President Barack Obama has "put a wet blanket" on job creation with the health care reforms, financial regulations and higher taxes planned in the next year, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said today.
In a speech to the Chattanooga Pachyderm Club, Alexander said the health care legislation "rammed through Congress in the cold of Christmas Eve" will raise the tax burden on many small businesses who hire most American workers. The extra taxes and compliance costs for health care and Wall Street reform measures adopted this year are making businesses more uncertain about their future, he said.
Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus, said GOP lawmakers will consider Obama's latest proposal to provide a research and development tax credit for businesses. But such a tax credit should come only after the White House agrees to extend the Bush tax cuts, including those on those earning more than $250,000 a year.
"The first thing we need to do is to make sure that we don't raise taxes (by allowing the Bush tax credits to expire at the end of the year)," Alexander said. "That is going to take most of September. Then we can turn our attention to seeing if we have money to reduce taxes."
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