Bill Richardson on Tax Reform
Democratic Governor (NM); Secretary of Commerce-Designee
A: Well, I think that 2% for the wealthiest Americans, that is unfair, unequal. That would go, in my objectives as president. But fiscally responsible budgets, I believe, are critical for economic growth. And we use the tax structure to incentivize the economy, to give preference to solar, wind, biomedical companies & aviation & companies of the future.
A: There’s no question that there’s tax unfairness in this country, but we have to rebuild the economy. Yes, the Bush tax cuts have to go. But I would replace those Bush tax cuts with tax cuts for the middle class. We need to rebuild this economy by being pro-growth Democrats. We should be the party of innovation, of entrepreneurship, of building capital.
The legislature took up my tax package, which included the four-year cut in the personal income tax from 8.2% to 4.9 percent and a 50% cut in the capital gains tax, and the package passed the House without a single dissenting vote and the Senate by a margin of 39 to 2. I signed it into law on Valentine’s Day, 2003.
The nation's governors urge you to include state countercyclical funding as part of your legislation to stimulate the economy. This would include $6 billion in Medicaid assistance by freezing scheduled federal FMAP reductions and increasing all states' F Congress approved $20 billion in assistance to states, including $10 billion in Medicaid and $10 billion in block grants. The governors' current stimulus proposal is essentially the same, with the exception that it is a total of $12 billion as opposed to $20 billion. This proposal can be enacted quickly, as there is precedent and it is timely, temporary and targeted.
Additionally, governors appreciate federal efforts to use tax policy to get additional money into the hands of consumers and businesses to stimulate the economy. When considering tax changes to spur economic growth, governors urge Congress and the Administration to follow the maxim of "Do no harm" by avoiding changes at the federal level that would diminish state tax revenues or force state actions that would undermine the effectiveness of federal efforts.
We look forward to working with you to enact the appropriate stimulus program.
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