In 2001 and 2003
, President Bush led a Republican Congress in cutting tax rates and the marriage penalty, increasing the child credit, eliminating the death tax, and reducing capital gains and dividend taxes. Without action by this Democratic Congress, those laws will expire in January 2011
, and Americans will face the largest tax increase in history. Congress should make the tax relief permanent.
If Congress fails to act, a typical family of four earning $50,000 a year will pay $2,100 more in taxes. The marriage penalty will return in full force, and the death tax will return to life. Expensive gasoline is painful; imagine if your family also had to pay $2,100 more in taxes.
Raising taxes on work leads to less work. Americans will have less incentive to enter the workforce, work and earn more, and invest in education.
When you hear that we should raise taxes on the rich, remember that most small businesses pay taxes as individuals. Raising the top tax rate will harm these small business owners, from restaurants and dry cleaners to shopkeepers and repairmen.
Raising taxes on capital gains and dividends will strangle business investment.
If Congress instead keeps taxes low and cuts spending, firms will invest more, productivity and wages will rise, and our economy will grow.
When you hear that dividends and capital gains relief helps only fat-cat investors, remember that half of American households are invested in the market, including seniors living on dividend and pension income, and families invested in prepaid college tuition plans.
If America raises taxes on capital, that capital and the better jobs created by it will go elsewhere.
Some say we can't afford more tax cuts. It is important to remember that our deficit challenge is a long-term problem driven by future increases in Social Security and health care spending. Washington should cut its spending so American families don't have to cut theirs.
Future tax increases will impede further economic growth if the Democratic Congress stalls. American workers, consumers and entrepreneurs are doing their part to keep our economy growing. It's time for members of Congress to do theirs.
Opposing view: Keep taxes low - Opinion - USATODAY.com