May 2, 2017
This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on April 19, 2017
Tax Day 2017 is over, and for many Americans that’s a huge relief. Unfortunately, a greater relief for taxpayers would be for Washington to make comprehensive tax reform a priority and a reality. But that has yet to happen despite having the perfect conditions to get something done. And, as the Taxpayers Protection Alliance spoke to folks from around the country, the message was clear: People from all walks of life want tax reform now. The problem with the current tax code is crystal clear: It’s too complicated. The tax code currently has 10 million words, and growing. Every year, an estimated 100,000 words are added to the tax code. This growth causes a drain on time and money by taking away billions of hours and billions of dollars from hard-working families to comply with a code that is in real need of slimming down.» Read More
May 1, 2017
The year is nearly halfway through, yet Congress still has plenty of work to get done in order to make 2017 a productive one. This week there is expected to be a vote on a spending bill that will miss the mark on any meaningful reductions in spending, but there also may be a vote on repeal and replace of Obamacare. The mixed bag from Congress and the White House so far is a bit disappointing but there are opportunities to cut wasteful programs and save taxpayers money. One such example is the SunShot Initiative. Right now taxpayers, through the Department of Energy (DOE), are paying for the program that spends $270 million per year to “induce companies to lower production and installation costs associated with photovoltaic solar panel systems and reducing the price of solar power.” This is a terrible program and that’s why TPA organized this coalition letter urging House Appropriators to eliminate funding for SunShot.
Click "Read Blog" below to see the full letter» Read More
April 24, 2017
Congress returns tomorrow from a two-week vacation and they have a great deal of work to get done as a government shutdown is looming with only days of funding left, not to mention healthcare and tax reform are still big ticket items that must be addressed this year. However, there is another major piece of legislation that will soon be the focus of lawmakers on Capitol Hill: the Farm Bill. The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September in 2018, but right now the groundwork is already being done behind closed doors to get the ball rolling on the next Farm Bill. Agriculture policy is loaded with subsides, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance continues to take notice and speak out on behalf of taxpayers that want to see the giveaways just go away. Keeping that in mind, TPA signed a coalition letter recently sent to Congress urging a free-market approach to the Farm Bill and Ag policy. A country that is trillions of dollars in debt must begin to reduce spending and the multi-year, multi-billion dollar Farm Bill is prime for reform that could reduce the debt, save taxpayers money, and spur free-market growth in the Ag industry.» Read More
April 12, 2017
Tax reform continues to be major priority for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) and a critical component to getting our economy back on the right track. The positive impact of overhauling our complicated tax code can reach individuals and businesses and be a major boon to productivity. While Congress continues to craft their plan, based largely on House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) Better Way for Tax Reform Blueprint, the Trump administration is still working on their own proposal. In TPA tradition, as Tax Day 2017 approaches, we took to the streets of the nation’s capital to ask Americans from all walks of life their thoughts on tax reform, and the process of getting their taxes done. Watch what they had to say!» Read More
April 11, 2017
While comprehensive tax reform continues to be a work in progress for Congress; there are some measures that Washington must take to chip away at a bloated tax code that sometimes works against Americans. One example is repealing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Any tax reform package no matter how big or small must include repeal of FATCA. While FATCA was sold under the heading of a way to catch wealthy tax dodgers, instead it has harmed many innocent Americans and threatened financial privacy in a way that no law should ever carry out. That is why the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) signed a letter urging House and Senate Leadership to include FATCA repeal in any type of tax reform legislation. Repealing FATCA is critical to preserving the financial privacy of U.S. citizens, which have been eroded by federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service for years now. Repealing of FATCA will also help to preserve and strengthen the financial freedoms and choices of all Americans.
Click "Red Blog" below to see the full letter» Read More
April 10, 2017
This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on March 29, 2017
With health care reform on pause, Washington now turns the spotlight on the next big ticket item from the Trump administration legislative agenda: comprehensive tax reform. And while there has been much discussion on Capitol Hill about the GOP tax reform blueprint, “A Better Way” which was introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the White House has so far kept details about its own plan close to the vest. That could soon change.» Read More
April 5, 2017
Transforming our nation’s moss covered tax-and-regulatory apparatus will take patience and consensus building, as demonstrated by the latest row over health care reform. Eager to reset the tone on policy reform, Congress and the Trump Administration will attempt a gargantuan rewrite of the tax code (the first since 1986). But, gone are the days when the Republicans can get away with claiming “tax reform” by only slashing individual rates. Business owners have grown weary of the cumbersome filing process that creates just another barrier to hiring and expanding. In particular, firms trying to write-off assets such as computers and furniture must grapple with a complicated depreciation schedule which favors some industries but condemns others to high tax burdens. Firms focused on acquiring the latest technologies are especially at a disadvantage, given how quickly the lifespan of “average” machines change. According to the IRS, computers have an asset life of 5 years, but this determination rewards companies that hold onto their computers for the full five years.» Read More
April 4, 2017
Spring is moving forward and Congress is working to try and move forward on initiatives related to healthcare and tax reform, but the business of regular order still eludes lawmakers in Washington. The budget process has become all but broken in the Capitol and appropriators (particularly on Defense spending) continue to try and jam earmarks into legislation regardless of the ban put in place six years ago. Keeping all of this in mind, and with budget and appropriations season coming in just weeks the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) signed this coalition letter urging the House and Senate Budget Committees to work towards fiscaly responsible solutions on spending bills throughout the coming fiscal year.» Read More
Click 'Read Blog' below to see the full letter
March 31, 2017
As March Madness comes to a close, with the Final Four this weekend and National Championship Monday night, it’s important to remember how outdated bans are failing the intended purpose to prevent betting and instead are leading to the perpetuation of a massive underground illegal economy. Here are some of the numbers, according to the American Gaming Association:
- Americans will wager $10.4 billion on March Madness this year, a 13 percent increase over last year
- Out of that $10.4 billion wagered, only about $295 million (3 percent) will be wagered legally through Nevada sports books
- The remaining $10.1 billion will be spent on illegal offshore websites
No sport has taken in more money in a specific month of legal Nevada betting than basketball did in March of 2016. It took in a record $422 Million. March of 2017 is likely to surpass that
- The amount of money illegally wagered in the entire U.S. on just the 2017 Super Bowl was $4.51 Billion, nearly identical to the amount wagered legally in all of Nevada across all sports in all of 2016.
March 29, 2017
Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) and the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) released findings from a new poll conducted to find out how the public viewed the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), priorities for tax reform, and components of what may be included in upcoming legislation from Congress. The poll was conducted with a nationwide sample of 1001 likely voters (margin of error, 3.1 percent) with an additional oversample of 200 likely Republican voters.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Despite general support for exports and manufacturing, there is limited enthusiasm among consumers for paying more for goods to encourage those things.
- There’s clarity among respondents that the border adjustment will raise prices.
- A clear majority of voters prefer tax cuts to be accompanied by reductions in federal spending rather than increases in other taxes. Just 18 percent indicated they favored the current approach of offsetting tax increases; 72 percent (82 percent among Republicans) said they favored cuts in federal spending.
- Trust in Congress is limited. Just 29 percent of voters said they trusted Congress to pass the legislation in a way that helps consumers; 63 percent said they did not trust Congress to do that. Among Republicans, 67 percent trust President Trump more than Congress on tax reform; only 11 percent trust Congress more.
March 28, 2017
In the mind of the public, the concept of a “legal dispute” evokes images of black robes, a thunderous grovel, and a jury of peers. But for many cases, the public courtroom is going the way of the dodo. Customer disputes with software and telecommunication companies often end up in private arbitration, in which a mutually-chosen “private judge” hears case specifics and makes a final determination. Since the 1920s, the federal government has generally upheld arbitration resolutions as legally enforceable with a few exceptions. But soon, this may all change. A growing chorus of lawmakers have voiced disapproval with our nation’s arbitration system, claiming that rules are stacked against consumers and outcomes are tilted in corporations’ favor. Rulemaking bodies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are in the process of penning rules curbing arbitration and making it harder for corporations to avoid public courts.» Read More
March 27, 2017
The last few weeks have been filled with a flurry of action from Congress, most notably healthcare. However, there is another major battle that has dominated the Senate this month and that’s the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat left by the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Judge Gorsuch is extremely qualified and would bring a limited government free-market approach to the bench on a host of issues. This is why Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) signed onto a coalition letter sent by Americans for Prosperity (AFP) joining mor than 50 organizations urging Senators to support confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the high court.» Read More
Click "Read Blog" below to see the full letter
March 24, 2017
This article appeared in The Hill on March 8, 2017
If you believe the IRS should be even more expensive, inefficient and bloated, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a plan for you. Last year, Warren concocted the so-called “Tax Filing Simplification Act.” The scheme actually puts the federal government in the tax preparation business. With Tax Day approaching, the senator appears to be dusting off the proposal for another go. Warren’s legislation would “direct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to develop a free, online tax preparation and filing service that taxpayers can use to prepare and file their taxes directly with the federal government.” Not surprisingly, Warren’s plan socialist-style bureaucracy has garnered the backing of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and several other misguided members of the U.S. Senate.» Read More
March 23, 2017
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) understands that this is a critical moment for taxpayers and Congress, and that is why our organization supporting for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The status quo is deteriorating and the nation can no longer afford the disaster that is Obamacare. AHCA provides economic and regulatory relief to the millions of individuals that have continued to suffer under the grips of a failed healthcare bill that must be repealed and replaced. The American Health Care Act provides a path to accomplish the goal of repealing and replacing Obamacare and puts in place a framework that will allow for the Health and Human Services Department to also play a critical role in gutting needless and onerous regulations that have continued to plague our healthcare system. The initial bill, along with the changes made this week provide a substantive opportunity to ensure greater consumer choice and economic stability in the healthcare market. TPA encourages the House to support this legislation so that the Senate can move forward and do the same. TPA signed onto this coalition letter, organized by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), in support of the legislation.
