Hoyer Statement on Tax Reform Panel’s Recommendations

For Immediate Release:

November 1, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), a leading proponent of tax reform and simplification in the House of Representatives, released the following statement regarding the recommendations of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform that were released today:

“What is most troubling about the recommendations released by the President’s Advisory Panel today is that they would target middle-class taxpayers through the elimination of important deductions and credits, while seeking to eliminate or reduce taxation of dividends and capital gains, which would predominantly benefit the wealthiest people in the nation.

“Let’s be clear: Recommendations like these – which incorporate the tax policies of the Bush Administration – are part and parcel of a larger effort to shift the tax burden from wealth to work.  People who earn a living through the sweat of their brow would bear the brunt of these recommendations, while those fortunate enough to earn income through dividends and capital gains would be the big winners. 

“I am very disappointed that the Tax Panel’s recommendations overall represent a missed opportunity that would not make the tax code fairer for the middle class, even if some of its proposals do seem designed to simplify the tax code.

“The prospects for real tax reform now depend on the President.  I believe it is imperative that he engage on this issue and seek bipartisan consensus, or else it is doomed to failure like his ill-fated Social Security privatization scheme. 

“Democrats are absolutely committed to real tax reform, and four principles will guide us on this issue.  First, tax reform must not raise taxes on the middle class.  Second, the code must be made simpler.  Third, the code must be made fairer.  And fourth, tax reform must not increase the deficit.

“The ball is now in the President’s court and I urge him to do the right thing and seek bipartisan consensus on this issue.”

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