Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement:
“I made a pledge to do all that I could to ensure that middle-income Americans would not see an increase in their taxes during these tough economic times. I intend to keep my promise, despite the problems I see in the package, negotiated in good faith between the White House and Republicans, which is why I will support its passage.
“I voted against the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, as a member of the House of Representatives, so it is with great trepidation that I even consider extending those same tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans for another two years. But I understand that the trade-off for those two years will keep money in the pockets of middle-income Americans at a time so many need every dollar to make ends meet. I will support this proposal also because it extends the availability of unemployment benefits that are essential to many who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and because it extends refundable tax credits for college tuition, extends an increase in the child tax credit, and continues the successful Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps so many vulnerable families.
“Most provisions in this package, particularly those that benefit the very wealthiest Americans, expire in two years or less. This is recognition that we must address our nation’s most serious federal deficit issues as our economy recovers. It will require shared sacrifice as we act to bring into balance our federal spending and revenues.
“Make no mistake, the original Bush tax cuts helped put this nation in the financial hole that we now find ourselves. Extending tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans, while simultaneously giving them an overly generous escape from estate taxes, will only dig us a deeper deficit and greater debt for our grandchildren. This is not the bill that I would have written to help support America’s Middle Class or help bring our federal budget into balance, but I concur with the economists who say that the benefits of this package outweigh the problems and will promote job creation and boost our economy. More jobs and a growing economy is the very best thing we can do to help hard-working Americans and their families.”
8. Bob Ehrlich raised taxes and fees by $3 billion, then tried to deny it. Ehrlich’s tax increases included a property tax increase that cost Marylanders $690 million, a tripling of corporate filing fees, and the 58% car tax increase that moved registration fees from $81 to $128 for sedans and $107 to $179 for SUVs and Pickups. According to the Washington Post, Ehrlich “raised more fees than any governor in the past 25 years.”
Is the Baltimore Sun’s Editorial Board psychic, or are Bob Ehrlich’s empty promises just that predictable? Days before Ehrlich released his first TV ad, in which Ehrlich makes four separate promises with zero details about how he plans to carry them out, the Sun wrote this:
With the fall election campaign about to take off, Marylanders should on be guard for dubious claims from politicians of all varieties. Some will be so laughable, you’d think candidates would be ashamed to trot them out. One of our favorites is the promise to simultaneously cut taxes, boost spending and plug a $1.5 billion budget hole (We’re eagerly awaiting the details of Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s plan. No fuzzy math, please).
In case you forgot, Ehrlich left a $1.7 billion deficit; raised property taxes by 58 percent; raised the car tax by 58 percent; and tripled corporate filing fees. Bob Ehrlich also failed to fully-fund our schools and created a crisis in public school construction when he was governor.
If voters were holding their breath for the details of Bob Ehrlich’s plan and not just more empty promises, it looks like they’re going to have to wait some more.