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GOP's DeMint and Pence Tout Permanent-Tax-Cuts-For-All Bill

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A pair of prominent Republicans -- one from the Senate, the other from the House – on Thursday called for a permanent extension of tax cuts at all income levels, just as a vigorous floor debate was under way about Democratic legislation to extend tax relief for just the middle class.

"Sen. Jim DeMint and I are introducing legislation that will ensure that no American, small business owner or family farmer will see a tax increase on Jan. 1, 2011, 2012, 2013 and beyond," said Indiana Rep. Mike Pence.

DeMint and Pence introduced the bill before Thanksgiving, but started promoting it Thursday. They want an up-or-down vote on all the tax cuts at the same time, a permanent end to the estate tax and a fix for the alternative minimum tax. The duo told reporters that uncertainty about future tax rates is stifling economic recovery.

"The economy is waiting to roar back in this country," DeMint of South Carolina said, "and the fact that we have waited this long to even address the issue tells you that the people running this government don't understand how business works."

If Congress does not act by the end of the year, tax cuts implemented early in the decade for all Americans will expire. Democrats want to extend only the cuts for American families earning less than $250,000 per year, and are hoping to force Republicans to vote separately in support of tax cuts for wealthier Americans.

"This is so grossly unfair," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor of Republican attempts to block passage of an extension unless it includes the higher-earners. "There will be no tax bill for any situation unless there is a tax cut for middle income people in our country."

Democrats have indicated openness to a compromise that would extend upper-income cuts only temporarily. No good, DeMint said Thursday, because businesses need to know what rates will be five years down the road in order to be in a position to hire new workers.

DeMint, known in the Senate for his hard line on spending and support for far-right tea party candidates, dismissed a question about how much his proposal will cost.

"I don't accept that this is a cost to leave the money with the American people. We're leaving tax rates the same," he said.

Without the additional revenue from higher tax rates, the national deficit will climb by $3.7 billion over ten years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The upper-income cuts account for $700 billion.

The DeMint-Pence bill is unlikely to receive the bipartisan support it would need to pass during the lame-duck session. No Democrats have endorsed a plan that would permanently extend upper-income tax cuts.

A Democratic bill to extend cuts for the middle class and let the rest expire passed the House by a margin of 46 votes, but Republican leaders have called the measure dead-on-arrival in the more conservative Senate.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, emerging from a Democratic caucus meeting Thursday just before the House vote, said he would wait for the House to act before deciding how to proceed, but was clear about what remains Senate Democrats' top priority.

"The first concern we have is for the tax cuts for the middle class," Reid said.

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23 Comments

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pinhigh4

Isn't it interesting that the republicans are "far right" and "conservative" but the democrats are not "left wing" or "liberal."

December 04 2010 at 8:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sfamilyent

If the Republicans are smart enough to recognize that businesses look forward in making their decisions, then they are smart enough to know that the expiration of the Bush tax cuts should have been anticipated and taken into account. While there has been some uncertainty about extension of the tax cuts, there should be no uncertainty that the cuts were set to expire. Frankly, I don't think that any of the tax cuts should be extended, but I more specifically oppose the extension of the long term capital gains tax cut; and I favor treating capital gains from financial instruments like ordinary income.

December 03 2010 at 1:24 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sfamilyent's comment
haughtbs

Sfamilyent: Businesses HAVE anticipated and taken into account the Bush tax cuts' expiration, as well as the uncertainty and additional costs of ObamaCare, and those are two significant reasons why they are not hiring!

December 04 2010 at 7:43 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Sheila

I am 71 and you better never mess with my Medicare and my Social Security checks. And by the way, without these checks, my medical insurance payments out of pocket money would be on the moon. Why don't some of these congressmen stop and look at their mom and dad's insurance policies? Maybe they would feel differently if they knew how much would have to come out of pocket. Shame on Boener and the other Republicans who stand in the way of helping the people they serve. If I had my vote you wouldn't work for my country. You do not deserve to serve our country. You are sick with power.......

