Fred Thompson: Renew the Bush Tax Cuts

Republican presidential hopeful, former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., addresses supporters during a post-primary campaign rally at the University of South Carolina Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008, in Columbia, S.C. Thompson ended his bid for the nomination a few days later after a third-place showing in South Carolina, a state he had hoped to win when he entered the race riding a wave of optimism among conservatives. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain) AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastian

Former GOP presidential candidate, actor and senator Fred Thompson is appearing in a League of American Voters ad pressing Congress to renew the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year.

Check out Thompson's pitch at left. "Folks, America's economy is struggling, and Congress is about to make it a whole lot worse," he says, warning of the "massive, automatic tax increase" to come if the cuts aren't extended.

Thompson suggests that income taxes could then increase "10 percent or more," while taxes on capital gains will increase 30 percent and taxes on dividends will more than double.

The effects of not renewing the cuts, he says, will be "devastating."

The Obama administration and most Congressional Democrats want to extend the Bush tax cuts for individualsmaking less than $200,000 and couples making less than $250,000, but let them lapse for those earning more than those levels.

Republicans and some Democrats (including three senators) are pushing for an extension of all the cuts, and have argued that government revenue would be higher if that happens because lower taxes spur economic growth.

According to Fox News' Chris Wallace, extending the cuts for high earners would cost the government $678 billion over 10 years. Many Republican-leaning voters, particularly those associated with the Tea Party movement, have expressed frustration about the size of the deficit and national debt.

Under the Obama administration plan, the 0.7 percent of married, jointly-filing Americans who make more than $373,650 would see their marginal tax rate increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center. For the 1.2 percent making between $209,251 and $373,650, it would increase from 33 percent to 36 percent.

The Thompson ad is currently running on Fox News Channel and elsewhere.

"A massive tax increase in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression would be cataclysmic to our nation's broken economy," Bob Adams, executive director of the League of American Voters, said in a release touting the spot.

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