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Public Statements

Disclose Act of 2012--Motion to Proceed

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. REED. Mr. President, I rise today in support of the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act. This is a tough economy for a lot of people across the United States. It is especially difficult in my home State of Rhode Island, and that is why I support the legislation before us today. It will help small businesses to hire new workers and to expand their payroll or invest in new capital equipment. This is a commonsense step to encourage growth and create jobs.

These tax cuts are cost-effective and have been estimated by the CBO as having some of the biggest bang for the buck compared to other fiscal policies that directly benefit businesses. It is especially important to pass cost-effective policies because we are in the midst of a global slowdown that is hurting job creation and lowering government revenue.

In contrast, the other body--the House--has been intent upon repealing the Affordable Care Act, rolling back regulations on firms that pollute, or providing tax windfalls to special interests. That approach will not provide the real economic growth we need today to put people to work. In fact, it will exacerbate our deficit, and it will hurt the middle class of the United States.

The targeted tax cuts in the legislation we propose, the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act, stand in stark contrast to the approach taken by the House Republicans in their Small Business Tax Cut Act, which is in many respects just another way to provide huge tax benefits to the wealthiest Americans instead of doing what we should be doing--providing jobs for all Americans. Proposals such as the House Republican bill will only generate 30 cents for every Federal dollar spent as compared to the $1.30 and $1.10 multiplier for tax cuts for job creation and investments in new equipment, respectively, that are included in our bill.

Even more disturbing with the House proposal is that nearly half of the $46 billion in tax cuts would go to the wealthiest Americans--millionaires and billionaires--without having to create one single job.

In contrast, our bill provides a targeted 10-percent income tax credit for businesses that increase their payroll by hiring new workers or raising wages this year. So there is a direct link between the tax credit and creating new jobs or raising wages for working men and women. This is a tax credit that is directly linked to this job creation effort, and the credit is targeted to increasing middle-class job wages because the credit only applies to the first $110,000 in wages for any individual employee. So we are looking to target this as closely and precisely as we can to be both effective and prudent with our resources.

The tax credit is further targeted to small businesses because it only applies to the first $5 million in new payroll, effectively capping the maximum tax credit to any business to $500,000.

The bill also extends bonus depreciation through 2012 for businesses that invest in new capital. Bonus depreciation has proved to be an effective incentive for businesses to pull forward capital purchases and invest in the near term, offsetting some of the weak aggregate demand that has held back our economic recovery.

In 2011, bonus depreciation accelerated $150 billion in tax cuts to 2 million businesses and generated an estimated $50 billion in added investment.

In total, the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act is estimated to create about 1 million jobs nationally and over 3,500 jobs in my State of Rhode Island. We desperately need these jobs, and we need them as quickly as possible. This bill is a responsible, cost-effective, and fair way to generate growth.

Before us today is yet another example of my colleagues in the Democratic caucus putting forth reasonable solutions that have been analyzed by economists and determined to provide immediate help to millions of out-of-work Americans. But my fear is that my colleagues on the other side will again filibuster and oppose this effort, like others we have made, while only offering proposals that promise great things but in reality contribute very little to putting people to work quickly. And that is our challenge.

The damage caused by the refusal of many of my colleagues to support these legitimate job proposals and their efforts to actively unwind Federal support for our recovery is hard to overstate. Their narrowly focused economic proposals, in which a vast portion of their tax cuts flow to millionaires and billionaires or corporations that send jobs overseas, doesn't help our middle class, doesn't help our economy, doesn't help our Nation's fiscal health. Republican proposals do not respond to our immediate crisis.

The legislation before us does respond to that crisis by creating jobs for middle-class working Americans right now. And it does not give large additional tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans.

So I hope we can move forward. I hope we can bridge the differences and pass this legislation. It is legislation that has been looked at by economists and has been determined to provide real benefits. For every dollar we invest, we will get more than that in terms of economic productivity in the economy. Again, this is in stark contrast to simply proposing to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and assume that would put people to work. That was the essence of the Bush economic policies, and at the end of 8 years we were in one of the deepest economic crises, losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month.

We pulled back from that brink, but in order to go forward, and go forward with momentum and confidence, we have to pass legislation such as the legislation we have proposed today: targeted efforts to put people to work, to move our economy forward, to move the Nation forward. This will help millions of Americans who are impacted by this tough economy in the most meaningful way--and that is simply by getting them back to work. When we do, this country will do great things, as it always has done. I urge my colleagues to support this measure.

Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.


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