To read the full letter, click "Read Blog" below» Read More
March 20, 2017
This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on March 14, 2017
Lawmakers in Washington are moving at a faster pace than they have been for several years. And while it is encouraging to see some progress on tax and health care reform, it is also problematic that there is movement to bring back earmarks. Congress banned earmarks in 2011 after Republicans gained control of the House. And now, six years later, with full control of the legislative and executive branches, the threat of earmarks shouldn’t be a problem. Not so fast. The fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill that passed the House last week contained 406 earmarks worth $14.5 billion. None of the earmarks listed were requested by the Pentagon, and instead inserted by one or more members of Congress.» Read More
March 17, 2017
As the 115th Congress enters its second month, lawmakers are finally set to repeal the failed Affordable Care Act. The law, known more commonly as Obamacare, attempted to reign in health-care costs through a litany of crude regulations and tax increases that actually increased insurance premiums, reduced quality, and wreaked havoc on taxpayers. The recently-unveiled American Health Care Act (AHCA) promises to put the brakes on government meddling in the healthcare sector, scaling back the rules and programs harming taxpayers and businesses. Advocates of fiscal responsibility have been pouring over the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) AHCA analysis, released on Tuesday. The CBO projects a deficit reduction of $337 billion over the next ten years, passing the bill for its physical and moving it on for legislative scrutiny. By its budgetary merits alone, AHCA is a positive step forward and part of an overall process to address an unsustainable status quo in healthcare financing.» Read More
March 14, 2017
This article appeared in The Hill on March 8, 2017
Some big multinational corporations, like GE and Boeing, are waging a dishonest campaign to pass the ill-conceived Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). One of their biggest falsehoods is that there is a “Made in America Tax” that discriminates against products built in domestic factories. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that imports face consumption taxes in the U.S. at the state and local level, and exports are taxed similarly in the overseas markets where they are sold. While there are many inequities in the existing tax code that impede businesses and job creation, the BAT won’t make the American economy more competitive, and it is likely to destroy manufacturing jobs, not create them.» Read More
March 13, 2017
As a child of the nineties, nine planets in our solar system will forever be lassoed to my memory by a silly pneumonic device. But then came 2006, when a fateful decision by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) relegated Pluto to “dwarf planet” status and beefed up standards for planethood. After eleven years, Pluto-lovers may finally have their day in the sun, as a team of NASA scientists fights for an expanded definition of “planet.” But the scientists don’t want to stop at Pluto; their definition would include, “basically…anything that's big and round and isn't a star.” Popular Mechanics writer Andrew Moseman estimates that the expanded count would include a whopping 110 bodies, beyond the reach of any classroom acronym. While this may seem like an academic feud worthy of The Big Bang Theory, taxpayers stand to lose from a “big tent” definition of planets.» Read More
March 6, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Defense Appropriations Act conference report, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has uncovered 406 earmarks totaling $14.5 billion (click here to see the full list) that were not requested by the Pentagon and inserted by members of Congress. That is an 11 percent increase in the number of projects and a one percent decrease in total dollars from FY 2016. As some lawmakers push to return to officially bring back earmarks since they were banned in 2011, TPA continues to show that earmarks never died. These earmarks are more alarming considering President Trump’s call for an increase Defense spending in FY 2018.» Read More
March 6, 2017
Ever since November 8, 2016, the future of taxpayer-funded healthcare has been in the spotlight. Taxpayers want the government to be compassionate and thrifty. One issue where these two ideals intersect is end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Like most chronic disease patients, people living with ESRD often find out that managing their care can be as difficult as managing their condition. The need for multiple doctors, specialists, prescriptions and facilities can often leave patients feeling confused about how to get the most effective care – which they often don’t. What’s more, poorly managed care compounds inefficiencies and increases costs across the health care system. The good news is that Medicare is experimenting with ways to produce better care for ESRD patients at lower costs. The largest such demonstration project created ESRD Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs), which currently exist in 37 locations across the country. Under this model, care managers assist patients with tasks such as making doctor appointments, getting answers from pharmacists and cutting through red tape with dentists or state assistance programs.» Read More