On FOX Business, Portman Discusses Democrats’ Reckless Spending Priorities, Inflation and Tax Increases
Senator Portman joined FOX Business’ Kudlow this afternoon to outline his concerns with the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending bill, arguing that trillions in new spending and taxes will stifle economic growth, kill jobs, balloon the national debt, and increase inflation. He also highlighted the negative impact surging inflation is having on workers and middle-class families. Portman noted that since President Biden took office wages have decreased 1.9 percent when adjusted for inflation.
Portman also highlighted the benefits of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – landmark legislation he helped negotiate to repair our nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, and other key infrastructure. This legislation, which passed the Senate three months ago on a bipartisan vote of 69-30, will improve competitiveness and not add to the record inflation the economy is currently experiencing.
A transcript of the interview can be found below and you can also watch the interview here.
PORTMAN ON DEMOCRATS' PROPOSED TAX HIKES AND SPENDING INCREASES:
“Yeah, with almost no money. I mean, it's amazing. So here's the situation. There had been no hearings, certainly no markups where you write legislation, no analysis. So we don't know what the Joint Committee on Taxation score is going to be, nor the Congressional Budget Office score. All the things, Larry, that you and I are used to having to rely on in order to get something done. So it's a process that is broken.
“But beyond that, the substance of it doesn't make any sense. Here you have really high spending, the most spending ever of any bill that's passed the Congress, of, by the way, anybody in the world and you have high taxes. So it's a prescription for not just higher inflation with more stimulus spending, but less economic growth, which equals stagnation, which is what happened in the 1970’s. No one wants to go there.
“Let's hope that what happened last night in Virginia and New Jersey and around the country will finally put an end to the reconciliation discussion. And let's focus on getting the infrastructure bill done. That's bipartisan, that's something that some Democrats support and would be good for the economy and counter-inflationary rather than pro-inflationary and doesn't have any tax increases. So my hope is that there's a change in part.”
PORTMAN ON THE IMPACT OF DEMOCRATS' PROPOSED TAX HIKES:
“Yeah, absolutely. It will affect the economy. What the Joint Committee on Taxation says, which is a nonpartisan group, this is not a Republican point of view, it's widely held by analysts, is that if you tax the corporation, the entity that gets hurt is the worker. So worker's wages, worker's benefits, and 70 percent of the benefit of the tax cut went to them. Seventy percent of the tax increase is going to hurt them or disadvantage them at a time when wages are under stress already. By the way, wages are down 1.7 percent during the Biden administration after inflation. Think about that. After 3 percent growth for 19 straight months prior to the pandemic under the Trump administration, I'll call it the Kudlow administration, you now have this reversal.
“The one thing they are talking about that's interesting to me is the SALT tax, because, remember, we decided back in 2017, we were going to cut taxes, but we also were not going to allow people who lived in states that had very high state taxes to be able to take that full benefit, because that would be taxpayers in my state of Ohio subsidizing taxpayers in say New York, so they could have very high taxes and get a deduction. So it was good policy. They now want to reverse that. That would cost about $475 billion in new tax increases somewhere else if they do that. Fifty percent of the benefit of what they want to do would go to the top 1 percent, which seems to be counted everything they're saying. So it's got to at least go through some hearings and have some scrutiny so we know what the heck is going on.”
PORTMAN TOUTS BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL:
“Well, it does have pay-fors, including, by the way, repurposing money that went out under COVID that has never been spent, which I think is a great pay-for. And that was a big fight to get Democrats to agree to that. But also, there's a lot of economic growth that will occur. I mean, you look at the analysis of infrastructure, just as frankly in the budget twice for the Trump administration, there was a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. CBO would say it wasn't paid for, but people knew that in fact this was good for the economy. It's a long-term investment in hard assets. It's going to make the economy more efficient and more productive. So this is going to come back to help us. So I look at it differently than the stimulus spending, which is money out now into people's pockets, which is going to add to the demand side of the economy. Infrastructure is longer term.
“By the way, very little money will go out in the next year, two, three years. It will go out four, five, 10, 15 years from now to help develop our infrastructure. To be sure the ports are working better. To be sure we can move straight rail, to be sure that we have bridges that aren't falling down, and that will make the economy more efficient. In my hometown of Cincinnati, we've got a bridge where 71 and 75 come together. Traffic jams every single day, not just during rush hour. And the economic impact of that is really negative. So opening that up, creating a better and safer way to travel is going to help the economy.”
PORTMAN ON DEMOCRATS' BUDGET GIMMICKS:
“Yes, it is. And Penn Wharton did a study that came out two days ago. I spoke on the floor last night about this in more detail. But what it says is that it's actually a $4 trillion bill because there are a lot of budget gimmicks in there to try to make the expensive new social programs seem less expensive. Specifically, they sunset a bunch of them, knowing that once you start the child tax credit say at the new increase $3,600, based on history you're not going to reduce that.
“So they don't pay for the programs because it's really not $1.8 trillion or whatever, they're saying, by the way, which would be tied with the highest spending ever. Four trillion dollars, by the way, would be twice as much as any single bill has ever spent in the United States Congress, only twice as much because the $1.9 trillion in March. So in terms of the spending this year, it would be obviously just astronomical. And would not just increase inflation, but also puts our debt and deficit in an untenable situation, the debt as a percent of our economy. The percentage of GDP, as you know, is up to levels we haven't seen ever in our country's history. We thought it was back to World War Two, but now it's even worse.”