House Republican Leadership News Conference on House Democrats' Proposed Tax Bill with Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Adam Putnam (R-FL), Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA)
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REP. BLACKBURN: Being the only female on the stage, I'm not sure I'd want to continue calling this the mother-of-all-tax -- (laughter). I think maybe ought to call it the granddaddy or the godfather or something like that.
You know, a couple of days after they took over, they increased spending. Gave them a couple of weeks; they increased taxes. They've increased the taxes now about $110 billion. They've authorized new spending to the tune of about $950 billion. And how do you pay for all this?
Well, after they got started this year we deemed this the hold- onto-your-wallet Congress. I think what the America people are going to start doing is super-gluing that wallet shut and saying, "You're not going to get any more money." Spending is an enormous problem. The American people want the spending to stop. And what we see is government-elite liberals who cannot get enough of the taxpayer's dollar. They're going to see a tax increase, as Mr. McCrery said, three and a half trillion -- with a T -- trillion dollars, over a 10- year period of time.
I have some great groups in my district, and this week I did a conference call with my financial service and small business coalition. And one of the women who's a CPA in my district heard about what they were doing with this mother of all tax increases, and what we thought was coming forward. And on that call, she said, "Does anybody realize how detrimental this will be? Does anybody have any idea; does anybody have a clue of what this is going to do to the U.S. economy, to our economy in Tennessee?"
And, you know, that's exactly right, because in order to get rid of the AMT, then guess what? You're going to get a surtax on income. It's just a tax by a different name, but it is there. And then the expiration of the '01 and '03 tax reductions. In Tennessee, we had our sales tax deductibility restored. You've got eight states, 60 million people in this country, that are affected by being able to deduct the sales tax you pay every year from your federal income tax filing because you don't have a state income tax. And it is the Democrat leadership that is going to take that deduction away from 60 million Americans.
You know, the Democrats, the Democrat leadership looked at the American people and they said, "You give us the purse strings; we will be fiscally responsible." There's a little trouble with the truth in here, because what has happened is the American people gave them the purse strings, or the government credit card, and they are swiping it so fast they are running the numbers off of it, to the tune of three and a half trillion dollars over a 10-year period of time.
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Q I have a sales tax question for Congresswoman Blackburn. Are you aware that there's a one-year extension of the sales tax deductibility?
REP. BLACKBURN: Of course. This is an issue that we have followed very closely. We are continuing to follow it. We would like for it to see -- be made permanent because this is an equity issue. For those of us that are out of Washington State and Nevada and Florida, Texas, Tennessee -- you know, this is an issue that we want to see dealt with. Why should a state that has a state income tax be able for those citizens to deduct that when those of us that choose -- choose in our states to fund our governments off of a consumption tax are penalized for making a very good decision?
Q So you'll support extending bill, in other words.
REP. BLACKBURN: I always support extending sales tax deductibility. It is an equity issue and a fairness issue.
Q When you give them an opportunity to vote for this as part of an AMT tax that also includes these tax hikes that you disapprove of, will you be voting against that?
REP. BLACKBURN: I don't like voting to raise taxes in order to get one something. You're going to end up looking at every piece of that. But I will tell you one thing right now. We worked very, very hard in 2003 to get that sales tax deductibility restored. Kevin Brady did an excellent job in Ways and Means Committee with that. We went from 1986 to 2003 without that deductibility and that tax equity.
REP. BLUNT: Thanks, everybody. We have to vote.
REP. MCCRERY: We need to go vote. Thank you all.