To get the full picture, we must also account for the taxes Americans pay to state and local governments. Over the last two years, recession-wracked citizens of at least 29 different states have already been forced to fork over more of their hard-earned money. When you add it all up, many Americans will give the Tax Man over half of every dollar they earn. Big spenders in government salivate at such a thought, but these policies come with a far higher cost – the opportunity cost of decreased investment, fewer jobs, and reduced prosperity. This higher tax burden will impede economic growth over the long run, which in turn means lower revenues coming into the Treasury. With a weak economy and unsustainable annual deficits already well over $1 trillion, we need a better plan for the future.
The truth is that we cannot balance the budget without a strong and vibrant economy. So the question we must ask ourselves is this: “How do we rein in Washington’s reckless deficits and simultaneously encourage robust job growth both now and over the long-term?” After all, recession and job loss will bankrupt American families as surely as $1.4 trillion deficits will bankrupt our country.
After spending through the roof, Democrats will tell you that they now have to raise taxes to help pay for it all. President Obama has recently become fond of car-related metaphors, so let’s put this in terms he will understand. Democrats are hell-bent on driving us off a spending cliff, and now they want you to pay for the gas. The real solution is to take our foot off the accelerator by slashing spending, like so many other nations are doing right now.
President Obama and Speaker Pelosi may claim their plan is only to raise taxes on “the rich”. Americans have already seen Democrats break that promise over the last few years. Also, remember their threats to delay any votes on these matters until a Lame Duck session of Congress, when Representatives who are not reelected may feel free to ignore those meddlesome people known as “the public.” After all, Democrats already voted for a government takeover of health care and a cap-and-trade national energy tax against the wishes of most Americans.
We should not gamble the health of our entire economy just to satisfy the desires of tax-hungry liberals in Washington. Do not raise taxes on people in the lowest income bracket, the highest bracket, or anywhere in between. It is a losing bet - not just for now, but for future generations as well. Rep. Price is Chairman of the Republican Study Committee