CONCORD — A recent direct mail piece by Gary Lambert’s campaign accuses his Republican 2nd District U.S. House opponent of supporting $150 billion in new taxes – a charge Marilinda Garcia’s campaign calls false.
In the intense GOP primary for the right to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster in November, the Lambert’s campaign is sticking by the claim in its mailer that Garcia, by wanting to close corporate tax “loopholes,” is advocating $150 billion in new taxes, which according to a combination of studies the campaign cites, would result in the loss of about 500,000 jobs.
Garcia’s campaign says the Lambert mailer ignores that she wants to lower “overall corporate tax rates” and “has pledged multiple times not to support any new increases in the tax burden and has a long voting record in the New Hampshire Legislature to prove her commitment to action on this issue, not just words.”
Garcia made the comment back in April before Republicans in Hollis. It was recorded by and posted on Granite Grok, a self-described “conservative blogsite.” Click here for the video clip.
In response to a question on tax policy, she said:
“One of the things that I think needs to happen is, one we talk about how our corporate tax rate is so high, which is true, 35%, but the way we’ve created our tax structure is that the real corporate tax rate that for the most part is paid is about 20 percent.
“And that’s because we have a system that, as usual, does not help the small- and medium-sized, you know, normal American small businesses.
“Because if you can’t hire the lawyers and the accountants that can keep up with the new regulations and policies, you aren’t able to find those loopholes that could reduce your tax rate from 35 to 20 like the big companies do.
“So, that’s a big problem. We need to close those types of loopholes.”
The Lambert campaign sourced a study by the Tax Foundation that concluded “tax expenditures” – exemptions, a deductions and credits – were estimated by the Office of Management and Budget to be $148 billion for Fiscal 2014.
As for its claim that Garcia’s approach would “kill” 500,000 jobs, the Lambert campaign cited an Ernst and Young study showing the research and development tax credit is responsible for 300,000 jobs; another study showing that corporate tax deferral would cost 159,000 jobs and a third study showing that doing away with carried interest would cost 33,000 jobs.
Only the first two studies appear on the mailer.
Lambert campaign manager Josh Davidson said:
“Marilinda Garcia said she wants to close certain tax breaks. Closing those tax breaks would increase tax revenue collected by the federal government. That is a tax increase, plain and simple. Now, Representative Garcia is reversing her position. Perhaps her inexperience led her to make a statement without realizing its consequences; perhaps she changed her position out of political convenience. Either way, 2nd District voters don’t know where Marilinda Garcia really stands.”
Garcia campaign spokesman Kenny Cunningham responded:
“Like many Americans, Marilinda believes that our tax code is increasingly structured to benefit the well-connected, at the expense of the middle class. Businesses that can afford teams of lobbyists, lawyers and accountants can advocate for tax loopholes and work around regulations that small and medium-size businesses cannot.
“Marilinda’s goals for tax reform are simple: fairness, simplicity and lower rates. She wants to eliminate special interest-backed tax loopholes while lowering overall corporate tax rates, ensuring that the USA will be competitive with other developed countries and continue to prosper. It’s a simple equation that many Americans across the political spectrum understand and agree with. Additionally, Marilinda has pledged multiple times not to support any new increases in the tax burden and has a long voting record in the NH Legislature to prove her commitment to action on this issue, not just words. Unlike Mr. Lambert, who has recently switched positions on cap-and-trade energy schemes and federal education standards, Marilinda is consistent.”
Cunningham continued, “Lambert’s mailer attacking Marilinda isn’t surprising considering that during their first debate, Gary Lambert explained that he voted for cap and trade in New Hampshire because his “friends” asked him to. Gary Lambert has demonstrated a willingness to aid and abet corporate cronyism. New Hampshire voters deserve better.”