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Words form Washington

Keeping tax rates low will help revive economy

As I traveled throughout Central Washington this past month, I met with small business owners, farmers and others who play roles in our local economy. These men and women are faced each day with the tough decisions about when to hire new employees, whether or not to expand business operations, how to access the credit they need, how to afford health care benefits while avoiding federal penalties and what steps must be taken to balance their books.

While each of these businesses operates differently, many said that they are hesitant to invest in growing their company and make hiring decisions due to the uncertainty in the economy right now. The prospect of higher taxes, stricter rules, and more regulations from this President and this Congress contributes to a general reluctance to hire new employees and get the economy moving again.

The number one unknown that's looming over the heads of all small businesses, is that unless Congress acts, virtually every American will see their taxes go up on Jan. 1, 2011. According to an analysis by the non-partisan Joint Tax Committee, Congress's official tax scorekeeper, half of small business income in America will face higher taxes if President Obama and the Congress do not act to stop the largest tax increase in American history.

According to a recent report by the National Association of Manufacturers, "Small businesses are America's job creators, responsible for 60 percent of the net new jobs created in the last decade. But uncertainty about looming tax hikes has stunted employment growth and until Main Street begins to hire, the unemployment rate will remain unacceptably high."

While these tax increases will have serious effects on small businesses that employ millions of Americans, these tax increases will also impact the budgets of Central Washington families. Unless Congress acts, tax rates will increase on your income, the death tax and marriage penalty will come back in full force, and the child tax credit will be cut in half.

A recent study analyzed the amount of income taxes owed by a typical middle-class Washington state family under current law, and compared it to what that amount would be if Congress enacts this trillion dollar tax increase on Jan. 1. According to the Tax Foundation, a typical Washington family would see their taxes rise by $1,574 a year, an amount that many families will find it difficult to afford in this time of economic uncertainty.

It's time to stop the tax-and-spend culture that has total control over Washington D.C., and get back to the balanced budgets and fiscal discipline that are required for real sustained economic growth. Increasing taxes on hard-working, small business owners and Washington state families is not the way to put people back to work and get the economy growing again.

- Congressman Doc Hastings

(R-Pasco) represents Central

Washington's Fourth

Congressional District.

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