Promise Made, Promise Kept On Middle Class Tax Cuts

Late on New Year’s night, the House voted in a bipartisan manner to pass tax relief for middle class Americans and help grow the economy. House Democrats and the President kept their promise to protect 98 percent of families and 97 percent of small businesses from any income tax increase. The bill, for the first time in 20 years, achieves significant new revenue — approximately $620 billion — by asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share.

The legislation could not have passed without the support of Leader Pelosi and 171 other House Democrats who voted for it. Here are a few of the highlights of that bill, according to a White House fact sheet:

• Permanent extension of the middle class tax cuts
• Most progressive income tax code in decades
• Extension of Emergency Unemployment Insurance benefits for 2 million people
• Extension of renewable energy incentives, the Research & Experimentation tax credit and the Production Tax Credit
• Restores the 39.6 percent rate for high-income households, as in the 1990s
• Capital gains rates for high-income households return to Clinton-era levels
• Reduced tax benefits for households making over $250,000 (for singles) and $300,000 (for couples)
• Raises tax rates on the wealthiest estates
• Extends tax cuts for 25 million working families and students
• Ensures seniors’ continued access to their doctors by blocking a scheduled 27 percent cut in Medicare physician payments
• Extends the farm bill through the end of the fiscal year, averting a sharp rise in milk prices at the beginning of 2013

Leader Pelosi hailed the passage of the bill as a “victory for the middle class” and also “for the President and Vice President who campaigned on protecting the middle class – and kept their promise to the American people.” She added, “With the passage of this measure, we strengthen the principle that we must have equal parts revenue and spending cuts as we work to reduce our deficit.” Watch her floor speech here: