Rep Allen West Article for The Sun Sentinel – April 20, 2012

Obama tax proposal would wage war on U.S. economy

April 20, 2012|By Allen West

Photo by BBalaban2012

As a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army, I learned a thing or two about weaponry. Our success in Desert Storm and Desert Shield depended on choosing the correct artillery for each specific objective, whether it was halting the enemy’s forward progress, diminishing the strength of its forces, or completely destroying its capabilities.

Although he has never served his country in uniform, or risked his life to defend its freedoms and liberties on distant shores, President Obama seems to understand a thing or two about weaponry as well.

In the president’s case, the current weapon of choice is tax policy, and the “enemies” are small businesses, investors, entrepreneurs and corporations deemed “undesirable” — in short, the economic engines of our nation.

The president’s planned tax increases seem designed to demonize “the rich,” and use them as a propaganda tool to score political points. But the collateral damage of these policies will spread into the heartland of America. After all, the 160 percent increase in federal cigarette taxes put in place in 2009 certainly affects those earning far less than $250,000 — despite his promise not to raise their taxes.

The fact is, next year, unless changes are made in the tax code, Americans will be bombarded with the largest tax increase in the nation’s history, causing massive economic injury and destruction.

If the Bush tax rates are allowed to expire, the current tax brackets of 10 percent to 35 percent will rise to 15 percent to 39.6 percent. Other tax provisions scheduled to disappear that will hit “ordinary Americans” include the American Opportunity Tax Credit (up to $2,500 per student for qualified college costs), tax exclusion for forgiven mortgage debt, and tax credit for employer-provided child care.

Children of farmers and small business owners, who wish to continue the legacy of their parents, will find it increasingly difficult to do so, as the death tax exemption will shrink from $5 million to $1 million. Further, inherited assets exceeding that amount will be taxed at a maximum rate of 55 percent with a 5 percent surcharge on estates over $10 million.

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