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Former VA. Congressman Tom Perriello talks about “austerity minefield”

Perriello was  joined by the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute’s Jeff McLynch to discuss New Hampshire impacts 

Concord – Center for American Progress Action president Rep. Tom Perriello, a former member of both the Veterans’ Affairs and Transportation and Infrastructure committees, briefed reporters Thursday on the current state of the fiscal cliff discussions and the consequences for us if we fail to pass tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of businesses and continue investments in infrastructure.

Speaking to reporters from his D.C.-area office, Perriello pointed out that what we currently face is less a fiscal cliff than an “austerity minefield” made up of “landmines” including the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, the end of unemployment benefits for many Americans, the payroll tax holiday, the so-called Medicare “doc fix” adjusting doctors Medicare reimbursements, the defense sequester, and the alternative minimum tax.

“These are only really together by happenstance. Some could be fixed by Congress individually either now or retroactively,” Perriello said. “Doing nothing means a return to the Clinton tax code as opposed to the current Bush code, which were not great for growth,” Perriello said.

McLynch, executive director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute echoed Perriello’s remarks.

“New Hampshire is in better shape than much of the country, but our growth is still slow,” McLynch said. “The number of defense-related jobs that New Hampshire has also makes us vulnerable to the sequester in a way that other states might not.”

While Rep. Perriello remains optimistic about the chance for a solution, many in Washington view the refusal of Republican lawmakers to consider rate increases on the most affluent of taxpayers an obstacle. In New Hampshire, while Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted for a bill that would keep in place tax rates for middle-income families without protecting wealthier Americans, neither Congressmen Charlie Bass or Frank Guinta have been willing to sign on to the measure.

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ABOUT THE ACTION: The Action is a grassroots movement that demands Congress end the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2%—those making more than $250,000 per year. The Action is for critical investments that create and sustain jobs.  New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action is leading the charge in New Hampshire.

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About NH Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.
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