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Gohmert Discusses Effect of Looming Fiscal Cliff


Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) issued the following statement concerning the looming fiscal cliff and the effect that higher taxes will have on all east Texans:

"It appears fairly clear that the President believes the conventional DC wisdom that if there is no agreement regarding the fiscal ledge, then the President and the Democratic Party will win politically. Each time it appears that Speaker Boehner tries to move in the President's direction, the President's position seems to become more unreasonable. When federal taxes have been netting around $2.4 trillion, with the President continuing to push for spending more than $3.4 trillion, and then the President proposes raising taxes but still have a net increase in overall spending for "stimulus" purposes, it appears the children are in charge of the candy store.

He promised to raise taxes only on the millionaires and billionaires, but defines that as including anyone making more than $200,000, not understanding that nearly two-thirds of businesses in America are not incorporated, but just pay regular, personal income tax rates. Having tax rates go up on those individuals who have unincorporated businesses will be crushing to perhaps two-thirds of our businesses as well.

According to the Heritage Foundation, if the tax provisions expire at the end of this year the average income tax in 2013 is estimated to go up by $2,570 per tax return for our own current east Texas district. The total increase for the entire district in 2013 is estimated to be over $814 million. Some struggling owners have already said they will have to let people go to pay the extra taxes. This means more people out of work, less people paying taxes, and overall LESS tax revenue coming in.

The President has also made clear that he would like to eliminate certain deductions for the "greedy" oil companies.

Unfortunately, the most significant deductions he wants to eliminate are not even allowed to be taken by the largest oil companies. This, in turn, would put many independent oil and gas companies out of business. It has been projected that 94-95% of all oil and gas wells in the continental U.S. are drilled or operated by independent oil companies, not the big ones.

The devastating tax changes in the President's jobs act would likely eliminate over 90% of the drilling operations in east Texas, causing widespread economic wreckage--not to mention driving up the price of gasoline to previously unseen levels.

What should have been done, and still needs to be done, is pursuing legislation the way the Constitution intended--having open debate and amendments for all to see who is pushing for and against what provisions. Then have a vote on it in the House and Senate and send it to the White House. Our system was never intended to have the most important legislation secretly negotiated behind closed doors. The sooner President Obama and Speaker Boehner realize that, the better off we all will be.

We do not have to do this so fast that the country suffers from unintended consequences of hastily thrown together law. It should have already been done; however, we can still accomplish this by the end of January and have it apply to the first of the year without risking bad legislation through "haste making waste." We ought to all be called to the open debate in the Capitol and stay until it gets done--the Constitutional way.

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