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Public Statements

Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANKFORD. There has been a tremendous amount of rhetoric and hyperbole in the conversation today--all this energy about how we are trying to raise taxes on different groups. Let's clear this up.

This is about keeping the rates the same for another year for all Americans. Really, this debate is not about tax rates. What my colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem to identify as the problem is that some people in America have too much money and that the solution to fix this problem is for people to go down the street and find someone with a bigger house and take some of their stuff and bring it to the other house. Then the problems in America would be solved. Things would be fair.

The issue is not whether we should tax one group more and then distribute that to another group. That doesn't create more jobs, and that doesn't create more stability. That doesn't pull us out of a recession. That only makes one group feel better that they took money from another group and gave it to another.

There are really two philosophies that are at work here. We want to make this debate about taxes, but it's really a philosophical issue. One group says that the purpose of taxation is to take from one group and redistribute to another one to make America fair. The other group, that of the Republicans, says the purpose of taxation is to collect as little as possible in order to efficiently run the government so that individuals are able to keep their money. We became the most powerful, prosperous nation on Earth because Americans were able to keep what they earned, were able to invest it into other things and were able to grow it.

Here is the real proposal: one, keep tax rates the same for another year; two, fix the broken Code.

There are 70,000 pages--3.8 million words--in this Tax Code. It needs to be fixed. It's miserably complicated. No Americans feel confident that when they file their taxes they got it all right. We've got to fix this Code and be able to simplify it dramatically. It's going to take time to do that. So let's extend rates for another year, and then let's spend next year fixing the Code. Let's get this right for all Americans, not just for some.


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