Saying that it was important to protect tax cuts for 99 percent of Americans, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) said that was the main reason he supported the last-minute deal to prevent the nation's economy from going over the so-called "fiscal cliff." Congressman Coble said making the Bush-era tax cuts permanent and protecting the $5 million exemption on the estate tax were features that convinced him to support the Senate-passed compromise.
"While far from a perfect piece of legislation," Rep. Coble stated, "I thought it was critical to make permanent tax relief for 99 percent of Americans. This bill will guarantee that the estate tax, one of the most onerous in the tax code, will remain at the $5 million exemption level. And while the rate will rise from 35% to 40% over $5 million, it would have gone to 55% for all estates over $1 million if we had done nothing. We probably heard from more constituents on that one feature in this tax package than any other because it severely hits so many small businesses, farms and families. While I am in favor of permanently repealing the estate or so-caIled death tax, this compromise was better than the alternative. I am also disappointed that spending reductions were not addressed in this legislation, but I remain committed to finding ways to reducing all levels of federal spending."
Rep. Coble said that other parts of the package that appealed to him included permanently indexing for inflation the Alternative Minimum Tax, permanently capping Capital Gains tax rates at 15% for singles with incomes up to $400,000 and for joint filers with incomes up to $450,000, extending the "Doc Fix" under Medicare for another year, along with extending the Farm Bill for one year, thus averting a drastic increase in milk and dairy products.
"We are far from done in our efforts to get a handle on runaway federal spending," Rep. Coble added. "I wish that this fiscal cliff package had addressed spending, but it did not. I thought it was important to get the tax debate settled, and now we can turn our focus towards spending. As we get close to reaching the debt ceiling, and our nation will be limited in any more borrowing, that will be the time for the House to assert its muscle and insist on significant reductions in entitlement and discretionary spending."