Under Republican Leadership US weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since 1969

WASHINGTON, April 26 (Reuters) – New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to their lowest level in more than 48 years last week, suggesting that March’s slowdown in job growth was probably temporary.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week ended April 21, the lowest level since December 1969, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 230,000 in the latest week. Claims appear to be settling after volatility in recent weeks caused by different timings of the Easter and school spring breaks.

The economy added 103,000 jobs in March, the fewest in six months. Economists shrugged off the modest gains as payback after February’s outsized increase in hiring.

The labor market is considered to be near or at full employment. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, not far from the Federal Reserve’s forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year.

The Labor Department said claims for Maine and Colorado were estimated last week. It also said claims-taking procedures in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands had still not returned to normal after the territories were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, viewed as a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 2,250 to 229,250 last week.

The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped 29,000 to 1.84 million in the week ended April 14. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims declined 9,750 to 1.85 million, the lowest level since January 1974.

The continuing claims data covered the household survey week from which April’s unemployment rate will be calculated.

The four-week average of continuing claims decreased 13,000 between the March and April household survey weeks, suggesting little change in the unemployment rate. The jobless rate has been stuck at its current level for six straight months.

Read online here.

Under Republican Leadership US weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since 1969

WASHINGTON, April 26 (Reuters) – New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to their lowest level in more than 48 years last week, suggesting that March’s slowdown in job growth was probably temporary.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week ended April 21, the lowest level since December 1969, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 230,000 in the latest week. Claims appear to be settling after volatility in recent weeks caused by different timings of the Easter and school spring breaks.

The economy added 103,000 jobs in March, the fewest in six months. Economists shrugged off the modest gains as payback after February’s outsized increase in hiring.

The labor market is considered to be near or at full employment. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, not far from the Federal Reserve’s forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year.

The Labor Department said claims for Maine and Colorado were estimated last week. It also said claims-taking procedures in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands had still not returned to normal after the territories were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, viewed as a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 2,250 to 229,250 last week.

The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped 29,000 to 1.84 million in the week ended April 14. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims declined 9,750 to 1.85 million, the lowest level since January 1974.

The continuing claims data covered the household survey week from which April’s unemployment rate will be calculated.

The four-week average of continuing claims decreased 13,000 between the March and April household survey weeks, suggesting little change in the unemployment rate. The jobless rate has been stuck at its current level for six straight months.

Read online here.

Tax Day – Ohio Democratic Party Staffers Receive Up to $2,900 More This Year Than Last

For months, Sherrod Brown and the Ohio Democrat Party have demonized and demagogued the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They claim that everyday Ohioans will only receive “crumbs” from tax reform. They claim that working Ohioans won’t see benefits from tax reform. They claim that that tax reform won’t help the middle class.

We have already pointed out All. The. Benefits. Of. GOP. Tax. Cuts. These benefits are enjoyed – and supported – by everyday Ohioans, but the Ohio Democrat Party refuses to acknowledge that Sherrod Brown and the entire Ohio Democrat Congressional Delegation voted against the best interests of everyday, middle-class Ohioans.

So, we decided to take it one step further and follow the money.

Surely the Ohio Democrat Party practices what they preach by employing good, hard-working, middle-class, everyday Ohioans. (Despite our political differences, we’ve seen no evidence to refute that.)

Luckily for the state of Ohio, the Ohio Democrat Party is subject to reporting expenditures, so we can see just how well GOP Tax Cuts are performing for their staffers. On average, staffers at the Ohio Democrat Party are taking home $1,500 more per year thanks to GOP Tax Reform, while the top earner will take home an extra $2,900!

To that, we say congratulations and you’re welcome!

Methodology

We took the payroll information for each employee from the Year-End 2017 filing and the March Monthly 2018 filing. This gave us a full month’s salary for each employee under the 2017 withholding tables and the first full month under the 2018 withholding tables.

We then took the difference between the two monthly totals, multiplied that by 12, and averaged the additional amount each employee receives due to the withholding tables changes.

While FEC reports contain a wealth of information, we were forced to make the following assumptions and adjustments:

  1. ODP pays their employees twice per month for a total of 24 pay periods per year.
  2. Several staffers started in the middle of December or ended their employment in January, or February. These employees were not included in the average.
  3. Although this information is public, we have redacted the names of each staffer and instead included an alias in an effort to maintain privacy and decorum.

