Congressman Tim Bishop voted yesterday to cut taxes for all Americans, while extending current tax rates for all income below $250,000 for joint filers, including current rates for the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college, Child Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Allowing tax rates to expire for income earned above $250,000 will reduce the federal deficit by $930 billion over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The plan Bishop supported (H.R. 15) provides a tax cut to all Americans, but focuses relief on middle and working class families who are more likely to return the extra money to the economy, including 7.4 million families in New York. It would also protect taxpayers from the Alternative Minimum Tax for 2013. Though it had already passed in the Senate and would have been signed into law by the President if passed in the House, H.R. 15 was defeated on a largely party-line vote.
"We can all agree that America needs Social Security and Medicare, we need to provide for national defense and our veterans, we need to help the middle class, and we need to pay for all of it responsibly," said Congressman Bishop. "Reasonable people understand that we will never tackle our deficit without addressing revenues and the GOP plan to give the wealthiest Americans another tax break is a budget buster that won't help the economy."
Bishop voted against a GOP bill known as H.R. 8 that would increase the deficit by $50 billion next year to extend current rates for all income levels. The GOP bill would raise taxes on 25 million middle class families by an average of $1,000 by allowing the recent expansion of the college tax credit, Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, to expire. The average millionaire would see their taxes reduced by $160,000 under the bill, which passed with only one Republican voting in opposition; however, the plan has no chance of passage in the Senate.
Bishop highlighted an analysis from the nonpartisan Center for American Progress (CAP) that the GOP-supported tax hike would hurt America's military families. According to the CAP analysis, a corporal (E4) in the Marines with four years of service, who is married and has two children would see a tax increase of $448 under the GOP Plan; a military police staff sergeant (E5) in the Air Force with eight years' service, with a spouse and three young children at home, would see a tax increase of $1,118; and a private in the U.S. Army (E1) in his first year of service, who is married with an infant child, would see a $273 tax increase under the Republican plan.
"It's wrong to dole out tax cuts to those who don't need them while asking our military families and the middle class to make do with less," said Bishop. "The GOP needs to work with Democrats to extend tax relief to those who need it while putting our nation back on the right fiscal course. The American people sent us here to solve problems, not kick the can down the road."
Bishop is a member of the "Go Big" Coalition of 100 bipartisan House members who support a plan to reduce the deficit by $3-4 Trillion over 10 years with a balanced mix of spending reductions and reforms to the tax code to close loopholes and increase revenue.
"Everyone agrees that we should preserve the tax rates for 98% of Americans. Let's do that and send it to the President for his signature. Then we can sit down and discuss tax policy for the remaining wealthiest 2%," Bishop said.