House Saves an Endangered Species - the Tax Cut!
Apr 18, 2002 -
Last year, Congress succeeded in passing long-overdue tax relief, and already some Members want to take it away. Most analysts argue that last year’s tax relief bill helped the US recover from its economic downturn, which began in 2000. The well timed tax bill helped ensure that the recent recession would be a light one. When the tax relief package became law, millions of Americans benefited immediately by receiving income tax rebates worth as much as $600. This law also included other tax relief measures that many people realized when they prepared their tax returns this year, and saw the ‘tax-man’ get a little bit less of their hard-earned money.
However, Democrats opposed to tax relief used a technical rule in the Senate to include language in the law that will force these tax cuts to expire on December 31, 2010. To address this issue by making this tax relief permanent, the House, with my strong support, today passed H.R. 586, the Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2002.
This bill makes sense. It is hard to believe that anyone filing taxes over the next several years would want to return to last year’s higher tax levels. If H.R. 586 doesn’t become law, people who file their taxes in 2011 will lose the lower individual tax rate reduction, and will pay more in taxes because of the higher tax rate. Families with children will be hard hit when the $1,000 child credit falls back to $500, and education IRA contribution limits drop from $2,000 to $500 – even as college costs continue to escalate. Hard working employees paying into their retirement fund will be set back when their IRA annual contribution limit is cut from $5,000 to $2,000. The resurrection of the death tax will once again add a costly burden to survivors who, even as they mourn the loss of their loved ones, will have to respond to the federal government knocking on their doors demanding payment.
Making the tax cuts permanent will also help the economy. With more certainty in the tax code, businesses will be able to operate more effectively by planning for the future. Getting rid of the uncertainty by making the tax cuts permanent will allow businesses to expand, which in turn will mean more jobs for Americans.
The 198 Members who voted against this bill basically sent their constituents the message that they think people aren’t paying enough in taxes, and believe that the government should have more of people’s hard earned money to spend. Well I am not one of those. Let me have my own money, and let me decide how best to spend it - permanently. In passing H.R. 586, the House did the right thing. Now it’s up to the Senate to follow our lead.