tv Senate Democrats Hold News Conference on GOP Tax Reform Proposal CSPAN September 28, 2017 9:05am-9:31am EDT
while the official business is the nomination of a federal judge, we expect speeches on hurricane relief in puerto rico, federal commissions chair renomination and the republican plan to overhaul the tax code. until they return we'll show a part of a democratic press conference from yesterday, responding to the tax proposal. >> okay. where is ron? good afternoon. it is afternoon. i want to thank our great ranking member of the finance committee senator wyden for being with us here today. while there's a lot to unpack in this outline, let's get right to. 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 man 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's walking the walk-- sorry, 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 an i vo i had paying their share-- 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 are way up, but wages are not. corporations have plowed all of that money into ceo bonuses, stock buybacks, dividends for their shareholders. they're plush with money already. there's no, no real proof. no real belief. no real argument they're going to take this new money and put it into creating jobs. it may 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's no indication, none at all that this frame work-- under this frame work that the corporate tax cut will be off set by corporate loophole closures. what about on the individual side? multi-millionaires with estates over $11 million they get a tax break, too. by repealing the estate tax, only for the very wealthy, republicans are not giving 260-- republicans are giving $269 billion to the richest two-nths of 1%. he should renounce the repeal you repeal it. by slashing the top rate, this was an unpleasant surprise. top rate goes down from 39% to
35. the very wealthiest of americans get even a bigger tax break. the high end 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 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 deductions 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. what i'd say to the president
and republicans, the last time you tried to eliminate state and local deductibility, you had to eliminate that. same they think 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. >> they argue this is a boon to wealthy taxpayers in blue states, it's just not true. it's not true. here is another amazing thing, we don't know where this came from, they raised the bottom ryan from 10% to 12%. the lowest rate on working class americans. so, what the plan does is the top rates on the wealthiest
come down and the bottom rate on working class families goes up. what kind of plan is this? republicans will argue that the-- that they doubled the standard deduction so it covers the raise in the lower rate. bunk. by repealing the personal he can exemptions, they're raising taxes on middle class americans. a family of two with this frame work, household income of $45,000 could see their bill raise by a thousand dollars and that's not helping the middle class. they're using fine print, hen tax hikes on the middle class in order to give huge cuts
to the wealthy. the plan will add anywhere from 5 to 7 trillion dollars to our deficit. if it passes, it will only be a matter of time before republicans start crying out,
the deficit's 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've 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 merit. let's call that the jim bakker rule. tax reform should be judged on its own merit. no dynamic scoring, no fake math. the republicans used to believe in that. middle class americans deserve tax relieve. democrats want t it. tax reform should go through regular order. it should help the middle class, know the top 1% and not increase our deficit. 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 to the wealthy for big corporations, they're going to try to push that through. health care ultimately failed, the repeal of health care, trump care failed because the public was against it and the public will be equally against this plan that is so perverse in helping the wealthy and hurting the middle class and it will fail. my great friend, ourax expert, senator wyden. >> senator schumer has said it very well. so, let me have yous highlight a couple of additional points. the first is, what has been released today makes a 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 that the ultra
wealthy get $100 billion handout each time the corporate tax rate is cut by just 1 percentage point. back of the napkin estimates show that the trump plan on the corporate side will result in 1.8 trillion dollars in tax cuts for the multinationals and the powerful ceo's. then, let's turn to the passthrough issue that the two of us feel so strongly about. this completely new lunar crater sized new loophole, in effect, takes a page out of gordon gecko's playbook. they've said again and again is 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 one this give an approximate estimate of $660 billion in tax cuts to mar-a-lago's moist loyal members. that's the passthrough 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 and higher 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 passthrough 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. so 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 standard 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 and dependent exceptie exemption, this is recipe for serious inequality in our code and i want to amplify for a moment on the leader's important point with respect to the republicans. they're going to be all about this country saying that they're 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're going to increase the standard deduction, at the same time, they propose eliminating these vital personal and
dependent exemptions. what a family of four would gain with 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 d i together, said that the focus was going to be on the middle class. the focus was going to be on insuring that we had regular order and we had fiscal responsibility. as of now, the republicans are walking on the history of successful bipartisan tax reform. a 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 jut
li out lined and we hope as schumer said they'll walk this back. >> questions? >> at the plan stands now with a lot of details missing would raise taxes on lower income americans? >> it raises the rates on lower income families. if you're a family of four, you pay more because you lose the individual deductions for each individual. if you're 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 and looking at this, every wealthy family would get a big break. >> with unemployment, i guess, at 4.3% or whatever it is, seemingly relatively low, you might make the argument that
the middle class doesn't necessarily need a tax cut either. my question is what do you think the middle class actually wants? >> i think, first of all, if you look-- talk to middle class folks, th do not wa tax breaks for the very wealthy andhey 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 talks the talk. he says we're going to aim this at the middle class and walk the walk,it's aimed at the wealthiest people in america. they do by far the best. >> what is the message to democrats, and [inaudible] . >> we democrats have all talked about fiscal responsibility, not increasing the deficit. there's a $5 trillion hole in the deficit. the democrats think that it should go to the middle class.
