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Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

There is a choice to be made here, and it isn't what the chairman has put forth for one second. Everyone in this body agrees that we should extend the middle class tax cut. The Senate passed a bill that does just that. The President is ready to sign it this week.

The middle class families of this country need certainty, not some vague promises about something to be done in the future. The question is: If everybody agrees that we should continue the middle class tax cut, why don't we come together? The answer is this: The Senate bill continues all of the tax cuts for every American household on their first $250,000 of income; 114 million families would see their tax cuts extended in full; 97 percent of small businesses would keep all of their tax cuts, according to the Joint Taxation Committee. Why don't the Republicans join us in acting?

I think the answer is clear. This chart shows it. They're insistent. Their priority is cutting taxes for the very wealthy. They want to give households that earn more than $1 million a year a tax cut on average of $160,000. This chart shows it. What we have here for middle class families, $2,200; for the very wealthy, $160,000. That's over 70 times more of a tax cut for millionaires than for typical families. What makes it worse, if possible, is it would add $49 billion to the deficit.

This Republican bill also would raise taxes on 25 million families. Those who benefited from the EITC, the child tax credit, and a higher education tax credit, that they would eliminate altogether. It's still worse. The bill we're going to discuss tomorrow, the so-called ``tax reform,'' essentially would provide someone earning more than $1 million a $331,000 tax cut.

This debate is not about tax reform. It's about whether or not we protect the very wealthy at all costs--at all costs at the expense of middle-income families, and everybody except the very wealthy. This talk about 700,000 jobs being lost, that study was financed by special interest friends, and it's been discredited by every fact checker.

They're talking about 70 times more for the millionaire than for middle-income families on average, when in 2010, 93 percent of income growth went to the top 1 percent of wealthy households. And they come here and say that their first priority is protecting the very wealthy.

This isn't about tax reform. We need to work on this. This is about whether the first priority of the Republicans is protecting the very wealthy, holding hostage middle-income families. Let the middle-income family hostages be released. Join together for what everybody says they're for. Let's pass today our substitute and give a middle-income tax cut to everybody, including 97 percent of small businesses.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 10 seconds.

When you look at Mr. Herger's district, he's standing up to protect 180 people who have income over $1 million, sacrificing a middle-income tax cut for 285,000.

I now yield 2 minutes to the very distinguished former chairman and a gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel).


Mr. LEVIN. I yield myself 15 seconds.

You know, it's ironical that the gentleman from Illinois minimizes adding $50 billion to the deficit over 10 years, if continued, which is your policy, continued the high income. A trillion dollars, that's something you just shrug your shoulders at?

I now yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Oregon, Earl Blumenauer, another distinguished member of our committee.


Mr. LEVIN. I yield myself 15 seconds.

Look, no one here should distort the facts. From Joint Tax: 97 percent of small business people would keep all of their tax cuts. And in the Speaker's district, there are 144 people with income over a million, compared to the 300,000-plus. He's sacrificing the middle class for a few with over a million dollars.

I now have the pleasure of yielding 2 minutes to the very distinguished gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Clyburn).


Mr. LEVIN. I yield myself 15 seconds.

Look, I want to repeat, Joint Tax says 97 percent of small businesses would keep all of their tax cuts. And in Mr. Paulsen's district, there are 1,345 people with income over 1 million compared with over 325,000 households. That's the equation at stake here. That's the equation.

I now have a real pleasure to yield 2 minutes to the very active gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Neal).


Mr. LEVIN. I yield myself the balance of my time.

There are a few undisputed facts. Small business--97 percent of small businesses will receive all of their tax cut. Don't listen to the propaganda to the contrary. Everyone will receive their tax cuts up to $250,000 of income. Don't listen to propaganda that says otherwise. And income over $1 million, for those who have that, would receive under the Republican bill 70 times more than the typical family. And when the two bills are combined, 150 times more than the typical family.

Let me say just a word about tax reform, which I favor. It's being used as an argument for inaction. But, look, let's be realistic. No matter who controls the Congress next year, there won't be tax reform until maybe the spring or the summer. So are you going to use that same argument for tax reform, say, in a lame duck against middle-income tax cuts? Or in January, are you going to use the same argument? Are you going to use tax reform as a shield to protect the high-income taxpayer? In a word, the Republican bill is a path to nowhere for middle-income taxpayers.

Our substitute is a sure path. Pass it. The Senate already has. The President will sign it. Act now. Vote for the substitute.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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