Contact FreedomWorks

400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 765
Washington, DC 20001

  • Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
  • Local 202.783.3870
Don't Let Transportation Committee Run Over American Taxpayers
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Don't Let Transportation Committee Run Over American Taxpayers

Today, Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) joined Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (CO-04), other Members of Congress and a coalition of organizations opposed to tax increases at press conference on Capitol Hill calling on Congress to reject attempts to raise the gas tax. The House Transportation Committee – led by Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) and ranking member James Oberstar (D-MN) – is trying to increase in the gas tax to pay for a bloated $375 billion highway funding bill (TEA-21).

05/21/2003
State House Reporter Kevin Landrigan to Moderate NH CSE Debate
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

State House Reporter Kevin Landrigan to Moderate NH CSE Debate

New Hampshire Citizens for a Sound Economy (NH CSE) State Director Chuck McGee announced today that Nashua Telegraph State House Reporter Kevin Landrigan will moderate its first debate on Social Security reform between former State Senator and 2002 Democratic nominee for Governor Mark Fernald and former NH GOP Political Director Patrick Hynes.

05/21/2003
Strayhorn Jumps Ship on Tax Vow
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Strayhorn Jumps Ship on Tax Vow

BY W. Gardner Selby

AUSTIN — Saying the state's business tax receipts were in "free fall," Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn urged lawmakers Monday to increase cigarette taxes. Strayhorn becomes the first statewide officeholder to shatter the "no new taxes" unity among Republican leaders. She listed a $1 a pack increase among 20 items that could yield $4.1 billion for the state in 2004-05. The state's cigarette tax has been 41 cents a pack since 1990.

05/20/2003
Comptroller Seeks Cigarette Tax Boost
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Comptroller Seeks Cigarette Tax Boost

BY W. Gardner Selby

AUSTIN - Saying the state's business tax receipts were in "free fall," Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn urged lawmakers Monday to increase cigarette taxes. Strayhorn becomes the first statewide officeholder to shatter the "no new taxes" unity among Republican leaders. She listed a $1 a pack increase among 20 items that could yield $4.1 billion for the state in 2004-05. The state's cigarette tax has been 41 cents a pack since 1990. Strayhorn's other suggestions, many under legislative review, include the legalization of video lottery terminals at horse and dog racetracks, reducing administrators in public schools, authorizing the state's participation in a multistate lottery and tweaking a state law letting corporations reorganize as partnerships and avoid the state's corporate franchise tax. "My advice (to lawmakers) is to get busy on this," Strayhorn said. Gov. Rick Perry's response was to say a cigarette tax increase "ain't going to happen." Perry, emerging from talks with House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said he remains "comfortable" that legislators will balance the two-year budget without new taxes before the 140-day session ends June 2. Strayhorn said receipts from the state's corporate franchise tax, accounting for 6 percent of annual tax revenues, are running nearly 18 percent behind what she projected for the fiscal year, which ends Aug. 31. "We've got a franchise tax free fall going on," Strayhorn said, attributing the drop to more corporations organizing as partnerships to avoid the tax. House-Senate negotiators have been inching toward a roughly $117 billion budget that avoids higher taxes and closes a more than $10 billion gap between the cost of existing programs and state income in 2004-05. But progress has become "squishy," an aide said, because Perry, Craddick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, all Republicans, have not agreed on how much to spend on education, higher education and other areas. Spending targets likely would be affected again if Strayhorn lowers her estimate of state income for the two-year period. But higher state taxes are not an option, Perry said. "There's not going to be a cigarette tax increase during this session of the Legislature," Perry said. Dewhurst agreed, saying, "I don't believe that we need to raise taxes in order to balance our budget." Strayhorn, saying the cigarette tax increase would generate $1.5 billion in state income, joins others who have urged such an increase, including Republican Sens. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio and Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, filed a proposal last week to conduct a November straw poll of voters on the increase. She said she sought the nonbinding referendum because a $1 increase hasn't been forwarded by the House, where tax measures must originate. "This is one revenue stream that would have a beneficial impact," Strayhorn said. "As a mama and grandmama, I want to deter young people from smoking." Strayhorn told Texas Monthly in December, "Nothing I do is ever going to trigger a tax bill." And in a January report to lawmakers, she said would "vigorously oppose" higher taxes and creation of a state personal income tax. Perry declined to criticize Strayhorn, saying, "She puts a lot of different ideas on the table. And that's what the comptroller's job is." The leader of a conservative group that named Strayhorn its "friend of the taxpayer" several years ago called a cigarette tax increase untimely. "It's the wrong way to go," said Peggy Venable, director of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy. "I'm not slighting her for making the recommendation. It's up to policymakers to say that's not the way to go." Strayhorn said she doesn't believe she's breaking with past positions by urging the increase. Legislation to close the so-called franchise tax loophole - used by corporations that include the owner of the Express-News and SBC Communications Inc. - is widely considered dead. Strayhorn didn't name corporations that have taken advantage of the loophole. But she said more are doing so, and she listed nine examples of firms that paid between $100,000 and $9 million in franchise taxes in 2002 but zero for 2003 as of a deadline last week. Strayhorn said franchise tax payments from the state's largest corporations have diminished nearly 40 percent compared with May 2002. "This is significant news, and it's negative news," Strayhorn said, saying the loophole needs to be closed or business taxation needs to "go a different route." Rep. Ron Wilson, D-Houston, who heads the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, cited Perry's anti-tax position as reason for not taking up cigarette taxes, though he said the increase could be weighed if a special session is necessary to finish the budget.

05/20/2003
Mandate '04
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Mandate '04

©2003 Copley News Service, 5/20/2003 As the Democratic presidential candidates begin to roll out their "big ideas" for the 2004 campaign, it is not too early for the Republicans and the White House to begin thinking about what initiatives they will seek a mandate for in a second term. For the sake of the American people, I hope President Bush seeks a mandate on two issues the Democrats won't touch: Social Security and tax reform. A Mandate for Economic Prosperity and Retirement Security would put Republicans in the position of being the reform party of 2004.

05/20/2003
No Tax Increases in a Tax Cut Bill!
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

No Tax Increases in a Tax Cut Bill!

May 20, 2003 House-Senate Tax Conference The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear House-Senate Tax Conferees: We strongly support sound tax relief, and would like to express our thanks for the tremendous progress to date in both the House and the Senate. Because of your hard work, America is now very close to real tax relief that will create jobs and growth to get the economy moving again.

05/20/2003
CSE Applauds House Passage of Healthy Forests
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

CSE Applauds House Passage of Healthy Forests

Today, Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) applauded the House for passing H.R. 1904, the “Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. CSE had urged Representatives to vote “Yes” on the bill and notified them that the vote would count as a Key Vote. Key Votes are used to determine Representatives eligibility for CSE’s Jefferson Award, which is given to legislators that espouse the CSE principles of limited government, lower taxes, and more freedom. In addition each Representative’s vote is reported to CSE members in their state.

05/20/2003
Savings Bills Threatened by Democrat Walkout
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Savings Bills Threatened by Democrat Walkout

BY Gilbert Zavala

Lawmakers and public policy groups alike fear that the walkout of House Democrats will kill bills that generate additional state revenues needed to fund education, health care services, and other key state programs in the 2004-2005 budget. In a May 14 press conference, Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) projected that the House bills killed as a result of the Democratic walkout would have saved state and local governments approximately $700 million.

05/19/2003
Notebook
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Notebook

Two citizens groups to join forces Iredell Citizens for Integrity will join forces with Washington, D.C.-based Citizens for a Sound Economy to bring a stronger source of information on government to Iredell County, said Buddy Hemric, president of the local group. "With the strength of CSE and their network of a Speakers Bureau, we will have access to a large source of information to keep (residents) better informed about what is taking place in Raleigh and Washington," Hemric said in a written statement last week. Citizens for a Sound Economy also has a Raleigh office. The group's objective is less government and lower taxes. Details: Hemric at (704) 876-4922. * Humane Society's 'Kindness' effort The Iredell County Humane Society will offer a summer program called "Kindness to Animals." The society will educate children of all ages during the summer on proper animal treatment, at camps, Bible schools, summer schools, day-care centers and other locations. Details: Maxine Middlesworth at (704) 872-5340. * Hooper Center receives award The Winnie L. Hooper Center recently received an award from the nonprofit I-Care Inc. for partnering to serve youth in Iredell County. One of the youth recognized for her achievement was Reneta Stewart, a sophomore at Mooresville Senior High School. Reneta is a member of the National Vocational Technical Honor Society at N.F. Woods Technology Center. She also is a member of her youth choir, New Life, at United Church of Christ. Reneta is the daughter of Terri Howard and Barry Stewart of Mooresville.

