Taxpayers United of America

Taxpayers United of America Founded in 1976, TUA is one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. For more information, visit: http://www.taxpayersunited.org

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https://www.taxpayereducation.org/2021/12/the-midwest-rail-plan-is-a-disaster-in-the-making/ The plan by Midwestern stat...
12/09/2021
THE MIDWEST RAIL PLAN IS “A DISASTER IN THE MAKING” | Taxpayer Education Foundation

https://www.taxpayereducation.org/2021/12/the-midwest-rail-plan-is-a-disaster-in-the-making/

The plan by Midwestern states to squander up to $12 billion of federal funds on a “Midwest Regional Rail Plan” is a disaster in the making, according to Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute senior fellow specializing in land‐​use and transportation issues.

The plan calls for a Chicago hub with spokes radiating to Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus (via either Fort Wayne or Indianapolis), Cincinnati, Nashville, Kansas City (via St. Louis), Omaha, and the Twin Cities, and, writes O’Toole, calls for building dedicated lines only in the countryside between Chicago and Detroit, Chicago and Ft. Wayne, Chicago and Nashville, Chicago and St. Louis, and Chicago and St. Paul.

The trains would use tracks shared with freight trains in the cities and in outlying areas such as St. Louis-Kansas City, Indianapolis-Cincinnati.

The plan projects that it will carry 17 million to 33 million riders a year. Projected fares of $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion a year would “nearly” cover operating costs.

“Both of these claims are highly optimistic,” states O’Toole, adding that the Northeast Corridor is more amenable to passenger train ridership than the Midwest. Yet, in 2019, Amtrak trains in the Northeast Corridor carried just 12.5 million riders.
Another problem is that in addition to ridership projections that are too high, the Midwest Plan’s projections of operating costs are too low.

The model is defective, writes O’Toole. “A major flaw in the Midwest Rail Plan is its hub-and-spoke model. That works fine in the Northeast Corridor where there are just two spokes going in opposite directions, but with six spokes going in all directions it leaves out a lot of potential trips.”

Furthermore, even if Midwest rails are built to 150- or 180-mileper-hour standards, trains would rarely be time-competitive with air travel. “The plan’s proposed use of shared rails in major urban areas would mean that trains could only go 20 to 30 miles per hour in those sections, greatly adding to total travel times.”

A caption of an Amtrak’s publicity photo is “Passengers enjoy the scenery between St. Louis and Chicago.” But, comments O’Toole, “Passengers are also enjoying the many empty seats: Amtrak’s 2019 performance report says that its Midwest trains normally fill only 38 to 59 percent of their seats.”

There are other problems. The plan requires that the states acquire 1,500 miles of right-of-way. Landowners resist right-of-way sales to high-speed rail projects.

Finally, “There is also the sheer cost of the project,” writes O’Toole. “The $12 billion in the infrastructure bill will be spread across the country, and if the Midwest gets the same share as it did the Obama funds, it will only get about $3 billion of it. That will barely pay for the feasibility studies required to build a $116 billion to $162 billion project.”

The plan by Midwestern states to squander up to $12 billion of federal funds on a “Midwest Regional Rail Plan” is a disaster in the making, according to Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute senior fellow specializing in land‐​use and transportation issues.

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and ab...
11/03/2021
BIDEN’S INFLATION MONSTER WOULD REDUCE EVERYONE’S ASSETS - Taxpayers United Of America

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and above market expectations of 5.3%. What is hard for most consumers to grasp is that inflation is a hidden, insidious tax that affects everything. It affects low-income families who struggle to pay for food and services, and harms the vital middle-class needed for a stable society.

Not only does it eat away at the value of the dollar, it devalues other assets such as real estate. A 5% rate of inflation will lessen the value of a person’s home by 5% regardless of market value, without the owner’s being aware of it.

Biden’s proposed spending bill is in the trillions of dollars. Whether it is partly funded by tax increases or not, it will cause massive inflation over and above the present rate and will bring back painful memories of the inflation that ravaged the country under the administration of peanut-farmer Jimmy Carter (D).

Washington politicians are very skillful at raising taxes through inflation. Politicians love inflation because creating money from nothing makes it easy to finance wars and pork. Whenever money is needed by the federal government for wars or pork, the Federal Reserve will buy securities from the U.S. Treasury by means of a check drawn on itself. The Treasury then uses this new money to finance increased federal spending. The Fed is the only entity that can legally create money from nothing. Created by anyone else, it is called counterfeiting.

