31 Dems Oppose Obama, Pelosi on Tax Cut Expiration

Friday, 17 Sep 2010 12:53 PM

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President Obama's plan to let Bush-era tax cuts expire for wealthier Americans -- many of whom own small businesses that economists say are the No. 1 producer of new U.S. jobs -- is in jeopardy following the release of a letter signed by 31 House Democrats who are calling on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to extend them.

The letter warns Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer that "raising any taxes right now could negatively impact economic growth," adding "our economy is still recovering and decisive action needs to be taken to assist the recovery moving forward."

Read the text of the letter below.

The 31 Democratic members of Congress who signed the letter are:

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah
Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich.
Rep. Melissa Bean, D- Ill.
Rep. Glenn Nye, D-Va.
Rep. Michael McMahon, D-N.Y.
Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Tenn.
Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo.
Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind.
Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla.
democrats,letter,against,tax,cuts,bush,pelosi,obama,blue,dogs,reidRep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.
Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.
Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla.
Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio
Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa.
Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif.
Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.
Rep. Frank Kratovil, D-Md.
Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.
Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz.
Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga.
Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D-S.D.
Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.
Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark.
Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va.
Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M.
Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss.
Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Ind.
Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Idaho.
Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

A number of tax cuts enacted in the past decade are due to expire at the end of this year. Our fiscal policy should be one that maximizes economic growth and private sector job creation. That is why we strongly believe that Congress should extend the current tax rates for dividend and long-term capital gains taxes.

By keeping dividends and capital gains tax rates linked and low for everyone, we can help the private sector create jobs and allow seniors and middle class households to save and invest more. A dividends tax increase would impede our nation's economic recovery by decreasing the amount of capital that companies would have access to, thereby slowing the private sector's ability to grow and create jobs.

We also have a responsibility to protect middle class families and seniors from harmful tax increases and their economic impact. Raising the tax rate on dividends would likely cause some companies to forego paying dividends and others to pay a lower amount to shareholders. These outcomes would disproportionately affect seniors and those saving for retirement as they represent a large portion of investors who own dividends paying stocks. Many seniors depend on this income to supplement their fixed retirement income. A recent study found that in 2007 over 27 million tax returns had dividends qualifying for the tax rate reduction. Of those returns, 61 percent were from taxpayers age 50 and older and 30 percent were from taxpayers age 65 and older.

Our economy is fragile. We need tax policies that will promote our recovery. Raising taxes on capital gains and dividends could discourage individuals and businesses from saving and investing. We urge you to maintain the current tax rate for both dividend and long-term capital gains taxes.

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