The Congressional Research Service, in an updated report, today stood by its finding from a September report that showed that there's no link between tax cuts for the wealthy and economic growth. In the updated report the CRS wrote: "This analysis finds no conclusive evidence to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year reduction in the top statutory tax rates and economic growth." CRS had reached the same conclusion in a September report, but took it down after Congressional Republicans complained about its findings. The updated report is the latest evidence that tax cuts for the wealthy don't contribute to economic growth. It adds pressure on Republican Congressional leaders to follow the will of the American people -- and the advice of many conservative commentators and a growing number of rank-and-file Republicans -- and pass the middle class tax cuts to ensure that 98 percent of Americans don't experience a tax increase next year.
At a press conference this afternoon, several members of the Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen urged Republicans to end their intransigence and do what's right on behalf of the American people.
Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin: "This CRS report reemphasizes the need for the Republicans to end their intransigence to stop blocking a vote on the Senate bill that would extend middle class tax cuts and which would not extend the tax cuts for the top two percent. When you take into account what was said today by CRS it is so critical that we act; that the Republicans end their blockade on middle class tax cuts. I hope that this CRS report will add further impetus to the Speaker to sit down with the Republicans and to really explain where we are in terms of the danger of going over the fiscal cliff."
Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen: "The CRS today provides us the final nail in the coffin to a fictional theory. What this report demonstrates is at the core of the debate we're having right now. It puts a stake in the heart of the Republican argument that small increases in the marginal tax rates for wealthy individuals somehow hurt economic growth."
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Emeritus Charlie Rangel: "The problem we face today is that Republicans refuse to believe that they lost the election. They already had lost the factual basis of fighting against a tax cut for the middle class. The time has now come for the Republicans to realize that we have to move forward. They have to put their country above their party's position. They have to put patriotism ahead of their political interest. Now's the time to do the right thing."
Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim McDermott: "To use the fact that you cannot tax the rich in this country without destroying the economy as your basis for argument is simply nonsense. The reason they had to repress this report was because they didn't want the American people to know the truth. The truth is they're protecting the upper 2 percent, nobody else."
Ways and Means Committee Member and Caucus Vice Chairman-elect Joe Crowley: "What this report says is not only are Republicans running out of time, not only are they dangling a foot over the cliff, they just realized that their last road block has been broken. It's time for them to make the decision that they have to make. I hope they make the right choice for our country."