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Posts Tagged ‘Americans for Prosperity’

Americans for Prosperity has a letter from several national conservative leaders on the Democrats’ and Obama’s “bailout budget”.

National Conservative Leaders Speak Out on Obama’s “Bailout Budget”

A message from the following conservative leaders, representing the broader conservative movement:

Edwin Meese, former Attorney General
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform
David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union
Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity
David McIntosh, former U.S. Representative from Indiana
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America
Alfred S. Regnery, publisher of The American Spectator

Obama’s Bailout Budget will Bankrupt Americans as it bails out government and special interests, adding $10,000 per family per year to the national debt for the next ten years.

The unprecedented massive spending in the budget proposed by President Barack Obama is simply a bailout for government and special interests. The National Energy Tax and other tax hikes take resources out of the hands of struggling working Americans to finance this bailout. In order to pay for this spending spree, the government will cause irresponsible increases in the deficit, bankrupt the country, and place crushing financial burdens on future generations.

• The president claims that Republicans with “short memories” caused the current debt problems, but in reality he plans to quadruple George W. Bush’s single largest deficit — the record-breaking 2008 deficit — in his first year. The proposed budget will add nearly $1,000,000,000,000 to the national debt every year for the next 10 years, or about $10,000 per family per year.

• The president’s spending measures are too much even for the freewheeling Senate Democrats, 12 of whom declared in a letter to the Budget Committee that “the deficits projected by CBO are simply not acceptable.”

• The Administration raises revenue for this orgy of spending through a series of new taxes, including a National Energy Tax which will impose a “light switch” tax of $3,128 a year on every American household – the same Americans whose taxes Obama promised to cut in the 2008 presidential campaign.

The Obama Administration is happy to present the middle class with the bill for a massive spending program designed to cover the government’s past irresponsibility and benefit key Democratic constituencies. While the President always focuses his rhetoric on the “failed” ideas of the Bush Administration, he doubles down on the exact kind of fiscal irresponsibility that led to the current downturn.

George Bush set records with a onerous deficit that surpassed $400,000,000,000, but Obama easily outdoes him in bankrupting the country with an initial planned deficit of $1,850,000,000,000 — roughly $6100 per man, woman, and child in the nation. Every budget through the next decade calls for deficits double Bush’s biggest deficit. This massive bout of overspending will finance Obama’s wildly expensive pet projects, but at tremendous costs to future generations.

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Americans for Prosperity has an article describing how it looks like America will be “cartelized” by the Obama Administration.

Instead of a full frontal attack on the economy and health care, the Administration will slowly piecemeal the legislation into being and couple it with big business.  This way they can avoid a head on confrontation by Republicans and “concerned citizens” by making it more palletable and getting the more liberal-leaning Republicans on their side.  It will be a Government+big business solution that will effectively eliminate the smaller entities and eventually force everyone into the Government-controlled system with the appearance of a private entity.

None Dare Call It Healthcare Fascism

by Lawrence A. Hunter, Ph.D.
AFP Senior Fellow

A WSJ article by American Enterprise Institute scholar Peter Wallison today illustrates how America is being cartelized by big government — none dare call it Fascism –so call it Corporatism. Wallison describes how in the process of creating a new “Systemic Risk Regulator” to prevent future financial-system meltdowns the federal government will create a whole host of new, implicitly government-backed financial institutions (similar to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), namely those designated “systemically significant,” i.e., too big to fail. Wallison sums up the consequences:

“Financial institutions that are not large enough to be designated as systemically significant will gradually lose out in the marketplace to the larger companies that are perceived to have government backing, just as Fannie and Freddie were able to drive banks and others from the secondary market for prime middle-class mortgages. A small group of government-backed financial institutions will thus come to dominate all sectors of finance in the U.S. And when that happens they shall be called by a special name: winners.”

