By Nancy Thorner –

In a breaking news story on March 3, 2017, the CA Department of Public Health, in a widely distributed report, released a draft document outlining health officials’ concerns about cellphone radiation exposure after keeping it under wraps for over seven years. For those who have denied the hazards of cell phone usage in the past, this study cannot be ignored.

Cell phones emit a kind of energy called radio frequency EMF’s (electromagnetic fields).  Health officials have long been concerned about possible health effects cell phone use. Several studieshave found people with certain kinds of brain cancer were more likely to have used cell phones for 10 years or more.The March 3 study concluded:

1.  Cellphones are used by 91 percent of adults in the U.S. contributing to an overwhelming exposure to electromagnetic radiation.  Tissue damage from EMF penetration can promote cellular mutations that increase your long-term risk of developing cancer. As cellphones are frequently kept close to the head and body they potentially affect nearby tissue.  These 10 radio frequency radiation-emitting cell phone brands are considered the worst to use.

2.  It required a lawsuit to release California’s Environmental Health Investigations’ recommendations for safe cellphone use, containing study summaries suggesting long-term use increases risk of brain cancer.  It makes sense that as usage increases, so does your exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation, and, with it, your risk for developing cancer. Holding a cellphone up to your ear allows 80 percent of the EMF radiation produced to penetrate an adult’s brain tissue up to two inches.

3.  Children are at greater risk of health damage since results of exposure to electromagnetic radiation may take upwards of 15 years to appear, and children’s neurological systems are immature at time of exposure.  The penetration of the cellphone radiation into the brain of a child is even deeper and greater than that of an adult, as the brain is still developing through the teen years. Also, the developing nervous system of a child is potentially more susceptible to a damaging agent.


What about Smart Meters?

It is up to each individual to determine how much they wish to use their cell phone in light of the new hidden CA report, but *what about wireless Smart Meters?*  For the first time in history a Class 2B Carcinogen has been mandated on your private property after ComEd was able to convince members of the Illinois General Assembly to pass such a bill. ComEd lobbyists then spent over $16,000,000 persuading the General Assembly to override Governor Quinn’s veto and Governor Rauner signed it into law.

Com Ed is now in the process of installing 4,000,000 Smart Meters on the homes of all Illinois residences and business by misleading legislators and Illinoisans into believing that smart meters are safe and harmless.

Smart Meters, like cellphones, emit radio frequency/microwave radiation into residences around-the-clock. The frequency emitted from cellphones is the same as that emitted from Smart Meters when they are transmitting data or performing network functions. What this means is that a single Smart Meter can emit high-intensity bursts of radio frequency radiation all day long (up to 190,000 times a day according to California Court Documents). Multiply that by ComEd’s 4,000,000 Smart Meter deployment and you will see why citizens are concerned.

Other reasons for concern: 1. detailed (granular) data on household activities is being collected, posing a threat to privacy. 2. Emitted high frequency burst have been known to “fry” expensive electronics and appliances. 3.  Fire risk increases as Smart Meters can ignite, arc, spark, and explode.


Health issues

While issues of privacy and fire risk are important, most everybody is worried about their health. Dr. Thomas Rau, medical director of the world-renowned Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland, estimate that 3 to 8 percent of populations in developed countries experience serious electro-hypersensitivity symptoms, while 35 percent experience mild symptoms.

Rau also believes that strong electromagnetic fields can lead to cancer, concentration problems, ADD, tinnitus, migraine headaches, insomnia, arrhythmia, Parkinson’s, and even back pain. In a systematic review and meta-analysis of EMF radiation on sperm quality, researchers found an 8 percent reduction in motility and 9 percent reduction in sperm viability.

Some people will develop symptoms immediately after installation; most will develop physical and neurological symptoms later from long-term chronic radiofrequency/microwave exposure. Infants, children, pregnant women and the elderly are most vulnerable.  Pets also suffering from exposure.

