American families and businesses are simply taxed too much. To protect jobs and encourage growth, we must keep our tax rates low as well as reform our overly complex tax code.
Protecting Michigan Families and Businesses from Higher Taxes
I have pledged to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes on American families and businesses. Further, I support permanently extending all of the tax cut provisions that are set to expire at the end of 2012 – also known as the “Bush tax cuts.” By making the existing rates permanent, we can give the country the certainty it needs to get our economy back on track. In these difficult economic times, raising taxes is the worst thing Congress could do to struggling families and small businesses.
In August 2012, I supported bipartisan legislation – the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act – that blocks a massive tax increase from hitting all U.S. taxpayers on January 2, 2012, by extending current income tax rates for one year. This legislation also maintains the $1,000 child tax credit, extends marriage penalty relief, and continues the 15 percent top rate on dividends and capital gains. If allowed to take effect, the looming tax hike totals more than $4 trillion over the next decade, equating to a tax increase of nearly $2,200 for a family of four earning $50,000 a year.
In the winter of 2011-2012, I helped negotiate legislation to extend expiring payroll tax provisions that saved the average family $1,000, paid for through federal pension and unemployment benefit reforms.
Enacting Pro-Growth Tax Reform
If there is one thing that Michigan job creators need right now it is greater certainty to hire, invest, and plan for the long term, which is why we are long overdue for reform of our overly complex tax code. In August 2012, I supported legislation – the Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act – that would establish an expedited timeline for Congress to consider comprehensive tax reform legislation. The legislation stipulates that such reform must meet the following criteria: 1) consolidate the six current individual income tax brackets into two brackets of 10 and not more than 25 percent; 2) reduce the corporate income tax rate to not more than 25 percent; 3) repeal the alternative minimum tax (AMT); 4) broaden the tax base so that revenues comprise between 18 and 19 percent of gross domestic product (GDP); and 5) reform the current system of foreign taxation.
Eliminating the Estate Tax
I support the permanent repeal of all federal estate and gift taxes. Eliminating the estate tax – also known as the “Death Tax” – would go a long way toward creating a fairer and more equitable tax code. As a form of double taxation, eliminating the Death Tax would give small business the assurance they need to expand as well as encourage personal saving.
Opposing a Value-Added Tax
The American tax code is already needlessly complicated and burdensome. The addition of any sort of failed European-style value-added tax (VAT) would further contribute to the economic challenges facing American families and businesses. I will continue to oppose any efforts that add to our tax burden, including a VAT.