Newly created money from nothing floods the economy and makes all assets, whether liquid or not, worth less. If Biden’s spending bill becomes law, even consumers in the middle-class will struggle to pay their bills and the entire economy of the U.S. will suffer.

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/bidens-inflation-monster-would-reduce-everyones-assets/

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and above market expectations of 5.3%. What is hard for most consumers to grasp is that inflation is a hidden, insidious tax that affects everything. It affects low-income families who s...

10/27/2021
10/18/2021
Winnebago County increased property taxes by nearly $1 million for the 2021 tax year despite Rockford’s effort to keep t...
10/06/2021
Rockford Taxpayers Can’t Catch a Break - Taxpayers United Of America

Winnebago County increased property taxes by nearly $1 million for the 2021 tax year despite Rockford’s effort to keep taxes stable. While this tax increase was made in daylight, several tax increases have been heaped upon taxpayers under the cover of the corrupt and massive Illinois State government.

“Rockford taxpayers have been tolerating some of the highest tax rates in the state and the country,” stated Val W. Zimnicki of Taxpayers United of America. “Now they have state bureaucrats dumping on them as well.”

“Now that Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed SB508 into law, the state can sneak in new property taxes. Specifically, SB508 allows the state to increase this year’s property tax by the amount of refunds due to adjustments from last year.”

“So, when I get my senior discount, the amount I save is covered by everyone else in my district. A classic ‘redistribution of wealth’. That phrase, redistribution of wealth, is a misnomer. It conveniently leads one to believe that only the wealthy are negatively affected by it when, in reality, it affects the middle class by supplanting the tax burden to them.”

“The big guy in Springfield also keeps reducing the amount of revenue collected by the state income-tax that is returned to the local district. When Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) was enacted, the amount was set at 10% of the total state income-tax revenue collected to be returned to the local governments. Pritzker just decreased it to 6.06%! Bureaucrats want nothing else but to see property tax increases to offset this.

“Which brings us to the $64 million question: why are bureaucrats so despite to raise our taxes? Their own benefit, that’s what. Many government employees are paid lavish salaries using our property taxes, which in turn sets their starting state pension. Furthermore, pension plans in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System are primarily funded with property taxes.”

The pensions and salaries of the local government retirees take the biggest bite out of the property-tax revenue pie. The government schools impose the greatest property tax hikes. Approximately 58.8% of property-tax increases went to the government schools.

“Rockford area government pensioners are bleeding the area’s taxpayers dry. How can a Winnebago County retiree soak the taxpayers for more than $5 million in property taxes? Simply by retiring at the age of 57 with an annual pension of $175,970. Winnebago County retiree Paul A. Logli did just that and will collect $5,074,976 over a normal lifetime.

“Retired Rockford teacher, Alan S. Brown, began draining taxpayers at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $194,493 and will accumulate to a stunning $5,322,245 when he reaches 85 years of age.”

“Kishwaukee College’s David Louis is on track to collect $4,735,522 by age 85, thanks to his constitutionally protected 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) on his current annual pension of $197,577.”

“There are no quick fixes for Illinois’ dire financial situation, although the solutions are painfully obvious: stop adding new hires to the same broken system and place them in a defined contribution plan like a 401(k), increase the amount that government employees contribute to their own pension, get a referendum on the ballot to end the 3% compounded COLA.”

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/rockford-taxpayers-cant-catch-a-break/

Winnebago County increased property taxes by nearly $1 million for the 2021 tax year despite Rockford’s effort to keep taxes stable. While this tax increase was made in daylight, several tax increases have been heaped upon taxpayers under the cover of the corrupt and massive Illinois State governm...

In an article published Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times identified Duckworth as one of more than 27,000 homeowners in Cook...
10/06/2021
Democrat Tammy Duckworth slammed for getting tax break on her Illinois home

In an article published Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times identified Duckworth as one of more than 27,000 homeowners in Cook County who avoid paying the tax by claiming various exemptions that the Illinois General Assembly has made possible over the years.

"I’m surprised that someone would question veterans who have been wounded in service to their nation in a combat zone accessing benefits," Duckworth responded, according to the Sun-Times.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democrat-tammy-duckworth-property-tax-illinois-home-disabled-veteran-exemption

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a disabled U.S. military veteran, has been criticized by a Chicago newspaper for getting a tax break that has allowed her to avoid paying property taxes on her Cook County, Illinois, home since 2015.

The average person drives 13,500 according to the The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration...
09/28/2021

The average person drives 13,500 according to the The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. That means a $1,080 tax just to drive your car that you paid for with income that was taxed, paid sales tax on, and were taxed for licensing fees. Don't forget the fuel required to drive it was taxed.

