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.

Americans for Prosperity-Arizona Releases Two New Ads in AZ01 & AZ02

The Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity released the following two ads in Arizona:

Special Interests Bullying Innovative Competitors

It’s always bad when an entrenched, politically-connected special interest tries to use force to bully innovative competitors and drive them out of the marketplace.  It’s even worse when those same special interests blatantly lie to do so.

InnovationThe rideshare industry in Arizona is innovative, uses new and impressive technology, and provides customers with a new – and cheaper – method of transportation.  HB 2262 would provide a proper and fair regulatory structure for ridesharing companies and prevent government interference from crippling these innovative job creators with regulations that do not fit the services they provide.

However, opponents of this bill have resorted to lies and deception to ensure their politically-connected monopoly continues.  They have spent countless time spreading the falsehood that rideshare company drivers are not properly insured and are dangerous – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Drivers for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are more insured and more heavily vetted than the cab drivers you see on the streets of Phoenix – by far.  Grassroots activists cannot allow an innovative job creator to be forced out of existence through lies and intimidation.

Please contact the following members of the Arizona Legislature and let them know the conservative grassroots believes we should be encouraging innovators who create jobs and economic prosperity in Arizona!

The rideshare industry in Arizona is innovative, uses new and impressive technology, and provides customers with a new – and cheaper – method of transportation.  HB 2262 would provide a proper and fair regulatory structure for ridesharing companies and prevent government interference from crippling these innovative job creators with regulations that do not fit the services they provide.

However, opponents of this bill have resorted to lies and deception to ensure their politically-connected monopoly continues.  They have spent countless time spreading the falsehood that rideshare company drivers are not properly insured and are dangerous – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

UberLyftDrivers for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are more insured and more heavily vetted than the cab drivers you see on the streets of Phoenix – by far.  Grassroots activists cannot allow an innovative job creator to be forced out of existence through lies and intimidation.

Please contact the following members of the Arizona Legislature and let them know the conservative grassroots believes we should be encouraging innovators who create jobs and economic prosperity in Arizona!

Then, please click HERE to ask your senator and representatives to pass this legislation and send it up to the Governor’s desk!

If you would like to engage on the rest of AFP-Arizona’s priority agenda, please go to our main ACTION PAGE to learn how you can help on all the individual issues we are working on.

Help us keep up the fight!

I hope you’ll continue to stand with us as we fight for the interests of Arizona taxpayers, consumers and producers!

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity: Congress and the President are shortening the fuse

By Christine Harbin Hanson and Tom Jenney

Imagine paying an extra $15,000 a year in taxes. For 50 working years.

That is the burden Washington is placing on our children and grandchildren.

America’s unfunded government liabilities over the next 75 years are between $100 trillion and $200 trillion, depending on how you crunch the numbers. Those are the spending promises our politicians have made through Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and other federal programs, including “Obamacare.”

According to realistic estimates by the Congressional Budget ­Office, the unfunded liabilities in Medicare alone are $89 trillion.

Let’s take a midway total liability estimate of $150 trillion. If we divide by the 90 million children in this country who are under the age of 18 (and who did not vote for the politicians who made the spending promises), it comes to more than $1.5 million per child over their lifetimes — above and beyond what they are currently scheduled to pay in taxes.

Over a 50-year working lifetime, that’s $30,000 a year. Lucky for them, financial markets will put some of that burden on those of us who are currently working adults. But if they absorb half of the burden, that would be an average of $15,000 a year in extra taxes per child or grandchild.

Of course, any attempt to actually collect that much extra revenue from American workers or their employers would create massive, long-term structural unemployment and destroy economic growth by causing even more capital and jobs to move overseas.

Unfortunately, Congress and the president are doing nothing to defuse America’s gigantic bankruptcy bomb; instead, they are shortening the fuse.

These past few months were a critical time for conservative members of Congress to stand firm behind their promises to get runaway government spending under control. Congress considered two of the biggest spending bills of the year, the Ryan-Murray budget deal and the farm bill ­conference report.

The first disappointing vote was on the budget resolution in October. Crafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray, the deal boosted discretionary spending to a whopping $1 trillion a year for each of the next two years. Worse, the plan shattered previously agreed-upon spending caps for fiscal year 2014 by $45 billion — an alarming increase and a broken promise.

