Toomey Has Right Idea To Deal With ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Harrisburg Patriot-News

Sen. Toomey made encouraging statements recently about the “fiscal cliff” negotiations underway.

Toomey told CNN he would hold to his pledge not to raise taxes but would be open to raising new revenue by achieving meaningful tax reform, lowering rates, cutting spending and “reducing deductions.” This approach, he said, would be far better than dealing with the massive tax increases that would be triggered by falling off the fiscal cliff.

Simplifying and reducing the tax code (something that the president agrees with) and lowering rates while reducing deductions would spur economic growth, help small businesses dealing with red tape and make it easier to hire new workers. This is far preferable to the current practice of using the tax code to pick winners and losers in the free market.

Toomey’s plan also would help sustain our shale gas boom by driving down tax rates and freeing up more funds for investment. The U.S. oil and gas industry’s effective tax rate over the last six years (through 2011) has averaged 44.3 percent. That’s far higher than the 35 percent general corporate tax rate and well above the rates of most other industries and businesses.

The senator also pointed out the U.S. economy is weaker than it was two years ago when President Obama extended the Bush tax cuts. Raising taxes now would be flirting with disaster.

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