Republicans: Beware of Tax-and-Spend Democrats

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

( - Democrats view tax hikes as a "quick fix to any and every problem, no matter how big or small," and American taxpayers should worry about attacks on their wallets, Republican leaders are warning.

Republicans, who themselves have been criticized as big spenders, are resorting to a familiar complaint about Democrats.

"Democrats are running Congress exactly the we thought they would, insisting on higher taxes to pay for the excessive spending needed to create bigger and more intrusive government," said House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio in a news release on Monday.

"It's only been seven months since the new Congress began but Democrats have managed to amass a laundry list of proposals designed to raid American taxpayers' wallets," Boehner said.

He listed the Democrats' tax-hike proposals so far this year.

They include a proposed $392.5-billion tax hike in the Fiscal Year 2008 budget; higher federal taxes on tobacco products to pay for expanded health insurance coverage for children (passed the House 225-204); a $7.5-billion tax increase in the farm bill (bill passed the House 231-191); and $15 billion in new energy taxes, including higher gasoline taxes (passed 221-189).

In a separate news release, House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri said two recent Democratic proposals, taken together, would add another $10 to the cost of filling up an 18-gallon gas tank.

On August 8, Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, proposed raising the federal gasoline tax by five cents a gallon to create a new government fund for bridge maintenance and repair.

The day before, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he would introduce a measure to raise the federal gasoline tax by 50 cents a gallon to reduce carbon output.

"Combined, these two tax increases would more than double the existing tax and would add another $10 to the price of filling up an 18 gallon tank," Blunt said.

The current federal gas tax is 18.4 cent a gallon, and combined with state taxes, Americans already pay an average 45.8 cents a gallon in taxes.

"This nonsensical policy would greatly harm our economy, and disproportionately punish those who live outside our nation's cities and depend on their cars and trucks to get to work," Blunt said.

'American have a choice

The Democrats' proposed tax hike lead to one thing: "More federal government spending," House Republican Leader Boehner said. He called it "just one more reminder of the Democrats' broken promises on fiscal responsibility."

Boehner noted that half of the Democrats' appropriation measures have drawn veto threats because of "excessive spending."

But Americans have a choice, Boehner said: "While Democrats continue to chart a course for billions in new spending and higher taxes, House Republicans have presented plans that balance the budget without raising taxes, keep federal spending in check, and let middle-class families keep more of their own money."

Although the Bush administration successfully lowered taxes, some conservatives say Republicans should practice what they preach when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars.

President Bush, with the help of the last Republican-led Congress, "greatly expanded the size and reach of the federal government," conservative Richard Viguerie said on Monday.

Viguerie pointed to the No Child Left Behind Act, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, a new prescription drug entitlement, "nation-building on a scale never attempted before," farm subsidies, steel tariffs, and massive federal deficits.

Viguerie mentioned those examples of Republican big government in a news release saying that conservatives would be better off without Karl Rove advising President Bush.

Viruerie said under the Bush-Rove alliance, the Republican Party "lost its 'brand' as the party of small government."

See Earlier Stories:
Conservatives Play Blame Game on Size of Government (2 Mar. 2007)
GOP Must 'Return to Conservatism,' Says Strategist (17 Nov. 2006)
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