U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.)
April 15, 2010

Tax Day is a Reminder of the Governments Over-Reach

As millions of Americans file their income taxes today, they are reminded how they labor under a national tax structure that discourages hard work. Sadly, at a time when 15 million Americans remain unemployed and Mississippi’s unemployment rate hovers around 11 percent, the Democratic Congress and President Obama continue to promote policies that increase taxes and add to the runaway federal government spending.

President Obama and Democratic leaders are spending the federal government into a record deficit of $1.5 trillion for this year alone and next year’s projection is for a $1.34 trillion shortfall. To help finance their job-killing agenda, the President has proposed $1.8 trillion in tax increases by 2020.

This reckless agenda includes an over-reaching national energy tax that will do far more harm than good, and the recently passed, flawed government-takeover of health care that spends $940 billion, reduces Medicare benefits $523 billion and raises taxes $569 billion during one of the toughest economic downturns in American history. Even more staggering, the new health care law means that your tax dollars may now be used to fund abortion services.

The income taxes that Americans will pay as a result of this new law are only part of the exploding cost of government. Democratic leaders have pushed a heavy portion of the costs related to their government expansion onto the backs of state and local governments who cannot afford to fund their current programs. For Mississippi, this unfunded mandate means an additional annual cost of at least $150 million, which will result in an increase to our state income or sales tax rates according to Governor Haley Barbour.

Entrepreneurs are not immune to these tax hikes. The employer mandates within the health care law are nothing short of a business tax. In Mississippi, 96.7 percent of employers are small businesses. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has stated that the effects of this mandate could eliminate 1.6 million jobs nationally with more than 1 million of those lost in the small business sector.

I urge Washinton Democrats to abandon their job-killing agenda loaded with federal tax increases and offer assistance to small businesses and community banks struggling with the global economic downturn. Democratic leaders in Congress should work with Republicans to remove unnecessary barriers to domestic energy production and embrace a comprehensive energy plan that harnesses new technologies and increases American energy production, starting right here in Mississippi.

Saddling Mississippians with new taxes on business and energy is not the right solution. The answer is for the federal government to run its fiscal house like you run your home. Simply put: If you cannot afford it, you should not buy it.

For more information, visit www.harper.house.gov.