masthead-highres

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tom and Deneen Borelli Discuss Tea Parties on G. Gordon Liddy Show


Tom Borelli, director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project, and Deneen Borelli, full-time fellow of the Project 21 African-American leadership network Project 21, discussed the 700-900 Tax Day Tea Parties across the national, taxation, ObamaCare, and cap-and-trade on G. Gordon Liddy's national radio program on April 15.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:17 PM

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie Speaks at New Jersey Tea Party Rally


The Morristown Daily Record produced a video about the Morristown, NJ Tax Day Tea Party on April 15. At about 1:40 into the video, it covers part of the speech delivered there by Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:25 PM

Friday, April 16, 2010

Project 21's Deneen Borelli Calls on President Obama to Attend a Tea Party Rally



While being interviewed on the Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends show April 16, Project 21's Deneen Borelli responded to President Obama's complaint that Tea Party goers really should "thank" him by calling on the President to attend a Tea Party rally and talk to rally participants in order to "really hear what is going on" in terms of public concerns and discontent.

Addendum: Always whining about something, Media Matters for America is complaining that Deneen is wrong because, to quote the Media Matters website, "the recovery act contained $288 billion in tax relief." Media Matters is pretending it doesn't understand the concept of "net," that is, if the President promotes a tiny tax cut and larger tax increases, he really ought not claim the mantle of "tax cutter."

The Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl notes that President Obama's latest budget raises taxes by $3 trillion. The President raised tobacco taxes, which disproportionately fall upon lower income individuals. ObamaCare contains massive tax increases. Cap-and-trade, which the President ardently supports, would raise taxes still further, probably by trillions if not quickly repealed (admittedly, through a regulatory apparatus, but the money is lifted from taxpayers just as thoroughly).

Note: I fixed an incorrect link to Media Matters. I apologize for any inconvenience.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:10 AM

**UPDATED** Video: Free Enterprise Project Director Tom Borelli Speaks at Washington DC Tax Day Tea Party Rally



Here's a video of Dr. Tom Borelli, director of our Free Enterprise Project, speaking at the Washington, D.C. Tax Day Tea Party (April 15, 2010).

Correction/apology: I originally posted the wrong video. This mistake has been corrected. I apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:32 AM

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Video of Deneen Borelli Speech at DC Tax Day Tea Party


Note to Deneen fans: Deneen will be a guest Friday morning at 6 AM Eastern on the Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends show, discussing the Tea Party rally.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:47 PM

Another Tax Day Tea Party Snapshot

National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Director David Almasi standing to the right (at least, from this angle) of his wife, Nancy, at the FreedomWorks Tax Day Tea Party in Washington, D.C.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:18 PM

Black Conservative Deneen Borelli Addresses DC Tea Party

Like her husband Tom, Project 21 full-time fellow Deneen Borelli made it to the big screen at the FreedomWorks-sponsored DC Tax Day Tea Party tonight.

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Based on the e-mail, certain press clips, and website comments Deneen often receives, I have no doubt there are leftists out there who will look at this picture, see Deneen chose to wear a white shirt, and consider it subliminal evidence that she sees herself as an "Oreo."

Racists believe black people are required to think the way their masters, the black and white leftists, tell them to think. All the ones I know of are leftists.

(DC Tax Day Tea Party picture by David Almasi)



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:55 PM

What Do YOU See?

Normal people look at this picture and see patriots. The left looks at this picture and sees racist reprobates.

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(DC Tax Day Tea Party picture by David Almasi)



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:08 PM

DC Tax Day Tea Party Early Pictures

The Washington, D.C. Tax Day Tea Party is just getting underway, and David Almasi is emailing me pictures to share on the blog...

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:19 PM

Tom Borelli Addresses DC Tax Day Tea Party

Our Free Enterprise Project director has made it to the big screen...

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:14 PM

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Borellis at Marlboro College - April 12

BorelliTomDeneen.jpgTom Borelli of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project and Deneen Borelli of the Project 21 black leadership network are scheduled to speak on the campus of Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont on April 12.

The Borellis have been asked to give a presentation entitled "The Tea Party Movement: Political Activism in the Economic Arena." The event is scheduled to take place on April 12 at 7:00 PM at Ragle Hall.

Directions to the campus can be found here. A further description of the event can be found here.

Tom and Deneen have been active in the tea party movement both locally and nationally. They have spoken at tea party rallies in places such as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Deneen is also scheduled to speak at the Freedomworks "Tax Day Tea Party" to be held at the Washington Monument grounds on the evening of April 15.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.


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Posted by David W. Almasi at 10:28 PM

Thursday, February 18, 2010

National Center's Tom Borelli Discusses Corporate Retreat from Cap-and-Trade on Fox Business Network's "Cavuto" This Friday

IMPORTANT UPDATE: This interview has now been cancelled.

