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Brown Warns Voters Tax Hike Will Cost Mass 100,000 Jobs

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

 

In a policy speech delivered Tuesday, Sen. Scott Brown spent more time talking about his opponent's tax plan than his own.

Addressing an audience at the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, the senator accused Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren of supporting tax hikes that will add up to more than $3 trillion over 10 years and cost Massachusetts 100,000 jobs in the process.

"Taxmageddon"

While many politicians are counting down the days until November 6, Brown urged voters to focus on January 1 instead. Unless lawmakers act soon, the first day of 2013 will mark the expiration date for the Bush-era tax cuts extended by President Barack Obama, the senator said.

As of that day, referred to by some as "Taxmageddon," individual rates will increase for taxpayers of all income brackets.

According to Brown, the bottom tax rate will increase by half, from 10 percent to 15 percent. For the top rate, income formerly taxed at 35 percent will now be taxed at 39.6 percent.

The child tax credit, formerly $1,000, will be reduced by 50 percent to $500, while the capital gains, dividend and death taxes, among others, will all increase, Brown said.

Warren's "twisted logic"

Brown contrasted his support for business owners and entrepreneurs with the "demonizing" of the business world his opponent has engaged in.

"Professor Warren’s twisted logic dictates that because businesspeople like you take advantage of government services, then you owe “a hunk” of their success back to the government in the form of higher taxes," the senator said.

He called Warren's philosophy "dangerous," claiming "it turns the American Idea on its head."

Local costs

The combination of higher tax rates and smaller tax credits may result in 100,000 workers in the Bay State losing their jobs, according to Tuesday's speech.

In particular, a new 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, one of Massachusetts' top exports, will take effect as part of the federal health care law and could have a negative effect on local manufacturing.

"I think that any tax increase in a time of economic difficulty is very, very problematic," said Richard Kennedy, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

With the current economic uncertainty and the looming threat of across-the-board tax increases, Kennedy said employers in the Worcester area are very reluctant to hire right now.

"I think we will not see much hiring of full-time employees until there's some clarification as to what the economic situation will be following the election."

Brown's alternative

For all its criticism of Warren, Brown's speech was light on specifics when it came to his own tax plan.

"We need broad tax reform that does away with special loopholes, simplifies the entire tax code, and lowers rates to get this economy growing again," he said.

He also called for immediate action by lawmakers to head off the impending "Taxmageddon."

"Whatever it takes, even a special session of Congress this summer, the American people deserve to know – and know right now – that they’re not about to be hit with a massive tax increase."

Warren's campaign refuted Brown's numbers and released a statement Tuesday morning in advance of Brown's speech, contending that the Republican candidate was attacking her to distract voters from his own record. 

"Scott Brown has consistently voted against middle class families and small businesses while he votes for special deals for those at the very top," Warren said in her statement.

"He can’t run away from his record, his endorsement of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan or his Republican Party. They stand together to help the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful."

 

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