Heritage Action

The Lame Duck Threat Online Consumers and Small Businesses Should Fear

Heritage Action Internet Sales Tax

It’s 2014, and American consumers are increasingly making purchases online. This trend shows no signs of changing. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and his ideological allies are scheming to throw a wrench in the works. Online shoppers who enjoy the benefits of tax free online shopping may no longer be able to do that if Sen. Reid gets his way. Small online businesses are currently taxed on sales only where they have a physical presence and therefore political representation. If the Internet sales tax becomes law, they will no longer have that freedom, which is a violation of federalism.

Reid announced in September that he will do whatever it takes to pass an Internet sales tax bill, the misleadingly named the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), after the midterm election.  The bill would place burdensome regulations on small online businesses and would entail a massive expansion of state taxing authority. Because only 35 percent of Americans support Internet sales tax legislation, he plans to attach it to a very popular ban on Internet use taxes known as the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA).

Big Business Republicans are going to outspend grassroots conservatives every time; but there’s a way we can defeat them.

Phone Banking

Soon-to-be-former Congressman Eric Cantor spent more campaign cash at steakhouses than Dave Brat spent during his entire primary challenge. And leading up to the May 21 pre-primary filing deadline, Cantor outraised Brat by a stunning 25-to-1 margin.

For those who bemoan big money in politics, this is an unexpected lesson in the power of the grassroots over campaign cash. The steakhouse statistic isn’t the reason why Cantor lost, but it is indicative of the culture of entrenched incumbency. Most Members of Congress — both Democrat and Republican — believe to some extent that they are entitled to their position.

Perhaps that’s the nature of power.

Unfortunately for grassroots conservatives, victories like Brat’s are not the norm. Open Secrets has tracked incumbent re-election rates since 1964, and 9 times out of 10, these guys get re-elected with very little opposition. There are very few instances where re-election rates dip below 90%, and most of them are on the Senate side.

And as Molly Ball reports in The Atlantic, “No sitting majority leader has lost a primary since the position was invented in 1899.” The fact that fewer and fewer House seats are competitive in a general election means that to defeat most of these incumbents, someone will have to take them out in the primary.

Massie Drops Two Bills in Defense of Raw Milk Distribution

raw milk

Farmers across America continue to be harassed and fined for distributing unprocessed milk. This has been a problem to hard-working American families even before former congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced his Unpasteurized Raw Milk Bill, HR 1830, in 2011.

Now, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has announced he is dropping two separate bills addressing the same issues with the goal of restoring the farmers’ right to distribute milk, and the consumer’s right to choose what he or she wants to put in their own bodies.

Dairy farmers across the country find themselves in trouble with the law over the Food and Drug Administration’s strict guidelines, which end up pushing the raw milk business to the sidelines, turning it into a black market and thus increasing the risks associated with the poor processing quality. When laws are too strict, farmers can no longer make use of the protection of an open market where they compete freely. Consumers are the ones who lose.

While many doctors continue to defend the reasons why people may prefer to drink raw milk, many others will say that raw milk is in fact hazardous and must be kept from consumers, for their own good.

While the open debate is always important, banning a consumer item solely on the premises that it may eventually cause somebody harm is just not compatible with living in a free society, where individuals are aware they might have to face certain risks every now and then but are also entirely free to opt out.

House passes Farm Bill without reform, makes subsidies permanent

After a embarrassing defeat last month and despite a veto threat from the White House, House Republican leaders were able to save some face yesterday by passing the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM Act), otherwise known as the “Farm Bill.”

The vote was close, 216 to 208, with every Democrat voting against the measure because food stamp funding was separated from the bill for the first time in several decades. Twelve Republicans voted against the measure because they say it spends too much and didn’t offer any real reform.

While separating food stamps from the Farm Bill — which accounted for nearly 79% of the $940 billion measure that the House voted down last month — does substantially bring down, the $202 billion proposal passed yesterday by the Republican-controlled House, according to The Hillcuts less in subsidies than the bill passed by the Senate.

Oh, look, phony populist Elizabeth Warren backs the Export-Import Bank’s brand of corporate welfare

So, something hilarious happened. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who staked her claim in politics as anti-big business, anti-bank populist, was invited to join Heritage Action to take down the crony Export-Import Bank.

Well, Warren turned down the offer. Why? Because, despite her populist rhetoric, the Massachusetts Democrats is, apparently, totally down with the Export-Import Bank’s corporate welfare ways (emphasis added):

The Tea Party-aligned group sent a letter today to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat known for taking populist stands against corporate America, inviting her to speak about  ending the lender “and the political favoritism it engenders.”

