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Democrats are putting us on a tax roller coaster

Right About Now

Posted: June 27, 2008 3:05 a.m.
Updated: August 28, 2008 5:01 a.m.
I used to like roller coasters. When I was a kid, we could ride for hours and not be fazed one little bit.

On one visit to a thinly-attended Disneyland, we rode Space Mountain 17 times in a row. Seventeen times. On a full stomach.

Today, I ride Space Mountain one time and I come off stumbling around. I have heard that when one hits 35 years of age, the inner ear is more developed, which gives a better sense of motion but also makes it easier to get motion sick.

I think that is what happened to me. At least, that's what I tell the Disney maintenance staff that has to clean up the mess. Sorry about the upholstery, Mickey.

Besides roller coasters, I don't like to be taken on rides in other areas. Taxes are another prime example.

When taxes are going down, it's a lot of fun, but when they are going up, it's not fun at all.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Senate proposed a $3 trillion budget. It was passed in the Senate with a 48-45 majority over Republican objections and should easily pass the House.

According to Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, "It will provide tax cuts for the middle class, and it will restore fiscal responsibility by balancing the books by 2012 and maintaining balance in 2013."

A very sunny comment, to be sure. But when Democrats speak so gleefully, keep your hand on your wallet.

As remarkable as the $3 trillion number is, the absence of something else was more amazing - President Bush's tax cuts. Since Bush's tax cuts expire in 2010, the extra tax burden will be astounding.

By not making the tax cuts permanent, the Democrats will extract a minimum of $2.8 trillion dollars between now and 2018.

What does that mean to ordinary folks like me who drive green '99 Honda Civics to work every day? Some 116 million taxpayers will see a leap of $1,800 in their annual taxes.

Are you one of the 48 million married people who make up the core of the middle class? You will get hammered with an average increase of $3,007.

So much for the Democrats' claim of "helping the middle class." Comrade Pelosi and her other socialist buddies have taken aim directly at the heart of the many families in the SCV.

My one consolation is that gay married couples will now be forced to suffer like the rest of the middle class. It would be the ultimate irony if Pelosi's gay constituency in the Bay Area turned against her over the tax issue. Can you say "betrayal?"

How about the poor? Surely the Democrats would not be so cruel and heartless as to raise taxes on a single mom making $30,000 a year with two kids to support.

Nope. This lady gets slapped with an additional $1,600 in tax liability. Would the Democratic Messiah, Barack Obama, stop this indignation? Nope again. He voted for it.

Ready for some more drops on this roller coaster? How about a loop or a corkscrew? Or how about the little kid in the seat in front of you losing his three cotton candies, half a gallon of Coke and funnel cake in an impressive projectile vomit display that, unfortunately due to the laws of physics, is flying straight at your face?

Fiscal responsibility is supposedly the new hallmark of the Democratic Party. You be the judge. For the first time in history, a U.S. budget will contain more than $1 trillion in discretionary (nondefense, non-entitlement) items.

Over the next five years, spending will increase $241 billion more than President Bush requested.

There is also a projected increase in revenues of $930 billion that is, at best, fanciful. (Democrats don't understand a basic concept about taxes - if you let people keep the money they earn, businesses grow, the economy grows, and so do tax revenues.)

There is only one way the Democrats can pay for this crazy budget. Taxes. And this is coming at a time when the economy is already reeling from high energy prices, food crises and a mortgage meltdown.

It is estimated that the new taxes will reach at least $683 billion. Feeling queasy yet?

Entitlement spending is, by all accounts, out of control. Without strong reform measures now, Social Security and the Medicaid systems will bankrupt the government in just a few years.

Will Obama and his buddies bring in the kind of reform we need? Probably not.

Our only hope is a war veteran from Arizona. And I think I'll pass on that second funnel cake. I'm done with Space Mountain. Can you tell me where to get on the Jungle Cruise?

Steve Lunetta is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right About Now" runs Fridays in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.


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