There used to be a broad consensus that raising taxes during a recession was a bad idea for families, businesses, and ultimately our country. Yet, today’s politicians have parted ways with common sense, pursuing reckless spending that’s financed by your tax dollars and mine. Meanwhile, our economy continues to spiral downward.
Consider the fact that a family of four making $6,400 per month — right in line with the $76,649 median income for married couples with minor children, as reported by 2009 census data — will see $179 less per month after taxes increase on January 1. In this tight economy, $179 per month is a lot of money. It’s the difference between taking a family vacation and staying at home. It could determine whether a child continues to take music lessons or gymnastics, or even has the chance to attend summer camp. Most importantly, it’s a huge percentage of a family’s monthly grocery budget. Some of us are looking at considerably more dinner menus that feature franks and beans.
Although Congress and the president have stated repeatedly that “jobs, jobs, jobs” is their main priority, their actions speak louder than their words. With Congress committing itself to tackling no less than 20 pieces of legislation in a potential lame-duck session, Liberty Central challenges members of Congress to make good on their promises, and prioritize the extension of the existing tax rates. Although some members of Congress claim that we can’t afford this given our massive budget deficit, what they fail to see is that the budget deficit has been exponentially deepened by historic levels of federal spending in recent years. Driven by a big-government agenda that’s failed to help consumers or industry, it’s no wonder that taxpayers are furious at the enormous waste of their money.
Many Americans — along with economists across the ideological spectrum who have studied the issue closely — know that raising taxes during a recession will not only make it harder to get by, but will also hinder prospects for job creation. Raising taxes simply cannot close the major budget gaps and, even more dangerously, will create uncertainty and disincentives for small businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs.
For these reasons, Congress must extend the current tax rates to all Americans. This is not the time for a select group in Washington to pick winners and losers among the taxpayers. Through their energetic support of our tax petition, Liberty Central members — a coalition of concerned, grassroots citizens from diverse backgrounds — demonstrate the sting Congress will deliver by failing to extend the tax cuts this year.
Once Liberty Central reaches 100,000 signatures, we will film our hand-delivery of the petition to Congress so that all citizens can see how the strength of their voices impacts Congress. Americans are paying close attention, and members of Congress should consider themselves warned.
– Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is the President and CEO of Liberty Central, Inc.