State Sen. Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee in the race for Maine's open U.S. Senate seat, applauded President Obama for his call Monday to extend Bush-era tax rates for families earning less than $250,000 a year, or 98 percent of all taxpayers.
Extending tax cuts to those earning $1 million a year would cost $366 billion over 10 years, money that should be used to reduce deficit, invest in job retraining and infrastructure, reinvigorate public education and create jobs, Dill said. She noted congressional Republicans and Democrats agree tax cuts for the middle class should be extended.
"There's no evidence tax cuts for the wealthy -- which we've tried for the past decade -- create jobs. The proof is very much otherwise," she said. "On the other hand, middle-class tax cuts help spur jobs because two-thirds of the U.S. economy is based on consumer spending."
Also, because 97 percent of small businesses make less than the $250,000 threshold, "It's like targeted stimulus for small businesses, which employ half of all working Americans," Dill said.
"I make decisions based on facts and science," Dill said. "The fact is, tax cuts for the wealthy have produced meager job growth at huge cost, while exploding the deficit and income inequality. We need new thinking and a new generation of leadership in Washington so our economy favors the middle class again.
"This is yet another stark contrast in the race for U.S. Senate," Dill said. "One candidate thinks tax cuts for the wealthy, with their vast income inequality and anemic job growth, is still the way to go. The other may say he's for tax fairness but we can't be sure, since he also vetoed modest wage increases, saddled the state with $1.2 billion in debt, and remains wishy washy about most issues that matter to working families and small businesses."