After the Senate Democrat and Republican leaders announced a suspension of work on the “Grand Bargain” budget deal, state Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, released this statement:
“Ding-dong the bad bargain is dead. But, we have to move forward with something that’s good for the taxpayers. That was the problem with the ‘Grand Bargain.’ It was premised on taking more from the taxpayers, penalizing them for the sins of the legislatures of the past, for this legislature’s irresponsible spending; for their failure to live within their means. They asked the taxpayers for more of their money, which was the wrong thing to do. This income tax increase, up to five percent personally and seven percent on corporate, and a sale tax increase that at one point even included food and drugs, penalizing the poor, making them pay for this legislature’s fiscal irresponsibility; it was just the wrong thing ... We’re going to have to do things differently. I have a number of ideas how to do that and I have people from the other side of the aisle working with me to do this. I hope to put this forward in as short amount of time as possible. We have to be respectful to the taxpayers and commit to making the changes here rather than imposing penalties on the taxpayers.