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Congress Responds to Soaring Gas Prices by Raising Your Familys Taxes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Congress Responds to Soaring Gas Prices by Raising Your Familys Taxes

Congressman John Boehner
March 14, 2008

Gas prices have soared to unprecedented levels in recent weeks, squeezing family budgets and driving up the cost of everything from food to commuter travel. What has the Democrat-controlled Congress been doing while gas prices have soared? It’s been raising your taxes.

Congress’ failure to enact bipartisan legislation addressing America ’s growing energy crisis is proof positive that Washington is broken. Democrats took power in Congress in January 2007 promising they had a plan to lower gas prices. Today, gas prices are 43 percent higher than they were when the Democratic majority took over. And the majority’s “plan” has yet to be seen.

The pain from this broken promise is being felt across America . Our district is no exception. If you live in Eaton, your average gas price as of this writing is $3.29 per gallon. Live in Celina or West Chester ? Your average gas prices are $3.42 per gallon. (Source: OPIS Price Index, March 14, 2008)

But don’t expect Congress to help you out with the ongoing problem of rising gas prices – it’s too busy trying to enact tax hikes to give middle-class families relief from skyrocketing costs of living. Consider this: under the budget approved last week in the U.S. House of Representatives despite Republican opposition, a family of four earning $50,000 can expect to see their tax burden increase by $2,100, according to an analysis from the House Budget Committee. Right here in Ohio , the average family’s tax burden will actually increase by $2,716.

This is what else the House’s budget would do, if it becomes law:

Some 116 million taxpayers will see an average tax increase of more than $1,800 per year.

More than six million low-income individuals and couples who currently pay no taxes will no longer be exempt.

Approximately 48 million married couples will face an average tax increase of $3,000 per year.

Low-income families with one or two children will no longer be eligible for the refundable child tax credit in 2011.

Roughly 12 million single women with children will see their taxes increase by $1,100 per year.

About 18 million seniors will face tax hikes of more than $2,100 per year.

Tax bills for an estimated 27 million small-business owners will increase by more than $4,000 each.

And what will Washington bureaucrats do with this tax windfall? They’ll spend it.

The same budget calls for an astounding $82 billion in increased “discretionary” spending, and does nothing to address the runaway growth of entitlement spending that threatens both current and future generations of Americans. And since Congress refuses to temporarily halt funding for lawmakers’ pet projects – a freeze I and other House Republicans have called for – the extra tax dollars will pay for even more wasteful spending. That means Congress will continue to use your money to fund projects like the “hippie museum” for Woodstock , NY requested by Sen. Hillary Clinton, instead of letting you keep more of what you earn to help you deal with soaring gas prices and other rising costs of living.

Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” His words are as true today as they were in the 1980s.

The American people expect their leaders in Washington to work together to promote American energy independence, keep taxes low, promote economic growth, and put an end to waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. Trying to enact tax hikes while costs of living skyrocket is not the way to accomplish that goal.

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