Tax fairness and reform are key to a successful economy

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

January 1, 2013 – just five short months from now Americans can expect a higher tax bill. Individuals, families, and small businesses alike, are bracing for these tax increases and asking “how can we afford to send even more of our hard earned money to the federal government?” Nearly 13 million Americans are currently looking for work and so crushing tax increases are the last thing we need.

This week, with my support, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation which provides certainty for American families and small businesses by stopping this looming tax hike. Failure to act could mean that a family of four earning $50,000 a year will see their taxes increase nearly $2,200 per year and the total tax increase would be more than $4 trillion over the next decade. Small businesses, the economic engine of our country, want to invest in their firms and hire new workers, but instead they are bracing for these costly tax increases which will affect nearly 1 million business owners. Quite simply tax increases are the wrong prescription for job creation and economic growth.

Passage of this pro-growth legislation which extends the low-tax policies originally enacted in 2001 and 2003 and then extended again in 2010 is an important piece of the House Republicans’ Plan for American Job Creators. Included in this legislation are extensions of the current individual tax brackets, the $1,000 child tax credit, the marriage penalty relief that prevents a tax increase on millions of American couples, the estate tax at the current rate of 35 percent instead of allowing it to increase to 55 percent, and certain educational tax incentives including the deduction of student loan interest. Now it is imperative that the Senate act in order to stop these massive tax increases that are right around the corner.

Economic prosperity is not only going to require a halt to these devastating tax increases, but it demands that Congress enact meaningful tax reform. It is evident that our tax code is no longer working in a fair manner for Americans. Our current tax code is chock full of exceptions, deductions, and corporate loopholes that have allowed some businesses and wealthy individuals to escape paying their fair share in taxes. Tax reform is needed to ensure a more equitable tax code and so immediately after passing legislation to stop the impending tax increases, the House passed legislation, similar to legislation that I have introduced, which requires Congress to address comprehensive tax reform.

This week, the House of Representatives sent a clear message to the American people and our nation’s job creators. But it will require immediate action by the Senate in order to provide the necessary certainty that a higher tax bill is not on the way. Anytime we can establish fairer taxes and keep them low then we are assisting the national economy, creating jobs and increasing opportunity across the country.