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Detroit, Michigan 48214 | p. (313) 926-5000
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DETROIT -- We are deeply disappointed that the House Republicans voted to block Congressman Sandy Levin's amendment that would extend tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and instead would provide more tax cuts to those who need them the least: the wealthiest Americans. It is time that Congress got its priorities straight and stopped giving ever-expanding tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.
The House Republicans' bill prevents us as a nation from making needed investments that would create jobs, fund critical programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and education, and adds unnecessarily to our debt. After witnessing the impacts of the George W. Bush presidency, the trickle-down theory has once again been proven a failure.
House Republicans voted to extend tax breaks that provide millionaires with an average tax cut of $143,000 while at the same time ending tax credits which would cost a worker with two children earning $14,500 for a full-time minimum wage job $1,545 in tax benefits next year. This is a burden working families cannot, and should not, be forced to bear.
Our existing tax code greatly contributes to our nation's expanding income inequalities; far too many wealthy individuals and corporations are able to escape their current financial responsibilities. According to the Tax Policy Center, an estimated 7,000 millionaires paid no individual income taxes in 2011. The 400 highest-earning Americans in 2008 -- who each made an average of $271 million -- paid an average effective federal tax rate of just 18.1 percent. At the same time, a married couple making $70,000 pays a rate of 25 percent.
This is simply wrong, and Congress must take immediate action on behalf of the middle class. Having a vibrant middle class is important for our democracy and the future of our economy.
The right wing in Congress needs to stop playing politics with working families and our economy by extending middle class tax cuts and ending tax cuts for the wealthy.