Aug. 2 U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and House Republicans passed H.R. 8, a bill euphemistically titled the “Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012.” Unfortunately, H.R.8 has absolutely nothing to do with job protection or recession prevention. In fact, it does exactly the opposite. It kills jobs and increases the deficit.
Simply put, H.R. 8 extends the “temporary” tax reductions passed in 2001 and 2003 by the George W. Bush administration, reductions that helped to explode the deficit and rob the treasury of funds necessary to build and maintain infrastructure, hire police, fire, teachers and other public sector employees.
One week earlier, Senate Democrats passed a bill that extends tax breaks only for individuals earning less than $200,000 and married couples making less than $250,000. Taxes would return to Clinton-era levels only on those earning roughly $4,000 or more per week. Unfortunately, House Republicans seem determined to further explode the deficit by retaining the temporary cuts to protect historically low rates for top earners.
Kinzinger, signer of the Grover Norquist tax pledge, continues to vote against the will of the American people who want job creation as a primary focus and deficit reduction attacked over time. While Kinzinger and the GOP continue to refer to the very wealthy, whose tax rates they protect, as “job creators,” the other 99 percent of Americans recognize that these so-called job creators have done nothing but hoard tax windfalls while offshoring and cutting hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
Ten years of tax breaks on top earners did not produce jobs. It’s time to return to tax rates that make sense, levels that helped spark incredible economic growth for all income levels while producing a surplus. It’s time for Mr. Kinzinger and those who pledged their votes to Mr. Norquist to return their allegiance to their constituents and the betterment of the nation they swore to serve and protect.
From the Aug. 22-28, 2012, issue