Welch, Sanders refute plan to keep Bush tax cuts

first_imgAs President Obama took to the airwaves Monday night to announce a deal to extend President George W Bush’s tax cuts, Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) called the plan ‘fiscally irresponsible’ and ‘grossly unfair.’ US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) comments were even stronger, calling it a “moral outrage.”Sanders issued the following statement today on the agreement announced Monday between the White House and congressional Republicans:‘In my view, it is a moral outrage that at a time when this country has a $13.8 trillion national debt, a collapsing middle class and a growing gap between the very rich and everybody else that the Republicans would deny extended unemployment benefits to 2 million workers who are desperately struggling to pay their bills and maintain their dignity. It is also beyond comprehension that the Republicans would hold hostage the entire middle class of this country so that millionaires and billionaires would receive huge tax breaks. In my view, that is not what this country is about and it is not what the American people want to see. Our job is to save the disappearing middle class, not lower taxes for people who are already extraordinarily wealthy and increase the national debt that our children and grandchildren would have to pay.‘The immediate political task in front of us is to rally the American people so that in the next several weeks we can find at least a few Republicans who will join us in saying no to increasing the deficit by giving tax breaks to the wealthy and no to holding the unemployed and the middle class hostage.‘I believe that we have the American people on our side on this issue. My office, and I come from a small state, has received more than 600 calls today, 99 percent of them in opposition to this so-called compromise that the president negotiated with the Republicans.‘I will do everything in my power to stand up for the American middle class and defeat this agreement.’In a letter to Speaker Pelosi that Welch circulated to his House colleagues Monday night, Welch wrote, ‘We support extending tax cuts in full to 98 percent of American taxpayers, as the President initially proposed. He should not back down. Nor should we.’Welch will send the letter to Speaker Pelosi after gathering signatures from his colleagues on Tuesday. The full text of the letter is copied below.Dear Madam Speaker,We oppose acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires for two reasons.First, it is fiscally irresponsible. Adding $700 billion to our national debt, as this proposal would do, handcuffs our ability to offer a balanced plan to achieve fiscal stability without a punishing effect on our current commitments, including Social Security and Medicare.Second, it is grossly unfair. This proposal will hurt, not help, the majority of Americans in the middle class and those working hard to get there. Even as Republicans seek to add $700 billion to our national debt, they oppose extending unemployment benefits to workers and resist COLA increases to seniors.Without a doubt, the very same people who support this addition to our debt will oppose raising the debt ceiling to pay for it.We support extending tax cuts in full to 98 percent of American taxpayers, as the President initially proposed. He should not back down. Nor should we.Sincerely,PETER WELCHMember of Congresslast_img read more