Border Adjustment Tax Could Derail Tax Reform

Americans for Prosperity - Arizona

By: Tom Jenney – Americans for Prosperity, Arizona

One of the most enduring symbols of Arizona is the Grand Canyon.  In fact, many people have nicknamed us the Grand Canyon State.  This most famous of the national parks also illustrates the stakes for Arizonans in the debate that is currently being waged in Washington, D.C. over tax reform.

Let there be no mistake: the so-called Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) would blow a Grand Canyon-sized hole in our economy and the budgets of working families.

In Arizona, the retail industry is a significant source of jobs.  There are more than 64,000 retail businesses that support 828,000 jobs, contributing $53 billion to our economy every year.  If you lined up the workers who are employed because of retail in Arizona shoulder to shoulder, they would span just about the entire length of the Grand Canyon.  That’s a lot of jobs and many of them could be on the chopping block if Speaker Paul Ryan, and U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady move forward with the BAT.

The BAT is a national sales tax that would raise $1 trillion in new revenue over the next ten years by taxing imports.  Small businesses, particularly retailers would be discriminated against, while big multinational corporations that ship products overseas, would have their exports exempted from federal taxes.  This is a classic example of Washington picking winners and losers among industries, but in this case, it would be middle-income working families who get the shortest end of the stick and pay the ultimate price.

The BAT would drive up the cost of everyday necessities, such as gasoline, groceries, food and clothing, including prescription medicines.  According to the National Retail Federation, the average Arizona family could end up paying more than $1,700 per year in higher prices.  This is a lot of money that struggling, working families, who have seen their wages stagnate in recent years, simply can’t afford to pay.

Fortunately, the BAT is running into a buzz saw of political opposition.  Conservative organizations such as the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity have blasted the BAT as being anti-consumer and anti-free market.  Senator Jeff Flake should take note of this opposition and publicly oppose it.  Moreover, Congressman David Schweikert sits on the Ways and Means Committee and should work to keep this tax increase on Arizona families from ever getting out of his committee.

Arizona’s elected leaders could do the vital retail businesses in our state and middle-class families a great service by formally announcing their opposition and driving a nail in the coffin of BAT.  Tax reform is too important to the health of the economy and the pocketbooks of working households for it to be derailed by an exotic, anti-consumer, anti-small business tax.  The BAT is simply bad policy, and it deserves to die an early death, so conservative, free market tax reform can get back on the right track.

It is time to save tax reform, which is badly needed for families and businesses alike in Arizona, by saying no to and killing the BAT.  That is the first step to fairly and equitably lowering the rates for everyone and allow the free market to work.  Conservatives were not elected to Congress to put their thumb on the scale and pick winners and losers, and that is exactly what a trillion-dollar tax increase on Arizona families does in exchange for a permanent tax holiday for multinational companies, many of which already exploit loopholes and receive special deals from lobbyists in Washington.  Senator Flake and Congressman Schweikert, voters sent you to the nation’s capital to fight for their interests and are watching who you stand up for.

Tom Jenney is the State Director of the Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Maricopa GOP Chair Rallies LD Censures

To all Arizona County and LD Republican Committee Chairmen –
Below is the front page article of the July 15 Arizona Capitol Times. I want to express my appreciation to those courageous and principled County and LD Republican Committees who have already conducted votes of “censure” and/or “no confidence.”
Jan Brewer, the legislators and their crony capitalist friends that support ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion have betrayed Americans, Arizona Republicans and the Republican Party Platform.  Their lack of ethics, integrity and egregious acts are motivated by only two things – greed and the lust for power – at the expense of hard working tax paying Americans.
The law was expected to cost $898 billion over the first decade when the bill was first passed, but this year the Congressional Budget Office revised that estimate to $1.85 trillion.  Money that will have to be borrowed from the Chinese or printed in the backroom of the Federal Reserve.  Latest polls indicate a majority of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in opposition.
During the past six months, we did everything we could to make a solid argument against ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion, we tried to reason with these people and even tried to make them see the light.  Unfortunately, our lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears and without success.
During one of Ronald Reagan’s difficult political battles he said,
               “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
I’m asking all the County and LD Republican Committees to make these people feel the heat by passing public censures for their actions.  They are elitists who think what they have done should be forgiven. They are mistaken.  We are not going to be able to defeat all of them, but we can defeat a majority of them in the 2014 Primary Election.
You can go to “MCRC Briefs” and get examples of public censures that have already been passed.  http://briefs.maricopagop.org/  Just type “censure” in the search field on the left.
Warmest regards,
 A. J. LaFaro
Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee
P.S.  Please encourage all of your PCs to keep up their daily efforts in getting petition signatures for www.urapc.org  Getting ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion on the November 2014 ballot will be historic for Arizona’s grassroots conservatives.