While Barney Frank and Co. are busy cartelizing the financial services sector, Senator Kennedy and President Obama are working quietly behind the scenes to also cartelize the healthcare sector with it’s healthcare reform scheme. Americans convincingly snubbed a single-payer, government-operated national healthcare system more than a decade ago when it rejected Hillarycare. Obama and Company have learned from that experience and are planning to co-opt Republicans and conservatives opposed to a single-payer system by cartelizing the private health insurance industry. They will call it a “public-private partnership;” it will really be healthcare run by agents of the state — it really is called fascism.

Not only will the new healthcare system likely impose a “play-or-pay” mandate on individuals (join the nationalized healthcare or pay a tax/fine), it also will impose government play-by-our-rules controls on any insurance plan that participates. The effect of these controls will be to drive all but the largest health insurance companies from the field. When it’s all said and done, Obamacare will leave Americans imprisoned in a system that has all the appearance of a private system with choices but in practice will be a nationalized system out-sourced to a few select healthcare giants. None dare call it healthcare fascism but that’s what it will be.

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Americans for Prosperity has an article on the upcoming taxes we will be experiencing as well as a table to provide some perspective.

Obama’s High Tax Budget

The Obama 2010 budget contains $1.96 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years, while cutting taxes only $614 billion, for a total net tax hike of $1.35 trillion. The budget overstates the amount of tax relief at $940 billion by including the “refundable” portion of certain provisions, which amount to $326 billion worth of “refund” checks sent to people who pay no taxes, which the budget itself admits is spending in a footnote. The real number for tax relief is just $614 billion. This budget raises taxes an astonishing $1.35 trillion to fund an unprecedented expansion in government.

Cap-and-trade

The Obama budget proposes the largest excise tax in history—in disguise—the cap-and-trade energy tax. Speaking to The San Francisco Chronicle last year, Obama said: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket… they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

An analysis commissioned by the American Council on Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers projected the economic impact of last year’s bill by 2030: 3 to 4 million fewer jobs, $4,022 to $6,752 in lower annual disposable income per household, an annual hit to GDP of between $631 billion and $669 billion, and much higher energy prices — 60 percent to 144 percent higher for gasoline and 77 percent to 129 percent higher for electricity.

The supposed making-work-pay “tax cut” of $400 per worker is supposed to offset the costs of cap-and-trade, but according to the Obama budget, fully $325 billion of the plan’s $770 billion, or 42 percent, would consist of checks sent to people who pay no income tax. That’s welfare, not a tax cut. And it’s far smaller than the cost of the cap-and-trade energy tax.

Income tax hikes

The Obama budget also hikes the top income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 35 percent and takes the 33 percent rate to 36 percent. The budget estimates these hikes total $339 billion taken out of the economy and turned over to government. It also raises the capital gains and dividends taxes for these taxpayers to 20 percent from 15 percent, another $116 billion tax hike.

The budget would also whack higher-income earners by reducing the value of all deductions—mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state-and-local income taxes, etc.—for all taxpayers above the 28 percent bracket. That’s above $171,550 for singles and $208,850 for married filing jointly.

This provision and a provision phasing out the personal exemption take the grand total of tax hikes for high income earners up to an astonishing $953 billion.

You might not make enough money to be directly affected, but that doesn’t mean these hikes won’t hit you. These tax hikes fall directly on small businesses, the vast majority of which are not corporations, but partnerships, proprietorships, and LLCs who pay their taxes on individual income tax forms. Higher taxes on businesses will mean lost jobs, lower wages, and higher prices. This includes, by some estimates, 90 percent of the profits from partnerships and subchapter S corporations and 40 percent of the profits from sole proprietorships.

Death tax

The Obama budget brings back the death tax, currently scheduled for total repeal in 2010—at a confiscatory 45 percent top rate. This is hidden in a footnote in the Obama budget, not included in the policy proposals, or the $1.35 trillion price tag.

