The dust has barely settled from an election where we sent DC a message loud and clear. It appears the since-2010 record of jerking our chains is going to continue on Capitol Hill for TWO MORE YEARS:
Monday night, the Republican-controlled House voted in favor of a tax on concrete to placate special interests in Washington D.C.
Provided yet another opportunity to expand the size and scope of government, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 985, the Concrete Masonry Products, Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015, a tax in all but name.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky. (F, 45%), would create a Concrete Masonry Products Board composed of 15-25 members appointed by the Department of Commerce after a referendum approval by producers of concrete masonry products. This board will have the power to establish, finance, and carry out a “coordinated research and education program,” ostensibly to “promote masonry products in the domestic market,” according to a legislative bulletin email from the Republican Study Committee. This program will be paid for by a “federally administered assessment.” […]
“Federally administered assessment”? um, TAX !!!!!!!!
[…] As Daren Bakst of The Daily Signal explained when an earlier version of this bill was considered by Congress in 2014:
The legislation calls for concrete masonry product manufacturers to pay an “assessment” to the Board that would begin at $0.01 per concrete masonry unit sold (this includes concrete blocks and related units) and be capped at $0.05 per unit. The number of votes a manufacturer receives would be based on the number of machine cavities in operation a manufacturer has, thereby favoring larger manufacturers. […]
When an assessment enforced by the government is no longer voluntary, it’s a tax. Proponents will try to spin it otherwise, but whatever name one gives it, it’s a mandatory assessment that must be paid, and the full power of the government will be used against those who don’t pay into the program.
In other words, Big Concrete lobbied for a compulsory government “promotion” program that will be funded by levying a tax on concrete products — a tax that will inevitably be passed to the consumer via higher prices.[…]
Said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. (A, 96%), chairman of the Liberty Caucus: “If an industry wants to raise money to promote itself, then interested businesses should do so through voluntary agreement. The fact that an industry asks the government to impose an assessment means that it has been unable to persuade every business to participate voluntarily.”
Tax increases on concrete products hits us ALL. HARD. This bill has the federal government doing the sales and marketing job that all of these private concrete companies SHOULD be doing for themselves.
There were only 38 ‘no’ votes against this farce. Virginia Foxx and Walter Jones were the only ‘noes’ from North Carolina. Here are the low-lifes from NC who voted FOR IT, making building even more expensive: Renee Ellmers, Mark Walker, George Holding, Richard Hudson, Rouzer, McHenry, Pittenger, and Meadows.