Providing tax relief for working Americans
March 11, 2001
Congress is working to give you back some of the overpayment you made when your filled out your IRS form to pay the federal government taxes.
In most of America, it is common sense for a cashier to give a customer change when you purchase something and pay more than it costs. But in Washington, the government has not given you change on your tax overpayment.
Now, we are engaged in a major effort to offer taxpayers relief by giving some of your money back in order to grow the economy and help secure jobs in our country.
President Bush has proposed a tax relief package that includes across-the-board relief for everyone who pays federal income taxes. His plan even takes six million Americans off the tax rolls altogether. It is a fair and balanced proposal that will benefit hard-working Americans and offer them more flexibility on how they want to spend their own money.
Giving taxpayers relief by reducing what is known as the "marginal tax rate," we are giving everyone tax relief. Our plan does not seek to redistribute wealth like some have proposed. We realize that everyone who pays taxes ought to get relief. There must be an incentive for Americans to create jobs and businesses by spending and investing their own money.
Freedom, capitalism, and opportunity are what makes our country the world's greatest nation; therefore, we must work to maintain those high standards.
That is why I was proud to vote last week for The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act of 2001' (H.R. 3) that will provide approximately $958 billion over 10 years in income tax relief. Specifically, the tax relief plan we passed in the House replaces the five current tax rates with a simplified structure of four lower rates.
Instead of the current 15, 28, 31, 36 and 39.6 percent brackets, we will replace them with tax brackets of 10, 15, 25 and 33 percent. This is tax relief that will help everyone.
A typical Mississippi family with two children earning $43,907 (the median income for a Mississippi family of four) can expect to receive about $1,600 in tax relief under the President's plan.
Currently, there is a website www.bushtaxrelief.com that shows the details of the Bush tax relief plan. This website allows taxpayers in Mississippi to find out about President Bush's plan to fund America's priorities, pay down the national debt and provide meaningful tax relief to all taxpayers.
Special features on the website include a link that allows individuals and families to estimate the tax savings they would receive under the Bush plan.
The tax relief plan comes from a portion of the current federal budget surplus which results from your overpayment in taxes. Current estimates show that America will run a budget surplus of $5.6 trillion. The President's tax relief plan uses approximately 50 percent of the surplus to pay down the debt, 25 percent of the surplus for responsible and fair tax relief, and the other 25 percent to provide necessary funding for key priorities such as education, a prescription drug benefit, agriculture, and defense.
We are working with President Bush to provide tax relief to all Americans. The President and leaders in Congress are trying to reach out to the opponents of our plan in order to foster a bipartisan agreement without compromising the needs of you, the taxpayer. This is a lofty goal, but one that we see as a something that must be done. You deserve a refund. You overpaid your bill and received no change. Tax relief is the least we can do to correct that injustice and stimulate our economy.
U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., represents Mississippi's Third Congressional District. Write him at 427 Cannon Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 or call (202) 225-5031.