I was amazed, shocked, and disappointed by the House’s passage of the Democratic/Liberal fiscal cliff “deal.” A minority of Republicans in the house joined the Speaker in voting for a “compromise” that was a total surrender of their campaign promises. I am proud to say that most of our local Republican Congressman voted against the compromise, including Cong. John Culberson, Cong. Mike McCaul, Cong. Ted Poe and Cong. Pete Olson. Newly elected Congressmen Steve Stockman and Randy Weber both indicated that given the opportunity, they too would have voted against the compromise. The compromise results in tax increases and huge additions to the federal deficit. The increased debt will lead to higher unemployment and potentially another recession. Obama ignored the warning of another Democrat, Bill Clinton, who said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to raise taxes on anybody during a recession.”
This New Year’s Day deal was filled with pork. It appears they avoided the “fiscal cliff” and fiscal responsibility. While increasing our tax rates, the bill also included billions of dollars of pork for the Democrats’ closest pals. The bill includes $430 million in tax perks for Hollywood, $331 million for railroad operators, $222 million for Puerto Rico and Virgin Island rum producers, $70 million for NASCAR, $59 million for algae growers, $4 million for electric motorcycle makers, and even $15 million for asparagus growers. Conspicuously absent from the compromise is entitlement reform and any real spending cuts. Also, the legislation attacks married couples, adding hundreds of dollars in new penalties to many of their households. The compromise leaves joint tax filers, i.e., married couples, with less than twice the standard deduction for individuals. Discouraging marriage creates more government dependence.
The compromise increases taxes for individuals and couples making more than $400,000 and $450,000 respectively; the middle class will also see a large part of their paychecks disappear. The Social Security tax increases by 2%, which will result in Americans taking home less money and giving more to the government. When you include the onslaught of ObamaCare taxes beginning in 2013, the legislation is even less appealing.
You can usually judge the merits of a Congressional deal by those who applaud it. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) celebrated the deal as a “happy start to the New Year.” It is clear that President Obama and Democrats have no desire to deal with out-of-control spending. A vote for this bill was a vote for President Obama’s liberal tax and spend agenda. The bill stuck taxpayers and our children with an even greater financial burden! If we ever expect to take back the majority in the Senate or win the presidency, we must stand on principle. This recent retreat and surrender strategy of some Republicans only weakens our chances of achieving that goal.
The next Congress is inheriting the debt crisis and Tuesday’s compromise was to avoid another fight by kicking the sequestration can down the road for a few more months. I am hopeful that the next Congress will stand and fight President Obama and his liberal allies for the sake of taxpayers, our children, and our grandchildren!
Jared Woodfill – Chairman, Harris County Republican Party