Issue Profile: The American Opportunity and Freedom Act

Apr 25, 2012

Introduced by Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), the American Opportunity and Freedom Act (H.R.3804) would make the so-called Bush-Obama Tax Cuts permanent. Doing so would remove the uncertainty of temporary tax policy, allowing the American people and their employers to know what their tax rates will be. It would make permanent the capital gains tax cut, the child tax credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit for post-secondary educational expenses. The bill also repeal several other taxes; including, Estate Tax, The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), President Obama's tobacco tax hike, and a few others.

After introducing the bill, Rep. Huelskamp issued the following statement:

"Though a complete overhaul of the tax code is what most Americans need and want, until then this legislation will end the tax uncertainty that plagues our small businesses and families. If Congress and the President fail to act, Americans will suffer from at least $4.5 trillion in higher taxes by 2022. Unfortunately when the President comes to give the State of the Union tonight, he will likely urge Congress to allow that increase and then add to it as well. While year after year Washington manages to increase its spending, American families are tightening their belts. It's time Washington do the same.
"By extending permanently the Bush-Obama tax cuts, Congress would affirm policy that has been supported by two Presidents at the opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. ...
"Allowing taxes to increase by not extending the Bush-Obama tax cuts would undermine both basic economics as well as the President's own philosophy that 'You don't raise taxes in a recession.' By definition, we may have emerged from the formal notion of 'recession,' but America certainly remains in a psychological recession. Most public polls indicate that Americans are still pessimistic about the country's prospects for any near-term economic growth. Imagine the psychological reactions that could spur another actual recession if the Bush-Obama tax cuts expire 11 months from now.
"When the American people see Washington, all they see is debt and dysfunction. Instead of Washington taking more from hard-working taxpayers, they want solutions that are geared toward creating a more efficient and effective government. Money should remain in the hands of small business owners who will jump start our economy, not the hands of politicians who have proven unfit to manage it."