The average person drives 13,500 according to the The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. That means a $1,080 tax just to drive your car that you paid for with income that was taxed, paid sales tax on, and were taxed for licensing fees. Don't forget the fuel required to drive it was taxed.

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/build-back-better-act-harmful-and-a-money-loser/ The tax provisions in the “Build B...
09/28/2021
“BUILD BACK BETTER ACT” HARMFUL AND A MONEY-LOSER - Taxpayers United Of America

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/build-back-better-act-harmful-and-a-money-loser/

The tax provisions in the “Build Back Better Act” proposed in the House Ways and Means Committee would result in long-run GDP dropping by more than $2 for every $1 in new tax revenue, according to the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

“It is important to consider the economic impacts, which include reduced economic output, wages, and jobs,” writes the foundation’s Garrett Watson.

“We estimate that the Ways and Means tax plan would reduce long-run GDP by 0.98 percent, which in today’s dollars amounts to about $332 billion of lost output annually. We estimate the plan would in the long run raise about $152 billion annually in new tax revenue, conventionally estimated in today’s dollars, meaning for every $1 in revenue raised, economic output would fall by $2.18.”

According to the foundation, starting with a 0.09 percent drop in GDP in the first year (about $20 billion) and building to a 0.64 percent drop in GDP by 2031 (about $212 billion), the plan would result in a cumulative GDP loss of nearly $1.2 trillion from 2022 through 2031, as shown in the following Figure.

The Ways and Means tax plan reduces economic output by reducing the after-tax return to investment opportunities for firms and the incentive to work through higher tax rates on labor income. More than half of the plan’s economic impact is due to increasing the tax burden on corporations, which is the most economically costly way to raise revenue.

The report notes that even before accounting for a smaller economy, taxpayers earning less than $400,000 would see lower after-tax incomes due to higher corporate taxes and higher taxes levied on ni****ne and ci******es.

Overall, the plan would reduce average after-tax income per filer by $171 in 2031, on a conventional basis, and by $971 per filer in the long run on a dynamic basis. That is, the economic harm of the plan would reduce after-tax incomes by about $800 per filer on average each year.

The report concludes, “The economic harm caused by the tax increases would claw back some of the plan’s expanded tax credits aimed at low- and middle-income families. For those in the bottom 20 percent, it would reduce the average net benefit of the plan per filer from $341 to $233, a 30 percent reduction.”

The tax provisions in the “Build Back Better Act” proposed in the House Ways and Means Committee would result in long-run GDP dropping by more than $2 for every $1 in new tax revenue, according to the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

09/27/2021

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09/23/2021

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The energy policies of the Biden administration are counter-productive and are harming the U.S.The U.S. became energy in...
09/23/2021
BIDEN ENERGY POLICIES ARE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE AND DESTRUCTIVE - Taxpayers United Of America

The energy policies of the Biden administration are counter-productive and are harming the U.S.

The U.S. became energy independent a couple of years prior to President Biden’s executive orders. Biden stopped oil and gas leases on federal lands and then stopped construction on the Keystone pipeline. Simultaneously, he approved Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, which will supply that country as well as other European countries with oil, thus weakening U.S. oil exports. This puzzling action makes no economic sense. It’s a double-hit on U.S. oil exports and U.S. oil independence. As a result, the U.S. is a net oil importer once again.

During the Trump administration, domestic oil production rose 44 percent, and we were a oil exporter for the first time in almost 60 years. This has changed. Due to Biden’s executive orders, we are now asking OPEC to pump more oil to meet our needs, and, of course, this comes at a cost. Gas and oil prices are now at highest levels in 7 years, since October 2014.

Americans are paying much more at the pump, and this hurts not only the middle class but the poor. Last year the national average for regular grade oil was $2.38 a gallon; today it’s almost a dollar more.

As usual, the costs are higher in Illinois and other blue states. Economists see oil and gas prices continuing to trend in an upward direction.

Transportation costs are not the only ones directly affected by the administration’s economic policies. Oil and natural gas are needed for products like tires, medical equipment, phones, shampoos, dresses, deodorants, sweaters, and about 6,000 other commodities. Watch for more inflation affecting many everyday products dependent on oil. Of course, politicians love higher-priced merchandise. Higher prices create higher taxes!

The energy policies of the Biden administration are counter-productive and are harming the U.S.

