Next year's budget proposals offered by Senate Democrats contain a material increase in spending that is contrary to sound fiscal policy, according to Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member of the Committee on Finance. In his opening statement on the Senate floor debate of the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget, Grassley noted that the proposals would raise discretionary spending by 9 percent over last year's spending. "How many Americans got a 9 percent raise? How many American families raised their discretionary household spending by 9 percent? You would think proponents of fiscal responsibility would be looking at spending cuts, not 9 percent increases," he said. The consequences are not merely imposed on high-income taxpayers, according to Grassley. "Low-income folks, including millions of seniors, pay no tax on their dividend or capital gain income," he said. "If this budget stands, even with the Baucus amendment, millions of these low-income taxpayers, especially seniors, will pay a 10 percent rate on capital gains and could pay as high as a 15 percent rate on dividends."

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