Rep. Kind: We Cannot Fix the AMT on theBacks of our Kids and Grandkids
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today voted against the passage of a one-year fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) because it was deficit financed, and would add $50 billion to the national debt. Not paying for the fix violates "pay-as-you-go" budget rules re-established this year by the Democratic majority after years of fiscal mismanagement by Republicans.
"Protecting middle-class families from a tax never intended for them is imperative," Rep. Kind said. "But we must to do so responsibly, and not pass a legacy of debt to our kids and grandkids. I could not in good conscience vote for this bill that continues the borrow and spend' policies of the Republican Party, and increases our liability to countries like China who ultimately finance our debt."
The Alternative Minimum Tax was developed in the 1970s as a way to ensure that America's wealthiest paid their fair share of taxes. However, the AMT has never been indexed for inflation, and without legislation, it will capture millions of middle-class families it was never intended to hit.
The Bush Administration has already included the expected AMT revenue in its budget. The $50 billion cost of a one-year AMT fix has essentially already been spent; eliminating the revenue will create a gaping hole in the budget to be filled with borrowed money from China or another foreign government.
Congressional Democrats twice sent the Senate a budget-neutral AMT fix in which the cost was offset by preventing the wealthiest hedge-fund managers to escape U.S. tax liability by moving millions of dollars off-shore. However, the President and Senate Republicans chose to reject the responsible bill, favoring instead a fix that adds $50 billion to our already historic national debt.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, cautioned that in the current budgetary environment, all tax cuts must be paid-for. Mr. Greenspan went so far as to say he was against the fixing the AMT without paying for it.
"Under President Bush and the Republican leadership, our country saw the largest and fastest accumulation of debt in our history," Rep. Kind said. "Merely the interest on that tremendous debt represents billions of dollars, and is the fastest growing part of our budget. We must get back to fiscal responsibility - we cannot fix the AMT on the backs of our kids and grandkids."