Column by Bob Goodlatte
Just last week, the House majority unveiled their proposed budget resolution for fiscal year 2009, which calls for the largest tax increase in American history: $683 billion over the next five years. This proposal significantly increases the tax burden on the middle class to pay for new wasteful government spending. Facing a slowing economy and an increased cost of living, Americans have to tighten their belts and carefully budget their hard-earned money. It’s time the federal government did the same.
Unfortunately, the Democrats’ fiscally irresponsible budget proposal passes this large tax increase along to hard-working families and small-business owners by calling for a higher marginal tax rate, a reduction of the child tax credit, an increase in the marriage penalty, an increase in the estate tax, and an increase in capital gains and dividends tax rates. By eliminating these critical tax cuts the Congress passed in 2001 and 2003, millions of Americans will be faced with higher tax bills in the future.
The Democrats’ budget makes no attempt to rein in wasteful government spending or balance our federal budget. Instead, their budget exceeds the president’s spending levels by $276 billion over five years, and to pay for this massive spending increase, the majority intends to pass the costs along to middle- and lower-income Americans. In simple terms, this tax increase means that 116 million taxpayers will face an average tax hike of more than $1,800.
In contrast when we lower the tax burden on America’s families, we encourage investment, savings and job creations. Nothing proves this more than the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 which helped create one of the strongest economies in American history.
Congress must steadfastly hold the line on government spending, which is why I have consistently voted for the tightest budgets possible each year. In addition, I have introduced a balanced-budget amendment to the United States Constitution, commonsense legislation which would force Congress to rein in government spending. We must continue to support these pro-growth policies which strengthen our workforce, grow our economy and keep America competitive.
Congress has a clear choice in the coming months. We can control spending, paving the way for a return to surpluses and ultimately paying down the national debt, or we can pass this fiscally irresponsible budget, which takes money out of the hands of hard working Americans and sends it to Washington to be squandered on out-of-control government spending, leading us further down the road of chronic deficits. Even in these challenging times it is important for government to be fiscally responsible.
Bob Goodlatte represents Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District in the United States Congress. Contact him at www.house.gov/goodlatte/emailbob.htm.