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Contact: Doug Gordon

Kucinich Testifies For Greater Tax Relief
Testifies Before House Subcommittee On Taxes To Call For Greater Tax Relief For Those Who Need It Most

Washington, Sep 23, 2004 - Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) gave the following testimony before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures today:

“Thank you Chairman McCrery and Ranking Member McNulty for holding this important hearing. I would like to bring to your attention a proposal I introduced last year that will have a positive impact on millions of taxpayers.

“I think it is fair to say that all Members of Congress believe we need to strive for a fair, simple, and adequate tax system. We may disagree on how this is been accomplished, but we have the same goals.

“However, I think we can agree on the need for transparency. Transparency in the tax system is necessary to achieve fairness. Transparency permits the taxpayer to understand how fairness is arrived at in the tax code. A simplified tax code can provide this transparency, which in turn provides a sense of trust in the government.

“My hope is that this committee will seriously explore my proposal to create a $2000 Simplified Family Credit, a refundable tax credit that simplifies the tax code by consolidating the Earned Income tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Credit, and exemption for children into one streamlined Simplified Family Credit. This tax credit will simplify the tax code, provide greater transparency, provide extra work incentives, and provide a stimulus effect.

“Families should not have to struggle to understand the eligibility requirements for each of the various family tax breaks in current law. All families should follow the same set of rules.

“The Simplified Family Credit is structured to provide progressive tax benefits and a work incentive. The families with lower income will get more benefit, but they are also rewarded for work. The credit would be steeply phased in at the lowest income levels providing the incentive to work and a substantial benefit. As income rises a slow phase out would be necessary to ensure we maintain a progressive tax system.

“The cost of this proposal would fall in the range of $20 billion a year. Given our current deficit problems, I believe that Congress should only create the Simplified Family Tax Credit if it is paid for. In my legislation H.R. 3655, there are several options to pay for this proposal including rolling back parts of the tax cuts enacted in the last 3 years. Those tax cuts only added to the complexity of the tax code and removed any remaining transparency.

“Thank you for this opportunity to testify today.”


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