WASHINGTON- Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) recently announced that Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) earned an "Enemy of the Taxpayer" award. This award is given to members of Congress who score below 20% on ATR\’s annual ratings.
Rep. Gephardt has received this award every year since ATR began it\’s tax ratings. On key issues affecting taxpayers such as the marriage penalty and estate taxes Rep. Gephardt has shown blatant disregard for the needs of working families.
Rep. Gephardt claims his constituents disapprove of a "chocolate cake" marriage penalty tax cut because they fear that families in lower income brackets will not benefit and he asserts that he goes "door to door in my district" and that "people talk to me about all kinds of issues" and "they would like the tax relief limited and targeted at them."
Interestingly, Gephardt has not lived in Missouri for 20 years and now resides in Virginia and receives less than 6% of his campaign support from Missourians.
"It seems like Gephardt spends too much time fundraising in Hollywood and too little time voting," remarked Grover Norquist, president of ATR. "His \’door to door\’ interaction with his constituents seems highly improbable."
Rep. Gephardt\’s position on the marriage penalty tax clearly hurts the low income families in his district. The earned income tax credit for low-income families would have increased by $2,000 per year if the marriage penalty bill had passed, and would have expanded the bottom 15% income tax bracket for married couples.
Gephardt\’s position on the estate tax cut is equally anti-taxpayer. Gephardt maintains the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2000 "offers almost no tax relief for the middle class" yet only 3 percent of family businesses qualify for the alternative he favors. According to the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress, the death tax "raises very little, if any net revenue for the federal government" resulting in a reduced stock of capital in the U.S. economy of $497 billion, or 3.2%.