At a forum hosted by the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association, Kelly Ayotte (R) and Paul Hodes (D) debated the merits of extending the Bush tax cuts for all and argued over whether or not the stimulus package was successful. More here.
On the stimulus:
“It’s not the government that’s going to create jobs in this country, it’s our small businesses, it’s the private sector,” Ayotte said when asked about the 8,300 jobs the state has reported saving or creating with $355 million spent so far in stimulus money. “Many of the so-called jobs that were created under the stimulus were essentially temporary jobs, government jobs, not private sector growth.”
Hodes defended the stimilus package as something that “had to be done” in an emergency situation created by the faltering economy.
“Nobody wanted to make those investments,” Hodes said, while citing a Manchester teacher who is working because of stimulus funds.
On tax cuts:
Hodes said letting the tax cuts for the wealthy expire would save $700 billion, calling it “simply reckless” to allow them to continue. Meanwhile he said extending them for lower tax brackets would allow the middle class to propel the economy.
“What’s really important is to make sure that we are putting money in the pockets of people who will spend it,” Hodes said. “If you give tax breaks to the very wealthiest, one thing is clear: They hold on to it. They dont spend that money into the economy.”
Ayotte said allowing the tax cuts to expire would hurt small business and equate to a $300 million tax increase for New Hampshire.
“It’s the wrong philosophy to raise taxes during these difficult economic times,”she said.