Sources

Year-End 2017 FEC Report: http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00016899/1205644/

February Monthly 2018 Report: http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00016899/1210587/

March Monthly 2018 Report: http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00016899/1215670/

Spreadsheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/170FqdNnFkh079RuxqbD6H38zOjU6i0NS/view?usp=sharing

Robert Sprague in the Republican primary for Ohio treasurer: endorsement editorial

Cleveland.com Editorial Board

Two Republicans are vying May 8 for the GOP nomination to succeed Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Sandra O’Brien, a former Ashtabula County auditor, and state Rep. Robert Sprague both seek to run an office that in fiscal 2017 managed more than $224 billion in financial assets, including more than $21.5 billion in state investments. They also want to continue and expand Mandel’s “Online Checkbook”initiative designed to bring more transparency to government spending.

O’Brien, 66, a retired educator who’s run unsuccessfully before for statewide office — including for Ohio treasurer in 2006, when she lost to Democrat Richard Cordray — emphasizes her 12 years’ experience as a county auditor. She says she’s also running to shore up the representation of women after what she said was a recent decline of elected Republican women in Ohio amid #MeToo issues raised by recent crude comments at a Statehouse roast from some male legislators about their female colleagues.

Sprague, 45, who has championed bipartisan approaches to the opioid crisis in the Ohio House, where he’s served for seven years, previously was auditor and treasurer for the city of Findlay and has private sector experience, including as the principal of an investment company in Findlay and as an international business consultant.

One of his proposed innovations is to use social impact bonds to encourage private investors to create programs to tackle opioid addiction. The bond issue would be structured so that taxpayers would only pay out if the programs were successful, with a third party evaluating results.

O’Brien opposes the idea, saying she is for more limited government, and arguing that social impact bonds would invite cronyism. 

Sprague is the superior choice in this race. His pragmatic bent, varied background in private and public-sector finance, and early leadership role in addressing the state’s opioid crisis suggest he would be a wise and forward-looking guardian of Ohio’s treasury.

Republican voters should mark their ballots for Robert Sprague. Early voting in the May 8 primary has begun.

The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Rob Richardson, a Cincinnati attorney, and write-in Green Party candidate Paul Curry, a Columbus financial adviser, in the fall.

Sherrod Brown’s Countdown to Tax Day

Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown’s favorite day of the year, tax day, will be here before we know it. To help him celebrate, we will highlight his abysmal record on taxes every day until April 17th!


April 16 – Sherrod Brown supports Obamacare which raised taxes by $819.3 Billion

On the eve of tax day, we are highlighting one of Sherrod Brown’s biggest blunders – voting for and continuing to support the failure known as Obamacare.

Not only has Obamacare forced some Ohioans to pay a tax for choosing not to purchase healthcare, it has also raised taxes by $819.3 Billion. (Roll Call Vote #396; JCT, 6/15/12; CBO, 5/14/13; CBO, 7/30/13)

To make matters worse, Brown voted against ensuring that Obamacare would not result in a federal tax increase for individuals making less than $200,000, or married couples making less than $250,000. (Roll Call Vote #66)

Additionally, when given the opportunity in 2013, Sherrod Brown voted against efforts to protect taxpayers from tax hikes in Obamacare. He voted against an amendment to create a reserve fund to repeal tax increases on low and middle-income Americans enacted under Obamacare. (Roll Call Vote #53)

Brown also voted against removing the Medical Device Tax from Obamacare in both 2010 and 2013. (Roll Call Vote #79) ; (Roll Call Vote #71)

  • The IRS said the Medical Device Tax applies to “Mostly medical devices used and implanted by medical professionals,” ranging from pacemakers to tongue depressors. (Reuters, 12/5/12)

In Ohio, Obamacare has failed. Premiums rose 86% from 2013 to 2017 and rose another 34% in 2018.

Last year we found out that both Anthem and Premier Health were dropping out of Ohio’s Obamacare market, leaving 20 counties without an option for health insurance. Thankfully other insurers filled the void, but this was a major blow to thousands of Ohioans.

Overall, Brown supports Obamacare when it’s good for him politically, but has trouble defending it publicly when pressed. Just listen to him blow up on a radio host when asked basic questions about Obamacare.