Spending and debt

The budget shows spending as a percentage of the economy reaching the historic level of 27.7 percent this year. The deficit as a percent of the economy is scheduled to reach a level unseen at any time in our nation’s history outside of the four peak years of World War II. The biggest difference is that war effort was funded primarily from domestic savings, whereas the current deficit is mostly borrowing from foreign governments. It is now an open question how long this level of borrowing will be sustainable, and the Federal Reserve stands ready to step in and buy Treasuries directly, monetizing this record debt and triggering inflation.

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Americans for Prosperity is reporting on a New York Times article stating that California Democratic Representative Maxine Waters helped to funnel funds from TARP to OneUnited, a California bank where her husband served on the board and owns $250k in bank stock.

Americans for Prosperity Outraged by Rep. Waters’ Misuse of Taxpayer Dollars to Further Personal Agenda

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 12, 2009

Contact: Mary Ellen Burke, (202) 349-5880

Americans for Prosperity Outraged by Rep. Waters’ Misuse of Taxpayer Dollars to Further Personal Agenda

WASHINGTON- Today, NYTimes.com reported that Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, used her political influence to pressure U. S. Treasury officials to grant $50 million in bank bailout funds to OneUnited—a bank for which her husband served on the Board of Directors and owned at least $250,000 worth of stock in the institution.

As a result, OneUnited received a cash infusion of $12 million last December through the Treasury’s bank bailout effort, the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

In regards to Rep. Waters’ personal connection to the funding, Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity released the following statement:

“Rep. Maxine Waters allegedly steering funds to her husband’s bank is an example of the kind of abuse you get with massive government bailouts of industries. When trillions of dollars are being spent with little accountability, it’s far too easy for millions to be abused for political purposes. We need a return to real fiscal discipline and an end to the wasteful and abusive spending of our children’s future.”

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

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Americans for Prosperity has a very good article that describes how States that force unionization do poorer than right-to-work States.  Statistics are included.

Right to Work and Productivity: The Numbers

Americans for Prosperity believes in defending workers’ right to a secret ballot. However, union organizers and liberals want to take this right away. This would make it easier for union bosses to pressure workers into joining unions. Their contention is that unions make states and workers more prosperous.

Are they right? Let’s take a look at the issue and some data.

An article by Robert Reich, President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor, discusses two key points through which to view liberals intentions on this issue.

1) The only way to get the economy back on track is to boost the purchasing power of the middle class by expanding unions so workers get higher wages.

2) Create a Utopian view of life in 1955 (1/3 of workers belonged to unions and wages were high) and says now because less that 8 percent of the private sector is union, wages are low & impossible to form unions.

Conservative Perspective on Forced Unionization:
* It is a myth that government can make people rich by propping up wages. If you force wages to be artificially high you are going to force companies out of business.
* You will also make other people unemployed.
* You price people out of the labor market.
* These are the policies that extended the Great Depression.
* People today understand that unions aren’t beneficial.
* It would be great to see unions work with companies to make them better and more profitable—they offer no value and shouldn’t be able to force people to join.
* They should find a way to appeal to workers where they would actually want to join.
* Powerful union makes it hard to fire employees and discourage businesses from investing.
* Union companies have to invest in more equipment to get more out of each worker since wages are so high.
* Productivity growth has actually been slightly HIGHER in the right-to-work states on average than the union shop states, showing that the workplace restrictions imposed by unions may be counterproductive.

Right-to-work States Outperform,1997-2007

Productivity Growth Job Growth Economic Growth
Right-to-work 18.6% 17.6% 41.6%
Union shop 17.3% 8.9% 33.5%

Private Sector, Real chained 200 dollars.
Sources: GDP by state from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and state employment from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The following chart compares economic growth in the ten states with the greatest percentage of the private sector workforce in unions to the ten states with the lowest percentage

The ten most heavily unionized states saw 29.2% job growth and a 45.3% increase in GDP. The ten states with the lowest union concentration had substantially better economic performance: a 36% increase in private sector jobs and a 69.9% increase in GDP.