The deal also further nickel-and-dimed American families by hiking airline ticket taxes and making changes to military pensions.

Most alarming is the fact that the Ryan-Murray deal traded higher spending now in exchange for the promise of $28 billion in cuts in 2022 and 2023. American taxpayers deserve spending cuts now, not promises to cut spending in the future.

The second vote was the farm bill conference report in February. This legislation authorized $1 trillion in spending over the next decade. Passed under the false guise of helping small farmers, the bill expanded a number of corporate welfare programs such as crop insurance, massive taxpayer subsidies and revenue guarantees for politically connected farmers.

It also neglected to make any meaningful reforms to ballooning food-stamp spending, which has more than doubled since President Obama took office and is rife with abuse.

Americans for Prosperity urged legislators to vote against both bills, and we will include these votes in our next congressional scorecard.

We are grateful to report that a number of Arizona’s legislators stood up for American taxpayers and voted against both of these bloated bills. House members who voted the right way included Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert.

On the Senate side, Jeff Flake also voted correctly. AFP applauds these members for standing up against more government handouts and higher spending.

A number of Democratic legislators voted against the bills, but for much different reasons. Some Democrats overwhelmingly felt that the budget resolution and the farm bill conference report didn’t spend enough.

Worse, a disappointing number of Republican legislators cast a “yes” vote for both the Ryan-Murray budget deal and the farm bill conference report, signaling their support of higher federal spending. Remember: This is the party that claims to support controlling spending and limiting the size of government.

Meanwhile, the fuse continues to burn on America’s bankruptcy bomb.

Americans for Prosperity is committed to defusing that bomb and securing a bright fiscal future for our children and grandchildren.

Tom Jenney is director of Americans for Prosperity’s Arizona chapter. Christine Harbin Hanson is federal issues campaign manager for Americans for Prosperity. More information: www.americansforprosperity.org.

Americans for Prosperity – Arizona: Legislative Action for Week of February 3

Americans for Prosperity-Arizona

The week of February 3, three of AFP-Arizona’s key bills will be in committee. Please use the information and links below to take action TODAY.

HB 2260 — The Small Business Bill of Rights

HB 2260, sponsored by Rep. Tom Forese, will be heard by the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday, February 5 at 10:00 am. It would create a list of protections for all business owners and require regulatory enforcement agencies to publicize them.  (Thanks to NFIB-Arizona for pushing for this important bill!)  We need to protect Arizona job creators from government regulatory assault, so please take the following two actions today:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Commerce Committee,
and ask them to support HB 2260, the Small Business Bill of Rights.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HB 2260, the Small Business Bill of Rights, when it comes to a floor vote.

HB 2508 — Criminal Background Checks for ObamaCare Navigators

HB 2508, sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas, will be heard by the House Insurance and Retirement Committee on Tuesday, February 4 at 2:00 pm. It would regulate ObamaCare insurance exchange Navigators, by requiring them to undergo criminal background checks and by instituting other privacy protections. These Navigators will have access to very sensitive personal health and financial information of citizens — and many citizens are essentially being forced by ObamaCare to go into the exchanges. Please take the following two actions today:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Insurance and Retirement Committee, and ask them to support HB 2508 to protect citizens’ personal health and financial information from fraudsters acting as Navigators.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HB 2508 when it comes to a floor vote.

HCR 2005 — The “Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act”

HCR 2005, sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas, will be heard by the House Reform and Human Services Committee on Thursday, February 6 at 9:00 am. The bill would put a “Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act” on the 2014 election ballot. If approved by the voters, the reform would allow drug manufacturers to provide investigational drugs, products, or devices to terminally ill patients. No individual should be denied the right to save their own life — and, with this legislation, Arizona would recognize that dying patients have a “Right to Try” treatments that have been deemed safe by the FDA but which have not been granted full FDA approval.  (Thanks to our friends at the Goldwater Institute for coming up with this great idea!)  Please take the following two actions today to support this important health care freedom reform:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Reform and Human Services Committee, and ask them to support HCR 2005 to protect the rights of terminally ill patients.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HCR 2005 when it comes to a floor vote.

