Oppose H.R. 8’s Fiscally Irresponsible Extension of Bush-Era Tax Cuts Support a Substitute Like H.R. 15 to Help the Middle Class
Advocacy Letter - 07/31/12
Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we urge you to oppose H.R. 8, the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012. H.R. 8 would extend the Bush-era tax cuts through 2013, even for the wealthiest taxpayers, and even though such cuts will neither protect jobs nor prevent another recession. We strongly support striking a fair and responsible approach like H.R. 15, which maintains the current tax rates for 98% of Americans. Given the importance of this issue to the federal budget and the communities we represent, we will include your vote on H.R. 8 in our voting records for the 112th Congress.
As a coalition of more than 210 national civil and human rights organizations concerned with protecting our economy, jobs, and critical services for lower- and moderate-income Americans, and also with 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 restore some basic fairness and sound fiscal policy 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 while simultaneously addressing critical national priorities like education, health care, job training, infrastructure, scientific research, public safety and law enforcement, housing and social services, and helping millions of families that are still struggling to make ends meet. Extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans – regardless of whether they are affordable – will simply force our government to borrow more money, increase the size of our deficit, raise the interest we must pay on our debt, and make it harder to effectively address our significant long-term fiscal challenges.
We urge you to reject any effort to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts, as H.R. 8 would do. By setting the threshold at $250,000, as H.R. 15 and the Senate-passed S. 3412 propose, 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.
For these reasons, we urge you to oppose H.R. 8 and to support a more fiscally responsible approach. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us or Senior Counsel Rob Randhava at (202) 466-6058. Thank you.
President & CEO
Executive Vice President