Letter opposing S. Con. Res. 13, the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Resolution Conference Report
April 28, 2009
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly opposes S. Con. Res. 13, the fiscal year 2010 budget resolution conference report. This budget blueprint would create an enormous expansion of the federal government, paid for in large part by increasing taxes on businesses and upper income individuals, and make dramatic changes to health care and to our education system.
The Chamber strongly opposes efforts to exploit the budget reconciliation process to establish sweeping policy changes, such as those related to health care and to the student loan programs. By choosing to use reconciliation protections in the Senate to pass legislation that would dramatically alter health care and student loan program policies without the input from many important stakeholders in Congress and the business community, you would effectively shut the door on bipartisan participation and solutions. Reforming the U.S. health care structure, education system, and student loan programs are too important to be dealt with in this manner and should be addressed through regular order.
This conference report would "pay" for much of the additional spending through a huge tax shift onto businesses and higher income individuals. By allowing the top marginal tax rates to revert to rates as high as 39.6%, this conference report would penalize the most successful U.S. small businesses that pay taxes as individuals and hinder their ability to grow and create jobs. This proposal would take an already highly progressive tax system (the top 1% of the income distribution control about 22% of income and pay almost 40% of federal income taxes) and turn it into a punitive system on those who save, invest, and create jobs. Further, this conference report contains $97 billion in unspecified new taxes on corporate businesses.
Taken together, these tax increases would discourage saving and investment and slow job growth at a time when the economy is mired in the steepest downturn since the Great Depression. This budget resolution conference report loses sight of the immediate concerns presented by an economy mired in deep recession. The tax provisions are simply the wrong medicine at the wrong time to cure an ailing economy.
The Chamber urges the House to reject this conference report and work to adopt a budget blueprint that will, first and foremost, get the U.S. economy back on track for future growth. The Chamber may use votes on, or in relation to, S. Con. Res. 13 in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten