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Republicans Grow Wary Of Democrat Tax Policy

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

17 April 2007


Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, has echoed the concerns of senior Republicans that the Democrats, who now control Congress, are prepared to let key temporary tax cut provisions lapse, effectively raising taxes on individual and business taxpayers.

"Republicans, along with anyone who supports tax relief, are very concerned about the budget resolutions passed by Democratic majorities in the House and Senate that are going to a conference committee," Grassley stated in a speech on the Senate floor last week.

He continued:

"This concern is derived from the fact that the two budget resolutions do not provide for the extension of tax relief beyond 2010. For the first time in more than six years, Congress is sending a message that there is no guarantee of tax relief. In fact, the Democratic budget resolutions say the opposite. The budget resolution passed by the Senate only provides 44% of the revenue room necessary to extend popular and bipartisan tax relief. Forty-four percent is not enough but it is 44% percent more than is provided for in the House-passed budget resolution.

"The House-passed budget resolution provides no revenue room for the extension of tax relief. That means no tuition deduction and no teacher’s deduction, along with many other items. I like to think I’m an optimist, but in conferencing two resolutions that cover 44% and zero percent of the revenue necessary for extension, I’m doubtful of reaching a number greater than the already inadequate 44% provided by the Senate."

"This stands in stark contrast to the budget the President submitted this February, and to the budgets he has submitted over the past six years. All of those budgets provided the revenue room to make bipartisan tax relief permanent."

"The reason tax relief is not permanent is the same now as it has been for the past six years. Tax relief was not made permanent because the Democratic leadership and the liberal core of the Democratic Caucus have refused to support permanence, and that is apparent now more than ever."

According to Grassley, if something is not done to extend or make permanent tax relief before the end of 2010, American families will be hit with "a wall of tax increases" that is currently built into the Democratic budget resolutions. Citing US Treasury figures, he claimed that a family of 4 with $40,000 in income will be subjected to an average tax increase of $2,052 all at once.

"The Democrats now in the driver’s seat need to decide whether they are going to let that wall go up, or if they are going to cooperate with Republicans and President Bush to prevent that tax increase," Grassley concluded.


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