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Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act of 2008

Location: Washington, DC

TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE AND SIMPLIFICATION ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - April 15, 2008)


Mr. ROTHMAN. I thank the chairman for the time.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 5719, the Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act of 2008.

Let me tell my colleagues that this bill simply closes a lot of loopholes that were created when my Republican friends controlled this Congress in the majority years ago and it also addresses some of the disastrous Bush administration policies that were adopted by my friends the Republicans when they were in the majority. But they're no longer in the majority this year.

Let me tell you what this is all about. My Republican friends and the Bush administration love to privatize. They wanted to privatize Social Security. Remember that? They wanted to privatize prescription drugs, and they got away with it, and that's why it's so expensive and convoluted. They wanted to privatize health care at Walter Reed Hospital, and you know the disasters that happened there. Trying to privatize the delivery of the United States mail; privatize security in Iraq by letting private contractors handle these things for the U.S. Army. Blackwater and Halliburton, sound familiar?

Well, one of the things that this bill that we're passing today in the House will do will be to eliminate one of the disastrous Bush and Republican policies that they inserted in a 2004 bill. That policy was where they slashed the number of IRS tax collectors, and then they said, oh, my gosh, we can't collect enough taxes; so you know what we'll do? We'll privatize the collection of taxes. This was after they removed the number of IRS tax collectors. They said we'll hire private folks to collect taxes, but we'll pay them eight times more than it would cost a Federal Government employee.


So can you imagine, Madam Speaker, they slashed IRS collectors from people who owed taxes, slashed the tax collectors, and wanted to privatize it and pay eight times more to their friends in private industry to do it. Eight times more. It only took now when the Democrats are in control of the House that we are able now to pass this bill today to end that program.

And when my friend from New York on the other side of the aisle says, well, you know, it's only a one-House bill because the Senate won't approve this, ask yourself why that is. Because there are only 51 Democrat Senators in the Senate, and you need 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. We
only have 51 Democrats in the Senate. We can't get 9 Republicans to get rid of this ridiculously wasteful program of privatizing tax collection. So it's like that terrible story of the kid who kills his parents and pleads for mercy from the Court because he's an orphan. They slashed the tax collectors. Then they gave it to their cronies. Now they say they can't get Republicans to help us fix this problem that they created. Fortunately, the House has a majority that will.


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