CFA and ATR have joined forces with numerous groups representing the broad Center-Right coalition in opposition to the Conrad-Gregg bipartisan tax/spending "reform" commission. While the Hill has reported that the panel proposal put forth by Sens. Conrad and Gregg may lack the votes needed to pass next week, we feel it is important for lawmakers to know that there is broad opposition to this misguided concept.
From our letter:
On behalf of the millions of taxpayers, small businesses, families, senior citizens and shareholders represented by our respective organizations, we urge you in the strongest terms to oppose and vote against the “Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action Act of 2009,” sponsored by Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH), be it in stand-alone form or as an amendment.
As written, the Conrad/Gregg proposal would lead to a guaranteed tax increase.
The plan put forth by Sens. Conrad and Gregg establishes an eighteen-member task force comprised of ten Democrat and eight Republican Congressmen, Senators, and Administration officials. A report from the commission would need to gather fourteen votes in order to make an expedited recommendation to both bodies. The recommendation would only pass with a supermajority vote in each chamber.
Despite the appearance of protection for taxpayers, this commission would guarantee a net tax increase be in its proposal. Every Democrat on the commission would insist on tax increases to “balance” spending cuts in the recommendation.
There is no conceivable scenario whereby the commission would issue a report that does not contain tax hikes, and history underscores the dangers of such a bipartisan deal that puts everything on the table: