TOP POLICY STORIES
The Taxman Cometh, John Nothdurft, Director of Government Relations
One of the most dreaded days of the year is approaching … tax day. This year Tuesday, April 17 will be the last day people can file their taxes. It is also the Tax Foundation’s Tax Freedom Day, which calculates that Americans had to work more than a quarter of the year just to pay all the nation’s taxes for the year.
According to the Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day arrives “four days later than last year due to higher federal income and corporate tax collections. That means Americans will work 107 days into the year, from January 1 to April 17, to earn enough money to pay this year’s combined 29.2% federal, state, and local tax bill.”
If Americans were forced to pay the taxes necessary to pay off the $1.014 trillion budget deficit, Tax Freedom Day wouldn’t be until May 14. That means Americans would have to work 27 days just to cover the amount of borrowing due to over-spending our federal government has done for 2012.
The way to help workers work more days for themselves rather than for government is to implement solutions that help government run more efficiently and eliminate unnecessary government spending.
An Evening with John Stossel
“Celebrate” Tax Day on Sunday, April 15 with The Heartland Institute. Come spend an evening with Heartland and the libertarian star of the Fox Business Channel as he talks about and signs copies of his next best-seller arguing for smaller government, freer markets, and more liberty. (Click here to RSVP)
White House Data Shoot Down Buffett Rule Claims, Scott Hodge, Tax Foundation
President Obama this week re-launched his advocacy for a “Buffett Rule,” which maintains that no millionaire should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than a middle-class family. On Tuesday, the National Economic Council issued a white paper justifying the Buffett Rule as a “basic principle of tax fairness.”
Yet according to the NEC’s own white paper, millionaires and billionaires pay nearly twice as much of their income in taxes — both personal income and payroll taxes — than do middle-income taxpayers. (read more)
U.S. Has World’s Highest Corporate Tax Rate, Steve Stanek, The Heartland Institute
On April 1 the United States earned the dubious distinction of having the highest statutory corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation.
This occurred because on April 1 Japan lowered its corporate tax rate, moving the United States to the top of the list with a federal government rate of 35 percent. Most states also apply their own corporate tax on top of the federal tax. (read more)
IT’S BACK! The Heartland Institute is hosting its SEVENTH International Conference on Climate Change
The Heartland Institute’s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-7) will take place in Chicago, Illinois from Monday, May 21 to Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 South Michigan Avenue. The event will follow the NATO Summit taking place in Chicago on May 19–21. We hope you can attend.
The previous ICCC to take place in Chicago, ICCC-5 in 2010, attracted nearly 800 scientists, policy experts, elected officials, journalists, and other guests. We expect another large turn-out due to recent developments in the international debate over climate change, a line-up of outstanding speakers, and the global focus on Chicago due to the NATO Summit.
This conference is open to the public. (register to attend)
Policy Tip Sheet: Academic Drug Detailing, Kendall Antekeier, The Heartland Institute
In this Policy Tip Sheet, Legislative Specialist Kendall Antekeier discusses academic drug detailing and how it could stifle drug innovation while placing the government between patients and their physicians. The tip sheet is based on a recent policy brief from the Goldwater Institute, “A Pound of Cure: How Academic Detailing Could Limit Access to Pharmaceuticals.” (read full report)
Research & Commentary: Digital Learning Possibilities and Pitfalls, Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
Technology allows families and students greater freedom to finish school more quickly or more slowly depending on each student’s needs; greater freedom to travel and blend learning styles and opportunities; and relief for teachers and schools from many administrative burdens. All of this, digital learning proponents say, allows the best teachers and instruction to reach more students while reducing education costs.
Understanding that freedom to fail is necessary for innovation, proponents of online education generally advocate policymakers create a level playing field for various learning opportunities and provide an appropriate amount of oversight for public funds to ensure excellent options rise and poor options fall. (read more)
Research & Commentary: Subsidies for Renewable Energy in Florida, Matthew Glans and John Monaghan, The Heartland Institute
Sometime in the next few days, Florida Gov. Rick Scott will have to decide whether to sign or veto HB 7117, a multipronged renewable energy and conservation bill that provides tax credits for renewable energy technology investment and renewable fuel infrastructure. If signed and implemented, the bill would cost taxpayers $16 million annually and would redistribute general fund revenue to profit-making corporations, some of which could receive million-dollar payouts for actions they have already taken. (read more)
Podcasts of the Week
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John Stossel Book Dinner
Sunday, April 15, 2012, Union League Club, Chicago, IL (Purchase tables or tickets)
Monday, May 21 – Wednesday, May 23, 2012, Hilton Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL (Register now!)
President’s Council Retreat
Thursday, June 21 – Friday, June 22, 2012, Chicago, IL, By invitation only
8th Emerging Issues Forum
Thursday, August 9, 2012, Renaissance Hotel, Chicago, IL, Tickets available soon!
28th Anniversary Benefit Dinner
Thursday, August 9, 2012, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, Tickets available soon!