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Public Statements

Buffett Rule Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 6410, a bill to provide a simple way for individuals to voluntarily donate funds to pay down the national debt. Under current law, you can contribute to debt reduction, but like all things with the IRS, it isn't easy. If you dig deep into the 189 pages of instructions that accompany the 1040, you'll find, on page 88, the following:

Do not add your gift to reduce debt held by the public to any tax you may owe.

To contribute to deficit reduction, one must send a separate check or money order to the Bureau of Public Debt, or they can go online at the Web site and use a credit card. Warren Buffett, who says he wants to pay more in taxes to pay down our debt, can't actually do so when filing his taxes.

H.R. 6410, however, gives Mr. Buffett and generous Americans like him a simple, easy way to help pay down our debt. This legislation adds to appropriate tax forms a box with the captions, and I am quoting:

By checking here, I signify that in addition to my tax liability (if any), I would like to donate the included payment to be used exclusively for the purpose of paying down the national debt.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that H.R. 6410 reduces the public debt by $135 million over 10 years. It makes it easy for those who want to donate money to the Treasury for debt reduction to voluntarily do so without raising taxes on entrepreneurs and job creators. If Warren Buffett wants to give, then H.R. 6410 allows him to give to his heart's content, and the payments will go directly to an account at the Treasury dedicated exclusively to debt reduction.

Mr. Speaker, it's not enough to speak in political platitudes about what we can do to reduce our debt. Now you can put your money where your mouth is. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in passing this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

I can understand why my friends on the other side are talking about everything but the bill before us. And that's because this administration's record on the deficit is so dismal. We're going on our fourth year of trillion-dollar deficits. The deficit under their watch is now $16 trillion.

You know, what we really need to do is grow this economy and create jobs, and we know that their tax increases that they love so much would cost us 700,000 jobs. Look at this: 43 months of unemployment of 8 percent. That's why they want to talk about everything but this.

They've said the question is how to reduce the deficit. The fact of the matter is this bill does reduce the deficit, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, by $135 million. Now, they might not think that's much, but to most Americans, every million dollars counts.

So, I think it's important that we move forward on this, that we grow our economy, that we grow our economy to create jobs. And we know that taxes on small businesses that they propose cost us jobs.

So let's pass this bill. It's a step forward. It allows those Americans--we all hear it as we go around the country--people say, ``I'd like to give more. How do I do it?''

This makes it easier, it makes it straightforward, and actually is scored as reducing the deficit.

Let's vote to make a step for reducing the deficit. We have bigger issues we need to deal with. We're going to deal with those. That's why this committee, Ways and Means, has been focused on tax reform this year, more than 20 hearings. I hope we can move forward on fundamental tax reform. Let's vote for this bill. Let's give those Americans who want to be more generous, who want to check a box and contribute more specifically to deficit reduction, a very transparent, straightforward, and easy way to do that.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

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