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Senate Proceeding on May 3rd, 2011 :: 1:13:20 to 1:26:25
Total video length: 2 hours 33 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Chuck Grassley

1:13:08 to 1:13:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from iow mr calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without mr. grassley: madam president and members of the senate, i have the privilege of, over most of my tenure in the united states senate, serving on the senate finance committee and

Chuck Grassley

1:13:20 to 1:26:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

1:13:30 to 1:13:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: working with a good senate leader like senator baucus. i now have the privilege of serving on there but not as ranking member or chairman, but just as a member. but i compliment senator baucus for his leadership on this whole

Chuck Grassley

1:13:52 to 1:14:12( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: business of tax reform and holding hearings that he's hearing, having held, and today a very important one is being held on the question of is the distribution of tax burden and benefits equitable. the topic of today's hearing is very appropriate, whether the

Chuck Grassley

1:14:13 to 1:14:33( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: distribution of tax benefits and burdens is equitable is a very important topic. however, i would argue that there is a more important question that we should be debating and we should be answering this question: what is the purpose of the federal income tax?

Chuck Grassley

1:14:34 to 1:14:55( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we can't talk about whether taxpayers are paying their fair share if we don't know why we want them paying taxes in the first place. we're in a situation now where people are talking about increasing taxes on higher-income people because, supposedly, they can afford it.

Chuck Grassley

1:14:56 to 1:15:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and probably they can afford it. but i get sick and tired of the demagoguery that goes on in washington, not just by members of congress, but by too many people, that higher income people ought to be paying more taxes.

Chuck Grassley

1:15:18 to 1:15:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: according to the joint committee taxation's latest analysis, 49% of the households are paying 100% of the taxes coming into the federal government while 51% are not paying any income tax whatsoever.

Chuck Grassley

1:15:40 to 1:16:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: now, how high do taxes have to go to satisfy the appetite of people in this congress to spend money? and particularly how high do marginal tax rates have to go to satisfy those clamoring for higher taxes from the wealthiest?

Chuck Grassley

1:16:03 to 1:16:23( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: how high to satisfy you, and you know who you are. there's an article by investor business daily that i want to refer to that according to this article even if the government confiscated -- we're not talking about taxation of a certain

Chuck Grassley

1:16:24 to 1:16:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: amount of income, but if it confiscated all of the income of people earning $250,000 a a year or more, the money confiscated would fund the federal government today for a a mere -- for a mere 140 days. and you know what you would have? you wouldn't have those people trying to maximize their income

Chuck Grassley

1:16:47 to 1:17:09( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: because why would you maximize it if the government's going to confiscate it? so that's a very basic question to how high do taxes have to go to satisfy the appetite of people in this congress to pend money? funding the government should be one of, if not the, primary goal

Chuck Grassley

1:17:10 to 1:17:31( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of income tax laws. and, of course, that leaves out this whole business of whether the federal government's purpose is for the purpose of redistributing income. note here that i am specifically folking on the income tax. this is because payroll taxes are not used to fund the government.

Chuck Grassley

1:17:32 to 1:17:52( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: social security and medicare taxes are, in fact, insurance programs. and because they're insurance programs, the taxes they pay are insurance premiums because individuals who pay them expect a benefit when they reach a

Chuck Grassley

1:17:53 to 1:18:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: certain age. it is clear that some believe that the tax code should be used to reduce the growing income disparity between the lowest and highest income. this assumes a key objective through the federal income tax laws should be to ensure that income is distributed equally

Chuck Grassley

1:18:15 to 1:18:35( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: throughout our citizenry. in other words, these folks actually believe that the federal government is the best judge of how income should be spent. that is not what our founding fathers or original authors of the tax laws intended.

Chuck Grassley

1:18:36 to 1:18:57( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: in addition to considering the purpose of tax revenue, in fact, we ought to have some principles of taxation that we abide by. these principles of taxation would be a much stronger foundation than the day-to-day decisions about whether or not we ought to raise taxes on a

Chuck Grassley

1:18:58 to 1:19:21( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: certain number of people. so i abide by the principle that's been a fact of our tax laws for 50 years that an average of 18.2% of the q.d.p. of -- g.d.p. of this country is good enough for what the government needs to spend.

