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Roadkill
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Press Release

Roadkill

In Congress, the House and Senate Transportation Committees are spinning out of control. Unfortunately, it’s American taxpayers that are getting hit head-on. The man behind the swerving wheel is House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska). Setting the stage for a clash with President Bush and his own party leadership, Chairman Young wants to push through a 5.4 cent per gallon increase in federal gas taxes to help pay for a massive $375 billion highway bill.

03/20/2003
Raising Taxes Makes State Fiscal Crisis Worse
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Press Release

Raising Taxes Makes State Fiscal Crisis Worse

© 2002 Copley News Service, 3/19/2003 State governments are in a fiscal crisis not entirely of their own making but certainly exacerbated by their extravagance. According to recent estimates, states face combined budget deficits of $100 billion during the rest of this year and next, due in the main to a stagnant economy. But that is no excuse to raise taxes.

03/19/2003
This Week on Capitol Hill
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Press Release

This Week on Capitol Hill

President Bush’s economic growth and jobs creation plan is under attack from both sides of the aisle. Both chambers’ moderate Republicans concerned with the deficit and the price of war and reconstruction are looking to significantly alter the size of the tax cut during this week’s budget process. Chances for economic growth and future balanced budgets will we be severely handicapped if Congress fails to approve a budget conference report that carves out room for the entire $726 billion tax cut package. Presently, both resolutions prescribe for the entire tax cut and controls federal spending, but Democrats and moderate Republicans are doing their best whittle away at the tax cut.

03/19/2003
The Limits of Lawsuits
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Press Release

The Limits of Lawsuits

The litigation crisis in America has reached a milestone. In the wake of three decades of asbestos litigation—a trail marked by bankruptcies, hundreds of thousands of lawsuits, multibillion-dollar judgments, and real victims who have yet to be compensated—even the American Bar Association and some trial lawyers are admitting that something might be wrong.

03/19/2003
Empower America Announces: National Enterprise Zones of Choice
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Press Release

Empower America Announces: National Enterprise Zones of Choice

Today, Empower America announced a new legislative initiative titled: National Enterprise Zones of Choice. This proposal, which is targeted toward urban and rural communities, has two fundamental goals: 1) increase incentives for economic growth through a reformed tax structure. 2) improve educational opportunities by offering widespread parental choice.

03/19/2003
Empower America Announces: National Enterprise Zones of Choice
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Press Release

Empower America Announces: National Enterprise Zones of Choice

Today, Empower America announced a new legislative initiative titled: National Enterprise Zones of Choice. This proposal, which is targeted toward urban and rural communities, has two fundamental goals: 1) increase incentives for economic growth through a reformed tax structure. 2) improve educational opportunities by offering widespread parental choice.

03/19/2003
2003 Social Security Trustees’ Report
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Press Release

2003 Social Security Trustees’ Report

• Point: The Trustees’ Report shows that inaction is not an option The report clearly shows why inaction on Social Security is not a responsible option, and why President Bush is right to call for bipartisan action to modernize Social Security for the 21st century.

03/18/2003
Nobel Laureate, Parents Testify at Rowdy Vouchers Hearing
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Nobel Laureate, Parents Testify at Rowdy Vouchers Hearing

BY Connie Mabin

Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman, who advocates the use of taxpayer-funded vouchers for use in private schools, was among those who testified Tuesday at a rowdy House committee hearing on school vouchers. Friedman, a Stanford University economist, was invited to speak at the House Public Education Committee by its chairman, Rep. Kent Grusendorf. Grusendorf, R-Arlington, has filed a bill that would establish laws authorizing government money for low-income parents who transfer their children from public to private schools. Such a system is commonly referred to as "school vouchers" or "school choice." Grusendorf calls them "freedom scholarships." Friedman said he believes the American public education system has worsened over time, particularly in poor areas, and blames what he calls a government monopoly and powerful teachers unions. "The government provides food stamps but it doesn't run grocery stores," he said. Friedman called Grusendorf's proposal the nation's most broad attempt to use vouchers for public education. "It's the system, not the people" making children fail, Friedman said, and competition would demand improvement in all schools. The audience often erupted in applause and let out loud hoots when supporters voiced agreeable statements. More than 100 people signed up to testify. Dozens of children and parents supporting vouchers wore bright blue T-shirts declaring: "school choice works." But there were vocal opponents, too, including dozens of educators and Sam Smoot, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network. She's opposed to using taxpayer money in schools that don't have to follow the same laws meant to ensure equality and separation of church and state. Texas State Teachers Association President Donna New-Haschke said it's not the time to try vouchers with nearly $3 billion in proposed budget cuts to public education. "We simply cannot afford using tax dollars to fund the interest of private schools when our students are being told to wait for new textbooks, our teachers are facing cuts in health insurance and highly touted programs like master math teachers programs are on the chopping block," New-Haschke said. On the other side, Peggy Venable of Citizens for a Sound Economy said she was disgusted that teachers appeared to be more interested in their own financial future than children's education. "I believe that parents deserve the freedom to choose," Venable said. If public schools fear mass exodus of students because of vouchers, that proves there is a problem, she said. Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, said he was concerned that the bill did not prohibit religious or gender discrimination. Grusendorf said it prohibited discrimination against race and national orientation. Also, he said, critics must trust parents to select a school that's best for their children. William Bryant, a pastor from Dallas, said vouchers would empower parents, particularly minority or poor parents. "We say yes to it because we believe it's time for real freedom in education for all of the children in Texas," he said. Texas lawmakers, under pressure from teachers unions and 1,100 school districts, have consistently rejected legislation calling for a voucher experiment in selected urban counties. This session is likely to be different in the GOP-dominated Statehouse, however, because Republicans House Speaker Tom Craddick, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry all support a pilot voucher program. Under Grusendorf's legislation, the program for children of low income families would be limited to the state's largest school districts, where enrollment tops 40,000 and a majority of students are eligible for the federal free and reduced priced lunch programs. Eleven public school districts would be initially affected: Aldine, Alief, Houston, Pasadena, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, El Paso and Ysleta. In 2005, local school boards could vote to allow any district to participate. The private schools that accept the vouchers would be required to make tests scores public, a provision critics said is bad because the public has no say in what kind of test. Public schools would continue to receive some funding for students who choose to use a voucher, including about 10 percent of the value of the voucher. Private schools would receive 90 percent of the voucher or the school's average annual cost per student, whichever is less.

03/18/2003
What Does America Actually Think About President's Economic Plan?
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What Does America Actually Think About President's Economic Plan?

Brenna Hapes of Citizens for a Sound Economy, 202-942-7629 News Advisory Featured Speakers: Ed Goeas, President The Tarrance Group Paul Beckner, President Citizens for a Sound Economy WHEN: Friday, March 21, 2003 12:30-1:30 pm 1302 Longworth House Office Building Good sandwiches will be served Do voters in your state support the president's economic growth plan? How can President Bush win on the repeal of the dividend tax? What should your Member be doing today to get ready for a high profile tax cut vote this spring? We've got answers. Join us to hear top GOP pollster Ed Goeas explain the political environment surrounding tax cuts, based on two recent CSE/Tarrance Group nationwide surveys of registered voters. We've tested voter opinion on the economy, Congress, and all of the individual elements of the president's plan. This is the only polling done on the President's plan. Discover what messaging works, and how to position the issue going into April and May. You can't afford to miss this briefing!

03/18/2003
Boost for Technology
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Press Release

Boost for Technology

As published in the Washington Times, March 16, 2003 President Bush has proposed that once a corporation has paid the tax due on its profits, those "after tax" profits should not be taxed again when distributed to the corporation's owners - the shareholders - as a dividend. Some have suggested that this proposal is of little interest in the technology community since very few technology companies pay any dividend. This suggestion misses the point on three important grounds.

03/17/2003

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