Taxation's Perfect Storm
Byline: Ralph Hostetter, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A perfect storm occurs when the major elements of weather - humidity, temperature and in the case of hurricanes barometric pressure - reach critical levels and come into alignment in a given location. Its power can be awesome. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was nearly a perfect storm.
Figuratively speaking, the perfect-storm theory might be applied to politics. For example, when the three most powerful elected officials in the United States, who share the same ideology and political philosophy, are placed in such an alignment, there is the potential for the creation of awesome political power.
Election Day, Nov. 4, did just that. It brought about the alignment of the three individuals who will hold these powerful positions. The positions are the president of the United States, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the majority leader of the United States Senate.
As House speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, has the authority to schedule all bills for members of the House to vote on. She has what is the same as absolute authority in this role. House Rules prescribe complicated procedures to bypass the speaker. No member has dared so far to attempt to bypass or challenge her, probably for fear of political payback.
The Constitution provides that all bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. This includes all tax law. Thus, all legislation to create, increase, revise or reduce taxation must have the speaker's approval. With a strong party majority now in the House, tremendous power is conferred upon its speaker.
President Bush's legislation to cut taxes passed in 2003 contains the provision that his tax reductions are to expire in 10 years from the effective date of the statute. This tax legislation can be repealed at any time. There are calls from the congressional left do exactly that. Of note is the fact only tax-reduction laws provide an automatic expiration date. No tax-increase law has been enacted in recent times with an expiration date.
Mrs. Pelosi apparently favors increasing federal taxes and she can exercise the power to do so. Increased taxes evidently would begin with families jointly making $42,000 or more annually. …