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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) made the following statement today on the House floor:
“Mr. Speaker, here we are – just two weeks after House Republicans claimed that they were restoring fiscal discipline to the federal budget – considering a tax bill that will make our deficits worse and drive our nation even further into debt.
“In five short years, the Republican Party’s failed economic policies have instigated $1.57 trillion in budget deficits and added $3 trillion to the national debt.
“Even Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is sounding the alarm.
“He recently said (and I quote): ‘We should not be cutting taxes by borrowing.’
“But with this bill, Republicans are doing precisely that.
“Now, the Republican response will be as predicable as it is wrong. They will claim that tax cuts pay for themselves.
“But at long last, can we dispense with this supply-side snake oil?
“Last month, the incoming chairman of the Federal Reserve (Ben Bernanke) told the Senate (and I quote): ‘I think it’s unusual for a tax cut to completely offset the revenue loss.’
“And the Comptroller General of the United States (David Walker) recently stated (and I quote): ‘Anybody who says you’re going to grow your way out of this problem [deficits and debt] would probably not pass math.’
“Even the President’s Council of Economic Advisors admitted in 2003 (and I quote): ‘Although the economy grows in response to tax reductions, it is unlikely to grow so much that lost tax revenue is completely recovered by the higher level of economic activity.’
“So, my Republican friends, stop pretending that the tax cuts in this bill will somehow – magically – pay for themselves. They will not.
“Finally, let me say that this tax bill perfectly illustrates the Republican Party’s misguided priorities.
“Its centerpiece is the extension of the capital gains and dividend tax cuts from 2008 to 2010.
“And who do you think benefits from that?
“Certainly not those making less than $50,000 a year. They only receive 3 percent of the capital gains tax cut.
“The fact is, 80 percent of the capital gains tax cut goes to those with incomes of more than $200,000 a year, and more than 50 percent goes to those with incomes over $1 million.
“Meanwhile, this Majority has refused to address the Alternative Minimum Tax within this bill, thereby exposing nearly one-third of taxpayers making between $75,000 and $100,000 to higher taxes next year.
“I urge my colleagues: Vote for fairness.
“Vote for fiscal sanity.
“Vote for the Democratic alternative.”