Tom Borelli, director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project, is scheduled to appear on the Fox Business Network's "Cavuto" program on Friday, February 19 at 6:00 PM eastern.

Tom has been asked to talk about the recent defection of several corporations from the business-special interest USCAP lobby coalition. A key player in the push for the Obama Administration's cap-and-trade energy tax agenda, five businesses were reported to have abandoned their USCAP memberships this week.

Tom personally took on the leaders of many of these same corporations for their USCAP membership at past shareholder meetings.

National Center press releases on this major development in global warming politics can be found here and here.

Check your local listings for Fox Business Network on cable. Fox Business Network is available on channel 117 on Fios, channel 206 on Dish Network and channel 359 on DirecTV.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected].


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Posted by David W. Almasi at 4:29 PM

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Casualties of the Candy Wars

CarbonCreditGumMany.jpgBarbara Hollingsworth -- and Deneen Borelli -- believe Democrats will be first casualties of the White House war on candy and soda.

Barbara's thoughts are here; Deneen's here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:16 PM

Friday, January 08, 2010

Three Questions for the Congressional Leadership

MPatterson102209b.jpgAre you "open," "honest," and ethical"? These are three questions National Center for Public Policy Research Policy Analyst Matt Patterson asks the Congressional leadership in a new paper just out today.

The paper, "Bad Faith & Broken Promises: Accountability and Transparency Casualties of Health Care Debate," asks:
* Is it "honest" to hide the true cost of your legislation with budgetary gimmicks in which three years of new taxes precede the bulk of the spending, making your program seem more affordable than it really is in an artificial budgetary window?

* Is it "open" for the Congressional leadership to "secretly craft the final bill behind closed doors," far from the prying eyes of the press, the public, and the rest of Congress, or to have important procedural votes in the middle of the night, or pass critical legislation on Christmas Eve, when most sane people are blissfully distracted from the machinations on Capitol Hill?

* Is it "ethical" to buy the votes of recalcitrant members of your caucus with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in backroom deals, such as "the inclusion of $100-$300 million in added federal aid for Medicaid recipients in Louisiana, the home state of Sen. Mary Landrieu," in return for her vote, or the offer to Senator Ben Nelson of "a permanent exemption from the state share of Medicaid expansion" for his home state of Nebraska, in exchange for his vote?
"Despite promises made by Congressional leaders, they have shepherded health care legislation through Congress in a manner that is demonstrably secretive, unethical and dishonest," Matt says. "Promise after promise made by the Congressional leadership to conduct an open, bi-partisan process to reform health care has been shamelessly broken. It's really quite astounding; Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama, don't even try to pretend to hold to their many and frequent promises to conduct open and fair negotiations to reform American health care."

Matt concludes: "The question we have to ask ourselves is: Why have they done this in secret? What is it about this process that they don't want the public, the press, or even fellow members of Congress to see?"


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:19 AM

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ObamaCare - All the Hallmarks of a Scam

MPatterson102209b.jpgA couple of summers ago, I moved from New York City to Washington, D.C.

Now, finding a new home long distance can be a tedious and enervating task -- train rides to unfamiliar cities, cab rides in unfamiliar neighborhoods, lots of wasted time and money. Fortunately these days online real estate listings make the process somewhat easier; at the very least it is another resource available to the prospective renter/buyer.

But online offers pitfalls of its own. During my search, I would often inquire via email about an online ad for what seemed like a nice apartment, only to get a response along these lines:
"Dear Sir,

I am overseas, but will send you the keys for apartment as soon as you send me check."
Of course, there was always a reason why I couldn't see the apartment first; there was no one available to show it; the apartment was about to be sold and so I had to send the check right away in order to secure it, etc.

ObamaCare is me reminding more and more of these online swindles. Consider, for example, the staggered nature of the proposed Senate bill (if passed and signed into law, of course) -- new taxes starting right away in 2010, with most of the costs and benefits delayed until after 2014. The Democrats seem to be saying: "Send us your money now, then you'll get your health care."

But it's much worse than that, of course. With the real estate scammers, I had the choice to not send them my money -- and then to report them to the authorities. Congress will not ask for our money -- they will take it. And if the delivered program does not operate as advertised -- if it busts the budget, or leads to rationed care -- who do we report Congress too?

Unfortunately, thomas.gov does not come with a "flag" button for rotten or dishonest legislation.

