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02-03-2016 at 06:51 am - David Williams - Posted in: Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Taxes, Tax Reform, Subsidy, Solar, President Obama, Oil, Green energy, Energy, David Williams, Sen. Bernie Sanders - 0 Comment

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As the march towards Election Day 2016 continues, the current crop of presidential candidates are getting more specific with their tax policy proposals.  And, in the process, they are trotting out their favorite campaign trail sound bites that may sound attractive in theory, but in reality would be a disaster for the nation’s economy. A perfect example of this is presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).  On Friday, his campaign released five steps he would take in reforming the corporate tax code, and unsurprisingly, targeting the energy industry was near the top of his list.  According to the plan, “Sen. Sanders would repeal dozens of loopholes and tax subsidies throughout the federal tax code that benefit oil, natural gas, and coal special interests, saving more than $135 billion over the next decade.” Sen. Sanders is simply wrong on the facts.  The traditional energy industry doesn’t receive subsidies; however, they do take deductions.  A subsidy is a direct payment from the government, typically to help prop up an industry. A deduction is taken to write off legitimate business expenses which the energy industry takes along with practically every company listed in the S&P 500. Interestingly, the Sanders plan makes no mention of repealing subsidies for the renewable energy sector which have increased to record levels under President Obama’s watch. The Obama administration’s record of renewables subsidies took place despite the fact that renewables accounted for only 11.4 percent of America’s primary energy production while fossil fuels accounted for 78.5 percent in 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service.



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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy

Entering the final year of the Obama Administration, there are many priorities the President has and one of the biggest is a lasting legacy when it comes to environmental policy. The biggest component of that legacy domestically is the ill-conceived Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP is not only an attack on traditional fossil fuels; it’s a de facto giveaway (or redistribution) to the renewable energy industry. Setting massive targets for carbon reduction and forcing states to comply with the new rule will only ensure that green energy schemes like solar and wind will reap the benefits of new and existing incentives designed to artificially prop-up those failed technologies. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been sounding the alarm on the plan for nearly two years now, as have many others. Just last week, TPA joined a coalition led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) submitting comments (click here for the PDF version) to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the dangers of the CPP.

Click 'read more' below to see the full comments



01-20-2016 at 07:27 am - Michi Iljazi - Posted in: Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Spending Cuts, President Obama, Michi Iljazi, Earmarks, Deficit, Debt, Congress, Budget, Appropriations - 0 Comment

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On January 12, 2016, President Obama, with his rose-colored glasses, wanted to put the nation at ease about the overall track of the country with his final State of the Union Address.  But, as far as the economy is concerned, nobody should be buying what the President is selling. The job market is struggling and the earning power of families nationwide continues to lag throughout the duration of the Obama era. Now, even more troubling for the economy is the news from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that the budget deficit is about to balloon to $544 billion this year, with the deficit increasing over the next decade.



01-19-2016 at 07:09 am - David Williams - Posted in: Congress, Corporate tax, David Williams, House Speaker Paul Ryan, President Obama, Tax Reform, Taxpayers Protection Alliance - 0 Comment

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This piece originally appeared on Real Clear Markets on January 11, 2016

Welcome to the start of a New Year, a time when many Americans make resolutions to improve their quality of life. Invariably, one of those resolutions is being smarter when it comes to spending and saving money. One New Year's resolution that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has for Congress is to also be more fiscally responsible, and that means passing comprehensive tax reform. Simplifying the tax code and a commitment from lawmakers to do so is the blueprint to ease some of American consumers and businesses' financial woes and increase economic growth. Fortunately, certain Presidential candidates, and some leaders in Congress, are starting to understand the importance of tax reform and have pledged to make this issue a priority in 2016. But all talk will be hollow unless the candidates and lawmakers put their words into action.



Statement by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance on President Obama’s State of the Union Address

In response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address last night, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance released the following statement:

“Last night, President Obama made the case that the American economy is finally turning the page on a chapter of recent history marked by anemic growth and a sluggish economic outlook. While the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) may disagree with that assertion, TPA does support the President’s call to remove the obstacles in the way of a healthy, vibrant business environment. The President and his counterparts on Capitol Hill have an opportunity this year to make real progress towards that goal by tackling comprehensive tax reform.

Click 'read more' below for the full statement



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President Obama delivers his final State of the Union Address (SOTU) to the nation on January 12th.  The annual tradition of addressing a joint-session of Congress along with millions of Americans is often used to set the stage for the coming year and the battles with the legislative branch that the President assumes will be on the agenda. However, this year will be different for a several reasons and it is important for taxpayers and those watching the speech to understand why this speech (more so than others) will be weighted more on style and less on substance.



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The time to say goodbye to 2015 has arrived as the New Year is upon us. From losing weight to reading more, it’s that time of year when millions of Americans make their resolutions for the coming year.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) put together a list of our own resolutions for Washington.



12-04-2015 at 07:28 am - Michi Iljazi - Posted in: Congress, David Williams, Energy, House, Michi Iljazi, Oil, President Obama, Rep. Fred Upton, Taxpayers Protection Alliance - 0 Comment

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Energy
policy is one of the most important components to the United States economy, impacting taxpayers and businesses everyday. Congress has been working to pass a comprehensive energy bill that makes critical reforms to the system and this week lawmakers finally moved forward with legislation. Yesterday, by a vote of 249-174, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 8) was approved by the House and will soon move over the Senate. While President Obama has already issued a veto threat of Rep. Fred Upton's (R-Mich.) bill that lifts the decades-old ban on crude oil exports, TPA sent a letter this week urging Congress to pass the legislation.

Click 'read more' below to see the letter



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The last few weeks in Washington have been centered on a flurry of major news stories and events. The election of new House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the continuing Presidential debates for the 2016 nomination, a major budget deal, and now the Paris attack that killed more than 100 people last Friday night. Lost in the constant cycle of continuing coverage of these other things is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was passed (again) by both the House and Senate that is now awaiting President Obama’s signature before becoming law. The very little attention that was paid to the NDAA’s journey through Congress was mainly focused on the first time it passed when President Obama promptly vetoed it. Year after year President Obama has made veto threats but this was the first time that he actually made good on the threat. The reasoning behind the rare White House veto was detailed through a statement from the administration at the time of the signing on October 22.



11-09-2015 at 08:59 am - Michi Iljazi - Posted in: Canada, Energy, Keystone Pipeline, Michi Iljazi, Oil, President Obama, Taxpayers Protection Alliance - 0 Comment

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Last week’s announcement by President Obama that he would reject the Keystone XL Pipeline was not surprising, but nonetheless, it was a disappointing decision because of the economic and energy security benefits that will be lost.  The most troubling aspect of the decision is the reasoning behind the rejection. At a press conference, President Obama cited environmental concerns and an upcoming climate conference in Paris as major factors in his reasoning, despite findings that the pipeline would not significantly harm the environment. Lost jobs and the economic growth that Keystone could have brought to the U.S. will be the most significant repercussions of the decision. It’s estimated that more than 42,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs would have been created through Keystone.  With an economy still reeling from the recession, those jobs are much needed by Americans who continue to struggle to find work.  It is also worth noting that $2.2 billion that would have been put into the pockets of those workers will be lost.  In addition to bringing jobs and wages, the project would have also contributed $3.4 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).



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