Citing the need to provide vital relief for middle-class families and unemployed Hoosiers, Congressman André Carson today backed the tax extension package negotiated by the White House and Congressional Republicans.
While the Congressman has consistently supported provisions of the bill that extend unemployment insurance and continue tax breaks for middle income families and individuals, he remains adamantly opposed to the Republican-led tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans-policies that, according to Carson, will run up the nation's deficit while failing to create new jobs.
In a separate vote tonight, Carson voiced his displeasure for the most egregious portion of the Republican-backed initiatives. In a move to halt a targeted estate tax cut, which would add billions to the debt in order to give million-dollar tax cuts to roughly 6,600 estates a year, Carson voted for an amendment that would rollback the estate tax provision to 2009 levels. Unfortunately, the measure did not garner enough votes to be included in the bill.
With no other alternative to remove the Republican tax-cuts for the rich from the larger plan, the Congressman opted to support the tax relief package in the end. He said the provisions targeted at lifting-up middle-income families and providing relief to the unemployed were too important for the nation's economic recovery to allow the plan to fail. But he also made clear--his vote was in no way an endorsement of what he called "severely misplaced priorities" by the Republicans.
"Tonight, we were able to deliver tax relief that middle-income families need and deserve, as well as an extension of unemployment benefits that will offer an economic lifeline for millions of people struggling to find employment," Carson said. "As we try to increase the pace of our recovery, measures like this make sound economic sense. Putting money back in the pockets of the middle-class and the jobless is a cost-effective and fast-acting way to stimulate the economy and create thousands of jobs.
"The same cannot be said, however, for the provisions focused on our nation's rich and elite," Carson continued. "Through this bill, Republicans have thrust upon the American people a change to the estate tax, which amounts to a $23 billion giveaway to the wealthiest estates in the country. This detestable provision will dig us deeper in debt and do nothing to create jobs.
"As we stand just weeks away from the start of 112th Congress, Republicans have sent the message to the American people that they would rather block tax breaks for middle-income Americans in order to help the rich and privileged. I hope that these kind of out-of-touch, irresponsible policies are not a sign of things to come for the new Republican majority. Because the American people expect more and deserve better."