Sen. Rob Portman tells Newsmax that President Obama’s proposal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts but to let them expire for the wealthiest Americans is merely a “campaign agenda item” designed to divide Americans.
“It’s clearly politics for the president. He knows it can’t pass,” the Ohio Republican says in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.
“The concern about it for someone like me who is a small business owner is that most companies in America organize through the individual tax code, not the corporate tax code. And if they are a successful small business they might make more than $218,000 a year, which is the cutoff the president decides to use. Over half the employees in America work for these kinds of companies.
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“ If you look at who’s going to be impacted, it’s almost a million small businesses. So at a time when we’re trying to get out from under this terrible recovery, the worst recovery since the Great Depression, it’s not the time to be raising taxes on small businesses.
“It can’t pass but it’s a political year so he’s going to continue to promote it, really not so much as a serious policy proposal but as a campaign agenda item where he thinks he’s going to be able to divide Americans.
“I think what Americans want to see is reform of the whole tax code. I think they believe the current code is a mess, they think it’s too complex, it’s inefficient, it’s nine times as long as the Bible and not nearly as interesting.
“So instead of arguing about Bush tax cuts here or there and taxes on the rich, let’s reform the code and let’s help everybody. Democrats and Republicans alike acknowledge that we need to have a reform of the tax code to make it simpler and make it work better for all of us.
“I would hope this campaign would instead be about how to get the economy moving. It’s certainly not by raising taxes on small businesses. It is by reforming the tax code.”
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