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Fiscal Cliff and Bush Tax Cut History

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Speaker, the Bush tax cuts' history illuminates why American families face huge tax increases on January 1. The Bush tax cuts had two purposes. First, stimulate the economy, create jobs, cut unemployment, and cut the deficit. Second, cut taxes to help American families take care of their own needs.

In just 3 years, thanks to the Bush tax cuts, unemployment dropped from a high of 6.3 percent in 2003 to a low of 4.4 percent in 2006; 7 million American jobs were created between 2003 and 2006.

Most importantly and paradoxically to those who do not understand economics, this robust economic growth cut America's deficit 60 percent--from $413 billion in FY 2003-2004 to $161 billion in FY 2006-2007. By every economic measure, the Bush tax cuts were a spectacular success.

The Bush tax cuts, part 1, became law in 2001. Republican Congressmen and Senators voted 258-2--99 percent--to cut taxes and protect family incomes. In contrast, Democrat Congressmen and Senators who now say they are for protecting family incomes voted 184-40--a whopping 81 percent--against American families and for higher taxes.

The Bush tax cuts, part 2, became law in 2003. Republican Congressmen and Senators voted 272-3--that's 99 percent--to cut taxes and protect family incomes. In contrast, Democrat Congressmen and Senators who now say they are for protecting family incomes voted 245-9--an eye-popping 96 percent--against American families and for higher taxes. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats had enough votes to prevent the Bush tax cuts from being permanent. But for these Senate Democrats, America would not be facing a fiscal cliff today.

President Obama and a radically different Congress, controlled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, revisited the Bush tax cuts. In two separate votes in February 2009 and December 2010, Democrats could have increased taxes on the wealthy if they'd really believed what they now say.

Did they raise taxes on the wealthy? No. Why not?

Democrats could have permanently protected lower- and middle-income families from higher taxes if Democrats had really believed what they now say.

Did they? No. Why not?

Mr. Speaker, why would a Democrat Congress and White House say they want to tax the wealthy but not do it?

Why would a Democrat Congress and White House say they want permanent tax relief for lower- and middle-income taxpayers yet not give it?

The answer is simple: Washington Democrats voted twice against tax increases on the wealthy and twice voted against giving permanent tax relief to lower- and middle-income families so that they could run campaigns on base human emotions like greed, envy, and class warfare, and campaign against the very tax policies Democrats kept in place, thus deflecting attention from the Democrats' abysmal record on the economy--trillion-dollar deficits and a $16 trillion national debt.

To their credit, in 2012, their strategy worked. Democrats won the White House and the Senate. Ultimately, however, American voters will learn from history and truth will prevail. Ultimately, the American people will look at their property taxes, income taxes, estate taxes, sales taxes, and every other tax that they are being forced to pay, and they will ask: Who taxes and undermines my ability to take care of my family?

History proves Democrats raise taxes whenever they believe they can get away with it. Conversely, history proves that Republicans protect as many American families as possible from Democrat tax increases.

Mr. Speaker, that is the fight the Republican House fights today. Republicans will fight today and Republicans will fight tomorrow to protect as many American families as possible from the tax increases Democrats passed when they controlled Congress and the White House, and it is that difference, Mr. Speaker, that caused American voters to give Republicans in the 2010 and 2012 elections their largest number of House of Representative victories in more than six decades.

Fighting Democrat tax increases: now that's a mandate.


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