Rep Flake Applauds House Passage of Free Trade Agreements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 12, 2011
CONTACT: Genevieve Frye Rozansky

Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Will Help Create Thousands of Jobs and Strengthen Economy

Washington, D.C. – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today applauded the passage of the United States Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Acts with the countries of Colombia, Panama, and South Korea (H.R. 3078, 3079, and 3080, respectively).

These agreements will allow the private sector to create thousands of jobs and will strengthen our economy in the long-term,” said Flake. “The only solid path toward long-term, sustainable development in the global market is through free trade.

Congressman Flake delivered a speech on the House Floor today in support of the free trade agreements. Video of the speech can be found here.

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Rep. Quayle Applauds Passage of Free Trade Agreements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 12, 2011
CONTACT: Richard Cullen

WASHINGTON (DC) Congressman Ben Quayle (R-AZ) released the following statement Wednesday after the House passed free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea:

“After waiting nearly three years for the President to send them over, the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea have passed out of the House. I voted in favor of the agreements and strongly urge the Senate to follow suit because they will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in America and bring much-needed economic growth to Arizona. The third district, for instance, with its thriving high-tech sector, already has approximately 35,000 jobs directly supported by exports. With these trade agreements nearly finalized, that number will surely climb.

“Although they will not solve all of our economic woes, these agreements help maintain America’s competitiveness. We live and work in a global economy. These agreements ensure that we don’t continue to lose market share to our economic competitors which leads to lower exports and fewer American jobs.”

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Do consumers need protection from out of state wine?

by Clint Bolick
Goldwater Institute

May 16, 2005 was a great day for fans of free markets and especially wine. For on that day, in Granholm v. Heald, a case I had the honor of arguing, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws prohibiting the direct interstate sale of wine to consumers.

But six years later, Congress is considering a bill, H.R. 1161, which would overturn that ruling and allow states to restore protectionist trade barriers against wine grown outside their state line. Not only would this bill hurt Arizona’s budding wine industry, it would reduce wine choices to consumers all across America.

As you may recall from high school civics class, one of the principal arguments in creating the U.S. Constitution was its creation of an open national market, putting an end to state trade barriers. The Constitution allows states to enact protectionist barriers only when Congress expressly authorizes such action – as it did in the area of health insurance, which has had disastrous implications for cost, choice, and interstate competition.

H.R. 1161 is being billed in some circles as “states’ rights” – which it is only in the sense of allowing states to engage in the type of destructive, anti-competitive activity that helped lead to the Constitution in the first place.

In fact, the bill is all about protectionism, which explains why its co-sponsors include Reps. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and John Dingell (D-MI), two Congressmen who aren’t known for their warmth toward free markets, much less states’ rights. The bill’s principal backer is the multi-billion-dollar liquor wholesaler industry, which makes enormous monopoly profits by controlling wine distribution. The Granholm decision opened the interstate wine markets a bit – to the benefit of winemakers and consumers – but the liquor distributors want to close them again.

America’s economic structure is based in large measure on open trade among the 50 states – to which H.R. 1161 presents a serious threat. While the bill has over 100 sponsors, so far among the Arizona delegation, only Rep. David Schweikert (R) has signed on, and perhaps he will reconsider. This bill would return us to the dark times when a government-sanctioned monopoly industry, rather than consumers, dictated the wines we could enjoy.

Clint Bolick is director of the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Trading Grapes: The Case for Direct Wine Shipments in Arizona

Goldwater Institute: Federalism doesn’t include blocking open trade among states

Wine Spectator: An End to Wine Direct Shipping?

Free the Grapes: To Ensure Consumer Choice in Fine Wine

Rep. Schweikert in YouTube Town Hall: “Fair Trade Is Anything But Fair”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 26, 2011
CONTACT: Rachel Semmel

Washington, D.C. – Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) today announced his participation in YouTube’s latest town hall. The questions, submitted by a YouTube audience, are answered by Members of Congress in both Houses and of each party. Viewers are encouraged to vote for the response they most agree with. In this town hall, Schweikert discusses the myth of fair trade.