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Massie Explains "Nay" Vote on Fiscal Cliff Deal

Northern Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie says the fiscal cliff deal approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives "kicks the can down the road". Massie, of Lewis County, joined a majority of House Republicans in opposing the deal negotiated by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Vice President Joe Biden. From Yahoo!:

Passage came nearly 24 hours after a decade's worth of tax cuts enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans expired with the stroke of the new year, technically raising taxes by more than $500 billion in 2013 alone.

Those tax increases — plus $109 billion in defense and domestic spending cuts that were to be automatically triggered Wednesday — became known as the fiscal cliff. Economists warned that their combined impact would hurl the economy back into recession, but Obama's signature on the bill would prevent the "cliff" from taking hold.

Massie issued the following statement explaining his "nay" vote:

“This plan is Washington kicking the can down the road,” said Massie. “The modest spending cuts agreed to in the 2011 debt ceiling deal are postponed by this bill. This bill does nothing to reform our bloated tax code—in fact the bill perpetuates Obama’s failed stimulus spending within the tax code. Finally, it fails to address entitlement reform or the solvency of Social Security and Medicare.”

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress are once again committing doublespeak by labeling tax increases as tax cuts, and spending increases as spending cuts. I am confident that the American people will see through this.”

Early Tuesday morning the Senate voted to endorse a fiscal cliff deal reached between Senate leadership and Vice President Joe Biden. The legislation, which passed in the Senate 89-8, postpones spending cuts and increases taxes.

“The citizens of Kentucky’s 4th District sent me to Washington to implement real solutions,” Massie continued. “My constituents know that only real and immediate spending cuts can avert our nation’s impending debt crisis.”

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was one of eight senators to vote against the deal. Paul issed this statement:
"Sending more taxpayer dollars to Washington isn't the solution to this situation; cutting wasteful government spending and enabling Americans to keep more of their own money is."
Paul's contention that most Americans will still pay higher taxes is supported by this report in The New York Daily News:

While the tax package that Congress passed New Year's Day will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase, most of them will still end up paying more federal taxes in 2013.

That's because the legislation did nothing to prevent a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring. In 2012, that 2-percentage-point cut in the payroll tax was worth about $1,000 to a worker making $50,000 a year.

The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington research group, estimates that 77 percent of American households will face higher federal taxes in 2013 under the agreement negotiated between President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans. High-income families will feel the biggest tax increases, but many middle- and low-income families will pay higher taxes too.

Households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will face an average tax increase of $579 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center's analysis. Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will face an average tax increase of $822.

"For most people, it's just the payroll tax," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

Sen. McConnell also issued a statement calling the deal "an imperfect solution to prevent very real financial pain":

“I know I can speak for my entire conference when I say we don’t think taxes should be going up on anyone, but we all knew that if we did nothing they’d be going up on everyone today. We weren’t going to let that happen. Each of us could spend the rest of the week discussing what a perfect solution would have looked like, but the end result would have been the largest tax increase in American history. The President wanted tax increases, but thanks to this imperfect agreement, 99% of my constituents won’t be hit by those hikes. So it took an imperfect solution to prevent our constituents from very real financial pain. But in my view, it was worth the effort. As I said, this shouldn’t be the model for how to do things around here. But I think we can say we’ve done some good for the country. We’ve taken care of the revenue side of this debate. Now it’s time to get serious about reducing Washington’s out-of-control spending. That’s a debate the American people want. It’s the debate we’ll have next. And it’s a debate Republicans are ready for.”

President Barack Obama praised the deal, calling it a victory for middle-class families and the economy:

This agreement will also grow the economy and shrink our deficits in a balanced way – by investing in our middle class, and by asking the wealthy to pay a little more.

What's more, today's agreement builds on previous efforts to reduce our deficits. Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut spending by more than $1 trillion. Tonight’s agreement does even more by asking millionaires and billionaires to begin to pay their fair share for the first time in twenty years.  As promised, that increase will be immediate, and it will be permanent.

The White House released a "fact sheet" about the deal: Click Here

PHOTO: Rep. Thomas Massie