Senate to Vote on Tax Hikes Today


Senate to Vote on Tax Hikes Today

Dec 4th, 2010 4 min read

Policy Analyst

As senior fellow in government studies at The Heritage Foundation, Brian Darling...

Today, the Senate will vote to increase taxes on American job creators.  Ironically, the November unemployment numbers came out yesterday and unemployment has risen to 9.8%.  Only in Washington would politicians think that this is the time to punish job creators by raising taxes.

This is not the time to raise taxes on job creators, yet the Senate will vote on the Obama tax plan today that imposes tax increases on families making over $250,000/yr and individuals making over $200,000/yr.  If the Obama plan is signed into law, get ready for 10% unemployment numbers again.

The Heritage Foundation has put together a comprehensive analysis concluding that tax increases on “the rich,” will keep unemployment numbers high and punish the poor.

This analysis shows that the economic harm of raising taxes on investment, small businesses, and upper-income filers affects households of all types. An economy with fewer employment opportunities results in lower wages and lost consumption and savings. Households across the income spectrum are left with lower disposable income. The attempt to raise additional revenues by raising taxes on the productive sectors of the economy, particularly dur­ing a period of recovery, harms the very citizens the revenue would be used to aid with social welfare programs.

On Thursday, the House passed what House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-OH) called a “chicken crap” proposal to raise taxes with no opportunity for amendments. The House package, the Obama tax increase plan, has almost no chance of passing the Senate today.  The House vote was 234-188 and was a vote to increase taxes on job creators.

Politco reported that even liberals predict this Obama idea of tax increases on job creators DOA on arrival today in the Senate.

Before the bill headed for a vote, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) foreshadowed that the bill may just be a foundation for a further compromise, a hint that the upper-bracket tax rates are likely to be extended as well.  “It will be this bill on which they will ultimately reach whatever compromise is available in the United States Senate … the compromise we all know is ultimately going to be necessary,” Hoyer said on the floor.

Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) used an unamendable motion to recommit to prevent Republicans from offering any amendments to extend tax cuts for all Americans.  The vote was a political ploy to raise taxes permanently on families making over $250,000 and individuals making over $200,000.  Immediately after the vote, negotiations continued between the White House and a bipartisan negotiating team from Capitol Hill to cut a deal for a two or three year extension of all tax cuts.

Today, the Senate will commence a purely political debate on the Obama tax increase proposal.  This is a structured debate and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has blocked all amendments but two favored by Democrat leadership.   The bill is doomed to failure, yet the liberals want to continue with class warfare against “the rich.”  These leftists believe that the federal government is more efficient in spending money than small businesses and capitalists.

The web site for Democrats in the Senate posted this description of the first vote today:

Senator Reid then moved to concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R.4853, with a Baucus amendment #4727. The Baucus amendment #4727 includes the $250,000 tax cut extension plus several additional items such as UI extension, AMT relief, estate tax, 1099 repeal, making work pay credit, and others. Senator Reid then filed cloture on the motion to concur with the Baucus amendment #4727.

The amendment by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) adds the following ideas to the Obama Tax increase proposal:  an extension of unemployment benefits; a patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax; an estate tax compromise; a repeal of the 1099 provision in ObamaCare that imposes burdensome paperwork requirements on small business; and, an extension of the “Making Work Pay” silly tax credit that President Obama included in the so called Stimulus package.  Did any of these liberal politicians notice that the unemployment rate went up to 9.8% this month and that the stimulus has proven to be a failure?

There will be a second vote today on an amendment by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY):

Senator Reid then offered the Schumer amendment #4728 to Baucus #4727. The Schumer amendment #4728 includes the tax cut extension for those making up to $1 million, plus several additional items such as UI extension, AMT relief, estate tax, 1099 repeal, making work pay credit, and others. Senator Reid then filed cloture on the Schumer amendment #4728.

Senator Schumer’s idea is to apply tax relief to those making under $1 million and imposes tax hikes on small business and job creators who don’t qualify under the Schumer approach.  Senate Majority Leader Reid again abused his authority as Majority Leader to block all Republican Amendments using a parliamentary tactic on Thursday when he filed cloture to set up this series of Saturday votes.  This act by the Leader dooms this debate to be a few cloture votes on Democrat ideas that will fail.

The left will cry that Republicans are filibustering these proposals, yet these Republicans have to vote to filibuster in order to assert their right to offer amendments.  If allowed, Republicans would offer an extension of all the tax cuts, yet they have been precluded by Reid’s obstructionist tactic of blocking all amendments to the bill.  These proposals will not garner the required 60 votes to shut off debate and we can expect more calls from the left to abolish the filibuster as a result.

Liberals have continued the war on these people they demonise as “the rich.”  Everyone else knows these evil people as job creators.  Have you ever met a poor individual who wrote a paycheck to an employee?  The money liberals want to seize for President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid to spend is money that should be allowed to be reinvested in small businesses across America by the private sector.

Conservatives believe in keeping the current tax rates for all taxpayers at a reasonable rate with no exceptions.  Haven’t we done enough over the last two years to punish success in America?  Our federal government needs to stand down on the war against job creators now.

Conservatives want to stop all tax increases on income taxes, dividends, cap gains and estate tax.  This fight is about jobs, jobs, jobs.  Raising taxes on small businesses, job creators and investors is a huge job killer and a terrible idea.  Tax cuts for all now.

Brian Darling is a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

First appeared in Big Government