Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

GOP slams vote on budget

Resolution in Congress didn’t increase taxes, Democrats respond

April 28, 2008


Americans for prosperity video

Watch these videos shot during a recent meeting of Americans for Prosperity:

¢ Jim Ryun, of Lawrence, a former congressman who is battling state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins for the Kansas Republican Party nomination to run for the 2nd District congressional seat now held by U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda -

¢ Nick Jordan, a Republican state senator from Shawnee who is seeking his party's nomination to face U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore for the 3rd District seat -

It's a simple statement that packs a powerful political wallop.

Jim Ryun, Lynn Jenkins and Nick Jordan - all Republicans trying to unseat two Democratic congressional incumbents who represent Lawrence - say the Democrats voted for the largest tax increase in the history of the United States.

Did U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, whose district includes west Lawrence, and U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, whose district includes east Lawrence, endorse such a proposal?

Both Boyda and Moore say absolutely not, and that their potential rivals are distorting the record.

The Republicans point to a specific vote in the House on March 13.

On that day, the House on a 212-207 vote approved a budget resolution, which Boyda and Moore supported. No Republicans voted for it.

The bill title was: "Revising the congressional budget for the United States government for fiscal year 2008, establishing the congressional budget for the United States government for fiscal year 2009, and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2010 through 2013."

Hours after the vote, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a news release targeting what it considers vulnerable Democrats, and accusing them of voting for a record $683 billion tax increase.

But the Democrats say that's not true, and so does a nonpartisan budget study group.

"It's dishonest to claim that the budget resolution passed by the House 'raises' taxes," said Moore. "The budget resolution does not change the tax code at all, but presents a fiscally responsible long-term plan for our nation's finances, including keeping tax relief for families and the middle class," he said.

Democrats argue the resolution envisions eliminating the budget deficit in 2012, while funding critical needs and preserving middle class tax cuts.

Basic definitions

At the center of the argument, it's important to understand President Bush's tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, and to know what a congressional budget resolution is.

When the Republican-controlled Congress approved the Bush tax cuts, the cuts were scheduled to expire at the end of 2010.

The budget resolution passed last month by Congress, which is now controlled by the Democrats, follows that older law in calling for the expiration of the tax cuts. The resolution provides a five-year roadmap for federal spending but it was nonbinding and serves more as a framework for future Democratic Party decisions on spending and taxes.

In a speech before the anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity, Ryun said the resolution that Boyda voted for will increase the taxes on millions of Americans, including many in the middle class.

But the resolution also includes policy language that calls for middle income tax relief, including extension of the increase in the child tax credit, relief from the so-called marriage penalty, and other deductions aimed at the middle class.

"Nancy has always believed that the middle class relief should be made permanent," said her spokesman Thomas Seay. He said the sunset clauses in Bush's plan don't take effect until 2011. "Nancy has said again and again that when this issue reaches a vote, she'll support extending middle class tax relief," Seay said.

No tax increase

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says the budget resolution contains no tax increase, let alone the largest in U.S. history.

The resolution approved by the House assumed that the nation's tax law would be amended to extend some of the expiring tax cuts, especially those affecting middle class families, according to the center, which is a nonpartisan group that works on policies and programs that affect low- and moderate-income families. The costs of those tax cuts would be offset by other changes in policy, which could include eliminating the tax cuts for the very wealthy, some Democrats have argued.

Of the allegations made by the Republicans, Aviva Aron-Dine, a policy analyst with the center, said, "Our view is that that claim is inaccurate."

She added, "The language of tax increases is very powerful. It's important to correct the record."


KsTwister 10 years ago

If I never see another Republican in Congress it could not happen soon enough for the damage they have done.

MCwzMC 10 years ago

I suppose these republicans wanted the last 8 years of reckless spending put on the nations proverbial credit card - foreign funded debt. Good idea. Now I think I'll go shopping, use my credit card, and put off paying for it for a decade.Borrowing is only smart when the objective is to make sound investments that will bring in higher returns than the interest rate paid on the debt. Somehow I doubt that the Iraq war, tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, and a $300-600 rebate check are the investments that will bring in those higher returns. Ahh... Who cares... When its not your money I guess you are entitled to spend like a fool.

KS 10 years ago

KS Twister - I will say the same about the Democrats. There is not a tax or tax increase that they don't like.

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years ago

Dear Republicans,You're going extinct. Good riddance.

BrianR 10 years ago

"There is not a tax or tax increase that they don't like."That is preferable to the Republican strategy of borrowing from China.

Godot 10 years ago

If it walks like a tax increase, and talks like a tax increase, it is a tax increase. By this argument, if one is into parsing words, the Bush tax cuts were not tax cuts, either; they were simply a temporary halt in the inexorable growth of the burdensome taxation of the American public. This is what the Democrats mean when they promise "change."

WilburM 10 years ago

What's amazing here is the placement of this piece in the printed paper. Top right, front page. All over a press release/ad that an independent analyst says is non-factual. Surely there was more news than this in Lawence, Kansas, the US, or the world!This is just pure partisan politics, elevated to news.

staff04 10 years ago

"If it walks like a tax increase, and talks like a tax increase, it is a tax increase.""When the Republican-controlled Congress approved the Bush tax cuts, the cuts were scheduled to expire at the end of 2010."-----------------------------------I guess you know who you should thank then, don't you?

dirkleisure 10 years ago

Here's the thing with this "tax increase" and the budget resolution - the only way to pay for the tax cuts the budget resolution stipulates for middle and lower income Americans, the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% must expire as scheduled by the Republican Congress and the Republican President.So, the only tax increase here is a vote against this resolution, because a vote against this resolution is a vote to maintain ridiculous tax breaks for the top 1% and against tax cuts for middle and lower income Americans.

jafs 10 years ago

This language thing is disturbing.They voted to allow the tax cuts to expire as planned.Where does Bush think the money will come from to fund his $3 trillion war?Why shouldn't the rich and large corporations pay their fair share of taxes?It's interesting to hear the "tax and spend" rhetoric - under Clinton we had a healthy thriving economy and he left office with a budget surplus - I can't remember another time that has happened.Imagine if we had used the surplus to help shore up Social Security and/or Medicare/Medicaid.

