Bill extends most tax cuts for wealthy, lets crucial cut for middle class expire
WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement after voting against the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8):
“I was hopeful that we would be voting on legislation that prioritized working families and the middle class over the wealthiest Americans in taking a balanced approach to the challenges we face as a nation. However, the bill before the House of Representatives tonight is not that.
“I have consistently supported making the tax cuts for the first $250,000 of household income permanent and I am pleased this bill does so. I am also pleased that this legislation extends unemployment insurance, allows some high-end tax rates to return to Clinton-era levels, and extends tax credits that benefit the working poor and students. Those are reasons to support it, but are not enough.
“I question whether those making above $250,000 need tax cuts and I cannot support an extension of the Bush tax cuts to those making up to $450,000. At the same time, this legislation fails to address the expiring payroll tax cut, meaning that millions of middle class families will see as much as a $2,200 tax increase, beginning with less take home pay in their next paycheck. This is regrettable.
“This legislation makes permanent a tax structure that benefits the wealthy – it provides permanent tax rates to the wealthy while only providing temporary tax credits to working and middle class families. A $10 million estate tax exemption is now permanent, while the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit are only temporary.
“This legislation also does not permanently address the automatic spending cuts which threaten to cost thousands of jobs, and the debt ceiling, which if not raised, as we saw a little more than a year ago, could wreck havoc on our economy. That means we will be back two months from now under another fiscal cloud – and with many of the same people that created this crisis once again holding the economy hostage while this time calling for benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This once again will put the middle class at risk.”