Archive for the ‘Americans for Tax Reform’ Category

Boehner whipping Georgians on ‘Plan B’

As Georgia Republican Reps. Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston and Paul Broun sat together on the House floor during a vote this evening, House Speaker John Boehner plopped down in the row behind them and gave them an earful. Boehner, viewed by this reporter through a door a few yards away, appeared pretty intense.

House Speaker John Boehner in June (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

John Boehner in June (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Gingrey said the Speaker was making “strong arguments” in favor of his “Plan B” on the fiscal cliff negotiations — a floor vote tentatively scheduled for Thursday to maintain the marginal income tax rates for earnings $1 million and less, as well as the estate tax rates.

“The Speaker feels very, very confident if we don’t do this it’s going to end up at the 250 mark [raising taxes on income above $250,000]. … He said that’s what his great fear is,” Gingrey said.

Still, the Republican from Marietta is unsure about voting effectively to allow some taxes to rise. “My powder’s dry,” Gingrey said.

Several Republican members of …

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First cracks appear in House GOP opposition to tax hikes

For those who believe that avoidance of the “fiscal cliff” boils down to a test of will between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner, this Associated Press piece matters:

WASHINGTON — The first cracks are developing among Republicans over whether to accept a quick deal with President Barack Obama on allowing the top two income tax rates to expire.

Conservative Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole told GOP colleagues in a private meeting on Tuesday that it’s better to make sure that tax cuts for the 98 percent of taxpayers who make less than $200,000 or $250,000 a year are extended than to battle it out with Obama and risk increasing taxes on everyone.

Cole’s remarks are noteworthy because he’s a longtime GOP loyalist and a confidant of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. They were made in a meeting of the House GOP Republican whip team, which is a sounding board for GOP leaders.

“If we don’t believe taxes should go up on anybody, why can’t we accept a deal that takes 98 …

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Your daily jolt: Gloves off, Kasim Reed enters tonight’s post-debate spin room

When Democrats gathered in Charlotte last month, many wondered why Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – a hard-charging defender of President Barack Obama — had no speaking role during the national convention.

Newark Mayor Corey Booker, many theorized, was the preferred choice because of his low-key approach and appeal to independents.

From Obama’s perspective, the time for low-key is apparently over.

On Sunday, Reed was the chosen Obama surrogate on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” On Monday morning, it was an MSNBC interview with Chuck Todd. Boxing metaphors flew with each appearance. On Monday evening, Reed snagged time with CNN’s Piers Morgan to set expectations for the president’s performance.

This morning, the Obama campaign released a list of two-dozen spinners who will be in New York to persuade journalists that Obama won this evening’s debate. Reed, not Booker, is among them.

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CORRECTION: On Monday, the Insider blog identified the John McCallum in a Brunswick News …

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Your morning jolt: Splitting with governor, Chip Rogers to condemn transportation sales tax

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Splitting with governor, Chip Rogers to condemn transportation sales tax »

Your morning jolt: Grover Norquist, tea party split on tax overhaul

Oh, the dilemma.

House Republicans this morning will be presented with a letter from Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, informing the lawmakers that he won’t give them any trouble if they vote to pass HB 387, the tax overhaul bill.

But Georgia Tea Party Patriots this morning is urging lawmakers to vote against it:

”One can not just look at the tax rate cut, one has to look at the deductions/exemptions that are slashed and, in many cases, removed in this bill. Taxes will be raised for some and will be cut for others. In other words, this bill re-distributes wealth.”

Grover Norquist, president of Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform

Grover Norquist, president of Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform

Norquist had opposed the first version of the bill, because of its suggested restoration of a state sales tax on groceries, and an increase in the tobacco tax. He declared that the bill violated the no-new-taxes pledge signed by many GOP lawmakers in Georgia.

Norquist’s statement will soothe Republicans worried that …

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Your morning jolt: Barbara Bush endorses gay marriage

A Legislature that once cowered in the face of angry church-goers out to protect their Sabbath is now entirely comfortable with a bill to permit the Sunday sale of six-packs and more.

The same state lawmakers who joined Zell Miller in his effort to deposit miscreants in state prisons for decades are giving second thoughts to the state’s two-strike policy.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s drug court idea, as a way to deal with addiction, is taking hold. Says the liberal state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, in today’s Savannah Morning News:

“It’s a sort of convergence of liberal and conservative ideas,” he said. “This idea is fiscally sound as well as socially responsible.

“We need to distinguish between the people we are afraid of and those we’re just mad at. We can’t afford to lock up everyone.”

Republicans often talk of the scare that November gave to President Barack Obama. Only rarely do they acknowledge that the same vote signaled the rise of a more libertarian brand of …

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Your morning jolt: Let states declare bankruptcy, says Newt Gingrich

Say you’re the governor of a large Southern state and the pensions that you and your predecessors have promised are killing the bottom line.

Bankruptcy for states should be an option, says former U.S. House speaker and possible 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich

In an article published in Pension and Investments, a spokesman recently confirmed that Gingrich is working “inside and outside of Congress” for federal legislation that would give troubled states the right to declare themselves financially insolvent – and renege on pension and other benefits.

Writes P&I:

Proponents of the measure — which include Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington lobby group that fights tax increases — said the legislation is desperately needed to clear the way for struggling states to slash costs before they go belly up, and should be regarded as a preemptive move that could preclude the need for massive federal bailouts.

“It’s in the …

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Your morning jolt: Why Rob Woodall refused to sign a pledge not to increase taxes

Pay attention to this Republican runoff in the 7th District race to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder of Duluth. We’ve got something approaching an actual discussion of issues.

On Monday, Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform declared front-runner Rob Woodall – Linder’s former chief of staff – to be “outside the Republican mainstream” because he refused to sign ATR’s pledge not to increase taxes.

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Jody Hice, who finished second on July 20, has signed. So did Linder, who Woodall now seeks to replace, said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

“Why on earth in these times is Woodall talking about hiking taxes?” baited Norquist. “Instead, he should be taking tax hikes off the table.”

Read Norquist’s entire statement here.

Candidates are usually eager to sign such pledges – especially if they’re running in a Republican primary. Once they’re in office, the promise becomes less attractive. One can’t govern by slogans, Gov. Sonny Perdue famously told his fellow …

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