September 23,2021

Finance Committee Republicans Blast Reckless Tax-and-Spend Proposals

Far-reaching, disruptive agenda wrong for America

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senate Finance Committee Republicans, led by Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), joined each other to highlight some of the most egregious proposals under consideration in the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reckless tax-and-spending spree.  The Members note that far-reaching proposals to reimagine America as a welfare state will stunt our economic recovery; punish low- and middle-income workers with higher prices for everyday goods and services; fuel inflation; and reward our foreign competitors, like China, at the expense of American businesses, among other consequences.  

Senator Crapo (R-Idaho), on threats to Americans’ privacy:  

Less noticed are the plans to drastically expand the powers of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and turn banks and credit unions into private investigators for monitoring law-abiding Americans.   This financial dragnet will force financial institutions into reporting deposit and withdrawal flows--on as little as $600--on their customers’ accounts, exposing sensitive data to future breaches.  Whether the cutoff for monitoring transactions $600 or $10,000, Americans of all income levels would have their private financial activities reported to the leaky IRS.   

The threats to privacy and invasion of compliant taxpayers’ personal financial affairs are staggering. 

Senator Grassley (R-Iowa), on how tax hikes will stunt economic recovery:  

Pre-pandemic, reforms [from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act] resulted in the highest economic growth, the lowest unemployment, and biggest wage gains we’d seen in decades.  Now, post-COVID, Democrats assert a massive expansion of government is necessary to “Build Back Better.”  But, that’s exactly backwards. 

America will “Build Back Better” post-pandemic, but it won’t be because of government. In fact, it’s already happening due to the perseverance of the American people and the ingenuity of American entrepreneurs and job creators.  

Senator Cornyn (R-Texas), on punishing the oil and gas industries:  

The hallmark of this legislation is the full range of tax increases on the oil and gas industry.  Whether we’re talking about energy, agriculture, or any other industry, higher taxes always mean higher prices for consumers.  It’s inevitable.  Businesses don’t just take the increases as a hit to their bottom lines--they might raise prices, lay off employees, postpone expansion plans, or implement all of the above.  That’s exactly what this proposal would spur in the energy sector.  It increases taxes already paid by energy companies on income earned in the global marketplace, and subjects energy employers to double taxation of their foreign income.

Once again, the ultimate burden won’t be on energy and chemical companies--it will fall to consumers, who are already struggling to keep up with inflation.   

Senator Thune (R-South Dakota), on the largest tax hike in decades:  

Democrats’ $2 trillion tax hike would be the largest tax hike in decades.  Democrats are proposing to raise taxes on large businesses.  On small businesses.  On investment.  On retirement savings.  The list goes on.  And every one of those taxes will have consequences for ordinary Americans.

Democrats always seem to forget that most Americans are employed by businesses.  And that as a result, when you raise taxes on businesses, ordinary Americans tend to feel the consequences.  If Democrats succeed in passing their $2 trillion tax hike, it’s going to have serious economic consequences for regular Americans.  Consequences like fewer jobs and opportunities.  Slower--or nonexistent--wage growth, especially with higher inflation eroding household spending power.  And fewer benefits. 

Senator Portman (R-Ohio), on who bears the brunt of tax hikes:  

But who ultimately bears the brunt of these Democratic tax hikes on businesses?  Again, it’s the workers.  Just as the Congressional Budget Office found that 70 percent of the corporate tax cuts goes into workers’ wages and benefits, the Tax Foundation found that 70 percent tax increases are borne by workers.  It’s no surprise, then, that the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation right here in this Congress found that two-thirds of the Democrats corporate tax hike would fall on lower and middle-income taxpayers.  

Let me repeat that.  JCT, a nonpartisan committee here in Congress, found that two-thirds of the Democrats' corporate tax hike would fall on lower and middle income taxpayers.  By the way, that’s about 100 million taxpayers who make less than $400,000 a year.  So much for the pledge that no one under $400,000 in income would possibly be affected. 