Because Smart Meters operate in a mesh network, relaying data from one house to another and then on to a collector, Dr. Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D., has concluded that “The RF radiation from wireless Smart Meters is particularly threatening to health as that radiation is so persistent and so powerful.”   Dr. Ronald M. Powell is a retired career U.S. Government scientist.  He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University (1975).  During his Government career, he worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  See here articles Dr. Powell has published about Smart Meters.


Survey reveals common symptoms

Dr. Ronald M. Powell published a pdf study on March 12, 2015 of a survey about the symptoms which are being reported as people from coast to coast in the USA, and from one side of the world to the other, are becoming ill after exposure to the radio frequency radiation emitted by Smart Meters – Symptoms after Exposure to Smart Meter Radiation 

The first survey comes from the United States and includes 318 respondents from 28 states from California to New York, and addresses wireless utility meters that are principally Wireless Smart Meters.  The second survey comes from the other side of the world, Victoria, Australia, and included 92 respondents, and addresses Wireless Smart Meters exclusively.  Both surveys report new or worsened symptoms after exposure to the radiation from Wireless Smart Meters in the respondent’s environment.

The two surveys group symptoms into somewhat different clusters, but many of these clusters are similar enough to enable comparison between the surveys.  Of the top seven clusters of symptoms in both surveys, six clusters are similar in description and nearly identical in order of occurrence: (1) sleep disruption; (2) headaches; (3) ringing or buzzing in the ears; (4) fatigue; (5) loss of concentration, memory, or learning ability; and (6) disorientation, dizziness, or loss of balance.


Local survey called for

Isn’t it time that a survey be done here in Illinois?   Each village, town, or city in Illinois where ComEd has already installed Smart Meters should be asking its residents as to any possible adverse effects they might be experiencing since Smart Meters were installed.

Questions might include:

1.  Since the Smart Meter has been installed, have your electric bills
increased? Decreased?    Remained the same?

2.  Have you experienced any electrical interference since the meter was
installed?   If so, please describe.

3.  Have you experienced an electrical fire since the meter was
installed?  If so, please describe.

4.  Has there been a change in your health or anyone in your household’s
health since the meter was installed?  If so, please describe.

5.  Where is your meter relative to your living space?  For instance,
how far from your kitchen or bedroom.

6.  Have you, or a family member, been previously diagnosed with EMF

7.  Have you, or a family member, experienced any EMF symptoms since the
new meter was installed?  If so, please describe.

8.  Did anyone from your utility company contact you to explain the pros
vs. cons using a Smart Meter before it was installed?


ComEd must permit a permanent opt-out of Smart Meters

Lake Bluff on August 22, 2016, was the third municipality in Illinois to pass a resolution asking Commonwealth Edison to allow residents to permanently opt-out of the smart meter installation program by exploring permanent op-out options.   The other two communities were Lake Forest on July 18, 2016, and Burr Ridge on June 29, 2016.  Currently residents of
these communities and throughout Illinois can pay a monthly fee of $21.53 to defer installation until June 30, 2022.

In response to the increased public opposition to ComEd smart meters and its smart meter/deferral/program, ComEd completed a filing with the ICC on August 29, 2016. *This filing requests that the current sunset date for the smart meter deferral program be extended…to June 30, 2022. The filing also commits ComEd “to investigate a possible permanent solution” for customers refusing smart meters.

Petition your community to follow the actions taken by Burr Ridge, Lake Forest, and Lake Bluff.  Also request that the governing board of your municipality conduct a survey of its residents if Smart Meters have already been installed. Shouldn’t the concerns and health of its citizens be foremost on their minds of those we elect to govern us?

Comments would be appreciated from those who are experiencing negative effects after the installation of a Smart Meter.

Nancy Thorner   331 E. Blodgett Ave., Lake Bluff,  IL  60044     (847) 295-1035


Editor’s Note: The following is the columnist’s opinion, not necessarily Illinois Review’s.

By Nancy Thorner – 

Less than a year before his untimely passing, Justice Antonin Scalia called it a “horrible idea” to hold a constitutional convention.

Phyllis Schlafly was always strongly against allowing a constitutional convention to rewrite our Constitution, as with her fight against ERA in the 70’s.  In the September 2013 Issue of The Phyllis Schlafly Report, Phyllis equated Con-Con to “Mischief-Making about the Constitution” and sets forth good advice against an Article V Convention.