States that have allowed this freedom experienced tremendous growth as business move their operations to states that promote a friendly business environment.

Right to work states have had more than double the population growth of union shop states since 1990. The right to work states saw, on average, a 65.5% increase in GDP over the 16 year period while states with union shops laws only experienced an average of a 45% increase. The wages of workers in right to work states rose an average of 23% in right to work states while in union shop states average wages only rose 15%.

III. Research that EFCA is bad for business

Top line summary of the research: Studies have found that:

1) Real GDP was depressed by about $3.5 trillion dollars from 1947 to 2000 due to unions. If you added the decrease in real wages paid to employees, the total impact rises to more than $50 trillion.

2) From 2001 to 2006, the economies of states where unionizing is more difficult outperformed more than union-friendly states in total economic growth, job growth, gross state product, and per-capita disposable income.

* One study found that union-produced “deadweight” loss to the US economy of 0.91% of GDP in 1980 and 0.34% of GDP in 2000 (noting that the effect on GDP declined as union membership declined).

* The study also found a shortfall in real GDP of about $3.5 trillion dollars from 1947 to 2000 due to unions. If you added the decrease in real wages paid to employees as a result of unions to the impact on the country’s GDP, the total impact of unions for the period 1947 to 2000 exceeded $50 trillion.

[source: Richard K. Vedder, Ph.D. & Lowell E. Gallaway, Ph.D., “Do Unions Help the Economy? The Economic Effects of Labor Unions Revisited,” National Legal and Policy Center and The John M. Olin Institute for Employment Practice and Policy (2002), ]

* The Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy – using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis – compared union-heavy Michigan to less unionized states with right-to-work laws. The report found that:

– Michigans average annual growth in real gross state product (the market value of all goods and services produced in a state) was only 1.8 percent from 1977 to 1999. Right-to-work states, with much lower levels of unionization, saw their real gross state product growth rate almost double Michigans rate at 3.4 percent.

– Michigans average annual employment growth was only 1.5 percent from 1970 to 2000, whereas right-to-work states grew by 2.9 percent.

– Michigans manufacturing growth actually declined during this time period by 0.3 percent whereas right-to-work states saw an increase in manufacturing job growth by 1.5 percent.

– The overall poverty rate for right-to-work states dropped by 6.7 percent from 1969 to 2000, while Michigans poverty rate increased by 0.6 percent.

Low State Unemployment Rates / Dec 2008: Preliminary Figures

U.S. National Average¦ 7.2

State Rate Right To Work (see list below)

Wyoming …….. 3.4 Right To Work
North Dakota …. 3.5 Right To Work
South Dakota 3.9 Right To Work
Nebraska …… 4.0 Right To Work
Utah ……………..4.3 Right To Work
Iowa ……………..4.6 Right To Work
New Hampshire 4.6
New Mexico 4.9
Oklahoma ……… 4.9 Right To Work
West Virginia ……4.9
Kansas ………….. 5.2 Right To Work
Montana ………… 5.4
Virginia ……………5.4 Right To Work
Hawaii …………….5.5
Maryland …………5.8
Louisiana ………… 5.9 Right To Work
Texas …………….. 6.0 Right To Work
Colorado 6.1
Arkansas 6.2 Right To Work
Delaware 6.2
Wisconsin 6.2
Vermont 6.4
Idaho 6.4 Right To Work
Alabama 6.7 Right To Work
Pennsylvania 6.7
Arizona 6.9 Right To Work
Massachusetts 6.9
Minnesota 6.9
Maine 7.0
New York 7.0
Connecticut 7.1
New Jersey 7.1
Washington 7.1

(source: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 01/27/09; Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics;
http://www.bls.gov/lau/)

Right to work states

* According to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, there are 22 “right to work” states:

Of the 22 “right to work” states, 15 had unemployment rates below the national average in December 2008; 7 had unemployment rates higher than the December national average

