Press Releases

 

Wednesday
May122010

NHDP Chair Ray Buckley's Statement on the House Republicans' Press Conference on the Budget 

Concord -Today, House Republicans held a press conference complaining about Democratic efforts to keep New Hampshire's budget in balance without offering any specific, substantive recommendations of their own. 

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement responding to the Republican press conference.

"I have two words for Minority Leader Sherm Packard and the House Republicans: grow up.  Either come to the table and outline a specific plan for moving New Hampshire forward, or stop whining while Democrats keep New Hampshire one of the lowest taxed, lowest spending, best places to live in the country."

"The Governor, House, and Senate Democrats are engaged in a thoughtful debate - including specific policy proposals - on how to keep New Hampshire's budget in balance, while the Republican Party continues to act like spoiled children. "

"The New Hampshire Republican Party has become a caricature of itself.  Like a child's doll that endlessly repeats the same phrase over and over again, Sherman Packard and House Republicans scream shrilly about cuts whenever Democrats try to have a meaningful discussion about the state's finances.  The problem is that Republicans never suggest any specific sacrifices that they expect the people of New Hampshire to make."



Wednesday
May122010

Rep Carol Shea-Porter - IN CASE YOU MISSED: Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950

Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950

By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY 

 http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2010-05-10-taxes_N.htm

 

Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

 

Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. The real problem is spending, counters Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, which organizes Tea Party groups. "The money we borrow is going to be paid back through taxation in the future," he says.

Individual tax rates vary widely based on how much a taxpayer earns, where the person lives and other factors. On average, though, the tax rate paid by all Americans — rich and poor, combined — has fallen 26% since the recession began in 2007. That means a $3,400 annual tax savings for a household paying the average national rate and earning the average national household income of $102,000.

This tax drop has boosted consumer spending and the economy, which grew at a 3.2% annual rate in the first quarter. It also has contributed to the federal debt growing to $8.4 trillion.

Taxes paid have fallen much faster than income in this recession. Personal income fell 2% last year. Taxes paid dropped 23%. The BEA classifies Social Security taxes as insurance payments and excludes them from the tax calculation.

Why the tax bite has eased:

• Stimulus law. One-third of last year's $862 billion economic stimulus went for tax cuts. Biggest reduction: The Making Work Pay tax credit reduced income taxes $800 for married couples earning up to $150,000.

• Progressive tax rates. Presidents Clinton and Bush pushed through a series of tax changes — credits, lower rates, higher exemptions — that slashed income taxes for poor and middle-class families. A drop in income now can trigger big tax breaks and sharply lower rates, sometimes falling to zero.

• Sales tax. Consumers cut spending sharply in this downturn, thereby paying less in sales taxes.

A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% thought taxes were "too high" and 45% thought they were "about right." Those saying taxes are "too high" remain near a 50-year low.

The lower tax burden should last at least through 2010, says Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "Virtually all the stimulus tax cuts expire at the end of the year," he says. "So the key decision is whether to extend them into 2011."



Tuesday
May112010

ALG Condemns Senate for Failing to Audit the Federal Reserve 

"Without a full audit of the Federal Reserve, Congress cannot perform its constitutional role of oversight of the central bank.  The Senate just voted to keep its blinders on, and to bow at the altar of central planning."—ALG President Bill Wilson.

May 11th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today denounced the U.S. Senate for failing to adopt an amendment to the Dodd financial takeover bill that would have authorized a full audit of the Federal Reserve including its dealings with foreign governments.

"On Sunday, the Fed decided to bail out Europe with a credit line after the Fed Chairman Bernanke promised Congress that it would not do so," Wilson said.  

"The Fed and European Central Bank are essentially guaranteeing the bond sales of bankrupt countries.  Without the Vitter amendment, the Federal Reserve will continue to operate in secret and with impunity, endangering the financial system, weakening the dollar, and subsidizing risky bets in the markets," Wilson explained.

"Making matters worse, the Senate is telling the American people that they do not have a right to know about this and other Fed transactions with foreign central banks and governments."

