U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today cast votes on two tax measures that signal his opposition to federal tax increases particularly at a time when the U.S. economy continues to struggle with high unemployment rates and flat growth.
The Senate on Wednesday voted on two competing measures--a Republican plan to extend all existing tax rates for 2013 and a Democratic plan to allow tax increases that would be particularly detrimental to small business owners, farmers and ranchers.
"Our nation is muddling through a period of sustained economic weakness that will not be improved by increasing taxes. All taxpayers deserve the certainty of knowing that their tax bill from the federal government will not soon increase, especially small business owners, farmers and investors that are important to job creation and economic growth," Cochran said.
Cochran voted for the Republican measure (S.3413), which was stalled on a 45-54 vote. The Senator subsequently voted against the Democratic tax hike proposal (S.3412), which passed on a 51-48 tally.
The Democratic tax hike plan would increase taxes on incomes over $200,000 for single filers and on incomes exceeding $250,000 for joint filers. In addition, the legislation does not address the estate tax, which would allow it to revert to a $1.0 million exemption level per decedent and a top tax rate of 55 percent.
S.3413, the Tax Hike Prevention Act, would extend all Bush-era tax cuts for 2013 and extend the 2010 estate tax rates through 2013 to allow for a $5 million exemption level per decedent and a top tax rate of 35 percent.