Tax increase won’t help create jobsPublished 3:00pm Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Americans are fed up, and it’s no wonder. Unemployment hovers at 9.1 percent nationally and investors feel like they’re riding a roller coaster as the stock market rushes up and down at dizzying speeds each time gloomy consumer spending reports are released.
Workers and businesses are looking for signs of an agreement to steady the economy and put people back to work, but Washington remains at an impasse.
Many Americans were hopeful when they heard the president’s jobs speech earlier this month. While I did not agree with some of his proposals, including a half trillion in new stimulus spending which would do little to stir job creation, he seemed at least willing to consider tax relief for small business and wage earners as well as a curb on job-crushing federal regulations. Small businesses are the nation’s job makers.
They more quickly feel the effects of a good or bad economy. They are the first to hire and likely the first to fire. Amid the thick fog of rhetoric hanging over the nation’s capital, they are searching for evidence that our leaders finally get the fact that tax hikes and more government regulations are killing their struggling businesses.
It was therefore disappointing to hear the president propose last week a plan to raise taxes by $1.5 trillion all in the name of “fairness.” Apparently, the president has changed his mind since August 2009 when he said, “You don’t raise taxes in a recession.”
Mr. Obama says his higher taxes are aimed at millionaires and billionaires who don’t pay their “fair share” as compared to the rest of Americans. However, the mainstream media has already called his hand, fact checking his tax plan to reveal that it is based on the false assumption that all higher wage earners are somehow skipping their tax bills.
According to the Associated Press, “On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor.”
Most Americans rightly agree the wealthy should pay their fair share. There are loopholes in the tax code that must be fixed as a part of a comprehensive package of tax reform. But the president’s plan has done little more than create confusion and place yet another roadblock to an agreement with Congress.
In reality, the top 10 percent of earners pay nearly 70 percent of all income taxes, and there simply isn’t enough revenue from the one percent of the wealthiest who manage to avoid paying their fair share to raise the kind of revenues the president is seeking. His new tax increase would go beyond that one percent, however, hitting small business owners, who file their returns as individuals and thus penalize those who are vital to our economic recovery. The fact is Mr. Obama’s tax hike on the wealthy would affect over half of U.S. small businesses.
For the record, the House of Representatives has placed on the table a host of ideas to restore business confidence in the economy, including lifting the current federal moratorium on new oil and gas drilling and rolling back enormously expensive new government red tape on business.