The battle over the expiring Bush tax cuts is really heating up in Washington DC. Last week, President Obama reiterated his support for ending the Bush era tax breaks for top earners. This weekend House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) signaled his willingness to compromise on the issue for the first time. We need to keep up the pressure.
You can help right now by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper TODAY saying you support restoring the top two tax rates to their pre-Bush levels for households over $250,000 income. With President Obama and others speaking about the tax cuts for the wealthy, now is an ideal time to write a letter to your paper. The voice of upper-income people who would be affected is particularly powerful, as is the voice of small business owners – if you you fall into either of those categories, please include that fact in your letter.
Here are some talking points that might be helpful:
- Congress should extend the tax cuts for working and middle class families, and not hold them hostage to tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%.
- Households in the top 5% received almost half of the Bush tax cuts since 2001 – a total of about $980 billion.
- Congress should end the tax cuts for households in the top 2%. If your household income is over $250,000 ($200,000 for an individual), include the fact that your income is in the top 2%.
- Returning the top tax rates to pre-Bush levels (36% and 39.6%) for just the top 2% would result in $690 billion in much-needed revenue over the next 10 years ($830 billion counting interest on the debt), and would generate $80 billion in just the next two years alone.
- People in the top 2% are not likely to spend their tax savings, so extending the cuts would not result in significant job growth or benefit to the economy. Again, if you are in the top 2%, please include that fact.
- It is a myth that small businesses would bear the brunt – only 3% of small businesses would be affected at all, and many of those 3% are law firm partners, real estate partners, or hedge fund managers, not really small businesses.
- If you are a small business owner, please state that, as a small business owner, I resent being used as a poster child for a cause that would not benefit me and I do not support.
Here are a couple other tips on writing letters to the editor:
- Keep it short and sweet; make it personal to your knowledge and experience, crank it out and send it off; send us a copy if you can.
- Most papers have an email address where you can submit your letter.
- Letters should refer to something specific that was printed in that paper in the past few days - there have been many stories in the news recently about President Obama's position on the Bush tax cuts and on Congressional wavering.
Thank you for taking the time to write a letter. If you have a moment to send us a copy, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.