ATR Praises Bush support for making tax cuts permanent

WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform today hailed the Bush administration\’s new effort to safeguard the tax relief Congress and the President have so far delivered to American families. As part of a new six-point plan for the economy, President Bush yesterday endorsed making the tax cuts passed during the Bush Presidency permanent, in addition to other measures designed to bolster the economy.

Without additional action, many of the tax cuts that have begun to turn the economy around would automatically return to their Clinton-era levels. This would lead to the largest tax increase in American history in 2011.

"American taxpayers can ill afford such a huge tax increase," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "There is never a good time to raise taxes, but now-just when the tax cuts are turning the economy around-to rescind them would be a terrible blow to the economy, to jobs and to American pocketbooks," he said.

Without additional legislation, central features of the recent tax relief will expire in several years. In particular, the increase in the child tax credit, the elimination of the death tax, and the new incentives for small business investment will disappear.

"Americans face a ticking time bomb that threatens to shower them in higher taxes," said Norquist. "Congress needs to line up behind President Bush to defuse this \’tax bomb.\’" In just one example, a married couple with two children and an annual income of $40,000 would face a $922 tax increase in 2005 if certain central provisions in the Jobs and Growth Act are allowed to expire.

"Take just the death tax," added Norquist. "Right now, farmers and small business owners who hope to pass on viable enterprises to their children are subjected to a cruel game of chance. If they pass away in one year, the family farm or small business survives. If they walk the earth a little longer, the family might not even have to sell off assets to pay the tax. But if our hypothetical farmer lives a little too long, all his life\’s work is destroyed."

"Those who fear the taxman more than the grim reaper are not alone. Every American taxpayer faces a troubling uncertainty until the tax cuts are made permanent," concluded Norquist.