And here are even more ways to take action:

1) Register in support of the bills. If you do not already have an account with the ALIS system, you will need to come down to the Capitol to set up an account at one of the several kiosks (after you sign up, you will be able to voice your opinion on bills from the comfort of your home). For help getting set up with an ALIS account, contact Bill Fathauer at bfathauer@afphq.org. A member of our legislative team will also be there in advance of the hearing to help anyone who needs to sign in.

2) Attend the committee hearings and testify in support of the bills. If you or someone you know has been personally affected by an issue being raised in committee, you can attend the hearing in person and tell your story. Requesting to speak also requires setting up an ALIS account in person if you do not already have one (see #1 above), but after that it is very easy to request to speak at any time from your home computer or a mobile device.

3) Forward this email to family members. After you’re done lobbying your legislators yourselves, please forward this email onto your friends and family — or anyone else you know — and show them how they can be a part of the process. Every new voice helps!

Thank you for all you do to help win free-market victories for the people of Arizona. I hope you’ll continue to stand with us going forward!

Leadership Institute in Arizona for Special Training Session – Tomorrow!

Here’s your chance to give the Organizing for America crowd some conservative competition in Arizona. Sign up today!

LIAFPAC

 

Event: Lobbying & Communication Training
City: Scottsdale
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time: 8:00 – 11:00 AM
Location: Scottsdale Plaza Resort
Address: 7200 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale (map)
Cost: $10.00 (includes breakfast)
RSVP link: http://LeadScottsdale.eventbrite.com

 

After Training, please join us for the 2013 Heroes of the Taxpayer Award Luncheon at the same location!

taxpayer-heroes-luncheonJoining us will be Wall Street Journal Editor, Stephen Moore!

StephenMoore

Details:

Event: 2013 Heroes of the Taxpayer Award
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Scottsdale Plaza Resort
Address: 7200 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
RSVP: http://JackalopeAward.eventbrite.com
More Details, click HERE.

 

Americans for Prosperity Launches Ads Criticizing Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s ObamaCare Support

Americans for Prosperity launched a massive television and radio ad campaign today targeting Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick over her support of  Obamacare. The $450,000 ad buy will run on both broadcast and cable in the Phoenix market and will ask viewers to tell Kirkpatrick to “exempt them too” from Obamacare.

“‘Not perfect’ not good enough for Arizonans,” says director Jenney.

PHOENIX — Americans for Prosperity-Arizona is launching radio and television ads across Arizona’s first congressional district, criticizing Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick for supporting ObamaCare.

The television ad can be seen here and will run in the first district on broadcast and cable for three weeks. It also promotes the hashtag #ExemptMeToo, referring to the special treatment received by the well-connected.

Kirkpatrick voted to enact ObamaCare in 2009 and has since admitted the law is “not perfect.”

“”Not perfect’ is a tremendous understatement, and it’s not good enough for Arizonans who are facing higher premiums and fewer health care choices,” said AFP-Arizona State Director Tom Jenney. “These ads are allowing our activists to voice their frustration over legislation that is wreaking havoc on the economy, forcing reduced hours on many in our work force, and failing to deliver sensible health care solutions.”

AFP-Arizona has been traveling the state talking to activists about the problems inherent in ObamaCare on a tour called “Sick & Sicker: Preparing for ObamaCare” with stops including Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. Americans for Prosperity has consistently opposed the legislation since its inception. Hundred of thousands of the group’s activists have already signed the Exempt Me, Too! petition at justexempt.me, asking for the same special treatment provided to Big Business, Congress and the well-connected.

Here is a copy of the ad:

Americans for Prosperity Arizona Kicks Off Healthcare Tour in Flagstaff

HCT-Flagstaff

Please join the Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity as we kick off our statewide summer tour, Preparing for Obamacare, on Wednesday, July 24th in Flagstaff!

Northern Arizona University College Republicans will host this special event on the campus of NAU at the Cline Library Assemby Hall beginning at 6 PM.

This tour stop will feature a viewing of the documentary Sick and Sicker followed by a discussion with a physician and public policy expert on Obamacare.

This is your opportunity to learn what to expect and how to prepare yourself and your family for the implementation of Obamacare.

