Kansas First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a member of the House Budget Committee, released a new video today highlighting last year's warning about the potential downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, but also looking ahead to the "fiscal cliff" that looms at the end of the year. The video - released right after the Congressional Budget Office issued a dire warning about the economic outlook for 2013 - highlights Congressman Huelskamp talking about The American Opportunity and Freedom Act, a bill he introduced in January to make permanent the Bush-Obama tax cuts.
"Washington made a huge mistake in 2011 by ignoring the early, repeated warnings from myself and others about the potential downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, and our creditworthiness suffered as a result," said Congressman Tim Huelskamp. "Our economy cannot afford for Washington to ignore again the warnings about the massive tax increases scheduled to hit the economy on January 1, 2013. We do need comprehensive tax reform -- but more importantly, we need to stop these economically devastating tax hikes. My legislation, The American Opportunity and Freedom Act (HR 3804), would make the Bush-Obama tax cuts permanent until replaced by comprehensive tax reform."
According to the Congressional Budget Office, failure on the part of Congress to address the fiscal challenges at the end of the year -- notably the expiring tax cuts -- would result in overall GDP growth of 0.5 percent in calendar year 2013. However, GDP would shrink during the first two quarters of calendar year 2013; a recession is defined as having two consequent quarters of negative GDP growth.
Congressman Huelskamp's legislation, The American Opportunity and Freedom Act (HR 3804), will implement permanently:
Income tax brackets of 10, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent (as opposed to 15, 28, 31, 36, and 39.6 percent, as scheduled)
Capital gains tax rate of 15 percent (and a 10 percent rate for those in the 10 and 15 percent rates)
A child tax credit of $1,000
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: A deduction for post-secondary educational expenses