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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Should Congress hike your taxes … or, instead, slash spending? -- By Andy Koenig, The Washington Times

 (Illustration by Greg Groesch, The Washington Times)

Illustration by Greg Groesch for The Washington TimesNew taxes: a Christmas present nobody wants 

Few things would dash the holiday spirits of deficit hawks more than a budget deal that abandons the sequester caps and funnels new revenue into federal coffers. Unfortunately, that's exactly what budget negotiators in Congress have presented.

With their deadline to strike a deal looming this week, the select House-Senate committee charged with crafting a fiscal 2014 budget compromise offered up a lump of coal. While the details are still being analyzed, it's clear a deal has been made to break the current bipartisan spending limits and raise federal discretionary spending back above $1 trillion. The new spending would be offset by small reforms and billions in new revenue — leaving taxpayers to foot some of the bill by paying increased fees on airline tickets.

This deal is both fiscally irresponsible and a burden on taxpayers. Swapping higher spending for new federal revenue is a Christmas present that nobody should want and Congress should reject.

Even without this agreement, Congress could still set the budget process on the right path before it adjourns for Christmas. Members should pass yearlong appropriations legislation that maintains the bipartisan spending levels that both sides agreed upon in 2011. This would allow Congress to avert a fiscal showdown in mid-January, protect Americans from any new tax hikes, and take the revolutionary step of keeping the spending promises they have already made.

Congress and the Obama administration set the 2014 spending levels in the Budget Control Act of 2011 and ensured the caps would occur when the so-called supercommittee failed to find agreement. The act raised the debt ceiling by more than $2 trillion while establishing modest spending caps on ballooning federal deficits. It was a compromise worth celebrating, even though the caps were barely a drop in the ocean.

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