Senators Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman and Graham all have abysmal voting records on taxes.
WASHINGTON – Despite claims of protecting America\’s taxpayers, four Democratic Presidential hopefuls have all received abysmal voting reviews (see www.atr.org) on tax relief throughout their Senatorial careers, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation\’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization, said today.
In the 2002 Senate session, all four senators unanimously pledged to override President Bush\’s veto against excessive spending bills while refusing to take ATR\’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge insuring against tax hikes that stunt America\’s economic growth. In addition, Sen\’s Lieberman (Conn), Kerry (Mass), Edwards (NC), and Graham (Fla) have all received notoriety as "Enemies of the Taxpayer" multiple times throughout their careers.
"This is strong evidence that all four Senate Democrat presidential hopefuls are not with taxpayers on the tax issue," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR in Washington. "George W. Bush spearheaded very popular tax relief for the American people, and all four of these Senators opposed his plan."
The Senators\’ voting records against tax relief bills demonstrates this opposition to taxpayers. Senators Kerry and Edwards voted against the 2001 tax relief package, which will cut taxes by $1.3 trillion over 10 years. The rate cuts themselves over the next 11 years will return $958.3 billion to the hands of America\’s taxpayers.
Sen. Graham of Florida, a self-proclaimed "moderate," has not faired much better. Eight of his nine years as Senator he has had the dishonor of receiving a 15 or lower (on a scale of one hundred) score on ATR\’s taxpayer scorecard, which measures taxpayer votes in Congress. In 2000 he was a key member of a Senate filibuster that kept the abolition of marriage taxes from being passed.
Even Sen. Joe Lieberman has cajoled the American people out of their hard earned income. Since the first Reagan administration, income taxes have been indexed for inflation, but in 1997 Sen. Lieberman voted against a bill that would have extended indexing to capital gains taxes as well. Additionally, in 1999 he was one of the only Senators to vote against a Social Security Lockbox plan to protect Social Security surpluses from congressional spending impulses.
"Kerry, Edwards, Graham and Lieberman may all be fighting for the \’moderate\’ label," continued Norquist, "but all four of the voting records tell us otherwise. All four have fought against taxpayers and for Washington\’s spending lobbies since coming to Congress."