Drunk on Nannyism

Andrew Roth - June 26th, 2007

Mike Bloomberg Spends Taxpayer Dollars to tell New York What to Drink

Washington – It wasn’t enough for New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to make the mere presence of an empty ashtray in an office building illegal. Nor was he satisfied with banning trans fats in all New York City restaurants. Now Mike Bloomberg wants to tell New York City residents what to drink, and he wants to spend taxpayer dollars to do it.

According to the New York Daily News, Mayor Bloomberg is launching a $700,000 ad campaign to promote tap water. Taxpayer dollars will fund a total of 1,400 advertisements on New York City subways, bus kiosks, and check-cashing stations. Ironically, this campaign comes one month after the city raised water rates.

This latest waste of taxpayer dollars reflects Mayor Bloomberg’s long record of raising taxes and city spending through the roof. In his first term, Bloomberg raised sales, income, and property taxes while increasing spending by an average of 10% per year&mdashfar outpacing the growth of inflation and population.

“Many journalists have labeled Mike Bloomberg a ”fiscal conservative,’ but there is nothing conservative about spending $700,000 of taxpayers’ money to tell them what to drink,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “Bloomberg’s latest crusade demonstrates his little respect for New York City’s hardworking taxpayers and the right of individuals to make their own choices.”

Club Reaction to WRTL Decision

Andrew Roth - June 25th, 2007

Club for Growth Cautiously Optimistic over Court’s Free Speech Decision

Washington &mdash While the Club for Growth supports the complete repeal of McCain-Feingold, the Supreme Court’s decision today in Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC marks an encouraging victory for political free speech.

In a 5-4 decision, Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy upheld Wisconsin Right to Life’s First Amendment right to run ads that mention a candidate’s name within 60 days of a general election. Although McCain-Feingold restricts “electioneering communications” within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of a general election, the Court ruled that the group’s ads were not the “functional equivalent” of express advocacy. More importantly, the majority decision lays out a clearer test for which speech falls under the prohibited category of “express advocacy” and which falls under the now permitted category of “issue ads.” The Roberts test will hopefully put an end to the FEC’s practice of issuing deliberately obscure guidelines so as to chill political speech and force the agency to rewrite its regulations.

“The Court’s ruling has the potential to dramatically open up public debate in this country,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “We are particularly pleased by the Court’s insistence on giving ”the benefit of any doubt to protecting rather than stifling speech.’”

“At the same time, we are disappointed that Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito balked at overruling McCain-Feingold’s ban on ads close to an election, as advocated by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy. The Court’s 93-page decision today has the potential to open up a Pandora’s Box of future litigation as groups struggle to determine which kind of speech falls under the Court’s protected category and which kind of speech remains prohibited by McCain-Feingold. We hope the Supreme Court will take the opportunity in future cases to close the Pandora’s Box once and for all.”

Taxing Private Equity

Andrew Roth - June 19th, 2007

Taxaholics Target Private Equity

Washington &mdash As several private equity firms prepare to go public, Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are attempting to hammer legislation through the Senate that will punish these firms by imposing an oppressive tax hike on all publicly traded partnerships.

Supporters of the Baucus-Grassley bill anticipate a treasure trove of new tax revenue, but taxing innovation and success will produce less revenue, not more. A punitive tax increase will push private equity firms to remain private or move offshore&mdashto the detriment of the country’s economic growth. “If Congress was really interested in producing more tax revenue, it would cut taxes, not raise them,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “Private equity firms add liquidity to our capital markets, spur innovation, and enhance productivity. The Baucus-Grassley tax hike will diminish their dynamism and lower returns for pension funds, universities, and others who invest with them.”

To make matters worse, there is talk of attaching the Baucus-Grassley legislation to the energy bill slated to move through the Senate this week in the hopes of slipping the offensive tax hike under the radar of public opinion.

“If Senators Baucus and Grassley think they can pass an onerous tax increase on American businesses without so much of a peep from the American taxpayers who would bear the brunt of diminishing growth and innovation, they have another thing coming,” Mr. Toomey said. “Advocates of economic growth will not sit silently while the taxaholics in the U.S. Senate take their shots at the U.S. economy.”

The Pork Meister Repents

Andrew Roth - June 15th, 2007

The Pork Meister Repents!
Club for Growth Offers Kudos to David Obey

Washington &mdash The Club for Growth applauded Democratic Chairman of the Appropriations Committee David Obey (WI-D) for announcing his intention to offer a series of amendments to eliminate all earmarks from the FY 2008 appropriations bills.

“It is a happy day indeed at Club for Growth headquarters when the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee promises to offer, not one, but a series of amendments to eliminate all earmarks from the FY 2008 appropriations process,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “While the likelihood of passage is slim, the Obey amendments will put all congressmen on the record in favor or in opposition to wasting taxpayers’ dollars. American taxpayers have a right to know which lawmakers can be trusted to be fiscally responsible and which lawmakers cannot. It is our sincerest hope that David Obey will vote for his own amendments despite his record of supporting wasteful pork projects.”

In years past, Rep. Obey has been a proud supporter of earmarks. When Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ-R) introduced 19 amendments on the House floor last year, challenging outrageous pork projects, Obey scored a humiliating 5%, voting against 18 of Flake’s 19 amendments. “We will not hold Rep. Obey’s past record against him,” Mr. Toomey said. “We welcome all repenters with open arms.”

The Club for Growth also announced that it will be key voting each and every Obey amendment to be included in the Club for Growth’s 2007 Congressional Scorecard. The Congressional Scorecard for the 110th Congress will provide a comprehensive rating of how well or how poorly each member of Congress supports pro-growth, free-market policies and will be distributed to Club for Growth members and to the public.

Dear Taxpayers…

Andrew Roth - June 15th, 2007

Dear American Taxpayers, Tax Hike Coming Soon, Sincerely, Charlie Rangel

Dear American Taxpayers,

I know that you have all been hard at work, but I need some more tax money to pay for all the great government programs the new Congress is planning on initiating.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Isn’t the federal government big enough? Didn’t Congress grow the government by unprecedented levels over the past several years? But I am writing to reassure you that this Congress will grow the government better than in years past. Taxpayers often think they know the best way to spend their own money, but the truth is your senators and representatives can usually think of a better way. For example, you might want to save your money for your children’s college years, but wouldn’t it be better if we put that money toward peanut storage in Georgia instead?

As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, I am proud to tell you that the Committee has recently released a plan to raise the highest income tax rate 4.3 percentage points to 39.3% as part of a plan to reform the Alternative Minimum Tax. Think of all the new, wonderful government programs we can fund with that money. And still, there’s more! When Congress lets the Bush tax cuts expire, the top income tax rate will soar to 44%&mdasheven more than it was under Bill Clinton! (Oh boy, it sure is fun to be in control again!)

In conclusion, I am looking forward to receiving your additional tax dollars and to growing government even more. If you have any new ideas for raising taxes, I am always interested in hearing about them. You can reach me at (202) 225-4365.

Sincerely,

Charlie Rangel

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (NY-D)