U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) released the following background and statement on the Senate passing of the Tax Relief Extension Act:
"Tax increases are damaging to the economy and make it more difficult for everyday Kansans to make ends meet. Unfortunately unless legislation was passed to prevent it, every taxpayer would have seen a significant increase in their tax bill beginning January 1. These increases would affect all income levels--in fact an average Kansas wage earning with an income of $43,000 would see an additional $3000 increase in their taxes--$250 every month.
"My goal has been to see that these tax increases affect the fewest number of Americans as possible. This bill protects 99% of all Americans. It also limits the increases that would otherwise occur in taxes on dividends and capital gains. And most importantly to Kansas farmers, ranchers and business owners permanently reduces the estate tax rates and locks in a 10 million per couple exemption. Gone are the short term fixes, allowing people to more confidently plan for the future.
"Preventing tax increases on nearly all Americans is an important success. With permanent tax rates in place families and business owners can have the certainty necessary to make economic decisions, invest in capital and equipment, create jobs, and grow the economy. But it is important to note that this legislation only addresses one aspect of the "fiscal cliff.' What is missing is the larger and more damaging problem of our nation's debt and deficits. The Treasury Department has indicated that the debt ceiling has been reached and in the first few months of the new year Congress will be asked to raise the ceiling to allow the federal government to borrow even more money. I voted against an increase two years ago and want Kansans to know I will not vote to allow President Obama's administration to borrow more money unless we substantially change the way the government does business and we significantly reduce spending. There is no flexibility here--our country's future is as stake and our children's ability to pursue the American dream at risk.
"This week we heard the President say that he wants tax increases as part of a future package to address the remaining items of the "fiscal cliff'--sequestration and increasing the debt ceiling. I have not seen any instances where the president is willing to reduce spending or eliminate a government program. I can't imagine many Americans thought the President's desire to raise taxes was to enable more spending, but believed any increase revenue was for deficit reduction. The President has demonstrated that he wants to again raise taxes so government can spend even more. Not with my vote. Spending is now front and center in this debate, uncomplicated by the issues of the Bush tax cuts expiring at the end of 2012. The President should lead and our new year's resolution must be getting our country out of debt."