Lewis and Emerson Query Treasury Department About Tax Increase Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter sent today, House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis and Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Republican Jo Ann Emerson asked Treasury Secretary Geithner to explain the preparations his Department is making to enforce tax increases that could occur at the end of the year.
If Congress does not act to extend tax cuts that were put in place in 2001 and 2003, tax rates will automatically increase for all American taxpayers. Despite support from both Republicans and Democrats to continue the tax cuts, the Obama Administration and Democrat leaders will likely punt the issue until after the election, creating even more financial uncertainty for American families and businesses. In addition, the Administration has requested millions in additional funding for the Treasury Department to be included in a stop-gap spending measure that must be passed by Congress next week.
“It is beginning to appear that the Obama Administration and Democrat leaders will leave for the elections without extending tax cuts – the one thing the American people need right now to create jobs and bolster the economy,” Lewis said. “To add insult to injury, at the same time they are potentially asking the American taxpayers to foot the bill for billions more in unnecessary government spending.”
In the letter, Lewis and Emerson asked Secretary Geithner to explain any plans his Department is currently making for new increases, including how much is being spent on the preparations.
“As Members of the House Appropriations Committee, we are deeply concerned that your Department may already be spending taxpayer funds to plan for and implement tax policies that direct more money to Washington, instead of into the pockets of American families and businesses. We would like to know what steps, if any, your Department is currently taking to implement potential tax increases next year, including the amount of funding devoted to these activities and the number of staff working on these efforts,” they wrote.
The full text of the letter follows:
September 22, 2010
Timothy F. Geithner
Secretary of the Treasury
Dear Secretary Geithner,
We are writing to request information on what actions, if any, the Department of Treasury is taking to implement tax increases that could occur at the end of this year. As you know, there has been much discussion during the 111th Congress regarding the expiration of tax cuts put in place in 2001 and 2003. However, at this late date, no legislative progress has been made to extend current tax rates. Without action, the existing tax cuts will expire, dramatically increasing taxes on Americans and further depressing an already struggling economy.
We understand that the Obama Administration does not support the extension of all tax cuts, including those for successful small businesses. Given our current economic situation, we believe that taking this position is an unfortunate mistake because small businesses are by far the largest job creators in the United States economy. For this and many other reasons, we firmly support a permanent extension of existing tax rates for all individuals and small businesses.
As Members of the House Appropriations Committee, we are deeply concerned that your Department may already be spending taxpayer funds to plan for and implement tax policies that direct more money to Washington, instead of into the pockets of American families and businesses. We would like to know what steps, if any, your Department is currently taking to implement potential tax increases next year, including the amount of funding devoted to these activities and the number of staff working on these efforts. Due to the pressing nature of this important issue, we would appreciate a response by next Monday, September 27th.
Committee on Appropriations
Jo Ann Emerson
Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government