Letters to the Editor

A tax bill we cannot afford | Federal Way letters

I am writing in response to a letter titled “Thank you Adam Smith” written by Karen Hedwig Backman and published in the Dec. 29 issue of the Federal Way Mirror. Although it wasn’t stated very clearly, I believe what she was writing about was Rep. Adam Smith’s vote against the tax bill, which was recently passed by Congress as a result of a compromise between President Obama and the Senate Republicans.

I have always supported Adam Smith because he does an outstanding job representing the people of the 9th District, and when he votes on a bill, his vote is dictated by what is in our best interests — not what in the best interests of others such as lobbyists, the Democratic Party, the president, etc.

For the record, he did vote for the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010 (HR 4853), which is the tax bill Congress should have passed. The House passed this bill, but unfortunately, the Senate (for reasons I will never understand) did not. They also did not pass a similar tax plan, which Rep. Smith supported; it would have extended tax cuts for Americans making less than a million dollars (a compromise the Republicans should have supported, but apparently did not). Due to this Senate inaction, what they did, instead, was pass a compromise between President Obama and Senate Republicans on Dec. 6. The compromise would extend the 2001/2003 tax cuts to the middle class and high income earners for an additional two years, and adopt Sens. Lincoln and Kyl’s version of the estate tax (another big giveaway to the rich).

Rep. Smith did support parts of this bill like extending unemployment benefits for 13 months, fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for two years, cutting payroll tax by 2 percent and extending several other tax cuts/credits that were going to expire.

The main reason he voted against this tax bill was the cost ($858 billion) that would add more debt to our already record-high national debt (over $1.3 trillion) because it would suspend PAYGO budget rules (which Rep. Smith also supported). This plan did not find a way to cover the costs associated with the tax plan by decreasing spending or increasing revenue, and that is fiscally irresponsible. Put in simple terms, it is basically a tax package we cannot afford.

Finally, he believes it just prolongs an overly-complex and problematic tax policy for two more years, a tax policy that is in serious need of a major overhaul. As Rep. Smith clearly stated: “It undermines the confidence of the American people by being so convoluted that citizens are often forced to seek professional assistance when filing their tax returns. What we need is a tax policy that is fair, is simple as possible and raises enough revenue to reduce our national debt.”

I believe the message he is trying to convey to all Americans is that sooner or later, we are going to have to face the music. You can only delay the inevitable for so long.

Gary Robertson, Federal Way

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