Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today released a list of 88 American economists who warn that the looming January 1 tax hike supported by President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders -- which independent accounting firm Ernst & Young says will hit thousands of small businesses and cost the U.S. more than 700,000 jobs -- will hurt the economy and must be stopped before it goes into effect.
"President Obama was wrong when he told small business owners "you didn't build that'," said Speaker Boehner. "Entrepreneurs and innovators are responsible for their success, not government, and we need to get Washington out of their way. These economists agree: stopping all of the tax hikes scheduled for January 1 is necessary to prevent further job losses and damage to our nation's economy."
Economists say the looming tax hikes threaten private-sector job growth, and are calling them everything from "patently irresponsible" to "misguided in the extreme":
"Small businesses -- which stoke employment growth in this country -- will be hit by these increased tax rates," said Dr. Susan Feigenbaum of the University of Missouri-St. Louis Department of Economics. "Compounding this will be the ObamaCare mandates and additional tax hikes. If you are currently unemployed, you'll be able to thank these tax increases for remaining unemployed [next year]."
"The tax hikes scheduled to hit the American economy on January 1, 2013, are misguided in the extreme. Expenditure cuts -- of all kinds -- are the path to fiscal responsibility," said Dr. Jeffrey Miron of Harvard University.
"It is patently irresponsible for Congress to allow massive tax increases to kick in while the economy is still weak," said Dr. Corrine Krupp of Duke University. "It is even more irresponsible to create and foster an environment of uncertainty about future taxes now when households and businesses are planning for the future. Members of Congress should sit down and do the work they were elected to do, and stop the race to the fiscal cliff."
A bipartisan majority in the GOP-led House of Representatives voted yesterday to stop all of the coming tax hikes. The Democratic-controlled Senate, however, has taken no action to prevent taxes from being raised on small businesses -- and Senate Democratic leaders indicated in a letter Wednesday that no action is planned in the coming weeks. Speaker Boehner and other House leaders have pledged that if the Senate passes legislation to stop all of the coming tax hikes, they will bring the House back into session in August if needed to ensure final legislation is sent quickly to the president.