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MILLER: Democrats plan more tax hikes

Chuck Schumer previews what he’d do in a second Obama term

- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2012

If re-elected, President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will raise taxes on small business in order to sustain the ginormous federal government they have built. The White House duo have done nothing to avert "Taxmaggedon," the massive tax hike scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1. Worse, the administration's congressional allies are preparing to push Mr. Obama even further should he win a second term.

The No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said Tuesday that he intends to eliminate tax deductions and credits without lowering the top two marginal tax rates. The New York Democrat thinks it's more important that Uncle Sam pocket the extra cash that would be generated.

"The promises of lower rates amount to little more than happy talk when the math behind them doesn't add up," he told reporters at the National Press Club. "This is the trap of traditional tax reform, and we must not fall for it. It is an alluring prospect to cut taxes on the wealthiest people, reduce the deficit and hold the middle class harmless, but the math dictates you can't have it all." He also called for raising investment taxes in this weak economy.

Mr. Schumer even suggested his speech could create a breakthrough in the standoff between the two political parties. "The lure for Republicans to come to the table around a grand bargain should be the potential for serious entitlement reform, not the promise of a lower tax rate in tax reform," he explained.

Republicans weren't impressed. "A tax reform framework that lowers rates and closes loopholes has support from both parties, including the Obama administration," responded House Speaker John A. Boehner's spokesman, Kevin Smith. "It offers the best hope for bipartisan efforts to create robust economic growth and reduce our deficit."

Mr. Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney want to extend all existing rates for one year in order to have time for a total overhaul of the tax system. As president, Mr. Romney would use that time to eliminate unfair loopholes and lower everyone's rates by 20 percent, which an Americans for Tax Reform study on Thursday showed would put $1,116 back in the pockets of the average family of four.

The public is tired of shelling out ever more money to government year after year, and they're fighting back. A growing movement is making it tougher for states to raise taxes by requiring a two-thirds vote before any increase can pass in the statehouse. Eighteen states have enacted this requirement so far, and Michigan voters will have a chance to do so by voting for Proposal 5 on Nov. 6.

Amy Hagerstrom's organization, Michigan Alliance for Prosperity, is leading this initiative after having secured more than 600,000 signatures -- twice the amount required to put the measure on the ballot. She explained in an interview, "When the people in a state like Michigan take a stand and say we expect our lawmakers to build broad public consensus before they take more money out of our pocketbooks, I think it's an important message both for Michigan and nationally."

Voters nationwide who are tired of being fleeced will have an easy choice next month.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

 

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