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Economic Growth

Location: Washington, DC

ECONOMIC GROWTH -- (House of Representatives - March 11, 2004)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, a few months ago I came down to the floor to talk about our economy and the steps that President Bush and Congress have taken to offset the recession and the trillion-dollar impact of September 11 on our economy.

Part of my remarks that day focused on tax relief and the effect it has had in helping our families, working families, and small businesses weather what has been some tough economic times; and I think it is important that we reiterate our support for tax relief because there are those across the aisle who are increasingly supportive of raising your tax bill. I want to let my constituents in the Seventh Congressional District of Tennessee know that I am standing beside tax relief legislation. I stand with cutting their tax bills.

In 2003 under Republican leadership and under Republican tax legislation, 91 million taxpayers received on average a tax cut in the amount of $1,126. This is real relief for 91 million Americans. So when the rhetoric from the other side of the aisle starts flying that tax relief is only for the rich, you can judge for yourself whether you think 91 million Americans would consider themselves rich.

A few months ago, candidates for the Democratic nomination were all calling for tax increases. Virtually all of them opposed the tax relief which has allowed 91 million Americans to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. On July 28, a Washington Post column proclaimed: "Candidates Not Shying Away From Tax Talk: Candidates Discuss Raises, Not Cuts."

It is important to note they may think you can tax your way to prosperity, but you cannot. You cannot. We know that it is important to leave that money with the taxpayer. Well, today we have a single Democratic candidate, and he is on record for raising some income tax brackets to pre-Bush levels. The question every American needs to consider is this: Why should we raise taxes? What do higher taxes do to the economy? It is a simple answer: higher taxes take capital out of the private sector and give government more money to spend.

I think a vast majority of Americans, and I know the folks in my district, know that higher taxes do not grow our economy; they grow the government.

Something else I think the American people should know is that the tax relief that we have passed, the tax relief responsible for giving 91 million Americans an average of $1,126 in relief last year is not permanent. In short, this tax relief will end in 2011; and at that point, virtually all taxpayers will start facing higher tax bills. Democrats largely do not support making this relief permanent. Americans will again be subject to the marriage tax, the death tax. A family of four making $36,268 will see a tax hike of over $2,000; that is if we do not make permanent our tax relief legislation, and that is something that we are working to do.

The President and this Congress are working to ensure that this relief is permanent, and I look forward to the debate because we are on the side of lower taxes, economic growth, not tax hikes and big government. We are for leaving the money with those who earn it.


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