April 15th, Tax Day, has become a tangible reminder to Americans of a national tax structure that squeezes working families until they break instead of promoting economic growth and responsible spending. On this day, while filing their taxes, everyone is reminded of the hard truths our country is facing right now. At a time when 15 million Americans remain unemployed and many more are struggling to make ends meet, the Democrat Congress and President Obama continue to advocate policies that increase taxes and add to government spending that is already out of control.
Federal, state and local taxes claim almost 27 percent of the average American’s income. That means most Americans have probably worked the first three months of this year just to pay their taxes. And if Democrats in Washington have their way, that burden will increase dramatically.
President Obama and congressional Democrats are spending the federal government into a record deficit of $1.5 trillion dollars this year alone. Unfortunately, the burden to pay for it will be heaped on the backs of American families, small businesses and family farms for years to come.
The income taxes that Americans are paying today are only part of the exploding cost of government. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are pushing an agenda through Congress that is laying a heavy load on state and local governments. From New Jersey to California, states are facing record deficits and are looking to increase taxes on everything from fast food to property.
This is all on a national level, and of course, locally, New Jersey has its own tremendous tax woes. New Jersey has an $11 billion deficit which is the result of years of underfunded and out of control spending. This amount of deficit doesn’t happen overnight, it’s the result of state spending increases of 16% every year.
Spending usually comes with taxes and, of course, New Jersey is no exception. New Jersey has the highest property taxes, the second highest sales tax, among the highest marginal income tax rates and the sixth highest corporate tax. All of this for a grand total of 115 tax increases in the last eight years.
The solution is not taking more taxes from the American people. The answer is fiscal discipline in Washington, DC and Trenton, and most importantly tax relief for working Americans.
The American people already know that we can’t tax and spend our way back to a growing economy. It’s time for Congress to put the American people first and take steps that begin to take the pain out of Tax Day.
Rep. Scott Garrett