April 14 – Sherrod Brown flip-flopped on CHIP to waste your tax dollars on the Schumer Shutdown


In the months leading up to a critical vote to fund the government, Sherrod Brown’s favorite talking point was the need to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

He even went on MSNBC to wrongly attack Republicans for not taking care of CHIP.  

Less than a month later, when it came time to take care of CHIP, Sherrod Brown voted NO. Instead of standing by his calls to ensure funding for the 223,583 Ohio children depending on CHIP, he caved to Chuck Schumer and supported a government shutdown.

Before supporting the Schumer Shutdown, Brown opposed shutdowns:

“Another shutdown would hurt all Americans, but would be particularly hard on those that need the help the most: children, older Americans, and those with disabilities,’ Brown said. ‘It’s time to stop the partisan stunts, and pass a clean continuing resolution so that these Ohio families don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.” (Senator Sherrod Brown, 9/23/15)

Other Democrats previously opposed shutdowns as well:

Congress cannot keep governing by crisis and expecting the American people to pick up the slack.” (Senator Jon Tester, 9/30/15)

“In the event of a catastrophic economic debacle, it will be middle class Pennsylvanians that will shoulder the consequences.” (Senator Bob Casey The Philadelphia Tribune , 10/13/13)

“When the government is shut down, it costs this country literally billions, even trillions of dollars.” (Senator Elizabeth Warren, MSNBC 5/2/17) 

Sherrod Brown’s hypocrisy on government shutdowns and his flip-flop on CHIP was a disgrace. His political games wasted taxpayer dollars and accomplished nothing. It’s time to elect a Senator who keeps their word and puts Ohioans first!


April 13 – Sherrod Brown supports using your tax dollars to fund abortions in foreign countries.

The Mexico City Policy was originally announced by President Reagan in 1984 and required nongovernmental organizations to agree as a condition of receiving any federal funding that they “would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” (CBS 1/23/17)

During his 25 years in Congress, Sherrod Brown has voted against this policy every time it has been put on the floor.  

The policy was rescinded by Clinton in 1993, reinstated by Bush in 2001, rescinded again by Obama in 2009, and finally reinstated by President Trump in 2017.

This is yet another example of Sherrod Brown wasting your tax dollars to further his far-left ideology.


April 12 – Brown consistently votes for policies that leave taxpayers holding the bag, like President Obama’s failed $830 Billion stimulus program.

In February 2009, Sherrod Brown voted for Obama’s $830 Billion stimulus program that promised massive economic growth, but failed almost immediately. By December 2009, Brown told taxpayers that a second stimulus was needed.

“The call for more spending comes as the federal budget deficit has climbed to $1.4 trillion, and the government is expected to record massive deficits throughout the next decade. ‘We have no choice,’ said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.” (The Columbus Dispatch, 12/7/09)

Obama made big promises about the stimulus that failed miserably:

The stimulus will keep unemployment below 8 percent and it will fall under 6 percent by 2012. 

  • Brown: “This bill will go a long way toward putting Americans back to work and our economy back on track.” (The Toledo Blade, 2/12/09)
  • By August of 2012, unemployment was still over 8 percent. (BLS)

Shovel ready jobs.

  • Brown: So it’s not just shovel-ready projects that are ready to go now that will create jobs, it’s also – it’s also green jobs” (ABC’s “This Week,” 12/28/08)
  • Even Obama admitted this failure, stating:

The “green economy” will create millions of jobs.

  • The Department of Energy handed out $35.2 Billion to jumpstart clean energy, but instead of a roaring “green economy” we got Solyndra

One million electric cars will be on the road by 2015. 

  • It’s 2018 and there are still not one million electric cars on the road in America.
  • Instead of one million electric cars, we got Fisker and A123 systems.

Sherrod Brown has gambled with taxpayer dollars for too long. It’s time to elect someone who knows how to differentiate between a successful investment and an $830 Billion failure. 


April 11 – Sherrod Brown supports the individual mandate, which hits low and middle-income Ohioans hardest.

Sherrod Brown loves the word “mandate.” Yesterday we highlighted his calls for higher taxes in 2012 when he said, “Democrats have a mandate to raise taxes.” Today we’ll take a look at his support of the Obamacare individual mandate.

So what is the Obamacare individual mandate? The “individual shared responsibility payment,” as Healthcare.gov explains, is the tax you pay if you choose not to purchase healthcare. Does that sound like freedom?

Many Ohioans don’t think so, but Brown pushed back against that criticism in 2011, saying:

“The contentious requirement that all U.S. residents have health-care coverage or pay penalties is not a move toward communism, and everyone needs to have a plan if insurance companies are to be required to cover those with high-risk conditions.” (The Toledo Blade, 1/3/11)

What Brown cannot push back on is the fact that lower and middle-income Ohioans have been hit hardest by his support of the individual mandate.

According to the New York Times, Ohioans making between $25,000-$50,000 per year are most likely to pay the penalty tax than purchase healthcare.

This income group is less likely than higher earners to get health insurance through work, and many do not qualify for an exemption based on affordability because they would be eligible for premium subsidies reducing the cost. (NYT 11/28/17)

37 percent of those uninsured, who must pay the penalty tax, say they do not buy healthcare because they can’t afford it.

Making matters worse, the average penalty tax in 2017 was $708, more than double what it was just two years prior. That means the average Ohioan, who made a choice not to purchase healthcare, was forced to pay the federal government $708 in 2017 for NOTHING. What could you do with an extra $708?   

Thankfully, the individual mandate was repealed with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Brown voted NO) and will no longer penalize Ohioans beginning in 2019!


April 10 –  After the 2012 election, Sherrod Brown said Democrats have a mandate to raise taxes to reduce the deficit. 

Sherrod Brown showed his true colors in 2012 by immediately calling for higher taxes after his reelection. 

“Sen. Sherrod Brown said Democrats have a mandate after this month’s elections to raise taxes on the wealthy as part of any agreement to reduce the deficit.” (The Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/22/12)

This wasn’t the first time that Brown supported raising taxes to pay for his big government ideals. As we said on April 4th, Brown voted for the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which included $250 Billion in higher taxes, and was called “one of history’s largest tax increases by the Columbus Dispatch. 

Sherrod thinks the only way to reduce the deficit is to raise taxes. To prove him wrong, we only need to look at Ohio. After Ted Strickland and Richard Cordray left Ohio in an $8 Billion hole with 350,000 fewer jobs, Republicans turned it into a $2 Billion dollar surplus WITHOUT raising taxes. In fact, Republicans lowered taxes for Ohio families and created a pro-growth business environment that has attracted nearly 500,000 jobs.


April 9 – Sherrod Brown and Chuck Schumer want to repeal your tax cut.

Middle-class families are keeping more of their hard-earned money, but Senator Sherrod Brown wants to repeal their tax cuts with his boss, Chuck Schumer. Brown is not only pushing to repeal your tax cut, he is pushing to eliminate new economic opportunities for Ohio families as well.

Tax reform is already delivering bigger paychecks to Ohioans. In fact, the average Ohio family is expected to save nearly $2,300 per year as a result of the new law.

Additionally, millions of Americans have already received bonuses from hundreds of companies. This includes dozens of Ohio companies, like Nationwide and Sheffer Corporation.

Tax reform is working and 59% of Ohioans approve of the new law. Tell Sherrod Brown to stop this charade and keep his hands out of your pockets!

As White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said: “Only tone-deaf Democrats could think the proper response to the booming Trump economy, higher wages and hardworking Americans keeping more of their own money is to reverse the policies that got us here.”


April 7 – Sherrod Brown consistently votes to increase taxes on energy producers, creating higher energy bills for Ohio families and job losses for blue collar workers

Brown voted for a BTU tax on energy that was estimated to cost Ohio $1.3 Billion a year and over 20,000 jobs

  • The energy tax was estimated to cost Ohio $1.3 Billion a year and over 20,000 jobs. (The Columbus Dispatch, 5/28/93)
  • The energy tax was also estimated to cost the typical middle-income family $400 a year. (The Columbus Dispatch, 5/28/93)
  • Brown said the BTU tax was a relatively fair way to tax energy use. (States News Service, 2/17/93)

The BTU tax hit the coal and petroleum industries the hardest, but also spread to construction, trade and service industries.