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https://www.taxpayereducation.org/2021/12/the-midwest-rail-plan-is-a-disaster-in-the-making/ The plan by Midwestern states to squander up to $12 billion of federal funds on a “Midwest Regional Rail Plan” is a disaster in the making, according to Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute senior fellow specializing in land‐​use and transportation issues. The plan calls for a Chicago hub with spokes radiating to Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus (via either Fort Wayne or Indianapolis), Cincinnati, Nashville, Kansas City (via St. Louis), Omaha, and the Twin Cities, and, writes O’Toole, calls for building dedicated lines only in the countryside between Chicago and Detroit, Chicago and Ft. Wayne, Chicago and Nashville, Chicago and St. Louis, and Chicago and St. Paul. The trains would use tracks shared with freight trains in the cities and in outlying areas such as St. Louis-Kansas City, Indianapolis-Cincinnati. The plan projects that it will carry 17 million to 33 million riders a year. Projected fares of $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion a year would “nearly” cover operating costs. “Both of these claims are highly optimistic,” states O’Toole, adding that the Northeast Corridor is more amenable to passenger train ridership than the Midwest. Yet, in 2019, Amtrak trains in the Northeast Corridor carried just 12.5 million riders. Another problem is that in addition to ridership projections that are too high, the Midwest Plan’s projections of operating costs are too low. The model is defective, writes O’Toole. “A major flaw in the Midwest Rail Plan is its hub-and-spoke model. That works fine in the Northeast Corridor where there are just two spokes going in opposite directions, but with six spokes going in all directions it leaves out a lot of potential trips.” Furthermore, even if Midwest rails are built to 150- or 180-mileper-hour standards, trains would rarely be time-competitive with air travel. “The plan’s proposed use of shared rails in major urban areas would mean that trains could only go 20 to 30 miles per hour in those sections, greatly adding to total travel times.” A caption of an Amtrak’s publicity photo is “Passengers enjoy the scenery between St. Louis and Chicago.” But, comments O’Toole, “Passengers are also enjoying the many empty seats: Amtrak’s 2019 performance report says that its Midwest trains normally fill only 38 to 59 percent of their seats.” There are other problems. The plan requires that the states acquire 1,500 miles of right-of-way. Landowners resist right-of-way sales to high-speed rail projects. Finally, “There is also the sheer cost of the project,” writes O’Toole. “The $12 billion in the infrastructure bill will be spread across the country, and if the Midwest gets the same share as it did the Obama funds, it will only get about $3 billion of it. That will barely pay for the feasibility studies required to build a $116 billion to $162 billion project.”
The annual inflation rate in the U.S. edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and above market expectations of 5.3%. What is hard for most consumers to grasp is that inflation is a hidden, insidious tax that affects everything. It affects low-income families who struggle to pay for food and services, and harms the vital middle-class needed for a stable society. Not only does it eat away at the value of the dollar, it devalues other assets such as real estate. A 5% rate of inflation will lessen the value of a person’s home by 5% regardless of market value, without the owner’s being aware of it. Biden’s proposed spending bill is in the trillions of dollars. Whether it is partly funded by tax increases or not, it will cause massive inflation over and above the present rate and will bring back painful memories of the inflation that ravaged the country under the administration of peanut-farmer Jimmy Carter (D). Washington politicians are very skillful at raising taxes through inflation. Politicians love inflation because creating money from nothing makes it easy to finance wars and pork. Whenever money is needed by the federal government for wars or pork, the Federal Reserve will buy securities from the U.S. Treasury by means of a check drawn on itself. The Treasury then uses this new money to finance increased federal spending. The Fed is the only entity that can legally create money from nothing. Created by anyone else, it is called counterfeiting. Newly created money from nothing floods the economy and makes all assets, whether liquid or not, worth less. If Biden’s spending bill becomes law, even consumers in the middle-class will struggle to pay their bills and the entire economy of the U.S. will suffer. https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/bidens-inflation-monster-would-reduce-everyones-assets/
Winnebago County increased property taxes by nearly $1 million for the 2021 tax year despite Rockford’s effort to keep taxes stable. While this tax increase was made in daylight, several tax increases have been heaped upon taxpayers under the cover of the corrupt and massive Illinois State government. “Rockford taxpayers have been tolerating some of the highest tax rates in the state and the country,” stated Val W. Zimnicki of Taxpayers United of America. “Now they have state bureaucrats dumping on them as well.” “Now that Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed SB508 into law, the state can sneak in new property taxes. Specifically, SB508 allows the state to increase this year’s property tax by the amount of refunds due to adjustments from last year.” “So, when I get my senior discount, the amount I save is covered by everyone else in my district. A classic ‘redistribution of wealth’. That