From Congressman Bob Goodlatte who represents those of us in the 6th Congressional District
Working for Tax Relief for All Americans
In their first major policy act as the new House majority, Democrats repealed the rule requiring all income tax hikes to be approved by a three-fifths “supermajority” vote of the House, thus making it easier to raise taxes. I voted no. The three-fifths rule, a major plank of the Contract with America, was enacted at the start of the 104th Congress in 1995 to protect all Americans from unfair tax increases. Many of the tax increases enacted before 1995 would never have been passed if this important provision had been included in the House rules during those times. The growth of federal government spending and bureaucracy would have been lessened substantially.
Additionally, the rules change included repeal of the ban on retroactive tax increases, another key component of the Contract with America. This would obviously have a negative effect on the American economy by slowing new investments. The repeal of these vital protections is an ominous sign of the new majority’s intent to raise our taxes.
Tax relief, on the other hand, puts more money back in the pockets of the Americans who earned it, and continues to spur today’s strong and resilient economy. The tax relief that we passed in 2001 and 2003 has done just that and created more than seven million new good paying jobs. Our economy is growing at a brisk 3.5 percent rate, producing a surging stock market that is increasing the value of Americans’ pensions and retirement savings plans. This in turn has put us back on track to deficit reduction and a balanced budget after the economic shocks of the early part of this decade including a recession and the economic disaster following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
By repealing the three-fifths rule, the support of only a bare majority of House members is needed to raise taxes on American families and businesses and bring an end to our strong economic growth and job creation. We all know that money sent to Washington is money that will be spent and so the American taxpayers deserve the protection of these critical rules.
I was pleased to join with 198 of my colleagues in voting for a motion that would have kept the three-fifths vote requirement for tax increases since it is the American taxpayer who knows how best to spend their own money, not the government. Unfortunately, this motion did not receive enough votes to pass in the House.
When we lower the tax burden on America’s families, it encourages investment, savings, economic growth and job creation. It is both unwise and unfair to punish hard-working Americans for their industriousness. As your Congressman I will continue fighting to protect the hard earned money of Virginia’s working men and women and I remain committed to real tax reform.