BigAl 10 years ago

Republicans say this is a tax increase. Non partisan groups say it isn't. I wonder who I should believe.Republicans: Spend and borrow. I remember the time when it was the Republicans that were fiscally conservative.

fletch 10 years ago

Are you trying to tell me the Republicans would willfully try to spread disingenuous information? That doesn't sound right at all....

gccs14r 10 years ago

The Federal government has never had a positive balance sheet. There have been times when debt has been paid down, by spending less than is taken in during a particular year, but at no point have we not owed someone something. As for tax increases, YES! It's better to increase taxes now, to begin to crawl out of the $9 trillion hole we're in, than to wait and find that it's $15 trillion in a few years. Interest rates need to go up, too, and Bernanke needs to start taking dollars out of circulation, not keep releasing them like confetti at New Year's.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years ago

American's for Prosperity is not "anti-tax," Mr. Rothschild. AFP calls for the reduction, not elimination, of government receipts.

BigDog 10 years ago

Well the Democratic Presidential candidates have already committed more than this $683 billion in new programs. Which both say would be funded by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. How can you use these to both reduce the budget deficit and pay for new enormously expensive programs like universal health care?I say it isn't possible to do both and Americans are being sold a line of crap because these funds are supposedly going to be used to pay down deficit.Or is this like the Medicare Prescription Drug program that they still have not figured out how to pay for.

KS 10 years ago

If all you folks are so darn poor as you portray yourself to be and that the world is in such a mess, why don't you get off your you know what, run for office and do something about it. Shut off your extra expenses, such as cell phones, cable, internet access and do something. I have no pity for those who always complain, but don't want to do anything about it.

Godot 10 years ago

Tax receipts have dramatically increased since the "tax cuts" were implemented. What will the Democrats do when tax receipts fall to their previous levels (adjusted for inflation, of course) after they allow the tax cuts to expire? Will they have the fortitude to eliminate programs and slash department budgets, or will they further increase taxes? By the way, if you own stock or property that might have some profit, you'd best sell them before the end of 2008. BO has promised to increase the capital gains tax to nearly 30%. This year it ranges from 0 to 15 percent. Sell, sell, sell! And if you are planning on leaving anything to your children, you'd better pass on this year. If there is one thing the Dems hate, it is letting average people pass an inheritance on to their children. The only kind of inheritances they approve of are the ones that involve pass-through trusts and charities, you know, the ones that only the truly wealthy can afford to set up.I'm just waiting for Hillary or Obama to propose eliminating the $250K tax free gain on the sale of a personal home. After all, that is such a paltry amount to their supporters, it isn't even worth the bother.

Scott Tichenor 10 years ago

Jim Ryun, cash rich, morally bankrupt, will say or do anything to get elected again. That cash cow gig is missed big-time in his little private religious compound. If his mouth is moving, he's telling a lie. I still relish the link on his old web site entitled "Ethics", and when you clicked on it, it returned a 404 Not Found. How fitting.

budwhysir 10 years ago

When the gop makes slop we become top so lets all see how much we can debate the gop cause it will never stop even if we make things change it will rearagne our thinking of the pog. The pog is a group of gop reversal type that runs the pog campaigns. anyway, those of you who question my ability to understand the political loopholes of the gop should change over the side of pog then all will be well in pog land and lacking in gop land.those who say i talk giberish should check out the website hosted by the pog for america campaign

dirkleisure 10 years ago

its_getting_warmer (Anonymous) says:Have anyone ever noticed that the sky is always falling in Godot's world?-------Because it is overburdened with excess CO2.

texburgh 10 years ago

Americans for Prosperity is not anti-tax - they are anti-government. Here in Kansas, they argued that the minimum wage should be eliminated (the lowest minimum wage in the nation), that every business tax cut and all corporate welfare be passed, and that tuition for state universities be raised dramatically. Sounds more like Americans for Poverty. Their mentor, Grover Norquist, once said he did not want to eliminate government, just shrink it to a size that could be drowned in a bathtub. Imagine a world with no taxes and no government. Who will protect your home from fire and theft? Who will repair your highways? Who will plow the snow? Who will provide food inspections so you stay safe? Who will care for the disabled, the poor, the aged? And for all you Bushies, who will protect you from the terrorists?If you Republicans don't willingly hand over more tax dollars, who will pay for your Iraqi quagmire? It is Bush and his yes men - bobble heads like Jim Ryun - who created this mess we're in. Now they want to say it's about the Democrats. Talk about hubris.

situveux1 10 years ago

Funny, when the Democrats thought the economy was going in the crapper, what did they call for???? Tax rebates...or we can call them what they really time tax cuts. How can they be for tax cuts one time and against them the next?I'm glad they cleared this up for me...instead of actually voting for a tax increase, they just voted on a resolution to signal they favored increasing taxes. That's nice of them to give me notice before they send taxes sky high.

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