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Biden’s spending us into hole by BRUCE WESTERMAN SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE | August 2, 2021 at 5:03 a.m.

Democrats may think of themselves as modern-day Robin Hoods--taking from the rich to give to the poor--but as they have their way, Arkansas businesses and families are seeing the equivalency of a tax hike in a very sneaky way: through inflation.

To put it simply, Democrats are on a spending spree that hardworking Americans cannot afford.

By necessity, Congress and the Trump administration spent $4.5 trillion in covid-19 relief over the course of four bills in 2020 to help businesses and workers survive the shutdowns and fund a response to end the pandemic. These bipartisan bills spent a lot of money, more than many of us were totally comfortable with, but they were temporary and targeted to our most vulnerable industries and citizens and were needed to stabilize a throttled economy resulting from planned government restrictions to combat the pandemic.

Unfortunately, after taking control of the White House and Congress, Democrats elected to go their own way in the latest and largest "covid" package worth almost $2 trillion in the American Rescue Plan. The fact is, only 9 percent of that spending was designated specifically to combat the virus, and the rest was used to further non-emergency progressive priorities meant to transform various social policies.

Now, President Biden is negotiating with Democrats on an estimated $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that he is intent on passing without any bipartisan support, on top of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package currently in negotiations in the Senate.

How will American families pay for this? As Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, "in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes." And taxes are exactly what the left desires.

President Biden has proposed $3.6 trillion in tax increases, including raising the corporate tax rate by one-third to 28 percent. Though he argues that this corporate tax increase will only affect corporate profits and cause them to "pay their fair share," an analysis of IRS and Census data reveals the truth: these tax increases would be detrimental to Arkansas' economy.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nearly 11,000 Arkansas employers would see their taxes increase under Biden's proposal, including over 7,000 Arkansas small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. These hometown employers would face a combined federal and state tax rate of 32.5 percent. Not even China taxes their businesses so heavily.

This massive tax hike will be a major blow to Arkansas' post-pandemic recovery. A tax on business is really just a tax on individuals. To fund a corporate tax hike and profligate federal spending, businesses close, lay off workers, cut salaries, or increase prices, all of which harm Arkansas families at the grocery store and the gas station.

While many middle-class families may not see a bigger tax bill on April 15, the inflation that results from reckless spending will drain families for years, in a slow trickle. In fact, some economists anticipate that inflation is not going anywhere anytime soon, and Democrats' tax hikes will only make a bad situation worse. Businesses will be unable to hire, unable to increase wages, and unable to provide customers with low prices.

It doesn't have to be this way. Congress can stop President Biden and his left-wing cronies from spending America into an economic hole.

Reasonable members of both parties can reject $3.5 trillion in spending on Green New Deal policies and social engineering wish-lists. We can work together to pass necessary investments in hard infrastructure that help Americans get to work and move American-made products to market. We can do that without raising taxes and furthering inflationary pressures.

America's families deserve better than just barely making it every month. It is not the job of government to control the lives of its citizens, but to get out of the way so they may thrive. I am committed to always fighting for Arkansas' families and ensuring that government supports our drive for success.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman represents Arkansas' 4th District.

Print Headline: Stop the spree


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