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Public Statements

Fair Tax

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. Speaker, you've heard it a lot of different ways this morning. Our challenge is not that we tax too little. Our challenge is that we spend too much, and we're taking steps to make that happen. But we do tax incorrectly. We do tax in a way that challenges the patience, the tolerance and the intellect of millions of Americans every year. We're coming up on that.

One week from today is Tax Day, April 15, that day that folks dread year after year after year after year. One of the things that makes Tax Day so complicated is the exceptions, the exemptions, the loopholes and those special favors that get written into the Code year after year after year after year.

I want to associate myself with the comments from the previous speaker, the gentleman from California. And we've talked about the very serious--the very serious--discussion of the budget that's been going on in the Budget Committee. I'm pleased to be a member of the Budget Committee.

Bloomberg came out with a report this morning, $2.9 trillion in special tax breaks, loopholes and exemptions erased in that budget. Not that taxes go up for Americans, but that taxes get simpler for Americans and fairer for Americans by taking away $2.9 trillion in special favors and special exemptions.

There's a proposal that goes even further, and I want to mention it now a week out from Tax Day, and that's H.R. 25, the Fair Tax. It's a bill that started with only two cosponsors, one Democrat and one Republican. It grew to two Democrats and two Republicans, and then it grew to four Democrats and four Republicans. Now there are 60 cosponsors in the House, five in the United States Senate, the most widely cosponsored fundamental tax reform bill in this Congress.

And it does this: It abolishes income taxes and replaces them with consumption taxes, because the power to tax is the power to destroy. And what we destroy in this country is productivity. We're the only OECD country on the planet that doesn't have a consumption tax, the only one that punishes our producers instead of taxing our consumers. And it eliminates not $2.9 trillion in loopholes as the budget does, but 100 percent of every corporate loophole.

We've heard it on this floor again and again: Loopholes for oil companies, loopholes for this company. It eliminates every single corporate tax break in existence today. And it eliminates them for individuals as well in favor of a simple, low-rate personal consumption tax.

On Tax Day, we talk about the income tax. The largest tax 80 percent of American families pay is the payroll tax. Everybody in here who's got a job has seen that FICA line. You may not add it up, but it is the largest tax that 80 percent of Americans pay. And there is not a single bill on this floor that deals with that except the Fair Tax, which abolishes that tax so you get to keep what you earn so that nobody touches your paycheck before you do.

As you finalize your tax forms over the next 7 days on your way to April 15, I want you to think about what could be different. I want you to think about how, with the passage of H.R. 25, April 15 could just be another spring day.


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