November 29, 2012
Mrs. Diane Benjamin
Dear Mrs. Benjamin:
Thank you for contacting me about the so-called fiscal cliff, the combination of automatic defense cuts and tax rate increases that’s just weeks away from taking effect. The fiscal cliff threatens our economy and our national security, and I’m committed to working with both parties to stop it.
Sending our country off the fiscal cliff would have serious consequences for all Americans. That’s why I’ve outlined an alternative – a way for Democrats and Republicans, President Obama and Congress to work together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to tackling our national debt. My framework calls for:
- Stopping all tax rate hikes. According to a study by independent accounting firm Ernst & Young, the fiscal cliff tax rate increases that some want to allow to go into effect will destroy 700,000 jobs. The House passed a bipartisan bill to stop all of the increased tax rates that are scheduled to hit our economy on January 1, but the Senate passed a bill that would only stop some of them. The tax rate hikes that would be allowed to occur under the Senate-passed bill are part of the fiscal cliff economists are warning against. We don’t need higher tax rates, we need a stronger economy.
- Reforming our tax code. Instead of raising tax rates and destroying jobs, let’s focus on building a fairer, simpler tax code by closing loopholes and lowering rates. Pro-growth tax reform will bring jobs home and lead to a stronger economy. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 is a model for this kind of reform. A stronger economy means more revenue – which is what President Obama is seeking.
- Cutting spending & saving our entitlement programs. We need to get serious about shoring up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our country’s massive, growing debt. And repealing the president’s health care law – which is raising costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers – must be on the table as well.
- Protecting our troops. Defense officials say the fiscal cliff will devastate our armed forces. That’s why the House already passed a bill to replace the defense “sequester” with common-sense spending cuts and reforms. This is the direction we need to go. Instead of jeopardizing our security, let’s fix our tax code, and make spending cuts and reforms that are truly needed.
We can’t afford to ignore the fiscal cliff, nor can we keep piling more debt onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. Using the path I’ve outlined, I’m hopeful that both parties can work together to avert the fiscal cliff in a manner that paves the way for the long-term economic growth we need to create new jobs, pay down our debt, and keep the American Dream alive for generations to come.
Thank you again for contacting me and please stay in touch.
John A. Boehner
Speaker of the House
P.S., I made a Pledge to America to focus on jobs and removing government barriers to economic growth. To learn more about these efforts, visit Speaker.gov to sign up for email updates; join the conversation on Facebook; and connect with my office on Twitter.