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Pathway to Job Creation Through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DOGGETT. Reviewing this Republican bill before us, I found that there were many of its findings and purposes with which I fully agree. ``The Tax Code is unfair.'' ..... ``The Tax Code violates fundamental principles of equal justice.'' ..... ``Exclusions, deductions, credits, and special rules make up tax expenditures that amount to over $1 trillion per year. .....''

And then I reflected on who has been in charge of this Tax Code for 14 of the last 18 years, and it is the very people who offer us this bill today. And of the other 4 years, in 2 of those, President Bush was ``the decider.'' So they've had ample opportunity to correct these deficiencies in our Tax Code. But the problem is that rarely over the course of the last couple of decades have they met a lobbyist peddling a loophole to whom they could say ``no.''

They talk to us about a fast track. Well, that would, indeed, be a new track for them because they've had almost two decades to put in place a Tax Code that would resolve the problems about which they complain today, and they've been inactive through that period.

Oh, yes, there was a time when Republicans controlled essentially all three branches of the American Government, and they flirted with a flat tax. It had great appeal to the Flat Earth Society that dominates the Republican caucus on most issues, but they couldn't make it work.

Then they said they wanted a Fair Tax, and a fair tax sounded like something all of us could support. The only problem was that it would hike the cost of just about everything we buy--from food to a car to a home--by over 20 percent. And when you really get into the details, it wasn't all that fair, except to those at the top who have already benefited so much from the existing Tax Code.

So Republicans have been in charge now for another year and a half in this Congress. They've had an opportunity to come forward not with a pathway to something they would do after the election but with a specific plan of how they would reform our Tax Code. And instead of that specific plan for this Tax Code that has grown by hundreds, if not thousands, of pages under Republican rule of complexity and with exceptions for those lobbyists who were powerful enough to have their voice heard and acted upon in this Capitol. Instead, they come forward with this flimsy little bill, principles with which most Americans could agree; it's just the action that counts. And they say, We want to go on a fast track, but we'd rather wait until after the election to start the track. Well, haven't we heard that story before when they were talking ``fair,'' when they were talking ``flat''? Today they're just talking about what they might do in the future.

So we have to look for clues within this flimsy little bill of what, in fact, they would do if they were in the majority with President Romney, heaven forbid. And we got clue number one yesterday when they approved a bill to extend all of the tax breaks that President Bush approved for the very most privileged people in our society. And the effect of what they proposed and the approach they took was that those who were sitting comfortably on top of the economic ladder, they would gain. If they were a millionaire, they'd gain by more in their tax break than a police officer or a nurse or a small business owner in San Marcos or Schertz or New Braunfels or Lockhart--more than they make in a whole year, these privileged few would get for themselves in lower taxes.

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Mr. DOGGETT. But the marine corporal, the single mom who is trying to get her daughter or son through college, they would actually see their taxes go up under this simplified fast-track Republican approach.

So those who are trying to get their toehold, their foothold into the first or second rung of that economic ladder, they end up having to pay for more tax breaks for those at the top.

And now today, through this bill, we see that what Mitt Romney was a part of in exporting jobs abroad, he was really just getting started because what they propose is a ``territorial'' tax system. What is that? A territorial tax system is when you create jobs in somebody else's territory.

Here's how it works. Here's the plan that they're talking about: you are a manufacturer, and you are trying to decide, where will I create my new plant and locate it? I could locate it in San Antonio, Texas. I could locate it in Shanghai. Under their territorial plan, if you locate it in Shanghai, it's tax free.

Guess where the incentive is under their plan to create new jobs? It's not in Texas. It's not in America. It's someplace else. That's what the territorial tax system is all about. But of course with all the loopholes that their lobbyists have been able to get through the decades, many, many corporations aren't paying the 35 percent statutory tax rate.

Many of our largest corporations, like General Electric, they're not only paying a lower tax rate than the hardware store in Lockhart or in Austin that's selling their products, but they're paying a lower tax rate than the cleaning crew that cleaned up the board room at General Electric. Because they found all these loopholes, we have hundreds of large no-tax corporations that are paying next to nothing in terms of their taxes already. They would simply expand that with great inequity.

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