America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015by Representative Ron Kind
Posted on 2015-02-13
KIND. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Michigan for yielding
me this time.
It is kind of amazing, Mr. Speaker, that today, although it won't be reflected in the final vote count of the legislation before us, there actually is a lot of common ground that exists in this Chamber.
I couldn't agree more with my friend and colleague from Wisconsin, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, that our Nation is in desperate need of comprehensive tax reform. We have an a old, antiquated Tax Code that is not fair. It is too complicated.
It is leading us in a less competitive position in the global economy, and it is long overdue for a thorough scrubbing and a review so that we can simplify it, lower the rates for businesses--large and small--and for our families back home, and lead us in a more competitive position.
I am concerned that the approach that the majority is taking undermines that attempt. This legislation and the legislation that was before us yesterday and the legislation that will be coming up as soon as we get back from the President's Day recess is probably the surest signal that the majority in the Congress, just 6 weeks into this new session, is punting on comprehensive tax reform because this isn't the way to do it.
To cherry-pick certain provisions where, policywise, it may make sense and there is great agreement behind the policy of what is being offered, not paying for it undermines the ability for us to comprehensively reform the Code, making the difficult decisions so we don't leave a legacy of debt for future generations.
My name is on these bills today. I have teamed up with Representative Tiberi from Ohio when it comes to the expensing 179 allowance. I think it makes sense with small businesses and family farmers in Wisconsin and throughout the country to have that cash flow, to have that certainty built into the Code, to make sure that they can immediately expense the investments that they are putting into their business which can help to grow the economy and create jobs.
I have teamed up with my friend from Washington State (Mr. Reichert) on S corp modernization, but between those bills, it is an $80 billion cost, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and no effort to find an offset or a pay-for to deal with it, and that is a missed opportunity because this really does come down to fiscal responsibility.
My friend from Wisconsin was once quoted as saying, ``The people deserve a government that works for them, not one that buries them in more debt.'' We couldn't agree more with that sentiment; yet we have got an example of how well Pay-As-You-Go budgeting can work. During the 1990s, when there was a spending increase offered or a tax cut offered, there had to be an offset to pay for it, and it helped lead, along with a growing economy, 4 years of budget surpluses when we were paying down the national debt, rather than adding to it, but somehow, that element of fiscal discipline and responsibility is absent in the legislation that is before us today.
We can move forward as Chairman Camp did last year in offering his discussion draft on comprehensive reform by making difficult decisions within the Tax Code, finding expenditures that are inefficient and not necessary to promote growth and job creation, and make those decisions while we reform the entire Code.
That is the approach that we should be taking rather than piecemealing very popular proposals, mind you, but doing it in a way that leaves a legacy of more deficits and more debt for future generations to grapple with but also undermines the baseline that we need, the tools that we need to do comprehensive reform the right way.
I would encourage my colleagues--maybe they are doing it because they know it is a message piece rather than a real, substantive proposal. Again, we couldn't agree about the need for greater certainty, more predictability in the Tax Code so our businesses can start making longer-term decisions and not worrying about whether Congress is going to get its act together at the end of the year and extend short-term measures like this.
But the way to do that is in comprehensive reform and making the difficult decisions that will have to be made, so we don't pile up the debt for future generations.
Again, the policy behind this 179 S corp modernization, I think it is in the right place. We have got to find a way to pay for it.
I encourage my colleagues to vote ``no.'' Let's get back to the real business of reforming a Tax Code that is long overdue.