Written by Matt Patterson, policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

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Posted by Matt Patterson at 4:16 PM

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Obama Must Nix Cap-and-Trade If He Cares About Jobs, Says Deneen Borelli on Fox

If you weren't watching the Fox News Channel at 7:15 AM Sunday morning you missed Deneen Borelli explain how cap-and-trade would lead to more unemployment, but thanks to the magic of online video, we have her interview here:


Thanks to YouTube user WebsurferguyMN for posting the video on YouTube.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:25 PM

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

David Obey's War Tax

Here's a Rush Limbaugh partial transcript from today on the subject of House Appropriations Chairman David Obey's call for a "war tax" to fund, as this stirring Congressional leader put it, "whatever we're doing in Afghanistan if we decide to go ahead" (that sound you don't hear is Osama bin Laden quaking in his boots):
RUSH: David Obey wants to raise taxes on everybody to pay for the Afghanistan war. Last night ABC's World News Tonight Jonathan Karl had an interview with him.

OBEY: If we don't pay for it, then the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every other initiative that we have to try to rebuild our own economy whether it's the president's; whether it's the Democrats in Congress, whether it's the Republicans. Ain't going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan.

RUSH: That's just not true. It's another fraudulent lie from one of the Four Corners of Deceit: Government. "Ain't gonna be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan"? We don't have any money now, you locoweed! We're $1.4 trillion in debt. I'll tell you what we should do, given what he said here. "If we don't pay for it, then the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every other initiative..." Let's pay for the Afghan war then and wipe out every damned one of these stupid, destructive initiatives. There was more. Karl said, "Talk us through exactly what you're proposing here."

OBEY: We've been told for the last year that we have to pay for every dime that the new health care reform bill will cost, and that's estimated to be about $900 billion over two years.

RUSH: Not true. It's $2 trillion!

OBEY: At the same time we're being told by people who support General McChrystal's approach to expanding the war in Afghanistan that we need to be prepared to hunker down and accept what could be a decade-long commitment in Afghanistan. If we do what has been in the papers about the size of that package, that also is about $900 billion. Except that's not being paid for. So what we're suggesting is that if we're going to pay for health care, we also ought to pay for whatever we're doing in Afghanistan if we decide to go ahead.

RUSH: We're not "paying for" anything. How can you say we're paying for it when we're $1.4 trillion in debt? It's not $900 billion, it's $2.5 trillion. The whole thing is rigged. The tax increases start three years before the payouts. That's how it's made to look like it doesn't cost anything. Deficit neutral? When's the last time anything government did did not cost more than what they projected? When's the last time a government program came in below cost? Well, Medicare Part D did, but that was Bush. And finally, "Let me ask you about your motives. Two years ago you proposed a similar tax on the war in Iraq. It was a nonstarter then. What makes you think your colleagues are going to support it now?"

OBEY: I don't know if they will, but two years ago the economy had not yet collapsed. Two years ago we didn't have a runaway deficit which we have now thanks to the collapse of that economy. And two years ago, we weren't being asked to expand another effort in Afghanistan that we're told might last ten years. We saw the progressive movement in this country back before the twenties wiped out by World War I. We saw Harry Truman's Fair Deal wiped out by Korea. We saw Lyndon Johnson's Great Society wiped out by Vietnam. I don't want to see the restructuring and reforming of our own economy wiped out because we get stuck in a ten-year war, a war that isn't paid for.

RUSH: What in the name of Sam Hill is he talking about? Lyndon Johnson's Great Society wiped out by Vietnam? It was no such thing. That's insane! Spending on the Fair Deal, the New Deal, the Rotten Deal, the Raw Deal, and the Great Society, never stopped. We're still spending on it! It's an entitlement. The Vietnam War didn't wipe out anything except the United States. It didn't wipe out any of these programs. This is what I mean, folks. They live in The Universe of Lies and Fraud. The Four Corners of Deceit are government (who you just heard from) academia, science, and media.

Rush is right (as usual! -- I'm happy to admit I've been a dittohead since being introduced to Rush -- at least, his non-KQV persona -- at the famed Howell Heflin "offshore drilling" CNP meeting circa, I think, 1988 [Rush says it was '92 or '93, but I think he's off by a few years. I believe I went home after that speech and found Rush on the dial for the first time, and had to listen to a Baltimore station if I wanted to catch all three hours of the show, because WMAL in DC only ran two hours.]).

On the war tax itself: National defense is one of the few things the federal government should be paying for, so go ahead, Rep. Obey, make us pay one -- but we'll expect you to drop most of the other taxes.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:30 PM

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hear the Borellis Speak on Cap-and-Trade at Harrisburg Tea Party Event This Saturday

Free Enterprise Project Director Tom Borelli and Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli are both featured speakers at a rally to be held in conjunction with the "March on Harrisburg, PA" on Saturday, November 14. The march and rally is sponsored by the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots.

The rally will be held on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol and is scheduled to begin at 2:30 PM eastern. Prior to the rally, people will gather in the parking lot of nearby City Island for a march across the Susquehanna River that is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM eastern.

Tom and Deneen will both speak on the economic consequences of the "cap-and-trade" energy tax proposal supported by the Obama Administration and the liberal leadership of the House and Senate in Washington. The keynote speaker will be former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.

For more information about the event, click here.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at info@nationalcen[email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.


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Posted by David W. Almasi at 5:21 PM

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Bush By Any Other Name

President Barack Obama is often likened - and clearly sees himself as spiritual successor - to presidential luminaries like Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. But he is fast on track to following the footsteps of a less celebrated predecessor - George H.W. Bush.

Candidate Bush accepted his party's nomination at the 1988 Republican National Convention with the immortal, Peggy Noonan-penned promise "Read my lips: no new taxes." When President Bush later agreed to raise taxes as part of the 1990 budget negotiations, he wrecked his re-election chances and became a one-termer.

In September, 2008, candidate Obama promised, "I can make this firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making $250,000 will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."

Oops. The health care bill the House passed on Saturday, for which Obama personally lobbied members of Congress, contains - new taxes. Lots of them. New taxes that will effect earners of all income levels, but which will especially hurt small-business owners.

Of course this bill, like all of the health care proposals recently debated by Congress, was instigated by, and created at the behest of, Barack Obama, who promised in his February joint address to Congress, "quality, affordable health care for every American." That he could promise such a bauble while simultaneously vowing not to raise our taxes "one dime" betrays either a stunning economic ignorance - or deep mendacity.

Obama has clearly studied the greats, Lincoln and F.D.R. But he should also have made an examination of the less successful presidents, like George H. W. Bush, lest he repeat their mistakes and suffer their fate in political purgatory.

Written by Matt Patterson, policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

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Posted by Matt Patterson at 1:15 AM

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quote of Note: Keep Newspapers Independent

"Newspapers are the heart of America's greatest publishing tradition - independent voices eager to expose official wrongdoing, to shine light in dark places, to speak for ordinary people. It is no exaggeration to say that newspapers were so crucial to public debate that the American Revolution might never have happened without them. From the Republic's earliest days, newspapers have been the watchdogs of the high and mighty, holding them to account, criticizing their actions, and even denigrating them, though usually with good reason. Policy decisions on wars, taxes, tariffs and debts have been routinely judged as well, and often even more harshly. John Jay, for example, who was one of the 'Publius' trio of authors of the Federalist Papers, once complained that he could travel at night by the light of his own burning effigies after signing the Jay Treaty of 1794 with Britain.

If newspapers become tax-exempt foundations, such independence will sooner or later be lost forever. The tax code bars such organizations from taking positions on legislation or endorsing candidates. Just as think tanks now are routinely threatened with loss of their tax status for getting too close to politics, so editors of every political stripe will find themselves at constant risk, forced to weigh the words of their editorials and news stories based on tax consequences rather than accuracy and merit. Even more ominously, the bill extends the offer of tax-free status to newspapers only so long as they remain 'necessary or valuable in achieving an educational purpose.' No genius is required to figure out who will define what is an appropriate educational purpose."

-Editorial, "No government bailout for newspapers," Washington Examiner, October 1, 2009


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:31 PM

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Daily Kos Wants Tea Party Participants to Forgo All Government Services, But Still Pay All Taxes

At times, activists of the superficial left write such stupid things, it is embarrassing to read them.

Such is the case with a Laura Clawson Daily Kos post Friday in which lefties are encouraged to send a faux "Socialist Free Purity Pledge" around the Internet. The gist of Clawson's message is that anyone who attended a Tea Party rally is a hypocrite if they from this point forward ever use a single thing funded by the federal government.

The post had at the time I read it 265 comments, most of which were favorable to the idea, which many of them actually thought was clever.

I ask myself, can the activist left be so uniformed as to believe that when it comes to government spending, there are only two positions possible, that of wanting the feds to spend more and grow larger, and that of wanting the feds to spend not one penny? That anyone who does not support President Obama's government-expansion plans is, ipso facto, the strictest of libertarians?

Seeing how badly the left governs when in office, I conclude "yes." Yes, they really can be this ignorant.

Which explains why the leftists in Congress and the White House think socialized medicine works and that the best way to deal with the Kremlin is from a position of slobbering, supplicating subservience.

The leftists think anyone who attended a Tea Party rally should sign a document pledging they will never use a government service again...

...but what the lefties don't put in their "Socialist Free Purity Pledge" is a pledge of their own to pass legislation offering to refund the tax dollars coercively paid by every person who might choose to sign their Purity Pledge and who sticks to it.

So selfish, these lefties. In their bitter little world, even the people who don't use any government will be forced to pay for it.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:58 AM

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What's Happening Now

Even the anecdotes are lies. (Does this White House vet anything?)

Would you support a sex tax to pay for Obama's health care reform?

When a health care system has other priorities: "We were told to wrap him in a blanket and let him die."

How the poor cheat the IRS.

Scott Johnson: Who is lower, ACORN or the New York Times?

538: Baucus compromise draws enthusiastic support of Senator Max Baucus.

