The U.S. House is scheduled to vote today on a Republican-backed bill that would raise income tax rates on millionaires, but keep tax rates from going up on those who earn less than a million dollars a year. Republican Congressman Tom Latham of Clive calls it a compromise.
“What this is going to do is to basically stop the huge tax increase that is in current law, would come into effect on January 1, and also it would have a tremendous negative impact as far as investment, as far as savings for individuals, so the responsible thing to do is stop the tax increase,” Latham says. “I’m just hopeful there can be resolution here before January 1.”
President Obama and Democrats in the Senate have rejected the idea. Obama has called for raising tax rates for Americans who earn more than $400,000, while keeping the Bush-era tax rates on the books for the rest. Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says the Republican plan that will be voted upon today in the House won’t be signed into law by the president.
“So we are still in a ‘watching and waiting’ mode here,” Braley says.
And Braley says the Republican bill does nothing to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
“It is something that leaves on the table a huge number of priorities. It is going to have the unintended consequence of leaving many of the important things that are still left to be resolved unresolved and it would do very little to address some of the more systemic problems that we’ve been trying to get a handle on.”
Latham says the GOP proposal is the best short-term answer available.
“It would be irresponsible to go into this next year with a tax increase on every earning America,” Latham says.
The top Republican in the House used the words “bizarre and irrational” to describe President Obama’s rejection of the GOP’s latest tax proposal. The president says it’s hard for Republicans to leave the 2012 campaign behind and “think about what’s best for the country.”