Taxes

Floor Speech

By:  Paul Broun
Date: June 11, 2008
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, our Founding Fathers did not establish Congress to level society or to endlessly take money out of the pockets of people, and they were very clear on that point. According to Thomas Jefferson, ``Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.''

James Madison went even further. He wrote, ``I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.''

Heavy taxation is bad representation. As a rule, I use a four-part test for every piece of legislation that crosses my desk. My test asks these four simple questions: Is it moral? Is it constitutional according to the original intent of the Constitution? Is it needed? And can we afford it? Most of the time, the legislation fails at least one of those tests and I stand against it.

Mr. Speaker, the American people have stood against new taxes time and time again because the current tax system is not moral, is not constitutional, is not needed, and we cannot afford it. This government of takers has imposed an immoral death tax, an anti-growth capital gains tax, an unfair dividend tax, and job-killing business taxes, all with supposed social benefits.

We need to stand up for the overburdened taxpayer by taking away the financial yoke of big government. It is absolutely immoral for Congress to allow death taxes to stand. The government has no business inflicting more stress on those in our society that are already mourning the loss of their loved one. I don't believe that a person should be forced to visit the IRS and the undertaker on the same day.

How can the people trust a government so controlled by greed? Congress must understand that every time a new tax is passed, there will be unintended consequences and unfair results. The people do not want these taxes. Truly limited government does not need them. The people want to be treated fairly, and our Constitution requires us to comply.

Not only are some taxes immoral, but many are unconstitutional as well. For example, extra taxes that target successful businesses are harmful, unfair and anti-capitalistic. Harmful because the more the government taxes businesses, the less they produce and the less they compete; unfair, because consumers are denied the benefit of a wide variety of low-cost products produced by a competitive market; and anti-capitalistic because it is not the government's place to redistribute wealth.

As the great Winston Churchill once said, ``for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.''

These corporate taxes will always be unwise, and in the American economy there is only one social responsibility of business, and that is to make as much money for their investors as possible, within the rules, of course. As an ardent capitalist, I believe that the marketplace, unencumbered by government regulation and taxes, is the best way to control quality, quantity and the cost of all goods and services, no matter what it might be, whether it is health care, my business, or selling anything that might be available to the public.

Cutting taxes and reining in the Federal Government is fundamental to returning power to the U.S. citizens and promoting economic growth. We should support our free market by eliminating unfair corporate taxes and promoting economic growth. Along with promoting economic growth, we should also promote economic consistency and stability. We can only do that by eliminating, not just reducing, but eliminating capital gains taxes.

Just as businesses should not be penalized for being successful, investors should not be penalized for making good decisions and for supporting good companies. If we continue to try to tax people into making a perfect world, we will create a bureaucratic monster. In fact, Congress has been doing just that.

Congress has always been able to raise new taxes when it can sell a new program to one group of citizens while sending the bill to another. The American people should always remember that whatever the government gives, it first must take it from somebody else. Congress should always remember that the less money it takes from people, the more freedom people have.