Like many people from western Wisconsin, I believe our country needs a fair tax policy that helps, not punishes, hardworking families and small businesses. As you may know, the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was developed in the 1970s to ensure that America's wealthiest could not take advantage of the tax code in a way that would allow them to avoid paying taxes all together. However, the AMT has never been indexed for inflation, and without legislative action, it will reach into the pocketbooks of millions of middle-class families it was never intended to hit. Over 20 percent of Wisconsin taxpayers currently pay the AMT, the sixth highest rate in the nation.
As a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, I believe we can fix the AMT without passing a legacy of debt on to our children. Congressional Democrats twice sent the Senate a budget-neutral bill that would have prevented the AMT from reaching more middle income taxpayers in 2008. The cost of this fix would have been offset by preventing the wealthiest hedge-fund managers to escape U.S. tax liability by moving millions of dollars off-shore. The President and Senate Republicans, however, chose to reject this responsible measure, favoring instead a bill that implements the 2008 AMT fix without any budgetary offsets, adding $50 billion to our already historic national debt. That legislation was eventually signed into law on December 26, 2007.
A gain, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with additional comments or questions. I also encourage you to visit my website, where you can stay updated on what is happening with tax reform by signing up for my e-newsletter.