Tax-cuts-for-all campaign deployed by House GOP
Republican lawmakers fanned out to their districts Friday, blaming President Obama for the nation's sluggish economic growth and saying his plan to allow tax breaks to expire for upper-income Americans would hurt business owners who can create jobs.
Tribune Washington bureau
WASHINGTON — House Republicans are taking their tax-cuts-for-all campaign on the road, an orchestrated push to bolster the positions of lawmakers in key states before next week's vote.
Lawmakers fanned out to their districts Friday, blaming President Obama for the nation's sluggish economic growth and saying his plan to allow tax breaks to expire for upper-income Americans would hurt business owners who can create jobs.
"Stop-the-tax-hike" events were scheduled at nearly 20 businesses and civic centers, many in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois and New York, where some GOP lawmakers have critical re-election battles.
At the same time, Democrats planned to retaliate Saturday by targeting some of those same districts with door-to-door protests showing voters their Republican lawmaker was choosing "millionaires over middle class," according to the Democratic campaign chairman, Rep. Steve Israel of New York.
Tax breaks first established under President George W. Bush are set to expire at the end of the year if Congress fails to renew them.
Under a White House proposal approved this week in the Senate, tax rates would rise on taxable income of more than $200,000 a year for singles, and $250,000 for married couples — the top 2 percent of earners.
Those above the threshold also would see tax rates rise on capital gains and dividends tax rates to 20 percent, rather than the current 15 percent. The estate tax also would spike to 55 percent, from 35 percent, with the first $1 million of inheritance exempted from tax.
Most small-business owners file individual returns, and about 1 million, fewer than 3 percent, would be hit by the tax increase under the Obama plan, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.