Harkin Statement on Senate Passage of the Tax Cut Agreement Print
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Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Thursday, 16 December 2010 15:20

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed an agreement that provides a one-year extension of unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans and a two-year extension of tax breaks for the country’s wealthiest.

“At a time when our annual deficit is close to $1 trillion – much of it borrowed from China; at a time when the wealthy are already enjoying a huge surge in income, even as middle-class incomes are stagnant; it is simply obscene to give another lavish tax cut to the top two percent.  Let me say what should be painfully obvious about this new bonanza for the rich: they don’t need it and we can’t afford it.  And it will not help the economy – in fact, in the longer term, it will hurt the economy.

“The fact is that these new tax breaks will make income inequality in the United States even worse.  In recent years, in the grip of the Great Recession, many millions of ordinary working Americans have lost their jobs, their homes, and/or their savings.  But the wealthy have made out very, very well.

“But I also have concerns that the nearly $900 billion in tax cuts in this agreement would crowd out necessary investments in priorities such as education, infrastructure, homeland security, health care and scientific research.  

“We needed to extend unemployment benefits for those that need it the most in this country, but that should have come without tax breaks for the wealthiest.”

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