An amendment offered by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) would have lifted restrictions on the Government Accountability Office that pursuant to 31 USCA §714(b) prohibits it from auditing the Federal Reserve's transactions with foreign central bank and governments, its deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters, its discount window operations, the reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, open market operations and transactions.

"The Vitter amendment was an anti-bailout amendment, and the Senate just said no to stopping bailouts or even conducting any oversight of them.  Instead, the Senate just issued the Fed a blank check that it does not even want to know about what the central bank is up to.  The American people should not be surprised, then, when the Fed bails out more foreign countries that cannot pay their own debts," Wilson warned.

The Vitter amendment failed by a vote of 62 to 37.

Yesterday, Wilson had denounced Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke for going back on his word that the Federal Reserve would not be participating in any foreign bailouts after the central bank announced it was extending a credit line to foreign central banks, including the European Central Bank, to bolster lending in near-bankrupt countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland and others.

At the time, on February 24th, Bernanke told the House of Representatives, "we have no plans whatsoever to be involved in any foreign bailouts or anything of that sort."

"Ben Bernanke misled Congress about the Fed's European bailout, and now the U.S. Senate is covering up for him," Wilson said.

Wilsons has previously noted that the Federal Reserve was a "principal actor" in causing the financial crisis: "By keeping interest rates too low for too long, the Fed accommodated the inflation of the housing bubble throughout the 1990's and 2000's by pumping easy money into the system."

Wilson cited research by Stanford economist John Taylor who in a recent Wall Street Journal column wrote, "the Fed's target for the federal-funds interest rate was well below what the Taylor rule would call for in 2002-2005. By this measure the interest rate was too low for too long, reducing borrowing costs and accelerating the housing boom. The deviation from the Taylor rule, which had characterized good monetary policy during the previous two decades, was the largest since the turbulent 1970s."

"Clearly, the Dodd financial bill is a farce, and will not even be addressing one of the root causes of the financial crisis.  Without a full audit of the Federal Reserve, Congress cannot perform its constitutional role of oversight of the central bank.  The Senate just voted to keep its blinders on, and to bow at the altar of central planning," Wilson concluded.

Tuesday
May112010

Binnie Has Doubts About Kagan 

(Portsmouth, NH May 11) Bill Binnie, candidate for the United States Senate in New Hampshire says he has serious doubts and reservations regarding Elena Kagan’s suitability to serve as a Supreme Court justice.

“Kagan is a Washington-insider and an academic,” says Binnie. “That gives me serious reservations and doubts about her ability to reflect mainstream America or to understand ordinary Americans.”

Binnie says he is also concerned about Kagan’s lack of a record.

“Kagan has zero judicial experience and produced little in the way of legal scholarship,” says Binnie. “That means we have no way of judging her qualifications.”

Tuesday
May112010

CORNERSTONE CRITICIZES LYNCH, LEGISLATURE FOR REFUSING TO APPOINT AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL

 

Manchester, NH - On the heals of  Cornerstone-Action's call yesterday for legislative leaders to appoint a special counsel to investigate the on-going FRM scandal, both Governor Lynch and Senate President, Sylvia Larsen expressed they have no desire to do so at this time. 

Speaking to WMUR, the Governor's spokesman, Colin Manning, stated that it would be premature to "plot a course of action" until the Attorney General releases his report.  Additionally, Senate President Sylvia Larsen said it would be improper to assume the Attorney General's report would be anything but thorough, adding that she thinks it will be a reliable and trustworthy report.  This, despite the fact that out-going BSR chief, Mark Connolly, has raised significant concerns over the past few weeks about the Attorney General's mishandling of the FRM situation.

Cornerstone-Action's, Kevin Smith, criticized the Governor and Legislature's attempt to delay an independent review:

"It is perplexing at this point as to why the Governor or the Legislature would not want an independent investigation into this matter.  With so many  uncertainties as to the role the Attorney General's Office played in allowing this ponzi scheme to take place, it's hard to imagine the public having any confidence in the neutrality of the report they are releasing this week.  We continue to call on the Governor and legislative leaders to ensure the public's trust by appointing a special counsel to independently investigate this matter."