“I don’t know if there is a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that was important to them,” Majority Leader Harry Reid put it just before Christmas. “And if they don’t have something in it important to them, then it doesn’t speak well of them.” Actually, it doesn’t speak well of our elected officials when they’re buying votes with our tax money. They should show some real leadership, start over and draft a reform bill that really helps people.
Finally, nobody likes a tax increase, so Congress should get to work on making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. Many of those cuts are set to expire at the end of this year. Unless they’re renewed, lower-income Americans will suffer. For example, at the end of 2010:
• The 10-percent tax bracket would disappear, replaced by a 15-percent rate.
• Couples would see the marriage penalty return.
• Taxpayers with children would lose 50 percent of their child tax credits.
It’s seldom a good idea to raise taxes. But jacking them up as the country is struggling to recover from recession would be especially bad and could push us back to the brink of economic disaster.
As this election year kicks off, our leaders would do well to listen to the wisdom of the people -- before they learn it first hand in November.