Obama Treasury Department admits: Cap-and-trade a huge energy tax.

This time, it's caribou: The left is trying to regulate energy using the Endangered Species Act again.

David Harsanyi: Conservatives have never opposed a president before. (So it must be racism.)

Congratulations to Mark Levin. (I'm one of the million.)


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:46 AM

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's Happening Now

Final words from 9-11. Don't forget.

Iran, Libya and Obama's inexperience.

An American experiences the NHS.

Government Electric?

Death panels strike again.

ATR: Top five tax fibs in Obama speech.

Osteoporosis drug controversy in the UK.

Britain may not have enough hospital beds to handle swine flu.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:40 AM

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What's Happening Now

Penny Starr: Obama pitched health care to young people in audience before his national speech to students.

Rich Noyes: How media covered HillaryCare. Look familiar?

Michael Barone: The convenient fantasies of President Obama.

Prohibition coming back -- but in Britain? (H/T JunkScience.com)

When do the hearings begin? (H/T Devon Carlin)

We were wrong, says Commonwealth Foundation.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:08 PM

The New Obama is A Deficit Hawk (Or So He Claims)

President Obama is saying he won't sign a health care bill that adds "one dime to the deficit":
"There are some principles that, if they are not embodied in the bill, I will not sign it," Obama said in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts aired on "Good Morning America" today.

Yet the president declined in the interview to draw a line in the sand on a so-called "public option," offering government-run health insurance to those who cannot find coverage privately.

Asked if the must-sign elements include that option, the president said: "I will give you an example -- if it's adding one dime to the deficit, if it's not fully paid for," then he will not sign the legislation...
Nice words, but if he means them, why has he been working for months for the trillion+ dollar House health care bill?

Surely even a man who spends tax dollars as easily as does our president considers a trillion dollars to be real money.

Or perhaps he's signaling an intention to cut even more from Medicare?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:10 PM

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Outrage of the Day: ObamaCare Would Tax Some Workers So Others Could Retire Early

James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation highlights once again a genuine travesty included in the President's health care reform proposal, a $10 billion bailout of labor unions.

Sherk writes, in part:
...The most obvious benefit President Obama's health care plan provides to organized labor is a $10 billion taxpayer bailout for underfunded retiree health benefit plans. Many unions negotiate benefit packages that allow workers to retire early and collect health benefits until they qualify for Medicare. Many of these plans they are underfunded because unions mismanaged them.

The healthcare legislation transfers $10 billion to these accounts, in the form of a reinsurance program that pays most of the cost of claims for workers in these plans. Like the GM and Chrysler bailouts, the health care legislation requires all taxpayers -- including low income workers without retirement plans--to pay for benefits for already well-compensated union workers...
To recap:

1) The bailout is intended not for poor or disabled people, but people with jobs who would like to retire before reaching age 65;

2) The bailout would be paid for by taxpayers, most of whom will not enjoy the leisure and other benefits of retiring before 65. Many will not be able to retire even at 65;

3) The unions had funds available to pay for these benefits, but they mismanaged them.

Pathetic.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:49 PM

Senate Finance Crazy Talk

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, has developed a health care proposal that would cost taxpayers at least $900 billion while making health insurance less affordable.

The plan includes new taxes on health insurance companies. These would, of course, be paid by customers.

Our federal government taxes gasoline heavily as a conservation measure, that is, to reduce the amount of it we choose to buy.

Taxing health insurance makes sense only if you want to deter the purchase of it. It makes no sense whatsoever as a cure to the problem of too many uninsured Americans.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:05 AM

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What's Happening Now

Government health care strikes again: 30 a day died in South Africa.

High taxes hurt soccer.

Scotland isn't the only nation releasing terrorists.

If government health care doesn't cure you, Joe Biden will claim it did.

Will Charlie Rangel face criminal charges?

Tom Blumer: "How crazy is it that Ford has to 'negotiate' a new contract with the United Auto Workers union, even though the union has ownership interests in two of its principal competitors...?

A competency question.

Jane Chastain: Cash for Clunkers not good for the environment.

Should government be able to harvest your organs without obtaining consent?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:12 AM

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Mackey: Eight Ways to Improve Health Care

John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, has eight suggestions for improving health care in today's Wall Street Journal.

They are, quoting Mackey:
  • Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). The combination of high-deductible health insurance and HSAs is one solution that could solve many of our health-care problems...

  • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits...

  • Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines...

  • Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.

  • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.

  • Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost...

  • Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.

  • Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Mackey's op-ed is excellent. I strongly encourage folks to read the whole thing.

Here's something else great by John Mackey, circa 2006.


This post was written by National Center for Public Policy Research Vice President David Ridenour. E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to this blog's feed. | Follow on Twitter.

