Reed willing to tax the rich

Staff reports

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed said Tuesday he would consider raising taxes on the rich as part of negotiations to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, as long as the new revenue is used to pay down the national debt.??

“As we continue working to find common ground to avoid ????the fiscal cliff, it is growing clearer that revenue is going to be part of that conversation,” Reed, R-Corning, said. “Considering revenue is a good thing in my opinion, as long as we ask the necessary follow-up questions. Once we agree on what that revenue will be and where revenue will come from, we need a firm understanding of where that revenue is going. We need a commitment that revenue will go to reduce our annual deficit and ultimately help pay down our national debt.”??

Raising taxes on the rich would generate approximately $70 billion-$ 80 billion in revenue annually. The country’s annual budget deficit is more than $1.2 trillion dollars, and the U.S.’s debt is more than $16 trillion.??

“If we allow revenue to go toward increased government spending, we are headed on the same path of out-of-control government spending that we are currently on,” Reed said. “Simply raising revenue pays for only about six or seven percent of the deficit. We need to ask the question of how to address the remaining budget deficit and bridge that gap.”??

Unless lawmakers and the White House reach a deal before the end of the year, all Americans will see an increase in their taxes Jan. 1, and automatic governmental spending cuts will go into effect. Reed said that while he would consider a tax increase for the rich, the government must protect the middle class.??

“Locally, we need to protect our small businesses and families in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes from the fiscal cliff. We can do that by ensuring their tax rates do not go up on Jan. 1.”