The battle lines for the 2022 November election are set.
One party wants to raise your taxes to fund special interests.
The other will not raise your taxes.
Every single Democrat in both the House and Senate voted for a $700 billion tax increase for massive new special interest spending. Every one.
Any senator could have said no to the pork barrel spending, to the Biden $400k tax pledge-breaking tax increases, to the deployment of 87,000 new IRS agents. Any three House members could have done so. They chose not to.
President Joe Biden’s most famous and oft-repeated promise was that he would never allow any tax increase on any American earning less than $400,000 a year.
Biden’s signature on the “Inflation Reduction Act” means that he lied his way into office. The bill increases taxes on crude oil (gasoline), the production of U.S. natural gas and coal. It hikes taxes on businesses, which will reduce the value of the life savings of 58% of Americans who save in an IRA, 401k or other retirement plan.
Americans have seen their incomes fall as inflation has roared faster than the average pay increase. Life savings have been damaged as the stock market has fallen.
What is the Republican response? What is the new Contract with America?
To start, the vast majority of Republicans in the House and Senate have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge committing them publicly, in writing, to oppose any and all tax increases. This is a commitment Democrats refuse to make.
Since 1994 when 90-plus percent of Republicans signed and kept the pledge, no tax has been increased if the Republicans controlled the House or the Senate.
Stopping the bleeding is a good start. But what tax cuts will Republicans champion?
First, Republicans will start by repealing the Biden tax increases and making the Republican tax cuts of 2017 (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) permanent.
Biden will likely veto it, but will have to allow some to pass, just as former President Barack Obama allowed Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years and then to make 85% of the Bush tax cuts permanent.
After he left office Obama had to watch as Republicans abolished six major Obamacare tax hikes.
With TCJA, America saw that the reduction of the corporate income tax rate from 35% (higher than China’s 25%) to 21% created a boom that in 2019 drove a 6.8% increase in the median income of a family of four, a larger jump in income than all eight years of Obama. In one year.
Republicans will move to take the corporate rate from 21% to 14% making the U.S. more competitive in world trade and sending a signal Americans will not be yoked to the global tax cartel trying to destroy U.S. sovereignty via a 15% “global minimum tax.”
Republicans will restore the policy of American energy dominance, abolishing Biden’s taxes on coal, oil and natural gas and opening up America for energy exploration and pipelines increasing jobs, keeping energy costs low and protecting America from the fate of Germany—now dependent on Russia for their energy as they shut down nuclear and coal plants.
The right to “be your own boss” will be restored nationwide. Republicans will end the Democrat war on self-employment, independent contracting and small businesses. The Democrats in California largely banned independent contractors, including tens of thousands of independent truck drivers.
Republicans argue America should compete with the rest of the world by having the lowest taxes and regulatory cost, not the lowest wages.
Watch Republicans pick up a good idea from Texas Senator Ted Cruz, to allow money families save in a 529 account (savings for education) to also be used for home schooling and home learning expenses. Obama tried to destroy these tax-exempt savings plans. Republicans will expand 529s, a vital household savings tool. Homeschooling is a powerful vote-moving issue and Democrats will have no answer to this 529 expansion.
Republicans will call to repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents. Florida Senator Rick Scott has signaled that Republicans will campaign against the supersizing of the IRS.
In a recent open letter he notified prospective IRS employees not to get too comfortable: “This will be a short-term gig. Republicans will take over the House and Senate in January, and I can promise you that we will immediately do everything in our power to defund this insane and unwarranted expansion of government into the lives of the American people.”
Can Republicans credibly promise to repeal the Biden explosion of spending and taxes? There are two models to follow. When Clinton increased taxes and spending the Republicans won the Congress in 1994 and forced Clinton to sign a cut in the capital gains tax and to reform welfare by block-granting it to the states. Clinton’s spending plans were culled back, and federal spending as a share of GDP stabilized.
When Obama taxed and spent for the first two years, he lost the House in 2010 and much of his Senate support. Republicans forced a two trillion-dollar spending cut from Obama’s spending plans over a decade in return for agreeing to a debt ceiling increase. The Bush tax cuts were extended and 85% of them made permanent.
A Republican Congress alone cannot undo all the damage. But they can begin to turn the ship of state around.
Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform.
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