Today, President Obama announced his intention to raise taxes on American families and small businesses by allowing several of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire at the end of the year. Below is Congressman Westmoreland's statement.
"Obviously I was deeply disappointed in the president's announcement today that he wants to raise taxes on thousands of American families and small businesses. But, like many of you I'm sure, I wasn't surprised. After all, the president has a proven track record of raising taxes to pay for his massive expansion of the federal government. Just look at ObamaCare.
"It was, however, a little shocking to hear this president utter the words, "we can't afford to keep that up.' He hasn't seemed too worried about what we can and cannot afford in the past. In fact, even with record deficits and debts, the president has continued to submit an annual budget request higher than the next while promoting his trillion dollar ObamaCare at the same time.
"Let's be clear here. The president doesn't want to increase taxes for the wealthy to help pay off our debts or our deficits. Instead, what he wants to do is use this issue to continue the politics of envy. By pitting the ambiguous "wealthy' against middle class Americans, he can distract people from the fact that it's his failed economic policies that have caused our sluggish economy. Essentially, he's saying, "It's not my fault unemployment is high -- blame the rich!' Never mind that a recent report by the Joint Committee on Taxation shows that 53% of those affected by this tax increase are small businesses owners. Those businesses and American families who the president deems too successful must be punished for their success.
"Look, we all can agree that the national debt is a huge problem. That's why I've been fighting tooth and nail to cut federal spending wherever we can. Unfortunately, the idea of cutting unnecessary, duplicative, or wasteful government spending doesn't seem to register with the president. Instead, he would rather raise taxes on American families and small businesses so he can keep expanding the government.
"I'm no economist. But as a former small business owner I can tell you that when the federal government increases the cost of doing business, it's just going to mean higher prices for consumers and fewer jobs for workers. Does the president not think that we've suffered enough under his failed economic policies that have prolonged this economic recession for more than three long years?
"Just like we did in 2010, House Republicans are going to fight the president's insistence we raise taxes while our economy continues to suffer. But it doesn't look like we will be alone. In fact, many prominent Democrats have gone on record saying raising taxes like the president has recommended will hurt the economy. And there are as many as six Senate Democrats who would most likely join Republicans in voting to extend the tax cuts.
"So clearly this is no longer a political issue -- Republicans and Democrats alike have joined economists to say that raising taxes right now could have a devastating impact on the American economy. Unfortunately, the president's speech today shows he's much more focused on saving his job than he is on creating jobs for any of the 12.7 million unemployed Americans," stated Westmoreland.