U.S. Senate puts middle class before richest 2 percent
National Education Association statement on yesterday’s Senate vote to extend middle class tax cuts while allowing them to expire for the richest 2%.
Yesterday, Senate Democrats put hardworking Americans before billionaires and Wall Street barons when they passed a measure to extend tax rates for families with an annual income of up to $250,000 a year. The plan, based on President Obama’s proposal, would benefit 98 percent of taxpayers, and would create nearly $1 trillion in new tax revenue.
Earlier in the day, Senate rejected a Republican proposal to extend all Bush-era tax cuts for one year, including extensions of cuts that only benefit the richest 2 percent of Americans. According to a White House report, if the middle class tax cut isn’t signed into law by the end of the year, the average American will see his or her tax bill increase by roughly $1,600 in 2013. The average family of four would see its taxes rise by nearly $2,200 next year.
“This is a huge win for hard working men and women. The Senate has issued a challenge to the House: Put partisanship aside and put working families on the front burner,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Now it’s up to the House to step up to the plate and stop holding middle class tax cuts hostage just to score political points with ‘big business’ and the richest 2 percent who bankroll their campaigns.”
“Today’s vote confirmed what many of us already knew. There are two very distinct visions for our future: one that ensures the rich get richer and the other which ensures everyone gets a fair shot by making the necessary investments for economic growth. Democrats in the Senate made it clear they believe in a vision where opportunity isn’t determined based upon what one can afford. It’s up to the House to follow their example. We must come together around the right vision for America—and the first step should be to support the middle class through extended tax cuts,” said Van Roekel.
President Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to a temporary two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts in 2010. That extension expires on December 31, 2012.
Americans for Tax Fairness praised Senate Democrats for passing a bill to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 in household income and end the Bush tax breaks above that income level, which disproportionately benefit the richest 2 percent. The Senate voted to pass the bill, the Middle Class Tax Cuts Act (S. 3412), by a 51 to 48 vote.
“Senate Democrats took a giant step today to start restoring fairness in our tax system that every American knows is rigged in favor of the wealthy few,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager for Americans for Tax Fairness. “There is no better example of how unfair our tax system is than the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent. They give someone who makes more than $1 million a year an average tax break of about $150,000 more than the Middle Class Tax Cut Act does. Tax cuts should not go to those who need them the least.”
Click here to read the complete statement from American’s for Tax Fairness.
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