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In Action

D.C. Trade Reps Urged to Ask President Bush to Intervene in Pending New 29 Percent Sales Tax on Lumber Consumers Imposed…
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D.C. Trade Reps Urged to Ask President Bush to Intervene in Pending New 29 Percent Sales Tax on Lumber Consumers Imposed…

Attendees at a meeting of Washington trade professionals held here today were urged to express their concerns to the Bush Administration about its looming 29 percent sales tax on U.S. consumers by putting protectionist duties on all softwood lumber imports from Canada. The U.S. cannot provide sufficient framing lumber and relies on Canada for approximately one-third of its needs. Lead by International Paper, Potlatch, Plum Creek, Sierra Pacific, Temple Inland, and southern land owners forming the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports filed petitions a year ago alleging that they had been harmed by Canadian softwood lumber imports and asking for countervailing and antidumping duties. The U.S. Commerce Department said it will impose the duties pending a decision by the International Trade Commission which is expected May 2. "It is very sad that a segment of U.S. forestry producers and land owners have been able to get our government to impose such a ridiculous level of duties on our consumers," said Susan Petniunas, spokesperson for an alliance of 17 national organizations and companies, American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), which has been fighting the trade action. She spoke to the Washington International Trade Association. "We believe that the President should intervene and stop this process," she said. "Canada is our most important trading partner and strong supporter of our overall government in many global actions. We should not allow our own government to impose a new sales tax on consumers so that a handful of companies can improve their bottom lines." Petniunas said that, if the new taxes are imposed, they will add nearly $1,500 to the price of a new home, pricing close to 450,000 families out of the housing market since they can not qualify for mortgages. "Unfortunately, those most impacted are first time homebuyers and seniors seeking to lower housing costs in retirement. While $1,500 may not sound like much to some people, for many, it is the difference between being able to buy a home for the first time, or not." ACAH believes that there should be no trade restraints on Canadian softwood lumber imports. More than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate have signed resolutions or written letters to the administration indicating their support for free trade in lumber, and urging no new taxes or penalties on consumers. "For the first time ever, a panel of consumers was assembled to testify before the ITC in March," Petniunas said. "They represented homebuilders, lumber dealers, The Home Depot, manufactured housing firms, and others. Each clearly pointed out that softwood lumber does not compete with southern yellow pine, and that the charges by the Coalition are false." The panel appealed to the Commissioners to reject the Commerce Department's plan to impose the duties.

04/16/2002
Letter to Financial Services Committee
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Press Release

Letter to Financial Services Committee

Dear Chairman Oxley, As the House Financial Services Committee reaches the point of deciding just how extensive the new controls over accounting firms should be, Citizens for a Sound Economy urges you to look beyond the partisan arguments and consider the impact of the proposed “reforms” on the economy.

04/16/2002
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
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Press Release

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

The allure of being a state attorney general is not the riches, notoriety, or duties, but the career opportunities the post provides. President Bill Clinton used his position as Arkansas Attorney General to run for governor; John Ashcroft did the same in Missouri. North Carolina Attorney General Mike Easley made the jump to governor of his state in the 2000 election, while Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley narrowly lost in his gubernatorial bid. The position has become such an infamous launching pad for the governorship that the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is colloquially referred to as the “National Association of Aspiring Governors.”

04/16/2002
Organizing Voters for Less
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Press Release

Organizing Voters for Less

Cynicism. Pessimism. These are the words that the media constantly uses to describe the public’s attitude towards politics and politicians. Voter turnout is low, campaigns are driven by money rather than policy, and Congress remains helplessly gridlocked on important national issues such as energy and social security reform. There is more than a grain of truth to this description of politics. But what is unclear, however, is whether the voters are wrong. Should they be optimistic? Should they view politics as a positive force that can better their lives? In many ways, voter sentiments are right in line with the tenets of limited government that frame our constitutional democracy.

04/16/2002
With All Due Respect
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Press Release

With All Due Respect

Parents, children and taxpayers won a small but important victory late last week when the Chicago School Board announced it would close three “chronically failing” public elementary schools.

04/16/2002
Making Tax Cuts Permanent
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Press Release

Making Tax Cuts Permanent

Week in Summary: This week being ‘tax week’ the House will take up legislation to make permanent the tax benefits enacted by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act of 2001. This legislation is desperately needed to get our economy back on track and is featured below in the issues in-depth section. The House will also consider H.R. 476, the “Child Custody Protection Act.” This bill would make it a crime to take a pregnant minor across state lines for an abortion.

04/15/2002
Photo Gallery From a Tax Day Protest
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Press Release

Photo Gallery From a Tax Day Protest

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04/15/2002
Outrage Over Budget Easy
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Outrage Over Budget Easy

Outrage over budget easy; solutions hard There are some things that are popular and easy to do. Say you love babies. Say you love America. Say you like apple pie. And say you hate taxes. It's not exactly a courageous position. Everyone hates taxes, and no one wants to see them increased. It's like mounting a soapbox and declaring the sky is blue.

04/14/2002
'Taxes Ought To Be Fair' But Are They?
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'Taxes Ought To Be Fair' But Are They?

BY Carlene Hempel

When North Carolina's current tax code was written, many families were so poor they had to eat cornmeal mush and pig carcasses to survive, banks across the state were closing their doors and a charismatic new president, in his first address to the nation, declared that the only thing people had to fear was fear itself. That was the early 1930s, a time when the country was in financial collapse and the states were desperate to meet burgeoning social demands.

04/14/2002
International Tax Competition
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Press Release

International Tax Competition

Globalization is knitting separate national economies into a single world economy. That is occurring as a result of rising trade and investment flows, greater labor mobility, and rapid transfers of technology.

04/12/2002

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