Call to rewrite the Constitution not new

Despite strong denials by pro-Con Con advocates, among them radio talk show host and lawyer Mark Levin, there is no way to limit a constitutional convention. This fact is recognized by nearly all legal scholars. It would be like a runaway freight train.

As set forth in this article, Disturbing Radical Agenda Behind Article V Amendment Convention:  

  • The terrible threats and current goals to rewrite the U.S. Constitution started over 50 years ago as part of the globalist Rockefeller and Ford Foundations’ billion dollar effort to fundamentally change the Constitution and transform our form of government.
  • This movement has led to Tea Party and Christian groups being infiltrated by progressive ideas by people presenting themselves as one of them.

As the article further states:

“There are many front_groups on both the political right and the left that want do away with our existing Constitution, The method of their madness will be an Article V Amendment Convention that will end up as a Constitutional Convention. If this ever happens, once started and convened, you can kiss our current U.S. Constitution good-bye, and America will never be the same. We are headed straight into a fascist dictatorship, but our U.S. Constitution keeps getting in the way of U.N. goals.  A One World Government and a One World Religion are already in place. Yes, corporate America wants a convention!!… and they want YOU to be dumb enough to support it! The government-corporate complex has taken control of the United States.”

Pro Con Con advocates and supporters

It is commonly believed that the Article V Amendment Convention movement is a grassroots effort coming from the states.  It’s quite the opposite. National groups have been conducting workshops, publishing tips, holding mock conventions, and staying very busy designing model_legislation (ALEC) for years to convince legislators to pass legislation calling for a Convention of States.

Advocates and supporters of some form of a constitutional convention, or the misnamed “Convention of States,” include billionaires George Soros and David & Charles Koch; Mark Meckler; Lawrence Lessig; Cenk Uygur; Michael Farris; Grover Norquist; William H. Fruth; Bob Natelson; and Richard Fink.  Information about each individual can be located here.  Many of the 10 Con Con advocates are also pro-immigration, pro-choice on abortion, and weak on American sovereignty.

The pro-Con Con side is simply wrong in pretending that a constitutional convention would “be called by the States.” Article V of the Constitution expressly states, as anyone can easily confirm, that “Congress … shall call a convention for proposing amendments.” The States have no control over the process other than applying to Congress for it to act.  Big states would dominate any constitutional convention.  No state would be entitled to “one state, one vote,” because the U.S. Supreme Court has required proportional representation by population since 1964. California and New York would dominate a Con Con, along with the media.

How state legislators are being turned by Koch Brothers money in Missouri. Texas, and Maine

Known as contributors to Republican causes and organizations, it is telling that neither David or Charles Koch supported Trump during his presidential campaign.

TEXAS:  The Koch Brothers basically control Texas through control of the Texas GOP.  Virtually every single Republican in the Texas House and Senate caved into the financial pressure coming from the Koch Brothers’ mega-donor network and voted for the Convention of States.  When Con Con passed into Texas law on May 4, 2017, the Texas Governor, who had made it a priority, cheered. The Texas Lt. Governor likewise favored a Convention of States.

The Koch brothers and their network of billionaires essentially own most statewide politicians in Texas now, some of whom might be potential presidential candidates in two or six years.

MISSOURI:  The globalist Koch Brothers, through their money network, also succeeded in swaying Missouri legislators to vote for Con Con.  SCR4 passed on Friday, May 12.  Twenty-six legislators walked out and one voted “present”.  More than likely is that some Missouri legislators, feeling squeezed, were terrified to vote against Con Con for fear of big money taking them out with a primary challenge.  The Missouri COS Resolution sunsets in 5 years and will no longer be in effect afterwards.  The Resolution also tries to impose 12 conditions on the process, which may prompt Congress to disqualify Missouri’s application altogether. This would depend on who is running Congress at the time.

