The Democrats' top tax-writer yesterday introduced a massive plan to give tax relief to 90 million working families, a long-anticipated tax-code overhaul that Republicans criticized as the largest proposed tax increase in U.S. history.
The bill would expand income-tax breaks for the middle class while limiting deductions and adding taxes on high-end earners, increase the tax rate on "carried interest" fund managers earn on investments, and cut corporate tax rates. The Democratic plan also would repeal the alternative minimum tax (AMT), because it is set to penalize middle-income families this year.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, said the changes would provide Americans a "greater sense of equity and fairness" about the tax system.
Republicans say the rewrite of the tax code, which Mr. Rangel touts as the "mother of all tax reforms," would raise taxes $1.3 trillion by itself or more than $2 trillion when coupled with Democrats' plan to let expire President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner said the bill couldn't come at a worse time — amid a slowing economy and a mortgage lending crisis — and threatened to reverse five years of gains from Republican tax cuts that reaped job growth, rising household incomes and increased federal tax revenue.
"Imposing higher taxes at this time will doom our economy, put people out of work and cost the federal government revenue that is badly needed if we are in fact going to balance the budget," the Ohio Republican said.
If you take it away from the rich and give it to the middle class, who is going to provide the jobs for the middle class? Oh sure you get a couple of hundred dollars more a year from the 'relief' plan, but how does that compare with losing your job?