Harkin: Unemployment Extension Should Have Come Without Tax Breaks for the Wealthiest Two Percent Print
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 09:27

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement this evening after the President’s press conference on reaching a deal with Senate Republicans on an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

“To say that I am disappointed with the deal the President laid out tonight is an understatement.  Senate Republicans have successfully used the fragile economic security of our middle class and the hardship of millions of jobless Americans as bargaining chips to secure tax breaks for very wealthiest among us.  With record unemployment and millions of Americans falling off the benefit rolls just as we near Christmas, America faces an emergency situation, and under these circumstances the validity of extending unemployment benefits and tax rates for the middle class stands on its own.  The same cannot be said for extending tax breaks for millionaires – they face no immediate hardship, such a move will not spur economic growth, and doing so will only add hundreds of billions to the deficit.  In addition, by extending tax rates for two years but unemployment benefits for only one, we almost ensure that a Republican-led Congress will be able to block a further extension of unemployment benefits if they are needed.

“I’ve asked this question before, and tonight I ask it again - Have the Republicans lost all sense of fairness? Have they lost all sense of justice? Have they lost all sense of what's right and wrong? They can fight for their tax breaks for the wealthy, fine. But to say that we cannot extend unemployment benefits for people out of work without giving tax breaks to the wealthy - that's a moral outrage."

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