WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to a special conference meeting of House Republicans on tax reform and the implementation of a national sales tax:
“House Republicans’ proposals to reform the tax code, especially a national sales tax, will shift the tax burden away from the wealthiest Americans and to the middle class.
“The Republicans spin these proposals as good for the middle class. But any plan that would add 30% to 50% to the price of everything from food, to houses, to cars, and to health care, is not good for the middle class. Any plan which removes taxes from ‘investments’ is not good for the middle class. How many middle class families live off ‘investments’?
“Republicans have controlled Congress for 10 years and they have failed to present any credible tax reform. Instead, they have only complicated the tax code.
“Democrats want to make the tax code simpler, fairer and more efficient. We agree that the current tax code is broken, but it is in large part due to hundreds of special interest tax breaks, to which the Republican Congress has only added. The problems with the tax code do not come from the fact that it is progressive, which is what ensures that it is fair to the middle class.
“Democrats support tax reform that would increase the opportunity to achieve the American Dream, not put it farther out of reach. Democrats believe that the tax code should reflect America’s core beliefs: hard work should be rewarded, homeownership should be encouraged, and quality health care should not a luxury only affordable to the wealthy.
“Only concentrated bipartisan effort will achieve tax reform, eliminate special interest breaks and lower overall rates. This is what President Reagan and Democrats did twenty years ago and that is how we must do it today.”