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In Action

Taming the Tax Code
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Press Release

Taming the Tax Code

“Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury.” -Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

05/07/2002
Low Income Americans Shouldn’t be the Butt of Big Government’s Cruel Joke
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Press Release

Low Income Americans Shouldn’t be the Butt of Big Government’s Cruel Joke

Always popular because of their supposed benefits to public health, cigarette taxes are so high that a recent Congressional Research Service study demonstrated that tax revenue from tobacco exceeds the cost of all smoking-related health care. Yet those who view government as a growth industry keep coming back to tobacco taxes because the revenue helps to finance their vision of a larger and more intrusive state government. Across the nation, state legislatures are pursuing tobacco taxes to raise the funds necessary to pay for the explosive growth of government.

05/07/2002
A Tax We Should All Want to Bury
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Press Release

A Tax We Should All Want to Bury

Sometime before the U.S. Senate’s Fourth of July recess they will vote on whether or not to repeal the Death Tax. Permanently! Everyone agrees the vote will be close and the outcome is uncertain. In my mind, that means those of us who believe in repealing the Death Tax have a real shot at winning this vote – and enacting good policy.

05/07/2002
Are the Foxes Watching the Henhouse?
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Press Release

Are the Foxes Watching the Henhouse?

This Week – The House plans to take up several measures this week. The first will be a resolution disapproving the President’s recent decision to impose steel tariffs. House Joint Resolution 84, “Disapproving the action taken by the President under Section 203 of the Trade Act of 1974,” does not have any legislative power to stop the decision but expresses opposition. The House also expects to take up House Joint Resolution 87, the ”Yucca Mountain Repository Site Approval Act,” to approve the site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the development of a repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, pursuant to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. Finally, the House anticipates the debate of H.R. 4546 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003. This bill would authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2003 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction and to prescribe military personnel strengths.

05/06/2002
Letter to Senate on Broadband Regulatory Parity Act
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Press Release

Letter to Senate on Broadband Regulatory Parity Act

This letter was sent by CSE President, Paul Beckner to all members of the U.S. Senate to show CSE's support for S. 2430 -- the “Broadband Regulatory Parity Act of 2002.”

05/05/2002
Textbook Review Packet
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Press Release

Textbook Review Packet

Future email updates from CSE click here. The Working Partnership for Textbook Reviews has completed the textbook review package for people reviewing textbooks in the 2002 review cycle. Partners in developing this packet were:

05/03/2002
U.S. Consumers to Pay as International Trade Commission Vote Opens Door to Impose Huge Duties on Canadian Softwood Lumber
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U.S. Consumers to Pay as International Trade Commission Vote Opens Door to Impose Huge Duties on Canadian Softwood Lumber

Consumer groups said today's decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which found a "threat of injury" to U.S. forest producers from Canadian softwood lumber imports, is wrong, and cannot be sustained under NAFTA and World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. The ITC decision will allow the U.S. Commerce Department to move forward later in May imposing countervailing and antidumping duties of approximately 27 percent. At the same time, the ITC denied U.S. producer claims that they had been "injured," which would have allowed retroactive imposition of duties. "It is very sad that a segment of U.S. lumber producers and landowners have been able to get our government to impose such a preposterous level of duties on American consumers," said Susan Petniunas, spokesperson for American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), an alliance of 18 national organizations and companies which has been fighting the trade action. "This action is nothing less than a giveaway to U.S. lumber companies, imposed as a sales tax on U.S. consumers by our own government just because the ITC determined something bad might happen in the future," Petniunas added. If the entire 27 percent duties are reflected in U.S. prices, and depending on the lumber market, these duties could add between $1,000 and $1,500 to the cost of a new home, pricing as many as 300,000 to 450,000 families out of the housing market. They would not be able to qualify for mortgages. "While $1,500 may not sound like much to some people, for many first-time homeowners and seniors seeking to lower their housing costs in retirement, it is the difference between being able to buy a home for the first time, or not," she said. Bobby Rayburn, a homebuilder from Jackson, Miss., and vice president and treasurer of the National Association of Home Builders, said: "Over the past 20 years, independent review panels have evaluated Canada's timber pricing on three separate occasions. In each case in which it was taken to a final decision, it was ultimately determined that the Canadian government did not provide unfair subsidies to its lumber industry. "We believe that Canada will almost certainly prevail once again in its current cases before NAFTA and the WTO. Hopefully, the U.S. will not attempt to thwart the legal process. Otherwise, the proceedings could drag on for years, and in the meantime, U.S. home buyers and renters will have to pay the price." Mike Fritz, a lumber dealer from Massachusetts and Board Chair of the National Lumber and building Material Dealers Association, said: "Our nation's annual demand for Canadian spruce pine fir is well-known and well-documented throughout the U.S. consuming industries. The U.S. cannot provide sufficient framing lumber and relies on Canada for approximately one-third of its needs. "As national demand for affordable housing continues to grow year by year, we further realize the importance of ensuring that a secure, stable supply of Canadian softwood is available for interior framing," Fritz added. "We continue to hope that the handful of U.S. producers seeking to block Canadian product eventually realize the potentially serious damage they may do to the U.S. housing market by continually injecting uncertainty and volatility into the market for Canadian framing lumber. For over twenty years these producers have sought special protection from the U.S. government while other components of the industry devote their time to adapting to the globalization of our marketplace."

05/02/2002
Political activist has Bill Clinton to thank
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Press Release

Political activist has Bill Clinton to thank

Originally appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal. Joyce Krawiec used to be a PTA mom, but now she's a political activist. Krawiec is the Forsyth County director for Citizens for a Sound Economy, a group that lobbies for lower taxes and less government. Her unpaid job might take her to Washington D.C. to argue for tax cuts or to Raleigh to buttonhole a legislator.

05/02/2002
The Death Tax: A Tax We Can All Live Without
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Press Release

The Death Tax: A Tax We Can All Live Without

CSE strongly believes that the death tax should be completely repealed in order to make the tax code fairer and simpler, and to eliminate the harmful drag this tax has on the economy. Only through total repeal will the tax code take a step toward fundamental reform. The Death Tax needs to be permanently abolished because it punishes the American values of saving and investment by penalizing individuals for passing property along to their family.

05/02/2002
PACs Want 'Flexibility'
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PACs Want 'Flexibility'

BY Ruth Sheehan

People call me cynical sometimes. Let me introduce you to the Citizens for Higher Education and the Economic Development Coalition 2000. The first red flag? The names. Like Citizens for a Sound Economy and the New American Optimists, these groups are thoroughly ambiguous, apple-pie pablum.

05/02/2002

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