Rep. Greg Walden on his fiscal cliff vote

Greg Walden votes to permanently extend tax relief for Oregon families and small businesses

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) issued the following statement on House passage of a plan to prevent a tax increase for 99 percent of taxpayers and stop the government from going over the fiscal cliff:

“Tonight the House passed a plan to permanently extend tax relief for Oregon families and small businesses and to stop our government from going over the fiscal cliff. The plan isn’t perfect, but I would not sit by as taxes go up on all Americans, including more than $3,000 this year for the average Oregon family. I didn’t come to Washington to see taxes go up on middle income Americans, and we acted to stop that permanently.

“The plan passed tonight locks into place current tax rates for middle class families as our economy continues to struggle. It permanently holds down the death tax for small business owners, farmers, and ranchers. It permanently patches the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and extends the higher child tax credit. The plan does away with a new entitlement program created in Obamacare, and stops the President from giving members of Congress a pay increase as the President proposed. Finally, it extends the existing farm bill for one year as Congress works on a new long-term farm bill.”

“Now that tax relief has been extended, it’s time for the President to work with Congress to get our nation’s fiscal house in order by addressing the underlying problem, which is spending. The national debt is currently $16 trillion and climbing, over $50,000 for every American. We must cut spending and grow our economy to avoid passing on an even bigger debt burden to our children and grandchildren.”


Summary of the American Taxpayer Relief Act

Tax Policy

·        Marginal rates: Permanent extension of current policy up to $400,000 for singles, $450,000 for married couples.

·        Capital Gains & Dividends: Makes permanent 15% top capital gains and dividends rate up to $400,000 for singles, $450,000 for married couples; 20% rate for both above that threshold.

·        Death Tax: Permanent extension of current policy with a $5 million exemption indexed for inflation and a 40% top rate.

·        Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT):Permanently indexes the AMT for inflation.


Spending Policy

·        Debt limit: No increase in the debt limit.

·        “Sequester” arbitrary spending cuts: sequester is turned off for two months and paid for by a combination of other spending cuts and revenue increases.

·        CLASS Act: Repeals a flawed new entitlement program created in Obamacare which even the Obama Administration admitted was “totally unsustainable” after the bill was rushed to passage.

·        Doc Fix: One year extension of current policy that stops a drastic cut to Medicare payments for health care providers.

·        Unemployment insurance: 1 year extension of current extended weeks of UI.

·        Farm Bill: Provides for a one year extension of the 2008 farm bill at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

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Posted by at 01:44 | Posted in Federal Budget | 31 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Not too bad. Would like to see federal spending in the aggregate frozen nominally, absolutely and indefinitely in the aggregate until tax revenues catch up with spending; as a condition for raising the debt limit and legislating the 2014 budget. This would give further incentive for government to find no-government-subsidy ways of boosting the economy such as rolling back regulations in the broadest since.
    The federal government should also be putting away monies for events such as Hurricane Sandy if Chris Christie is going to run around playing the “violin.” I didn’t hear him much before Sandy asking the federal government to save sufficiently for adverse events. The Senate passes a Sandy aid package with significant pork in it, and Christie is squealing for the House to acquiesce by voting for it.

  • DavidAppell

    This is unfortunate, because taxes need to go up on the middle class. Everyone is getting more government than they are willing to pay for, and meaningful cuts are unlikely (and, except for defense, probably unwise).

    At least corporate special interests got their $76 B in tax credits!

  • DavidAppell

    Also, perhaps Rep Walden would like to comment on why Republicans broke their 2010 promise to allow three days for the public to read any legislation?

    Their Pledge to America: “We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives.”

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Bwaaarrrkkk Pok Pok Pok Pok – Democrat talking points insert here Bwaaarrrrrkkk!!!! Polly Wanna Cracker!

      Will you criticize BO for breaking his pledge to do the same right out of the gate?

      Nope. Not in any straightforward manner.

      How do we know this? Because the frothing mouthed are absolutely incapable of being critical of their leaders.

      • lulz

        Wow. You sure know how to embarrass yourself, don’t you.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    The bad news is that spending isn’t really reigned in here.

    The good news is its a fairly simple fix – Eliminate withholding. Have every tax payer write out a check quarterly as most self employed people do.

    Problem solved in under a year.

  • Disgusted

    How can any Republican spin this as anything other than an ass-kicking?

    A great opportunity was squandered because Boehner and McConnell’s top priority was minimizing tax increases on high earners. They should have come right out of the gate with a plan that gave Obama his tax increase and a few more – closed the loophole that allows hedge fund managers’ earnings to be taxed at the capital gains rate, ended tax breaks for Hollywood and ‘green’ energy boondoggles, and frozen spending at 2011 levels. Very few Rs wouldn’t have supported it, and Ds would have been faced with the choice of supporting it, or justifying continuing tax breaks for their ultra wealthy buddies while raising spending. And guess what? After a few months of business owners screaming about the tax increase as the economy continued to stagnate, they could have gone back for lower taxes for the $250k to $450k earners. But no …

  • Great move Walden. You tax Americans and approve a handout to foreign wind farm developers who are destroying our environment. You are a traitor to everything that republicans are supposed to stand for. What about REDUCED SPENDING AND A BALANCED BUDGET? I guess those are foreign concepts to you. I delivered yard signs and manned phone banks during the last election, but you make me ashamed to call myself a republican.

  • havetoask

    The honorable Congressman extols the permanency of the fixes as one of the main reasons for his vote. Would the honorable Congressman mind providing his definition of permanent? Why not fix the AMT by getting rid of it completely instead of indexing it? Why not just push for and adopt the Fair Tax?

    • DavidAppell

      Um… because it’s not fair?

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