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Mr. BOEHNER. I thank my friend for yielding, and remind my colleagues that for the last 18 months when we've been in the majority, we have focused on jobs. Now, the American people are still asking the question: where are the jobs? And that's why we've got over 30 jobs bills now pending over in the United States Senate. And after today, we'll have another bill sitting over in the Senate that will help create more jobs in America.
Two years ago, the President said we shouldn't raise taxes in this time of a slow economy. I agreed with the President. The Congress agreed with the President. All of the Republicans and 119 Democrats voted to extend all of the current tax rates. And here we are some 18 months later, economic growth is actually slower than it was when President Obama made those remarks, and yet the President wants to go out and raise the taxes on the so-called rich.
Well, let me tell you who the so-called rich are. About a million of those people who you want to increase taxes on are small business owners, small business owners who pay their business taxes through their personal tax return. I know all about this. I used to be one of them. I had a subchapter S corporation, and whatever the company's so-called profits were, I had to pay taxes on those, whether I actually got the money or not.
So when you look at what the President wants to do, you want to tax a million small business owners. Ernst & Young has come out and made it clear that if you do this, 750,000 jobs are going to be destroyed, at a time when the American people are asking: where are the jobs?
It's time to put the rhetoric aside. It's time to put the politics aside. I know we're in an election year, but my goodness, raising taxes at this point in this economy is a very big mistake. Extend all of the current tax rates, which our bill does, for 1 year, so we've got time to revise our Tax Code. Lower rates, fairer rates for all Americans, which is what needs to happen if we're truly going to make America more competitive. Put more Americans back to work. And bring some of those jobs that have been shipped overseas back home. We all know that we need to revise our Tax Code and reform it from top to bottom. But that's not going to happen overnight. So extending all of these rates for 1 year will provide certainty. Certainty for whom? Certainty for small business owners, people who can make decisions about what they want to invest in terms of new plant, new equipment, whether they want to hire new employees. This is the most commonsense thing that we can do, and there's no reason that we shouldn't.
When we look at the proposal coming from our colleagues across the aisle, it raises taxes on dividends. Probably not a smart thing to do. When you look at senior citizens, many of them who depend on their dividend income, they're going to get whacked by your proposal. And under your proposal, not only do we tax small business people, but, oh, yeah, the death tax comes back in full force because it fails to address one of the most penalizing parts of our Tax Code.
I believe that the proposal that my colleague Mr. Camp and his committee have brought forward is a reasonable, responsible approach, and I would urge its passage.
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