According to The Associated Press, the House version of the budget would increase spending on social programs by $3 trillion but would not run a deficit due to the fact that President Bush’s tax cuts would be allowed to expire.
U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., has criticized the House version of the budget, which passed 212-207 in a vote largely on party lines.
“You have to give the people who wrote this budget some credit for managing to pack in so many things that are offensive to Georgia taxpayers,” Westmoreland said in a press release. “No bill is perfect, but this budget may be perfectly bad.”
Westmoreland said the bill would raise taxes by $683 billion over five years and that the monies would be used for wasteful spending rather than closing the deficit. The release said he voted for a Republican alternative budget that would balance the budget in five years and rein in entitlements.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., also took issue with the Senate budget bill, which passed the Senate 52-47.
“We must take large and immediate steps to end the reckless spending that is threatening the future of our nation. Congress must become better stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” Isakson said in a press release. “We also simply cannot raise taxes on America’s families and businesses. We must alleviate the tax burden placed on our citizens, not increase it.”
Griffin Board of Commissioners member Dick Morrow has not looked closely at the new budget, but he is worried that it has followed the patterns of earlier budgets.
“I’m sure they have overspent,” he said. “If it continues the same pattern, it’s way overspending.”
He said deficit spending in the United States is fueling inflation.
“Our irresponsible deficit spending is destroying the value of the dollar,” he said.
Kathy Noble, a member of the executive board of the Spalding County Republican Party, has not studied the proposed budgets but expressed her displeasure when informed that they involved letting the Bush tax cuts expire.
“I think that it will devastate the economy,” she said. “I think it will have a very real impact on people’s financial situation and that it’s a gigantic mistake.”
Tanya Cone, a member of the Spalding County Democratic Party, has not studied the proposed budget either.
“I just think that if the national Democrats are for it, then I’m for it,” she said.
Cone, who supported John Edwards’ presidential bid, described the current economic situation as “scary” and said that one knows the economy is in bad shape when people her age - she’s 62 - need to work. She said she would prefer monies be spent on Americans.
Spalding County Board of Commissioners member Gwen Flowers-Taylor said she has not been closely following the federal budget proceedings. However, when informed of the basics of the proposed budget, she said that given the Democratic takeover of Congress, she expected such a budget and supports it.
“I think that we have enough social ills here in our own country that we need to deal with,” she said.
She said she sympathizes with those in Iraq and Afghanistan, but said the United States has many problems at home.
“I think that it’s a positive step in the right direction,” Flowers-Taylor said.
She said in today’s shaky economy, it’s not just the poor who need assistance, but most people. She said she and her husband both have jobs, but many people are living paycheck to paycheck.
“It’s rough,” she said.
- The Associated Press contributed to this story.