Republicans and Democrats agree that we need to take action to address the deficit, and we all agree that middle class Americans should not see an increase in their taxes at the end of the year. This ought to be a no-brainer, but instead, Congress is in gridlock once again. On August 1, I supported a Senate approved bill that extends a tax cut for all Americans, including even the wealthiest Americans who will see a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. However, the Republican majority refused to support the Senate legislation because it wouldn't enact an additional tax cut for income levels above $250,000 -- for the top 2% of earners.
Estimates suggest that the Republican plan to expand tax cuts for the top 2% would add $50 billion to the deficit each year. The Republican plan also lets tax credits for 25 million working families expire, raising taxes on this group by an average of $1,000 per year. We simply cannot afford to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans and get our deficit under control at the same time.
I want to see Congress pass a plan that is fair -- one that will get our deficit under control, provide certainty to small businesses and families, and focus on creating jobs and growing the economy without raising taxes on 98% of American workers.