Lee, D-Oakland, and other caucus members held a news conference this morning on Capitol Hill to voice their opposition to the President’s tax plan. Lee afterward said she’s particularly angry about the President’s acquiescence to extending the Bush tax cuts for households making more than $250,000 per year, and to both lowering the estate tax’s top rate and raising its exemption amount.
“You put those together and this is an assault on the working poor and middle-income people,” Lee said. “What is so outrageous about this whole thing is we know the pain and suffering people are going through right now as a result of the bush era tax cuts.”
Such a plan means cuts from programs that people need most during these hard economic times, as well as damaging Social Security by temporarily lowering the payroll taxes workers pay into it, she said. “The American Dream is going to continue to be eroded for so many people.”
“We’re working on it, its not like were just saying ‘no,’” she added. “We’re working on some reasonable way out of this that’s not going to create more income inequality in terms of our tax structure.”
The CBC’s alternative plan, unveiled during its press conference, includes a 13-month extension of Emergency Unemployment Insurance Benefits plus more aid for those Americans who have been unable to find work for more than 99 weeks; a payroll tax holiday or equivalent payment, such as a tax-rebate check, with guarantees that Social Security won’t be deprived of revenue; and targeted tax relief through a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for hardworking middle- and low-income families and extending the enhanced provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
Members said the CBC proposal will cost less than half of the President’s proposed trillion-dollar compromise.
Most of the Bay Area’s House delegation has spoken out against the President’s plan, but not Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, who was the only local member to vote last week against the Democrats’ plan to extend the tax cuts for the middle class but not for the rich. His office didn’t immediately respond to a query today as to where he stands on the President’s plan.