Economy & Budget

Massive tax increases - let that not be the legacy of this Congress (Rep. Tom McClintock)

Yesterday, the House debated HR 4853 -Tax Relief Compromise. I voted AYE.

According to the CBO, this bill comprises $136 billion in additional spending and $721 billion in tax relief. That means 15 percent of this bill is spending – the other 85 percent is tax relief:

• No across the board increase in income tax rates next year.

• No AMT biting deeper into middle class families.

• A Death Tax that’s a third less of what it would otherwise have been — threatening far fewer family farms and family businesses with extinction.

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A bipartisan pro-growth, pro-jobs plan for Congress

The deal cut between President Obama and Republicans may make sense in the short term; but it is expensive and will expand the deficit without adding many jobs or fueling the economy. A divided Congress must now focus on pro-growth policies, other than tax cuts. To that end, here are five ideas which both parties could embrace as short-term economic measures, without adding much to the debt.

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Washington’s economic do-over

When President Obama meets with business leaders at the White House today, one thing will be clear: The United States is now an economic superpower on the verge of decline. This is not an observation based on casual public perceptions such as the current unemployment rate or tax debates in Washington, but an analytical one stemming from real socioeconomic trends, key performance indicators and the fact that policymakers are increasingly looking the other way. In short, we’re losing ground and we’re letting it happen.

Consider the following: The United States remains the world's largest economy by multiples over even fast growing China. We are home to the world's best universities and the most entrepreneurial, diverse and skilled population to be found anywhere. Yet, governments across the globe have and continue to spend billions of dollars trying to replicate global innovation centers like those in Silicon Valley, manufacturing hubs like those in the Midwest and worldwide financial markets similar to ones housed out of New York. And they are succeeding.

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A different approach (Sen. Mitch McConnell)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor Monday regarding a bipartisan agreement to prevent tax hikes:
 
Over the past few years, the American people have been engaged in a great national debate about the proper role of government. This debate is as old as our nation itself, but it has reemerged with new intensity amidst a prolonged economic downturn that continues to affect millions of Americans.
 
On the one side are those who argue that the solution to our present troubles lies in giving more to Washington. They say that if only Washington had had more power, we could have averted these challenges altogether; and that the only way to get us out and put us on a stronger economic footing is to hand over more of our freedoms — and more of our paychecks — to Washington.
 
On the other side of this debate are those who say that in order for individuals to prosper and move up the economic ladder, they must be free to take risks and they must be free to fail. They argue for government limits and restraint and for making as many decisions as possible close to home.

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Cutting taxes and cutting the deficit (Rep. Michele Bachmann)

The current lame duck session should never have been necessary. Had Democrats taken their leadership of Congress seriously, they would have never pushed the crucial issue of tax increases to December.

Our nation is only weeks away from the largest tax increase in American history, but Democrat leaders in the House have yet to bring the extension of the current tax rates for all to a vote. Across the country, small business owners have been holding off on hiring new workers because they don’t know how large of a tax increase they’ll face in January. This massive tax hike should have been stopped months ago. Unfortunately, instead of addressing an issue that could have created jobs, the leaders of the House majority adjourned in September so their members could focus on saving their own jobs.

Even during this lame duck session, Democrats have failed to see the urgency of getting tax increases off the table. They’ve dithered with dozens of bills naming post offices and honoring athletes, while around kitchen tables, in company offices, and on family farms, taxpayers still don’t know what the tax rates will be in just a matter of weeks.

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Tax deal like a bait and switch mortgage

Republicans played President Obama like mortgage hustlers played homeowners. Focus on the teaser rates, borrow more than you need and trust us to work with you to refinance later.

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A tax-cut compromise that promotes jobs and a growing economy

Two weeks ago, middle-class Americans were anticipating a painful hit to their personal finances. Many faced the abrupt termination of unemployment benefits. The vast majority faced the real pain of higher taxes and smaller paychecks. Republicans were ready to inflict that pain — and, indeed, to blow a giant hole in America’s fragile economic recovery — simply to secure tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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Tax deal: A $900 billion box of rotten tomatoes (Rep. John Lewis)

After hearing the details of the deal President Obama struck with Senate Republicans, I arrived at my office dressed in black; a black suit, black shirt, black tie, and even a black hat.  At first glance my staff thought I had adopted a new sleek GQ-look. I informed them that my dress for the day was not a new look. I was dressed in all black to mourn the American taxpayer. A bit dramatic perhaps but I am sincerely concerned. Nevertheless, as I am ever the optimist, this op-ed is not a eulogy; it is a 9-1-1 call for emergency assistance. 

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Social Security tax cut: A deal breaker

The extension of President Bush’s tax break for the richest 2 percent of taxpayers is the least popular part of the deal between President Obama and the Republican congressional leadership. However, the plan for a temporary reduction of 2 percentage points in the Social Security payroll tax is by far the most dangerous.

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Moving forward with the tax deal (Rep.-elect Rob Woodall)

The American voter is in control. If you have any doubt, look at the presidential election of 2008 and the congressional election of 2010. When the American voter talks, the political elite listens, and we need to look no further than this week’s tax cut compromise to see the result.

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