Citing a slew of special-interest tax loopholes, its high price tag and the lack of long-term economic policy, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) rejected last night the hodgepodge of tax cuts, subsidies, and unemployment benefits negotiated by President Obama and Senate Republicans.
"This tax package is the type of "inside the beltway' deal that the American people cannot stand," said Kingston. "It adds to the deficit and, for the price, it won't bring about the job creation we need. It extends unemployment benefits without paying for them and, as always, is full of special interest loopholes for everything from ethanol to NASCAR to Puerto Rican rum."
Additional special interest loopholes identified by Kingston benefit Indian tribal job programs and training for mine rescue teams. It contains a number of subsidies for wind and solar energy and, in what the Wall Street Journal has dubbed the "Hawkeye Handout,' the bill includes $5 billion in subsidies for ethanol. Other provisions include benefits for the Gulf Coast and incentives for businesses to invest in the District of Columbia.
"These "sweeteners' have no place in this bill and should be brought through the regular legislative process to be justified that they benefit the nation not just the select few," he said.
While Kingston opposes the package in its current form, he supports a long-term extension of the tax cuts which are set to expire on January 1.
"History has shown lower taxes create economic growth but a mere a two year extension will not bring the long-term growth we need," Kingston said. "The business community needs certainty and, without it, investment dollars will remain on the sideline. Moreover, the fact that the payroll tax credit does not go to the employer means it will not make it cheaper to hire or create new jobs. This is a lost opportunity and a misguided use of the tax code."
Joining Kingston in voting "no' were several members of Georgia's House Republican delegation including Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Tom Graves, and John Linder.