Committee News

Opening Statement of Vice Chairman Kevin Brady

How the Taxation of Labor and Transfer Payments Affect Growth and Employment

May 16 2012

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Today the Joint Economic Committee is holding the second of two hearings on how taxes affect America’s economy. This hearing focuses on the taxation of labor. The first hearing on April 17th focused on the taxation of capital.

My goal, as Vice Chairman of this Committee, is to ensure that America has the strongest economy in the world throughout the 21st Century. To do that, we must get our monetary policy right, get our fiscal policy right, get our regulatory policies rights, and open new markets to U.S. exports.

A sustainable fiscal policy requires more than just closing the trillion dollar gap between federal spending and federal revenues. A sustainable fiscal policy requires economic growth.

A growing economy improves our fiscal outlook by increasing federal revenues and reducing federal spending relative to the size of our economy.

Sadly, however, economic growth and job creation is lagging under President Obama. To understand how poorly our economy is performing compared with its potential, let’s look at this chart and compare the big government-oriented Obama recovery to the free market-oriented Reagan recovery:

• From its low point in February 2010 following the recent recession, the Obama recovery produced private sector job growth of 4.0%. Over the comparable time-frame, the Reagan recovery far eclipsed the Obama recovery with 10.1% private sector job growth.

• If President Obama had the same growth rate of private sector jobs as President Reagan enjoyed, we would have over 6 ½ million more jobs today – that is more than one job for every two workers currently counted as unemployed.

• From its peak in October 2009, the unemployment rate has declined by a meager 1.9 percentage points under President Obama. Over the comparable time-frame, the unemployment rate dropped by 3.4 percentage points under President Reagan.

• Under President Obama, the average real GDP growth rate has been 2.4% over the 11 quarters following the recession. Over the comparable time-frame, President Reagan delivered an average real GDP growth rate of 6.1%....

Read the rest of Vice Chairman Brady's Opening Statement attached in pdf below, along with witness testimonies:

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