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October 13th, 2010

Conlin Couldn’t Be More Wrong on Tax Policy If She Tried

Comments from Democrat Roxanne Conlin and her campaign prove “they couldn’t be more wrong if they tried,” a spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley’s re-election campaign said today.

“Roxanne Conlin has said before that she learned during her failed 1982 gubernatorial campaign to speak at length about things which she knew nothing about. She seems to have retained that ability and passed it on to her staff because Paulee Lipsman doesn’t know what she’s talking about when it comes to how important tax relief is to Iowa families,” said Grassley campaign spokesman Eric Woolson. “Maybe that’s because her boss, Roxanne Conlin, seems to avoid paying taxes wherever she can, even while Conlin wants to raise taxes on Iowa families.”

Just last weekend, the Marshalltown Times Republican reported that Conlin said “one thing she would like to see done is to allow most of the tax cuts to expire that were signed into law by President George W. Bush.  Those, she said, have Grassley’s fingerprints all over them.  He was head of the Senate Finance Committee when the bill was passed and eventually became law.”

“As Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Chuck Grassley got through Congress bipartisan tax relief, including an across-the-board income tax rate reduction.  His bill reduced the tax rate on the lowest income from 15 to 10 percent.  It removed six million low-income people from the federal income tax rolls entirely.  It increased the child tax credit from $500 to 1,000.  The child tax credit was expanded to low-income people without any tax liability.  Grassley’s bill included marriage penalty relief,” Woolson said. “What part of that tax relief does Roxanne Conlin disagree with?”

Grassley’s work also made tax-free savings plans for college a permanent part of the tax code, created the deduction for tuition, and secured the tax deductibility of interest on student loans.  In fact, 80 percent of the tax relief in Grassley’s legislation goes to those earning less than $200,000 as singles of $250,000 as married couples.  It’s verified by President Obama’s own budget and plan to extend tax cuts for middle- and low-income workers.  Twelve Democratic senators voted for Grassley’s 2001 tax cut, the biggest middle income tax cut in history.  Democratic senators and House members support continuing that tax relief today.  Maybe Mrs. Conlin should have a chat with her fellow Democrats and she would understand that, even with partisan differences, they support the lion’s share of the tax relief program Senator Grassley put in place.

In 2003, after the 9/11 attacks, Chuck Grassley guided through Congress dividends and capital gains tax rate cuts to help spur economic growth.  The result was more revenue to the federal Treasury, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.  The expanding economy helped reduce the annual budget deficit from $415 billion in 2004 to $167 billion in 2007.

The 2001 and 2003 tax relief bills that Grassley sponsored made tax rates more progressive.  The effective federal tax rate on the top one percent of households is more than seven times the rate paid by the bottom 20 percent of households.  That’s up from less than five times as much in 1979.

If the current leadership of Congress lets taxes increase in January, a family of four with two kids who earn $50,000 today would see a $2,155 increase in its tax bill.  More than six million low-income people who currently have no federal income tax liability would be subject to the individual income tax.  If this tax relief isn’t extended by the end of the year, on average, Americans’ tax bills will go up by 10 percent.

“Once again, Roxanne Conlin’s campaign is misleading Iowans with its statements. For example, the 2006 tax reconciliation bill reference was up-or-down vote on a conference report.  The House would not agree to the extension of the student loan interest deduction that Senator Grassley took to conference,” Woolson said. “He secured an agreement from the House to take up this and other expiring provisions in a subsequent bill.  That agreement was honored later in the year.”

He added, “What Roxanne Conlin and her campaign spokesperson don’t understand is that leaving more money in people’s pockets unleashes a positive chain reaction for the economy.  Government spending doesn’t create wealth.  It consumes wealth and is a drag on the economy.  So, the problem isn’t that Iowans are taxed too little.  It’s that Washington spends too much.”

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The Iowa Republican

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