As a party with a record of fiscal responsibility, Democrats understand the anxiety people are feeling over ballooning deficits. In January 2001 when Bill Clinton left office, it was projected that by now our national debt would be paid off. Instead, Republicans decided to cut taxes for those with top annual incomes and now we are facing record debt
The premise of these corporately funded, Fox News and right-wing radio orchestrated “Tea Parties” is that conservatives now can be trusted to spend our money wisely. They propose we put off needed investments in infrastructure, education, energy and healthcare during the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The decreased spending will magically revive a declining economy instead of driving up unemployment rates and thereby driving down consumer spending, and digging a deeper hole in revenue.
“Tea Party” participants complain a great deal about taxes. As of April 1st nearly one million Utahns began receiving a tax cut that will total more than $500 million. This tax cut took effect immediately in the form of less income tax withheld from workers’ paychecks. The only member of Utah’s congressional delegation to vote for Obama’s tax cut was Congressman Jim Matheson. Congressmen Bishop and Chaffetz, both speakers at today’s “Tea Party”, voted against this tax cut for struggling Utah middle class families.
According to Utah Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland, Bishop and Chaffetz’s vote against a tax cut for working Utah families was a real slap in the face. “Over the past eight years the average working family has seen their income decline by about $2,000 and their healthcare costs mushroom. Meanwhile the wealthiest one percent of Americans saw their income literally explode and their taxes cut.” Chairman Holland concludes, “Utah deserves representation that will stand up for working families when they need it most. By voting against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Bishop and Chaffetz both failed us.”
Republicans in the Utah legislature dutifully voted against any proposal that involved increasing anything with the word “tax” in it including: gas taxes, cigarette taxes, centrally assessed property taxes that hit big business, income taxes, or severance taxes. Instead, they decided to increase the cost of nearly everything else: vehicle registration fees, business fees, court fees, college tuition, public employee health insurance co-pays and premiums, public school student fees, and even marriage license fees.
Utah Democrats have been a consistent voice against the ballooning of the national debt during the Bush years. It’s these past Bush and Republican policies - and not the Recovery and Reinvestment Act - that is to blame for the current economic and fiscal crisis. Some of the Bush policy supporters speaking at the downtown SaltLake “Tea Party” should be the focus of participant’s rage.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Utah Democratic Party’s Response to “Tea Party”
It's a one-two punch with an uppercut at the end: