July 20, 2009

July 20, 2009 | Commentary on Economy, Health Care

Tax, Spend and Disarm the Public

In May, President Barack Obama admitted, "The long-term deficit and debt that we have accumulated is unsustainable." This is the same President who railroaded through a $787 billion so-called stimulus plan and is in the process of pushing for a $1 trillion plan to nationalize heath care. Furthermore, the President wants the Senate to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, although her rulings seem to indicate she doesn't recognize an American's Second Amendment rights.

Thankfully there are a few conservative lawmakers who fighting President Obama's efforts to heap trillions more in debt on American's children, raise taxes and confirm an anti-gun nominee.

Wrangling for Higher taxes

As the Left in the House and Senate look for ways to seize control of America's health care system, Democrat House leadership recently unveiled a health care bill they say will expand coverage and insure more Americans. Many lawmakers -- as well as taxpayers who would foot the bill for "reform" -- are calling on Congressional leaders to explain how they will pay for their plans. If you ask Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he'll tell you his plans are to raise taxes 1% for joint filers over $350,000, 1.5% for $500,000 and 5.4% for $1,000,000.

Aside from the fact that increasing taxes during a recession defies logic, the impact a surtax would have on small businesses is disastrous. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses accounted for nearly two-thirds of all new job creation in the past decade. In these hard economic times it's unsound economic and public policy to raise taxes on the sector of the economy that's creating jobs.

According to The Heritage Foundation, the proposed 5.4% surtax (coupled with the planned expiration of the Bush tax cuts) would raise the current top federal tax rate for a successful small business owner from 35% to 46.4%. Add in the state and local income taxes small businesses pay and they'll face a 52% top tax rate. At that point the government will take more than half of every dollar earned by successful small business owners. Aside from the fact that this tax would violate an Obama campaign promise, massive tax hikes would make America less competitive and would destroy many small businesses.

Tom Price's REBOUND Act

Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) is Chairman of the Republican Study Committee. He's drafted a bill dubbed the Reducing Barack Obama's Unsustainable Deficit Act (REBOUND) to provide the President a roadmap to fiscal and economic security.

Price's legislation would repeal the spending portion of the President's so-called stimulus plan. That would save you, the taxpayers, $460 billion. The bill would prohibit Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner from obligating any further TARP funds, which would save you another $150 billion. It also requires that all repaid TARP monies go to debt reduction.

The deficit is exploding. It's projected to be $1.8 trillion this year, and the President's budget is projected to more than double our debt, from $10 trillion to $23 trillion. These are staggering numbers. If the President really wants to balance the budget and reduce spending, he should sign the REBOUND bill and reform his big spending ways.

Right to Self-Defense Not in Obama's Constitution

President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court (Sonia Sotomayor) has an excellent resume, including 10 years at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Yet Senators should think twice before confirming her, because she's hostile to the right of self-defense.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) asked Sotomayor a simple question: "As a citizen of this country, do you believe innately in my ability to have self-defense of myself -- personal self-defense? Do I have a right to personal self-defense?" Sotomayor answered "I'm trying to think if I remember a case where the Supreme Court has addressed that particular question. Is there a Constitutional right to self-defense? And I can't think of one. I could be wrong, but I can't think of one."

This exchange happened moments after Sotomayor was asked a series of questions about the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller case and Sotomayor said that the case "recognized an individual right to bear arms as a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment." Sotomayor even went as far as to say that Coburn's question on the right of self-defense is "an abstract question with no particular meaning to me."

That Sotomayor apparently couldn't remember the right of self-defense referenced in Heller should send a shiver down the spine of all gun owners. This nominee's encyclopedic knowledge of case law evidently does not include any understanding of the natural right to self-defense recognized by the Constitution.

Brian Darling is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation

About the Author

Brian Darling Senior Fellow for Government Studies
Government Studies

Related Issues: Economy, Health Care

First Appeared in Human Events