By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congressman Jo Bonner (R) from Mobile said that raising taxes on Americans who make over $250,000 a year is bad for an already weak economy and calls on the President and the Democrat controlled Senate to join with the House in extending the current tax rates.
Rep. Bonner said, “What this country needs is a strong boost of confidence to get the economy moving. Washington can take the first step by showing that government is ready to get out of the way. The president has such an opportunity in the months ahead. Tax relief passed in 2001 and 2003 is due to expire on December 31, 2012. If nothing is done, the result will be across-the-board tax hikes for Americans of nearly all income levels – a below the belt punch to an economy that can barely stand upright.”
Rep. Bonner said that in 18 town meetings recently held across southwest Alabama he could not find anyone who thought that their federal taxes were too low.
Congressman Bonner said, “Common sense is in short supply in Washington where the White House and half of Congress continue to cling to the notion that more government stimulus and higher taxes are the only way to improve our economy.” “The economy is hurting. In June, second quarter growth slowed to a trickle, 1.5 percent. Economists said Americans have cut back on spending. When consumers don’t buy goods and services, businesses stop hiring. Consequently unemployment rose to 8.3 percent nationally in July and the jobless rate has also inched up 0.4 percent in Alabama over the last two months.”
Rep. Bonner said, “On August first, I joined 256 of my colleagues – including 19 Democrats – in voting for a full extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief. Washington’s problem is not that it doesn’t tax enough. It simply spends too much. Meanwhile, President Obama has threatened to take his revenge on the entire economy if he doesn’t score an ideological victory on taxes. If those making $250,000 and above are not forced to pay more, then he will allow everyone’s taxes to go up.”
Rep. Bonner warned, “The impact will be widespread – a $4 trillion tax increase on Americans over ten years. Over 50 percent of small business income will be hit with higher taxes and over 700,000 fewer jobs will be created. The average family of four earning $50,000 a year would have to shell out an additional $2,200 to Uncle Sam. A single parent earning $36,000 a year would see their tax bill increase by $1,100. It simply makes no sense to create such havoc in an already fragile economy.”
Rep. Bonner accused the President of playing politics with the economy. “Disappointingly, the president has taken what should be a slam dunk decision to extend the expiring tax relief and turned it into a cynical political battle. Flying in the face of even his own rhetoric, he wants to increase taxes on those who own businesses and invest in the economy.”
Bonner says that the solution is tax reform. “Raising taxes is not the answer. Reforming the tax code to make it simpler and fairer is the proper path to take. On August 2, I joined 232 of my House colleagues in voting for and passing The Pathway to Job Creation Through a Simpler Tax Code Act. This legislation sets in motion the process for enactment of tax reform in 2013 with a clear timeline for action in the House and Senate. We call on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama to join us. Instead of raising taxes, further depressing job creation, it’s time to work together to reform the tax code.”
The Romney campaign is calling for making permanent, across-the-board 20% cut in marginal rates for individuals; maintaining the current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains; eliminating taxes for taxpayers who make below $200,000 (AGI) on interest, dividends, and capital gains to encourage savings, ending the death tax, and repealing the alternative minimum tax (AMT). Gov. Romney is also calling for reducing the top corporate tax rate to 25%, strengthening the research and development tax credit, and ending the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT).
Congressman Jo Bonner represents Alabama’s First Congressional District in South Alabama. The Alabama Democratic Party did not have a candidate to qualify to run against the popular congressman so he was reelected by virtue of his win in the Republican Primary.
To read Rep. Bonner’s statement in its entirety: