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Rangel promises to tax the rich through healthcare reform package

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By Michael Krebs     Jul 11, 2009 in Politics
As Democrats seek to push through a healthcare reform plan that features 'graduated surtaxes' as early as Monday, Republicans are quick to cite the impact on small businesses.
The healthcare reform debate took a more acrimonious and partisan turn on Friday when House Democrat Charlie Rangel, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, promised separate higher individual income brackets for special taxes to help fund the bloated $1 trillion healthcare reform bill that is attempting to make its way through congress.
Moderates in the Democratic Party are concerned with the current healthcare reform package and are requesting that the Democratic leadership take more time to review numerous provisions.
"Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel said Friday the plan would include three different surtax rates that would affect people making $350,000, $500,000 and $1 million a year, respectively," Politico reported.
The idea of hitting one individual income group over another is not a new concept among Democratic lawmakers.
"We have decided instead of putting pieces of different revenue raisers together that the best that we can do would have graduated surtaxes," Rangel said.
Democrats are seeking to introduce the legislation Monday, and the rush has both Republicans and moderate Democrats concerned.
"In the middle of a serious recession, with unemployment nearing double digits nationwide, the last thing we need is a tax increase on small businesses, which will cost the American economy even more jobs," said Republican leader John Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel, according to Politico.
Small businesses power much of the American economy, and moderate Democrats simply do not see the need for a Monday introduction.
"I think that would probably be a mistake to introduce it on Monday," said Rep. Mike Ross, moderate Democratic "Blue Dog" point man on health care, according to Politico. "They've agreed to have further negotiations with us on ways to improve the bill and hopefully they won't file the bill until those negotiations have occurred."
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