“Gang of Ten” Has 6 Who Broke The National Taxpayer Protection Pledge
I would like to take this opportunity to call out the following Senators to explain their actions as a part of the “Gang of Ten,” and how their involvement in this legislation broke The National Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Saxby Chambliss, Johnny Isakson, Ben Nelson, Lindsey Graham, John Thune, and Bob Corker, what does this pledge mean to you? The Americans for Tax Reform is quite specific with the wording:
I pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ district of the State of _________ and to the American People that I will:
ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and
TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.
The Americans for Tax Reform, led by Grover Norquist, have asked many incumbents and challengers to take the pledge to protect the taxpayers from the ever-increasing tax burden. While the energy problems we face are important, the impending financial meltdown of our entire economy is in far graver condition. In addition to the private sector struggles in the housing, energy and and food markets, the government is overspending with no signs of slowing down, even as the national debt climbs to nearly $10 trillion.
To assist in the quest to reign in government spending, ATR has asked all sitting members of Congress and their challengers, as well as the candidates for President, to sign the above pledge. Six of the so-called “Gang of Ten” signed this pledge as of May of this year. This bipartisan effort to correct a failed, and in many cases absent, energy plan calls for a government expenditure estimate of $84 billion. To pay for this estimated expenditure, the “Gang of Ten” has decided to “close a loophole” by repealing IRS Sec. 199 ONLY for energy companies. This section of the IRS Code provides a tax deduction for manufacturing companies. Closing this loophole will not lower the price paid at the pump or stimulate gas production, resulting only in higher costs passed on to the consumers.
As previously discussed, companies do not pay taxes. They consider these costs, and they build these costs, and the profit required to stay in business, into the price of a good or service. In this case, “closing a loophole” increases the costs for the oil company, who builds that into the price passed onto the end consumer. This results in an indirect increase in taxes on individuals, as well as the net “increase [in] the marginal income tax rates for… businesses.”
So, I am officially calling out Saxby, Johnny, Ben, Lindsey, John, and Bob for breaking the pledge in those ways, as well as to explain their reasoning in doing so.