Boehner Rings, Are You Listening?

December 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Economic Justice, Recent Blog Posts

Blue Jingle BellsYou might think, because it’s that time of year, that the sound you heard coming out of Washington last night was the bells of Christmas. But it was really the sound of ideologies clashing. At your expense.

Despite time running out for Congress to avert an automatic tax hike on all Americans on January 1, House Speaker John Boehner chose to waste more time playing politics, putting forward a “Plan B” bill to protect tax breaks for millionaires at the expense of the middle class. He couldn’t get the votes to pass it and as a result, late Thursday night, Boehner reportedly pulled the “Plan B” off the table, took his ball, and went home for the holidays.

As some of you know, there is already a middle class tax relief bill that the Senate already passed and the President has indicated he will sign. It’s been sitting on the table for months in anticipation of a House vote. The bill would generate $400 billion more in high-income revenue to address the country’s long-term budget challenges.

It’s unfortunate that some in the house chose to serve an outdated political ideology rather than the people of their districts. It’s unfortunate that they chose more for millionaires and CEOs rather than prosperity for all. It’s unfortunate that they chose to balance the budget on the backs of working families instead of sharing the responsibility. It’s unfortunate that while working families and the middle-class are working hard, they are not working hard for working families and the middle class.

We need the Tennessee Congressional delegation to be a strong independent voice for Tennessee families. They must demand that Speaker Boehner immediately hold a vote on the original bill that already passed in the U.S. Senate and the President is ready to sign.

The original bill would bring relief to working families immediately by extending the Bush tax cuts on incomes under $250,000 for a couple and $200,000 for an individual. Below is what will happen in Tennessee if Congress stays home and does nothing before the deadline:

  • Tennessee small businesses will be able to claim immediate tax deductions for only $25,000, rather than $250,000, of new investment.
  • 2.3 million middle-class Tennessee families will see their federal income taxes increase.
  • A typical median-income Tennessee family of four (earning $63,700) could see its income taxes rise by $2,200 as a result of losing the combination of the expanded child credit, marriage penalty relief, and the 10 percent bracket.
  • Tennessee families will receive a smaller Child Tax Credit, and 761,000 of low- and moderate-income working families with children in Tennessee will lose access to the Child Tax Credit altogether, costing them an average $1,010 a year.
  • 207,000 middle-class Tennessee families will no longer get help paying for college from the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Source: National Economic Council Report, December 2012


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