Governors speak out on federal tax proposal

A handful of governors spoke out Wednesday to lend their support to President Barack Obama’s compromise with Congressional Republicans to extend a number of tax breaks, including controversial cuts for those who make above $250,000 per year. In most statements, governors commended the compromise, while highlighting those cuts that are meant to help the middle-class.

Statements released the governors of Florida, Kansas, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin applauded President Obama for reaching out to Republicans on a deal that is projected to inject $900 billion into the US economy over the next two years. The breaks touted in the proposal include: extending the earned income tax credit for low-income Americans; extending the college credit; adding 13 more months of unemployment benefits; adding a 2-percent payroll cut for average working people making less than $100,000; and helping small businesses by allowing them to write off investments.

Governor Mark Parkinson said the deal would assist more than 38,000 unemployed Kansans. And Florida’s Charlie Crist said, “I commend President Obama for working to secure an agreement that will give our economy the support it needs to continue on the path to recovery.”

Some Democrats in Washington have voiced their anger at the proposal, however, saying the president conceded too much in allowing Bush-era tax cuts to the rich to be extended for another two years. “I don’t think the president should count on Democratic votes to get this deal passed,” Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, to the Times Tuesday.

Meanwhile Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle said, “Rather than engage in political posturing over tax policy, President Obama has made the practical and sensible decision to protect middle class Americans from a tax increase.”

Of the governors throwing their support behind the proposal, none of them will be around next year to see if the measure has its intended effect. Three were term-limited, Mr. Parkinson did not seek reelection and Mr. Crist lost his bid for the US Senate.

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