“The Ohio Inter-Agency Task Force on Proposed Energy Taxes, appointed earlier this year by Gov. George V. Voinovich, said 415,000 jobs nationwide would be put at risk by the tax, according to results from a computer simulation. … The tax would hit the coal and petroleum industries hardest, but job losses would spread to construction, trade and service industries.” (Columbus Dispatch, 5/11/93)

Brown consistently voted in favor of higher taxes on the oil industry

  • In January 2015, Brown voted to put an excise tax on oil derived from tar sands. (S.Amdt. 27 To S.Amdt. 2 To S. 1, Roll Call Vote #19: Amendment Rejected 50-47, 1/22/15, Brown Voted Yea; CQ Summary, Accessed 1/14/16)
  • In February 2013, Brown voted for the Democrat alternative to sequestration, which would have taxed oil derived from tar sands. (S. 388, Roll Call Vote #27: Cloture On Motion To Proceed Rejected 51-49, 2/28/13, Brown Voted Yea; CQ Summary, Accessed 1/14/16)
  • In February 2011, Brown voted to increase taxes on oil companies. (S.Amdt. 28 To S. 223, Roll Call Vote #7: Amendment Rejected 44-54, 2/2/11, Brown Voted Yea; CQ Summary, Accessed 12/16/14)

Brown voted in favor of creating a carbon tax

In March 2013 and again in 2015, Brown voted against motions to prevent the creation of a carbon tax. (S. Amdt 261 to S. Con. Res 8, Roll Call Vote #59: Motion Rejected 53-46: R 45-0, D 8-44, I 0-2, Brown Voted Nay, 3/22/13; CQ Summary Accessed 4/26/17) ; (S. Amdt 928 to S. Con. Res. 11, Roll Call Vote #103: Adopted 58-42: R 54-0, D 4-40, I 0-2, Brown Voted Nay, 3/26/15; CQ Summary Accessed 4/26/17)

Brown voted for legislation to allow for a carbon tax in March 2013. (S. Amdt. 646 to S. Con. Res. 8, Roll Call Vote #58: Motion Rejected 41-58: R 0-45, D 39-13, I 2-0, Brown Voted Yea, 3/22/13; CQ Summary Accessed 4/26/17)

Despite his history of anti-coal votes, Brown stated during his 2012 re-election bid that there was no war on coal

Really?


April 6 – When Sherrod Brown calls for “Medicare for all” and “free” community college, he is really calling for higher taxes on Ohio families

Yesterday we highlighted Sherrod and Bernie’s attempt to raise the Death Tax, but that’s not the only tax they want to raise together. Brown has said many times that he wants to implement a “Medicare for all” system, which we know from Bernie’s proposal would cost $32 Trillion and require income taxes to skyrocket. He also wants taxpayers to cough up $90 Billion to pay for “free” community college.

“I ultimately would like to see Medicare for all.” – Sherrod Brown (WTAM 1100 Radio, 3/9/17)

Soon after, Bernie Sanders began pushing his Medicare for all program. 

“We have got to have the guts to take on the insurance companies and the drug companies and move forward toward a ‘Medicare for all,’ single-payer program,’ Sen. Bernie Sanders said.”(HuffPost, 3/27/17)

The Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center estimated Sanders’ plan would cost $32 Trillion over ten years. 

“In total, federal spending would increase by about $2.5 trillion (257.6 percent) in 2017. Federal expenditures would increase by about $32.0 trillion (232.7 percent) between 2017 and 2026.” (The Urban Institute, 5/16)

To pay for it, Sanders’ proposed a 6.2% increase to the payroll tax that would “Ultimately be shifted back onto employees,” thus lowering wages. (The Urban Institute , 5/16)

The plan would also increase taxes on income, affecting low-income individuals, among others.

“The 2.2 percent income surtax on taxable income would also affect many low-income people.” (The Urban Institute, 5/16)

The Sanders plan would increase income taxes to more than 50 percent of earnings for some taxpayers. (CNN, 1/17/16)

Sanders’ plan also raises the tax rates for capital gains and dividends, with a top rate of over 50%. (Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget, 2/3/16)

Even with all of the tax hikes, Sanders’ plan only raises less than half the cost, leaving $16.6 Trillion to be financed some other way. (The Urban Institute, 5/16)

Brown co-sponsored two bills with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) for free community college tuition, which would cost $90 billion over ten years. 

Baldwin estimated the federal government’s total cost for the program will be $90 billion over the next 10 years, with $80 billion of that coming from the community college program and $10 billion directed toward institutions that serve primarily minorities. That number is up from the $60 billion estimated by the White House in January, and it implies Washington will expect states to cough up around $30 billion on their own in accordance with the proposed three-to-one ratio of federal-to-state contributions. (Real Clear Politics, 7/8/15)


April 5 – Brown supports the Death Tax and tried to raise it with Bernie Sanders

The Estate tax, or Death Tax, is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. It consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death. Whether your family owned a farm, ran a business, or saved for their entire life, the government may take a piece when they die and leave you with less.

