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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4297, Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005

Location: Washington, DC

PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4297, TAX RELIEF EXTENSION RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 08, 2005)


Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mark Twain is probably the most famous constituent from my district and I think it was his quote that said, ``There are lies, there are damn lies, and there are statistics.''

I would say probably folks that are back in my district are home from school today because we had snow. Maybe people are taking a break from Christmas shopping and tuning into the debate, and I suspect folks are a little perplexed and a little confused. I do not know what the middle class is in Los Angeles or Cleveland or New York City or Baltimore or Seattle; but I think that at least in my congressional district, if a family is making about $50,000 a year, they probably think themselves to be middle class.

The Democratic substitute for that sector of folks making $50,000 or less, the Democratic substitute helps less than 200,000 taxpayers. Less than 200,000 taxpayers are helped by the Democratic substitute that are trying to sit around the kitchen table and pay their bills, wondering how they are going to pay for Christmas presents for their kids.

If we extend the capital gains and dividend tax rate, almost 8 million American taxpayers making $50,000 or less, the underlying bill, nearly 8 million taxpayers will be benefited, and I think the choice is clear.

Now, let me say to my friend, and he is my friend from Maryland, he talked about failed economic policies. Well, over the last 2 years, since capital gains and dividends reductions were put into law, we have averaged a 4 percent growth to our GDP. 4,400,000 jobs have been added to our economy. Homeownership is up at an all-time high. Government revenues have increased 10 percent a year since the reduction in the cost of capital.

The gentleman from Maryland talks about priorities. Earlier we heard from the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and in his usual acerbic way, brought up the specter of politics. The chairman of the DCCC talked about politics with his usual acerbic, and yet what I find interesting as we get close to the conclusion of this debate, there has been a very concerted effort by my friend from Maryland to reach out to the business community in an effort to make some political gains in the 2006 election.

After the CAFTA vote, when only 14 of our colleagues on the other side voted for increasing our opportunities for trade. There has been somewhat of a, reported at least, concerted effort to reach out to the business community.

This will be an interesting vote because we have with the Democratic substitute a tax increase of $40 billion on businesses. And the underlying bill which, in fact, continues to reduce the cost of capital, so are we going to deny enhanced expensing for farmers and manufacturers? Are we going to tell those laborers and manufacturing companies not to purchase, not to invest, not to expand their plants. That is the choice. And for those again that at least talk to the business community, I think the choice is clear. Reject the substitute and vote for the underlying bill.


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