Roll Call: Democrats Fail In Attempt to Raise Taxes

On October 2, by a vote of 57 to 42, Republican senators successfully tabled (killed) an amendment by Sen. Joe Biden (D.-Del.) that would have raised federal income taxes.

The amendment was worded in order to deceive voters into thinking that the revenue from their higher taxes would go to pay for Iraqi reconstruction. In fact, thanks to the propensity of both parties, especially the Democrats- to lavish money on wasteful social programs, there is no correlation between the federal government’s revenues and spending anyway.

The opposition to Biden’s amendment was made up of nearly all Republicans, some moderate Democrats, and two potentially vulnerable Democrats who are up for re-election in 2004 in conservative states. Senators Evan Bayh (D.-Ind.) and Blanche Lincoln (D.-Ark.), who have acted mainly as unabashed partisan leftists since their 1998 election to the Senate, are apparently beginning to feel the need to move to the right as the 2004 election cycle grows near.

“I voted to give the President the authority to go to Iraq, and I believe it was the correct vote,” Biden said in introducing his amendment. He added that he supported President Bush’s request for $87 billion to help rebuild Iraq, but that he wanted to pay for it by repealing the tax cuts-in effect raising taxes-for higher-income Americans.

“The amendment I have sent to the desk would take a small share, less than 5% of the $1.8 trillion tax cut we enacted in the last three years, to cover the $87-billion emergency supplemental for Iraq,” said Biden.

He failed to recognize that no “share” of any tax cut exists in the federal treasury to be dedicated for this or that purpose, since that money is not taken from its owners by the federal government in the first place. Moreover, since many small businesses pay the top marginal tax rate, the Biden tax hike could have devastated the nation’s economy, which relies heavily on small businesses for job creation.

“By rolling back the President’s tax cut for the wealthiest 1% of Americans for just one year, we can pay for the full cost of this request [for Iraqi reconstruction] without increasing the national debt,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D.-S.D.), who has no political interest in seeing an economic recovery.

President Bush, who promised last year that any tax hike under his administration would take place “over my dead body,” was not likely to sign any bill that included Biden’s amendment. The motion to table was overwhelmingly adopted.

A “yes” vote was a vote to table (kill) the Biden amendment, and was in effect a vote against raising taxes. A “no” vote was, in effect, a vote to raise federal income taxes.

FOR THE MOTION TO TABLE: 57 AGAINST THE MOTION TO TABLE: 42
REPUBLICANS FOR (50):
Alexander
Allard
Allen
Bennett
Bond
Brownback
Bunning
Burns
Campbell
Chambliss
Cochran
Coleman
Collins
Cornyn
Craig
Crapo
DeWine
Dole
Domenici
Ensign
Enzi
Fitzgerald
Frist
Graham (S.C.)
Grassley
Gregg
Hagel
Hatch
Hutchison
Inhofe
Kyl
Lott
Lugar
McCain
McConnell
Murkowski
Nickles
Roberts
Santorum
Sessions
Shelby
Smith
Snowe
Specter
Stevens
Sununu
Talent
Thomas
Voinovich
Warner

DEMOCRATS FOR (7):
Baucus
Bayh
Breaux
Lincoln
Miller
Nelson (Neb.)
Pryor

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (1):
Chafee

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (40):
Akaka
Biden
Bingaman
Boxer
Byrd
Cantwell
Carper
Clinton
Conrad
Corzine
Daschle
Dayton
Dodd
Dorgan
Durbin
Edwards
Feingold
Feinstein
Harkin
Hollings
Inouye
Johnson
Kennedy
Kerry
Kohl
Landrieu
Lautenberg
Leahy
Levin
Lieberman
Mikulski
Murray
Nelson (Fla.)
Reed (R.I.)
Reid (Nev.)
Rockefeller
Sarbanes
Schumer
Stabenow
Wyden

INDEPENDENT AGAINST (1):
Jeffords

NOT VOTING: 1

REPUBLICANS (0): DEMOCRATS (1):
Graham (Fla.)


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