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Tax Reform by Brakey

There has always been an ongoing struggle between big government and big business. Often it is the American citizen that gets caught in the crossfire.

While we love to see businesses thrive, often the most powerful corporations in America create an uneven playing field that only benefits themselves. The virtues of a free market are compromised as lobbyists sway our lawmakers into creating policy that only helps a few.

If we are to succeed economically in the 21st Century, all businesses must have the opportunity to thrive. That means eliminating outrageous tax breaks that only help a certain segment of private business. Ensuring that all companies—big and small—are paying a fair tax can ensure healthy growth, jobs, and a stronger economic future.

That’s exactly what Eric Brakey hopes to achieve in Maine with his proposed bill.

A Republican state lawmaker says he wants to get rid of what he calls corporate welfare – dozens of tax breaks targeted to help specific industries…

Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, said his bill would eliminate an array of 47 state tax credits or exemptions for corporations in a range of industries and would result in as much as $225 million a year in additional tax revenue for the state budget. Brakey said ending the benefits would give the state the resources it needs to entirely eliminate its corporate income tax. (Portland Press Herald)

Now the elimination of tax breaks for businesses might seem counter to Libertarian goals, but it will enable Maine to ... continue reading »

Rep. Massie Calls for the Abolition of the Department of Education

Ronald Reagan once said, “education is the principal responsibility of local school systems, teachers, parents, citizen boards, and State governments. By eliminating the Department of Education … we cannot only reduce the budget but ensure that local needs and preferences, rather than the wishes of Washington, determine the education of our children.”

Yet despite his wise words, the federally-controlled Department of Education has continued to control our schools with an icy grip. The freedom of parents to choose what kind of education their children receive has been denied them. Parents have virtually no say in where their kids can go to school and even less say in the kind of curriculum to which they are subjected.

This poses a serious problem to parents who are concerned over what is being taught to their children. In this day and age all sorts of topics are taught in classes, from evolution to LGBT issues. Many parents don’t want these ideas presented to their young children, often because they contradict their beliefs and traditions. Yet the government forces these ideas, without a parent’s say.

Not only that, but many children growing up in the inner city are denied options. Parents struggling to make ends meet cannot afford to put their kids in private schools. The end result is children are forced to attend overcrowded, under staffed, and unaccountable public schools. Education is put on the back burner in such places. Children that could otherwise thrive in academic environments will never know what it’s ... continue reading »

Maine Legalizes Recreational Use of Marijuana

Maine witnessed the advancement of liberty when voters said “yes” to ballot Question 1, paving the way for legal recreational use of marijuana. Adults 21 and over can now posses (though it’s still illegal to sell marijuana at this time) two and a half ounces of marijuana to be used in nonpublic spaces or private residences.

With only 3,995 making the difference, Maine residents in support of legalizing cannabis use won, with a margin of 50.3%. Even after a recount, that vote was confirmed. Adults over 21 can purchase marijuana from social clubs or retail dispensaries. Full retail sales have been delayed until February 2018, but this victory will send a powerful message to the rest of the country. Our criminal justice system has been overburdened, due to the heavy demands of policing drug infractions. Cops are required to arrest and process citizens over virtually insignificant counts of possession. Young men and women are thrown into the system for a harmless act. This takes time away from law enforcement in pursuing truly life-threatening criminal activity. As police and law enforcement are busy busting young adults with small amounts of marijuana, violent criminals flood our streets. Gangs, organized crime, and the rising toll of domestic abuse goes unanswered, thanks to outdated laws that punish everyday citizens. Can any American with a conscience really ignore these realities?

With the victory of Question 1, Maine police will be free to protect citizens from real threats. Valuable resources and man hours that were once ... continue reading »

Virginia Defeated the Meal Tax Amendment

One of our biggest battles in the fight for American liberty is in the area of taxation. Nowhere else is the icy grip of big government felt than when they go after our wallets.

It is the left’s clever ruse to deprive us of our economic freedom. Our buying power, the ability to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families, is often manipulated by the way state and local government regulates taxes.

Make no mistake, heavy taxation is a way for the government to control what and how you buy. It is also how they fund the ever-growing machine of bloated government programs that hinder our communities’ growth rather than help it.

But for people in Fairfax Country, VA, freedom won over tyranny, as they people voted down an increased food tax.

In the contest that perhaps most directly affects them, Fairfax County residents voted down a meals tax referendum that would’ve imposed up to a 4 percent tax on prepared food and beverages.

The referendum failed 53.8 percent to 46.2 percent…

Opponents called a meals tax regressive, meaning that it isn’t distributed based on income. They worried that it would hurt the restaurant industry as well as lower-income consumers when coupled with an already existing 6 percent sales tax, which predominantly goes to the state rather than the county. (Fairfax Times)

Punishing small businesses in order to help other areas of government is obviously counter-productive. It is a textbook case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. ... continue reading »

Liberty For All’s Presence in New England Results in Legislative Gains

Last week New Hampshire and Maine legislatures moved closer to Constitutional Carry policies.

