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Public Statements

Middle Class Tax Relief Act 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. YARMUTH. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

You know, this is kind of a comical debate in a way. We hear time after time after time, why would we want to pass job-killing tax hikes? Well, I would ask my colleagues from the other side of the aisle why did they write them into the law? Because these are Republican tax hikes that we are dealing with, trying to decide what makes sense from a fiscal standpoint and from a fairness standpoint.

I love the fact that people talk about job-killing tax hikes as if every small business is going to make a decision based on what their personal tax rate is. I come from a family of small business people. My father was a small businessperson who built a very large company. I have two brothers who are small businessmen. I have a sister who is a small businessperson. I ran a small business. Not one of us ever made a decision about what we would do in our business based on whether a few more percentage points would come out of our net income, particularly when we're dealing with people who are mostly making millions of dollars a year.

I have one brother who is in the barbecue restaurant business. I talked to him about what impact taxes have on his decisions in business. He said, you
know, if nobody can afford barbecue, it doesn't matter what my tax rate is. That's where we are as a country. We have a major portion of our population whose standard of living has stagnated over the last 10 or 20 years, and we have a very small percentage who have done very, very well thanks in part to the tax breaks that they were given back in 2001 and 2003.

We can afford to give everybody tax cuts if we want to raise the national debt another $700 billion. No, I think we have to draw a line somewhere. We have to say the people who have done extremely well over the last 10 years thanks to the Bush tax cuts need to pay a little more. This won't kill jobs. We won't be crying crocodile tears for them. It's more important that we make sure that the vast majority of Americans have the income they need to drive this economy. That's where the business people, small and large, will prosper.


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