By Sen. Judd Gregg
March 13, 2008
HONESTY IS the best policy, and most can agree that is a good adage to live by. So how can the U.S. Congress seriously consider a federal budget that ties itself in knots to "fudge it"?
Last year, after years in the minority, Democrats won control of Congress. So when they unveiled their fiscal year 2008 budget, claiming to champion fiscal responsibility, they were afforded the benefit of the doubt.
A year later, that no longer holds true. The Democrats' 2008 budget assumed the largest tax increase in history, massive spending increases and skyrocketing debt, while sidestepping budget enforcement and ignoring a $66 trillion entitlement crisis that threatens to destroy future generations' ability to live the American dream.
Naturally, there was a great deal of concern among budget-watchers in the weeks leading up to the Democratic FY 2009 budget. Unfortunately, it meets our lowest expectations. Despite their false promises, the majority's budget again assumes a record-breaking tax hike, while spending recklessly, growing the debt and ignoring our urgent fiscal woes. In short, it spells serious trouble for the family budget in households across the nation.
The pressing issue for most families is how much more of their paycheck will be sent to Washington to pay for the additional taxes in the Democratic budget. Democrats say they will only "tax the rich," but there is simply no way taxes gleaned from "the rich" can possibly cover the expensive promises made in this budget.
Even by immediately repealing all of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief, including raising the top individual income tax rates back up to what they were under President Clinton on all families with a household income of $250,000 or more, Democrats will be able to generate only $225 billion over the next five years. They need seven times that much to cover their budgetary wish-list of $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion.
This doesn't cover what the Democratic presidential candidates are promising. That's another $1.5 trillion that could be enacted next year.