Congressman Dent Puts Tax Giveaways to Millionaires & Billionaires Ahead of Job Creation & Deficit Reduction

Congressman Dent Puts Tax Giveaways to Millionaires & Billionaires Ahead of Job Creation & Deficit Reduction

As Debate Heats Up in Washington, Congressman Dent fights for $700 Billion in Millionaire Tax Breaks

BETHLEHEM, PA. – As Congress debates the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, the difference between Congressman Dent and Mayor Callahan is clear. Despite all of his rhetoric about budgets, Congressman Dent supports a plan to increase the deficit by another $700 billion to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. This comes after Dent voted against the largest middle class tax cut in history in 2009 in the Recovery Act.

“Congressman Dent wants to give millionaires and billionaires a $700 billion tax handout after he already voted to raise our debt by $3 trillion and opposed middle-class tax cuts,” said Mayor John Callahan. “We should be using these funds to pay down the deficit and help small businesses create jobs, but Congressman Dent wants to put another $700 billion on the country’s charge card for our kids and grandkids to pay off in the future. Just like a typical Washington politician, Congressman Dent is putting billionaires and millionaires before middle-class families and that’s just wrong.”

What Congressman Dent will say about his position:

Dent millionaire tax break argument #1: Eliminating these tax handouts will kill “small businesses.”

The Reality: As Congressman Dent’s leader John Boehner recently pointed out, the Bush millionaire tax breaks would only affect the top 3% of small businesses. “Well, it may be three percent, but it’s half of small business income. Because, obviously, the top three percent have half of the gross income for those companies that we would term small businesses. And this is why you don’t want to punish these people at a time when you have a weak economy.”[1]

Why do the top 3% of small businesses make up 50% of the total gross income? Simple, because they’re not really small businesses. MSNBC recently pointed out that several multibillion dollar corporations are registering as “small businesses” to abuse tax codes.[2] This includes “small businesses” such as:

Price Waterhouse Cooper, which had $26 billion in revenue in 2009;
Enterprise Products Partners, L.P., a pipeline company with 2009 revenues of $25 billion.
Koch Industries, a conglomerate of partnerships with 70,000 employees.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a Wall Street firm with $445 million in revenue in 2009.

Dent millionaire tax break argument #2: Extending the Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% will cause them to reinvest those funds into our economy.

The Reality: This argument is categorically false and as Moody’s Analytics recently pointed out. “Give the wealthiest Americans a tax cut and history suggests they will save the money rather than spend it.”[3] Dent had a chance to vote for middle class tax cuts in 2009, but he voted against it.[4]

Dent millionaire tax break argument #3: Ending tax breaks for millionaires will send jobs overseas.

The Reality: Congressman Dent is an expert on shipping jobs overseas. After all, he voted to protect tax breaks to corporations that ship American jobs overseas[5], he voted to allow corporations to duck paying their fair share by abusing offshore tax shelters[6] and he voted for job killing policies that helped cause the recession[7]. Unfortunately this is his voting record and, as much as he might like to, he can’t deny it with a straight face.

Dent millionaire tax break argument #4: We can’t afford to end tax breaks for millionaires.

The Reality: Affordability is a serious issue, but the question is how can we afford to give $700 billion away to millionaires? This $700 billion millionaire giveaway isn’t paid for and would add to the deficit. The fact is, as much as Charlie Dent would love to let millionaires off the hook, we simply can’t afford to shift the burden of paying for their tax breaks onto our children and grandchildren.

BACKGROUND:

Congressman Dent voted to increase debt by $3 trillion. (H.C.R. 95, Vote #149, 4/28/2005, H.J.R. 102, Vote #540, 12/8/2006, H.R. 2764, Vote #1186, 12/19/2007, H.R. 2638, Vote #632, 9/24/2008, H.R. 1105, Vote #86, 2/25/2009).

Congressman Dent supports a $700 billion tax handout for millionaires: “Retaining all of former President George W. Bush’s tax cuts also are important to job creation, as small-business owners make up half of the two highest taxing levels, Dent said.” 9/14/10, Express Times.

In 2009, Congressman Dent voted against middle-class tax cuts.  Because of the Recovery Act, the average Pennsylvania family saw an average annual 2009 tax reduction of $1,200 but Congressman Dent voted against it. (H.R. 1, Vote #46, 1/28/09).

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