Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Jan 28th, 2009 :: 6:34:55 to 6:40:20
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James Webb

6:34:51 to 6:35:11( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: support this important -- i hope my colleagues will important bill. floor. mr. webb: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. webb: madam president, i ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment appeared call up amendment number 58. the presiding officer: is there objec without objection.

James Webb

6:34:55 to 6:40:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: James Webb

James Webb

6:35:12 to 6:35:34( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: mr. webb: madam president -- the presiding offi clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from virginia, mr. webb, number 58. mr. webb: i ask that the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. webb: thank you, madam president. i offered this amendment yesterday, first by saying i would reiterate again today that i firmly support the legislation

James Webb

6:35:35 to 6:35:56( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: that is before us, and i have a great sense of appreciation for the senator from montana for all the work that he and his staff have done to bring this piece of legislation to the floor. but i offered this amendme in an attempt to resolve what i believe are two issues of fundamental fairness, and they

James Webb

6:35:57 to 6:36:19( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: go to how this program is going to be paid for. the first was that the offset being used right now -- the 61-cent-per-pack increase on cigarettes -- a cigarette tax -- i believe, as does the senator from north carolina and other members that i have discussed

James Webb

6:36:20 to 6:36:41( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: this issue with on the floor, that this is unfairly singling out one industry that h already been heavily taxed. right now tobacco is federally taxed at 39 c this program and all 50 states and the district of columbia

James Webb

6:36:42 to 6:37:02( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: also impose an excise tax on top of that tax. in virginia that's a 30-cent tax on top of it. our states, which are also undergoing a lot of difficulty in their economies, are considering raising that tax well. my grandmother used to say, "you can't get blood out of a turnip."

James Webb

6:37:03 to 6:37:25( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: i think we'rebout at the point where this particular industry, where we are getting as much out of it as possible in a way that is inequitable to the industry and not just to the industry but, as i mentioned yesterday, according to the congressional research service, cigarette

James Webb

6:37:26 to 6:37:46( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: taxes are especially likely to violate horizontal equity. they are among the most burdensome taxes on lower-income individuals, and so we have something of a where we are levying a tax on large proportion of people who are economically challenged in

James Webb

6:37:47 to 6:38:07( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: order to program others who are economically challenged, and that, to me, just seems a little bit anomalous. the second issue of fairness -- the pay-for that i have proposed in this amendment

James Webb

6:38:08 to 6:38:30( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: -- is to which is compensation based on the percentage of the profits that hedge fund managers make -- this is a hedge fund manager is on the basis that this is ordinary earned income rather than presently -- the capital gains tax that they presently

James Webb

6:38:31 to 6:38:52( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: pay. this idea is not my own president obama campaned in favor of changing the carried interest tax rates during his campaign. yesterday i read from a variety of editorials newspapers -- i won't go through those in detail.

James Webb

6:38:53 to 6:39:14( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: but the washington post had an editorial two years ago saying "this is a make-or-break issue for democrats. if they can't unite nders this issue then they aren't real democrats." "the new york times" in an achieve a significant victory for fairness and for fiscal responsibility if it ends the breaks that are skewing the tax

James Webb

6:39:15 to 6:39:35( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: code in favor of our most advantaged americans." "usa today" had an editorial, "the philadelphia inquirer, the financial times, which is a conservative newspaper editorialized

James Webb

6:39:36 to 6:39:56( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: should be done at once." and that was two years ago. so, in my view, taking this particular tax break, which characterized earned income and calling it a capital gains, is an imbalance in our system. i'm all for people making money. the american system is founded

James Webb

6:39:57 to 6:40:18( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: on entrepreneurship. but i'm also all paying their fair i proposed this amendment that would allow a partial relief on the cigarette tax. i still believe it would be a good amendment, but i also can count votes, and i don't think

James Webb

6:40:19 to 6:40:20( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: this amendment has a chance of

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