This weekend millions of American will not be watching their favorite sports teams on television. They will not be worrying about what to fix for dinner or how to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. No, millions of Americans will be rushing to file their annual tax return. They will be immersed in a maze of complicated jargon and unending forms all so they can reach deep into their pockets and give Uncle Sam a little more of their hard earned money.
Under our current tax system, Americans are taxed from the day they are born until the day they die. We are taxed on what we earn and on what we spend. We are taxed on what we own and what we sell. We are taxed to pay for the services and protections government provides.
In 2001 and 2003, President Bush and a Republican-led Congress recognized that the American people deserved tax relief. By all accounts, this policy has paid off.
The current economy has grown at a rather substantial and consistent pace. Since 2003, 7.5 million new jobs have been created. Today, more Americans are buying homes and investing in their future. Business investment alone has increased for 15 straight quarters. The American people have shown remarkable success when government has allowed them to keep more of their hard-earned money.
In the not too distant future, however, millions of Americans will be saddled with the largest tax increase in our history. Under the budget proposal recently passed by a narrow majority in Congress, the federal government's budget balances itself with the help of a $400 billion tax increase that will hit middle-income families, low-income earners, families with children, small businesses, and American seniors. Massive tax increases will hurt the job growth this country has seen.
The 2008 budget resolution is a return to the vintage "tax and spend" style of government we witnessed when Congress passed what was then the largest tax increase in history over a decade ago. It is a policy of sustaining massive increases in entitlement and discretionary spending by demanding the American people pay more. In Georgia, that means the average taxpayer will have an increase in their tax bill of $2,743. That is over $228 a month extra in taxes. It is uncalled for and unnecessary.
Many claim we must sustain high levels of spending because our nation's priorities demand it. This is unrealistic and it merely serves to justify high levels of taxation. It is based on the premise that any project may be labeled a priority and funded simply by digging deeper into the American people's wallets. And, it ignores our number one responsibility which is to be good stewards of the American people's money. Otherwise, we are abusing the generosity of the American people by justifying today's rampant spending with tomorrow's rampant taxation.
In the end, these tax increases will abuse all Americans. There are senior citizens who will face increased penalties for saving money over the years. There are married couples who will pay more income taxes filing jointly than two taxpayers who file separately. There are families who will see their child tax credit cut in half. All of this will be done to pay for a government that refuses to take responsibility for its spending. These types of tax penalties contradict our values and any reasonable sense of fairness.
American businessmen, American families, and the individual American taxpayer deserve another way to pay for Washington's annual budget. Raising taxes is not the answer. It is a temporary solution to the permanent problem of government overexpansion. We simply must stop finding ways to pay for an ever bigger government.