Chuck Grassley

1:19:22 to 1:19:42( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and i say that because a 50-year average that hasn't been harmful to the economy, as we've seen this country just expand and expand economically over that period of time, and, quite frankly, it ought to be clear

Chuck Grassley

1:19:43 to 1:20:05( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: that 18.2% of the g.d.p. of this country coming in for us to spend is not at a level of expenditures that taxpayers have revolted against. so we take in that 18.2% for 535 of us decide how to spend. the other 82% is in the pockets of the taxpayers for them to

Chuck Grassley

1:20:06 to 1:20:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: decide how to spend or to save and, quite frankly, how much to spend and how much to save. because if the 18.2% of us or any amount more comes to 535 members of congress that decide how to divide up the resources of this country, we would not

Chuck Grassley

1:20:27 to 1:20:48( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: have the economic growth that we have of our economy when 137 million taxpayers deciding how to spend or how to save and how much of each decide how -- how to do it, the economic growth of this country in -- is enhanced tremendously because of

Chuck Grassley

1:20:49 to 1:21:11( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the dynamics of the free market system. and if we were going to go the greater route of increasing that 18% very dramatically, we would be moving increasingly towards the europeanizing of our economy, and i think that would be very bad. in evaluating whether people are

Chuck Grassley

1:21:12 to 1:21:32( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: paying their fair share, experts frequently look at whether a proposal improves the taxes. critics of lower tax rates continue to attempt to use distribution tables to show that tax relief proposals disproportionately benefit the upper income.

Chuck Grassley

1:21:33 to 1:21:53( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we keep hearing that the rich are getting rich while the poor are getting poorer. this is not an intellectually honest statement as it implies that those who were poor stay poor throughout their lifetime rap those who -- and those those who are -- those who are rich stay rich throughout their lifetime.

Chuck Grassley

1:21:54 to 1:22:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and that is just not the case. i want to point about this to a 2007 report entitled income moability which are in the u.s. from 1996 to 2005. i quote the key findings. there was considerable income mobility of individuals in the

Chuck Grassley

1:22:18 to 1:22:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: u.s. economy during 1996 through 2005 period as over half of the taxpayers move to a different income over this period. next, roughly half of the taxpayers who began in the bottom income in 1996 moved up

Chuck Grassley

1:22:40 to 1:23:01( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: to a higher income group by 2005. next, among those with a very highest incomes in 1996, the top .001% only a small group

Chuck Grassley

1:23:02 to 1:23:22( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: remained in that group in 2005. moreover, the medium real income of these taxpayers declined over this period. next, the mobility among income groups is unchanged from the prior decade, meaning the prior

Chuck Grassley

1:23:23 to 1:23:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: study by the treasury department. and that period of time was 1987 through 1996. lastly, economic growth resulted in rising income for most taxpayers for the period of 1996 to 2005. medium income of all taxpayers

Chuck Grassley

1:23:46 to 1:24:07( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: increased by 24% after adjusting for inflation. and the real incomes of two-thirds of all taxpayers increased over this period. in addition the medium incomes of those initially in the lower-income groups increased more than the medium incomes of those initially in the higher

Chuck Grassley

1:24:08 to 1:24:28( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: income groups. end of quote. therefore, whoever is saying -- and we hear it every day on the floor of the senate -- tha rich, americans stay rich, and once poor, they stay poor is purely mistaken. and internal revenue service

Chuck Grassley

1:24:29 to 1:24:49( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: data supports this analysis. the report on the 400 tax returns with the highest incomes reported over 14 years shows that in any given year on average about 40% of the returns were filed by taxpayers that are not in any of the other 14 years.

Chuck Grassley

1:24:50 to 1:25:10( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: in other words, 40% of those people that are in highest brackets are not in the highest brackets ever in that 14-year period of time. so once rich, not always rich. i welcome this data on this

Chuck Grassley

1:25:11 to 1:25:31( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: important matter for one simple reason, it sheds light on what america really is all about, past opportunities and income mobility. but built by immigrants from all over the world our country truly provides unique opportunities for everyone.

Chuck Grassley

1:25:32 to 1:25:53( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: these opportunities include better education, health care services, land financial security, but most importantly, our country provides people with the freedom to obtain necessary skills to climb the economic ladder and live better lives. we are a free nation.

Chuck Grassley

1:25:54 to 1:26:16( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we are a mobile nation. we are a nation of hard-working innovative, skilled and resilient people who like to take risks when necessary in order to succeed. bottom line, we have an obligation as lawmakers to incorporate these fundamental principles into our tax system

Chuck Grassley

1:26:17 to 1:26:27( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: instead of just talking about, are the rich paying enough?

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