Hoyer: Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts Equals a ‘Republican Tax Increase’ on Middle Class

By Nicholas Ballasy | July 29, 2010 | 7:19 PM EDT

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

(CNSNews.com) – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Wednesday that the expiration built into the Bush tax cuts is a “Republican tax increase” for “working Americans” and the Democrats have “no intention” of allowing it to go into effect.

“We have no intention of allowing the Republican tax increase — that their policies would lead to — to go into effect for working Americans. Period,” he said. “We’re going to act and make sure that the Republican phase out and increase in taxes does not end as they provided for in the laws they passed.”

A congressional source told CNSNews.com that the Democratic Majority Leader was referring to the “middle class” when he said “working Americans.”

Hoyer also said at the press conference, “If we left the Republican policies in place, their [working Americans] taxes would be increased next year. We’re not going to let that happen.”

Hoyer spoke at a “Make It In America” press conference where members of Congress spoke about ways the federal government could encourage manufacturing in America, particularly for small-  and medium-size energy companies.

When asked if allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire could hinder manufacturing in the United States, Hoyer said that raising taxes on upper-income Americans will not hurt the economy.

“The level of taxation on upper-income Americans that was in place in 1994 through 2001 did not inhibit the creation of the most jobs of any administration in my service in Congress,” he said. “It did not inhibit the creation of surpluses in our economy -- did not inhibit the extraordinary growth in the net worth of America in the stock markets.”

“My belief is – and I don’t want to speak for anybody here – but my belief is we want to keep working Americans, with the income they now have, without increasing their taxes – again, if we had left the Republican policies in place – their taxes [middle class] would be increased next year,” said Hoyer. “We’re not going to let that happen.”

He added, “With respect to upper-income folks, we believe that the tax rate at the rate they were paying when our economy was growing very quickly -- and they were doing very well -- will not in any way harm the economy.”

According to the Associated Press, Senate Finance Committee Democrats proposed last week to allow the Bush tax cuts for the “wealthy to expire next year while permanently extending the middle-class tax cuts.”

UPI reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said that House Democrats plan to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class but not for the wealthy.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration is currently encouraging Congress to continue the Bush tax cuts for individuals making under $250,000 a year and to raise taxes on those with income above that amount.