Ryan Ellis | All Articles

Ryan Ellis
Ryan Ellis
Tax Policy Director, ATR
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      Ryan Ellis

      Ryan Ellis is the Tax Policy Director at Americans for Tax Reform.

How Ted Cruz, FreedomWorks, and Heritage Action lost the government shutdown

              Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks to the chamber for the vote on a Senate-passed bill that would avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. The end to the rancorous standoff between the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House was hastened by the imminent deadline to extend the debt ceiling to avoid a national default. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Conservatives are rightly upset about how little was achieved in the recent government shutdown. Proponents promised that if the government was shut down for any length of time, a grassroots army from the heartland would rise up and demand full defunding of Obamacare. Democrats in Washington, squirming at both the pressure from without and the cut off funding from within, would cave, and President Obama would reluctantly gut his namesake legislative achievement. Those who didn’t want to go along with this plan were called RINO-cocktail party-Potomac fever-squishes over what amounted to a tactical disagreement. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and staff even used terms like “surrender caucus” and “Neville Chamberlains.”

Can the IRS handle Obamacare?

1:43 AM 03/07/2013

This week the IRS announced that it was finally able to begin accepting all individual income tax returns to process refunds — nearly two months after tax season officially began. Up until now, millions of Americans wanting to claim tax refunds have been stymied by the IRS’s inability to update its computer systems to reflect the new post-fiscal cliff tax law. The bad news for taxpayers is that things will only get worse as the IRS begins to implement most of the provisions of the Obamacare healthcare law.

The income tax: A century of bigger government

5:25 PM 02/01/2013

On February 3, 2013, taxpayers will celebrate a very dubious centennial: the 100th anniversary of the Sixteenth Amendment’s ratification. The Sixteenth Amendment gives Congress the power to levy income taxes.

Get ready to fill out Obamacare’s individual mandate tax form

12:12 AM 10/30/2012

If there’s one part of the president’s healthcare law (Obamacare) that Americans know they don’t like, it’s the law’s “individual mandate.” When the Kaiser Family Foundation polled Americans about their views on Obamacare earlier this year, it found that the mandate had the support of just 30 percent of respondents. If people don’t like the individual mandate much now, they will like it a whole lot less when it becomes part of their annual tax filings with the IRS.

President Obama’s binder full of tax hikes on women

6:00 PM 10/19/2012

The most memorable line from Tuesday’s debate was certainly Mitt Romney’s “binder full of women” phrase. It’s been the stuff of Tumblr pages and Facebook shares ever since, and the country has had a welcome non-political laugh over it — for the most part. Angry Democratic partisans have tried to seize on this light moment to make a “serious” point about how Romney is anti-woman. That’s kind of ironic, considering that the Obama-Biden campaign’s tax platform disproportionately burdens women.

The truth about Santorum’s tax plan

9:55 AM 01/10/2012

Read any account of the various GOP presidential tax plans, and it won’t be long before you run into one describing the Santorum tax plan as the “pro-family” or “child tax preference” option. It might surprise you, however, that at least two other plans are arguably more pro-family, and that the Santorum plan has more supply-side elements than other plans do — not that a GOP president has to do anything other than sign the Paul Ryan tax reform plan that a GOP Congress will send him.

Tom Coburn’s tax pledge to Oklahomans

7:01 PM 04/25/2011

On “Meet the Press” this Sunday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was asked why he was seemingly prepared to support and vote for a net income tax increase despite being a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. His answer is as revealing as it is incorrect: “Which pledge is most important … the pledge to uphold your oath to the Constitution of the United States, or a pledge from a special interest group?”

Too many conservatives getting it wrong on debt commission and taxes

7:55 PM 11/18/2010

When the Simpson-Bowles Obama Commission “chairman’s mark” came out last week, there were far too many conservatives who were too quick to say nice things about it. Blinded by lower marginal tax rates and some entitlement reforms, they chose to ignore the fact that the plan is a ten-year tax hike of over $1 trillion, and would saddle taxpayers with a taxes-to-GDP ratio of 21 percent, the highest in American history. A week later, the Rivlin-Domenici commission released their report with a $500 billion tax hike. Americans for Tax Reform actually produced our own (balanced) budget plan that cuts spending and cuts taxes in a reasonable way. But it’s worth reflecting on what too many on the Right said about the “higher taxes” plans for almost-balanced budgets.

Voters rejected a VAT on Election Day

3:40 PM 11/09/2010

It’s been a week since the great electoral tsunami of 2010, and the exit polling is coming in.  This bi-annual ritual allows us to dig into the real thoughts and feelings of voters.  ATR commissioned a poll by Kellyanne Conway’s The Polling Company, inc./Woman Trend to see what voters thought about a value-added tax (VAT).  The results are a stunning rejection of a VAT for America.