Senator Cassidy (R-Louisiana), on how tax hikes will crush middle-class families:   

The power to tax is the power to destroy, but these taxes are destroying the jobs and wage increases that have been so important to these working families over the last four years.  And the rhetoric, of course, is that this is about a few tax hikes on the wealthiest of Americans.  But what we learned from the Joint Council of Taxation is that two-thirds of these tax increases will fall upon lower and middle-income families.

Democrats are really earning the title of the “tax and spend party” with this monstrosity. These taxes will stunt our economy and the needless trillions in spending will skyrocket an already increasing inflation, further impacting working American families.  Mark my words.  This will be President Biden's economic Afghanistan. 

Senator Lankford (R-Oklahoma), on how these proposals take America in the wrong direction:  

…I could give you 3.5 trillion reasons why this is the wrong direction.  It’s the wrong policy.  It’s the wrong things stepping out of an economy that’s damaged by COVID.  It is the wrong set of policies long-term for our economy.  It discourages work and what we’re facing right now in workplaces all over the country.  From small to large companies they’re all saying the same thing.  ‘It’s tough to get workers.’  If you think it’s tough to get workers now, wait until there are $3.5 trillion in new entitlements dumped into the economy and see how hard it is to hire workers then.  This is the wrong direction for our country. 

Senator Daines (R-Montana), on fueling inflation, a tax on all Americans:   

The Democrats’ reckless spending bill comes at a time when Montanans are already facing skyrocketing prices on everything from gas to groceries.  Montanans are feeling the pain in their pocketbooks every day because of record high inflation numbers.  This is a direct result of the Democrats’ and President Biden’s tax and spending problem. 

Democrats already flooded the economy with nearly $2 trillion in new spending earlier this year and now inflation is at a 13-year high.  Think about this… even if we experience NO additional rise in inflation for the rest of the year, Montanans would still be hit with an almost 5 percent increase in costs for the year.  The absolute last thing we should be doing is spending trillions more of taxpayer dollars on top of the $2 trillion partisan spending package that Democrats embarked on in March.  We know doing so could send inflation much, much higher. 

Senator Young (R-Indiana), on the massive expansion of social safety net programs: 

Democrats in Congress are doubling down on their efforts to steer America toward the democratic socialist policies laid out in Senator Sanders’ budget, with a $3.5 trillion spending plan that would be the most significant expansion of our social safety net programs since the 1960s. . . It’s as if they want to punish businesses while rewarding unemployment and dependence on the government.

Republicans want to provide employment opportunities and a strong economy.  We don’t want to make people beholden to the government for their livelihood.  That’s not healthy. That’s not freedom.  That isn’t American. 

Senator Sasse (R-Nebraska), on China-friendly tax hikes:  

Under the President’s plan, Americans would have a 32 percent combined rate compared to a much smaller Chinese tax rate.  At their baseline, nominal level but it's important to recognize that the Chinese tax code currently incentivizes high-tech businesses with an even lower 15 percent rate, so we’re talking about north of a 30 percent rate against the Chinese Communist party trying to make sure they attract investment by taxing their investment and digital companies at a 15 percent rate.  This is the definition of shooting yourself in the foot. 

These China-friendly tax hikes would raise the cost of doing business in America.  These China-friendly tax hikes would drive innovation overseas.  These China-friendly tax hikes would lead to more corporate inversions.  These China-friendly tax hikes would hurt American R&D.  If you want the 21st Century to be defined by global Chinese Communist Party leadership, you would tax and spend just like this legislation seeks to do.  

Senator Barrasso (R-Wyoming), on tax breaks for the wealthy:  

The Democrats’ plan would take from working families and give to their friends.  They’re pushing for a tax break for millionaires in states with high taxes. . . People in Wyoming shouldn’t have to subsidize high taxes in other states. 

This bill would also give even more free money to people who drive electric cars.  We are already giving billions of taxpayer dollars to electric vehicle manufacturers and owners.  Nearly 80 percent of these tax credits go to households making at least $100,000 a year.  Electric vehicles also use our roads for free.  This bill would give up to $12,500 to married couples who make as much as $800,000 per year to buy electric vehicles.  An unmarried person could make $400,000 and still get a subsidy.  Democrats even want to spend $7 billion to subsidize luxury electric bicycles.