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Posted by David A. Ridenour at 10:08 PM

Monday, August 03, 2009

Soaking the Rich

Who is soaking the rich? In 2007, the top one percent of all taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of all federal income taxes. This came when a Republican had been in the White House for six years and the GOP had controlled the House for 12 and the Senate for four.

So much for stereotypes.

As to the statistics themselves, Scott Hodge of the Tax Foundation, which provided the tax analysis above, notes:
Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.

To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.
These facts bring to mind something former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin said months ago:
Insulating 95 percent of voters from the consequences of their electoral decisions is dangerous and misleading. Does anyone really believe that we can expand nondefense spending to a record share of gross domestic product, reform the health-care system that amounts to one-sixth of the economy, reinvent the energy portfolio that powers our lives, and drive next-generation broadband to every home while cutting taxes for 95 percent of Americans?
I don't believe it. I believe we need to cut spending, and I also believe the top one percent -- which does not, alas, include me in their number -- are paying more than their fair share.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:12 AM

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Police Chief Calls Traffic Camera Monitoring "Cowardly"

District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier called iPhone users who monitor the location of traffic cameras and speed traps "cowardly."

Chief Lanier appears to have totally forgotten the official purpose of the traffic cameras and speed traps, which is to get drivers to follow traffic regulations.

People who stick to the speed limit because their iPhone app told them a speed trap is coming up are not any less safe than people who stick to the speed limit because they see a police car on the shoulder.

In fact, they may be safer, as the pre-warned iPhone users probably don't suddenly hit the brakes as do so many drivers when they see a police car (even if they aren't speeding in the first place -- ever notice that?).

I'm an iPhone user who drives in D.C. I had no interest in getting this app until Chief Lanier made this comment. Now I intend to find out what it is called and get it just because she said this. Few things are more annoying than a public servant abusing citizens for exercising their constitutional rights (unless it is a public servant with the power to make arrests doing it).

I will toss the chief a bone, however: When I start routinely seeing police cars -- the ones that don't have their sirens on or show any sign that they are responding to an emergency -- routinely following the speed limits and other traffic rules, I'll delete the app.

Care to tell your own officers to slow down, Chief?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:31 AM

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Government's Penalties for Success Are Running Into Its Subsidies for Failure

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) says today in an article by Matt Cover for CNSNews.com that small businesses don't make $280,000 a year, so new health care tax hikes at that level won't harm small business.

Oddly though -- as a commenter on the CNSNews.com website noted -- the Small Business Administration will provide financial assistance to firms making many times that.

If you manufacture cigarettes, for example, you are eligible for Small Business Administration assistance if you have a thousand employees. Setting aside the question of why Congress is subsidizing cigarette manufacturing while penalizing it with sin taxes, can we rationally assume a business with a thousand employees never clears $280,000 a year?

So we appear to have a case in which you are penalized for being rich at the same time you are subsidized for not being rich enough.

But there is a method to Congress' madness, says Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), as reported by Adam Brickley and Fadia Galindo for CNSNews.com. The Congressional majority's health care tax plan is designed to harm small businesses sufficiently to force them to cut their employees' health care benefits, thus forcing those employees onto the public health care plan.

So when it looks like Congress is taxing and subsidizing the same people in a completely nonsensical way, we can rest assured that there is a purpose behind it after all -- the purpose of driving as many of us as politically-possible into a substandard, inevitably insolvent public health care plan.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:36 PM

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rolling Stone: Cap and Trade is a Carbon Tax Structured So Private Interests Collect the Revenues

Tom Borelli of our Free Enterprise Project has repeatedly warned Americans that passage of cap-and-trade will lead to the creation of a new economic bubble (see here, here or here).

Now Rolling Stone magazine is getting into the act, and it's not pulling any punches.

A sample paragraph to whet your appetite:
...cap-and-trade, as envisioned by Goldman [Sachs], is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax collection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: It allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before it's even collected. [Emphasis in the original]

"If it's going to be a tax, I would prefer that Washington set the tax and collect it," says Michael Masters, the hedge fund director who spoke out against oil futures speculation. "But we're saying that Wall Street can set the tax, and Wall Street can collect the tax. That's the last thing in the world I want. It's just asinine."
Read Rolling Stone's "The Great American Bubble Machine" by Matt Taibbi for the rest of the story.

We've said all along that if you actually believe human beings are causing dangerous global warming, and you honestly believe that this global warming must be fought by suppressing energy use, the only approach that has any hope of not being corrupt is increasing energy taxes. We do oppose increasing energy taxes, but would prefer that by far to cap-and-trade.

I did not expect to see this sentiment in Rolling Stone, but we welcome it to the club.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:17 PM

Friday, July 10, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Obama's Unkept Tax Promise

Although I don't endorse every sentiment in every sentence of this Associated Press article "PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama's Unkept Tax Pledge" by Stephen Ohlemacher, it's well worth reading.

