Senator Blanche Lincoln (D - AR) Remarks on HR 1836, Economic by RodneySooialo


									May 26, 2001   CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — SENATE                                                 S5789
                    Mrs. LINCOLN. Mr. President, today       plan rewards hard work and recognizes
                  we have the opportunity to dem-            that all Americans truly deserve a tax
                  onstrate that bipartisanship is working    cut. I mean no disrespect to my male
                  in Washington.                             colleagues in this body, but I believe
                    We have before us what is no longer      this provision might not exist in this
                  just the President’s tax plan.             plan had women not had a seat at the
                    Just a few short weeks ago, the ma-      Finance Committee table.
                  jority of our colleagues in the other        Senate moderates have changed the
                  body rubber stamped President Bush’s       President’s original plan in other im-
                  plan that heavily tilted tax cuts to the   portant ways.
                  rich while delaying most of them until       The amount of income subject to the
                  after 2006. That plan would not have       alternative minimum tax will be in-
                  helped my State or many other south-       creased immediately. This is a critical
                  ern States for that matter. In fact, al-   issue which the President ignored. In
                  most 50 percent of the wage earners in     fact, his original plan would have ac-
                  Arkansas would not have received a         celerated the pace at which middle in-
                  tax cut under President Bush’s original    come taxpayers are forced into the al-
                  plan.                                      ternative minimum tax category. His
                    But with the input of Senate mod-        tax cut would have actually resulted in
                  erates, both Republican and Democrat,      a tax increase for some unfortunate
                  we have created tax cut opportunities      taxpayers.
                  for millions of low and middle income        The revised tax plan will allow peo-
                  taxpayers almost immediately. We           ple to increase their contributions to
                  have stubbornly refused to give in to      IRAs and 401(k) plans, an extremely
                  the argument that because people work      important change in an era when we
                  for less than $21,000 a year, they don’t   have seen America’s national savings
                  deserve a tax cut. They may not earn       rate drop to its lowest point in 40
                  enough to pay income taxes but they        years.
                                                               Another change expands the 15 per-
                  are surely taxpayers in every sense of
                                                             cent tax bracket for married couples so
                  the word. They are hard working
                                                             that more of their income is subject to
                  Americans who pay payroll taxes, sales
                                                             the lower tax.
                  taxes, excise taxes and just about every     And, while I believe that the top in-
                  other form of tax other than the Fed-      come tax rate of 35 percent could still
                  eral income tax.                           be higher, I am gratified that Senate
                    I am proud that the final plan before    moderates forced a substantial increase
                  the Senate today recognizes their con-     from the President’s original 33 percent
                  tribution to our economy.                  rate.
                    I want to extend my gratitude to my        We can thank bipartisanship in the
                  colleague on the Finance Committee,        U.S. Senate for making this plan better
                  Senator SNOWE from Maine. Together         and one that truly accomplishes the
                  we have stood fast in our insistence       promise of a tax cut for all Americans.
                  that the child tax credit should be re-    The real thanks, however, goes all the
                  fundable so hard-working, low-income       way back to 1993 and to the American
                  families would receive a tax cut. By       people. When our nation was deep in
                  doubling the child tax credit and mak-     the deficit ditch, the U.S. Congress
                  ing it refundable up to $1,000, this tax   went to the people of this great nation
                                                             and asked them to bare the burden of
                                                             program cuts and higher taxes in order
                                                             to balance the budget. We now have a
                                                             balanced budget and budget surpluses
                                                             and we can now responsibly lift that
                                                             burden with gratitude to the citizens of
                                                             this country.
                                                               I want to especially thank three of
                                                             my distinguished colleagues on the Fi-
                                                             nance Committee, Senators GRASSLEY,
                                                             BAUCUS and BREAUX, who have ear-
                                                             nestly negotiated the final terms of
                                                             this bill during the last days. I believe
                                                             that in most important aspects, it re-
                                                             mains true to the principles advanced
                                                             by the Senate earlier this week.
                                                              MASSIVE TAX CUTS STARVE NATIONAL NEEDS

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