Lankford Shows Why Democrats’ Tax-and-spend Proposals Take Us in the Wrong Direction
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on YouTube.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today spoke out on the Senate floor in strong opposition to the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spend proposals, including the latest $3.5 trillion progressive agenda, which would be paid for with crippling tax hikes on our small businesses and families. The hyper-partisan proposals would raise corporate tax rates higher than even those in China to try to fund a Democrat wish list of new entitlements and Green New Deal policies. Lankford adamantly opposed Democrats’ efforts to move these proposals forward last month, and will continue to fight them moving forward.
Lankford continues to fight to protect Oklahomans against Democrats’ campaign to monitor Americans’ bank accounts, place taxpayer finances in a surveillance dragnet, and provide massive, additional mandatory funding to IRS for an army of IRS agents.
Lankford remains a leader in the Senate fighting against deficit spending and proposals that would increase our national debt. Lankford signed a letter with 46 Republican senators promising they will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, which would be necessary to pay for Democrats’ reckless $5 trillion tax and spending spree and would increase our debt to $45 trillion in 2031.
Lankford also fought back against Democrats’ early efforts to force American taxpayers to fund abortions as part of their reckless tax and spend plan. Lankford offered an amendment to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for funding of abortions and abortion-related discrimination, which was successfully adopted by a vote of 50-49 to the Democrats’ partisan budget resolution.
We’re approaching a conversation about two big issues here. One is a government shutdown, which I challenge this body a lot about of late, to say, ‘Why are we approaching another government shutdown?’ And then on top of that, we can’t seem to get any of the 12 appropriations bills done, which there are 12 of them to be done by September the 30th, but exactly zero of them have actually gone through Committee because the body is so consumed with focusing on a $3.5 trillion new entitlement package—$3.5 trillion. A straight partisan package that would create a whirlwind of new entitlements.
To give you a perspective of how big $3.5 trillion is, $3.5 trillion is about the total revenue that the federal government brings in an entire year with all taxes, all fees, all everything is about $3.5 trillion. This is an additional package on top of that $3.5 trillion new dollars in entitlements.
Now, if I go back to 2017 when we were trying to be able to super-charge the economy and to be able to create more jobs, we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. And in 2017 when we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it did exactly what we wanted it to do. It simplified the tax code for the vast majority of individual filers. It reduced taxes for just about every single filer, and it increased wages across the country. And it increased revenue coming into the Treasury because it stimulated our economy, which created more jobs, which created more opportunity for more people to make money, when more people make more money they pay more in taxes, and it comes and covers it. That’s what we did.
My Democratic colleagues are now proposing $2.1 trillion in tax increases. Tax increases not to cover our deficit, tax increases to create new entitlements and to spend even more money. And the several ways they do it are very, very painful as I read through their proposal. One of those is, they’re proposing to change the corporate tax piece, which sounds so good to say, ‘We’re just going to change the corporate tax piece so only corporations will pay this.’ The problem being, 1.4 million C-corporations in the United States, 84 percent of those ‘corporations’ that are out there have 20 employees or less. So they can throw around the big corporations and everyone thinks it’s Conoco and Apple—the vast majority, it’s small businesses designed as C-corps.
And how are they going to make them more competitive? They’re going to make those C-corps more competitive by raising the tax rate for all those corporations to make their tax rate higher China. Let me run that past you again. To make us more competitive globally, they’re going to make our tax rate higher than China’s tax rate while we’re trying to be able to compete with China on the world stage. Not only that, there’s a global minimum tax that’s already out there, that’s a small tax that’s out there for every corporation. And you know who has that already? The United States. Do you know how that was created? It was created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017 to make sure companies couldn’t scam out and couldn’t move their money into other places. That they would be here but if they decided to move to a tax haven, it would be there. We set it at a rate to be competitive.
They want to take that rate and super charge it and make it one of the top rates in the world. Now the statement from Janet Yellen is that she has already talked to all of the other countries about this global tax and they’ve said, ‘Yes we’re on board with the global tax. You go first.’
Can I tell you something? I remember being a middle school boy—any male does. I remember being a middle school boy and hanging out with my friends and all of us were talking about doing something dumb and it always ended with someone saying ‘let’s all do it‚ you go first.’ That’s what’s being proposed right now by Janet Yellen saying ‘let’s have the highest tax rate in the world and other countries will come and match it and they’ll be competitive with us. You go first.’
I can assure you that didn’t work out well as a middle school boy. That is not going to work out well for our companies and it will not work out for our economy. There’s this statement that should be ringing in the back of everyone’s head. This simple statement that was made years ago called “inversions.” Remember that old statement when we used to talk about corporate inversions. That was American companies being bought by international companies and moving overseas for their headquarters. That was a common conversation during the Obama Administration, but something happened and that term went away. Because in the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act bill, that stopped and now American companies started buying foreign companies and moving them here and everything shifted.
This 3.5 trillion-dollar monstrosity of new entitlements will flip that again and we will start hearing the word inversions because American companies will be moved overseas. It’s going to happen when we have a really bad, uncompetitive rate.
People may again say ‘well we’re just going to stick it rich people.’ But everyone kind of quietly knows that prices will go up. Fewer people will get raises in those companies. And it will be less competitive for the United States long term. Everyone knows that. This $3.5 trillion bill of new entitlements is also funded by giving the IRS billions of additional dollars to do more enforcement. And to allow the IRS, as Janet Yellen has asked for over and over again, to be able to track transactions for American’s for over $600 or more either deposited in your account or out of your banking account. I can assure you banks all over my state in Oklahoma are already saying ‘don’t make us turn in the transactions of every one of our people to the IRS.’ Why does the IRS need this?
Interestingly enough, I’ve actually asked the Commissioner of the IRS, ‘can you manage that much information?’ And his answer was a very straightforward ‘No, we can’t even manage the information we have now. Much less the amount of information that would come at us if transactions of $600 and more.’
This is the wrong direction. I could go on and on in fact I could give you 3.5 trillion reasons why this is the wrong direction. It’s the wrong policy. It’s the wrong things stepping out of an economy that’s damaged by COVID. It is the wrong set of policies long-term for our economy. It discourages work and what we’re facing right now in workplaces all over the country. From small to large companies they’re all saying the same thing. ‘It’s tough to get workers.’ If you think it’s tough to get workers now, wait until there are $3.5 trillion in new entitlements dumped into the economy and see how hard it is to hire workers then. This is the wrong direction for our country.