising when viewed in light of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll from last fall that found a majority of Americans believe free-trade agreements have hurt the U.S. In that poll, 90 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats agreed that outsourcing is a reason the domestic economy is struggling and people are not being hired.

Coordination between liberal and conservative advocates could be the opposition’s best hope to overcome a strong bloc of support for the trade agreements. Top Republican leaders including Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) have urged the president to deliver these deals, and the White House strongly favors the deals.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and Heritage Action — the advocacy wing of the conservative Heritage Foundation — are all pushing for passage.

Even FreedomWorks, which works closely with the tea party movement, has argued, “Protectionism only robs Americans of their income and their freedom of choice. The cost of trade tariffs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.”

Some tea party members agree. Ryan Hecker — who helped devise the tea party’s policy platform, dubbed the Contract From America — said he is “100 percent for free trade and for anything that opens up trade barriers.”

Continue reading at Roll Call

HUMAN EVENTS: Why Newt Gingrich Will Be a Formidable Contender

By Tony Lee

In the next two weeks, the 2012 field of GOP presidential contenders will congeal. Last week, Newt Gingrich showed why he will be a more than formidable candidate. During a series of events, he displayed how he can combine politics, policy, and publicity to leverage his ideas and brand.

During a tele-townhall co-hosted by The Contract From America (Gingrich was its first signatory), BBA Now, and The TeaParty.net, Gingrich showed his depth and range on a variety of issues ranging from immigration, to allowing people to opt-in to a flat tax rate, to criticizing President Obama for seemingly caring more about offshore drilling in Brazil than in America.

During the tele-forum, Gingrich also called on George Washington University to invite Paul Ryan back to give a counter to President Obama’s speech at the university, which Gingrich said was a “demagogic” speech that was “cheap” and “nasty” because it used Ryan as a “prop.”

The next day, on an appearance on The Kudlow Report, Gingrich said he would make an announcment regarding his candidacy during the first week of May. He then said that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke should not get a second term.

During an appearance in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, Gingrich outlined some innovative approaches to energy security, summarized below:

  1. Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy.
  2. End the ban on oil shale development in the American West, where we have three times the amount oil as Saudi Arabia.
  3. Give coastal states federal royalty revenue sharing so that state’s budgets directly benefits from offshore development.
  4. Enact a loser-pays law to force the losers in environmental lawsuits to pay all legal costs for the prevailing side, which will reduce frivolous lawsuits that are employed simply to stop energy production.
  5. Finance cleaner energy research and projects with new oil and gas royalties.
  6. Appoint a commission of engineers and scientists, not politicians, to study the damaged nuclear reactor in Japan and determine if any changes need to be made to US nuclear power standards.

Then, at the Brookings Institution on Friday, Gingrich gave a substantive, compelling, and engaging speech regarding health policy.

Continue reading at Human Events