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Federal Reserve Chairman Underscores Need to Avoid Tax Increases


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Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa made the following comment after a Finance Committee member meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the "fiscal cliff" presented by tax increases and budget cuts. Grassley is a senior member of the committee.

"The Federal Reserve chairman reiterated what we already know but it can't be said enough. Impending tax increases combined with the mandatory budget cuts would be a severe, negative shock to the economy. As many of us have argued for months, Congress should continue the bipartisan tax relief enacted in 2001. You don't raise taxes in a weak economy. President Obama himself recognized this in 2010 when he supported the bipartisan package that extended the 2001 provisions as well as AMT relief. The Federal Reserve chairman's strong message should persuade Democratic members of Congress and the President to take action. The responsible approach is to avoid raising taxes while unemployment remains at more than 8 percent."

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