Florida Sen. Bob Graham announces economic plan that includes hiking marginal tax rates by over 10%.

WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, presidential candidate Bob Graham (D-Fla.) will release his economic plan, which would raise taxes on many small businesses by 10% or more. The plan has taxpayer advocates and activists warning of lost jobs, reduced wages, and weakened small businesses.

The Graham Plan would: hike the top marginal tax rate to 38.6%, an increase of almost 14% above its current level; create a new 40% tax bracket on income above $1million; restore the Death Tax; and repeal the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends that have encouraged well over 100 companies to issue new or larger dividends over the last six months.

"It used to be just Ted Kennedy who was coming up with cockamamie schemes to jack up taxes," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington. "Now the so-called \’moderate\’ presidential candidates are following their most extreme left-wing colleagues. This is a bizarre return to Walter Mondale," he continued, referring to the Democratic Presidential candidate in 1984 who publicly called for tax increases and lost the most lopsided presidential election in modern American history.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a 10% increase in the top marginal tax rate like the one Graham proposes will:

· Reduce small business hiring by 10.7%;
· Reduce median wages paid by small businesses by between 3 and 4%; and
· Reduce small business gross receipts by about 7.7%.

Critics of the plan say Graham is serenading the left-wing, "soak the rich" contingent of Democrat voters for the primary. But while that may give the senator a leg up in the primary, it severely curtails his ability to reach out to moderate and independent voters who decide elections and don\’t want their taxes hiked.

"If Bob Graham wants to play the Walter Mondale card, more power to him," continued Norquist. "But this is the politically blind leading the obsessive-compulsive deaf."