- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2013

There will be some belligerent squawking in the liberal media in the wake of the fifth annual Red State Gathering, organized by columnist and RedState.com founder Erick Erickson, and staged in a spiffy New Orleans hotel starting Friday. Mr. Erickson expects hundreds of conservatives to show up, along with the proverbial thought leaders of the movement, and “happy warriors,” he says.

Among those on the podium during the two-day event: Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Tim Scott of South Carolina; Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas and Nikki Haley of South Carolina; plus Reps. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma and Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

“We’ve never had a set theme, but this year it seems pretty clear there is a theme of disruption within the GOP — fighting within to defund Obamacare, challenging incumbents to move to the right in states where it is possible, and fighting the Democrats within the moral parameters of freedom,” Mr. Erickson says.


With training camp for each of the NFL’s franchises underway, rookies and veterans have signed sumptuous contracts with new or current teams around the league. But a little surprise awaits them, says Americans for Tax Reform, a nonpartisan interest group opposed to hefty tax increases.

“While many first-year players join their new team expecting to make millions in their professional debuts, the truth of the matter is the part of their paycheck for their first game will go directly to the state tax collectors,” spokesman John Kartch says.

NFL players can expect the state to collect taxes from the first few quarters of their first home game of the regular season before they begin to keep their earnings. The group has done the math. Players for California teams — the 49ers, Chargers and Raiders — face a 13.3 percent combined state and local tax rate, for example.

“They must play one game and a quarter into their second home game just to pay off their home game state tax liability,” Mr. Kartch says.

“The Minnesota Vikings have the second highest tax rate, 9.85 percent, due to Gov. Mark Dayton’s recent income tax hike,” he continues.

Things are also pretty miserable for players in New Jersey, where the rate is 8.97 percent, Maryland (8.8 percent), Ohio (8 percent) and Wisconsin (7.75 percent). But it’s not all bad news.

“Players on teams based in Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Washington are able to keep their earnings from the start of the regular season due to no state income tax,” Mr. Kartch observes.


“I can’t afford the Affordable Care Act”

— Bumper sticker spotted in Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington


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