Friday, September 10, 2010

John Kline's Taxing Problem

Citizens for Tax Justice, a non-profit, public interest research and advocacy organization focusing on federal, state and local tax policies and their impact on our nation has rated Rep. John Kline at 0 (ZERO). Rep. Kline continues to support and vote for the special interests of the corporations and the wealthy, and against the middle class and low-income families. CTJ used the following criteria in determining their rating of Rep. John Kline: 
  • Requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share
  • Closing corporate tax loopholes
  • Adequately funding important government services
  • Reducing the federal debt
  • Taxation that minimizes distortion of economic markets
Soon the Bush tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 are scheduled to expire. House Republican leaders have offered an alternative plan: freezing tax rates for two years and cutting back government spending to 2008 levels. But almost half of Americans polled (44 percent) are in favor of President Obama's plan to extend the Bush-era tax cuts benefiting the middle-class, according to a new survey by Gallup, but allowing cuts for the wealthiest 2% to expire. As President Obama says:
"We're prepared to give the middle class, who haven't seen a wage increase, haven't seen incomes increased, who are most likely to spend any tax cut and recirculate in the economy to help grow the economy. We're prepared to do that right now."
It makes no economic sense for Rep. John Kline to claim a $50 billion investment in America’s infrastructure is a budget-buster, yet at the same time push to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. The price tag ($700 billion) for extending the Bush cuts for the wealthy is more than 16 times the cost of Obama’s infrastructure proposal. That $700 billion is what the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates it would cost the Treasury to continue tax cuts for top earners over 10 years.

By proposing business tax breaks that, according to nonpartisan analyses, would do more to stimulate the economy than extending the Bush tax rates for the wealthy, maintaining tax cuts for the middle class, and allowing tax cuts to expire on the wealthiest 2%, Obama is proposing a fair taxing policy that promises to repair the economic taxing damage over the past decade.

The argument most used by Republicans is that all the Bush tax cuts should be extended for two years because even letting those for the wealthy lapse would be “a blow to a very fragile economy”. Wasn't that similar to the argument used to fund the massive wall street bank bailout? They were too large to fail and would take down our 'fragile economy'. We now know better.  

Rep. John Kline says letting the cuts expire for those in the highest tax brackets would hurt small businesses, amounting to "a job-killing tax hike on small business during tough economic times." But that is misleading as most small business income (98%) would be unaffected. Less than 2% of small business incomes are filed by taxpayers earning more than $210,000 a year. If Kline's objection is based on helping small businesses, then the tax cut isn't the way to go as 98% of those small business owners would not benefit. Also according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, a bipartisan group, stopping the Bush tax cuts on the richest 2 %  would raise $36 billion a year. And it raises the tax rates of the wealthy to just 29.9 percent, which is still a historic low.

Rep. John Kline's demand for keeping tax cuts for the wealthy 2% reveals the underlying truth of the Republican party, which has very little real interest in reducing the size of government, balancing the budget or helping the middle class and everything to do with protecting the rich.

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