MAINE:  The Maine House Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government heard the Convention of States House Joint Resolution, HP987, on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The Koch are reportedly one of the biggest polluters in our country.  Hopefully Maine legislators kept this in mind and acted accordingly. It seems unlikely that Maine would choose to go down the road of allowing the Koch Brothers’ money to rewrite the Constitution.

Con Con Facts to Consider

Regarding Heritage Foundation, there is concern that the Koch Brothers’ network has recently taken over the Heritage Foundation (follow the money) and will next install pro-Convention of States lackeys.

See here is an updated list with links to the 12 states that have so far passed the Convention of States. The number may be even lower once different versions are separated out, and if the Missouri resolution is disqualified due to its many special conditions.

The Con Con movement, and their secret friends who falsely pretend to be conservatives, is still at least 22 states away from success, and the rescission movement is gaining momentum.

It is increasingly obvious that the Convention of States movement is globalist with a hidden agenda.  The Convention of States movement may become a litmus test for exposing politicians who sell out to money over principles.

As many public officials take an oath of office that requires them to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” the hidden agenda behind trying to rewrite the Constitution, as funded by secret donors, must be defended and defeated.

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By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –


By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 
Having lost the House, Senate, presidency and most gubernatorial races, one would think Democrats would wake-up to the realization that the public rejected their Liberal message to consider what they might change to be more aligned with the American public.
That is not what Liberals have decided to do. What they have chosen to do instead may be a shocking revelation and possible wake-up call for many of our citizens. There is substantiated evidence proving specific Liberal leaders, a variety of special interest groups, and over one hundred Leftist, socialist organizations are all part of a conspiracy to create and fund a shadow government.
Their goal is to destroy President Donald Trump or at least damage him significantly, so that he is unable to achieve the goals he promised Americans, specifically those goals that oppose this shadow, socialist government’s Liberal agenda to change America.
There are indications even former President Obama, along with prominent Liberals and organizations, has conspired to create a shadow government in America to work against the Trump administration and its goals.   To date, over 100 organizations and a variety of well-known media sources have joined in this devious plot to destroy our President.  Their plans are largely designed to organize Liberals throughout America to participate in specific actions to attack Trump’s presidency at every opportunity possible.  The goal of these traitors is to leave Trump ineffective, irrelevant, and if all goes well for them, possibly recalled.  There is no apparent concern that this might evolve into a disastrous situation that could severely damage and/or destroy our nation as we know it today.
This plan is not a secret, as the information is rather easily obtained on the internet and is evidenced by the numerous attacks against President Trump which began a few days after the 2016 election; certainly way before our President had the opportunity to prove himself as an effective leader.   Incredibly, there are even some mainstream media sources cooperating with what many now recognize as an orchestrated attempt to destroy our new President.   This effort borders on treason, but no matter the exact definition of this mean spirited attack, the possibility of it causing horrendous damage to America, possibly irreversible, is very real.
Movement springs into action with Trump’s election
One of the first indicators of this movement was revealed immediately after Donald Trump won the election when, within days, rioters were bused to specific city streets to protest the results of the election.  The nation witnessed a “Women’s Walk on Washington” to protest Trump.  Hollywood stars used the occasion to make outrageous statements about our new President to the applause of many attendees.   Rational people watching this circus wondered who organized these events that allowed speakers to make outrageous, unfounded statements about Trump, before he even had a chance to move into the White House.
Many of us were surprised when President Obama decided to buy a home blocks from the White House.  Presidents throughout our history have understood the importance and purpose for a peaceful transition of power, which is why former Presidents have always left D.C. and returned to their homes in other states.   This is wise so that the country can adjust to a new administration and thus support its new President.  It is not just for the sake of tradition that this procedure is followed; it is an essential step and a gracious gift to both the new President and the Country, as the new President chooses his cabinet and begins adjusting to the major job of running the nation.  Barack Obama was given this gift by President Bush, but he had no intention of following this tradition.  In fact, quite the opposite.
Major Players in Left’s Goal to undermine government
It is necessary for all American citizens to know the players and plans being perpetrated, so they can more easily identify malicious tactics.   Keep in mind our forefathers provided us legal, honorable ways for citizens to express themselves in addition to laws that provide legal ways to remove politicians who break our country’s code of conduct.  We have term limits to remove officials who have proven to be disappointments.  The public cannot allow those who conceive devious plots to gain political power through self-serving methods.
