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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Grassley on Government Shutdown  CSPAN  January 16, 2019 8:14pm-8:36pm EST

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at the end of the story we had a minute each to close our speech. i close my remarks what i thought was pretty good. he leaned back with a twang and he said you know you can see a turtle sitting on a fence post on a country world. there's one thing you know for sure, he did not get there by himself. i know for sure right now are going nowhere because were not talking about the problem. i know for sure is time to do the simple thing. and i for one am going to do everything i can do to let my people i know i'm doing everything i can. i'm not gonna call anybody a name or do anything like that. a claimant for my idea or hope nobody will steal it let's just get to work. there's no problem we can't solve there's no problem and solve it we don't want to solve it. god bless you for presiding
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today. i yield back the balance of my time. >> tax filing season is just around the corner. this has never been anyone's favorite time of year, paying taxes. but the uncertainty created by the current partial government shutdown is understandably created a bit more angst than in the usual tax filing season. the treasury department and the irs have been proactive in taking steps to minimize the burden of the shut down on taxpayers. they recently announced that tax season will start as planned on january 28. the irs has confirmed that taxpayers can expect refunds to be sent out as usual should this slow down drag on.
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of course, this is the right conclusion legally the right call for the taxpayers. i had an opportunity to tell irs commissioner reddick when we spoke recently. congress has explicitly provided a permanent appropriation for the irs to pay tax refunds. this makes common sense. the tax refund represents the taxpayers money, not congresses. not the governments, but the taxpayers. despite what some people in congress seem to think that this money belongs to the government. but it should be returned then in a timely fashion and thank god with their decisions that will be the case. with a round 75% of individuals receiving an tax refund on an
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annual basis, many have come to look for the refund to make important purchases, whether that's to replace an old water heater, make a down payment on a reliable vehicle to get them to work, or just to make ends meet generally. it would be wrong for the government to impose, undo financial strains on families across the country because congress and the president can get their act together. as we continue to work through our differences, and there is not a lot of work being done on that, that's why they shut down is historically long now. the least we can do is return taxpayers their own money. this tax season is a little different part not only because of the shut down, but also
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because it is the first tax filing season hundred the tax cuts enacted in the tax cuts and jobs act. in a lot of work has gone on to get us here, the treasury and the irs have been working diligently and swiftly to ensure taxpayers have the information that they need. in a little over a year, they have put out 16 proposed regulations, to final regulations, 45 notices, 21 revenue procedures, and updated countless forms, publications, and other guidance. all of this geared towards implementing the law and addressing taxpayers questions. right out of the gate, treasury and irs went to work updating
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the annual withholding tables so taxpayers could immediately begin seeing the benefits of lower taxes in their paychecks. now, of course whether a taxpayer had less or more withheld from the check is not the final word on whether one received a tax cut. also, due to changes in withholding, smaller or larger refund than usual may not tell the whole story. i encourage taxpayers to compare the 2019 tax return with that of the previous year to see the difference. only then will they be able to be sure whether it benefited did not benefit from the tax cut. at the end of the day, the vast majority of taxpayers will see that less of their hard-earned money is going to the government.
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the chief priority for the new withholding tables was accuracy. extensive analysis was done to help taxpayers get the right amount withheld from their paycheck, not too much, not too little. however, as we know, no withholding table were ever be perfect. every taxpayer may be affected differently under the new law based on their personal circumstances. the irs continues to consider whether future improvements to the withholding structure may be necessary which i support and will be monitoring as chairman of the finance committee. the irs has embarked on an extensive campaign to alert taxpayers to check and update
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their withholdings. this included an online calculator to help the taxpayer to with what they're holding may be necessary. that said, there's still going to be some taxpayers who may discover they were under withheld due to changes in the law and old tax at the end of the year. a subject or a subset of these taxpayers could be subject to a penalty for underpayment. the ranking member, senator wyden of the finance committee raise this concern in a letter to commissioner rettig on january 3, requesting that
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penalty relief be granted. i generally agree with the ranking member and have encouraged the irs to be lenient on penalties, especially with this first time through the filing season under the new tax law. if the taxpayer is under withheld as a result of changes in the law and not through the fault of their own, the irs should consider what action an agency can take to provide penalty relief the issue of wonder withholding due to the passage of tax reform should not be exaggerated. yes, as the ranking member claims in his letter to the commissioner, it is estimated that as many as 30 million taxpayers may have had taxes under withheld from their paychecks. but what hasn't been said is that 30 million is only about
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three percentage.increase from how many taxpayers would be under withheld under even the old law. moreover, just because a taxpayer was under withheld during the year does not automatically mean they will be subject to a penalty tax. safe harbors had long been in place to protect taxpayers whose withholding is slightly off from being penalized. it is quite possible that some issues will arise this filing season that we did not anticipate and we will need to fix as we go forward. we already identified a number of the issues, which i'm hoping my democratic colleagues will allow us to fix to further help as many more constituents as possible.
