By Akash Chougule
The federal government, which took in more money this year than ever before, wants to raise taxes by $120 million during the lame-duck session of Congress. They want to do it by raising the price of a duck stamp.
The irony would be hilarious if it weren’t so painful.
Federal duck stamps are sold as annual permits that allow people to hunt migratory fowl. Since 1991, the item has cost $15. Now, Congress seeks to raise the price $10, to $25 a year. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined this would increase federal revenue by $119 million.
Just weeks after voters repudiated the liberal agenda of high taxes and out of control spending, the scrooges in Congress want to ask American families for even more of their paycheck to help fund a bloated, oversized government that cannot properly do the few things it is supposed to be doing, never mind all of the things it is not supposed to be doing.
This year, Washington raked in over $3 trillion, and obviously squandered much of it wastefully and inefficiently. Duck stamp revenue fits the bill of Washington ineptitude – the tax on hunters is used to give more land to the federal government, which already owns over a quarter of all the land in the country and cannot manage it properly.
Congress has a history of passing legislation harmful to taxpayers during the lame-duck session, when they are unaccountable and feel voters are not paying attention as closely. The duck stamp tax increase is a perfect example of what Americans for Prosperity seeks to avoid during lame-duck, as outlined in our letter to Congress from earlier this fall.
As median family income continues to plummet, the federal government continues to rake it in. High taxes and rampant spending are contributing directly to this decline in prosperity for Americans outside the Beltway, and it cannot go on any longer. It is unfair to ask middle-class families to pay for Washington’s insatiable appetite.
There are no free votes. Americans for Prosperity and our 2.5 million activists in all fifty states are watching. Together, we are committed to responsible government and economic freedom. A lame-duck tax increase would be just the opposite, and those who vote in favor of it will be held accountable accordingly.
For the sake of taxpayers – and political futures – let’s hope this misguided lame-duck pot-shot at the wallets of America’s sportsmen misses the mark.