Congress set the stage for a massive $683 Million tax increase for next year. Basically this is a 100% roll back of all of the Bush Tax cuts that are set to expire as he leaves office.
Each Presidential candidate interrupted their campaigns in order to vote on this important declaration. The declaration is a non-binding document that does however declare intent in order to begin the planning of future budgets. Final vote on the actual budget will be for the new congress that is elected in November.
These cuts would be backed by large domestic increases in spending, while still returning government ledgers to black within five years. In other words...tax and spend.
In today's vote John McCain voted to keep the current tax structure in place while both Senators Obama and Clinton voted in favor of the repeal. This is sure to be a hot button issues with Democrats and Republicans alike as the country is already experiencing cost increases in most day-to-day items.
Also up for vote today was a one year moratorium on "pork barrel" spending. This is the practice of adding additional spending bills to another bill. This practice is a Congress favorite way to spend money as it means positive good bills have to be vetoed in their entirety as the President cannot line item veto portion of a bill. It is all or nothing. This practice has led to projects such as the infamous "Bridge to nowhere" in Alaska. This bill was unfortunately crushed, and realistically never had a chance.
Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, you just cannot continue to spend more than you bring in. Ultimately it leads to two tough decisions; cut spending or raise taxes. McCain's tax cuts would require deep cut to spending, while the Democrats promise spending that would enlarge the deficit or require too-large tax increases.
As the country's economic issues worsen we need everyone rowing the same way. This will mean that we cannot do everything, and that we will need to live below our means to pay back the deficit. If we don't we are dooming our children to ever-lowering standards. of living.