Pay As You Go?
By Karl Peterjohn, Kansas Taxpayers Network
On the rare occasions the mainstream national news media bothers to cover federal spending and taxes you are sure to hear the phrase, “pay as you go,” as the primary talking point of the new congressional Democratic majority. This phrase is supposed to reassure us now that the profligate “Bridge to Nowhere,” free spending Republicans have been relegated into the minority.
New York City Congressman Charlie Rangel, who now heads the powerful tax writing house ways and means committee, wants to dismantle the most successful legacy of George W. Bush’s administration, the 2001 and 2003 federal tax cuts. These tax cuts are scheduled to expire because of arcane congressional budgeting rules. However budgets must be enacted now and not put off until after the 2008 election.
Liberal North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan, who heads up the budget committee in the senate, is joining Representative Rangel in this push. While the national “news” media is focused upon Al Sharpton’s take on the Don Imus firing or the latest DNA results from the Bahamas, there is a large federal tax hike in your future as well as increased IRS powers to enforce tax laws.
Congressional liberals want you to “Pay MORE as you go,” and the lower federal income tax rate of 10 percent, increased child credit, and pro growth capital gains and dividend tax rates from the 2003 Bush tax cuts are all likely to be allowed to expire. The left wing blogosphere is determined to eradicate every last accomplishment of the Bush presidency.
March 28 the Heritage Foundation’s 2008 budget report warned, “The budget blueprint reported out of the House Budget Committee last week and supported by Democratic leadership is a study in fiscal irresponsibility … the House budget resolution boosts discretionary spending, does nothing to tackle out-of-control entitlement spending, and, worst of all, would impose the largest tax increase ever on the American people.”
A few days later the Wall Street Journal warned their readers, “The Bush tax cuts don’t expire until 2010, and Democrats aren’t about to tip their tax hand before the 2008 election. But under cover of zero media attention, Democrats are constructing a budget process that will make a tax increase all but inevitable.”
“The ploy here is ‘pay-as-you-go’ budget rules that Democrats are implementing in the name of ‘restoring fiscal responsibility.’ A few journalists even quote that phrase with a straight face. But everyone in Washington knows that ‘paygo’ is all about making tax cuts more difficult and not about slowing the growth of spending,” the journal editorialized.
The Heritage Foundation report criticized the Democrat budget, “… the (2008 proposed) budget assumes tax increases of $900 billion over five years which would be accomplished in part by allowing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to expire.” The U.S. economy has enjoyed solid growth and lowering unemployment rates ever since the 2003 tax cut was enacted. Federal budget deficits have also fallen despite bipartisan fiscal spending growth since 2004 too. This reduction in federal deficits has occurred because tax revenue growth grew more rapidly than federal spending hikes.
Fiscally responsible and informed citizens need to know, “… that the tax increase fuse has now been lit. Do nothing and taxes will rise as much as they have at any one time since World War II. Democrats have made the decision to obscure this burning fuse and the press corps is ignoring it. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the country has to play along … It’s a debate we should start having now, before the fuse burns down,” the Wall Street Journal warned April 5.
Kansans reading these words have now been warned. Tax and spend has returned with the Democratic majority that is now controlling congress.