Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Plan For Economic Growth And Deficit Reduction

“I applaud President Obama’s call for requiring the wealthiest people and biggest corporations to pay their fair share to reduce the deficit and spur job growth.  It’s too early to know whether Congress will act on these proposals, but Congress should act on these proposals.  This is a balanced plan, these ideas have enjoyed bipartisan support, and the American people agree that budget solutions need to be fair.

“The President is right to demand that people making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.  This ‘Buffet Rule’ is a matter of basic fairness to me and to most Vermonters.  Too many wealthy individuals and corporations are able to abuse and take advantage of the complexities in our tax code in an effort to skirt their responsibilities, while many hard-working Vermonters and small businesses continue to struggle.

“It is also time to close wasteful tax loopholes for firms that move jobs overseas, and instead to offer real incentives for firms to bring jobs back to the United States.  And it is past time to end the unjustified federal subsidies for the biggest oil companies that are enjoying record profits at the expense of working families.

“Finally, I welcome the Administration’s continued support for Vermont to chart its own course for quality affordable health care reform, with inclusion in the President’s plan a provision to make the health reform law’s State Innovation Waivers available starting in 2014, three years earlier than under current law.   I have introduced similar legislation with Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch with the strong support of Governor Shumlin.”

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