Charles Melancon on Tax Reform
Melancon said he supports extending the tax cuts for middle-income earners but allowing rates to increase on the wealthiest taxpayers. "Every one of us wants to extend the present tax rates... except one candidate, Charlie Melancon," Vitter said.
The candidates were less sure of themselves when asked for specifics on what federal spending they would seek to offset the tax cuts with corresponding cuts to spending. Vitter did not offer any suggestions for what he would cut, while Melancon suggested that Congress should take its cue from a government report that details which federal programs and agencies are "not giving bang for the buck."
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. RANGEL: We have the opportunity to provide relief to upward of some 25 million people from being hit by a $50 billion tax increase, which it was never thought could happen to these people. Almost apart from this, we have an opportunity to close a very unfair tax provision, that certainly no one has come to me to defend, which prevents a handful of people from having unlimited funds being shipped overseas under deferred compensation and escaping liability. Nobody, liberal or conservative, believes that these AMT taxpayers should be hit by a tax that we didn't intend. But also, no one has the guts to defend the offshore deferred compensation. So what is the problem?
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. McCRERY: This is a bill that would patch the AMT, and then increase other taxes for the patch costs. Republicans are for patching the AMT. Where we differ is over the question of whether we need to pay for the patch by raising other taxes. The President's budget includes a 1-year patch on the AMT without a pay-for. That is what the Senate passed by a rather large vote very recently, 88-5. The President has said he won't sign the bill that is before us today. Republicans have argued against applying PAYGO to the AMT patch. In many ways PAYGO has shown itself to be a farce.
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Senate Votes (analysis)