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The debate over extending tax cuts for high earners

Key arguments for and against making permanent the 2001 Bush tax cuts for income greater than $250,000

For extending the tax cuts:

- During economic recession, raising taxes on anyone hurts the economy as a whole

- Wealthy people are the ones who build businesses, invest in companies and create jobs.

- Small businesses will be hurt disproportionately by any tax increase.

Against extending the tax cuts: - Eliminating the tax cuts for incomes $250,000 or more would reduce the federal deficit by $10 billion by 2015. Eliminating it for all incomes would reduce the deficit by $32 billion by 2015.

- The very rich won't use money saved to boost the economy as well as the government could use it for job creation and deficit reduction.

- Congress enacted the tax cuts at a time of record economic surplus; the government is now running historic deficits.

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