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that doesn't detract from the fact that we have delivered real tax relief to middle income families, small business owners, and the family farmer. nor does it undermine the fact that we modernized our out dated international tax system and improved america's business competitive in the global economy. of course, that is going to benefit the american worker. these efforts have contributed to a stronger growing economy. wages are rising at the fastest rate in nearly a decade. workers, employers and small business owners are all more optimistic than ever. unfortunately, i hear increasing calls for the of the new house
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majority pledging to erase the progress made to erase the reforms that we made 13 months ago. at least one new democratic member have suggested bringing back top tax rates as high as 70% to pay for a wish list of the far left big government programs. such tax rate targeted a relatively small amount of wealthy taxpayers would barely make a dent in the cost of programs that they wish to implement. policymakers across the globe abandon such punitive tax rates over the past several decades for their negative effect on growth, investment, and
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incentive to work. while tax rates at 70% or higher may have been fairly common in the 1960s, today, not a single oecd country boosts such high rates. how soon people forget about the prolonged economic stagnation and high employments of the 1970s when we last had tax rates as high as 70%. i'm going to detract here to show a chart. how soon we forget that just raising tax rates does not automatically bring in more money. for the benefit of my colleagues in the benefit of the public, watch it on c-span, should have had this moment.
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i doubt it will do much good for me to hold up close small sheet of paper. this goes back to the year 1954, ending this year. the blue line shows the marginal tax rates over a period of 60 years. you can see high tax rates in the 60s going down, up, generally down, staying pretty low years. but, you can see the red line is the amount of money that comes in from taxes. whether you have high tax rates are low tax rates. that kind of tells me they taxpayers are a lot smarter than the congress of the united states. when you talk about high marginal tax rates they want you to believe there is more money
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coming in. they are probably going to take a position if you lower tax rates, less money will come in. but you see, at 70%, let's see, what is it? no, the top rate here in the 50s was 90%. can you imagine? americans being dumb enough to her car, to only keep 10% of their income? no. what you do is you change people's behavior. they decide, i am only good work so much. why should i work harder and give money to the federal government. so, higher tax rates down to what a lot of people want you to believe they are going to do. so, just got done reading about why would you want to go back to those years of stagnation,
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pessimism and joblessness that we had up until the 70s, when we reduced from 93% down to 70. i would like to give a little history on this. you kind of think that if we have lower marginal tax rates and republicans are the ones that want lower tax rates, that you give republicans a lot of credit for reducing these marginal tax rates. i can really member the work of senator bill bradley of new jersey. probably at least a moderate democrat. he was probably is responsible for anybody in the 1980s to reduce these marginal tax rates, because republicans didn't have guts enough to do it. or we might not be where we are right now.
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it is not just republican thinking that got these marginal tax rates down. it's not just republican thinking that has kept this redline where it has been for 60 years, approximately 1620% of gross national product. the amount of the economy coming into the federal government. so, i hope the talk of such taxation truly is the talk of a few rogue members, and not representative of things to come. . . . opportunities for us to work together in a bipartisan way. i'm firmly in the camp that tax reform and tax cuts enacted by the last congress represent important revision to our last tax laws. tax laws. important resistance to our last tax laws but i also understand that no major piece of legislation is entirely perfect, and to the extent there is
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legitimate interest in improving tax laws as the chairman of the finance committee in going to be all ears. when it comes to making modifications to tax reform are first-order business should be focused on examining how the law affects individuals, families and the businesses in our state that provides jobs and benefits that we rely on. when necessary we should work together to take action and ensure the law is fulfilling its potential. a key part of this discussion should be enacting technical corrections to the tax law, revisions to ensure the bill does what members thought it did when they voted on it and some of these are related to just
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poor drafting and honest mistakes that were made. i also hoped there would be plenty of opportunity to work on a bipartisan basis, on tax issues involving everything from education to renewable and alternative a energy to consumer directed health care options. however i fear an opportunity to work together could be put at risk should my colleagues become fixated on tearing apart tax reform, hiking taxes and of course going after the president's tax returns. i want to put my democratic colleagues on notice that i have no intention of undoing structural changes implemented as part of the tax reform. this would include the tax rates and family benefits like increased tax child credit and eliminating the cap on the
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deductibilityte of state and lol taxes are backtracking or move towards a more territorial tax system, raising tax rates on pass through business owners and farmers or corporations all of which provide critical jobs and contribute to economic growth across the nation and for the first time in probably 40 or 50 years our businesses or make competitive with the rest of the world when they have a 35% tax rate likely to for years and years or decades and decades on corporationshe when the world average is 23%. how can you expect american corporations to compete? we are now at 21. it wasn't long after we passed 21 that we read about china may be feeling they were in competitive and would have to lower their tax rates. other countries are thinking about doing it as well.
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just like then reagan tax cutsf the 1960s, i mean of the 1980s the united states is plowing ahead setting a standard for the rest of the world, lower tax rates with the business and the individuals making decisions on where they earn their money, how much they are going to spend, how much they are going to save. it's a heck of a lot better than 535 members of congress making that decision because when we makeic decisions about stuff lie that they are political decisions. most of the individual taxpayers and the corporations of america their decisions are strictly economic and that's does much more economic good. and another one that i don't want to mess with his efforts to
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weaponized the authority of tax committeesit to assess excess tx returns for political purposes. such an action would be unprecedented. maybe not so on precedent at considering that nixon used the his political analysts.tical that's why we have section 6103 of the tax code to protect the of the tax code. mr. president i'm optimistic that we can continue to make progress helping americans improve their lives by keeping more of their hard-earned wages, taking the chance of starting a new business or continuing to expand an existing one, in short building an opportunity. i invite my colleagues to join

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