GOP Wants to Extend Tax Cuts for the Rich, End Tax Breaks for the Poor
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans will press this week to extend tax cuts for affluent families scheduled to expire Jan. 1, but the same Republican tax plan would allow a series of tax cuts for the working poor and the middle class to end next year.
Republicans say the tax breaks for lower-income families — passed with little notice in the extensive 2009 economic stimulus law — were always supposed to be temporary. But President Obama had made them a priority in 2009 and demanded their extension in 2010 as a price for extending the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, and both the White House and Senate Democrats are determined to extend them again.
That sets up a potentially tricky issue for Republicans. They have said they do not want taxes to go up on anyone while the economy struggles to gain altitude, but under their plan, written by Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, about 13 million families would see their tax refunds reduced, and some would see their taxes increase.
‘Senator Hatch’s amendment would extend tax breaks for the top 2 percent of Americans,’ Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who leads the Senate’s Democratic majority, said this month. ‘But it fails to extend a number of tax cuts that help middle-class families get by in a tough economy.’