Monday, December 17, 2007

Kuhl Votes Against Tax Increase

As I reported previously, the Senate passed an AMT patch that would not include a tax increase, and Congressman Kuhl applauded this action. However, the Dems in the House were still trying to push through an AMT patch with a tax increase, which Congressman Kuhl voted against, keeping his status as a Taxpayer's Best Friend. From the Hornell Evening Tribune:
U.S. Rep. John "Randy" Kuhl, R-29, is in favor of the [AMT] fix, but voted against a bill passed by the House Wednesday to do just that, because he said it increased taxes to make up the gap.

"The Senate passed a bill last week that would index the AMT without any tax increases in it," he said Thursday morning, during his weekly telephone press conference call. "The House majority has not taken the same position, as a result of the adoption of the 'paygo' rule, it's meant, in my estimation, to give the majority the ability to raise taxes under the guise of pay as you go. The House fix included tax increases, which I did not support, because I don't believe you need to put permanent increases in to take care of a temporary problem.

"They say that we cannot index this issue without having taxes make up for the loss of revenue," Kuhl added. "That's the stalemate we've had."

Massa, of course, supports the tax increase, claiming the bill will only tax "high income earners."

But here's a great column from Michael Barone on the issue (note the section in bold that counters Massa's claim):
Democrats, conscious of the popularity of some recent governors who have raised taxes (like Mark Warner of Virginia), seem on the surface unfazed by the political risks of tax increases and are preparing to argue that they'll raise taxes only on the rich. But this may be awkward at a time when the budget deficit is rapidly declining and when we face the nontrivial possibility of a recession.

A tax increase in a recession is usually not a good idea. And Republicans will say that when Democrats promise to tax the rich, they end up raising taxes on the ordinary person, as Bill Clinton and the Democratic Congress did in 1993. The Democrats' desperation to patch the AMT and their willingness to break their own paygo rule suggest that they fear the wrath of those New Jersey suburbanites more than they let on.
[Emphasis added]

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