Ginny Brown-Waite

Fiscal Responsibility - March 9, 2009

Ginny Brown-Waite
March 09, 2009— U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC
Congressional floor speech
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I thank the gentlelady from Illinois.

Last week I had some folks in town from Florida, and they didn't get to see snow very often obviously living in Florida. And when they came here, it was about some of the tax issues. And they were darn mad, the same way that Mrs. Blackburn's constituents were. And when they came into my office, I said to them, "So what do you think about the snow?" They said, "Do you mean the snow job of the stimulus package and then the budget that the President came out with?"

These are small business owners who are very concerned about their ability to stay in business. We all know that the majority, about 80 percent of jobs created recently over the last 8 and 10 years, have been from small businesses. And they realize that they are the ones who are going to be hit very hard by President Obama's proposed tax increases.

This chart clearly shows the 2010 tax increases that are proposed by President Obama. It shows cap-and-trade, which most business people call "cap-and-tax," at $646 billion increase, small businesses and investors, the red color, $635 billion tax increase, and other tax increases, about $149 billion. Now, where are those tax increases going to come from? Obviously by taxing the small business person. We have heard about how the higher tax won't affect anyone earning less than $250,000. The truth of the matter is that it is actually at the $200,000 level, that is the level at which the Obama tax increases begin to take effect for small business owners filing as singles.

My husband and I owned a few businesses. And we were always what is called a Subchapter S corporation. And a Subchapter S corporation, or a partnership, or a limited liability, LLC, at the end of the year, they take the profits, and they add it to their income, and they pay income tax based on that. Well when you combine a hoped-for profit as a Subchapter S corporation or a partnership and you add it to whatever income you may have drawn from the business or your spouse may have brought from another job, you're at the $250,000 level, very, very quickly. But if you're a single taxpayer, it is $200,000. We don't hear a lot about that. We only hear about $250,000, which to the average person sounds kind of like a lot of money. But we must remember that over 3 million taxpayers with small business income actually earn more than $250,000. That is the level at which these tax increases are going to take effect. These, again, are the people back in our districts. These are the Barbara Manzi in my district. She has a metal fabrication business. And you cannot continue to tax these job-creating small businesses out of existence.

A constituent sent me a cartoon. It happens to be the Wizard of Id. And it is someone running for office. And in this, it says, "what are you offering the peasants in your election speech today?" And the politician goes on to say, "nothing they can afford to refuse. Elect me and I promise free health care, free housing, free clothing, food stamps and jobs for everybody." And then he asks the crowd, "are there any questions?" And someone yells out from the crowd, "who needs a job?"

Well, that is exactly where we are going in this country with some of the tax policies. If everything out there is "for free," and you have the President and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle saying that we need to have some people in this country just paying a little bit more, I'm sure that my colleagues forget that many of the taxpayers in these top two income tax brackets earn significant portions of that income from being a major employer. So we are going to really end up taxing those who create the jobs.

I did a telephone town hall last week in my district. And when you do a telephone town hall, you don't select just people in your own party. In my case I do it by county, county by county. And we call individuals and we try to ask them their opinion. Overwhelmingly, whether it was a Republican or a Democrat or an independent, the President's budget was not popular, nor was the stimulus package. The concern was that it really did not help small businesses. And in my district, I don't have major employers. The majority of the employers in my district are either health care, remember this is Florida, are either health care, government, or small businesses. So we are going to limit it to the previous two, because under the Obama Democrat tax plan, we are going to be putting a lot of these small businesses out of business at a time when they are struggling to stay alive in this economy.

The folks back home quite honestly don't understand how this phenomena can be, how people think that they can tax their way out of this declining economy. Because all increased taxes are going to do is make sure that the declining economy continues. And that is pretty darn sad.

We also on this chart had some figures for cap-and-trade. What cap-and- trade is going to do, most people call it cap-and-tax, is it is going to raise taxes on small businesses. It is going to raise energy costs on small businesses and certainly on residents at a time when people are already struggling. I go home every weekend to the Fifth Congressional District. And people up there say things like, "are you the only sane one there who is voting against this?" I assure them that my colleagues, like the gentlelady from Illinois, the gentlelady from Tennessee and many other Members are concerned and are also voting against it. What we are going after here is trying to bring some common sense and help for small businesses.

Unfortunately, President Obama's wealth distribution plan would not even cover the increased energy costs associated with his cap-and-tax, or cap-and-trade, plan. It is really cap-and-tax plan. It is a tax plan, ladies and gentlemen.

Americans fear that we are going down the road to socialism. And I recall Margaret Thatcher's comment about socialism, and that is, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money. Unfortunately, with the budget that the President has proposed, the TARP spending, deficit spending, the proposed budget and the stimulus package, I believe, and I know that the gentlelady from Illinois believes, that we are headed down to a path of possible socialism.

That, my colleagues, is not acceptable. And that is not what our American economy needs at this time.

With that, I will yield back to the gentlelady from Illinois.

155 Congr. Rec. H3098. (2009).