tv Senate Democrats Hold News Conference on GOP Tax Reform Proposal CSPAN September 27, 2017 12:37pm-1:06pm EDT
competitiveness in the global market, instead of sending jobs overseas, we can modernize our tax code to help bring strong investment and good-paying jobs home and keep them here. through this framework, we can lower taxes for individuals and families so hard-working americans are able to keep more of their hard-earned money. later this afternoon, president trump will bring our shared vision of tax reform to the people of indiana and to americans more broadly. he will explain his support for putting americans across the country on a more level playing field because when they are -- >> okay. where's ron? good afternoon. yes, it is afternoon. i want to thank our great ranking member of the finance committee, senator widen, for being here with us today. well, there's a lot to unpack in this outline, so let's get right
to it. for the last several months, we democrats have been united in arguing that not one penny of tax relief should go to the top 1%, that any tax reform plan should be fiscally responsible so as not to put important programs like medicare at risk. under this plan, the wealthiest americans and wealthiest corporations make out like bandits while middle-class americans are left holding the bag. when donald trump was talking about this plan over the last few days, he talked about focusing on the middle class and not helping the wealthy. the plan is a major disappointment because it so deviates from everything the president said. he he's talking the talk, but this plan shows he is not walking the walk. just look at the ways this plan is a boon for the wealthy.
corporations have hired lawyers and lobbyists to exploit every single loophole to avoid paying their fair share in taxes. they get their rate cut from 35% all the way to 20%. now, will this result in hiring workers? the track record says no. for big corporations, corporation profits right now are way up, but wages are not. corporations have plowed all that money into ceo bonuses, stock buy-backs, dividends for their shareholders. they're plush with money already. there's no, no proof, no real belief, no real argument that they're going to take this new money and put it into creating jobs. it may be different for small businesses. we're open to tax breaks for small businesses.
now, will at least these corporations pay for their massive corporate tax cut by closing egregious corporate loopholes that help multinational corporations avoid paying their fair share of taxes? not in this outline. there is no indication, none at all, that this framework under this framework, that the corporate tax cut will be offset by corporate loophole closures. what about on the individual side? multimillionaires with estates over $11 million, they get a tax break, too. by repealing the estate tax, imposed only for the very wealthy, republicans are not giving -- republicans are giving $269 billion to the richest two tenths of 1%. the president said he didn't want to give tax breaks to the rich. then he should this afternoon denounce repeal of the estate tax, which goes exclusively to
the rich. when you repeal it. by slashing the top rate, this was an unpleasant surprise. top rate goes down from 39.6% to 35%. the very wealthiest of americans get even a bigger tax break. the high end, the 1%, they're doing great. god bless them. we're glad they're doing great. they don't need a tax break. middle-class people do. so look at what this plan does. it gives huge tax cuts to the wealthiest and the biggest corporations and socks it to the middle class. eliminating state and local deductibility is a blow to the wallet of millions of middle-class taxpayers across the country. in states like new york and california, doubling the standard deduction and eliminating the personal deduction will not make up for the loss that middle-class
people, particularly in the suburbs, will not make up for the loss when you eliminate state and local deductibility. and what i say to the president and the republicans, last time you tried to eliminate state and local deductibility and tax reform found you had to eliminate that. same thing will happen now. lots of republican congressmen in states like new york and california come from districts where the elimination of state and local deductibility hurts their core constituency, even with doubling the standard deduction. so leader mcconnell and speaker ryan argue this is a boon to wealthy taxpayers in blue states. it's not true. it's just not true. here's another amazing thing. we don't know where this came from. they raised the bottom rate from 10% to 12%. the lowest rate on the poorest
and working class americans, so what the plan does is the top rate on the wealthiest comes down. and the bottom rate on working-class families goes up. what kind of plan is this? republicans will argue that they doubled the standard deduction so it covers the raise in the lower rate. bunk. by repealing the personal exemption, republicans are once again raising taxes on middle-class and working americans. a family of two on this framework with a household income of $45,000 could see their bill increase by $1,000. that's not helping the middle class. they're using fine print, hidden tax hikes on the middle class in order to give huge cuts to the
