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Cigarette Black Market Growing
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Blog

Cigarette Black Market Growing

FreedomWorks has organized against dozens of cigarette taxes in the past year.

07/22/2009
Bostonians Party Like It's 1773
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Blog

Bostonians Party Like It's 1773

On July 4 several hundred limited government activists gathered in Boston for an extended day of tea party events at the Boston Common and on the harbor at Christopher Columbus Park.  The event was organized by ConservativeSolutions.org.  The key note speakers were Dr. John Lewis of Duke University and Dr. Yaron Brooke of the Ayn Rand Institute (a 9/12 sponsor).  I had the honor of addressing the crowd on what people can do to turn the energy of the tea parties into effective advocacy against out of control spending (hint: get your family and friends involved).

07/08/2009
Unions and Free Market Activists Find Common Cause on Health Care, For Now
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Blog

Unions and Free Market Activists Find Common Cause on Health Care, For Now

President Obama has stepped up his rhetoric against the health care system, but fiscal deficiencies in his plan for a government take over have become increasingly apparent in recent weeks. Now, some on Capitol Hill are toying with the idea of taxing employee health benefits to subsidize the cost of government-provided care. But, as Americans learned during the collapse of GM, many union labor agreements provide extremely generous benefit packages to workers who are unlikely to support any proposal that might put their compensation at risk.

07/02/2009
West Virginia Activist Writes About Cap and Tax Next Steps
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West Virginia Activist Writes About Cap and Tax Next Steps

FreedomWorks Congressional Action Team member Alice Click was published over the weekend as a guest commentator in the Hinton News.  The article, "How do Higher Energy Costs Help Open Idle Steel Mills or Struggling Auto Makers" nailed the crux of the debate: the legislation kills jobs.  Click went on to urge readers to contact Sen. Rockefeller.

06/30/2009
Dissent, Not Denial: Informed Opposition to the Science of Climate Change Is Growing
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Dissent, Not Denial: Informed Opposition to the Science of Climate Change Is Growing

Beneath the surface of a Cap and Tax debate that has only just begun to rage in this country, a basic premise is largely being taken for granted. Prominent fixtures of the political class, from Al Gore to Newt Gingrich to John McCain, have accepted and declared as fact that the Earth is getting warmer, the icecaps are getting smaller, carbon is to blame, and only government can save the day.

06/29/2009
Temecula Activists Stage Impromptu Cap and Tax Protest
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Temecula Activists Stage Impromptu Cap and Tax Protest

This past Saturday, June 27, a group of Temecula, CA free-market activists led by Bridget Blanton staged a spur of the moment protest against the cap and trade legislation that passed the House the previous evening.  The demonstrators urged passerby to get involved and call their Senators as the legislation progresses.  

06/29/2009
Key Vote No: H.R. 2454 American Clean Energy and Security Act
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Press Release

Key Vote No: H.R. 2454 American Clean Energy and Security Act

On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to vote “No” on H.R. 2454, the Waxman-Markey “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.”  H.R. 2454 calls for a “cap and trade” system for the regulation of greenhouse gases, and is in essence, a tax that will drive up energy costs across the board.  The best projections estimate that the climate bill would result in a barely measurable 0.05 degree Celsius temperature “savings” over the next fifty years.  In the meantime, over those fifty years, the economic effect would be far more tangible and disastrous.Independent experts estimate that in the next eight years the legislation will take $2 trillion dollars from our economy, redistributing it to powerful, favored institutions through a complex regulatory scheme with standards that are impossible to meet, as has been found in other countries with similar systems in place.  Actually doing so would set our economy back over 130 years to 1875, the last recorded time our carbon-emissions met the legislation’s goals. At a cost of any where from $750 to over $3,000 a year per family, the price is far too high for so little in return. High energy prices affect everything from heating, electricity, and fuel prices to agriculture, manufacturers, and shipping costs.  These are the unavoidable costs of living and the burden of this legislation will fall most heavily on the poor who spend a higher percentage of their income on these essentials making cap and trade a regressive tax that forces impossible decisions between food and the drive to work.The astronomical costs of this bill and the unachievable caps that cripple many industries such as farmers and miners will mean the loss of many jobs as manufacturers, shippers, and others are forced to scale back, close, or send jobs overseas.  While the prospect of numerous new “green” jobs has been widely touted, a recent study by economist Gabriel Calzada has found that for every one green job, 2.2 other jobs are lost or not created.  Each of those jobs comes at an enormous subsidy that pours money from the private sector into an overpriced, inefficient industry.  An economy suffering from massive losses of jobs and wealth, and strapped with a staggering deficit cannot afford a plan that would exacerbate these problems. Promised cleaner alternatives to our current fossil-fuel based technology are still years out of reach.  Rolling back regulations that stifle alternatives like nuclear would be a less costly option.On behalf of our FreedomWorks activists, I again urge you to vote “No” on H.R. 2454 and will count your vote as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2009.  The FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom.

06/25/2009
Warren Buffet: Cap and Trade a Huge Tax
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Warren Buffet: Cap and Trade a Huge Tax

Buffet explains how Cap and Tax hurts the poor and our economy.  H/t: Club for Growth  

06/24/2009
The First Rule of Budget Holes: Stop Digging
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The First Rule of Budget Holes: Stop Digging

In a familiar storyline, Pennsylvania lawmakers are seeking to close a budget gap of some $3.2 billion by—you guessed it—raising taxes. To that end, Governor Ed Rendell has called for a “modest” hike of 16 percent in the state income tax rate from 3.07 to 3.57 percent for the next three years. Similar “temporary” tax hikes, implemented in 1983 and 1991, have yet to be fully repealed.

06/24/2009
Help Stop New Tax Hikes in California
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Press Release

Help Stop New Tax Hikes in California

Just over a month ago, Californians went to the polls and delivered a resounding “No tax hikes” to their state leaders.  Legislators have had four weeks to come up with a better plan that will work for the state and guess what their solution is?More tax hikes!  Take Action and tell your lawmakers more tax hikes are unacceptable.That’s right, more tax hikes.  Except that these are different tax hikes they think the public won’t see through, regardless of the fact that it’s always the same folks who end up footing the bill.  Tax proposals now on the table include $2.2 billion in various taxes on business, a 9.9 percent tax on oil extraction, and a massive $1.50/pack cigarette tax hike.California legislators must think the taxpayers are pretty gullible to swallow this new plan.  Taxing business, just when many are fleeing the high taxes of the state, when others are bleeding jobs and struggling in the current economy is a terrible idea. Taxing oil extraction falls in the same category.  It isn’t some faceless corporation that drills for energy – it’s people who could use those jobs.  And it isn’t just some entity in the sky that absorbs those high taxes – it’s people who will have to pay at the pump.Cigarette tax hikes are a selfish cash grab that tries to put the economic woes of a state on a small, often-targeted minority.  They also hurt small businesses as people go across statelines, or to the black market and internet for cheaper cigarettes.No one would deny that California is in a bind.  But this is a problem that can’t be taxed away.  When these tax sources dry up, and if history is any guide they certainly will, legislators will simply tax something else.  Legislators were elected to do a job and that means making tough decisions, not just creating more taxes for the group that drew the short straw that day.  Spending has far outpaced growth in the state.  In good years, California’s government spent as if the revenue would never end rather than keeping spending in line with priorities. Take Action and urge your legislators not to seek quick fixes that will only push the problem down the road a short ways, but to stop playing favorites with programs and benefits and do the real cutting that needs that be done.  During hard times, every family has to cut back.  There’s no reason why governments shouldn’t do the same.

06/23/2009

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