From higher prices to tax increases to fewer opportunities, life is harder for American families and small businesses because of Democrats’ policies, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) said in opening remarks before a full committee hearing with Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen. We can help our economy get back on track by making tax reform permanent, creating jobs, and promoting economic growth.
CLICK HERE to watch Rep. Brady’s remarks.
Rep. Brady’s full remarks as prepared for delivery appear below.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Yellen, welcome back to the Committee. It’s good to have you here.
I have tremendous respect for you and the Treasury Department, but as you know I strongly disagree with the failed economic policies of this Administration.
President Biden clearly bungled the economic recovery, and as a result, working families and Main Street businesses are paying a steep price.
Americans are being hammered with a shrinking economy, shrinking paychecks, slower job growth, and record pessimism about the future. A new report shows 83 percent of Americans rate President Biden’s economic leadership as “poor.”
Taking office armed with every economic advantage, President Biden has posted a terrible record.
He’s missed expectations in four of his five quarterly economic reports — and last quarter the economy actually shrank.
He’s fallen short in half of the monthly job reports, creating a mere 8.6 million jobs. President Trump, by contrast, created 12.5 million jobs during the months after the pandemic — averaging 1.4 million jobs a month even without life-saving vaccines and a nearly nationwide lockdown. President Biden has never come close.
Due to the Administration’s dismissal and subsequent denial of inflation and the worker crisis, plus massive deficit spending that fueled 40-year high inflation, American families and Main Street businesses are suffering from higher prices on nearly everything.
Make no mistake, the Administration should have known.
Inflation doubled in just two months before the American Rescue Plan – way over the 2 percent rate the Federal Reserve targets.
Yet this Administration, and you, as one of its most respected cabinet secretaries, repeatedly urged Congress to “act now, act big” and assured America, in your words, “I don’t believe the American Rescue Plan will be inflationary.”
You couldn’t have been more wrong, and now we face a looming economic recession and high inflation, for perhaps years. As a result, life is brutally harder for families and small businesses.
Month after month, prices outpace paychecks, slashing real wages by over 3 percent and costing the typical family an extra $5,000 a year. Experts predict we’ll hit $6 a gallon by August, with average households spending an extra $2,000 this year on gas alone.
It’s no wonder three in four Americans believe we’ll be in a recession in the next year.
It’s not just workers and their families who have lost faith in the President’s competence.
Double-digit inflation is hitting small businesses and has for months. Most small businesses say they’ve been forced to pass higher costs onto their consumers, and more than 60 percent of them fear Biden-Flation will drive them out of business entirely.
But these aren’t the only crises.
For the past year, Treasury has ignored the tax refund crisis, with an unconscionable total of 26 million returns backlogged at the IRS. Americans hit hard with inflation can’t even get their own refunds back to help keep their family budgets afloat.
Money’s not the problem.
Congress gave the IRS over $1.8 billion in emergency funding, but instead of using it to work off the backlog, Treasury instead focused on pushing a dangerous bank surveillance scheme that targets the privacy of families, small businesses, and farmers, and funding to unleash 80,000 new IRS agents on American taxpayers – including low- and moderate-income families.
While other nations are lowering their business taxes to fight inflation, President Biden is proposing $4 trillion in crippling tax hikes on Main Street businesses and their workers that will drive prices even higher – along with tax hikes on American investors that will rob crucial funding for investment to address the crippling supply-chain crisis.
It’s an economic surrender – both here at home and with our foreign competitors.
So, too, is the current OECD agreement on global minimum taxes and digital service taxes.
Congress will not ratify an agreement that makes America less competitive, surrenders precious U.S. tax revenues to foreign governments by allowing them to target American businesses, or turns the sovereignty over the U.S. tax code from Congress to the OECD and foreign accounting organizations.
But that is exactly what the current agreement does.
Today also marks one year since ProPublica first published illegally disclosed taxpayer information. They are using the data for a politically motivated agenda, and claim to have a vast trove of years and years of confidential taxpayer information.
Yet neither Congress nor the public has gotten any answers from Treasury on how this private data was leaked. To date, neither Treasury nor Justice has even confirmed they have acquired the data that was stolen.
If you don’t know what was stolen, how can you conduct a credible investigation? We’ve been patient, but when are we going to get some answers?
Treasury has found time, though, to launch a frivolous and politically motivated investigation against Texas for its legitimate use of COVID relief dollars to address the health and humanitarian impacts of the dangerous “open borders” policy, including overcrowding of federal detention shelters, dangerous COVID-19 health conditions, keeping frontline health workers safe, curbing sex and drug trafficking including record-high fentanyl smuggling, and preventing migrant deaths. Sadly, 700 migrants have died on American soil under President Biden – the highest on record.
The bottom line is, working Americans are hurt hardest by these crippling crises. The question is when are they going to see relief?