A group of 100 distinguished economists have already called on Congress to stop the spending spree to help create new jobs – but Democrats aren't listening. Now economists are telling Democrats to stop all the tax hikes too and Republicans are demanding an up-or-down vote on freezing all current tax rates – will Democrats listen now? Here's the story:
>> ECONOMISTS SAY STOP ALL THE TAX HIKES: "With income tax rates set to go up on Dec. 31, Congress is hotly debating what to do next. But most economists agree: Keep them where they are. ... [A] majority of a panel of leading economists surveyed by CNNMoney.com said that the tax cuts should be renewed for everyone. 'Extend tax cuts for all income levels and do nothing else,' said Sean Snaith, economics professor at the University of Central Florida. 'More of the same piecemeal, patchwork policies put forth by this administration will undermine confidence and do little to change the path the economy is on.'" (Economists: Extend Bush tax cuts for everyone, CNN, 9/20/10)
>> SMALL BUSINESSES WILL TAKE THE BIGGEST HIT FROM OBAMA'S TAX HIKES: "It doesn't require an economics degree to realize that raising taxes on those who make capital investments that bring about job growth will hurt the economy as a whole. ... According to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, firms averaging between 20 and 250 employees would be the most likely to take a hit from boosting rates in the top two income tax brackets. ... Congress should stimulate job growth by extending all the current tax rates, thereby giving our economy a fighting chance to get back on its feet." (A triple whammy — in the pocket, on the job, and at the pump, The Daily Caller, 9/20/10)
>> TAX HIKES WILL "DISCOURAGE HIRING AND EXPANSION": "Raising taxes in a weak economy doesn't make sense. ... Some small businesses would also be affected, because many (sole proprietorships, partnerships and subchapter S corporations) file their taxes on personal returns. Higher taxes would discourage hiring and expansion. No one knows by how much, but the Tax Policy Center estimates that higher business taxes would affect 725,000 returns with about $400 billion of business income. Some of these are partnerships of doctors, lawyers and accountants. Others are contractors, restaurant owners, florists and plumbers." (The ritual of sound-bite economics, Washington Post, 9/20/10)
>> REPUBLICANS DEMAND UP-OR-DOWN VOTE ON STOPPING ALL TAX HIKES: "House Republican Leader John Boehner called on Speaker Pelosi to commit to an open-rule debate and an up-or-down vote on a Republican plan to sustain current tax rates instead of allowing them to increase for higher-earners. 'If the Speaker allows an up-or-down vote, we're confident our plan to stop all the tax hikes will pass.'" (Boehner to Pelosi: Let Us Vote and We'll Stop All the Tax Hikes, National Review, 9/16/10)
CNN Money also says the Obama tax hikes could hit "approximately 750,000 individuals" that generate "an estimated 50% of all business income." ABC News says they could hit as many as 900,000 small businesses.
Democrats – including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and a few dozen rank-and-file lawmakers – have suggested a willingness to work with Republicans to stop all the tax hikes. GOP Leader John Boehner says "anything less" than an up-or-down vote on freezing current tax rates "is unacceptable. If the Speaker allows an up-or-down vote, we're confident our plan to stop all the tax hikes will pass."
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Democrats Deserting Obama, Opposing Tax Hikes on Small Businesses (9/16/10)
ABC: Obama Tax Hike Will Hurt Nearly 900,000 Small Businesses (9/13/10)
White House Can't Explain How Tax Hikes Will Create Jobs (9/13/10)
Obama on Small Biz Tax Hike: "I've Got a Whole Bunch of Better Ways to Spend That Money" (9/9/10)
A Study in Contrasts: Obama Talks About Boehner; Boehner Talks About Creating Jobs (9/8/10)