Letter to the Editor:
I recently attended a discussion with senior White House officials and other leaders in the community from across the State of Ohio to discuss the “fiscal cliff”. The day was very productive with the White House giving us an overview of what’s at stake with the looming fiscal cliff and the people in attendance sharing their ideas about how to make their voices heard.
My takeaway was that our country needs all of us to pressure our elected representatives to come up with a deal as soon as possible… it really is critical for our Latino community’s and country’s economic future.
The President believes Democrats and Republicans should come together to renew middle-class tax cuts so families and businesses have more certainty. If Congress acts, every American will get a tax break on their first $250,000 of income, and income taxes won’t go up for 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses. I could not agree more.
The President believes we must take a balanced approach to reducing our deficit by four trillion dollars and has a plan that asks the wealthy to pay a little more so we can preserve the investments we need to grow the economy. This approach lays the groundwork for an economy that will support a healthy middle class while providing ladders of opportunity for those who are aspiring to join the ranks of the middle class.
If Congress doesn’t act, typical middle-class families will see their income taxes go up on January 1st by $2,200 next year, negatively impacting businesses and retailers across the nation.
In fact, just yesterday, the White House launched a new effort to make sure Americans’ voices are heard in this debate. The White House is calling on Americans across the country to share what $2,000 means to them on WH.gov/my2k and on Twitter with the hashtag #My2K, as well as through other social media channels. The White House will highlight #My2K stories received to put a human face on the issue and elevate the negative impact of inaction on every day Americans.
This really isn’t that hard. For too long we have tried trickledown economics hoping that the more affluent would somehow improve the lives of the middle class. That approach was tried and failed in the Bush years.
President Obama is committed to growing our economy from the middle out. That’s why his top priority is promoting jobs and growth while reducing our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.
New analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) finds that: Allowing the middle-class tax rates to rise and failing to patch the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) could cut the growth of real consumer spending by 1.7 percentage points in 2013. This sharp rise in middle-class taxes and the resulting decline in consumption could slow the growth of real GDP by 1.4 percentage points, which is consistent with recently published estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
Faced with these tax hikes, the CEA estimates that consumers could spend nearly $200 billion less than they otherwise would have in 2013 just because of higher taxes.
American consumers are the bedrock of our economy, driving more than two-thirds of the overall rise in real GDP over 13 consecutive quarters of economic recovery since the middle of 2009. And as we are now in the holiday season, which accounts for close to one-fifth of industry sales, retailers can’t afford the threat of tax increases on middle-class families.
For more information on the effects of middle tax cuts see the report at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/consumer_report_embargo.pdf or go to http://www.whitehouse.gov and in the search box type in "Middle Class Tax Cuts."
So please tell your elected officials to act now. We can save our middle class and we can continue turning our economy around by preserving tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses that earn under $250,000 per year. We can make the investments in infrastructure, research and education that our economy desperately needs to improve the lives of Latinos and all Americans … but the most fortunate need to do just a little more.
As the President has said many times, “We just can’t wait!” The time to act is NOW.
Received Nov. 30, 2012
Editor’s Note: Isabel Framer is a community advocate and President & CEO of
Language Access Consultants, LLC, based in Ohio.