December 13th, 2010 6:00 am | Kendra Clune News | Posted In: Politics

Merkley Joins Democratic Opposition to Obama Tax Deal


Jeff Merkley

All four House Democrats from Oregon have already voiced opposition to President Obama’s tax deal with Republicans. Now U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has joined their chorus with his own concerns.

Merkley said the tax package, which the Senate is expected to approve this week, would add to the national debt and do little for middle-class families.

In a statement, Merkley supported components of the plan—namely tax cuts to working families and the continuation of jobless aid to the long-term unemployed—but blasted the extension of Bush-era tax rates.

“Bonus tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires,” Merkley said, “have been consistently found to be among the least effective in terms of job creation.”

Here’s the full statement from Merkley’s office:

“I have very strong concerns about the tax proposal before us and cannot support moving forward on the package as it now stands.

“This plan will add nearly a trillion dollars to the debt.  Additional borrowing on that scale should only be undertaken if it is critical to getting Americans back to work in the short term or rebuilding our economic foundations for the longer term.  However, major components of the package – particularly bonus tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires – have been consistently found to be among the least effective in terms of job creation.

“There are some good parts of this bill – I strongly support and have voted for tax cuts for working families and continuation of unemployment benefits.  That is why it is so disappointing that these proven and popular measures are paired with ineffective tax cuts for the very wealthiest in America.  And it is even more disappointing to know that our children and grandchildren will be paying off those debts for years to come.

“I had hoped there would be a chance to improve this package to strengthen Social Security and ensure that we include initiatives that are proven to create jobs – such as investments in energy efficiency.  But it is now appears that we will not be able to do that.   Instead, what we have here is the easiest compromise, but it is far from the best.  And it will continue too many of the policies that drove our nation into record debt even while middle class families lost homes, jobs and savings.

“I cannot support legislation that will do so little to create jobs and help working families, yet cost our nation so much.”

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