Sherrod Brown thinks the government’s piece should be bigger.      

In 2010, Brown co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ Death Tax bill to tax estates up to 65%

  • Senator Sanders said the bill would raise $318 Billion over 10 years and called the proposed change “An American shared responsibility.” (Politico)

Brown has repeatedly voted in favor of the Death Tax

In Ohio, Republican leaders rightfully eliminated the Death Tax at the state level, but Sherrod Brown is fighting like hell to make sure Ohioans pay the federal government as much as possible after they die. 


April 4 – Brown voted for “one of history’s largest tax increases”

Not only has Sherrod Brown voted against tax cuts for Ohio families multiple times, he also thinks you should be paying more.

In May 1993, Brown voted for the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which included $250 Billion in higher taxes. 

The bill included: A tax increase on the Social Security benefits; $55.8 billion in Medicare cuts; an increase in the Medicare payroll tax; a delay in cost of living adjustments for military personnel; an energy (Btu) tax; a new top income bracket of 36 percent with a 10 percent surtax on income of more than $250,000; and an increase in the corporate income tax rate to 35 percent.  

Here’s how the Columbus Dispatch described the bill:

“President Clinton’s deficit reduction plan – fueled by one of history’s largest tax increases – squeaked through the House of Representatives last night, winning approval 219-213 after last-minute cajoling and arm-twisting by the White House and Democratic leaders.” (Roger Lowe, “Massive Tax Bill Barely Passes,” The Columbus Dispatch, 5/28/93)

The Philadelphia Inquirer had this to say:

“Many older Americans are angry and confused about the budget plan passed by Congress last week. They are angry because the plan increases income taxes on Social Security benefits for middle-class and affluent seniors. They are confused because it is not always easy to compute the added tax burden. Some are finding it hard to square an expected tax increase of several hundred dollars a year with political reassurances that the budget plan would not hurt the middle class. An estimated 5.5 million Social Security retirees would have to pay a higher tax as a result of the change, which is expected to raise $24.5 billion over the next five years.” (David Hess, “Income Tax Hike On Social Security Angers Older Americans,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/10/93)

For decades, Sherrod Brown has failed to put Ohioans first and has instead opted to appease the fringe left and liberal donors. Ohio deserves better! 


April 3 – Brown voted against the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts

Yesterday we reminded you of Brown’s vote against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but that wasn’t the first time he voted against cutting taxes for Ohio families. 

Brown also voted against the Bush tax cuts, which lowered the tax rate for all income levels, increased economic growth and helped create more jobs. The Bush tax cuts were even extended by President Obama in 2010 and then made permanent in 2012. 

According to economist Brian Riedel:

The 2003 tax cuts were designed to encourage businesses to invest in the economy. After declining in the previous 11 quarters by an average of 1.8 percent annually, business investment grew at a rapid 7 percent annual clip for the next 11 quarters.

Economic growth – averaging 1.25 percent annual growth in the previous 11 quarters – quickly surged and tripled to 3.75 percent in the next 11 quarters.

After losing 1.1 million jobs in the preceding 18 months before the tax cuts, America gained 2.3 million jobs in the subsequent 18 months.

In the previous three years from the May 28th enactment, the S&P 500 had declined by 7.3 percent. 15.9 percent, and then 11.3 percent. In the next three years, it leaped by 17.6 percent. 7.0 percent, and then 6.8 percent.

Sherrod Brown did not learn his lesson from the Bush tax cuts and continues to advocate for higher taxes on Ohio families. 


April 2 – Sherrod Brown voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Tax reform is already delivering bigger paychecks to Ohioans. In fact, the average Ohio family is expected to save nearly $2,300 per year as a result of the new law.

Additionally, millions of Americans have already received bonuses from hundreds of companies. This includes dozens of Ohio companies, like Nationwide and Sheffer Corporation.

Tax reform is working and 59% of Ohioans approve of the new law. Brown, however, voted no on tax reform and even claimed that businesses would not use their tax savings to create more jobs and invest in their employees. Clearly, he was wrong.

