LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The United States Senate voted against extending the George Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans Wednesday – instead opting to endorse a Democratic proposal to only extend the cuts for people earning less than $250-thousand annually.
Democrats say the wealthiest two percent of Americans need to pay their fair share, to help the middle class grow and invest in the economy.
"I would hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would vote with us," said Senator Al Franken (DFL, Minnesota) who supports the Democrats' proposal.
"We'd vote to get a handle on the national deficit, we'd vote to get some kind of certainty and we'd vote to do something a great majority of Americans think we should do."
But Republicans say allowing the tax cuts to expire for top earners would amount to a tax hike – and that would stifle economic growth.
"So many small businesses are called ‘pass through entities,'" said Senator Ron Johnson (R, Wisconsin) "where the business income flows straight to the individual tax payer and it's taxed at individual rates."
"The estimates we see are that this tax increase would hit almost one-million small businesses. That'd be incredibly harmful to our economy's ability to grow and for small businesses to be able to create jobs," he added.
The Democratic measure would also have to pass the Republican-led house to become law.
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