wealthy. the plan will add anywhere from $5 trillion to $7 trillion to our deficit. if it passes, it will only be a matter of time before republicans start crying out, the deficit is so big, we've got to cut social security. we have to cut medicare. americans beware. that's what they do. dramatically lower taxes on the wealthy. do it in an irresponsible way, and then they say the big deficit we just created forces us to cut medicare and social security. this is all part of the hard right agenda. cut taxes for the rich, blow up the deficit, decimate medicare and social security. the tax plan makes clear, republicans are circling the wagons to do what they have tried to do for decades, go after social security and medicare. to be clear, this hasn't always
been the case. going back to the last time when we reformed our tax code, no less of an authority than james baker, former republican treasury secretary said, quote, we must not let tax revenues decline and worsen the deficit. in other words, tax reform must be revenue neutral and should be judged on its own merits. let's call that the jim baker rule. tax reform must be revenue neutral, judged on its own merits, no dynamic scoring. no fake math. the republicans used to believe in that. middle-class americans deserve tax relief. we democrats want to provide it. but as we have said, tax reform should go through regular order. it should help the middle class, not the top 1%, and should not increase our deficit. and let me just say one more thing. by trying to put a plan through in a partisan way, through reconciliation, the republicans
are going to have the same problem with tax reform that they had with health care. they're going to decidedly push an unpopular plan, 70% of americans do not want tax breaks for the wealthy or for big corporations. they're going to try to push that through. health care ultimately failed. repeal of health care, the republican trumpcare ultimately failed because the public was against it. the public will be equally strong against this plan that is so perverse in helping the wealthy and hurting the middle class. and it will fail. our tax expert, senator wyden. >> senator schumer has said it very well, so let me just highlight a couple of additional points. the first is, what has been released today makes total mockery out of the president's
pledge that he wanted tax relief to be for the working class and it wouldn't be for the wealthy. the fact is, we know the ultra wealthy get $100 billion handout each time the corporate tax rate is cut by just one percentage point. back of the napkin estimates show that the trump plan on the corporate side will result in $1.8 trillion in tax cuts for the multinational and the powerful ceos. then, let's turn to the pass-through issue that the two of us feel so strongly about. this completely new crater-sized new loophole in effect takes a page out of gordon gekko's playbook. pass-through status, democrats have said again and again, is
enormously important to small businesses. a cleaner, a garage, a restaurant. that's not what the republicans are talking about. they're talking about a whole new set of wealthy individuals being able to dodge their taxes through this new provision. the early returns on this one give an approximate estimate of $660 billion in tax cuts to mar-a-lago's most loyal members. that's the pass-through provision. and through shell companies and tax shelters, well-to-do people, the richest in america, are going to be able to disguise wages as business income to avoid higher income tax rates and paying their fair share of payroll taxes. and we want to make clear because, you know, all of this tax lingo is kind of eye-glazing
stuff. payroll taxes fund social security and medicare. programs that the american people and the two of us feel so strongly about. this pass-through tax dodge jeopardizes those core programs, medicare and social security as we know it today. finally, the president lowers taxes, as the leader indicated, for america's wealthiest individuals. to add another $2 trillion to the heaping pile of tax cuts for the fortunate few. let me turn now to the middle class. and this is particularly important. under the president's plan, larger families in america are going to see the most harm. that's because republicans are getting rid of key exemptions. personal and dependents that give more relief to moms and
dads and their kids. now, republicans have said they're going to double the standard deduction. this is a massive step backwards, double the standard deduction. this is a massive step backwards, number one, from multiple bipartisan deals to triple the standard deduction that actually puts hundreds of dollars back into each and every middle class paycheck. coupled with the elimination of the personal independent exemption, this is a recipe for serious inevaluate in our code. and i want to just amplify for a moment on the leader's important point with respect to republicans. they are going to be all about the country saying that they are doubling the standard deduction. they are playing a shell game with respect to middle class