we believe that small businesses should get some kind of tax break, we could look at this. even three who didn't sign the bill are going to look at this and have problems with it. >> there was language making sure that the passthrough rate didn't apply to the wealthy. do you take that at face value and-- >> not in their plan. not in their plan. so you're a big hedge fund or fancy law firm. you'll pay no corporate tax and instead of individual rate of 39.6 or-- you play 25. it's a dramatic huge tax break for the wealthiest, middle class people can't take advantage of this. >> leader can i-- >> please, please. >> let me tell you what's happened in the committee, the finance committee. we began pointing out the inequity of the passthrough provision months and months ago. we were told by the secretary
treasury. it would be corrected. it's been months since they said it would be corrected. that's the first thing that i looked at today. well, they're doing something else. maybe, maybe, they're going to honor the pledge they made months ago to correct it, they still haven't, number one and fume two, we've received testimony recently in the state finance committee that it is very, very hard, if not impossible, to stop the ripoff in the kind of proposal that they have in effect laid out once more today. >> look, the bottom line, just about everything that the president, treasury secretary mnuchin, carry gary cohn has said is not in the plan. they hope they can take one way
and fool the american people. we are not going to let them. this plan is what they say and what they plan is different. in the next month we will talk about this every day and the american people are not going like this plan when they learn of it. >> and what do you do. is there room for negotiation? talk to the white house? >> well, 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. third, let's do things in a bipartisan way, which i think every one of the democrats, 45 plus all three agree with on working together. they are -- i think they realize just like with health care what they're doing so so out of the mainstream, their wealthy contributors and donors love it. the hard right loves it. if they went to reconciliation they'd have to move the plan somewhat to the middle, and
help the middle class and they'd have to force their contributors, koch brothers and all that. and the problem is, if they think they can fool people they're not going to succeed. the plan is totally different than what they say about the plan. >> this is going back to that question, no deductions for states and local taxes. >> yes. >> you know, when you look at the health care plan and there was a medicaid redistribution element. >> yes. >> that went into new york and connecticut-- i'm wondering, do you see some kind of a geographic red state-blue state faultline at work here? >> i see some of that. here is the problem, particularly in the house there are a whole lot of republican congressmen who come from districts that are going to be very adversely affected. let' take long island, you have a family, it's 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-- come close to it. my guess, you're going to have 30, 40, congressmen, republicans, saying 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 were already talking about how this could be seen as double taxation, and, of course, republicans see that as a fundamental principle of the senate's republican economic thinking. that's number one. number two, as the leader said, this is not breaking into just a blue state-red state kind of issue. we're going to see in big
swaths of the country, not just one are two places, we're going to see lots of folks who are paying pretty significant local taxes and they're going to be saying not so fast, especially when they look at some of the other things. >> yes. >> in terms of health care, and it's a personal thing that people interact with on more daily basis and taxes is something that people feel confused by. >> here is what i say-- i'm sorry. >> i was wondering how you keep this in a conversation making it personal for people. >> in talking to people around my state and looking at surveys, if you ask people on an issue by issue basis, what's the number one thing they want, reduction in drug cost prices. number two, no tax cuts for the wealthy. people vicerally care about it.
>> to that point, the leader is saying what we hear. people say how did 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're going to have a lot of families, particularly the large ones. the republican say they're 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 communities, we both go to communities and all over our states, people are going to start taking out a little sharp pencil here, they're 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's pretty viceral and this
bill wants to raise taxes. it's going to affect as many middle class people as health care and one other thing and i think that people are aware of this, social security and medicare are at risk in a plan like this. it's going to so dramatically decrea decrease-- increase the deficit and 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 nen said let's cut social security. we have a big deficit. thank you, everybody. [inaudible conversations] >> the u.s. senate about to gavel in to start the day. lawmakers are considering the nomination of ralph erickson on the circuit.
a vote is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. eastern. we also expect to see a vote on the nomination for the chairman of the fcc. also, outstanding, f.a.a. funding extension and hurricane relief. now, live to the senate floor on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. god of grace and glory, lift us with your might. you are our security, our hope for years to come. lord, give our senators such