Millionaire atheist George Soros is a major player in political games, and he is using the special interest Liberal organizations he founded and funds to help with this outrageous project.  He is not alone, of course.  Organizations like the Liberal ACLU have taken a large role in this unprecedented effort to destroy our President, and many other Liberal media sources are cooperating with this effort.
It has to do with destroying voices that the far left and the organized left-wing cabal doesn’t like.  Bill O’Reilly confirmed this was the reason he was forced out of FOX.  O’Reilly stated:  “It has to do with destroying voices that the far left and the organized left-wing cabal doesn’t like.”  In his first interview since being fired by Fox News, Bill O’Reilly has just begun speaking out.  He just revealed what happened behind the scenes, and it’s really stirring things up.  O’Reilly plans to name names when the time comes and explain exactly how this crew goes in and terrorizes sponsors; threatens people behind the scenes, and pays people to say things. “We are going to name them and it’s going to be a big, story.”
We also know that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) committed to a million-dollar “resistance” program called “People Power.”  Its goal is to find and train people to resist Trump and the new Administration from enacting the promises that American voters wanted and Trump promised. The ACLU plan encourages citizens to make appointments with local law enforcement and/or city officials to demand they implement immigration-friendly policies. Currently, the ACLU has been exposing and promoting this new slogan to their volunteers and paid workers:  “We’ll do the work in the Courts, you do the work in the streets.”   Seriously?  Exactly what does that mean?  Is the ACLU encouraging people to deploy and destroy the President of the United States?    What an eye-opener!  It is frightening that an organization was prepared to destroy this President so quickly.
Ploys in use to destroy Trump
Specific Left-leaning organizations and agitators use various ways to damage and/or destroy Trump, many of which are detailed by Saul Alinsky such as:  “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”  During the 2016 election, the media sources tried to stop Trump from winning by focusing on his personal flaws, real and imagined.  That failed, so they began targeting the people around Trump, which indirectly is a negative reflection on him.  These detractors use these tactics to criticize and blame the President whenever possible.  They have powerful media sources who will help them with their plan to destroy Trump by fake news and explosive headlines with little substance.
Comedians traditionally make fun of Presidents, but Kimmel, Colbert, and Maher have crossed the line with so-called jokes that are indecent.  Bill Maher inferred incest between the President and his daughter. This type of humor is not funny; It is over-the-top malicious and disrespectful!  Are they part of this cabal to ruin Trump?
Sarah Palin can testify how the media can destroy a candidate through carefully crafted lies intended to harm rather than provide humor.  A segment of our population still think Palin actually said:  “I can see Russia from my backyard.”  The media showed this candidate no mercy, and it worked.  Has the public learned anything from the media’s savage vilification of Sarah Palin?
Attacks on Trump a continuation of decade long plan by Left
The continual attack on Trump is a carefully crafted plan that began decades ago, designed to silence Conservatives and promote Liberal ideals.  Liberals have been manipulating the public, largely through our exceedingly liberal schools for decades, as well as various media sources.  We all will suffer from their conspiratorial actions unless we refuse to be deceived.  Facts indicate their intent is to turn America into a Socialist/Communist form of government, and after eight years of the Obama administration, advances were made toward that misguided goal.  That is why the recent election results shocked Democrats and caused Socialist promoters to realize they needed to destroy the Trump’s presidency to preserve the progress they had made.
These specific Liberals call themselves “the Resistants.”  They are resisting what our wise forefathers gave us: a Republic. We need to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin as he exited the meeting which decided the form of government for our new-born nation.  A woman called out from the waiting crowd:  “What type of government have you given us?”  Franklin answered:  “A Republic madam, if you can keep it.”   Generations throughout our history fought and died to keep it and thus we have prospered, but Franklin’s answer remains a warning for all generations.  We cannot assume that because America is the most prosperous, envied nation in the World, it will remain as such.  There will always be those who, if they see an advantage to themselves, will attempt to change America for self-serving reasons, which is why it is essential we stay alert and defend it from enemies foreign and within.
Every American citizen is entitled to embrace his or her own political opinions; America has remained strong because we have wisely allowed elections to decide our leaders. History has proven the wisdom of our populous accepting election results and working together for the good of our country.
We must be alert to recognize any and all who purpose to perpetrate malicious attacks on President Trump, before he is even given an opportunity to prove his decisions correct.  Those aggressively critical of Trump and his administration seem to have one thing in common: they are far Left leaning Democrats who were aligned with President Obama and critical of many of the Conservative values espoused by our forefathers.
Part 1: Thorner/O’Neil:  Political Climate Fostering Intolerance and Anger
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By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –

The first 100 days of a Presidency are often called the “Honeymoon” period. Some honeymoon! By most accounts, it was 100 days of a contentious divorce proceeding, with the Democrats wanting to keep the (White) house and the bank account.  By contrast, all Bill Clinton took was the dishes and flatware (and the “w” keys from the typewriters).

Trump’s major victory was the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, which happened despite the endless delays and recriminations hurled against Gorsuch aimed at sinking his appointment.  In short order, Gorsuch’s appointment should put an end to judges in the 9th Circuit using campaign statements instead of  judging the law as written. Appropriate for such behavior would be a penalty, possibly impeachment or a “three strikes and retire” rule.

Another contentious and non-compromising issue for Democrats was the dismantling of their sacred cow, Obmacare.

On May 4 the House voted to dismantle the pillars of the Affordable Care Act and make sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system with no help from the Democrats. Read here is what the Republican Repeal bill actually does.

The (dis)loyal opposition, as to be expected, has raked the Republican Repeal Bill over the coals, claiming that 24 million people will lose their insurance under Trump’s AHCA. This is nothing less than a lie promulgated for political purposes. Trump has made it clear that pre-existing conditions and Medicaid will continue, but in a more manageable format.

How did Obamacare (ACA) really fare? The Democrats claim that 20 million people got insurance for the first time. That includes 11.2 million people who qualified for Medicaid under relaxed income rules. In fact, individuals making less than $35k annually were forced into Medicaid by the Exchange program. While this insurance comes at no immediate cost to the recipient, there are downsides. First of all, having insurance does not guarantee health care, and many hospitals and physicians refuse to accept Medicaid patients. Secondly, most of the expense is borne by the states, which will place a lien on the estate of recipients in order to recover some of that cost.

The other hidden factor is the huge number of middle-income citizens who lost their coverage (the policies Obama said they could keep). In 2016 is 6.5 million people paid the penalty rather than buy expensive insurance. That’s a matter of public information. However many more are paying for insurance which does them no good. The cost varies from about $6,000 to over $12,000 a year, but the deductibles are so high (typically $6,000) that it pays no bills short of a medical disaster. Prior to Obamacare, this was called “major medical” insurance. Now they are forced to pay comprehensive insurance premiums for major medical coverage.

Fortunately, the majority of families are covered under work-related policies through corporations and union. The catch is those benefits are now taxed, with a high penalty when they exceed the “Cadillac” cost of $12,000, which is about the same cost as Obamacare for the few paying Obamacare customers.

The new AHCA will eliminate unneeded coverage and most penalties, reducing the cost for Middle Americans. Requirements placed on small businesses will be relaxed, and the threshold for full time work raised once again to 40 hours/week. This will encourage economic growth, and fewer people who seek part time work will need two or more jobs. A high-risk pool will be established for chronic and pre-existing illnesses, much as works with automobile insurance. The cost will be shared by the Federal government, states and the recipients. The cost is high, but affects relatively few individuals. Most policies prior to Obamacare only denied coverage for a specified period of time, like two years.

Hopefully contrarian U.S. Republican senators will soon get their act together, and instead of looking down at House Republican senators as second-class legislators, will come on board to pass the House, without a complete rewrite, so President Trump can sign AHCA into law.





By Nancy Thorner – 

In what turned out to be perfect timing, tax expert, Heartland Institute Policy Advisor, and author Daniel J. Pilla was the featured speaker on April 27 at the Heartland Institute on the same day Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn were sent out by President Trump to reveal his tax plan at a White House press conference briefing. Watch Pilla’s presentation at Heartland here.)

Director Cohn called the Trump’s tax reform package the most significant tax reform legislation since 1986, and one of the greatest tax cuts in American history – while fully anticipating attacks “from the left and right” over the plan, whose aim, he said, was to “create jobs and economic growth.”

Speaker Background: Dan Pilla – ‘Premiere Expert on IRS Procedures’

For over three decades, Daniel J. Pilla has been the nation’s leader in taxpayers’ rights defense and IRS abuse prevention and cure. Widely regarded as one of the country’s premiere experts in IRS procedures, he has helped countless thousands of citizens solve personal and business tax problems they thought might never be solved. Pilla has seen every type of tax problem and believes “there is no such thing as a hopeless tax problem.” See here for Pilla’s comprehensive site, the Tax Freedom Institute, which is dedicated to “Understanding Your Taxpayer Rights and Solving Your Tax Problems.”

Pilla is the author of 14 books, dozens of research reports and hundreds of articles. His work is regularly featured on radio and television as well as in major newspapers, leading magazines and trade publications nation-wide. Dan is also a frequent guest on major talk radio programs where he is heard by millions of people each year. His fast-paced interviews provide hard hitting answers to even the toughest questions, as is demonstrated in this YouTube video of Pilla delivering his very entertaining and passionate lecture to Heartland members and friends.

Pilla on Trump’s Tax Plan

Pilla initially questioned whether Trump’s tax plan could be considered radical tax reform, as Heartland Director of Communications Jim Lakely posited in his introduction. Pilla said it wasn’t “radical,” and explained how tax reform has never been a problem in the action sense of the word. He explained his opinion by presenting examples of several attempts at tax reform since 1986, the high mark of the Reagan Revolution.

In the 1990s, he said, there were four major tax reforms in three years. From 2001 to 2015, there were 5,900 tax law changes made to the Internal Revenue code – and this only led to massive confusion. Pilla called the tax code “hideous” – citing its complexity as the reason for so much cheating, even labeling tax complexity as the number-one problem for tax payers. Pilla spoke about a 1998 law which maintained that the IRS must submit to Congress a report on tax law complexity. Only two reports were submitted, both before 2002, indicating that the required report is too difficult for the IRS to produce.

Trump Tax Reform Proposals Pilla Likes

Pilla suggested that several of Trump’s proposed tax reforms are, if not “radical,” a great improvement – which would improve compliance, eliminate complexity for taxpayers, and encourage economic growth.

  • Repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, in which government can tax an individual at a higher rate if government decides you haven’t paid enough tax in your initial filing. This “second system” kicks in, and then the taxpayer is obliged to pay the higher result of filing, basically, twice.
  • Repeal of estate and gift tax, which was a part of the Bush tax law (as long as you died in 2010), but was part of 10-year plan and has been phased out. Pilla spoke of the tax as fiscally insignificant and immoral. Less than one-half of one percent of federal revenue is generated by this tax, yet its audit rate is the highest of all other taxes. The immoral premise is that you have no right to pass along to your heirs what is left of your estate after you have already paid all of its taxes.
  • Repeal of a 3.8 percent capital gains surtax (a tax levied on top of another tax) that was to pay for free healthcare. Pilla noted the economic law that what you tax more, you get less of – i.e. high capital gains taxes curtail individuals from selling assets, which spurs economic activity. People hold on to their assets rather than pay the capital gains surtax.

Other Positive Elements of Trump’s Tax Plan

Pilla also spoke highly of these other aspects of the Trump tax plan:

  • Reducing the current seven income tax brackets to just three: 35% on high side; 10% on low side.
  • Eliminating standard deductions, except for mortgage and charitable contributions.
  • Reducing corporate tax to 15 percent. Pilla noted that United States now has the highest corporate income tax in the industrialized world (a top marginal rate of 39 percent). He also explained that corporations don’t pay taxes. Who pays? People do: the owners of the company (stockholders), employees making do with fewer workers, and consumers who pay more for the good being produced. Job-creating small businesses that account for their owners’ personal incomes would likewise benefit by having their top tax rate go from 39.6 percent to the proposed corporate tax rate of 15 percent. Pilla’s suggestion: Reduce the corporate tax rate to ZERO PERCENT.