1. Alabama
2. Arizona
3. Arkansas
4. Florida 8.1 (December Unemployment Rate)
5. Georgia 8.1 (December Unemployment Rate)
6. Idaho
7. Iowa
8. Kansas
9. Louisiana
10. Mississippi 8.0 (December Unemployment Rate
11. Nebraska
12. Nevada 9.1 (December Unemployment Rate)
13. North Carolina 8.7 (December Unemployment Rate)
14. North Dakota
15. Oklahoma
16. South Carolina 9.5 (December Unemployment Rate)
17. South Dakota
18. Tennessee 7.9 (December Unemployment Rate)
19. Texas
20. Utah
21. Virginia
22. Wyoming.

[source: National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, “Employees in Right to Work States,” http://www.nrtw.org/d/rtwempl.htm – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, established in 1968, is a “nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by abuses of compulsory unionism.”]

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CNSNews is now reporting that Facebook has reversed its decision and apologizes for removing the NoStimulus.com ad established by Americans for Prosperity.  The organization says it will not put the ad back saying that they are going to focus on large outlets like FOX and Drudge since the bill is expected to be signed soon.

Facebook Says It Erred in Removing Conservative Group’s Anti-Stimulus Petition

Thursday, February 12, 2009
By Edwin Mora and Pete Winn

(CNSNews.com) – Facebook has done an about face. The Internet social networking site told CNSNews.com that it made a mistake when it took down an ad for “NoStimulus.com” — a Web site sponsored by a conservative nonprofit group that is running a petition campaign in opposition to the stimulus bill under consideration in Congress.

“As part of our efforts to remove other ads with misleading offers related to the stimulus package, we erroneously removed the ad in question,” Facebook corporate spokesman Matt Hicks told CNSNews.com in an e-mail. “We have since restored that ad. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

The petition says: “Congress should not enact an expensive spending bill under the pretense of stimulus or recovery.  We cannot spend our way to prosperity, and such an expansion of the federal government will put a crushing burden on taxpayers in the long-term.”

CNSNews.com reported earlier that Americans for Prosperity, which sponsored “NoStimulus.com” and its petition to stop the stimulus bill, said it has been told by Facebook that the ad violated Facebook’s rules governing advertising.

Facebook told CNSNews.com yesterday, however, that the ad had been removed because of “user complaints.”

“At Facebook, we strive to create a trusted environment for our users and advertisers,” Facebook spokeswoman Erin Zietler said in an e-mail on Wednesday, Feb. 11. “We encourage users to report any advertisements they find offensive or misleading, and we offer the ability for them to provide immediate feedback on our ads. We have a team dedicated to investigating ads and user complaints.

“In this case, users informed us about misleading offers in many ads with promotions related to the U.S. economic stimulus package,” the spokeswoman said. “We are in the process of removing ads with these types of misleading offers as they are brought to our attention.”

Phil Kerpen, national policy director for Americans for Prosperity said he believed Facebook changed course because of CNSNews.com’s report on the removal of the ad.

“We’re really pleased to see the powerful and solid journalism, and that your story got them to stop doing something that really was indefensible that they thought they could get a way with just because nobody was paying attention,” Kerpen said.

“They were wrong, we didn’t violate their rules, they were capricious in trying to enforce their rules in the first place, and they did the right thing,” Kerpen added. “I think it’s a great victory.”

Ironically, Kepren said his group has decided not to put the ad back up on Facebook.

“We’ve only got a day or two left before they vote on the stimulus bill, and any of the ad dollars we have left at this point we’d rather put toward Drudge or Fox, where we’re getting better ‘clicks’ than we were with the Facebook ad,” Kerpen said.

“But we’re glad, as a matter of political speech that we can make that decision and we’re glad that we have the right to do that without someone taking them down.”

Kerpen said his group has no intention of holding a grudge, and they may purchase ads on Facebook in the future.

“If we can get a good result there and drive people–they offer great targeting and that’s valuable for the things that we do–we’d go back,” Kerpen said.

Related Posts: No Stimulus!

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