Rep. Rush Holt, Advocates, and New Jersey Business Owners Applaud US Senate Vote to End Bush Tax Cuts
for Richest 2% of Americans
Urge NJ House Members to Reject House GOP Proposal in Vote Next Week
Highland Park, NJ – State public interest advocates gathered on a teleconference today to laud the US Senate for voting to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans. Yesterday, the US Senate passed the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (S 3412), which would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the 98% of Americans who make less than $250,000 in household income, and end the Bush tax breaks above that level, by a 51 to 48 vote.
Congressman Rush Holt (D-Pennington) said, “Only the Republican majority in the House stands in the way of real tax relief for 98 percent of all Americans. The legislation actually proposed by the Republican majority would not only exempt people in the top 2 percent of income from paying their fair share but it would raise taxes on working families by reducing the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit for the lowest income people.”
“Let’s return to the tax rates that applied when the economy was most prosperous during the 1990s when we created 22 million jobs before these costly tax cuts took effect,” the Congressman continued.
The US House is expected to vote on an alternative measure next week which would extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans regardless of income. A similar measure (S3413) failed in the Senate yesterday by a 54 to 45 vote.
“The Senate got it right yesterday: it’s time we stop giving large tax cuts to those who need them the least at the expense of the vast majority of New Jersey residents who are struggling to get by and really need a break. We hope that the US House will get the message and start restoring fairness in our tax system instead of continuing to rig the system in favor of the wealthy few,” said Ann Vardeman, Organizer with NJ Citizen Action.
According to research conducted by the research groups New Jersey Policy Perspective and Citizens for Tax Justice, the Senate proposal is the most fiscally responsible and the most helpful to middle and low income Americans and New Jerseyans, while the House GOP proposal is biased in favor of tax cuts to the wealthy. Under the Senate proposal, in 2013 the poorest 20 percent of New Jerseyans would receive an average tax cut of $290 while the richest one percent would get an average tax cut of $19,020. Under the House proposal, the poorest 20 percent of New Jerseyans would receive an average tax cut of $140 while the richest one percent would receive an average cut of $90,980.
The House plan would give 30.5 percent of the tax cuts to the richest one percent of New Jerseyans, leaving just 69.5 percent for the other 98 percent. The Senate plan would give 91.7 percent of the cuts to the 99 percent, and just 8.3 percent to the state’s richest one percent. The House GOP proposal would also allow three crucial tax credits for working families to expire, effectively raising taxes in 2013 by $213 million on 218,863 New Jersey families with 442,175 children.
“The evidence is overwhelming that the Senate proposal (S3412) is a much better deal for practically all New Jerseyans,” said Gordon MacInnes, President of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “The real facts – that the House plan would effectively raise taxes on New Jersey’s working families by $213 million in 2013 alone – show how hollow the popular ‘no new tax’ orthodoxy truly is.”
Henry Passapera owns a small business, P&R Trading Inc, which sells aircraft parts and equipment in East Rutherford. “My partner and I, we’ve been in business for 32 years and employ 12 people. I’m proud of the business we’ve created and the people we employ. We pay our taxes and think everyone else should do their part as well. However, when people say that the Senate plan will hurt small businesses, that’s simply not true. My taxes won’t go up under the Senate plan and neither will the taxes of 97 percent of small business owners’.”
“Some Republicans claim that ending these tax cuts will impact hiring at small businesses, but it’s not true,” Passapera continued. “Business drives hiring at our business, not income tax cuts. We hire when we have more business than our current workforce can handle, not because of a tax cut on our take home pay.”
Herb Greenberg, CEO and founder of Caliper Corp in Princeton, would see his taxes go up under the just passed Senate bill. “I think the Senate is right and my taxes should go up. Those of us who are lucky enough to have done well here in America ought to do right by America and pay our fair share. The wealthiest of us have received the biggest tax breaks, and that’s just not right.”