Hatch on President’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, responded to the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Budget that was submitted to Congress today:
“America’s future demands leadership and tough choices to lead our country to the prosperity our families, small businesses and seniors deserve. Unfortunately, the President’s budget blue print is better suited to an episode of the Twilight Zone – an alternate reality of more stimulus spending, more taxes, and more debt designed to satisfy his left-wing base during an election year, but already rejected by the American people. Only this White House could simultaneously argue that our economy is weak so we need more stimulus spending, while also arguing that the economy is getting better, so we should punish small businesses and entrepreneurs with massive tax hikes.
“The hard truth is the President’s budget is a roadmap to more economic insecurity, hardship and pain as we try to recover from the worst economic downturn in a generation. So much for halving the deficit by the end of his first term, as the President promised. No wonder Senate Democrats have already ruled out taking up the President’s budget – or any other – for the year.”
“Politics always comes first for this White House, and the President’s budget shows that campaign rhetoric once again trumps an effective, pro-growth tax policy. There is broad consensus that overhauling our inefficient tax code is essential to righting our nation’s economic ship. But the President is cloaking $1.9 trillion in massive job-crushing tax hikes on millions of Americans under the guise of tax reform so he can continue spending money we don’t have. Making the tax code more complex and filling it with more uncertainty will only continue to hold our economy back.
“Economists say that investment is the lifeblood of business. Reduce the tax burden on investment and more capital flows to businesses to expand and create jobs. Increase the tax burden on investment and capital is more restricted, meaning business contraction and fewer jobs. The President’s proposal to double the tax on dividends could mean the U.S. would have the highest integrated tax rate in the developed world. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) placed the U.S. at fourth highest in the world last year. The President’s proposal on dividends would likely mean that the U.S. would impose the highest tax rate on this form of investment in the world.
“Furthermore, the recycled and rejected tax hikes on the top two brackets would come at the expense of small businesses, with roughly 50 percent of pass-through small business income hit if taxes on the two top rates go back up, something the President worked with Republicans to prevent over a year ago. And if the President is committed to reforming our tax code, why in the world would he discuss putting in place a new version of the failed Alternative Minimum Tax?”
“While acknowledging Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will make up over 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product or more than $22 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, the President acts like these programs are running in the black. Suggesting only a 1.6 percent reduction to these programs shows his commitment to campaigning over leading. These programs are on auto-pilot to fiscal ruin. They are the leading driver of our debt, and they threaten seniors currently relying on the programs and our children and grandchildren who’ll have to pay for them. Reform of these programs must happen and must happen now if they aren’t going to turn into another Washington empty promise.
“Missing from the President’s budget is the true impact of the President’s $2.6 trillion health law with its over $1 trillion in tax hikes, 10,000 plus pages of regulations costing $13.7 billion, and $2.6 trillion in spending. Repealing this law is essential to creating jobs, expanding our economy and getting government out of the way so the American people can get back to work.”
“I appreciate the President’s renewed focus on enforcing our trade agreements to ensure our trading partners are playing by the rules. Unfortunately, the President is also threatening to undermine the effectiveness of agencies with a proven track record, such as the Office of the United States Trade Representative, by proposing to fold it into a massive government bureaucracy. This is a questionable way to open markets to American goods and services. A far better way would be for the Administration to work with Congress to lay out a meaningful trade agenda, including renewal of Trade Promotion Authority, to open growing markets to American businesses, farmers, and ranchers.”