Press Release of the National Taxpayers' Union


Taxpayer Group Issues "Comparison-Report Card" on Senate Commerce Committee Tax Bill; Senate Bill Earns "F" and is "Strikingly Similar" to 1993 Clinton Tax Hike



Wednesday, May 20, 1998
Contact: John Berthoud (703) 683-5700


(Washington, DC) - The 300,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) today issued a "Comparison-Report Card" of the pending Senate Commerce Committee tobacco tax legislation that showed the measure to be "strikingly similar" to the 1993 tax hike engineered by President Bill Clinton. The group concluded that "from the American taxpayers' point of view, both pieces of legislation earn an "F."

"It is ironic that Republicans who so sharply denounced the big-government tax hike in 1993 that was done in the name of children are leading the charge for exactly the same thing today," observed NTU President John Berthoud. "The remarkable resemblance of this Republican-led tax hike to the 1993 tax increase of Democrat Bill Clinton gives credence to the claims that there is often not much of a difference between the two parties in Washington."

The NTU analysis was in response to issuance of a "report card" by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on the pending Commerce Committee legislation.

Berthoud noted that the similarities between the two pieces of legislation are striking. "Both bills are done in the name of kids, both raise hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on politically-unpopular groups, both increase the size and scope of Washington bureaucracy." NTU noted that for taxpayers, the 1993 legislation was superior in one respect -- much of the new tax money went to deficit reduction, whereas today the money is going simply to fuel bigger government.

"If Washington politicians want to ëdo somethingí about youth smoking, the proper venue is through enforcing and perhaps expanding laws designed to keep cigarettes out of the hands of children. The answer to the problem most definitely is not hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes to feed hungry Washington bureaucracies,î Berthoud concluded.

National Taxpayers Union is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1969 that works for lower taxes, less wasteful spending, and accountable government at all levels. Note: the NTU "Comparison-Report Card" is available at NTU's web site ( or by calling NTU (703-683-5700).

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