The terrific Emily Miller at Human Events caught up with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) who says Republicans are to blame for the tax hike on small businesses which will go into effect on January 1. He does not accept the premise that the Democratic leadership is responsible now to extend the lower tax rates.
Congressman Hoyer tells Ms. Miller:
“If they do go up, they’re going up because of the Republican policy to phase out those taxes this year,”
Of course, blame someone else. If you do a little checking on the facts, this statement by the majority leader is false (to put it bluntly – he lied).
The Bush Tax Cuts were split into two parts, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, which essentially lowered taxes in most tax brackets, and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 which lowered taxes on investments. In both cases, the law was design to be within the letter of the PAYGO law which was enacted in 1990.
One of the most notable characteristics of EGTRRA is that its provisions are designed to sunset, or revert to the provisions that were in effect before it was passed. EGTRRA will sunset on January 1, 2011 unless further legislation is enacted to make its changes permanent. The sunset provision sidesteps the Byrd Rule, a Senate rule that amends the Congressional Budget Act to allow Senators to block a piece of legislation if it purports to significantly increase the federal deficit beyond a ten-year term. The sunset allowed the bill to stay within the letter of the PAYGO law while removing nearly $700 billion from amounts that would have triggered PAYGO sequestration.
As I mentioned, PAYGO was enacted in 1990 as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (H.R. 5835). This bill was introduced in Congress by then Congressman Leon Panetta. Congressman Hoyer was one of 217 Democrats who voted for the measure. Do yourself a favor and look up the information yourself.
So who’s to blame for the expiration Congressman Hoyer?
(Cross posted @ LeeHernly.com)