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Conference Report on H.R. 1308, Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004

Location: Washington, DC

CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 1308, WORKING FAMILIES TAX RELIEF ACT OF 2004 -- (House of Representatives - September 23, 2004)

Mr. REYNOLDS. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 794 and ask for its immediate consideration.


Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

This debate is about one basic thing. Do you think the money coming into the Federal Government is the people's money or the government's money?

Number one, what are we talking about today? What we are talking about is whether we should keep taxes at the levels they are today. Should we keep the child tax credit where it is? Should we keep the marriage penalty relief where it is by and large? And what they are saying on the other side is, okay, if we want to keep these taxes from going up, we got to raise more taxes.

So what we are looking at here is an emphasis. Is it the people's money or is it the government's money? We believe this is the people's money. We believe most importantly that people ought to be able to keep more of their paycheck in their pockets. And what we get from the other side is, to pay for this, let us raise taxes. So we are saying, to prevent these taxes from going up, we will raise taxes over here.

What we are trying to do, Mr. Speaker, is accelerate the policies and keep the policies that have been working. Letting people keep more of their own hard earned money has been good for the economy and good for the individuals and good for the families of America. Just take a look at the fact that over the last year where we have had lower tax rates we have brought in more revenues. That is right. We have got $56 billion in higher revenues this year, the deficit has gone down, under the lower tax rates that we are paying today, than a year ago under higher tax rates.

Why? Because we have better economic growth, because we have more jobs being produced in this economy, because more people are paying taxes because they have a job to pay taxes in.

So why would we want to go down the road of raising taxes to keep these tax levels where they are, to kill the goose that is laying the golden egg that is giving us this economic recovery that is now underway. Point number one.

Point number two, this is already in the President's budget. The President's budget, which is to slash the deficit in half within 5 years, accommodates this policy. I wish we had a budget resolution in full force which is what we passed in the House which froze domestic spending, met our priorities overseas in fighting the war on terrorism, in protecting the homeland and froze domestic spending. Unfortunately, the other body failed to do this.

So the question before us on this rule is do you think that the middle class families ought to be able to keep more of their own money? Do you think that these tax extenders which would go away and raise taxes on the economy and raise taxes on businesses should come into law or not? Or should we keep these tax increases from hitting the economy? Should we have keep these taxes from being raised on families, and is the only way to do that to just raise taxes on someone else?

No. Let us put the emphasis where it ought to be, on spending. Let us put the emphasis on where it ought to be, on letting people keep more hard earned money in their paychecks, in their wallets. Let us not put the emphasis on continuing to raise taxes.

There is a fundamental, philosophical difference between the two parties. You are seeing it on display here on the House floor. We just fundamentally disagree. We believe that people ought to be able to keep more of their own hard-earned money. It is a belief we have. And that belief has translated time and time again, under Jack Kennedy, under Calvin Coolidge, under Ronald Reagan, and, yes, now under this current President, to produce better economic growth, better economic policy and, yes, more revenues. That is what is happening today.

Let us keep the taxes low. Let us prevent the families have having tax increases. Let us not raise taxes. Let us keep them low. I urge adoption of this rule.


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