Published in Florida Today on September 19, 2010
At a time when Floridians are struggling, government should act in ways that will encourage job growth and economic recovery. Instead, Washington lawmakers are creating uncertainty, adding tax burdens, and overregulating those who can best help our economy recover.
Adding to the uncertainty is the expected expiration of tax relief at the end of this year. If Congress fails to extend this relief, Florida's families will suffer.
It doesn't make sense to raise taxes during a recession. This is not just my view. Last August, President Obama said, "The last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up -- take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole."
I agree. It makes no sense to raise taxes now in ways that will chill investment, delay or eliminate hiring decisions and curtail consumer spending.
If tax relief is allowed to expire for those in the higher tax brackets, more than 750,000 small businesses will be adversely affected. Why is now a good time to raise taxes on small business people who create two of every three jobs in the U.S.? Washington should help, not hurt, those engaged in job creation.
I hope President Obama and congressional Democrats will work with Republicans to ensure tax relief is extended to help all Americans during this difficult economic time. Working together to extend the current tax policy would be good for Florida and the country.
U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Florida.