House Social Media Competition: We Need Your Help!
House Republicans have launched our third annual social media competition, and we need your help to ensure Eastern Kansas makes a great showing! It is a multi-week, March Madness style competition, and this week is the qualifying round. Each week, a different social media outlet will be featured, and the goal is to get as many followers, likes, or subscribers as you can during a one week time span. This week, the goal is Facebook likes. You can like my Facebook page HERE. Like my page, suggest it to your friends and family, tweet about it, shout it from the roof tops, whatever you have to do! Let's see Eastern Kansas show off our social media prowess over the next few weeks. I will keep you updated on the progress of the tournament in the coming weeks and thanks for your help! Don't forget to Like my official page on Facebook.
Looking Out For Small Businesses
As I have said many times in the past, spurring job growth and getting our economy back on its feet is my top priority as your representative in Congress. This week, while the Senate, who hasn't passed a budget in over three years, teed up the political gimmick known as the Buffett Rule, the House was moving forward real solutions to help our small businesses, encourage growth and job creation and lift our economy out of the current doldrums.
The President's most recent campaign gimmick, the Buffett Rule, would not create a single job and not even dent our nation's mounting annual deficits and debt. Instead, it further complicates our tax code. After the President's spending spree over the last three years, the $4.7 billion that this new tax would raise is almost enough money to run the Federal Government for about eleven hours. In fact, the President's budget, which didn't receive a single vote in the House, called for adding $6.7 trillion to the national debt. So under his plan, if the government collects the Buffett Rule tax for 250 years, it would still not cover President Obama's deficit for this year alone. At a time of record high unemployment, the Buffett Tax won't create a single job. It doesn't address our spending problem. It is a political ploy, plain and simple.
The House, on the other hand, spent the week fighting for real solutions to America's jobs crisis. On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 9, the Small Business Tax Cut Act, which will lower taxes to help our small businesses create jobs. Small businesses are the engines that drive our economy and our job market. Since 1980, small business startups have created over 40 million jobs and are responsible for 60% of new jobs in the United States. Their success is vital to the strength of the economy and the availability of jobs for all Americans rich and poor. Our bill provides every small business with 499 employees or less the ability to have a 20% tax cut. This is capital that will go straight to the bottom line, allowing our small businessmen and women to keep more of the money they earn so they can reinvest it into their business to grow and create jobs.
Prior to voting in support of this commonsense pro-growth legislation, I spoke in support of it on the House floor during general debate.
This week, I also had the opportunity to discuss importance of our small businesses with the folks over at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). We discussed how important fundamental and comprehensive tax reform is to the job creators in our small businesses.
Recognizing Tax Day
That collective grimace you felt on Tuesday was the American people sending their hard-earned money to Washington on tax day. As the President travels the country trying to sell the Buffett rule, most of us were filing our returns. A timely reminder that instead of increasing taxes, we should reform the tax code to make it fairer for families in order to spur greater investment, innovation and job creation here at home. To recognize tax day and more importantly to feature the dire need to reform and simplify our complex, costly, and overly time consuming tax code, I sent a letter to the editor to newspapers across Eastern Kansas. That letter can be read below. To that end, this week the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on possible reforms to certain tax-favored retirement savings plans that are likely to be considered as a part of comprehensive tax reforms. My questions during that hearing can be seen below as well.
Today is Tax Day. The day each year when most Americans feel Big Government's hand reaching into our pockets and taking some of our hard earned money. The one day a year, when honest, fair and comprehensive tax reform should be on the mind every American.
But incredibly, for a growing portion of the population, today will pass like any other day. Why? Because we have reached a key tipping point within our tax code. This year, 51% of households will pay no federal income taxes. Special deals and loopholes, accumulated over the years, allow far too many Americans to avoid federal taxes entirely. We clearly need tax reform, and we need it now.
For those of us in the 49%, each April we, as individuals, families, businesses and even tax professionals, struggle with the excessively complex behemoth that we call our tax code. At 3.8 million words, the code totals more words than the Bible, with far less good news. This year, Americans will spend about 6.1 billion hours and more than $160 billion complying with the tax code, with nearly 90% relying on software or professional preparers--costing the median individual $258 to file their taxes.
Reforming our tax code, however, will require Presidential leadership. Yet, rather than providing strong leadership, President Obama has used the opportunity for an election-year gimmick calling for tax increases on "the rich" also known as small businesses and family farmers, which doesn't come close to paying for his massive spending spree over the last three years.
In all of the President's talk about "smart investments," we must always remember that the tax code exists for the sole purpose of raising sufficient revenue to operate the government, not to take from some and give to others. Although further dividing our nation may make for good election year politics, the facts remain that when combined with Kansas' 6.45% income tax, under the President's plan the tax code is even more complex and many of our small businesses would have about half of their income taken by their government.
Experts across the political spectrum, including the President's own deficit commission, have argued that lowering rates and closing loopholes will create a simpler, fairer, more competitive tax code for all Americans. It is time to put the political rhetoric aside and do what is right for the country. Rein in our spending, eliminate tax loopholes, lower the rates, get our economy moving and restore fiscal sanity to America, so our children, like us, can grow up in the most powerful and prosperous nation on Earth.
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins