There is nothing that makes me happier than being a father. I am so proud of my children every day and could not imagine what my life would have been like without them. But, as parents know, raising children can be expensive. In fact, a recent study by the Department of Agriculture found that for a middle-income, two-parent family, the total average expected expenditures on a child from birth through age 17 has reached $234,900. That's nearly a quarter of a million dollars -- and doesn't even include the cost of college.
That's why Congress doubled the child tax credit as a part of the 2001 tax cuts. However, if Congressional Democrats continue to hold up the process of extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, parents could see that tax credit cut in half starting in January. And if you're a parent subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT), you could see that tax credit reduce or even completely disappear. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, 31 million families would pay an average of $1028 in higher taxes next year because of this tax increase on parents.
As a parent, I know that when it comes to providing for your family, every dollar counts. That's even truer right now as Americans are suffering through record high unemployment and a sluggish economy. And American families cannot afford to see their taxes increase more than $1000. That's why Congress needs to act in a bipartisan manner and extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts before the end of the year.
Congress has two choices: renew the current tax rate or do nothing, causing tax rates for all taxpayers to increase. Doing nothing is the worst thing we can do right now. We simply cannot afford higher taxes and more regulations. That's why I am going to continue to fight to renew all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
Next week on Tax Talk, I will discuss how the marriage penalty will be reinstated if the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are not renewed and what that means for American families. I encourage you to tune in next week by visiting my website.