Americans can’t afford Democrats’ tax increases

There is a certain irony in the Democrats’ proposal to increase taxes on some Americans while leaving the necessary tax relief in place for others. While purporting to help hardworking Americans, this approach would actually have the opposite effect and hurt many of those Americans who can least afford the hit right now.

A new study from Ernst & Young reveals that the Democrats’ plan would directly kill 710,000 jobs. These job losses will come from those living paycheck to paycheck, the very people who can least afford to lose their jobs. These are not corporate CEOs or the top 1%.

Democrats will tell you that their tax hikes are about reducing the deficit and national debt. But their proposal would still leave 94% of this year’s deficit intact — which makes it an inherently unserious proposal for deficit reduction.

Further, the president’s own 10-year budget, which includes massive tax increases, still adds $11 trillion to the national debt.

I appreciate that the president is finally talking about our unsustainable debt and deficits. But you can’t look the American people in the eye and tell them you’re doing something about the debt when your own budget nearly doubles the national debt over the next 10 years.

Republicans have proposals and plans to reform the tax code, reduce the deficit, grow the economy, and create jobs. I have legislation that would permanently keep tax rates at their current levels so families and businesses know what to expect. It would also eliminate the death tax and stop the expansion of the “alternative minimum tax,” which is quickly becoming the “middle-class penalty tax.”

These measures and others would go a long way toward improving our economy and getting people working again. If my friends on the other side of the aisle disagree, then let’s work together to find some common ground.

But these election-year antics and distractions are not what the American people sent us here to do and do not reflect a good-faith effort to craft solutions. The longer we wait to enact real reform, the more difficult the problem will be to solve.

Mike Lee is a senator from Utah and a member of the Joint Economic Committee.