Several times Pilla reminded his audience that what was presented by Trump’s financial team was only a thumbnail sketch of Trump’s tax plan, only the first volley, so expounding in length about Trump’s tax plan today might not matter much in a few weeks. For him, he said, it would be like tilting at windmills, trying to guess what the final plan will look like.

The Folly of ‘Revenue Neutral’ Tax Cuts

Pilla signaled that the Democrat Party – and some Republicans are of the same ilk – would be a significant hurdle to getting Trump’s tax plan enacted by insisting that any tax plan be “revenue neutral.” That would nullify all the benefits of tax cuts, and only end up shifting the tax burden. It is unfortunate that over time the federal government has come to believe that it owns all of our money and too many people have accepted the idea that government has the right to tell us how much of our money we can keep.

What happened, Pilla said, to providing for the “General Welfare” as set forth under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States”? Whereas the General Welfare clause should place limits on government spending, the contemporary view is that Congress’s power to provide for the “General Welfare” is a power to spend for virtually anything that Congress itself views as helpful.

Pilla suggested a novel idea for many legislators: cutting spending across board by 3 percent from our bloated federal government to pay for tax cuts, which would amount to just 3 cents on every dollar the government spends.

Pilla was not pleased that the complexity of the IRS tax code – already cited as the No. 1 tax problem for tax payers by the IRS itself – has not been addressed by a single talking head, nor does Trump’s tax plan address the issue. The Pilla solution: If the problem is not addressed, “bulldoze the tax code and start over again.” 

The IRS in Crisis

Although many individuals try to comply with the tax code, they find it too complicated to do so. The IRS should be offering assistance to those who wish to comply, he said, and enforcing the law against only those who are genuinely resisting compliance. A lot of innocent tax payers in the formal category only receive lip service from the IRS.

Cited by Pilla: The IRS fields more than 100,000 phone calls a year from Americans with questions about complying – many who simply want to set up a schedule for paying their taxes or inquire about refund – but they can’t get through to anyone at the IRS who can help. Millions more choose to walk in to IRS offices and receive help with tax problems. How ironic that the IRS has closed 300 offices – and those remaining open were informed not to answer questions during the tax season. What a dismal message the IRS is sending tax payers when in trying to pay their taxes they can’t get through.

Pilla noted that 42 percent of the IRS budget goes for enforcement, while less that 20 percent is spent on tax-payer assistance. This doesn’t make sense, because 98 percent of tax payment made to the IRS are “voluntary” payments complying with the tax code. In contrast, only 2 percent of taxes collected are the result of enforcement action.

Did the adoption of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights by the Internal Revenue Service on June 10, 2014 become a much-anticipated cornerstone document to provide the nation’s taxpayers with a better understanding of their rights?

What about the law to appoint an IRS Commissioner? Given the way the IRS tax code was treated during the past two years under IRS Commissioner John Koskinen who condoned Lois Lerner’s Tea Party Scandal? Instead of firing Koskinen, Trump kept him on, despite the ire of many Republicans who wanted Koskinen impeached. An IRS commissioner can be removed at the will of a president. Dan Pilla said Trump should have taken such action.

Q&A with Dan Pilla

On the incomprehensible U.S. Tax Code: A tax code that contains four million words is a good sign that corruption will exist, and it does!

On a “tax holiday” for overseas profits, which is part of Trump’s tax proposal: A tax holiday could only be a good thing in its impact. Some $3 trillion is parked off shore and could be brought back by American companies. This money represents capital to expand.

On getting rid of the income tax: The taxes on income levied by the federal government brings in 98 percent of federal revenue. Eliminate the income tax and instead impose a national consumption or sales tax.