Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) sent the following letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for the extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the middle-class and for saving $1 trillion by phasing out the tax cuts for the super-wealthy.
Murphy questioned why middle-class children should be saddled with $1 trillion in debt to finance enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest American who, he noted, are already benefitting from the cuts in the lower tax brackets. He called the middle-class tax cuts "critical to the long term success of the middle class and the ongoing economic recovery."
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
As you know, I have always believed that tax reductions for the middle class need to be protected. Now with the expiration of these tax breaks approaching, I urge you to bring to the floor as soon as possible a tax bill to ensure that the tax reductions currently enjoyed by middle class Americans continue and the breaks for the super-rich expire to help pay down the National Debt.
This year, the Tax Foundation announced that the average tax burden on Americans was the lowest level since the 1950s, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities stated that middle class families are now paying federal taxes at historically low levels. Both properly attribute this accomplishment to the combination of the large tax cuts enacted by the Democratic majority since 2007, as well as the middle class tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003. However, as the end of 2010 approaches, so does the expiration of most of these important tax provisions. These tax cuts are critical to the long term success of the middle class and the ongoing economic recovery. They must be extended.
Yet, at the same time we are duty-bound to deal with another problem that threatens our economic recovery -- a growing national debt. Simply put, once the economy recovers, we cannot afford to allow the debt to continue to increase at Bush Administration rates. That is why I also ask you to prevent middle class families from continuing to be saddled with the burden of providing tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of income earners.
These wealthy families will already benefit from rate reductions in the lower brackets; do we really need to provide each of these wealthiest households with nearly $100,000 in additional tax cuts next year? That's nearly $1 trillion in more debt that the children of hardworking middle class families will be asked to cover, just so the super rich can become even wealthier. By ending those tax breaks, we can put that money toward lowering the debt and continuing our return to the sound fiscal policies of the Clinton Administration.
Back in 2007, when I voted against the Democratic budget I said, "It's time we reined in spending and reduced the burden on middle class families who face an increasing cost of living. We need to protect the tax cuts that 8th district families are counting on, and we can't leave it up to chance." Since then, much has been accomplished to meet these goals. But as of today, middle class families are still uncertain as to whether their lower tax rates will continue beyond this year. I hope you will join me in providing them the certainty they need in these uncertain times.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Patrick J. Murphy
MEMBER OF CONGRESS