JOBS AND GROWTH TAX RELIEF RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2003CONTINUED
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I rise today to speak on S. 1054, the Jobs and Growth Reconciliation Tax Act of 2003.
This debate on the tax reconciliation bill is necessary and long overdue. I think it is clear that Members on both sides of the aisle agree that our economy is struggling and a growth package is desperately needed. However, there are wide differences of opinion on the contents of the best package and the best way to implement it.
I am, and always have been, a proponent of the President's original growth package of $726 billion. Implementing the President's proposed bill would create millions of jobs, increase the gross domestic product, GDP, and personal income, and in the process, stimulate overall growth of our Nation's economy.
My home State of Georgia would reap overwhelming benefits from the President's proposal if enacted into law. For instance, between 2004 and 2008, 26,720 additional Georgia citizens would secure jobs; Georgia taxpayers would average $4.2 billion more in disposable income per year; and Georgia taxpayers would average $2.2 billion more in personal saving per year.
Between the President's proposal, the House-passed bill and the Senate bill, the Senate bill of $413 billion, which is loaded with tax hikes in the form of offsets, is by far the weakest of the three bills. This bill will do little to stimulate the economy and provide almost no tax relief to the millions of Americans who seek it. While many of the tax reducing provisions contained within this bill are worthwhile and sound, now may not be the best time to go forth with them given the state of our economy and the increasing budget deficit.
Tax cuts will significantly improve the American economy, but only if Congress makes wise decisions about which taxes to cut and how to cut them. Addressing the double tax on dividends is a big step in the right direction, but the economy will not reap major benefits unless the tax is reduced in an economically beneficial manner.
Several proposed amendments will strengthen this bill, but it has a long way to go for it to be in a form that will truly stimulate the economy and create jobs.
I will vote for the passage of this bill, but only for the sake of advancing the process and moving the bill to conference so that it can be improved. Should this bill come out of conference looking much like it does now, I will most likely oppose final passage of the growth and economic stimulus bill.