WASHINGTON — Expressing dismay over the Senate’s plan to increase spending and raise taxes, U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., voted against final passage Thursday night of the fiscal year 2009 budget resolution, which passed by a vote of 51 to 41.
This year’s budget resolution, which serves as a nonbinding blueprint for Congress when it decides how to appropriate federal dollars later in the year, was drafted by Senate Democrats who packed it with heavy spending and a $1.2 trillion tax increase, which is the largest tax increase in U.S. history, Georgia’s two senators said.
“We must take large and immediate steps to end the reckless spending that is threatening the future of our nation. Congress must become better stewards of the taxpayers’ money," Isakson said. “We also simply cannot raise taxes on America’s families and businesses. We must alleviate the tax burden placed on our citizens, not increase it.”
“Here we are again for the second year in a row, raising taxes on hard-working Americans,” said Chambliss. “Family budgets are already stretched thin and this tax and spend approach will add further strain in the long run. This is simply wrong. This budget in no way demonstrates any type of fiscal responsibility; it does nothing to reduce the deficit, and does not extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. The people of Georgia and all taxpayers expect their dollars to be used wisely, and they expect Congress to be more efficient and more productive.”
Isakson and Chambliss charged that the budget resolution increases non-defense discretionary spending by almost $211 billion over the next five years and adds $2 trillion to the gross national debt. It also contains no provisions for reducing entitlement spending, instead allowing it to grow by $488 billion over five years.
The Senate also rejected a number of amendments to extend existing tax relief past 2010. Isakson and Chambliss voted in favor of those amendments, including a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax and a vote to extend the tax cuts passed by Congress in 2001 and 2003.
“The tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 lowered tax rates for individuals, businesses, dividends and capital gains, eliminated the marriage penalty and scaled back the alternative minimum tax and the death tax,” Isakson said. “Letting American taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned money pays far better dividends than sending that money to Congress to spend on another government solution.”