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National Security and Job Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LEVIN. Well, I have now been here 30 years, with 26 on the Ways and Means Committee. So why are we at this point of serious impasse? I think a major reason is that the radical right has taken over House Republicans. Balance is considered surrender; compromise is considered retreat.

Indeed, since the passage of the Budget Control Act in August of 2011, the Republicans have made sequestration even more likely. Before August of last year, the Republican position was no new revenues. The Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy were untouchable. But in their budget passed this March, the Republicans not only said that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy must continue, but also they should be expanded. They are doubling down on a policy of tax cuts for the wealthiest while annual income stagnation continues for the middle class, and we have the worst income inequality in generations. So, in a word, they went from bad to worse, furthering the likelihood of sequestration.

Under the Ryan budget and the so-called tax reform fast-track bill they passed last month, a recent analysis concluded that the average millionaire would lock in an average tax cut of $330,000, while the average person making less than $200,000 would see their taxes rise by $4,500.

I support tax reform, but so far Republicans have refused to say which policies they would eliminate to pay for it. It's been dodge and deception.

Half of the money in individual income tax expenditures is in the lower rates for capital gains and dividends, and they propose to cut those rates even further, Mr. Ryan down to zero on capital gains. Most of those benefits go to those making over $1 million. Most of the other major tax expenditures--mortgage interest, health insurance, education benefits that would have to be decimated--are mainly middle class benefits.

This bill ignores the fact that the President put forward a balanced deficit reduction package over a year ago that would have cut the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years.

I close by emphasizing the word, ``balanced.'' Essentially, the Republican Party that I've known over the years has become very deeply imbalanced in terms of the mainstream of America.


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