December 03 2010 at 1:12 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
christierandall

correct me if I am wrong...but didn't I read the other day how the individual states want to create their own laws without federal interference...but yet I also read where the tea party candidates aquired a ton of earmmarks for projects in their own prospective states...so they want pork from the federal government but yet tell the feds to mind their own business when it comes to laws? Isn't DeMint a big advocate of less government.

December 03 2010 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sheila

What about the millions of unemployed ???? They have no heart. the Billionaires and millionaires should be paying the taxes.........channel that through the congress.......that and healthcare are the most important issues and also education and the current war in Afganastan.........try helping these causes

December 03 2010 at 1:06 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
rmg1410

The Republicans claim they are worried about the National Debt which is soon to be $14 trillion. If you check how we got there you will see that $9.1 trillion was added by Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43. Why didn't they worry about it when they were the one adding to it.

December 03 2010 at 12:47 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
rmg1410

Only 2.5 percent of those making over $250,000 who file as individuals create jobs. The Republicans only want to help the 97.5 percent who do nothing but increase the amount of the countries wealth they own. If this continures there will only be the ultra-wealth and the ultra-poor. That is the aim of the Republicans. They don't care about this country only their wealthy supporters.

December 03 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ettu

While some Congressmen believe it is beneficial to cut SS to seniors who have little opportunity to supplement what they now live on, and to eventually raise OUR retirement age to 69 (when companies are known to dump you around age 60, and there are only so many Walmart greeter jobs available to see you through to age 69), consider what they have given themselves. This info is from Wikipedia: "Congressional pension is a pension made available to members of the United States Congress. Members who participated in the congressional pension system are vested after five (5) years of service. A full pension is available to Members 62 years of age with 5 years of service; 50 years or older with 20 years of service; or 25 years of service at any age. The pension amount is determined by a formula that takes into account the years served and the average pay for the top three years in terms of payment. In 2002, the average pension payment ranged from $41,000 to $55,000. For example, a Congressman who worked for 22 years and had a top three-year average salary of $153,900 would be eligible for a pension payment of $84,645 per year."..........Pretty nice, isn't it? All this, plus they protect themselves from many of the laws, regulations, burdens, that they find okay for the masses.

December 03 2010 at 10:52 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
exnyorker

The same people that are promoting tax cuts for the wealthy, adding more to our Federal deficit, are the same ones that approved two costly wars by borrowing trillions of dollars adding more and more to our Federal deficit. When is America going to wake up and realize that it is foolhardy to continue cutting taxes, especially for the wealthiest individuals, unless we seriously begin reducing spending and reducing our Federal deficit.

December 03 2010 at 10:08 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to exnyorker's comment
thirdherdnerd

Taxes have been cut and what is going to happen now is a vote to raise taxes or let them stay where they are now. If you truly believe raising taxes on anyone is a good idea then argue to raise taxes and quit hiding behind the tax cut argument. This debate is strictly whether to raise taxes or not and on whom. By the way is NY nearly bankrupt because they have one of the highest tax rates in the nation or because they spend money inefficiently? I'd say the latter.

December 03 2010 at 10:47 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
wbaird721

Deficit - smeficit if it involves giving lower tax rates to the biggest political donors. These aren't small business owners. What a smoke screen that is, just like saying over and over to get elected that cutting the deficit is our number one priority above everything else. Why does anyone give them two seconds of credibility any longer?

December 03 2010 at 8:10 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wbaird721's comment
thirdherdnerd

It seems obvious that you do not know what a Sub Chapter S Corporation is so let me enlighten you. Most small business in this country is Sub S which simply means the corporation pays no tax and all net income is taxable to the owner(s) as ordinary income. So if a $2.5 million dollar small business makes a paltry 10% profit it is in the $250,00.00 bracket and instead of having profit dollars to invest in the business and grow (thus maybe creating jobs but not always)the business now gives it to the Federal Government whom we all know is an extremely efficient spender of that money. That is fact not smoke screen. Right now small businesses are uncertain what the taxes will be so they put everything on hold and you are seeing the results of that lack of policy.

December 03 2010 at 10:30 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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