Bart Gordon Votes for Illegal Tax Increases

Move Aimed at Expanding Failed Bureaucracy

(Fairfax, Virginia) Tennessee Congressman Bart Gordon’s vote to impose up to $2.4 billion in additional taxes in a highly questionable move was condemned today by Americans for Limited Government (ALG). In a strongly worded statement, ALG President William Wilson called on Gordon to change his position.

At issue is an amendment to legislation designed to place regulation of all tobacco products under Food and Drug Administration control. The amendment that Gordon supported on a 16 to 12 vote would allow unelected government bureaucrats to impose the tax in order to pay for the huge drain on the government treasury that will be caused by the massive new tobacco regulation efforts. The move is controversial because it circumvents all rules on where tax measures must begin. Rules call for all tax increases to come from an entirely different committee than the one on which Gordon serves.

Worse, giving unelected bureaucrats the power to decide when and how to levy the tax violates Constitutional requirements that all revenue raising bills originate through elected Members of the House of Representatives.

“Congressman Gordon has broken faith with the people of Tennessee. His vote to impose a hidden $2.4 billion tax and doing so by ignoring the rules raises serious questions about his commitment to fair play and the best interests of his constituents,” said Wilson. “Further, the proceeds of this illegal tax hike are designated for one of the most failed and disgraced agencies in government. Only in Washington can you be rewarded for failing to do the job.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come under increasing scrutiny and criticism for its high-profile failures to perform its existing duties. The more notable breakdowns include:

  • The approval of a wire for a pacemaker that shocked multiple individuals and led to death.
  • The approval of two harmful drugs without significant review that have placed diabetics at a much higher risk of heart attack.
  • Failure to keep records of which foreign manufacturing facilities have been inspected. The most publicized result of this failure was the death of more than a dozen citizens caused by contamination of blood thinners produced in foreign facilities.

“Increasing the size and power of a government bureaucracy when it has proven it is not up to the job it already makes no sense. Doing so by raising takes at a time of economic hardship makes even less. Americans want a return to the limited government principles embodied in the Constitution and an end to the all-intrusive, all powerful State. Representative Gordon can stand with the citizens of Tennessee by changing his ill-advised position,” concluded Wilson.

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