Statement on H.R. 8, the Republican Tax Proposal

Aug 1, 2012 Issues: Budget, Economy and Jobs

Earlier today, Congressman Langevin submitted the following statement for the record on H.R. 8, the Republican tax plan:

James R. Langevin
Statement Opposing H.R. 8, Republican Tax Proposal
August 1, 2012

Mister Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the Republican tax proposal.  Their plan will give more tax breaks for the richest 2 percent, providing $160,000 for the average millionaire -- on top of the $1 million that they received over the last 9 years.

A hundred and sixty thousand dollars means different things to different people. For 464 Rhode Island veterans, it means access to employment and job training services; for 2,340 Rhode Island parents, it means immunizations for their children against Measles, Mumps, and the flu; and for Rhode Island’s youth, it means 25 more students get a leg up through Head Start.  But for millionaires, $160,000 simply represents the additional gift they receive under the Republican tax proposal.

A hundred and sixty thousand dollars is a lot of money, and it can go a long way towards improving the lives and opportunities of Rhode Islanders.  While every program I mentioned is on the chopping block, Republicans seem complacent to mortgage our children and grandchildren’s future to preserve these tax cuts for the wealthiest top two percent at a cost of $1 trillion. These are tax cuts we simply cannot afford.  In fact, if we want to talk about responsible deficit reduction, this would be an excellent place to start.

Democrats and Republicans do agree on one thing, -- the need to extend tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses, which is exactly what the Democratic proposal will do. Under the Democratic plan, every single taxpayer will receive a tax cut on income earned up to $200,000 if you are single, and $250,000 if you are married.

For our middle class families, this translates to an extra $2,200 in their pockets. And even high-income households will continue to receive a tax cut averaging more than $10,000 on their first $250,000 of income.

No one thinks raising taxes on the middle class is a good idea.  Right now, my top priority is giving middle-class families and our small businesses the security and certainty they deserve by extending tax cuts they desperately need. This should be an issue where Republicans and Democrats can work together to do what is right for hard-working Americans.

I urge my colleagues to reject the Republican plan that continues down the same fiscally irresponsible path.  Give our small businesses and working families the certainty they deserve, and support the Democratic plan to cut taxes for everyone and help move the economy forward.