Liberty For All is excited to celebrate a huge win last week in Maine. Thanks in large part to Liberty For All endorsed and supported Sen. Eric Brakey’s steadfast leadership on LD 652 which was signed into law Wednesday July 8th by Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

Liberty For All is encouraged that Maine will now allow residents to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit. Permits are often a burden to responsible gun owners, and do little to prevent criminals from carrying firearms.

maineSenator Eric Brakey watches as Governor LePage signs constitutional carry into law. Photo by Jason Savage.

Brakey says that Maine has a strong bipartisan tradition of supporting the Second Amendment. “It’s not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue, it’s something that works for the state of Maine.”

Brakey’s LD 652 allows a person not prohibited from possessing a gun by federal or state law to also carry a concealed handgun without needing to get a permit first, the bill also allows for a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle, which is currently against the law.

In New Hampshire, pro-gun legislation passed in both the NH State House and NH State Senate but faced the threat of a veto from Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan.

The New Hampshire ... continue reading »

Liberty For All Hosts First Annual Liberty Summit – Video

 

Liberty For All hosted 75 energetic donors and strategic partners at the first annual Liberty for All Summit in Austin, Texas.  The two day event featured discussions with pro-liberty legislators, including some previously supported by Liberty For All Action Fund, a presentation of our strategic plan, and numerous presentations on how we can grow the movement over the next five years.

Click to view video.

Loretta Lynch: Champion of Civil Asset Forfeiture not the Constitution

Bad news for liberty loving Americans: Loretta Lynch was recently confirmed as the next Attorney General of the United States. As the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch was quite fond of the legally perverse and constitutionally questionable practice of civil asset forfeiture.

By seizing property from a person suspected – but not convicted – of a crime, the owner of the property has to navigate through a sea of treacherous legal waters just to get the property back by proving innocence. This is not how the American justice system is supposed to work.

civil-asset-forfeiture

Lynch has called this practice a “wonderful tool” to fight crime and is on record solidly defending this practice of snatching up property of suspected criminals merely suspected of a crime. As noted by Senator Mike Lee: Many Americans don’t think the practice is fundamentally fair. She responds by saying “civil and criminal forfeiture are very important tools of the Department of Justice as well as our state and local counterparts.”

This is the first time she has defended the procedure – she has a long record of employing it herself. For example, she seized the assets of the Hirsch brothers who were represented by the Institute for Justice and in 2013 her office seized $904 million alone.

As citizens, what can we do? As always we can fight for our rights at the state and local level. More and more states are passing laws defending our ... continue reading »

Liberty For All in Austin

On April 17-18th, 2015 Liberty For All Inc, hosted it’s first annual Liberty Summit event which brought key advisors, supporters, and liberty minded elected officials together in Austin, Texas. The program focused on how we’re building a solid liberty network and infrastructure which will expand upon the success our sister organization Liberty For All Action Fund will have in electing principled candidates.

Chairman and Founder of Liberty For All was publicly received the Distinguished Service Award from the City of Austin.

“To see John’s level of generosity, to see his passion for creating an environment where businesses can flourish in Austin, and considering his youthful age — it is truly inspiring. We need more John Ramsey’s in America – leading the charge for freedom and prosperity for generations to come,” said Don Zimmerman, Austin City Council Member who presented the award.

JohnRamsey_DonDonEdited

Section 215: Security or Unconstitutional Spying?

“For the sake of National Security” has been a common refrain from Government officials and certain members of the political elite as a way to erode everyday American’s right to privacy. However, the further we move away from the time in which the Patriot Act was so quickly passed (9/11/2001) it seems that as a nation we’re reexamining the difference between bad policy and Unconstitutional spying.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire in June of 2015. Essentially, Section 215 is one of the worst sections of the Patriot Act written with such broad wording that allows the U.S government to require businesses to hand over “any tangible things” so long as it is to “protect against international terrorism” and has resulted in the Government snapping up millions of innocent people’s phone records.

Now is the time for reform. Comedian John Oliver recently made a brilliant video outlining Government Surveillance. 

A powerful unchecked Government with the ability to gather so much data is a scary thought. Reviewing the Patriot Act and standing up for civil liberties has never been so important.

(FILE PHOTO) Samsung Overtakes Apple As Leading Smart-Phone Supplier

 

BREAKING UPDATE: Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moves forward with Patriot Act Reauthorization. Read more at Campaignforliberty.org

One Size Doesn’t Fit All – The Problem With Common Core

People are different. From our every day experiences to our learning styles, we don’t all process information in the same way. What works for some students and some children, doesn’t work for others. It’s easy for everyone to account for differences in “how” we learn – but what about “what” we learn? Millennials already know what the future holds – Twitter, text messages, selfies, blogs, vine, and Youtube are just the beginning. We are embarking on a profound future highlighted by self-expression and individuality.

Common core standards and the underlying idea that all students all over America should be taught the exact same information are a step backward. What makes us unique is what makes us interesting. Our individual ideas, backgrounds, and contributions are a byproduct of diversity. Common core seeks conformity – it is a one-size fits all approach to education. It takes parents out of the equation. It treats children like robots and assumes that all we need are the right “inputs” to prosper.

Education

To make matters worse – it won’t even improve overall educational outcomes. There are few things The Brookings Institution and The Heritage Foundation agree on, but they do here. After a comprehensive study, Brookings determined that common core will have “little to no effect on student achievement.” Similarly, Heritage has noted that the failure to account for difference ... continue reading »