By MATTHEW CLARK
The Morning Sun
Posted Dec 08, 2010 @ 09:00 AM
Last update Dec 08, 2010 @ 11:56 AM
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced that a deal has been struck with Republican lawmakers on extending the Bush-era tax cuts.
The deal includes an extension of the tax cuts for all income levels — which were set to expire at the end of the year — including lower and middle-income-taxpayers, as requested by Democrat leaders.
However, the deal also includes extending those same benefits for the upper-class, who make more than $250,000 per year.
Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts praised the deal, calling it “critical tax relief for all Americans.”
“I am encouraged that Republicans and the President were able to come to an agreement on a plan to protect all Americans from the disastrous consequences of raising taxes on a nation recovering from a recession,” Roberts said.
Other elements of the deal include making changes to the estate tax and providing tax breaks to businesses to help spur hiring. Some officials have estimated that the deal could add another $900 billion to the federal deficit over the next two years.
Democrats have voiced their opposition to two parts of the compromise — extending tax cuts to the upper-income bracket and changing the estate tax — both proposals which have been long-sought by the Republicans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a statement following Obama’s address stating: “We will continue discussions with the president and our caucus in the days ahead.”
Had an agreement not been reached, taxes would have been scheduled to increase on Jan. 1 — a paramount reason Obama made for the concessions.
Outgoing Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt said that allowing the tax increases to happen would have “stifled job growth.”
“More tax hikes will only continue to strangle an already faltering economy,” Tiahrt said. “Government must get out of the way. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the best job creators we have.”
The package also extends benefits for the long-term unemployed for 13 months. The aid had expired on Nov. 30 and up to 2 million unemployed Americans would have run out of benefits by the end of the year.
Another part of the deal includes cutting Social Security taxes for one year. That means that workers earning $40,000 per year would see an $800 windfall while those earning $100,000 could bring home $2,000 more.
According to the group, Citizens for Tax Justice, the average taxpayer would save just under $3,000 in 2011. The top 1-percent of earners would save nearly $77,000 and the poorest 20 percent would see an average tax break of $396.
Matthew Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140