House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) appeared this morning on CNN Starting Point to discuss President Obama’s so-called “Buffet Rule” which raises taxes on hardworking Americans and the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators which includes a 20 percent small business tax cut that the house will vote on this week. Below are highlights from the interview:
Hensarling on the Buffett Rule:
“I don’t think the president has shared all the facts and I think this is obviously more about politics than policy. First as a policy, the president said this would go out and stabilize our debt, but if you go out and look at the budget he submitted to Congress, which by the way got zero votes in the House of Representatives, the Buffett Rule isn't 1 percent of what he plans to spend. It's not 0.1 percent. It’s 0.01 percent. So without any spending discipline, without any reform, it doesn't do anything to the deficit, number one.
“Number two, I think when people focus on it, in this economy why would you want to raise taxes on anybody? And then finally when it comes to fairness – fairness is not found in taxing some people more, it's about subsidizing them less. And when they focus on the fact that Republicans want a tax code that is fairer, flatter, simpler, more competitive – it's what we put in our budget, a two-tiered flat tax system that Americans can fill out on the back of a postcard – I think when they focus, that’s the true system that they want.
“Ultimately, Americans … want their children to have a better life than they've had, and so the politics of division and envy – maybe you get a short-term bump in the polls; ultimately that's not what America is all about.”
Hensarling on the facts of our current tax code:
“If you look at the facts, the top 1 percent of all Americans are paying about 38 percent of the income tax. We can debate whether that is fair or not. According to IRS data, those who pay between $50,000 and $100,000 in income are paying an average of 9 percent. Millionaires pay an average of 24 percent. Again, we can have debate about what's fair, but we ought to have a debate about what are the facts. The president wants to single out six or seven loopholes in the tax code. Republicans want to pick up the Internal Revenue Code and throw it in the nearest trash can and start over again with something that is fairer, flatter, and simpler for all Americans – not trying to have the politics of division and envy which the president is trying to have.”