Even with the fiscal cliff looming, newly elected central Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr opposes any tax increase. Barr was the opening speaker today in Lexington at the annual Kentucky Chamber’s Legislative Preview. The Republican believes increasing taxes on wealthier Americans will hurt the economy.
“According to the joint tax committee,” said Barr, “over 50 percent of small businesses in this country pay taxes as individuals, as limited liability companies, s-corporations, and sole proprietors. What concerns me is that we’re gonna have a huge tax increase on job creators on entrepreneurs and small business, which really are the drivers of our economy.”
Barr, who’s sworn-in next month, says an impasse is possible. House Republicans are willing to close some tax loopholes, but the White House wants an end to tax breaks given to wealthy Americans during the Bush Administration.
Barr says government should cut expenses and improve efficiency instead of eliminating federal programs.
“It’s about saving them,” said Barr. “It’s about making sure they are sustainable for the long run. Clearly we can do that. The American people recognize that we’re going to have to make some changes to make sure that we preserve and save these programs for the long term and make sure that the government keeps its promises.”
No predictions on the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ were made and Barr worries agreement will elude the president and GOP leaders.
“I am hopeful the two sides will continue to come together,” said Barr. “Obviously I don’t take office until January third. So, if this congress and this president are not able to come to an agreement, it will be incumbent on me to work as hard as I can at the beginning of the year to make sure we don’t have these huge massive tax increases tack hold.”
Barr heads to Washington to begin his freshman term in a few weeks. In January, he says, it’s possible Congress will still face a fiscal crisis.