As a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Grassley is one of the architects who maps out the federal government’s spending blueprint. After Congress adopts the budget resolution for the coming fiscal year, lawmakers then must determine how to raise revenue and spend tax dollars that will fit within the blueprint. Here is where the devil certainly lies in the details. It’s tough to get 535 members of Congress singing off the same song sheet, especially when it comes to deciding how tax dollars are raised and spent. Some members of Congress can’t raise taxes high enough to satisfy their spending appetites. The new majority leadership in Congress essentially proposed rolling back existing tax policy.
As then-chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee, Senator Grassley helped steer through Congress the landmark 2001 and 2003 tax relief laws that lowered marginal tax rates, creating a first-ever 10 percent bracket. However, if this job-creating, economy-growing tax policy is allowed to lapse, American families and businesses will face a $900 billion tax increase over five years. Americans should not be paying more in taxes. Congress needs to maintain the job-creating fiscal policy that expands the economic pie.
As a senior member on the tax-writing Finance Committee, Senator Grassley will also continue his crusade to ferret out tax avoidance schemes and shelters, plug the $345 billion tax gap and fix the mess caused by the Alternative Minimum Tax. This parallel tax was enacted more than three decades ago to ensure wealthy taxpayers didn’t escape paying income taxes. However, the AMT was not indexed for inflation and today forces millions of middle-income taxpayers to pay higher taxes than they otherwise would under the standard tax code.
Contrary to the majority party’s views, Washington needs belt-tightening, not tax-hiking, to keep up another five years of uninterrupted growth that will achieve a balanced budget by 2012. Spending binges and tax hikes are not the answer.
Washington spending has reached unsustainable levels. The federal deficit has tripled since 2008, and the national debt has reached an unprecedented nearly $20 trillion. Senator Grassley favors spending reductions to manage the deficit because he knows you can’t raise taxes high enough to satisfy the appetite of Congress to spend money. Squeezing out the private sector with bigger government is anti-consumer, anti-entrepreneur, anti-small business and anti-taxpayer, and the biggest loser from this spending binge is the next generation. Federal spending now represents one-quarter of our nation’s economy. If Washington continues to increase federal spending, future generations will face higher taxes, bigger deficits, more debt and a lower standard of living.
For constituents looking to give suggestions on how to make the IRS better, please visit the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel's website, http://www.improveirs.org.