The Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) and the Washington DC-based Heritage Foundation held a joint press conference in Bangor today, where the two groups warned Maine families and entrepreneurs that if Congress’ passes President Barack Obama’s tax plan, Maine families will have less income and the economy would lose tens of thousands of jobs.
The President’s plan increases taxes on all taxpayers with dividends and capital gains, and enacts higher tax rates on incomes greater than $200,000 for single Americans and $250,000 for married taxpayers. The economic harm to Maine will be several times worse if Congress lets all of the tax relief measures passed in 2001 and 2003 expire next year.
According to Heritage Foundation research, if the liberal majority in Congress passes the President’s plan, Maine would lose an average of 3,201 jobs every year until 2020. During that same ten year span, the average Maine household would lose more than $1,000 in personal income each year. Total individual income tax collections would spike by more than $1.5 billion annually.
Heritage Foundation research also finds that the economic harm will be two to three times worse if all tax rates go back to their levels prior to 2001.
“Why hasn’t Congress acted to prevent these tax hikes?,” asked Tarren Bragdon, MHPC’s chief executive officer. “The President and his liberal majority in Congress are playing politics with our families and our economic future. Congress’ refusal to act to prevent these tax hikes and its consideration of tax increases during poor economic times is the latest evidence of the Big Government agenda being forced upon Maine people. If Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were as committed to fiscal restraint and economic recovery as they are to raising our taxes, we might have been out of this recession months ago.”
The refusal to act is politically motivated, with Majority leaders unable to muster enough support for an on-the-record vote to raise taxes less than two months before Election Day. Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have already stated their refusal to join Harry Reid in his latest tax hike push.
“Senators Snowe and Collins understand how devastating these tax hikes would be for Maine families and businesses. They will be an asset in protecting Maine families from higher taxes, and in preventing Washington progressives from dealing yet another blow to our economy,” Bragdon said.
William Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, stressed the impact the tax hikes would have on Maine.
“I’ve crunched the numbers and done the research, and these tax hikes from the Obama tax plan would be catastrophic for the State of Maine,” Beach said. “The President, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi know the numbers too. They know these tax hikes would destroy thousands of jobs, would leave working folks with less income to support their families, and would enable Washington to continue its record-breaking spending. Maine cannot afford this Big Government agenda.”