phrase, redistribution of wealth, is a misnomer. It conveniently leads one to believe that only the wealthy are negatively affected by it when, in reality, it affects the middle class by supplanting the tax burden to them.” “The big guy in Springfield also keeps reducing the amount of revenue collected by the state income-tax that is returned to the local district. When Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) was enacted, the amount was set at 10% of the total state income-tax revenue collected to be returned to the local governments. Pritzker just decreased it to 6.06%! Bureaucrats want nothing else but to see property tax increases to offset this. “Which brings us to the $64 million question: why are bureaucrats so despite to raise our taxes? Their own benefit, that’s what. Many government employees are paid lavish salaries using our property taxes, which in turn sets their starting state pension. Furthermore, pension plans in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System are primarily funded with property taxes.” The pensions and salaries of the local government retirees take the biggest bite out of the property-tax revenue pie. The government schools impose the greatest property tax hikes. Approximately 58.8% of property-tax increases went to the government schools. “Rockford area government pensioners are bleeding the area’s taxpayers dry. How can a Winnebago County retiree soak the taxpayers for more than $5 million in property taxes? Simply by retiring at the age of 57 with an annual pension of $175,970. Winnebago County retiree Paul A. Logli did just that and will collect $5,074,976 over a normal lifetime. “Retired Rockford teacher, Alan S. Brown, began draining taxpayers at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $194,493 and will accumulate to a stunning $5,322,245 when he reaches 85 years of age.” “Kishwaukee College’s David Louis is on track to collect $4,735,522 by age 85, thanks to his constitutionally protected 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) on his current annual pension of $197,577.” “There are no quick fixes for Illinois’ dire financial situation, although the solutions are painfully obvious: stop adding new hires to the same broken system and place them in a defined contribution plan like a 401(k), increase the amount that government employees contribute to their own pension, get a referendum on the ballot to end the 3% compounded COLA.” https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/rockford-taxpayers-cant-catch-a-break/
In an article published Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times identified Duckworth as one of more than 27,000 homeowners in Cook County who avoid paying the tax by claiming various exemptions that the Illinois General Assembly has made possible over the years. "I’m surprised that someone would question veterans who have been wounded in service to their nation in a combat zone accessing benefits," Duckworth responded, according to the Sun-Times. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democrat-tammy-duckworth-property-tax-illinois-home-disabled-veteran-exemption
The average person drives 13,500 according to the The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. That means a $1,080 tax just to drive your car that you paid for with income that was taxed, paid sales tax on, and were taxed for licensing fees. Don't forget the fuel required to drive it was taxed.
https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/build-back-better-act-harmful-and-a-money-loser/ The tax provisions in the “Build Back Better Act” proposed in the House Ways and Means Committee would result in long-run GDP dropping by more than $2 for every $1 in new tax revenue, according to the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation. “It is important to consider the economic impacts, which include reduced economic output, wages, and jobs,” writes the foundation’s Garrett Watson. “We estimate that the Ways and Means tax plan would reduce long-run GDP by 0.98 percent, which in today’s dollars amounts to about $332 billion of lost output annually. We estimate the plan would in the long run raise about $152 billion annually in new tax revenue, conventionally estimated in today’s dollars, meaning for every $1 in revenue raised, economic output would fall by $2.18.” According to the foundation, starting with a 0.09 percent drop in GDP in the first year (about $20 billion) and building to a 0.64 percent drop in GDP by 2031 (about $212 billion), the plan would result in a cumulative GDP loss of nearly $1.2 trillion from 2022 through 2031, as shown in the following Figure. The Ways and Means tax plan reduces economic output by reducing the after-tax return to investment opportunities for firms and the incentive to work through higher tax rates on labor income. More than half of the plan’s economic impact is due to increasing the tax burden on corporations, which is the most economically costly way to raise revenue. The report notes that even before accounting for a smaller economy, taxpayers earning less than $400,000 would see lower after-tax incomes due to higher corporate taxes and higher taxes levied on ni****ne and ci******es. Overall, the plan would reduce average after-tax income per filer by $171 in 2031, on a conventional basis, and by $971 per filer in the long run on a dynamic basis. That is, the economic harm of the plan would reduce after-tax incomes by about $800 per filer on average each year. The report concludes, “The economic harm caused by the tax increases would claw back some of the plan’s expanded tax credits aimed at low- and middle-income families. For those in the bottom 20 percent, it would reduce the average net benefit of the plan per filer from $341 to $233, a 30 percent reduction.”