Happy Tax Day – Ohio Democrat Party Staffers Receive Up to $2,900 More This Year Than Last

For months, Sherrod Brown and the Ohio Democrat Party have demonized and demagogued the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They claim that everyday Ohioans will only receive “crumbs” from tax reform. They claim that working Ohioans won’t see benefits from tax reform. They claim that that tax reform won’t help the middle class.

We have already pointed out All. The. Benefits. Of. GOP. Tax. Cuts. These benefits are enjoyed – and supported – by everyday Ohioans, but the Ohio Democrat Party refuses to acknowledge that Sherrod Brown and the entire Ohio Democrat Congressional Delegation voted against the best interests of everyday, middle-class Ohioans.

So, we decided to take it one step further and follow the money.

Surely the Ohio Democrat Party practices what they preach by employing good, hard-working, middle-class, everyday Ohioans. (Despite our political differences, we’ve seen no evidence to refute that.)

Luckily for the state of Ohio, the Ohio Democrat Party is subject to reporting expenditures, so we can see just how well GOP Tax Cuts are performing for their staffers. On average, staffers at the Ohio Democrat Party are taking home $1,500 more per year thanks to GOP Tax Reform, while the top earner will take home an extra $2,900!

To that, we say congratulations and you’re welcome!

Methodology

We took the payroll information for each employee from the Year-End 2017 filing and the March Monthly 2018 filing. This gave us a full month’s salary for each employee under the 2017 withholding tables and the first full month under the 2018 withholding tables.

We then took the difference between the two monthly totals, multiplied that by 12, and averaged the additional amount each employee receives due to the withholding tables changes.

While FEC reports contain a wealth of information, we were forced to make the following assumptions and adjustments:

  1. ODP pays their employees twice per month for a total of 24 pay periods per year.
  2. Several staffers started in the middle of December or ended their employment in January, or February. These employees were not included in the average.
  3. Although this information is public, we have redacted the names of each staffer and instead included an alias in an effort to maintain privacy and decorum.

Sources

Year-End 2017 FEC Report: http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00016899/1205644/

February Monthly 2018 Report: http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00016899/1210587/

March Monthly 2018 Report: http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00016899/1215670/

Spreadsheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/170FqdNnFkh079RuxqbD6H38zOjU6i0NS/view?usp=sharing

Cordray funneled $43 Million to Obama, Clinton PR firm as CFPB Director

Did you know that as Director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), Richard Cordray funneled $43,453,250 to an Obama, Clinton aligned PR firm called GMMB, Inc? That is the highest level of PR spending of any agency over the last decade!

Now Cordray is running for the Democrat nomination for Governor, and guess who he is using for advertising? 

That’s right! The same company that Cordray funneled $43 million to as a Washington bureaucrat is now working to get him elected. Does that sound ethical to you?

Yesterday Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-08) questioned Mick Mulvaney, acting Director of the CFPB, about Cordray’s spending during a Financial Services Committee Hearing

He asked why a nonpartisan agency would even need a PR firm. Director Mulvaney said it was a great question and that he was in the process of canceling the contract.

When asked if he thought the $43 million was a good value, Director Mulvaney replied:

“If I thought I was getting a good value for my $43 million, I would not have sought to cancel the contract.”

He continued:

“Let me put it to you this way, I don’t think that our statutory mission was being served. I don’t see why we have to advertise. The SEC does not have to advertise it exists, the FDIC does not advertise that it exists. I guess you could make the argument that in the very early days when you’re going from nothing to something, you could make the argument that you could let people know you exist. But that is an argument you can make by declining expenditure over time, not increasing a line item on advertising. So like I said, we are now canceling the contract and I think it’s the right decision.”

Director Mulvaney went on to describe other unrestricted spending decisions that Cordray made, like the $242 million in renovations the agency made to a building it doesn’t even own:

I want to make one thing perfectly clear Mr. Davidson, the $242 million that we spent on the building, I could take that and hire Brietbart, I could take that to hire the Drudge Report, to do marketing that I like to do. But I’m not going to do it because it’s the wrong thing to do, but I have that kind of flexibility. I could hire the Heritage Foundation to do education. I could hire AEI to do the same type of thing. It’s a tremendous amount of discretion. I’m not going to abuse that, but the statute certainly permits it. 

As a Washington bureaucrat, Richard Cordray wasted millions of your tax dollars. Now he wants to do it again as Governor!  

