Assemblywoman Grace Meng Calls on House Republicans to Vote in Favor of the Middle-Class

As the legislative session comes to a close in Washington, D.C. and Congress prepares to vote on extending the Bush-era Tax Cuts, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, the Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 6th district, today called on the House Republican Majority to exercise common-sense by voting to help working, middle-class families in Queens while also urging the Democrats to raise the tax threshold so that it applies to the truly wealthy who make over one million dollars a year.

Said Assemblywoman Meng, “Yet again, the Republican Majority is playing games with the financial security of America’s working, middle-class. Instead of standing up for our neighborhoods, families and small businesses, the Congressional Majority continues to hold vital tax cuts for the middle-class hostage in the interest of protecting the wealthiest 1% of Americans.”

“The last thing this country needs is more political stunts pandering to multi-millionaires and corporations.”

If the Republican-controlled Congress voted in favor of the middle-class- which they rarely if ever do when it comes at the expense of tax cuts and benefits for the wealthy and corporations – it would mean that 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small business owners would know with certainty that their income taxes would not go up. At a time when the budgets of working, middle-class families are stretched, with parents sitting at kitchen tables late into the night with stacks of bills and worries, and small businesses owners are struggling, our neighbors are desperate for any type of financial certainty and security.

“If tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy actually meant more jobs, our local and national economies would be thriving,” Meng continued. “Americans don’t resent economic success – we admire it and aspire to it. But the time has come for the middle-class to stop shouldering the burden of this grinding recession on their own while multi-millionaires continue to be handed tax breaks and benefits.”

In August 2010, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that extending the Bush-era Tax Cuts through 2020 would increase the national debt by 3.3 trillion dollars, comprising 2.65 trillion dollars in lost tax revenue as well as over 600 million dollars in interest and debt service costs. In June of this year, the CBO estimated that the tax cuts have increased the national debt by about 1.6 trillion dollars since taking effect in 2001.

“It’s time Washington stands up for the right priorities and votes to ensure that the wealthiest 1% of Americans pay their fair share. By doing so, and making sensible cuts to the budget, we can begin to help our nation out of debt while still investing in critical economic, educational and infrastructure projects and initiatives.”

While Assemblywoman Meng called on Republicans to get serious about protecting the middle-class, she also recognized the need to increase the threshold on what constitutes high-income status.

“In New York City, and other higher cost-of-living areas, the definition of stressed middle-class is different than in other parts of the country. That’s why I propose raising taxes on those who make over a million dollars a year, while keeping taxes low for working, middle-class families and small business owners – a similar tax structure to the one I voted for as Assemblywoman alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo.”