The Middle Class Tax Cut Act, which was approved by the senate last summer, would extend tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 a year or couples making less than $250,000 a year. It would include extensions of the improvements to the child tax credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that have lifted 6.3 million people, including 3.3 million children, out of poverty in 2010. It would also extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) that makes college more affordable.
While this bill would not resolve the fiscal cliff -- it would allow federal extended Unemployment Insurance benefits to expire, and would leave “sequestration” — indiscriminate across the board spending cuts to both military and domestic discretionary spending — in place. But the votes on these bills will strongly shape the final deal that must be negotiated. Congress members should vote YES for extending the expiring tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000 — including the refundable CTC, EITC and AOTC. Congress members should vote NO on Speaker Boehner's "Plan B".
July 25, 2012
Wider Opportunities for Women strongly urges your support for the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (S. 3412), introduced by Majority Leader Harry Reid. As a first step, please vote to invoke cloture so that the legislation can move forward.
Ending the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy while maintaining them on all income up to $250,000 is important for several reasons. First, middle class and low-income families cannot bear the kind of tax increase now scheduled to take place next January with the expiration of all the tax cuts. Second, neither can our communities, schools, and social support systems bear the additional loss of services, income and jobs that would come from another round of budget cutting without substantially increasing tax revenues from those who can most afford to pay. Finally, enacting the Middle Class Tax Cut will help restore equity to the American tax system and forestall another economic slowdown.
The Middle Class Tax Cut will maintain current tax provisions for all taxpayers on their income up to $250,000 per year. To that extent, it treats all individuals and families, including the very wealthy, the same. All families will continue to be eligible for the refundable Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit as well as the Bush-era
rates on income up to $250,000. In contrast, the Hatch-McConnell bill (S.3401) extends the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent of taxpayers over $250,000 and discontinues the improvements in the child and low-income tax credits, as well as the American Opportunity Tax Credit for secondary education.
July 25, 2012
On behalf of the more than one million active and retired members of the UAW, I am writing to ask that you vote for cloture and final passage of S. 3412, the Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2012. This bill would extend tax cuts for middle class families and would end the Bush-era tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy prevent us from making needed investments to create jobs, fund critical programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and education, and piles on additional and unnecessary debt onto our growing deficit. After witnessing the impacts of the George W. Bush presidency, the Trickle-Down theory has once again been proven a failure. It’s time that Congress got its
priorities straight and stopped giving ever expanding tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. We urge you to oppose any amendments to extend tax cuts for the wealthy.
The UAW strongly supports extending tax cuts for middle class families. S. 3412 would maintain the historically low tax rates for individuals earning less than $200,000 and couples earning less than $250,000. In turn, 98 percent of Americans would receive their full tax cuts next year, and all Americans would receive a tax cut on their first $250,000 in income. Included in S. 3412, is an important provision that would increase the tax on long-term capital gains from the current 15 percent, to 20 percent.
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we urge you to support cloture on S. 3412, the Middle Class Tax Cut Act. S. 3412 strikes a fair and responsible balance between keeping taxes low for the overwhelming majority of Americans, on one hand, and ensuring fiscal soundness and preserving the basic functions of government, on the other. We will include your vote on cloture in our voting records for the 112th Congress.
As a coalition of more than 210 national civil and human rights organizations concerned with our economy, jobs, protecting critical services for lower- and middle-class Americans, and meeting our fiscal challenges, we believe that the portion of tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush that benefit the richest two percent of Americans must be allowed to expire at the end of this year. It is time to begin to restore some basic fairness to our tax system.
Ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans, households with incomes over $250,000, is simply asking them to pay their fair share. Contrary to straw-man arguments that some have made, we do not denigrate financial success or support “class warfare.” While we are troubled by the fact that the gap between the richest households and everyone else in the U.S. has widened to historically high levels, we are even more troubled by the fact that the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans have exploded the deficit and failed to result in economic growth.
We simply cannot afford to continue fiscally irresponsible tax breaks for the richest two percent and simultaneously address critical national priorities like improving the quality of and access to our education system, strengthening Medicare, creating jobs, improving our infrastructure, and helping millions of families that are still struggling to make ends meet. We as a nation will be forced to borrow more money, adding to deficits, increasing the interest we must pay on our debt, and making it harder to effectively address our significant long-term fiscal challenges.
At the same time, we also urge you to reject any effort to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts, or even to extend them up to the $1 million income level. With the threshold set at $250,000, 98 percent of Americans would receive their full tax cuts next year, and all Americans would continue to benefit from a lower tax rate on their first $250,000 in income.
July 25, 2012
The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 3412 to prevent income taxes from going up at the start of next year on millions of middle-class Americans.
If the Congress does not act, a typical middle-class family of four will see its taxes rise next year by $2,200 – a sizable financial hit for middle-class families that could hardly come at a worse time. By extending middle-class income tax relief for an additional year, S. 3412 will provide certainty to the 98 percent of Americans with incomes of less than $250,000 (for married couples) that their income taxes will not go up next year – strengthening the recovery by helping spur economic growth and job creation.
Extending middle-class tax cuts means continuing the temporary income tax relief currently scheduled to expire at the end of the year for the first $250,000 of income for married couples. If this temporary tax relief is not extended, over 35 million families will receive a smaller Child Tax Credit, while millions of low- and moderate-income working families will lose access to the credit altogether; 11 million middle-class families will no longer get help paying for college from the American Opportunity Tax Credit; married couples will see a tax increase of up to $890 from the expiration of the 10 percent tax bracket; and nearly 38 million middle-class couples will lose the temporary relief they are receiving from marriage penalties. Under the legislation, 97 percent of small businesses owners would continue to receive tax cuts on their business income, and small businesses that are investing in the economy will be able to claim immediate tax deductions for $250,000, rather than just $25,000, of new investments.
While preventing any income tax increases on 114 million American families earning less than $250,000, acceptable middle-class tax relief would not extend the tax cuts on income above that amount. But households at all income levels would benefit from middle-class tax relief. S. 3412 is similar to the President's proposal to extend the middle-class tax relief. Under the President’s proposal, even households with incomes over $1 million will continue to receive tax cuts averaging more than $10,000 from lower tax rates on their first $250,000 of income. In contrast, if all of the tax cuts were extended, including those that go only to the top 2 percent of households, tax cuts for households with incomes over $1 million would average about $160,000.
Rather than continuing the unaffordable and unneeded tax cuts for the highest-income 2 percent of Americans, middle-class tax relief, such as S. 3412, asks the best off to contribute to deficit reduction by paying income taxes at the same rates as during the 1990s, when the economy created nearly 23 million new jobs and the largest budget surplus in American history. Relative to S. 3412, continuing all of the income tax cuts for the top 2 percent of households for just one more year would add about $50 billion to the deficit. Making the high-income tax cuts permanent would add about $850 billion to deficits over the next 10 years, or nearly $1 trillion if the cost of proposed estate tax cuts is included as well. Allowing these tax cuts to expire is an essential component of the President's plan for balanced deficit reduction.
The Administration believes that the Nation's prosperity has always come from an economy that is built on a strong and growing middle class. All sides agree on the need to extend the tax cuts for the middle class – this legislation reflects that consensus, and should not be held hostage while debating the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy.