DEAL FOR ALL’ FRAMES THE DISCUSSION IN THE COMING MONTHS TO FOCUS ON THE AMERICANS WHO NEED THE MOST HELP
Jul 30, 2012 -
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Progressive Caucus. Released the following statement regarding today’s Press Conference regarding the CPC formally announcing ‘The Deal for All’ resolution that will be the groundwork of our caucus’ platform going into the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ debate:
“Americans deserve better than the European-style austerity offered by the GOP Majority’s broken promises and bankrupt policies. Repeating Europe’s mistakes, the GOP’s policies call for job-crushing tax cuts and harsh disruptions for beneficiaries of government programs as the debt spirals out of control. House Democrats have repeatedly refused to accept this diminished future. House Democrats fundamentally believe in taking care of our Seniors and ensuring that they are not subject to lives filled with abject poverty.
“Rising health care and entitlement costs and inadequate revenues remain the primary drivers of the long-term fiscal imbalance. These problems must be addressed in the near term. Taxmegeddon is not some abstract possibility—this is real life budgeting for our nation with possible dire consequences for our nations’ fiscal health.
“The individual income tax is a hodgepodge of deductions, exemptions, and credits that provide special benefits to selected groups of taxpayers and favored forms of consumption and investment. These tax preferences make the income tax unfair because they can impose radically different burdens on two different taxpayers with the same income. In essence, Congress has been picking winners and losers.
“Over the coming two years, lawmakers must enact fundamental tax reform that lowers marginal tax rates, promotes the global competitiveness of U.S. companies, reduces complexities in the tax code and promotes compliance. And, while legislation must provide for appropriate transition rules for businesses and the economy to help navigate new rules—dead giveaways to corporations who have used such ruses as the “Dutch Sandwich” to avoid taxation—should not be on the menu.
“There is absolutely no justification for huge tax cuts. The wealthiest tax brackets should not profit at the expense of programs keeping struggling families from poverty. Bear in mind, the Republican’s 2012 budget cut $2 trillion dollars more than President Obama’s Debt Commission advised, and those cuts come from vital social services and safety nets for low income families, children and seniors.
“As we look to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” later this year, we should replace the scheduled arbitrary, across-the-board sequester cuts with even more savings from a balanced and comprehensive plan, which might include some of the Bowles-Simpson framework, that includes savings from entitlements, including health care, and tax reform that raises revenue. And that plan should be phased-in carefully to protect the economic recovery.
“The cloud looming over this Congress is an unintended “triple-witching hour” of tax increases that will take effect at the beginning of 2013. The expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts, the end of the recently extended Payroll Tax Cut, and increases in capital gains and dividends taxation will shock the conscience and wallets of the American people. That is why Congress needs to enact bi-partisan legislation that helps lower the deficit but does not wreck havoc on the financial soul of the middle class.
“Democrats and Republicans must come together to solve this problem. There is too much at stake for us not to act. Both sides will have to move off their fixed positions and find common ground. Our country’s future economic strength depends on it.”