Make the Bush tax cuts permanent |

Make the Bush tax cuts permanent

U.S. Congressman Dean Heller
Special to the Appeal

If someone had told me I would vote against more than $200 billion in tax increases in just my first year in Congress, I would not have believed them. While there are those of us in Congress who are dedicated to cutting spending and reducing taxes, the majority party remains undaunted in their efforts to expand government. This year’s budget includes the largest tax increase in our country’s history – $683 billion in tax increases. This equates to nearly $3,000 for every taxpayer in Nevada.

As Americans work harder to make ends meet, we have one more bill to pay in April – our federal taxes. With working families paying more for food, gasoline and healthcare, the majority party in Congress now wants you to pay for more government. During this time of economic uncertainty, Congress should be looking for ways to strengthen middle class families, not ask them to pay more.

I firmly support making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. In addition to helping end the death tax on small businesses, which would keep $181 billion over five years in the hands of job-creating businesses, these important tax cuts will help spur our economy by encouraging investment. The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts also support families by reducing the unfair marriage tax penalty and extending the child tax credit. Allowing these tax cuts to expire, as the majority party proposes, will cost middle class working families more than $76 billion. I sponsored an amendment to the budget to preserve the child tax credit, but its consideration was denied. Expiration of these tax breaks will mean tax increases that not only affect job creation and growth, but will also reach deep into the pockets of middle class families.

The first priority for Congress should be fiscal discipline. Washington does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. If Congress follows the same path as last year, we will see proposals that increase taxes followed by bills that increase spending. Growing the size of government, increasing taxes, and discouraging investment is the opposite of what our economy and working families in Nevada need. Congress should instead consider proposals that reduce spending, lower the deficit, and provide permanent relief for all taxpayers.

With the cost of living increasing, families are being forced to choose between food and gas. Instead of taking steps to solve our country’s most pressing problems, the majority party in Congress has an agenda that increases taxes, ignores the economy, and extends taxpayer benefits to illegal immigrants. This needs to change.

• Congressman Dean Heller is a native of Carson City. He previously was an assemblyman in the Nevada Legislature and the Nevada Secretary of State.