WASHINGTON - June 17 - The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is outraged by the U.S. House of Representatives' passage today of the misnamed American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (H.R. 4520). What started as the Congressional repeal of a $5 billion-a-year export subsidy prohibited under international trade agreements became another taxpayer-funded giveaway to wealthy corporate special interests. The pork-laden bill was adopted at a budget-busting cost of $155 billion and adds at least $34 billion to the national debt that our children will inherit. Among others, the long list of corporate special interests that benefit from the bill include tobacco growers, movie studios, bourbon distillers, bank directors, software programmers, tackle box companies, sonar fish finders, and bow- and-arrow makers. These additional corporate tax breaks come at a time when corporate tax payments as a share of the economy are at historically low levels.
"This bill exemplifies again the misplaced priorities of our national leaders," said Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of CDF. "For less than the cost of these tax breaks, Congress could have provided Head Start for every eligible child or insured every uninsured child in America for the next decade. Instead they have chosen corporate special interests. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously cautioned, 'The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.' By passing this bill today, the House of Representatives clearly failed that test."
CDF finds the decision of the House today to pass this corporate welfare bill in the face of unmet children's needs and growing deficits both remarkable and sad. Given that the Senate has passed a similar bill, it is incumbent upon President Bush to reject these irresponsible and immoral tax breaks.