Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today voted for H.R. 8, the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012. This legislation would extend through December, 2013, the low-tax policies originally enacted in 2001 as part of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act.
"I cannot support raising taxes on Americans while we struggle to emerge from a recession," said Simpson. "Tax relief is vital to job creation, and in times of economic uncertainty it is especially important that we implement policies that promote growth in our nation's economy."
Some of the tax relief extensions include:
Lower marginal rates. H.R. 8 would extend the current tax rates through December 2013. By enacting H.R. 8 into law a family of four earning $50,000 a year will keep $2,200 in taxes they would have to pay if the tax rates expired.
Marriage penalty relief. H.R. 8 would extend the existing marriage penalty relief through 2013.
$1,000 child credit. Under current law, a tax credit in the amount of $1,000 per child under the age of 17 is available, but it is scheduled to revert to $500 per child in 2013. H.R. 8 extends the $1,000 child credit amount through 2013.
Estate tax relief. The lower estate tax rate is scheduled to revert to its increased pre-2001 levels in 2013. H.R. 8 extends the current rate through 2013.
Education-related and other tax benefits. Currently there are various education-related tax benefits -- including an exclusion for certain employer-provided educational assistance and an expansion of the student loan interest deduction. Under current law, these education-related and other tax benefits are scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Under H.R. 8, these benefits would be extended through 2013.
"While I remain extremely concerned about our ever growing national debt, to simply allow these tax relief provisions to expire now would be detrimental to our fragile economy and simply ending them is not a responsible approach to reducing the debt," said Simpson. "The proposal by congressional Democrats to end the tax relief for individuals making more than $200,000 per year, including small businesses, the primary job creators in the country, is not a real solution. Their proposed policy would only save enough money per year to pay off interest payments on the debt for one month. It does not address the problem or reduce the debt."
H.R. 8 passed the U.S. House with a final vote of 256-171. Tomorrow the House will also consider a companion bill, H.R. 6169, the Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012. This tax reform legislation will direct relevant committees in Congress to develop comprehensive tax reform that yields lower rates and closes special-interest loopholes.
"As Congress debates proposals to address the budget crisis, conversation about fundamentally reforming our tax code is a key factor in the discussions," said Simpson. "If we truly want to get our budget deficit under control, we must fundamentally reform our tax code. The tax code should be a simple system intended to raise the necessary revenue for appropriate government functions, not a complex system through which the government directs social behavior."