Issue Position: Economy

Issue Position

Scott Garrett continues to work hard to find ways that we can stimulate the economy and promote economic growth. He has worked across the aisle with House Democrats on many pro-growth initiatives and reached out to President Obama as well. He introduced his own stimulus plan, and has fought hard to cut government spending and decrease the size of the federal deficit.

Garrett's stimulus plan, H.R. 470, The Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act, is an economic stimulus package designed to provide short-term stimulus, while encouraging long-term economic growth.

This legislation, developed in conjunction with the Republican Study Committee (RSC), focuses on broad, growth-oriented, permanent incentives for economic activity across all sectors and industries, with immediate application and sustained, long-term implications. Provisions center around three main themes: support for families through tax relief, economic relief for American businesses and entrepreneurs, and protection for future generations from a crushing debt burden.

Upon introduction of this legislation, Garrett stated:

"The Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act, with its emphasis on America's small business and middle class, is a much-needed jumpstart to our nation's economy. This bill is a commonsense approach to protecting and preserving American jobs. History has shown that the most effective way to reinvigorate the economy and spur economic growth is to ensure that job creators face a lower tax and regulatory burden. Congress and the Administration must pass an economic package that actually works to stimulate our economy long-term. Protecting and securing America's jobs is the taxpayer friendly approach to accomplishing this.

"We must liberate Americans from their overwhelming tax burden in order to empower individual taxpayers and keep more money in the wallets of American families. We must cease the excessive federal spending that continues to bloat our national debt, and create opportunities for private initiatives to spur economic growth. And we must end the government interference in the marketplace that many experts say have helped create our current economic problems.

"I look forward to an open discussion with Members on both sides of the aisle about the ideas presented in this bill. I am confident that we can work together to find relief for Americans and bring an end to the economic crisis facing our country."

Provisions contained in The Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act include:

* 5% across the board reduction to individual income tax rates
* Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax for individuals.
* No increase in capital gains and dividends tax rates for individuals.
* Increase the child tax credit from $1,000 to $5,000, but it is not refundable.
* Permanently repeal the 70.5 distribution requirement on IRAs.
* Increase the tax deduction for student loans from $2,500 to $3,750 and increase income limits up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for families with no phase out.
* Increase the tax deduction for qualified higher education expenses from $4,000 to $6,000 and increase income limits up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for families with no phase out.
* Temporarily make all withdrawals from IRAs not subject to taxation or penalties for 2009.
* Reduce the corporate income tax rate to 25%.
* Reduce the alternative capital gains rate for corporations to 15%.
* Index capital gains for inflation.
* Repeal limitations on expensing allowance (Sec. 179) of depreciable business assets.
* Make the R&D tax credit permanent.
* Extend the two-year "carryback" period for net operating losses to seven years. A one percent across the board cut to non-defense discretionary spending.

As previously stated, Garrett has fought hard to reduce the federal deficit. When the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced an FY09 deficit of $1.2 trillion, Garrett released the following statement:

"The deficit numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office are shocking, but unfortunately not surprising. We end the 110th Congress with two straight years of record deficits, and I have no doubt that Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are dismayed this occurred under their leadership. This $1.2-trillion-dollar deficit represents 8 percent of the size of the economy. Deficits this large are unsustainable. The national debt currently exceeds $10.6 trillion. Over the next 75 years, the federal government has promised to spend over $50 trillion on entitlements. For the sake of our economy's present and future health, we need to stop spending our children's money and begin taking responsibility for the excessive growth in our debt."