families in america. what they give with one hand, they take away with another. while the republicans say that they are going to increase the standard deduction, at the same time the proposal is eliminating these vital personal and dependent exemptions. what a family of four would gain with respect to an extra $12,000 in standard deductions, they simultaneously lose more than $16,000 in personal and dependent exemptions. folks, that is a net tax increase. we have made it clear, senator schumer and i together, said that the focus is going to be on middle class, the focus was going to be on insuring that we had regular order and we had fiscal responsibility. as of now, the republican are
walking on the history of successful bipartisan tax reform. mention was made of the baker rule. and that is you work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. this proposal walks back the three principles we have outlined, which frankly do not even go as far as ron reagan and jim bakker went in 1986. and we hope, as senator schumer said, that they will start walking back some of this stuff quickly. >> ready for your questions. >> senator schumer, just to be clear, you believe that the plan as it stands receipt now with still a lot of the details missing would raise tax on lower income americans? >> it would raise -- it raises the rates on lower income families, if you are a family of four, you pay more because you lose the individual deductions for each individual. if you are from a state where you have relatively high taxes, you lose the state and local. yes, a large percentage of middle class families would pay
more taxes. looking at this plan, i think almost every wealthy family would get a big break. >> senator, the with unemployment 4.3%, whatever it is, seemingly relatively low you would make the argument that the middle class doesn't necessarily need a tax cut either? >> ask them. >> my question is, what do you think the middle class actually wants? >> i think first of all if you talk to middle class folks they do not want tax breaks for the very wealthy. and they do not want tax breaks for the big corporations. they want some relief themselves. and that's what should have been done in this plan. as i said, the president talked the talk. he said we are going to aim this at the middle class. ain't walking the walk. this is aimed at the wealthiest people in america. they do far and away the best. >> do they want tack implications? what is the message to the three democrats who didn't sign your
letter and who trump thinks will come and work with him. >> the three democrats talked about fiscal responsibility not increasing the deficit. this is a $5 trillion hole in the deficit. the three democrats i believe think tax should go to the middle class. there are things that we could agree on. we believe small business should get some kind of tax break. we could look at that but i believe even the three democrats who didn't sign this bill are going to look at this plan and have a lot of problems with it. >> there was some language about making sure in the committees that the pass-through rate didn't apply to the wealthy. do you take that at face value? >> it's not in their plan. it's not in their plan. here's the amazing thing. if you are a hedge fund or a fancy law firm you will pay no corporate tax. and instead of paying an individual rate of 39.6, or 35. you pay 25. it is a dramatic huge trillion
dollar tax break for the wealthiest. for the wealthiest. middle class people can't take advantage of this. >> peter, can i add on top of that. >> yes, please. >> let me tell you what happened in the finance committee. we began pointing out the inhe can of this pass-through provision months and months ago. we were told by the seth of treasury that it -- by the secretary of treasury it would be corrected of the it has been months since they said they would correct it. that was the first thing i looked at today. i said well they are doing something else. maybe, just maybe they are going to honor the pledge they made months ago to correctet. they still haven't, number one and number two, we just received testimony recently in the senate finance committee that it is very, very hard, if not impossible, to stop the ripoffs in the kind of proposal that they have in fact laid out once
more today. >> look, the bottom line is just about everything that the president, treasury secretary mnuchin, gary cohn have said is not embodied in this plan. they hope they can talk one way and fool the american people. we are not going to let them. and this plan is our best ammunition that what they say and and what they are doing are different. in the next few months we are going to be talking about this every day. and the american people are not going to like this plan when they learn of it. >> what do you do? i mean is there room for negotiation? do you talk to the white house? >> first of all, our letter said three things. no tax breaks for the 1%. they violated that second, don't increase the deficit. they violated that and third, let's do things in a bipartisan way, which i think every one of the democrats, 45, plus three, all agree with on working together.
they are -- i think they realize, just like with health care that what they are doing is so out of the mainstream, their wealthy contributors and donors love it, the hard right loves it. that if they went to reconciliation they would have to move the plan somewhat to the middle and somehow to help the middle class because that's where democrats are and they would have to foresake their big contributors, koch brothers and everybody like that. they don't want to do that. the problem is, if they think they can fool people they are not going to succeed. the plan is toltsly different than what they say about the plan. -- totally different than what they say about the plan. >> going back to the question about no deductions for state and local taxes. >> yes. >> you look at the health care plan and there was a medicaid redistribution element that went against the new yorks and connecticuts and so con. i'm wondering, do you see some sort of geographical red state
blue state fault line at work here? >> you know, i do see some of that. here's the problem. there are, particularly in the house there are a whole lot of republican congressmen who come from districts that are going to be very adversely affected. and let's say -- take long island. you have a family. it is a teacher and a police officer. their income is about $150,000 but they pay between their property tax and their income tax, a lot. if they don't get the deduction, doubling the standard deduction is not going to make up for it or come close to it. so my guess is you are going to have 30, 40, 50 congress members, republican, who say i can't vote for this because it raises taxes on my core constituency. that's the lesson they learned in '86. i was part of it. >> i would add to the leader's point that we heard in the committee number one members are already talking about how this could be seen as double taxation. and of course republicans see
that as a fundamental principle of the senate republican economic thinking. that's number one. and number works two, as the le said, this is not breaking into just a blue state/red state kind of issue. we are going to see in big swaths of the country -- not just one or two places. we are going to see lots of folks who are paying pretty significant local taxes and they are going to be saying not so fast especially when they look at some of these other thing. >> you compare this to health care. health care is a visceral personal thing that people interact with on a more daily base and taxes are something people seem to be confused about. >> here's -- >> how do you keep it -- >> in talking to people around my state and looking a the surveys if you ask people on an issue by issue basis what's the
number one thing they want, reduction in drug cost price. number two, no tax cuts for the wealthy. people viscerally care about it. in 2016 small tax breaks for the middle class doesn't work anymore. >> what the leader is people are saying how does this relate to me, a hard-working middle class family. so when republicans propose increasing the standard deduction and at the same time eliminate the personal and dependent exemptions, you are going to have a lot of families, particularly the large ones, and the republicans say this they are the champions of family values. those folks are going to have a net tax increase. and what the leader and i are saying is out there, where we go to our community -- we both go to the communities and all over our state, people are going to
start taking out a little sharp pencil here. if they are a middle class person. and with the numbers that the leader and i have laid out, a whole lot of those middle class folks, particularly ones with big families are going to pay more. >> it is pretty visceral when you are a middle class person and this tax bill wants to raise your taxes 3, 4, $5,000. that's as visceral as health care and it's going to affect as many middle class people as health care. and one other thing, and i think people are aware of this, social security and medicare are at risk in a plan like this. because if you are going to so dramatically increase the deficit, then social security and medicare are going to be under far greater risk. and that's what republicans have done. right after george bush did a massive tax cut, he then said let's cut social security, we have a big deficit. thank you, everybody.
the president will outline his tax reform plan later today. before then, congressional democrats will be talking about what they would like the see in tax reform legislation. we'll have live coverage at 2:00 eastern. then president trump will be in indianapolis to roll out the republican plan to cut taxes for individuals and corporations, simplify the tax system, and increase the standard deduction used by boast americans. live coverage starts at 3:20 p.m. eastern here on c-span3, on line at c-span.org or on the free c-span radio app.
this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, university of virginia professor gary gallagher on the legacy of the civil war. >> the loyal white citizenry and african-americans and former confederates have very different takes on the war as they went forward after annen mattics. they embraced versions of the war that suited their purposes. and sunday at 10:00 a.m. president bill clinton marking the 60th anniversary of the integration of little rock century high school. >> i wanted to say you did 60 years, take a victory lap, put on your dancing shoes, have a good time. but instead, i have to say you have got to put on your marching
boots. and lead us again. >> then at 7:00 p.m. eastern on oral histories, we continue our series on photo journalists with an interview with darryl hiakis. >> when we were working, especially in the white house to have the optimum lens in your hand and the maximum amount of film whenever something happens. because somebody in just a split second it could be there and you got it. person standing next to you actually does or doesn't have it. >> at 9:00 p.m. eastern hamilton playwright and actor lin manuel miranda accepts the u.s. capital historical society's 2017 theater award. >> when you are a theater kid you make friends with different social groups you aim to work hard to make something greater than the sum of your parts and just for the sake of making something great you learn to trust your passion and let it lead the way. without the humanities and human
arts programs i wouldn't be standing hoar and without lament ton and those who built this country, it's very probably few of the rest of us would be here either. british prime minister theresa may recently outlined her plan for the uk pulling out of the european union. after her speech in florence, italy, prime minister may took a few questions from reporters in the audience about brexit. this is 45 minutes. >> it's good to be here in this great city of florence today at a crit couple time in the evolution of the relationship between the united kingdom and the european union. it was here more than anywhere else the renaissance began a period of history that inspired centuries of creativity and critical thought across our couldn't innocent and which in many ways defined what it meant