The leading Republican on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at a full committee hearing on corporate income taxes.
CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Chairman Neal.
“The whole premise of this hearing is false.
“Corporate taxes aren’t disappearing, they are growing – more than 12% last year. And according to CBO, corporate revenues are set to rise over the next decade both in real dollars and as a percent of GDP.
“The claim that corporations shoulder a smaller burden in the U.S. than in other countries is also misleading because most U.S. businesses – 95% – file as individuals, or ‘pass throughs,’ that aren’t traditional corporations.
“The crazy claim by Joe Biden and others that ‘all of the tax cuts went to folks at the top and corporations that pay no taxes’ was dismissed as ‘false’ by Factcheck.org.
“Failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke claimed the GOP Tax Cuts were ‘a two-trillion dollar tax cut that favored corporations.’ Washington Post slammed that as ‘not correct,’ noting that three out of every four dollars of the Republican tax cuts went to individuals and small businesses.
“And, of course, the oft repeated claim by Senator Bernie Sanders that ‘in the Republican tax bill, 83% of the benefits went to the top 1%’ was described as ‘misleading’ by PolitiFact.
“Incredibly, Democrats desperately try to claim responsibility for the remarkable economic boom under President Trump, insisting this is the result of a successful Obama economy.
“But to use President Obama’s own words, ‘you didn’t build this,’ because job growth is 3.2 million greater than projected, and the GDP is $266 billion larger than projected before the GOP tax reform.
“The Obama economic recovery was the slowest on record. Paychecks were flat, jobs and headquarters flowed overseas, consumer confidence was down, and small business optimism was nonexistent while food stamp and disability rolls exploded.
“Remember the ‘Summer of Recovery’? The vaunted ‘Stimulus’?
“Neither do economists, because they failed to jumpstart America’s economy due to a regulatory onslaught that choked our economy—especially for blue-collar workers.
“And ‘inversions’—companies leaving America—seemed like a monthly occurrence.
“Thanks to a unified Republican Congress and President Trump, we rewrote America’s outdated and uncompetitive tax code for the first time in 30 years. We created a tax code ‘built for growth’—the growth of jobs, paychecks, and the American economy.
“We let working families keep more of their money. Doubled the standard deduction. Increased the child tax credit and expanded it to millions of more families. And created a first-ever small business deduction to help Main Street businesses thrive.
“We lowered the corporate tax rate from the highest among our competitors to a more competitive 21%. And we redesigned the tax code so our businesses could compete and win anywhere in the world – especially here at home.
“As a result, we have more people working and higher wages in one of the most competitive economies on the planet. American manufacturing is back, and workers who were left behind in the Obama economy are coming off the sidelines and into good-paying jobs.
“Women, and especially women of color, are winning the jobs race for the first time in memory.
“Economic deniers refuse to accept these real results for working families, especially the poor and minorities left behind by the Obama administration.
“And in a newfound love for fiscal responsibility, they’ll recycle these tired lines: Like ‘Republicans run up the deficit with tax cuts so we can cut Medicare and Social Security later.’ And ‘all the tax cuts went to stock buybacks.’
“But with record and near-record revenues flowing into Washington, as FactCheck.org reminded Mayor Pete when he claimed the tax cuts were driving the nation’s debt, CBO confirms that spending is largely responsible for the nation’s debt.
“And what’s wrong with companies bringing back profits from overseas and investing in their own company, raising stock prices and improving the 401k’s of their workers and retirement plans across America who have invested in them?
“Our economy has created 3.2 million more jobs than projected before tax reform with one million more job openings than available workers.
“And income equality is declining in all measures for the first time in decades, according to the Current Population Survey.
“Wages are up last year 5.2% for workers in the bottom tenth of income versus a mere 1.9% for the upper 10%. That means $3,550 more a year for low-income workers.
“Wages are up more for ordinary workers than supervisors, more for African Americans than Caucasians, up more or bachelors than advanced degree holders.
“According to the CEA, since 2016, wealth for the bottom half is up a whopping 47%, while the top 1% is up a mere 13%.
“But it is impossible to get our debt under control when House Democrats refuse to even put a budget forward.
“And it’s even harder to take Democrats new alarm for fiscal discipline seriously when every Democrat vying for the White House is calling for trillions of dollars in new taxes and hundreds of trillions new spending.
“Rather than vilifying American businesses for political gain, Republicans are eager to build on the success that working families in America are finally seeing after years of disappointment and struggle under Democrats in the White House.
“And today could be an opportunity to debate the best ways how.
“The key to continue increasing our revenues is through making the tax cuts permanent which will create 1.5 million new jobs and lock in the gains for working families.
“We need to sell more ‘Made in America’ products around the world through increased trade, and Main Street businesses are desperate for more workers.
“Those are the challenges this Committee should be focused on today.”