This Week in Washington: House Passes "Tax and Spend" Budget
On an almost strictly party line vote of 216-210, the House last week passed a $2.9 trillion "tax and spend" budget plan. According to the Washington Post, the plan would permit the tax cuts instituted in 2001 and 2003 to expire in 2010.
In other words, the House majority has chosen to dismantle the very tax policies that have supported our country's consistent economic expansion over the past four years.
In a single sweep - in the snap of a finger - this budget has given the American people the single largest tax increase in American history - by raising taxes nearly $400 billion over five years.
The last time the Congress gave the American people what was - at that time - the largest single tax increase in American history was 1993.
At the time, Congress had the help of President Bill Clinton to sign the bill into law. Fortunately, President Bush has a veto pen that hopefully will keep these tax increases from becoming a reality.
I don't recall a single time in any of my years of being in Congress, either as an elected member or in the 18 years that I worked for my predecessor, Congressman Sonny Callahan, where a constituent came up to me - not at a town meeting, not at a Rotary Club, Lion's Club, Kiwanis Club - and said, you know the federal government needs more money. Why don't you just take some of mine?
Nor have I had anyone come up and say, congressman, there is not an ounce of waste in the federal government. Washington, D.C. is a lean, well-oiled machine. You all could use a little bit more of my money. Here, take whatever you need.
What this budget will mean to the average Alabama household is not good news. If this tax increase is enacted, it will mean that the average tax-paying Alabama household will owe an additional $2,500 in taxes. Friends, that is a lot of money to most of us in Alabama, and I think it's a lot of money to most Americans.
That additional $2,500 more to Uncle Sam likely means no braces for the kids. It means that you won't be able to set aside money this year for your children going off to college, and it certainly will mean there will be no family vacation.
Sadly, many in the House must think that either the federal government can spend the American people's hard-earned tax dollars better than they can, or that the federal government simply shouldn't be asked to make a sacrifice when there are so many worthy programs yet to fund.
This budget is the first step in the majority's plan to dismantle the tax policies that have actually worked and replace them with the single largest tax increase on the American people. Quite frankly, it's a sad day for the American taxpayer.
Time after time, my colleagues and I on the Budget Committee tried to amend this budget with commonsense amendments that are overwhelmingly supported by the majority of the American people. All of these amendments were voted down.
Last month, the president sent Congress a plan to balance the budget - without raising taxes while at the same time maintaining the successful pro-growth economic policies that have fostered our economy's solid, sustained growth while creating 7.6 million new jobs during the past 45 months.
During my tenure on the Budget Committee, I have worked hard to ensure that Congress is a more responsible steward of the money the American taxpayers send to Washington.
Regretfully, we have not always been as successful as I would have preferred. Sadly, however, the plan passed by the House last week places an even larger burden squarely on the backs of the American taxpayers.
Town Hall Meeting Reminder
This week I will be traveling throughout the district meeting with constituents and visiting schools.
I will also be holding a few town hall meetings throughout the First Congressional District. The times and locations for these meetings are:
Monday, April 2, 2007
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Leroy
Leroy Volunteer Fire Department
5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Thomasville
Joint meeting with Congressman Artur Davis
Alabama Southern Community College
Alabama Tombigbee Conference Room
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Atmore
Poarch Creek Indian Reservation
My staff and I work for you. If we can ever be of service, do not hesitate to call my office toll free at 1-800-288-8721.