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Kinzinger backs tax bill that could increase nation's debt

Congressman Adam Kinzinger
Congressman Adam Kinzinger

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is expected join nearly all congressional Republicans in favor of a tax bill, which backers say will help the middle class and grow the economy.

The House is expected to take a final vote on the bill this week before it goes to the president.

In a recent NPR interview, Kinzinger noted the bill would double the standard income tax deduction to $24,000.

"Seventy percent of my district takes the standard deduction," the Channahon Republican said. "It's a massive help to the middle class."

He said the reduction of the corporate income tax will help make the United States more competitive globally.

Democrats, however, cite studies that show the majority of the benefits of the GOP tax bill would help the wealthy. They point to polls that indicate a majority of Americans oppose the measure.

Over 10 years, most independent groups say the bill will pile at least another trillion to the nation's debt, even when counting the benefits of economic growth from the tax cuts.

This also is the analysis of the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan arm of Congress.

Many Republicans disagree, saying the economic growth from the tax cuts will cover the entire cost of the tax cuts.

Kinzinger's office didn't return a message for comment on the impact to the deficit.

In a 2011 USA Today story, Kinzinger spoke of his concern about the nation's debt.

"It is high time we cut up the government's credit cards and draw a hard line to stop the government from overspending, which is hampering our economy's ability to grow and thrive," he told the newspaper.

In a Politico column two years later, Kinzinger joined a group of Republican congressmen in sounding the alarm about the debt's effect on millennials. At that point, the debt was $16 trillion. Now it's nearing $21 trillion.

"It’s more than just a number that continues to the rise under President Barack Obama. It’s a threat to the future of our children and grandchildren. In fact, when asked recently to identify the greatest threat to our national security, Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cited our national debt," the congressmen said. "The debt has increased by $6 trillion under this president — and it is now larger than the entire U.S. economy."

The nation's debt has increased under the past two administrations. For example, while George W. Bush was president, Sen. Barack Obama voted against increasing the debt limit. After Obama took the helm, he argued strenuously for upping the cap.

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