Two hundred and thirty six years ago today, the people of this land had a vision to live with liberty from tyranny, independence from repression, and the ability to pursue prosperity unhindered by a brutal, egotistical regime bent on squeezing every last pound and six pence from its subjects. Things took awhile to get to the point of independence for Americans. The moment when the British began to realize things were getting out of control was when a shipment of tea to the colonies was instead dumped directly into Boston Harbor. The Sons of Liberty were protesting the British Empire’s taxation without representation and the tea monopoly held by the East India Company. Sound familiar?
Happy Independence Day! It’s Wednesday, July 4, 2012 and we are two days away from when President Obama is supposed to sign into law H.R.4348, the highway bill. Only, it’s not just a highway bill. It’s also a flood insurance bill, and a student loan interest rate bill, and a Big Tobacco bailout bill. We are asking the President of the United States to exercise his ability to include a signing statement along with HR4348 that makes VOID and NULL Section 100122, the provision that punishes one group of individuals for competing in the same marketplace as the Big Tobacco companies.
SECTION 100122 is unconstitutional under Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution because it singles out a single, law-abiding group and punitively forces their businesses to close because the bar for re-admission into the marketplace is arbitrarily set too high. SECTION 100122 will collect NO NEW TAXES because NO ONE, except for the Big Tobacco companies will be in the marketplace any longer.
OUR MISSION: Our mission is to be heard. If just one of the President’s senior advisors explains our case, we will have a real chance of getting them on our side. Twitter, Facebook, phone, petition. Call the White House and leave your comments (202)456-1111. Sign the online petition. Send the White House an email.
Today’s Twitter Message: @BarackObama HR4348 punishes me for working. Use signing statement to VOID SEC.100122. Jobs at stake! http://bit.ly/NewTax
Phone Message: I am asking President Obama to issue a signing statement with HR4348 making Section 100122 void because it is unconstitutional and it punishes me and my business. Thank you.
Facebook Message: Mr. President, you have regularly used your signing statement authority to void, append, nullify and add interpretation to provisions of legislation forced upon you by Congress. Section 100122 of the highway bill headed to your desk is a clear violation of Article I Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. As mentioned in this open letter to you yesterday, Congress certainly has the authority to regulate commerce, but it does not have the right to punish one group in order to arbitrarily grant monopolies to certain industries. Making the practices of small business competition illegal by virtue of setting the bar for entrance into the marketplace unnecessarily high is anti-competitive and a gross abuse of power. That is exactly what Congress engaged in by inserting language into the highway bill to arbitrarily and immediately reclassify small retail tobacco shops as “manufacturers” if they provide services allowing customers to roll their own tobacco cigarettes. This reclassification, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will force the immediate closure of more than 1,000 small businesses across the United States. THEREFORE, we respectfully request you use your signing statement powers to interpret Section 100122 as unconstitutional and unenforceable under your administration. Will you save my job and my freedom, Mr. President?
PHONE CAMPAIGN: Call the White House to leave a comment (202) 456-1111
Tell the President: “When you sign the highway bill H.R. 4348, please issue a signing statement to make Section 100122 null and void. It’s nothing more than a favor to the Big Tobacco companies, it will close my business and people will lose their jobs immediately! I’m a retailer, not a manufacturer. This isn’t good government. Please tell Congress you can’t in good conscience interpret Section 100122 as a fair way to conduct government.”
BE STRONG, BE PERSISTENT: We are on the right side of this argument. Even the anchors at CNN realize we are getting the stick right up our nose by those protecting Big Tobacco’s bottom line. Why else would Big Tobacco spend millions lobbying for this crappy anti-competitive provision?!
I know you’re busy. I know you’re angry and feeling betrayed. Me too, but never let it be said we didn’t try. Get online and let them know we want our independence.