January 19,1999

Roth: Americans Should Not Have to Wait 15 Years for a Tax Cut

WASHINGTON -- The following is the statement of Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE):

"I am pleased that the President is proposing dedicating a portion of the surplus to creating personal retirement accounts for Americans. As an author of this idea, I think that is great news.

"Personal retirement accounts would allow all Americans -- many who have trouble saving - to build up equity for retirement while lawmakers try to reach a consensus on saving Social Security.

"However, Americans should not have to wait 15 years for a tax cut.

"It is wrong that in time of increasing budget surpluses Americans are being taxed more than ever before. It is wrong that 20.5% of our GDP is going into federal coffers -- the highest rate since World War II -- that our families are finding it increasingly difficult to send their children to school, and to become self-reliant in retirement.

"We need to cut taxes for all Americans, to put money where it belongs, in the hands of those who earn it. The budget surplus will allow this. It allows us to do this and to shore up Social Security at the same time.

"A 10% across the board tax cut will be the simplest, fairest, and -- I believe -- most productive way to give the money back and to see that the economic growth our nation is enjoying continues well into the future. Broad-based tax cuts will also be the best way to return hard-earned money to the taxpayer to help them save for retirement and education.

"We should also create incentives to strengthen pensions, personal savings and educational savings. That is why I have proposed a bill to expand pension incentives for Americans, like increasing IRA contributions to $5,000 a year, and creating "Roth" 401k plans. I also will be introducing legislation to make it easier for families to save for and pay for their children's education.

"When Americans are keeping more of what they earn, they can save more for their biggest and most important expenses. Let's return the surplus to the taxpayers who created it."