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Tax increases will cause much harm

On Dec. 31, congressional leadership is poised to let the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire, triggering a $3.8 trillion tax increase — the largest in American history — that will affect every hard-working American who pays income taxes.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government.”

At a time when our nation’s economy is suffering, increasing taxes will do more harm than good. As your representative, it is my duty to protect, promote and preserve the values of our nation and the prosperity of each American family. I believe extra money in the bank accounts of struggling families, not in the hands of Uncle Sam, could go a long way.

Unfortunately, congressional leadership and the president continue to push policies that increase taxes and add to the already out-of-control government spending. To continue down this reckless path, especially when approximately 15 million Americans remain unemployed, is unfathomable.

I have never heard of any nation that has ever taxed itself into prosperity. But it seems that’s what the federal government is currently trying to do.

If Congress does not take proactive steps, on Jan. 1, 2011, marginal income tax rates would increase for all taxpayers, the marriage penalty would come back, families with children would see the child tax credit halved and the federal “death tax” would return with a maximum tax rate of 55 percent. To make matters worse, the Alternative Minimum Tax would claim more than 25 million taxpayers, and higher taxes would be levied on investments.

If this isn’t bad enough, 94 percent of small businesses would be subject to the unprecedented tax hike. These entrepreneurs are responsible for employing 60.2 million individuals — more than 50 percent of the nation’s workforce.

Nowadays, small businesses are hesitant to hire and scared to expand due to the uncertainty created by Washington’s harmful policies. It frustrates me to imagine how many potential entrepreneurs and small business owners have been discouraged because our tax policies hamper the entrepreneurial spirit.

Still in the midst of a fragile economic climate, raising taxes will essentially eliminate even more jobs; it will bring job creation and economic recovery to a screeching halt. Times are tough enough without bringing massive tax hikes into the equation.

I am adamantly fighting to ensure that taxpayers no longer fund Washington’s wasteful spending. I have joined my Republican colleagues in cosponsoring the Taxpayer Certainty Act, which halts these pending tax increases.

The American people should not be obligated to compensate for a deficit caused by mismanagement. And we certainly cannot raise taxes on small businesses and families at a time when they can least afford it.

Rest assured, I will continue to fight the Democrats’ massive tax hikes on families and small businesses. We must create stability for our nation’s job creators, provide incentives for investment, and rein in out-of-control spending once and for all.

U.S. Rep. RODNEY ALEXANDER, R-Quitman, represents the 5th Congressional District and serves on the House Appropriations Committee. He can be reached at the Monroe District Office at 318-322-3500, the Alexandria District Office at 318-445-0818 or Washington, D.C., at 202-225-8490. Visit Alexander’s Web site at alexander.house.gov or write him at 316 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515.

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