“We, like you, are frustrated with a political economy that benefits well-connected elites at the expense of all Americans,” Heritage Action Chief Executive Officer Michael Needham wrote. “Your presence will send a clear signal that you are going to fight the most pressing example of corporate welfare and cronyism pending before Congress right now.”

Alas, it doesn’t sound like the former Harvard law professor will be lecturing to Heritage audiences any time soon.

“Senator Warren believes that the Export-Import Bank helps create American jobs and spur economic growth, but recognizes that there is room for improvement in the bank’s operations,” Warren spokesman Lacey Rose tells us in an e-mail. “She looks forward to reviewing re-authorization legislation if and when it is introduced.”

Today in Liberty: MSNBC mocks Hillary Clinton’s “dead broke” comments, veterans disapprove of Bergdahl-Taliban deal

“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

— MSNBC’s Morning Joe mocks Clinton’s Romney moment: In an interview with Good Morning America on Monday Hillary Clinton said that her family left the White House “not only dead broke, but in debt” and defended the millions she and former President Bill Clinton have made in speaking fees. “[W]e had to pay off all our debts,” she said, “which was, you know, he had to make double the money because of obviously taxes and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.” Oh, the hardship of poverty: “How can we afford our $1.7 million and $2.85 million homes in New York and Washington!?” MSNBC’s Morning Joe had some fun with Clinton’s tone deaf, Romney-like comments this morning. Here’s a taste.

Karl Rove tries to connect Tea Party groups to Texas primary

Karl Rove

During a recent appearance on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Karl Rove, a Fox News contributor and former advisor to President George W. Bush, tried to downplay the role some Tea Party groups could have in 2014 Republican primaries by connecting them to an insurgent campaigns that none of them ever backed.

Carlson asked Rove about the “dissention” between the Republican establishment and the Tea Party movement.

“I think you gotta distinguish between the Tea Party sentiment and the Tea Party groups. Look, groups like Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action and FreedomWorks and Club for Growth don’t look like their going to have a particularly good year,” Rove told Carlson. “Our first test will be here in just over a week in Texas, where Senator John Cornyn is being opposed for reelection by Congressman Steve Stockman and Dwayne Stovall, both of whom are trying to capitalize on the Tea Party element.”

Heritage Action targets vulnerable Democrats over government shutdown

 Shutdown (Pryor)

Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, has announced $400,000 ad buy in four states — Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina — targeting vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014 for their refusal to defund ObamaCare.

Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Pryor (D-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Kay Hagan (D-NC) have all voted against House-passed spending measures to avert or end a government shutdown, siding President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

The ads, all of which can be watched below, have the same script, just substituting the names of the senators in the states where they will be run. The ad targeting Pryor will serve as an example.

“Mark Pryor promised to represent you. Instead, Mark Pryor is working for Harry Reid and Barack Obama to protect ObamaCare,” says the narrator of the ad as headlines and other imagery is displayed. “Why won’t Mark Pryor stop the shutdown and defund ObamaCare.”

“Three days into the Democrats’ government shutdown, Senators Begich, Pryor, Landrieu and Hagan have a decision to make: stand with President Obama to protect a failed law that is hurting the country or reject partisan politics to protect the people they’re supposed to represent,” said Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, in a release announcing the ad buys.

Poll shows support for “defund ObamaCare” push

Defund ObamaCare

As the push to defund ObamaCare gathers steam in both chambers of Congress, establishment Republicans are increasingly worried that, if successful, the inevitable government shutdown would hurt the GOP in next year’s mid-term.

But a new poll commissioned by Heritage Action for America in 10 battleground congressional districts shows strong support for defunding ObamaCare, which casts doubt on claims made by fearmongering Republicans who falsely claim that a government shutdown would hurt the military and other government services.

As it goes there is a contingent in the Republican Party that strongly feels that the defunding ObamaCare in the upcoming Continuing Resolution would be a political loser. Those who are pushing the effort to take on the law want to fund the government, just not ObamaCare, putting the prospect of a government shutdown in President Barack Obama’s hands.

All of the districts are Republican-leaning, but not necessarily “safe” Republican seats. Six of the districts are current held by Republicans, four by Democrats.

The poll, released last week by Heritage Action, found that 77% of likely voters in these 10 districts support either slowing down the implementation of ObamaCare or repeal of the law. Fifty-seven percent (57%) say they support defunding ObamaCare.


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