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Congress Must Not Increase the Tax Day Burden

Op-Ed

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Congress Must Not Increase the Tax Day Burden

Last month, many Americans rushed to mail or electronically file their income tax returns in order to meet the April 17 deadline. Each spring, this annual ritual drives home the unnecessary complexity of the federal tax code and the burden it can place on families and small businesses.

According to the Tax Foundation's annual survey of U.S. attitudes on taxes and wealth, a majority of U.S. adults say the federal income taxes they pay are "too high," that the tax code is complex, and that our tax system needs major changes or a complete overhaul.

Why, then, is the majority in Congress laying the groundwork for massive tax hikes that will make tax day much tougher for taxpayers in a few years?

Recently, the House of Representatives passed the Democrats' budget, which relies on the expiration of the widespread tax relief Congress enacted in 2001 and 2003 in order to bring the budget into balance over the short term. If this happens, it would amount to the largest tax hike in American history, and it would impact taxpayers by:

* Raising marginal rates on all taxpayers;
* Eliminating the ten percent bracket that has benefited numerous low-income individuals;
* Raising the tax on capital gains and dividends and discouraging investment in our economy;
* Cutting the child tax credit in half;
* Reinstating the marriage penalty; and
* Reimposing the death tax.

Raising taxes is not the solution to our fiscal troubles, especially if we want to keep our economy growing and stay competitive with other nations. Americans are paying more than enough in taxes, and federal tax revenues have been surging as a result of economic growth since the 2003 tax relief was enacted. The problem is that the government spends too much too quickly. Congress should seek solutions that restrain spending and target government waste, rather than dipping into taxpayers' wallets.


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