The piece begins:
President Barack Obama promised to fix health care and trim the federal budget deficit, all without raising taxes on anyone but the wealthiest Americans. It's a promise he's already broken and will likely have to break again.

Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress have already increased tobacco taxes - which disproportionately hit the poor - to pay for extending health coverage to 4 million children in working low-income families.

Now, lawmakers are looking for more revenues to help pay for providing medical insurance to millions more who lack it at a projected cost of $1 trillion over the next decade.

The floated proposals include increasing taxes on alcohol, which could raise $62 billion over the next decade, and a new tax on sugary drinks such as soda, which could raise $52 billion...
I recommend reading the whole thing.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:04 AM

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Photos of the Washington DC Tea Party

Continuing my post about the Tea Parties in New York City and Washington, D.C. attended by National Center staff, here are photos of the July 4 Tea Party in Washington.

I estimate approximately 4,000 people attended the Tea Party in Washington D.C.

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This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.


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Posted by David W. Almasi at 12:38 AM

National Center Staff Engages in Tea Party-Mania

A second round of "tea parties" took place across America this week. According to one organizer's web site, there were almost 1,500 scheduled events across America to protest the unabated growth of government, particularly since Obama took office.

On July 1, Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli and her husband - National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Tom Borelli - attended the tea party in Times Square in New York City.

On July 4, National Center executive director David W. Almasi and his wife Nancy attended the tea party in Washington just steps from the Capitol.

Below are some photos from the New York City tea party. The next post will contain photos from the Washington D.C. tea party.

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Deneen Borelli


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This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.


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Posted by David W. Almasi at 12:18 AM

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Incessant Twittering Over the Heads of the Media

It's not often one can say a wonky op-ed on health care reform is funny as well as wise, but this one by Holman Jenkins in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal certainly is.

(I stole the title of this piece from it, by the way.)


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:07 AM

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Raising Taxes By the Mile

Project 21's Ak'Bar Shabazz has an op-ed opposing a new federal tax on driving in Sunday's Washington Examiner.

It begins:
During the 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama endeared himself to many voters with a promise that 95 percent of Americans would get a tax cut and those making under $250,000 "would not see a single dime of tax increase - not on anything."

Since Obama won and he's already spent so much, it was only a matter of time before his pledge went by the wayside. First came new taxes on tobacco to pay for middle-class kids' health care.

Now Rep. James Oberstar, D-MN, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, wants a vehicle mileage tax (VMT) imposed on every vehicle. And he wants it right away.

When a colleague suggested state-level pilot programs to test the feasibility of the tax, Oberstar replied: "It's going to be done, it's something we have to do. Why not just move it along?" Oberstar hopes for a vote as early as June.

Obama's transportation secretary, former Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood, promoted a VMT back in February. Although the White House backed off LaHood's trial balloon then, Congress may now try to ram it down Americans' throats...
Read the rest here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:18 PM

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Airy Fairy Thinking"

Our sister blog, the Free Enterpriser, has a two minute and 41 second really great video take-down of cap-and-trade.

Take less than three minutes for a fast-paced tutorial by Karry Kudlow of CNBC's Kudlow Report.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:26 AM

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Hurting the Nations by Hurting the Rich

A very good column by composer/producer Andrew Lloyd Webber (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and more) on the pitfalls of raising taxes on the rich is directed at a British audience, but ought to be read by Americans.

Here's hoping lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic pay attention.

Andrew Lloyd Webber writes:
The opinion polls have uttered. The country loves the new 50 per cent top rate of income tax. Soak the rich. Smash the bankers...

...I believe that this new top rate of tax could be the final nail in the coffin of Britain plc.

I am 61 years old. I have lived and worked in Britain all my life. Not even in the dark days of penal Labour taxation in the Seventies did I have any intention of leaving the country of my birth...

...I write this article because I fear the inevitable exodus of the talent that can dig us out of the hole we find ourselves in. It is inevitable, given that other countries are bidding for entrepreneurs. The Government must modify its proposals.

I give you this example. I have altered the details of the family I write about for obvious reasons. But the essentials are true.

Last Thursday I met with a thirtysomething guy. I absolutely depend on him in a highly technical area of theatrical production. For legal reasons he has to employ himself through his own company. Under the new tax regime, he will have to pay 13.3 per cent to employ himself before he pays himself anything. And then he will have to pay 51.5 per cent on what's left.

This is a guy at the cutting edge of his profession who works all over the world. He is in demand in every major territory where entertainment is produced. He has a young wife and two children. Last Thursday he told me that he and his wife had decided that the UK was no longer where they wanted to live.

His wife thinks the State education system is inadequate. And she fears that a bankrupt Britain will increasingly be a worse place in which to live as the horror of our present financial mess hits us all in the solar plexus.

He says that he is young enough to set up shop somewhere else. The new tax rates were the final straw. These talented young people know they will make it impossible for them to educate their kids privately in the UK.

So Britain plc loses not just the 40 per cent he would have paid in personal taxes under the old regime - plus NI and everything else - but... Come on, I don't need to explain the knock-on effect. It's obviously huge and immensely damaging - that's why I am writing this article quickly and probably with too much passion...

...Of course there are thousands of people like my friend - some employing themselves through their own companies, some self-employed, some employed by others. But all are part of the wealth-creation engine that has helped power Britain's economy...

...So I ask the Government to reconsider what it is doing. More than ever before we need to keep high-flying professionals in the UK. We can't, as we have done in the past, dump on them through penal personal taxation...

...The next few years are going to be horrendous in the UK. The last thing we need is a Somali pirate-style raid on the few wealth creators who still dare to navigate Britain's gale-force waters.
Read it all here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:35 PM

Not "Nobody," Rep. Dingell, But We Appreciate You Saying It Anyway


"Nobody in this country realizes that cap-and-trade is a tax -- and it's a great big one."
-Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), April 24,2009


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:16 AM

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Nancy Pelosi's Contempt

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Easton, Pennsylvania Tea Party Photo by Mychal Massie

Writing in his regular, independent column for WorldNetDaily, Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie has strong words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and no doubt others (such as David Axelrod) who belittle the Americans of all political persuasions who gathered across the country last week in "tea party" protests.

Said Mychal:
Any doubt about the condescending arrogance of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her ilk was laid to rest when she attacked the tea parties as being initiatives "funded by the high-end, we call it Astroturf -- it's not really a grass-roots movement -- its Astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich, instead for the great middle class."

The Obama White House said those attending the tea parties were either disaffected, bitter Republicans, or voters acting out of frustration. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano characterized military veterans and the types of Americans attending tea party events as right-wing extremists and warned that said extremists (i.e., anyone that dares disagree with Obama policies) would use the bad economy and the election of a black man as president to recruit members. Government officials fomenting the agitprop that the rich white boogeyman is out to get you shows how far those in government are willing to go to increase their control over our rights, liberties and pursuits of happiness.

Americans are angry. Americans are disaffected, and voters are darn sure frustrated...

...I not only attended a tea party, I watched them develop and take root. I can assure the White House and Pelosi that those in attendance were of all political persuasions. I can assure Napolitano that we are angry, and we are recruiting members...

...The line in the sand has been drawn -- the pressing issue for those of us, from every political persuasion, who are fighting back is: What do we do next? We turned out by the hundreds of thousands across the nation -- but what now? What now is that we stay disgusted, determined and focused. Our enemy is worried because they know that if we do, they are in trouble.

They have insulted us as extremists, while Pelosi and the mainstream media referred to the illegal aliens that attempted to disrupt our economy by staging nationwide job walkouts as patriots.

We cannot afford to forget or relent. We have their attention and we must keep it...

...This isn't about Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent -- it is about those of us who collectively have had enough of the wasteful spending and taxation. It is about those of us who are outraged over the debt that is being passed on to our children and grandchildren. It is about those of us who refuse to have foreign courts tell Americans in Kansas, Iowa or Kentucky what they can do with their land. We may not agree on every political issue -- but the tea parties are showing that we are united on those crucial issues...
Read it all here.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:29 PM

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Taxed Enough Already? More Tea Party Pictures

Executive Director David Almasi and other National Center for Public Policy Research staff members were among the estimated 2,000 attendees at the Tea Party outside the White House today.

David took quite a few pictures, a few of which follow (see the note at the end of this post for reprint information; go here to see more pictures, a collection taken by staff member Devon Carlin):

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And National Center for Public Policy Research staff members Jeff Temple and Devon Carlin...

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Note: Bloggers, webmasters, journalists and others who would like to use any of these pictures are welcome to do so under the following conditions: We ask that you not sell them or deface them, and that they be credited as follows: "David Almasi/National Center for Public Policy Research," with a link back to this location.

Pictures taken by staff member Devon Carlin also are available on the same terms.




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:17 PM

Don't Tax Me, Bro! - Tax Day Tea Party Pictures

Research Associate Devon Carlin braved the rain today to attend the Washington, D.C. Tea Party outside the White House today (along with other other staff members from the National Center for Public Policy Research and Project 21's Kevin Martin, who spoke at the event).

An assortment of pictures Devon took at the White House Tea Party follows (see the note at the end of this post for reprint information; go here to see pictures taken by Executive Director David Almasi):

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And, of course, a shot of some of the many tea bags...
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Note: Bloggers, webmasters, journalists and others who would like to use any of these pictures are welcome to do so under the following conditions: We ask that you not sell them or deface them, and that they be credited as follows: "Devon Carlin/National Center for Public Policy Research," with a link back to this location.

More pictures, an assortment taken by David Almasi, are available here on the same terms.




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:41 PM

Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research