Bush Administration Created the AMT Monster – They should Help Congress Kill it
WASHINGTON – Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3996, a responsible tax relief package to spare more than 23 million families from a tax increase this year under the alternative minimum tax (AMT).
Recent speeches by President Bush and his economic policy advisors have suggested that the threat of the AMT to millions of middle-class taxpayers was "unanticipated." As detailed in the attached letter to Assistant Treasury Secretary of Tax Policy, Mr. Eric Solomon, these recent statements contradict a number of previous warnings issued by the Treasury Department and Republican Members of Congress on the explosion of the AMT after enactment of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts.
"The Bush Administration is entitled to its own opinion, but they can’t rewrite history," said Chairman Rangel. "Not only did they anticipate the dangerous explosion of the AMT, they deliberately used its revenue to cover the cost of their tax policies."
Architects of President Bush’s tax policies knew from the onset that those policies would cause the AMT to explode and hit millions of middle-class families.
Previous Treasury officials publicly acknowledged that the Bush tax cuts would never materialize for millions of families because of the AMT.
Then-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Chuck Grassley, criticized the 2001 Bush policies for "giving people a tax decrease on one side and a tax increase on the other side…" because of the growing reach of the AMT.
"By its own admission, the Administration’s policies created this AMT monster and yet they refuse to work with Congress to do the right thing and kill it," continued Rangel. "The House passed a bill to prevent the AMT from hitting 23 million families this year without hurting the economy by adding to the national debt. After borrowing their way to record deficits and adding trillions to our national debt, the Administration should show leadership to dig our country out of this fiscal mess before it damages our economy further.
"The eyes of the American people are now on the Senate and the Administration with the hopes they will do the right thing and pass this bill immediately."
Click here to view a copy of Chairman Rangel’s letter to the Treasury Department outlining past statements on the "exploding impact" of the AMT caused by the 2001 and 2003 tax policies.