05/18/2003
Capitol Protests Hit from Two Sides
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Capitol Protests Hit from Two Sides

BY Peter Wong

To get a sense of what some Oregonians think lawmakers should do about the state budget, all you had to do was hang around the Capitol for a few hours Thursday. The latest forecast of state income, which is down almost $700 million for the next two years, did not change some people's minds. On a chilly Thursday morning, on the Capitol's front steps, about 100 advocates and recipients of social services rallied under the banner of the Human Services Coalition of Oregon. They opposed more spending cuts and supported higher taxes or reduced tax breaks. On a chilly Thursday afternoon, on the Capitol's west steps, about 100 people rallied under the banner of Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy. They opposed higher taxes or reduced tax breaks and supported more spending cuts and efficiencies. Both sides had their stories to tell. Beverly Bettis of Hubbard sat at the edge of the morning rally. At age 68 with multiple sclerosis, she relies on caregivers under Oregon Project Independence to lift her from bed each morning, give her a bath, put her in a wheelchair and put her back into bed at night. It costs the state $400 per month. But the alternative for her is a nursing home at $3,000 per month, much of which could be paid from federal grants. She would lose her home. "This service makes so much of a difference in the value and quality of my life," Bettis said. "I am able to be involved and participate in church and community activities. Otherwise, I am stuck at home." What is left of Oregon Project Independence, established 25 years ago, would be eliminated in the draft proposal by the Legislature's budget writers. "I continue to hope that they can find new revenue and ways to balance things," Bettis said. Michael Koester of Ashland, who also uses a wheelchair, arrived the previous day to meet his legislators. The commercial artist created cardboard cutouts of human figures with one-sheet descriptions of what various state spending cuts have done to people. The cutouts were lined up around the human services rally, and people were invited to supply descriptions by computer. "The concept was to represent Oregonians of all kinds -- not just people with disabilities, but people who never get seen up here," said Koester, who himself has been in danger of losing in-home care. "I'd like lawmakers to see the real faces behind their decisions." Steve Mitchell of Ashland had a differing view. He said his dry-cleaning business has been forced to close three of six locations and reduce employees from 26 to 12. "That's real life," Mitchell said. "I had to cut everything I could to stay alive in business. As a citizen, I am saying that government has to do the same thing." He supports proposals by Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Taxpayers Association of Oregon to overhaul the public-pension system, eliminate vacant state jobs, find more efficiencies in agencies, and transfer some government functions to the business sector. Bill and Donna Cain of Rogue River also were part of the Citizens for a Sound Economy group. Donna Cain, current secretary of the Oregon Republican Party and a 1998 candidate for nomination to the Oregon House, said legislators are making progress with scaling back the long-term unfunded liability of the Public Employees Retirement System. "We are encouraged by what has been done so far," she said. "But we are hoping that it continues because PERS is costing the state billions. Anyone else in any other kind of business does not get that kind of retirement guarantee." Bill Cain said that efforts ought to be extended to paring other payroll costs in the public schools. "We need to return control of the education system to the people and out from under the unions," he said. Rob Wheaton of Portland relies on medications to keep his body from rejecting the transplanted heart he received six years ago. He had been living with an enlarged heart. When voters rejected an income-tax increase Jan. 28, it triggered elimination of state assistance to Wheaton and more than 8,000 "medically needy" people with high medical expenses but unable to qualify for Medicaid. The Legislature restored medications for transplant and AIDS patients through June 30. Before that restoration, Wheaton said he was down to a three-day supply of medication, some of it obtained from others. He is worried that the state cutoff will stand -- and he has not received any free or reduced-price medications from drug manufacturers. "For me, it's difficult to watch my pill supply dwindle," said Wheaton, who's 29 and looking for work. "It has become an hourglass of my life. I see those pill boxes getting smaller and bottles getting emptier. I see death coming."

05/16/2003

Pages