By Vicki Needham - 09/07/10 05:09 PM EDT
The ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee says the Obama administration's latest proposals to stimulate the economy could have little effect if taxes rise.
Rep. Dave Camp (Mich.) on Tuesday praised the president’s plan for a permanent research and development tax credit for businesses, calling that action "long overdue." But the congressman said any economic boost from the White House’s proposals is likely to be negated if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire.
"If Democrats in Washington want to finally talk about taxes I suggest we first start with eliminating this massive, job-killing tax hike Americans are already facing," Camp said in a statement.
Tax cuts signed into law by former President George W. Bush are set to expire at the end of the year unless Congress takes action. The White House wants lawmakers to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class while letting cuts for upper-income filers expire.
Camp said raising taxes to cut taxes is "at best a zero sum game that will not improve our economy or the job market and is particularly disappointing in light of the billions of dollars of wasteful stimulus spending that could be cut instead."
The Obama administration is rolling out a series of proposals this week that are intended to boost the flagging economy. Besides the research and development tax credit, which would cost an estimated $100 billion, the White House is calling for a $50 billion infrastructure fund and a tax credit for new capital investments by businesses.
The president is expected to detail the plan in full during a speech on Wednesday in Cleveland.