Next week, the 114th Congress will be sworn in and with it many taxpayer and economic possibilities will follow. While the House of Representatives will see no change in which party controls the chamber, the Senate will see a shift from Democrat control to Republican control. This will be the first time since the end of 2006 that the GOP will run both chambers of Congress and with this new shift in the dynamic of power on Capitol Hill there are going to be opportunities for cooperation with President Obama. One area that could see mutual agreement and partnership is trade policy, specifically Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Opening up trade would be a win-win for taxpayers and the economy. Agreement on how to proceed with trade policy has been stalled because Senate leaders and the President have been at odds over the direction and language of various trade agreements on the table. Last July it was clear that Democrats controlling the Senate were not in the same mindset as President Obama when it came to TPA and TPP. The problems weren’t limited to just the Senate and then-Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, but also other members of the President’s own party including Nancy Pelosi in the House, who had vowed to block TPA legislation.
The New Year is upon us and it’s time for millions of Americans to make their resolutions for the New Year. Many folks vow to lose weight by eating a healthier diet and going to the gym. In a twist on that time-honored tradition, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is urging Congress to get it’s fiscal health back in shape. We put together a list of our own resolutions for Washington and those politicians who will soon be returning for a new Congressional session.
Click 'read more' below to see the full list of 2015 New Years resolutions!
It’s the holiday season and while folks will be celebrating different holidays nationwide there is one holiday that unites all of us: FESTIVUS! Many are familiar with the Seinfeld-inspired holiday that took aim at conventional traditions of gift giving and was basically an alternative to the days of joy in December with the focus being much more critical of those you’re closest with in life. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) wants to mark Festivus with a holiday message for the President and Congress, so please enjoy!
The latest example of President Obama’s reliance on rhetoric over substance was in full view earlier last month after Republicans reclaimed control of the Senate in the midterm elections. The President tried to use language to soften up the American electorate by speaking to the fact that, unlike the last six years, he has plans for Democrats and Republicans to work together during his last two years in office. He focused on two issues—tax reform and infrastructure improvement—precisely because they are the only pressing issues around which there is broad agreement that changes must be enacted. But, the President has fallen short on a solution for both tax reform and infrastructure by tying the two issues together. He noted, “Traditionally both parties have been for creating jobs rebuilding our infrastructure — our roads, bridges, ports, waterways…I think we can hone in on a way to pay for it, through tax reform that closes loopholes and makes it more attractive for companies to create jobs here in the United States.” His comments went on to suggest that he favors closing the gaps in the in the Highway Trust Fund with revenues from a corporate tax holiday. A corporate tax holiday, or repatriation, would allow companies to bring profits made overseas back to the United States at a reduced tax rate. This gimmick would serve to plug a temporary hole but fix none of the underlying structural issues with our tax code. With both Republicans and Democrats seemingly willing to work together, an opportunity like tax reform should not be so limited in scope.
Tomorrow, millions of people will gather around their dinner table with their friends and family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. There are many things that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has to be thankful for, but sadly for taxpayers there is a great deal not to be thankful for and TPA thought it would be timely to once again take some time to highlight some of the biggest ‘bird’ens on taxpayers this year with the Taxpayer Turkeys of 2014! This year there were five, two more than last year! The Taxpayer Turkeys of 2014 are the Catfish Program, Obamacare, National Institutes of Health, Chattanooga EPB, and Net Neutrality! Watch the video below to see some of the best of the worst that taxpayers shouldn’t be thankful for this year. Click here to see the video!
This week, millions of people will gather around their dinner table with their friends and family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. There are many things that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has to be thankful for, but sadly for taxpayers there is a great deal not to be thankful for and TPA thought it would be timely to once again take some time to highlight some of the biggest ‘bird’ens on taxpayers this year with the Taxpayer Turkeys of 2014! This year there were five, two more than last year! The Taxpayer Turkeys of 2014 are the Catfish Program, Obamacare, National Institutes of Health, Chattanooga EPB, and Net Neutrality! Watch the video below to see some of the best of the worst that taxpayers shouldn’t be thankful for this year. Click here to see the video!
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), a national taxpayer watchdog group representing concerned citizens all across the country, is deeply troubled by statements made from President Obama today that call on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move forward with new rule making regarding net neutrality and reclassification under Title II. The fundamental debate about the best public policy to ensure that the Internet remains open is extremely important. The White House and FCC Chairman Wheeler continue to get it wrong. There is no justification to adopt an aggressive regulatory approach to keep the Internet open. Of late, the country has seen an unprecedented amount of innovation and investment from the private sector. In fact, a report out early last year by Charles Davidson and Michael Santorelli at the New York University Law School noted that, “Broadband providers have invested more than $1 trillion in broadband between 1996 and 2010, and $66 billion in 2011.” Any reclassification of the Internet could open the flood gates for new taxes. If the FCC decided to regulate broadband as a Title II telecommunications service, customers would see the Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution fee assessed on broadband bills. Telecommunications taxes are already too high and consumers can’t afford to be burdened with more taxes.
click 'read more' below to see the full statement form TPA
Gas prices are the lowest Americans have seen in quite some time. This is partly due to the basic principle that as supplies rise prices fall. And in the past few years we have seen supplies of both oil and gas increase substantially in this country, as we are using new technology to reach energy resources that were previously unavailable to us. Add in discoveries in shale formations across the country and we can see how truly blessed we are. What many may not know is that America recently became the world’s top producer of natural gas, and soon the U.S. may pass Saudi Arabia in oil production. This is a significant turn of events that very few people could have imagined over the past 40 years. During the oil crisis of the 1970s, we found out just how dependent we were on foreign oil. Americans lined up at gas stations, canceled vacations and watched gas prices rise, along with the cost of just about every product that required transportation or depended upon petroleum. Yet now with low prices and abundant resources, our policies should reflect this changing landscape of energy development. A positive step is that just last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote in a letter to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz that “some policy provisions put in place as recently as 2007 are now at best irrelevant, or at worst detrimental, to national environmental and economic goals.”
The midterm elections took place this week and with the lame duck session of Congress coming next week (click here to see TPA’s wish list for that session) there are already warning signs of troubling policy initiatives that taxpayers may get from these rushed remaining congressional working days of the year. For example, tomorrow the White House will be meeting with Senate and House leaders to discuss the long-term agenda for the new Congress, but also the short-term agenda for the lame duck. There is already word on a move with corporate taxes that will be bad for taxpayers and small businesses. Speaking yesterday in his first press conference since the midterm elections, President Obama once again called for a transportation bill that would be paid for by corporate tax reform.
Last week the Obama Administration acted unilaterally, again, proposing new restrictions through the Treasury Department aimed at halting the growing trend of tax inversions by U.S.-based companies. President Obama has been one of the loudest critics of the practice of inversions, but he is one of the main reasons why we have seen such an uptick in inversions over the last few years. Inversions occur when “an American company reincorporates for tax purposes in a tax-friendlier country such as the U.K. or Ireland, typically while maintaining much of their operations in the U.S.A.” Just a little over a week ago, the Treasury Department announced new rules and regulations regarding tax inversions by companies headquartered in the United States. Actions taken by the Treasury Department to change the current inversion rules include various measures designed to make inversions more difficult to complete.