Enactment of H.R. 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, falls short of creating the tax certainty that could improve U.S. global competitiveness, but it is still a reasonable, very positive compromise that helps prevents economy-stomping tax increases that would have otherwise hit on January 1, 2011.
President Obama will sign the bill this afternoon, moving with alacrity (and probably to boost weekend retail spending).
The National Association of Manufacturers had sent both Senators and House members “Key Vote” letters expressing strong support for the legislation on the basis of extending the 2001/2003 tax rates, the “business extenders” including the R&D tax credit, and the compromise that stopped the estate tax from returning from a confiscatory 55 percent rate.
The measure of certainty and investment incentives — including President Obama’s proposal for 100 percent expensing of capital investments — will encourage manufacturers to expand and hire.
Margins of victory last night in the House — by a vote of 277-148 — and previously in the Senate — by a vote of 81-19 — were much larger than most observers had originally expected. But the consequences of inaction would have been so economically destructive that members of both parties found the legislation the only realistic course of action before them. We don’t begrudge others their ideological commitment or reasoned arguments, but this was THE realistic compromise.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD): ” Ladies and gentlemen, there probably is nobody on this floor who likes this bill; and therefore, the judgment is: Is it better than doing nothing? Some of the business groups believe that it will help. I hope they are right. Not only do I hope they are right, I hope if we pass this bill that they respond and create the jobs that we know they have the resources to do. This is a jobs bill, in my view, which is why I will vote for it. It could be a better jobs bill if we invested the money that we are giving to the wealthiest in America in job growth. It is a bill that will help those who have been unemployed week after week after week and whose angst has grown and grown and grown.”
House Republican Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH): ““With nearly one in 10 Americans out of work, acting to ensure no American’s taxes go up on January 1st was critically important. Failing to stop all the tax hikes would have destroyed more jobs and deepened the uncertainty in our economy. Stopping all the tax hikes is a good first step in our efforts to reduce the uncertainty family-owned small businesses are facing, but much more needs to be done, including cutting spending, permanently eliminating the threat of job-killing tax hikes, and repealing the job-killing health care law. These are critical priorities the new majority has pledged to act on in the next Congress, and I hope President Obama will listen to the American people and work with us to stop Washington’s job-killing policies.”