The event is unpriced (free) and open to the public but seating is limited.

We encourage you to mark your calendar, make your reservations and bring a family member or friend to the event!

See you in Flagstaff!

Register

 

Rep. John Kavanagh: Medicaid Expansion is a Massive Takeover of Health Care in Arizona

State Representative John Kavanagh appeared on Sunday Square Off with Brahm Resnik this morning standing firm against expanding Medicaid dependency in Arizona. Thank you Representative Kavanagh for standing for health care freedom, doctor-patient relationships and protecting Arizona taxpayers!

STOP Medicaid Expansion in Arizona!

Americans for Prosperity - Arizona

IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT!

To all Arizona Taxpayers and Health Care Consumers,

First, please register now for AFP-Arizona’s debate on the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, which will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, February 21 at the Goldwater Institute. To register, send an email here (For more info about the debate, scroll down.)

Gov. Jan Brewer and powerful lobbyists are pushing Arizona to impose statewide taxes, including a hospital bed tax, to fund an expansion of Medicaid (AHCCCS) under ObamaCare. It is vitally important for Arizona to stop the proposed Medicaid expansion, because the human and fiscal costs of that expansion would be enormous. TAKE ACTION NOW.

The most important issue in the Medicaid expansion is the human cost. If Arizona were to expand Medicaid, it would railroad at least 250,000 Arizonans into a low-quality, government-managed health insurance system. Medicaid patients not only have worse medical outcomes than patients with private insurance, but often have worse medical outcomes than low-income persons without insurance — even when they have the same medical conditions. Please go to http://tinyurl.com/gottliebwsj to learn more about this important issue.

But the proponents of the expansion are also trying to do an end-run around Prop 108, the most important taxpayer protection ever passed by Arizona voters. Thanks to Prop 108, the Arizona Constitution requires a two-thirds majority of the Legislature to raise taxes. But Medicaid expansion proponents want to allow unelected bureaucrats at AHCCCS to raise state taxes (mainly hospital bed taxes) by $369 million over the next three years — without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature! If Legislators use a simple majority to delegate to bureaucrats the authority to impose gigantic taxes on hospital patients, they will kill Prop 108 and destroy its protections for Arizona taxpayers. If that happens, we will blame those Legislators — not the lawyers and judges who help them carve out a gigantic loophole in Prop 108.

Gov. Brewer told Arizonans to “do the math” on the Medicaid expansion. With all due respect, she should do the same. According to Brewer’s projections, the Arizona Medicaid expansion would cause the (already bankrupt) federal government to spend $3.6 billion over the next three years alone. The people who will pay those taxes include most of the people of Arizona and — thanks to the federal debt — our children and grandchildren.

The current JLBC projection of $325 million per year in tax increases in 2016 (as bad as that is!) hides the actual future cost of the proposed taxes. By 2019, Arizona will have to pick up at least 10 percent of the cost of the expansion, which will be hundreds of millions of additional dollars annually. And the Obama Administration has already proposed several times to shift additional costs of the expansion to the States.

TAKE ACTION!

Please use this link to send a quick and easy email to your Legislators, asking them to resist the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion. At the very least, even if they are tempted to engage in short-term thinking and take a bunch of “free” money from Washington, legislators should comply with the voter-imposed constitutional requirement to raise taxes with a two-thirds majority.   

REGISTER FOR THE DEBATE!

Please register now for AFP-Arizona’s debate on the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, which will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, February 21 at the Goldwater Institute.

At the event, Michael Cannon of  the Cato Institute, Goldwater Institute health care policy analyst Christina Corieri, and Phoenix surgeon Jeff  Singer will take on any three pro-expansion advocates who want to debate these issues publicly. We have extended the invitation to debate to the Brewer Administration, to Brewer advisers Chuck Coughlin and Peter Burns, AHCCCS director Tom Betlach, Democratic Legislators, and members of the hospital and insurance lobbies. All concerned citizens who wish to attend the debate should RSVP here.

LEARN MORE!

For more about the problems with the proposed Medicaid expansion, read AFP-Arizona’s line-by-line refutation of Gov. Brewer’s pro-expansion arguments in her January 14 speech.

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director, Americans for Prosperity