Congress Endorses Tax Hikes

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WASHINGTON - Your taxes may be going up in the next few years.

Congress has voted against keeping President Bush's tax cuts in its new budget plan.

In the House, leaders voted Thursday to kill the Bush tax cuts when most expire at the end of 2010. The Senate didn't go quite that far, but voted to cut about half of them.

These were non-binding resolutions, however. The Democrats suggested they'll renew tax cuts for the middle class when the time comes by raising taxes on corporations and closing tax loopholes for the rich.

At the same time as killing tax cuts, Congress is voting for big increases in domestic programs.

On Thursday, the Senate also refused to pass even a one-year moratorium on earmarks, those pet projects lawmakers sneak into the budget to the tune of tens of billions of dollars every year.

Earmarks have exploded in number and cost in recent years, accompanied by charges of abuse and public outrage.

"Too many senators have confused the founding fathers of the earmark favor factory with the Founding Fathers of the United States of America," said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Ending earmarks has been a decades-long crusade for Sen. John McCain, who blasted his colleagues after the vote.

"This may be the last bastion in America where they don't get it, that Americans are sick and tired of the way we do business here in Washington and they're going to demand change," McCain said.

In a rare show of unity, both Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton joined in voting to put a one-year hold on earmarks. Both have used earmarks in the past.

And neither is on-board with McCain's call for huge cuts in federal spending.

In fact, with Congress' budget votes Thursday, if either Obama or Clinton win the presidency, it seems hikes in spending and the end to many of the Bush tax cuts are a sure thing.

Which is why the fight over federal spending and tax cuts may become one of the biggest issues yet when McCain goes head-to-head with either Obama or Clinton this fall.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press

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