The U.S. House approves bill making tax relief permanent for Americans; Senate looks harrowing.

WASHINGTON – Taxpayers cheered when, earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that will make last year\’s tax relief legislation permanent.

Last year\’s tax relief legislation, which was signed into law by President Bush last June 7th, will be phased in over the next ten years. But due to an obscure Senate rule invoked by Democrats in the opposition, the bill will "sunset" in 2010, whereupon tax rates will jump back to their 2001 levels. In a 229-198 vote, mostly along party lines, House members prevented that sunset provision from allowing taxes to skyrocket again on January 1, 2011.

Taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington, called the bill "a massive victory for taxpayers all across America."

"Allowing tax rates to jump back to President Clinton\’s levels in 2011 would amount to a tax increase rivaling that president\’s massive 1993 tax hike," continued Norquist. "House members who voted for this legislation showed their mettle to taxpayers today, and the 198 who opposed the bill have shown a true disdain for their taxpaying constituents."

By the time the cuts are fully phased in, 43 million married couples will see their taxes reduced by an average of $1,700 per year, and those with children will receive an annual tax cut of more than $1,500. Meanwhile, tax rates jumping back to 2001 levels in 2011 would amount to a $4 trillion dollar tax increase over ten years – a tax increase greater in size than the entire economies of many South American nations.

Yet, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) recently boasted, "We will never bring up the permanent tax cut the president is advocating." He and other Democrats claim the recent tax cuts harmed the economy, seemingly without considering the money it has pumped back into the economy through stimulus.

Norquist continued, "Any efforts by Daschle to end the tax cut will have severely damaging repercussions." Without making the relief plan permanent, by the end of 2010 taxes would have risen by an average of $1,040 for 104 million taxpayers, including workers, married couples and families with children. A family of four with an income equivalent to $46,756 in 2002 would have faced a tax hike of almost $2,000 in 2011.

Norquist concludes, "What scares me here is that Daschle is in office to represent the people, but his adamant fight to keep taxes high demonstrates what happens when a home town America Democrat heads to Washington D.C. and is corrupted by the power of big government. Daschle is clearly not representing the American people or his constituents in South Dakota."