Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FEDERAL BUDGET; Leadership Vacation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FEDERAL BUDGET; Leadership Vacation

Article excerpt

Dear Republican Congressional leaders:

Shame on you.

How could you go on recess for the holidays without doing something about the high taxes of your constituents?

You failed to extend popular tax breaks and did not protect millions of Americans from paying the alternative minimum tax.

If we had wanted a Democratic majority in the U.S. House and Senate, we would have elected them.

So you're the party of lower taxes? If so, you should have used your clout for the American people -- before taking your holiday. If you needed all-night sessions to finish your work, then you should have gone without sleep.

The alternative minimum tax is the ultimate example of a tax increase designed to capture taxes from the very wealthy that has gradually sucked in more and more middle-class families. It is not pegged to inflation.

While 4 million taxpayers will pay the tax this year, the number will increase to 21.6 million in 2006, reported The Wall Street Journal. Married couples with gross taxable income above $45,000 would be subject to it.

Congress also needs to renew deductions for sales taxes and medical accounts.

NO FISCAL DISCIPLINE

Real conservatives are outraged at this lack of fiscal discipline. The conservative revolution of the 1990s, led by a Republican Congress, enacted pay-as-you-go rules, which put the deficit under control. Whatever happened to those rules? What happened to you?

As the bipartisan Concord Coalition states, "When the will is not there, no matter what the rules, a way can be found to twist or avoid the limits they impose. Budget deficits are back for as far as the eye can see."

The conservative Heritage Foundation expressed it well, saying that "the federal government should reduce taxes, cut wasteful spending, reform the massive entitlements, and fully fund America's national defense priorities. …

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