Video: Senate Passes Tax Cut Package
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December 15, 2010
Senator Boxer spoke on the Senate floor on the tax cut package, which included provisions she supported such as middle-class tax cuts, a new payroll tax cut, tax incentives to help businesses create jobs and an extension of federal unemployment benefits.
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Senator Boxer spoke on the Senate floor on the tax cut package, which included provisions she supported such as middle-class tax cuts, a new payroll tax cut, tax incentives to help businesses create jobs and an extension of federal unemployment benefits. She spoke in opposition to extending tax cuts for the wealthy and reductions in the estate tax. Below are excerpts of her remarks:
The last topic I wanted to talk about was my vote yesterday to move forward on the tax bill… the framework of which was sent to us by President Obama. There were negotiations with our Republican colleagues and then one very important addition was made to the bill because many of us here in the Senate wanted that, and I’m grateful for that addition.
It was the [Section]1603 program which is critical to our clean energy businesses and will result in tens of thousands of jobs because it allows companies that are moving forward with solar, wind and geothermal clean energy projects to essentially get a tax credit up front. It’s essential because there are a lot of plans on the drawing boards and if this hadn’t been renewed, we would have lost those plans and we would have lost those jobs. So I’m very pleased about that.
I wanted to lay out some of what compelled me to vote ‘yes’ to move that bill forward. …The fact is this bill will be a help to the middle class.
Different parties bring different passions to the table, and those passions are held deeply… I think the passion that the Democrats brought to the table was that first and foremost, the people who have been desperately hurt by this slow economic recovery aren’t left in the lurch for the next year. We brought that passion that we had to make sure that middle-class families who lost their jobs don’t lose everything else – their home, the ability to send their kids to school, and that they have this bridge of unemployment insurance.
The other passion was to make sure that the middle class didn’t get a tax increase. We were passionate on the point and wanted tax credits for business that resulted in jobs.
Those were the passions we brought to the table. I think it’s fair to say the passions the Republicans brought to the table were to help make sure that the very wealthiest got taken care of in any deal.
Why do I say that? It’s a fact in evidence.
Their non-negotiable terms included extension of the tax cuts to billionaires and millionaires. That was it. Just as we were passionate about helping the middle class, they were passionate on this point.
This tax bill that I voted to move forward will help our working families. There’s a two percent cut in payroll taxes.… There is the extension of the child tax credit from the Recovery Act, the earned-income tax credit, the childcare tax credit, education relief, refundable tax credits for college, the 1603 [clean energy] provision, job-creating incentives, bonus depreciation and small business capital gains exclusion.
In closing, do I feel passionate that the people who earn over one million dollars don’t need a tax cut? You bet I do. I am passionate. To me, that adds to the deficit to help people, so many of [whom] say they don’t need this. We had a letter we put in the record from 90 millionaires. They said this is ridiculous. This is ridiculous.
But I think moving ahead with this was very, very important. Most economic forecasters estimate the legislation will increase GDP growth and I think that is critical at this time.
My state is struggling with a 12.4 percent unemployment rate, and I didn’t agree with two major provisions – [tax cuts for the wealthy] and the estate tax, which is a giveaway to the wealthiest few. It adds to the deficit and there is no reason to do it.
On the whole I think this is something we should do, and I look forward to getting this done.