Jim's Column

This Tax Day, An Opportunity to Encourage Job Creation

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Washington, April 17, 2012 | comments

On the week of Tax Day, the President and many Congressional Democrats are pushing a new tax on investment and income of high earners, called the Buffett Rule. This new tax is nothing more than a distraction from the President’s failed economic record and will do nothing to put Americans back to work. Thankfully the Senate rejected this measure on Monday.

Instead of raising taxes, House Republicans believe we should be encouraging job creation. That is why, this week the House will consider the Small Business Tax Cut Act, legislation that gives small businesses a 20 percent tax cut. This is good news for Wisconsin’s 109,347 small businesses that employ over 1.2 million people and the 282,714 self-employed small businesses.

The President is advocating for higher taxes under the false flag of “fairness,” but the Buffett Rule would do nothing to deliver on his promises to address our nation’s biggest challenges.  This tax won’t come close to solving our debt crisis. And it won’t create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.

President Reagan also argued for fair tax reform, but he did the exact opposite of what Obama is proposing. Reagan cut income taxes and simplified the tax code because he knew that a tax code that punishes risk, investment, and hard work would hurt the entire economy. He said, “We want to cut taxes, not opportunity… By lowering everyone's tax rates all the way up the income scale, each of us will have a greater incentive to climb higher, to excel, to help America grow.”

The President claimed the Buffett Rule would spur economic growth by increasing government’s ability to invest. But when confronted with the Administration’s fruits of “investments,” this argument is less appealing: a failed stimulus, the disappointing green jobs experiment and Solyndra’s bankruptcy, and the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.   Instead, the Buffett Rule would tax private investment at a time when our economy needs it most by increasing capital gains taxes.

The Buffett Rule will also do nothing to "help stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade,” as the President claimed. As a deficit-reduction tool, the tax is just plain ineffective. The tax hike would raise $47 billion through 2022 and reduce our deficit by less than 0.4 percent. Considering Obama’s annual trillion-dollar-plus deficits, this is not even a drop in the bucket of debt.

In direct contrast to the President’s tax-and-spend policies, I am proud to support the House efforts to pass pro-growth tax legislation, and the Small Business Tax Cut is good start.  Under this proposal, small businesses would be able to reduce their tax burden by 20 percent, and up to 50 percent of their W-2 wages.

We can and should seek to reform our tax code to encourage growth and stop subsidizing certain interests. But this should be very clear: the Buffett Rule is a distraction and a sorry substitute for what our nation really needs- pro-growth policies that will help job creators and put Americans back to work.

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