Sometimes it's difficult to fully determine how what's happening in Washington will affect you in Texas. When issues get talked about in terms of billions and trillions of dollars, many people wonder exactly what that means for them.
As the end of the year draws closer, I wanted to let you know how the pending tax increase that is coming as a result of expiring tax provisions directly affects our communities in West Texas and the Big Country. The numbers are pretty stunning.
President Obama's tax plan is to allow taxes to increase for small businesses and those earning more than a certain level by allowing the 2001 and 2003 tax rates to expire for these groups. According to new data released by the Heritage Foundation, from 2011 to 2020, the 19th Congressional District would lose, on average, 1,449 jobs annually and lose, per household, $3,846 in total disposable personal income under this tax plan. In total, individual income taxes would increase by $700 million district-wide. These numbers do not look good for the 19th District and the nation as a whole. With our economy struggling to recover and unemployment near 10 percent, why would we even consider raising taxes on anyone?
The message may sound repetitive, but sometimes it's hard to get through to Washington. The American people and economists across the nation have voiced their concerns about the consequences of not heading off this massive tax hike. I have heard from numerous small business owners who are concerned about how much more they will pay in taxes if Congress does not act to prevent the automatic tax increase in January. It's not just Republicans who agree with this. Thirty-one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Democrats have voiced their support for preventing a tax increase for all taxpayers. President Obama says the government can't afford to let taxpayers keep this money, but I think he's forgetting whose money it is and that the government's real problem is that the government is spending too much.
We need to extend current income tax rates, rather than allowing them to go up, so that families and small business do not face a $3.8 trillion tax increase at a time when our economy can least afford it. Congress needs to act now to give taxpayers certainty about how much they will owe next year, and my colleagues and I have called on the Speaker to let us vote on this issue. Let's freeze federal spending, extend current tax rates for all income levels and keep valuable jobs in the 19th District.