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Boehner Column: Senate Democrats' "Thelma & Louise" Tax Ploy Threatens American Jobs


Location: Washington, DC

Today, John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column discussing Senate Democrats' willingness to push the nation over the fiscal cliff if they don't get their way on raising taxes on small businesses:

"Here is a simple truth: if we're going to fix the national debt, we have to have economic growth in America. And we won't have economic growth if we raise taxes on small businesses, the engine of private sector job creation in our country.

"Unfortunately, raising tax rates on small businesses is exactly what some in Washington propose to do on January 1, 2013. That's the date when the government will arrive at the edge of the so-called "fiscal cliff,' and by law, taxes will automatically increase unless alternative steps are taken to reduce the federal budget deficit.

"My colleagues and I in the House have been focused on this issue for much of the year, and have passed legislation to fight the debt through economic growth, rather than allowing the country to take a plunge off the fiscal cliff.

"Proponents of the looming tax hike don't call it a tax increase on small business, of course; they frame it as a tax increase on "the wealthy.' But the fact of the matter is it will dramatically impact small businesses in America.

"A study of the looming tax hike conducted by the independent accounting firm Ernst & Young was released in July by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation's largest small business organization. The study illustrates clearly that the January 1 tax increase favored by President Obama and his allies will significantly impact American small business, costing our economy more than 700,000 jobs.

"Confronted with this fact recently, President Obama -- who is leading the charge for the tax increase -- declined to challenge the study's findings. And, ominously, as the January 1 fiscal cliff draws closer, some in the president's party are digging in. Determined to raise taxes, some Democratic senators are signaling that they're willing to let the country go off the fiscal cliff if they don't get their way.

"My colleagues and I call this Democratic strategy "Thelma & Louise' economics. If you saw the movie, you know what we're talking about.

"Driving off the fiscal cliff would have disastrous effects for our country. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it would send the struggling U.S. economy into recession. And credit agencies such as Moody's indicate another downgrade of the nation's credit status is likely if an agreement isn't reached to steer clear.

"The stance being taken by these Democratic senators is rooted in the flawed belief that our country can spend, tax, and borrow its way out of debt.

"The problem, as the Ernst & Young report illustrates, is that raising taxes on small businesses will destroy jobs and inhibit growth. The only way we can fix the deficit and address the debt is to get the economy moving again, and keep it moving. That requires reform of both the tax code and the way the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Instead of raising tax rates on small businesses, we need an overhaul of the tax code that supports growth by closing loopholes and lowering taxes instead of raising them.

"Tax reform, done in this manner, will support economic growth and ultimately generate more revenue, which -- if accompanied by strict enforcement of the spending caps that were enacted last year -- can be used to balance the government's books. My colleagues and I in the House passed legislation this summer to start the ball rolling on such reform.

"The good news is that there is a foundation of support in both parties for such an approach. Not every Democrat in Washington agrees with the "Thelma & Louise' strategy. In the coming weeks and months, as the fiscal cliff nears, we will learn which faction within the Democratic Party carries the day."

Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.

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