Mike DeWine: Farmers deserve a return to regulatory sanity

The Lima News

Column by Mike DeWine

Sometimes, the best thing that government can do for folks is to stay out of the way. That’s especially true when it comes to our agricultural economy. Farmers work hard every day, and the last thing they need is more layers of regulation imposed on them by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, for eight long years under President Obama, that is exactly what they got. And the agency that seemed hungriest to regulate the lives of farmers was the Obama Environmental Protection Agency.

Epitomizing the problem was the Obama EPA’s 2015 Waters of the United States Rule — a power grab that was also a water and land grab. It assumed that a federal regulatory agency, and not Congress or our Constitution, ought to be able to determine without limit what it should regulate. It so broadly expanded the jurisdiction of the federal government that it had to explicitly say that it didn’t mean to cover swimming pools!

Some of the WOTUS Rule was somewhat technical, so I will simplify it. The Obama EPA essentially asked: Is there or has there ever been any water on your land? If the answer was yes — even a puddle — then the federal government pretty much claimed the right to regulate it.

It has been an honor to help lead the fight to resist this power seizure. On the same day that the final WOTUS rule was published, I filed a Complaint alongside the Attorneys General from Michigan, and we promptly were joined by Tennessee. Overall, some 31 States sued to challenge the Rule. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, based right here in Ohio, saw the Rule for what it was and issued a nationwide injunction against its enforcement.

Another place where the EPA is showing newfound common sense under their new leadership is in the area of pesticides. The Obama EPA attempted to ban the most commonly used pesticide in the world. After they were thwarted by their own Science Advisory Panel, who said that their rationale for the proposed ban didn’t meet their scientific threshold, they took a second run at a ban in the waning days of the Obama Administration. The Pruitt EPA has rightly said that before we ban a product that we know to be effective in pest management, we ought to be certain that it is hazardous to human health if used as directed.

These issues are deeply personal to me. My family owned a seed company in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Fran and I still own farmland today. Growing up I worked alongside my parents and grandparents. I worked in the fields and loaded bags onto boxcars. It taught me the values of hard work, personal responsibility, and of honoring my word. Our agricultural economy is benefitting from a return to regulatory sanity. God knows farming is hard enough without the added burden of having to worry if someone from the government is going to come knocking on the door.

Report: Ohio one of only 13 states ‘adequately’ addressing opioid crisis

The National Safety Council has pegged the states which they consider the leaders in implementing policies to help combat the deadly opioid epidemic. 

According to a release, the National Safety Council assigned its highest mark of “Improving” to Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.

The specification indicates that the states have implemented comprehensive, proven actions to eliminate opioid overdoses. 

“While we see some states improving, we still have too many that need to wake up to this crisis,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “For the last five years, the Council has released Prescription Nation reports to provide a roadmap for saving lives across the country. We hope states adopt the recommended actions laid out here so we can eliminate preventable opioid deaths and stop an everyday killer.”

According to the release, eight states receiving a “Failing” mark – Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming  – are taking just one or two of the six key actions identified in the report as critical and life-saving.

Those actions include: 

  • Mandating prescriber education (34 states and D.C.)
  • Implementing opioid prescribing guidelines (33 states and D.C.)
  • Integrating Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs into clinical settings (39 states and D.C.)
  • Improving data collection and sharing (seven states)
  • Treating opioid overdose (37 states and D.C.)
  • Increasing availability of opioid use disorder treatment (36 states and D.C.)

The National Safety Council says those six programs and actions that could have immediate and sustained impact addressing the opioid epidemic.

In Ohio, only one of the six actions hasn’t been met- implementing a data sharing database which would allow prescribers, law enforcement, and more to share information about crimes associated with opioid misuse and more. 

Pennsylvania, meanwhile, is one of 29 states with a rating of “lagging”. The Keystone state has implemented four of the six- also having yet to implement a data sharing database, as well as official standard prescription guidelines. 

Pennsylvania is one of 16 states which have not adopted the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. 

The National Safety Council reported that employers are taking the biggest toll in the crisis- losing eligible workers to addiction, reporting that “certain industries like construction and manufacturing, report increasing difficulties in filling open positions”.

In the release, the NSC said nearly half of businesses surveyed in 2017 (48 percent) identified a negative business impact—lower productivity, missed work, an increase in near-miss or close-call events, and an increase in workplace injuries.