by Elizabeth Berney, Esq.
|Congressman Ackerman and I recently had the opportunity to debate his tax record. I pointed out that Ackerman received the worst possible rating from the National Taxpayers’ Union of “F” (“Big Spender”). Among other things, in recent years:- Ackerman voted AGAINST making an increased child care credit permanent (May 2004)- Ackerman voted AGAINST retaining reduced taxes on capital gains and dividends (Dec. 2005)
- Ackerman voted AGAINST eliminating the death tax (April 2001)
- Ackerman played games with the alternative minimum tax votes by refusing to provide appropriate AMT relief unless some other tax was increased (Dec. 2007)
- Ackerman voted AGAINST income tax and capital gains tax cuts (Oct. 2001 and May 2001)
Moreover, Ackerman’s habit of voting for high taxes is a longstanding habit. In the mid-1990s, one of Ackerman’s prior opponents compiled “Gary Ackerman’s Dirty Laundary List of Taxes’ – a list of new and innovative ways which Ackerman had found to tax us over the prior 18 year period. This Ackerman dirty laundary tax list can be found at http://www.unifx.com/lally/dirty.htm
Since his big spending high taxing record is indefensible, Ackerman merely responded by attempting to berate the organization which gave him his “F” rating. Ackerman claimed that the National Taxpayers’ Union was a “right wing organization which attacks Democrats.” I explained that the National Taxpayers’ Union is a non-partisan watchdog organization. I added that the reason that many Democrats have low ratings is simply that they keep spending and trying to raise our taxes.
Indeed, I’ve heard far too many Democrats admit that raising taxes was their goal. Most of the attorneys at the law firm where I worked during the early part of this decade were ardent Democrats. Every so often, politicians came in to speak to the attorneys. A veritable “who’s who” in the Democratic party traipsed to the firm, including Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Robert Wexler, Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, Rod Blagojevich, Hillary Clinton, and other lesser-known politicos. The meetings were both enjoyable and an eye-opener. On a personal level, many of these political visitors were extremely charming. Gephardt and Blagojevich were particularly warm and personable. However, the tax policy of most of these visiting politicians was not so charming. Most of them (with the exception of Blagojevich) spoke at length about their plans to raise taxes on people who were making significantly less than Joe the Plumber. In other words, their goal was to raise taxes on most of the folks in our district.
Incidentally, Ackerman recieved the highest possible rating (100%) from the so-called “Citizens for Tax Justice” – a group whose self-proclaimed goal is to making taxes “progressive” (in other words, higher).
Raising taxes during these difficult economic times would push the current recession into something far worse. Too many people in our district are already so burdened with taxes that critical expenses have become unaffordable (for example, helping their children pay for today’s enormous college tuition). We need watchdogs on Congressional spending and taxing, such as the National Taxpayers’ Union, more than ever. And we need high-taxing high-spending Congressmen such as Ackerman less than ever