It would seem that while a lot of people got excited about the short extension of some of the current tax rates, Senator DeMint was reading the rest of the deal. Sticking with the consistent stance that made him the leader of the Tea Party movement, he clearly explains why he will vote against this deal.
But this bill does much more than simply extend tax rates.
For starters, it includes approximately $200 billion in new deficit spending and stimulus gimmicks. That’s a lot of money that will have to be borrowed from China and repaid by our children and grandchildren. If we’re going to increase spending on new programs, we must reduce other spending to pay for it.
The bill also only extends rates for two years. We don’t have a temporary economy so we shouldn’t have temporary tax rates. Individuals and businesses make decisions looking at the long-term and we’re not going to create jobs without giving people certainty as to what their taxes will be in future.
The bill also fails to extend all of the tax rates. It actually increases the death tax from its current rate of zero percent all the way up to 35 percent. One economic study shows that this tax increase alone will kill over 800,000 jobs over the next ten years.
Finally, the bill now includes dozens of earmarks for special interests, including ethanol subsidies, tax breaks for film and television producers, give aways for Puerto Rican rum manufacturers, favors for auto racing track owners, and a hand out for businesses in American Samoa.
I have to go with Jim on this one.
The most important thing about DeMint’s principled stance on this issue is that he is setting a clear example for the new guys like Paul, Rubio, Lee, Johnson, and Toomey:
Many of you fought hard to elect new leaders to the Senate this year with the expectation that they would fight deficit spending, tax hikes, and backroom deals. I take that commitment very seriously and I’m prepared to vote against this bill even if I’m the only one in the Senate to do so.
We really need to hold their feet to the fire.
Cross-posted at FeetToTheFire.org