“It just does not make sense why a Republican would vote for this bill,” Dendy said. “I’m afraid our representatives up there have become ineffective. Compromise to the Dems means the Republicans give up 99 percent of what they want. That’s what they consider the definition of compromise.”
The bill passed by Congress would boost the top 35 percent income tax rate to 39.6 percent for incomes exceeding $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, while continuing decade-old income tax cuts for everyone else.
Dendy criticized several of the items included in the package, such as tax credits for the wind energy industry and tax breaks for NASCAR.
“He’s crammed this thing with more spending,” Dendy said of President Barack Obama. “I tell you, I can’t see where we would be anywhere worse off if we had gone over the cliff.”
Georgia Republican Party Chair Sue Everhart of east Cobb said she was “just thoroughly disgusted with Washington.”
“As much as I hate to say it, I almost wish they let us go over the cliff and let us go ahead and address spending,” Everhart said.
Instead of targeting the rich, Congress needs to overhaul the entire tax system, Everhart said.
As for why Republicans split with some voting for the package and others voting against it, Dendy said, “It seems like we can no longer unite under the banner of the Republican Party and stand firm on what we believe.”
Melissa Pike, chair of the Cobb Democratic Party, has a different view.
“I’m proud that our senators finally did the right thing and saw past this partisan nastiness and did what was right for the country, and I’m disgusted with the House Republicans in Georgia for once again doing what was politically expedient instead of what was right again,” Pike said.
Cobb Chamber of Commerce Chairman Tony Britton called the deal a good compromise but said there are still many unanswered questions, including the possibility of across-the-board budget cuts.
“Certainly it appears they moved forward with some things that will provide some answers, but as far as the spending, as far as the sequestration which could have a big impact in Georgia, that’s still an unknown,” Britton said.
Tom Maloy, a member of the Marietta-based Georgia Tea Party, said he opposed the deal that was approved.
“Personally, I am so disappointed in this Congress, in the Republicans in the Senate, particularly our two senators because they should know better, and the House of Representatives for allowing this thing to pass,” Maloy said.
Maloy called the package a bad deal because it doesn’t cut spending.
“It raises taxes on everybody even though they are ballyhooing the increased taxes on anyone making $400,000, people forget that they’ve allowed the payroll tax cut to expire, so that’s going to increase taxes on everybody, so those people who are happy that the so-called rich are getting gouged, they need to look at that law a little bit closer and realize that everybody is getting hit by this tax increase,” Maloy said.
Maloy said he would like to see U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) and Johnny Isakson (R-east Cobb) challenged when they’re next up for election.
“I guess they feel that the people voted for increased spending and increased taxes when in fact the people in Georgia voted for just the opposite,” Maloy said. “The senators did not serve their constituents out of this deal.”